Friday, July 27, 2018

Have Diapers, (And Books) Will Travel (7QT)


Lately the weather has been very rainy and hot.  Luckily we escaped while we could, but I was a bit nervous about our trip to Florida, because I worried it would be even hotter, perhaps even rainier, and we also were not sure if we would have a pool at the Air BnB where we were planning to stay.  We signed up for this condo because it had enough beds and the owner had said in his ad for his condo, "Fish and turtles swim right outside your window-- it is like having your own private aquarium."  It is so funny now that that was our selling point.

Our trip

When we finally made it to our Air bnb, in Panama City FL yes there were turtles.... but/ and we were simply, absolutely shocked at how nice it was. The condo was part of a very nice resort with access to several pools, an activity island pool, hot tub, and splash pad, which a private store and restaurant. The resort set-up reminded us of Disney World.  They even had a trolley system, which was basically large 12 passenger go-carts that took you over a tiny go-cart sized bridge to the beach and pool.  The kids literally thought they had died and gone to Daniel Tiger heaven.  Also, the weather was PERFECT. It never felt much hotter than Tennessee to me, except when we were swimming in the ocean and got pretty tanned playing on the beach.  So win!


Of course in the car I had to listen to some podcasts. This podcast episode with Hollywood star Dax Shepard (of Crosby from Parenthood fame, Punk'd)  reignited my love for vulnerable midwestern conversations.  After losing my faith in my broken side of self (and consequently all humanity, in the process), this conversation with his mother is invaluable.  It reminded me of my days at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, CA.  We started visiting the Juvenile Hall as a ministry, and my dear friend Meredith and I made a sign in the chapel saying, "Get Re-Juvy-nated" to promote the ministry.  I think you will certainly get rejuvenated if you listen to this podcast episode in its entirety.  I've gotten burned on being vulnerable but I am reminded that we should keep having these conversations so that people walking through suffering feel less alone.  Coincidentally, she references the movie Boyhood, which I have not seen but have now bumped to the top of my list for Must-See TBW movies.

Speaking of vulnerable topics, let's talk about mental illness for a minute. Travel- even day trips- has been known to cure my anxiety.  But even with the time to re-coup and refresh in Florida, I almost had a panic attack earlier this week after we had gotten back from our trip.   I had had an espresso semi-late in the day (about 4PM), and as I was trying to fall asleep that night, I lay awake in bed and my heart was racing. I prayed a rosary, and as much as sacramentals help, medicine works wonders. I took a double dose of both my anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medicine and I definitely slept like a baby. When mental illness is aggrieved and acting up (and who knows how much sugar and caffeine play into this scenario), meds are very nice. I know it also has something to do with protein intake, snacks, etc.... BUT when you are regularly having panic attacks, I really think a reset button is one of the wisest things you can do.  It always takes a few days, but the memory of vacation and much less responsibility can really go along way in relaxing you in your mental space as well as physical.

I'm currently reading Dreamland Burning by Jennifer Latham.  This illuminated for me a subject which I previously did not know much about, namely the race riots of Tulsa, OK in 1921. My first complaint of this book was that it seemed to have been published - in part- because this gives voice to the minority. Then, I found out the author was white, and I was blown away (not least because the cover and premise - told from the voice of a young black girl- is confusing and there is no author picture on the book jacket).   Sometimes -- and this is going to be dicey, so bear with me-- a minority gets a job simply for diversity, not necessarily because of their skill set.  Consequentially, some of black culture, specifically writers, get(s) a bad rap.  This books takes a lot of twists and turns and you have to be really patient with the amount of detail she incorporates in all 300 or so pages of heavy dialogue and the introduction of many characters. Altogether the book did a very good job of illuminating the subject. I just couldn't believe how dense I was. Oh well, I'm just thankful to have  enough time to have read this and several other books while on vacation.

My article for Dappled Things is finally live!

Flannery O'Connor's Humorous Conception of Racism 

short but helpful (i feel) article on how O'Connor's stories illuminate the prejudice of the lower class in the South. I tried to incorporate as many details, quotations, and "Flannery-isms" if you will, from the story as I could in a short form essay.  Go take a gander.... if you dare. :)

An article worth your time

Pope Francis and Spiritual Virtuosos @ Word on Fire

linking up with Kelly as per usual!!!

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