Monday, February 27, 2006

Appeal of a Geisha

I just happened to finish reading the 500 page novel, "Memoirs of a Geisha" by Arthur Golden.
There has been a recent craze over the movie, and of course now book stores are selling the novel. The first time i took interest in the subject, though, was a few months ago when I saw Russell's computer screen with the backdrop of a dancing Geisha. Russell is my computer genius coworker who is one of those people that seems to know alot about anything and everything. I hadn't yet heard of the movie so i asked Rusell what a geisha was...

While he suggested reading the book, I never got around to it until the ladies in my apartment structure started a book club, doesnt it just sound so great? A seminary wives' book club...I must admit , it does sound boring and lame, but we haven't even met yet so ill have to let you know about it later. Anyway, when she told me the first book they would read was "Memoirs of a Geisha", i was in. Well that was a few weeks ago and I'm already finished with the novel and the club doesn't meet for 4 weeks...but those of you who know me well, know i usually get things done early, things that most people never even get to typical EVE. However, it wasn't my earliest that was responsible for getting the book done early, but the book itself was so interesting.

It is not often that I read fiction, so when i do i LOVE it. I think it's because I tend not to use a visual imagination so much when i read as an emotional one. So it is when i the few times I'm really in touch with and sensitive to my emotions. I think i even cried at one point while reading the book! So anyway...i wanted to share my reading experience with Keith. He just got back in from a funeral, so we went out for a dinner at olive garden (thanks to a wedding present gift card) and then to a budget theater.

Like any movie based off of a book, the movie lacked, confused, and completely changed several scenes. The casting and scenery were top rate though (I spose i have no idea since i see like 3 movies a year but I can be a critic on my own blog!). Anyway, i got to wondering why it is that this story- whether in book or movie- was so appealing to me. WHY would Eve Jagger care so much about Japanese geisha culture?
I believe i saw myself in the story...certainly im no Geisha, I'm not one to base my life on external beauty or perfection of the arts...But Chiyo (the main geisha) starts as a young girl with a rough childhood. She spends significant amounts of time trying to understand her destiny and training to be a geisha in the meantime. After one, sweet unforgettable encounter with the Chairman, she sets her mind to do all for him...every step she takes is to draw near to him. There are many men along the way. There is money. There is talent in dancing. She is well provided for by her older sister and her danna. Her longing for the Chairman never ceases though, and she treasures the smallest of moments with him and they drive her on.

Maybe you already see the parallel. This is yet another metaphor portraying us and Christ and the walk of faith. We meet him once and he changes us forever. We spend our lives in training and preparation and waiting for him. We are blessed by all kinds of people along the way- some whom we even see as the source of our blessing- little do we know that in all of it Christ is the foundation, it is his love for us in our peasantry and in our elegance that is behind it all- It is not until the moment that we see him face to face , that we are fulfilled- that life has meaning that we reach our destiny. Our past fades away, our future makes no difference as long as we walk with him.
I am a wife, not a geisha. Im a bride, not a mistress. We have our Memoirs, our moments of faith, our experiences of the I AM...someday we wont be relying on simple memoirs anymore.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

240 East Seventh

A Volunteer in Service to America...or so they call me. I've committed 1 year of my life to the Americorps mission of "antipoverty". I tend to wonder if it wouldn't be more a service to America to be "propoverty" since our country seems to thrive so much on the the exploitation of others. But , being the positive person I am (right hanso?), I will abandon my cynicism here and simply share my VISTA experience.
It all started with CASA- Court Appointed Special Advocates for neglected and abused children. A well organized national association with quite a bit of money...unfortunately, the majority of volunteers happen to be upperclass KY white folk (simply because they are the only ones with 30 extra hours of time on their hands every month) many of whom spend more time expressing their disgust rather than learning the causes and complications of abuse and neglect within the home. The parent is the enemy, ripping the children out of the home is the only solution, and the CASA volunteer is the hero. Even in cases of mild neglect, Im concerned that prejudice against the "poor" family on behalf of the CASA may more harm for the child than a situation of non-intervention. So, in this instance, "antipoverty" is the word if one means "down with the poor"-don't get me wrong...some homes are not safe environments , but one should think twice before assuming foster care is in the best interests of a child. In any case, CASA felt that publications, grantwriting, speaking and fundraising were not in the best interests of the organization...leaving me with jack squat to do...and a meaningless existence.

Since November, THANK GOD (literally), I have been working up in Lexington at the East Seventh Street Center Kid's Cafe. We serve warm meals to children through an afterschool program in a low-income community. We are largely supported by a Lexington Church, but now exist under an umbrella non-profit with a free legal clinic and pharmacy. The Center is a good this case, "antipoverty" is "anti-illiteracy"....but it really comes down to working 40 hours a week trying to chase a child down and get them to take interest in a book for 5 min...heck, i'd even feel like i was battling literacy at this point if they took interest in the picture on the cover. My position is "TUTORING PROGRAM COORDINATOR", but i think the people we serve see me more as "The 'sweet' little white female who seems to have a preoccupation with children's homework"...basically, a joke. But somedays a smile, a comment, even a nasty look from a child who knows no other gesture of love make it seem worth it.

But i have a cool coworker, Aaron, who invests immense amounts of energy, time and thought into the center. I most enjoy conversations between he, Russell (our fun computer volunteer expert genius technology guy), and I in the middle of the day over a bowl of popcorn.

Well im off to a long weekend of tutor and volunteer training...and taking some kids to payless for free shoes followed by a free evening at the Lexington Children's Theater. Im sure there will be more to come about my VISTA experiences....despite Bush's HUGE cuts to the Americorps programs, i will still employed by and at the mercy of the federal govt until july.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Ode to the Palmer

HAPPY 24th BIRTHDAY TO MY PALMER!!! I wish i could be with you BRO! Don't get too crazy- xoxo (well maybe not the kisses) from your sis.
Palmer-Palmer memories:
-Pastor Bobebeebitz
-"Knock it off", "Where's the hamburger?"
-Grandma Jo's House in IN putting the popcorn stalks back up after the storm
-Ghostbuster/ Barbie Doll playing
-Basketball on 19th Street Late into the evening
-THe rozwadowski's and the subczhecks
-Chapel of the Cross, need i say more?
-Spilling Salsa on the white living room carpet
-Hugsby, Andy, Freeby, Lucky, Jinx, Bubbles, Mac, Sweetie, Kermie, etc etc
-Toilet Papering together late into the night and getting in trouble with mom even though she gave us permission to do it :)
-Fist fights, me punching you in the face
-Putting a hole in grandma's basement ceiling
-You and keith playing Lord of the Rings in Madison
-Senior/Jr Prom picture together
-You standing up in my wedding :)
I LOVE YOU PALMER, you ARE MY ONE AND ONLY BOTHER ! (haha, remember the bother thing?)

Friday, February 17, 2006

A response to A MELVILLE

Yes. I admit, and with great pride, that Hugsby comes before all the rest. It is true that if i could've put him in a BEEFY little suit and stood him up in my wedding, I would have. "Sick", "Ridiculous", "Cats drool"...these are some responses you might give, but it's only because you have yet to fall in love with a cat. And no, it doesn't count if you've fallen in love with a dog- or a pooch if your name is Wendell. Let me explain, Hugsby is first and foremost MY cat. He became mine when i spilled hot chocolate on him when he was 2 weeks old and I was 2 years old. He is quite valuable in and of himself- a pure bred, seal-point siamese- a 200 dollar creature we're talking.
I named him after my favorite book about a bumble bee named "Honeycicle", hence HUGS-BEE. Not only did he withstand the bonnets and the strollers, but he was there through thick and thin...when I would cry in my room alone without anyone to comfort me, he nudged his little head on my knee. Even in high school, if i was stressed out with work, he would crawl into my lap and snooze or slap my pencil out of my hand or lay on my book. He lived in 2 homes with me, lost a brother, and now has 2 mistresses (named Lucky and Freeby).
Why this exaltation of the cat? Perhaps because the cat is creature most capable of emulating human characteristics. Cats are independant, yet manipulative. Cats are giving, yet taking. Cats are often quiet, but express with boy langauge. Cats sleep, but are always awake to perceive a smell, sound, or touch. Cats are selfish, yet give affection at one's most needy moment. If any animal has a soul, it is a cat.
I love my friends. THerefore, I love Hugsby...and all of you!
So don't be dissin my kitty!

Monday, February 13, 2006

My first

HOLA Gringos and Chicas! I've created this page for my friends and family, to share with you my rantings, my insights, my worries, my hopes, and my laughs. I hope you post a lot and reciprocate my vulnerability. I enjoy relationships, and i live for deeper ones. I named this site after Hugsby- my 20 year old cat and the most loyal of friends, full of unconditional love- not to mention his elegant paws and captivating blue eyes :) Each of you is special to me in a very distinct way. You have shaped me in the seasons we have spent and will spend together.

The best news of the day though is that Keith ventured down to Danville to get me some "little cakes" (aka "petit fors") for us to enjoy at breakfast. We have been searching long and hard to find them - perhaps we will take a victory lap around our 2 inch apt :)
I can't wait to share a little cake with my little cake! Uh OHH!