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I want pain to have purpose and meaning. My experience informs me that the main purpose of pain is to confirm that something is alive and to give indicators that something is wrong. Pain tends to outlive this limited purpose rather quickly. Yet it persists...and so (usually) do we. At its core, pain does help us embrace the concept of "through" which is an important part of hope.
This is a great essay. Thanks for writing. The Cather quote quote about Homer and Tolstoy was interesting. In her day, "animal instinct" and "savage" were generally seen as masculine and the feminine would be the "civilizing" and passion controlling side. If femininity meant being the force of the genteel against the savage, no wonder there were so many rules and expectations for women. It was all about the boundaries. Cather wanted to define herself as a new mixture of masculine and feminine. Good idea, and clearly easier to implement as a pioneer in a place of less defined boundaries and rules yet to be written. But what I love about Cather is that I think she may have started to ask some really good questions. Not only how do we redefine womanhood with a combo of masculine and feminine attributes, But "hey, let's challenge the labeling of these attributes!" Put "woman as civilizing force" on hold. What is the animal instinct/primitive savegeness of womanhood? Savage grace. Passionate community. Elemental compassion. It's fun to think about. Society has started to give up trying to codify femininity. That's great as long as we can make femininity more than the things that civilize the masculine. I don't need to leave my life to find it...I need to build where I'm at. With what I am. Mass media has no idea how to define masculinity or femininity. All we get now are stylized archetypes and catchy memes. I guess it's a good time to be original. Or to try if that moves you. I'm not an original. It's more interesting to me to try to connect with the essential me in the context of my relationships and my community.
Ghedin is now following Philip Crossman
Jun 23, 2013
Ghedin is now following The Typepad Team
Feb 21, 2011