Sunday, January 23, 2005

An evening in the life of a blizzard.

This is what the world is like now

And my boss called to say work was off tomorrow.

Cynthia, on her way to bed:

[in a strange booming voice]: "Well, was nice bein' with ya. [in her normal voice, somewhat sadly] I can't do it...sound like that guy. James Earl Jones? No, the other guy. Indiana Jones? He's sort of grizzly."

Christie, helpfully: "Grizzly Jones?"

Why I Am No Longer Freaked Out By Neurobiology: A Post About Gnosticism

Because once upon a time it did freak me out. It deeply disturbed me that the levels of chemicals in my brain could have an effect on my perceptions and feelings. What could it mean except that, yes, all we are is chemical soup, and the sense we have that there's a self there, a little guy swimming in the soup, is delusion.

Often one's first inclination on starting to think about "spiritual" things was that the spiritual world ought to be completely separate from the physical world. But the picture the Bible paints is of human beings as bodysouls, naturally occupying space and time, made as matter and spirit. It's not the case that our bodies are afterthoughts, simply (as Anne Lamott says) little earth suits we put on to clothe our souls, which will be discarded when we return to our original state of innocent nakedness.

Rather, the Judeo-Christian understanding of humans is that they were, in the original intention of the Author, a twofer. We are body-souls. And though the two can certainly be separated-- and at death in fact are, at least temporarily-- this state of affairs has always about it the reek of unnaturalness. Like death itself, this separation is not plan A, and will eventually be corrected.

Cynthia's Dowry

Cynthia, 25, on looking at her very first retirement account statement, for $54, speculates on her improved chances:

"Maybe this will make me more eligible as a spinster. 'I have an do I look to you now?'"

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

A Poem I Wrote on the T

I know an inn where the board is fine
and the goodman host keeps the door unbarred
Where the table is spread with bread and wine,
and the horses stamp in the stable-yard

Over the door hangs a wooden sign
The sign of the man hanging on the tree
The goodman host bellows "Come and dine!
"Dine on me, dine on me."

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

The tootsie roll factory

I live a couple hundred yards from the tootsie roll factory. In my head, at least, it takes the definite article: it is the tootsie roll factory. All tootsie rolls come from here: they leave here and go to all corners of the world. When I walk home from the market I walk under the Chocolate Mint Vent. It is a large, galvanized-iron vent fifteen feet off the ground, and if you stand under it you can smell the chocolate cooking. Only once did it smell of chocolate mint, and as I know of no chocolate mint tootsie rolls I can only assume that that night there was someone inside experimenting.