Because we all know

that women are bastions of hysteria. Thank goodness that 13 of the 14 bloggers at The Gospel Coalition are calm, collected, rational men, and that one of them had the goodness to use his position of authority to pass along some helpful advice for those so unfortunate as to have to interact with the dramatic sex.

[Sarcasm aside: I don’t actually follow The Gospel Coalition. But I have some friends that do, and occasionally links to their stuff pop up in my internet life. I’ve long been annoyed (but not particularly surprised) by their pretty horrific male:female ratio. And pertaining to this article, I don’t have any particular beef with the advice: yes, eating normally and sleeping normally, etc. is a pretty good idea. But it’s a pretty good idea for males and females, I think. I’ve needed to be reminded of this. But so has my brother, who gets weepy and crabby beyond compare when he’s sleep-deprived. Sure, on the whole, females might need to hear this advice on a more regular basis than males. But the pronouns in this article are entirely feminine, which – I think – suggests that drama is contingent upon being female. Which is not okay. Ever heard of rest cure? Or read The Yellow Wallpaper?]

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Race Matters

This is something I’ve been wanting to write about for awhile. It’s part and parcel of my job this summer, I suppose.

For instance:

Today one of my youth asked me if I’m the sister of the farm director. I said no. She looked confused – “Aren’t all of the staff brothers and sisters?” No, Halima, all white people are not siblings. Neither are all black people siblings. You’re not Marco’s sister.

Another in my group doesn’t care to remember (he’s quite smart; he could) his group members’ names. We had to fill out a form that included a list of all of our group members. He wrote: “Mohawk, scarf [referring to one of my Muslim students], white guy, white girl…” Yes. His group leader, after almost two weeks, wasn’t “Abby” or “Abigail”, but “white girl.”

My most recent immigrant asked me when I came to the United States. It hasn’t yet occurred to her that there are lots of people that are born here. And that it’s pretty safe to assume that blue-eyed white people (of which I am one) fall into that group.

We all laughed over a story told by my Puerto Rican student, who (as a 15 year old) lost his (European) mother the first time he visited a mall in the US. Too many blond-haired and blue-eyed women, and they all looked the same.
So, there’s that.
There’s also what I’ve been reading lately. Like Americanah, which I really, really loved.
And I read, for the first time, White Privilege, as part of my work orientation.
Also, I should also mention some PostSecret postcards that I had to examine during training for a community organization. (I tried to find the  postcards in question and couldn’t. At least not easily.) They all dealt with race in some way. One of the postcards read, “I became a pro shoplifter once I realized unassuming white women are invisible.”
This line in particular has stuck with me. I think about it every time I go into a store in this neighborhood. Unassuming white woman walks in the door. Will a staff member ask me to check-in my backpack or tote bag? Will I be greeted warmly, or followed around?
Anyways, I don’t really intend all this to lead up to a certain point about race. Except for this, a vague sort of admonition to my past self who was understandably naive about race: race matters. At least in this country, for now. In rural WI, maybe not very much. But here, and in lots of other places in this country, yes. It does. A lot.

Except

I guess I lied. I miss blogging. I want to blog before August, and I think I’m going to go back on my word and do just that.

I (supposedly) transitioned out of blogging with a Wendell Berry poem, so I’ll transition back in with a Wendell Berry poem. A sort of winsome one. One of my favorites.

“Except”

Now that you have gone

and I am alone and quiet,

my contentment would be

complete, if I did not wish

you were here so I could say,

‘How good it is, Tanya,

to be alone and quiet.’

 

I did say

that photos were allowed. Right?

Because my life overfloweth with interesting things and contentment. And such a good thing is to be shared.

the rectory welcomes you

the rectory welcomes you

planting swiss chard/first day of work

planting swiss chard/first day of work

mango for breakfast

mango for breakfast

this is how I go to church: muddy raincoat, skirt, ballet flats, and bike

this is how I go to church: muddy raincoat, skirt, ballet flats, and bike

down by the water

down by the water

farmer's market booty

farmer’s market booty

berries on the 4th

berries on the 4th