Monday, December 07, 2009

Arden on our walk this morning.

Oh how I love snow.  My husband does not.  He wishes we lived in Los Angeles.   People think I moved here for his sake.  That I was torn out of sunny Los Angeles by obligation.  Little to they know that I won our little war over where to live together.  He has work here - but then I have work in L.A. too.

But I wanted this weather!  I wanted that feeling of warmth that you can only get walking in the snow, when your cheeks are rosy red and you can see your breath.  Being indoors has a special magical feeling when it's really cold outside.  The fifty degree difference is big between outside and inside.  I remember that we are an animal that has figured out how to be warm in the cold.  It gives me the excuse not to go anywhere.  Really my big dream is to just never go anywhere.  I am typing right this minute looking at snow fall.  I do not think it gets any better than this.  I have reached peak happiness.

Not much to report today.  I am listening to an audio book while I walk the dog.  It's "Champlain's Dream" by David Hackett Fischer.  I got it because I had listened to his book, "Washington's Crossing" and was so engrossed, impressed, and informed.   So I got this.  I didn't really even know who Champlain was (founder of Quebec - early French explorer and New World Builder.)  I have never been to Quebec or Montreal.  Now I am hankering to go.  Let me just say this about the Native Americans Indian Tribes - wow, they were into torture.  Yes, the Europeans were too, especially the Spanish.  But lord, what the Mohawks did to the Iroquois, and really they all did to each other.  I hate listening to the descriptions of torture, but I cannot stop listening, it's like turning your back on the tortured, like somehow I can be a witness to their pain or something. Yes, it all smacks of magical thinking, but I cannot stop listening. It's not all about torture of course, and Champlain was a big negotiator with the Indians to reduce it (even though he was joining them in war against each other) but the part I'm listening to now is very torture-heavy.  Wow, human psychology - the whole vengeance imperative.  I have to say it all makes me amazed that Jesus, with his turn-the-other-cheek attitude (I know, amongst others, and not just him... he's just the historical, and yes probably mythical, religious figure I happen to know the most about) gets more radical the more I understand history.

So... Champlain.  I am running to the computer from time to time to look up the geography of Canada.  I'm really hooked.

Last night some friends came over and we watched "Coraline."  I slept through a lot of it, but I thought it was really inventive and beautiful (the parts I was able to see.)  Mulan got really scared, though, and I had to go to her room and sleep with her from 1:30 to 3:00 a.m. last night. She had nightmares about the "Bad mother with the button eyes."  It was hard not to tease her - my comedy improv training must take a back seat when my kid is truly scared.  Ha.

Oh, and here is Lake Michigan this morning. I just figured out how to have two pictures... Lordy.


MJ in Michigan said...

I'm okay with the cold weather as long as there is snow. We haven't had anything that's stuck at all here in southcentral MI. So depressing. And flipping COLD.

I highly recommend reading both Coraline and The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. They're fantastic.

BlueJonah said...

Oh I know. I LOVE the cold. You described it perfectly. I mean, wrapping myself up in a blanket with it snowing outside and a hot cup of cocoa is something I look forward to every year. However, it's just wet and cold and dismal (as usual) here in easter KY (Morehead KY home of Morehead State University, my current school/nemesis). Glad things are going well in Chicago. *note subtle feelings of sarcasm and jealousy*

John said...

Living is Southern California only makes yourtales of the snow and the cold a fantasy for me. I really wish that I lived where it snows and where the leaves turn colors in the Fall. Not a battle I can win, try as I might. Wifey is glued to the family.

Unknown said...

I miss the cold and you are absolutely right about how that 50 degree temperature change feels so good. On the other hand, I live in Arizona now, so for me the change is from 120 outside to 75 indoors. Somehow that doesn't really capture what you're talking about, but hey, I can pretend...

Daydream Believer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
DM said...

Sing from the rooftops: "Atheism is dead!"

polardan said...

Julia, this is Dan from Montana, my Dad was a pastor and just passed away two weeks ago. We had to memorize a lot of the scriptures you referred to in Letting Go. I am 55 now and long ago after going through much of what you did decided I was not smart enough to decide between evolution and creation. I held both views as equals from 1988-2008. I would read one book from one side and then one from the other. Two books brought me to my present conclusion. Richard Dawkins "The Selfish Gene" and then finally Ayn Rand's book, "Atlas Shrugged". I can now say that the human mind is the most highly evolved masterpiece in nature. Funny how it finally took Rand to kick me over. At the time it seemed huge but actually it was just the last little nudge. Dan

Aimee said...

Julia, I just want to tell you that my husband and I think you're a treasure. We love your gift of compassion with words.

After watching "Letting Go of God" a week or so ago I recorded it for my husband to watch and we watched together last night. For us, realizing that someone else felt exactly the same way we do and not because of rebellion or other simplistic issues, well it was better than discovering that aliens exist.

I think so many people live the entire lives judging others. If only they realized that once they're dead they're gone forever they wouldn't waste so much precious time.

I wish believing in common sense and science was not so much like a secret society, but I'm glad we share it with you. Thank you for being brave and speaking so thoughtfully. If more people would watch your monologue they might realize the godless are not all horrible people at all.

I have never been outspoken about my non-belief, but I do plan to tell everyone I know about your great film. You tell everything better than I ever could. Thank you again. You've gained two new admirers.

Unknown said...

Hi Julia,
My husband and I caught part of your Showtime monologue this week and can't wait to watch the whole thing. He was raised Catholic--altar boy and everything, and I was raised without a specific faith, but with parents who encouraged my brothers and I to explore. Both my parents had bad early experiences with organized religion--Catholicism in my mom's case and Methodist in my dad's--so we were not "indoctrinated" into anything. I am so grateful to may parents for that. As a child and young adult I was always fascinated with spirituality--still am--and read voraciously about world religions and alternative spirituality. I knew from the time that I was a teenager that I was an atheist, but didn't feel a need to put a label on myself. I describe myself now as an "open-minded atheist," very interested in spirituality!
It disturbs me that "atheist" is a dirty word in our society and that it's still acceptable to most people to stereotype, discriminate against, or just generally malign those who don't subscribe to a theistic faith--Christianity most particularly. I teach college sociology/anthropology and am not averse to telling students my personal spiritual views if asked. Almost without fail I have students who secretly approach me and "confess" that they are nonbelievers too, but are too afraid to tell most people. This too shall pass, I believe, but as with most any form of prejudice, it will take time.
Anyway, thank you so much for your monologues. I always enjoy them immensely. You are funny, intelligent, entertaining, down-to-earth, and a wonderful example of a critical thinker! We need LOTS more of those!

mikki said...

Everyone thinks i'm nuts when i say
i luv winter (hate summer)!
when i shovel the snow (pre-dawn)i
feel comforted by the quiet, the darkness and the moon-light.

Montreal is my favorite city. Go
during the winter-I think you'll
like it as much as walking along
the Lake.

Anonymous said...

My husband and I just caught your movie on Showtime "Letting Go of God" and I must say thanks. You told our story in a very simple but intelligent, funny but tender, not degrading anyone but empowering yourself (and us); hence the THANK YOU.

Fellow Wisconsonites
Karen and Dave

Lanie said...

You're a better mother than I am. I have no comedy improv training, but find it irrestible to not tease my child when she's being childish. Poor kid. I better start saving for her therapy now.

I bet you didn't run get the camera every time she fell in the toybox when she was a toddler either. Hmm. . .?

Anonymous said...

Man O Man!! Your Letting Go of God was so "on the money"....I have a sister having trouble with the higher power mantra of AA, and I want her to hear what you have to say. I believe it will really help her. She is what you are and what I am, a doubter (or maybe even "worse"!), and yet a human being capable of much joy, gladness, kindness, sensitivity to all, caring, mulling, thinking, not so sure of "The Answer" to life's meaning and the "hereafter."

We have another sister who believes in Calvinism and "the few chosen for salvation by God"...of course her little church of 15 people are all "saved" and one of a few churches that are "bible based" and "preach the truth", subject to the preacher's occasional error in interpretation. If you really want to mull over a nutso religion, this one's got it all. Check it out: John Calvin and the TULIP doctrine. It is more delusional than any religion I've every heard of. But, we just don't talk about it anymore. We fought for years...and nobody gets anywhere. This sister is smart and bright in all other ways. Guess she needs this "drug."

Anonymous said...

Let us see how it all works out in the end.

Anonymous said...

Welcome to the Midwest!. I am in beautiful Madison, just to your North. It's cold now, but oh so wonderful to see the seasons change, And anyway you're in Chicago, also a tad chilly but fabulous nonetheless.

I just discovered your blog and plan to return again and again. Thanks for sharing this. I so apprecitate your monologues also, especially "letting go..." It is so clever.

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