Monday, December 18, 2006

Family Holiday



I am off to spend the holiday with my family. I wonder... when or if one ever stops assuming the role of the younger sibling? Or am I forever relegated to the status of little, pejorative, sister?

Friday, December 15, 2006

The Permanence of Mud


I remember running down dirt roads such as this, barefoot and covered in mud.
I remember that in certain times of the spring the butterflies were so thick that they completely covered the banks of Greasy Creek. The rich soil redolent of abundance and happiness, haunts me still. Why is it that time seemed to stretch out before me like the patches of unending quilts that hung in Mrs. Phillips attic room, and today it escapes me before I have time to recognize it and give it a name?
This is what I wanted for my own children...I know it is nostalgic and sentimental, but I wanted them to grow up with a connection to the earth, a sense of permanence, and an expectation of goodness in the world. I am quite sure that many people in the south, and elsewhere for that matter, stay put to grow up, go to school, get married, and raise a family, because they want their own children to know what they knew, see what they saw, and love what they loved. It is an understandable phenomena. We can all relate to what is known, expected. It is when we throw the unknown into the mix that we become untethered and insecure.
And so my children will not know exactly what I know, and likewise I will not fully know their experience of the world and childhood. They will not grow up with the verdant hillsides, redolent mud, and singing crickets. They will have to find beauty and awe in a world that is mostly unknown to me, halfway around the world, and full of strange sounds, smells, and sights that must hold a beauty and knowledge of its own.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Issues

Ok, can someone tell me what is going on over there (Kuwait)? My husband assures me that everything is kosher, (saying Halal just doesn't have the same effect) but everytime I read the Arab Times online, some poor girl has been taken to the desert and raped by 'Kuwaiti youths'! I know someone else told me that the AT is sort of a tabloidish paper, but they can't be fabricating these stories, can they? I think Kuwait really needs to look into expanding opportunites for the youth there. My feeling is, from talking to nephews and nieces-in-law, that so many people are just bored. Now, don't get me wrong, that raping, pillaging, and various other crimes are a viable means of outlet, but it does seem that if there were plenty of choices and avenues for kids to take, they might be more fulfilled and otherwise engaged. It is really basically the same here, I guess. If you look at who is committing most of the crime, I would guess that much of it comes from youth that has less access to hope and opportunity.
Well, on a lighter? note, I am almost completely wiped out with shopping...Has anyone ever noticed how in the south everyone always asks you, "Are you ready for Christmas?" What does that mean exactly? Have you totally exceeded your credit and wiped out your savings? People in the north just don't ask you those kinds of things...of course one could make the case that they really don't want to take the time to wait for your answer, or that they simply don't care. Either way, I guess I am a bit of a northerner at heart. I am so messed up.
Merry Eid all!

Monday, December 04, 2006

Christmas is coming

...is it just me, or is the pre-Christmas hoopla starting earlier and earlier? This year they started with all X-mas music on two radio channels before Thanksgiving! Of course, I know, this is to get the juices flowing for all of the x-mas shopping and to instigate childrens' incessant badgering of parents about their 'list'. When I was little, it seemed to take forever for the year to draw to a close, culminating with Christmas. It was then downhill until the next year. In fact, I guess I used to somewhat visually interpret time-the calendar- and there was a big hiatus between December and January...I guess I never really thought about how that could be, but it was like some abyss or twilight zonish time that that ocurred while one was buying a new calendar, or flipping the pages over.
Funny thing is, I don't even officially celebrate x-mas anymore. It is no longer 'our' holiday, but somehow, living in the US, it seems to pull me back in-my children too, of course. I wonder if Eid can suffice for children who have grown up over here once they move to a Muslim country. I know, I know, it is about the religion and not presents, but I have to be realistic when trying to get into the minds of children. I think part of what the kids like best is all of the lights, colors, foods, friends, music, etc. I tried to decorate for Eid one time in NY, and my husband thought I was crazy. There is going to have to be some middle road somewhere, I suppose/hope.
Anyway...happy holidays! (the latest p.c. catch phrase)