I'm off to run errands, including getting vaccinated before our trip to Colombia next week. I need shots for yellow fever and hepatitis A, as well as pills for typhoid. (Mom, if you're reading this, take a deep breath and relax!)
But in addition to posting more about coming home to the Episcopal Church immediately below, I wanted to take note of a couple of things.
Jonathan Dresner, fellow Cliopatriarch, sends me a link to this New York Times story on Mormons in Illinois; it includes the brief mention of a t-shirt slogan that connects to my entry on t-shirts earlier this week. In Nauvoo, one can buy shirts that proclaim "Modest Girls are the Hottest Girls." You've really got to love that. Jonathan asks in an e-mail:
Is it me, or is the attempt to associate modesty with hyper-sexuality self-defeating?
I'm with you, brother, I'm with you. But what I like best about the t-shirt is that it addresses a fundamental truth (the erotics of the concealed) with an obvious contradiction -- advertising that truth so blatantly undercuts all of its real power. Really, one could spend hours working through the layers of meaning here.
Please do go and read the latest updates on Sam Carrasco's battle with leukemia here. Even as he undergoes surgery, Sam is waging battles with his parents about food -- he wants his McDonalds. I think we can take that as a good sign.
Go and read Jen Lemen this morning, because no one I've found in the blogosphere has her mastery of prose. Sample from today's post:
autumn is coming, i remind myself. which always quickly brings me around to christmas. this is a clear defining moment of the planning personality type. that the hottest day in july can fill you with sadness that summer will fade. that the thought, the mere thought of summer fading, can fill you pure delight that christmas will come again at last! just thinking about cranberry breads and clove pierced oranges makes you sigh.
And any number of people have been asking about how I reconcile my admiration for Lance Armstrong with his troubled personal life. I tend to go on and on about personal responsibility and masculinity. And Lance is away from his three small children for much of the year, divorced from their mother, and living with a rock star (Sheryl Crow). I know that I can't possibly know all the details of what transpired in his marriage to the mother of his children. (I hear from many sources that his wife left him, rather than the other way around.) Judging other folks' divorces is dangerous, not because we ought never make judgments, but because if there is one thing almost impossible to truly understand, it is other people's marriages. Do I believe that all things considered, it is better for a father to stay married to the mother of his children, and be devoted to her and to them? Of course. Do I wish Lance's children had been with him on the podium in Paris? Of course.
But I don't need my sports heroes to be perfect. I don't look to a Lance Armstrong to show me how to live in every aspect of my life, because that is both an abdication of my responsibility and an imposition of an impossible burden on his shoulders. He's a remarkable athlete and an inspiring figure, and I can admire him and still surmise that beneath all of that dedication and talent and brilliance is just another flawed human being like everyone else. I honor his commitment to excellence, his commitment to survival, and his decision to spend so much time and energy on inspiring others to battle cancer. Surely, those are reasons enough to honor a man, even if in his private life, he falls short of the mark.
Okay. Off to get a haircut, to the gym, and to the market. And to get those shots.