If Only the Weather Wasn’t So Binary

If Only the Weather Wasn’t So Binary May 13, 2022

Everyone is too hot.

Summer has come upon us suddenly, as a fury almost, skipping spring in the usual way, so that the temperatures have gone from like 20 to 80 in a matter of days. So instead of thinking about that, here is something else super unpleasant:

 

Gosh, I am so over the word ‘binary.’ Also, I grappled with this way back in high school–the astonishing realization that God could know me not as a man knows a woman, but as God knows his creature. You don’t have to call him ‘Mother’ to find that out. You just have to get over yourself. This is so stupidly adolescent. Also, pro-tip, don’t go to Sue Kidd Monk for any of your theology. #justsaying

In case you forgot, and because it is already summer and you might be casting around for some light summer reading, I reviewed The Book of Longings last year so you wouldn’t have to suffer through it. Here’s a taste:

Part of Ana’s anxiety is that she has made a “graven image” of herself in the bowl. Improbably, she doesn’t worry about being stoned for breaking the law, rather, she is afraid that the image in the bowl will someday be destroyed. The image of herself is too precious to risk and so she disguises the bowl as a “waste pot” and hides it in her room.7 She ends up carrying this bowl and her scrolls back and forth as she travels around the then known world. The bowl is never seriously in danger, and neither is Ana, because the consequences of her lying never catch up with her. Through a phantasmic succession of events, she evades being married to the old man in the market, she avoids being raped by Herod, and she manages to meet Jesus because her parents allow her to roam around the Galilean desert with a servant. Once she is married to Jesus she brashly acclimatizes herself to his poverty. Using herbs, she successfully avoids having a baby, and when she finally does give birth, the child — Susanna — conveniently dies. In Egypt, she cleverly assists her aunt Yaltha to find a long-lost daughter, and then escapes to a monastic community called the Therapeutae. And finally, with impeccable timing, Ana escapes the Therapeutae in a coffin, arriving in Jerusalem just in time to see Jesus die on the cross. Though all her life is a tribulation, her own personality is never changed. Rather, her immutable and luminous true self is ever more rapturously displayed to herself.

So anyway, back to work. Have a nice day!


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