Monday, January 24, 2011

Matters of Business

Before I begin my Nat-training regimen, I just have a few assorted thoughts to put on paper, if you will, thoughts that I didn't think were very becoming of a blog like Nat's. Actually what I'm really doing is letting myself off the hook cause all I plan to do is get these thoughts/statements out there without bothering to elaborate, clarify, or justify myself. Sweet.

1. You know how we seem to have this reality that exists outside of all our thoughts, the objective "things as they really are"? Why is that reality so hard to penetrate? I feel like my reality, anyway, is composed of mortar and brick. Whenever I read a really inspiring article, for instance, that goes radically against my general outlook and motivates me to start thinking a different way. Or whenever I get to experience a particularly good class lecture, or Relief Society lesson, or what have you. But for the sake of brevity let's go back to the inspiring article scenario. So I'm sitting there at the computer, absorbed in this exciting bubble of inspiration.
Eventually I have to get up from the computer and go about the rest of my day, and unfortunately I always find that that bubble of inspiration pops somewhere between the ASB and the MARB, or maybe somewhere between campus and my apartment. The point is that it inevitably leaves me. That inspiring article I read not 20 minutes ago becomes only a hazy memory of something that was a nice idea, but not realistic. THIS is how things really are. Kind of like how when you're depressed, everything you think becomes truth. All those positive thoughts you once had were comforting while they lasted, but they weren't reality. When it comes down to it, THIS is what's real. THIS is what's always been real, you just got distracted for a while. I just think it's very sad, because I feel like it makes it so difficult to implement positive changes in my life. Does this ring true for anyone else/make sense to anyone else? Oh well, this is the blog post of not justifying myself, so I'll move on.

2. Is there really anyone out there who still believes in individualism? Show me that person, and I will interrogate them, and eventually I will get it out of them that in their heart of hearts, they are actually collectivists. How else do you account for the fact of our relationships being the most painful slash exultant things in our lives? Ok, so maybe I'm being excessively simplistic here, and probably don't fully understand what individualism and collectivism actually mean - but really, folks. Like it or not, relationships are what it's all about.

3. I was reading in Luke the other day about the woman who came to Jesus and bathed his feet with her tears. It's striking that she had such a complete understanding of how glorious He was and how unworthy she was in comparison, but then it occurred to me that this woman's faith was rooted in something that hadn't even happened yet. And then it made me wonder, is it harder to have faith in an Atonement that has yet to happen, or in one that supposedly happened thousands of years ago? They are both things that are not seen, so maybe one isn't harder than the other, but I do wonder. C. thinks it must've been somehow more difficult to have faith back then, which is why the Mosaic Law was implemented, but I just don't know.

4. Art. It's so cool. Basically all I was going to say about The Stranger was that it reawakened me to what good fiction is all about, at least in my opinion. It's an art form. For a long time I've sort of shunned fiction from my shelves, feeling like it was too trivial/boring because it wasn't real. But after reading this simple, 120 pg. book I realized that there's so much more to fiction than that, at least good fiction. The process of crafting a story- of developing characters, conveying very specific feelings, expressing certain meanings so poignantly - this is not easy to do, and when done well, the effect on the reader is anything but trivial.* I'm finally beginning to understand that a good novel can be just as beautiful as any Oscar-winning movie, or a truly kick-a piece of music à la Mahler. They're all art. I am humbled by this epiphany (It's actually not surprising that this realization came to me so late, seeing that artistry in general does not come easily to me. My intro to film class last semester worked me like a dog, plus I can't draw to save my life).

5. Finally, a survey: Why do you eat? How much of it is because a) You like the taste of the food you eat, b) you like the process of being satiated/don't like being hungry, c) you anticipate long-term benefits like the effect is has on your body/mood/health, or d) you like the process of chewing and swallowing something? I'm assuming, of course, that most of you have motivations outside of basic survival. My personal breakdown of the four motivations is 40%, 20%, 0%, and 40%, respectively (which, coincidentally, is why I'll never be skinny). Oh, eating.

Start getting pumped for my next post featuring a delightful romp at Smith's!

*you can do all these things in non-fiction too, of course, but it's not nearly as creative and thus not nearly as impressive.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Changed the title of this post to keep from getting too many unsolicited hits

Hold on everyone, there's been a change in plans.

So I've been meaning for some time now to write this really brilliant post about Art, spurred by my finishing of The Stranger and thoroughly outlined in my head on the plane from O'Hare to McCarran. It was going to be pithy and excellent, this post about Art, and it was supposed to last me until my next post in mid-June. But here's what happened.

I came across this article.

First of all, I think the article is right on in its evaluation of Mormon housewife bloggy goodness, save for the subtle anti-Mormon slights and the obligatory rip at Utah's superlative anti-depressant prescription rate (think ALCOHOL, people). But second of all, this Nat character sounds intriguing.

Sure enough, she is. She is just like every other delightfully witty, disarmingly quirky, adorable Mormon housewife with a blog, and yet.... and yet, I've fallen in girl-crush with this one. I want her retro-indie style, her post-modern blog layout, her periodic mentions of an unassuming husband, her RIDICULOUSLY FAT BABY. I want it all. Naturally I began to ponder - how do I get me some of this Mormon housewife bloggy goodness?

I figured my own blog would be a good start. Yet I find I am far from where I need to be. I don't use nearly enough paragraphs.

I don't take nearly enough polaroids.

I could really stand to work on the whole stream-of-consciousness listen people this is how it is onomatopoeia social insight conversational tone thing.

It would help to have an unassuming husband and a roll-y baby.

But I figure if I start now -that is, if I get my act together and triple my current intake of housewife blogs, then double my output of housewife imitation posts, plus imbue my thought with less existential and more commonplace, plus stop using the word 'imbue' - if I start these things now, why, I ought to be my own Nat by the time I'm, oh, 25, which should coincide perfectly with my own charming, domestic, polaroid-iffic future! Do I miscalculate?

I debated whether or not I should even provide the link of my inspiration, what with me being a Nat-in-training and all and looking terribly pathetic in the meantime. The switch from occasional, depressing post about humanity to everyday quirky post about Velveeta cheese is not going to be an easy one. But, I figure if I let you all in on my goal, you can help steer me in pursuit of it. If I'm trying too hard, please let me know. These things do take time.

Stay tuned for a delightful romp at Smith's, plus some irrelevant things that are also delightful!