Saturday, August 01, 2009

I'm Going, Wanna Come?

Wedding Dress

Life is a gift. That's what Lewis Hyde concludes when looking at traditions around the world, where women are "given in marriage" and men are given "as sacrifices." Quite literally. Says Hyde, "The people of Fiji saw the two as equivalent gifts, the woman who is "brought raw" to be married and the "cooked man" who is sacrificed to the godking.

Okay, can we freak out now? Because that's kind of how I felt when I read this chapter. Very distressed.

There was this one moment when I caught my breath though, when he discussed how children eventually go out on their own and "begin to feel the desire to give [themselves] away— in love, in marriage,, to the gods, to politics, to... children." He says that adolescence is marked by "that restless, erotic, disturbing inquisition: Is this person, this nation, this work, worthy of the life I have to give?"

That's when I realized we all become teenagers again at certain junctures. Life opens, a new space, a turning, some kind of longing... and we ask the question afresh... is this person, activity, thing worthy of the life I have to give?

Just the other day, I brushed up my adolescent inquiry skills and asked that question. And decided yes. So I'm going. Wanna come? At least for the view, if not for the journey itself?

Wedding Dress in a Cage art, artist unknown. Photo by L.L. Barkat.

High Calling Blogs The Gift: I Am Woman?
Laura's Gift Labor

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Blogger Ted M. Gossard said...

Good to try to listen well and understand somehow something of the perspective of others.

But also find how in spite of the differences, the heart of what is going on is the same.

We little know just how bad or good our life choices and ways really are. Especially under the guises of respectablility our culture lavishes on them.

Oh yes, to really be alive, because we know that what we're living for is worthy of our lives.

8:33 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

you were early this time :)

i love this, for many reasons.

one being that it speaks to that which nagged at me through this chapter: why do things the same way just because it's always been so?

break out, jump in, do it different, take a risk.

life just might be better.

of course, i'm thinking of encouraging men to jump into those "female tasks", but also of your courage in going to a new place.

i guess the same could be said of women jumping into the male tasks, yet, i feel the commodity exchange is not as important as the soul work.

maybe my bias.


10:36 AM  
Blogger sojourner said...

I go back and forth on wanting to read this book. I'm enjoying the group comments on it. Thank you so much for letting us know the name of the photo - I was curious! I've posted my RAP early. Tried to take the challenge but am not sure I did it right. Grace to ya!

3:56 PM  
Blogger L.L. Barkat said...

Sojourner... oops. That's not the real name of the art piece, just what I called it based on its composition. Sometime I need to go back to that museum and get the facts. :)

4:44 PM  
Anonymous Sam Van Eman said...

Teenager again. Should I be concerned if that happens too often or not enough?

7:15 PM  
Anonymous Lance said...

Just as the singular Adam contained elements of Adam AND Eve, intended for a holy separation, marriage in God is a fusing of those components that cries to remain an inseparable amalgam.

9:17 PM  
Blogger Every Square Inch said...

I don't know about teenager but in some ways I feel like I'm still 25 with a world of opportunity and challenges ahead... and then other days, my body reminds me of the additional 20 years.

9:51 PM  
Anonymous Jenn Calling Home said...

Actually, I am right at that place myself. It's a little uncanny that I keep reading things or seeing movies that are echoing my thoughts or words in print. Yours just echoed what I plan to write about kidding! Slightly different twist, though. I'll get back to you when I'm done with it. Blessings!

12:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm coming...

well, actually, I'm going too.

I see life as a series of adventures and seasons which begin, blossom and come to an end, all in God's good time.

I often encourage my students to dream and to pray and to be bold. Advice i try to follow too.

And of i go to continent number 3 in as many years... :) It's easy for me to do this, say this. I have little physical attachment...only attachments of the heart.

Nice to see you again. It's been awhile since i have come by for a visit. Be back regularly!

11:17 AM  

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