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Showing posts from February, 2010

The Saddest Funny Book I've Ever Read

A couple of months ago I decided that the 4th-6th grade book club I lead would pick their own book for the month of February. Terming it "funny February" I solicited suggestions for a humourous book for the month. One of the kids, a 5th grader, suggested the book "I Am a Genius of Unspeakable Evil and I Want to Be Your Class President", by Josh Lieb. Declaring it the "funniest book he'd ever read" he is already re-reading it in anticipation of book club.

So, today. Today, I picked up the book and started reading it--and rather than finding it to be funny I am finding it to be a book that reflects, most accurately, some painful realities: the cruelty young people can have for each other; the pain that those who do not fit the norm experience; and the fantasies of a hurting young boy made manifest on the page. Granted, I am only on chapter 8, but as I read I remember the pain of late elementary and middle school where I felt a degree of alienation t…

Childbirth, Lent and Purity Codes

Epiphany jetted past at a suspiciously swift tempo (hello time/space continuum, slow down please!). And I feel like I've fallen directly into Lent--the most un-Lenten Lent I've ever experienced. At the same time, I know the dance between life and death continues and I am well aware of the risks of love.

Statistically, historically (and no, I'm not going to hunt down the book this came from at 6am), the average marriage only lasted 7 years. Not because of some "seven year itch" or medieval divorce rates--but, because of death in childbirth. While this is clearly no longer the case (in this country at any rate) it is an awareness that is hard to shake. While this is not a fear that keeps me up at night...nor one that torments me in the day...it is a knowledge I carry. A knowledge ground into my pores like the ashes from last night (however, unlike the ashes, this knowledge won't make me break out).

A strange sensation, this carrying of life and death. …