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Fasting

Ruginė Duona: Lithuanian Dark Rye

Someone once told me, “Marry a man who fasts.” It was wise advice.

Fasting gives birth to prophets and strengthens the powerful; fasting makes lawgivers wise. Fasting is a good safeguard for the soul, a steadfast companion for the body, a weapon for the valiant, and a gymnasium for athletes. Fasting repels temptations, anoints unto piety; it is the comrade of watchfulness and the artificer of chastity. In war it fights bravely, in peace it teaches stillness.

– St. Basil the Great

Welcome

Welcome Sibyl Anastasia, 5-4-19, 7Ib 14 0z.

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Our fifth baby girl. Welcoming a new baby into the family never gets old. Her sisters love her and fight over who gets to hold her next.

A Room Of One’s Own

I’m currently reading Virginia Woolf’s “A Room of One’s Own” and I’m actually enjoying it despite myself. Her envious tone keeps me from taking her seriously but she writes beautifully and I can see why it’s been in  print since 1929.

However, Woolf  misses the mark; Why is writing poetry and novels more important than motherhood? Can’t a woman’s genius be different than man’s? So what if men are more inventive than women. Women’s talents shine elsewhere. I also find it hard to believe that social construct has successfully “kept down” women for centuries! centuries! Camille Paglia has an interesting take and I agree Genius is not checked by social obstacles: it will overcome:

“In the beautiful hypothesis of ‘Shakespeare’s sister,’ Virginia Woolf imagines a girl with her brother’s gifts whom society would have ‘thwarted and hindered’ to insanity and suicide. Women have been discouraged from genres such as sculpture that require studio training or expensive materials. But in philosophy, mathematics, and poetry, the only materials are pen and paper. Male conspiracy cannot explain all female failures. I am convinced that, even without restrictions, there still would have been no female Pascal, Milton, or Kant. Genius is not checked by social obstacles: it will overcome. Men’s egotism, so disgusting in the talentless, is the source of their greatness as a sex. Women have a more accurate sense of reality; they are physically and spiritually more complete. Culture, I said, was invented by men, because it is by culture that they make themselves whole. Even now, with all vocations open, I marvel at the rarity of the woman driven by artistic or intellectual obsession, that self-mutilating derangement of social relationship which, in its alternative forms of crime and ideation, is the disgrace and glory of the human species.”

The Greatest Liberation

When making a speech to women of the liberation movement, Blessed Mother Teresa frankly said, “Every woman is the heart of the family, since no man can never really love in the same way as a woman So that by trying t become somebody else, women lose something, and because of that loss, the world is what it is today. My advice to women is simple :stay home. A woman’s first responsibility is to be the mother, the heart, the only one who can keep the family together. We are liberated only when we live our life to the fullest as a woman. And that is the greatest liberation of all.”

Motherhood

Brian Kershisnik Young Astronomer 66 by 84

An acquaintance of mine recently told me that staying at home with her children wasn’t for her anymore and she was looking for work. I replied with an, “oh, really” and wasn’t sure what else to say. I didn’t know if she wanted encouragement to keep up the good fight, to defend my own decisions or simply soothe her  conscience, “yes, motherhood is hard, it’s not for everyone.”  After this conversation, I fortuitously  stumbled across this thoughtful article, A Fallacy of Motherhood by Laura Wood, which is worth a read.  Here’s an excerpt:

” No other form of daily work is burdened with such unrealistic expectations and exalted assumptions as the work of motherhood, which is so sentimentalized in our feminist culture. The woman who does not enjoy the company of young children or finds the home lonely and unstructured compared to the workplace may be left thinking she is not meant to be a mother.”