Friday, March 12, 2010

Well fine

Flower from a spider plant

Erica and I have been talking about using our blogs as an out and out dialog, as if we were actually talking to each other. That’s what all you young ‘uns do on Twitter, right? It drives me crazy: everyone bashing around at each other like little birds. Like we were regressing into dinosaurs.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the issues that she raises here. Basically how to have a happy life. How to live with contentment. Isn’t that what life is all about?

I feel like her blog is so much better than mine, sometimes. Having kids makes her life so much more experiential than mine. She gets to go out and play in the grass with her children. Maybe she would do that with or without children, and maybe I should applaud her for that and not her progeny. But me? I did take some flower pictures today. House plants, from indoors. They’re still beautiful, their flowers at least. They need their moment in the sun.

Post-feminists are right, I think. Feminists argued that women deserved the same rights and opportunities as men, and post-feminists argued that traditional female roles were just as important as traditional male roles. Experiencing things like motherhood and cooking and cleaning and the creative aspects of housekeeping (cheese-making, butchering, quilt-making, gardening) are just as deep and profound and meaningful even if they are not as remembered by history. Because men, not women are historians. Maybe history doesn’t matter as much as experience. Who knows. Maybe one kind of life isn’t better than another kind.

I want to learn to make cheese. And raise chickens. And grow lettuce. Those are things I want to do.

I read an amazing short story by T. Coraghessan Boyle today, from the New Yorker. I can’t describe it. Just read it.

Here’s a line: “She knows that it will all be lost, everything we make, everything we love, everything we are.”


Ellen D. said...

I'm growing lettuce! It is easy.

Melissa said...

So I've heard, but I had absolutely no luck last year. Maybe you'll have to come over and give me a tutorial. :)

A LIttle Birdy said...

Making is way easier than making cheese, and it generally comes out better.

Someone once told me that the way to learn how to love life is to play with a child. After teaching children with social disabilities how to play for the past several years, I agree with that. They have taught me how to love life. They also taught me how fragile happiness and contentment can be. Sometimes I feel like I'm selling out my feminist beliefs and become an under-achiever, to have given up pursuit of an advanced degree, in order to teach little kids, especially when I run into female former classmates who are professors and inventors and engineers. But maybe it isn't selling out. Maybe it's a pursuit of a life full of connectedness. Thanks for your posts. They keep me thinking.

Anonymous said...

Making yogurt. I left out the word "yogurt". Whoops. Guess I was tired.
---A Little Birdy

Melissa said...

I used to make yogurt in Oak Park from my studio apartment out of powdered milk. Not exactly the most delicious stuff in the world, but it was still really fun. Cheese sounds really fun to make, too, and I'm ambitious. Today I was researching the butchering of rabbits and the growing of tomatoes.

But I'm totally with you on the life of connectedness thing. We're all looking for it in one way or another, and I feel like things like how we cook and eat are tied up in that, too.