BootsnAll Travel Network

Archive for March, 2007

« Home

Three Movies

Saturday, March 31st, 2007

Finally the big mainstream movies of 2006 are coming out on DVD, so I get to see them at last. I rationalize my movie mania by telling myself it’s important to know the popular culture of my time, and I need to understand the metaphors my students relate to, but the truth is I’m just a shameless movie-hound. I’m most likely to watch movies (and blog about them) when I’m avoiding something I should be doing, and this weekend I have two sets of papers to grade, so here I am. And lo, I have enjoyed two movies I expected to hate, The Departed and The Pursuit of Happyness; and although I was prepared for the economic and political vision of Blood Diamond , and I knew it would be drenched in blood and horror because the diamond trade is, I didn’t expect it to have an intelligently written sub-plot that explores questions I am still asking myself, especially about Africa. [read on]

Two Poems and a Protest Singer

Saturday, March 31st, 2007

Via Gallo, here are two poems by the Mexican poet Homero Aridjis (his father was Greek, which explains his surname, but his mother was Mexican, and he was born in Michoacan and, according to the web page created at Sweet Briar College, where he must have been a guest, still lives in Mexico): [read on]

Thinking Blogs!

Thursday, March 29th, 2007

Thanks to Nacho for tagging me as one of his five nominees for Thinking Blogs! He got tagged by T, and he and T are authors of two of the blogs that make me think! (Irony noted: one of the goals of Buddhist practice is to go beyond “thinking mind.” But art takes me beyond, and artful living and artful writing about life matter to me.) [read on]


Wednesday, March 28th, 2007

This came in a comment to an earlier post, but it’s so beautiful I decided to make it a post of its own, with gratitude to Christopher for sending it:

Silence. Advice / thoughts from Juan Ramon Jimenez (1881-1958): [read on]

The Nerve to Become an Old Woman

Sunday, March 25th, 2007

A friend sent me Carolyn Heilbrun’s 1986 classic, Writing a Woman’s Life. I read it when it was new, listened to Heilbrun talk about it at Smith. In reading it again now, I see that I owe Heilbrun and her cronies enormous gratitude. She/they shaped my habits of mind more than I credited, till now. Her analysis of literature and culture is as comfortable to me as old slippers. But that’s the point of my gratitude. I made her ideas part of my way of looking at the world, part of the way I have given voice to other women and created my living autobiography. [read on]

Continuing with Karen Armstrong

Saturday, March 24th, 2007

I’m still reading Karen Armstrong’s The Spiral Staircase. It’s taking me a long time. I read a few pages, put the book down, think, live, sleep on her words, wake, and read a few pages more. Armstrong is part of this moment for me, and I am as grateful to her as I am to my closest friends. She explores questions, like What is an authentic life? which have called to me for decades. She describes my own doubts and longings. Sometimes she sounds a little like Joseph Campbell, as here: [read on]

Former Student Makes Good,Writes Back

Thursday, March 22nd, 2007

I will call her Susan. I taught her at Smith College sixteen years ago, and when she sent me an email, a couple of days ago, I had to ask her to send me a photo of herself because I couldn’t quite remember her name. [read on]

Karen Armstrong and College Teaching

Wednesday, March 21st, 2007

I’m still reading Karen Armstrong’s The Spiral Staircase, and I find myself laughing, crying, and re-reading paragraphs with the joy of having found (in books, as is often the case with me) a consciousness I recognize. She just puts it all out there–she describes herself as a failed nun, a failed academic, a failed heterosexual, and a successful high school teacher who hated that whole field of work; and out of all that failure she makes one stunning success–as a writer. [read on]

Ansie’s Photographs

Tuesday, March 20th, 2007

Ansie has put her amazing photos together into a slideshow called De Colores, here. Prepare your eyes to be drenched in colores.

Gallo’s Photographs

Monday, March 19th, 2007

Gallo’s photographs may be viewed here. Ansie is having some computer problems. Hers will be available when she can get them downloaded.