Last night I had another random encounter with humanity. In the Starbucks line, waiting for my desperately needed Americano, and cookies for the beasties, I feel into joking with an older man. He had a box labeled "Coffee and Chocolate." "It just didn't get much better than that I told him." We ended up joking with his wife and the clerks. I know, cheesy, but I really feel warmed by those encounters during the "SEASON."
Coffee and chocolate are really true of the earth's loveliest delights. Right up there with sex. I was thinking about pleasure yesterday. In the class I'm TAing for, we had our final discussion for year on Neopaganism. The book we read is a wonderful book examining Pagan festivals. We were discussing why Neopagansim is one of the fastest growing religions in the U.S. (along with Pentecostalism). Several students kept pointing to how good people felt at these festivals. S, my professor, mentioned that this is not work that has been done in sociological/anthropological religious study work but that this question of pleasure seemed important. And this had me thinking all day, on the drive home, throughout the evening but yes pleasure! Why are we so scared too look at the pleasure religion provides? Would it make religion easier to dismiss for those of so "enlightened"? And I'm not talking pleasure in the Marx, opium way, but pleasure...the kind of pleasure we get from sex, a good glass of wine, fine music, etc. Does anyone have recommendations for books on pleasure? I'd great appreciate some call outs.
And today I was also thinking, as I prepare to send out the secondary materials to UNC (I'm sick to my stomach on this one) that I greatly appreciated all the encouragement from everyone. In particular, I wanted to mention a certain friend, from the lonely Isle, who asked important questions about my thesis proposal. Those questions really forced me to hone in what I was trying to say. I love that I get this kind of critical feed back here. I won't lie...sometimes it makes me grumpy but most of the time I get past that to see the spirit it was offered in. Critical discussions, not polemic discussions, are ways that only make us better thinkers. I appreciate that not only do I get encouragement but the pushes that I often need to just be better.
And yes, I will be finishing up editing my sample paper, then all this will be sent out to UNC. I am feeling a terrified. I have too much riding on this application. And deep down I know my chances are very very slim but I keep hoping that I'll slide in on that slim chance.
Depression...still there but I no longer feel like I'm drowning. Talking to someone earlier, I realized that writing about my dad all summer brought up some feelings I have about Christmas. Maybe I can find some time to write about those memories and feelings later.
Piper told me that when we got a cat, she wanted to name it Morrissey.