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per amica silentia lunae

or, across the ferny brae with the evil voodoo celt

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Friday, now with bonus!
A lovely long weekend at the cabin last weekend... went into town on Saturday, and lucked out by finding that the library was having a book sale. Scored some good stuff, including (of all things) Jung's "Psychology and Alchemy" and a book on the Rosetta Stone. Amongst monsteralice's finds was a book on Victorian American sex manuals... some truly appalling stuff in there. It was a good weekend for books- the used books store in town had a truly lovely illustrated version of the Rubaiyat...

Sunday I finished the sewing project I'd been working on, monsteralice worked on yarn-related stuff, and we both relaxed. I tried making a bonfire that night, but things were just too damp. Maybe this weekend. Judy and Mungo did a fair bit of running about, which they enjoed, even in the heat. Monday, we left fairly early... it still took us a bit to get home because of the holiday traffic.

The rest of the week has been fairly uneventful (but hot). Judy had her checkup and is well (although aging). We had a lovely dinner with anubisgrrl and davidt3001 at a Peruvian restaurant in Rockville- fried plantains, ropa vieja in plaintain dough "flowers", and fish in citrus with a yellow sauce for starters; I had their paella for the main dish, and we had a pumpkin fried dough dessert with honey sauce (except for monsteralice, who had flan). All very yummy.

Read "Tiassa" by Steven Brust over the weekend. Interesting and often delightful but kind of disconnected. Now reading "Deathless" by Catherine Valiente- Koschei the Deathless and other Russian folktales intersect Russia during the Revolution and WWII. Fascinating and lovely... also very dark and tragic, as you might expect.

Also reading Anne Fadiman's "The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down", which is a tragedy of another sort... for those unfamiliar with it, it is the story of an infant Hmong girl who develops epilepsy, her loving family, the medical professionals who treat her, and the social workers and others who try to help- and the story of the terrible clash between the Hmong worldview and that of the Western medicine. This is interwoven with the heartwrenching story of the Hmong themselves. It is by no means a happy book, but it is instructive and fascinating... so far, I've found it very balanced, too- the author says at the beginning that there are no good guys and no bad guys in the story, and she's doing a good job of being impartial and compassionate.

I've decided to write a short poem every Friday as part of this post, just letting it flow and seeing what happens:

I ask, and it may happen-
Her hands on mine, inside mine,
And a soft, sweet, supremely
Merciless push into the silence
That lies behind the rush
And murmur, into the colors
That swirl beyond the pale glare.
Not easy, not simple, not comforting,
But essential, desired, beloved.

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Did Scott or I suggest Spirit Catches you? We read it for a medical Anthropology class a few years ago and its a damn good read, and an incredibly heartbreaking story.

I'd love to discuss it with you at fsg.

I'd heard about it from somewhere else, but you guys reminded me and recommended it. Love to discuss it at FSG with you, too...

Ooh ooh ooh, what was the name of the Peruvian restaurant? That's my neck of the woods and I would LOVE to try that -- sounds quite tasty.

Good luck with the bonfire-building this weekend!

we used "The Spirit Catches you..." in my introduction to anthropology class at MC for several years.

I really liked it because it is so relevant to medical anthropology and issues of immigrant communities in the U.S. (in general).

I'd be interested to know what someone who hasn't work in anthropology thinks of the book.

I really liked it. Sad, but good.

Evcelt, my book was written partly modeled on "The Spirit Catches You". I'm surprised and amazed that you've read it.

That's really cool! It was recommended by some of my CHS colleagues, and also ladymandrake and wolffirepa have read it and gave it a big thumbs-up. Amazing book...

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