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Showing posts from February, 2014

Ninety-Freaking Five

Reading in 2014: A Slow Start

It's been a slow start to the extra-curricular reading this year. But hey, school. Actually, if I can admit it, it's been a slow start to the curricular reading too... Eep.

Anyway, here's what I've read so far:

The Stonecarvers by Jane Urquhart - I liked it quite a bit. I am really digging Canadian lit these days, pieces of my cultural heritage and place names that are familiar to me in reality as well as theory.I like the rhythm of Urquhart's writing, and found this historically enlightening as ell as engaging.

Open Secrets by Alice Munro - This collection of short stories was for the book club I'm in, and I love love love my book club. I also quite liked this book, and the overlapping but not-quite-interwoven storylines. Also, as I wrote in an email to the book club ladies, "So many creepy men, so many strong women."

Men in the Off Hours by Anne Carson - Meh. I am not familiar enough with classic Greek or 18th century Russian literature to …

Safe People & Silence

At various times in my life, I have been called difficult to know, "closed," an ice queen, a brick wall, intimidating and other related things. This has deeply bothered me.

A few years ago, one of my closest friends went through an incredibly difficult situation. As I walked with her through some dark days, I wrestled with how much to ask about the source of her pain. I knew little about the specifics that had brought her here, and wondered how to be supportive when I didn't know what had gone awry.

But then I realized something. What made me a safe person for her was, I think, not only that she could tell me anything without fear of judgment, but that she could also tell me nothing without fear of judgment. Our friendship is such that we recognize and respect the space between us, and we don't have to know every detail of every little story to love or be loved. Although there are plenty of little details and many many stories we do share!

My point is this; in a cu…

Our Third Annual Music Exchange

It's year #3 of one of my favourite traditions: trading music.

My friend Alasdair and I started trading music across the ocean way back in the 'naughts. A few years ago, we opened it up to all of our friends, and for the last two years, close to a dozen of us have traded albums/playlists.

I love this because I love new music, and I love learning about someone through their taste in music, and I just love good music.

So join us!!

Here are the guidelines:
Let me know you want to participate, and I will hook you up with our Dropbox folder.Select ten-ish songs. (8 min, 12 max) Songs and artists don't have to be "new," but you cannot include more than 2 songs that appear on other albums (incentive to submit early!!), and you cannot include more than one song per artist.Upload your album to the shared folder on Dropbox by March 15, 2014 (your folder name would be MIX TITLE - NAME).Download all the other mixes.Listen to good music!!
And here is the theme:

Making Cloudy S…

Bodies Are Amazing and I Kind of Love Mine: A Postscript

I know I promised a three-part series, but I just want to wrap up with these few final thoughts:

1. If ever there is a time in life when it should be easy to love my body, it is now. Is all this love simply because I'm in good shape and have finally figured out how to work with curly hair? That is definitely a part of it. BUT. There are deep shifts in my thinking and in my heart that I think might (just maybe) last longer than my amateur-athletic career. As my wrinkles deepen and my fat deposits grow, I am hoping that these truths will have taken root enough to come along with whatever the future holds for this body.

2. You all have been so surprising and encouraging. Thank you for that. Honestly. I am terribly awkward at receiving compliments, and have blathered on (my new favourite term) on more than one occasion when I've felt embarrassed and vulnerable, realizing that I actually wrote things about how I view my body, and you really read them. But without a doubt, it has af…

Bodies Are Amazing and I Kind of Love Mine: Because Bodies are Good

It's the final entry of this 3-part mini-series. Looking at bodies, listening to others' words, and now: forming a theology of bodies.

What does that even mean, Beth? And what if I don't believe in God or care about theology?

I know that many of you reading this may not share my beliefs regarding God. But I feel certain that there are still relevant ideas to consider, including an overview of what I think a Christian view of bodies is...Hint: it's not what we usually hear/feel when we think about the big religion. So read on! (please.) Or not. It's entirely up to you. I like you, either way.


I was fourteen or fifteen the first time I realized that God and I disagreed about my body. In hindsight, things were on the brink of a dangerous downward spiral for me. I hated my body, and treated it poorly. And one night, lying in my bed, God and I finally had it out. The God I believed in said that my body is fearfully and wonderfully made, that he knit me together and…

Bodies Are Amazing and I Kind of Love Mine, Thanks to You (part 2)

The preamble: this is the second post in a 3-part series on learning to love my body. In particular, I'm looking at:
Looking at bodies. Seeing them and accepting them.Listening to what other people say.Forming a theology about bodies. Today is #2. Listening to what other people say.

But first, huge thanks to all of you who read, commented, and/or shared my first post on this. Close to 700 people checked it out in the first 24 hours, and I feel honoured that my words were of interest to so many, and I'm ready to say things a little more loudly, knowing we are all in this big messy boat together!

Last month (oh, hello February!!), my friend Aisling* took some photos of me for an upcoming project she's working on (y'all should stay tuned for more on this). She posted one on Facebook, and by the end of the day, over 80 of my friends had liked or commented on it.

But can I let you in on a little secret?

My first response to the photo was not a positive one. The photo itse…