The Better LJ Interests Meme (tm) - 1370°C
Sep. 21st, 2005
03:25 am - The Better LJ Interests Meme (tm)
In medieval times, some religiously-minded women who didn't want to become nuns decided to go into seclusion in tiny one-room cells attached, or anchored, to a church. These women lived a sparse life of prayer and personal reflection. Their cells usually had one window, through which they would receive donations of food and requests from the laity to pray for them or their loved ones. They were not meant to interact too much with the public at large (though some of them, like Julian of Norwich, had reasonably large followings), but were allowed a maid servant. Although it was incredibly prestigious for a church to have an anchoress, largely, the women received support from the community and their families, which were usually wealthy. As for myself, though i'm not religious, since i started reading about anchoresses, i've felt some sort of kinship with them--as if my physical and mental circumstances have often mimicked such isolation. On reading: the Ancrene Wisse, or the Guide for Anchoresses, is a fairly fascinating bit of medieval literature written by a man to three sisters who are all considering becoming anchoresses. It advises that there is no need for anchoresses to wear hair-shirts (like some monastery orders require) and cautions against sleeping in the same bed as one's maid, lest people get the wrong idea. This interest used to be unique to me. The two people on my friends' list that i don't know from anywhere else but lj are people i found because they listed this as an interest as well.
church of alan
What to say about Church of Alan? I'm newly inducted, so i haven't quite made it to the inner circle. Suffice it to say: All hail Alan!
This is so multi-layered. When i was young, my sister showed me a poem she wrote about the death of our great-grandmother, Mary Theresa (Thresie) Smith. The poem was about Thresie and Autumn, and compared the turning of the leaves to wonderful colours before they fell from their branches to the death of someone dear to us. The upshot was that everything is more beautiful right before it dies. "Things fall apart, the centre cannot hold," from one of my favourite poems. The smell of wet, rotting, fallen leaves. The Baudelaire poem about the corpse. My propensity for taking photographs of dead things that i find beautiful.
You've all seen the film. But did you know this? Back in the day, if you phoned Trac Auto (an automotive parts chain in the States) and told them you had a 1984 Delorian that needed a new flux capacitor, they would actually try to find it for you. No joke, a friend of mine did this while i was in the room. This is because Trac Auto doesn't require that it's auto parts "specialists" be ASC certified (no idea what ASC stands for, but it essentially means that they've had some training and passed a test to do with their knowledge of basic auto hardware).
In Flann O'Brien's rolling-on-the-floor funny novel The Third Policeman, there is a long discussion of Atomic Theory, the conclusion of which is that if one rides a bicycle too long, the bouncing over dirt-road bumps will eventually mix the rider's atoms with the bicycle's to such an extent that both the person and the bicycle become hybrids of the two. One of many things to love about the novel, but this is my favourite bit.
My memory works in weird ways. The short version: i often view the present as if it were a memory, as if it were already the past. Someday i will post more about this. Memento and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind are both on my top ten films list. I love hearing other people's memories, particularly of their childhood, and of times before i knew them. It's a bit like looking at the old painting that the artist has covered up with a more famous and acclaimed work.
Maybe this is a bit too related to "decay," i'm not sure. I chose my handle based on my interest in it. In the place i went to Community College for two years, there was a metal bridge that was specifically designed to rust quickly. The oxidisation protected the metal from real corrosion. I was fascinated by this fact for ages, but i haven't yet bothered to really understand it. The smell of red rust is lovely, and the fact you can drag your fingers through it and then paint with the residue.
st. john's college
Anyone who's talked to me for too long has probably been annoyed at my incessant babbling about where i went to college. It was an amazing place. It had issues, but ones that would really only make sense/be relevant to other people who went there. Quite a few others on my friends' list did go there, which is how i have the privilege of knowing them. Want to check out what i talk so much about? Facio liberos ex liberis libris libraque
What do i mean by "surrealist?" Gogol, Kafka, TC Boyle, David Ives, Peter Ho Davies (sometimes anyway), David Lynch. Anything that plays with the completely and totally absurd. Anything that takes what seems to be normal life and transforms it into the realm of disbelief.
walking between raindrops
I confess to not being *quite* sure of the reference here. I'm going to say that i remember it as something Mary Poppins (or some other British nanny) said to the children about being out in the rain without an umbrella. I remember her telling them that they could simply walk between the raindrops to avoid getting wet. Now i will try to look it up and see if my memory bares any resemblance to reality. Ah bugger. Can't find it. There's a Terry Pratchett book that mentions it, but as i just started reading those addictive Discworld books recently, it's clearly a reference.
What's not to love? If you haven't seen: Metropolis, M, Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, The Blue Angel, Nosferatu, Joyless Street, Berlin: Symphony of a Great City, or any other of these black and white, expressionist classics, you should do.