Category: Uncategorized

I am not a hypocrit

by Andrea Elizabeth

Online people don’t know what you look like. I have had the experience of feeling kindred to someone, and then I see their picture and they are young, skinny mountain-bikers or hikers. They have well fitting khaki shorts, dark hair, and nice tans. I get the feeling they are surprised when they see me. I’ve met them in real life too. Many times. They pass me on mountain trails with their backpacks. Usually they are going down as I laboriously go up because they got up much earlier in the morning. Or at least they had the advantage of camping on site, so they didn’t have to travel hundreds of miles that day to get there like I did. The problem is that I don’t sleep well on hard surfaces like they do. The thought of carrying all my supplies on my back and sleeping on the ground is very daunting. It could be my stage of life with its wear and tear, but the two times I tried it when I was younger and smaller weren’t nice. But they were on concrete park cabin floors. I think the tent, air-mattress time was better. I’m pretty afraid of bugs, too. So if there is a hotel option nearby, I will go for it. You don’t have to plan so carefully.

I think I also have an objection to air mattresses and gear you have to get at a sporting goods store. There’s something contradictory about having to go to a specialty store to go natural. Hotels take barely any shopping at all, so I don’t have to network with an elite group to go to a more natural setting, as heavily regulated as that setting is. Border patrol keeps the Mexicans from crossing the Rio Grande. There are signs that say it is illegal to purchase things from aliens. We saw a few trinkets with money jars next to them right along the river. You aren’t allowed to take your dogs on the trails. They export, import, and kill animals according to their current studies of the original environment. Nature is apparently high maintenance. But that is because our habits have become so unnatural.

barely here

by Andrea Elizabeth

I cannot tell you how close I am to hightailing it back to Big Bend. Commitments barely keep me here. I was not ready to return a week and a half ago. I can dismiss my yearnings as typical mountain top experience such as they tell you happens to you at summer camp when you’re a kid. Going back to the real world is hard. But what if it’s not the real world? What if the mountain top is the real world? Then why are there valleys? Valleys are nice too if they aren’t tainted with western civilization. You can have your cities and your daylight savings time and your electricity. And don’t call me a hypocrite for utilizing any of these even in Big Bend. That’s a civilized, western juridical accusation, and I wont bother to answer it, not that I haven’t already in posts past.

There are remains there of early pioneers’ dwellings. The hand piled stone ones are fine, but the trucked in ones that are possibly related to exploitation aren’t so nice. I much prefer the primitive cave drawings and arrow heads. They bear witness to a belief in the sacredness of the earth. Did indigenous people never over-kill? Maybe they did. But left-behind bones are much better than concrete. Bones and rocks are skeletons of God-created life that Ezekial will call forth one day. Concrete will be cremated to return to the bones and rocks it once was.

Give the jewels to God. I’m satisfied with the dust, and if water trickles and seeds blow in, thank you, Lord.

catching up

by Andrea Elizabeth

Just finished Episode 9 of Season 5 of Walking Dead as we do not have “cable” and we think it’s worth $1.99/episode as we can’t wait for it to come out on Netflix like we can Supernatural, on which we are starting season 9. Back to WD, I think it was the best death scene they’ve done. It is popular to think that “good people” will go straight towards the heavenly light, but there was doubt in this case. Were the departed friends real, will it really be better, do the bad people still have access, is it all a mind trick? The dying person’s process of fighting death was very well done too.

Nom de guerre

by Andrea Elizabeth

Watching the names of the longer lines of my ancestry turn French has been an enlightening experience. I have two more recent French (one a silk-weaver) ancestors who came to colonial Virginia directly from France. So far I have 5 English lines that end up marrying French-named noblewomen, or obtaining a “de” right after the Norman Conquest of England. Three of those lines hail from Cambridgeshire, and two from western Scotland: Ayrshire andpRenfrewshire. Historical accounts of both of the latter lines make them sound purely Scottish, usually in the property grant, but still, the name changes. One of these accounts from 1888 even inserts Marjorie (daughter of Robert the) Bruce in there, but Wikipedia proves that wishful thinking.

I found the following from the first link pretty informative:

Consequences [of the Norman Conquest]

Elite replacement

A direct consequence of the invasion was the almost total elimination of the old English aristocracy and the loss of English control over the Catholic Church in England. William systematically dispossessed English landowners and conferred their property on his continental followers. The Domesday Book meticulously documents the impact of this colossal programme of expropriation, revealing that by 1086 only about 5 per cent of land in England south of the Tees was left in English hands. Even this tiny residue was further diminished in the decades that followed, the elimination of native landholding being most complete in southern parts of the country.[99][100]

Natives were also removed from high governmental and ecclesiastical office. After 1075 all earldoms were held by Normans, and Englishmen were only occasionally appointed as sheriffs. Likewise in the Church, senior English office-holders were either expelled from their positions or kept in place for their lifetimes and replaced by foreigners when they died. By 1096 no bishopric was held by any Englishman, and English abbots became uncommon, especially in the larger monasteries.[101]

English emigration

Following the conquest, many Anglo-Saxons, including groups of nobles, fled the country[102] for Scotland, Ireland, or Scandinavia.[103] Members of King Harold Godwinson’s family sought refuge in Ireland and used their bases in that country for unsuccessful invasions of England.[69] The largest single exodus occurred in the 1070s, when a group of Anglo-Saxons in a fleet of 235 ships sailed for the Byzantine Empire.[103] The empire became a popular destination for many English nobles and soldiers, as the Byzantines were in need of mercenaries.[102] The English became the predominant element in the elite Varangian Guard, until then a largely Scandinavian unit, from which the emperor’s bodyguard was drawn.[104] Some of the English migrants were settled in Byzantine frontier regions on the Black Sea coast, and established towns with names such as New London and New York.[102]

Irish born and Swedish heritage veterans

by Andrea Elizabeth

Here’s a second Revolutionary War veteran: My paternal 6th great grandfather, Owen Dowd, died in The Battle of Lindley’s Mill in 1781.

He’s the third ancestor so far from Ireland. I found the article on early colonial migration I mentioned last post. Here’s what it says about the Irish who came over.

Scottish, Scotch-Irish, and English Immigration, 1715-1775
People from the north of England, Scotland, and northern Ireland made up much of the migration to the western frontier regions of the early American colonies, especially to the rugged mountainous areas. The northern Irish migrants were mainly Scotch-Irish, descendants of people from Scotland who had moved to Ireland in earlier centuries. Most of the Irish in America before the nineteenth century were actually Scotch-Irish.

Northern Irish migration peaked between the 1750’s and the early 1770’s, with an estimated 14,200 people from northern Ireland reaching America from 1750 to 1759, 21,200 from 1760 to 1769, and 13,200 in the half-decade leading up to the American Revolution.

Again, my people bear this out.

A member of ancestry.com submitted a photo of the headstone of my maternal 5th great grandfather, John Bankston, who was born in Philadelphia, stating he was a “Pvt. Ga. Troops Rev. War and Pvt. La. Militia War 1812″. He traveled very far. So that’s three so far in the Revolutionary War.


by Andrea Elizabeth

finished chapter three of Echo and Narcissus. Previous post. If women’s voices have been sometimes effectively silenced, then speaking is not exactly essential to life as women have survived and found happiness. I think feminists get confused when they find burka’d women giggling with each other behind their hands. And slaves finding time to dance and sing. And prisoners telling jokes. Life must not depend on free choices. At least not free choice of exterior circumstance.

Another aspect of female silence is passive acquiescence to male authority. Sadie finally gives in to Davidson and converts to Christianity. Here’s Ms. Lawrence’s commentary:

“At every step, the woman’s speech is reified, sound, image, and narrative joining forces to make her speak her own “weakness” and “passivity”—to make her give voice to her own exclusion. The synchronized long take, at first so equitable, encompasses Sadie within a man’s world—one she can struggle against, but with which she must ultimately come to terms.

In Rain , the transcendent voice is explicitly male. The “voice of God” effect associated with the voice-over is linked directly to a male spokesman for God and religion, through a standardized prayer (to the Father). Sadie’s refusal of Davidson’s language is again limited, not only by her later acceptance of it, but by her ultimate acquiescence to O’Hara’s language and to marriage. “Her” language of vulgar metaphor and carnivalesque disdain is portrayed as ineffectual and self-defeating. However as Sadie’s existence is one with her resistance, when her verbal resistance is taken from her by the text’s undermining of her language, any concept of Sadie’s true “self” seems helplessly idealistic.”

Female submission to the authoritarian male is vilified here. I am reminded of St. Silouan referring to his own soul as female. Even men submitting to God is put in feminine to masculine terms. Surrender in Sadie’s context is associated with mindlessness, imprisonment, and the overcoming of individual personhood and identity. I do not agree that Sadie’s initial conversion was of this nature. Yes, Davidson’s voice (in the 1953 version that I saw) is hypnotic, but it could also be categorized as soothing and peace inducing. She was running from her past, which meant that it was unpleasant. She was not sold on her life which is why she was “available”. If a person rejects their own life to this extent, what authentic voice do they have? None except a negative confession.

 Now what to do when the converter falls worse than she did? And her new savior becomes the secular middle class, generously accepting marriage proposer. One could see how she would reject religion right after she had accepted it. May God have mercy on her soul.

I understand these atheist arguments, but I’ve always been more like Job, “Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him.” Perhaps this is because I do not totally vilify submission. Isn’t there pleasure and peace in being awed, for instance? Awe is a submissive posture. I do think I have trouble submitting to maleness in general, though. I will be awed by accomplishment, but I can’t completely surrender to a fallen person. Too risky. I surrender when I’m convinced that their particular point in that moment is right and good.

St. Maximus the Confessor

by Andrea Elizabeth

On Coffee with Sister Vassa. Origen is nicely explained, as is humility vs. being obnoxious.



by Andrea Elizabeth

(addendum to this post) Feminism also goes wrong when it seeks to squelch condemnation of sinful behavior. On the other hand, it seems a presumptuous superior attitude can be inferred from those who don’t commit “those kinds” of sins. Maybe it’s the word, kind, I object to. “We don’t serve your kind here.” It’s a universal term that doesn’t take into account individual qualifications. Not that certain behaviors shouldn’t preclude some from taking communion. But should homosexuals be denied what fornicators have access to? And where do you draw the line with that?

Good story

by Andrea Elizabeth

Uvalde is way south, close to Mexico. Longview is in North Eastern Tx.

Matthew McConaughey’s Longview Club Story

I think the term “feminist” is too sexist, but there are points to be made

by Andrea Elizabeth

The first chapter of Amy Lawrence’s Echo and Narcissus, (see previous two posts) titled “The Pleasure of Echo, the “Problem” of the Speaking Woman” is mostly about the development of sound recording and what it does to people’s voices. It isn’t till the end on page 33 that she gets deeper into the subject,

“In the following chapters I analyze a group of films that each construct woman’s speech as a “problem.” In all of these texts, the speaking woman disrupts the dominant order. The language she speaks is an affront to male authority and middle-class decorum; her very ability to make sounds is fraught with obstacles; and, in the final instance, the story she tells threatens to undermine the patriarchal order. As these films show, the “problem” of the speaking woman provokes increasingly severe methods of repression because she refuses to be silenced. Attempts to stop her from speaking rupture classical conventions of representation, however, and expose the way patriarchy uses language, image, sound, and narrative to construct and contain “woman.” In the next two chapters I use literary methodologies to deconstruct the creation of woman’s “voice” through words; analyze silent film’s juxtaposition of language with visual conventions for depicting speaking women; and confront early sound film’s striking potential for presenting women’s speech—a potential that was to be compromised and subverted by the conventions of classical Hollywood cinema.”

I would only add that off the top of my head, even now, authoritatively verbal women are often the villains. The evil queen in Once Upon A Time is what comes to mind. Heroines are often ignorant of what’s going on, if not ditzy. And I think that most men are more comfortable with that. If you challenge this, then it becomes a competition of competence, and even if men win this, it could be the result of cultural conditioning and nurturing, or male-oriented values that don’t include women’s strengths. Then you have the minority women winners who shock everyone. Like Kacy Catanzaro

But look how diminutive she is and childlike she sounds, so she stays lovable.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 33 other followers