> rituals and the myth of choice

rituals and the myth of choice

2010-06-04 - jjackunrau

I’ve been getting fancy mail in the past couple of days. A classy wedding invitation, pictures from a wedding I couldn’t make it to, and a letter saying I’ll be getting a bunch of money in the next few months. That last one wasn’t very fancy. And it’s money that used to be mine anyway, but will still be nice to receive.

If I ever get married I hope that I’ll be able to say something like “We were married on ‘the day the drought broke.’” I like that a lot. It has a small society feel to it. That you could say that and it would provoke knowing nods among the right people. That’s the kind of thing you want your rituals to do.

I’m really looking forward to the Chicago road trip we’re doing this summer. We’re going to bring baseball gloves and hang out in a park somewhere and throw a ball around the way Sean and Reyn and I did the other day, and it will be a good time. Though I’m bringing my ball glove to Chicago, I’m sending it home with the driving folk, as that’d take up too much space in my bag to take to China and back. Holly doesn’t like baseball and it will be too hot there to do anything but possibly breathe. My passport should be returning to me tomorrow, Chinese visa in hand, making that trip possible.

I just finished Still Life with Woodpecker (review here) and one of the things I appreciate about that book is the celebration of choice. I’ll be registering for school soon and the whole doing something new feels really natural to me, like I’m not getting stuck in some life where I don’t have anything to choose between, that I’m keeping from having to make difficult choices. When I hear someone say “That was fun, now back to real life” I realize how much I don’t want to say that, at least not in the sense of real life being the boring routine you break from every once in a while. School isn’t going to be nonstop excitement. It may even be nonstart excitement, but I decided to go and try this out, and I will learn new things. That sits well with me. I’m no outlaw with a stick of dynamite, but I would prefer to be somewhere nearby curious about how it works.

baseball chicago choice drought holly invitation library school reyn sean still life with woodpecker weddings 中国