Sunday, March 28, 2010

shoes and other thoughts

The last week has brought a bounty of shoes. Maybe I have too many pairs; I have 12, three of which are primarily for walking, including one pair that I will throw away as soon as I have a replacement. (O, Roos, you have served me well. So many miles have a walked in thee. The necessity of the replacement unfortunately became quite apparent after my 6.7 mile walk today -- ouch, blisters.)

The first pair is from H&M (predictably enough). I now have a black pair of heels (which need some repair work, erk) and brown pair.

The second pair is. . . wearable boots! By which I mean comfortable boots! Not only are they comfortable, they're real leather! Not only are they comfortable and real leather, they're cute! O happy day! (Ignore the blue socks, dammit. I wanted to be comfortable but not horrifically schlumpy today. . .which led to a button-up shirt. . . which led to a skirt. . . which led to knee-highs. Gah.)

I don't watch very many movies. I can't pin down a precise reason, except maybe that I am usually uncomfortable watching violence or sex (unless there's a compelling reason for it to be onscreen) or bad comedy, which means that most current movies are just out.

But I don't like being culturally ignorant, so I've been making baby steps toward watching more movies. I saw My Neighbor Totoro over break with my friend, and acquired a copy of Lost in Translation with every good intention of seeing it (I haven't yet.) I promised a friend I would watch Painted Veil, Princess Mononoke, Delicatessen, Once, and Life as a House with her (still haven't done that either.) (Well, I did say baby steps.) I didn't quite manage to watch The Blind Side with my parents while I was home; perhaps next time.

The thing is, I really prefer reading about movies to actually watching them. This is silly, I know. But things I might miss on the screen are usually spelled out for me in the Wikipedia article.

But! I have decided to try again. I have been reading Time's list of the best 100 movies and selectively noting those which sound interesting. I picked up Spirited Away from the library today (what on earth is the use of studying Japanese for three years if I can't even watch a movie in the language, I ask you? Also I feel like a really bad Japanophile for not having seen more than two Miyazaki movies.) I requested five more movies (it might sound like a bit much, but I will guarantee that at least three of them will not be in the library for a week or possibly even two), including one by Ozu (Tokyo Story, recommended by my boss over the summer and various internet sites) and one by Kurosawa (Ikiru, which sounds very sweet. Or uplifting. Or some combination of positive emotions.) Another is called Léolo, which I decided must be entertaining after reading in its summary that the main character renames himself the title after "determining his mother had been impregnated by a Sicilian tomato." Besides that there is His Girl Friday (I've never seen Cary Grant in a movie -- yes, I know, I am a failure as an American) and Brazil (I have a strong fondness for Terry Gilliam based entirely on Monty Python and Dr. Parnassus. We shall see if it survives this movie.)

I am optimistic. I am mainly worried about having enough time. . .

The magnolias are budding.

Does one have to be spiritual to be a good Christian?

If one has no spiritual connection to God, then . . . what? Is an intellectual quest for understanding and an occasional emotional reaction sufficient?

I ask because . . . I don't really know what it means to have a "spiritual" connection to God. I think it's one of the words that gets tossed around in churches without ever really defining what it means (I say, though I did not attend church again for the fourth or fifth week. >_<) When I speak of "spirituality," I mean knowledge of my own soul, its condition, and its relation to all that is outside it. But I'm not sure this is what is meant in the contemporary Christian sense. Is a spiritual connection the knowledge of God? The sense that God is present? (Through all my experience of church attendance, I have never yet felt a change in the atmosphere when the minister beseeched God to be present "in this church right now.") This isn't precisely a question of doubt. But rather. . . even if I am trying otherwise to be of service to others -- even if I mentally acknowledge my belief in God and his power to save me -- should I never in my whole life feel "called by the Holy Spirit" to do something, does that mean I'm missing something? Do we have to feel called to be able to make good choices?

Does feeling called actually translate into knowing God's will more often than someone who doesn't feel that way?

And all this stems from me wondering if I'm obligated to marry someone who puts his hands up in church when I find that really embarrassing. . .

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