Monday Musings: of human touch, propaganda, and a pain in the butt…

Here’s what’s rolling around the old noggin:

1) I dislike overt public displays of affection. I’m not talking about a quick peck; there are limits.  I’ve seen things that make my stomach churn.  Just so…yech. There is, however, one act of physical connection that makes me smile [almost] every time I see it.

Holding hands.

holding handsSeriously.  Something about two hands joined together sends jolts of joy straight to my heart.  It’s a simple act that says, “You are so important to me that I’m willing to give up exactly half of my opposable thumbs to be closer to you.”  I was on the bus at school the other day and when a couple boarded.  I wasn’t really paying attention to them, being entirely too engrossed in my game of 2048 (has anyone else gotten addicted to this? So simple, so mesmerizing!), but there was only enough room on the bus for one of them to sit down.  Like a proper gentleman, he let her sit and he stood directly in front of her.  It must have been the day that it rained (though, recently, that hardly narrows it down.  April showers indeed.) because he was holding a golf umbrella in his hand.  Thumb, forefinger and middle finger stabilized its tip against the floor as his ring finger and pinkie dangled in mid air.

They didn’t speak, conversation would have been difficult on the noisy bus, but in my peripheral vision I saw her hand reach up and gently grasp his free fingers.  It was an act so sweet, so natural, as if their hands belonged together and the separation was painful.  It wasn’t an act of ownership or an overt display.  It was just a connection, a moment in time that whispered – I’m here, I feel you, I won’t let you go.  I could have cried it was so extraordinarily beautiful.

I was reminded of these words from the creed of my alma mater”

I believe in the human touch, which cultivates sympathy with my fellow men and brings mutual helpfulness and happiness for all.
– from The Auburn Creed (George Petrie)

2) A picture is worth a thousand words, right?

What about a false picture?


Scrolling through my Facebook timeline, I came across this image, which was published as a pro-life propaganda piece. Now, let me be understood. I am pro-life. I believe that a baby is a baby from the moment it is conceived and that there are a lot of options beyond abortion.  I don’t have answers for the hard questions (what about rape, incest, imminent health risks to the mother?), as I’m still working on them in my own head, and this isn’t the forum to debate that kind of thing.

But this photo made me angry. Not at pro-choicers or Planned Parenthood, or the myriad government and non-government organizations that trade in this kind of thing. I became angry at my side. Because disseminating false information hurts the cause more than it helps. Because it’s not okay to lie or deceive to get people on your team. Because a 12 week old fetus looks very much like an alien and not so much like a baby, but that doesn’t make its life any less important.

I’ve become increasingly frustrated by the irresponsibility of people who simply propagate information on the internet because it suits them, regardless of its validity.  It’s irresponsible and it’s misleading and it needs to stop.

*tap dances on soapbox*

3) I consider myself a person who is in decent shape. I can get through a Jazzercise class without tapping out and I can run a couple miles at a time and I never need help lifting my exactly 47.3 lb suitcase into a cab (though, if you’re cute, I might let you help me anyway). I thought I had my health pretty much under control, so when I decided to spread some mulch this weekend, I didn’t think much of it. For a couple hours I weeded and leveled and pruned and raked and sprinkled and distributed in an even layer. Knowing that I have the knees of an 80 year old man waiting for replacement surgery, I even used foam kneeling pads to avoid injury. I finished the job, cleaned up and didn’t give it another thought.

Until I woke up the next morning and couldn’t move. Pain in my lower abs, glutes, and thighs left me feeling a bit more geriatric than I’d like.  Apparently, I don’t use those particular muscles very often.  I may have to adjust my workout…

The flowerbeds, by the way, turned out beautifully.

4) If you’re actually looking at the site and not reading this in a subscription email (I’m calling you out, Mom!) you’ve probably noticed the new look.  It’s something I’m trying, and I’m still getting used to the mechanics, but I dig it, and I hope you do too!

Happy Monday!

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