labels / memory / novel / writing

Asking for Trouble

When I say to her, “That’s a pretty bracelet,” she says, “Thanks! I bought it from a Christian jeweler!”

When I say, “I like the painting over the fireplace,” she says, “Thanks! I got it from a Christian painter!”

And I confess, I want to say, “Oh, well, thank heaven it wasn’t a Muslim or a Jew!”

Supporting people who share your values, worldview, or however you’d like to phrase it is something I do, too. If certain businesses slap certain political bumper stickers on their work trucks, well, I figure they don’t mind losing certain segments of the public. Fair enough.

But I don’t usually announce it. And if the item in question is art…I have no idea of the politics or beliefs of the artists whose work hangs on my wall or most of the books on my shelves.

Why are these adjectives necessary? I don’t want to be called a mommy-blogger or a woman-writer. It’s like saying, non-moms and men need not read. You-people-not-like-me go away. This is probably why I’m having a hard time trying to decide what kind of writer I am. It seems like cutting off other possibilities or, worse, readers. You know, the type of person who looks at the label and knows that label is all she needs to know. Oh, I don’t read that.

Of course, maybe we want some people to go away. And those labels can help me decide what to read so that I don’t read anything that disagrees with me!

I should read more people who challenge me and shows me where I might be wrong or at least shines a light on a world I haven’t bothered to see before. What have you read that challenges you?

2 thoughts on “Asking for Trouble

  1. So much feels like a challenge these days. What I read in news magazines, online, even the “entertainment” we’re offered in movies and TV shows, challenges me, as I try to grapple with the values and beliefs transmitted in the media today. The glamorization of violence, the black and white thinking, the trivialization of suffering, the pursuit of shallow goals, the bashing of people just trying to do good, all challenge me to stay balanced and positive. That’s why I turn to books, articles and blogs like yours which offer some semblance of moral reasoning, some aspect of hope, writing that tries to go beyond a simple describing of what is (as the author sees it) and reaches for some kind of meaning. They challenge me to try and do the same.

    • I can’t watch much television just for the reasons you mention. Staying hopeful is no easy task! Thanks for reading. Readers give me a reason to maintain some balance. At least, I hope I have balance.

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