Espressivo

Friday, June 17, 2011 8:00 AM Comments (10)

Glenn Gould is the second person I ever heard who plays Bach properly. The first one is my father, who is not a very good pianist.

My father has the ear of a great musician. He takes orchestral scores to bed as a little night reading. Haydn eludes me, but his music brings my father to tears. Once, when he was striving to explain sonata form, I coolly answered that I’d rather let the music just wash over me, instead of wrecking the mood by overthinking it. By the look he gave me, I think he heard me say something like,  ”I prefer to let small children be mutilated by elephants, rather than harsh my buzz.”

The radio always played classical music as I was growing up, and the awkward,...READ MORE

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Some Questions About Spiritual Motherhood

Thursday, June 16, 2011 8:00 AM Comments (77)

It’s common in Catholic circles to speak of all women’s vocation to “spiritual motherhood.” Even if we have no physical children to care for, we women are all called to be nurturing in various ways, using gifts which are peculiar to our sex.

This notion gave me hives for many years, since I was already fully surrounded by my offspring before I started to feel really comfortable or confident in my role as mother. Maybe my problem was that I was expecting to feel motherly right away (maybe reading too many of those gushing “lovin’ every minute of it!” mommy blogs), when really all I needed was the ability to act motherly—which I did manage to do, more or less.

And yes, the feelings...READ MORE

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The Matrix/Disney Heresy

Tuesday, June 14, 2011 8:00 AM Comments (40)

Here’s something I just realized: Vanity and self-loathing are two sides of the same coin.

That sounds odd, because vanity is an excessive interest or concern with your own assets—an inordinate attention to your looks, talents, etc. And self-loathing means you can’t admit to yourself that you have any assets. Hard to imagine a vain person hating himself—and hard to imagine someone who hates himself ever succumbing to vanity. But I think it’s actually extremely common for these two to go together. This relationship is something I think of as “the Matrix/Disney Heresy.”

I liked the 1999 move The Matrix when it first came out—it was original and entertaining. But now I see its premise—that...READ MORE

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The Art of Getting Hysterical About Gender

Friday, June 10, 2011 8:00 AM Comments (69)

I’m not very familiar with this website, The Art of Manliness; but I’ve always felt that one of the last manly things a man can do is to talk about manliness. Either you is a man, or you ain’t. I don’t really think it’s the kind of thing you can learn.

On the other hand, there’s clearly a need (and a desire) from men who have noticed that the world is a mess, and want to do better. So, we have websites like this, which discuss boar bristle shaving brushes and more vital topics, too. In the words of Elliot Gould’s Marlowe in The Long Goodbye, it’s okay with me. Good for them, for talking about the things that nobody’s father is around to tell them anymore.

A recent post about holding doors...READ MORE

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Even More Faces of Mary

Thursday, June 09, 2011 8:00 AM Comments (79)

I kind of like the new statue of Mary in the Our Lady of Angels Cathedral in L.A. From the pictures I’ve seen

image

it looks like a competent and interesting work of art, and I find it much more appealing than some of the other images that Steven Greydanus posted in The Many Faces of Mary.  This type

image

in particular always gives me the willies, and, TO ME, doesn’t resemble the Mother of God I know any more than a ham sandwich does: It’s a perfectly pleasant and appealing thing, in its way—but would you go to it for help? Maybe for help with skin care.

However, the key phrase is “TO ME.” These things are incredibly subjective, being based on personal taste (which itself is constructed out of...READ MORE

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The Blessings of Poverty

Tuesday, June 07, 2011 8:00 AM Comments (62)

In the immortal words of Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof, “It’s no great shame to be poor.  But it’s no great honor, either!”

It can, however, come in handy.

Before I go any further, here’s the obligatory disclaimer:  I know some will quibble with any American calling himself poor.  Our family never goes hungry, and we have a roof over our heads and shoes on our feet, plus all sorts of luxuries (two vehicles, internet, Netflix, and the occasional emotional health-related trip to the liquor store).  So, no:  compared to a huge percentage of the world’s population, we Fishers are not poor.  At all.

However, we have to think about money constantly, and probably always will.  Sometimes we...READ MORE

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My Dear Graduates

Friday, June 03, 2011 8:00 AM Comments (33)

For some reason, nobody ever asks me to give the commencement address at their local high school or college. This despite the fact that I promised to wear pantyhose and everything, and to leave the bottle at home. Bunch of anti-Semites.

Anyway, I’m not one to be bitter. I’m not going to let this snubbing gnaw away at me. I’m just going to go ahead and write that speech anyway, and print out several copies of it, and keep them in the diaper bag in the car, next to the Luger PO8 and the farewell note.

Because you never, never know!

Here’s what I have to say.

Graduates, as I look out over your bright, eager faces, my heart wells with emotion and a single phrase springs into my mind: Better...READ MORE

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Nip/Tuck/Sin?

Thursday, June 02, 2011 8:00 AM Comments (77)

So now you know how I feel about vasectomies and men having elective cosmetic surgery. How about cosmetic surgery in general? Here’s what Catholic Answers says:

Plastic surgery would seem to be warranted if it would provide a significant therapeutic benefit in some regard, either physical (e.g., reconstructive surgery to restore function or utility in cases of accident or birth defect) or psychological. This is provided that the procedure does not damage some other equal or greater good and provided that it is not intrinsically immoral.

Pretty straightforward. But I’ve heard a Catholic woman argue that she had low self-esteem and was depressed until she got breast implants. Then she was...READ MORE

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About Simcha Fisher

Simcha Fisher
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Simcha Fisher, author of The Sinner's Guide to Natural Family Planning writes for several publications and blogs at I Have to Sit Down. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband and nine children. Without supernatural aid, she would hardly be a human being.