Sunday, March 1, 2009
A little parlor sort of game--I was assigned a letter, "U" in my case, and am to give some words that begin with "U" that are important to me in some way. "U" was a challenge, but here goes...
unusual: I like to believe I am this. In fact, my whole life has been a pursuit of being unusual, being thought to be unusual. I'm not sure whether everyone feels this way, but I can't stand the thought that I might be usual, ordinary, standard, typical, regular. It's almost an obsession, and, I'll admit, a conceit.
"Ulysses" by James Joyce: When I was reading it for the first time for a college course, my dad (whose favorite book it was) and I discussed it at great length one night, I sitting cross-legged in the hall of my college dormitory, he back home in Brooklyn. Dad said, and I've never forgotten, that he would read it periodically over the years, and every time he read it, it was more meaningful than the last time. Now I know that's true--the longer I've been married to Sarge, the more the book means to me; it's a portrait of, among other things, a long marriage.
unbelief: I've always believed in God, deep down, but have at times struggled with unbelief and have come to the conclusion that I would rather cast my lot in, take the leap of faith, and just let myself believe. It's been at times almost like a conscious decision, however paradoxical that might sound. Unbelief is too uncertain, too scary.
unbending and unbuttoned: The dichotomy of Leah. My tightly-wound self at odds with the more free, more free-wheeling, self I know I am.
uniform: I've said it before, and I'll say it again. I love a man in uniform. Soldiers, police. All the symbolism, the regimented strength, the suggested experience. What can I do, it's just another of my fetishes. Maybe it's because I just can't abide weakness in men. I mean, weaknesses are wonderful and individual, of course (everyone's got them), but not overall weakness; that makes me feel squiggly. Maybe that's not fair, but I must come clean that I cannot. The uniform says, "I've got a gun and I'm not afraid to use it!" Okay, just kidding on that last part.
urban: I'm urban. I'm comfortable in the city, on the sidewalks, I've got good street smarts, I can get anywhere on the subway, I can make my way quickly through a milling herd of tourists, I hate Broadway shows (just like a good native NYer should), I can tolerate noise and ruckus and 3 a.m. traffic on the expressway. The funny thing is, I'm comfortable in deep country too. But I'm a city girl at heart.
*photo by Leo Reynolds, from Flickr Creative Commons