Monday, December 10, 2012


Two winters ago, a few days after Christmas, I found a Fulla doll in the trash of the next-door neighbors.

Though the post-Holiday garbage cans in my area are always full to overflowing, I have never seen a new toy still in its packaging make an appearance like that amidst the crumpled wrapping paper and empty toy boxes.

Fulla kept her smile, though she had so obviously been rejected.

My treasure wears the hijab, bright blonde hair peeking out of the headscarf:

She is minimally accessorized, accompanied only by this pair of standard teetery Mattel heels:

And being the 70s girl I am, raised in the fetish of Barbie, I had to peek under her garment: no knickers, not even molded ones, and a pair of freakishly long Barbie legs:

I won't weigh in on the subject of traditional garb for Muslim women, though I have many thoughts on the matter, some of them incendiary. I will just say that I have an intense, protective fondness for my Fulla doll.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

In a Dark Time

In a Dark Time

(by Theodore Roethke)

In a dark time, the eye begins to see,
I meet my shadow in the deepening shade;
I hear my echo in the echoing wood—
A lord of nature weeping to a tree.
I live between the heron and the wren,
Beasts of the hill and serpents of the den.

What’s madness but nobility of soul
At odds with circumstance? The day’s on fire!
I know the purity of pure despair,
My shadow pinned against a sweating wall.
That place among the rocks—is it a cave,
Or winding path? The edge is what I have.

A steady storm of correspondences!
A night flowing with birds, a ragged moon,
And in broad day the midnight come again!
A man goes far to find out what he is—
Death of the self in a long, tearless night,
All natural shapes blazing unnatural light.

Dark, dark my light, and darker my desire.
My soul, like some heat-maddened summer fly,
Keeps buzzing at the sill. Which I is I?
A fallen man, I climb out of my fear.
The mind enters itself, and God the mind,
And one is One, free in the tearing wind.