And she's back!

I will make no promises. I will not pledge to blog daily, weekly, or monthly. Instead, I will merely note the fact that, hey, here I am, right now. Whether or not the blogging will stick? That's a matter I will leave to three foreboding women with the scissors and the string.

What have I been up to lately? Well, I hang out with this guy a lot. I finished coursework. And now I'm reading for my preliminary exams, to be taken every Thursday in October. (Please do not mention in the comments that October is only two months away, or I will have to run screaming from this blog for another year-long hiatus!)

Anyway, here's my random-thought-for-the-day-while-reading: analogy! Such a useful concept! In my neck of the scholarly woods, arguments are often made about influence ~ that one creation story influenced another, that one work of historiography is a polemical response to another, etc. These claims -- though sometimes likely, and occassionally irrefutable -- must be supported vigorously, because to argue for influence is quite difficult when one's source material is spotty, redacted, and chronologically ambiguous. However, lately I've come across an increasing number of arguments for analogy rather than influence. In other words, instead of arguing that the writer of the vision reports in Daniel had a coffee table collection of Ugaritic myths at his or her disposal, it is perhaps equally useful (and less epistomelogically problematic) to observe the analogies between them. John Collins does this in his introduction to Jewish Apocalyptic literature, to wit: "the issue is not the exact derivation but the kinds of allusions involved" (p. 19). Furthermore:
If the "one like a son of man" who comes on the clouds in Daniel 7 alludes to the Canaanite figure of Baal, this is not to say that he is idenitified as Baal, or that the full story of Baal is implied. It merely suggests that there is some analogy between this figure and the traditional conception of Baal. (emphasis mine, p. 19)
My interest in allusion and analogy is related to the plausibility of what I like to call the there-was-something-in-the-air theory. Again, rather than arguing for influence, it seems more likely that, within and across certain eras (and especially between neighboring cultures), some traditions and ideas and archetypes and mythic images remain in the air, enduring for generations. Scribes and storytellers breathe these in and out; the literary evidence for this phenomenon comes to us clothed as analogy and allusion (among other things, I'm sure).

Brandon recommends reading this when prelims are done, to explore analogy in light of the findings of cognitive science. Sounds like fun to me! (Then again, reading anything that's not on my reading list sounds like fun at this point in the summer!)


With Bells On

Lately, I've found myself repeatedly using the expression "I'll be there with bells on." Curious, I googled it, and found this. Personally, I use the expression to convey enthusiasm not just for parties, but for any meeting or gathering (business or pleasure). With the expression, I want to convey the fact that not only will I be there, but I am supremely looking forward to it.

This would be a fun phrase to use ironically, would it not? Say, when making an appointment with the dentist? "Root canal tomorrow at 10? I'll be there with bells on..."


Weekly Wordle

I recently became a member of Atlanta Mennonite Fellowship. During the worship service this Sunday, the commitment of new members will be formally acknowledged. Given that fact, I've been thinking lately of AMF's covenant: here is the covenant itself, and below, a word cloud thereof:

(Click to enlarge.)


Back, with measuring cups

My blog called me this morning in tears.

"Jackie," the blog said, "How could you? It has been nearly seven weeks! I thought we had really gotten somewhere over the summer. Our relationship had ... blossomed. I though you had grown, changed even. I thought we were in this for the long haul this time. I thought ... "

"Blog," I answered, chastened, "You are correct. I have been negligent in my commitment to you. I understand if you can't take a chance on me again, but I hope you will. 'Cause honey, I'm still free."

My blog graciously consented to give me a second chance. My hope is that you, dear reader, will as well.

Confession time: I have a thing for measuring cups and mixing bowls. It doesn't matter how many I own; I always feel like I could use just one more set, especially if they are thoughtfully designed and splashy like these. Don't you just want to snap them up? Unfortunately, the price is on the astronomical side. What is it with this penchant of mine for overpriced kitchen items? Psychological insight, anyone?



Being done feels like ...

Or maybe ...

Then there's...

Ahhhhh. Time for bed. Sorry for my absence. My body, having permission to completely relax, is a stranger to me. My head is cloudy, my back is achy, I am sleepier than ever, and sudden movements are disturbing to behold and impossible to execute. Hopefully tomorrow I will feel less like a zombie encased in jell-o, and more like a functioning participant in the world around me.

A girl can dream! And I think I will. Good night!

As of now, I have posted more this month than I did in all of 2006.

What was up with me in 2006?