Pic of the Week
Picking up my kid from school on Thursday and encountered this long line of shiny black cars also picking up kids. Privileged school much? 😂
What's going on?
It seems things are noticeably getting back to "normal" - whatever that means. Hanging with friends, going to movies, making plans for the future with the assumption that things will be open. It's nice. I think almost everyone I know is at least partially vaccinated, and most are fully vaccinated at this point. HOORAY!
Still, this week has been filled with puzzles, reading, lounging, some exercise, a few projects at home, a few errands, and generally remaining isolated. Though I did get together with a few friends to watch the season finale of RuPaul's Drag Race, and it was so so nice to be indoors eating food and watching TV with people without being paranoid.
I worked, essentially as a warm body, for an ultrasound workshop this week and I always think it's so interesting to do that. You kind of get an unfiltered peak at your insides. The doctors participating in the workshop noted that I have an excellent pyloris (which is a part of the stomach), that my right ventricle - which pumps blood to the lungs - is about twice as efficient as one would expect, and that I need to stay more hydrated.
Last night my roommate had a friend over for a movie night, so I made myself scarce and decided to finally put together a little kit my friend Kasi got me for Christmas. It was actually really nice to just chill, put on some music, snack on a cookie, and work on a little project for a bit. Plus it turned out SO adorable. It's technically a bird feeder, but I wanted to make it a planter. So I did. Well...mostly. I still need to figure out the finer details of actually turning it into a planter. Mostly I just need to get a container of some kind, or maybe just line the whole thing with a ziploc bag or something and then put plants in it. Regardless, it's too cute.
What I'm watching
What I'm listening to
So, over the last couple of weeks I've been following a bit of hubbub in the progressive Mormon community surrounding Natasha Helfer and her experience being called in for a disciplinary council - or whatever they're called these days. She's a licensed clinical therapist and certified sex therapist who has blog and hosts a couple of podcasts talking about issues related to sexuality specifically as they relate to the Mormon community. She was apparently called in because some of her sexual health advocacy work is not in line with current church teachings and positions on a few things. She gives an interview on the Mormon Stories podcast about the timeline of events, her feelings about her work, and her relationship with the church. I don't always love the host of Mormon Stories, but I think this episode is absolutely worth a listen. I think she presents an open, honest, uncompromising defense of herself while being considerate and fair toward the church and its leaders.
She found out this week that she's been excommunicated. As far as I can make out, she was essentially excommunicated because she followed and used the latest understanding and research in her field, and assiduously and uncompromisingly followed the ethical codes of conduct for her profession. And honestly I think it's a gross, unconscionable travesty, especially given the circumstances surrounding the disciplinary council itself. Some of you may disagree, but to my mind it brings up questions of leadership overreach, unrighteous dominion, gender inequality and by extension the meaning and practice of love and mercy, and the already tenuous relationship The Church and Mormon culture have with mental and sexual health. Every mental health professional I know agrees.
Anyway, this has just been on my mind this week, and I am a little heartbroken for Natasha, who has done nothing but bring healing and light through her work. I know that I am a better, more balanced person for having encountered to her.
What I'm reading
I get the New York Times daily email every weekday to stay abreast of what's happening in the world. There is often Coronavirus-related news, and the editor of the newsletter one day this week talked with an expert about how eve though vaccinated people are understandably hesitant about returning to a lot of normal things, we actually should feel perfectly safe doing things like going to the movies or eating in restaurants. It was great to read that. Even though I'm still being pretty cautious.