Freshly Pressed: Friday Faves
This week in the Reader, we cheered on a man versus nature and versus himself, we revelled in a meditation on the sensuousness of hand-written vs. typed composition, and we laughed out loud at a hilarious transcript of a discussion topic that’s usually not quite so funny: religion. Here are just three of the posts that caught our attention this week.
Mt. Kilimanjaro: the backstory
Basicman Perspective‘s reflective post on summitting Mount Kilimanjaro with his two sons whisked us away from our urban reality to Tanzania. Before the summit attempt, Basicman questions his parenting, wondering whether he’s adequately equipped his sons to overcome adversity, and whether they’ll have the tenacity to conquer the mountain in suboptimal weather conditions. He made us consider our own fear of failure and the self-doubt such an adventure entails:
The silent, overriding presence however was the unanswerable question: How will I perform on summit day?
They answered my question, in full. On summit day (actually beginning at 0100) they attacked the mountain. They met the driving snow, the heavy winds, the never ending switchbacks, and the cold temps in their refugee inspired climbing attire. They summited Stella Point and continued across the volcanoe’s rim to Uhuru Peak in the darkness and weather neither of them imagined…With our previously unanswered question now answered, we became the victors. My sons had proven themselves and I wanted them to celebrate that fact. How much prouder could a father be than to put a test before his sons that would take them completely away from their own life experience and comfort zone, challenge them to make it work, and then see them succeed on such a grand scale.
Handwriting is like making love; typing, like having sex
Vincent Mars at boy in the hat is a 21-year-old Romanian high school dropout who is writing a story in English not for money, but for immortality. His post “Are you a handwriter or a typer?” equates writing by hand to making love and typing on a computer to having sex. Vincent got us thinking a little bit differently about the mode in which we get busy…writing.
Typing is fast, easy, and convenient. The sensation of my fingertips pressing on the keys is glorious…Handwriting is slow, beautiful, and graceful…But sometimes handwriting is too slow. When I am a brimming with ideas, I feel the pen is holding me back…The words do not write themselves fast enough, and I have to queue ideas, and my thumb begins to hurt, and I fret on my chair because ideas spark faster than they can be queued, and sometimes the terrible happens, and one of the queued ideas vanishes like a pretty girl in the night and I try to catch her and to hold her, to make her stay a little longer, but she is already gone and I am only groping at thin air…
An atheist Jew meets a churchy Jesus girl: hilarity ensues
Needless to say religion is most-often a serious topic, that is until Steve the atheist and Britt the christian got together to discuss religion at East Meets Breast. Admittedly irreverent though completely inclusive, their aim was not to offend, inviting readers to share their views on life and God, too.
Steve drafted a list of topics, and we both promised not to get all huffy. What follows is a transcript of our virtual “sit down.” I hope we don’t offend, and that maybe you’ll share your take on God, Life, and Whatnot, too.
STEVE: I call myself very Jewish and not religious. That’s what I like about Judaism. It’s à la carte. My Bar Mitzvah was in a Unitarian church because my temple was still under construction. I call myself a “Jewnatarian.” If I were Christian, I’d go with Unitarianism. It’s hip to say “I’d like to be Buddhist,” but that requires meditation, and there’s stuff on TV.
BRITT: I like Jewnatarian. Unitarians don’t subscribe to a divine Jesus, seeing Him more like a moral Michael Jordan: a bit super-human in his awesomeness, and thus, someone to emulate. Being Jewish is a birthright you cannot escape… but God gifted His chosen people with good bagels, Yiddish-spewing grandparent hilarity, and irrepressibly sexy teenage girls. Adding the “religious” component of Being Jewish with all that Hebrew-learning and rule-following is exhausting, and gets in the way of a good bacon cheeseburger.
There’s plenty of adventure, reflection, and a whole lot of fun waiting for you in your Reader. Check it out!