Wednesday, May 8, 2013


1.  materials which do not allow for the absorption of light are called opaque.

2.  In the field of opticstransparency (also called pellucidity or diaphaneity) is the physical property of allowing light to pass through the material without being scattered. 


Herr Stimmung on Transparency

To those of a certain temperament, there is nothing worse than the
thought of something hidden, secret, withheld from their knowing—
especially if they suspect that another knows about it and has even,
perhaps, connived at keeping it concealed.

    D. H. Lawrence seems to have been irritated no end by the thought
that people were having sex and not telling him.

    Freud too.

   —Ah but then Freud arranged it so that everyone had to tell.

    His psychoanalysis lights up the depths, makes our tangled web
transparent, to the point where I can see all the way down to It.

    And the process moves outward in increasing rings:

    The Master analyses his disciples. Who thereby—transparent
now—become masters and, in turn, take on others, patients or
disciples, to analyse.

    So that eventually there are no secrets.

    Except, of course, those of the first Master, the Self-Analysed.

    Which is to say, the only private One, sole Unrevealed. Opaque
center of His universal panopticon.

    While we see only His words, His daughter, His cigar.

    Poor Lawrence.
4.  on the sunday after prom, it's traditional for mormon boys and girls to wear their formals to church, complete with boutonnieres, corsages, and wrist flowers.  bedraggled updo's.  last sunday a plethora of modest prom dresses rustled into church--the cap sleeve is the sign of orthodoxy in our most orthodox (or, perhaps more aptly named orthopractic) of neighborhoods and congregations. down the hall i spotted a girl in a peachy-pink gown, sleeveless, a mini-dress ensconced in a sheer maxi overlay.

elizabeth smart

it's been a week of discussing the perils of emphasizing the mandate for young women to be modest, to avoid tempting (not temptation, so much) to sometimes hammer at and punish young mormon women for dressing "immodestly", which could lead to becoming an already chewed stick of gum.

i was thrilled at this young woman.  her dress was beautiful, she was beautiful, and i applauded her unwillingness to bow to the dominant culture.  it gave me hope that some of the damaging, unexamined orthodoxies of our sometimes utopic culture might drop away.

5.  one last thought:  as the months of struggling through darkness have dragged on, with small pricks of light helping me to hang on through yet another depression, i'm starting to wonder how much truth, honesty, transparency has to do with the darkness i'm living in.  what would it be like if it were easier, more common to speak the truth, to think about the actual rather than the ideal?

if light could pass through me without scatter.


  1. Incredible. What a beautiful post.

  2. I don't understand this obsession with modesty. I don't remember people freaking out about sleeveless dresses when I was growing up in Provo in the 70's and 80's. When did this all start? You've probably seen that ridiculous "story" in the Friend about the little 4 year old who received a sleeveless dress for her birthday (from an infidel, no doubt) and was instructed by her righteous mother to put on a t-shirt underneath so that it would be modest. FOUR! The child was FOUR. Please.

    1. we unsubscribed on account of that, robin!

  3. "Do not disfigure yourself with tattoos or body piercings. Young women, if you desire to have your ears pierced, wear only one pair of earrings."

    But, by all means, get that breast augmentation as soon as possible. And be sure to wear a super-snug Shade tee, which apparently does not fall under the prohibited category of "tight fitting clothing" because it is a Mormon-made product. Ok. Rant over. This subject just makes me crazy.

  4. It's a crazy making topic, but it was in Lara's good hands.

    Speaking to Robin's first comment, back in the late '70s I wore a wide-strapped home sewn, modest neckline top to school and a girl from my Mia Maids group, alarmed at my brazenly bare 14-year-old shoulders--informed me that we Mormons were always to dress as if we were wearing garments.