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Odds and Ends

Vanitas Still Life by Maria van Oosterwijck
Vanitas Still Life, Maria van Oosterwijck, 1668 | via Wikimedia Commons | public domain

Today, a series of odds and ends and miscellaneous thoughts not developed enough for a whole post.

  1. I saw Black Panther last week and I loved it. At this point, I might as well just give Marvel all my entertainment money; I can’t think of a Marvel film in the last several years that I haven’t enjoyed. (Except maybe Thor: The Dark World, but even that was saved by Tom Hiddleston’s Loki.) I especially appreciated (spoilers) that the villain, Killmonger, was not wrong about the need for Wakandans to be more active in the world and was also eminently justified in his resentment. He was a monster created in part by the failings of the dead king T'Chaka and of Wakandan society more broadly. But Killmonger was also shaped by a U.S. government that saw him as a weapon, not a person, and trained him accordingly.

  2. Thinking of Black Panther and the end of Black History Month, I’ve been working to diversify my reading list. I’m not looking for cookies; I definitely have a long way to go. But I’m learning a lot about racism in the church from Drew G.I. Hart’s Trouble I’ve Seen. I’m leading a book study for my church on Gracism by David Anderson, and while I have my critiques of the book (it was written pre-Obama, and feels far too optimistic for the current racial climate), it is generating good discussion. I read The Salt Roads by Nalo Hopkinson, a sprawling novel about African women and their bodies, their loves, their gods, their suffering, and their joys. I’m too close to it to say much more, but it’s one of those novels that will stick with me for a while. I’ve just started Kwame Alexander’s Solo, and I’m delighted to read a novel in verse.

  3. Reading non-fiction: one of my New Year’s resolutions was to read more non-fiction, and I’ve been working on it. I haven’t actually finished any non-fiction, but I’m reading Trouble I’ve Seen, The History of White People (Nell Irvin Painter), Opting Out: Why Women Really Quit Careers and Head Home, (Pamela Stone), and Jürgen Moltmann’s The Spirit of Life. (No, I don’t have a problem. Ignore the teetering pile of books by my bed. I can stop reading multiple books at a time whenever I want.) The Spirit of Life is rocking my world right now — I have never had a good understanding of the Holy Spirit, and this book is helping me to appreciate that mysterious third member of the Trinity. Expect more on this book, and probably Trouble I’ve Seen, in the future.

  4. I’m starting Whole30 today. I know, I know: it’s a fad diet; it’s probably not going to change my life. But I’ve fallen into some unhealthy eating habits and after too many years of calorie counting apps and Weight Watchers, I need a reset that doesn’t involve logging my food. It’s not going to be fun, but hey: if Mary of Egypt can survive on three loaves of bread for 47 years, I can make it through 30 days without carbs. Maybe.

  5. Coming up in March, I’m going to have a 3 (or maybe 4) part series on feminism and Christianity over the next two weeks. I will almost definitely write about A Wrinkle in Time, because all the love for Meg Murray. And I’m launching a new recurring series on the subversiveness of scripture. To keep up with this content, you can follow my author page on Facebook or get blog posts via Twitter @to_resurrection.

I’m going to enjoy March’s lamb-like entry this weekend and hope that old sayings won’t come true. But if March does go out like a lion, maybe I’ll curl up on the couch and actually finish one book before starting the next. One can, after all, dream.