mordwen: (academic)
I was a precocious brat. I'm sure that doesn't need stating for most of you, but just in case some of you haven't met me in person and therefore couldn't deduce it, I thought I'd make it clear.

Today Mum told me that, aged four, Jehovah's witnesses came to the door and my father answered it. I apparently tagged along. I then apparently solemnly informed the Jehovah's witnesses that God was dead. My father was thrilled. My mother was mortified. And there began a long career of tormenting God-botherers...
mordwen: (Default)
Mum just called to tell me that my Great Uncle Len has died. He was my mother's uncle. I had intended to visit him on Saturday afternoon while we were in Sydney but I had a nap instead because I was so exhausted.

He never married. When we were little, he used to sit us on his knee and tell us stories about when he was a little girl. I have never quite been sure whether that was just a narrative trope for us as little girls or a secret way to explore something he wished he could have been brave enough to be. It was a different world then, and much harder to make those kinds of steps across gender divides if that is what that was about.

He was funny and kind and he was a war veteran. Rest in peace, Uncle Len. If we have a baby boy, we'll give him your Hebrew name, Leib. Like mine (Rasha Elka), it's Yiddish, not Hebrew, as it turns out, and it means lion. A brave lion indeed.
mordwen: (Default)
I'm proud to announce I have a new nephew. Perry Jacob Alexander was born to Selena and Mark at about 7.40 this morning. He is 3.7kg and 54cm long and mother, father and baby are all doing well. His older brother Leo has apparently changed his mind and would like to exchange him for a sister now please.
mordwen: (Default)
At Burning Man, last September, on the first night, stepping out into the darkness, Doug and I went exploring a strange world of glowing el wire and flaming sights. We wandered into the structure beneath the Man, a maze of games and artworks, intricate mindmaps and galaxies of wonder.

In one room, there was a magic roundabout, a spinning surface driven by a bicycle, with a camera on it, filming shots every few seconds. We joined the line, watched others fall off, flung off, collapse in heaps of giggles. Me in my purple mini-kilt and purple wings, he in a long cloak made by a friend. Our turn came, we got on, held each others hands and leaned back, laughing, loving the centrifugal force and playing mirror games: first his hand snaked out to one side and mine followed, then mine to the other... He started to get down on one knee... and suddenly, he was saying something. "Will you marry me?" It was so crazy, so sudden, even though he'd said it before "accidentally". I got down on the other knee and asked him too, and then we both said yes.

Someone asked if we were ready to slow down and we slowly stood, didn't overbalance, came to a standstill, stepped off exhilarated and then understood that the camera was connected to a printer and the printer produced a flipbook. We have a flipbook of our engagement. How cool is that?

So, why am I writing this now? Because it's finally all square with the family and everyone knows. Last night, Mum held an engagement party for 50 of the family to squawk and gawk at the poor boy. We didn't need one -- in many ways that was more for her than us -- but it was lovely and he impressed. Tons of food, no insanity, and I got to meet my new niece, Olivia, and see how my nephew Leo is growing. Mum spoke, Dad spoke, champagne was drunk, Doug and I responded. All the usual guff.

The "wedding", of course, will be a handfasting, more of which later.

We're off to the zoo now. After I help clean up, that is...

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mordwen

January 2011

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