What I’m Reading
I’ve finished up writing and editing the A to Z posts for my names blog, but I read/skimmed a few more parts of the source book while writing the last few posts. It really made me eager to reread the whole thing, particularly since this translation is worlds better than the original one I read. You’ll find out just which book this is on the theme reveal on 23 March, on both this blog and my names blog. The names blog will obviously have the more detailed post.
What I’m Writing
Now up to Chapter 116 of Journey Through a Dark Forest, “The White Plague’s Revenge,” which opens during the Anastasi service of Orthodox Easter. Darya and Andrey are in New York for the holiday, visiting Darya’s big brother Fedya, but Darya already regrets making the trip. It becomes very obvious, during the midnight processional around the church and the ensuing Easter service back inside, that her TB has returned to an active state, after several years of latency.
A trip to the compassionate, radical Dr. Scholl reveals painful, obvious signs of what Darya and Andrey had long suspected, that her TB was hibernating in another part of her body all this time. The exploratory surgery then makes it even more obvious her long-missing period and inability to conceive are due to pelvic TB. Though Dr. Scholl cauterises some of the scar tissue, there are still very low odds of ever having a baby. And when they return to Minnesota, things are going to go from bad to worse.
My goal for this week is to finish Chapter 116.
What Works for Me
Don’t hand anything to your characters on silver platters with neat hospital corners! A happy ending or attainment of a dear wish is always sweetest and most appreciated when it had to be earned over a long time. It also lets you go on the emotional journey with them, your anticipation just as great as theirs.
What Else I’ve Been Up To
I had a bit of a scare when my nostril stud fell out last Wednesday, and I couldn’t find it. I also couldn’t find my original nostril screw or the one my ex got me as a Chanukah present one year, so I initially held it open with an earring and then left it empty for something like eight hours. Thank God, it hadn’t closed up by the time I hooked an earring through that night. It felt ridiculous to have an earring hanging through my nostril, but nostril piercings are known to close up really fast, even if they’re really old like mine (twelve years this June). Repiercing can also hurt a lot, since the needle goes through scar tissue. (If you’re wondering, my piercing didn’t hurt one bit. I didn’t even feel a prick.)
On Thursday, I went to Classy Body Art, whose piercer is currently my city’s only member of the Association of Professional Piercers. Not only that, but he has a lot of other awesome qualifications, and his is the closest piercing studio. It was worth waiting till later in the day for the studio to open. Now I have a dark green nostril screw, which he bent so I wouldn’t keep having problems with my jewelry falling out. I love my nostril piercing, and couldn’t imagine losing it, after how long I’ve had it and how many years I wanted it before I finally got it.
I also went to an awesome Wrapunzel event at the local Modern Orthodox shul on Sunday. Even though I’m not married and thus not halachically obligated to cover my hair, I bought some beautiful scarves and accessories to go under the wraps. I even went to my weekly writers’ group with my hair all wrapped up.
Just a small sampling of all the beautiful tichels and accessories:
Hair-covering is such a beautiful, special mitzvah which I’m really looking forward to doing if I ever marry. It lets one’s inner beauty shine through, and publicly demonstrates your commitment to your faith. We’re supposed to be attractive, not attracting, as my rebbetzin has explained. I’ll never be 100% Orthodox (primarily because I’d never give up my belovèd Halloween!), but I feel very strongly about the importance of hair-covering. All sorts of women choose to cover their hair, and I like that I don’t fit into the stereotype of someone who’d do that. It challenges people’s assumptions.
I’m still holding out hope I won’t be sharing my bed with my gigantic frog Simon for the rest of my life, and that I’ll get a beautiful younger man with a healthy mind and normal libido. It’s too bad my froggy buddy won’t turn into a prince when I kiss him!