Monday, April 28, 2008

My Paper for my Class

Ugh. I'm supposed to "present" my paper on Wednesday of this week, and I'm having a crisis. See, the class is on "The Place of Nature in the Bible", and we've developed these Ecological Principles as we've studies the text - looking at the beginnings of Genesis, at the whole of the Abraham story, at the Plagues, we ask how the values of Habitat, Interdependency, G-d as Creator, and so on, can be seen.

But I'm writing about Upshirin, that apparently obscure Kabbalistic custom of not cutting a child's hair until the third birthday. And the more I try to write a scholarly paper about Upsherin, the more I realize that I can't. It's based on mysticism and spirituality, not logical text interpretation.

I'm not good at Spirituality. I'm good at Practicality.

For me, the process of not cutting our kids hair until the third birthday always felt very organic, very natural, and I loved it. I was able to use the concept of the Upsherin in my own way, to make a point to myself and to others that each child was an individual creation.

Trying to write about the "formal" development of the tradition is frustrating, since most of the literature I can find about it is just from non-scholarly spiritual leaders, who can grasp at any piece of the text and make it mean what they want. And then trying to apply the Ecological Principles to these "out-there" interpretations is even harder.

So I just core-dumped my frustration into an email to my professor. Is it too late to change my topic?


In other news, the kids went back to school today!!!! YIPPIE!!!!

Pam, Rhett's mommy, absolutely ROCKS. She is going through so much (read her blog), and yet is such an awesome force in her child's life.