Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Moved In!

Today I unpacked the last of the boxes of my books and put them on the shelves in my office. I have 6 book shelves and more than enough space for my books. This is fantastic! It really helps to work in a space where I have ready access to my books, unlike my tiny office in Oklahoma where books were hidden and often out of sight (and out of mind).

Here are pix of my office as of March 15, 2012.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Reflections on Iron Lady

I haven't posted for some time. I've been busy recently. Last weekend I went to Guangzhou (Canton) for the weekend on a research trip. I interviewed three young women, asking questions about dating, marriage, and relationships. This is a continuation of previous research that I did in Taiwan. Guangzhou is a big city. The subway system is great for getting around. The food is great. People are friendly. But the air quality was terrible! I was glad to get back to Macau where I felt I could breathe.

On Friday evening I went to watch the movie, Iron Lady. It stars Meryl Streep (fantastic acting as always) who portrays Margaret Thatcher, the UK's first, and thus far only woman to serve as Prime Minister. I'm old enough to remember M Thatcher, and perceive her like her counterpart, Ronald Reagan. I did not agree with her economic policies, but admired her for her toughness. The film does a nice job presenting both the successes and failures of her tenure as PM. But what is more interesting is the portrayal of her relationships to her father and late husband. Much of the movie focuses on Thatcher in her later life, after the death of her husband Dennis. She imagines that he is still alive and interacts with him as her loving companion. Finally she let's go of him.

What is touching about the film is its portrayal of what happens to us as we age. Unless something unfortunate takes our lives earlier, as we age we all experience the loss of mental and physical faculties. This is normal and to be expected. But the film movingly portrays how aging affects one who was one of the most powerful persons in the world. There is a tragic feeling to this process. At the same time it makes me think of how aging, and the concomitant tragedy of death, affects me and other loved ones. Death is the ultimate, cruel, and unwelcome separation from those we love.

Watch the movie and ponder these things. And treat all your loved ones with the lovingkindness they deserve.