Sunday, January 6, 2008
Two Things Challenge: Home / Health
As with the last several challenges, I've tried to find subjects that are a little atypical or unexpected. I'm not sure I succeeded this week, but here's what I have.
Home: This is the etage in my room. It contains photos and mementos that are significant to me. Everything on here is representative of my family and my grandparents. For me, family is home. From left to right (top): An oil can I inherited from my paternal grandmother, who inherited it from her parents; a picture of Gram, quilting; a picture of my dad, his mother (Gram), and his late brother; a jar of Austrian jam and a tin from my travels in Austria.
From left to right (middle): A picture of me, my cousins Kathy, Arlene, and John, and our late grandfathers, taken at Thanksgiving some nine or ten years ago; my late maternal grandfather and his four daughters (my mom and her three sisters); a picture of my brother, sister, and me. I was about 10, my sister was 5, and my brother about 3; snapshot of my maternal grandparents a few months before my grandmother died. My grandfather is hamming it up with his false teeth. Taken more than 20 years ago.
From left to right (bottom): A picture of my maternal grandfather's funeral and all of his grandsons as pall bearers. Taken almost two years ago; some porcelain pieces my maternal grandmother painted, as well as a mug she helped me paint when I was 12 or so and spent a couple of weeks with them in Wyoming; a picture of my grandfather as a soldier in WWII and a portrait of my grandmother taken during the war; a model train my dad and grandfather made one year when he stayed with my parents. He made 20 of them--one for each daughter and one for each of his grandchildren.
Hanging from the etage is an origami ball my sister made me.
Health: As a student of world religions, I'm fascinated by the sociological impact of faith in daily life. Many religions have health codes that dictate everything from what can and can't be eaten to what materials can touch the skin to how foods should be prepared. Jews keep kosher, while Muslims keep halal. Hindus don't eat beef, while pre-Vatican II Catholics eschew the same on Fridays and opt for fish. Most of these codes are canonized in scripture or sacred writings.
In the Mormon Church, members adhere to a code of health called "The Word of Wisdom." It prohibits the consumption of black tea, coffee, alcohol, and tobacco. It encourages moderate consumption of meats and recommends a focus on grains and vegetables. And, contrary to popular belief outside the church, Mormons can and do drink caffeinated beverages. I chose the last three verses in Section 89 of the church's modern canon, The Doctrine & Covenants of the Church, which promises those who adhere to the Word of Wisdom health, wisdom, knowledge, and strength.
Photo copyright: D.C. Confidential, 1/08