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Miss Headscarf 2008 in Denmark!

Denmark’s National Broadcaster, Danmarks Radio, has had a Miss Headscarf competition, where any women wearing a headscarf could enter by sending a photo of themselves wearing a headscarf. And here is the winner and the runner ups. Unfortunately, the text is only in Danish, so if you’re having trouble understanding the words, send me a comment and I’ll translate for you. The text showing is the name of the winner and the runner ups and their ages. År=years. And the other text is some fashion experts’ comments about the headscarf. Positive comments about the colours and patterns on the headscarf, and that wearing a headscarf the way these women does, doesn’t make them unstylish.

I wonder when we’ll see a worldwide competition of this?! Or, perhaps, in the muslim dominated countries, there’s such a thing already?

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Crime’s got a face…

Driving home from my in-laws yesterday at 20.00, we witnessed two youngsters stealing a car from in front of the supermarket. We drove past the parking lot several times, and the youngsters saw that we saw them and ran behind the supermarket. Then, we met them driving the car, and we followed them for a short distance. Afraid of getting into trouble with the car thieves, we let them drive off, and drove home. We phoned the police several times, giving the information we had. But I don’t know whether the police did anything about it. If they’d come the first time we called, they could have prevented the car being stolen. Today I called the owner, which is a leasing firm, and reported what we had seen, and left my name and number if they should need it.

I’ve been thinking a lot about this, it’s a strange thing to see two ordinary looking boys of 16-18 yrs, committing a crime. It would probably have been strange to see anyone commit a car theft, but I think about the sad fact that these two added another crime to their conscience, or even did something illegal for their first time. (Probably not) I wonder what their lives look like, what sort of upbringing and childhood they’ve experienced. Being a mother to a boy, I also think about their mothers. I feel sorry for the two boys. Normally car theft and other crimes are things I read about in the paper, I haven’t actually seen it done before. And things I read about in the paper is easier to distance myself to, than crimes I see committed. It’s like the crime’s got a face now. And the next time I read about a crime, I can’t distance myself as easy as I used to.

Oh no!!

I need to see a dentist. I hate going to the dentist! 😦 Yesterday I lost a bit of one of my teeth while eating. It just fell out… Some of my teeth have had so many holes plumbed, that only thin walls remains. So it’s no wonder that bits fall off. But, I have to have it checked by the dentist, and thinking about going to the dentist makes my gums sore and sensitive. Although I always have local anesthetics administered, I hate the whole experience… laying there with my mouth opened to the maximum, having the dentist picking and working inside my mouth. The sounds, the tastes, everything is a nightmare. 😛

And then there’s the talk about me cleening my teeth too poorly, I need to floss, brush, and gurgle twice a day. Of course I don’t, and the result is all the holes in my teeth. But, the comfort eating doesn’t make it much better – being sweets and chocolate…

Uninspired

I guess I “suffer” from a mild post-holiday-depression… I’m back at work after 1,5 week of holiday spent mostly in Spain. I’m finding it hard to concentrate at work. It’s a “downer” to return from an exciting country to the well known Norway and everyday-life with all it’s trivialities… I know that one can’t make a holiday last forever, because eventually one would make one’s new situation “everyday-life”, and the magic will be gone. It’s just a phase…

Spain was great. The weather wasn’t much to write home about, but I liked it, as the cold temperature didn’t make me sweat all the time. I was able to use the same shirt for two days! 🙂 The others disliked the weather, as they didn’t get the tan they wanted. I tried to visit some of the churches, but found several closed. No information about opening hours was given in English. Only Spanish. My understanding of Spanish is limited to what I can “guess” using my French and English knowledge and a little bit of creativity. But I got to visit one of the most important places, The Monasterio de la Santa Faz! :>

That was a special place! I felt the holiness of the room, I felt that Jesus really was present in the room where the cloth is. I felt a need to cover my head and bend down in prayer, unfortunately I didn’t bring a scarf with me, but I knelt down and prayed. It was magic! After a short time I felt cleansed and at peace and happy. It was like this visit was the purpose and goal of the whole trip. I think I would like to go to there again. The cloth is kept in a container in a richly decorated room, with large paintings of the legend behind this piece of cloth.

My husband called it “the holy handkerchief”. 😉

Travelling stress

Later this week we’re going to Spain. And I’ve got this internal continuous stress… I like experiencing other places, but it’s the travelling bit that stresses me the most. Packing all the things one needs for a week away, and before that making sure that all the potential travelling clothes are clean. And then there’s the time issue. The plane leaves at a given time, and we need to be there with all our luggage and everything sorted out before that given time, otherwise we won’t get in the plane… this is a major stress factor, causing me to have nightmares about me running in airports trying to find the gate where my plane is boarding, and with too little time. The latest nightmare was me shopping in the tax free shop suddenly disvocering that the plan was to board in five minutes, and I didn’t have the slightest clue about where the gate was, and I hadn’t decided what to buy… Although I’ve been travelling by car (several times a year), or airplane, for as long as I can remember, and am used to pack my own bag, I still stress about this! I don’t understand it! I’ve never been late, or missed any flights/trains, and I’ve never forgot to pack anything important, so there’s nothing in my experiences explaining this fear I have.

I hope to visit a lot of Catholic churches, and especially the Monasterio de la Santa Faz, where a relic said to be the veil of St. Veronica is kept. St. Veronica gave her veil to Jesus for him to dry his sweat whilst he was carrying the cross, and He handed it back to her and it had a print of his face upon it. The picture of St. Veronica giving her veil to Jesus is one of the Stations of the Cross, found in every Catholic church.

I’ve seen references made to this “history” by some Catholic head coverers as a proof of Jesus approving female veiling.

I think this is the “container” for the veil. As the webpage was only in Spanish, and my understanding of Spanish is rather minimal (I compare the words to French or English to understand), I’m not sure what the proper name for this “container” could be. But I did understand that there’s a monastery where this is kept. I think St. Veronica is called St. Clarisa in Spain.

From Wikipedia: This relic was acquired by Pope Nicholas V from relatives of the Byzantium Emperor in 1453. This veil was given by a Vatican cardinal to a Spanish priest, Mosen Pedro Mena, who took it to Alicante in southern Spain, where it arrived in 1489, at the same time as a severe drought. Carried in a procession on 17 March by an Alicante priest, Father Villafranca, a tear sprang from the eye of the face of Christ on the veil and rain began to fall. The relic is now housed in the Monastery of the Holy Face (Monasterio de la Santa Faz), on the outskirts of Alicante, in a chapel built in 1611 and decorated between 1677 and 1680 by the sculptor José Vilanova, the gilder Pere Joan Valero and the painter Juan Conchillos. The chapel is decorated with paintings depicting the miraculous termination of the drought, local personalities associated with the founding of the chapel and religious themes of judgment and salvation. The Monastery was extensively restored between 2003-6, together with the Cathedral of Saint Nicholas and the Basilica of St Mary in the city centre, and the three buildings housed an exhibition in 2006 about the relic under the name of The Face of Eternity. [12]

As a method of coping with the travelling stress, I tend to over focus on certain things, such as jewellry and handbags. 😐 I need to remind myself that buying new items of these just because I’m stressed doesn’t make anything better. It’s a struggle trying to get rid of these comfort buying tactics. And also not buying, just choosing among the items I already have, is difficult. One day I think a small handbag is the perfect one, the next day it’s a larger bag, then I must choose between colours, shapes, materials, length of straps – can it go across my body or not? As all these thoughts and deciscions draws me away from spending time with God, it’s not a good thing for me to do. Yesterday night I spent several hours in front of my computer surfing the Internet for handbags and jewellry to buy in Spain… 😦 If I only could be liberated from all this, and use my time on things that are really good to me!

 

Josef and Elisabeth F.

This is the worst case of incest abuse I’ve ever heard of! It’s impossble to imagine what could have made this man do such things to his own daughter. He’s clearly a person without any form of empathy. And the various media (TV, newspapers etc) work hard to give us all possible details of this horror history. Why? to sell more of course! If a media soruce is the first one to report some “important” news, that helps build it’s image as a reliable and quick newssource.

Curious about the case, most people read/listen/view a lot in the beginning, then – fed up by all the horrific details, one tunes out and wander off to read/hear/view something else. And the attention is lost.

What makes me extra sad about this, is that following the discovery of such an horror, should be a massive information campaign teaching people how to look for similar cases in their surroundings, and what do to if one suspects incestous actions happening. Who to contact, what to say to the possible victim to ask for the truth etc. This could help reduce the amount of incest or other abuse.

Because of my personal experience with incest I know that “normal” people does these things all around the world. (Of course, not all to this extent.) And the same thing happen everytime; people told about the incest actions of a certain person, doesn’t believe it, because they’ve never seen anything. How long will it take before people start to understand that persons they think are all good and kind, can do evil things? And that abusers often (I’ll say in most cases) are normal people just like one self, and that they hide the abuse very well!? They’re masters of disguising their evil actions, and the victims are masters of hiding the abuse as they feel ashamed and partly guilty. Help from outside is needed.

I’m sure that this Josef F. case in Austria isn’t the only one of this extent and seriousity. It’s just that nobody have talked about them, neither the abuser nor the abuse victim. Please, all victims, talk about your experience, but choose your listeners with care! Talk about it in victim support groups, to your psychologic therapeut, on the Internet… Do not keep silent with your experiences! You’re not helping anyone by keeping silent! (I know, I’ve tried, and I only punished myself!) It’s never your fault!

Taking control

The hijab-wearing women are often viewed as a person one should feel sorry for. In the “modern” societies of Western Europe and the US, the main thoughts (and the publically correct) are that “She’s probably under control by her husband and/or sons. She’s not free to wear whatever she wants… she’s not allowed to do whatever she wants… she’s forced to wear the hijab and the modest and covering clothes, poor thing…” and so on. And the female fashion in these societies are all about being sexy and using one’s sex appeal. The ideals admired are the supermodels, Hollywood-celebs and the likes. Forcing everyone, except the natural born supermodels, to be on an everlasting diet, excercise regime and even consider plastic surgery in order to keep up with the latest trends.

But what if it is quite the opposite?* What if the modest women, of all faiths and convictions, are actually the liberated ones? Because they (and to some extent me) are not under society’s increasing press and unhealthy focus on beauty and body, choosing to wear covering and modest clothes, not following the fashion trends. Modest women are not controlled by fashion designers who’s obviously allergic to female bodies and at the same time asking for women to show cleavage and legs.

The modest women are in control over their bodies, controlling what parts could be shown public, and what parts should be kept covered. A modest women doesn’t use sex appeal to gain success in her life, but rely on her brain, appearance, inner beauty, personality, and other values. Her body isn’t “put on display or up for sale”, she doesn’t advertise for herself by showing off her “goods”. I know what group I’m in and my feeling of liberation is increasing! 

As shown in these pictures (left and right) being modest isn’t necessarily different from following the fashion trends in color and materials. Being modest can also mean looking good.

I like this picture (left) very much.  It’s from South-East Asia somewhere. It makes me think about which of these women are in control over their body? The muslim or the blond?

In the summer I, personally, wouldn’t have covered to the muslim extent, but I’m more covered than the blonde! I don’t see the blonde as being liberated because she can wear whatever she wants, it’s more like she says that she’s not anxious about her body being on public display… she doesn’t demand respect, she sort of wants to be liked because of her body. What kind of mistaken feminism is that?!

 

 

*I don’t doubt that some muslim women, as well as other women, are under too much control by their husbands.