Purse-onality

Purse-onality

About 15 years ago I heard Louise Plummer speak at a Relief Society even where she challanged us to write about our lives.  She offered several prompts for daily writing, and among them was to open your fridge or your purse and list exactly when you find there in your daily journal.  I went home that night and wrote a journal entry about what I found under my couch, and to this day it’s one of my favorites (I had little kids at the time and found food, toys, a pacifier, etc–such a sweet slice of memory now that my kids are taller than I am!).

So today, I bring you the contents of my purse, and challenge you to list yours, too (or those of your fridge or what you find in the couch cushions or some other place that gathers stuff).  When you find this entry ten years from now, it’s sure to evoke strong memories of this period of your life.

I found:

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A crowd-sourced interactive timeline for Mormon Women’s History

A crowd-sourced interactive timeline for Mormon Women’s History

To use the power of the “crowd” to create a visual representation of significant events in Mormon women’s history, I’ve created a Mormon Women’s History Timeline that’s populated from a google spreadsheet to display the significant historical happenings.*  It’s my aim for this timeline to offer new ways of thinking about our collective past as we can easily view concurrent events, or see moments of disjuncture (or perhaps absence) in the historical record.

To make this project all that it can be, however, I will need your help.  I will need you to go to the relevant wikipedia sites and online chronologies to pull the data for the timeline and enter into the spreadsheet.  It’s not difficult at all, although certain formatting rules need to be followed so the data will appear correctly.

Ready to join in this project?  Let’s Go!

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Vlog: Changes

Below is my first attempt at a “vlog” for the Exponent. I look forward to your comments–either about this genre (how does it compare to a regular blogpost?) or about the questions that I pose at the end of the video.

Vlog: Change from Jana Remy on Vimeo.

PS: Isn’t that an awesome quilt on the wall behind me? My Mom made it. She’s an amazingly-gifted quilter.

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Traveler’s Tales on the Pilgrimsteps blog

Within moments of John telling me that he was leaving our marriage, I texted a friend:

John is leaving me.  In despair.  Can I come over?

I remember almost nothing of that night except that I had a shoulder to cry on and a friend who listened and offered every imaginable support, while serving me cup after cup of hot herbal tea.  In the days that followed, as I explained my situation to other close friends, a tight net of support emerged around me.  The support often came from tangential relationships, such as the woman who came over to explain California divorce law to me.  She’d never been to my home and we’d only met once before–but she was freshly divorced herself and knew she had information that I would need.  She stayed for hours and listened as much as she shared.

Then there was the group of friends who live far away, who daily sent me snail-mail letters and care packages.  These sweet notes arrived both in Pasadena and Irvine–they covered all the bases because they knew I was flitting between two homes during the month of December.  They were envelopes filed with color and poetry and care.  Reminders that I was loved and important and strong.  My Exponent sisters sent the softest-ever blanket with a giraffe-fabric pattern–as a reminder that giraffes are matriarchal creatures and they take care of their own.  That blanket went back-and-forth with me wherever I slept during December and is still folded into a rectangle at the foot of my bed.

Now, as I find myself trying to forge a path forward with this new life of mine, I continue to be influenced by the stories of friends who have followed similar trajectories.  I consider myself a fellow pilgrim with these women.  Some of them have traveled on ahead of me and can offer a map of where they’ve been.  Others are traveling alongside me, or are journeying on a similar, but separate, route.

Recently I wrote to several of these women and asked them to share their wisdom on my soloblog.  Because I feel as though we can all benefit from hearing their stories.  Though not all of these women have a relationship with the LDS church, I still feel that we have  much to learn from each other and we have much support to offer those who are in the midst of their own difficult paths.  Thus, I’ll be posting the writings of many of these women as Guest Posts on Pilgrimsteps over the next few weeks, under the title of “Traveler’s Tales.” If you have a story or some thoughts that you would like to share for this feature, please send them to janaremyATgmail.

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