Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Fashion Faux Pais, Part III

Since my arrival in Spain, I have been compiling a series of observations regarding fashion which I am calling, "Fashion Faux Pais." The first two articles in the series can be found here and here. Interest has been expressed in publishing them as an editorial in Vogue Spain this fall, but I'm not sure if I want to prostitute my observations like that. Here is Part III.

About a month ago, while I was braving the mid-day heat, I saw what appeared to be a wrestling singlet walking down the street. At first, I had serious doubts as to whether or not my eyes were playing tricks on me. I mean, who in their right mind would dare to walk the streets in a singlet? it's just common sense. Strike One. Unfortunately, common sense wasn't the only natural law to be shattered in the moments that followed. On top of that, the person had long hair, and, upon further inspection, was proven to be of the female gender. Strike Two. And thirdly, the singlet was an animal print. Ouch!! Strike Three. Ladies, please refrain from wearing your tiger-striped wrestling singlet in public. You should know's a lose-lose situation.

My second observation doesn't come from any specific event, but is broader in scope. It deals with sexism within street fashion. The heat in Andalucia can be unbearable, and anybody and everybody will do anything to escape it's clutches. Common measures taken by both men and women alike: Staying indoors during the hottest parts of the day, drinking plenty of fluids, walking through department stores that are climate controlled. These are great remedies, but the female has one tremendous advantage over a man. She can take off practically all her clothing without being stared at (in the "you're weird" way, at least), mocked, or judged. I'm certain that I can't say the same for myself. If I walked around Granada as they do, with only 3.7% of my body covered, I would most definitely garner unwanted attention (yes, in the "you're weird" way). And not a few people would be nauseated, if not blinded.

So, I'm calling out the women of Granada by way of protest. Either you start wearing more clothes, or we will start wearing less. Do not be mistaken. These aren't empty threats, and failure to comply will only result in your own personal suffering and that of many innocent tourists. Sometime in the future I will declare a M.A.S.S. (March Against Sexism in Style) manifestation for all men who have had their brows beaten by the merciless sun of inequality around which the fashion industry revolves.

Sweaty men of the world unite!!!

Monday, August 27, 2007


Almost a month between posts. What this proves is that when you don't have as much access to the internet, you use it a lot less frequently. Who would have thought? Anyway, here are a few pictures from this summer.

This is a dead goldfish inside a fountain in the Alhambra.

Chef Chouen, Morocco. Everything is painted blue. Our guide said that it is to keep the flies away. "The blue, it confuses them," he told us. Through some independent research at his child's birthday party, singer-songwriter Shaun Groves agrees.

Chef Chouen, from a distance. We hiked the short distance to a mosque that the Spanish built. It was never used because it was built facing the wrong direction. This picture is taken from that trail.

The bigger white building in the foreground is the tomb of what is basically a Sufi saint. All the small white rectangles surrounding the tomb are the graves of people who are buried near the saint to gain God's favor. They are buried face up and facing East, so that they are ready for the resurrection.

The Laramie river. Not in Spain or Morocco. Wyoming.

Today I'm thankful for catching up on some email, meeting with Feli (one of my language exchanges), and listening to the Mute Math and Muse albums I downloaded yesterday. Music is awesome.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Love, Love, Love

Quite a while ago, I asked you all a question: How do you know that God loves you? The responses to this question were so underwhelmingly few that I have come to the conclusion that God doesn't love any of you. Just kidding. I received some great responses that were very encouraging. One friend, who is the Pastor of a small church in Hick, Indiana (not the real name), said that he knows of God's love because he has been commisioned to preach the Gospel. Another said that when she sees the moon she knows that God loves her. Someone even sent me a list of fifty, that's right, fifty reasons why she knows that God loves her.

But now you ask me, "Why, Mike Gorski, did you pose this question?" Well, since I know that you have all been losing sleep over it, and your relief is at my disposal, here is my response.

I often question that He does. Very often.

This all came up while I was reading Don Miller's book "Blue Like Jazz" a few months ago. In one of the sentences in one of the paragraphs in one of the chapters, he basically says that you can't love other people until you learn that God loves you. I won't go into all the reasons why I think this is true, but I think it is perfectly accurate. Anyway, I started to think, and ended up asking myself if I believe that God loves me. And the answer? Sort of.

In an abstract sense, I have no doubt that God loves me. For all the reasons people sent me, for the innumerable times it is mentioned in Scripture, I know it's true. But why do I struggle to BELIEVE these truths? Answer--I want to suffer for my sin. I know that I can't pay for my sin, only Christ's blood can do that. I'm not trying to do good works in order to be saved, it is impossible. For that very reason I want to suffer. God has done what no man could--He has taken His enemies, and, through His love, made them His children. But I feel guilty that He ever had to reconcile me to Himself.

Imagine a feast, prepared by a Father for his children. The food is of unmatched quality, but even more important, it is seasoned with a love that has no rival. They all gather to eat, but one of the children refuses to sit at the table with the others. He refuses to eat anything but the scraps that are going to be thrown away. He feels this way because he was adopted, rescued from the worst conditions imaginable, where he had no hope, no dreams, no possibilities. He was already dead, it's just that his body was catching up to the truth. Then, all of a sudden, he was adopted. It was his Father who saved him, and who tenderly summons him to the table at this very moment. The child still refuses to eat. In his eyes, the Father shouldn't have had to rescue him in the first place, and now he feels like a burden. But all of his siblings are adopted as well, and the Father continues to affectionately call him his son and invite him to join in the feast.

His name is Mike Gorski.

God still fervently pursues him.

And His love will never fail.