Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Salon, Anyone?

No, I'm not talking mani and massage. I'm talking intellectual gatherings where discussion revolves around the arts and sciences, around issues. A real life place where we can exercise the mental muscles that, for me, have been flexed only in the virtual realms of the blogosphere. Play dates at home or the park are well and good, but chasing after the under-five part of the equation tends to deplete the quality of adult discussion. One of the reasons I was so happy to see this group formed is because it presents the opportunity for us to sit down, sans kids, and talk with other articulate, opinionated women from whom we can all learn.

I admit that this idea was sparked in my head for a selfish and particular reason. I am beginning research on a novel I plan to write. One of the elements that will play heavily into the plot is that of euthanasia. In my very, very preliminary perusal of books on the subject, I realized I know next to nothing. My background in the study of philosophy comes from an introductory course I took at a community college while I was still in high school. It's safe to say the only hazy notions that remain in my head involve Plato and a cave. Or was it Socrates and a cave?

It was then that I realized I would need more than book larnin' to really get my head around all the issues. I needed to talk to people with a grasp on philosophy, on current events, on practical understanding of the human condition. I thought of this group immediately. There are too many women from too many backgrounds not to be able to expand my own understanding in a welcomed way.

Even if euthanasia as the first topic of discussion doesn't appeal to everyone, I hope the idea of a salon held at a coffee house or some meeting place might spark interest. Topics for discussion are endless. We could meet every other month, quarterly, twice a year--whatever works for those of you who might be interested.

Your feedback is appreciated. I look forward to what you have to say.

13 comments:

margalit said...

Intellectual conversation you say? You mean, with actual adults. Who might be interested in something, oh, adult-like? You are so ON. I've been dying to talk books or politics or ethics with adults. I'm so sick of talking about children. Not that I don't love my kids but geesh.

Totally count me in. I'd even host in my own home. PLENTY of parking, nice outdoors, sometimes clean. Heh.

Life As I Know It said...

I'd be willing to talk about anything as long as out of my house and away from my kids...

Seriously, sounds like a great idea!

Major Bedhead said...

I'm game, as long as it's not totally Boston-centric for location.

Mr Big Dubya said...

"The Allegory of the Cave" is from Plato's The Republic. Plato writes about Socrates talking to one of his followers.

Just thought I'd help.

In the Trenches of Mommyhood said...

Me too! Me too! If worse comes to worse, I'll just nod my head in agreement and pretend to be as smart and witty as you all are...

Mrs. Chicky said...

C'mon! Pretending to know what I'm talking about is my schtick.

I'd love to meet to talk about something other than sleeping routines and diapers. Although, as for the euthanasia topic my experience is limited to those with four legs so I don't know how much I could add to the conversation.

margalit said...

I actually had a little driveby experience euthenasia myself. About 16 years ago my crazy cousin Nancy was misdiagnosed and sentenced to a long term in Cambridge Hospital. She was feeling terrible, sleepy, and they thought she was depressed. One day her back started hurting terribly, and when someone finally looked, she had a huge sore on her back which turned out to be lung cancer that had spread so far as to permeate her skin. Yeah. Good times. She was 41 and terminal. From that time, it took 2 months for her to die.

Since I was the only relative in Boston, her mother and stepfather came to live with me. Mostly I was in the UK on my own drama, but they stayed and did tons of laundry and took care of Nancy. When I was around, near the end, Nancy was in touch with an organization that believed and practiced euthenasia, and they asked me if I would be willing to help her end her life. I said no. I wasn't willing, even though she was in terrible pain, to risk arrest and prosecution, never mind jail time. She died soon afterwards, but it was an interesting conversation. And that, in a nutshell, is what I know of euthenasia.

Fairly Odd Mother said...

Gosh, I loved philosophy in college; unfortunately, my brain is dried mush but I can sure try to sound smart---or smahhht.

I'd love to 'get together' but a physical gathering may be very tough for us, seeing as we are spread out all over the place. Also, my husband starts his MBA program in the fall, so my life will be a little less 'free' (hahahahahahahahaha) for two years.

Is there a program that allows us to chat online without being one of those annoying IM thingys?

Rock the Cradle said...

Nothing I'd love more...except maybe a drink or two along with it.

Geography is the problem for me. Online chat is a great idea. Now if I just knew something useful like how to set such a thing up...

Binky said...

Maybe we can incorporate both in-person and virtual sessions into the idea. We can alternate between face to face get-togethers and on-line ones. Or there could be both a real-life and on-line option with each topic. I'd hate to forego the personal interaction completely, as I feel it would be really beneficial. Even if only a couple people show up, that's two more grown-ups to talk with about issues than I'd otherwise get to interact with!

Whirlwind said...

There is always group Skype... or like chat via Trillian or other Mirc client....

cape buffalo said...

I'm interested.

Ruth Dynamite said...

I can't say I know much about the topic, other than what I know about Dr. Kevorkian and what I experienced with my cat recently.

I'd be happy to share my limited perspective if it's helpful.