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A tree is not a tree, a snake is not a snake, and a fig leaf is not a loincloth.

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Writing-1The sun rose behind high scud that is hopefully bringing moisture laden bands of rain to the parched land, and the light woke me from sound slumber. Stagger into the kitchen and flip the switch on the coffee maker that Snookums carefully prepared the night before, and then down the hall to the studio to open the blinds for Kippur da Budgie and put on Shabbat music to start the day.

As I have often said, I would prefer absolute silence until Mr. Brain wakes, but the bird needs noise. The happier the music, the happier the bird. Yours truly isn’t so chipper, however, and I tune the music out and idly flip through the evenings postings.

Thanks to the internet, I have many friends on the opposite side of the world in Australia, Philippines, Singapore and now Japan who are ending their day and preparing for slumber, and friends in Europe and Africa that have half a day in already, and their comments and posts get answered at this time.

And the writing muse has returned, but as usual, the beginning output is not very deep nor well crafted, so it gets written, then deleted. I am not one to save my work once it has served whatever purpose it was crafted for.

And these days my thoughts aren’t on a vigorous hero who saves the world and a couple of distressed damsels in the process, but rather unraveling a mysterious thread of creation that knits seemingly disparate events into a cohesive whole.

There is an ancient writing called In the Beginning that has consumed me the last many years. It truly is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma, and doesn’t yield its truths to casual reading.

Slowly one begins to see that one imperative that impels all mankind, the one inclination that thwarts him and the one fate that awaits him. The preacher got it right when he labeled life vain. But in all that is a hope. A higher calling, if you will.

But the preacher concluded with: “So be happy and enjoy eating and drinking! God decided long ago that this is what you should do. Dress up, comb your hair, and look your best. Life is short, and you love your wife, so enjoy being with her. This is what you are supposed to do as you struggle through life on this earth. Work hard at whatever you do. You will soon go to the world of the dead, where no one works or thinks or reasons or even knows anything.”

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Sufficient unto the day is evil enough

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Preparation day arrived this warm June day, but I didn’t get out to the porch until late afternoon. It is a shock since I have spent the last so many days inside the airconditioned comfort of my studio, but I have been reading where time in a sauna is beneficial to geezers and dementia. Porch sitting in central Texas in June is much like a sauna, so here I am, albiet not really feeling that my impending senility has been halted all that much.

Some travails of aging are very difficult to discuss, and today I shan’t. But the time when others will control our daily lives is approaching faster than I would like, and many things enter my mind. What will happen to the dogs is a biggie for me. We mostly have rescue dogs other than ‘Becca da Beagle. Annie is the oldest of the lot and has socialization issues. I doubt that she would be adoptable even if she was younger, but she wouldn’t be at this stage in life. I am thinking about starting regular donations to an aging dog rescue with the stipulation that they take care of Annie, no matter how difficult that would be.

And Jenna, another rescue, is a real love. But she has seizures and she sheds. And she is big.

Tic, the youngest addition will probably adjust just about anywhere, but he also has trust issues.

And ‘Becca, though cute, is getting up there. We raised her as a pup and got her from a pet store. We had our reasons, so please be gentle with us!

Usually budgies aren’t hard to get rid of as long as you have a cage for them, so I don’t worry so much about Kippur da Budgie. But we didn’t hand train her so that makes it a bit harder to take care of.

I know that if the state comes and finds us incapable of taking care of ourselves, they will simply call animal control, and euthanize the dogs. That breaks my heart, but given the terrible state that all of us are born into, it might be the most humane choice.

Wonderful pre-shabbat musings, no?

But just for this day, it is sufficient. The bills are paid, the income comes in, the mocking bird scolds me from the pecan tree, the gravel truck speeds by on my once quiet country lane hauling road material for another housing development down the road, the sun came up, and it will sit.

Soon Snookums will call me to the Shabbat meal, and I put aside the days evils long enough to chronicle the day.

 

Yuh Just Can’t Hit A Lady, Even If She Ain’t A Lady

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Monday arrives. But for me, it is just another day. The only way I know it is Monday is because Snookums goes grocery shopping this day, and I’ll have to lug the groceries in at some point. Still a bit sore from the latest undiagnosed attack of pain yesterday. It was by far the worse one.

As a mechanic, I know how frustrating diagnosing a random fault can be. At my last visit with the doc, we concluded that it likely wasn’t the heart or lungs, though the symptoms sure mimic a heart attack. I know I got to do something about it, but at this point I am not sure which way to proceed.

But here I sit with the afterimage of the pain still fresh in mind, and sip coffee while trying to come up with something interesting to bash about.  Still fuming at the guardians of freedom who sat silently while Michelle Wolf savaged Sarah Huckabee Sanders at their big soiree.  Not much I can do about it but fume.  For a time I wished mightily that I was a female attendee so that I could get up and coldcock that spiteful wretch. I don’t think I would get much more than a year in prison for it.

But alas! I am not a woman, and I wasn’t there. I am just a doddering old white guy in Nowhereville, Texas. I champion nobody. I just fume at injustice, sip coffee, and rant online. Sorry.

Not much happening here … one day this week I’ll head to the garden shop for my porch plantings. My waterfall pump didn’t pump, but via the miracle of UPS and Amazon.com, a new little pump will arrive this evening, along with some hose accessories.  And the summer birdbath needs to be set up.  The winter one is a bit small, so in the summer, I set up a concrete one with a huge bowl that can accommodate more birds.

A mocking bird has set up house in the pecan tree shading the porch. It yells at me, and I yell back at it. Such are the diversions of a geezer.

Good morning!

And God Breathed the Breath of Life

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It feels odd to suddenly go from cold mornings to sunrises near 80° in one day.  I chose this property as a place where I would finish out my life, spending it searching for the presence of God rather than trying to pack more book learning.  I tried that, and became a saturated sponge of knowledge without any spiritual power.

Early in my walk I had a learned mentor who held doctorates in religion and philosophy, and although an agnostic, he put me on the firm path of standing in belief.  God has used a parade of flawed guides to direct my feet, from an ex-football jock cum used truck salesman who slept in the trucks he sold who taught me that you need a principle to be true to, to a crazed sex addict who taught me that a spiritual path always carries self-doubt with it.

Over the years my knowledge of his word has grown, and I still pore over scriptures seeking out His presence.  The apostles spent much time stamping out heresy in the early congregations, yet those congregations moved in great power despite their lack of scriptural sophistication.  From that I learned that theology, while important, is not the goal that I pursue.

So I have hung out in the first chapters of Genesis for a few years now, seeking out the basis for my relationship with God and an answer to why the body of Messiah is so powerless.  Yeah, I have heard all the excuses, but truthfully, the edah does NOT move in the power of that first century body.

T I have long wished to share the beauty of those revelations, but alas!  I am not a teacher.  I am a braying jackass, and all I heard while teaching those revelations was my hee hawing.  So you will just have to seek out those pearls on your own.  I have enough opportunities to sound like a braying ass as it is.

So, it is back to my little porch garden.  I filled the little waterfall in the corner, soaked the bed of sweet alyssums, and sort of picked things up and straightened a few things.  A rich and cooling ichor arose from the planters as they engorged themselves with water.  Peace has returned to my little sanctuary in the Pampas in central Texas, and I catch the breath of God that pours into this lump fashioned from the red clay.

Waterloo

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But the evening thoughts turned morose

And loosened the hidden rage

There was no crying “Mama!” there

So by the secluded river he died alone

Modern Day Enjolras

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ENJOLRAS

Enjolras is a fictional character in Victor Hugo’s novel “Les Miserables”. A revolutionary who clearly sees the evil of the times, and who charismatically calls the people to man the barricades against a repressive government.

Of course, the young are drawn to him, never having been exposed to war and believing in something larger than themselves. There was much evil in 1836 France, just as there is in America today. Secret cabals ruled against the royalty and the people then just as they do today.  I am surrounded by Enjolras’s, all warning me about the danger about us, of being stripped of liberty and made into tools of the oppressors, and if I will just join them at the barricades, we can slip the tightening noose of the oppressor.

And they aren’t lying to me. From the beginning of time there were oppressors. Nimrods who seem to grasp the reins of government and enslaving man with effortless ease and putting them to work building grand towers of confusion where they rule over them. And from time to time Enjolras’s have arisen and called men to battle, only to die at the hands of the enemy after their comrades deserted them.

But once in a great while, they do succeed despite their meager numbers. But always at a great cost of lives and human suffering, and great civilizations are born, only to succumb to even more clever and subtle Nimrods building their towers with the carcasses of patriots.

Look, Enjolras. I took up arms, and I fought. Now I just want to go into my dotage without the sounds of cannons in my ears. OK?

Grumpy Old Men & God’s Time

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Mr. Bladder has now trained himself to wake me at sunrise, and Tic, the latest acquisition to the canine side of the family, conspires with him. However, it has been a long-time ambition of mine to free myself from that infernal tick tock machine.

So far, I have been moderately successful in getting back to sundial time, but there are many conflicts. Doctors, for one. I wasn’t aware of how linked in to the medical profession I was. They insist on appointment times set by the clock, not the sun.  And Snookums, the love of my life, is a total creature of habit, and governs her life quite nicely by the clock.

In fact, we have wall clocks in every room of the house that we regularly use that enforce her daily routine. Rouse at 7:00am. Morning ablutions at 7:15am. Pour coffee at 8:00am. Feed mutts at 8:20am …

I have a ‘Jewish Clock’ installed on my tablet that sits on my desk that keeps a form of God’s time. It was designed for prayer observances, but the designer mistakenly used the Roman system of twelve-hour days on it, with the 11th hour being the last hour of the day. The 12th hour being sunset.

The Jews had a sundial with eight hours on it, the last hour being the 7th hour of the day. The 8th hour was called sunset.

In the first century, Jews used both Roman and Jewish time, but it wasn’t a major problem because they referred to the Roman clock in Latin, and the Jewish clock in Hebrew.

Those two distinctions were lost when the modern scriptures were written in Greek, and that gives Bible expositors headaches to this very day.

However, for us old men who wake at dawn with full bladders, and nod off to sleep shortly after sunset, our sun clocks only have five hours. Wake, Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Sleep. We wake with the sun, sleep with the sun. And eat with the damned tick tock machine. And that what makes us grumpy …