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Dawn arrived at 6:30 on the tick tock machine with a gentle breeze and a cool 63° (17C). Jenna, the big white something-or-the-other was outside barking at the kids walking to the school bus stop. Annie was curled up on my daybed in the studio. And Snookums was valiantly attempting to sleep in, but that isn’t going to last long when all the mutts are up.
I was off my writing schedule for a short time, though I did try to bang out a few paragraphs each day, I didn’t journal them. I think that sort of qualifies as writing. I think.
Snook sets up the coffee pot for brewing the day before, so all I need to do on those mornings where I rise early is flip the toggle button on the brewer, do my morning ablutions, pour a cup and stagger back to the studio carefully balancing the precious cargo on its way to its perch on the desk.
For the last few years God has been teaching me in the interstice between sleep and wakefulness. I suppose that is the only quiet time he can find in my fevered brain. Those little vignettes become the source of a greater understanding of my relationship with him, and unsettling revelations of just how far we have fallen from the ideal.
I was one of those fools who put his whole soul into the promise of the 60’s. I honestly believed that man had finally arrived, and my generation would finally bring peace and love into existence. Yeah, such colossal hubris, I know. But we believed it, and worked towards it. As I pen this, Joni Mitchells refrain from Woodstock (song) runs through my head.
We are stardust
We are golden
And we’ve got to get ourselves
Back to the garden
Joni probably had no idea of how just the opposite was true. Or maybe she did. Poets will lie to you, I once discovered. But to continue. We might be stardust when our constituent parts eventually break back down into dust, but there aint much gold in that thar stardust.
And as for the Garden. There are these two really fierce thingies with flaming swords that guard that gate, and a puny pile of bleeding dust isn’t going to find its way past them. Mankind is a beast. An animal. And his fate is the same fate of that other animals.
Unless, of course, a really unusual thing happens to him. But that is another tale for another day.
… got around to writing a little late this morning. I am in an interesting conversation with a friend concerning the Great Flood and Tower of Babel myths in so many cultures. I’ll leave it to others to debate the veracity of the myths, but the cross-cultural similarities are an interesting topic, and for the sake of debate, I treat them as factual prehistory.
But like an old mentor and poormans sage once told me, if the philosophy doesn’t get you to work in the mornings, it is just speculation. Well, you would have to know Dell and had to have been there to understand the profundity of that statement …
I had ordered a replacement device for my hearing aids that will allow them to connect to my cellphone a few months ago, and they were backordered. Last week, I left a message at the audiologists asking for an update on the order. I waited for a return call, and didn’t get one, so this week I called back, and politely but firmly berated the secretary for not calling back. She said she had called back and left two messages because I didn’t answer the phone. I checked, and discovered that I hadn’t unmuted the phone after services last Saturday, and there were indeed two messages in my inbox.
I humbly apologized, and she graciously accepted the apology. But I suspect that she told her coworkers what a #%!! head I was. I go in Monday to get the device paired to my hearing aids, and get a checkup hearing test. I am thinking of getting a candy basket as a peace offering to her. One offends the secretary at their own peril.
It is brisk outside, and your humble hero forgot to set the heat on last night, so the house was a bit beyond chilly this morning. I am surprised to not find a frozen parakeet in my studio this morning. I turned on a small heater by Kippur da Budgie’s cage, and was rewarded with scolding. I guess I did deserve it, however. I wasn’t innocent.
The day is deceptively sunny. When you step out in it, it sucks the heat right out of you. But the plants seem to thrive in the coolness after a long hot summer. Trees grow rapidly down here because of the mild springs and falls provide two growing seasons. Quite often we won’t have a killing freeze until January, though they can happen early in December.
Today is preparation day, so lunch is often late since we don’t set the Shabbat meal until six in the evening. Snookums has done her morning chores of coffee brewing, feeding dogs and birds, exercising dogs, and bird-bath filling, and is now facebooking and game playing on her PC. Soon she’ll rouse and feed me breakfast. We fervently hope.
But we’ll write, muse and sip coffee ‘til she is ready to do so.
Thou shalt write each and every day. The profound, and the banal, thou shalt write of it.
Wednesday dawns with bright blue skies and a brilliant yellow sunrise that sends its streaks across the sparkling grasses, and backlights the pecan and acacia tree in greens and golds. A pot filled with sweet alyssums shows its tiny blooms on the stoop. The rumble of a 50-gallon trash barrel being dragged* out to the lane by Snookums interrupts the idyll. Yep. Wednesday is trash day.
Little routines like that are the only marks of passage of time for me now. Sunday is brunch day, Monday is Snooks shopping day, Tuesday Snooks volunteers at a local food bank, Wednesday is trash day, Thursday is my shopping day, Friday is preparation day. And … Saturday is Shabbat.
And so goes the little reminders that time has not ceased yet.
The news feeds are full of hidden references to Fusion GPS and the political machinations around it. I am still not clear on who the players are, but given the climate of confusion and political counterstrikes, truth has become subjective. I suppose in time it will all play out. When I automatically assume that they are all lying to me, I get less worked up. Evil is good and good is evil is the meme. Trust no one.
But for the moment, a cottony softness surrounds me. Snooks talk radio natters off in the distance. Anonymous banks and bumps remind me that this is a home full of pets going on about their day. Kippur da Budgie nags me for noise, but I don’t want to turn the radio on yet.
I just wanna sip coffee in silence, and pound out my 250 words for the day.
* I prefer trash barrel being drug out to … but I can hear my old English teacher, Mrs. Ginder, primly telling me that drug is not a verb, but rather a noun. Dragged is the preferred word.
But drug just feels better. Damned yankiesms anyway …
It has warmed from a frigid 43° to a balmy 53° this morning. The humidity falls out of the skies at these temperatures, and a winters bright blue sky peeks through the greenery while a weak but bright yellow sun valiant strives to warm the dewy fields. Eventually it will succeed later in the day as it climbs back up to 84°
Monday is Snooks grocery day, but she has her morning chores of dressing, feeding dogs, cleaning the bird cage, throwing the ball for the dogs and feeding the old man before she can leave. I, on the other hand, have discovered delivered groceries. We grocer shop separately because I can’t live with her pantry system. When I plan to serve green beans, it messes up my whole day if there isn’t any and I have to serve creamed corn instead.
I have spent the last few months learning how to cook from scratch via meal kits, but now that I am cooking without them, I have discovered why God created canned and instant foods. I don’t find a lot of joy in cooking. I find it to be a very inconvenient way to transfer food from its natural state into my belly. Why snap string beans at $1.28 a pound and wash, string and cut them before cooking them, when a can of string beans cost 79¢ and you just nuke it?
OK!. OK!. … I have seared taste buds. So sue me.
We finally made services after a long hiatus from the congregation. We really missed them, and even though I couldn’t sit through the entire service or stay for the meal afterwards, I did enjoy being around them. I hope my health holds out enough to do at least that much each week.
We are at a place where it is time to cast off stones. Our stuff has stuff. The weed burner, most of the pistols, the bicycles, even the pickup truck all go unused. Snooks has been slowly tossing unused clothing. And I am ready to do with less stuff. I just need something to read, maybe a game to play, something to write on, and email to stay in touch with family and friends.
But as always, the first chore of the day is to empty the coffee pot.
Sunday starts the first day of the week. Again. Just as it has from the time we first began counting the weeks. The sun set, the sun rose, and a silent click marks one more step until the last one. Everything’s time is numbered, and an eternal clock ticks of that number, no matter what its allotted time is measured in.
One day, I do believe that clock will make its last click for itself, just as it will make its last click for my allotted time. Some time ago, I actually heard that click. A solemn voice said, “We shall not pass this way again”. I think I know what that voice was referring to, but since it didn’t seem to be a message for anyone in particular, I stored up the voice and the accompanying vision.
Since then I have closely watched the seasons pass by with ever ever-increasing rhythm. World events began unfolding with that same increasing tempo. Political boundaries have expanded and retracted. Mighty kingdoms have arisen, only to fall again. Ancient kingdoms that disappeared have arisen, some even with their former names.
And a people have appeared that don’t remember the former times, nor the lessons they spawned, and they too will make the same tragic errors that their ancestors made, and they know it not. Mankind, with his mighty intellect has increased in knowledge, but grown weaker in his wisdom.
And I don’t have the power to say “Stop! Don’t you see where you are going? Is it that hard to discern?”
But to them, I am just a cranky old man who sits on his porch and remembers the old days. And they are right.
The bat kol continues to wake me night after night, with simple words packed with images and meanings that are unutterable, so I remain mute, except to tell you I heard the click of a clock that was marking the passing of time.
“Thou shalt write each and every day. The profound and the mundane, thou shalt write of it.”
If I took a picture of the view out my window this morning, you would think it was a spring picture full of bright greens and golds. But it is a deceptive fall view with the trees going through their second growth cycle. Most deciduous trees in this area go through two growth cycles, so stately looking live oaks and the scruffier burleson oaks grow twice as fast. But when you step outside, the fresh breeze sucks the delight right out of you as it merrily clips along at a chilly 52°.
I hesitantly scanned the newsfeeds today, and thankfully there were no new horrors, just the tragic aftermath of the old ones. All the bombings, wars, earthquakes, hurricanes and wild fires seem to indicate a world in distress. But it isn’t the first time in history that the world went mad. Things really can get worse.
So, with those cheery thoughts I sip my morning coffee and organize my thoughts for the day. I am unable to change those events, nor protect myself from them, and I must find my joy in the midst of woes, for such is the lot of mankind. The saga of the new A/C installation continues, so I shall call the installers again. And if necessary, again after that.
It has been a busy time for the dog rescue / transport community, and I have had to turn down several transports. I always feel bad when I do, but I am not the Mother Teresa of transporting. I cannot dedicate my entire life to it. I have one run on the docket for Friday, and a tentative one on Tuesday, and that is just about going to eat up my transport budget.
And the job jar overfloweth. I need to do some prioritizing on that.
But first things first. The coffeepot is not yet empty …
“Thou shalt write each and every day. The profound and the mundane, thou shalt write of it.”
And it was evening, and it was morning. The first day.
A quickly passing squall left the stoop to damp to sit in this morning, so I sit in my cozy but messy studio to sip coffee and consider the world through my PC monitor. I think we have flogged Harvey Weinstein sufficiently, but I doubt that our ever-vigilant press is done with him.
The Kurds are showing unusual strength in dealing with independence. Even Iran fears them. I can’t help but think it is because they do support Israel, though I do think their zeal is more politically driven than ideological. Still, Israel is the place to look when fighting a war when you are surrounded by the enemy.
So I turn from world events back to my usual self-absorbed musings. Soon Snooks will be wondering where her brunch is, and I am still in PJ’s. Enya plays in the background, mostly for Kippur da Budgie’s benefit. She needs noise, and I desire silence. Enya is soft enough that I can bear the intrusion into the cottony softness of my morning reverie.
I have gone back to the beginnings in my cerebral life. The beginnings of faith. The beginnings of Scripture. I want to hear once again that voice that quickened me those many long years ago. Knowledge is wonderful stuff, but experience is what secures truth.
So I thumb my nose at Saint Paul. I’ll return to a milk diet and a time when God moved mightily within me and demons ran from me. Of course, there were people who didn’t see the fire in me, just the obnoxiousness, but I have acquired a few manners since them.
Maybe after I am on this milk run awhile I will return to the Sod (סוֹד), the deep, the esoteric. But I am weary of digging for treasures. An old pragmatic sage I once knew used to say that if a mystical thought can’t get you to work on Monday morning, it is idle speculation and not contemplation. Well, you would have had to know him and been there.
And I have run out of time. I can stall no more. Time to mix up some waffle batter and drop it in the waffle iron.