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Oddly today I searched for a name on facebook that I hadn’t heard from in nearly half a century. Bill Pearce, a radio broadcaster who aired a nightly program called Night Sounds. He played music, some that he accompanied on trombone, and others that he just liked. With a rich bass voice, he would talk to his audience as if they were mature adults and not beginning believers.
My beginning years were more like the before picture than the after picture. I struggled mightily to be good, but truthfully, there wasn’t much goodness or kindness in me at that point. I was in pure survival mode, and some of the simplest elements of day to day living always seemed to lay light years beyond my grasp.
From then until now, mentors have arisen just when I needed them to guide me until I regained solid ground. Many of them were not what you would call mentor material. One was an advertising executive that chucked it all to become a subsistence level farmer. Another was an ex football jock that took one too many hits to the head, and spent his life staying just ahead of the law with his schemes to get rich. Another was a big uneducated Irish drunk who drove a cab. Another was an ex campus radical from the free speech movement. And the last one was a genuine rocket scientist and an elder in a congregation.
Today I function without that level of day to day guidance. I can deal with bureaucrats, barely. I can sit through a crisis. I can guide others in the same way I was guided.
But this one really brought it back home. Yeah. I have come a long way from those dismal days. There are a few people who even like me.
But it was Bill Pearce who taught me that you didn’t need to cite chapter and verse when you are citing scripture. Most believers have read those words, and while they may not be able to exactly pin point them, they have heard them. To this day, I refuse to memorize the verse numbers or even books. It isn’t necessary to someone who had read scriptures, and it is unnecessary to someone who hasn’t. The only ones it tickles the ears of are researchers and people wishing to show off their knowledge.
I like researchers, but the show offs, not so much.
So if you wish to converse with me on scripture, it is sufficient to say “It is written”. Unless you really don’t care if I hear what you got to say, anyway.
Here was my comment on the Night Sounds page. They are still broadcasting! Here is the link.
It was a bitter February night in Denver in 1975. A newly minted believer sat on the edge of his bed in a drab apartment seriously considering suicide. Very seriously considering it.
For some unknown reason, he reached over and switched on his only real possession, an Emerson clock-radio with a mechanical/digital clock.
It was tuned to an easy listening station, and I reached over to switch to another station, but a deep male voice came from the speaker saying “If you are thinking about suicide, don’t turn the radio off.”
I almost leaped out of my skin!
That voice belonged to Bill Pearce, and he loved trombones, as I recall. His words were not condemning, nor did he talk down to me. Night after night, I arose at 1am to listen to him, and he guided me through the emptiest period of my life, and introduced me to my savior in a real way.
I don’t know what it was that made me look him up on facebook this day. I am saddened to know he is no longer here. But such is life, and he lives on courtesy of the internet.
Thank you for maintaining this page.
Sunday mornin’, comin’ down.
Well, that header is a bit over dramatic. I got off lightly for making a pig out of myself with the lasagna last night. I only had to sit up once in the middle of the night to let the pain of indulgence subside. I knew when I got that second helping I was going to suffer. It was worth it, though.
So here it is, 9:15 am. Shortly it will be time to fix the Sunday waffles. I have read the newsfeeds and now know that the FBI had a ‘oops’ moment with the Strzok /Page texts and accidentally deleted them. And yeah, I believe ‘em. I shor ‘nuff do. An accident if I ever saw one. Uh huh. Accident.
The view out the window is sunshiny, but the temps are still in the 40’s in this land where one day it is gulf coast balmy and the next day the Alberta Express roars through. Old timers call them blue northers where only a bobwire* fence stands between us and the North Pole.
We got our bug killing freeze finally, and the pollen count will go down for a month or so until cedar flu season. I practically live on cassock pollen filters in the bedroom and studio, just venturing out of those safe zones for meals and bringing in groceries.
So this first day of the week starts. Coffee, chirping budgies, happy mutts (whats with mutts and morning, anyway?) and waffles.
* Down here, it is bobwire, not barbed wire …
So sunrise came in through the bedroom window since the sun rises more southerly in wintertime. And first light is about ten minutes of 7:00. And Jenna and Tic had their morning game of tag at first light. Mr. Bladder, after having been emptied at 5 am, quickly refilled himself though I had returned to bed for a long winter’s nap. And Mr. Automatic Thermostat turned up the heat so that Snookums didn’t have to rise to a cold house. OK … I am awake and up. But nowhere is it written that I must like it.
But the coffee was ready, and a favorite cup was in the cupboard. I can manage that. Fill the cup, pad down to the studio and click through the morning’s emails and newsbytes. Today, tumblr® begins to protect me from inadvertent exposure to nipples. Good thing, I guess. Them things is dangerous! One friend was back on facebook after being in Zuckerman jail a month for tormenting a Muslim on a Christian/Muslim debate site.
Another friend makes an oblique comment about my lack of diligence on my journal site. It’s OK, though. She has permission. And hence this crabby little missive this morning.
It is an waffle day it is. But then, Sundays are always waffle.
OK … that the best I can do with a waffle pun …
Sunday is the day I make waffles. They are quick, tasty, and special. And best of all, Snook cleans up afterwards …
But now, a little catching up, a little peeping into your world, and coffee!
I hate waking up at 5:30 am in winter, and I just go back to bed after taking care of Mr. Bladders urgent request. The only problem is then I sleep ‘til eight. I have tried to live out my retirement ruled by the sun rather than the ticktocker, but I just can’t make myself go to bed at seven in the evening. A century or so back, people lived by the sun, and I wanted to do that, but old habits die hard.
Writers and poets often found their most creative time was that time between the sleeps in winter, when you awoke after five or six hours of sleep, but it was still the middle of the night according to the clock. They would work for an hour or so, then retire again until sunup.
But when I wrote at those hours, the writings were unbelievably morose and dark and people offered to call suicide prevention on my behalf. King David wrote his psalms at that time, and a number of them were glum, so in that I was in good company. But I am neither a prophet or a King, so it is better that such thoughts remain undisturbed in the primal ooze of my subconsciousness. So, the ticktocker is back to ruling my days and nights. Bed at 9, rise at 5, piddle and sleep ‘til 8. Hate it.
Hillbilly corn on the puck today. Really want to get the field mowed down for winter. I don’t like having that much dry stuff around the house, though wild fires aren’t that common in mid-winter here. And waffles today. Not feeling the joy today, so will drink two cups before even starting. On my way to the second cup.
The days go by two steps forward, one step back health wise. It was a miserable night of heartburn as the reflux returned with a vengeance. But the swelling disappeared this morning. I am irked with the medical people, and it seems a common complaint among my peers that docs only hear the first sentence of your recitation of maladies.
But as I sit here sipping my coffee and peering into your world, the old bod is at rest while the last wisps of sleep begin their exit. Snook has swing music on the puck for the bird and I’ll just let it play. I do miss my quiet mornings, though. It will be three months before I can take everything out on the porch.
I killed my RSS reader for putting ads into the news stream. Facebook started some real evil with that tactic. Speaking of facebook, I have begun migrating one of my accounts over to MeWe, a similar service that doesn’t track users or use targeted ads. It is so like facebook that you are up to speed in a very short time if you are agile on facebook.
So the a.m. goes on. No plans for the day.
Never Trust a Poet
In my newly acquired but eclectic music habits I often stumble across gems that trigger mystical ruminations that haunt me for days afterwards. I have often quipped that I never trust poets and balladeers because they’ll story you. It is a bit of tongue-in-cheek because I have known honest poets and musicians. They do exist.
But one jewel comes from Leonard Cohens last album You want it Darker. It was taken from an ancient prayer said on Kol Nidre (All Vows) where all careless vows are annulled. The prayer is called U’Netaneh Tokef, “Let us Ascribe Power.” Cohens rendition of the prayer is called “Who By Fire or Flame”
There has been some debate over the æons about the theology presented in the prayer, but if you understand the mind of mystics, the theology isn’t all that farfetched. It is believed in both Jewish theology and some Christian theology that there are two books that God recites from. One is the book of Life, and the other is the book of deeds. The meaning of the books is a bit different among the various disciplines, but essentially, they are a record of each life … and the most curious of all to me is the Book of Life. Apparently, it began with names of people slated for life, but those names can be blotted out, assuming for infractions.
In the rite, the names were in the book at Rosh Hashanah, and sealed at Yom Kippur for the upcoming year. I’ll leave the debate up to the theologians, but I know what the rite, the prayer and Master Cohens rendition mean to me.
Hear is the prayer from the prayer book:
On Rosh Hashanah it is written
and on Yom Kippur it is sealed –
Who will live and who will die;
Who (will die) at the end of his days and who (before) the end of his days;
Who by fire and who by water;
Who by sword and who by beast;
Who by hunger and who by thirst;
Who by earthquake and who by plague
Who by strangling and who by stoning…
But repentance, prayer and charity cancel the harsh decree.
בְּראשׁ הַשָּׁנָה יִכָּתֵבוּן
וּבְיום צום כִּפּוּר יֵחָתֵמוּן
כַּמָּה יַעַבְרוּן וְכַמָּה יִבָּרֵאוּן
מִי יִחְיֶה וּמִי יָמוּת.
מִי בְקִצּו וּמִי לא בְקִצּו
מִי בַמַּיִם. וּמִי בָאֵשׁ
מִי בַחֶרֶב. וּמִי בַחַיָּה
מִי בָרָעָב. וּמִי בַצָּמָא
מִי בָרַעַשׁ. וּמִי בַמַּגֵּפָה
מִי בַחֲנִיקָה וּמִי בַסְּקִילָה…
וּתְשׁוּבָה וּתְפִלָּה וּצְדָקָה
מַעֲבִירִין אֶת רעַ הַגְּזֵרָה
And who by fire, who by water,
Who in the sunshine, who in the night time,
Who by high ordeal, who by common trial,
Who in your merry merry month of may,
Who by very slow decay,
And who shall I say is calling?
And who in her lonely slip, who by barbiturate,
Who in these realms of love, who by something blunt,
And who by avalanche, who by powder,
Who for his greed, who for his hunger,
And who shall I say is calling?
And who by brave assent, who by accident,
Who in solitude, who in this mirror,
Who by his lady’s command, who by his own hand,
Who in mortal chains, who in power,
And who shall I say is calling?
Well, it is some kind of GI problem tormenting me now. Perhaps ulcers, but since I am not a doctor, I have a pain in the back and chest when I lie down that isn’t helped by the pink stuff. Almost went to Urgent Care, but it settled down this morning, so perhaps I can call the doc or NP in the morning. I’m pouring coffee over the belly fire this morning, and it seems to quench the flames a little. Maybe I can hang some bungees from the ceiling and tie my body to them so I can sleep vertically.
Snookums was up early today, so the bird music was playing as I stumbled down the hall to the studio. Sometimes I get a little peep in greeting from her, but more often I am just ignored as I plop down into my oft repaired $49 Office Depot Executive Chair. I would buy another, but my butt is molded into the shape of this one.
Belinda wants to be my facebook friend this morning. Buxom, and luvs Jesus. She has about six assorted male friends, two pictures of her in a low-cut striped tank top, and she joined FB last week. She’s 26 and lives near the beach. Think I’ll probably ignore this budding friendship. My wimmen wear flannel.
Bits and pieces of the border story on my newsfeeds today, and some odds and end on the Camp Fire fire, but little else of any note. I like getting my news from the newsfeeds rather than let the TV news direct my information. It is likely I still get steered around by their narrative, but I can skip over the uninteresting items, like political peccadillos …
So the first day of the week starts a bit late, but still with coffee and cookies while the day slowly reveal itself.