Ha’vel ha’valim hakkol havel
Vanity of vanities
All is vanity
** Sip! **
Shabbat morning dawns overcast and a bit breezy. After unhooking myself from one set of wires and tubes and plugging myself into my mobile rig I pad into the kitchen. Snookums rose a few minutes before me, so the coffee was brewing, and the furnace was raising the temperature from a nice cool 68° for sleeping to a walking bare foot temperature of 72°. Nice.
Opened the blinds in the kitchen nook where my medical set up is. Insulin. Syringes. Glucose meters. Scale. Blood pressure cuff. Thermometer. PulseOx meter. Clipboard for recording my vitals. It has become sort of a morning meditation for me going through all the steps I need to take each morning for the rest of my life.
Snook putters around with her morning routine of emptying the dishwasher and getting the animals food bowls ready. The feral cats are sitting on the porch rail and staring into the house to get a glimpse of the breakfast lady who is maddingly puttering around. They are hungry, and Snookums only feeds them half rations so that their vermin hunting skills stay sharp. So far, their numbers have stabilized at four. Living with the birds-of-prey and coyotes makes cat lives very tenuous here, so I haven’t had to trap and neuter them. But it gets a little heart breaking when your favorite cat just vanishes without an explanation.
The Uvalde school shooting is still front page on the newsfeeds, mostly driven by an anti-gun political party and a liberal press that support them. The politicians are still dancing on the graves of the dead children before they are even buried in them. You just can’t let a tragedy go to waste. And the ubiquitous posting of the sordid tale of the Depp/Heard relationship. So far, I have avoided learning more than the headlines. Between Uvalde and them, there is no other news in the world.
So, I move on.
Check my facebook and blog pages for comments. That is my communication channel these days. But I always have preferred the written word over actual conversation. Texting to me has been a boon, not a curse. I can reply or not. I can quip or be sincere at my leisure. I can take long sips of coffee between comments. But it is too bad that self-righteous humorless prigs monitor the posts. I contemptuously find ways to subvert their algorithmic snooping as I make my comments.
And on to some more coffee sipping and window gazing as the Shabbat morning awakens.
Today is also the first day of the Memorial Day weekend, and I remember bits and pieces of my generations war. Vietnam. I was visiting my parents grave at Ft. Logan National Cemetery in Denver one Memorial Day. It was a beautiful day of warm sunshine and spring greenery. Tombstones were aligned with military precision, rank upon rank, file upon file. Thousands of them. Any public grief I had for my parents passing was safely and privately tucked away within my soul, and this visit was mere duty. I was staring at the stone that had my fathers name and rank on the front, and mothers name on the back when a small cadre of vets caught my eye. They knew their way around that cemetery the same way others found their way around their homes. They unerringly went from grave to grave of their fallen comrades, pausing at each one for a long moment of silent prayer before moving on to the next one, and silently wept at their loyalty.
But today I live 899.8 road miles from my home to the gates of the cemetery, and it is unlikely that I will visit those tombstones in this lifetime, and the vanity of it all falls on me like the middle of a cloudburst, and I understand the words in Ecclesiastes. Vanity of vanities. All is vanity. I can enjoy the work of my hands, but in the end, it is useless.
And so, I go from remembrance to vanity in one second, then back to this moment at the keyboard.
It is time to wrap up this morning’s musings at just over 700 words. Wishing you all a wonderful Memorial Day. Joy is a good thing. But let’s not forget. May they not have died in vain.