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The morning dawns with a thin winters fog as I pad down to my studio with my fingers gripping a warm coffee cup. The heat feels good on sleep swollen fingers and helps ward off the chill seeping through the windowpanes. I sit in the muted softness for a bit and let the cobwebs dissipate before pushing the start button on the computer.
A feral cat is laying like a plant in one of the flowerpots on the porch railing, all fluffed up against the damp and cold. She is waiting for the breakfast lady. We do feed our feral cats because they keep the rodents at bay. But the breakfast lady is very miserly with the food distribution. We just want to supplement their diets of roof rats and field mice.
I also filch a couple of cookies to dip into the coffee, but now the mutts are on to that. They can hear the faint clink of the cookie jar lid, and no matter how carefully I replace the lid, it is like a clanging gong. So I keep a jar of special kibble. Oddly, they accept one small bite of kibble as a real treat, and go on about their business after getting it.
The newsfeeds are now full of the new governments gaff’s and purges, but I just note the headlines and move on to friends posts and a couple of hobby newsgroups.
I am so done with the government. It is a lummox best avoided when possible, and endured like a boring lecturer when you can’t. And never let one into the house. They are hell to get rid of once you do that.
I need to mow, I need to replace a faulty turn signal. But I don’t know that I will get that done this first day of the week. But the day is still young.
Shabbat morning rolls peacefully around, albeit a bit wet. The winter rains have been frequent, but gentle, causing greenery to thrive, but not flooding the creeks. A quick scan of the newsfeed yields the expected posturing of politicians and fawning pressies, but little in the way of useful information.
A Shabbat breakfast of eggs and turkey sausage muffins, and a cheese danish worked well. Mama feral cats have a new litter, but they haven’t brought them out for viewing yet. We just get little peeks at them under the broken skirting around the house.
So I sit back and muse. An election is won, I can go back to peckish resistance to everything they roll out. It sort of suits my style anyway, and the new administration is an easy one to denigrate. A target rich environment, one might say. But that is fine. I want to return to my banal coffee posts and musings.
I am nearly blind now, and I don’t know when the doc is going to let me go for cataract surgery. I hope it is within my allotted life span. I think next week the gentle inquiries will end and I will go into full jerk mode. It seems to work better than meekness.
So the days roll by. The days are rapidly lengthening, and we may miss a hard freeze this year. I may do a little mowing Sunday if the weather permits.
I hope this is my last politically themed post until 2024. Biden won, the people have chosen unwisely, so now I move on. People of faith have lived under far worse circumstances than this gaggle of low rent elitists can dish out. But it does set the stage for some real horrors down the road. I have read the book and know what lies ahead. I don’t need to be a prophet of doom because that prophet already came, left his words, and left.
So I reluctantly disengage from this morass of confusion and let it run its course. The fools arrogantly think that a Chavez style ‘democracy’ can’t happen to them. They are far too wise for that.
So how does one live when governed by fools? First off, you avoid them when you can, and make the time you spend with them brief and unremarkable when you are forced to deal with them. Shine ‘em on was the 60’s term.
That all presumes you have a life to lead that is beyond their reach, and a wise man will keep develop his life in such a way as to maintain it.
Watch what politicians put their hands to, not what they say. The same for the press. It can’t take sides one day, and be objective the next.
If you take the Kings schilling, you must be about the Kings business. Beware of people handing out schillings.
And with those morose reflections … have a good morning!
The King’s shilling, sometimes called the Queen’s shilling when the Sovereign is female, is a historical slang term referring to the earnest payment of one shilling given to recruits to the Armed forces of the United Kingdom in the 18th and 19th centuries, although the practice dates back to the end of the English Civil War. To “take the King’s shilling” was to agree to serve as a sailor or soldier in the Royal Navy or the British Army. It is closely related to the act of impressment.
Shabbat morning has arrived, and I sit on the edge of my bed slowly stretching the cramps and aches out. It was a restless night as the outrages continued simmering in my mind. I am almost totally disconnected from the news now, though I did stop by one of the major sites to see if a repost made by a fellow traveler was true. Unfortunately, it was not.
Our van has been breached, we have no rear to defend and cannot see our flanks in the confusion. Our formations are in disarray as well and our lines of communications have been cut. It is time to let the enemy have this battlefield and retire to safe ground. Safe ground is our silence and prayer closets.
It is a new war for us. Our leaders have been largely bought off. There may be a couple or so left in government, but we have no way of knowing if they have been also been corrupted. Cut them lose and if they float, they float on their own virtue, and if they sink, they sink because of their own depravity. We cannot win a war of attrition.
But we are not without resources. That still small voice leads us along safe pathways. The enemy cannot intercept his messages and would not comprehend them if he did. The Spirit does not speak the enemy’s tongue. Be slow and measured with your words, for the enemy walks among you and calls you friend, and you cannot discern him. Indeed, he doesn’t even know he is your enemy.
Hard times are ahead, but one unseen fights for us. Stay behind his lines where it is safe, and be about the Master’s business.
It was evening, and it is morning of the sixth day.
The blood of outrages has cooled to a mere sullen simmer. I will NOT turn on the news feeds today. I do not care who is outraged about what. I am disenfranchised and silenced, but oddly, it is a blessing. Once again, I am reminded that government is not my boon, but is more akin to living under Caligula. Let the blind lead the blind. I must be about my master’s business.
So goes the musing this morning.
I am reminded today that politics is not something you willingly deal with. It is best avoided like an ill-mannered boor. It isn’t always possible to avoid an oaf, and so on those occasions you smile, offer blandishments, and drift off as quickly as possible.
Near sundown, I will sit with my family at the Shabbat meal and recite ancient blessings, and remember that for all of us, there is a day when we cease from our labors. That is my mantra these days. Hold fast to what little I have in the hope that I am counted worthy.
And this morning, I certainly feel like I have little.
I am too old to join with those who storm the citadel of neoliberal effetism, armed only with assault posters.
Do I have the right to sit on the sidelines and fan the flames of revolt to a pig headed and intransigent government and political party?
This I ponder on this morning of so much huffery and puffery emanating from press and government castles.
Christmas morning dawns with a cool 35° and clear blue skies. A weak sun spreads its light through the bare limbs of the pecan tree with streaks of orange and blue. The coffee pot wheezes and gurgles as it draws out the goodness of the ground coffee beans and puts it into a glass pot. Kippur da budgie clicks and burbles as she flits around her cage. Happy mutts take turns chasing each other through the house. And I, on day five of a new effort to rise above my infirmities, sit down to chronicle the day. And to muse.
Christmas is very much like any other day to me, though this one my niece will prepare a special Christmas dinner. I don’t know what she is preparing, but packages of meat have appeared in the ‘fridge, and miscellaneous packages of other ingredients are scattered throughout the kitchen. Maybe in honor, I’ll make blueberry waffles for breakfast … assuming I have some blueberries.
So does the new me give himself a day off on the treadmill? I only walked on it once the last five days, so I am inclined to say “No Mercy!” and drive myself like a cur to walk on it. Saturday and Sunday I will allow myself to simply moulder. It’s a hard life, but someone has to do it.
So the rota goes … one day follows another, and I write.
Good morning, and if you are so inclined, Merry Christmas!
Christmas Eve morn dawns a calm but sunny and chilly 35° F (2° C). The blurb says it feels like 28° … but I in my sweats and sitting on the warm side of the window luxuriate in the 75° weather provided by burning coal. Only a slight and sort of pleasant chill from a nice warm body emits warmth to the cold outside.
A quick scan of the news yields little in the way of information. Iran is shouting “Death to America!” again, like it was a new thing to them. The President replied that they will regret any attacks. That is a new thing from our leadership, but soon to pass when the new President assumes office.
A noisy parakeet in her cage behind me shrieks, wanting my attention, but I resolutely ignore her demands.
So this is the eve of a holy day to a huge segment of the world’s people. I wish them a “Merry Christmas!”, and a few of them wish one back to me. I am not offended even though I don’t celebrate Christmas. I am so weary of the easily offended but want to tell you about it community. Social oafs! Boorish people with low intellects! But who cares about the pronouncements of an old man? So, I sip my coffee and shut up. But don’t count my silence as a victory.
A simple breakfast menu today of fried eggs and hashbrowns with a side of sausage is on tap today once I get this post finished and the coffee sipped. I have had some success with improving my eating habits. Now if that would carry on to my decision to get more exercise.
My calendar for the next two weeks is blank. My brother and niece who are living with us are preparing a special dinner tomorrow, and I shall do my best to respect their culinary efforts. It’s a hard job, but someone has to do it.
So the holidays start to roll on by … soon a new year on the Gregorian calendar will arrive and we will dutifully mark the time that passes. Religion teaches me that peace and tranquility come and go, and they are not provided by the government. One adapts to government like one adapts to a hostile climate. Seek to become invisible to it …
OK. When you become lost, you can’t keep barreling on, hoping you will walk out of being lost. You must backtrack to the beginning. Seems that the holy books agree with that too. When you lose your way, you return. But an old man cannot return to his youth. There is nothing sillier than an old coot trying to be young again.
But God has allowed me to age without becoming senile. That is my blessing for this mild winters day in the great pampas of Central Texas. I fear senility more than death.
I want to return to functional health again, and so I have started a new regimen of eating, exercise, and mindfulness. I have allowed the indignities of aging weigh me down, and I really don’t want my exit from this life to be while infirm and incognizant.
So. For mindfulness, I have begun what is known as a ‘bullet journal’. It is sort of like a day planner and journal. Instead of letting the day unfold, I want to take a bit more charge of it. In it I chronicle even the most basic of life events, look at them with a gimlet eye, and delete, modify or accept them as they are. An example is this little missive here. I want to write each day, but move away from my usual gloomy introspection and back into observation. My ability to write coherently has suffered from too much navel gazing …
Eating is another matter too. My biology has continued on, while my attitudes about eating haven’t. I really don’t need a farm boy’s breakfast anymore, nor do I need to worry about putting on some weight for the hard winter ahead. A whole host of dietary maladies have forced that home on me …
That issue has been a bit harder for me to adjust to. A one-egg omelet with a ¼ slice of cheese just looks anemic on the plate. I need to remember to put breakfast on a salad plate instead of a dinner plate. One sausage patty is enough too. No. Really. It is. I may have to get something smaller than a 4oz juice glass. And just one slice of buttered toast? Man! This is going to be hard!
And I am a miserable failure on the exercise level. My goal is really very modest. Five minutes of treadmill walking, five minutes of dumbbells in the morning. Five more minutes of treadmill in the evenings. It isn’t like I have to give up my whole life to exercise. But I sure do resist even those modest goals.
But I am determined … I want to die healthy …
In the clearing stands a boxer
And a fighter by his trade
And he carries the reminders
Of every glove that laid him down
Or cut him till he cried out
In his anger and his shame
“I am leaving, I am leaving”
But the fighter still remains
~Songwriters: Paul Simon / Annie Gawenda
A sort of pensive morning this sunshiny but cool winter day.
An online friend asked of us to give the one song that best describes us.
This is an easy one for me. The Boxer.
In a later performance of this song with Joan Baez, Paul added the verse:
Now the years are rolling by me, they are rockin even me
I am older than I once was, and younger than I’ll be, that’s not unusual
No it isn’t strange, after changes upon changes, we are more or less the same
After changes we are more or less the same
Oddly, this day also I heard from a few other old voices, and the melancholy swept over me in huge waves. How I thought my life was going to be far different than it was back then. Not that I am complaining. I am quite happy with the outcome in these latter years. But I sure had not seen this day coming from that viewpoint.
I started to send an ‘add me’ request to these old voices, then paused. That was then. It’s no now. I have nothing in common with that old life. So maybe I am indeed more or less different. And life continues. Still, a small part of me wants to ask them “How are you doing now?”. But I didn’t click the add me button. Some things are best remembered for what they were.
Photo: Jack Dempsy … a home town hero and world champion boxer