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Letter from the war zone …

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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.

Shabbat Shalom!

… and it was evening, and it was morning …

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sunrise over countryside

It was evening, and it is morning of the sixth day.

Preparation 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.

Armchair Commando

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Trump Supporters Storm, Infiltrate U.S. Capitol, Forcing Senate Recess -  Rolling Stone

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 Day

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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!

Breakfast and Becoming Invisible

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2 eggs, hashbrowns, sausage patties and wheat toast - Picture of Columbus  Family Restaurant - Tripadvisor

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 …

Good morning!

Looking At My Belly Button

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Gazing at their navels for enlightenment

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 …

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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

Where did the MoJo go?

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Warning. Old man musings ahead.

I once again attempt to write a little bit every day now that running an election has passed. I am divorcing myself from any concerns with the ruling party. In fact, the new me will regard politics, political parties, and people who hold reforming political views with thinly veiled contempt.

The week has rolled around on me once again, and I wonder where the time went. My mind is still telling me it is spring, but the faded greenery out the window testifies that spring is long gone.

Just got the news that an old political foe from years back has died. I mourn his passing even though he was a pig-headed academic lefty and loved citing factless facts as … well … facts.

I didn’t get the cataract surgery. My GP wouldn’t approve of the proceedure until he nails down why my heart will suddenly take off at 150+ beats per minute. The episodes don’t last long, and seem to be a bit worse if I am not careful with my diet. So I am wearing a cardiac monitor for 14 days or until the glue gives out on the sticker, whichever happens first.

We haven’t had the first frost yet, and the grass is still requiring a weekly mowing. I have been getting out a bit more and have upgraded my outdoor tools to ones that are small, but powered. A folding stool now goes from place to place with me as I attempt to clean out old flower beds and remove them. The time of posy gardens has come and gone.

And I sit here wondering what has happened to me. I used to love trying to make the mundane interesting. To grab your attention and hold it while going on about my dyspepsia and other ailments.

My head is in a fog. I don’t know where I want to go with writing. I have lost my audience. I need a new bright bauble to chase. I lost my mojo ….

Lathspell!! Stormcrow I Name Thee!!

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Why a crow might not appear to be 'all black' - BirdWatching

Well, now I am thoroughly disenfranchised.  Perhaps I always was and just did not know it.  I have become a sojourner in a land I once called home.

God’s people have always been sojourners, even In the land where God called one tribe of people to live in.  Indeed, the US is not my home if I do in fact belong to a particular tribe of God’s people.  But the recent turn of events in the US has driven that home with the stark realization that rabid people have taken over the land.

I no longer can trust the press for the truth.  Perhaps we never should have trusted them.  But now I am ‘red pilled’, to use modern vernacular.  My eyes have been opened.  I should be wary of people who desire to lead me, whether they be the county commissioners or the President of the United States.

Though we have been given discernment over evils effects, we have not been given eyes to see the evil in men’s hearts. But when a class of people begin to call evil good, and good evil, you can know which spirit is walking the land.  And it is indeed an evil spirit.  An ill wind that blows.  A bad omen to ponder.  And no good can come of it.

If it be possible, as much as lies in you, live peaceably with all men.

And if it not be possible, what then?  Either pick up the sword and be slaughtered, or meekly go to the slaughter.  Not real pleasant options, are they …

The compound láðspel (literally, ‘evil tale’ or ‘evil news’) comes from Old English. It is in fact the almost exact opposite of the much more familiar Old English term gospel (which means ‘good news’).

A watchman speaks again:

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A watchman speaks again:

Some eras we are blessed with respect for the government because it has earned the respect it gets.  In less blessed times we give deference the government because it will brutally crush you if you openly disrespect it. The church will survive in either scenario, but in the latter case, it must remove its banners, sell off its buildings and gather in the places the adversary is reluctant to go.

At this late hour it does not matter to me, my watch on the chill ramparts is almost over, and I may soon fall into the cozy warmth of blessed slumber.

But if you are young and just beginning your tour of duty, walk your post thoughtfully with measured steps. It is not a time to be careless with your words or living. You may no longer wear your badge of faith on your sleeve, but must rather wear it hidden in your deeds. The enemy is at the gate and he is ruthless even as he preaches his malignant words of love. The era peace is over.