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Sunday rolls around a bit cool and sunny this morning as I process the turn of the country towards authoritarianism. I do believe the neoliberal establishment has won the battle of the hearts and minds of the American people, and now it is time to treat them for the boor and bully they are.
I am no longer confronting it. My rebellion is going to be passive, to quietly throw sand in its gears when I can and then disappear. I don’t want to be in the vanguard of this resistance. That is where hero’s die and are remembered for their heroism, and I no longer care to die with my boots on. That is a young mans glory. Old men’s glory is their white hair and peacefully dying in their sleep.
Gray Rocking is some sort of psychological term for dealing with boors by being neutrally responsive to them nor engaging them in any way. I am applying it to the neoliberal left that has split off an declared me the enemy. I am done dealing with them. I’ll deal with them at the ballot box. My vote is still secret, and as long as it remains a secret, I will vote against them. I will quietly but resolutely resist new taxes, new property controls, and not tip my hand in advance. I leave the political sites and comment sections to brash and foolish people.
So goes my patriotism, my love of country, and my legacy to the following generations. I got mine, throw yours away if you wish.
There. That is out of the way.
Annie-Annie, our adopted stray labradore and something else, is still limping along. She has her good moments, and her bad moments. Sometimes I wonder if I am selfishly prolonging her life, and at other times I am glad when I see her offer her toy to me for a gentle game of tug-o-war and playful bites when I try to grab it from between her legs. Still, that gray muzzle and gray eyebrows let me know that this is not going to go on forever. The day will arrive when I have to make that hard decision and that day seems to be approaching faster than I want it to. But perhaps it is better this way so that when the day arrives, I do the right thing.
Bucephalus, my aging Dodge Grand Caravan is inspected for another year now. I admitted defeat and let the mechanic install a new taillight assembly because I couldn’t figure out how to unhook that new-fangled plug from the old one. The mechanic reached in, unplugged it, and popped the new one in and told Snookums there was no charge. Now if I ever get the cataracts done, I’ll drive for a short while longer. My vision is so bad now that I am having difficulty in writing, and I have all but given up on reading.
Soon warm weather will arrive, and I will move to the porch, shooing the feral cats away. They think they own it now, but I am human. I am bully. I am neoliberal on the porch.
So the rota of days goes.
Shabbat morning dawn with a light, wispy winter’s fog. It is a cool, but not unbearable 60° degrees, and very calm. Not much of a winter this year. One day of snow, one day of melt, and everything but the trees is a bright green.
A quick scan of the news yields little news, but lots of opinion. One reporter for a left leaning publication travels to Wyoming and discovers that the people there do not trust her, do not trust Washington, don’t want to hear negative reporting on Trump, and that just saddened her that so many distrust her. Unreasoning brutes! I suspect that the left is about to discover that their scorched earth politics wasn’t their best strategy. It doesn’t bode well for the U.S. as a country. And the headlines say that Nancy Sinatra will never forgive Trump and his supporters. I am just crushed, but not so crushed as to read the article. I suspect that Trumps supporters likely feel the same about her. So I move on. It is what it is.
I was thinking of fixing breakfast, but I am still feeling bloated this morning and may just fast through the morning instead. I chalked it up to aging dyspepsia. Another of a vast cornucopia of maladies that makes growing old a misery. But again, no use griping. It is what it is, and we move on again.
Not much on the social sites this morning either. There was a big push by my friends to move away from facebook, but I note we all sort of gravitate back to it, leaving yet another social platform application sitting idly on the desktop. Complain all we want about the bias, we apparently love the abuse. I have taken to deleting memes showing the new President committing new horrors each day. It is also a given. I resist where I can and sit in sullen silence where I can’t. And apparently, that really is confusing leftists, so that is a good thing.
So, on this anti-politics, anti-news day, I gripe about politics and news. And so, I move on.
Amazingly, Preparation Day (Friday sunrise to sunset) has come again so suddenly. It seems like it was only three days ago. I remember how slowly the days ground by as a pre-teen. That agonizing period between 14 years old to 15 ½ years old when the State would let you get a learner permit. It was at least three æons long. But the 15 years that I have been here in retirement haven have gone by in a blur of high points.
Preparation Day, for the uninitiated, is the day I prepare for the Shabbat. The Shabbat is a celebration of God resting from the labors of His creation. I think that the word would be better nuanced as that ceased from his labors. The world was complete, time had been created within eternity, and his creation would produce fruit at the end that would re-enter eternity.
Eternity is not something that I comprehend yet it is something I desire. Odd that I would desire something I have no understanding of. But then, I have never been totally rational. No matter what I put my hand to, something always compelled me to look beyond them. Eternity is like a faint song that catches me in its beauty at unexpected times. I can’t evoke it. I cannot speak it into existence. It captures me at its own leisure.
I have tried at times to be an atheist. I have tried to take an agnostic position. I have had periods where faith fled from me. But then, that song would faintly play just beyond that gossamer veil, and I would cast aside my doubts and rejections, and begin following that song again.
So on this day I try to prepare enough food for the special day that begins at sundown. Of course, not living in eternity, I can’t really practice that. People must be fed. Babies, livestock, and pets all need tending. And the world at large does not observe the day, nor comprehend why I do. And frankly, neither do I. The song just suggest I do. And so. I do.
And this musing flows through my mind as I stop to spend a little time in this daily journal, coloring my words, my thoughts, and at times, even the work of my hands.
Well, the fog and rains moved on, and Tuesday morning dawns bright and sunshiny. The forecasts report a high of 65° this afternoon with no wind. A good day to prowl the yard and try to fix a couple of minor annoyances on Bucephalus, my aging Dodge Grand Caravan. So far the writing continues, with chirpy reflections in the morning scribbling, and dark, thunderous pieces in the evening.
Don’t know why it is that the time of day effects my thinking so much. Evening is time to consider my frail mortality, and the frailty of all mankind in general. The pieces sort of scare me, but I have made my peace with them and will post them as they are. I have deleted such posts in the past. I am not a fan of darkness and try to not hang out there. But maybe it is time to give the dark thoughts free reign.
But this is a morning coffee post, so I shan’t be about malevolent spirits, sinister plots, and spiritual wickedness abounding.
The rains have made the wildflowers green up, but they haven’t bloomed as of yet, so there is an even green out over the fields that looks like finely mown grass on a golf course. The county has its ditch mowers out early this year, and they offloaded the mower from a truck, and left the truck out on the road to spoil my view of rolling green fields. But that is OK. I want to turn my attention to the world on the other side of the digital screen anyway, sip the morning coffee, and muse on life and love this sunshiny morning.
Another animal lover sent Annie-Annie a bottle of CBD oil, and she seems to be responding to it. That is good. I would like to give her the best of living until the disease finally claims her. I am a skeptic when it comes to patent medicines, and CBD seems to be one of those miracle cures that fixes everything. But the giver owns the CBD company and gifted me with it, and offered more if it runs out. Some people you just love at first sight, and Sanchia is one of them. She works tirelessly for abandoned animals who have no voice of their own, and asks nothing in return.
Kippur da Budgie is happily shrieking, and one of the blessings of hearing loss is that it attenuates her joy, but still lets you share in it. I need to get my hearing aids to the clinic for repairs, but I am sort of enjoying the silence. My family is about to kill me, though. They are getting tired of me saying ‘huh?’ …
Another voice from the past showed up on my blog this morning. It is always good to hear that people are still around, and that they sometimes find my ruminations entertaining, and sometimes even cathartic. My mind goes often to those people, and I mourn the loss of a social platform where we all met.
So the day goes. A strengthening winter sun climbs 10° deosil, the cup needs refilling, and the day needs to be observed.
I, the LORD, also promise you a terrible shortage, but not of food and water. You will hunger and thirst to hear my message. You will search everywhere – from north to south, from east to west. You will go all over the earth, seeking a message from me, the LORD.
But you won’t find one.
I recalled this verse from Amos after my former pastor wrote about the false prophets among us today, and God’s apparent silence to the “church”. There is no King in Israel, so there is no prophet of Israel. And the recent prophets of a great Trump victory were conspicuously wrong. I don’t speak against them, because they obviously are not prophets of God. But they may get something right occasionally, so we leave them be.
We live in a time when there is a dearth of hearing God’s voice to the people. I am not talking about finding His will. His will can be found by diligent seekers, but his voice to the nations and the churches is silent. The standards for that level of Prophet are simple and severe. The prophet is always right, and if he isn’t, you stone him. The prophets thus far have missed it. Therefore, they are not prophets of God.
I also am not talking about that still, small voice that says “This is the way. Walk in it.” That is personal, and individual, and all who walk with him walk with that voice. They know who it is.
I am talking the voice of the prophet who speaks to a people, a church and a nation that is not heard. At one time all three existed. And that is very bad news for a church and a nation. It is a dark time as mysterious unseen forces swirl about us. We do NOT war with people and politicians. Most of ‘em anyway. Some I am not so certain of. But I digress.
So, I am left pondering what to do when the new Antiochus is revealed. If you know the story of Antiochus, good. If not, get some knowledge. He will arise again, at least in his spirit. But he is a very clever man, with seducing words and promises of peace, whereas the first Antiochus was about as subtle as a Democrat in full rut. And people will marvel at him. He will not be a doddering old fool from Delaware, nor a venal old shrew from San Francisco. And I doubt that he is George Soros, as smart of an arbitrager that he is. He is also described in the Holy Books. It is not hidden from seekers, but fools will not bother.
And I still haven’t answered my own question. I don’t know the answer. But frankly, my strategy is to stay away from him. If I can.
Monday comes sans fog this morning as I pad down to my studio to see what is going on with my far-flung family and friends. One friend shares before and after photos of my old bohemian days. What was once dives and honkytonks has gentrified into boutique shops and Caffe latte emporiums. And so, the world moves on without me. Another shares this little jewel of prose. I am in awe!
My coffee was so dark, a demon mistook it for a portal to hell.
Long story short: I need a new mug, a mop and maybe an exorcism.
~ Becky Wiegers
I suppose it must be the same with politics. I am too old and beat up to chase the government varmints off my property with a shotgun these days. Assessors and inspectors drive up and down my neighborhood with impunity. Political types from a party I have grown to completely despise feel free to trumpet their political victory like everyone agrees with them and misread my sullen visage to mean that I somehow share that victory with them.
So, I sip my dark coffee, (thanks, Becky. I’ll never see my coffee cup in quite the same way as I did before!) read the posts, and let the morning unfold naturally.
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.