Jesus Wept

This was the writing prompt I found:

In order to grow, I feel I need to…

            Cry.

            That’s all. Simple. I’d John 11:35 it. Jesus didn’t cry though. He wept according to some versions of biblical text. One short sentence. Two words. Jesus wept. Period. Full stop.

In order to grow, I feel I need to…

            Weep.  

            Weeping seems like more of a holistic release. A slow burn. Letting the tears fall where they may. Instead of blood-letting—tear letting, as it were. Slit those ducts open and let it rip.

            Fill in the blank: _______ wept.

            I used to cry quite a bit, back in the day, before pain, hurt, and loss weren’t thrown into an everlasting pyre and minimized as “life is difficult”– nothing to feel here. What the… How in the world?

“Have a heart,” they say.

“Do I have a heart?” I ask.

My as-sigh-nment this week from my counselor is to sit with the pain. What pain? Which pain? I’ve been to pain and back many times. Haven’t you?

Wait.

Sit.

Jerry, sling your memories over your shoulder as best you know how. Gather up your humanity and come down to the river. Be brave and vulnerable. I’ll help you unpack it. You know how people say “I laughed until I cried.” It works both ways, you know. You’ve said over the years “tears lubricate the soul”. You’ve stopped taking your own medicine. Your heart is broken, but not broken open. I Am a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief. I’ll sit with you by the river as long as it takes. I want to replace the stony parts of your heart and give you a heart of flesh. Do you want a heart like that?  

  

“He leads me beside still waters and restores my soul.” Psalm 23

  

For Rest

The other night, after my face was warm from the glow of the T.V. I took Apollo for a roundabout. Dog and human under a canopy of a starry starry night. No earbuds. No screen. Simply deep space and fire hydrants to bounce contemplations from twinkle twinkle to tinkle tinkle.

The next morning no word from the burning bush, so I walked to the other one by the garage. The red flamed leafs buffered a cool breeze, but offered not even a whisper. The leaves still spoke though. Color, loud and clear. “Red is our flame,” They said. “Don’t try to extinguish us. We will surrender soon. We will lay ourselves down.”

Then I sat bare foot on the back deck, early, coffee and a small stack of books. Each time the wind picked up the crimson maple leaves fell down. My mind quieted enough so I could feel my heart.

“You are never a great man when you have more mind than heart.” Beauchene

Why is nature so nurturing sometimes? Mother Nature–so apropos I suppose. Like a few evenings ago when we piled into the car for a drive. After a while our breathing found a rhythm. The beauty, deer, and cozy houses dotting the countryside relaxed our shoulders. We got out in it and were the better for it.

I’ll wager that if Jesus showed up and found us overthinking, worrying, and grasping for some sense of control in a schizoid world, he might send us out. I remember my mom doing that very thing, maybe for her own sanity, but nevertheless pushing us out into infinite air to breathe.

The order of the creation story is God saved the best for last. Us. Humans. There was a lot of creating going on before we arrived on the scene. God spoke and bam, out of chaos, order. Out of darkness, light. So much lush, sensual appropriations. It was a set-up–for us.

This weekend I walked nine miles through a forest full of trees. My legs were complaining loudly at the end, but my heart thanked me. Nine men and a cream colored lab hiked the Jordan Valley Trail in the northern Lower Peninsula on a crisp autumn day. The trail’s personality bore resemblance to a thirty-something—just enough weathered skin to settle in, but a passion for what’s next. There were so many metaphors laying around like dead trees. The path, a single rut, wound up, down, and around like a vein, carrying us like platelets as our chests felt both heart and lungs react. Air flow. Blood flow.

We’d ascend to ridges to step along the spine of foothill-like amalgamations, then descend to find the Jordan River meandering, chit-chatting over rocks and weaving through fallen debris.

If a tree falls in the forest… If a rivers babbles in its crevices…? Does anybody hear?

 Again, my heart searched for a baseline—a resting rate. I left much behind for a few days, we all did, and some of it oozed out over the campfire that night, seasoned with a ballad-singing, guitar-playing soul.

The forest was like a bold lettered clarion call to not loose heart. The trees, both fallen and upright whispered, “We’ve been waiting for you. We’re here for rest. We grow and fall just like you. We understand.”

The river had something to say as well. “Eternity is in your heart, like my open-ended flow.”

I know it was really God speaking like a creative via a brush stroke or the rhythm of pedantic pentameter.

“I Am, you know, and here you go. Get out into My gallery, and I will give you rest… Forest.”

“What’s Going On?”

I’ve got nothing to say. So I’ll let my fingers do the talking. Now, isn’t that a bit passive-aggressive?

So many swirling dervishes, spinning hearts out of control. Soaked emotional ballasts thrown over the edge of reason. To try to right a ship that is surely sinking seems futile. News cycles peddling faster and faster and still unable to keep up. Pundits and prognosticators sweeping up the glass in the street looking for some coherence underneath.

Facts:

-George Floyd was murdered by a police officer, watched by other police officers, video rolling from body cams and bystanders’ phones.

-A bottom up/top down investigation ensued. All levels and departments of government on it.

-Protests justly formed.

-Riots are not protests.

-Violence is not peaceful.

Many more facts to add, but these slipped through my filter first.

I loathe going political. Honestly, fear gets the better of me and I would rather run silent to avoid push back.

I’d rather our sight be color-blind than color-coded. Since when is skin tone equal to tone of voice? When did we forget Dr. King’s dreams of mountain top perspectives and the long contemplative walk to Selma? I thought we were all just trying to get along. Rodney King and Dr. King sought to bring peace and reason to the fore, and yet we forget.

Trying times are not the time to stop trying.

If it weren’t for the masks at the protests and rioting, we might have totally misplaced a pandemic. Justifiable identity suppression while looting. A masquerade party involving drinks of a Molotov drunkenness. The piece of peaceful protests, (Our constitutional right, by the way.) thrown by the side of the road, and into crowds.

“What’s going on?” Marvin Gaye

What brought a cop to the point of kneeling on the neck of George Flyod with his hand in his pocket like la de dah, Whistling Dixie as it were? Why were bystanders just standing there? What would I have done in that moment? What happened to “Everyone stand back, let’s give him some air?” The arrest was over counterfeit money. No matter why the cuffs were put on him, an officer isn’t prosecutor, judge, or jury. On the side of every police cruiser are the words “To Serve and Protect”.  These officers redefined those terms and now all officers are lumped into a police state of mind. I don’t buy it.

I still believe law enforcement is part of our judicial system. You know, Law and Order and all that. The buck doesn’t stop with Officer Krupke or Jerry Orbach. Laws run uphill until justice is served. Equal justice under the law dispensed by a blind folded lady holding scales. The system isn’t perfect because people of influence aren’t perfect. Sometimes justice is underserved, mis-served, or deliberately maligned. We have to give it a chance, before we take the law into our own hands, don’t you think? Or would it be better to slice the system and dole out slivers into each and every ‘We the People’ and see how justice is served?

If that happened I’d be on the Barney Fife end of the spectrum. Empty pistol. One bullet in my pocket nestled near my heart. Or maybe Andy Griffith, handing out the benefit-of-the- doubt more than reaching for the handcuffs. In short, I drive a brown truck for a living, not a black and white.

Black and white…isn’t that the issue here? The thing is the issue isn’t black and white, clear-cookie-cutter solutions. The problem is some people can’t see beyond the colors to the content of the character. I’m not saying that character is all about grey matter. Grey matter is only the beginning. The eighteen inch trip from mind to heart is the path toward healing.

There were and are peaceful protests. There were and are candles and prayers. There were and are civil ways to air sadness, frustration, and anger. But those avenues take heart and aren’t easy roads on which to walk forward. On the contrary, it seems The Road Less Traveled is blocked by difficulty. The first line of the book is meant to be crossed, not a detour.

“Life is difficult.” M. Scott Peck

Let’s say our prayers and incite peace. These are matters of the heart. God help us all.

Dipping a TOE (Theory of Everything) in the Lake

Did Evolution Give Us Surfing? - READY... SET... QUESTION!

Big trees fell into Lake Michigan over and upon each other like pickup sticks. The beach became a trimmed path to wend down more than to lay on. What happened when I was so busy inland mowing my lawn? So much for long walks on the beach. It was more like an obstacle course, hiking around large upended stumps or limbo lumbering underneath thick trunks.

A bit overwhelmed, I found a perch part way up on a dune. The kids had invited me along to do some hammocking. Yes, that’s a thing now. Hammocking isn’t really a word yet. Auto- correct suggested ‘ham mocking.’ Next Easter I will try mocking the honey ham. Anyway, my kids dug their toes in and continued to the top, while I sat and pondered the plight of our most favored lake of the greats.

Is this simply another sign of the times? Is this God’s way of reminding us of how little control we have over the skin of the earth? Some suggest humanity has contributed to climate change. I don’t doubt that, but the degree of our influence on the changes are still under review to my mind.

I sat for a bit, then pulled out of my back pocket a small book. If Einstein Had Been a Surfer by Peter Kreeft is a slim hardcover about the search for the Theory of Everything. Although it is a short walk on a really long pier of thought, I found it fascinating considering the view of dunes cut off at the knees and horizontal trees still bearing green leaves.

Now, I don’t know why, but for a few months now I’ve been queuing up surfing videos. Before that, I had a fetish for tsunamis. Before that, I thought of how unfathomable the oceans are and why God proportioned them thus. Consider this…maybe God’s thought was to overwhelm us with motifs of eternity like the universe having no back wall on which to hang our pretensions. How about the ocean blanketing 71 percent of our little blue planet? Maybe God thought 29 percent was all that humanity could manage.

[Side note: Did you know the saline of the ocean is within .5 percent of the saline percentage of human amniotic fluid?]

Anyway, as Kreeft surfs (He is a surfer, by the way, along with being a professor of philosophy at Boston College.) the waves of thought in search of an ‘everything’ that curls in on itself, he employs a philosopher, a scientist, and a surfer in conversation. After a few pages in I realized how over my head I was, trying to grasp what they were after…but the undertow. I caught a small wave and I wasn’t sitting on top of the world like one of the Beach Boys.

I set the book down several times to look off in the middle distance, the distance being a huge lake of which I could not see the other side. A metaphor of eternity, infinity, or simply a bigness beyond what my eyes beheld in total. I knew Wisconsin was over there somewhere, but right then all I could do was exercise faith. I couldn’t see everything. Hmm.

A thought spilled on my conscience. “Jerry, you’re not Einstein, Kreeft, or a surfer. Why are you splaying intellect? What is it you’re after? Does thinking about these things bring about a peace of mind, or mitigate a piece of your mind?” If anyone does capture The Theory of Everything, then what?

Hang on, I’m about to hit the brakes and take a sharp turn.

Recently someone reminded me that the first temptation of humanity was knowledge of everything. “Just take a little bite of the fruit and you will be as God, full of knowledge.” Well, hey, becoming a know-it-all seems harmless enough. How about realizing you’re in the nude and reach immediately for underwear. How about playing hide and seek for the rest of your life? The ole be careful what you wish for scenario.

Surfing. Channel surfing. Surfing the internet. Have our eyes gotten Googly all of a sudden? Do we ride the Youtube all the way to shore? Since when do we need a 24 hour news cycle, real, fake, or everything in between? Knowledge is power as they say, but is absolute knowledge absolute power? There is a forest. There are trees. Do we understand the difference? Is it okay for elms to lay down on the beach? Does all sand eventually fall through the hourglass? Will the theory of everything distill our intelligence into artificiality? Will we be as gods, or will we be okay with bearing God’s image? Will we acquiesce to God holding onto the final coherence, keeping intact the mystery and majesty of human existence and God’s?

I set the book down and turned to look to the top of the dune. My son was up there, taking in the broadest perspective. My daughter was next to me as we took in a narrowed view of the lake. Down below my other daughter was waist deep in the chilled early summer waters. I may not know the theory of everything, and at this point, I’m not sure I want to. What moves my desire is theories of somethings, like sharing an afternoon at the beach with people I love, taking in the creativeness of God, and thanking God for both. Surf’s up.

Heard Immunity

No typo. Yes, a bit playful. Everyone has a need to be heard. Nobody wants to be herded. I’ll admit, part of the reason I write is to be heard. Our voices are a gift to others while our ability to hear is the mechanism to receive such gifts. Ever wonder why God gave us one mouth and two ears, I mean besides the scientific anatomical ones? I figure it might be so we listen twice as much as we talk.

The immunity part comes in when talk becomes cheap. It’s simple supply and demand. Ever been around someone whose mouth prattles on and on? They supply too much. They tome on and on and you tune out. Blinking becomes a conscious choice so your eyes don’t succumb to glazing over. You throw a penny of thought into the conversation and coins gush out like a slot machine on steroids.

That’s when heard immunity kicks in. It’s not that they don’t have anything to say. On the contrary, mixed into the white noise of their run on sentences are clues. Their mouths aren’t open and shut cases of our prosecution. A word, a phrase, and tone of voice start rolling over like a rock tumbler. If we can hang in there, we might stop looking at their mouth and make more eye-contact. If I can cup my ears for a little longer, maybe, just maybe, I can interpret their words in the context of their whole. Did you know that body language accounts for the majority of communication?

Listen. Listening can be hard work sometimes. It’s a skill in need of constant development. Make no mistake, listening is not the same as hearing. Just ask my kids. When they call me ‘Jerry’ I know it’s after multiple attempts at ‘Dad’. My wife knows I can’t do two things at once. To tell her I’m listening while checking my phone? Fail.

In all this distancing, sheltering, and personal protecting, there are spaces created to listen. I can’t say I’ve taken every opportunity to really listen. I’d kick myself if my leg reached that far. Instead I’m pounding these keys as a note-to-self.

Two ears plus one mouth equals communion. Community. Communication.

Two eyes plus two ears plus one mouth equals better reception.

Heard immunity is something I want to avoid.

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An Eagle, A Weasel, And A Grain Of Wheat (I went long today…cup of coffee’s worth.)

Thursday, often overlooked, fills a gap between Wednesday and Friday. These days are often not named by the sequestered, the distanced, and the unemployed. More people are getting a hint of the homeless while hunkered down in their homes. Do the homeless know what day of the week it is? Do they give a flip?

“Hey you, what planet is this?” Captain James T. Kirk

Precisely.

Anyway, I simply want to mark this day as Thursday, for the record, and all that. Thursday April 30, 2020 for hindsight’s sake!

The Muse didn’t tell me to go get my laptop to write the words above, but I had to dip my toes in the ole ‘stream-of-consciousness’ for a bit.

The thought at hand comes from my readings this morning. I’ll start with where I ended. A weasel. Take a sec now and what comes to mind when I say weasel… Definitely not a term of endearment, eh?

I’ve been re-reading Annie Dillard’s book Teaching a Stone to Talk. In one chapter she details the life of a weasel. A ten inch squiggly line of an animal. She tells of a man who shot an eagle (Must have not been outlawed at the time.) and attached to its neck was the skull of a weasel. Weasels go for the jugular and don’t let go. Their jaws are like vice-grips, and after clamping down, they take their prize back to their den and sequester for a few days until the need arises to play fetch again. (Kinda like safaris to bring back toilet paper and hand sanitizer these days.) Apparently the weasel missed its mark and the eagle wrestled, clawed, and ate as much as it could. Eagle-weasel…Fascinating.

Well, I couldn’t help but overlay a metaphor over such an image. Now, what comes to mind when I say eagle? Right. Weasel going after the jugular of an Eagle. We’re talking freedom here and the defending of it. I gotta be careful or this blog might turn into some sort of hummus of hubris in which we keep grabbing the chips on our shoulders to dip and dip and dip.

I’ll be the first to admit I shy away from talking politics. (By the way, do you know the definition of politics? Poly means many, and ticks are things that suck the blood out of you. J) I usually don’t talk religion in a matter-of-fact way either. Those who do might be considered courageous or fanatical, depending on who is listening and the filter with which they listen.

I believe our country was founded on freedom, warts and all. I believe my Christian faith is also founded on freedom, some Christian knuckleheads notwithstanding (Myself included from time to time.). First, country-wise, a Trail of Tears, no explaining that away. We also confess to the sin of slavery, and thousands died, white and black, to bring about emancipation. It’s human nature to look on the color of the skin first before discovering the content of anyone’s character. Some are more skilled in getting past appearances than others. (That could be a blog post [or a book] in itself. Probably is many times over.) We can make confessions of creeds and miss the point entirely, which is Christ himself, not crusades or Christian religion per se.

How are you feeling so far? If I were you. Wait. If I were me, I’d crack some eggs, scramble them, and lay the eggshells between us. It’s like back a few generations ago when the topic of sex was spoken only using winged insects and avian references. If we do discuss religion and politics it’s usually after we’ve had one too many and our defenses are down. Well, what I mean is there are plenty of talking heads…often talking past each other. Our divisions gladly pluck up talking points and paste them over each other’s mouths. I know. I know, but don’t we all like a bit of drama with a splash of optics?

Annie Dillard, the weasel and the eagle, was read last. The first thing I made an effort to get synapses synapping was in the gospel of John. Jesus, in usual fashion, had his disciples scratching their heads.

“Listen carefully: (interesting, Jesus already knew they might not get it) unless a grain of wheat is buried in the ground, dead to the world, it is never any more than a grain of wheat. But if it is buried, is sprouts and reproduces itself many times over. In the same way, anyone who holds on to life just as it is destroys that life. But if you let it go, reckless in your love, you’ll have if forever, real and eternal.”   John 12:24, 25. The Message Bible

Okay, what the heck does a grain of wheat dying have to do with the old eagle/weasel? I got to thinking about how we humans like to weasel out of things. It seems our tendency is to stay in our little stories. Get what we get and go to our den until we need something else. At least that’s my modus operandi most days. But this weasel…the one that bit like a tick and wouldn’t let go, died attached to freedom. Who knew the places he flew before dying. In an odd way maybe he was buried in the sky. Hmmm.

I suppose I should have a point. It’s personal, first and foremost, like a finger pointing at my chest, because in the end it’s our hearts that matter, right? Okay, let me put it this way. I see eagles occasionally on my delivery route. It’s as if I saw one and it flew over to me and said, “Bite me.” It’s as if Jesus walked up to me and said, “Jerry, you are that grain of wheat.” It’s wholeheartedness gone wild, courageous enough to risk it all. Death be not proud. Living to die, and dying to live and all that. So much more, but I’ll chew on this awhile, no, maybe clamp down.

Tether. My Mom on the Phone.

Out of the quarantine of mind, I thought of my mom on the phone. A throwback fifty years when telephones hung on walls or sat on tables next to thick directories Schwarzenegger couldn’t rip in two. Hers was centrally located in the hallway between her bedroom and the kitchenette. It hung patiently with rotary eyes circling portions of the alphabet. Off white, maybe because she reached for a smoke each time it rang, and a twenty foot cord slung between receiver and base. To call, she’d have to take several finger rides on the rotary ferris wheel to connect with a voice on the other end.

I swear we could jump rope while she chattered about with Maxine (Affectionately called Magazine by all her ten children.), When she bandied about in the kitchen blabbering on with Maryanne Himes we plucked the cord like a guitar string. I use to love to take the phone off the hook when the cord was pitifully tangled. I’d stretch it as high as I could reach and let the receiver spin like the bobbins on her sewing machine…Singer sewing machine. Green with fancied lettering on its body. Anyway, the phone.

I wonder what Alexander Graham Bell would think of what we’ve done to his marvelous invention? We cut the cords. We only have to reach in our pockets, or rifle through the cushions to call someone. Wait. Call? Honestly (Mom’s catch phrase.) Talking on our mobile phone is the function of last resort, no? [Odd thought: What if we gathered some old cell phones and made a mobile mobile to hang over the bassinet?]

Back to my dear mother. She could talk. She would listen. She had a strong neck, despite the pain in it I gave her sometimes. She could prop that yellowing dog bone of communication between her shoulder and chin for what seemed like hours. I’ll bet she could hold a shotput in there no handed.

In the mornings she’d find her coffee, Virginia Slims, the green bean bag ashtray, and stretch the dickens out of the cord to sit to table talk in the dining room. I remember the two clicks, always, of the lighter. I recall the uh hums and drags on the stick, hearing them before seeing them. I’d round the corner to find her in a worn out nightie and a thin line of smoke wafting above the cigarette pinched in the clasps of the tray.

In the evenings, same gig, except a drink in a tumbler or an Old Milwaukee with the tab pulled and dropped into the can. The surgeon general let her know about the tobacco hazards, but the beer company didn’t care about the choking hazards of a pull-tab. The conversations morphed a bit between sunrise sips and evening slurps. Reviewing the day’s activities after the fact was more colorful than the sizing up of the laundry list in the morning, which, by the way, always included laundry. Let me be clear…death and taxes, tis true. More true is death and taxes and laundry. Just ask anyone who has children splayed all over like grass seed.

After I moved out, for the second or third time, I’d dial 342-8127 to hear her voice dole out questions, advice, and little popcorn phrases like “oh, honestly” and “for heaven’s sake.” While I talked, occasionally I’d hear her blow smoke off to the side or ice cubes knocking together. My shoulders relax at the thought of it. Sometimes idiosyncrasies over time bring a sense of security.

My mother, God love her, kept the same number from the beginning of time until she hung up the phone for the last time in 2012. Sure, she traded in the cord for an antenna to untangle a bit, and then a simple cell. But that cord, like an umbilical, always stretched far enough to reach me and those she loved.

 

An Open Letter to Sunday

Dear Sunday,

Good morning. I hope you are found by many as a resting place. In these days all strung together with no commas or periods may we all find you nestled between parentheses, protected from pandemics and quarantines. Even God took a breather from His creativity and sat with you for twenty four hours.

It is said separation makes the heart grow fonder. Well, I’ll try to separate you from all other days, to give space for reflection and gratitude for another week passed, and take heart for the God given days ahead.

I know you’ll tell me it’s not about you, but the You beyond you. I get it. But sometimes without any given Sunday, I would carry over the incompleteness of Saturday’s chores without a blink. Weeding. Vacuuming. You know, the circulars of human existence. Mow the lawn…again? I did that last week. Throw in another load of wash rags…redundant.

If I think of you as a metaphor as opposed to micro-phor, I might be able to gain perspective on the rhythms of space-time contingencies and such. Sure, many people pile in and pull out of their driveways and head to church because you showed up. Not these days.

If I had the memory capacity to remember each encounter with you from my birth through all these fifty-eight years, I might be able to quantify and qualify the overarching tapestry of you.

For now it seems like a gut feeling. Like the subtle emotion rising as the sun pastes the shadow of the blinds across the floor. Like Debussy hovering over my dad’s nap. There was a time when a poem was poured into a church service like fine wine, and I partook.

At any rate, you, Sunday, seem always to be in italics, like a speed bump mid-sentence. Highly underrated though. Monday mornings get a groan out of most of us. I thank God for Friday, but you oh, Sunday, you’re different. You draw my attention in your beauty, your invitation to transcend beyond and through to your Creator. At least that seems to be your calling.

By inference, you are a kind of light which illumines everything I see. Sun-day. You are a clarion call, as is the sun. A call to rise as you do in our inner selves, to not only underline you, but to see what underlies you. To drop everything and follow your lead to rest as commanded. To lift empty hands and open hearts to the God you represent so vividly.

This song by Phil Keaggy came to mind. If you have time, close your eyes and rest and listen.

Masking Tape

Play tape:

“Sew Veriola. Sew like the wind!” The Three Amigos

Those words jumped from my lips when I saw her sew. My wife Barbara looked up, smiled, put the pedal down, and the machine revved. The sound of it whisked me back to my mom mending and making clothes in the 60’s and 70’s.

Oh, Barbara’s not the only 21st century Rosie the Riveter hunched over a modern mending miracle. Yesterday she heard of a better filter for masks. Immediately she went on-line to secure some of the material. A moment after she secured a box, she checked again, and none was available. We know friends and relatives who are also making masks. It’s as if they were parachutes for Army Airborne Rangers so they can drop behind enemy lines to rescue humanity from invisible forces.

Masks. Who da thunk? Now we’re all encouraged to don them when out in public. This isn’t a fad like Beanie Babies or Tickle Me Elmo. This is a cover-up; a positive one for a change.

We had a good laugh a bit ago when hearing about transforming bras into PPE’s (Personal Protective Equipment). Side note… Every wonder why the bras are centrally located in stores? Anyway as we drifted through ‘that’ section I wondered if my face would be a double D or a triple A.

Don’t worry, soon we won’t have to go deep into the store to get our PPE. There will be vending machines everywhere and in them personal preferences displayed. I hope army men prints are among them. Just think for a moment, what style would you choose? Maybe they will be under lock and key at the party store. “Hey, give me a pack of Marlboro Reds and an Elmo n-95 please. Make it two.” What an irony.

When I go to work tomorrow I’ll see more eyes and less teeth. In the back of my mind George Benson’s “Lost in a Masguerade” will loop and loop. Honestly, I’m kinda okay with wearing one. My dental profile isn’t the greatest. I’ll be able to bare my teeth and all they’ll see is smiling eyes.

All jesting aside. I pray that the appropriate masks will flood the front lines where they’re needed the most. My brother is a nurse, and I’m sure we all know someone who is in a similar arena. Many companies big and small are retooling to make PPE’s and Ventilators and on and on for this war effort.

One last thought for now.

Isn’t it strange something invisible is changing so many visible areas of our lives? Think on this. I am.

A little blog blabber. (You’ve got time to read this, or you can clean your garage.)

I didn’t touch the news yet. Took my synthroid. Sipped some coffee. Read from several books. It’s been a full two hours and I haven’t seen the world map blotched with blood from one continent to another. So many have offered perspective by comparing all the different ways humans die and the percentage thereof. I once read that more people die from donkeys than from plane crashes every year. What an asinine perspective. Now when on the back roads of my delivery route, I see donkeys as potential murderers.

This must be some sort of reset. This virus, of all the past viral anomalies, is historic in its scope of culture twisting adjustments. Off in the distance I see. I see you off in the distance. Six feet might as well be six miles in some instances. Yet, out of the fire and into the frying pan-demic we all can admit a heightened awareness of how little we control stuff. I can still set the toaster level on four and expect crispy bread ready to melt butter on the surface, but deep down I know…

What?

Today is Sunday. The sun was seen from what I now call my reading room. It’s a little hovel, with windows facing east, south, and west. My thoughts tip-toed, skipped, and tripped from brain cell to brain cell, eventually finding neuron highways to travel as the coffee kicked in. I thought of other author’s thoughts. I thought of God’s thoughts. All this time to think, when the truth of the matter is we are thinking all the time. It’s our awareness that flickers on and off like a light bulb in a fruit cellar.

Here are some things of which I was made aware:

When filling my vitamin/medication daily dose tray, I imagine playing mancala.

An organized garage is a thing of beauty.

Refrigerator chess is always one move away from checkmate.

Everybody poops. (The toilet paper isle is still echoing, even when we speak in hushed tones six feet apart.)

Whenever I see latex gloves my first inkling is of an unpleasant procedure.

God and the Coronavirus are both unseen, but real.

My family can survive a lockdown, for a couple of weeks at least.

Neil Diamond is relevant.

I really want to play tic-tac-toe in the grocery store with all the X’s on the floor.

My wife loves me, and I love her.

Wildlife, especially birds, don’t give a rip about pandemics.

Beauty is indeed fleeting, but hey, I still see it everywhere.

A measured sense of humor in times like these is essential.

Thoughts can be turned into prayers.

Family is.

 

I’ve already gone over my goal of six hundred words per blog post, so if you’ve read this far, I’m proud of you.

Everyone, wash your hands, say your prayers, and make eye-contact.