Archive for December 2012

THE REUBEN CURE

December 31, 2012

I do love the change from New Year’s Eve to New Year’s Day!

A few days ago my family asked me what I was going to “do” for New Year’s Eve.   Well!     There were so many things planned in my head — but none of them involved parties, loud noises, or taxi cab rides home.

And they all sounded so mundane.    All under the category of “Putting away the old, getting out the new!”    Making a clean, healthy start.    And the first thing tonight,  New Year’s Eve,  I had to put away the tired, queasy feeling I’ve had for the past week or so.

So I came up with  a good “cure.”   Good, solid food –

The Reuben Cure

A  nice homemade Reuben sandwich sounded good.   So far, so good.

With the brief spurt of energy that gave me, I “put away” and “got out”   some things.    New calendar.    New budgeting charts.   New study plan.   And….

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Well, those are the old pages.   My journal, sort of.  Daily journal, I think you could call it.     Here you see four days from last year…. And now I get to start a whole new set of pages.   I think I’ll stay with the same format.   I made a place for the date, the day of the week,  the weather,  some news headlines, what part of the Liturgical year it is, and what kind of exercise I got that day, and a place to write about what happened.    It’s not too demanding,  but it helps me feel that my days are not “lost.”

Most important, it helps me remember to make each day useful and worth writing about!

It’s a gift.    It’s a gift.   It’s a gift of time.

A whole new year to fill as I please.

I may not live through the whole year, or maybe I will.     I may forget to do all the things I should, or maybe I’ll remember most of them.   I may see a darker world or a brighter world,   but there will be a whole new year before me.

Just. . . .Deo gratias.   For all of us who are receiving a whole new year!!

 

 

 

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FULL HOUSE – EMPTY HOUSE

December 31, 2012

Or:  “Full Table”  –  “Empty Table”

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The “holiday”  table which was once the center of constant fun and munching this past week is now. . . .empty.

The little guy’s chair at the head of the table won’t be used again for quite a while.    He’s in the air right now, high overhead,  on his way back to his California mountain home.   Safe and well, I hope.

I’m still struggling to put one thought in front of another, trying to visit the Spruce Tunnel with a tired mind and a slightly queasy body.      Got a text from the floor of Son’s bathroom….he’s overcome by “queasyness” –  to put it delicately.

But we have reason to smile with the memories of this  . . .  overwhelming  . . . . . . week.      Busy 26/7!!      (Yeah,  I meant 26 —  24 hours wasn’t long enough for a day.)

 

More . . . later.    I hear . . .  there’s . . . a . . . . . new year . . . . . . . coming . . . . . .

 

 

 

 

KEEPING YOUR HORSE IN ORDER

December 28, 2012

Time to blog a little, but no time to think. .  .  It’s just important to keep things in perspective,  keeping everything in order.

Christmas ,  the season for knowing the Reason,  for Renewal with Family and friends, for Recalling favorite activities.   For a time things whirl around, and later there will be time to Recollect.

Horse Parked

At the end of the day,  things settle down, and a horse is safely parked beneath  Grrrma’s  table. . . .

Hmmmm.

Breezin’ Season

December 27, 2012

Merry Christmas season, everyone.

I have visitors. . . .

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The shoes are the only ones not busy around here….

See you later!!   Will do Christmas in retrospect. . . .

Whew!

SHOCKING TRUTHS FOR FRIDAY

December 21, 2012

It’s been quite a Friday so far.     Flags at half-staff,  moments of silence, decent Americans with  their Rulers bearing down on them;  sorrow in our hearts, dealing with a horrible crime of the untreated mentally ill and  his innocent victims, and knowledge of another victimized, dysfunctional family…which we dare not explore.

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The media has whipped us up into a mindless emotional blob symbolized by teddy bears given to dead children and our Rulers probably hope that that is as far as we will go.   But there are more things to see,  more things to understand,  and due to the spider bots that roam our computers,  I will use some pictures for  a serious matter “behind the green curtain.”     (You do understand that The Wizard of Oz is not for little children, don’t you?)

Cross for Friday  This is Friday.   Friday is the day when Christendom remembers the Cross and why it had to happen,  and why it was planned before the dawn of time as the only cure for humanity’s  woes.

Let the great prophet  Isaiah explain our woes to us:

He says that when a “land” turns away from God,  God will take away from the land:  “the strong man, and the man of war, the judge, and the prophet, and the cunning man, and the ancient;  the captain over fifty, and the honourable in countenance, and the counsellor, and the architect, and the skillful in eloquent speech.”

And instead,  God will  …..”give children to be their princes, and the effeminate shall rule over them.  And the people shall rush one upon another, and every man against his neighbour: the child shall make a tumult against the ancient, and the base against the honourable.”   ( Isaiah 3: 2-5)

If we continue to act like spoiled, self-indulgent children, Isaiah is saying, then the “grown-ups”  will be taken away from our leadership.   We won’t want mature, experienced leaders to govern us.

We will want to keep the illusion of being a “rich” country, proud of what we’ve accomplished and what we can give to ourselves:

Their land is filled with silver and gold: and there is no end of their treasures.

And their land is filled with horses: and their chariots are innumerable. Their land also is full of idols: they have adored the work of their own hands, which their own fingers have made.  And man hath bowed himself down, and man hath been debased: therefore forgive them not.     ( Isaiah 2: 7-9)  

So that is a general principle, true throughout the ages.    Our leaders will reflect our sinful desires.    We have willingly debased ourselves with our prosperity.

So,  what to do?   What would we do if we knew some shocking truths?

Here is just one  shocking detail that ties together  some current events.   Remember Isaiah:   Their land is filled with silver and gold: and there is no end of their treasures.    We are speaking of trillions of stolen money.    But I think we won’t have the national will, anymore,  nor the intelligence, nor the courage to demand action.

Two young men;  two fathers:

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Just one word to know.

Word

I’m not sure which is more shocking:    the murderous crime of a deranged young man?     the monumental extent of a world-wide banking scandal that keeps our Rulers in power?     the power of the world Rulers to destroy lives?   or the depths of the sin  our society has fallen into?

. . .or that God has provided a way for Fallen Mankind,  the Way of the Cross. . . .

Friday is a day for “shocking truths.”      That is why Christendom mourns on Friday for sins, and fasts,  abstains from meat, and meditates deeply on the shockingly glorious Remedy.     Look into the money scandal?    Or maybe better just look into the meaning of the Cross.

PLAN IN ACTION

December 18, 2012

This seems to be Day Five now in the Global Media blitz to convince Americans that we’re a terrible nation of gun-toting violent unpredictable people who need to be carefully monitored and regulated because we might be emotionally unstable and excessively fearful and uneasy and who knows what will happen next….?

This is Adult Reading:

Bill of Rights

Well, find your own copy so you can read the words.

There is only one country in the world which  has this Bill of Rights, and apparently the big global system of government finds it appalling.

I called this post “Plan in Action.”    Here’s the Plan,  spoken by the man who is the attorney general of this country.     He is not for America-First;  he is for us becoming part of the global system, and since our private ownership of guns stands in their way,  he is against it, in spite of our Second Amendment.

His 1995 remarks about how to end gun violence are all over the ‘Net right now…..his suggestion?   his plan?

“It’s not enough to simply have a catchy ad on a Monday and then only do it every Monday.  We need to do this every day of the week and just really brainwash people into thinking about guns in a vastly different way.”

  I think that plan is underway.    Day Five of examples of emotionally hysterical people who cannot be consoled – except by punishing the innocent. 

There are presently school shootings and knifings and bombing in other countries, too, Britain,  France,  Germany, the Middle East, the Far East,  with even more loss of life.   It’s terrible there too.

China, which just had two classrooms full of children knifed and macheted   has an idea:    They are seeking to ban all knife ownership from all its citizens –   soon as they can figure out what impact that will have on kitchens and restaurants.

We can laugh,  but perhaps Mr. Holder can calm down a bit, discard his Plan,  and do some “Adult Reading.”

A SMALL FULL CIRCLE WITHIN THE BIGGER ONE

December 17, 2012

“Full circle.”      “Things come around full circle.”    Circles within circles.

Since the television world seems to be obsessed with broadcasting the need of the Global Government to take away g**s from innocent Americans,  I thought I’d stay “on topic” too and present to you an interesting little fact,  because all this is part of a larger picture.

“Full circle”  means what gets started runs its course and comes back to reveal (or harm)  its origin.

OuribourisRemember the book and the movie called “Hunger Games” ?    I read the first book in the series and I saw the movie.  I had a feeling there was some significance to the story,  some concept our Rulers wanted to get across to us, and I wanted to experience the story in book and movie so I could ponder the implications of showing us the spectacle of the ritual sacrifice of 23 young people “for the good of the State.”

If you haven’t gotten around to Hunger Games yet, I would recommend it to you — you won’t “die” of unpleasantness,  but you will be informed — informed like intercepting a message from the enemy.

What does this have to do with the terrible crime committed at Newtown, Connecticut?    Not too much, just, as I said,  a small circle within the larger circles.   The “small circle” is this:    The author of Hunger Games, richly rewarded for her efforts,  lives in Newtown, Connecticut.

It’s just a little mocking evil factoid.

Ouriborous

Another ouroborus for you to look at.

Another small circle within the larger picture:    The movie  “The Black Knight Rising”   uses a map of a region that will be a target area.   Apparently in the movie, the camera zooms up on the map, allowing the audience to read the name of   gr ou nd z e ro…..The name is “Sandy Hook,”

We parents are lulled by our cartoon character Batman which made us laugh and root for Good.   We’re caught off guard by the more sinister and violent movie which uses the similar names and characters for our children, and we don’t know if we should say anything.

Sandy Hook.   Newtown.   Programmed gun violence.

“what gets started runs its course and comes back to reveal . . .  its origin”     ” For the good of the State.”   The State is not safe with responsible people owning g**s.

 

AT RISK

December 15, 2012

I didn’t intend to write today — needed a physical break from all the parties around here.   My house and my heart are filled with the memories of all my good friends who came over.

But I’m being asked to comment on today’s tragic news,  the criminal shooting of 26 or 27 people, and the suicide of the mentally deranged person who did it.   He was 20 years old;  still a child;   a troubled child;  a dangerously, criminally troubled child.

I too feel the unspeakable shock, horror, and profound sadness. . . .

But I wanted to see the pictures.  I found the remote control somewhere and turned the television on.   There was another source of  shock and fear and anger for me.      Our Dear Leader managed some crocodile tears (pardon me if I don’t believe in them) and said these words, scrolling across the bottom of my screen:   “We have too much of these.”   We all have to come together and take care of this problem.”

I write these and get chills;  the hair on my arms stand up.    Alert.

“We have too much of these.”     “Of these.”     In the past few decades we have had several dozen mass shootings.   Too much,  true.     All but one have taken place in areas were guns were strictly forbidden.

Not opinion.   Fact you can look up and check.

And as far as I know,  all the ones in the recent past two decades have involved shooters who have been on one kind of psychological drug or another, or several.    They have been mentally ill and drugged for it and let loose with the drugs in their system.

You can look that up too and see that it’s true.

I know what our Rulers are getting at with the words of Our Dear Leader.   “We have to come together,”   i.e.,  you all have to agree with me.    “Take care of this problem.”    What problem?   Guns.     Like Adolph HItler took care of the gun problem in Germany and declared that he had now made the “sidewalks of Germany safe!!!!”   by taking away the right of the German people to own their guns.       (Safe for the socialist rulers in that country.)

Guns kill people.  Knives kill people.  Cars kill people.   And drugs kill people.

Those of you who know your Bibles know that we will not be willing to give up our drugs,  the drugs,  which open our minds to suggestions,  to impulses,  to mental images and voices,  to evil influences, and to criminal plans and actions.     That last book of the Bible which describes conditions at the end of the world puts it this way:

And they did not repent of their murders, their (pharmakeion), nor their sexual immorality, nor their thefts.   (Apocalypse/Revelation  9:21)

That word “pharmakeion”  is the Greek word variously translated as pharmacies,  drugs,  sorceries,  witchcraft.     That is,  being under the influence.    Being drugged out of their right mind.

To repeat:   I don’t know of any exception to the fact that all the shooters in the last couple of decades were on mind-altering, psychologically active medications (drugs).      They  all were reported to be on medications.

Remember what I wrote above about the things that these drugs make your mind more open to — evil influences, criminal plans, etc.        Another fact came out on the television news today.   The shooter was known for his enjoyment of video games.       Titles unreported.

Perhaps Our Dear Leader was referring to taking care of the drugs and violent video games problem?    We can come to some sort of consensus on that.

Would we be willing to repent of that?

GLOGGED

December 14, 2012

It’s that time of the year again…..

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Party time.    And that’s the Glögg  simmering in the slow cooker.

Homemade red wine, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves,  smashed almonds, organic California giant raisins, orange slices, cracked black smoked pepper, assorted other things,  a little splash of of Orange Creme Vodka and Spiced rum.

Very mellow party.

Doing it again tomorrow.

See you in a couple of days……

Glögg –  it’s good to be Swedish.

MORE NUMBERS FOR 12-12-12

December 12, 2012

So, pardon me for my exuberance in the last post — too much morning coffee perhaps.   (But I’m STILL enjoying the date!)

Today, December 12th, is a notable date for another reason.    On 12-12, but 481 years ago,  this world had a heavenly visitor, appearing to a good young man in Mexico.   (Was he of Mayan descent?)

OL of G This is Our Lady of Guadalupe, come to offer Christ her Son to the people of the Western hemisphere,  newly “discovered” by Columbus and others just a few decades before.

I don’t need to tell the story of how she appeared to Juan Diego, how somehow her image, this one in the partial picture,  was deposited in some way on a fibrous tilma that should have disintegrated by now (they last about 20 years, if you’re lucky,  not 481 years!) ,   no paint, pigment, or stains having been found by skeptical scientists, and . . .

You know, there are so many unexplained and miraculous things associated with this image that appeared on Juan Diego’s tilma which perfectly reflected what he saw on the little hillside,  a perfect image of Our Lady who spoke to him….  But just one thing  convinces me:   How did people with NO technology such as we have get the images of four people inside her tiny little pupils, as though still reflecting the incredulous officials who first saw the image?    We discover them now only upon examination with magnifying lenses.

But a more significant number to know:     12-12.   481 years ago.     And now the number 8,000,000,  the number of native Mexicans who entered the Church within two decades or so after the visitation.

The vision happened.   The image on the tilma still exists near Mexico City.   And millions of native Mexicans converted in a very, very short time.

The Church is not the idea of the “white men.”    It is universal, for all.   At the very time of this visitation,  millions of Europeans were disconnecting themselves from the Church.    Some say an equivalent number.

 

FUN DAY !!!!!

December 12, 2012

Enjoy the uniqueness of this day!

12-12-12  12-12-12  12-12-12  12-12-12  12-12-12  12-12-12  12-12-12  12-12-12  12-12-12  12-12-12  12-12-12  12-12-12  12-12-12  12-12-12  12-12-12  12-12-12  12-12-12  12-12-12  12-12-12  12-12 12-12-12

Can you calculate how long it will be before we can again write the date with three identical numbers?

Twelve green

12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12

How fun that this comes as we prepare for Christmas and think where it all began and where it’s all going:  The 12 sons of Jacob became the 12 Tribes of Israel through which the Messiah comes;  the 12 Apostles tell us all about it;  the 12 Days of Christmas teaches us the catechism;  the 12 Gates lead into the Heavenly City!     

 

CNN UPLINKS

December 11, 2012

You know you’re in trouble when the CNN satellite news uplink truck comes to call.

As I’ve written before,  we have our classes in a building less than a block away from our capitol building.   Yesterday, after class,  we saw CNN and assorted other news trucks parked around our area in anticipation of the protests against our new state law allowing people to work without having to become members of a union

As I returned the class keys to the office we chatted about the upcoming traffic mess. The secretary said that our parking lot will be used to park the ambulances and fire trucks.   That was enlightening!!

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I don’t know what goes on inside of our capitol building;  I’ve never been too interested in politics as a career.   I took this photo of the building one night, expecting to see interesting lighting from  the late afternoon sun. But when I saw the picture on my computer screen, I noticed all the “funny faces”  staring out the windows   Just what does go on in there?

Well, today it was this.    You can climb way up high inside the capitol building, all the way up to the top of the dome.   Today, if you looked down, five or six stories down,  you would see all the layers filled with people.

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Outside there were signs of protests and signs of support for the new bill.

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The local TV news reported only one or two minor injuries.    But I thought about this one:    the Union supporters were angry to see a tent that sheltered some of those who were showing support for the state government.    They used scissors and large sticks and tore down the tent.

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Then they walked and stomped triumphantly over the tent.

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Trouble is, there were fifteen people still inside.

Perhaps there were a few more injuries.   A newsman from a national news service was smacked in the face by a union supporter.   Add another injury,  cuts to his face.

Well,  of all the hyper-emotional and largely untrue statements shouted out today,  one really caught my attention. Seems like a lot of people on the Far Left don’t like the idea that the new legislation was “pushed through too fast without public discussion.”

Oh.    Like the new “Affordable” Health Control bill?    I thought the Far Left liked that one.

Or maybe like the Patriot Bill of 2001, which no Congressman read before being bullied into signing it?    People seem to be willing to succumb to loss of privacy and liberty for the sake of being told we are so”afraid”  of…. something.

So, I’m thinking,  “no public discussion”  can’t be a real reason for not accepting a law.    I just don’t like politics.

ADVENT 2ND SUNDAY – WADDYA WANT?

December 9, 2012

Everywhere.    Everywhen.

john

When the confused and disconcerted disciples of John came to Jesus to say,   We know John isn’t the One;   are you?   Because we found out he’s not the Messiah  — then Jesus asked them our question:   Well, what did you go out to the desert to see?   What did you expect?   What did you hope to find?

We were told today to be very careful with our answer.   What are we expecting?

How we answer that question will reveal exactly what we are looking for and just who we are pinning our hopes on.

An honest answer will force us to go deep into ourselves and find out what our most fundamental desires are, and we won’t be able to fool ourselves with  easy answers.      The only Expectation and Desire and Hope that is genuinely fulfilling and will never fade away isn’t a thing or a condition or an idea;  it’s a Person, the Living One that is eternal and powerful and can match our deepest longings.

Advent Two candles

What do we really want that can’t be taken from us when things get really tough.

THE NIGHT BEFORE – PART II

December 9, 2012

Apres-Concert

This whole rock concert going thing is new to me;  apparently it is important to have an apres-concert experience too.

The concert (of the last posting)  ended early enough in the evening,  and it was time for my companion and I to find some Food.  We walked the city streets for a long, long time, but every small bar, tavern, bistro, and restaurant had waiting lines of an hour or two and we knew we couldn’t hold out that long!

10  parking

We returned to our parking garage, and were cheerfully told by the man in the car next to us that we “weren’t going to be going anywhere soon.”     The cars in the aisle that were lined up, pointing downwards towards the Exit signs,   had not moved for a long time.   Everyone in the lower levels were probably letting cars into the line, thereby causing a logjam in the upper levels.

“You’re not trapped if you have a cell phone”

Rather than giving in to feeling trapped,  I spent the next twenty minutes on the cement floor, propped up against the wall,  happily organizing my photos, sending them to my home computer, and texting a few people, until I realized someone might be wondering why that “old lady had collapsed on the floor of the parking garage.”    I was distinctly afraid that someone might call 911 on me.

Since we couldn’t eat in the more glamorous district of the city,  we headed out for its well-known busy, crowded, overly-commercialized, corporate chain-store “miracle mile” — hoping to find a non-corporate restaurant.

We were eventually rewarded with a real gem:  “Arnie’s Bakery.”      Now, Arnie is a familiar Scandinavian name.  My family has  friends and relatives named Arnie.   And this place said it was more than just a bakery.

20 Onion Stack

Being Friday,  my friend chose a Swedish salmon wrap,  which arrived on a huge dinner plate, Viking size portions,    accompanied by a tall stack of their specialty onion rings in the photo there.

20 Taco

I was still a little addled by the rock concert and chose a Swedish codfish taco, even though the words “Swedish”  and “taco”  aren’t normally paired together.  Tasted way better than it sounded.

We had desserts from the bakery, compliments of the house, and we brought more bakery home with us, enjoying our second round of desserts.  Triple chocolate torte, anyone?    An hour later we finished the night  with a smooth steaming cup of Scandinavian Hassel Noet  coffee.   Not quite a wise choice for that time of night,  but by 3:00 a.m. I was comfortably in  my own bed.

I’m still a bit off schedule, but life goes on…and it’s no longer “the morning after the night before.”

 

(The morning after) THE NIGHT BEFORE – PART I

December 8, 2012

(Come and enjoy a Friday evening with me)

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Oooooooooooooooohhhhhhhh…..

It is indeed the morning after that Night Before, having arrived home at 1:30 last night.  I suppose that makes it “this morning.”     I had an escort, who shall remain discreetly unnamed since I don’t know yet what I’m going to write here.   It is enough to say he was a good companion, intelligent, observant, a good conversationalist  —  and he drove and nagivated;  that was a treat!    (And I don’t believe he comes to The Spruce Tunnel often.)

1 tired kittyThings are a little fuzzy right now.   I’ve already missed my target this morning and had to show up someplace else to fulfill my religious obligation.  By the time I came home from that, I began waking up to…a body in distress.    (Never mind the details.)

I am beginning to suspect this body is getting too old for such Night Befores.

2 excited

SO, how did it start yesterday?    I got up way too early. like a little kid on Christmas morning expecting all sorts of excitement and good surprises.    I’m not a little kid,  so in effect, I started the day somewhat sleep-deprived –  but eager to get on with the day’s plans nevertheless.

I went on to lead my little Friday Morning class, as usual;  imparted some information to them;  and, as usual, they proceeded to “lead me”  into a deeper understanding of what our lesson was.   A little group of great minds, there.

Cue in music and drum rolls:

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Then it was on to the Big Event,  a 70=mile drive away.  Better make that cue in LOUD MUSIC and CRASHING DRUM BEATS.    Oh, yes,  I went to my very first ROCK CONCERT yesterday!!

I have no idea what I’m supposed to say about it.   Sometimes it seems that most of the other people in this world have been to rock concerts and know what they’re like.  I don’t need to describe it.  My escort said it best:  “There are some things I loved about it and some things I really didn’t like.”

What’s to love?   This!

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It was a spectacular light show with beams of colored lights and lasers bursting out in patterns in all directions and speeds, some softly traveling across the space above us, some forming a solid ceiling above us in the air,  some forming a delicate matrix which held us motionless,  some brilliantly flashing  deep into our eyes — the designer is a genius at providing the maximum visual and physical effect.

The color changed according to the intent of the “music.”     Yellow!

5 yellow 4

 

Or red:

6 red stage 4

Or blues, greens, oranges,  silver, pink — Fire flashed all over, on stage, overhead,  behind us, hot on our faces.   Amazingly effective and exciting.

The “musicians” appeared in stereotypical and easily recognizable rock concert costumes, semi-mocking formal attire with silver buttons and rivets and coattails paired with blue jeans and big black boots, flashing long shiny blond and blonde hair in skillful head-banger jerks and twirls.

Sometimes they hung over the audience

7 over audience 4

Oh,  but I’m describing what you very well know and have seen. . .

Kudos to the drummer!!   Hats off to the drummer!! We all stood for the drummer at certain points when the drum beats united with our heartbeats and lifted us upward into one throbbing rhythm. . . .

beethoven 100And hats off to Beethoven,  who provided some of  the music,  though he probably didn’t intend his pieces to sound quite like this.  It is said that when Beethoven’s music was first performed,  well-bred young women were advised not to attend these concerts because of the deepy-emotional content of the music.

Well, yes.   Quite so.

Remember the beautiful, lyrical Moonlight Sonata?   Well, lyrical it wasn’t last night!  I began to worry about the hands of the piano player.  No hands could possibly survive that banging on the keys for that wonderfully satisfying length of time!!      I have a feeling they did Beethoven-Plus.   I think they did Beethoven the way he wished he could have written his music –  but never dreamed it was possible.    Beethoven-Plus-Plus.

What’s not to like –    Or:   “the difference between troll and man”   (a famous quote from the fairy tale, Peer Gynt)

One of this band’s signature numbers is a rocking rendition of In The Hall of The Mountain King. You know,  Peer Gynt?    The overture composed by Edvard Grieg?    Haunting.  Menacing.  The dark, powerful abode of the magical, mesmerising trolls under the mountain,  forging away with iron and fire,  the flames of Hell reaching up into this world.

7.5 forging

Oh, yes, this performance last night had it right.

Appealing to our lower natures, there was a strange, somewhat incoherent narrative inserted between the “musical” sections with words  like lost, tragic,  abandoned,  some bloody, disembodied soul roaming the streets of New york City, untimely death, a brain-damaged child,   a greedy businessman, and so many other gut-wrenching phrases that are supposed to evoke emotional responses in this  20th century socialist world.

There were words shouted out and sung out, words of hatred and impotent power,  discordant voices the wails of tortured  electric guitars, those self-contradictory howlers of the modern world.

One woman sang a husky plaint with the repeated agonized phrase  “I…am…trying.”    And each time she said those words, the audience responded with howls and stomps and hand gestures….like the trolls inside the hellish mountain aroused to inhuman purposes.    We were transformed into participants at Balthazzar’s Feast, but no handwriting appeared for us.

8 audience 4

It was the audience that was a bit disturbing.

THE SCREAMER

We had very, very good seats that placed us right in and under and sourrounded by the action.  However, the seating location also placed us right next to a pair of female screamers, who let out random, ear-piercing yells for reasons known only to themselves.  They could be heard over and above the high-decibel music and even above the  shouting,  cheering audience.     Several people in our area had fingers in their ears.   The man in front of them had his jaw clenched at each scream. My companion had to leave the area for a while, since he was exactly right next to one of those mouths.

I think the Screamers wounded my ear infection . . . .

(Saying any more would certainly lead to a confessible offense….)

And the audience was restless and strangely “in motion.”   At any time, in every section of seats, people were getting up,  moving across the rows or aisles, sitting down.   It produced a very weird effect, like a human version of molecules in their random Brownian motion.

It was the randomness that affected me the most.  Not just the movements, but the random emotional cause-and-effect reactions that were imposed on us all.

I’m not sure. 

Is that good, once in a while?   Is it just an experience?  A “happening” as we used to say?   Is the effect the whole purpose?    Like watching a sunset.   Or skiing mindlessly through the mountain snow. Or coasting aimlessly on Rollerblades.   Walking without a goal through the Spruce Tunnel. . . .

So,  see?  I think I liked my first rock concert.

9 mene

Some of it.

“REVENUE” IS THE WORD

December 6, 2012

I’ve been hearing this word a lot lately.

Bublbe, revenue

So…..”revenue”  means “income.”

Nowadays,  the government wants revenue flowing into it at an ever increasing rate.     Some think the most direct way to get more revenue is to levy taxes…..on taxpayers.

If you levy higher taxes, you get fewer taxpayers.

Every time.

Fewer taxpayers makes less revenue for the government.

So that won’t work for them.

If our Rulers get really, really desperate,  they will convince our Congress to raise our taxes.  (Our Rulers have their ways….)   This will make our economy smaller, our businesses less active, reduce the number of employees who would be taxpayers,   it will make our citizens very, very unhappy….and our Rulers won’t get more revenue after all.

“Revenue.”     It’s not “taxes.”

INVISIBLE BUTTON, INVISIBLE HELP

December 6, 2012

(Domestic Duties today)

SAMSUNG

Well, I had a lot of things to do today,  and mending my rain jacket was on my list.   I had needed a rain jacket last Fall, and I found a nice blue one that was waterproof,  had a hood,  was selling at half price — and  the color matched the new car  I had to buy a year ago.    What could be better?

The hood was held on by a row of buttons.  That’s good, better than a zipper that could catch or break,  but the buttons were “clear” – that is,  invisible.    And one day I noticed one of them was missing.    How does one find a clear, transparent button…anywhere?

 

Buttons in a row

I didn’t solve the problem of the missing button for many weeks  —   actually, I wasn’t even working on the problem —  but of all the unexpected, chance, charming coincidences,   one day when I was out raking the leaves, a neighbor happened to come by, and I walked over to him so we could have a pleasant chat.   When he left, I began raking that area, although I had pretty much raked it a half hour before.    And there, between strokes of the rake,  was the “invisible’  button,  perched on the top of a wide blade of grass!

I doubt if I had ever even walked over that area of the lawn when I was wearing that blue raincoat.

The burden was on me, now,  to take care of that button before I lose it again, because I just know there’s a message in that chance find.   It’s beyond human doing.   (If you know what I mean.)

Not daring to ask too many questions, and not daring to put this off any further,  I did my morning mending.

 

Grandma and me

Grandma and me

I did my morning mending thinking about my grandma, who was always so busy and efficient,   my father, who always did his duty and got the job done;  all the angels and saints before us who teach us to “redeem the time, for the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:16);   of all the heavenly helpers who look down on us with care and concern and probably a great deal of wry amusement. . . .

Angel Notices 285

Angel of God, my guardian dear

To whom God’s love commits me here,

Ever this day be at my side

To light and guard,

To rule and guide.

In our short stay here on earth,  we are not alone, we are not without guidance.     There is so much more to life than just the material world that we can see.

Deo gratias.

 

GREEN AND RED TODAY

December 5, 2012

Well, we did it.   Son and I.

Xmas tree 90d

It actually looks a good deal more red and green in real life, but it’s hard to get the right colors in nighttime lighting.

We each had had moments of being out of step with the season.  It’s early, but we felt time is passing quickly and we hadn’t quite gotten into the holiday spirit yet.

But the secret is it’s the doing that makes the feeling.

Action precedes attitude.

It always works!

We’re both ready to enjoy the Christmas season now.

THE FULLNESS OF ADVENT: GREEN-AND-RED AND PURPLE

December 3, 2012

I’ve not let Advent go unnoticed in my life, I just haven’t come to The Spruce Tunnel about it yet.   It’s because things have become so much more serious this year – more noticeably, unavoidably serious.   I want to do it right.   Take a deep breath.

All green and red –

decorating

In this country Advent has become a  happy season of “preparing for Christmas,”  buying gifts,  decorating with pretty lights,  baking goodies — oh, yes,  and of reading some lightly written “meditations” each day, if you are so inclined.

However,  traditionally and actually,  in Christendom. . . .Purple

. . . . Advent is a season of preparation all right,  but it is a season of Purple – the penitential color,  the color of penance.

And Penance is that whole process of examing ourselves,  being truly sorry and remorseful – and probably horrified – by our sinning;   then repenting;  and doing what we must to have forgiveness declared; then firmly planning to live as we should in all things.

This makes our hearts clean and pure, and a fitting place for the Son of God to enter.

I wait for you here

Isaiah 40:4 puts it this way:  “Every valley shall  be exalted, every  mountain and hill be made low,  and the crooked shall be made straight and the rough places plain…”

In other words,  make a smooth, straight, clean pathway for the King to arrive on:

Roman victory

John the Baptist talks about this Purple season of Penance too.   He says: “Prepare a way for the Lord!”     “Make straight his path….!”    “Repent.”  “Do Penance.”

So in Advent we prepare for the Coming of Christ, but it is a Two-Phase Coming – once taking on humanity, at every stage of life, coming to us as an Infant;   the second phase is Coming to us as Victorious God-King fully revealed in all His power and glory,

Holy Infant, so pure and mild,  full of tender mercies;   Glorious King, so pure and righteous.     Powerful.    Mighty.    Victorious.

An American style Christmas,  little grandson,  busy kitchen, Christmas lights, presents and surprises, Green-and-Red all over….but given the terrible signs that precede the Second phase of His Coming,  the ones our newspapers seem to be talking about,  there will also be the Purple.