Language

I paid $100 to have a blog, gewkey.com, and nobody reads it.  I’ll have to stick to Facebook where I have a regular readership and can even count on their reaction.  My reaction to life and its mysteries is unique, but so is everyone else’s.

Language is what facilitates this.  Language leaves some kind of record.  Language is what enables one to learn almost everything.  Language is what baffles those who limit themselves to the record of nature, and who exclude the supernatural.

Homo ergaster (predating homo sapiens) is said to have figured out the rudiments of language by his use of tools—a good guess.  But then, none of us is certain about why we’re here except my nine-year-old granddaughter, who doubts very little.  (It is written—“out of the mouths of babes.”)

Irritations

I share my life with a woman, a lovely one at that. A feminine one. But I am a man, and I think like the man my culture said I should be. That is the man of Western Civilization. He is ready when action is needed and often able to think his way out of tough situations, but honorable, kind, especially to women and children or the ill-starred. When a woman faces me with feminine characteristics that I think are wrong, I am almost dumbfounded. Words are not enough.

I forgive her, of course, ninety-nine times nine, but I have to walk somewhere else to do that. And that irritates her. She has feelings too. I take the consequences. Blaming my mentor from the New Testament is counter-productive, and would give me the moniker of being a religious freak. There are certain designations I surely want to avoid.

In my mother’s day they said it all comes out in the wash. And the wash, in case you didn’t know it, is judgment day. But can I wait that long?

On Being Good

Being good has its share of tedium, difficulties, and irritation. I have found, however, there is a point when suddenly the divine aspect of it overflows into my soul, and happiness is the result. There’s no happiness like the divinely inspired; it seizes the thoughts and the feeling in the belly, like a most satisfying meal. And best of all, it means you’re on the right track.

We all have our goals in life, our objectives. When we do something that furthers them, we get a certain satisfaction, if not happiness directly. But of course, that’s not the whole story of life. There are concomitant trials, rough times, but we survive. It’s something like outliving your enemies. It’s related to getting an eternal reward, which is not a hopeless end. If man can think of it, it’s possible–that’s the way our brains are made.

But the real motive for being good is gratitude. Who gave me all this? Sure there’s bad mixed in with the good. But do you ever eat a peach without a pit? Given nuts, don’t you usually have to shell them? And if somebody does that for you, don’t you have to pay for it? Know how to deal with life–another gift!

Faithfulness

This word, which probably originally implied belief in another person, (faith+full) is decidedly a human characteristic, since few animals, other than pet dogs, display it.  As regards marital fidelity, with the U.S. divorce rate at 50%, it is not so human after all.  But faithfulness can also be for a friend, to an idea or ideal.

It transcends nature.  However, Canada geese mate for life, unlike most other birds, and both parents share in raising the young.  With most mammals, however, this task is borne by the female, except with humans.  Faithfulness, with them, is classified as a virtue, a strength, and greatly admired among the civilized.

It is sometimes unquestioning.  In Lucerne, Switzerland, there is a huge stone monument to the Swiss Guard of Louis XVI, men in his employ, who died almost to the man defending him from the French Revolutionaries.  That’s faithfulness.

Loretta's Nursing Home

That’s what my wife said one morning, as I tarried in an easy chair.  However, I still wash the dishes, make the bed, set the thermostat, winterize the patio, bring in the groceries, put out the garbage, and write this blog.  As you can see, I’m still able by the grace of the Creator.  My appendages have aged well, have evolved to my pride.

Yes, I did having a skiing accident some years ago, but it healed to my satisfaction.  I just have to watch out, but then, we all have to do that.  I can still appreciate a sunny day, a cataract operation, a good meal such as Loretta offers.  And yes, I do pray.  I wouldn’t have made it this far without that.

Snow Drops

That’s the name of the flower that just began to bloom outside my front door. It is the first sign of spring, and it’s a delicate white petal on a four-inch green stem, so tentative a venture to emerge in the middle of winter. It’ll survive inches of snow, and when the crocuses finally come in March, it will have finished its statement of courage.

Like the virtue of Hope, it is the product of human cultivation, and its tiny bulbs must have originated in Holland where other spring bulbs start their way to market. As I look at the three of them in the shadow of a bush, an azalea in this case, it will have done its job of lifting my spirits ‘ere the azalea is in splendor.

There are many hopes for the spring that already bloom in my heart, and when the robins return (they still do) I, too, will burst into a hymn or a song.

The Rosary

It is the stealth prayer of this century.  Promoted by St. Dominic in the Sixteenth Century, its history dates back via 1232 to earliest Christianity, when the Desert Fathers kept track of their prayers with knotted ropes.  Devout Anglicans and Lutherans have their own versions, but Catholics recite a sophisticated form that can be used by everyone from children to intellectuals.  The meditative version makes use of a method taught even through Eastern meditation, with a mantra (the Hail Mary) that does better service than the Eastern “Ohmm.”

The apparitions of Christ’s Mother, approved by the Church, all make mention of the rosary, and Catholics tend to use it as a personal form of prayer.  It can be recited on the ten fingers when you want to keep your prayer secret (which is often) and its ambidextrous or double mental preoccupation (keeping the mind occupied with recitation of a prayer and meditation) is to me a way of staving off Alzheimer’s.  That may be a personal thought.

When I complete a rosary I feel I have really communicated with God, with the ethereal, and done what Jesus recommended, prayed.  So far, my friends show they enjoy good fortune, and hey, what else to pray for?