Monday, August 31, 2020

Aug 31

When I awoke at 4AM, I thought that the bedroom windows had been shut.  They were open; the crickets were just suppressed for the first time this summer by the cold.

In my dream I was back in Ireland, all but imprisoned in a miniature pub -- one built on the scale of the munchkins from Oz.   There was a single booth, and a cubby hole with storage leading to a tiny bath.   It was an act of contortion to pass from one to the other.

I sat, alone, at the booth, admiring a white grease board with the offerings of the day listed on it in orange cursive.  It pleased me that they were ad hoc and that they had been set out with a personal touch, but not a word on the board could be read; the handwriting was indecipherable.

My solitude was broken only when a beautiful young girl with a helmet of black hair popped her head in, smiled, and then retreated without a word.

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Final Things

Yes, the days of your life have been numbered, from the first one.  Queequeg saw this -- he rolled his die upon the deck of Pequod and the die foretold his fate, notwithstanding the fact that Ahab had a choice not to pursue the White Whale to his death.  Les Jeux Sont Faits.  The paradox of free will and determinism.

Everything that can be numbered, is numbered, in the Great Book maintained by the Lord.  The number of toasted marshmallows that you have been fated to eat in your lifetime.   I see here that the one you ate on July 6, at a clandestine Independence Day party in Acushnet, sitting with your grandson little Sheperd and his two friends, was your last and final.   You will never have that particular, savory carnal experience again.  The circle draws closer as it must.

Saturday, August 22, 2020

Aug 22 plus 180

O'er the fields we go.
Laughing all the way --
Ha!  Ha!  Ha!

With our masks on still, it goes without saying.

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Aug 19

I am no scholar of the bible.  I know that there is one book that some have called "erotic."   But to the modern eye and ear it seems comical -- "Her breasts were like two young roes that are twins."  Hubba hubba.

In my dream though, there was another book.   Not erotic, but teeming with what might be called romantic poetry.   In my dream my beloved sat at my left side.  I read the book closely, both in terms of physical proximity and rabbinical seriousness.   With my left forefinger, I traced out for my beloved the passages that were most magical.   This was not a joyful exercise, but the ritual rather an anchor in a storm of sorts, a necessity for our survival, whether separate or apart.

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Aug 12

I'm haunted by the cruelty of the long green mantis.  I want to punish the mantis for its cruelty, but in the end that would not reduce the Great Quantum of Cruelty in the world.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Aug 11

Cultural appropriation I know.  But what if God commanded you in earnest to excavate the experience of an old woman of Andalusia, on a Sunday afternoon, in the spring of 1960?

She will walk slowly down the stone steps.   Her neighbor's donkey will be tethered at the gate.  She will smell the bull ring before she turns the corner and sees it.

But first the black mantilla.  The comfort of the familiar.    It is light enough to lift in the breeze, but its cultural weight is immense.  She was displaced during the war, but she carried it with her on a handcart.

The mantilla and indeed all of her trappings create an air around her of claustrophobia, but it is misleading in the extreme.   In her mind she roams free; she surveys the entire scene, from as far away as the seacoast, with the eye of an osprey.  Her voice is known to be gravelly.  When it is heard, the people fear that something prophetic and dire may be said.

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Aug 9

Let us pledge to follow the tentacles of moral responsibility wherever they may lead.

Wait.   On second thought, why don't you pledge to follow the tentacles of moral responsibility wherever they may lead.  When you get there, give me a call and let me know how you made out.

Saturday, August 8, 2020

Aug 8

In Disney's post-COVID remake of "Snow White," the seven dwarves will have been reduced to three by illness, and the survivors will have been renamed "Nasty," "Brutish" and "Short."

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Aug 4

"The sea exhaled by droppes will in continuance be drie."

--Thomas Nashe