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Monday, February 03, 2014

Untidy Bowls And Other Thoughts

Steve, The Cat Who Visited Mars

I did not watch the Super Bowl, except for a few minutes during the second quarter when Seattle was gloriously ahead by 15 points.

I did not favor one side over the other; I did not wish the brave Seahawks defeat the inferior Broncos. I was quite fair about the whole thing.

There was a Puppy Bowl on Animal Planet, and there was an earlier Kitten Bowl on Hallmark. There used to be (as still is, for all I know) a Kitten Half-Time show at the Puppy Bowl, but they did not get a patent on it, and now the kittens have their own Super Bowl... which is probably not good for the owners of the Puppy League franchises.
Maybe the Kitten League and the Puppy League will combine. Then we could have a really Tidy (Super) Bowl.

Given the success of these alternative Bowls, in one of my acerbic Swiftian moods (Jonathan, not Tom) I said that I thought there might be a chance for an alternative bowl on C-Span with Syrian refugees.

Or an Islamic militant Shia-Beheading-Bowl.

This was considered to be an atrociously brutish thing to say, not at all like the Syrian War itself, which we have not only tolerated for three years, but which our government actually supported when it seemed as if we could get rid of Bashar Al Assad on the cheap by letting the old dependable Saudis and Qataris do it... heh-heh-heh!
(In a comment to a recent article about Syria in some publication, the commenter wrote that the "golf dictatorships" should be the ones responsible to sort things out. I had images of Phil Mickelson strutting about like Mussolini.)

War is not hell. Jokes about war are hell. War itself is tolerable, so it seems.

Who was it that said that
"War is merely the continuation of the daily deaths by automobiles and guns by other - and more efficient - means."  ?
I forget the name. Some bloke with a lot upstairs, though. Obviously.


It has been a year since my father died.

I had bought my wife the entire series of Six Feet Under, which we watched in the immersion method of watching actors. We are Method Watchers:  we immerse ourselves in the stories and characters so much so that we identify with them even when we are no longer potatoing upon the couch.
(I mentioned earlier that it dawned on me that this is how the ancients listened to the epics of Homer, and were educated thereby.)

Life and Death.
I believe that I suffered a good deal this past year. I was oppressed. There was nothing quite definite I was aware of, other than my physical pain which, surprisingly, has found a remedy just in the last week. Coincidence or not, I have had two or three years of increasing back and neck pain, and this period fits in exactly with the period of my father's decline, my parents' increasing demands upon me, and my father's passing.

It is hard to explain, as most of you know.
I feel alive for the first time in a long time.
I know the dynamos of life: nurture, love, family, eros, emotion, structure, spirituality; they all of them still functioned over the past few years, but they were dulled and darkened. Life was not living, but it has been an imitation of life, as if I were an actor always prepping for his role. No, more like the third understudy, who knew his chances of ever getting on the big stage were slim.

It's so hard for me to say. You'd think someone who fancies himself a writer could write about important things like that.
But words fail me.
It's like when I talked to God a couple years ago, He was on his way to a baseball game in Ebbetts Field (Can you believe it? The Dodgers have been gone since the 1950s.). He took time to smile, shake my hand firmly, and say that they'd been waiting for me.
Then off He goes with even the slightest word about dogma, belief, or the end of the world.
Which is probably a good thing, because I most likely would have obsessed about it, and driven people crazy.

I know it's pathetic, but words fail me in the face of the ineffable. Sorry.

So I know a bit about the well springs of life, and now I now the close touch of death, and where do I stand?Am I not still pretty much in the dark?

I feel like I am with Don Cheadle, Jerry O'Connell, and Connie Nielsen in their space rescue capsule returning from Mars in Mission To Mars, when the alien craft bearing Gary Sinise speeds by them on the way to some spiraled galaxy or another: speed and light piercing the dark with one fine line, leaving fast fading contrails in space (note to producer: I do not think there would be contrails in space.)
There is a goal; maybe I am going to it, maybe I am helping or helped others to it...
There is a triumph, and death has no dominion.

Creation never ends. Just like the Dodgers still play in Ebbetts Field, even if you see God running to catch a streetcar to the ball park. Even if you don't particularly like the brown suit He's wearing.

What matters is having been in it entirely with body, mind, and soul.


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