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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Sabotage

A journey of nearly thirty-nine years had led them to a back porch shop in Pennslobovia. One going out of his mind from the struggle to find work and the other cursing the work he had. On the surface, they couldn't be in more different circumstances but they had one very, vital thing in common.

Male pattern baldness.

Well, yes, they had that in common but that wasn't...

They were both standing on the porch in Pennslobovia.

Well, yes, that's technically true too but not germane to the top...

They were both drinking coffee.

No. Haha, gotcha there, the one had finished his already.

They were both coffee drinkers.

Sigh, yes, they both drank coffee. They both had been struck with male pattern baldness, were standing on a porch in Pennslobovia and they both enjoyed a good cup of coffee or four. May i continue now that you've totally derailed my point?

Yup.

Ahem! Aside from all of those scintillating similarities, they had one other thing in common: they were both. being. poisoned.

Dun-DAH! What? It needed a dramatic emphasis.

Don't you have some traffic you could be playing in? Carrying on. Right. Poisoned. Not physically mind you, though living in Pennslobovia that's always a possibility too. But it's not their corporeal tissue that was effected but the ...

Corporal Who now?

Corporeal Tissue, their physical bodies.

Then why didn't you just say "bodies?"

Because i liked the phrase "corporeal tissue!" It's called a vocabulary.

It's called being a pretentious peckerwood.

Look you!

Are you gonna tell us what was being poisoned or what?

Are you going to stop interrupting?

Are you gonna use real words?

Deep cleansing breath. No, it was not their bodies that were being poisoned. It was their work.

Whoa, whoa, whoa, time out. You said one of them was struggling to look for work.

Indeed.

Now you say his work was being poisoned.

i have.

You're gonna have to explain that to me.

i'm shocked. Work, is a constant. Whatever has been put before you to do at that moment is your work. Changing a baby; building a desk; helping a little, old lady find her taxes; studying for a test; looking for a job; talking to a friend on the phone; drawing a comic strip or writing a blog. It's all the job at hand. Even lying down to rest is the work at hand at that given moment. So, in a sense, work and the present moment are synonyms.

Okay, so work = now.

Precisely.

Wherever you are, whatever you're doing, whenever, that's your work.

Um, yes.

The here and now. Present tense. Talking to you, that's my job.

And a smashing one you're doing too.

And these bums on the back porch, their jobs were getting poisoned.

So, i've said.

Not very quickly, you gotta way of getting off point, if you know what i mean. Too easily distracted.

Plotting murder will do that. As i was saying! They were both frustrated and angry, they were both dissatisfied with where their lives were at, what they had become, what they were doing. The one, that he was thirty-eight and had no job or prospects and was studying for a licensing test in a field he wasn't sure would pan out. The other, that he was thirty-eight, wanted to be doing something else but was stuck skinning his knuckles and filling his eyes with sawdust doing something he had no interest in doing. Both had something to do: study for an exam; build a desk but they could not focus on those simple tasks and even disdained them because their minds kept trying to do someone else's job.

Someone else's job? Whose?

God's. You see, they could not focus or enjoy the simple tasks they'd been given because they were trying to do God's job. To force the future into clarity. To predict and even control the outcome of their work. They wanted assurances they did not have instead of letting God be God and trusting Him and His promises.

Hmmm, i think you're reaching on that one, buddy.

It was as if they were given a thought to convey and some rude, unpleasant smelling, voice in their heads kept interrupting and agitating and sabotaging the natural flow.

Yeah, you're gonna need a better analogy.

If only.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The trial of the trails.


"So what's your plan?" said Mynnie.

"Plan? There ain't no "plan!"" answered the Pigkiller.

The first is a quote from my wife at lunch the other day. i was listlessly working my whip upon the dry skeleton of a long dead dray and she was rather appropriately fed up. She wanted to know what i was going to do to get out of my rut.

Well wouldn't we all. That's where one of my favorite quotes from one of my favorite genre's comes into play. Mad Max was good for something.

In the meantime, i've decided to put some of my new found coloring gifts to use and have started a daily comic strip. For those three or two of you who didn't already know, it's called the Rabbit Trails. If you did already know, then there's nothing to see here, about your lives citizens. Move along, move along.

Monday, March 14, 2011

My Emergency Response Plan


"Is this the end of the world?"

My wife, Mynnie, asked me that when the Towers fell back in the '01. Obviously the world kept spinning. Some Yak herder somewhere woke up on September 12, scratched his butt and made the tea over the dung fire the same way he always did and never heard nor probably cared too much that some fools flew some planes into some buildings on the other side of the ball. But i don't think my wife thought the Towers were going to fall on all of us. She probably meant, is this how the end of the world starts?

A better way of saying it may be, "Is this the end of life as we've known it?" Does this event signal a larger change? It's an understandable question. Folks look at all the natural disasters in the world, the growing power of cyclones and hurricanes, the volcanic, seismic and subversive activity. The growing political unrest in... um...everywhere and they begin to worry that their comfortable little petroleum fueled, latté driven lives might be about to veer off into the bridge abutment of calamity. Time was when Damocles' sword was made of Mutually Assured Nuclear Annihilation. Now it seems that while we were fretting with one eye on the sky, Pestilence, Famine and War were salting the ground under our feet. If one were to open their hearts to fear, it feels as if we're just one economic crisis away from a global meltdown and there doesn't seem to be enough seawater to pour on the rods.

So what do we do? Live in fear? Live in denial? Eat, drink and pinch Mary for tomorrow we die?

i suppose we could and i feel sure many will, just as they did moments before the waters rose around the Ark or the fiery hail fell on the streets of Sodom but i would like to suggest a better emergency preparedness plan:
  1. Pray for guidance, strength and mercy
  2. Trust that you'll get it
  3. Love God with all your heart, mind and soul
  4. Love your neighbor as yourself
i'm told by a fairly reliable source that if you use this plan, even if you die you will find eternal life.


Friday, March 04, 2011

Whuchoo talkin' 'bout, Aunt Linda?


"What a great life you have!!! You keep us all smiling!!!"

This is a quote via Facebook from my Aunt Linda. It made me make that snorting sound you do when you try to laugh at a moment of surprise. Intake and exhalation hit each other in the ol' windpipe and create friction that explodes out the sinuses. An internal thunderstorm of the nose i suppose.

Now i could go one of two directions with this quote. The first would be to point out how the faceless quality of the interwebs allows us to more completely brick up a false front to our true selves. That is, i'm afraid, how i responded immediately on the thread. It's a quick, thoughtless, knee jerk reaction, not without a grain of truth but like a clam strip, it's mostly fat-soaked breading.

For everything meine Tante said was true. Folk really do seem to get a kick out of my blither. i don't claim to understand it but i'd be a liar to pretend to ignore it. What's more, aside from getting people to think a little, mostly about their relationship with God, making them smile is a genuine goal of mine. So gimme the flightsuit and the banner so i can thumbs-up to a big "Mission Accomplished!" Meanwhile, the war goes on.

It's the first part of the quote that shocked me really. Anyone who's subjected themselves to the horror of this blog could attest, just prior to plucking their own eyes out, that i am generally a miserable wretch. Take this random comment from a fellow named Tige:

"Hey there. Came by your post accidentally. Your writing is funny. That's great. You are also a moper. Not so great. "

See, you don't even have to be a follower.

"What a great life you have!!!" Three exclamation points seem to put it over the top but no, it's that true! Aunt Linda is absolutely correct. And what's more, it's true for all of us. God gave us these lives and they are good. That's not to say that the circumstances are always fun or easy or pleasing or even generally-amusing-if-you-squint-at-it-just-right, but that's not what "good" means. i don't actually know what good means but i know it's got more in common with "beautiful" and "loved" than "happy." Circumstances are weather. They are the seas in which we sail, but they have no bearing on whether or not the ship is good. The ship is good! The sea is good. The weather, may suck today and be ideal tomorrow but the sailing is good.

Now, why did the same guy who made the ship, make the weather suck so often? Ahhhh. There's the rub, eh? i have no idea. No, that's not true, i have ideas but lack the hubris to spout them. But i will hint them, i have arrogance enough for that. i don't think i ever learned anything insightful, significant or life changing; i don't believe that the person i am and the person i am becoming would be if my life were smooth sailing through breezy, sunny, summer days. i don't think i would have learned to trust, believe and depend on my savior if i never knew i needed saving. i don't think i would have ever lived if i hadn't shot the rapids and wondered if i was going to die. Our God is a God of resurrection, that's how He works. He brings about new life through death...
...but you gotta die first.