Saturday, August 15, 2015

It's early in the morning, about 6 am. That's early for me. There is just the gentlest rain falling. My flat is down a lane and to see the sky I have to look straight up. It's going to be a gray day. Maybe rainy too. Yesterday we had what I call a rain burst. It rained hard for about ten minutes, then it was clear.

I just finished a thing for The Episcopal Cafe and there is a story that I wasn't able to fit in. It's about King Solomon. He had his good points and his bad, you know. But there is an Islamic tale that he had a special rapport with the animal world. You know, the Muslims never say anything bad about their holy people. It's a lot more black and white for them. Anyway, there's a story that when Solomon and his army were going through a valley an ant saw them coming. The ant, being very conscientious, yelled ahead to warn the other ants that they should take cover lest Solomon inadvertently harm them. Solomon smiled when he heard about it because he was glad that the ant knew that he'd never hurt any part of Allah's creation, and he thanked Allah for saving the ant's lives. You know, they also have a story that Solomon can talk to the animals. That would be cool.

If you go to church this morning you will probably have a sermon about bread and wine. I just couldn't bring myself to write about it. I wish I still believed that it was something, that it meant something, just anything. But it doesn't make any sense to me anymore. When I see it in church it strikes me as an oddity. It is hard to believe I ever lined up for it, much less believed. I feel very far removed from church. For good or for bad, don't know. I suspect the later.

I saw a leaf fall on Tuesday: It was not an earthshaking event, just one leaf. It was large, brown, like other leaves. It is not the sort of event I should remember; but this one leaf, wending its way down, end over end, has stayed with me.

On the Lunar Calendar, observed in China and some other Asian countries, the first day of fall was last week. Maybe it was the day the leaf fell. I don't know.

The Hebrew month of Elul, a time of self-reflection and turning, is now upon us. Elul started yesterday, I think.

Summer, with its stiffing heat, is almost over. Soon enough we will  be complaining about the cold and digging out the coats.

Things are changing.

In our reading this week, Israel has changed kings. King David sleeps with his ancestors, and King Solomon will reign. He is wise, but he screws it up... like most of us.

I have a new Tao Te Ching. Ann sent it to me. I am trying to take it slowly, only one or two chapters a day. I am not being organized at all about it, just opening it up to see where the pages fall. I read 79 and 80 this morning. Here's a bit of wisdom from Chapter 79:
People whose power is real fulfill their obligations;
people whose power is hollow insist on their claims.
So all those insisting that they are in the right... maybe their power is hollow.

I still have my cough, and now my whole head is stopped up. I have some Chinese herbs to sniff and that helps some. I would just about kill for a Sudafed, though.

I am running out of western medicine.

In the daily readings for today Jesus tells people to stop with their incessant Torah study and listen to him. I will admit that I'd rather study the Bible than sit quietly and listen for Jesus. For one thing, he never says anything to me and it seems pointless to tell him anything. Also, I like to feel that I am doing something; you know, doing something, working at it. But it is the sitting with this confounding silence that is the real work, and I hate it. So, sometimes I say to my self, "Look, Muffin, you don't have to try... give it a rest, go easy on yourself." But, here's the thing, I've got all my eggs in this one basket. I have no other eggs, and I have no other basket. And so. If praying is easy, or if praying is hard, or if I'd rather just write a long-ish blog post instead of trying to pray... whatever... I will try anyway.


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