Tuesday, March 19, 2019


See, this is what I'm currently doing to make hurrication other than a waste of Time that bears no fruit and cannot be recovered,

not wanting to speak it, but over and again learning enough that I can read a line, sound out a word, recognize a name, אֶהְיֶה or יְהוָה the tetragrammaton, say, that I had to explain in my general ordination exam at Virginia seminary all those years ago. Forty is a good scriptural number, so say forty years. 

Why are there 27, I thought you said there are 22? Well, it's because there're five finals for word-ending use, K, M, N, P, and TS. Still have trouble with the letters that are just sticks with a little something on top, so'm concentrating on those. Also, 22 is misleading, because there are tiny marks, dots and stuff, underneath or over or beside as sound, vowel marks, for pronunciation.

This is a good week to have been doing this drill, because Sunday's OT lesson is the part of Exodus 3 when Moses unfortunately encounters God in the burning bush and gets a lifetime assignment that he is most reluctant to take on. If curiosity killed the cat, Moses would have done well to have said to hisself, "What a pretty red bush, reminds me of fall in New England, I guess it'll soon be winter", and gone on tending his FIL's livestock that morning. But Moses wanders up to have a look and unwittingly finds himself on the set of Hee Haw, where he meets a fast talking One who introduces himself with an unpronounceable name and sells Moses a vehicle off of Junior Samples' Used Car Lot.

As Junior used to say, slamming a door that then fell off, "Buy a used car from me and you'll never walk again." Poor Moses, he didn't know what he was getting into. He should of stood in bed.

Monday, March 18, 2019


Blog being by me for me, I owe me no apology for the Monday post being later than I prefer, though an explanation is a common courtesy: too busy identifying a sixties Ford Falcon and a London Taxi in response to inquiries. London Cab and London Taxi are not the same, and I read that London Taxi is owned by Geely, the same Chinese company that owns Swedish automaker Volvo Cars.

This sort of internationalism, expanding to total economic interdependence, is good for peace. My last Buick was from Germany, for example. Another Buick model is imported from China. Lots of Japanese brand Toyota cars are made in America. This laptop computer was assembled in China.

Breakfast: breakfast egg casserole left over from yesterday's brunch at church for the bishop's visit. Drive into PC to cast vote for new, 8' sliding glass doors at HV, check mail, and take car to shop for check engine light. Door change is a no-brainer. One must be patient with a nearly fourteen-year-old car. In my earlier days this second shining of the check engine light would have primed me eagerly to start browsing for a new car, but there's no car I prefer to my 2006 66k miles V8. Like Ove's Saab cars. Though Ove said to trade in for a new car every three years.

Three of my girls are on spring break at Disney. Although the younger of the two once told me in response to being called Papa's girl, "I'm not your girl, I'm my daddy's girl." Reminded me of over a half-century ago, First Girl storming at me, "I wish you'd quit calling me LadyBug, I'm not a bug". 've since tried to be more mindful of pet names. 

Floods, spring tornado season at hand, hurricane season returning as spring turns to summer. Shootings all over the globe: are we to the point that Christian can be defined as one who hates Muslims and vv? In some ancient times, courage was the ideal. Then, love. What next?

We're entering a new era of what's Normal Times. 


car pic: thanks, Frank!

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Thank you my

The Poem-A-Day email was titled "Remembering W S Merwin", who died day before yesterday. Merwin was once Poet Laureate of the United States. He named this poem "Variation on a Theme" and it appeals to me for reasons that could only belong to an old man and do not bear explaining outside my own mind and Being.

Thank you my life long afternoon
late in this spring that has no age
my window above the river
for the woman you led me to
when it was time at last the words
coming to me out of mid-air
that carried me through the clear day
and come even now to find me
for old friends and echoes of them
those mistakes only I could make
homesickness that guides the plovers
from somewhere they had loved before
they knew they loved it to somewhere
they had loved before they saw it
thank you good body hand and eye
and the places and moments known
only to me revisiting
once more complete just as they are
and the morning stars I have seen
and the dogs who are guiding me

It's quite clear within the poem and also from other considerations of his awarenesses, including a 2008 collection "The Shadow of Sirius" that won him the 2009 Putlizer Prize, that by the dogs he's talking about Sirius the Dog Star. Who also was Harry Potter's protector in the series. 

W S Merwin, I'm not familiar with him and his work, but I'm sufficiently intrigued with this poem to explore him a little more this afternoon after Sunday's events. I wonder if not using punctuation and only the opening capital letter is typical for him. Lined as poetry, it makes for some going back to see clearly where the commas and periods (full stops) would go.

Apologies to W S that this poem doesn't go well with Verdana, which I only like and use because of the serif on the capital i I. So I think I'll change it maybe to Times. 


Saturday, March 16, 2019

Not so clear

My father used to say - - after WW2, when Tyndall Field later TAFB, and the Navy Base were coming to be realized as core, essential elements of our Panama City community - - used to say that any town whose economy depended on a local military base was setting itself up for financial disaster. That didn't seem so clear to me in those days when what was clear was that our Navy and especially Air Force installations were permanently here to stay forever, and no worries about it with Bob Sikes, Earl Hutto and our other powerhouses in Congress. 

What, despite officials' assurances to the contrary in the wake of Hurricane Michael, is no longer clear, is a clear threat to our economy and future here: that whether indeed to rebuild Tyndall after all is, considering the prospective cost of it, an issue of uncertainty among those who do not represent us in Washington and who could like to see those billions spent closer to their own electorates. 

The ruin brought by Hurricane Michael seems in one day to have destroyed small business, eliminated jobs and forced many families to leave; instantly cut the enrollment of our public schools such that apparently several schools will not reopen for the Fall 2019 schoolyear. Hospital staff lost jobs, and parts of our community still look like a war zone, snapped over trees near the epicenter of a nuclear blast. 

Again, for all the catchy slogans, forced and feigned optimism and stiff upper lips, our area is endangered. Of course I say this remembering years ago in the Pacific Northwest when the popular saying was "Last one out of Seattle, turn off the lights." And despite the state of mind that descends as I cross Hathaway Bridge and especially driving into the Cove, I'm not moving anywhere out of sight and smell of salt sea or north of US98. 




Friday, March 15, 2019

behold the gates of hell

It suddenly came to me as for the umpteenth morning I looked out into the foggy damp, Ἰδοὺ πύλαι ᾅδου,

the realization that none of this is real earthly life. ὁράω. And only I or another Narnia fan could see it, see, perceive, ἴδωσιν, realize, understand, get it. In "The Last Battle" the Pevensie children are present, Peter, Edmund and Lucy (not Susan, a skeptic and worldly nonbeliever, but the other three). Not to do a spoiler because who hasn't read it isn't about to do now; but at the end of the story it turns out that the children had been killed in a train wreck and instantly, by Aslan, transported into Narnia to lead and win the battle. Who doesn't understand (Lorrie Morgan 1992), "I guess you had to be there" reading the Narnia stories with my middle school kids, some of whom are looking at thirty. So, here I am for real: ᾅδης, fog and damp, silent, no sound behind the glass of my cell as cars pass by, yes, hell for me is filled with cars I cannot get to, it is not possible for it to be otherwise anymore than a prophet can be killed outside Jerusalem. 

Linda, I don't think Linda is buying this, but she is just a phantom of my imagination here in ᾅδης with unreachable cars and perpetual predawn or dusk semi-darkness of foggy damp, she is back in 7H and I am here, either in purgatory for cleansing, or in hell. Or it could be a dream as in another of C S Lewis, "The Great Divorce", narrator walking abandoned streets in the chill, drizzly, eternal half-light of Hell. Or with Emily and Mother Gibbs up the hill outside Our Town as memories and attachments to life and the "living" fade.

Hell is where Untermensch enter a house of God or a school or a mall or a theater shooting and killing innocent people because of hatred that they are different. Hell is where some are excluded because they are not the same; unknowingly, I grew up there, as innocently guilty as the governor of Virginia in his blackface. We live and do and think and know because we are there before the Time that makes ancient good uncouth. Christchurch: how could even the most evil of beings hurt a child.   


Thursday, March 14, 2019

what great stones

Immensely stirred and complicated and brought to knees by out of control personal factors, this ongoing and experiential unendingness of both the hurrication and the wellness of my first child, loaded into the eighteen-wheeler of life anyway, watching disintegration of morality, world and nation because of incomprehensible created-in-the-image-of-Creator stupidity of human selfishness and greed; and now beloved child and beloved hometown, it all comes home and comes down on, as it has and does for millions of people on earth, a father holding his child in the ruins of war and going somewhere, anywhere else -

- that nearly all my life I've watched with sympathy and compassion now collapsed into the empathy of being there too. But then why not me?

What? brings me here the State of the Nation and its selfsameness to Rome and other states, all of which collapsed in their Time. Remembering deep emotional love for and boundless confidence in America during World War Two, throughout my childhood and all my growing up years, and now living into the reality that all was never as perfect as it seemed and "one of his disciples said to him, 'Look, Teacher, what wonderful stones and what wonderful buildings!' And Jesus said to him, 'Do you see these great buildings? There will not be left here one stone upon another, that will not be thrown down.'” (Mk 13:1b-2)

Five months and abiding: does it start to get better? If so, it's not your child, and it obviously wasn't your hometown.

2018 that started with centennial remembrance of the 7 January 1918 wreck of the Annie & Jennie and ...

What to do? Time. Resume my exploration into Hebrew.




Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Don't wait up

Clear, 59°F at the moment, going to 71° and cloudy by one o'clock Wednesday afternoon here at Rosemary/Inlet Beach in SoWalton during hurrication - -

- - during hurrication, in which we are missing a significant part of life as we knew it, weekday evening events at our church, now 25 miles away. 

People have different social centers, and in my family of origin all my growing up years, ours was our church, my parents were reserved and we were stay at homers except for what was going on at the church. Even vacations, I remember only one family vacation my eighteen years at home, no, two come to think of it. 

One summer, I recall it as 1950 because of the discussion of which car we would go in, we drove from Panama City up to Washington, DC and stayed with our aunt EG while our father went to a session of the College of Preachers while we did the sights each day, and Skyline Drive on the way back home. My brother and sister may or may not remember that trip. The car discussion at home was whether to go in "the car" as we called the green 1948 Dodge sedan, or "the station wagon" that I've written about here several times. I argued to go in the station wagon because it had three rows of seats, more room for us plus EG was to come back home with us. Parents decided on the car because my father was uneasy with the idea of driving a standard transmission in the mountains, and the Dodge had fluid drive. 

Our other totally family vacation was to the Family Camp session at Camp Weed, Carrabelle, Florida, August 1951. I was 15 almost 16 and the week holds particular memories. Gina would have been 13, Walt just turned 12, and I don't know what they recall of it; but those were our two family vacations.

My own family may have different memories, because I was in the Navy their growing up years, and vacations were trips driving home to Panama City and back. Except for the Japan years, a train trip from Yokohama to Kyoto when Linda's mother came over to visit; and a long-weekend driving trip south with the Hahn family, Gary, Geri & children. My three year Japan assignment was split into two duty stations; the second, I was traveling most of the time and when home in Yokohama wanted nothing more than to stay there. Our vacation during my sea duty homeported in San Diego was the week after the ship returned from WestPac, we drove up to Disney World.

So what's all this? Coming like a long, ongoing electrical shock, hurrication has changed life in very many ways, the most felt and noticeable not being this quite pleasant condo where we've been lodging, but within, emotionally, attitudinal, I suppose. Sense of having instantly become a displaced person, being displaced, and so permanently that I know I'll never again feel settled and safely "at home." Lost feelings for material things that used to make any place "home". My disposition is to buy a permanent Amtrak ticket and just be gone, where home would be whatever town we are passing through when I pull down my windowshade each night. Don't wait up.

All of which addressed somehow in an article I keep on my computer desktop, conveniently to open and read as needed.