Monday, January 16, 2017

red letter day

Starting over with Monday’s blogpost. Still sitting on “hold,” the early draft was over bold, dashed with sarcasm, skepticism, cynicism and a doubt level obnoxious even for DThos+. It may live in infamy or obscurity.

Breakfasted on 7H porch, now hastening on toward mid-morning, cool and quiet out here, no action on the Bay but a tug with barge tacet in the far channel.

Beginning the walk, parked halfway down the holy block as two 18-wheeler flatbeds were poised to offload concrete blocks for HolyP. Months since seeing a drawing and don't remember, I’m eager to see what level side walls will be, as this morning’s delivery was nicely finished outside block.

Walk along EBeachDrive, Cherry Street to 2nd Court and up the grind past 2nd Court corner Harmon Avenue house where the Epling family lived in the 1940s and my growing up years. 

I remember George and Clyde and may have been other siblings, no longer sure.

Our orange cat did not show, haven’t seen for several weeks, maybe couple months. An affectionate cat, not scaredy, prone to weave in and out round our legs and feet. 

Past the holy ground where once stood a dumpster filled with unsold comic books from Cooper's News on Harrison Avenue, tied up in packages with string, front cover torn off each book. 1940s, many boys, Bubba included, spent many hours sitting in that dumpster reading many comic books. The dumpster is long gone, but the ground where it sat is eternally hallowed.

At the moment, sound of gunfire offshore or, carrying across the water, the short reports seem from that direction. Could be at TAFB. What do I like to imagine - - naval gunfire. Doesn’t sound like rifle shots, not saluting batteries. Shotguns maybe or - - naval gunfire, battleships fighting toward a victory at sea underway just over the horizon. What would I like? To be 21 instead of 81 this morning. 

Or maybe somebody’s clearing out wolves on Shell Island, IDK, the Old Pass is closed and wildlife easily can cross onto. Or bears. Coyotes? Wildcats? Bad guys?

Seeing I’m there mentally, may as well lift, copy and paste, part of the early blogpost draft. Before either the FuroForty stands me up or the coreg lies me down. I went to church yesterday to hear a plain damn fool preach on and on and on and on about nonsense. Not an epsicolopian, mind, not saying what but not one of us, in a seemingly endless incomprehensible ramble about the saved and the unsaved, the only evident object being was to run out the clock with the sound of her/his voice. So, thanks to a friend who may recognize self, a poem tormenting me ->

Christ And The Soldier - 
Poem by Siegfried Sassoon


The straggled soldier halted — stared at Him — Then clumsily dumped down upon his knees, Gasping

'O blessed crucifix, I'm beat !'

And Christ, still sentried by the seraphim, Near the front-line, between two splintered trees, Spoke him:

'My son, behold these hands and feet.'

The soldier eyed him upward, limb by limb, Paused at the Face, then muttered,

'Wounds like these Would shift a bloke to Blighty just a treat!'

Christ, gazing downward, grieving and ungrim, Whispered,

'I made for you the mysteries, Beyond all battles moves the Paraclete.'


The soldier chucked his rifle in the dust, And slipped his pack, and wiped his neck, and said —

'O Christ Almighty, stop this bleeding fight !'

Above that hill the sky was stained like rust With smoke. In sullen daybreak flaring red The guns were thundering bombardment's blight. The soldier cried,

'I was born full of lust, With hunger, thirst, and wishfulness to wed. Who cares today if I done wrong or right?'

Christ asked all pitying,

'Can you put no trust In my known word that shrives each faithful head ? Am I not resurrection, life and light ?'


Machine-guns rattled from below the hill; High bullets flicked and whistled through the leaves; And smoke came drifting from exploding shells.

Christ said

'Believe; and I can cleanse your ill. I have not died in vain between two thieves; Nor made a fruitless gift of miracles.'

The soldier answered,

'Heal me if you will, Maybe there's comfort when a soul believes In mercy, and we need it in these hells. But be you for both sides ? I'm paid to kill And if I shoot a man his mother grieves. Does that come into what your teaching tells ?'

A bird lit on the Christ and twittered gay; Then a breeze passed and shook the ripening corn. A Red Cross waggon bumped along the track. Forsaken Jesus dreamed in the desolate day — Uplifted Jesus, Prince of Peace forsworn — An observation post for the attack.

'Lord Jesus, ain't you got no more to say ?'

Bowed hung that head below the crown of thorns. The soldier shifted, and picked up his pack, And slung his gun, and stumbled on his way.

'O God,' he groaned,'why ever was I born ?'

The battle boomed, and no reply came back. 

+++   +++   +++

And particularly in mind Today, here’s the red letter promise (John 14:13f) "I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If in my name you ask me for anything, I will do it” that I clung to as, often in life, I prayed out heart and soul for
John ...
Robert ...
Martin ...
Audrey ...
William ...
Bill ...
Laurie ...
Cindy ...
Eleanor …

What is it, what are theres, that make me human? My ability have myself as the object of my own reflections? That I so easily get tripped up by mixing sense and nonsense, reason and absurdity, imagination and reality? That I can contemplate my own mortality? That I can look beyond the firmament and realize that I’m but a speck on a speck among two hundred billion bright spots? 

Kyrie eleison. 

somewhere in Stoppage Time of +Time+

Sunday, January 15, 2017

holy man goofing along

What I’m doing with my January February sabbatical my rector graciously concurred in. Sunday morning seems an apt moment to contemplate and comment. So, as to thought, word and deed, several perhaps unrelated thinkings and doings.

One a preLenten exercise of the self-examination St. Paul calls for in 1 Corinthians 11:27f that is a daily part of Ignatian spiritual discipline but of which I am ongoingly negligent. This in lieu of the 3, 5, or 8 day directed silent retreat in a Catholic center that I need, even at my age and especially at the state of my soul, where Paul warns of κρίμα (1 Cor. 11:29), which the KJV renders “damnation” and others “judgment” startlingly implying a guilty verdict. As the old ways were best, I prefer the straightforward language of the 1928 BCP Exhortation to the watered new language (1979 BCP 326). At any event, mindful of self, examining, and meaning to get the best of me during this sabbatical, I’m a work in process but hardly a work in progress.

Two trip to visit my brother, whom I’d not seen in too long, and with whom alone I share a unique connection, two boys growing up 1939 years following on Massalina Bayou Cove and 12th Street StAndrews. Linda and I no longer enjoy nor feel safest driving, hate flying. Were this a proper country we’d train travel, but it’s hundreds-mile drive to a train station now Amtrak cancelled the Sunset Limited across Florida. Transportation was simpler in my youth. The Louisiana visit was enjoyable and relieving to me to find Walt so well, and we’ve in mind Tallahassee and maybe Apalachicola, but otherwise it’s the almost-silent retreat afforded at 7H.

Three a taste of self indulgence. Read, think, some movies, films on my MacBook. Not to enrich life, not at all, not by any means, but to complete life in ways. Bit of English, Chaucer, C S Lewis, G MacDonald. Bit of dark Russian, Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, E Vodolazkin (Laurus, if it ever arrives). Some short stories by F Kafka, German-speaking Bohemian Jew whose sisters the Germans murdered in the Holocaust, he’s a bit nuts, but okay, so what, so am I. What the hell, so are you, most excellent friend.

Then more serious and busman’s holiday on this sabbatical, reading Romans yet one more time again, but this time for myself and my own enjoyment and edification, not as before in prep for quiz or exams. Reading on MacBook screen, Bible Gateway three columns, NRSV, DLNT, SBLGNT, jumping to BibleHub for Greek-English interlinear and parsing. Break to google “How can the genitive mean ‘in’ at Romans 3:22, 26" πίστεως Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ? My Greek is too kindergarten to have come across distinguishing between subjective genitive and objective genitive per Bill Mounce Blog, who is correct, “faith of Jesus Christ” or “faith in Jesus Christ? William D. Mounce and Robert H. Mounce (“faith in”) have their own Mounce Reverse-Interlinear New Testament (MOUNCE) translation, which I’ve never used and don’t know Mounce (credible scholar?). Up to now I say genitive is possessive, means “faith of”. Plus viewing monotheistic Paul the Pharisee as low Christology not exhorting Romans to have faith in Christ, but to have the faith of Christ or the faithfulness of Christ. Like most and all, it’s arguable and English speaking scholars have and do disagree. Luther says: “den Glauben an Jesum Christum” which to my sophomoric Deutsch looks like “the faith of Jesus Christ”. 

Still suspicious of everyone including myself bringing their own theological judgments and preconceptions, I like (Dewey, Hoover, McGaughy, Schmidt), “unconditional confidence in God of Jesus, God’s Anointed” (The Authentic Letters of Paul, Polebridge, 2010, p.218). Ignorant and alphabet stupid, I'm taking my best shot and knowing where to seek.

Finally, recalling Holden cars I rode in Down Under in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and a Chrysler (pronounced kroizler) that I borrowed once for a weekend, I spent my most recent car Time checking out the 1948 Holden, introduced as

Australia's Own Car. Here I am then, three quarters of my sabbatical yet to ponder, suffer, walk, read, think, do, sip, eat, nap, scribble absolute nonsense, and enjoy. 

Top: Sunday Sunrise

Next: GriegStar’s Star Istind, 650x102 underway from East Terminal with wood pulp.

Little red tug pushing a barge 

DThos+ in Stoppage Time

Two pics 7H porch Redfish Point to Davis Point, Shell Island, Courtney Point and home at eventide

DThos+ still here

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Holy P

Day begins with sitting up on bed’s edge, pausing to claim balance before standing, throwing open the curtain that keeps out the night’s lights — including ship anchored in the far channel several days now, 555x84 Combi-Dock fully lighted all night long,

glass of hot honey-lemon water, sit facing 195° toward Courtney Point and the Pass, type without thinking while Linda sits facing 30° watching weather and news on the TV behind me. 

On the walk yesterday, astonished at how fast Holy Pavilion is going up at HNES, and how big it is. What a great idea and what an asset to the school. Will there be basketball hoops? If so, soon as it opens, I have my key and will let us in so Robert can shoot some baskets.

Also on yesterday’s walk, looking across Massalina Bayou, place of dreams

Wolf moon continues, a scary notion, hungry wolves gather howling round the village on the first full moon in cold January.

“To regret one’s own experiences is to arrest one’s own development. To deny one’s own experiences is to put a lie into the lips of one’s own life. It is no less than a denial of the soul.” (Oscar Wilde, De Profundis). hmmmm

Lovely sunrise coming to pass outside my 195° across StAndrewsBay and beyond Shell Island over the Gulf of Mexico and yet this side of eternity’s blue firmament.

DThos+ in Stoppage Time

Saturday 201701140813 EST Underway for Colombia ->

Friday, January 13, 2017


For Dust Thou Art, 
and unto Dust Shalt Thou Return

From readings, contemplations, thoughts, I especially like the poem Professor Finlay, friend Doctor Dan of GCSC, emailed to the EfM group after their Wednesday evening gathering. Mentor long-gone-emeritus, blessed I am to be included in their group communications, grateful to be retained and not scratched as the outsider I am now and have been since Ray Wishart took over our three EfM groups in October 2010 upon my heart event. Truth, it was time anyway, my having been an EfM mentor off and on since late 1980s when Pat Horn started our EfM group at Trinity, Apalachicola, then Arnold Bush again at HNEC in 2002 and on, overall stretching thirty years; and with refresher training visits to Sewanee, where the scenery is overwhelming, the mood intense, the university book store a wonder, and where lives suddenly change and are changed. Here’s Cardenal’s piece, which is imaginative, perhaps - - theocosmological (yes it is)

Ernesto Cardenal's
S T A R D U S T 

What's in a star? We are.
All the elements of our body and of the planet
were once in the belly of a star.
           We are stardust.
15,000,000,000 years ago we were a mass
of hydrogen floating in space, turning slowly, dancing.
           And the gas condensed more and more
           gaining increasingly more mass
           and mass became star and began to shine.
As they condensed they grew hot and bright.
Gravitation produced thermal energy: light and heat.
That is to say love.
                       Stars were born, grew, and died.
And the galaxy was taking the shape of a flower
the way it looks now on a starry night.
Our flesh and our bones come from other stars
and perhaps even from other galaxies,
we are universal,
and after death we will help to form other stars
and other galaxies.
           We come from the stars, and to them we shall return.

Where as the Big Bang, God who is Love (1 John 4:8) said let there be (Genesis 1:3) and it was so, and to dust shall we return (Genesis 3:19), were we given multiple chances at life on earth, next time I might be a cosmologist, astronomer, a meteorologist or — because my love and worry for my loved ones so obsessively and dotingly haunts, torments, consumes me — a cloistered monk - 


a Navy pilot with the Blue Angels

Cardenal’s longterm prognosis and Thomas Hardy’s contemplation to Time about Dust, “By the Earth’s Corpse”  

   "O Lord, why grievest Thou? - 
   Since Life has ceased to be 
   Upon this globe, now cold 
   As lunar land and sea, 
And humankind, and fowl, and fur 
   Are gone eternally, 
All is the same to Thee as ere 
   They knew mortality." 


"O Time," replied the Lord, 
   "Thou read'st me ill, I ween; 
Were all THE SAME, I should not grieve 
   At that late earthly scene, 
Now blestly past--though planned by me 
   With interest close and keen! - 
Nay, nay: things now are NOT the same 
   As they have earlier been. 


   "Written indelibly 
   On my eternal mind 
   Are all the wrongs endured 
   By Earth's poor patient kind, 
Which my too oft unconscious hand 
   Let enter undesigned. 
No god can cancel deeds foredone, 
   Or thy old coils unwind! 


   "As when, in Noe's days, 
   I whelmed the plains with sea, 
   So at this last, when flesh 
   And herb but fossils be, 
And, all extinct, their piteous dust 
   Revolves obliviously, 
That I made Earth, and life, and man, 
   It still repenteth me!"

And of our self-importance on earth, in our solar system, in the Milky Way Galaxy, among perhaps two trillion galaxies in this one universe of infinite multiverse possibilities. An the thought boggles the mind, then as J B Phillips keeps saying, Your God is Too Small. 

DThos+ in Stoppage Time

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Tide's Out

In predawn darkness couldn't tell or discern a running light, and my photo isn't clear, is it a GriegStar vessel 650x102 departing east port? or other ship arriving? Dawning now

and clarifying somewhat

and not a 650 foot ship, not underway, perhaps waiting for a tug to bring her in to the port? Or for a bit higher tide? Might be Lauritzen's 591x99 AS Elbia arriving to load wood pellets for Studstrup? IDK, too misty, can't see clearly.

Nice dawn for Thursday, 12 Jan, eh - -

But from last evening

201701111632 EST Combi Dock III 555'x84' 5.5m draft, arriving from Lake Charles to load tugs(?). Next port Colombia. Interesting

Beautiful ship, one of the larger to pass 7H. 

Not passing 7H close up, GriegStar line ships 650x102 come and go straight in/out to the east port to load woodpulp. GriegStar ship Star Isjford currently scheduled by 7H end of January to unload steel plate. Hope to get a pic.

John Darrah, thank you, clarified my photo of family at supper Tuesday evening, left to right: Toni, Brenden, Andrew, Micah, Mike, Linda, Betty, Donna, Walt

After a delightful visit with Walt and family, my whole precipitating reason for taking the sabbatical, we left Denham Springs early Wednesday morning, had an uneventful drive home except that, because of the Louisiana food we enjoyed, crossing into Mississippi we were stopped at the truck weigh station and fined for overweight. Lunch yesterday, oysters and mullet at Oyster Barn, Bayou Texar, Pensacola, casual and our favorite restaurant there. Arrived safely 7H 4:06 pm in time for a glass of red and enjoy sunset

Privately, at the moment the delicious salty seafood is putting me on report, half a dozen Father Nature jump up and run summons instigated by FuroForty so far this morning and Uncle Furo not finished with me yet. 

Further sabbatical activities, again watched LordOfTheRings, Fellowship of the Ring, in which appears a cave troll, a ballrog, Gollum trails the little company through the ancient, enormous underground complex called Moria, and Gandalf the Wizard slips and falls to his death not to be seen again until the final scene of Return of the King, LOTR book three when Frodo sadly watches as Gandalf and Bilbo Baggins board a vessel that will sail them away into eternity.

Happy, happy, happy to have seen my brother Walt and his collie dog Happy, and to return safely to 7H.

DThos+ in Stoppage Time

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

not on us

There will be who accede nothing to the man, but President Obama gave a decent farewell address last evening, with eight or nine days left until we begin whatever comes next, stirring the proverb, “Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it” and I fear younger than I have indeed forgotten or never known. From my window, an era to be thankfully in Stoppage Time and +Time+ ὁ ἀναγινώσκων νοείτω. Tip to Julian of Norwich as in porridge, may my apprehensions be dashed that all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well. At any event, e pluribus unum, here we are as individual human beings and as a nation, all of us together and each of us alone.

Linda and I are leaving Denham Springs shortly, heading home to 7H. It’s a longer and harder drive than we are any longer fit for, but a blessing to see my brother and visit with his family. At supper last evening, L to R, Toni, Brendan, Andrew, Micah, Mike, Linda, Betty, Donna, Walt. Photo's dark, can't see, no matter, I know and love them all.

Supper last evening with family, oysters, dozen charbroiled, dozen fried, naturally bringing to mind

The sun was shining on the sea, Shining with all his might: He did his very best to make The billows smooth and bright— And this was odd, because it was The middle of the night.

The moon was shining sulkily, Because she thought the sun Had got no business to be there After the day was done — "It's very rude of him," she said, "To come and spoil the fun!”

The sea was wet as wet could be, The sands were dry as dry. You could not see a cloud, because No cloud was in the sky: No birds were flying overhead -- There were no birds to fly.

The Walrus and the Carpenter Were walking close at hand; They wept like anything to see Such quantities of sand: "If this were only cleared away,” They said, "it would be grand!”

"If seven maids with seven mops Swept it for half a year. Do you suppose," the Walrus said, "That they could get it clear?” "I doubt it," said the Carpenter, And shed a bitter tear.

"O Oysters, come and walk with us!” The Walrus did beseech. "A pleasant walk, a pleasant talk, Along the briny beach: We cannot do with more than four, To give a hand to each."

The eldest Oyster looked at him, But never a word he said: The eldest Oyster winked his eye, And shook his heavy head -- Meaning to say he did not choose To leave the oyster-bed.

But four young Oysters hurried up, All eager for the treat: Their coats were brushed, their faces washed, Their shoes were clean and neat— And this was odd, because, you know, They hadn't any feet.

Four other Oysters followed them, And yet another four; And thick and fast they came at last, And more, and more, and more -- All hopping through the frothy waves, And scrambling to the shore.

The Walrus and the Carpenter Walked on a mile or so, And then they rested on a rock Conveniently low: And all the little Oysters stood And waited in a row.

"The time has come," the Walrus said, "To talk of many things: Of shoes--and ships--and sealing-wax-- Of cabbages--and kings-- And why the sea is boiling hot— And whether pigs have wings.”

"But wait a bit," the Oysters cried, "Before we have our chat; For some of us are out of breath, And all of us are fat!" "No hurry!" said the Carpenter. They thanked him much for that.

"A loaf of bread," the Walrus said, "Is what we chiefly need: Pepper and vinegar besides Are very good indeed-- Now if you're ready, Oysters dear, We can begin to feed.”

"But not on us!" the Oysters cried, Turning a little blue. "After such kindness, that would be A dismal thing to do!" "The night is fine," the Walrus said. "Do you admire the view?

"It was so kind of you to come! And you are very nice!” The Carpenter said nothing but "Cut us another slice: I wish you were not quite so deaf-- I've had to ask you twice!”

"It seems a shame," the Walrus said, "To play them such a trick, After we've brought them out so far, And made them trot so quick!” The Carpenter said nothing but "The butter's spread too thick!”

"I weep for you," the Walrus said: "I deeply sympathize." With sobs and tears he sorted out Those of the largest size, Holding his pocket-handkerchief
 Before his streaming eyes.

"O Oysters," said the Carpenter, "You've had a pleasant run! Shall we be trotting home again?” But answer came there none-- And this was scarcely odd, because They'd eaten every one.

        Lewis Carroll, 
        The Walrus and the Carpenter

DThos+ in Stoppage Time