Tuesday, July 19, 2016

BrainSquall - mother of all mind wandering

Monday afternoon’s sudden and extremely violent squall was the heaviest rain and wind I’ve ever experienced. It seemed instantly present following several loud thunder claps. I looked out into fiercely blowing white rain from Gulf and Bay with lightning and thunder, went on the porch to get the chair cushions then checked online iTitan for something aberrant, but only storms moving down from northwest, the wrong direction for a tornado.
Thinking to get a pic from the Beck side, I stepped out on— the bannister-railed walk overlooking the park is called a sidewalk here — into the most dangerous wind driven rain I’ve ever felt,

glad our front door opens into a closed space instead of onto the open balcony rail, but wind had burst open the door onto the open space where the air conditioning compressors are lined up, and driving rain and wind had taken over, slamming me against the opposite wall. At the end of the sidewalk looking out the east window beyond the roofline

I snapped a picture, but the weather was demonic, seemed bent on snatching my iPhone to keep its secret from being recorded. Thankful I was not against the open bannister rail, for a moment I could barely move, but managed to work myself back inside 7H, as soaked in the squall as if I’d climbed fully clothed out of the swimming pool.

My father, who was six at the time, always described to me, the wreck of the Annie & Jennie as having encountered a sudden squall with breakers that lifted her high, dropped her onto the sand bar, snapping her keel and breaking her up. January 1918, more than 98 years ago, yet comes to mind every single time without fail that I look across at Davis Point, and in yesterday’s squall I felt a sense of the total loss of control in the violence as Alfred was swept away. 

Writing yesterday’s blogpost [I never refer again to an earlier post, in particular whatever I said yesterday, because this is never a “series”] I was grieving that nothing can be done to stop the violence in the world and especially the bitter hatred that divides American from American anymore — apparently nothing can be done but president and others pontificating, “this has got to stop,” and I also have no answer except words, and feeling that anyone of age who does nothing about it is as culpable as anyone who brings a firearm to kill, and all I have is words and ungodly extreme draconian solutions, so must stick with words, thus yesterday’s nonsense. 

Mind still ranting, I see an empire beginning to crumble, paint flaking away, mortar breaking loose, chunks of concrete falling off. Of some city whose seemingly indestructible buildings did eventually crumble, I read that the concrete had been made with salt ocean water, eventually iron bars rusting to create open pores, structure weakening, in time giving way and collapsing. Where was that, I don’t remember. But I think it’s America. Racism, hatred, unreined greed, selfishness, a perverse and malignant "party loyalty" over the common good, political ineptitude and inaction, and that greatest of all sins, certainty, certitude. Thinking about the America I foresee but hope to not live into, I was reading about Edward Gibbon (History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire). Interestingly among other factors in the decline and fall, “Gibbon argued that Christianity created a belief that a better life existed after death, which fostered an indifference to the present among Roman citizens, thus sapping their desire to sacrifice for a larger purpose. He also believed that Christianity's comparative pacifism tended to hamper the traditional Roman martial spirit. Finally, like other Enlightenment thinkers and British citizens of the age steeped in institutional anti-Catholicism, Gibbon held in contempt the Middle Ages as a priest-ridden, superstitious Dark Age.”* And the mind wandered off into soteriology, peculiar theologies of personal salvation that seem to have abducted Paul’s early apocalyptism of the dead sleeping in Jesus until the near-term eschaton, return of Christ to reign over the kingdom of God on earth. We love Paul but he was geocentric, and even his πίστις, certitude, call it faith, in the Second Coming seems eventually to have been shaken by ongoing delay and by deaths in his communities the churches. Over time, eschatological delay becomes Sleeping in Jesus which eventually gives way to the soteriological immediacy that Gibbon cynically slammed. Which is no longer pie in the sky bye and bye but showing up at St. Peter’s gate while the survivors are still gathered round the deathbed, priest intoning, may your resting place be this day in the paradise of God; may your company be His saints and angels, and may … With me, it isn’t lack of Paul’s πίστις, it’s having owned the telescope that Paul did not. 

Mind wanders, stream of conscious, subconscious, and unconscious flows unchecked and, worse, unedited, hanging out there to dry with the soaked to skin clothes I stripped off after yesterday’s squall.

looking out beyond the blue sky of +Time+

* pinched online

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