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+. May it 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 how high any side walls will be, as this morning’s delivery was of 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. House looks vacant.

I remember George and Clyde and there 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 spot where once stood a dumpster filled with unsold comic books from Cooper's News on Harrison Avenue, tied up in bundles with string, front cover torn off each book. 1940s, many boys, Bubba included, spent many hours sitting in that dumpster reading many comic books hoping Mr. Cooper did not come out. The dumpster is long gone, but the ground where it sat is eternally hallowed with boyhood memories.

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 to run out the clock with the sound of her 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. 

+++   +++   +++

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 is there that makes me human? My ability to 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+

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