“We Meet Again” (Part 2)

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Compelling how that headline’s quotation marks can express such contrasting sentiments. When specifically connected with this post’s Part 1, it involves words I don’t really mean; i.e., signifies my shunning days of yore, superficial, dreary students. Yet, when associated with Part 2, it refers to an actual quotation; words which showcase a long ago, meaningful, far too fleeting friendship with a delightful classmate (more about her in a moment).

BTW, if you happened to miss Part 1, my following catch-up synopsis should prove adequate.

Of late, I’ve been flouting bygone, classmate acquaintances’ persistent messages (logged on my landline answering machine / lodged within my snail mailbox); thwarting their attempts to invite me to OUR… correction… THEIR 50th Class Reunion. Here’s why…

  • From the 4th grade, onward, bullies had rendered me a social pariah
  • As such, I have absolutely boycotted all of THEIR previous reunions
  • Past reunion organizers could not track down THEIR other outcasts
  • If “lepers”, such as I, aren’t gonna to show up, why bother attending?

Even so… truth be told… I certainly would love a second chance at transforming that above mentioned fleeting friendship into something more forever. Alas… long sigh… No Way On Earth could that ever, possibly happen.

You see, a delightful young Miss had officially joined the Class of ’72 at September’s outset of the 2nd Grade. Assigned to the desk directly in front of mine, on that Day-1, she spun around to introduce herself. Tho she had certainly needed no assist from beauty, Debbie’s charming presence did get further enhanced by her shoulder length wavy blonde hair, sparkling blue eyes and beguiling smile.

And that was just for starters. From each school day, onward, she’d turn to face me, remind me, “We meet again.” Wow, what an original expression from someone so young!

Regrettably, that was not for long. Debbie was destined to complete her formal education ten years too early; “graduate” in a most unexpected, unconventional manner when her oncologist meted out his death sentence diagnosis.

Sadly, in that bygone era, schools didn’t, yet, have grief counselors in their employ; delegating such a duty to our teacher, Mrs. M. Her sixty seconds, tops, somber announcement was all we could rely on to console us.

The problem with such a scenario… developmentally speaking, seven and eight-year-olds have yet to fully grasp the finality of death. Personally, up to that very moment, my only previous experience was as an even less aware six-year-old; my ambivalence to my maternal grandmother’s passing on, due, mainly, to the multiple hundreds of miles between Minnesota and Michigan; the expense of travel keeping us apart (my school teacher father was working for peanuts).

Returning now to the life that Debbie might have had… to this day, I cannot help but wonder. Had she remained healthy, been allowed a full lifespan, what might our friendship have become? Considering how well we had gotten along, might the phrase childhood sweethearts have been appropriate?

Returning now to the life that Debbie had been denied… due to the custodian’s next day, get ‘er done efficiency, my classroom’s far left column, where I was situated, was now shortened by one desk; that omission advancing me forward. Somehow, none of this seemed right. In essence, I was now seated at Debbie’s desk; and even worse, would never, again, ear witness her cheerful greeting… unless…

Theologians’ claims of an afterlife do prove true. If so, once my final day on Earth arrives, perhaps I will finally be granted my second chance at transforming a fleeting friendship into something more FOREVER?

I do intend to train my ears… correction… fine tune Eternity’s equivalent telepathy, which will permit me to discern Debbie’s in good spirits, three welcoming words…

“We meet again!”

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Chewin’ the Fat

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Even tho I haven’t been an adherent of the Roman Catholic faith and regular churchgoer, since my preteen days of the 1950s/60s, I’m still a spiritual, moral man; fully aware that today is the advent of the Lenten Season; where the following doctrine will be playing out for my former sect’s estimated 1.2 billion, present day congregants:

“Summed up succinctly, Roman Catholics must fast and abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday, Wednesday, March 2, 2022 and Good Friday, April 15, 2022. Additionally, they must abstain from meat on all Fridays during Lent.”

The Catholic Telegraph • 26 February 2022 • Read Full Article

Of course, back in that bygone era, such dietary restrictions were year-round; tho, our having always been allowed to substitute fish for beef / pork / poultry products, strictly speaking, meant “meatless Fridays” had been (still is) a misnomer.

And, tho it’s unclear whether or not the earliest Catholics had even the slightest inkling re the actual health and environmental benefits of humans maintaining a more fish and plant based diet, that was the net effect.

One thing for sure, the earliest agriculturists had certainly realized how much simpler / cheaper sowing and harvesting crops is, in comparison to the breeding and slaughtering of livestock. Better yet, is the life cycle of fish, which requires very little human supervision / intervention.

Anyway… from the time where my age was still measured in single digits, I had actually felt a distaste for meat. You see, my folks had both been poorly paid public school teachers and, as such, had little choice but to purchase the far from choice grades of beef / poultry / pork.

To flesh that out further, whenever Mom had served up the typical hunk of beef-with-a-bad-attitude, it oft meant our biting into gristle; an eye tearing episode that, at times, required conscious suppression of the gag / hurl chunks reflex. To fully fess up, once the Morton brand salt had rained till it poured, I’d frequently chew (to no avail), discretely spit it out into a paper napkin and toss it into the trash.

ASIDE… you know, deep down, I would’ve much preferred meatless Friday rules being in play, everyday, and could’ve easily become a vegetarian; i.e. had my parents been more aware of / amenable to that alternate, far healthier lifestyle.

Be that as it may… the only thing worse than the chewing had been the flavor… uh…

WITH ONE NOTEWORTHY EXCEPTION…

My mom’s pot roasts, totally imbued with onions, garlic, black pepper and other seasonings; the drippings turning into savory gravy; pooling all around the accompanying spuds, carrots and green pepper slices.

I can still fondly recall our intentionally postponed, Friday night suppers, where she’d be slow roasting everything for approximately six hours and then, one minute past the midnight hour; our being safely ensconced in Saturday, temporal territory, we’d dig in and pig out.

Typically, these cuts of rump roast were all large enough to last our family of four, the entire weekend; the delectable leftovers getting served up as both warmed over stews and as cold thinly sliced beef, oft warmed up between two slices of fresh out of the oven, made from scratch, homemade bread.

Truth be told, what this all proves is how our being carnivores is far less about the meat, itself; is all about how expertly everything gets prepared.

So, as for my own observation of the Lenten ’22 dietary restrictions, I’d say all shall go well; seeing how, when I am feeding my face, my primary, protein sources are plant based; how, when I’m not chowing down, this is mainly due to my heightened awareness of all the tasteless, sickening, bad actors playing out their uniquely, ugly, unappetizing current events upon human-UN-kind’s world stage.

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Respect people who don’t deserve it?

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A fellow blogger, whose devoutness, nearly always, translates well into the secular world, recently posted the following paraphrased Biblical passage, which I simply cannot cotton to. Check it out…

“Show respect even to people who don’t deserve it; not as
a reflection of their character but as a reflection of yours.”

Titus 2:7

Really? Is that even possible? Let’s e.g. my concerns…

Just how, pray tell, could anyone ever respect:

  • Genocidal autocrats who oppress and slaughter millions of innocent people
  • Propagandists who irreversibly poison gullible minds
  • Insurrectionist tyrants who subvert their homelands’ charters to deny personal freedoms and thwart the peaceful transition of power
  • Sadists who rebrand torture as “enhanced interrogation techniques”
  • Misters 9 to 5, time clock punching, airbased drone pilots who commit carnage and merely say “Oops!” when the collateral damage starts to literally pile up
  • Science deniers / eco-terrorists

Need I go on? Yes, I do need to go on…

How could anyone ever respect:

  • Mass murderers, who shoot up elementary school houses and houses of worship?
  • Nazis and Klansmen who lynch people of color; all who can’t conform to their whitebread criteria?
  • Bristling with bloodlust and bigotry cops who deem the badge as their license to kill with impunity?
  • Human traffickers / perpetrators of sexual violence / child molesters

Now, I’m not about to suggest that such problematic people don’t deserve compassion. Au contraire! Once due process does its thing, each individual deserves all the time and attention that’s humanly and humanely possible; inclusive of livable lodgings; namely, cells of the barred and/or padded variety; for as long as his / her rehabilitation, if possible, may take.

My conclusion… Titus EITHER dwelt in a never-neverland, where serious crimes never existed OR with a bevy of bodyguards in tow, he routinely donned his rose colored glasses while traipsing thru a much earlier incarnation of un-American Donald’s Dark Ages.

To end this post on pragmatic note, consider my constructive criticism / slight revision of Titus 2:7…

Pay close attention to people who don’t deserve it; not as
a reflection of their character but as a reflection of yours.
The survival of innocents will depend on such awareness.

Tom 1:1 (numbering subject to change if/when re-dos become a regular feature)

Now, to be sure, I honestly believe that, just as I do, the above-mentioned blogger feels appalled by all the above-mentioned, deplorable conduct. I merely deemed it necessary to rehash this particular, paraphrased passage to point out how it’s far too easy for spirituality to (unintentionally) impair 20/20 vision / cloud reality.

In today’s world, that could prove downright dangerous!

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No Title Necessary

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A toast to each day’s rising sun
Even if all that’s left sums up, just one
Salute this day’s setting sun, too
For tomorrow may arrive without you

Toast, next, our reunion, Supreme
Be it secure in the elements’ stream
Be it obscure sphere beyond mortals’ dream
Be it pure light of eternal life’s gleam

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Wake

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Why oh why has the pathogen’s pitiless surge
Been utterly unable to exorcise / purge
Evil prejudiced cops’ / mass murderers’ urge
To vie with a virus; be party to slaughtering splurge

Mourners envision their victims; their march heavenward / merge
Blood splattered crime scenes they leave; leave us to regurge
Meanwhile, tough laws, unwritten, won’t be on enactment’s verge
‘Mazing Grace / Going Home; vie for Billboard’s chart topping dirge

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Top Secret? (1 Quick Limerick #104)

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Forward: With Poetry Month winding down, the time is ripe to trade off the serious for a bit of the silly…

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Intelligent Design can create big bustle!
Doubter debaters’ Qs pop up / up rustle!
Like, why oh why is there hair?
In zones in need of fresh air?
Are roll-on potions God’s Secret™ side-hustle?

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To Souls Present and Passed…

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A toast to all humane humans, who persevere;
And to whatever remain of our worldly tomorrows;
Even if that tallies out at one; just tomorrow.
And to today; in the event tomorrow never comes.

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A toast to all kindhearted souls; present and passed;
And to our eventual, eternal reunion;
Be our shared existence at the elemental level,
On the anticipated, heavenly plane,
Or within some extraordinary realm that
cannot be fathomed by the mere, mortal mind.

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Masses Mass Murder the Masses

Let’s not bog down this blog with the particulars to this TRUE story; mainly because that’d only divert our attention from the larger issues at hand.

Cutting to the chase scene, science based leader, purely in the interest of public safety / public health, attempts to rein in religious services, a.k.a. the documented, superspreader events of a ferociously contagious, deadly pathogen. Faith based judges rein in said leader with their ruling that his pandemic protocols infringe upon the rights of the people to worship in whatever manner they see fit!

Issues:

  • WTF kind of “religious leaders” would ever file a lawsuit, for the express purpose of winning the right to knowingly sicken / sicken to death their congregants?
  • WTF kind of “judges” would rule in favor of clergymen who, in essence, are little more than premeditated, mass murderers?
  • Whatever happened to the Commandment, Thou Shalt Not Kill?
  • Why would a technically legal judicial ruling not, bare minimum, include an attached caveat to sternly warn the victorious “vicars” that their masses could easily wind up mass murdering the masses!

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Donny Didn’t Have a Prayer

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Obviously, presidential spiritual adviser Paula White’s impassioned prayer service, for the express purpose of snagging Donald J. Trump a second term, did not work. Perhaps the pacing back and forth dude distracted her?

Methinks she should’ve attempted an exorcism, instead; you know, to chase off Donny’s demons; namely, his pride, covetousness, lust, anger, gluttony, envy and sloth.

Demonstrably, she has missed her true calling, too. Think about it, folks. Minus her speaking in tongues shtick, she could’ve easily had a promising career as a baseball home plate umpire. I mean, have you ever heard anyone saying “strike” with better conviction and diction?

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Who Killed “Thou Shalt Not Kill”?

Ring of Fire’s YouTube channel blurb succinctly sets up our featured clip…

Kyle Rittenhouse, the suspect who allegedly killed two Black Lives Matters protestors in Kenosha, Wisconsin last week has become a hero for the unhinged Right, and a Christian fundraising website has allowed these pro-murder Republicans to raise nearly half a million dollars for his defense. The Republicans are the pro-murder Party, there is no other way to say it. Ring of Fire’s Farron Cousins discusses this disgusting turn of events.

About all I can add is that America’s Founding Fathers had been wise to insist on the Constitutional Separation of Church and State and, most assuredly, they’d have frowned upon Donald J. Trump’s bastardization, politicization and radicalization of religion, too.

Although I remain a spiritual man, my own interest in organized religion ebbed at the tender age of 12. That’s mainly because I saw the hypocrisy of the adult congregants, who, in actuality, only showed up each Sunday to sport their finery / flaunt their material possessions. Hell, had it been any WORSE, after the benediction, the menfolk would’ve rushed out to the parking lot to rev the engines of their brand spanking new, swank rides. And once the missus and kiddies were all packed aboard, they’d have peeled out to head back to their mansions.

But the hypocrisy did get WORSE

Half a century later, churches have become bastardized, politicized and radicalized. How else could one explain so-called Christians conveniently suspending the Commandment, Thou Shalt Not Kill, just to justify the cold blooded double homicide, of which Rittenhouse has been accused.

If God is on board with such conduct, on the day I die, I’ll take my chances on that downward escalator ride to the Gates of Hell!

 

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