Sunday, June 9, 2013

more mental confetti

Leaving aside the snippy and the snarky for a moment...

-- If a man truly believed in and had faith in god, and if he used prayer as a means of expressing that faith, wouldn't he then be constrained to pray for things as they are? Given a deep and abiding faith in god (pick your definition), I see no other option. But praying for things as they are seems a bit peculiar since things already are as they are ... unless of course someone wished to dither and dick around asking questions like, "or are they?"

-- And somehow as a corollary to or an association with the above: Who ever came up with the bizarre idea that god had a "will?" What would god do with a will? Maybe others have a convincing answer, but ascribing a will to god sounds faithless to me. The only circumstance under which I can imagine god's having a will is if his/her/its purpose were to be at man's beck and call. But if god were only in business to be at man's beck and call, could god reliably be called god? Or not?

-- Yesterday, while driving up to Leeds Reservoir to take some pictures and get my ass out of the house, a laughing quiz show on the radio -- something called, "Wait! Wait! Don't Tell Me!" -- suggested in passing that Prostitutes' Day had been stricken from Australia's list of official holidays. As someone who lives in a country where prostitution is illegal, my interest was piqued. The radio show moderator noted that the holiday fell between Mother's Day and Father's Day in the land down-under and that it would now no longer be necessary to send yet another card. It was good for a laugh.

But when I got back to the house, I tried to look up this snippet of totally useless information on the Internet. I found a "Whores Day," (Americans love being delicate about indelicate matters so perhaps "prostitutes" was just a bit of politesse) but that seemed to relate to a protest over working conditions.

Was there in fact an Australian holiday dedicated to prostitutes? I simply could not nail it down. Perhaps I had heard it incorrectly or misconstrued what I heard. But while searching the Internet for answers, I did run across a strange link that listed the facts and cost structures of various sorts of black market activity ... how much illicit drugs cost in various countries, national income derived from prostitution, the cost of black market human organs, the price of an AK-47, and how much a hit man cost in one country or another. How accurate or well-researched the link was I have no way of knowing. But the notion that someone might want to put such facts into a single basket of information ... well, yes, the breadth and depth of the Internet can make my jaw drop.

A disused road at Leeds
-- Visiting the environs of the reservoir was very pleasant, and yet I am hesitant to mention it. Camera in hand, I found myself walking down a disused road beneath tall trees, many of them evergreens. A swollen river course lay to my right and the earth was damp from previous days of rain -- damp and redolent with evergreen needles ... soft and giving beneath my sandals. And as I walked, things seemed to fall together somehow. There was nothing special about it, but still I am hesitant to mention it for fear someone may think I am doing some sort of Thoreau simplicity schtick. It wasn't like that. It was more normal than mere elevation.

The senses seemed to coalesce. You could see the smells and hear the sights and taste the silence. Since everything was happening at once, it did not lend itself to the written word. And while it was happening, I hardly noticed. It was just too normal to do anything as silly as notice... that would have been like some dim bulb expatiating on the fact that he had five toes.

The taste of softness beneath my sandals. The touch of the silence which was hardly silent at all, given the bubbling of the river. The sound of sunlight. Though it may sound exotic and woodsy and spiritual (Quick! Let's all run away and suckle at the breast of Mother Nature or find some dank but holy cave in the Himalayas!), still the best word I can find is -- woods or no woods, pine needles or no pine needles -- NORMAL.

Normal and pleasant, just like any other venue.

And no, I don't do LSD.

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