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Thursday, March 31, 2022

For Those Worse Off

I was feeling sorry for myself. It was kind of a bad week. Lots of pain, fatigue, internal bleeding that hasn't stopped yet, and something like a coma on Tuesday.

Then I heard about Bruce Willis. He's been diagnosed with aphasia (a disorder that affects communication, the use of language, and memory), is having cognitive issues, and has retired from acting. There are therapies; there's no cure.

Now, I don't know Mr. Willis personally, but I do think that one sees something of the man in the characters an actor portrays, and it's consistent with what little I've read about him. He's been said to be hard to work with. That's been said about me.

Maybe I should be thinking about people in Ukraine, or about starving African orphans ("Eat your broccoli! There are kids in Sudan who would be thrilled to have your dinner!"). But I don't know them. They're an abstraction.

And I don't know anyone personally who's got cancer, or something like it.

So, an actor. There's an illusion of familiarity that perhaps bespeaks something deeper. I don't know what it is, and couldn't define it if I did. But it's something that's true.

And so, I'm really, really sorry. And I am humbled; yes, I have cancer, yes, I am exhausted, in pain, and incontinent, but there are worse things in life, and Bruce Willis' family is going through that right now.

I thank God for the blessings in my life, with all my heart. 

I know that it seems terrible,
and it's all unjust;
but, my friend, be careful,
for one day you must
stand before the Throne of Grace,
relive your whole life through,
and here you will come face to face
with those worse off than you,
and tell God what you did and thought;
did you help with gentle care?
All the times when you could not,
did you hold them up in prayer,
or did you leave love on the shelf
and feel sorry for yourself?

The Five Minute Friday prompt this week is COFFEE. Oh, joy.

Coffee used to be my thing,
I would drink eighteen cups a day,
never knowing it would bring
a time when there'd be hell to pay,
when I had gone out on a stroll
(do not smile, this isn't funny!),
and as guts began to roll
I was too far from a dunny,
but I did not want to soil
my pants, and let alone my pride,
so I bent to task and toil
that with God's grace I might hide
the subsequent wild anal blast
from all those who might have passed.

Five minutes flat. Deal with it.

Here's one of Bruce Willis' best, and most understated scenes, from RED 2.

Sylvia would share her ice cream with Mr. Willis, if she could.


Thursday, March 24, 2022

Of This Life And The Next

I was watching Steven Furtik yesterday, and at one point he invited everyone who's afraid of snakes to raise a hand.

Then he said, "OK, now all of you with your hands raised, turn to your neighbour who didn't raise his hand, and ask him how it feels to be stupid."

Before cancer, I was afraid of it. Not so much of dying, because I lived an idiotically risky life, but of the pain, the weariness, the lost future, the shame of things like... sorry... incontinence.

Colour me stupid, but there was no reason for fear. The benefits have so far outweighed everything else!

I can touch the preciousness in each day, now, the clean scent of a fresh spring day, the magic white wonderland of a late snowfall, the songbird who picked up on the neighbour listening to "YMCA"...

And God is with me, in spirit and truth, through it all.

The joy, you see, comes from Him. Yes, there's pain and weariness and all that, but those are of this earth, this life. Temporal, and temporary.

It's not an "eyes fixed on Heaven" thing; it's a different quality of experience. And though the earthly experience still has the ability to hurt, it can't harm unless I allow it. The joy is deeper, richer, and while it doesn't banish the other, it makes what might have been intolerable something which can be borne.

 I am where the monsters are,
on mine own blood I choke.
It's all gone a bit to far,
it's beyond a joke,
and I should cower in dismay
in fear of what's ahead,
but somehow on this shattered day
I find something past dread,
for trial has given painful birth
to joy at last unflawed,
to show pain is of fallen earth,
but delight's been born in God,
and from this revelation's sprung
that laughter's Heaven's native tongue.

The Five Minute Friday prompt this week is SPRING, but since I have 'sprung' in the thirteenth line of the sonnet above, I will let it go like that. It says what I needed to say.

Oh, very well, a haiku.

He gave His life at winter's end
that spring might return to life
our Friend.

Have a good laugh, with Sylvia and the Village People. In The Navy! 


Thursday, March 17, 2022

It's Fishy

Humour keeps me young, or at least immature (Barb vigourously nods head).

I long to play a bass guitar,
it is my fondest wish,
but among my questions are
how do you tune a fish,
and when one is playing scales
where does one begin?
All the way back at the tail,
or right up by a fin?
Because the stage is very warm,
and one needs a solid bridge,
the sensible pre-concert form
is to keep it in the fridge.
In my art I'll build my skill
and one day play 'longside Vince Gill.

Music, of course, from Brad Paisley, with I'm Gonna Miss Her.

The Five Minute Friday prompt this week is EASY, and I am too ill to do more than say that the only easy day was yesterday.

But..how about a haiku?

Was it easy
to roll away the stone
and let in the scent of spring?

Fish and chips and ice cream... Sylvia says Yummy!

Thursday, March 10, 2022

The Blessing-Day

So it's been quite a week, with the new Chihuahuas as a very bright light. It really hurts too much to walk (and breathe!), but it's worth it to see those mad little clowns integrate themselves into a position of power.

An example... they ganged up on Labby this morning. Now, he's an immense black Lab, totally friendly but a bit forceful in his greetings. 

Labby apparently stepped on one of Cocoa's paws, which led the little guy to go "BEEP!", and Latte roared to the rescue, barking and snapping into Labby's face, quickly joined by Cocoa.

Three hours later, Labby's still traumatized, crawling up to the boys on his belly, asking forgiveness.

They brighten the days. The cancer thing is pretty bad.

 The things they do not tell you,
the things you do not see
for you'd not believe them true
for your destiny.
The blazing pain of morning;
so hard to pull on socks!
The sad old midnight yearning
for idle pillow-talks.
Yes, by cancer life is ruled
in its calculating way,
but no longer will my heart be fooled,
for 'tis a blessing-day
when the Christ who died at Calvary
is by my side, to walk with me.

The Five Minute Friday prompt this week is HEAVY. 

These days are quite a burden
of heaviness and sorrow,
and most good folk are certain
it will be worse tomorrow.
That's life when Creation's fallen
and the devil takes the wheel,
but you can still hear Jesus calling,
when you turn to what is real.
Don't look away from all the pain;
do your bit and play your part,
but don't in weightiness remain,
for you can keep a merry heart
when you look to God above
and know that He's eternal Love.

Four minutes!

Music from Joe Jackson, with Is She Really Going Out With Him?

Sylvia's ideal date is with an ice-cream cone.

Thursday, March 3, 2022

It's Their World, We Just Live In It

I should be writing about Ukraine, about unjust war and a suffering that could have been prevented.

Think I shall write of Chihuahuas, instead.

It's not that I don't care, but I am nearly bedridden now. Barb has let me set up my tools to where I can reach them, to work on things I hope are worthwhile in our life.

I can still help with the dogs; all of my mobility is spent there.

I can't keep up with the Chi's (they're FAST!), but Belle can, and I can watch.

But just sometimes, I CATCH 'em!

These are super-sized Chihuahuas. They weigh about 25 lbs each, and have the cheerily pugnacious stance of Corgis.

The house, it has been giver o'er
to Chihuahuas now;
we can just ask them whither go'er,
and when you get there, how
will Belle the Wolf ensure return
when you're 'neath the furniture,
or do you want that we might learn
that there truly is no cure
for the wild exploring minds
of these very smallest mutts
that no given moment finds
them sitting on their furry butts,
but rather charging, flag unfurled
through front door, look out, world!

The Five Minute Friday prompt this week is CARRY; appropriate, given the picture above.

For Chi's they really weigh a lot
for they've been super-sized by God,
and what you see is what we've got,
but surely they're not flawed,
just blessed with maybe too much size
(not all can be the teacup kind),
but when you see their loving eyes,
you know that you won't mind
having legs go tingle-numb
when they sit in your lap,
for you happ'ly have become
caught within that tender trap
of love for which we always yearn
that dogs are best-placed to return.

Four minutes! Guess it was on my heart!

Music from Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass, with Tijuana Taxi.

Have you ever tried Mexican Vanilla ice cream? It's Syl's favourite.