Korban

Or, qurban, it is a Hebrew word. the word is used in Mark’s gospel, quoting Jesus Christ using the example of Korban  to admonish the ruling class about their hypocrisy as religious men. Korban  is a noun, describing a sacrifice , or offering to Yahwa , god, the Hebrew god. Whatever that may be, a calf, a lamb, a coin, a sacred vestment, a temple, wine, bread, because the wonderful thing about Hebrew is it’s scope of thought about language. It is an important enough idea to have made it into the Torah, an intellectual feast of interpretation of the law. Christ points out to the well to do clergy, that as wonderful as that may be, the sacred texts, they are written by men. (sisters, please note).

The idea of Korban certainly exists in Western religions practice, and so does the hypocrisy of it, according to Gospel. Witness all the hungry and homeless and witness the temples empty except for services, which are decided upon by the chief honcho, whatever the denomination. No one is sleeping on the pews or the rugs, at 2 am, when most homeless folks are very tired and probably cold and itchy for lack of water. The contemporary super churches, lacking culture or art (no cantatas by Bach, no Michelangelo, ) make it a base and tacky offering, thus have we plunged as a people.

The very idea of taking a resource from the earth, which is given to us at birth, away from whom it is meant for, and offer it to an idea, while there are hungry people, is so not “God like”. Yet our rituals as people, and our NEED for them, (it’s in the brain, circle stuff, patterns, nuero paths and chemicals existing to react and do stuff) give the illusion we are connecting to something. Ritualism ,  it is so comforting, and, yes, seems to cause some sort of transcendence. So, for this sake, let’s not blame all the  early holy women and men who used them. Once the churches armies had taken enough, the best shit was put away from the people and sanctified as Korban.And used in rituals.

Communism is appealing, because of it’s Christ like belief that resources belong to all, and that those who have more are commanded to share it with those who have less. Property is theft, et.al.  Materialism is the root of Korban, the human need to see or believe that the most beautiful “thing” we behold is not meant for us, and I think, and feel that that interpretation is okay, it lightens something up inside our heads, the feeling of appreciation. If we can put the materialism in the context of” not meant for us,”it is easier to part with things. To share and give away, another kind of circle.

Religion has preserved some very good brain food for me. Thankfully there is a lot that is accessible, and I guess I can thank Elizabeth numero Uno for that.

Sitting on my Asteroid

As I circle, I see my home surrounded in white and ice, walkways indented with the weak heat from winter boots. Most of my friends in the barn survived, except for nutmeg the goat and one poor hen who I named Promise. She passed, and the goat, who was never really healthy, found dead on her side, bloated, dragged to the car for a drive up to the top of the mountain, and thrown over a steep slope, for the coyotes and crows, a sky burial. On the other hand, 2016 took too many young people, took old people famous for their talents.

Now I have purposely resigned from social media, because the daily outrage from the White House is too much to bear and discuss. We are struggling in a dark time, all of the people on the Earth, it is hard to find a reason to be happy. I went to Washington DC and huddled and moved slowly and powerfully with close to a million, mostly female, people.We were there out of a need to be seen with others, to press our numbers to the world saying NO, we may be called Americans but we are not America as you may think of us now.  we are not with those who elected a despot, a flaming tacky cruel unsophisticated rich Baron, does not speak for who we are as a collective group.

I had to turn off the radio on the way to the store, because it was telling the story of refugees from Syria who the city of Rutland were expecting with open arms, they will not come now. They are in something worse than purgatory, I imagine.

My thoughts turn to hoping someone from the CIA will do a dark deed, and thinking that way is a sin, and , yes, I believe that sin exists and that there is a moral code of ethics humans on earth are supposed to follow, because when we do not, we are a dangerous evil entity. Thous shalt not kill is a plain and simple commandment.

In the local store, the New England Bodega, I walked into  a scene where one man was screaming at another, and the other sounded as though he was screaming back with tears in his voice. It was about politics, one of the men turned to me and used me as an example of a person who lived through the sixties, through the horrible wars and pollution and racism. It was an example of one informed intelligent man who was besides himself with rage at who the President is now, and one ignorant not particularly intelligent shop keeper who had voted for trump. It was as ugly as America is now.

 

The big fact is that I do not know what to do except to study scripture and try to believe in God’s endless mercy for Gods creations. And pray and pray and pray and fast and be gentle and hide, yes, i want to hide. That is why i am staying away from social media. I am tired and worn from the endless political discussions, and I find any other subject to be trivial and ignorant.

It is the end of January , and the winter in Vermont is the only evidence we need to attest that climate change is here. While those of us in the North are enjoying having our fuel, our wood that we heat our homes with, not depleted at all, I know that it is not a good thing for many others. we may adjust, because one of Gods gifts is that humans are adaptable, so far.

This is not an exercise in  writing, it is an update from my last post. All I know is that the only thing that will make any change for the good seems to be lost, and I do not know for how long. I am 66 going on 67 and the fight no longer strengthens me, it weakens me. Icicles hang off the bird feeders, ashes need to be spread, and I must go and work now, I have to drive to Hanover with a disturbed man, so he can get his check up. I have used the Jesus prayer a lot, it is my Mantra.

Jesus Christ, Son of God, Have Mercy on Me, A sinner.

Between The Worlds

66 seasons sees me in its cycles This Samhain   In my cycle, my circle, I go to feed the stove, with wood from trees, that give me fire, that keep this box warm. A box made from parts, cheap parts, joists and beams, floors of particle board, floors of cheap vinyl, worn, torn, a box covered in vinyl siding, stained with  molded tree pollen, it is warm inside and the last of October has been dark and chill and wet. Inside the lamps are lit in mid day, with carried electricity. I type these words with carried electricity. I can do without. I know how to, we women who work when we are tired, we know how to do without. Yet my box is full of stuff, and the animal companions, who live and die with me, on land that the bank still owns, in a box warm and enough  for us. I had to learn that myself, because I cannot remember anyone ever asking, “do you have enough?”  Unless it was related to time. Do you have enough time to get this done? No, I am sure I do not. I have enough time to cook an egg, to walk the dogs, to take a bath. I am sure there is not enough time to set it all straight. So much before the ground freezes, and there will be ice, and it will freeze to places I will not see until it leaves. But my mind is not on that, not today, not today when I check on temperatures, begin the daily circle of care. No one and nothing that I care for, and I only care for that which has life, will survive the endless spinning. Death, with skull faces and marigolds for remembrance, a honeyed tea and sweet will be pissed out, flushed.  Children will dress up in masquerade and be given candy by strangers, and that is how the New Year comes in, arriving in an early sunset. there was enough time to get here, just enough. The end of what life was lived through Springs and summer, arrives at the  Inn just in time to settle for the night. The sheets are cold wet leaves, mud and dying off things, full of wood lice . There is no need to eat when all is sleeping and dying. Here is a bowl of candy for the spirits that roam tonight. Honor, it is all so honorable the way nature spins itself, that even in death, she is graceful and asks nothing. The deep cold that I think is eternity is just a thought, an inadequate thought .

Autumn soon

The best diet is eating 70% less than I do and using quality vegetable protein in fresh fruit smoothies (organic). juices made from raw organic vegetables, broths of miso, water and lemon juice, and a personal arsenal of supplements. Here we go again, and this time, increase just water by a quart a day at minimum.(Other liquids  being consumed  add up to at least 2 more quarts).

I like to begin new seasons with ritual of some sort, it keeps life for me, sacred. And food and how I nourish myself and others is  aesthetically and ritualistic for me. The attention to color and chemistry and history  I can get into borders on a schizophrenics  ideation of reference, minus delusions (I think, therefore I can imagine micro nutrients dancing with the soil microbes as I interrupt their wedding by washing them off and making a salad.)

This is the honey season, and I see the bees for one of the last times before I search for them in the garden next Spring. I love them and send them that on a warming late September morning.

I also rely on my cells to shed and rejuvenate , strengthening for the change. I pray that is not delusional, and so I change my eating with that in mind. And so I have spent oodles of time researching diets to make me feel better, the only one that ever has is the one I began the writing piece with.

Healing.

 

In Her/His Image or I Am

All this stuff on facebook about religion, gender, laws, america, economy,.There is not enough time to learn enough about the topics raised in order to really understand anything but the gist. There is enough written material, but everyone is texting, everyone just wanting the gist.

I never went to a higher school of learning, although I was interested enough in one form of it to have made a decision to move where I now sit. economically I was very wispy as soon as I was of legal age. I had to work to eat and have a bed. And once I did have more than I  had ever had before, I spent the entire  inheritance on my home here. But I had come to pursue a higher knowledge.

Not choosing to do that did not change my economic reality much at all, I would have had to work hard at a job requiring physical stamina and with no heed to my joints and back and neck and knees and ankles. I would be doing that sort of work no matter where I lived, unless of course someone I was deeply involved with had enough income to support me, in which case I would have been a student of art, either the fine arts or writing or both.

And if I had been supported long enough, and come to this age, I would have chosen theology, because I am inclined, and called to. Well actually I was searching and I was found, but I was searching because I was called to by  a desire to be home. I  put a God in my home wherever I ever  lived, so that is seeking I suppose. Her image is in many forms, and I acknowledge her son, so that male image and those of saints are also around. And then there are the angels, who are disproportionally male . I just learned what exactly cis gendered means the other day. And as a lesbian feminist, I find it ridiculous to have these titles. I have eyes and my own senses and that tells me what a persons gender identification is. I call people by their name. I prefer women in most settings and roles in my life. But I am comfortable and can find brief rapport with males, albeit very few.

Mostly i prefer the company of my own little family right here in my home, with my God, and my angels, and my saints. we are very gender free here. Not gender fluid, like God may be, and the angels, and the saints, and yadda yadda ya.

But the gender thing led me to think about sexism, and that led me think about politics, and then I had to get back to  nature and God and in what image am I made?  SO the image as we understand it in our heads has a corporal form, and corporeal forms follow images imprinted in our mind, and that leads to a visualization of a human being, and that human being has most 99% of the time, an identifiable gender.

The tenet of Faith states we are made in gods image. An amazing concept that could lead to a lifetime of contemplation.(well for me anyway.)

What if, that concept of being made in God’s image is taken in another way? What if it means that we are created not as a mirror image, but within this god’s imagination? In the beginning was the word, and the word was with god. So first comes the word, and then comes the image, and the idea of god being a wordsmith so turns me on, She didn’t just say , “Tree”, in whatever language she speaks, she also said Birch, Ash, Linden, Beech, Oak, Hickory, ? And in those words an image was formed, and the root system and the bark and the branch formation, and the ability to dance in the wind at 100 ft tall.Mystics have devised that Angels do some of the tasks, not the imagery, but they are the technicians, so it’s good to know god has helpers.  And so Tree is made in gods image.  And so am I. I am not stamped out of some template that says “Short female”. The image of what a human is, is ” a little above the angels”. I take that as meaning we are given the work of making ourselves to some extent, thus, “free will”.

Now, on to trade agreements. If all of this in the physical world , the physical world of nature, which is designed by angelic forces, is meant to flourish in a beautiful and vital way, each “thing” giving sustenance and sustainability to the other , should we not, in the spirit of things, want to sustain each other also? Not in some national sense, trees and birds and fish do not have nationalities, that is a construct.Each sustains and is co existent with each other depending on the system it lives in, Boreal, Plains, river, Ocean, Desert

If humans have created money, and that is the reality we live in, and if we were to put god in that house, in the earthly temple, the gospels of the church(christian) tells us that god was certainly angry and upset about that, which did not  help him very much at that trial.

So we serve money, not god, because if money was ever to be a good thing, it must be distributed in a way that everyone can eat and have a bed and have a roof, and that this ability to generate money would then sustain those humans that lived in that environment. Except we use enviroment  up for its resources. Which we exchange for money. And we do not give back and we certainly do not support those who live and work around it.

So what if a good people, a people driven by the fact that in some dim and distant past, we were formed in the IMAGInation of a god? A good and merciful and genius and all powerful and mighty god?

Would we make it a thing about nations, or would we just make it about the environment we found ourselves in. Southern Hemisphere, African continent, the mini continent known as Australia, and within each land mass, the people that lived in certain geographical areas, would have a say and share with other places the resources ? Like the mycelium in the forest floor creating for the trees, the trees creating for the forest floor, and on and on, what if we operated ourselves like that?

And then, the opportunity, whether or not it comes to a peasant, a worker, a “maintainer” is fair, and it goes where needed, not just to some area that is defined by national borders and government and military.

And so, I cannot jump on the cart and carry slogans to be against a deal that may raise the standard of living for some family in Bangla Desh. If I have enough, and someone else has much less than that, I must share according to my advantage, my privilege.

I think that would be in god’s image of me. Because god is all knowing and all innocent, like an infant. It is possible to live and be vital , god is god exactly because  of the imagination god possess.  god can only create, create and then the goodness that flows from life sustains. Our rebellious nature , our laziness, does not create and sustain. There are slime molds that are more advantageous to the life around them.

Being mindful of whose image I am entrusted with, is a gift of the spirit. “And there was light”.-

 

 

 

 

 

Maizey Days

It SMELLS like summer, you know what I mean? Yesterday morning early I noticed it, smelling different. Not the smell after a rain, or dry dusty manure and combustive engine smell of early haying and spreading, and the vehicles that do it, not the leafy smell, or the sweet blossomy lilac and apple blossom smell. I wonder if that is what so many writers describe as “smelling the ozone in the air”,except usually the phrase is used in conjunction with stormy weather. Anyway, it smells like that again today, maybe its the smell of dew and vegetation in a perfect balance for an hour or so, as the day wears on it becomes more complicated, and where you go and how strong the sun is changes it again. Maybe the corn talks and you can smell the language .

 

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Indifference is God’s way

A birthright was given away for a tasty tender chop. Since a child, ,that always bothered me, that God did not care that  Jacob, the unchosen, the shepherd, the chef, the smoother and younger, Jacob the Trickster, the coyote,  bought a birthright for a bowl of stew, and then cos played his brother to fool his own father.  So well, in fact that some say that the descendants of Esau are actually  Big Foot

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The first big deception following the murder of Abel, yet it was rewarded for eternity. God is indifferent if you serve him up a nice prime rib.
 Perhaps the source of that first glimmer of adolescent anger is the first awareness of the “father’s” indifference.
Being indifferent to Esau’s hunger, indifferent to how one gets what they want, just sitting by and letting the whole thing play out.
If I am to believe that there is this all knowing supreme being, I must also believe that the morals and ethics and codes of a “blessed, chosen”, people somehow come from that supreme essence. Emanating as it were, pulsing with light.Goodness existed before I did, and it brought me into existence. Indifferently, with all the love of a disco ball.
It’s just this code, and yet, it can be stretched and bent, and none of that matters.
Now, you could argue that it was Esau’s fault , that he did not care enough for what was his by law, and sold it because he was hungry. Was he hungry? Or was his appetite whetted?
Big difference there. In the childrens illustrated bible I had as a child,  it always looked like Jacob tempted him, and prepared the food with intent. He did not bring the platter of goodies out of the kindness of his heart for his brother.
Or was it a “Higher” good, (good for the chosen people, to have a leader such as Jacob, not some sweaty hairy farmer who just worries about his crops and his belly).
There are many  entertaining possibilities for old timey grade b movies, sunday school projects, etc, here is one of them-http://bigfootinprophecy.homestead.com/Esau.html’.
A people, People of the Book, the people who follow the Abrahamic faiths, which were all spawned in the Mideast, from Egypt,Persia, Arabia, Syria, to the shores of the Mediterranean, decided that they were chosen because of the birthright of Jacob.
And for all the morality that these 3 Faiths decree, their entire existence , according to the stories, was won because of hunger, and then outright deception.
God is indifferent , but people are not. Nature is not.
More on that later.

Passion

I was taught some amount of mindfulness from Catholics. I think it was nuns. The teaching was/is somehow transmuted. Some of that mindfulness may be called brainwashing , but something worked. I see the year and time in a Liturgical sense. In colors on a wheel, with pictures and artistic interpretations of events in a story that apply to my time. Religion helps the mundane catch my attention, the mundane. It challenges more than any painful disruption, crisis, and just as much as trauma. The trauma of the mundane. Do I watch the same early insects awaken, the same sun coming from the same dusty town hall window, the same cluster fuck of cluster flies banging bodies against the solid light? The Passion in Passion week is a bloody and mournful passion. Today is Saturday, after Good Friday. My thoughts of course yesterday, went to Golgotha, the windswept sad hill, the long afternoon that those scheduled to die must spend.
Sharing a meal, a last meal , washing feet, consecrating the mundane, asking to be remembered in an action. “When you do this, do it for me”. The mindfulness or brainwashing that religion can teach is brave enough to ask for action. Action verifies. The Passion is the action, where the transcendence through consecration and betrayal (?!) , plays out in suffering.
Daily. The mundane. Seasonally, the same. In March the color of the dirt is washed with frost and sand, gravel and ash. Much of it is bare, and the surface is hard, pebbly, runed with drips and melt. Brush, ocher and grey and sienna tipped , tangle along the road, in the yards, pushing pushing through the dirt.
It’s too cold to stay out all day, and it would be a shitty time to die, you know, unless you were really tired and ready, or, unless the violence in the heart of humanity decided to drop a bomb on your life. The mundane, which is death, is seen as Passion. The cold stillness as something passionate. Trippy, huh?
So how could this be, this violent mandatory volunteered life, executed. Executed for treason, executed because some higher purpose designed it (? really?)………executed because that is what we do, we execute and cause violence to each other daily, it is our Via Dolorosa, as a people.
What else is going on in the place, in the town, in the state, in the forest and sky and river, during these walks toward Golgotha. Not everyone is along the road, jeering and throwing god knows what. Not all are weeping and offering what comfort they can. The birds are full of song as gray and foggy and drippy as it was yesterday. The yard was alive with them, singing their stories to each other. Business as usual goes on, people are working and buzzing and swarming. Cluster flies banging against solid light.

 

Candor

I buy the Times (NY), and usually let it sit on the dining room table, to mellow, become room temperature, collect local microorganisms. So I read an article explaining a little more about the story of Apple and the FBI. Not my friend Apple.It’s the Apple corporation who is arguing in court about “cracking” a lock that has been built into their iphones. Apparently it is so designed that they cannot get into the data because once a password is set, Apple does not have access to it. So they have to develop a program, to get into their own system. Ingenious.Not only that, if the wrong password is entered often enough, say, 5x, it’s programmed to slow down between tries. If a wrong password is entered often enough, the thing erases all stored data. Boom. It will be an awesome legal discourse. Apple’s last court statement advised that Apple is not an arm of the judicial branch, and so, is not compelled. Of course there are no precedents for either side to draw from successfully. Interesting times.

 

 

Lent 2016

So far, Lent has been a bust. Yes, Lent. I’ve always been a renegade nun, A roots nun, With my own made to order Canon, dogma defecient, A twisted sister. Lent, it’s a church word, roughly referring to the 40 days before Easter, also on a rootier study of the word, it means “long days”. “Springtime Spring”. Religious Catholic have used it as a time of turning away from self and looking toward a deeper realtionship with spiritual guidance. In this case, Christ. Long days, compared to Winter and Fall. Signs of Spring, it would have been easy to practice fasting, as long as humans hunted and gathered, tilled and harvested, the Springtime Spring would have been a time to ration what was left of the harvest, to slow down with hunting, as it was migration season and some of us humans had wisdom to know that if there would be a good hunt with many animals, they would leave the returning and awakening animals to nest, and eat, and live. So, salted fish and meat and flour made from acorns and stored grains, and bitter herbs. All that is left of the meat is the shank, and the grain doesn’t rise as well, (think Matzo) and the first herbs can be bitter to a person living on salted fish.
It’s a season with more light, and light “illuminates”. Still, it’s cold to be tilling, to be in the dirt, fingers and small spade, turning, opening. It’s a collective time of eagerness, yearning, chafing at the bit. Where to send that energy? The Church dresses it up, makes it sort of punk/goth, what with the ashes and the attention to the wounds, the piercings. When I was a kid, it meant I was supposed to eat fish on Wednesdays and Fridays. There was no fasting involved, except from candy, I tried to give up comic books, but that was a fail also. 40 days in the desert of tunafish and fish cakes and no candy was bearable, but life without DC Comics would not have been. I am not a kid anymore (really). And i look at it this way now. What would I bring into the desert with me to survive one and a half moons? What makes it through and what doesn’t? Some things become easier to do without, while others are more difficult. Samsara, the hamster’s wheel, the perennial return. I want to open all the windows and let fresh air in, but it is 35 degrees outside. I am going to try to observe more and think less about politics, and to self observe every time I become emotional about something I read, I am going to be mindful and watch my heart, and listen to my gut. I am going to be grateful I have food choices other than acorn pancakes and sardine crackers, although some of you may think my personal menu resembles that fare. Have a healthy Springtime Spring, and do something good for the Earth. Namaste.