Thursday, June 14, 2012

"God does not build in straight lines."

I haven't the slightest clue what to write about. Liberty? The 2012 election is a choice between handcuffs and leg irons. The Mets? For the first time since donning my Biloxi blues in 1994, I haven't watched a single pitch all season. Naturally, they record their first and possibly second no-hitters (and people wonder why Amazin' fans are so sardonic?). Bilbo is a mere 6 months and 48fps away, Depeche Mode are back in the studio and my children are happily looking forward to another long summer.

Moi? I dunno. I feel a shift is already underway. As Life 2.0 slowly unfolds, I'm getting some crystal-clear transmissions from my gut/the universe (the two are becoming increasingly similar in size) on what stays and what goes.

As Dolorous Edd so rightly bemoaned, "There's nothing more sickening than a man in love." She's been the unlikeliest of blessings, however, and like finally reaching a far-off peak, she's made every last step and stumble along the way worth it. She makes me laugh. A loht. She's my gorgeous best friend. She put all her chips on me, inexplicably. When I had nothing, she saw everything. Nevermind remuneration - how does one even comprehend such a thing? My sincerest wish is that she'll allow me at least sixty years to figure it all out, together.

Similarly sublime, I decided to "reboot" my eastward travels several months ago. When I was initiated, I thought things would make more sense upon being passed. When I became a Fellow Craft, I presumed all would come together upon being raised. When I became a Master Mason, I was told that the genuine secrets have been lost. It seemed logical to proceed into the York Rite, whose Holy Royal Arch had historically been considered part of the 3rd degree. In the most moving experience of my life, I was then dubbed in the Commandery and reached the capstone of my journey. Or did I? Answers still eluded me - why do we do "X", why do we say "Y"? I'd been making the fifty mile trip several times a week, but after our lodge closed, there was no better time to search for Brothers a little closer to home. I can say unequivocally that, outside of becoming a father, it's been the proudest and most transforming achievment of my life. I'm eager to jump back in and resume my travels.

From the Department of Randomness:

I like gin.

On one side of my head, there is silence, life, engines, splashing. On the other, a neverending +18Hz tone blaring like a Stuka that never quite levels out. It affects my balance, and too many times already my inability to hear has been construed as aloofness.    

Growing up in rural New Jersey, I always found the contrasts odd. One hour I would be roaming through a farmer's field at the end of the world, the next I could be in the heart of its capital. As an adult, I remember fishing in the Delaware Water Gap one morning and sitting in a doctor's office on East 67th before lunch. That's weird.There's certainly no other place quite like the Garden State and I'll always consider it home.

In my adopted state, the local bookstores are phasing out their caf├ęs in favor of Yogurt Mountain. During my hard-won temporary poverty, a favorite (i.e., cheap) activity was spending a few dollars on a latte and reading for countless hours. It got so bad that I felt like I was essentially stealing (the books, not the latte). Why the change? I suppose yogurt and books could be a perfectly understandable combination, much like napping and tuna. 

I saw "Prometheus" last night. As Ridley Scott's films usually go, it was visually stunning, more than I could digest in one sitting and the Director's Cut will be essential. As for the ship, I thought it was the coolest craft since the Nebuchadnezzar.

One of the most noteworthy lines came from David, who incredulously asks Dr. Shaw as she requests her cross and chain, "Even after all this, you still believe?" She replies that she believes because she chooses to, and much like the protagonist aboard the Neb discovered, choice seems to be both the problem and the solution.

How does one see a benevolent God in suffering? How are death, disease and despair part of some grander design? The thought that always pops into my head is crossing a street with my kids. It's not only within my power, it's also my solemn duty to protect them. How could I let them venture into traffic without saving them? Perhaps just as disturbing, what kind of parent would I be if I justified it? "Well, this is what they chose, and their right to freely decide trumps my ability to intervene." I cannot understand that - is life sacred or is it not? Why is the passing shadow less imporant than the ground on which it's cast? That's like ordering a steak and gnawing on the table.

My sweetheart (yes, every last thing eventually does come back to her) let me borrow a wonderful book by Catherine Marshall, who touches on many of these themes. Yes, it has been flagged.

As usual, my loyal murder, I have no answers, only questions. And now yogurt.