May 16, 2003

Ruffled by the want of a journal entry….*

Backed. Up. A backed-up septic tank. That’s what I feel like. Not that I’m full of it, although that is probable, but I haven't journalized in two weeks. Haven’t written a poem yet in May. Hmmm….how about ”May showers bring June flowers?” So many issues…so little time. The mind whirls like the Unresolved Problems segment on O’Reilly (I always wonder: what couldn’t be classified as unresolved? Unresolves fly off the assembly line like chocolates in that I Love Lucy episode).

The Problematic Case of Bone
Prone to conspiracy theories, Bone collapses into the final stretch, sans job. Unemployment compensation maxes out at $22K a year, which, even given his heroic savings rate, would pinch. Pinch hard. So it looks much less palatable. But at the same time the evil geniuses at HR simply cannot find their way out of a paper bag. And so Bone is left holding the bag. One must “jif” for job openings, which is another way of saying, “fill out some paperwork, touch your head with your left head, count backwards and stick out your tongue”. So he jiffed for eight, ten, twelve open positions and then a couple weeks later HR says that they are in the process of reorganizing the Jiffing process and that his JIFs now are consigned to the the equivalent of limbo. Choosy mothers don’t choose this JIF. It becomes ever more difficult to maintain the fiction that he will remain employed, even after lo these twelve years. “What ifs” litter the landscape and I sweep them away.

Gleaves Whitney recently quoted Fritz Wilhelmsen of the University of Dallas: "Everyone must give Bacchus his due." Given that St. Paul warns against making provisions for the flesh (subject to your interpretation of what ‘flesh’ means – sex? drugs? rock’n’roll?) it is a dubious thought. Bacchus would seem to have a streak of “relative to what?” about him. For if I’m a teetotaler and I have two beers, Bacchus goes home and retires easily. If I’m used to the constant stimulation of rock and roll at nightclubs till 2am, becoming a monk and listening to the Gregorian Chant will feel much different than someone elderly and housebound, who would thrill to spend his days in that church choir.

But there is possibly a built-in component too. Crisis magazine recently reported that suicide rates among the young Mormons of Salt Lake City are very high. The author was careful not to draw a crude conclusion, but there was a hint of “they have no fun!”. Suicide rates are much higher in the West, especially the more forlorn areas of the west such as the Plains states. Could it be too quiet there?

Lunar Eclipsing
Spied thru a gimlet eye the lunar eclipse. There was the anticipation of it, the craning the neck and then ahhhhh-- there it is! Yep, that’s a lunar eclipse. Sun’s in back of us, and despite her great size because she’s so much farther away it appears the moon, earth and sun are relatively the same size. For the occlusion is neat, neither too much nor too little. Just right.

* - recalling Charles Dicken's line, "I'm ruffled by the want of a cigar"

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