You decide

A few weeks ago, Honey decided that St. Joseph wasn’t doing his job, so he dug him up and reburied him upside-down. Two weeks later, our house showed for the first time and they made an offer we couldn’t refuse. It is now under contract, and if all goes as planned, we’ll close on May 17th. Coincidence or divine intervention?

Think on these things

The lady that used to live in the house we just bought had newspaper clippings of poetry and prayers taped to the inside of the kitchen cabinet doors. Honey removed them before cleaning the cabinets, but I couldn’t bring myself to throw them away.

I don’t know much about Bessie. I know that she and her husband designed and built the house, that he died in 1996, and that she suffered from dementia and lived in a nursing home until passing away last August at the age of ninety-eight. I believe these newspaper clippings provide a little insight into the kind of person that she might have been, and I thought I would share them with my readers.

Forget It
If you see a tall fellow ahead of the crowd,
A leader of men, marching fearless and proud,
And you know of a tale whose mere telling aloud
Would cause his proud head in anguish be bowed,
It’s a pretty good plan to forget it.

If you know of a skeleton hidden away
In a closet, and guarded, and kept from the day
In the dark, and whose showing, whose sudden display,
Would cause grief and sorrow and pain and dismay.
It’s a pretty good plan to forget it.

If you know of a tale that will darken the joy
Of a man or a woman, a girl or a boy.
That will wipe out a smile or the least bit annoy
A fellow or cause any gladness to cloy,
It’s a pretty good plan to forget it.
_______

To the preacher, life’s a sermon,
To the joker, it’s a jest;
To the miser, life is money,
To the loafer, life is rest.

To the lawyer, life’s a trial,
To the poet, life’s a song;
To the doctor, life’s a patient,
Who needs treatment right along.

To the solder, life’s a battle,
To the teacher, life’s a school;
Life’s a “good thing” to the grafter,
It’s a failure to the fool.

To the man upon the engine,
Life’s a long and heavy grade;
It’s a gamble to the gambler,
To the merchant, life’s a trade.

Life is but a long vacation,
To the man who loves his work;
Life’s an everlasting effort
To shun duty, to the shirk.

Life is useful or unmuseful,
Life is false or life is true;
Life is what we try to make it –
Brother, what is life to you?
_______

Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled
By Helen Steiner Rice

Whenever I am troubled
And lost in deep despair,
I bundle all my troubles up
And go to God in prayer…
I tell him I am heartsick
And lost and lonely, too,
That my mind is deeply burdened
And I don’t know what to do…
But I know He stilled the tempest
And calmed the angry sea
And I humbly ask if in His love
He’ll do the same for me…
And then I just keep quiet
And think only thoughts of peace,
And if I abide in stillness
My restless murmurings cease.
_______

My chief thought: Thanks to my God for all His wondrous gifts throughout my life; they seem to me a series of uplifts! My lines have fallen pleasantly, my life has been most blest; the goodly heritage I have has withstood every test! To God I leave the rest!

The essence of religion

What is the essence of religion? Sigmund Freud said that was the longing for the father. Others have called it the desire of the mother or for transcendence. I fear deeply that all these are idealizations, and I offer the rather melancholy suggestion that they would all vanish from us if we did not know that we must die. Religion rises inevitably from our apprehension of our own death. To give meaning to meaninglessness is the endless quest of all religion. When death becomes the center of our consciousness, then religion authentically begins.

Harold Bloom, literary scholar