Tag Archives: angels

I Can’t Get Me No… Satisfaction

I am old.  And it is true that I am not as old as the Rolling Stones.  After all, they are living proof that prehistoric fossils can actually still sing.  But I am nearing the end.  My health is rapidly deteriorating.  And while medical technology has advanced worldwide, and is probably the only reason I have lived for 60 years, the cost of that technology to Americans is beyond what I can afford.  I am living now in a house that I saw in my dreams back in college.  In that dream from when I was twenty, I saw myself sitting in an easy chair that is now in this house.   The sky outside was pale orange.  And an angel came to me and said, “This is it.  This is the end.  You must come with me.”

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So I am expecting the angel any day now.

But there is so much in this life, in this world, left unfinished.  I have novels left to write, and novels I have written that still are not published.

Page Publishing has my Magical Miss Morgan book and I have to argue now with editors to keep them from totally mangling it.  They even want to change Miss to Ms. in the title!  Don’t they know that kids never say Ms. to a female teacher?    Will the angel have to wait while I labor through the process of correcting those danged ding-batty word-misers?

And the Arizona football Cardinals have not won a championship in the NFL since 1947, nine years before I was born.  I wanted to see them win once before I leave with that angel.  But the team that was practically unbeatable last year lost their seventh game this year to the Dolphins yesterday, and are probably defunct for this year.  It would take a miracle now for them to get funct again and make the playoffs.  Maybe I have to put the angel off for another football season.

And the world has ended in 2016.  The Great Orange Face has won the battle for leader of the free world.  He will institute policies that will make him richer, but will kill me, and eventually destroy life on Earth.  And remember, the Cubs won a World Series again, 108 years after the goat curse was set upon them.  The four horsemen of the Apocalypse are dusting off their saddles right now, and the pale guy is sharpening his scythe.  How can I leave behind such a world for my children?  The angel is getting impatient and tapping his foot quite a lot.

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                                                                                                               “You know, it is quite possible I will look like this the next time you see me, Mickey.”

So, I am really not satisfied quite yet with the way things are going.  The Rolling Stones have some sort of secret going for them.  They are never satisfied according to the song.  So maybe that is what is keeping them still singing after most of them have already died and simply refuse to lay down, get buried, and keep quiet.  Maybe I need to learn to sing.

 

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Filed under autobiography, battling depression, cardinals, feeling sorry for myself, humor, nudes, Paffooney, publishing, self pity, strange and wonderful ideas about life

Notes From the Archangel Michael

I was born and raised a Methodist.  But I married into the Jehovah’s Witness faith.  Yes, those annoying little people who come knocking at your door offering free Bible studies and wanting to talk to you about the “good news from God’s Word the Bible”.  I was one of them for the better part of 20 years.  And I want to tell you from the outset that I have been guilty of knocking on doors.  I have been threatened to have the dogs sicked on me.  I have been threatened with guns by Winchuks, Hickenloopers, and other rednecks.  Laughingboy Larry, a seventh and eighth grade former student of mine even begged me to come to his door so he could throw a pie in my face.  I requested lemon meringue pie because… mmm, lemon meringue!  Jehovah’s Witnesses are not bad people.  They are real honest-to-God Christians who believe and teach the essential lessons of Christianity, Love and Forgiveness.  Some of the finest people I have ever met are self-sacrificing, hard-working Jehovah’s Witnesses.  I would never speak against them.  But this post has to explain why I no longer am one of them.

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I have always been a reader of the Bible.  I began seriously reading it in my youth when I was a victim of sexual assault and the life-threatening depression that can cause.  A very thoughtful and loving Methodist minister, the father of my best friend, taught me how to use the Bible to seek answers and find comfort.  As a Jehovah’s Witness, I have read the entire Bible cover to cover twice.

But I have also always been a Christian Existentialist, even before I knew what that was.  I believe that existence precedes essence.  There has to be a real, observable rock in front of me before I grant faith in the existence of a rock.  I don’t accept “rock-ness” as something that is real because other people tell me that “rock” exists.  If God is going to be the rock upon which I build my faith, then I have to observe that God is real.  I need proof.  Superstition is acceptance of something without proof.  As far as I can tell, almost all religions… organized religions… are based on superstitions.  “How do you know that Jesus loves me?”  “Because the Bible tells me so.”  “Why must I believe I go to Heaven when I die?”   “Because your father and his father before him believed it.”  “Can I accept these as real reasons… as evidence?”  “Of course not.  These things follow the patterns of superstition.”

“Kill the infidel! Die a hero’s death, and you will be granted 99 virgins in paradise.”  “How do you know this to be true?”  “Allah has told me in a dream.”

 

So, if you follow any of this (undoubtedly due to the same curse of relentless intelligence that plagues me), you are probably wondering why I don’t just come out and claim to be an atheist like Richard Dawkins or Christopher Hitchens?  Well, because I believe in God.  I have seen the proof.  When I talk to God, he answers me.  When I ask him to guide me, he sends signs and leads me to the answers I seek.  He comforts me, even though it is only by helping me to find comfort in my own mind… my own self.  He helps me find the power within me to do what is right and overcome what is wrong.  Why, then, am I not still a Jehovah’s Witness?  Why am I not still knocking on doors?

The truth, as I see it, is… each of us must find God for ourselves.  Each of us must obtain the certainty we seek with our own efforts, or be satisfied with a perpetual state of not knowing all the answers.  Either result is perfectly acceptable.  Jehovah’s Witnesses will tell you that you can’t obtain eternal life unless you believe what they believe, do what they do, and accept everything just as they interpret it from their magic book.  Personally, I believe there is no eternal life.  I am made of star stuff (as Carl Sagan used to say, because science has mathematically proven it is true).  When I die, the configuration of star stuff that is me will simply be no more.  But I have existed.  And my atoms will go through a large number of processes that disperse them and turn them into something else.  My individual consciousness will be disbanded, but the overall consciousness of the universe will remain.  The universe is greater than I am.  In fact, the whole human race could wink out of existence in a massive fireball that consumes planet Earth, and the whole still remains.  I don’t have to worry about any of it.  I am the author of my own story.  I am responsible for its content, both good and bad.  And I am not sorry for any of it.

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Most of the angels used in this post are by William-Adolphe Bouguereau…and one is by me.

Now you know the awful truth.  Mickey is a humanist.  He thinks for himself about everything… even matters of religion.  How horrible!

“Tell me, oh great and powerful, Vishnu, will I be offered 99 virgins in paradise if I kill him for you?”

“No, Singh-Rama O’Malley.  You are simply being stupid and superstitious.  And besides, that particular superstition doesn’t belong to my religion.  You are mixing things up.”

“Oh, sorry, Lord Vishnu.  But is it okay if I don’t kill myself for my error?”

“Singh-Rama, you are a child of the universe… no less than the trees and the stars, you have a right to be here.  And whether or not it is clear to you, the universe is unfolding… as it should.”  (Note; These last words are the words of the poet Max Ehrmann in his wise poem, Desiderata.)

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Filed under philosophy, Uncategorized

Cloudscapes

Cloudscapes

Once upon a time, the English poet and, I would argue, cartoonist, William Blake once said, “You look at the sky and see clouds, while I see the assembled heavenly host!”  This is why my literature class in college about the Romantic Poets of his day made him out to be a certifiable nutcase who probably belonged in in a mental institution.  (And back then, in the 1800’s, the sanitarium was a place where inconveniently crazy people went to die.)

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Look at a couple of my cloudscapes.  Do you see angels?

Cloudscapes (a poem)

Blue and white and filled with light…

The cloudscape burns with angels…

And wholly bought with grace unsought…

I long to fly with angels…

Are they really there in the cloud-filled air?

I see them there, they’re angels!

So, there you have it.  I’m a loon.  I don’t even have the excuse of being a Romantic Poet and well-known for my poetry as a defense against the loony bin.  But as the matter stands, I am fully willing to accept the consequences.  Creativity has its price.  And, while you may not agree that I am somewhat creative, I am swimming in a vast ocean of perceived revelations that enriches me and fulfills me at the very same moment that it drains all the energy from my soul.  If that is not what it means to see angels… then I do not know anything of use to anyone but me.

The word “angel” (according to Wikipedia, the source of all true knowledge) comes to English via Late Latin and the word “angelus” which the Romans stole from the Greek  ἄγγελος ángelos,  The ángelos is the default Septuagint’s translation of the Biblical Hebrew term mal’ākh denoting simply “messenger” without specifying its nature.  (Notice, I am giving full credit to Wikipedia because it is far more all-knowing than I.)

I have many atheistic and agnostic notions in my ultimate belief systems, but still, I claim to be a Christian and believe in God Jehovah… within limits.  I still communicate with God on a daily basis, and while I don’t publicly pray anymore (a notion promoted by the Biblical Jesus) I find answers to my questions and solutions to my problems from the observable universe around me.. the messengers of God.  So, now that I have fully rationalized being crazy as a loon, I am going to tell you where that craziness is taking me.  I started a new Paffooney for one of the books I am working on.  Here is the pencil sketch;

pencil sketch

This will be a picture of Valerie Clarke and her Daddy, the farmer Kyle Clarke.  In my fiction, Kyle loses his farm to the bank (in the Family Farm Crisis of the 1980’s) and believing himself incapable of any longer supporting his family, kills himself.  But the thing is, the love of his daughter transcends death for Kyle.  She is able to reconnect with him time and again because the angels work for her as well as for Kyle.  I may be loony and ill in real life, facing the Angel of Death myself, but I am not done doing God’s work… not yet… not for a long time to come.

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Filed under humor, Paffooney, poem