Wednesday, September 3, 2014

A mysterious cat. 

      “Why don’t you do an internet search?” my massage and Reiki practitioner asked when I told him about the appearance of a mysterious cat who sat at the back of my yard and stared at the house.  “I’m sure people will have something to say about it.  I have a friend who is a shaman, and she thinks there’s meaning in all such appearances.”

     I typed in “appearance of cat that stares at house,” and learned two things.  One was that cats that appear mysteriously may mean that I am developing an increased awareness of psychic things or that I am more aware of physical things involving agility and strength.  The more prosaic thing is that it’s probably a recently strayed cat that is considering making a home here.  I will not leave out any food.  It’s a white cat, obviously well cared for, with a splotch of orange over the right eye.  One early evening it was at the base of the back stairs.  When I opened the door, it quickly climbed the fence and leaped away.

Three random thoughts.

The flowers of the mimosa trees are now pods.

The week after Maya Angelou’s death, The New Yorker published a photograph and a caption.  The week after Robin Williams’s death, it printed a photograph and a caption and a brief article under the weekly feature, “The Talk of the Town.”

Summer may finish strong.  Late Sunday afternoon, as a I drove home from Chapel Hill on US 54, I noticed that the woods, roadside plants, and fields were virile green, going strong in 90-degree heat.

Listening.  Mendelssohn, Songs Without Words, Op. 19 (1832) and Op. 30 (1835).

Each work is six pieces for piano solo.  Mendelssohn wrote six other sets of six pieces each, to make a total of forty-eight short, lyrical works.  The pieces are generally not easy to play.  They are gems of the piano repertoire, each secure in formal structure, traditional harmony,  and techniques that yield lyrical expressions.  My favorites from Op. 19 are “Sweet Remembrance” and “Hunting Song.”  From Op. 30, I like particularly “Consolation” and “The Brook.”  All are pleasing, totally satisfying pieces.

Viewing.  Film, Calvary

Neither the review in The New Yorker nor the description in the Triangle’s Indie mentions the parallels of the character of the priest and Jesus or the parish population’s reflecting the iniquities or humankind or the significance of the title.  The film is a grim and dark portrayal of a priest working to come to terms with his own problems to achieve forgiveness and ministering with the troubled people of his parish in a spirit of love.  He is reviled for his efforts, and we witness his courage, integrity, and perseverance to the end.  The beauty and bleakness of Ireland accent the emotions and concerns of the film.

Reading.  Scripture, Moriah, The Book of Mormon.

The book is a history of a people, set between 124 and 92 BC.  We read of good kings and bad kings, prophets, wars.  The book has a historic sweep.  I enjoyed most these episodes: the good king Benjamin reviewing for his people the reason his leadership was good, the boldness of the prophet Abinadi against the bad king Noah, the work of three strong characters–Ammon, Alma, and Gideon, the fact that the sons of two good men, before their being taken to task for their deeds, sought to destroy the church.  One of the central ideas of the books is what makes good leaders.  Answer: their attitude about service to God and service to people.  Often bad rulers cause the citizens to make personal and corporate sins.  Four passages of note: 

Chapter 4, Verse 27.  A guide for our actions:  “And see that all these things are done in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength.  And again, it is expedient that he should be diligent, that thereby he might win the prize; therefore all things must be done in order.”

Chapter 4, Verse 30.  A call for daily spiritual awareness and diligence in life:  ‘ . . . if ye do not watch yourselves, and your thoughts, and your words, and your deeds, and observe the commandments of God, and continue in the faith . . . ye must perish.”

Chapter 27, Verse 29.  A celebration of renewal, salvation:  “My soul hath been redeemed from the gall of bitterness and bonds of iniquity.  I was in the darkest abyss, but now I behold the marvelous light of God.  My soul was racked with eternal torment; but I am snatched, and my soul is pained no more.”

Chapter 27, Verse 37.  Celebrations of the work of ministers, preachers, priests, and their teachings:  “And how blessed are they! For they did publish peace; they did publish good tidings of good; and they did declare unto the people that the Lord reigneth.”

My favorite phrases:  “the marvelous light of God,” “I was snatched,” and “good tidings of good.” 

This notice, from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services

It is posted in restrooms throughout the state:  “Each employee’s hands must be washed thoroughly, using soap, warm water and sanitary towel or approved hand-drying device, before beginning work and after each visit to the toilet.”

If I were teaching, my assignment to senior high English students:  Re-write the sentence in plain English by using active voice and changing the two concluding phrases to dependent clauses with clear and logical reference to the subject.

Bonus:  Write the concluding two phrases with parallel structure.

Today in NC public schools, I would first have to teach “voice,” “active voice,” “phrase,” “clause,” “dependent clause,” “reference,” and “parallel structure.”

Major Decisions

What qualities do we need when we face major decisions?  The following is an intercession, included in the morning devotional in Give Us This Day: Daily Prayer for Today’s Catholic, September 2, 2014:  “Grant discernment, wisdom, and self-knowledge to those making major decisions.”

Thank you for reading.  I hope your weeks are going well.  From reading the almanac, I see that the Full Moon of September, the Harvest Moon, will occur on September 8 and that we will begin autumn on September 22.  It will be good to watch the season change into autumn.




About billwednesdayblog

Retired high school English and French teacher.
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1 Response to Wednesday, September 3, 2014

  1. Margaret McNeely says:

    Attention Employees: Before you begin work and after you use the toilet, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water; dry them with a sanitary towel or approved hand-drying device.

    How about that? You could also put a period after water and then capitalize the d in dry.

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