The past month has been one of the oddest that I have seen in many years.
First, J.C. McCarley passed away. For those who knew him, I don’t have to tell you about him. For those who did not, please see the blog for Zaman Grotto (http://blog.zamangrotto.org) for details on his life. He was a major, major influence and presence in my life for the past decade and I will miss him immensely.
Second, after being appointed & installed as Chaplain in 2 York Rite (Masonic) bodies one night this week, I ended my 2 year service as Chaplain at Zaman Grotto the next night & was elected & installed as the officer at the bottom of the line that leads to being the head of that body. So, just when I was getting comfortable at bringing new prayers & religious materials to the Grotto, I get to shift that focus over to 2 other groups & re-envision my place in the Grotto. What will make this challenging is that the York Rite is much more religious-themed to begin with and my new position at the Grotto has no stated duties in the Constitution or Bylaws except helping the other officers. I am looking forward to the challenges these changes will bring.
Third, the day of the York Rite meeting, Joe Cassini passed away. While I never grew as close to Joe as I had to J.C., he had been a strong supporter and volunteer at Zaman Grotto for all the years I have been a member and he will be greatly missed.
Fourth, my sister’s dog died on Saturday. Okay, that does not sound like news to most folks, but the dog in question was my brother’s dog many years ago & he stayed with us for a spell when my brother was, well, unavailable to deal with him. That freaked out the cats we had then so much (even a small dog in THEIR house!) that one of them quit eating for days and developed fatty liver syndrome, which led to years of treatments & his eventual death. Even so, Cassidy was a sweet dog and loved all the Gatewoods he met, so his passing is another sad note — and I grieve with my sister at his absence.
Fifth, the news from our nation’s Capital City (Washington DC), as well as from the City where the capital and the real power are both centered (New York) AND from the campaign trail have all shown that the corporations which started buying the USA when Nixon took us off the gold standard and really went on a spree of purchasing the reins of culture and politics under Reagan have accelerated their mopping up. The end of America as we have been taught to know it is getting closer much sooner than even I had feared. There are so many signs of this now that even Occupy movement may have come too late to stop the engineered slide into fascism.
Sixth, despite all of this and the fact that our “children” are cats who just do NOT understand holidays, somehow I find myself getting into the Christmas spirit. Not the spirit that flings anger back at people who say “Happy Holidays” — but the spirit that seeks to spread good will to all and peace to everyone, at least for a few days here at the end of 2011.
We really have no idea what wonders and horrors await us in the coming months. Therein lies my hope. I pray that we will stretch forth our hands and grasp the hope and the wonders, working together to prevent & stop the horrors.