Sunday, April 20, 2008

Kipling, Cleaning & War

'tis been a most peculiar day. It's been raining most of the day with tornado and storm warnings.
Last night I had dinner with my friends Mark and Steven. We three "old maids" all over 50 and what lives we've lived!
There was a party here at the house last night Michael (my house mate's "son") is home on leave for a few days and staying here with Josh. They and their friends are the quietest partyers I know.
With the rain we've stayed in all day. Jazz of course kept me in sight. I had made a list the other day of things I wanted to do to clean "house" for Beltaine (May 1st) including simplifying the small altar and "shrine" I've set up on the shelves where I keep my foldable clothes. As I've let things get cluttered I've found myself distracted in my devotions. I already feel better with it tidy and it's evening candle lit.
I also figured that with the rain I would water the house plants. I've been meaning to go through my closet and clothes and simplify. I've so many things that I've grown out of.....tee shirts, jeans, shirts, and out dated useless toiletries. The clothes, for the most part, are going to Goodwill. The toiletries and some tee shirts I gave to Karen. I'm tired but it's a good tiredness, I feel like I've made some progress. Tomorrow more rain so I'll probably work on the computer desk. We'll see how long I can keep things up before chaos reigns supreme.
As I write this I'm also listening to Masterpiece Theater, the current program is "My Boy Jack" about Rudyard Kipling's son Jack and his volunteering for the Army at the beginning of WWI. He's been wounded and captured and his parents (especially his mother) are struggling to find him. He was 17 and already a second lieutenant (his father had to give permission for him to go overseas). He tried so hard to meet his father's expectations of his men is just explaining how he was killed trying to help his men (all shown in flashbacks). His father is accepting his responsibility in his son's death. It's only a TV show about a war waged 90 years ago, but it is so current. The grief and horror of war without the pomp and glory. I know Karen is terrified for Michael who will probably head to Afganistan-Iraq around Christmas. War is so god awful... why can't our leaders see it...taste it...smell it...hate it?


Today the pope went home. After almost a week B16 left from JFK airport for Rome. As I was cleaning today I had the TV on listening and watching the coverage of his Mass in New York City. I still love the pomp and ritual and music but it was fascinating to be looking at this visit through the eyes of disbelief. When JP2 was here a few years back I was post-catholic but not post-christian. I was pleased that Benedict faced the clergy sexual abuse head on but he doesn't recognize the role his bishops played. The shuffling of priests to keep them out of trouble at the expense of the children these men abused. One of the victims who met with the pope tried to tell him that there was a "middle management" problem but it seems that that part of the problem will continue to be ignored.
I am so pleased I am no longer a part of that community.