Words to Bring Back: “Concatenation”

– Definition: n. The act of linking together.

– Used in a sentence: One positive effect of the 2016 election was the concatenation of disparate progressives, some actually lucid.

– Why: Who could argue with a pentasyllabic synonym for “gathering?”

Your spiritual practice will give you many gifts, but don’t expect it to relieve you of your human nature.”
–Alan Morinis

Endurance Test

IT HAS BEEN SAID BEFORE. And sadly, it will no doubt be said again. But I feel the need to say it anyway:

A friend of mine told me the other day that, after Poway, she’ll be afraid when I go to synagogue.

“I’m not,” I replied. And meant it.

What I’m also not afraid of, is wearing my yarmulke in public.

Am I a target? Yes. But then we all are — whether we wear yarmulkes or visible stars-of-David or no. As we have been for centuries, even millennia, by haters and cowards and fools.

Slipping By

IF YOU RECEIVED AN EMAILED post today about my continuing ill health, please know that it was a mistake: while the post is still largely accurate, it actually dates back to May 2010. I have no idea why it went out today to so many people, but it did, which is why I’m writing this update and thanking you for your concern.

“Largely accurate” means that, after ten years of this scat, I’m still having undiagnosed chronic pain and nausea, and attendant “bad days” — some scarily so. But on the good side, I am walking and getting about more than I was then.

Road Wisdom

“WHEN YOU’RE ON THE ROAD and somebody offers you something, take it.”

This piece of learning was gifted me by a temporary chauffeur during my 1985 hitchhiking trip (detailed elseblog) who, somewhere on EB I-80 between Placerville and Stateline, asked me if I wanted a beer — my favorite brand, in fact. I demurred, until he convinced me otherwise with the above epigram.

Since then I have done a poor job with keeping up my side of the bargain. I am a pretty fierce let-me-do-it-myself-er. But I’m trying to do better.

It’s important to let people help you. It makes them feel good. It makes them feel needed and useful. And isn’t that the best gift we can give each other?

365 Names: G?d

G?D IS MY GO-TO Name for the that-which-some-people-call-God concept. It’s adapted from the traditionalist Jewish spelling “G-d,” with a twist: the “?” denotes Its Greatly Unknowable aspect. There is no way I (or anyone) could reasonably explain or even talk about “God” — Which is, by definition, indefinable — and spelling this most basic Name with a question-mark keeps me mindful of that important fact. Affected? Perhaps. Pretentious? Not at all. Catchy? I hope so.

On Blogorrhea (And Its Opposite)

ALTHOUGH I STILL CAN’T SIT for very long, I am also still happy that my seven-year writer’s block has evidently ended (albeit with the death of a close friend). But I will know that it’s really ended when I can start cranking out fiction again.

Fiction doesn’t come easily for me. I am professionally, hands-on trained as a news and features writer. That sort of writing is like assembling a Tinkertoy structure out of fact-pieces and putting them in the proper places. But fiction-writing is like pulling a thick rope out of a dark void and seeing what’s attached.

The fictions I really want to start writing again concern our ol’ pal Prosatio Silban, reluctant holyman turned traveling cook.