Korean Cease-Fire 1953

27 July marks the anniversary of the signing of a cease-fire agreement in Panmunjom in 1953.

The Korean War Conflict never ended.

The Kim dynasty continue their version of Two Steps Forward One Step Back.

But the Forgotten War continues to be forgotten by most in the West or allied to the West.


Apostolic Exhortation "On Love in the Family"

Pope Francis has officially issued a document in the aftermath of the synod on marriage and the family last fall.

AMORIS LÆTITIA  issued 8 April 2016 (though the file date from the Vatican web site is 19 March) is a 264 page PDF.

No, I have not read it yet.

The first thing I did after downloading was do a search for the term "chastity."

In 264 pages on marriage and the family, chastity occurs a total of ONCE.

Not looking forward to opening this can of stale bait...


This is that animated wind map thing

The one I keep mentioning and forgetting to give anybody the link.

The season for being "heedless of the wind and weather" is behind us!

Go look.  I'ts cool and doesn't take a long time to load.  You can move the globe around and resize if necessary.

You're welcome.


The Aging Process

It's bad when your portal amnesia extends to the opening of a notebook so I can write down something lest I forget.

Um, what was I going to write down?  I forget.


Well, this is a switch.

Something for work, but it turned out sort of artsy.  Please note the soft blue accent from LED flashlight.  Taken with my tiny CyberShot and touched up a bit with Fotor.


Feast of the Presentation of Jesus

For the past year or so when I think about the Feast of the Presentation -- a recurring theme while meditating on the fourth Joyful Mystery of the Rosary -- the character that calls out to me is the prophetess Anna.

Anna was a constant presence in the temple, and served God with fasting and prayer (Luke 2:37). By grace coming to the place where Simeon was speaking to the Holy Family, Anna was also led to recognize the Savior.

And what does Anna then do?

Anna becomes a kind of new Isaiah, speaking comfortingly to Jerusalem (Isaiah 40:1-2) about the Christ child.

Having maintained a kind of static watchfulness for so many years, Anna is rewarded with the One she has sought and hoped for.  The Presentation of the Lord moves her to great change. Think of this old lady, probably considered pitiful by most who see her, suddenly filled with great joy.  Think of this old lady, always locked in silence of prayer and mortification, now suddenly bubbling over with a spirit of thanks and praise.

There is no Canticle of Anna.  Yet Anna's witness is antiphon to Simeon's song.

Yes, our God is True!  This baby!  This one here!  He is the One!

For Simeon, it is "now let your servant depart in peace" -- depart into the sleep of death peacefully, having seen the coming of the glory of the Lord.  For Anna, the move is to depart not immediately to death but to depart from the temple, into the neighborhoods and dining rooms of all who look in hope for the coming of the Savior of Israel.

I can almost hear her:  "Yes! The prophecies are true!  Look for Him, all of you.  When the boy grows up -- oh, look for Him!  It will be after I am gone, but look for Him!"


Something old

It can't be more than ten years ago that we lost him. But it is. I wrote this just after Charles died but also just after we got a definite diagnosis of cancer for my dad, who died later that same year.  Anyway, I'm choked with nostalgia this winter afternoon, so I might as well re-post something that chokes me even more...

* * *

 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 
Now the hill is flattened
where the farm house stood
where you built the breezeway window
at an angle to let you see
when we were coming up the drive 
Now some minor subdivision
junk bunkers
townies playing country
they love barn siding
tear down the barns
and put it over the bar
they love their cheese
just hate the smell of farms 
Now (too soon)
even your ashes
where are they
where are you
just when I need you
need your laugh
your great big hug
all the orchard trees you tended
with an eye toward future fruit
loved and tended
yes and shared
the apples
oh the apples 
Even now
you and I
there on the hillside
where today there is no hill
September sun warms the fruit
and the wine sweet air
we cut them open first --
you laugh
"The worms only eat the sweet ones!"
we sample this year's fruit
as though it will last 
Then your hand on my shoulder
for just a moment
you steady yourself on me
that pain in your hip
the doctor only tells you to lose weight
you tried all the alternatives
nothing seems to help 
Then it turned out
they had missed the cancer in your bones
until the tumors spread
And then
it was too late 
Even then (too soon)
your smile
a good-bye hug
some tears
and you were gone 
just when I need you

* * *