Peaks and Valleys

So my mental health has been OK. I don’t know why I call it “mental”. I feel these emotional swings that are noticeable, but not extreme. Just when I feel most hopeless, that feeling dissipates. Right now I am fine.

My sleep patterns are odd. So now, it is 0140,Thursday morning. I should go back to bed. I had a nap around 20:00 Wednesday for about ninety minutes. I thought I was going to sleep the whole night. But I woke up, energized. Now the sleepiness is creeping back.

I miss having a sex life. A little romance might help.

Summer

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There are people out there who have fabulous Summers. They go to the beach, A LOT, and they tan perfectly. They do all the cool things, have perfect barbecues, on beautiful decks, with lovely Japanese lanterns, drinks with paper umbrellas in them, and no mosquitoes.

I am NOT one of those people. I can’t stand the heat, nor do I like to sit in grid-lock traffic jams on the Interstate to get to the beach. I now have a healthy fear of skin cancer. My back deck is falling apart. And I own no cute paper lanterns. Or paper umbrellas for sissy drinks. Can mosquitoes count as pets?

Sunday was the 15th, the Ides, as the Romans called it. I thought six weeks til Labour Day. Football season is grinding ever closer. Baseball season is half-way done. Wimbledon just finished.

On the plus side, I am retired. I can reinvent my leisure any time I want. I have strawberries and a pint of heavy cream in the fridge with a copper bowl chilling in the freezer. Plus a watermelon.

I have these lovely roses blooming

So what if it ain’t perfect? It’s close enough.

What I Did Today. OK, Just Some Of It.

I love that feeling I get when I’m climbing out of a hole, even a shallow one. There are certain markers that indicate I am making progress in handling the stuff of life that we could just as well do without.

1) The bills are paid.

2) My son came to visit.

3) I’m swimming regularly again.

4) I’m getting to AA meetings.

5) I sleep when I need to.

Today I had lunch w Mrs CorC?. I went to the Y and swam. I did not worry about the state of my stomach. I saw friends at the Y. They seem to be doing well.

We ate our back log of leftovers tonight. When the news upset me, I turned it off.

A good day.

More Of The Same

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More back pain.

More insomnia.

More wishing I could get to sleep.

I had a good swim today. Tonight I was going to go to a book discussion at Church on the history of The Mass, but when I got home from swimming, the desire and energy to go just wasn’t there. So I said I wasn’t going. Our parish is about 12 miles from the house. There are five parishes closer to us, but I like St Benedict because our priest offers a reverent version of a Novus Ordo Mass, no guitars or silliness. Sometimes at the 11 O’clock Sunday Mass, we will chant the Credo in Latin. Truly beautiful. And we will sing the proper Marian Anthem. Right now it is the Salve Regina. Sadly, there are Catholics who are ignorant of the Latin hymns, service music or Marian anthems and antiphons.

I digress. At least now I’m somewhat sleepy. Maybe the naproxen will work a little better.

It was, all in all, a good day.

Insomnia, My Old Nemesis

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Why am I up? I was up at 3 AM, for a couple of hours, then back to bed and asleep for ninety minutes. Then Mrs CorC? got up to go to work and I got up to pack her lunch. Now I am awake again. I watched two trains go through Ashland, one passenger, one freight, and several ear wax removal videos.

Yes ear wax removal. Evidently, given their viewership and subscribers, hundreds of thousands of people like to watch videos of people having their prodigious quantities of ear wax removed. Who knew? There are also videos of people having their toe nails worked on by podiatrists, and their blackheads popped. So we denizens of The Global Village have some, uh, idiosyncratic, viewing tastes.

I really should go back to bed. Yet I can’t or don’t want to. I can’t decide. I could turn off YouTube, then go upstairs, and climb back in bed. And yet, the deep yearning in my heart has me up. I long for a caress, an affirmation that love between long-time partners is more than platonic, more than an affirmation of selfless Christian love, agape. People don’t get married to be just really good friends. We get married to get sweaty with our mates, to be aroused and then exhausted.

My feet are getting cold, my back sore. It is time to go back to sleep.

Former Vatican Bank chief: Authors of New World Order demographic collapse influencing the Vatican

https://wp.me/pYA4j-c5u

I read this article with a great deal of interest. It is tempting to dismiss this as the musings of some sort of conspiracy theorist, but I believe there is real substance to his criticism.

We have grown to accept uncritically the notion of a “population bomb” to use Paul Ehrlich’s phrase. It is, or claims to be a premise based on observation and analysis of impartially obtained data, except we rarely scrutinize the theory or challenge its conclusions.

There is a push back against the globalists occurring throughout the Western democracies. The nagging question, “What does globalism have to do with saving souls?” doesn’t seem to be echoing through the halls of The Vatican. That is a disturbing question., disturbing in its absence.

Our proclivity to sin, or concupescence, hasn’t gone away.

24 And There’s So Much More

It has been 24 years since I had my last drink. When I consider that I drank for 25 years, I’m entering that year when I will have been sober for as many years as I drank.

I had a lot of sick, self-serving thinking. As I move further down the sobriety path, I discover a little each day how that selfishness damaged those around me.

I’m tired now. There will be more.

Party On, Puritans!

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H L Mencken once famously defined Puritanism as “the haunting fear that someone, somewhere may be happy.”

I thought of the Mencken quote because of our propensity to peg our happiness to the political situation. Our cultural Puritanism has two competing and conflicting schools of thought, both attached to conflicting and competing schools of moral progress.

Look at values around artificial contraception as just one example. One idea of moral progress can include a belief in artificial birth control and limitation of family size. Attached to this tenet, is the belief that women have the freedom to decide individually when, if at all, to become mothers. Another school of moral progress can reject artificial birth control with no limit on family size. Emphasis is on “family”, not family size. That no moral progress is attainable if the most basic social structure, the family, is derided or devalued. Concomitant with this value is the value that families consist of two parents, male and female, mother and father.

One Puritan school fears that there are people out there making babies with no thought to the strained resources of our fragile and limited planet. The other school fears that people are out there happily fornicating and copulating, with no thought to any principle besides hedonistic pleasure-seeking.

Our Puritanism has us wed to the goal of progressing toward, if not outright establishing, a political Utopia, with “Liberty and Justice for all”, but with competing ideas of what Liberty and Justice may be. We stumble along our road of Progress, never really happy unless we control the toll gates.

This is what a free society looks like. It carries a tension between competing ideas, both committed to a notion of The Common Good.

Speaking of History

I’ve been watching a lot of newsreel footage from 1914. Germany’s Kaiser, Wilhelm II, was frequently filmed with dachshunds. Quite handsome little mutts, I must admit. His great niece, Elizabeth II of The United Kingdom, is known for her corgis.

I don’t know where this is going. Marie Antoinette allegedly took her papillon with her to the guillotine, Charles I was said to take his Cavalier King Charles Spaniel with him for his meeting with the headsman.

Useless information. I concede. Now you know.

The War That Never Ends

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Vietnam.

It was a war filled with folly, brutality, courage, sacrifice, dubious goals, and moral ambiguity. Pretty much like all wars.

This war for my family still rages. My brother-in-law served in Vietnam near fifty years ago. He came home alive, in one piece. He resumed his civilian life, started and raised a family. He has two children and six grandchildren.

Of course, he remembers his brothers-in-arms who didn’t make it back to have the life he has had. The jungle he thought he left behind had one more treacherous pitfall he could not evade. We all have heard about the dioxin-contaminated defoliant Agent Orange taking its toll on both jungle canopy and humans unlucky enough to be caught in its cloud. My brother-in-law is one more victim. At age 72, he is suffering from Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s Disease). The VA doesn’t even contest that his case and others like his are service-related. Maybe from Agent Orange, maybe something else.

My brother-in-law’s war isn’t over. Yet. Every phone call from him is about what he can no longer do. He can no longer tend his gardens or play golf, except for putting. Right now he walks with canes. The wheelchair awaits. His voice is halting, as he struggles to simply speak. His respirations are about one-third of what they should be. The disease is slowly paralyzing the muscles.

He is another casualty of “friendly fire”.