Plumbing to prophecy

Where I’m goin’ has no end.
What I’m seekin’ has no name.
No, the treasure’s not the takin’ —
It’s the lovin’ of the game.

Mr. & Mrs. Garvey (Pat & Victoria), 1971

Our traditional Easter family gathering at Second Chance Ranch took place yesterday, not today. That worked out better for everyone, and though brief it was good. Ham happened. Ditto sweet-potato casserole and cranberry relish and more. It was quite the spread.

In the middle of it all we were interrupted (again) by plumbing problems — the rear (Ming Green) bathroom completely fell on its face, with all three fixtures refusing to drain, and the sink in the front (Mamie Pink) bathroom clogged. After our best efforts were unsuccessful we called the plumber.

He got the pink sink working again. The green bath’s drain line requires more drastic measures. That’ll happen tomorrow.

I don’t know if we’re paying the price for 12 years of trouble-free plumbing or what, but Deb and I are pretty much done with these complications.

When we’d finished dinner I poured myself a bourbon (Knob Creek Small Batch, if you must know), sat down at my computer and pulled up my Facebook news feed. The first thing I saw was the local CBS affiliate reporting on a crash yesterday morning on I-71.

According to the published story, some thuglet got pissed off at the woman driving the car in which he was riding, so (naturally) he shot her. In the head. On the freeway. The car crashed. (Show of hands — who saw that coming?) The thuglet, originally thought to have been a victim, was taken into custody by Columbus Police.

I kept scrolling.

A little later I saw a post from a group catering to the Harrison, Arkansas community. It’s one of those forums where people brag and bitch and gossip, lost dogs and misbehaving kids and all manner of small-town stuff. This post talked about something that happened yesterday at a big-name fast-food restaurant on the southeast side of town.

Rather than trying to describe or paraphrase the post I’ve included a screenshot of it here. I encourage you to open it and read it.

It doesn’t matter to me if you’re a Bible-banging Christian or not, or even if you’re “religious” at all. Regardless, I simply can’t imagine not wanting to live in a place where something like that can (and does) happen. These people know exactly who they are and they celebrate their faith — an exercise of essential Liberty.

And so today is Easter Sunday. For Christians around the world, including most of my friends and many of you, it’s the holiest day of the year — the resurrection story and the promise of redemption are central to the faith.

Meanwhile, Jews celebrate Passover and mark the occasion of their liberation from suffering.

In this home you won’t find traditional religious ritual. We’re devoted exclusively to the affairs of earthly life.

I walk this world with my humanity intact. To me, being human isn’t cause for shame or a collection of filthy flaws. I’m not compelled to escape my humanity or confess it, and I don’t shoulder it as a burden — I revel in it.

I find nothing in my human nature that begs for redemption.

The potential for good and evil exists in each of us, and that inherency is reflected in the wider world. It’s in every one of us to choose whether to use our humanity for good or for evil — we’re born with the freedom to make that decision for ourselves. We have autonomy, Liberty, from cradle to grave. Essential Liberty conferred at birth precedes and supersedes any religion we later may adopt.

You and I have the innate ability to differentiate between good and evil. We all know right from wrong. My own human nature instructs me to do right and pursue good, as well as to stand against evil and correct wrongs (including my own).

In sum, you may infer that my life is my religion and my humanity, though imperfect, is my guide.

No doubt some of you are familiar with a century-old book by Kahlil Gibran in which a prophet is asked by assembled townspeople to share his wisdom on a variety of subjects. In the final pages we find “On Religion”:

“And an old priest said, ‘Speak to us of Religion.’

“And he [the prophet] said: ‘Have I spoken this day of aught else?

“‘Is not religion all deeds and all reflection, and that which is neither deed nor reflection, but a wonder and a surprise ever springing in the soul, even while the hands hew the stone or tend the loom?

“‘Who can separate his faith from his actions, or his belief from his occupations?'”

“‘Your daily life is your temple and your religion.‘”

You may disagree, perhaps adamantly. I celebrate your choice to believe differently. I’m not here to persuade you or to be persuaded.

To my Christian friends, Happy Easter. To my Jewish friends, chag Pesach sameach. I may not attend your rituals or share your observances but I honor your reverence for them.

In a couple of days I’ll ask that you return the favor as I observe, with due reverence, the 19th of April.

Take care of yourselves, Patriots. Stay calm. Stay sharp. Stay free.

#WiseUp #LibertyOrDeath

#LetsGoBrandon #FJB