Religious Iconography

Back in my days on the solid waste/recycling route for a third-rate university, up in family housing, I came across a figurine of a young shepherd with a sheep over his shoulders and an extra member of his flock on the side.  It was familiar and just a little different than all the action figures I had seen coming out of young children’s collections of toys.  I took me a few hours to tease out from my memory banks that he had come from a nativity scene.  He eventually made his way to a sanitary landfill someplace.

My brother-in-law sent me the family creche a few weeks ago.  Not the crest, my family never had one of those unless it was in the dark ages sometime.  Just the never-ending kaleidoscope of scars through the lifetimes.  Who can remember?  It had been over 50 years since I had seen the thing.  Talk about currents returning everything to the same beach eventually!

I unpacked all the wrapping paper carefully, making sure I did not toss away any of the figures by mistake.  The camel and the older shepherd had sustained injuries.  The camel lost his head and the old man looked like some Roman had cleaved him in two with a sword.  Glue resurrected both of them.

What I took for a cheesy wooded cross turned out to be the X of one pair of manger legs.  That was saved by glue as well.

I found all the big figures, the wise men, shepherds and flock of sheep, that confirmed the identity of the one that wound up in the landfill years ago.  Joseph and Mary were there, the camel and the donkey, even the angel.  I thought that we had lost baby Jesus through the years, which I would have been really funny, but he was down there in the bottom of the box.  In one piece too.  It was a total set.

It is now in the closet with the rest of the Christmas decorations.  Who has the space to do a big Christmas alter?  I have my Christmas in a jar for a painless season.  We are all too busy fighting the war on Christmas.  That tawdry commercialization of the Winter Solstice when we should all be hibernating until spring, dreaming of Kris Kringle.  Just making it through to spring is the real present under the tree.  Then summer his here and school is out.

The job is never really over until that is all you are worried about anymore, making it through the winter alive.

Feminist Gunrunners

We’ll sell guns to Lady Liberty, not Uncle Sam.

We’ll deliver rifles to Mother Russia, not the Father Land.

Our ships are laden with arms for Queen and Country,

the King is on his own.

Mary and Fatima get visits from camel laden

caravans out of the unknown.

The Holy Spirit’s Son can work

out his Daddy issues.

Seclusion is not modesty,

it is not humble,

it is a dungeon that

supports the castle.

We will bake you a cake

with a surprise in it: tools

for you to use for the larger

types of assholes. Knives too

for those other areas that need

a trimming.

Hell, if we are old and flush,

we will do the job for free.


His eye is off Cuba; he is starting to look at Florida.

Kuchi Jewelry

The past does not come back to haunt, more like it is part of the gestalt that a person becomes.  Even if you have found your retreat from the world, it can come knocking at your door half a century later.  It is good to remember that there may still be people out there keeping things moving.  This batch of family history turned up on my doorstep last week.

The Kuchi people wandered the mountains and desert tracks between Pakistan’s northern border and Uzbekistan, Samarkand to Peshawar through all the secret tributaries of the mountains in between.  Their mosques were the sky and the caves, stones, and sands of the world they live in.  They traveled with their herds outside of the fortress’s walls, outside of the cities and villages.  Their name came from an old Persian word for migrants.  They were gypsies.  I have no idea of whether their lives still are lived.  They may be extinct after the last half century.  The wars of mosques and temples, fortresses and cities may have caught up to them.  I hope that the insanity hasn’t.  I hope that the spirit of the people is there, that the wanderer, the trader, the smuggler is still out there.  They are an absolute must.  For people to continue to have faith in walls, the borders must always be as a semi permeable membrane.  If things cannot pass between them, the organism will die.  Nobody has an absolute understanding of how and what that transfer should and shouldn’t allow, but some fool always thinks that they do.

“Not all those that wander are lost.” Tolkien

State Funerals

If Donald J. Trump dies in prison, we don’t have to put up with him lying in state do we?

The Ghost Army

Before the invasion of Normandy by the Allied Forces, special units built false structures all over Great Britain to indicate that the invasion would come elsewhere to deceive German Intelligence.

I see that the Internet Research Agency in St. Petersburg is busy again on Social Media trying to deflect from the Kremlin’s mismanagement. I sympathize with the Russian people. We have our own branch of the Internet Research Agency in the USA. It is called the Republican National Committee. I believe several members of the Russian government are members.


After the fall of the 3rd Reich when WW2 ended, some people became Nazi Hunters across international boundaries to seek out war criminals and their allies from the Axis who had escaped justice. When MAGA falls, and all those who committed crimes and aided and abetted in those crimes scurry into the dark corners around the world, will there become MAGA Hunters?

Christian Nationalists

I wonder what Pope Innocent III’s view would be, probably something like this:

“Anyone who attempts to construe a personal view of God which conflicts with church dogma must be burned without pity.”

Of course his really famous line about internal power struggles is:

“Kill them all, God will know his own.”

Those are probably both translated from Latin as the little people do not need to understand these things.

The Flames

As best the gem sparkles, carefully cut to catch the light, some are so dark that they fester from the inside out.  The flaw rots outward until released from its matrix, the flash point can set it aflame with some lost chemistry out of that blackness.

Some digger dragged this rock out of the hills to a village trader who in turn found the local stone cutter for a price.  The lapidary knew the potential of the darkness even as he shaped it.  He got his price.

If the world is to burn from somebody’s gaudy bauble, and I have to live through the hellish death that comes, I want to be in the audience before the theater roof caves in.  I want to see the pyre fed with the digger, the trader, and cutter themselves screaming in agony as the fire eats them.  I want that bit of satisfaction before my own death comes because I was too inert or oblivious on how to stop human need.

The Ugliest American