Rites of Passage or Rights of Passage?

A man that I visited in a nursing home had incurred two broken hips since I had last seen him. He is in his late eighties and apparently facing his remaining life in a room.

There is little about him that is downbeat. He is engaged. Not showing any sign of depression. His demeanor provoked me to look for weakness. Is he crazy, narcissistic, or just a good guy?

I find it easier to find fault than I do in praising him. He has undergone a rite of passage that I don’t think I ever will. I have come and gone into puberty, adulthood, middle age and now early old without any signs of evidence that I ever experience a passage of any sorts.  Other than time passing. I feel the same as yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

What I see in him as some kind of psychotic disturbance might be me looking dimly in a mirror. How have I jumped from sixteen to sixty-six without recognition? This man has been in the military and worn several other uniforms, many with badges. Occupations I would have spurned in my younger hours. I wanted recognition but never thought of it doing it the way he did.

Life for me has been more a passing than an entry. Until New Hampshire, moving from one town to another. It is what I see as intriguing about Lee Child’s fictional character Reacher.

Rather than hold to his military exploits, Reacher seems to wander into new realms. Where others might be insecure, he lives one day at a time and becomes prominent as a go to guy, a guy we might ask about life’s meaning. He is a wandering monk. A monastery is his likely next stop, not a nursing home.

One man real, and the other imagination, which one would I rather be?

This Old Tree: An Obituary

This old tree has become part of me. We, twenty years living here, have enjoyed having it by our side.

We saw it survive winds and ice, enjoy heat and humidity, but now to save it requires major pruning. It might not be enough. Eighty years old we figure. It has seen so much, a youngster in the 1930’s.

Born years before us, it is time. I hope it does not hurt. I hope it understands. Trees falling apart are dangerous. They don’t mean to be.

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Not for The First (Or last) Time

Today I wrote a blog I didn’t’ like. I didn’t feel that way when I posted it, but reading it later. This has happened before, but in those other circumstances I deleted the post. This time I decided to keep it.

Most of what I post stays true to the original blog name, Bob’s Books Blog. It is the blog’s name before I decided I liked Writing Out  Loud.  The original remains the blogs link electronically and in my brain. Much of what I post comes from a fresh reading of one of the many books active on my shelves. Today’s post on health came from the book A Theology of Compassion by Oliver Davies.

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To Your Health

“To your health” is a toast that has had legs. Part of being, much of being, most of being is to have health.

I know fellow bloggers who have struggled with bad health. So do you. Bad health is, as with death, for some other.

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Wild God of the World

Robinson Jeffers writes, “The wild God of the world is sometimes merciful to those that ask for mercy, not often to the arrogant. You do not know him, you communal people, or you have forgotten him; intemperate and savage, the hawk remembers him; beautiful and wild, the hawks, and the men that are dying, remember him.”

What I like best about this quote

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