Just…Because

I am doing this because

The lizards stir at sunrise to slew across the patio screen

Cleaning as they go the night’s collection of leftover spider fodder

I am doing this because

One duck and then another joins the quacking, morning palaver

Bobbing bottoms up to eat as the flotilla skims the lake

I am doing this because

The old squirrel sits again in the bole of his tree with a nervous tail

Guarding his quiet gatherings as if whispering prayers into its tiny paws

I am doing this because

The turkeys jog around a bush, following the leader they take turns

Featherless heads barking a soliloquy into the still, morning air

I am doing this because

The sun, the lord of the sky, appears above the eastern shore

Posting itself with conviction as it makes ready to leap over our heads

I am doing this because

Within this vigil of daily behaviors, I close my eyes and see myself

Again, upon my knees, whispering prayers into my tiny paws.

Just…because

Sour Grapes

The grapes I just ate were tart; almost bitter actually.

There is a world of difference between us now, now that I don’t believe there is such a place as hell, but you still do.

It changed my view of life, you know? My opinion of you! How one believes; how one feels about life and death makes you a different person every time.

There are not many people like us left, you know? Those who lived apart but remained close for sixty years or so and then, went one way and the other.

The new cotton sheets my wife bought are PERFECT! 100 point, or something like that, she said. She loves them!

Actually, it’s all very rudimentary, this rift between us, that is. The rudiment, of course, being that neither of us knows what he’s talking about.

You feel you know because you believe them! They tell you what to think and claim to be God’s very own messenger. And so, you follow!

My claim is to not know! All that I do know is that I don’t know, and I’m full of doubt because of what I see around me. Because of what I experienced.

You make a pretense at humility, but it is all disingenuous. You may as well pin an ‘I Am Humble’ pin to your lapel, to make sure everyone knows.

You already wear that ring you’re so proud of, whereas I have never had enough fingers to justify wearing anything. I am lacking too much!

But neither am I humble. It’s not a ring or a pin that makes us what we are.

House cleaning brings out the worst in me, but my wife cannot do it anymore. She’s done it so long that it finally broke her back.

I kept mine in one piece, just in case that happened.

Did you know that regardless of how old you are, it has nothing to do with WHO you are? And who you are has nothing to do with WHAT you are!

Looking into a mirror as I type, I’m trying to decide if I like myself or not. Your beliefs made me hate myself, my weaknesses; for all the things I am unable to do.

As I learn, and I think, I somehow behave differently; there, in the mirror, is a slightly different person than before. I still don’t like him, but I let him live.

Oh, yes…all those forty-plus years I cried out, “Change me, help me change, make me a better person, take away this constant pain that none can see or feel but me!”

Or is it true that one must suffer first to appreciate heaven all the more? No worries, I never had any intention of being in heaven. But, it would be nice!

Were we really made to endure all of this…or is the joke on us? Eat, drink, and be merry … and all that other brouhaha!

The sacrifice applies to all, you said, but only if you perform certain duties, only if you observe certain rituals! If then, you are found deserving … well … maybe then.

What? I don’t get it?

Go forth, and make the world observe these…so that a few, only a few, will survive; you said. A man’s enemies will be those of his own household!

Did I create a thousand chairs to find only six that I want for around my table? Do I then burn the nine thousand nine hundred and ninety four?

Without law, there is no sin, so law was introduced into the world so that sin could be brought to light; once sin is made evident among all men, destruction will be justifiable.

Is it really? Is it rightly? Through one man sin entered the world and death spread to all men. The wage that sin pays is death, but the gift that God gives…

A gift to be received with stipulations?

How easy it is to speak with the voice of God! As so many seemingly believe themselves to do!

You don’t believe in hell, I know, not even a bit more than I do! Either I am condemned or I’m not. Time will tell. To die, to sleep…no more!

But without hell, can there be a heaven? Yes, we’re pretty sure to whom that belongs.

In the meantime, I’m going to have a glass of wine, and kiss my wife!

Love Songs For Darcy

You were just a few years old
Not many days ago, It seems
When I sat you on my arm
And we danced to love songs
And I sang along, to you,
and for you.

You dance now, and sing along
To songs of your own
My little girl
Married and grown
A woman with a child
To sing her own songs to.

But, still
When I think of you
Or look into your eyes
We will always be dancing
You and me, and I will always
Sing love songs for you.

James Eichenlaub 2001

Welcome To Oakleaves

Oak Leaves: EICHENLAUB

…from Eichenlau, a topograic name from Middle High German eichen ‘oaks’ + ‘loch, lo ‘brush’, ‘undergrowth’, reinterpreted through folk etymology as Eichenlaub ‘oak leaf’. Jewish (Ashkenazic): ornamental name from German Eichenlaub ‘oak leaf’.
(Source: Dictionary of American Family Names c2013, Oxford University Press.)

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