Insh'allah, another day, another blog.
Insh'allah is Arabic for "God Willing," while blog, in these pages means "a creative flow of constructive thought (unimpeded by troublesome thoughts or worry), organized organically, written engagingly, and read appreciatively."
It is the opposite of "writer's block." Like taking a good shirt. And putting it on.
I wore my "Grateful Dead" tee-shirt yesterday, the one I got at the Green Parrot in Key West, to commemorate "Dia de los Muertos." After I put in five hours of "day work" at my downtown office, Allah didn't "insh" that I attend "Day of the Dead Festival" events at the Church of the Good Shepherd. Even so, I DID have a most-excellent encounter with a man who nearly DID die from cancer earlier this year. For me, it was a "Day of the Did," instead.
I ran into into Don Waddell (Wah-DELL) and his wife, Freddie (the health therapist) at the NEIGHBORHOOD COOP.
It was great to see them. Don, as you may know, is a world-class woodworker and home builder, who was stricken with leukemia more than a year ago. Perhaps you saw one of the benefit flyers that was up around town back then. Well the treatment worked! Both of them looked terrific.
We didn't discuss his treatment or anything, but when I asked him how he was doing, he smiled "I'm still here.... I've actually gained 3 pounds." Don said that during his chemotherapy treatments he was down to 128 pounds. (I joked, "you mean you only lost 3 pounds?" you have to know don to get this. he smiled)
Don hasn't done any woodworking for months, but he's starting to think about finishing a table he began before he got sick. But he's somewhat reticent. "Those (power) tools look so DANGEROUS," he joked. "I guess maybe I should just take-on one tool at a time."
I bought some organic espresso and went home and made my customary "latte" and looked up the skinny on today's Saint of the Day (as promised yesterday) from among the list of 20 (!!) I found on the net (www.catholic.org):
St. Martin de Porres--the first (and only?) black Saint?
St. Winifred--a Welsh girl
St. Acepsimas--who has time to read all these bios?
St. Valentine & Hilary
St. Domnus of Vienne
St. Malachy O' More
St. Peter Francis Neron
And the winner is... St. Malachy O'More!
A Bishop famous for writing prophecies of the popes in the 11th Century. Malachy reformed ecclesiastical discipline and replaced the Celtic liturgy with the Roman (boo...hiss) and established a monastery and an abbey. Malachy is known for many miracles, including healing the son of King David I of Scotland. His prophecies did not appear until 1597, when they were "discovered." Today it is thought that they are elaborate forgeries, probably perpretrated by a school of Jesuits. After Malachy died, St. Bernard said he was a saint. Two centuries later, Pope Clement III agreed.
I like his name better than Martin of Porres, not necessarily what he did. After all, Martin could fly and bi-locate and he started an animal hospital at his sister's house. Perhaps Martin's greatest miracle was helping his niece raise a wedding dowry in only three days. Also, he was Rose of Lima's friend (before she was a saint herself), so he had the right contacts. Martin, who died 403 years ago, received the honor in 1962. And he's the official "Saint of the Day."
I saw Don Waddell only yesterday, but there is something saintly about him, too, although no pope would declare it so hastily. His wife Freddie's no slouch in the spirituality department, either. (I wonder if she's any relation to St. WiniFRED? Food for thought? But I digest....).
The communion of saints, is the spiritual solidarity which binds together the faithful on earth. Not in a long list of dead dedicated men and women from centuries ago, but in the flesh--in accidental meetings and at organized events like the one held at the Church of the Good Shepherd yesterday. Meetings of the faithful in solidarity bound in common faith. Faith in a Higher--the benignest--Power of the Universe(s). Does this mean we know the Age of God? That s/he benign? Would a benign god permit such pun(ning)ishment? Pardon me for asking.
That's what I did on the Day of the Dead.