Tracy and I received a flyer in the mail just in time for Christmas, "Phase II Grand Opening Special."
Full color brochure for South Florida's Premier All Faith Cemetery promoting the "Indoor Cemetery Package for Two $10,000." There was an asterisk appended to the offer, noting that "Top level, select locations subject to availability. Offer expires 12-31-12. Not to be combined with any other offers."
I know I should take it more seriously, the appearance in our mailbox of the Grim Reaper's sales bonanza. Maybe it was the timing...I dunno. "Merry Christmas, pick out a plot..." Something about it was just way too South Florida.
"Our fully air-conditioned Mausoleum buildings offer Crypts, Niches, and Gated Private Family Rooms." Most of the subdivisions down here are gated and guarded, so it does seem reasonable that one would want to move on into a gated private family room upon one's demise, if one had the money. I know MY remains would be comforted by such consideration.
And I also know it would be considerate of the visitors visiting those remains to include air-conditioning in the mausoleum, although it didn't specifically guarantee that the air-conditioning would extend to the afterlife. Now THAT might be an important consideration. Considering "deeds done and done again in Watermelon Sugar," to quote Richard Brautigan.
Perhaps it IS the time of year to muse on what is done and done again...it is certainly the time of year for buying whatever it is that the muse might produce. A curious conflux of capitalism and Christianity...with a nod to Hanukkah, especially here in Jersey South.
I wonder how wise those Wise Men actually were, starting a tradition that has devolved into mad rushes into miscellaneous malls on the day after Thanksgiving, and then frenetically up until the last minute of Christmas Eve, to buy things. That people don't really need.
Myrrh. Mostly important so that people the world over would know how to spell myrrh. An embalming oil, referring to mortality and death. Frankincense an offering to a god...
In the gospel of Matthew, the only one to mention the Magi, they stopped by at King Herod's office first, to find out where the King of the Jews was. Which panicked Herod to no end. Then the Wise Men had a dream that maybe it wasn't such a good idea to go back anywhere near Herod, as his motives for adoring the new king were less than honorable...Which lead to the Massacre of the Innocents ...the killing of all the male children less than two years old, in Bethlehem and vincinity..Herod had a bit of a problem with rivals for his kingdom, as evidenced the the fact (according to the historian Josephus) that he murdered his own sons...
...and that is one problem with not taking time to finish a blog and post it and move on, because now the massacre of innocents in Newton Connecticut has riveted the attention of the nation, millions caught unawares and unpreparerd at Walmart and Shopko and Nieman Marcus, a spotlight suddenly lit in the collective grab for violent video games and bloodless carnage among the avalance of gifts for children who already want for nothing.
"Absolutely no connection" will be the voice over the odor of doubt.
And Tracy, ever watchful of my moods and distance, pained by my withdrawal this morning as I straddle my bicycle to ride to Starbucks to try and make sense of whatever this is, this mass murder impuse, occurring with greater and greater frequency, 61 times in the past 30 years in the US alone.
She said I know you're going to write about guns and the NRA, but it's deeper than that, more of a moral problem, and she's right and I had already in my head composed an awesome, scathing, sarcastic commentary in my head that would have changed the world.
I scrapped it.
The world has already changed for the parents of 20 innocent children. I can add no comma to that. One person with blood on his mind and murder in his heart can kill with a frying pan. But I cannot, cannot finish without reflecting that if THIS one person were armed with a frying pan, it is much less likely that 28 people would be dead. The NRA can twist and dance all it wants, and it will, and will continue to buy the best lobbyists and congresspeople for sale in the wretched depths of a flawed institution, but a frying pan has at least one other purpose besides killing.