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Sunday October 22nd 2017Tim Candler9

 

     Long before the current iteration of lunacy I took an interest in Jainism. Some might think this odd from a person who can readily produce an uncharitable sneer whenever the "I" part of being is referred to as a soul that belongs to eternity. It was the renunciation part, the surrender part, of the Jainist that appealed to me, rather than anything that might liberate "soul" from the chains of being in the world by promising somewhere else, more perfect and nowhere near here. Nor was it my opinion that renouncing had an association with what the wack-a-doodles have over the years framed and then piously dismissed as "earthly pleasures." I saw this as yet one more tired attempt to define earth as an acceptance of misery and hardship, and as a creature of my time I chose instead to categorize "earthly pleasures" under a series of derogatory general titles that ranged from "Cancun" through "dish washing machines," "Pindar and the Olympiads" and all the way into the dystopian fever swamps of "Madison Avenue."

 

Past

     Astonishingly there are bits of me that are still sufficiently present in the world to grasp that sometime, the end of February, maybe into late March of next year, I will yet again take a venerable shovel to the vegetable beds and after a silent contemplation of the extent of the daunting task, I will hopefully find the will to proceed to work that I'll describe without humility as up there with Hercules. If and when that task is accomplished, I will experience an "earthly pleasure" that falls into a category I would have to find a name for that has nothing to do with simple or homeward wending a weary way. Currently my suspicion is that this name will have more to do with a sense of belonging than the "earthly pleasures" Pindar or Madison Avenue or Cancun or dishwashing machines have been able to illicit from my own understanding of existence. So yes indeed, I plan by the early April frosts of next year to have endured misery and hardship, aching bones, the hell of wing, elegant wrist and aging back in order to lay claim on an "earthly pleasure" before dourly distributing barrow loads of compost. Mind you, the ordeal of yet another Festive Season could well be the end of me, which would certainly be an eternal solution.

 

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