Monday, February 11, 2013

If you love, love the moon

William Blake

I'm not sure how to absorb all the news these days or even attempt to. As I scrolled through it this morning, I couldn't help but lightly press my finger on the touch screen to read more of Pope Benedict's resignation plans. There's something so glamorous about something happening only once in 800 years. The first pope to resign was Marcellinus in 304. He was deposed after complying with a Roman emperor's order to offer sacrifice to pagan gods. Benedict IX sold his papacy in 1045 and resigned. Celestine V was evidently overwhelmed by the job and resigned after five months in 1294, and Gregory XII stepped down in 1415 to help end a church schism. My finger traced the tiny screen of my phone, scrolling down and I wondered idly (with irony) whether yesterday's news of Los Angeles Cardinal Mahoney's diverted cemetery funds was the straw that broke the proverbial camel's back for the spiritual leader of a billion of the planet's people. I imagined a courier running on the cobblestones of the Vatican, down the ornate hallways, through the room where man's finger touches God's and into the Pope's private quarters with the news. Maybe he just couldn't take it anymore.

Why are there so many phrases that use camels to impart wisdom? It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God, is a Biblical phrase. Trust in God but tie your camel tight is a Persian proverb, and my favorite might be the Egyptian If you love, love the moon. If you steal, steal a camel. 

I lifted my finger from the screen and closed my eyes. What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.


  1. I know that sometime in my life I'm going to close off to social media for large chunks of time. I can feel it comin.

  2. Most likely because there WERE so many camels around. Plus, they were of vital importance. I think.
    I, too, was boggled by the Pope's pending resignation announcement. I always thought that if you were selected as Pope, God would take care of you until you died, making you fit (in his eyes, anyway) to carry out your own unique duties.
    Guess not.
    You're a beautiful writer, by the way.

  3. I just love the way you do it.

    What an beautiful proverb, the Egyptian one. I'm glad you introduced me to it here.

    I hope to someday read parts of the Bible for the poetry, but I'm not there yet.

  4. ah, you have brought me news! There is something really dark and sordid about this Pope....I shall have to get on the internet and see what's up with this.

  5. I just heard snippets of an interview NPR did with an East Indian woman who is a professor of theology and a Catholic. She said she refers to her religion as "Catholicisms" because there are so many different factors within. She said she doesn't care whether the next pope is named from Europe or Latin America or wherever because she doesn't feel like it matters.

    I wonder how many other Catholics there are out there who feel the same but the Vatican doesn't get it. I suspect quite a few.

  6. Mental floss wrote Pope Benedict IX was forced to resign because he was having gay orgies in the Vatican....
    That seems about right.

  7. I thought of you and your ire about Cardinal Mahoney when I saw the news about the Pope. I actually think it's admirable that he's stepping down. I think he knows he's infirm and out of touch with the modern world, and that the church needs a different leader to move forward.

  8. I am reassured when I find William Blake and The Moon together on the guest list, regardless of what those other old poots are doing. I am reassured when I continue to find that, no matter what, you are not confused. xo



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