Month: February 2007

Wiggle room. إن شاء الله

Someone sent me a 30 – second clip of the undermentioned in full and mellifluous flow, which I almost allowed to irritate me. This paragraph is from the book.

“The metaphorical or pantheistic God of the physicists is light years away from the interventionist, miraclewreaking, thought-reading, sin-punishing, prayer-answering God of the Bible, of priests, mullahs and rabbis, and of ordinary language. Deliberately to confuse the two is, in my opinion, an act of intellectual high treason.”

Also sprach Zarathustra, aka Richard Dawkins, our very own modern-day Nietzche. I wonder what he might possibly mean? High treason is an act of gross disloyalty, presumably in this context, to one’s own intellect, which seems to me to have some quite nastily schizophrenic undertones to it. His wrath overtakes his reason, sometimes, exampled with the delightful ‘miraclewreaking’. I’d quite like to wreak a miracle, personally. All of the above has only tangential bearing on the title today. The great all-seeing, most gracious, most merciful God of Islam, might be perceived in either of the above ways, although I have some conceptual difficulty with God as a metaphor. Metaphor for what, one asks? A metaphor for his self, perhaps. Muslims use (up to twenty times a day) the invocation of the presence of Allah in human affairs. Insha’Allah, to be precise, is the beautiful cover-all phrase even Westerners use when they are asked when a particular something might happen. Or not. Or they’d rather it didn’t and are too polite to say so. Water is leaking all over the bathroom floor and the plumber when asked when he is coming, replies, ‘Tomorrow, inshallah’, meaning, of course that tomorrow is very probably quite out of the question and were he to bestir himself to think any further into the future, a week Tuesday might just be on the cards. Or not.

Cutting the grass

For those aware, cutting the grass is a painful business. Especially for the hard-to-reach places on the western reaches of the garden. Our souls are easy to mow when the ground is flat, green-perfect, golf-course fresh. When the moles within burrow and turn the ground into a minefield of unexpectedness, one learns to think on one’s feet and twirl pas de deux as gracefully as one might. Rencontres du temps perdus is a misnomer. Every twist of the green and every turn of the putter’s handle brings remembrance as fresh as if yesterday had barely been. To sunsets over Topkapi and pearl earrings…. A little Yiddische humor to brighten a day or two.. Three brothers just off the boat at Ellis Island are questioned by an Immigration Officer, who asks the first, “What is your name?” “Berl” he replies. The Officer says, “Beryl? You can’t have a name like that in America. From now on your name is ‘Buck.'” He turns to the second brother and says, “What is your name?” “Cheyl” he replies.”Cheyl? You can’t have a name like that in America. From now on your name will be ‘Chuck!'” He then asks the third brother, “And what’s your name?” “Ferl,” he replies, “And I’m going back to Poland…”