Essays in Idleness

DAVID WARREN

About the keb hoose

I am no more capable of providing an etymology for “keb hoose” than any of the sages I have consulted; I think of it as a wee Scots hospital for edible ungulates. I do care a great deal for sheep, and let me mention lambs. This will be evident to my loyal readers since I wrote, “Sheep may safely graze,” in a west-Canadian agricultural magazine, a couple of decades back.

The article under this title was written in praise of mutton, which I adore; but it is apparently no longer available, in sad countries like Canada, unless you raise it yourself. Our sheep, which survive lambdom, may safely graze, if they continue to sprout wool. I have, incidentally, no idea what statist regulations govern mutton production, and am for the moment not interested.

The difficulty with mutton is that it is unmodern. It takes some five years for the meat to mature wisely, on the living animal. Three will do, for a glib feast, but as the Victorians explained, there is no reward for impatience. A third cull comes after seven, or perhaps eight years; and the hanging of the carcass is a long and untidy affair. Getting the time wrong is a mistake one must pay for.

In my lapsed journalistic rôle as a “Gimcrack Gourmand,” I once annoyed the supermarket readership with a selection of delicious, exotic mutton recipes, gleaned from Egypt, India, and the distant Oxonian past. My point was, at least by intention, that the world is choking with things not worth having, and would benefit from something that is.

Whereas, lamb passes through the rotating knives of the streamlined abattoir very quickly. You don’t have to feed the little creature much, before selling it to the butcher, and he (the lamb) makes acceptable eating if one is easily bored. By contrast, a full-grown sheep, bred for mutton, could have a much longer and more thoughtful life, previous to its one bad day. Modernity, I have often noted, is not good for animals.

The sheep in the hills of Scotland were placed there by enterprising liberals, to replace the human population of, e.g., my ancestors. I can’t entirely blame them, for many of these people were hard to get along with, but I am nevertheless opposed to genocide in all of its forms.

Reading among the papers in my High Doganate (where I do not need a proof of vaccination), I learn that death was also an inconvenience in past centuries. What happens when a lamb dies, leaving his bereaved mother with time on her trotters, and a surplus of milk?

Ewes are possessive of their lambs, and not favourable to having them replaced. But the old shepherds would solve both problems by skinning the dead lamb, and covering a live, milk-hungry orphan with the hide. The ewe, with her intense sense of smell (rams are even smellier), would gradually come round to feeding the orphan, instead of head-butting it.

The deodorant industry was also founded on this insight, according to my typescript source. But it was a Lowlander who wrote this, so I do not insist that you believe it.

We face another Christmas without mutton. This is all very well if my reader is a vegan, but as a Christian I can only lament.

Batflu redivivus

A lady (I swear), among my more radically Christian friends, is fond of declaring: “The end is not near.” She says the tragedy of our age is that the End Of Times will not come, to this generation. We will have to cope, somehow. She repeats this to anyone who will listen; for as the liberals say, “If it saves just one life, the exercise will have been worthwhile.”

Indeed, to the liberal mindset, it is often necessary to kill many thousands, or perhaps millions, in the (unlikely, but possible) attempt to save the physical life of just one person. The rhetorical trick is completed by suppressing all discussion of the costs of their mission, usually with the argument that it is immoral to dicker over costs when they are trying to save lives. Eventually, however, these costs mount until the least perceptive involuntarily perceives it, and society “moves on” to consider the next attractively packaged, progressive imposture.

The task of “saving just one life” from the new Omicron variant of the Batflu is now accelerating. Here in Ontario, as elsewhere, the medical and political authorities are flashing their latest restrictions, that will close out the lives of many; pausing only for applause. That their previous interventions had a “net zero” effect on the infection, hospitalization, and death rates has been statistically obvious through nearly two years. The Batflu “pandemic” follows its own natural course, regardless of political directives, as did every epidemic in the past — but incredible additional damage is done by the whims of the bureaucrats. The authorities are mindless and arrogant, like all previous authorities, though ours have reached a new plane of sublimity; their opponents are ruthlessly censored, as ever in the past; and the bulk of the population remains as fearful as it is poorly informed. The media of publicity are entirely on the side of the criminal class, which, unsurprisingly, leads most governments.

Perhaps this was not always so. But the evidence that it wasn’t has been stifled. That part of our history that is noble is suppressed, and that which is ignoble is now taught obsessively in our schools. Some get rich, some are ruined, when they come out, but there is no departure from reductive materialism.

“We the people” … have to ride it out. In time, and we can hope not a long one, the true facts behind the Batflu will be known, for they will be impossible to hide. Ditto, for “global warming” and the other massive swindles, deceptions, and schemes which are the ringers of our times: they depend on too many demonstrable lies to last forever. Their departure will make room for new lunatic political aspirations, but we can be reasonably sure that each must eventually go away. Our fears will graduate into boredom. Indeed, we hardly noticed when the greatest frauds of the past finally evaporated.

Against this prospect, we must sink or rise.

Crowd control

One tries to ignore the news, which, in my case, has been helped along by my little sister. She has given me a fine linen shoulder bag, like an old newsboy’s pouch, plain white except for an undecorated, sans-serif label, that reads, “Newsless Paper.”

Rather, I’m not sure she gave it to me, but I have certainly appropriated it.

The news has long been (always, in fact) associated with the most vulgar form of commerce, and those who seek news should be decently ashamed. Indeed, that part of my adult life (most of it) that was devoted to work for newspapers and worse, is a source of crippling guilt to me. In my post-operative literary meanders, I am reminded of the many other directions in which I could have advanced — innocently, as it were.

Towards Schelling, for instance: by whom I mean Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph von Schelling (1775–1854).

I do not even know how to say “my German sucks,” in German (“mein Deutsch ist scheiße”?) and cannot find reliable, or even readable, translations; but so far as I see, this gentleman could be celebrated as an anti-Hegel. He is a slab of concrete beside Hegel’s buzzing abstractions.

Oddly, I grasped this as a schoolboy, in a time  of  enthusiasm for Goethe, Schiller, Schlegel, Hölderlin — of what is called the German Enlightenment, that also corresponds to German Romanticism. It was truly one of the great ages, of scintillating developments in philosophy, speculative science, poetry and art. It gave modernity not such a bad name (as it acquired in France).

Like most Anglo-Saxons, however, most of it was lost on me, because it was “foreign” (European); and I was young and treacherously self-taught. Too, I was wasting my precious time, consulting the news in cheap newspapers and magazines, as if they were important.

But sometimes, a man cannot be faulted. Such was the circumstance yesterday, when my Sunday walk was interrupted by a hip-looking, invisibly uniformed stranger. He asked to see my identification and “vaccination passport”. I was attempting to enter Toronto’s Distillery District, a tourist-friendly neighbourhood where I hoped to buy a sausage roll.

A cumulative knot of a hundred or less young, hippish, people soon formed behind me. They walked around me, when I was delayed. This was because I refused to show a “vaccination passport,” or equivalent papers. (Whether I had such things to show was a moot point.)

While I attempted to instruct the young man on Canadian law, and the elementary principles of human liberty, I noticed that he had no difficulty in processing the others. All took his request in stride, with papers ready. Every one displayed his documentation.

That is how things are, today in Canada and throughout the West. One may argue, and risk arrest, or fight and risk personal injury, but a free man will not be understood.

For once-familiar constitution and laws are now ignored. Arbitrary rules are made by medical bureaucrats, others dressed in a little authority, and enforced by the police, on the instruction of our contemptible political masters.

Our Lady in Advent

“Clothed with the sun, the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars,” the immaculate Virgin is present to Advent in her apocalyptic garments. The mothering of Christ makes our feast of Christmas as much about her as about the Child. The feast of the Immaculate Conception came this week, to the confusion of anyone who does not understand the sequence of Christian festivals; came and went.

Tota pulchra es!” has been the formal declaration in the years since 1854, when Pope Pius IX created this feast, while defining the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception. But it is of far greater antiquity, in the Eastern Church, in ancient “Celtic” Ireland and late Anglo-Saxon England, among other places. There was nothing new in this tradition. Those papal proclamations that are unquestionably valid confirm and are compatible with what was already known; only a novelty could be invalid. For a pope’s private opinions and beliefs are of interest only to historians and shrinks; he thinks with the Church when he is inclined to be sane.

Our Lady, as “spiritual embodiment” of Wisdom, was known to the Prophets long before her own birth into this world — “from eternity, before the earth was made.” This “attribute” will itself be inherited, in its mystery, by Our Saviour — this feminine quality that transcends the outwardly female, or male.

By our recollection of Mary, we Christians sail beyond the dogmatic; for dogma of any kind can only be understood by the adult mind that has been trained (not necessarily successfully) in logic. We do not comprehend wisdom as a formula or scheme, laid out with reminders on charts. We receive it through faith, whole. She “flies to us,” in the words of the third-century Marian prayer; she comes to our rescue when we are in need.

In this season, the Christian’s thoughts are with Mary, as they are upon the second coming of Christ. For this return is a certainty we find in her, and through her we conduct our searching. His return was also promised, from His lips. We were told to remain prayerfully aware: that “heaven and earth shall pass away,” in an unpredictable day and hour.

A Christmas will come, that no one was expecting.

Of flies & ants

“Next to the error of those who deny God,” says the author of the Discourse on Method, “there is none which is more effectual in leading feeble spirits from the straight path of virtue than to imagine that the soul of the brute is of the same nature as our own, and that in consequence after this life we have nothing to fear or to hope for any more than the flies or the ants.”

The brutes are animals other than humans, by the way. We have come to a time when Descartes needs a commentary.

Nothing to fear from the future more than would terrify a fly or an ant, to our deficient Modern. For his life can boast nothing more consequential. He has, in the universal scheme of things, no greater claim on Reason, or “soul,” and no clew by which to rank himself above the dumb animals.

Most, or rather all, contemporary schools of Atheism are like this. It is why our feeble Moderns love animals, but want the human race extinguished. It is not that humans can’t feel. In this respect they admit that a person is as sensitive as a warthog, and possibly more sensitive than an earthworm. But it is his capacity for thought that marks him apart. This is what makes him dangerous, and indeed, a grave environmental threat. Depopulation would reduce it, which is why population control is crucial, among “sceptical” left-progressives.

Just after Descartes was quoted as a pro-human, in my grade-school history of philosophy (Copleston’s), he took a glorious crack at Montaigne. For Montaigne was a notorious animal-lover, among his other intellectual frailties. He liked to note that some animals behave better than people (although his criteria were never clear).

There is a difficulty in arbitrating or playing referee between these two radical positions; the serious one of Descartes, and the silly one of Montaigne. One hesitates to champion the Cartesian dismissal of dumb animals with psychotic self-confidence. They are incapable of Reason, true, and can’t even talk (except parrots) at the level of a podcaster, or a politician.

But I, for one, hold Reason in uncommonly high regard, which is why I don’t go to the zoo, or to the Internet, expecting to find an intelligent conversation.

I did, however, recently listen to a young lady in the medical profession explain her Atheist conviction to me. And four centuries after this view was soundly demolished — by a Frenchman I admire but am not always fond of — I was compelled to listen to her dietary advice, mixed with post-Christian blather. She (a registered nurse, apparently) looks to a future which she will share with the defunct flies and ants.

Whereas, I still hope for something better.

Grace v. Karma

Karma, according to one of my most brilliant correspondents, gives a good account of the physics of our universe. “Every action is met by an equal and opposite reaction.” This will seem the more authoritative when it is referred to as “Newton’s Third Law.” It is an iron law, like the law of irony; there are no exceptions. If gentle reader would “follow the science,” this is the high window out of which he should leap.

The contrasting, or shall we say alternative law, is that of Grace. Newton did not list it in his legislative collection. For Grace embraces concepts such as forgiveness, and specifically Divine forgiveness, in all its dogmatic awkwardness and wild, empirical, scientific imprecision.

Jesus Christ is, in the old, “tried and true” calculation, the Son of God; and more, a part of the Divine Trinity. He took human form, and died — not from old age, but in payment for our sins. This does not mean that we did not commit them; less that they were not critically important. It just means we can, at the glibbest level, hope not to get the equal and opposite of what we deserve.

From the scientific point of view, all bets are off with Grace. The theoreticians have not allowed themselves to be entangled in it, the way they have with Dark Matter, and Dark Energy. For how is one to read the mind, of God? If we have free will, He must have it too, infinitely and not merely within a creaturely compass.

We cannot imagine the consequences of our deeds, except, that we are told by the Divine Agencies not to Despair; to, “Fear not.”

Whereas, the more scientific dogma, Karma, commands Despair. Global warming, and Hellfire, is where we all inevitably end. It is what we have been earning since we came to be (by “natural processes”), and we must expect life to be extinguished in the “heat death of the universe.”

God will not even be asked to save us. For according to our Karmic Science, if He exists, He is merely an impartial observer, and has the good taste not to get involved.

A new year

Advent began, overnight, with a magnificent snowfall upon Vallis Hortensis (my presumptuous Latin for “Parkdale”). It is the first substantial snowfall of the new Catholic year, and forms a blanket of apparent purity over a country and neighbourhood that was formerly Christian. The more distant objects, especially the recent suburban tower blocks, are deleted by the gentle whiteness, and even the Lake is invisible. All is made ready for another start.

I am reminded of a calendar, that some now deceased friend had given me, published by a now defunct typographical studio, half a century ago. The pages were filled with mediaeval depictions of the works of the seasons — but not the clichéd Très Riches Heures — with a single row of day-symbols across the bottom of each monthly sheet. This was decoratively punctuated with the kalends, nones, and ides for each month; and Dominical letters rather than numbers marked the other diurnal spaces. The reproductions were extraordinarily crisp, and I kept them untouched, except for the mottoes I scrawled in the several compositions that seemed to invite them. My calligraphic hand in those days seemed to complement the paintings, and I felt that, by these inscriptions, I was assimilated into each scene.

The pictures were details, not of the full paintings, but were very cleverly cropt, to suggest a beauty that was not narrowly mediaeval.

What I remember was the joy of it. The sight of the snow this morning brought it back, as if I were turning a page onto a new and splendid composition.

To the mediaeval mind, or the classical, the calendar is an immortal, unchanging thing; to the modern mind it requires constant revision and updating. We are perilously falling “out of date.” Good to be reminded of the ages before this was possible.

Black Friday

The day after Thanksgiving — America’s most religiously profane holiday — would seem to be an appropriate time to celebrate Wokeness. It symbolizes the height of ingratitude, and the culture of narcissism and complaint. The violence and rioting that interferes with life on other days, could be transferred systematically to this one day; and various other typically leftist displays of viciousness and spite could be permitted on what we might continue to call “Black Friday” — rather as working class demonstrations were once fixed upon Labour Day (or, May Day, in Europe).

With time, we could hope Woke celebrations will become more lazy and vague — forgotten, like Christmas. For the Woke grow older, and more mentally feeble. Their followers are usually sterile (their efforts become focussed on indoctrinating other people’s children). Thus we can hope that, once their fashion craze expires, they will themselves become extinct.

But by proclaiming a distinct “Carnival of Wokeness” (as mediaeval societies recognized Festivals of Fools), we might reduce objections to the arrest of the Woke for anti-social behaviour on the other days. Since Woke nastiness against the non-Woke happens throughout the seasons, it would provide a nice reversal. We could, for instance, declare “open season” on Woke people for the duration of their special day.

This would provide us with two celebratory events for Black Friday. The other is that it continues to be the day when the author of the Essays in Idleness begs his remaining gentle readers for their financial support. This year, perhaps, he asks a little more earnestly than in other years.

Nostalgia

Suppose, for the sake of having an argument, that there is a God, that he exists in His Trinity, and has such characteristics as are attributed to Him by Saints, Prophets, Apostles. To a modern person, of course, this is quite a stretch. He would ask me to leave out all those things which are not “scientific,” because they are specific, and so can be specifically denied. And, “Please,” (I’ve heard him often), “… don’t use caps.”

That is what our natural theology has come to — using our own natural means to establish what is good and real. We have reached Nowhere, having drained all certainties; and what we know is, Nothing. We haven’t enough faith to rise from bed in the morning, unless other motives come to mind.

But let me not generalize. I am hardly speaking of every “modern person” in the world today; only of the vast, uncountable majority. I, for instance, tend to mix with people who are a bit strange, by comparison.

Many of us suffer from nostalgia. By this I do not mean we long to return to the old days, when modern people were less apparent, or at least less aggressive, and more placid and polite. This is a common mental failing, or limitation, for our species — that we can’t reverse the direction of time, and move thoughtfully backward, when that appears to be the best option. It never happens, and in fact cannot happen, until the faculties of this world are turned about.

But that could only be done by God, whose very existence is doubted, even by his “lip servants.” I am “following the science” when I say that the only possible way to visit the past is by memory, sometimes aided by fragments of the past that have survived — usually for no good reason.

If there is God, I imagine that nostalgia is useful, however — if not consistently pleasurable, or pain-free.

It should be considered as one of the six official senses, or one of the forty-three primary aspects of memory. It restores nothing, though it may sometimes inspire the recreation of things good, true, and beautiful. But purely in and of itself, it offers a way of looking at moving, compendious things, which had otherwise become invisible and inaudible and untouchable.

For there is a close relation to lamentation, which is also a sense of what is, not what was. We recall what is lost, and summon to mind things once loved, and however secretly, appreciated. For often these are things we did not appreciate when they were physically present to us, and which we mishandled. Now they begin to communicate coherently to us.

As illness and another Canadian winter shuts me in, I welcome the idleness in which nostalgia will flourish. Even from events which I now properly regret, there will be fresh learning.

Perhaps, in nostalgia, God is opening our eyes to what we never noticed; that life, even in the most miserable conditions of squalor, created by ourselves — is good, is worth living, is filled with happy “accidents.”

Detestation

Hermann Hesse, I must surely have mentioned or suggestively failed to mention at some point before, is among my favourite hippie novelists. The statement is also misleading, for I encountered Hesse during his first period of international posthumous fame, when he was first being unforgotten; and he was heavily “sold” to me by a good, young, arguably German (less arguably American), friend from Mainz. My literary tastes of half-a-century ago are not reliable indicators of my preferences now, but they aren’t necessarily opposed to my current judgements. I have picked up Hesse, including Narziss und Goldmund (which gives an unreliable depiction of the Middle Ages, and the monastic life), and found him still entertaining, and many of his attitudes to life still attractive.

I call him a hippie novelist even though the world he was born into (in 1877) was not ready for his kind. But in a way more telling, he was not a hater. For instance, he did various bold and brave things, to subvert the Nazis (from 1933), and assist the Jews. (His third marriage was his most eloquent essay against anti-Semitism).

He detested them all (the Nazis, not his wives), and yet was criticized for never having made a formal condemnation of the Hitler regime. One thinks of popes who courted unpopularity with the unthreatened progressive types, from the same cause: unwillingness to arrange the martyrdoms of others.

Hesse detested Nazis from his first sight of them, and before that, in the heritage of Prussia; and he wasn’t afraid of their habit of persecuting people like him (beyond occasional exhibits of tact that could be read as fear). He made enough statements that implied that his detestation was profound. But he was not a political showman, like Thomas Mann, or Bertolt Brecht, both of whom he helped to escape from Germany.

Like recurring figures in his (hippie) novels, his inclination was just to do what seemed right, if necessary under difficult circumstances; and then, different things under different circumstances. If someone had ever asked him to sign on to the principles of Antifa (unknown through the fascist generation), he would have detested them, too.

For he detested the ideological sort of haters.

My point here is that detestation is not the same as “hate,” or hatred, and therefore cannot constitute a “hate crime,” whatever the political busybodies decide that is. In fact, it is more compatible with love; and the number of things a man hates (I will be a man, in this instance) that he also loves (Germans will be our token objects) may be quite formidable. Indeed, I hate everything I love, so far as I can enumerate; at least, every nationality and culture, and most of the individuals I have come to know.

All great novelists are in some sense “hippie novelists.” In future, I fear, all will be charged with hate crimes. In the spirit of Hesse, let us read and praise as many as we can.

Dignity

I used the controversial term, “dignity,” at the end of my last effusion, and I might apologize to those whom it offends. I won’t apologize, of course, “I have too much dignity.” Rather, I shall explain the eccentric way in which I use the term, in this world from which it is largely retired.

To us, at least to those who are woke or equivalent, dignity is something that can be bestowed. It is frequently given as an order, with legal implications. If you don’t recognize, and celebrate, the “dignity” of another person (a sex pervert, for instance) then you are guilty of a “hate crime” and may be prosecuted in law. In this limited sense, dignity is flourishing; there is a huge number of persons who, previously objects of indifference or mere disgust among their neighbours, now qualify for police-enforced dignity.

In my own view, we should follow the hint of Friedrich Hölderlin, the German poet I am now reading through his “later odes.” True, he went mad, either from his anxieties or from his lack of them. Like other harmless madmen of the past (whether or not they could write first-rate Pindarics), he got into the habit of greeting his visitors with an excess of polite deference. Everyone, including rough and semi-literate workmen, and all but his several genuine friends, he addressed as “Your Highness,” or “Your Majesty.”

My own adaptation of this practice is to confer landed titles, in great variety. But this is immodest, for it assumes, from the point of departure, that I am the royalty.

Giving acceptable pronouns to the masses must invite confusion. “Highness” and “Majesty” are, neither of them, gendered terms, and ought to be safe and generally acceptable.

But dignity, in principle, is not something that can be bestowed, let alone demanded, or even earned. It simply is, in and of the person. (Perhaps we could include certain other animals, such as lions, or walruses.) He is dignified if he is not undignified, and the distinction is quite easily made, at a slightly prolonged glance.

The term doesn’t exclusively apply to Christian humans, necessarily, or to members of any other group — whether apparently alive or dead. The worth of it does not extend beyond itself, for the highest award that can be given to a dignified person is (invariably silent) recognition of his dignity.

To the Christian, or to the gentle, all human beings have dignity, or should have, whether born or not yet born, and we live and interact with the world in recognition of this (astounding) fact. We recognize silently, the presence of dignity, and to those determined to conceal their dignity, we offer “no comment.”

Armistice?

As the son of a veteran of World War Two, who was the son of a veteran of World War One, armed for Canada in England and France, I look upon “modern history” as a participant. By a miracle, neither father nor paternal grandfather was killed. (The maternal grandfather risked his life piloting coal trains.) Yet grandpa ran up Vimy Ridge, and across many once-famous mud-puddles. My father had it easy, by comparison, flying Spitfires. That way you sit through all the more violent bits, and witness most carnage from the top.

Both are gone now, and mama too, at advanced ages. Their children should soon be gone. We all fade, and must expect to spend a million years dead and forgotten for every evening that was memorable.

It is on this broad view that I forgive my countrymen — at least those in this part of the country — for neglecting to wear a poppy pin today. I did not spot even one, among all the transit customers, and only one in a medical waiting room (a very old lady). I was looking for poppies, obsessively, while riding buses and walking through crowds, on my way to and from the doctors’ appointments this morning. At the moment of eleven o’clock, there was nothing to be heard.

Except very softly, beating inside me: the echo of great wars. There was a time when we were capable of remembering, at least the more recent conflagrations; and knowing gratitude for those who had leapt to our defence. But now, after a short interval, we, the nominally living, have found our place with the dead. There was no passage in which we attained dignity, and no one will remember us, even briefly.

Christ the King

The royalty of Christ is difficult to explain, to our republican society. He is to be grasped, to start, in the creation of the universe; mere kingship seems rather to demean Him. Yet it isn’t meant to do so, instead to make his claim on our loyalty explicitly greater than that of any earthly power, or prince. We celebrate His Dominion, beyond his personal authority. (Kings were once more than political officers; their lives ran conspicuously above the lives of their nations.) Martyrs have so often gone to death, declaring this kingship. It announces something above mere citizenship.

Whether in church, or outside it, we have for several reasons come to ignore this festival. This year, with All Saints on a Monday, reverence for Christ the King may seem to appear inconveniently in the Calendar. It is the same night as Hallowe’en. (The Novus Ordo had moved it away.)

Hallowe’en, in its crassness, and commercialism, makes the same appeal as Saint Valentine’s Day — to be retired or cancelled from common observation. Both are only tangentially Christian, but in our time, even Christmas and Easter come to be acknowledged as crass, commercial affairs. We cannot save them without restoring a world that was capable of religious sincerity.

My younger son is “Down syndrome,” which means he is a member of a tribe that is now usually murdered in the womb. Yet also, surprisingly, a tribe which by its nature, is understood to be innocent and kindly. This year, through my various “ischemic events,” I have perhaps had a small, partial experience of how my son finds the world; a new understanding of how plainly he assimilated Christ from our conversations; of the horror with which he learnt of the Crucifixion; but too, the incomprehensible simplicity of the Everlasting Life. He has, or course, a genius for understanding things that my cleverness would put beyond me.

The typewriter keyboard, for instance, is something I find myself almost learning again, yet it doesn’t amount to much.

With luck, my brain is as neuroplastic as others have been discovered to be, and I look forward to having the use of it back, in due season. For Christ is King, and what can be taken away from us? Except by Him who is the source of all gifts?