It is late in the evening of November 5, 2008 and I am amazed at what I’m watching, feeling and seeing coming to pass… it’s like watching as the world begin to turn, but it only seems that way because of the long night and the early fingers of light that are just beginning to shoot across the horizon.
Today I thought back about 6 or so years ago when I worked at the Gazette Newspapers in Long Beach, and we had an office manager named Kenya.
Kenya has a white father and black mother, kind-of-like Barack, and we would talk about the black/white thing once in a while.
One morning when I was talking to her about this issue I said, “You know Kenya, the world is upside down…The last shall be first, and a change will come…”
Why do I believe this?
Because I am a child of 1964, and after 1964, everything changed… I grew up believing Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” speech.
Because both of my parents were from Springfield, Illinois, and Lincoln has been a hero of my since childhood.
He had a dream, and Martin had a dream, and they became my dream, and on January 20, 2009 the two come together in what WE have chosen to dream together – Change we can believe in…
In the night, unless you are awake and watching the sky, the light goes out and artificial light takes over until we sleep and dream. Everything looks different in artificial light. We hide from monsters, and jump when the wind blows against the house…
We have tried to comfort ourselves from the fear with myths and legends to protect us while we sleep, looking for clues that when morning comes everything will be alright, that our flag will still wave.
Welcome to dawns early light…
Tell me, can you see?
The flag does still wave and the blessing goes on. The new day does come and the torch of the night is passed, because we have one more night still to travel through, but that’s when a ladder comes down from heaven, and the glory of El-Shaddai will fill the Earth…
But before then, the light of day is about to burst around you, and what looked so strange in the night will look very different in the light of day.
That all aside, I can not tell you how much I am crying inside for the children of Esau…
It reminds me of a couple of years ago when The Anaheim Ducks won the Stanley Cup…
The only sport I watch is hockey, which is strange for a Southern California native. People usually ask me if I’m from Canada when I start talking hockey – and I can talk hockey!
But what it means being a hockey fan in California is the reality that your team will never, I repeat, NEVER, win the big prize. NEVER…
Oh the seasons I endured as a young Kings fans. I listened to every game on the radio during the gold and purple days of the 70’s.
I had a poster on my wall of Rogie Vachon, the starting goaltender for the Kings back then, who I would sketch over and over again (that’s how young artists work out their angst)… later when I got a parakeet I named him Marcel, bad parakeet name, but the scoring wonder of that moment, Marcel Doinne.
Well, The Kings and hockey lost me during the 80’s and it wasn’t until The Mighty Ducks of Anaheim started in the early 90’s expansion that I came back. And what a grueling journey it was…
I was a fan of the team owned by Disney – a strange marriage at the least.
A team is the roughest sport, with fights, injuries, real blood and everything nasty married to Cinderella, American Family Style. Not to mention being named after a movie franchise… we live in a strange world.
And then one day it changed…
A great couple who really like hockey and wanted to do what’s right by the team bought them, changed the name to the Anaheim Ducks, hired real talent for the front office that brought great talent to the ice, changed the image of the team, and within a couple of years I was breathing air that feels a lot like today… almost.
When the Ducks won the Stanley Cup it was like I was in a nitrous oxide bubble of happy gas for a week. I had never been on the winning side before, cheering for the winning team!
Asking me to do anything was out of the question… I just lingered and breathed in and out… mmmmm….
Not so with the air today… it tastes as sweet, but I’ve got some empty beer bottles on the table, dishes left in the sink, a carpet to vacuum and many other household chores to do… and breathing this air just makes me feel like getting to the work at hand.
I’ll write more later, dish out some more STEW, but first there is work to do…
Welcome to Part Two of an election time allegorical story called STEW, or, How Esau Lost The 2008 Election.
And now for something completely different…
Today we have a semi-epic Biblical drama, Journey to Mesopotamia, to add more ingredients to this stew, and to help us understand the background of our story…
I imagined this drama in what I call “Star-Wars-o-Vision”, an epic and lush George Lucas-esque styling – available in wide screen HD for those of you with a great visual imagination.
Keep in mind all the allegorical imagery from Part One as we move ahead… all the pieces will add up as the story moves along.
Plagiarism Disclaimer: The following story is mostly lifted from Genesis 24:13-67 using the American Standard Version, the New American Standard Version and a few modifications of my own…
A Note on Hebrew Names for God:
Elohim is a Hebrew word for God which means: gods in the ordinary sense; but specifically used (in the plural) of the supreme God.
Jehovah is another of the Hebrew word for God which means: self existent or eternal; Jehovah, Jewish national name of God as in, Jehovah, the Lord.
Source – Strong‘s Hebrew and Greek Dictionary.
Journey to Mesopotamia
Scene I: The Oath
Setting: Widescreen view out over a vast desert landscape, bleak, but colorized a bit with some deeper colors to give it the “settling in to an epic story” feel. As the camera scans the desert a great settlement of tents, people and herds comes into view in the valley below… the camera shifts to inside of Abraham’s tent, decorated in early “Raiders of the Lost Ark” style…
Casting notes: Abraham is play by Jack Nicholson in this scene and his servant is played by Morgan Freeman, who is also the narrator, like in “The Shawshank Redemption“…
Abraham’s Servant: Our story begins after Abraham has mourned the death of his beloved wife Sarah…
In that day Abraham was old and advanced in age, and Jehovah had blessed Abraham in every way, but he could see his son Isaac was still heartsick because of his mother’s death.
One day Abraham called me into his tent, because I was his oldest and most trusted servant, and he made me swear an oath
Abraham: I will make you swear by El-Shaddai, the Elohim of heaven and the Elohim of earth, that you shall not take a wife for my son from the Daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I live, but you shall go to my country and to my relatives and take a wife for my son Isaac.
Abraham’s Servant: Suppose the woman will not be willing to follow me to this land; should I take your son back to the land where you came from?
Abraham [exploding]: Beware lest you take my son back there! El Shaddai, the Elohim of heaven, who took me from my father’s house and the land of my birth, and who spoke to me, and who swore to me, saying ‘To your descendants I will give this land,’ He will send His angel before you, and you will take a wife for my son from there.
But if the woman is not willing to follow you, then you will be free from this my oath; only do not take my son back there.
Abraham’s Servant: So I made an oath with Abraham concerning this matter. He gave me ten camels loaded with a variety of good things and special gifts he gave into my hand, and I left for Mesopotamia, to the city of Nahor, the snoring father of civilization, back to the land that my master Abraham had left so long ago.
Scene II: The Well at Nahor
Setting: another view out over a vast desert landscape… the camera moves towards the caravan of ten camels that is coming to a stop at a desert well of water, it is late afternoon…
Abraham’s Servant: When I approached the city of Nahor, and came to the well where the women came to draw the evening water, I made the camels knee down and I dismounted.
I looked around me and made a request to the Jehovah, the Elohim of my master, Abraham.
O Jehovah, the Elohim of my master Abraham, send me, I pray thee, success this day, and show kindness unto my master Abraham.Behold, I am standing by the fountain of water.
The daughters of the men of the city are coming out to draw water, so let it come to pass, that the girl to whom I shall say, ‘Let down thy pitcher, please, that I may drink.’
And she shall say, ‘Drink, and I will water your camels also.’
May she be the one whom thou hast appointed for thy servant Isaac. And thereby shall I know that thou hast showed kindness unto my master.
Abraham’s Servant continues: While I was still addressing Jehovah I saw coming towards me a beautiful maiden who I later found out was Rebekah who was born to Bethuel the son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor, Abraham’s brother, with her jar upon her shoulder.
Note on Rebekah’s name: could be translated from the Hebrew as “The clog, the fettering beauty born to the son who was destroyed by God, born of the queen to the snoring brother of Abraham” or something like that…see Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Dictionary.
Abraham’s Servant continues: This girl was very beautiful to look at, a virgin, who had not yet been touched for the very first time. She went down to the fountain, and filled her jar, and came up again…
Abraham’s Servant [running to meet Rebekah]:Give me to drink, please, a little water from your jar.
Rebekah [lowering her jar to her hand, and giving Abraham’s servant a drink]: Drink.
Rebekah [after Abraham’s servant finishes drinking]: I will draw water for your camels also, until they have finished drinking.
[Rebekah quickly emptied her pitcher into the watering trough, and runs back the well to draw more water, and continued until all the camels had been satisfied.]
Abraham’s Servant [narrating]: All the while I watched her, holding my peace, to know whether Jehovah had made my journey successful or not…
When the camels had finished drinking, I knew in my heart she was the one so I gave her a golden ring for her nose, and ten bracelets for her hands.
Abraham’s Servant [speaking to Rebekah]: Whose daughter are you and is there room in your father’s house for myself, my camels and my men to spend the night?
Rebekah: I am the daughter of Bethuel, the son of Milcah, whom she bore to Nahor. We have both straw and feed for your camels, and plenty of room for your men.
Abraham’s Servant [bowing his head – praying]: Blessed be Jehovah, the Elohim of my master Abraham, who has not forsaken his loving-kindness and his truth toward my master. As for me, Jehovah has led me in the way to the house of my master’s brothers.
Scene III: Mesopotamian Material Girl
Setting: Large settlement with many people carrying on with the daily activities of Mesopotamian people about 3,500 years ago… the camera follows Abraham’s servant (Morgan Freeman) and Rebekah (early Madonna, “Like A Virgin” era) from the well to the house of Laban, the Mesopotamian – Rebekah’s brother (played by Rupert Murdoch in this scene)
Abraham’s Servant [narrating]: I waited as Rebekah ran off to tell her mother’s household.
Now Rebekah had a brother, and his name was Laban. Soon I saw Laban hurrying out to meet me by the well, because he had seen the gifts I had given Rebekah and had heard her story.
Laban: Don’t just stand there, come blessed of Jehovah… I have prepared the house, and room for the camels.
Abraham’s Servant [narrating]: So I went with Laban to his house where he unloaded the camels, gave them straw and feed and provided water to wash my feet and the feet of the men that were with me.
After this food was set before us to to eat…
Abraham’s Servant [speaking to Laban]: I will not eat, until I have told my business.
Abraham’s Servant: I am Abraham’s servant, and Jehovah has blessed my master greatly. He has become great and Jehovah has given him flocks and herds, silver and gold, many servant, and camels and asses.
Now Sarah, my master’s wife, has bore a son to my master in her old-age, and my master has given his son all he has.
Abraham’s Servant [narrating]: I continued to tell him about my oath to Abraham, my request to Jehovah and my meeting with Rebekah by the well…
Abraham’s Servant [continuing to speak to Laban]: If you will deal kindly and truly with my master, tell me so. And if not, let me know, so that I may turn to the right hand, or to the left.
Laban (with Bethuel at his side): The matter comes from Jehovah, and is not ours to decide whether this is good or bad.
Behold, Rebekah is before you, take her, and go, and let her be your master’s son’s wife, as Jehovah has spoken.
Abraham’s Servant [narrating]: And it came to pass, that, when I heard their words, I bowed down to the earth and worshiped Jehovah.
After this I brought out jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and garments, and gave them to Rebekah. I also gave to her brother and to her mother precious things. Then we ate and drank until the morning.
Scene IV: Blessing Our Sister Rebekah
Setting: Same as Scene III, only now it’s the morning after…
Abraham’s Servant [speaking to Laban]: Send me away to my master.
Laban: Let the girl stay with us a few days, at the least ten. After that she can go…
Abraham’s Servant: Do not delay me, seeing Jehovah has prospered my way. Send me away that I may go to my master.
Laban: We will call the girl, and ask her.
[Rebekah enters the room]
Laban [speaking to Rebekah]: Will you go with this man?
Rebekah: I will go.
Abraham’s Servant [narrating]: And so they sent back to my master Abraham with Rebekah, their sister, with this blessing:
The Voices of Rebekah’s Kin [5 to 6 voices all speaking together]: May you, our sister, become the mother of thousands of ten thousands, and may your descendants possess the gate of those that hate them.
Scene V: Back To Canaan
Setting: another view out over a vast desert landscape… the camera moves towards a caravan of many camels, it is late afternoon…
Abraham’s Servant [narrating]: Rebekah arose, along with her maids, and they rode upon their camels, following me as I returned to my master Abraham and his son, Isaac.
Isaac lived in the Negev, or the south, along the way of Beer-lahai-roi (which means: the well of a living seer).
While Isaac was meditating in the field one evening. And he lifted up his eyes and saw, and, behold, there were camels coming.
Meanwhile, Rebekah lifted up her eyes, and when she saw Isaac, she dismounted from the camel.
Rebekah [speaking to Abraham’s servant]: What man is this that walk in the field to meet us?
Abraham’s Servant: It is my master.
[Rebekah takes her veil, and covers herself. Isaac enters the scene]
Abraham’s Servant [narrating]: When Issac met us, I told him all the things that I had done.
After this, Isaac brought Rebekah into his mother Sarah’s tent, and she became his wife and he loved her.
With this, Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death.
End: Credits Start To Roll…
I hope you enjoyed my Bible story for today… I’ll have Professor Yarnhead here later to help explain some of the allegorical clues from this story.
Note: I was up late on the Monday writing and rewriting and rewriting this piece. I think I caught all my typos… let me know if you find anything I missed.
The Twins Story (the birth of Esau and Jacob) has been rescheduled for Tuesday, Election Day…
Also coming up on the 4th… Greed Stew for Esau and Blind Stew for Isaac.
I am going to try and share a story I haven’t entirely figured out how to piece together yet, but will play out over the next few days…
I’ve watched it over and over in my head this last week… little pieces, little scenes, the same story, different play, same subject, different players….
It’s as if I’ve been watching T.V. – switching from channel to channel, but even as the program changes, the subject is always the same. Esau and Jacob, the 2008 Presidential race and the future…
It’s a story that moves and changes like a dream; like an episode of Monty Pythons Flying Circus or a History Channel documentary, loosely spliced and wandering from free association to free association like a drunken bee in a flower garden.
STEW: This is a word with several meanings, from (1) cooking food by simmering or low boil to (2) fussing and fretting to (3) suffering the consequences of one’s own actions.
Beginning with the first meaning, let’s see how we go about making this particular stew.
The broth of this stew is “based on a true story” because I’ve lifted it completely from the story of Esau and Jacob in the Bible.
Notes for those following along at home:You can find this story in any standard issue Bible in the first book of the Old Testament, Genesis, ranging from chapters 24 through 27 with extra bonus reading about Esau in Hebrews, chapter 12. Hebrews is one of the books of the New Testament, near the back of the Bible.
More on the broth in a moment, but first…
The STEW Who’s Who
The main ingredients of the story consists of four people…
Esau: The older twin, the big brother, hunter, “man of the fields”, and a rough, hairy man – he’s dad’s favorite. He’s the one who should inherit it all.
He symbolizes the Republicans, the Neocons, the sold-out conservatives hanging on because of sheer loyalty, and, most importantly, “The Religious Right” with a special bonus extra credit shout out to “right wing Christians”, and Christians that call themselves “value voters”…
Esau’s nickname is “Red” and is played by John “Red” McCain.
Jacob: The younger twin. Smooth skinned and a “tent-dweller.” He’s mother’s favorite, ambitious, knows what’s at stake and knows how to get it.
He symbolizes the Democrats, but also symbolizes the future transformation of the USA.
His nickname is “Smooth” and played by Barack “Smooth” Obama.
Isaac: The Second Patriarch in a blessed line of Patriarchs. The Son of Promise that is now an old man going blind and foreseeing his own demise.
He symbolizes the good old US of A. You and me, the vast historical, mythological, cosmic and collective expression of the several centuries of this country we call home.
His nickname is “The Gipper”, and is played by former President Ronald “The Gipper” Reagan in a stunning return from the dead for one last head-shaking performance.
Rebekah: Isaac’s wife. Beautiful, rich and manipulative. She’s the mother of Isaac’s twins, but she prefers Jacob, the younger one.
She symbolizes our Constitution, our Capitalist system and it’s expression through the media (the left-wing media if it makes you feel better) in all it’s glory.
Her nickname is the “Material Girl” and is played by the original Material Girl – Madonna.
God’s Broth – or – the Blessing
Because of the mystical and symbolic nature of the rest of this story, I’m going to have to call in Professor Yarnhead to give us an understanding of the ingredients that have gone into making this broth.
Professor Yarnhead is a self-proclaimed specialist in the field of interpretive Biblical prophecy – always a recession-proof industry.
He is going to try and take us back through the grains of the sands of time…
Visuals: Still images, old-fashioned illustrations and archival clip art floats across the screen here to invoke the feeling of history and antiquity – Otherwise known as “The History Channel Collage Style.”
Professor Yarnhead begins:
It was the time of the Patriarchs, a mysterious time when Man was socially evolving from tribes to nations.
El-Shaddai – also known as God Almighty, had called a descendant from the line of Shem, one of the three sons of Noah, to come out from his family, out from his tribe and lands… and out of this one man, He, El-Shaddai, God Almighty would prepare and bring about the next step for Man.
This man, Abram, followed this call from El-Shaddai and received “The Blessing.”
When Abram received this Blessing, El-Shaddai changed his name to Abraham, which means “Father of Nations” and from this first Patriarch all the nations of the world descended and were blessed.
This Blessing is something we don’t understand anymore, nor do we know the power of El-Shaddai as Abram did…
But this was an earlier time, before many of the mysteries were forgotten, when some people still understood that the Blessing is everything.
This Blessing is not a moral prize which is won by your own virtue. The Blessing of El-Shaddai is the Grand Prize of all the possible prizes in the world, and is a prize of faith.
El-Shaddai gave the Blessing to Abraham because he believed God, and so he also became the Patriarch of western religion and faith.
Abraham had two sons, Ishmael and Isaac.
Ishmael was born first, but from Abraham’s wife’s maid Hagar (they did that kind of stuff back then), because Abraham was having trouble waiting for God to get around to doing what he promised to do – give him a son.
Thirteen years later, Sarah, Abraham’s wife got pregnant, and had the Son of Promise – Isaac.
Note: Ishmael and the results of this situation launches a whole other subject that’s too big to go into here…
It was during a traumatic camping trip when Isaac was young that he nearly got sacrificed to El-Shaddai by his father, Abraham, only to be saved by the intervention of an angel from God that pointed out a ram caught in the nearby bushes.
They sacrificed the ram instead, and made some stew… and that stew stuck with Isaac.
Years later, when Isaac had grown, Abraham decided that his son needed a wife, but not one of the local Canaanite girls…
History Flash: Canaanite Women Bad: In the Noah blessing sweepstakes (Genesis 9:25-27), Canaan was the loser, Japheth comes in second and Shem grabs the big prize blessing.
So Abraham sent his most trusted servant back to the birthplace of civilization, Mesopotamia, to find a suitable wife for Isaac from among his relatives. [See Genesis 24]
Setting:Professor Yarnhead fades out…
Well, I think I’ll let this stew simmer overnight and add some more ingredients tomorrow, stir it some more…
Tune in tomorrow for Part 2: Journey to Mesopotamia, The Twins, and more…
Idea’s have been collecting in my mind like drops of water collecting in rain clouds… for days now I’ve been waiting for the rain.
Since Wednesday I’ve been wanting to start blogging again but it’s been like a low pressure front keeping me low, sleeping, dreaming, reading, held down with my mind flying away like a kite on the wind looking over the broad landscape…
Like the wind ready to bring on a storm my mind has tumbled around, round and round with all the debris I’ve collected…
Today’s weather report: Mostly cloudy with a chance of showers… Rain expected overnight.
Notes on the graphic above:
STEW – A little something I’ve been cooking up to help feed us as we head into the election and through to the other side… it’s a little bit politics and a little bit Reformation 2.0 – It’s today’s headlines ripped straight from the pages of The Bible, or pages of The Bible ripped straight from today’s headlines… or something like that. It’s the end of the Bushworld as we know it, thank God!
I’ll give you a little clue before we get started; if you want to get a jump on the story, get out your Bible and do a little reading and thinking: Genesis 25-27, read before the story and after to get a bigger picture.
Soon we’ll be entering the land of imagery and symbols, people types, Biblical events that hint at today’s events and the other devices of the poets and mystics… if you have the eyes to read with, come along.