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Kafka And The Angel Of Death Start The Month Of March

t21216019_b34f937938

An excerpt from my novel “Kafka In The Castle”, where l fill in his ‘missing’ diary entries.

01 March 1917

              I was part way down the steps of the castle last night, on my way home. Perhaps a bit later than usual, I didn’t check my watch. I was passing one of the corners, where the locked doors bar entrance to the passageways, when I heard a rustle in the air. I doubt I would have noticed, were it not for my acute hearing. Nothing more than that, but I went to take a look.

A man was huddled by the stone – not sprawled or laying, but seated – and with his head resting against the cold surface. There was the smell of urine, and the smell of wine. He did not look up as I approached, and I wondered what to do. People and their choices – I prefer to let them lead their lives – but he could not spend the night where he was. He would freeze to death.    I spoke, but there was no response. I debated between nudging him with my foot, or shaking him by the shoulders, although I found neither course of action appealing.

“You should go home,” I said. “It is too cold to stay here.” He made a noise, but I wasn’t sure what it was, so I leaned closer. The wine was so strong, I thought he must have broken the bottle. This time I could hear the trace of laughter, and his low voice.

“We meet again. The Herr Doktor.” I hurriedly stepped back. Recognition was the last thing I had expected. “You still walk the nights,” he said, and I then realized it was my next – door neighbour.

“I leave late,” I said. “But you still come home late.” And with less success than ever, I thought, but I did not tell him this.

“I broke the bottle.” He spoke unexpectedly, and startled me. “I’ve cut my hand.” He tried to struggle to his feet, and I reached for him, but he ignored me. Because it was less dark on the steps, I could see that his jacket and pants were wet, and his sleeve was smeared with blood. He was not even dressed for winter, and I wondered if he had lost his coat.

     He started down the steps, but I turned him around. “Ah, yes,” he said. “To heaven.” He did not seem to want my help as he very deliberately took one step at a time. Near the top, he turned and spoke. “She’s a whore, that Julie. She’s no good.” Halfway through the court yard he said: “Her hair. Just to touch her hair.” At the entrance of the Alchemist Lane, he held up his bloodied hand as if to push something away. “There is a man, now. A man with her.” His voice slavered around the air.

I stopped him before his own door, and he surprised me by having the key in his hand. He put it in the lock slowly, but without difficulty. “I saw them.” As the door swung in, he turned to me. “Herr Doktor, my Angel of Redemption. So you have moved next door.” He shook my hand, leaving blood upon my fingers. “You do good work, Herr Doktor. But I search for the Angel of Death.”

 

(Image) https://c1.staticflickr.com/1/17/21216019_b34f937938.jpg

 

 

Don’t Try This At Home (A List)

:empty-todo-list

Stick fingers into socket

(a no-brainer)

Brain surgery

(a real no-brainer)

Speak to the Devil

Tweet your fantasies

Enact your fantasies

Assume the position

Have rattlesnakes

Worship rattlesnakes

Play with rattlesnakes

Have your cake

And eat it, too

Swear on a stack of Bibles

Pile a stack of Bibles

Put another nickle in
(in the Nickelodeon)

Be a dancing fool

Nail feet to a Cross

Use all the crayons

Go up the ladders

Go down the snakes

Call yourself a cab
(it’s mistaken identity)

Tie that rope
(around your neck)
 
Make a list
~ DE BA. UE
[Image] http//i1.wp.com/timemanagementninja.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Empty-Todo-List.jpg?fit=600%2C401&ssl=1

Is It The Silly Season?

~ DE, BA UE

Is it the silly season . . .  yet?

Will it be putty in our hands?

Will the cow jump over the moon?

Will the dish run away with the spoon?

And if they do – will they spoon?

Will the poets have all the answers?

Or will they be locked away,

Babbling in their cages?

With the full moon in Virgo

(the only time this year)

Will that one crow,

Calling from the wood,

Find that second crow

And thus find joy?

Will the moon

(Cow compromised or not)


Be in the Seventh House?

Will darkness

Settle over the land

And stay?
 

“Tap tap
“Whoosh whoosh

“Tap tap

“Whoosh whoosh”


Is this thing on?

Are we there?

Oh, are we there yet?

~ DE. BA UE

Alison Alexandra Gets Pandemic Advice From R/Jane-the-Ghost

*pandemic-questions-300

An excerpt from my current manuscript: “There Was A Time, Oh Pilgrim, When The Stones Were Not So Smooth”

***********************************

“I’d like Bridget to meet you,” says Alison Alexandra.

“No.” R/Jane-the-Ghost shakes her head. “That can’t happen.”

“She’s my cousin,” says Alison Alexandra. “Blood relation, and straight as a die.”

“No – that’s not the way it works.” R/Jane-the-Ghost smiles. “Even though I like your little pun – trust me.”

“She’s been to the Mansion.”

“Not my department,” says R/Jane-the-Ghost. “As you know – I have not.”

“I’ve noticed that,” says Alison Alexandra.

“Different stages of departure,” says R/Jane-the-Ghost. “As for me – I am well and truly dead.”

“Well then . . .” Alison Alexandra actually tries to see her companion. “Do you have any advice?”

“About what?”

“How to deal with this Pandemic?”

“You’ve got booze stacked away?”

“Yes. And more coming.”

“Then that pretty well covers it,” says R/Jane-the-Ghost. “Creature comforts for the creature. Your spirit will take care of itself.”

“Body and soul,” suggests Alison Alexandra.

“When threatened, your body will be more aware of your soul.” R/Jane-the-Ghost smiles. “The booze will make it easier for you to say ‘hello’.”

“Cousin Bridget would like to know that.”

“Feel free to tell her.” R/Jane-the-Ghost chuckles. “After a drink or two.”

(Image) https://www.cdc.gov/flu/pandemic-resources/images/pandemic-questions-300.png

Were The Birds Looking In My Window Asking A Question?

bird-branches-2
 
Yes,


I had been away,

For awhile.

Long enough

To make

The mail

Pile up.

So,

Were the birds looking

In my window to see

If I was home?

First a crow,

Settled on the upper branches

Of the tree,

And glared.

Hopped around and glared,

From branch to branch.

Then a blue jay

Did much the same.

Less glaring but

Just

As inquisitive.

And then a

Chickadee

Dee dee

Hop hop hopping

Light as air.

Branch to branch

&

Twig to twig

Look look

Looking.

If I had been missed,

Now I was found.

~ DE BA. UE

(Image)https://arbordayblog.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/bird-branches-2.jpg

The Bible Is Trending On Twitter In Canada

I’m not sure why the Bible is trending in Canada. Apparently some Silly Bugger on Fox News has made it an issue – it’s going to disappear if the Socialists have their way.

For whatever reason, it gives me cause enough to re-post *my* Bible story. Filthy lucre was/was not involved, though I did my bit to alter the Bible.

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

Some time ago I had an odd request – a very odd request, come to think of it – to re-write a portion of the New Testament. It is Luke 7 36-50, where Jesus is Anointed by a Sinful Woman. I was asked to write it from the woman’s point of view.

I met the man who made the commission at a Starbucks (his suggestion). He is a successful business man and owns and runs a professional corporation. He gave me the verses he wanted done and asked if I thought I would be able to do so. I said yes. I have the ability and the project intrigued me.  It would hold my interest.

He was not garrulous or forthcoming, and I refrained from asking him why he wanted this done. However, I did query the direction he might want the story to take. he was vague about that, also. A woman’s point of view. A woman of the times. I felt I pressed that issue strongly enough, even if I did not get an answer.

We discussed price. I told him what I thought such a project was worth. I explained it as an issue of time expended (even I wasn’t sure how much effort it would be). He agreed to an hourly price.

The end result was that he did not pay me. he disliked the finished story. I include the work and our email exchange at the end of the adventure. I wish he would have been as detailed in telling me what he wanted before the fact, instead of after.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Luke 7: 36-50

 
Jesus Anointed by a Sinful Woman
 
 36 Now one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, so he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table.
 
37 When a woman who had lived a sinful life in that town learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, she brought an alabaster jar of perfume,
 
38 and as she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.
 
39 When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner.”
 
 40 Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.”
      “Tell me, teacher,” he said.
 
 41 “Two men owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii,[d] and the other fifty. 42Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he canceled the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?”
 
 43 Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt canceled.”
      “You have judged correctly,” Jesus said.
 
 44 Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair.
 
45 You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet.
 
46 You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet.
 
47 Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little.”
 
 48 Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”
 
 49 The other guests began to say among themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?”
 
50 Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”
I would like to see this story told form the sinner lady point of view.
 
****************************************
 
What I did.
 
 
The woman was a sinner. Everyone in the village knew this and everyone treated her accordingly. She would sleep with men for money, and thus was shunned. Except by those men who used her and paid her. But when they were done with her, they shunned her, too. Men are like that, selfish and deceitful. She has earned her money. They have earned her contempt.
 
The woman had reasons for being a sinner. Her parents were old when she was born and she was a chore to them. Not only a chore perhaps, but their affection was watered down. Their interest in her was always coloured with annoyance. She did not do what they wanted. She did not think as they thought. She had desires which had left them years before, so they did not think them important. And she was a girl – good only as bait for a man to marry. She was a burden.
 
 
However, she had a life to live. Her parents said she should thank them for her life. She said that instead she would blame them. She would look after herself if that was the way it had to be. She would use the tools that God gave her, just like a carpenter uses his tools to build. If there is no help from her parents; if her village looks down on her; if a man won’t marry her; well, she’ll set out on her own.
 
And she did.
 
It was not difficult to become a success at what she did. When with a man all she had to do was move her body and tell them lies. Praise them. Make those sounds they want to hear. Make then happy and she had a repeat customer. Keep the foolish secrets they seemed to insist telling her to herself. They trusted her as they used her. She used their stories for her own good. Learned where to purchase the best goods. Learned who to avoid. Make a bit of money on speculation. Even the cheapest grave digger when the time came for each of her parents. Be able to keep her parents house and even put some money away. What was a reputation compared to this?
 
It was from her clients that she first heard of Jesus. Yet another desert prophet full of crazy talk. The rabble seemed to love him. The Pharisees warned against him. He talked as if his words were the words of God. He seemed to give strange interpretations of the stories in the Bible. He seemed to think that more than just the rich were important. The men she was with laughed at that, but it was nervous laughter. There was something about this Jesus which troubled them, but also interested them. It was not usual that her client’s talk included references to God.
 
It was also from one of her clients – a Pharisee who liked to brag – that she learned Jesus was going to visit her village. The Pharisees were not happy with Jesus. They did not like what he was preaching. People are not equal. People need their leaders. Give people such ideas and they will be harder to control. So one of the Pharisees was going to invite Jesus to dine at his home.
 
The sinful woman decided she would attend the dinner. It was enough of a public event that she doubted she would be turned away. She wanted to hear what this Jesus had to say. See what he looked like. She knew about men and she was certain she could tell if he was to be trusted. And, men being men, she would bring him a gift. Nothing suggestive, just a jar of perfume to sooth him after his journey. She would present it to him if what she was hearing about him turned out to be true.
 
When she arrived at the house, and heard what Jesus had to say, she understood why the rich and powerful feared him. She knew the truth when men spoke it, because she heard it little enough. Jesus offered her comfort and asked for no favours in return.
 
She approached Jesus and kneeled at his feet, weeping. She was so affected by his compassion that her tears caused streaks through the dust on his feet. She wiped away at the tears with her hair, sobbing all the while. She then began to pour the perfume on his feet, rubbing the scented oils into his skin to relieve the ache of his walking.
 
Although the woman did not look up, she heard the condemnation coming from the Pharisee. She cowered lower beside Jesus’ feet and was prepared to be mocked and told to know her place. Forced from the house. Instead, Jesus remained seated and told a story. He asked who would love a moneylender more, one who had a huge debt cancelled, or one who had a small debt cancelled? The Pharisee replied that the one with the larger debt would have more love. Jesus agreed.
 
Then Jesus looked at the woman and smiled. He spoke to the Pharisee, and took the time to detail the actions of the woman since he arrived. He compared what the woman had done to the neglect of his host. She had paid attention to him, kissed his feet again and again, soothed him with perfumed oil after his walk, took the time to make him comfortable. The Pharisee had done nothing to put him at his ease. So if the woman was a sinner, then she deserved to have all of her sins forgiven, for she had done much for him. Her love was the greater, for she had overcome the greater sins, whereas the Pharisee, regardless of his fewer sins, had done nothing.
 
Jesus then forgave the sins of the woman, and told her to go in peace. And although this outraged the Pharisee and his guests, and made them question the authority of Jesus, the woman left the house cleansed.

Email Exchange Re: Bible Story

 
Hi, *****: Let me know what you think of the story. Dale
 
 
Did you receive the Bible story?
 
I’m starting to wonder if I have the correct email address, though nothing is bumped back. Did you receive the story? I am wondering what your reaction is.
 
I’ll try this address and hope to get a response
 
Hi Mr. Dale,
 
I expected the story to shed the light on the values and habits of Jewish community at the time of Jesus. I would elaborate on the social rejection to the sinners who does not conform with the social rules. I would not picture her as a community defiant person. I would highlight her struggle with her temptations & her religious and community values. I would illustrate how the teachings of jesus to invite the sinners to repent made a difference to her. I would imply how her humplness made the difference between her and Simon.
 
I do not think that the story delivered the massage that we discussed.
 
[Image] biblebuyingguide.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/IMG_6461.jpg

There Was A Strange Question On Twitter

There was an odd question
On Twitter.
 
I mean,
Even an odd question
For Twitter.
 
“Can Dragons and Unicorns be friends?”
 
Who thinks up these things?
I mean,
Really,
Who?
 
But, oddly
(That is –
Even odder still)
I have an answer.
 
I wrote the book.
A Lost Tale.
My first novel.
 
Well
You know,
My first
Published
Novel.
There were others
That came before.
 
And in that novel
There was
Certainly
A Unicorn.
Some say
An Unicorn
(With which I
do not quibble).
 
But –
And most readers might
Not know this
As it took up
But one line –
There was also a
Dragon.
 
On a night when
The mysteries
Went beyond even
The Mysterious.
 
And I can state
(Even if it was not baldy
Stated in the novel),
That they
Were,
Indeed,
Friends.
 
And,
If you can’t
Believe
The guy who
Wrote the book,
Then
Who
Can you
Believe?
 
~ DE BA. UE

Franz Kafka Ponders Love And Lovers (Suitable For Valentine’s Day)

[Long suffering Felice]

Franz Kafka had many lovers in his life.  For someone supposedly distant and difficult, he was rarely without a woman more than willing to be his companion. Of course, being his companion was difficult because he was – well – Franz Kafka. Not that, as far as I know, any of them actually used the phrase .“It’s complicated.”  But it was.

Felice Bauer was, arguably, the most important love in his life. She was engaged to him twice. And, considering the relationship they had, I’m guessing she was relieved each time they broke it off.  They were ‘together’ from September 1912 to October 1917, and most of their relationship occurred through letters. Those few times they were together were not always filled with bliss.

In Kafka In The Castle, where I fill in his missing diary entries, I have him make comments about the end of their relationship.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Excerpt from Kafka In The Castle

27 February 1917

A letter from F. I am beginning to think that we do not really see the people in front of us. F. has changed from a vibrant companion to a banal drudge. But, of course, she has not really changed. She is neither of these things, but rather a combination. She is a person living through her life, and what I see reflected are my wants and fears. I want F. to share my tiny house, but I am ever fearful she might say yes.

28 March 1917

I have many letters I should write, the principle one being to F. A chore offering little satisfaction, and less pleasure. Except for the relief of knowing it is done. I am an expert in this, since I spend most of my life dealing with chores. The sins of the office will follow me into the third and fourth decade. But what is to be done about Felice? If anything, she is enjoying our correspondence more now, than she ever has. Rarely do we go below the surface of furniture and work. Will this be this, or that be that? If we ever approach the stairway of heaven together, she will be most concerned that the carpeting upon it is expensive and durable.

04 June 1917

Sometimes – with F – a kiss could make me feel I was becoming part of her. And she into me. I retreated.

[Image] https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/8/80/Felice_Bauer_with_Hat.jpg

Is It Cold Enough For Ya / Should We Get Drunk?

3_birds_on_a_wire__6810543956

 
Well
 
The little birds are frozen to the wire,
 
They are getting harder by the hour.
 
Three plump pigeons
 
All in a row.
 
Birdsicles now,
 
And covered in snow.
 
They listened to Cohen,
 
They even sang along,
 
“Like a bird on a wire”
 
They embraced Leonard’s song.
 
Leonard tried
 
In his way
 
To be free.
 
And so
 
Did these three.
 
And
 
– All things considered –
 
They 
 
Got their wish.
 
But, I’d rather be
 
A drunk
 
In
 
A midnight choir,
 
If only to
 
Hum along
 
With their song.
 
 
~ DE BA. UE
 

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