Work Without Hope

Samain and the Gratitude Moon

So. Whaddya think?

December 7, 2019   Work Without Hope   Samuel Taylor Coleridge
All Nature seems at work. Slugs leave their lair—
The bees are stirring—birds are on the wing—
And Winter, slumbering in the open air,
Wears on his smiling face a dream of Spring!
And I, the while, the sole unbusy thing,
Nor honey make, nor pair, nor build, nor sing.  

Yet well I ken the banks where amaranths blow,
Have traced the fount whence streams of nectar flow.
Bloom, O ye amaranths! bloom for whom ye may,
For me ye bloom not! Glide, rich streams, away!
With lips unbrighten’d, wreathless brow, I stroll:
And would you learn the spells that drowse my soul?

Only 200+ Episodes Left

Samain and the Gratitude Moon

Saturday gratefuls: the inventor(s) of pho. SeoAh and I had pho in Evergreen last night. Trees lit with Christmas lights down Black Mountain/Brook Forest Drive. (though. Mule deer bucks sometimes get their racks tangled in these lights.) The snow that graces our yard, Black Mountain, the road to Evergreen. The cold, too.

3:30 pm. The sun has disappeared behind Black Mountain yet still lights up a cold blue sky.

It’s the Holiday Walk in Evergreen tonight. The touristy part of town will close their chunk of Hwy 74 for wandering carolers, Christmas tree lighters, stores with holiday cider and hot chocolate. SeoAh and I will travel past it to the Pho place near King Sooper’s in Evergreen. SeoAh loves pho. So do I.

Exercised. Read more about tzedekah, the Jewish equivalent of zakat, one of the five pillars of Islam.

4:30 am. Orion’s shoulders and head and bow have a misty cover this morning, but his boots and his loyal dog showed above Black Mountain. Headed west again, he’s a bit like Sisyphus, always chasing the hare that stays in sight, but can never be caught. The gratitude moon has reached the waxed gibbous stage, well more than half lit but not quite full. Its light surprised me by creating a shadow to follow my path as I got the mail.

Continuing my journey toward the creation of the Ottoman Empire with Resurrection: Ertugrul. This one and a few others like it have a huge Muslim following, as you might imagine. The deeper I get into it, I’m now in season 3, probably 200 episodes or so, the more it worries me.

Though the story has me hooked, obviously, the depiction of jihad, of Islam as the only way, of the daring lengths to which its warriors will go has me thinking of current day mujaheddin. They may (almost certainly do) see themselves in the depictions of Ertugrul and the Turkmen fighting Mongols and Christians. The unrelenting chants of allahu akbar (God is Great.) and death to infidels feel like propaganda. And, are probably received in that way.

The golden age of television has introduced us to writers, actors, locations, and narratives from many different cultures. I watch Korean and other East Asian dramas as well as Bollywood movies. This is a chance to peek behind the national/cultural psyche of these locales. I relish it.

In Resurrection’s case it has helped me understand some of the media that informs and influences Muslims. This show has powerful resonance, drawing us in not only to the lives and travails of its characters, but also showcasing a certain violent devotion not new to Islam. As I’ve written before, television now allows us some of the best parts of travel, not through travel shows, but through the unfiltered presentation of material deemed congenial to a particular culture.

Only 200 some episodes to go.