In the stranger we discover humanity

Beltane and the Living in the Mountains Moon


Friday gratefuls: Yesterday’s zero on posting. Hike on the Denver Mountain Parks Trail. Mussar and sadness around gun violence. Gabe here. Jon calmer. Ruth in the hospital again. Snow all gone. 7.5 inches. Wow. Bewilderment, Richard Power’s latest. Hawai’i. Money. Travel. Cumulus Clouds white over Black Mountain. Sol. Life-Bringer.

Sparks of Joy and Awe: Gabe

Tarot: Page of Vessels, Otter

“As a person, Page of Vessels represents someone with an open and youthful approach to life. They are imaginative and playful characters. Otters may be mischievous, but their hearts are not malicious. Expect a surprise when Otter shows up to say hello!”


The page of Vessels, the otter, reminds me to play, use my imagination for fun, enjoyment. Get some more mischief in my life. More surprise. More oneg, pleasure. More simcha, joy. Let my hair, what there is of it, down. Shake it all about.

June 1

Like most late season Snows, this one on June 1!, mostly gone yesterday. The rest will disappear today. Already 55 at 9am. All Moisture is good Moisture. Up here. Though. The Boundary Waters and Rainy Lake? Not so much. Water is not always where its needed. Watch for the Water wars to ratchet up here in the West.


We had a powerful conversation at mussar yesterday about Uvalde and gun violence. Even our most conservative member, a Trump gal, was agin’ it. When will we ever learn?

“When a stranger resides with you in your land, you shall not oppress the stranger. 34 The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as the native-born among you; you shall love the stranger as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.” Leviticus 19:33-34

The mussar text from yesterday quoted this verse and a comment on it by a German-Jewish philosopher, Herman Cohen. Loving God. Got it. Love your neighbor. Got it. A member of the tribe. Someone like you. Not stranger. Love a stranger? In this verse Cohen says we discover humanity and God’s disposition toward our species. Love is not merely tribal, but universal.

A strong rebuke to the gun worshipers who say, “Hate the stranger in your midst. And, if possible, shoot them.”


Gabe is up here for a couple of days. I’m recruiting him to help learn lines. Also, to find that annoying beep. He tried to find it but like me, could not. Jon? Nope. Gabe loves Kep and wants to see him, work on jigsaw puzzles, watch TV, hunt for deer antlers.

We’re going to a presentation on Israel at the synagogue this evening. I like getting the kids over to the synagogue as often as possible. Being Jewish is important to them, but that part of them is not getting fed right now.

Ruth comes home tomorrow. Jon and she will come up here for a family meal after she gets released.


There’s a Denver Mountain Parks Trail on the way home from Evergreen, maybe 3/4’s of a mile from 73. I talked about it last week. I’ve taken to hiking it after mussar. One of my two trail hikes during the week. After our conversation about loving neighbors and strangers we talked about saying hello to strangers and acquaintances alike when we’re out and about. Having just finished Overstory I suggested we include Trees and Flowers, Rocks and Streams.

Along I went. Hello. To the thick Ponderosa. Hello to the Bluebells peeking from the Grass. Hello to the great slab of Granite covered with Moss and Lodgepole Roots. Hello to the Stream running happily. Singing to me as I hiked. Hello to the Wild Strawberry. To the thorny wild Berry Canes. Hello to the tall Pine climbing up straight as a mast. Hello to the Rocky Stream Bed that gives the Water a crashing, foaming moment at the end of the trail. Hello to the small Pond and the Waterstrider on the Pond.

This was more than a casual exercise. It made me feel I was among friends, no longer strangers these Plants. These Rocks. This Water. It might feel silly at first. That’s ok. Silly is good. Otter already told us so. You could give it a try.


This entry was posted in Commentary on the news, Denver, Family, Feelings, Fourth Phase, Friends, Health, Jefferson County, Judaism, Mountains, Mussar, Original Relation, Plants, Reimagine. Reconstruct. Reenchant., Shadow Mountain, Tarot, Weather +Climate. Bookmark the permalink.

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