Sunday, July 12, 2015

This is home for now

Just outside Harvard Square a world of activity buzzes in your face. There's the guy creating and selling his art for $10/piece just to the left of the Harvard T (metro) station. It's not Monet but there is something appealing about the paintings and their vibrancy.

Along this walkway, there are numerous beggars with their cardboard messages "I'm hungry" or "I'm unable to work" and even one that says "I'm sexy, judge for yourself". They come in all sizes and shapes but the thing that you notice most is the precision in which they have drawn the letters with their Script felt markers. It's easy to miss them as they slouch along the walls of the buildings. Nearby them, a  man sits at the table with a sign ban the ban for no-smoking on patios.

A corpulent black woman sits Buddha style on a colourful blanket where she displays jewellery and trinklets for sale. Further down the way, a group of homeless youth drape themselves across the doorway of a vacated business. Noticing beyond their dreadlocks, multiple lip piercings and camouflage clothing, defiant symbols of their counter-culture, you see fatigue,  misery and vacancy.  Their skin is dull and green and I wonder about their livers as I pass by them. One has a stray pup attached by an old beaded belt to his wrist.

You can hear music sung or played above the traffic and hum of the place. Several are very good and one in particular makes you rest awhile to listen. He strums his guitar and closes his eyes as he sings Billy Joel's "she's got a way".

There are the "wicked smahrt" Harvard tour guides sporting their burgundy polo shirts and khaki shorts and their broad rimmed hats herding in their curious flock. I overhear one say that Harvard freshman have been known to streak across campus in the dead of winter for their hazing.  Maybe not last winter.

The cobblestone sidewalk along JFK boulevard, uneven and narrow, is always crowded with tourists and students. I'm surprised how many come to see the campus and explore the area.

I'm glad I'm here and that I add to that buzz however faint it might be.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Unlucky in Love

We're ploughing through the Old Testament of the King James Version for one of my religion classes.  Reading about the genocide in Joshua and the gang rape in Judges has left me scratching my head about a few things. Today I understood something about one of the stories that I'd never considered.

Remember the story of Sampson whose strength comes from his long hair? As a child who spent most summers at Vacation Bible School, I was  impressed Sampson as he brought down the pillars on all the Philistines. It's his strength and that tricky Delilah that I remembered. But here's the new insight (and I suppose why we should read the Bible more often): Samson sucked at love.

He sees the girl. He loves the girl and convinces his parents despite their misgivings to arrange the marriage. He has a riddle. Nobody can guess the answer during the seven day wedding feast. His wife's loyalties are with her kin who are going to lose a lot of linen. He falls for the drama queen act "thou dost but hate me, and loves me not."  I should point out that he put up with that nonsense for seven days. Samson tells her because "she lay sore upon him". She tells her kin about the honey in the lion's carcass and Sampson loses the bet.  Strike One

He goes back home to his parents.

Sampson cools off from being duped. He comes back a little later and brings meat. His father-in-law thought Sampson had gone for good so he gave Sampson's wife to his friend. Sampson sets the fields on fire with the foxes tied together. Sampson's wife and father-in-law are killed in retribution. Strike Two.

And then we come to that tricky Delilah. Why, why, why Delilah? This is a horrible woman and Sampson doesn't seem to see how duplicitous he is. She wants to know the secret of his strength. He manufactures one reason after another. She grows wrath with him because he isn't telling her. She asks him "how can you tell me that you love me when your heart isn't with me?" Seriously? Sampson wake up! You'd think he would have learned from the first wife. Nope.

You know the rest of the story.

My question is how many times does a guy have to get burned before he realizes that the wench just isn't worth it?