My books can be purchased as e-books for only $1.99. If interested, just click here: Books.
Match Play is a golf/suspense novel. Dust of Autumn is a bloody one set in upstate New York. Prairie View is set in South Dakota, with a final scene atop Rattlesnake Butte. Life in the Arbor is a children's book about Rollie Rabbit and his friends (on about a fourth grade level). The Black Widow involves an elaborate extortion scheme. Doggy-Dog World is my memoir. And ES3 is a description of my method for examining English sentence structure.
In case anyone is interested in any of my past posts, an archive list can be found at the bottom of this page.
My newest novel, Happy Valley, can be found here.

Tuesday, January 29

Death & Moses

My mother died almost seventeen years ago. Doesn’t seem possible that it’s been that long. My father went nearly fifty years ago. When my brother called to tell us about my mother’s failing condition, I remember our flying to South Dakota to see her. We just had to get there to say goodbye. Such a permanent thing, that last goodbye. So many last goodbyes over the years—mother and father, aunts and uncles, my sister Helen, my brother Dick, friends from the distant past, people I taught with. So many goodbyes. I remember my mother saying in her ninety-third or -fourth year that all her friends were gone ahead of her. It was almost as though she were telling me that she was ready. I’ve never really dwelt on the concept of death, but the older I get, the more I’m confronted with the grim reaper, or the green ripper, as John D. MacDonald called it in one of his Travis McGee series. Every now and then I get this wave of depression at the thought of my own mortality. It’s never an intellectual thing, something to ponder philosophically. One moment I’ll be thinking about what I’m doing and then suddenly a black cloud of depression will overwhelm me and I feel this rush of emotion about what it will actually mean when I die. Life, this long (all too short) practical joke, will be over. And what will my existence have meant in the scheme of things? Not much, I’m afraid. And then the feeling will go away for several months, only to pop up again when I’m not paying attention. I think, like my mother, that I’m more and more ready for it, ready to face the ripper and beat him senseless. Dylan Thomas instructs us, “Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light.” Although I may be ready, I have enough bad temper in me to rage against it, to go ungently into that good night.

And while I’m talking about time and mortality, how about a little theological humor:

When Moses went up Mr. Sinai to receive the two tablets, he stopped to speak to God. According to some of the less well-known gospel, Moses decided to engage God in some metaphysical questions. He said to God, “A million years is a long time to mankind, but what is it in Your perspective?’
God replied, “About a minute.”
“And a million dollars,” Moses continued, “is a fortune to most of us, but what is it in Your perspective?”
“A penny,” God answered.
Moses was thoughtful for a moment. Then, “Well, would it be possible for You to lend me a penny?”
“Just a second,” God said.

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