I learned a new word, “astonied”, from an old source, the New King James version of the Bible, reading Ezra 9:1-9.  Astonied is an archaic form meaning the same as astonished.

     What isn’t clear to me is why he was astonished.  We see sin all around us, why would he expect otherwise?  Not saying it’s good, just a part of our reality.  Perhaps I’ve just gotten too cynical.

     Still it’s fun and in a strange way satisfying when I run across a word I don’t know and have to go look it up.  Gives a sense of how language evolved, and by extension our thought processes and culture.

     I know there are many newer translations that avoid the use of anything archaic but that would take the fun out of it, besides I think often they get less close to the intended meaning, sometimes altering it quite radically.

     And I know if I really wanted archaic I could go to the old King James version but that is difficult reading for me.

Ezra 9:1-9 King James Version (KJV)

Now when these things were done, the princes came to me, saying, The people of Israel, and the priests, and the Levites, have not separated themselves from the people of the lands, doing according to their abominations, even of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites, the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Egyptians, and the Amorites.

For they have taken of their daughters for themselves, and for their sons: so that the holy seed have mingled themselves with the people of those lands: yea, the hand of the princes and rulers hath been chief in this trespass.

And when I heard this thing, I rent my garment and my mantle, and plucked off the hair of my head and of my beard, and sat down astonied.

Then were assembled unto me every one that trembled at the words of the God of Israel, because of the transgression of those that had been carried away; and I sat astonied until the evening sacrifice.

And at the evening sacrifice I arose up from my heaviness; and having rent my garment and my mantle, I fell upon my knees, and spread out my hands unto the Lord my God,

And said, O my God, I am ashamed and blush to lift up my face to thee, my God: for our iniquities are increased over our head, and our trespass is grown up unto the heavens.

Since the days of our fathers have we been in a great trespass unto this day; and for our iniquities have we, our kings, and our priests, been delivered into the hand of the kings of the lands, to the sword, to captivity, and to a spoil, and to confusion of face, as it is this day.

And now for a little space grace hath been shewed from the Lord our God, to leave us a remnant to escape, and to give us a nail in his holy place, that our God may lighten our eyes, and give us a little reviving in our bondage.

For we were bondmen; yet our God hath not forsaken us in our bondage, but hath extended mercy unto us in the sight of the kings of Persia, to give us a reviving, to set up the house of our God, and to repair the desolations thereof, and to give us a wall in Judah and in Jerusalem.

Los Angeles in a Parallel Universe

     The second dream I had the night before last involved a much different version of the Los Angeles area than I remember seeing many years ago.  I remember it being hot, dry, flat, lots of pavement, not a lot of natural area,

     In the dream totally different.  There were two substantial lakes northeast of the Los Angeles area, a bit up in the hills, one was higher than the other.  There was a river flowing into the top lake, a small swift river down a steep slope from the top lake to the lower lake, and then below that the city.

     People would intentionally ride the river from the top lake to the bottom.  It was swift but short.  No big rocks or anything to knock yourself out on.

     The lakes were clean and transparent, pristine, with much plant life around them.

     I was afraid to ride the river down, but I got too close to that edge of the lake and went involuntarily.  It was a great sensation and so I climbed up the hill to the top lake to do it again.

     I met a girl there who wanted me to see the city.  It was dusk, getting too dark for river riding.  So I followed her down to the city.  It was totally not like anything real.  You’ve seen how they’ve lighted buildings with LEDs up here to a degree.  It was taken to an extreme there, everything was lit up brightly and colorfully.

     There were no cars in the area where we were.  There was a densely occupied area with paved walkways in between buildings.  Many of these buildings were art pods.  They were buildings with an open interest and some form of art in them like open mini-museums.

     There were many human service things that specialized in some particular service, much of it automated.  Like if you needed your hair washed you could go into one place and sit in a chair and a machine would wash your hair without getting the rest of you wet.

     There was no violence or threat of violence.  Most everything was cheap to free.

     My sense was that it was a world that could be if it weren’t the .1% that want to control everything and own everything.

Cat Food

     I had two dreams that I remembered very vividly the night before last.  The first involved a lion that wanted to make a meal of me.  I locked myself inside but the lion was clawing his way through the door.  I woke up before being eaten.


Personal Energy Level

     Thursday and Friday were major shit storms in terms of things breaking and keeping me more than a little busy.

     I was exhausted when I went to bed last night and slept 8-1/2 hours, but my energy level is still next to zero today.  I’m adding caffeine now.

     What I would give to have the energy level I had when I was twenty back.  Back then I could work on a project three days without sleep, sleep a night and feel totally recovered and go on.

     I guess getting old is an inevitable part of not being dead yet.  Though I think a lot of my energy level has less to do with getting old and more to do with lack of physical exercise and poor nutrition.

Urban Troop Movements

     I saw half a dozen personal carriers loaded with soldiers on I-405 between Renton and Bellevue at around 5:30pm tonight.  Seeing military movement in an urban environment makes me nervous.  The purchase of 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition by the Department of Homeland Security makes me nervous. My take on it is that they’re getting ready for a civil war they are planning on creating.

     Anybody know what is going on?


Prison Dream

     I had another dream while I was back in prison.  It was a dream that seemed to last for many months even though it took place in the course of hours.

     All the other dreams, I had no understanding of why I was sent back, I hadn’t done anything illegal.  Yet nobody was coming to my aid.

     In this dream, I came to understand that it was a privately owned prison, the company owing the prison was giving kick-backs to a judge to make sure it stayed full.

     It’s been more than four years now but I suppose these will be with me the rest of my life.

Speaking of Die…

     When I was a kid, I had a friend by the name of Jim Hepworth, first knew him in elementary school, then he moved away, and then some years later moved back into the neighborhood.

     After school he went into the army.  I had bad feelings about it.  Later he returned but with the news that he had a grapefruit sized cancerous tumor in his stomach.

     He underwent chemotherapy and the tumor was highly responsive and was eliminated.  However, they told him at the time there was about a 20% chance that the chemotherapy itself could induce a secondary cancer.

     A couple of years later he developed lymphoma.  He came and visited me and told me he expected to have about two weeks left to live and was going on a trip to say goodbye to friends he met while in the army.  He did not return from the trip.

     However, before he left he told me if there was a way to contact me from after death he would.

     After he died, I had a series of dreams.  In these dreams he would come to the door of my apartment.  I’d answer the door and ask him how could he be here as he was dead?  He would tell me don’t worry about it, he was okay, and to just enjoy the time we had together.

     The dreams had a reality to them that was very much like the precognitive dreams I have had which come as little snippets of time in the future that I know I will eventually relive.

     These dreams went on for several months and then in one dream he told me, this was the last time he could come to me, and it was.  Never again did he appear in a dream.

     At 56, I’ve lost much family and friends to death and never have any of them ever come back to me in a dream except for Jim.