Category Archives: coronavirus

“Don’t Cling To Me.”

According to the American Bible Society, there are some 900 translations of the Holy Scriptures.

And, that number in English, alone.

Our esteemed and Oxford-emeritus vicar, First Unitarian Universalist Church of Girard Rev. Charles Brock, made this known on Orthodox Easter.

I sat in attendance from a physical distance of some 14.5 miles, virtually, via remote online viewing. This being my social mode for over two years, I’d become inured to the limits of two dimensions – the restricted frame; the often glitching, inferior audio; and, the perimeters of the space chosen for broadcast. Like the playpen into which I’d been plunked as a developing infant, its bounds were long familiar.

The subject was Mary Magdalene. She’d be the first on record – every record, in fact, including that of the Gnostic Gospels (finally also bound, but many centuries since the Holy Canon decreed around the table at Nice) – to see the risen Christ. Not actually recognizing him, at first, the prevailing mystery (“thinking him to be the gardener”); her eyes were opened, by way of her ears. Jesus spoke, and called her… “Mary.”

But, upon her realization, Jesus gave Mary an immediate directive. He told her not to touch him.

The love between this woman and her Christ has been contemplated by every scholar and pious, from the secular apostate to the devout. Perhaps there are several reasons why.

One considers the power of both magnetism, and its reverse; how she could keep from wrapping him in embrace, at the very moment when he spoke her name, defies common comprehension. But, enter those pesky 900 translations; one interpretation of his declaration reads: “Don’t cling to me.”

The school of that thought sees his instruction in a broader context. Christ could not be held – held on earth, held back from his destination, held by any force. He was on a path which would take his resurrected body away from the present space and time, the very moment of that encounter.

Well outside of the realm of codependent theory, “clinging” in this case was rejected not because of the nature of the relationship between Jesus and Mary but because, as Christ said, he had “not yet ascended” unto his “Father.”

Speaking of theory, there are many with regard to the intent behind this statement. Would the ascension be required, in order for Christ to be “touched” again by his beloved? Or, was the idea that being touched at all giving cause to defile him? Would human contact with his as yet unglorified body perhaps contaminate it?

There is momentary relevance, here.

The human touch. We’ve missed it, so. Any number of substitutions have had to suffice, from “virtual” hugs to gestures made in the air across a wide swath of grass or concrete.

What would Christ say? This writer clings to a yearning for human embrace. Humanity’s need for physical nearness is part of what makes us vitally healthy, and not just physically.

This is universally true……in any translation.

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© 4/26/22 Ruth Ann Scanzillo. All rights those of the author, whose name appears above this line. No copying, in whole or part (including translation) permitted without written permission of the author and/or unless shared by blog link exclusively. Thank you for your trustworthiness.

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The Act To Follow.

Grief.

Disallows.

Like the opening act hired to warm up an audience that turns out to be funnier or more talented than the show’s headliner, grief upstages everything which comes after.

When my beloved colleague and lifelong friend, Louie, died of covid back in December, I sank into the deepest despair my increasingly unimportant life had yet to endure. His departure cut me in half, goring my creative core, leaving only amputated limbs to sweep the kitchen floor with a broom, wash the dishes with a handled sponge brush, cook an evening skillet of vegetable pasta with oil, and separate the sweaty laundry into loads to hang or fold when dried.

I was dried. There was no me left in me.

The cello slept, untouched, until private lessons demanded it awake. Even the piano loomed nearly dormant, desire to record and upload to the Tube channel after requisite virtual church services just a memory of a life since ground to powder.

Essentially excess fat, the burden of physical weight which had begun to melt a year before continued its steady disappearing act until I was smaller than I’d remembered being since college. Spandex jeans would slide down if I walked, requiring a belt and, forget the pajamas, which literally fell off to my feet.

Yes. Covid grief is its own killer.

It carries corollaries.

Blame. Regret.

We can’t just miss the person, and honor their departure; we have to feel somehow singularly responsible. Our minds are a revolving door of “what ifs” and “why didn’t I?”

Therein the essence of my past four months.

I’d devoted the previous five years to one other solitary individual, the man I’d called my partner, my love. Even made his Pfizer appointment, an act I would rue. At last check, he was still breathing; albeit, as by fire, he’d survived the medical community’s gravest and rarest of afflictions, acute saddle pulmonary embolism. Look that up; this arterial condition is, among all of life’s most threatening, prophetically silent.

He’d surfaced, after ghosting me since I’d aborted Christmas dinner, texting from the ICU. Immediately, from my protective distance, I tried to be there as he awaited the catheter procedure which would successfully remove the obstructive clot, and remained ever vigilant in the days and weeks thereafter as he commenced his regimen of blood thinners and several follow up medical tests.

But, somewhere between my ongoing grief and this trauma bonding, something turned.

Ultimately, though the near death fright had given way to philosophical reflection, he would finally reveal himself. As suspected, this relationship I’d been nurturing, both in person and in my head, was largely a figment of my own hopeful expectation; he didn’t really want me, although he was happy to need me, and my being displaced without warning was always on his radar. I’d just never bothered to check the weather forecast.

Having yearned to pour myself back into caring for and about the one who had survived, grief had other plans for me; instead, I would know the desolation of discard. What a wake.

She calls him “babe”, that proclamation of assumed ownership, usually the moniker for having crossed into the realm of intimate bliss. My imagination is now hijacked by scenarios that disavow five, often agonizing years of God-seen devotion.

Pulling the curtain, grief just gloats.

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© 4/13/22 Ruth Ann Scanzillo . All rights those of the author, whose story it is and whose name appears above this line. No copying, in part or whole including translation, permitted without direct sharing by littlebarefeetblog.com link exclusively. Please honor original material. Don’t be a thief. Thanks.

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The Implicit Complicit.

What is implicit trust?

It’s implied trust. It’s trust which is almost automatic, reflected in actions which represent that trust. Unfortunately, massive numbers of people act on implicit trust – and, most of them never take the extra steps required to verify that the foundation of their trust is worthy.

The medical industry was thought to be an institution worthy of implicit trust. But, as of about 1947, when the Rockefellers basically paid for the medical school concept and gave birth to pharmacology, American citizens handed off their precious willingness to trust to those whose agenda had nothing to do with actual human health. What I have learned by delving into the documented evidence as disclosed by those with direct access to it is both mind boggling and spirit scathing.

Now, the insurance industry, with planned obsolescence(calculations based in likely length of life – did you know that your coverage is based in your predicted date of death?) as its governing mentality, is the foundational funding source for all American medicine. Corporations offer major medical insurance to their employees, and the medical industry takes profit to the bank under the auspices of care and compassion. Individual medical practitioners are neither at fault for this, nor can they exert any power or control over it; in actual fact, they are completely subject to it!

Ask any physician how much is spent per year on their own insurance, particularly malpractice, and you will have gathered a valuable piece of data to support this argument. Yes; everyone except the insurance companies, and the medical corporations funded by them, are now their obedient subjects.

Enter the sick patient, and the family surrounding that patient. Whence their actual choices? What are the parameters, the freedoms and limits, of said choices?

Primary care physicians only think that they can act independently; in reality, unless they give up all affiliation, they cannot. Only recently, at the state level, dictates have been handed down to all of them collectively: support the promoted vaccines exclusively as treatment for covid, with no discussion or debate of alternative treatments allowed, or risk losing the very medical license one has earned. That is fact. Look it up.

What of hospitals, or major medical centers? Private hospitals depend on private funding, just like private educational institutions. These struggle mightily to remain financially afloat as they witness the swift conglomeration of corporate consolidation. Now, major medical centers’ monikers reflect not venerated medical legends by name, but the financial institutions which fund them. And, said financial institutions are invariably insurance based.

Yes. The insurance industry has displaced every other industry in both power and influence. The insurance industry calls all the shots – an alleged institution which is based in controlling how much money is allocated to humans based entirely upon their predicted life span. How chilling is that. Makes me want to scurry out to the garden and check on the winter vegetables. Oh, wait. I’m behind. I have to plant those, first.

Know this reality. You are hardly free. You are become a subject – not to the Power greater than self, but to an entity which seeks to displace the very Power which breathed life into each of us. All we have remaining is our will, and our determination, and our tenacity to withstand.

We must no longer be complicit. We must mobilize. Strength in numbers, while we are still alive, defying the very insidiously corrupt system which seeks to determine our very length of days. Let’s put our faith in our collective strength, and make that trust implicit.

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© 12/01/21 Ruth Ann Scanzillo. All rights those of the author, whose name appears above this line. No copying, in whole or part including translation, permitted without signed written permission of the author. Respect the rights of the Creator, and the created creatives. Thank you, especially to Dr. David E. Martin whose mentoring influenced this piece.

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