A few thoughts by the beach

Every day when I first wake up I pray a Rosary in thanks, for I live a most privileged life filled with blessings.

Some of it may have to do with my name.

In Spanish, the name Fausta is most unusual for a woman. There are many Faustos, but women are usually named Faustina, which carries a softer connotation as the ina ending is also used as a diminutive. There are very few diminutive aspects to my personality, as those who know me well will tell you.

Faust in any language, to anyone familiar with Western opera and literature, connotes being gypped by unsavory characters. Frequently the person inquiring about my name is not fully familiar with the Faustian plot, and I have been asked if I was named after the devil. (I have developed a number of cutting remarks which have come in handy for those inquiries, thanks. Some day I’ll post about that.) Classical scholars do know that Fausta was the wife of Constantine the Great, and she was up to no good. Probably becasue of this, many new visitors to this blog think Fausta is a pseudonym, when it actually is my real name.

I’m happy to report that I have not engaged in any Faustian dealings and that I was named after my grandma, a nice little old lady with flawless fair skin and snow-white hair, not after any conniving Roman empresses.

Fausta, on the other hand, is also an adjective in Spanish, meaning fortuitous, and also, happy in a splendid way. So I have been blessed with the life my name invokes.

Granted, mine is a simple mind and I derive great joy from the simplest things. Like stair-climbing, for instance.

Yesterday I went up and down four flights of stairs several times during the day. It was a hot and humid day and I was perspiring heavily (almost as much as that time I went to the aerobic yoga class, but not quite). To me it is a wonder that I can actually do that. It is an outright miracle. Several years ago I was really sick and despaired of ever doing such a simple thing again.

So there I was yesterday, going up the stairs for the umpteenth time (yes, the building has an elevator, but I wanted to go up the stairs because I could) and my heart was singing. No, it wasn’t palpitations. It was sheer delight. As I reached the fifth floor, I nearly said to a lady who was heading down, Look, I can do this!.

I’ll never know if I woul feel that way if I hadn’t been so ill. All I know is that I do now. I can not go back to find out, since there is no going back.

I derive a great deal of enjoyment from the most common things.

A fresh peach, eaten on the balcony overlooking the ocean.

The smell of the early morning.

The feel of cool clean linens.

The sight of a four year old hosing off the sand from his bellyboard.

The sound of a groom and his best man hugging each other in silence, just before they head to the wedding.

Blogging and podcasting are two other things I truly enjoy. Blogging and podcasting enrich my life in many wonderful and surprising ways. If I weren’t blogging I would have never witnessed this wonderful event yesterday, for instance.

Yes, I have a most privileged life filled with blessings.

Since I’m on vacation I have had a chance to ponder these things while I haven’t been keeping up on the news as much as usual, but I have heard from friends who do. Several of these friends I have met because of blogging, and they are very well informed.

They are expecting that things are not going to get better; indeed, they are expecting things to get a lot worse for a long time. Several of those friends are preparing for the worst.

They certainly have good reason to.

  • A glance at the so-called newspaper of record shows the complicity of the mainstream media with crackpot Communist dictators.
  • Academia has debased itself into a morass of dogmatism and moral blindness to the point where 87 faculty members of a major university judge three young men as guilty by “reason” of their race and background.
  • Unprincipled secular societies in the West can not ever begin to understand fundamentalist Islamists because they are unable to fill a void with a void.
  • We are in an existential struggle and Democrat candidates are running on the premise that there is no war at all. Listen up, democrats, look at what really happened in the Middle East. There have been 8,638 terrorist attacks since September 11, 2001. It’s not Methodists doing it.
  • The leadership in Washington is faltering in ever-worse ways. Both parties are out to find the most disastrous way in the least time.
  • Even when I’m not keeping up with the news I know that the US and Israel will be arming Fatah. Have they lost their minds? We are arming our enemies. The enemy of my enemy will turn against us. They have before and will again.

So while I’m enjoying everyday pleasures and posting about them, I too have the temptation of wanting to go back to the the age of 1990s blindness, where a corrupt president was lauded by the media and where terrorist attack after terrorist attack was ignored and pushed aside because it didn’t fit the script of Clintonian happiness so many want to return to today.

They think that by bringing back the same-old same-old and singing the new campaign song it’s all going to be

Happy days are here again
The skies above are clear again
So lets sing a song of cheer again
Happy days are here again
as if the words alone would make it so. It didn’t happen in the 1930s. Then, as now, appeasement didn’t work. But oh, those words would make anyone feel so good.

The problem is, words alone are not cutting it. Being blessed with a name does not alone make for a happy life as of itself. Ignoring an enemy set on destroying our very culture where I can write these words will not win a war.

There are many things I don’t know, but there is one thing I know: there is no going back.

Don’t close your eyes to reality.

Enjoy every moment you have.

And pray.