Tuesday, April 07, 2020

AND THERE MAY BE GHOSTS

Crows. Pigeons. Parrots. Seagulls. And two little wood doves. Those birds are probably zenaida macroura marginella, common outside the urban areas, somewhat rarer within cities. I'm fairly certain that the pair live in one of the apartment building airwells nearby. The pigeons have become somewhat scarce of late, possibly because there is less garbage on the streets. The crows are more apparent than before, though quite likely disconsolate over the absence of pavement pizza. It was so good!
Where has it gone?
The parrots fly overhead squabbling once or twice per day.
Usually a flock of thirty birds.

Besides the two wood doves, there are at least half a dozen pigeons left on this block, down from a mass of thirty or forty one month ago. Crows were less evident then, but there are one or two families of them among these buildings. They vocalize.


Once the weather warms up I expect to see more birds, though I have heard them outside behind the building, so they are there. But it has been cold and windy, and they lack energy. Mostly sparrows.


Other than birds, there is hardly anyone about on the street for the first smoke of the day. Even the runners don't appear until later. It is peaceful, crisp, quiet, and the light is better.

The streets are much cleaner than before.
No sleeping crazies in the doorways.
Traffic is lighter.


I rather like social distancing.




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5 comments:

30DayBeer said...

Ahoy Mesire BotH,

That is certainly an astute observation you have made! Truly, the distances of asociality bring out the best in all of us.

We are writing from the hallowed lands of Turcoman-i-stan, which under the enlightened guidance of Arkadag and the watchful Holy Ghost of Turcoman-bashy (Long May He Guide) has become a safehaven from maladies afflicting the less blessed other lands and the like. 'Twould be rather unfortunate that their shielding extend not beyond these grounds, rendering us unable to return to the Crown Islets.

Our journata commenced in the Former Lusitanic Protectorate of Least Timor, a stadt the Hollandians coveted but were ultimately unable to conquer - a fate unfortunately not shared by their brotheren in Most Timor. The Portuguese had, after aeons of wise protection, decided to vacuate the Indies in their entirety, entrusting the duty of governance to the Least Timorids via popular election. In doing thus, they had invited their allies to monitor the legitimacy of votage, so that they could focus on more pressing tasks, among them codfarming. We were of the monitors sent by Her Majesty on behalf of the Lusitanics to insure that the demos of the new Expectorate of Least Timor were not defrauded by war-barons and war-counts.

The Least Timorids were overfilled with felicity. Upon the completing of their maiden choise, they burst into a song that celebrated their independence from Port'o'Lisbon:

Ia'assé xalôm
Nobadji es hom
Plis liv a mensagem afiter de tom

Amidst chants of "T.L.! T.L.! Huehuehue!" we expressed uptmost desire to rejoice with the citizenry, but duty had called once again, for Her Majesty's Minister of Health had sent a telegram asking for our immediate withdrawal. For you see, the world had been besotten with plague, known to the non-awoken as the Woochang-Hankew Pulmonic Malady. So fierce was the disease that it strikes fast at those who dare indicate its point of origin, and so it was in fear and awe that the Mandants of Heaven re-Christened it "Crownvenom", in a clear rebuke to the Enlightened Monarchs of Evropa, whom they blame for the sickness that saw genesis within their territories.

How unfortunate for the King of Hispania and his Influence.

The Right and Honourable Minister told us of a miraculous land that claimed to be completely unsullied by the Malady. Enveloped by the beplagued nations of Persica, Pathania and Russland was the Sultanate of Turcoman-i-stan. We were theretofore tasked to investigate the nature of Turcoman-i-stan's soundhood, and learn how they were able to evade the fate that engulfed the neighboring countries.

We set off immediately via aero-dirigible, cross the Insular Indies and the Continental Indies, until we grounded safely at the borderlands of Turcoman-i-stan. Thereupon per costume we were welcomed by dignitaries, who expected our welcome presence. Having been ensconced in the ways and manners of the Least Timorids, we sought to engage the Turcomans with the costumary Timorid greeting of bumping one another's inner steps. The Sultan's representers took mild indignity at this false pass, and instead exhorted us to use local forms of greetings in its stead. We offered our apologetics, and returned thricefold the Turcoman ways; being handshakes, double-handshakes and face kisses, left and right and left again.

Our receivers took us via dromedary caravan, straying no more than six feet close from our presence as to insure our protection, to the Holy City of Ashgabat so that we may rendezvous with the Leftenant Vizier for Corporal and Spiritual Hygeiene. His Excellency had just reached the end of his daily supplications when we reached his palatial gate. He welcomed us into his home with a handshake, a double-handshake and a triple-kiss, ordering his manservants and boyservants to prepare a luxurious banquet as per the Turcoman manner.

30DayBeer said...

Over a juiciulent intrata of stewed gamal, we inquired into the miracle of Turcoman-i-stan, as our mission demanded. How, we asked, were the Turcomans able to evade the Woochang-Hankew Malady of Cathaïa, when nearby Persicans were rapidly ascending to the Garden one by one?

Beaming with solemn reverence, the Leftenant Vizier gazed heavenward and began his explication thus:

"O my child, it is so simple yet so sublime. Our secureness stems from the eternal watch of the Father of All Turcomans, Steward of Allah, Giver of the Ruhnama, His Most Sharif and Haram, Turcoman-bashy, Long May He Guide. And his guardianship roots from the undying and unwavering fayth of all Turcomans, who pray to Him for protection pentuply per diem: Dawn, Noon, After-noon, Dusk and Night. For it sayeth so in the Hallow Ruhnama:

‘Morning, noon, and night time too,
All I do, the whole day thru, is dream of you.’

"While Turcoman-bashy, Long May He Guide, was in our carnic realm, He was revelated the Hallow Ruhnama, which declared Ashgabat to be the Holy City Above All Else. Being of such elevated state, Ashgabat held miraculous sway branched from Turcoman-bashy’s own divine favor, healing all ailments of they who travel within Her borders. And so in His infinite wisdom, Turcoman-bashy declared the sick-houses of all Turcoman-i-stan null and obsolesced, to say: ‘All who wish to be healed, may they travel to Ashgabat!’

“And so, adoring devotees pilgrimaged far and wide to Ashgabat, and lo and behold, they were cleansed of all afflictions that were, are and shall ever be. Lepers stood tall and ran free under the leafy shade of Turcoman-bashy’s providence. In gratitudinal exchange for this resalutification, the formerly dolent went immediately to labour, insothat they could return the favour that Turcoman-bashy bestowed upon them.

“Therefore to this day we devote votives, as prescribed under the instruction of the Ruhnama, so that the recuperational miracle of Turcoman-bashy and his City shall continue, long after He Himself vacated His terrestrial bounds. Nightly, at the sacral Cothel, our clerics conduct the Order of Telling of the Miracles of Turcoman-bashy.”

We inquired as to whether we could apply the rituelle in other territoires that had become victim to Crownvenom, yet before we could utter the euphemism’s first syllable, the Leftenant Vizier swiftly silenced us with direct manual-oral application. “That,” he disciplined, “is a term not to corrupt the pure lands of Turcoman-i-stan. Such is the decree of our Wizened Archon Arkadag, Turcoman-bashy’s Own Anointed, Extraordinary Spinmeister and Flowmeister, Master Charioteer and Marksman, the Vanguard of all Dentistry, having risen from such humble startings as his Esteemed Ancesteur ibn-Hamdatha abu-Wayzatha rose to vizierhood from a lowly barber position. Knowing that the malady strikes quick at those who dare utter its True Name, Arkadag reasoned with true medicinal rationality that it be more devastational to speak of the pestilence’s Sinoidal designation.

”Besides from such, your propostives shan’t be effectual in your patria or any other land. For Turcoman-bashy’s mercy extends not beyond the borders of Turcoman-i-stan, nor to the nations that offer their devotions not.

“In that stead, shall it not be more prudent to attend one of our Orders of Telling, such that you bask in our Turcoman nation’s unique sanctitude? Come, we shall depart to the Cothel when the time is right, and we shall demonstrate to you how our rites guarantee our safety.”

30DayBeer said...

Thusly rebuked, we joined the Leftenant Vizier’s party at nightfall and embarqued on the caravan, making sure to purify ourselves in pools of ablution on the path, to the centre of the Holy City, where the sacral Cothel attracted hundreds of closely huddled worshippers. Atop the Cothel seats the Castello of Turcoman-bashy Hisself, where He dwelt all the days of His Righteous Rule, where He was inspired the Hallow Ruhnama, and where He ascended to the Cœlum upon drawing His final breath. T’was a sight that those fortunate to have witnessed it treasure in their memoires, as Allah S.W.T. sent forth a light-beam from above to guide Turcoman-bashy’s ectoplasmic form to His eternal heavenly watch.

Amidst the manytudes of men and womenfolk, alter and kinder, we were guided to the central point of the Cothel, where the Mu-ethin declared the beginning of the Nightly Order of Telling:

“Hear ye, hear ye! The Telling is upon us! All those who are able, let them come and listen. All those who are willing, let them come and tell. This night we are here in Ashgabat, next night we shall remain in Ashgabat. This night we are healthy, next night we shall remain healthy.”

We, being ever willing and not yet able, sat with the remainder of the party astride the Chiefs A-Immah, the Head Hatib, the Grand Ostad and, of course, the Turcoman Council of Dentists, who represented the Archon Arkadag while he remains occupied in worldly affairs of governance. This coterie of most important persons were invested in pure white tunics, befitting those intrusted with the wellbeing of the nation.

Then the Mu-ethin handed leathery tomes to the devotees, so ancient that they were marqued with the script of Cyril and Methodius: ХАГАДА, betraying their age dating back to the era of Tsezarist dominion. For in the speech of the Rasha, the Order of Telling is termed the Khagada, or “Aye, a Fest,” for which the Outroitic Hymn is named; heaven forfend that it be called "Khaganyet".

‘Twas the Grand Ostad’s turn to lead the Order, so he began the introitus in the Sacred Tongue of Ouzbec. Then it was traduced into the Turcomanish vernacular, then to local sprachen, those being Balotch, Judaeo-byxapa, Kirghiz and Kazack, then to the auld yazik of Tsezar Sucabliat, and finally to lesser langues as Tadjico-Persic and Alcorano-Arabian. With the obligatory glossae annunciated, the opportunity was given for estrangers to speak the introitus in their foreignese varieties; our interpreter spake in the Queen’s Anglais, and we, in dialecto Tamarao.

The Telling makes it of such great import that its Order be lengthened and convolved, for the introitus said, "Even if we were all Dentists with wizened understanding of the Ruhnama, we would still be obligated to tell this tale. And of those who lengthen and convolve, behold: this is praiseworthy!"

(As we Teitsched in Tamarao: Ruko oman tos congmin, tos Yayi, toctaw Ruhnama tera, oman to siyaw meikewansang socekekus.)

As such, the Order was of such length and convolution that it concluded at the rising of dawn, so we shall give but an abridged version worthy of Grex Quattuor Stellarum. If you so desire the full textual elaborations (and we assume you must), we would be more than delighted to provide.

30DayBeer said...

In these times, when Turcoman-bashy lived in the Holy City of Ashgabat, and reigned securely, he prepared a fancy and grand party for his princes, and his attendants, of the army of Kirgiz and Kazack. It came to pass, as Turcoman-bashy was reclining at the table, with all the Dentists of that era, after wine had too generously endowed him with happiness, that he began to boast before the Dentists about all the deeds he had done well, properly, and praiseworthily; about the integrity of his heart, his righteousness, his beneficence, and even how willingly he had accepted (their) correction, quickly receding from every evildoer or evil deed, any time he might have committed one.
A certain member of the Dentists happened to be there, by the name of Boris, who pronounciated a hostile, and rebellious sentiment, by saying the following: “May Turcoman-bashy live forever! For if you so desire to be just, and to accept truthful reproach, as you have declared, then go! Descend from the throne of Archonage, and let the crown of rulership be enough for you.” Turcoman-bashy responded, “Won’t you at least tell me the reason?”
To which he said, “Because your mother was abducted into captivity, in the city of Almaty, in the days of Djugashvili, king of the Rus, when the Soviets pushed your father Atamurat, by siege, up against a mountain, where his wives were taken captive, while he was content to flee, but they nevertheless returned to him after he prevailed.” This indeed was the reason why a secret whisper was already sprinkled before this, to the effect that Turcoman-bashy was supposedly profane, and this was why Boris was now blurting out that it was scarcely befitting that such a man should enter the Cothel Grounds.
And the time when Turcoman-bashy governed Turcoman-i-stan was 21 years, and once he died he was gathered to his peoples. He was succeeded in the sultancy by his personal Dentist, named Gurganguly Arkadag. Turcoman-bashy had consulted the mouth of Allah SWT about them: who should reign in his place? The oracle was returned: “Arkadag will take the throne after you.”
And one man from their number dared to retort to Arkadag: “Woe to you, son of a profane woman, why are you proud? Why do you claim the Eternal Archonage for yourself? Since you are born of a profane woman, you are in no way suitable for the archonage!”
Arkadag, spurred to anger by this, raised his hand from the altar, and cried out “To arms! To arms against the Dentists!” and the Arkadag’s regiments raised their hands against the other Dentists, and in one day killed six thousand of them in the atrium of the Palace. From then on Arkadag burned with hatred for the Dental Association, and put to death three thousand in addition to those he had slain in the battle.
And those who had this kind of faith in the words of Boris son of Oraz turned away from the rule of all of Turcomans following what was written in the Scripture of Truth, and this was a matter of great importance, that the House of Turcomans, which had faith in the Scripture, had been divided into two sects: a sect which followed Boris son of Oraz, who handed down the doctrine of his Taqleed—these are called Kaffirites. The other sect, which remained on its base, they were called “Moslem,” who walked in the footsteps of the first Dentists and of the Rassouls, and did not stray from what was written in the Ruhnama, or shake the yoke of the uncreated Alcoran off their necks, but traditional practice persisted among them, and they never worried about empty fictions because they were mere Chaos, and because Allah SWT handed down nothing by mouth, but all things are written in the Ruhnama ... Behold, these who are called Moslemiem, whose doctrine is the ancient doctrine according to that which is recorded in the books of the Alcoran and Ruhnama, and nothing else.

30DayBeer said...

For if all the Dentists that died in the time of Arkadag had been among the living, it seems that this division between them would never have come to a head. For they would not have born the burden of all the absurd goings-astray that are found in the received Taqleed. But on the other hand, if their pronouncements had been true expositions of the Alcoran, then they would not have opposed them either. Furthermore, it is evident that it is harder for the truth to be discovered by one person, and easier for it to be discovered by many. So if only all the Dentists had been alive then! The schism would be in exile from us, and we would be one people, etc.

And the audience in attendance prayed in unison, “May the Turcomans be united under the Ruhnama once more and be purged of heretical Taqaalid, so may it be our Father Turcoman-bashy’s will, and let us say, Ameen!”

One rituelle of note is the bringing of the Four Confections to accompany the Order, for it is known that Turcoman-bashy delighted in them. Those Confections are:

Çağba, in which the ingredients are lifted adjacent to the machenzeit;
Çafraşa, in which a fraction of the ingredients are reserved for holy-men;
Çabdala, in which the ingredients are divided greater from lesser;
Çazkara, in which the recipe is recalled entirely from memory.

Thus, the entire Ritus, in its most abridged form, comes out to this conduct:

1. Salat-al-Isha
2. Serving of çağba
3. Beseechment of Protection to Turcoman-bashy
4. Serving of çafraşa
5. Telling the Story
6. Praises to Arkadag and All of Dentistry
7. Repast festif, of gamal or khiel (horse)
8. Serving of çabdala
9. Ruhnama recitation
10. Serving of çazkara
11. Salat-al-Fajr

We found the Çağba (pronunced: tchagh-ba) to be most tasteful, so we requested several carepacks of such to take on our future journeys.

The custom is that a disciple breaks a tea-cup, ostensibly in erreur, for to remind the Order-leader that the time for Laudsprayer is come.

At daybreak, upon the conclusion of Salat-al-Fajr, we were treated to an invitation-only state address by Archon Arkadag, which is at once musical concerto, mounted archer chariot race and dentistry demonstration, whose purpose is to inform and entertain the folk of the success of the prior night's Order and the enduring protection of his Preceder from all manner of unspeakable plague. We were so entranced by the Archon’s prowess in all things cantorial, equestrian and dentistian that we nearly forgot our vows to Her Majesty and her Right and Honourable Government. If ‘twere naught for such, we would consider abandoning our mundial trekken and expatriating ourselves to dwell in Holy Ashgabat for the length of days.

Yet this is the situation in which we find ourselves, evitating the Malady that has conflagred the world entire, save for this sanctuaire under Divine guardianship, along with a pinchful of countryleaders who have sworn to be Turcoman-i-stan’s allied, those being the Lessoutou Chieftain, the full Tadjic Nation, and the Grand Ayatollah of Coryo Superior. In the meanwhile, we have committed ourselves to learning the Ruhnama day for day, beseeking the wisdom and transcendental instruction that Turcoman-bashy passed to enrich the peoples of the ganze Welt, but especially His people.

We have sent telegram of our reportages to the Minister of Health, and we have been awaiting response. Our hopes are that he has not succumbed to the affliction. Until the Malady enflattens in our lands of birth, we hope to preserve knowledge of goings-on in plaguelands. This is why we are asking for a fully explicatory commentary on this chapter of our travels.

Surely, Teiere Hill, you would have plenty of time to do so, what with your polis under complete curfew.

May the Light of Turcoman-bashy and the Ruhnama Protect Thee,
Thirty Day Beer

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