At sunrise yesterday morning I was struck with an extremely strong, positive feeling. I earnestly searched for a word to describe it, finally deciding that this came close – epiphany. It has several meanings but this one captures the feeling: Epiphany may refer to an experience of sudden and striking insight.
What? Where? When? You might, just, be asking. The insight occurred while looking out my window just as the sun came up. It was a clear day, the clouds were pink in color. It was serene, colorful, beautiful.
Not sure what was exactly on my mind at the time but most probably was thinking of yesterday’s blog where I had extolled the virtues of a far off city, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. But I looked out the window and something (or someone said) :
Voice: Stupid! You have it all here! Edmonton is an extremely well planned city. This is your home, you are a Canadian citizen – you could never be a Saudi Arabian. You hate heat, and are not fond of sand.
Me: You are absolutely correct on all counts! Moreover, It is inexpensive to live here, I have great medical care and if I behave myself they cannot kick me out. I can renew my passport when it expires so I can visit Saudi Arabia when I wish – for sightseeing and for pilgrimages. This is a life of ease, no sense yearning for something I cannot have and perhaps do not even want.
Where and when did this sudden flash of intelligence come from? It could be common sense or it could be the adherence to the Islamic faith. Allah (SWT) does not so much speak to mere mortals like me (revelations are made only to prophets) but followers can effectively call upon the All-Knowing and the Great Planner (two of Allah’s 99 names.)
First, let’s explore common sense which is defined as good sense and sound judgment in practical matters. It has scores and scores of synonyms: (I shall pick my favorites) sensibleness, wit, sound judgment,, discernment, acumen, sharpness, sharp-wittedness, canniness, astuteness, shrewdness, judiciousness, wisdom, intuitiveness, perceptiveness, perspicacity, vision, practicality, horse sense, gumption, savvy.
My very favs are sharp-wittedness, perspicacity, horse sense and gumption.
Perhaps I used my horse sense and gumption and when I did realize that it was all here – did not have to fly 17 hours to be living in a planned metropolis.
The ‘’Allah” Intervention is extremely difficult to explain. A believer, through prayer and patience, asks Allah (SWT) for guidance – not specifics like a Mercedes Benz, for example. Out of the darkest of confusion and despair an answer arrives, not anticipated, nor specifically requested but exactly what is needed. The hardship suffered is worth it – the believer becomes grateful ,not only for the answer, but the hardship that preceded it. Everything falls into place, like the missing piece of a puzzle. I am joyous to report that this has happened to me on more than one occasion.
Either way, looked out at the pink clouds, the well ordered surroundings, the unusually pleasant (for this time of year) weather and was most grateful.
Believers are cautioned not to ‘over think’ – but I have spent a life time doing this, it is very difficult to abandon a lifelong habit. Perseverate is a word that describes the process: “repeat or prolong a thought, or utterance after the stimulus that prompted it has ceased.” My perseveration suddenly stopped, forcing a study of the Canadian Charter. It came into being during my long absence from the country. I knew of its importance but none of the details. I began to talk to myself about this.
Me: Well if Canada is going to be your home forever, it is best you learn about how the country is effectively governed.
Alter Ego: That is a good idea. You had to learn about the USA, its constitution and all, because you went to a US law school and practiced law there.
Me: Yes. No reason to go to law school here but I could at least read a charter or two or three. (Hahaha ??)
I was blessed, yet again. The newly purchased Walrus magazine had an article, written by Jessica Wei, called Charting the Path. It began: Often described as our great national unifier, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms has come to embody Canada’s independence as a fully self-governing entity from the British government.” Wei goes on to say that prior to the Charter laws began and ended with Parliament with little or no interference with the courts when it came to human rights violations. That, unfortunately, ‘explains’ such atrocities as the 19th century-era Indian Act, to the 1900 Chinese Immigration Act right up to the internment of Japanese Canadians in World War II (with several stops in between). The article was most informative and well written, providing a graphic time line that was very helpful.
Amira Elghawaby examined the Charter from a legalistic point of view. “For those interest in the law, the myriad cases involving charter challenges provide a fascinating window into how the Supreme Court of Canada has weighed the rights over the decades. Examples are provided, one particularly timely when comparing the USA and Canada
Abortion has sharply divided the USA for decades with its pro life, anti abortion people on one side; the sane, humane, woman rights advocates on the other. The unresolved debate may tear the nation apart, and most importantly takes the focus from many inequities that might be remedied if care and attention were paitd. wrongs that could be remedied. I did know that abortions were safe and protected in Canada but did not know the source of that freedom. I know and you will to if you continue to read this blog – the Charter and three brave physicians made it all possible. “Dr. Henry Morgentaler: Abortion and the Right to Liberty and Security (1988). The Morgentaler case is one of the most famous in Canadian history. Morgentaler and two colleagues were charged with violating section 251 of the Criminal Code for performing “illegal miscarriages” at a clinic in Toronto. At that time abortion was only legal in Canada at accredited hospitals for for patients who received approval from hospital committees that made decisions based on medical necessity. Morgentaler and his colleagues brought their case to the Supreme Court of Canada, citing that federal abortion laws violated Canadian’s rights to security and liberty under the Charter, as the law interfered with patients’ bodily integrity and ability to make their own life-altering decisions. The Court found that section 251 of the Criminal Code violated section 7 of the Charter, leading to the decriminalization of the procedure and making room for clinics to open across the country.”
Therefore in Canada there is uniformity not the US absolute confusion where individual states can, and do, make different and highly divergent rules governing this life-altering decision.
Previously I had made the earth shattering decision; this blog would no longer be the source of US news and views. However, US humor will continue to have a voice. Brief Background necessary for understanding. Mike Pence, Trump’s vice president, upon assuming office said he would never meet with another woman (even in a business setting) without his wife being present. Pence was recently caught with classified documents in his possession.
CARMEL, INDIANA (The Borowitz Report)—Mike Pence has revealed that he often hid behind classified documents to prevent women who were not his wife from lusting after him.
Speaking to reporters outside his home in Indiana, Pence said that his “greatest fear” was dining alone in a restaurant and being accosted by women “hellbent on seducing me.”
“Whenever possible, I’d bring Mother,” he said. “But when she wasn’t available I’d hide my face behind classified documents.”
The former Vice-President hoped that the American people would understand his using secret documents as “a mask of sorts” to keep Pence-crazed women from hurling themselves at him.
“People are saying that having classified documents in my personal possession was wrong,” he said. “All I ask is that they consider the human cost—day in, day out—of being as sexy as Mike Pence.”
Believe me, there is nothing, at all, sexy about Mike Pence.
This blog has admittedly been a mishmash which is a confused mixture. It is all of these: a jumble, hotchpotch, hodgepodge, ragbag, melange, mixed bag, scissors-and-paste job, mash-up. The photographs should reflect this as well. They do. My Blessed Mecca days, in a totally funky museum on the outskirts of Mecca, at my Mecca hotel with two Saudi women. They could not speak English, I cannot speak Arabic, but we got along perfectly.