Once Upon a Time

Lucas stares in horror as the soldiers drag the young woman from her home. He’s just a low ranked medic and has little sway in how the war is conducted. He can simply tremble in both fear and rage as he witnesses atrocity after atrocity. He leans against a stone wall , feeling dizzy with emotion. His normally smooth brown complexion is flushed red with blood and he feels it pounding his temples. For a second, he considers physically confronting these soldiers, who are beginning to rape the young woman. Her simple peasant dress is pulled up over her head and wrapped around her arms, effectively pinning her to the dirty ground. Her legs are thrust apart and she’s kicking the air futilely. They are slapping her and beating her, and one after the other, defile her. 

 

—–
It was only a few minutes ago that Lucas was cleaning and binding a grunt’s wound when he saw that a group of soldiers had chased some of the enemy into their home. The soldiers were pounding on the door and yelling at the men to come out so they may have their way with them. They were like an angry mob. Suddenly the door opened slightly and a young scared woman was pushed out the door. She fell to the ground in front of the men. Shrieking, she scrambled in mortal fear , scratching across the hot earth on all fours and then franticly banged on the door to be let back in. Trapped , the young woman shrank into a ball and stuffed herself into a corner of the doorway. The men laughed at her and slapped each others backs in celebratory anticipation of what was to come.

Lucas , feeling impotent, headed back to camp. “There is nothing that can be done,” he thought. The General condoned this type of treatment of an enemy. The” ‘Spoils of War’,” he called it. Lucas could only mourn for the young woman, as women who had been raped were considered ruined and worthless, and were typically slaughtered. Only the virgins were saved. Lucas , a child of rape himself , knew only too well how horribly women were treated. His mother was forced to marry the man that raped her. This was a direct order from the General Himself. Lucas grew up in a household where violence was commonplace , his mother receiving the brunt of it. There were countless times he would sneak his mother a cold compress to apply to a split lip or a swollen eye. It was then, as a child , that Lucas swore he would never inflict pain on others and would seek to protect the helpless.

The war has been going on for years and General Adonai was not known for holding back against the enemy. He would release a pestilence upon them if it helped his cause. His soldiers believe him to be mighty and awesome , and feared him ; which was his intent. He had annihilated whole cities simply because they did not recognize his power. This was a common offense , as the many tribes of this region were often loyal to their local generals. In fact most only knew their own leaders and the history of their own peoples. These histories were passed down generation after generation in oral stories and poems. The General would not allow his people to intermingle in any way with the conquered . He had his corporals give great speeches explaining how he did not want his nation to be corrupted by these other peoples’ cultures. He did not want any intermingling of blood and would not allow any intermarriage. He would never make any treaty with them and demanded that our soldiers show the enemy no mercy.

Over the years , Lucas taught himself the discipline of healing so he could relieve suffering. He was becoming a competent physician, but once he was of fighting age, he was conscripted to General Adonai’s army. Refusing to fight , he received many beatings. One day, after such a beating , he dragged himself into the large tent that housed many of the lower soldiers – the weak or infirm. He was observed , by an officer of rank , attending to the other soldiers instead of going to his bed. Most of these men have received some sort of attention from him already. He rechecked bandages , poured olive oil on vicious wounds , or applied the appropriate fruit leaves. The officer recommended him to become the army medic. He no longer had to fight.

Lucas tended the soldiers as per his station , but late at night , he would sneak out into whatever village they were occupying, and attempt to help the abundant sick and injured there. Most of his patients were women or children since most of the men were killed or slaughtered by the General. He would sneak in supplies and clean water and linens for the villagers when he could. One day he even delivered a baby. He gave the woman a special tea he made that would help dull her pain. It wasn’t enough to fully comfort the mother who screamed and cursed while pushing out her child. “I wish women didn’t have to go through such painful childbirth,” Thought Lucas , “What a curse!”

Out of uniform The villagers and the soldiers looked quite similar , as if they were related ; which if you go back a few generations , they were. But you can differentiate them by the missing lobe on the left ear of the soldiers. General Adonai demanded this of his fighting men. Lucas tugged at his ear absentmindedly , a habit he developed , since it was he that currently did the majority of lobe-otomies. Previous men that performed this service took great pride in it, believing they were following the Generals will and that the men were better for it. They were also rough about it. Hard men were quickly brought to tears when a portion of their ear was hacked off by these zealots. “At least we weren’t forced to mutilate an important part of the body,” thought Lucas. He wasn’t happy that he was made to do this , but he knew how to perform the incision precisely, so as not to cause pain. He took the time to apply the herbs necessary for quick healing.

The General had many such rules and demands of his people. Lucas found it amazing that the people were attracted to this life and revered the General with so much zealousness. After all , he micro-managed so much of their life : from their diet, to their dress , to their home life rituals. He demanded absolute cleanliness and ritual cleanings and would cast ‘unclean’ people out. The unclean included women who were considered such during their monthly time of menstruation. “Did he not understand that this was a natural physical process that was necessary for reproduction ?” thought Lucas. He was also very severe in his treatment of his soldiers. If a squad failed to assemble before him for roll call , he would send out elite soldiers to kill them and their families , sparing no one , except of course the virgins. He had quite an obsession with virgins. It was his opinion that the tribes of other nations were not worthy of his land. He ruthlessly moved his armies across the land , wiping out whole peoples. He would burn their altars , chop down their sacred trees , smash their homes to rubble and utterly destroy any remnants of their society.

Occasionally the General didn’t utterly wipe out a city he took in battle. If a city was far from the nation , he would first offer them a peaceful surrender , contingent on them opening  the gates without a fight. Then he would subject them to forced labor and the servitude.  Leaving them to the merices of the people he would leave behind to populate the city. Lucas was in such a city when General Adonai was leading a regiment through the city square, inspecting his new land. Lucas was anesthetizing a slave’s wound with wine, when suddenly rotten pomegranates from the sky began splattering the drab green uniforms of the soldiers. Lucas jumped up to see what was going on. Apparently some of the children , hiding behind wagons or behind their primitive dwellings, were unleashing their impromptu weapons upon the army. Adonai cursed the children and unleashed a pack of vicious army dogs upon them. The dogs ripped the screaming children apart as well as anyone who tried to help them. When the screaming was over, all you heard was the growling and barks of the dogs as they fought over the various body parts. That and the intermittent wailing of the distraught parents. It happened so quickly, Lucas was powerless to help. He could only seethe and curse this General whose ways were so incomprehensible to him. “How does the General rationalize this evil ?” Lucas thought. He claims to have his peoples’ best interest at heart. He considers himself righteous in these actions.

The General wasn’t the only vicious man in the army. There was corporal Sampson. A large ape of a man who was reputed to be a great drunk and a gambler. Lucas , had always avoided him as Sampson had little respect for Lucas’ profession. His attitude was that if you weren’t a fighter , you weren’t a real man. He was always further trying to prove his manhood by attempting relations with every woman who crossed his path. But his great vice was games of chance. One day he was gambling with some of the soldiers and lost everything he had and more. He couldn’t pay his debts so he beseeched the General for help. He was sent into the next village with a small regiment of men. They attacked , killed and robbed the villagers. He returned with his plunder and was able to pay off his debts. Afterwards , Lucas snuck into the town , hoping to find some survivors and nurse them back to health. He was too late. Sobbing , Lucas vowed to find a way to leave the Generals army . He swore he would tell anyone that sought to follow the General about the atrocities the General represented. He would convince such a person that they didn’t need to adopt these ways , and were better off living their life for their own sake. Lucas knew that he wasn’t strong enough to oppose the General and his army physically , but he could reject them absolutely , and live a life of humane morality. He would use his skills to bring good to this world. He did not need rules of conduct to know how to live his life righteously.

Draft II and Outline – Part I

THE girl.

I accompany her to the party…

I doubt I could describe her beauty better than my physical reaction to her presence. I radiate an excited , perspiring glow when around her. My nervous smile twitches back and forth from sheer joy to awkwardly apologetic. I can feel the blood boiling in my ears , and hope it isn’t running down my face for all to see. I find myself constantly maneuvering to find a reason to touch her. I brush her hand as I pass her a glass of wine , or give her a soft conspiratorial shoulder cupping while I agree to something she says. I also tease myself by guiding her – arm around her back but not touching – from room to room.

Though she is maybe 5 foot-nothing , I am quite frightened of her. Its more likely that I am so fearful of losing her favor in any way , that I tread carefully in all that I do in her presence. My congeniality to others increase tenfold as I attempt to match her angelic demeanor with a gregarious and open personality that I over-aggressively share with all. While we mingle , I find myself taking short quick breaths, as if anticipating a verbal competition that I must meet successfully.

When she enters a room , eyes turn… always. She coolly acts as if she is unaware. But when engaged , she is as warm as apple pie. She takes all compliments lightly but accepts them all the same. Her laugh always sounds sincere , and she turns all conversations back to the other participant. She then listens intently , her brightly intelligent eyes showing understanding and good will. When she tires of a conversation , she will end it with a touch of some kind , whether it be man or woman. Her disengagement is always full of beaming smiles from all parties. While she works the room , I blunder along behind her, in a feverish passion to be equally as wonderful. Her shine hides any of my mistakes or missteps, causing me to be treated similarly. I’m unused to such positive attention , but I do everything I can to act as if it is the most natural thing in the world.

When I picked her up , she was standing in her doorway swaying slightly with the breeze. She was looking up at the sky , or the trees , admiring nature. For a moment I stopped to take her all in………………………

‘ A simple sky-blue dress clings to her full hips and upturned breasts , whispering peace and plenty and pleasure. Her golden hair is mostly in an up-do , exposing her tender neck as a beautiful canvas for some long curls hanging promiscuously. She’s wearing light rope earrings that dangle from dainty and achingly kissable ears. Her heels curve her calves nicely, inviting your eyes to follow them up her body. Our eyes meet , hers deep and blue and full of mystery. She smiles at me , a full and sincere gorgeous smile , that causes one cute dimple to appear on her cheek.’

She is the most heart-breakingly beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.

….

Diary of a Duckling

So there I am , a large grey baby bird , strange-looking and out of place, amongst the other cute yellow ducklings.

Awkward and conspicuous , I attempt to hide under Mother Ducks’ wing. I look up and read her face intently , hoping to find assurance but instead see consternation. My heart drops , again , as it is wont to do when I realize how awkward I make others feel. Later , as I’m eating with my brother and sister ducklings , I notice them staring at me with contempt. I seem to eat so much more than they do , and it shows. I’m almost twice their size yet I feel as small as an insect.

Mother ushers us off to the barn to huddle together on the bed of hay. They all huddle together and inch away from me as the night wears on. I make pretend I don’t notice , but I do. I should be used to the feel of tears , wet and warm on my face , as I lay down to sleep. Bedtime seems to be when I can’t hold back the dam any longer, my mask cracks and the tears flow. I hide my face when I cry as I don’t want the others to see me do so , yet I can’t help occasionally letting out a sniffle or a low sob. Maybe I do want them to know how miserable I am. Am I willing to accept pity in place of acceptance ?

Continue reading

The Nightingale and the Lily

A pretty girl walks through the garden and hands a yellow rose to the young man sitting there, “I cannot accept this.  I no longer feel the same. I’m sorry. Goodbye.”  She turns and leaves the young man, who says not a word as his tears stain his cheeks.   A nightingale witnesses all this from her nest in the garden’s oldest oak tree.  She sings her most wistful song for the young man and his lost love.  “‘Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.” cries the nightingale.

“I wish I had never fallen in love!” cries the young man.  “I wish that I never allowed myself to get so close to someone as to feel so lost when without. Love is such a horrible disease and I wish to never catch it again.  I thought by now, months after our breakup, I’d either get her back or get over her and I’ve done neither.  These wounds never heal, they reopen with but a thought. I have taken Ovid’s cures for love and still remain afflicted.”

Dejectedly he throws the yellow rose into the grey stone fountain in the middle of the garden.   He paces back and forth, oblivious of the beauty of his surroundings on this fine sunny spring day. Located in back of an old vine shrouded cottage, and ringed by ancient leafy oaks, is a beautiful garden with a pond and fountain.  Grey and terracotta stone outline walkways amongst the yellow honeysuckle, fiery red rose bushes and lavender rhododendron.  Butterflies flit amongst the aster and milkweed.  Long grasses and overgrown wildflowers lean into his path.  Muttering to himself,  he trips over a protruding rock stair ,  he catches himself by splashing a foot into the water  …..agghhhh!…. “The mischief of love causes such strife in mankind; it renders us incapable of our worldly pursuits when so distracted, it clouds our judgments and causes such excessive highs and lows. If I was a shrink, and Love was sitting on my couch, I would declare its diagnosis to be bi-polar.  The incredible range of wild irrational emotions this affliction causes, demands intensive therapy and powerful medication, to treat and soothe the patient. “
He pulls his dripping pants leg and shoe from the pond and sloshes his way into the house, muttering, “What is this cruel and insidious love that enters you like a tidal wave and floods the parts of you that you used to find important? It creates new seas and islands; The incoming tides, rearrange the landscape of your mind, leaving you lost, disoriented, and gasping for air.”

“Oh, you poor young man.” exclaims the Nightingale. “What I sing of, he suffers–what is joy to me, to him is pain. Love is life’s greatest pleasure, yet it’s the cause of his deepest misery” The night passes, coolly unaware of the angst of the nightingale and the young man.  The morning sun rises, equally ignorant of this tragic episode.

The song of the nightingale wakes the young man from a dream.  “Oh, beautiful bird of song, I must tell you that I dreamt of my love last night; She ran to me across the garden and leapt into my arms, kissing and hugging me while grasping a red rose in her left hand.”   “Oh wondrous bird, what say you of this?”
“A red rose you must have ,  for we must win back your love.” sings the nightingale.  The young man, not understanding the birds’ vows, hears only the beautiful notes of the songbird’s trill.
He plops down upon the stone chair at the edge of the fountain.  Holding his head in his hands, “I cannot give up yet. I will find what was missing in our relationship and give it to her.  The yellow rose wasn’t enough, I must find a new gift for my love. I cannot bear the pain of her absence.  I cannot give up without a fight, just one last try.”  His tears break the silvery mirror of the pond, sending ripples that disturb the lilies but naught else. The young man looks up and wails his grief out loud to the nightingale, as if it was his beloved.  ” I missed you this morning and it reminded me the striking contrast of a day beginning with you and a day without.  I miss cuddling at the break of day.  I miss seeing life through your eyes.  Its just not the same ; Life’s vibrant colors dulls without you.  Your presence made everything okay.  I miss you immensely.”  The young man slouches, wraps himself with his arms and weeps the day away.

“Mutual love is the crown of all our bliss.  I long to provide that for him.  I will seek out the red rose he seeks.” cries the nightingale as she flies off,   “Love comes and stays my soaring flight while the wind cries my lovers name.” Flying above the trees, over the town and into the wood , the bird sees the pretty girl amongst friends frolicking in the field. ” These other girls are not like my love…. Like a lily among thorns, so is my true love among the young women.”, exclaims the nightingale, imagining it is she that is in love.

The nightingale flies through the wood throughout the night, gathering all the roses she could. Each time she grasps a rose and flies back to the garden to deposit it , its thorns prick her breast and the open wounds weep an ever-increasing amount of  blood due to her exertions.  Laying the last rose upon a stair near the pond – delirious , she lilts to and fro until she  collapses and sinks into the water , another casualty of love.

The young man awakes to see all the roses in his garden and he gathers them together and wraps them within a blanket of lily pads.  Admiring the fragrance of the roses, he muses  “I never realized the sweetness of our union when we were together. I never realized the depth of my love until she was gone. ” He scratches out a poem for her on scented paper and puts it inside the bouquet.

Love is
Our silly beaming smiles at eachother
Love is
The desire to make eachother happier
Love is
Shared experiences only appreciated by us
Love Is
Trembling hands as I profess it to to you.

He brings the flowers to her house and lays them in an urn by the door , He then waits for her in his garden ,  “Come back to me, who wait and watch for you”
He falls asleep.  The next day he awakes and finds the roses strewn about the garden and a note in his urn.  I am sorry , I miss you but ………………………..

The young man wails, “My heart is broken , yet again , but for the last time. It is true that the hottest love has the coldest end. One is better off not knowing its temperature and measure. Love just leads to misery ; Its an ancient force , no longer necessary for survival of the species. I cast it aside.  It causes unnecessary pain and I wish to be free of such , evermore.”  He marches angrily towards his former loves home to tell her thus.  As he turns the corner, he sees her , she is dancing for joy , holding a lotus flower , apparently a gift from a suitor.  The young man sadly turns and walks back home.  “That is what she wanted from me all along.  I should have known.  I was so blind.  She deserves happiness, I wish I was the one to provide her with what she needed, but alas , I am too late.”

Months go by, the young man’s grief diminishes bit by bit.  One day he sees a pretty lass walk past his garden.  He has seen her before.  He plucks a lily from his garden and chases after her , handing her the flower.  “How did you know?”, replies the lass.  “It is obvious what you needed, one only needs to look”

By Kevin Beary
First draft and rough outline
An emphatic nod to shakespeare , ovid , milton , wilde , firsova, tennyson, c.s lewis ,socrates and Solomon amongst many other sources , all unwitting accomplices , that provide me with influence , topic conversation , quotations , and some outright plagiarisms.

Identity

I walk into the bar , stale beer and that faint smell of throw up greets me at the doorway.  I sit at the familiar mahogany bar slab , its solidity is reassuring. I order a whisky and water, and then another. Few thoughts cross my mind at this initial oiling of the machine, but now I glance up and around at the aimless souls who share this dank cave with me. Lots of hardened faces and shifty eyes.  No  one looks at me direct and if they do , its with a vacant stare. I can tell that I don’t like these people.

A figure passes behind me , a sweet and musky smell of feminine perfume wafts over me , I turn in my seat to see her , but the door shuts behind her before I can catch her semblance.  I’m left with a feeling of wanting and of loss.  Aroused now , I leap off the chair and rush toward the door.  In a moment of hesitation , I pull back instead , and glance out the window towards her.  Her dress is flowing behind her , flowery and bright , too breezy of a covering for such a cool night.  She walks confidently around the corner of the neighboring store, and I lose her again ..only a quick glimpse of a high cheek bone as she turns, not enough to know what she looks like.

The parking lot is bright , my heart is racing slightly from my impulsive dash outside and sudden exposure to any who look my way.  She doesn’t turn around but is strolling past the gated and locked storefronts and heads into the parking lot.  I shove my hands in my pocket , and with as much of a nonchalant air as I can pose , I drift in her direction.  She is petite , with long brown hair , and a purposeful gait.  Shit !  …. there’s somebody looking over her shoulder at me …he’s leaning against a car and it looks like he may be waiting to greet her.  I panic …. shit!  … I reach into my pocket and pull out my phone , I whirl around and put it to my ear.  “yeah , oh hey .. what’s up …. really …uh huh ”  I carry on an imaginary conversation while pacing in circles towards a corner of a store building .
 I look up to see the couple , she is standing in front of him , one hand on her hip and the other waving about as she speaks to him.  It looks like she is dressing him down , his shoulders are sagged and his hands are in his pocket while his head is doing a lolling bob , like he is acknowledging his crime and accepting of his verbal lashing.  She now has both hands on her hips , at a slight angle to him.  I can only imagine that she possesses a beauty to match her confident stance. I’m aching to understand this woman , If I can only see her face.  All of ourselves shows itself in the face , our emotions , our thoughts , how we think and who we are ; Its all there, that is our identity.  Now that she is still , I can sort of make out her shape , she definitely has a nice figure , hour-glass like despite her small stature.  She holds herself with a slight arch in her back , pushing out her chest and her rear.  Her dress clings to her body in the sheer light of the lot lamps.

I pull the phone off my ear and I start playing with it , like I’m texting. I start walking along the sidewalk in their direction.  I don’t know why.  I’m not sure what I’m doing.  I just feel compelled to see her face.  It is the face that one connects with.  I have felt her presence and her aura in just fleeting episodes thusfar but it is enough to arouse my interest to get to know her. If I can make eye contact and see her , I will have made a step towards that goal.  I cease my act of texting and put the phone in my pocket and increase my stride along the walkway.  I’m almost parallel to them now , with my head at a slight downward angle I raise my eyes towards them. He is not looking at me any longer , in fact , he may not have been looking at me before.  He is looking down at her feet and saying nothing.  I continue walking and contemplate the best way to turn to see her fully as I pass.  Then there is sudden movement.   Forgetting my attempt at camouflage , I spin to see her turn and head back to the bar.  I boldly stare after her. I just miss her countenance , I barely got her profile , but not enough to know.   Damn! He sees me do this. I turn and hurriedly continue in my direction which unfortunately is the exact opposite direction that she is walking in.  I turn the corner and stop. I’m out of view of the parking lot. I lean back against the building , one foot up against the wall.   I’m gonna do the phone thing again.  I place it to my ear.  I hear a car start …a moment later he drives past and turns out of the parking lot without a sideways glance at me.  As soon as his car disappears , I let out a breath.  I immediately head back towards the bar.

I push the door open , and there she is.  Standing at the bar, in front of a stool , a glass of wine in her hand and staring up at the t.v above the bar.  She is swaying to the sound of the jukebox.  A smooth Jack Johnson tune is playing.  I head towards a stool a few paces to her right.  She smoothes back some hair behind her ear , at this angle I can see she has a small button nose.  Patiently , I hold my stare at the barkeep and sit , raising my hand for another drink.  I slowly turn towards her to see her face……………………………………….

Beauty and The Devil

The boast of a man may undo me , and break that charm wished upon me , mortally and permanently.  My father , that adoring fool , in his overreaching affection , has boasted to the king, ‘her youth and  beauty is so great , that her tears alone can restore vigor and health ; It can recapture lost youth upon their drinking.’ I can only hope that the King is not a worse fool for believing it.” Continue reading

The Miser and His Gold

The Miser and his Gold

The shovel cuts through the dirt like a knife through a breast plate.  Repeatedly hacking at a rough patch of ground is a gaunt , gnarled fellow. The wispy strands of hair on his head are drenched as he savagely attacks a widening dirt hole at the base of a large tree.  Sweat rolls between his close knit eyes and off his bulbous nose.  Swearing,  he raises his stringy-muscled arms and stabs the shovel downward,  with great force,  into the pit. The natural blood of the earth spills over the sides of the deep hole.

I must see it.  I cant stop thinking about my precious treasure. His eyes light up at the first glimpse of his hidden prize. I cannot get through the long week without thinking of this moment , when I count my gold.

His lips curl into a leering smile that bares his teeth as he huddles over his hoard , fingering , grasping and clutching each piece of gold coin and muttering to himself. A few moments later , he whips his head around viciously, side to side , peering out into the dark night with suspicious eyes.  He quickly re-buries the treasure , tamping down the loose earth , and covers the area with leaves and brush. No one will ever know about my treasure ! It is mine ….mine …. mine! He giggles maniacally as he scampers away.


A long,  sweet release of breath , from a man who was crouching behind some bushes nearby. Why does he bury this so?  Why would he hide this wonderful gift in a grave?  He could buy a house , or feast like a king.   If he is philanthropic , he could buy someone else a house or feed a family for years.  He doesn’t deserve this money for he does not appreciate its value.  He doesn’t realize that money is not an end in and of itself. It is a means to an end.  I saw his thin , skeletal figure. He is starving himself in the midst of plenty ; I am hungry too , but without such potential means. This crazy man does not possess wealth , it possesses him. One so anxious , cannot be free.  I can free him of his golden shackles.

Quickly , he runs over to the tree , removes the impeding brush , and franticly claws at the dirt  until he reaches the gold.  He fills his deep pockets with gold and runs off.
The next week , the crazy man returns to his golden hole , repeating his ceremony.  When he finds the hole empty,  he tears at his hair , gnashes his teeth and wails in misery.  This commotion invites the townsfolk to gather around him in curiosity.  He screams , ” Who stole my gold ! Who took my precious treasure !”

One of the townsfolk replies incredulously , “You buried your money ??”      The crazy man screams ,”Yes, and it is all gone now , someone has stolen my reason to live , robbed me of my very life”A townsman in the crowd yells , ” What were you going to do with the gold?  Buy a house or other useful things ?”       “No!” , wails the miserable man , “Nothing could bring me the same pleasure my gold”A young boy of the town replies , “Why then , you could simply fill it with fools gold and it will all be the same””Yes , and your malignant and impotent greed can still be yours” exclaimed one of the increasingly agitated townsfolk.  Overheard in the crowd were exclamations of , “What folly ,  to covet that which herenders purposeless.”

By now , the ugly man is in an absolute frenzy. He stomps the ground with great force , one leg , then the other , and then again the other , until he stomped right through the earth to his waist.  In a rage , he grabs his other leg with his knotted hands and yanks so hard he wrenches himself in two.
At the funeral , there were a handful of folk and a preacher.  The preacher, upon finishing a reading of Ecclesiastes 5:8-18 , addresses the small crowd and the simple casket. “No man is born a miser since no man is born with possessions.  The desire to possess is a learned lesson , improperly taught by those that feel that money is the aim of ones life.  This man died , twisted in these beliefs.  The worth of a life cannot be measured by money.  The two are not commensurate.  Money has no value , except that which we give it, and only that with which it can be exchanged for.  Life has a value , an intrinsic value, just by its existence

 

By Kevin Beary