People talking without speaking,
People hearing without listening,
People writing songs that voices never share
And no one dare
Disturb the sound of silence.
Simon and Garfunkel
By Dr. Jim Ferguson
When an idea for an essay presents itself, I’ve learned to make a note because the thought may disappear, and every week a column is due. I used to make notes on scraps of paper which would get lost in the pockets of my lab coat or even on my crowded desk. I took comfort hearing that a cluttered desk is evidence of a fertile imagination. It certainly seemed true for the science fiction writer Ray Bradbury. These days, instead of scraps of paper I use the Notes application on my iPhone. It’s a better mousetrap.
Throughout my working years a quiet Saturday morning was a favorite time for me, unless I was on-call for the weekend and I had hospital rounds on my patients and those of my partners.
Life is different now. Since I am retired, I often turn my phone off at night, something I haven’t done in more than four decades. My wife always worried about calls in the middle of the night because I would mostly listen. She worried about the silence and whether I had fallen asleep. You don’t do well as a doctor if you can’t listen well and make decisions, even if comments are terse at 2 a.m.
Most days are now like Saturday for me. Though I have some chores, I have more time for reading, writing and reflection. I remember a commercial hawking investment plans which said, “Retirement is when you pay yourself for doing what you want to do.” Becky and I were frugal all our lives and we’ve been blessed. Each generation of parents wants their kids to have a good life, if not a better life than they did. That dream is now in jeopardy.
My home is now my office and is silent this morning as I sit to write this essay – actually I “hunt and peck” on a computer because I never learned my keyboard. But after three books and over 700 essays I peck pretty fast. “Good enough for government work,” as they say.
For decades a rock with the inscription carpe diem (seize the day) sat on my desk at work. I still have the rock which continues to challenge me to seize each day and sing the Psalmist’s song of life (118:24).
Easter is now past, but a book by John Ortberg recently caused me to consider the silence of Saturday before the first Easter Sunday. Jesus had been tried, executed and his body entombed on Good Friday.
It was tough for Jesus’ followers after the crucifixion. The Gospel finds them hiding from the Temple gestapo on Saturday’s Sabbath. I was recently challenged when a friend asked, “Where was Jesus’ spirit on that silent Saturday?”
As a science-based guy there are things I don’t know and may never be able to directly measure or observe. I’ve never been to Hong Kong or seen an electron, but I know they exist. Similarly, I can’t measure the essence of a person, something I call the non-anatomical soul, but I maintain that it exists. Actually, in the Middle Ages, pseudo scientists tried to measure the soul by weighing criminals before execution and then immediately after death with the soul departed. That did not work out very well for obvious reasons.
But returning to the original question, where was Jesus’ essence on that silent Saturday? Historical records show that his body was in the tomb. However, an empiricist would say that no one saw Jesus’ body on Saturday. However, with the stone over the entrance, reason dictates his body was in the tomb. Interestingly, while on the cross, Jesus promised one criminal, “Today you will be with me in paradise.” That was on Good Friday. After three centuries of reflection, Church experts adopted the Nicene and Apostles’ Creeds which state Jesus was dead, he descended into Hell and on the third day arose. So, to answer my friend’s question, perhaps Jesus’ body and essence were in both places on Saturday. It’s a quantum conundrum.
I’m a fan of Simon and Garfunkel’s music. The 60s duo artfully blended singable melodies, syncopated rhythms and thought-provoking poetry, something far different than the shock jocks of gangsta rap and pop music today. The disgusting Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion’s raunchy lesbian exhibition at the Grammy Awards is emblematic of a devolved culture. I am no prude, but silence is not golden in the face of such depravity.
Nor is silence an option in the war to save America from leftists, radicals and corporate “woke” and atoning sycophants. As a law-abiding citizen and a member of the silent majority, I don’t plan to march, loot or burn in protest of the corporate cowards who hope to curry the favor of leftists by opposing the Georgia election reform laws. Rand Paul said the “election reforms in Georgia make it easier to vote but harder to cheat.” In my investigation of the legislation, I agree. However, Major League Baseball, one day after signing a lucrative deal with a television subsidiary of the Chinese Communist government, moved the All-Star game from Atlanta to Denver, Colorado, which has tougher election laws than Georgia.
I emailed MLB corporate that I will not buy their merchandise, tickets or watch their games and advertisements. I will add MLB to my boycott of the NBA (in bed with China) and the NFL. Similarly, I wrote to Uber, Delta Airlines and United Airlines that I am boycotting them for their “woke” opposition to the needed Georgia election reforms. Lastly, I have been a life time user of Coca-Cola products, but no more. I also wrote to their corporate office that I am boycotting them as well.
Shunning something or someone is to avoid them deliberately and habitually. Silence is actionable with a boycott. These corporate fools are boycotting half of their customers. Let’s turn the table. The left started class warfare. Let’s finish it.