Rituals in the Morning

Another early morning with sub=Zero temperatures and the house a bit cold, down to 64 in the kitchen. The radiators were on and the big wood stove in the parlor had good coals but needed a refreshing of some dry wood. Chores for the earliest to arise. Put away yesterdays dishes in the drainer, make the coffee and some toast. Then light up the monitor and take his pills with some juice. Always taking the anti-seizure pill as the first one. Washing the distasteful pills with orange juice. Every day this winter. It’s comforting to have a schedule.

Now, for a reading choice. David Hume’s ‘The standard of Taste’ or Suess’ ‘The birthday bird’ (perhaps Snetches) as a continuation of Hume’s opinion of the Koran.. .Maybe just check email and watch a movie about a Japanese bullet train intrigue. Perhaps completing editing for the umpteenth time of his book with compilations of these columns at the end.

It is a good clear morning as Norm extinguishes the lights and watches the American flag and the wind advice. Step out on the porch for a few pieces of dry wood and try not to wake anyone up with the clack of the living room door. Snow piled up feet high this year. Carefully grab a few logs and check to see if the cats have slipped out to pursue the mouse family beneath the pine bush, next to the porch. Wave goodbye to his son while standing on the porch around 0500. He waves back and then extinguishes the interior lights as he drives to work.

These rituals are stabilizing and a mantra of sorts. Get the keurig going too and make a somewhat decent cup with the added ½ and ½. Put the coffee on the left side of the desk and the warm toast with cinnamon on the right.

Are you getting the picture? Is Norm a leftover Asperger survivor? Norm’s favorite movie, ‘The accountant’ featuring another ritualistic man with a gifting of oddity. Especially the part of sniffing his fingers just before he does his deadly work. Autism spectrum’s are similar but also include difficulty in language retrieval. Not the case with Norm. He did have a problem relating in childhood and still uses fabric to stimulate calmness and concentration. It’s complicated, an old friend called it ‘pointing’ and that’s pretty accurate. Ask Norm if you are interested. Julie, his wife is completely at home with it as is his youngest son who does a similar thing.

Perhaps now Norm will start on a column based on Hume’s razor sharp analysis of Plato/Aristotle but that seems a bit foggy until the second cup of java has been drunk. The readers will either enjoy the writing or get confused a bit as Norm was until he read those books for the third or fourth time. His newspaper editor will delete it as a possible column. Hard to understand at the least. Not interesting, “I really get the paper to see the sports.”At least that’s what the paper’s opinion is. They are probably right. Norm tries to give the impression he is a classicist.

Jack has been called an obsessive reader with nearsightedness in several ways. He likes to refer to this as entertainment and stimulated analysis. His family just rolls their eyes and are used to it. If you find this particular column a bit familiar, perhaps you are ‘normal’ too. Psychiatric pigeon holes have to include the roost for the pigeon and the newspaper on the bottom of the cage. If you understand that analogy you are more akin to Norm than you think. Ritual is stabilizing and necessary to this world’s ways. Grounding might be another way to describe it. It works. It has been a part of his life since childhood and there is no ‘cure’. There are some side effects which can be dealt with through advice from professional counseling. Fear and rejection of perceived threats is one of his old path decisions. His analyst taught Jack how to read the fork in the road signs.

Norm hopes this column is illuminating someone’s self behavior and at least, illuminating their friendship with him. His family is very gracious with him and this is indeed, a gift from the Lord to give him a family that will put up with him. Life is good and his best friend (Jesus) understands everything. It’s pretty good. Jack Gator.

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