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Casa del Fauno, Pompeii

The doorbell rang five minutes before Sonny-boy and I were to leave for hockey. “Who’s sellin’ what?” flashed before me mind’s eye.

Through the glass I could see a bundled up family of four standing as prim and proper as mother and dad could exhort plead or bully a pair of bored boys no older than five.

“Jesus, here we go,” was my uncharitable thought.

I opened the door and after a short greeting the man launched into his Church Of Latter Day Saints spiel. The youngest looked up at me with all the innocence of a three year old and I wondered whether I should fetch some Halloween candy.

“Sorry,” I said, “we’re late for hockey.”

Daddy, who had been asking me something about whether or not I thought the end-of-the-world doom and gloom being spoken of now and then was consistent with teachings of the Bible, apologized and produced a pamphlet from the leather bag he was carrying.

Everyone wished everyone else a good day and I closed the door.

“Who was that?” asked my son, who had been upstairs reading.

“Just some nice Church people,” I said. “Here,” I added, handing him the pamphlet, “read this when we get back.”

We are born into a psycho-spiritual matrix. It is the unseen medium through which our so-called souls propagate. It is the glue, the bonding agent that holds a given group together, whether that of a family, a clan, a tribe, nation, village, town, city, or civilization. It affords us identity and a sense of purposeful belonging… unless, that is, it is in the process of moulting.

History is nothing more than the record of these groupings, their conception, birth, growth, maturity, and decline.

“Would you pour New Wine into old skins?” queried a man long ago who fully grasped the moulting process underway at that time.


Time is a truck hurtling forward. Inside the back box are animal skin bags full of wine, hanging from the roof and jostling together with the motion of the vehicle. The bumping and rubbing of the skins have caused leaks and wine is dribbling to the floor. If the truck is to continue much further a new vessel need be found or the wine will be lost.

Thus ends the Sunday Sermon of sorts. More hockey today.