Deliver Us

First things first. I am embarrassed to say that it took me this long because someone of my predilections should have known this long ago but here we are. Even as an ancient Egypt kid (as opposed to dinosaur kids, space kids, horse kids ect), I did not know. But this week has brought me truth:

The word ‘cat’ is very likely Egyptian in origin. One of a handful of words from that ancient language that exists today in modern English (and inspired the word in many, many other languages as well). Golly, those Egyptians were onto something. So cool.

And in celebration of that fact, here is the precious Pinky, making her debut appearance on this site. Give her a warm welcome.


Look, I know probably most of you aren’t all that interested in my socially distanced (or: status quo) journal of bleh introspection and baby self-discoveries but I can’t help it. I am what I am.

🤷‍♂️

I don’t know why it took so long to put it together but I feel like I had a little breakthrough this week. I love personality tests but generally view them as interesting and sometimes helpful rather than definitive. But consider love languages (not personality types per se but in a similar vein). My highest has always been quality time.

And that, finally thinking about that for a sec in the midst of the right now, is it. I often feel unduly “socially needy” in large part because I want to message my friends all the time, about the most random things. Though in person, I think in generally less talkative (generally, okay?).

Chatting with friends virtually, I think, is a kind of stand-in for quality time. It’s a way for me to feel loved by people spending time on me. It doesn’t need to be particularly meaningful conversation, just frequent, sustained contact. That’s how I feel loved. In person, it doesn’t even have to be conversation, just proximity, really.

The past few years, in various ways, I’ve been more or less socially isolated for non-pandemic reasons and so I’ve developed virtual communication as a tool to help me when I’m not near friends physically. Not an earth-shattering discovery but a helpful change in perspective for me.

And by that same token, I shall hereby strive to be more cognizant of the ways in which best to love others, something that I have heretofore been lax in pursuing. Forgive me. I do love you.


This is also Holy Week for the Catholic and Protestant among us and I spent a sec watching clips of Prince of Egypt on YouTube because I could. And let me tell you, I love that movie so much. Here is a moment of Holy Week thoughts for you.

If you’ve seen the movie, you may recall its rousing introductory number, Deliver Us, which describes the whole slavery situation and the throwing Moses into the Nile deal. It is the people crying out to God for deliverance from bondage and into the promised land.

At the very end of the film, Moses has led his people out of Egypt and they are finally free. The closing shot is him coming down from Mt Sinai with two famous tablets in his hands. The music comes to a massive climax and then is suddenly quiet while we hear a lone voice repeat the call: “Deliver us!”

And therein lies Holy Week. The knowledge that, once delivered, God’s people were not yet free. Not truly. But Jesus came to be the deliverance that was sought–not just from slavery but from all darkness.


Now, of course, though Jesus did his whole thing and it is, in his own words, “finished,” there’s still plenty of waiting around for deliverance. Sometimes people talk about the ‘already and not yet’ of it all which is apt. Because though it’s all over and the battle against death has been won, we’re still in many ways waiting for deliverance. It’s a bit like living in an extended denouement of history where the main plot line has finished, we know how it’s all going to turn out, but we’ve still got to tie up loose ends and there are a ton of minor characters that have to play out their own little drama.

But anyway, the promise is that deliverance is coming (already here, and also yet to come, whatever). We can call out, “Deliver us!” and know that we will be delivered. From death and pain, from pandemic and war, from the isolation that comes from imperfect community even in the best of times.

Deliver us, God! And thank you for delivering us.

In Which I Tell You about Sobekneferu

I believe in knowledge for its own sake. Learning does not have to be useful. Learning reveals to be how incredible this world is; sometimes incredibly awful but also incredibly beautiful. Also, just interesting and quirky.

In furtherance of that idea, I present you with this titular fact: Sobekneferu (whose name means ‘the beauty of Sobek [the crocodile god of the Egyptians]) is the earliest evidenced female pharaoh, ruling in Egypt’s Twelfth Dynasty from 1806-1802 BCE. Other women may have come before her, but she is the earliest definitely substantiated. The only statue of her with a head attached was kept in a museum in Berlin and was lost during WWII.

Sobekneferu is, as far as I have been able to discern, the first well-documented female ruler in history. I am certain that others came before her, matriarchal societies have long existed, and Egypt itself has some supposed queens before her. Even so, that is still quite a pedestal to occupy.

There’s our fun fact for the week.

I have very little else to report this week. The weather has returned to lovely, sunny days and so there has been plenty of reading outside. Very much been enjoying the summer weather, the leisure of the season. I have had occasion to try a couple new recipes, which were fun.

First, we made Earl Grey cake, flavored with the tea. Apparently bergamot is orange? Who knew. I don’t like the tea but had the cake somewhere (possibly New Zealand) and enjoyed it and since have tried Earl Grey ice cream and enjoyed that as well. There were three parts: the cake, with tea inside, then a syrup of tea between the layers, then a frosting between the layers and on the outside. The frosting was super difficult, involved a double boiler and meringue that never meringued, but it still tasted fine. The finished product was pretty tasty but probably won’t try it again.

 

The second was ice cream bread because why not. The recipe is: 1 cup melted ice cream, ¾ cup self-rising flour, bake at 350°F for 30 minutes. That’s it. We used butter pecan because they cautioned against using something with chocolate bits in it. I thought it tasted lovely and was great because it was super easy. Parentals weren’t impressed.

Both were accomplished with significant help from familials and I was quite pleased with both.

There’s really nothing else going on for me.

I’m just adding a little note here to reiterate how much I value knowledge. Never before have so many people had access to so much information. Two caveats: people don’t always deal with information well (ex. fake news ect.) and some areas of knowledge have been largely lost (ex. traditional history/culture, languages ect.).

Even so, I can’t handle it when people sometimes exclaim about people being on their phones and stuff all the time. Yes, there are problems with it. Of course there are problems. But imagine an average peasant on Hispaniola in 3 BCE and compare even to a dumb American today–without effort of recall, we can acknowledge entire continents that people in history didn’t even conceive of. This says nothing about how we deal with that information but still.

I don’t know really what I’m trying to say. Value knowledge, I guess. Count your blessings. The rising tide of enlightenment, if you will, truly does lift all ships.