I didn’t post on Friday because I ran out of time before Shabbat (the Sabbath). That’s probably going to be the case for all Fridays until late spring. I didn’t have a lot to say anyway. Now I have the post-Shabbat in the winter “wanting to curl up and not do much” feeling. Not a lot happened in the last two days anyway.

On Friday I did manage to get my medication before Shabbat. I went to shul (synagogue). It wasn’t raining, so we had the first half of the service (Kabbalat Shabbat) outside so we could take off our masks and sing, which was good (the singing and the masklessness, although I took care to stand over two metres from anyone else regardless). I intended not to do so much Torah study after dinner so I didn’t burn out the next day, but I got involved and did over an hour, which I guess is good (that I was so involved). Then I read the Jewish Review of Books and went to bed late, but couldn’t sleep, so read more of the Jewish Review of Books. Today was much the same, eating, sleeping, praying and reading.

I had a settled feeling over Shabbat. I’m not entirely sure how to describe it. A feeling that I’m looking for a stronger connection with God, but that I no longer feel victimised and attacked by Him, or that I can never find religious meaning. I guess PIMOJ has something to do with that, but it’s not entirely down to her. I feel like I know what I should be doing with my life, which is writing Jewish books. At the same time, I do still worry that I’m not a good enough writer, or that I won’t be able to handle the more practical aspects of writing (finding an agent and a publisher etc.). I also feel obliged to look for other work so I’m not entirely dependent on my parents and the state hence my intention to send off some more job applications this coming week, even though I increasingly feel that I’m not going to get work that way.

That was really it for the last two days. After Shabbat I did some stuff around the house for my parents, but nothing much.


After about two years, I finished reading all the daily and Sunday Peanuts (Snoopy) cartoons. That’s 17,897 comic strips. There is actually another volume in The Complete Peanuts series, containing various one-off strips and ephemera; I’m not sure if I’m enough of a completist to buy it. It’s pretty well-known that American culture celebrates heroes, not “losers.” Just look at the way Donald Trump shouts “Loser” at everyone he doesn’t like (which is a lot of people). Somehow Charles Schulz managed to take a comic strip about a loser and make it popular in the States, which is not easy. I mean “loser” in the nicest possible sense, from someone who considers himself a loser and thinks that losers are more interesting than winners. It’s a surprisingly deep and existential comic about failure and frustration, but also very funny and endearing, perhaps because it’s not actually pitched as a comic about failure, it just happens to go there a lot.

8 thoughts on “The World War I Flying Ace

  1. Settled is a synonym for content, which can be better than happiness. Less fleeting anyway! Charlie Brown was kind and kept trying in spite of his failures. He trusted people, like Lucy, even when she kept pulling the football away from him. I consider myself a successful failure. I’m not famous, important or talented. But I am enough.

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  2. “I no longer feel victimized or attacked by Him” I think that is huge. That’s so good because I don’t think that He does attack us. It’s just hard to understand why He doesn’t always intervene when life circumstances and others victimize and attack us. The “why” of that is my biggest struggle. But I think that might be how He forges a writer. I always knew I was a reader. But then I had something I just needed to say and so out of necessity, but feeling like I was going to vomit or pass out I climbed onto a stage and started to become a public speaker. I didn’t die so that enabled me to get up and do it again and again until eventually people would praise me for being an excellent public speaker. If I had tried to be a good public speaker the very idea would have paralyzed me. I needed a cause that would enable me to forget myself. One day I will blog about the urgent message that got me up there. I am not a writer but right now I’m going through the same process and it just might end up turning me into a writer. I’m certainly not a good enough writer but I’m getting better. I think of when the prophet Jeremiah said “if I say, “I will not mention his word or speak anymore in his name,” his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot.” I am going to pray that a fire will make you not think about whether you’re a good writer or not and will just force you to have to write. Weeping prophets are needed.

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