|About my name: O'Lord Give-Me |
Well, I just discovered that my ancient name is O’Lord Give-Me, which later was unacceptable when I became a citizen and wanted to mention it in the coveted passport! The Immigration Department tried to convince me to use my nom-de-plume Ray Arco which was much shorter and which conveyed one of the rainbow’s beams. (When I asked them which rainbow color they preferred, they shrugged!) Little did I anticipate that the West Hollywood flag would resemble, willy-nilly! Given the apostrophe in my ancient name, I still cannot imagine that some of those ancestors were Irish, unless, that is… they went there to school!
Nevertheless, recruited to be a rabbi, I performed my duties eloquently until I realized that the Sabbaths parishioners’ temple attendance was shrinking, as they preferred to occupy themselves with more personal or worldly affairs. Accordingly, the temple’s board diminished my salary. That weekend, back to the temple, one of the practitioners hearing my financial plight encouraged me to try with other clergies, never mind the faith. After all, one God related us, as well. It made sense and so, practically morally armed, willy-nilly I composed myself and had to take a part-time job at the neighboring church during Sundays. Unfortunately, adding the meager pay did not ad up much, to say the least, and had to find an additional part-time. Knowing that the Muslims celebrate Thursdays and Fridays, therefore two days, I offered my services. When they learned my original ancient name, O’Lord Give-Me, though somewhat at a loss, they granted me an assistant’s position! After all, Jews and Christians are their cousins from Abraham on. I took the job, of course, even if it was outside the mosque guarding the multitude of shoes the practitioners leave outside when entering. Thus, I would not trespass really my own rabbinical faith. After all, within the Old and New Bible there were similarities which, funny enough, I discovered while reading the Quran as well while guarding the shoes. That also led me to guess what kind of person may be those wearing diverse types of shoes, most of them sandals or flippers. However, this can apply to any kind of garb worn by anybody. And yet…
Reality, however, is something one cannot deny in any instance. Reading about God’s will I realized that, while the weekends were reserved, I became aware that Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays were somewhat free; it allowed me to go to the Buddhism’s Ashram that had no distinct claims upon any day, except for their holidays, of course.
Therefore, I dared to talk to their Chief Monk and found the Buddhism’s benevolence when he offered me a Friday-man’s job given my multi-tasks talents and which I accepted gladly. Well, that took care of Tuesdays. What remained was the Baha’i faith and, whereby their wise-man Baha’u’llah, taught that no man should kneel before another man, but only before God, and that Science and Religion benefit from each other, it suited me fine. As Karma will have it, they were satisfied with my understanding and agreed I should come during Wednesdays. I’m still debating which God to thank, for I got the job which helped me not being anymore among the working poor according to the taxes I have to pay. Truthfully, was I not to have learned the Behavioral Sciences at the University, I would not have understood essentially what Karma installed for me! Let alone the fun I had having learned from experience. Since in America there was a total separation between the State and religion with all the privileges thereof, it occurred to me that marrying a woman in each faith should be compatible as long as by now, I could provide for them. Or vice-versa, in the extreme case of becoming handicapped or growing old by whichever curse. And, since for me and my brides to be, a religious ceremony was enough, why disturb the State’s clerks for a license, which had nothing to do with out feelings towards each other?!
As for the coveted professional titles as a Rabbi, Priest, Mullah, Monk, etc., I though it sounds prestigious, I don’t care much anymore, for the title of Human being seems more universal and down to Earth, and significantly distinctive from other species. Unlike between us, Homo sapiens, given that what God does not do to people, we do to ourselves! I know that more than many others, given my ancient name. After all, it is not tradition I am bound by. For, the various nuances of what my brain’s sparkles allow my mind to benefit those others stuck with the rigidity of traditions rather than flow with the notion of Life and its creative dynamics. Astrology and other pseudo-interpretive manifestations, still try to categorize, explain and predict our erratic human behavior without much luck as yet. More recent, the neuroscientists seem to have more luck understanding, given their scientific testing and, even them, are cautious warning that what may be good for some, could be the opposite for others. Perhaps, our names may be a clue? Hence, we have to analyze what makes us live alone or not, without really having an adequate answer except that we got together only by calling each other names. Imagine that!
* * *
Editing: Ileana Matac Arco
Nota Observator :
Happy Birthday, Ray Arco!
©by Ray Arco 2/2/2013