‘Isn’t it a Pity?’ – 21 CRS’s of 2/17/2020 & Encounters with Merton

Although I would prefer to lay down my exhausted limbs and watch ‘The Matrix’ for the Hundred and Eight or so time, I have a duty to report to you today’s 21 Cash Register Synchronicities collected by Charlie Grant on 2/17 at a Unique American Grocer in the Large Small World After All. These acausal, meaningful number connections on the transaction receipts are undeniably suggestive of what is referred to by Nouwen and Merton in this book presented to me by Father Robert Kennedy at Amazon Foods the last time I saw him: signs on the way to God. Go d. It was before Christmas. Not long ago. But oh so long ago. It was before I got to pages 795-796 in ’11/22/63.’ I remember sharing with the Father and his friend George (there’s that name AGAIN) what I had learned in the book thus far, the synchromystic link to my parents and my year of birth.

Charlie is physically exhausted after not just the past three days, but the 7, including the end of this day. Feels blasted out, hollowed out with exhaustion, the pain and grief, angst, distress, dis-ease. The internal struggle to accept the death of Malibu ’05, the horror of its sudden death, after over 10 years. Nightmarish, brutal world. It’s less about the physical car’s Total Loss that is so horrifying, but the reality that that poor car could be any one of us. Thank God I was only going 25 mph when I slammed on the brakes before unavoidably going right into the Van turning into my goddam right of way, the van made by the same American company that make my old trusty sedan. And the ensuing stupid acceptance that always follows and gets the cycle going again. The sine wave. Sin of Eve. This ‘Encounters with Merton’ book just keeps deepening in its intimate connection to me and my life (hi)story, especially right now. I read the short but profound book all the way through in an afternoon and evening off from work the day after Bob (as George called Father Robert Kennedy) passed it to me before we parted. It is really forcing me to ask myself a hard question that I once asked myself before, over another period of grief, loss and pain, the first time I lived in Santa Fe, in 2003, for only 3 months, at 234 Irvine St, during the winter of the runup to the second Bush Iraq War. When I was one giant raw nerve that whole time, not because of the war, but because of the brutal rejection I had experienced by a woman I had been hoping to reestablish sexual and emotional bonding with now that she had annulled her marriage (she wasn’t married yet when I connected with her the first time in ’98, I will have you know, and also, it was probably one of the single most innocent, enchanting and dreamlike experiences imaginable so there is no guilt or shame I carry about it in the slightest)… Hoping with a deep passion, accompanied by fantastical belief that she was the one for me, believing there was a ‘one for me’ because I was raised by/ in Disneyland 1980’s America, Ronald McDonald. I was supposed to be some kind of Prince Charming. And I really was. Like a bohemian, athletic knight on a bicycle. I became it. Product of my environment. Before I knew I AM my in-viron-ment. The question he is being forced to ask himself yet again (Charlie/ me), as he has once more been turned into a red hot raw nerve of a ‘person’ deep in traumatic grief and pain of loss (this time including the passing of a kidney stone, which he figured out was caused by chalky vitamin C chewable tabs he was taking before bed, sometimes accompanied by a chalky Melatonin chewable tab, when Luis at Flatbread asked him if he takes tums, cuz those caused his dad kidney stones) is: Am I destined for monkhood? Full renunciation of possessions? Could I really do it? He asked himself this in ’03 at the age of 26 and he is asking himself that same quest-ion at 43, 17 years later. He feels the same horror of what possession really is, what Merton felt and could clearly articulate: possessions = violence = war. Earth does not belong to us. We belong to Earth. God does not belong to us. We belong to God. Unfortunately, over those 17 years Charlie fears he has grown more attached to his physicality and certain physical pleasures/ possessions than he was in ’03 when he was still barely out of adolescence and didn’t know it, grew old too quick. Old and blind. It is more wrenching now to drop what little physical possessions, comforts and pleasures he has compared to most westerners in any kind of proximity to wherever the hell he may place on the economic rankings. Possessions & Private Property possess those who believe they possess them. So instead of becoming a monk, Charlie operates on a kind of minimalist, conservative principle regarding possessions. That’s why he continued to drive and maintain an ’05 Chevy Malibu and why he is dreading buying another car, wondering if he should really be doing it, considering the devastating impact of carbon dioxide emissions from burning oil and gas and coal. I better not criticize cars too much, though, cuz then you will accuse me of being another Unabomber, even though I am committed to being nonviolent, not violating others right to exist as they please, as long as they do no infringe upon my natural God-given right. But Merton’s story and writing present a terrible challenge to Charlie’s ‘compromise’ with the capitalist consumerist obsession with physical pleasures and comforts, hedonism. Worse than a challenge, actually. It shows how you can’t go halfway with worldly renunciation. It’s all in or not at all. Could he (I) really do it?

CRS = Cash Register Synchronicity = Consumer Recreation Services = The Game = God = 26 = The ‘God Number’


1. 2:38 pm: Total $37.36 – Invoice# 4414 – Items 14

2. 2:32 pm: Total $32.91

3. 2:27 pm: Total $17.37

4. 2:25 pm: Total $24.37 – Items 23 – Invoice# 4400

5. 1:58 pm: Total $5.28 – Invoice# 4378

6. 2:23 pm: Total $22.31

7. 1:40 pm: Change $4.11 – Items 10

8. 1:21 pm: Total $21.90 – Items 20 – Cash $22.00 – Change $0.10

9. 1:12 pm: Items 12 – Total $21.27 – Invoice# 4345

10. 10:40 am: Items 14 – Total $50.36 – Invoice# 4255

11. 9:12 am: Items 12 – Total $22.98 – Invoice# 8672

12. 10:12 am: Change $2.04 – Invoice# 4242 – Items 4

13. 9:52 am: Total $25.21 – Items 9 – Invoice# 4227

14. 10:07 am: Total $17.02 – Invoice# 4237 – Items 10

15. 9:07 am: Total $4.77 – Invoice# 4210 – Items 3

16. 9:15 am: Items 16 – Total $30.14

17. 11:42 am: Items 23 – Total $93.95 – Invoice# 3994

18. 11:39 am: Invoice# 3991 – Total $15.65 – Items 5

19. 10:55 am: Items 18 – Total $35.18

20. 9:48 am: Items 18 – Total $68.88 – Invoice# 4222

21. 10:28 am: Items 38 – Invoice# 4240 – Total $120.57

“It is perhaps always a bit disappointing when we look for an answer to the question of God in our lives. We are left only with titles of books, names of people, and a few old facts. It all seems a bit lean and superficial. We cannot capture God in titles, names, and facts, but many things hint at and point to God. And therefore it is only the one who prays to God, quite possibly the one who searches for silence, who can recognize God in the many little ideas, meetings, and happenings on the way.” -Page 61 ‘Encounters with Merton’ by Herni J.M. Nouwen (1972)

About kylegrant76

Eye am that Eye am
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