It is time to do my taxes, which is an accused time for me, and utterly against my nature. It always reminds me of some filthy miser holed up in an attic, stacking and counting coins rather than caring for his fellow man.
It has always been my nature to spend every cent I have in the present, because there are always plenty of needs in the present. I drive more frugal people nuts, because I sometimes have failed to even save for the rent or next mortgage payment, let alone for “a rainy day”.
I’m not sensible. Sensible people “allot” parts of their pay for this, that and the other thing. Therefore, when they get their pay, and have five hundred in their pocket, and face a person in dire need of five hundred, they can say their pockets are empty, because their money is “allotted”. I can’t do that. If I have five hundred in my pocket, and a person is in dire need of five hundred, I’m swiftly broke.
Not that anyone returns the favor, when my rent is due and I am short five hundred. If I’ve learned one thing in my knavish existence, it is that everyone is your friend when you have five hundred in your pocket, but they all vanish when you are five hundred short.
Consequently I’ve slept in my car more than most people I know. Oddly, now that decades have past, a surprising number of the “sensible” people who once rolled their eyes at my behavior are dead, while I totter on, in surprising good shape for a fellow who has been extremely impractical. My “sensible” friends who haven’t died do have pot bellies and, to be honest, are largely in deplorable shape.
One thing that got them into sad shape was sticking with a job they loathed, but felt they had to stick with because it was “sensible” to have health insurance. In truth, sticking with the loathsome job destroyed their health.
Others stuck with jobs they loathed for a pension. I have lots of peers who retired in their fifties, as I myself see no end to my work. In some cases retirement killed some peers within six months. They had spent thirty years ignoring a side of themselves that yearned to grow, so that, when they retired, they were faced with a sort of void, in terms of growth.
In a sense it reminds me of people who dream of winning the lottery, and then win it, and discover their life becomes sheer hell. Money, and so-called “financial security”, is a false god, if you think that sitting in an attic and stacking coins is anything close to as beautiful as being flat broke, but alive, with others who are flat broke but alive. It is far better to be out striving in the sleet with brothers and sisters, than to be too alone by a warm fire.
However the government does not appreciate my philosophy, and insists that, once a year, I am reduced to stacking coins, because it is a coin-stacking government, of grossly nonspiritual misers.
As I am reduced to this scumbag level of filthy lucre, I feel I am part of a government taking a tedious census. a census not merely of the fact I exist, but wanting to know every crumby detail of how I spent every lousy penny. It is a census that counts right down to the level of whether or not the sandwich I ate was a business expense or not. When I grow a row of radishes at my Farm-childcare for the children to delight in, the government wants to know if I dared eat one myself, for that must be subtracted from “Business expense” as it was for “Home use.”
The government is in such a money-grubbing mode, attempting to squeeze blood from the stone of impoverished masses, that it fails to account for higher things.
For example, in Exodus 30:12 God apparently told Moses, “When you take a census of the Israelites to count them, each one must pay the LORD a ransom for his life at the time he is counted. Then no plague will come on them when you number them.”
Please notice that it is not the IRS that gets paid the ransom. Rather It is the Highest of the high. I’m sure the IRS assumes that Moses only pretended God was talking to him, and that Moses was actually just a a crafty con-artist who wanted to make sure he got his hands on the “ransom” people were giving to God. However, suppose it wasn’t that low level of IRS logic. Suppose some “higher truth” was involved.
Fast-forward to 2 Samuel 24:1 and 1 Chronicles 21:1, where King David wants to gloat a bit over how mighty he has become, and decides to take a census of his mighty army. To cut a long story short, 70,000 of his army then died of the plague. King David was sort of like the IRS, full of vanity, and thinking he was the boss, and then discovering he wasn’t God.
The vanity of the IRS is only a reflection of the ignorance of our leaders in Washington, who have the power-mad belief they are God, when they are in truth bringing a pox down onto both their houses. They seek to avoid the fact they are earning a plague, by diddling with economic terms such as “the law of unintended consequences” and “killing the goose that laid the golden egg”, however the spiritual truth of the matter is that they are failing to pay the required ransom to the LORD.
What is that ransom? I figure it is giving all you have, right now, and not telling people you have no money in your pocket because that money is “allotted” to some tomorrow. Tomorrow may never come. And ordinary, hard-working people, who live paycheck to paycheck, may not understand this spiritual reality, but they are forced to live it. Blessed are the poor. What they gain is something the rich have chosen to lose, yet crave.
In any case, once a year I am forced to descend to the stinking, low-life level of filthy lucre and taxes, and to render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s. In other words, give filthy lucre to people enamored of filth.
I honestly would prefer to clean a pigsty. Then I might at least have some manure for my garden. Doing taxes is just wading through stacks of receipts, attempting to explain my business to idiots who don’t know how to mind their own. In the end I just have to pay them for being idiots.
Around a week from now I’ll be able to get back to the business of real life. Until then my blog entries will, if they happen at all, be short and sweet, like this:
We had a brief hint of true spring surge by, with temperatures up near 60° (15.5° Celsius), as a storm approached from the west.
Thunder got as far north as Boston, but not up here 60 miles northwest, as the the warmth was swept away by cold. A Snowstorm blew up over Maine, but we only got flurries.
The warm wave reduced the snow-cover in the garden from eight to three inches. I have started flats of lettuce and broccoli seedlings. Maple sap poured out, and then halted as the cold came back. The swamp maple buds are showing the first signs of swelling just enough to crack the buds casings a sixteenth of an inch. I have produced a fair amount of maple sugar, to the delight of the children at the Farm-childcare. Three small boys went so far as to “raid the cookie jar” and steal some of the candy from my stash. They were able to get away with it because two horses got spring fever, and were galloping up and down the road in front of our Childcare, and I was busy being a good neighbor and convincing the horses to go back to the paddock where they belonged.
During the warm wave I saw our first blue heron, flying overhead and looking down in obvious disgust at the still-frozen ponds. Also five vultures came north, circling on the south wind. I expect they are less disgusted than the heron, as the shrinking snow reveals what the hard winter killed, out in the woods.