I've been thinking more about capital punishment, Tookie Williams' execution, the execution a year ago of Donald Beardslee, and the scheduled execution of the unappealing Charles Ray Allen. Beardslee was executed on my mother's birthday, and she's now failing and about to turn 95 the day after Allen's execution, which is, ironically, the day before Allen's own birthday. Somehow in my mind I'm seeing a vague, peculiar connection, one I'm as yet unable to analyze and articulate.
All this craziness has come at the end of the secular year and the beginning of the next, in the midst of miners dying in underground darkness in West Virginia and the Prime Minister of Israel lingering near death. I've always wondered at his etherial-sounding name, Ariel. It must mean something quite different in Hebrew or whatever language it is than its English connotations. Ariel is a mountain gazelle and a satellite of Uranus. Another irony: the Ariel Ministries appears to be a Jews-for-Jesus group.