Today is the Fourth Sunday of Lent (Lætare Sunday). With no Saints to honor today, we note that on this date in 1979 the Egypt–Israel Peace Treaty was signed in Washington, DC by President Anwar al-Sadat of Egypt and Prime Minister of Israel Menachem Begin, with American President Jimmy Carter witnessing the signing, following the 1978 Camp David Accords.
The Fourth Sunday of Lent is the midpoint Sunday of Lent, so today is known as Lætare Sunday, so called from the incipit (the first few words) of the Introit at Mass, “Lætare Jerusalem” (“O be joyful, Jerusalem”). The day is a day of relaxation from normal Lenten rigours; a day of hope with Easter being at last within sight. Traditionally, even weddings (otherwise banned during Lent) could be performed on this day, and servants were released from service for the day to visit their mothers. In light of the moderately joyful tone of this Sunday, priests have the option of wearing rose-colored vestments for today’s Masses. Turning to the political world, the main features of the Egypt–Israel Peace Treaty (which was brokered by American President Jimmy Carter) were the mutual recognition of each country by the other, the cessation of the state of war that had existed since the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, and the complete withdrawal by Israel of its armed forces and civilians from the rest of the Sinai Peninsula which Israel had captured during the Six-Day War in 1967. The agreement also provided for the free passage of Israeli ships through the Suez Canal and recognition of the Strait of Tiran, the Gulf of Aqaba and the Taba and Rafah straits as international waterways. The treaty led to Sadat and Begin sharing the 1978 Nobel Peace Prize for bringing peace between the two nations. The Arab nations, and especially the Palestinians, condemned the Treaty and considered it as a stab in the back, and Sadat became unpopular in the Arab circle as well as within his own country. His unpopularity grew, leading to his assassination on October 8th, 1981 by members of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad. Begin retired from public life in 1983 and died in 1992.
Last night our #4 LSU Tigers again lost a College Baseball game with the #12 Florida Gators by the score of 1 to 8.
Upon waking up to get ready for work today, I did my Book Devotional Reading, and brought in the flag I had put out yesterday for Election Day. (Two of the three candidates for judge will be in the runoff election on April 29th; one of them is the one I voted for.) On our way to work I did my Internet Devotional Reading. Once we clocked in, Richard was the Relief Dealer for Macau Mini Baccarat, Mini Baccarat, and Pai Gow, and I was the Relief Dealer for a Blackjack table (it was the first time I had dealt the new Blackjack+3, and it was not hard at all.)
On our way home I read the April 2017 issue of Consumer Reports, which did not take me long, as it was the annual Auto issue. Once home from work I made my lunch salads for today and tomorrow, and ate today’s salad while reading the Sunday papers. I then rolled up the change that was in the bottle on the bar, and we ended up with
$88.50 $86.00 in rolled coins (plus, I got about six or seven new National Parks quarters that I did not previously have for my coin collection). I then came to the computer to do today’s Daily Update, and when I am finished with this update I will go to bed for the duration. Our #11 LSU Lady Tigers won their first College Softball game of the day against the #15 Georgia Lady Bulldogs (26-5, 2-2)by the score of 2 to 0; our #4 LSU Tigers (17-7, 3-2) are now playing the third Away College Baseball game with the #12 Florida Gators (16-8, 2-3), our #11 LSU Lady Tigers will play a third Home College Softball game with the #15 Georgia Lady Bulldogs, and our New Orleans Pelicans (30-42, 5-10) will be playing an Away NBA game with the Denver Nuggets (35-27, 5-8).
Tomorrow we have no Saints to honor, although since tomorrow is a Friday in Lent, it will be a Day of Abstinence from Meat for the Faithful. We will note tomorrow that in 1915 Mary Mallon, known as Typhoid Mary, the first healthy carrier of deadly disease ever identified in the United States, was put in quarantine for the rest of her life as a public health measure. The earliest call-in drops off of the calendar for me, which is a relief; I had five points, and calling in or being tardy again before tomorrow would have been a total of six points, which is probation. (My next point will drop off of the calendar on June 10th.) Richard and I will work our eight hours, and Richard will be fasting from 3:00 am on. At 11:00 am, after we clock out, Richard will have blood drawn for lab work ahead of his appointment with the Nurse Practitioner on April 10th, and I will (hopefully) pick up prescriptions, especially the one I need that runs our tomorrow morning. On our way home Richard will get fresh boudin, and we will cash the rolled coins in at the bank. In the afternoon after lunch I will do laundry and pack everything I can, and I will try to get to bed early. The New Moon will arrive at 10:59 pm. And our New Orleans Pelicans will be playing an Away NBA game with the Utah Jazz.
Our Parting Quote on this Lætare Sunday Afternoon comes to us from Tomas Tranströmer, Swedish poet, psychologist and translator. Born in 1931 in Stockholm, Sweden, he was raised by his mother, a schoolteacher, following her divorce from his father. He received his secondary education at the Södra Latin Gymnasium in Stockholm, where he began writing poetry. In addition to selected journal publications, his first collection of poems, 17 Poems, was published in 1954. He continued his education at Stockholm University, graduating as a psychologist in 1956 with additional studies in history, religion and literature. Between 1960 and 1966, Tranströmer split his time between working as a psychologist at the Roxtuna center for juvenile offenders and writing poetry. By the mid-1960s, Tranströmer became close friends with poet Robert Bly. The two corresponded frequently, and Bly would translate Tranströmer’s poems into English. Bly also helped arrange readings for his fellow poet in America. The Syrian poet Adunis helped spread Tranströmer’s fame in the Arab world, accompanying him on reading tours. In the 1970s other poets accused Tranströmer of being detached from his own age, since he did not deal overtly with social and political issues in his poems and novels. His work, though, lay within and further developed the Modernist and Expressionist / Surrealist language of 20th-century poetry; his clear, seemingly simple pictures from everyday life and nature in particular revealed a mystic insight to the universal aspects of the human mind. Tranströmer went to Bhopal immediately after the gas tragedy in 1984, and alongside Indian poets such as K. Satchidanandan, took part in a poetry reading session outside the plant. Tranströmer published fifteen collected works over his extensive career, which have been translated into over 60 languages. An English translation by Robin Fulton of his entire body of work, New Collected Poems, was published in the United Kingdom in 1987 and expanded in 1997. He was the recipient of the 1990 Neustadt International Prize for Literature. Tranströmer suffered a stroke in 1990 that left him partially paralyzed and unable to speak; however, he continued to write and publish poetry through the early 2000s. Tranströmer played the piano throughout his life; after his stroke, which paralyzed the right side of his body, he taught himself to play only with his left hand. He published a short autobiography, Minnena ser mig (The Memories See Me), in 1993. In 2001 Bonniers, Tranströmer’s publisher, released Air Mail, a work consisting of Tranströmer’s and Bly’s day-to-day correspondence on personal, contemporary and literary matters c. 1965–1991 – in a style that vividly conveyed how close friends the two had soon become. A poem of his was read at Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs Anna Lindh’s memorial service in 2003. Following the publication of Den stora gåtan (The Great Enigma) in 2004, Fulton’s edition was further expanded into The Great Enigma: New Collected Poems, published in the United States in 2006 and as an updated edition of New Collected Poems in the United Kingdom in 2011. In 2011 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature “because, through his condensed, translucent images, he gives us fresh access to reality”. He was the 108th winner of the award and the first Swede to win since 1974. Tranströmer had been considered a perennial frontrunner for the award in years past, with reporters waiting near his residence on the day of the announcement in prior years. The Swedish Academy revealed that he had been nominated every single year since 1993. The prize announcement led to the immediate reissuing of at least two volumes of Tranströmer’s poetry (died 2015): “We always feel younger than we are. I carry inside myself my earlier faces, as a tree contains its rings. The sum of them is me. The mirror sees only my latest face, while I know all my previous ones.“