Being Part of The Conversation

Being Part of The Conversation

by Jane Tawel

January 27, 2017

My view has been and remains that President Donald Trump is exactly who America has been pretty much since Reagan– I take that back. Pretty much since the American Revolution. Pretty much since the Native American Holocaust (Today is International Holocausts Remembrance Day. The plural is my addition. Yowza. It is going to be a depressing sobering day — it was a lot more sobering and depressing for holocaust victims though, so…..).

America has always been leaning towards and is now truly an oligarchy of the rich –especially rich and big businesses.Obama tried to make a difference and while I don’t agree with every thing he did, he did change the conversation. That is critical to remember as we continue The Conversation — if nothing else we should mirror his restraint and integrity and respectful speech. I have failed but I must try. This is the Jesus Way– truth with a heart of love. I happen to believe it is not the American way– but I happen to believe it is not the political way any where. Politics always has and always will be about money and power. Only the hands and mouths change.  There are rare people in history who change the conversation –Jefferson, Lincoln, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Abraham, Joseph of Egypt, Daniel, Mary, Jesus of course, Ghandi, Mother Teresa, Elie Wiesel, St. Francis and Benedict, Martin Luther King. But mostly Jesus. Jesus completely changed The Conversation and it was pretty much not by what He said, but what He DID.

Now all of you young people need to stay focused on what throughout the history of mankind has been accomplished in The Conversation and you must own the problems you inherit, I am sorry to say. You must study history and the bible and all ethical and moral humans and scribes that have lived and decide that you can make a difference in the corner of the world in which you live.Then you must start doing it.

And do not be sucked into speaking and thinking and acting as whomever you perceive the enemy to be. This is why Jesus advises us to love our enemy — vengeful actions merely deplete and destroy self; while positive or loving resistance to evil has a way of bringing God into the equation in ways you can not anticipate. It brings your God-image into the equation in ways you can not imagine. You treat your perceived enemy with the respect you do any fallen, sinful human being.This is why we “love others as we love ourselves” because we are fallen sinful, confused, broken human beings with the capability to do amazing great creative miraculous things.  Just like the great heroes of history and just like the only begotten Son.

And you figure out what you can do daily, weekly, to make a difference in the actual space you live in.  If protest propels you to act intentionally, then it is the right thing for you to do. If it is only releasing energy– either positive or negative energy — and then you feel either satisfied or  depressed, then you need to find a positive way of speaking into the universe we share — speaking not just with your mouth but also with hands and feet and minds. And primarily you need to find an action to help someone more needy than yourself. This too is the Jesus Way and how humans are best created to exist.  For white people this should be people of color. For men it should be women. For adults it should be children. And for Americans it should be 3rd world countries and the homeless and the mentally ill and physically ill in our own country. And of course for Christians it should be all of the above as we are commanded to do.  So my part of The Conversation now to speak to myself and all of you is simply:

I hear you. Now what are you going to do about it?

Here is the part of The Conversation I am meditating on today:

The Spirit of the Lord Jehovah is upon me; because Jehovah hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; Isaiah 61:1

Find your broken-hearted ones, and serve them with truth and love.

But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves.
 James 1:22

Time to roll up our sleeves and do something about it. Find your part of The Conversation in the world, and just Do It.

 

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Growing Old #2 – A Poem

Growing Old #2

A Poem

By Jane Tawel

January 24, 2017

 

Time runs fluid through my brain, my heart, all that make up my soul’s being.

Like a sluice, the years line up

Impeding very little Time’s rushing waves

Flowing toward the Future

Where I will not float.

 

And I gaze ahead with one hand on The Shore,

The memories drifting ever so slowly

Sometimes sludge-like

Sometimes like snowflakes

Sinking to the bottom of my dreams.

 

Dreams that I wade in searching for meaning to my years whether

Waking or sleeping or half awakesleep or asleepwake,

Small parts of me still awkwardly

rolling forward

While more and more

I long to swim Ashore

and play in the

Mud-Sluiced memories

Of my stagnant world.

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Happy Moment to You

Happy Moment To You

by Jane Tawel

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January 1, 2017

I began the new year today at 3:00 am and soon hit the road to take my daughter to the airport to catch a return flight to Virginia.  Under the klieg lights of LAX — rubbing tears into my eyes, giving my daughter a sharp hard hug… or two… all right  maybe it was three… and then heading back into the dark, black but for the blinding headlights behind and oncoming, searing all colors from the landscape and impairing my vision. If I look at my life, bitten off whole, it can often seem like that – lots of dark, black  but for the blinding lights. Blinding lights can hurt.  Blinding lights can frighten.  Blinding lights can keep you awake.  Blinding lights can save. Christmas is a season full of different colored lights –and One Light that was Blinding and yet can save.

 

I began the new year today driving home, listening to what they call an alternative radio station and wishing there were an alternative.  Coldplay’s “Yellow” came on and I thought about how my favorite color used to be yellow and how Coldplay singer guy’s mother died with yellow skin. Things happen in life– to people– and I feel fake at my age liking the color yellow. I wish I could be one of those cheerfully accepting purple -hatted red- dressed old ladies or whatever that was then, but when people ask me I tell them I don’t have a favorite color.  Well, it depends, doesn’t it? Are you talking favorite color for a couch or favorite color for a sweater? Do I need a favorite color for a potato? Or a couch potato? Or  a favorite color for a cleaning rag? What is your favorite color? For a sunset? Or a rainbow? Or your favorite color for understanding? Or for a memory? Or for a hug? Or your favorite color for a moment?

 

I started the new year today driving silently on rain-teared freeways and wishing the stain-teared world a “Happy New Year”.  But what a silly thing to do.  Because there is no such thing as a happy new year. What color the year will be for you or for me or for any one remains to be seen and it might not be one of our happy favorite colors. And yellow can change its meaning from favorite to sad. Every year is guaranteed to be  full of lots of contrasting colors for each of us. In fact, there is no such thing as a new year at all.  There is only this new moment.  I acutely realized that this new morning as in the blink of an eye,  I laid on my horn to wake up some one’s father or sister or child going 90 miles an hour, and to prevent me and Polly Prius being hit and pushed into the semi-truck on my right side.  I just had that single solitary moment in which to live. No more. We all – the someone’s crazy -driving relative, the semi-driver, and I –just had that instantaneous moment. To live. To choose. To breathe. To think. To yell into the dark.  To pray. To thank the Lord. One more moment.  Not one more year.  Never a whole year. Not even a whole week. Not even a whole day. No one has that. We all just have One. More. Moment.

 

I began my new year with just one more moment to get home and text my daughter waiting in the airport for her one more moment. I texted, “I’m home. Praying for you. I love you.”

 

In this new moment, as I sit and type, my husband and other children are still asleep. In the next minute I plan on getting up and if I do, I’ll pour my second cup of coffee. I am thankful to have this moment to hear The Beloveds still breathing– Still alive in the rooms that contain our now stale Christmas decorations and half -eaten boxes of candy. The Christmas colors and lights surrounding me in this new dawn, remind me of all the happy minutes in the past week. I am so full of sweetly-remembered minutes I want to clutch them tightly to hold onto and never let them go. I want to hoard them like a new box of Crayola crayons and get them out just to look at from time to time. They are all such pretty colored memoried moments.

But some of life’s moments aren’t all that great. Some of life’s moments aren’t pretty colors at all.  In this same moment in this same city my friend sits in the hospital by her daughter. In this moment, while I pour my second cup of coffee, she has one more moment of  blindingly agonizing fear and pain. While my daughter crams her bag in an overhead compartment, my friend’s daughter is crammed full of tubes. The color yellow looks different under my dining room’s glowing lights; yellow seems different under the airplane’s muted lights; yellow feels different under the hospital’s blinding lights. Blinding lights can hurt. Blinding lights can frighten. Blinding lights can keep you awake. Blinding lights can save. I hope and pray in this. one. moment. that the One True Blinding Light will change the colors for my friend and her daughter.

 

I began my new year thinking about all the people in all the world who can’t remember their last happy moment, and all the people who won’t have one more happy minute, let alone a whole Happy New Year.  I began my new year thinking about the cascading waterfall of all the happy minutes of my life. So many moments dancing like rainbow-hued water drops reflecting The Light. Just like a favorite color, I don’t have a favorite moment.  And in this world, strangely, moments need contrasting colors to make sense, don’t they? Otherwise it’s like driving in the dark. Or into a blinding light.

It’s hard to say what color a moment truly is. Like a prism, a life lived out and held up to The Light, in the perspective of Eternity, changes every moment into something new. And each moment becomes its own Infinity Box of Crayola -colored Eternity fulfilled.

 

Right now, only Now, I have this gloriously joyful emerging-colored moment. It could be someone’s idea of a favorite colored moment.  But I am in fact, living in a completely new undiscovered –until- this- very- heartbeat, new moment’s hue.

I shall name my newly discovered color: Enough.

 

And this moment is henceforth called, Enough.  It is enough.  It is meant to be enough. It is Created Enoughness. It is a Universe of Enoughness.

 

I began the new year with just one guarantee– No guarantees. Not for a happy new year, at any rate. Not even a guarantee I’ll live another minute in this world. But right now I could guarantee myself that I can live this eternal moment and it can be deemed Enough. In this moment, I can accept and embrace Enoughness. One whole moment of Enoughness. One moment to breathe deeply. One moment to smile. One moment for a tear drop. For a belly laugh. One moment for a song. For a thought. One moment to see. One moment to listen. One moment to reach out to someone.  One moment to be home. One moment to risk. One moment to explore. One moment to wait. One moment to pray. To ask. To praise. To thank.  One moment to say, “I love you.”

 

And that is more than enough.That is every thing. This moment is a many-hued kaleidoscope of Eternity’s Enoughness. I can guarantee  you — I think it is going to be one of my favorites.

 

Happy New Enoughness to you and yours – in this very moment. Period.