Even the Rocks Cry Out

Gem and Mineral Exhibit at Natural History Museum” by Mr.TinDC is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

Even the Rocks Cry Out

By Jane Tawel

January 23, 2023

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I wrote this after a visit to the Los Angeles History Museum’s incredible gem and mineral collection and exhibit. For better writers than I on rocks and other natural things that sing, talk, yell, shout and praise Creator-God, please read Habakkuk, Isaiah, the writers of the Psalms and the words of Jesus of Nazareth.

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Even the Rocks Cry Out

By Jane Tawel

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The world can seem lonely,

and I doubt there can be a God.

Otherwise, wouldn’t He or She or They

care?

*

Everything aches,

inside me and without.

And people keep killing each other,

while churches and synagogues and mosques

make more and more and more money

 to feed their superstars.

While the masses go hungry

for the lack of a miracle

of people sharing their loaves and fishes.

*

Ah, yes, Superstars.

We would rather worship running backs

and quarterbacks and rappers and

pretty people all in a row.

But the real stars in the sky

are consumed by our false neon-lights,

and the darkness is completed–

in the heavens as it is on earth.

The stars. The stars!–

Those magical rocks that glow in the sky–

Ah, where are the stars?

They have been put out,

just as the bridesmaids whose oil ran out

on their way to the Great Wedding.

*

No, the celestial lights,

 don’t bother to speak to us anymore.

We stopped listening to the wisdom of the stars

just as we stopped listening to the trees,

and birds and bees.

We are too busy trying to explore and exploit them all.

Busy, busy, busy, busy as bees,

And we are killing the bees with our business

just as we kill ourselves.

Sometimes even killing ourselves by

the saddest, most hopeless choice.

Perhaps because there are no more stars of light in the darkness.

*

And I feel like a very small and useless pebble,

tossed on a god’s whim,

into the roiling angry waves,

of a sea perpetually at storm.

Cast out.

Cast out.

A useless stone, cast out.

*

Yesterday I went downtown in L.A.–

Los Angeles–land of people hungry for stardom,

and begging for applause;

people also hungry for a meal

and begging for change.

Los Angeles – City of Angels,

and of Devils, too.

With the most human stars per capita,

and not a single star

that can break through, shine through

the city’s false lights and the smog.

Poor little luminaries,

all dressed up and no where to glow.

*

 Yesterday I went downtown in L.A.

and I visited the Natural Museum of History.

And there I saw the most amazing exhibit.

Among dead rows of extinct things,

or things nearing extinction,

like our planet, our poor dying planet.

I saw a living universe of color and light.

I happened upon a world unearthed.

*

There in row after row,

were rocks that glowed.

The glass cases held

every color of the rainbow.

Hundreds of minerals and gems

with tiny little placards

that tried their best to name

the unfathomable, unique glories of rocks.

An entire cosmos seemed to breathe,

in and out, and in and out.

*

How can rocks breathe, you ask?

I guess you had to be there;

holding your own breath as I held mine,

to hear the inhalations

and soft, sweet exhales of a rock’s breath.

There I stood alone in a crowd,

and communed with

that which is found under the earth.

“Ah, bless the hands that discovered

the jewels of the Earth!” I thought.

And still, I forgot,

to bless the womb

of She Who created them.

*

And yet, there among the rocks,

that seemed silent

in a world of our noisiness,

I discovered this:

There must have been a Creator.

And whatever you may call Him or Her or Them –

This Creator has created this planet with love,

and us with it.

There is no other way to understand,

how there can be so many different and

beautiful, incredible, unbelievable things—

even just the most simple of things

that we call minerals or gems;

let alone the creation of a butterfly wing,

or a whale’s song, or a human eye.

There must be Something – Someone –

Who said, “Let Us play with the dirt

and see what we can make.”

*

Only love and beauty and wonder and delight

and playfulness and joy

and creativity beyond human understanding—

could make the scope and breadth,

of things we might call – “stones”.

*

How else do you explain –

quartz, and opals,

aquamarine, and talc,

chrystobalite, adomite, hematite,

beryl and benitoite,

agate, emerald,

diamond and pearl,

painite, mica, and more.

hardness, luster,

streak, color,

fracture, gravity,

tenacity, flaws—

*

Oh, I entered there

with a heart as hard as stone.

But my feet were set upon a rock,

and I was hugged by the rocks,

for want of shelter.

*

I was silenced

 by the world’s hardness.

There was no faith left

in calcified lungs, or mind, or heart.

And then standing

in a temple of wisdom

in down town L.A.

Suddenly —

A riotous, wild cheering!

an adoring psalm broke out!–

among the most inert, unmovable things

that any god could create.

I looked around but no one else there seemed to hear them.

The minerals and gems were yelling at me.

Now singing as a choir, in harmony—

Now performing as soloists.

All were praising their Creator,

their loving Parent

The God of each mammoth mountain,

and each tiny stone.

The Creator of every fallen leaf

every stone unturned,

every child who ever felt unloved,

were held, and turned and loved by Him.

All the rocks knew their Maker,

the Creative Genius of the whole world,

still holding all He loves

in the deep caves of His hands.

All the rocks knew their Mother,

has She not told us?–

“I am the Rock of your Salvation.”

*

And even an inert, unmovable thing,

like my heart had become;

even the mountain I had built of my doubt,

were moved.

I was moved to cry, “My God!”—

*

as even the rocks cried out.

*

“I tell you truthfully, if every voice on the planet is stilled, then even the rocks themselves will cry out in praise of the Parent-Creator.” – Jesus of Nazareth.

© Jane Tawel, 2023

And On It Goes

On the Road to Joshua Tree by Jane Tawel

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And On It Goes

By Jane Tawel

January 20, 2023

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And on it goes –

this life.

If you’re lucky.

And if you take

(and give and take),

well, then,

a little time

can go a long way.

*

There is nothing real,

nothing that exists,

that you do not create

for yourself,

but mostly that, and if,

you do create

for others.

All else is suffering.

*

Truth tells us truly,

that anything we make,

without love,

will never last longer,

than the span of our lives.

But all created  

with love is eternal.

*

Today, be love.

Today, be eternal.

Be what you were created to be—

an image of Creator-Love.

Real. Here. Now.

Love.

Life.

Forever.

And on and on it goes.

*

(c) Jane Tawel, 2023

Teatime and Rain

“Quiet Tea Time” by Kirinohana is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0.

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Teatime and Rain

By Jane Tawel

January 8, 2023

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And friends came to tea,

something Americans don’t really do,

but which, for some reason, I love.

Just a little meal with lots of space,

space for conversation.

*

And one day past tea-time,

and out the windows,

I see the thirsty soil,

has sucked down all the water

from two -day old rain,

another thing not often happening,

here in the desert.

*

The earth has filled and emptied.

The world can still amaze.

And the birds sing and dance among the branches.

My house is full of memories –

memories of friends and rain;

and teacups filled and emptied,

waiting to be filled again.

© Jane Tawel, 2023

So, What Does it Mean to Be New?

By Jane Tawel

New Year’s Eve.

December 31, 2022

“fireworks” by SJ photography is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

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So, what does it mean to be new, new, new?

Oh, what does it mean to be new?

For isn’t the time that we think we have spent,

just simply our changed point of view?

*

Oh, what’s in the name of a day, day, day,

and what’s in the name of a year?

For don’t the hours pass in the same old way

as the moments by moments appear?

*

Oh, must we insist this is the new year,

encroaching, about to appear?

I fear we have missed the point — 

We exist to live in the now and the here.

*

So, what does it mean to be new, new, new?

Oh, what does it mean to be new?

I think that it means I can be a new me,

and that I can see you’re a new you.

For I’m not the same as I was just last minute,

and you can have changes that have no great limits.

Will you look at me, and let me look at you?

And we will walk forward — so new, new, new.

Yes, we will begin again new.

*

Happy New Minute, Friends!

Embrace Your New!

Embrace Your You!

*

© Jane Tawel, New Year’s Eve, 2022

A Meditation on The Man of the Hour

Homeless Jesus Statue and Homeless Person, Statue by Timothy Schmalz

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A Meditation on The Man of the Hour

By Jane Tawel

December 24, 2022

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Christ did not come to Earth,

for he has always come

to those who wait, and mourn, and hope,

in that which Love deigns True.

*

Christ will not come again someday,

for he is always coming now,

to those who wait, and suffer, and hope,

to those who seek and love,

in mysteries and all they can not see

but that which all do long for.

*

Christ was not born in Bethlehem,

except he is born in us.

Christ did not die on Calvary,

unless he dies today in me.

Christ did not rise to live again,

unless today he lives and loves and lives again

in life eternal starting Now!

in life eternal starting now in me.

*

Oh, do not worship temporal gods,

They have no hope for you.

And do not worship gods with names,

for you must find the name God has for you.

A name is written on a stone,

a white stone, pure and true,

and there you’ll find the name of Christ,

that God has given you.

*

Our hope is in The God of All,

The Great IAM, The One, Creator,

Parent of a man named Jesus,

who once did live to show The Way to God.

The Way of Christ is more than fairy dust,

and more than Santa Claus or even angels tell.

If you would follow Christ, the man,

then know his plan was to rebel,

against the tides of time and governments and yes,

even the surest shores of your religions –

all will turn to rust.

*

There is a truth in this dear season,

in which we gladly, foolishly give,

all of our treasures to the ones we love.

There is a way of hope and reason,

that’s imaged in the true myth of

a babe born once in history.

But Christ comes daily not to keep

our vision turned behind us or before.

He comes as someone that I see right now,

in persons struggling, lonely, fearful, lowly, poor.

*

Yes!  There he is! Appearing as Star Light today,

in newborn, old man, woman, friend, and even enemy.

Christ’s coming! Yes, I see him there —

in you, in her, in them—

Oh, let me see The Christ in even me!

*

Christ breaks through as The Morning Star

that heralds God’s real presence,

in even those with empty hands, like Christ was born in Bethlehem.

Christ did not come and never will he come again someday.

The Christ is not alive at all unless I walk The Way.

*

Oh, Parent-Love-Creator-God, help this small child of Yours,

to be the Light, and walk upright,

and live the love and hope and faith

of All it means to come as Christ in me—

yes, please Dear One,

be born in me, today.

*

© Jane Tawel, 2022

An Essay on: What Does Their Reality Have to Do with Me? And Why Do I Let Myself Think About It?

“mountain” by barnyz is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

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An Essay on: What Does Their Reality Have to Do with Me?

And Why Do I Let Myself Think About It?

By Jane Tawel

December 10, 2022

I often tell my students, before you try to write the answer, find the question. And the important questions are always, “How?” and “Why?”. I read a lot about what, in shorthand, I might call “spiritual and life-quality improvement” books. I read theology and metaphysics and spirituality manuals and Sacred texts and philosophy and psychology and good novels of course. There is nothing like a well-written novel to teach one something about human nature and about what one might call the eternal cosmic laws of nature and human nature. But if you read anything along the lines of these genres, you may agree that good books mostly raise important questions and the answers are fluid. Answers are like streams and rivers, always flowing and never the same at the same place twice. Questions are like a Mountain Range. They have always been there, and always will. Every day, we look out from our perspective and we may change every day, but the mountain still stands before us, immovable like God. And no human has ever climbed and conquered all the questions and none of us can conquer them for the next person. We get caught up in the temporal questions that have no ultimate meaning, like “What? How much? When? Who?” But these are not the questions that lead to Life’s great anwers. The Big Ideas and the true meaning of what I am doing on this little blue ball always come from “How and Why?”.

Today I was reading about changing my thinking. This is something I think more of us can relate to after living through a pandemic. We had a lot of time to think and it wasn’t always pretty and it wasn’t always fruitful. Perhaps you, like I, got into the habit of anesthetizing our thinking and perhaps you, like I, got into the habit of thinking about things that weren’t real. What I mean by “not real” is that one often gets hit with a thought about someone or something and its negative impact goes in like a sharp arrow. And as Thich Nhat Hanh so wisely points out, for some reason what most of us do is refuse to remove the stabbing thought-arrow and we just shoot second and third and fourth and one-thousand more arrows into the same wound, over and over and over again by thinking about it. As I wrote in a poem called, “Do Not Let Them In, They Are Not Here”, we allow the negative thoughts of others to take up residence in the rooms of our Mind-Homes much more easily than we do the positive, loving, good memories, lovely moments to find a home within our Mind-Homes. And so, the question is: Why? Why do we do that?

Maybe you are like I am, and like a long line of the people in my genetic pool and in my current family and friend circle are — we keep thinking about the negative or hurtful or confusing or unloving or mostly SCARY things that other people do in our lives and in the world, because we have convinced ourselves somewhere along the way that if we could just figure out WHY they did that, or said that, or think that — then we would somehow UNDERSTAND. And we convince ourselves if we could just understand then we would stop thinking about it. What we really mean of course is that if we could somehow just confirm and convince them that they are WRONG and we are RIGHT, THEN we would be happy, at peace, have a positive attitude, etc. etc. etc. Our thinking so often goes, “If I figure it out, I could change them, it, that, her, him.”

So here is the “How” question: Haven’t I learned that the only thing I can change is myself, my thinking, my heart and soul; so HOW do I change myself?

And the Why is obvious — Why change me? Because I want to be happy, fulfilled, unafraid, not angry, positive and healthy and hopeful and free.

I read this today: “You demonstrate the state of your mind at any given time. You experience in the outer what you really think in the inner.” Jesus, who knew his sacred texts well, believed this: “As a man thinketh so is he.” And he acted on that time and time again in his own mind and heart and life. What a great example of being a fulfilled human being, Jesus could be if we would let him. His ministry was to heal people basically by convincing them of the truth of that statement. “Because of your faith (mind-set, heart-set, soul-set) you are healed. If you have faith (inner health, harmony, and freedom) you could move a mountain.” Our inner self is our reality. So why (there is that ultimate question again) do we muck it up with junk and crap that isn’t here? I am going to use a strong word in this next bit that I never use but if you have followed me so far you know that this is exactly what some people do to us and what some situations feel like to us:

It is sadly and far too often the case, that I cannot prevent someone from shitting on me. But I can stop myself from wallowing around in their shit. I can hose it off and walk away. But far too often, when something bad happens to me or someone I love, or someone is mean or hurtful or evil (and if you don’t believe in evil, well….I don’t know what to say, but evil can enter even the most normal or religious of us. For good information on that read M. Scott Peck’s People of the Lie and well, The Bible is good too.) So …. Again, sorry for the strong word but “Shit on me once, shame on you. Shit on me twice, shame on me. Shit on me a thousand times? — Why am I still letting my own thoughts do that to me? Why?

I worked a very stressful job once at a “Christian” place. Most American Christian places I have worked on, well…. God have mercy. But at this one I was so stressed after a year I thought I was having heart issues. The doctor assured me I had a heart as strong as a teenager and it was just panic attacks. If you have ever had panic attacks, there is no “just” about it. Panic attacks are the body’s desperate attempt to show us that our worst enemy, however he or she may choose to appear as anger or hate or righteousness or — our biggest and most virulent enemy is — Fear.

I had a dream during those years. I was walking toward the auditorium with all the other employees and there was a big hole in the ground — a sort of chasm really. I fell into the hole and when I clawed my way up out of it, my beautiful suit and high heels and panty hose and all of me, head to toe, were covered in mud. I kept walking with the other people toward the doors of the auditorium and here is why I still remember that dream — the astounding thing was that no one noticed I was covered in mud. No one noticed.

We don’t do we? We don’t notice each other’s pain. We aren’t willing to look in the mirror and see the real reason we keep feeling our own pain. And God forbid we feel guilty about the pain we cause someone else. So, we pretend we aren’t all wallowing in the dirt and mud. Because if we did, we might reach out a hand or pass around a clean cloth or offer to baptize each other in the healing pool of forgiveness and love.

The real reason we obsess about the negative things people do to us or with us or sometimes, mea culpa, because of us (I too am guilty of grieving the Holy Spirit), is not because we want to understand them, or even because we want to be right and prove them wrong. In our hearts we all know that being right is a fleeting joy and like those bags of chips or cases of beer or Netflix streaming shows that we all over did it with during the pandemic, being right will anesthetize the pain for a while but we have to keep the anesthesia flowing and eventually its efficacy wears off. We all know those people (often ourselves) who have become so needy to always be right that they will insist they are right even if they are quite obviously wrong. It would be funny if it weren’t rather sad. But isn’t that really what we are doing when we keep convincing ourselves we just want to “understand” or we just want to keep thinking about something because we want to make sure we are “right” about the situation? Why are we so afraid to admit that even being right does not bring us peace? Why do we not want to live with inner peace and love more than we want to “figure out” the answers? Wouldn’t I rather live with joy and peace and love of self and others more than I would to live with an endless, pointless, hopeless search for the wrong answers to the wrong questions? Because even if I know them, the answers for someone else’s reality will never make me feel at home with the questions about my own reality.

Today, I think I found my Question of the Day that may help me write my life-story’s next chapter –

Question to self: Even if you do in fact “see them” for what they really are, what does their “reality” have to do with your reality right here and right now?

And if my answer is, “Nothing”, then I need to rinse myself off, pick myself up, stop wallowing in the shit that isn’t here anymore, pull the arrows out and throw them as far as I can throw them, walk away from the things that I use to mask the pain and fear, and free myself from the prison with no bars to keep me in it. I need to find why I am still alive and breathing and seeing and hearing and talking and loving — -

HERE.

NOW.

JUST BEING.

ME.

“Yesterday is gone and will never return. This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalm 118)

“Get away from me, ‘Satan’.” (Jesus)

“Flee from evil and do good, and dwell forever. For the Lord loveth judgment, and forsaketh not his Saints: they shall be preserved forevermore: but the seed of the wicked shall be cut off. The righteous men shall inherit the land, and dwell therein forever.” (Psalm 37)

“Oh, it’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood. So, let’s make the most of this beautiful day. Since we’re together, we might as well say: Would you be mine? Could you be mine? Won’t you be my neighbor?” (Fred “Mr.” Rogers)

Today, I will focus on the thoughts that I choose to be my neighbors. I will live with good neighbor-thoughts and I will only open my heart to the loving thoughts and ideas of goodness that I want to live within me.

Today, I cannot prevent a thought from arriving at the door of my mind, whether a fear for the world in which we live, a hurt from the past, or a desire for something that is not ultimately good for me or for those I love. I can, however, after opening the door to that negative thought, say, “Sorry, you may not come in. Sorry, your appearance is useful only in reminding me of what is important. Sorry, you hurt me once — see the scars? But you cannot come in and reside with me now; you may not hurt me now — you are not here with me in my reality. Even if you are here outside with me, I will not let you in here, inside the temple of myself.

Today, I will love myself enough to start anew — clean, free from fear, full of faith that the Universe is a Good place to live in today and that it is my job to protect myself from evil and harm and then to, in love, protect all others from what I can — outside in the world, and from within my own heart and mind.

Today, I shall feel all there is to feel and not anesthetize myself from that which can teach me to be a better human and to live with the great cosmic natural laws of God. And when any of those feelings are scary or hurtful or cause me anger or fear or greed or confusion, I will ask:

Why?

And I will know I can live within the question because someday, I will be what I have always been meant to be, and I shall see The True Reality, Face to face.

And all will be well with me today and forever, in the Kingdom on Earth as it is meant to be in a The Perfect Cosmos of God and Humanity. Amen.

*

© Jane Tawel, 2022

The Question Tells Our Stories

“Open Book Policy” by Alex E. Proimos is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0.

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The Question Tells Our Stories

By Jane Tawel

December 2, 2022

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The young are ensnared,

by the Questioners,

who with all good intentions intact,

nonetheless, trap them

and grade them,

and release them into the world

thinking that the questions are:

What?

Who?

When?

And many never learn that these questions

have no ultimate worth

and will never satisfy.

For that which we all long for is — 

a story worth telling

a story worth listening to,

a story worth living.

*

And all of us,

may be ground down

by those who lead

the inquisitions of

banal things,

like education, and politics, and religion.

We who educate the young

still believe we can teach them answers.

Have none of us learned yet,

that all that matters

are what questions we learn to ask,

and live with?

How few of us learn,

that all of life’s prompts,

are asking each of us,

all of us,

to answer only — 

“How?”

and “Why?”

And few of us learn or know

that when we ask

the real questions,

that even the questions are unclear,

But that living with the right questions

will lead us,

and we will lie down in green pastures,

near still waters,

in peace

with the questions.

*

Oh, yes, many of us still seek

what we think to be written

in black and white.

And we foolishly walk in halls

constructed by Whats and Whos

and made crooked with straight lines

and covered in moldy, dead pictures

of dead saints and deader patriots.

And we live lives afraid of our own stories.

And we must hate and fear something,

so, we hate and fear the stories of others.

And we keep chasing whats and whos.

As if they were real.

As if they could last.

*

Listen to the elders speak.

“Oh, Our People –

when human stories are no longer told,

and we no longer look at each other

awed by the mystery,

then the heroes have failed

and the protagonist has died,

and the antagonists of the Story,

and the enemies of meaning and longing,

have won.

But they too, silly fools,

will have no victory in death.

*

Oh, we must remain awake!

We must keep turning the pages;

pages written only for us

in this place, and this time.

We must keep searching for the themes,

one by one,

eyes open

past our bedtimes

times that would turn out our lights,

and leave the Story unfinished.

Oh, I am learning to live

in the mystery

that all Good Stories must have,

waiting to gasp at the surprise ending.

For we know not

of what we are made of now,

but one day, we shall be revealed to be,

not what we are,

not who we are,

not what we have been;

but Why we have been,

and Why we have lived,

and Why we will always be.

*

Oh, My People,

when we stop telling each other our stories,

and listening to each other’s stories — 

Well, that is when the Story of humanity

and of our beautiful earth,

will end –

*

Oh, My People,

Tell your stories.

Tell them to whomever will listen.

Tell your story

in your bedroom,

in your office,

in check-out lines

and empty pews,

and protest marches

and wherever you are

and with whomever you are with.

And when you tell your true story,

and listen to another’s true story,

Why, then –

whatever you do

that you think is important

will be revealed

to be a lovely, peaceful little nothing at all,

compared to the True Story of You.

*

Oh, My People,

Learn your story.

You are not a what

Or a who

Or a when — 

You have come through your story, thus far,

by learning to ask “How”.

And if you haven’t already,

You must now be brave enough

to ask yourself, “Why?”.

And then write

just the next moment of your story,

that is all your story needs,

the next word,

the next line,

the next action

that answers your “Why”.

And then you may write

one moment more,

and that too,

will be the answer.

And by asking the write questions,

You are asking the right questions.

And you are turning the page,

on another day to become closer

to the Story’s Awesome Ending! — 

and the answer to Why.

“Here am I, Oh Why. Send me.”

*

You are an arc, a radius, a point,

in the Awesome Circle

we sit in together,

telling the Story of Why.

Take part today in the Circle of Life.

*

And in the questions,

that your story,

and his story,

and her story,

and their story

ask with words whispered,

with proclamations shouted,

with songs sung;

the questions,

written large and small

with nubby pencils,

and leaking ink pens,

and sticks on cave walls,

and bindings both new and old — 

in the questions pulsing

like living hearts outside a body,

in the stories of yourself and others,

and all of humankind — 

you will find the Living Mystery,

that some call “God”,

and some call “Meaning”,

and some call “The Answer” — 

but all of humankind calls — 

“ The Why”.

*

Oh, My People,

There are only two stories to be told.

One is loss.

And the other is –

Love.

Loss is the story of How.

Loss will guide the protagonist’s steps,

if allowed to be the catalyst to change.

But the only story worth

keeping on the top shelf of your thinking,

and the locked vault of Memory’s library,

and passed from hand to hand

in the circles of our gatherings;

and kept safely, next to the bed

to be read again,

and with parts memorized

for telling when the nightmares come,

or our sleepy children snuggle close,

or an old worn out body breathes its last;

the only story to be cherished

and told and retold and told again,

the story that is no respecter of persons,

but available for free,

always for all of us;

the only story worth living for,

worth dying for,

worth trusting in;

the Story with the real Ending,

that will never, never come,

but that will go on into eternity,

Why, that Story –

the story that answers “Why”,

is the Story of Love.

Oh, My People,

the only story that when told and retold,

never grows stale or boring,

the only story that is worth sharing,

again,

and again,

and again

is the Story of Love.

*

And Love will always,

Always — 

Always — 

Be — 

Forever…

The Story that answers

the only question worth asking:

Why?

© Jane Tawel, 2022

*

*

I lived among the books and things,

and rode the merry-go-round.

And as I reached for the golden ring — 

Why — suddenly I found

that Life is not a carousel

that I did have to ride,

so, I slid off, so I could tell,

of what I’d found, before I died.

Oh, Children, do not hop aboard,

this world’s illusive wheel.

Instead, trust what you feel,

to be the Path your soul reveals.

For it’s within your very own,

dear self that you will find

a true and loving peaceful home,

for heart, and soul, and mind.

You must be brave.

You must be modest.

You’ll find The Path,

most strange and oddest.

But you will find around each bend,

our joy in journeying never ends.

*

© Jane Tawel, 2022

Loss of IQ in America Leads to Killings

Loss of IQ in America Leads to Killings

by Jane Tawel

Victims’ Families outside Colorado Springs LGBTQ Night Club

*

My daughter told me the other day that there is a documentary detailing the extreme loss of IQ Americans had due to lead in our water and houses and gasoline etc. etc. That is the only thing I can think of that could possibly be the reason for how insane I find current America to be. We are waking up today with another mass shooting — another murder of five people, five families, countless friends and co-workers destroyed by the lack of IQ and complete loss of true ethics of an entire nation by default — and no it wasn’t senseless — it was the sense of hatred and the rational of “freedom” which has become simply a freedom to do evil because the rich and powerful like staying rich and powerful behind their bodyguards and protected security details while the rest of us are confused by the fact they say they want to save fetuses but we forget they don’t want to save our actual children. And this country will not look itself in the face and say, hey, this hasn’t been a democracy for a long time — it’s an oligarchy and it is time to look at what this country is really based on — greed at the top and fear at the bottom.

And all I can do is say, well, I have to do better myself. I have to stop the greed in myself. I have to stop the fear in myself. And I will not be silent but I will also not put my hope in anything but a different way of living. And I will try not to fear but I will stay angry and I will try to find some religious offering tables to turn over and I will paint sacrificial blood on the door of my heart that I will not return hatred in return for hatred and that fear will not visit the house of my mind and heart today but that I will see the American Pharaohs for what they are and always have been and always will be, and I will find that I must put my trust and hope elsewhere.

Let us find each other, and put our hope and trust in each other’s capacity and will to Love. Today I will pray for the mothers and fathers and siblings and friends of those most recent victims and martyrs to American Hatred and Greed and I will — Look to the helpers, as Mr. Rogers said. Look to the poor in spirit, as the Christ would say. Look to The Way, The Tao that all spiritually evolved saviors point to and then I will ask myself, “well, what can I do?” Well….. maybe just like Seuss’ Who’s in Whoville, if enough of us say “We are here. We are here. Here am I, Lord, send me.” — well, maybe…. maybe we can save this poor ole good idea for a kingdom/nation called America, and maybe we can save the world, and maybe we can save the planet. But…. today I will weep because we can’t save five more innocent people in Colorado Springs, America. When will we care enough about each other to say, “Enough!”?

© Jane Tawel, 2022

Forgivin’ is Livin’

by Jane Tawel

“Fake Bird, Real Sky” by Daveography.ca is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

*

Forgivin’ is Livin’

By Jane Tawel

November 19, 2022

*

Forgive my assumptions

that lead me to doubt

that You have guided and gifted me.

*

Forgive my forgetting

the times that pure Grace

was all that protected and lifted me.

*

Forgive my instructions

that force You to choose

whether Your will or my will is done.

*

Forgive me the most

for the things that I boast of

while neglecting it all came through grace.

And help me, today,

to walk in a New Way,

that one day, We may stand face to Face.

*

Forgive that I choose

to be lazy or greedy

and to live in a life based on fear.

*

May I do what is hardest,

and forgive me, Myself;

to stop looking outside me,

for there’s nothing to right me,

but the Love that’s inside me,

and has always been here.

*

Forgiving is freeing

You, you, and you.

Forgiving is seeing

that all that is True,

is Faith, Hope, and Love—

all the rest will be past,

and all that will last,

is whatever I’ve given

to bring to earth, Heaven.

Oh! “for-givin’” is livin’

in Eternity now.

*

“Go, now, your sins are forgiven. Which is harder to say? Your body is healed or your soul is healed? You have forgiven yourself in the same measure that you have forgiven others. Forgive yourself as We forgive you. Forgive, and Live.” (Paraphrased from The Wise One)

© Jane Tawel, 2022

Deciding on Miracles

“Last Dandelion in Turku” by Pensiero is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

*

Deciding on Miracles

By Jane Tawel

November 6, 2022

The following are in part, at this time, some of my fledgling reflections on some of the seminal and profound ideas in that great chestnut by M. Scott Peck, The Road Less Traveled.

*

I shall decide that today is a miracle,

“Today is a miracle”.

I shall imbibe of the salty and sweet,

and watch the small miracle of my carefully placed feet.

And when I feel faint or uncertain in knowing,

I shall not retreat from the knowledge that’s growing,

that every small moment that I have of living,

is a strange unknown mercy, not earned, simply given.

*

And we fear all the things that we don’t understand,

but, in truth, even as rational thought does expand,

we are ever more fearful, and anxious, and fetal.

While religions have certainly quite often been evil,

we might miss the deep truths of our innate and primeval,

amazing, inscrutable sense of the ineffable,

by ignoring the fact that true faith is accessible,

by simply and humbly accepting right now,

that we are still living — and we do not know how.

*

Oh, I shall with skeptical prodding, intact,

be carefully aware, we don’t know all the facts.

But how else to explain my survival today,

when all history and science point quite different ways?

One must say, “It’s a mystery.” And then one must face,

that the answer is simple: It’s a matter of grace.

*

Today I shall decide that I am a miracle.

This moment — a miracle.

My eyes — a miracle.

My breath — a miracle.

My fingers — a miracle.

My thought — a miracle.

My feeling — a miracle.

My health — a miracle.

My family — a miracle.

That bird — a miracle.

That pond — a miracle.

The sky — a miracle.

A dandelion is a stunning miracle.

You and Them — miracles…….

Oh, there are not enough pages or scientific journals or theological tomes in the whole of the world’s history! — to hold all the miracles of grace, in just this moment!

*

Dear Nameless, Unknowable, Miraculous, Gracious Giver of All Life:

Help me to keep this holy but foolish vow:

This day, I will step into the miracle that I am alive.

And no matter what may befall me or my world or the planet today,

may I count not the things that have been lost,

but the pearl of great price I have found.

If I lose my eyes, may I be grateful for my heart still beating.

If my heart stops beating,

may the memories of my heart of love still live in others.

If I lose all that is dearest to me — my loved ones — my ability to think — my shelter — 

may I even in utter despair,

believe that Eternity exists because Love never dies,

and may I trust that when all facts seem to point to hell on earth,

there is a heaven, most real, to be found in the Mystery of Grace.

May I embrace an inexplicable joy in my journey today,

and tonight, lie down in perfect peace, knowing that

fear and even death, have no power

against the Eternal Power of Grace and Love.

Oh, I bless the time in which I was born,

and I stand in wonder that all the factors of my existence,

and that the science and religion and books and other people

have all given me just enough knowledge,

to burn my fingers and my wings,

but not enough fire to blind me, or kill me.

Oh yes, like the primordial, cosmic, foolish, and absolutely brilliant being that I am,

I shall keep rubbing together the two little sticks I have been given.

I shall keep making my small little fire of miraculous light and life.

And I shall keep burning within me,

the friction caused between knowledge and faith.

And with the miracle of the scientific fact that nothing is ever destroyed,

and with the scientific fact that my very existence and life today

is an unexplained miracle of grace,

I will rejoice that in this moment, I miraculously live forever.

Oh, grace has kept me safe thus far, and

Grace will bring me Home.

*

© Jane Tawel, 2022