And Now, Love — a short love poem

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Raoul and Jane, circa 2018

 

And Now, Love

By Jane Tawel

March 30, 2020

For Raoul

 

*

And now, Love, we wind down,

As Memory’s lane leads on,

 of shared passion and old fuss.

There is no longer need;

But mere desire, hotter than mere lust.

*

Once, Love, we shall again

Be true to greater selves than them;

And we will paint woods green, and dance,

Finding sun and making rain,

Imagination spooning romance.

*

Ah, Love, Tomorrow never comes

Divorced as it must be from Life.

Your face, your hands, your touch,

All elemental to my Why;

To our wed meaning, you are much to much.

*

And Now, Love, we re-learn, re-grow.

We find our way, anew.

And Now, Love, we may finally know,

That you are all to me, and I, to you.

If It Were the Last

Recorta Renova

“Recorta Renova” by Gui Silva is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

 

If It Were the Last

By Jane Tawel

March 26, 2020

About a year ago, before this “WHOLE THING”, you know, before the pandemic that shook the foundations of everyone’s world, I started giving myself little talks about how I should live if this “were the last”.  As an old-school grammarian, I find it best to use the combo of “IF- WERE”, as good grammar used to have it, because using the subjunctive form  ie the hypothetical philosophy of projecting things onto the future of my dreams, desires, or hypotheses suites my worldview best.  And I think especially this idea of using the plural form of a verb implies that this is just a hypothesis – IF – and not a done deal. There could be many things that happen in the future, IF. But I digress…

 

I belong to a particular group of worldview enthusiasts who have this idea that we should live each day as if it could be the last day.  Well, yes, and no.   This “as if it could be your last day on earth” doesn’t really mean you take unacceptable risks with your life or anyone else’s. It also doesn’t mean you waste all your money on a frivolous pursuit or go skydiving if you really hate the idea of falling from any height at all, especially with only an oversized handkerchief inflating above you – hopefully.  But there are many, many good attitudes one can adopt towards oneself and towards others, if we really live as if the end of the, or at least our world could come at any time. Living as if it could all be taken from us  “like a thief in the night”, as  the wise Teacher said, has many advantages.  And doesn’t it seem, really as if this latest thing, this corona virus, has snuck-up on us suddenly and caught us completely unaware with our moral, ecological pants down and our treasures stored away with Wall Street con artists rather than in things that really might last and stand the test of eternity?  Just like a thief in the night, this virus has robbed us of what we were literally banking on and figuratively secure in. Our treasure ended up being stored in plain sight and rather useless and flimsily secured against the thief. Indeed, it seems to make a bit more sense now to meditate on the truth that where our treasure it, there our heart is also.

What I have done over the past year, though is more in the  practical arena than the philosophical.  I have tried to live a more aware and caring life in relationship to the planet I love, and the home I inhabit and love, because long before the virus, I began to realize that I am responsible for how I live my life, my day.  And if I lived my day as if something could be the last of something, then maybe the naysayers are right, and while I wouldn’t exactly save the planet, — I could possibly save my soul. And who knows, maybe just one person or a few persons, doing the right things, doing the moral things, doing the things that need to be done, will save the whole world. After all, it’s been done before.

 

There are a few people in the world who are connecting this horrible pandemic to the ills we have long foisted on our Mother Nature and on the Earth, but it’s hard to hear them when you are afraid you personally are going to die.  But we are all going to die, aren’t we?  Or did we forget that?  But should we be allowed to keep ruining the planet for the people and animals and fruits and vegetables and flowers and insects who want to live after we are dead?  Should that be an option for any one, no matter their age, nation, income, religion, politics, or worldview?  If  nothing else, this whole thing about toilet paper, should surely make some kind of dim light-bulb go on in everyone’s faulty-wired, blinking chandelier. Shouldn’t it?

 

So, as I said, about a year or so ago, I started doing some things as if they were the last – not everything – mea culpa, pleaseforgiveme, really I feel truly sorry and I need to apologize to the future children of the world who hopefully will have a world to inhabit.  But I did start to do some things as if they were the last. And it sort of began, ironically with toilet paper.

 

I have a friend and long, long ago before either of us married or had kids, she told me about how her father would make her, my friend and her five siblings count the sheets of toilet paper they were allowed to take in to do their business in the bathroom.  If their business was the Number 1 kind, then they got two sheets of T.P.  If their business was the Number 2 kind, they got four sheets.  Now, this family was rich, but the dad I guess still believed that even if you are rich, there is no need to waste either money or toilet paper. He also really believed in that old adage of “waste not, want not”.  Might be how he got so rich even with that many kids.  He wasn’t an environmentalist or a religious person at all —  he simply thought that his family should do what he considered to be the right thing to do – for the family.

 

Now – aren’t you wondering if all those people out there hoarding toilet paper for some godforsaken reason or other, are at least, for God’s Sake (and I mean that, For Her Sake), making sure every one is using only enough TP to do their business? Are you a little bit wishing that everyone out there who bought up all the toilet paper will conserve it, use it wisely, not waste it – so that if there really is a shortage, they might be convinced it is in their best interests to share it with the rest of us? Aren’t you hoping that if we really have seen the last of the toilet paper, that people will conserve it and use it wisely?

 

The real question  that I started asking myself about a year ago, and that maybe we all need to ask ourselves as we take a closer look into our own hearts is this –

What am I hoarding or wasting?  And how do I stop doing it?

 

Isn’t is horribly strange that many of us live in nations and cultures who think nothing – NOTHING!—of hoarding or wasting?  We hoard money, we waste food. We hoard space, we waste time. We hoard stuff, we waste relationships.  What kind of insane, unbalanced Society? Community? Culture?  Worldview does those things?  Shouldn’t we have figured out a while back that any group of people who do that for long, won’t exist forever? That any species, any planet that does that for long won’t exist forever? Shouldn’t we have figured out that “like a thief in the night”, death eventually comes and all those things will one day be taken from us? And then what? Have we really become so amoral, so heartless, so short-sighted, that we really don’t care what happens to anyone else after we ourselves die?

I do believe it is important to do the BIG MATH IF’s.  Those are the “If this were my last moment with this person, what would I want them to know?”  or “If this were my last day at work, how would I want my coworkers to remember me?”  or “If tomorrow is Judgement Day, what should I change about myself today?”  Those are good ways to live, indeed, and we should all take more time to live by them, and waste less time on the things that get in the way of the BIG MATH IF’s.  We need to.  BUT – we also need to realize that the LITTLE MATH IF’s  are actually just the yin  of the yang, the flip side of the coin, the reverse view in the mirror of all those BIG IF’S.  What I do with my time  and money– and my metaphoric and literal toilet paper– may some days seem small potatoes to me, but it’s really at the heart of all my Big Worldview Answers to Life’s Big Questions.

 

When I am more aware and mindful of what I do in relationship to the small things around me, things that on a daily basis might seem small in comparison to the Big Things, then I am in fact, doing what humans are truly meant to do as beings with souls and spiritual essence. When I think about how much toilet paper I really need to go Number 1, then I am actually practicing a spiritual discipline in order to form a habit  in order to create a self-sustaining worldview about how important I think a single human being is to the planet, to other people, and possibly even to Whatever, Whoever is Out There in The Universe.

Imagine?! What I do with the small things has endless significance and importance to the Big Things. This is the Butterfly Effect Theory, the small pebble in the shoe of the king or the fork in the road, the drip of water that starts a flood, or the stone that kills a giant. Or maybe the virus cell that changes the heart of the world.

This reminds me of a book I read long ago, and whose title I will riff and satirize here – Imagine – “The Unbearable Lightness of Toilet Paper”.

 

So now for the nitty-gritty.  Here is the way I have tried to change my way of seeing my life, my things, my belief system:  By asking What – If questions about The Last Days. It works for me, a strange nerdy, geeky  lover of Literature and Writing and as a believer in an ancient and ever-evolving worldview that There is Something / Someone Important – more important than I, but also that makes me more important – “Out There”.  Whatever you call that “More Important” thing – please find it – Whether it is your God, your loved ones, your future, your planet, your people – please find that which motivates you to be better than you were yesterday and less better than you hope to live to be tomorrow. I find asking myself these If-Then Questions helps me. I hope they do you, too.

 

  1. If this were my last roll of toilet paper, how much would I use right now to go pee?
  2. If this were my last loaf of bread, how much would I snarf down now and how much would I save for tomorrow or for someone else, and how much would I enjoy each bite while I eat it?
  3. If this were my last light-bulb, would I turn the light off when I didn’t need it? Do I need it on right now?
  4. If I were only allowed a few gallons of water per day to use, how long would this shower be? How would I wash my dishes? How much do my clothes really need to be cleaned? How long would I let the water run to get hot? Or cold?

    How much would I enjoy drinking this glass of water, this cup of tea? How sure would I be to drink it to the dregs and not waste one drop?

  5. If I were only allowed to be on the computer, online, on my cell phone for one hour per day, what would I do with that time? Or if my computer or cell phone was on a timer and if it were left on for ten minutes when no one was in front of it using it, it would self-destruct, would I remember to turn it off when I walked away?
  6. If I had the choice to walk to the store and get all the benefits of being outside moving, to slow down and enjoy the journey, and reduce my carbon footprint just a little bit – would I do it? Don’t I often have that choice, if I’m honest? Shouldn’t I make that choice whenever and wherever I can? What if this were the last time I could use my legs, my eyes, my body to walk somewhere?
  7. What questions can you add? And how can you let those questions inform your choices in order to create habits in order to create character in order to live a more meaningful life?

 

How can we help each other, see the world differently, even after this whole pandemic has, I hope, receded into the past? I am hoping that we do remember, that though this time may pass, and this danger may recede, there is never an end to the real Human Condition. But alas,  there is also  never an end to the dangers to our health and our souls and the dangers to the health and the soul of our planet. Can we ensure, can we plan, can we be practical, can we be in this together, and can we try to also make sure that there is never an end to what we of faith, hope and love, and some good old practical uses and conservation of our stuff and our time — are willing to do to make all things better. Just better. Not perfect, no, but surely, truly, oh please yes — better. Here is to a renewed joy in the journey in this present age and present danger. Here is to many people grasping the “IF I’s” so that the “Then We’s” will thrive for a better brighter and healthier future for everyone – now and for our children’s children’s children.

 

I have long pondered the questions that Cat Stevens raised in his iconic song,  “Moonshadow”.  I am quite partial to my sight and being able to see the world around me and to read books with words and watch my loved one’s faces.  But I confess, I often take my sight for granted for most of the day. I am wrong and wronging, sinful and sinning, and guilty and judged of taking so many, many things for granted. Let’s start with owning up, with confession to each other, and then let’s humbly help each other do better.

 

I had a high school friend who was born without one arm due to her mother’s taking thalidomide before anyone knew it was dangerous. Her poor mom didn’t know, she is guilty of nothing but bad luck. My own mother had an old-school doctor who didn’t believe in giving drugs for natural things like pregnant nausea so that is the reason I and my siblings lucked out. This friend learned to do many amazing things with one arm, and she could actually snap her toes really loudly – a “feat of feet” we all thought pretty cool. She had a great life, married with kids, but I won’t ever let myself think that if she had had a choice, she wouldn’t have chosen to have been born with two arms and hands. So if her mother had known about the dangers of thalidomide, there is no doubt in my mind she would never, ever, ever have taken it for what ailed her.

 

People, we know about the dangers of thinking that we can take whatever we want for what “ails us”. We can not plead ignorance that what we are continuing to do to the planet and to other humans is not dangerous and just as life-changing as if we lopped off all our limbs. We must stop. Change. Turn Around. Make Better Choices. We must ask ourselves the Big Questions and make all the Big People hear us when we ask them to do the Big Things. And we must ask ourselves the small questions and we small people must do all the small things, daily, “never growing weary in doing good”. And then maybe, just maybe, the children of the future will be born with all the advantages for living on this planet that children have always deserved. We must suffer the pains of first-semester nausea, now, while we give up dangerous habits and practices, and we must know that even though child-birth is painful, at the end there is the joy of healthy  birth and thriving life for someone that we suddenly realize — hopefully not too late — someone — our child –that we love more than anything. Someone we would do anything for. Maybe even stop hoarding and wasting toilet paper for?

 

While you are stuck sheltering and maybe feeling irritable or scared today, think about all the things you have right now – at your fingertips, in your sight lines – and yes, these are real physical blessings most of us have as well as metaphors for how we should be more mindful and aware of all our gifts, joys, abilities, etc. We must ask ourselves what it would mean to have them taken from us and what it means about our responsibilities to them, and to each other.

Enjoy and Seize the Importance in what you have today, and if you are willing, enjoy your stuff as if it might all be gone tomorrow. Enjoy and Seize the Importance in the world around you today, and if you are willing, enjoy it as if you were put on the earth to take care of it wisely. Enjoy and Seize the Importance in your time today, and if you are willing, use each moment as if it could be your last. Enjoy and Seize the Importance in your people today and everyone in it, and if you are willing, treat them importantly enough, as if tomorrow you might wake up to find them gone, or they find you are gone. Enjoy and Seize the Importance in your very own life today, and if you are willing, understand solemnly, as true (and if anything is true, this is), as if someday your life will be robbed from you like a thief in the night — so ask yourself — Where shall I store my Treasure? What if this were the last day on earth?

 

If you like, listen to Cat Stevens while you love your life, and I hope, while you begin to use less toilet paper.

 

And back to good grammar, which I guess isn’t a digression after all — If It Were — the Last…… then subjunctively, hypothetically, with all the options still on the table — How Shall We Live Today? Because this is not (yet) a done deal, people. There is hope and a dream for tomorrow — IF?

Image result for image for IF

Oh, I’m bein’ followed by a moonshadow, moon shadow, moonshadow
Leapin and hoppin’ on a moonshadow, moonshadow, moonshadow

And if I ever lose my hands, lose my plough, lose my land
Oh if I ever lose my hands, Oh if I won’t have to work no more

And if I ever lose my eyes, if my colours all run dry
Yes if I ever lose my eyes, Oh if I won’t have to cry no more

Oh, I’m bein’ followed by a moonshadow, moon shadow, moonshadow
Leapin and hoppin’ on a moonshadow, moonshadow, moonshadow

And if I ever lose my legs, I won’t moan, and I won’t beg
Yes if I ever lose my legs, Oh if I won’t have to walk no more

And if I ever lose my mouth, all my teeth, north and south
Yes if I ever lose my mouth, Oh if I won’t have to talk

 

 

 

What If We Discover How To Live?

Abandoned Shelter

“Abandoned Shelter” by carva822 is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

 

 

What If We Discover How to Live?

By Jane Tawel

March 24, 2020

*

What if we discover

that this is how we were meant to live?

What if by sheltering from the world,

We find shelter in each other?

*

What if we discover

That this is how we save the planet?

Not by using, craving, hoarding, earning, making, shipping, storing

more and more and more and more and more and more,

But by simply doing less?

*

What if we discover

That life is more entertaining when lived,

Than when watched?

That love is more meaningful when given,

Than when received?

What if we learn that

Hope is more fierce than fear ever could be?

That waiting and watching are more pleasant than grasping and greeding?

That Good will conquer both ignorance and evil if we believe it can?

What if we learn our best lesson

While school is out?

*

But….

What if

We never discover anything

more lasting

Than this unsettling moment?

What if we return to what we were

Before?

What if we go backwards,

Again,

Not forwards,

For once?

What if we forget–

And by forgetting

Lose all?

*

What if we find

we really would still rather discover far-off places,

than seek the places close to heart and home?

What if we keep gaining the world

And losing our souls?

What if some of us still believe that

 tax shelters and oil

Are more important than birds and bees?

What if we continue to worship

At the trough, like sheep,

believing the world’s money players will save us

While we cheer from the sidelines?

What if we still believe that morality is

A problem for them, not us?

What if our convenience and comfort

are still more important than our existence?

And what if we discover

that we liked things just fine–

Before we thought we might have to die for them?

What if we never learn that we’ve been dying for them all along?

*

What if we discover too late that

we have already abandoned

the shelter of each other?

 

*

But what if we can finally, truly, earnestly, humbly learn

like a eureka,

like an epiphany,

like a salvation —

That every day always has had

Always will have

Always

holds a choice

Between death and life?

*

What if the only questions we should have asked are:

What are we dying for?

What will we live for?

*

What if we discover that it was actually quite practical —

(Not esoteric at all)

To believe:

That the meek will inherit the earth–

Because they were the only ones who learned how to care for it?

That the last among us–

will be the honored ones

 because they were the first responders?

What if we discover that the least will be the greatest–

Because they learned how to survive and still love

 with so little?

*

And what if we discover

 that the only thing that matters

In the end–

When the clock stops for each of us—

As it will

As it surely will–

The only thing we have ever needed to learn—

Is what to do with love?

*

What if we discover that—

In the shelter of each other,

We will live?

*

Please enjoy this video of the beautiful song by Jars of Clay, entitled “Shelter”.               May you be bound to hope today.– Jane

Cheer Yourself Along — A poem

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“Foot loose” by magnusfranklin is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

Cheer Yourself Along

Cheer is Closer Than You Think

By Jane Tawel

March 20, 2020

 

I’m in the mood to write a ditty,

About our need for staying witty,

And in this time of deadly virus,

We need to keep our hopes and eyes up.

For finding laughter, look within,

And with some help, keep up your chin.

 

I told myself, just this past morning,

That this dark time can be a warning,

And when I’m biting on my knuckles,

I still can find some good hard chuckles.

A wise sage, (though not Edison),

Once told us– joy’s good medicine.

For what the doctor orders after,

A case of fear? — is good, hard laughter.

 

So, look around and if you’re down,

Then force yourself to be a clown.

Just pull a prank or tell a joke,

And even if there are no folk,

To laugh with you or clap or boo,

Your grins will do,

For you, yourself, and you.

 

And so today I told myself,

That even with the empty shelves,

And though the days will get much harder,

Before we can refill our larders,

There’s something I can do today,

To make my grumpies go away.

I won’t inflict my need for solace,

By hoarding stuff or being lawless.

I won’t think I need people more

Than I need to remain indoors.

And if I can’t watch one more show,

I’ll think “How humorous is the toe.”

And gazing at my foot’s protuberance,

I’ll manufacture some exuberance.

Perhaps I’ll find a shower cap —

that’s always good for a hard laugh.

Cuz hope is just a laugh away,

And glee can keep our fears at bay.

 

 

Whatever you can find that’s silly,

Is the best way, and I mean, really.

To take your hardships and your lumps,

And get us past this viral bump,

You’ve gotta give yourself good care,

So with yourself, please, a laugh share.

 

And while pandemics are quite serious,

It is okay to be delirious.

With just a bit of humor, friends,

You’ll change the color of your lens,

And see that after this dark storm,

Ahead a rainbow soon will form.

 

Today I feared I’d lose the fight,

‘Gainst sadness, loneliness and fright,

 I could not find my inner comic,

To ease life’s dangers anatomic.

 

 

I put my hands around my head,

And to myself, I firmly said:

“You have and always, will, my dear,

Be your best source for finding cheer.

So even though you’re all alone,

And stuck with sheltering in your home,

Instead of outwards, look much nearer,

And find a good laugh in your mirror.”

IMG_4406

Hang in there, y’all. Be strong enough to take others’ health seriously.  Be brave enough to let yourself still love your very own life.  And find joy in the journey – if you can’t find it right now, look for it around the bend, maybe by letting yourself have a good chuckle. Life is good, even now.

Shalom,  Jane

 

A Pick-Me-Up

A Pick-Me-Up for The Present Time

By Jane Tawel

 

IMPORTANT NOTE:  My poem below and this post are not meant any way to make light of people with ongoing depression.  It also is not at all meant to imply that people with depression or who are sad, should not seek help professionally, personally, from the experts, and from friends and family who love you.  This poem is merely an attempt on my part to address my own dealings with loss and sadness at the current time as I am having to deal with certain issues.

 

 

Perhaps because you are more isolated and alone, you too, need just a small reminder to look on the bright side of your life as soon as you are possibly able.  Perhaps you are feeling more vulnerable in yourself, or your relationships, or your beliefs. When the world seems dark, keep looking for the light. And if you can’t find the light yourself, follow the person with the flashlight or the candle.  Believe in your heroic ability to do what you need to do in such a time as this. And if you can’t believe in your own abilities, lean hard on and use without guilt, the gifts and guidance of those people who have suffered much and still managed to have big hearts and a lot of love for other people.

Image result for image tolkien frodo time

 

 

I often have felt, at least in my own culture, we lack the ability to truly grieve and truly angst.  We do need to go completely through the process of completely grieving or mourning the loss of something or someone, and that takes time, which we are seldom given enough of to do it all properly. If you are feeling down today for big or small reasons, or even for reasons that you can’t even put your finger on to explain what and why they are – let yourself feel sad. Let yourself feel down.  This too is part of the journey that leads to something and somewhere and sometimes Someone or someone. We can’t always succumb to fear of sadness in the same we can not always succumb to fear of viruses. Neither one is something we want, but neither will any of us remain unchanged by the reality of both in the human experience. Change can be good, even when painful. But as one of my favorite quotes, says, fear can be a super-power if you use it the right way. And so can sadness and even a manageable amount of depression.

Image result for dr who quote on fear

 

I am not recommending that you fast-forward to denial and I am not recommending that you skip ahead to self-medicate yourself with a false sense of happiness. It is not wrong to grieve or feel scared, or even to feel depressed, if you go through these things with the idea that it is for a greater purpose than wallowing in them. And if you make quite certain that you know somewhere inside your deepest self, that you are never meant to stay there in any of those things – not fear, not sorrow, and not depression.  You are meant to go on to that feeling that makes you know you are bigger than anything small enough to live inside you – virus or fear or depression. You are meant to believe that hope and all of those actions and that particular life that only you and you alone – that all of that can come out of suffering to be something better.

Believe that there are big good things waiting for you, and that those things are strong enough and plentiful enough to defeat the small bad things — big things like smiles and laughter, and kindness and trust, warm food and warm touches, and lovely smells and lovely sights, and sweet dreams and sweet words, and of course, there will be the biggest most powerful weapon against all the bad stuff, the greatest of all — Love.

We may have to wait, and we may not like waiting, but perhaps we should remember that it is better to be out here pacing in the waiting room, than in the metaphoric surgery or morgue. Waiting means there is time to learn and learning means there is hope, even perhaps, in life after the surgery or morgue. So if you are feeling helpless, imagine instead that there is something, someone  that needs your love. And love is worth waiting for.

Image result for image of quote by rainer maria rilke on waiting

You are the piece of coal today, that tomorrow can be a diamond.  You are cocooning today, so that tomorrow you can be the butterfly. You are feeling the gritty sand behind your tired, sick, sorrowful eyes right now, so that tomorrow your eyes can be clear, and you will become as transparently real and as beautiful as glass. Today’s grinding sand are tomorrow’s windows to a cleaner, brighter soul.

 

 

The more sand has escaped from the hourglass of our life, the clearer we should see through it.      Jean Paul

 

Grieve and moan, angst and hide out for a bit, but take care of yourself. Let yourself hope even if you can’t feel it yet. Let yourself love something, even if it is something small or inanimate, even if it can’t love you back.  I have been loving the actors on old Netflix TV series who make me laugh, even though they will never love me back.  I have been loving the sound of the birds outside my window, the smell of cinnamon raisin toast and coffee, and the dredged-up memories of wonderful times I have shared with people I love.

Let yourself own your feelings for now, but realize you have only checked out those feelings for the time being. Like a book from the library that you don’t enjoy, return it as fast as possible and find another reading on life that can make you smile and feel hopeful again. Seek and find the very best parts of YOU, and of others, and seek some modicum of joy wherever and whenever you can, in those people and things around you.

 

Image result for image on  quotes on joy

 

*******At the end of this post, as in some of my past posts, I will share several links that you can text or call if your depression has reached such lows that you do not want to live any more. Please skip ahead to those links if you are feeling that way right now.

 

Please know that you are an important part of the lives that surround you and even if you don’t feel it right now, there is help and there is a way out of this and a way forward.  Don’t give up.

 

 

 

A Poetic Pick-Me-Up

By Jane Tawel

March 17, 2020

*

I can’t stay sad for long,

It isn’t in my nature.

Unless I have done wrong,

To creature or Creator,

I’ll find the brightest side,

And let that be my guide,

To muddle on,

A smile to don,

And not stay down for long.

*

If I’m not in the right,

I’ll muster all my might,

To ask to be forgiven,

And then get back to livin’.

So, if I have hurt you,

Then please, just tell me true,

And also what to do,

To change your point of view.

*

But if I’m blue because,

The universe seems flawed,

And I am sad inside,

I’ll let Love be my guide.

I’ll cry or rant or rave,

 But soon, I will be brave,

Enough to see the glass

More full– and greener grass.

Because when all is over,

I’d rather be in clover,

Than sitting on my bum,

And feeling mad or glum.

*

For a little while I gave up,

And then my mind, I made up,

To find the strength to burrow,

My way towards tomorrow.

There’s light and love just round the bend,

So, I will let my sore heart mend,

And find some joy in living

And then get back to giving,

Myself the right to heal awhile,

And find some peace, and find a smile.

*

 

 I hope that if you’re weary,

And like I, maybe teary,

That you won’t give up either.

Just give yourself a breather,

From worrying or angst-ing,

Or in sor-row ensconcing.

I’m here for you, and you for me.

And surely, we can both agree,

That if we really need each other,

Our grief and woes, they will not smother,

The best in you and best in me,

And that is what humanity,

Can do, and live, and hope, and be.

*

With just a little happiness,

And trying to look on the best,

I think we’ll overcome the rest

Of what has made us feel depressed.

And letting go our pains and woes,

And seeing how this next bit goes,

We might to joy and peace succumb,

And our depressions overcome.

*

So, I will hope, but I won’t rush it,

And even when life’s lost its luster,

I’ll trust and love and faith I’ll muster

For if I shine just one more smile,

Then I’ll feel happier in a while.

Yes, happiness can be a plan,

To counteract and to demand,

That I care for my heart and soul,

And make some joy my greater goal.

Yes, I can cry and I can grieve,

But I am meant for joie de vivre.

*

Tomorrow I may mourn again,

And feel more sorrow and more pain,

But now, I’ll store fear on a shelf,

And take good care of my wee self.

I’ll find a smile, and do my part,

To heal my mind, soul, bones, and heart.

*

For life is good and love is long,

and hope can never do us wrong.

For fear is small and passing’s strife,

So, grasp at love, and re-love life.

 

*

 

Don’t ever be afraid or ashamed to get help with serious feelings of sadness or depression. The links below are to services that are available 24/7. Your call or text will be anonymous, and free.

 

Be brave enough to think you matter enough to someone to find hope in your journey.  You are worthy of another day here with us. Believe it.

Quotes image of Joy is a decision, a really brave one, about how you are going to respond to life.

 

 

YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BELIEVE YOU ARE SUICIDAL TO CALL OR TEXT THESE NUMBERS.  YOU JUST NEED TO KNOW YOU WOULD LIKE SOME HELP WITH LIVING TODAY.  

PLEASE SHARE THIS WITH ANYONE YOU THINK COULD USE A HELPING HAND TODAY ALONG WITH YOUR OWN.

 

https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/   CALL 1-800-273-8255

 

You can also text the Crisis Text Line:

USA: Text HOME to 741741

UK: Text 85258

CANADA: Text 686868

 

Or

24/7 Crisis Hotline: National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Network
http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/
1-800-273-TALK (8255) (Veterans, press 1)

Crisis Text Line
Text TALK to 741-741 to text with a trained crisis counselor from the Crisis Text Line for free, 24/7

I Had Forgotten How to Live – a poem

Bird

“Bird” by CollegeRocker is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

 

I Had Forgotten How to Live

By Jane Tawel

March 12, 2020

*

 

I had, too long, forgotten how to live.

And letting Time control my thoughts,

And taking more than I could give,

I had forgotten what I aught

pay heed to more than I should not.

*

 

And then one day while waiting

And slow-drip coffee, hating,

I stood beside my own back door

And heard a bird song, me, implore,

to stop and listen, look, and find,

because to beauty, I’d been blind.

*

 

There, just there, in my back yard,

Were little birds, like crossing guards,

Directing me to safety in,

The joy that could be found within,

The world at large, and lives at small,

If I would simply sense it all.

*

 

I think I hadn’t really lived,

Or taken time to sense and breathe,

Not since I was a little kid,

And for lost years, I now did grieve.

But rather than waste one more day,

Determined I to savor,

To listen well, and learn to play,

And find a Mother’s favor.

*

 

Oh, I’d forgotten how to hear,

And how to truly see.

But though I wasted life and love,

Life still believed in me.

*

Instead of Coronavirus, What About…?

Instead of Coronavirus, What About…?

By Jane Tawel

March 9, 2020

 

People wearing a face masks to protecting themself because of epidemic in China. Selective Focus. Concept of coronavirus quarantine.

 

There are a lot of questions surrounding the Coronavirus.  Here are some of mine.

 

How about instead of being so terrified of the spread of Coronavirus around us, we get more terrified of the spread of lies around us?

 

How about instead of canceling events due to the idiocy of Coronavirus mass hysteria, we start canceling all public events due to the idiocy of a nation that refuses to enact laws to protect its citizens from mass shootings?

 

How about instead of wearing more masks around strangers, we wear more smiles instead?

 

What would happen if everyone stockpiled gratitude, in the same way they are stockpiling sanitizer?

 

What if instead of learning more about beating the bad Coronavirus, we learned more about  being good human beings?

 

What if instead of hoarding more toilet paper for our future sh*#%@$ts, we stopped hoarding more and more sh*&$%!@t for our futures?

 

What if instead of storing water in our town halls, we took water to our refugees at our borders?

 

What would happen if we cared more about those we come in contact with, than we care about contracting something from them?

 

What if all the religious people along with cleansing our hands of germs, also cleansed our hearts of sin?

 

How about instead of listening to talking heads, we listened to the needs of those around us?

 

What if instead of walking our beliefs backwards and becoming xenophobes about other people, we believed in the future, and became xenogogues, guiding the world and all the people in it forwards?

 

What if we lived not as if today was the first day we realized we should care about our hygiene, but we lived as if today could be the last day we could tell people we love that we care about them?

 

What if we had as much faith and hope, as we do fear and anxiousness?

 

What if we thought this moment right now, mattered more than any other moment past or present?

 

What if we thought extending a hand in love to our neighbors, could really make as big a difference as coughing into our elbows?

 

What if we saw an impending viral epidemic of Coronavirus as an imaginable viral epiphany of virtue?

 

What if we knew that we would some day die, and so we better start really living today?

 

What if instead of seizing the day to remain in illness-free stasis, we would seize the day as an opportunity for healthy new growth in body, mind, and soul?

 

What if we thought there was really Someone out there worthy of worship, and not just Someone out there who cheered only for our team?

 

What if we thought Virtues were as important as vaccines?

 

What if we believed as strongly in the soul-born Power of Love, as we did in the airborne power of disease?

 

How about instead of believing in worst case scenarios, we start believing the best about other people?

 

What if instead of teaching our children to fear, we taught our children to share?

 

“Woman and children washing hands” by World Bank Photo Collection is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

If the Coronavirus can teach me more than just a bunch of hygienic tips– (and frankly we all should have already been following those tips on staying healthy, so get on board, folks!) —  If I can learn anything from the mass hysteria rollicking through the world right now, I can learn how to be a better human being. But that is something I should be trying to learn every single day I have the privilege of waking up.

 

I should do certain things in order to care for my physical body, my outer-self, but if there is any thing a mass hysteria about a virus can teach me, it is probably more about how to take care of my inner self, my soul.

 

Today I have at least one more day and one more blessed opportunity to:

  • Learn more about things that matter.
  • Stop wasting time on things that don’t really matter in the long run.
  • Get worked up about the pandemic of illnesses humans are causing on our planetary home.
  • Love more. Love more. And then love some more.
  • Stop hoarding, and begin enjoying.
  • Put aside the rigor mortis of despair, and take up the righteousness of worthy causes.
  • Kill the germs of inactive narcissism on my hands, and eradicate the lackadaisical selfishness of my soul.
  • Irradiate truth and share healing words.
  • Take off that which masks me, so I can breathe deeply.
  • Support creative people, create supportive networks.
  • Value the valuable, cherish the charitable, testify for the truthful.
  • Believe that virtue is still viable.
  • And then love some more. And then love some more.
  • Worship the Eternal, not the temporal.
  • Be grateful; sincerely, pro-actively, outward-looking thankful.
  • Be a healer, not a hater.
  • Feel true pity, not false piety.
  • Speak truth.
  • Be kind.
  • Carpe Diem in Imago Dei.
  • Choose to be positive; fight negativity especially in myself.
  • Love some more. And then love some more.
  • And then love some more.

 

 

Because the fact is, folks, the Coronavirus will come and go. Every virus does. And the truth is that we will each of us come and go as well. Every human being does.

 

Every single one of us living through this latest death scare, will one day be dead and gone. We will each die of something or other,  due to something or other, and something or other will be the thing that kills us. So, frankly, just as we should always have been washing our hands and coughing into our elbows, and being more careful out there, we also should have been living every day as if it mattered a whole lot more how we treated others, how we cared for our own souls, and what we spent our time and resources on.  We shouldn’t live this day any differently than we do any other day and we should also start living this day quite differently than we did yesterday – because today we have one more opportunity to get truly healthy, and stay truly alive –outside and inside ourselves.

 

We should live this day as if it could be our last, but also as if it can be the first – the first day to start over, and do better, and make a difference in someone’s life, and enjoy our world and the people in it. Today is the day I can determine not only what I will protect my body from, but what I will  protect my soul from. Today is the day I can decide what I will feed my body with to make it stronger and healthier, and what I will feed my heart with to make it stronger and healthier. Today is the day I may avoid a public event because I fear my soul will catch a deathly illness. Today is the day I may decide the mass hysteria of social media and information is no longer worth my invaluable time. Today can be the day I embrace the world with all my senses and small abilities. Today can be the day I wash my hands of negative thoughts, and reach out my hands to life and love.

 

I can not know if today will be the day I catch some disease, or go somewhere that is dangerous, or develop some symptom and will die because of it. But I can know that today is a day rife with opportunity. I can try to catch a glimpse of heaven on earth. I can develop more love in my heart and more love for others. I can go into the world creating something lasting, because everyone can create those things that will remain. There are things within the world that will remain, long after the Coronavirus is no more. We just need to believe in them.

 

And now these three things will remain forever and ever and ever:

Faith.

Hope.

Love.

But the greatest of these is Love.[1]

“yellow flower 3” by MishaGirl is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

 

Lest we forget, long before the word “corona” became synonymous with a scary virus, the word corona meant a part of a flower, and corona is one of the outermost and largest layers of the sun.  I get to decide for one more day if I will define myself by fear or if I will define myself by love. I get to decide if I will lemming-like join the mass hysteria of living against something, like a fast spreading cold or a flu or death, or if I will live for something, like a slow-spreading peace, joy, and kindness. I will decide whether to define myself as an eternally possible patient, or to define myself an eternally improbable saint. I will decide if I will be something that is dead inside because I fear what is outside, or if I will be someone alive and growing like a flower, or powerful, heat producing, and light-shedding like a sun.

 

I would rather live one more day as a flower. I would prefer to choose that when I, like a flower, return to the dust from which I was created, I will have sought to share a bit of beauty, spread a bit of joy and to mean something to some people that has made them feel loved.

 

And I will continue to believe and have a crazy kind of worldview that has faith in Some Life-Giving Force Out There. And I will struggle along in a sort of fear-inducing worship of That Life-Force with an equal amount of stuttering faith that there is Someone more powerful and light-giving, and healing, and loving, and eternal than any of the Suns in any of the Cosmoses. And I will hope beyond hope that no matter what bodily or soul-sucking evils we humans expose ourselves to, that Love is stronger and that Love will win. And I will try to live this day, as if no matter what any one of us does for good or ill here in our short time on this earth, no matter what —

Love, just like The Sun will remain forever.

“Sun” by Chris Yarzab is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

 

 

For there is a Sun and Shield; There is a Life-Force Who gives grace and glory; No good thing will be withheld from those who walk uprightly. (Psalm 84:11)

 

 

 

[1] I Corinthians 13:13