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

481941531_4ce7a5307f_b.jpg

 

“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