What Will I Do with Love Today?

What Will I Do with Love Today?

By Jane Tawel

July 21, 2022

“Clouds — Summer 2014” by Pam_Broviak is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

*

What will I do with Love, today?

What will I do with my love?

Will I open my hands?

Will I walk in The Way?

Will I watch what I say?

Will I trust and obey?

Oh, what will I do;

what now will I do,

what will I do with Love?

*

What will I feel with Love, today?

What will I feel with my love?

Will I hurt with a friend?

Will I forgive and mend,

all the fences that others might tend?

Will I suffer the cross?

Will I risk feeling loss?

Will I laugh hard and long?

Will I sing a new song?

Will I to my fears die?

And without asking why,

will I quickly employ

the strong will of true joy?

Oh, what will I feel with my Love, today?

Yes, what will I feel with Love?

*

What will I be for Love, today?

Oh, what will I be for God’s Love?

Will I truly embrace,

every person and place,

as the Kingdom on Earth, as Above?

Will I let my beliefs,

take a humble back-seat,

to the needs of the world in this Time?

Will I know The Sublime?

Seek until I, Truth, find?

Will I make the world’s treasures as naught?

Will I with peace, leave every self- thought?

Will I brave the true lessons Christ taught?

Will I be, and not strive?

Will I be freely alive?

Oh, let me be only true Love today.

Oh, let me be all and all Love.

*

© Jane Tawel, 2022

And What Will I Be When I’m Gone?

“…Time…” by ĐāżŦ {mostly absent} is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

*

And What Will I Be When I’m Gone?

By Jane Tawel, June 26, 2022

*

And what will it be, when I am gone?

When All is gone, when all of “I” is gone?

No and Yes,

Oh, what will I be when I am gone?

*

And what will I see, when I am gone?

In fact, will I see at all?

Or will there be a different sense,

a sense beyond all sight?

*

Oh, what will I hear, when I am gone?

Will I still listen to the day’s news?

Will I still hear the birds? Will I listen to you?

Or will my heart be tuned to The Song,

The Song of The Stars,

The Song of The Sun,

The Song of Eternity’s Hymn?

*

Oh, what will I feel when I am gone?

Will my heart still beat in my chest?

Will my feelings of fear dissipate like the dew?

Will my feelings of love remain?

*

Oh, now is the time to feel and feel more,

and to rage and to hold lovers close.

Oh, now is the time to feel and feel more,

and to shun fear for power in Love.

Oh, Now is My Time,

and I will it to be,

what Creator and human can feel, hear and see,

when We work hand in Universe — 

Universal Design.

And I will resign myself to being strong,

and to see time is short but Eternity’s long.

Oh, I will not tear down, but I will build up,

and I’ll fight all the darkness within and without,

with a whimper, a whisper, a cry and a shout!

And I will not see this Time that I’ve been given,

as anything but my one chance at True Living.

I will sing all the Love songs.

I’ll fight darkness til’ Dawn.

And I’ll seek Light’s True Love,

til’ I’m gone.

© Jane Tawel, 2022

The Flag We Really Need Right Now is Love

“Rainbow Flag at Oxford Pride” by Datchler is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

The Flag We Really Need Right Now is Love

By Jane Tawel

June 14, 2022

*

It is the fault in us, Horatio, and not in our star-struck eyes.

It is society, and the culture of our own bent and broken time and place,

that has informed us, tried to misshapen us, and taught us falsely

that our sexuality is our identity.

Whether I have been straight or gay or I prefer to check “neither of the above”;

when I have let people think that my sex or my ex,

or my having or not having a certain defined relationship to my gender,

is what defines me,

then I have succumbed to the ills of the age.

I have fallen prey to the false religion of our times.

*

And the religion of this place and time is

that what I Do is Who I Am.

This world will try to tell me that what I do,

in the board room or the back room or the bedroom,

IS who I am.

But “IS” is not defined by some public agency.

“IS” is the agency of being.

“IS” is a being verb.

*

And yet, being is the scariest, most active thing a person can “do”;

and yet once one decides that being who she is,

is more important than any thing she does,

then he can be the very best self they want to be.

*

“Can’t we all just get along?”

Oh, I am old enough, if not yet wise enough,

to glimpse that when I fight you, I give you more strength;

but if I giggle and guffaw at how you try to define me,

and if I but hold my pride and need for you to approve,

as lightly in my hands as Mother Teresa held the lepers,

then I defeat your ability to tell me who I am.

I don’t need to heal myself of my gender or my sex or my color or my race.

I only need to heal myself of the world’s definitions, not of who I am,

but healed of the false definitions of who the world says, I can not become.

All I need is healing to become my true self,

and that doesn’t come from out there,

but from inside of me.

*

Who I choose to love is not the truth of me.

The truth of me is that I choose.

The truth of me is that I choose to love;

choosing to love me and love you.

*

Why do we fly so many different flags?

The flag we really need right now is love.

Why do we carry so many weapons of heart ache and words?

The only weapon we should be carrying is the weapon of unfettered hope.

Why do we put our faith in the gods of definitions?

The only God we need is the One beyond all defining.

*

No, what the world has told us is not the truth.

Are we all too afraid to unmask the lies?

Or are we too used to living behind our masks

to recognize the lies we live within ourselves?

*

Surely nothing is true when it becomes the mile-marker of who I am.

World, I take your erasable markers writ on me

and I use my magic eraser of self-worth,

to clear the chalk-board of your scribbles on my soul

and then write in large letters of indelible ink:

“I Am Worthy.”

I am much greater than my color or my creed,

my gender or my sex,

my body or my intelligence.

I am not checked-off boxes on the world’s identification censuses.

I am proud to be myself,

but I don’t need your pride in me to give me my grade.

And I don’t even need my own pride in myself

because I am worth more than ego-fulfillment by anyone’s standards,

even the standards I have sucked in

from the world’s alluring but empty teats.

I won’t accept your judgement or mine.

I don’t need anyone’s a-okay.

I am great, not because of anything I do or don’t do.

I am wonderful;

because who I am

is enough.

*

No, whom I choose to love is not for anyone to judge,

except of course, for me and them.

Because they that I love will be the only ones

who hold the scales of judging any thing.

What we are all just trying to do,

no matter who we say we are, is this — 

We are all just trying to love and be loved.

*

No, who I choose to love is not about my gender or my color or my sex

or my race or my religion

or my nation or my education or my station.

But That I do love

any one,

Wholly,

Completely,

Sacrificially,

Truthfully and truly,

with all my heart, soul, and mind — 

That is all that has ever defined any of us,

ever.

And if the body, which is only a symbol and nothing more,

follows the heart in that love,

then that can not be me

if it is just my gender or my sexual self alone.

My body, my symbol,

And all symbols, whether of peace signs,

Or crosses, or raised fists, or rainbows,

All symbols merely point the way

to true and whole being.

*

No one defines me, but me.

And if God defines me too,

Then She defines me obviously not by gender, since THEY have none.

No, definitions are meant for crumbs to lead us on the way,

But they are not The Way,

For there is neither Greek nor Jew or male or female,

But all are One. Or so it is foretold.

And also, just to point out,

who we shall be, our true definitions,

are unknown by all,

even ourselves;

except, I believe (and hope) that

who we are and who we will become is known,

by that Universal Good that some call God,

and some call Awakening, and some call Woke-ness, and some call simply,

Love.

*

My body, my choice.

My I.D., my voice.

Their silence, my noise.

*

But when the world has told me that because

I am a woman, I have to be a “feminist” to get the same rights as a man;

or because I am a white man, I should be a “proud little boy”;

or because I am not heterosexual, I have to fight for my rights in only one month out of the year;

or that because I am Black or Native, my great history

should be separated from the history books because it makes imperialists uncomfortable;

Or that because I work with my hands or live in this neighborhood or talk with an accent,

that I must be “deplorable”

and not bright enough to know that something is wrong,

very, very, very wrong.

Then if this is who I am,

and who you are,

then shouldn’t we all stand up for each other and say — 

Don’t we have to say,

“There is nothing wrong in us.

There is something wrong with the systems

that set us up to use definitions against each other.”

NO! it is not some thing “wrong” in me or in you — 

It is the deep, deep wrong in the unseen and unseeing energies,

in the systems allowed to mutate the narrative,

against our wills.

It is something wrongly seen and lived in the whole set-up

of the place and the time in which we live.

But we can right it.

We can if we believe we can.

*

We must make it right, if not for ourselves, for our children,

and for the children of the birds, and fish, and trees.

Let’s right this ship,

so that our children have easier sailing,

so that there is a Mother-Ship left for them to sail;

and a planet and world in which the tides are always running in our grandchildren’s favor.

Are you in or out?

*

When the Powers that Be

try to define me,

I want to say: “No More!”

And when the Powers that Be,

try to define you,

I will say: “Enough!

I stand with her or him or them, and we have had enough.”

I want to stop fighting you, my brother and my sister.

Let’s link arms and fight what does not want us to be free together.

When the Powers that Be,

try to define me,

I want to stop fighting within my better self,

and I want to laugh at them and say:

I don’t need to show you or prove to you who I am.

I don’t need to fight the Powers for my pride.

My ego, my pride, doesn’t come from anything that I do,

or any one I do it with,

or any one I do it for.

The egos and powers of the age don’t define me.

And neither do they define my neighbor.

My neighbor and I will begin this day

to redefine ourselves

as mutually

Human.

And my only goal will be to be a better human Being,

and to let you be the best human Being you can be, too.

And now, let us become.

*

As a matter of fact, my ego trips me up and defeats me.

That’s what ego-trips do.

Just like your ego, whatever name or pronoun or adjective it goes by,

does to you.

Now don’t get me wrong,

the problem with pride, is that our world hasn’t given some folks

as much self-esteem as they have handed out freely to others.

But when did people start letting governments and nations

and religions and institutions

define us?

“I am Human! Hear me roar in numbers too big to ignore.”

If we are honest, don’t we all realize somewhere deep inside,

that only those we love and who love us can define us.

And the definition of Love is — 

Well, that’s just it, isn’t it? All the poets and saints and gurus and teachers and lovers in the entire history of the world have never been able to define Love.

But we all know real Love when we see it.

And we all know real Love when we are it.

*

Beloved children of the One Great Parent:

To be a part of the ONE, means we are One.

And that is beyond anyone’s understanding of who any one of us is.

And if I know I am One with The One, and One with all of you,

then no definitions of who we are, are ever necessary again.

We are One in Love.

*

And so, we march for pride,

and march for justice,

and march for life,

and march for rights,

And Oh Yes!

we should be, must be

marching, marching, marching,

with hearts pounding,

like the drum beats of reckoning and righteousness.

And we have always had to march.

But can not you and I also walk gently and peacefully together

in The Way –

together just as we are,

today?

Does it really matter what color I am,

Or where on the spectrum you are,

as long as we live,

and as long as we love,

we are all a part of the same Rainbow?

*

We march for justice and freedom and happiness and love for all,

Rolling down like thunder.

And we march not just for our sense of justice, but for the kind of mercy for everyone,

that we think that we ourselves deserve.

And we march not just for who we think we are,

but we march for what all humans

are meant to have been,

and still might become.

We march for what we are meant to be

with a bit less ego,

and a bit less humility,

and a bit less fear,

and a bit less anger,

and a bit less defeated-ness,

and a bit less push for success,

and a bit less power,

and a bit less powerlessness,

and a bit less pride,

and a bit less sense of worthlessness,

and with less of all that –

we could find so much more within ourselves — 

and find within us

a lot, a lot, a lot more love.

Well, you may say that I’m a dreamer.

But I’m not the only one.

I hope someday, you’ll join us.

Then the world will live as One.

*

Even our marches,

should not define us.

No, what defines each of us

is what a once powerful guy

who gave up his power for Love once said:

“If I have not love, I am like a loud, brassy gong,

Cuz without love, I am nothing.” — 

We live on a planet with lots of sounds,

full of fury but signifying nothing.

Full of fury, but too much in a hurry to be defined.

And we raise our voices or raise our fists,

not with enough self-esteem to see it isn’t about just our own team.

Without love we are all just blinding ourselves with giant planks,

while picking the splinters’ out of our neighbor’s eyes,.

And if I am blind, then I won’t see,

that I am still letting the Powers that Be,

define me.

*

Take back your power to love who you want to love.

But make sure you are truly, and truthfully,

Loving someone.

Because some of us have learned the hard way,

that we use other people

to define ourselves or get the love we need,

and that has never been

and will never be enough true meaning;

without love, no one’s identity can ever

be enough to live by.

*

So, love yourself for who you know yourself to be.

And then find as many people as you can to love as they are.

And then with those we call our enemies who seem hard to love — 

Don’t love them for who they are defining themselves as,

but love them for who you secretly define yourself as –

a beloved child of The Super Power of Great and Mighty Love.

*

Because when our bodies are gone,

and our minds are gone,

and our marches are in the dust bin of history –

Love will remain.

Not just in pride month,

not just in Black History month,

not just at Gentile or Jewish or Hindu holiday months,

not just in the U.S. of A.

or in the Ukraine or in Babylon or Rome,

not just in A.D. or B.C. or in AC/DC,

and not just in you or in me.

But Only Love will Remain.

Only honest-to-goodness-no-matter-who-you-are

Love

will remain,

Forever.

*

I offer you here,

All the pride you need –

Be proud to be

wholly and completely the love you have in your heart.

Be Love.

Be You.

All you need to know with the certainty

of place-lessness, and time-lessness,

and face-lessness, and mind-lessness,

and me-moreness and you-moreness,

all we need

this month, this year, this century, this place and time

this moment –

all you need to be whole-ly you, proud to be you, humbled to be chosen to be you,

all that is needed to know who I am and who you are –

is love.

Be You.

Be Love.

*

© Jane Tawel, June 2022

He Bought Every Thing

“A Pile of Money” by veken is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

*

He Bought Every Thing

By Jane Tawel

June 12, 2022

*

He bought up every thing in the whole, whole wide world.

He bought all the pleasures, the birds and the bees.

And he plotted and planned how to buy even more,

as he gassed the whole planet and chopped down all the trees.

*

He bought all the finish lines, so he won all the races.

He bought so many mansions, he couldn’t remember all the places.

He bought a new spouse and he bought a new face,

and when he owned the whole planet, he bought outer space.

*

This man for an instant in time was quite famous.

This rich, famous man owned the world — the whole cosmos!

Who is he, you ask? Who is this great mystery?

No one knows any more, he is buried in history.

*

The richest and ruling-est here on this earth,

think that profit and power reveal one’s true worth.

But even by owning every thing one can buy,

no one can buy out of the fact we all die.

*

The poor man bought every thing, below and above,

But in the end, what he never owned — was what lasts –

only Love.

*

“For what is the lasting profit, if we gain the whole world, but in the process lose our souls.” (Jesus of Nazareth, dirt poor but definitely remembered by history)

© Jane Tawel, June 12, 2022

Maybe It’s For the Best

“Tree” by @Doug88888 is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

*

Maybe It’s For the Best

By Jane Tawel

June 1, 2022

*

I haven’t lost my faith.

No, I’ve just lost my knowledge;

and maybe that’s the best, the very best place to be.

*

I haven’t lost my faith,

I’ve forfeited the facts.

And maybe that’s the best, the very best way to see.

*

I’ve given up my hope,

in something great, somewhere out there.

But now I’m seeking hope,

in little old you and me.

*

I’ve given up on hoping,

that there’s a god who’s for me.

And now I only cling to hope,

that I plus Christ make Three.

*

I don’t believe in love,

that’s never enough and never been free.

But with a seed of faith,

and just a finger-hold on hope,

I do believe that Love

abides forever with you and me.

*

Sometimes if feels so sad and scary,

not knowing what I believe.

But maybe it’s all for the best,

to give up my knowing and striving.

Yes, maybe it’s for the best,

to give up my fears of living and dying.

Yes, it must be all for The Best,

to seek only the Unknown I Am,

to be in the moment unknowing, but known,

in which all that remains — 

just the faith, hope and love — 

is this moment, — this Now — 

This is where I find rest.

*

© Jane Tawel, June, 2022

My Worry-Bed, My Garden-Bed, My Bed of Nails, My Ocean

by Jane Tawel

*

My Worry-Bed, My Garden-Bed, My Bed of Nails, My Ocean

By Jane Tawel

February 23, 2022

*

Here am I,

in my Worry-Bed,

my Bed of Nails,

my wanderings,

down trails and trails,

of past and future ruts well-worn.

I’ve come to make my nest of thorns.

I lay me down,

my soul to rend,

my fears to tend,

like blood-sucking friends,

I let them in, again and again.

Dreams aborted, bashed and torn,

I fill the spaces in my head,

with raging demons, dead — 

and not yet born.

*

Here I am,

in my Garden-bed.

I come to plant and tend and seed.

I lay me down,

my soul to keep,

and furrows clean and straight,

my seeds of fear are shorn,

right at the roots.

From weeds of worry,

stones of grief,

I plough the field of dreams towards truth.

I water drop by precious drop

the flowers of joy and plants of peace.

Without a need to grasp or climb,

but letting go of all but faith

in God’s protecting, mindful vines,

that reach and curl and hold and keep

Gardens of peace and love entwined.

*

I rise up from my bed of nails,

exhausted from the fight and flight.

Oh, to wake and die no more,

to know all blindness, is now sight.

Oh, to find my tossing, turning nights,

have reached at last that tranquil shore.

I rise up from The Ocean-Bed

A wave, unique and wholly me.

I, a wave, in God’s great Sea,

and I am I, and I am Thee.

And in Love’s cradle,

even night is Light.

*

© Jane Tawel, February 24, 2022

Meditation-1, Prayer – 0

The Sound of Silence: Leaf
“The Sound of Silence: Leaf” by fotologic is licensed under CC BY 2.0

*

Meditation -1, Prayer – 0

By Jane Tawel

January 12, 2022

*

If I meditate on you,

seeing through you today,

as you were when young, as you will be when old,

then all my telling and all I am told,

fades away, and I see you.

and I see me, at last,

free;

but it is a freedom, frightening,

and I prefer to chain myself again

to outcomes and perceptions.

I will try again tomorrow,

to see through you to the little child,

and I will replant my own seed

in the womb of wholeness,

at least if only

for just a fleeting moment of conception.

In new conception, one finds Eternal Love.

*

If I meditate on You,

I feel fear and uncertainty,

because I think of You as a thought,

and that You should be somewhere.

Instead, You are every where,

The Seeker and the Sought are One.

I despair—

You are never going to come,

but You are here and now, instead,

and that I can’t get through my head,

and my heart aches with the anger of my aloneness.

If I but give myself away,

to lack of desire and lack of days,

then Eternity creates anew,

the me in You.

*

Give way, oh my Mind, to Heart of pure release.

Remorse is but a fire consuming,

but repentance waters the seeds of True Life.

What is a prayer, if not a certainty of Answering?

And the answer comes in Silence,

and the Silence is the womb.

*

© Jane Tawel, January 12, 2022

A Letter to Remember

Hello All,

Many of you know my mom passed away this summer. No day will ever be quite the same for me, but especially this season of Christmas, will never be the same — Mom loved Christmas.  In the first picture here is an ornament from one of my mother’s and our favorite places in the world (Winona Lake’s Warsaw Cut Glass). It has my mom’s earthly dates on it and this: “She loved Christmas and she loved us”. If you knew my mom, you would know that of course, the Season of Giving was her favorite time of year.  I hope she is enjoying playing Broadway show tunes or Christmas songs on some big heavenly piano today as she often did on earth.

*

The second picture, from a Christmas my Mom spent here in CA with us — well thankfully, Mom is not seeing it, since she would not like how she looks, but it is a good reminder that with True Love, no one really cares how we look, do they? We enjoy very much this whole idea of little poor minority, Jewish baby Jesus in a stable, and then we forget that there were no kings and gifts then, (that we added on later), and there was only fear, and lack, and uncertainty, and ugliness, and nationalism, and loss, and grieving, and pain (childbirth not least among the pain). There was nothing — not even a home. But there was the most important thing. There was true and great Love. And there was Hope. And there was the kind of joy that is deeper than happiness, the kind of joy we like to think that angels sing about.

*

Oh, yes, this is a lovely season of remembering; not one story about one baby, but all of our stories about love in adversity and love in the good times, and joy in the very present moment. As both Jesus’ ancestors and future religious descendants would advise: “Remember”. “Never forget” “Store these things in your heart.” Remember so you can be present in this moment to the absolute joy that you are alive and have been loved and are loved.

*

So, as we wrap up a year, and it has been quite a year! — and as we wrap up our gifts for each other, and wrap our arms around each other, and wrap our minds around another year of uncertainty, and loss, and pain, and for so many, too much of nothing or sorrow or need — we need to be reminded — Remember! — that all that ever matters, all that ever remains, is the Love.
Remember the love. Seek the love. Embrace the love. Be the love.

*

Be the hope for someone today. Be the joy for someone today. And above all–Be the love.

This is a wonderful season to remember that what we really care about are those we love, and to let the people we care about know it. “Taking Care” — that’s really what the whole Christmas story is about, isn’t it? It is a good season to remember that we humans long to worship something or Someone that takes care of us, even if we are naughty and not nice, even if our doubts overwhelm our faith, even if we have erred hugely in our relationships with others and ourselves, even if we, like the little drummer boy, have nothing to give in return . So the question is — if we long for that kind of care and love despite ourselves, and despite the other person, isn’t the message of Christmas about our deep need to give that care and love to others, even the ones we find it hard to love? Didn’t little baby Jesus eventually grow up to tell and live that story?

*

It’s a good time to remember that Baby Jesus was blessed enough to grow up to be a man, and a good time to read some of the stuff he said when he wasn’t a baby any more. It can rock your world. I’m trying more and more to let it rock mine, but I won’t kid you, it’s not easy, which is another thing we have to remember little baby Jesus the grown-up said. No, true love is not easy. But then, the great and true things in life are worth the price, aren’t they? Isn’t that what we are trying to symbolize with our crazy gift giving and decorating and feasting Holy-days — that Love is priceless? I know my mom believed that. I have read that is what Jesus thought, too.

*

My mom was a giddy crazy lady around Christmas time. Price tags were meaningless to her. And she had a horrible time waiting for anything. Unlike I, advent and anticipation  did not bring her happiness. There was never too much — there was just so much to give! I once mentioned I liked nativity scenes and needed some ornaments for the tree — so Mom would send not one, but three nativity sets and keep sending ornaments and decorations, and yes, more nativity sets, every year. Putting them up this year made me cry those tears you get — you know the ones — where you cry because you are so sad and missing someone but you are sort of smiling and laughing and happy too because you feel so much love still warming up your insides from memories and thoughts of that person, who is also making you cry. Remember. And so it goes.

*

My kids and husband don’t know it yet, but I also got a little remembrance “thingy” to give them each this Christmas,  that commemorates their grandparents, Raoul’s folks, Esther and Gaston Tawil. One year my dearly beloved father-in-law took me to Fedco or Feddies as he called it and we bought some special little fragile Christmas ornaments for the tree. Each year I put the ones that have survived on the tree and think of him. And our first Christmas with our first child, Justine, we flew to D.C. to spend with Gaston and Esty and Uncle Guy and I bought them ridiculous ugly Christmas sweatshirts with something along the lines of Proud Grandmother and Grandfather of Baby’s First Christmas. You can see below how delighted they were to wear those ugly sweaters, even though my mother-in-law had such style and beauty, she wore that ugly thing so proudly. Look at her face below looking at her new granddaughter. There was no one who could squeal with pleasure like Esty Mizrahi Tawil and Gaston would chuckle with delight as he spent time with each of his four dearly loved grandkids. Esty left us all far, far too soon and Gaston is with her and my mom now too. Ah, I miss them so very, very much. But what a lucky, lucky human I am to have such memories to store up in my heart. Never forget.

*

My mom’s and Raoul’s parents’ wonderful Christmas spirit lives on — especially in their grandkids, my children, who aren’t children any more, but who keep the traditions, keep the good things, do a great job of working on healing the bad things, are incredibly giving humans, and who each live lives that did make and would make their “Gram” and Papa Tawil and Grandma Esty proud.

*

So yeah, this year we sent a traditional Christmas “brag” letter, because when my mom was bragging about her own children and grandchildren she was happier than anything. I am proud of my husband and my kids, and I am working on being proud of myself. I am proud to be the play-it-forward carrier of my mom, my dad, my grandparents, and my parents-in-law.  I miss them so much. I remember and I am here now and I will do my best to carry forward all the love. All the love.

*

So Merry Christmas and Happiest of New Years to you all. Hug your loved ones close, even if they squirm. Study something or listen to something that brings you both joy and growth.  Find forgiveness for others and yourselves for everything. As a different but gloriously similar tradition to the one Jesus believed but which teaches truth as Christ’s many parables taught, let the negative seeds within you go unwatered and nurture the positive seeds that also lie within you so they may grow to the size of huge mustard plants —  huge Christmas trees.

*

Remember the good and the love and let it grow within you, this season, and every day you are blessed to wake up.  Whatever you celebrate, celebrate with abandoned joy in the very present precious moment. Take care of yourself. Take care of your loved ones. Take care of strangers. Take care of your enemies. Take care of the world and the planet.

*

You are loved. You are love. Remember that.

With Love, Jane

66152558697__ACBCB34C-DD42-432B-ACC6-6CB673AEA9DE.JPG
IMG_6783.jpg
65124776781--855795A6-9643-4F7D-B2E6-C1207B534317.JPG
65124780340--29007172-F718-4960-8111-6DBCF971E5D7.JPG


Jane Tawel, December 2021

When We Shall See, We Shall Know

Two Paths Through the Tangled Japanese Forest
“Two Paths Through the Tangled Japanese Forest” by Trey Ratcliff is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

*

When We See, We Shall Know

By Jane Tawel

November 14, 2021

*

When we see,

that others also see,

and even though we do things differently,

we all seek to be,

that which no matter the endeavor,

seeks to live forever,

why then,

we know in part,

somewhere deep inside our hearts,

that if we’re honest, what we really know

is all we do not know.

*

It must be true,

it must be,

for when through Time

and history,

the stories repeat and reveal,

that evil must be repealed,

and there must be something more than this,

and that all of us just want some respect,

and to believe that all people are valuable,

and that the Earth is good, so very Good,

and we are all just trying our best

to live fully and someday, perhaps to rest

in heaven, nirvana, or bliss,

because the Truth has always been there in the Myths.

When I get a glimpse,

that you believe that too,

why then I know

no matter Who we think we worship,

it must be true.

*

There are lots of jots and tittles that we focus on,

and thereby lose the locus on–

the journey’s not completed in a day.

Our compasses get skewed along the Way.

And while we age towards rebirth,

we must re-calibrate True North.

Insisting there is just one passage,

is never Love’s True Message.

*

You call it Dharma,

I call it God’s Law.

I call it Christ,

You call it All.

I take the cross,

You empty you.

Yet words are words,

but truth is Truth.

*

We see through mirrors dimly.

Our expectations lie.

When peering through this veil,

we won’t pass through, until we die,

what’s on the other side of strife

somehow, we all have faith will be new life.

*

So, what I call my point of view,

can have a different name than you

call yours. We all have precious worth

in this great journey to rebirth.

*

Today I finally stopped to hear,

and put away my childish fears

and sat awhile and did my lessons

in others’ sages, books, and heavens.

And when I stopped my fear’s critiquing,

I found in All, we all are seeking,

the same great hope, a faith, The Way,

to make tomorrow, better than today.

*

No one’s belief is ever perfect,

but if my choice has this effect:

that Love is growing day by day,

then I am walking in The Way.

*

No matter what we think we know,

the only way to truly see,

Heaven, The Light, The Christ, The Path,

is not by doing simple math

of you’re wrong here, and I’m right there,

but losing hatreds born of fear,

and living lives of grace and care.

*

And as we stride this petty pace,

and rush from holy place to place,

we sometimes need to simply– Stop.

*

and Breathe.

*

The Truth is not, as yet, reality,

at least on that we all agree.

Yet, if I seek, I’ll surely find

That every heart, and soul, and mind,

is longing, hoping, always yearning,

for that Great Love beyond our learning.

*

What I don’t know,

I’ll someday see,

was always there, right in front of me,

and All our Love will live eternally.

*

Breathe, on me, Breath of God,

Breathe through me, in me,

Breath of Life.

And when all breath is gone,

may my true being be One with Love.

*

You don’t know now.

I can’t see all.

But One Day, hand in hand, we shall,

be free

and see.

And I will know your true name,

and you shall know mine.

*

© Jane Tawel, November 2021

Accomplishments Are So Over-Rated in Pet Heaven on Earth

Beni and Raoul

*

Accomplishments Are So Over-Rated in Pet Heaven

By Jane Tawel

October 25, 2021

*

When I was about ten or eleven, my mom moved her four kids to Monmouth, Illinois to be near our dad who had left us but we didn’t know it yet. And as I often say to Raoul, this could have been the beginning of my being a heroin addict or a serial killer, but instead I went into acting. Going into theater by way of getting an MFA, is the most expensive kind of psychotherapy a girl can get and it was worth every penny because today I am an ex-English teacher slash secretary slash waitress looking forward to someday having monthly Social Security checks in the high two figures. But then, I got to be a mom for a couple of decades, which is the hardest greatest best paid job in the world, so … Meh! to my dreams of sitting on the Tonight Show riffing about my latest accomplishments. Which brings me to the point – accomplishments.

*

This past week Raoul and I got to puppy-sit our only grandpuppy, Beni. Grand-paw and I have several adorable grand-cats but only one grandpuppy. And while this Grandmeow loves all her grandcritters equally, Grandpaw Raoul has fallen head-over-tails in love with Beni. Look at that face and you can see why we both are rather smitten (exhausted but smitten). And let me tell you something beneficial about loving one of God’s critters as opposed to loving one of God’s children. Loving an animal, especially a pet, especially a cute but naughty, tear-up-your-slippers, accident-on-the-floor, wake-you-at-an-unholy-hour, nip-at-your-calves little beastie –being in a relationship with a critter is a giant wake-up call to what I think God and Jesus and all other spiritually minded Beings mean when they try to teach us about “heaven on earth”.  The reasons are many but here are a few I woke up to this morning, as my old girl Daisy and I adjusted to Beni being back home with his Mommy.

*

Why Animals “Get” Heaven on Earth More than People “Get” It:

  1. Animals are very forgiving. They don’t spend any time at all stewing over past spankings or harsh words. They encourage their humans to do the same. If you are going to have an animal in your life, get ready to find forgiveness easy, which can be unsettling, because we really should find forgiveness and asking forgiveness much more easy with the people in our lives –like we do with our pets.
  2. Many animals, but especially the dogs I have observed love everything that you share with them and that they can share with you. They love life. Everything is always new to a dog because it is a new moment to experience it. Same walk?  “Let’s explore!” Bad smell, good smell, pee smell, food smell – “Mmmmgrrrr, I Love It!” The Mailman is at the door again– “ Who are you? WOOF! WOOF! Heeeelllllloooooooo!”  Same ball thrown for the five-millionth time? – “This is so much fun! Here I brought it back to you, Mommy. Want to play tug-of-war again? Okay, throw it again!  Isn’t this fun!!! Do it again! Again! Again!” Oh, if I could love living life in just this moment, like a dog does. That alone would bring me a heaven to earth.
  3. Animals have a sure, secure, and content sense of who they are without having any ego at all. Name one animal you have met with an inflated sense of ego? (Well, okay, cats. Let’s just say, cats have an ego, but can we really say it is an inflated ego? I mean, maybe when kitty gives you that look, they really are trying to communicate to you: “Oh, foolish human, do you not yet recognize a goddess when you see one?”)
Justine’s cat Artemis (yes, like the goddess) studying theology with me

But back to the sense of self of animals (probably sans kitties).

*

On the flip side of animals having no egos, name one beast you have met that isn’t completely content and at peace with being who they are. It doesn’t matter one bit to your chihuahua that his isn’t as big as the Great Dane’s or to the alley cat on your street that the Siamese in the mansion has a more expensive fur on than hers. Animals exist in the absolute center of what psychologists and spiritual people call the “True Self”, not the “False Self”. And one thing I noticed about Raoul and I during our pup-sitting week, we became more our True Selves – more loving, more giving, but also more needing and more accepting – of the love we each shared together and individually with our grand-puppy. Granted, we would not sustain this if we had him for years instead of a week, and I know this because we have had dogs our whole family life and sustaining the kind of love we had with Beni this week is an impossibility, which brings me back to Thank God! our pets are so forgiving. Living in the kind of world we think of as a perfect world is hard work, just like taking care of a pet, but it is the kind of hard work whose greatest and perhaps only accomplishment is a loving relationship where I know myself as I am and accept you as someone you are and we both are at peace with who we are while also trying to be better together. If we took care of other humans as well as we do our pets, what a heaven on earth this would be.  Maybe for a while we should think of  The Golden Rule as saying, “Do unto others as you would have your pets do unto you.”

  • Finally (for today’s revelations) Animals help us think differently about Time. We didn’t “accomplish” much with Beni around, at least not as much as we could have if he weren’t around and that was wonderful –because we were with Beni –and today we will get to go back to accomplishing more and it will be a bit sad and depressing, and lonely and not as meaningful – because we aren’t with Beni.

*

And when I look at my life, so many of the truly meaningful parts were when I wasn’t really accomplishing all that much. I never did accomplish a great acting career, and yet, my theatre teachers, and my experiences when I was acting, were some of the critical ones that shaped and defined me in ways I am still unpacking.

*

And my memories of my children growing up? I don’t treasure all the things I “helped” them accomplish or the things we accomplished together, or the trophies or awards they got, nearly as much as I treasure the times we snuggled in the Big Bed reading or singing or just snuggling. Or the times I sat in the yard or by the pool and just listened to them play. Or talks around festival tables. Or traditions we shared. Or bike rides or walking dogs and picking up fallen leaves or pretty stones or shells on the beach. Or the times we splashed in mud puddles or laughed at silly jokes or took pre-technology-kid-coma-inducing long car trips, or….. we just were us together, accomplishing nothing. Nothing but relationship.

*

So my mom took us to Monmouth, Illinois to accomplish something with my dad, but it didn’t. It was always a great sorrow to her, which I only understood much later. You know, my mom passed this summer – I keep waking up or being startled at odd times during the day to realize that all over again – she is gone. wow. If you have someone in your life that you deeply loved that died, this year or fifty years ago, you know what I mean. Time changes forever when that person you loved so much is no longer in the same Time-plane that you are. I don’t know what Time-plane my mom is in now, or what any of my departed loved ones live in now that is a kind of  “Heaven-Time”, but I think they must be in something like an Eternal Puppy Time; a Pet-Time when there is nothing more important to accomplish than loving everyone and everything around you. And smelling stuff. And snuggling.

*

When someone you love leaves, like Beni left us last night temporarily, and my mom left us this summer, less temporarily; then you realize that it sure didn’t always feel like heaven on earth when you were with them, but that you can, if you try, hang on to the heaven on earth moments that happen in all true relationships and in all True Selves. Because it was really heaven on earth when they were with you because heaven is just another word for Love—the kind of love that loves others with a sense that renewal and newness are in our power to create together, with enjoyment in doing the same things over and over, with the kind of love that forgives and asks to be forgiven knowing that soon you will both forget the bad thing ever even happened. Heaven on earth is simply loving what you are, not what you can do, and loving relationships more than accomplishments.

*

Heavenly love is the earthiest kind of love there is because we are all  just critters of this amazing, wonderful Earth, full of smells and accidents to be cleaned up, and sounds, and the same people who can get on your last nerve but keep showing up, and an Earth rooted deep in Time and yet ever expanding, expanding just enough to keep holding on to each other and also allowing each other to run. We are all part of the Earth, revolving into days and nights and if we try hard enough to stop trying, part of the great DNA Dance of All Living Things, things and humans and beasts that can for a little while – maybe even a week — lose track of Time completely because we are caring for a puppy and we are in love and because of someone else, we are loving life so much that heaven is on earth.

*

Living like you are worthy of living in heaven forever is really just living like you are the most special person to the most special pet you have ever known. One of my husband’s favorite songs when he was growing up was one that Donny Osmond sang and the famous refrain was, “And they call it puppy love”. 

*

Find your “puppy love” today, whether it is in an actual doggie pet, or kitty-goddess, or human man-child, or needy friend, or that other-you that needs you to love her today. Go into the world looking for the messes you can clean-up and the forgivness you can offer. Apologize for your wrongs to others as if you just kicked the dog who wasn’t doing anything other than being herself. Sniff things, and touch things, and enjoy your feed  even if it is the same chow you had every day this week. Look into the eyes of the people you care about and let them know you need them and that also you are there for them when they need you. Take a nap when you are tired and don’t feel guilty about. Take a walk. Take lots of walks. And if love is something you are desperate for, like it was for my mom when she moved to try to find love with my father, but only finally found when she had grandchildren — if you want love — then don’t hang your tail and let your ears droop and give up. Never grow weary as you keep chasing and fetching and bringing love back to lay at the feet of Love. Just keep doing it. Just keep loving and asking for love. Keep the ball in play and you will find heaven on earth. Again, and again, and again.

My Mom: Gram and her grandkids

*

© Jane Tawel, October 25, 2021