The Question Tells Our Stories

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

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The Question Tells Our Stories

By Jane Tawel

December 2, 2022

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The young are ensnared,

by the Questioners,

who with all good intentions intact,

nonetheless, trap them

and grade them,

and release them into the world

thinking that the questions are:

What?

Who?

When?

And many never learn that these questions

have no ultimate worth

and will never satisfy.

For that which we all long for is — 

a story worth telling

a story worth listening to,

a story worth living.

*

And all of us,

may be ground down

by those who lead

the inquisitions of

banal things,

like education, and politics, and religion.

We who educate the young

Still believe we can teach them answers.

Have none of us learned yet,

that all that matters

are what questions we learn to ask,

and live with?

How few of us learn,

that all of life’s prompts,

are asking each of us,

all of us,

to answer only — 

“How?”

and “Why?”

And few of us learn or know

that when we ask

the real questions,

that even the questions are unclear,

But that living with the right questions

will lead us,

and we will lie down in green pastures,

near still waters,

in peace

with the questions.

*

Oh, yes, many of us still seek

what we think to be written

in black and white.

And we foolishly walk in halls

constructed by Whats and Whos

and made crooked with straight lines

and covered in moldy, dead pictures

of dead saints and deader patriots.

And we live lives afraid of our own stories.

And we must hate and fear something,

so, we hate and fear the stories of others.

And we keep chasing whats and whos.

As if they were real.

As if they could last.

*

Listen to the elders speak.

“Oh, Our People –

when human stories are no longer told,

and we no longer look at each other

awed by the mystery,

then the heroes have failed and

and the protagonist has died,

and the antagonists of the Story,

and the enemies of meaning and longing,

have won.

But they too, silly fools,

Will have no victory in death.

*

Oh, we must remain awake!

We must keep turning the pages;

pages written only for us

in this place, and this time.

We must keep searching for the themes,

one by one,

eyes open

past our bedtimes

times that would turn out our lights,

and leave the Story unfinished.

Oh, I am learning to live

in the mystery

that all Good Stories must have,

waiting to gasp at the surprise ending.

For we know not

of what we are made of now,

but one day, we shall be revealed to be,

not what we are,

not who we are,

not what we have been;

but Why we have been,

and Why we have lived,

and Why we will always be.

*

Oh, My People,

when we stop telling each other our stories,

and listening to each other’s stories — 

Well, that is when the Story of humanity

and of our beautiful earth,

will end –

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Oh, My People,

Tell your stories.

Tell them to whomever will listen.

Tell your story

in your bedroom,

in your office,

in check-out lines

and empty pews,

and protest marches

and wherever you are

and with whomever you are with.

And when you tell your true story,

and listen to another’s true story,

Why, then –

whatever you do

that you think is important

will be revealed

to be a lovely, peaceful little nothing at all,

compared to the True Story of You.

*

Oh, My People,

Learn your story.

You are not a what

Or a who

Or a when — 

You have come through your story, thus far,

by learning to ask “How”.

And if you haven’t already,

You must now be brave enough

to ask yourself, “Why?”.

And then write

just the next moment of your story,

that is all your story needs,

the next word,

the next line,

the next action

that answers your “Why”.

And then you may write

one moment more,

and that too,

will be the answer.

And by asking the write questions,

You are asking the right questions.

And you are turning the page,

on another day to become closer

to the Story’s Awesome Ending! — 

and the answer to Why.

“Here am I, Oh Why. Send me.”

*

You are an arc, a radius, a point,

in the Awesome Circle

we sit in together,

telling the Story of Why.

Take part today in the Circle of Life.

*

And in the questions,

that your story,

and his story,

and her story,

and their story

ask with words whispered,

with proclamations shouted,

with songs sung;

the questions,

written large and small

with nubby pencils,

and leaking ink pens,

and sticks on cave walls,

and bindings both new and old — 

in the questions pulsing

like living hearts outside a body,

in the stories of yourself and others,

and all of humankind — 

you will find the Living Mystery,

that some call “God”,

and some call “Meaning”,

and some call “The Answer” — 

but all of humankind calls — 

“ The Why”.

*

Oh, My People,

There are only two stories to be told.

One is loss.

And the other is –

Love.

Loss is the story of How.

Loss will guide the protagonist’s steps,

if allowed to be the catalyst to change.

But the only story worth

keeping on the top shelf of your thinking,

and the locked vault of Memory’s library,

and passed from hand to hand

in the circles of our gatherings;

and kept safely, next to the bed

to be read again,

and with parts memorized

for telling when the nightmares come,

or our sleepy children snuggle close,

or an old worn out body breathes its last;

the only story to be cherished

and told and retold and told again,

the story that is no respecter of persons,

but available for free,

always for all of us;

the only story worth living for,

worth dying for,

worth trusting in;

the Story with the real Ending,

that will never, never come,

but that will go on into eternity,

Why, that Story –

the story that answers “Why”,

is the Story of Love.

Oh, My People,

the only story that when told and retold,

never grows stale or boring,

the only story that is worth sharing,

again,

and again,

and again

is the Story of Love.

*

And Love will always,

Always — 

Always — 

Be — 

Forever…

The Story that answers

the only question worth asking:

Why?

© Jane Tawel, 2022

*

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I lived among the books and things,

and rode the merry-go-round.

And as I reached for the golden ring — 

Why — suddenly I found

that Life is not a carousel

that I did have to ride,

so, I slide off, so I could tell,

of what I’d found, before I died.

Oh, Children, do not hop aboard,

this world’s illusive wheel.

Instead, trust what you feel,

to be the Path your soul reveals.

For it’s within your very own,

dear self that you will find

a true and loving peaceful home,

for heart, and soul, and mind.

You must be brave.

You must be modest.

You’ll find The Path,

most strange and oddest.

But you will find around each bend,

our joy in journeying never ends.

*

© Jane Tawel, 2022

Forgivin’ is Livin’

by Jane Tawel

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

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Forgivin’ is Livin’

By Jane Tawel

November 19, 2022

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Forgive my assumptions

that lead me to doubt

that You have guided and gifted me.

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Forgive my forgetting

the times that pure Grace

was all that protected and lifted me.

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Forgive my instructions

that force You to choose

whether Your will or my will is done.

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Forgive me the most

for the things that I boast of

while neglecting it all came through grace.

And help me, today,

to walk in a New Way,

that one day, We may stand face to Face.

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Forgive that I choose

to be lazy or greedy

and to live in a life based on fear.

*

May I do what is hardest,

and forgive me, Myself;

to stop looking outside me,

for there’s nothing to right me,

but the Love that’s inside me,

and has always been here.

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Forgiving is freeing

You, you, and you.

Forgiving is seeing

that all that is True,

is Faith, Hope, and Love—

all the rest will be past,

and all that will last,

is whatever I’ve given

to bring to earth, Heaven.

Oh! “for-givin’” is livin’

in Eternity now.

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

© Jane Tawel, 2022

The Owls Still Live

Night Owl

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The Owls Still Live

By Jane Tawel

October 24, 2022

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And as yet once again, and then again,

I lie, restless and unsleeping, yet not unafraid

in a bed not of roses, and while sometimes of thorns,

still a bed that holds me

in the sticky web of memories,

but no longer of any hopes.

And I don’t know why,

but all I know is that neither medication nor meditation

are the answer,

because the answer is no longer relevant.

An answer is only possible in the short-run,

and an answer is only as good as the Test-Maker,

and mine has showed His hand,

and I won’t be fooled again.

*

I hear the omen-call outside my window.

And myths say now it won’t be long,

won’t be long.

And yet my humanity,

so deeply entrenched since I was a child,

still listens to like calling like.

And my heart longs to believe that

even when the night is darkest,

that Like will once more call to me

as like unto Himself.

*

The canticle goes on and on,

a duet between two unseen flights of fancy.

And I can’t believe it, but it’s true,

for hours I lie awake and listen, and

the one never gives up,

no matter how long the other pauses or hesitates.

No, He never stops sending signals

of love-calls to her,

and no matter how dark the night,

like answers Like.

*

I don’t know anything anymore,

neither sleeping nor awake,

but only this –

just outside my bedroom window — 

the owls still live.

*

© Jane Tawel, 2022

Do Not Let Them In, They Are Not Here

Untitled by Anonymous

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Do Not Let Them In, They Are Not Here

By Jane Tawel

September 16, 2022

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She is not here now.

And when you let her in,

again and again,

you reveal your true insanity.

Not being part of

any true reality,

her presence has driven you mad.

*

He is not in this space.

But you have flung open

the entrances to your mind,

and now you have to face the fact,

that though you have allowed

the thief of your peaceful thoughts

almost constant habitation there,

he is dead,

(or would be if you killed him).

Allow him to die an honorable death.

Kill him gently

without leaving too much blood

on the floors in your house,

and then clean up the mess.

Remember he only came because you bid him come

and then blamed him for leaving grey scum

on the walls of your mind’s home.

He does not live here today,

and need not live in the home of your heart

any more.

*

They come disguised as cleaning crews,

or helpful guests and family,

pretending to help

with the cleaning-up of calamities

or of my misunderstandings,

but my need for them, not withstanding,

it is a relationship of lies.

For thoughts are just a house of cards,

if peopled by things one cannot see with eyes,

or hear alive in the world that exists outside the mind,

or touch with skin to skin,

feeling the softness of your cheek or the cheek of a ripe peach,

or made with something I can taste or drink

or move with the circles of my speech.

All that would dwell in the shadows

of my darkened house, filled with the

blood-suckers that would steal awakening joy,

these are nothing more

than dust motes of past emotions,

or the fogs that roll in from the future but don’t stay — 

Oh, all of this is nothing of me

in just this place — this day.

Yes, I have invited all of you not really here,

under false pretenses.

But trying to make you feel at ease as my mind’s guests,

serving your phantasmagorical hungers

from the hard labors

of the meals of my perceptions and attachments,

I feel like an alien in my own home.

The people I let in,

who do not really live here in my space,

are dirty and rude

because I allow them

to mess up that within

the home of my heart

and that which should be hallowed

in the hallways of my mind,

and still I find

it is hard to say good-bye to them.

And all that is meant to be preserved for my good,

is filled with the flood,

and mud of thinking on and on and on

about things that are not present now.

*

Do not let them in; they are not here.

Kick them all to the curb;

and prohibit them from

the treasure-room of yourself.

Those who used to live here,

or have not yet been born to you,

must take their place

with the other hallucinations

that your mind would create.

We all hear voices.

And yet, we do not stop our ears,

against those who would crash us on the shores,

of wasted energy and emotions

of all and anything that is not love.

Why, oh why, do we feel guilt,

when we release those

who do not live with us today,

those which we would cling to from yesterday,

or yearn or fear for in our tomorrows,

tomorrows which should remain unimagined?

We must stop our remembering

and our imagining,

as we dream of and with only those present,

in the here and now,

dreaming them in the reality of today.

*

Let all of them,

all but your best present-presence,

and that which is only alive in you for just this day,

leave your home,

and live where they belong,

in the house of the dead.

Let those who are not here,

take-up their residence where they belong,

and reside no more in your now

where only you

can see God and live.

Yes, there is enough space for only you,

your very present God, and you,

your home, which is yourself.

Be still

and only know this moment

and only in this moment, know

the Truth.

And let all others go.

Set them free.

So that your true self

is not housed,

but truly sheltered.

And Love will then

find plenty of room,

to fill the empty spaces,

that ghosts and chimeras have left behind.

In your home,

may all your past and future

no longer look to you

for tents of understanding build on bogs.

And in the only place you ever need,

the place in you that you call home,

the home that is yourself,

may you live forever-now

in peace.

© Jane Tawel, 2022

How Do I?

by Jane Tawel

“Ocean Wave” by smhowell2 is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

How Do I?

By Jane Tawel

September 9, 2022

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How do I stop blaming myself?

Renaming myself in a thousand ways?

How can I listen

to the tides of my dreams?

And though they may seem

just a whisper — a nudge — 

how do I let my soul

roll with the waves that

The Ocean would send my way?

*

I have one name,

One name.

And I will play only the good kind of games,

like a child I will play in the now.

And I will neither blame nor shame — 

and though I may not know exactly how,

I will not project nor expect nor attain

any thing that will harm you or me.

No, not any of you,

nor any of me

will I stop from the Flow of The Ocean.

I will see only who we can be — 

You and me — 

as I seek to become

and to be and be

One.

© Jane Tawel 2022

Set Us Free

A Poem by Jane Tawel

“Monarchs in motion” by farflungphotos is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

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Set Us Free

By Jane Tawel

September 3, 2022

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Set me free from the future.

Set me free from the past.

Set me free to live into

The Truth that will last.

*

Set me free from stagnation.

Set me free from my needs.

Set me free to change wholly,

and to set new dreams free.

*

Set me free by forgiveness

of the great and the small,

and as I forgive others,

may I forgive myself, all.

*

Set me free from the prison

that only I can create,

by attachment to anger

and fear, grief, and hate.

*

Let me open the prison doors

and free memories’ hostages.

Give me strength to release,

tomorrow from bondages.

And when I would put

heart or mind back in jail,

May The Spirit of Love for All Life,

fast prevail.

*

Freedom is not a longing

for nothing to lose,

Nor is being free, gain

for the ego to use.

Freedom is never greedy,

nor self-serving, nor fearful.

Freedom is never needy,

but in needlessness, cheerful.

*

Freedom is the soul’s seeking

of Love’s peace that will still

any hurt, fear, or longing

and by Grace, all is healed.

*

Oh Creator, of heaven and earth and of All,

May my spirit be freed from the sins of The Fall.

Let me claim my true power that by You, I’m designed,

to be free to create in me, new life divine.

*

May I free those who’ve hurt me

and forgive once — and all.

May resentment and bitter seed,

take no root in my soul.

*

Daily let me forgive

those I know and in general.

And as I forgive freely,

make my joy and love plentiful.

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Oh, True Life is just waiting!

Our souls long to be free!

When I loose bonds of judgement,

I free God in you and in me.

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May I use my soul’s freedom

for true care to employ.

And God, moment by moment

set my soul free for joy.

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May my soul find true freedom

in The God who is One.

May our souls be united,

in only Truth, which is Love.

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May I trust in The Word

that brings Heaven to Now.

And though I don’t know how,

let my faith become strong,

that I live now, in God’s freedom,

and for all my days long.

*

Let my daily prayer be:

Set me free.

Set him free.

Set her free.

Set them free.

Set us free,

Dear Creator,

Oh, Dear God,

set us free.

© Jane Tawel, 2022

Pre-Dawn and I

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Pre-Dawn and I

https://unsplash.com/photos/gapRs3zsdg0

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Pre-Dawn and I

By Jane Tawel

August 10, 2022

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And just like that — 

And as I was looking down — 

with barely an upward glance,

Light snuck around,

the edges of the dark.

*

Oh, the hours are too often filled,

with lists and pages of words;

but if perchance,

you happen to glance up,

at just the moment, when

Light makes her slow entrance on the stage,

Then drop the page you hold,

and breathe deeply in and out

and listen to the drumbeat of your heart,

welcoming the Dawn.

*

This pre-dawn as I sat,

and worried over Time-past,

and of course, as always I do,

fretted over the Time-not-come,

the Present Moment snuck-up on me,

and I looked up and out, not down and in.

The veil of dark pulled back.

And though I had just a peek,

I caught Light in the act,

of once again confirming,

with just a narrow band, still grey,

that soon the Sun would rise, in full array,

and with a bit of hopefulness,

I knew that Dawn was on its way.

*

Oh, the night is filled with strangers and friends,

and even though you let them in, they are not there.

I have determined not to speak, nor listen,

with those who would intrude upon my thoughts,

but are not in this place or time.

Oh, Universal Love of me and All,

help me to honor You by being awake,

to all that dawns upon me, both by day and night.

Help me to listen with a heart full of love,

to early morning birds,

and the scrambling of lizards in the heat of the day.

In moments that manage,

to sneak away from me,

I shall return to myself,

and quiet myself.

I will listen

to the dove’s song,

and the hushing of leaves in trees.,

and to the miracle of my own beating heart.

And I shall watch the Light and Dark,

dance their dance,

and kiss each other in the great Romance,

of all that is lovely in the Presence of the Now.

*

© Jane Tawel, 2022

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.

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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

Golden Harvest

Sunset on the Lake

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Golden Harvest

By Jane Tawel

July 8, 2022

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Golden harvest has come due.

Evening sun commands the view.

Now the red-maned goddess flies,

‘cross the deepening gloaming skies.

*

Earth’s horizon sings Time’s song:

“Day is short, and night is long.”

Bast, the Lion Goddess comes.

Birds are stilled and people, mum.

*

Oh, the glory of the Sun,

as the day has come and gone.

And before the Night entombs,

the world’s on fire with Sunset’s bloom.

*

© Jane Tawel, 2022

Dead Angels

Angel by Capt Piper

Dead Angels

By Jane Tawel

June 29, 2022

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“Your angels are dying,” She said.

*

And so, we found our excuses

to offer to the God,

we had created —  all red, white and blue,

in our own image.

But if we had read it correctly,

we would have known;

there is only One God,

and He is the one who accepts,

no excuses.

*

“Your angels are dying,” She said.

*

The problem is, angels need a lot of care.

And we were once unwilling,

we are now, unwilling;

the nation was unwilling;

the churches were unwilling;

and so, the Spirit of the Age,

began to shrivel and clutch,

in very wealthy widow’s weeds.

*

I don’t know how it is in other places,

but here I know we worship money;

we worship power;

we worship who we think we are.

And we put little God stickers on the outside of it all,

reducing a Savior’s price,

so we can get more buyers.

We pray prayers of helplessness,

to make us feel safer,

to get us off the hook of actually doing anything,

to make sure Jesus takes the fall. Again.

And while outside, our Easter finery is shiny,

like newly minted thirty pieces of silver,

inside, we are rotting like hidden corpses,

hiding from ourselves,

hiding from The Source.

*

“Your angels are dying,” She said.

*

A Human-being once called us ‘white-washed tombs’.

and while we focus on unfulfilled wombs,

we don’t mind killing, no not at all,

while America’s better angels go AWOL

As long as our left hand is in the till,

our right hand ignores the Pearls — for swill.

And so, the Angels of America writhe.

And while we think we can buy God with our tithe,

we take God’s name in vain.

Our worship is profane,

because we keep leaving out Love,

and the freedom to choose

from the Eternal Equation of

God + me =Living Christ.

Instead, we have made God in our own image,

and not in the image of Them,

and we have left Christ on the cross,

so we can go shopping and buy cheaper gas.

Because who needs angels,

when we have nuclear weapons and assault rifles?

Who needs angels,

when we can blame our inner demons,

on some one who is not like us?

*

“Your angels are dying,” She said.

*

Now let us bow our heads,

in the prayer of Our Holy Flag,

and place our hope in a worship of past successes,

and the catechism of power-full-ness,

and the holy rites of more-ness-ness,

and the “our way or the highway”

of laws without consequences

for anyone but Lazarus at the gate.

And fingers crossed,

that we can keep believing that our own cross,

is bearing the pangs of the Dow Jones.

And hopefully, angels and demons are not real,

and the Kingdom of some old documents

can take the place of Heaven on Earth.

*

© Jane Tawel, June 2022

**Written with fear and trembling and much gratitude for the works of Walter Wink.