Learning Not to Be Thankful

By Jane Tawel

First published on WordPress on November 25, 2019. I needed to hear myself on this again on November 23, 2020.

Image for post
Image for post

I will do my yearly duty this week and be thankful while consuming too much food while sitting around in an over-warm dining room, swapping surface stories and easily paid-for thoughts and prayers. And I am as thankful as anyone, truly I am, for all the people and stuff I have been given. But this year, I can’t help but feel the weight of that last thing I said, “given”. It is after all the season of Thanks — “giving”. The thing is, that most of us living in Entitlement, forget that all that we have to be thankful for, has been given to us. Many of us believe we have been given these things by a God. Most of us come to believe we have been given these things by our own hard work, smarts, dreaming and planning, and “gumption”. Far fewer of us, would admit that much of what we have is ours through pure luck, the luck of the draw, the luck of where and when and to whom we were born, the luck of our skin-color or gender or school-grades. After all, how can one be thankful for something one does not really deserve any more than the next guy or gal? And it is the next guy and gal that make me queasy and eating not just pumpkin but humble pie. …


Image for post
Image for post
“puzzle time” by Sherri Lynn Wood is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Puzzling With Purpose

By Jane Tawel

November 14, 2020

These past months as I have been reading and circling through the deep treasures in books by Victor Frankel, Abraham Joshua Herschel, Shane Claiborne, Gary Wills, A.W. Tozer, and Chief Joseph Riverwind, I have been filled with the paradoxes of longing/knowing, seeking/ remembering, learning/ yearning, and wondering/wandering. I have also felt myself taking spiritual baby-steps, and as another favorite of mine, C.S. Lewis wrote, heading a bit “further up and further in”.

My readings led me to rough-draft through a slight meditative acrostic. As the old adage goes, “writing is never finished, it is only due”; and maybe if we thought more that way about each day, each life, each person, we’d be a bit more joyful, caring, kind, and hopeful in our life’s journeys toward meaning. Aren’t writing and communication always really just today’s rough draft in expressing who I think I am, what I think the Big Themes are? Isn’t each day of life, just a bit of a second draft on yesterday, and another rough draft today, with hopes for perfection, or at least a passing grade, for tomorrow? …


Image for post
Image for post
“Horse Drawn Plow” by Tom Gill. is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Once This is Over

A Meditation

By Jane Tawel

November 7, 2020

Meditation 1

Once they, whoever “they” are, stop slapping our hands away, I hope they will see a hand reached out, straight and true, to show The Way.

Once they, whoever “they” are, find that fear can not lead, and hate can not win; I hope we will walk in peace.

Once “they”, whoever they were, embrace the love of “We”; we will find that as One, we live.

*

Once there, wherever “there” is, we must make all things beautiful.

Once there, wherever “there” leads, no one will feel alone. …


Image for post
Image for post
“party” by sundaymay is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Cancelled: Festivity in The Time of Corona Virus

A Poem

By Jane Tawel

November 1, 2020

*

Is it a party, if nobody comes?

Is it a fete, with a guest list of one?

Festivals, shindigs, and things we’ve once done,

During pandemics don’t seem very fun!

*

Last eve wasn’t “hallowed”,

Candy dishes weren’t shallowed,

And what is the point when traditions aren’t followed?

*

And when we don’t cheer,

Together with beer,

To celebrate wins and our teams —

Well, I wonder, just what it all means?

*

And churches prodigious,

Well, are they really religious,

If they gather for…


There seems to be a lot of confusion these days in and about certain religions, perhaps my own particularly at this juncture in the limitations of place and time. Just a few thoughts from those a million miles better than I; who are convicting and (I hope) instructing me. We of a certain faith don’t need to fear national changes as much as we should fear actually doing what Christ asks us to do if we want to follow Him. I know it scares the “American” right out of me!

Image for post
Image for post

Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. …


Image for post
Image for post
Los Angeles Dodgers Win World Series, Los Angeles Times October 28,2020

This is a team and the players’ win is worthy of celebration. (Yay, Dodgers!) Political parties are not teams and politicians are not star players and we have to stop cheering for them as if all that matters is whether our team wins. We shouldn’t want a party to “win”, no matter what, no matter what rules they break, or how they play the game, just because they have been “our team” for a long time. What we should want is for our nation’s values to win, and for the world to be a better place for everyone, not just those who “wear” the same color. We should want our political leaders to serve those of us sitting in the stands (and if they serve-up L.A. Dodger dogs this year, even better). Citizens are not the fans in this political game, folks, we are the umpires. Don’t hope your political party “team” wins, hope the nation’s citizens win. Vote like a referee. …


Image for post
Image for post
“Blown on a Breeze up the Sky………… Explored 26 July” by -Reji is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

A Prayer of Sorts

By Jane Tawel

October 25, 2020

*

Divine Power,

Choosing Divine Love instead,

You sort Yourself into the camp of

Gods Who Care.

*

Parent Progenitor,

Creating not fighting,

Wholeness, not chaos;

You sort your children out

not with punishment but with the reward

of shalom eternal, fullness in peace, purpose as one with Yours.

*

Good and Holy,

Teacher and Magistrate,

Just and Truthful

Lover and Sage,

Wise and Gracious,

Cosmos and Heart-beat,

You Alone, You Within All.

*

You Are.

And when we ask, “Why You do not do?”

You ask, “Why do not you?” …


A Poem about Lies, Liars, and Truth

Image for post
Image for post
“Kernels of Truth” by Daveblog is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The Problem Is, It Isn’t True

A Poem

By Jane Tawel

October 13, 2020

*

Remember when it was we two,

And we believed we could imbue,

A moral, high-road point of view,

in others and in me and you?

And when someone, a child or friend,

Would through a maze of untruths wend,

I used to say this thing to you:

“The problem is, it isn’t true”.

*

And we would laugh or roll our eyes,

And then to child or friend, advise

Them not the truth to compromise,

By telling tales or telling lies. …


Part 2: The Nine-Step Program

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Peter Ivey-Hansen on Unsplash

By Jane Tawel

October 10, 2020

In Part 2 of “Righting the Route of a Relationship”, we’ll continue the metaphor of any connection between two people as a relationSHIP. Part 1 illuminates how all relationships can be seen as a type of ship or boat. Part 2 shares “The Nine R’s of Righting a RelationSHIP.

I share these with you and with myself, in the hope we can all work towards having more serene, satisfying, and seaworthy sailing in any relationSHIP, but especially in the most important one of all — the one I have with myself.

The R’s of Righting a…


Part 1: The View from The Deck

Image for post
Image for post
“Rowboat” by Tom Gill. is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

By Jane Tawel

October 10, 2020

BIG DISCLAIMER: I can’t claim that what I am writing here, about what we should do in relationships, is in fact something that I always do. I always set out to teach myself a thing or two, whenever I try to teach someone else. I can say, however, that the times I have done this in either my most important relationships or my most trivial relationships, I have been much the better person for it. I like to believe that the other person and the relationship itself has been the better for it too.

Throughout the long arc of any individual life, there are many types of relationships. Some are work, some play. Some are friends, some are arch-rivals. Some are short-term, others long-term. Some are life-changing, others career-changing. Some are a bit of fluff, and others are the type that turns a lump of carbon into a diamond. Whether spouse, partner, friend, family member, boss, or co-worker, we will in one relationship or another, (if not in all of them), be faced with times when the relationship hits a bump, veers off course, or sometimes, threatens to implode or explode. When this happens, we usually have a choice. One can ignore, let the situation flounder, fester, get worse, fall apart, slowly decay, or die; or one can try to change the dynamics, fidget with the dance steps, fix the problem, and right the wrong. Notice, I say “one”. This is not merely the use of the third person for the sake of a good grade from my English teacher. This is using the person of “one” because it only takes One of Two people to decide that the relationship matters. That it matters enough to do something about something that isn’t right. There is a route to righting a relationship, and some “One” simply needs to decide to start forging the trail. …

About

Jane Tawel

Still not old enough to know better. Enjoys philosophy, spirituality, poetry, books of all genres.Often torn between encouragement & self-directed chastisement.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store