The Same Old Hatred – Racism & Anti-Semitism

Lies about people, stereotypes about groups, distortions of truth all lead to hate.

When people are seen as not human the hate leads to violence against them.

These lies, stereotypes and distortions lead to distrust and then to horrible violence
against people of color.
And against people of the Jewish faith.  

The lies MUST STOP.

Look for what makes us One, what makes all of us Human and ultimately the same.

Find the good in other humans. 

We must, else the future will continue to be unjust.

2/22/22

On 11/11/11 I wrote in this Blog, eldermuse.net, A Woman’s Voice for Love and Reason,
“I am so very happy to have the opportunity
in my lifetime
to be able to write
11/11/11
as the date.”
Well, I must again honor today’s date by noting
again, that it is a wonderful
opportunity to be able to write
2/22/22
in my lifetime!

These are the little things in life which provide
Amazement, Gratitude, Comfort as I age.

My Wife, Marsha Epstein – My TRUE Beshert and my TRUE Love

I met my wife Marsha, online, in January 2013 and I wrote three pieces to her, which I add to this November, 2021 post.  We married (legally) in 2014 and since then, my life has been a complete flurry of my wife’s cancer (thankfully in total remission!), my oldest sister’s death (who I miss each day), the ins and outs of living with the one (Marsha) who I love, new pets, and a general state of too busy to express my thoughts here, as I once did faithfully.  Not to mention….Covid!

With this post, I wish to let the world know that Marsha is my Rock and my Joy.  She is my life’s TRUE Beshert.  My life’s TRUE Love.  I thank God, and her, each day for our love, and for our ability to be married.  We share Wedded Bliss and Daily Fun and Joy.

I previously did not show you how BEAUTIFUL she is, so I’m showing you now.  And add 2 photos from our wedding.  We were wed at Beth Chayim Chadashim by our Lesbian Rabbi, Lisa Edwards.

Waking Confusion

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I awake in my bed this morning, not yours.
My legs search for the luxury of your warmth in vain.
Back and forth your house mine.
Were it not for precise schedules long discussed
written down
schedules not remembered
without a book
we could not track whose bed we sleep in.

One, two nights at the most we sleep alone
else the hunger for your touch
slay me.


Profound and Sacred

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May our intimacies always be
profound and sacred.

Profound and sacred sharing of our
Past
Pain
Joy
Fear

Present
Concerns
Hurts
Neglect

Present
Touch Touch Touch
Lips
Skin
Fingers
Hands

Present
Laughter
More Laughter
Joy
Tears
Awe

Sacred Calling In The Divine
as witness to what we share
what we Create.

Sacred Sharing
Touching
Lips
Skin
Fingers
Hands

Sacred Praise and Blessing for
This Gift of You.


I used to wallow in time

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Time…..a commodity
a cognitive construct
a shaping of reality
a shaping of sanctity
a figment of our imagination
relative

too little
too late
right on
not enough
too much
does anyone ever have too much
what to do with it all
waiting
rushing
too busy
just enough

When I am with you
there is never enough
When I am with you
it is suspended
in the exquisite
present

When I am not with you
I wait
I long for….breathless
I hunger for….breathless
time with you

I used to wallow in time
some days it felt oppressive
the l-o-n-g s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-s
of sorrow

The sorrow is long past
its intensity will not enable
forgetting

But it now enables
relishing
sweetness
sweetness
glory in Gratitude
for my Time with you

We are 3 Days Past the Conviction of More Evil in Minneapolis

Will things truly change?  Will police become less trigger happy?  Will Black Lives Stop Being Killed?
Nope.  The very same day that Evil was convicted, another young Black Life was murdered by police:
Ma’khia Bryant.  
And sadly, there will be more.  Police are not trained to de-escalate situations.  Sadly.  And they are trained to intimidate and use unnecessary force.  Sadly.
Why do they receive Army surplus weapons, tanks, killing machines?  The American public is NOT the enemy.  

AND the repugs continue to believe that the rapist won the election.  And they continue to refuse the vaccine.

I can see now why the world entered into the “Dark Ages” in the 200 – 1400 CE time.  It’s easy to let stupidity take over.

Why Are We Not Calling The Man Who Inhabits The People’s House Evil?

The Electoral College is voting today, December 14, 2020 and the Evil which still inhabits the People’s House has still not quelled the anger of his supporters…..all 70 something million of them; nearly half of all U.S. voters.  
Someone will surely die, and this past weekend, several have been gravely maimed.  
Why is the new media not calling out this man for who he is?  He is mentally deranged and he supports a lie….that the election was “stolen” from him.
The sooner this lie is put to rest, the better.  We do NOT need more people in large groups on the streets, yelling, threatening, and goading each other.  
This is a time of great pain for many.  Let us honor their losses, of friends, family, loved ones as well as their loss of career and jobs, monetary security, and loss of integrity.  This is a time to mourn.  This is a time to acknowledge Covid’s grip on our world, to do what is right: social distance, and wear masks.  And by all means, when the vaccine is available to you, by all means, take it.

May Palmyra Syria NOT Be Destroyed

The world is raging with war, killings, destroyed lives….still.  We’ve barely left the most horrible century for human murder, the twentieth, and there is no sign that it will let up.
It is end of May 2015 and there are more refugees and displaced persons now than at the end of World War II.
Boat loads of people escaping turmoil, failed states, chaos, murder, hunger, running to find a better life.  As Thomas Friedman of the N.Y. Times put it, they’re escaping dis-order, seeking order.  Most likely it will only get worse, as climate change and income inequality become more prevalent.  In California and large swaths of the western U.S., drought is taking its toll on the lives of the poorest.  Large industrial orchards suck groundwater deeply leaving poorer more shallow wells to run dry.  Towns in central California have had no running water for months now.

But I continue to Trust.  Continue to Accept that the arc of human destiny can only improve.  Continue to Understand that this movement for the better is a slow, almost imperceptible process.  I am hopeful…still.

So I share a long quote from Amos Oz, the Israeli author, taken from an interview in the Jewish Journal (http://www.jewishjournal.com/) May 15 – 21, 2015.  Oz is interviewed by Rob Eshman, Editor-in-Chief for the Jewish Journal and they’re discussing the prospect of peace in the middle east and the necessity for wearing the uniform of armies:

Oz states: “Look, you have to live in this complicated world.  You have to be clearing the sewage from time to time, clean a blockage in the sewage.  And you do that, and you do that as well as you can do.  But there is not much pride in coming out of the sewage, stinking all over – you take a quick shower, you don’t walk in the street claiming, “I just cleaned the sewage.”  No, I don’t feel any pride in wearing uniforms.  I find necessity.  I don’t find…any beauty in bars on the windows and locks on the doors.  But they are a necessity.”

I don’t have a solution for this tangled, complicated, messy dis-ordered world we live in.
I don’t know how to stop ISIS and other fanatics from killing, destroying, leaving terror and horror.

But I wanted to share Amos Oz’ words because they echo how I feel.

May there be Peace, Shalom in this Dear World …….soon.

Hanukkah 2014


Seventh night of flaming light in our home.

Watching the women dance in the flame,
playing their instruments, background to the light.
Gratitude, always Gratitude.

Marsha and I have been through a mighty test.
She diagnosed with cancer, survived the brute
chemo radiation hell.
“If one survives this burning, cell killing poison
they must be meant to live,”
I commented to one of her doctors.
He just smiled.

Me losing my oldest and last sister.
We used to be three.
Issue of same mother and father.
Womb blood, blood of childhood fights, blood
of Mine.

There at her death.  Holding squeezing her hand
to let her know my presence.
She did.
She squeezed back even as she gasped for air
in her last days.
Every last bit of her strength was given up to breathe.
Every last bit of her strength squeezed out of her
each hour each minute
she fought
for air.
She fought for hours
till finally
the rattle
the tell tale sounds of the end.
I held onto her hand to the end.
Until it was over.

I’ve been Blessed with
Being Present at the death of
both of my sisters.
Blessed with holding them
long after their last
breath.

What a year we’ve had.
I am grateful that we can give light to Women Playing
silent tunes
with these miracle flames.

 

Prayer Written for my B’Nai Mitzvah Class

Marsha & I are taking a B’Nai Mitzvah class, with our Bat Mitzvahs scheduled to take place Saturday, July 26th (2014).
Our Temple, Beth Chayim Chadashim (http://www.bcc-la.org) happens to be the very first, yes folks, the world’s FIRST gay and lesbian (and bi and transgender) Temple in the world.
Rabbi Heather Miller who is leading our class has asked us to create a prayer.  Easy for me because I pray to G-d daily, several times a day.  
If you’ve read some or all of this blog, you’ll find several prayers which I’ve written over the years. Here is a new one:

My Dearest G-d
Barauch Ha’Shem
My Dearest G-d
Yod Hai Vov Hai
Adonai
Shekhinah
El Shadai
Ha Shem
Help me to love You with all my heart and soul.
Help me to realize that loving You is the MOST important thing in my life.
Thank You for my life, for my wife – the woman who completes me –
for my health, home, family, and friends.
Thank You for the Creation of this Dear World.
Thank You for making me a Jew, for creating me in Your image, and for sustaining me in all that I do.
Amen

Flying to the End of the Earth One Day

I am still moving in with Marsha.
Post wedding, I have time to go through old files and…
lo and behold, came across a ditty from years and years ago.
A quarter page of Frances Stern Nutrition Center letterhead cut neatly to make scrap paper.
(more about Frances Stern
Nutrition Center in a future post)
On the back of the scrap letterhead, I’d written the following:

Flying to the end of the earth one day
      I beheld Golden Irises…
Diving to the floor of the deepest sea
      somersault seahorses dance with me…
Listening to the stars as they fade away
      I can hear angels laughing.

I’m sure that I did NOT write this…..but for the life of me, I can’t recall where these lines came from.

Does anyone know?
I think it’s beautiful.

Poem written by Lucille Clifton


“i am accused of tending to the past”
       by  Lucille Clifton


i am accused of tending to the past
as if i made it,
as if i sculpted it
with my own hands.  i did not.
this past was waiting for me
when i came,
a monstrous unnamed baby,
and i with my mother’s itch took it to breast
and named it
History.
she is more human now,
learning languages everyday,
remembering faces, names an dates.
when she is strong enough to travel
on her own, beware, she will.

[Lucille Clifton b. 1936 d. 2010, was a phenomenal poet who wrote about feminist and African American themes.]