Our Song

You cannot bind us again
We have a power you
cannot comprehend

Our bodies will
never again belong
to someone else
our songs
our words
our are ours alone

We have a power you
cannot comprehend

Our voices will not be silent
our deeds will not go unnoticed
we will no longer hide
behind a wall
not of our own making

We have a power you
cannot comprehend

We set ourselves free
to do what
you cannot
will not
do
We know
the pain of injustice
we know
the pain of humiliation
we know
the pain of hunger
of homelessness
of sorrow
not of our making

But we have a power you
cannot comprehend

We come to right
your injustice
your cruelty
Not for power
Not for greed
But because it’s
the right thing to do

We have a power
you cannot comprehend

And you are afraid
you should be afraid
for we are here
Now
and

You cannot bind us again
Because we have a power
you cannot comprehend

Ruth Jewell, ©January 23, 2021

Image: A Collage of Poets, Actors, activists, politicians, Leaders all

Angry, Frightened, and Overwhelmed

I was watching C-Span on January 6th when the mob, incited by Donald Trump, broke into the Capital Building. I watched as Speaker Pelosi was hustled from the chamber. I watched as congressional members, Democrat and Republican, huddled down as Capitol Police guarded, barricaded the doors, and tried to get them to safety.  I heard the gunshot that killed one of the rioters.  I was a witness to something I never thought I would see.

Since then, a lot has happened, the House impeached the 45th president for inciting insurrection and now with new information about the intent of the crowd may be changed to sedition.  Mike Pence was a target and barely escaped with his life; the traitors screamed “Hang Pence.” If it had not been for one brave Capitol Police offers, Officer Goodman, he might not be here today. The crowd wanted to capture and kill or hold hostage congressional members, especially Secretary Pelosi. We have learned that actual House members might have been complicit in the insurrection, even as 10 republican Congress members voted for impeachment. A Capitol Policeman lost his life and another committed suicide after the riot.  Donald Trump still has not conceded the election which is continuing to fuel his followers. In Interviews DC and Capitol Police say that they were beaten, sprayed with bear repellant, and verbally abused.  The rioters had guns, bombs, napalm, and Molotov cocktails; we are fortunate they did not use them. They were domestic terrorists so do not dare call them protestors!

This did not happen in one of the states, or in another country, IT HAPPENED HERE, in our capitol, fueled by the hate and lies of a demented president and his sycophant cronies, which included his son Donald Jr., Daughter Ivanka, and his lawyer Rudy Giuliani.

John and I have been glued to the television listening to events unfold. We have watched more television news in the last week or so than we have in the two years.  Even though I have been saying, since 2016, that Donald Trump wanted to overthrow the government, I still cannot believe he tried to.

I am overwhelmed, angry, and frightened. Intelligence reports tell us that those who were in Washington D.C. have returned home and plan to attack all 50 state capitals by inauguration day on January 20, 2021, and that does not include the amount of COVID-19 virus they are bringing home. 

As I continue to watch the events unfold and prepare to celebrate the inauguration of Joseph Biden and Kamala Harris, I am appalled at anyone, regardless of their political affiliations, who condones what happened. I am angry, no I am really pissed off, with anyone who supports or makes excuses for Donald Trump or the terrorists who stormed the capitol on January 6th. Anyone who does is complicit in the attempted overthrowing of our government and should be treated as such.

I am grateful some republicans are finally waking up and seeing the road Donald Trump has led them down.  I do not know if they understand their role in what has happened, or if the only reason they changed their position was to save their jobs. Their twelfth hour confession will not change, however, the fact they helped create this disaster, and they will be held accountable at some point for their role.  But at least they have come forward now.

I believe in the grace and forgiveness of the Great Spirit, yet those gifts are dependent on the receivers understanding they are responsible for what ever actions they have committed, and they will be call to account. Donald Trump, his family, the Republican Party have much to account for. They have lied to the American People, they have stolen money from the American People, and treated anyone that did not agree with them as enemies of the state. They have dismantled the advancements of the last 50 years for the sole purpose of lining their pockets and giving them power. They have tried with all their might to deny women and people of color the rights they deem theirs only. They have used their positions of power to disempower people of color, women, homeless, and the disabled. They have told those who are ill or poor that their illness and poverty is their fault and therefore unworthy of federal assistance. They have denied that their beloved resource hungry industries are destroying our environment and are bringing us all to the brink of an environmental disaster. Their hypocrisy is without bounds.

Donald Trump and the republican party has used white supremacists, white Christian Nationalist, and Fascists groups as their private army and that army will not give up their belief in their supposed white male privilege or the belief that Donald Trump cared about them. Such people will continue over the next days, months and years to attempt to overthrow our Democracy. They will use violence and thuggish behavior to intimidate any, and all, who oppose them. These groups are armed but they also are technically savvy and will use technology to disrupt our way of life in a way we have not seen before.  Already faith organizations are being warned of possible attacks because of the support they give to the hungry, the homeless, and the disadvantaged. Any group standing for justice will be under attack.

It boggles my mind that these sad groups have not realized Donald Trump’s or those who align with him, have such contempt for them. After all, during the rally before their march to the capitol he said, “I will go with you to the capitol.” He did not go, Donald Jr. did not go, neither did Giuliani, at that moment they should have realized he would let them hang by themselves. As far as he was concerned, everything his army did at the Capitol was their doing and had nothing to do with Donald Trump. He was blameless, ah, but he “loved them.”

Now the time has finally come for the reckoning of his army more than 100 have already been arrested and more is expected, including, hopefully, the Trump family.  His minions are now telling Donald Trump invited them to the rally and to the attack the Capitol, they did it for a man who only thinks of himself and they are too stupid, to deluded, or to mesmerized to realize it.

Forgiveness does not mean I forget, it does not mean there are no consequences to the actions Donald Trump, his followers, or his sycophants committed. It does means I and all who have been wronged can move on with our lives without out hate, without the desire for revenge.  Yes, I can forgive what has been done to each, and every one of us. The lies, the attacks on our integrity and intelligence, the botched handling of the pandemic, the destruction of our worldwide credibility, mishandling of environmental issues, and so much more. If every one of those responsible are held accountable and are made to pay the consequences I can forgive. 

But I will not forget. Neither should you.  You must remember, you must tell your children, they must tell their children what worshiping and idolizing people like Donald Trump, worshiping power and money did to this country. We must remember that all people no matter their gender, their culture, the color of their skin, their belief system, or their socioeconomic status are equal in the eyes of this country and in what ever Divine Force we believe in.

Our county was the first democratic experiment, let it now be the first country to honor every person regardless of who they are.  Let us begin anew and honor the Preamble of the Declaration of Independence, with some new wording. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all people are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of happiness.”  Let us be the first country where women and men work together to create a country were each can live their lives to the fullest. Let us be the first country were regardless of your abilities, gender, faith belief, culture, skin color, or disabilities, each person can live their lives to the fullest.

Let us include in that declaration that all Creation, every creature, every plant, has also been created with “certain unalienable rights.” Let us include their rights to live their lives as our Creator intended.  Let us include in our declaration that all the creatures of this country non-humans and humans have the right to clean air to breath and clean water to drink and live in.

Let us begin something new. We can do this. If we want to survive then we must do this.

Ruth Jewell, ©January 16, 2021

Image: Associated Press, January 6, 2021

A New Year’s Prayer

This is my prayer
that we live as the Carpenter did;
loving justice,
doing kindness, and
walking humbly with God.

This is my prayer
that we be in community as the Carpenter was:
knowing we are all Children of God in the Spirit,
no Jew or Greek,
no slave or free,
no female or male,
no human or animal.
That we remember we are all one in the Spirit.

This is my prayer
that we remember who we are:
the creation of God,
partners of God in creation,
living as one in creation.

This is my prayer,
that we remember we have a history older
than what we have been taught.
That we remember we are better
than what we have become.

This is my prayer.

Ruth Jewell, ©January 3, 2021

My Nativity Scene

This is my Nativity Scene. It was purchased in November, or December, of 1946 by my parents, probably from Woolworths for less than $10. It is the Nativity Scene I have had all my life.  As you can see a wise man has gone for a walk, some sheep have wandered off, two camels got tired of waiting for their riders and the angel looks like she was mucking out the cow’s stall. While this cheap, plaster of Paris set, which is chipped and dusty has no monetary value, at 74 years of age it is priceless to me. 

My parents used this scene to explain to me what Christmas was all about.  Not presents given or received, not Santa, not even joyful celebration. Rather Christmas is about God reminding us that They/Them are one of us. God became a human to remind us that They/Them walks with us, sits with us, listens to us, pray with us, dance and sing with us, cry with us, grieve with us, be disappointed with us, to doubt with us and then, . . . then discover that the Great Divine is right here to comfort us. The Great Divine surrounds us, moves through us, is part of every molecule of the clay vessel we call a body.  They/Them is present in every animate and inanimate object of the universe. We cannot escape the presence of the Universal Divine for They/Them are part of every fiber of our being. 

Love is recognizing we are here with each other, and the Divine Creator loved us enough to become one of us just to remind us of that. From the beginning we are created to be one with They/Them, She/He, how ever you address the one Universal Presence that came down to us 2000, 1000, 74 years ago, or right this moment. 

I do not celebrate Christmas the way most people do, never have and never will.  But I offer this prayer to every one of you: 

May the love of the Universal Divine come into your hearts.
May you remember the Holy is incarnated within you.
May the sacred light shine forth from you.
May you shine out as bright as the star in the East with Love’s gift of
     Justice, Kindness, and Peace.

Amen

Ruth Jewell, ©December 24, 2020

Storytime

When I was a child my mother sat me down and told me this story.  “Once there was a woman who loved all things, she collected every object of interest to her. Her house was filled to overflowing with so much stuff that she could barely open the door.  One day a man came to her and asked if she had a pair of shoes she could give him.  Her answer was no that she needed every single pair, every single object for herself.  The man who had no shoes went away in sadness.  The next day a child came to the door and asked if she had any dolls she might give her. Her answer was no that she needed every single doll, every single object for herself. The child went away in sadness because she had no dolls. 

One day an old woman came to the door and asked her if she wanted the old socks she had.  The woman said why would I want your old stinky socks?  The old woman said, well I heard that you need every single object for yourself and I thought I would share with you. I have two pair, I can only wear one pair, so I don’t need the second one I only need one pair.

You do understand the difference between want and need don’t you, said the old woman. Needs are the things we require for survival, wants are objects that are not always necessary for life. They may bring us joy, they may even bring delight, but they are not needed. If such objects prevent us from see each other as people, fellow humans, and creatures of earth, they are objects we do not need.” 

I have remembered this story all my life. When I go into a store and find something that delights me, I ask do I “need” this or do I just “want” it? 

Ruth Jewell, ©December 7, 2020

So, I Don’t Like Christmas

It’s the end of the year
everyone around me is
feeling excited, joyful.

Not me!

Christmas music is playing,
wreaths are being hung,
trees decorated,
the stupid elf is back on the shelf.

Not in my house!

I used to wonder why I
felt empty in the last month of the year.
not anymore.

I know who I am now.

I feel put upon to decorate!
I feel sorry for trees being cut down!
I feel sorry for the turkey!

But those aren’t the reasons.

I don’t like Christmas because
joy doesn’t only come in the last 4 weeks of the year,
happiness doesn’t come in a wrapped box,
Jesus isn’t Santa Claus

But that’s just the start.

I dislike what Christmas has become.
A self-centered circus to please ourselves
when it should be a celebration of God
coming to us as love.

What does the birth of baby mean to me?

The image of a God being born as a poor child
means we are to love the poor,
care for those who do not have enough.

Oh, there’s more.

The child image tells us to love children
not just the rich, the healthy, or the perfect,
but the poor, the sick, those not like us.

So, who are those children?

The child born to a despised race
means we are to love the immigrant,
the stranger, the culturally different.

So, the prophets told me what to do.

Do justice: stand up for those being abused,
      fight injustice
Love kindness: feed and clothe the hungry,
      give freely of your abundance
Walk humbly with your God: remember whose you are.
      do what is right in the eyes of the great Divine.

So, who am I?

I am the one who chooses life
I am the one who listens
I am the one who gives back as much as I receive
I will listen to the prophets and the lessons of The Carpenter
I do it all year long not just in the last 4 weeks of the year.

This is who I am.

Ruth Jewell, ©December 4, 2020

My Morning Prayer Ritual

Today I thought I would share my morning prayer ritual with you.  It is nothing special just morning prayers.  However, you will notice I use the name “Universal Divine” rather than “God”.  As I have gotten older, and hopefully a little wiser, I have learned that there are so many paths to light and love that one name just does not fit for me anymore.  

My Ritual is divided into 2 major portions, Prayer of intention, and Prayers of Petition with silence separating major division.  I must admit on occasion I use a singing bowl at the beginning of each period of silence which seems to draw me deeper into myself. This is also a standing prayer, which is how it started out, but as I get older, I do think I will be doing more sitting than standing. These old legs and knees are not up to it on some days. So, If you want to model a ritual after mine do not feel it has to be a standing prayer.

Blessings be to one and all.

Prayer of Intention

Universal Divine
I stand before you
As I came into this universe
Come Your Presence, fill my heart
Come Your Presence, fill my mind
Come Your Presence, fill every cell of this clay vessel

Silence

Divine Universal
May my voice be your voice
May my hands be your hands
May the words and deeds I send into the universe
be your words and deeds.

Silence

Prayers of Petition

Blessing be to
    John the beloved
Blessing be to
    Lisa the soul friend
Blessing be to
    Louis the soul keeper
Blessing be to
    Esmerelda the joy bringer
Blessing be to
    Charlie the snuggler
Blessing be to
    George the friend of years
Blessing be to
    Sweet pea the bringer of song

Silence

Blessing be to friends
Living in pain and ill health
May they be held in the light and be healed

Silence

Blessing be to leaders
Living in the dark
May they find their souls and return to the light

Silence

Blessing be to leaders yet to come
Living in the light
May they find strength in the light and not waver from the path

Silence

Blessing of the Earth
Blessing of the sea and sky
Blessings of love and light and peace
Blessing of the Universal One now and forever be with us all

Silence

Amen and Amen

Written by Ruth Jewell, November 27, 2020

A Bit of Silliness

What I Did This Summer

Remember when we were kids and on the first day back to school the teacher asked us to write what we did during the summer.  Well I think we all need a little silliness, so I have decided to tell you what I did this weird, crazy, ZOOM laden summer.

First of all, I made jam. Not just once but 13 times.  I decided in June to visit our local Farmers Market and each week pick out a fruit and turn it into jam.  I now have 13 different kinds. I have Apricot, Red Plum, Black Plum, Raspberry, Black & Blue Berry, Peach, Honey Crisp Apple, Pear/Orange, Crabby Pluot, Apple/Cranberry, Orange Marmalade, Strawberry, and Fig.  I also have 3 quarts of canned peaches and 3 pints of Tomato/Eggplant spread.  It’s been busy summer but I’m ready for sandwiches this winter.

In addition to jam I trained two of my Chihuahua’s, Esmerelda and Charlie, to sing the “Song of our People.” I tried to teach Louis as well, but his idea of training was turning over in bed. 

Well that was my exciting summer.  So, what did you do?

Ruth Jewell, ©October 29, 2020

I’m Afraid

I’m Afraid

I must tell you I am afraid. Afraid of what will happen if the Orange Butt Hole wins, afraid of what will happen if he will not accept the results if he doesn’t.  I am afraid of the Orange Butt Hole’s supporters if Biden wins. Afraid of what they will do because they are lost souls who have put their trust in a soulless person.

We have always had people who have been outside of society, who have turned away from justice or kindness. But in general the people of this country have recognized them as outliers of civilization and have not placed them in positions of power. Twenty-five to 30 years ago we started electing soulless men who were only greedy for power and that has led us to a crossroad, the same crossroad Germany faced in the 1920’s.  So yes, I am afraid, I am afraid we are headed towards a Nazi run country.

Yes, I know calling Donald Trump an Orange Butt Hole is offensive, so is calling him a soulless person.  But there is an old saying that says every time you do evil you kill a piece of your soul.  Well Trump has done so much evil that I do not think he has a soul left. His greatest evil is taking the souls of his supporters and using them to terrorize the people of this country. Turning our country into a place where fear, partisanship, racism, classism, and hatred for anyone not heterosexual, male or white becomes the rule and not the exception.

How we vote will determine if we can regain the soul of this country.  How we act following election day on November 3rd will determine if we will keep that soul. I am praying, hoping, and wishing, I have my fingers and toes crossed that those of us who desire justice will stand up for it on November 4th. Let us join together not to keep hate king, but to send it out of this country.  Let us join together to bring back honesty, compassion, and justice from the liars, the greedy, the political fiends who would see only the rich survive and let the rest of the country die.

Can we do that?  Can we be better than what we have seen in the last 4 years of the Orange Butt Holes administration?

Ruth Jewell, ©October 29, 2020 

Crossroads

We stand at a crossroad. A political, and soul crossroad.  I do not know which one we will take but the choices we make will be the most important ones we will ever make.  I say this with caution, sadness, and with hope. I am not going to tell you how to vote or what to believe, only you can make those choices.  But I am going to ask that you think hard and look deep within before you make your decisions. 

There are questions you need to ask yourself that only you can answer.

  1. What kind of world do you want to live in?  I am not talking just about your neighborhood, state, or country, I mean the world. 
  2. How do you see yourself, or your children, in 50 years?  Do you expect your world to be just as it is now? Because if you do you are sadly deluded.
  3. Do you expect your children and your children’s children to have a better life than you have today? Because if you do you are sadly deluded.
  4. If you are white do believe you will continue to be that privileged group where everything just comes to you?  Well it does not happen today so why the heck do you believe it will be happening in 50 years?  Are you that stupid?

Our world is changing and how we change with it will determine what this world, locally, nationally, and globally will become. Those of you who are afraid of change can fight to stop it, but it will not work, the world will change any way and you will be left behind.  You see we have reached a tipping point environmentally, socially, and politically and the world is never going to be the same no matter how much you cry in your beer.

People of color, culturally different people, people with differing beliefs, the differently gendered, and most of all womxn will no longer accept the white, protestant, Western European, and male world view.  We believe justice, compassion, and kindness, and political and religious freedoms are greater than hate, divisiveness, and political and religious manipulation, and domination.

The majority of people have begun to see the nonsense taught by political and religious leaders for the last three or four millennia for what it is, that one small group of people can protect us from ourselves is a lie. We who are different, who have different skin colors, different genders, and different beliefs from our white male dominators are striking out on our own. We will stand up for each other, we will protect each other, we will walk hand in hand toward a future that will leave our manipulators and dominators behind. Those of us believe in a faith that honors justice, kindness and compassion will change this world and unless you change your ways it will not go well for you.  I am a follower of Jesus, the Carpenter from Nazareth, not everyone is and each culture and belief have their own stories.  My stories come from Jesus and Jesus once told a parable of the rich man and a poor man.  Do you, who claim to know the bible remember it? Since I doubt it let me refresh your memory.

“There was a rich man who feasted sumptuously every day. At his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who longed to satisfy his hunger with what fell from the rich man’s table, but the rich man would give him nothing. The poor man died and was carried away by the angels to be with Abraham. The rich man also died, buried, and was delivered into Hades, where he was tormented with fire.

The rich man looked up into heaven and saw Lazarus sitting beside Abraham. He called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am in agony in these flames.’ But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that during your lifetime you received your good things, Lazarus in like manner evil things yet you failed to comfort him. Now Lazarus is comforted here, and you are in agony.

The rich man said, ‘Then, Father, I beg you to send Lazarus to my father’s house for I have five brothers let Lazarus warn them, so that they will not also come into this place of torment.’ 29 Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; they should listen to them.’ He said, ‘I know Father Abraham; but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ Abraham replied to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’”  (Luke 16:10-31)

Just as the rich man was taught the laws of Abraham, we too have been taught by the words of our own prophet Jesus and you who claim to follow this carpenter have failed to do so. Now those of us who are tired of receiving your scraps from your table are banding together and doing what we have been taught some by Jesus, some by Muhammad, some by Moses, Some by the Buddha, and there are many more. We have been taught to do justice, love kindness, walk with our God, however that may be described. We will feed the hungry, care for the poor, the imprisoned, the elderly, the young, and the stranger amongst us.  Everything you have not done.  We will see the divine in the eyes of each and everyone one of us no matter their gender, their beliefs, their skin color, or their culture and we will honor them. We will do everything you have not. 

However, we will do one thing more. We will forgive you.  But while our forgiveness is free it does not relieve you of your responsibility or accountability for the evil you have done in this world.  You who have done so much to the poor, hungry, and homeless. You who have ignored the stranger and abused those who were different, female, and young will have to admit your wrongs.  We will not let you go free, to travel on blithely without punishment for that too is wrong. So, like the rich man your time of abusive domination is over. 

Ruth Jewell, ©October 18, 2020