Incandescence

 

 
Poem on the first Feast of Pentecost



They don't know what comes next.
They are trembling,
assembled together for comfort,
confused, bereft, vulnerable,
exposed to hostile forces,
on the edge of unbeing.
They've nothing to bless themselves with
and their manifesto looks dumb
without a party leader.
Where are they to go from here?
 

It was safe in his company,
despite the witchhunt.
The suffering had a purpose.
They trusted what he was about,
dimly grasping that the 'whited sepulchre'
must be blasted to shards.
To Regain Paradise by dint of law
and the redistribution of wealth
was both illusion and travesty
that cost blood anyway.
 

He had come to weigh himself
in the balance,
the fulcrum of those scales
unhinged by Adam for all time,
without some Mighty Advocate
intervene with a case
of special pleading and turn the tables
on the wealth-and-muscle hungry,
those with intellectual pretensions
and stiff-necked arrogance.
 

But why abandon his own,
just when the tide seems
to be turning? The corporate
wounds, defiantly repairing, are now
incorporeal. His mother, the chamber
of his incarnation, the only shrine
and single point of focus, holding it
all together: they could scavenge
with their eyes of dust until eternity,
the vision fumed with nostalgia.
 

But hark! This rushing wind fans
embers into conflagration.
He's here! In cloistered space!
Mary's haloed head peers heavenward
and hands are linked in concord.
Atomic Courage! Immortal Inspiration!
Babel rased to debris! Love reigns!
No power on earth can quench
Shekhinah's fire! Go, tell the world
and dare to live as if...
 


From JERICHO ROSE, Songs from the Wilderness (poetry collection in preparation).

 

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Welcome Back "Peace Process"

I started writing a blog in the Times of Israel in August 2014, during the war in Gaza, Operation Protective Edge. In the almost three years since that war I noticed a disturbing fact: the word "peace" was not one of the keywords offered by the Times of Israel to its  bloggers.

This was not a mere accident, in recent years peace has suffered an enormous fall from grace. First came the day of the Israeli elections on March 17, 2015 when the candidate Bibi Netanyahu forgot that he was also the nation's prime minister and warned "his" supporters against fellow citizens: the Israeli/Arab voters. Then in October 2015, the same Prime Minister announced at a Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee Meeting that "we will forever live by the sword.” Unfortunately even lately Netanyahu uttered a similar statement when he claimed on Memorial Day for Fallen Soldiers 2017 that our lives here depend on the willingness to sacrifice and the bravery of our sons and daughters.

It has become clear that peace was no longer relevant, and every time we say "Shalom," we don't mean it. Even worse, peace has become a cynical political word that was associated with the  detested Israeli left.

For example, in response to an essay of mine essay about the  movement Women Wage Peace, which I posted on Facebook, I received quite a few disturbing comments. In that essay, I stressed the fact that since its inception in 2014, shortly after the end of Operation Protective Edge, Women Wage Peace has insisted that it did not wish to identify with any political party. It started as a grassroots movement which aimed to gather under its umbrella as many women as possible, and it has purposely remained within the consensus focusing only on universal, seemingly non controversial, values. It should have worked: is there a woman who’d admit that she didn’t want peace?

But in response one woman wrote “wishing for peace (shalom) has become just a way of laundering words.” She also insisted that “to say here (in Israel) that peace is not a political matter is either stupid or ignorant.” She wasn’t the only one other women wrote that a post about peace and women should  be removed. It seemed like many other universal values and principles in Israel today (among them, thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal, and thou shall not covet), peace too is out of I

But something happened suddenly, perhaps  it is only me but I would like to think that it has something to do with the determination and creativity of Women Wage Peace whose members have been working tirelessly toward reaching a diplomatic agreement with our neighbors that will result in peace.

Since Pesach the women of the movement have been very busy:  In Hol Hamoed they boarded a Peace Train to Beit Shean, then they held a vigil opposite the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv to demand finding political alternatives to war, they stood outside the Knesset and sat in the State Control Committee on the day when Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the conclusions of the State Comptroller regarding the war in Gaza, and in preparation for President Trumps visit to Israel  last Thursday they created a giant human sign that read from the air “Ready For Peace.”  On Monday here they were again reminding our leaders outside president  Rivlin's residence that Women Wage Peace expects our leaders to find a peaceful agreement. 

I am not sure what exactly happened but I  am happy to inform that when, for the purpose of this post, I checked the keywords in Times of Israel I found  “peace process” among the key words. We all know that words create reality. Thank you Times of Israel and welcome “peace process”

The essay was first published in the Times Of Israel 

http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/welcome-back-peace-process/

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Worth Listening

"United there is little we cannot do in a host of cooperative ventures. Divided there is little we can do -- for we dare not meet a powerful challenge at odds and split asunder."

John F. Kennedy (Born May 29, 1917) Inaugural Address

http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/jfkinaugural.htm

http://content.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1841228_1841749_1841745,00.html

 

 

 

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Strawberry and Softball Season

We have been eating strawberries often lately. This is the second year that Gerald's garden has produced all the strawberries we can eat. He grew them and picked them and sometimes even burred them; but unlike the little red hen, he shares them willingly with me. Once again we have several bags in the freezer for next winter.

I make strawberry shortcake the way Gerald's mother taught me. Instead of using pie crust or the little sponge cakes from the store, she always used crackers in her shortcake. I started out using pie crust or the little cakes, and once I even make the plate-sized shortcake from my bridal cookbook. But I found I liked Mom Glasco's best of all, and that is what I still do today. Except now instead of sugar, I use Apriva and I use wheat crackers which weren't available when I began. I did use sugar for the shortcake that I fed granddaughter Leslie when she and Mike dropped in briefly on their way home from Cecelie's high school graduation. The beautiful Mother's Day plant that they brought me from Jeannie is definitely the highlight on our front porch.

This is the first year for the asparagus that Gerald planted in his garden, and he brings in a cutting of it almost every other day. It tastes so good and fresh. After I wash it, I stand it upright in a narrow pitcher with water in it just the way Mom Glasco taught me years ago. We eat it sparingly,however, because the Vitamin K interferes with our blood thinner meds, so I've put many meaks' worth in the freezer.

As always, we have watched a lot of college softball this season usually on the computers in Gerald's office. We watched on his bigger screen but turned off the sound of the announcers. That was so we could hear the radio announcers on his other computer because our granddaughter Erin was one of them. The two programs were not always in sync, but we did not care because we liked hearing Erin's sweet voice and laugh. Our thoughts are with her and Josh because in the morning, baby Caroline is to be born.

For the last three days, we were able to leave the computers behind and watch softball on the television screen. Texas A&M played Tennessee in the super regionals at Knoxville with fourteen other teams battling it out in their supers across the nation. The winners of two out of three games advance to the Nationals in Oklahoma City starting Thursday.

Friday evening's game was a big disappointment because A&M played poorly and lost.8-1, a lopsided score that should not happen in the super regionals. Then we thought we had lost again yesterday when Tennessee got ahead early. But seeing A&M come back and win that second game 6-5 set the table for an exciting game today.

I tried not to be too optimistic lest I be disappointed; and when Tennessee quickly got ahead again this afternoon, it looked like this would be our last game of the season. Then the Aggies came alive and pulled ahead. Then behind. Then ahead. There was one rain delay and there were the frequent delays that Coach Karen Weekly is known for. Katherine and I watched together in her bedroom. With the rest of the entire softball nation, we could not help but marvel and be inspired by A&M's pitcher Trinity Harrington, who had missed their regional tourney to spend the last days with her father as he lost his battle with cancer. Her team had rallied the best they could to show her support last week, and they knew how she wanted to win this one for her father, who had been a great supporter of her softball career. And with the help of her teammates, she did. The camera frequently flashed to her mother in the stands, and it was hard to stay dry eyed.

When Tennessee made their last out, the A&M tears were tears of happiness as they became one of the eight teams heading to the Women's College World Series, something little girls playing softball grow up dreaming about.


 


 


 


 


 


 

 

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