just imagine


I live in this body only because
it allows all of you to see me,
but at any moment
I can drop my skin,
and let my soul fly free.

I can burrow down under
to caverns and streams,
or go soaring way up above.
I can spread my Self across this Earth
to place blessings on those that I love.

The visions that color
my days and nights
may be dreams or may be real,
and I don’t really care which because
their beauty helps me heal.

I’m not psychotic, I just imagine
a World that isn’t so mean,
where love is constant,
joy and laughter unending,
and Unity can be seen.




“Freedom is the oxygen of the soul.”

–Moshe Dayan

It’s Passover, so I’ve been thinking a lot about freedom. The freedom to speak. The freedom to think. The freedom to be myself without being judged, threatened, or insulted by others.

When it gets right down to it, that’s all I really want in life. I don’t expect anyone to carry me. I don’t want to stop anyone else from “soaring” or block anyone from “catching an up-draft.” And I really have no interest in hoarding resources that anyone else might need to survive.

All I want is for others to respect me enough to let me have a little space to be me — the freedom to live in a way that lets my soul soar like a bird while I take care of those I love.

And isn’t that all any of us needs, really? A little respect for our differences. A little space to be ourselves. An opportunity to care for those we love.

This Passover, I seem to be more aware than ever of how many people, even just in my own little corner of Creation, are not being given space to be themselves, are not being respected by those around them.

And so, this week, my prayer is that each of us might try a bit harder to give others the respect and space necessary for them to feel comfortable being themselves. If nothing else, may we all respect others enough to listen until we understand what they might need to feel free.

As Coretta Scott King so wisely said:
Freedom and justice cannot be parceled out in pieces to suit political convenience. I don’t believe you can stand for freedom for one group of people and deny it to others.

Either we are all headed toward freedom together, or none of us will ever truly be free . . . and I’d prefer we all became free, because I’d love to have more of the “oxygen” that sends my soul soaring into the sky!!

Shavua tov, jen



“solid” as a rock



There are layers of me that you can’t see.

Cracks & fault lines — some new and some pressed back together by the pressure of time.

Yet those microscopic fissures remain, unnoticeable most of the time to me or to others.

But when other rocks crash into my fissures with sufficient force, whether accidentally or on purpose, I can be broken.

Sometimes the breaks reveal amazingly unexpected beauty, but sometimes they leave sharp edges that can cut everything they touch.

Today, may we all begin to be a bit more gentle with one another, respecting we each have weaknesses that we wish not to have cracked open for the world to see.

shavua tov, jen



an hour on empathy


Last week, two men met for the first time. After their one-hour conversation, one of the men noted they had spent most of the hour discussing empathy because:

It’s the lack of empathy that makes it very easy for us to plunge into wars. It’s the lack of empathy that allows us to ignore the homeless on the streets.

After hearing that, I started to wonder: What if each of us sat down with an acquaintance that we respect for an hour and seriously considered who, within our own personal spheres of influence, deserved more empathy from us?

Our conversations might not prevent world war over the Russian invasion of Crimea or impact the discussion of economics at the next G8 Summit — as could last week’s conversation between Pope Francis and President Obama — but surely following their example would make our world a kinder, gentler place for all of us.

Shabbat shalom,