Dance, Vol. 2


water heater closet & fan under carpet

Yesterday morning I wrote: 

…whatever life throws at you, for the love of Gd, DANCE!!!

So, G-d, the Universe, karma, the Unity, (whatever name you prefer), decided to “test” my resolve to keep dancing!! 

Last night at 9:30, I arrived home to a massive water heater leak and a few hundred square feet of carpet that was so sopping wet that water splashed when I walked across the carpet.   Maintenance arrived at 11:00 pm to deal with the water heater.  A carpet cleaner arrived at 11:30 pm to start removing the water from the carpet.  And now there’s a very large fan blowing air under the carpet and padding, and someone is to install a powerful dehumidifier this morning.  

As you might imagine, I didn’t get much sleep, and I’m pretty tired.  I need to have a productive day at work, go to the grocery, be a mom, and then figure out how many more days it’ll be until the bookshelves (and all the books, toys, and games that lived on them) can return to that wall between the closet and stairs.   

Between being tired and knowing part of my house is in disarray, I’m not feeling especially relaxed.   I’m tense.  And I could focus on that feeling and worry about the carpet and the disorder.  I could let that feeling spiral into a grumpy mood that would result in less than ideal interactions with others, and increased frustration.  


I can accept that I cannot fix the house or carpet today, because carpet dries when it dries, and I can let go of the worry about if, when, and how I’m going to get my house back in order.  And instead I can focus on NOW —  the sun is shining, the birds are singing, and my life is filled with blessings!!!!

I’m tired, but the choice where to focus remains mine .  . . 

Let’s see if I can pass today’s test!!!



There are many truths,
but none of them is Truth,
so the only answer is Love.
We must summon compassion
when we least think we can
and offer it to those
who think that we won’t.
For then bridges are built,
one person to another,
that will carry us all to Heaven.


praying shabbat brings more shalom to us all, jen

And I wonder . . .


The Lord is in me, the Lord is in you, as life is in every seed. O servant! put false pride away, and seek for Him within you.

A million suns are ablaze with light, The sea of blue spreads in the sky, The fever of life is stilled, and all stains are washed away; when I sit in the midst of that world.

Hark to the unstruck bells and drums! Take your delight in love! Rains pour down without water, and the rivers are streams of light. One Love it is that pervades the whole world, few there are who know it fully:

They are blind who hope to see it by the light of reason, that reason which is the cause of separation— The House of Reason is very far away!

How blessed is Kabîr, that amidst this great joy he sings within his own vessel. It is the music of the meeting of soul with soul; It is the music of the forgetting of sorrows; It is the music that transcends all coming in and all going forth.

Excerpt From: Kabir. “Songs of Kabir.” iBooks. 

And I wonder…

if I 

-raised a Baptist, Jew by choice- 

can find holiness in the words of Kabir 

-self-professed child of both Allah and Ram-

… why is there strife between Sunni and Shia??  Muslim and Jew??  any two people based on religious difference??

As Kabir said above, G-d is in all of us.  If we put away our false pride, we will see…


with prayers for peace, jen

Theology of Love


I don’t usually post on Shabbat, but I picked up a book of Thomas Merton quotes this morning and read a passage that seems too timely to not share.  

A theology of love cannot afford to be sentimental. It cannot afford to preach edifying generalities about charity, while identifying “peace” with mere established power and legalized violence against the oppressed.  A theology of love cannot be allowed merely to serve the interests of the rich and powerful, justifying their wars, their violence and their bombs, while exhorting the poor and underprivileged to practice patience, meekness, long suffering and to solve their problems, if at all, non-violently. 

The theology of love must seek to deal realistically with the evil and injustice in the world, and not merely to compromise with them. Such a theology will have to take note of the ambiguous realities of politics, without embracing the specious myth of a “realism” that merely justifies force in the service of established power. Theology does not exist merely to appease the already too untroubled conscience of the powerful and the established. A theology of love may also conceivably turn out to be a theology of revolution.  In any case, it is a theology of resistance, a refusal of the evil that reduces a brother to homicidal desperation. 

Thomas Merton, at 8-9, Faith and Violence (Notre Dame, Ind.: Universoty of Notre Dame Press, 1968), as quoted in Seeds at 129-30, Robert Inchausti, ed., (Shambhala Pub., Boston, 2002) (italic in original). 


I do not mean -and I do not think Merton meant- to suggest there is ever a valid justification for murder.   It is, after all, prohibited by the Ten Commandments.  

I mean only to remind myself, and (G-d willing) perhaps a few others, that I must more consistently find nonviolent means to challenge “the too untroubled conscience of the powerful and the established,” because as I look at the world we all share, I see too many examples of inequity that I cannot tolerate if I wish to consider myself a person who lives a life grounded in a Theology of Love.  

…may the rest of Shabbat bring shalom to our too-fractured world… jen

“all the ‘good books’ in the world agree…”


I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the Torah’s repeated instruction to care for (e.g., respect, love, leave corners of the field for, not oppress) the stranger because we were strangers in the land of Egypt.   

The Torah’s instruction sounds so simple.  In fact, I think it’s something most people who’ve ever read this blog would agree they aspire to do… care about and show respect for those who are different from whomever each of us is.  

But, as it turns out, being respectful of others can be really hard to accomplish consistently in the chaos of daily life.  Life is busy, and we are in a hurry, and things sure would be simpler if everyone thought about everything exactly as we do!!  Then, people wouldn’t be different from us, and we wouldn’t feel an urge to fear them.  

Maybe that’s why Torah kept repeating the instruction…

I found this song recently — Melissa Etheridge singing “A Little Bit of Me” — that’s been another reminder for me to have patience with others who are different from me.  If you listen carefully, you can find out what all the ‘good books’ agree about!   😃
what a different world it would be if we could all remember…jen