Dear Man/Dear Woman: A Noteworthy Conversation … May 28th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Dear Man Dear Woman

Dear Woman: I know you don’t exactly believe in God…

 

Dear Man: No, wait. God sounds like a great idea. It’s the “believe” part that throws me.

 

Dear Woman: What do you mean?

 

Dear Man: Let me see if I can explain. I believed in Santa Claus. I believed in Prince Charming. I believed in the American dream. I believed in the house with the white picket fence. It took a lot of energy to believe in those things, and the payoff was … well, shall we say, disappointing.

 

Dear Woman: Well, maybe I shouldn’t bring this up.

 

Dear Man: No–my heart isn’t set in stone. Let me hear what you have to say.

 

Dear Woman: It’s the story of Adam and Eve.

 

Dear Man: Oh, you mean with the talking snake?

 

Dear Woman: Yeah–let’s just put the talking snake to the side right now. I’m referring to the story line.

 

Dear Man: Okay. The story. Gotcha.

 

Dear Woman: Do you realize that the Good Book says that God considered the man and the woman together as a unit, in cooperation, to be Adam?

 

Dear Man: No, I didn’t. Really?

 

Dear Woman: Yes–they were not only created as equals, but also as what I might call “mutuals.”

 

Dear Man: Mutuals. I kind of like that. What do you mean?

 

Dear Woman: Mutually independent. Mutually valuable to each other. And mutually capable.

 

Dear Man: Do you really believe that?

 

Dear Woman: Yes. So I believe the true evil in the world is when we “split the Adam.”

 

Dear Man: You mean the atomic bomb?

 

Dear Woman: No, not a-t-o-m. A-d-a-m. Whenever we insist that men and women are so drastically different from one another that peaceful coexistence can only be considered as the premise for a farce. So evil is when the Adam–the mutual man and woman, living peaceably together–is split by fear, religion, tradition or domination.

 

Dear Man: So how did this happen in Eden?

 

Dear Woman: Well, I don’t exactly know the moment it happened, but somewhere along the line, the man and the woman stopped talking together–to the extent that Eve felt that her questions would be rejected and not understood by Adam. So she goes off to investigate the unknown without her “mutual.” She does this because apparently she feels cheated, and I think she feels cheated because even though God viewed them as mutuals, Adam was beginning to desire domination.

 

Dear Man: How do you think he did that?

 

Dear Woman: My opinion? By trying to act smarter. Always putting himself in the role of the instructor. I’m sure he did it politely or even with some chivalry. But it was passed along to Eve that she was the lesser of the pair.

 

Dear Man: Keep going. This is fascinating.

 

Dear Woman: And in the process, I think Adam gave Eve the impression that he found her sexually interesting, so to a certain degree, she was afraid of becoming unattractive, or nervous about getting older.

 

Dear Man: Of course, this is all your conjecture.

 

Dear Woman: Hell, yeah. I mean, my plotline does fit with the story, and makes sense with the battle going on with the genders today. But here’s the truth–what constituted evil in Eden is the same thing that stirs it up today. Splitting the Adam. There would not have been any temptation for Adam and Eve if they had maintained their mutual beauty. But because Eve felt misunderstood and cheated, like she wasn’t as smart, and that she needed to avoid growing old, she went to the source of knowledge and got the evil with the good.

 

Dear Man: Very interesting. Of course, you’d have to believe in the story to follow your theory.

 

Dear Woman: I suppose.

 

Dear Man: So let me ask you this. What do you get out of that?

 

Dear Woman: All domination is insecurity trying to hide behind the plot to control. If you’re afraid to be a mutual, you will always try to be the most important.

 

Dear Man: Splitting the Adam, huh?

 

Dear Woman: Yes. It created an explosion of insincerity, inequality and insufferable condescending attitudes that still radiate in our world today.

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Dear Man/Dear Woman: A Noteworthy Conversation … April 16th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Dear Man Dear Woman

 

Dear Man: Did you ever see a three-year-old girl and a three-year-old boy treat each other differently?

 

Dear Woman: Absolutely not.

 

Dear Man: So you see, all these things that we are told are “instinctive” in the genders of our species are really instructed and nearly beat into us during our upbringing.

 

Dear Woman: Well, beat is a little strong.

 

Dear Man: Is it? Because my problem with men right now is that I feel it’s my responsibility to trick them, lie to them and ease them into situations of my liking.

 

Dear Woman: Likewise, I am informed that you are a ticking time bomb which I should be careful handling, or otherwise the whole mess will blow up in my face.

 

Dear Man: It makes us passive-aggressive. In other words, there’s something I want, but I have to cheat or deceive my way into accomplishing it, because I am not really convinced you have my best interest at heart.

 

Dear Woman: With all due respect, it is comically driven home to me that you couldn’t possibly be interested in what excites me, so I have to hide it from you to keep peace.

 

Dear Man: So here’s the question. Can we have a passive-aggresive relationship with each other, based upon dishonesty, and expect to ever enter the realm of affection, which includes trust?

 

Dear Woman: Hell, no. Candidly, I don’t trust you. I don’t believe you’re out for my best. I don’t think you have any desire to include me in your inner sanctum of truth, but instead, want to wheedle and deedle around my wishes just so you can have a dinner partner.

 

Dear Man: That’s a little strong. But I basically feel the same way–except I’m really wheedling and deedling to be able to say that I’m not alone and that I’ve fulfilled the American dream of being attractive enough to bag a partner.

 

Dear Woman: So if the system’s rotten, do we have to tear down the whole thing and start over?

 

Dear Man: No, I don’t think so. That’s too exhausting. I think we just have to make sure we don’t make the same mistake that Adam and Eve did.

 

Dear Woman: Okay. Elaborate.

 

Dear Man: Well, my understanding of the story is that Eve didn’t really agree with the instructions about what to eat in this Garden, but had no means of communicating with God–or the man she was with. So she went passive-aggressive. She took Adam on a walk, and they ended up at the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, and because she was dissatisfied and unable to share her feelings, she fell into a trap of being attracted to the beauty of the tree and the notion that eating that fruit would make her smarter. Honestly–nobody wants to be smarter unless they fear they’re dumb. Who made her feel dumb? Was it Adam’s silence after sex? Did she think God and Adam were in a club that did not include her? But if you read the story, Adam is with her the whole time–but passively aggressively pretends that it’s all her doing. So pretty early on, the human race began to act like the opposite sex was just that–opposite.

 

Dear Woman: I never thought of it that way, but it’s completely logical. So here’s what I get out of this. First, if I don’t understand, I should tell you I don’t understand and not be afraid that you’ll think I’m an idiot.

 

Dear Man: And if I don’t agree, I should be able to tell you I don’t agree without coming across like I’m right instead of just curious.

 

Dear Woman: And we shouldn’t assume that the other person won’t like something just because of the way they comb their hair.

 

Dear Man: Comb their hair?

 

Dear Woman: I thought of other things, but that was the most polite way to say it.

 

Dear Man: Passive-aggressive is when I think I can control you by withholding information.

 

Dear Woman: Withholding information is what we do when we want to be dominant instead of cooperative.

 

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PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant… July 1st, 2015

Jonathots Daily Blog

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PoHymn for July 1st

Read Between the Stripes

My country ’tis of Free

Sweeter land as we grow to be

Of this I sing

More than a history

An unfolding mystery

How shall we endure?

Holding priceless the sacrifice

Of those who expose the vicious lies

Fearlessly speaking a truth

Enslaving souls to free the same

A national disgrace, we take the blame

Hoping to learn much better

What will next question our dream?

Unscrupulous thieves hatching a scheme

To rob justice from all

Yet we will learn from our past

Or risk the glory will fail to last

Awaken our sleepy dread

Land where my brothers die

Repent to see the children cry

Changing to a better good

For to be a living American

Demands we pursue what’s still undone

Refusing no one a chance

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Song Guy … July 28, 2012

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I didn’t know what an ordination was. Probably worse is–I didn’t care. It’s just that this guy I knew was going to be ordained and he asked our fledgling group, Soul Purpose, to sing a tune at his ordination service.

He was probably only twenty-seven years old, but because I was only twenty, I thought he was ancient. (Twenty is that age when anyone nineteen or under is a punk and anyone over twenty-three is heading for social security.

I am sure when this guy asked me to have our group sing, he was thinking about something like Amazing Grace or How Great Thou Art. That was not the way I thought. Even though I was only twenty years old, I had already written two songs, recorded them, put them on a 45 RPM record and had begun to travel around to small coffeehouses and area churches in order to convince all those willing to listen that I was worth hearing. So the invitation to sing a tune at the ordination prompted me to write another song. Now, I lived in a small town, where song-writing was normally relegated to Francis Scott Key or George Gershwin. Young men from the community–especially those who had not gone to college–were not permitted to participate in such a flamboyant activity. So the mention of writing a song was usually greeted with a frown or a snicker. It just wasn’t done.

So when I announced to my friend that I was going to write a special song just for his ordination, he was rather nervous. Matter of fact, he discouraged me from doing so in the nicest way possible. I didn’t care. You see, I wanted to be a Song Guy. One of those people who writes “the songs the whole world sings” and “wants to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony.”

So I sat down and wrote a song, fittingly entitled To Be Ordained, taught it to our group and performed it at the ordination, to surprised appreciation. I had now written three songs and was convinced that Bob Dylan was in danger.

Shortly after that I was inspired again and wrote a fourth song, called The Blood of the Son Makes Us One. About two or three months after writing that song, I attended a concert by a well-known gospel group called The Rambos, and through a series of near-mishaps and unbelievable events, got them to listen to my song. They ended up liking it. They signed it and decided to record it. I was amazed at how easy this was. I had only written four songs and I was already poised to become the next great Song Guy.

And then … I learned what I probably should have known (but of course, I wouldn’t have known it because there was no place for me to have learned it).

I arrived in Nashville to present my song in front of the music publishers, and they, being good business people, wanted to hear my “entire catalogue.” You may not know this, but those picky folks in Nashville don’t consider four songs to be a catalogue. I was in a room with a captive audience of very influential and prosperous men and women, who were anxious to hear the entire body of my work, and I didn’t even have a thumb.

It was embarrassing. It was debilitating. They wanted more … and I had nothing.

You see, I realized in that moment that I didn’t want to be a Song Guy. I wanted to be a guy who wrote A song that made lots of money and then everybody just kept giving him money because he wrote THAT song. I became aware that I had been trained to work on what I wanted to BE instead of actually practicing and performing what I could DO.

It is one of the flaws in the American dream. AFter all, the hypocrisy and presumption is in the title itself. It is a dream–a fantasy of where we want to end up, with no comprehension about what it takes to get there and even less passion for the actual labor itself.

I walked out of that office in Nashville that day resolute. I would never put myself in that position again. I realized that I DID want to be a Song Guy, but not because I wanted to be recorded, make a lot of money and be famous. It was because I really had something to say. And whether anyone ever heard it or not, it needed to escape my body–or it would possess my soul.

Within two years, I wrote an album’s worth of material, which ended up being recorded and played nationally. I then turned around and wrote a fifteen-song musical based on the Sermon on the Mount which toured across the country. When I got together with my family, I wrote at least three albums of songs, which we never actually recorded, and even today, I feel compelled to compose enough music for at least one album per year.

I actually have less attention to my work than I did when I had my four little songs at age twenty, but it doesn’t matter. I don’t write music, books or even this jonathots because I am secretly awaiting the arrival of fame and fortune. I write music because deep in my heart I want to be the Song Guy. I have to allow the music to escape.

The greatest lesson you can teach any young person (or even yourself if you missed it on the way to older) is: Don’t think about what you want to be. Just start working on what you can do. It may be the flaw in our higher educational system. We ask people what they want to be when they grow up instead of giving them a chance to do it and finding out if it wears well on their everyday bodies.

I am a Song Guy. I don’t worry about whether I’m great. I’m not concerned about sitting in rooms with the upper crust of the music industry, seeking their approval. I write songs because they’re in me, I have something to say … and God seems to enjoy listening to them.

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