PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant … August 30th, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Come, Poet

Come, Poet, express to me

The beauty of the world you see

Speak of noble notions

Releasing great emotions

 

Make me believe in good life

Free of anguish, absent strife

Wish me well every day

With each passage and word you say

 

Chat of beauty, pure and clean

Free me from the discourse obscene

Proclaim the God of holy grace

Kissing the face of the human race

 

Wish me “Godspeed” for my endeavor

Phrase it gently, make it clever

Be the bright spot of my day

Boost my desire to believe and pray

 

You are the clarion in a world so bleak

Choose your patter, mild and meek

To an agonized mind, please be kind

For the turmoiled soul, faith can make whole

 

You, old timer, a holy rhymer

Extol the birds, uplifting words

Chant for thee and then to me

And perhaps you reach all you see

 

And I–yes, me–the person I be

Will simply ignore you.

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Dear Man/Dear Woman: A Noteworthy Conversation … March 5th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2864)

Dear Man Dear Woman

 

 

Dear Man: Have you done any thinking about our discussion?

 

Dear Woman: Discussion? What discussion?

 

Dear Man: Are you getting senile?

 

Dear Woman: Don’t you have to be old for that?

 

Dear Man: No, just forgetful.

 

Dear Woman: Oh, I know what you’re talking about. The flirting thing.

 

Dear Man: “Flirty Thirty.”

 

Dear Woman: You know, it’s really true. I just feel better when I know that I’m attractive, and I also feel that I am giving good things to people when I let them know that they have beauty also.

 

Dear Man: That was really well said.

 

Dear Woman: So therefore I’m not senile?

 

Dear Man: We shall see. Let’s continue. After you get done with the “Flirty Thirty”–that 30% of each of us that needs to feel attractive–you move into the “Heavenly Seventy.”

 

Dear Woman: The name’s a little cute.

 

Dear Man: I know. But it does help you remember it.

 

Dear Woman: I suppose. So what is the “Heavenly Seventy?”

 

Dear Man: It’s the part of the relationship between men and women which is completely lost because we’re so self-absorbed with maintaining differences, hoping that the thirty percent of flirtation will carry the relationship through.

 

Dear Woman: Thirty percent isn’t a whole of anything.

 

Dear Man: Exactly. But what we’re afraid of is the word “human.” Matter of fact, we’re so frightened that anyone who says “human being” or “human race” is looked on as a doctor–or a hippie from the 1960s.

 

Dear Woman: Why do you think that’s true?

 

Dear Man: I don’t want to subscribe to conspiracy theories, but there is an abiding notion that if we can keep each other separated by color, culture and gender, then we can continue to feel superior to some group and therefore, establish our dominance.

 

Dear Woman: I don’t want to be dominant.

 

Dear Man: Good. Then you’ve got a chance at being human.

 

Dear Woman: So what makes us human?

 

Dear Man: Are you really interested, or is it just that you can’t find a way to get out of this conversation?

 

Dear Woman: To be honest, I don’t know if I’m interested because I don’t know if what you’re going to share is interesting or not.

 

Dear Man: More than your approval, your affection or even your genitals, I need your humanity.

 

Dear Woman: That’s a bold statement. So what is my humanity? What makes up this seventy percent? How do we break down the walls and become human beings?

 

Dear Man: Well, this is just my opinion, but it’s kind of a process. And it starts with, “Will you listen to what I say?”

 

Dear Woman: Yeah, I listen.

 

Dear Man: No, I mean that being human is listening to what someone says without having an opinion about it.

 

Dear Woman: So what you’re saying is, you hear them. You just stop for a moment, listen, and hear what they have to say.

 

Dear Man: Exactly. And then you try to encourage what you can of what you’re hearing.

 

Dear Woman: Obviously, if they’re trying to commit suicide, you shouldn’t suggest methods.

 

Dear Man: Very funny. Obviously. But once you encourage what you can, then part of being a human being is gently but firmly holding them to their promise.

 

Dear Woman: That’s tricky. Some people would call that interference.

 

Dear Man: Not if it’s their idea and their words.

 

Dear Woman: What if they change their mind?

 

Dear Man: Then help them to forgive themselves for failing. It’s okay. It’s all part of being alive. If life was about success, most of the time we’d be depressed.

 

Dear Woman: So it’s important to forgive them and help them forgive themselves for falling short. I see that. So that gives them the chance to start over.

 

Dear Man: That’s why most people are miserable. They’re stuck in a failure from years ago without feeling they have the grace to start over.

 

Dear Woman: So it’s our job to help other people achieve that.

 

Dear Man: And it’s also our job to help them laugh. It’s rather difficult to forget stupidity unless you can laugh at it.

 

Dear Woman: That’s powerful stuff.

 

Dear Man: It’s why the “Flirty Thirty” makes us attractive, but the humanity makes us enjoy each other.

 

Dear Woman: Why isn’t this taught? Why are we so ignorant about this? Why is it all romance and flowers?

 

Dear Man: Because if every problem can be solved by sending flowers, then we don’t have to really care that much, do we?

 

Dear Woman: It’s a great process.

 

Dear Man: Now, let’s make it our own.

 

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Confessing … October 3rd, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2711)

XXII.

I confess so I can heal.

If I deny, I remain sick.

One of the dangers of doing noble deeds is the human tendency to desire to be treated with some nobility for doing so.

Of course, it doesn’t work that way.

During my years of living in Tennessee, I was party to beginning an orchestra in our hometown. It went well. Matter of fact, doors were opened so that we could offer an entertaining and enlightening musical program to the local elementary schools using a small ensemble from the larger body.

This project was so successful that we were invited to present these programs at ten elementary schools in the Roanoke, Virginia, school district.

We were thrilled.

The first day we did four schools and everything went well. At the end of the second day, we were finishing up our program when a teacher in the back of the auditorium began to gather up her children like little chickadees in preparation to take them out to the bus for departure.

We were at the height of the most important part of our communication with the students, and in my pridefulness, I became incensed at her insensitivity. So as soon as we finished our last note and took our bows, I immediately stomped over to the young woman and confronted her over what I considered to be an egregious error on her part–ignoring our work merely to prepare her children.

I was not foul or mean, but very confrontational–and I did it in front of the students.

She was shocked, offended, and immediately went to her principal to “tell on me.”

So by the end of the day, the principal of the school had contacted our sponsor and informed him of my breach,. Meanwhile, I was being reinforced by my own team, who told me I was being “honest and brave, sticking up for myself,” in dealing with this lady.

So long story short, the sponsor of our event was so thrilled with what was going on that he forgave my indiscretion and we continued the school concerts without any further furor.

Matter of fact, to this day those closest to me would consider me to be justified. That young teacher probably marks it as the day she was accosted by an asshole.

What is the truth?

The truth of the matter is, true beauty does not need praise.

Excellence can continue to thrive minus applause.

And the message will get through without us over-promoting it.

I was wrong.

I was wrong to accost a young woman, no matter what her motivations were. My job is to work on my own motivations.

I was wrong to do it in front of her students, and I was wrong to take a pass simply because I have enough talent that people are afraid to confront me.

Have I ever been so overwhelmingly egotistical and defensive again?

I suppose I have.

But I have taken the time to put a hole in that tank of ego and let it gradually drain out onto the ground–where it belongs.

 

confessing teacher

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***************************

NEW BOOK RELEASE BY JONATHAN RICHARD CRING

WITHIN

A meeting place for folks who know they’re human

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$3.99 plus $2.00 S & H

$3.99 plus $2.00 S & H

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Messin’ With My Mess… January 2, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

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Christmas fam pic

  • Two filmmakers.
  • One aspiring dental hygienist.
  • Two people who own their own housecleaning business.
  • A great cinematographer.
  • Three sound technicians.
  • A drum-line instructor.
  • An ordained minister.
  • A guitar maker.
  • Five grandchildren.
  • An extraordinary musician.
  • A gamesman and blogger.
  • Food service.
  • National director of a beauty company.
  • An entrepreneur businesswoman.
  • An English teacher.
  • Two bass guitar players.
  • A studio producer.
  • A pair of young singers and actresses.
  • A retired administrative assistant.

Behold–a list of the doings of the family and friends pictured above, which happens to be the group of individuals with whom I shared Christmas cheer.

I was “Daddy” to some, “Pop” to others, “G-Pop” to a few, longtime friend, confidante, and now I am the aging patriarch who travels the country, cropping up every once in a while to remind them of their heritage.

As I sat in the midst of the photo session for the picture  you see today, I was thinking to myself, “What do I hope for these people?”

Is it realistic to dream that they might share my faith? Part of me wishes they would, because my substance of hope certainly conjures delightful, unseen evidence.

How about my politics? Well, since I feverishly and fervently avoid such foolishness, it might be difficult for them to pinpoint my leanings.

No, family is the great testing ground for us to realize that it is important to love people without ever thinking you’re going to control them. I really only hope that they maintain three cardinal principles:

  1. Love people.
  2. Like your work.
  3. Hate injustice.

Because without loving people, you have absolutely no chance of ever seeing God. And if you don’t like your work, it makes most of your day feel tedious. And if you don’t have the foresight to stand up against injustice, you will feel very silly and be proven wrong more often than not.

So take the picture. Preserve it for all time.

But hopefully when we stroll out of the room to our varied pursuits, we can remember that great trinity of responsibility.

 

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

Click for details on the SpirTed 2014 presentation

Click for details on the SpirTed 2014 presentation

Please contact Jonathan’s agent, Jackie Barnett, at (615) 481-1474, for information about scheduling SpiriTed in 2014.

click to hear music from Spirited 2014

click to hear music from Spirited 2014

Perfectly Imperfect … November 30, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2081)

AnisaShe was born on October 1st, 1987.

She has graciously selected to refer to me as her “godfather,” minus the Marlon Brando impersonation, mob hits and Academy Awards.

She was an only child, but surrounded by a gang of boys who teased her, bordering on the verge of torment, which some people in our modern day would consider to be bullying, but ended up working out sufficiently (as far as we know).

For after all, we live in an imperfect world, which is perfectly designed for our penchant for imperfection.

Today she is getting married.

She has asked me to officiate at the ceremony. Honored, I am preparing to do my best.

She is romantically joining together with another human being at a time when such relationships are considered to be expendable, if not ridiculous. She is attempting to launch the ship of their future in a harbor infested with the pirates of indecision, infidelity and inadequacy.

I don’t wish to offer her any advice–mainly due to its imperfection–but I would counsel her to pay heed to herself and be true.

  1. Have a heart that’s pure. You should never go to sleep with feelings because they always wake up on the wrong side of the bed.
  2. Have a soul that’s satisfied–not in yourself, but in the awareness that God has simplified His position, authority and personage into the next human being you run across. Yes, people are God, and every time you forget it, you become an atheist.
  3. Renew your mind. Purposefully find one opinion each and every day that has proven to be wrong and set out to change it by challenging its location within your skull.
  4. And maintain a healthy body–at least as long as you can. Death is chasing us from the time we’re born. True joy is the combination of ignoring it and punching it in the nose.

They named her Anisa, this god-daughter of mine. She was given this name because it was one of the characters in one of my novels. In this book, the girl named Anisa is a princess, filled with spunk, beauty and intelligence.

How apropos.

Happy wedding day, my dear. Keep an eye on your heart, soul, mind and body, and rejoice that the world created for you … is perfectly imperfect.

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

Click for details on the SpirTed 2014 presentation

Click for details on the SpirTed 2014 presentation

Please contact Jonathan’s agent, Jackie Barnett, at (615) 481-1474, for information about scheduling SpiriTed in 2014.

click to hear music from Spirited 2014

click to hear music from Spirited 2014

Humbled, Aware, Empowered … September 7, 2012

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I AM:

Humbled by the beauty of our nation

Aware that beauty is only skin deep

Empowered to find the heart and soul of my countrymen

Humbled by the generosity of my new friends

Aware of the responsibility of their faith in me

Empowered by the uplift and confidence it provides

Humbled by the need around me

Aware of what I can do

Empowered to go ahead and do it

Humbled by the grace of grace

Aware that grace is given to the humble

Empowered to embrace productive humility

Humbled by my weakness

Aware of my gifts

Empowered by the balance granted me by my Creator

Humbled by the overwhelming need

Aware of the needs already met

Empowered to continue to pursue meeting needs

Humbled by fatherhood

Aware of the requirement for my children’s independence

Empowered to see them do greater things than me

Humbled by failure

Aware of teeming progress

Empowered by promising opportunity

Humbled by what I create

Aware that it was birthed through adversity

Empowered to persevere

Humbled by tomorrow

Aware of today

Empowered by yesterday

Or sometimes …

Humbled by yesterday

Aware of tomorrow

Empowered by today

Humbled, aware, empowered:

  • The balance of power for this important hour.

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

Take Your Turn — October 15, 2011

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Third runner-up.

Recently in a moment of weakness–or boredom–I tuned in a beauty pageant.  I viewed a few moments of the broadcast. It was near the end, when they were announcing the winner. This one girl received the honor (or perhaps I should say distinction) of being the third runner up–the third most attractive person in the room.  I watched her with great curiosity as she stepped forward to receive her sash.  No crown. Just a piece of cheap cloth draped around her, with “Third Runner-Up” inscribed. 

It got me musing over the journey this dear person had taken to reach this point. Consider–she obviously was the most attractive person in her whole family. All the other women anywhere near her who were related to her in any way, shape or form were in constant lust over her beauty–so much so that they encouraged her to compete in her local community’s festival of beauty-something-or-other.  Gloriously, she was considered by the judges in THAT contest to be the most beautiful girl amongst many families–in the entire town! And this took her to a county competition and to a state-wide event. In all cases she was deemed to be the “fairest of all.” Tears were shed over both her success and her extreme qualities of attractiveness. Then … she came here, to this national platform, and discovered there were two people in the room more gorgeous than herself.

It reminds me of the joke about running a race in the Olympics and coming in last. You had to train just as much as the guy who came in first, ate a ridiculously restricted diet, went to bed early, got up early and traveled a great distance–to end up eating the dust of the entire mob–the joke being that you could have skipped all the pain and still have come in last.

Everybody takes their turn.

I had a delightful conversation last night in Reidsville, North Carolina, with a man who told me about a banquet he attends every Christmas season which is held in honor of a local home for individuals who have befallen tragedy, difficulty, or for whatever reason, are unwanted. He told me there was a fellow there who had contorted features–barely able to speak an audible word–had lost many fingers off his hands and could scarcely move without jerking and convulsing. My friend telling the story introduced an interesting word in describing the gentleman–he said he was “grotesque.”  Now, he didn’t mean it to be critical, but rather as a way to accentuate the true point of the story.  For he related that about halfway through the event, someone handed this seemingly unfortunate fellow a microphone and from his position of destitution, he sang in a beautiful baritone voice, O Holy Night”–to the amazement and weeping of all who attended.

He had been transformed from grotesque to beautiful.

All of us do that. I realize every day of my life that to some people I meet–because their standards are set at a certain level–my personage may be a bit grotesque. Knowing this and refusing to be in denial, I have worked on other parts of my package to deliver  me the opportunity to be beautiful. Because everybody is going to take a turn. You may be beautiful in one auditorium and in the next one end up third runner-up, and even by some people’s standards who are very picky, a bit grotesque. If you aren’t prepared for the fickleness of humanity, you will soon resent those around you who make split-second judgments without thinking about the consequences.

It’s not so much that beauty is skin deep or that beauty is merely “in the eye of the beholder”–it’s more that we are what we are and sometimes it’s insufficient physically, so if we don’t keep our emotions pure, our spirits youthful and our minds clear, we won’t have any true beauty to fall back on. Just like that girl, you may think you’ve achieved a certain level of irresistibility that cannot go unrecognized by the masses. 

Foolish soul. Because these are four certainties in life:

  • There is always someone more talented.
  • There is always someone more beautiful.
  • You will take your turn being the underdog.
  • So just make sure you bring some bark to the kennel.

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Jonathan sings “Let”

Jonathan Sings “Spent This Time”

Jonathan and his partner, Janet Clazzy, play “The Call”

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