Iz and Pal (Bedouin Buddies)


Iz and Pal

Jonathots Daily Blog

(3924)

Sitting Two

Weeks passed.

A friendship was forged.

Dreams were discussed.

Such sweet relationship—made possible when both souls are not afraid to share their hearts.

Somewhere along the way, Jubal and Amir forgot that they were supposed to be enemies. Unfortunately, this caused them to be careless and brought the scrutiny of overly concerned friends and anxious parents.

It was bizarre.

No one was exactly willing to forbid the relationship, nor was anyone ready to verbalize his or her own bigotry. It was assessed, and therefore assumed, that the friendship between the two lads was impractical and taking up too much time.

“Are you saying I cannot see Amir?” Jubal demanded.

“I am saying that Amir’s family, like ours, probably has many duties for their own son that cannot be shirked for playtime,” Jubal’s father stated.

“Did you answer my question?” Jubal stood defiantly.

“I would like you to stop seeing the little Palestinian boy. It is too dangerous,” he replied frankly.

“Dangerous?” asked Jubal.

Jubal’s father rose, striking a threatening pose. “I do not have time to explain to my son the ways of the world, which he should already understand by now.”

“Well, I don’t understand,” said Jubal, hand on his hip, stomping his foot.

What should have been the beginning of a good discussion was ended abruptly, the patriarch leaving Jubal to mope.

But this time, the boy didn’t. Instead, he reasoned. A plan was devised. Perhaps not really a plan—more a notion. One of those fledgling ideas absent a body of detail.

It was simple in its way. In the minds of young Amir and Jubal, it was more important to be together, having fun, than it was to accept what was considered to be “the reasonable way.”

Or was it just one threat too many?

At any rate, each fellow gathered his provisions and scouted out a location.

“It must be far from the village on a small rise, so visitors can be viewed in the distance,” said Amir.

“And be shaded by some trees,” Jubal contributed.

For Jubal and Amir were planning on running away. They had their reasons. What they needed was a place to go. They would not stay away forever—an afternoon, a day, a week—who can tell such things? Yet a statement needed to be made, and in the meantime they could be joined as one.

Jubal brought a small tent, some bread, water, a collection of games and a few pictures. Amir brought food and water, too, along with a partially deflated soccer ball and extra clothing.

Having selected their location and planned their escape, one morning two households awoke, each absent a son. Amir and Jubal were together—at least for now.

And when you’re twelve, now is all that matters.

 

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Iz and Pal (Bedouin Buddies)

Iz and Pal

In a basket full of oranges, it is often the singular, lonely apple which gains attention.

This is an endearing characteristic of the human race—we are intrigued by difference while simultaneously frightened of the diversity.

So in our day and age, in the midst of clamoring for resolutions, often based on military might, a breath of fresh air comes into the atmosphere of pending war in a region ironically referred to as “The Holy Land.”

Amir and Jubal, two boys who grew up in different camps of a raging, never-ending conflict—one Arab, one Jew—find one another. They rename themselves “Iz” and “Pal” and strike out to change the world around them by creating a love between them. They determine to maintain their friendship amidst the granite-headed thinking of a stubborn society.

“Iz and Pal” chronicles the journey they take, the friends they encounter along the way, the surprising enemies—with a stunning resolution which will keep you riveted to the pages of this odyssey in exploring the value of peace.

Starting next week, I will share sittings from this novella with you, and hope that, in its simple way, it can transcend the pessimism of fruitless negotiations and invite an essential revelation:

After all, no war is ever finished until the children say “No more.”

 

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G-Poppers … March 31st, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3263)

Jon close up

G-Pop realizes that it could be considered irrational, ill-founded or even un-American to speak against the common phrase, “Be careful.”

The statement has become a staple of our society.

It is synonymous with “I’ll pray for you” or “you’re in my thoughts.”

It’s a tribal exchange of an acceptable spirit of worry between human beings, as we admit that life is dangerous and often out to harm us.

The difficulty with the sentiment is that if everyone on Earth is careful, then we stop having a free flow of interaction, which deteriorates to suspicion. Suspicion is a monster with a huge appetite. It feeds on prejudice–and once prejudice is in place, we find ourselves at war with each other without exactly remembering how it all began.

G-Pop wants his children to be safe. He just believes that the best way to achieve that is to be kind instead of being careful. Careful is misinterpreted. It’s misunderstood. It’s often received as bigotry.

And once people believe that you do not trust them, like them or consider them your equal, you actually increase the possibility of being harangued.

Certainly kindness is threatened by a world of knives and intimidation. This is true. But a kind thought, a kind countenance and a kind word removes any concept of superiority. Most people hurt one another because they feel they are forced to be inferior.

“Be careful” may be something a mother says to her son or daughter as they launch off to college–but college is not a station for being careful. It’s a place to learn, experience, try new things and uncover the talent that may end up providing wage and purpose.

“Be careful” is going to push us to the brink of global alienation.

So as frightening as it may seem, or as unsure as it appears, being kind is the best way to create the neutrality that will lead to either friendship or a quick discovery of who our foes truly may be.

 

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PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant … March 1st, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3233)

pohymn-where-did-we-go-wrong

Take What You Can Get

How you treat me

I can’t predict

How I treat you

Is in my power

Waiting for your appreciation

Stalls my progress

Giving forth your portion

Cleans my conscience

Do I want to be powerful

Or find solace in generosity?

Is there any victory in your defeat

Or just a hollow chest thump?

Where did we go wrong?

How does winning become joy

If losing destroys my warmth

Leaving me cold and vacant?

We don’t need to be friends

To cease the gnawing strife

Agreement may escape our grasp

But sweet Spirit grants space

Everything doesn’t need to be right

To chase the wrong away

Just a respect for one another

Manifested each and every day

 

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Dear Man/Dear Woman: A Noteworthy Conversation … November 19th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3123)

Dear Man Dear Woman

Woman: “Separate but equal.” It was a Supreme Court decision justifying segregation in this country, as long as it didn’t limit the rights of any one party or race.

 

Man: I’m familiar with that.

 

Woman: It didn’t work. Why?

 

Man: Well, first, it was prejudiced–bordering on racism with the intent of limiting the quality of one group of people over another.

 

Woman: How could that be, since it was intended to be equal? Let me answer my own question. The minute we segregate into cultures, genders or races, we do so to generate a superiority in our environment, while touting that it’s just a way for people to honor their traditions.

 

Man: What brought this to your mind?

 

Woman: Genders in this country are also under the misrepresentation of “separate but equal.” All of our comedy and even drama states how different men and women are from each other, and how they naturally clump. But we insist that both sides are equal.

 

Man: That’s interesting. So what you’re sharing is, the “separate but equal” propaganda is inserted into the roles of men and women, allowing for a male dominated society to continue to control, while pretending they are granting equal status to the other side.

 

Woman: Exactly. But what’s most important is how it is promoted and believed to be true. Because even though we know that human beings are heart, soul, mind and strength, we are first attracted to each other physically, which leads to some sort of romantic or sexual encounter.

 

Man: So you’re saying that we start out with the most base part of our nature–our sexual drive–to foster the foundation of equality. That sounds like it’s not going to work.

 

Woman: Worse than that. It makes us believe that since we’ve had a sexual encounter, we should have breakfast conversation and attempt to turn it into a relationship by including the mind without ever really engaging the brain.

 

Man: Thus the awkwardness that occurs when people try to start a relationship, which usually fails.

 

Woman: Because we can’t get it to an equality of emotion, sharing our feelings without fear, laughing at them sometimes, but always allowing them to be expressed. Here’s the truth–a man and woman who can’t find emotional equality will never find spiritual unity.

 

Man: What is emotional equality? Aren’t women more emotional than men?

 

Woman: Women are more verbally emotional, maybe, but men are equally as emotional–just not able to find the outlets to release these conflicted sensations.

 

Man: We fall back on a separate but equal decision for men and women because we really want to keep it physical, and we’re nervous about the mental. This prevents us from finding an emotional equality which just might lead to spiritual unity.

 

Woman: That’s it. I know it sounds like a bunch of mumbo-jumbo–until you put it into a real life situation. For instance, a guy and girl meet at a bar. They get a little tipsy. She goes home with him, they have sex the first night they meet. They wake up the next morning. It is very topsy-turvy–they don’t know what the other person is thinking. Yet they found the experience pleasant enough that they try to engage in conversation over donuts and coffee. It feels forced. But they decide to meet again later in the week, which leads to another sexual encounter and more uncomfortable interaction. At this point, there are emotions–nervous, tense, resentful, curious, maybe even selfish. If they were able to reveal their feelings, laugh at one another, and realize that this unorthodox beginning was still salvageable as long as they were in unity about their emotions, they could progress their possibility. But the usual pattern is to hide emotions and try to “think” their way through it, which eventually leads to misunderstanding and what we call a break-up.

 

Man: So men and women will never be equals until they find emotional equality and admit their vulnerabilities, which opens the door to spiritual unity.

 

Woman: It’s a unity which God refers to as the two literally “becoming one flesh.” This is not just a reference to the entwining of sexual intercourse, but also the willingness to become equivalent mentally and emotionally, and therefore find unity spiritually.

 

Man: But as long as we’re separate but equal, we will hook up and try to think our way into an entangled relationship, frightened to share our emotions and never really convinced of any unity.

 

Woman: Absolutely. So just as separate but equal did not work in the South, it is also not going to work in the gender wars–to create harmony and oneness. This is why those who begin with emotions and sharing as friends often garner a similar mindset which leads to sexual intercourse, lending itself to the opportunity for unity.

 

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Dear Man/Dear Woman: A Noteworthy Conversation … April 23rd, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2913)

Dear Man Dear Woman

Dear Woman: Not all men are gay.

 

Dear Man: Of course not.

 

Dear Woman: Not all women are lesbians.

 

Dear Man: Is this some sort of homophobic rant?

 

Dear Woman: No, not at all. My point is, men get along really well with each other without sex, as do women.

 

Dear Man: That’s why society insists that men and women have differences which create incompatibility.

 

Dear Woman: No, that’s wrong. That’s not the reason. The reason is that heterosexual men and women lead with sex. They try to find a passion of romance instead of a reason for conversation. So in the gay or lesbian community, they have the same problem. They fight like cats and dogs, just like heterosexuals.

 

Dear Man: Well, actually it would be cats and cats, and dogs and dogs…

 

Dear Woman: Very cute. Our culture has taught us to look at the opposite sex as a means for gratifying our physical needs. And then we wonder, when the thrill of that sexuality plays out, why people grow disinterested.

 

Dear Man: Well, how would you change that? Men are always going to look at women as potential partners in the bedroom. And women do the same thing in their own style.

 

Dear Woman: It doesn’t have to be that way. Men who aren’t gay still have passion for each other if they become involved in a common cause–like war, family, politics, sports, business…

 

Dear Man: Well, women, too.

 

Dear Woman: Exactly. But it works because the passion is always in the third position, not the primal one. If you try to get football players worked up to win a game, and they have no business or friendship with each other, nothing clicks.

 

Dear Man: I see what you mean. You’re saying that the problem is that we advertise sex so much in this country, that once the impact of the original fling is over, we have no real interest, so we terminate the overwrought passion.

 

Dear Woman; I couldn’t have said that better myself. Whether you’re religious or not, the tale of the Garden of Eden does lay it out correctly, and shows where things went astray. God gave Adam and Eve business and friendship, and He assumed that passion and family would spawn from that. But the minute Adam saw Eve, he was sexually drawn to her, and because the relationship was “bone and flesh,” as he put it, they didn’t develop the business and friendship that was necessary to keep them from falling apart.

 

Dear Man: That’s wild. And so true. So at a very early age we should have boys and girls work together, develop friendships, and then see what sparks in passion.

 

Dear Woman: It’s why when people have affairs, they usually happen with someone they work with. The work stimulates closeness which leads to a friendship with laughter and interaction, lending itself to passion. But if you start off with passion, you’ve got nowhere to go.

 

Dear Man: Or you end up trying to force a friendship and a business.

 

Dear Woman: So even though folks think it’s immoral, people living together before marriage might be a successful project, if there was no sex involved. They could prove that working their business together could grow into a deep-rooted friendship.

 

Dear Man: So if it begins with passion, it will soon lose its fashion.

 

Dear Woman: You rhymed!

 

Dear Man: I’d like to say I did it on purpose, but that would be a lie.

 

Dear Woman: We begin with business–a common goal, which leads to friendship–a common feeling, and ends up with passion–a common pleasure.

 

Dear Man: I like that. Common goal, common feeling, common pleasure. If we take that path, we are constantly feeding the excitement for one another with the new experiences of our business and friendship.

 

Dear Woman: And if we don’t, we’re depending on our bodies to keep it interesting.

 

Dear Man: That’s too much to ask of “any-body.”

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Confessing… August 1st, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2650)

XIII.

I confess so I can heal.

If I deny, I remain sick.

In the summer of my sixteenth year, my human sexuality cornered me like a ravenous jackal.

I discovered that my penis also had a “wonderful plan for my life.”

I was in the midst of my first serious relationship with a girl and my curiosity was out to see the cat. I had lived as a good church boy, vacant of any understanding of my body parts beyond my hands and knees for prayer. No one had ever told me what I was supposed to do with what.

Only when.

At the same time, I struck up a friendship with Ben, who was one year younger than me. He, too, was on the quest for fire.

So even though we spent sufficient time working on our church coffee-house together, whenever we were out driving around and talking, we were speculating on the anatomy of the various females we encountered, possessing the knowledge of a new-born baby pontificating on eating steak.

Now, there was a drive-in theater about fifteen miles from our home called the Queensland. On Saturday nights, this establishment showed X-rated movies. I had never seen such a flick, and was beginning to feel the absence.

So I talked to Ben and we decided to make a trip down to this theater and bring paper and pencil to become great students. A couple of other guys got wind of it and begged to go with us. Our first instinct was to say no, but when they continued to plead, we acquiesced.

It was only when we got a mile from the theater that we discovered the other two guys hadn’t brought any money along for admission. So I opened up the big trunk of my Impala and they crawled in to hide, so we could get into the drive-in without paying for them.

It worked beautifully.

Upon arriving and finding our speaker-box of choice, we slyly let them out of the trunk and they came into the car. For the next three-and-a-half hours, the four of us drooled like teething babies.

We saw things we had never seen before. Some of it we liked, and some of it was grotesque and scary.

But we watched it all.

I was the oldest one in the car, and therefore should have had better sense–especially in assessing who I took to see the “skin and sin.”

The following Wednesday, I was called to the preacher’s office. One of the young boys who had been in the back seat had a fit of conscience and confessed his evil deed to his parents. I was confronted, disciplined and told what a “terrible witness I was.”

I didn’t care.

I guess none of these young men ended up being rapists or sex offenders, but I’m very sorry for what I did. I had no right to tie their confusion in with my confusion to create chaos.

What should I have done?

I probably should have complained to the adults around me about how ignorant and devoid of knowledge they had left me, in a world of lions, tigers and bears–oh, my.

So when I became a father, I told my children very early about the sexual aspect of their lives.

I don’t know if it affected their purity… but it certainly eliminated their guilt.

 

confessing car trunk

 

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