PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant … July 4th, 2018

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Hues

by Jonathan Richard Cring

Little girl blue

Come blow your mind

Laugh when it’s true

Play ’til you find.

 

Lass with the brass

Tweak your reed

Upgrade in class

Bleed the seed

 

Woman in red

Twirl your hair

Rise from their dead

Questioning as you care

 

You wore pink

He in brown

Paused to think

Lost his frown

 

Princess in black

Cut yourself slack

Nurturing the pain

Borderline insane

 

Girly child

Exquisite with green

Meek swallows mild

Your time, intervene

 

For none of us will ever know

It’s rarely clear which way to go

So when we finally grasp the keys

We’ll have the sense to embrace our peace

Our reader this week is Angel, who owns her own business and lives in Shanghai with her husband and two children

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G-Poppers … December 23rd, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Jon close up

Christmas is one of those rare occasions when we actually get to lead with our heart, lighting up our soul, renewing our mind, to energize our strength.

Too often we become “soulish,” espousing doctrines dusty with meaningless detail, or “mindful,” relying on the existing training in our brain.

Perhaps worst of all, we surrender to the notion that our “body of work” is really just our body.

Christmas is different.

Christmas breaks all the rules of conventional wisdom by asking us to be emotional instead of prescribing medication to inhibit it.

Christmas is when we have a choice to become the best child of our possibility instead of languishing in adult complaining.

Christmas is when we insist that there has to be joy instead of yielding to the nonsense of “nothingness.”

Yes–Christmas is a state of “somethingness.”

It is a dream which becomes a plan and is implemented by a spirit of giving and surprised by receiving.

Without Christmas, we would imitate our “sick-in-bed” face 365 days a year–a frown that leaves us pale, with a sense of hopelessness.

Christmas is beautiful–if for no other reason than the fact that it pisses off arrogant, self-righteous, intellectually elite and bigoted souls.

It exposes the Scrooge while pointing at the Grinch and making us consider the power of the Little Drummer Boy.

It is “somethingness.”

It is daring to conceive a dream, and then being willing to chase it through the snow “on a one-horse open sleigh.”

We need Christmas much more than Christmas needs us.

We need a Baby Savior. Otherwise, we are drawn into the pit of the pernicious boredom of theologians.

To break our chauvinism, we require that the Prince of Peace was born of a woman–without the assistance of a penis.

It shatters our images of dreary sameness.

And when it arrives we guzzle from its trough like dying men plucked from the desert.

So here’s to the state of “somethingness.”

Here’s to your joy.

Here’s to our hope.

And from G-Pop to you, Merry Christmas.

 

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PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant … March 30th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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PoHymn See Me Standing

See Me Standing Here

Does anyone see me standing here?

All alone, please draw near

I lack the will to strongly insist

Embrace my story and bring your twist

For lonely is never just being alone

But watching your soul turn into stone

Let me hear you speak a thought

Share the things you’ve been taught

Then linger for an extra space

Don’t rush away to join the race

I’m frightened, you see, of all that’s me

And me is all I ever see

Open my eyes to what is wise

Remove my mask and ugly disguise

Yes, I fool myself into believing

There is little power in receiving

So sweet and salty leave my taste

With sour and bitter the remaining waste

So I’m in here, hidden beneath the frown

Yearning for an up to displace my down

Please glance at me before you leave

Pardon this prisoner, grant a reprieve

God cannot give me what humans impart

Your flesh touching mine

Is what heals my heart.

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PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant … August 19th, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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 PoHymn August 19

Puzzling Our Way

A comedy of errors

A circus of terrors

A frown of concern

A chance to return

To believe in my bluff

Needs to be enough

Then propel this human team

And launch a blessed scheme

For to deny the gift at hand

Is to build upon the sand

Scaling the holy rock

Surviving foolish talk

I move to the light

With a sense of right

Refusing the be denied

Delighted with what I’ve tried

Knowing I am weak

Grants the power of the meek

To inherit Mother Earth

Through the sweetness of rebirth

I embrace the transformed me

Learning what he can be

Then repair the ragged seam

Sewing and reaping the dream

We are not alone, dear soul

Cursed to half instead of whole

But rather, discovering the latest piece

Yes, puzzling our way shall never cease.

 

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The Power of Nothing… October 14, 2012

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Live from October 1st filming

Little Brian had not yet learned the power of becoming invisible. He was only seven years old, and that particular piece of youthful wisdom normally arrives around ten or eleven. So he made the mistake one hot summer day of coming into the house, shuffling his feet in the carpet, collapsing on the couch, sprouting a frown, and communicating to his mother that he was bored and devoid of any ideas of how to entertain himself.

This was a big mistake. The young lad was about to lose all of his freedom. Because Mom, wanting to be a good exhorter for her young offspring, began to come up with suggestions about what bored Brian could do to stimulate his mind and body–and at the same time, perform some useful chores around the house. Before he knew it, he had gone from being a liberty-loving youngster to being a room cleaner, a garbage carrier, a dog walker and even, for some ridiculous reason, raking up the dried-up grass his father had mowed the night before. Now he was exhausted and bored. He had failed to understand the power of nothing.

There are days when progress is not made nor is there any particular inclination that devastation and defeat is waiting in the wings to leap on our carcass. People who become dismayed, discouraged, frustrated or pass on the impression that they are without needful activity always get roped into the dumbest jobs possible.

For instance, how would I describe this Saturday in the discovery of my miracle and the restitution of my legs, so I can walk about instead of utilizing the power of the wheel?

Nothing much happened.

I feel a little better; I can straighten up without having a catch in the back of my legs and hips. I told a friend of mine that from the waist up, I’m twenty-five years old and from the belly-button down, I’m about ninety-one. I guess if you average those two numbers, you get my actual age.

So what have I got to complain about? I was trying to remember that old saying. Is it “a watched pot never boils?” Something like that. Sometimes things slow down and they do so in order for us to celebrate, evaluate and appreciate.

If life whirled by at the speed of light, we would not only fail to see it, but we would never get a chance to giggle at the silly moments and revel in the victories.

Celebrate. Just take a few moments of nothingness to celebrate all the goodness that has come thus far. For six decades I’ve been able to live, and in most of those years, be productive, humorous, creative and loved. How remarkable.

Evaluate. Yes, evaluate why, at this point, certain blessings are eluding me, and exercise my good common sense and desire to bring these gifts to me.

Appreciate. Appreciate the fact that no one is running my life, that God has given me choice, and if I am willing to adapt and grow, very likely the best things are yet to come.

Thus the power of nothing.

So when I call someone on the phone and I say, “What’s going on?” and they say, “Nothing,” I think, “You are so lucky.”

I was lucky today. I didn’t get worse. I didn’t get much better. I got a chance to celebrate my past blessings, evaluate some things that I’ve been doing wrong and appreciate a breath of air to insert new opportunity.

Don’t be like Brian. Don’t tell God, Mother Nature or the world around you that you have run out of interest in your own life. People will think they’re helping you by making up really crappy jobs.

I never allow myself to look bored. Instead, I praise God for the power of nothing–just a few minutes every once in a while that plop in my lap–where I have nothing to prove … and everything to gain.

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Where do we go from here?… July 6, 2012

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She crinkled up her nose like she had just sniffed a basket full of sweaty socks at the Y.M.C.A. I could tell by her scrunched-up countenance that I was about to receive a little piece of nasty criticism. She asked, “Why don’t you go to bigger places where you could do more good and help more people instead of coming to small towns with congregations with so little attendance?”

She thought she had invented the wheel. She believed she had discovered a weakness in my effort and had uncovered a fragment of stupidity in my planning. I asked her a simple question.

“My dear, what’s working?”

It stumped her. Because even though she was bound and determined to prove her point, there doesn’t seem to be much in our society that is heavily promoted which is accomplishing anything resembling resolution.

If you turn to the world of politics, there is just too much to prove to produce any power. My dear Lord, you have to convince everybody that you’re a reputable Republican or a distinguished Democrat before you are able to step into the ring and do something to improve the circus. By the time you get done being a pundit for all the platforms of your particular political persuasion, you have used up all the time granted you on the stage of opportunity. Neither one of the political parties have all the answers, and worse, neither are even asking the right questions.

You can feel free to go to religion if you want to, but then you find yourself in the unenviable position of having too much to defend. I will tell you, my dear friends, that I am a person of faith and spirituality, but I have absolutely no intention of trying to explain the Bible. Greater men than me have attempted that feat, and have ended up looking overly pious or have been disproven by the flow of knowledge. I am not going to defend anything. If it can’t stand on its own, then it should suffer from its inadequacy. So I can’t participate in religious ceremony because it just has too much to prove.

Corporations are equally as inhibited and waterlogged. There’s just too much profit to be made. When your latest business meeting is about finding ways to cut employees in order to increase your bottom line, more than likely you will never be considered top of the line. Just too much to profit to have the vision for people and better products.

And I have no intentions of leaping into the forefront of the entertainment industry, which is basically occupied by many pseudo-intellectuals who are more historians than history-makers. They would much rather discuss the subtleties of a scene than risk producing new art that challenges and awakens the audience. Just too much to posture. I never like to be around a group of people who believe they prove their worth by how much they know instead of how much they do.

This is the same position Jesus found himself in when he came out of the wilderness and decided it was time to start his work. There were many, many large towns and countless affluent people looming the horizon. He picked Capernaum. It would probably be the last choice of most individuals who were trying to get a pulse on first-century society. It was tiny, behind the times and certainly out of the flow of the general direction of politics, religion, commerce and entertainment.

So why did he do it? Was it just an attempt to be humble? Or did he know something that other people failed to recognize? Let’s take a look at it from his perspective. If the Jewish religion was going to be decimated in the next seventy years and the Roman Empire would cease to exist within four centuries, there was no wisdom in planting the seeds of your ideas in the format of those who were doomed to be left in the history books. It was necessary to find an environment where the elements of renewal would be received because they were viable to everyday life–not because they were trendy.

Here are the keys to making a difference:

1. Find people who still believe in their talent, but want more. Capernaum was a fishing village. They pulled the sustenance to keep them alive out of the nearby water, and they knew they were at the mercy of nature. These people were prepared to learn more about earth and God. If your coffers are full, it’s hard to believe you lack anything.

2. Find people who use their abilities but aren’t stubborn about tradition, and still seek ways to do it better. One morning, Jesus happened upon Peter and his fishing companions and asked them how they had done during their night’s fishing expedition. They had caught nothing. He told them to cast their net on the other side of the boat. At his word, they did–and pulled in the most fish they had seen in years. Had they been conceited, overly frustrated, pious about their knowledge of the sea, or just aggravated with the turns of life, they would have missed out on pulling in 153 fish. That’s right. We get a count.

3. Learn from people who do it better than you. No one is able to swallow pride, so you might want to spit it out instead. But after you spit it out, realize that it’s not nearly as painful to learn and improve as it is to repeat and fail. Check around. See if there’s anyone who knows more than you do and quietly acquire their storehouse of information.

4. Find people who are willing to stop critiquing. America is obsessed with judging things. Having an opinion is dangerously like stopping on the freeway in the middle of seventy-mile-an-hour traffic. You may know why you did it, but it won’t keep people from wanting to smack you. Keep driving, but learn as you go. Don’t criticize. It makes you look arrogant and stupid.

5. And finally, get somewhere with people who understand that they need to be happy. None of us like grouchy folks. We try to be tolerant but they really do tick us off, the thought being: “We’ve got just as much reason to be grouchy as they do. Why don’t they shut up?” If you can find people who understand that happiness is everything, so therefore, choosing to even fake it from time to time while you’re waiting for it to reappear is the safest way to live, you will find yourself in an environment where God feels like He can show up without having to dodging too many complaints.

So–to give a final answer to my lady who thought she was enlightening me with the need to be more famous, I tell her this:

Nothing is going to happen in this country unless the people who live in the grass roots, who don’t have too much to prove, too much to defend, too much to profit and too much to posture, step forward, use their happiness and learn better ways to love the world and use what they’ve got.

Where do we go from here?

One by one, to the next person who selects a smile instead of frowning at all the choices available.

   

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