PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant … April 5th, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Crumbling Dream

Hot temper, bitter words

Flying insults, dirty birds

Pent-up snarl from the soul

Heard the half, now here’s the whole

Feelings raw from being hidden

Hell erupts as pain is bidden

To share the anguish of being slighted

Fussy memories, unrequited

Shocked to perceive and be accused

Vehemently denying, yet still refused

Layer upon layer, vicious sound

As our home burns to the ground

Can’t we cease this devastation

And abandon all retaliation?

Or must we struggle to the end

And watch the truth gradually descend

To overwrought exaggeration

White noise buzzing from every station

If no one listens, how can we hear?

Violence threatens, we tremble in fear

Stop the madness, no logic impresses

By ranting about the current messes

I need breath–just some air

You’re so mean, completely unfair

I once loved you with all my heart

So much damage–where can we start?

Yet in the midst of the emotional debris

I still desire a way to be

Your heart again, sweet and real

A tender caress, a path to feel

God forgive us as we scream

And help us save our crumbling dream. 

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Yellin’ … February 11, 2012

 
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Yellin’ is what we do when mere shouting proves insufficient to propel the magnitude and importance of our necessary opinion. It is an exercise which seems brutally–yet reverently–valuable in the moment while rendering us rather embarrassed upon later reflection. So humiliated are we at times that we choose to “re-write”  the tale of the event, using much softer tones. 
 
For instance:  “We weren’t yellin’–we were having a discussion.” (That is one often used to explain to the children when Mom and Dad have increased the decibels so much that the young ones hear. Unfortunately, there isn’t a child born since Cain to Adam and Eve who actually buys that particular excuse.)
 
The new one in our society to describe yelling that really isn’t yellin’ is “we were involved in a heated debate.” Of course, the difference between yellin’ and heated debate is that in any form of proper exchange, space for breathing air and allowing the hearing of your opponent is provided.
 
Then there is the more spiritual approach, which is calling it a “disagreement” or the famous “we just agree to disagree.” Of course, none of us ever do agree to disagree–we just take our complaint to someone else and talk about you behind your back.
 
I bring this up because I was involved in one of those “yellin’ sessions” yesterday. Now, it’s always been my intention with jonathots to be as forthcoming with you as possible, so as to keep our lines of communication pure in heart. So even though I’m not proud of the fact that I was involved in a heated debate fostered by a disagreement further nurtured by an avid discussion, giving me a sore throat–I must be truthful that such outbursts in the human expression are real and part of our lives. The only true danger is when we are so ashamed of our own part in the childish rant that we try to disguise the event or even pretend that nothing really happened.
 
Yellin’ is important. The reason it’s important is that we know it occurred because talking had stopped, thinking was on vacation and respect had taken a holiday. When we have respect for ourselves and others and we think about what we feel and what they must feel, the normal response is to talk. But when respect has gone into the wind and thinking is clouded by fear and ego, talking seems quite inept–especially when our newly-found opponent has already ramped up the volume.
 
Here are the main reasons we yell at each other:
 
1. We don’t understand, and rather than asking, we have already developed a scenario that suits our fancy.
2. We are offended and haven’t taken the time to express our pain but would rather live it out in vivid description to the offender.
3. We are jealous but find that childish, so we opt for some moral, spiritual or mental high ground to justify our nastiness.
4. We are drawn to this other person, but feel they do not care about us and therefore our affection is unrequited.
5. We have some half-baked notion that God is angry at our adversary and will really be happy if we “go get ’em.”
6. We need a nap or a good dinner and we opt for a riot.
7. And finally, we have convinced ourselves that the best way we are heard is by screaming.
 
Now, when you look at those seven motivations for verbal mutilation, you begin to humbly understand how yellin’ comes to be. It’s going to happen, my dear friends.
 
And the best thing we can do is avoid the shame, check over that list and find ourselves, and then, as Jesus suggested–heal the inner parts of our heart and purify our own motives before we next hop on any train of thought towards our brother or sister.
 
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Jonathan wrote the gospel/blues anthem, Spent This Time, in 1985, in Guaymas, Mexico. Take a listen:

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