Untotaled: Stepping 30 (November 12th, 1966) Candy Crash … September 6, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2344)

(Transcript)

A mumbling conversation.

An attempt to disguise the nasty details of a tragedy from the fragile adolescent.

That would be me–the teen who is to be seen but never understood.

I listened carefully.

Whispers.

Aunt Janice. Uncle Randy. My cousin Jeremy. And my cousin Candy.

My ears perk when I hear “Candy.”

I love Candy. I mean, I love her because she notices me. She believes I’m alive. Her eyes focus on me instead of quickly darting away to other distractions.

The last time I saw her she said, “Jonathan, you look nice today.”

My breath squeezed from my lungs. I thanked her and rushed from the room, went outside, found a corner unto myself and cried.

No one sees me. And certainly, no one thinks I look nice.

So I listened more intently.

Car wreck. Injuries.

And then many hidden words I can’t quite make out.

When suddenly, the room stands still as I hear uttered, “Candy was killed.”

I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t think. I didn’t want to know–but I had to ask them.

They rebuked me for listening in on adult conversations. I didn’t care.

“What happened to Candy?” I shouted, trying to pull up short of a scream.

Driving on vacation in Florida, Aunt Janice, Uncle Randy, Jeremy and Candy were struck by a drunk driver who went left of center, seriously injuring three of them … and killing the flower.

I couldn’t comprehend.

I saw no reasonable purpose for such insanity.

One week passed. It was Candy’s funeral. Aunt Janice was there in a body cast, Randy with a broken leg and Jeremy, all cut up and weeping. The whole room smelled like blood and rubbing alcohol.

One by one, family members passed by Candy’s casket. They paused and wept for a young woman with such promise, struck down at twenty-one.

It was my turn.

I spoke firmly to my legs, asking them to move, and gradually made my way to look into the mahogany box.

It was so odd.

Because she had been thrown through the windshield and severely mutilated, they had constructed a mask of her face made out of plastic, put make-up on it and squeezed it over her fractured features.

Before me was a doll.

It was a mannequin representation of a living soul.

I must have stood there too long because my mother came to my side, poked me in the ribs, and told me to move on.

I did so obediently, having no urge to stare at the harlequin before me. I excused myself and went outside.

About ten minutes later I returned. No one was in the room–just the casket, the empty shell of a saint … and me.

Mustering all my strength, I walked over again and looked at my departed loved one.

I said, “Candy, you look nice today.”

 

 

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The Sermon on the Mount in music and story. Click the mountain!

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Populie: It’ll All Work Out… July 16, 2014

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2293)

dorothy exposing the wizard

It’s popular to encourage one another–yet a lie sneaks in when we tell people things will get better without their involvement.

Thus the populie, “It’ll all work out”–it, in this case, normally referring to God, country or destiny.

Religion loves “Happy Heaven travelers.”

Politics adores happy voters.

And the movies certainly favor happy endings.

What’s wrong with that? Is it bad to believe in a positive outcome instead of dwelling on the negative gloom and doom that threatens the horizon?

No. It’s just an issue of how we get there.

If we get there through deception, then we’re not only going to be disappointed, but defeated and ill-suited to take on tomorrow’s adventures.

I do believe in the power of faith and the notion that things can work out. It’s just that I honor a three-step process–because God, my country and certainly a destiny which is failed to be written in the stars can’t guarantee me anything without me showing up prepared.

For things to work out:

1. Nothing happens without a person or people.

I have found that my prayers are much more effective when they’re linked with both supplication and the intelligence of others joining me. I have discovered we have a better country when we include everyone and take others into consideration instead of bullying them because they’ve fallen out of favor. And my destiny is achieved based on how well I handled today, without worrying about tomorrow.

2. We need to get started in order to receive inspired ideas.

Even though we like to believe that every vacation should be paid for up front, each project should be endorsed and funded and our relationships guaranteed for a lifetime, deep in our hearts we know that’s not human.

Inspiration is given to those who are inspired to do something now. The minute we take it to a committee, we’ve already decided not to do it. If you don’t believe me, just look at Washington, D.C.

3. Endurance is knowing when to change and when to continue.

I run across people who think they’re doing a good thing, while they repeat the same mistakes, mistakes dashing their hopes.

And I run across individuals–including myself sometimes–who pull up one block short of completing the trip.

Endurance is what is necessary to save us from calamity, but it is acquired by being inspired with ideas on the move and finding out whether those notions are encouraging us to evolve, or press on with the same path.

  • God is not a solo act. He travels, unites and bonds with human beings to perform His will.
  • Our country is “we, the people” instead of “we, the whim.”
  • And since there is no tomorrow until we create it out of free will, destiny is a modern-day Mother Goose created to comfort folks who have decided to give up.

Watch out for this populie. It’s sneaky.

Sometimes you might feel like the ogre under the bridge, scaring off all the little children by being realistic. Yet we have to speak the truth with love.

Great things demand a person or people, inspiring ideas freshened by effort, and knowing the difference between keeping on and changing course.

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Arizona morning

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Double A’s and an F … February 17, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2153)

Bill MaherYou can’t be a good believer unless you first discover what kind of atheist you would be. And while you’re at it, it’s a good idea to figure out how you would choose to live if you were an agnostic. Two A’s and an F — atheist, agnostic and faith.face of Ricky Gervais

Since none of us know for sure what’s going to happen after we suck our last, it’s a good idea to put greater value on your human life than you do your eternal life.

I know this statement would upset about ninety percent of the Christian community, but it doesn’t make it any less important to share.

Billy GrahamI am a person of faith–not because I’m afraid of what might happen if I weren’t.

I don’t pursue devotion to God because I’m superstitious or want to cover all of my bases.

No, it’s because I have decided what life I would choose to honor if I were an atheist. So if there were no God, what would my three essentials be, determining my essence? I would have to:

  1. Learn to love people.
  2. Learn to respect my life and the value it has, both in limited time and in the distribution of the wealth of my gifts.
  3. Be merciful.

Likewise, if I believe there is some sort of God, but think He or She has taken a permanent vacation, rendering me an agnostic, what kind of journey would I choose?

  1. Learn to deal with people knowing that they never go away.
  2. Take care of myself, but also not come across as unfeeling to the needs of others.
  3. Learn the art of forgiveness.

So in like manner, if I’m going to be a believer in an Eternal Creator, what are the three things that define my trinity of precepts?

  1. I’m told that if I don’t love people, then my love for God is built on a false premise.
  2. I’m instructed that if I give, it shall be given unto me.
  3. I get mercy, released for my inadequacies, by the amount of mercy I give to others, and I am judged in like manner.

You see, when you look at it from that perspective, whether you’re Bill Maher, an atheist, or Ricky Gervais, who considers himself to bounce between agnostic and atheist, or Billy Graham, who is the face of the faith crowd–when it comes to human life, you’re left with the same basic alternatives.

I guess as long as you can escape the ridiculous traditions of religion, it might be nice to believe in God just in case the heaven thing turns out not to be hype.

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Enough Stuff… January 6, 2013

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child surrounded by toysThere may be nothing more frightening than seeing a child or a teenager in the possession of great sums of money. Since prudence has not yet arrived on the scene and wisdom is somewhere in the distant future, money can often be the vehicle to disaster rather than the key to peace of mind.

We all know this. Yet for some reason we still persist in the notion that possessing more THINGS will free us from the burdens of poverty and set in motion a miracle of happiness in our souls.Since I have decided to become a child in 2013, I need to realize that my greatest requirement is not money.

Children need security.  Your immediate question, I assume, will be, “Well, what is security, if not money?”

Since a child has no bills in his or her name, no mortgage to negotiate nor car payment to fret over, to a child, security is to live in a worry-free environment. As I have traveled around this country and even to other lands, I have noticed that joy has very little to do with circumstances or the quality of the enclosure wherein you place your bed. Joy is the by-product of being content with your present layout without complaint.

So I have seen children in Haiti playing with a ball that was made out of mud, dried and hardened in the sun for better tossing possibilities. They were squealing and clapping like they were on some American Junior Soccer team wearing $100 uniforms, having paid a $200 entrance fee, nibbling specially purchased granola bars and sipping exotic waters at $5 a pop. The Haitian children felt secure … because they were worry-free.

So is it possible to have enough money but still be nervous about losing your position, and actually make your household a place of miserable uncertainty? Absolutely.

You know what I’ve learned? We in America have enough STUFF. We just need to learn how to spread it out and use it better.

Children need security in a worry-free environment. So how do we make it worry-free? Keep it simple. Your vacation should not look like the travel schedule for the President of the United States. Your weekend of planned family activities should not cost more than your monthly electric bill.

Don’t get cheap–get creative. Children want to enjoy themselves in a worry-free environment where they feel secure. It is not old-fashioned to think that you can still take your family out into a tent in the woods, sitting around a fire toasting marshmallows, telling ghost stories and have a roaring good time. You may have to turn off the cell phones and the I-Everythings–and just absorb the available giggling possibilities.

We have enough stuff but we still don’t feel “stuffed”–secure–and because we don’t feel secure, we worry, and passing worry onto your family complicates the lives of those who are nurtured by simplicity.

So I am going to stop chasing the American dream because before my eyes it has turned into a nightmare. I am going to cease to pinch pennies only to suddenly and extravagantly spend too much money on nothing, but instead, disperse my funds more evenly, to create the greatest blessing for dollar value.

I am a child of God who needs security by living in a worry-free environment that is kept simple. No wonder Jesus said to stop thinking about what you eat and drink. After all, we all know where our next meal is going to end up. And whether you spent five dollars on it or five hundred doesn’t really matter when it reaches its destination.

  • Enough stuff.
  • Enough worry.
  • Enough complication.

Enough said.

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