Love It Or Leave It

I am sitting on the balcony, cup of coffee in hand reading the news and listening to music.

My pal Mr. Redding comes on and the familiar bars of Hard To Handle start to play and I suspect if I had an an out of body experience I’d see my head nodding along with the music.

Most days I might focus on my usual favorite lines (see below) and smile at memories I won’t share here and that would be that.

But not today, no today these words catch me.

Action speaks louder than words
And I’m a man of great experience

Experience Is Everything

Two weeks into the sh*t show we call the Trump administration my experience has made me shake my head and wonder what sort of alternate reality we have entered.

There have been 48 bomb threats made against Jewish institutions but nary a word if any said about this by the administration.

If I mention that to certain people they tell me you can’t trust the media and that the bias is there to make their favorite unqualified conman look bad.

Reckless, feckless and foolhardy presses ahead by trying to use Twitter as a bully pulpit and sending out his minions to push propaganda that suggests anyone who doesn’t agree is ignorant or evil.

I push back and ask some of his supporters why they don’t question his actions because they mimic things he complained about in the past and get no answers.

Push again and some tell me to love it or leave it.

Ah, now you are pressing some buttons I recognize and I hear the ding of the bell and think about heading out towards the center of the ring.

Experience is everything and I see ours is different but when I want I am pretty good at picking apart an argument using words to paint a picture you understand

Facts & Figures

The opening to Crazy Train is playing and heavy guitar is pushing me to stop thinking and go exercise.

Got to put my five miles in and do some lifting because mind follows body and neither is operating at peak efficiency…yet.

Sunday mornings are like that and they don’t require maximum effort…most days.

Today I am thinking about my obligation to my children, friends and family to push back against the love it or leave it crowd and to not just accept what I am told.

Granted that comes naturally to me, I never have been particularly adept at just accepting the company line or listening to what I am told to do.

Sometimes I go along to get along, but it doesn’t mean I believe what I heard.

*****

And that is the problem now, so many of us don’t believe what we are hearing and the divisiveness is ripping us apart.

Regardless of whether Trump serves a month, a year, four or eight some relationships have been wrecked and only time will tell if it is permanent.

That is because if your faith is shaken in the ability of those who are supposed to serve the collective good you question those who just go along and accept it.

So I circle back to facts and figures and think about how to use them to move, motivate and convince others.

The cynic in me says it sounds pretentious and obnoxious and reminds me there are others who are doing the same now.

Others who hold diametrically opposed views to my own.

Four Years Later

Some might say I should refer to a time when I sojourned in Texas because I stayed here for about a year…the last time.

I’d tell you that is not how I would characterize it because the plan then had been to stay for much longer.

Had things gone as I had intended this post would be different because I would be talking about watching my 4th Superbowl as a Texan and not my second.

But things didn’t go as I had expected so today will mark my second but that doesn’t negate how this day will always mean something to me.

It is not because of the game or who is playing but because it is a milestone marker for me.

I had never expected to live anywhere besides LA or maybe Jerusalem and yet Texas became home.

Today I’ll watch the game and root against the Deflaters and their overrated quarterback.

At some point I’ll think of the gang and remember how many times we used to watch the Superbowl together and smile again.

We talk, but many of us have moved elsewhere and gone our separate ways so new traditions have replaced the old ones.

*****

Texted an old picture to my son last night.

He is around 3 or or 4 and the two of us are on all fours, except he is comfortably placed upon my back.

Kind of funny to look at it and see how much has changed.

It is in the living room at my parent’s house, they sold and moved out of there about a year ago.

I have a full head of hair and there are no lines in my forehead and of course the kid on my back has changed the most.

16-years-old with a voice that is not as deep as mine but enough that it still shocks me.

In the body of the text I wrote, “I can still carry you.”

It wasn’t said with bravado or to be macho, just a reminder that sometimes we all need a hand to pull us out of a hole.

I know from experience because I have fallen into and climbed out of a few of them.

It was always easier when I let others help me, but I wasn’t good about that because I like doing things myself.

But I like reminding him and friends/family that sometimes all you have to do is ask for the hand and it will be there.

I am tired of juggling chainsaws, bowling balls and torches but I am not kind of guy who is dumb us to respond to simplistic remarks like ‘love it or leave it.”

Won’t be the kind of father who teaches his kids not to push back against that kind of foolish rhetoric either.

I am not alone either, there are more than a few in numbers growing larger.

*****

ELO is playing Xanadu and I am smiling, thinking about that roller skating craze that hit when I was a kid.

Memories of bright blue skies and thousands of us at the park or hundreds at the rink.

We all find our ways and means to sustain our effort and figure out how to find new  wells of strength to draw upon.

Doesn’t really matter whether those events we think of as being extraordinary were ordinary as long as they fit our particular truth.

I know where my center is and never lose sight of that north star I follow in the night.

Two weeks in, we’re just getting started and I am cool with that because I am ready for the long haul, it is what I am good at.

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2 Comments

  1. Stan Faryna February 5, 2017 at 12:17 pm

    Several things here to conversate (sic) with you.

    Anti-semitism

    Yes. We must always be vigilant of the creep and rise of anti-semitism. The failure to protest it, sometimes, is driven by an attitude that such protest and concern represents undeserved privilege, affirmative action or political correctness. This is a mistaken presumption. Because, historically, anti-semitism has been a signal (however strange in the correlation) of an undermining of the dignity and value of the human person, of civil and human rights, and the cause of freedom.

    Conclusion: A genius President would address this woo woo with specific emphasis on the bomb threats.

    Jerusalem

    I imagine the adventures of Jack and Josh in Jerusalem would be amazing to read. Maybe, Jerusalem is still in your future. I kinda hope so.

    Polite Society

    Where did it go? I have been trying to encourage intelligent and passionate dialogue about the things we need to think out, but I’m failing. Maybe, it’s me. Some seem to think of me as a dangerous proto- Nazi. Other’s view me as a scheming proto-Marxist. Especially when I insist that – without love, there is no leadership going on and, yeah, no hope.

    Unfortunately, I need cigarettes to continue. I’m off to the store…

    • Joshua Wilner February 7, 2017 at 7:17 am

      Hi Stan,

      As always you provide much food for thought.

      I am concerned about the increase in hatred not just that which is specific to my people, but to all. As you said it sometimes is tied or connected to other bad things and well…

      Jerusalem will play a role again in my life, how and when I can’t say, but I expect it.

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