Thou Shall Not Kill

I don’t know about you, but I’m thoroughly disgusted with the gun violence in this country. It has to stop. We can’t legislate common sense and mental stability, but we can pass legislation and the necessary administration that make the ability to obtain handguns more difficult by those committing heinous actions.

I know there are the second ammenders that are against any rigidity, but with rights there comes responsibility. Could you imagine if the automobile was available during the creation of the constitution and it was protected the way the right to bear arms is protected? It might have sounded something like this: “What do you mean you’re going to regulate how fast I can go! It’s my right to go as fast as I want. Inspections? You want me to prove my car’s in good shape? I’ve got to register my car? I don’t want the government to know anything about my car.” Seems pretty ridiculous doesn’t it. But we accept regulation and the responsibility for transportation, that which was designed and engineered for our convenience and don’t accept the responsibility and regulation for that which was designed for killing.

During this election year we have to get our priorities in order. Please let those who are running for office know that it’s time we get this right. That rights are accompanied with responsibilities and guns are kept out of the hands of those not responsible.

The 2016 Race

As Pericles stated in the 5th century BC, “Just because you don’t take an interest in politics doesn’t mean politics won’t take an interest in you.”

I know it must be difficult taking an interest in politics with most debates seeming like afternoon soap operas; but we must not lose sight as to the importance of the coming elections.

Out of the name calling and pettiness, a direction will arise and a leader will emerge. Keep the faith. Watch the debates and keep the popcorn warm.

Your American Dream

The very first dream

I was the very first dream.

I was the prayer prayed each and every night.

I allowed poems to be written, songs to be sung.

I made wagons give way to locomotives, ships’ sails to engines that prowled the seas.

I allowed villages to become cities with heights that scraped the skies.

I stayed until I was not welcomed. I left seeking new arms to embrace, new minds to enflame.

I lived near the rocky coasts of the Aegean and then Mare Nostrum for a brief time.

The quill disappeared with the appearance of type to spread my words to each soul that

could read, that could hope, that could dream.

New lands as new thoughts occurred when minds were sufficiently stretched that their sacred

shores would become temples of secret prayers.

That is how I found you or may I say, that is how I allowed you to find me.

I thought you worthy and stood with you at Bunker Hill, Valley Forge, and finally at Yorktown.

I made sure your path remained illuminated and gave you Washington, Franklin, Jefferson, and

Thomas Paine.

You stumbled, so I gave you Lincoln, Roosevelt, and Martin Luther King.

I gave you senators, congressmen to represent your thinking and courts to hear your

grievances.

You wanted the promise of change and I gave you the freedom of choice.

Think of all the blessings borne of my name; for I am FREEDOM and I

come at a dear price. I must be revered. I must be valued, studied, and pursued. I must never be

taken for granted.

If you do as I ask, I will never desert you.

I shall always remain your American Dream.

Starry, Starry Nights

Once again, I find myself breaking a newly formed promise. My most recent blog post departed from my adorable cats to address the horrible condition of mass killings in our nation. I promised to get back on board with that which gives joy and pleasure. But I was recently informed that an old friend had just passed away and my thoughts are filled with her.

I first met Jody after the Kabbalah center I attended on a regular basis closed. I didn’t know Jody at that point. She chose to attend Shabbat service in New York City. I had attended services at the center in Ardmore. After the Ardmore center closed, Jody allowed our group to use her home for monthly Kabbalah meetings.

Her home was as Jody warm and filled with cats and dogs. At the meetings, Jody served coffee, cakes, and wide smiles to the twenty plus individuals crammed into her living room. For all the accolades that fell before Jody, the one that fit her best came from one that had no speaking voice.

I remember one particular meeting. It was on a pleasant springtime Sunday afternoon. Jody left her home’s back door open so the cats could wander in and out from the house to a fenced yard.

I was standing in the dining room when my attention was drawn to a squirrel, which wandered in from the yard. He hoped onto the dining room table and took a nut from a bowl. He then calmly exited to the yard. I was amazed. This little creature was completely at peace and able to transcend the din from people, dogs, and cats to retrieve a nut. I asked Jody about it. Her reply was totally nonchalant, typically Jody. “Oh, he does that all the time. I leave the back door open for him.”

I didn’t bother pointing out to her how untypical this was or how wonderfully untypical my new found friend was. The little squirrel instinctively knew that Jody was one to be trusted. Jody was a caring, loving, nurturing person.

Now she is gone and as I think of her, lyrics from one of my favorite songs by Don McClean fill my mind.

“This world was not meant for anyone as beautiful as you.”

For Those They Loved

Hello Friends;

There are so many things to blog about during this invigorating time of year. As summer turns to fall and the trees put on their beautiful coats of the season. There’s back to school with all the bustle that entails. I could write about my cats, all fourteen of them and all the merriment they represent. Instead, I must write about a topic that pains and brings sadness to my heart.

Another shooting has occurred. Another senseless spilling of blood has robbed mothers and fathers of their sons and daughters. Students in their senior years searching for knowledge. Younger students looking to improve their lot in life. And those just looking to increase their knowledge, their wisdom gunned down inside the halls of learning.

It’s almost a perverse, sick joke that such places are selected for death and desecration. Places that offer hope, these should be the temples of safety. Instead, they were selected to be the graveyard of dreams.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve had enough. I’ve had enough blood-letting. I’ve seen too many families bury their loved ones. And, I’ve had enough of politicians doing nothing, when doing nothing was in their best interests. It’s time to take to the streets. It’s time to mobilize our thoughts and our actions. It’s time in a time of election to inform the powers to be that we are not going to sit idly by and watch the slaughter continue. We may not have the monies of an NRA. But we have each other and we have the vote. We can hold feet to the fire of those running for election to either make this cause their cause or to look for new employment. This should be our mantra. This should be our cause.

For all that have died. For all the families and friends who have died with them, let us say no more.

My Thoughts

I live in a house with fourteen cats. They give me the privilege of their company by feeding them twice a day, cleaning nine litter boxes twice a day, and watching them stretch out on a couple of beds, couches, and various chairs.

It’s been over twenty years since I’ve been a cat man. I was introduced to the feline wonders by my former wife. During that period of time, they had a profound impact on my life.

At first they were viewed as pets, cute and playful. They kept me company through the painful process of divorce. Then an amazing transformation took place, not with them, with me.

I began noticing that which was always there, that which previously I failed to notice. I looked but did not see. My fabulous felines were demonstrating acts of friendship, courage, love, being unstoppable, and most of all, they lived each moment with the complete joy of being alive. They stopped being pets and emerged to what they always were and always will be, my most precious companions.

I know what I discovered is not unique. I’m sure you have been blessed with precious companions. That makes me feel real good; good for all you two legged and four legged critters.

If you wish, view my web page. http://cattalesaspiritualjourney.com

Thank you.