Tag Archives: religion

Let There Be Light & Lox

Today’s prompt from City Sonnet is L…

Chanukah lightsLox bagel cream cheese

~*~

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Images are mine.

Song Lyric Sunday ~ La

Song Lyric Sunday

It took me a while to come up with a song for Jim’s “la” this week cuz fa-la-la-la-la was stuck in my head! Arghh! But finally one floated into my brain. It’s “Shambala” by Three Dog Night. The lyrics were written by Daniel Moore in 1973. It was recorded by B.W. Stevenson and Three Dog Night, but only the TDN version was a smash hit. Stevenson’s is shorter and more country/twangy ~ it peaked higher in South Africa than TDN’s. TDN’s version peaked at 3 on the Hot 100 in the US.

The lyrics refer to the mythical kingdom of Shambhala, which is supposed to be in the Himalayas. It’s mentioned in various ancient texts, according to Wikipedia. But first the temple was in Peru. What? Idk! Religious stuffs… whaddaya gonna do? Just roll with it. Anyway, in this religion all people are good and kind and cooperate with each other so everyone is free from stress and full of joy. That sounds nice. Okay then…

Shambala by Three Dog Night

Wash away my troubles, wash away my pain
With the rain in Shambala
Wash away my sorrow, wash away my shame
With the rain in Shambala
Ah, ooh, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Everyone is helpful, everyone is kind
On the road to Shambala
Everyone is lucky, everyone is so kind
On the road to Shambala
Ah, ooh, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
How does your light shine, in the halls of Shambala
I can tell my sister by the flowers in her eyes
On the road to Shambala
I can tell my brother by the flowers in her eyes
On the road to Shambala
Ah, ooh, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
How does your light shine, in the halls of Shambala

~*~

Image from Jim Adams

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Holiday Oversharing

Hanukkah Bitmoji

Melanie has questions!

QUESTIONS FOR THE WEEK 12-23-19:

1. Do dogs ‘talk’ (communicate) with their own species?

I think so. I’m not sure if all that barking means anything other than to warn critters away from “their” territory, but dogs seem to have a complex system of body language to communicate with each other. So do cats and other animals, even bugs. We aren’t that special. And no I didn’t read any of the links; I’m just jabbering away, as I do.

2. Have you ever had to work on Christmas Day?

Had to, no, but it’s a good day for me to get work and other chores done, since I don’t celebrate Christmas. This year, I’ll do some work in the morning before heading over to a friend’s house to watch movies.

Merry Christmas Bitmoji

3. If someone gifts you something that you immediately loathe, do you pretend to really like it anyway or are you brutally honest about your opinion?

I find something about it to like and a kind comment to make. “Brutally honest” is a euphemism for being an asshole ~ it’s one of the terms you see a lot on dating sites from men who revel in being jerks. Yuck.

3. Which popular drink, found during the Christmas season most often, is called “milk punch?”

Don’t know, sounds gross.

4. How many ghosts show up during “A Christmas Carol?”

Just had this Q in a trivia game and luckily one of my teammates knew it was 4.

5. Are you all about the holly and jolly or more about remembering the alleged ‘true’ meaning of Christmas?

Neither really, since I celebrate Chanukah, and that only mildly. But I’m not a humbug either… I’m happy for other people’s joy and will go to parties, sing, dance, and be merry.

Meowy Christmas Bitmoji

6. Please share a memory or thought about the holiday season if you’d like, whatever kind of celebration you may observe.

When I was in 5th grade the music teacher asked if anyone was Jewish. Unfortunately, I had told someone I was so she pointed to me. The teacher asked how I celebrated Chanukah and I said I didn’t. He was confused and made a joke about Santa not celebrating Christmas. Everyone laughed and I felt humiliated. I hated him. And them. But it wasn’t their fault. In 6th grade, I stayed home sick on music days around that time to avoid this scenario repeating.

I was a half-Jewish girl who didn’t celebrate the Jewish holidays because my father had no interest in them. My mom liked to put up Christmas lights and decorate cookies, so that’s what we did. We had Easter bunny baskets too. I grew up with all the standard American stuff, even though I didn’t really belong to it. It was easy to give it up when I married a Jewish man. Later, after our divorce, when faced with various dating options, I decided I didn’t want to observe holidays in my home that I no longer felt connected to. (I am fine with not doing anything for any holidays however.) Why do I feel connected to my father’s side and not my mother’s, when he wasn’t even interested in his own holidays? I don’t know.

Dizzy dreidel Bitmoji

~*~

Images from Bitmoji

©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Sharing in a Pear Tree

Melanie has some questions now!

QUESTIONS FOR THE WEEK 12-16-19:

• Do you enjoy receiving Christmas cards through snail mail? 

Sure! I like when people personalize them too and do photo cards or write some stuff about what happened during the year. 😻

• Do you like the taste and/or smell of peppermint?

It depends. Not a huge fan of chocolate/mint combos, but I do like peppermints alone for a breath freshener.

• What is your least favorite holiday side dish?

Mashed potatoes. Do not understand the love people have for this boring white food.

• What is the coolest (best) gift you ever gave someone?

I usually go with safe gifts like books or gift cards rather than something cute or funny, so I don’t think any of my gifts could be considered cool, but people usually like what I get them. My daughters used to cringe at the adorable things I’d find for them, which is probably why I switched to more practical presents.

• Bonus question because I thought it was nifty:   What is a Christmas song that makes you cringe?   (Please insert the word “Holiday” for Christmas if Christmas isn’t your thing or bothers you or something)

I don’t mind Christmas songs at all. You’d think as a Jewish atheist I might turn up my nose at them, but I don’t. I especially like some of the rock versions like Bruce Springsteen’s “Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town.” 🎶

What I can’t stand is Adam Sandler’s Chanukah Song. I feel bad saying this, since I understand he had good intentions when he wrote it, but his voice just grates on my nerves. I can’t bear listening to it at all, and I guess there are 2 or 3 versions now? Idk. I don’t like any of his movies either, except 50 First Dates. The thing is, Jews had plenty of songs before Adam came up with this, and it’s not that hard to figure out who is Jewish (or partly) in Hollywood, if that’s important. We didn’t need this song as he seems to imply in it. But even so, he was trying to do something nice, so I shouldn’t be mean. But…

~*~

Image credit to the Bitmoji app.

©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Holiday Share

Tangled in Christmas lights

Melanie has questions…

What’s your remedy for the Holiday blues?

I don’t get the holiday blues… I just get cold. Yep, even in Southern California. Due to a mix of meds, genetics, and lack of exercise, I am almost always freezing 🥶 to death. This is depressing because I sit around my apartment huddled in layers of blankets and feel too emotionally paralyzed to get up and move around, which would make me feel better. When I am forced to go out, I do okay, but it’s hard to move around much when you’re already bundled up. Thanks in advance for the advice I know is coming in comments… I’m sure I haven’t thought of any of it before. 🙄

Frozen Bitmoji

Your favorite beverage (if it differs) during the holiday season?  If it doesn’t differ, just answer the ‘what’s your favorite beverage” part. 

I love eggnog, especially with booze, but it’s cold and alcohol triggers migraines. 😢 So, the next best drink is delicious hot black tea with orange spice and a dash of milk. This is my favorite drink all year long, btw.

This one has been asked before, but what’s your take on pumpkin spice?

Indifference. Don’t particularly care for it as a beverage, but in muffins it’s yummy… and pie with graham cracker crust! 🥧 I do like the scent of anything pumpkin or apple mixed with ginger/cinnamon/cloves. Not sure why everything is love/hate these days; there are loads of things I mildly like but don’t love, and others I prefer to pass up but won’t freak out about if they end up on my plate. Dial it down. Same goes for politics, music, movies, etc. Not everything has to be so extreme.

Is there is a person or god connected with your holiday? 

I am a Jewish atheist, so yes we have the sky guy novel… and no I don’t believe he is real. I am math/science all the way… those are my “faiths.” That doesn’t mean humans know everything or ever will; it just means I don’t feel the need to leap to supernatural explanations for stuff we haven’t been able to figure out (yet). And when it turns out we’ve been wrong about something, we can revise our ideas, unlike some religionists…

• Who are they and do you believe in them?

I don’t believe in any supernatural beings, though they are good material for poetry and fiction. I lump all gods, ghosts, genies, vampires, etc. in the same category. Once you admit one, why not all? Why a god and not a werewolf? 👹

That said, I find militant atheists irritating. It doesn’t bother me that peeps believe in the supernatural as long as they don’t try to convert me or tell me I’m “lesser than” or immoral or whatever. To each their own. Who knows, maybe I’m wrong and there is a god, or a bunch of ’em. But people telling me so won’t convince me. What would? My own direct experience. That’s right. I would need Mr. Big to appear and say hey his own self.

• If you do not believe in these people or gods, does the celebration/honoring of that being, bother you in any way (e.g., ignored, dismissed, angry, etc.)?

Only a few people I know celebrate the Jewish holidays. Mostly I see those around me celebrating Christmas, etc… I think there should be more of that. I love having days off work for other people’s holidays when I don’t have to do anything but laze around. I especially enjoy Christmas lights and cookies and sales, along with the fact that I’m not expected to cook a goose or buy anyone gifts.

Gratitude:

Share a song that you enjoy during this Winter season (whether it’s Christmas, Hanukkah, The Winter Solstice, Kwanzaa and so forth.

I adore this version of “Silent Night”…

~*~

Images from Bitmoji

©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Song Lyric Sunday ~ Drifter

Song Lyric Sunday

Thanks again to our marvelous SLS host Jim Adams for coming up with today’s array of prompts. I chose drifter, which is exemplified in “The Wanderer.” Bono of U2 wrote this song and Johnny Cash sang lead vocals; it was released on U2’s 1993 album Zooropa.

I went out walking through the streets paved with gold
Lifted some stones, saw the skin and bones
Of a city without a soul
I went out walking under an atomic sky
Where the ground won’t turn and the rain it burns
Like the tears when I said goodbye
Yeah, I went with nothing
Nothing but the thought of you
I went wandering
I went drifting through the capitals of tin
Where men can’t walk or freely talk
And sons turn their fathers in
I stopped outside a church house where the citizens like to sit
They say they want the kingdom
But they don’t want God in it
I went out riding, down that ol’ eight lane
I passed by a thousand signs
Looking for my own name
I went with nothing
But the thought you’d be there too
Looking for you
I went out there in search of experience
To taste and to touch and to feel’s as much
As a man can before he repents
I went out searching, looking for one good man
A spirit who would not bend or break
Who could sit at his father’s right hand
I went out walking with a bible and a gun
The word of God lay heavy on my heart
I was sure, I was the one
Now Jesus, don’t you wait up, Jesus, I’ll be home soon
Yeah, I went out for the papers
Told her I’d be back by noon
Yeah, I left with nothing
But the thought you’d be there too
Looking for you
Yeah, I left with nothing
Nothing but the thought of you
I went wandering

~*~

©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Morning Has Broken

Mindlovemisery music challenge

I’m not much of a spiritual person usually, but certain experiences can make me feel… something… more. One of these is the song “Morning Has Broken” sung by Cat Stevens on his 1971 album, though it’s actually a much older Christian hymn first published in 1931. It’s such a beautiful song, so simple and yet so powerful. I recently mentioned that if I could travel through time I would like to view the earth before people spoiled it.

Morning has broken like the first morning
Blackbird has spoken like the first bird

Blackbird

Sweet the rain’s new fall, sunlit from heaven
Like the first dewfall on the first grass

Wet flower

In his MM post that kicked things off today, Jim featured Cat’s song “Where Do The Children Play.” That’s a good question to ask these days too, when everything is being built over and it’s harder to find open space for nature to do as she will.

~*~

©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

FPQ37: Agree to Disagree?

Fandango provocatively asks…

Is it possible anymore to disagree without being disagreeable?

He is mainly referring to the topics of politics and religion. I’m going to answer from my own personal experience, not what I perceive to be “out there,” which sometimes is fake fighting, designed to generate flames for views/clicks.

I used to be a more intolerant atheist and have mellowed as I’ve aged. I see the value in many Jewish customs ~ my family is Jewish. When I do have an issue with a particular practice (such as turning off the phone on Saturday), I find it much easier to agree to disagree than I did years ago. I find that life’s experiences have made me more open-minded to different ways of doing things.

As far as friends/bloggers, I’m not seeing any big arguments over religion. Maybe I’m not looking for them, in which case… great! I realize that people are still murdering each other over religion, or allowing the powerful to manipulate them into it, but that’s nothing new.

Now, let’s move onto politics. It appears that everything is horrible everywhere. But I don’t think this is something new. It seems more intense and in our faces all the time because of the internet and because the news channels have to produce content 24/7, but we could shut it off. I know. But we could. Pretend you’re Jewish and every day is Saturday.

People (was gonna say men, but Prof L may be reading) have been screaming about politics for centuries. They’ve been dueling over politics. Slandering and libeling each other. When were people civil? We had a scorched earth war in the US because we couldn’t work out our differences. Maybe we’ll end up in another one.

Can I personally disagree about politics without being disagreeable the way I can about religion? It’s much more difficult. I don’t really care if someone believes in an afterlife ~ this doesn’t impact me. I don’t believe it, and this doesn’t affect them. We can still be friends. It’s harder to be friends with someone who believes that the US is only for white people. In fact, I’d rather not be around someone like that at all, and vice versa, I’m sure.

~*~

© 2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Sssssestina 🐍

I am Shesha, coiled in space,
And I have a thousand heads;
I float on the sea of Vishnu bliss.
When everything comes to an end,
I will be all that remains
To begin the world over again.

In the Aztec, I am worshipped again,
Given my own calendar space.
I am etched in crumbling remains;
I dominate fragile human heads
And hold up buildings end to end,
While lords dance to me in bliss.

Charmers use me in their bliss,
Playing their flutes again and again,
As children gather at market’s end.
Unwinding in my basket space,
I sway to the motion of their heads;
Oblivious to music I remain.

A healer’s symbol I remain;
Now researched for medicinal bliss.
My shape adorns the logo head.
And I’m respected in church again–
Some, out of the mainstream space,
Who have faith enough to face the end.

Yet, it’s the same in the end:
The garden mythos that remains
To overwhelm the public space,
The Bible story, Heaven’s bliss;
Most will name me evil yet again,
But they choose not to use their heads.

Some see the diamond in my head,
The symmetrical patterns end to end–
They value the beauty in me again.
I am part of the ancient remains
And exist in my own plane of bliss,
A differently scaled dimensional space.

My multiple heads, all-knowing, remain
Alert to the coming end, hooded in bliss,
Ecstatic to begin again and reinvent space.

Snake

~*~

Written for Sestina @ d’Verse

Discovered via Mists of Indigo @ Tao-Talk

~*~

~*~

© 2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

FPQ33: The Moral Life

Fandango provocatively asks…

“Do you believe that one can be moral without believing in God or being religious, or do you believe that you must believe in God in order to have a moral compass and to live a moral life?”

For some reason, I feel I’ve answered this before, but maybe it wasn’t an FPQ. In any case, my answer is… it depends on the “you” who we’re talking about.

Surprised I didn’t flat-out say no? Well, that’s due to my arrogance. If we’re talking about me, then my answer is no. I don’t believe in God, and I’d say I’m pretty darn moral. Not perfect, but who is?

There are people who need belief in God to be moral though. I know the hardcore atheists will come at me for this, and I don’t care. Not everyone can “just decide” to do the right things, whatever they are. They need a reason beyond feeling good that they’re doing the right things. They need the promise of a reward and the support of their community. What’s wrong with that? Nothing!

I don’t need those things because of my huge ego. It’s self-sustaining enough to know I’m doing the right things and I can tell myself I’m good. How do I know what the right things are without a God? That’s the funny thing. With or without one, it turns out the things are not so different because, as maybe you know, men wrote all those rules.

And the basics hold up across systems. Treat others well. Don’t steal my parking space. Etc.