Sunday, June 01, 2003

Poem for Sunday and Ranting on Religion

Hector the Collector
By Shel Silverstein

Hector the Collector
Collected bits of string,
Collected dolls with broken heads
And rusty bells that would not ring.
Bent-up nails and ice-cream sticks,
Twists of wires, worn-out tires,
Paper bags and broken bricks.
Old chipped vases, half shoelaces,
Gatlin' guns that wouldn't shoot,
Leaky boasts that wouldn't float
And stopped-up horns that wouldn't toot.
Butter knives that had no handles,
Copper keys that fit no locks
Rings that were too small for fingers,
Dried-up leaves and patched-up socks.
Worn-out belts that had no buckles,
'Lectric trains that had no tracks,
Airplane models, broken bottles,
Three-legged chairs and cups with cracks.
Hector the Collector
Loved these things with all his soul--
Loved them more then shining diamonds,
Loved them more then glistenin' gold.
Hector called to all the people,
"Come and share my treasure trunk!"
And all the silly sightless people
Came and looked ... and called it junk.


Yesterday since it was drizzling I let my husband take our younger son to soccer while I dragged my older son out to get Father's Day and family birthday and anniversary cards and presents. Then I went to the new metaphysical store whose existence I discovered just two days ago from my oldest local friend, , where I found a Tarot deck I had never heard of before -- the I Am One deck by Maya Britan. It looks pretty strongly Crowley-influenced and I'm more familiar with Rider-Waite and Kabbalistic themes, but I knew I had to get it because the symbol on the back is a Star of David over a pentagram...a Jewitch star.

Then, while I was paying, I started talking to the woman ringing me up. She was telling me about her Celtic-Shamanistic path, then she looked at the cards and saw the same thing I did and mentioned that her name was Tamar and sure enough, someone else who had ended up on the Goddess path via a Jewish background. She defines herself as Pagan, though, and I will never define myself as anything other than Jewish despite the rather enormous divergence between my beliefs and those of pretty much every Jew I have ever met.

Speaking of religion...last night I tried to watch Black Hawk Down but it was just too violent, and maybe I would have had an easier time had I not spent the late afternoon reading Reform Judaism magazine, which first had me all riled up with an article on the unholy alliance between Christian Zionists and right-wing Israelis to steal as much Palestinian land as possible (do those Israelis not understand that Christian Zionism posits their own extermination and the annihilation of the world as the God-driven destiny of the Middle East?) Those later Left Behind books, of which I have read only excerpts, are absolutely terrifying. And the Jewish religious fanatics are just as scary. Save me from any country run by zealots.

And then, right after this article (in a Reform magazine!) rationalizing that taking American Christian money to "protect" Israel's borders might not be such a bad thing, they had an article on Jews Against the Occupation, with lines like, "These activists seem to have little use for history..." and "Jews For Peace In Palestine and Israel...lobbies lawmakers for a more 'balanced' (codeword for pro-Palestinian) U.S. approach to the Mideast conflict." Well, yes, someone has to speak for the Palestinians, especially considering that the U.S. government is under the sway of aforementioned Christian Zionists whose definition of "peace in Israel" doesn't have room for Muslims OR Jews in the long run, and most Jews get lambasted for suggesting that it's both possible and desirable for Israelis and Palestinians to co-exist. The writer is sarcastic about the claims by Not In Our Name that they are engaged in tikkun olam, healing the world. Will a thousand more years of war over Jerusalem heal the world and serve God's will? Not in MY name, asshole.

Yet it costs a bloody fortune to join Tikkun, the most progressive big Jewish organization in the U.S. Yeah, as Rabbi Lerner says, it's still less money than joining a synagogue, but I can't afford for this to be an either-or; I belong to a synagogue that isn't ideologically ideal for me because it has great educational programs for children and families. Am starting to think that I was right ten years ago...I need to go to div school. Or yeshiva. Maybe Glastonbury needs a rabbi.

Gacked from about twenty people:

Snake Daemon
Your SNAKE DAEMON shows that you are dangerous,
clever, and disconcert others with your
effortless power. You function best when left
to yourself, as other people's minds work too
slowly for your liking.
What Animal Would Your Daemon Settle As?
brought to you by Quizilla

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