Monday, December 21, 2015

A Holiday Message from my dear brother Loren

This is the Age of Muscular Macho Militarism.  The Age of Steel.  The full force of sheer madness is upon us. When has it ever accomplished anything, anywhere? Is this how we want to live? Is this the future we want for our children?

I was musing about this when I got a message from my brother Loren, from somewhere in the great beyond. Frankly, I was caught off guard and surprised.

"Fran, this violent age is a prelude to something better."

“Loren, is it you? You think this violent age will lead to something better?”  I have learned to become silent, to be calm and open, to hear his words.

“I think muscular macho militarism, as you call it, will have its day, and will in time usher in a period of peace and poetry, to continue with some alliteration.”

“The Age of Peace and Poetry?  That's hard to believe, Loren. Have you heard about Paris, San Bernadino? Do you know what's happening in Syria, in the Middle East, in Eastern Europe, in Africa, and right here in the USA? ”

“Yes, from this vantage point it looks pitiful, senseless.  I also remember what history teaches.  That violence begets more violence, that the world grows weary of it, and that in tiring of war, humankind turns to peace; one age follows another.  Like the Renaissance followed the Middle Ages."

"And like Ecclesiastics," I whisper. "To everything there is a season.

"Yes, that's it. To everything there is a season.  That's why I see peace hovering in the wings of the disasters now dominating our planet.  I see Mother Earth imploring her children to reach for something better, to lift themselves up from despair.  I see softer virtues ready to rise up as people around the globe reject patriarchal values and the tragedies of violence in all its forms." 

"I'm not sure about 'softer virtues,' Loren.  The world's a mess.  We are as far from 'Peace on earth and goodwill to man' as we can be.  How long have I been sending out holiday cards with peace messages?  Decades.  Since Vietnam.  This year, when I sent out cards with "PEACE" emblazoned in white against a flaming red background with the symbol of a dove and a peace branch, I hesitated.  It seems so futile."
Jud's Chrismas tree

“The world's stuck in war mode now, but it's temporary."

"It's temporary?"  I'm incredulous but I stay calm. I want to hear my brother.

"The planet is mucking around in the wrong values, but this has to change.  The vast majority of people on planet Earth do not want this way of life. They are grieving, so many in poverty, in war zones, in desperate straits,  homeless, so many longing for peace.  Yet, the world’s leaders, Jihadists and Crusaders, macho thinkers of one sort or another, do not see this reality.  They only see the planet, our Common Home as Pope Francis calls it, as a terrain of brutal competition and war games. They do not see or seek the truth.”

“And you think this is temporary?  You think peace and good will are in the wings? That people everywhere will grow tired of war, and embrace peace, the humaniites, the arts, like a new Renaissance, a rebirth?" 

“I do.  I think the goddess will have her day.  The God of all religions will embrace her and deliver the message to earth, which is now hanging in the balance.  And the world will be ready to hear it.  Every religion will welcome the mother alongside the father.  Balance and harmony will fill the earth with the peace and joy foretold by the thoughtful prophets.  I think of Rumi, one of your favorite Mystic poets. Of Pope Francis and his message of "One human family." And the words to the song, "It came upon a Midnight Clear:"
It came upon the midnight clear,
That glorious song of old,
From angels bending near the earth,
To touch their harps of gold!
'Peace on the earth, good will to men,'
From heaven's all gracious King!
The world in silent stillness lay
To hear the angels sing....

For lo! the days are hastening on,
By prophet bards foretold,
When, with the ever-circling years,
Shall come the Age of Gold;
When peace shall over all the earth
Its ancient splendors fling.
And all the world give back the song,
Which now the angels sing.
“What powerful words! It's as if I am seeing them for the first time, a whole new meaning!  So you see an "Age of Gold" coming? When peace will "fling its ancient splendors" over all the world?  Incredible. You have become an irrepressible optimist!”

“It won't be tomorrow, dear sister.  It may take a while.  But the goddess is patient and kind.  She understands that the current age has to expose itself, in all its brutal force, for the world to see, to bear witness.  Only then will people grasp its meaninglessness, its worthlessness, and become willing to unite in peace and fellowship.  The Age of Steel will turn into the Age of Gold.  Leaders will follow the will and dreams of the people on Earth.  When the battles end, when the storms of man subside, an era of peace and poetry will rise up from the ashes to bless the earth.”  

“What a great Christmas message you bring, Loren.”

Loren? There was a long silence.  Loren had drifted away.  I tried to keep the conversation going, and realized I was just talking to myself.  

As some sadness crept over me, I looked out the windows onto Main Street Sylvania and watched the holiday lights fill the growing darkness.  "Silent night, holy night," I heard the angels sing. 

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