Do you know what I discovered this week? In a little over a month’s time, I will turn seventy years old. (Say what?!) I know—how the hell did I end up here? Friends of long ago are beginning to die off, hip and knee replacements are de rigueur among my set, and most women my age and older would like to strangle the man who discovered Viagra because we all thought “The War Against our Dry Desert Nether Regions” would end in our septuagenarian years (original joke tribute to the great Robin Williams—God rest his soul). I’m not sayin’ me and my man are there yet; I’m just sayin’ what the 70 plus sistas are confessing to me after a couple glasses of wine.
Anyway, my life is slip-sliding away and what consumes my waking hours? Donald Trump. No, that’s not completely true. What is consuming me is the way certain factors of the Christian church (Evangelical Right-Wing Christians) have gone all in for this devil and placed him at the right hand of God—just a little lower than Jesus Christ as they daily shout: “Trumpee, Trumpee, you’re our man—if you can’t save us, no one can.”
They seem willing to excuse any egregious behavior on Trump’s part, assuring that his base will keep him in political power for the long haul rather than call him into accountability. In the meantime, I keep watch and pray that God will save us—deliver us from this man and his minions. But it is beginning to dawn on me that, like all the other times the Christian church has been on the wrong side of history (Crusades, pogroms, slavery, Civil War, segregation, Nazism, Apartheid, Jim Crow, Rock-and-Roll, and Elvis Presley), God is on holiday and this is not going to end soon—or well—because Evangelical Right-Wing Christians wouldn’t know the real Jesus if he came back and shared a fish sandwich with them by the River Jordan.
In the meantime, the chaos caused by our Liar in Chief (2000 false or misleading statement in first 355 days in office according to the Washington Post) consumes my every waking moment. It does so because I’m addicted to the news. I claim it is because I need to keep in the “know” in order to write my blog. In reality, I’m trying to maintain control by looking for the moment my fellow believers “get woke” and do the right thing by abandoning the Trump ship. Unfortunately, this is not a Hollywood movie, so my chances of seeing an immediate and conclusive happy ending is pretty nil, and I’m not getting any younger.
Therefore, I’ve put myself on a news “diet.” (I know I’ve said this before, but this time I mean it!) I’ve relegated the news to an hour or so via the TV in the morning to catch the headlines, and then I’m done. (Have you ever noticed how the news keeps featuring the same headlines all the damn day long while coupling them with the reporters’ conjectures and fears, which causes me such anxiety that it gives me endless heart palpitations?) If anything happens after my morning download, I’m sure I’ll hear about it eventually because “good news can wait; bad news will refuse to leave.” I need to do this because my obsession with the sell-out of my faith is causing me too much anxiety and I’m missing the best parts of my life while inching closer to the grave every day. I keep waiting for God to show up, but the dude really seems to be on vacation in a universe far, far away.
I’m returning to meditation (5 to 10 minutes a day) and I’m turning my heart, soul, and mind to the family event that deserves all my Trump-free attention: Baby-girl is getting married this summer! I want to live in every minute of this momentous occasion because who knows how long I get to hold onto my short-term memory as I start the slip-n-slide into the grave (May it not be anytime soon, thank you Jesus, hallelujah, amen). I already know I’m going to be an emotional wreck at the wedding, so I need to put plans into gear that will help me absorb everything about the occasion.
First and foremost, my mother-of-the-bride dress is being made next month (it was supposed to be constructed in May, but I put it off another month), and I’ve been so focused on the stupidity happening with Trump and my sell-out fellow Christians that I’ve fallen well behind my weight-loss goals. So I added kettle bell weight lifting (a form of torture invented by the Russians in 1704) right after my daily meditation to hasten my slenderizing quest. I just started the kettle bells and I will not tell a lie: it is not going well. At each session, I start out with the best intentions but half-way through I lose interest or energy, and I don’t know why. Wanting to live in the moment and keep it 100%, I decided to record my sessions so that I could analyze them and course-correct myself. I exercise along with a DVD that is headlined by a seven-foot Nordic blond bimbo who doesn’t have a fat cell in her DNA, but I keep telling myself if I just keep on keeping on, I’ll look like her in time enough for the wedding this summer. I refuse to be a fat mother-of-the bride. Below is a transcript of what I recorded—maybe you can figure out where I’m going wrong.
BIMBO: Let’s get started with some basic warm ups. Suck in that core; tuck in that butt, and let’s get this party started!
ME: Bimbo-lady, I am ready to do this thing. I relegated Morning Joe to one hour—tops. I’ve meditated on all my blessings for ten minutes, and I’m going to call Baby-girl later today to find out how her wedding dress fitting went so we can savor that moment together.
BIMBO: Alrighty then…Lift up your smaller kettle bell and swing. Squeeze that booty. Lift those knees! PUSH IT! Count of sixteen, then eight, then four. Now repeat!
ME: Ah, excuse me…Bimbo lady, I hear a “ping” on my cell phone. Could be my grandson. Maybe it’s an emergency. Let me put you on pause for a moment. I’ll get right back to you ASAP—I promise. What’s this? It’s not my grandson…it’s a news alert: EVANGELICALS STUBBORNLY CLINGING TO SUPPORT OF TRUMP WHILE WALKING A TIGHT ROPE OVER THE FLAMES OF HELL.
ME: Sorry, Bimbo-lady, it won’t happen again. I’ll try to concentrate. I really did think it was an emergency message from my darling boy.
BIMBO: Let’s pick up our heavier weight and start to swing between our legs and up over our heads. This should feel really good right now, so let’s go for broke. JUMPT IT! MOVE IT! GET THAT BODY MOVING!!
ME: (God, this feels like torture. Help me, Jesus!)
BIMBO: Don’t give up on me now. Up and down—down and up. The lower you go, the more muscle you’re building, and the more calories you’re burning. Swing from the hips. How low can you go? Squat that butt—squeeze those glutes. MOVE THOSE HIPS, PEOPLE!
ME: [Gasping for air] Wait a minute, Bimbo lady. I heard another “ping” on my phone. This could be one of my kids needing my sage advice. Let me put you on hold. Oh, noooo! It’s another news flash: KANYE WEST OPENLY DECLARES HIS LUST FOR DONALD TRUMP—SAYS TRUMP IS WORTH LOSING HIS SOUL TO DO SO. UPDATE TO FOLLOW AS WE GATHER MORE DETAILS OF A BLACK MAN GOING ROGUE.
ME: Sorry, Bimbo-lady. It won’t happen again.
BIMBO: Are you slouching those shoulders? How low can you go? Don’t quit on me now. 4 more, 3 more, 2 more, 1 more…This feels soooo good, doesn’t it? LET’S GO AGAIN! I COULD DO THIS ALLLLLLL DAY!
ME: Shit! Uh, maybe I’ll see you tomorrow Bimbo-lady. I just got a Charlie-horse in my ass from the last squat. I think I’ll crawl over into a corner and meditate some more or maybe grab a snack if I can ever walk again.
ELEANOR’S SELAH (“AHA”) MOMENT
I am discovering that I need to turn off the news notifications on my phone as well as the TV because just when I think I’ve gotten out of the news madness and calmed my mind, those phone “pings” suck me right back in. We are in our current national madness for the long-haul with all of its chaos, lies, and delusional Christian sycophants. I fear that there are no easy solutions, no instant answers, and no quick comebacks. This is a war that will leave our country damaged for a very, very long time, and me constantly, maniacally obsessing over that fact isn’t going to heal us any sooner or make it go away any faster. I’m finally waking up to that fact. In the meantime, how then shall I live: purposefully, with deep gratitude for all the goodness that I do have in the moment—savoring that time before it too will be snatched away by death. Just because I’m living in the moment though, I while never cease to fight the good fight. The issue is knowing when, where, and how to fight that war, because there is a time and a season for everything, and the current season for me is to relish in the preparation and celebration of joining my family with another incredible family through the sacrament of marriage.
“There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance…
TRUMP AND THE WORLD’S MADNESS CAN WAIT BECAUSE NOW IS THE “TIME” FOR A WEDDING IN THE TOMCZYK HOUSEHOLD.
INSPIRATIONAL QUOTES ON MINDFULNESS
“The best way to capture moments is to pay attention. This is how we cultivate mindfulness.” – Jon Kabat-Zinn
“The present moment is the only time over which we have dominion.” – Thích Nhất Hạnh
“Mindfulness isn’t difficult, we just need to remember to do it.” – Sharon Salzberg
“The way to live in the present is to remember that ‘This too shall pass.’ When you experience joy, remembering that ‘This too shall pass’ helps you savor the here and now. When you experience pain and sorrow, remembering that ‘This too shall pass’ reminds you that grief, like joy, is only temporary.”
– Joey Green
THE AUTHOR’S LATEST BOOK: “The Fetus Chronicles: Podcasts From my Miseducated Self” is on sale now at Amazon!
WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR? Check out her website at www.eleanortomczyk.com
WANT TO HEAR THE AUTHOR’S LATEST INTERVIEW? Check out the podcast interview with Leo Brown: http://breadboxmedia.podbean.com/e/what-if-it-is-true-can-you-find-faith-in-darkness/
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