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POWER OF LOVE

Do you know what I discovered last Saturday?  I got zapped by the Holy Ghost while watching the Royal Wedding.  In fact, when it happened, I got up and did the Holy Ghost jig.  (For the uninitiated, it’s what happens to you when the spirit of the Lord infuses your body with so much love and joy that you just can’t contain yourself and start dancing like nobody is watching.

Holy Ghost Meme hannahsong

From the Pinterest page of Jane Anne Marriott

Before you go all “judgy” on me, let me explain.  I am not an Anglophile, nor am I a celebrity watcher.  So it wasn’t Meghan and Harry, George and Amal, or Serena and Alexis, or Oprah “per se” who got my jig on.  (Although, had I received an invite to attend the wedding, I might have lost my mind and my cool right there in Windsor Castle—I’m not gonna lie.  I’d be all like:  “SERENA…OPRAH…OH MY GOD, THERE GOES IDRIS ELBA…I LOVE YOU IDRIS—I’M ALMOST 70 YEARS OLD, BUT I COULD STILL HAVE YOUR BABY!!!!”  Maybe that’s why I never got an invite—they couldn’t trust me not to act a fool.)

Royal Wedding 1 Jeff Koterb, Omaha World Herald NE

Cartoon used by permission: Jeff Koterba, Omaha World-Herald, NE

Before the wedding, I was feeling kind of in the dumps—really out of sorts.  There have been a rash of “living while Black” racial incidents throughout our country that made me want to crawl into my bed and never leave my house.  (As one of my Black friends said recently: “I thought we’d gotten past all this shit.”)   Cops are being called by White people on Black people who are simply trying to have a meeting in a coffee shop, take a nap in one’s own dorm common room at Yale, have a Sunday picnic in a park, check out of an Airbnb one had rented, and golf with one’s girlfriends.  In other words, instead of misguided White people just calling the cops on Black people who are merely “Walking while Black” or “Shopping while Black” (that was egregious enough in years past and has happened to me countless times), cops are being called on Black folks for “Living while Black.”  It seems the Confederate flag wavers, Confederate statue lovers, and Jim Crow crusaders will not stop until their sewer stench of racism permanently covers our beautiful country from coast to coast. That’s enough to make every self-respecting Black person and righteous White person want to stand up and holler, and holler, and holler:  “WHITE FOLKS—STOP CALLING THE POLICE ON BLACK FOLKS WHO ARE SIMPLY TRYING TO LIVE!”

White Privilege Christopher Weyant The Boston Globe MA

Cartoon used by permission: Christopher Weyant, The Boston Globe, MA

And then along came the Royal wedding.  Speaking of Black folks “living while Black,” wow!  No wonder I got the Holy Ghost jig.  In a country and a family where the deepest color on Royal display is the ginger color of Prince Harry’s beard, new blood marched triumphantly into the chapel in Windsor Castle and announced:  “Guess who’s coming to dinner, breakfast, Christmas, Easter, and every day in between all over this blessed kingdom!”

FIRST:  You had your Black princess.  True, she looks White, but as with Barack Obama, sometimes we have to give White folks “a spoon full of honey to make the medicine go down” when it comes to getting out of the way so that us Black folks can fulfill our destinies.

SECOND:  You had your Black Gospel Choir singing, “Stand by Me” and “This Little Light of Mine.”  There are more sophisticated gospel songs, but these were perfect for an interracial couple’s marriage.  As part of an interracial marriage for 39 years, I know that standing by each other is what the Royal couple will need most when racism constantly washes up on their shores.  (It doesn’t matter how “light skin” Meghan is, haters still gonna hate.)  I kept on dancing, but I started crying because there is no greater love than two people who step over the line of their individual cultures and pledge by their union to be an example of the all-encompassing inclusion of God’s love.  I know this because I’ve lived it.

THIRD: You had your Black 19-year-old cello player (Sheku Kanneh-Mason—a British prodigy) who played Maria Theresia von Paradis’s “Sicilienne,” Gabriel Faure’s “Apres un reve,” and Franz Schubert’s “Ave Maria.”  I have heard many a cello soloist (it is my favorite string instrument), but I have never, ever heard a soloist so magnificent who played with such passion.  I stopped dancing when he started to play.  I froze in place and I worshiped God.

FOURTH:  You had your Black Bishop from America (Rev. Michael Curry), the 27th and current presiding bishop and primate of the Episcopal Church in the U.S.A.  That’s when my Holy Ghost jig turned into the “Whip” and the “Nae-Nae,” segued into the “Joe-Joe,” and then cooled down with an “Electric Slide for one” with a final dropping to my knees to embrace the word of the Lord.  That Black bishop took me to church and had me shouting “Hallelujah, Amen, Glory to God” over his message of love!

Rev Curry Meme

Suddenly, a mere Royal wedding became an “aha” moment for me—calling me toward something higher and greater than the cares of this world or the momentary titillation of celebrity watching.  The Black bishop was encouraging me (us) to discover the power of love to make of this ‘old world a new world.’  He said:

“There’s power in love. Don’t underestimate it. Don’t even over-sentimentalize it. There’s power, power in love.

“There’s power in love. There’s power in love to help and heal when nothing else can.

“There’s power in love to lift up and liberate when nothing else will.

“There’s power in love to show us the way to live.

“Set me as a seal on your heart… a seal on your arm, for love is as strong as death.”

Rev Curry 1 Stephane Peray Thailand

Cartoon used by permission: Stephane Peray, Thailand

When the wedding was over, my husband and I looked at each other with tears in our eyes, and we both realized that we had witnessed something far greater than two people getting married who had more money than God to pull off an occasion that was watched by hundreds of millions of viewers.  I discovered later that Harry and Meghan had picked the scriptures, the Bishop and approved his sermon text, the cellist, the choir and what the choir sang, and I knew then that they recognized the power that their love and union could have on the world, if they did it right.  If you ask me—judging by their wedding ceremony—they are off to an excellent start.

Royal Wedding Imgflip

Courtesy of imgflip.com

ELEANOR’S SELAH (“AHA”) MOMENT ABOUT THE ROYAL WEDDING

I am discovering two other awesome things since the wedding.  First, Rev. Michael Curry (who hardly anyone knew until the wedding) is leading an Evangelical march to the White House for a candlelight vigil tonight (Thursday, May 24th) titled: “Reclaiming Jesus: A Confession of Faith in a Time of Crisis.”  He will be joined by many magnificent Evangelical Protestants (Jim Wallis) and Evangelical Catholics (Fr. Richard Rohr).  They are the sane and good-hearted Evangelicals who you never hear about because the misguided Evangelicals who surround Trump make so much idiotic noise.  Rev. Curry’s group are protesting Trump, his lying ways and racist choices, as well as the compromised Evangelicals who put Trump in the Oval and keep him propped up in office no matter what he says or does. They are marching for the restoration of the love of Christ. How convenient of God to blow up Rev. Michael Curry’s profile in time enough for a vigil of truth in front of the White House.  I think I’m going to get the Holy Ghost jig all over again.  (Check out the marchers’ manifesto for reclaiming our government and country for inclusion, grace, and love:  http://www.reclaimingjesus.org/ )

Second, did you know that Megan is not England’s first Black royal?  The love bug hit another royal black woman by the name of Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz from the 18th Century (the queen that Charlottesville, VA is named after).  Charlotte was the wife of King George III, and was Queen from 1761 until her death in 1818.   And here’s a bit of info that will set your feet a dancing:  According to the reporter Lindsey Matthews (Town and Country Magazine) Queen Charlotte’s sixth son—ninth child (Prince Augustus Frederick)—was a progressive and a radical agent of love “who advocated for Catholic emancipation, the removal of civil restrictions on Jews and dissenters and parliamentary reform, and supported the abolition of the slave trade.”  Want to know something else?  The gift from the Queen of England to Meghan and Harry was the title of Duke and Duchess of Sussex—the title last held by Harry’s great-plus-plus uncle Prince Augustus Frederick.  I think the Queen was in on the joke with the kids. If they are going to be change agents of love, mercy, and grace, they might as well have the hereditary titles to go with it.  Good one, Queen Elizabeth.  I knew I liked you for some reason other than the fact you are reported to daily throw down a gin and Dubonnet before lunch, wine with lunch, and a dry Martini and a glass of champagne in the evening…and you’re 92 freakin’ years old.  You go girl!

Queen Charlotte Meghan Markle WP

Queen Charlotte and the Duchess of Sussex—both Black, both living large//Courtesy of Global News

 

(AND ALL THE BLACK FOLKS ARE SAYING:  “UH, HUH…I COULD HAVE TOLD YOU THAT QUEEN CHARLOTTE WAS BLACK THE MINUTE I LAID EYES ON HER.  THAT PAINTING SAYS IT ALL!”)

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INSPIRATIONAL QUOTES FOR OUR TIMES

“Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm; for love is strong as death, passion fierce as the grave. Its flashes are flashes of fire, a raging flame. Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it.”Song of Solomon

“This is also a moment when our public discourse is loud and harsh. My prayer is that, weary of such noise, we turn back to the source of all calmness. That source — that source is God. Everything we lack, God has in abundance, compassion, sensitivity, patience and a boundless love. So again, I want to thank all of you for this honor, and I thank God for giving me the precious energy that lets me live my life as an artist who every single day seeks to expand my capacity to love.”Janet Jackson (2018 Billboard Awards)

“We believe two things are at stake: the soul of the nation, and the integrity of faith. We believe the issues are more deeply theological than merely political or partisan. We believe it is a time for prayer and response, for contemplation and action.  

“In this moment of political, moral, and theological crisis in America we are deeply concerned about the resurgence of white nationalism, racism, and xenophobia; misogyny; attacks on immigrants, refugees, and the poor; the regular purveying of falsehoods and consistent lying by the nation’s highest leaders; and moves toward autocratic political leadership and authoritarian rule.”–“Reclaiming Jesus: A Confession of Faith in a Time of Crisis.”

***

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/

 REFERENCES

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/christian-leaders-call-out-the-heresy-of-trumpism/2018/05/23/00f026c2-5eb5-11e8-9ee3-49d6d4814c4c_story.html?utm_term=.415b321f36f1

http://www.reclaimingjesus.org/

https://www.cnn.com/2018/05/22/politics/bishop-curry-white-house/index.html

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/20/opinion/meghan-markle-royal-wedding-race.html?action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=opinion-c-col-right-region&region=opinion-c-col-right-region&WT.nav=opinion-c-col-right-region

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5756521/Bishop-Michael-Curry-says-no-idea-sermon-hit-Royal-Wedding.html

https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2018/05/20/612798691/bishop-michael-currys-royal-wedding-sermon-full-text-of-the-power-of-love

https://www.refinery29.com/2017/11/182878/black-queen-charlotte-meghan-markle-biracial-royal-family

https://www.townandcountrymag.com/society/tradition/a20751869/duke-of-sussex-anti-slavery-abolitionist-royal-wedding/

https://www.elle.com/culture/music/a20859445/meghan-markle-prince-harry-royal-wedding-kingdom-gospel-choir-members/

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Eleanor Tomczyk and “How the Hell Did I End Up Here?” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 
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Posted by on May 24, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

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IN REMEMBRANCE OF . . .

Do you know what I discovered recently?  On at least four occasions I almost started a war over the course of the past three months.

See, what had happened was . . . I was going along and minding my own business—horrified like all good, sane people in the world that the self-proclaimed Emperor who is strutting around naked trying to become our President was rapidly being perceived as fully clothed and an acceptable POTUS—when I ran into some situations that pissed me off as much as he does.

Emperor Trump Clothes Steve Sack The Minneapolis Star Tribune

Cartoon used by permission:  Steve Sack, The Minneapolis Star Tribune/Cagle Cartoons

In the interest of full disclosure, people piss me off all the time!   IMHO, I am just one step from becoming a misanthrope.   The Universe just better be glad that I am not a witch or a Being entrusted with super powers, because there would be a whole lot of toads hopping around here who had formerly been humans before they encountered my wrath because of something stupid they did that got on my every last nerve on any given day.

A month or two ago, I saw a White woman who was waiting in her car at the entrance of my housing community.  As I passed her in my car, I innocently caught her attention, so I smiled as any normal human being would.  (I didn’t have any reason not to smile:  my bowels were not stopped up as is my normal state of being, and the sun was shining.)  I didn’t know her from Adam and she didn’t know me from Eve, but as I came eye to eye with her, instead of a smile, she gave me the finger—just because she apparently had nothing better to do that day but to piss off the Black woman.  WTF?

A couple weeks ago, I passed by the biggest Confederate flag draped over a major highway in Virginia—one that leads to the airport and to Washington, DC.  This flag of hate is on private property and it is clearly there to cause provocation as its ginormous size and position are obviously intended to be noticed on Mars.  I don’t remember that flag being there before the massacre of Black church members in Charleston, SC by the White supremacist who they befriended, and then he repaid their hospitality by gunning them down in their own church.  Consequently, the good people of South Carolina led by their governor pulled down the Confederate flag from the State Capitol grounds because it had become a symbol of hate to so many.  The fact that the Confederate flag is purposely being flaunted in my face in the state of Virginia on a road that I travel all the time . . . well, pissed I am!

Several days ago, George Zimmerman shamelessly auctioned off the gun he used to kill an unarmed Black child (Trayvon Martin) for $250,000 while he taunted Trayvon’s parents, trolled President Obama, and said he was selling the gun to keep Senator Clinton from becoming President—all the while puffing on a cigar and looking like Jabba the Hut. Why, I oughta . . .

What wouldn’t I personally love to do in order to bring justice to all these situations—from the personal slight to the demonic?

But . . . because I’ve been saved, sanctified, and baptized in the Holy Ghost (plus, God purposely didn’t give me super powers because I couldn’t be trusted), those people did not join the land of the frogs.  I just found myself fanaticizing in the middle of the night one evening, when I couldn’t sleep from too much coffee, about what I’d do if I could become a super-hero vigilante.  All my imaginations boiled down to waging . . .

this-means-war

Google Meme

For the luddite who returned an FU salute in response to my beatific smile, I imagined that I zapped her arm so that it froze in position with the offending finger on full display and stayed that way for a month (no, six months)—in front of her kids, at church, in the grocery store, at her work, and while she had sex with her husband or whomever.  Maybe next time she’d think twice before she shot that finger into the air at a total stranger that hadn’t done anything to her.

Of the Neanderthal Confederate flag in-your-face-rebel, I imagined creating my own drone that would firebomb that flag every night—never missing a night—until he or she ran out of money to replace it or just got tired of being terrorized by me and replaced it with a massive sign that said:  “We surrender!  The war of Northern aggression is over, and the South got its ass kicked!”

Of the heartless, disgusting excuse for a human being that is George Zimmerman, I luxuriated in the revenge fantasy of . . . oh, never mind.  I’ll keep that one to myself because ignoramus George is such a litigious little stupid fellow he would not be able to tell that what I write is satire/fantasy and he would come after me with one of his many guns claiming he was “standing his ground.”  But let’s just say my vigilante fantasy about George Zimmerman involved a river in the Amazon Basin filled with flesh-eating piranhas and Georgie-Porgie going for an afternoon swim.

This means War

But in the midst of my 3 a.m. revelry, an old Negro spiritual popped into my head:

“I’m gonna lay down my burdens,

Down by the river side,

 Down by the river side,

Down by the river side,

I’m gonna lay down my burdens,

Down by the riverside,

And study war no more!”

As that old song floated through my brain and down into my heart, I suddenly realized that I was “studying war” to fight the hurtful, unjust, and spiteful burdens of my tormentors.  I know that more often than not, humans are called upon to lay down their burdens of hurt and let go of the right to “study war” in retaliation to wrongs committed or there would never be any peace in any corner of the Earth because somebody is always actin’ the fool.  If the truth be told, warring is hell, and it takes the better woman or man to forgive and let go than it does to strike out in anger and retaliation.  I remembered the verse that Peter, Paul, and Mary added to this spiritual when they co-opted it to be used as an anti-war protest song during the Vietnam War:

“I’m gonna lay down that atom bomb

Down by the riverside . . .

And study war no more.”

But I am also not a fool, and I know that the Book of Ecclesiastes is right about the human condition when it says:  “There is a time for peace and a time for war,” because if brave men and women didn’t fight against tyranny and monsters, who will always be with us, peace would never have a chance to reign and people would never be able to prosper.  I just think that the human heart chooses to “study war” more often than it needs to for reasons that are less than righteous, and in the end thousands of young men and women needlessly go to their graves.

Fallen Heroes Dave Granlund Politicalcartoons com

Cartoon used by permission:  Dave Granlund Politicalcartoons.com

This Memorial Day, I’d like to encourage us all to forget about the cartoon of an election that is giving sane people everywhere massive heartburn issues and take the time to remember those people who have given their lives, their limbs, and sometimes their sanity when our country declared that there was “a time for war” to keep us safe.   I do not judge their sacrifice or their call to duty.  I owe them a deep debt of gratitude.  But I would also like to remember those ideologies that we need to cling to that makes us great as a country when we decide to courageously “study war no more”:  love of peace, quest for stiff gun controls, equality for all races, religions, and genders, and grace and tolerance for our fellowman.

May God bless us all this Memorial Day, and may God bless these United States of America.

Remember their names Dave Granlund cagle cartoons

Cartoon used by permission:  Dave Granlund Politicalcartoons.com/Cagle Cartoons

INSPIRATIONAL QUOTES

 “I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality… I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.”—Martin Luther King, Jr.

 “Older men declare war. But it is the youth that must fight and die.”—Herbert Hoover

 “Mankind must put an end to war before war puts an end to mankind.”—John F. Kennedy

“Imagine all the people living life in peace. You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us, and the world will be as one.”—John Lennon

 “I am tired and sick of war. Its glory is all moonshine. It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, for vengeance, for desolation.  War is hell.”—William Tecumseh Sherman

ALL QUOTES BY www.brainyquotes.com

Spare Others John Cole The Scranton Times Tribune

Cartoon used by permission:  John Cole, The Scranton Times Tribune/Cagle Cartoons 

WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR?  Check out www.eleanortomczyk.com

WANT TO READ THE AUTHOR’S LATEST BOOKS?  Monsters’ Throwdown and Fleeing Oz are both on sale at Amazon (Paperback and Kindle).

War Meaning Mike Lane Cagle Cartoons

Cartoon used by permission: Mike Lane, Cagle Cartoons

REFERENCES

http://www.cnn.com/2016/05/24/opinions/us-needs-a-new-nuclear-policy-helfand-thurlow/index.html

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2016/05/26/the-things-america-hasnt-apologized-for/?hpid=hp_rhp-moretopstories2_no-name%3Ahomepage%2Fstory

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Eleanor Tomczyk and “How the Hell Did I End Up Here?” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

 
6 Comments

Posted by on May 26, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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