Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Penance and the Promised Land

I'm so tired of competition for who is holier than thou;
What really matters in the scheme of salvation is what we're doing now.
We all have differing strengths and different temptations, too.
What may pull me farther from my path may not appeal to you.
Are we attempting to make amends for all the wrongs we've done?
Are are we being "reborn" as if our lives on earth had just begun?

I don't think it is for God that penance is necessary,
And the focus on pain being the purpose simply makes me weary.
Self-discipline in changing our ways can be a joyful task,
And its power in healing relationships is something in which we can bask.
How joyful I feel when someone has brought harm to me,
And then attempts to help heal these wounds in front of our community.

Some have a time of atonement for their sins against their god and others,
But how many of us have help in making peace with our sisters and brothers?
We are forced to put on righteous airs for fear of being fought;
Eternal shame, blame, and war is what this path has wrought.
Maybe one day all our earth will become the promised land,
But I don't think this can happen until we become our best humans.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Healing Family Feuds

In our search to make peace with the gods
We continue to sacrifice
The need to make peace with all creation,
And we continue to pay a dear price.

There is no place where we can
Seek solutions in our family feuds.
We allow strangers in our courts
To decide who and what is good.

This is not the way to solve
Problems with those we love,
So we medicate our consciences,
And sweep our problems under the rug.

We seem to have progressed no further
Than the ways of Cain and Abel,
Lying about our guilt
Instead of laying it on the table.

We could lay down our swords and sorrows,
Once confessions are given and accepted.
The restart button could be pushed,
Instead of living in continued rejection.

Being born again could include
As ceremony of re-entry
To communion with our fellow humans
Once our fear and anger are set free.

Many people sin in secret;
They don't let their truths come out,
But admitting our faults and starting over
Is what New Orleans is all about.

New Orleans is a city of great passion,
A city of celebration of The Spirit and sin.
We must simply be aware of these things
In choosing what we let come in.

We used to have a Catholic culture of
Saturday afternoon confessions,
Keeping the sins of yesterday
From becoming our obsessions.

Now, I'm not sure what people do
To slow themselves down and think.
Instead of examining their souls,
Perhaps they simply have a drink.

It is not so different than anywhere;
We all have bad things we have done.
But I sure miss the days when we had
A confessional to which we could run.

It's not that I think the way to
Absolution was well administered;
It was simply that it was cleansing
To have our failings heard.

What I wish they handed out for penances
Is the directive to make amends
With all those we had hurt that week,
Ourselves, our enemies, and our friends.

Perhaps we could add a codicil
That would offer extra absolution
To those who seek to cure cancer
And clean up the earth's pollution.

Extra penance would be needed for
Those who take from the poor,
Like those who profess to be the voices of God
While standing in greed's door.

Maybe we all need sinners' anonymous
Something like going to AA;
It would be a place where each of us sinners
Would have support to live by what we say.

Wouldn't it be nice if
Our churches would become
A place for laying down the burdens
From which we generally run?

They could be places where we
Pledge to seek reconciliation.
Not simply places where we go
Straight to the celebration.

We could replace our courtrooms
With centers for seeking peace,
Where members of our churches
Speak for those who are the least.

Instead of priests, we'd have mediators;
All confessions would be confidential.
But having dialog with both warring parties
Would be seen as essential.

Perhaps we could then get past the sins
Of the fathers being passed down to their sons.
We could begin to reclaim the harmony
In which humanity was begun.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Delight vs Might

When will man stop trying to define God?
All we had was the sun and the sod
On which to base our greatest visions
Until we discovered nuclear fission.

If all matter is energy, who can say
How that energy will evolve today?
It seems to me that we should now see
The Life Force is contained in you and me.

It is also in the air and the rain,
Which is re-created again and again.
I can see energy only its manifestations;
This is how I see God, as all of creation.

But we get in a hurry to make things right
As if any one people has the greatest insight.
Our greed and impatience to possess perfection
Is the proof of The Spirit's ultimate rejection.

We make a mistake by misunderstanding time;
Creation doesn't evolve on any one life line.
We had to become enlightened for the gods of our fathers
To be seen as The Spirit in ourselves, sons, and daughters.

If we throw open our hearts and minds in gratitude,
And enjoy the process, it may set the mood
For the infilling of The Spirit of Wisdom and Delight
Where we have emptied our desire for greatest might.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Angst and Elation

If we can't feel gratitude, what else is there in life?
Do we really want to focus on the pain and the strife?
We are given so many gifts through interaction with creation;
It seems to me that we all have daily reasons for elation.
But so many seem determined to point out the black clouds,
As if no silver linings are, in their worlds, allowed.
Is it because they are afraid to eagerly embrace
What the next sorrowful event in their lives may erase?
Do they live in the dark because the light hurts their eyes?
Do they prefer their familiar angst to joyful surprise?
Are they camouflaging their vulnerability so others won't attack?
Why can't they let down this guard with those who have their backs?
Do they trust no one to join them in rejoicing
Or is it a way to take no risks watching what others are voicing?
I am convinced that many of us live only one half of ourselves,
And seek companionship with those who allow us to keep our shells.
I prefer relationships which are about mutual admiration,
Not those that are a competition to achieve the highest station.

Lost and Found Love

One of the greatest gifts my daughter ever gave me is when she told me that, even though her father and I were divorced, she always knew that we both loved her. With all the doubt and guilt I assume most parents carry about their child rearing, to have an adult child proclaim that, through all the roller coaster rides of this thing we call life, she never lost the thread of love that extended over five hundred miles between me and her father's homes is a miracle, in my estimation.

Is there anything more valuable in a person's life than knowing that you are loved? Not pampered, but loved for who you really are, and helped to define who you are meant to become?

The enmity between he and I has long since been put to rest, but that's not to say that it doesn't rear it's ugly head when we least expect it. In times of extreme stress, why is it that our worst selves surface? Is the real purpose of our souls to keep shining a light into our darkest hours and guide us back out of the pits of our desperation?

Our grandchildren are now almost grown, and I like to believe that they all share in this feeling of well-being that apparently permeates my daughter's childhood memories. There is nothing more pleasurable to me than watching my children parent the next generation. I firmly believe that the faces we put on God are based on our own experience with our parents and other authority figures. As long as my children and grandchildren feel real love, I believe their spirits will soar and they will become the best they can be.

I pray that we can continue to keep the focus on the most precious gift of our short marriage: our children and their children, down through many generations.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Animal Instincts

I think it is important that we face the fact
That our ancestors were animals so we don't slide back.
Even though we became human, it's important in doing what's right
To temper our passions, or the strongest win every fight.
The animal kingdom, without humanity, is survival of the fittest,
But we have been given the capacity for compassion, bit-by-bit.

Our animal natures seek companionship of like creatures;
Compassion for others should be our most enlightened feature.
We must seek this Spirit for ourselves and for our young
Making the best of the human nature in which we should be strong.
The spark of The Spirit in each of us that we call the soul
Must purposely bond with others who help to make us whole.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Seeing The Spirit

When we limit the face of God to only what we see,
We take away the grace that should be allowed to flow free.
A person who has never known a loving father
Is not likely to, with God the Father, bother.
A person who had brothers who tortured him or her for fun
Is not apt to think that Jesus is a brother and God's son.
Those who feel The Spirit in the sun, the wind, and rain
Are more likely to, earth's sense of wholeness, reclaim.
Some of us have hearts to whom words mean a lot;
For others, words heard, are quickly forgot.

For them, scriptures with their mysteries must be acted out
By those who have absorbed the lessons they're about.
Working together toward a common goal is bonding to some,
And when the work is finished, a spirit of unity has begun.
To some a loving touch is their connection to heaven,
And the burdens of their lives, this will quickly leaven.
For others a smile, a shared laugh, or a twinkle in the eye
Gives them the courage to get up again and try.
Whatever helps us to create a world of our better selves
Should be honored as a place where The Spirit indwells.

Friday, August 19, 2011

My Sassy Sister

My sister was so precious
As a small, strong child;
She was also feisty,
Which often made me smile.

Her tenacity got her beaten,
Much to my chagrin.
I often wished that adults
Would let her insights in.

She grew up to disappear
Into many drug addictions;
This is because she wasn't
Honored in her predilections.

She was punished for being earthy;
She was punished for being afraid;
She was punished for following examples,
That our authorities had made.

She is long-dead, but her children
Still carry the pain and shame
That was visited on my sister
In our parents' god's name.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Righteous Anger and Relationships

Righteous anger is allowed;
Otherwise it becomes a shroud
Of depression, and so much worse;
It literally becomes a curse.

The anger and hurt not expressed
Is left for others to digest.
Sins of the fathers are passed to sons
Since the dawn of mankind was begun.

When will we learn to negotiate
With each other for a better fate?
To say that you hurt me is not the same
As laying on shameful blame.

It is actually the mark of affection
To worry about someone's rejection.
But if we don't admit our vulnerability
We'll walk away instead of saying, "I'm sorry."

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Goodness and the Gift of Years

I'm reading the autobiography of Mahatma Gandhi,
His search for truth for all to see.
His journey was one of self denial,
Which put his family through terrible trials.
I ask myself if these are the reasons
Many religious leaders have no daughters or sons.
Is it fair for martyrs to endanger those
Who, in their families, seek repose?

Perhaps the reason we have been granted long lives
Is to have several years to, for others, strive.
Once we finish bringing up children of our own,
Should we bring more children home?
Or should we serve those who have lost their way,
When there's no danger they'll lead our children astray?
Whatever we do for those in need is God's work,
Which, as members of the human family, we must not shirk.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Defining Despotism

There are those that request that I not say
What is written on my heart on any given day.
But respectfully speaking out is a right I'll defend
And it is on what I believe our sanity depends.
We cannot create justice or right ancestral wrongs
Until we put past prejudices where they belong.
The ability to choose, above power, compassion
Is what makes the lowly animal into a human.
The fear of hell's punishment has created many gains,
We can hope that as fear is calmed, compassion will remain.

The struggle against despotism is won one people at a time;
It wasn't long ago, abuse in our country was declared crime.
Despots declared that their god is like a man,
Because this helped them justify their own plans.
Any voice who declared rule by force wrong
Was branded as heretic and damned by their throngs.
Control by fear and accompanying oppression,
Which included from, their heaven, our rejection.
Fear and respect were taught as the same;
The most powerful would always, victory claim.

It has been a difficult and painful transition
In redefining the roles of women and men.
There are those of us who stay home by choice,
But we and our mates finally have equal voice.
We are no longer willing to be slave and master,
Although there's still debris from the disaster.
It is a horrible shame that those who suffer the most
Are the vulnerable about whose loving care we boast.
Until we put our comforts on the line, to justice defend,
The angry battles in our turf wars will never end.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Perfection and Rejection

The burden of unforgivenness still hangs on my heart
From all the relationships from which I felt I had to part.
It is not a matter of who is wrong and who is right;
It's knowing we're forever banished from each others sight.

Someone once told me that it's easy to be perfect;
If we do nothing, there's nothing to which God will object.
But is this the proper way of being fully human,
Avoiding interaction with our fellow women and men?

Another thing this person said to me rather often
Is that our batting average is what's important to a friend.
But I was taught that all wrongs should be addressed;
We are each responsible for cleaning up our own mess.

I think the people who give life all they've got
Seem to step on the toes of others a lot.
Do they not notice the pain they leave in their wakes,
Or do they trust their good will balance their mistakes?

I'm never sure which approach to this life is best,
Although I have put each one to many tests.
I've lost family and friends in my attempts
To make peace, and hopefully mend our fence.

Because others don't want to get involved,
Many serious disagreements are never resolved.
It would be so nice to have somewhere other than courts
To which those with grievances to address could resort.

I thought that our churches would be my best bet,
But, this belief, I have come to regret.
The people in churches seem more inclined
To, the rifts in relationships, remain blind.

I have come to a decision with a heavy heart,
To choose a path in which, less pain, I'll impart.
How many people, after all, are meant to forever be
A part of each one of our personal community?

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Relationships and Righteousness

Bullying comes from emotions we aren't allowed to express;
In our everyday worlds, there are many things we can't digest.
What purpose does it serve to bring all our frustrations back home,
Leading to the inevitability that we will eventually be left alone?

"Love means never having to say you're sorry" is a bunch of bull,
But this is the kind of thinking in which our world is full.
We must say we're truly sorry to begin again and rebuild trust
But, we've all, to the letter of old laws, been forced to adjust.

Communion with those who care for us should be our common goal;
This is something that, our legalistic religions, from us stole.
If I hurt you and I want to make sincere amends,
This is all the ground on which our relationship should depend.

But the problem seems to continue to be who was wrong and who right.
Why does our society seem to so enjoy a vicious fight?
Those who don't enjoy fighting, turn their heads and walk away;
Are there no balanced, righteous people left on earth to have their say?

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Children's Church

Why do we want to believe that the enlightenment of one
Is more valid than those when human thought processes were begun?
I haven't seen many churches that teach proper respect;
One person has the answers; the beliefs of others, they reject.
Instead of having grumpy grown-ups allowed to set the mood,
I'd like to hear the little children sing out their gratitude.
The children would also give us lectures on what constitutes fair play,
Then they would gladly tell us when we are not walking in the right way.
But instead of allowing our children to call us out on our lies,
We scold our children until, fairness and truth, they despise.
You can't learn to have faith by studying the rules of what's right.
Is it that we are all afraid of our own, and each other's, light?
Why do we hand over to others our powers to perceive?
We are left with deadened souls for which all creation grieves.

Friday, August 12, 2011

No One's Freedom Is Really Free

I would gladly give up any more years,
If I felt I could give them to another.
I may even insist that they only be given
To my grandchild, child, sister, or brother.

In this life on earth, we must make choices,
Many that we really don't want to make.
In a truly moral society,
We'd make many for justice's sake.

We all have a right to our choices,
But our consequences will be born by someone.
By closing our eyes to this reality,
We, from the inevitable, continue to run.

Many march against life's injustices
Because pain of others is easiest to ignore,
Until the world's many inequities
Come knocking at our own doors.

Children are now given the right to sue
Their parents for neglect and abuse,
But without other families to take them in
Their freedoms are of little use.

We create large organizations
And fund government bureaucracies,
Convincing ourselves that these agencies
Will fill all human needs.

We don't insist that people we support
Live by the values of a just society.
We allow them to continue imposing on us
More generations of irresponsibility.

Corporate heads and government leaders
Are sheltered from liability.
Others are left to carry their burdens,
Because no one's freedom is really free.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Is This Proper Parenting?

I'm tired of parents who don't care what their children will be
As long as their children grow up to be "happy."
They seem to set no standards for behavior
As though the desires of the moment are all there are to savor.
Wouldn't we be better off as a society
If each of us helped our children accept responsibility,
Not only for their happiness, but also for a sense of purpose,
Maybe, something like working to make the world more just?

I encouraged my children to find there own way;
I trusted they could hear what The Spirit had to say.
I told them I want them to be good citizens,
Because I believe that is where good values begin,
Citizens of this world and all of creation,
Inviting others to a fairness celebration.
I believe that they, on their own, have come to see
What their greater life purposes are meant to be.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Anti-Abortion or Pro-Personal Commitment?

As a grandparent, I know it is difficult
To firmly discipline without finding fault.
If I do not discipline myself, first and foremost,
I am, in fact, of sin in my children, a host.
This process seems to start in our genes;
So many pro-creators have no moral means.

I would love to live long enough to see a day
That the word "abortion" we would not ever say.
But, is it really better to procreate
In a starving or abusive amoral state?
I think it may be better to return
Babies to God, before they are by us, spurned.

It is the fact of natural woman and man
To want to add to their own blood clans.
It is also true that babies who are defective
Are often, by adoptive couples, rejected.
In principle, we may want all babies to save,
But, in fact, in facing truth, we must be brave.

There may come a time when all children are wanted
And by the protection of separate clans, we'll be undaunted.
There may be a time when no man will rape,
And from the abuse of power all of us will escape.
There may be a time when we hold in our arms
All the vulnerable, to protect them with our own lives,from harm.

Until there is one committed person to claim
Each child we try, from death, to restrain,
There is no real hope for the children to run
To a community in which we would want them to be one.
A village without personal commitment may be
A holding cell, but it is not a family.

Monday, August 8, 2011

A Litany to Life

As a child, we had many names for The Almighty
In our church, they were referred to in litanies.

Even though I do try to understand
The desire to think of God as a man;
Good men create an aura of protection
For which we feel awe and affection.
But the bodies of men can't contain
The glories of all Creation's reign.

It seems to me that it is better
To, our imaginations, unfetter.
While sitting in the shade of a tree,
That tree feels like God to me.
While watching a baby be baptized,
The glory of Faith makes me want to cry.

The darkening skies above my head
Fill me with awe, not with dread.
The endless blue of the skies above
Are a sign to me of Infinite Love.
The dedication it takes to cure cancer
Is, in the scientists, my God's answer.

The time I spend with a friend on the phone
Is God's love, through me, brought home.
The soup that my aunt makes for me
Is another place, Eternal Love, I see.
In the sweat of my loving husband's brow,
I realize that my Eternity includes now.

I will daily sing songs of Infinite Wonder,
For a child's laugh, lightening and thunder.
The fish that feed us from the deep,
The soft, warm bed on which we sleep.
I will not allow others to reduce and define
The varieties of the faces of God that are mine.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Listening to the Enlightened

A soul sister with whom I discuss family life, theology, and spirituality has pointed out that today, in her religion, is honored as the Feast of the Transfiguration of Jesus. This feast honors the tradition that Jesus, at one time in his walk on this earth, was seen by several of his followers as shining with a holy light, speaking with Moses and the prophet Elijah. Her religious tradition holds the belief that the voice of God was heard saying, “This is My Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased. Listen to Him!”

Bishop Iraneus of the second century Christian church is quoted as saying about the transfiguration, "the glory of God is a live human being and a truly human life is the vision of God."

Would that we believed that we are all capable of being transfigured by Grace and that the glory of this Grace would lead us to live truly human lives, shining with this vision of Grace and Glory. Perhaps then all will hear a voice saying, "These are my children in whom I am well pleased. Listen to them."

Friday, August 5, 2011

Suffering vs Celebration

My older sister received a pacemaker yesterday, and I feel that my heart is breaking. My mother's religion has been killing my sister since the day she was born. My mother gave all decisions over to the clergy, even those having to do with procreation. When my mother died and was then revived, having ruptured an artery while giving birth to her second child and first daughter. The doctors told her that she could never carry another child. Her vascular system was too weak.

My mother didn't accept that this may have been the hand of her god giving her a very strong message. She refused to defer to the wishes of my father and the rest of her support network, even though they shared her religion. My mother deferred to her clergy, who was in the business of encouraging married women to produce legions of "soldiers of Christ."

According to our mother, our sister was other-worldly from the date of her birth, scaring our older brother when he was a toddler. Photos and stories show her as an adorable little curly-haired doll that could repeat verbatim anything that was said to her. Both she and my brother were sickly children, which required many trips to the hospitals. The way to keep them quiet was by reading to them, fairy tales and stories of the saints, all gory morality tales at that time.

Before my sister was two, our mother was pregnant for me, and our family had moved far away from any family who could help with the babies. My mother clung even more strongly to her religion, as our father was away most of the time on oil exploration trips to support his family.

By the time I was born, my mother's body was literally turning itself inside out. Once again, the doctors advised her to have surgery to prevent more procreation. Once again, her husband pleaded that, if not sterilization, they use birth control. He was only home sporadically, almost guaranteeing pregnancy on every visit. The clergy insisted on continued opportunities to procreate or complete celibacy. Our mother, once again, deferred to the men of the cloth as she carried on with three babies in a strange land.

Mama and daddy needed each others' loving arms whenever he came home to her. They were only twenty-four years old, and both physically beautiful. Their shared arms should have been their reward and incentive for maintaining monogamy while separated from each other, but it became our father's shame in his inability to control his desire for his beautiful wife. They lost the ability to bring each other physical comfort.

When our mother found out she had become pregnant a fourth time, she was put to bed rather than risk losing this baby. She could not function. Her children were removed from her and taken to various relatives. She was left alone with nothing but her thoughts of a god that visited pain upon those who displeased him. When she finally rose from her hell, she had decided that she would give her life completely over to serving her god through her church. She became obsessed with purifying herself and her children.

We lost our mother, other than in body, when my brother was five, my sister was three, and I was still a infant in arms. My sister has embraced suffering as a way to purification of her spirit, memorizing and repeating litanies and prayers prescribed by the clergy. My sister's marriage to the same religion that took my mother from me, I have divorced.

This divorce has caused me to be estranged from my sister as her heart begins to weaken in her old age. I cannot go to her because she struggles with embracing suffering and death, while I struggle to continue embracing celebration and life.

Thursday, August 4, 2011


I would love for my mate to not be threatened by me,
But I don’t expect that he can see what I see.
His was a world that was universally protected
By the male god that was then usually projected.
I don’t blame him for the mistakes of our nations,
That were the guiding values for many generations.

I hope that he can accept my pain of process, and then,
Perhaps we, as men and women, can begin again.
At least, he accepts that his mother didn’t love him;
I hope that, with further conversation, things won’t seem so grim.
Fathers used to feel no compunction to fill the empty gaps
In which many mothers of children so clearly had a lack.

I celebrate the opportunity to make family decisions
That, hopefully, will not bring on society’s derision.
If we all free ourselves from prejudice of gender,
Families may be freed to, in this world, enter
A culture where individual gifts are accepted,
Rather than, because of gender, rejected.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Championing Change

When our men were afraid, they were taught to fight
With all their abilities to make things right.
When their women cried out in pain
And they had no skills to make things right again,
They needed a group of capable others
To act as their supportive brothers.

Now we look at women and their men
As capable of being equally strong friends,
But this hasn't come without sacrifice,
And each of us is paying a bit of the price.
We can't go back to the way things were
Without ushering back in abuses that did occur.

We were taught to shun and persecute those
Who spoke differently or wore "funny" clothes.
In our lifetimes, families have been in transition;
We, who survived the changes may take it as our mission
To keep the light shining on the truth of the way
We treated each other, back in our younger days.

We are only now beginning to understand
That, the world over, every woman and man
Is subject to our own joys and fears;
We all like laughter, and we all shed tears.
The color of skin is caused by climate;
We don't choose the color that we get.

It is quite an awesome responsibility
To have our minds and hearts set free.
My mate and I struggle to relate,
But when we do, it's reason to celebrate.
We work hard to throw off our prejudice
Hoping our grandchildren will create a world more just.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Rope of Hope

More than once I tripped and fell
Into despair's deep, dark well.
My friends of faith were there for me,
With a Light that I could only faintly see.
They seemed to have a steadfast hope,
And this, their faith, became my rope.

I knew that they would hold on tight
Until I developed faith, in my own right.
Their faith also seems to give them discipline
That keeps them from completely giving in.
They soldier on; even when they don't win,
They dust themselves off and begin again.

I began to look for the source of this Light;
I have found my own source of delight,
That they find in their religions, but I
See when I look into their loving eyes.
Some of them also share with me
Other places where this Light, they see.

One finds the voice of this Holiness
In the children with whom she is blessed.
Another walks her garden in the morning
And hears this Holy Spirit whispering.
Some assure me that they have husbands
Who are sources of this strength and their friends.

What seems to be common in sister and in brother
Is they find sources of this Light in each other.
The Light that is common to all of us
Is what Christians find in their savior Jesus.
It makes all creation holy ground;
All we have to do is look around.

The wind, the waves, a tear, a laugh
All gifts created on our behalf.
And it is also true that we
Can share the Light we've come to see.
We must open our hearts and open our souls
To embracing and sharing that which makes us whole.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Religion and Decision

We don't give up our animal natures
Just because we get religion.
Our training in religion simply
Gives us new tools for decisions.

Those who hurt others and simply say,
"Jesus died for my sins,"
Apparently don't understand where
Christianity begins and ends.

We are held accountable on earth
For what we do and say;
We must try to make it right with
The people we harm along the way.

This is not just in the afterlife,
But in our time upon this earth;
We must restore to honor those
In whom we may have destroyed worth.

Every time a person demands
More than he or she needs,
This begins a cycle upon
Which fear and hatred breed.

We must learn to ask ourselves,
"Is it need or is it want?"
We must stop looking for
Superiority to flaunt.

Are the things we are pursuing
To strengthen the Eternal Whole,
Or, are we with our jealousy,
Destroying our own souls?