Monday, June 7, 2010

Bitching and Moaning

Ms. Moon's post today made me want to post something like it.

I have a friend in New Orleans right now who can't stop crying. She wants to help in some way with the oil disaster but can't get through the red tape to do so. She is struck by drunken fools, fat ones, slobbering through the streets with plastic cups shaped like grenades. I read a conservative blogger's rant against Obama and his "failures."  I also disagreed profoundly with her interpretation of Israel's attack on the boat last week that killed eleven people, including an American citizen. I'm tired of hearing about that endless conflict and wish that some sort of middle eastern Gandhi might appear and save us all from all of them. I also wish the Rapture might actually happen and take all the fundamentalists of the world away, too.  I read the vitriolic comments on the conservative woman's blog, and they made me feel sick, realizing that the world is so full of so many hateful people. I don't consider myself a hateful person (bitchy but not hateful). It's hard to love one's enemies. Sophie had a gazillion seizures this morning and couldn't go to school until noon. She probably shouldn't have gone at all, but I had to get some things done so I brought her anyway. I hate that I have to do that. I went to Target and they've turned it into a Target AND a grocery store. It sort of scared me, because where does it all end?

My dear friend Karen sent me a quote from the Talmud (of all places), though, and that's about the only thing that's not making me feel bitchy:

Do not be overwhelmed by the enormity of the world's grief. Do justly, now. Love mercy, now. Walk humbly, now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it.


  1. Wow Elizabeth, first thank you for Following my blog. Second, this is a powerful post and it makes me wish I was there to help or sit and moan right along with I said in one of my earlier posts' "if you don't have anything nice to say, pull up a chair" and you know sometimes that's just the way it is. It just makes us feel better, so yep its OK to be bitchy.
    Now as for how hateful people are in the world, my own thought; we human-beans tend to mix up hate with fear and somehow the two words become interchangeable in the heat of the moment...
    As for your friend crying over the Gulf disaster, I too cry right along with her.
    Just my 2 cents worth,

  2. Terry - Thanks for your comment and for visiting! I didn't mix up fear and hate at all, though. These people said hateful things. That they're scared, too, is probable, and it's that that makes me not hate them back.

  3. Love the quote from the Talmud.

  4. I've been thinking of you so much today. I have two songs I want to send you; will see if I can get a posting together and include them for you. XOXO

  5. Thank you for this one. I've been sitting in a comatose state of moaning. My husband and I look at headlines in the paper, or at an editorial, or at a brief glimpse of some jerk on cable TV, and we just shake our heads. We don't even talk about it anymore. I also have to tell you that I have not sought out one image of the spill. No TV, no youtube. Just the radio reports and newspaper articles. Those chill me to the spine. I don't think I could survive the graphic representations.

    And the quote. I really like that. Being a Jew, it is familiar, and wakes me up every time I hear it.

  6. Acch! I don't know what I think about that quote. Why am I not free to abandon it? What does it mean to abandon the world's grief? Is it even possible? But then- you know me and religion. Meanwhile, I passed by one of the many churches in my immediate area today and saw this: "Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God," and I thought about the homeless and I thought about the opium eaters and I thought about the children and I thought about the fact that just because I don't believe in god, doesn't mean that she doesn't exist for others.
    Sometimes I do want to abandon the world's grief. My own is enough and I am not pure enough of heart to see god but then again, I see god in everything so what does that mean when you don't believe?
    I love you, Elizabeth. I am pretty darn sure of that.

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  8. Elizabeth: I was raised a southern baptist. As that church moved toward fundamentalism, I moved toward unitarianism. It has been good for me.


  9. I'm thinking bitch n moan posts are a good idea. And I love the Talmud quote.

    pssst...I'm gonna tell you a secret which you probably already know. Ms Moon CAN'T abandon the world's grief, no matter how hard she tries.

  10. Wonderful post, Elizabeth. I try to avoid all things political but sometimes I just can't.

    Sometimes events thrust themselves in front of you and all you can do is cry, tear out your hair and utter blasphemies. W

    e here are threatened with the possibility of a conservative government at the next election, if the media hype is anything to go by and I quake in my shoes at the thought.

    Heaven help the aylum seekers, heaven help the poor amd disenfranchised, heaven help the needy, the less able.

    I'm with you in this Elizabeth. Fundamentalism is the worst '-ism' of all.

  11. I love the Talmud quote. It seems impossible to abandon the world's grief.

    As for hate/fear: is there really an excuse for hate, ever?

  12. it´s good to get out there every once in awhile. if not, we´d explode... and i feel your pain- we are living in the 21 century- you´d think by now, they´d have gotten it...

  13. I keep thinking that the closest thing to it is rape. (the oil thing) and I feel for your friend who can't stop crying. No wonder.

  14. My take on the quote is that we have a mandate, which we may accept or not, to show up, a term we get to define. Showing up means, to me, giving focus and attention. Being told that we are not expected to complete the work makes it easier for me to begin. I am disoriented by hate, many other things as well, and often wonder if there was one exact moment when its practitioners gained the upper hand.

  15. That last sentence, it made me cry.

  16. Sometimes I am completely baffled by American politics.
    and super stores.

    that quote....

    absolutely. I saved it , so thank you.( and to Karen)

    hugs and prayer for Sophie.



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