Is it fixable?
by Marcie Howard, Orange County, California

How am I? Not sure how to answer. In many ways, I am grateful. Grateful for my health. I have been exposed to Covid twice, maybe more. Each time, I have not contracted it. There must be something to be said for two vaccines and two boosters!! Although I know several individuals who would tell you (or me) that Covid is just a “myth,” and the shots are dangerous and value-less. I’ll take my chances!

I am grateful for my job – or more accurately, for the salary I am paid. It has been a long time, a very long time, since I have made enough money to pay rent and bills and have enough left over to buy groceries and pet food and have the house cleaned and the dogs groomed and, in an effort to give back, even give money to various organizations.

I am grateful for my rented bungalow in a retirement community in South Orange County. A sweet 3-bedroom house with a veranda and garden and a combination of furnishings that are mine and the owner’s, a nice man whose sister has become a dear friend. Through her kindness and his generosity, my rent is well below market-rate, so I can afford to have this lovely house as my home. My neighbors are very nice and “the girls” (my dogs) are well known, loved and petted by all.   

I am grateful for them as well. Two female pups – an 8 lb. Pom-Chi (Pomeranian-Chihuahua) named Maggie and an 11 lb. Maltese mix named Bella. Such joy and unlimited love they give me.

I am grateful for the Synagogue community I am a part of: its Cantor, the Rabbi, the music and meditations. And of course, the friendships I have cultivated.

In all, I must admit I am most fortunate!

And not all is a bed of roses.

My boss is an angry woman who is a bully. Dealing with her rage and “shaming” is very challenging. I have talked to her a few times, which does help, but only temporarily. I cannot help but wonder if Spirit has given me this challenge that I might view myself as I once was and know how uncomfortable I made others with my own anger and resentment. As I age, I seem to forgive in a more complete and easier way. I find that I am not as quick to anger as I once was. Perhaps I am in this office for a greater purpose.

And there is one more thing. I am being told that I cannot have days off for the Jewish High Holy Days. For the first time in my life, I will have to deal with this mindset and exercise my First Amendment rights – Religious Freedom. I do not like confrontation, but some things are worth the “fight.”

I am also concerned, like most, about what is happening to our planet and worried if we have gone over the limit. We literally are on fire. Is it fixable?

The hearings with regard to January 6th make my blood boil … it literally takes my breath away. By having had an angry and deceitful leader, we have unleashed that same mindset into our society. It has always been there, but now we have given those who were “hidden” permission to express themselves. Is it fixable?

I never imagined that at my age (74 today) I would need to work, that retirement would be a remote dream. That I would be worried about the destruction of democracy and loss of freedom. That my right to choose would be swept away by narrow-minded individuals who do not trust me, as a woman, to make moral and ethical decisions.

So here we are with the light and the darkness – with the evidence of all our choices. Is it fixable? Do we have the strength, the foresight, the imagination, the courage and compassion, do we have the endurance to fix our world? Is there enough love?

As a Jew I believe in Tikkun Olam – the repair of the world. Embracing that shadow is now incumbent upon us. It is time for us to reach across the chasm and help our neighbor. It is time for us to reach out to that which we have turned away from, own our dismay and help one another heal. We are all we have.

Our great Mother earth is a gift given to us as her caretaker.  

Is it fixable?

Photo by Marcie Howard

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