Steve Ornstein – My Voice
The noise level has reached such a pitch that to listen to ones breath is a real challenge. The shouting, screaming, blaming, accusing, swearing at anyone and any organization you don’t like or approve of is frantically expressed in the social media. Anti-Semitism is now the new normal. Anti-Zionism whatever the hell that means is now the new catch word for hating Jews and the State of Israel.
I have friends on social media that need to be heard, listened to and think they have something to say that is a revelation of the day. Some use the political angle to express their displeasures. Others use the new political correct lingo to put down everyone that doesn’t share their perspective and justifies violence praising the perpetrator and accusing the dead victim.
Yet some of my friends take the high road to promote some teacher or other as the ultimate truth. Yet as one of my contemporaries once said in a song he wrote and sang, Bob Dylan, “don’t follow leaders watch your parking meters”. I have no intention of deconstructing that line.
But the “high road” shared by some as just another business or religious rite and/or practice that leads to enlightenment, to be lit up, appears to share in the noise of mass hysteria in both the physical and virtual worlds. Violence in language seems to be an accepted way to kill or rather murder people and get away with it.
At 72 I have reflected a number of times on my life, the good, bad and the ugly, and have made peace with all of it sitting quietly-meditating, praying, and crying asking for forgiveness to the infinite-G-d-family and friends. Sitting quietly listening, listening and listening yet still.
The life I was given in the turmoil of my family and growing up in New York in the 60’s I was blessed by close friends, and lots of experiences and experimentation searching for the “meaning of life”. What’s it all about and who the hell am I? How do I fit in or not? Who are these teachers of perfection that I sit at their feet in the hope to really Listen and learn the hidden secrets of life. But all of them without exception revealed their human vulnerabilities while exploiting their power for sex and money.
What a lesson to learn in my twenties as I ventured into the world of drugs and music diving into states of being that words fail to convey. Deep understanding of just how wonderful life is even with the revealing of the imperfection that is intimately tied to the perfection of life itself.
So now at this point in my life I sit once again and LISTEN to the friends around me, listen to the voices of social media and sit quietly knowing that all of them are wrong and all of them are right and all of them are one in the same if only we would all stop and LISTEN.
Take a breath and breathe into the vast beauty around us without avoiding the discomforting inequality that also occupies space.
I chose to find my HOME- spiritually and physically in Israel. Rather it chose me and I listened. I especially listened when one day in an ashram in India in 1968 a man approached me and asked if he could read my hand. I agreed. He silently looked at my palm for what seemed an eternity and then broke out laughing. Annoyed and shocked I asked him what was so funny. He replied, You have come all the way from America to India searching for yourself and you had it within you all this time. GO HOME there is nothing here for you. Go home and be at peace with who you are and be happy.
The irony was that I had found myself in Israel on my way to India by chance after spending months on a small island off the coast of Spain. The impact the country and the people had on me was so profound and so comfortable that I knew one day I would return to live my life here.
So I return back to the present and to the loud noise that scares so many into hysterical or near hysterical rage railing against the enemies of one’s perspective.
Take a BREATH and LISTEN. Share your being, your voice but know all that appears this moment will also die to change and re-birth in the never-ending story of one’s LIFE.