Sunday, November 25, 2007

beauty

American Beauty is one of my favorite movies. i know a lot of people don't like it, but that's okay; a lot of people don't like Emily Dickinson either.
Lester Burnham (played by Kevin Spacey) is the protagonist of the film, and he goes through a beautiful shift in his sense of himself and the world. if you haven't seen the movie, i won't give the ending away; i'll just encourage you to see the film.
this is a quote from Lester; it's what i'm feeling today. gratitude. perspective. humility.
Lester's journey to get to this place is not an easy one. the journeys that are worth something like this never are easy. they're better than that.
we talked this morning at jifc's worship gathering about the apostle paul saying to a group of early followers of jesus that paul's prayer for them is that they would understand that the universe is really all just love. i think he's right.
here's Lester (and if i've included this on a previous blog entry, that's okay; it's worth repeating):

"I guess I could be pretty pissed off about what happened to me... but it's hard to stay mad, when there's so much beauty in the world. Sometimes I feel like I'm seeing it all at once, and it's too much, my heart fills up like a balloon that's about to burst... And then I remember to relax, and stop trying to hold on to it, and then it flows through me like rain and I can't feel anything but gratitude for every single moment of my stupid little life...
"You have no idea what I'm talking about, I'm sure. But don't worry... you will someday."


Wednesday, November 21, 2007

don't you heathens pray anywhere near our property, or, christians miss the point again.

THE STORY:
the baptists won't let muslims pray on their property.
austin area interreligious ministries, a group we at journey really believe in and support, brings together leaders from every faith tradition in order to build relationships that make austin better. they feed the hungry, repair poor people's houses, host events where people from different religions can talk and learn to appreciate each other.
they also hold an annual thanksgiving service, usually the week before thanksgiving, for everybody to come and pray, and give thanks, and celebrate. this year they rented a gymnasium for the event (a lot of people come) at the Quarries. the Quarries' gym and land happen to be owned by hyde park baptist church. the Quarries is a big piece of property where christians can come and play sports together.
aaim made it clear to the Quarries' management way back when what aaim is about.
i guess somebody noticed, probably a member of the church, and said to a minister, "What's this about these islamic and buddhist and jewish people coming and praying to their gods on our property?" ... i don't know that that's what happened, but it sounds possible. and the hyde park people said, "Wait a minute - is THAT who's rented that gym on our property? we can't have that! sorry, aaim - i know you rented it a long time ago, but we've decided, here at the last minute, to make the whole event move. we don't care where. hundreds of people in dozens of churches and organizations have to move? make other plans. you'll have to communicate the changed plans to hundreds of people and hope the message gets out? tough. we can't have muslims on our property."
and so hyde park baptist church decided it could not host the aaim thanksgiving service on its property.
a jewish synagogue took the thanksgiving in, gave the stranger welcome, as the torah commands. and jews and muslims gathered together, for prayer and healing.

ME:
okay. at some level, i actually could understand if the baptists didn't want muslim religious services performed in the baptist sanctuary. there are things that are holy, and places that are sacred, and it's understandable to want to ...

alright, that's enough. enough thinking about their position on the issue, and their fear, and caring about what may have honestly motivated that decision. that's a healthy thing for me to do. but that's enough.


JESUS! What is WRONG with these imperial-domination-system-territorial-controlling-insular-divisive-sick-fearful people who say they are following you??? this is such fucking bullshit! i am so embarrassed for christians! and sick of them!

Okay, that's out of my system now too.

Here's my real question, and it's a prayer.

Jesus, is something is wrong with me? if so, tell me. i want to know. i want to follow you.
am i - and i'm honestly asking this question - reading your followers' stories about your life and words incorrectly? am i missing it? because you came and rejected the overly controlling, restricting bullshit religious systems of your time. they absolutely pissed you off. you wept. you threw furniture. you went to your death to show people that god is not contained in those machines and systems and boxes.
and here are some territorial, fearful people who say they are following you, but they are following doctrines and regulations and prejudices that christians invented over hundreds of years - which you and your first generations of followers would NEVER have agreed to.
am i not getting it? i just cannot for a MOMENT even IMAGINE that you, jesus - you oppressed little poor man, wandering mystic, troublemaker, insurrectionist, criminal - would ever own a gigantic building, or dress up to enter it, or deny anyone access to it, or own property so that you and your friends - and only you and your friends - could play sports together. i cannot imagine that this decision by hyde park baptist church is what you want, not in a million years.
a jewish congregation chose to create healing - as you did, jesus. all your people were invited to pray and thank god for our many blessings from you. they looked into each other's eyes and saw themselves as brothers and sisters.
i'm tired of understanding and making excuses for christians' small-mindedness and pharisaism.
enough. i feel your zeal and anger burning in my bones.

and so i say,
in the name of the lord, hyde park baptist church,
you have sinned before god and all creation.

Monday, November 19, 2007

juggling pillows

september, october and november have been really, really busy months for me. journey's been going great - lots happening, new people, journeyers going through lots of stuff. i have a family in which people are awake and alive and interesting and curious and always learning and growing, which is lovely, and takes energy. i'm writing a book in the mornings (except when i'm posting on this blog). we were into high school football every week along with all the other parents of drill team girls. there has been a lot going on in the austin warrior community. blah blah blah.



week before last, i was telling my friend raging bear how this felt. he said, It's like juggling pillows.

juggling pillows?

yeah - at first it doesn't seem that hard; they're not heavy; but they're floppy and hard to handle with just one hand at a time, and they don't float right, and the more of them there are, the harder it is to see past them ...

have you ever felt that?

the cool part is that knowing that helped me realize that it's okay ... that there's a few chairs next to me where i can set a pillow or two to wait their turns to come into the rotation ... and they're pillows; they're not plates or chainsaws; if they fall, they won't break and they can't hurt me.

the more i thought about this, the better it got.

so, i took a nap.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

raving insecurity man validated by famous author

brian mclaren is a big author. i've seen him at conferences and workshops. his books are big sellers. he's traveled all over the world. on top of that, he's been saying for fifteen years or so the stuff that I'VE been saying for that long too. we're both former english teachers, who then did church leadership and pastoring, and now have gone off the grid. so i feel connected to him. and he's humble and nice and courageous and smart.
so - it was odd when leslie and i were at bob and lisa carlton's house monday night; those of us who had helped organize mclaren coming to austin were there, having wine and good food and just enjoying this cool moment. and i look over, and there's brian mclaren. just talking to the person who drove him over from the airport.
i'm not kidding, i felt as if bono had just walked in. okay, maybe not that big; it was as if george clooney had walked in.
i wanted him to notice me. validate me. but i was also scared; what if he didn't like me?

welcome to american star-worship culture.

anyway, he walked in, unassuming as usual, and bob introduced me, and mclaren said, "i remember you - i've met you before." it was at a conference like five or six years ago, briefly, after a talk he gave. my heart soared. suddenly i wanted to tell him my whole story. i'm a writer like you, i used to be a college english teacher like you, i talk about the same stuff you do, i'm committed to the emerging model of christianity like you are, journeyers are all about what you're about.

i talked to him briefly monday night, but we journeyers were out on the screened-in patio eating barbeque and drinking cokes and wine and beer and laughing; inside, a group of pastors and church leaders were sitting with mclaren around a dinner table, and it was quiet and intense. part of me wanted to be in there with the adults. i wanted to hear what mclaren would say, and contribute. i'm smart too! what is wrong with me?
welcome shadow. i just want to feel like i matter. like every other human being on the planet.
and, too, i wanted mclaren to hang on the patio with the journeyers. i thought maybe he'd've liked that better than sitting and having a serious conversation at the end of a long day when he'd spoken in dallas and then flown to austin.
here's the funny part: at the end of the evening, and then WHEN I WAS PERSONALLY DRIVING BRIAN MCLAREN IN MY AWESOME MAN-TRUCK FROM BOOK PEOPLE TO THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH WHERE HE WAS SPEAKING NEXT, we talked about just those very things. about ME things. and then we did again during lunch on tuesday when it was just me and my wife and dave madden the awesome musician AND BRIAN MCLAREN eating lunch together!!! just sitting there talking.
does anybody see how funny this is?
okay, here's the really cool part: brian mclaren is just a guy. he's been all over the world speaking to people who want to hear what he has to say. he's got lots of books that lots of people are reading. he's an important voice in the emerging church movement. and yet he's just a guy who wanted to do a good job talking to people. and we just made conversation. the poor guy was exhausted at lunch - a little quiet - and as he ate and checked his computer to make sure his laptop powerpoint was ready for the session that was going to start a half hour later, while leslie and madden and i talked with him but gave him his space, i told him about some thoughts i had about the people helping emergent stuff be born, and we chatted, and i thought ... brian mcclaren thinks i'm an idiot!
what is wrong with us? what is it about thinking that famous people are not normal human beings? give the guy a break already! he's not responsible for validating every human being that comes up to him wanting to know they matter.
so, having said that, it was a cool thing, and it was even cooler for it to have passed, and then to look back at it, and say to myself, Oh, come on, we don't need important people to affirm us. it's okay. we're all The Beloved.


but ... it was nice to have brian mclaren IN MY AWESOME MAN-TRUCK!!! and THAT MAKES ME COOL!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

everything changing

my wife, some friends and i hung around with, listened to, and talked with author, speaker, and activist brian mclaren monday evening and all day yesterday. i don't think he knows he's a rock star among those of us who are dissatisfied christians. maybe he does know, but he doesn't come across as cocky or full of himself. he's unassuming and relaxed and soft-spoken. he sits and talks easily with people. he has a nice smile.
and, he's a revolutionary. he stirs shit up and then continues in conversations with his readers - in blogs, workshops, conferences - while they respond and figure out what they're feeling and thinking.
he keeps asking a question, in many ways: What is it jesus was talking about, for real, and what does that mean for us now? and if we stripped it down and let all the things we've created go, what then? church structures, squabbles, doctrines, stuff we think is the point but isn't, territories - all the not-jesus stuff about institutional religion. let it go. instead, ask, How are we serving The Thing Jesus Wanted?
his new book, however, goes way beyond reforming and rethinking chrisianity. it's called everything must change. he calls us to reform and rethink all of human civilization.



mclaren says that human civilization is a big interdependent machine. what drives this machine is the very legitimate human desire for happiness. and so the machine uses resources - people, coal, agriculture, air, water, time - to give people happiness and food and transportation and stuff.
over time, the having of these kinds of happiness and stuff has a negative side, which i identify as fear. people get stuff, they're afraid they don't have enough or they'll lose their stuff, and so they feel they need security. and those without the stuff want the stuff, and it just explodes from there. and meanwhile, the machine
has grown too big to fit in the ecosystem as it is running today. and this is a problem which, if not addressed, only has disastrous (for human beings, the ecosystem, plants and animals, etc.) possibilities ahead. he talks about how this system breeds terrorism, and war, and prostitution, and the more-and-more rapid use of the ecosystem's (limited) resources, and border reinforcement - and on and on.

i started to get depressed as he talked. because it was so, so, so big. i had no idea where to start.

then i heard him say that we as christians - or jesus people, in my case, since i'm no longer a traditional christian -
are the ones who can change this path. not politicians, who are too inured by the system/machine/matrix. not those caught in the system/machine/matrix. not those who come from a place of fear.
it's the Big Story that influences everything. if the big story is that the universe is hostile, then all our choices come from fear. if the big story is that people are sinners, then our relationships are based on self-protection.
but if the big story is that the universe is benevolent, and that people are just broken children of god, then our choices and relationships can come from a place of creativity and possibility and hope.
and we who are jesus' people - not necessarily christians, since christianity is, on the whole, a part of the system/machine/matrix - can change the big story. or, retell the big story as jesus told it.
and then everything can change. but ... it won't be easy or fast.

i had some ideas about how to start with that. tell everyone i can the big story that god is love and that we are god's beloved and that our job is to receive that love and to return it to god and give it away to other people. when we do this, miraculous impossible things happen and the world is better.
i actually am goofy enough to believe that the world will be really better because of that mission.
and the journeyers and i are not the only people telling that big story. so, yeah, it takes a long time to be transformed by love. and we may not make it before the system/machine/matrix konks out. i know that. but i won't go down without giving away lots and lots of encouragement and hugs.

Monday, November 12, 2007

spewed and screaming

the first thing i do every morning, after i wake my daughter up so she can get ready for drill team practice, is go into the kids' bathroom and get my toothbrush and toothpaste and brush my teeth. the cereal seems to taste better that way. then i go to the man cave. (the man cave is my half-garage writing space, which i share with a bunch of shit that needs to go up to the attic; the attic stairs are also in the man cave.) i bring a bowl of cereal, and coffee, and turn on my laptop, and check my schedule. see if there are any this-can't-wait-til-i-get-to-the-journey-warehouse-at-9 emails. then i write. and eat my cereal while i'm working.
olivia our elder cat comes out with me. she sits and waits, just hanging around, until i finish my cereal. when i'm done, i set the bowl down on the floor beside me and she drinks a little half-spoonful of milk i leave for her. sometimes while i'm still eating she just reaches up and touches my hip, sort of a "ummm ... i'm here .... i love you .... gimme the freakin' cereal ... but i'm being nice about it ... don't make me hurt you ..."
however, this past friday
was not usual because my parents in law were coming into town; today's my wife's birthday and they were in to celebrate. and go to the cedar park high school timberwolves' final football game of the season, to watch my daughter's drill team perform (brilliantly of course). so i was getting up to finish cleaning the house, and the week last week was weird anyway, lots of stuff happening with people, lots of people in need, schedules stacked up, just busy and chaotic. and i was trying to figure out what hadn't been done yet on getting the house ready, and working on my worship talk, and i needed to run some errands.
so i walked out to the man cave while still brushing my teeth. turned on the laptop with one hand, continued brushing with the other. checked email. lots going on. began to scroll down and see who was hurting about what.
sat down in my chair while still brushing my teeth with one hand. moved the chair back to get a better look at the papers on my desk. and the following things all happened at once:

a piercingly loud high scream coming from behind me

me jumping up in the air
toothpaste spewing out of my mouth, onto my desk, papers, cds, laptop
a cat flying across the room
me going "AAAAH! HOLY SHIT! WHAT!"

seems i rolled over olivia's tail. i didn't even think about her following me out to the man cave - i didn't have any cereal yet. but she didn't know that.

and here she sits this morning, patiently. she doesn't seem fazed. i on the other hand am very aware of where my chair's rollers are, and where olivia is, and where my cereal is.
and i also finished brushing my teeth before i came out here.


Wednesday, November 7, 2007

to prophet or not to prophet

so ... what makes a prophet a prophet?
for me, a huge part of it depends on whether what she or he is saying resonates with me. seems like the right thing, the truth being called into a moment in time or culture. that the the message isn't easy to hear and act on, but it's right.
and the prophetic is, for me, not just about something that is true, but about something that must be seen, and dealt with, and (hopefully) changed. how's this: gandhi was prophetic. his words and actions were a message to his culture (and then everybody's); they were intended to change things for the better. that's the purpose of the prophetic: change.
for me, too, part of what makes a prophet, as opposed to a false prophet, is what happens, how culture changes, because of her/his influence. i believe the prophetic is from god if a prophet's message causes people to be more loving, more courageous for good, more humble, more healthy - individually and especially systemically, culturally, economically, politically, relationally, whatever. the prophetic creates equality.
if a prophetic message causes all those things to be less loving, less courageous and more fearful, more arrogant, sicker - it's not, for me, from god.
and something that just helps out - mobile loaves and fishes, for instance, which is an austin outreach to the homeless and hungry - isn't necessarily prophetic, AND YET - just by being in the world, mobile loaves and fishes points out need and inequity and that something is wrong ... and in showing up, it points out what might need to change.
oh - and - the most important message of the prophetic is that the true change doesn't happen outside, or in someone else, or by kicking out the bad guys. true change happens within.
  • harsh tv and talk radio voices from the far right and the far left who just point fingers at each other? not prophetic, even though they pretend to be; jimmy carter and gandhi? supremely prophetic - their messages are connected not to how evil the enemy is, but to the ultimate reality which is, there is no enemy.
  • the cynic who goes around showing everyone how much smarter she is than everyone else by pointing out what's wrong with everything? not prophetic; the kid who innocently and sincerely says "the emperor has no clothes"? prophetic.
  • anyone who defends the system because the system is by nature right? not prophetic. reports from habitat for humanity, or relief workers in war-ravaged countries, or those working to care for the sick and oppressed? prophetic.
  • sunday schools and churches that keep everything in place? not prophetic; people who follow jesus and screw things up? change the way they look at the world? change the way the world works? make trouble in the best sense? prophetic.
  • jerry seinfeld? funny, but not prophetic; andrea gibson the slam poet? prophetic.
meanwhile, part of what makes a message prophetic, i believe, is that at first, it doesn't sound so great. it sounds impossible, or way too hard, or crazy because it's so not right. it would mean we'd have to change.
what, black people are equal to white people? women and men are equally important? homosexuals are people too? india doesn't belong to the british? empires taking over other countries is wrong? controlling human beings with violence and torture and rape and murder is wrong?
political cartoonists often feel prophetic to me. satirists too. (prophets can be funny - look at some of the stuff the jewish prophets - and john the baptist, and jesus - pulled.)
and - too - even though the prophet will often have friends and helpers and followers, the prophet is always an outsider. how else can s/he see where the message goes?

and don't blame god for what happens after the message is delivered. god can't control what happens with the message once it's delivered. and so ... god keeps sending messages.


who or what is prophetic for you? let's chew on it and see what happens.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

101x deejay mission outreach

a few years ago, when i was working at a big church with lots of expectations, i happened to be listening to the radio while dropping my son off at swimming early in the morning. the deejay, or host, or whatever they're called now, asked a trivia question about moby. the rule was, if you could answer the question correctly, and come down to the studio and let them shave your head, you could get bacsktage passes to the upcoming Moby show here in austin. i knew the answer to the question - what is moby's religion? and given that i am a preacherman, and also a lover of cool music, i knew that this techno musician is a Roman Catholic. so i called in - and got through! and they answered! and it was the right answer (actually, the answer the deejay had in mind was just "christian")! the deejay, whose name was drew, asked if i'd come down. so, i drove to the studio north of downtown.
drew was great. funny, relaxed. his c0-host was great on-air but she was a drip in person. but that was okay; drew and i got along great. laughed. i knew from listening to the show that he was really smart. they shaved my head. i hung out. it was a hoot.
drew asked me about myself, what i did. i was reluctant to tell him about it, but i gave in. i emphasized teaching rather than preaching. i didn't want our conversation to be stuck in that awkward place where it gets quiet because everyone's uncomfortable - "he's wearing white after Labor Day" or "he's a mass murderer" or "he's a dentist; don't open your mouth." it happens all the time when people find out i'm a pastor. eek. but drew was genuinely interested in what my work is about. i learned a lot about him too, and we had a good time.
drew and i said hi again a few weeks later at the moby show. it was great. we laughed and got along. (his partner? nah.)
i mailed him a copy of my book wrestling with god. mailed it to him, with a note. never heard back. that wasn't the point; it takes me a long time to read the books (a zillion) that people give me to read. i just wanted him to have it.
i also wondered whether i'm too old. this young man was in his late 20s, hip, very austiny, new media, what's happening.
so, last week i was listening to the morning show on 101x (drew and hag have left) and i love the new morning show deejay, deb. she's english. funny. sweet. and it turns out she's pretty. jason got married last week, and so deb is on her own this week. i emailed her to tell her good luck, and that i like her show.
she emailed back.
i was amazed. me? a young austin hip person, emailing me? and on top of that, she told me to tell her about what i do, i guess at journey. so i sent another email, and talked a bit about what journey's about, and what i do, and invited her. i told her journey would be a good place for her to hang out. ask questions. not be beaten over the head.
haven't heard back. it's only been a few days, but still.
i'm wondering whether the spiritual-seeker-open-to-mystery thing isn't enough to override that i'm a pastor of a church. no matter what you call it, that's my job. and i'm grateful and willing for that to be my job. thrilled. but it feels sometime as if the "church" is just for church people. and that young adults just aren't going to get it - unless they go to cool churches because it makes them feel cool - and journey ifc isn't cool. it's way too relaxed.
yes, i hear you - why wouldn't what journey is about make a great place to collect, hang out, just be?
i dunno. i don't think i'm the person to connect to young adults, no matter how hip i am. and i'm old, let's face it.
if deb emails back, i'll let you know.

Monday, November 5, 2007

andrea gibson slams

okay, you have to listen to this poet. she's amazing.
andrea gibson. the awesome calla told me about her.

profit

listen

jesus was a revolutionary
a prophet

his mother mary
was a goddess

still neither could have prophesized
the dark that is now upon us
since the christian right
went wrong

now white men drop bombs
in the name of a faith
born from a song of thou shall not kill
left the will of their god unheard
every word ignored in the name of profit

while it was their prophet
breaking bread with the poor
walking on bare feet
now they're talking that path of that god
but they're walking the path of their greed
preaching do unto others
as you would have them do unto you
but they've painted their cross red white
and blew 140,000 japanese people away in one day

see
they will always be their brothers' keepers
as long as their brothers are rich and white
you only have to look at the facts
death row is black
those cloths on american backs sewn by brown hands
in lands they've made theirs for the taking
raping whole cultures
while proclaiming themselves holy
but there are holes in their truth so deep
jesus would weep for his own name
being used and abused like this

christian means christ-like
and christ was neither white nor like this

neither white nor like your so called christian right
there's no such thing as a right wing
wings are made for angels
and i'm yet to see a halo on your head
blasphemy defines the things you've said

quoting scripture amidst your war cry
your belly full and warm
while millions die beneath the weight of your sins
and there are days i'm ashamed
to wear the color of your skin
there are days i'm ashamed
i ever prayed to the same god as you
but really i don't believe i did
i don't believe that's true

because christian means christ-like
and christ was not like you
not like this
wasn't bound to the cross
wearing combat boots and clenched fists

tonight the world wails an unbearable suffering
and you are the thorns and nails
how many more will you crucify with your white lies
deeming yourself supreme and above
when your god's love
is the last thing you've ever lived by

better cross your heart and hope you die a peaceful death
before jesus comes back
finds his way to NBC and CBS
calls you out on all the peace you've been talking
and all the war you've been livin

now that would be some reality tv
worth watching

magazine mogul takes over publishing world, as well as local highway system

i just heard on the radio about some traffic slowdown here in austin this morning - turns out a truck lost its cargo, which was, apparently, zillions of copies of Oprah's "O" Magazine.



this would be the reverse of everyone in the audience at a taping of her show being given a new car; everyone who shows up in their car during rush hour today gets an oprah magazine.

Friday, November 2, 2007

the people of the wrestling match

i had a dream last night/this morning that leslie and i were leaving a movie theater; i think our daughter was there; we saw our therapist, pushing her mother in a wheelchair (?), we saw lots of friends; it was crowded; walked out the doors and we were saying something fun about our son, who wasn't there; on a rock in a nice landscaped bed to our left stood a journeyer who said, If he's Jacob, who's Esau?
i have no clue about where that question is about overall, but the beauty of dreams is that our subconscious has picked something only because it will help us sort out our feelings - a dog, a warm breeze, a straw, a friend, whatever.

jacob and esau are twin brothers in the book of Genesis; esau's the first-born, who grows big and strong and goofy. he can't see anything past whatever body part is active. he trades his role as inheritor of the family wealth and responsibility, for a bowl of stew - just because he's really hungry.
young man disease run rampant. he's his daddy's favorite. hunter.
jacob's the second-born, who grows weaselly and tricky and really smart. "jacob" means "grabs." he tricks his way into a fortune, over and over.
young man disease run rampant. he's the mama's boy. he's going to climb and build and have.
jacob tricks esau and then runs for his life; goes and finds his own way as a man; tricks another man; comes back and before he reenters the homeland, he stays up all night wrestling with god - sweating, straining, swinging. i think he gives up his running, and says, This is who i am, and i'm going to rely not on my own plans, but on god's presence with me. the angel says, Your old name was Grabs; now your name is Wrestles With God And Lasts.

i thought about the question again. who IS jacob? who IS esau?

i thought at first that it was about our son. who, in my judgment, is sort of like jacob - crafty, smaaaaart, a little unsure of whether he is okay or not; waiting for something. like i was at 20. good heart, young man guilt and worry and vision. lots of promise.

it then washed over me that it might also be about journey. journey is a faith community full of promise. great people. good heart. not necessarily willing to abide by anybody's rules. most have "left home."
but it's good, for me, that journey doesn't have YMD. young man's disease is about self-absorption and worry and ascent and It's All About Me.
you know you're getting over YMD and you're no longer jacob or esau when you can stop and rest, stop and breathe, have compassion, and be okay with not knowing The Only Answer.

maybe journey is better named neither jacob or esau, but Wrestles With God And Lasts.

esau and jacob are shadows of each other; mirrors; each has his story to share with his brother; each teaches his brother something. esau forgives; jacob apologizes; both grow out of YMD.

that question in my dream - If he's jacob, who's esau? - is about what my life is based on, what anyone's life is based on.
what things am i choosing? what things am i pushing out of eyesight? what things will i become? what things am i grabbing onto? what things am i wrestling with?