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A Snail & A Dove to the Rescue

Weekly Recap Vid of Below the Bible Belt

In the midst of so much global despair - political turmoil, ongoing wars and a fast heating planet - how does one cling to anything that helps to ground, to not lose hope, to somehow keep believing that things can turn out alright, that there will be better days?

The poets who wrote the psalms some 2,500 years ago dealt with disasters and heartbreaks, wars and famines, betrayal of allies and battles within and beyond.

For them the answer is always focused on faith - there is a greater power, source of salvation and refuge even if at times it looks like there’s nobody and nothing that cared. Whether we believe in the divine or not remains a burning question in our world. Regardless of the responses - what I find useful as we make our way through these pslams on our @belowthebiblebelt929 journey is that the metaphors that help us hope and cope are the images and icons that have always helped humanity dream big, and not give up. Some of those images used in the psalms connect us to the non-human sphere of our existence, the nature that we are part of. This past week the dove came back, reminding us of hope beyond the flood, a yearning wish to fly away when all around us crumbles. And also this past week we met the only snail in the entire Hebrew Bible! The poet used the snail to indicate how evil can be easily eradicated but I prefer the snail as the enduring spiral of patience. J. D. Salinger once quoted (or made up) a Zen Koan that I’ve always loved: Climb up Mount Fuji, little snail, but, slowly, slowly. Doves and snails, hope and patience, healing and humor — these are some of the tools we’ve inherited to help us through another rough day, holding each other up. The wisdom of nature, beyond man-made culture will outlive us, and for now, will also guide us, day by day.

This Shabbat we celebrate Pride Wknd - with continued hope for progress and for justice, equity and dignity - for all. We may need doves to help us soar, and snails to remind us that sometimes the pace is slower — but, together, onwards towards peace and better days we fly, and crawl and keep persisting, with poems and pslams, slowly, slowly, along the holy way.

Thank you for joining me below the bible belt.

Shabbat Shalom.