Drew T. Noll © 2021, all rights reserved

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

The Shekinah, Corona, and the Tower of Babel

Iceland is melting. At the beginning of the summer my wife and I took advantage of living in Israel by traveling abroad as the coronavirus waned in our country. In Iceland they also had a lull in viral infections, so we hastily made an itinerary and quickly earned our vaccination post-grad degrees. Then we jumped onto a plane bound for Europe. Arriving in Iceland via (a very) German passport control in Frankfurt, we received our campervan and headed to the foot of an erupting volcano. Thanks to wonderful friends in Israel with connections to wonderful new friends in Iceland, we spent our first night near a pasture of horses across from the home of our neighborhood-volcano-guide for the day – such a blessing! This was the beginning of a two week trip driving the RingRoad, finishing up with the Golden Circle. Our trip included cooling magma, exploding mantle, falling water, frozen trolls, melting glaciers, land dwelling puffins, extinct herring factories, turf houses, the real discoverer of the American continent, moss-covered craters, and even flying water! There was a lot of other stuff too, but we have a long way to go here, so…

Nimrod is known for his tyranny, probably the first of such in the history of all the land. Tyrants are determined by a check-list, but for the sake of expediency I would like to focus on one aspect of a probable tyrant’s resume – Me. When I have an idea it is totally mine, regardless of where my influences come from. And… that is what I want to say to the world – that it’s mine. We all get caught up in the idea of monetization of such and such, and of so and so, and of all the demerits therein; however, it’s only a temporary flux of evaporation in influence. What “Me” is really all about is MY opinion. What “I” think is what I want others to think; casting my opinion and collecting followers (wink, wink) is what builds MY world into something more than me… with a lowercase ‘m.’ Opinion builds the individual one at a time into giants of none, no matter, just … done. Referentially: “In my opinion…” as I raise my head above others… you get the idea. ‘Opinion’ is a reckless adventure seeking ‘luck’ when there was never really any such thing to begin with.

Some may not believe, but for the sake of argument of MY point: God created the world using self-surgery to inflict a finite reality envelope sublimated within the ineffable Infinite. We understand this more readily when using the nomenclature: Mother-Earth (or Shekinah). The world we understand around us is filled with biology and physics, finite reality expressing itself with complete abandon. When God created our realm She split off from Him and She prospered, filling the envelope that They created with all that we know and that now is. We live here, in this place created, all of us, and we seek understanding and distinction, one and all. This is the nature of us in our universe, filled with notions of Me becoming One.

Then we got hit with a damn coronavirus and began to understand ourselves better. The virus stripped away the rough edges of our lives, causing some to pass over and others to mourn their loss, causing others to cling desperately to themselves as … um, what they understood to be themselves was slowly ripped away day after day. This is awareness of My reality experienced, felt much the same as those living and building for Nimrod, building a city to support him aloft, as he convinced us all that we were doing it to be closer to God. What more could we think at the time—that we were doing it only for him? And … if so … what was to become of Us, the royal We?! Our opinions became diverse, many views with One mind, and all because we stopped thinking of the present’s effects on the future, but dwelled upon, instead, the past – I think this because, “It was said by so-and-so (now deceased), so I will stick to my opinion because I know how to be.” But this is just perpetuating a tower built in the past by others, says Me. And that is just My opinion squirting again, you see…

In Iceland talking with locals, one of the explanations I heard about the idea that a troll once waded out to drag in a ship, only to be caught by the morning sun unaware, and subsequently causing the entire parade to be cast into stone for all of time, was that: Icelanders don’t necessarily believe in trolls and people hidden, it has just become relevant in ‘our time’ to attempt understanding of the traditions of old, giving them the respect that they deserve … and thereby keeping them going. This makes the most sense to me, with a small ‘m,’ because the idea is not necessarily an opinion. An opinion would be something like: “If you don’t understand what I’m saying it’s because you are lost and confused, maybe even evil-inclined and selfish beyond my interest in even interacting with you, ever. In my opinion you are beyond repair, flotsam and jetsam for all of time.”

The weather in Iceland was so pleasant that we were surprised. When asking others about it, since we expected to be cold and wet with most everything we did, the locals all agreed that it was not only unseasonable but obtusely perfect for the touring that we were all doing. We were happy in each moment thinking about how lucky we were, but all the time knowing that luck didn’t actually exist. It was only an opinion of those in a moment where things seemed to align, and not reflecting reality of any kind. The Shekinah is perfect, as God is, was, and always will be. All things in all of time have already been calibrated and seen. Luck is only an illusion of ignorance willing happiness or the reverse, building chemicals to inevitably squirt down the line. “Global warming is only a meme!”

While hiking a melting glacier with our guide, a Bahai man who once lived in his holy land (Israel), between mention of glacier trolls and locals of old that had fallen, but luckily survived, My opinion rose up unaware of my mind down below. I got excited after hearing about the epiphany that occurred by the leader at the time. I got excited about a group of people that all came together to understand that We are all One. But, when I expressed my excitement about it to our guide, he became surly and pained; he expressed thoroughly to me that: “It was not something from men, but from God!” stated all the while with a finger pointing above. And it was true. We all live in the same envelope, experiencing the same Me, so how could it ‘not’ be? In another conversation he said that man may have changed the climate in our land. We can see the record of days come and gone, and today we sit at a time when the current trend just may keep going … melting the world down one degree at a time.

However... an opinion is an attempt to build a tower of Me. Is this from fighting the edges of My known space, or is it an inherent desire to cling to the Originator of our realm? And then more questions are asked with answers not sung… We keep living forward without singing our footsteps; we live in the past. We live there because we knew not to wrestle with each step, while we skidded sliding in over marks made thousands of times—every-time. Looking back is an attempt to build a tower of Me, just like an opinion. Mine. And that is how I know that God is what I think She/He is, Me: the small one wanting to be BIG.

So… I think I’ll just focus on me, the small One. That way, in the end, I might just end up BIG instead. Now, it’s only MY opinion, mind you, but I think Nimrod’s tower may still exist today. Babylon has long since gone, but we babble about nothing day in and day out, all the time. Our voice just seems to have gone. We all seek the One, but in doing so stumble upon Me, or at least MY feet trip under blocks placed before … by me, with a lowercase ‘m.’ That’s how I know we’ll be okay, and that thinking this is not just another opinion. In every new year we have a chance to connect with the real ‘me,’ the One deep inside. If you’re still thinking it is luck, you’re wrong. The beginning is much the same as the end, and it is only time that stretches out between. Tyrants come and go and always will, but each is primed by Me stating MY opinion, again and again. Yes, I agree, this is a lame ending, but: to summarize: We should all just get along, and to do so WE must stop being Me for a moment long enough to be mine. That’s how to be One.

Happy New Year, and may You be written into the Book of Good Health, Long Life, and Pure Joy to come!

For More Iceland pics., click here


Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Ravikum and the Multiverse


doronoll.com

Mishka Fet has an eye to the sky and sees a lone creature living on a floating fish scale swerving about in midair, dry, and hovering. The creature is Ravikum, who believes that the land he sees far down below him is really a giant fish swimming on the surface of a giant sea—so, our story is partially about how Mishka Fet is forever captured by the image of Ravikum, and our story is also about perceptional awareness, and dreaming of fish.

Our story begins here:

"In the beginning, in a time before knowing, there was a man who stood on the edge of a world. Mishka Fet looked up to the skies night in and day out, at the twilight of being, but he almost never saw anything worth mentioning. Up until once, when in a sharp little corner of vision, Mishka saw a scale flipping. From origin it must have been fish, but in reality it could not be so. For fish swimming most often occurred far down below. 

Mishka blinked and missed nothing as it passed overhead, “It cannot be that something else could only be and ‘then’ be said,” he thought. But, just then, he saw it again, a faint and small blink sparking out life as if something was actually there from the beginning. The scale flipping caught the light of the world under Mishka’s feet and shone it back down, calling for help, sailing on the wind, and quite possibly not minding. Involuntarily, Mishka’s mind erupted into thoughts—screaming—while standing upon his precipice of unknowing; and then … Mishka’s mind fractured back into knowing, which filled in everything, all the blanks extending back to the beginning.  

Mishka had seen something move, something to tell. A life was being lived up there all pell-mell he knew, so Mishka said it to everyone all around him. “There is a life up above, on something small, floating about on the wind, like a fish scale twirling, like a world unknown.” It cannot be that no one can see, thought Mishka, “A life up above with living to give!? My purpose is clear, and has been from the start, the time I spend dreaming is plainly more than it appears. “Someone is up there. I know it! If only you’d all listen to the sights unfolding! There is up there a being shaking, a being unable to steer, full of fear, and flipping end-over … completely quaking!” 

So, with care, gently, Mishka’s mind reached out with his hand and fingers clasping, like transporting daddy long legs’ by pinching, and then his mind placed the scale down with its world atop still reeling. 

“No, no way!” said the voice of reason. “There is nothing there and nothing worth seeing!” 

“Believe me,” said Mishka Fet, “I tell you sincerely that I see something big on that small thing. It’s not just a scale dried out, once attached to a fish somewhere about, there’s someone there I can see and quite likely there are more! Possibly there could be a whole world of beings just waiting to be seen!” said Mishka to the, oh so dour … reason. 

“I think you’re a fool!” laughed the voice of reason..." 

For the remaining pages, please click here to download the PDF from my website: 

https://www.doronoll.com/written-works 

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

The End of Being a New English Teacher

As a new English teacher I am required by the Ministry of Education to take a new teacher workshop for my ongoing training. It is bureaucratic business at best; at worst a sausage factory spilling out unknowns and just more mess. Oy, a student in 10th just now texted me that her Moed Bet was scheduled for another Gush, to which, having stopped writing this, I replied: My schedule shows Gush B - lessons 1 and 2. But, no matter, whenever you have English, you will be taking the Moed Bet—English Lit., tests… wow. I just finished grading the rest, from both Gush’s pupils a pile of damn tests. That’s the hardest part of my job, I can attest, grading and writing, commenting and scoring … that is definitely the worst and the best.

Actually, there ‘is’ that Zen that creeps in from the edge of the classroom, slinking in and only then becoming relevant—when students notice life moving in front of them, when they exert themselves into a realm of the living. Yes, there are other realms too, we know and understand. However this particular realm of the living produces movement beyond, and does so for all that can tell. This is why I teach. Watching a student grow over the years builds me as well. And, surprisingly, that growth can be seen even in the tiny bureaucratic business in which our world requires us to dwell. Posting the Tziyun Hagashot in 11th, haggling over English Lit. in 10th, grammar, vocabulary, and the English Bagrut, and dealing with a government under siege all at the same time from within and borders beyond … the chaos produced is always, somehow, ordered by my mind.

All I really know is what is left when the day is all but done, the glowing awareness that I had an effect on my students, amidst pandemics and projectiles, riots, injustice … politics, tragedy, and extreme unrest—so yes, with this awareness I can now attest that I am no longer new.  

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Walking to Work

Through ruins from not too long ago, I descend into a glen daily on my way to teach. The way leads me past an Arab artifice now destroyed, Christians who built a mosque for visitors now gone. The way leads onto a path between cacti, grown to each side and interspersed with carob, straw, and incense. Oak sings down below, I always know, as I walk down step over step to the work I’m learning to know; but … this time was different. Tingles I felt from the sides of my path, tickling me along arms, cheeks, and brain. Something was different, something was wrong. Looking down I saw nothing, looking down there was nothing to see; just tingling in my mind. My sense and learning said spiders, but nothing was to be found. I wiped the sensations away each and every time, but remembered it to teach as I finished walking down to my new norm, that morn.

Arriving at school I met students willing themselves to learn, and spoke of my walk down to school and said more, or less, not too sure. For, I realized what it was that was tickling my head. In my educated mind I said spiders, but deep down I knew. I told the story to my students who all stopped to listen, and at the end of my spin I told the truth of what happened. I knew not what occurred based upon reason. I knew that what happened was a break from the norm and a step forgotten. What I found on my path helped me to understand about living, and it tore more. I told my students what it was that I felt, I told them and then stopped talking and looked all about. The class then paused as I revealed the truth of their wishes; the classroom stopped when in truth I said: fairies.

We laughed, one and all, of course, but each of us knew that a truth had been spoken. So, I left that afternoon wondering about many great things. And, the very next day I took the same path, down through the ravine. Walking, I wanted to see if it was only me or just in my mind from the beginning. The tingling started sooner, I noticed as I strode down, like they were all waiting for me to cross the same path—nothing to see, as was expected, so I questioned it all the way down to the very bottom—where ancient ruins abound. The longest active spring existing in the land, with water welling up from the ground, exists in this specific realm. I walked down, like every other day, to the bottom where I found a tiny beetle on my thumb. It looked up at me, I could swear, as I freaked and flicked it like a hitchhiking ghost never once being.

I kept this to myself, up until now. But, later that day I walked home from work on the path I felt from the morning. I forgot it all until I saw what reminded me of a new norm. Step over step I ascended from the Hellenist ruins at the bottom of the hill. I passed the cave that sprung the spring I drank from on occasion. I U-turned quickly on the stairs under a carob. I passed, after turning again, the skeleton of a stone bird cage in ruins. Columbarium drawings to show what was once there. Up the stairs. Then from the sides of unknowing, they came together in rows. A parade ascending with me over a path I now know, NO! But that little blip is only in my head—beside me on all sides fluttered creatures singing the way for us all. I smiled. I laughed. Smiling up the hill I watched from each side as tiny faces sang—flying with me up the hill. Flutter-byes sailing with me. A rainbow of living … with me up the hill. Fairies.

עין צור


Monday, April 12, 2021

Fish Bowl — A Poem of Love and Dirt

Feast © DTNoll 10-12
Feast, pastel on paper, Oct., 2012 — 
The water did not flow. It was too dry to play. So, we sat in the bowl all that hot and unhappy day. I sat there with Love. We sat there and stewed. And I thought for us both, “How I wish we weren’t on the menu!”

It was too dry to get out and too warm to stay in, so we sat in the bowl doing nothing at all. All we could do was to: float! Float! Float! Float! Love and I did not like it, a tidbit not even.

And then something went SQUISH! How that ‘squish’ made us flip! We looked! Then we saw it; we looked and we saw it step in with us! The upright walker! It stepped into the bowl with us, only to sink.
  
And, to us it then said, “Why do you float in the bowl there like that? I know it is wetter, but this bowl is not funny—being stuck into this way! It can be bigger outside of this place, and (wink, wink) I know loads of good games we can play!”

“I know a good trick, said the walker, upright, “Actually, a lot of good tricks that I will show you tonight. The world will not mind at all if I do!” So, Love and I had nothing to say, and with nothing to do but to stew, the world, we just knew, was going to be ‘out of the bowl’ for the day.

But, our wish said, “NO! NO! Make that walker go away! Tell that walker you do NOT want to stay and that there is nothing else to say!” Love and I agreed that that walker should not be here, that walker does not belong. Not about or within, not here or in there, that walker belongs outside in the air!”

“Now! Now! Have no fear, have no fear!” said the walker. “My games are not tricks and not half-bad at that,” said the walker as he or she, whatever may be, sat back down into the bowl and began to rant and then spew. “Why… we can have lots of good fun, if you wish, with a game that I call ‘UP WITH ONE OF YOU TWO FISH!’”

“Put me back down,” said my love up above, as the walker hoisted her up overhead. “This is no fun at all! Put me down,” said my love, “I do NOT care to fall!”

“Have no fear!” said the walker, as my love flew ever higher, “I will not let you fall and will hold you up tall as I stand on the rim of your bowl! Look at me now, with the good-book in one hand! And a cup on my hat to drink tea with my other! But… that is not all I can do!” said the walker teetering above with glee spreading across our world … gone asunder.
 
“Look at me, look at me now!” said the walker. “On top of the cup on top of my hat I can place a cake and another book! I can hold up two books in one hand and this fish in another! And look! A ship in the sky above water in your bowl way down under, and milk for a cat waiting with eyes on you both! Now I can jump, up and down with a tumbling ‘not coming,’ that is not ALL, oh no, not ALL at ALL!”
 
“Look at me! Look at me now! This is so fun to have fun, but in truth one must know how! I can hold up the cup and the milk and the cake! I can hold up these books and your fish… I can take! The ship sails away leading mankind astray, but on top of it all is a fan I can wave to entice and to call! I can fan with the fan as I step off the bowl, but … that is not all! Oh no, not at all…”

That is what the walker said; then it fell upon its head. It fell down with a bump and my love and I saw the whole world tumble down. She came down with the rest of the land, but into the dirt she was unable to dwell. Her parting words emptied my soul as they echoed to heaven, “Do I like this? Oh, no. I do not. This is not a good game,” said she as she lit. “Do I like this? No, I do not, not a bit and not even!”
 
“Now look and see what you did to us three!” said my love to the walker, “Now look at our home, look at this, look at that! You sank our ship, you stuck it in cake, and you rose up our bowl and stood atop it all! You should not be here just walking about, now LEAVE this house, leave our world!” said Love to the rest.
 
“But,” said the walker, “I like it a lot; to be here and walk. I will NOT go away, I will not go and I wish not! So … um … I will show you another good game that I know!” Then, he ran out.
 
And then, as fast as a bike, the upright walker ran back in with a box perched atop. The box quivered like a hat, but for only a moment and then split into two. Both halves lit down, poised at each ear lip-flapping to the walker’s head’s view. “Now look at this, look at this game,” said the walker to the two perched aside, “Have a good look at this good and marvelous trick I can do, but watch out, you may just get sick!”

Our stomachs protested as the walker’s meme began, in one ear an angel and in the other a devil sang. Both had hooks which clawed down the walker’s chest, heart-strings glowing as each half was pulled in protest. “I call this game “Fun instead!” said the walker’s head, and then it bowed deeply attempting to engage us all.

“These things you now see will pick up the rest, something new you shall see as I tell you their names with zest: Hara and Hatov!;” upon which time each also took a bow. “These things have some teeth, but they won’t bite you, and only if you feed them will they listen. All they want is to have fun and to get me out of the box in my head, to think things that aren’t true and to then clean up the mess!”

Just then they ran into the room, and flew around our bowl singing a tune. They asked us each, Love then me too, “How do you do it” and reached out to shake hands with us too. “Would you like to shake hands with Hara and Hatov?” asked the upright walker clearly wanting them back perched near each of its ears. 
 
Love reached down from heaven above and we both shook the hand of the upright walker, then we shook with Hara and Hatov, too. We shook their hands, but our wish said, “NO, NO! Those things should not be in this house, make them go! They should not be here when the real world is out! Put them out, let them out!” That is what our wish said in our heads, but just a bit late.

“Have no fear, you annoying little wish, these things are GREAT things and you are just NOT,” the walker said and then he gave each a thump on the back as Hara and Hatov ran by our bowl. “They will give you some fun on this wet and cold day! They like to play and to fly around in the sky on kites made of clay!” then the walker stumbled, as if drunk and preceded to trip, trip, stumble.
 
“NO, NO, NO, NO,” said the wish we all thought, “Not in this house, not at all ever and never should be sought! The things they will bump, the things broken will not end, I do not like it and you should all stop!”
 
Then, Love and I saw it all, as they shrunk down to small; Hara and Hatov perched back near the walker’s head. They spoke each in one ear, then the other, of the things in the night that bumped and confused us. Hatov and Hara! Then they then flew around us, first pulling my tail and then my love’s, telling tales all along! The mess that they made, and are making still, is a mess in the world not to be proud of, not one little bit! This one’s at fault and then it is that, and each mess they each make echoes out all the while! Seas froth in vain, as each merged in the other, and then the end began at the edge of the land. They did not play well and we could all see, the world would find out this beginning, a beginning which had already begun to crumble, and sing!
 
Then my love said out-loud, “Look, look!” as fear trembled out, “The world has found us… it’s found us out! What will happen to us being caught in this state, and this upright walker wading through our bowl with us, too?! What shall we do?! Get rid of Hara and Hatov!? Get rid of those two!”

So, as fast as I could I listened to Love; I leapt out of the bowl and flipped onto the floor. Hara and Hatov did not move a muscle, glued to the ears on the upright walker’s head, but all three looked down at me flopping around like I was already gone.  
 
The scene went on longer than I’d have liked, but eventually the walker reached down with light. Hara said to do so, I could hear as I flipped, but Hatov whispered that I did it on purpose and was taking a nap. The walker kept bending from inside the bowl, back and forth like a flame, and the wave that was made from the walker’s agitations sloshed my love up, again, high into the air!
 
This was not to be, so I gave up my share, which came down with flare, and as my world came down, I too slipped down … at last. Those Ones need to stop! Then, from a puddle on the floor, the walker leaned over and we spoke; we made a plan and set it in motion. We’ll do what is said, as it is spoken overhead. We’ll pack up and leave those two, while away we are taken to the world left behind!

“Oh no, oh dear,” said the walker all wet and shaking. “You did not like it, our game we made and then played! Oh dear, with a horn of light now showing, in shame the walker hung down, what a shame, shame, shame, shame. Then those two, Hara and Hatov, the walker took up and covered, down to what’s shown, and then put them back into the box, hooked it and away they all went, sadly that day.
 
“That is so good,” said Love to me, “They went away and took the two murmurs.” But, all I could think was, “What of the world to come? Such a mess will be found, and such a terrible, horrible find it would be! How can we brush it, how will it clean? There is no way ever we can fix it in time!”
But, then! The walker came back! It came back and said, “Have no fear whatsoever, this mess can be cleaned and this mess will be shined! I have a partner that helps me along, I have a partner that knows about the end! And, we have another good trick to show you, another good thing that we know!” 

The walker picked up the bowl, with four fingers and a thumb, it picked up the milk that was waiting, and picked up the ship sailing and flung it aside. With two books and a cake the walker left us all hanging, and tea was dispelled as a remedy, while the walker’s hat fell off with a cup clinking inside. In the end was the beginning as the walker stumbled further, and to our surprise it picked up all the things and was gone, with its entrance unseen, not even delivered.
The walker had melted back to the dirt whence it came, filtering down through the water of our bowl. From dirt it began and from dirt it then went, but Love and I didn’t say goodbye! The walker had come, played, and left, and now all we had was dirt under our fins. So, as the water in our bowl became crystal clear, we realized at once what we would miss.
 
The water evaporated and the air disappeared; we realized our mistake and knew what to do. With a wish and a prayer we lifted the bowl and sailed onto the wind. The dirt at the bottom began sloshing about and inside the swirls we could almost see them, walkers each one but just like Love and I a male and a female to bring the rest down. We landed on soil and planted our fins. We grew into things we could never have known. Walking onto the land holding each other’s hand, Love and I became known to the creatures we spawned—and then … with love all around, we were loved for all time.

Printable PDF download, and more short stories! Click: https://www.doronoll.com/garden-stories

Monday, March 8, 2021

Generations

It rained from above and the earth gushed water from inside its depths for a long 40 days. When the deluge ceased, what remained of the human spirit continued 150 days more, sailing, and eventually disembarking from the wooden ark they isolated in and onto freshly formed land. There, a man named Noakh planted a vineyard into the earth and then grew it into wine. Having drunk, embarrassed, our tragic forebear retired into his wife’s tent as not to be found.

He was discovered by Kham, and as Noakh had exiled himself where he couldn’t be seen, Kham, the father of Canaan, doomed his offspring for all of time. For Kham imparted to his brothers the story that was uncovered, employing a zeal born from tragedy; to “say” is one thing but to “tell” is quite another.  From Kham descended two nations: on the one side Mitzraim, a place born of social limitation, a class system with narrow design. And, on the other formed the people Canaan, whose world disintegrated along with their view as each new generation was born.

The remaining sons of Noakh went on to build the world as we still struggle to understand. Shem became our leader in deed and in name; Yafet as well, who joined Shem and respected their dad inside the tent of their mom. From these deeds we learn of the fifth commandment to come, that: when children regard their parents in the way their parents attended to a child’s welfare as they began, honoring their spiritual essence born through blood passed down, all of mankind will flourish propelling life forward—much as a tree might, growing roots, branches, leaves, and fruiting into a wondrous future forever unfolding and never undone.