Monday, August 30, 2010

The Germ of an Idea...

This how our journey to Israel began. I plan to write about our move to Israel over several posts. I may skip a post or two here or there when I feel the urge to write about other things, but as I am moved, I will describe the events leading up to our time in Israel and how it changed us forever.

One night about 24 or 25 years ago now, Jon, my husband couldn't sleep; he stayed up late and watched a movie before staggering to bed at about 3:00 AM. I was fast asleep having running around all day after our then seven or eight year old daughter. The details are sketchy now all these years later, my time frame may be a little off and my memories have faded a bit with time. 

This I remember with certainty, he stayed up late and watched a movie. And that movie changed our lives forever.

The next morning we had breakfast together as a family, it was just a normal breakfast. Afterwards, I was putting my daughter's coat on and giving her her lunch money She loved buying lunch at school rather than having me pack her lunch; it made her feel grown up to carry money and to pay for her lunch herself and she loved carrying a tray to her table.

I remember it clearly like it was yesterday, I was standing in front of the coat closet across from the dining room table where my husband was seated drinking his coffee. He said to me as I was about to walk Adrienne to the bus stop, "What would you think if we moved to Israel?" I said, "Are you out of your mind?" and walked out of the door to go to the bus stop.

When I came back in I asked him what he was talking about and it was then that he told me he had seen a movie the night before which got him to thinking. The movie was called "Goodbye, New York" or something to that effect. It was a movie about a young woman on her way to Paris for the summer. She falls asleep on the plane and someone steals her wallet with all of her money, passport, and papers. When the plane lands in Paris the stewardesses (yes, they were called stewardesses back then) forget to wake her up and she travels on to Tel Aviv were she is dumped without any of the proper documentation. 

This young girl is now stuck in Tel Aviv with no where to go but to kibbutz where she meets a dashing Israeli and falls madly in love. I never saw the movie, so I don't really know how it ends, but I assume that it has a happily-ever after ending and all is well. It sounds pretty dopey to me, but something in it struck my husband to his very core. 

It started my husband thinking about moving to Israel. Now we are Jewish, definitely secular, I'm a convert, Jon never took much of an interest in his religion beyond his heritage and he never considered Israel his homeland, but this movie caused him to think about moving to this God forsaken place. I laughed and told him he was out of his mind.

He said, "Wait, wait, think about it. A fresh start in a totally different place. New things to do. It would be an adventure." Again I laughed and told him, "No way."

He let the subject drop and didn't mention it again. Then a few days later I asked him if he was really seriously thinking about moving to Israel, and he said that it seemed like a good idea at the time. I asked him if this was something he had thought about before and he said no, it wasn't. But, Israel seemed so new and wide open and this appealed to him. I have to admit that I was excited by the thought of moving to the land of the dashing Ari from Exodus.

I was a convert and I had steeped myself in all things Jewish so that I could begin to develop an identity with my chosen people, part of that process for me was that I read many books about Jews, their history and some about Israel's inception. I have to admit the thought was beginning to excite me too.

The way we left it that day was that Jon would do a little research about the possibilities and see where we could find out more information about the country, the process of moving there and if it was really something we wanted to do. This was long before Google had been invented, so people way back then had to physically do the research themselves and there were no short cuts. He made phone calls.

Next: Aliyah? What's that? What's a Shillach anyway?

Sunday, August 29, 2010

City of Angels, Or is that Legions...

Last night I watched a movie. Jon is away, he is making his way home as I write, I was a little bored and looking for something to do. Who me meditate? No, I didn't meditate, I turned to Netflix and looked for a movie to watch instantly. One of the first ones I saw on the list was City of Angels. Now, I must be the only person alive that hasn't seen that movie, I haven't even seen little snippets of it here or there, nothing. However, I love the song in the Arms of the Angels and Uninvited and I knew both of them were in the movie. So, selected that one to watch.

Well, it was cute and a little predictable, but I enjoyed it. Normally I avoid Nicholas Cage movies, I don't think he is a great actor, he makes faces instead of acting. But, he was kind of cute when he was young. Meg Ryan is just too adorable for words. But, they were good together.

Dennis Franz's character was interesting. He is a fallen angel in the film. I'm not sure it was explained why he fell, but he is here and enjoying life. A true hedonist. He never lost his thirst for life after leaving behind his angel status. Although, it is clear that he misses his connection with God in the morning and at sunset.

Where do the people go after they die, they can't become angels, so what happens to them? Are they in some suspended limbo? That wasn't touched on really.

What I found disturbing is that it seems that the point of living is solely to indulge in the pleasure of the senses. We are put here to experience everything. To what purpose?

Now that I am writing this I see a correlation between this post and my last post. In my last post I said the that I cannot grasp after experiences, I need to just experience them and then let them go. Are we here to solely be little tasting, smelling, hearing, touching and seeing machines?

My first thought was that this movie was made during the hedonistic nineties, and everything back then was about the experience. But, I think that perhaps it's true. We are here to be God's sense organs. But, there is more to than just that, we are his hands (and his nose and his eyes and his taste buds). We are the whole ball of wax- We are God.

I know a woman who sees angels, Archangels no less. She is a psychologist, very well respected, successful, educated and all the things society says is good. But, she sees angels too. I went to a workshop or two that she has held. She always talks about "legions of angels," we are surrounded by legions of angels. That was the case in the movie last night, there were a lot of them. If this movie had been made today the angels would have been digitized, so there would have been many more of them on the screen I'm sure. But, I thought of this woman and her legions.

In her worshop she did a meditation to help us to see or feel the angels too. Now, I'm a pretty intuitive person and I can get into to it pretty quickly, but I was amazed at how quickly I felt these angels. She called in the Archangels and she placed one in each corner of the room for protection, she placed one above us and one below us. I have to say, that I felt these angels. They were huge, far bigger than the building we were in. Not only did I feel them, I saw them in a manner of speaking. I can't really say what they looked like, they were just beautiful. During the meditation she called in the legions. The angels filled the space. Not just the space in the room, but all of the space, inside me, around me, above me, below me... everywhere. I experienced them as balls of light, that isn't quite accurate, but it's close.

Years ago I heard about quarks. I think they are called quarks. Quarks are subatomic particles that make up protons and I think electrons. They are everywhere, they travel at phenomenal speeds and they combine to make up protons. Now, I have no idea what any of that means, but when I first heard that quarks were discovered, I felt that we have discovered God. Now, I'm inclined to think that we discovered angels. No, no, I mean neutrinos. Neutrinos travel at the speed of light and can pass through anything. They are all around us and everywhere just like the angels in the movie last night. Legions of neutrinos.

We don't know if any of this is true, are there really angels? I tend to think so. Someone could ask then why is there so much suffering? I don't know the answer to that except to say that from the depths of suffering we learn so much, grace can be felt, growth can happen. But, couldn't we learn the same things from joy? My answer is I have no answers. Only questions.

My counselee had a vision one day in the depths of her despair, she saw a beautiful white wing. It was huge taking up the whole window, which was a huge old window in a library. She knew this wing to be God's grace protecting her. I am sure that this wing has seen her through many dark days, even before she felt its presence. Many times I have told her to relax into this wing; "allow it to support you."

I can't see the legions of angels, but I believe they are there. Quiet now, can you feel them? Relax and feel their soft wings to brush against your skin.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

All Things Must Pass

Some time ago I wrote a post about traveling down the road. I haven't gone back to reread that post, and perhaps maybe I should, but then again, maybe I shouldn't read it until after I write this and then compare the two.

In my job I drive around a lot... a whole lot. Now, I love to drive. I love being in the car with the windows open with air rushing in making a total wreck of my hair. Some times I blast my music and some times I relish the silence. I eat lunch in my car almost every day, I usually park my car at the park, in the shade under a big ol' tree. The setting changes from day to day, the parameters do not. After lunch quite often I take a nap before I go back to work. It has become a ritual.

In the mornings on my way to the office I always take the long way around and drive through the park. It is a small park, there is a small river with grass and trees lining either side of the river. Nothing fancy, not very big, but the road along side the river is lined with huge old growth trees on both sides of the road. Of course, there are the rich people's homes beyond the trees, but I don't normally focus on them. I watch the trees.

I watch the trees. The trees and the road have taught me a lesson about life.

Now it may be obvious to most, but for me it was a powerful lesson. As I drove down this road in the park, I was struck that the trees just glide by. One comes into my line of vision, approaches, is right here in front of me, along side me, and then is gone; it leaves my line of vision. It is followed by the next tree and then the next. 

I cannot grasp the tree. If I did I would be yanked out of the car, or break my arm. There is no way that I can hold on to the tree as I drive by it. If I stop the car and hold onto the tree my forward motion has stopped- I go nowhere. To get to my office, I have to allow the trees to come and go. I have to move past them, immediately without ever grabbing so much of a leaf.

This is life, isn't it? All things must pass, to quote George Harrison. We can hold on to nothing. We must let go. When we grasp on to anything, it breaks our arm, stops our journey, and mires us down in the muck.

But, here is the really important lesson that I have learn from the trees... I can never have them. As I pass them I don't ever have them. The tree doesn't pause for even a nanno second, it just goes by without ever stopping, even for a moment. It is gone as fast as it came.

So, what does that mean? It means I can't hold on to anything, any experience, any person. Anything. Ever.

A few years ago my husband gave me the gift of a wonderful massage at a swanky day spa. It was fabulous. There were hot rocks and a massage followed by a one hour facial. It was to die for. Seriously. It was one of the most sensuous experiences of my life. The whole time I was on the table I was thinking, "Oh my God, I could spend my life like this. I don't want it to ever end." I was mourning the loss of this massage even before it was over. After it was over, I realized that I missed most of it because I was so focused on my loss... even before it happened. I missed the experience of the massage because I was stuck in my head.

I vowed that if I ever got another chance at this I was going to allow it to happen and let go of the thoughts of the ending.

Well, I was lucky, my husband signed me up for another massage at this spa again several months later. He's a good husband.

Anyway, this time I went in. It was fabulous again and again I started dwelling in my head. But, this time I stopped it. I stopped the thoughts and the mourning and I consciously focused on the massage that was happening now. I loved it. It was even better than the first time. I felt every movement and pleasure. I felt the warmth of the stones on my back as she massage my feet. I felt the steam opening my pores during the facial and smelled the cream as it softened my skin.

I remembered from the time before that it was coming to an end when she massaged my hands, but this time I was ready. I felt complete because I experienced the whole thing. I knew that someday I would have another massage, this wasn't the end. But, if it was, I had experienced it. I was present. So, if it really was the last massage that I would ever have, I had it, I own it because I really experienced it. I had it because I let it go.

This is what I experience on my drive to work. Each tree is exquisitely beautiful, the morning light shimmers in their leaves, but I can't own that moment, I can only experience it and let it go and move on to the next exquisite moment.

All that I can do is enjoy it as it goes by.

Thursday, August 19, 2010


Last night I was talking to Jon about the angst I have been feeling; those feelings that were stirred up after seeing Eat Pray Love. I'm still not sure what that's all about. I need to really look at that. It's funny, you think that you are sailing along, everything is great- you are an enlightened being and then an issue pops up; something you think you've handled before, and there it is again. Only this time, it's deeper or another aspect of your issue. But, there it is staring you in the face again. I just have to laugh. It happens time and again. I think I have it handled and then there it is... again.

That's what I am feeling. I feel stirred up again about this issue of recognition. At least that's what I think I am feeling.

But, this isn't what I wanted to write about today... because of being confronted by my stuff again. I stopped and looked at my life. I am amazed, really amazed and awed, by the changes in my life and in my husband's life. Yesterday, I paused long enough to look backwards. I was awed by what I saw. Five years ago, we were different people than we are now. The change is incredible. We were struggling emotionally and financially. Neither one of us lived up to our potential. We had issues with our families. Both of us suffered abuse as children and we never moved past it. But, then Jon's parents died and things began to shift. Jon went into a deep depression that took two years to climb out of it. Their deaths was the beginning of our metamorphosis.

Prior to that I began searching for meaning. I began to pray. I began positive affirmations. I didn't really think they would work, but I did them. This is the seed of our transformation. I came to believe that they would work and that's when things really shifted. However, I knocked on the door and it was opened wide for me by the Divine. I just needed to believe.

About ten years ago, during a meditation, I saw myself on a dirt road. The incredibly, I turned my head all the way around and I saw that everything in my life brought right to where I was standing. It was a profound moment and I think of it often, but it's full meaning hasn't been completely known until yesterday.

I have been searching for and hoping that I will feel God's presence. That I will have one of those mystical experiences where I can touch God's face.

Yesterday I had that experience. I had it when I looked behind me and I saw where I had come from. The difference between me today and me five years ago is unbelievable. I am different. I know that I am worthy, I know that I have a lot to offer the world. I have gifts beyond measure. I am lovable and I love. Compassion has blossomed. It's wonderful. And that is where I felt God's presence. I see God's hand in the changes that I've made. I see God in the chance meetings and happenings that have brought good things into my life. I see it all. I had a mystical experience, it was happening all along. God has led me right to here and that is a wonderful place to be. 

Thank you for my life.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Search For Me

I saw 'Eat Pray Love' the other day. I love the book; the movie, not so much. It was too long and I feel that too much emphasis was put on her pre-traveling days and yet I only knew of her problems because I had read the book. Then her time in India was given short shrift. While there in meditation she had a realization of God Consciousness, and that was just glossed over, by just showing her with a big smile on her face. Again, I knew that because I had read the book. 

I was disappointed. 

Plus, I went to a matinee on a Monday, the ticket was $9.00. Which was okay, I thought, but then I bought a small popcorn and a small bottle of water... $9.25. I thought that was obscene! The bottle of filtered water cost $3.75! In the convenience store the same bottle is $.99, Just nuts.

It was fun to be alone in the darkened movie theatre with just a few other people, most of them women. I enjoyed the alone time. But, the point of this post is not about the popcorn or even the movie. Since I saw the movie and while I was watching, I feel tears welling up in me every time I hear the word transformation, or transformative experiences. Why?Is it because Elizabeth Gilbert transformed in a huge way. She gained fame, love and recognition? 

I have transformed, am I feeling that my work, my transformation isn't enough or good enough? 

Looking at it written here it sounds silly and like my ego is raging. Maybe it is. I want to write a book, of course, I don't even sit my butt down and start. Well, I have started writing, I just don't finish. I get to a point and can't seem to move past that point. I am gentle with myself and don't beat myself up about it. I try to have compassion for myself. Still I don't continue.

I have transformed. I am not the same person I was eight years ago. I have achieved a lot in those years. I have done a lot of work on myself, I fought the good fight. I am different. More compassionate, I laugh a lot, I have fun. I work hard. My entire outlook on life and God and Love and life is different. I am evolving.

So, why do I tear up when I hear about transformation associated with this movie? This is my question for the day, I suppose. I will meditate on it. 

Meanwhile, I will allow Spirit to move through me, doing its work. I am open to Spirit and God to move through me. I allow transformation. I am evolving, growing and transforming. I am... I am.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Joy is Our Natural State

The other day I felt so over flowing with joy. It was an absolutely beautiful feeling. The entire world sparkled and shimmered. I felt like giggling over nothing and everything. What an amazing feeling! It was great.

Why can't those feelings last? I feel kind of punky today and a little crabby and coming off the feelings of joy, my little crabby has taken on a life of its own.

My Monday morning prayer call makes me feel wonderful and connected and at the same time there is a disconnect that takes place within me. It's a strange sensation. I must really love this call because I call every week and rarely miss one. Yet this feeling of disconnect happens every time. It's strange to watch it happen.

The wonderful thing about it all is is that I observe it happening inside me. I feel the disconnect and I watch it move through my body. Click... I've hit the off switch. I see happening and yet it is not part of me. It is some how separate from my experience. There is a part of me that is never touched and always constant it whole and perfect.

It is happening more and more that I experience what is happening around me and yet I am untouched by it.


The love I feel for my life, my family, my friends, my community, my work, my body, my home, my being is incredible. I am blessed. I am blessed. I am blessed. So, maybe I'm not all that disconnected afterall. Perhaps being on the phone for two hours is the primary source of my annoyance. Could be.

I have a cold that is hanging on for dear life. It seems to have left my head and is drifting down towards my chest. It has been hanging on for over two weeks now and it is annoying. I want to go to the movies today, but I worry that I am going to hack my way through it and disturb the folks sitting around me. What to do, what to do? I'm going. I'll get some cough drops before I go and suck my way through the movie.

My main revelation this week is just this simple feeling of joy. I believe that this joy has always been present, it has just been covered over by all the crap that I have wrapped myself in for all these years. Problems and difficulties are illusion of my own creation. As soon as I began to unravel them, joy began to peek through.

I am so struck as I do my work in hospice that old people are cloaked in these illusions; you can hear the unending tape repeating itself through their dementia. The issues and problems, repeat themselves over and over as they speak. Oh, the words may change, but the tape keeps replaying the same old song. They have probably sung this song all their lives. And now at the end of their lives they cannot change it or do anything differently. The pattern is carved in stone. But, if it were possible to unravel it, joy would peek through.
Joy is our natural state. Look at any toddler and tell me that isn't so. It is only as the psychological injuries and hurts get heaped on does our joy begin to fade. We begin to conform to what is expected of us. Comply to survive. And the voice of joy begins to diminish.

Go play today. Even if you have to work. Play. Watch your breath. Look at the clouds. Be with a child and listen to them. See their joy and know that this is your birthright too. We are joy. Our natural state is joy. it is your natural state too.

Enjoy. No matter what you must do today, even if it is just for a moment or two, enjoy. Breathe. You are alive. And that is enough.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Live Life Now

Sometimes when I am writing here I am aware that that I sound like I am ranting and raving, looking under every rock for a peek at God, and in many ways, I suppose I am. I know that I am searching for answers and meaning to life. It is natural when a person is no longer young and the fact of aging begins to make itself known and the possibility of lying to yourself becomes harder and harder; your mortality makes itself known. You are going to die. I am going to die.

Working with hospice has really helped me recognize my own mortality- I am going to die. So, what does that mean? What does life mean? Is there a purpose to it all? Well, I'm sure there is a purpose to it. I just haven't figured it all out and I doubt that I will.

But, this much I know is true, life is meant to be lived. Many people die without every living. Many people are so afraid, afraid of rejection, afraid of pain, afraid of looking like a fool, afraid of failure, afraid of ridicule, afraid of dying, so afraid of life that they don't every live. They exist and never know that there is anything more. I don't mean that you have to climb Mount Everest or make a solo flight over the Atlantic, although those things are exhilarating for sure. We just need to experience life... now.

In the opera Tosca, the hero Mario Cavaradossi, is condemned to die. He is in prison looking through the window at the night sky; he sings of the beauty of the stars and the earth and he says, "And desperately I die. And never before have I loved so much." Many of us wait until we hear a terrible diagnosis and prognosis before we begin to fully appreciate life and those we love. We are so tangled in our fears that we never see the truth of what is right in front of us the whole time: Life is meant to be experienced. And the only way to do that is to be here now. Not caught up in thought worrying about things that haven't happened yet or what might have been, but living life now, as it is. As it is with all of the messiness and meanness and pain. When we can feel our pain, experience our hurts we also clear the way for feeling our joys, our triumphs and our love.

Many years ago, I was really lost, at least I thought I was. I was disappointed that I didn't have a big career, I was upset that I didn't live up to what I thought I should have. You realize that all of these thoughts of failure were all my own thoughts. No one was judging me but me. Anyway, I was sitting outside of my parents place in Florida, looking at the seagulls and pelicans, enjoying the late afternoon breeze. In that moment, I felt great peace and joy. It was perfect. I said to my father, "What is so wrong with just sitting here and watching life go by?" Of course, I got the answer that we are meant to accomplish something with our lives, we need to make something of ourselves, etc. Well, that question has stayed with me all these years and I have come to the conclusion that I knew the answer all along. We are meant to experience life right now and that means being. Being just as you are, seeing life just as it is and accepting everything for the perfection that it is; even the ugly and painful parts. Then we experience life, we live our lives to the fullest.

Of course, you can climb Mt Everest or fly across the Atlantic in a Piper Cub. I want to see the Himalayas, I want to travel the Inland Waterways, I want live in a silent retreat for a year and work for children in Africa. I dream of doing these things. But even if I never get to do these things, it doesn't change the fact that I have lived my life. Because all those years ago when I asked my father my question and he gave me that answer, I knew deep within me that watching life go by, experiencing it and being a participant as well as the observer was the true meaning for me. I know that I don't have to wait until I am condemned to die like Mario Cavaradossi to look out of my prison window and say, "Never have I loved so much."

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Jews For Jesus

This is a post that I wrote more than a month ago. As I said in my previous post, I couldn't figure out how to change my blog to suit the new format. It turns out that it was very easy, I just needed to take the time to work my way through it. So, this is one of the posts I did not post during that period. I happen to like this post. So here it is:

Well, it's 1:30 in the morning and I can't sleep... again. Last night I was up for about four hours and tonight it looks like it's going to be the same deal again; which is weird since I was so sick on Monday. I'm tired, I'm just not sleeping. Sleepless in New Jersey, it almost sounds like the title to a movie... or not.

I haven't written in a long time. I'm not sure why. I just haven't. There have been changes to Blogspot, and besides that, I seem to be going through something again. I don't meditate any longer. I'm not interested in the machinations of my meditation group anymore, all they do is obscure the quest so they don't have to do the work. I don't really want to participate in anything at my seminary. I'm over Spiritual Counseling. I'm thinking about signing up for CPE training, but the thought of all those hours is daunting.

I can't let my feelings towards my brother go. A woman that I work with has me bugged. She is a Jesus freak and she hasn't a clue... A Jew for Jesus no less. Which I don't get, if you are a Jew for Jesus why not just call yourself a Christian and be done with it? Generally, Christians don't seem to understand Jesus' message and she is worse than most. When I first met her, I actually heard her introduce herself to another person as a "Hebrew." As an Israeli, I almost choked! Then she looked at me and corrected herself in mid-sentence, but the damage was done... I knew she was a freak from that moment on. Her mother must be so proud.

I was allowed in the "Inner Sanctum" at seminary and I now see clearly that they are all co-dependent and dysfunctional. I thought they were paragons and ideals. It makes me sad, really. The people at my seminary, it turns out, are just people and not gods.

And I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up.

So, I am going through yet another phase. This is the "Burned Out, What's the Point?" phase, I suppose. I am burned out. Even the thought of going to New York twice a month as a Deans' Assistant is bumming me out.

But, here's the thing, all of the above is true. I am burned out. I'm tired. Living here is weighing heavily. And I am suffering from a lack of faith, maybe as well as a lack of privacy. The other day I read something that really hit home. I'm reading the book "Passionate Presence" by Catherine Ingram. It's a wonderful book, in it she says that we all have attachments (nothing new there), but even wanting to know God is an attachment. I never thought of that before. I was so busy ridding myself of all my attachments so that I might know God a little better and here I am making new attachments for myself.

I have worked hard to let go of my displeasure at living here in my childhood home with all of the unpleasant associations and even that is yet another attachment! Shit. Does this mean that everything in life is an attachment? It's a ball of rubber bands that cannot be unwound. I'm hopelessly lost.

I long to feel God's presence. I don't meditate any longer because I feel like it's a waste of time; all I do is fall asleep. I do God's work and I must admit that sometimes when I am with a patient, I feel God moving through me to help them; to be what they need in that moment. Those are the moments I long for. But, they are brief moments that are gone too soon.

Part of the reason I love my seminary so much is that while I am there I feel such an incredible connection to spirit, to other people, to God. Does the fact that they are a dysfunctional group lessen my experience? Is it a bogus sham and I am a helpless pawn? Gees, I hope not.

It seems that I am whining a lot tonight. I am casting about for answers. Answers that are no answers.

When I am sitting in the park, eating my peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and the birds are flying and the squirrels are scavenging, the clouds are drifting by reflected in the brown water of the flowing river I feel connected to all that is. We are all doing it together. We are being together. We are God.

All the rest is shit.

Why can't I stay there? Why can't I sleep? Why does faith have to be so hard? Does this trashing about have a purpose? If so, I can't fathom it. Maybe God has a sense of humor and enjoys our chest grabbing and brow beating. Maybe that's why God invented Jews for Jesus, he needed a good laugh.

Text ColorWell, I have been trying to figure out how to post to my blog for sometime now. It's really difficult... at least for me since technology is passing me by. It's frightening. I was always computer savvy and managed quite well, but in the last complete of years I find that it is becoming more and more incomprehensible to me how to maneuver around computers, websites, jargon and how they all interface.

So, here I am struggling along with my blog.

I have been writing, but not posting because of the change in format last May. I decided to try again to figure out how to save my blog and continue to post... this is my effort. Will it work? Let's try. I am going to post this now and see. It appears that I cannot write remotely and then cut and paste my writing into the box provided. I must write directly... I think.

Here goes.... Good luck.