Rosh Chodesh Elul, and reflecting upon the past year

 Today is the first day of the last month of the Hebrew year, and I’ve been reflecting on this past year for some time, now.  Last year was a shock, starting with the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, whom I’d honestly expected (wishful thinking, I know) to live until president Biden could pick her replacement.  After everything else she’d lived through, it seemed unbelievable that she could die at such a crucial moment for all of us.  And then, while most of my fellow Americans helped prevent some worse occurrence, the general election in November was still a bitter disappointment, for me, in my fellow Californians.  Coming to a state where I’d always heard of the progressive and community oriented ways of thinking, of the clean air laws and the Intentional Communities nurtured in this state, I was shocked to find that this was not so.  And this past November, the denial of benefits as employees to ‘gig’ worker drivers was an even more stunning blow.  That, and the other ballot initiative which I’ve forgotten all but the impact, as rather similar to that first denial: these were not the caring people I’d been looking for.  But then, where could they be, in a world like the one we’ve built for ourselves? 

  So, I look back to the words of Toni Morrison, that we need dreamers to dream of new possibilities for shaping our world, new ways of being, ways that move us toward caring for each other, toward making it possible for each and every one of us to have safe and secure shelter, enough nutritious food, clean water, and dignity of work that allows all human beings to contribute, to rest, and to move us all forward as one human race.


And I look ahead to the coming 12 months, first with a contentious recall election coming up in California, and then back to the question, ever present, of where is that community of willing workers, united in service to the good of all humanity, where I can both contribute, and be truly included, myself, as well?

To Human Kindness, 


Action Items:  

1.) What thoughts do you have about the past year, and how we can make the next 12 months better for all human beings?

Dear Readers, ideas on learning, especially multiple #LanguageLearning, on-going education and empathy-building, to #EndPoverty, #EndHomelessness,  #EndMoneyBail & achieve freedom for All HumanKind

Support our key #PublicDomainInfrastructure  &  for heavens sake: please #StopSmoking for CCOVID-19 (or even for good!)!:
1. #PublicLibraries,
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare, and
4. good #publictransport
Read, Write -one can add Stayed on Freedom’s Call via this GoodReads button:  Stayed on Freedom's Call: Cooperation Between Jewish And African-American Communities In Washington, DC,


Vote, Teach and Learn (PDF Lesson Plans offline)

my Babylon 5 review posts, if you like Science Fiction,
a proposed Vision on Wondering Wednesdays: for a kinder world…

Shira Destinie A. Jones, MPhil

the year 2021 CE = the year  12021 HE

(Day 1Day 5)

Stayed on Freedom’s Call
(free copies at:…)
includes two ‘imagination-rich’ walking tours, with songs, of Washington, DC. New interviews and research are woven into stories of old struggles shared by both the Jewish and African-American communities in the capital city.

Shared histories are explored from a new perspective of cultural parallels and parallel institution-building which brought the two communities together culturally and historically.

Please leave a review, if you can, on the GoodReads page.

Yassas,   γεια σας!    Salût !  Nos vemos!  Görüşürüz!     ! שָׁלוֹם

Creative Commons License
Shira Destinie Jones by ShiraDest is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

26 thoughts on “Rosh Chodesh Elul, and reflecting upon the past year

        1. Working on it. As soon as I finish answering these comments, I’m going to sit down with the 4th Harry Potter for a re-read, in English, this time, Damn it!
          (actually wasn’t my fault, as I lived in France when I got a copy…)

          Liked by 3 people

        1. It’s only tiredness, and I do plan to take a few days off, now that I’ve got my rough draft mostly done. I’ve gotten a book from the library to read just for relaxation, but it doesn’t solve the problem of needing to find a place to live that is safe from smoke and vape incursions into my space, not to mention belligerent smokers trying to hide their smoking and telling me not to wear a mask or sanitize my hands!

          Liked by 2 people

        2. Thank you, David, especially for the hugs. The problem is that whenever I try to relax, I come right back to that basic issue of not having any folks with whom to relax. I’ve longed for family my entire life, and am finally trying to accept the fact that that simply will not happen. I’m exhausted from looking in so many places for community, for built family, and even simply for people who work toward the same values that I hold dear. That search took me to Turkey, Mexico, England, back home to DC, then to France, back again to DC for a short while, and out to NM and CA, but none of those promises have panned out, and I am starting to run out of both energy and hope in my quest to find others with whom to stive, shoulder to shoulder, for a kinder world.
          That is the true problem.
          Still working on a solution.
          Shira Destinie

          Liked by 2 people

  1. I have thought deeply not only about the past year, but about changes mostly in behaviors of people I’ve noticed for quite some time now. I’ll admit I’ve been ignorant to many topic’s thinking they weren’t important because they didn’t effect me directly. I’ve since learned otherwise and now do my best to stay informed. My issue has been how to write about my findings without placing blame or singling out a particular group and finding solutions as a whole.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you, 5th: exactly what I’ve been feeling, too. It’s not easy to propose solutions without calling out certain groups, but those universal solutions seem to be the best approach for avoiding more problems.

      Please forgive my delay in responding to your comment(s): I’ve been really tired lately.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Such a good article. I do wish everyone could think about the greater good, and intent verses impact. There truly is a call to action for all of us for the greater good of our country and larger world. (Excellent piece).

    Liked by 2 people

  3. No worries, it’s been the same w/ me. Completely exhausted between two neurologist & other doctors, work & making sure I stay on top of regular life responsibilities, lol. I have to force myself to sit still & think about something fun & exciting 😊. Take it easy my dear!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I enjoyed reading your Elul reflection.
    I can’t speak to the specifics of California, as I don’t live there. One thing in general that helps me cope with disappointing election results is recognizing that they don’t necessarily mean that the general public are irredeemably bad people who want the opposite of what I want. Elections often mean that voters are choosing between a limited set of (often, deeply flawed) choices within the context of a flawed electoral system. Even on ballot initiatives and policy decisions, a law with good intent can be worded in such a way that it either doesn’t work or has too many negative consequences. Yes, voting tells you what the people want, in a way, but there are a lot of confounding factors such that it’s difficult to make sweeping assumptions.
    I believe that if we could fix issues with the electoral system (eg. introducing ranked choice voting, ensuring accessible, fair, and secure elections, etc.), improve civics education, and if the nature of politics changed such that instead of being so divisive and polarized, it would be possible to work more collaboratively on policy, I think a lot of things would change for the better.
    Take it easy and get some rest.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Alot of things would get better, yes, with RCV/irv, etc, but the issue that I am seeing out here is that people, especially more well off people, simply do not care about the fate of those considered to be poor, those experiencing homelessness, or even those unable to drive. I’m consistently seeing levels of hypocrisy and dishonesty out here, from the very people who claim to be trying to help, that is shocking, even by DC standards. And that’s saying something.

      The election results were simply the last straw.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I hear ya. It is really hard to get people to care about things that do not affect them directly.
        One of the things I really liked about Cracked (back when they actually published good content) was that they used to have these personal experience features, which not only told about the experience in a really engaging way, but some of them also showed you how easy it is to find yourself impoverished, homeless, etc.
        Hypocrisy and dishonesty are really disheartening.
        Hugs, if wanted.

        Liked by 2 people

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