It’s the Light, This Morning

 

There is light, just over the horizon.  Just on the other side of that mass of fog.  Other side of the mountain.  It’s not piercing, or blazing, but it’s there.  Sometimes the fog, up there, accentuates the mystery in our lives, in nature.  

The huge mountains, their peaks taking center stage … are sometimes shrouded by the fog that hints of light.  The peaks, no longer at center stage.  It’s not the peak, that’s the focus. It’s the light, in different forms.

Someone said, long ago:

“Weeping my endure for the evening.  Buy Joy returns in the morning.”
http://psychologyofcolor.com
The Grove Park Inn, Ashville, NC / http://psychologyofcolor.com

We need light, we want light.  At night, the sun sinks downward, eastward, and temps drop: we are helped by the light that keeps us warm.  Someone said that there is a fire that refines us like a furnace.  “A fire gives light, which draws us in; and a fire also burns.”

 

A great quote, from Shadowlands, goes like this: “We read to know, that we are not alone.”  I think sunsets, sunrises, light hiding behind the fog, behind the peaks do that for us as well.  They all let us know … we are not alone.

 

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An Image of Hope

Hope, from an image.  Not just an image, but a painting.  Not just a painting, but a Rembrandt; Rembrandt’s The Return of the Prodigal Son.

The Return of the Prodigal Son https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Rembrandt

Rembrandt’s painting connects with a biblical passage, Luke 12.  Here is my “Readers Digest” version, a short paraphrase that does not do the full story justice.  So, accept my apology.  A younger brother, working with his father and older brother in the field, complained to his father about the hard work, the boredom.  He wanted to leave with all of his inheritance immediately.  The father agreed, with great consternation.  The younger brother left on his adventure, and it was not long before he blew his inheritance on drink and revelry.  Hungry because he had no food, no money.  He got a job at a pig farm, and saw that the pigs were getting fed better than he was.  The younger brother then decided to go back home, humble himself before his father (he was truly humbled, broken, devastated) and apologize; he would take a job as a hired hand.  At least he would not go hungry.

The Prodigal Son, welcomed by the father http://www.rembrandtpainting.net

 When the prodigal son came into view from where his father stood, the father ran to his son with unfathomable gratitude that his lost son was back.    He instructed his servants to put together a feast.  The (above) painting shows the younger son, the prodigal, in his ragged clothes, humbling himself before his father, expressing his sorrow for being a fool, and leaving home.  The older son’s jealousy and anger with his younger brother.  The older brother stands to the right in the painting, looking on, with jealous and angry with his younger brother.

Rembrandt painted The Return of the Prodigal Son about two years before his death, suggesting that Rembrandt identified with the Prodigal.  Rembrandt died penniless, before his fame could catch up with him.

Other paintings resonate with the theme of The Return of the Prodigal Son, such as “Merry Company” by Gerrit van Honthorst (1623), showing the Prodigal squandering his inheritance.

Image result for rembrandt paintings the prodigal son
“Merry Company” Gerrit van Honthorst 1623

 

I refer to hope, in this post, connected to Rembrandt’s painting, simply because the Prodigal found love, acceptance, and a place to belong.

Lastly, I cherish The Return of the Prodigal Son because I am a prodigal.  The difference is that I never really returned home.  I just made visits.  Yet, my father always loved me; always accepted me; always welcomed me.

All of this comes with strange timing.  Father’s day is coming up, and I consider that I could have been a better father for my son; as my father was to me.  My father is 93, and he recently experienced a fairly serious turn for the worst in the last 48 hours.  My brothers and I are hoping for the best.  Hope is what we have.  Hope emerges from different places, different people, different stories.

 

Healing in the Land of the Bullies

IMG_0946The storms, continuous. There are good days that have been very good days, a reminder that the storms do, in fact, blow over. Healing happens in the storms: injustice, hardships, pain.  Some people are like storms(!),( they bring chaos, frenzy, intensity. Others are like good days, bringing the sun, clarity, calm. There are unexplainable moments of beauty in the storms.  The dark storms come, without beauty: the bad stuff, people who want to make life hellish / difficult / cruel  … I feel bullied.  And, I try to remember: there is healing.  Healing in the land of the bullies.   IMG_0946  I am not a victim; I (we) have what it takes to do the next thing.  I’ve worked with kids, removed from the home because of the parents’ own style of bullying … sexual abuse and neglect. I think about people in Michigan, violently bullied by a man with a gun, illogical, brutal.  I recall images of people in Paris, running for safety, away from terrorists killing innocent citizens.  I think of bullies like cancer, Parkinson’s Disease; I think of bullies who target students in school; I think of corporations saturated with greed bullying American consumers; I think of women, men, harassed in the work place unmercifully.  Such a small list.  So, the healing … it is not just about me.  It cannot be just about me.  Yet, there are times when I get preoccupied with “self”, and I believe it is about me.  

When we are bullied by people we do business with; when we are bullied by life; the car that breaks down in route to a meeting; the depression that rears it’s ugly head, our joy sliding away … when those times happen, our anguish is real and legitimate, and we do need healing.  We need healing in the Land of the bullies.  And in that healing, we can sometimes see a little more than what … initially … meets the eye.

image

 

 

 

 

Paris

Paris fighter jets hammering Raqqa with bombs. 7 darkened souls tracked down in Belgium. Suicide bombers being identified. There is still loss in Paris. I am haunted and humbled. My day: get up on time, make it to church. Pick up kiddos, 2:30, after weekend youth retreat. Walmart prescription. Home; laundry; wood in for the stove because some snow’s coming; get the fire going, get the kiddos dinner. Be a good husband; be a good dad; try to make something out of this old, weathered, life, that will hold some redemptive value. Then I think about Paris: hellishness-trauma-loss-violence-fear. I was driving east down Bowles in 1999 April 20th in Littleton, CO. and saw a SWAT unit, not one not two but three, and so many police cruisers-different counties … I turned on the radio: there was a massacre going on at Columbine High School about 10 minutes away, just off Bowles. In 2001, September the 11th I was at work, Denver Rescue Mission, watching on the two massive TV screens in the auditorium, two planes crash into the towers. A report came in, as I stood by Jon Gettings, that the fourth plane had been hijacked. Jon slowly looked at me …“It’s still going on.” Yes, It is still going on. Different ways, different places, different times, but loss follows, and fear, and confusion, pain, anger. I pray, I grieve, I hope, and … I don’t know what else to do. I still have to work. I continue to love my wife, my kids; and I continue to go out and get three or four trips of wood for the stove. God help me, to not get numb, desensitized. And help me to do what I need to do. And help the good guys wipe out the bad guys.

Creeks and Rivers Running Strong

“Redundant” … I am a bit embarrassed that my short writing today is a bit redundant.  I’ve talked about the waters, here, in the front range area of the Rocky Mountains.  I’ve talked about seasons.  I’ve talked about my own grappling with my challenge, stepping into what is next.   And yet, this mix has gathered … like a small group … at the front of my present being.   As the gathering has come together, I … therefore … write.

Every single time I take a look at Bear Creek, it’s waters flowing … not only fast, but strong … I acknowledge the beauty of nature, and I acknowledge my poignant disruption happening.  I know that I would not allow myself to get caught in those currents, for they would overpower me, and slam me against the boulders.

It is one thing to talk about that which I see.  It is one thing to feel what it is that is flowing through my veins, pumping rapids of thought into my mind.  It is one thing to think about the metaphorical implications what all that is around me: a new season arriving as you and I connect; intimidating rapids storming through the passes; the rallying words of wisdom I read and hear.

It is a separate thing … to move intentionally with vision, and passion, and out of necessity … in order to transcend my own mediocrity, my small portions of subtle self-pity, and to fight well in spite of my woundedness.  I do, truly, want to overwhelm the lies that could keep me stuck in the molasses-like fog.

And this business of moving … I believe it is not as simple as I want it to be.  And it is true, that this business of moving  … is not as difficult as I sometimes think.

 

Piano Guys Hanging Out With Some Seniors

ThePianoGuys.Com

The visual …

that goes along with the medley, performed by the Piano Guys is unexplainably moving, unexplainably important, a reminder of honoring those who have gone before us.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tyPDQpel8bI&index=9&list=PL7496CDCFFD1B83AC

The theme of community: I am compelled to write about community; and the theme of community, swirls here, in this video.  Let us not forget each other.  

Piano Guys, hanging out with some Seniors. us105fm.com

 

Yuletide Man, ELUSIVE

The following post, rooted in my imagination, should not be taken literally.  Imagination has always been a highly valued resource for me.  As I become older, I try to remember to practice that imagination.   ‘Hope you enjoy.  And, have a stellar Christmas.

Rare glimpses. 

His appearance changes, and there are some odd theories out there, about … where … the man might be, at any given time.  Steven Wright’s theory: 

Yuletide Man: a man, a healthy girth, covers much ground, much air space (without being shot down), undeniably a mysterious man.

Below left: image from satellite of the SOC (Santa’s Operation Center).  Below right: sketching of Santa Claus from a confidential source.

Santa Clause / http://www.flickr.com/photos/walkadog/3794092024/
Possible location where Santa Clause resides and works / http://www.kriss-kringle.com

 

 

 

 

 

Yuletide Man: a man, a healthy girth, covers much ground, much air space (without being shot down), undeniably a mysterious man.  

Visionary, a hope agent, an “other-centered” man; a logistical-minded man, a genius, this  “Santa Claus”.

His has organized a system for the storage of multitudes of gifts, the movement from storage to the loading docks, distribution plans … all of this is amazing.  

A report from a confidential source, classified, slipped through the cracks back in the late nineties, made its way to my desk, with the request to burn the report as soon as possible.  I will get around to that, eventually.  The polar regions (North and South) have always been monitored carefully: some men  / women are about keeping the North Pole safe, a neutral place, where Santa can work; and others are interested in claiming the north pole for strategic purposes, with some degree of ill intent on their minds.    

I attempted to do some research on the security protocols for keeping SOC (Santa’s Operations Center) safe.  A few days after I began my research, the dogs started barking, and I knew we had visitors.  I opened the front door to see a group of ominous looking vehicles: two black vans, with men dressed like SWAT – guys coming out, guns drawn; and three SUVs with running lights on the top.  Long story short: I was asked in depth, about my interest in the security protocols with the North Pole.  I was told that this information is classified to protect Santa Clause and the work he is doing, year round. 

Indeed, the man is truly elusive; not only the man but the work that goes on there.  When NORAD’s Santa Tracker emerged, I experienced some degree of relief, knowing that there are people tracking with SOC.  That link, by the way, is: http://www.noradsanta.org/

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