The Branch

I remember the branch. It looked like a creek, a skinny creek with steep banks, or sides.  Maybe it was a creek.  But is wasn’t as a creek.  It was a branch.

“First recorded in 1835, ‘the branch’ (at that time and in that context) is a word for a creek, brook, stream of clean drinkable water.”
(From Wikipedia)

The branch possessed a fair share of curves, maneuvering through a forest of tall pine trees faithfully guarding the branch on both sides.   Massive quantities of pine straw lay at the base of the banks, next to the cool water. Jeff and I were committed  to the adventures of the branch.  This included running starts, catapulting our immortal pre-adolescence over the branch… landing on the deep, spongy, masses of pine straw, perilously close to the water.  There was extraordinary power flying through the atmosphere, upwards of 100 mph.  Jeff’s dog went by the name of “Smoky”, who appeared to be a Labrador mix; a charcoal-gray scoundrel, a real scrapper.  My dog went by the name of “Spotty”: a collie, much more of a refined dog.   Jeff and I would follow a trail that led through the woods, alongside the branch.  When we reached the turn-around point, the dogs were behind us at first, but quickly faded into the forest.  When we reached the place where the trail started, both dogs were there, waiting on us.  We never understood how that worked.  Since the euphoric days of the branch, I am still committed to adventure, amidst those pieces of life I fail to understand.  That is part of the adventure.  There are days when we do what Indiana Jones would do,  “… I’m planning this as I go along.”

Image result for Images Indiana Jones planning this as I go along

 

It Is Spring, It Is Not, It Is Good

This post was to go out a couple of weeks ago.  Bummer.

I thought I would hold off before I stood up on a chair and belt out a song and a yawp of joy … Spring has been elusive, winter waiting until our guard was down, believing that Spring was bully here … and then rushing in like fierce snow birds, snow bunnies, snow squirrels.  Now, I think that the snow is over, for the year.  True, anything can happen.  Snow in June?? Not yet.  The injustice, here, is that Spring has almost flown the coop; slipped out the back, Jack; gone for the year … We may have a little  Spring left.   Those seasons, they keep changing. Such a simple statement, with profound implications.  Our seasons in our lives, they look different for all of us.   Me … I belief that I am in a season where I’m breaking through barriers of resistance.  It is one thing to decide that it is your / my season … to break through barriers; and an entirely different matter to do it.  This idea (you have already heard about)  that sometimes the places we are at in life, struggling with certain issues, difficulties, offer us something, like a “pay-off”, and because of that we choose to stay, to linger, in these places.  Those places might be in a desolate canyon with very few trees.  Or, anxiety is dominant, or we wear depression like a heavy wool topcoat.  And some might say that we struggle to move on, to move out, of those places … because we find some paradoxical comfort there.  Maybe it is “the known”, versus “the unknown”.  My final thought is this.  For us to break through the barriers of a difficult season: we need a blend of specific, trustworthy, wise, supportive, and sensitive  sojourners to walk with us; and we also need to embrace the reality that we must have some time to “sit in” a desert place of pain, to think through the process, the motives for wanting to leave what is familiar, and the implications of stepping into (again) the unknown.  Peace be with you, sojourning bloggers.  And, keep writing.

Hold On! It’s (Already) A Bumpy Ride!


http://quotesgram.com/bumpy-roads-of-life-quotes/

Many months ago, I wrote a post about a kiddo … an autistic boy, 11 at the time … charged with a felony, because he kicked a chair at school.  A police officer handcuffed Kayleb.  Two weeks later, Kayleb was told, when school let out, that he had to stay after school.  This young autistic boy became agitated, especially as the school police officer laid hands on Kayleb, and then handcuffed Kayleb (again).  This story has a good ending.  For over a year, it was a very, bumpy, ride.  I’ll come back to that ending.

https://cure.org/2013/04/update-landslide-in-kijabe-kenya/rough-road/

When was your last bumpy ride, fellow bloggers and epic adventurers? You are in the midst of one, now?  Yeah.  Me, too.  Writers write, one of the reasons is to RELEASE “it”: the ridiculousness of the chaos we are in; the frustration of being immensely frazzled; the heaviness in our hearts because we worn down, discouraged, wondering if we are going to get through this one …  And there are more battles beyond this one.

http://www.coloradoguy.com/chinaman-gulch/4wd-trail-photos.htm

Sunday, when we arrived back from the city, to the Other Side of the Trees, we had no water.  I tried all possible options for what the problem(s) were.  Nothing worked.  I found the 7 gallon blue water containers, and went to our neighbor who lives about 100 yards up the mountain.  Here it is Thursday night, and still no water.  But … we do have the “diagnosis”.  It’s not what we wanted, but, at least we know the problem.  We have to replace the well pump.  I think, the well is 75 feet deep, which is nothing compared to some folks.  Hopefully, he will be here tomorrow.  Water?  I don’t know, hopefully tomorrow, but most probably Saturday.  It’s really stressful to not have water.  The same day that Water Man came to diagnose our “up-creek-without-a-paddle-situation”, I had to go into the city to get my friend, Brake Man, to replace the brake pads.  Indeed … what a bumpy ride.

Now, back to Kayleb’s story.  Kayleb was going to be an 11-year old felon for getting agitated, and two weeks later resisting a police officer when the officer tried to restrain him.  About 150,000 people from all over the planet joined the fight, calling out for Kayleb’s justice, for all charges to be dropped.  I received an EMAIL  March 14th with the good news that Kayleb’s charges were finally dropped.  The boy is 13 now.  REALLY?  It took THAT LONG … to clear this up?  Indeed.  A very bumpy ride.

We Are Moving, Hold On To Your Hats

http://www.irishtimes.com/sport/golf/lefty-doffs-his-cap-to-rory-mcilroy-s-recent-run-1.1902812
http://www.irishtimes.com/sport/golf/lefty-doffs-his-cap-to-rory-mcilroy-s-recent-run-1.1902812

My understanding is that … everyone … crossed over the turbulent, rapid-ridden river, into the new wilderness, 2016.  So, no no one needs to be left behind, although at there are times when we may feel that way.  Once again, that familiar piece of wisdom comes up, “You cannot always trust your feelings.”  So, let’s move.  And hold on to your hats.

http://www.workflowmax.com/blog/hold-on-to-your-hats-the-new-workflowmax-practice-manager-ui-will-be-arriving-mid-june-2014
http://www.workflowmax.com/blog/hold-on-to-your-hats-the-new-workflowmax-practice-manager-ui-will-be-arriving-mid-june-2014

The pain of countless tragedies, in 2015, is is a given … we shall not debate that truth.  Nor, shall we camp on those countless tragedies.  A big difference, between remembering, redemptively remembering … and giving over our power to the losses.  In one sense, we can say,”We have no choice.  We must move forward into the hope.”  In another sense, it is good to acknowledge  reality, especially in order for us to move on with intentionality: “Some may choose not to move forward.”  The choice is the reality.  Move? Or stay?

http://www.tvguide.com/news/indiana-jones-movie-sequel-confirmed/
http://www.tvguide.com/news/indiana-jones-movie-sequel-confirmed/

Walk with me, and I will walk with you, as we move forward … into the hope and the expectation that there are good things ahead, into the knowledge that we do have what it takes, into the light.  Winston said something like this: “This could be our finest hour.”  And, do something else with me: hold on to your hat.

Spiral Notebooks ! !

From the draft on August, ’14

Spirals (notebooks), collected over years, holding so much of my days, specific hours, moments where writing was the right thing to do. Better writers than I have organized their Spirals (color coding?).  

Notebooks & Red Cup
Notebooks & Red Cup

Alas, I am not one of these cool spiral scholars.  In the small room at the top of the stairs to the right, a place that I reluctantly call an “office”, I noticed stacks of notebooks in different places.  I believe that a small hurricane flew to my office, left its tracks, the notebooks landing in a chaotic posture.  These pictures may give you a glimpse of what I am talking about:

Spirals under desk
Spirals under desk

 

Spirals somewhere
Spirals somewhere

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not too long ago, I experienced a different kind of encounter with spirals, on an outing with my son, a passionate young  wild man.

My son has a black compass-with-(fold up) binoculars, attached to a sharp looking black lanyard.  This week the boy dropped his compass, and one of the binocular lenses popped out, a serious problem to be resolved, immediately.  The idea of my son on an expedition through the Yukon, or backpacking into the wilderness of Alaska, or accepting a dangerous mission in the Himalayas … without his black compass-with fold up binoculars is truly a sobering thought.

We jumped into the jeep, found where his black compass-with fold up binoculars could be replaced.  After the exchange of old for new, we both looked around.  In the Home / Office section, there were …

spirals – – – .25 a piece!

Robust joy, flowing through my being!  Opening up a new notebook, never written in, releasing the words that flow down on to that beautiful, white, first, page is an outrageously cool thing.  I often think of famous authors, using notebooks, like Leonardo da Vinci.

Leonardo da Vinci’s notebook / http://quovadisblog.com/2010/01/25/guest-post-leonardos-notebook/

 

“It doesn’t look like much … no bigger than a pack of playing cards, yet it is one of the most precious objects on display in the new Medieval and Renaissance Galleries in the Victoria & Albert Museum London. The notebook of Leonardo da Vinci which dates from 1490-3 is one of five owned by the museum and it was bequeathed by English collector, John Forster in 1876.”  The comments are from Lito Apostolakou, freelance author, historian, and feature writer at Suite101; she also has a fascinating blog on the history of writing instruments, where she writes about seeing one of Leonardo’s notebooks.  

And, I’ll close with this image: one of Mark Twain’s notebooks.  This picture came from a good blog post, http://http://www.artofmanliness.com/2010/09/13/the-pocket-notebooks-of-20-famous-men/

Twain’s notebook as a cub pilot