Dispatch To The Guys From The Past …

Dispatch to the guys from the past …

Just yesterday morning, before 6, I watched the colors of the pre-sunset coming together.  Good colors, penetrating my busied soul.  At the present hour, we have snow flying in.  Maybe three, four, inches.  fireplace  There is a fire in the fireplace; I guess that is why they call it a fireplace; I hope the chill in my body will fade.  One of the dogs is out like a light, on the couch.  
dog-sleeping  
We recently moved.  When I consider this dispatch to the  past, I know that most of us have moved, several times.  Some of us more than others.  I always was a runner, then.  There is less running now, in my present.  The paradox is
obvious.  In this dispatch, I consider the past: memories, friends, challenges, disappointments, great blessings.  Yet none of you are there, in the past.  We’ve all moved on.  And, for the most part, we are all thankful for that.  I miss you all. One day, we will all catch up.

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.

Our People, Our Pain

Bus station, 1990, Christmas week.  Dad is driving me to the bus station; return to Denver, after four days for Christmas in the deep South.  Me, the “Black Sheep” riding a bus for 24 hours to see Mom & Dad, brothers, their wives, their children.  The dining room table loaded with excellent food, everyone sat to eat and tell stories of reflection.   I had not fully earned the privilege of telling stories.  Yet, out of the family’s kindness, I was allowed to tell a story or two, in the spirit of being tolerated.  My stories were not told with such Southern finesse.  I often think of Bruce Hornsby’s lyrics, from “The Way It Is”:

“That’s just the way it is
Some things will never change
That’s just the way it is
Ah, but don’t you believe them …”

Bruce Hornsby, “The Way It Is”

Our families, our people, not necessarily the same.  One can find betrayal and love in both, our families, our people.  One of “my people” is a guy … Stan (not his real name) I met in college; we worked non-glamorous, campus jobs.  Stan, in charge of the Custodial  crew, and I in charge of the Grounds crew.  That was 30 years ago.  We have stayed close since then; closer than a brother.  Stan was a groomsman at my wedding.  He brought me with him into the inner city of Denver to help, and to encourage, those who lived there.  There were a few times when I was in the hospital, he was there.  When our youngest was born, Stan came to the hospital.  Stan has seen me, known me, and helped me in my darkest of times.  Stan is an example of my people; not my family.  Stan has never  judged me; never excluded me; never made feel inferior.  My family?  My family has loved me, and encouraged me.  And yet, Stan is closer than a brother.  I ask myself, “Why would a post like this come around now?”  It isn’t Christmas.  This post is not about Christmas.  This post is connected to a fairly difficult winter, and not because of the winter conditions.  It has been a bleak, cold, winter in my soul.  At times, sunless.  I am so hungry for Spring.  And during this harsh winter, my friend … Stan … has been there, and here, for me and with me.  My people.

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.

An Eccentric and Authentic Man

Lives alone.  Fourth floor, an old … historical … apartment building located in the transition between “downtown” and the “inner city”.  Fewer businesses thrive there, fewer lights shine through the night, more homeless consider this “their turf” .  Both, building and apartment, have maintained oldish, musty, themes and appearance from earlier decades.  During winter, he is content keeping the steam heat low, with the room temperature, around 50.  Warmth comes from his layered and weathered being: two shirts, polar fleece, rag wool socks.  Warmth comes from many books on many shelves … to fortify the walls of his apartment-castle.  Warmth comes from music, flowing indirectly from many years before: Art Tatum, Dizzy Gillespie; pieces composed by guys like Rachmaninoff and Brahms and Beethoven; Piano Guys; Crosby Stills and Nash; Carol King, Bruce Cockburn; Lena Horne.  A dark green wing back chair, parked on an Oriental rug that stretches out twelve feet one way and nine feet another.  He reads books, here, in this chair; he sips tea; he thinks about his journey and his story, at times making sense of things.  He forces himself out of his safe place, when he can: volunteering at the library to read stories for kiddos; working at the food bank; and walking to the park where he reads … if the weather holds out.

Tozer wrote a piece entitled  “A Sanctified Imagination”.  As a result of that read, I attempt to practice this “sanctified imagination”.  This particular imagery above visits often.  But this is the first time I have released it, on to the great white.  There are times when such a release happens without much of a notice.  Thanks for letting me get this out of my soul.

 

Healer in the Wilderness

“Healer”, not literally.  In the realm of relationships, “healer” connects with change.  “We are hurt in relationships, we find healing in relationships.”  (Anonymous).   This post is a metaphorical narrative.

The healer …

comes to the thick of the wilderness, starts her fire, stokes the fire, pulls a few sitting-stumps close, and sits by the fire. The healer’s eyes are  kind, with a spark; seeing deeper into the wilderness of men and women.  Seasoned, calm countenance, the healer brings to the wilderness hope … hope never given lightly, never received lightly. This healer is a redemptive disruptor. 

Sojourners come to this place in the wilderness to see the healer, to sit by the fire; a fire that brings light in the night.  Some sojourners want to be known, want to be seen; others cautious of being known, being seen.  The fire is a healing process: at times unpleasant, illuminating incorrect thinking, problematic emotions.  Sojourners face the healing of the flame, with different styles of avoidance. In the wilderness, some  things need to change, some things need to go.

Sojourner sits across from the healer, the other side of the fire; cautiously and respectfully, for a short period. The healer listens, thinks about the spoken, thinks about the unsaid.  The healer speaks, while listening, her words are healing words; questions intentional; silence accentuated.  I am reminded of a dialog in C. S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia (my paraphrase):

Peter:  “Is he (Aslan the lion) safe?”

Mr. Beaver: “Is he safe?  No!  He is not safe.  But he is good.”

The healer’s eyes, not always safe.  But they are good.  Change agents are that way.  The healer’s mind is good, but not readable.  The healer’s work is important, but not predictable.  The sojourner’s stay is for a short time, meeting with the healer; leaves with peace; a sacred, arcane, peace.

Fire / http://www.rasalilafest.com/empowerment-drum-circle-by-campfire

 

 

 

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