Ever beautiful, even in winter clothes....I present to you:
The GREAT Smoky Mountains of Graham County N. Carolina....
near the Appalachian Trail.
I have no other words today...just this picture. I think the picture says it all.
Life is a Mirror.
Life is a REALLY tough mirror.
You make a mean face at it,
It makes a mean face back at you.
You throw a rock at it,
Let me tell you because I know…
It will not break,
It will not bow,
but it will sling a stone back at you.
Sometimes the projectile is just a pebble,
A hot lava rock,
Sometimes a boulder.
Ask me how I know…
How each hurts a little differently.
How each teaches you some thing.
SOME THING you need to know
Further down the road.
Life is a Really Tough Mirror.
If you smile at Life,
The rebound tends to be much better.
And the more regularly you smile,
The better the reflection appears.
And if you toss it sweet roses,
Even better still.
To every push,
There is a push-back.
For every thrust,
Much as bouncing a ball off of a wall.
The harder you cast it,
The more forceful it comes “Smack!”
Don’t let it rebound into your head,
or whack you in the back.
A ripple in a pond,
A tsunami in the sea.
Going out knowing it will return.
Be wise now,
Knowing this is how it will be.
Not saying there is NEVER occasion to put a shoulder to a task.
To give a push,
Or launch an arrow.
Or unleash an grand avalanche.
Sometimes it is the season of standing and fighting.
A time for brawling and biting.
Just know the fight comes back.
Sometimes now, sometimes far away.
Don’t just clap your hands and turn about,
or in your back you will feel the blade.
Perhaps the “at odds” will end in a dodge, spin, or twirl.
We all hope for forgiveness,
Sometimes we are given them,
More often in the world of humanness,
we take one to the face.
Forgiveness, grace, and mercy,
the most blessed gifts we may obtain.
Often first as a deflection of our meanness.
As we learn,
A reflection of our same.
“Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.” Matthew 5:7-9
A person can fall off of either the low or high sides of the path… don’t worry about falling, just keep getting back on the path when you do stumble… grab onto a scrap and heave yourself back onto the roadway.
Don't overemphasize the being in the ditch, everyone runs off into the ditch sometimes.
Life is about the GOING ON ANYWAYS.
Go on; minimize the time spent in the ditch.
Walk the path.
Live like your life depends on it.
You can do it.
Come on. :)
Just Another Pig Story...if you are not laughing by the 5th paragraph...read it out loud. It was written to READ ALOUD.
It is a silly little story. Enjoy.
Slyke knew about pigs. You name it and Jon Slyke knew it. He was an expert, about swine. When your father is a hog farmer, like Jon's, then you live or die by the swine.
"Ol' Nellie will probably have that litter tonight, son. There's a storm abrewin' anya know how that affects 'em."
"Yeah, dad." Jon replied with a tired sigh. "I'll spend the night with her." Under his breath Jon Slyke cursed the barometer. Whenever the air pressure dropped quickly, and a storm moved in, his dad became concerned about any 'expecting' sows. Many times his concern was unnecessary and the sow was still 'expecting' after the storm passed. But Jon Slyke was silent. He knew what his father would say if he complained.
"But odds don't matter none, son." He would say to Jon. "It's the unplanned happenin's that hurt and haunt ya. I can't afford for anything to happen to Ol' Nellie's litter. She barely pays for her corn now. An' you remember, son, the time Ginny Mae......" And then the tragic story of the prized sow and her expected litter would follow. Jon wished his ears would leap off his head and fall to the ground.
Ginny Mae was named after the Government National Mortgage Association, aka Ginnie Mae. Jon's older brother, Jack, had named her when she was entered in the Fair. Jack was a semi-successful real estate agent. He neither starved nor made a good living. But everyone had to admit Jack was clever with pig names.
Jack reasoned that Ginny Mae and her lineage of fine swine would carry his dad's farm through hard times. Her genetically superior piglet contributions would maintain their value, better than ordinary hogs, through good times as well as bad. According to Jack, Ginny Mae would produce a piglet portfolio of peerless proportion. Jack felt Ginny Mae would be the top show pig attraction at the Fair.
And she was. She was an attraction everywhere.
Ginny Mae had six white stripes and one black stripe across her light brown back. Jon thought the zebra-striped pig was merely a freak. But Jack was right. People flocked to see the unusual swine. Ginnie Mae even made the cover of Hog Today and Sow Now magazines. Jack was ecstatic! Jon thought she looked like pork.
Jon merely concluded people like to look at freak pigs. But as far as valuable, Jon had to deny Ginny Mae. Being obsessively practical, Jon felt pigs were for eating and providing offspring to be eaten....not for photographs. Not for prancing around like prissy princesses.
Since Ginny Mae was the only known pig to have zebra-stripes, Jack claimed her offspring would fetch a high price. As she was pampered into adulthood, the Slykes' search for a suitable swine mate took on an earnest tone. None were found for the pig princess.
The problem solved itself, however. Actually Ginny Mae took sole charge of the serious suiter situation.
Ginny Mae was housed above the other swine. Alone in her plush pig penthouse she evolved a peculiar plan. When the time came for her to mate, she began the search herself. She escaped one day, exiting the pig penthouse by way of the pork platform. None of the other pigs purported to rat her out. They were just glad to see her plump posterior waddling away over the hill.
For a week there was no sign found of the famous show pig. The Slyke family was heartbroken. Apparently, someone had stolen the striped hog. Never would one conceive she would abandon such a posh pig palace for the bare open road. But a week after her disappearance Ginny Mae wandered back home. The Slyke family was overjoyed.
To this day nobody knows exactly where Ginny Mae spent the anxious seven day jaunt, except that she returned pregnant. Of course, it was a while before anyone knew of her condition. Everyone was so happy just to have her back in the fold, that nobody noticed her sly satisfied smile.
The Slyke family celebrated Ginny Mae's return with fireworks and banquetting. Mr. Slyke called the authorities to put an end to the pignapping investigation. The insurance claim was dropped when a vet check showed no obvious defects in the swine. The newspaper sent a reporter and photographer to the Slyke farm and for the eighth day in a row Ginny Mae made the front page. The headline read, " Slyke Swine Fine."
Which, of course, was happier than the headlines telling of her disappearance, "Slyke's Stripped of Striped Swine." "Show Pig on the Lamb or Bacon in the Sun?" "No Sign of Swiped Swine."
The tragedy of Ginny Mae was yet to come, however. After a time Mr. Slyke suspected and it was confirmed by the vet, Dr. Vincent, Ginny Mae was with piglet. She was removed from the show circuit, to reduce her stress. But Ginny Mae's popularity did not wane. Suspense mounted as everyone wondered what color the litter would be.
I appreciate the way this cartoon (CREDITS to DEAN JACKSON) illustrates the situation when growth happens to us and yet our friends/relatives/colleagues stay the same. It is not that we intend to cause problems or discomfort. It is not even a choice to grow many times. It is a "happening." Wings just sprout....and there is no stuffing them back inside the cocoon.
What we do have is: A choice about our course after the growth.
Do we hang with the crawling caterpillars who make us feel guilt and shame for the new wings? Or maybe they don't criticize our changing, but celebrate our wings with us - how can we move away from such love and loyalty as that?
Do we fly and see if there are more new butterflies like us somewhere? ?? Do we wait with the caterpillars and hope for their wings to soon appear? Do we both fly and hang near the ground?
Does the wind grab us and remove us anyways?
Do we take a hatchet to our wings?
It is a dilemma everyone faces at some point in life...often many times.
I doubt the Race has changed much in thousands of years, the Earth spins and we just get older as we run the Human Race upon it.
And funny, how I just quickly assumed the butterfly role...I have also been the caterpillar.
In fact, MANY times I have played the role of caterpillar and been left behind. I have made butterflies feel badly for flying when I could not or would not. I have also celebrated people growing wings, and then they flew away from me and I cried.
Well, here are my thoughts about it,
in verse format:
The Human Race…And Love.
Butterflies, Caterpillars, and Cocoons.
A hard Race we run together.
Sometimes in person,
Yet often apart.
I can honestly tell you,
Not one of you,
As we have ran this Race together,
For a day or a decade,
A moment, a minute, or a month,
Have I ceased to love.
Even life dividing and sifting us,
As gravity imprisons us to earth
Or as the wind tosses us about wildly
If ever once I loved you,
You still own a marker in my heart.
I may not see you,
Nor hear your voice
Maybe not even understand you anymore.
My mind may dim with age.
My limbs wilting and faltering more and more.
Still I love you from time we shared in this very hard Race.
The heart is an eternal container,
Holding the one thing which only ages,
As it never goes away.
Every other item may change,
All may fall apart.
But hidden somewhere is that love,
Have no doubt,
remaining within my heart.
Life is not always about sunsets and puppies.
But the days that are tend to be really great ones.
Journal Entry (Pink One) 7-20-2014....
"So why write today? Because I began the day in a very comfortable place. I wanted to share with my friends and loved ones.
I wanted to lay down enough breadcrumbs so that everyone who read about where I was could get there...if they wanted to get there.
AND LATER..when I have forgotten the way there myself...I can read this and find my way there again also.
Breadcrumbs.....In the Pre-Dawn stillness I sometimes stand in the wet grass as the tiny birds rustle about in the bushes. As they tune up their voices to begin their morning songs. The cool breeze gently waves the worn summer leaves, leaves which are happy for rest before the hot day that comes.
I am exceedingly joyous just to breathe, like the leaves....in this moment, forgetful to all the rest of the world and its sorrow."
....following the MH17 Crash News of 7-19-2014
Today January 7, 2016...I note:
Sometimes although the world seems to be flinging itself apart....you feel GREAT! JOYOUS! HAPPY! ....and then you feel guilt. Because although you are sad for the people who are hurting, you still feel good too.
And then you write about you joy, or paint a representation of your emotions, or catch yourself singing a silly song....and feel doubly awful. How dare you be so happy at this time!
But, that is the way it is. You have too much joy to contain...it splashes out. Bubbling joy is messy. :)
And when the news every day is Bad, Bad, and More Bad...the joy inside of you just surges up anyways...you feel so inappropriate, even ashamed. Why?....I don't know really.
Even during tragic times - we need a little happiness. Hope really does spring eternal. If a volcano cannot contain its lava, and a mountain spring its water....why should we expect ourselves to successfully cap off our hopes and joy?
Anyways, when joy expands and explodes from within you -
you are no match....it is coming out if it has to rip a hole!
Perhaps a perspective change is warranted.....
People need to hear joy. Read joy. See joy.
Maybe they can draw a little of your joy like water from a well in the desert. Few complain of cool water in the desert.
Share your joy. Your well may never overcome the surrounding dryness....but it may supply for those who need a sip now and then. It may provide a brief rest for someone.
An oasis is a pleasant thing that is not overcome by its surroundings. Be an oasis, if you must. You cannot help it anyways.
Have a great day everyone. :)
And some joy.
Sometimes ideas strike a person's mind like 20 fat cows squishing together through a 10-foot gate opening.
Hopefully your gate posts hold secure. Hopefully no innocent bystander is pinched in the way. It is an "all at once" impossible deal, the fat cows won't all fit and something is going to give.
The best thing for others to do is stand way back and enjoy the crash as it unfolds. Never stand in the path of cow-power, they will plow you. Find a fence to climb and sit a bit.
As the 'rush of cow' hits the space, there occurs a distinct moment of pressure pausing. The far left and far right cows hang between shoulders and bulging bellies onto the fortified gate posts - and rattle them fiercely. The whole cow line - belly to belly, side by side, flexes forward. Slowing, Slowing. It almost looks as if the clear air stops them, but it is the side width binding as they catch each other fur on fur...almost like velcro.
...and when the four times more-cow-than-space do not fit into that same 'tiny' space...
Be aware, a bunch of beef is about to blow back!
Seems there should be some cool sound effect like an enormous stress ball being squeezed and released as this happens. But there is none. That is unless either of the gate posts break - then after the 'snap!' the noise is akin to a single scream from Pandora's Box followed by the deep sounds of silence.
If you hear that...just run and hope for the best.
Today the gate posts hold true... Whew!
As the gate posts stand firm, and the rubbery pressure-push of the moving beef line meets the point of "no cow going through"....the feet-times-four step to a stop. The cows' side-by-side line bows backward. The line then breaks as some continue in reverse, some spin, others pause, and then one or two lunge will back forward through the opening.
And then the others flood through the open space randomly, like clumping rice grains rolling and bumping through a funnel.
Days like this my mind stutters and sputters ideas....like so many fat cows. These are hard and very good days.
Rich days full of fat cows and open gates.
I just hope the cows are headed into the corral....not to the open field or brush where they are sure to graze away to somewhere before I can catch them.
Have a good day everyone.
The acorn of a great oak tree is an entire oak tree inside a tiny shell.
We HUMANS hold to life like so many acorns growing into sprouts and trees….
The entirety of DNA within the shell of the acorn.…given time and nourishment will produce an oak tree. An oak tree acorn replicates the DNA it is given…it will never become a different kind of tree.
An acorn placed inside of a glass bottle, watered and given sunlight will sprout. That seedling will grow. It will fill the glass bottle over time with the spouting mass. It’s shape will form and deform to the parameters of its clear prison. And at some point the “nourished yet bound” will either shatter the glass or retreat to rot and die.
An acorn in the ground, chopped by the mower over and over will either give up and perish young or wax stubborn and continue to grow hidden roots. The “resilient chopped” will live in the darkness of the earth until given opportunity to thrive above…..and then will grow faster than otherwise from the strength it has prepared in the darkness.
A sprout left untrimmed will branch in every direction and give its strength to its girth rather than its height. The “unruly sprout” serves well as brush and hedging, but never will be exalted for its lumber.
The “managed sprout” is able to grow, nourished and protected. The Arborist trims the managed sprout as needed, it will grow straight and tall. Birds will build nests in the strong high limbs. It will shade the growing of lesser trees that compete for status. Those which resiliently rise with it will mingle and intertwine their branches, accommodating and sharing spaces between them. And it will shield the shade-loving trees which thrive in its shadow and serve to protect its roots.
An acorn buried in clay will crack the clay if the clay dries around it and becomes unyielding. The life in the acorn will draw water and sustenance from the very clay it will someday break to pieces.
An arborist may graft into the oak the limbs of another tree. The oak will adopt and adapt, merging with "those grafted in" and provide nourishment through its roots to them all of its long life. The adopted become as if they were the oak's own limbs. They become its own limbs.
Even bearing fruits by them and through them, fruits other than acorns.
We can learn a lot about ourselves from oak trees.
The acorn of a great oak tree is an entire oak tree inside a tiny shell.
We HUMANS hold to life like so many acorns growing into sprouts and trees….
"And he took the blind man by the hand, and led him out of the town; and when he had spit on his eyes, and put his hands upon him, he asked him if he saw ought. And he looked up, and said, I see men as trees, walking. After that he put his hands again upon his eyes, and made him look up: and he was restored, and saw every man clearly." - Mark 8:23-25 KJV
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