Free! Free at the Last.

Free! Free At Last
2018
Like never before I am free.
Not the Martin Luther King Jr. kind; that would call for a celebration of great proportions.
This freedom is the Janis Joplin kind:
Freedom’s just another word for nothin’ left to lose ….
Starting this year with only my family and friends to lose.
Free.
What a way to live.
I brought in the New Year changing the oil on a borrowed truck. -28°C ! Had four hours to drive and no time to get it done earlier, nor could it wait until after the trip.
So in the dark, cold, numbness … at least the oil was warm, until it wasn’t and the engine was cool because it had not run for a bit.
And then the sleep time came well into the morning, with miles and miles to go again on New Year’s Day.
Back in the cold cold cold to a not-home.
The view is something, no horizon, nothing permanent, or hope-filled.

The path on the full moon morning leads down a ways.
 

After another night with the temperatures rising back to tolerable, this same view is just a bit different.

Freedom is variously not much, not much to lose.
A new year.
2018
Free.
At the last, finally free.

But the moon is still bright, as bright as a clear cool night. Only -10 or so. Tolerable like lots of life.

Once I saw the moon before it faded away: little just, BEST life

The Moon fades but I remember it even so,

Little Just; Best Life

The promise that God provides is not that people will behave well or even that they will act justly towards others.

The promise that God provides is that God will sustain those dealt with unjustly, and that the light will shine on all that is unjust, making it clear for what it is.

 

Sometimes the light fades along the horizon, too far to light one’s path forward for many more minutes.

 

Sometimes the light is so bright but setting that one cannot see any more than a minute in front of the present. But it is fleetingly wonderful.

 

Other times the light is everywhere and only those things that catch it show us the wonder that creation is.

 

I am one who believes, along with a host of faithful through the generations, that heaven and salvation are not merely elements of what happens after one dies on this creation earth. Rather we believe that, just as we are sinners already made simultaneously saints, so also God brings heaven to bear in this lifetime.

And thus believing I trust that the light will shine bright also already in this life. There is something to fear in that for those who cannot trust God, who refuse to know the sinfulness they perpetrate on others. There is solace in that light for those who trust that God’s grace is not only for others but also for oneself, and therefore one can and should provide that same grace to others.

Thus seeing the brilliant beauty that exposes every shadow. Even they can be a part of the beautiful mosaic of creation. Where else do we know and see God’s brilliant grace and our darkness portrayed for even us to see and know?

We do our best when

We find beauty in the light and the dark.

We see beauty in each other despite the dark.

We help build a safe place for each other, despite our past failings.

Sometimes our attempts are realistic: we need shelter and there is more than enough crap to take care of, and then a big old tree wipes out our shelter.

Shelter comes in many forms. For some it is just that: protection from the deadly elements of Canada’s cold northern winters and flying bug-biter or bomber summers.

For others it is to build a bank account that seems inassailable.

For others it is a collection of pseudo friends to help us ignore the cold dark inside ourselves, that part that lies as if that were to create one’s own protection when in fact if brings about one’s own downfall.

 

God promises and provides friends, true friends who judge little and exercise grace lots. True friends who mean it when they ask how one is. True friends who answer one’s calls when one is desperate and when one is overwhelmed with gratitude and amazement at the great goodness of God that people are able to reflect in their lives.

True friends are those who tell only the truth, and hold one to account to tell only the whole truth … so that grace’s need is undeniable and grace’s effect is in clear focus.

The light pushes ahead of it true friends, if not so much in our direction then as a wave of grace in front of us towards others.

 

And that is the best of life … even if there is little justice …

The best, to be a great, unconditionally loving friend.

Have you been one lately?

Twice

Twice I saw the same sun set.
Twice I lost all time before it rose.
All days fresh, the wind wafts soft.
The new white floats quiet to hush history to a new start.
Ends are starts are either hope or exhausting.
Sleep
Through
To new light.

Snow fell soft to cover all tracks
and warm wind blows.

Will the light shine deep and wide today?

Full Life – Full Moon

Full Life – Full Moon

The way to full life is not any simple procedure or simple idea.
One cannot simply wait 28 days and it will appear.
The process of participating in life to the fullest is just as complex as life always is –
After one comprehends enough of the complexity of life one finds the kernel that inspires and fills life as never before,
Full life waxes and wanes as real life carries one forward through whatever will come.
One can simply wait 28 days for anther full moon, and complain how people are owl-ly those nights. Yet if you are out in the wilderness the full moon is real and advantageous, or not.
In the dark of night the moon shines this night full against cold, snow and dark.


Always the light comes at long last to reveal the way forward.

Out in the trees the moon shine is so bright that the shadows lay distinct lines, black on the white fallen from heaven.

 

This track gives evidence of life fully lived, of skiing in the romantic light of the night.

Before it gets so dark, at sunset the snow shines
Drifts and rolls of white hang on the shore under a sky getting darker by the minute.

Simple blues, and drifts and rolls of snow.

There is blue and gold and snow and dark ….

And this is a moment of the fullness of life, when one sees the light.
How do you measure the fullness of your life?
Find beauty this side of life, the daisies will soon enough hold themselves against the sky.

Dark Lake Ice

Dark Lake Ice

The wonder of the world is simple
Not something silly simply, simplistic
But that simple beyond the complexities that confuse and confound
Simple and profound
Simple and true
Simple with integrity.
The wonder of the world is that one can find another simply loving, worth devotion and desirable as one’s companion.
The wonder of the world is to hope when all evidence is to the contrary that anything good can come of what is happened, what lies are told, what deceptions are played, what truth is shredded by greed and fear of discovery, fear of being alone.
The wonder of the world is faith that is not stupid or ignorant, not thoughtless nor doubtless, but a faith that God’s grace and love will prevail, even in the face of continuous evidence that evil will win and destroy fathers and children and even mothers who lie in the midst of dreadful fear of source unknown but focused now on destroying so much, also me. A faith that encounters the infinite in the finite, the immortal in the mortal, the universe divine in the mundane of the world, the light even when it is only dark.

Here the ice is in solid enough to fish through, but at night it is dark, very dark but for the light reflected to the clouds by oil processing plants. The ice is dark, the light just enough not to get lost, the ice just cold enough to hold one walking on water. And who said miracles are not possible everyday in the winter?

or any other season for that matter?

The light will come as sure as sunrise, brilliant, bedazzling, searing through every darkness in its path. All will be known.

The light will make us all see and know the truth. And the truth like a double edge sword will not only give light to our footsteps through the cold snow with biting ice wind and through the heat teaming with mosquitoes and black flies, the light will make the evil present visible and known for what it is and as searing laser it will cut it out of us, cleansing us of all the evil.
And those born and raised without unconditional love will know they have been unconditionally loved and forgiven and loved as only an evil enemy can be.
Are you ready for the light?
Are you gracious enough to welcome the light and its freedom as gift freely given or
Do you hide in the darkness because you cannot face the evil in light within, because you have never seen the light bring not only Evil to light, but freedom to be enslaved to forgiving others, always, without end.
Grace like light is both particle and wave, sword and embrace, freedom and slavery, gift and free and opportunity to take on obligations otherwise scorned.
Hold the light high, it will shine and make us all free. Hold the light high for you are the light,
The sinner made saint yet simultaneously always yet the sinner, freed to be servant.
Money will not make you free. It will enslave you to life that is dead.
Power will not make you free. It sill enslave you to die while you still walk and breathe.
Winning at all costs will not set you free; it will only rob your soul and mind from you as you continue to lose even when others tell you you win.

Come light of the world, light up my days, your days, and set us free.
Brace us for the sword’s work in us.
Brace yourself for the light that knocks you silly and wakes you smiling for real.
Smile, it is the beginning of Peace.

We walk on water, and there are all sorts of other miracles we forget to see each day.

Breathe.

Smile.

Be the source of Peace.

The Lake Sings

The Lake Sings
When I woke this morning the cold night reaching its deepest minus C degrees the view out the door was still, quiet and refreshing (if one had on a good jacket, boots and gloves), or bleeping cold if one had no protected space to sleep under down with a wool hat, and no proper protection from what can simply take away one’s breath, molecule by molecule, as saline becomes solid.

Yesterday
on the beaver pond,
literally on the edge of the pond on frozen ice five feet away from open water flowing into the pond,
I was surprised to hear a melodious tone ring out as if the timpani were set as high as possible and drummed once giving the sweet tone of an oboe.
For a short moment it all did not compute …
Until the echoes began beneath the ice and I realized the lake was singing as the ice shifted.
I thought at first it was like the deep tone of a lake ice shifting, but higher since there was only a rim of ice to generate the tone.
Last night the lake sang again and again, sweet and melodic.
It dawned on me before I slept that the existing ice was not likely shifting,
But that the water freezing and becoming ice, shifting and taking up more space, expanding, was ringing out as new ice snapped out of its previous liquid state into the larger solids.

Whether physics are correctly portrayed, it made sense to my quieted synapses as sleep took hold and the moon light continued to press magnetic force on the just-enough-cooled liquid to randomly move it out of liquid to the solid of ice.

The morning light confirmed what I had suspected, that most if not all the water surface was now insulated from the cold by a sheer cap of solid ice. Great for skating if one could weigh in at an ounce and no more.

All around the shores were solid through to the shallow sands, and out there where due to my weight I certainly could not walk on even this solidified water, the sheen did not waver in the wind, the water did not rise to greet the sun, as the solid and simple sheen held the barrier from liquid below to bleeping cold freezing air above in reflective repose.

The reeds fully encased in ice, an ice decoration left inches above the root as the last of the waves stuck frozen before the water below succumbed to the inevitable solidification.

Between the reeds in the trace of snow an animal’s track survives.
Singing sweetly the lake has become the winter home of fish below and soon fishers above.
And always, the photographer’s wonderland.

More than We can Imagine

More than We can Imagine


Sometimes it is the people no one imagines anything of who do the things that no one can imagine. Alan Turing

On the deep side of the ice forming with wind shaking the water just as it freezes into patches and cracks, there stands a person never seen nor geachtet.
The morning is barely underway, with light sending the darkness back, but the bright light of day not yet having taken away the reach of darkness. The shadows not yet formed. The moon still perched in the west above the clouds. The beaver pond creek still flowing fast enough to keep the water from freezing hard.
There is more to this than we can imagine.

Where just a bit of light can be confusing, leaving one to wonder if night would persist or if light would arrive after all to make things more than clear.
Is there more to this than we can imagine?

Across the pond the trees stand tall, the bush not relenting, and the pussy willows the only colour amid the black and the white. Let there be more light so that colour can be better known, the withers and whethers, the downs and ups, the dreams and the realities made more obviously clear.
Can we imagine more?

There were white giants once standing, now broken and stripped clean. The wisps of fluff, standing stout, bending yet firmly staunch against the outrageous rages of whether or not.
What is it that we can imagine that we do not know.

One short and angled against the bronze reeds above the silver white snow of age still vibrant.
Imagine that.

It is the silent light disguised by the flowing water so close to freezing that will set the fires of recognition and revelation ablaze, warming the hearts that will choose either Grace or Retribution and DESTRUCTION.
Can anyone really not imagine such choices of life and death so close to the everyday, to the simplest ways, and for which so many things are perverted and converted through deception as if reality never were a thing at all?
Sometimes it is the people who seem to think they can know they can get away with everything who cannot imagine, who cannot imagine that other people do not play the zero sum game.
Every day there are choices that we each and all make,
To be the means of Grace
Or
To be the instruments of retribution.

Light will shine and make the darkness visible and clear to all.
How will you,
How will we,
How will they,
Find the light?
By surprise or predictably knowing:
Caught or Free.
Sometimes it is the people no one imagines anything of
who do the things that no one can imagine.

Who are we?

Who are we?
Who are we if we have not learned with all those who have gone before us?
Our lives are not fully lived if we are not willing to die for those we love and for what we believe.
Martin Luther King Jr. in Selma AL.

Can we find our way home?

Who are we if we are not willing to die for our children?

Who are we if we are not willing to protest, non-violently, against injustice?

Who are we if we turn a blind eye to the injustice that separates those of one color or heritage from another?

Who are we if we ignore our sisters and brothers and those who identify with neither of those gender designations, as there is only one certainty, and that certainty is that justice will not be available equally to all?

Who are we if we ignore who ends up on the streets? Who cannot find work? Who fills the jails?

And who gets to travel? Who frets about what can be taken away from them? Who has nothing to fret about, except where food and shelter from the cold will come from this winter?

Can you see in the darkness?

Can you see beauty even when there is no future to see?

Who are we?

And who are you?

Who am I?

Can we see the water for the weeds? The ice for the snow?

Will we find the safe path through what is before us?

Are you, are we, am I able to love your/our/my enemy as your/our/my neighbor as your/our/myself?

If you/we/I are/am unable to love unconditionally, even the enemy, then who are/am you/we/I anyway?

As for me and my household, since I am only one, I will serve the Lord,
and if that means I will die, then I will die for those I love and what I believe.

There is little sunshine among the treacherous cold rough waters ahead.

But I believe justice needs to be equal for all.

I believe by grace alone we all still stand

as long as we can still stand.

Morning Seeing Dimly

Morning Seeing Dimly
Morning on the Lake with hardly a clue where the rest of the world is.

 

 

 

The view from the door, promising a wonderful photographic morning

 

 

 

 

The ‘home’ birch.

 

 

Wiffs and Waffs.

 

 

 

 

A small hint of something out there.

 

 

 

 

The sun begins to give a clue it exists.

 

 

 

Is that blue sky there?

 

 

 

The sun is there.
 

Or is it there?

 

 

 

 

 

Or there?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The trees start to appear.

 

 

 

Ducks flying into the fog.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A birch wood of years gone by.
 

Birch and Reeds with Nuttin’ Else.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The point out the door, after the return, and the fog is lifted – ing.

 

 

 

There will always come a time when we will see clearly, as the light shines

and the truth will be known and the truth will makes us free.

What’s Left?

What’s Left?

Yesterday’s birch.

 

 

 

 

Sky spread.

 

 

 

Silky Water

 

 

 

Cloud Frame

 

 

 

Shore nice

 

 

 

Bye and Bye

 

 

Fall Red, Water Reed

 

 

 

Golden Light Golden Night

 

 

 

The woods to … who knows

 

 

And that’s it. Sunset. Darkness.

Waiting for the light to make clear what is true.