Go One Step Further

Go One Step Further

From the Movie About Time: In a family wherein the men can travel back in time, in their own lives to make things different, better, hopefully not worse:

Dad toasts at Tim’s wedding:

I’d only give one piece of advice to anyone marrying. We’re all quite similar in the end. We all get old and tell the same tales too many times. But try and marry someone kind.

And this, Tim, is a kind man with a good heart.

Dad’s Secret Formula for Happiness:

Part one of the two-part plan, is that I should just get on with ordinary life, living it day by day like anyone else.

Part Two: To live every day a second time,

To live every day, almost exactly the same way, the first time with all the worries and tensions that stop us from noticing how sweet the world can be, but the second time noticing.

Tim’s Step further than Dad’s formula:

The truth is I now don’t travel back at all, not even for the day, I just try to live every day as if I’ve deliberately come back to this one day, to enjoy it, as if it was the full final day of my extraordinary, ordinary life.

 

There is much in life that is not even good enough to wonder about.

I watched this movie and in it heard people dear to me chortle at Charlotte’s horrendous treatment of Tim. Then I witnessed the worst thing I have ever seen between a child and a parent; something I’d suspected but now was confirmed.

The Light that shines in through the cracks

But there is the sweet wonder of life each day as the sun rises, even when buried beyond a deep, dark, stormy bank of clouds.

The storm aside, literally just set aside, knowing that every storm provides the light for fabulous photos, I know kindness, and that I am kind.

I know light, and I know I am a child of light.

I know grace, and boy do I know I am a child of grace and grace alone.

I know love so sweet it will heal you, and love so overwhelming it literally will kill you, and love so gracious it unconditionally welcomes you home, and love so pure it is an idea that will fuel peace for generations.

The fuel of days

What will fuel your day?

The Light that brings to light all that was hidden in shame in the darkness?

The light that shines through the cracks of our lives, so that we are not dark inside?

The LIGHT that shines on the fields, waters, trees and farms so that life continues having been fed?

The LighT that guides us out of the darkness, toward the light.

Are you ready to go one step further than others?

Life’s a mixed bag, no matter who you are. Look at Jesus: he was the Son of God, for God’s sake and look how that turned out.

Heart and Grace

Heart and Grace
There is an old piece of wisdom that when a beloved breaks your heart
your heart can be so broken …
so literally broken …
that your heart can stop
working
correctly.
It is a wonder that, after my heart stopped working correctly
pushing my blood pressure up to 210/120,
now I can see the beauty that I’d had not been able to see through all the abuse, control, isolation, critique, and threat of death ….
now
now I know grace as I have never before in my life seen …
beauty and grace …
there is not much more precious in life …
except love …
love even when one’s enemies will not be at peace …
love of one’s enemies though they still attack without mercy or cause.
Today I had to speak the truth of how ungracious a person could be …
And in return I was gaslit, yet again, by this person again, as by many others, who want me to respond with stupidity and anger, and I instead respond with words of truth and grace, so they call me crazy or mentally ill, because they do not know how to fight against graciousness and the ugly truth of what they do, of who they are, of what they’ve become … and all that responded to with grace …
but one day as in every situation of life, the light will shine through the brokenness of our hearts and spirits until …
until grace shines bright with truth …
the truth that love and grace always are the right thing to participate in … no matter the cost!
Now my blood pressure measured in twice at 125/73, not continually but twice, which is as low as it’s been for a long broken time now.
It used to be 90/60 for decades, but not recently any more …

still …

I love that my heart is able to love again, literally, love being alive.
I love seeing the light … the photography basic that makes or breaks the difference between a mere picture and a photo of worth.
I love loving.
I love biking, canoeing, skiing, camping in the wilderness where others seldom can travel or stay or even arrive …
I love being alive and able to sleep, to stay awake, to not have to struggle through critique every day, to know my financial life is mine even if it is far from zero on the deep side, to know I will be loved, to know I will be treated as a person worthy of respect, to know I will be listened to, to know who I am, to be able to speak of my life, my family, my parents (great people they are and have been), my experiences of caring for people, preaching well, bringing together families for funerals, providing not just computers but the ability to use them to live and love, to fly through even the worst of situations, to survive what would have killed almost all others, to manage risk well enough to always have more than one out, to save the business … not just once but twice and many times, to know that the grace of God counts also for me and for all others …
I love being able to be me
I love
and it is only by grace that I know that I can love, that I know, after what’s been done to me, how to love …
and only by grace do I know children need real love …
and only by grace do I know that I know how to love children, not just ordinarily but extraordinarily … to give children unconditional parental love, a love that gives life …
and only by grace
when the words of condemnation are still thrown at me, the words of Gaslighting, of dismissal as if I were not alive …
only by grace do I know that these words are not a reflection of me, but of the person uttering them …
only by grace do I know how to grieve for that person, those persons, who lie to me, about me, who attack me relentlessly without cause.

I am not perfect; I am a sinner and saint simultaneously since baptism in May so many years ago in the Lutheran Church in Pine River,
a sinner by my own choosing
and a saint by the grace of God alone
and always both at the same time …
and so are those many others that would throw their condemnations at me, accusing me of what they have done,
ignoring or forgetting that I have loved and sacrificed and forgiven some of the most horrendous things one can suffer at the hands of one’s spouse …
and I know I am certainly not anything like what those who lie have accused me of being.

I am not perfect, but I am, by grace, capable of giving others life.
and that is what I will do until the day I die
whether that is brought on … this or next year,
or whether my death is an event of old age many years from now.

Today a young woman held the door for me, actually she returned three steps to catch and hold the door for me and I thanked her and said I must look old
to have a young person hold the door for me, and she explained her mother told her, yelled at her, that she was to hold the door for others, so she returned to hold the door for me, and I recounted how this never happened for me until the last few years, and she kindly said I did not appear to be quite that old, but she did want to be kind as her mother’s words echoed in her ears.
And I thanked her, for her holding the door and for her kind words.

Words
Words can give life, literally helping one to breathe and thereby hope
or they can cut the life out of the other.

How have your words, my words, been today?
Have they given life by giving truth and grace,
or have they ripped hope from one’s heart …
breaking one’s heart.
Or do our words, clear and unmistakably true and filled with grace spread out to others, healing old wounds and gracefully dancing around the broken cracks in life through which the light gets in so that the other feels and knows that they, if not perfect, are still made whole by grace.

Grace, hope, love …
and heart.
One knows heart most of all.

Marry someone kind, with a good heart. Be a person of good heart. Teach children by example, how to be kind, not to lie to get ahead or to escape a false fear, but to be kind and gracious even in the face of terrible failures and disappointments,
Because,
God is gracious enough to also make you and I saints.

My wife … is kind and gracious.
But the stress of my ex is so great … it breaks hearts.
Breathe
breathe so that grace can return.
breathe
and stay warm this cold winter, even if there is no shelter or hope or … or even if there is no more heart … breathe and trust that the Grace of God will carry also you and me through what is to come.
Let this be winter of dark hours after sunsets be not of death, but of beauty, of grace, of good hearts, and always the dark nights resolving with sunrises of hope.

 

Thank you for your understanding and enjoy your day

A sign went up in an apartment building recently which reads:

Please be reminded

For Building Security, front and side doors on all buildings must remain closed at ALL times.

Please remember to bring your Fobs with you when you leave as we are secured entry buildings.

If you are having visitors, they MUST use the intercom system or meet them in the lobby.

If you notice anyone propping the doors open, please let office know immediately so we can address the issue promptly.

Thank you for your understanding and enjoy your day.

[name] Site Staff

Well, I will enjoy my day regardless, but perhaps a bit more as I point out that it is only a matter of ignorance and apathy by which the inhabitants can follow any of the ‘rules’ imposed on them.

First to be reminded is not something a person can choose to have happen to oneself. It is a passive formulation of reminding, that is someone else does the doing and it just happens to the person reminded.

So to ask a group of people to have something happen to them is to ask them to do something that is quite impossible.

A person could choose to remember. Another person could choose to remind someone else. But no person can choose to be reminded.

Well I suppose one could stretch one’s imagination to something like an alarm clock: and a person could set up an ‘alarm’ to go off that would then remind oneself that one ought to do what follows.

But then I’m quite sure that no one living in an apartment building would ever want to be reminded to follow, yet alone actually follow the ‘rule’ that follows, namely that all the side and front doors must remain closed at ALL times. I guess that could be possible if the buildings had back doors, but they do not. So all the outside doors are to remain closed all the time, not just some of the time, not just whenever, but always … so that means …

everyone, when coming and going from this apartment building, has to use the windows, which are the only other ingress and egress options … because the doors have to remain closed ALL the time. They can never be opened. Not for coming and going or for any other purpose.

The reason given that this must be so is that the staff (the authors) are secured entry buildings. The staff together make up two or more special buildings, called secured entry. Given that no one can come or go through the doors, it must be a bit secure, or rather very insecure, what with all the broken windows, and ladders giving people access to the higher floors’ windows.

And there is something going on here, because the building does not just use fobs to give tenants access (must be through the windows), rather it has perhaps a Plutonic Ideal of a fob, a Fob, or maybe it is something that has been branded and protected when capitalized as opposed to just the normal word. And the same goes for Building Security; but this may be a ministry of the government or some such official agency recognized by capitalizing it’s title.

And any poor guests that arrive have to use the intercom system (since the doors cannot be opened that’s as far as they get when coming to visit … starts to sound a bit like a gaol) or guests have to meet themselves in the lobby. This is a really odd requirement if your are having more than than one guest. It’s worse if you only have one guest: what is a single guest to do, how should one person meet her or himself in the lobby? Perhaps there is a special service for guests to ‘know’ themselves better by meeting themselves in the lobby. It has to be a special lobby. It would be fun to try it sometime.

And then if the tenants or anyone else sees someone propping open the doors, they are to inform office (not someone in the office, or the office, but simply office whoever office is) so they can deal with the issue promptly. It would seem to me that a well written notice may deal with the issue at any time,  now for instance, would be good. But after an individual contravenes the rules, then it is no longer time to deal with the issue, rather it is time to deal with the person breaking the rules that have arisen to deal with the issue fairly and effectively. The issue should be settled long before, otherwise there is no basis for ‘rules’ which were made and enforced. That would be like a police state where one can impromptu try to force people to do what one had no right to make them do. So let the issues be dealt with now . Later the people’s behaviours of breaking the rules, if need be, can be dealt with according to the ‘rules.’ As for the issues, they have been resolved by the creation of rules.

But the line that prompted me to write this blog was the last:

Thank you for your understanding

OK, I think I understood part of the sign, but it was not easy, especially that I had to stretch pretty hard to see past what was written to imagine what probably was intended to have been written or at least hoping to have been written.

And enjoy your day

Okay, I tried to enjoy writing these comments, a bit tongue in cheek.

But honestly, my whole day … that was determined by a completely different set of circumstances, this was only a few moments.

And this writing will be enjoyed if offence is not taken and learning and understanding increase.

 

A quiet summer night’s light

A quiet summer night’s light

The moon is back, hidden beyond the clouds for a few nights, slivered by an eclipse partial here.

While the moon only reflects the bright light of the sun, our efforts are to create new light from an old source, transferred into energy to be transported by wires wherever we want it’s power.

Seen in perspective our lights seem just as large, but let nothing fool you so far, ours are tinsy tiny specks of fossil fuel with a little nuclear thrown in to make us all glow.

The greatest vision takes the expanse of the sky and places it just so that we like how we see it all.

The moon is back, the summer sky at 2245 still light, the land still visible, and wind calm … even the mosquitoes are subdued.

What’s that mean?

What does that mean for us?

As we approach 150 years since confederation, with years and years before, the wilderness celebrated, are the biters holding back for a feast anticipating the crowds? Or have they gone away like the moon, to return great enough, lest we forget.

How will you see the light?

The Human Project: Knowing Oneself

While the darkness imposes itself on us at such quantities and qualities that cannot ever be denied, at times overwhelming us, and all of us, humans that we are, eventually even unto our own deaths … yet there is always light.

Light exposes the truths that are hidden, hidden by darkness and by blindness chosen so as not to have to face reality.

While the NW sky even at 23:45 is mostly pressed into darkness, we fight back as always with light, small light, wasted light, light that is to provide for safety, a safety of ourselves from ourselves, the most dangerous wild animals on earth. Our light is incomparable to the light of the world.

Yet we waste even our minuscule light allowing much to interfere with the true light and the true beauty of the darkness. Our light pollution is maddening, for there are lights that do not toss light upwards and outwards, but limit their disruption of the nature of night to a downward funnel, so that from the fourth floor, and even not far from the multiple cones of light illuminating the threat of darkness, one can see the wonders of the sky, the stars, the moon, and even the profound deep darkness that night is; and wonder at how marvellous it is all.

To know oneself is to know the darkness and to know the light reflected into oneself, and made visible in many and various ways.

It is to comprehend oneself in relation to all of the universe. Of course that is impossible, we are finite, but it is to understand and be ever curious about how the world is, and how it is that people do what they do to live in the world. And how one fits and does not fit into these various efforts to survive what otherwise would surely kill us all: the lack of air, water, food, clothing, shelter, meaningful labour and unconditional love received and in response also given.

It is on the one hand to strive, as if building a tower of Babel, to gather others together in community to strive, not to be gods or to displace God in the heavens with our efforts (the Babel error), but to make life whole for all, to strive to reach towards the heavens and to do the work of God, the work of Grace; which efforts cannot succeed, but are worth everything in the striving to do, for God completes for us great grace.

It is on the other hand to recognize humbly that not only will one strive to build the tower, as if to displace God and to falsely claim to be gods, but one will always fail at that effort, and fail miserably to one’s own disgrace and to great cost of those around one. Yet God will take of our efforts even to displace God with ourselves as gods, and God will redeem these efforts and out of them created miracles, the miracles of Grace, of Blessedness, of love and hope.

The question is only will one see oneself building the Babel, and it’s lie; and at the same time see God’s gracious hand (not reaching out to take us into the heavens) but coming down to us at our own level(s) to be with us, redeem our foolishness, to forgive us, and to give us the fullness of life; and that repeatedly each moment of our lives, but only by Grace, as undeserved gift to each and all of us?

We live then not striving to please God (an effort that continually not only fails but kills others and even ourselves in the process), but knowing that God has made us pleasing to God, we are free to do and be whatever … not so that we are free to behave so that God has more to forgive; but instead to be in this universe in such ways as to bring life, the same gracious life God repeatedly gives to us, to bring the fullness of life to others.

We can choose to behave toward the stranger to bring our behaviour to them so as to expect and in fact pull out of them the best in them, to assume that is who they are, and to interact with them trusting that they also wish to be their best also with us.

We can choose to behave toward our friends, the closer the more honestly and completely, to reflect back to the both the dark, destructive choices they are, AND the blessed goodness that God places in them in each moment.

And we can choose to behave toward our spouse: to be the most honest reflection of them back to themselves; not leaving out the evil that is the beloved, nor any of the blessedness that is the beloved, to give them the greatest success in knowing themselves most fully, for them to know the universe and their place in it, and for them to know God and God’s relationship to them which frees one to live full of grace, love, and hope.

And to hope that from strangers, our friends and one’s spouse, one will receive this ongoing loving revelation of who one is in this universe.

This is not easy, simple, or common, giving this gift of insight grace to others. It is easy to make the attempt half heartedly or even not at all, and to fail in either of two directions: either in giving only darkness or in giving only a rose coloured glass version of reality.

In either case the same darkness that destroys life

by giving the spouse or other only the reflection of all that is wrong with them,

or by giving the spouse or the other the reflection of them that leaves out all that is wrong with them.

The most devastating destruction comes though when one’s spouse not only critiques one constantly, but does so falsely. Either she does this because she knows only darkness and cannot see the light; or she sees the darkness that is herself, cannot face it, so instead projects it on to the spouse.

In this ‘dorian grey’ like struggle to survive without blemish, the spouse literally sucks the life right out of you until there is only death. Even if one still walks on top the grass and the dandelions are down one is left a shell of what once was a live human.

To know oneself wholly is impossible, but to strive to know oneself fully, both darkness and light, is to strive to bring life and grace to others.

To know oneself is to be humble, curious, and gracious, enough so that one can gently laugh at the limits that one is in the world; and to gently speak the truth to others, of their limits and gifts.

Reality is wonderfully composed, and never does it yield to darkness nor to pure light; for either is only knowable in this universe in conjunction with the other.

The darkness of the summer night and our human efforts to over come darkness with our own lights.

“A smile is the beginning of peace.” St. Theresa

So let us begin …

by gently, lovingly, smiling and even laughing at ourselves,

at the darkness that otherwise is so destructive,

and the light that is such a miraculous gift.

And in the morning the light and fog compete as the early summer light invades the sleeping hours of most.

There have been so many

There have been so many –

things done that are simply not right.

people deprived of life for no good reason.

lies told to ruin others just to have … to have what … the lie that one did nothing wrong?

processes used to reinforce that there is no justice or grace?

perversions demanded with no understanding of the hell that was?

hopes beyond hope that are still waiting for next year, next year in Jerusalem.

loves and life giving beliefs that are perverted to rob so many of life.

deaths … senseless deaths … just because they could … and never have to be accountable.

travels that bring one so far and yet one stays all too close, and

travels that bring one almost nowhere, and yet one stays oh so far distant.

resurrections … only because life is more powerful than death.

renewed hope that someday … next year in Jerusalem … the truth will be revealed,

and understood,

and acted upon … with grace.

Matthäus  10.27ff

Menschenfurcht und Gottesfurcht

27 Was ich euch sage in der Finsternis, das redet im Licht; und was ihr hört in das Ohr, das predigt auf den Dächern.
28 Und fürchtet euch nicht vor denen, die den Leib töten, und die Seele nicht können töten; fürchtet euch aber vielmehr vor dem, der Leib und Seele verderben kann in der Hölle. 29 Kauft man nicht zwei Sperlinge um einen Pfennig? Dennoch fällt deren keiner auf die Erde ohne euren Vater. 30 Nun aber sind auch eure Haare auf dem Haupte alle gezählt. 31 So fürchtet euch denn nicht; ihr seid besser als viele Sperlinge.

There have been so many …

but no pictures can make it right.

Nothing can make it right, except that …

that one remembers everything, and treats the Täter as if the Tat were not.

Doch

Doch

there is life and hope that next year in Jerusalem

21:56 Sundown Lovely

As the time rolls by

 

As the light recedes

As the future disappears

We see the basics of life become impossible

and then we hear that there are so many people

who have so much less,

even nothing,

who still are kind and happy.

Who do we think we are?

What have we become?

Expecting

fresh air

clean water

three meals each day

warm clothes

a home that keeps the bugs and rain and snow and cold at bay so that we

can remain gracious humans instead of like wild animals ferociously fighting for every bit of life available to be taken from others,

and meaningful work, that provides income and purpose,

and love, to be loved for what we are and to love others,

even our enemies,

and this is life, to breathe and wonder and hope that one day ….

 

The Long Days

With the sun up for nearly 17 and a half hours, the longest day is just a few sunrises or sunsets away and those two days will only be a minute or two longer, we’ve reached the plateau, just a few more steps to the highest rise of the summit.

This is the late sunset, waiting for the cool night, fresh dawn, and the joy of a day not too hot, but the mosquitoes are out in force as if to open their own blood bank, with deposits only, no withdrawals.

The golden spray hits everything in its way, exploding into the room and transforming the very molecules of the air, transfixing the hearts that dance in awe of such grandeur re-created from such humble reality.

 

Up close the sun has sunk below the tip of the cloud bank extending to the north, where the sun simply forgets again to set, as in winter it is lazy and forgets to rise for each wonderful day.

The future parents may not see this in their lives, but the past parents know full well the plaque of forgetfulness and pain that the ongoing confusion costs, and those in line for the 3rd act or already on the stage, know those furthest awaiting breathe in carefully so as not to disturb the dragon sleeping where trust, loyalty, and love have gone on vacation while greed, deception, and betrayal rule the day and send the night gasping for life.

But the future parents, so distant, may know the beauty of a future so filled with promise that comes where they have dismissed the possibilities of reality.

Step right up, in the golden light that transforms this well of wasted breath, into a wonder of earth so profoundly known and spoken of.