Indomitable Life in the Deep Cold Darkness

Indomitable Life in the Deep Cold Darkness

The cold of this past week was unrelenting.

Yes it got to -35°C. Not just once for a few hours but twice, staying below -30°C for long, cold, dark hours. And during that time there was no furnace that would run, taken down by a what, or was it a who? With repairs two nights distant, two deep cold dark nights away.

Yes, there are more than a few people who know some of the truth of what has been done to me xxxx but that I am under threat if I speak the truth (the xxxx indicate phrases I needed to delete). Most people have believed the lies told about me: they think that I am some kind of monster that is portrayed nowadays in film and tv as the ultimate male gone amok  x x x x.

I am nothing of the sort.

I am a person who at great cost to myself has practiced unconditional love for those closest to me  x x x x 

I am a person practiced in bringing others to experience Grace, even in the midst of the brokenness of their lives, often after surviving the death of loved ones, even by suicide.

Yet I am told, repeatedly, that I have done what I have not done, that I am a person I am not and have never been nor would ever allow myself to become.

 X x x x

How is this even possible?

That impossibility become real is the deep dark cold that corrupts and consumes the goodness in life, not just for me and those close to me, but for everyone who encounters this dark cold.  X x x x  Our sense of truth is so assaulted and violated that it will be a miracle  x x x x  if anyone is left capable of receiving and then giving unconditional love.

Grace is such a miracle, and grace requires human hands and hearts to carry it and deliver it, to reflect it as light … to show by example that Grace does exist … unconditionally for us all.


Yet in spite of the unrelenting deep cold darkness

I stand, surviving the cold, by faith through grace alone.

Who will stand with me?


Who will continue to stand against me?

There are so many people who know a piece or two of the truth which would make obvious the lies told about me. There are a few people who know so much truth about the lies being told about me. If only one or two people came forward with the truth they know, the lies could not continue to ruin lives all around; and the conglomerations of lies are not innocent; they have already brought people to their deaths; they will bring more people to their deaths by their own hands.


Who will you be, in the face of the deep, cold, darkness that invades your lives?

Will you be an agent of Grace, or one who impedes others knowing Grace is also for them?


“First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
“Because I was not a Socialist.

“Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
“Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

“Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
“Because I was not a Jew.

“Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”

Martin Niemoller from Wikipedia

“Friedrich Gustav Emil Martin Niemöller (German: [ˈniːmœlɐ]; 14 January 1892 – 6 March 1984) was a German anti-Nazi theologian and Lutheran pastor.[1][2] He is best known for a widely-paraphrased statement which he made in different versions, one of which is “First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out-because I was not a Socialist. … Then they came for me-and there was no one left to speak for me.” [see above.]

He was a national conservative and initially a supporter of Adolf Hitler,[3] but he became one of the founders of the Confessing Church, which opposed the Nazification of German Protestant churches. He vehemently opposed the Nazis’ Aryan Paragraph,[4] but made remarks about Jews that some scholars have called antisemitic.[5] For his opposition to the Nazis’ state control of the churches, Niemöller was imprisoned in Sachsenhausen and Dachau concentration camps from 1938 to 1945.[6][7] He narrowly escaped execution. After his imprisonment, he expressed his deep regret about not having done enough to help the victims of the Nazis.[4] He turned away from his earlier nationalistic beliefs and was one of the initiators of the Stuttgart Declaration of Guilt.[4] From the 1950s on, he was a vocal pacifist and anti-war activist, and vice-chair of War Resisters’ International from 1966 to 1972.[8] He met with Ho Chi Minh during the Vietnam War and was a committed campaigner for nuclear disarmament.[9]

Wikipedia about Martin Niemöller

Who are they coming for today, for whom you do not speak out?


What do you see around you?

The COLD and the DARK settling in again?





GRACE and BEAUTY of light, the light that brings truth even in the darkness?



Can you find the path to the light?
The light that rises indomitably even in the deep dark cold.


The path is never straight, and often meanders at many crossroads on its way to the light.


We can be no more than ones who reflect the light of Grace. And sometimes when we have so little life left in us we can at most point in the deep, dark, cold to where the light is reflected, to others who reflect the light.



Then, by the reflected light, we can show others the path …
The path that winds its way toward home,
home where the infinite meets our finite lives,
turning everything upside down, inside out
warm with the goodness of life,
the indomitable life
given to us all by Grace.


And we are left able in the cold to walk on water,


for there is no other choice.



Most every path we tread is covered
with water,
frozen water,
snow and ice.

Miracles of indomitable life often only occur in the face of the deepest, darkest, coldest ….

 X x x x

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.

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.

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 is worth showing?

What is worth showing, yet alone keeping?

I wake to the rain at 5 am. It was forecast to start at 8, an hour after sunrise, so there go my plans for a canoe outing to take sunrise photos. I’m not up for working the camera in the rain on the lake in a canoe, without the equipment to protect the equipment that I do still have.

So at 6 I’m up, doing maintenance things, and the rain has stopped, so I still head out, still in bathrobe, to catch just a few photos as the sunrises. There is little spectacular light large, but there are all sorts of images in the light to be taken and considered. But what is worth even looking at, yet alone keeping.

Well here are representatives of what are the results, just the jpg’s. The raw files are too large to post. And each photo is shot in a shutterspeed bracket set of 3. The camera’s correct exposure guess. 2 stops darker (faster shutter speed, same aperture as set, same ISO) and 2 stops lighter (slower shutter speed, same aperture as set, same ISO). Not all the bracketing results in three usable images, yet alone good images, as you can see from some of the selections.

Representatives of all the shots (27 of 164):

The first three are a complete set of bracketed shots:

One had an interesting effect, though, but not worth much more than curiosity as I moved the zoom during the shot.







Then the question is what really is good enough of these to keep, to share, to show?

And that is as much of photography as working the camera to the light and the dance of life.

Here are the keepers, already seen above.



Regrowth after the chainsaw’s work.



The morning invitation: go out and see.



Reeds, Reflected, Resting



Autumn is coming



Clear to the bottom



Using a zoom



The forest floor, freshly rained on



All the view



A little red goes a long way

Bend in the wind like grass, or break in the wind like trees.

But in the end the mortality rate is 100%.



And then there is the possibility of using software to improve the photos, or to make HDR images from the bracketed shots. But that for another time.
On to the grind.

Real Beauty

Real Beauty

When I wake in the foothills at the late hour sunrise, and the sun dances off the mountaintops out the window at the foot of the bed I get my camera on the tripod and shoot.

But the delay of that simple preparation allows the light to shift and the mountain is by comparison less than dancing alive.

Looking around there are other light plays to focus on.

But the best of the light is past.

So I decide to make a study of this, having encountered a photo of a young photographer, untrained but able to naturally see and capture and process photos to make them amazing for many around.

I often use hdr software, though I miss the really good hdr software I have on my desktop, to bring out the light in bracketed exposures. And then these images also play better than any of the single exposures as I pull the various light level out to play anew.



The fun and somewhat surrealistic use of the software is available.


The surrealistic leaves one craving a return to planet earth.

I rarely enjoy nature turned into a nightmare, rather a somewhat alternative view of what never was is good enough playing with reality for me. Creation has it’s own beauty that the right light brings to life.

That’s the reward of good photography, and the fun of playing around getting there.

The Dance of Grace

The Dance of Grace

My Beloved,

Dance in the morning as you come to wake and see light again, bright or fuzzy, broken or brilliant, light is not light, but the music that you have in you by Grace provides the rhythm to see far into the present.

Dance in the morning as you begin your day, for the tasks can be overwhelming, the burdens impossible to lift even on ones shoulders, and the debt owed so many can with just one straw of fiction removed come crashing down all around, but the music of Grace plays within you even so and even if so faintly, but it guides your heart at every beat, to remember the steps from birth through to today and beyond as the shadows and darkness of sin (your own and others’) were want to prevail and still your heart beat and beats now still by Grace alone, and the music sustained and sustains you, and the rhythm continually invited and invites you still to dance.

Dance in the mid-day as the bright light burns hot or the skies pound the ground with vicious water or the fog drips from up high, always burning or drowning out the expectation of what might be somehow finally this day … but now simply cannot be, and as hope fades into Jerusalem’s lament, listen to the soft persistent music of Grace which is the element that holds all elements together, the particle that holds all particles together at the fundamental basis of realities’ waves constructed into this universe, listen and if in the din of the day you cannot hear, then simply remember, remember the gentle music of the bearers from generations upon generations of Grace, hear or remember, and hum softly along and silently almost imperceptivity move your feet and fingers, your chin and your knees, your belly button and your hips into the dance, the dance of Grace. For here is life, here alone is life, here alone is all manner of life.

Dance in the evening as the energy of the day gives up and the work is left to another day to be engaged, and the darkness begins to slowly invade the skies pushing the light to the far north’s horizon distant and beckoning, and as you lay yourself down to know none of this at all any more, as the darkness invades your mind and the horrors of past, present and future play free upon unprotected anxieties; Dream, dream and dream all that darkness freely for the beat of the music continues on even then, and dream also the victory of Grace against all that unbridled darkness and evil begat of sin, and dance … dance away … dance with your toes and your synapses freed, for here in this play of the universe of your mind, there also the music continues, continues on, continues on and away, the music of Grace, which frees one from the pervasive power of evil and horrors, and there in that freedom of Grace all powerful even over Evil so freely played, dance … dance on … dance away, a way to embody Grace.

For the sun will rise again, fresh and unsoiled, fully embodied in you … by Grace so that you may dance.

Know by your dance of Grace that you are loved, by God perfectly and so imperfectly by me.

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.

Night & Light

Moon Crescent cannot illuminate nor focus one’s soul, but it can let you know there are obstacles everywhere,

The obstacles are not always threatening, but frame a view of beauty.


When the moon is replaced by the dawn light on the cold lake crystallized to return to frozen from beneath the liquid but frozen water beneath, the sites are organized chaos.


Paths melted by the repeated travel of tires filled with water and then frozen in hard crystals pieces reflect the light well amidst the mud from the dirt road leading to the lake shore.




And this was the setup that allowed us to wake and shoot photos in bathrobes, on the ice, comfortable at 0°C.

You have not really lived until out your door, having slept in the warmth of a bed covered with a luxurious duvet, you can watch the sun rise over the ice.

Mystical Morning Matters

Mystical Morning Matters

There are moments that become available just because one seeks some fresh air for a night.

The landmarks stay the same, the fog and light shift as the sunrises.

Moving The Front Door
Moving The Front Door

And it is just outside our door, because we can haul the front door around behind the truck, along with a bed, table, stove, fridge and even a kitchen sink. A bit much for a guy who loved backpacking into the outback where no one else ventured to disturb a good night’s rest. Now we haul a toilet and electricity with us, not least of all to power a 27 inch screen to edit photos on.

Luxury. Well it may easily become my home permanently, so not really, not at -40° and +35° C.

Orange Trees
Orange Trees
Driven to the Sunrise
Driven to the Sunrise
Fog Rolls High
Fog Rolls High
Wider Higher Deeper … Breathe …
Wider Higher Deeper … Breathe …
Looking Back to the South
Looking Back to the South

Waking Warm in the Cold

Waking Warm in the Cold

It takes an experienced eye to note the effects of the cold on the view out the window.

But they are all there.

Clarity, steam, bright sky, sharp snow, shadowed exhaust from the roofs, and quiet stillness.

No one wants to be out and about when it is nearly 40° C colder than a week ago.

And then of course there is this clue, if you take the time to read it:

A thermometer.

Remember those old things that used to tell us what the temperature was, instead of reading it from a dumb device hooked to the internet, repeating to us through the ether a thermometer’s result from somewhere, maybe, close by pumped to the internet via another dumb device. Sorry, “smart” is not what happens to a thing when it’s hooked to the internet; “hacked” is, which makes it really dumb and the designers even more so.