A Little View, Cold Snow

While the deep cold
lightens
as the snow falls
sparsely
through the temperature thinned air
the darkness falls
early for even these days
in early February.


If the light had started early
one might understand
willingly
the loss at 14:00.
But the sun refusing to shine until 9 or 10 or later
Leaves one willing to allow the light to defy all odds
If it would, at all, at all.

But a photographer’s joy is not the weatherman’s good report.
Quite the contrary!
Bad weather makes for great light, makes for the possibility of great photos.

Now if I just had a camera and time

even in this frozen

deserted place.

The choice is always to make the best of every situation.

‘Situation’ would be a mild word for the reality brought about by lies upon lies.

Light may bend, light may distort, light may make the ugly beautiful,

but light never lies.

Light just right delights.

Smile, the beginning of peace.

Smile, with delight, with delight I say.

And then all will be well, all will be well, all manner of things will be well.

40° … minus 40° or lower

The thermometer only goes to -40°. It was there well before sunrise this morning.

Frosted the view.

If something breaks it’s broke and I’m a gonner.

That’s the price of loving and always telling the truth, the inconvenient truth.

But the view, as long as you can stand to look, is wonderful.

Wish I had more time.

Sub Cold is so Cold

Sub Cold

There is a point

Beyond which one

Does not any longer

Need to make a point

About it being cold.

It is the definition of cold as one has experienced it.

It’s is Cold, – 35° right now and getting another 4° or 5° colder.

So at -40°

It is not about age,

It is about getting older, or at least hoping to.

Of course if you have a home with heating that works, and water that runs, and toilets, and beds, and a study, a kitchen and bedrooms and closets, and all the people and things that make it one’s living space, one’s home, then … well … then it is just another square tire morning after a night to stay home of have the right gear packed well in the car with a full tank of gas.

There is still beauty to see and enjoy and share:

 

Too much in the middle may just cloud the view or grab your interest.

A path may lead somewhere brighter … or

The journey past an oddity may be the better view.

Then again it may just be down the path that becomes a road that one may find the view one craves: clarity and hope.

And the view may turn out to be a bit of land and a bit of see the ice.

 

Usually the large picture view has more to tell and

Less that actually is of specific interest.

 

Whatever the view from your pillow, enjoy that you have a pillow.

Living is good.

Living and being less concerned that the cold will be a game ender is always something to celebrate.

And life is about enjoying having something to celebrate.

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?

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.

A Gold Light After Grey Days

There are many things in this world that are beyond

amazingly wonderful.

After grey days when light was dull and dreary at best beneath clouds soft

this unpredicted morning warmed above zero

and the snow melted into liquid water so slowly in small places,

 

 

and the afternoon clouded over

but

then the light returned

and infused the air down to the last photo on the living room wall.

The golden light is as good as

finding a win-win solution

when it is hidden beneath a pile of crap for so long one wonders if golden wins are worth anything, other than if it is only one’s own win as others lose greater than one wins.

Win-win solutions recognize that life is not a zero-sum game.

It is grace, amazing grace abundant.

Ever multiplying reality’s goodness in ever greater quantities, until win-lose people try to destroy bits or chunks or half of life in one stroke.

But the golden light will bring the truth to light,

and the truth cuts like a samurai sword

and makes everyone free,

Gracefully free.

And beautiful grace carries one forward into all grey days with grace, faith, hope and love.

Not a bad step forward for a day.

 

 

and each day.

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.

 

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.

 

 

Simple Light Going Places

Simple Light Going Places
As I watch the crescent moon through the screen door, coyotes howl and moose call (bulls in rut), and the ever haunting loon cries allowing the beginning of the night to commence with a sense of fullness even in the solitude and loneliness of a quiet lake.
Geese in formation fly overhead, already the norm now for more than two weeks, and that much earlier than normal. Will it be a short fall? Or a long fall and pleasant winter?

The view to the lake is familiar and simple.
With only the zoom that changes perspective:

 

 

 

 

 

 

The quickly disappearing spectacle of light overhead demanded attention, the greatest pseudo urgency for hours of quiet:

 

So moving that the jet trails spanned from the southern to the northern horizons almost too fast to capture both.

But there it is, someone moving out of the light into the light.
Spreading a trail of light, a beacon lit by the golden light of the setting sun reflecting off the shiny aluminum skin.

Where are you going tonight?
Parents: do you know where your children are?
Children: do you know where your parents are?
And parents do you know where your children are going?
And going to be tomorrow?