Best Response

Best Response

There are innumerable accounts in written history and in literature (reflecting the truths of life throughout history) … accounts of abuse and bullying ruining lives.

The accounts cover the gamut from horrors of war, to abuse between identifiable groups as often as not closely related to each other, to religious based hatred gone amok, to scapegoating of all kinds including systemic lies created and augmented against an innocent and even admirable person … lies that ruin the innocent in order to allow the larger group experience some cathartic release of dissonance created by their own internal conflict which is too expensive for them to honestly recognize and deal with (see Girard), to conflict between intimate partners where one, often a high functioning borderline personality which is able to charm others to believing the most horrific lies about their partner bringing the innocent and admirable partner to ruin for actions and despicable behaviours that actually belong to the person with borderline personality.

While our (my family and I, and many others including my ex) faith is Lutheran Christian, a particular faith based on mystics’ and sacramental (mundane made holy by God’s Grace alone) theologians through countless generations, and while our Canadian society now identifies bullying as an unacceptable behaviour and focuses on children, youth and young adults, we are doing very little to name, address and eradicate bullying by adults of adults. And we have not ‘cracked that nut’ because our leaders who could call us to account more likely as not have built their careers on bullying others in order to get ahead, to gain the power that they exercise.

See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bullying “Bullying is the use of force, threat, or coercion to abuse, intimidate, or aggressively dominate others. The behavior is often repeated and habitual. One essential prerequisite is the perception, by the bully or by others, of an imbalance of social or physical power, which distinguishes bullying from conflict.[1] Behaviors used to assert such domination can include verbal harassment or threat, physical assault or coercion, and such acts may be directed repeatedly towards particular targets. Rationalizations of such behavior sometimes include differences of social class, race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, appearance, behavior, body language, personality, reputation, lineage, strength, size, or ability.[2][3] If bullying is done by a group, it is called mobbing.[4]”

Between intimate partners bullying takes on a very personal, psychological devastation of the victim as the very relationship that ought to be based on unfettered trust and ought to provide unconditional love, while the victim engages in the relationship to provide all of that for the abuser (often as not unrecognized as the abuser by the victim until it is too late), the abuser exercises all sorts of control, projects her own failures on to her victim and makes unreal demands of behaviour of the victim who soon enough recognizes the extreme costs to not complying … the costs are devastating loss, often loss of children, financial security, home, and reputation … and in the end always the loss of one’s own life.

See http://www.humanservices.alberta.ca/documents/PFVB1100-men-abused-by-women-booklet.pdf, http://www.humanservices.alberta.ca/documents/PFVB1401_men-abused-by-women.pdf, http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/domestic-violence-against-men/art-20045149, and https://goodmenproject.com/ethics-values/women-abuse-men-often-called-abuse-fiff/:

“The ease with which the genders in the piece can be reversed shows that abusive relationships are about power and control, not specifically male or female behavior, and that women use the same power levers, as well as some of their own (such as withholding affection or sex) to dominate their victims. Additionally, in “genderizing” abuse as a primarily male behavior, we minimize and, in a way, legitimize, women’s abusive behavior.”

So we focus on bullying by children, youth and young adults, projecting our own abhorrent behaviours on them in order to exorcise our own cognitive dissonance about our own behaviours that have netted us our privileges and power. And we focus on abuse by men of women, fully denying the devastation caused by women abusing men, women who are more often than not dominant passive aggressive manipulative controllers who exercise demeaning control over their males partners that way too often leads to suicide as the only escape. For the foundational work on surviving the devastating effects of a loved one with borderline personality disorders see STOP WALKING ON EGGSHELLS: Taking Your Life Back When Someone You Care About Has Borderline Personality Disorder by Paul Mason, Randi Kreger, and the companion THE STOP WALKING ON EGGSHELLS WORKBOOK, Practical Strategies for Living with Someone Who Has Borderline Personality Disorder.

While our faith calls us to recognize that each person is simultaneously a sinner (dammed mess of a human) and a saint (a perfect example of God’s grace embodied in a human – but not by merit of the person, only by the Grace of God transforming that sinner into a saint), and as recipients of Grace that makes us able and deserving (by grace alone) to even breath air yet alone enjoy the privileges of life Jesus Christ calls us imperfect yet perfect humans to exercise that same grace toward each other … which means we sacrifice our lives (from small bits to our actual mortal lives) to exercise forgiveness and unconditional acceptance of other sinners in order that they also can hear of and experience the transforming power of God’s Grace for them … while we are called to sacrifice in contrast the people of the world around us, and even many of us, including those with borderline personality disorders, systematically and habitually exercise abuse and bullying against all in their path in order to get ahead, and then falsely judge others for supposedly being exactly what they are.

Caught in the devastation of a borderline personality disordered beloved, and the ensuing scapegoating and bullying that threatens to not only ruin my life but likely end it, how does one, living by Grace Alone, respond?

There is only one response: to live with grace, to live as well as one can, to find Grace and Beauty in each moment in each person encountered, and to live with as much joy and gratitude as possible.

For me, as a photographer among many other vocations and skills, that means to use the equipment I have left (one result of abuse was the loss of my some of the best SLR cameras, lenses and lighting equipment, as well as software) to capture and share beauty right in my ‘own backyard.’

Enjoy with me that these photos are possible, even with a cell phone camera. What a marvel compared to my first digital camera that cost more than three times as much!

On the water with my wife’s canoe, the marvelous item that makes our presence literally on the water possible. While others have yachts and houseboats and ski boats and fishing boats and even kayaks, this simple and relatively inexpensive, therefore possible, possession requires our own muscle power to get it into the water and then our own muscle power to move it across the water … but what a view into the marvels of beauty:

The Boat

Shoreline Trees Caught in the Sunset Light

The Loon of Haunting Cries

(Sorry it’s not with a telephoto lens to capture the loon properly!)

Sunset on the Water

A Rare Selfie: Golden Light on a Face Made Ancient by Abuse and Bullying

Relaxing by the New Fire Ring Properly Made (as we clean up yet another trashed random campsite on crown land.) That’s sand on an area without roots likely below, covered with the sand not 10 feet away and clear of trees above, ringed with substantial enough rocks to contain the fire in a ring large enough and a bit oblong to not necessitate wood laid into the fire also laying across the ring of rocks and outside the ring.

 

 

We bask in a night’s rest in the quiet beside the lake, to the lonely cry of the loon … As the sun rises we wake to the white bark of birch against the marvelous sparkling water of the lake.

Life is good, even if some (many) people simply cannot be even decent yet alone grace-filled. As for me and my family (and all my children), we will live Grace and appreciate beauty.

Hanging Loose, Hanging Tight

Hanging Loose, Hanging Tight

We found ourselves out in the mountains again. Observing the environment of plants, animals, humans, and machines.

The spectacular sights outside our window in the morning make it all worth the effort.

 

 

The expanse of the clouds above the mountains off in the distance as we were nestled in the privacy of the trees on an open field with the sun setting made it wonderful.

 

 

 

And literally taking the kitchen sink, the bed, the toilet and tub, the table, the fridge, stove and furnace, and our clothes and luggage make for an easy waking in some marvelous spots.

 

From a very helpful machinist we got the tip that there were three falls just a few paces off the tarmac. We investigated in a heavy downpour.

 

 

We only found two but these are a combination of human engineering and beaver damming that result in protecting the road from surely otherwise eroding away.

A bit upstream we found another falls and rapids series, and never did find the third as we were soaked and cold.

 

 

But the creamy white and the wild wet rocks played along well, as long as we could hold out.

 

That evening we hung the truck and camper not loose at all but very secured to the side of a decommissioned logging road. The specular light turned the green canoe (another part of the trip) into a bronze wonder.

 

There, on the side of the mountain the wake up out the door view was even more breathtaking and then breath giving, as the sun played with the clouds and the valleys were visible for miles and miles.

 

The dreamy feel comes from the fog laying low on the mountains as fresh rain evaporates to fill the air.

 

The vegetation is lush, framing (sometimes blocking) the views.

 

At our feet daisies and red paintbrush flowers created a carpet of colour.

 

The sky for just a moment even took on the hue of the lush lilac coloured flowers dotting the mountainside in lines and groups.

 

The sunsets were awesome.

 

The light bedazzling bringing the trees to life otherwise not there.

And that is good photography.

Some of all that can be reduplicated with ordinary photos and lots of software work, usually hdr, to try to bring out the light, but nothing works as well as finding the moment the light dances, and being ready to capture it, in order to share it.

 

While I was out I remembered quickly the difference the exposure time makes on water.

Creamy here.

 

Sharp and clear here.

 

A landscape with just one spot of colour.

 

Or a portrait to lose almost all the colour except the one rose.

 

And playing with the focus if you just let the camera do its thing, sometimes everything wrong is in focus and the thing out of focus.

 

So you have to make sure you control what is happening to get what you want.

 

Sometimes the great difference in light levels is just too much and something is lost.

 

And then multiple exposure HDR can sometimes bring the light of everything to be seen in one photo. – But with better software there are better options.

 

Animals Mine Protected

Animals in the No Hunting area of the Mine

There are a few opportunities one runs into that just amaze one.

These big horn sheep have come down into the protection of the mining leasehold to eat the lushes green grasses.

And they stand almost without any concern just off the roadway.

The young ones in the least desirable areas.

The next oldest in a good spot of green feed.

The oldest resting.

And the other oldest still looking for their hearts desires fulfilled.

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.

Sun Appears to Set

Sun Appears to Set

After a sunny morning that turned overcast, rainy and full of thunder through the afternoon, it was a pleasant, not forecasted, delight that the sun appeared as an orange smudge, then fireball, and reflected a trace across the lake, just in time to set, leaving a quiet hush after a windy day.

Free Air, Free Sun, Free Tornado Warnings

Free Air, Free Sun, Free Tornado Warnings

5 am

After the winds blew tremendous and the lights were mostly off but then suddenly, momentarily full back on as if daylight again …

The froth kicked up by the wind borders the beaches

 

The fishing boat is still secure

The moon still wanes

And the birds are still soaring about.

Mostly life goes on, though a few trees met their end and some hopes were dashed,

But life mostly goes on

Limited as it is by families split, and wars started, villages burned out and camping spots still riddled with bullets and glass.

Who heard of leaving or putting a 22. Bullet in a campfire ring!

And the young women is on her way to the hospital.

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.