New Kinosoo Beach

New Kinosoo Beach

Wonders come in good surprises.

Like the improvements to parks and recreational areas.

Like wonderful sunsets at the Marina

The line of sunset visitors is slim, but always comfortable in their own skin.

Riding back the greatest colour took even me back a bit.

I almost passed them up, not to disturb their fun, but with the light so marvelous, and they having so much fun as a group of teens at the beach, I made the request and demonstrated what could be done with the sunrise and even just a cell phone camera.

Teaching photography I repeated often what I heard from a host of other photography instructors: always have a camera on you, and always see the photos that are possible even if you do not stop.

This paid off, and this group of young adults was 1) obviously having a simply good time at the beach, and 2) they were clear enough with themselves to know if they were willing to pose as the silhouettes against the sunset.

The guys were ready and willing, and one of the girls stepped in to make a good demonstration:

 

When they saw how fabulouse the photo could be, and heard that I was asking them to do something to show how much fun they were having at the new beach.

There were a few that we shot, but they made something like this and I kept shooting as fast as the little cell could, and it evolved into this.

All agreed this is the best of the lot.

I didn’t recognize any of the young adults, so I could not give you names or give them anything but anonymous credit.

But anonymous credit is greatly due: look at what this groups of young people thought of with little to no notice!

This is the past, the present, the improvements, the joy of life, and these young people are the future of Canada. We should do all right, in their creative hands, finding solutions and possibilities in the complicated world.

Rehabilitating Hilda Lake Random Camping Area

Rehabilitating Hilda Lake Random Camping Area

This is the ‘bush party place’ left with broken glass, burned out campers and all sorts of results of obviously irresponsible behaviours and disrespect for the land. There just is no excuse for this.

A huge clean up and accounting project was undertaken, and it is a pleasant place now, still needing lots of ‘small piece’ cleanup.

This was someone’s idea of a good use of the resources here: hack at at live tall mature pine tree and leave it to suffer.

Our fire area had a second fire spot, no rock rim or metal container, right on top of live roots, or maybe formally live roots.

We started to pick up pieces to finish burning them in the proper fire ring and noticed lots and lots of nails.

So out came a garbage bag and the shovel.

Then, with all the nails we could find and the junk they were attached to in the bag, we brought over some sand from the roadway, and then spread some forest floor decaying matter on the spot.

And then we turned to clean up and remake the rock rimed fire ring. And there were more nails and broken rocks … and a second heavier garbage bag filled with the mess.

Done we had two heavy garbage bags of mess, and a lot neater fire ring.

The brown bag was the start and finish effort. We’ve kept picking up broken glass shards and debris and detritus from around this and the other campsites. Into the brown paper bag. And it along with the fire pit mess of nails, metal, glass and pieces of half burned wood goes out with us into an appropriate garbage receptacle.

It can be clean if everyone who enjoys a few days here does the same, cleaning up, collecting garbage and hauling out more garbage than they themselves make.

My challenge is that each of you, who can use Canadian Parks this year, document your stories with photos or video of you clean up contributions.

Tell the story, be the story, make us all proud.

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 ….

 

Trees, Trees, Light, Water, Hope

Trees, Trees, Light, Water, Hope

That’s the spot, where the borrowed trailer sits for the nights, when for a few brief hours the sun sets and the coyotes howl and the rains … well they did not do anything, but the bugs invaded like the empire’s drones.

 

The marvel is the trees and trees and trees backlit by the sun and water reflections pouncing in upon one’s thoughts as if …

As if the forest of trees and under-bush had come alive to welcome one to the healing refuge of nature or to warn one of what the (2 legged) wildlife had planned for one.

Drawn to the light like moths to a candle the breathing of the light overpowers ones vision and capacity to see clearly what is in store … What will the process ahead entail?

Will Grace and Forgiveness win out, or will judgment and condemnation ruin the days and lives of so many?

It is much more difficult to see the simplicity of love which unconditionally takes in everything about the other, every nook and cranny of Scheißheit and still turns, to give so that it is as if the Schieße Idiotische Irrtümliche Freaking Blödheit simply was not. Not to demand anything, but to make, out of one’s own sacrifice, the reality that the other is acknowledged to have done exactly what is done, and yet the other is treated as if … as if it were not so. It is much more difficult to see the simplicity of love so far beyond the complexity of horrendous things done redeemed by one’s own sacrifice … this is so much more difficult than it is to take in the lies as excuses to create more lies of false condemnations. Girard saw it clearly; we like teenagers gather for mass attacks and derogation of a poor victim who has done nothing other than be, we even adults swarm upon the one selected as our collective victim and against all logic viciously ruin that one. And released of our mass hysteria hidden so well in our civility, we feel we’ve done right to end the stress and we return to peace. A peace more dangerous than outright war, for the real villain lies within us hidden and nearly undiscoverable, ready to direct us against yet another unaware victim.

It used to be women. Now we’ve become politically correct and we do it to men. Especially men who are honest about what they’ve suffered.

The light, on the far side of complexity is revealing that lives are at stake.

Even knowing all that we are still surprised by the light upon the water from which life arose and upon which life depends each day, even hour. This light dazzles us and charms us into forgetting.

Forgetting is not forgiving. Forgetting is to have plaque on the brain, or plaque on the heart, so that one lives in a fantasyland, as if things were somehow different than they are. Truth is each of us beyond hope, lost from any blessed acceptance by anyone who ultimately matters.

But if we do not forget, if we remember, if we remember not with the poignancy of the pain of the Scheißheit that has been done to us, but remember knowing that it does no longer determine one’s life, nor need to determine the other’s life, so we remember without feeling the pain still, but knowing then and now we choose to move into the next moment of the present moving into the past, to move with grace and acceptance, not of the Scheißheit, but of the lovely person who did it to us.

And that

That is not simple, it is not the complexity of reality good and evil, it is past all layers and webs of complexity of black holes and supernovas that destroy life, back into the blessed breath and wind that brings new life even to the ravages thought to be impossibly lost, dead and gone.

This Simplicity is the light of truth; harsh in what it reveals and delicately soft in how it reflects each of us to the other, as a slow waltz encapsulates the love of years, new this moment again.

And then the water, the water that gave and gives life beginning and sustenance. Water that surrounds the rocks that could and would destroy everything, including life itself, allowing the water to swallow what it gave birth to. Water that is the cooling best of a hot hot day, and here the relief of bugs biting literally sucking the essence of life out of us.

The water gives and sustains life …

But the light made visible in the clouds spanning the sky draw wonder from our burden laden hearts, until

Until we see the light

And seeing the light we see the clouds

And seeing the clouds we know the storm to come

And knowing the storm to come we breathe easy in our preparations and survival of the last storm of chaos.

And

Breathing easier for the last survived and the next prepared for we hope …

And hope

Hope

Hope is the spark of life without which we die, shrivelled up in apathy and disregard for the life of others.

Hope is the spark of love that saves us from the animal survival instincts that turn others into prey and ourselves into combatants that must win at all costs to whomever.

Hope, we see hope in the world, and we can breathe.

But it is the other, committed to love and life,

Forgiveness even through the possible future of forgetfulness of age,

To making the other’s strengths shine and their weakness compensated for, so that life is GOOD!

It is the beloved who honours life, not out of irrational fear, but out of hope in self and the beloved. Standing shoulder to shoulder, taking on the challenges of life even when they seem insurmountable, and hoping against hope that all will be well, all will be well, all manner of things shall be well.

Testing Testing

Testing Testing

With so much to write, and so many little things not working still on this borrowed camper it’s time, all about time, to get a few things tested and tried, and proven. So an evening away from the pressure, the woods all around, no city yet, but the mosquitoes are out in full force like vampires miniature taking what the will.

 

The lush greenery encroaches on the parking spot, with a view to the lake at sunset between the trees

More views maybe later, after the first onslaught of itching subsides and the quiet supper is enjoyed.

Just the task of backing the trailer in to the site was immensely easier and safer. The back-up camera that would not work for so so so long no matter what is now working. Which means worrying about lining the camper up in to place is much simpler and the fret of possibly hitting something in reverse is all but taken out of the picture.

Leveling the camper still begs to be improved. Ideas abound, but it takes some planning and doing.

For now, the lights work, the back-up lights work, though this time of year they are rarely going to be needed, and the screen door is fully functional and sort of bug tight, which may entice us to tweak it a bit.

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.

What Gets Your Goat?

What gets your goat?

A simple question: and the answer to this one is a short hike up a lonely hill with camera to watch, and find and shoot the goat … with the camera, of course.

What gets your goat?

Climbing a short and steep, well-travelled, but still deserted, hike out into the mountains, this goat just showed up over the top of the horizon hiding the expansive river valley behind her.

She posed, and then circled around me, closer with each step, not challenging me, but as if to show off, assured I was no danger, coming within a few yards of me.

What gets my goat is – people who circle around your life, playing with you, posing for the famous shot to get everything out of you they can even if that means you are left with nothing or worse, unable to survive. For it is all about their image and reputation; that someone must pay for their mistakes so that they can appear to be without blemish.

The walks that day and the next gave us wonderful views, and great photos of crocuses, a favourite ever since they used to grow up the hillside on our land, always a challenge to photograph well.

What gets my goat is –  people who take beauty, hard won and paid for with forgiveness and love, diligence and hope, based on trust and promises … and systematically destroy it so that it can never be found again, so that next spring, they just will not blossom for fear, real fear of what will happen next.

As I returned to the path, the goat already ahead of me across the path, she turned one last time to look, to inquire, to insure I was no danger, to pose, knowing if I was even half decent she’d have her photo immortalized.

For the short life of a goat leaves little in memorial.

What gets my goat is –  people who take all that is the memory of a person, and through manipulation, deceit and outright lies, trash it, so that there appears to be nothing left of the person, and instead the lies create a monster of that person, a lie, but one that is who people think they meet and deal with when they see this person.

A wise person, fictional but still wise, said that the one thing to ensure as you choose a spouse is that the person is kind.

What gets my goat is –  people who pretend to be kind, but try to kill you, and when that does not work ruin you, and blame you for what they are doing to you.

This person, no matter how you frame it, is wise and honest, loyal and hopeful, is above all things, kind and gracious. That makes for life that is beautiful.

It does not make life easy or simple or even guaranteed; but it does make for life that is beautiful.

What gets my goat is –  people who are very intelligent and persevere at making sure they win at everything no matter the cost to others, even children, people who guarantee only other people’s destruction.

This is simple beauty.

Simple on the far side of complexity, the complexity of emerging early, even as frost still haunts the nights, and snow easily falls; at an altitude that is though easily attained still not quickly, and then one must bend low in humility and peer as one normally and simply cannot between the grass blades that become obstacles or makers of a photo … and then to focus as focus cannot even be easily seen.

To know where the focus is, not outside but deep within.

What gets my goat is –  people who only see the world through a fully reductionist approach, discounting all the information of truth and reality until they can justify declaring lies to be truths, deception to be light, and the person abused and killed to be responsible for all the fallout. Experts who have the degrees and with the adeptness of a sociopath set out to declare imaginary things to be reality, who twist and turn love-and-trust-and-forgiveness-and-hope into accusations of delusion, to make whole and laudable people and efforts seem to be ugly; simply because they cannot see beyond the grass and twigs to focus on reality which is very beautiful.

 

The view up close …

What gets my goat is – people who do not see to the horizon and beyond, so they never know the reality that is skewed to create deceptions deadly.

The view less up close …

What gets my goat is – people who cannot change their perspective to see reality.

 

The view starting to look through the trees up close …

What gets my goat is – people who cannot see the trees for what they are, nor have the courage to look through to see the horizon. And worse, they think because they do not have the courage to even try to see past the trees, that others who do are either stupid, wrong, or insane.

The view looking through and past the trees up close …

What gets my goat is – people who do not know the beauty of the people up close and the crowds that make up the community and the world of grandeur. It may be unreachable and unfathomable but it can be seen and seen to be beautiful, even promising.

The view of the mountains framed by the trees up close …

What gets my goat is – when I cannot see the frame, nor the distant beauty.

 

The view of the distant mountains without losing touch with the trees up close …

What gets my goat is – people who cannot see what is up close, nor what is the context of what is close, who make what is up close into something it is not, and who ignore that is the environment. And they destroy everything trying to make sure they are determined to be right … even when they are so wrong.

There are lots of paths to follow, through the beauty of the trees, some paths deeply trodden and marked by wheels, others barely visible at all.

What gets my goat is – people who think that deceiving others into believing the well-trodden paths are the only paths to take, because true kindness, grace, self-sacrifice, forgiveness, love and promise are often barely chosen, or stuck to very long, for the brambles are high and thick on these seldom traversed paths.

The view, amidst the grass, of beauty emerging promising even more … and many promises not so obviously, more blossoms so tiny, yet emerging.

What gets my goat is … people who cannot see promise as hope, hope as the only guarantee to be trusted, and love as the only thing that has lasting value. Instead they crucify others trying to force hope, trust, and love from money, things or winning.

God save us … all.

Enjoy the view, relaxing in what is provided.

There is beauty even if people get my goat so commonly. People are beautiful, even though they are ugly mean at the same time.