Ever Learning

An unrelated photo of a recent local sunset

“The more one learns, the more he understands his ignorance. I am simply an ignorant man, trying to lessen his ignorance.”

-Louis L’Amour, To The Far Blue Mountains

Contented Folk

I would love to be so content, even when I lose my truck keys.

Maybe not until heaven.

His Eye Is On The Sparrow

Here is honored the folk of whom is said to be the glue that holds civilizations together, intact. ~g.w.

IN PRAISE OF SOLID PEOPLE

Thank God that there are solid folk

Who water flowers and roll the lawn,

And sit and sew and talk and smoke,

And snore all through the summer dawn.

Who pass untroubled nights and days

Full-fed and sleepily content,

Rejoicing in each other’s praise,

Respectable and innocent.

Who feel the things that all men feel,

And think in well-worn grooves of thought,

Whose honest spirits never reel

Before man’s mystery, overwrought.

O happy people! I have seen

No verse yet written in your praise,

And, truth to tell, the time has been

I would have scorned your easy ways.

Then I do envy solid folk

Who sit of evenings by the fire,

After their work and doze and smoke,

And are not fretted by desire.

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A Positive Spin

mt timothy road

A photo that has nothing to do with the blog entry: a road near home, as seen from the passenger seat of our truck

Looking back at my recent blog entries, I realize there have been mostly negative ones. Me complaining. Me whining. Me seemingly teetering on the precipice between life and death, or at least that’s how it feels to me when I’m there. Me, me, me…

The thing is, the times I feel most like blogging are when I’m struggling, feeling alone, and needing a place to vent. During buoyant times, I’m too busy enjoying the moments to do more than imagine how I’d write about them.  Thinking about this, I do consider that maybe I should include a few more happy posts. Maybe that will happen.

Although it must look like all I do is complain, more often than not I don’t blog about my struggles. I keep them to myself, or I talk to the One who already knows about them while the song “Where Could I Go But To The Lord” wafts through my mind.

I appreciate the writing of others in their angst, showing a heartbeat to the person behind the text. Maybe there are people who appreciate mine. Like validation. The “I hear ya, bruh” type thing that we sometimes need.

So, there’s a bit of a positive spin on my negativity.

I’ll leave you with my favorite version of the song I mentioned above – Where Could I Go But To The Lord as recorded by Emmylou Harris. This is how it runs through my head, ever since I bought the cassette tape in Petersburg, Alaska’s hardware section of Hammer & Wikan in the early 1990s.

Forsaken Forest

FORSAKEN FOREST

There is a dark wall of forest around my heart.

The trees are tall, evergreen, angry, with needled fingers pointing while I cry on the ground.

Some say they love me but their words demand that I follow only their rules.

One berates me because I am friends with her mother, whom she hates.

Another hates me because I don’t like the same music as he.

Still another hates me because I remained in contact with her ex, a man who was my friend before I knew her.

Two more cut me out of their lives because I left a man who was my husband, with whom, they opine, I should have stayed. I regarded one as a father of sorts. He has departed this realm. Now the mind of the other, his wife, has left her aging body.

One especially was close to my heart. We talked almost daily. We shared meals, music, laughs, tears, secrets… Life.

Many more stand in the shadows, regardng me with disdain so deep, my attempts to reconcile are lost in their darkness.

Their roots whisper, “Remember when we used to talk? We laughed together many a time. We trusted each other with deep thoughts. We bounced ideas around. I knew you cared. You were always there. For me. But I remain as I was – not there for you.”

Scars are scribed where their branches had grown so closely into my life, they grafted in. When they pulled their arms away, it left open wounds.

I never cut them off myself. My arms still reach out, though with more caution: “Will you ever return?”

The wall of this forest blurs my outlook. Covered by the past, I am hidden from the future.

My yellowed leaves fall to the dirt like the friends who did forsake me.

As the wall of trees looks down on me, my figurative tears dilute their shadows and turn them to mud. I care less.

But, given time, light, and water – the water of love – I will grow back. Alone on the surface perhaps; damaged; spent; and even physically demolished, but never forsaken by the One who provides life eternal – Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin,
but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

(Proverbs 18:24)

“Back to School” Sadness

As a life learner who believes “school” is not necessary for learning, and is often even detrimental to it, the “back to school” pictures on social media break my heart.

So many people buy the lie that school is the best place for kids to get “an education”. My opinion is that it is a tax-payer funded dangerous babsitting service. Furthermore, far too many parents who are not at work and COULD keep their kids at home send them there anyway, with the excuse that they “aren’t qualified to teach” their own children.

I think I’ll leave it at that. My reason list runs too long and deep to try to encapsulate it in a blog post at the end of a busy Saturday.

Blogging again

I started another blog, the name and location of which I don’t want to make known publicly, but if you contact me privately, I might be able to pass on a link. That is, if I fix it. Right now it isn’t working properly. Some of the preliminary links are failing and I don’t yet know why.

So, here I am, blogging again, as well as reading more posts by other bloggers, in hopes it will assist my sanity level.

Doctor… my eye?

Yesterday afternoon, I was standing in the kitchen talking to my 15-year-old son, contemplating the soon cooking of dinner.

Something small and black zoomed past my line of vision as though it were inches from my face.

I looked around for what I figured must be a fly, but saw nothing.

Seconds later I saw it again, but when I turned my head to locate it, again it was nowhere to be seen.

“Did you see a fly?” I asked my son.

“No, I didn’t,” he said.

“It’s being a stealth bomber,” I said. “I know I saw something but then it disappeared.”

It happened a few more times over the next couple minutes. By then, I figured out it wasn’t a fly but was something going wrong in my eye.

Then I saw what looked like a bolt of lightning shoot down the far right periphery of my right eye. That happened a few times over the next hour.

There was no pain. Just weird sights. I knew them to be indicative of a possible retinal tear or retinal detachment, but I was hopeful/shocked/in denial.

Curious if there was a less sinister diagnosis into which they might fit, I did a quick internet search. Torn retinas and detached retinas were all I saw.

Needing to get meal prep underway, I tried to ignore the slight curtain of blur to the right and kept my eyes from sudden movements.

After dinner (which was, in case you are interested, teriyaki pork stir fry, involving marinated pork tenderloin, sliced white onion, bell peppers, broccoli, and a cubed pineapple, with sesame oil and sesame seeds, served over brown basmati rice), I called the BC Nurse Line.

The nurses can’t diagnose or even suggest differential diagnoses. Based on what I told them, they urged me to “get ye to a hospital post haste”.

Once I got to the hospital, a nurse got me to read letters from a distance with each eye. Then the emergency physician checked my peripheral vision and looked into my eye with instruments and bright light.

The conclusion? Nothing suggested a retinal detachment or tear. Yaay!

But what was wrong, then?

The physician told me to go to my eye doctor the next day. He wrote a note for me to give to him.

I did so, and am pleased to report that my right eye has no retinal concern. It is a lesser evil indeed, to do with the vitreous.

My optometrist said it is nothing requiring surgery or treatment, that it will merely be annoying, and that it should lessen and go away. If things worsen suddenly, I am to call him. He has referred me on to an ophthalmologist in Kamloops, to be seen within the next month.

Something weird the optometrist noticed, though, was evidence in my other eye of an old retinal tear. Scar tissue had formed to hold it together. He said it looked to be at least a year old. I never had any symptoms to cause me concern.

These things just happen with age and supposedly there isn’t anything that can prevent them.

I am grateful to see with eyes that are relatively healthy. But one never knows when sight, like anything physical, can break or die. And so I am thanking Jesus for my hope beyond this sin-damaged flesh, in eternity where a new body will be mine, and decay of any sort will be no more!

And I am grateful for the people who care for me. Thanks for reading.

Prayers Don’t Go Out To People

Have you ever seen people commenting on social media to another person “Prayers going out to you”?

Please, please, do not write “prayers going out to you” unless you are talking to God Himself through Jesus Christ His Son.

If you want to pray FOR someone, you might tell them “prayers going up for you” or “I am praying for you”, but never would you pray TO them.