I walked on

further than before

different places

with strange smells

humid air

and floral notes

fallen rhododendron flowers

bruised beneath my feet.

I walked on

by a winding stream

washing down

stone slabs

into a clear pool

where nothing lived

only gray silt

sparse needle like grass.

I walked on.

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A Little Late…

So over the past few months, I’ve been trying to write a couple of posts a week. If you haven’t noticed however, I haven’t written anything in the last couple of weeks. To explain, I’ve moved to the little town of Catawissa PA, and brought in two new members into my family. A cute Labradoodle named Howl (who likes to howl, but was named after the book by Diane Jones.) and a little baby girl named Autumn who is much cuter then the dog, and doesn’t cry half as much!

hopefully over the next few weeks I’ll be able to begin writing again, but for now I’m taking a well deserved break… well, from my blog at least!

Thanks for everyone’s support! 

Beyond Horizons.

The door cracked open, shedding a warm yellow light on the darkness outside the house.  Jonathan walked out, stepping into the warm night air, shutting the door behind him.  The sky was clear, and lit with stars, stretching into the horizon.  All that could be heard was the sound of crickets, and the bull frogs from the lake.  A comet blazed across the sky, brilliantly, and passed into the darkness of space. He walked down to the water, and stepped onto the dock, the water rippled, and lapped nervously at the shore.  The whole earth seemed to be quivering with expectation, reacting to the slightest disturbance.  He sat down quietly and watched the stars twinkling darker and lighter. It was past midnight, but sleep seemed to slip past him, like a fox, weaving through the long grass along the path leading down from the cabin.

The air was cooler down by the water, but it felt good against his skin.  He stripped, laying his clothes in a pile, and slid quietly off the wooden pier and into the lake.  It felt good to relax, to lie on his back, and let the waves lap over his body.  It was the most free he could feel back on earth, almost as if gravity was looser in the water.  It reminded him of space, or at least the idea of it.  Artificial gravity had been discovered almost 50 years ago, making spaceflight a more comfortable, and enjoyable experience.  The water here felt like a cocoon, protecting him, empowering him, but ultimately restraining him. He sighed, shore leave was almost over, and soon he would have to rejoin his crew.  The call had gone out just that morning, a new habitable world had been found in the Milky Way Galaxy, deep in the Carina-Sagittarius Arm. It was a new frontier of space, unexplored, and unknown.  This was to be the furthest human space colonization attempt, and now that the  United Earth Space Association (U.E.S.A), had opened the door to private space exploration last year, a mad rush to the stars had begun.  A group of settlers and scientists were probably already being prepped for the voyage, preparing for the hardships that awaited them.

Jonathan sighed; this was his 7th voyage in the last 12 years.  The first had been to small rocky planet within Perseus arm on the edge of the  Galaxy.  It had been an emergency evacuation of a scientific expedition sent out at the beginning of The Great Exodus.  They had been bombarded by a massive meteor storm, which had disrupted their satellites, and TransSpace equipment.  After two months passed without contact, the U.E.S.A had ordered the immediate retrieval of the scientists. It had been a debacle, his team had barely escaped the planet before a super volcano ripped the entire southern hemisphere into molten lava and ash. The entire expedition had been lost before they had arrived, killed by a mechanical failure in the H2O electrolysis generator. Since the communication and data system was down planetside as well as in the ionosphere, most of the data, and scientific work was unrecoverable. Everything except for a few MicroDrive towers were lost in the rush to escape back to the shuttle.

Nowadays, everyone wanted to head into space, leave the old earth behind, and start a new life.  Jon breathed out slowly, relaxing in the water. He looked up at the stars and saw danger, adventure, and the desire for exploration. Those were the reasons he kept leaving, this was a new age, one that beckoned humanity outward. Earth was no longer large enough for the billions of people who called it their home. Starvation, war, genocide, they had all played their part in restraining humanities growth. But now the only limits were the ones which they had placed on themselves. He swam silently through the water, diving, and resurfacing at random. Tomorrow he would leave on yet another voyage, but the night was still his.

 

Don’t be a rock, be a tree.

People are crazy. No I don’t mean psychopathic nut jobs, just good old human crazy. We believe a lot of things which make no sense, but make us feel better. Whether it’s science, religion, health, or relationships we all have strange ideas about life. I don’t know everything about what’s true, and I certainly don’t have a corner on Know-It-All Street, USA. I think that sometimes the smartest thing you can do is realize that you really don’t know anything.

If someone asked me my beliefs, I could talk all day long about what I  believe. I could talk about God, politics, social issues, health issues, relationships, and lots of other topics. Most people are easily lead, often by extremists whose ideas give them confidence, and reassurance that they are right. I can be an idealist at times, but usually I’m a fairly independent thinker. It takes a lot to move me, I can be stubborn, I need to be convinced by the evidence. You won’t find me quickly changing or compromising my positions, or beliefs.

While I may be hard-headed, I still enjoy hearing other people’s thoughts, I am constantly evolving my views. I refuse to be still, to never change, to be silent. I’m not on this earth to listen to people spout niceties, when they should be correcting, or agree with things that make no sense. I’m here to learn, to grow, and discover what’s really important in life. I’ve listened to people complain and bemoan over society, Christianity, politics, health and wellness. For the most part, I think that’s okay, you can protest what you see as fallacies, or inconsistencies. What makes me angry is the self-assuredness of their beliefs, they can’t see the other side, their vision is fogged.

One issue that comes to mind is homosexuality, it’s a hot button issue right now. Over the last decades, Christianity, has fought tooth and nail to keep it in the shadows of society. It’s okay to fight immorality, and sin, but lately Christians have been fighting against the wrong things. They fear that this particular vice will destroy their society, and bring about the death of their “Christian Nation”. They don’t care so much about the people, the suffering, the hurt and abandoned as they do making sure that it doesn’t spread.

Imagine I’m dying from a disease, do you think it’s okay to let me die while you attempt to quarantine me from the rest of society? I don’t, in fact I’m not infectious at all, I’m simply to visible, to make you comfortable. As Christians we aren’t here to be comfortable, we aren’t here to fix the world, or save it. That is what Jesus came for, he died to save us from our sins, not save us from everyone else’s. If you want to be a good Christian sit by the dying mans side, sit with the sinner that you’ve been despising. Let the world go it’s way, but stand up as a light in a dark place, teach people the truth, but don’t require them to believe it. Let the Spirit do its work by the love in your heart, and the love in your hands, not by the strength of your fist, or the roar or your words.

Christmas Biscottis II

Black and White Almond Biscottis Say Merry Christmas.

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These are fresh out of the oven. Almond Black and White Biscottis. Here’s the Recipe!

– Preheat oven to 375. line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

– In a bowl mix together the following ingredients.

~1/2 cup vegetable oil / or olive oil

~3 Eggs

~3/4 Cup sugar

~1 Tb Honey

~1 Tb Maple syrup

~1/2 Tb Almond extract

– Mix everything together until well blended

– In a separate bowl mix together the dry ingredients

~3 1/4 Cups flour

~1 Tb Baking Powder

~1/2 tsp Cinnomon

~1/2 tsp Allspice

~Dash of Ginger

~Dash of Clove

~2 oz of chopped, sliced, or diced almonds.

Mix dry ingredients together, and then add slowly to wet ingredients

Take dough and split into two balls. Then pat the balls into the desired shape, roughly 4 inches in diameter and 1/2 and inch high. Place in oven for 30-45 minutes or until top is light golden or edges browning. Take the Biscottis out of oven, slicing into 1 inch pieces. Flip Biscottis onto sides and return to oven for 5 minutes until lightly crisped. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Drizzle with dark chocolate, sprinkle with powdered sugar, and let set. When fully cooled enjoy!

Waking up.

 

November-December, has been a very trying time for both of us. We learned last month that our daughter had “large bilateral Choroid Plexus Cysts”, and spent most of November in quiet, but tense waiting, hoping that by the next ultrasound they would be gone. We prayed a lot, cried some, and hoped for the best. I don’t think that we were afraid of something being wrong with our baby, but not knowing what we were dealing with was the hardest part.

When the time for our ultrasound finally came, we were ready. Our hearts were prepared for any news we might hear from the doctor. After two hours of waiting we finally had our ultrasound, and the scans came out great! The PCP’s had resolved on their own, she was perfect, just how we prayed she would be. A month of ambiguity finally erased, we felt a weight lift from our shoulder. It felt okay to be excited, to be happy, I was ecstatic. It would have been okay if things had been unchanged, but like we have always found, God had once again protected us.

In the beginning of December I started night shift at the hospital. It’s a strange feeling, waking up at 2:30 in the afternoon. The sun is trying to steal around the black out shades, creating a halo effect on the pine walls of our bedroom. I never thought that night shift would be easy to get used to, but the hardest part isn’t the hours. In fact, it has nothing to do with work at all. Like most things that turn your schedule upside down, it has the most effect on your family, and for me that’s my wife. I think my night shifts have had the most effect on her. She doesn’t sleep well any more, she sleeps in late with me, and during the day she’s exhausted. Finding a pattern that fits us isn’t going to be easy, and while I’d love to have a day shift job, that just isn’t possible right now.

Hopefully we will be able to come up with a pattern that suits us. Although with Autumn Riley on the way, out lives are sure to be scrambled up again in March. For now we’ll do okay, it’s not perfect, or enjoyable, but it is necessary. Work is never fun, and working to create a stable home is hard. I think that we will get there, it just might take a little longer than usual. Well I think that sums up our last two months, now  it’s almost 5 O’clock, time to eat lunch, get ready, and leave for another long night at the hospital.

The Politics Of Life

I come from a very conservative back ground, my grandparents are of a Mennonite, and former Amish background, and my parents are evangelical. I’m steeped in it, I understand it, I just don’t always agree with it. Apparently to be a good conservative Christian, you also have to be conservative politically. I won’t stand up and say that I’m a democrat or a liberal, because I’m not, but I also don’t put myself in a box.

The conservative mindset feels like a box, a small claustrophobic box. When I look at my beliefs and ideals, both politically and religiously I don’t see a box, I don’t feel constrained, I’m liberated. Is it because I’m liberal? No. It’s because my beliefs aren’t focused on what I can’t “do”, I’m outside, the world is a beautiful, dark, and ultimately dangerous place, but I’m not limited. I have rules, and like everyone else I have beliefs which define me, but I’m free to learn, understand, and enjoy the “good” things that life has to offer.

Have you ever met someone that dislikes a food? I dislike Lima beans, I dislike Abortion (in fact it disgusts me), but it doesn’t define me. I’m don’t understand myself as an anti-lima-ist, or even as an anti-abortion-ist. They are parts of me, but I’m not in a box fighting against the “darkness”. Conservatives tend to box themselves up to escape, they fight bitterly against the “evil” of the world, and consign themselves to their own personal bubble. It’s important to be well rounded, to fight for what you believe, but it is just as important to understand that the world is beautiful, just as much as it is ugly.

I know that some people look at my attitude and think that it is naive, and maybe it is. But I find strength in my position,  and comfort in my place. I’m forward, I speak my opinion,  and I’m not afraid to disagree. I’m not held back, or aggressive, I’m strong. I don’t need people to agree with me, in fact I want to be challenged. The conservative mindset is often so closed off to new ideas and change, that it makes them irrelevant. I’m willing to entertain new ideas, and try new things. I won’t jump on every bandwagon that comes along (the tea party), but I will seek to understand the mindset behind it.

Everyone has a place, the conservative, the liberal. They should challenge each other, and make each other better. Sometimes the liberals have a good idea, and sometimes they need to be challenged. I’m not willing to throw my eggs in one basket. I have my mind, and my own way of understanding the world. I just wish that all the hate, and bitterness that divides the political arena would go away. I want people to understand their place, to challenge norms, to accept defeat, to acknowledge truth. Everyone simply wants to be right, and if you’re smart, you’ll understand just how wrong about things you usually are.

Goodbye, Old Friend.

I woke up this morning cranky and tired. One of those achy mornings where you know you’re going to be exhausted all day. It might have been because I’m trying to get ready for night shift at the local hospital, and stayed up late into the night. It was going to be a pancake and coffee morning. I was going to brew myself a strong cup of coffee using my trusty old Black and Decker coffee maker from before I went to college all those years ago.

I searched everywhere, it was gone, I looked at my wife. She smiled. That’s when I knew it was gone forever. It was like losing an old friend, the type of friend you know backwards and forwards. Sure it was an off brand monstrosity, probably not worth the $9.99 I paid for it. But it made dang good coffee, if you knew how to use it. Now I’ll have to cough up the money to buy another coffee maker, or I’ll just go buy a Keurig (sell out). Whatever happens, I feel like I’ve lost a friend. So for now I’ll settle for my french press coffee, but it’s just not the same. I’ll miss you.

I Dislike Casual.

I don’t like being the center of attention; I’m not comfortable there.  When people ask me about myself I don’t know what to say.  They want to know about my new job, my wife’s pregnancy, my search for a new house, and I don’t want to reply.  It’s not that I don’t care about those things but I don’t know how to talk about it.  Work is great, I love my job (most of the time), my wife’s pregnancy is going well, my search for a new house is slow, and what else can I say?

There are a lot of things I have to say but most of it isn’t conversational, at least not socially.  They are important things, things which make my heart race and burn with emotion.  They are things of the heart, not things of the brain, and can’t be said casually.  I can’t post them on a blog or cheapen them with poetry.  It is important and vital that they be spoken with passion and honesty.  What I have to say is for others, to uplift and to teach.  I have this drive to speak truth to people, to not lie or sugar coat but to be honest.