Down Is Easy

I grew up playing on cliffs similar to the one in the feature image above. (Sorry mom, I know you didn’t want me to. ). In those days I could free climb fairly well and would spend all day sitting on the edge and watching animals play in the valley below. Later in my late teens I went on my first organized mounteering exercise with the JROTC. When mom asked if I would jump off of a cliff because my friends did apparently the answer was yes. We spent all day repelling to the bottom and then climbing back up to do it again. On one trip back to the top my friend, Bobby, stopped to catch his breath and said “Down is easy but up is hard.” That little bit of profound observation has stuck with me for my entire life and the reason why is because of what he said next. “I have to keep climbing because home is on the other side of this mountain.”

Anything can become that steep mountain in our lives. And, it’s easy to give up halfway through a difficult journey. But the journey isn’t over until you have made it home again. It’s also okay to stop and catch your breath but don’t make your home there because there’s so much waiting for you at the top. Dig in deep within yourself and find that strength that I know you possess. Find handholds and footholds wherever you can and just keep going. Mountains are climbed one foot or even one inch at a time.

Tonight’s image was taken in Summerville Lake when it’s at winter pool. The cliff overhang is just a few feet off the surface of the water for most of year.

The Secret Of Winning

An aerial battle of titanic proportions is playing out in sky above me. There’s not a flying ace that ever lived that could out maneuver these airborne warriors. Both are masters of the sky. I gaze skyward and watch the spectacle. Just as many times before, the little raven vanquished the large buzzard. It’s a true David and Goliath story. Being the biggest and the strongest does not guarantee victory. Ever.

We all have to face a battle at some point. We’ve either given ground until there’s just no more ground to give or what we’re protecting is too valued to lose. Oftentimes the enemy we face seems too big and too strong. We have doubts about our skills and ability to overcome. The lesson I have learned from watching the experts is don’t pick a fight but if the fight picks you then give no quarter and don’t hold back. When people ask me how deal with a big problem I have the answer because a little bird told me his secret.

Destination Uknown (part 5)

This post is part of a writing challenge by Bertek D, Penumbra. It’s a bit of a departure from my normal post. The idea is to pick up from where a previous author left off and write a segment of your own that ends in a cliffhanger. I have taken the liberty of mixing in qualitiesof a character that I am developing for a separate project but I think it works well.

Please visit the other authors for the full story.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

There was so much spinning in my head. If I told Ann about my sister’s abilities she would eventually figure out our true bloodlines. The family would not be pleased and I was already in hot water over the incident with Sylvia. Something had to be done to snap Agatha out her current mental state. I told Ann to please wait while I checked on my sister. As I climbed the spiral staircase I ran my hand along the carvings on the rail. The symbols were like Braille. To an outsider the symbols were just strange art but in my family it was a secret message. It was the combination to a lock. I topped the staircase and proceeded down the hall to the third door on the right. The spare room was used for storage. The stacked boxes were crowded in with just enough room left to pass along the wall. They were full of the trinkets and more mundane items my family had collected over the centuries. The musty smell of the boxes filled my nostrils as I slid along the wall. Finally, I came to open space in the back. An antique mirror hung on the wall. The dark wooden frame held symbols that match the carvings on the rail. I had to activate them in the right order or a booby trap would solve my problems permanently. I took a deep breath and entered the combination. As I touched the last symbol they all lit up in sequence and the glass became liquid. I stepped through the mirror and into the secret library that held my family’s real inheritance. If there was a cure for Agatha’s condition it would be found here in the other world.

I Pulled my antique Zippo from my pocket and lit the wick. In the soft yellow glow of the flame I could see rows and rows of books. I was looking for the lever that activated the gas lights when something moved in the shadows. Nobody else should even know about this room much less be creeping around in the dark. My grandfather’s sword hung in display near the secret door. For the first time in almost a century it’s rest would be disturbed.

Challenge accepted 2.11.18

Hello Friends!

I was given a direct challenge to answer the questions posed by Zankhana Goyal in her Sunshine Blogger/Liebester Award post.

  1. What are some things you haven’t seen or read, but know everything about because of popular culture? A. To be completely honest I’m not really interested in what most people consider pop culture. I know that sounds odd but I always have had a non conformist streak to my personality the made me reject a large portion of the populist mindset.

2. What advice can you give to new bloggers?

A. I’m a relatively new blogger myself. But, because my life experience has been working directly with the public for 30 years I think that I can say it’s all about perception. Be yourself. Be honest with your following. They chose you for a reason so try to be consistent with your interaction.

3. What is the one thing you wish people knew about you?

A. When I’m blunt about an opinion it’s not because I’m angry or upset etc . I simply have no other way to express myself or the subject matter is too important to allow room for misunderstanding.

4. How did you pick your blog’s name?

A. My blog was conceived as an advertising tool to promote my business. “Lloyd’s Lens Photography ” Each post is really more about the image than the writings. I write about the thoughts that the image invoked for me as a wayto give a little extra to the observer.

5.What’s the favorite post that you’ve published? (Link, please!)

A. I can’t really say that I have a favorite but I do visit this tree often. I have several images of this spot.

Beneath The Dreaming Tree

The writing is about a place where two lovers meet in the dream world only but in their waking life they have never met. Each person thinks that the other is only a fantasy. The story is one that I started a long time ago but have never had the time to finish.

6.Which profession do you think is best?

A. The one that you would do for free if you didn’t need money. I’ve spent my life going from one job to the next and I’ve gained a lot of useful experience that way. But I’ve never been happy. I have come to realize that I was only chasing a paycheck. We need money to finance our lives for sure but don’t sacrifice too much of your life to get money. If at all possible become an independent business owner doing what you love.

7. What can you do for your own country?

A. The USA is in the cusp of a paradigm shift. I don’t want to get too political but to say that anything a person can do to gain personal liberty and be responsible for themselves on an individual level will make a nation stronger. Anyone who has to care for a person on an individual level will have power over the individual. The stronger the individual is the stronger a nation will be.

8. 3. What do you observe first thing if you met?

A. I watch people’s body language. I do this a lot as a photographer because it helps me to get better pictures of my clients and to find potential new clients.

9. How can India be DEVELOPED NATION ???

A. Well, building on my answer for question number 7, the individual is the key to everything. The individual must reduce his/her dependency on government and large corporations. Food is a good place to start. Even if person is only able to grow one meal for themselves that’s one meal that did not divert resources. I recommend learning permacultre. There are many free resource online.

10. Sports / music or dance ?? Why ??

A. I really don’t have much time for sports and I would rather play a game than watch a game. My dancing looks like a monkey with an itch so no public dancing. Ah but music! I can put my music on and be inspired while I work.

11. Most beautiful part of India/your home country ?

A. It’s really hard to choose but I’m partial to Eastern Woodlands of America and my mountains.

With the questions answered I would like some feedback from my followers. I want to do something maybe on a monthly basis to help promote each other’s blog. For me this is much easier than a random award. I’m thinking about interviews, shoutouts and the like but I need some ideas. This would be specific to my followers. The idea is to build a community. Please comment below. 🙂

As for passing along the challenge I’m not going to ask eleven questions. The reason why is that I want to maintain a certain consistency to my website. I would rather ask a fewer number of questions that help a person to reach a deeper level of contemplation and improve their quality of life.

1. Assume that you won the lottery and you have more than enough money to last your family for the next three generations. How would you use the excess to make the lives better for your hometown? Would you give it away or invest in a regenerative business partnerships with your neighborhood?

2. What is happiness to you?

3. Can justice truly exist without mercy?

I know those are some pretty heavy questions so I’m going to cut it off at three questions.