When I said that I love you, I meant that you’re everything to me.
When I said forever, I meant beyond the end of time.
When I said together, I meant nobody else but you.
When I said “I do”, I meant that I’m already committed.
When I said that I remember, I meant that you never left my heart.
Our lives are one, locked in by love.
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Tonight’s Feature Image is titled “Love Locked” and is available for purchase by contacting me on Facebook or by using the Contact Form on my website. (Note, I do not share or sale contact information. EVER.)
4X6 is $5.00
5X7 is $10.00
8X10 is $15.00
I’m also available for portraits by appointment. Use the Contact Form or message me on Facebook for details.
A good farm tractor is a lifetime investment. That old machine may not be as sleek as a new sports car but it will serve you well long after the sports car has rusted out. I remember when my grandfather bought this one in the early 70s and my uncle still uses it today. It’s hauled tons and tons of hay. It’s plowed gardens. It’s cleared the snow and ice from the long driveway and the public road.
A few years ago I was being interviewed for a new position and the interviewer asked what kind of car would best describe my personality. I’m sure that he was thinking about race cars, minivans and the normal cars you see on the highway. My answer? I want to be a tractor. The piece of equipment that you keep for a lifetime.
I think everyone has had that feeling that they just don’t fit in at some point. In fact I’d say it’s multiple points for most of us. The temptation is to forsake one’s individuality for sake of the crowd. But isn’t that lying? It’s one thing to be polite and respectful towards other opinions but it another thing altogether to fein total agreement. What’s more is that when the truth eventually comes out the others in the group will feel betrayed. A true friendship can handle some individualism and if it can’t then it was never a true friendship in the first place. It was only mimicry.
Being your own person is often difficult. There’s going to be conflict and in today’s world a large portion of population is under the misunderstanding that disagreement and hate are the same thing. They most certainly are not. God could have created a world of clones where everyone is exactly alike. Everyone would have the same opinions, the same ideas and the same looks. How boring would that be? There would also be no fresh ideas, no variety and no excitement. I’m starting to meander here so I’m just going to get to point. Don’t be afraid to stand out. Sure there’s going to be people who don’t accept you because they can’t handle anyone who doesn’t mirror them but do you really want to burden yourself with such a shallow person? Just be yourself.
About the image. Photo taken with my Samsung Galaxy 6 active. Image of the sun burning through a storm as it passes. The picture was taken on a whim.
What lives in darkness?
Something thrives on ignorance.
Something that feeds on fear.
Something that is selfish.
Something that threatens mutual destruction.
Something that has secrets.
Something that is weak.
Something that has no real power.
Lies live in darkness and starve in the light.
– Lloyd A Dempsey II
Lies. That’s been the topic of several blogs I follow.
A lie is like a cancer to the soul. The longer it’s allowed to exist the more it consumes. Paul Gerhardt was the one who first said that “when a man lies he murders some part of the world.” ( thank you Google) I would add that the liar is his own primary victim. A person may believe that they’ve sent the lie out from themselves and used it on someone else but the truth is that the lie never truly leaves the heart of the liar and a darkness is born. From that moment on the lie takes over the liar. A person does tell a lie, he hosts it like one might host a parasite. The lie will speak to liar from within and the threat is that “I’ll take you down with me.” But, there is a way to freedom. Simply letting in the light. Confessing to the lie and speaking the truth robs the lie of power and shrinks the cancer of the soul.
“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
One of my private clients had me to follow his last season of high school football (American football) last Fall. After the last touchdown of the last game between rivals was over I was left with a bittersweet feeling. This was my home team and I played the same game in front of the same fans thirty years ago. As the crowd left the stands I gathered my camera equipment and prepared to catch the emotions outside of the locker room. I looked up and there was something iconic about the bag of popcorn left behind by a fan. I began to think about how important the game was when I played. Memories of “glory days ” gone by began to fill my mind. I had based my entire sense of self worth on the approval of the crowd. When it was over I was left with an emptiness and doubt. That’s the problem with depending on the crowd for validation. It doesn’t matter if it’s a sports team or a job or anything else. When the crowd leaves they take their approval with them and when there’s no more games or someone else is more skilled comes along all your left with is an empty stadium. But, if you base your self worth on what you have accomplished and your ability to take on the next challenge the approval of the crowd makes no difference. Your self worth comes from inside you and while there will still be disappointment and things that you wish had been different the crowd can’t take that from you. I think something that Bruce Lee was once credited with was the thought, Paraphrasing,”A trophy is just a hunk of metal. It’s what’s inside you that counts and if you know what it is then it doesn’t matter if the judges approve”. (As best as I can remember). And, it’s not success that determines what’s inside you. Sometimes the other person is just better. But, if you give your best efforts and try to improve then you’ve got good stuff inside.
I’ve have always been blessed to be surrounded by beautiful women my whole life. From my mother who raised me to my wife that loves me in spite of imperfection. Thank you to all the friends, coworkers and “adopted sisters” have truly enriched my life.
Thank you, each and every one of you. ❤
Unfortunately this is not really one my happier posts. The image above was taken at Hawks Nest State Park. The Swans were brought in to enhance the beauty of the lake formed by the flood control dam. They were a mated pair. The Swans did their job wonderfully. Gracefully floating around lake and spreading joy, peace and love to all who came to the lake. Until one person who either through ignorance or malice shot and killed one of them. Shortly thereafter, the other got sick and died. Why would someone do such a thing as to kill the swan? I don’t know exactly. I try not to attribute to malice that which can be explained as ignorance. What kind of weapon was used? The truth is death doesn’t come in degrees and except for the amount of suffering the swan endured it doesn’t matter. One of the things that I love about nature is simplicity. To the surviving swan all that matters is the emptiness. She doesn’t perceive any difference between a gun, bow & arrow, catapult, wolf, coyote or oncoming traffic. Gone is gone and that’s it.
In the early days of the internet I became a fan of the late Ron Hood and his Hood’s Woods survival blog. I don’t if the rules originated from him or if he just promoted them but here is the rules of three for survival.
1. You can live three minutes without air.
2. You can live three hours without shelter.
3. You can live three days without water.
4. You can live three weeks without food. (under the right conditions)
5. You can only survive three months without love.
Love is just as essential to life as anything on the list. Without love a person’s body goes on but the soul begins to die. However, there is hope. As long as the body can continue to function a love life can be restored. Not only can you be restored but you can come back stronger and happier than ever before. Just like in physical survival emotional survival relies on the ability to adapt and continue the journey. In physical survival we have to adapt our diet. Nobody has been saved by finding a spectacular pizza tree in the deep forests. In emotional survival we have to hold onto the love and respect of friends and family. We have to just keep moving forward with determination until the point of rescue. Never fail to offer a stranger a smile. It may be returned with the potential of a friendship that becomes more. Don’t be afraid to hug someone. You may just find out that they are waiting for you to rescue them back. The swans were brought here and isolated. The surviving swan had no community to draw on for support. We don’t have to be alone. If you’re hurting today the best advice I can give you is to go out and find at least one person who could use a friend and then be one.