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Posts Tagged ‘Faith’

Pilgrimage Statistics 

Consecutive Days Riding:  87                              Consecutive Days Blogging: 88 

Today’s Mileage: 6                                              Total Trip Mileage: 711

I believe that an ability to laugh at yourself and your life circumstances is a key to a long and happy life.  As I ride the bike this evening I found myself chuckling at the comments of several friends.  They were speaking of my decision to scale back on the daily blog postings to only three a week to free up time for work and other interests.  I continue to ride the bike daily, and search for pilgrimage sites. These individuals all stated some variation of “well it’s about time!”

This is not the first time in my life that I’ve made a decision and then had family or friends announce that they had silently been “hoping and praying” that I would change course. When I asked them why they waited till then they noted: “because you were not ready!” How often I have personally used that same phrase with clients and friends.  We all undertake activities with some goal in mind, and become immersed in the process and dance of the activity, diving in deeper and spinning faster.  Others watch, sometimes with amazement and or concern, wondering how long you can keep up the pace or the depth of commitment.

 Life is a process and our goals must constantly be tweaked and sometimes may demand significant shifts in direction and intensity.  I have met alot of wonderful people in my expanding circle of blog readers, and I look forward to continuing to reach out to join with other sincere spiritual seekers and pilgrims. My youngest son commented the other day” “Dad you are pretty serious about this blog.”  I laughed and told him that I hoped there would be a day, somewhere in the future, when he might sit down and read my thoughts.  That he might gain some insights into his father and perhaps some insights into himself. 

This got me thinking about an issue that is important to anyone who creates.  I mentioned in one of my first postings that if you are a writer, artist or poet the most common form of feedback you get is no feedback at all!  You must have faith that your efforts will bear fruit and that it will bring insights, recognition, accolades, or whatever it is that you seek. Hopefully these efforts will have a positive impact on your own journey and dance, and perhaps the journey and dance of others.  I wrote a poem several years ago as I returned from a nature walk in which I pondered how my efforts would be greeting upon my return home to my family.

Can you blame them?

It’s the Donuts

Heading home

   Another walk ended.

Images on film,

   Words on tape.

Does it matter

   To anyone?

No not really!

Well perhaps

   The geese

      Whom I disturbed.

It’s the donuts,

   Bagged and resting

      On my car seat,

Which will be

   Remembered by those

      At home.

Maybe later,

   Days or years

      Into the future,

The images and words

   Of my passage

      Will inspire and delight.

But for now

   It’s the donuts,

      With glossy sweet surfaces,

         That will satisfy their hunger.

Protective parents are easily disturbed!

I never really lamented the fact that my creative efforts were not embraced by my two young sons or a wife preoccupied with the demands of motherhood. I had faith that a time and circumstance would arise, in my lifetime or afterwards, when these efforts would “touch and reverberate” with others. In addition to having faith that your creative efforts will somehow matter, you also have to “set the bar” with respect to how you will judge success.  Is it fame, or fortune, or seeing your work on a museum wall or bound in a book that will signify success? The following poem written on a nature walk in 1997 summarizes my thoughts on the matter:

 If I created a work of art, a poem, or a story

That touched a multitude of souls,

That became a timeless classic,

That would be nice.

 

If I created a work of art, a poem, or a story

That touched crowds of people,

That brought standing ovations and fame,

That would be great.

 

If I created a work of art, a poem, or a story

That touched a handful of people,

That connected them with each other

   And the natural world,

That would be tremendous.

 

If I created a work of art, a poem, or a story

That touched a single soul,

That helped them through their day

   And added meaning to their life,

Then all my efforts have been worth it.

I trust that most of you will recognize that with this posting and the presentation of these poems, my faith has been justified.  I hope you the reader find the images and words of my passage to be inspiring and delightful.  If it touched you then my efforts have been worthwhile!  Have a wonderful day… I’ll be back on Saturday.

The most important audience for our future... the children!

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Pilgrimage Statistics 

Consecutive Days Riding:  86                             Consecutive Days Blogging: 87 

Today’s Mileage: 4                                              Total Trip Mileage: 705

Sometimes we have to admit the obvious. I have been trying to down play the fact that my oldest son leaves tomorrow for the military.  The last year has been a difficult and tumultuous.  I send him off with a certain sense of relief, but also a deep sadness. I pray that the military helps him grow and find himself.  I pray that he safely returns home.  Please hold him in your prayers!  I needed some time in the woods, I hope you enjoy the following musing/poem.

Beautiful but Dangerous!

A Walk in the Woods

Leaving the confines of my studio

I walked into the cold winter chill

With plans of gathering fallen branches

And building a fire

I forgot to be cautious

For nature offers many gifts

But it offers dangers too

I realized to late that the crush

Of leaves and ice under my feet

Would make the slope to the woods

A treacherous path

My feet slipped and I went down

I am getting too old

For such hard bounces

I rose and wiped off my sore tush

Brushed off my muddy elbows

And continued more cautiously

On my path

Perhaps we spend our entire lifetime

And never learn some lessons

To be ever mindful of the signs of danger

To move cautiously

Even on familiar ground

I have blogged of late

About wisdom and the seeds we plant

The memories, stories and the snippets of insight

We leave behind for those who follow

Looking for sticks I glanced up

Not a moment too late

To avoid the vine with rows of barbs

They would have only added to my injuries

Then I saw it hanging alone

On a thin brown tether

A seed pod shaped like a dried pear

Partially open

Downy white filaments spilling out

A matter of faith?

Is it a weed or a flower?  

Does it really matter?

I grasped and freed it

Raising it above my head

I shock it

Releasing to the wind

Dozens of white parasols

Each bearing a dark seed cargo

Some fell to the ground at my feet

Others were swept skyward

Carried towards the river

I was reminded of the task ahead

Releasing an eldest son

To be carried off into the world

With a prayer that he will survive the journey

Finds fertile ground and grows

I suspect the seed pod is that of the thorny vine

Perhaps I will question my decision

Sometime in the future

As I fight an invasion of unwanted guests

In the mean time I choose

To identify with a plant parent

Who with faith in the cycles of life

Releases it offspring to the wind

To a future unseen

To triumphs and failures

To joy and pain

To a life lived and a dance enjoined

Warmth - Light - Guidance

 

Epilogue:

Eventually I built my fire

Forgot about the fall in the mud

Retrieved the seed pod

And half a dozen of it offspring

Warmed myself and gave thanks

For another of nature’s gifts

The light, the warmth, the guidance

Of the flames

As the blazing disk

In the sky overhead

Pushed back the winter chill

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Pilgrimage Statistics 

 Consecutive Days Riding:  83                              Consecutive Days Blogging: 84 

 Today’s Mileage: 6                                              Total Trip Mileage: 687 

 Happy New Year to all my family and friends! I decided to let myself have a little reprieve today.  I will be riding the bike of course, but instead of composing my typical blog ramblings I have posted several quotes and beautiful images.  They are words and images to ponder as we prepare our resolutions for a new year.  I hope you enjoy both as the gifts they are… see you tomorrow! 

Awaken to the New Year and its Possibilities!

“Go back?” he thought.  “No good at all!  Go sideways?  Impossible!  Go forward?  Only thing to do!  On we go!”  So he got up, and trotted along with his little sword held in front of him and one hand feeling the wall, and his heart all of a patter and a pitter.   J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit 

 “Man must have just enough faith in himself to have adventures, and just enough doubt of himself to enjoy them.”  G.K. Chesterton 

What mountains will we face in the New Year?

“We are not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us; we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be.”  C.S. Lewis 

“A friendly study of the world’s religions is a sacred duty.” Mahatma Gandhi

Embrace each new day as a gift!

“A good man is not a perfect man; a good man is an honest man, faithful, and unhesitatingly responsive to the voice of God in his life.”  John Fischer 

“Belief is truth held in the mind; faith is a fire in the heart.”  Joseph Fort Newton

How will you celebrate the beauty on your path?

“Doubts are the ants in the pants of faith. They keep it awake and moving.” Frederick Buechner 

“God’s heart is the most sensitive and tender of all. No act goes unnoticed, no matter how insignificant or small.” Richard J. Foster 

The days grow longer... the cycles of nature unfold!

“This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.” The Dalai Lama 

“Be Content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.” “A good traveler has no fixed plan, and is not intent on arriving.” “If you look to others for fulfillment, you will never be truly fulfilled.” “If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.”     Lao Tzu

Be kind to the children... no cruel jokes please!

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