22 November 2017

Second Thoughts – Black Friday, Baubles, and Bells

Greetings Dear Reader,

Sometimes I will end the day with thoughts that are important to get out.  Usually I just write them and put them in my journal folder.  I have chosen that on occasion I will share them with you Dear Reader.

I am sitting down to write this to wind down from pepping Thanksgiving dinner.   I slow roast my turkey overnight.  It is just in the over to gently rise in temperature until morning.  The pies are cooling.  The pudding is chilling.   The dressing is in the pan well chilled and ready for the over tomorrow.  There is more but I will not belabor you now Dear Reader.

This time on Thanksgiving Eve my thoughts turn to what comes next.  My Daughter loves the entire Black Friday shopping thing.   I resist it.   We agree that shopping on Thanksgiving Day wrong.  She spends that time plotting her Friday adventure and nibbling a last slice of pumpkin pie.

I have grown weary of the avarice associated with the time between the last bite of the Thursday meal and the end of cyber Monday.  I will venture out on Saturday or Sunday more to observe than to shop. One of those two days we will decorate for Christmas.  This means that I may pick up a bauble or two for the tree.  If needed I will get some new lights. 

One thing I will do is spend some time bell ringing for the Salvation Army.  This is vital to the needs of so many in a time when want is more keenly felt.  It is easy, only takes a couple of hours per shift, and has the potential to benefit so many.  You can volunteer at ringbells.org .  In ten years they have never pestered me for money or put me on someone’s mailing list.  Ninety-two cents of every dollar goes to the actual charity work they do for others. 

So, as I prepare to feast with family and friends I cast my heart and mind toward the needs of others.  I do this in keeping with the idea that I have so many things to for which to be thankful that I dare not neglect the needs of others.  Join with me Dear Reader; come on ring those bells.

Wishing you joy in the journey,

Aramis Thorn
Mat 13:52 So Jesus said to them, "That is why every writer who has become a disciple of Christ’s rule of the universe is like a home owner. He liberally hands out new and old things from his great treasure store.”

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Plenty’s Horn ~ No Leftovers

Greetings Dear Reader,

My eldest Son, Maxim introduced me to the Avett Brothers.  I am very thankful for this.  One of the challenges of the gathering of families can be leftovers.  I do not mean the Oyster and Peanut Butter Stuffing or Aunt Matilda’s Prune and Olive pie.  I mean the leftover feelings from a lifetime of knowing each other.

Plenty’s Horn pours out unending forgiveness for us from the Father.  We harbor hard, dried out, leftover feelings for each other and try to serve them up when we gather.  We do not consider that we are poisoning everyone to whom we serve them. 

We can have soft feelings.  We can forgive and create a safe space for the time together.  It may take courage.  It may take effort.  It is always worth it to show love and forgiveness to our family.  It is never a wasted meal to dine on humility.

As I turn my heart toward thankfulness and giving I must serve up generous portions of kindness and patience.  It is an opportunity to give forgiveness even if I am the only one who knows it.  The food is secondary to the love and care.  Plenty of leftovers will be there.  I must not serve them.   

No Hard Feelings – The Avett Brothers

When my body won't hold me anymore
And it finally lets me free
Will I be ready?
When my feet won't walk another mile?
And my lips give their last kiss goodbye?
Will my hands be steady when I lay down my fears, my hopes, and my doubts?
The rings on my fingers, and the keys to my house
With no hard feelings?

When the sun hangs low in the west
And the light in my chest won't be kept held at bay any longer
When the jealousy fades away
And it's ash and dust for cash and lust
And it's just hallelujah
And love in thoughts and love in the words
Love in the songs they sing in the church
And no hard feelings
Lord knows they haven't done much good for anyone
Kept me afraid and cold
With so much to have and hold
Mmm, hmm

When my body won't hold me anymore
And it finally lets me free
Where will I go?
Will the trade winds take me south through Georgia grain?
Or tropical rain?
Or snow from the heavens?
Will I join with the ocean blue?
Or run into a savior true?
And shake hands laughing
And walk through the night, straight to the light
Holding the love I've known in my life
And no hard feelings

Lord knows they haven't done much good for anyone
Kept me afraid and cold
With so much to have and hold

Under the curving sky
I'm finally learning why
It matters for me and you
To say it and mean it too
For life and it's loveliness
And all of its ugliness
Good as it's been to me
I have no enemies
I have no enemies
I have no enemies
I have no enemies

Wishing you joy in the journey,

Aramis Thorn
Mat 13:52 So Jesus said to them, "That is why every writer who has become a disciple of Christ’s rule of the universe is like a home owner. He liberally hands out new and old things from his great treasure store.”

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21 November 2017

Plenty’s Horn ~ Onions and Celery

Greetings Dear Reader,

Yesterday, in preparation for making Thanksgiving dinner I purchased onions and celery.  A dozen onions were selected from a box that held enough to fill a pallet.  There was no need to judge the celery.  Each rib of the stalk was clean and neatly trimmed.  There were two full pallets of celery there.  I moved on to other items less common but necessary.

I think that the things we use every day get ignored in the times we express our gratitude.   It is only when they become scarce that we value them.  Celery is only ninety-nine cents a stalk (some call the individual ribs of celery stalks.  The stalk is the entire bunch of ribs attached at the root).  It is important to my stuffing. 

A few years ago, my customary grocer was out of celery four days before Thanksgiving.  It has not happened before or since.  Apparently, there was a city-wide shortage of celery.  I do not think anyone ponders not being able to find celery.  I already feel that I have used the word celery far too much.  Still it is a glaring example of something we take for granted unless we cannot find it when we need it.

As I train my heart to be more grateful I must always consider the little things that one takes for granted.  I must see the provision of God in every small thing.  Every cup of cold water that comes from my faucet is something for which to be thankful.  Every breath is a gift.  If I practice gratitude in all the little things I will not have time to be ungrateful.  That is truly something for which to be thankul.

Wishing you joy in the journey,

Aramis Thorn
Mat 13:52 So Jesus said to them, "That is why every writer who has become a disciple of Christ’s rule of the universe is like a home owner. He liberally hands out new and old things from his great treasure store.”

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20 November 2017

Second Thoughts – The Empty Stool

Greetings Dear Reader,

Sometimes I will end the day with thoughts that are important to get out.  Usually I just write them and put them in my journal folder.  I have chosen that on occasion I will share them with you Dear Reader.

I mentioned last week that my bird died.  There is a aftereffect that has visited me of which I was unaware until today.  I have written before about things that surround my writing space and those things significance to my world.  Sitting where the bird’s cage used to be is the stool upon which it rested. 

The stool is hand painted.  It is black with ferrets on it.  The ferrets were also pets that once enriched my life.  They too have passed on.  Further, the stool was a gift from someone who no longer speaks to me.  She is Avalon’s sister and painted the stool as a gift for us when we were still together.

A simple wooden barstool is a reminder of so much loss.  Yet I would not part with it.  I still treasure the girt that was given, the pets it represents, and the family that is lost to me.  It is strange how these things descend upon our minds with a cruelty that cannot be imagined.  It is also strange how quickly I can remember moments of joy associated with each of these things.

I hold no less love for the people involved in this remembering.  I do not feel the need for pity or comfort concerning it.  What I do feel is the deep sense that simple things can confound us and force us to chain together events so that we deal with loss instead of burying it.  Yet in this season of gratitude I would rather recall how thankful I am for the art, the pets, and the love that still perches upon this stool.

Wishing you joy in the journey,

Aramis Thorn
Mat 13:52 So Jesus said to them, "That is why every writer who has become a disciple of Christ’s rule of the universe is like a home owner. He liberally hands out new and old things from his great treasure store.”

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Plenty’s Horn ~ The Intangibles

Greetings Dear Reader,

I saw Justice League over the weekend.  I promise no spoilers here.  It did cause me to think about super heroes in general.  Then my mind drifted to The Incredibles.   This is how my brain works sometimes; leaping from item to item like a frog on overheated Lily pads.  It then wondered if one could sustain stories about a group of super heroes called The Intangibles.

This looped back to a line in the movie.  One of the heroes says, “I'm a big fan of justice!”  What if The Intangibles are here?   What if the heroes are things we cannot touch or see?  They are things that make us more than a biological collection of energy.  They are things we have in abundance if we use them.  They are also the things that make God, well God.

I am talking about the intangibles of Love, Grace, Goodness, Righteousness, Justice, and Truth.  They are all here.  We just are not thankful enough to respect them and embrace them as we should.  We are not aware of or we deny the power and place they have in our world. We deny their power and then deny it to God.

What we really have in the “heroes” is an abundance of resources that are sustainable and cannot be depleted.  The more we give them out the more we have.  The more we share them the more they multiply.  Plenty’s horn will spill The Intangibles over the world as long as we are willing to pour her out without reservation. 

I must realize that I can be the conduit of The Intangibles.  Their leader; the greatest of these heroes assures that the rest work in harmony.  On her rests the power and trust of them all.  The greatest of these is love.

Wishing you joy in the journey,

Aramis Thorn
Mat 13:52 So Jesus said to them, "That is why every writer who has become a disciple of Christ’s rule of the universe is like a home owner. He liberally hands out new and old things from his great treasure store.”

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19 November 2017

Plenty’s Horn ~ Friends

Greetings Dear Reader,

I sometimes wonder if we have forgotten the what it means to have and be a friend.  I must say that I have an abundance of them.  “I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.”  I promise that this works out to a compliment. 

As I address gratitude based on the ample flow of Plenty’s Horn into my life, I must count among my blessings the friends I have.  I am not going to mention any names here because I do not wish to leave anyone out and thus hurt and feelings.  I also do not wish to write a five-thousand-word post.

I did a brief accounting.  I have friends in seventeen countries.  They are on every continent including Antarctica.  I only counted the ones where I have met people face to face.  There are also a few whom I have only met through writing discussion or social media whom I consider real friends. 

I know someone in every state in this country.  Thousands of students have passed through my classrooms over the years.  In the town where I live my Daughter claims that I know every third person.  More often than not when I am out and about I chance upon someone I know.

The short of it is that I have many friends for whom I am very thankful.  I wish to express great gratitude for those who have gone above and beyond to help me in my recent troubling time.  Some day I hope to show my thankfulness in a way that touches your collective hearts.

Friends and a deep blessing to me.  I cherish them and never discount them.  You, Dear Reader, are precious to me as well.  I am so grateful for your presence.

Wishing you joy in the journey,

Aramis Thorn
Mat 13:52 So Jesus said to them, "That is why every writer who has become a disciple of Christ’s rule of the universe is like a home owner. He liberally hands out new and old things from his great treasure store.”

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18 November 2017

Plenty’s Horn ~ Family

Greetings Dear Reader,

When I think of family my first thoughts are my Children and Grandchildren.  I am so very thankful for them.  Even their imperfections enrich my life.  Watching them learn and grow is a constant source of learning for me.

I have siblings that I love dearly even though I do not see them as often as I would.  Each of them speaks to my spirit in a unique way.  I would love to have them all in one place for a long meal full of real conversation.  I have mentioned before that I do not have a family tree but, rather, a family kudzu.   I that vast tangled sea of creeping, clinging vines my siblings are the lovely purple flowers. 

I am so very thankful for parents and the sacrifices they made to assure me an education that was above average.  It has supported me through times of abundance and lean.  Woven into the tapestry of my life are lessons that guide me when the choices are tough.  I am thankful for those.

Long etched into my spirit are the lessons from my Grandfather.  In the short time we shared he constantly invested in me.  I have a few treasures that he left me and his is the face I think of when I desire human counsel and guidance.  His view of the Father is the one that most influences mine. 

For the most part we do not get to choose our family.  I am blessed to have one that is crazy and that I love.  Plenty’s horn sees to it that through them adventure and opportunity are constantly there for me.

Wishing you joy in the journey,

Aramis Thorn
Mat 13:52 So Jesus said to them, "That is why every writer who has become a disciple of Christ’s rule of the universe is like a home owner. He liberally hands out new and old things from his great treasure store.”

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17 November 2017

Plenty’s Horn ~ Opening Thoughts

Greetings Dear Reader,

It is time to focus on gratitude.  We all have so much more to be thankful for than we consider sometimes.  I know that even though I have been without income for five months I have lacked for nothing.  I still have so much more than I need.,

As the world is filled with scandals, rumors, and real crisis we are about to pause for some feasting.  I will cook for my family.  We will have some down time.  We will celebrate that for which we have gratitude.

Leading up to that I wish to prepare my heart by considering the things for which I am truly thankful.  I want to assure that as I prep the turkey, stuffing, and all the fixings that I also consider the many things for which I want to express my gratitude.

If I ponder these things then my hope is to enter this season with a heart filled with so much gratitude that I do not feel anything but the need to give.   I want to further shed more of the trappings of things and focus on the humans around me.  If I can only focus on people and their needs then I will be able to see more clearly how much I have to be thankful for. 

Walk with me Dear Reader as we ponder all the good things we have.  Your companionship is at the top of that list. 

Wishing you joy in the journey,

Aramis Thorn
Mat 13:52 So Jesus said to them, "That is why every writer who has become a disciple of Christ’s rule of the universe is like a home owner. He liberally hands out new and old things from his great treasure store.”

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16 November 2017

Choosing What to Give ~ Closing Thoughts

Greetings Dear Reader,

I need to turn my thoughts toward the gratitude aspect of the season.  Frist, I would like to wrap up my thoughts on the gifts to choose.  It seems that after some deep self-examination I have a good attitude about this.  This means I need to find new ways to live this out since some of my common customs are not available to me this year.

In choosing what to give others it is vital that I consider what will endure.  I have more time so I can be more available.  I can give more time to the charities I support.  I can help with the odd schedules of the season with my Grandsons.  I will have to make an effort to be out and about more.

The primary need is to choose to give love and hope to others.  If I am to truly celebrate the love and gift that is Christ I must give him in every moment.  This is done through love, patience, selflessness, kindness, and compassion.  It is accomplished through seeing the needs of others.  It is fulfilled in having a spirit of gratitude for what I already have and avoiding the “I want more” culture of the world.

The entire material world is going to beg me to buy and get and want.   I will buy good spirits by sending out my spirit to everyone with good thoughts and kind words.  I will get new opportunities to show love and kindness to others.  I will hone my want to see all humans filled with the true spirit of the season and increase my attempts to be a constant source of it for others.  In this will I consider every moment the good things I can give.

Wishing you joy in the journey,

Aramis Thorn
Mat 13:52 So Jesus said to them, "That is why every writer who has become a disciple of Christ’s rule of the universe is like a home owner. He liberally hands out new and old things from his great treasure store.”

(͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

15 November 2017

Choosing What to Give ~ Some Gifts that Matter

Greetings Dear Reader,

I often ponder the things that I can give that will mean the most.  I make a very organized and detailed list for everyone for whom I will be purchasing presents.  I keep this in a document so that I can review what I have given over previous years.

At the top of the entry for each person I put the most important gifts.  The first thing I list is ways in which I want to show the person that I am thankful for his or her place in my life.  It is one of the ways I prepare my heart for the Thanksgiving season. 

It may be that I have a conversation with someone reminding him or her of how they have positively impacted me.  I may make a small gift or buy a meal.  The core is to find a way to specifically show my gratitude for the life of the individual and how it intersects mine in a good way.

Also on this page I keep a list of things I wish to do to show charity, love, and compassion to others throughout the season.  There are volunteer opportunities.  Some I do without including anyone who knows me.  An anonymous time of volunteer work is very rewarding.   Some like Bell Ringing for the Salvation Army is an annual event in which I involve my family. 

The focus must be on choosing gifts that matter.  If I give gratitude, love, charity to others then I can choose tangible gifts with the right heart.  This mindset also makes me more present when I am out and about interacting with others.  When I am at restaurants and shops the right mind helps me remain patient, respectful, and polite with clerks and servers. 

Many gifts are needed to fill out my list.  The most important ones only cost me effort and a little time.  The rewards of being in the right mind and heart make the season unfold in a way that keeps Christ at the center of it.  That is the most important gift that I can give myself.

Wishing you joy in the journey,

Aramis Thorn
Mat 13:52 So Jesus said to them, "That is why every writer who has become a disciple of Christ’s rule of the universe is like a home owner. He liberally hands out new and old things from his great treasure store.”

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