30 April 2018

Gratitude ~ Family


Greetings Dear Reader,

My family is far from perfect.  I have often said that I have a family kudzu not a family tree.  If you are unfamiliar with kudzu feel free to read about it here.  The vines, leaves, and tendrils of it encompass everything and have both good and ill uses.

As I began to write this today my youngest brother called and we talked about family for quite some time.  Hence my blog will go up later today than is usual.  That is not a problem.  My commitment is to post daily Dear Reader, and not when I will post. 

The conversation with him cemented my gratitude for him as part of my family.  My elders (a waning population), my peers, and my youngers (a booming population) are very different individuals.  We have many paths in life that do not cross often enough.

Some of my family members really like me and others do not.  There is not one of them that I do not love and wish the very best for him or her.  We fill the entire political spectrum and land at divergent places on most social issues.  The thing we have in common is that we are all still family. 

Most of my family lives in Georgia or Florida.  My self-imposed exile in the northern mid-west keeps me from seeing them as often as I would.  I am still very thankful for them all.  I am still appreciative for the ways in which they have shaped who I am.  For ill or good we are all the product of our forefathers and the choices we make along the journey.

We can easily call up the complaints and criticisms we hold concerning our families.  It is vital that I more often remember the value of those to whom I am related.  We seek tribes that share our values and vocation.  If we forget our family in doing this it leaves behind a hole we cannot fill. 

I must live in gratitude for those whose lives are connected to mine through blood and union.  Any good that I can do must be my duty and not just my pride.  I am grateful for my family because even though kudzu is invasive and overpowering, it produces some lovely flowers that cause one to forget the rest of the plant.
Forefathers – Dan Fogelberg

They came from Scandinavia, the land of midnight sun
And crossed the North Atlantic when this century was young
They'd heard that in America every man was free
To live the way he chose to live and be who he could be

Some of them were farmers there and tilled the frozen soil
But all they got was poverty for all their earnest toil
They say one was a sailor who sailed the wide world round
Made home port, got drunk one night, walked off the pier and drowned

My mother was of Scottish blood; it's there that she was born
They brought her to America in 1924
They left behind the highlands and the heather-covered hills
And came to find America with broad expectant dreams and iron wills

My granddad worked the steel mills of central Illinois
His daughter was his jewel; his son was just his boy
For thirty years he worked the mills and stoked the coke-fed fires
And looked toward the day when he'd at last turn sixty-five and could retire

And the sons become the fathers and their daughters will be wives
As the torch is passed from hand to hand
And we struggle through our lives
Though the generations wander, the lineage survives
And all of us, from dust to dust, we all become forefathers by and by

The woman and the man were wed just after the war
And they settled in this river town and three fine sons she bore
One became a lawyer and one fine pictures drew
And one became this lonely soul who sits here now
And sings this song to you

And the sons become the fathers and their daughters will be wives
As the torch is passed from hand to hand
And we struggle through our lives
Though the generations wander, the lineage survives
And all of us, from dust to dust, we all become forefathers by and by
By and By; By and By

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 ͡°)

29 April 2018

Gratitude ~ Opening Thoughts


Greetings Dear Reader,

There are so many serious issues about which I think and write.  From time to time they bog me down.  One of the things that keeps me from becoming discouraged is remember all the good things I have and can do.

I am going to spend almost a month on gratitude.  I want to remember some of the basic why’s of what I do as a follow or Christ.  I need to look at all the things that are good in my life so that the difficulties and challenges remain in perspective.  I was recently reminded of how many good things there are and I never want to take them for granted or fail to be grateful.

Another aspect of this is doing it in the long term.  Spending some time every day ponding gratitude and what I have to do to express it is healthy for me.  I never want to get behind in my debt of gratitude.

I invite you to spend some time being grateful with me.  I want to hear your stories of gratitude as I tell you mine.  There is nothing to trivial for which to show gratitude.  Walk with me Dear Reader and let us share our stories.

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 ͡°)

28 April 2018

Injustice Collectors ~ Closing Thoughts


Greetings Dear Reader,

It is easy to find things about which to be offended.  It is common to feel slighted or injured by the actions of others.  We must not allow that to be our banner. Injustice wil exist as long as there are people involved. 

Our response to injustice is to right it.  We can do this through love and kindness if we choose to do so.  If I am to show love to the world then I cannot afford to be easily offended or thinking of myself first.  I cannot be harsh or offensive on behalf of others. 

Following Christ requires humility and patience.  It insists that I consider the needs of others over my own.  It calls for me to be good to others and more so when they are being unkind to me.  I must always work toward real justice and fight the injustice of judging and trying to control others through injustice collection.

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 ͡°)

27 April 2018

Injustice Collectors ~ Easily Offended


Greetings Dear Reader,

I grew up in a culture where one did not dare to show when one was offended.  It was not polite.  As a young adult my response to that was to be offended by everything and let everyone know about it.

By grace and discipline, I have learned that being offended is a choice.  I have also learned that most of things that try to offend me are a matter of my own pride or prejudice.  I tell people who worry about my being offended that I am easily embarrassed but difficult to offend.

We are not supposed to be easily offended.  Taking up offenses is just another way of controlling others and collecting injustices.  The power of this control is dangerous and wrong.  I am supposed to respect the sensibilities of the weak but not required to do so for the manipulative.

Being easily offended is also a form of judgment.  It says that I deem your actions unacceptable and choose my standards over your freedom.  It says that you must cater to my feelings even if it tramples on your liberty.  Again, I must respect the needs of the weak but am not required to cater to the control of the whiney. 

I realize that these are strong words.  I understand that I may be trampling on some tender toes.  I choose to speak the truth.  I choose not to be easily offended and to love those who do things that are offensive.  I expect the same of others.  We miss so much good when we wander the world looking for the next thing that will offend us.

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 ͡°)

26 April 2018

Injustice Collectors ~ Forbidden Words


Greetings Dear Reader,

There are things we should not say.  There are words that are by their very nature offensive.  It is not those words that concern me.  Those that concern me are the words that are forbidden because of the political or social view of others.  I am not usually a slippery slope person but I see a shift in our culture that is dangerous.

Consider this:  "It was intended that when Newspeak had been adopted once and for all and Oldspeak forgotten, a heretical thought ... should be literally unthinkable, at least so far as thought is dependent on words." - George Orwell, 1984

If those who seek to collect injustices also are allowed to define what words are heretical then what are the standards by which they make those choices?  The very foundation of communication between people who are equal is the free exchange of ideas.  I am not willing to empower anyone to say what words or thoughts are not allowed.  Even when the words offend me I am not permitted to prohibit someone else from free expression.

In a civil society we do not need to limit speech or thought to achieve justice or equality.  Still there is a storm raging in the creation of limitations on speech and the forbidding of ideas.  I think that by now we would have learned that the forbidding of an idea fertilizes its growth in the mind.  It is our nature to feast on things we are told are forbidden as food for thought.  

My communication must be honest, loving, and kind.  That does not mean that I am forbidden to express ideas that might cause discomfort or seem harsh.  I may need to earn the right to be heard through my good actions.  I might have to temper my words to present things gently.  No one, however, gets to tell me what I mean by what I say and then insinuate his or her own agenda into my words.

If one does not like what I write one can simply turn the page or click the next tab.  I will try to be reasonable and just.  I will not temper the truth for someone else’s comfort.  It is very dangerous to us all to forbid words.  Words have meaning.  I use them to assemble thoughts into sentences and paragraphs.  I aim to learn humility and express myself in love.  I cannot, however, with integrity, cater to injustice collectors.

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 ͡°)

25 April 2018

Second Thoughts ~ Pickle Popsicles


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.

As the weather begins to warm and the world turns toward the activities for keeping cool.  We indulge in cold drinks, watermelon, and ice cream.  The pool will open soon and people will transition from complaining about the cold to complaining about the heat.

In an attempt to prepare for sharing cool summer memories with my Grandsons I visited the freezer section of the grocer.  I perused the verities of ice-cream sandwiches, frozen fruit bars, and popsicles.   In the section of freezer pops was a box of Pickle-Ice frozen pickle flavored freezer pops.

My Grandsons love pickles.  I was tempted to buy these.  I think we will do a test run first.  I will acquire a couple of them and see how they are received.  Still it makes me ponder that change we have seen in the variety of foods. 

We still produce foods that have very little food in them.  Many of our snacks are factory products that are more suited to long shelf life than human consumption.  I am not on a soap box about this.  I am missing some of the things that have gone away.

Where have Space Food Sticks, Seven Up Bars, and Deviled Ham gone?  I had King Vitamin Cereal, Tang, and Carnation Breakfast Bars.  Dinner would be Swanson TV Dinners.  I suppose that we have always had strange food.

It puts me in mind that our differences in taste are infinitely diverse over time and taste.  Moon Pies are making a comeback.   So are Zots and Zero.  I will get back to you on the Pickle Popsicles. 

TV Dinners – ZZ Top

TV dinners there's nothin' else to eat
TV dinners they really can't be beat
I like 'em frozen but you understand
I throw 'em in and wave 'em and I'm a brand-new man oh yeah!

TV dinners they're goin' to my head
TV dinners my skin is turnin' red
Twenty year old turkey in a thirty year old tin
I can't wait until tomorrow.... and thaw one out again oh yeah!

TV dinners I'm feelin' kinda rough
TV dinners this one's kinda tough
I like the enchiladas and the teriyaki too
I even like the chicken if.... the sauce is not too blue.

And they're mine, all mine, oh yeah
And they sure are fine.
Gotta have 'em
Gimme somethin' now.

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 ͡°)

Injustice Collectors ~ Twisted Words

Greetings Dear Reader,

To be very clear I am not expressing approval or disapproval of President Trump.  I do take issue with the current fervor of his words being twisted for political ammunition.  It is a symptom of a larger ill in our culture.  If we look honestly at what is being done we have all walked through this brier patch with someone.

The President is in talks with the North Korean leader trying to make us all a little safer.  He said, “I believe he is acting honorably” in context of the talks they are having.  If the man is being open and honest about the needs of his people then that is a good and accurate thing to say. 

The news reports various political figures twisting his words to say that the President is calling Kim Jong Un an honorable man.  This is not what he said or implied.  To infer that is what President Trump is saying is dishonest and foolish.  It weakens one’s position to use lies to defend it or to attack another.

We have all been through this.  We say to someone, “It is selfish to take all the cookies.”  The person accuses us of calling him or her selfish.  A single act does not define a person.  If I act greedy and take all the cookies that does not make me a greedy person but I have acted in a greedy manner.  If it is a pattern then perhaps I am a greedy person.

This type of false communication feeds the offense engine.  If I lie and say something inflammatory about someone else then I am fueling the cause of injustice collectors.  I think we need to take a very hard look at our integrity as a people.  I am not calling anyone dishonest.  I am saying that we do not demand honesty in all things from our leaders. 

In following Christ, I am required to seek the truth always.  I must not feed injustice by being dishonest with my treatment of others.  I can view things and have opinions.  If I speak ill of another then I am crossing the line.  If I twist a person’s words to advance my own cause, I am the one with a problem.

Freedom is found in truth, honesty, and integrity.  That simple thing is what keeps me following Christ.  I will leave you with the words of Larry Norman.

Politicians all makes speeches,
And the newsmen all take notes,
And they exaggerate the issues,
As they shove them down our throats.
Is it really up to them whether this country sinks or floats?

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 ͡°)

24 April 2018

Injustice Collectors ~ Hot Coffee Warnings


Greetings Dear Reader,

We have all heard of the coffee law suit.  I have a cup of coffee just to my right as I write.  The mug has no warning label.  In all my years I have never considered pouring the coffee in my “crotch area”.  Still there are coffee cups with this warning.

One of the great collectors of injustice in our society is our litigious nature.  People have been sued over trivial things for the sake of money.  This has led to some very ridiculous warnings on products.

There are baby strollers that instruct us to “remove child before folding.”  It makes me wonder what the number of occurrences was that triggered this warning.  I also picture a couple arguing over it.  The guy thinks it is a good storage idea and the wife is yelling. “But the instructions say ‘DON’T fold the baby.’”

We obviously have not learned how to deal with fire.  We are warned not to check gas levels with a match for light.  Apparently, fireplace logs are combustible, matches are hot when lit, and children should not play in ovens.  Related thoughts are that we should not iron shirts whilst wearing them.  We should remember that food is hot once cooked.  We are supposed to exit burning buildings before tweeting about the fire.

Other areas of concern are holding the wrong end of a chain saw, water will be on the road when it is raining, and we should not put clothes in the washer whilst children are still wearing them.  One must not put topical ointments on one’s skull, use hair dryers whilst sleeping, or use carpentry drills for dentistry. 

Perhaps we should not be so surprised at Tide Pod eaters or condom sniffers.  Yes, we should.  Some things are just ridiculous and should not be done.  It is not reasonable that we should have to warn intelligent people not to do these things.  Those who need such a warning have not been taught common sense.

I need to have compassion for those who have not been taught to think before acting.  We also need to all learn to think before acting. We have gone from teaching people how to be responsible for their own actions to putting inane warnings on things to avoid litigation.  This is just another way of protecting the irresponsible at the expense of the prudent.  I will not ridicule those who lack common sense but neither will I make excuse for them not learning it.  I will hold forth that this type of coddling damages our ability to reason.  It adds to our collection of injustices.

It does provide me with more opportunities for kindness and compassion.  It reminds me to see the blessing that a good education and learning to think are.  I am returned to the idea that being good to others even when they are acting foolishly is a great way to avoid helping them collect injustices.

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 ͡°)

23 April 2018

Injustice Collectors ~ Taking up Offenses


Greetings Dear Reader,

All too often the news brings us a story of some key political or social figure who has joined in or weighed in on an event.  He or she expresses outrage at the injustice or insult and steers the discussion toward an agenda.  The needs of the person offended or injured often gets lost in the fervor.

I am not saying that there are not valid issues that deserve national and notable attention.  I am saying that too often we take up offenses on behalf of others instead of working to help the individuals impacted.  We experts at speeches and rallies but seem to be poor are providing for the needs of others. 

Often, I think that the effort and resources used to politicize an event would be better used in helping the people impacted by the event.  If we consider the cost of organizing, travel, and holding a political event, we should also ask if those resources would be better used in helping.  It is in this transition to a cause that we often leave behind the needs of the injured.

I must not take up offenses as a cause.  I must invest my time and effort in caring for the ones in need.  I would love to see injustice cleansed from the world and some day that will happen.  Perhaps though, I better serve by treating everyone in my journey with kindness, justices, love, and compassion. 

It is easy to get offended on behalf of others.  It is difficult to make sure that we use our energy and resources to really help.  It is not what most people do and so we follow the norm and not the need.  I must purpose and live to deal in love and hope, avoid offenses and offending, and serve others.  Less talk and more help will go very far.

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 ͡°)

22 April 2018

Injustice Collectors ~ Opening Thoughts


Greetings Dear Reader,

I have been watching a weekly television show from the mid-sixties.  For those pondering it, I am not speaking of Star Trek.  I will reveal what show it is later in this journey.

One of the lead characters observed that someone is offended and harmed by everything yet takes no responsibility for the ways in which they offend and harm others.  She called this person an “Injustice Collector.”  This brought to mind the depth to which our society has become populated with cries of injustice over so many trivial and mundane things.

I am not suggesting that there are not real injustices that need to be addressed.  What concerns me is the way in which some cry injustice over things that need not be elevated to that level.  We seem to have lost the understanding of how to talk to each other and settle our differences.

There is also the larger problem of people who make their lives about collecting injustices for others.  From “ambulance chasing” to politicizing personal tragedy we have people who capitalize on the problems of others for their own purposes.  Worse still are those who spread discord and even hatred in the name of justice, fairness, or equality. 

What I must do is measure where the lines are.  Knowledge of balance in this will allow me to accurately work toward peace and justice without wasting energy and time.  It will give me perspective so that I do not try to climb mountains created from mole hills.  Please keep me company as I try to navigate standards for what is the proper application of justice and what is simple the collecting of injustices.  As is always the case, your thoughts and questions are just and appreciated Dear Reader.

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 ͡°)

21 April 2018

Creation, Recreation, and Procreation ~ Closing Thoughts


Greetings Dear Reader,

One could feel the difference in the air yesterday as the temperatures turned from snow to sun and warmth.  Most of the snow that fell on Wednesday has melted but the places with constant shade still have small patches covering them.  The warmth of the sun in my Volkswagen had that quality that gently removes winter coats and opens sun roofs.

In the stream of constant creation my part of the world sheds its blanket of cold.  I see buds and birds that make me remember how life keeps going forward.  So many see the Robin as the sign of spring.  For me it is the Red Winged Blackbird.  I find them lovely and daring.  They perch atop reeds and cattails in dance of balance and beauty.

All over the northern hemisphere creation awakens, people rush to outdoor recreation.  Plants and animals are busy at procreation.  We will soon see buds, berries, and flowers everywhere.  The farmer’s market is open and baseball is in full swing. 

In the midst of all this life I need to remember that I am also constant creation.  I am being renewed in every moment.  In the long term I am being recreated and refined.  I will eventually be completed when my journey is done.  Until then I need to embrace all that life is and procreate good things in others. 

It is in this constant creation from the Father that moves us along the path to home.  In our death-based ecosystem we pursue life.  It is in the relationship with the Father that we find the deepest essence of that life.  I must allow him to remake, RE-create me into what he designed me to be.  All of life is better with this in mind.

Doulos – Kemper Crabb

You are my God
And I am your man
I will follow you
With the work of my hand
And the thoughts of my mind
And the love of my heart

If the world could know
If they could understand
Ah, the exquisite touch
Of the Creator's hand
Brings a blur to my eye
But makes my vision clear

Ring, rainbow ring
Encircles the throne
Fiery ring of love
Around your own
A golden ring to show
Just where I stand
A ring that binds my heart
Into your hand

And looking back across the years
I can see that you were constantly there
Constant creation
That’s what I am
As you are making me into your man

Here is my ear
Drive through the nail
The world will know
By the ring that I wear
That I am not for sale
For you are my God
And I am your man

Ring, rainbow ring
Encircles the throne
Fiery ring of love
Around your own
A golden ring to show
Just where I stand
A ring that binds my heart
Into your hand

For You are my God
And I am your man

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 ͡°)

20 April 2018

Creation, Recreation, and Procreation ~ Procreation Part 2


Greetings Dear Reader,

It is intriguing to watch children exhibit traits that one clearly sees in their parents.  Some are inherited and part of that mysterious package we pass along through our genetic makeup.  The other part is that which is both caught and taught. 

Even when they do not wish it, children adopt habits of their parents.  They see us and emulate us for good or ill.  We set an example that is followed, adopted, and adapted.  Often we do not see “where they get it from.”  We understand, however, “that the apple does not fall far from the tree.” 

What I think we do not realize is that we do this in others as well.  We become an example of what is good or ill by our daily lives.  As I have been in this time of difficulty I have worked hard to make sure that I set a good example for my family.   I have worked to assure that I keep my faith, effort, and attitude in proper alignment.

This is what we do.  We live our lives the way we choose and procreate our attitudes, values, and character in others who observe us.  We will be a good example or a bad one.  We will create poor or proper attitudes in others by ours.  By our actions toward others we can build good or tear down the proper example.

It is my duty to procreate the attitudes of Christ in others through my example and actions.  If I do not exemplify those things then my words will mean nothing.  I am going to procreate those attitudes in any event.  It is necessary that I am sure to do so with intent by making my best effort to live out love and kindness. 

When I do this, I can refine my efforts.  Through intent and action I can weed out the thing I do not wish to pass on to others.  I can also enhance the things that are good and right.  Love, kindness, and goodness can be procreated if I make them a reality in my life.

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 ͡°)

19 April 2018

Creation, Recreation, and Procreation ~ Recreation Part 2


Greetings Dear Reader,

One of the goals I work at daily is moving my avocation to the place of my vocation.  The primary reason is that it is what I do well.  It is what I love to do as well.  This is key to using work as RE-creation. 

When I write it allows me to process and purge.  The darker facets of my being can find expression in the less savory things my characters do.  I can imagine worlds and dismiss them without guile or guilt.  I find that even in the fictional expression of these things I am always chasing a way for there to be peace.  I am always after a loving resolution.  Even my worst creations have something of value in them that I wish to redeem.

When I write it is recreation as I am at play with my own creations.  I am enjoying their lives.  I must always remember that I have a responsibility to them.  They must have a chance at redemption if I am to be good and just.  My understanding of my characters allows me to filter real life through this process so that I can learn to treat others better.

When we can bridge the gap between work and recreation by making what we love also our work we can gain richer lives.  We can fulfill our role as creators by turning work into recreation.  I have met people who love jobs that I would never wish to work.  I have encountered people who do thankless work that fulfills them.  It is in embracing that we need to chase the vocation that is our passion that we can learn to be truly fulfilled as humans.

I must keep doing what I am created to do and trust that the Father will provide for my needs.  I do not seek fame, but I have stories to tell.  I have to find ways to contribute to the great story with my smaller ones.  A good day of writing leaves me recharged and ready to find ways to be good to others.  The solitude of the writing desk makes me long for the company of my fellow travelers.  I can see in it the balance that we are meant to have in all of life.  What do you long to do Dear Reader?  What are you doing to pursue that?

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 ͡°)

18 April 2018

Second Thoughts ~ I Don’t Like Happy Endings


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.

When I was watching my Grandsons this past week the eldest (7) was reading a book and made this observation: “Grandpa, I don’t like happy endings.  I mean that I want people to be OK and be happy, but things do not always turn our all happy.  It is just not real.”

I pursued this conversation and what he was getting at is that there is always some sorrow or loss in the world.  He does not require everything to be real but he wants honesty in his fantasy.  This filled me with both sorrow and joy.

The sorrow is that at seven he has moved past the innocence that everyone can “live happily ever after.”  We all reach this point but it sorrows me when children do so.  I want the world to be a place where that is still a possibility.

The joy is that the realization refined his view of how things unfold in an honest way.  Things will not always unfold as we wish then to unfold.  The world is not good and it is our job to help make it better.  We had a great conversation about how we are supposed to make the world better with our lives.

It was in this that I thought about my own writing.  I want to make the world a better place.  I want to create stories that end happily.  I also know that there will be pain and loss along the way.  The journey is filled with danger, sorrow, and loss.  It is also filled with hope, joy, and peace when we allow it.  I am please that my beloved Grandson reminded me of this.

We also spoke of his theory of time travel and its impact on world history.  He has the beginning of a good theory.  He promised me that if he finds a way to time travel that he will take me on an adventure.  Even in this I see that potential for many stories.  They may not all end happily but they will all have hope. 

In following Christ, I must remember that at the very end, in the last story of the series, things will end well.  For now, there may be sorrow and strife.  Eventually, however, things will get back to good.  That is the story I want to see unfold.

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 ͡°)

Creation, Recreation, and Procreation ~ Creation Part 2


Greetings Dear Reader,

It is interesting that whilst we await the weather we associate with spring that the local channels are calling for another few inches of snow.  The snow is a frustration for many and too wet for snow lovers.  If one is to keep one’s spirit it may take creativity.

This brings me to the thought that we are supposed to be creators.  Tolkien put it that we are to be sub-creators.  When I taught a course on creative teaching for many years I would encourage my students to always create.  We need to do this.

We are to find creative ways to express our hearts and minds.  We are meant to think new thoughts and try new things.  It is in us as created beings to emulate our Creator.  I realize that some of you just laughed at me.  That is understandable.  One of the places we need to be more creative is in the harmonization of faith and science.  As with most things we can surely work together to find truth if we are creative about our methods and keep our integrity.

Not only do we need to be creative as problem solvers in our world.  We need to create art, music, and words that motivate and inspire.  We need to create beauty in the world that reminds us why we are different from other living things.  This is one of the reasons I write.  It is why I dabble in music.  It is why I do not try to draw or paint. 

As we wait for creation to exhibit the weather we desire we must continue to create that which shows the beauty of life.  I must work daily to live out my role as a sub-creator using the gifts that I have.  Neglecting them is a waste of time.   It is the failure to use time that I am given. 

As I journey toward another spring I hope that I use the resurgence of life to be more creative.  I wish to be renewed in the return of life to the world.  I also need to remember that the other half of my world is in Autumn and that life is going dormant for them in many ways.  I must create so that they have something to savor in their long cold winter.

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 ͡°)

17 April 2018

Creation, Recreation, and Procreation ~ Procreation Part 1


Greetings Dear Reader,

As I mentioned in my opening thoughts I am not talking about the birthing of children.  What I am pondering is that procreation of things that are good.  We do this simply enough when we plant a garden or write a song.

The other aspects of procreation that can be difficult are those which require us to pass on the life of kindness, goodness, and love toward others.  I refuse to think of it as replicating those things.  That is too impersonal.  It is that I am required to intimately and personally infuse these things into the lives of others. 

I am to be a source of constant procreation of that which is best in all of us.  This is the lateral purpose of our journey with Christ.  My purpose is to help to infuse life into others through faith, example, and service.  Instead of seeing the great power of doing this through humility we often do this through intimidation and threat of punishment.  This is not what creates new life. 

My purpose is to create life wherever I can through obedience to the commands to love God and my fellow humans.  I am to rather woo others to this new life through love and social justice.  It is allowable for me to want everyone to believe what I believe as long as my putting forth of that is done in love and respect.  It must be absent of judgment and condemnation.  It must be consistent humble acts of love and sacrifice that bring about new life.

In following Christ, I am called to procreate life through the living out of the Gospel.  I am required to use the love of Christ in my life to build it into the lives of others.  If done properly it will aid others in learning to do the same.  Life finds a way.  Love finds a way.  It is up to me to make sure I do not hinder it.

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 ͡°)

16 April 2018

Creation, Recreation, and Procreation ~ Recreation Part 1


Greetings Dear Reader,

We are supposed to do things.  Some of us are more sedentary than others.  No matter what form of activity best suits you, there is a level of activity required for us to remain healthy.  Beyond that, we are supposed to renew who we are through rest and leisure activity. 

This activity that we call recreation is better viewed as RE-creation.  We recharge our batteries.  We reclaim our passions.  We find the paths to things we enjoy.  If we focus on it we can find the thing that recreates us daily.  If we try we may be able to make that thing sustain us.

Creation is renewed in the seasons.  It is reborn as the cycle of life churns through the cosmos.  When we take the time to recreate ourselves we can purge that which is harmful and embrace that which is beneficial.  We can do this mentally, physically, socially, and spiritually.  The thing is that we have to choose.  Not choosing is choosing to remain the same or to decay.

Writing re-creates me.  I do it every day.  I have not missed a day in almost two thousand days.  Over time I can see the cumulative impact on my mind and spirit.  I can see how much it helps me to focus on what is good and right.  It aids me to process how to be more loving and kind. 

I must recreate my life daily and then use as much life as I have for that day.  I must use it to make things a little better than they were yesterday.  I must use the anticipation of recreation as a generator of hope for tomorrow.  Eventually it will all be re-created.  Eventually it will all be good again.  For now, I must take my place as a sub-creator and do my best to re-create the world in good ways.  This is part of the essence of following Christ.

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 April 2018

Creation, Recreation, and Procreation ~ Creation Part 1


Greetings Dear Reader,

In response to my pondering yesterday our Wisconsin Spring saw a few inches of snow and ice grace our mid-April morning.   As I gaze out my window it looks more like winter than spring.   It is beautiful but my social feed is filled with those bemoaning the apparent lateness of warmth and access to outdoor activities so longed for by those who have come through the long winter.

I try to take the approach that God never gets the weather wrong.  We may not get the weather we want but the weather we get is what we are supposed to have.  I look for the beauty in the weather that is there.  The sea of ice and snow on my lawn is lovely.  It may be fleeting because temperatures will rise before the new week is out.  It is still something I can value if I choose to see it for what it is instead of for what it is not,

Perhaps that is the life key for me that is held in the weather.  All of creation moves as it does.  I cannot control any of it.  I can find beauty in it if I choose to look for it.  I can obtain a perspective that the world unfolds as it should.  I must find the good, the beauty, and the moments of grace in that unfolding.  They are always there.  In finding them I can more easily see the path to following Christ.  In that there is complete beauty no matter what the weather.

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 ͡°)

14 April 2018

Creation, Recreation, and Procreation ~ Opening Thoughts


Greetings Dear Reader,

Even though it is mid-April the weather does not yet feel like Spring.  This time of year does put me in mind of the way in which the world seems to awaken from its slumber to remind us that life is still moving forward.  I can hear the buzz of people at the places I frequent humming about the need for the weather to get warm so they can do the thing they want to do outside.

I have seen hints of daffodils and buds on the trees but they have been hindered by the return of snow and ice.  Still my mind turns to the thing of spring and summer and I wonder how the seasons touch me this year.   As April slips through the hourglass I am drawn to baseball and thoughts of shorts and sandals.  My mind considers the farmer’s market and swimming. 

Drawn toward thoughts of creation and its children, recreation and procreation I ponder how I give place to all of these when the weather that allows them delays.  I am going to palaver about it for a few days and truly desire your company as I do so.  Just to set you at east the bit on procreation will not be about human children.  Hopefully we can find a of Spring whimsy whilst we await spring weather that suits us.

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 ͡°)

13 April 2018

I Can Only Imagine ~ Closing Thoughts


Greetings Dear Reader,

We imagine so many things.  We ponder the next event in our lives.  We consider what the next vacation or holiday will be like.  We dream and anticipate.  I get excited about baseball games and swimming with my Grandsons.

Then there are our dreams and imaginations on the grander things.  I cannot tell you what heaven, being face to face with Jesus, or eternity will be like.  I do not think we can really comprehend it.  I refuse to speculate about most of this without a clear caveat that it is only my musings.

Still as one who imagines much and loves to ponder what may be, I cannot help but muse on what it will be like when we venture to that undiscovered country.  I know it will be good.  I know that we will all be surprised. 

We are promised that the great adventure will result in the end of sorrow and the realization of true joy.  We will not have the troubles and pain of this world.  We will not be able to hurt each other.  There will be an end to hunger and disease,

With all of our troubles over what can we expect?  What will the reunions and new endeavors bring?  With a Father who is so creative it will surely be marvelous.  I want to explore the universe.  I want to savor everything there is  How it will unfold, I can only imagine.

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 ͡°)

12 April 2018

Second Thoughts ~ The Wandering Traveler


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.

In an odd turn of events I have picked up friends or family at the airport three of the last four weekends.  Unlike many this airport has very cheap parking and a comfortable waiting area for meeting arrivals.  One of the perks is that one can see the only escalators that service the entry and exit area for the terminals.

So it was that two weeks ago I sat waiting in the early morning for a flight that was on time.  As I took up a seat in the waiting area, I chose the one the furthest to the left facing the terminals.  I could clearly see the doorway out of the terminals and the stairs framed by up and down escalators.  A crew had cordoned off the down escalator with a yellow barrier whilst they worked at repairs on it.

My friend’s flight was not due for fifteen minutes so I got comfortable and waited.  The airport and human nature combined to offer me some excellent entertainment.   As passengers exited the terminal of another flight I watched them approach the stairs and escalators.  There was a clear delineation of presence of mind and mindfulness in their actions.

The first group were those that either saw that the escalator was unavailable and chose the stairs or were going for the stairs as a matter of course.  The second group consisted of those who approached the escalator, saw it was out of order, and adjusted to the stairs or in one case the elevator. Then, there was a third group.

About half a dozen people individually did the same thing over a period of fifteen minutes.  Each would approach the down escalator and stop at the barricade that informed one that is was under repair.  Then he (2) or she (5) would walk past the stairs to the up escalator.  Each person stared for a moment at the open escalator moving in a direction opposite to his or her current need.  There were then the following responses:

  • Two immediately chose the wide staircase between the two escalators
  • One person turned and went to the elevator behind him.
  • Three people checked their phones, walked back to the down escalator, returned to the up escalator, and then chose the stairs.
  • The last individual walked back and forth between the escalators four times pulling her bag and checking her phone. Finally stopping at the out of order down escalator, young lady queries one of the workers as to when the repairs will be done.


The worker informs her that it is an “all day” job.  She responds with a wail, “But I have to get down to get a cab.”  The worker looks at her confused for a moment and then points toward the stairs before going back to work.  Still bewildered the young lady walks back and forth one more time before dragging herself and her luggage down the moving up escalator.

After reaching the bottom she heads toward the exit and stops short of the automatic doors that lead outside.  She turns around and looks back at the closed down escalator and mutters, “well it looks just fine from this end.”

I am not sure what particular challenge kept her from using the stairs or the elevator.  There could be many reasons why she did not grasp the simple solution or chose not to use it.  From the outside looking at her actions what I gained was some entertainment and little perspective.

I often get so focused on what I think should be unfolding that I do not leave my mind room to adjust to changes.  I must be certain that I am in the moment enough to see what is going on around me and aware enough to adjust.  The journey is made up of moments.  I must be in them fully even if I have to change my path to do so.

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 ͡°)