31 July 2018

Surprised by Pain ~ Yearnings Unanswered


Greetings Dear Reader,

We begin most great adventures with hope.  Even when we know the journey will be arduous, we enter it with faith that things will unfold as they should.  We cannot, however, control the actions of others or their reactions to our weaknesses and failures.

I am very good at building a vision but poor at putting nuts and bolts to the dream.  When I am surprised by the pain of my past all of the failures flood into me reminding me of what might have been.   I wrestle anew with my weakness and sin.  I feel the guilt and shame as if it is hot and fresh in the wounds to me and others.  I sometimes forget that I cannot undo anything.

When the storybook endings fail to appear, we have a choice.  Even now, when my hope is broken and my heart feels shattered I have choices.  I can choose to stay with the chase or stop moving forward.  I can dwell on the loss and hurt or keep to the quest. 

I have seen others I love abandon the hope we are given.  No matter how much they deny it the yearnings remain.  No matter how many counterfeits we manufacture, we cannot replace the pure hope that comes in following Christ.  It does not take away the pain or heal all the wounds.  It does, however, provide strength to keep moving.

When surprised by pain I can recall that I survived it.   I can remember that even though the pain is real, it will end one day.   I am a dreamer, a fool, and sometimes a sage.  We will return to the innocent age and I am grateful for your company as we strive to get there. 

The Innocent Age – Dan Fogelberg

Capture the moment
Carry the day
Stay with the chase
As long as you may
Follow the dreamer,
The fool, and the sage
Back to the days of
The innocent age.

Storybook endings
Never appear
They`re just someone`s way of
Leading us here
Waiting for wisdom
To open the cage
We forged in the fires of
The innocent age.

Back at the start
It was easy to see
No one to own to
Nowhere to be
Deep in the heartlands
A sad memory
Calls to me.
(Calls to me)

Fretful horizons
Worrisome skies
Tearful misgivings
Burning your eyes
Yearnings unanswered
Reckon the wage you
Pay to recapture the innocent age.

Back at the start
It was easy to see
No one to own to
Nowhere to be
Deep in the heartlands
A sad memory
Calls to me.
(Calls to me)

Fretful horizons
Worrisome skies
Tearful misgivings
Burning your eyes
Yearnings unanswered
Reckon the wage you
Pay to recapture the innocent age.

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 ͡°)

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30 July 2018

Surprised by Pain ~ Opening Thoughts


Greetings Dear Reader,

I started another round of reducing and purging things over the weekend.  It was a walk through some memories that both heal and haunt me.  I have an ever-growing understanding of the importance of choosing carefully what we keep and discard. 

That moment, when you open a box, unsure of its contents and the hose of memory floods the mind.  The memories of dreams that slipped through my fingers or hopes that became shattered on the rocks of consequences are still quite jagged.  I have to add to that changes that are the result of choices made by others that impact me.

Photographs, notes, and gifts of sentiment have a deep impact on me.  Words written to me become sacred to me.   I think I do not realize how deeply true this is until I come across them.  It is one of the things that carries me through difficult times.

When I encounter words of promise and love that have turned to lies they reopens wounds that never truly heal.  I read this week that you never truly get over losing someone.  The context was death.  I think it extends to other losses as well. 

The pain that surprises me is always searing and intense.  The sudden flood of memory burns through the mind demanding my full heart and rending it anew.  That, however, is not where it stops.  It leads me to questions that I must answer in order to regain my peace.  I must find the peace in my pain or the pain will overwhelm me.

The journey this next few days will be over some thorny ground but it will also be one of possibilities.  One of the first lessons I have learned is that doing this alone increases the pain.   Since I must, however, do so I would value your company as I walk through it.   As always, your thoughts and questions are welcome Dear Reader.  We can traverse the rough terrain together and perhaps find the joy even in the difficult part of the journey.

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 ͡°)

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29 July 2018

The Element of Indifference


Greetings Dear Reader,

I had a conversation recently about how important it is not to be unkind to others.  She realized that she was treating a coworker in a very mean way.  This week when I spoke to her she said that she had gone all week without being mean to the aforementioned coworker.

She went on to tell me that the coworker asked why she was mad.  As we continued the conversation my friend explained that she was not mad but rather she was indifferent.  Sometimes or maybe always indifference is actually aggression.  Whether passive or active, being indifferent requires the withholding of good positive interaction. 

One must practice indifference to achieve it.  That is an aggressive act.  If I am indifferent to the needs of others I am doing harm.  Withholding kindness is to do intentional harm.  In a world where we are required to be recognized by our love for each other there is no room for indifference.

We would not withhold food from someone who is starving but we walk in a world where people are hungry for kindness.  We cannot afford to treat anyone with indifference.  It robs others of hope and love.

It is not enough for me to not do evil.  I must actively do good.  I cannot be indifferent to anyone.  I must do everything I can to show kindness and love to others.  Indifference is aggression done with subtlety.   Kindness must be given with intent.

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 ͡°)

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28 July 2018

What Might Happen Philosophy ~ Closing Thoughts


Greetings Dear Reader,

This is a topic into which one could drill down for ages.  The journey, however, calls me in another direction.  What might happen does bear visiting from time to time.  We are too steeped in the philosophy of fear and a hedge mentality.  We are in danger of becoming so walled in by our what might happen thinking that we cannot see the value in our differences.

The idea that we can prevent wrong and harm by building hedges and walls is an exercise in self-delusion.   We can only find peace and quality of life in loving others without condition or exception.  We can only build a quality society if we treat everyone without fear. 

Yes, terrible things might happen.  There are people who wish to do evil and visit harm on others.  We cannot stop them with hedges.  We cannot legislate them out of existence.  The world will not become better through division and segregation.  I do not have to agree with everyone to find the beauty and value in every soul. 

I must not build hedges and I must find my way through those constructed by others.  I can crush any barrier with love and kindness.  I am required to love others and it is my privilege to do so.  When I invest my energy in that goal I find that my own hedges are trimmed and I can more readily see my way past the hedges of others.

Many bad things might and will happen.  Fear of that is not what works.  Fear of what might happen must not immobilize us into neglecting the needs of others.  It must not keep us from being good to each other.  Your company Dear Reader is always a part of the joy in my journey home.  Perhaps together we can turn our hedges into topiary that invites others to see who we are and understand our unique artistry.

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 ͡°)

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27 July 2018

What Might Happen Philosophy ~ Fear of Failure


Greetings Dear Reader,

Fear is a mind killer.   It is a destroyer.  It hinders so many good things.  It prevents us from being our best.  Often it prevents us from even trying.  Fear is born out of the essence of what we imagine might happen.

That which we fear is born in the mind.  When we adopt a philosophy of fear we fail to love, to try, and to live.  We become frozen in that fear or worse we retreat into what we feel is safety.  Fear prevents us from becoming all that we are able to become. 

The only weapon that we have against fear is our mind.  How we think determines who we become.  If we allow fear to control our thoughts then we move based on false information.  What might happen, and usually never does become our reality. 

We must think.  We must allow love and truth to cast out our fear.  We must not imprison our better selves behind a hedge of fear.  It is not easy.  It is not without, well, fear.  It is vital.  It is necessary. 

I cannot fear that when I speak the truth in love the possible rejection.  I must not allow fear of failure to prevent me from doing my best.  I must not allow fear to hinder my pursuit of all that is good.  Hiding behind a hedge of fear will only consume my life and keep it from helping others.  That is no way to live.

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 ͡°)

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26 July 2018

What Might Happen Philosophy ~ Withholding Help


Greetings Dear Reader,

Imagine for a moment that a young child comes up to you crying, bleeding, and asking for help.  What requirements do you put in place before you aid the child?  What do you demand in order to stop the bleeding and render assistance? 

If the answer is anything but “nothing” there is a problem.  We easily extrapolate this to the larger scale.  We are horrified at the idea of someone doing this to a child.  We do, however, do this daily to people who are out of sight.  We do it as a matter of course to those who we do not encounter. 

We base our rendering of aid in those who have need on what might happen if we help the wrong person.  We build a hedge around helping strangers because we are afraid we might accidentally help an enemy.   The difficulty is that we are required to love our enemies.  We are obligated to help those in need.  We are to do so sacrificially.

There will be those who take advantage of our trust.  Our kindness will be seen as weakness or abused.  We will be lied to and harmed by being good.  None of that mitigates the need to do so.  Nothing alleviates our obligation to love others and care for their needs.

There is no hedge we can build around the pain, need, and suffering of others that shields us from the fact that it is our responsibility to help.  All we can accomplish is to fail our fellow humans and hedge ourselves in from the vast joy that comes from giving.  The world is filled with opportunity to be good to others and we must not box out that opportunity based on what might happen.   That would fly in the face of the whole love your neighbor and your enemy and everyone idea.

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 ͡°)

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25 July 2018

Second Thoughts ~ Christmas in July


Greetings Dear Reader,

It is winter in the Southern Hemisphere.  I have a small Christmas Tree up in my living room and a gift or two for my family.  If you read my scribblings often you know that I love Christmas and celebrate it all year long. 

It is Christ that I celebrate even though I make room for the bearded red-suit guy and some jolly thoughts.  I love reminding my heart that even in the heat of summer the crisp spirit of winter can invade for a day.  I think that we always have time to remember Christmas and all it promises for a moment.

I will not belabor the point but I will wish you a happy Christmas in July, lift a glass to your health, and keep my promise to keep Christmas in my heart all the year.  Happy Christmas Dear Reader.  In a world that seems daily more bereft of joy, there is always time for another Christmas Song

Another Christmas Song – Jethro Tull

Hope everybody’s ringing on their own bell, this fine morning.
Hope everyone’s connected to that long-distance phone.
Old man, he’s a mountain.
Old man, he’s an island.
Old man, he’s awaking – says,
“ I’m going to call, call all my children home.”
Hope everybody’s dancing to their own drum this fine morning –
the beat of distant Africa or a Polish factory town.
Old man, he’s calling for his supper.
He’s calling for his whisky.
Calling for his sons and daughters, yeah –
calling, calling all his children round.
Sharp ears are tuned in to the drones and chanters warming.
Mist blowing round some headland, somewhere in your memory.
Everyone is from somewhere –
even if you’ve never been there.
So take a minute to remember the part of you
that might be the old man calling me.
How many wars you fighting out there, this winter’s morning?
Maybe it’s always time for another Christmas song.
Old man he’s asleep now.
Got appointments to keep now.
Dreaming of his sons and daughters and proving,
proving that the blood is strong.

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 ͡°)

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What Might Happen Philosophy ~ Advance Prejudice


Greetings Dear Reader,

If I step on your toes today I hope that you can understand that it is not my intent.  What I am intending to do is remind people who believe as I do that there is no room for judging others based on race or culture.  This is not an honest measure of a human.

When my children were young it was a household rule that when we described friends or classmates that we never do so by race.  They were required to describe personality and character.  They had to tell me about the interesting parts of the person.  The result is that my Sons hate racism in any form. 

The hedge we build with racism and a what might happen philosophy is very dangerous.  This includes judging others by skin color, culture, and regional practices.  We create this hedge on every side.  I have not found a race that does not participate in some form of pre-judication relative to others races. 

I love learning about cultural differences and experiences the uniqueness that others bring to the journey.  We engage in prejudice when we refuse to see the inherent value in diversity.  I am not required to like things that are different from what I like.  I am obligated to love and embrace the beauty in those differences. 

We all have hedges around our values and practices.  “Our way” is the right way in our minds unless we have trained our thoughts to embrace diversity in all its combinations.  There are things that are absolutely wrong.  Hedges based on race and culture are dangerous. 

I cannot call myself a Christ follower and hold prejudice against anyone.  I must always see past race and culture to the human that I am required to love.  I must see that every human is on the same journey back to the Father and that my love can ease that journey.  Most of the things that “might happen” based on race never do so building a hedge based on this is to build a hedge of lies.

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 ͡°)

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24 July 2018

What Might Happen Philosophy ~ Indifferent Safety


Greetings Dear Reader,

The idea that we need to be safe on a personal, local, and national level is reasonable.  I must, however, consider the cost of that safety.  I must always weigh safety against sacrifice.  We must do some things to be safe in light of what might happen.  We wear seat belts in cars because there might be an accident.  That is reasonable.

If my national security endangers the lives of the innocent then is it worth defending?  I am not sure where that line is but I know that I am required to sacrifice for the wellbeing of others.  I cannot justify letting others suffer because of what someone might do.

On the personal level, I cannot withhold doing good for others because of what they might do or become.  They are responsible for what they do with what they are given.  It is my obligation to do what is right and good.  The Father will sort out the rest. 

I cannot meter my doing what is right based on what others might do in response.  It is my obligation and privilege to do good no matter the behavior of others.  I need only look at what Christ did in response to the things we do to understand this principle on a personal level.  I cannot adopt a philosophy of refusal to help based on others actions.  That is not following in faith.

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 ͡°)

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23 July 2018

What Might Happen Philosophy ~ Opening Thoughts


Greetings Dear Reader,

I was struck the other day by how many things we do because of what might happen.  From insurance to forbidding bare feet we create laws and systems based on what could happen or what has happened.  I am concerned that we are building an illusion of control that takes the place of faith and following.

I am not saying that insurance is a bad thing.  Rather, it is a good thing that we pay for and hope to never need.  What I do need to ponder is what the line is.  If I base my life philosophy on what bad thing might happen then I am in danger.  I cannot live by faith if I do not.

As I walk through this I want examine things both social and political that are also matters of faith.  I want to make sure that I am not limiting my compassion and love because of what people might do.  The idea of hedging against harm is good but the replacement of faith is not.  This will be brief but I hope your conversation extends it 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 ͡°)

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22 July 2018

That’s All I Gonna Say Right Now ~ Closing Thoughts


Greetings Dear Reader,

Through the week I have been writing this great sorrow has visited me.  Two dear friends have passed away.  I have had to watch young parents burry their young child.  Another precipitating sorrow walks with me daily about which I am not free to speak. 

It is in these moments that I realize that the daily challenges seem so difficult because my energy goes to processing the grief and loss.  We hear about floods and do not really comprehend them until they impact us.  We do not feel the loss of waters washing away all there is until it is OUR all there is. 

The slow flood of things over the last year have tried to wash me away.  I thought I was strong.  I am not.  I have faith.  I want to say unequivocally that it is Christ and the kindness of others that is sustaining me.  Only through faith and following am I not destroyed.  My emotions want me to despair and doubt.  I refuse. 

We must train our minds to be stronger than our feelings or we will lose ourselves every time.  I was in danger of losing myself.  The sorrow and grief remind me where to look.  The pain and loss drive me to pursue.  The joy in the darkest parts of the journey is found in following the Light.  “That's all I want to say right now, I don't want to say too much…Except Sweet Jesus, roll all over me.”

Sweet River Roll – Waterdeep

Homebound Henry's got a tumor in his head
He wakes up every morning after dreaming he was dead
He used to think that life was boring, but now that's not the case
He turns to his wife in the evening, he says "Honey I'm afraid I'm gonna lose this race."

Sweet River, roll all over me
Sweet River, roll all over me 

Soaking wet Juliet- she lives in a well full of tears
Her husband left her for some bimbo after twenty-two years
Now she's got to start all over, but she's just so terrified
She thinks it woulda been so much easier if he woulda just died 

Sweet River, roll all over me
Sweet River, roll all over me 

And I'm lookin out my car window sittin' in the pouring rain
Although your house is fifteen miles away, I can still feel your pain
I've thought and prayed and worked it through about a hundred times or more
How your soul just cries to everyone to help you get up off the floor 

Right now it's morning, you're probably totally unaware
Of the flood of kisses you hold back by the way that you despair
It ain't me I'm talking about here, or anybody else you can touch
That's all I want to say right now, I don't want to say too much…

Except Sweet Jesus, roll all over me
Sweet Jesus, roll all over me...
You gotta come down and just set me free

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 ͡°)

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21 July 2018

That’s All I Gonna Say Right Now ~ You Say


Greetings Dear Reader,

We get so caught up in our own thoughts and feelings that we do not hear it when others say good things to us.  We treat the good like we are coated with oil and the bad like we are made of glue.  We imagine things far more harmful than what was actually said.

When we build lies, even on the truth we do so much damage to ourselves.  We can create a maelstrom of negative thought that destroys us.  The trap of negativity in our minds becomes quicksand.  We think we are the authority on us when that is just not true.

I know that I do not see my good or bad qualities as clearly as I should.  There are those who see me as wonderful and those who see me as horrid.  I must be careful not to believe my own press and not to fail to see that which is true about me.  The vital truth about me is contained in the Father’s view of me. 

You too Dear Reader need to see the love and great regard that the Father has for you.  You do not grasp the depth to which you are cherished.  That is all I am going to say right now, except perhaps, you should listen to this song… 

You Say - Lauren Daigle

I keep fighting voices in my mind that say I'm not enough
Every single lie that tells me I will never measure up
Am I more than just the sum of every high and every low?
Remind me once again just who I am because I need to know

You say I am loved when I can't feel a thing
You say I am strong when I think I am weak
And You say I am held when I am falling short
And when I don't belong, oh You say that I am Yours
And I believe, oh I believe
What You say of me
I believe

The only thing that matters now is everything You think of me
In You I find my worth, in You I find my identity, o-ooh

You say I am loved when I can't feel a thing
You say I am strong when I think I am weak
And You say I am held when I am falling short
And when I don't belong, oh You say that I am Yours
And I believe, oh I believe
What You say of me
Oh, I believe

Taking all I have and now I'm laying it at Your feet
You have every failure God, You have every victory, o-ooh

You say I am loved when I can't feel a thing
You say I am strong when I think I am weak
You say I am held when I am falling short
When I don't belong, oh You say that I am Yours
And I believe, oh I believe
What You say of me
I believe

Oh I believe, yes I believe
What You say of me
I believe

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 ͡°)

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20 July 2018

That’s All I Gonna Say Right Now ~ Unaware


Greetings Dear Reader,

“Right now it's morning, you're probably totally unaware
Of the flood of kisses you hold back by the way that you despair
It ain't me I'm talking about here, or anybody else you can touch
That's all I want to say right now, I don't want to say too much…”

Rivers roll whether we wish it or not.  They roll even if we do not know they exist.  They carry their water and flotsam along the course they flow.  Rivers roll because it is their nature to do so.

We can use them for great purposes.  They allow for commerce and leisure travel.  They feed dams for hydroelectric energy.  When we dam a river for its energy we create a potential flood should the dam fail.  We have all see the effects of floods.  They devastate. 

Our denial of the Father’s love for us shows in so many of our poorer habits.  We choose things that keep us from knowing the love of God.  We think that through unbelief and self-gratification we can hold back the flood that is coming.  Love crushes those barriers like a rolling storm-engorged river.

I can only do so much.  What I can do is refrain from creating barriers and do my part in showing that love to others.  That, however, is all I am going to say right 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 ͡°)

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19 July 2018

That’s All I Gonna Say Right Now ~ I Thought and Prayed and Worked it Through


Greetings Dear Reader,

“And I'm lookin out my car window sittin' in the pouring rain
Although your house is fifteen miles away, I can still feel your pain
I've thought and prayed and worked it through about a hundred times or more
How your soul just cries to everyone to help you get up off the floor”

I hear you Dear Reader.  I do not often have the answer in a practical applicable form but I do hear you.  Your pain is real and I understand it.  Even if you think I do not understand it, I do not have to in order to love you and care about your pain.

We all end up on the floor at some time.  We all need help to get up and try again.  Too often we fail to help each other rise.  We look down, condemn, and step over or on those who need a hand. 

We also alienate those who want to genuinely help.  We let our pride or our romance with our pain keep us from accepting help when we need it.  We sometimes let our hurt become our identity.  We claim we are not victims whilst playing the role in every moment. 

My failure is often to tell everyone I am OK when I am not.  I do draw a line between making my troubles my banner and denying them.  I must be more forthcoming when I speak to my friends.  I must be more open here as well. 

We all need help to get up off the floor.  We should do better at doing that for each other.  That’s all I’m gonna say right now.  I don’t wanna say too much.

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 ͡°)

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