Up and Down

Up and down things go, every hour, every day. Moods, fortunes, progress, or lack there of.

Sometimes, maybe frequently, the best we can do is keep going. Sometimes the best we can do is take the step forward.

Let’s do that today. Up or down, when things settle, go forward. Let’s go forward together.

Struggling and Searching? Russians, Tolstoy, and Faith

Personal Preface, then “Lessons from Leo Tolstoy” – An Article via BioLogos

I was raised in the Christian faith; it stayed with me as an adult, and has seen me through five decades so far.

For pretty well the whole of my adult life, I’ve also been a Rusophile.   There is a special place in my heart, in my soul, for the Russians.   Ukrainians too, for that matter.   My friends, you know who you are.

Since learning as a young adult about the Cold War that America had with Russia, my desire to understand the Russian people and help find common ground between our peoples became a life-long commitment.

Reading Tolstoy was one of the activities that solidified my connection somehow between my faith an my cultural/political interest in the Russians.  Anyone who’s even remotely aware of Russian literature is aware of Tolstoy.  Though he wrote epic verse, one passage in particular attributed to him stands out for me and has guided much of my most difficult moments in life.  It goes something like this…

“…you struggle in life because you strive to fulfill your own will, rather than God’s Will.   You will find happiness and contentment to the degree that you pursue God’s Will in your life; you will then be in touch with who you are truly meant to be.”

Something like that.

You can read more about Tolstoy and his faith via the following link, with the brief intro from the site, as such:

Famed author Leo Tolstoy went through a faith journey that ultimately led him back to Christ. His reflections can reassure those of us who have lingering questions and give us hope.
— Read on biologos.org/articles/struggling-and-searching-lessons-from-leo-tolstoy

#Blessed

To be alive right now.

To be the parent of these three amazing kids.

To have the family I have.

To have the friends I have.

To have seen the concerts I’ve see.

To have clothes on my back, shoes on my feed, a roof over my head, and food to eat in abundance and variety and quality.

To have the job I have right now, and the career up to this point prior.

To be inspired every day.

To come back to the same foundation every day:

LOVE.

Lyrics Post: “Human Touch”

I’m only a so-so Bruce fan. But this song…it feels full of truth and vulnerability…it feels…GOOD.

“Human Touch”

You and me we were the pretenders
We let it all slip away
In the end what you don’t surrender
Well the world just strips away

Girl ain’t no kindness in the face of strangers
Ain’t gonna find no miracles here
Well you can wait on your blessings but darlin’
I got a deal for you right here

I ain’t lookin’ for prayers or pity
I ain’t comin’ ’round searchin’ for a crutch
I just want someone to talk to
And a little of that human touch
Just a little of that human touch

Ain’t no mercy on the streets of this town
Ain’t no bread from heavenly skies
Ain’t nobody drawin’ wine from this blood
It’s just you and me tonight

Tell me in a world without pity
Do you think what I’m askin’s too much?
I just want something to hold on to
And a little of that human touch
Just a little of that human touch

Oh girl that feeling of safety you prize
Well it comes with a hard hard price
You can’t shut off the risk and pain
Without losin’ the love that remains
We’re all riders on this train

So you been broken and you been hurt
Show me somebody who ain’t
Yeah I know I ain’t nobody’s bargain
But hell a little touch up
And a little paint…

You might need somethin’ to hold on to
When all the answers they don’t amount to much
Somebody that you can just talk to
And a little of that human touch

Baby in a world without pity
Do you think what I’m askin’s too much?
I just want to feel you in my arms
And share a little of that human touch…

A Fine Line

Often a fine line, the gray area, in between.

Therapy or Vice?

How do you cope?

Exercise, Eating, Substance Use, Gaming, on and on, you name it…anything that takes up your time, distracts you, helps you balance, provides comfort, or escape…or both. When is it ok? When is it too much?

Which is it? Vice if it’s harmful, Therapy if it’s “healthy”? Is it that simple?

What options do we have for coping, dealing with stress, struggles, what helps us go forward, mediate the day to day?

Choose carefully, choose wisely, and be open to adjusting as you go along. Remember, it’s the journey, and staying well along the way.

Let it be, may you be well.

The Creative Spark

Decades in, the one big area of “life” I turn my focus to now, turned it to a while back, the Creative Spark.

Maybe a luxury, having time and energy to pursue such endeavor, or is it rather, essential? Maybe not optional, but required, maybe that’s what it is; certainly in my life now, that seems to be the case.

It seems cast in stark terms, “I must do this before I die”…it seems sometimes that urgent. Though while I could die any day (like anyone), I should be around a few more decades, anyway.

All the same, I search. I find myself searching for the creative spark. How is that? It’s even just what I do in this blog space each day, putting it out there, something out there, the stream of thought. Does anyone care? That’s only part of the point.

The spark that comes to mind that I feel compelled to share, I just need to let it out; I need to put it out there, let the thought not to the ether, but to the internet instead.

Wander. Be. Out there. Thinking. Trying. Working. Experiencing. Sharing therein.

Look for the spark, then let it alight, and let it shine bright…!

Settled in Unsettled

Weird feeling, let me attempt to explain a little.

My family structure, a new chapter, still searching for settled.

Single guy again. Single parent this time. But not all alone; co-parenting efforts in effect.

Trying to stabilize this new norm as the norm. Funky thing. So different. Unsettling still. But trying to settle into this unsettled feeling.

Weird. But fine too. The new normal. More time, different time, unplanned quiet, unplanned time, all possibilities, unexpected. Weird, somehow, weird.

What to do? How to be? Who to be now? All before, all in front, each day, each hour, find the way.

Make it good. Make it good. You’ll get settled. Focus on making it good each time. Each time. Settle in. To unsettled.

Church

Church. Haven’t been in a while. Been with God pretty well every minute of every hour of every day, that’s the flip side. Through the last year, the last fifty-four, leaning heavy on God’s presence, the idea, the support, the release.

Talk to God, it’s a healing, freeing, release. Release from the bondage of worry, of doubt, of dread. It’s so simple, really. Let God’s Will be done. I pray that frequently. Began decades ago, that simple prayer: “…thy will be done….” Such a simple but basic release that provides relief.

So easy to say, so much more difficult sometimes to do.

Maybe that’s what Church helps us with; getting to the mindset; remembering that mindset; finding solace and joy with others. Church. But we haven’t been in a while, a long while. But have been with God often; reaching out to God often. Seeking the solace and comfort and certainty. Fleeting certainty, is that possible?

I hope God understands. Wait. I’m sure God understands.