Friday, September 25, 2009

I forgot what type of plane it was.
An awesome one, though.

Friday, September 18, 2009

I was shot at the other day.
Or more like shot "toward."
I was sitting in the backyard when all of the sudden shotgun pellets rained down all around me.
I could have died...or lost an eye...or gotten a small welt on my arm...or something.

In all these arguments of...
"Life isn't fair,"
"Why do bad things happen to good people?"
"Everyone should be allowed their own opinion of right and wrong based on what makes them happy,"
"All religions are the same,"
...all of these statements are based on a common theme.

Each of these topics, and many more, assume that being happy is good. So the question we have to think about is "why is happiness considered good and sadness considered bad?" There has to be a reason that these feelings are assumed.

When I feel happy I consider that to be a good feeling. And when I feel sad I consider that a bad feeling. I'm not saying that the thing that made me sad is always bad, but the literal feeling of sadness is never preferred.
Is not the admittance that we all think sadness is bad and happiness is good, proof that there must be something in all of us that sets an equilibrium on how we all perceive life, or the accumulation of good and bad moments?
And must not that equilibrium come from some other source than our own opinions in order to set the commonality in all people?

No matter if you're from Uganda or Des Moines...
No matter if you prefer chicken or steak...
No matter if the death of your mother makes you cry or gives you relief...
No matter if you love going to church or hate it because it was the church that killed your innocent family in the Crusades...
No matter if you think abortion is murder or simple relief from a would-be consequence...
No matter if you're Hitler finding happiness in power because of others submission or Gandhi finding happiness in submitting so that others may gain the power of freedom...

...for some reason we all think being happy is good and being sad is bad.

That must mean that good and bad are definite and distinct.
And if you can define a good and a bad feeling, must not you also be able to define a good and a bad action, perception, or standing?

Saturday, September 12, 2009

hung out to dry.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

multiple exposure.
There was a night last week that qualified for a need to "just drive." It wasn't a bad night by any stretch, but I needed to think and relax. Those nights happen to all of us and if you are having one of those nights I suggest the following remedy.

I got in my car and drove down the backroads of Monroe.
Country roads are always best for "just driving."

The following two steps are key.
Roll down the windows.
Turn on Bruce Springsteen's "Born to Run" record.
I don't care whether you're a fan of The Boss or not.
Make yourself be one because he's going to help you.

Bruce taught me a lot that night.
He taught me many things about freedom and that a man desperately needs it. We need to just go sometimes. Especially men. Here's another key...don't skip around the record...listen straight through. And let the saxophone solo in "Jungleland" send you on your way.
I don't know if it was what he was saying or just how he made me feel, but I did feel that "free" feeling.

One other thing I've learned:
Adventures are best when shared.
Just a side thought.

Fix me.

“Lord Jesus, we are silly sheep who have dared to stand before You and try to bribe You with our preposterous portfolios. Suddenly we have come to our senses. We are sorry and ask You to forgive us. Give us the grace to admit we are ragamuffins, to embrace our brokenness, to celebrate Your mercy when we are at our weakest, to rely on Your mercy no matter what we may do. Dear Jesus, gift us to stop grandstanding and trying to get attention, to do the truth quietly without display, to let the dishonesties in our lives fade away, to accept our limitations, to cling to the gospel of grace, and to delight in Your love. Amen.”

-The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning...a must read

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Every person seeks freedom.
Whether it is a dream to sail the seas, fight the dragon, or be rescued from the tower, we all wake up every day hoping that it will bring freedom.
In my search for freedom (I know this may sound strange) I have found the Church.
What is the Church?
I'm not asking what the church has done, but what is it's definition?
To me, one must define the church via the cross.
It throws it's arms and doors open rather than drawing a circle around itself.
It is in those arms that I am free.

Friday, September 4, 2009

One of the best places to go for a unique environment for photography is an antique store.
You get to walk through someone else's life and grab images of moments that they have already lived.
Every old bottle and crazy trinket is a story.
And you can make their story up as you go.
Here are a few moments I grabbed.
These are film as well.
Lone ram.
Out the plane window.
Standing on the lake.

These pictures were all taken with an all-plastic camera called a Holga by Lauren NeSmith.
Digital is fun and forgiving, but there is just something about film photography that makes me feel good. The art of the development (all I've done is watch it happen) is like opening the prize in a cereal box. You never know quite what you're going to get. These are from a trip to Montana.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

I have always believed that the world involves magic.
Think about it.

Think back to the moments and feelings in your life that can't be explained by the science of simple reactions.
"Braves win! Braves win! Braves win!"... as Sid Bream slides into home plate.
The pure power of Niagara Falls.
Leaning back in your chair around a table of family and friends.
The waves crashing on the rocks on a summer night.
The way you feel around that person.
It's all magic.

If there is magic, mustn't there be a magician?

Everyone has their own philosophies.
Well, I will not call mine my own...because I didn't make it.
God and humanity made it.
And it is that philosophy that has made me.

What is our greatest need?
"Our," meaning every face masking every soul everywhere that has ever lived.
What is the one thing that all of us can't live without?

We are all the same, really.
Different times.
Different situations.

The reason for questions is answers, yes.
But many times the thoughts that lead to the answers are what change us.
Have we thought too little about this one?

hold on.