Tag Archives: thoughts

Afraid For The Future

I’m no politician, no expert, I find the whole thing so utterly distasteful & corrupt that I try to stay away. I live my life the best I can (most of the time), enjoy myself & try to make a small positive impact in the world. Yet at times it is hard to ignore it all, hard to avoid noticing that my two home nations are at pivotal moments in their history. Britain voting to see if they should stay in the EU, it is beyond my comprehension.

The USA apparently going into an Election between 2 awful candidates, one untrustable & the other the embodiment of everything wrong with western culture. Maybe I’m wrong, maybe Hilary is above board, maybe every quote I have heard from Trump is fabricated – yeah right.

Sometimes it feels like we gearing up for world war 3?

Fear driven by selfishness & media lies is driving people to ridiculous extremes. How long do we have before someone hits the big red button?

Treaties like the European Union & NATO were formed to work together. To make the earth a better, safer more prosperous place for all. Sure people have taken advantage of it. Sure disingenuous people manipulate the decent of the world to their own ends, this history of humanity indicates this will always be the case. Are these good enough reason to give up?

Are the remarkably vocal minority, who seem to be growing so rapidly in numbers that they may not be the minority for long, are they really going to change the world into some desperate selfish arms race?

A world built around fear mongering & wastefulness? Focused even more on the 1% & burying the poor?

What if Britain really does leave the EU & then other countries follow suit? What if Donald Trump is actually voted to be President of the United States?

What happens next? A return to Empires? The beginning of world war 3? I don’t know, but if I allow myself to think about it I am truly afraid for the future.

Do I have a solution? No, just fears, hopes & this little old blog 🙂

Advertisements

Let’s make America great again! ……… Oh really?

One of the catch phrases that is doing the rounds this silly season, err I mean Presidential campaigning season, is “make America great again”. Which to me quite obviously implies that some folks believe that America in it’s current state is not great, however at some point in the past it must have been great, otherwise the statement would make no sense.

I guess a couple of advanced notices here. First, I don’t like politics, at all, the argumentative rhetoric and showmanship that surrounds it all disgusts me. I firmly believe that if the politicians actually focused on running a country and taking care of its people, the world would be a much better place, instead they wast all their time and our resources trying to win arguments that they may or may not actually believe in, just to win.

Secondly, I think America is a pretty great country, so much so that when I moved here from Great Britain, I decided to make it my permanent home, becoming a proud citizen, which makes me about as traditional of an American as a non Native American can get.

So back on track, I have been wondering exactly when this “great” period of time for America was, obviously it was nothing like it is today & thus we can start to eliminate some eras.

We are currently fighting a war (on terror) that we will most likely never win, so that eliminates the Vietnam era (1955-1975).

We have foreign policy that countries we deem too be a threat (Iraq, North Korea etc) do not like. So I guess that would eliminate the entire Cold War era (1947-1991)

1942 to 1945 American joined and helped significantly in ending World War 2. However from 1939 to 1941 that sat aside and allowed millions of the nations ancestors be torn apart by war and genocide. I am going to be generous and call this a wash. American was great, when it eventually decided to get involved, sitting on the side waiting to see which side to join though, maybe this is just a Brit writing, but that almost outweighs all the good they did when they eventually didi join.

The Great Depression was 1929 to 1939, I am guessing that is not the “great” that folks are referring to.

This follows on from the 2.5 year wait in World War one to join the allies. Again, I am completely impartial on this, I am British by birth and American by choice. I will always believe that a great many lives less could have been lost in each conflict if America had decided to join up earlier. However, that is by the by. You can’t be “great” and in a  world war, if you were that great then you would have prevented that war. So we have ruled out 1914 to 1918 then.

I am going to make a personal call on this one, but any country that  legally allows slavery can not be considered great, so lets get rid of anything from when the USA became independent to the Emancipation Proclamation (1776 – 1863)

It is not the President Obama era, because apparently leading the nation out of a possibly disastrous financial depression, reforming healthcare & fixing our relationships with most of the rest of the world is a bad thing. (2009-2016). Actually while I do support the President, not that he is not without a great many faults (he is human), but his era has seen the rise of the disgusting troll go from unacceptable to becoming the normal way one talks about the President. Apparently because he is not white & does not have a name that sounds like he descended from English middle to upper class, that makes it ok to be vile & ugly & spread hate and lies about the leader of our country. At least back in the KKK era you could spot these people by their white cloaks. Although you can spot them just as easily today with their Facebook accounts.

So by my calculations. This mythical great America was either some time between 1863 to 1918 Cowboys & the Industrial revolution, hmm, maybe, but I don’t think it would stand up to scrutiny. Or 1991 to 2009, gulf wars, 9/11, Presidential scandals, George W’s public speaking. Hmmm.

So what am I actually trying to say here? Ok, well here it is. America is a great country, it always has been and hopefully always will be. What we need to do is not make America great again, we need to make America even better. We need to take care of the country, magian our taxes and resources better, look after the people & help to look after the world. Most of all we need folks to take a chill pill, stop being so darned hateful and try to get along. Like the great Abraham Lincoln said:abe

 

 

What is going on?

What is going on? It’s a question I should ask more of myself than I do. As it stands, it comes up only occasionally, fleetingly. Things have changed over the last year, not for the better. What things? The intangibles inside, the things that were “fixed” before, or so I thought. 2015 was an odd year, a year of conflicting extremes. Somehow, someway, through the course of it, I switched off. Looking back, I feel like this was a response to losing 3 people that I cared for to cancer, instead of grieving appropriately, I just switched off. I wonder if in a way I felt that my grief was undeserved, it sounds like something my subconscious would do, it was just a colleague, an old friend from England, a family friend, not someone really close like family, so why would I need to feel grief? That is unfortunately all too often how my mind works, yet I don’t realize it is working that way until much later.

My current state of not really feeling is similar to the way I used to be, before I got help, before I made progress & got healthy, before Jesus completely transformed me. It is completely different yet in a way it is just the same. I find myself today living life on auto pilot again, not thinking or feeling so much as I did only a year ago. Not caring like I did, only a year ago. Most troublingly, the desire, the drive, to be better, to create, to be all that I can be, it’s gone. Ok, maybe it’s not gone, but it is certainly not driving my life like it did for a few years. Most troubling I think, is that I feel so distant from God these days, so far away from my Jesus, yet I don’t do anything about it, I’m like a ship drifting on an ocean with no sail, no engine. Or at least I’m not hoisting the sail, not turning on the engine, it makes no sense, yet thats where I am.

There are 2 questions I need to asks myself with regards to this, firstly, am I ok with this & secondly, what is going on and what am I going to do about it?

the first question on paper is easy to answer, no I’m not ok with this. Yet, I kind of am, I live a comfortable life that is generally enjoyable. I get to be part of a family that is pretty great. I do a job that I am good at, I watch and play my sprouts, play my games, just you know, live life. To any “normal” person tat should be enough right? The thing is, I had a taste of something more, I want that more, I have always wanted that more. Yet the life of “more” requires effort, commitment and most unfortunately discipline, most likely sacrificial discipline – yuck.

If you want to get in good physical condition you have to eat well and exercise regularly, there is simply no other way to get there. That means you have to give up some time on your couch, not eat that burger, drink a few less beers a week, sacrifice the things that you want in the moment, to achieve the “greater” thing that you want. If you really want it, then you will do it, if you don’t you will eat burgers, drink beer & buy bigger pants. The beginning is always the most difficult, skipping that first weekend of eating out, not having that end of the week reward beer. Going to the gym when you’re tired, getting up early to go for that run. That whole thing sucks at the beginning but if you commit to it, after a while it is not so sacrificial, after maybe a month, you’ve made progress, you feel way better than you did & it all starts to make sense.

This is relevant to the current situation because not only have I switched off mentally, I gained 15 pounds in a couple of months at the end of last year, I am “trying” to lose it & get back in shape, yet somehow eating well 3 days a week and working out once a week has not yet magically turned me into the athlete I was a year ago.

Why write this? Why share this? I don’t know, this once helped, this once worked. Maybe I need to find something new, but for now this is what i have. Maybe if I can just sit down and write, not a I should write moment, but let whatever is in there come out, heck with the consequences, then maybe I can find some answers. Maybe those answers will help get me back on track. Maybe acknowledging that I have a hard time praying right now, or opening the bible, maybe I can find something through that, that maybe, just maybe, can help me get that back. You see, I really do want that, at the core of who I really am, I want to be close to God, I want to be a good husband, I want to be a good man. I want to be creating things, even if its just for me, but hopefully so that someone else can relate and feel maybe not so alone in this awfully depressing planet that the world of 2016 appears to be. I don’t know what I am say or where I am going. Hopefully this is the beginning, or at least something, because I need to feel alive again.

The Start – Again

Oh hey look, writing, yeah about that … I’m not going to sit here & talk about how I am going to get back on the blogging train, I might, but I can’t make promises right now. Somehow, someway I’ve found myself in a strange place.

When I started the blog it was in a time of change, a time of healing, of facing the past & shading those weights that I used to carry around everywhere. It was a good time, therapeutic, life changing, wonderful. I had this great desire to live consciously, not in the old auto-pilot mode that I was always on. Life to me seems better when living it as a writer, not a professional writer, but one that chooses to look at the world, put it in their now words to share it. There is something to be seen in everything, you just have to look.

I was going to begin this post on last Monday, on a work trip to Los Angeles, yet Monday morning as I was getting ready, I looked at my laptop & could not think of a reason to bring it so I left it at home for safety. That there is the reason my blog has slowly died a death, when I have the time, I just don’t think about it, when I don’t have the time, I still don’t think about it. This is not necessarily a bad hing, however this lack of conscious thought is exactly what I had tried (successfully for a while) to get away from.

So do I sit here and list my excuses? Who am I giving them to ? Who am I asking forgiveness from anyway? No, this is a post to hark back to the old days. One that just looks inside to see where it will go, not poetic, not for clicks, for self, for growth.

It has been an interesting year so far. On the face of it things have been pretty good. I received a long overdue promotion at work (yay) but didn’t get a pay rise (boo). My daughter refuses to stop growing up, both physically & mentally, it is wonderful to watch, but it is all going by so quickly. There have been times this year that I have been a really good husband to my wife & other times that I’ve just been a jerk. It’s almost like I’m human or something 😉 Still I want to be really good a lot more & a jerk a lot less.

I have seen 3 people that I cared about die from cancer this year, a work colleague, a childhood friend & an adult friend who was a close to a father in the USA as I have had.  I think I have dealt with the grief, but then again maybe I just ignored it & moved on like a “normal” guy (not good). I’ve coached my daughter’s soccer team through the wettest spring pretty much ever, it lasted forever due to the cancellations. The downside was not many kids came back this fall, my kid is now playing 1 year up & I had to adjust to being an assistant coach instead of head coach, not easy for several reasons that I won’t go in to. I have played the video game Destiny a lot, too much, it’s been fun, but it might be out of control. Much more has happened, its a lot, this year has been a lot.

Where am at though? Really at? What is going on inside? I guess other than the usual “I’m ok”, the truth is that I’m probably not. I don’t feel the depression returning, life is good, but I’m in an odd place. I’m tired a lot, snappy & grumpy too often. I don’t work out enough, I really don’t make enough time for God & due to business a lot of my relationships are basically on hold.

I see what I did there, where am I at? Let me give you a list of negative things to describe that something is wrong & maybe thats why I don’t write at the moment. There are adjustments I want to make, but I really am doing ok. I have mostly got over the more mentality that has plagued me for ages & am generally pretty content these days. I am really comfortable with just being me, I’m not overly driven professionally, I just do my job really well & try to help others do the same. I don’t want to be that guy who’s life is all about their work. I love my sports still, but in an entertainment, not life dominating kind of way. I say that but this fall it feels completely opposite, between my kid’s soccer, my soccer & other stuff, I don’t have the time (or the energy when I do have time) to do some of the other things that I love. My guitar playing is pretty bad right now, my singing is way off, I haven’t been able to lead worship since August.

Maybe that is the biggest thing, the pace of life, it is tolerable, survivable, but I don’t know if it is ultimately sustainable. I get that having a kid, especially one who is starting to do extra-curricular activities is time consuming. Yet there is a part of me, maybe the very essence of me that needs attention, unfortunately it is the first part that gets brushed aside to make time for what needs to be done. It is the creative side, the part of me that if I’m in a bad mood, or pointlessly bickered with my wife, is instantly soothed by playing guitar. It is the part of me that finds out what is going on by writing about it, because to this day if you ask me I have no idea what is going on inside.

It’s a soul thing, maybe I could make this a spiritual thing too, yes I’m not doing as well as I “should” be with things like prayer & reading the bible. I have got to a strange place with religion again, my belief remains unshaken, but cynicism has crept in, the business of Christianity troubles me. The faith, the truth, the delivering grace of Christ makes my soul smile, but the pretty people making pretty music & writing self help books for a machine of an industry it just troubles me sometimes.

I want my relationship with God to be better than it is right now. I was going to say I want it to be how it was a year or so ago, but maybe that is the problem. He is the God of the new, maybe I am struggling to draw close to Him because I am looking for what was, not what is to come, maybe I just don’t make the time & well, maybe I just don’t know …..

That’s the thing, all these things that I tell myself I should do, that I need to do, it becomes overwhelming, it is so much, can’t I just live life? Do I have to be looking to do something, growth or change of impact or whatever I tell myself it looks like I should be doing? Maybe that’s been part of the draw back to video games, just zoning out on the couch for a couple of hours BSing with friends, it’s bliss. I just… I just don’t know right now.

You see, I don’t really know what I want to be doing with life right now, goals etc, I don’t have any, just be happy. Yet just making it, that’s not going to be good enough long term, I know myself better than that. Maybe I’m just tired, maybe I need more sleep, maybe I need some true rest. I go on vacation soon, for a couple of weeks. I hope to journal it on here, when I did that before it added a lot to my trip, I think it could really help right now.

I’m not going to make any big plans or bold decorations until the dust has settled on that, it’s probably going to end up looking like new years resolutions, but it won’t be, I just know that I want to take better care of me in 2016 so that I can be better for those connected to me. Not that I’m not good now, I just know I can be better & when you are your best around people, you tend to get their best & life in general is just a little more groovy.

Rambling ramble over, not idea what I said or if it was worth saying, no idea when I will write again next, but maybe, just maybe, this is the start of taking care of my creative side again, the start of feeling alive again.

Rosé Sky

Morning delight, a shared masterpiece

Between the Father & his children

Given to a father and his daughter

 

What could it be?

Is Monet at work in the sky today?

Maybe a wild party in heaven left Rosé spilled on the sky

 

Possibly it is a caring gift, a pick you up for school

Or before another day of traffic chaos and the

Frustrations of working for the man

 

I enjoy these thoughts, all of them and more

Just as much as I enjoy the glory of creation

Through a blurry pre-coffee mind on a morning

IMG_2655