Category Archives: cultures

A historic day …

is on the horizon.

For the first time in many years (there have been several numbers floating around, but it is safe to say many, many years since and even many more until it happens again), the first day of Hanukkah and Thanksgiving Day fall on the same date.

As it happens, it is also my birthday.

It isn’t often that one has the opportunity to physically coincide with history in the making, but this year, I and all the others who share November 28 as their birthday … well, we get to gloat a bit.

It is our day, after all and the fact that it is a day that will go down in history raises the cool factor quite a few notches.

That’s what birthdays are, is that not accurate?

A celebration of our life?

The remembrance of the day we came into being on this earth?

It is pretty important.

I love birthdays.  I don’t care so much if people share them with me, although it is always a plus to be remembered, it isn’t required for it to be special to me.  It is enough to know that it is my birthday.

And now, this year, an iconic year, I share my birthday with Thanksgiving and Hanukkah.

That’s pretty awesome.

So to all the others out there who will turning a year older on a day that will go down in history, Happy Birthday, Happy Hanukkah and Happy Thanksgiving.

I don’t keep up with what’s hot and what’s not, but I’m pretty sure that somebody famous or at least quasi-famous said “Happy! Happy! Happy!”  (I don’t know who, but I see and hear it on a fairly regular basis, so someone must have started it).

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It has been a long few days …

or has it been weeks?

I haven’t posted anything new.

No blog posts.

No photographs.

Nothing.

I have been in a holding pattern of sleepwalking, nightmares and erotic dreams that leave me confused, wondering and bewildered …

and all the while, trying my very best to make it, without losing my cool, through the seemingly endless days and eventful nights.

I have had patients cry on me, their families strike me, people pulling at my heartstrings which are linked directly to my tear ducts and during all of this, trying to find out if I am to blame for something I had no control over.

I wonder if I have severed a crucial friendship and have already began to mourn the loss of it.

I have a way of ruining beautiful things because I rarely feel worthy of them.

I have slept outside, sent messages I wasn’t aware of and tried desperately to hold it together.

A difficult few days, indeed.

But tonight changed all that.

It came a storm.

A big one, with lots of lightning and torrential rain.

Normally, during such an event, I would be set up on the porch with my tripod and camera, but this time was different.

This one wasn’t to be documented and photographed.

It was to set my spirit free.

And it did.

I stood on the porch with my jeans and t-shirt, getting soaked.

But as time passed, I wanted no earthly barriers between me and the blessing that God was giving me.

A cleansing.

A fresh beginning.

Letting the past be past and bygones be bygones and memories no more than a blip on my radar.

One piece of clothing after another was discarded until I found myself standing nude and vulnerable under the rain, with the lightning flashing, the thunder bellowing, echoing between the mountains and valleys …

tears running down my face.

I prayed to a God that I had decided had forgotten me.

He hadn’t.

I think He was just waiting for me to remember Him.

It was frightening.

It was freeing.

I was liberated from the hold this world had on me.

I was, for that span of time, one with nature and the God who created it.

I still struggle with the emotions and thoughts in my head, but He designed my brain and is well acquainted with my mindless and sometimes senseless ramblings.

He doesn’t hold them against me and so I won’t hold them against myself.

Not everyone believes in my God.  I don’t find fault with them.  I know what I know, they know what they know.

I can only be who I am and, despite all my faults, and they are many, I feel at peace.

And despite that, my friends who don’t believe in my God like me anyway.

I am humbled by that.

Just  as I accept them, they accept me.

With our differences of opinions and thoughts.

It is irrelevant.

Isn’t that what it was supposed to be like?

Love one another?

Are my thoughts still burning through my head? Yes.

Do I still sometimes feel out of control? Yes.

Do I have someone to share the thoughts and emotions with? Yes, and I am thankful for them.

Do I wonder if I am making the right choices? Yes.

Following Christ doesn’t mean that everything is just peachy.  In all honesty, it is the opposite.

I don’t do it right, I never have, but I hope to at least encourage somebody along the way.

And selfishly, I hope to be encouraged.

I wonder sometimes if I am nothing more than the punching bag of the universe.  I don’t mind it if it keeps someone else from suffering, but every now and then, it wears on the soul.

And then, an incredible storm comes, I stand in the rain, and all is right again.

The circle of life.

It is what it is what it is what it is.

It is what we make of it that counts.

So make it count.

a beautiful human, inside and out.

a beautiful human, inside and out.

Political correctness …

has really cramped my style.  There are things I want to know, questions I want to ask, mysteries that I want to unravel, but since the world has decided that everything is taboo, it seems that I’m not allowed to ask.  If I ask what the significance of a certain dress is for, I am frowned upon.  If I ask what the red dot on the forehead means, I am given the cold shoulder.  I don’t ask because I find it odd or disturbing; I ask because I am curious.  I really want to know.

I want to know what someone from India has for breakfast on an ordinary day.  I want to know what someone from Germany holds dear in their heart.  I want to know why and how and who.  I am curious by nature and have a hard time keeping my questions to myself, but find that more often, instead of answers, I am given silence.  Why is it that we have to be so separate.  My blood is as red as the next person’s.  My heart beats, my lungs fill with air, my eyes see, my mouth speaks.

I spent my years in elementary, middle and high school fighting cliques, trying to belong in a place where I really didn’t.  I really thought that, once I reached adulthood, those things would pass away.  There are things I want to learn, people I want to photograph and cultures I want to know more about, but I feel thwarted by a bigotry, prejudice and hatred that isn’t mine.

I know folks of different nationalities and cultures, different colors and countries, but I, because of the standards the world has set, am an outsider.  I don’t want it to be that way, but try as I might to find a way to change it, I continually find myself on the outside looking in.  I would be honored to be invited to sit at the table for a traditional African American New Year’s Day dinner.  To participate in the beauty of the preparation of an Indian wedding.  To partake in the awe of a German Christmas tree decorated with candles.  To walk in the vineyards of Italy and see the beauty that is there, learn what makes them beautiful and listen to the song that the growing vines sing.  I want to sit in an Irish Pub listening to the storytellers as they weave their magic and feel that I am a part of it all, not an outsider, not an American, not  anyone except who I am.  How satisfying it would be to sit at a long table, whether I speak the language or not, with a culture not my own and just absorb it, draw it into myself and hold it in my heart for all time.  I want to understand the color of red in the paint of Easter eggs in Russia.   I want to know what the traditional foods of Hanukkah represent, what the words to the songs they sing  mean.   I have so many questions … and no one to answer them.

I am not politically correct.  I call a spade a spade and am not afraid to speak my mind.  I only wish that there were others, ones who were willing to share, so that what I know of would be more than what I know of.  I am willing to learn if someone is willing to teach me.  I am willing to open myself to the possibilities of endless fascination, but before I can, there must be those willing to open themselves to the possibility that everyone does not harbor a heart of hate.  I am a child of God, that is true in the purest form, and as such, I want to know all there is about the world I live in.  I cannot help it.  I want to know.  I want to learn.  I want to know.  Surely, in all the world, there are others like me.  Teach me and I will learn, and as I learn, I will teach others.  Together, one at a time, we really can change the world.  Come … Let us reason together.

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A heart for all mankind … a heart for knowledge … a heart for truth