Good Morning Life!

For the streams and hillocks and sweet dreams,
Fountains of water, and flowers and mountains
That rise, and blue skies, how could I despise?
For fireflies, moonlight at night, and the stars
That shine from afar; for my friends and family
So near and dear, where is there room for fear?
For perfect love from above casts out all fear!
For riverbanks and the quiet time, I give thanks;
For sunrays and bays and child’s play in the day,
And ballets and bouquets, how could I be hateful;
No! I am grateful … grateful for this and more…
And so I say, ‘Good Morning Life! Good Morning!’


Note: First published on March 12, 2017

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And Now Do the Shades Rise Up To Praise You

Note: Written five years ago in April 2012, this personal account is still largely true today. Coming quickly now to the celebration of Easter, it seemed appropriate for me to share this testimony with reader-followers of this blog in hopes that you find both joy and inspiration. A half-decade may have passed, but the answer to the title-question still remains the same for me. Blessings to one and all!


Knowing and not knowing. Knowledge without understanding. Wisdom trampled beneath the arrogant feet of folly, led by the blind man I was born, groping along the wall, waiting for the next fall. No not a man, not half a man, but only a shade of what I was meant to be, the image-bearer of God, lovingly created in his likeness.

Feeling my way along in the darkness, surrounded by multitudes of blinded men, I was alone existing in my unlife, haunted by numinous dreams of otherworldly communion, struggling to forge hearts out of stone, draw water from desert sands, and cover the night in unseen light born of imagination desperately searching for some façade behind reality.

And I flew in a thousand directions to escape the anguish of my own haunted soul, dreaming worlds and wars, making love and peace in perfectly controlled imagination, writing my own laws and standing high priest in my own holy temple, all as vacuous as the furtherest reaches of coldest outer space.

Man by birth … Shade by slow death.

So much less ~ so terribly other ~ than what I was meant to be, and why? And I have fought and scrambled for so many shallow honors and recognitions, for power, prestige and popularity. Vainly do I scurry to fill my life with toys and trinkets, grasping at suave success and material gain, gasping for the breathe of life in the dark shadows of a dying world.

And my heart cry is lifted in the awful realization that apart from the Author of Life there is no life ~ authentic life ~ but that I am and ever shall be wholly destitute. No matter how much I shift and change, no difference how many different parts I play or people I become, I am nothing. I am the Shade.

But now stripped bare, blindfold removed, and all fantasy blown away like thin wisps of lingering smoke. Now awakening to the awakened world, and released from the confines of the medical ward back into the streets of asphalt and concreted buildings, flashing lights and delivery trucks, schools and churches and middle class homes…

Now what? More alive and awake than ever I have been before, I am frightened. What now? Fantasy feels safer, dreams more secure. No matter how agonizingly unrealistic, and no matter how disappointing … how shattered. But I hear the whisper in ancient tone, “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”

“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.’ And so, ‘awake, o sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.’ And he who has now begun this good work in you is faithful and he himself will bring it to completion, for he came not only to give you life, but life abundantly!”

What else but to bow down in humble adoration and thanksgiving? After all, did the Light not shine to rescue me from Darkness? Did the Voice not speak for me to hear? Was the Story not told to fill my emptiness with Meaning? Did the Arms not open wide to embrace and hold one so alone and forlorn? Did Life not die and rise again that I might die no more, but live? Live?

The great psalmist, David, once asked, “Will you show your wonders to the dead? Will the shades rise up and praise you?” And the answer is given…

Yes, the shades do now rise to praise you! Lord, make me whole.

6: The Short Story of My Blog

Singing Noble Themes? 

JDNMaybe; maybe not. It startled me somewhat to learn that I’ve actually been blogging on WordPress for six years! Whoa! That’s quite awhile, to be sure, and my life has definitely changed over the past half-decade.

As I told someone last year ~ at the time a fellow blogger ~ don’t look at the numbers or you’re bound to get discouraged. Well, that’s not always true, because I know of some fellow-bloggers who’ve actually scored a big hit in the Wide World of Blog just within two or three months of blogging. . . But, then, I dare say there are other challenges, concerns and reasons for discouragement when your still-rather-young blog is a big hit, too.

Mine was not, and I won’t dare to say it is even now; it took me well over three years to hit 200+ followers but, then, I wasn’t really trying to ramp up my blog to hundreds upon hundreds of followers, either. For me, blogging was (and still largely is) cathartic, so I was writing openly and publicly to heal. Yes, that’s right; even though I wasn’t, for the most part, addressing personal issues . . . for the first three years or so.

There was a period of time — how long, I don’t remember — when I stopped blogging, and that was a bad mistake. Little did I realize, until I started blogging again, just how important blogging was/is for my mental, emotional, and spiritual health, which all, in turn, affect my physical health. Who would’ve thought???

“Sloughheart” Leads to Brighter Days

JoySerious3Inspiration ended my desertion; it was the beginning of the “Sloughheart Series,” which did, in a creatively indirect way, address deeply personal issues. “Sloughheart” never became popular, mind you, but my entire perspective on blogging changed. No longer was it simply cathartic; it was challenging, as well. This is when I noticed my numbers (yes, I looked) going up just a tad. This is when I also nudged over 200 followers.

But, you see, this is when blogging became fun! I was having a real blast in blogging, yet at the same time it also became more serious. Does that sound contradictory? Believe me when I say, you can engage yourself in something rather serious and still have loads of fun. I really didn’t know this until I set about the “Sloughtheart Series.” In some ways, the Reverend Joy Brighterday saved me. Honestly. 

Well, that’s not all that surprising. I purposely built her up to be the Christ-figure, even giving her the middle name of Immanuella, meaning “God with us.” She spoke to me, strange as it may sound. What was caught deep, down in the recesses of my soul came up, out and through Joy Brighterday, so that I began to hear my innermost self speaking in this central character. Eventually, I realized that to greater or lesser degrees, I was speaking to myself in and through all of the various characters. 

Eventually all endeavours come to an end, and so for the “Sloughheart Series.” After this, I began searching through old poetry and felt inspired to revamp some of those old pieces, thus giving them new (and better) life. This more than at any previous time was when my blog started picking up new followers and scoring more “likes” and interactive commenting.    

“Success” vs. Success

When poetic inspiration really grabbed hold of me and I began writing entirely new pieces, the numbers began climbing exponentially. (And this included an engaging mytho-poetic series that was both challenging and fun.) Well, not to belabor the point, but why am I saying all this? I would like to think that, perhaps, I’m helping someone . . . another fellow-blogger, maybe; encouraging while passing down some learned-wisdom.

Yes, of course, everyone cares to some extent about how well they’re doing — or, I dare say, at least most people — so, too, for me. However, I truly believe it is when blogging is, first of all, a passion as well as fun and, at the very least, healthy (if not healing, as well) that one can look for “success.” Even then, however, you should not look at your own success over and against that of other bloggers or you most surely will become discouraged. Why? Because you can always find someone, or some other blog, that looks and sounds and feels more “successful” than your own.

Conclusion . . . Not “the End”

I wish I could say that it’s been a happy six years, but I cannot. This is not due to blogging here at noblethemes, though; it’s simply been some extraordinarily rough years, actually beginning around 2010, just before I started blogging. Now, finally, I believe I’m coming around the corner, so to speak, and feeling (and doing) much, much better . . . for which I am eternally grateful. And so I can say, with as much confidence as any mortal can, that this may be the conclusion of this blog-article, but . . . it is not the end. 


Note: The original version of this article was first published in January 2016.

Whisper Touch

Like blazing torch to the heart and the art of love to impart
And jumpstart the soul, mending what’s been ripped apart;
Here now is the whisper touch…
Whisper touch.

Like an energizing force in one Voice giving me choice to rejoice
And sing to bring new life where once there was but dark death;
Yes, there is the whisper touch…
Whisper touch.

Like an adrenaline rush to this bedouine in extraction of venom
And exhilaration at the incarnation of heaven against damnation;
It is the whisper touch…
Whisper touch.

Feel the touch.


Note: First published in May 2016, now being republished for the pleasure of new reader-followers. Blessings to one and all . . . as you feel the whisper touch!

Turning

I saw silver and gold and I was told I could have it all,
So I answered the call … I turned;
I saw fame and fortune and was told I could lay my claim,
So I did so with no self-blame … I turned;
I heard the blackbird promise power and my own great tower,
So I laid my bricks and did not cower … I turned;
I heard an old bard sing that peace was all mine to lease,
So I began to buy and did not cease … I turned;
I smelled all of the myriad roses in their beautiful poses,
So I started to buck and pluck … I turned;
I saw adulation and was told to clench it without hesitation,
So I made this my vocation … I turned…
Always turning, and always churning and burning with a hole
In my soul, and now I’m tired of being mired in such insane
And senseless pursuits that really suit no person, even me;
It’s like chasing the wind, running round every single bend,
Breaking my fragile heart, which not one of these could mend
Or even all of them taken together like one solitary feather;
But I hear the Voice that calls from the halls of my spirit,
And I realize that I’ve been unwise, creating my own demise;
Yet the Voice still beckons ‘n means to reckon with this man;
Ah! And so I turn one more time to hear this still, soft chime,
And will I need turn again or, perhaps, I’m done with turning
Even as I feel the smile and hear, ‘Come and welcome home.’


Note: Originally published in April 2016, now republished due to some renewed interest as well as for the consideration and enjoyment of new reader-followers. Blessings to one and all!

Yahweh

Take these hands and curl them round about the handles of the plow;
Take these knees and teach them in awed reverence to bend and bow;
Take these eyes and open them so the world of suffering they can see;
Take these ears and unclog them so the cries of pain they can hear;
Take these tears and let them be for washing feet with every heartbeat;
Take these lips and set a coal to purify them for a kiss they never miss…

Kyrie eleison, Kyrie eleison, Kyrie eleison

Take this mind and let it find your favor to unbind from wasted trash;
Take this heart and teach it to love with unbounded love from above;
Take this soul and fill the hole from your overflowing heavenly bowl…

Kyrie eleison, Kyrie eleison, Kyrie eleison

Yahweh

Note: Inspired by “Yahweh” (an ancient Hebrew name for God) by the rock-n-roll band, U2, and originally published in May 2016, now republished due to some renewed interest. The phrase, “Kyrie eleison,” is an ancient Greek prayer simply meaning, “Lord, have mercy.” Blessings to all!

Gentle Song-Promise of Life

There is a treasure you have, untold,
Of silver, crystal, emerald and gold;
Only breath me in and my love enfold,
And let your treasure shape and mold.

Gilded skies with angels on high,
There is where you, too, can fly;
Spread your wings now; only try
And see above clouds in open sky.

Dreams are real; what’s real the dream,
So steal away with me thru what seems,
On into the Milky Way of flowing cream,
Where love leads along starlight beams.

No more tight fist;
No more to insist;
No more to resist;
No more dull mist.

Here am I holding out to you serenity;
Here am I holding out peace in plenty;
Here am I holding out to you amenity;
Here am I holding out good so gently.

There is a treasure you have, untold…
Only breath me in and my love enfold


Note: Originally published in November 2015 under a slightly different title, now republished for new reader-followers to (hopefully) appreciate and enjoy. Blessings to one and all!