A Barking Dog

Oh, would that I were a barking dog,

Free to woof and growl,

I’d bark at kids on the way to school,

And on their way home again.

I’d bark in the day and awaken

So I could bark at a sound in the night.

If you think my bark discordant,

And it bothers you so much,

Just remember, as a dog, I’m immune.

I bark because I have to, my ancestors barked and barked,

And now it’s compulsive, like lightening and thunder.

The UPS driver, and the FedEx guy too, understand my dilemma,

So why don’t you?

I want not to bark, but as it is uncontrollable, so I will simply

Run to your side, as if to say, “I know, I know.”

You’ll be sorry when I’m quiet and gone,

You’ll wish I were there to help you carry on.

Just remember, if you will,

I’m just a dog,

And I love you still.

– Small town boy

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Horses

My father was a vetrinarian, but

I don’t remember him treating horses,

Just piglets.

Though I never owned a horse,

I rode.

I rode at church camp and scout camp in the Colorado Rockies.

The wranglers often gave me the hard to handle riding horses, because I could handle them.

Except for the one who tried to brushing me off by going under a low hanging tree.

Although he was unsuccessful in this attempt, I had to eat Jello for dinner because of a bloody mouth.

We were charging, like wild Indians, and I couldn’t slow him down.

Five years later I worked in the kitchen of the Rawah Dude Ranch in northern Colorado, where the help was not permitted to ride the horses. Mostly they were work horses uses to pack into Rawah Lake in the Rawah Wilderness area, or as log pullers when timber harvesting was done.

He had a pair of horses, one black and one white to pull the logs.

But they had to hitch up the black one first and get him started, then the white one.

As she (the white) worked up the hill passed him, he would come to life and struggle to beat her to the top.

One of the largest pack horses, Tom, many hands high, was nortoriously spooky. One day as I was holding his reins after he was packed with camping and fishing gear, he spooked and tore off through the brush destroying the fishing gear and spreading camping gear everywhere..

The owner of the Rawah Guest Ranch raised Arabians, and provided stud service to interested mares from nearby ranches.

However, all the college kids on the ranch were required to be in the bunkhouse, so as not to see the stallion do his job.

It was thought by the owner that he didn’t want his employees behaving in a manner like those college kids in Estes Park, who came from all over the country to party.

The owner had bred his own Arabian mare, with the result being a beautiful colt, named Rawah.

However, Rawah got into the barbed wire and cut himself badly, but since the owner was a Christian Scientist, he would not call the vet, and the colt died.

Thirty years later, my wife and I decided our ten year old bossy daughter needed something large to boss around, so we signed her up at a nearby stable in Portland, Oregon, where she rode and cared for her horse.

I decided it looked like fun, and since I only knew how to ride western, that i would learn English as well.

When I fell after a stirrup broke, it was a soft landing in the bark feathers in the arena.

My instructor said that it takes twenty falls to be an expert.

Words to live by.

– Small town boy

A little at a time

I do things a little at a time now.

I’m teaching my self piano, a little at a time, one half hour in the morning and one half hour in the afternoon.

I’m clearing grass from between the flagstones on the  patio, fifteen minutes each day.

I’m working on a jigsaw puzzle, a little at a time, fifteen minutes several times a day.

I’m meditating in  small amounts, morning and evening, praying too.

I can interact with my grandchildren at breakfast and after school in moments.

I call my wife at the beach once a day; or  I call from the beach.

I’m losing weight, a little at a time, fourteen pounds now, in a month and a half, by eating smaller portions.

I’m reading several books, a little at  a time with each, each awaiting more  time to finish them.

I’m writing these  blogs in  small doses, for both me and my readers. If they get too big, I edit them down or break  them  up.

But, I love you a lot, all the time, for ever. A little at a time doesn’t work for me. You are constantly  on my mind and in my heart. 

– Small town boy

“For precept must be on precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little.” Isaiah 28:10

Puzzle pieces

My life is like a jigsaw puzzle.

I think I have all the pieces, 

Though I feel like some are missing.

My edge pieces, what you see, is mostly assembled.

There are dark places, or at least all gray,

Inside that I haven’t fully put together; I’m waiting till I get the shapes I know identified and then put together.

I really don’t have a picture on a box to go by in this.

I never thought I was trying to make a coherent picture of my life, till now.

Now I’m heavily involved in finding the right pieces that snap together to show the image that is my life.

I thought of this as I started my morning meditation.

I had to stop meditating because this idea about puzzles was racing through my mind,

Else I would forget what I was thinking.

Assembling the puzzle pieces places disparate events in juxtaposition.

Now I see how getting spanked then relates to spanking my children later in my life.

And how that prohibits me from doing it now.

Get the picture?

There is an unfinished corner area that is the rest of my life.

I have learned to step away from the puzzle table sometimes, so that, upon my return, I will immediately find that piece I had been hunting for the last half hour.

My pieces are comingled with pieces others have given me,

People willing to share what they see in me.

I cannot give up on this picture puzzle, it haunts me day and night.

Do you have anything to add?

– Small town boy

The Ocean

God is like the ocean.

Powerful, beautiful, and dangerous.

S/He ebbs and flows with lunar cycles.

One can stand at the edge and watch or enter the surf and feel the power, straining against it.

In warmer climes, one can swim in the salty waters, until one is  out of their depth, but stll able to stay afloat, because of belief in the ability to float and swim.

There are boats on the water, large and small, some fishing the depths, some transporting cargo to unknown places.

There are animals near the shore, birds, crabs, sea lions, and sand shrimp, all occupying there own niche, all a part of the oceans ecology.

Am I part of God’s ecology?

In the depths, where I can not see, live giant whales, sharks, fish, octopi and squid, and so much more: diverse in nature but adapted to life in the sea, each having its own part to play, each a part of the food cycle.

Am I part of the spiritual food cycle? Whom do I prey (pray) upon, and who preys (prays) on me?

The sea has been here before me and will be here long after I’m gone.

As I stand here naked before it, arms upraised, willing myself to resonate with its roar, I await the day.

Resistance is futile, harmful, and not in keeping with why I was made, not in keeping with my basic, fundamental nature.

Being open and working with the forces present allow me to ride the crest of the wave, to receive the power offered, and to live with a force stronger than my own and feed as my soul requires.

Thank God for the ocean and it’s abundance.

The ocean is great and reaches far away past the horizon to where others stand by it and marvel at its grace, beauty and power, my brothers and sisters on this globe,

A planet, when seen from afar, is notable because it is blue,

Blue because of the ocean.

Let me sail forth today, find the spirit of God, and fish for the sustenance offered me.

Let me be with other sailors riding the wind and the waves, going together on life’s journey today.

Amen

– Small town boy

Acceptance

I learned the power of Acceptance in 2005 while I was working on Kausay Wasi Clinic in Coya, Peru.

I was there with twelve others from Portland, Oregon, on a construction mission sponsored by  Northwest Medical Teams, to change a prison into a medical center in the Sacred Valley of the Incas.

Sitting on a plastic five gallon bucket turned upside down, I was working on a wall socket that had been wired in series instead of in parallel, causing all to go out if one went out, like a Christmas tree light string.

As I listened to our hosts, Guido and Sandy Del Prado, discussing next year’s mission to continue this construction, I had an epiphany.

I could fund next year’s work.

I had fortuitously invested in Microsoft at it’s beginning and had the funds necessary.

As soon as I thought this I was struck with an overwhelming feeling of ? Of what? Of love? well-being? of I don’t know what, but it was powerful, emotional, and wonderfully frightening.

I was being loved and all my sins (?), past indiscretions, worries, guilt, negative energy, and more, were melted away by this feeling.

I was stunned. I felt of a sudden the power of love (acceptance). I felt good could  overcome evil, not because it was good, but because love is very, very strong. Strong enough that it could melt me with just a little more given to me then.

Love isn’t creamy and smooth. Love isn’t being starry eyed. Love is a very great, misunderstood power in the universe.

Like the mythological story of the wind and the sun trying to get the man to take off his coat (which sun won by warming him, doing what the wind could not by blustering). Love simply accepts you. I felt it. I felt it accept me.

I didn’t know I hadn’t felt accepted until this event happened.

I now knew what Acceptance was and that I had to accept myself.

I felt like a hot dog.

I felt like the bun, the relish, the catsup, the mustard, and the blemishes when stripped away and I felt accepted, allowed this glowing inner self to be revealed and seen and touched by me.

I hope you will feel this Acceptance one day. It seems more powerful than, but including, forgiveness.

Can you accept what I’m saying?

Can you see that you are accepted, no matter who you are, no matter what you have done or haven’t done?

And ultimately, can you accept yourself?

There is no need for forgiveness, just a need to understand.

You are accepted for who you are now.

You are loved more than you can know, because if you knew it would overwhelm you.

God is love. Love is power. Acceptance is how it manifests.

Peace.

-small town boy