Adventure, Animals, Art

America – Forgotten Echos of the Past

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“An American Icon”       Mark Schutter ©2010        Watercolor Pencils

The American Bison is a true original and its image takes us back to a seldom remembered past when they roamed freely over the land prior to their decimation almost to extinction at the hands of man. In this image from my goal was to capture the simple beauty, strength and majesty of this truly magnificent animal. 

So much of history is lost to the echoes and which version of history depends on who is telling it. Each side has an agenda in which the truth can easily get lost. We forget that we all are from somewhere and traveling our paths around this spinning green ball hurtling through space and time. 

We lift up people for one good act then tear them down for one bad one. We admire the thought and criticize the action that follows.

If we were to measure the worth of every human being on whether they never fell short, all would fall short. Only Jesus Christ walked this earth not committing a sin. We lie to others, hiding the truth even from ourselves that we would never do such a thing. For we are better than them. Are we really?

Aren’t we all just sinners, and don’t we all need saving? That is where our commonality lies, that it is only by grace that we can find healing.

#JustBelieve #HopeLives #GraceChangesPeople

Happy 4th of July America!

We can and must be better than this!

Adventure, Life, Stories

A Manifesto of Fatherhood – Revisited

Happy Day after Fathers Day to Everyone!

A little different post for Motivation Monday this week. I want to encourage parents, both fathers and mothers. This post is written from my perspective as a father, but it can apply to those moms who are parenting alone and filling both roles.

I hope every father had a great Fathers day. Now that the day set aside to be all about you is over, it’s time to get back to being the father your children need. Your influence and impact will either set them up for success or failure in life. You are their protector, comfort, soft place to land, compass, rock and shelter from the storm.

February 2020

For fathers of daughters, as I am, who you are as a man will influence how they view other men. How you love and treat them, how you love and treat their mother will impact their belief and trust in other men.

Fathers, show your daughters what a real man is, and how a real man treats a lady. #MotivationMonday #FathersDay #EverydayYouAreADad #HappyDayAfterFathersDay

Think of the impact we would have if came alive as fathers. Your children will grow up and affect the lives of countless others and their children will go on and do the same. This ripple effect – this opportunity of compounding influence – has got to overwhelmingly dwarf whatever the majority of us may hope to accomplish at our jobs. Love your kids, men. Teach them to be strong, dedicated, focused, gentle, fierce, loyal.” ​​​​​​​- John Lovell, Warrior Poet Society

Love your kids, men. Teach them to be strong, dedicated, focused, gentle, fierce, loyal.” ​​​​​​​- John Lovell, Warrior Poet Society @johnlovell275

February 2017

The original post below was written back in 2013 when my daughter was 7 1/2 years old. She is now 15 1/2 and the words are as true today as they were then.

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"Father / Daughter Dance - February 2013"
February 2013

Knowing that, God willing, no matter the circumstances, I will always be a daddy to my little girl;

Knowing that, God willing, my daughter will one day be an adult and leave to follow her own path;

  • I will love my daughter for the gift that she is, not what she does
  • I will cherish every moment we spend together
  • I will strive to give her whatever wisdom I might possess
  • I will teach her the value of relationships & honoring promises
  • I will allow my daughter to soar upon her own wings
  • I will let her go to travel the path God has laid before her

“May the Lord give me the wisdom to parent with love, humility and strength, to give my daughter only and always the best that I can offer.”   ~M

Summer 2010

“Life affords no greater responsibility, no greater privilege, than the raising of the next generation.” ~C. Everett Koop

I encourage you to now write your own manifesto!

Adventure, Poetry, Writing

Reflections

Reflections in the waves …

Reflections in the waves spark my memory, Some happy some sad ~Styx “Come Sail Away” #Lyrics #Truth #Music #Memories

Sometimes we need to get away
To disappear and disconnect
Into the wild and unfettered
Away from the responsibility
The chains of obligation
That bind us day to day

What do you do to get away and disconnect?

Adventure, Life, Writing

Searching… it’s all shit!

Warning: Honesty Post!

*All my posts are honest, but this one is a clearer look behind my curtain and who I am. If you are not ready, or willing to hear, my truth (and just possibly the truth others cannot voice, although I would never presume to speak for anyone else) please stop reading now. I do not wish to offend anyone in this time of overwhelming political correctness and safe places, well time to get over it.

I sit here on a quiet Sunday morning; only a week removed from our two week adventure to Yellowstone National Park and it all seems like shit! I told you honesty and that’s the word that fits – shit!

I am blessed, I know that.

A family that loves me, friends that care and so much more. I’ve been granted opportunities and worked my ass off at times sacrificing to accomplish what I have. Looking in one might say I have been and am pretty successful.

So why, as I sit here on the other side of my life’s mountain with less time before me than behind me do I feel this way, and not just this day but on most days?

Stuck! Marginalized! Lost! Uninspired! Disconnected! Lonely! Fatigued! Discontented! Overwhelmed! Anxious! Uncertain! Afraid!

I have dreams. We all do. They taunt me and haunt me. So, what good is a life that leaves nothing behind? To let go of the expectations of others. The responsibilities of who they think and want me to be.

It is all so exhausting.

I feel I have lost myself. Oh, there are moments, real and true, that speak of a greater reality, and they are just far too few. I often wonder who I am, or was meant to be but also there is a melody woven through my life that sings if only I would stop and acknowledge that truth.

My dreams of passion and purpose dance at the edges of my days before quickly fading into the duty and obligations that chain me. To make a difference in the lives of others. Yes, shining a light into the darkness.

My self-imposed obligations and responsibilities weigh me down. Drowning out that still small voice inside that would inspire and lead me higher. I am grounded with useless wings.

My search, for what I often am not sure, seems so fruitless and empty. I do not hear from God, a voice crying out in the wilderness. The silence of the unending heavens as I stare at the night sky.

I spent two weeks traveling and camping, visiting some of the most awe inspiring animals and natural wonders ever created and yet…

Is it the simple things?

Those fleeting moments that leave a lingering feeling as they are too quickly gone. And then we crash back to reality wondering, hoping to recapture those moments of magic.

That is where the bullshit often lies!

I stare into the darkness of my heart, knowing that I cannot change the world. But maybe, just maybe I can help one person who can then help another. Ripples you know?

Is that what life is about, each person uniquely created to fill a certain destiny that only they can fill. Why does it never seen to be enough? My doubts and fears, my insecurities of letting others down and not being good enough. Not being perfect.

Can good enough be good enough?

I feel my rambling coming to a close and I realize there are more questions here than answers. Oh well…. It is time to get my ass up, put on my jeans and dusty cowboy boots, carry a flame and bang that drum for myself and others. Cause God is not done with me and I will trust in my time of uncertainty and silence.

One small, seemingly insignificant pebble can start a landslide or send out ripples, even as it silently falls through the dark depths of anxiety.

So, these are words I would most likely never say out loud, so thank you for reading and carpe diem my friends!

Dreams...
“A Dream” Photograph of a Montana ranch tucked away in a little valley hidden high up in the mountains that we stumbled on while driving dusty back roads. Mark W. Schutter ©2017