Stories, Writing

A Conversation – What is truth?

Sharing a piece of writing I did recently below, let me know what you think in the comments.

“What is truth?”

The words like honey slowly covered me in the air around me. He sat quietly, his eyes soft and inquiring. Simply waiting as if he had all the time in the world, which he did.

I averted his loving gaze as my feet scraped the linoleum floor beneath the table. I fidgeted in my seat and running my hand over my head and through my hair before looking back into his clear eyes. Eyes that carried so much emotion, strength and power. Like the ocean waves that never ceased washing up on shore it was hard to look away once our eyes locked. My upper teeth bit into my lower lip as it curled inward and I swallowed hard. I felt the lump in my throat like a huge wad of dry bed I could barely get down.

And still he waited his hands clasped in front of him, fingers intertwined, as they rested on the table top. I stared across the dark wood of the table and took a deep breath and exhaled loudly. His expression did not change. My voice trembled as I began to speak, the tone carried none of the sarcastic authority that I had intended.

“What is truth?”

He continued to stare, his eyes softening a little at my remark causing my anger to rise and leaning forward I spat out the words.

“You quote those words back at me like I am the villain here? You have no idea what I have been through. How hard this is.”

I sat back in my chair as shame washed over me as soon as the words had let my mouth and hung in the air between us. And yet his loving gaze never changed. My mind swirled and I felt myself feeling light headed. I grasped the edge of the table to steady myself before softly saying.

“I don’t know what you want from me.”

He only stared, as small smile played at the corners of his lips. We sat staring at each other for several seconds, his eyes never leaving my face before he said in a soft voice.

“You can trust me. You know that don’t you?”

I swallowed hard again my throat was dry. I reached for the glass of water on the table and before I could reach it, he swiftly reached out his hand and gently pushed it towards me. I smiled through clenched lips and nodded a thank you as my fingers closed around the cold glass. Bring it to my lips I drank deeply the cool clear water cascading down my throat like a waterfall over the edge of a cliff.

I set the glass down heavily back on the table with a loud thud as it slipped from my grasp. I quickly glanced up at him in surprise at the sharp clack of the glass with the wooden table top. His expression still did not change and as our eyes met, he said.

“You have not answered my question.”

I feigned what I hoped was a surprised ignorance and spoke in a voice that I hoped conveyed a non-interest, “What question is that?”

“I did not come here to play games with you. Time is short and there is much to do.”

His response was immediate and pointed his voice rising only barely from the soft-spoken words of earlier. Although, I could feel the emphasis that emanated from his comment. I hesitated knowing he deserved an answer to his question but afraid of my own response. He sat back in the chair and continued to speak and although subtle his tone seemed a shade softer.

“You remember the stories I have told?” He questioned, continuing not waiting for me to reply.

“I use them to communicate truth. I know, I know we are back to the beginning now. What is truth? Right? The age-old question that has haunted man, driven him to seek, and even caused him to go against his very nature at times in the quest for truth. There truly is no depth of depravity for the truly wicked. But that is not what we are here to discuss. So, I let’s get back on topic, shall we?”

He paused for a moment staring intently at me. I nodded slowly, my throat was now dry again and I glanced quickly at the now empty glass on the table top, licking my lips as I did so. He continued to stare at me and if his gaze had not been so unobtrusive it would have been unnerving but rather it felt oddly comforting.

“I am, and all I am asking if for you to believe and if you trust me.”

I felt the swell of anger explode like a volcano spewing lava and clouds of ash into the air as I grabbed the table edge hard with my hands and shouted.

“What is truth? Do you trust me? Why the questions, why the damn questions! I am so tired, tired of trying and yet, I don’t know what else to do. I am seeking this truth you mention and also trying to trust. I least I think I am but it gets me nowhere. So, I ask you who do I trust? If I trust you are there others also? What then? What then!”

“Is it too much to ask that I find some solace and answers to my questions. Living in this dungeon of mystery is almost too much. The darkness seems overwhelming and suffocating. I wander through the days each no different from the one before and on and on it goes.”

“You say trust me, what then? You are the only one I trust and still… it seems to get me nowhere. You see that don’t you? How could you not understand? How could you sit there just staring like it doesn’t matter? What is wrong with you? I always believed you cared, I always wanted to believe that you cared. Now it seems I don’t matter? What am I supposed to do with that?”

“Every inspirational Hallmark card couldn’t make this better nor fix things. It is what it is.”

My voice trailed off as I shrunk back in my chair exhausted from my outburst my eyes averting his gaze. Finally, after several seconds of silence I slowly looked up and the love and concern emanating from his eyes overwhelmed me. The strength of his gaze would have knocked me to the ground if I had not been sitting in the chair. As it was, I felt my back press tighter against the wooden slates behind me.

“I only ask that you trust me. The rest is often irrelevant and often inconsequential to this story. Your story. For you see you can only read a book one page at time, on word and one sentence at a time. This also applies to your life. For it is only lived forward, not backwards and not all at once. One step, or one page at a time. And we don’t see what is on the next page until we get there.”

He smiled and I felt the warmth of his love wash over me. I nodded suddenly so weary it was all I could do to hold my head up and keep his gaze. Leaning forward he reached a tanned arm across the table and gently took my hand in his. It was warm and comforting, soft and rugged at the same time. I bowed my head, my chin to my chest as the tears began quickly rolling down my cheeks and falling onto my leg causing dark blue spots on my jeans.

Continuing to hold my hand he said nothing. I cried, the tears flowing easily and effortlessly and I let them come. It was cathartic and if I had wanted to, I don’t know if I could have stopped them. After a few minutes the tears ceased to flow and I lifted my head to see his eyes still staring at me with the same look of compassion and love. I heard the sound through the open window of the last autumn leaves rustling in the trees. It was a melodic wind chime sound of nature. For a moment I was transported.

The meadow in front of me was vast, the tall golden grasses waving in the breeze. On the far side of the meadow was a stand of aspen trees. Their leaves were still in full glory and they flashed as golden coins suspended at the end of each small whiteish branch. The sky overhead was a canvas of blue as the sun was sinking behind the mountain range far to the west. I scanned the scene reveling in the solitude and quiet. Nothing here that troubled me mattered and all was as it should be. I felt the last rays of the sun’s warmth on my arms and I relished the embrace. I stood motionless listening to the soft rustling of the grasses. It felt like home, or at least what I imagined home to be like, for I had never known what a real home was.

Warm, comforting, and inviting.  Most of safe, a place where one could go to retreat to escape to and also to move forward. My soul yearned for just such a place and I felt the warm tear roll down my check before it touched my lips and I tasted the salt on my tongue. The voice came from nowhere and everywhere at once. It surrounded me and held me fast in an embrace.

“Do you trust me?”

I slowly nodded my head as and heard the shriek. Quickly glancing up into the sky I saw the red-tailed hawk soaring high overhead across the meadow. He circled once before flying off towards the aspen grove and disappearing over the tree tops.

“If you want to know, what truth is you must trust me.”

My eyes shot open and he was still staring at me with love and concern. As I stared into his eyes, I would have sworn I saw a hint of sadness there also.

Grief, Life, Poetry, Writing

Unasked Questions

We all have questions that reside in our hearts and minds. They reside hidden inside. Sometimes they rest quietly and sometimes they are awakened.

I have many of my own questions of which I will never speak. I live with the not having the answers believing that someday in the undiscovered both the questions and the answers will no longer matter.

What say you?

and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will be no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying,or pain; the first things have passed away. ~Revelation 21:4

Adventure, Life, Writing

A Wicked Question…

Yes or No?

Are you proud of yourself? #JustAsking

A simple, fascinating, and thought-provoking question I was recently asked during my conversation with Ronit @RonitPlank while recording an episode for her podcast And Then Everything Changed.

It really got me to thinking. An interesting question that is so easy to quickly fire off a yes or a no with little thought to why. It is so easy to respond with just a gut reaction to the question.

  • If we say YES, what are we proud of? Is it those moments, those events, those things we did or did not do? Who we have become or not become despite our circumstances?
  • And if we say NO, why are we not proud of ourselves? Did we fail when we expected to succeed, did we cause harm intentionally or not? Did we fail someone else or go back on a promise?

All deep questions that require some soul-searching. When asked I answered in the affirmative. I am proud of myself for persevering and overcoming so much in my journey through life. I have done the best I could with what I had and who I was at the time. And I will continue to do just that.

What about you? Give yourself some grace, life is hard. The choices are hard and we are all doing the best we can.

#GraceChangesPeople

God, Life, Poetry

A Crisis of Faith?

I have lost my faith, 
not my belief
my faith. 

I have misplaced it,
and it cannot
be found. 

I will still search,
searching no
matter.

I will hold my faith,
with tenacity
at best.

I still will believe,
crying out
to you.

I  still will trust,
your truth in
my unbelief.

“I do believe; help my unbelief.” ~Mark 9:24

Do you struggle in the area of faith and belief?

This past week we lost our beloved dog, Sadee Jayne ❤ (See this week’s Wordless Wednesday photo of her.) She was the fourth member or our pack and we had twelve wonderful years together. Her death has rekindled many memories of grief for me. Thus leading me to lots of questions, similar questions to those I have written about in my upcoming memoir ‘Cowboys Are Not Supposed To Cry.’

I know I struggle not in losing my faith but in misplacing it if you will. It tends to ebb and flow when I allow my belief to be based on my emotions and what is happening to me and around me. Often building my faith on a precarious stack of rocks instead of on the rock. I believe we need to focus more on the truth that does not change.

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” ~Hebrews 13:8

What do you think?

Life is often a balancing act!

Adventure, Life, Photograph, Writing

Pondering Distractions

“Brutus”

Pondering distractions, as the urgency grows!

Pondering distractions, as the urgency grows! #BusyDoingNothing

Are the things we are pondering sometimes meaningless distractions in the grand scheme of things? We focus our attention on what this hand is doing and the other quietly goes about implementing a different plan. While silently a inside we feel a growing urgency that is creeping forward with an agenda that we cannot name for it is hidden from our view.

We are so focused on what is right in front of us that we fail to see the danger that stalks us. There is so much going on in our lives at this time. I wonder if those things in our cities, our nation and around the world are simply distracting us from an even bigger story?

Those without a plan are at the mercy of those with a plan, but sometimes you can over plan these things, so be careful while planning your plan. #LOL #Humor #Word

Now what are you going to do? #Question #LiveYourDreams

Life, Writing

Going a Walkabout – Drifting Away and Coming Back

It is easier…

It is easier to walk away than to pretend everything is okay. #Quote #LoveChangesPeople

It’s day five of 2020 and to me it already it feels like … well take your pick.

  • After a night of little sleep, it’s still dark outside and the fog is so thick.
  • Stuck in the middle of a long dark tunnel unsure towards which dim light to turn.
  • A moonless night where the dark surrounds you and the trees sway in the breeze like ghosts.

As I reread the bullet points above the theme is the dark.

Hello, darkness my old friend.

So as I (we) stare into the darkness of the world, others and our own hearts what can we do?

  • Get up off your ass, figuratively or literally if you are just laying on the couch.
  • Create gratitude, look around and acknowledge things you are grateful for.
  • Accept the dark moments as only temporary and endeavor to persevere.
  • Cast aside your fears and doubts, even if just for the next moment.
  • Remember and believe that there are better things ahead.

There are better things ahead than any we leave behind. ~C. S. Lewis #Quote #JustBelieve #HopeLives

And so I will forge ahead and I encourage you to do the same. Whether the new year has started out well for you with clarity and intention or like me you are somewhat in a fog. I will continue to pursue my dreams, love my family and friends, believing that hope lives.

Watch for my memoir tentatively titled ‘There is Always Hope‘ which I hope to self-publish later this year. I will continue to edit my trilogy novel series ‘The Chronicles of Faith‘ as well as write poetry for my own anthology collection. I also plan to enjoy the moments, each and every one!

And never, ever forget…

Life, Writing

Grief, Loss, Triggers and Other Stuff

I wrote this post with tears behind my eyes. Although they were wide open I squeezed them tight so that no one can see and nothing leaks out that would give away my feelings. Yes, I am hiding, but also writing. A frenzy of emotional free writing.

I am angry! I am sad! I am frustrated and …

My stomach is in knots, my muscles are tense. I feel the passion surging inside of me and I am afraid of it spilling out into a fit of rage. While my mind spins with questions that have no answers, for I long ago learned there are none. 

My Destiny

Triggers come in all sorts of ways. A voice, a song, a memory, a word. 

Maybe it’s just me as I read posts on social media encouraging others to ‘copy and paste’ in honor or remembrance of something or someone. Especially in honor of someone who is battling or has lost a battle with cancer with the hashtag #cancersucks or something.

This is my story, my reality and my life.

I lost someone to cancer many years ago and yes cancer sucks. Not a day goes by that something doesn’t remind me of her. When she died, she left a hole in my heart. I watched the traditional treatments wreck and devastate her body, mind and spirit. And in the end, it did nothing to prolong her life nor improve the quality of her life. 

So, yes, I am jaded.

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My experience may be vastly different from others. Yet, this is my story, not theirs and this is my voice that is screaming in the silence of unanswered questions. Nighttime skies as dark as death where stars twinkle on unconcerned and the cold vastness reveals no measure of comfort to assuage my pain and longing.

Posting in honor of someone, does nothing. Really, that’s the best you can do?

Be careful with your words, your images, your pictures and posts you share. Everyone experiences things differently. Triggers! No two people experience life in exactly the same way. There is no comfort in false words of hope and solace. We toss around platitudes like confetti in the wind, left to fall and be carried where they will. With no thought of those on the receiving end, intentional or not, will catch the true meaning of our hearts.

Yes, I am bitter. Yes, I am … hell I don’t know what I am.

I do know that I am strong and this will not defeat me. I will bang a drum for those we have lost and never assume to understand someone else’s experience and pain. For I never would expect the two to be the same. #JustBelieve #HopeLives

Bull$√!+