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

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The Ripple Effect

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I have been silent for awhile now. Here on my blog and all other forms of social media. Just dealing with stuff, you know life. Trying to figure it all out, when  I finally realized there are no clear answers. This was the first post I shared on Twitter just a little over a week ago. Then onto Instagram and my Facebook page.
(PS – I would love to meet and get to know each one of you on those media platforms also. Follow me and I promise to follow back!)
Anyway, I got tired of pretending. Pretending and hiding behind the smiles and the words that never seemed to mean anything to me. Even if they may have meant something to others, so I stopped sharing. But I never stopped writing and those closest to me have stood by me, letting my silence linger and for that I am grateful. They make me stronger. You all make me stronger and I hope you will forgive me for dropping out for a while to find my way.
I now want to send out ripples, to reengage if you will, although I don’t yet know to what level. I realize that maybe if my posts, my words, my images, or just my presence touches one heart, … well it’s all worth it. That may spark them touching someone else and so on and so forth. That is the ‘ripple effect’. So, rise up mighty warriors it is time to seize the day!

The Truth About Death, It Matters!

There is death. And whatever is matters.
And whatever happens has consequences, and it and they are irrevocable and irreversible. You might as well say birth does not matter. I look up at the night sky. Is anything more certain that in all those vast times and spaces, if I were allowed to search them, I should nowhere find her face, her voice, her touch?
She died. She is dead. Is the word so difficult to learn? 

~C.S. Lewis  ‘A Grief Observed’

remeber069The passage above from the C.S. Lewis book ‘A Grief Observed’ is haunting and oh, so true. There is death and it matters. I have read this book many times, losing count since reading it for the first time in 1993, shortly after the death of my first wife. This small book has given me comfort and assuaged my grief in entirely different ways each time. Every reading has found me at a different stage in the grieving process and my life. Much of my poetry deals with life, death, dark, light, faith and belief and I have also written about this subject over the years, here are a few.

So if you are ready, I invite you to plunge down the rabbit hole with me. 🙂 Take a deep breath for there is nothing to fear.

April of this year, 2016, will  mark 23 years since she died at the age of 27. I was left alone as a young man with a suitcase full of dreams which I believed that most would never come true. It was and still is time to create and pursue new dreams, which I have attempted to do over the past 23 years. With many setbacks and failures but also a lot of successes.

You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream. ~C.S. Lewis

I am very happily married to a wonderful and beautiful woman (Carri, who I urge you to follow at Grace For My Journey) who loves me in spite of me and we have an amazing young daughter.  You may have seen some of the horse riding videos of my daughter that I have posted here or on Facebook and Instagram. If not, then I would be honored to have you follow me on both of those accounts and Twitter too! 

Ok, end of the shameless self-promotion! Further up and further into the rabbit hole!

I am doing things I never thought I would, but sometimes I cannot help but wonder; is it better than it could have been?  Nonsense questions, maybe, but I don’t know.

Can a mortal ask questions which God finds unanswerable? Quite easily, I should think. All nonsense questions are unanswerable. ~C.S. Lewis

I was there to the end when she took her last breath and I live with the hard truth that there was nothing I could have done that would have saved her. My life now is different and very amazingly good most days. I am happy and realizing despite some lingering survivors guilt; that life, this life, my life is okay and that is simply life and it goes on. Does that make any sense?

Anyway back to the passage above.  C.S. Lewis is right; death matters, to all of us.  Our own and others death,  is inevitable no matter how much we may choose to ignore it. We are all touched by this for if we chose life we will also chose death at some point. It is not an option to have one without the other. We ignore death and its consequences, remaining in our ignorance seemingly unaffected or touched by it until one day it will come up and smack us painfully in the ass!

I have never had an encounter where I could say without a doubt that I was visited by a spirit, ghost, apparition, angel, demon or whatever you want to call it of my dead wife. I have had few dreams and prayed hard for some small assurance that she is okay, nothing just silence from God and the simple phrase ‘trust me.’  Which I still struggle to do and yet my faith encourages me to have hope and just believe.

I have those moments where I stand at the abyss of what is and what was and what could be or have been, it seems easy to make a choice to throw it all away and to search for her in all the ‘vast times and spaces’ of the night-time sky if only to selfishly comfort myself in this world. But as CS Lewis says, ‘I should nowhere find her face, her voice, her touch. She died. She is dead.’ Not passed away or sleeping but dead. See the words are not that hard to say.

I distrust all those who say they have been visited by loved ones who have died. Really? How can you prove that? How can you prove love, we know it when we experience it but …? So I live with my desires both for this world and the next.

If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world. ~C.S. Lewis

Maybe we cannot find the dead nor can they find us? We remain separated by the unknown, a vast undiscovered. We drift here in the physical realm easily disconnected from the spiritual realm. Maybe when we die physically and enter into the undiscovered that is when the beloved dead who preceded us will then find us?  A glorious reunion I choose to believe, what do you think?

If you could have seen the end from the beginning would you have chosen a different path? I leave you with this, yes, another C.S. Lewis quote; now go forth seize the day, live intentionally and remember you matter!Triggers