Saturday, October 18, 2014

Open Arms

We have been thoroughly impressed, blown away, radically transformed, and completely inspired by compassion, lately.

The ability to open our hearts wide, to embrace the world unconditionally, to have that kind of approach to life; it has been earth-shattering. And, though, the tendency has been to place blame on all those people who, somehow, stifled that attitude, both Rebekah and I know that this was nothing more than our own doing; we are the only ones to blame.

But, at the same time, in the midst of that rawness... boy, do we feel hopeful. Because, even when life gets impossible, there are good things on the horizon, right around the next corner, right under that garbage wrapper, or whatever... everywhere. And, it doesn't go anywhere.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014


You don't always know the right thing to say.. but, you know where your heart is. You know what you mean to say, even if the words stumble, awkwardly and incorrectly off your crazy lips.

And, then, it seems to be too late! You've already lit up a fire and you didn't even mean to say something that way. But, it's too late. You can see the shocked looks on people's faces; they're already responding to what you never meant to say! They're already crafting a well-measured defense to something that you never even wanted to put out there. You never intended for there to even be the need for a defense.

Because, life - in all of its difficulty - feels impossible, we can very easily fall into a rut of just half-checking out. But, look at the way that white bar connects with the intersection of the building and, also, the blue sky. There's something awesome about that. And, then, the maroon color on the side of the brick building... and, how it mixes in a much more subtle way with the blue sky... there's something beautiful about that, too.

I am pretty sure that the biggest impediment to being honest is worrying about how other people might perceive you, and then - in the midst of that - putting up some big, cavalier, "I DON'T CARE HOW OTHER PEOPLE PERCEIVE ME!" declaration when... in truth... that's all you're really thinking about.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Trust Issues

Undoubtedly, many of us deal with trust issues, from time to time. Maybe we don't trust ourselves, we don't trust others, etc.

And, I think there's good reason for that. All of us are constantly being hurt; and, as a result of that hurt, we go through a process -- if we are honest -- of wondering, "was it them!?" or "was it me!?" or, maybe, "was it - in some way - both of us!?"

Which is why it is important that we realize trust is something that can be cultivated. And, that, slowly - over time - it can build, and become more stable.

And, as we build trust, we begin to realize that everything actually works. Things aren't as broken as we've, maybe, imagined them to be. Everything seems to become workable, again -- as if the world is one, clear, well-oiled machine; including our place in it ... and, the way we work.

When trust has been shattered, demolished, or otherwise obliterated ... take a pause. Take a moment to section out your own reality. (In other words, separate yourself from the situation that is causing you to feel a breach of trust.) Then, having done that, notice that the sky is still blue (or, cloudy, depending on where you are... ), and, the ground is still more-than-likely beneath your feet.

Blue is still blue. Red is still red.

When we are in a situation of abusive control -- no matter whose viewpoint is correct; if we feel that way -- it is critical that we find the space to be separate, again. And, once we separate, we can begin to take the necessary steps toward healing, without putting any pressure on ourselves except that which comes from our own reality. One step at a time. It is the only way.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Alleys and the stuff you find on the walls there

I've got to say that walking down back alleys is one of Rebekah's and my favorite past-times.

We like nature too so... but, at the same time, back alley wandering (as, I guess, you could call it) is a wonderful way to make friends with humanity, in a really honest way. This world is full of hypocrisy, evil, and all of that disgusting stuff; but, when you slip away from all of the systems of power, expectations upon you, etc., slip into the shadows - in a sense - it's there that many of the most honest emotions end up displaying themselves (in some cases, in colorful and very artistic ways, on the walls).

I am always getting fed up by my own propensity for being fake; and, then, so quickly, getting angry at everybody else for doing the same thing. But, whether I blame myself, or others, doesn't matter.

The truth of the matter is that forcing people into something only backfires, in such a way that the energy of having been forced either gets thrust down into the body - to destroy, corrode, eat away, come out some other way, etc.... - or, will explode in brilliant arrays that aren't always helpful but in some cases are a lot more truthful than the intent that caused the force to begin with.

If you really want to understand people, you don't just focus on the snappy presentations.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Slander vs. Going Directly To the Source

Perhaps, one of the most painful things in life is to find out that you have been talked about - in untrue ways - behind your back; and, no one has come to you to talk about it.

That is slander.

And, we seem to be at a point - culturally - where slander is nothing but the way things are. In fact, it is perfectly acceptable just to completely disregard another person's heart, as you speak of things they (supposedly) have done, perpetuate those lies and falsehoods, and continue to do it again and again and again.

But, the grim reality of all of this is that slander actually equals arrogance. The person who slanders is too high and mighty in him- or her-self to be able to handle the reality of the situation; so, he-or-she must talk bad about others, in order to deal with his-or-her own sense of total inadequacy. Typically, people who are slandered have some kind of social prestige or status ... or, at least some small kernel of something that drives others to be jealous of them; and, always, it is the jealousy that drives the slander.

But, the jealousy comes because of a lack of self-worth; and, that's where the sadness comes in. People are only jealous because they, themselves, are struggling with some sense of inadequacy in themselves; and, maybe can't deal with it.. or, maybe don't have the freedom to deal with it... and, so, they just build up more and more resentment and anger and jealousy and it just comes out at whoever works, for the moment.

And, so, the truth of the matter is that everybody struggles. Everybody fails. And, everybody needs help. But, as soon as we start falling away from any sense of our own happiness... our own ground (whatever that is) ... we begin to throw out blame at everybody else around us, someone or some organization that "needs to be called out," etc. ((and, even if we do call that person, or that organization out... it won't take the anger in our hearts away)).

Grief is something we share. No person is better than another; and, no one ever will be. We are all 100% equal in the eyes of God, who Created us. And, until Heaven, we will all need the same thing: compassion and understanding, as we struggle together.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Photos Around Cheyenne

This was, originally, for a blog entry on Fold, our previous blog. The idea was we were going to wander around Cheyenne on a free day, and just be inspired by beautiful or strange - or, in some way, eye-catching - things that we saw. It's a practice that I really enjoy and a good way to relax and not necessarily be overwhelmed by your surroundings but maybe even start to like your circumstances, etc. :)

So, anyway, I think these photos never found their way to Fold because there was just no place for them, there. But, here they are. Words aren't really the point... so, I'll leave it at that. Hope you enjoy these photos around Cheyenne:

Friday, October 10, 2014


One might think, "well, this is nice - a post about 'moonlight' on a blog called 'sunstroke;' that makes a lot of sense." But, in fact, it does make a lot of sense.

Moonlight is quite beautiful - I think we all could agree on that. In my heart, there are few things more wonderful in a magical, sort of romantic sense than moonlight on water. I had the opportunity to swim in the Atlantic ocean in South Carolina about a year ago; the sun had gone down... there were some faint purples and oranges visible... the moon was overhead... the water was this giant purple-black force; it was somewhat creepy, only more beautiful than creepy.

I also remember another time in the moonlight: I was living in the Rocky Mountains and was house-sitting at a friend's little cabin. It was winter and snow was covering the earth; and, I had to walk about a 1/2 mile in the light of the moon, on that snow... you could make out faint shadows of pine trees on the ridges of the mountains around... every step in that snow was like stepping into something slightly other-worldly. It was just one of those moments that you don't forget; it just sticks in your mind.

Moonlight is something special. And, I think life is something special, as well. Moonlight is the sunlight - it is its own sunstroke. And, we all have our special ways of conveying that sunlight (as we said last time). And, the moon's unique way of conveying that sunlight is an example. The moon is humble in that way. It is very clearly not the sun. And, so, in that way, the moon is convicting us of our pride, when we walk around acting like we are the sun - and, then, promptly (again and again) get shot down.