doubt

“In these times I don’t, in a manner of speaking, know what I want;
perhaps I don’t want what I know and want what I don’t know.”

― Marsilio Ficino


(a small creek in the middle of nowhere LaGrange, Ga / Julie Cook / 2013)

The other evening I heard a really interesting observation…
with wording basically to the following effect….

“the demise of a nation begins when that nation begins to doubt itself”…

If you were ever a kid, let alone an adult for that matter,
out in the woods enjoying a hike, and you came across an old tree that had
fallen across a stream…
a stream that you were somehow going to have to get across…
chances are you had no other choice but to balance your way across the stream on
this fallen tree.

And yet chances are that if you stopped long enough, at the base of this fallen
tree, just as you were about to wobbly balance your way across,
you probably found yourself backing down as you were now full of trepidation
verses the moment’s prior determination of crossing.

Questions of safety, feasibility, accuracy, confidence now playing a dangerous
internal game of ‘can you or can’t you…’

Is the tree study?
Is there anything to hold on to?
How will I carry my stuff across with me?
Can I ‘one foot over one foot’ edge myself to the other side without falling off?
Is it too dangerous if I do fall?
What if I get dizzy?
Can I really balance all that well?

Finally…this self on self, back and forth conversation comes down to the
single conclusion….
‘I simply can’t do this’….

However, on the other hand….
there’s a better chance that if you had not hesitated, and were most confidant now doing
what other’s had done before you, each with safe success…
powering your way on and over without looking down and considering the worst—
you went about your merry way without another thought while
happily on the other side.

But if you did stop, pondering and weighing your options,
you most likely had to find another crossing or simply returned from
whence you came.

Doubt has a powerful way of stoping us dead in our tracks and often getting us into
more trouble than when we fist happened upon the very situation we’re
currently now finding ourselves doubting.

So as we now observe the dangerous path most in our Nation seem to prefer that we
as this Nation journey…
one of doubt, second guessing, self denouncing, self loathing, and misguided action…

I wonder…
have we simply stopped at the fallen tree, afraid now to cross the steam,
more than hesitant and almost apologetic about going forward along our merry way…

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.
It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones.

Proverbs 3:5-8

Mountains, mole hills and this elusive Spring

It is the essence of truth that it is never excessive. Why should it exaggerate? There is that which should be destroyed and that which should be simply illuminated and studied. How great is the force of benevolent and searching examination! We must not resort to the flame where only light is required.
Victor Hugo

“Faeries, come take me out of this dull world,
For I would ride with you upon the wind,
Run on the top of the dishevelled tide,
And dance upon the mountains like a flame.”

― W.B. Yeats

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(a spring rain drips down the soon to be budding maple tree / Julie Cook /2015)

Quick!
Did you see it?
Ohhh darn, you missed it.
It was right there in plain site. . .I promise!
Just as you turned your head, poof, it just disappeared.
What a shame. . . .

And so it is, ode to the ongoing elusive dance between Winter and Spring.
Warm, temperate and dry has been few and far between.
Frustratingly wet and chilly are proving to be more the norm.

Yet slowly and doggedly surely. . .
Little by little
a wee bit of color here
and a wee bit of life there,
each easing onto the scene.

And as with any time of transition,
there are to always be those herky jerky periods of stops and starts–
those glorious moments of wonder and those awkward spells of turmoil

Life certainly mirrors our seasons does it not?
At times there are the magical moments of marvelous ecstasies,
the slow dormant quiets of loss,
with each being traded for the tumultuous trials of transition.

Springtime, this spectacular time of passage, is certainly a time of clashing forces.
Warm air masses begin colliding with cold air masses.
Angry storms abound as a reluctant Winter battles to hold on to power.
Each season, each time passage, vies for control.

This time of yearly transition affords the random observer to be privy
to the passing of one realm to the next.
The proverbial passing of the torch from one reluctant monarch to the next.
Death and decay giving way to the expectancy of birth and renewal.

And as with any birth, as magical as it is,
birth exacts a certain amount of pain.
Marvelous, precious and delicious does not come without labor, toil and work.

And so it is with human nature.
We often see that the well intended can either deal with things honestly and straightforward,
tackling one thing at a time, or we can witness the misguided going off willy nilly,
making mountains out of molehills.

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(an image of beginning renovations and renewal of a worn torn yard / Julie Cook / 2015)

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(two different victims of some sort of foul play / Julie Cook / 2015)

As far back as the 16th century it seems people have been making mountains out of molehills.
The expression was actually recorded in 1660 in an English lexicon of idioms. A similar expression was recorded even earlier, in 1549, using a different visual reference but still with the same meaning.
Therefore marking our history with an age old conundrum. . .that mountains and molehills appear to be an ongoing human condition.

There is no doubt that you know the expression. . .
the whole taking of something seemingly small and insignificant and in turn blowing it up until it is almost an unsurmountable trouble.

Sadly it seems with some folks that such an undertaking is simply how they choose to operate on an ongoing basis. The taking of a simple task, situation or issue. . . turning it and everything around them into a disproportionate crises. Hopelessly preferring to stir up everyone and anyone in their wake. Leaving the likeminded and team-players mystified, frustrated and dazed.

It is during such times of battling, clashing and climbing that we must remember that good things can and do come from bad. That the obstacles placed before us, either by happenstance or by the misguided and malcontents, can either be approached and dealt with, depending on how we decide to proceed, or can fall victim to the perceived mountains produced by the lowly molehills.

I for one prefer to step, perhaps even stomp on the molehills, avoiding the ensuing mountains and make for the pretty flowers of Spring. . .that we could all be so like minded. . .

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(blooming tulip flower / Julie Cook / 2015)