November 5, 2014
This is going to be a little longer of an entry than what I've done in the past. I haven't written here in quite some time. It has been a very long and difficult 5 years. There's going to be a LOT that I don't tell you here … for that we'll have to go out for coffee … or share a bottle of Merlot. I can … and love to cook by the way! So I was thinking that this might just be a good time to fill you in on some of my small part in … the story.
About 5 years ago my marriage crumbled and fell into ashes. I was devastated. How? Why? I mean … I thought … forever. For the very first time in my life I experienced depression. I had absolutely no idea how that felt but I am grateful now. I have a depth of compassion for the many that suffer from that debilitating condition and … I bow my head. So now … in my 40th year of musical instrument building and designing I get to reflect. I guess that's one of the benefits that comes with age. I should say that I am happier now … at my age … than I have ever been. The depression has “lifted” and I'm almost giddy with anticipation.
I walk … up the mountain here where I live … with my “papa.” He reveals points of light that he says we will see. How? Why? When? My questions disturb the blessed silence of a mid-night walk … so I quiet myself … and go back to just listening. It's amazing to me how much I can hear … when it's quiet. S.C.C. made a remarkable recording once that alluded to that state of “not speaking.” It blew me away. I think there was stretch where I listened to it 70 times in a row over the course of several weeks. Music tends to do that to me. I suppose there is logic to why it has been referred to as the universal language.
I love to dream that Our Father might have sung alone … UNTIL ... he imagined a “choir” that could join in on the melodies … and even lend harmonies to His celestial song. Maybe Creation itself is His choir?! I mean … the brook that runs along side my walks sings constantly. I've even heard the forest leaves applaud in many a standing ovation as the wind whistles through the night.
So … back to the story … my work ground to a standstill 5 years ago and I could do almost nothing but wrestle with “that angel.” I tried to re-think what I thought I knew … but … nothing! I became agonizingly clear that all I could really do was … WAIT. I remember that once I wrote on these pages that it is never wrong to wait on the Lord. Heeding my own advice I did pretty much nothing … but wait! Sure … I scratched away at work, brushed my teeth occasionally and even called my Mom … but mostly I was just waiting. Then one day, out of the blue, one of those “wrinkles in time” unfolded … the dark cloud evaporated and … Voila … it was over. Talk about crazy. I spent the next 3 or 4 weeks just pinching myself to make sure I … was me … and … ALIVE! Yep … I'm here to tell ya!
And so here I sit today … writing again, working with joy and living (might I say) with abandon! I have never been happier or more pregnant with hope. I do need to send a special “shout out” to David J. and Nichole E. I can't even begin to imagine how I could have survived the last 5 years without YOU. I love you both. (jrs 11-05-14).
November 20, 2014
I've had a wonderful day. Too much to convey. Anyway ... I'm playing with my laptop ... listening to music, etc. When I "hit" on "Yours" by S.C.C. and I was moved to post. Now I know the song well ... but it's been a few years since I could ... comment. I don't know about you ... but when I hear songs, or words of hope and promise ... I am lifted. Just like I was ... lifted by Justin and Andrea the other day. Isn't that ... just ... the body? I mean, who we ... are ... who we are ... becoming. (jrs - 11/20/14)
November 22, 2014
Listening to music … ready to light the fire … decorating tonight. On my mid-night walk the other night I realized something that I hope I can focus on throughout every day as I negotiate “the world” with a great need to … be in … but not … of! As I communed in silence … what I “heard” was … I need to get out of my own way. Well now … that's had me thinking ever since. What I've deduced is that there must be a “part” of me who gets in the way of “my very own path” … I mean … my truest path. I'm pretty sure it's true. I think there is a “me” I am becoming as I shed the vestiges of who I was called to be … in the meantime. So …....... (jrs-11-22-14)
November 26, 2014
I had a very cool walk up the mountain early this morning. I go up about 2 miles with an elevation change equivalent to about a 50 story building overall. When I left before dawn it was lightly raining. I was dressed appropriately so I could enjoy the rain. As I went “up” the sky lightened with the coming sunrise. What was super cool was … as I got 100 vertical ft (¼ mile linearly) or so from the top of my walk the light rain turned to snow. It seemed too warm for snow but it was obviously turning above and holding on until it “kissed” the earth where it promptly melted. No accumulation what-so-ever. It seemed like a magic trick. Like the snowflakes gently drifting across my field of vision … no two of my walks have ever been alike. I absolutely never know what to expect. It's glorious. These walks with “Our Father” are some of my very best times … here. I don't know how I could cope with the various issues of the day without these treasured hours to commune with our very Creator. I hope, as you're giving thanks tomorrow, you will offer yourself to the one who designed, made and is caring for you with every breath you take. (jrs-11-26-14)
November 27, 2014
Watching the news … disturbing … no hope there. The same old futile contributions from countless perspectives … I think … all … short sighted. I've been singing with a new band lately. I linked a video a few years back … but have just recently re-connected. The CD is “Remedy” by the David Crowder Band. It's kind of “relentless” in it's message … which is what I am celebrating this Thanksgiving. Thank you all who continue to “trumpet” that eternal hope. It is NOT in vain. (jrs 11-27-14)
December 9, 2014
There are so many “things” competing for our attention these days … don't you think? It can seem like an endless stream of things we are told we need to be concerned with. We are told that if we do this … or that …. everything will get better. Sure there are small victories. We lose a few pounds, reduce our carbon footprint, finally pay off some debt, find a new church or philosophy we're convinced is “the one” … you know the process. It usually doesn't take very long for whatever new solution we've experienced to fade away … replaced by new “things to be concerned with.” Quite awhile ago someone believed a “lie.” It sounded true … it seemed to make sense … and going against “instruction” … they fell for it. Here … all these years later we are doing exactly the same thing … only, today, the lies are too numerous to mention. They come at us from every which-way ... they sound true … they seem to make sense … and they usually contain at least a grain of truth. The main problem is they take our eyes away from the whole Truth. Our instruction today quietly pleads for sole reliance on “the instructor.” It tells us that if we seek that … our path will be made “straight” and our burden light. Can you imagine whatever burden you're carrying being lifted? Can you imagine being satisfied and grateful with whatever comes your way … good or bad? That's the promise. It's an amazing promise … that sounds crazy … and it doesn't seem to make sense. None-the-less … it is the truest of true … and, it is just the beginning of an eternal treasure quietly awaiting, reaching out, seeking … YOU. (jrs 12-09-14)
May 25, 2015
Every philosophy or belief "system" that I've been able to think of lately requires either adherence to some "code" ... or the quality or intention of your personal performance in order to be "successful." Success, of course, is measured in different ways depending on the "system" in which you are engaged. Regarding temporal things ... this concept works ... and it's pretty much true. We, of course, are bombarded daily with temporal concerns ... so much so that most of our time is consumed with them. Many of these are pretty important for our survival ... like paying attention while driving ... or being able to swim if your boat capsizes. There is a lot of time in a day and I can tend to spend too much of it thinking about improving my performance in ways that might never prove necessary. That ... can be defined as "a waste of time." Usually, if I look closely, that concern is motivated by some sort of, mostly hidden, "fear." Another big mistake I make is to regard something as "urgent." Again ... most of what I place in that category is simply ... not! It's easy to think of myself as more important than I am. I want to feel important. The really good news is that ... I am ... but not to the grand majority of things or situations with which I'm involved. To most of those ... I'm replaceable ... or, at worst, a hinderance. Performance with regard to temporal concerns is applicable ... with the eternal, on the other hand, it is NOT. Performance with regard to the eternal is largely over-rated and, more importantly, misleading. If I concern myself with that perspective I am shortsighted and hurtful to both myself and others. If I can simply love ... then both the temporal and eternal are served ... and I begin to fulfil my potential. (jrs 05-25-15)
September 15, 2015
So ... I had a motorcycle trip planned to the research triangle area of North Carolina this past weekend to be with friends. A couple weeks before the trip I realized my favorite Singer/Songwriter in the world was actually doing a Concert in the area on the evening of the day I was planning on driving home. She hasn't done many Concerts in the last 5 or more years so this was quite fortuitous timing! Well .... plans changed and I decided to book a room in Salisbury, NC and attend her Concert at St. John's Lutheran Church. What a treat. Her music helped me through the most difficult time of my life. This happy coincidence enabled me to cross a long-held desire off my "bucket list." I slept great that night .... had a beautiful ride home the next day ... and now, as my favorite season descends upon these wonderful mountains ... I have a little more "peace" in my life. God is surely ... GOOD. (jrs 09-15-15)
September 25, 2015
Fall is by far .... my favorite season. I'm not sure why. Maybe it's the smell of the air ... the crispness ... the clarity. Living here in the mountains ... I know it's Fall for sure when I get that first "whif" of wood smoke from someone's home sweet home. I mostly heat my home with wood. It's a lot of work ... but it's so good. I think it was Thoreau who said something about how heating with wood warms you twice ... cutting, carrying and feeding your stove ... and then as the fire romances your environs. At any rate ... it's true. As I sit here in my workshop today it is becoming very clear that after a long, hard 5 years ... God has "finally" delivered me from the pain and agony of my divorce. He has restored my "energy" and zest for life and I feel like I'm about 30 years old (even though I turn 66 in a week and a half). I am hopeful that I finally have the wisdom and patience to "control" this incredible gift from God so that I might be of service to His Kingdom. Amen! (jrs 09-25-15)
August 5, 2016OK ... it's been a while. Well ... like I've said ... I don't strive to write here ... I only post when my Father prompts me. As usual ... music stirred my soul tonight. So ... the last months and years have been an "Unmaking" ... apologies to Nichole Nordeman for that quote ... but, as usual, she just nailed it. I have so much to say .... that I'm not sure I'm ready to type that much. Suffice it to say ... from my vantage point I believe we're really on the move. I think I'd better stop right there. My father always told me ... "think" before you speak (probably applies to typing but he never said that!). He was a pretty cool guy. I miss him greatly. Love to all the body. If you're inclined ... pray.