29000Sunsets

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As I was taking today's sunset shot I was speaking to my friend Gary, and he suggested today I write about new chapters.

So as the sun sets on another day I ask that each of us consider the chapters in our lives. This may be difficult, many people do not have the cognitive power to understand that they change over time. (Sure, they say they do, but they often do not) We all change, but we do not change. An interesting consideration huh?

As children we grow to become adults. This becomes a chapter and the people in our childhood mold us. Many children do not realize they are even children anymore as they are exposed to so much. We then go through the scary part of our life known as puberty. What a big chapter, whether man or woman this time changes us all. We interact with hundreds of people in this time and those may or may not create chapters as well. Consider me for a moment, in high school I took a shower every night and often fell asleep on my wet hair which would transform me to a terrifying mess of hair in the morning. Once, after one of those nights a young lady named Leslie came up to me and asked me if I had lice. Since that day I take a shower ever morning and for years every night as well. A weird reaction, but I could see her point and did not want to add any questions. Whether it was innocent to her or not so innocent was another story that I will never know. It did create a new chapter in my life.

As we move into our twenty's we again have chapters, love, marriage, children, jobs and more create interesting times for us all. All of this forms who we are and how we react to everything. Some of us find peace, some of us find happiness, others find pain, and some punish themselves for their past. The point is, every new chapter can allow us to move forward, move back, or stay the same. 

I seem to always try to help people, even to my detriment. At some point in my past I was dating a wonderful young lady named Kathy. Kathy was beautiful and intelligent and had two young children and apparently was trying to get her life straight. She could not go out with me one night, and so I went to a local bar with a friend. To my surprise there was Kathy, with another man sitting in the back. This was the beginning of a bad chapter in my life as I was very angry, jealous (something I just do not feel) and hurt in a way I had not really felt before. She was obviously very scared and I was obviously very angry. (Her date was a little bit meek at the time and said something like "whats the big deal" at which point she grabbed his arm and said to be quiet)

I left the bar, feeling so many emotions they could not easily be counted only to have her chase me out and say to me (at my car no less) "Please please don't be mad. I am trying to decide. You are the nicest guy I have ever met, but he likes to drink and party more than you do, and I want that too". I looked at her, and said "I am going home now" and smiled, "you need to make a choice in your life".

She and I had never been physical yet, so it was not as strong as it could have been, but it was still tough and a difficult night. The next day, she came over and wanted to talk it through so she could decide which of us was better for her life. I looked at her and simply said she knew who I was, and needed to make that choice herself.

She left.

At that point, I started a new chapter, that one day I would revisit when she returned again, saying she was wrong. 

My point is, chapters divide our life into easily digestible parts. As we watch the sun set each day, let us consider the best chapters we can have and make every day the best it can be, and in the process, close the chapters of pain, and hurt, and embrace the chapters of love, patience and fulfillment. After all, we all deserve to be with that special person who will be everything for us each and every day of our life.

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Clouds closed in on the sunset once again today, so I consider the beach a good place to post. Ever notice how life comes in waves? Waves of excitement, waves of dull, waves of happiness, waves of silliness and sometimes even waves of sadness. I would love to say that life is always a bunch of roses and I would hate to say life is always cold and depressing. Life is a series of adventures. Like our picture today, the light of our life is sometimes hidden, and sometimes we overlook that but I am here to say (sing it loud) that we can overcome! Overcome the darkness, overcome the apathy, and ride the waves into shore! (Even if we can't swim and sink whenever we try). It is time to start riding the waves and looking for the light. It is out there, there for us to enjoy, there for us to laugh with, and there for us to love with! Let's embrace the light and set aside darkness, life is worth it and so are we. 

Years ago I met a young lady in college. I wish I could find her now, but I doubt that will ever be possible. Why? Because I would like to know if she found the light in her life. We went out only a few times, barely kissed, but it was obvious there was an attraction. She felt something, I felt something. We laughed, and we loved our moments together. I met her at orientation camp, and things just seemed to get better. Then one day she told me she could no longer see me. You see, she had begun to feel something for me, and told me she could not do that. Why? (We all want to know, right?) well, it was because she had a boyfriend once that she loved very much, who died. I was devastated at the time, and felt as though my world had come apart on me. Wave after wave of despair hit me as I had done nothing wrong, and felt betrayed. Later in life I would realize that she was riding the wave of despair, and it was taking her out to sea, away from everyone. She believed that if she dated me I would die as she was being punished for something. (We never got into that). In that age of no cellphones and minimal contact information she was lost to me quickly after we broke up. Later I would consider her point of view, and realize she was reacting only to what she knew. I wish more people would read the bible and believe. It does not say anywhere you will be punished forever for what you do, it says that there is forgiveness. To me today, there was no way a person on earth would be punished for their actions and it is unchristian to think such. If you run though a dozen other religions, none say you will be punished for all time for a mistake, there is a path to forgiveness. A way to "ride the waves" and find your way to happiness. 

For me, weird person that I was (and am), I found a passion to live, but I still remember, the pain never goes away, but I ride larger and larger waves and try to stay above it all. With understanding at least there is some solace.

Lisa, if you are out there, I hope I hear from you someday. If not, I hope you found happiness in your life and realized that love is the most important thing in the universe. (Yep, it is, so there nya)

Be happy everyone, ride the waves, look for the light, and hold onto it and never let go.

 

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(Nicholasville, KY)

No, this is not the tree of life. but it was a good sunset.

As the sun sets on another day I talked to one of my good friends and considered the paths we make and how we build our tree of life. In "A Christmas Carol" Marley tells Scrooge that we forge the chains of our selfishness as we go through life. According to Dickens mankind should be our business and the common welfare of all our goal. In my opinion doing good builds our tree of life.  Now, I am not one to say "bring in the communism and lets share it all", but there are some things we can do each day to make our lives better and better the lives of others (In my opinion):

  • Say hello to everyone you can, and mean it (Anything less is a waste of time, and "hello, how are you" is about like saying "I know you are there but I don't care and was not listening anyway" Ask and listen, and if you do not have time, move on.)
  • Treat people in the service industries better than anyone (Buy a policeman a lunch, when you sit down and eat, treat your waiter or waitress like a person, smile, and speak their name)
  • Help the elderly (After I got my physical today I stopped and helped an elderly lady out of her car, to get her cane, and offered her my umbrella, yes I may be over the top, but you should do the same every opportunity you have)
  • Be there for children (No I do not mean do everything they want, that is silly, instead help them learn and grow as you learn and grow. Sometimes you will have to steer and tack, but that is how life is, the rules change, help them understand such)
  • Smile inside (If you are smiling inside, the world will know it. I have been guilty sometimes lately of not being myself, that will change not because the pain goes away, or the situation changes, but because I can rise above. You should too)
  • Give to others as you can. (There are some people I would give my life for, and some I would not, but I will give as needed. Make sure you do right for yourself though, giving money to that person on the side of the road may not be the right gift. I was stopped by a man who said he was hungry once. I walked into a sub shop, got him a sub, and took it out to him, he threw it on the ground and said he wanted money, watch for those people you should help, and those that are just out for themselves. Another time I took a pizza to a homeless woman in Philadelphia, she cried and hugged me, these are the people who need you.)

This list is not all inclusive, (lol) it is just a start. We should all add to it each and every day. Got a story or a thought to add, send it to me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and I will try to add t sometime.

My point to today, we build a tree based on our lives, we branch out to so many people and in the end, we are at the root of it all. If we have strong roots we can weather any storm. If we prune or trim our tree, it can be either good or bad. Believe in yourself (It all starts at the core), believe in the ones you love (You see them as your world), believe in the ones who love you (They see you as their world and believe in you), and be happy. 

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The sun sets on another day and while it set I went to see a new movie. (And of course the clouds made the sunset a little off today).

Minor spoiler if you are going to see “Spectre”.

You know, many people walk into a movie and see just the surface. Some walk in and see a few stories, but there are usually several going on at the same time. In the movie “Spectre” we once again have James Bond returning to save us all from ourselves. He is saving us from our dependence on technology this time, or at least saving us from being watched every moment by bad guys and thugs. Sounds easy and fun, but as I watched I saw a more intense story was about fear, life, selfishness, and unselfishness.

Fear is one of the most impressive motivators in our world. More people do things out of fear than any other emotion in my opinion. I wish it were different, but many of the decisions we make are motivated by fear, from wearing a seatbelt, to how we deal with our decisions. (Years ago I had a fear of heights, with that fear I decided I would be done with it, and went to the top story of a hotel and hung over the balcony until that silliness was gone.) We fear the unknown and as often fear ourselves. In the movie, Bond’s fear is minimal, as he is driven by two very powerful emotions, loyalty and love. (Bond, love? Say it is not so, but it is!) I will tie this together in a moment.

Of all the Bond movies this one speaks to life more than most. Daniel Craig did a great job of acting, even though he did not seem to have as much fun as in previous movies (Bad script or sad actor I am not sure). In this movie he finds a father whose only concern is for his daughter. (Those of you without daughters, well, you just won’t get it as much) The father lived only for the daughter, and the daughter did not love him as she should.  At the same time we learn that all of Bond’s pain in his life was from a pseudo sibling, and as such we learn how he sees the world as he does. Loyal to no end and always looking for the love he has never been able to hold.

As Bond was looking for love, our selfish character sought only vengeance. Vengeance is a tricky thing. It feeds upon itself unless the user is righteous. In this movie, the user was not and sought only to destroy Bonds possibility at happiness. Some gruesome ideas that would make the creators of “Saw” cringe follow, however the endgame of our villain is simple, take over the world (Duh, it is Bond) and make James Bond suffer more than any man.

Many of us think we are unselfish. (Even me sometimes) Here is where the movie hits home. The problem is sometimes people do not see the forest through the trees. A father gives his money his whole life to his children. A family works at a soup kitchen for Thanksgiving. A mother gives up happiness to quell a child.  All these can be unselfish, but can also be driven by fear, or misunderstanding of the best path, or worse, selfish needs that are not immediately evident. Instead consider A father gives his money his whole life to his children and in the process feels unselfish, but did not give them the love they needed. A family works at a soup kitchen for Thanksgiving, so they can be recognized but do not see the pain of those they serve beyond that day. A mother gives up happiness to quell a child, but does not see the long term damage it does to herself and the child. In our movie, it is my opinion Bond became the unselfish person he needs to be by seeing that love should always be the driving force in our lives. At one point in the movie he realizes there can be no passion greater than what he feels with the woman he is with, and at that point she feels the same. There is no more pure honesty in their actions than their utter passion for each other. (Remember, in my opinion, life without passion is not a good thing at all) When the villain tries to take this away, there is no way it can be done (Medically or otherwise) and finally when Bond is faced with a choice, he chooses his love and passion over all else and comes to terms with the fact (yes fact) that true love between 2 people finds a way. 

So, sappy love story? No, or maybe only to me. Lovey dovey story that pushes you to the edge, nope. Good movie. Absolutely, but we know most people will walk into this movie and see the top level, action, excitement, fun toys and of course an Aston Martin DB10. When you consider the movie, and as you consider the beauty of the sunset, take a moment and consider just how great life is when filled with passion, love, and the myriad of colorful days it brings us. Every day there are better reasons to love if we open our eyes and see them, no matter what.