Tuesday, April 16, 2013
I walk. I am walking. I have walked who knows how far. By the time I finish this thought, these words you now read, I will have walked myself right into a tropical storm of emotions. I will fly over the warm, brewing stew of my thoughts and emotions. They connect and boil themselves into an ever increasing body of energy, combining with just the right amount of other elements and finally explode in to a hurricane of raw, emotional energy. All of it, from my own life, my own past, and my own loves and concerns. Wordsworth was a generous soul with his words; that in the thoughts that do rise out of human suffering, in the years that bring forth the philosophic mind. In that, whatever having been must ever be, nothing good ever dies. Life truly is eternal. So I walk. I put one foot in front of the other. Sometimes, because, honestly, what other choice do I have? Sometimes, there is nothing else to do BUT “walk”, move forward, even if I have no idea to where it is I am going. Maybe something else will come to me, if I just walk, but for now, I’ll just move from here to there and see what it gets me. God knows, I can’t stay here any longer. I am walking. There are things that I love to do, even though a great deal of what I have done my whole life is not available to me now. Deep wilderness fishing on streams that are imbedded in harsh, beautiful wilderness’s. Or bicycle racing – choosing to go to war every Saturday or Sunday with some of the best bicycle racers in the country. Never actually expecting to win, but fit enough, able enough, knowledgeable enough, to be there for the fight. It is a grueling, God-forsaken hobby; and one that I swear off every time I race; “Oh, I’ll never do this again”, or “can you believe I actually do this for a hobby?”, or thinking and believing myself truly insane for training for so long and so hard just to earn the right to be there, and all of the money I spend on equipment, travel, training, entry fees, clothing… Why? Tell me why do I do it? Because I love it. And even though I’m in the midst of the suffer-fest called a bicycle race, and I promise I’ll never, ever do it again, so long as this one ends soon, when It is all over, mere moments after I’ve crossed the finish line, I look forward to next Saturday, or the next time I get to do it again. So part of me is thankful I can no longer, at least for now, go to race bicycles, I approach my current hobby’s with equal enthusiasm. Photography, gardening, sewing, painting, writing, learning. Yes, I am walking; perhaps with less intensity, but not with less intension. There is no way to know how far I have walked in my nearly fifty point five years. Interestingly, I have walked an exact, knowable distance. I just don’t know, and never will know, how far that is. There is little, actually no doubt the most interesting, rewarding places I have been, I walked to gain those locations. Driving cars is basically only good for digesting large, typically uninteresting distances. It is at the end of the driving, we fine tune our locations to the truly worthwhile environments on foot. I might drive to the mall, but I will go to the store of my choice on foot. I might drive to Yosemite, but I will climb to the top of Half Dome on foot. I have walked a lot of places. I once walked from Pickett State Park, in Tennessee to S-Tree wilderness in Central Kentucky, all through the Daniel Boone National Forest; a distance of about 130 miles, all on foot with a pretty heavy load to boot. I choose to do this as an adventure, and an adventure it was. I even did it again a few years later with a good friend. Some days, I go for a walk… specifically – I go walking. Some days, I walk great distances, or at least significant distances without even thinking about the fact that I’m walking. I don’t remember it, and I doubt anybody else does either, but there was necessarily a “first step” in my history. Where that was, and how many steps ago is utterly unknown, but ironically, an exact number of steps. There will also be, necessarily, a last step. When and where that will be is also unknown, but unlike my first step, that one is not knowable, at least by any person alive. Not all of the steps I’ve taken in the past 20 months have been easy. I remember laying in intensive care in Pittsburgh last summer, utterly unable to walk. I felt then as if I’d never walk very far again. But I was wrong. I got better, and stronger, and I have walked many places since then. Sure, at first, I had to use a walker, but soon I laid that aside, and began comfortably walking on my own. I have walked up into the woods above my mother’s home, my childhood home and cut dead cedar poles with which to build a log cabin. I didn’t walk very far, not, say, miles, but I walked, chopped, and drug those logs out of the woods and I am ready to start building that lovely cabin of my mind’s eye. And this, well less than a year after wondering if I would ever walk very far again, laying in intensive care. I healed far quicker than I thought I would, and I have come much farther than I imagined I would. I used to walk twelve to fifteen miles over harsh woodland trails, no problem. But after the cancer, I’ve known I can’t walk that far, at least not right now. Fact of the matter is I didn’t know how far I could walk, because I never tested it. There was never a need for me to walk more than about a mile at a time, at the most. I think my recent emotional and physical crisis was a result of actually walking 3 miles in a cancer awareness function. It was the first time I had even thought about walking a certain distance. And while I completed the distance, I am now completely aware of how much weaker I am now that I was just 20 months ago. It gave me a real physical point of information. In every way, it was difficult. This, on the same day I watched a video of my grandson taking a few of his very first steps. Unsteady and unsure, he focused, visibly got his bearings and when he was ready, struck out across the four or five step void between himself and his mother. When he reached her, he was proud, she was proud and there were cheers. And those are the first of literally millions that person, my grandson will take. Some of the steps to come for my grandson will be glorious… unspeakably beautiful, triumphant, and worthy of praise to God. Other steps unfortunately, will be painful and difficult. It is his human life, filled with joys and sorrows, but ultimately good. If life weren’t good, overall, we would not celebrate anybody’s first steps. When I watched my grandson on that video, talking those steps, I believe it was the most beautiful thing I ever saw, and I wept with joy – I could not imagine anything more beautiful than seeing this little beautiful child take those first, unsteady steps of his life. A few hours later, still thinking about the video, I wondered if he was taking his first steps at about the same time I was taking some of my last. I think I was in a state of shock, physically and emotionally stunned by my own walk of 3 miles at the cancer awareness walk. It was so strange, that entire day seemed to have something to do with walking. Indeed it did. Satan and his hindering spirits like to keep me afraid, and in pain and fear and doubt. Anytime evil and evils spirits can occupy any part of my heart and mind, that is room unavailable for Christ and his healing Angles. Later that same day, I sat on the lake shore at one of my spots of meditation and prayer, and I thought about it. I believe that God can and will heal me of this cancer. I pray multiple times a day for God to do just that. Yet, there are days I am full of fear and doubt and terrible anxiety and apprehension. I am human, and flawed, sinful human being, so I know I can’t be in perfect harmony with God all the time, but who am I walking with every day? Am I walking and believing in the evil thoughts that lead me to wonder if my current steps are some of my last? Or am I walking with Christ who has promised to heal me if I ask for healing and believe? I suppose then, in a great many ways, every step that I take now, after millions of steps, fifty years of walking, each step I take is very important… important like my grandson Carters steps. Are most of my steps with God, Christ, the Holy Spirit and all of the healing angles? Or are most of them with the devil and his agents of doubt, sickness, weakness, pain and depression? I must be honest and say, I don’t know. All I can say is, I WANT TO WALK WITH CHRIST, but obviously I am not taking every step with Him, or else I’d have no doubt, no fear and I would believe more perfectly in God Grace and ability to not only heal my sick body, but cure me completely. As I walk, this is my prayer. I ask that you pray it with me. I am probably not going to die today. Therefore, it is another chance to walk with God, and be healed.
Sunday, April 7, 2013
Hello everybody. I have created greeting cards with a cycling watercolor on the front. A set of ten cards is $20. These cards are now ready to order, and most of them can be picked up TODAY!! If you place an order via, Paypal.com, I will make sure that your cards will be available down at the shop by tomorrow, April 9. I am asking for a $20 donation to cover my costs,and a little extra for my bills, but you can contribute as much as you want. To, my non-cycling friends, you may also "purchase" a set of these greeting cards, but you may want to wait for me to create greeting cards with a non-cycling theme. The bicycling watercolor is a JT orginal but is based on a cycling painting by Miki de Goodaboom entitled "Le Tour De France 03" Thank you so much for your assistance. I hope you enjoy your greeting cards. If you would like to have a custom greeting card set created, please let me know!! If you have any questions, or if you place an order, please text me if you need special delivery consideration. 6062158307 JT -