Come Let Us Reason Together ~ Early Evening Thoughts ….

Often, for me anyway, I get somewhat random thoughts as very random times.  Unfortunately, it’s often when I either can’t pursue the thought (just drifting off to sleep) or where writing the idea down is either impossible or unfeasible (inside a very noisy club or … well … you get the idea!)

One of the reasons I enjoy the TED talks and TEDEducation videos, is so often they manage to hit one something I’ve had a stray thought about and never thought about again.

I also have decided that if my teachers had presented concepts this way, my grades would certainly have been better.  I can only hope, that when I was teaching in India ~ some of my students felt I had reached out this way ….

This video tackles invisibility … what, where, when and quite a bit of why … bear with the beginning – it will pay off shortly after the video starts.

A Small Parable ~ Early Evening Thoughts

He sat on the bank looking longingly at the water. The sky reflected on the moving surface created a continually changing pattern – sometimes calm, reflective and sometimes dark, foreboding. But always, the water seemed inviting and yet, challenging. He’d been warned that the water was dangerous. That it was deep, full of currents – riptides that would pull him under. However, as he looked he could almost hear music that the ripples and/or waves made as they pushed against the shore.

Then, as sometimes happens – a storm came up. There was tremendous wind, thunder and lighting. It should have been impossible to hear anything above the fury of the storm, but he was positive he could still hear the sound of the water against the shore.

As always, the storm finally faded away – and peace resumed again. The water looked as if it had never changed. The sound of the ripples against the shore line moved him to stand and move toward the edge.

“There’s nothing in there for you.” said a voice behind him. He turned to look. “Nothing in there but deep roiling currents that could take you and smash you against the rocks and crags. Leaving you broken and possibly dead.”

“This kind of water is best left alone.” said another voice. He moved his head to one side to see the speaker. “This kind of water offers nothing …nothing but – well, they say it has poisonous properties that can eat away at the flesh. This kind of water supposedly has sharp microscopic animals that dig in and cause great pain.”

He shook his head in disbelief. “Have either of you ever been in the water?” was his not so subtle challenge to the two speakers. He was met with silence. “I thought so,” he finally said to them.

So, he turned back and watched the water under the setting sunlight. The rays of light skittered across the surface and seemed to dance before his eyes. Then he saw it. In the middle of the water was a small boat, and standing in that boat a solitary person. This person seemed to be looking directly at him. (If the truth be told, it was too far to be sure that’s what the person was doing, but to him it seemed as if he was.)

With only a moments hesitation, he took the first step into the water. It was warm, pleasant without sharp creatures. He took another, then another. Finally the walking placed the water at his knees. He continued to move into the center of the water. He now was creating ripples that pushed toward the shore and toward the small boat in the center.

The water was now up to his waist and yet, all was peaceful. With his eye on the target, he moved further and further away from the shore. Suddenly he realized – the fear of what he didn’t know had been keeping him back on shore. The advice of those on the shore could have kept him there and he would never had tried.

He was approaching the small boat and its occupant. The water was no higher than his waist. The depth and fear was nothing more then an illusion. He realized he could handle this. This was manageable and would provide many memories in the days to come.


Carousel Of Life ~ Early Morning Thoughts

I’m continually amazed at what can come my way at a time when I need it most. As I was pulling together a business idea today, I came across this wonderful story – with a wonderful depth of meaning and hope…but above all hope.

The Carousel Horse

It’s been so long now; it’s really hard to remember or maybe it’s because of the way I feel or have always felt. when was I born? I could say when they carved me I guess or when they finished painting me, or when I was mounted on the carousel. But if I’m really honest about my feeling I’d have to go back even further, to when I was a part of a beautiful tree in the Black Forest. Oh so long ago. I have fond memories of my growing years. I learned to deal with the elements that are. I learned patience and I learned that you can be taken away from everything that you love and know, and be put into, oh such totally different circumstances and still live. Why even thrive. Yes, it’s been a good life. I wouldn’t say easy, but well on to my tale.

I’m proud of the way I look and I must say my life before I was injured was full of compliments. Even when I was being carved, the expert woodsman remarked on my quality. “Now this is what I call a perfect piece of oak.” Yes, I remember it so well. The man who carved me was quite old. His hands were rough but I didn’t mind because he touched me so lovingly. He was constantly caressing me as he sought out the perfect horse that was captured inside.

He worked slowly, puffing on his old pipe. The smell was delicious. I can still smell it, even now. It kinda permeated my whole being as he carved and puffed for all those months. “Say, now that’s a pretty one, Joseph.” the man stood, hands on his hips, and scrutinized me closely. “I like the lift of the head and the way you’ve raised her front foot in the air. She’s a real beauty.” Joseph puffed on his pipe and looked at me as he ran his gnarled hands over my now almost completed surface. “Yes, this one’s special”, he mused. I was so proud.

Joseph’s wife was to paint me. I liked her. She would come into the studio always wit a a smile and a jolly laugh. “Oh, now that’s real nice, Joseph. I love her big thick mane and her wonderful tail. I like the way it lifts and curls. Why Joseph, she’s just beautiful.” She always smelled like fresh baked bread and she always made Joseph happy. When she’d leave him he’d hum away and I could feel a kind of new energy through his hands.

When it came time for me to be painted I couldn’t help being excited and could hardly wait to find out what color I would be. White, black, chestnut, it was all I thought about for days. They chose golden palomino with a glorious antique white mane and tail. My saddle was burgundy with gold trim, and the draperies that graced my sides were rose and cream with dark green trim. I looked wonderful.

I was installed on the carousel in early spring. It was all new and boasted rabbits and pigs and birds along with its many horses. I think it’s only fair to say though, that, well I could hold my own. The children flocked to me. Even grown ups. I remember once a man lifted this pretty girl up on my saddle and as the music played and I moved rhythmically up and down as we turned, he proposed. she said yes. But ah, it was the children, the wide-eyed, happy boys and girls who wrapped their arms around me like they would never let go. I carried them gently up and down as we moved along the crescendo of sound and lights.

As the years moved by I began to feel my age. My paint was cracking here and there and finally I got pretty crackled all over. I had dried out some and there were even hairline cracks in my wood. Who’d of ever thought it. The carousel was getting older too and it creaked a bit and groaned at times but we all kept going rain or shine and the kids kept coming. I wasn’t getting the compliments I got when I was young but I knew they enjoyed me and that was the most important thing. Then one day the engine quit. The children were very disappointed. I remember the little boy on me kept kicking me and beating me with his fists. I was more hurt than hurt, if you know what I mean. This engine trouble became pretty regular, then the trouble with the gears or something. Then it was just trouble, trouble and pretty soon the kids didn’t come anymore. I felt terrible but that was just the beginning. they took us apart and discarded us like old worthless junk.

I was thrown , yes thrown, they broke my neck, into an old dark warehouse. I laid there for years in the dark and the roof leaked. The rain would drip down from the high, dark ceiling and run in cold rivulets over my exposed side. It was awful. My paint, well, let’s not even talk about it. I was a mess. Then one day they opened the warehouse doors and started looking through the piles left from so long ago. They laid all the carousel horses in one place and they looked us over. They inspected me. “Might as well burn this one. I think it’s hopeless. Look, it’s neck is even broken.” a young man looked down at me. He touched my neck. Oh, it felt good. It had been so long. He ran his fingers over the cracked neck. His companion shook his head. “forget it. Come on let’s check out the rest.” He left.

They spent about a week selecting the chosen ones and they put me in a heap, and not too gently, with the other rejects. I heard what they were planning for us. They said old oak made a great fire. I just couldn’t believe what was happening to me.

Then they drove the truck into the warehouse. It was one of those cold, wet mornings. The sky was dark and I felt a chill run through me. They started throwing, yes throwing, us into the back of the truck…then the young man walked in. He walked over to me just as they were grabbing me by the tail. “Wait, I think I’ll take this one home.” “fine with me but I sure don’t know why. It’s a wreck.” “I know, I know, but there’s something about her.” He reached down and picked me up and I fell in love. He carried me to his van and gently laid me down inside. I could have wept. He drove me to his home and took me inside. His wife opened the door. “Oh my, it looks like she’s been through a lot.” She touched me and I knew I was finally safe.

He worked on my neck. He sanded me and polished me and rubbed oil on me night after night. I was beginning to feel pretty good, and oh his pipe, I loved his pipe. It reminded me of, oh so long ago. Then it came time to paint me. I had heard them discussing it. They were going to paint me exactly like before when I was young. I was thrilled and what a job she did. She couldn’t have been more careful. I knew she liked me.

They placed me by the window in a large kitchen and I look out over rolling hills of oak. The sunsets splash the last light of day on me every evening and I am content. She polishes me a lot and I’m constantly complimented. But Joe’s my favorite. I mean, he saved my life but, I don’t know, I just love him anyway. There’s something about him.

His wife walked into the room. Joe was reading at the table smoking his pipe. She walked up behind him and ran her hand through his hair. The sun was setting and cast a golden light on the carousel horse. “I just love that horse” she said. He nodded, “Yes, I know. I’ve always wanted one. My grandfather used to carve them. Did I ever tell you that?”

—Tom Voiss
Quiet Moments
painting of horse by Nancy Glazier