Wandering with my eyes and heart open, searching for pieces to add to my own personal big picture.

Tag: magic

Drunken Trees: A Vacation Post

It was after 6am when I woke up today in a hotel room in Arizona. I can’t remember the last time I slept that late.

I stumbled upon something precious while exploring a creek in Northern Arizona yesterday and I was lucky enough to get a picture to share with you.

“Day Use Only” the sign posted on the spilt rail fence along the side of the road read. We had spotted a nicely maintained graveled road off the main highway with promising sign that read, “No camping within 200ft of river.”

I assumed that meant that camping elsewhere was ok, so we decided to explore the route more.

Two or three established spots along the road and then we find, “No camping beyond this point.”

Well…ok…we kept driving. The junipers here are tall and shaggy, not like the squat bushy ones around my area. Peeking out between them are grasses and prickly pear cactus growing in the cracks of large red rocks that look like an ancient sea bed pushed up toward the sky over millenia.

The road sloped downward and curved east and when we came around a bend we found… a day use area with river access and a bathroom!

Oooh! This is a gorgeous little picnic area! It was Saturday afternoon, the weather was gorgeous, but no one was there.

Maybe it’s haunted?

We keep heading down the road to see where it goes. Maybe there’s more camping further back?

We found another “No camping beyond this point. ” and then another. Confusing. Where is this point? Where CAN you camp?

“I think the sign is being moved. We keep driving slow. They think we’re looking for a place to camp so they move the sign.”


“The trees.”

Being in the bottom of a small canyon, along a river that flows all summer, there were a lot of trees. Junipers, sycamores, birch, and another tree that had tinee tiny pinecone looking seeds. It’s early spring here so the leaves are just starting to come out. The diciduous trees look fuzzy green with the evergreen shaggy junipers standing among them.

That’s when we came to the end of the road, for us anyway. The road went on but it became private at that point, a driveway to a ranch tucked back in the canyon. I imagined living there a hundred years ago or more, when it was likely established.

A small house, a large meadow near a river in the desert, shaded by the rocks of the steep canyon. Seems perfect for cattle.

That split rail fence we parked next to, you remember the fence don’t you? It has a break in it to allow humans (I think) access to the grassy bank along the river, so we took the invitation and walked down.

There was indeed a beautiful picnic area and some evidence of recent visitors; a broken pail, a crushed egg shell, a frayed rope from a overhanging branch (I assume some kids used to jump into the river and not the local ranchers used to hang horse thieves).

That is when I saw this.

Looks like these two had a bit of a bender last night, stayed out too late and ended up frozen like this as the sun came up. The juniper, always full of its tiny leaves, sap running all winter long, sidels up beside the sleepy sycamore.

Come on Harry. Wake up. It’s spring!

What? No, more week.

No, now. Look the creek is rising and the sun was so warm today that I can still feel its warmth in my branches.

Yawns and stretches…I suppose… one drink tonight and then I’m going back to sleep.

Yeah, that’s what he said every year.

Several hours and many drinks later, they’re swaying with their arms around each other, singing their hearts out to the sleeping canyon. And that’s how we found them.

Inspired by a Magical Universe

I’m off playing in the world today, instead of waking up and doing my regular morning routine, so this will be short and sweet. I’m still devouring Will by Will Smith with Mark Manson like there’s no tomorrow. The man has me riveted. This morning, I found myself crying my eyes out, gasping in fear, and then laughing out loud at his antics, all within the same two hours.

But this quote is what I want to share with you most right now.

“The universe is not logical, it’s magical.

A major aspect of the pain and mental anguish we experience as humans is that our minds seek, and often demand, logic and order from an illogical universe. Our minds desperately want shit to add up, but the rules of logic do not apply to the laws of possibility. The universe functions under the laws of magic.”

When I read it, I thought, “Oh yes…this world is something else, isn’t it?” But when I went back later to quote it here, I thought, “I don’t know.” It’s certainly not what Mr. Spock would say, but it would be something Captain Kirk would spout on about over some Andorian Ale. It’s one of those things about humans that confuses the hell out of Spock. We know magic isn’t real, yet we insist on believing in it.

But isn’t that what being human is all about? That massively creative imagination inspires us to be more than the sum of our parts, do more than what logic predicts is possible?

“Quincy Jones understands magic.

He sees the universe as an infinite playground of magical possibilities. He recognizes miraculous potential in every moment and every thing and everyone around him. His superpower is that he has learned to present himself to the universe as a lightning rod, placing himself perfectly to capture and conduct the ever-present, ever-recurring magical flashes of brilliance surrounding us all.”

Can you imagine the possibilities your life would present to you if you had people around you like this? It makes me envious just thinking about it. Where’s my lightning rod?

I’ll be thinking about that all afternoon; the possibilities and how to achieve them. If these guys can do it by sheer willpower, so can I.

Enchantment: A Book Review From My Past

Brought all the way back from May 31, 2017, I’m posting this old review of Enchantment in anticipation of my next post about another Orson Scott Card book, Songmaster. I found this one while looking for something else and was thrown off for a few minutes. When writing about my current read, I didn’t recall that I had read this. Only because of the post do I remember. It’s frustrating.

Enchantment by Orson Scott Card

Also, I’m a bit unnerved about how much my worldview has changed over the last four years. Life changes us, doesn’t it? Anyway, hope you enjoy this blast from the past. It was a beautiful book, I DO remember that!

I just finished Orson Scott Card’s “Enchantment” this morning, May 31, 2017, and that is exactly how I felt when I closed it, enchanted. I fell in love with this book immediately when I picked it up out of a box of books my friend was giving away. I love it because it blends a bit of history with fantasy, a little time travel, a little magic, and a happy story.

There were so many great pieces of the book, but I don’t really want to get into it because I’ll give away the magic. Here was my favorite quote from reading Enchantment today!

Speaking of the magic of being pregnant, “As he grew, his power was part of me. For those months, I felt like the goddess of creation. And then he was born and became his own man, and I was just myself again.” This touched me because I’m at that point in my life as my sons become men. I’m left alone, being myself. It’s a difficult transition to make, going from creating and nurturing life, through supporting it, and then letting it out into the world to do what God created it to do. It’s good to know I’m not alone in this feeling. It is magical.

I’m not all that fond of the use of Christianity as just another magic in the world, but I’ll let it slide since Enchantment is fiction. I would have liked to see Christianity have a stronger influence, a stronger magic than that of this world the people were using, but I get that it’s not a Christian book per se. I can see some Christian readers not liking it for that reason. But I felt throughout the book that, like in Lewis’ “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe”, there was some deeper magic going on here! Even though it wasn’t explicit, I knew where it was coming from.

This is a spoiler in my book, so gloss over the next paragraph if you think you’ll read Enchantment anytime soon!

The priest uses his Bible and the commandment “In the name of Christ” to stop something bad from happening. Some may think that this is a condemnation of the power of Christ. I do not. I believe it is a condemnation of the power of religion and superstition. The priest did not love others as God does, he lived in the time he was in. He saw people only as they were useful to politics, to keep the church in control. He was from a different land, a missionary to this place. He did not live as one of the people.

Hold on! I just realized something as I was typing this idea out. I’m currently studying at online seminary that talks about this very thing. Their hope is to train up people in Christ among their own people and culture so that they will “bloom where they are planted.” It’s the opposite of the Catholic idea of separating people who are felt called by God to lead, training them in isolation, and then planting them in foreign places where the church thinks they are needed. I honestly think this has more to do with politics than spreading the gospel of Jesus. The idea of Christian Leaders Institute is to share information on the internet for free so that people can be trained in what the Bible says and lead others to Christ where they are. It doesn’t make for a strong central church or any real power, but it does help bring the love of Christ to more people, in my opinion.

Wow. I’m continually amazed at how everything that comes across my path ends up being related and how it leads me to wonder at the power of God. This book is filled with that idea. Who brought these people together? And why? What was the bigger picture? We really don’t know, but we use what have to build where we are. It’s truly wonderful.

Where will I go next? Where will my life, my study, my passions take me? Who will come into my path? Which leads me to what I read in my class this morning. “See the potential in people without pre-qualifying them.” That’s what we are called to do as Christians. Every single person on earth was created and is loved by God. Each one has the potential to do great things. I could have set this book aside because its author is a Mormon, not of my faith, but I didn’t. It, as every other thing, has potential to move my heart toward God and this surely has. Working and living with people is the same. Everyone has potential to do God’s work, whether we see it or not. Mentor them, offer them the love of Christ through you, and watch what God does!

I just read back from the beginning of this post and realized something. He was born and became his own man, I say, the minute he was born, not after her grew up. Our children are born as whole individuals, dependent on another’s support, yes, but fully formed with their own innate potential. We should be treating our children in this same way, as “potential without pre-qualifications”. They don’t need to be filled with certain things by us to become their own person, they are born that way. Ours is to see the potential and mentor it until they can be independent of us.

If you’ve read Enchantment, let me know in the comments. If you haven’t, go get it. You won’t regret it!

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén

%d bloggers like this: