Category Archives: observation

Imagination

Imagination

Somebody must have said at some time – somewhere – ‘that imagination is a wonderful thing’.

Brian Wilson writes – ‘It’s your imagination running wild…’

Where will it run to..?

Someone said: on a cold winter’s day: ‘My nose is running…’. Someone replied ‘well, run after it…’

Mankind is either lying down, walking or running in his psyche. Where is he ‘headed’? What is he headed for? Or what is he sleeping through?

Have you, too many things to be getting on with, to spare the time to think about, never mind answer, these questions? Bills to be paid, job to be kept, stuff to be hoarded or tended to, work to be done, family to raise and so on…

Imagination.

Imaginative new decor in the room you have just DIY’d. The story you made up on the spur of the moment, communicated to your child. It did the trick and they fell asleep during your bedside monologue, ad-libbing in your imagination.

Imagination.

Imagining life as it could be. Imagining what it would be like to live in France. Or castaway on an island in the Pacific. Imagining a different career.

Imagination, the stuff dreams are made of.

Surrealism – imagination as depicted by Dali.

The artist painting from imagination whilst forgetting about the rules of depiction. (As an artist – my favourite approach)

‘What an imaginative name to pick for your dog!’

Then there are those suffering from a delusional disorder, another kind of imagination.

‘Imagine…’ sang Mr. Lennon – inventing his own reality, producing  lyrics which partially at least, set aside true reality.

Out of the imagination comes good things and bad.

Consciousness goes on forever – liberated or bound.

Best to anchor imagination on solid ground.

The King James version of the bible uses the word imagine/imagination quite a lot.

It is usually not in a positive context. Positive like the way we would commend someone for a great poem, song, piece of art…etc.

The fact is the imagination – the reasoning power of man has been flawed in a strange way – in fact the fact – that man is able to sin naturally is in itself, a strange, but true, phenomenon.

Take any atrocity you care to think of and it is the result of this fallen nature/thought life/imagination of man.

There was a time when the imagination of man reached an all-time low. And God tells us:

And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

Hard to comprehend this? Well if things can get worse – then it ain’t really hard. Things getting worse have to reach a place – an all time low place – if nothing checks the downward spiral.

Down down down. As I stop to think of some paintings I admire, or better still – take a long look at God’s handiwork in nature – I find it easy to consider the designer of it all.

But this imagination gone wrong into increasing moral chaos, must be arrested by God and His thoughts (The Bible), if man’s imagination can rise again.

If we allow ourselves to be ‘arrested’ by Jesus Christ, He will offer us His mind to replace ours. This is the truth – I’m not imagining it.

 

Heaviness

HEAVINESS

We all experience different emotions in an average day. Christians experience also varying degrees of spiritual discernment.

For example, we can sense that God is grieved by our, or other peoples actions.

It’s true also that Christians or non-Christians can be repulsed by various acts of evil, that they find out, have taken place.

We can feel sorry and aggrieved that certain things have happened to friends or loved ones.

Being aggrieved by the actions of others and affronted by their awful behaviour, is both an intellectual and emotional experience.

Intellectually we become aware of the awful facts and process them with the accompanying emotions.

It is true also that we become accustomed to awful news and can become indifferent to it. Usually out of a sense that there is seemingly nothing we can do about the situation – and our sense of human powerlessness can have a numbing effect.

When bad stuff is up close and personal – of course this creates an even more difficult scenario to deal with.

And we have to handle the personal hurt we feel.

Again this is different for the true Christian because there is a spiritual sensing involved that adds to the intellectual and emotional negative experience we may be having.

Paul the apostle tells us of his personal heartfelt – intellectual/emotional/spiritual experience when he says:

Romans 9:1-3 New King James Version (NKJV)

Israel’s Rejection of Christ

9 I tell the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Spirit, 2 that I have great sorrow and continual grief in my heart. 3 For I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my countrymen according to the flesh,

This was not just being sorrowful over someones situation, condition or experience, but he was also sharing God’s burden. Entering in to sharing God’s heart.

Jesus reveals His burden to us, as the Son of God,  when He gives us insight into His heart of love and concern for His people. On this occasion regarding the Jews blindness to the Messiah:

Jesus Weeps over Jerusalem

41 Now as He drew near, He saw the city and wept over it, 42 saying, “If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. 43 For days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment around you, surround you and close you in on every side, 44 and level you, and your children within you, to the ground; and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not know the time of your visitation.”

He was also speaking prophetically as one who knew the future and their future.

So this was not just the heart of the human Jesus breaking, but the heart of The Son of God also.

That which is coming upon the earth – is increasing the spiritual heaviness, and the spiritual dearth, and Christians are conscious of this, sometimes more than others.

As a response to these negative and spiritually heavy times, we can only set ourselves to endure. Set ourselves to remain faithful to seek our solace in Christ through prayer and worship and fellowship, searching out true believers, and real genuine friends.

Regardless of how many times we are disappointed by the behaviour of others, Christian and non-Christian alike, we must set ourselves to seek first the kingdom of God. Take strength from the many great biblical examples of true men and women of God – the cloud of witnesses who have endured and gone before us into the eternal presence of God.

Hebrews 12:1-3 New King James Version (NKJV)

12 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Fry

Fry

Rustle up some grub

As hands are rubbed-in-friction together

Get the smell of bacon on the fry

Leave that window half-open

And let the draught enhance our smell

With it’s seasoning of quiet sigh

Set the table with fresh tablecloth

And make a good display

Cups and saucers, knives and forks

Sauce if you wish and pepper spray

Watch the gulping appreciation

Of you and I

Smiles and laughter at how we devour

What we have been waiting for at this hour

Impressionably irretrievably indelibly…

IMPRESSIONABLY

IRRETRIEVABLY INDELIBLY

Those were the days of my youth

You can’t change it

Turn yourself inside-out

And you can’t change it

The years have fallen like a pack of cards

And will not be put back in place

We have shuffled through time

And we find – ourselves

Emotionally –  irretrievably

Visiting our past

And gluing these memories

To six vinyl records, one old kaftan,

a bunch of magazines, a hippie hat

And a partridge in a pear tree

Long-grass ‘hippied’-through

With laughter

As the persistence of memory

In flights of fancy returns us to longing

And embracing of new faces

Time is the enemy that stops us

changing places with our by-gone’s

We can’t change this clock

The time in this watch is set

To go-off some place else

Other than fair memory-gatherings

Of moments of youth

Couched now in emotion’s hand

All generations have been similarly effected

And similarly are unable to retrieve

The experiences of the upside of life

It was all possible in those days

When music played its anthem to

Our manifesto of taste

And we – all-heads-together agreed

Speaking and talking the same language

This persistent movement of time

Will not allow us to return

Our wonderful days are gone

Our bodies creak with age

Our minds revisit but cannot visit

The days are gone

‘Things ain’t what they used to be’

But impact has been made

Indelible is the feelings returned to – 

These are the springs of youth

That linger in old age

The highlights of the journey

The best sought moments

Are the best thought moments

This is so strong – tight rope walking

Between hope and melancholy

Still we cannot reach the past

We cannot go back

Though back we would go

In a minute

If only we could

Our life consists of this

But shining brightest and

Strongest of life’s sum

Is what got – into us

First time round

When our teenage minds

Opened like flowers

to the possibilities of a new world

Always sought – but always gone

In a moment

Grasped – but slipping away

I can only tell you of what I have found

With feet firmly on the ground

Affections set on things above

Full provision for the journey is made

The past and the future

No longer memories to make

In the future eternal now

Hero

HERO

The heroine could – no hero find

She looked around –

and encountered every day

Nominees for the laurel crown

But no one worthy could be found

She looked with a long take

Or glimpsed for a short time

The behaviour and way they moved

How they treated ladies

And how they cut a caper

How they studied and searched the paper

How their frowns were worn

And how their clothes were crisp or torn

What they cared about

And if confidence was deserved

Or prideful arrogance

caused their loss of doubt

She continued her search

Until the dawn of a new year

left her quest undone and unwon

No hero was to be found –

it proved an uneventful task

Having reached the end of her tether

And having given up her study

A young boy lent a helping hand

To his mother

As she shuffled across the

cobblestoned street

This at last was her hero

as his heart was in the right place

And he gladly lent his hand

Without the mother’s demand

Though young – he knew –

and didn’t need to be told

That his precious mother was

his best friend indeed

So our heroine went to shake his hand

And asked “Will you be my hero?”

“Of course” was his reply

Without even asking why

The few-and-far-between’s of Art Conversation

The few-and-far-between’s of Art conversation:

‘Converse intelligently’ was what he said

That’s what he was looking for

Nothing like that around here

Nothing remotely like intelligent conversation

on art – it’s maxed-out at that puerile comment:

“looks just like a photograph – and how long did it take?”

No nuances of observation in that field of looking

No appreciation of Van Gogh breaking new ground

“Just marks on a piece of paper”

is an intelligent observation or the voice of ignorance

all depending on the context of the remark

about the marks made

“A child could have done that”

said to prohibit an adult from doing so

No room here for a perfect rhyme in paint

Painted with the eye of the adult

who manages to reclaim his lost or dying years

or taps into his childhood innocence

The art critics of the uninformed

Prosaic eyes in unstudied heads –

from plain-wallpapered minds

No hope of stirring further interest –

They think originality –

a misnomer of a dictionary definition –

so thought – 

as made up by thoughts of stunted growth

Some just won’t take the time

And sure it doesn’t come naturally to them

So what can they do?

Don’t be too harsh or hard on them

It’s in you – or it isn’t – will have to do

Go some place else to talk your nuances

Withdraw into your chosen class of three or four

Pick those who have been smitten by the where’s and

why-for’s of art and all it’s wonderful debate

Remaining Option

REMAINING OPTION

Sometimes we encounter a person who seems totally insensitive, regarding how they treat their fellow human beings.

We could mention – i.e. explore – delve into – the many reasons they have ended up like this in their character and lifestyle.

The challenge when we are on the receiving end of their folly and they treat us unjustly, unfairly, without due consideration of where we are at – is to ask the above person(s), questions in an attempt to find reasons (usually underlying unresolved hurts) why we are receiving their unacceptable attitude and behaviour.

Empathetically responding when we are on the receiving end of their immaturity. This ain’t easy to do – is it?

We, left to our own devices will react and put them right. An angry exchange usually takes place as we unnecessarily defend ourselves in response to their false accusations or attack.

At the same time we must consider the possibility that some folks are hell-bent on not changing. They don’t want help, and don’t perhaps even see the need for it.

From a Christian point of view when they refuse to entertain our helping hand or calm reason – we have one remaining option. 

Pray for them.

Matthew 5:44

But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

Shopping Young

SHOPPING YOUNG

The shoe-shop experience

Calling all lads

In your prime of youth

Just ignore me

If the criteria is twenties thirties

I’ve nothing to say – you might say

But cast your mind back

To the – ‘I too’ time

When I was looking for fashion

Mind you…well never mind…

But here’s the thing – you get your kicks

On shop excursions into the unknown

Eyes light on new stock

Time flies by – as you are self-absorbed

And absorbed with what’s before your eyes

You ponder and try-on and waltz around

You put on / take off and generally spy upon

All delights of shape and pattern

Of feel and length and size

Changing the light – seen-in –

And looking sideways and leaning-in

You perform some fun-caper

While your friends banter back

You want your wage packet to stretch

a week – non-stop spending spree

No thought for frugality – just the need to get

Who – you are trying to impress

Starts with you – before others

Part of being young and handsome?

Or not so handsome needing the help of clothes

Anyway either way – it’s a pastime of yours

Spending on-line or off

You still prefer that wander and dander

In-and-out of stores

On your day-off

Coffee offered in some

You have bought –

Orange, green or gold

You fit the mould

Of youth looking for love

Mr. Jones

MR. JONES

And regardless of your generation

Regardless of your notched-up years few or many

You know for a second or two

Or for hours into days

That something is amiss

But you can’t quite put your finger on it –

Can you Mr. Jones?

 

You try to be different – set a path of no confusion

Maybe stay in the background even at the office party

But you are drawn-in and spat out

Hurt again – second set – of ten times

Maybe the answer lies within – but within you find a prison

So maybe outgoing – from scene to scene

Is where the answer is – that you hope to glean

Determined not to lie down – you lie-in – instead

Sleeping through till a new task alarms your rise

This person is wandering on through –

Life’s journey on track – but mostly – askew

They are giving away their years in pursuit of happiness

Over there is the side of the pit

The quarry has been dug – but

you’ve enough sense remaining

to give it a miss

Haven’t you Mr. Jones?

 

The old Ecclesiastes is suddenly by your side

With nothing new under the sun

You’ve tried it and bought the T-shirt

But you are still confused

You’ve done that too – far flung journeys I mean

To find your place – but it wears-off

Like the sole of your shoe

You think you are all washed-up

Don’t you Mr. Jones?

 

But there’s a light on the horizon

A horizon comes into view

You haven’t seen it before

And It’s dimensions are unfamiliar

I tell you now it isn’t cool as cool defined is known

So let me easily knock you off-course

As you find no fellowship to explore

You just have to settle for the status quo

Don’t you Mr. Jones?

The Countryman

The Countryman

Cutting down the thorny bushes

splitting wood right up the middle

takes it’s toll in huffs and puffs

Progress made in stacked piles

Places cleared and looking new

like new surroundings lost and found

The country man – man of the soil

Thrusts his daily scythe

and digs his spade in sods of dirt

The countryman is a half-townie-lad

Likes a beer and a monologue

“That will do” he often says

Climbing back on tractor seat

Starting up

he can hear above it’s crackling shiver

Dirty clothes in daily grime

He reasons: “I’m clean” – if jacket left-off

Clean-shaven once in a blue moon

Sleeps in a rocking chair

Then back to the sheep

Intellect buzzing on cow techniques

Amusement creeps-in on the stage of farms

Funny mishaps and the odd alarm

He’ll be glad to converse about hay and history

History of hay that is…

And if he smokes –

he raises a pipe to panting puffs

And leans on the byre with studious look

As though these moments

were time stood still

Early mornings and late nights

He’s content to mix his pleasure

With his work

And to take a brew of tea

If you’re offering

Brought in a can

To the countryman

Failure

Failure

I think it is safe to say that every human being suffers from a sense of failure in their life, at some point.

We can say that this is real or imaginary.

Questions get ravelled-up together. Questions such as – what is the purpose of life anyway? Or what have I really done with my life? Why have I not been more successful? Why do I not get invited to the party? Why can I not pass this driving test?

And so on…

Most of these have a sense of failure pending or following.

Not wanting to be boastful/big headed – we can be the first to admit that others seem to excel where we have failed.

But if we are at all logical – then we can add to the mix – ‘well what is success anyway?’

We have raised two or three children who are all doing well, who are solid and not neurotic or dysfunctional, but who perhaps themselves, lead a good home with balanced offspring.

Whereas over here the head of a multi-million pound/dollar conglomerate – a millionaire – well, his children are rebellious and in rehab.

So who has been successful in this scenario?

We learn then that success is comparative.

Truth is, we are all failures. And can still find acceptance in Christ. Who clears the conscience, and loves the unlovely me.

But in these days what is put forward as important and representing real success, has changed. And will go on changing. Not for the better – in it’s abandonment of what is of real value.

The predominant values of the society we live in are the result of the majority-held views. Views that build up in the psyche of the citizens of the place we dwell in. Then there is the world view.

There comes a mental blindness with this. When common decency is replaced with something else, building up to confusion running rampant.

The words of the old classic hymn come to mind:

On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;

All other ground is sinking sand,

All other ground is sinking sand.

I stand appreciating The Victor who took my place on a cross, and who offers the gift of His success and acceptance, making such as I, a king and a priest unto God.

Revelation 1/6

And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.