Feeds:
Posts
Comments

IMG_3612

You know it’s springtime in Washington State when you are seized by an overwhelming urge to battle tourists and traffic in the fertile farmland of Skagit County.

Much of the year, this rural area about an hour north of Seattle is fairly calm and civilized. But the when the daffodils and tulips come out to play, we all head towards the burgeoning bulb fields like moths towards light.

We go by car, by bike, by trike, by bus. We intermingle with tourists from all over the world, particularly Japan. We stop to take pictures of everything in our REI sombreros and high tech windbreakers. In a way, it’s hilarious, but it is a glorious backyard to have, and you’ll soon see why. (Click on any photo to get the full effect.)

When you arrive in the valley, you immediately start scanning for fields in bloom. You first find fascinating old barns and gorgeous vistas.

IMG_3568

Oh, what’s that? Look, a bright band of yellow! You’re getting closer.

IMG_3578

A view to the east, towards the Cascade foothills, down an endless path.

IMG_3584

Patriotic donkeys! These are some of the absolutely adorable miniature donkeys of JF Ranch. You can read more about this breed on their website, Miniature Donkey Information. These guys are so cute and evidently are native to Sicily and Sardinia.

IMG_3589

Aaahhhh… daffodils… billions and billions of fluffy bursts of joyous sunshine…

IMG_3596

The area’s Tulip Route is clearly denoted by road signs. One of the more popular places to traipse around the tulips is at Roozengaarde on Beaver Marsh Road. The colors make you ooh and aah before you even get around the hedge and in the front gate. Tulip Town is another popular stop.

IMG_3602

Roozengaarde provides a taste of Holland and a little Dr. Seuss as well. Looks like the windmill and tree had a stern chat one night. Also, I don’t know who that guy is, but he was in a lot of people’s photos… Roozengaarde Man.

IMG_3604

I will look at them in a box, I will look at them with a fox, I will look at them with a mouse, I took some home to put in our house…

IMG_3607

Two bluegrass musicians provided atmosphere as flower lovers followed the winding bands of color. Roozengaarde changes up the layout every year and is the largest bulb producer in the U.S., with a thousand acres of daffodils, tulips, and irises.

IMG_3610

Many people posed by this angular tree that stretched out its arms like a protective mother hen over its multihued neighbors.

IMG_3613

Mm hmm. I saw Fabio (again, joke for those who know about the other Fabio incident). Roozengaarde has a display of their many varieties of tulips in alphabetical order. This fiery, fringed fellow was one of many with colorful monikers.

IMG_3615

When you snatch the pebble from my hand, it will be time for you to leave… -Master Po

Roozengaarde also has a Ninja tulip.

IMG_3619

The wonders of tulips planted in perfect OCD order (right to left). Although, as I have been told, if you’re truly OCD, you’d call it CDO.

IMG_3623

Beyond the gardens, the real treasure, the fields…

IMG_3626

Look what magnificence springs up from the ground… Around the time I took this photo, I saw a little girl who was about 2 1/2 walking down a row nearby. Boof. Suddenly she was gone. Thankfully her mom quickly snatched her from the mud.

IMG_3627

IMG_3629

There was a whole field of daffodils, and then these renegades, happily growing right on the beaten path. “Bloom where you’re planted,” they said.

IMG_3636

Coming back into the formal gardens, you find yourself at The Edge. Now I can say I’ve been to the edge and back. This called for some U2, Until the End of the World.

IMG_3638

Happy, happy, happy people on a 70 degree day under a marshmallow sky…

IMG_3639

More bounteous beauty…

IMG_3646

IMG_3651

Here I was trying to capture the plants growing on this unusual tree just before the exit. I wound up with something very Lothlorien. But that’s okay; Tolkien Reading Day was just March 25th.

IMG_3656

More roadside scenery. In places like this cars park all over the sides of the road and we scamper like locusts on the edges of the fields.

IMG_3657

It is said that twelve Highlanders and a bagpipe make a rebellion. Here we have just two Bò Ghàidhealach who calmly surveyed their audience while chewing their cud. Click here to learn more about Highland Cattle.

IMG_3660

On a sharp curve I was delighted to find artist Christine Sharp (C. Sharp), a founding member of the Kirkland, Washington arts community, spreading her thoughts out on canvas. You can view more of Christine’s unique landscapes on the Sharp Art Gallery Facebook page.

IMG_3666

IMG_3668

It was interesting to watch tourists not dressed for the occasion trying to navigate these deep, slippery ruts in order to have their picture taken in the tulips.

IMG_3671

People from a planet without flowers would think we must be mad with joy the whole time to have such things about us. -Iris Murdoch

IMG_3673

You will find stands like this selling flowers all over the valley.

IMG_3675

Further down the road I found members of the Russian invasion. Swans and snow geese come to north Snohomish and Skagit Counties every winter to feed in the farmland. Tens of thousands of them can be seen both on land and in the air. See Swans and snow geese are here for the winter (The Herald), as well as the official website for the Port Susan Snow Goose & Birding Festival.

IMG_3676

When you visit Skagit County, you usually visit La Conner as well. It’s a favorite weekend getaway for Washingtonians, full of interesting shops like Nasty Jack’s, below. Their art galleries, antique shops, home decor stores, brewery, museums, and restaurants are all easy to walk to and they have some nice lodging options.

IMG_3692

La Conner sits on the Swinomish Channel, an 11-mile band of saltwater that divides Fidalgo Island from the mainland. Ever caught a ferry in Anacortes? Anacortes, another wonderful place to hang out, where my great-great-grandfather built a hotel in 1915, sits on the northern part of the island. It’s a gateway to Guemes and other islands, including the San Juans.

On the other side of the channel from La Conner is the Swinomish Reservation. You can see some of the tribe’s pavilions, built to resemble traditional cedar hats, in the background.

IMG_3695

Northwest Coastal-type art on a building for rent. The nearby Swinomish are Coast Salish.

IMG_3700

Swans and geese and… some other cute guy (fifth from the left) enjoying food and fellowship. If you are in a fairly quiet place, you can turn off your engine and listen to them talking to each other. It’s fascinating.

IMG_3704

Up Valentine Road on the south side of the valley is the Pleasant Ridge Cemetery, the oldest in Skagit County. It is beautifully cared for and some of the headstones have been painstakingly repaired. It is a place for quiet contemplation and respect, not somewhere to let the dogs out of the car or for kids to run around.

IMG_3718

In these plots you will find graves ranging from those of well-known Skagit County pioneers like the Andersons and Chilbergs right up to the present day. Visit Magnus Anderson, carpenter, farmer and host at Fir (Skagit River Journal) for their stories.

IMG_3715

In keeping with the agricultural theme, I noted this marker for a well-loved man, Russell Nelson, who evidently was an excellent farmer (see the emphatic last line).  What a fitting memorial!

IMG_3720

She’s still there. The plight of this history-rich old building makes me sick. Some might remember my detailed post on the Pleasant Ridge School from last year. The schoolhouse was built in 1891 and in service until 1930. Since then efforts to save her have fallen through, and she’s been slowly rotting away in this field. There’s now even more clutter, including a dilapidated travel trailer, encroaching upon her from the house next door, which is likely part of the same parcel.

It will soon be too late for this grand dame, and I sincerely hope that she can be saved from the ravages of time. It is shameful that this iconic piece of Skagit County history is in this condition. She needs a champion.

IMG_3723

The view north from the corner of Pleasant Ridge where it rejoins the main road.

IMG_3724

Stopping at the Snow Goose for seafood, vegetables, wine, yard art, flowers, and a whopper of an ice cream cone is a tradition for area residents and visitors alike. Almost 50 flavors, from both the Lopez Island Creamery and Cascade Glacier, are served in huge handmade waffle cones. Many people pose for photos with their monster treats along the roadside. There are other farm stands to stop at too, including Pleasant Ridge Farm, which has awesome local cider.

IMG_3727

Avian aerial acrobatics! These shots represent just a portion of how many birds were actually present. It was amazing to watch against the swirling cerulean sky.

IMG_3735

IMG_3740

You will find many old barns and farmhouses in Skagit County. Undoubtedly each has many stories to tell. You can even go on a tour of historic barns in the area– check out this Historic Barn Tour guide.

IMG_3742

Just west of I-5 is the small town of Conway, in which the Fir-Conway Lutheran Church has been serving the community since 1888. The current building was dedicated in 1916. It’s kept in beautiful shape and there were men outside working on it as I took this shot.

IMG_3750

Going through Conway means stopping and seeing what Tony Stinson’s up to. You might remember his giant hammer from my 2012 post. Tony is a carpenter who can make… just about anything.

IMG_3751

Conway is well-known for its Pub and Eatery, the Conway Muse, and its antique shops as well. Be sure to stop into Kitty Jean’s Antiques behind the post office as well. Her compassion for animals is remarkable and unless you stop by you won’t see why.

You can find more information on the Skagit County Tulip Festival’s official website. For us locals the festival is about flowers, farms, food, art, animals, birds, supporting area businesses– many things. But the crowning glory of springtime in the Skagit Valley is the menagerie of daffodils and tulips that blanket the earth like broad sweeps of the Master Painter’s brush.

*************************************************************************************

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed–and gazed–but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

-William Wordsworth, I Wander’d Lonely as a Cloud

*************************************************************************************

©2015 H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com. All articles/posts on this blog are copyrighted original material that may not be reproduced in part or whole in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com.

From Slooh.com

From Slooh.com

Do you Slooh? Mr. Brown can Slooh, can you?

St. Patrick’s Day is a great time to get to know Slooh, an online community observatory, because they’re featuring a very green event:

On his journey to the total solar eclipse at the ends of the Earth, Slooh Observatory Engineer Paul Cox will be making a stop in Iceland to marvel at the Northern Lights. Slooh will be putting on a live show, letting you see Paul’s experience through incredible imagery being broadcast in real time throughout the show.

Click on The St. Patty’s Day Icelandic Aurorae to learn more or watch live.

I should also take this opportunity to plug two of my favorite Irish blogs, The Irish Aesthete, which showcases vintage Irish art and architecture, meticulously documenting the stories behind it, and Ed Mooney Photography. Eddie’s a dedicated ruin hunter who documents old castles and historical sites, often in striking black and white shots. Feast your eyes on the riches of Ireland at both sites.

Éire Go Brách!

Dunluce Castle

*************************************************************************************

If one could only teach the English how to talk, and the Irish how to listen, society here would be quite civilized. –Oscar Wilde

*************************************************************************************

©2014 H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com. All articles/posts on this blog are copyrighted original material that may not be reproduced in part or whole in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com.

Pi

Originally posted 3/14/14. For 3/14/15, especially at 9:26:53, check out Celebrate Pi Day At 5 Of Seattle’s Best Spots For Pie and Going full circle for math and pastries on a special Pi Day. Vegan and gluten-free Flying Apron in Fremont and Redmond is offering $3.14 slices of pie all day, including mixed berry, apple, chocolate mint cream, and pecan.

***

March 14th is Pi Day. Get it? 3/14– 3.14? Next year it gets even better– it will be 3/14/15– the first few digits of pi are 3.1415. Awesome, right?

What is pi? Math.com says:

Pi is a name given to the ratio of the circumference of a circle to the diameter. That means, for any circle, you can divide the circumference (the distance around the circle) by the diameter and always get exactly the same number. It doesn’t matter how big or small the circle is, Pi remains the same. Pi is often written using the symbol π and is pronounced “pie”, just like the dessert.

Pi Savage Chickens

Wherever a circle is, there is pi. Pi is important. Pi is a mathematical constant. As Scott Sabol’s blog states:

PI is used in most calculations in the fundamental development of all infrastructure, communications, quantum physics, music theory, medical procedures, DNA; propulsion systems for air travel, space and military aircraft.

Let’s not forget that pi was used in King Solomon’s time, is Einstein’s birthday (3/14– so cool considering pi is used in the theory of relativity), and came in handy when Spock defeated a diabolical computer by telling it to compute to the last digit of pi. You can find these and 47 other great facts about pi at 50 Interesting Facts About Pi.

(Wouldn’t that be a great child discipline tool? Kid, don’t you even think about coming out of that corner until you’ve recited the thousandth digit of pi!! Next time you apply copious amounts of glitter nail polish to your baby brother’s eyebrows, it’ll be ten thousand. Got it?!) 

Pi Circles

Pi has been calculated to over 10 trillion digits in recent years. You can view a million digits of pi at the Pi Day website (ooooh, ahhhh). Some mathematically minded people like to memorize pi– Chao Lu of China has recited nearly 68,000 of pi’s digits from memory.

Are you up to the challenge? See who else you’re competing against at the Pi World Ranking List. Here’s a screen shot:

Pi World Ranking List

Here in the Seattle area, you should keep an eye out for $3.14 pie specials. All PCC Markets, for example, are featuring 5 inch pies for $3.14. In the past the 3.14 Bakery in White Center has had them, and Pie in Fremont is offering deals from noon to 3:14 P.M. That’s appropriate considering Pi Day officially starts at 1:59 P.M. (3.14159).

Pi Octopi

If you really want to geek out (isn’t it glorious?), join me in listening to what the first few dozen digits of pi sound like. Yes, Kate Bush sang about pi and there are other pieces out there, but I like how this guy thinks. Happy Pi Day all!

*************************************************************************************

Mathematics is the language in which God has written the universe.

-Galileo Galilei

*************************************************************************************

©2014 H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com. All articles/posts on this blog are copyrighted original material that may not be reproduced in part or whole in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com.

I Stand With Bibi

Israeli Flag

On March 3rd, 2015, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will address the United States Congress. Simply put, he is trying to stop the Iranians from building nuclear weapons. His country’s very existence is on the line.

Critics say this is grandstanding to garner more votes in an upcoming election, or that it’s an attempt to undermine Obama. The anti-Semites are out in force as well. Don’t be deceived. This is one of the bravest, most daring moves undertaken by a national leader in modern times and the entire human race stands to benefit. Some are comparing Netanyahu to Churchill in the 1930s, like Steve Forbes:

Why Netanyahu, The Churchill Of Our Time, Must Speak Before Congress

Like Winston Churchill in the 1930s with Nazi Germany, Netanyahu has been sounding the alarm about Iran’s ominous nuclear and terrorist activities.

It’s a message much of Europe and even segments of the US, particularly in the Obama administration, don’t want to hear. The President has made clear his intense dislike of Israel’s prime minister and his refusal to keep quiet about Obama’s desire to conclude a Neville Chamberlain-like deal with Teheran. In a flagrant interference in another country’s election, Obama operatives are working hard in Israel to help bring down the courageous Prime Minister.

Congress needs to hear first-hand the truth about what Iran is doing and the dreadful implications of those activities.

 Netanyahu’s boldness and purpose was aptly analyzed by Joel Rosenberg, an expert on the Middle East, as well:

Why does Netanyahu want to address Congress? He once explained in an interview with me that he sees a threat most do not. Excerpts from that conversation.

Because he understands something too few in the West do – that the most serious threat we face today is not simply from “Radical Islam,” but from “Apocalyptic Islam.”

“I think the West misunderstood, and still misunderstands, the threat” posed by Iran, Mr. Netanyahu told me during a 2007 interview for a documentary film I was producing.

“It is a fanatic, messianic ideology that seeks to have an apocalyptic battle for world supremacy with the West. It seeks to correct what it sees as an accident of history, where the West has risen, and Islam had declined.  The correction is supposed to be done by the resurrection of an Islamic empire and the acquisition of nuclear weapons and the use of nuclear weapons, if necessary, to obliterate Islam’s enemies, and to subjugate the rest.”

I'm With Bibi

Why do I stand with Israel? Here are some of the reasons, from my 2012 post Stand With Israel:

Because I believe in freedom

Because I believe in democratic republics

Because I believe in the rights of women and children

Because I don’t believe in supporting terrorism, madmen, hatred, bigotry, dictators, bullies, or anyone calling for an entire race of people to be wiped from the face of the earth

Because we’ve already learned what happens when genocidal maniacs target the Jews

Because I don’t believe that the horrors of the past should be repeated

Because God said these are His people and He will bless those who bless them

Because this tiny country is a blazing beacon of hope in a sea of darkness

Because America needs a strong ally in the Middle East

Because I believe that peace will rule if Israel is not attacked

Because my faith was born in this region and its Leader will return to it again

Because Christians by nature should stand against anti-Semitism

Because their very survival is an example of God’s divine intervention

Because it is through their people that the greatest promises God has ever made have been and will continue to be fulfilled I stand with Israel.

This is one American who is proud to stand with Israel and defend their right to defend themselves. I would never stand idly by if someone were desiring to hurt or kill my family and I and I don’t expect the nation of Israel to do that either.

Israel, know that there are many Americans who stand with you and we are sending prayers to heaven on your behalf.

I don’t believe it’s an accident that Netanyahu’s speech is falling on the eve of Purim, the Jewish holiday that celebrates their deliverance from genocide through Esther. Prophecy News Watch had a fascinating article about this:

Why Religious Jews See A Parallel Between The Netanyahu-Obama Rift On Iran And The Bible’s Book Of Esther

Some religious leaders have noted that the same kind of break in protocol was key to the Jews’ redemption in the Book of Esther. The Jewish holiday of Purim, which this year is celebrated March 5, marks Esther’s success in her mission to thwart Haman’s destructive plan.

“Remarkably, this is not the first time the issue of protocol lies at the heart of an Iranian threat to destroy the Jewish people,” Yeshiva University Professor Rabbi Benjamin Blech wrote in an article for the Jewish educational organization Aish Hatorah. “There is biblical precedent. Eerily echoing today’s story, the Book of Esther recounts the first recorded instance of attempted genocide against Jews in the ancient empire of Persia, today known as Iran.”

The article goes on to hit on the heart of this whole matter:

Goldberg recalled a lesson shared by the late Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik, considered one of the leading rabbinical figures of Orthodox Judaism. Purim is often celebrated as commemorating a miracle, but Soloveitchik offered a unique view on what the real miracle was.

“A madman rose and articulated his intentions to destroy the Jewish people. The miracle was that we didn’t ignore him, we didn’t excuse him, and we didn’t seek to reinterpret him. The miracle was that we actually believed him and sought to do something about it,” Goldberg wrote, citing Soloveitchik’s lesson.

Standing with Israel, an ally and beacon of freedom in a tumultuous region in which people are being raped, beheaded, enslaved, burned to death, and otherwise exterminated, is a no brainer to me. Yet our government is trying to negotiate with madmen who put on a good front but have insidious ulterior motives.

Netanyahu is trying to prevent nuclear annihilation. What would you do if extremists wanted to kill you and everyone like you? Stand back and let others who might not have your best interests in mind try to work out some mutually agreeable deal? No. You would do whatever you have to do to stop them. This is what he, King Abdullah of Jordan, and Egyptian President al-Sisi are trying to do.

Amidst Obama retreat from Mideast, three regional leaders are forming a quiet but fiercely determined alliance against Iran & ISIS. Israeli PM Netanyahu, Jordan’s King Abdullah II & Egyptian President el-Sisi face high stakes. Will they succeed?

Ultimately, I must revisit my 2013 post Caprica is Burning to detail why it’s so important that Bibi Netanyahu be taken seriously and treated with respect.

This is a time that our nation’s leaders must be making uncompromising, unequivocal, fearless statements that we will not tolerate these threats. It doesn’t matter what party they are; their top priority should be the defense of the American people. We should be strategically eliminating these threats before they can carry out their arrogant promises. We should make an example of them before other megalomaniacs become so bold.

I will conclude with the same video I posted then, a depiction of nuclear war from the sci fi series Battlestar Galactica. Yes, without decisive action, this is our possible future.

See also:

The Obama-Netanyahu fight over Iran, explained

Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu

IDF Blog

You can also contact Prime Minister Netanyahu via his website and let him know his resolve is appreciated.

*************************************************************************************

Peace is purchased from strength. It’s not purchased from weakness or unilateral retreats. -Benjamin Netanyahu

*************************************************************************************

©2015 H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com. All articles/posts on this blog are copyrighted original material that may not be reproduced in part or whole in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com.

Carlton Complex Video

A Pateros homeowner sent me this video, which illustrates just how devastating the Carlton Complex Fires of last summer were. People in that area are still struggling with homelessness and to meet their everyday needs. The effort to assist survivors is ongoing– please visit the Carlton Complex Recovery site to learn more.

Note the fire right next to the road… the flashlight seen on the hill near the burning houses… the moment when the power goes out… the call to evacuate over the loudspeakers, and how this region looked like utter darkness ablaze during the daytime.

Also see Pateros Needs Your Help! and Pateros in Flames. Remember, most of the survivors are not receiving government assistance. They are dependent upon the goodness of others and their own efforts.

*************************************************************************************

If there is any kindness I can show, or any good thing I can do to any fellow being, let me do it now, and not deter or neglect it, as I shall not pass this way again. –William Penn

*************************************************************************************

©2015 H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com. All articles/posts on this blog are copyrighted original material that may not be reproduced in part or whole in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com.

Rom-Halan

Today we learned that Leonard Nimoy, best known as Spock in the Star Trek television series and movies, passed away. A coworker brought this tribute to my attention, Leonard Nimoy, Spock of ‘Star Trek,’ Dies at 83.

Spock’s not supposed to die. He comes back. This is like hearing that Dr. Seuss has entered the great beyond. It’s not possible– is it?

Many younger people don’t know that Nimoy released a handful of albums containing both pop music and the spoken word. He had a rich, melodious voice, and as a kid I discovered the above track that epitomized Spock’s worldview, Highly Illogical.

For those who don’t know (as the car insurance commercial says, have you been living under a rock?), Spock was a product of a Vulcan (alien) father and human mother. He wrestled with his two worlds, one which was very scientific and– yep– logical, and the other which could be reactionary and emotional.

Perhaps what made the Spock character so popular is that we, part flesh and part spirit, can relate to this conflict. We are not the original design; we are a creation corrupted by our own choices, so we spend our lives warring between what we want to do and what we ought to do. We struggle with two identities, the temporal and the eternal.

C.S. Lewis said, “Humans are amphibians…half spirit and half animal…as spirits they belong to the eternal world, but as animals they inhabit time. This means that while their spirit can be directed to an eternal object, their bodies, passions, and imaginations are in continual change, for to be in time, means to change. Their nearest approach to constancy, therefore, is undulation–the repeated return to a level from which they repeatedly fall back, a series of troughs and peaks.”

That’s logical to me. Spock struggled with this and in him we recognized parts of ourselves.

Rest in peace, Leonard Nimoy.

*************************************************************************************

©2015 H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com. All articles/posts on this blog are copyrighted original material that may not be reproduced in part or whole in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com.

Try and Try Again

This week I was struck by the power of Death Cab for Cutie’s video for Black Sun. 

We Northwesterners have been enveloped by the sounds of Death Cab for nearly two decades now, and while I don’t agree with some of their politics or lyrics, certain songs reach down deep. They also have a way of translating our local precipitation into wispy, whispering ruminations.

Black Sun has been said to be a commentary on the pain and ugliness of divorce. To me the video reads as one person knocking themselves out to try and please another who hardly notices. And it reminded me of a friend’s recent commentary on the challenges of trying to find the right person. After a few wash, rinse, repeat cycles, to borrow words from another friend, the act of trying again can become more trial and task than a voyage of discovery.

While going about the usual mundane tasks this week a light bulb went on somewhere in the front left compartment of my mind, just beyond the grocery list and reminder to fix some squeaky hinges. I already know this, but this time it stood out like neon lights on stilts against an inky central Washington sky: with the right person, you will be more of yourself, not less. You will not have to compromise who you are.

How many of us have been in relationships in which we had to tone down who we are, what we love, and what we stand for in order to please another? That’s not what a relationship, particularly a marriage, is supposed to be. Marriage should be the one place in which you can be completely naked with another human being without shame, utterly yourself with your whole soul on display. On this sacred ground darkness and light can both be exposed in the safety of the shelter formed by the continual intertwining of two imperfect human beings.

That’s not what the world tells us. It’s not what most relationships in our spheres of influence teach us. Our race, the human race, has come to accept far less than what we were originally designed for. Go back to the garden. Did the first man look at the first woman and say, “you’ll do?” No. He would have been captivated by how different from himself she was and yet how wonderfully she complemented his own character and interests. He would have seen her as a marvelous gift, an enigma begging to be explored, an alien entity whose personality invited him into all its tantalizing twists and turns. I’m sure she was at least as entranced by him.“Who is he?” she thought as her heart stood still in a timeless and ethereal moment.

But here, in this time, the human race has become largely self-absorbed. We go out into the world asking what other people can do for us rather than what we can do for them. Many suffer from the delusion that an initial sexual attraction is spark enough to sustain a potentially lifetime-long relationship. There has to be a multidimensional framework to hold that up. We’ve lost track of what constitutes successful relationships– common values, common goals, mutual interests, a commitment to becoming more like our Creator, Love Himself.

So we go on the prowl and find that it’s so easy to join the other contenders are splashing around in the shallow end of the dating pool. “No expectations!” they say. “Let’s just have fun and see what happens!” But there’s a tug at your heart as you wade around in the moral morass. You find yourself longer for something more. Something richer. Something deeper. It’s passionate. It’s primal. It’s like an unseen, magnetic force is drawing you to the deep end to experience something better than you’ve ever had planned. The garden is calling.

Unfortunately, there are those who will follow you to the deep end without having the actual fortitude to sustain a relationship at that level. Eventually they will panic and scramble back to the shallow end or drown. This can also happen when you’re a deep person hanging out in the shallow end. If both of you aren’t made of the same stuff, one or both ends of your union will start to sink. And sometimes it takes both people down. You find yourself alone, disillusioned, screaming at the universe, asking why you’ve been abandoned when you tried so hard and gave so much. Often the other person walks on like you weren’t even there in the first place.

So you try. And try again. And it seems like you keep finding the same people, or the same problems, or the same conditions. The quest for that one person can become an exercise in pain, an unnecessary drudgery, even torture. Like the man in this video, you might be practically killing yourself just to get one glance from the object of your affections. So you pull back. You start stuffing your hopes and dreams down into some forlorn hole in your metaphorical right pant leg. You start trying to be someone you’re not to get attention and please others. You begin to lose yourself. Internally it’s like you see yourself standing at 50,000 feet and are watching your soul tear lose from your body only to plunge down below the clouds.

The right person won’t make you feel this way. The right person isn’t going to walk past like you’re a ghost despite your best efforts. You shouldn’t have to tone down your personality, shave off parts of your intellect, and pretend to like things you detest to get the kind of relationship you want. The right man or woman will look upon you, warts and all, and love who you are and what you stand for. Being with them will encourage your strengths and build your uniqueness rather than tear that down. Your differences will complement one another and you will not lose the freedom to pursue your hopes and dreams. This is someone who will help you get there. This is someone with whom you will accomplish far more than you ever could have on your own. You will be more of who God intended you to be, not less. 

Do you hear what I’m saying? If you’re an intelligent person, and your potential mate is threatened by that, should they be your potential mate? If you’re a fun-loving person who could care less what other people think of your flamboyant interests and adventures, why join forces with someone who belittles some of your friends or activities? If you feel that you should raise children a certain way and want them to have particular ethics, why risk their futures by connecting with someone who’s not standing on the same moral ground? Yes, you’re going to have some hobbies she doesn’t, and relationships are work. You’re never going to agree on everything. There will be times you have to agree to disagree. But don’t compromise on the foundation.

As the singles among us go out there and try and try again, my advice to them is to know who you are and what you want, and walk away if you have to compromise your core characteristics or values. But be open to surprises. Sometimes the right person defies the picture you had in your head and turns out to be something even better. Sometimes a friend becomes something more. Sometimes the best answers are hiding in plain sight. Most of all, remember who your Creator made you to be and know that those passions and missions buried in the deepest part of your soul are from Him. That’s no accident, and He’s likely put someone else on the same trajectory who burns with a similar fire.

Whatever your approach to the dating game, you probably already know that there are hordes of self-absorbed people out there who will gladly treat you as a commodity no matter how good you are to them. To much of this world, you’re disposable. They’ll use you, beat you up, put your heart through a blender, and drive off in a cloud of dust without a second thought. But the more you come to realize that you were created as a unique individual with a specific purpose, the more you will gravitate towards like souls. The truer you are to yourself, the more courageously you’ll move out into the deep end of the human pool. You will learn to swim and not sink.

When you go out into the masses armed with the truth about who you are, the more likely it is that someday soon you’ll feel an electrifying glimmer of recognition– is it him? Could that be her? And if, in the course of the exploratory exercise of friendship, you discover that the real you is growing and thriving, and being continually invited out into the open, perhaps you have finally found that rare treasure the Creator has been preparing for you for years. During all that time you felt dejected and alone, He was at work causing your paths to meet and preparing that ancient memory to stir.

And the man or woman who drives away in the black car after smashing your heart to pieces will become little more than an afterthought fading into a distant past life.

*************************************************************************************

And I say also this. I do not think the forest would be so bright, nor the water so warm, nor love so sweet, if there were no danger in the lakes. –C.S. Lewis, Out of the Silent Planet

*************************************************************************************

©2015 H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com. All articles/posts on this blog are copyrighted original material that may not be reproduced in part or whole in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 267 other followers

%d bloggers like this: