“Why do you do these things?” Aldonza vehemently exclaimed. Several days earlier this man had entered their little town doing the most peculiar things.
Puzzled, Don Quixote replied, “What things?”
“These ridiculous … the things you do!”
“I hope to add some measure of grace to the world,” he said softly but with a strength she had never encountered before.
“The world’s a dung heap and we are maggots that crawl on it!”
Don Quixote answered with compassion, “My lady knows better in her heart.”
An apathetic comfortable conformity to the society in which one lives is the most subtle form of unconscious slavery. It’s nothing short of a suppression of the truth and of the abundant life.
When people (westerners) think of “the front lines” of battle or hardship, they often picture places that lack physical comfort and development, where wars, crime and terrorism reign and poverty dominates. Places like Syria, Afghanistan, Venezuela, South Sudan and Northern Uganda come to mind. Maybe one pictures the impoverished people living in the slums of Nairobi in Kenya or Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. Truly this is where the wars are being fought, right? Continue reading “The Front Lines” »
And as I am caught up into total surrender to The Master Artist, I become thrilled with something infinitely greater than myself
The maintenance and upkeep for just one person living in America is not easy. Between taxes, rent, student loans, cell-phone and car payments, medical insurance, self-image and style, clothing and appearance, peer-pressure and social or career status just to name a few major things, it’s difficult to keep up and sometimes even harder to keep track. In “The Land of The Free” we live completely under the burden of ourselves, a sort of slavery that is the furthest thing from freedom. We have no choice but to be forced into a system and a society that is utterly self-consumed and has to be in order to survive in it.
Oswald Chambers wrote that if a person gives in to selfishness, they will find it to be the most enslaving tyranny on earth. There’s nothing more incredible than having your perspective flipped on its head. When I first returned from Africa back in 2006, I realized with a new set of eyes that I had unknowingly lived in bondage. It was heartbreaking because I was suddenly made aware of the truth while others went about their lives completely unconscious of the slavery, having never known. Continue reading “The Burden of Self” »
On my last night in Ghana, I reunited with my lover for the first time somewhere other than the east coast of the U.S. This time, to my right she stretched out until reaching the shores of Brazil. Directly in front of me, her vastness lapped against the western coast of Africa before freezing against the tundra of Antarctica. Her 70° F water swirled around my feet and sucked back into her dark abyss. The breeze and aroma was exactly where I left it on the other side and to the north. Ever since I was a boy she captivated me and drew me near to her. It was her moods and her mystery but most of all, her presence that always left me so small and humble; a feeling unlike any other: a salty elixir that cannot be surpassed. Since the dawn of creation her waves have been in motion, never ceasing, her liquid-being older than time, a reflection of the Master Artist. I felt so blessed to live beside her, to work and inhabit a coastal town so dependent and in love with her. Of all the places and cities I could have ended up, my love of journalism and photography led me to my lover, where I truly belonged. Rather than inhabiting a place and career that would have diminished my time and creativity, I was blessed with the opportunity to be with her, in a place and a career that provided me with the time, space and creativity to do things that included venturing all the way to her other side to see her from a new perspective. The same feeling of love traveled with me to the beaches of Ghana’s capital Accra, except this time I was experiencing another part of my great love, quite literally. I thought of how it took months to journey across her in the past and still to this day, hours by airplane. The Atlantic, The Gulf of Guinea, crashed against the beach underneath subsaharan West Africa where I watched the same waves that break against me back on my beach at the end of 13th street in Ocean City, New Jersey. A world away, the only thing standing before me and my very street was her infinite expanse.
[photo by Carly Kilroy]