There’s a lot of ways a person can look at a door. Sometimes we can look at it like a bared way that we can never pass. Sometimes we can walk right by and ever wonder what lies behind it. Ireland had a lot to see but we didn’t enter in the door of many of the places we saw. Some places were actually a ruin but were still closed to the public. The times I treasured most were the ones that found us actually entering into a door to find what was beyond. Bars and gates can only hold you back if you don’t realize where the open door lies. Locks can only intimidate when you don’t have a key. Historically these walls served to protect and provide shelter to its residentsbut I felt no intimidation from these walls because in this era it was simply a relic of times past that couldn’t restrict me or hold me in. Now it was a place we could wander freely and even have some fun. I found myself drawn to the windows in this place and the freedom that lay beyond. I’m sure that back in the day this place was a tremendous strongholdbut now most walls were showing their age and the windows were no longer bared. There were no hidden bowmen or boiling oil awaiting the charge of an army full of knights. The way is open and clear. Its amazing how simply turning around you can see how dark and foreboding this place can appearyet all you have to do is turn around and you can see how easy it is to escape. Outside there was no shadow of turning and the rare sunlight was shinning brightly. Now the ramparts lie still and quiet. Beyond lies the green grass and freedom. I hear the echoes of a deep spiritual meaning here and I hear the whisper of God’s voice beckoning to take His hand and depart the walls of frustration. The place where my faith has struggled like a tiny plant in a cold grey wallis now a place that I am free to leave. Now hope springs up eternaland it’s time to come up again yet higher.
Thursday, June 23, 2011
This has been some week for us. For some time now we’ve been planning a trip to the Philippines but it’s been a thing shrouded in confusion and sense of hopelessness. This has changed as our church really got together on Father’s Day and addressed the purpose of this coming trip. It is times like this in which I find an eternal gratitude to God for our little church. We are not bound by a way of doing things and when there’s a need to pray we will do it at the drop of a hat. Our meeting brought great focus and a much needed sense of direction. We are set to proceed with our trip a month later than at first planned meaning Lovely and I and the kids will likely go in October…mom and part of the team will arrive a few weeks later then the other will come a couple weeks after that. Hopefully by then we will have secured a house. The team will be much smaller than we first intended but still my dear brother will be coming from Africa with another friend of ours from there and perhaps and African or two from Chicago. I sense a tremendous relief in it all! We will try to secure Filipino passports for the kids who are duel citizens. This makes a huge difference for us in customs in Manila. We then intend to proceed to Davao City where we will continue the work that we began so many years ago now. It will mark my eighth trip. All the kids have been there before except Gabby…it is time for them to see the other half of their heritage. This is not an easy thing nor is it safe…please remember us in your prayers.
One of my dreams has been to take pictures in an old graveyard in Ireland. This year that dream became a reality…thus the title of this post…hope you don’t mind the pun! It really was a grave situation! Some headstones were hundreds of years old and could no longer be read at allbut I thought this didn’t retract from them being quite photogenic none the less. Some crosses were simple yet beautiful in designwhile others were far more intricate in appearance. The sacred heart is well seen here. A bit further away and you can see it in all its glory. Why be satisfied with only one angle? It felt like there was a lot of history here though that is not unusual for Ireland. The weather was pretty edgy yet it when it cooperated I got busy clicking more and more shots. The large trees provided shelter when it began to rain and thus this shot presented itself. Some stones were smaller and simpler than othersbut I thought they all had a personality unique to them. Here is a more classic design back dropped by a far more Celtic grave. This was a shot taken through one stone while looking out on the graveyard. I found the contrast between the grey on the headstones and the green of the grass almost shocking. I have no idea what these aphids hoped to find to eat on this head stone. Another shot through the head stones. The church was unique in that it had memorials in the stained glass windows. Leaving the church I could see some new angles that captured my attention. This grave reminded me of some of the markers along the road you might see in Oregon. Small wonder there was so much moss on these graves with the endless rain. This cross had actually broken from it’s grave and was placed near the cemetery wall. This stone had a candle near it…someone still comes to remember this person. It is written that we parish without a vision. I believe this so much. We will press forward with both vision and purpose…an new mission awaits!
Friday, June 17, 2011
I can hardly believe that I let a day go by and didn’t realize until it was bed time that I’d forgotten to post! Wow, I let down my adoring public…all three or four of them! LOL! I finally got my new guitar and played it for the first time on Wednesday. That was real treat. That thing shines on the melodies and is a real joy to play. Playing a new guitar can be a bit like driving a new car. You know how to do what you need to do but it feels different. This guitar is an absolute joy to play all the way around, I love it and man is it beautiful! If you want to have a look at it you can go here: http://djashba.com/AshbaSwag/index.php/guitars/the-demented-collection/chrome-bone-acoustic-electric-guitar-by-dj-ashba.html Be sure to enlarge the picture to get the best look. The guy who designed it is guitarist now of Guns ‘n Roses and also Sixx A.M. and I’ve always loved his style. Ovations rule, I just have to say this and to get a custom guitar like this from them is an exquisite treat. A dear friend who traveled with us to Ireland bought this for me and I am so very grateful. My guitar before was damaged and really needed to be retired and now that can happen.
Well, back to Ireland! One of the nicest day trips we had was to the little village of Callingford. This place has some of the best examples of old architecture in an actual functioning town that I can think of. We explored King John’s castle and really enjoyed every moment of it. I enjoy castles no matter what their condition. This town is what I always imagined Ireland to be. The threat of rain is ever present and the storms were unusually bad when we were there but sometimes the threat never materialized and left a mysterious fog on the hills. Somehow shots like this remind me of something that you’d see in an old Spanish fortbut it was far to wet for anything Spanish I think. Again I think of a prison with this somehow but I’m not sure that’s what it used to be. Perhaps it’s my experience in travel that kept forcefully reminding me of other places. This looked like something I could well imagine in India. Some intriguing old world designs on this window frame. Can’t you imagine a knight tying his horse to this? Pastor Sakey was kind enough to be our guide and one of our drivers. I see my five year old daughter standing in Ireland and I know I’m so very blessed to have her with me! Ade (our friend and other driver) walks through this ancient archway with our dear friend RD. Old European style always inspires my camera to click away! The next photos are of a subject matter I’ve always wanted to capture on film…call me morbid but I always wanted to cover old graveyards…we found just that! Tune in next time for the continued adventures…