Finding Inspiration

This video has been around for over a year, but every now and then, when I’m looking for a little inspiration, I have a look at this kid who has found the cross streets of talent and determination.

 

Pope Francis

“A nation can be considered great when it defends liberty as Lincoln did, when it fosters a culture which enables people to ‘dream’ of full rights for all their brothers and sisters, as Martin Luther King sought to do; when it strives for justice and the cause of the oppressed, as Dorothy Day did by her tireless work, the fruit of a faith which becomes dialogue and sows peace in the contemplative style of Thomas Merton.” – Pope Francis in his address to the United States Congress

Tulsa, My Tulsa!

 

So many of my close friends have never visited Tulsa, the city that always draws me back from wherever I’ve wandered.  Here’s a promo video that I recently encountered that will give you a taste of this, the classiest part of Oklahoma.

 

 

Assassination of Abraham Lincoln +150 Years

lincoln colorized

President Abraham Lincoln was shot 150 years ago today, at about 10:30pm.  He dies the next day, April 15, 1865, never regaining consciousness.

April 15th is more commonly thought of as Tax Day now, the day that federal income tax forms are due.

Did you know that Abraham Lincoln created the federal income tax and the Internal Revenue Service?  It was created, essentially, to raise funds to continue the Union’s fight during the Civil War.  The war that changed our country from a union of states into one nation.  The war that ended slavery in North America, at the cost of 750,000 military and civilian lives.

Some have said that the Civil War was the price the nation had to pay for hundreds of years of slavery in North America.  A “tax”, so to speak, to extirpate itself of the sin of human bondage.

There’s a curious congruency between that thought and the fact that federal taxes are due on the day that Lincoln died.  I wouldn’t take that idea too far, but Lincoln paid, and we continue to pay a price for the continuance of that same government, the nation that it defines, and the freedoms it is intended to preserve.

 

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: One

A lone tree on the banks of the Arkansas River at sunset.

A lone tree on the banks of the Arkansas River at sunset.

The holidays have really put a damper on my blogging activities, but I’m back with this week’s photo challenge from the folks at dailypost.wordpress.com.  Here’s this week’s assignment:

This week, we want to see photos that focus on one thing. Maybe you’ve got a stark photo of a single tree silhouetted against the setting sun, […]

OK, we’ll stop right there …  single tree, setting sun, right up my alley.  I’ll throw in a river and a hill too for this shot.

A lone tree on the banks of the Arkansas River in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Turkey Mountain in the background.   I think it’s an OK shot, not bad for a cold afternoon as winter sinks its claws into the midst of America.

 

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Infinite – Under A Western Sky

The latest photo challenge from the folks at dailypost.wordpress.com is right up my alley.

You see, I have a problem.  There’s not much else that will cause me to stop whatever I’m doing and pull out my camera than an awesome sky.  I’ve spent most of my life somewhere on the Central Plains of the US and if I spent too much time away, I feel claustrophobic.  Views like this one take me away from the daily grind to the contemplation of infinite possibilities.

There a peacefulness I find in the infinite vistas of the open prairie.  A freedom that comes from seeing to the horizon in every direction.

When I was living on the coast of Papua New Guinea, there were times when I had to flee to from the school grounds where I worked, surrounded by the immense beauty of the tropics, to a place where I could see the open sea – just so I could see enough of the open sky.

I recently spent a week in New Mexico, north of Santa Fe, where I took this shot of this open, cloud-filled sky, keeping company with one lonely tree.   When I saw this, I had to pull my car over on a muddy forest road.  Tramping up an incline to clear a power line, it was worth the mess I made of my floor mats to capture it.

 

New Mexico Sky