My wife and I live in the beautiful and geographically diverse Pacific Northwest. Our children are all adults and on their own in the world. We have grandchildren who are undoubtedly looking forward to a bright, enjoyable life. My wishes for a more harmonious world for myself, our family and all the people who have similar hopes and dreams are why I’m writing this blog.
I was born in Oregon but raised for most of my childhood in a small town in southern Indiana. Growing up in that place, at that time, afforded a somewhat idyllic existence. Not problem free, but idyllic in many respects. I especially enjoyed the warm summer days and nights. Fireflies, the scents of the earth, the mist on the ponds, lakes and rivers…time moved slower then it seemed. The world inspired awe and was filled with promise. In the small town in which I grew up, in the years following World War II it seemed that world peace was insured and world harmony was only a matter of time. The U.S. was possibly the most loved and admired nation in the world.
However, once I became a young adult and left the idyllic world of that time and place behind, things changed rapidly in my life. It didn’t take long before my worldviews had been seriously challenged and some of the most central tenets of my life were casualties of those challenges. I experienced a lot of losses, both internal and external. It’s hard to enjoy being in a world when your internal maps, the understandings which previously provided some confidence and direction, have been so completely fragmented that you find yourself unable to interact with others in ways that most take for granted. Disoriented and determined, those two words probably best sum up the majority of my young adulthood.
But I wasn’t a victim in the events of those times. The place I found myself in had, in hindsight, been determined by conscious choices I had made. I had set a course for my life that led me into a storm, onto the rocks, but in the process had provided me with the tools I would need to work my way back toward wholeness. When I embarked on my journey I had no idea how rough some passages would be. I was in my early 20’s when my life fell into pieces. In my 60’s I’m feeling a lot more whole but still a work in process. I know now that to some extent, at any given time, the reality of being a work in process will always be a part of my life and of the whole of the universe we live in.
As for the hard times, I don’t ever want to have to endure such a painful transition again. However, I wouldn’t want to have avoided them at what I now know would have been the eventual costs. I wouldn’t want to be missing the wonders I now am aware of and those which I intuit lie ahead. And, at the risk of appearing to have a lack of humility, I think there are truths which provide us with a genuinely vital and resilient spiritual foundation for our lives. And that I’ve managed, along with a growing number of others, to realize some of them.
I apologize to those reading this blog that I don’t have a regular schedule for adding new posts. I tend to write when the spirit moves me and time allows. Also, after I publish a post I occasionally reread it, see where it could be clearer or more complete, and I make changes. I don’t have an editor and sometimes in the rush of spontaneity things don’t always get written as well as they should. As with so many other things in our world, this blog is a work in progress.
Also I find some of the values I reflect and espouse seem cliche’ in our contemporary world. I acknowledge that, however, I also hold that this does not in any way diminish the truth, the benefit that lie within some of our cliche’ values.
Lastly, unless otherwise stated, the photos and artwork used in this blog are the products and/or creations of myself, my wife or our daughter. If you would like to reproduce one of the photos which are not otherwise credited, with the exception of those photos in which a person appears, please feel free to do so. I would appreciate it if you would credit the photo to kendunning.net.