Black in Black

Next time, I'll read the entire list before I commit to an online challenge. This 30 Day Non-Facebook Prose-Instead-of-Pictures Challenge is getting difficult. Today's challenge:

21.A picture of something you wish you could forget

Everything that has happened to me makes me who I am. Yes, even the bad stuff. Sure, there are things I'm not proud of doing or saying. But that's still part of me and lessons learned.

To me, this challenge is more about regret and shame. In my opinion, regret is the desire to do something that wasn't, while shame is about something that was. A good friend of mine says that shame is anger turned inwards. Being angry at oneself for something that one did or said. I may not be proud of some things, but without them, I would be a different person.

And since I believe that everything that has happened to me or that I've done or that I've said makes me me, my picture of something I wish I could forget would be a big black hole of nothing.

No, that's not being conceited or pretentious, just accepting of who I am.

[Title taken from this.]


There's More to See than Can Ever Be Seen

Back on a roll with the 30 Day Non-Facebook Prose-Instead-of-Pictures Challenge.  The 20th Challenge is today:

20.A picture of somewhere you'd love to travel

This challenge was already done a while back with my non-bucket-list list of sensory experiences to be had before I die.  They covered sight, smell, taste, touch, and sound.  But I'll still play along with today's challenge.

This may shock a lot of people, but I'd love to travel to Tanzania.  Just think!  A photo safari, the Maasai, and Mount Kilimanjaro all in one place!  How thrilling is that?  Seeing the great migration, interacting with the nomadic people, climbing the highest peak in Africa.  The problem would be finding enough resources to do a trip like that.  Resources of both time and money. 

But today's challenge isn't about where I want to travel next month, or next year.  It's simply where I would love to travel.  One day.  Hopefully. 

[Title taken from this.]


Welcome to My Mooring

My 30 Day Non-Facebook Prose-Instead-of-Pictures Challenge has taken much more than 30 days.  The problem is that today's challenge threw me for a loop.  Day 19's challenge is:

19.A picture and a letter

A letter?  As in a letter of the alphabet?  Or a letter to someone?  Let's go for the latter.  But...  Whom to write, that is the question.  Whom I wanted to write isn't the problem.  It's what to say and how to say it to that person.  All because I wanted a free lunch a few weeks ago at work.
A non-denominational Christian group held a meeting and gave a box lunch to attendees.  While waiting for the keynote speaker, the group's organizer passed the time by asking the audience two questions:
1. If you were to die tonight, do you know whether you would go to Heaven?
2. Why?
He then proceeded to tell us that only those people who accept Christ as their personal savior would go to Heaven.  And that it all depended on your belief in Christ, not in your actions.
The very first thought in my mind was, "Really?  So Gandhi is in Hell but there was a chance that Hitler could be in Heaven?"  My spiritual beliefs were so shaken, rather than reaffirmed as the organizer had intended for his audience, that upon returning to my office I immediately emailed my priest.  He emailed back, offered to come to my office later that week, and have lunch with me to talk.  During our lunch conversation, he recommended three books.
Now, halfway through my summer religious reading list, I am ready to write my letter. 
"Are you there, God?  It's me, Gaelic. 
"I'm home again.  I truly believe that You use the land of my ancestors to call me home.  Whether it's all the way back to my Scottish roots, or just my recent ancestors in the Appalachian Mountains.  It's like I'm the hillbilly Scarlett O'Hara.  'Katie Scarlett O'Gaelic, you get your strength from the green mountains of Caledonia.'
"And when I return to those mountains, I find You waiting for me.  'Welcome home,' You say with the towering peaks and winding streams.  I find You in a friend's warm embrace in North Carolina.  I hear Your comfort in snippets of songs that float on the warm air.  '...and if our backs should ever be against the wall, We'll be together...'
"Or the cool air of a summer day, feeling so alive.  And again with the music.  'I've seen it rainin' fire in the sky' or 'Deep greens and blues are the colors I choose'.  You are all around.  In everything.  The sound of songs and mountains streams, the feel of the night closing around me, the taste of fresh-caught trout or newly-made candy, the smell of hickory fires on August nights, the sight of the low-lying clouds as if the mountains exhaled their warm breath onto the cool morning air.
"Even though You are with me wherever I go, I never feel more alive, more at peace, more joyful than when I return to the mountains that You made my home.  Call me home.  Then send me forth.  I am refreshed."
And if you believe that Gandhi is in Hell because he died a Hindu, the three books on my summer religious reading list are:
The Great Divorce, by C.S. Lewis
Love Wins, by Rob Bell
The Politics of Jesus, by Obery M. Hendricks Jr.
[Title taken from this.]