Posted in Autumn, Earth, Eastern Shore, Exploring, Hiking, Home, Life, Mindfulness, NaBloPoMo, Nature, Photography, Portals & Pathways, Quotes, Spirit, Walking & Wandering, Wonder, Woods

Starting over

Magic carpet
Magic carpet

The world as pure object is something that is not there.  It is not a reality outside us for which we exist . . . it is a living and self-creating mystery of which I am myself a part, to which I am myself, my own unique door.

~ Thomas Merton

Back to the woods
Back to the woods

Have you ever written an entire blog post and then decided to start over?

Let's take a stroll
Let’s take a stroll

Yesterday I wrote a long post, wordy for me (the word count was over 1,000), and this morning I deleted everything except the images.

Dwarfed by the trees
Dwarfed by the trees

It was a post about religion.  Religion, like politics, is a subject I generally avoid on my blog.  Both subjects, it seems to me, are a matter of opinion and faith, and in some cases, based more on faith than fact.  Not that there’s anything wrong with faith.  As a song from the 80’s advised, sometimes ya gotta have faith.

One of many paths
One of many paths

Now, the invention of the scientific method and science is, I’m sure we’ll all agree, the most powerful intellectual idea, the most powerful framework for thinking and investigating and understand and challenging the world around us that there is, and that it rests on the premise that any idea is there to be attacked and if it withstands the attack then it lives to fight another day and if it doesn’t withstand the attack then down it goes.  Religion doesn’t seem to work like that; it has certain ideas at the heart of it which we call sacred or holy or whatever.  That’s an idea we’re so familiar with, whether we subscribe to it or not, that it’s kind of odd to think what it actually means, because really what it means is ‘Here is an idea or a notion that you’re not allowed to say anything bad about: you’re just not.  Why not? — because you’re not!

~ Douglas Adams

One trail sometimes resembles another
One trail sometimes resembles another

I’m not of any particular religion although I was baptized and raised in one, and have studied and practiced others.  It is for that reason I decided it was best to delete and start over.  Religion and faith are very important in the lives of many people, and I didn’t want to step on any toes.  I felt sure I would no matter how carefully I put together my thoughts into words, sentences, and paragraphs.

A turn in the path can look like a dead end
A turn in the path can look like a dead end

For the curious minded, the post was a result of a blog post I read a week or two ago in which a young Christian questioned how atheists could have morals and/or ethics given that they don’t worry about suffering the wrath of a god or have a Biblical set of rules they’re required to follow.  My short answer to that, the answer that doesn’t require over one thousand words, is that the atheists (and people of faiths other than Christianity) I know are good, kind, and loving for the sake of it.  They help others with no strings attached.  They do it not to preach at them or require them to attend their church or convert to their faith, but for the sake of reaching out and helping others because they are compassionate people and wish to help their fellow man.

Light and shadows along the way
Light and shadows along the way

So, you see, I went ahead and had my say anyhow.

As above
As above

Be good, be kind, be loving.  Just Be.  🙂

The walk continues...
The walk continues…

All this twaddle, the existence of God, atheism, determinism, liberation, societies, death, etc., are pieces of a chess game called language, and they are amusing only if one does not preoccupy oneself with ‘winning or losing this game of chess.’

~ Marcel Duchamp

NaBloPoMo November 2013

Today’s joys:  Finally getting my eyes checked so I can get new glasses.  The folks at the eye doctor’s office.  (Everyone was really friendly.)  Another beautiful day on the Eastern Shore.  Friends.  Words, gifts, that touched my heart.

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Author:

Robin is a photographer, artist, writer, wife, sometime poet, mom, grandma, daughter, sister, friend, and occasional traveler currently living on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. She finished a 365 commitment to get outside every day in 2011, and has turned it into a lifelong commitment taking one or more walks each day. Robin will continue to share her walks through her words and images on Breezes at Dawn. Older posts can be found at Life in the Bogs, her previous blog. Robin and her husband are in the midst of renovating the house and property they refer to as the Wabi-Sabi Ranch, 35 acres that include marsh, a dock on a tidal creek, meadows, and woodlands. Every day brings new discoveries.

32 thoughts on “Starting over

  1. This was beautiful! As I am sure your 1000 word post was as well. I love your writing and am glad I have found your blog. But I did want to gently point out 😉 that Belivers of the Bible also

    are good, kind, and loving for the sake of it. They help others with no strings attached. They do it not to preach at them or require them to attend their church or convert to their faith, but for the sake of reaching out and helping others because they are compassionate people and wish to help their fellow man. 😉

    It is sad when a few… cough cough… well okay… maybe many… give a bad name to all the rest. But the thing is I have gotten caught up in judging the judgers… and have realized that it has just made me another judger.
    I am one that doesn’t stay away from talking about my faith and struggles and trying to figure it all out… just like the rest of us. We are all in this thing together…
    Just thought I’d throw that out for what it’s worth.
    Hugs

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    1. Thank you, Diane, for your comment and the lovely way you pointed out that I omitted a good group of people in my post. You are right. I know many wonderful, kind, giving Christian folks, who give for no other reason than love and compassion. As with any group, no matter what their beliefs, there are good people, there are bad people, and there are those who just do the best they can. 🙂

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  2. I couldn’t agree more with your say. I guess I fit into the atheist category. I grew up with a Christian upbringing but couldn’t quite bring myself to believe as strongly as it seemed I needed to. I do however believe in everyone’s right to believe, or not believe, in whatever gives them most comfort and I HOPE, rather than believe that this would be to the greater good of everyone.

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  3. You can be good person whatever your beliefs or non-beliefs. I reckon it’s the way you were brought up that counts. Learning by example and all that. 🙂 And some people go one better and behave far better than their parents did, and good for them too.

    Lovely pictures. Keep on walking. 🙂

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  4. Those topics we mostly avoid because too often ripples become tsunamis. I agree with what you said. We all have beliefs and most people are good people no matter what their beliefs.

    >

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  5. Yes, be good, be kind, be loving–these choices are made by each human being, whatever beliefs he or she may or may not hold. Thanks for such lovely words and photos.

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  6. Nice…Even though I was raised in Church, I have never felt like my moral compass was the result of a fear of Divine Retribution (maybe because the Methodist pastors of my youth never preached Hellfire and Brimstone), but was simply the way good people operated – people of all faiths, or no faith. Is it telling, that my favorite parable is the Good Samaritan? I never considered it a dictate, but an example…one I’ve tried to base a life on.
    Thanks for posting this 🙂

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  7. Ah Robin, you have expressed your idea so succinctly; that’s what scrapping the post and starting over does. I’ve done the same with not only blog posts, but entire pieces of music! Sometimes it is best to toss out what isn’t quite working; if the idea is strong, it will work its way back in but with more clarity – your intuition was right on track. I love the Merton quote and beautiful images, as always.

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    1. Thank you, Lynn. 🙂 “Succinct” is not a word that usually comes to mind when it comes to my verbal and written ramblings so it’s nice to have it apply to me for a change.

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  8. You know me, I love melding science and faith! … and sure atheists can have a moral compass and be ethical because I (a Christian) can’t see why not! Oh well … just wanted to follow your lead by tiptoeing on the topic. But a nice nature walk serves as a good place to be philosophical. Thanks!

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    1. You don’t have to tiptoe, Frank. You’re a leader when it comes to discussions that meld science and faith, and I know you know how to do it without injuring toes. 🙂

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  9. Beautiful shots Robin – and for the record I hate it when a question is phrased that way from a Christian. As one, I don’t think I imagine burning in hell if I do something wrong. I think we all have an inner compass, a conscious – and it is recharged when we do the right thing, and grieved when we do the wrong thing. Just my $.02. Fall is gorgeous and your shots are really special – especially the ones in the woods. That’s sometimes tough to pull off in a composed way. You capture the feeling of standing in that place. Well done.

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  10. Beautiful post Robin. In my opinion, being (or doing) good has nothing to do with religion, it’s knowing right from wrong, and being a caring person…..and – no offense to anyone – being religious doesn’t necessarily make you a good person, just like being atheist doesn’t make anyone a bad person.

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  11. I am with you on the experiences and explorations of faith … trails I have walked too … but when we come to simply being there is such joy and freedom and the words of the great teachers, including Jesus, all make perfect sense … thank you for starting the discussion Robin xx

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Comments are delightful and always appreciated. I will respond when I can (life is keeping me busy!), and/or come around to visit you at your place soon. Thank you!

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