Perspectives on Life

Feb 16, 2016 by

My late, maternal grandfather was an artist. One of the most important things he ever taught me was perspectives on life–the way of looking at the world.

When I was in second or third grade, grandpa brought me a small microscope to K.I. Sawyer AFB in the upper peninsula of Michigan on one of his visits. It had a little lamp he’d been using to reflect off the mirror under the specimen platform. But grandpa had done something quite clever. He’d used double-sided tape to stick colored specs of see-thru plastic to the mirror so as I moved the mirror and looked through the microscope, the specimen changed so I could see it, literally, in a new light.

In my teens, when we would visit the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art he’d encourage me to turn my head and look at the paintings sideways, even upside down if I could.

Years later, when we moved to Castle AFB in Atwater, CA, grandpa came out several times and would disappear during the days, no matter the season, to go up to Yosemite National Park. My love for this one area of the country has grown through the years and I make a trip to California whenever possible, now with my daughters, to enjoy this national treasure.

MORE ON PERSPECTIVES

I know several people in my world right now who are going through some fairly significant trials. The tasks before them, and me, seem monumental  to say the least. Here, look at this picture of El Capitan from the Yosemite Valley perspective.

El Capitan in Yosemite from the Valley floor.

El Capitan in Yosemite from the Valley floor.

That’s pretty ominous, isn’t it? If I’d not shot this with one of my grandpa’s film-based Canon’s in the late 2000s, I could blow it up and show you blue, red and green spots of humanity clinging to the face of El Cap, braving the forces of nature and working their way toward the top–like all of us do in the problems we face in this life.

I’ve never tried to climb El Cap, but my girls and I walked pretty close to the base of the face to look up. That is an even more daunting view.

FROM SENTINEL DOME

I’ve made no secret that when my time on Earth has come to its end, I should very much like to have my ashes sprinkled somewhere off the trail on the way up to Sentinel Dome. Probably not legal, no, but in the vast long run of the eternity to come, will it really matter if what remains of me is left in some off-the-beaten wind swept path? I think not. I desire this knowing that in spirit I will be in Heaven with my maker, but the thought of my ashes resting in view of Half Dome and the hundreds of miles one can see in a 360 panorama all around, well… I digress.

I want you to look at this second photo now, taken from atop Sentinel Dome in Yosemite, looking over at El Capitan.

El Capitan from atop of Sentinel Dome in Yosemite.

El Capitan from atop of Sentinel Dome in Yosemite.

Quite a different view, isn’t it?

I submit to you, those of you who feel like you’re at the base of a real-life mountain, that how you view your task is monumental to your success in overcoming it. El Capitan doesn’t look so big from higher up, does it?

Now imagine what our problems look like to our Lord, who rests higher still than these photos show.

PERSPECTIVE

Perspective is everything in this life. If we let the world around us dictate how we are left to see what is before is, the tasks will almost alway seem like they will be impossible to overcome.

I encourage you to consider these two photos regularly when life seems to be getting the better of you. Remember, God’s view is even higher than what we as humans are able to perceive. You should also know that you’re never alone in your walk. I promise, if you look hard enough, like the climbers half way up the face of El Cap, you’ll find someone who is willing to lend you a helping hand because they’re on the same walk as you, just maybe on a different path, higher up, or coming up from behind.

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Free Facebook Cover–The Eagle Atop Sentinel Dome, Yosemite Valley

Aug 4, 2012 by

We’ve begun posting a new daily series of Facebook Cover images that you are welcome to use on your personal wall.

All are photo properties of Claxton Creative, LLC of Dallas, TX, but you are authorized to post them on your Facebook Wall, provided you do not interfere or alter the @ClaxtonCreativecopyright mention.

All Facebook Cover images are 850 by 320 pixels and are produced in Adobe Creative Cloud Photoshop CS6.

Today’s image features the Eagle Atop Sentinel Dome in Yosemite National Park, California.

Yosemite Valley in California holds a special place in my heart.  The views are tremendous and I’ve been visiting this park off and on since my dad first was stationed at Castle Air Force Base in Atwater, CA back in 1969.  Do you have any special Yosemite stories?  You’re welcome to share them below.

 

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Free Facebook Cover–Bridal Veil Fall, Yosemite Valley

Aug 3, 2012 by

We’ve begun posting a new daily series of Facebook Cover images that you are welcome to use on your personal wall.

All are photo properties of Claxton Creative, LLC of Dallas, TX, but you are authorized to post them on your Facebook Wall, provided you do not interfere or alter the @ClaxtonCreativecopyright mention.

All Facebook Cover images are 850 by 320 pixels and are produced in Adobe Creative Cloud Photoshop CS6.

Today’s image features Bridal Veil Fall in Yosemite National Park, California.

Yosemite Valley in California holds a special place in my heart.  The views are tremendous and I’ve been visiting this park off and on since my dad first was stationed at Castle Air Force Base in Atwater, CA back in 1969.  Do you have any special Yosemite stories?  You’re welcome to share them below.

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Free Facebook Cover–Yosemite Valley

Aug 2, 2012 by

We’ve begun posting a new daily series of Facebook Cover images that you are welcome to use on your personal wall.

All are photo properties of Claxton Creative, LLC of Dallas, TX, but you are authorized to post them on your Facebook Wall, provided you do not interfere or alter the @ClaxtonCreativecopyright mention.

All Facebook Cover images are 850 by 320 pixels and are produced in Adobe Creative Cloud Photoshop CS6.

Today’s image features Yosemite Valley in Yosemite National Park, California.

Yosemite Valley in California holds a special place in my heart.  The views are tremendous and I’ve been visiting this park off and on since my dad first was stationed at Castle Air Force Base in Atwater, CA back in 1969.  Do you have any special Yosemite stories?  You’re welcome to share them below.

 

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A Summer 2010 dreamline goal: Climbing to the top of Half Dome in Yosemite

Apr 10, 2010 by

Thanks to reading Tim Ferriss' book, The Four-Hour Workweek, I've set some new personal goals and dreams for my life. One goal for this summer? I am going to do the 18-mile hike to the top of Yosemite's Half Dome by the end of this summer.

Whew.  For an admittedly over-weight 44-year-old man right now, that may seem a little wacky, but when you get down to it, it's just the sort of thing I need to strive for.   YosemiteHalfDome

Too many points in my life of late have been scattered about.  Dreams of the happily ever after I'd longed for have ended like being in a dream and suddenly waking up and not knowing what day it is. 

And in many ways, I feel like there is just about only one direction to go right now and that direction is up.  So what's one of my favorite spots on earth?  Yosemite.  What's the visual highlight of the park?  Half Dome.

I'm not even going to worry at the moment of how I get there or how I move about when I get to the park.  All those things will fall into place over the next few months.  What I need to do now is focus my physical energies on getting my body ready for the hike and then the last bit of the climb to ascend the top of that granite icon. 

A friend suggested that might be a little difficult living on the plains here in North Texas.  Maybe so, but I'm working on that, too.  For one, my EA SPORTS Active is about to get a good dose of daily use. There also is a weight room with lots of strength equipment.  My apartment complex is rolling hills so I'm walking everywhere I go in the complex and doing less driving.  I made my last gallon of sweetened tea the other day. I'm back to drinking water and skim milk only.   No soft drinks.  No alcohol. 

I did something else healthy last night.  I went to bed at 10 p.m.  Yes, even on a Friday night.  And I didn't get up until 7 a.m. and took a nap a little later in the day.  My food consumption today has been reduced and I'm eating foods that are good for me once again.

Yosemite, I'm coming for you again in a few months.  Time to make some money, get myself back in shape and then go conquer this goal. It means that much to me.  And we all know what happens when we set a goal that seems just a little out of reach.  We work like the Dickens to make it become a reality.

So there we go.  You all know what I'm up to.  The encouragement and accountability is asked for.  Prayers are welcomed as well.  I can do this.  Wanna join me in the quest?  It's not a good thing to do alone.  The more of us who do this the better.  Are you up for the challenge? 

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