Saturday, January 24, 2015

trying a new type of portrait .. I liked the original photo .. 

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Intent

Everything the ocean is, it is at all times .. 
Everything the ocean possess, it possesses at all times ..
The fury of the ocean; the great or raging waves; are caused by the forces of the gravitational pull of the moon and the sun and driven by the wind .. The storms raging .. spurred on by the wind and wave ..
They do not make the ocean more than it is .. They just change the way it affects us ..
The same is true about words. You can fill an ocean with the words that have been written and spoken. Everything a word is, it is at all times. Everything a word possesses, it possesses at all times. The fury of a word; the great or raging words; are altered by intent. Intent doesn't make the word more than it is. It just changes the way it affects us. 
The question in my mind is whether the gravitational pull of the moon working in concert with the ocean or is it working conversely?
In the same light, does your intent work in concert with your words, or does it work conversely?

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Broken


Societally,
we feel the need 
to assess blame
for whatever happens

We seek the weakness
which must be the reason 
for nothing breaks
unless something is weak

This is a misnomer
It takes a great quality of strength 
to allow oneself to be weak
and continue, even broken

When we are born
we come into this world
weak and nearly defenseless
without even knowing 
we come, needing someone

As we grow
we rely on the strength
and independence
of our parents
as we watch them raise us

They teach us
necessarily so
to be independent
to 'stand on our own two feet'

We learn, by rote
when something is broken
there are two things to choose
fix it or throw it away

As a parent looking back
I see now, the error of my teaching
if I taught my children
that weakness is powerless
and that broken is useless

As the sum of humanity
we are all weak sometimes
and often brokenness
creeps into our lives

Just as when we were born,
by the greatness of design
Life, fate, or God
(call it whichever you choose)
has placed those with strength
into our lives

In these times of weakness
whether short or long
they are there for us
to utilize their strength

In times of brokenness
again, whether short or long
they are there for us
to hold us together

We all need someone at times
someone to hold us up
someone to hold us together
someone to get us through those times

Brokenness is not weakness
the strength required
just to continue in these times
is far greater than ever required before

Our character
the sum of our experiences
with the addition of our actions
will never be defined by our brokenness

We are who we are
when we are weakest
when we are most broken
when that strength
that we have forgotten 
comes shining through

The strength
to take another person’s hand
to lean on the shoulder of a friend
to allow love to bind our brokenness

It is your great strength
that will allow you to be weak
that will allow you to be broken
and will carry you through
with help, a little or a lot

Strong things break
inflexible things shatter
strength is perfected
in times of weakness

If you must be weak
be strong through it
if you must be broken
be flexible enough to lean

Brokenness
has never been
about weakness

Broken
Strong

Ron Simpson, Jr.
January 18, 2015


Saturday, January 17, 2015

The return

Spillage. 

Cathartic. 

One of the things I counsel couples about to be married about is "being committed to being married." They're going to be times that you do not like this person that you love. Therefore, you must be committed to being married or the marriage will not last. The same is true about writing. You must be committed to writing. I call this troubled ramblings because they are the ramblings of my troubled mind.

While I have not slowed down in writing, I have not been putting those here. I have a backlog of spillage in my notes. It may take me a little while to work them into some cohesive form for sharing, but bear with me and I will try to stay in touch.

Writing is cathartic. The ability to express myself and put that on paper or tablet or electronic writing is calming to my soul. Even when not in cohesive form, it helps me to simply get out of my mind. It has an unbelievably healing effect to assuage the hurt, or rage, or sorrow, to simply write a few ( okay, sometimes more than a few) words down and walk away, leaving the brunt of the damage there, to revisit in a less raw state. 

What you should read here will be the froth of the boil. You will see the vapor, safely away from the flame. In theory, that will be the case. I will warn you, however, sometimes the heat will commingle with the words and some of the scorch may come through. Sometimes the raw will refuse to be assuaged and will rear its head. Forewarned is forearmed. 

Feel free to comment or not. I don't even know if anyone reads these anymore, since the instant gratification of Facebook has arrived. I have a Facebook account, with which I peruse the surface life of my friends and play a few games. I add a poem or two here and there. It does not meet the level of here. There, they are snippets of our lives; sound bytes, if you will. (Most people only want sound bytes anyway; something to read quickly and react to even faster, without having to try to understand the emotional motivation behind the words.) If, or when, this becomes that, it will fade into the obscurity of that morass. Until then, these are my ramblings, troubled or otherwise. Welcome back. 

1... 2... 3... 4... 5... 6... 7... 8... 9... 10 !  Ready or not, here I come...

Sunday, September 28, 2014

You Walked In

You walked in

Crumbling 
I guess that best describes 
The condition of my life
If anyone really looked

My friends
And they truly are my friends 
Missed it as they walked about
Around and through my life 

There was no malice
There was no neglect
There was no forethought
None of this was their intent 

It is merely
The busyness of every life
The care and concerns 
The day to day of living 

And still 
I crumbling stand
In the midst of it all
Feeling alone in the crowd

To say
You walked in 
Would be a misnomer 
Speaking technically

You were always there
From the beginning
Until now
You have been at my side 

You were there, waiting 
Although again
Speaking strictly technically
You weren't actually waiting 

You were walking
You were working
You were holding
You were supporting

Sometimes this load 
The one I decided to carry
Caused me to sway
Under the burden unexpected 

You kept me from falling
You provided invisible support
When my legs buckled
And my arms flailed 

To others, or mostly myself
It seemed amazing
I didn't crumble 
Looking back, it seemed miraculous 

I felt the obligation
Gaining weight 
Or I losing strength
Or fading in resolve

I can't give a timetable
Or tell you how long
I didn't count the steps
Or measure the distance 

From a decision
To a light affliction 
To a encumbrance 
To the crushing millstone
I carried that day

I cried out
By reason of my fear
The ground beneath my feet
Seemed as a troubled sea

"Lord, save me"
The words
Driving from my soul
Nearly drowned out by weariness 

You walked in
Your hand moved between 
My seeming inescapable burden
And my crumbling life

For the first time 
I felt a taste of freedom
Separated from my affliction 
The weight from my birth

There are no adequate words
None can convey the joy
Like trying to describe 
Taking your first breath

I sing now
Not the song of sorrow
But of a joy, unspeakable
Full of glory

I speak now
Not the words of death and dying
But the words of living and life
And that, more abundantly 

I walk now
Not the walk of the slave
But the walk, not by sight
In a newness of life

I live now
Not in the darkness of shame
But I live in the light
Marvelously created

In Him
I live now
I move
I have my being

Not one part of my life
Was not changed
When I cried out
When You walked in

You walked in

Ron Simpson, Jr. 
September 28, 2014

Sunday, August 14, 2011

One Year

It has been one year since I started my weight loss journey. There have been ups and downs, as is the case with most journeys. Overall, it has been a wild and successful ride.

One year ago, I was an under active overweight man walking (on those occasions when I did walk) with a very intricately carved African Chiefton's cane. I was out of work with not a lot of work prospects, due partially to my size. There was so much I was trained to do that I could not do because of my failing health.

I was eating myself to an early grave, and at 52, early meant a lot more than it did at 32.

On August 8, I came home after a hospital visit and told TJ, I was changing my eating habits. August 9th began my journey. The week that followed saw me joining SparkPeople and beginning to track my eating. It was a week later I began my exercise program that consisted mainly of walking.

Since then, the changes have been too numerous to tell them all. Some are easily measurable, while others are not so easy to measure.

Changes

The easiest change to measure was what was reflected on the scale. When I started, I tipped the scales at 350 pounds. This morning, in the one year anniversary week, I set them spinning all the way up to 208 pounds. My impossible goal, set one year ago was to lose 130 pounds in a year. I really did not expect to achieve it, but knew I had to set a goal, or I would never move from my starting point, most likely. I, actually, reached my goal around the ten month mark. I had added some calories to my diet now to slow down and maintain. Even with those increases, I have lost an additional 12 pounds in 2 months.

Calories

Did someone mention calories? We didn't track my calories before I began, but in reviewing my old eating habits, my wife estimates that I was consuming around 3500 calories a day, and with no exercise (I could be nice and say, "little or no exercise" but it was definitely no exercise) I was just adding and adding to my size.

What I am telling you at this point is that my results are not typical and what I did might not be healthy for everyone. You have to listen to your body closely. You have to pay attention to the healthy and unhealthy points in it. You are the custodian of your own health. No-one knows your body like you do. You have to be alert to changes in muscle and muscle tone. You have to notice changes in hair. sickness, bowel movements, energy levels, and others body activities to know what you need to increase or decrease (proteins, fats, carbohydrates, and vitamins.)

I went from that estimated 3500 calories a day to 1100 calories a day. (I did consult my doctor, eventually.) I had many people telling me that my calories were too low. My doctor told me what to look for if I needed to make changes. In the first nine months, I averaged about 1100 calories a day. In the last month, I am averaging closer to 1300 calories a day.

Sizes

When I began I was wearing pants with a waist size of 58 and/or 60 inches. Today, I wear pants with a waist size of 38 inches and they are a bit lose on me. I do have a pair of dress slacks that are a 37 inch waist that fit well. So, there is a measurable and noticeable difference of 23 inches in my waist. My hips have reduced about the same as well. My shirts, pre-journey beginning were 4X's. Today, they are size large. My suit jackets have dropped from 56's to 44's also. Yes, noticeable and measurable differences indeed.

Walking

I did mention walking, didn't I? One week into the journey, I began my walking regimen. (I didn't know it was a regimen at the time. I thought it was just a walk.) It has been my primary exercise. I do have a soloflex, but tennis elbow has prevented me from using it. So, I walked one third of a mile the first night and it tried to kill me. I did it without the aid of my cane. I came home 20 minutes later drenched in sweat. However, the next day, I did it again ... three times. Then I increased it steadily. From then to now, I have logged over 800 miles of walking. I live in a small town. Everyone sees me walking. More than a few people have let me or TJ know that my journey has inspired them.

I have been working again for 7 months now. I am working again as a construction electrician. The job has physical demands that I could not have done before I started.

Secret

The secret is simple, there is no secret. Eat less, burn more. It is just that simple.

If you haven't made up your mind to lose weight, it doesn't matter what program or what new fad diet you try, it will not work. Once you have made up r mind to do almost any of them will work.

Energy levels

Yes, my new energy levels are through the roof, comparatively speaking. I do more, more often than since my wife has known me (almost 10 years.) it is definitely noticeable, although I am not sure how measurable it is.

“I bet you feel better, huh?”

I hear this all the time. I almost say, “duh” when someone asks. However, politeness reigns. Of course I feel better. Who wouldn’t feel better?

Anyway, I go on.

Happy one year anniversary to better health. What started then as a weight loss effort has become so much more. It has turned into the ‘newer healthier me’ journey.

I have lost over 40% of my starting body weight.

Happy anniversary to all those that started the same week I did. I hope your successes are as great or greater than mine.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

On Your Day, Dad


Dad,

It has been a while
Since we were able
To talk, face to face

And, it seems these days
There is more and more
I would want to share

I have never been
One of those
‘Talk to your grave’ types

So, I think of you
And the things I would share
And content myself

I know you would be proud
Of the way my life has turned
And the obvious influence you have

I am not angry
At your unexpected passing
Or seek to place blame

I am sad at times
Even though my mind accepts
It is the way of all flesh

Time will bring this moment
Even to my children
Should time continue to stand

I can only hope and pray
That my influence
Has been as positive and profound

So, this is my
‘Standing at the edge’ talk
And sharing with you, Dad

I am honored to be ‘like’ you
I am as proud as I have ever been
To be your son

His Word
Upon which
You patterned your life

Tells us that we all seek
That approval of the Father
To hear “well done”

And while I do seek it
I like to think I can hear it
In your voice on the winds

“Good job, son”

“Thanks, Dad”

“Happy Father’s Day”


Ron Simpson, Jr.
June 19, 2011