Reflections

#reflections…

My life has been one big quest for truth. Scientific truth filled my younger days, with dreams of astrophysics, exploration, pulsars, and black holes. Kepler, Newton, Einstein, Hawking, Cousteau, Armstrong.

More recently, it has been spiritual and theological truth. Tozer, Manning, Apostle Paul, Chandler, Craig, Turek. Call me crazy, but I don’t think it’s small minded to believe in absolute truth, and I don’t believe that science and theology conflict. They can’t. But that’s not my point today.

My point is that through my pursuit I recently realized that I have been forgetting another truth-pursuit…internal truth. Once again, internal truth doesn’t conflict with science or theology…it can’t. But they all must be integrated and consistent. Unity of the mind, heart, and spirit are vital to a life of meaning, purpose, peace, and contentment.

As I walked by the lake this morning and yesterday, I reflected on the disconnect that comes all too easily. I reflected on how easy it is to comfort others with #truth while ignoring the direct application to one’s own life. We’re prone to lift others up with words of comfort and affirmation while allowing our inner critic to feed our heads with insults and put downs. So this journey is a quest to unite the voices by allowing the inner dialogue to reflect the outer. To allow myself to hear and apply the words and vision I so often share with others. This may be the most challenging quest yet. But what a beautiful and glorious journey it will be.

 

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May I show you a picture?

A few pictures from the month of May…

From the Canon:

From the iPhone 6+:

From the Nexus 6:

 

The downtown skyscraper shots were all taken with the phone’s forward facing camera. I’ve only had the Nexus 6 for a few days. New “cameras” are always a good excuse to go shoot stuff. Dandelions, dogs, and downtown…all good subject.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Christmas List

We all have things we’d like in our lives. Places to go, people to see, and adventures to have. A friend of mine calls these “bucket thoughts.” When we write them down, they transform into bucket lists. Once written, incredible things happen. As 2014 comes to a close, here is a peek at our lists.


Will’s List:

20140705-104329-38609659.jpg

  • Become a Piano wizard (check!)
  • Ride a bike everywhere (check!)
  • Catch a Harris’s Hawk on my arm (check!)
  • Watch classic Twilight Zone (check!)
  • Pull multiple all-nighters (check!)
  • Read Lots of books (check!)
  • Blow stuff up (check!)
  • Caribbean cruise (not yet!)

 

Joey’s List:IMG_4631

  • Become a guitar hero, join a band (check!)
  • Get Driving Permit (check!)
  • Mission trip to Belize (check!)
  • Invent stuff (check!)
  • Go to prom. Dance. (check! oh yeah!)
  • Washington D.C. (check!)
  • Read Sherlock Holmes (check!)
  • Go to England (#soon)

 

Christy’s List:IMG_7290

  • Visit the floor of the Grand Canyon (check!)
  • Fill young minds with science, math, and character (check!)
  • Help 2 kids get driving permits (check!)
  • Help a kiddo graduate high school (check!)
  • Drive a jet ski (check!)
  • Touch the ocean on a beach in Brazil (check!)
  • Go to Jamaica (next year!)

 

David’s List:

  • Take pictures, tell stories (check!)
  • Secure the interwebs (check! Ongoing…)
  • Brazil, Vegas, Branson, Houston, Dallas (check!)
  • Chaplain at the State Fair (check!)
  • Start Grad School (check!)
  • Publish a book (check!)
  • Ride in a helicopter (check!)
  • See Stonehenge (See you next solstice!)

 

It’s definitely been an awesome year! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

The Bouchards

 

Oh, shoot. Vanity. (#31days)

Ah, the selfie. Scorned by many but pervasive and ever present. Shunned as evidence of vanity and narcissism. That one word borders on vulgarity in many social circles. Can it be redeemed?IMG_9537

At some point during this 31 day blogging challenge I decided on an idea for a final post. Selfies. Honestly…I take a lot of them. It’s not because I think the white in my whiskers or the glare off the top of my head is worthy of adoration. It goes deeper than that.

Looking back through these pictures weaves a thread of vivid emotion through the tapestry of my memories. I can remember the exhilarating fatigue of a 9 hour flight to Brazil. Fond memories of treasured family and friends I may never see again spring to life. Baseball games, sunsets, museums, theme parks. More than just remembering the sights, I remember the feelings. Anxiety, sadness, elation, comfort. Peace.

So take a look at my video. See if you can spot the world’s most famous hacker. Maybe you’ll see the Colorado River. There’s a woman named Wellen and another named Regicleide mixed in. A family picture in the rain. Soulmates. A guy named Toooooolllllieeeee. It’s more than just memories.

And a dog. There always seems to be a dog.

Oh, and if you think this is vanity… reflect on one question for me… did you look for yourself in that video?  Gotcha.

 

Oh, shoot! Looking back. (#31days)

The 31 days of pictures and words are almost complete. Relationships, events, and adventures. Serving soup, vacations, musicals, the state fair, birds of prey, a museum, road trip, the start of a semester (and degree program), a festival, and a Crowder concert. It’s amazing how much “life” can be crammed into just a few weeks.

Honestly, only a very small percentage has made it to this blog. It’s too busy unfolding. It’s tough to pause long enough to document it all.IMG_0181

I’ve got a portable drive full of photos…concerts, falcons, festivals, and corn mazes. I’ve got a head full of stories…carnies, dreamers, chaplains, professors, and hillbillies. I suspect most of these will never see the light of day. Maybe when I’m old and grey (er) I’ll look at the pictures again and try to make sense of them. Maybe then I’ll have time to look back.

For now, I’ll keep pressing forward.

 

 

 

Oh, Shoot! (#31Days)

Life is funny.

31 day writing challenge starts today. Consistency isn’t my strong suite. Even though I’ve considered it, there is no way I’d sign up for this challenge.

Life is beautiful.

This morning a post from my friend Ronne came across my feed. I saw possibilities. I signed up. Oh, shoot!

The thought of writing something incredible every day is daunting. Although writing is one component, my life goal hasn’t been just about writing. My goal has been about adventures, photography, and stories. Life is an adventure. There is something to notice and write about every day.

So I’m in. This challenge isn’t about writing a novel. It’s about sharing beauty, humor, tragedy, and life. One picture and a few words every day. Noticing what surrounds us every day.

Shoot

What I am thinking?

And here’s my button:

Shoot-Button

Links to all of my 31 Days of Posts:

  1. Day One. (that’s this one)
  2. Day Two. Gazing west at Sunrise.
  3. Day Three. It’s 5AM!
  4. Day Four. All’s Fair!
  5. Day Five. He’s preaching!
  6. Day Six. I’m dreaming!
  7. Day Seven. I need a sign!
  8. Day Eight. It’s dark!
  9. Day Nine. It’s over!
  10. Day Ten. It’s Pete!
  11. Day Eleven. I’m crazy!
  12. Day Twelve. The moon.
  13. Day Thirteen. The Shoes.
  14. Day Fourteen. Hang in there.
  15. Day Fifteen. It’s Love.
  16. Day Sixteen. Vacation.
  17. Day Seventeen. Wildlife.
  18. Day Eighteen. Home.
  19. Day Nineteen. Magic.
  20. Day Twenty. Repeat!
  21. Day Twenty One. One thousand.
  22. Day Twenty Two. Center of the Universe.
  23. Day Twenty Three. Fall.
  24. Day Twenty Four. Birds.
  25. Day Twenty Five. Covenants?
  26. Day Twenty Six. Looking Back.
  27. Day Twenty Seven. Coffee.
  28. Day Twenty Eight. Fog.
  29. Day Twenty Nine. Favorites.
  30. Day Thirty. Vanity.
  31. Day Thirty One. Nope. That’s all.

Life through the Glass

Glass Wall

The view from my glass wall

As I browse the internet, I see article after article lamenting the fact that people are missing out on life because they’re too busy snapping pictures. There are videos demonstrating people missing relationships and experiences because they are too busy obsessing over their phone. Yes, those articles and videos make some good points. Relationships matter. Life is meant to be lived, so live it. Or as I always say…  Have adventures. Tell stories. My story is different.

My Canon SX50 HS came wrapped in pretty paper on Christmas morning of 2012. Instead of isolation, though, owning a camera with 50x zoom has driven me more deeply into adventure. It has connected me not only with LIFE but with OTHERS. It helps me to tell the stories.

The first week I owned that camera, I found myself taking my boys on long hikes. We explored. Sure, a better father than me might have already doing this. I wasn’t. Until I got that camera. That glass had power that went way beyond magnification. We started having adventures again. Together. We went places we hadn’t been before. We saw things that most people don’t see. And we took others along when we could.

Instead of undermining relationships, the camera has built new bridges. Although it might be hard to imagine now, on Christmas Day 2012 I could identify about 3 different types of bird. But 50x zoom has a way of making birds pretty interesting. My dad has always been a birder for a long time, though. My fascination has given us a new common ground to tread together. I can send him pictures and he’ll help me ID them. When we get together, we enjoy spending the day outdoors hunting birds together. Exploring the world while having fun together.

Oh, and the joy of a new-found perspective! Periodically seeing life through a new lens has altered the way I see life even when the camera isn’t around. I notice light in ways I hadn’t before. The sun shining through the fog. Rays reflecting off a cloud after the sun has already set. The golden hour. A dragonfly or a bee. My son points out things he notices, too, like a frozen drop of dew on a blade of grass. There is beauty everywhere. Just owning this magical looking glass helps me to slow down and notice.

Not just experiencing life…the camera has helped to cope with life at times. When the dog died, a photo walk was a great excuse to get out and get moving. Quietly meandering along the river provided time and space to process the loss. It’s also been a catalyst for sunset photo walks with my sweetie…a great way to carving out time to spend with each other.

Rather than separating us from our experiences, pictures capture those incredible moments in time and allow us to relive them again and again.

"Dad"

“Dad”

Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe my kids won’t remember what I look like in their memories. They’ll only remember me with a glass wall in front of my face. That guy that always was around documenting life but never living it. I don’t think so, though. I’ve seen and appreciated more sunsets and sunrises with the camera than I ever did without. I’ve noticed more beauty in this world, which has a way of changing not only perspective, but outlook on life. A side-effect of this looking glass has been joy. Contentment. Satisfaction. Connectedness. It has opened up the world of this introvert to a innumerable new relationships. Looking through this glass has led to adventure…not just for me but for the kids. We’re all having adventures and telling stories. It’s beautiful.