Saturday, January 30, 2021

Standing In The Storm

Storm artworkThis past year, many people here in the Adirondacks and around the country have experienced what has been termed as a “Life Storm.”

This storm is culminated by circumstances that test our strength, devour our peace and steal our joy.  The truth is there may have been many storms in your life, not just in the past year but sporadically throughout your life. Like weather storms, life storms can come in slowly and leave quickly or roll in quickly and linger for some time.  No matter the substance, life storms can feel personally aimed and centered on us.  It can be lonely when the darkness creeps in and there seems to be no shelter.

Our hearts tell us we are alone in our suffering but are we truly alone?  Its not difficult to ask ourselves this question, especially when churches here in the mountains are closed and we are feeling isolated and disconnected.  We long to feel God with us when we lose a loved one or friend, our child is taken into emergency surgery, marriages drift apart or get laid off from your job.  These are a few, among a myriad of life storms we may experience in our lifetimes.

This is the time when we lean on our faith.  For some of us, faith is the solid ground we stand on in the midst of our storms.  Shaken but not shattered, hope replaces despair.  Some of us remain silent about our storms, tormented by our own disappointment, frustration and grief.  Where can we find a way out, a way to rise above and stand in the eye of the storm?  The answer lies in an account that begins at nightfall.

Jesus is on the mountain in prayer and the disciples are in the boat in fear.  The disciples have been alone in a boat fighting the storm for hours.  Feeling abandoned, one disciple asks, “Where is Jesus?”  He knows we’re in the boat.  Is God anywhere nearby?  Then from within the storm comes an unmistakable voice: “I AM”!!!   Wet robe, soaked hair.  Waves slapping his waist and rain streaming down His face, Jesus speaks to them at once. “Courage! I AM!  Don’t be afraid!  The words ring like clashing cymbals.

We have heard the words I Am before.  Speaking from the burning bush to Moses, God announced, “I AM Who I AM”.  Jesus declared, “Before Abraham was born, I AM.”  I Am the bread of Life,” “I Am the Light of the World,” “I Am the Way, and the Truth and the Life.” From the center of the storm, the unwavering Jesus shouts, “I AM”.  Tall in the midst of wreckage, bold against the Galilean waves, ICU, battlefield, boardroom, prison cell, or maternity ward.  Whatever your Life Storm, “I AM.”  God gets into things like the seas, big fish, lions’ dens and furnaces, bankrupt businesses, jail cells, hospitals, weddings and funerals.  Look and you will find what everyone from Moses to Martha discovered.  God in the middle of our storms where ever we are.  That includes yours!!

Note: The art I created for this article is unique.  As an artist I worked with the Artivive platform to create an art in motion piece.  I hope you will take the time to check it out. 

To view the art in motion please:

  1. Download the Artivive viewer from Apple Apps or Google Play on your mobile device. This App viewer is Free and does not ask personal information.
  2. After downloading.  Open the app on your device and aim at the art piece in this article as if you are going to take a photo.  Make sure your volume is up, there is sound to this.  I hope you enjoy.

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Jackie Woodcock was born and lives in the Adirondack Mountains. She is an apiarist, lepidopterist, conservationist, teacher, writer, artist, and a co-owner of SkyLyfeADK. You can find her SkyLyfeADK on Instagram and Facebook.




72 Responses

  1. lori brand says:

    Thank you for this! A beautiful reminder that we all have storms and are only alone if we choose to be.

  2. Nora Mongan says:

    Beautiful story Jackie Woodcock and well said Lori brand of which I totally agree with !!

    • Jackie Woodcock says:

      Thank you Nora, I truly appreciate it!!

      • Nora Mongan says:

        Only telling the truth Jackie , wish I could share it but refused to be on FB etc due to their censorship

        • Vanessa Banti Vanessa says:

          Nora, why would Facebook censor this article?

          • Nora Mongan says:

            Vanessa , this article I am sure could be shared on FB and I would love to share it , but I am not staying with them for the fact that if they don’t like your post or an article they censor it ., they are taking away our freedom of speech , I have never posted anything that is violent or promotes violence but a few of us have tried to share articles that they say may offend other members of FB. You know what if you don’t like what someone posts just keep on looking or block the person if you wish ., Amazon and Google right now have taken Parler off , that is not right!!
            To many men and women have died for our rights and I will not accept anyone telling me I cannot voice my opinion,.

            • Vanessa Banti Vanessa says:

              So whether the following is accepted or not, I will genuinely apologize as I am about to engage in what I’ll call some light, unrelated “trolling” here. Before doing that, let me just suggest that you go ahead and post the article and see how it goes. I bet you’ll get a lot more interest than censorship. It looks like Jackie has a page, so perhaps even visit there?

              And that is the most relevant follow up I’ve got. To get less relevant: neither Facebook, nor any of the sites you’ve mentioned are publicly controlled, democratic spaces. They are private platforms that we all check off a terms and conditions box to use, if we choose to use them. There have never been any legally enforceable “free speech” rights there.

              Some of us have cared about this issue for a long time – I’ve studied it formally for about a decade – and are a little surprised at all of the folks who suddenly care so much.

              It’s funny you mention Parler, especially after defensively noting that you’ve never condoned violence, when my question was miles and miles away from suggesting you have. Parler had always been a cesspool of violent extremists – and all of the sudden the private company that provided services through a private corporate agreement got cold feet about hosting literal Nazis on their platform. The corporation dumping Parler was completely within their legal rights to do so.

              So then you need to be really careful. Believe it or not, I don’t know or care whether you’re OK ethically speaking with a platform like Parler – but a moral argument is what we’re having here, not a legal one. It’s a yes/no regarding whether we’re OK with social media providing space for lies and violence, or if we’re not OK with that.

              However! All of that said- Jackie’s article is of course quite peaceful and should be shared, and also – no one in their right mind should use Facebook. No good can come of it and I’m happy I deleted my account a decade ago when I started taking a look at these issues.

              • Balian the Cat says:

                Has anyone actually read the First Amendment? It addresses the ability of Congress to make laws prohibiting the freedom of speech. It says absolutely nothing about a private company, it’s policies, or some unalienable right to go on and on about whatever you think you need to say. It most assuredly does not say “you can lie and make things up etc and nobody can stop you” – which is, apparently, what most people think it says.

                Reading and critical thinking, it turn out, are not underrated qualities.

                • Norm says:

                  Balian, check your Supreme Court Decisions as respects the Constitution and Bill of Rights. The Constitution and Bill of Rights say nothing about abortion either. But the Supreme Court, through case law, has determined that both documents include personal rights and privileges of individuals. Abortion and a person’s right to speak freely, provided it does not harm others, are two examples of personal rights. The constitution is a living, breathing document.

                  Too bad Jackie’s beautiful article became politicized. But why should this forum be different from anything else these days. Jackie’s piece was meant to heal and help everyone deal with their demons and sorrows. And now it’s been politicized. So sad…..

      • ADKresident says:

        Jackie Woodcock- thank you for sharing your encouraging words of hope along with the beautiful artwork that you created to accompany it! It’s so refreshing to read something positive for a change! Maybe it can become a new trend, reversing the 95% negative media and words our culture seems to spew daily that we constantly have to shake off.

        • Jackie Woodcock says:

          Thank you so much for reading my article and for your kind comments! It means more than you know. It would be a Blessing to write more in the future. An Amazing lady named Melissa Hart was willing to publish my article in the Almanack as an out reach of hope to the readers.

  3. Tim says:

    What about atheists?

    • Nora Mongan says:

      Tim , if you are referring to my comment to Vanessa, We all bleed red . I don’t care who you are , what color you are , one of your basis rights is Freedom of speech!!

      This will be my last comment on this subject as I feel it is taking away the honor and credit due Jackie Woodcock for her beautiful article .

    • Jackie Woodcock says:

      Hi Tim,
      It was my intention to spread some hope but obviously it wasn’t of much help to you if you are athiest. I am attaching an article that I’m hoping will bring you some encouragement. https://www.thejetsetterdiaries.com/inspiring-story-to-give-you-strength-in-hard-times/

      • Tim says:

        Thanks for the article about your grandfather, Jackie. I agree that, for me, hope must come from within. The other thought that has helped me through the pandemic is, the entire world is in it! How can I feel sorry for myself when everyone else is in the same boat?
        As an atheist, I am certainly not attacking Nora’s freedom of speech. But I do question whether such a sectarian piece like this belongs in the Almanack.

        • Jackie Woodcock says:

          Hi Tim, I think tolerance for others differences is slowly decaying. As human beings we have far more in common than we have differences. It was my heart for humanity, for you as an individual, that was willing to put my own thoughts and beliefs aside to attempt to share hope in a manner you could relate to. We may not always agree and silencing people only creates a divide between us that doesn’t benefit any person, instead creates a scenario to separate us from truths that unite us. We all feel pain, bleed red blood, have challenges to overcome and long for comfort when suffering. It has never been a thought of mine to ask a person what their beliefs are before I fed them, clothed them or extended comfort in time of need. I may not have been successful in comforting you but it surely was in my heart to attempt to do so.

  4. Norm says:

    Thank you, Jackie. I needed this today. It was beautiful. I will try to remember it for inner strength. Thank you again.

  5. Hi Norm,
    Thank you so much! I’m happy you enjoyed the article! We all could use encouragement from time to time. I am so thankful the editor Melissa Hart was willing to publish a faith based article despite the fact it’s not a common occurrence! She is such a beautiful soul and the reason why hope can be shared here in the mountains.

  6. Mike says:

    Thank you Jackie. I am avid backpacker and regular reader of the Adirondack Almanack and this is the first article of this kind I have seen. I have read the Bible many times over myself and have come to know the Jesus that you speak of. At Christmas we hear Him referred to as Emanuel which means “God with us.” The Jesus of the Bible has been a source of so much debate, yet so few even read this book before chiming against it or Him, yet those who do know Him and believe in Him find peace in every storm of life, not as one uses a crutch but as one builds on a solid foundation. Jesus is God Himself, choosing to come in human flesh to live as we do. We need to read His Word and come to know what truth is. We need more of this peace in all of us. Thanks so much

    • Jackie Woodcock says:

      Hi Mike,
      Thank you for taking the time to read my article and for your beautiful comment. It means more than I can articulate!!

  7. Nancy Peters says:

    Jackie – loved your article and was so surprised and thrilled that it was in The Adirondack Almanack! My faith, hope and trust is in our Lord and savior Jesus Christ. God’s love, healing and strength is what carried me through last year when I was diagnosed with Leukemia at the same time our world was shutting down due to Covid! Thank you for your inspirational article. The Adirondacks are such a special place where we can go and be surrounded by God’s beauty in nature. Nancy

    • Jackie Woodcock says:

      Hi Nancy,
      Thank you so much! What an amazing testimony to keeping Faith in a Storm. I will be keeping you in my heart and prayers. I’m living walking proof of God’s love and healing and I will surely stand with you in prayer for yours. If you are ever interested in reading some of my other Christian articles it would be a pleasure to send to your email for encouragement! Sending my love and Blessings to you.

      • Nancy Peters says:

        Thank you Jackie- I would love to read your other articles. Please send them to my email address. My husband and I go to Brant Lake every fall. Really missed being up there this past Sept! Such a place for natural healing! Nancy

  8. Jeep says:

    I get censored on this site all the time!

  9. Charlie Stehlin says:

    Nora Mongan says: “FB …..I am not staying with them for the fact that if they don’t like your post or an article they censor it…they are taking away our freedom of speech , I have never posted anything that is violent or promotes violence but a few of us have tried to share articles that they say may offend other members of FB.”

    > I am not one for censorship neither Nora! Matter of fact I abhor it, but! Look at what has been dispersed through the cyberspace avenues these past some years. Much hate which has had negative impacts on segments of society and polluted minds which are easily tempted, and let us not forget the recent siege in DC where two police officers died and others, etc. That event had its genesis through what you’re in defense of. Is this what you want? Hate-filled people having easy avenues to spew their twisted thoughts?

    If I’m not mistaken, Facebook (FB as you call it) is a private entity is it not? They are not connected to government channels which, if they were, then that would be censorship if they took it upon themselves to ex-communicate you because they did not like what you submit. Being that they (FB) are a private entity, do not they have the right to ex-communicate anybody they darned well please? Corporations, or private entities, ala Facebook, are known to axe anybody they choose if there is a threat to their market shares or whatever their reason is. They have a right to disconnect whomever. I don’t know where you get that “they are taking away our freedom of speech.” They’re doing what they have the right to do being that they are private not public!

    “Amazon and Google right now have taken Parler off, that is not right!!”

    > My understanding is that this Parler site is ultra right extremist hate-filled antagonist people who put out…well, you know! Is this your cup of tea Nora? It must be! If it isn’t why would you defend it? Again! This is not a public venue so they have every right to ex-communicate anybody they darn well please. Good riddance I say! We should be promoting brotherly & sisterly love, and peace, and all things good to all people….not hate! Now more than ever we should be promoting thus! This thinking of yours is what we’re hearing all over….on conservative media outlets, the kings & queens of hypocrisy!

    • Jeep says:

      Charlie you’re the one who has spewed more hate speech on this site than all others combined! Your hate speech is ok because it was directed at Donald J Trump , who’s been living g in your head rent free for well over 5 years? If anybody should be expelled from a private site because of hate speech its you!

  10. Charlie Stehlin says:

    Vanessa says: ” To get less relevant: neither Facebook, nor any of the sites you’ve mentioned are publicly controlled, democratic spaces. They are private platforms.”

    >That’s what I’m saying!!

  11. Charlie Stehlin says:

    Norm says: “Balian, check your Supreme Court Decisions as respects the Constitution and Bill of Rights. The Constitution and Bill of Rights say nothing about abortion either.”

    I see we have Constitutional scholars here also. Does anybody recall when those Supreme Court justices, that daddy Bush put into power, elected GW Bush as President back in those hanging chad days down in Floriduh? There was this thinking among some of us that “the people” were supposed to elect President’s, not Supreme Court justice’s. We’ll figure this out sooner or later I suppose. In the meanwhile we’re crumbling from within!

  12. Charlie Stehlin says:

    Tim says: “As an atheist, I am certainly not attacking Nora’s freedom of speech. But I do question whether such a sectarian piece like this belongs in the Almanack.”

    > There’s nothing wrong with being an atheist Tim! And also there’s nothing wrong with this piece being in the Almanack! If it didn’t belong here it wouldn’t be here! I detect a whiff of suppression in your words because of maybe you’re disagreement on the matter.

  13. Charlie Stehlin says:

    Jackie Woodcock says: “I think tolerance for others differences is slowly decaying. As human beings we have far more in common than we have differences.”

    Yes Ma’am but! Some people do not see that commonality Jackie! This is glaringly evident. We shouldn’t tolerate hate and mean-spiritedness plain and simple. I have quite the aversion to ignorance, never mind hate and all that stuff which comes with small-mindedness. These are why we have much of our problems in this society.

    • Jeep says:

      Lol, Charlie’s gonna lecture us on hate as his hate for Donald J Trump, who’s been living rent free in his head for 5 plus years continues to eat him up from the inside!

      • Boreas says:

        Jeep,

        What is the root of your hate? Users of this forum? When you are not attacking people directly, you are trying to agitate by making obnoxious comments. Frankly I am surprised you haven’t been banned altogether.

        • Jeep says:

          My hate boreas? Check out all the hate that Charlie has spewed in the past directed at Donald J Trump, which has been living in his head rent free for the last 5 plus years! And I should be banned??

        • Jeep says:

          It all on record Boreas! If you care to do the research! Charlie’s hate rants towards Donald J Trump, which has been living in his head for 5 plus years have been tolerated on this site for a very long time! NOW you want to call me out as the hate monger??? Hummm? Birds of a feather??

          • Jeep says:

            Let’s call a spade a spade here Boreas, the man spews hate, plain and simple. What really toasts me is he actually has the gull to get back on this site and lecture how evil hate speech is!?!?. And hes not censored here and I am? Go figure that one out?

            • Boreas says:

              Jeep,

              I think the difference is obvious when you look at ALL of his posts over the years compared with yours. He isn’t a one-trick pony ONLY grumbling against Trump and attacking his supporters at every opportunity. He also has many non-confrontational posts that are totally benign. He isn’t here just to only to trade barbs and stir up conflict. While he and I don’t always agree, he is a contributor (whether we agree with him or not), not an agitator. I think the moderator recognizes this.

              • Jeep says:

                I’m trying to follow your logic here Boreas? The man is full of hate but doesn’t spew it every time he talks, in fact many of his posts are nonconfrontational so that’s ok?? What?? In your line of thinking that makes the David Dukes of the world ok because hey their not always spewing hate! No boreas, hate speech is hate speech and should not be tolerated! I for one will stand up, call it out and condemn it every chance I get.

  14. Jackie Woodcock says:

    Hi Charlie,
    You are absolutely correct, some do not see our commonality, but I have seen people respond positively when the commonalities were pointed out. I equate this lack of observation, of ability to see commonalities to a personal story. My husband and I use mycelium to treat our bees for disease and pestilence. We have identified locations where this mycelium could be harvested with intent on returning for future need. 3 months later when we returned to the approximate location, I walked by the mycelium 3 times, knowing I had seen it, that it was infact there but could not visually locate it until my husband pointed it out 6 inches from where I stood. Once he pointed it out I recognized it and was able to successfully harvest what was needed. Perhaps it is the same with commonalities? It’s there and obviously visual, they just need someone to show them it’s really there and indeed exists. I agree hate is like rocking in a rocking chair, you can do it all day but it won’t get you anywhere.

  15. Charlie Stehlin says:

    “…churches here in the mountains are closed and we are feeling isolated and disconnected.”

    This is not about me I would like to put forth pronto. I am not a religious person but I do believe in a higher power, mostly in part due to some very coincidental & sometimes odd experiences I have had over my years, or personal experiences……nothing I got from a book (though there are some very interesting narratives which perk me up in some of the books in my collection regards religion), or stepping into a church and hearing what others had to say. I am drawn towards churches, not for the religious aspect of them, but for their architecture, like one-room schoolhouses, or old barns or houses. The structures themselves fascinate me. I confess though…. I do like the calm, peaceful, spiritual aura’s that church-gores emit whenever it is I enter a house of worship. It was that way some few years ago when I spent Christmas in Vermont up near Middlebury. I had visited the First Congregational Church of Cornwall during that visit on Christmas Eve night. It was a cold, windy night and snow was blowing. I recall clearly how all of them bundled-up church-goers, all locals, most of them elderly and oftentimes frail….had this large spiritual air about them, which pleased me and made me feel good inside. They were so extra kind to me, treated me as if they knew me forever, invited me to their service on this cold night……I never hung around for the service but I did get a lot out of that experience.

    About, “feeling isolated and disconnected.” It shouldn’t be this way if we are fulfilled within. Shouldn’t it be about looking within? Not being reliant on things, or others, outside of ourselves? I ask these questions not to rock boats but because I am curious. This pandemic has found me with nothing really different going on in my life except there’s been a large extension to my alone time which I have taken advantage of by getting much more writing and reading in. With books, and journaling (if we do such) there should never be any kind of this feeling isolated or disconnected going on in our lives, especially if we are contented within ourselves and in our beliefs. If we do feel this way, disconnected, isolated…. maybe it’s because we’re doing something wrong, we’re not on the right path. Methinks!

    • Boreas says:

      Charlie,

      I have looked at Buddhism for a while and one of their tenets is essentially “The true path to happiness lies within, not without.” I think that is essentially what you are saying. I don’t consider myself religious, but if anything, I like much of the Buddhist philosophy.

  16. Jackie Woodcock says:

    Hi Charlie,
    Thank you for sharing! You write beautifully! I can understand what your saying completely. I think we underestimate what a Blessing it is to have peace and sound mind in the midst of adversity! Obviously you are a very stable and secure person who could be counted on not only to with stand your own life storms but extend a hand in others storms. Inner strength is not always present even when we really want it to be. I have always considered myself strong mentally, physically and spiritually but after miscarrying for the second time, everything I thought I was somehow became a figment of my imagination. I crumbled and it was love,compassion and the strength of others that lifted me up. Sometimes life storms are a rain shower and sometimes they are a hurricane, each one testing what we’re truly made of, puddy or plaster? An opportunity to learn what brings us through adversity back to peace.

    • Charlie Stehlin says:

      Thank you for your positive vibes Jackie. I don’t know what works for anybody else, and I am not even sure what works for me, but what I do know is…life is a learning experience, it is short, and ere long….it is over. We play down too much too many of us do, to the detriment of things that really matter. Or should matter! Not we as in you or me per se, but we in general. Adversity is upon us yes, and you would think that maybe an enlightenment would be coming soon but, truth be told, it might take a catastrophe for us to come to that, something that once and for all sees us all as equals. In recorded history it hasn’t happened yet. We can keep wishing I suppose. Or praying to a God that we can never prove exist. Only we can save ourselves, not an invisible God. And I don’t say that to be anti-religious, or to dismiss those who believe. I am very open but if you look at the history of religion, or strong beliefs in a deity, it is not a pretty picture. I cite Isis as a recent example, who decapitate innocent people because their God says it is ok for them to do so. And how about those evangelicals who supported Donald Trump who separated children from their mommies at the Mexican border, or putting up that stupid wall to keep people of a different ethnicity out. What is so God-like about that! Hypocrisy! And to support such an evil man! They give religion a bad name! Now you know why there is the separation of church and state in our Bill of Rights.

      I’m drifting I bet. A miscarriage twice. That must have been hard on you. To lose a child! My friend’s daughter recently lost twins at birth. She is an amazing person, and though it was very hard on her she has pulled through and it has made her a stronger person as you indicate your experiences made you. As I say Jackie…It’s all a learning experience, and will be that way until we draw our last breaths. Let us hope we do learn though, because that is key to the survival of this planet and the hope for those generations yet to be…..to learn and grow and overcome the things that plague us!

  17. Nora Mongan says:

    Very well said Charlie Stehlin and Jackie Woodcock . . My sister sent me a post when this charming pandemic hit us that said :

    At the end of the day, all you need is hope and strength.
    Hope that it will get better and Strength to hold on until it does .

    With that and my faith in God has helped me take one day at a time , sadly I see so many people afraid of dying they forgot how to live .

    Again Thank you Jackie for your original post and art work and please continue to post and Like Nancy Peters indicated to you, I would also love to read your other articles , if you cannot post some of them here , can you kindly send to my email !

    Best,
    Nora

  18. Jackie Woodcock says:

    Hi Nora,
    Loved the saying and so true! It would be a pleasure to share some of my other Christian based articles with you. I will do the same as I did with Nancy and send 3 articles at a time to your email. If you like them I would be happy to share more. It would be amazing to write more Christian based articles to share on the Almanack, perhaps once a month, although I could easily submit one a week. It was an amazing lady named Melissa Heart who was willing to publish my Standing in The Storm article as a feeler for how people would respond to this type of article and to give an avenue to share hope with Adirondack residents. I will see what her thoughts are on future articles of this type. Please accept apologies for not extending the offer of sharing more articles with you, I did not want people to think I was pushing anything on them but my offer to share our other Christian articles is open to anyone who would like to read them!
    Im sending some to your email now!
    Have a great evening and stay warm!

    • Nora Mongan says:

      Thank you so much Jackie , I received them and look forward to reading them. Have a great evening and thank you Melissa Heart for allowing such a great article by Jackie and look forward to seeing many more

  19. Charlie Stehlin says:

    Boreas says: “Frankly I am surprised you haven’t been banned altogether.”

    They only do that on those conservative, propagandist media outlets Boreas…. suppress all views that oppose their limited, biased views. Some of us see this others never will. I recall some years back I was being subjected to a television in someone’s house and Fox News was on. This was during the last worst president we had GW Bush, who by the way, looks like a saint now compared to that nasty fool who recently departed. Noam Chomski came on which I couldn’t believe as those people on the right abhor his intelligence (it scares them), and so there he was being interviewed and at once Noam started talking about GW and immediately a commercial came on, and when the show came back on guess who wasn’t in the studio? I’ll never forget! There’s a difference tween red and blue as I’m sure you are well aware of. Jeep is allowed on here because evidently we’re not like them!

  20. Charlie Stehlin says:

    Nora Morgan says: “At the end of the day, all you need is hope and strength.”

    Easy for you to say! Many people don’t know what this is Nora, hope or strength. Is why suicide rates are so high. It’s out their though this duo I am well aware, but often it is lurking in the shadows, or in the deep recesses of minds only. You look at what the peoples around the world are going through, in Sudan, Afghanistan, Somalia, Nigeria, Syria… We can never imagine that what them poor people are going through over in those countries could happen here.

    In after-thought of my above comments, there is hope though as there are caring people out there trying to help, but boy is it a struggle. We have enough money to build up arms, or build fighter jets, etc., whose only aim is to impair or kill….yet not enough to feed or house the starving in other countries, and to some degree here in this ‘great country’ of ours. It is a very sad affair indeed!

  21. ADKresident says:

    Sorry Jackie, your positive article has been hijacked by political negativity and backbiting. It’s a real shame, but not surprising. Don’t let it discourage you- more people want to hear uplifting things. We all have cab!e if we want a diet of 24/7 negativity. We need more GOOD alternatives. ☺

    • Norm says:

      I was thinking the exact same thing, ADK. What a disgrace that people can’t just accept Jackie’s article for what it was, thoughts from her heart and her hope that it would help people deal with sorrow and depression in their lives, whatever the cause.

      Why does everything these days come down to hatred and division? I believe social media is the problem. People write things to strangers that they would never say to their faces. Let’s stop the political, petty back-biting and be the adults we are supposed to be.

      Everyone has a positive side. Find it, and the world will be a better place.

    • Jackie Woodcock says:

      Hi Norm,
      Thank you so much for your kindness! It will take more than political squabble to discourage me, no worries! There is a saying for every finger you point, there’s two pointing back at you so I don’t point fingers, obviously that’s not everyone’s philosophy! My parents taught me young, you catch more bees with honey than you do vinegar so I poured the vinegar out of my heart so to speak, and filled it with honey!! Have a great Day.

  22. Charlie Stehlin says:

    It is a shame where we are isn’t it ADKresident? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could, all of us not just a few, block out all of the political negativity which is thrust upon us from those very people we support, or not support? Those who get it all started in the first place? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if all was a paradise in the real world, where all of us profited from the goodness of mankind and we didn’t have to evade the negative….because there was none?

    “more people want to hear uplifting things.”

    But of course! Is why there’s books, and church, and birds in the forests who come to our ears with their beautiful music.

    • ADKresident says:

      You read aand asumed an aweful lot in my comment, Charlie. I never implied ignoring or not confronting the issues of our day. It would behoove us all to at least have the courtesy of knowing when it is appropriate to debate and spew our amger and frustration and when to just carry on and let the article speak for itself.
      Simple and civil enough, eh?

  23. Charlie Stehlin says:

    “Everyone has a positive side. Find it, and the world will be a better place.”

    Yes Norm, agreed…. but we’re gonna have our ups and downs too (even those of us who find the positive) and what better way to heal than to maybe ‘get it out’ versus suppressing it, because truth be told suppression exacerbates depression and all of the ills, physically & psychologically, which come with our woes.

    • Norm says:

      I don’t disagree, Charlie. Yes, expressions is good for your mental health. I’m only saying why does everything have to come down to political divisions? I come to this site to avoid politics. I enjoy sports and entertainment for the same reason. But even sports and entertainment now have a political message. There is no way to escape it these days. There has to be a better way…….

      Our politicians, even 40 years ago, disagreed on many things but debated their differences in a respectful manner. President Ronald Reagan and Speaker of the House Tip O’Neil were on opposite sides of the political divide, but they respected each other enough to have a drink together, a meal, and find humor in their differences. They understood that relationships matter and personal attacks only lead to more personal attacks and division. They got things done!

      That’s the last thing I’ll say on this site. I’m done. Hopefully politics will leave this site and go to the political sites where they belong.

      Jackie, thank you for your article. As I said earlier, it came at an important time for me.

  24. Charlie Stehlin says:

    ” I believe social media is the problem. People write things to strangers that they would never say to their faces.”

    Agreed! It comes down to education too Norm. Used to be at one time in this country (1830’s) they taught moral philosophy in our public schools. There are a segment in this society that would just as well do away altogether with public schools, as if we have not problems enough. What are they thinking! We need more right thinking for sure, and we also need to be allowed to express ourselves imperfect that we are and not be dissuaded from doing so because we disagree, or desire a course that soothes us. The conversations are going to drift sure, but so long as it is not hate-filled and truth is streaming, we need to be encouraged to keep doing so, especially in these times….and if allowed, people of the right mind, though they may have drifted, will always come back to the theme. Experience has led me to believe.

  25. Charlie Stehlin says:

    Boreas says: “The true path to happiness lies within, not without.” I think that is essentially what you are saying. I don’t consider myself religious, but if anything, I like much of the Buddhist philosophy.”

    It does have a draw Boreas. I constantly need to be reminded that the answers lie within. I thought of an old friend of mine who studied Buddhism. She was such a wonderful soul, calm, peaceful,,,,but she had her moments too, the human in her was never far away. Pam Woolley was her name. She was the one who learned me of the one-hand clapping observation that comes with Buddhism. It’s hard to imagine one hand clapping. I saw Pam in a healthfood store one day, the last I saw of her. Then some few months later I learned that she had died. What from I do not know but she wasn’t old and I always think of her and wonder. It’s funny how some people stick with you once they are no more, how we see them in a different light once they have departed. Such a wonderful soul she was. We could only hope to go that way…. to good in us to stand out in others when we go.

  26. Charlie Stehlin says:

    “even sports and entertainment now have a political message. There is no way to escape it these days. There has to be a better way…….”

    I was down by the Rondout Reservoir near Sullivan County back in November. I hadn’t been down that ways in a while. I took a drive down to pay a visit to one of my brothers whose body has been moldering in the earth a score in years now at Grahamsville Rural Cemetery. I was standing on the south shore near the west end admiring that jewel and the beautiful forested hills surrounding it. In the pull-off area where I was parked are boulders set up as a barrier to keep vehicles from going any further, lest they roll down the incline into the reservoir. I recall how ‘in awe’ I was over the whole scene as a stiff, chilly wind was blowing over my person from across that jewel as I stood on one of those boulders. So ‘at peace I was’ standing there, recollections from the past swarming over my mind. It’s the same when I’m up in them Adirondack woods, and I’m sure some of you relate…. that feeling you get when you’re in a place that carries you away from the things that vex the soul….is one of the reasons why we go to such places in the first place! The woods do that for me, transport me to other realms. Of course I get that through literature and art and music also, but it’s different when in the midst of wildness, or woods, or standing in, or outside of, a field which goes on forever it seems, tall grass and wildflowers waving as far as the eyes can see. We are very blessed up here in the northeast to have the natural abundance we have!

    So there I was being carried away, in my own wide world, and then I looked down and at my feet I saw somebody had painted on the rock “Trump 2020.” I empathize, and I respect where you are on this matter Norm, but as you say, there is no way to wriggle our way out of it. We are all in this together and I suppose we’re going to find our peace however which way we choose, but to think you’re going to get it on a computer is an illusion at best. We can suppress others all we want because we disagree, or are uneasy because of our own insecurities, but there’s no way the “deliverance” is ever going to come if we rely on anything other than nature or the “spirit within,” which resides in each and every one of us by the way. That “spirit within” can very well be the God which Jackie puts forth above, which works for her and many others and which I do not dispute. It can be Buddha. It can be a monarch butterfly, or something as simple as that ‘feeling’ you get (I get) when immersed in them hushed, magical Adirondack woods. We’re all unique and there’s just no way we’re all going to be complete expecting from others what may never come. Was it Shakespeare who said, “Cease expecting and you have all things.”

    I am speaking out loud and reminding myself, and am grateful I have had, and been allowed, to have this avenue to do so.

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