Social Media is Not the Problem

Social Media is Not the Problem

It’s hard to believe its been over two months since I’ve written anything here.  There is something about the elusiveness about the month of May; it always seems to slip through the hands in an instant.  And then there was June… And here we are, summer is high upon us and life is good.

I have spent more or less every summer of my life since 1996 (barring a few summers of travel) here in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina here at Camp Chosatonga (www.2funcamps.com), and I am beyond stoked to be back here again this summer.  Camp is a special place for so many reasons of which I would love to and hope to write about here.  But for this post I wanted to focus on the beauty of camp’s wildness, being set apart from the world, away from the buzz and busyness of the city life.  I am almost halfway through my year without social media and camp seems like a fitting place to take some time to reflect upon what I have learned and more importantly what I still have to learn.

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Do you also want to leave?

Do you also want to leave?

This post is a little different than my usual posts on here as it is a reflection on a Gospel passage.  It is actually a reflection on the gospel of the day from yesterday, which was John 6:60-69.  I originally wrote the reflection for the Carpe Verbum website,  which is an outreach that provides a daily guided lectio divina designed for teenagers.  It’s a pretty cool initiative that you should check out.  Here is the gospel and after it I will share the reflection I wrote.

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The River, The Important Places

The River, The Important Places

My friend sent me a video to watch and this video titled “The Important Places” came up after it as a suggested video.  I like important places.  So of course I watched it.  It’s the story of a father and son’s paddling trip down the Grand Canyon.  I was sitting alone in my office and I just burst out into tears in the middle of it.  I cannot attempt to explain why, other than that I’ve spent the last 20+ summers of my life on the river.  Paddling runs deep in my veins.  It is more than just a hobby, it truly is a lifestyle, a wholly different way of living and seeing the world.  Damn that all sounds so cheesy but I don’t know any other way to say it.  It’s just plain true. And this video captures it better than I can say it.  So, for all my avid whitewater shredders out there, and for all who have 10 minutes to be moved by the power and life-force of water, check it out (I recommend full screen for this one):

 

 

And a couple pics from the archives just for fun:

bayless'

Bayless’ Boof on the Upper Green circa 2007 in the vintage Savage Skeeter

chundered

The always genius idea to try and tandem surf Hell Hole on the Ocoee with my buddy Joe Howe.  As you can see, we nailed it.  110% his fault of course.

Long liv the riv.

 

Heather King Fire

Heather King Fire

I would like to introduce you to the writing of a dear friend of mine, Ms Heather King.  Heather and I have struck up a bizarre and delightful friendship over the years and she has been one of the greatest joys and lights in my life.  Our first time meeting (when I knocked on the hobbit-like door of  her cottage tucked away in the heart of Los Angeles, having mostly no clue who each other were… but that’s another story…) was one of those rare instant spirit/soul/vibe connections and I knew she would be a life long friend, and here we are.  I’m not quite sure how to begin to describe a woman of her magnanimity and character and utter incapable-of-being-labeled-as-anything uniqueness.  Some describe her as a modern day Flannery O’Connor, yet I still am hesitant to box her in to a category of even such stature.  So, I will suffice it to say that I believe she is one of the most important voices of our times for this wild and confusing world that we live in and it is my joy to share her writing here and let it speak for itself.

heather

The One and Only, Heather King.  She’s gonna kill me for all this flattery.

This is from one of my all-time favorite blog posts of hers.  It’s from many years ago and I still think of it often.  The post is titled “The Homily I’d Give if I Were a Priest”:

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Head in the Clouds?

Head in the Clouds?

Sorry for the absence again.  Midterms. Happy Hours. Papers. Camping. More papers. More happy hours.  Life.  Busy and full and good.  Happy to be sitting to blog again.

Regarding my previous post about The Lumineers, a friend of mine texted me and said:

“Your blog is called Risking Reality but you are also super idealistic.”

I told them that I couldn’t adequately respond to this via text, and that it would probably end up in a blog post, and well, here we are.  I see how the over-sensationalized music video and the unusual Pope Benedict XVI quote could give off the “idealistic” tone, and I’m glad they shared their opinion with me because it gives me the chance to clarify and distinguish- which is always a good thing.  I have a lot of thoughts so I will do my best to order them and contain them but no promises 🙂

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The Lumineers & The Open Road

The Lumineers & The Open Road

In anticipation of the raucous Lumineers concert I will be attending tomorrow night here in New Orleans, I want to share the music video of probably my favorite song on their new album, Sleep on the Floor.  I still remember exactly where I was when I first heard this song, driving west on 8th Avenue in downtown Covington towards Tyler Street right at dusk. Windows down, sunroof open.  This song reached into my insides and electrified them, launching me into a world far beyond this one.  I didn’t know quite why at the time- I just knew it had something to do with being young and having an open road full of life and potential ahead of me.  I proceeded to listen to it on repeat for an hour straight the next day while driving to Baton Rouge. And loved every minute of it.  I’ll let the song speak for itself here, followed by a brief quote from a talk I heard Pope Benedict XVI give in Madrid in 2011 that I think encapsulates the spirit of this song.  It’s one of my top 3 favorite quotes from him.  And the dude said a lot of things. Like we’re talking dozens of books worth.  Anyways, here is the song: (maybe another day I’ll dive into the lyrics)…

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