Becoming the Disturbance

photos by Nate Gibson
photos by Nate Gibson




No one ever regarded the First of January with indifference.
~Charles Lamb

Do I dare
Disturb the universe?
~T.S. Eliot  “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”

This New Year’s Day, like so many that have come before, arrives with the ordinary revelry,  yet a lingering odor remains.  All is not as it appears and is faintly disturbing.  Like a dog joyfully rolling in something stinky simply because it was there,  2015 may look squeaky clean but reeks of what has come before.  It can’t be ignored and, even brand new, is already badly in need of a bath.

I too tend to prefer things familiar, safe and routine, even if that means I roll about where I shouldn’t, still smelling like yesterday, if not last month.   It’s time I stop being indifferent to the passage of time and the change that it brings.  There is no turning back or staying stubbornly with how things used to be.  Time leads irrevocably forward, with me in tow, and I must follow,  acutely aware more of my life has been lived out than lies ahead of me.

Do I dare disturb my own comfortable universe?  Or continue to disturb others with that lingering odor?

Perhaps this new year I will try walking a slower walk, stay clear of the stinky stuff, take time to look at all things with new eyes, breathe each cleansing breath appreciatively, keenly aware it was not my last.

Then others near me might breathe more freely.


7 thoughts on “Becoming the Disturbance

  1. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts, readings and inspirations. It has been a gift to me!

    We have a rescued border collie who delights our heart and soul just about every minute of every day. And he smiles while he rolls around happily, like the dog in your photos. I assumed he was a BC and then noticed he is rather short legged. Is he/she a BC or something else?

    Best wishes for a blessed new year from our family to yours.

    Barb Pearson Wilbur Marmalade Studios 503.702.1090



  2. Yes, it can be slowed down, and with sincere apologies to Uncle Albert, there’s no need to put the clock in a spaceship. Barnstorming proves it regularly, by slowing us down a bit and making us think, and pause to smell the roses– your beautiful pics our reward. Thank you, Dr. Gibson, for tending the garden so faithfully on our behalf. What can we do in return?


  3. Hi Barb, Homer is a purebred Cardigan Welsh Corgi (basically a border collie with half the leg). He is a clown and a joy. Thank you for reading and blessings back to you for a great 2015!



  4. Rob,
    so glad I don’t need to test relativity to slow down the clock! thank you so much for your faithful responses — that is return enough for me!




  5. And to you, Emily. We’ll keep reading, and commenting. One slightly startling observation before New Year’s brunch: sometimes, it actually snows in Barnstorming’s “thoughts on” section. At least I think that’s what I just saw……might have been tiny angels dancing…maybe just spots…probably angels, though…Happy New Year!


  6. The snow is a WordPress holiday widget-thingy that goes away after today (at least I think it does), but it has been rather “spotty” this year, just like snow in our part of the world.


  7. You are so right, Emily – and so prophetic. Our new year 2015 may look squeaky clean as you suggest but it is far from that. We ARE dragging all of our unsolved problems with us into the new year (and have been doing so for decades). I believe that this is because we continue in our failure to trust in our Creator-God and His incarnate Son, Jesus, who walked among us and showed us the way millennia ago. As Americans, as Christian disciples, and as people who call their god by a different name, we know what needs to be done. We know that there is untold human suffering among our brothers and sisters – not just where we live in our neighborhoods and local communities but in a world that continues to shrink each day, making it impossible for us to plead ignorance of their plight. Among the suffering to which I refer:

    – hate-filled racism and discrimination against any person for any reason;
    – avoidance of the reality of the disturbing statistics citing the numbers of persons living in unbearable
    degrading poverty and gut-shrinking hunger;
    – homelessness – among unemployed persons, whole families,
    veterans and wounded warriors returning from illegal wars perpetrated by corrupt American politicians
    and waged against innocent peoples in our name.

    The time has long since past when we must stand up and be counted, raise our voices and do whatever is within our power to do, individually and collectively, to alleviate and to end these inhumane conditions – in our own country and in developing nations – particularly where, in many instances, our collusion with corrupt indigenous governments perpetuates these conditions.

    Yes, dear loving Emily, you — all of us — must dare to disturb our own comfortable universe and, further,
    to continue to disturb others – regardless of the personal cost to us. As self-confessed followers of our Lord and Savior, the Incarnate God Jesus the Christ, we have no choice. He walked among the same peoples in His time. He was One with them.

    You, dear Emily, have the knowledge, the heart, and the words to continue to speak out. And you must continue to do that until you draw your last breath (as must we all).


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