Category Archives: Lifestyle

OLD

On July 31, 2018, I celebrated my 88th birthday.
The occasion of the event gave me pause to consider the question of “old.”
Of course I had to record and submit these thoughts to those who might be interested.

Old
For many years I wondered what defined “old,” as in “old age.”
Then one day I turned 88.

The question I had contemplated off and on for so many years no longer seemed relevant. In reality a number of things I had questioned through the years, whether answered or not, had somehow lost relevancy.

Now, other issues are more formidable:
On arising in the morning, it is not so much what needs to be done, as, what will I have the strength to do? Prayer becomes more important as strength from above becomes a much larger component of my strength here below.

Relationships, too, become more precious as those folks I have known for a lifetime are no more here, yet often appear in my dream world. Their appearance is generally without dialogue, a walk-on part, in what seems an irrelevant dream fiction.

Consciously, and often subconsciously, I find I am becoming less critical, more conciliatory. Is there a subtle confluence of preparation, anticipation and adjudication?

Did I mention the hearing is not as good, nor the vision? Other taken-for-granted bodily processes raise my awareness of their existence—usually by some hypo or hyper manifestation.

Old, however, can have benefits and affirmations. I am blessed that my children and their spouses, my grandchildren and my wife listen to my words, seek my counsel and let me be first in line.

So, though there was so much I didn’t know of the definition of “old,” experiencing it does give me a vision to help the younger generations. I have, with my wife’s guidance and example, spent my last thirty years making healthy choices of diet, supplementation, and especially spiritual. These choices have mitigated much of the negative that could potentially define “old.”

Please consider this a word from the “wise.”

High Places

High Places
The bible chronicles the repeated question:
What will occupy the high places? 
Over and over the high places were given to idols. 
Over and over the righteous would pull down these heathen monuments.

Where are your high places?
What occupies those elevated sites?

Wherever we go, above or below,
One prominence is over the rest.
The brain is every man’s high place.
What idols have you built on that foundation?

Perhaps you have exalted your very brain above God.
Perhaps other idols have found harbor in that high place.

Ask God how He sees your brain; to identify every false god.
Yahovah alone must occupy that lofty position.
Take every thought captive to the obedience of Messiah.
Let no idol formed continue to rob you of intimacy with Him.

Pull down the idols from your high places, especially the eminence of the high place itself!

Kennedy Brown
Gerizim
Sabbath January 6, 2018

Day Two–Impatient Hunter or Patient Poet

Day Two: Impatient Hunter or Patient Poet
Now I sit, just before first light, in my camo hide, as South Africans call a game viewing enclosure. 
Gravity’s relentless call is still at work littering the forest floor with a myriad of fall-hued, leafy pixels. 

Where did my quarry spend the night? Was it in this very place, protected by darkness’ cover? 
The game camera says “Yes, at 1:15 this morning a manly rack munched with abandon the succulent forage.” 
“O camera, will that antlered one return to test his bravery against the day’s light?” The mute reply lets my question hang unanswered. 

So, I sit. A sip of tea, a cashew—could these diversions bring a speedier approach of the queried one? 
A watch check: 45 minutes has gone by. 
Wait—now I see it—a herd of cloven hooved, massive-racked deer are in my field of view. 
A quick shake of the head, and reality returns.
The peaceful, empty meadow has only grown brighter with the rising sun. 

And now I count: 10,001, 10,002… and after days and countless counting each tree still looks fully clothed in the hues of fall’s leafy splendor. How long before those dark, skeletal limbs stand stark against winter’s grey sky? It will happen—
it always does, yet surprise seems to greet each new repetition. 

Are the falling leaves not like warnings of sin?
There are clearly recognizable signs,
like falling leaves,
inexorably ignoring these obvious signals eventually finds one standing like the barren tree—his sin ever so starkly revealed. 
Unlike sin, the annual leaf event is creation’s plan,
but the falling leaves of sin’s warning are a silent call to halt—
a notice of the approach of exposure.
The winter’s cold, grey light offers no succor to what will be revealed. 

More tea, two hours have passed and my vision of a venison roast surrounded by carrots, onions and sweet potatoes now dims.
My thoughts of the comfy bed I left in the dark grow stronger—
but a true hunter soldiers on. 

Hmmm, am I a true hunter?
Were it not for the lavish encouragement of my friend, Robert, I would still be considering only the possibility of a hunt.
Perhaps there is a gravity pulling me from my bed to this forest vigil. Perhaps a “magic” will imbue me with “hunter.”
Perhaps….

What will Day Three produce?
Can I become a hunter by perseverance?
Or, is it the pleasure of a morning’s forest reverie that draws this poet and his pen?

Kennedy Brown
November 5, 2017

True North

34322062 - old compass on vintage map
34322062 – old compass on vintage map

True North

There lies somewhere in the polar north
An enormous mother lode—
With unerring accuracy It draws the compass needle
To its hidden depths.

How much like sin this deception speaks
Luring each who relies on an off-course life
Till at the end, when destination reached,
No time for correction remains.

For most of life, magnetic north will get you by—
But the wise traveler will stay on course,
Always making correction to head true north
Even if life’s storms would blow you off course.

Come around to that North Star’s unerring path—
Make correction against that subtle deception—
Resist its magnetic attraction.
Let no other choice alter your path from True North.

Kennedy Brown
January 8, 2017

Motivation for poem—
I so appreciated a recent, thought-provoking post. Many valid points were made, along with the reference to true north being reflected by the compass. The metaphor was used to show that being one degree off wouldn’t get you to your destination—true. However, in my old Boy Scout days, some 70 years ago, I learned about “magnetic declination.” This was the correction that had to be made from magnetic north to true north. So, for me, the metaphor didn’t ring true. As I continued to think about the compass deception—the metaphor of magnetic north being like sin came to me. The subtly of sin can lead you throughout life just slightly off course, even if you know the truth. How sad to end life’s journey, only to find you were following the wrong guidance. There are many subtle adjustments that we must be aware of and make, once we know life’s destination: to arrive at True North. How special to think Yeshua is that infallible, guiding North Star.

Can You Call Me Country?

54635916 - vector illustration grey gravestone. flat tombstone icon
54635916 – vector illustration grey gravestone. flat tombstone icon

Can You Call Me Country?

I live in the Hills of Tennessee
I drink wine and I don’t smoke—
To some that ain’t country—
That’s a joke.

But I love my wife and my brown dog
I even love to drive
My old CJ-5.
Maybe I ain’t country,
But I sure do feel alive.

The air is clean, the water pure—
If drinkin’ whiskey or sneaking ’round
Makes my country label more secure—
Then don’t call me country—
Call me what you will—

Just let me live,
Then when I die—
Bury me here on my Tennessee hill.

Kennedy Brown
December 13, 2016

Motivation for poem—
The Dolly Parton fund raiser for the forest fire devastation in Sevier County, Tennessee, featured one country performer after another. The lyrics sung by some afforded a whole different picture of country than what I can plead to. About two hours into the show the definitional dichotomy of “country” began to take poetic form. I fully realize I share a great many of the values of being country and yet would not want to be credited with others. The question remains then, how do you measure your country quotient? I have a feeling there may not be a standard by which to measurable. There are degrees of country depending upon the self-evaluation of the observer—the more country I consider myself, the higher the definitional bar of country. As the poem says, regardless of how an observer sees me—I love the Tennessee hills and embrace the lifestyle. May my bones go back to dust in the embrace of those hills.