Alder's Ledge

Silently Exploring The Absurdity Of Mankind

“Let the morning bring me word of Your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in You. Show me the way I should go, for to You I lift up my soul.”

—   Psalm 143:8

Tinfoil Boat

When I was little we had a creek that ran alongside our house. It was a deep ditch with a winding stream flowing across the otherwise flat barren landscape. To me it was a small oasis in a land covered by boring cornfields.

During the summers I would spend days on end down in that creek. Catching craw fish, frogs, and snakes; I learned more about nature than I ever would had in a school room. But it was the hobby of building little tinfoil boats that taught me more about life than anything else I did down by that creek.

Flimsy little boats were somehow in my mind supposed to be able to navigate what I viewed as a mighty river. Of course the stream was nothing more than a gentle flowing brook. But in my mind it was the mighty Mississippi and I was Huckleberry Finn.

The waters might not have been raging rapids yet the boats were just as flimsy as they seemed. No sooner had I learned how to keep them from taking on water, the boats would inevitably run into a rock and dent. With each minor crash they would sink to the bottom. And my hopes of voyaging down my make-believe river went below the waves as well.

Ever stubborn, even as a little boy, I did whatever I had to to make those boats stronger. Layering the foil, I made the hulls like those of battleships (or so I imagined). Yet again and again my little frigates came against the rocks and sank to the bottom. With the addition of bent up paper clips I found a way to reinforce the boats’ hulls and keep them from crumpling.

However, with the solution of one problem came another. My now crash resistant boats always veered off course and into the weeds along the shore. I had made sea worthy vessels that now seemed to have no desire to stay at sea.

I realized over time that if I wanted my little ships to make it to their destinations I would have to remain vigilant and guide them myself. Persistence and dedication kept them from remaining in the weeds and put them back on course.

A lot of things in life are like those little tinfoil ships. Relationships that aren’t worked at end up crumpling when they inevitably run across rough waters. Without the reinforcement of a dedicated heart, no relationship can keep itself from sinking as life beats it against the rocks and test it’s merit.

Then once a relationship is worked at and made sea worthy there comes the need for direction. Unlike those little tinfoil boats, relationships need a destination that all souls aboard agree upon. A mutually agreed upon course helps the relationship from getting hung up in the weeds or running aground. And once agreed upon there comes the need for persistent dedication to keeping that relationship on course.

For me, I was the captain of my little tinfoil boats. I decided when they were at their destinations and where they were going. But relationships don’t have a captain, they have a crew. And for them to last they need that crew to work as one to keep the journey fulfilling for both.

Maybe that was the most important lesson I took from such a simple memory. And when on that voyage with that special other soul, when that ship rocks in the waves, I will always let G-d set the stars that guide us. I will place my faith in Him as that ship navigates around the rocks and every bend along the path G-d has laid out before it. For if He had given me her, I trust He will keep us and guide us… always.

itsheilav asked: Are you single? ☺️

I’m actually taken. A very special, incredibly beautiful, young lady has my heart.

Through The Dry Seasons

I was once told that grapes produce the best fruit when grown in bad or poor soil. I don’t know how much of that is true or not given I have never grown grapes before. But the thought came to mind today when thinking about life and love in general.

In the past I have always liked those parts of relationships that are easy and the rewards are somewhat immediate. It’s those first parts of any relationship that first place the sweet taste of love upon our tongues. Those parts that get us addicted to the idea of love itself rather than what lay ahead. We almost get blinded by the sugary sweet part before the reality of love sets in.

Maybe that is why when the hard parts of relationships come up we tend to recoil and take a step back. Maybe it is because we want those sweet moments to last a little longer. Or maybe it’s because we aren’t sure of what it is that lay on the other side of those rough patches.

Yet if grapes do produce sweeter and more prolific crops by first passing through rough seasons and poor soil… well maybe love is something like grapes in that way. Maybe love never really matures until it has been tested by the dry seasons. Maybe love needs those rough patches to define itself and produce far greater rewards than just those that first appear at the start.

I know now that when you find that person for whom the wait is worthwhile… that person that makes those dry seasons more bearable… that person that makes those rough patches worth the struggle… I know that is the person with whom the wait is worth it. That is the person with whom you can truly taste the sweetness of love in all it’s complexity. That is the one who will let you experience love to it’s fullest.

The problem most of us seem to have is the fear that comes with those first dry seasons and when we first hit those rough patches. It is a fear that often deprives us of the bounty that true love has to offer. And perhaps its that fear that keeps us addicted to, or settling for, that first taste of love. Its that fear that deprives us of the true nature of love itself.

Sleep No More

I’m tired of waking up to these fears. Memories of chocking on my own blood. Hearing those words that hurt worse than your fists ever could.

I’m exhausted. When I close my eyes I hear that door slam. The solitude of sleep now my tormentor. Replacing you with it’s callousness.

If I could, I would sleep no more.

Never Again?

After the Holocaust we told the world “Never Again”.

Since the Holocaust we have seen genocide in Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, Tibet, Nicaragua, the Amazon, Rwanda, the Congo, the Sudan, Bosnia, Palestine, Syria, and several others both recognized and unrecognized.

Since the Holocaust we have seen perpetrators of genocides in Armenia and Namibia get away with persistent denial of their crimes. In Sochi we see a government directly responsible for genocide there get to host the Olympic Games upon land where they committed those very crimes.

Since the Holocaust we have seen genocidal acts committed across Europe as countries like Norway, Sweden, Finland, Germany, Italy, England, France, and basically every other EU nation have at one time or another practiced sterilization of Romani citizens. In recent years we have seen those same nations commit roundups and deportations of Roma regardless of the Romani people’s legal status in countries like Germany, France, and England.

Since the Holocaust we have watched as countries like Iran and Israel have threatened the existence of minorities as bigoted nationalist sabre rattle to no end. Iran executes it’s political dissidents in what can only be described as politicide. While Israel dehumanizes entire portions of Palestine’s natural born citizens. In Pakistan and India this crime of blind patriotism leaves Kashmir an eternal battle zone in which genocide is encouraged by both sides.

Since the Holocaust we have watched as governments like that of America have been allowed to claim they are defending the voiceless while they deny a history of genocide on their own lands. Native rights in these countries are often corroded over time as the rest of society is kept ignorant of the federal government’s continued crimes against humanity. When the native people do speak out they are either crushed physically or judicially.

So either we really didn’t mean it when we said “never again” or we are just really poor at defining what “never” means.

Where Only The Devil Plays

We set out to change the world, if only one heart at a time. You asked us to follow and we did without hesitation. Your love for those we helped along the way built within us the will to fight. Your desire to ease their suffering left us in awe of you.

We went to places where only the demons within us felt at home. Seeing people for the first time that our sad world has become blind to, yet we knew this is where you came from. The things you showed us weren’t just frightening but let us see your scars. Scars that you kept hid beneath that angelic face.

For years now we have been at war with you in the lead. You kept us there where only the devil himself would dare play. And yet, in the presence of your amazing strength, we felt at home for the first time. Your gentle voice comforted us. It soothed our fears and gave us the will to carry on.

Now we pick up where you left off. What they did to you has hurt in ways these words will not express. What they took from us cannot be replaced. While you know lay somewhere between life and death, we battle on. We fight for you. We bleed for you. We cry tears that we hide from you.

In foxholes, we dig in where only the devil plays. Where even our own demons cannot find rest. Yet with you unable to flee with us, we dare not leave. Instead we huddle round, rally once again…

We need you, my beloved friend… my sister… Wake once again, let the breath of life arise within. Shine that light that dwells within those glorious eyes. Restore our hope and bring back thyself to us. For this, this tragic hell in which we now dwell, this cannot and will not be your end. This is not our farewell.

Beneath the shade of the alders,
Where the world fades away,
As time passed us by.

Rest now, my sweetest friend,
Close those war torn eyes.

Beneath the shade of the alders,
Where tonight my hope lay,
As she struggles to stay alive.

Sleep now, my sweetest friend,
But know that this is not goodbye.

My Light…

"You need to call, Yachana. She needs to see you."

In all the time I’ve known you we have never held each other yet we have cried together. We have shared the scars that we were given before we knew each other. We have felt each others pain in ways I don’t let other people know.

To hear your voice so soft, to know that inside you there is a war raging, hurts beyond what mere words can say. Yet for every word, every tear I could hear you shed, I know this isn’t your last fight. You’re better than this… stronger than this.

When we were still stupid enough to think we could change the world, you guided me. When I grew jaded, you restored my sight so I could see the world like you do.

Perhaps you are too much a blessing for this damned world. Perhaps we weren’t ever really deserving of you anyway. But I still need you… I can’t say goodbye.

Keep that fight going dear sister. Keep that battle raging on. Your reinforcements are on their knees tonight. We won’t leave you.

I use to think of love as a fickle thing. Something people felt for only a short time before it flew away like the birds in autumn. But there is something different about you.

This feeling make me anxious when I can’t talk to you, nervous when I can’t see you, and as though I’m suffering from insanity when I do. Yet for all these bizarrely new emotions… I somehow enjoy every moment of it. And for the life of me, I don’t know why.

Deep in my soul I feel my connection to you. People would find that crazy, I’d find it scary, if it was anyone other than you.

I guess I’ve always been afraid of love because I’ve always felt I didn’t deserve it. How could anyone look at you and think they deserve to be with you?