by Kenneth Harper Finton







Maybe I am jaded now

or just too old to cry.

All the tears I’ve shed before

Have left my eyes quite dry.

Friends have come and friends have gone, 

how bittersweet is nature.

Work is really never done,

wars are really never won, 

lives are always left undone,

success is never measured.

Blisters used to pain my hands

’til callouses replaced them.

Caring always filled my days,

’til lack of it displaced it.

Friends have come and friends have gone, 

how bittersweet is nature.

Work is really never done,

wars are really never won, 

lives are always left undone,

success is never measured.

Living always pleasured me

and sorrow seldom ailed me,

but Father Time has dried me out

and left no room for wailing.

Friends have come and friends have gone, 

how bittersweet is nature.

Work is really never done,

wars are really never won, 

lives are always left undone,

success is never measured.




Try though we might, we cannot stop change from taking place. It is a natural process. Nature changes as part of life’s process because of the essential nature of change. Change is renewal and growth. It is people that pervert and oppose change for self-centered reasons.

Albert Einstein said, “The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.”

This is not a new revelation. La Tzu recognized that institutions and societies must change thousand of years ago. He said, “Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.”

So you wake up in the morning in a bad mood, somewhat depressed. It is easy to be depressed. Even your dreams can depress you. You can be feeling triumphant one minute and wake up the next morning in a most sombre, unsatisfied state of mind.

Trying to control your emotions and your mind and your thoughts are often extremely useless endeavors. Thoughts pop in and out of our minds all the time.  They change the chemicals in our bodies that regulate our emotions and our feelings of well being for the better and for the worse.

Thoughts Are Not Real

Do you think your thoughts and ideas are real? They are not. They are no more real than the dreams that come into your mind and the nightmares that frightfully awaken you in the night.

There is no reason to allow negative thoughts to have power over you. Recognize that they are unreal and do not give them any value. A thought can be made real through action, but in its inception it is as wispy as a fantasy.

We might not be able to control our thoughts, but we CAN evaluate them. We can learn to recognize the judgmental thoughts that make us miserable.

Thoughts are neither right not wrong. They simply are. We are the ones that assign the value to them.  Some thoughts are going to be positive and some are going to be negative. Anyone who tells you to always think positively does not know much about thinking.

It is simply a fact that you are going to have thoughts that are negative. The real trick is to catch these thoughts before they depress you, recognize that they are not real and do not let them distress you. In time and with rest, they will pass.

There are times when we are thinking about things we need to evaluate. We think about our choices and our course of action. These are the times when we need to moderate our thoughts and evaluations and make certain that they are capable of leading us to a place we wish to go.

They very act of evaluating your thoughts is a kind of mediation. It will stop the chemical changes that lead to emotional distress. It does take some practice, I suppose. It is not something I am good at.

That is why I am a writer. I write my thoughts down and evaluate them later, throwing out those expressions that do not lead me to a clear place in which I prefer to dwell. That is what is great about being a writer. You are able to learn from yourself, your research, and your evaluations. It is cathartic in nature and always makes you feel that you have accomplished something worthwhile, produced something from nothing that has value.





As sunset burns pink and red and orange

across a floating sky of sheepish clouds,

It heralds the darkness of the night itself.

The brilliance of the day has given me a joy of being

that slips away now with the setting sun.

Night comes and dimness falls upon the spirit.

Yet for a moment in that sunset,

the light becomes pure and magenta, so lovely.

It seems testimony enough that the day had value.

The Night gives birth to the blues.

The Night reminds us that all is changing,

How useless it seems to mourn this passing.

The bloom of youth fades.

The boundless energy of childhood play

becomes productive adult work.

So it is with autumn.

As the days grow shorter,

the winds blow colder.

The brilliant light of summer fades

and kindles the flames of burning colors

in the very leaves of time.

I cannot help but be struck by its beauty.

I leave until tomorrow that which is yet undone.

I gladly leave the planting to the Spring.

For Winter is now coming fast,

And Winter wants to kill us.

If Winter cannot kill us, it will slow us down.

We take the thrift of our days

And spend it getting through the night …

Getting through the Winter.

They are much the same, the Night and the Winter.

That same natural pattern of building and destruction

Is the theme of both.

It comes together in the Fall.

It comes together before the Night

To see it, I have only to look.

There is a balance in those autumn days.

There is a signal in those twilight moments.

Forget about the past and let the future be.

Let the now be incredible and lovely,

A laughing child is a bell to an undistracted mind,

I hear the music. I hear the bell. I feel the balance.

Tomorrow will carry joy for some and grief for others.

I know that well. The Winter will take us into Spring.

It is forever that way. In this I can find solace.


Photos by the author


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