We buy ahead on the life we think we want
Looking into the days ahead
As though our crystal ball was so clear
To show us what will be when the payments are made
The life we imagine is likely too big or too small
For what we need when we take the deed
Certain to be different on the day we arrive
Keys in hand, do we pull into the drive
Or put a sign in the yard
Consult the stars
To know who we will be
Once the seasons roll again
The sports car gives a thrill
Gets there fast
Only room for two
Old couples erect mansions
Fill them full of treasure
Collected in a life so temporary
The passages
No matter how well we think we’ve planned to navigate
Can close in like caves
Or leave us out on display
In a glass house with no shade
Whether we prefer things settled
Leave them open to the end
Our vision is marred by generations
Behind and ahead
Cluttered with dreams unfulfilled
Those yet to live


Everything’s an Empire

Organizational overload

People at the top

Others stalk the Inner Circle

Somebody has to support it

Peons around the edge

Getting the filter down of the scraps

From the table of the elite

You climb to the summit

Look out from the vista

See the others coming

Clinging to the ledges

Not everyone wants to make the climb

The ones that do cannot understand why

Anyone would be content to stay on a lower rung

Enjoying the view, sitting in the shade or lying in the sun

With shock they tell you if only you would be more diligent

You too could push your way into a better group

Or a sphere of knowledge or core of “the trained” that will make you superior to those lesser fit than you

Someone has to pay the freight up and down the hill

Sometimes its’ those on the bottom, other times in the middle

Those at the top, pay another price, on the way up and if they fall down

Sleepless nights trying to keep their place from being taken by a marauder looking to be King of the Hill

I am thinking about APATHY- At age 41, early middle life, with my house full of children, responsibilities unending, laundry ever present, broken belts on vehicles, locals please note the parking of my large van near a certain coffee shop, and no I am not living there, leaking water heaters causing the need for replacement of flooring and said water heater, throw in a couple of walls etc, sofas ripping at the seams, something and someone always needful of my limited resources, my brain power, my energy, my presence, my essence. I find myself at times slipping into a state of non-caring about the things going on in the greater world around me, other than of course the doings of my Facebook friends :-).

I looked at the definition of apathy, and it’s causes and offshoots, and recognized that at times we may all suffer from either overload or under stimulation and over competency or inability, all of which can contribute to apathetic behaviors or feelings. In my role as a long time homemaker and home educator I can suffer from all of them simultaneously in varying degrees and seasons of my journey.

One thing I did discover is the virtue of “apatheia” which is a good thing in terms of learning to manage one’s emotional responses to the things we truly cannot change in the moment, and I do think that maturity can bring that about in our lives if we let it. Still, apathy itself is not desirable and it is important to find ways to continue reaching out even in our own times of busyness with our own business.

Apathy (also called impassivity or perfunctoriness) is a state of indifference, or the suppression of emotions such as concern, excitement, motivation and passion. An apathetic individual has an absence of interest in or concern about emotional, social, spiritual, philosophical or physical life.”

“Although the word apathy is derived from the Greek ἀπάθεια (apatheia), it is important not to confuse the two terms. Also meaning “absence of passion,” “apathy” or “insensibility” in Greek, the term apatheia was used by the Stoics to signify a (desirable) state of indifference towards events and things which lie outside one’s control (that is, according to their philosophy, all things exterior, one being only responsible of his representations and judgments).

In contrast to apathyapatheia is considered a virtue, especially in Orthodox monasticism”

“Apatheia (Greek: ἀπάθεια) in Stoic philosophy refers to a state of mind where one is free from emotional disturbance. This might be translated as equanimity or indifference. This is the root of the word apathy. Apatheia must, however, not be confused with apathy. Apatheia is a positive term; apathy, a purely negative one.

Whereas Aristotle had claimed that virtue was to be found in the golden mean between excess and deficiency of emotion (metriopatheia), the Stoics sought freedom from all passions (apatheia). It meant eradicating the emotional response to external events – the things we cannot control. For the Stoics, it was the optimum rational response to the world, for we cannot control things that are caused by the will of others or by Nature, we can only control our own will. This did not mean a loss of all feeling, or total disengagement from the world. The Stoic who performs correct (virtuous) judgments and actions as part of the world-order experiences contentment (eudaimonia) and good feelings (eupatheia).”

Old song which is a good reminder to keep looking up and out.

Apathy Alert- De Garmo and Key

I hear the news, I read the paper

There’s no choice, it fills your senses

I share the hurt, I share the heart-break

It comes each day, the news is so relentless

My heart goes searching for a place to hide

I hear a voice of warning down inside

Apathy alert

I hear a voice inside shouting to my heart

Apathy alert

It’s time to do what’s right

It’s time for me to do my part

Broken dreams and breaking hearts

Every place you look, but who can change it

What can I do all by myself

I’m not a king and I’m no prophet

I hear a voice of warning down inside

Breaking the silence, breaking thru the ice

Apathy alert

I hear a voice inside shouting to my heart

Apathy alert

It’s time to do what’s right

It’s time for me to do my part

Degarmo and Key- 1985

Good article to ponder

Some interesting thoughts on how we, or out children, may arrive at apathy in an overstimulated world and how to direct the energies and passions properly.

Sherry- July 20

If I do what I do and love what I love

Will that surely be enough?


If I am what I am

Who I was made to be

In all of my beautiful intricacies


To the best of my best

Whether I am ever well known

Or remain in a state of concealment, or alone.


If I do what I love, from the heart of my heart

Does it matter if I am rewarded or lauded,

Need I be paid or famed or applauded?


When passion is found, for the things we esteem

Important, worthy, life giving, redeeming

Should we not into them ourselves throw

Fully, completely, sowing  our most?


Find what is is, that you would do for free

With zeal and love and all of your being

Do that thing with all of your heart

Surely in the end that will be enough.


Sherry Carlstrom

July 13, 2011

The rod and reproof give wisdom,

but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.

When the wicked increase, transgression increases,

but the righteous will look upon their downfall.

Discipline your son, and he will give you rest;

he will give delight to your heart.

Where there is no prophetic vision the people cast off restraint,

but blessed is he who keeps the law.

By mere words a servant is not disciplined,

for though he understands, he will not respond.

Proverbs 29

This is a most famous passage, and often it is parceled out and used in short sections, but when looked at in context, there are some even  more remarkable tools for us to use in training our children, and in staying on course in our own journey.

I am a visionary in many ways, I thrive on planning, looking forward, thinking long term. If I am not at a place where I feel like I can be projecting in some way, I can feel like I will perish, which is exactly how the King James Version translates the passage on vision, “For without a vision, the people perish”. I totally get that.

I like the translation of casting off restraint as well, it is so accurate, if we have not light or path to follow, we will just begin to do whatever seems right in our own eyes.  So it is with children. If they are not given a direct vision, a path for their lives with understanding of what underlies it, they will wander, cast off restraint and in time they may perish.

It is the rod of correction and discipline, and the words of instruction and reproof that we give to our children in love that bring them the wisdom they need to get on and stay on the path that leads to life. When I looked at this today, I saw the joining of the need for both correction, instruction and vision all coming together in ways I have previously overlooked.

Yesterday morning I was watching a sermon on dvd with all of my children, it was a command performance for all 6, including the younger set for whom the message was over the head. I am working to train them to listen and to just absorb whatever wisdom they can.  The 3 year old was not that into it, and was wandering around, I was correcting him in a somewhat frustrated tone as I was doing some other multi-tasking at the same time as listening myself.

He asked me “Why are we watching this”?  he was looking for vision, for instruction, for the path to follow, for the big WHY, to be laid out for him. I looked at him and said “Well, we need to know what is going on in God’s Kingdom and what we are supposed to do as our part in it.”   He was not totally impressed with that answer, again a bit above the head, but I am going to follow up with him on it and give him some more insights as we move along the path.

Another tidbit from the above section of scripture is:

By mere words a servant is not disciplined,

for though he understands, he will not respond.

Often, we really do need more than just words to cause us to respond. As I think of this in regard to training my children, I recognize how imperative it is that I DO SOMETHING, not just talk them to death, which can be a real temptation and snare some days.  They want to see what I am doing and where my actions are leading in order to decide if they want to follow in my footsteps.

So challenging as I often fear I falter before their eyes and struggle to get back up when I am fumbling with my failure.

This portion is a great motivator and reminder:

Discipline your son, and he will give you rest;

he will give delight to your heart.

This truly is the desire of my heart, to have children who are disciplined, who give me peace and rest and not conflict and turmoil and who bring delight to my heart, to the heart of  God and to those around in need of people who are as such.

So, I press on, and encourage you to seek God for vision, for wisdom and for the insight to train your children in the way they should go.