Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

The dancing flame of my writing candle casts golden and glowing flashes of light on my mess of a desk tonight. I sometimes forget how warm and familiar a live flame can be, when one intends to sit and let out, the words. It’s friendly and active, and almost human, it it’s movements.

My little flame is crouching and then jumping. It falls over and rises again. It stretches way, waaaay up, then dips and dashes in painterly swashes. All the time it is rooted to the wick, planted to the black sooty twist of fiber with glowing orange edges.

I lit this flame with a blowtorch tonight. I knew I had moved the bic lighter to somewhere else, and I thought, ‘I have a blowtorch handy, I’ll just use that!’ Why not? So I did.

There are other things I have handy. Like a phone to take pictures. Which I did also. It’s a fancy one. It can do lots of things. I decided to take pictures of my little writing candle. I wanted to waste time. Wasting time, is what this writer does lots of. I must waste it, in order to see the hands of the big clock on the wall squeezing away my sleeping time, my tomorrow time, my life.

I must watch it pass, until I think it’s too late. Then the action begins.

So there I sat, clicking away pictures of this candle. And I wanted to show you my blowtorch tip, blasting the wick and proving that this little moment existed tonight, in digital picture evidence. But it didn’t look good. You couldn’t see the blasting of the fire. The effect was lost. So I played with the effects available on my phone camera.

Sepia, black and white, cartoonify, washed-out, red-yellow point, blue point, green too, solarize, posterize, warm vintage and cold. Then ‘No Effect’, the normal mode. But wait, there was ‘Negative’ too. And then I noticed the message.

I took the same picture, over and over and over again. It was the same camera, the same subject, the same time period and angle. The same shot, over and over, but with different effects. The results were interesting.

You can see in each picture a shape, and a form. Some you can see the candle, some not. Some look ‘normal’, some don’t. The ‘negative’ version was the worst. It flip flops all the colors, to show the brightest point of the picture as the darkest. It renders the darkness as light. It is a hard to comprehend ‘backward’ image of the truth.

Seeing this picture with a ‘negative’ filter, is ugly.

Uh oh. I am stuck on negative mode sometimes. Too many times. Right now even. Darn. It’s ugly. It’s showing me a reverse image of the truth. I am literally seeing thru eyes and processing with my mind, in a mode that I don’t enjoy or like. I must wonder now, what the truth really looks like, if it I am seeing things in opposite view??


Or, It’s not opposite view at all! What if I am seeing in ‘No Effect’ and I’ve lost any masking and digital enhancing effects that make things seem warmer and prettier and softer than they really are. What if I am seeing, just as things are, and I feel I am seeing ugly things?

Either way, I don’t always like the picture I see. I know that someone will tell me to always look on the bright side. Or every dark cloud has a silver lining… and I know this could be true, I may be too lazy to look for it.

(Here’s that signature moment of too much honesty, once again in a weirdforgood blog.)

So I ask today a question to myself. If I know that there are other ‘filters’ and ‘effects’ that I can use to process the way I see the world, will I do something about that? Will I try to switch views? Will I show someone else what I see, and ask their perception of it? Will I relax into the knowing that change is unstoppable, and what I see in my view right now, is about to be different, because it always is, always was, and always will be in motion?

Heck if I know. I get right now, that I am a photoshop wizard, and I can make the darn picture into anything I want. If I really sit down and commit to doing it. I have the tools and the skills and even the artistic vision. If the picture gets ugly enough to me, I will change it. I know that to be true. We all do. We all can. We all will…

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas my friend. I hope you notice that your new year will be exactly the picture that you choose to see, or choose to create, in it’s beauty and it’s lack of it. As will mine. Wish me luck 🙂 I need it right now 🙂


Aaron Nichols

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The Ugly Biscuit

A funky shaped, flopped-over, creased and wadded bunch of biscuit dough, just doesn’t look as appealing to eat, as those other, crisply cut brothers around it on the baking sheet. It isn’t going to easily be split into two nice halves. It won’t make a nice breakfast sandwich, or hold a thick smear of jelly, without falling apart into pieces…

Nope, the Ugly Biscuit, often times gets tossed, near noon, once all the good ones have been taken, and it’s just a cold hard lump that no one wants…

So why then, do I have a soft heart and warm idea about the ‘ol Ugly Biscuit? Enough so, that I have joked to Lindsay that someday, in the far out future, if we ever ran a little breakfast joint, with rich coffee and hearty bacon and just good morning-time food. I would like to call it, The Ugly Biscuit.

I suppose I relate with the idea, that it’s uniqueness and personality, gives it a character unlike it’s (literally) cookie-cutter neighbors. Cookie Cutter is a term that gives me the heebie-jeebies. I don’t like it at all. Wouldn’t want to be described in that way myself. But dang, I have to admit, eating a perfectly formed biscuit, as a sandwich or under a pile of gravy, is a treat!

Growing up, on weekend mornings, Mom made biscuits. I loved those things. Just the right size for little butter, and a spoon of jelly, and then one or two or three more. While they’re still steaming hot upon cracking open, was best. Almost all of them were pretty little biscuits, except the Ugly one. A rolled up little ball that was the collection of all the in-betweener cutout pieces, smooshed together and baked.

Sure, I feel like the Ugly Biscuit, myself, a lot. I’ve smashed and mushed and slapped together my own life, grabbing at different influences and energies. I’ve combined and concocted, and created something that no one could call uniform or cookie-cutter. A quote from my ‘Aunt’ Shirley this week said it best. “I don’t think you were ever normal.”

Nope, sure ain’t.

And that is quite acceptable to me now more than ever, and especially in the context of this blog post setting. Her statement and recollection, was music to my ears. A huge compliment, whether she meant it that way or not. So much so, that I just had to excitedly post it to facebook, as soon as I heard it…

Which is what I see a lot of there. People posting something self-complimenting that they just love to reiterate to the wider audience of the web, maybe expecting the automatic ‘like’ response from friends and maybe some encouraging comments to go along with it…

Yup, I did it. I made another ‘cookie-cutter’ move out in the world of the internet. Maybe I’m not the totally ‘weird’ abnormalite I’d like to believe myself to be. I did it too y’all. Ooooh, look at me, someone said something cute (about me), and I want to hear your positive acknowledgment (about me!)

Which brings me to my point this week about my Toaster Oven. Also included is: my Stove Top ‘burners’ and the nature of the spectrum of light, or temperature, or even time. It amazes me, that when I toast my bread in the toaster oven, I have to set the little dial somewhere in the tiniest dot that lies in between an outline picture of a slice of bread, and a filled-in picture of a slice of bread. These two are the two choices: dried out but colorless, or blackened black burnt. If however, you set the dial right in the middle, AND sit there watching the bread through the glass door, AND flip it once or twice so that both sides get more evenly heated, you can get great golden brown toast.

The spectrum of Toastiness is quite wide, yet only the tiniest spot on that spectrum produces good toast. Also with light. The spectrum of light is so vast and wide we can’t imagine it. We only see a tiny sliver of ‘visible’ light to our eyeball calibration. It’s tiny, what we actually can use among the light available to us, without other equipment. Again, the spectrum of time, is a mind-boggler. We could debate it’s length, or it’s end, or even whether it’s linear or non. It could be ultra dimensional in ways we can’t fathom. Or it could not exist at all. Yet, our sixty or seventy or eighty or ninety-ish decades in this space of time, is again, just a blink, of an ultra-fast snapshot, as we lay-men understand it to be.

Weird idn’t it. In the spectrum of normality, I may seem weirder than some, to myself. I sit as the ugly biscuit in the middle of the pan. Feeling passed over, or envious of those around with level puffy rising-ness. And yet, just adjacent to this point on the spectrum, I am much more normal that I could ever imagine. The space between just isn’t that darned far. The gap between where we think we lack, and where we feel fulfilled is a hair-width away. I know this to be true. I see the pattern and example laid out in the structure of our universe. The usable and important playing field is just a tiny glimpse of the truth.

I do get caught up, thinking that I need to account for, and explain and understand the entire spectrum of the purpose of my life. I can be depressed at the missed opportunities or places I’d rather be right now. I could lament chances gone by. I could look forlorn to another winter ahead without a trip to the mountains for me… boo hoo. I cry.

My mind is an expert at creating disappointment around all the things I could have, or not have, and all the experiences I could have, or not have, based on a huge spectrum of possibility. I see someone else, in better shape, I think, ‘I could be in that shape too, if I tried.’ I see someone richer, and smarter and with better vocabulary. I think, ‘Why didn’t I go to a four-year school, why didn’t I take life more seriously, sooner?’ Or the flipside, I see someone joking and enjoying and free flowing and I think, ‘Why don’t I have a better sense of humor. I could be having fun like them now, or making people laugh. I would like that better, than being so serious all the time!’

These are tiny dots on a huge spectrum of creation. To me, they can seem eons apart, unreachable, unfathomable in distance. Yet they not.

A tiny twist of the dial here, a minute step there. I have lived into new worlds and experienced places with addresses like, “You can’t get there from here.” Truly. I laugh at myself with the synchronicities and obvious coincidences that paint the surfaces of my life. It is just crazy to see how it has all come together to this point.

Just like the dough, which started as flour and butter and a little salt and sugar with milk, was given height with the baking powder. But, that really isn’t the whole truth. The flour was a grain before ground, the salt a mineral formation in the earth. The milk was produced by a living animal. But before that, the grain was a seed, the earth a cauldron of creation, and the cow brought forth from generation upon generation ago. Let’s not even go into the inventions and creativity involved in a Maytag oven, and civilized home, in a civilized community to bake within.

The spectrum of what it took to create that pan of biscuits truly divinely orchestrated. So it is with myself. And so with you too. And so this little moment, this flash of cognition, as I type this word, and you realize I am speaking directly to YOU, who is reading Now. Whew. Amazing that this point has been reached at all. With the spectrum of possibility against the probability of it’s existence…

And I want to worry, that my biscuit is kinda Ugly sometimes… Yes, I do. But it’s silly…. Because beauty is inherit, in the being-ness itself 🙂

Thanks be to God, with whom all things are possible.


Aaron Nichols

Here’s my comfort zone, a straight-jacket of fear!

If I wasn’t afraid, I would say it was fun and freeing and wildly exciting to write such a deliriously weird blog post last week.

It was out there, insane-o and yes crazy. Thank God!

My steps were lighter and breaths fresher after letting out that tirade of words and emotions.

(Just in case you missed it, the link is here)

And really I have to question what I am doing with this blog here at this time. Am I attempting to offer profound, life improving tips, that you can take and use for yourself? Am I deciding that I know from experience a genre, in which I am an expert and you can learn from me? Am I just wasting my energy and breath, adding to the the digital clutter piling up all over the screenspace? I don’t know. Ain’t got a clue. But it keeps showing up THROUGH me, so I guess I’ll go again.

See last week I talked about a weird subject, demonic possession. That’s not usual conversation. I have talked about a lot of things here that most people don’t talk about. In fact, this little space is a place of exercise in stretching my personal comfort boundaries week in and week out. Last week was a bigger stretch than most.

How often do we purposely stretch ourselves? How ‘cool’ is it to, not do the thing we already know that we can, but to step outside the comfort zone? Is ‘finding out what I’m made of,’ something that you yourself pursue?

Mostly, I don’t do that. Mostly, I stay in comfort. Mostly, I shy away from opportunities to experience new things. Mostly, I want to live in the knowing that what I’m choosing, I will win at, or succeed at, or not have to change for. I want to be the me that I already know, not a new scary version. ‘Cause that would be… well… new… and… well… scary…

I’m scared when I’m allowing fear to rule. I wear it like a smothering straight-jacket that I cinch up myself. I’m locked in. I feel the support and comfort of the constraints of my fear. I know where I stand, when I can blame my immobility on this harness tying me tightly. I mostly operate with varying levels of fear, showing me the well worn path of habit. And when something slightly causes me to have to adjust my step, a small stone, a critter, a person, in my way. I come unglued. But still… constrained! It’s all held within!

Yes, this is passive aggressiveness. This is unwonderful. This is living within a boundary that I both sentimentally love for it’s familiarity, and hate for it’s self-abusiveness.

Last week, I nudged that boundary outward a bit. It was refreshing!!!

I wrote about something not that unusual in my own mind. In my little inside world, the commentary, and questions and colorful characters play around like Disney animation on meth! And no, I am not abusing substances. I can remember this kind of mindplay my life entire.

Does yours do that? Really? And if it does, would you be willing to post it online for anyone to read? Anymore, I have lost touch, with the ‘should’ do’s and ‘shouldn’t’ do’s, within this little digital journal experiment. What is the cost? I don’t know. What is the gain? No clue.

A zero sum game, this thing. I expend some energy, some time, I receive some energy, some time. God’s world is perfect in that way. Everything balances even, to the atom. Zero Sum. I learned that in biology class at Emporia State. Amazing.

So, I experience fear. There, I said it. Fear ruins my days, often. It washes away my smile, it stains the sunshine grey. Why I chose fear? Among all the possibilities? Just a habit. Just a re-occurrence that I must interrupt and re-route if I want it to change. A realignment is in order. A new and better step, I must stretch to, before I can leave the one I’m on.

In order to do that, I must see it for what it is. It’s just fear. Plain and Simple. It’s not all the stories I attach to it. It’s not anger or their fault or my past mistakes. It’s just one little nuclear bomb explosion of a thing.   f   e   a   r

“Hey little guy. I see you. I know, I’ve invited you in, but the time to move on is soon. I want my mind back…. Thanks.”


Aaron Nichols


** this post sparked by an email this morning… from Steve Chandler

        Fear is the most dangerous emotion on the way to wealth because it builds up and then mutates into resentment and anger and affects all business relationships negatively.

I’ve heard employees at a small restaurant complain that they’ve had a bad day at work because for some reason they were “slammed” all afternoon.

“What do you mean by slammed?”

“People.  Just slammed us.  Wouldn’t stop coming.  We thought we’d catch a break in the afternoon, but we didn’t.”

Notice that these workers were actually emotionally working against wealth.

Most people in business work against wealth. Just as most employees in companies work against promotion.  They fear and resent their employers and therefore they do not advance. Or if they do, it’s painful and with a lot of reservations. Playing office politics all the way.

If they were able to take all that negative emotion out of their work and just work on in good, neutral spirits, they would win big.

But emotion creeps in. People taking things personally. Like children with grown up jobs.

When the great novelist Jonathan Swift said, “A wise man should have money in his head, not in his heart,” he was on to something.

Live well and prosper,


Too weird to read… Just keep scrolling….


asdkjsdlkajgoien nkodnl oioi  i loladovb ol ppo . poei ldk dso ci nmm lamb of god lakd aasld lake of fire any way out let me go let me out I wanna leave this place you aren’t a fun body to haunt I am not kidding here, It’s been long enough I want to go where it’s fun again you have taken my play away i am legion for we are many…

Holy Shit.

That was crazy.

What you just read are the actual clicks of the keys that happened when I just decided to start typing two minutes ago. Just gobbeldy-gook on the page to begin the blogging process today. Who was talking there? Who was directing my fingers? Was it me? Was it a demonic presence inhabiting my earthly flesh-bag today? Was it just a residual memory popping back up, like watching a movie, then dreaming about it that night?

I don’t freakin’ know. That is just the point today. I don’t have a clue how my mind really operates. It swings so wildly from one end of the spectrum to the other. I ‘get’ that I don’t have to listen to it, I have power over it too. Yet it’s such a mystery! I have been shown insights by experts and mentors, family and Jesus too. Really though, I am baffled sometimes at what my mind conjures up. It’s scary even.

This brain of mine does seem to be on demonic auto-pilot sometimes. I’ve spoken here about anger and lashing out. Which happens as quick-response fiery temper boils over. I’ve spoken here about divine beauty and appreciation of the smallest lessons unfolding day after day like perfect white linens in the sunshine. So which of these is me? What is my mind, or my life really like? Angelic or Demonic? Hmmmmmmm……..

Seems to be all of it. A Spiritual Battle raging forth and back, back and forth. The heavenly vs. the earthly. The flesh doesn’t feel weak to me, it feels strong. The spirit must be supremely sublime though in it’s power. It does tend to win even without fanfare or trumpets claiming victory, it does so in quiet spaces…

(If this is new to you, or too weird, click away now. I implore you. At this point in the blogging game, I’m freestyling off of the craziness that came from just starting to move my hands upon the keys. What am I supposed to hear this morning? Or share?)

The tension feels all too real sometimes. I do feel caught in this age old storm. I find it hard to back away, get the real big picture. In the bird’s eye view. I do even know that I am choosing to ride these waves, and have ability to get off the ride anytime, quieting myself, retreating into the depth of my heart, feeling the overwhelming calm of the ocean, right inside where I’ve asked Jesus to reside…

But sometimes, too many times, I just Don’t CARE TO!!!

I’m going CRAZY!!



or is it me?

I see a little baby, like we all were. Every one of us, coo’d over and smiled at. Doing nothing but eating and sleeping and filling tiny diapers. We were all loved beyond imagination. We had all the possibility and wonder of the consciousness of the universe wrapped up in a sweet smelling little bundle…

That was me too. Angelic…


















Exploring the depths of hell and heights of heaven, may be what I came here to do. It seems that way. Although the phony plastic christmas commercials seem to say otherwise. Heaven all the time. Pure white with glittery-sparkles shooting out of my booty is how all of life is, and especially on buy-junk-on-black-fri-Day. Or is it, Big-Box-Feedlots full of brainless moooo-ing cattle? Kinda depressing, huh.

Yeah, when I look at the truth, through the lens of the culture. It ain’t no white christmas.

There is darkness here tooo. They don’t show us that though.


During Bible Study one morning we talked together about whether or not demonic possession is real today. Are those old dusty stories and parables relavent? Did people used be inhabited by devils? And nowadays they are not?

I don’t know. I do know this. I didn’t make up that little paragraph at the top of this page, for dramatic effect this morning. I just started to let the fingers go. Maybe by the last line, I had locked into the remembrance of some verses from Mark, and it was all a just a flash of mental regurgitation. Pop! A dream moment, that I awoke from, seconds later…

Not sure. Maybe someday I’ll really know. Or maybe I do know, and I’m still afraid to really look at that truth.

I know however, that once again, I’ve moved one tiny fragment forward. Jumping to another floating chunk of ice, in the frigid winter ocean. The current is moving in a epic global swirl. Right now, from this little windy perch, with crashes and splashes and salted icy-brine sticking to everything, it’s hard to see Tahiti.

It’s the joy of the presence of the Christ Jesus in my life, that has opened me up, to share such crazy crap with you all today. Be careful, when you invite him into your life. You don’t know what you may be asking for. A trip down the rabbit hole could be deeper than you ever imagined, and I’m just getting started 🙂

Merry (real) Christmas Y’all 🙂


Aaron Nichols