Duct-tape mountains and pyramids of sand

I want the ‘Once and for Always’ solutions usually, no make that… Always. Maybe it’s a man thing, maybe it’s a ‘me’ thing, but when I engage and work on a problem, I want my hard work and time invested to create such a fantastic fix, that the problem never occurs again…

Reasonable, right??

Uhh… nope.

Specifics you say?? Well, just this week I was down under the bar at our restaurant. I sawed and cut apart pipe, then glued new pieces together. I taped and threaded heavy brass chunks together, making a monstrous combination of plastic and metal. It was unorthodox plumbing work, to say the least. We had been experiencing a leak back there for a couple weeks, and I wanted to create a final and permanent solution to that problem…

I almost did. I stopped 99.9% of the water from dripping onto the floor and that is a big improvement over the mini-ponds we’d been mopping up lately… The fix for today does seem to be holding, but how ‘permanent’ can I really expect it to be? The last incarnation of this poorly designed water supply lasted almost ten years. Even ten whole years is faaaaaar from forever.

Other examples at, The Iron, include; designing a dynamic scheduling system online. I have made a snazzy Google document that anyone on the staff, can view from anywhere. I can update it from my phone or computer, wherever I may be. It is a tool that is key to the operation of our business… but it ain’t a permanent fix. In theory, I would love to just plug the names in, and leave it be. A weekly rotation that works for everyone, and keeps our place working smoooooth… Ha. I did create it with good structure, but it needs constant effort to function properly.

At my tee shirt designing job at Front Row Sports, I want the same permanent fixes to our artistic problems. I intentionally send a customer three or even four design ideas for their team or organization, because I crave this finality to all my work. I want to give them several options so that I do not have to return to square one, and start again from a blank slate, as I did before. I want to give them something, anything, that can be used to continue on and build from. Most of the time, they choose one of the ideas sent, and we finalize from there. Those are great for me.

These little examples pale in comparison to other foreverness and permanence that I notice in the world. As a kid, I was always intrigued by earlier world cultures. I loved reading Greek mythology and seeing the works of the Renaissance artists, but especially I loved picture books and stories of ancient Egypt. The pyramids and tombs, the Sphinx and all those hieroglyphics fascinated me at a very young age. Talk about permanence! Those structures are mighty and built to last. Somehow, the ideas and work and stone from thousands of years ago is available today to go and view and tour. I would like to do that myself someday.

In the presence of Prometheus and the other Bristlecone Pine trees in the White Mountains of California, I felt a profound calm. Some of those exact trees were young, when the Egyptian pyramids were young too… These beings are alive. They aren’t stone or paint on an underground wall hidden from the desert elements. They survive exposed on the peak of a rocky hillside, waay above other trees. As far as living things go, they are the most permanent single individuals we know of, on our whole planet.

We walked past in the blink of an eye to them. We, as modern Americans have visited them for just a single breath of their venerable lives. We are as transient and quick as the clouds across their high altitude sky.

Ha! Permanence is a joke, and I want it in everything. Funny huh? I beg for problems to go away, once and for all. I yearn to put things behind me, never to return to them again. I’m dying to step forward onto newer ever greener grasses and to always leave a trail of fullness and completion in my wake…

Are you laughing right now?? You should be. I should too 🙂

My infinitesimally microscopic existence is such a minute pinprick of a fraction of a millisecond, that almost everything I do or say or produce, will be gone instantly, as soon as I am. The world and time and the universe suffer nothing as they spin forward, onward and toward mystery. I am clutching a solidity that just has never existed.

The pyramids are tough, yes. They are big hunks of stone, but stone crumbles. The ancients left us great works of architecture and art, but we’ve got to be here to observe them to notice their significance, and maybe we won’t last forever either. Even the Bristlecone Pines, will eventually all die. There are threats to them right now, and we may watch the death of their five-thousand-year reign on top of that mountain.

Even the mountain itself, wasn’t always, always. There are fossils up there, rocks that used to be at the bottom of a great sea. Amazing that the floor of the earth can grow to the ceiling. I’m betting that if the bottom can make it to the top, then the reverse is possible still.

I can relax a little now. I’ve spent these few minutes reminding myself that not one thing that I can see is permanent. Nothing I can can create or work on, or try to fix, will be that way forever. If I know this, then maybe I can calm myself easier, as the broken record returns again and brings me a recycled old issue that I wish would just go away.

God has created me to want forever. It seems to be stitched into the core of the fabric of my being. I notice this vast contrast between the perceivable world, it’s flawed and rotten constant deconstruction, and one true absolute divinity. The creator of all is the essence of Always. The one true God could be measured as the equation that explains everything, but that equation would blow our minds to pieces, with it’s simplicity and power. Impossible-ness, exists simultaneously with the reality we experience every day in God.

I want God. It’s not even a religious thing. God is the want, I wake up to every day. I may think it’s food or money or booze or sex or health or family or kids or business or success or prestige or comfort or even love. All those pale in comparison, they are just a flash of a hologram. The inexplicable foundational truth of God, isn’t.

My subconscious watches the world deteriorate, second by quickly passing second, and it begs me to grasp ahold of the only thing that doesn’t. Maybe my ego, my spiritual idea of myself, does not want to die. It wants to see itself live on, somehow, anyhow. It cannot handle the idea that it won’t be here forever. And it won’t, in the same way that it is now.

My soul, my essence could, however return to the Creator, to the Always, and maybe have a chance to experience something beyond these wet paper walls of planet earth…

I thank the Savior of the World, Jesus the Christ, today and every day, for his gift of everlasting life to me and to you.


Aaron Nichols

One thought on “Duct-tape mountains and pyramids of sand

  1. Love the way you write!!! Hard to get my work done though, and now I’m going to listen to the Spirit as I do my Bible study!!

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