“Why d’you turn away from me, d’you even know I’m here? Not a whisper in my direction. Our intense relationship seems to be one way God- I can even hear You breathe as if I were being carried in Your shoulder, but d’You even look at me ?”
Our human structures are visual/calculated. We are Time-zoned, we make reports on productivity, we are skewed by flow charts and input/output ratios. Try telling someone you’re a Polished Arrow in Divine Quiver, waiting your moment. Actually, don’t. Don’t talk about it, but set aside 5 minutes to chew on it real slow.
Each of us has that one thing we will do, or not do before we quit this planet. Yep, we are that one hidden arrow for us, that is no one else. Whether we believe that or not, we were born for specificity.
What secrets are stashed in the arms of those, who in perfect alignment with the process, can arrest his/her own desires, in the challenge of visibility compromised, in the loneliness of an extreme polishing?
What happens in the secret of such a place can sear logical absolutes;places where we trust, be still, go alone- hold our tongue, be tempered steel, be Gold- refined, enduring Fire while greater purpose is being taken a fine shot at. Killing. Ach. Non comprehendi. God, what’s going on? Chances are, we’ll know soon enough.
…..as with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. Steve Jobs.
Easy said, right.
While you wait Polished Arrow, rest in the knowledge that you and I are pieces of a Whole; these moments of our Lives, however complex, are terrifically significant in ways that are perhaps beyond visual understanding,
He walked into a Banquet sans suit and necktie, but with ‘loin cloth‘ representing all his brother- farmers back home in India. Oh he talked, wrote, fasted, got thrown out of here and there, was jailed, unjailed, hailed by kings and the rest, fought gently, made salt against Govt orders(Dandi March, pre Indian Independance……), got beaten up, dared kingdoms, befriended and brought together people of all ‘castes’…. how?
Thankyou Kate Motaung for triggering a revisit to my 7 year old self, in a place I loved and was terrified of: the Sea. Here I got something I’ll never let go of: how to ride a giant wave!
Age 7 is a tricky sweet dangerous age to utterly trust a stranger, in a spot like that, deep sea. Those waves weren’t called Breakers for nothing. But Bro. Harrison (name unchanged*) was the kind of human any family would trust.
This was the Bay of Bengal, summer. He was an Australian lumbering red raw sunburnt priest on vacation from a Boys’ school in Darjeeling; he was dear and kind and sweet. Would take endless pictures of us, and himself, all black and white. He’d send us statutes and post cards from Italy and wherever he went. Summers were in our little coastal tourist village; he loved Indian fish fries, and Dad’s laughter in our veranda overlooking the sea. Then he’d hoist me over his shoulder to the beach. Ofcourse I trusted him, and he proved his worth in sand and mid sea, even with a six footer wave crest crackly overhead, spiffing white crystal fire in the gold sun.
I was afraid;
the Sea was a scary beautiful friend. She’d sweep out her large green blue skirts at my toes then swing them back in to herself, tempting me to go in deeper. I’d run in for shells, then fly back out again at another wave that chased me right to the edge of our hard flat beach, up the massive sand bund to where our compound wall overlooked a panoramic 180 degrees of this terrific watery Friend.
Brother H. as we called him, (he refused to be called uncle, flouting all nice Indian courtesy to senior relative), said it made him feel older than his 50, and that he was a child inside. He was. He was also a sort of Angel, no trace of guile or meanness, only the joy of living life to the full.
“Come on, old lady!” He’d yell over our mulling muttering crash- echoing Bay. He was a certified Life Saver, I didn’t understand that but it made me feel important, and saved somehow from the churling tide, its rush and fervor, its lunging, pulling, eddy and mega swill.
B. H. would ask me to hold on to the tube and trust him as we paddled deeper in to where waves began.
The idea was to go through that startling blue water wall before it crashed- then ride its crest all the way ashore.
It was the most somersaulty crazy thing I’ve experienced or ever will. If I’d known how to swim, it would’ve not been as dangerous. Here I had to trust Bro. H., I had to go where he said, hold tight no matter my nose and face were smashed in that coaster, no matter I was in a sand-&-water rollercoaster, ears and brain thounding (yeah, you’d get new words) with the crash of tide in maddened swell.
The sound it still startles me but not as much as the glory of re-surfacing in great gulp of air, Bro.H’s laughing grey blue eyes, his lung full of a whoop shout, as we settled in the shoulder of yet another giant wave as she rode us all the way back to shore….
where sometimes dad or ma waited, wondering that I needed this.
Years down, I’ve relived that time there, over and over. It’s one empowered way to ride a risky wave like that – in the sea, or in Life elsewhere: surprise that Thing that’s coming at us, go through It holding on to the Hand that holds you & me better than we could hold ourselves, then break free as the Breath of God kicks in Life in our frame,
ride that Wave for the sheer joy of knowing that’s why there are Waves and Oceans, Sands and Seas in the stories of our lives.
Thankyou Kate M. & Storytellers, and all of Blog world for reminding me; I’m feeling 7 years old, at sea with the Hand that holds all.
*years down, I searched Facebook for him, we’d shifted cities and we’d lost touch. He wasn’t the kind to stop writing or telling us where he was, but he did. I suspected the worst; and found his smiling black and white profiles in a FB page dedicated to him by people who knew him, as we did too. Bro H. was/ is one if the most magnificent human beings ever created: he taught this 7 year old to walk on high walls, chase sand crab, find sea horse, race waves, love sea boats, love life no matter where….
This photograph ‘Homeless woman‘, from Helen Cherry’s stunning Blog gazed at me all yesterday through Sunday dinner and warm sheets and bed; through our roof in pre-dawn mist and warm breakfast this morning. I can’t get her out of my hair. Her and the billions of Us, asking, asking, asking Questions in a Silence that’s growing. Growing in isolation.
In a country like mine, India, where 46 million people live under poverty line (2019, correct me if I’m wrong), begging is no unusual event but this Photograph from a London Street (thankyou Helen for your heart stilling Capture) stokes some more soul searching questions:
Global Questions steadily turning us to begging bowls, they’re steeping deeper with Time and lack of Space. Our questions morph into statements:
will there be rice enough for our farmers. Will there be rain. Will there be water. Will there be war, peace. Is there house enough for all. What makes poverty. Who can help the ‘poverty line’. Where does tax money go. Who is that person sitting on cardboard in the street. Is he/ she really a beggar. Why am I suspicious of everyone I don’t fully understand. Do I have a spare wardrobe I can share, a spare coin, a blanket, a meal. Can I be a friend to someone who’s homesick, needs a friend..
seriously, if one of us took note of one other person in genuine need, that’s half of 7 billion looking out for the other half.
How do we figure out genuine need: I’m pretty sure we are smart enough to decipher things like that.
In my corner of the earth, these things are highly shareable :
last year’s text books, story books, clothes/bags/shoes/a little pocket money, yes tricky/ a smile, trickier/ a phone call….😏 a prayer/ …. a shared meal, sheets I can part with, a blanket I don’t need...there’s a person that collects our newspapers and sells it, old books… how many rupees does he get from that? Oh so little, but it makes him happy. Last year this time, the good Lord (only He would/ could), put it on our hearts to cook Sunday lunch for anyone who’d fellowship with us…. I’m not a great cook and we don’t serve a lavish table, but we’ve watched a certain joy tiptoe in at our home. And it’s never left. We’ve received some great new friends, and its turning me into a whole strangely different person. I’ve received hugs and heart; received smiles like we didn’t know were there anymore; received healing and laughter. Received the courage to believe in humanity again. Watched some young lives stand tall, unbreak. Watched myself go from a recluse into a person who looked forward to meeting new faces. Watched new people pray for our sick son. Watched, heard, experienced the love of strangers turn my cold insides into a warmth I have no proper words for.
We live in an Age of Suspicion. It’s gotten so awry it’s real. A certain amount of suspicion is even good, but peer below the layer of fake and Con, and we may find some genuine people whom we can not only bless, but be blessed back by.
We were meant to live in these, these tough insane wildly hurtful times. We have this growing awareness in us, that probably our forefathers could not have had: an awareness of depleting resources and human understanding. We balk at politicians and global warming. We are well-read and clever. We know Theories and Consequences of War. We are efficient, highly informed and intelligent. We are frightened easily, hence careful, paranoid, terse, polite, warned. We feel deeply, so we write and poetise, paint, read, gripe. We who are so well endowed, are the cream of a global society that’s screaming for basics of heart soul, body mind. Not all of this is something Governments can easily provide. We are Social watchmen. We are our own DoorKeepers, and Guide. Who are we, we are Humans like never before. We are Teachers and Givers, Recipients…
but this :
we do not know how to Receive. Go to an Orphanage and receive a child’s hug. An old person’s smile. A Druggie’s tears. Spend 5 minutes / day just watching the street you pass everyday. Be an anonymous Burger donor. Anything. Just do it, Angel. Yes, you. Me. Tough, ofcourse. Aren’t you and I bone tired of being boring people, noses burrowed in our news: prophets of gloom. Watch a new smile spread in a brand new face all because of you. What a kick that is. Receive what you get when you bless another’s need.
A peasant, she who shares the street with rats and pillows of concrete? The feral cats from alley beats lick the food stuckto her feet. Day and night she hunts for eats, old clothes disposed become her sheets…..
….stop to greet a human drenched from summer’s heat and frozen by the winter’s sleet- a fate no woman dreamed she’d meet.…
“THE MORE YOU REACH OUT TO OTHER PEOPLE WITH NEEDS, THE SMALLER YOUR FEARS BECOME.” Dr. David Jeremiah in his ‘The Christian Walk Journal’. It’s a daily devotional; got it as a gift this year. (Not much else I treasure like a good Diary).
From my Journal this morning; and it went in my spirit like a warm shaft of Light. The past week has seen so much more strength than we could’ve imagined. We watched as God broke through our own doubts and fears, our very suspicion of Him. Watched as He spoke through us, to us. Sometimes there is no one else the human head or heart will listen to, hehe. We are a stubborn lot. We are street smart, and oh so wise. Ofcourse we cannot trust the Unseen.
But this past week I’ve watched the Fingers of God shift my focus from ME to a world around that is waiting for someone to just be nice to them, as I’ve waited too. 1.20 billion in my country, a few thousands around my streets. What can individuals really do? I’m going to find out this week.
“Because sometimes you have to step outside of the person you’ve been, and remember the person you were meant to be, the person you wanted to be, the person you are.” ~H.G. Wells, quoting from Cathyde67 Thankyou!🌻
“Almost 20,000 women & children were victims of human trafficking in India 2016, a rise in 25% ….” pg145, ASHA-Journey of Hope* :
Quote from new Release by Biblica Inc. & people who really care beyond the details of getting out a ‘Book’:
these Pages have broken my heart and healed me in ways I didn’t think could happen, simply because you wonder whether anyone can actually help. I’ve personally seen too much to believe there are groups like ‘Project Esther’. Even this Paperback* is not for sale.
‘I AM THE GOOD SHEPHERD’. John 10:11,14,15. Really? What does Jesus of Nazareth 2000 years ago, even know about ‘Amy’ (true account) : below
‘Amy’ an unwed young mother.. weeping uncontrollably when she heard this NGO’s name was ESTHER. She had given her baby away 30 mins. before, and had named her Esther.
Today this young woman’s life is being pieced together by the love of God and people who teach her to forgive. She never got her child back.
I cannot read anymore for now, though I promised a ‘proper’ review. The enormity of this sits in my throat like a two edged sword. The Word of God can cut through all our silence. One wants to say something nice and wise. Some of us write, sing, paint…. is it enough? Maybe together we are stronger, we can see more with each others’ eyes and address. Right where you and I live, there are silenced voices, eyes that veil wounds.
ASHA explores each of Jesus’ “I AM” statements in the light of how they apply to women who’ve suffered abuse. It also features stories of women and girls who’ve bravely entrusted to us details of their own trauma. Excerpt from original Print. Purpose of this book, is to reach out to members of our community: you are not alone.
Published by Biblica Inc. All rights reserved. ASHA Journey of Hope. 2020
I admit of late, (with not much prior experience to saying such a thing), I now like the thing, I like cooking. Not a twinge in my bones warned me of this change, this betrayal of who I used to be.
Last month I found my Ma’s cookbook called Family Secrets; she’s written it all down there, I can smell her curry leaf seasoning, her tomato pickle in the window sill, her garden coriander leaf and onion gold fried in black bottomed pan;
my dad said that pan had nine lives, it never died.
I do not have Ma’s pan but I am changing, like my face in the mirror, like my hands that could not take cold water, or luke warm. Now I don’t need anything ‘just so’, just the aroma of veggie chopped cubes in slow stir; oh the experience, again of mint chutney we grew to love, all spluttery with mustard seed in coconut oil and tiny steel bowl served on dining table in veranda next to the kitchen. We lived by the sea, once on a mountain, an island, she always grew a garden, I have my own: sea shells in pots and Lime bonsai… those little green mint leaf? They spike lemon these days.
Flavors we once knew, they return in new ways. How d’you experience the same heart beat, in new rhythm… I cannot know, but its here.
I’m my Ma, a piece of her. I now love well- polished glasses, tinkly spoons. I never used to. Never admired wheat pure home-made breads in tiny warm basket, not just to eat but to serve. I’m changing, that’s for sure. It must be Time 😃!
Last night after the last dish went in and the moon was a full circle of cool warm shade in our window, a bird chirped full- throat, right in my pulse…I felt it, Life. In its simplicities. No fuss, nah no frill, just the old Order giving way to New. Like an old Prayer whispered all over again,
like tender mercies new every morning; I’m experiencing the everlasting Faithfulness of God.
Here there is no one else, here there are no words, none but Yours- falling in my ears, like a Prayer :
I have never heard You pray before, I have never heard You pray over me: Words that breathe life over my ash. This I could not have believed, that God would pray o’er a broken spirit, an outcaste, a one no one sees….
but You pray over me, and I do not know the Words, it is the syllable of a Heart whispering in mine, it is the rush of a Stillness,