I’ve never done a repost this way: as someone suggested, here’s my take on “Mercy:…is this? “
…he knew where it was. Day after day he watched her sit outside; he reached in that small ledge over the gutter- stood on the chair, then on his little toes … for that jar. The woman had no recall. Sickness had taken her mind away. She just knew this was somehow her home. Her family had gone in the plague. People passed by in the street, but no one stopped to ask. Except the little boy.
Ah there it was: a rusty old key, in that jar. He carefully brought it down; the woman smiled at nothing in particular. The boy looked familiar. Even the chair. She looked down at her hands but would not take the key.
He took the cement steps to her front door, then called the woman in. It was cool inside. He found water in an earthen jar;
the woman felt his smiling eyes and grubby fingers help her drink that water. It slaked a Thirst within; as she drank deep it was like a River quenching her parched days and nights searching for something she had lost but didnt know where to look to find it.
The Water went down her throat, first a trickle at a time, then more. She drank till the water jar was empty and till it swelled her death with Life.
She stared at the boy and felt Breath in her bones throb with newness. The boy grinned back and sat on his haunches, waiting, waiting.
Suddenly she knew this was her grandson. He had been there everytime she locked herself out; like Mercy pursued, like the Love of God : ’twas the Key to Life. Love like that was new. Twas like this child that had not rejected her. Like a God that had died for her. Words from sacred pages she had once read, returned. When the woman prayed a line, her own whisper startled her and the boy. He sighed a happy sigh then settled in the floor. He loved his Naana and the Words of life that spilled from her lips. “Lord You are my Shepherd ..I shall not want anything. You make me lie down in green pastures...”
Yes it came back in bit by bit, images, faces, indifference, pain. Even the face of her sons, her own children as they turned her away. But it was too late now to hate. Mercy did that: It hid its Key in secret places in the mind: Its Words of Life that cut away unforgiveness like a sword.
The woman laughed then cried: Re-awakenings were bitter, but oh so sweet if you found the Key!
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When I was a child I was skinny, and I was a child. Shy. I stammered. Had to wear glasses very young. It kept falling off my snub nose. Got teased for that and my skinny legs. All that and I couldnot speak as well as the grown ups around me. I was ‘Pin throat’, ‘drumstick’, ….
“You’re the worst in your family!” One of my school teachers told me. “Terrible at sports.” Yes, unfortunately. I was underweight, how could I lift and throw, or jump heights, my ankles felt too tiny for my height. I was best in my bare feet running in the sands at the beach along our little home by the sea. I was happiest in the guava tree; I talked to squirrels and myna. They talked back to me, I’m telling you. Their grey soft fluff and under wings, their little eyes and snacker of beak in tree branch it all spoke to me in a peace that other languages did nothing to comfort a tiny person growing up in a world too fast to understand its slower creatures.
When I was four, a dream began. A nightmare. It happened around the time our landowners son tried to molest me, an afternoon my Ma was out working. I waited, and as I did, the landowners son grabbed me by the arm. It was odd, we knew him. A tall darkish boy who didnt talk. Now he pulled me to a stool in the corner of their shadowy shop. The shutters were half downed. Then he pulled me to the floor, it was cold hard stone, too fast to scream. I called to my God. Ma had taught me to pray, would God be here in this cold terrible place? He was. The shutter shuttered back up, someone entered I cannot remember who; the sound of that was freedom.
Daylight filtered through.
The landowners son flung me from him and disappeared. I do not remember how I got to stand on a heap of red ants. The househelp found me there, she yelled me to safety back up the stairs to our home above the landowners’ place. Was it that night the night mares began? It was a thin, very brown skinned woman in white flowing clothes, she had no face. She chased me around the terrace outside our home. Peering down at me, I saw it over and over . That face with no features. Like a painting smudged brown. It was the first time something hurt me, it took my peace. It chased, stalked, ate at me. It was the first time I felt alone. Afraid. Slowly the dream faded and left a shadow in me. A shadow that grew grew grew till it blocked out the light. Strange how you can believe the grey shadow coming in through a bad dream, is the light. Strange how we can believe lies that we are imperfect because we are not physically strong, strange how we can believe we are disabled because someone did a bad thing to us. Strange how we disbelieve the gifts we are given by God, just because someone somewhere made us numb.
Now later I met Christ at the Cross and He told me about murderers who didn’t know what they were doing, but what does a child know about bullies? I never told my Ma about the landowners son; never told her about an uncle who later tried that same vicious thing again. Ok they didn’t succeed, but why the silence?
I do not know.
But this I do know. It is the shut up – ness of a terrible event, that fosters nightmares. It fosters a lack of trust in oneself. It rears self hate. How I do not know.
I was once a child and spoke as a child. Now I am grown I do not speak as a child in the dark shuttered place by a red anthill, numbed by life. I speak as a grown woman, as a mother with girls of her own. I never spoke about that shuttered time, now as I do,
The nightmare recedes. The thin brown woman in white linen, her featureless brown face? She recedes. What was she?
I do not know. But yesterday I heard a girl talk about a Promise from the sacred lips of Yahweh. ” ...the years the locusts’ve eaten I will restore to you…”
A locust is an evil grasshopper I replied to the girl. Yes it takes our harvest. Everything that was ours rightfully. A metaphor of a thief , the locust & it came in a swarm! A whole thousand upon thousand of them, an army. years of badness. Of bad bad sad words said over and over. “You there, shush! Sit! You are reject. You are odd. No dont come here. Go to your corner. Shush. Dont talk. Dont sing. Go in the back row. You lil ugly thing.”
The locusts tried eat me up,
Bad dreams stole my nights now and then. Shadows grew their harvest tall. They spread their soft wings around my news. The news that crept in 24x 7. Bad news . Bad news. We believe it all.
Then I heard the good news of a Christ who taught me to forgive the landowners boy who didn’t know what he was doing. The good news that showed me how to love and not mind the bad all the time. I was a collector of sad events world wide, the good news of Christ was that, He knew. He knew about all my shadow. Nothing was hidden from Him. He was there too.
I had that good news now in me…. a Light that burned the dark away. Bit by bit or burned the dark away. Flame by flame it burned the dark away
Flame by flame it burned the chatter of my locusts stealing my joy. Christ was in every dark valley I’d ever tread. He, in every page every line every chapter every episode of my life. Times I messed, times I offended His name, times I ran from Him and His in the dark. Times the locusts killed me. Then I buried me. All my skinny self and snub nose and stammer. And times I felt not good enough. Times in the red ant hill, times numb with the loneliness only thieves of time give. Thieves of time, of smiles, of joy, of the fountain of life. Like locusts they arrive, not just ones and toes but thousands on thousands of lies with big jaws they chew chew cud chew on our weakness.
But Christ told me that….His power was made perfect in my weakness. My littleness. The littler, the weaker I was the more his power showed up in me. Like cracks in a wall, with light showing through. He didnt take advantage of my vulnerability. He laid Himself down for it.
Opposite of that locust, He, Christ.
The Good news. My defender. Healer. Physician. Rock. Strong Tower. Saviour. Master. Protector. My Light. Yours. Your defender. Your protector. Your shut-er up of the locusts eating up your mind. Eating up your time. Your life.
Their chatter chatter chatter it goes on and on in Mindfields we’ve buried with the ashes of time. You burnt out just trying to rise. Burnt out just trying to wake up refreshed from nights you did not sleep trying to sleep. But hey no.more..you hear me. No more.
Locusts… no more. In the name of Jesus, go get out of my life. I …am with the Christ.
GOD LACKS NO CREATIVITY EVEN IN THE LABOR ROOMS OF CHANGE
Two years ago our gentle teenager began to steadily turn into a stranger we could hardly recognize. A new medication put an end to his seizures a year later, but the trial had just begun.
We broke into raggedy worship … surrounded by the prayers of dear family and friends. ~ R.Noel
God lacks no creativity even in the Labor rooms of Change!
Two years ago our gentle teenager began to steadily turn into a stranger we could hardly recognize. A new medication put an end to his seizures a year later, but the trial had just begun.
Light fell through the Emergency Room’s glassed-in ceiling and onto Johann’s face as he sang, “Whatever lies before me, I will be singing when the evening comes. Bless the Lord oh, my soul …10,000 reasons and forever more …”10,000 Reason. Matt Redman
BLINDNESS ISN’T EASY ON ANY COUNT
Johann sings while waiting. Ah, yes. Blindness isn’t easy on any count, but today I froze as he sang the words – “When the evening comes???”
As he waited on a stretcher near the CT scan unit of Nimhan’s Hospital’s Neuro Science Department, an orderly changed the sheets to Johann’s favorite color – lavender. How could she have known? Was this a sign that total healing would follow? Johann, now 19 and blind from birth, can detect a few colors and has light perception.
“Ma, I love the lavender …” he said.
I bit back tears, nodding a muffled reply.
IT WILL PASS
When Johann’s seizures finally stopped, his aggression began. He was 18. “It will pass,” friends said.
The girls and Johann had a beautiful childhood, sharing music and fun, sharing games with a brother they were proud to be seen with. Now there were blows, bites, scratches, rage, and verbal battery. We went to parks on sunrise picnics, did road trips, prayed, wept, clung together as a couple, and individually with each of our girls. But when we went out in twos, Johann would scream in panic, running past the gate in search of us.
A kind new doctor changed Johann’s medications gradually while withdrawing earlier prescriptions. Dearest Lord God, now we must have withdrawal combat too?
EVEN IF YOU SLAY ME
“Brace yourselves,” the doctor said, his face filled with a compassion that scared me. The months that followed were a Gethsemane place for us. Here we would taste the bittersweet of Job and Daniel, “Even if You slay me…”Job 13:15, Daniel 3:14-18
Johann adopted us at age one. We were all being brought up together by God in His Kindergarten of Faith, but now, was He letting us out on our own?
The first hint of Johann’s illness started around his school final exams. Johann refused to touch his Braille. His dimpled grin receded faster as December stretched into January. We guided him to hand write, “I know my Redeemer lives…” then pinned it up where we could all see it. We were clinging to sanity.
“How long?” I frantically texted our second daughter, Kitsy, who was across the room. To avoid trigger words, we texted each other.
“God won’t put something in our laps that we cannot handle. Unsure how long Ma, but I’m willing to wait,” she replied. Was it just yesterday that Kitsy had screamed, “I – I want my brother back!” Now she was beaming and serene?
This is what happens.
One of us sinks, but another perks up with unthinkable faith or Scripture leaps out from a calendar. The movie, Hacksaw Ridge, spoke volumes to us. It is easy to fall into self-destruction, but God lacks no creativity even in the labor rooms of change.
Johann sings with the voice of an angel. His seizures took that from him, but from the pit of that hell, he began to sing again,10,000 Reasons, a song that brought me to tears. Johann was singing! Yes, with a crackly sandpaper voice, but he was singing!
We broke into raggedy worship, in the midst of cushions-flying-at-our-heads-and-worse, but surrounded by the prayers of dear family and friends. Often, I would stare at the predawn sky. God was and is present, like in those days, those three silent days after Gethsemane: “… a Rose trampled on the ground, He … thought of me most of all.” (Above All, Michael W. Smith)
OUR PRAYERS GREW DESPERATE
Lord please help me through the noise of my questions. Give the girls some joy today. Help my husband, Jeff.
About this time we also experienced professional setbacks. Could it really get any worse? It could. You cannot re-route through Gethsemane if you want to finish with colors.
Some of my own prayers irritated me. “Thank you Lord for the trials You send us.” Gratitude was the best thing we could do – thanking God for a little bird in the window, for a relative who sent a gift, for a glorious sunset, or even for Johann’s question, “What is happening to me?”
GRATITUDE KICKSTARTED JOY
Yes, it did and some things I have no words for.
I began to blog and paint again. A friend called asking why I had dropped off social media, and asked if I would consider an art book contract with a Christian publisher. The theme? Hope for the Hurting. My head said, “No,” but God nudged me to say, “Yes.” So I did.
Jeff started painting too, and though he is not one to be poetic, he titled it, Autumn Blush. It was soul harvest time. Our daughter, Kitsy cooked offerings of love. This once hyper, young teenager was turning out exotic recipes in the midst of COVID-19 lockdown rationing. Our eldest daughter, Vihan, had begun a fellowship for those her age and older, and we now joined her online — not easy to do with Johann intolerant of a particular chord on the guitar or insisting on rocking right in front of camera, yet his presence reaches more people than we think possible.
As I write, light falls through the curtains and Johann asks what I’m doing. I tell him I am writing about his song, 10,000 Reasons, and he smiles his lop-sided smile.
SING LIKE NEVER BEFORE
Outside a Koyal bird calls. There will be rain tonight after a sweltering Indian day. Ah, Lord God, more reasons to bless Your name even if our son isn’t well yet.
“Sing like never before, Oh my soul.”
Worship Him for His Spirit of matchless comfort in the presence of our frail humanity.
Unconditional healing is God lifting our innermost being, no matter the ordeal. Oh, the awe of holding hands with God, of being loved by Him in the midst of pain, learning to love Him back and to love each other unconditionally, like He does.
We were in tears recording this. It was a healing all by itself. … Very special hugs from our son who knows you are praying… ~ Rayla Noel
Rayla Noel lives in India with her husband, their three children and a God who never runs out of Creative Ways to help them graduate from His School of Faith.My Grace is sufficient for you; for My Power shows best in weakness. 2 Corinthians 12:9 AMP
Has there ever been a time like this one? Has there ever been a silence like now: each of us one voice asking the same questions/ the same quest for peace/ the same need? We are as a race quietened; we have never before been startled as we are today. I’ve not experienced a certain shameless scream inside, for each other. Never before has my heart been this unafraid to say it out loud: we need you Lord Jesus. No one else met me in my darkest hour; no one else showed me the Light. Yea I can say it without a flicker of a doubt: you and I have been loved by the Christ.
Here it is! Woooo! 😄😄😄🥳 We received 112 expressions of worship, from 20 countries, 53 states, 5 continents, in 28 different languages! Let’s get on our knees, praise God, and pray for our land! 😄 https://youtu.be/GpnxLbxlx1U
Between all our rights and crime, we carve an existence. Someone made rules but deep within even a baby knows what is theft, what is hurt, what is cheating. You cant just say you and I can do what we wish, somewhere it hurts someone else. Our choices are dominoes. And like it or not we are responsible for each other. Like it or not, theres a sky and theres gravity. Theres hearts and theres love. Theres peace and theres war. Theres way too much going on in an earth keeling with need for understanding. We are bridges. We are bricks. We are more than just humans. We are givers and takers; we are borrowers and lenders. We hate, we are indifferent, we love. Emotion is unseen, and it’s there. There is right and wrong. Much as we yell about it, deep within we know, we knew it from when we were kindergarten and we took someone’s pencil and hid it; and we know it now too. We know when we hurt a sensibility, we know when we judge amiss, and we know theres evil and good. And if there is, then theres more to what we refuse to … and the chasm between those two is the answer to every question we ever!
Nan always remarked how movies took their banners from the Bible:
Armor of God, Armageddon, Judgement day, Apocalypse, …? Any other?
As we put together sunday fellowship vids, it crossed my mind how much easier it is to share core values and faith than ever before,
But too, how much more hard we are in places, as a human race. God is used to being misunderstood; we are still getting there. I am as simple a human as you can get to meet, love family, love God. No agenda. Lifes short, and I mean short. If I knew a good Bakery or store, I’d tell you. If I heard a good story, I’d share. No ones perfect, we are messy, messed. We fall, rise, hobble. We are hurt, we hurt. We are innocent and we are guilty of being human. But I’ve walked and wrestled with more angels and demons than I can say. And I’ve been loved by the Christ.
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My creative tribute to Dad, his Raleigh, & all the wonderful ‘challenged’ people in the world. You are my heart! May you find peace and love and joy in the truest sense of the word: and laughter! Thankyou Treadbikley!❤ (must add I’m still terrified of crossing streets. Doesnt help that I live in the world’s most tough lanes 😅)
I try not to stare at Jeeva and his BSA on the railway tracks at Maki Station, as the two freefall over the gravel slope in front of our gate.
Jeeva has eyes in his feet, I know, but I cannot watch this. He grins in my direction, the last rays of another sun settle across his eye bones, and for a moment, there he is, a lighthouse, the light spilling off him.
‘B,’ his BSA bicycle, lounges against the white wall, glistening bright red. I helped him paint it six weeks ago. My friendly neighbor ‘lighthouse’ scans the wheels, spoke, and chain with two sets of rags: one that’s wet and another for dust. He knows I’m here; I can tell he’s self-conscious because his left jaw muscle moves nervously.
We met exactly a year ago when he moved in. What a noise that was, with six metal trunks labeled in Braille and not enough parking space for his ‘B!’ It took a while for us all to recognize that instead of a guide dog guide or a long cane, our new neighbor walked along with his blood-red-cautionary bicycle mate. Genius.
A few weeks ago, he touched my face. When a blind person feels your face, it isn’t necessarily a romantic gesture. They want to know how you smile, and whether they can trust you the same way they trust their B’s bell at traffic lights and crossings.
I took it personally. I’m mid-thirtyish, a graduate from India’s best arts college in Bangalore city. Jeeva is 40, maybe 45? I’m unsure. He’s of my Pa’s generation, though.
Speaking of which, Pa owned a three-speed Phillip’s gearbox fitted into a Raleigh, which he rode like a teenager at 70. “Keeps me young,” he said, that rush of the wind in his ears. He was a cross between a true-blooded South Indian and a male Mary Poppins.
Pa brought home kittens in that carrier basket, kicking live lobsters, and even a drake and ducklings that had lost their partner and mother in a storm. Once, we rode with Pa down Jasmine hill to the steep turn where we fell into sheep. Another time, we fell in horse dung, sliding us neatly past Mr. McFarlane’s villa, Pa’s Raleigh cycle following in tandem.
Ach! The look in McFarlane’s face as he watched over his wall, mouth hung in the despair of delight. That Christmas, they invited us over, and Mrs. M.’s eyes twinkled with contained secrets. It was their last month before they went back to Perth, and the last thing he said to us was, “Oi, you girls, and Dad do a neat spin now and then, don’t ya? What were you doin’ all four of you in the seat of your pants down Jasmine hill, eh?!”
Mai, my mother, pretended like she never heard a word.
“How’s it going?” Jeeva asked.
“How’s what going?” I didn’t know what to say. Would he know I have shoulder-length hair, my 5’ 4″ frame was curled like a cane divan? Or, that my prosthetics still hurt? That I’ve been in ‘lockdown’ 24 hours a day since a car accident took my feet, and my parents? That my sisters are a teacher and a doctor, and I’m an artist with oils? That last detail, he knows, since we are colleagues at APH.
The evening Pa taught me to ride, I thought he was holding onto the rear of my bicycle, but he’d let go as I rode along the trail running parallel to the sea. I took a steep curve back down. I thought he was yelling behind me, but his voice was carried along with the sea winds, and my heart went like horses. “Keep going, Ray,” he yelled. His voice returns now, and again when I forget, I cannot fly.
When Jeeva speaks, he has no accent; no rolling of R’s, flattening of the alphabet’s W. “We could be good together…”
“I don’t know that.”
“We do not know much. Y’know about everything? About an Earth spinning with zero support from any of us, just gravity, the same thing that holds us down too?”
“You must be pretty. I can tell by the way you are not easy to please.” He’s laughing. If you call a snub-nosed elf pretty, then yes.
Jeeva finds my cane stool and straddles it. “Do you not want to get out? We could do shorter trips first.”
It’s hard not to smile.
“We both need our groceries and vitamin D. Then, when we can, let’s work out. This is important.”
He’s good at balancing manners with caution. That, and maybe he just wants company.
“I’ll walk my bicycle. You could join us with your chair?”
He means my wheelchair.
What a great-looking couple, going to get our greens and potatoes.
“You just want company,” I said.
“Yes, but not just any.” His grin is relieved; it lightens the air.
I worked as an Art Teacher at the Association for the Physically Handicapped, which was only a minute away. Jeeva taught music, now entirely online. It must’ve been dizzyingly difficult, but he was good.
Me? I sweat the details. How did he live with those whacked irises, all chained to reality and hope, light and darkness?
Twilight steeped with the monsoon.
Jeeva stood up, looking taller than his 5’10-ish frame.
I wanted to say to him, “Maybe this isn’t all about groceries.” And, that I saw how light spilled off him like a lighthouse this evening.
The last time I was up in the lighthouse with Pa, the coastal arc simmered blue. A low, orange door opened onto the outer lip of the black and white-striped tower. Here, winds plucked at my ears, arms, and legs. I tasted salt as I held onto the railing; it was scary, dangerous, “a lesson life taught you,” Pa said. “You need to hold onto all you can. Never stop that, never.”
Jeeva stays a bit longer. He wants to talk.
“I was born blind,” he says. “I grew up in a home for homeless boys like me. They taught us to test winds, listen for the sounds of people breathing and smiling. The air has these signals in temperature, like emotions. Like a ground that dips, swells.”
“If you focus too much on what you cannot do, you will fall,” he continued. “It is the worst temptation to focus on how you can fall.”
He turns his face toward me for one long moment, like he can see. Then, he begins to leave, saying he’s tired and must wake up early. “Tomorrow, we are going to do this. One little stretch at a time. I will not take the Maki railway route. Instead, we will go down by the park,” he said.
I stalled. This wasn’t going to be easy.
“Hey, Hey! No negative spins, Ray. You take a break whenever. When—ever.”
Fine. That sounded fine. How my ‘feet’ would take it, I did not know, but I wanted this. It was also the first time he’d said my name.
I arrived back at my house, with its wide doors for a wheelchair, its shelves within arm’s reach. Safe, easy. There’s a rush in my ears, the noise of negation.
It will be nice with Jeeva. Maybe, one day we can take the kids from APH and go someplace, maybe a safe slope to start.
‘Keep going, Ray…’ a voice calls past the spin in my heart.
And I’d thought this Cross was a symbol of suffering: but It is more. It’s a coat hanger for my soul…. but more, more! Now and then, I’m shredded by life. Now and then dragged into chasms alone… so I thought. So we think, we humans.
We are suicidal, sick, disabled, dependent on human resource; we are hostage, we are criminal. But
You standing next to me, in me: crossing out evil, negating my dark;
You pouring words through my lips of clay,
You rinsing my hands and feet o’er and o’er; You saying words in my ears I could not have found on my own. Words like a 2edged Sword- one edge cutting away death, the other granting me life:
You, shining a trillion times x infinity- more than all our suns: Your Light stark blazen smashing every last snicker of evil, every stinkn’ shroud casting its net in my bones, in the soul of my nation, my borders, my dregs… blazing with Your light…. personified by the Cross.
This Cross more potent than Light as we know it, Its reach deadlier than sin and hell; what force can separate me from its Love nailing me to Its heart, Its Heaven, Its Immortal Vein? ….NOTHING. NOTHING. NOTHING. IT IS THE BRANDING FIRE OF GOD, IT holds my breath, my pulse my all. My all.
paddled in puddles, laughed out loud in my mask, frightened a few men in shop shelter; their eyes crinkling in mirth. The rain fell slow thick drizzle, it tripped a butterfly that sashayed across my face into a nearby lamp post. A wet dog shrugged, its ears flapping to its tail. After a long long time for a bit there I forgot the propriety of propriety and colds. My sleeves fell in my skin. No umbrella. Electric wires sparkled with drops, a pigeon with spiked head feathers waddled under and into a low shuttered shop; I felt joy like a bubble burst, and thought how they said rains are bad for Covid. Then thought to hell with it, literally. We are sick of it, yes yes do not go laid back. I shook a girls hand today at the Centre, hugged her elbow…
.. then quick reached for sanitiser, it’s cool masks my thoughts. I hate how we’ve become careful, how we are so wretched careful. We have to be, and I love how the rain for a moment baptized me in itself. For a moment there it was like before all this took our care free walks. Yesterday reminded me we can still be the same inside an earth that never changes. Caterpillars and leaves go on. Stores still sell hair clips and Tee shirts, or pineapple crush. The rain still falls puddles and silver, in afternoon grass green gaudy green by a cream compound wall and new yellow flowers. I want to say a little prayer, thankyou God for everyone as is, and for all things that we have.
Did an interview with daughter here: oh go do the things you want to. Don’t deny us the laughter, the tears, the relief of honesties. Yes, suicides are on the rise, rape and trades beyond decencies. Somewhere between all this, one stops to pray, believe, rest our hearts on the One who loves like none other. I wish you love, joy, peace.
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That first time I watched ‘Gandhi’, one scene followed me out of the theater door: the one with native police and advancing marchers. Row after row, they went down battered and bloodied, and not one of them raised an arm in defense. Martin Luther King Jr. said it was this Salt March movement that deeply influenced his own philosophy of civil disobedience. Gandhi’s handful of salt at Dandi would change the way we read Resistance.
When I was 8 years old we lived in a rental home next to land lady Vanima’s cottage.
She wore a 7 yard sari and gold anklets to underline her ‘high’ caste. How we even got to rent their place beats me, but if our shadow so much as fell across them on certain nights/days there was serious ritual cleansing that followed. Vanima would chant out loud, cover her head, and slam her front door against ills that might arrive at her from us. My mother was a teacher and my father worked a few miles away in a coastal town we visited every weekend, but on week days we had to brave our new address. Both our front steps ran together. Curiously, we shared the same walls and well—the projecting concrete brickwork over the top of well just about covered her face from ours. It was ridiculously awkward…...read more
…your time here, your life; it maybe far different from mine, yet here for a breath we meet, brothers / sisters in a time like ne’er before…
I respect that your presence, your heart is the physical manifestation of God; we are so alike, we are different but alike in ways too many to not remember. I respect that we walked this year together, torn, mended, healing, broken, like dawns and dusks, we like oceans and shore lines .. crashing building castles; our prints settle in an earth in a time we will never forget. We may never meet but we have, here, now, this new day. And I stare at these lines that spill me to a person I might hear from, I might not. I stare at all this with respect.
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