This one day after months of gazing thru a dark glass at Life? …this one day began a series of clear eyed adventure among new things not seen before. New things you make. Creative! You say. Half sigh, but I love what happens when we’re not looking. Love how when we least expect it we are surprised by fantastic twig going beserk in the sun, drugged by morning dew and trail of breeze in it. Am I feeling Easter already? Maybe! Sunrise colors at dusk, is a surprise I’m telling you. Away from the city, the sun is closer, liquid. And I’m reminded there’s a design to everything, nothing is random.
A field of marigold, green against buttered yellow petals in rows and rows and the air a pungent smack of earth, nothings random here. We stop, park and stare. Photography cannot capture sun rays sweeping the sky with giant brooms of Light. Not like we’ve not seen Light this way before? What, we’ve changed? As a race, are we staring more at nature? Are we returning to how we used to feel about fields and skies racing us as we travel? Is knowledge more sharp edged, less cheap? Why does Beauty hurt the eye, with its dare? As if here there is no other design except to shine.
Touch me Lord, deep within the fractures of my territory. Cleanse me here where darkness hides, but You know! You know every battle wound, curse & bleed. You who hears my cry, unlock my joy, fill my eyes with your Light, my ears with Your Life. Father God, liberate my sensitivities; may I need none else but You: Your gaze, Your embrace, Your absolute Friendship; all my citizenship in Your Kingdom-unshakeable, within this heart so easily broken.
Un break me Lord, forgive the sins of our fathers, melt my stones, rebuild my body as Your Temple. Healing God, birth me anew, regenerate me: only You can, only You.
In a field, ground level I lay my heart yesterday; the aroma of earth and husk, wild basil and mud, neath Your blue skies wide eyed with Light…. It all soaks me up still, like Light drinks up the dark. It all rinses me inside out,
You who grew wild reed and foxtail in fields few see; among temples of clay serpents and gods- their tongues hung down in sharp blue and blood brown, altars that worship cobra crown and speared sacrifice,
You, Your colors soft with mercy, with tender loving kindness, I lay in Your fields last evening, the scents of dusk and sounds of nearby brook, on stone; how lovely are these Your dwelling places, my sweet savior Lord.
I cannot describe the stink of the room with not one normal smelling thing in it. We had just walked through slush to get here. Marin, the lady with ash blonde fringe and eyes like green stars, she ploughs on as if it were a normal day. In the room, the child* sits with amputated leg; my thoughts are a hung merry-go-round. The child will die soon, her grandmother tells us. The old lady sits spreadeagled in the floor with the abandon of hopelessness and dare. Like- dare you tell me any thing about hygiene– poverty did that to her. To us all. As we leave, the child’s eyes are wide saucers above her smile. She wants to say much but is afraid of Grandma. She loved drawing class with me, and times we did little stories from the Bible. I say ‘did’ because we’d act them out, act out those scenes where we were actors, we were boat and waves, we were the storm, we were scared in the storm till we saw Jesus walking on the water to us, and then we’d scream for sheer happy riotous fear/ joy.
All this I felt as we left the child and grandmother; the child died a few months later. I never forget how beautiful her face was in that little room strung with gunny sack and tarpaulin. The child knew she was loved by Christ, the pain did nothing to stop her joy: like a garden in bloom, in the breeze that took its fragrance into other places.
Two minutes to sundown, my roses have bloomed, two tiny strawberry blossoms under honeysuckle all in our garden balcony in the sun going down, I’m staring
staring at Time thats raced, stalled, touched everything, and left this moment untouched by its arms. Am staring at news here and there about Farmers in the streets furious at somethings, staring at a sky gaudy with pink gold as if nothing matters;
as if its all still too beautiful to get ugly. Somewhere in the trees a new bird calls; I cannot distinguish its cry. It has a blue black tail and hat, all the size of my palm. Tomorrow I must paint again after we’ve boxed giveaway clothes to a Place called Liz’s Trust where a single woman with a tiny face and long arms Care takes 50 children in a house with green painted windows and lemon yellow terrace. Its my new beautiful thing: Liz’s Trust. The woman’s voice reminds me of this bird’s, not in its tone but freedom. As if there were no new 70% stronger Covid wave or Avian Flu: or questions searing colonies of humans waiting to dance again like they used to in buses and offices and bazaars.
The sun dips behind a family of palm trees as the sky sulks then dims. The new blue bird twips one last time then back flips into a gorgeous frizzed thorn tree. I’m hungry for some fruit but still can’t stop staring at colors turning slate gray, shining in the aftermath of dusk, in the memory of Light…
it is chilly. January in my city is like that, a foot in summer, but not yet. Leaves are gold, red, brown, confused and happily. I lean in a small breeze; it stammers in the curtain then settles in my shoulder. Before the day ends officially, freeze the moment- hold it close, treasure its gift. It is kind and true like its always been. Its motives are pure- it just needed to meet you, was made for you. Every leaf and piece of color, every sound and scape, made for you and me, but we are distracted by the lives of distractions. We are attracted to these; don’t ask me why. Maybe we’re just staring at some things more than others. Maybe if we chose what to stare at…maybe if we re-grouped priorities, maybe if we got away a bit, to get back to where we began, to Creations’ core, and where we first saw Beauty….maybe then we’d remember how beautiful life is…
She wants to be loved like every other New Year, and I hesitate to call her good: I hesitate to say a nice word just in case it contrasts with something in the Headlines tomorrow: but then, the Still Small Voice inside me that urged the dusk to light up my holiday yard, It says, “Year of Harvest’, so
So here we are, another brand new Baby wailing to be fed, unwrapped, walked…. Um, stuck between a sigh and a smile; Jan 2nd feels like dew in fallen leaves: feels like health sneaking back in my bones, like summer in winter, like new ways to sit, walk, run, stand, be still, hush, God is in His heavens,all’s well. You don’t fake a good feeling. Its too late to fake much anymore. Not this time around, where we step into another 365….., what will it be?
I want to wish you the best year you’ve ever ever had, (said that to a friend and she sniffed loudly. Like it couldn’t be. She needed a new house and funds to run it. She needed everything humans need to run secure… but in a minute she grinned on the phone, as if she’d given herself permission to have the kind of year she needed, and I’m giving myself that permit too) –
“Choose life!” God always said, in His great Book we tend to blame for all our errors – the Bible. Some of us read old comics,for comfort, or Sudoku or Horoscope and the stars. We just want to heal, when no one’s watching we do just about anything to heal from things we are not healing in.
I’m looking forward to cold days turning warm in the light of days healing. Nice, you say. Um hm. Yes. There never was a better time as this one to be grateful for every miniscule and large detail here on earth. Never been a year where we looked beyond into the non material. Here we missed each other, we fell in love all over again with market places we shuddered at: we missed the way our morning papers fell at our door and the steps of the newsboy spiraling down away out past our gates where the jasmine seller woke up street after street of flower buyers; oh and dogs, they were silent too, like Christmas so quiet you could hear the sheep in old Christmas cards breathe! We gazed at stars and memorized each others faces,even politicians’ (and priests’ we remembered from churches now with locked down altars). We did not worry about lip gloss, we still aren’t, we mask new fears with new words; “..be practical, we must go out. We aren’t hermits,” but now we got used to sanitizing our tomatoes and phones. We are a Changed Race, we cannot go back to most things we did last year today, and I’m betting we are wiser, kinder,slower, sweeter,more giving, less fussy about toenails. We got used to pajamas at 12 noon, we understand Time better. Maybe.
What’s to be afraid of? Aunt Jena wears Psalm 91 like an armor; Minki eats spinach like Popeye and she a carnivorous being, now singing anthems to lemon and ginger brew first thing every morning, ah, inhalation too. And skull rinsing gargling, sounds like burglar alarms. No one’s laughing. We are waiting, for what exactly – is hard to say: for vaccines? For Life as it was? For what it can be, should be? Waiting for Immunities; for ourselves to wake from a nightmare that is still not inactive….
never the less, its a whole new year- the old has gone, the sky never felt this blue, the stars this wide eyed. Go to the country side, meet new people, a farm, a river, trees, choose Life, eat well, rest, pray, read His Word, drink His dew falling like gentle rain at dawn where an old woman named Thayi cooks you a hot pot of Forgotten foods. Ok I’m no promotional Blogger, but this Farm deserves mention for inspiring this Post!
Resolutions ? Yes, a huge one – to appreciate nice people in particular and to be grateful to God for making them! (Wish I’d taken more photographs, but that’s the way it is with a good day- you are not thinking of surface tension. You plunge in a river, you climb a tree, you scrape a knee, you kiss a scowl away! Life arrives differently, you bask in a new flurry of beginnings like a child happy about new socks to school never mind worries about homework).
I’m saying out loud Choose Life, I’m stealing my Maker’s line. He said it first. He knew we’d be making choices, not necessarily nice ones. So He makes years go round and round like a Relay race. This time around I’m not letting one day go by without paying attention to detail. This time around, is there really a choice ….to not choose?
Am attaching a👇🏼 must read by 17 yr old Gabriela and she’s good!