Author: Innerdialects

Cara’s house

It has leaves coming out of an older room she doesn’t use anymore, by the gate; lush green and crimson leaf falling with noon light. I stop myself from staring: have always loved natural unmanicured gardens. This one’s it.

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After lunch she asks if we’ll have tea. Cara lives alone with a few paying guests and their parakeet. Everything about her is natural, her naturally grey hair that’s silver, burning silver, her clay serving pots and mats- hand-made with plaited coir; and chairs. These were made by her father, his framed memory on the wall smiling down at us all the while we were there: but I was struck most by her ability to just listen. She’d ask a question now and then and wait for us to keep finishing what we were saying. No interruptions. She let the money plant grow all over her window, its tender green new leaf….

I tell her we no longer drink coffee or tea, she doesn’t ask why. As we leave she gives us a shawl made by her cottage industry friends. That is what she called them; they are her employees. The khadi shawl is ivory white, trimmed with magenta lotus. I dont know what to say, her quiet gets in me, like natural grass- soft, perky, listening for the others’ voice…

… we drive away into lanes and a highway that got us back home; here now, I watch the rain fall in the trees outside, in softening earth, in an earth changing as we breathe. Rain always did softening things to me, like it does to many who love the rain. Others are suspicious of it, (our musician friend Daniel B., he says it depresses him, makes him do the blues). That colour though, it lifts my spirits, also reminds of its parallel shades in softer lavender… like a horizon in the rain, or pre dawn. Colours can make you listen? I’m asking.

After meeting Cara, my ears have acquired more fields of sound. The rains have stopped, there’ll be frog and cricket, no plans… just everyone sitting in there absorbing the evening naturally. How long has it been since something shaped my thoughts? How long since I sat just to listen to the world given to me, looking at it up close? This moment will never return. I cherish it.

More than one way to go forward

Little Anish, a tiny 9 year old autistic boy I met in the art room of his school…. well he’d walk backwards to go forward.

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What the idea was I’ll never know but Anish did well to keep his eyes on us, and back into the sun. What lessons are in this one I can only try imagine; I remembered him today with this Story Prompt from FMF Writers. There was another thing Anish did: he never cried. When it hurt he sang, that was his crying- a high wordless tune that was rich and sweet.

I never got over him, his cherubic face and wide dark eyes that did not look worried. His world seemed locked in somewhere deep within, he was independent and did not talk much except in monosyllables to his mother.

My thoughts go to Anish now, wondering what he is doing these days: does he still back into the next step,

still sing in that unusual voice that makes me think of angels?

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Supersonic Ka-Boom!

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I’m with ears pinned back,

my high frequency senses free-falling:

yesterday this time it* went through parts of Bangalore city, it rattled panes, shook houses; 10+ hours earlier they heard it in Canberra….

a ‘*Supersonic Boom that our Ground & Air forces here in India are puzzled at. It felt like an earthquake in the air around and deep within…. it’s bass explosive rumble was not like any Jet, not like anything I’ve ever heard, “….no it is Cyclone Amphan air pressure impact; no no we do not know...”

My ‘Shalom’
(Peace) for Shil.W.
***

As a Race all of a sudden, we do not know much except mutual questions. The life we knew will not return, but things that offended do not seem to offend now. We as Humans are looking deeper; Prayers are welcomed. Safe is where? Peace is an Essential Commodity like never before. Kabooms are even neighbourly. Tonight if some of us see Clouds throbbing in Neon (actually have seen these from our terrace 5years ago; thought it was local Rock Concert laser beams going hyper high) we may shrug it off as yet another 2020 event. As a Cluster of Survivors we are gaining immunity to bad news, Shock absorbers all kicking in.

What’d Hitler have done; or any of those big boys of war? This is the Grandma of War, and she is Villain non parallel and yet Kah-boom!- she has changed us into Hermits for Peace like never before in the History of the human race.

Neighbours begin to nod at each others neighbours; old ‘enemies’ send you WhatsApp forwards, they appreciate your potted plants seen in Instagram Story. Songs are sung by people with no vocal gifting, it’s even beautiful, meaningful. We are losing our Shy. We do not mind being photographed without our glasses. We still care about appearances though, we give us new haircuts. We yearn to not hesitate to shake hands, hug. That’ll be rare. That’ll be rare. But we will go on. We will wash our hands and feet and face relentlessly-relentlessly wash veggies, sanitize phones and c.cards …. but we will go on. We will look up at the sky and expect comets meteors and flares. If there are more Boom booms we will just not panic like we used to about exams and traffic jams. We are tougher than we are shocked, we are now closer to the Unknown than we’ve ever been. No, no. We are not caterpillars nor monkeys. We live we die we experience positivity, patient endurance and peace mid chaos. We work it. We tell our kids & friends on phone and in market places or between days of the week… be strong we say. We mean it. We wake up early to stare at the sky…. how its’ Light kills Virus. Our babies ask Existential Questions we no longer shush. We wonder too. Where are we from? Where do we go next…

There are no alternative activities to these Askings. We ask on. We understand each others’ questions better. We go quiet- no one thinks that odd. Not if we wear a wrinkly scarf, uncombed hair. You’re friendlier if.

All these things. We’ve changed so hard we can not go back. We are freer than we’ve ever been as a mass of individuals. Yes we die, we are afraid, we cry. But we are sweeter, nicer, kinder, tenderer. We share the Highest Common Factor- Human Frailty. This mutes Snobs. We are all Untouchables. How that looks if you draw us all is we are these Masked Breathers. We are changed into Changelings in the Twinkling of an Eye; it arrived like a Thief in the night. It took our Breathe-Easy days and Ka-Boom! Its turned our 7 billion into 2 alpabets: Us, however divided, in the face of Existence. We are Unstoppable Seekers of the Peace of God.

Dr. RAVI ZACHARIAS

Shalom: Peace, nothing missing, nothing broken.

Pursued by Love

Based on a few real people.

Rani lives 5 kms away in a 2roomed apartment; her husband has the TV on all day at no nominal volume, he has a kind face that is tired with taking the kids to and from school between hours at his veg shop. One of their 4 girls is socially challenged; Rani is a part time teacher; she eyes the bags we’ve taken for her kids.

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When our little girl was born this way, I said Ok Jesus I will carry this cross. Then one by one He gave me more crosses. Ok I’m saying, ok.” Her eyes glisten with unshed tears. “We have money like ok. He is doing vegetable business. I am not asking anything more- just need strength. Also our rooms are small. Mother, his aunty, my sister, our all children are here. Now we cannot go out to play also.”

The youngest Tinchi is two years old; she’s had her ears pierced and is miserable. I want to play with her but am overwhelmed. Will she like our books? We have some squeak-soft-backs and colour books untouched by our second daughter who couldnt stay still enough to colour anything. Tinchi pulls out Bear Story– a palm- sized book shaped like a basket. Then she pulls out another and another, stacking them next to her like friends waiting for her. Tinchi grins at me and then at them… Roro (Caterpillar tales), Minnie mouse, Lief, a Times Happy hour series…. she sighs then puts the others away. These will do for now; I catch her grin at Minnie, as if they are good friends already. Her little ear lobes are smeared with turmeric paste for antiseptic care.

Rani offers us a plate of fried green plantain and capsicum from a tea shop next door. It is smoking fried with mustard oil. When Rani smiles she is like a 16 year old girl, her skin smooth, flawless. Worrylines have found their way between her high winged brows above a thin nose with tiny nose stud. It twinkles in the early dusk, a reminder of beauty and strength. Her husband has turned off the TV. We call them to our home to share a meal- they don’t think they can just yet; that was March 23rd a day before Lockdown.

Rani called me a few days ago, about the crosses Jesus has given her to carry. I dont know what to say, I want to really tell her we could never carry that Cross, but that would be insensitive to say. She has health issues I do not probe into, and she knows a little of my own troubles.

Rani, I want to say– we can leave our cares with Him, He isn’t asking us to go back to His Cross: He’s done that for us already. All the cross I must carry is pray for one another, feel each others’ hurt and, help if we can. It’s not easy to be generous in these days, we could spend an evening together with this precious couple we met years ago, but I cant do much more. She isnt putting the phone down, I don’t know that I can take more conversation. Rani isnt listening, she’s talk talk talking. They want to give us some good rice and veggies, she says. When could her husband drop by? The two of them aren’t allowed on a bike, Lockdown rules. But could he drop by?

I’m stilled, I’m reminded of the way Christ works. It’s exactly what He’d do today, quarantine or no. We do not need an extra bag of rice at all: I tell her to keep it, she has a much larger family than mine. She isnt listening. So I plan to cook a meal for them, send it over. I ask if thats alright, she laughs and says “No,no. We eat simple food only, but we both are fasting and praying you know this country so needing health. We must carry the Cross for Jesus, how much will He bear alone?”

I totally do not know what to say. She is running with Jesus and all the angels and politics of a pandemic. Fasting and praying. I pray. Between meals, and while snacking. Or between chatting. Much easier than Rani’s cross bearing lifestyle, yes I totally dont know what to say.

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After the storm

The sun came out first for an hour: its thin light chilled by windy surf. We were cold cold cold in our nails and collar bones, even knuckles. It felt hard to eat anything or touch water; sands stuck 3 inches hard in roof and floor. 2 windows and front door had been pulled out by gales wailing in the trees outside our house by the sea. You didn’t know why you survived and half a fishing colony did not. The sea lay sulking, guilty, no longer a

trusted friend till the sun came out longer the next day. It lit the edges of things, and warmed the water. Ma’s stove crackled once more, there were sounds of laughter, snatches of it in the street outside leading to a market. People were talking, it would take time. The next day…

…and the next, we walked by the sea. A few days later there were no more dead bird and dog. Someone played a stringed instrument in the distance, or did you imagine that? A few weeks later the sun was strong like it used to be before the storm. Windows were fixed, painted. Flowers grew back, smoke lifted from chimney, clouds hung like tamed pets. The sea smiled again at us, at our toes tickled by tiny wavelets. We forgave the storm; the sky was blue, a clear sapphire you could not ignore. It went in your other colors, in your grays and black storm torrent. You changed as you did after every storm, no matter the duration or damage. That is the greatest strength of mankind: the ability to live again, after a storm.

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Normal?

“What dyou mean?” She asks, her face wide with laughter and tears, a rare combination for Jassi who never cries.

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Apparently the people who’ve been paying her rent are stopping that now that they must care for themselves. Jassi’s been semi- dependent on her second cousins all these years with eyesight gone and a debilitating disease. A few friends and I collect groceries and essentials, but it isnt helping. The last thing her cousins told her was that she best fend for herself, and said that in tones that hurt. When someone asked her if things were returning to normal Jassi laughed and cried; after a bit she laughed again, like a child. She said this was good. Now she could lean on her Heavenly Father like never before, and why hadnt she done that all her life? Why had she leaned on other things, and people….. she asks.

Good question Jassi, I’m learning to do that too.

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Have a great weekend.

I lost this … ‘Capiophobia’

We had to go out, we got our permit complete with ID card. This was going to be alright I said. Jeff isnt the worrying kind so he says nothing. I hate this mask, it feels like I’m dying in it. Never mind. Once inside car, who’s going to be harmed just in case we are Carriers? And who is going to infect us anyway? Raise glass, seat belt on. Jeff grins hard. He knows how terrified I am of this… not Covid but the fact that we’re driving across the city, and will meet Blockades and Security Officers. In any case we weren’t ‘willing carriers of Illness‘; we had no recent record of foreign travel, we hadn’t harvested forest animals, there wasn’t even a hint of sniffle between us, not a purr in lung…. nothing. We would not willingly trip into Containment Red Zones. What’s to worry. Though, there’s been incidents of incurring Security ill will…

We take a turn we shouldn’t have taken, we see the back of a Cop, oh no.

We take a detour, another, and get in a lane where we’re now driving straight at the Cop whose back we fled from. He’s waiting for us with ATTITUDE, with Traffic Offender- Catcher- Sass… Aha. There you are the two of you!

I sit straight, fix mask, reach for ID and Papers. Jeff casually drives closer, the Cop is not moving, his gaze steady. Closer. Please God, not in a mood for this? My heart whams in my ears. Closer still. The Cop isnt wearing mask? His glassy stare looks through us. Jeff lets out a contained roar of laughter. You don’t say! It’s not a real Cop, it’s a Dummy.

We laughed so hard that evening, when we were finally stopped two hours later on our way back, and another Cop asked me to please go in the back seat ma’am we need a certain distance between two….. that was so funny too. I gave him my best smile, mask and all. He glared at my cheer: what’s with her? We’re in a Pandemic. Silly woman wants to be happy.

This season I’ve lost my fear of Cops.

Wish we’d taken a real pic,
this ones from Bangalore Net
***

Capiophobia.. fear of Cops. Whyyyyyy even have it 😅

Let be, & be Still.

When Haishu sang it went in you like a shaft of Light. He didnt have a big voice, he didnt do big prayers, just little pauses as if God and He negotiated things as they did chords.

The whole experience was stilling. Not anything to do with any gift of Haish’s. It was his ordinariness, the pauses between, those stunned silences that still draws me to the Act of Letting Be & being Still and knowing the Presence of things other than my own take on life.

Pic credit Unsplash.

Resting of a ballerina
***

In Your Presence Lord, that’s where I belong…

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Have a nice day.

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Hold on.

A beautiful thing it can be to see
my foot prints in unread sands, in places angels might dread and eagles fear…. ah that, where the Love of God leads… you got to hold on though
, to that invisible Hand that made the sands….

(From conversations with my friend Eva who can teach a camel a lesson or two about the desert).

Pic Credit :Unsplash

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The Power of Joy

the Angel will not speak literally but I get these from the Book He points at …

oh the peace that is yours and you do not know it..?” He wakes me morning by morning. And not just @ my address but an entire earth’s though some mayn’t believe what cannot be seen.

Ach Joy a twin of Peace. Like a river it live-streams images for the day. Errands. Jobs to do, finish, be fulfilled at. Nothing changes its power.

Its power that enables the attitude of gratitude against all odds.

Yeah though I trip through the valley of Sag Spirit I fear no evil for You are with me, Your Joy and Comfort they hold me in Your attitude of gratitude; You are with me….
Photo: Unsplash.

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😃

Did you hear that

just another broken sound between words, like someone saying something unheard, deep within the skies of nowhere here…?

was your angel singing…waiting for you to listen

for you to look listen touch breathe ‘neath the surface of things ‘neath silenced words like the Voice of a Listening….

to your Unheard.

Pic Credit Unsplash.

I chose this one because
it made me think of the Voice
of the Unheard communities

among us o’er whom
Angels sing.
***

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Not by bread alone

..but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God, we live: & may I add, we live not by bread alone but by words that proceed from our own mouths, we live/ or do not live fully…..

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Words have the power of life and death, they kill or heal the human spirit. But ah the Words of God, they overwhelm basic human instinct. They breathe life, they forgive, grant hope and strength for our own intake and much left for one another. Word of God Speak.

Like an angel

To all the mothers that bless our earth

This Video is a Serbian greeting from my beautiful friend Maria Rajicova: “Dear Rayla, I wish on Mothers day: health & happiness. God’s presence be with all of you. You are beautiful. Love you all. Bye.” Maria.

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Lil poem for my own Momma Grace:

Momma, you kneeling in prayer – I remember you ~ mornings night, noon days of heart and song

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you in the fabric of our earth & heaven & us three lil girls, you – now a Piece of Thel & Li & me & all the children…

THANKYOU is such two little words but it’s all I have: like the young ones’ sweet stammer wishes, hush- baked cake late last night for Mothers day, I grin out loud; there’s you in me/ us ‘telling songs & wishes in the fabric of an earth you birthed…

you in our hands and feet, in the way we see things;

they’re going to stumble out their rooms now, there’ll be hugs and kisses, I gaze at this like you used to go speechless unsure how to say Thankyou when we said love you – it’s such two little words.

Early morn surprise coco-vanilla
from our terrific 3! They just sent me
this pic

You surprised that even I had three, me saying when I was 18, saying I’d never have kids Haha…

I know I know… there could be no mothers without our fathers and they are there strong in the brick of us, our dads and Sam and Jeff… and their mothers and fathers…and new sisters and brothers…your siblings with your face still here Uncles Sunny & Godfrey, precious aunt Bess miles away who just sent me a message, oh all their children …Ma…family roots spreading wings like angels

speechless now with our new selves ~ mothers all, even Joh our son tucking me into bed? Fixing my hair, his fingers a new tender last night; Vi whispering midnight hug, Kit with secret cuisine shopping list, hearts on their sleeve; and Anu and Sam and Akash across an earth not far at all from the heaven you birth every day anew thru’ all of us

thankyou is such two little words as I stare at them looking like you ….

Love you forever Mum

***

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Ar-Rest-ed by Love

He pauses between keys… his fingers tender o’er the notes that write my life….they rest/ arrest me;

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my black-white days, the touch that sustains…. I’m listening and every breath mine, every sigh is the song he sings as if he is the rhythm/ the beat of my rhyme

no he refrains from letting me go/ go to my own translations of words/ of lyrics and life

his chord unbreaks wakes pursues like a Linger, it repeats/repeats his lines…

He pauses between keys… his fingers tender o’er the notes that write my life….they rest/ arrest me, just in time.

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A Lamp to my feet…

A trick of Light maybe but Kitsy’s shoes left to sunbathe ‘3 hours’ in balcony after she went out in relaxed Lockdown hours..? Is like lit up.

It was still early dusk yesterday – tough day!- when I took this photograph and it speaks to me now as Jeff and I wake to a quiet dawn morning drink and time alone with God. ‘Your Word is a Lamp to my feet, a Light to my path…’

These Little Lights of mine, I’m going to let them shine
.

I came here with questions He did not answer, but a load lifts as a Smile descends from His Presence into my restless heart. ‘It is well, it is well with my soul. When Peace like a River, attends my way…’

I just need say, thankyou. Thankyou Lord.

°°°°°°°

WhatsApp’s a great getaway/ de- stresser between family, esp on days when the typed word feels easier. Don’t be fooled by all the Hearts exchanged between Kit and I 😅

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Angels in the Dark

I’m sitting on Serial miracles the past week. Five doctors : my sister Dr. Olga David, her Classmate Dr. Renu (a gorgeous lady whom I’ve looked up to from my childhood) from Manipur+ 2 of her good friends and Specialist Dr. Robindro who offered generous advice …also our relative here with his own Doc., all making sure we got help for our challenged son. It’s too much to explain in a Post, but it was Kindness in a Time when that disappearing Factor is going to become an Essential Commodity like never before.

VANISHING
“I often find it hard to come up with names for my posts but I felt that the image is disappearing.”
The Phoblography. Thankyou Dave Bignell
for all your beautiful & telling
Images.

***

Last night as we looked up at May’s Flower SuperMoon, the last one of 2020, Life felt dizzily unreal.

The earth we once knew fades steadily into a strange new one. Rules are changed, Strange facts become the New Face of a new Society.

Among Co- Morbities, there are the Heroes, Human salvation squads. They’re there in Hospitals, Wards: Doctors, Nurses, Support Staff, working right through New Rules, new Suspicion, new Acts of Selfless Service that come from only one place ~ Lovingkindness.

We may see death like never before: but we will also see Life if we live to love like these Angels who dare the Dark.

As I conclude this Post, Daily News Strips pop up over my Draft:

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Bangalore records highest spike in crime rate….” we’ve had Liquor Deaths, Stabbing, drunkman biting deadly snake, Bois Locker Room Net teen crimes, really??? (don’t even look it up);

an Old Order gives way to New and yet, Compassion never fails. They are new every morning. Great is the faithfulness of the Heavenly Father who hears who sees. Many questions can rise up from that one. What of all the ones dying from Covid/ Suicides/ Starvation/ Fatigue/ Aloneness….

I believe the hands of God move in the hands of one Human blessing another.

….

Frank Gaines Quotes

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When you pray at Hacksaw Ridge

Not for the faint hearted:

we watched this insanely provocative movie last night. Mel Gibson’s Hacksaw Ridge had new words for me like ‘Conscientous Objector’, and anti-gun war like I’ve not thought possible. It is also the highest (factual) account of Bravery awarded.

“… is as electrifying as one would come to expect. Telling the story of Desmond Doss, an Army medic that refused to carry a weapon through the hell fire of battle in Okinawa at the height of World War II.More Reviews

I said ‘provocative’ because it kicks one into Red Zones you do not think should be anyone’s to walk unarmed! Is raw stark cold blooded-in-your-face-War– no allowances for the delicately disposed.

Hacksaw Ridge” quotes : He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.” “I don’t know how I’m going to live with myself if I don’t stay true to what I believe.” “With the world so set on tearing itself apart, it don’t seem like such a bad thing to me to want to put a little bit of it back together.”

Young newly engaged Private Doss will not carry a gun no matter the World War II, and the blood soaked bullying he gets. He wins over court- martialling, he walks in with mates into the thick of fire…armed only with a slim Book in his pocket; is an odd one out with all his praying in corners. Doss is called Cornstalk for his size: all that and he single handedly saves 75 of his dying men after all the rest flee that lethal Hacksaw Ridge.

All night, he listens for cries of the wounded, “Save me Medic!” All night and into dawn he searches them out, lands in Jap bunker, helps wounded Jap soldier with morphine, shovels through the dead to find the still living tattered bodies of his mates. He drags, then heaves them via rope down the deadly Hacksaw Ridge. Back again, as gunshots arrive… he’s praying, “God, one more…” 75 men are saved. The next day they go back again….

you’ve got to see this one. Makes you wonder what he kept reading in that Book.

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I thought I was alone,

but the world looks in with need,

Its eyes hinge on my flesh for sustenance, I

Pic Unsplash.
***

never knew we are befriended by the cries of aloneness like never before ….

We need each others faces and voices and arms of tenderness; love is no more an old fashioned abused thing; as a race we are hungry for Touch and hugs… we are not alone, just befriended by an aloneness waiting waiting to be fed.

***

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Have a nice day.

***

Distracted!

What’re you simphly worrying phor?” Prisca would ask.

PiCredit Unsplash
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She an East Indian Mumbaiite I grew to love for her wide-eyed honesty bright with sarcasm. She lived between all her brothers after a family crisis kicked her out of her own house, long story…

Prisca became a cook and a great one. She was there after our first daughter was born, all her fingers smashing turmeric and pepper into marinated meats. “Just you get phor up of your back an’ be doing what you want. Baybah (baby) your will get up soon soon then you can not do what what you want, nah! Get phor up!”

The Phor, as in ‘for’ meant exactly what I never asked.

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FMF WRITERS.

The first time I truly registered that the earth was a Sphere and we were just spinning in space…? That day I stared out at a night sky wondering that we ached that much over trignometry & other horrors. Why were we afraid of this and that when there was literally nothing under our feet, no handles to hold in any eventuality….

It still startles me late nights and early mornings …. that a star twinkling out there, the moon, a sun are individual reminders of an Earth among other bodies just spinning on….what?!

So.

We’re at new insolvable equations; here are Life & Death affairs going on between my unwashed packet of chips, and door knob. And newspaper baking in a 3 hr sun….

..an earth going on and on with no help from us and we think we have other worries?

I have a serious issue about standing upside down on an earth that asks no consent about its activities…

it distracts me to madness that we aren’t asking real questions… hey, who are we really??? Citizens of Earth….after which?

Uhm.

We like grass will wrinkle away in a heap. Sweetheart, this is my spirit writing this, not my finger bones. My spirit like galaxies & blackholes going on without our Superior Intelligence….

“Just you get phor up of your back an’ be doing what you want….. soon you may not do what what you want, nah! Get phor up!”

It’s a Call if we ever had one. A call to ask Real Questions and be replied to, the best we can hear….

When God Prays

Come on over, the sands are ripe for your heart. Yes it’s hard. But I Am with you. In every grain of sand, I AM for you. Watch this:

Thankful.
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there is a season turn turn, a time for every purpose under heaven. Come on over, the times are ripe for your tears that smile- they rinse the earth and grow your fields, watch how it needs you:

how I need you turn turn come on, winter & summer rain – nothing goes away, ‘except in My Hand. Permit a healing, beloved. My darling, in every grain of sand, all that you are, I AM.

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Tribute to a fabulous Human we had the privilege to call our Brother.

We drive off Commercial street (Bangalore, Peninsula India), 3 pm, mid a month’s Lockdown- the streets are clutter free, we are armed with ID and saying ‘Nice!’ through the pain of losing our precious brother Sam.

Yes, he would’ve approved. “No big church service, just like he’d want it. No suit…” quiet words from his sister Dr.Prema Dhanraj, her eyes misty with love. No sad song & masses of tears. No hyper-parade of bouquets. Just a clutch of family members, though masked, distanced….

Beloved brother
***

He was a Minimalist with blazing intellect & humor. He lived to love but his love was quiet, no frills. If you looked for a compliment he’d say, “Nice!” Or “Good” complete with dimpled chuckle that I cannot get out of my system and shouldn’t.

My eldest sis Thel (Sam’s wife) had a Bible that we all wrote in; she snuck this in his casket: its lid standing on Stone nearby had “I am with Jesus” on it, it stilled me. Still does.

With him, I was my unselfconscious self: was it only a few years ago, he and I mimicked a local street drunks’ brawl lasting not a few minutes? Recently his health got fragile, his shoulders had that tiny tremor, you wanted to hug him just a little longer but didn’t dare make him think you were worrying. He could read your head, know your ‘unnecessary‘ thoughts!

Sam wasn’t big on ceremonious religion but had this Respect for God, a thing you didn’t mess with. It was the way he lived, careful, caring, sensitive to detail. You didn’t hide things from God, if you needed an occasional peg you had it in His presence. I remember asking him for a taste of his cigarette, I was 21. He choked laughing then gave me one: “Try exhaling that, k?” That was fun. I’m rambling. Running from memories I want to chase away, but they’re larger than life now.

The last time we spoke (10 days ago?) was an accidental Group-Call my second sis Li made via our sisters’ WhatsApp ‘Mermaid’ Group, yes mermaids 😅, don’t forget we girls grew up on beaches, (once on a sand dune we’d daydreamed of being mermaids, hehe! The name stuck).

So Li called and Sam picks up phone instead of Thel. Li : “Now who’s this low voiced man on Mermaids saying, ‘Hellooooh!?’

He chatted generally and about how good he’d been eating the past week; Thel walks in,” Uh ohhhh? Sam’s on Group call with …who?”

T ‘s her bubbly self, “This is a first group call of this, Haha!”;

she & he had become one Entity with shared polarities; how good they were together with their 2 fabulous sons Anudh & Akash: a treat to watch the four of them – each maddeningly independent, ferociously loyal to the other…… oh brilliant even to detail of when to add chillie to sizzling roast, steak!

These five can do wonders in any kind of day. Ask me how I know. Pic, Goa holiday with their beautiful darling ‘Girl-Sam'(antha) daughter-in-law who deserves a whole other Post: she’s more Indian inside than Australian : the Stunner kind you think must have some secret flaw? You look for it but it isn’t there. Ay, marriages are made in heaven, the Samuels are living proof of that...
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The last thing he said in individual byes to Li and me….. “Bye Rayla!” His voice strong and cheerful. “Bye Merman, Sam.” I replied.

Age 22?

Offstage while we waited for the next Event at a local Fund raiser…how can I forget his guitar doing the Beatle’s Crybabycry:

with no Lyrics, I worked my own non-word- stylized-gibberish. He called it Russian. We did this very seriously, Thel streaming tears down her cheeks hurting from laughter…

Now.

Thel & Sam’s gorgeous sisters: I could write reams about his three illustrious sibling, each serving Humanity like only they can: Bravehearts – brave now, as the Pastor wraps our small service in a Silence that somehow feels right. I cannot find a word good enough for it. Silence can be reverent gold. The sky rumbles for a second, gentle winds settle in the family tree under which the few of us huddle, forgetting Covid.

Death is where your sting, oh grave where your victory? Here we are immortal for the Love that binds us together across continents via Videocalls coming in and familial Love thicker than blood or the sadness of Now.


Like a tree planted by streams of living water
***

Next to him, in engraved marble- lies the Stone of his first son, the most beautiful baby boy I had ever seen. He lived 5 days. 36 years have gone by.

Now as they lower his daddy’s mortality into the same earth, there is this silence of a family held by things best described as Peace that surpasses human understanding.

Marriage turns strangers into family. Sisters in law become a beautiful kind of sister: we admire their eyelashe and feature not just exterior but deep within. It turns our lives around to learn from each other through the years. I write this realizing how much we’ve been blessed by Sam’s presence, nah entire families, cousins, nephews, nieces….wish this post could cover also friends that became family because of Sam.

What can one say but go back and forth.

I could never count well enough even at our Scrabble board fights. He a Chartered Accountant / Sultan of Sudoku non par would cheerfully shudder. “If you try to, y’know? Maths is basic. Idiots.” His grin included all non-mathy people with me + tolerant brotherly kindness lending a generous taste of what it was to ever have a brother.

He’s not here, no Thel?” I whisper. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.

“No Ray.” Her voice is level.

Thankyou Thel for the photographs.
***

I draw strength from her, admiring her straight firm back and calm doe eyes. Sitting down somewhere among family Stones, I am unable to tear my eyes from the candles and flower petals all around, the air softening with dusk and with the Presence of Comfort; with the presence of each other softening from sorrow. Tomorrow we’d be able to take this. Maybe not. Tomorrow would have its share of challenges. New ones? I don’t know.

As we walk back past more names and dates and symbols of Love and Departure, we walk close. Life was/ is short. I want to love without barriers and protocol.

We move past high ornate stone gates; the Caretaker and wife watch their children play with a plastic bat and ball, all safe- distanced from each other.

Somewhere a koyal calls.

It will rain tonight. You loved it cool Sam, but you’re not here.

You’re with Jesus.

I’m jealous.

Saw some of this yesterday, enroute…


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The beauty of a broken heart

It breaks boundaries. Watch this heartessentialist!

You heal differently. You disregard the material: unslave Self from clutching life. Mask & Glove are off. You touch stone and raw earth. You sit in the floor. You don’t need much. This begins a dangerous freedom. Your friends maynt like your new self: your peace with God. Is odd. You don’t mind being odd. You don’t need comfort bars. This isn’t grief, it is awareness of the Other Life here on earth. Why are we afraid of it. I never understood that. I don’t understand it more now; and love that we were born to experience all this. We hurt, and that’s a gift. A Narnia peek into Shelves of Another life….

Unsplash
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These past days on the edge of life, where is his spirit

Last night sometime around 2 am sleep got me in little bits: but my daughter’s words tossed me on pillow. “Hope can be a painful thing,” she said, her face melting with the things I was telling her….

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…how I want my brother in law back from the valley of death (not Covid) : how bad my sis Thel needs a miracle, how impossible it seems. Sometime now they will know whether he can really make it back. And how. Should I say all this in a Post at all; here it’s become an altar, an altar of healing, prayer for us all in steeping places: the best of us may face the worst. Dearest God please bring my brother back even for a bit, there were many wishes he had, many we all had, have.

Yes I know the pain of hope, how it can wrench heart. And we’ve seen the fulfillment of many things these past years.

Don’t you too wonder where the spirit of us goes when we rest in particular state in hospital bed? That tunnel of life, the Light at the end of breath….

Yesterday and now this reading: “..the word of God is alive and full of power( active, operative,energizing,effective), it is sharper than any two edged sword, penetrating to the dividing line of the breath of life(soul) and the immortal spirit, and of joints and marrow….” (Heb 4: 12, Amp.Bible)

What d’you say in a day like this…

we wait, pray; grief and hope hold each other. It’s raining outside. Is that a sign? My brother you are with God right now I know, just wish you’d come back for a bit and tell us all of it all. Love you forever.

***

Just got word, you’ve gone ahead

Hidden Treasure

..Stash hoarded in sepal & leaf, in leftover laughter and trippy tears, in faces in places we remember we forget we hoard stash hoard ~ places in our ears and tears of joy tripping thru our days here & there between earth an’ things we fear, or don’t: Treasure: hidden. We must find them.

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Perspective

The ones looking at the painting, they are the Work of Art.

The Window turns about looking at Us. 👇
PiCredits Unsplash
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We are the Clay, our hands made by Hands that made the clay we do not originate.
Who are we? The little girl asks her mother in The New York Times: existential questions that needed to be asked long ago.
We are best when looking within, looking with some amount of discomfort. When Humans ever did something of value to the personal or global community, was when we bowed deep.
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P.S.

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