I find You, finding me: Your undiluted Compassion
is no imagined strength.
I find You, finding me: Your undiluted Compassion
is no imagined strength.
we are at a holiday farm few miles out of Bangalore. He is not at his best on trips: shoes are out of place for him, his fav sheet, his mug, and plate…uh uh. Change is necessary for Joh. It helps him adapt to the new. It gets him to make friends with difficulty; you can’t ask the nearby restaurant for mint chutney if they don’t have it. I mean, you can’t insist. At home, we kind of succumb. I melt 300% of the time.
“You, mom, can be ur son’s worst enemy!” A trainer once said to me. I was jumping off the edge of the earth with worry about our blind toddler back then. Our fabulous toddler. What did the man know about us? Great. Later when post seizure aggression hit us, and that too from the best highschooler on earth, we gagged.
This morning at breakfast Joh has this convo with friendly waiter, all the time addressing him a cordial, “Could I have some coffee please Sir?” (no they didnt have mint)
The man is middle aged with alcohol eyes. He can’t take his eyes off us: he wants to ask questions, he wants to stare but he’s too well mannered. We did a good tip, but even a double of that couldn’t have filled his need, whatever it was. The dear man’s red eyes follow us to the busy street outside. “Please don’t go drink,” I want to say, but Joh gives him, “Thank you. Bye Sir.”
J. has said at least 15 sirs by now.
Yeap. “From the mouth of babes…”
Back at the farm, everything feels good. Change will happen, this&that will happen. We shed skins and wings and pull out our talons, for new. Like the eagle, eh, yes. It’s that time.
Wait, rest, heal, trust the Healer
Meanwhile, also on Instagram
as a weaned child, rest your head on the beach between this & the eternal. measure how deep we go…
back to when we saw our first sun rise, a mother smile, a father breathe his last breath.
where does sadness exit, or soul. or my child’s tears when I touch him, or an old man’s tears, & a beggar’s invisibility:
am startled at What stares back; i got used to war,
Pic- Karsten Winegeart, unsplash
not this. this opposes black&white lines. This breathes between the lies. A Wound that heals. A piece of healing spit in my eye, a bloodied whisper in my riot: forgive. Forgive. Let go. Forget. Breathe. Exhale. Inhale. Be loved. Live, live, not carcasses in the wind –
but arrested by Rest. the greatest temptation is to stay unwanted, unloved. Ay, am staring hangjaw at sacred choreography, “… walk on water? Nay, dance, dance…”
Gopalpur on sea, East Coast India; searching for childhood footprints; change can be beautiful. pic taken by my sis Doc Li, 2023
We are each other’s story wrapped in tangles; edgeless momentoes of each other. We are fragments of stars and streams & oaks running ‘neath trees planted by torrents of living Waters...
pic : pickled stardust, unsplash
we are songs broken every day, as at dawn. We are wars. We are Seekers of Light, in the dark. Tossed by many storms, or the storm itself, we are lovers/ haters …
weavers of each other’s chapters: the fabric of skies and times,
we are choices, we choose: we write hues we may not know we know. We are fantastic/ fantastically torn. We are lovable, loved, bored, despised, cast out, downtrodden, we are more than we suspect: Stores, hoards …in the sands that mingle our beauty with the tidal currents that run our fingers. We know/ do not know the seabed of our blessings, we race eagles in the skies of our mind; we dive deep in the oceans of each day, we host the pearls we find, in each other’s eyes, or not; we are mysteries, we are
tribes of one blood, one breath, one chord pulsing us tight, one gravity: we leave the way we arrive, to territories we dare suspect, uh –
we know we are more than angels and the sun. We are the created: beyond visibility – blest to the toes of a soul / our soul, we may not have yet met: do we know we are blest, do we know…
the storey of a soul
Prompt FMF writers: Story
Thank you D’verse for provoking Prompt : Place & Space
Last week a local Book Store took me back to the first library I ever met. Dad insisted it wasn’t haunted, the local Doc said it was! I was five and deeply interested in everything, esp the smoking lady ghost they said visited the Bungalow’s oval mirror, next door.
We were on an island where Dad worked. The Inspection Bungalow was a tiled few rooms with green faded windows, and attached library that cooed with pigeons in its shutters. Here I met the aroma of old pages running with silvery book worm.
Most Sunday afternoons we visited the Library where dad got his PG Wodehouse & Perry Mason. Later in the noon he’d joyfully run us thru’ something new Jeeves just said. Ma would find her stash of back dated Good housekeeping magazines, and Georgette Heyer. She was this romantic, and loved reading out bits to me between blushes. She and dad were childhood sweethearts – still hopelessly in love with life, with the island we were on, with dangerous river crossings, with people of all types…..places, and oh books, even if it was the telephone directory:
books made one exist on a plateau with a globe full of footprints, heart prints..it made us a brotherhood of individuals getting to know one another. It was a priceless place, free of territorial rights and assoc wars ;
later she unearthed “More than conquerors“ a novel off Romans 8:37, that steeled the way I looked at weakness: physical/emotional.
Yea, the Library, outdated as it is now?- will always resurrect that part of me that dares shadows and ghosts that boo. It tickles the ribs of shutters I create now and then and let’s me into the aroma of buried pages.
Thank you D’verse for this Prompt Place & Space.
Meanwhile what I found in Blossom Book store here 😅
Tucked away in a shadow, 👆🏼 found this beauty (I have an older Ed., gifted to me by a visiting Belgian artist who lived in an underpass in Mumbai). She & husband had left home to be here in India and help the poor, the best they could. They later adopted twin girls from Kerala. Yeah, all this takes me back to roots that grow our pages, ya.
From rain beaten stones, drenched by unreachable sky;
like new green grass, every dawn I am birthed.
My pics don’t half capture what we saw two evenings ago at our Kempegowda sky. With zero city silhouettes, no trees, just this blaze of light we’ve all seen before, but this one ruled!
It had been a long day, we were hoping for a spot of coffee & chat. But time runs: you don’t get to ask an airline to wait. ( The last Noel &I did that we kept AirIndia waiting a good five+ minutes; am not telling that story right now😧, they were polite and furious).
But heaven knows.
Heaven knows when a woman is about to have a meltdown. They know. My Noel is Mr. Tenderheart but practical. I’m saying “lookat that sunset“, he’s looking at Time. Where park this. How get to point B.
I’m thinking, does the guy love me? He’s sighing and grabbing steering wheel with eyes like a scared reindeer. Scared I’ll go do my thing. And ‘thing’ is my poetic self wanting to lie in the road and look at the sky. What he’d do is first check if that space is clean/ safe/legally clear…all that. Ofcourse. Is what great husbands do;
im just saying heaven knows how to sort us. They filled the skies with gold painted words I am learning to read.
At home last night we talked of how the skies are our keepers, how they shock us into their Point of View. At our Contrasts.
Have you had a very hot day, and got in the rain? And how that fell in your face like kisses from heaven; haven’t you too been hugged by an old person; they looked like your parent did, and you felt a piece of the Eternal holding you? Haven’t you too at least once, been smiled at by a total stranger at a bus stop, and felt the urge to smile back and it was indescribable friendship, random yea, but an ode to the Visible Unseen?
The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality.
— Albert Einstein
So I experienced renewed friendship with the sun : twas a glorious Stranger smiling at us, at a rushed Port, where there’s that thin fine line between here & eternity, between Time zones, latitudes, clouds, beneath / above. There are safety checks, safety measures. Waiting lounge. Departure, Arrival. Life in Transit. It is all of us, seen as with Bird’s eye. Everything suddenly miniscule. A paradigm shift of reference. One gets to congregate with all that blue. All that expanse. Acres of the heavens. Turbo speed is the closest we come to that kind of mileage. But deep within, we soar higher than we admit.
The nations are as a drop in the bucket, my Scriptures read. What is man …?the first Astronaut on moon quoted from the Psalms. I was a child, now am grown and the more I stare at life, the more am startled by beauty, by pain, by comfort and chaos, and by the rain that falls equally on us all, like the untouchable Light, the way It pulses at emotions, reaching in the iris of human fatigue, esp at dusk.
"Don't think about why you question, simply don't stop questioning. Don't worry about what you can't answer, and don't try to explain what you can't know. Curiosity is its own reason. Aren't you in awe when you contemplate the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure behind reality? And this is the miracle of the human mind - to use its constructions, concepts, and formulas as tools to explain what man sees, feels and touches. Try to comprehend a little more each day. Have holy curiosity." A.Einstein
we, ripe with hunger
we bare stories of need in our skins ~
yesterday I saw a woman stooped over another in wheel chair & their million velvet wrinkles;
yesterday I saw a girl pouting for the camera of her young man in worn out sandals in a dusk burnt with fire.
We hurt my eyes with colors of Need: this Cucoon. It tears out the million keeling feet of our praying,
Pic: Europeana, Unsplash
the Whisperer whispers, and my storm runs out of itself
digital art RN
“Weeping may endure a night but Joy will blaze thru your morning,” ( Psalms scream via Time & all tempest) while
the Whisperer Himself sows Newness, like a Vineyard in my soul:
I go and branch like a branch; buds of healing break my wilderness. This cannot be. But it is.
The Whisper tends my dying graveyard like a Helper, a Server. Can all this be? But that’s the deadliest human storm :
Photograph : Don Ricardo, Unsplash
waiting in the Waiting
In response to the Five minute Friday’s “Choose“
Light. Shining. Via our son’s blindness? This is not what we yelled for at altars. This is not what we asked …
the Almighty, and when He never answered we sulked hard at the unanswered prayer.
This dawn am staring at how I’ve misunderstood the Act of not getting what I asked, and how it morphs me into a person one would never prescribe for their self… cuz the basic human request (esp this parent’s) is pretty self focused.
Watching him in the Light of a growing sun or dusk, is staring at his Joy not dependant on external conditions, as I am. He doesn’t know how blindness separates the seen from the Unseen.
What’s it like for him to never see my face, but touch me and experience my love for him? To never see the sun but feel its warmth in his skin. Am humbled this morning at the hugeness of Light,and how it can spill out of even my own response…re-writing my own thoughts that spiral down, and oh into the Unseen Dayspring in the cellars of inner blindness;
often I Choose to pursue sadness. But on days as these, the Light hits the shutters of my mind, leaving me no Choice but to dance with the fabulous All Mighty Light.
I am naked, stripped
of the bark of Fear ~
then the Sacred Whisper draws me into a
Cluster of ripe Bloodtears-Crushed for Fragrance.
Vineyard of Healing. Oil.RN
Oil series for “Asha-journey of Hope”. RN
“Healed by a Wound”. Oil, RN
“Rest.” pastel. RN
Intoxicated by the Light,
I cannot resist It resting in my throat,
waiting in the Waiting for another Sip.
This Vineyard Press is death- wrenching. We used to be here to quench a glass of thirst,
now It crushes into me, these Vineyard Whispers: like a Cup thirsting for me, to thirst for Its Quenching.
The Vineyard Keeper gives me Space in His Garden, a Lent, a Leaning in this season of my soul, with the Whisper.
I’ve received hate, evil, disaster, discrimination, cruelty
but with Compassion … one is startled into a new order of things.
Call it Love, Grace, unmerited favor.… It breaks me out of old mental patterns into New.
It ruins Ruins, breathing Life into Carcasses of Joy.
Compassion weeps Fire in the ashes of our tears for Peace… Yea
we’ve eaten at Banquets of Hate but one tiny morsel of true Love, startles us forever
into a Dimension that can pull us out of traditional puppetry..
She was at least six months pregnant; her other child seen here, looked up at us with vacant eyes. The woman’s pale face brightened; in minutes every container of food we gave them was ripped open as they ate till their wrists were messy. I couldn’t sleep that night. The first time we saw this family living under a cart in a back lane at Shvaji nagar(busy market area locally), we gave them some food and money. It all seemed too little help for their cracked lips and skins shiny with too many hours in our Indian winter sun.
The next morning we contacted a renowned NGO that was willing to take them in, provided we got local police clearance, which we were willing to get for them. Five mins later, the NGO called to say, “We will get the family in our van ourselves.Legal clearance shouldn’t be a problem. There’s work, food, shelter, provided they are willing.”
Oh. Thoroughly happy with all this, we went back to family under cart in that back lane, with news of help. Their kid could get a life, the young mom could get maternity assistance, her husband – a job. All this with a legal nod. But uh uh. The man looked eager for what was being offered: he worked where he could – cleaning floors, sweeping the street early mornings, but the woman turned into steel. “We are fine.”
“Aren’t you scared of being in the open here, day and night? And in your condition? “
Her yellow eyes flattened. “No.” She said. Gone was the gaunt lost look. The woman looked formidable, a street creature with lower lip sass & arm on hip. We haggled over their safety and future;
their child crawled back under rusting cart which wasn’t theirs. The man gave me a sad smile, as his wife stuck her jaw out. “You don’t want help?” I asked, now embarrassed.
Another young man with them(you see his hand in the photograph), said, “Help.” Then he furthered that with asking for help for himself. Every time I spoke to this couple, the woman muttered at me, the husband looked sadder, and the neighbour asked help for himself.
He almost got to me, before a flower seller and another approached us with severe disapproval, (as the couple + kid disappeared).
“This boy is a local thief, he is mentally ill and will harass you all. “
The local “thief” was breaking my heart by now. Kitsy our daughter bought flowers from the vendor, beetroot for her dad’s salad (after Angioplasty, we are all eating better, every day is a beautiful reminder of miracles, all that…till we got here, to ShivajiMarket, for better veggies).
No, the NGO couldn’t place the boy- local authorities would need to clear him, they said in a quick text. How old was he, 20? His face was a mess of fear, desperation and aloneness. Grandma was all he had; he suffered from fits and was possibly a kleptomaniac. No, the NGO could not help him; this was a legal issue and I was advised to get home. We gave the boy some food and pocket money; his desperation seared thru me, as we got in an auto- rick back home.
Helpless-ness. What a word. What a world. All the need in me to help him didn’t seem to help. The flower & vegetable seller who knew this boy, kind of took care of him. They had even heard of the NGO that was willing to help the family (who disappeared as we spoke).
A strange kind of rejection this was turning into. Flower seller heard me out, and shook his head. “Who gets help like this?” He asked as he handed us a bouquet of lavender asters wrapped in newspaper. “….who refuses work these days? And who are you?”
Who was I ? With an unintelligible reply we had headed home after wading through street food and sellers of scarves, bright kurtas, junk jewelry, cane garden furniture and gaudy green guavas cut in with red chilly and salt.
The world is a strange place: the older I get the more I see it as a Union of Acceptance or Rejection – even from the most unlikely quarters. One sees the strangest Collabs of Innocence & Crime.
That young “thief” had the most innocent eyes I’ve seen in a bit. Local neighbors called him a chronic crook, oh not to be trusted anyplace. But – what if he had a base that could help him? “Help“, he’d said.
I don’t know.
Back home, we are not very strong ourselves, except deep within where I grow my vineyard of Prayer. Here one eats the salt of tears, of sensitivities sharpening by rejection, even from the most fragile sections of our society. Where have we gone wrong, so wrong that Independence is now settling in with lack of social security?
Oh the stories our lanes and lies tell. Some tell me there’s no use just praying. But every single time I meet my Maker, there’s a new face calling from yet another back lane. And they may run away from any kind of assistance; hmm, look it is scary to trust strangers,
can a tiny Molecule of Care provoke Change?
Maybe, yes. Even in our self.
dew drop in our balcony: every morning it is there, and often I drink it in. Every sip is pure oxygen and some.
Words dodge me, like prayers already prayed, like Answers answered. The human heart must learn to rest, to kiss Peace
no matter the odds. Ach my sweet, drink heaven: graze the stars. Gaze on What never leaves but lingers for our notice.
No ‘water rabbits‘ for me: no horror-scope stars can tell me what I already am: uh, that’s all of us really:
created for Purpose.
Sure, life’s not always a nice garden fulla rose, but there’s a thing within the heart of every man woman and child:
…an Unshakeable Kingdom esp when we’re afraid. It is how a blind man dances in the rain. If he wants that freedom.
“We are born to more than just survive..” (our son’s fav song), no matter the storm.
Innerspring is where the rubber hits the road for me and doesn’t snap. My husband NJ calls it going on Overdrive. You got to be there to go there.
Last month and now – we are each of us recovering in our own way from a sudden health crisis that could’ve gone any which way.
I wake up early to look close at the dawn. Sometimes it is misty among filtered light. Am I the same person anymore? Yes and no. We age, we die we are birthed all over again, and again. “The old is gone, the new is here...” Whaaaat?!
….a New Creation, curiously pruned from fear. I have no explanation to any of that except we have been/ are in the presence of a Life beyond this Life already.
Unshakeable begins after everything that’s shakeable is all shook. A remnant remains. It has my face and print, my soul and iris. It is a me more aware of human limitations …. more aware of a Thing beyond easily-described fatalities, mortality, impermanence….
am staring at the unseen seedling that births a tree; staring at river beds beneath the surface of us, kicking at an assumed absence of immortality,
with a vengeance that betrays our own fear of God:
there are worshippers of rivers, trees, fire, rain, revering their own avatars and nod with relief at karmic cycles. There is despairing want for our answers here and now; humans are superior intelligence? “Oh there is no god but us, ya, no?!” So. We shut up that Inner Tide that offers Strength unparalleled;
sometime last month there was a precise moment when I made the choice to trust God outside that ICU no matter what. Shock and trauma can hurtle the human spirit into a corner which offers little life support. Here you might saddle the dark, or the Light. It is always a decision.
There was that undeniable pause for me: a corridor between Fear and Peace. Choose Life, He says. Becharata bachiyim
“Christ in me, the Hope of Glory” : a phrase that will forever stoke this tiny head.
I will never return to normal🙂 not after staring in the dark and dancing with angels. Heaven is for real. It’s agenda is not always pretty. “Good” is best redefined with syllables we must relearn.
After you taste nectar you forgive bitter gourd. You don’t sing songs on sad-indifferent-hate anymore. You’ve out -stared Fear, you watch hell freeze. One day we will each see face to face what we glimpse at, in part here.
Whatever you are at right now, I’m wishing you that Innerspring of Peace that surpasses human understanding: all 360 days left of 2023. Jesus lives, He loves you.
Looking back over the past week, I am overwhelmed by the good!
2 different Emergency Rooms, 2 racing ambulances – a laser-eyed Cardiologist that made me feel my precious husband was his brother,
‘3 death defying blocks’ in a man who is not any kind of candidate for a heart attack. “His heart, all…in great condition….but he has survived 3 deadly blocks esp the last six months, and a silent heart attack” ( a painless one???He’s not diabetic!)??? The answers riddle the questions.
Crib outside ICU
2 am, 3am, 4. Fortis hospital – quiet except for a few others like me. Clutching the soft amber blanket given by one of our gang of friends that came by to huddle and pray together; I could not exhale. Some of them (angels!) helped with paper work. Another brought our kids from home. Waiting without knowing what that precise minute is doing to your beloved, is a life changing event. It hauled the sacred in like never before, not pausing to wait for me to catch breath. After everyone left, and it was hitting 5 am, my favorite hour on earth, Time stood like a rearing race horse. If I breathed the earth tip tilted.
“Say something,” I whispered. Deadly still took over and a wordless voice told me my NoelJeff could be taken, or left behind for more earth time; it was His calendar and not dependant on human blocks and cardio skills.
I jumped up alert, the amber blanket folding down at my shoes.
There it was again. A voice not sweet and tender but deeper than the ocean of fear welling up within. “Fear no human situation. Fear the One who made it all.” How on earth was I suddenly feeling so deeply loved/ cared for by my Invisible One? I was also numb, watching everything like from the inside of a storm. Anyone thinking this is self counselling …. bro., you got to taste this to know this.
6am, 6.39..am, unsure of what the clock said, I just sat there. An Attender smiled and hung around asking if I needed anything. He had the firm face of Health care workers, somehow softened around the edges but with the ability to bear you bad news.
The next 24 hours free fell into the blue sky above my scalp, tingling. You don’t want this terrific brew of grief, shock and awe at the tininess of us humans. Dr.R., and his large hands showed us how my husband’s heart looked and what they were about to do in there….
signatures, bills, nods, thumbs up and Doc vanished into an interior where my Soul mate lay between this life and another.
How on earth had he had a heart attack? We were having a normal dinner, it was chilly, he never liked sweaters, but that night he needed one. We checked pulse; covid had brought home some equipment. He smiled, amused, when my daughter said it was low and why don’t we just go over to local Zion hospital? “Ok. I’ll get the keys…” He drove. He is an angel but you never really get to tell him what to do. Except later that night, last week, 12am, rushed into an ambulance that tore down a busy lane, with a nurse holding onto my hand; the very young nurse, two drivers, and I in that crazy siren….
( my lines and paras jumble, am still getting my head back together)
outside Cath Lab, our muslim friend, prayed out loud, his arabic syllables melting in with my daughter and my internal kneeling. A moment we will never forget. He prayed a verse, praising God’s existence. We prayed to a risen Christ. I had this Image of a Cross shaped Stent😊, uh couple of them.
As they wheeled him out he did a 360 degree grin and replied, “I’m feeling fantastic!”
My doc sis bundled me into nearby Ashraya Intl’ hotel; unsure what we ate. She had to leave by 5 am. There it was again: dawn sweeping away shadows and blinking in thru the shutters. Breakfast buffet down stairs alone was a whole new chapter of oxygen. It could’ve been just me, forever. No more morning teas with him, no more random car rides and oh… hiding his stuff for the sheer joy of a prank, no more his warm hands holding me close esp when I sulked….
what can I say. Am staring startled at tender mercy new every morning. We are back home. My husband is in recovery and doing well, stents and all. He has energy like from a decade before????! And I cannot get that Voice out of head, that One deeper than the ocean within.
In today’s Reflections just now, Noel J. wrote this, printed with his absolute permission:
Throughout the Bible we find this phrase, “Do not be afraid”.
God wasn’t trying to scare people!!
He is real. Everything He tried to tell us was about His love for us, He wanted to commune with us, and that He is our God and we are His people!
God wants us to follow Him out of love rather than fear. To overcome crippling fear, we must think more about His love.
What is the message of Christmas?
One song writer put it this way, you may know the song.. “Love came down…”
One of my favourite scriptures from Romans reads,
“We’re able to hold our heads high no matter what happens and know that all is well, for we know how dearly God loves us, and we feel this warm love everywhere within us because God has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with His love.” Ro.5:5 LB
1.Jn.4:18 says, “Perfect love drives out fear.”
Have a blessed day y’all 😃
I have so much to say; deep peace & love jostle for attention inside. Wishing y’all the same as we watch another year wrap. May our fantastic Invisible One hold you close too.
burn my lips with verbs that do nothing but peace Abba.
Suicide is a deadly option, but those who’ve been to its edge, say that it just simple plain & total, takes over. This smiling happy face, Twitch has been our family favorite. Anyone who can move like that, in pure honest-to- goodness joy, is a masterpiece. This Story will go on a bit before Media turns its glare on other news.
Last night while we were searching the skies for stray comets that might slip over to our side of the city, the sky an indigo purple at mudnight –
I got thinking how tiny we must look from space. A glowing jewel, really. All our generations of man, woman, child, flora, fauna, war, bruise, buried place…our judgments, abuse, rejection, courtesy, indifferences, war, treaties, indifference, cultural/ spiritual kind unkindness; …
🥀 Thank you Cindy of https://chronic-joy.org/ for you eternally meaningful cards.
all that, is a dot in space, but close up we are breathtaking beautiful. C’mon. We have our shares of pain, our investments in disgrace, but creativity is stunning. We’ve too been called Creators of projects. We hate, but we love. I believe it is love that causes the insecure to turn bitter. Somewhere a need was not met. Somewhere a disbelief began. Somewhere we were hushed into a depth no one else could know. We own cellars. We bully our self into a submission that believes the worst Faith: we are dispensible. We are rich with a poverty that can seep like a deadly tide and we won’t know when it will wreak its lethal harvest.
The city where I live in, Bangalore, is known as our Suicide Capital. When I was in my early 20s, we did a Documentary on Suicide prevention. I helped out a lot; thought I knew how this went.
Nada! The next month there was this acquaintance who hung herself. To this day I remember the last time we met, her eyes sparkling with a new love. They were getting married that year she said, she was wearing a green Tee and long blue skirt. Kay didn’t make it. I had seen nothing in her that betrayed underlying conditions.
Unsure where am going with this Post. Just stay safe y’all. Life is short, but here we learn how to die please. Life is precious. We are precious. None dispensible. Its a Planet that needs us to do only what we can do. Like it or not, thats the truth of Mortal existence. We are a necessary link in someones life. Like it or not, we each own finger prints none has. We are Creators ourselves. There’s much to do. We were Created. For purpose.
Beyond this there is a Space yet to be made friends with. Beyond what we know, think,imagine, we are immortal.
WordPress Daily Prompt: have you ever performed on stage or given a speech
Yes, I have performed even my Tefillah* on stage & ones in streets & inside my teeth.
Ma would weep.
For me praying used to be racing sandslopes to where the sun was still in grey waters waiting to give me gold:
a gold that took everything,
It still seeps my tides of Will & Time: a refining Fire mill.
Later I saw grown ups pray / rocking at walls, then walk away; but do watch when a Prayerer sways: each sway is a flame that is given away, not necessarily warming only the Prayerer.
Yeah though shhhhlisten I have the deadliest condition : unanswered prayers. These mutate at Change;
I do not wait for You, God, for togetherness’ sake, my Asking only dictates!
Forgive me, Abba
I’m returning, racing to where You wait, like the silence of the sun, unchanged.
I’ve seen too much to dismiss the Dawn that brought me here: my best Tefillah is yet to be
where Abba burns the dark to dance with me,
in the firemill that changes the Asker.
*Tefillah : Hebrew. Outpour of heart, in Presence of the Almighty.
You remind me of how steep we bear each other,
Poetry partnerships are responses to each other’s poem.
I hadn’t a clue that the articulate, kind eyed Skeptic’s Kaddish was agreeing to many extra miles just to be seen with my Yeshua verses.
In his Post David Bogomolny says,” Yes, I responded to Faith Poetry.”
“…I mean, really, one of the main reasons I avoid such poetry is because I don’t want to hurt anybody’s feelings. What would be the point of responding to a true believer’s sincere God-loving poem with my skepticism? What would my cynical response accomplish? And- believe me, I have almost nothing left in me today but cynicism…” David Bogomolny, Skeptic’s Kaddish – ben Alexander David.
I’m a ‘Faith Poet’? Now I know, thank you David. Love the description.
‘He didn’t want to hurt me’ … ben A.D. Ah’m. You don’t see my cactus heart – I’d have been the original doubting Thomas’ daughter had it not been for What we been staring thru’ the dark at !
David writes with skilled ease and forms I never knew existed. Like it or not, this impatience at “faith”, coupled with careful toeing of thin line between here and the Shekinah, is fascinating; his Kaddish of grief, at loss of his father, the renowned Israeli American Mathematician +, Alexander Bogomolny is a Prayer Wall all by Itself. These are lyrics of beauty in ashes. It stirred me to look closer at scepticism. After months I was blogging again and two passages from his Skeptic’s Kaddish ran at me; both are necessary to Everything.
“Papa…in describing you …I have sometimes invoked an image of you as the “genius version of Forrest Gump” because you lived through so much momentous history but remained unruffled by it. You innocently savored life’s little details and exhibited a childlike fascination for moments that went unnoticed by most. It seems to me that your life experiences were filtered through your soul before ever reaching your mind.“
His other line : “… it feels to me as though nobody has any interest in listening to those with whom they disagree politically …..”
Two random readings from a professing skeptic, and neither felt hostile to a Bible hugging momma (me);
so. We did a couple of back and forth Poetry shares. One cannot presume to know another’s journey;
as for me, it wasn’t my Ma’s insistence nor Dad’s that provoked me to stare in the Unseen. Left to myself I’d’ve been the Skeptic of skeptics, you’ve no idea. I didn’t find heaven in the pews and baptism pool till a certain clearing of my mind began. The Unseen was right there beneath my own skin and the veins of leaves, of Life;
like a Poem in our mind that becomes a written word, I stared in the dark: this is how the Unseen world works for me, this is my definition of Faith. “ ..so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.” Hebrews 11.
I find God staring at my own narrow ways through other humans who can forgive one another too. Love like that hurts like little else can. And it wrecks me to pieces, in a Peace that defies defect. Nothing missing, nothing broken – Shalom. Peace.
Our local Sati, Dowry deaths to mention a few, had begun to build me into a museum of crime records. It is not impossible to go there. I could not forgive that everyday there’s a grisly rape, an honour killing, there’s war & sins of the powerful / ‘righteous’. One summer holiday between Anne Frank and Jungle Book, I came across Corrie Ten Boom’s Hiding Place:
the power of Forgiveness mingled with Love that asks nothing in return but a certain giving: this is an act of Soul. Without which we are….what? And if we do have Soul, we are miles more than meets the eye. Sigh. Yes!
Then we could not limit our self anymore nor stay indifferent to evidences of Life beneath surfaces. Maybe we would begin to listen to each other, know why we are what we are. We are more than a few dimensions. We are minefields and diamonds that surface from generations of bruises we carry like tattoos in our skin, and stars we seek.
Sheer relief : I didn’t have to play God anymore. I gave up my panel of Controls. One could swing a hammock in a desert if you could find two good trees! There would be dust storms, there would be songs. And there could be nothing missing, nothing broken inside-out if you dared. It would be tiring. Uneasy. No blame games. Only Grace.
I am grateful for people who believe what they believe with an honesty that is unafraid to look at the Unseen. People like David who is a true ….Tolerant?
May you be startled.
You deserve the best.
Why d’You persecute me with Your Beauty my God, my God. I’d gotten used to the stench; the animal cries of beastly things, of foul crime and oh the dung of vice, but You
birthed o’er and o’er, in my manger heart, never abort
Your Pursuit of me
Why D’You love me, Jesus?
– Earth .
Oil painting, RN. https://www.instagram.com/p/Clu2N_sPZ7m/?igshid=MDJmNzVkMjY=
fragrance of a new day; stars leave, am staring at Light, how it is never held except..
to grow trees…life. I go back out where I see the aroma of Light.
Oil. ESSENCE. RN
Anything said here may sound cliche; but I have to get this off my heart-bones.
She was grey, HIV+ and homeless. I got details, I asked !
it was 7 pm in the sidewalk off Just Bakes. She began to smile, and the thing (smile) threatened towards a friendship. I backed a few miles in my heart.
The last time my coronaries succumbed to a daughter’s sweet pleading eyes, we got six puppies from a dying momma furry friend: six newborns that grew over night into pot-bellied wiggle-tailed creatures with wet mouths yelling for more. We had neighborhood kids arriving in droves, before those lil paws left in a red Breathing box to nearby Shelter. That took weeks to sort with grief counselling and pup pictures still blinking at us from digital albums too much to delete..
but This is a human being.
the woman has a sweetness, I recall thinking. Who had turned her onto the streets? She was from Tirupathy, a State at least 7 hours by rail from where I am. (No more free Hospitals for HIV patients, with Covid; Aids aid ceased). The Ugh irony of that fell right in the growing gap between the woman and me as I took a slow step away. She was here for help, but every door had shut, even her own home.
What can one do but pass on a little currency and try move fast;
then it happened. You can only know the depth of That if you’ve ever been quiet around other quiet people; or those that are noisy on the outside to shut the silence on the inside;
all this 2 evenings ago, by Just Bakes.
What goes on when the human guard is down? This little woman got my guard down for one tiny second. She was smiling a careful smile, as if afraid to insult the proper *bridge we have built between visible and invisible sections of society. Looking back I will forever admire her for standing there tall in her four foot frame, a grey sari tattering in our deccan chilly November.
The little woman now stood outlined against Thermocol snowflakes in store windows with Lee Cooper and plastic mistletoe. She said there was no money for medicines and food, nor anywhere to sleep at night. My ears began to buzz. When I asked where she’d sleep tonight, she pointed in the vague direction of a dwarf palm tree sprouting mid- pavement by ArtWood. Nice Art Store. Two and three worlds were clashing without my permit. The woman wore broken glasses, no slippers and a loose hair knot, besides which a certain dignity wore her.
The more I write this, the more certain I am that human words are limited. My words are limited. They know structures from a social life that will flee from the smell of the Unknown. Most of us are Controllers who may not even discuss considering helping other factors that have never been legally controlled. Like Homelessness.
Taking another step away, I nodded at this woman with the slight smile. As I walked, she did not move. When I looked back she was waving, like she’d been waving even when I wasn’t looking.
9 ish pm, she followed me, room to room at home. The next day, all that evening, I could still see her fragile frame, grey with Time and its accessories : its details of other people’s crimes in her. Even mine.
7 pm Lastnight I was back at Just Bakes. We’d made a deal at home to go back and look for her, bring her home for one day till we sorted out an NGO that could take her in: this after my fabulous threat, “Can I be with her the night then, wherever, till morning when we find shelter..? ”
I turned a cartwheel inside. We had located “Auto Raja” do check this one. It is mind blowing what an Ex Auto driver is doing, unconditionally for the most reject of us.
It beats every last credulity what humans can do,
only, the little woman was not to be seen anywhere.
By what miracle had I expected her to be there as she’d stood exactly 24 hours earlier – waving like an old friend;
I needed a good walk; searched for cookies to take home, searched the street, the next and the next. My bag bulged with a shawl meant for ‘our’ ride home; sure I wouldn’t have gotten any HIV just sitting next to someone in that ride back. There was an extra blanket and pillow at home, there was space enough. She’d need a bath. All that. Only, the little person wasn’t there.
I will always search for her, with a craving to warm those shrivelled arms and broken eyes. It is not such a big city, here. I am delighted with this new pursuit : locating Shelters for deserving humans. One NGO read, “If you can’t feed a hundred, feed one.” Love that.
Where’s my sweet St.Homeless gone;
am going out in an hour now. What if, hey what if she’s there in some nondescript corner of a crossing; will I have lost the capacity to be unafraid to host an unknown human in our warm home where we live in Season’s cheer, not because we worked harder or better, but because Life will happen the way it does in dimensions we have no exit from, except that we care for at least one other stranger, as much as for our own skin, on *Bridges we dare cross now and then, when our Fears get dwarfed by basic human incredulity at another’s aloneness;
how high can I reach, how low will I go; at some point we will stop blaming parliaments, priests and unseen kingdoms for things within the capacities of our own kitchens and extra blankets:
at some point we will begin to try. And if we fail we will try again. “If we can’t feed a hundred, feed one.” Find help. There are more saints among the living than we suspect.
Am still looking for that little woman. Till then, there’ll always be a certain thing in me that shrinks at the way I walked away from a tattered face that could smile like that.
This was written / performed for Fundraiser – Kids with Cancer, Bangalore Baptist Hospital;
inspired by our precious son recovering from more challenges than he deserves,
but “God Who Sees..” has a sacred agenda in all these details. Grateful for family, friends, neighbors, physicians, prayerers: you are treasure, in the Ministry of Comfort.
You must be logged in to post a comment.