Mentions: raylarn

Earth Song

I did not think I was a Song, not in little school, but age 13, a storm hit our bay and the sand went white in the sun that finally came out, that day in the silence, with light falling like rain in my arms and bare feet running out to meet a day without a storm, half our tourist village had lost their boats, oh more than half: there were dead bird and bits of roof in flattened grass clump across from our house with the casurina trees soft green in mid morning, that time I began to feel like a Song;

Resort, Bangalore
Pic Samuel

***

there are many kinds of Songs, I learned that, growing up in different coasts in our Peninsula, twice on a mountain, a gulf and a plateau, you saw beauty. It entered your minuscule existence, in notes, in clefs..

another time I saw we were Songs was after college and we were on a threshold, it went a quiet bizarre: life was older, you had decisions and jobs to do all by yourself, it felt like a storm, you waited for the sun to come out, and it did now and then and you were a Rhyme sometimes, a Limerick, a Duet with the winds in your back in your sail, in waves that took you ashore, or slammed you atop high cliff, I loved being that Song. It was war and love and the chaos of finding Peace in gutters and altars and other places like Momma Maye’s prayers how she whispered soft at God like He was her personal Dad, it got to me, her raw voice ~ an earth’s womb hurting. She prayed, she muttered and scolded demons and disease. When Momna Maye died she had this happy face like an Emoji I’m telling you, if she could sing she would’ve but she couldn’t, except rasp a quiet goodbye like it was the best thing, I envied her Song and found it in few faces, oh sometimes in my own inability to be strong. I pray when I can, and I can’t: it isn’t traditional, it’s like a pulse. Breath. A song.

So yea I loved finding Songs in unusual spaces. If you’ve lived you’ll know what I mean. You are Lyrics with no words, Tunes with no bar, you go high and low, you are Mezzo and a Quartet often, depending on who/ what is with you in that Pitch.

Life’s a Song.

Once we were in a boat and the sea was a beautiful dragon, she sailed us out into the night, it was a clear moon. My Father was there, he was fearless and we were a bunch of friends – I should’ve been scared, I was sea sick as hell, but when you’re on the shoulder of a wave and the Light swims smaller lights in the water at your hull, you’re a Song you do not forget…

and you do not forget that in a desert and there’s no water there anymore, but there’s the sea in your bones, its Crescendo rising enough to remind you of who you are, where your are…and sometimes you’ll know why…

you wait, you listen, your ears own that sound, you cannot grow away from what is in the veins of your bones- from what is in the toes of your dance, in the choir of your silence…

how d’you stop what you are in the momentum of your journey… it rocks- lulls -pulls- takes you with it, you are It, you are one in 7 billion songs, yes, yes, you… I..we a Song,

the more I think of it the more I think of it

our tone, our voice… what must it sound like when we sing together, to see/ experience notes together on one page..

It would terrify fear itself,

it would kill death, it could stalk our stalkers, invade invasion, blind blindness, deafen deafness…

ah we do sing, often together.

We do not know it, often we do. I am a Song, so are you. Shhhhh listen. Aren’t we good together.

***

Oil. RN
***

@raylarn

Rage

It is there in the seams of us

in the hinge of my shadow sitting, of

lashed eye in naked street,

‘tween closed border & shut teeth,

..of all the ill we may conceive,

this might be the final viral of this age,

soul Rage.

***

@raylarn

FromWhat to do when you’re in a rage and ready to explode,.Pic V. Amano. Unsplash.

Stay precious, stay blest.

Surprise Visitors @April

Images from yesterday’s news refused to leave but this morning a tree full of thumb- sized black birds, white chested (what are they?) they greet with rowdy song… what are they saying?

Last week we saw a family of Peacock. I thought it was a whacky dream….

Net pic

….glistening blue preening in the few meters between our home and Gulmohar trees….. all lounging around like that? Was too much to take a close pic but brief video below.

Can say with some confidence- we’re all a little more than numb; even beautiful things take time to process. My heads jumbling …..

startled by visuals in a world gasping with disbelief at its single cruel global event. Along with unavoidable casualties, will geographic justice prevail?

Yet these Beauties arrive: random signs of a Normal still here, after centuries of war & peace- while one is still gagging over lakhs of us hurting in ways we shouldn’t.

Lilies, Lent, April,
Home

Last night our son wasn’t too calm: aggression surfaces its head with random punctuality…

this morning he comes to where I am with my empty diary. Joh, 19, used to be the gentlest creature…. but the past 2 years were a dark valley. Now he reaches for my hair, and starts playing… his fingers gentle gentle….I remember an old song Ma and Dad used to sing ….He touched me… it feels selfish to be this Touched, not just in my skin by suddenly gentle-d son, which is a miracle in itself, but deep within raggedy heart, mine;

haunting images of migrant workers scrambling for a way back home to their villages follow me as I turn away from those tiny black birds I’ve not noticed before in trees we never planted… all yelling a song I wish I understood. My thoughts scramble ….

as our Govt. does it’s best, please let everyone stay in, help each other stay in, not go helter -skelter, not arrange a public meet like a very irresponsible group just did in lue capital city endangering an entire nation/earth.

A day ago, India
Net pic.
***

Joh’s fingers now so gentle in my skin, what can I say. Words halt…

He Touched me….

when I was just starting out in life, 25…. newly married, a spinal defect that had been developing suddenly worsened. Spinal cortisone injections (a 2 year nightmare) only helped short term.

From our balcony.
….

One day a stranger prayed for me, and in 24 hours I was totally healed. This isn’t easy to talk about because few would believe but I’ll never forget that fire in my bones and the touch of healing. Who Touched me….?

I never forget that day, and today after our 19 year old touched my heart like that, like an angel…in a time when hands must stay 2 meters away, and distancing is a new kind of love…. yes we are getting Touch- hungry and will look for Soul – Touches more than we guess now.

It is April already, the sky is a startling blue, yes I am startled by life;

am persuaded to believe against all odds that today will be nothing like yesterday, no matter the news. Woke up today feeling numb, but there were these chirpy tiny white chest- black birds outside; how must I stay negative? (As I wrapped this post, we saw Peacock again, this time a lone one…distancing? Kitsy our daughter yelled ‘Penguin!!!!’ How isnt that funny? She was mad at me for laughing that hard).

It’s a strange time, an unusual life: the whole world on the same page. It is harsh and unreal, and yet any little/ large blessing looks/is larger than life.

My sky.
….

Outside white cottony clouds go busily away. April feels beautiful in my Indian window: it is getting warm, gold light filling green leaves. I want to cry but the colours are too many. Want to pray but there are no words. Joh’s fingers still gentle in my temples: I treasure, store them away along with little black- musical- yelling birds & other kinder action.

Sometimes in the dark, you’re startled by angels.

……….@raylarn.

Do check GLOVE QUEEN , a truly informative post for our days :

https://insanitybytes2.wordpress.com/2020/04/01/the-glove-queen/

No, not inside!

My daughter took this pic of me the day before her 25th bday Oct2019. Now its all changed so fast. Did you even know we’d miss our little easy trips in a time when there were no ‘untouchable surfaces’?

We grew from ponytails and little shirts to grown up wear & tear. We learned to rise when we stumbled; learned to be patient with new fatigue. We got new ways of doing old things. We matured, we regressed, we sat down and broke a little then mended. Hey. I’m not giving all that away.

God and life taught us how to take pressure, ride it like a bike to the beach somedays! Now I must sanitise my trips every which way one can and cannot imagine, fine. But I’m not adjusting my inner balance, I’m not going to make any ‘Covid’ feel it owns me, in any grip of fear. Not going to let my home believe for one moment we are victims, though we must be careful of a whole new array of things. We will not court dragons and dance with demons, but we will not forget we walk among angels.

I am not about to go from being a child of God into a frightened bear: a sore one with claws that gnaw my insides, hehe no. I will remember the ways in which I’ve grown and outgrown childish thought processes: oh no, there’s no monster under our bed. There may be a physical threat, but not anything that dare touch our spirit.

So we cannot go out as much but we can go in and remember everything else.

Everything else better not be forgotten for the sake of a sick virus. Nope. I like to think of the Human Self as a person totally under the control of One who brought you & me this far. That’s all I’m thinking on. It frees my mind. It reminds me of when I first learnt to bike.

We were in Gujarat, western India. Dad told me he was behind me….. he wasn’t. I was so sure he was there, I went on ahead. Was a few minutes before I realised he wasn’t holding on. He was there a few meters away, but I was on my own. It did not matter though, I still felt he was holding on. There was no new aloneness. He was right there.

I feel that now, the heavenly Father who brought us this far, mayn’t be visible but He is there. The ride ahead may have its bumps, but we got this life, this bike: we got our lessons, we can’t lose it now, we cannot forget….

FOR YOU MY GOD, HAVE GIVEN US THE SPIRIT OF POWER LOVE AND DISCIPLINE, NOT FEAR AND TIMIDITY…!”(quote,Bible)

Do join us for SUNDAY Family Fellowship here

@raylarn

What you see, sees you

Streets, people, trees, blossoms, faces, places, time, family,

What you see, sees you-

quieting thought that I can effect change, mood, laughter, peace…I am the music of my words, the harbinger of joy, yeah I can re arrange the furniture, heal, reveal a Well Spring of things and streams you & I own deep within, do we know, do I know

how wide I am created, to…..

Gaze.
DigiArt, RN
***

…to bring all these gifts to a day like this…. do I, do we know.

***

HERE For Heal, music.

HERE For Daily Devotional.

***

Stay precious, stay blest.

@raylarn.

Isolation Angels.

I can’t thank life enough for Fellow Angel Bloggers who’s incredible posts keep me believing that this is still the world we knew before ‘Rona virals!! Purple Ray’s Isolation Angel’, + verse here simply had to be shared for its sweet sheer brilliant reminder that we are never alone. Thank you!

In the midst of your life:
the daily of it,
the ordinary of it,
the noontime and night of it,
let there be moments
that open to you
the hallowed and the holy of it….
and may there be an angel!

👆Courtesy Purple Ray’s Blog
***

too Dave of Phoblography below: Lens Genie whose work is as emotive as generous.

ISOLATION
https://thephoblography.blog/
***

Dave’s photography travels around the UK in places I may never physically see, nor do they reflect my Indian life. Though right now, they mirror our times. We are in transit, we tiptoe past each others’ posts and find our shadows in each others’ stunning walls.

Some time this morning between fixing breakfast and wondering whether we must think of one meal/ day soon, if we can still find veggies, and if we still aren’t carriers/ consumers of this ugh viral, after which thought I took to blog surfing and came across Harris’ Quote (pl see below), all this after searching for ‘Corridor‘ quotes. Well, I’m all startled now, thinking on how humans ‘make up their minds‘;

the Globe stares with new eyes at empty toilet paper shelves in one nation; emptied street Fruit Vendor’s cart in another nation:

Writer of Hannibal, Silence of the Lambs.

as we all try to sit down and not think too much on Corona whatever. Morbid! And yet it’s not far away. It’s easily next door. It mayn’t happen to us, it might die away tomorrow, and yet death is not new news on the block. It’s been there since we all began and it’s no Respecter of physical status.

Harris says, ‘...we are not a culture that’s reflective. We do not raise our eyes to the hills…’

ah’m. Any help in a crisis, is welcome. Any comfort, anything that can take our minds off Covid spike charts, is welcome. If it is Singing hills, and Archangels declaring Peace on earth, I’m telling you Hannibal himself would tear his nails out in a hurry to get to nearest angel, now.

We’ve possibly never longed for our old normal like we do now. We’ d look to hills, any which way….lift our eyes, our reflective/ non reflective brows, we might stare at linoleum, at blatting television, but we are Reflective like never before.

And we aren’t willing to live in Transit lounge forever.

We’ve grown impatience from fore fathers who grew wings in their ears from just trying not be impatient. We as the human race can philosophize over Sanitisers without any of the rest of us objecting.

We call Death the Reaper, and Life…no bed of rose. Everything has a name: we are the Giver of Name and Emotion, & We are that IceAge -prehistoric (Squirrel?) just within reach of Its nice nut.

Yes, we stare at blatting Televisions, and want to lift our minds, ears, eyes, nose, heart, hands to that one thing that can be Touched…. Love, eternal, deathless.

As I wrap this, my Jeff makes us a warm drink. Our younger two are in bed. Subtle birthday lights from 3 days ago are still on. Out there it’s a Life glowering at statistics, facts & facilities, but here’s the thing. Death existed before Corona. And death is too quick an exit for our spiritual existence as a race that can think holes through the linoleum of the basement of hell. We are too blest, too endowed; too much trouble has been taken in just growing us all up to where we are today. We climbed Jack’s bean sprout, we killed our Goliaths, we cannot return to kindergarten shoes and cages…

Isolation‘ makes me gaze at all our reflections like never before. We do not like everything we all see, but we are learning to learn that there’s more to Us than all this, there’s more than survival and social distance.

When my Ma left this earth I was by her side and felt her pulse slip away, felt her presence next to me. I couldn’t even grieve in proper outrage for her, it was like she were standing right there but in another sphere. What oh death is your sting? Where your victory, if you cannot take my soul? We are soul, else we are in fantastic corridors between places we just happened to be at? We are each other’s angels at a time like this, and need the Gift of Life to never ever stop, no matter the way our heart shelves at the enormity of loss the coming months may harvest, I’m pledging my faith in a God who reaches for us in His own way, when we lift our eyes to the hills. …

At a very young age I was introduced to patterns of prayer, but it was later that God startled me in the weirdest places: places of disbelief and difficulty, sickness and doubt. Maybe if I’d never had that opportunity to meet my Creator, this Post would never have happened.

I’ve attached here a link to our 25 year old’s 21 day Reflection on the Person of God, not as a Genie giver of gifts, but as one who can be talked to unconditionally, if we would take a moment to listen to the Divine, quoting Purple Rays:

In the midst of your life:
the daily of it,
the ordinary of it,
the noontime and night of it,
let there be moments
that open to you
the hallowed and the holy of it….
and may there be an angel!

Stay precious, blest.

@raylarn

You are your own brand!

This Post is for anyone celebrating their birthday today, (and everyone else) I have this urge to celebrate you, and offer a tiny prayer too from my son who’s incredible gift is prayer. If you’ve been following posts you’ll know he’s not just blind but recovering from a series of disturbing issues, but this isn’t about him;

whichever part of the world you’re in: what a ride this is, and yet we are still the same people we were born as…

Was my birthday couple of days ago: “..no fuss,” I warned them, but there they were @ midnight, cake and candles, hushed whispers: in the morning among mysteriously bought gifts, was a Heart full of blue crystal stars from Kitsy, and Perfume from our eldest, my first name ‘Diella‘ hand- crafted in with scores of words like “Light”. (I got that name in a dream, after a long crazy illness. While I healed, there was a dream: it had my name written on a white stone. Diella means Worshipper);

mid- birthday joy, now there was announcement of national 21 day curfew; our entire street & surrounding areas went quiet, no bustle of traffic or twitter from Myna in trees running between our home and army acres across.

Within our walls, my family had strung out little lights, there was music and the smells of great cooking,

(I have officially surrendered cooking baton to second daughter Kitsy, who is master chef! (On left is how she used to be), now 👇….sigh, they grow so fast.

Kitsy in our last visit out in a park…. why’d that seem so long ago?






D’you sometimes feel guilty to feel happy? You know it’s a mess out here with virus and anxiety attacks, but now and then there’s a celebration,

so here’s the thing: we were going thru’ all our pics, and my Jeff he rounded off everyone’s words with, “Ray, you are … you are… unique….” ….words that make me stare at everyone else now…..

that, there is no one like you either!

No matter the news, nothing changes who you are, your essence is unique, novel! Yes they say ‘novel‘ for all kinds of things, but here we are, citizens and strangers and basic people born to mothers and families and lives that can change in the twinkling of an eye. We been warned of all that, but when it arrives it’s a thief in the night, it’s a touch between life and death…

We got two bone chilling letters from people we love, one from our precious nephew in a hospital in Germany, he’s a doctor; and the other from a very dear friend in the U.S. They wrote loving notes, asking family to pay attention to how deadly this Covid thing is, the pace at which it mutates, its silent stealth. These precious ones lives are at risk because of their professions: I can’t tell you enough what it felt like, to be gazing at/ celebrating life in all its hues: to hug across the miles, and cry tears of love and pain;

to know that we 7 billion are strong and yet we are this vulnerable. We are beloved and fragile, our life is like grass, and yet we are one-of-a- kind- each, Designer made, no matter that our breath can be whisked away; we are phenomenal, a Force to reckon with. The day we were born, people paused or clapped, kissed? …. wept.

We can die, and even that occasion is phenomenal. It causes chaos / maddening grief, because humans as a race cannot be ignored. If one of us is attacked in any unusual ordeal it is News. The entire planet of us under siege is another thing altogether, nothing competes with the vastness of that: the fact that we are under this kind of common indefinable, insurmountable distress is totally New.

If we survive this, and many will, there will be the aftermath of it and it may be unlike anything recorded in the history of mankind: I don’t want to go much there: this one is about birthdays and how it feels to celebrate humans, mid- international crisis; it feels strange and provocative -beautiful and Quiet.

This morning I woke up feeling different, younger and older, like I had more in my 206 bones. It’s an awareness… of what? The immortality of life, or its brevity? I’m staring at books we used to read, it’s like from another life: movies, talks. Some Quotes feel more right than before. Oh, bouquets and birds, they don’t change, they are like paintings and classical music; they have Eternity in them. But our conversation…. it is halved in a new way.

Birthday hugs: they are tighter.

Gazes and strummed guitar, candle lights and the clink of glasses… they say new things. I can’t say what, just new. And old. And somethings we never knew before. We thought we knew it all. Our parents and grandparents taught us how to say Grace and say please, thankyou and sorry. As we grew we thought we understood things a little more than yesterday. It felt sweet, sometimes sour.

Now, I don’t know… and that is a New Thing. It reminds me of how little we all truly know about each other as humans. You are a person with feelings and heart and we must care deeply for each others’ well being, must pray for one another’s lives/ souls…

this is more than birthdays: you can see this Post hovers around that word and how I want to wish you a beautiful life without sounding patronizing, even if it’s not birthday zone. Even if life’s not short and we’ll survive this and other wars.

Our daughter Vi does these Videos and I’d love for you to listen to this one. She’s a lot like me and feels deeply about things;

then our son walks in on her recording (he cannot bear closed doors), but the moment turns around, he prays and brings you right into our room facing palm trees on it’s right, with my large painting in the back drop. It is called DaySpring, and I wish you that Inner Spring of Light and Life.

Vi does her own take on Michael W. Smith’s Agnus Dei; we looked up those words and it means “Emblem: a Lamb bearing the Cross of Christ.”

All sounds so serious. D’you get the feeling life is way more than mortal detail? That there’s more besides thinking on Cures and everyday bread/ rice/ health… that oneday we might all be someplace else besides this planet?

And that we matter incredibly more than we suspect

This is another one I’ve no clue how to wrap. Do have a blessed day.

@raylarn

Today is a Gift only you can unwrap

..a designer Key to unlock gates of iron:

Today is that Gift we asked for: tiny seconds tripping together, they warned last night of Dawn, and here we are, 24 hours closer to answers we task for;

Today is a Gift of colours we mayn’t notice in sill and (coffee?) swirls, in each others’ eyes, or our miles of sometimes hesitant smiles;

Today is a Gift which will never return: as we read this, Its arms tick tiny songs in ears tuned to fears, but now and then, we are turned anew by each others’ joy…if we would..

Today is a Gift, a Prophecy of Life in the bones of soul; how quick we can keep Its peace… like beautiful Feet, running to ourselves/ to each other yelling the good news, that we are beloved of the Father;

Today is a Gift, only you & I know to courier, to our depths or anothers’: gifts of mercy and forgiveness, the holding of a sister/brother/nation in prayer;

Today is a Gift, only you and I and we can unwrap- tremble with excitement, with relief, with hope and patience! I can die down in the horrific power of belief that healing is dead, but I believe-

I believe that you and I are Pulse and Breath in these streets and doors and walls we built: and today we must Lock-down the dark and wait for eyes anew: then see what Gifts we can give even ourselves, that cannot be bought or broken:

Gifts- stubborn confident that we are still here for a reason: we are Survivor-Mutants -of-health ay, wealth of True Love, e’en in the presence of the absence of evil:

and these Gifts of the Day, running tripping Happy Feet of the Good news of God’s Unshakeable Kingdom of Peace:

They are Life, more than we know, more than we know..

***

@raylarn

Walk Tall into Tomorrow

This one is for the loved ones and those who have succumbed, or might, to Covid & other reasons humans and nations do not always thrive,

& too, for those of us who die a thousand deaths in lives that could be be lived out strong,

those for whom Love loses Its Light with eye dulled for fears they needn’t weep: we are freer than we imagine;

for all of us: Tomorrow is that gift we cannot see yet: we do not walk Its fields of harvest, we do not yet inhale Its aroma of rest, we do not hold It in our fingers, but we believe It too will arrive like yesterday,

we know in the hours before dawn that when we peer thru’ grey satin whispers of sunrise, we will walk into Its rays of hope,

Some said it well... ‘weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning‘; so walk, walk on. Brave Heart, walk on, till tomorrow comes…

….

I simply must add here, my friend Alastair Duncan’s extraordinary Sunrise.

STILL WALKS.

Sunrise in Carmarthenshire, South Wales’s bird & sheep… a horse towards Troserch/ footbridge/ river wild flowers, footsteps; head towards a kissing gate into the open…
Alastair Duncan
Thankyou for this beauty of a share.

….

@raylarn

Related Post:

A walk in the neighbourhood
Bruce Stambaugh.com

Finding our Edge

…from my article published in SELF DEVELOPMENT Journal, Shri Bishwanath Memorial Education & Welfare Trust Foundation, Mumbai.

How many sides does a coin have?” I ask eight blind kids in their Creativity room. 7 of them are quiet. There is shyness, diffidence, anxiety in the room.

One little girl twists her ribbon to knots. Then there’s Varun (name changed), always in trouble for speaking his mind, for being local ‘Complaint box‘ and ‘Motor mouth’. Young Varun has faced both destitution and comfort: he’s been ‘corrected’ for being unruly and is a tamed little lion today. All of which maybe has made him unselfconscious. His mind is an undefensive scramble of questions. Varu may not be the highest scorer in academics but he’s the curious one.

Now he replies with excitement, “Three sides, no?” Heads, Tails, and the Edge. He rolls the coin across the table to me, of course he knows exactly where I’m sitting, his young face filling with light as if he’d just found the key to the universe.

What is possible when we step out of what we know, see, hear, feel?
….

If I were to blindfold myself, or shut my ears for an hour, would I be able to solve a few problems that have baffled me before? Chances are…. who knows? Yes!

I don’t know how, but our son Joh who was born blind, always finds missing things at home. He says he knows when we last used it, and where we kept it. Keys, wallet, glasses, a book, papers… it is uncanny. He remembers details we cannot easily remember. Is his memory sharper? Perhaps he’s just using all he’s got, and the sense of sight he lacks, propels him to search deeper at muddles and mysteries. He knows the time of day, knows if it’s going to rain…his olfactory senses are high toned, auditory nerves on edge, every hammer and anvil fine tuned.

What does it take for us to respond to a new question from an opposite state of mind? If I’m a logical person, I respond from one side of me. But what if, when I’m startled, shaken, pushed out of comfort zone, I now respond from the Creative side, or vice versa;

Antharagange hills, Kolar, outside Bangalore.

My own childhood began with being left handed. In the chaos at early school where one of my teachers did not understand me, I began writing in reverse, & speaking in reverse, (spoonerism would soon turn out to be a fun diversion in classroom and some moments of boredom).

I’m unsure how and when the transition to ‘fun with being an odd one out’ began but my parents were not conventional people. Some of the places we lived at were dangerous stations, there was travel by tiny boat, deep sea/ river crossings…and yet things seemed to turn into a joyful classroom for me. A kind of Jungle Book lens through which to enter what was given.

I met Fagoo Behera the boatman from Khujang, (names unchanged), he sang to ‘baba crocodiles’ in the Mahanadi River, Ma said. (Baba, for baby). Not to underplay how tense some days were, but when you have a Life you must live, and choose to respond not from underlying Fear/ Anxiety, who knows what you will find?

Sketch: Village dancers.
RN
.

Ma taught craft & music at Stations where Dad worked (Ministry of Lights&Shipping, Govt.of India). We lived in ports from Kanyakumari to Mandvi in Gujarat 200 kms from the India border. There was always a Lighthouse, and the Net was only what a local fishermen used. My first freelance job was with Drama production at Akash Vani, Bangalore, (if you discount our Amateur Theatre, age 5, 6, 7, ..with neighbour kids. We did Shakuntala, desi Cinderella…. on septic tanks and under guava trees, little knowing oneday we’d be drawing from these Treasures).

Lighthouse from childhood days, S.India, sent in by Capt. J.S. recently.

I’ve volunteered at Schools where our blind son was at, and being with these beautiful people reminds me e-v-e-r-y-d-a-y of how we misunderstand some acts/ facts of everyday living: how I interpret the word “Challenged”, what ‘handicap’ implies. Or the word, ‘Special’. Our second daughter once remarked with loud sigh, ” …maybe if I’d had some sort of disability I’d be called Special!” It was a rude awakening for us; and I’m thinking now, perhaps the worst disability is a bored person/ with lack of confidence, or someone who has no foundational strength.

And this:

  1. We are really only using 2% or less of our faculties.
  2. We as a Race are now probably farthest from our creative selves than we’ve ever been. Illness both physical and otherwise, could be changing us into a species of indifferent mammals, or ones controlled by Fear.

A few years ago, Dr.Joseph, a good friend of ours here in Bangalore, invited me to a Conference for Personality Developers. ‘Be yourself’ he said.

Was I nervous? Sure, but not just nervous. I’d grown to be a full time mom by now, and hermit artist with little worry about boardroom protocol. (At home we were getting used to the world of the ‘Disadvantaged‘, with firm jaws and steel too!…)

by 3 pm that day, it was clear my notes weren’t going to work: it had been a morning full of discussion on reasons for Communication breakdown. I would need to change the dialogue here to get through to Tea break without everyone yawning at me.

I look back with a happy shudder:

me in sedate blue sari, waving my kitchen wooden potato masher in version of how early man oh, and woman !- may have communicated before they made polite words.

The room burst with noise and laughter as some immediately traded ‘fight‘ stories;

Soon it was time to ask, “How many sides does a coin have?”

One replied,”Heads, tails, and shadow..”

Impression on palm, if count is held tightly.”

Education and growing up show negatives and positives: the 3rd side is what I have learned from both.”

We asked a blindfolded volunteer to feel & describe a coin as if he’d never touched one before, and he said, “Flip side, flop side oh… and edge!” Just like Varun the Blind kid had put it.

One lady who had been very quiet, now smiled and said she’d not wanted to participate, (what difference would it have made to her regular life?), & how the potato masher here had seemed silly, but that it was funny and reminded her of somethings she’d forgotten…also, how we best change from regular to a little more ‘unusual‘, please?

A theater person in the room said he’d been thinking on similar lines…but did not know how to break ice in a room he wasn’t used to; and how writing Plays made him appreciate the Unexpected.

Four years ago.

Today we live in a modest apartment overlooking army acres of forest: there’s no sparrow, but yesterday we had two peahen, and one visiting Bulbul…..

all from the balcony where Joh and I took baby steps at Homeschooling via NIOS, after his 7th std at Jyothi Seva for the Blind.

I remember hating Braille, crying my heart out, knowing there’s 4.8 million more blind people in India alone, and how little we are geared for Challenges. There would be new ones to face in the next few years, but each only serves to stretchhhhhhh my rigid bones. Life, and you and I, are changing as we speak,

it all shifts faster than we have time to buy another outfit in newer coutre! One thing remains – the Human need for fulfillment, via connectivity with other humans or self.

I grew up with tribals for friends, sometimes a deer, or a lizard that left its tail in my book! There were no Malls, or Google; Life had surprises everyday in its lulls and rogue waves,

Look at this :

Our mind can perform 10 Quadrillion operations/ sec without our even knowing it.

We are heirs of choice, of life sentences. I believe a very sick person with even a little taste of joy will spread that joy like an epidemic.

Imagine the power of a human alone or with another. What a big bazaar of Spheres we must all be: impacting each other in ways we might never know yet, with or without words.

Our son Joh, had a semi- paralyzed friend who could not speak, but when we entered his room, his whole body language changed. Joh could not see him, but they had their own unique exchange that was fascinating to watch: a world of touch, the vibrations of laughter… sighs, the rhythm of one’s pulse displaying emotion…

Definition of Edge:

  • Line or area farthest away from the middle.
  • Intersection of two surfaces.
  • Point at which something is likely to begin.
  • Margin of superiority, advantage.
  • Our single most important skill that makes for ‘Unique‘.

So, WHAT’S MY EDGE?

In my teens, someone told me I smiled too much. By age 23, a BBC retired Staffer who mentored me at Broadcast (Feba Radio), John Fear, he also produced “What they believe”

he said, “Rayla, “he said, “Can you smile now and then? ”

JF’s shock of white hair and piercing blue eyes were daunting, but he was kind. “….though, a little anxiety in the right places, might keep you from harm y’know…..”

He urged me to observe human struggles, victories, tragedies; people in footpaths, and high places…. or in the isolation of misunderstood behaviour.

Decades later I realised I’d developed an almost dangerous fascination for Humans: it made me look at footpaths and invisible people in ways that never left, it began to change our home, it made us gaze at the beauty of all God’s Creation, at Life however mundane or high octane.

Joh & me

After we moved back from Mumbai to Bangalore, our visually challenged son, then 6 years old, would hardly speak, now he was further disoriented with temporary rental house and boxes. One morning right in the middle of a water crisis, as we were filling from one existing tap with borewell supply, the connecting pipe fell away from tap as water filled every place it could get. Our son was stunned, then delighted with all the happy chaos. It was just him and I at that moment, but he took charge, his deft little hands working the pipe back to tap faster than I could. His laughter filled my ears for a long time with the feeling this moment would be remembered forever.

As I write this, there’s an urge to return to subjects I used to hate, retrace some ways of thinking, unlock secrets best known to kids. Or better still, go out to play with them like we did in the age of the unselfconscious, curious innocence.

Did you know : The human eye can distinguish 10 million different colors, ….
Or that your heart beat mimics the music you listen to.
http://www.factslides.com/s-Your-body
….

Who knows what one might find in a guava tree, or how the world looks from a wall, a roof top, a swing? Yes, yes we’d probably need help climbing trees and walls, roof: let’s just say who knows what we will find if we would just stretchhhhhh a little?

@raylarn.

Two figures distant, are our son and eldest daughter. Guy in green Tee & cap, my husband and best friend.
“I lay hold of that for which Christ laid hold of me…” his fav quote.

…..

From my article in Self Development Journal, Shri B.Singh, Education/Welfare trust. Mumbai.