Tag: Challenges

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.

Streets around me

Streets around me

This post inspired by Writing/Believing Sight Unseen‘s post about streets, so I said I’d have a go at my own streets around. He said he would look out for it so here goes πŸ˜…

I’m still not a Google map person, when people come home here in Bangalore, I tell them we’re the lane opposite the huge Banian tree complete with tap roots and birds yelling in it…. uh

past Bamboo shop man’s enclosure for new buildings coming up.

If they’re on a lane further down I must guide them left of CMR law college but which left, depending on which side they’re facing. If they’re facing my tree, then I’m on their left.

Owwwwgh! Which tree they ask, theres more than one tree here. I realise I don’t know location address. Postal address says Reddy layout. Google says I’m at Chingalingakua…..

but this is a post about streets around me,

I’ll try again. If I go out (forget people coming home for now)

if I turn left of my Banian tree, towards the Flyover, there’s the little uphill lane past Chemist and Bake,

past the Aquarium blue roof place(can’t remember name)

alongside two storeyed apartment where recently a biker still in red helmet, well he ran up those stairs to first floor but forgot his keys still in bike. He looks down, sees me, and with friendly grin, asks if I can get keys off his bike and throw it up at him….. that lane.

Go up that lane 2 minutes and seven or more trees to your left, (with cheeky monkey in them),

you get to the Ayyapa temple Cross, rich with people arriving and leaving off blue and white bus, red bus, auto rickshaw and car and bike. There’s a food stall, a toy shop and a garment store across, not to mention cheerful vegetable vendors in carts, they sell some of the best grapes I’ve ever had, wine coloured ones, they’ll stain your shirt if you’re not careful, that street junction

which breaks into a two way Flyover where I happened to get stranded, waiting for an auto rickshaw with my then 8 year old blind hyperactive son….that Flyover

leads to a larger location called JBnagar, aha we finally have a name!

Saturday’s child.

With blind school kids, and a musical I worked with them

His name was Dhru*; he loved the ‘roaring’ bit. Dhru must be at least ten years old today, when we did “Everybody is differently beautiful”, he must’ve been 7? To think he couldn’t see his costume, had no clue what a lion’s mane was like, or even heard it roar, what a sport Dhru was. All these unknown things and he had to act as well as mime singing! But they were all game, as game can get.

I learned how to appreciate life, how to dance even if we missed a step, how to laugh out loud against all odds- from these kids who were my son’s schoolmates. The School asked if I could help out with Spoken English: oh I hinted broadly at Drama and Poetry. They didn’t get the Poetry bit, but one little girl did. She loved every poem in her braille typed book, especially the one that went, “…and Saturday’s child has to work hard for her living…”

It still breaks my heart to recall how they were taught to cross the street by themselves. Some of the older ones were actually going on crowded buses and getting off alone, cheerfully unafraid.

They must learn….how else will they face life?” Their Daily Living Skills teacher asked me.

Sometimes I wish our own Joh weren’t as independent as he is. I wish he were less self reliant, I wish our kids didn’t need to grow up in a world that knows how to take advantage of the ‘disadvantaged’. I wish our roads were safer. But then am proud of every young /older challenged person or otherwise who can “work hard” at whatever Life gives them.

Thankyou young Dhru for reminding me today of people like you who still teach me to be brave and beautiful, no matter what.

..

*name changed

Joseph’s lost head & that Other fantastic Noel!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pDyUSTT9sC4


The First Noel by Vihan Damaris.
A Carol that has our family name(Noel) hehe! And that’s our daughter. Do listen if you would.
Crib by Cheshire House inmates, Mumbai: Shalu a lady with one arm, Mikai, the paralytic…

We took them out one by one. Joseph has lost his little clay head and there’s no time to fix him back so I cover his torso with a tiny cane head piece. Can you spot Joseph?

Our son Johann is blind and yes he put out each figure like last Christmas, but this time, post seizures/ meds, he cannot concentrate. His hands shake and I do not insist that Joseph goes next to Mary, so it’s all askew. Does it matter, I wonder.

Would the real Joseph have been quietly seated next to new mom Mary? Wouldn’t he have lost his head, even just a wee bit,with this surreal pregnancy of his betrothed, a ferocious Herod, … the details of that divine birth blow my mind each time. My spirit fills with gratitude that over the years, Christ has not stayed in clay, but has gazed into my life with very real presence.

Confusing picπŸ‘†? Our tiny Tree from a Shopping complex. I’d love to think those are two fairies legs!

The reality of Christmas is fantastic. A Divine Babe that grew to face a Cross, a resurrection garden, He would walk through walls to get through my heart of stone.

May the heart of you be warmed warmed warmed this season, with Love Divine from the Manger to the moon and back.πŸ’“

Have you seen someone inhale music thru’ their ears…

My Jeff (Noel – no one else would put up with my messy paint tubes and books in corners and centre stage of my life), when he listens to music it’s like he’s breathing it in via ear phones. I’ve not seen someone savour music the way he does; it’s his profession (Sound) yet him soaking it in with palms clasped over headphones makes me realize the gift of music is to be unwrapped, opened to senses and inhaled into spirit… the Balm of Gilead!

We’re listening to a recording of our three children doing their take on Kanye’s Jesus is Lordhttps://youtu.be/p2TuJFlv2Uk

Johann in black Tee, with guitar Vihan next to striped girl Kitsy

(they’re at a carol a day: drummer boy, 3 kings, God resting merry gentle…)

where they get their joy is something to watch; it’s been a month of us battling med induced aggression with our son, I’ve written my nails blue on this one but that’s not the story here. Gratitude spills out my ears that mid all this there can be music? Maybe because its December, maybe it’s that time God’s letting in a new season. This time around I wasn’t able to think on a carol, then the kids do what they do in season and out. Music’s been a norm, a hard habit to break. It’s now a best friend. A gift from God, unwrapped over and over. Jeff gets his headphones out, his brown eyes swim out at me for joy, what else can describe this… comfort,hope,healing….

ay weeping may endure a night but joy comes in the morning.

Thankyou God that trusting You isn’t a myth, You’re not a long ago Shepherd with Psalmist sheep in tow, You’re not stuck in Time- wrapped in swaddling diapers, You’re not even embalmed on iron crosses for us to kiss when we can’t pray. You’re here.

I don’t know when healing will arrive for sure, but this is a greater miracle that Peace can trek thru’ storms with us. It’s a miracle that our son pushing through momentary random aggression can even smile and pause to sing.

Jeff is a warrior. I go climbing walls when am anxious; sure I pray but I turn into a praying spider woman. He’s the calm lake of Galilee thankyou Lord Precious Jesus.

Thank You for people in our lives who have ears to hear Your Music, Your Voice mid all others’. Thank You that Christmas is more than a Season of Decor & Shine. Thank You that though it’s a long trek through Valley of the Shadow of Doubt we need fear no evil, You’re there.

Ow. This was an instagram post. Jeff&me.

When Healing comes

No alarm bell, no burst of glory. It tiptoed in ‘neath my gate. It wouldn’t hold my hand, It couldn’t. I was cold cold cold, every leaf in my garden shrivelled, ashed; Ivy & dust layered the ground and walls of my address.

When Healing came It bled into me. It Crossed boundaries I had built. It broke Itself like Bread over my hunger and poured Itself out like Water over my drought. New metaphors crowd my space. This had been desert with no oasis. Now, this Healing-

growing me into things I do not want to recognize:

a Garden of Shadows where a Lone One prays. Prays as if for me. What’s this. He breaks on two planks where He hangs, I hate this like a personal wound. I’m screaming words with no decibel: He’s saying it for me. Two words, three- I will never forget. “IT IS FINISHED.” He said, smiling stars in His eyes as if we were in Paradise being made over again.

Wait,

wait. He takes my buried memoirs of habits of pain.

No, wait!

But I can’t have them back, He says. Healing takes it all away. I’m blinded by an emotion with no name, Its a Light falling careful in my blind eyes. It grabs my poison ivy with new strong Vine: It inhales me, slamming my dying dead inside, don’t ask how. I have no Theory, no Words wise or pretty. All I know, when Healing came to me I was dead blind, now I see:

I see Scars, Its Body broken. Healing has scars, you get this? I don’t and maybe never will, not till we go Face to Face past that proverbial Glass darkly in the way. Now I peer through Reason, Logic, Theories, Rule. Oneday when we have crossed our rules, we will see the host of things that see us now. Oneday we will break through gravity bound toes: on that day we will see what we question these days. Oh when Healing came It broke Its news gentle to me. It knew I’d be suspicious,afraid,disbelieving…

When Healing walked into me, It spoke things I believed I couldn’t know…..

that gain came in via loss, true I knew, but what else could a human fight for? We needed this. This War for Survival was our one socially acceptable behaviour; it united man and woman and child and nations and bazaars and gangsters and priests, it fed global talks and need. If I didn’t do Survival what tell aunty Maya I was doing ? Or Pastor Sahil. Or neighbour Bishhy. Or Karu Harben my brilliant corporate cousin. What tell Didi Grey my mentor..or art collaborators… that I didn’t care anymore how I’m being received;

who could I be, what of my ‘me‘?

When Healing came It talked into me – sacred syllables of the Father Son and Holy spirit, groans not uttered by the carnal 5 senses: we are heart and mind and spirit soul, beyond flesh and sensor. I had territory within that must heal first*, my Healer said, it began in the acres acres acres (deep in my core where we live or die, there we heal, there we host our virus, our sickle cells, our warrants of life, our predictions of peace. If we die there, how could we survive in the peripheries?) ..

Healing took me to an impossibly narrow dizzy path. When I began to heal- one tiny step at a time, It unleashed me to run my feet like a deer’s in cliff edge sheer mountain. Fear rose bitter gall in my throat and I killed it like a beast is killed with bare hands: something I’d tried an entire lifetime, now it happened with one rapid wish;

here was this desire to thank every mean thing that had ever come my way, hey yes those nasties I’d crumpled over? Them. They were my helpmate, they now proved my brick and mortar needed to build foundation of this impossible route. “Forgive. Go on higher,” The Healer pled with eyes of deathless Love, and the Light of that gaze scorched my last defense, over and over like with birth pangs. How could I have known this detail if I hadn’t needed healing ?

Why haven’t You been here earlier- how much went in wasteland of my nothing. My Healer replied as if I had spoken, He said,”You are more than all this. In these deserts more Gardens could grow, if you go. “

Say what, why? There’s more folk like me, why would I care, but now I did.

When Healing came to me It rained and Its Tear whetted my thirst for Its fact. I used to think with Healing I would be strong again to return to old strengths, I’d be a pillar of fortune, a wheel of Change. Oh look- see how nice healing is, but that is not Its way. It told me things I couldn’t know.

When Healing began I leaned my core on Its Strength. No more great burden of goodness to bear! I was still a torn leaf garden but with new shoot- as if I had wing, the Healer said,”Never mind your Self. Rise..”

When Healing came It did not give me wings, that’d have scared us all.

It is much more than we show and tell, it’s in the way grass grows o’er and o’er and wise men die and babies born will oneday grow to know more than you or I confess. When Healing can, It will come to you and the Light you see will be outside of our incapacities, then perhaps you too will say to another, “…how else could I have known…?*”

..

Inspired by our son(& little brother Joh) as he heals.

@innerdialects.

Inter-Species Comfort-bearers

Inter-Species Comfort-bearers

Photo: Olga D. Australia

So my sis sends me pics from her trip and this one travels in where my core is: Koala bear burrowing in shade, in foliage, feeding on what Koala knows best,

I’ve wondered why my Creator structured the universe among this many species, and what the dialogue between us all is besides the incredible facts of circles of life, food chains…

I’m fascinated at how Nature impacts my mood, my choices,

Ah times in childhood (and later), with blue crab and one particular jungle monkey, oh once a scruffy headed baby raven cawing his head off for breakfast. Yep! These have moved me more than earth revolutes can.

I have history with sand dunes, how they’ve moved me (nah, shoved at me), literally and otherwise(haven’t you slid down a dune, ever?)

Then there was Rover our fourlegged Priest of hearts: this canine knew how to talk. Once he said the word, ‘Mom’. I turned around slowly and he winked one amber eye at me.

When Rover left our planet for where Goodly Paws go, ( wasn’t at our home at that time), he visited in a dream where he slipped out of collar, his black black fur shining with silver edges.

Ach. I still ache for his friendship but that dream was an exotic thing. I don’t care what everyone’s saying; dogs do have soul. They growl at unseen spiders snuck in where we can’t see, they have these Frequency-Ears, they see stuff we don’t….onetime at a farmhouse he saw a deadly scorpion through wall… sniffed it out maybe,

I miss him with all my heart especially days like these when the Uncertain sits square in my eye and there are no quick answers for things that will take their course, like the illness of a young child, like setbacks that make friends and some closer ones sweet-talk away basic courtesies.

What Remedy ever exists for Humanity that forgets or ignores another because they are of no advantage; what cure for humans stooped low enough to desecrate the very purpose for which humankind were created? We become liars and connivers, we spread curdled words like butter on waiting bread and we lay it thick. All to draw fences between people: walls, barbed wire, little glass bit in walls. This isn’t news to any of us, but when it hits, it swings low. Especially if you don’t see it coming.

So Koala here snuggling, is my heart burrowing in the shade of Comfort few humans can tender. Maybe my Core is a Koala. I love the word Core: that invisible place deep there that tells me how I am at 3am,4pm,midnight.

*****

One morning last year, I was alone a few hours at home, worrying my teeth out at how our youngest and blind, was to get through life. Eyes shut tight I told God if He cared He best give me a sign,

when I opened my eyes there it was staring me in the face, its black beady eyes twinkling through grey fur:

the squirrel took tiny steps into living room, then turned left into our bedroom. For the next 15 minutes nothing could’ve convinced me this wasn’t a supernatural event. Nothing. The room shone with my same old Indian sun, everything was gold tinted, even my dark thoughts.

*****

Today I didn’t see how we were going to all recover from Joh’s anti-seizure meds* that have caused such a riot in all our lives – side effects of meds.

Is there any Light end of this tunnel? Yes, a few infact! All because dear Sis sent pic of Koala? Does Koala even know they’re in a blog post in another continent, leave alone that they’re cause for lights at end of tunnel?

Ah’m.

Maybe that’s why God made all His species. Maybe every single creature was made to bless a certain of the other species, a type of Food chain, a Comfort Chain. What comfort is a mosquito? Maybe it is, to a particular shrub. We will never know somethings in this life, but some mysteries are there for all of us to see.

*****

as I was crouching here over this post, our 18 year old (born blind and recovering from meds* now) Joh gave me a surprise gentle hug.

The past two months there’s been unreal aggression, a certain violence, uncertain days, nights of wondering when and how all this would/ could ever sort. Sure it can, it will, but the human core has a way of sitting down sometimes and not wanting to try getting up.

Today is different.

Something in me wants to unfurl and look up at the sun. There’s a quietened centre within that’s willing to give my own peace a chance. I have the power to make or break that peace,

oh yes it sure passes human understanding, it’s not from within. The only thing I could’ve cooked up today was a temper of tears. There’s kazillion words in my throat but must stop for now,

if you’ve read this far thankyou so much. If not, you’re still part of that Comfort Chain, maybe a bigger part than you know.

True Love

I never earned titles and much bread…

these two hands stayed home to stare out at trees and skies and leaves; I wrote poetry with my floor mop, or doodled with raw mango skin, and left over crayons. Never sold much, I hoarded; love pavements and the songs in strangers’ eyes. Love God. But who said that works in the ways of everyday living? Nah, nobody. Today’s my quiet day, my consult with the King. Here we are Hannah and Esther, Sarah Martha and Sweet Mary. Life and the Times have also made me some David and some Peter. And some Noah. I ache to pet some living (wild)species I’ll never probably personally meet…. polar bear and sea horse.

So, 3.30 pm Monday with my Maker. The home outside this door smells fresh bread. It’s our second daughter baking. The youngest sits with the sun in his face, he can look right in the Light, unflinching. He has that gift, some call it visual disability. His eldest sis makes music with a guitar and keys, it’s a harp to listen to… muted sounds of life reaching through to me under my door,

I have lived to see this, and see true love in Jeff’s eyes at the altar of Your faithfulness-

this November, I’m stripping barbed wire. The barbed wire of disbelief, grouch & fatigue(ugh terrible trio).

Yeah I’ve never earned fortunes and proverbial silver spoon and wheels but I’ve spun unedited prayers at family toes at 5 to 5 am some dawns –

You watch me watch You light the sky bringing heaven to my hearth;

I bless Your Brow if I might – with a daughter’s kiss that heals things I don’t know to say or ask. Thank you for healing our lil one’s seizures.

This Monday I’m sitting here in the deliciousness of a healing. I didn’t find You in fests and grand recitals, but here in the hiding place among heartbreak where our blind son healing from seizures, must also wear out meds’ side effects …

You here in these rooms of cuts and bruises, his confused tender blind face not even tender in random chaotic moment. The girls brave it all, they huddle later, wipe our fears away. ‘This too shall pass,’

I find You here nestling us:

It’s an aloneness crushed with the aroma of You,

the aroma of Grace.

Compassion, suffering long;

Grace & Humor kiss each other, smiling, locking arms and tears with anticipation of a better hour to follow.

I find You here.

…….

And through every wound a Garden grew

He

Heard.

He heard me.

Dyou believe mid-traffic, He heard the noise in my head, my questions and riot; I know a thing left me. Shadows,doubt.

How can I say enough the way this is?

He heard me. Didn’t change the situation,but He heard my voice. It tore past all His universe, and it resonates deep within.

What greater thing there is I do not know. Not healing, not change, not even peace, but that He heard me. On just this I can go to sleep and not sweat the whys and wheres and whens. I love that there’s communication with Someone like Him. And that He cares.

Not just for me.