To hold on to the good in us. To remember mercies and love. And faithfulness. It’s that time to practice peace. And pray like we believe prayer works. It does. Everytime we healed, someone prayed. Everytime our heart of stone melted, it was someone praying. Someone changing the stone of us into a pleasant pasture. What a tragedy that we believe drug- related elation, rather than what made us. It is time
..to rest, lean on the magnitude of true Love. I have lived a while now. I’ve seen good and bad and ugly. In you and me. I have eaten nice days that melted down to garbage. And I’ve been kissed by green pasture still waters, my soul has tasted of the Lords goodness and old fashioned as it may seem to someone’s intelligence, darling all our intellect cannot even begin to explain the goings on of mortal breath.
Yep. It’s time to pray. To know God is there here within the arms of our screaming need; Lord heal our lands, our diseased core. Why we fear death is because we know there is more beyond these days, & all our material ways. ‘Neath clothes and head and shoulders & knees & toes, we are creations made. We are more than bags of bones descended from ape and tapes of theories. We are more than doctrines and philosophies. In the core of your pillow you know, you know… in the stark of night, you look out your window asking the meaning of it all, and you know there is more. There is your beautiful mind and it will not die in a box. It leaves into territories we must seek now before late cannot get later.
It is time beloved, to not just pray for life but that also in death we will be safe. We are more than corpuscles and conditional peace. What are we, what is man, his woman, her child: do we know?
In the core of the night with stars, we wonder twinkling star shining bright, what you are…? Just dust. We are more. We write and deduce, we think and celebrate. We justify and keel. We are storms and wars, deciders of things we negate, but this:
a little piece of virus has us running like rabbits into our holes where we beg grace. Our theories and kings, all our horses and men, cannot put us together again.
In our distress we become murderers. Killers of decency. Not just now but thru’ history we read that when we are pushed beyond limits we are limited in our morality. Then we know there is good and bad. If there is good there is a Source. And it’s not us. There’s evil and there’s a source and its not us.
Something made a nice man a demon.
Something made a terrible man an angel.
Get a little closer, listen to my breath. Tell me the source of that and I’ll tell you the source of what draws humans together in the presence of a crisis. There is a Power wider than the girth of the earth spinning on an axis at her tummy. There are polarities geographically, spiritually. We have tasted the bitter dregs of evil and we have sniffed a sniff at some good. We have accepted the powers of Ugh but we are suspicious of God because He wouldn’t like us nestling with Him with all our horns and tails on.
We hate the idea of a Christ that upset the grave. “Bah humbug!”
We suspect His love that spurns evil. We would believe every other, not Him. Though we thoroughly blame Him for all the evil we invited in our living rooms. I’ve done it too.
But it’s time. Time to wipe our glasses and shed embarrassment at being created. The grave has no shame. That last word belongs only in this fleeting land of human existence.
Refresh my soul, let the doors of you, open to Peace. Let everything within breathe Grace. May our mind lean on Him whose mercies never fail, they are new every morning. Great is His faithfulness. Greater than all my bounteous lack. His power in my weakness, oh the fact of that. Not I but Christ in me, not the dark, but the Light in me. ReNew every morning soul, stay blest.
I had to haul in 👆above title and a quote below from Frank Bruni (of New York Times) article that stopped me mid-sentence in my random thoughts on the world at large.
“…. in a lovely article that connected acts of kindness during the Spanish flu of 1918 to acts of kindness during the current coronavirus pandemic, Jim Dwyer, The Times’s New York columnist, wrote: “In times to come, when we are all gone, people not yet born will walk in the sunshine of their own days because of what women and men did at this hour to feed the sick, to heal and to comfort.”… for more on this by Frank Bruni, a must read. New York Times.
Was the famous Spanish flu also tailed by Migrant Crises and other havoc; why are we different from other Pandemics? Aren’t we more educated, aware, empowered? Yes and maybe that’s both the problem and the solution. My grandma could not have had the same support I as an Indian woman have today, or the same voice, or capacity to hope. We’ve seen good. We’ve received good. Bad as this century might be, we’ve seen some incredible goodness. The more bitter the pill, the sweeter the poem.
If Society ever had it’s own support system it could count on, its now. Yes we have our baddies but they far underwhelm the rest; though a bullet is a bullet, each bullet or act of dis-service reaps a harvest of righteous indignation. Each act of hate weakens itself. Each strike of violence wakens the conscience of Global communities: we shoot neck out of our rabbit holes like meercats. Look at us, we are more than nations, we are slowly morphing into one dialect: the sounds I’m hearing now are not hate but more brotherhood: the kind that would try raise an Abel back from the dead.
Elsewhere and in my own country, there are people praying for each other like never before. We are afraid but we love like never before. We are speechless at poverty and hunger, at homelessness and at new sins with names you and I mayn’t know how to spell. How little we become in the face of global illness, terminal intolerance. And yet, we are prisoners of hope. We are at our worst and at our best.
I just watched Trevor Noah on the recent horrific Floyd killing/ aftermath: and what struck me deep as I moved away from his ‘tipping point & domino effect’ is that
this is not just one isolated piece of reactivity or discrimination. This is the whole of Humanity reaching a ‘Tipping Point’ in a variety of ways and we are going to have to watch our reactivity like never before. All of us.
Saw this on Instagram👇
I do not know what to think, leave alone say. This did not happen in my country, but this is our earth. When a scooterist got beaten up by two cops here (he was out at Lockdown) everything in us recoiled.
We scream out loud now and then at things we do not understand and something tells me our thresholds are being lowered like never before : courtesy Covid and all, we are maddening maddened. We are losing immunity to dis- ease and moral code. Something deep within our morale is losing Core social skills. We are raped of Reserves, of Goodness, Justice. Grapes of wrath grow well in our Vineyards grown for Peace.
There’s this though: it is in Times like these that perhaps most men women and children have sat in silence and stared at that thin fine line between Good and Evil. Here we as a Race see that the colour of our bones is the same ash, and too, that Human Conduct has no colour. No allow me to re-state that. Human conduct does have a colour, the colour of shame. It’s there where there are humans, and we must spend the rest of that decade in apology, because humans intrinsically know what is right and what is wrong. We know casteism and dowry are evil practices, that murder is sin. Female infanticide and Sati deaths, honour killings, these debase our society that so aches to progress.
If we are Dominoes just waiting for something to impact us… if we have zero foundation within that will hold us strong no matter the tide, then the Tipping Point will come easy, it will arrive real quick in ways we wouldn’t believe if someone were to warn us. People will kill each other for a coin, a loaf of bread, a glass of water, if that hasn’t happened already. Rage will become a norm, racism as common as common cold.
If we have no Soul Spine, we are in for a mega crash as a Planet. The killers we condemn out there, are perhaps in all kinds of intensity around us already. Or within..
We had an anniversary, a triple cake treat by the kids, renewed vows solemnized again by our 3 who said they missed being there….
There was food like I’ve never cooked, (courtesy Kitsys Culinaries!) rings bought with their little earnings, gifts of card and music, prayers, photographs were taken;
I’m here thinking again on Blog advice (title) given by some Bloggers, and how the times have re-arranged us. Uncertainty hinges everything, one feels the need to celebrate heart on your sleeve, unabashed. Celebrate in the simplest ways, the complex matrix of Love and Life as is; thank the ones who deserve gratitude, bless those who may not, pray for all; ignore ignorance, hate hatred, use fear well, stay safe, honour all. Esp God.
Our wedding was an unforgettable event with white bougainvillea falling off trees, poinsettia in the hedges all the way to the chapel with a bell and a young priest who stammered for nervousness; it was surreal. We were 6000 ft above sea level, Mercara before tourism took its routes. That morning, families of clouds breezed through as the bridal march played. We’d never seen anything like that. The elements had come in to play among the pews.
I cannot help but think Life is a Marriage of Soul and Existence. We’re here like Clouds going through Chapters that turn with Winds of Change. We are way more than victims of ease or disease. We are citizens of kingdoms within and without. The questions we ask are between these kingdoms. The things we feel and write about or do not share are between these kingdoms.
What can I say; there’s rain and hail out side as I wrap this. Lockdown eases, fruit vendor wails for attention at 7 am. You dont want to yell him down, you’re thinking he has no money for rent, or his kids need lunch. It hurts, and it’s going wild in an insane way. It hurts to have cake, it hurts to not be at peace:
we are headed for answers to questions we asked long ago; only who knew these answers would question us. Answers about the meaning of life, and about things more valuable than ‘luxuries’.
Newspaper accounts are chilling. We are getting more introspective than ever. How long will C19 take, 10 years? By which time the Fashion industry, Entertainment and Industry would’ve morphed into Poetry of a greater kind, I’m telling you.
Also Bloggers. We will write about newer things? We mayn’t just skim surfaces of teacups & heart: we may be less shy, less afraid of Fear,Love,Joy,Peace. Words may turn out to be journals. Essential words, documenting Life as is. So yes, no!We may want to Blog-Journal, for the Times that will follow. For Posterity to know what 2020 felt like. For our own selves.
Old words will give birth to new ones: distance for instance. Who knows what will be when it comes to be?
But people of words, will find skills in their head and finger bones like they never thought possible. That and emotion. E’en Faith. And Fear, or the opposite of it. And Love. And the Face of the Invisible.
Last night as my eldest daughter Vi and I sat talking into the early hours of today, there was this sense of human fragility, of an earth spinning in space, of recent global panic & the puny state of everyday living as we know it.
This morning was woken with a strong sense of God’s love surrounding our home by the trees and little yellow and red bird couple flitting in and out balcony as Jeff sat close, his words and hands warm with Gods love. The landscape outside is sparkling washed after last nights rain and this mornings sun. Why is my heart all hushed, not in a bad way:
Oswald Chambers’ reads in his My Utmost For His Highest – ‘the despair of delight....’ what’s that. Takes a bit to process. (Whoops, it’s actually the Delight of despair😅)
I can’t imagine that we’re all sitting pat on a molten core of flames thousands of miles beneath us; can’t imagine that we have gravity- and the moon hasn’t. Am gawking at the fantasticity of bird wings, of Nature and Chaos. Of Viral disaster and how it overturns every thing. Of the power of Change, of Newness in our Present. Of our very Ignorance mid Intellect. Of how little we know of Everything; so
must I go on today as if we all can do without God? D’you care. What are these Posts for, what’m I here for, who are we, are we ours? Have we lived as if we are gods? Are we God’s? After Dust, where will our Spirits home?
As Jeff held my face in his warm hands now I had a sense of his spirit reaching out to mine… an eternal warm spring. Not experienced that as strong as today. Have felt that over the years,
too: with the birth of our first daughter, and subsequent 2 adorable adoptions. There was that Presence & here today, mid heartache for our people, and the futility of watching thousands struggle through pandemic impact…
am sensing His Presence stronger than ever before deep in this valley of Shadows.
“What dyou mean?” She asks, her face wide with laughter and tears, a rare combination for Jassi who never cries.
Apparently the people who’ve been paying her rent are stopping that now that they must care for themselves. Jassi’s been semi- dependent on her second cousins all these years with eyesight gone and a debilitating disease. A few friends and I collect groceries and essentials, but it isnt helping. The last thing her cousins told her was that she best fend for herself, and said that in tones that hurt. When someone asked her if things were returning to normal Jassi laughed and cried; after a bit she laughed again, like a child. She said this was good. Now she could lean on her Heavenly Father like never before, and why hadnt she done that all her life? Why had she leaned on other things, and people….. she asks.
Good question Jassi, I’m learning to do that too.
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When Haishu sang it went in you like a shaft of Light. He didnt have a big voice, he didnt do big prayers, just little pauses as if God and He negotiated things as they did chords.
The whole experience was stilling. Not anything to do with any gift of Haish’s. It was his ordinariness, the pauses between, those stunned silences that still draws me to the Act of Letting Be & being Still and knowing the Presence of things other than my own take on life.
In Your Presence Lord, that’s where I belong…
Have a nice day.
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Momma, you kneeling in prayer – I remember you ~ mornings night, noon days of heart and song
you in the fabric of our earth & heaven & us three lil girls, you – now a Piece of Thel & Li & me & all the children…
THANKYOU is such two little words but it’s all I have: like the young ones’ sweet stammer wishes, hush- baked cake late last night for Mothers day, I grin out loud; there’s you in me/ us ‘telling songs & wishes in the fabric of an earth you birthed…
you in our hands and feet, in the way we see things;
they’re going to stumble out their rooms now, there’ll be hugs and kisses, I gaze at this like you used to go speechless unsure how to say Thankyou when we said love you – it’s such two little words.
You surprised that even I had three, me saying when I was 18, saying I’d never have kids Haha…
I know I know… there could be no mothers without our fathers and they are there strong in the brick of us, our dads and Sam and Jeff… and their mothers and fathers…and new sisters and brothers…your siblings with your face still here Uncles Sunny & Godfrey, precious aunt Bess miles away who just sent me a message, oh all their children …Ma…family roots spreading wings like angels
speechless now with our new selves ~ mothers all, even Joh our son tucking me into bed? Fixing my hair, his fingers a new tender last night; Vi whispering midnight hug, Kit with secret cuisine shopping list, hearts on their sleeve; and Anu and Sam and Akash across an earth not far at all from the heaven you birth every day anew thru’ all of us
…thankyou is such two little words as I stare at them looking like you ….
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A trick of Light maybe but Kitsy’s shoes left to sunbathe ‘3 hours’ in balcony after she went out in relaxed Lockdown hours..? Is like lit up.
It was still early dusk yesterday – tough day!- when I took this photograph and it speaks to me now as Jeff and I wake to a quiet dawn morning drink and time alone with God. ‘Your Word is a Lamp to my feet, a Light to my path…’
I came here with questions He did not answer, but a load lifts as a Smile descends from His Presence into my restless heart. ‘It is well, it is well with my soul. When Peace like a River, attends my way…’
I just need say, thankyou. Thankyou Lord.
WhatsApp’s a great getaway/ de- stresser between family, esp on days when the typed word feels easier. Don’t be fooled by all the Hearts exchanged between Kit and I 😅
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We drive off Commercial street (Bangalore, Peninsula India), 3 pm, mid a month’s Lockdown- the streets are clutter free, we are armed with ID and saying ‘Nice!’ through the pain of losing our precious brother Sam.
Yes, he would’ve approved. “No big church service, just like he’d want it. No suit…” quiet words from his sister Dr.Prema Dhanraj, her eyes misty with love. No sad song & masses of tears. No hyper-parade of bouquets. Just a clutch of family members, though masked, distanced….
He was a Minimalist with blazing intellect & humor. He lived to love but his love was quiet, no frills. If you looked for a compliment he’d say, “Nice!” Or “Good” complete with dimpled chuckle that I cannot get out of my system and shouldn’t.
My eldest sis Thel (Sam’s wife) had a Bible that we all wrote in; she snuck this in his casket: its lid standing on Stone nearby had “I am with Jesus” on it, it stilled me. Still does.
With him, I was my unselfconscious self: was it only a few years ago, he and I mimicked a local street drunks’ brawl lasting not a few minutes? Recently his health got fragile, his shoulders had that tiny tremor, you wanted to hug him just a little longer but didn’t dare make him think you were worrying. He could read your head, know your ‘unnecessary‘ thoughts!
Sam wasn’t big on ceremonious religion but had this Respect for God, a thing you didn’t mess with. It was the way he lived, careful, caring, sensitive to detail. You didn’t hide things from God, if you needed an occasional peg you had it in His presence. I remember asking him for a taste of his cigarette, I was 21. He choked laughing then gave me one: “Try exhaling that, k?” That was fun. I’m rambling. Running from memories I want to chase away, but they’re larger than life now.
The last time we spoke (10 days ago?) was an accidental Group-Call my second sis Li made via our sisters’ WhatsApp ‘Mermaid’ Group, yes mermaids 😅, don’t forget we girls grew up on beaches, (once on a sand dune we’d daydreamed of being mermaids, hehe! The name stuck).
So Li called and Sam picks up phone instead of Thel. Li : “Now who’s this low voiced man on Mermaids saying, ‘Hellooooh!?’”
He chatted generally and about how good he’d been eating the past week; Thel walks in,” Uh ohhhh? Sam’s on Group call with …who?”
T ‘s her bubbly self, “This is a first group call of this, Haha!”;
she & he had become one Entity with shared polarities; how good they were together with their 2 fabulous sons Anudh & Akash: a treat to watch the four of them – each maddeningly independent, ferociously loyal to the other…… oh brilliant even to detail of when to add chillie to sizzling roast, steak!
The last thing he said in individual byes to Li and me….. “Bye Rayla!” His voice strong and cheerful. “Bye Merman, Sam.” I replied.
Offstage while we waited for the next Event at a local Fund raiser…how can I forget his guitar doing the Beatle’s Crybabycry:
with no Lyrics, I worked my own non-word- stylized-gibberish. He called it Russian. We did this very seriously, Thel streaming tears down her cheeks hurting from laughter…
Thel & Sam’s gorgeous sisters: I could write reams about his three illustrious sibling, each serving Humanity like only they can: Bravehearts – bravenow, as the Pastor wraps our small service in a Silence that somehow feels right. I cannot find a word good enough for it. Silence can be reverent gold. The sky rumbles for a second, gentle winds settle in the family tree under which the few of us huddle, forgetting Covid.
Death is where your sting, oh grave where your victory? Here we are immortal for the Love that binds us together across continents via Videocalls coming in and familial Love thicker than blood or the sadness of Now.
Next to him, in engraved marble- lies the Stone of his first son, the most beautiful baby boy I had ever seen. He lived 5 days. 36 years have gone by.
Now as they lower his daddy’s mortality into the same earth, there is this silence of a family held by things best described as Peace that surpasses human understanding.
Marriage turns strangers into family. Sisters in law become a beautiful kind of sister: we admire their eyelashe and feature not just exterior but deep within. It turns our lives around to learn from each other through the years. I write this realizing how much we’ve been blessed by Sam’s presence, nah entire families, cousins, nephews, nieces….wish this post could cover also friends that became family because of Sam.
What can one say but go back and forth.
I could never count well enough even at our Scrabble board fights. He a Chartered Accountant / Sultan of Sudoku non par would cheerfully shudder. “If you try to, y’know? Maths is basic. Idiots.” His grin included all non-mathy people with me + tolerant brotherly kindness lending a generous taste of what it was to ever have a brother.
“He’s not here, no Thel?” I whisper. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.
“No Ray.” Her voice is level.
I draw strength from her, admiring her straight firm back and calm doe eyes. Sitting down somewhere among family Stones, I am unable to tear my eyes from the candles and flower petals all around, the air softening with dusk and with the Presence of Comfort; with the presence of each other softening from sorrow. Tomorrow we’d be able to take this. Maybe not. Tomorrow would have its share of challenges. New ones? I don’t know.
As we walk back past more names and dates and symbols of Love and Departure, we walk close. Life was/ is short. I want to love without barriers and protocol.
We move past high ornate stone gates; the Caretaker and wife watch their children play with a plastic bat and ball, all safe- distanced from each other.
Somewhere a koyal calls.
It will rain tonight. You loved it cool Sam, but you’re not here.
You’re with Jesus.
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…outside skin deep existence. Set me free Lord from selfishness and the pride of Eye. Hold me here where my spirit is, with You, in the reality of Why I’m here at all. Lose my heart to love like You do. Like You do, here beyond the superficial.
Yesterday we put together a video of the Fellowship that has currently just the five of us, at home. It was past lunch time when we finally began: our son on his little keyboard: we had a new song= new lyrics😳;
Kitsy our angel finally sings though! Me I hate cameras, never liked them, but there’s a daughter with lens in this house. Sigh … I love God, will do whatever it takes. Besides it’s been 2 years of intense Love that kept us going. We’ve had family and friends pray over us and that’s no small thing. Gratitude!
Title of this Post is from the Word in Video: …death too is also a state of mind. We rise above the Things that hold us back, dead places of the heart and mind that cause us to die inside.
we are surrounded by physical death and associated shadows, but Life is what we are within and beyond all of that. Which is what makes this celebration more meaningful this time than any. Yes Uncertain Times! The only certainty is that nothing can take away our Peace, no matter what, nothing shatters the bonds broken at the Cross, for Free….
we’re packing in warm greetings from our home and homes associated with Haven friends here in India, to yours:
may you have the Peace of God which surpasses all human understanding, and the Joy that comes from staying with Him.
I do not know that all like such words, but it’s the thing within me and it’s why I write. I wish you ChristJesus, like you did not think possible, in these times, this life, these days. These are those Absolute Essentials we cannot live without. We all may never see each other in this life, but it is my prayer that after all these words here and there, we will oneday truly be family together, eternally.
May we seek and find Him more today, than ever before. May we touch His Wounds and never doubt again. May He step through our walls, our locked doors; may we experience His Passion in new ways, in our roads to ‘Emmaus‘;
oh that same power that raised Jesus the Christ from the dead, be our Dew and Manna today.
Did this 👇painting last year, after seeing Souza’s Christ( see below 2nd painting for also, his grand son’s Street graffiti of Goan woman praying?)
Art is a language all it’s own. When I’m silenced from society and ask myself what I’m at, is when Painting kicks in. It’s like dancing for me, or cooking a designer meal. It’s my dialect. There’s grace, disgrace, pain, hopeless hope.
Today, Palm Sunday and India and everywhere potentially exploding with Covid, or not…. it’s that kind of day again I’m looking within. Some call it prayer,
you can label it, morph it, strip it down, it’s still the fact of reaching out to the One that made me: the Act of Love that consummates my presence here, the Fact of His Life…. when I think of that, there is little else that overcomes. And I need some overcoming, Now.
Am grateful for the Gifts we are given at this time. Gifts that say it better than we might. These are the Journals of our Times. These are the trails we leave behind, our blood prints that might be a new kind of beautiful for generations to follow. What we are at.. in the Now, matters. These emotions, questions, they capture human responses, and sometimes responses are all we’ve got to secure our eternities.
Souza captures Christ with that Palm Leaf; you might call it grotesque almost, but this is how pain looks in any given century.
His grandson’s Graffiti details the folded palms of a Goan woman. What’s she asking? What are we asking. globally, individually: are there immediate answers, is there Beauty in the Ashes of hopes, prayers and dreams,
what’s Christ got to do with contemporary existence, does God care I may ask. What do we do now:
what is this that causes peace when I pause, lean, go still…. my emotional palms folding in,
is Humanity beautiful when we are most vulnerable,
do we ask questions of immortality, here, like this, now,
Life wasn’t ever permanent. Now maybe is all we’ve got.
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!
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:
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:
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.
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.
by what held us all these years: I’m touched, by the power within us that is greater than fear,
touched by how new leaf and bud appear, relentless of germs & sickness, they pout at my quick disbelief of personal endurance,
Touched, where I am rinsed by storms of cleansing…. I believe you and I and us are more than these days,
dumb founded by my own capacity to be afraid, I’m touched by the power of prayer, gratitude & praise:
This morning it went on and on in my head: the astounding fact, the act of prayer…. its healing ways, no matter how we used to think it didnt work, this morning It touched me, like a Glove, a Mask…. It held us in the secret place of Its hiding, not just me and mine, but you and yours: locked doors, sealed yards, borders, nations, hearts and minds….
May we wash our spirits, with the cleansing power of leaning on the most High. Man is wired to lean, on meds and safety measures: and that’s a sign a good one too…that by ourselves we are not enough. Together with the Leanable-On, we are stronger.
Choose Stronger, dear one, we aren’t alone. There is a Power beyond this,
I was touched by It this morning. Grace, Strength...call it a big word, let’s be touched by the One thing that can save us: The Hands of God that made us and flowers new every morning, I send you these, as Reminders,
Here there is no one else, here there are no words, none but Yours- falling in my ears, like a Prayer :
I have never heard You pray before, I have never heard You pray over me: Words that breathe life over my ash. This I could not have believed, that God would pray o’er a broken spirit, an outcaste, a one no one sees….
but You pray over me, and I do not know the Words, it is the syllable of a Heart whispering in mine, it is the rush of a Stillness,
Oh thrilled to have found a favourite happy place in my own world of shadows and valleys of doubt. Here I find not just beauty and reality but a peace that comes from knowing we are pilgrims in an earth that will fade away before we see that Perfect Light of Christ. Lorraine, thankyou for allowing me to post your work here. Stay blest beautiful one.
“And let perpetual light shine on them,” Those words I heard today, Not expecting them to come, Quite suddenly they pierced the air, I raised my head, Looking to the heavens As if to take in all my memories, The joy, the pain, the laughter
Suddenly all were one, Joined together seamlessly, Chickens, corn and sandpits Apples, nuts and tractors in the fields, Starry nights that made me ask “Where is God?” And in my child’s mind’s eye I saw Him beyond the stars Swathed in mystery And yet So simple Here, in the evening of my life I sat, re-connecting with my past And all of those who went before me, On them and on all my memories the words did fall, “And let perpetual light shine on them….”
Hello and welcome to my site.
My name is Lorraine Lewis, and I am blind. I became blind in 2016 as a result of a very serious and advanced cancer, and the treatment that I received.
In 2013 it was touch and go whether I lived or died, and there began the loneliest journey of my life. A true wilderness experience.
Now, I am in remission, but as well as being blind I am unable to walk, and am wheelchair bound. My husband too is wheelchair bound, and we face daily challenges just to survive. The wilderness experience, with all its difficulties and obstacles continues, but somehow or other we get through.
In the midst of all the pain and suffering, and the deepest loneliness I have ever known, I found a well deep inside me that I did not know I had until I started to drink from it. It was not a physical well, but a spiritual one, and I would like to share with you in various ways, my journey in the wilderness of cancer, blindness, and inability to walk. Along the way we may meet deep pains and sorrows, but also a depth of joy that defies everything that life has thrown at me.
Here, on this site you will find Poems and Reflections that will bring you into my world, and that may touch your world. And as we journey, we will find that even in the wilderness we can be enabled to drink from the Fountain of Life.
“Love knows no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps over obstacles penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.”
Lorraine’s poems, blogs and reflections are from her wilderness experience of having cancer and being blind. “The wilderness is a very isolating and lonely place, with many hardships and sometimes seemingly insurmountable difficulties to face. It is a place of suffering and this site reflects the many struggles that any of us can undergo in our differing wilderness experiences. Despite the pains and the darkness of the wilderness and desert places, the stars can still be seen, and even deserts can bloom, so along the way, there will be gems to be found. I have chosen to use the Cross as a symbol also, because I have discovered that for me, the way through suffering was and is to be found in the Cross Although that is a Christian symbol, the wilderness or desert experience can come to any of us, no matter what faith we hold, or even if we hold none. So I hope that as Maya Angelou says, there will be no barriers, and that all of us, through our sharing, can find our way through, appreciating the gems that we find on the way whilst not denying the suffering that we go through. May we all learn to look to the stars, and see how brightly they shine out in the darkness, and take heart and courage...”
That Impossible thing you do relying on your 'nth sense alone.
I’ve been fascinated long enough with Michelangelo’s 15 ft marble masterpiece David, to take a good read on material I could get, and look what I found: along with some Questions, some Answers & an impossibly naked prayer….“**
Michelangelo sculpts his David as before his battle with Goliath: quiet tense, with ‘pebble’ hidden in right palm, his slingshot seemingly at rest on his shoulder. He is left handed? He catches his giant by surprise.
At 26 years old in 1501, Michelangelo accepted the challenge to sculpt a large scale David, from an unfinished project flawed with ‘taroli‘ or imperfections: it was in the Vestry’s courtyard for 25 years. No one expected such a revolutionary translation of a biblical hero.
What was this young Italian Sculptor thinking those 4 years working a discarded humongous white rock of ‘flawed’ marble? Why the heart shaped pupils and ‘one eye looking at a closer object, the other at a more distant one…?’ What does this Teenage Shepherd boy symbolize, not just as the most famous naked statute in the world….?
Traditionally, David had been portrayed post- victory over the slain Goliath. But Michelangelo chooses a David poised, before all of the action – leaning his focus on the power of a God who had already delivered him from a lion and a bear, bare handed.
It would take 4 days x 40 men to move the statue the half mile from Michelangelo’s workshop by Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral to the Piazza della Signoria. Luca Landucci, diarist, recounts:
“…midnight, May 14th, and the ‘Giant’ was taken out of the workshop. They even had to tear down the archway… 40 men were pushing the large wooden cart where ‘David’ stood protected by ropes, sliding it through the town on trunks. The Giant eventually got to Signoria Square on June 8th 1504…”
Michelangelo worked at the statue in secrecy … he worked in the open courtyard, in the rain: this inspired him? It’s been said he submerged a wax model of his design in water. As the water level dropped he’d chisel what emerged. He slept in at work, ate when he could….
his craftsmanship is ‘flesh- soft’, frozen palpable restful caution, reflected in a classic pose (contrapposto); one leg bearing full weight, while the other leans forward allowing hip and shoulder to recline at opposing angles, lending the entire torso it’s now legendary S- curve : the stance of a confident, focused watchful warrior.
**Why the heart shaped pupil under furrowed brows? You’d furrow, burrow, …….owwww anything if you were faced with a bloodthirsty monster’s 7ft sword going at your jugular… I can’t say. I wasn’t there,
though I’ve seen a few monster cyclones, a semi tidal wave, a few insane river crossings, one deadly mountain route; sat in at a Mumbai eatery while a 10,000 strong mob rioted past looking for petrol and match; I even been in the 200 km No man’s Land between India and Karachi: with quiet (back then) Border Security and long sweet smelling grass:
you were not just staring at danger, you were gazing at Something else you couldn’t define. Your brain had registered earlier Goodness. You remembered how the ocean looked before the storm, you perhaps even thought this too- would pass. You chose not to think the cyclone would sweep your roof away. You looked on life with ‘heart-shaped pupils’ waiting for the morning sun, waiting in a way that knew storms and rough places were not eternal situations. In that moment you chose not to rely on mere senses; if you prayed, you didn’t have time to format words. There were no words. You forgot formality, you were stripped of human comfort, you didn’t care. But you remembered somethings no one could have told you to remember, none but another Power could whisper that secret, in ways beyond aural, they were metaphysical? Maybe, maybe there’s more adjectives than we know.
D’you remember a time you thought you were alone in a place no one else could reach, but Something held you? That Fever you thought could never leave, that Accident that took your leg but gave you wings, you now remember all that and it pushes you up the rungs of a Thing like a stair case made of gold, gold because it’s like nothing else you’ve known…. resilient after a fire rinse, beautiful in the refining….
You’re looking at all that now with eyes of a love you never thought existed …
A love for divine intervention, interpretation…
a love for the impossible.
You cannot find words to pray, but your mental Sling is working:
there’s a giant, a Goliath in your face. You’re looking at It, but also at the Possibility of an impossible solution. You’ve got to take the very thing you been good at, those proverbial ‘5 pebbles from little stream at home’, your well worn sling>these kiddie weapons, but it’s all you got, stripped of other armour too much for you to fit into!
But all you got is enough.
You surprise yourself, and your giant.
You become the giant….. 15 feet tall, pure gleaming material now, from something you thought was flawed:
if anything is a Prayer/ an Asking – it’s this one:
when the human spirit asks its Creator, what they can collaborate on together: “..what d’You want me to do next?”
What is that one stance that is most opposed to human nature?
It’s what made a Michelangelo, and the original David. (Michelangelo surprised even Leonardo Da Vinciin that broad room meeting they had, deciding where to stall David). It is Job sitting in the market place in ashes and sackcloth saying,”Never mind the nasty things my besties say about me, bless them God, I know my Redeemer lives…for me.” It is Daniel flung in the lion’s den, unafraid, “..even if He slays me, I trust Him.” It is Esther and Ruth, Hannah and Sara. Or Gideon and Moses. It is you and me, every so often, walking through everyday miracles of existence and healing and we mightn’t even notice some times but we prayed these impossible prayers, naked of all garb/pretence/fear/doubt/lack of gut;
we might be there today, and we look around and find these little or large, old and new mammoth Illustrations of how humans can pray, or perhaps it’s possible we have done it, and haven’t realised it….
Not possible to gaze beyond our Goliath and look askance at ……..an Invisible God?
But this got me here, @ the kind of prayer Stance that defies visible support….*
Have you had a Faith Moment when you believed in your core something beautiful was coming your way, never mind what else you felt? And you believed it would rain down, no matter the desert you were in… so you built trenches. You felt like an idiot, there were no rain clouds, there was nothing except the silence. But in the silence there was a Song, with your name in it. A Still whisper only you could hear. A Miracle waiting for you. You. I wish you that as you listen to this song. I believe these things aren’t just about blogs and likes, comments and subscriptions. We are human beings with questions and prayers. We have needs that none else may even want to know about.
The next few moments, may you dig deep, build trenches by Faith that God hears, He answers, He knows you by name. This one’s by my daughter Vihan. Recorded on a day that was hard for all of us at home.
Why do I believe in a God who cares? Because of a day like this one, when a new song was born, for you, for me. Hey, stay blest. That River of blessing flows for you.
I prayed that you would be given the gift of sight,
but God in His mercy allowed me to see His Light all around you.
Now I ask that you my child will pray too, this prayer for others: that thru’ your journey via the valley of shadows, you will leave footprints that lead another out of darkness.
Each day this prayer grows, and as it does, my eyes open to things I’ve been blind to. How we misunderstand the gifts we are given: they arrive in unusual wrap and bows, sparkling with the tears of heaven.
“For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but He has given us a spirit of power, love and discipline…” quote from The Bible.