At the Pet Sanctuary we met Hedgehog with soulful eyes (tattoos belong to Guide).
Evil itself reflects what it opposes. Violence turns our eye on Peace, Hate drives hard a case on Love, Disbelief singularily champions a running away from Belief 👉🏼in the very Thing all Creation points to.
When we go out into a universe full of Footprints of the Unknown,
It stares us in the face –this Oneness written into all Living Features:
patterns of Interaction, of Bonding or not, of Phonetic / other Exchanges between the bars of Cages and Pens
things we are not prepared for, things that happen when a rabbit and turkey, gosling or rescued pony meet your whisper, with a sound that can only be described as the Language of Creation~
in syllables that connect us all in one shared Room called Planet Earth;
each of us with unique fingerprints and more ‘unique’ we haven’t even begun to know,
every eye and tongue of us flora, fauna and homo sapien: inimitable, no matter the sophistication of stem cell theories and other.
The older I get the more gawk-eyed I am, about how little we care about where we’re headed after we leave all this-
that world beyond what human iris can now see,
“I lay hold of that for which Christ laid hold of me...” Philippians 3:12.
God knew. That the sea would rinse things I didn’t know were there: an aloneness that comes with a trial, He brought it all out and rebuked it, His sea salt burned it away, hehe!
Mountain forest trail, thru Kudremukh mist & heavy close foliage. It was another world- heady, strong scents of wood moistened with dew; local springs in moss. Am still speechless. Utterly. Like God took my heart and laid fresh terms in there. The Light fell thick unsplintered and very very close, with His Presence. You couldn’t take it for granted. It had It’s own pulse, you needed to listen, to the song of that- to His Breath breathing deep. Something dead in me rose. Unsure what it was- something essential to human existence. His finger deep in my spirit, healing a bruise. Now I know why God called Moses to the mountain. He was afraid of it, like I was, shivering at its sheer cliff. It is a thing to overcome, a fear to face, even master. Here he met His true spirit Father. Here, a challenge was given, here a deal was made to live again against all odds.
Her house was green: from a new painted roof to shutters in soft green. Every room was like a library, even their table was decorated with books, I’d never seen anything like it. My home was a museum of random memoralibia: drying rose bouquet in bamboo vase from Odisha, tatted table top made by Gran, a coir center mat and coir rimmed lamp shade that overlooked a sofa set in dying rust red velvet, yes we had books but nothing decorous like those at Shasi’s place: we had Reader’s Digest,Good Housekeeping old copies from the sales at the Library every year. And we had Caravan yellow backs, and Dad’s volumes of Carpentry&Tool care! Nothing in green except a stool he hand painted. And yes, 16 types of Bibles. Or more.(Not in green, those).
When Shasi came home, evenings after Math tution, she smiled all polite and wouldn’t look at my collection of feathers in last year’s old English Textbook. She was fussy I thought, but later saw how she wouldn’t look at her own books either, or at her own stamp collection. As a matter of fact she never looked much at much: but she listened hard, and I would later learn how big a gift that was.
Years later we met at college, and she recalled details I’d forgotten all about: like when we had had chicken pox and how Ma had brought us bouquets of neem leaf. She recalled songs,we’d done at contests, and which ones we lost at. In particular she remembered how I fell apart at an Essay Contest at school, and how we climbed a guava tree and ate every last guava to celebrate that sadness. Later we were sick with too much of that fruit and went to a gooseberry tree and ate some there till our teeth were raw. So yes, green will always remind me of Shasi, and how she listened to the sound of colors. And other things. She remembered us praying in the dark sleepover after cousin P.recounted bits of Psycho that weird horror movie; she never stopped praying after that she said. It gave her a better option than worrying or staying sleepless, on nights when there was illness or a thing to stress over. I never thought she’d be the type to receive comfort from prayer, or notice how it changed a room, but apparently she did. Did she read all the beautiful books in her house? Shasi nodded and said ,”Your Bibles were so loud at your place Ray, I had to go and
get my own collection. Come over some time to Kolkotta…”
(I could write more but am one minute past the five mins allowed to FMF prompts! Have a great day y’all)
& other Places flowing thick off a beige covered Best seller that wouldn’t let me go. From Eden to hell, from Cain’s mess to Parables snuck like jewels in the dark, this Book held me by my irises.
I was 13, I’d read every book there was to read in our school library. I’d re-read some old Readers Digest in the musty bookshelves where Dad worked by the sea; now he grinned as I sat hunched over these Beauties. This Bible was all mine, but:
no one had warned me of its power to grab.
“Read it,” they advised like It were necessary medication for a virus. Yes, they warned, you read it, you sleep well at night. No ghosts and spooks would bother with a Bible Reader. They never really told me of its teeny mustard armies that smashed mountains, Its valleys flooded neck high with Psalms; It’s Blood flowing crimson in my insides, not just for healing and goodies but for Its absolute value as irreplaceable Present Resurrective serial Power …..
The Bible dared me to rise above asking It for quick answers to maths problems at school; It looked away when I had to have a toenail removed, as if Pain were a Date I’d understand, oh need to understand for future reference.
“I’m just a child,” I said to my Bible’s somber covers, and now and then I caught It sigh a sigh of relief, like It were asking me to stay that way. That it would hurt if I grew too much into borrowed intelligence. I did my best, but shoe sizes changed. Life was like that, everyone said.
I agreed, but reality was a trick. Is.
Reality is wearing some else’s shoes because we often follow others’ short cuts. Reality is a lil pumpkin that cuts out its insides making believe it is not what it is.
The Bible went through many translations in my many shelves but It stalked my desert with me; It ran me into an Oasis here and there, till I went like a Deer panting away from dead seas to Living Waters;
It hurt that I hurt. It was there …. A Still small voice refusing to give in to my worry that It was just another nice Bestseller….aye sold out to every language in earth.
The Bible was News. Every morning It was my Dove with tender new Olive leaf, every noon and night and dawn It became my Warrior, fighting for me, against my own mind.
It is more than Page and Info. More than medicine and prophecy of good. It is Breathing Messages from my raw naked God plunging past my external rib into an interior I saw…
because the time had come to look and see and know that I was more than flesh and blood, I had a thing in me that beat to the rhythm of a Life beyond our everyday pursuit of peace and joy.
It rinsed my insides out and tripped me on a Rollercoaster with demons and archangels till I knew that I knew what we know deep within our absolute unlying awareness: the fact that Lies are often the best pointers to the Truth!
Life had better be more than just survival and healings & successes of all our job interviews and processes, and aches. These very aches were my servants, they served well. If I were healed of every ill and lived in a lotus pond with zero needs… would I have bothered about anything besides instantly being made comfortable again? Here my little knots are a mosaic of an Intelligence too much for me to even pretend to know.
The Bible is my irreplaceable Guide, the Fingerprint that writes me into Its tale of love and hate and peace and war but how the greatest of these is Love …. not so I can get better shoes but that I could feel it in my bones to love even a little like Christ would when He sees another with a wounded spirit.
Often healing is not even an option, love an extravagance. Often the best we can do is forgive the unforgivable/ bless when cursed or choose to react with compassion/ acceptance…
nothing in the world teaches me that like the Cross in the Bible. Nothing else teaches me to reach down and wash another’s feet, oh receive a slap with compassion.
To this day, this Mega Page Turner, leaves me asking for more…
here I defeat bears and lions and goliath, here Daniels den is a landmark of praise; oh here a tomb is empty, its mine….here I too rise and walk thru walls of disbelief.
There are days I do not visit It: and those are the times I am deaf and dumb and blind.
Why the Bible is the Best Selling and most persecuted Book in the history of human existence.
Thankyou Kate Motaung for triggering a revisit to my 7 year old self, in a place I loved and was terrified of: the Sea. Here I got something I’ll never let go of: how to ride a giant wave!
Age 7 is a tricky sweet dangerous age to utterly trust a stranger, in a spot like that, deep sea. Those waves weren’t called Breakers for nothing. But Bro. Harrison (name unchanged*) was the kind of human any family would trust.
This was the Bay of Bengal, summer. He was an Australian lumbering red raw sunburnt priest on vacation from a Boys’ school in Darjeeling; he was dear and kind and sweet. Would take endless pictures of us, and himself, all black and white. He’d send us statutes and post cards from Italy and wherever he went. Summers were in our little coastal tourist village; he loved Indian fish fries, and Dad’s laughter in our veranda overlooking the sea. Then he’d hoist me over his shoulder to the beach. Ofcourse I trusted him, and he proved his worth in sand and mid sea, even with a six footer wave crest crackly overhead, spiffing white crystal fire in the gold sun.
I was afraid;
the Sea was a scary beautiful friend. She’d sweep out her large green blue skirts at my toes then swing them back in to herself, tempting me to go in deeper. I’d run in for shells, then fly back out again at another wave that chased me right to the edge of our hard flat beach, up the massive sand bund to where our compound wall overlooked a panoramic 180 degrees of this terrific watery Friend.
Brother H. as we called him, (he refused to be called uncle, flouting all nice Indian courtesy to senior relative), said it made him feel older than his 50, and that he was a child inside. He was. He was also a sort of Angel, no trace of guile or meanness, only the joy of living life to the full.
“Come on, old lady!” He’d yell over our mulling muttering crash- echoing Bay. He was a certified Life Saver, I didn’t understand that but it made me feel important, and saved somehow from the churling tide, its rush and fervor, its lunging, pulling, eddy and mega swill.
B. H. would ask me to hold on to the tube and trust him as we paddled deeper in to where waves began.
The idea was to go through that startling blue water wall before it crashed- then ride its crest all the way ashore.
It was the most somersaulty crazy thing I’ve experienced or ever will. If I’d known how to swim, it would’ve not been as dangerous. Here I had to trust Bro. H., I had to go where he said, hold tight no matter my nose and face were smashed in that coaster, no matter I was in a sand-&-water rollercoaster, ears and brain thounding (yeah, you’d get new words) with the crash of tide in maddened swell.
The sound it still startles me but not as much as the glory of re-surfacing in great gulp of air, Bro.H’s laughing grey blue eyes, his lung full of a whoop shout, as we settled in the shoulder of yet another giant wave as she rode us all the way back to shore….
where sometimes dad or ma waited, wondering that I needed this.
Years down, I’ve relived that time there, over and over. It’s one empowered way to ride a risky wave like that – in the sea, or in Life elsewhere: surprise that Thing that’s coming at us, go through It holding on to the Hand that holds you & me better than we could hold ourselves, then break free as the Breath of God kicks in Life in our frame,
ride that Wave for the sheer joy of knowing that’s why there are Waves and Oceans, Sands and Seas in the stories of our lives.
Thankyou Kate M. & Storytellers, and all of Blog world for reminding me; I’m feeling 7 years old, at sea with the Hand that holds all.
*years down, I searched Facebook for him, we’d shifted cities and we’d lost touch. He wasn’t the kind to stop writing or telling us where he was, but he did. I suspected the worst; and found his smiling black and white profiles in a FB page dedicated to him by people who knew him, as we did too. Bro H. was/ is one if the most magnificent human beings ever created: he taught this 7 year old to walk on high walls, chase sand crab, find sea horse, race waves, love sea boats, love life no matter where….