Gojay dreamed of a well by the acre of hardened land his father had inherited from his father; a well with water in it. That monsoon after the last rain cloud was blown away, he dug little shallows in his fathers ungiving field, but there was no water. That summer and the next.
One weekend there was water in the local borewell, water enough to drink a palmful and then he was chased away by the queue of local women with pots. The following weekend it rained. It rained like it were asking him to come out. Ir rained in the coir cot outside his hut, it rained through the roof, it rained in Mai’s hair and in Maimai’s, his grandma’s….
It fell in the streets and mud steps. It washed away Boka’s wall, it swamped Keju’s hay, it felled two old banyan trees. They loved it then hated it, but that time Gojay had prayed for the first real time for rain, and now he shivered.
Yes God was real; He had fallen rain in Gojay’s eyes like tears. As he walked around the village in the torrent, the boy stopped and stared at a local cross he had always ignored, not because its iron was bent out of shape, but because in the rain, the Cross shone. Anush his friend said it was the way light reflected on wet iron surfaces, but all that and the lightning! It made Gojay want to say thankyou. For the rain, and for the way he was stopped in his tracks, in the rain, in the marketplace, opp. Teraki Saheeba palace ruins, in the street in the rain where the metal cross seemed to seep at him. It tore his quiet out of him. It wreaked a smile on him. For the first time in all his life, young Gojay felt everything was alright. Oneday he’d find appropriate words to tell all this to someone but for now, he felt he was in the presence of the King of Everything: where there was no external famine
That was enough for him right now, that was more than enough for him for right now. And no it wasnt. The more he thought about it, the more he reached out his palms.
“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.
Uhm. About Ads. here could you ignore them? (They’re here because this isnt Premium WordPress; my apologies).
Our table seems to expand with every new person. I don’t know how they did it back then, we now are more conservative a Society. (Conservative as in : conserving on personal space/ sharing). We buffet, we carry bag/ take home. We have little side-table, collapsible ones too, with flaps down sides. Yes, but not my husband.
When we went shopping for the last table we bought and still have- by nothing but the sheer grace of God and all His angels specially trained to take care of homes like ours, … well he wanted a six seater glass table. It has a lower layer, frosted glass- but still glass.
I remember the day we bought it, at Powai, Mumbai; our third child was just in, a tiny gorgeous visually challenged cherub, but he would grow, and he would want to climb this thing. But Jeff wouldn’t listen. They’d learn, he said. Train them well, they’ll learn, learn how to take care of good things. How to be careful, not be rowdy around it.
I turned to the Salesman for mercy, but he was helplessly taken by my truly beloved’s passion for glass. “Ma’am, you can let your children sit on this table, even lie down, this is no mere glass, this is Italian …”
It stood on four seemingly- tender steel legs that looked feather light, I wasn’t convinced. But Jeff has these large brown amber eyes that seem to melt when he wants something badly and he wanted that table. Two years down we had to shift cities/states, my heart sank. India is no small country, our furniture went on Inter State highways and heaven & hell know how many bumps. Shashi our neighbor had wanted that table, Jeff wouldn’t hear of it.
When we unpacked and re-assembled it, it looked as good as new.
The tales this one can tell:
birthday cake cuttings with the kids’ friends falling at it till it swayed 70 degrees one birthday when there was a weak table-leg;
the times we prayed here, chatted, tried a new recipe, made cards, painted nails, made calls, talked into the night, lit candles, salvaged bouquets over a day old, got new lilies, fixed an old vase, lost spoons and found them later elsewhere, made new friends, got new plates and mats, re furnished our white backed chairs (Jeff wanted those white dining chairs too, fabulous as they look ~ fine steel rod backs in red brown wood frame, they are white, and this is not a small family, we love our paints and colors and crayons and tubes of acrylic….
Jeff re-furnished each chair recently, it all looks elegantly loved.
“They’ll learn,” he said, also persistently insisting on using our best glassware too. “Why not use it all now, we celebrate every time…”
“I’m keeping them for special occasions,” I sulk every Sunday. And every Sunday he takes every plate out, our best ware for the day that’s supposed to be treated sacred.
“What if they chip?”
He turns those eyes on me with, “They haven’t yet, if they do…we’ll have to get new ones.”
After all these years, I’m changing. I’m glad for the way this ‘Italian’ glass and white steel thing makes me feel, its glass lower layer with frosted rain drops, and white chairs. From a barely-anointed Clean-Bee, I’m turning into something unspeakable everyday, slowly, inch by inch, am getting addicted to cleaning accessories and mat decor. Nor worrying about it breaking anymore: unsure why.
Oh ok, it’s a She, and She’s still a beauty, a friend,
a family member that reminds us of the fragility of moments, and how quick and sheer life is, transient, yet resilient.
She reminds me to constantly dress up for one another, always treat each day as a cause for celebration. Funny, I never thought of her that way, till writing this. Never gave her a name, but then she’s each of us: breakable, and yet if treated with care, can still stand.
His eyes were closed- ofcourse, what’d I expect, Joh was born blind, though Doc Parin (name changed) was looking at him, as if with a search light right to the brain. Then he scrutinised us carefully in that quiet room with nice vase and air conditioning. Warm August, palm tree in his window, fine scent of pine floor wash.
Our son Johann was at his worst: post seizure drug side-effects weren’t pretty. I’ve written about this, but not in detail. Details that will forever remind me of that Other Presence in the room besides the girls, my husband, son Joh, doc and me.
“So, Johann. You’re a …musician I see. Play the violin?” His voice was flat smooth butter on crisp toast.
Neuro had referred us here to Psychiatry, really?!
What a rollercoaster of a year it’d been: series of Docs at Neuro centre, trial medications;
over this past year our gentle sweet tempered 18 year old had turned into a harsh, aggressive stranger. There were scratches and bites, rage and chaos.
“What’s your favourite musical piece then?” Doc was friendly, but I cringed. What was expected here...Bach?
We’d been out since 6 am to beat rush hour traffic to St.J’s. Joh hated hospitals, we told him we were going to a new Restaurant. (The Cafe there did have some nice rolls though😃). Now knowing we were here had infuriated him further, not to mention all that medication he was on.
Joh sank his forehead on the table.
I felt a dark thick wave hover over my temples, as weariness began to overwhelm me-
weary sick of medications that hurt our kid, of people who tried to assess our personalities as a family, of being judged and stared at. Joh was our golden boy, the girls couldn’t function without him. He had a way with words and humor; knew how to keep guests entertained, sang like an angel, played at least 3 instruments. After the seizures suddenly began last year, his voice had begun to give, along with tremors and sweats. Repetitive words, noises, sudden fury, dearest Lord… help?
Doc P. was gazing at some spot over our heads, his face a melting pot of pity and professional sorrow;
that big black wave of depression over head now began to crackle crash, I felt the earth below me shift and heave. Joh had been featured in gigs- with a band, solo, he was a force to reckon with. Was pitch perfect, could call out names of chords, tuned instruments, jammed with some of the city’s best… now a mass of nerves, he yawned hard and flung at a stack of files. Doc sighed….
my husband Jeff put an arm around Joh, the girls made the soft sounds they make when they are cheerleading him. I tried to think of something but all I could do was cry tearless inside, diving into a depth away from the black negativity, I couldn’t breathe ….
Joh straightens and says in clear tones, “Reckless Love. That’s my favourite one.”
“What violin piece is that? Never heard of it.”
“It’s my favourite…”
“You play it on the violin…?!”
Before I could exhale, the Lyrics lifted me over and above the thing trying to destroy peace…
“Before I spoke a word, You were singing over me You have been so, so good to me Before I took a breath, You breathed Your life in me You have been so, so kind to me, Oh, the 1, never-ending, reckless love of God Oh, it chases me down, fights ’til I’m found, leaves the ninety-nine I couldn’t earn it, and I don’t deserve it, still, You give Yourself away Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God, yeah…” (Kory Asbury)
I could write on and on.
Joh is 90% better. Doc’s been steadily knocking off 3… no 4 drugs that weren’t supposed to be given to him, while now introducing a new one. Theres deadly withdrawal too we deal with. It’s a tough 24 hrs/ day, often every minute we take a new risk. Triggers must be watched. Tempers, language flies, we all host series of bruises in various tones of healing.
Tonight at prayers, Joh sang Reckless Love again, and before I say another word, I must say how this has changed me, to know He breathes over us, over and over, realtime recklessly, in love pursuing us, till we overwhelm the thing that tries overwhelm us.
Life’s getting steadily more beautiful. We thoroughly relish silent pauses, hands are held, faces hugged. Sweet Jesu what a wonder You are, how precious this life is, in its healing stages too. What heights and depths here we’d never have sampled if not for these days. Before we forget, I need to put it all down: the fabulous reckless love of God that holds us all close, no matter how unchartered the course. More than physical, it’s the spirit of man that yearns the presence of God.
I’ve exceeded my 5 mins Kate Motaung of FMF writers, but am grateful to you all for Prompts that wring out these precious details, for the widening circle of friends who make life a blessed experience to share. God bless you all, and precious ones who take the time here to read/ comment. Stay blest.