Tag: Humanity

“Redemption”

Oil says it better than my fingers, Grace says it best: flowing like blood, in the vein of us- humanity. The Oil of Grace.

Detail. Oil on canvas. RN.
The greatest strength is not the power to kill, but to return love for hate. He made redemption possible for the very ones who gambled on His clothing while He still breathed.

Not for sale.

Not my favorite theme to paint, for Its demand on mood and line, but this time It called me, “…into participation & companionship with His Son Christ Jesus our Lord.”(1Cor1:9). Everyday it changes me, every day it teaches me to forgive, love back, hold on to what held me, holds me.

Healing from one bullet

I just saw this piece by Malala. If you haven’t heard about her, read on.

The chaos being experienced right now is not a distant event: it is the scream of humans that will follow us in ways we can’t know yet. What can we do? I’m praying. There’s people praying that those who can make a difference will do so.

https://podium.bulletin.com/269177711419542

The Greatest Human Need*

You see It* in naked mouths, in burdened markets, in death cells & cathedrals; we all await the same thing.

I saw It last week in a wee apartment & momma with sick child,

saw It crying in the Street yesterday outside a Cafe: a man sat in Crossword puzzles; his face sunk. A couple in phones, not touching shoulders like Love sits; she refused cake, he shrugged, got a green mango ice cream, the silence only stopped now and then when the happy eyed waiter grinned. He grinned as he walked between polka-dotted giant cups perched in high wooden open cabinets and acrylic fern;

we diced snakes & ladders at this Cafe called Narcos. Hmm. No drugs, just us in chilled sweaters and hungry for chat as mothers and daughters can be when needing to know we are loved – no conditions, no time to comb hair. There was that need, to taste a satisfaction…..

a diamond waiting to be sharved (just made that word) ;

It….is like Water waiting to Fall, like a Niagara e’en. We say, What. That….! But we turn into terrorists at Traffic messes, we become brooding hens over interruptions, we snarl at headlines, and run like headless chicken when ignored. Oh and this – we absolutely evangelize on the meanness of God when there’s an earth disaster, then we build Cathedrals of mistrust….

It was there yesterday at Happa Stationers‘- guy in dull red cap o’er few flat locks, he strung them over his shoulder, his face dead-fire, as we traded notes for exam accessories for my Kitsy,

she with eyes like stars over an unknown future. Some people are Bearers of Good. They go like a Lighthouse searching the dark:

Clover grass ‘neath step at Stationers.
Pic Courtesy : Kitsy Ruth.

****

we retrace steps back home, the sun is warm in our cold toes. Yea an Indian cold. Cold enough to shiver my pigeon;

am scared to read the papers – they lie face down in a jute bag under chair turned to the trees outside, as if asking these skies for Noah’s rainbow;

today’s unopened Times sun bathes next to Rosie, with her 50+ tiny spiky leaves and rose pouting…..

like us Humans rearing for relief.

We’ve schooled our Self to hiss like serpents in gardens of Grace. We rap our own knuckles if we fall prey to God’s Love. We skid, stop stare like rabbits caught in headlights, stammering- afraid to give in to Humanity’s best-masked need:

(Terrified of what we do not know, what we do know holds us safe among ‘relatables; eaters of edible bad news);

I saw It Staring at me via a Cartwoman selling tomatoes. No Cross tattoo in her throat like some of us Church goers host, no prayer beads except rich busy fingers at brinjal and coriander leaf, like she were a branch off Him who made her veggies! As if there was nothing to fear. Yeah her purpose to be the Bearer of Grace.

Yeah I can talk of Love and Valentine trophies all day but if I didn’t receive this Thing, I wouldn’t know how to give it. ‘IT’ …a 5 lettered word one sees best on a Hill far away.

Soon we’ll be doing Lenten fasts and Anthems to woo It back in our lanes, aye Grace– lurking in corners like a lost Lover, a jealous one, aching to forgive, bless, heal, restore, love:

aching that we believe *Its reach, Its depth, Its width, Its unfathomable Power to raise the Human Spirit from the Store Rooms of hell.

Yea, yes- the most under-rated, least accessed, the Greatest Human need there is- Grace:

Love always follows. No matter the odds.

Grace : unmerited divine assistance given to humans for their regeneration or sanctification. b : a virtue coming from God. c : a state of sanctification enjoyed through divine assistance.http://www.merriam-webster.com › grace

The Stranger

He wore long curls under a hair band and old fashioned jeans with wide trousers folded in a hem that half sagged as if unsure of the Times. The sun fell in his uncombed locks needing a wash but it didn’t matter. It had an educated look about it, casual disgrace. It was the funeral of a dear brother, we stood around the sunny open air chapel Gate#1, wanting to weep but the sun shone hard. Tall trees above us burned lemon gentle yellow. “It is well with my soul,” we sang. The lyrics fell into us, there’s no other way to say it. Funerals of good people do this to me. The man with the locks stood like a statue two feet from where I leaned on a pillar. He hadn’t moved; his shoulders crouched with either fatigue or sorrow. He must be a close relative? The chapel steamed with hushed love. VJ looked like Peace in his casket strung with garlands, wreaths, roses, jasmine bouquet, posies, petals in the floor around – it wasn’t like a mourning, it was a Graduation. A cousin broke down as he paid tribute, a niece, a sister, a classmate, colleagues, more wreaths- they crowded now in the floor like an unruly garden. No one stirred, light shifted. Two hours had gone by, the man with long curls stood like a rock his arms curled in at the fist. I lost sight of him then saw him again at the burial – he got as close as he could then moved politely away hugging himself, why was I looking at him. Everyone grieved soft. Polite smiles, and gentle farewell. The sky, a stark baby blue covered everything in more Light;

He moved closer to where we stood with VJ’s wife and daughter, then he hugged VJ’s wife with borrowing sobs. The daughter didn’t know who he was, he didn’t fit in with any of the groups here- work teams, relatives, church folk. The sobs mutated, no one else was crying that way. We had cultured tears, in the back of our eyes and throats. VJ was that kind of guy, he wouldn’t have wanted noise, or loud wishes. He was a tree planted by streams of living waters. A tree that bore fruit in quiet neat ways. Not spluttering in the earth, but growing gently.

He caught my eye for a quick moment as he stood back and wiped his tears; his hands were large, sunburnt, like his face with wide cheek bones and thick hair held back in fine wire band. Then he hung back a bit under tall trees swaying in occasional gust of breeze. February felt hot and cool at the same time in the cemetery with hundreds of memoirs of Life by our feet; not a place to discuss things in decibels. You wanted to rest, exhale.

The man wore a red and blackish windcheater over a once white Tee. Not 6 ft tall; wide shouldered, lowered gaze in the walk where others gathered to say things to VJ’s family, ‘visit us,‘ that kind of thing. The man lingered, not looking at anything in particular, then he slow-turned to leave.

Later we heard no one knew him at all. What was he, who? Perhaps…

a person blessed by VJ. Maybe a wanna be musician whom VJ heard out. Maybe he gave him some kind of help, he had that look about him: gratitude and pain.

Or maybe, maybe he was a chronic funeral crasher, identifying best among sadness. He seemed at peace in tears, not awkward in Grief’s ways. Maybe I’m reading too much into this, but I’ve seen them- some of us humans who fit in between lives of others, and we identify best in pain. Here we can weep out loud and not be misunderstood. Here there is solace, here there are grounds to linger in, in awe at loss. At farewells, at sermons that whisper at the Other Life, at the kind of Love that happens where we stare at that edge of the coffin. We are all one here, here there is no caste, creed, other separations of Humanity. Here we are one at this place where Life gazes at death, how futile even that is- when the spirit has gone ahead. It was apparent- VJ was not there. His absence a presence so loud you wanted to applaud his transition, his earth days done so well, and him now with God whom he worked for all his life.

The stranger’s face followed me home; we talked briefly about him. Then I had a headache and curled up in bed, but had to spill my thoughts here, blog. Perhaps:

between the Living and the Dead is a Race of Humanity belonging to neither (the living nor the dead); the corridors between the Two narrow down to one fine line and there they are- a People that identify best in places like Here, where pain is an acceptable emotion.

Perhaps. Though it is most likely this was a person VJ helped in some significant way, he was so like Christ, gentle steel and hard work, not choosing to be called Reverend; his songs hauntingly beautiful like his smile that said all. A man of few words, almost shy of being heard too much, except of the Christ he loved. Just the kind of man who reached out to strangers with no name…

(Few years ago VJ’s wife had been hit by a racing biker, hit bad enough, head injury, fractures. VJ did not breathe one word against him, no law suit, nothing. ‘The brother had something on his mind, surely. Else the accident wouldn’t have happened. I asked the Lord to bless him..” VJ said in our home months after the accident, not one trace of anger in him).

Now I’m thinking what if the stranger was that biker; but my thoughts they do run wild.

Photo Credit : Zach Taiji

Perspective

The ones looking at the painting, they are the Work of Art.

The Window turns about looking at Us. 👇
PiCredits Unsplash
***
We are the Clay, our hands made by Hands that made the clay we do not originate.
Who are we? The little girl asks her mother in The New York Times: existential questions that needed to be asked long ago.
We are best when looking within, looking with some amount of discomfort. When Humans ever did something of value to the personal or global community, was when we bowed deep.
***

P.S.

You’re seeing Ads here? They are not sponsored by me, except that I chose FreeWordpress which duh also cannot kill Ads. So. Apologies dear blogfriend.

Isolation Angels.

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

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

👆Courtesy Purple Ray’s Blog
***

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

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

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

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

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

Writer of Hannibal, Silence of the Lambs.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stay precious, blest.

@raylarn

Positively Shameless

Just got this beauty (Pl check details below) from my very talented friend Shilpa W., also performing;

Theatre Narrative, Social Drama
~childhood sexual abuse & aftermath
March 14th & 15th only.
Venue: SHOONYA,
BANGALORE
Details, below.

if you’re in Bangalore or planning to, do not miss it. (Description*).

My guess is, it’s going to be intense, tight scripted with merciless precision to details that must exclude kiddie viewership, though- it just might involve kiddie victim?

Ofcourse, that is the sickening brute act of abuse: it has zero respect for age, innocence or ‘shame’.

I love the Title, and what this can do to create awareness in a Decade that’s seen #MeToo, and some amount of shame like never before.

Ach. But Shameless makes for gut-wrenching reality that facilitates Change. Change in perspective, awareness, offensive defense….ugh, why does that last one smack of Dark Age suppression?

As I post this, I hear the nag of a chainsaw at another tree outside our home. Hmm.

What does an everyday Citizen do:

kick up fuss & dance, yes, must. Tiring though, and you might either run up against or crash a bull dozer besides! That perhaps is what a 2020 everyday Citizen is counting on.

I’m thinking on parallel lines here, of long-stacked child abuse, and other routes of suppression in homo-sapien existence that might take a whole few bodies of humans to redress.

You got to drag (generational?) skeletons out of closet, ignore stench, rid that closet of access to you forever, reduce it to wood ash: reap from it, having sown seeds of shame-stunning radical change effective from a back date you do not want to remember if you’re a ‘victim’ but,

one could choose to.

(Victim: Sheesh. Another ugh word. Say Survivor, say Winner: a more Advantaged human now, all for the experience that tried to take your teeth).

Shame is probably the most misrepresented word in the history of humanity. Shame is what makes us cover up, hide, fake it, smooth over, wear lipstick over bruise.

Shameless – that is a whole other kind of what we were made to be, in the face of de- humanizing factors, especially that, those.

I’m stoked. It’s time!

Way to go girls. 👇You must be seen.

Positively Shameless,
2 shows
March 14, 2020, 7 p.m.
March 15, 2020, 4 p.m.
Rs.250/-
BOOK YOUR TICKETS HERE

*Venue: Shoonya – Centre for Art and Somatic

Open to adults and adolescents with parental supervision.
Now in its fourth iteration, Positively Shameless is a devised ensemble theatre performance based on aspects of childhood sexual abuse that endure into childhood. It interweaves personal narrative with social commentary to create a playful, dramatic act of resistance and revelation that challenges the shame and silence that often surrounds survivors. By foregrounding physical expression, the play acknowledges the site of violence, resistance and reclamation, to be the body. Positively Shameless was originally created in 2016 by seven women in Bangalore who continue to form the core group of this project. This theatre piece has since been performed across different parts of India and the United States. Positively Shameless has captured the attention of diverse audiences for its refreshing tone (critical yet hopeful), artistry and emotional complexity.
It will be performed in Shoonya Centre for Art and Somatic Practices, Bangalore on 14th and 15th February 2020, following which, it travels to Rotterdam to perform in the ICAF (International Community Arts Festival) and then NYU (New York University).

SHAME: Synonym: embarrassment, humiliation.

In my heart there are walls and rooms and doors

Pic credit Olga D. Canberra

There’s keys and stairways, vents and switches- in this heart. Like it or not, there’s a cooking pot and stove, a freezer and corners. There’s levels,floors,ceiling,tile and wash. There are left overs and water; bathwater, sprinklers, showers,bucket,toothbrush,needles, spoons &knife and fork. And cushions and covers. Mats, floor mats, table mats, dinner ware for guests/everyday. There’s a welcome mat and a throwaway. There’s towels and sheets, carpet and garbage. Oh veg peels, bouquets, flower vase. Garden balcony,books,papers,papers,papers,wires,cables, photographs, memoirs,chairs,canvas,easel,cases,boxes, music,chatter,silences,markerpens, erasers,coughs,sighs,laughter,prayer,steps, dreams, vision,hope,faith,dusk,twilight,dawn grey blush bright, noon orange yellow gold sun, rays sifting,shifting in, rising waning moonlit dust/steam, answers,questions,healing,tears,fears, rejection,hearth,peace,

My heart has walls,entry,exit, skylight,dewfell roof,rainharvest water,pulse,rhythm,arteries of Breath:

She goes around the sun, she goes upside down, revolutions rotatary- she can take this, she was made to run with me, no roots,

I’ve not understood how deep the wealth of the human heart, how inscrutable a store

Whats its measure, its define,

what an insanely blessed owner am I.