Tag: Jesus

Those school girl days …

So I get serial visits from childhood. My mates in ‘tails & school blue. Ashok in red bicycle and forehead lock, his bright eyes lit up with mischief that time he asks Sis M. why they wear veils and wouldn’t she please lift that veil for us once please? Sis M. blushes pink red purple and glares at him through her brows but you know she isn’t angry.

Unsplash

***

Yes we got in a school mates W/A group; we see new pictures of old friends, Yesteryears tiptoe in, loud in my mental ears…

Ranjana the fabulous, first she wore little plaits then her straight black hair grew out like a sheath cut blunt to shoulder. We were 3 ft tall… she sent me little cards strung with felt tipped flowers. Then she started talking and when she did whoa…. it was interschool debate, podium glossy words: I remember thinking she’s the most brilliant girl I’ve ever..! Large dark dreamy eyes that looked beyond our little confines into a wider world waiting out there. She is our class Genius, the life of the party, still is!

Devasmita, my ‘twin’ some said for our similar dark rimmed glasses and hair, but nah. This one’s our class Beauty, and a Sport! We did Sack Race and Badminton together.(“3 leggeds..” she reminds me. What sweet sport! Now they have Fear Factor🤯😅) Deva still has pure marble like skin, laughter rimmed lips, soft brown eyes and wit that needs just few words, with sass mind you. Do not forget we’re the late 70s high schoolers. It was Sholay and ‘Yaadon Ki barath’.. Bobby, Oh Zeenat Aman at her best. Hair worn in side bangs, xxx ear hoops and platform heels simmering under 34″ bell bottomed pants.

Who wore the widest bells? Unsure. The largest starched collars…? It was somethings between Elvis Presley and Amitabh B. The guys wore swag!….oh c’mon ofcourse you did, still do. I’m amazed they’ve not lost the gloss of Pre- Man days. They were Man – Cubs, and they were/ are big brothers.

Were there in- house romances? I’m certain. They were good days, as in Innocence. ‘Dates’ were eyes looking away in corridors and sports field, hehe.

Vimal (Design & more) marries a Beauty with brains, she’s a Doc who also Motor cross country races for heavens sakes, ofcourse he would; Vim so like his Ma. Wide Bambi doe eyes, dark lashed in high cheek-boned face, pure like Gujarati ghee, untouched by materialism. On saturdays, aunty would pack dhoklas in a tiered stainless steel tiffin carrier. Haven’t you had dhoklas? Then you must. Vimal sent us pictures wherever he went in the world… pics in garden chair or mountain rides.. he remembered birthdays, yelled when you forgot, he kept your scribbles and holiday letters (mine were filled with fish tales he grumbled) threatening to use them when we became an MF Hussain, haha.

Hey my classmates are beautiful people inside out. Joyati, our very own Bong-babe soft haired long plaits to the waist, voice like a song. You never heard her yell, her shirt always white, like her socks ‘ neath blue pinafore. Glad they did not give us ties;

this was 10 kms from Coastal Odisha, humid monsoons and summers ripe with mango, oh Lassi thickened with coconut gratings, and cashew if you were fortunate. I loved the rain, especially when it fell in the Grotto in Momma Mary’s smiling face like she were doing tears of joy. Ay they were days of serious fun, and some.

Exams were the monster. For me it was Hindi, and Math. The details are deadly. I felt hounded by heaven and hell; my mates were brilliant. I gawked at their intellect, their knowledge of laws and physic, of mercury and Algae, trigonometric squigglies and theories. Who was I, why ? I wondered, but not these Mates mine they laughed at impossibilities. Vimal was it, or Bhabani…. hummed like a bee/ dropped book piles in the floor?? Oh Bhabani: school Princy actually liked sparring with him. Sis Rosalie, she had this little Maddona smile that said much when Bhabani would not tuck shirt in, he’d grin back. They did these silent half-smile matches where I suspect they let each other win. I’ve never seen anything like that since. They were 2 Gladiators, well matched… never mind the decades between them. One was a curly haired tall teenager who could not cut his hair up above ears please, simply because he couldnot, he said. Then the thing about his footwear. It hurt him, he said. He tried once or twice. It was something with his feet. Not possible to wear shoes… did he succumb finally to Sis. R? No? Yes? I cannot remember. But the memoirs of those convos curl with humor.

Here were a generation without Google, WA, & Asphalt gamers. The Net was what fishermen brought home, and Apple was still just a fruit. Phones were black creations on a side table, you went to it. You “rang” it, then you “hung up”. How you hung up determined your mental state. There were no Emojis, just physical stickers you sewed on your jean knees, or stuck on books, on bikes. Books were everything, libraries ruled. I mean ruled. ( And you didn’t know to say Rock for Compliment) …

Oh Encyclopedia sat there like emperors and their wives & children, decked in gold edged flat greens and blues. Readers Digest stared at you, vying for your eyes along with Panchatantra and Cabulliwallah. Enid Blyton though! Some of us ate her pages feeding our soul with Adventure that had nothing to do with Bungee jumping. Horror was stories we retold in verandas, some moonlit nights. Sis Rosalie did our literature …. ” ancient Mariners’ seas .. a ghostly galleon…” she knew how to whisper, how to lift her chin like a hymn being sung, then she’d stand all regal with one foot nestling in her other foot; one wrist on hip, waiting for us to shhhhlisten as we met Wordsworth, Chesterton & RK Narayan….

Surprised at the recall here. I haven’t thought of her Coleridge albatross in decades! But I’m stoked, bro as our kids say.

Nah and we didn’t stoop to auto correct, hey what was a Comp? Lap tops were exactly that. Tops of laps. Here we hid lil notes,

Paper slips that horrific day .. when we didn’t know the name of an Island. But Bhabani. He knew. Ofcourse, he was Guru General Cool. Did he wear a lil ring on little finger? Unsure. But he knew name of that Island; how he spelled it was his own. None of us recognized the name though Ms. Shameem did. She hid face in her white dupatta wrapped around one arm: “You people…” she shut her eyes carefully inside pale pink coral glasses, knowing we had all carefully copied out Bhab’s version of ‘Sacremento‘. Then she slow- swung in my direction and said in sorrow, “You too?”

2 things here. I was official Church Mouse, as decreed by Class officials, not just because I was quiet and shy but too, my existence represented the church in all its forms- my mom was Mrs.David the gentle woman with guitar and songs of Jesus- I had sinned. We had also done Ceaser’s famous Et Tu Brutei… I felt like a murderer of trust. Uh.

Net pic.

We had seen worse days. The time we wrote in the walls of our class with raw mango: were we angry about something? Sure there was rage to follow: Sis Ro. standing there in the grounds by St.Vincent in marble looking down on us as we stood socially distanced from each others elbows, oh spread out for Primary and Pre- primaries to see and know. The eastern Indian sun never fell so harsh and long, food in our lunch boxes curled with waiting… other teachers tut-tutted, we examined our shoe’s buckle and lace, our socks and knees, we pondered on the sand. I forget if we had to clean up classroom before or after this Runway show, but we did. Aye, ‘Ratilal (our tall aristocrat) refused to partner with his broom’, someone reminded us this morning. It should’ve been a great video, but those days ‘viral’ was only a flu’ and ‘U tubes’ lived in Chemistry labs; though now we have memos in our chips inside,

dearest Lord God, souvenirs of such days You made…

You made Shailaja and how come she doesn’t change one tiny bit, her head held high on a neck that’s still slender like the rest of her: a Princess still with that same peace about her, as if all the changes around do not matter. Patsy, she has that quality too, she… our nightingale and abs.charmer, now a teacher herself …. we were “Little Women” together,

with Sis.Margaret scowling at the gorgeous Alpana Watwe for not liking her green and red costume. “And hasn’t God made red flowers with green leaf?!” Sis M. rallied. (Alpana flushed: didn’t she know she’d look great even if they gave her a sack to wear?!) I worried about my ‘necklace’. It was a pale pink large pearly thing I got from where I’ve no recall. My role was Hannah the maid, in this great black velvet dress from costume wardrobe; it reeked of mothballs and damp wood… now I thought it needed my pearls. Sis M’s ferocious black eyes went through my skull then she burst into laughter; she nodded at my odd pearls.

I still wear it inside, a Reminder that we are what grew us. Teachers like Ms Brenda D’Coutho too, not just fairytale pretty but respectful. I wasn’t a star student, but no one laughed. If they did, it was friendly fire. It built. It did not break your back. We learned the simple things. Oh Sujata, our Ms. Joy. Today she is a Wizard in a Tech world, the first time we saw her she was in little red ribbons. Today I saw a pic of her in stylish grey crop and sweater looking like a Desi Hollywood Halle Berry, just wow .. she’s designed Helicopters?!

Here we are decades later. Yesterday Ashok Lohia actually now a grown up and ace Businessman thanked me for helping him draw his bio practical book cockroach, and I teared up thinking how the core of us never changed.

Shailaja : “Change is inevitable but
all look good. And there is that special something about everyone which hasn’t changed. 💕

Ranjana: “Yes that something special…that only an old friend can tell!”

I could say some more but the words want to stare at each other and just say thankyou. Thankyou my mates, for still being there.

Stay precious, stay blest.

RaylaRN

P.S.

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The incredible power of pain

I’m staring at an impossible formula here: the child was alone his entire life from the time his parents left him to when he was found later by more tormentors. Then there’s the story of a young girl in further trauma one wouldn’t wish to detail. All of this towers over the mess in my brain this morning as I mull over few incidents that got me all raw. I see another article about a woman who braves all kinds of home fires to find her identity in God.

My reading today is in the Song of Songs: “Set me as a seal over your heart..” the Good Shepherd replies,”Let me hear your voice my turtle dove. The winter is past, it is now time to hear your song.

Oil painting, RNoel.

***

Rejection is rejected here in His vineyard where He grafts her into His care. I cannot think of a better way to describe the act of a prodigal heart returning to Love. Returning to the act of accepting oneself again: one’s renewed self.

Physical abuse, trauma, hurt, pain….

If you’ve done a little homework like I have these past months, oh even looking into my own existence, you’ll come to the conclusion that Loneliness is perhaps the most rampant ailment in our societies wherever we live… in shanty towns or Penthouses. And yet..

that very loneliness draws me in to His Vinepress like never before. Like never before I see how True Love crushes out then endorses human bruise and frailty with His banner. The lonelier I am, the more I see His light. Darkness itself pulls to the Light, have you noticed?

Have you noticed how evil cringes before Love? Have you gazed with forgiveness at Hatred? Have you hugged a person who taunts you?

That said, Pain is a strange child of loneliness and circumstance. It can be a great guide, sent from the tenderest yet most trafficked portal of heaven.

Pain can guide us to better understanding of each other, it humbles, it clothes, it Graces. Pain can be sweet and it can empower. It sharpens intuition, it is unafraid. When pain rules, a person loses shy. They Deliver. Pain’s features are true. In pain we say it like it is, we are shed of fear.

The little I’ve had of it, has made me who I am: a little less of me, a lot more of the world within us all. We cover our true selves with masks of this and that but inside we are people with sensitivities waiting to be addressed. Pain addresses. It shears, sheds. It sets apart, it shifts gear.

In pain a human’s velocity changes. They morph. They lose formalities. They… we change: we face the day differently.

These past 2 months I’ve heard stories of some brave humans who walked out of the carcasses of yesterday into utterly new creations. And every tale was one where they found the peace, the acceptance of God which smashes human slavery to each other.

When in pain, humans don’t fake it. This peace cannot lie. It is beautiful to watch, breathless beautiful to learn from.

The little pain I experience in my own life pales next to the stories of those who’ve suffered criminal injustice and risen again as Jesus did. Yes the incredible power of hurt, of loneliness…. and all it can do to re- arrange us:

we misunderstand its uses. The more I live, the more I see why God allowed portions of pain. Without it I’d never have understood what it feels like to become unafraid of mortal concerns. The power of pain has given me a freedom impossible to describe in few nice words but I’ll try:

  1. It frees you from social approval
  2. It lifts your thresholds of tolerance
  3. Pain/ loneliness helps you see yourself as your best human Confidant.
  4. It shuts out other noise and you hear that Still Small Voice.
  5. Aloneness… leans the human soul to the supernatural. Some turn to the dark, others to the Light. Yes, there are grey areas that anesthetize the process.
  6. Pain and her mates show us our inner strengths/ disabilities. Tough. It gets tougher to meet our own personality; some of us may dull that pain with drugs and other comforters. Or we walk away.
  7. Stay here longer, you are free of human recipes for fulfillment. No wonder monks, sanyasis… go to caves and trees to find the truth about everything. From Newton to modern thinkers. .. silence is a great mirror. It reflects the Light of the World. Here no darkness dare crush the human spirit which is the physical heart of the Living God.

I can go on.

But today I apologise to God for misunderstanding some of His most powerful gifts.

….

Rayla Noel

Courtesy of the Cross

I haven’t understood this – as much as I have during this past year: I’ve bitten into Its wood, Its Bleed. Its brutal honesty.

How do I identify with It’s utter Insanity‘..

And out of every wound, a garden grows.
Oil, RN.

Why did the Christ do what He did, how does It help Humans?

When you break thresholds of pain, there is no pretence: Here you might forget what you knew & be provoked enough to see the Unseen:

~(Rejection is one of the Experiences one might process here,

~ Severance from human praise/ recognition.

~Acquired values re- group.

~When all is shredded, stripped naked, the human spirit is truly alone with his/ her source. Here there is no ‘I’ except in Its best possible way.

~Here, is ‘abandonment’. Buddha tried it, our wise men and sadhus go to the mountains, some sit years under a tree, in cave, for that ‘enlightenment’). ~When all human support is withdrawn, all expectation, one is free. Freed.

This takes you to another Place: some have names for it:

~A place of Quiet, where human standards/ learned behaviour/symptoms of dis-ease cease to control you: this is a new Place. We aren’t familiar with Its one Event: Friendship with the Invisible Friend.

♡ This is a zone where pain is Highest Common Factor; one thanks it for bringing them here.

This ‘here’ begins to re-arrange one’s own personal rules:

◇ You stand unafraid of ‘Alone’; free of human bondage, from Conditions required to be Happy. Happy is a 1% of This. (Wounds lose their power over you: you stop chewing on them).

◇You heal. Your scar makes you a new you: gravity isn’t existent in your dreams, your prayers. Nor human embrace/ respect. You transform.

◇You experience Beauty, Love. Acceptance. Courtesy to each other, unconditional of returns.

Christ of the Cross is more than printed religion. His Cross is an impossible to fully comprehend just yet un- negotiable symbol of the power of emotional (often physical) healing.

  • It changes the soul of your fibre, It bares to you your neighbours‘ soul, as your priority.
  • It smashes ego, but elevates respect for even you.
  • It raises the bar on compassion, It bends your nature to forgive; It shows you how negating pride is, how devastating to your purpose, & how lust wipes out life.
  • It exposes devices of Fear.

The Person of the Cross takes my itinerary: re- routes cowardly escape plans, away from self absorption/ destruction.

♡ It is unafraid of ‘loneliness’. It needs that space for progress.

  • I do not need my burden of being right all the time. I am a learner.
  • I appreciate the struggles of humanity/ blest by fellow-creations. Gratitude begins. It is a river of music and joy, of Forgiveness and lack of self adoration.
  • I look outward, I look within. It takes a certain recklessness to cut umbilical chords of acquired selfishness..

run barefoot through it, sing, worship, be all I was meant to be, whipped of discourtesy to the kingdom of God within us each, for free.

  • Here, I taste a new thing, a certain change of needs. The taste of dying selfishness, a resurrection of new eyes, looking away from dead habits.
  • And this: I see my heart, my core. There is a lot of condemnation. It is the worst kind of ‘nation’, the worst virus. I must shed that snakeskin, & forgive wasted time in order to forgive/ bless anything else.

All of this, courtesy of the Cross.

There’s more, a Designer more. Your prints differ from mine. We are nothing, and everything. Let’s not underestimate each others power in this life. You have my respect, I love you anew: you …flesh of my flesh, bone of my bone.

I don’t understand much, but my iris and iota are changing. Our blood, our DNA, are transient gifts, for specific use. I don’t want to miss a thing about this existence, nor misunderstand a single experience. This isn’t about my portfolio, my pitch, my bacteria, my journey is perhaps just an invisible weave in the tapestry of you.

We don’t have to understand flowers and bees and the generation of birds and black holes, or meteors flying around @ 20,000kms / minute? to let out the miracle of healing:

let it out of human-made cages, and let our songs sing,

Or let that song break our acres of deafness…

Or blindness. Have you watched a blind person listen to a song? Or a deaf person lip read? Or a lame one watch others’ running feet?

Sometimes we lose a little to access Treasures hidden in dark places. We are each others’ at the Cross. I went there to complain, and He points me to my brother, my sister: their shadow is my face.

I do not even want to understand it, it is complicated and not ‘nice’: if someone does understand it all then it’s not all they’ve seen. Here we must cling to no shame, or pretence : I understand how little I like the way Christ loves everyone equally.

Ugh, the Paradox of True Love:

♡ It provokes hate, because mankind lives to love self. If we worship anything, it is mostly a method to gain favour in the eyes of gods of wealth and superiority.

The Cross’s two beams intersect at the crux of the need for love. I went there for comfort, and He asks that we comfort one another. That’s why the Cross is hated. Misunderstood. Read as a symbol of weakness. Try forgiving/ love….when your thresholds of pain are at break neck maximum.

I know, tough. We lack that genre of maddening courtesy. We try, we stare.

Slaying Giants

THE MORE YOU REACH OUT TO OTHER PEOPLE WITH NEEDS, THE SMALLER YOUR FEARS BECOME.” Dr. David Jeremiah in his ‘The Christian Walk Journal’. It’s a daily devotional; got it as a gift this year. (Not much else I treasure like a good Diary).

From my Journal this morning; and it went in my spirit like a warm shaft of Light. The past week has seen so much more strength than we could’ve imagined. We watched as God broke through our own doubts and fears, our very suspicion of Him. Watched as He spoke through us, to us. Sometimes there is no one else the human head or heart will listen to, hehe. We are a stubborn lot. We are street smart, and oh so wise. Ofcourse we cannot trust the Unseen.

But this past week I’ve watched the Fingers of God shift my focus from ME to a world around that is waiting for someone to just be nice to them, as I’ve waited too. 1.20 billion in my country, a few thousands around my streets. What can individuals really do? I’m going to find out this week.

“Because sometimes you have to step outside of the person you’ve been, and remember the person you were meant to be, the person you wanted to be, the person you are.” ~H.G. Wells, quoting from Cathyde67 Thankyou!🌻

Meet Lorraine

Meet Lorraine

Before the sun sets today I need to repost from Lorraine’s Blog: Blindzanygirl

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. 

I hope that you enjoy visiting this site, and that you find it helpful.

….

Love knows no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps over obstacles penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.” 

Maya Angelou

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...”

Lorraine

cross
http://blindwilderness.wordpress.com/
Seeing
Comes from within
Deeper than eyes can see
Pain makes you see much more clearly
For pain
Makes gold
That has been tested in the fires
That gives insight to hearts
On paths untrod
Before
 

Thank you Lorraine, oneday we will meet, if not in this life in the next, when you and precious people like our son will see not just all our faces but His…

where the rest of humanity too will see what we never could not before, blinded by the nether lights of human comprehension. Oneday we will see through that dark glass, face to Face.

Here’s another one I love of Blindzanygirls’ work, oh every one of them leaves footprints of a thing I’m learning to hold….GRACE.

RAINBEAMS!