Tag: journal

Angel unawares

She found us on a railway platform, Bangalore East; was fascinated by our daughter’s phone and finger ring. Then she wouldn’t leave us; half hour later I was curious to see her family, was she alone? Were there more pretty eyes like hers, gold amber, dark with long lashes….

Photograph Vihan

You could get trapped between tears and soft rage. The child was not hungry for food, she was hungry for things she couldn’t have, not with her lifestyle on the pavement. I looked away hurt that I felt irritation, hurt that I could be repulsed. Somewhere in all that, there was (is) horror that 23%? (according to 2012 census) live below our poverty line. Somewhere in all that is the voice of Sakshi Malik a Facebook friend who said Poverty exists more in the human spirit than anywhere else.

So I follow Amber girl, past a glass bangle seller who also sells heart shaped balloons. He wears kohl in his eyes and one earring. Any other day I may have returned his smile but today the mother in me wasn’t amused. What has happened with us all, that children like this child, must stay in railway platforms? She’s speaking my local Kannada, she is chatty, street smart. If she went to school she’d be in front row full of pep and silver/gold paper stars in her project work.

She points me to her Ma with five other sibling, all their amber eyes on fire. The mother has infant at breast under thin cotton sari and green blouse with safety pins all down opened neck line. Words still fail me, what does one say?

Amber, she grinned at me, her face turning into one big heart. This was ten years ago? She was some kind of angel in that transit zone: we were shifting cities, just about getting used to our third child’s blindness, we were between jobs, it felt insecure, tiring.

I remember Amber today, not as representing the invisible population of a country unable to tackle its vast tribes, but as a bright faced young one who could be beautiful in her spirit and gift us a smile like that, no matter what her circumstance.

Music of a silence

The pregnancy of Joy, Expectation, the Power of Hope, It swelled and stayed, It could not go away, unless

Unless I asked It to leave-

Even then I could not forget It. Not even in Its Silence.

SITAR PLAYER oil RN

Healing Rain let It fall, whisper Its Secrets: '..it's too late..'

Another Instageam repost, & not enough time now to crop edges, apologies.

The lyrics of a song done with my lefty guitar (will upload when theres courage to do that:). Words run off me and I can’t think except watch how healing walks in. No evidence, it crawls in a millimeter at a time. Then two steps back. Yes I’m a dreamer but positivity alone has never helped med.side effects, see? And I’m seeing new light in the dark. Seeing hope against odds. Our son is on a new surge of withdrawal, the seizures stopped months ago, but this. As my fam and I watch each other cope, moods swing then settle. We must plan activity to zap his nervous energy. He’s been the sweetest calmest person here these 18 years, so this is hard. Jeff read this out to me just now,”He who dwells in the shelter of the most High will rest in the Shadow of the Almighty.

I’m asking, so His Shadow goes where angels ‘d fear to tread, right. His shadow chases hell for us, It treads fire and walks stormy water to get to us, His Shadow would, Who, What else could? This isn’t a blog post for the sake of blogpost. I am grateful for that Shadow that lead me to some extraordinary readings today, rooting me back into security, ignoring my doubts, my fiery disbelief.

It’s too late now to be afraid

Too much Grace in this place,

too much Mercy walked in, kissed me,

New healings, I cant see yet, except thru’

This, glass darkly.

Have you seen someone inhale music thru' their ears…

My Jeff (Noel – no one else would put up with my messy paint tubes and books in corners and centre stage of my life), when he listens to music it’s like he’s breathing it in via ear phones. I’ve not seen someone savour music the way he does; it’s his profession (Sound) yet him soaking it in with palms clasped over headphones makes me realize the gift of music is to be unwrapped, opened to senses and inhaled into spirit… the Balm of Gilead!

We’re listening to a recording of our three children doing their take on Kanye’s Jesus is Lordhttps://youtu.be/p2TuJFlv2Uk

Johann in black Tee, with guitar Vihan next to striped girl Kitsy

(they’re at a carol a day: drummer boy, 3 kings, God resting merry gentle…)

where they get their joy is something to watch; it’s been a month of us battling med induced aggression with our son, I’ve written my nails blue on this one but that’s not the story here. Gratitude spills out my ears that mid all this there can be music? Maybe because its December, maybe it’s that time God’s letting in a new season. This time around I wasn’t able to think on a carol, then the kids do what they do in season and out. Music’s been a norm, a hard habit to break. It’s now a best friend. A gift from God, unwrapped over and over. Jeff gets his headphones out, his brown eyes swim out at me for joy, what else can describe this… comfort,hope,healing….

ay weeping may endure a night but joy comes in the morning.

Thankyou God that trusting You isn’t a myth, You’re not a long ago Shepherd with Psalmist sheep in tow, You’re not stuck in Time- wrapped in swaddling diapers, You’re not even embalmed on iron crosses for us to kiss when we can’t pray. You’re here.

I don’t know when healing will arrive for sure, but this is a greater miracle that Peace can trek thru’ storms with us. It’s a miracle that our son pushing through momentary random aggression can even smile and pause to sing.

Jeff is a warrior. I go climbing walls when am anxious; sure I pray but I turn into a praying spider woman. He’s the calm lake of Galilee thankyou Lord Precious Jesus.

Thank You for people in our lives who have ears to hear Your Music, Your Voice mid all others’. Thank You that Christmas is more than a Season of Decor & Shine. Thank You that though it’s a long trek through Valley of the Shadow of Doubt we need fear no evil, You’re there.

Ow. This was an instagram post. Jeff&me.

Cold bench at Hyde Park.

Courtesy Dave Bignell
thephoblography.blog

This Bench follows me room to room, down the stairs and out the door. What drew Dave Bignell to capture it?

“Well I used to walk through Hyde Park every morning when I worked in London and of course every season transformed my surroundings. I think in this particular case the bench just looked lonely or somehow protected by the lamppost, like it was standing guard.

thephoblography.blog

It is delicious chilly outside here in Bangalore India, welcome chilly after a humid late monsoon. I’ve been blog writing ferocious after 365 days of waiting for our youngest to heal. My mind is too preoccupied to start December decor officially at home, but this photograph last week pulled me in like lyrics of a yuletide cantata would; you thought you got its message, but nah not yet.

My Ma and Gran went at Christmas like heaven would have a heart attack if they didn’t. I’m not the high octane happy worker bees they were, not me, but this photograph from a place I’ve never been gets my attention just when energy levels are belly crawling. There I said it.

Out in my street by a bus stop, two men in the sidewalk, not 25 years old but with ancient eyes: one spits paan*, the other stares back at me. His friend looks away. They must think I’m waiting for a bus-

Life’s a bus, my Dad would say in his earlier years.

He couldn’t speak much before he went. Illness did that to him. I wish he’d stayed, but you don’t get to order these things. The 25 year olds in the pavement would understand that. Life’s not a bus Dad, its an earth in orbit going on and on. Seasons change, you and I in the beach, you laughing at me falling off the cycle, I was a hopeless learner. You were Unshakeable, you never told me I couldn’t do something if I wanted to. You never lost courage, ’twas seasons that went to winter around you. It got in you almost, like a chill season but inside you were the same person. You and I cannot really change even if I’m quieter these days of rising price, oh fixing salads with no onion, he-he what’d Gran have done with the onion mini-famine we have here? She’d grow her own veggies..

no dad its no bus: we are sitters, walkers, standing leaving arriving. Life is beautiful Dad, you didn’t want to go, who wants to die except my neighbour Mr.Alvarez and his Haiku poems on graves and sweet dying, he reads it out, smacks it out like it is candy. At Christmas Mr. Alvarez misses his two daughters in Kuala Lumpur and Greece, then he wants to hang low and not talk to his round faced wife who will not talk either. Please dear God, keep them from visiting this us this Christmas, I cannot answer questions about new lights, I like the ones we have, a few don’t work here and there but they are milestones of things we did and did not do. Alvarez has to deck his roof with lights to outshine Mars. He says so, that’s how I know. I like my life next to jacaranda trees with squirrel, our muted traffic snarls and manger clay angels with chipped nose and yes, Joseph’s (human father of Jesus) miniature clay head fallen off last Christmas: need to cello tape him back on.

At home we finish a chinese lunch, Kitsy our teenager enjoys playing chef. Jeff my husband is at a river in his easel, he paints rivers, no surprise. He’s from hilly river running Coorg district south of India. Dia and Joh are a few kms away getting the sun. No more seizures for Joh hopefully, but the aggressive side effects of his meds have us running circles to work his chi & chu, or whatever energies are called. Li my sis called last night, she doesn’t feel like Christmas with Dad and Ma gone, she cannot decorate for carolers, her knee hurts. How are you Ray? Just back from a village visit with her carol crew, Li is a village doc. She reminds me of Dad, and Ma in bits. Thel, eldest sis is like her own self + added fizz over the years. Me I’m growing more like my kids, picking their vocabulary and shoulder shrug. Rolling of eyes in particular is liberating but on my generation it looks rude; they get away with it. We hang in together, Haha like parked lampposts and bench, and tree. In season and out.

This Bench. It is park furniture. All the stories and footprints and winters that have gone by haven’t moved it. It is untransformed, though a little worn, yes?

Christmas isn’t the nicest time for those who have lost a loved one, or lost heart; for those feel alone it is easily a time of more than they can bear. I’m thinking about the quality of not being moved. I’m thinking of that Lamp post, the Tree and Bench all there like friends.

I guess December is that time we could spin stories out of threadbare sack cloth but I’m feeling the right to not be moved and it’s a heart strengthening feeling.

I’m thinking on something I read about: that Unshakeable Kingdom we all have for the asking; that secret place deep inside where the Love of God stands by us like a Light in a storm. That storm ravaged place where we’re parked? It can feel cold and uninviting, or it can create whole new perspective: Strength that waits out the winter. I’m the bench, the lamppost, the trees; sometimes I’m the snow…

@raylarn

*paan- betel leaf.

….

'Talk to me..'

Detail from Valley of Song. Oil. RN.

I said, “If You are here, talk to me,” and all I heard was the silence of my prayers emptying at altars and incense bowls.

“Talk to me,” I said but Your silence was like my emptying prayers at altars of incense bowls.
Talk to me talk talk to me I said, and in the silence of my emptied prayers You spoke and it was like a billion billion voices asking to be heard. To be heard.
..
©innerdialects

Art RN, detail of Valley of Songs.

Heart lift

It’s that time again…

Before we knew about tinsel on trees, Christmas was the best time of the year. We didn’t live with snow reindeer & turkey for dinner; we made match box people in real straw from a local cow shed. There was home made cake and Indian cuisine- ghee rich rices, curry and sweet dough rolled out in different ways. I guess our parents knew what was to be done with the season, Christmas cards arrived and were mailed at a local post office. We got new clothes, and new carols. ‘Luley thou lil tiny child…’ heard that one? At our chapel, 24th midnight service was a thing you didnot miss, it had it’s own air, it’s own smiles. We were excited about things we didn’t fully understand but it was a heart lift. That’s what I’m thinking now, heartlift. It was 16 degrees last night here in the southern tip of our peninsula brrrr way too cold for my skin. We pulled out every last blanket in the house, and as we curled in like a family of bears huddling in layers of reachable warmth, I wondered how it was out there in the street or with folk that do not have enough to cover their toes with extra wool. Woke up early this morning with that same gratitude for every bit of warm at home: rugs, warm shirts and scarf and pullovers, oh hot drink, steaming food, stove, microwave, hotwater, windows that can be shut, doors that stay locked, gratitude for people who care, hugs, laughter, the beginnings of healing, glimmers of well being, trust, faith, birds in trees outside;

it’s been hectic the past months with our youngest recovering from seizures and meds’ side effect trauma. Phew. Everyone’s thresholds are on display. Everyone’s demons come out to play. Right in the beginning of that storm, God released dopamide in my head with an art book contract, and 2 commissions; just when I was giving up and turning into a mama junkie, there was the start of phone calls. Those particular calls that mean a 4pm appointment someplace not so near my domestic area and now I need to comb hair and be seen in something other than my soul-comfort Jean and black Tee.

Yeah God did not stop the storm but the storm did not stop us. I’m sure I’m not the only one that can say amen to that.

So here this time around, am grateful to my teeth bones and unable to organize my head much besides saying, “Thankyou God for visiting my hearth via storms and chill night, thankyou for reminding me of how storms feel and how devastating it can be, the isolation, and pain of changeless illness. Thankyou for reminding me, as my own storm recedes, thankyou for reminding me of people that aren’t exactly rejoicing this season or any. I don’t want to forget this threshold of ache; don’t want to forget how loneliness feels, it’s cold, it’s bitter wound. I wonder how it felt wandering around looking for a place to deliver your baby, cold Bethlehem and a cursing Herod. I’ll never know, but I’m grateful for this taste of pain, it has enriched my heart and life in ways I can’t say if I write a million words. This was all my home could take this year, and I’m cartwheeling grateful, even for voices that cooled and grew more distant.” People are scared of illness, and things I’ll never know. I’m no one to judge. Humans are insecure aren’t we. We are made of bones that break, and we are made of tears that tear us apart if we do not know we are more than mortal- if we forget we are more than soft tissue and neurons- if we forget we are more than surface glitter and social opinion: if we forget we are not invisible: every move we make we leave footprints, heartprints. Every word we breathe say think, we are projecting our self on a large screen that appoints a universe of angel ministers good and bad. Every action bears witness for or against us, how terrible, but there is the core of God, thank God there’s Him. And this advent for me is another visit from the Manger. I love it’s chill draft and need, it’s gifts of touch, of gaze, of friendship .

This time around, I sent mail not to Santa but to One who does all things well. Voice mail that asks for hearts of gratitude enough to warm not just our homes but ones around us; that we will open our senses to people and family or friends, neighbours … strangers… that could do with some ONE thing that could make their day an event of joy, peace. Kindness is a fire, a mountain fire, a wild Bush fire, an unstoppable force that kills indifference. There’s things more than kindness for sure. There’s things people have done for me this season it blows my mind to even unravel it all. Strangers have walked in like angels, praying for us words few dare pray, say, do. There’s evil in this world but now it underwhelms me: there’s goodness and holiness here that freaks me insane with “Ah Lord God, You have made the earth and the heavens.Nothing is impossible with You!”

This season I’ve seen there’s more things to see, hear,touch,taste,inhale,eat,walk through,sit on, give up, arrive at,leave, hold,ask,think,dream, hope for,desire,pray:

This time around, I’m staring at all the trees ever decorated out there with flower and hungry squirrel and winter, and morning dew. I’m staring at the process of God drawing us to the Manger where He waits to deliver us from pregnant pauses. This December I feel an earth waiting to rejoice, heal, celebrate It’s Healer, not just out there but deep within it’s ovens and wardrobes and linen; it’s tables asking for grace, it’s streets needing light and the sound of dancing feet.

And this December I feel you and ask that you will know the joy you deserve and that it will spill out your door and fingers and skin like a light that will never stop shining, and that you will experience heaven all over again, like when you and I first experienced this time of the year- when we were little people with big heart and eyes for wonders at the base of our trees in yards filling with silken winged butterflies…

oh when we even admired wasps, fell in love with ant hills and whooped at pebbles in the beach, the light streaming through them or through cobwebs & dust fairies,

that time when the universe wowed us for the first time, peeping in through our window, at our face staring up at stars fading into daylight, with that sliver of moon a little thin lady next to the silence of the sun,

when we first suspected there was more to this than little stars and an earth spun between days and nights….

that first love. Return my heart to when we first prayed and believed that we were more than conquerors more than the things that wrestle, more than powers and principalities of the dark, more than whisper-lies that we are dead,

aye that first time, we looked up and were kissed by the face of God but we didn’t dare breathe for fear-

that moment of discovery of who we are: an incredible chromosome of heaven. Aye, that. I wish you and me precisely that. Forever.

@innerdialects