Nan always remarked how movies took their banners from the Bible:
Armor of God, Armageddon, Judgement day, Apocalypse, …? Any other?
As we put together sunday fellowship vids, it crossed my mind how much easier it is to share core values and faith than ever before,
But too, how much more hard we are in places, as a human race. God is used to being misunderstood; we are still getting there. I am as simple a human as you can get to meet, love family, love God. No agenda. Lifes short, and I mean short. If I knew a good Bakery or store, I’d tell you. If I heard a good story, I’d share. No ones perfect, we are messy, messed. We fall, rise, hobble. We are hurt, we hurt. We are innocent and we are guilty of being human. But I’ve walked and wrestled with more angels and demons than I can say. And I’ve been loved by the Christ.
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I tried to pray today, it was like going to a store and not wanting anything any more except a counter that could take requests for giving. Giving thanks.
In all the recent Mayhem and Jittery June Viral chaos, the centre of me sat down to stare at another month for all of us. Suddenly the things that used to scare me don’t anymore. How come? The people that used to taunt, seem to have lost fang and fuss. Now how?! I don’t know. The rabid need for money seems to have bitten off it’s own head. Sure we all still need the MO but something’s changed and we’re a little less orthodox about our own goodness. We’re all a little more orthodox about our own littleness. We are maybe more crazy and yelly 😅 if that’s a word. We are kinder, if that’s possible. Those who never spoke now speak. The insanely noisy have become quiet. Me, I begin to pray and end up speechless. I remember my Prayer List last year this time. How I’ve changed, haven’t we all?
July, how’re you going to be? Will I be pretty, will I be rich… here’s what he said to me.. que sera sera… if you remember that song.
Meanwhile our 19 year old heals in new ways. The hyperaction you see in below video has decreased way more than we thought possible. He’s still pitch perfect, and a crazy guy for calender memory. And a whole host of things.
Am grateful for the tremendous healing he’s had over the past month. We’re able to play like we used to, chat .. .
He actively hates Covid for the restrictions its imposed on our outdoor lives but home has become a more beautiful place with its quiet surroundings and green. Our lil gardens grow with the rains this monsoon; trees fill with new kinds of birds. Yeah I am speechless this July, with deep need for better days yes, but also gratitude for the million gifts we may not even know we were born with.
This July I’m praying we will know and use our gifts well. What a tragedy to not notice the stash within us.
Warm sun and monsoon swaying in, last year this day what were we doing? Taking a road trip was easy, I remember even accepting a job at an Art Centre earlier last year, what a ride it’s been.
It is quiet,
have you watched a quiet India? Ever? Streets thick with discipline? People sanitised/masked? You can cross streets, shop anytime without dodging crowds. News of price rises rear its nasty head. News of migrant deaths and tragedies surface: a 20 year old walked near 2000 kms from here to another end of India, no not even a cycle trip like last weeks’ teenager who rode her handicapped father a thousand miles home, (yes, ofcourse now they want her in any team that might Olymp.); he got home to his ailing mother, he was bruised and weary to say the least. Then that evening he gets bitten by a snake, and dies?
There is much good too, an earth full of fantastic people who will never be seen because they choose invisibility. People who call to ask how you’re doing, happy cheerful voices full of contagious joy. This June I’m focusing on being grateful for every nice face or letter or call received. Seriously, grateful. Sad yes, but grateful. It’s a Cure all by itself.
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Streets, people, trees, blossoms, faces, places, time, family,
What you see, sees you-
quieting thought that I can effect change, mood, laughter, peace…I am the music of my words, the harbinger of joy, yeah I can re arrange the furniture, heal, reveal a Well Spring of things and streams you & I own deep within, do we know, do I know
how wide I am created, to…..
…to bring all these gifts to a day like this…. do I, do we know.
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!
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:
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:
This Post is for anyone celebrating their birthday today, (and everyone else) I have this urge to celebrate you, and offer a tiny prayer too from my son who’s incredible gift is prayer. If you’ve been following posts you’ll know he’s not just blind but recovering from a series of disturbing issues, but this isn’t about him;
whichever part of the world you’re in: what a ride this is, and yet we are still the same people we were born as…
Was my birthday couple of days ago: “..no fuss,” I warned them, but there they were @ midnight, cake and candles, hushed whispers: in the morning among mysteriously bought gifts, was a Heart full of blue crystal stars from Kitsy, and Perfume from our eldest, my first name ‘Diella‘ hand- crafted in with scores of words like “Light”. (I got that name in a dream, after a long crazy illness. While I healed, there was a dream: it had my name written on a white stone. Diella means Worshipper);
mid- birthday joy, now there was announcement of national 21 day curfew; our entire street & surrounding areas went quiet, no bustle of traffic or twitter from Myna in trees running between our home and army acres across.
Within our walls, my family had strung out little lights, there was music and the smells of great cooking,
(I have officially surrendered cooking baton to second daughter Kitsy, who is master chef! (On left is how she used to be), now 👇….sigh, they grow so fast.
D’you sometimes feel guilty to feel happy? You know it’s a mess out here with virus and anxiety attacks, but now and then there’s a celebration,
so here’s the thing: we were going thru’ all our pics, and my Jeff he rounded off everyone’s words with, “Ray, you are … you are… unique….” ….words that make me stare at everyone else now…..
that, there is no one like you either!
No matter the news, nothing changes who you are, your essence is unique, novel! Yes they say ‘novel‘ for all kinds of things, but here we are, citizens and strangers and basic people born to mothers and families and lives that can change in the twinkling of an eye. We been warned of all that, but when it arrives it’s a thief in the night, it’s a touch between life and death…
We got two bone chilling letters from people we love, one from our precious nephew in a hospital in Germany, he’s a doctor; and the other from a very dear friend in the U.S. They wrote loving notes, asking family to pay attention to how deadly this Covid thing is, the pace at which it mutates, its silent stealth. These precious ones lives are at risk because of their professions: I can’t tell you enough what it felt like, to be gazing at/ celebrating life in all its hues: to hug across the miles, and cry tears of love and pain;
to know that we 7 billion are strong and yet we are this vulnerable. We are beloved and fragile, our life is like grass, and yet we are one-of-a- kind- each, Designer made, no matter that our breath can be whisked away; we are phenomenal, a Force to reckon with. The day we were born, people paused or clapped, kissed? …. wept.
We can die, and even that occasion is phenomenal. It causes chaos / maddening grief, because humans as a race cannot be ignored. If one of us is attacked in any unusual ordeal it is News. The entire planet of us under siege is another thing altogether, nothing competes with the vastness of that: the fact that we are under this kind of common indefinable, insurmountable distress is totally New.
If we survive this, and many will, there will be the aftermath of it and it may be unlike anything recorded in the history of mankind: I don’t want to go much there: this one is about birthdays and how it feels to celebrate humans, mid- international crisis; it feels strange and provocative -beautiful and Quiet.
This morning I woke up feeling different, younger and older, like I had more in my 206 bones. It’s an awareness… of what? The immortality of life, or its brevity? I’m staring at books we used to read, it’s like from another life: movies, talks. Some Quotes feel more right than before. Oh, bouquets and birds, they don’t change, they are like paintings and classical music; they have Eternity in them. But our conversation…. it is halved in a new way.
Birthday hugs: they are tighter.
Gazes and strummed guitar, candle lights and the clink of glasses… they say new things. I can’t say what, just new. And old. And somethings we never knew before. We thought we knew it all. Our parents and grandparents taught us how to say Grace and say please, thankyou and sorry. As we grew we thought we understood things a little more than yesterday. It felt sweet, sometimes sour.
Now, I don’t know… and that is a New Thing. It reminds me of how little we all truly know about each other as humans. You are a person with feelings and heart and we must care deeply for each others’ well being, must pray for one another’s lives/ souls…
this is more than birthdays: you can see this Post hovers around that word and how I want to wish you a beautiful life without sounding patronizing, even if it’s not birthday zone. Even if life’s not short and we’ll survive this and other wars.
Our daughter Vi does these Videos and I’d love for you to listen to this one. She’s a lot like me and feels deeply about things;
then our son walks in on her recording (he cannot bear closed doors), but the moment turns around, he prays and brings you right into our room facing palm trees on it’s right, with my large painting in the back drop. It is called DaySpring, and I wish you that Inner Spring of Light and Life.
Vi does her own take on Michael W. Smith’s Agnus Dei; we looked up those words and it means “Emblem: a Lamb bearing the Cross of Christ.”
All sounds so serious. D’you get the feeling life is way more than mortal detail? That there’s more besides thinking on Cures and everyday bread/ rice/ health… that oneday we might all be someplace else besides this planet?
And that we matter incredibly more than we suspect…
This is another one I’ve no clue how to wrap. Do have a blessed day.
One day Solomon decided to humble Benaiah ben Yehoyada, his most trusted minister. He said to him, “Benaiah, there is a certain ring that I want you to bring to me. I wish to wear it for Sukkot which gives you six months to find it.”
“If it exists anywhere on earth, your majesty,” replied Benaiah, “I will find it and bring it to you, but what makes the ring so special?“
“It has powers,” answered the king. “If a happy man looks at it, he becomes sad, and if a sad man looks at it, he becomes happy.”
Solomon knew that no such ring existed in the world, but he wished to give his minister a little taste of humility.
Spring passed and then summer, and still Benaiah had no idea where he could find the ring. On the night before Sukkot, he decided to take a walk in one of he poorest quarters of Jerusalem. He passed by a merchant who had begun to set out the day’s wares on a shabby carpet. “Have you by any chance heard of a ring that makes the happy wearer forget his joy and the broken-hearted wearer forget his sorrows?” asked Benaiah. He watched the grandfather take a plain gold ring from his carpet and engrave something on it. When Benaiah read the words on the ring, his face broke out in a wide smile.
That night the entire city welcomed in the holiday of Sukkot with great festivity. “Well, my friend,” said Solomon, “have you found what I sent you after?”
All the ministers laughed and Solomon himself smiled. To everyone’s surprise, Benaiah held up a small gold ring and declared, “Here it is, your majesty!”
As soon as Solomon read the inscription, the smile vanished from his face. The jeweler had written three Hebrew letters on the gold band: “gimel, zayin, yud”, which began the words “Gam zeh ya’avor” — “This too shall pass.”
At that moment Solomon realized that all his wisdom and fabulous wealth and tremendous power were but fleeting things, for one day he would be nothing but dust.
I found this rather telling story as our city faces total shut down – yours must too? Our international community has never been this undivided in a war against an intrusive force as this Virus. May peace and healing overwhelm every last strain of this thing they call Covid. May life be restored again with new immunity to illness: body, soul, mind. ‘This too shall pass.’
Am I mistaken in saying that it is the same Solomon who wrote the book of Proverbs and this quote: “A merry heart is like a medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones.”
Another blog post I’d love for you to read: found it truly heart warming,
Masi Kuma rang our door bell, 20 minutes before the 2001 earthquake in the neighbouring State of Gujarat rocked our 5 storeyed apartment building in Mumbai, India.
I lugged both our little ones down three flights of stair case, to the one wide-open window over first floor landing.
It was like the deadly thing Uncle Masi had been prophesying all December; was he surprised?
I was. I’d rubbished his forecasts about the Malad Fault running right below our Building he said, and how at any time It could decide to do what Earth faults do.
“We survive by sheer chance, y’know!” He’d muttered 20 minutes before we quaked! Epicentre was miles away in Gujarat, what we had was just .. aftershocks?
I was tired of his imagery… and it was pretty vividly decorated, his whole body swaying from side to side, showing me how we (Mumbai) escaped each quake, and that there were many to come, he muttered, his eyes gleaming with the tragedy already.
When Gujarat was hit, Uncle M. asked me why we were in Mumbai at all. He was leaving with his wife and son, they were going to Australia and he was at least happy about that. “As it is, this city Mumbai is just made-up reclaimed land, oh we are not a proper island made of rock, you know that, nah?”
Mrs. M. his wife sighed.
She loved Mumbai city, she’d lived here all her life: what place was safe on earth, she said in the flat tone of one who now forgot how to hope.
Their kind-faced son Raji, a curious meld of his parents + 24×7 half smile- Raji looked forward to the prospect of a ‘nice Indian girl’ in Australia, I wondered about that…
“Oh and there are other things,” he said.
I didn’t ask, but after all our quakes died down, Aunty Masi told me their son Raji worried about allergens, apparently caused by holes in the Australian sky, that’d affect migrants more than others. Uh?.”What…? ” I asked.
Aunty M. screamed, “Don’t ask! They’ll not stop talking about it.”
I didn’t understand.
They were buying up Anti- histamine, Ayurvedic powders…swallowing vitamins…
why were they migrating then?
It was puzzling. I had my own busyness with two little ones gearing for PreSchool.
On the day they were leaving Uncle Masi came in and sat a few minutes. “Thing is, I know this city will not stand anymore pressures,” he said with hooded eyes.
Oh my. He loved it too. Yes, here in this sprawling maddening reclaimed city called the Gateway of India, he’d met Aunt in college, here they’d got married, had their life …
He nodded. “Beta (child), run while it’s safe. You got your kids and nice husband to think of. Just imagine a city this vast, in any quake, or war. Or epidemic. Specially an epidemic.“
Years have gone by, our Faults all over India show up now and then.
I hope Uncle M. and family survive and thrive where they ran to.
We moved from Mumbai back home to Bangalore City, South of India when there was a job change;
today, we face a new threat, Coronavirus.
For few years here now, I’ve been running from my cousin-in-law, Letti- she’s like Uncle Masi, a Prophet of Doom:
to never be visited if there’s an epidemic, or news of anything that triggers alarm, even rise in price of the onion.
The last time she & I had a terrible meet it was about Chikun-guniya fevers. Letti was at her worst- best. She had the symptoms she said, it was worse than labour pain. I went home and actually got the virus. It ate my thoughts, ran fire down my spine, then turned my cells to batter.
When Dengue hit our city, I refused to answer Letti’s calls. She left messages about Papaya leaf extracts for cure and said to please not hang around in any garden, even our tiny balcony not till 5 pm, these mosquitoes wore black and white pin stripes in their evil legs and to wash every vegetable with soap. Not eat outside, not go anywhere unless you had to.
Then H1N1 (or something else?) arrived; cousin Letti ganged up with a WhatsApp group and I hadn’t the presence of mind to block myself from grouping.
By now Letti & Co. were a force to deal with: they were making powders to drink first thing in the morning, cleansers, even types of prayers that went in a chain link and God forgive you if you ignored that link to seven others. Letti and her group knew if you’d read them, WhatsApp blue ticks gave you away, “why didn’t you respond? Get the powder! Tell your neighbours.“
This was worse than neighbour Tupperware women who made you buy oversized Salwar Kameez you “couldn’t get anyplace else for their rates.”
After that, Letti ached about drought, non-existent rains, farmers, and the rises of prices. I thought life would have worn her out by now, but Coronovirus begins.
This time, I’m worrying,
but Letti isn’t calling like before.
Is she sick? Scared to ask, I worry that her forwards are too spiritual these days, about the end of our times, and how we must not be afraid. Why waste breath worrying….?
We met two days ago, she not wearing any mask like some other friends are, and no familiar odor of sanitizer: her eyes large with peace, no panic.
What’s with you Letti? but I don’t ask.
She spills it.
There was a dream in which she gave away masks.”These masks are my prayers,” Letti whispers, like a Corona- Whisperer.
“It is all in our attitude.Fear, anxiety, these things break down immunity.”
I search her face for negativity but there’s only the aura of well-being. “Eat well, sleep well, wash your hands, forgive all enemies.There’s more death on streets from people not wearing helmets, than people dying from Corona! So. I’m pouring out prayers to rinse the air around. Do it.“
Her spark has more fire than before.
Back home and just in the door, a new neighbor asks if we know a good doctor; I’m scared to ask why, while he chats on about persistent cold and weakness….
I admire this new – free of worry cousin Letti. And sigh, I miss her fanged zeal for disaster management. This new fearless woman makes me feel alone in my quest for remedies: I was hoping she’d have a solution to newspaper headlines everyday. I miss her WA group prayer ammunition and powders. She has too much peace, it is stilling: we’re supposed to be at least a little apprehensive?
(Um. Want to give to give him Letti’s advice but the words aren’t forming yet):
must meet Letti more often, her spirit is catching…
If you zoom in, you’ll see those Lotus low left in tiny pond at Cubbon Park here in Bangalore city. India. Warm warm day, 28 degrees already!– lunch and ice cream in the shade. Too much fun to take pictures, but we got a few.
March always feels like sunshine warming herself up from cold waves and February mist/rain.
March’s flower- Daffodils, (in India its called Nargis), oh what beauties these are too, ‘Heralds of Spring’! As we get a new sunset, my heart fills with new colors. It’s like we must determine our flavour. What tones would you choose, what Flower/ (flavour) would you be?
Not a question I’ve thought of before,
but today…..a young person at our Haven fellowship; all he could talk about was the Love of God, and how on earth did God love like that? He asked.
The more I listened to him, the more it struck me how different he was from the rest of us with issues at finance, or health! This guy, (I’ll call him Len) got eyes like liquid stars when he talked of the Love of God that drew him in. He spoke a few soft sentences and it went round and round that one thing: the Love of God.
After we went each into our lives, post service, there’s that gentle fragrance, of the touch of God. Like Light and Rain that falls on the good, the bad, the ugly. Nothing changes the way It falls in at us.
As this new month arrives, I’m feeling all blessed- up grateful for the flavors life brings in. Unsure of my own flavour, but I’d love to sample more of the Aroma of Christ:
how He is Manna and Dew in our days, how His Love has no limits, limitations. How It overwhelms all other love, need, want, showing me a pathway of peace and one that does not misunderstand my place in it all.
As I wrap this, a lone bright star twinkles through branches of trees outside. Another month approaches, I love the way a new month feels, especially this one. Fragrances of Lent, of a Father Heart with room for us all.
It is almost too good to believe, the whole story of ‘Easter‘, the Cross, Gethesemane, the Passion of Christ for us each. We tend to lean on our own needs and their fulfillment, more than what is,
or perhaps tend to misunderstand why this or that happened in our lives. Why there is war, or crime, illness, loneliness, why something is the way it shouldn’t be.
And then there are people like Len, all still in wonder at the Love of God.
I’m basking in those four words, THE LOVE OF GOD. Maybe it’s fragrance is best expressed in Joy? And I’m lending myself this, for the next 30 days. Maybe that’s the truth of Lent. That we take for free, not just as a Lending, the absolute Joy that comes from knowing how deeply we are loved by the One that made us, each, so intricately complex, every cell and thought process. How magnificent the aspect of each human, far more than lilies of the field, or all the blossoms in every tree, ever. I find myself staring at humans. Irises. Brows. Fingers. Smiles.
Laughter. The fantasticity of Births. Deliveries. Pain. Relief. Grace. Healing.
The way my friend Maya looks when she’s happy. Uncle J’s stillness. Light in the Gulmohar tree, and Dina’s voice when she prays. The hush of waiting…..
it’s all too much beauty stacked in one life, and I’m bursting grateful for the opportunity to see it all. Not just the shiny bits but the grey of dawn as I wrap this.
Gratitude: it’s the flavour I want to be, for it delivers one to Joy.
email@example.com, updated in Contacts. Apologies, this Blog is taking a while to update. There’s some mail still going to my old blog address. And I don’t understand how 2 or 3 of my Blog friends are unable to see any email from here. If that’s you, please do let me know. Thanks! 🌻
I admit of late, (with not much prior experience to saying such a thing), I now like the thing, I like cooking. Not a twinge in my bones warned me of this change, this betrayal of who I used to be.
Last month I found my Ma’s cookbook called Family Secrets; she’s written it all down there, I can smell her curry leaf seasoning, her tomato pickle in the window sill, her garden coriander leaf and onion gold fried in black bottomed pan;
my dad said that pan had nine lives, it never died.
I do not have Ma’s pan but I am changing, like my face in the mirror, like my hands that could not take cold water, or luke warm. Now I don’t need anything ‘just so’, just the aroma of veggie chopped cubes in slow stir; oh the experience, again of mint chutney we grew to love, all spluttery with mustard seed in coconut oil and tiny steel bowl served on dining table in veranda next to the kitchen. We lived by the sea, once on a mountain, an island, she always grew a garden, I have my own: sea shells in pots and Lime bonsai… those little green mint leaf? They spike lemon these days.
Flavors we once knew, they return in new ways. How d’you experience the same heart beat, in new rhythm… I cannot know, but its here.
I’m my Ma, a piece of her. I now love well- polished glasses, tinkly spoons. I never used to. Never admired wheat pure home-made breads in tiny warm basket, not just to eat but to serve. I’m changing, that’s for sure. It must be Time 😃!
Last night after the last dish went in and the moon was a full circle of cool warm shade in our window, a bird chirped full- throat, right in my pulse…I felt it, Life. In its simplicities. No fuss, nah no frill, just the old Order giving way to New. Like an old Prayer whispered all over again,
like tender mercies new every morning; I’m experiencing the everlasting Faithfulness of God.
This post inspired by Writing/Believing Sight Unseen‘s post about streets, so I said I’d have a go at my own streets around. He said he would look out for it so here goes 😅
I’m still not a Google map person, when people come home here in Bangalore, I tell them we’re the lane opposite the huge Banian tree complete with tap roots and birds yelling in it…. uh
past Bamboo shop man’s enclosure for new buildings coming up.
If they’re on a lane further down I must guide them left of CMR law college but which left, depending on which side they’re facing. If they’re facing my tree, then I’m on their left.
Owwwwgh! Which tree they ask, theres more than one tree here. I realise I don’t know location address. Postal address says Reddy layout. Google says I’m at Chingalingakua…..
but this is a post about streets around me,
I’ll try again. If I go out (forget people coming home for now)
if I turn left of my Banian tree, towards the Flyover, there’s the little uphill lane past Chemist and Bake,
past the Aquarium blue roof place(can’t remember name)
alongside two storeyed apartment where recently a biker still in red helmet, well he ran up those stairs to first floor but forgot his keys still in bike. He looks down, sees me, and with friendly grin, asks if I can get keys off his bike and throw it up at him….. that lane.
Go up that lane 2 minutes and seven or more trees to your left, (with cheeky monkey in them),
you get to the Ayyapa temple Cross, rich with people arriving and leaving off blue and white bus, red bus, auto rickshaw and car and bike. There’s a food stall, a toy shop and a garment store across, not to mention cheerful vegetable vendors in carts, they sell some of the best grapes I’ve ever had, wine coloured ones, they’ll stain your shirt if you’re not careful, that street junction
which breaks into a two way Flyover where I happened to get stranded, waiting for an auto rickshaw with my then 8 year old blind hyperactive son….that Flyover
leads to a larger location called JBnagar, aha we finally have a name!
Its been released! Asha– Journey of Hope, featuring my Cover and 8 paintings along with others’, in a slim back gorgeous Book that anyone anywhere might be intrigued by…
If you’ve ever been there, in the throes of trauma, you’ll feel this. The Paintings are perhaps personal windows, illustrating soul stirring Bible study Leads on the fact of Divine healing via the Gospel of John’s 7 “I Ams“. Written by some of our finest Contemporary Writers.
The above Paint theme* was inspired by the Song of Solomon, portrayed as the human spirit, now embedding in His Vineyard; Rejection is rejected.
Will post a Review shortly.
*Set me as a seal over Your heart:
I AM THE VINE, YOU THE BRANCHES. His Presence/His Acceptance and Divine Support.
Read on, for my personal footnote with above image of Vineyard painting, if you’re wondering what that handcuff is doing in a Vineyard, with Scarred hand….(not part of the book):
Reading the Gospel of John in the light of these themes is visiting a cellar deep within, for me. Familiar text and images merge as John’s chapters reach between lines and push boundaries between Seen and Unseen worlds. Blue-green vineyard violets seep like tears on canvas: Rejection is rejected;
the Word crowds my canvas with VINE as the palms of two people facing each other, rest – one being released of handcuff, the other with a scarlet Scar. I’m a whole new essence, a new Cask of outpour. For any of us with scarredidentities, Heaven signs that dotted line endorsing us as first citizens in the unshakeable kingdom of God. This is the permanent secure address of the Vineyard of Engedi (Song of Songs). Mathew Henry’s commentary on that book reads like a Song of Evangelism). Ezekiel’s’ River of God’ cleanses out Dead sea’s putrid En-Gedi Banks, turning it fertile! The whole Bible pieces together with the promise I AM THE VINE YOU ARE THE BRANCHES. ‘Set me as a seal over Your heart’ is today’s scream for God.
Will be posting more of Asha here, but truly excited about the impact of a Book like this one, Published purely for those of us hurting in silence.
I’m fascinated at the way our human body mends, physically, emotionally, socially…
It takes tiny baby steps, and It may not even look like a mending. Have you ever darned? Y’know, stitched? I’ve watched my Ma do that, her tiny needle sashaying across a tear in the fabric. She’d turn it over and go again with her needle;
I’ve tried it, but I’m also impatient. My Ma wore a regular old fashioned ‘thimble’ – iron one-finger gloves, they filter/ no they take my needle jabs.
Healing is a many faced darling. It is the firm face of a good Physician, the Ouch! of Physiotherapy… it is God saying, “Be Still and know….” when you’re about to get that needle in your vein. It is the songbird in the storm, she’s yelling sweet delivery in your ears but you can’t hear her for the waves.
It is a boat with no sail (it may seem). It is trusting, leaning of your entire personality on a Thing you can’t see or feel but you know a certain shift. You are Changing, moving, rising, falling. It’s the scab in the wound, or the simmering scar. You’re watching this through cataracts of pure sweet rain in the desert.
Oh yes, if you’ve been there, healing is a darling savage thing.
Last week I had a Word, a power word that began to heal me. Was this, “Lean on Me..” from the Bible, and not words I do not know- They followed me room to room and out the door and in the street and among other faces. It overpowered other words, like a sword. You must know by now, if you’ve read previous posts, this is from a real place. Peace can be faked?
This Post Title got me grinning. It is true, tender, raw, achy raw, real.
Sometimes we do not heal externally, but we are settling down deep within. It is a sunrise in another world deep in your spirit.
I’ve watched a broken man heal like that after his only son was killed in a mobile accident. Don’t ask me how, but I watched his eyes go calm, like he had a new secret.
I’ve seen it in my husband Jeff too, in a few good friends we have, seen it in strangers when they choose not to pick up a fight and they could’ve but they just walk away with a generosity that I’m certain hurts to give away.
You could find silence aggressive, if you’re wanting a fight. A doctor might find it uncomfortable if a patient smiles at a terminal verdict.
For soul. Psyche. Sometimes I’m the finger, sometimes the Thimble, for myself, for another:
the resistance against dis- ease, the breaking of new skin, the breaking away from old muscle lethargy;
the stir of new sensories, the cry of a newborn, the severing of umbilical cords to past routine habits of Thought; a departure from mindset, withdrawal symptoms of an addictive pattern that must go…
the birthing of a bud, it must sprout off stem, it must spilt in halves and quarters in petal, it must give away its aroma, must explode pollen, must yield to the light, draw sap from stock, must route to Leaf for supply, it is no more in a sapling, It now must host it’s own new sub- support, it must break out and be a whole new creation. This does not happen in a static state of Nothing. It takes a Movement. It faces Change, It must eat Dew and drink the air like never before. A new Bud does not argue with the Process; It can die, It can live.
You and I are more than the birds of the air, the flowers of the field. As I write this, there’s news of a dear cousin’s passing, but she had this peace that passes all human understanding. She leaves behind a legacy of Faith and Love and Strength that looked past the transient temporary into the eternal that was present in her thoughts and everyday activities.
I’m staring at the Act of healing, and how it arrives in Departures & Arrivals of events. I’m amazed at the power of the human mind to overwhelm our frail bodies. There is a secret core we are given, and we cannot give that away to other voices that rule us with Fear, panic, desperation.
I believe there are mysteries to this thing we call Healing, and we will know it better, when we know better. But today a Still Small Voice captures me with Its Word Cover- like a Thimble : “Be Still and know that I am God…”
Yes, healing happens first in the place where we know the things that rule our securities.
(Would love for you to read this one 👇on prayer. It’s worth the five minute read by Mitch Teemly).
Today I woke up with an absence of pain in the area they call heart. As I write this Joh gives me another smile, but wider. I’m fumbly with wonder. It’s been a long year of post seizure med reactions erggghhh! There were days we couldn’t even pray or smile. This morning, gratitude gushes. I’ve not enough words. A smile is the heartprint of wellbeing, thankyou for this Prompt Trent. You put it so well; here I’m incoherent, gawking at peace. God bless y’all. Sometimes you lose it deep, bad. And sometimes you just plain hold on to what Held you all this time. Words fall back dumb founded when a storm ceases and you breathe again, for the smile of a loved one healing. Joh is 18, his gentleness returns slowly. As I write this he’s holding my hand, what can I say – life is worth all the bad moments for the Joy it delivers. 😅
Hey, did something make you smile today?
My last Post: Saturday’s child was with an old photograph taken in my years when Joh was at Blind School. He’s since moved and is now homeschooled (hates that word and we’ve had to stop all forms of academy since the past year and half). So we just be. He loves going out, shopping, oh even doodling when he can be still. Big foodie. Loves people, remembers every single ones birthdays; shopkeepers, oh anyone. We’ve wondered what kind of job our 18 yr old would really like, and I think it’s this: he’d love a world desk with everyone’s birthdays registered, just to call and wish them! I’m serious. Maybe it must happen.
Janbi Street half hours drive from here, there they were, two bikers – one with bloodied nose, then bloodied mouth, as the other rammed his fist in him, over and over. A crowd gathered, they try separate the two. The wounded guy just sits there taking it, as the other rears to go again, his fist readying….
Jeff and I are silenced, words choke. What’s to say. We just saw rage, violence. What had caused it? An accident prior?
Road rage, all kinds of rage, is getting more in the news, it competes with rape and glitzy page 3 spreads. I’m shivering as we reach home. Those guys were in their 20s,30s? What makes things go so out of control we can ram our fists into each other over and over till flesh breaks and blood pours down? Why is it easier to be explosive than be anything else? It gets easier to rave than try peace. Tempers are not leash-able, not much.
What happened to us all, that we cannot control emotions; we believe in mortal wounding, anything but a gentler option.
And ofcourse we cannot/ will not pray; it’s a foolish silly old- fashioned, ignorant thing to do, right.
Here’s the thing: something does happen when we hold our hands and join forces with that Unseen power from where Grace flows. I’m talking 100% nonsense, right? Try me.
I’m veering off a bit here, but these past few months at home we’ve had to deal with violence as a family, following post- seizure drug-induced aggression from our youngest who for 18 years has been the gentlest person we’ve ever met. I won’t do details here, but it’s been bad. There’s been days in November we just hugged together and wept. He’s unfortunately been on 3 drugs – previous Neuro Doc should not have given him. New doc now retracts those and we introduce new med. We have withdrawal which is a Syndrome in itself. Rage? You think I don’t know it first hand- my own frustration at a system that is this careless with a serious medical condition.
Psychiatry would call the Act of Prayer ‘Self Counsel’. If I were left to self-counsel I’d have turned into a monster, trust me. What happens when we pray, is beyond me, but this happened here, among a whole stack of other changes – both interpersonal/ personal. Anyone want details, please say. Happy to help. firstname.lastname@example.org
1. A peace that human understanding alone cannot understand, that’s happening.
2. Clear instructions to not use harsh tones in our own voices, even a loud yell of joy, these could trigger a reaction, among other triggers.
3. Harvesting joy in our own selves, this somehow broke through to our troubled son, don’t ask me how. Joy spreads. He knows the air has changed for the better. I said ‘harvesting’ … because it takes work to do that sometimes, hard work. Forget self, count blessings… 🙄 yet, it works. Joy is a Force to reckon with.
4. Remembering all the 18 years of this young person’s gentle nature, and seeing him through that filter, knowing this is drug reaction. If not, God help us, but there’s that deep well of Quiet, I don’t know how else to describe it.
5. Gratitude, songs of love, thanking God for everything, even for this trying time, it takes the sting off the moment. Horror loses its claw hold on me, it has no control over any area in my life,if, in everything I can say,”I thank you Lord.”
One morning I prayed in the stars; the rest of the family were still in bed. It was softening grey misty, like my heart softening, waiting in silence. And I’d be a liar if I didn’t tell you He sent Comfort and Joy and Strength. (Wouldn’t be blogging without it, 😊).
We took them out one by one. Joseph has lost his little clay head and there’s no time to fix him back so I cover his torso with a tiny cane head piece. Can you spot Joseph?
Our son Johann is blind and yes he put out each figure like last Christmas, but this time, post seizures/ meds, he cannot concentrate. His hands shake and I do not insist that Joseph goes next to Mary, so it’s all askew. Does it matter, I wonder.
Would the real Joseph have been quietly seated next to new mom Mary? Wouldn’t he have lost his head, even just a wee bit,with this surreal pregnancy of his betrothed, a ferocious Herod, … the details of that divine birth blow my mind each time. My spirit fills with gratitude that over the years, Christ has not stayed in clay, but has gazed into my life with very real presence.
The reality of Christmas is fantastic. A Divine Babe that grew to face a Cross, a resurrection garden, He would walk through walls to get through my heart of stone.
May the heart of you be warmed warmed warmed this season, with Love Divine from the Manger to the moon and back.💓
I prayed that you would be given the gift of sight,
but God in His mercy allowed me to see His Light all around you.
Now I ask that you my child will pray too, this prayer for others: that thru’ your journey via the valley of shadows, you will leave footprints that lead another out of darkness.
Each day this prayer grows, and as it does, my eyes open to things I’ve been blind to. How we misunderstand the gifts we are given: they arrive in unusual wrap and bows, sparkling with the tears of heaven.
“For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but He has given us a spirit of power, love and discipline…” quote from The Bible.
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.
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.
So my sis sends me pics from her trip and this one travels in where my core is: Koala bear burrowing in shade, in foliage, feeding on what Koala knows best,
I’ve wondered why my Creator structured the universe among this many species, and what the dialogue between us all is besides the incredible facts of circles of life, food chains…
I’m fascinated at how Nature impacts my mood, my choices,
Ah times in childhood (and later), with blue crab and one particular jungle monkey, oh once a scruffy headed baby raven cawing his head off for breakfast. Yep! These have moved me more than earth revolutes can.
I have history with sand dunes, how they’ve moved me (nah, shoved at me), literally and otherwise(haven’t you slid down a dune, ever?)
Then there was Rover our fourlegged Priest of hearts: this canine knew how to talk. Once he said the word, ‘Mom’. I turned around slowly and he winked one amber eye at me.
When Rover left our planet for where Goodly Paws go, ( wasn’t at our home at that time), he visited in a dream where he slipped out of collar, his black black fur shining with silver edges.
Ach. I still ache for his friendship but that dream was an exotic thing. I don’t care what everyone’s saying; dogs do have soul. They growl at unseen spiders snuck in where we can’t see, they have these Frequency-Ears, they see stuff we don’t….onetime at a farmhouse he saw a deadly scorpion through wall… sniffed it out maybe,
I miss him with all my heart especially days like these when the Uncertain sits square in my eye and there are no quick answers for things that will take their course, like the illness of a young child, like setbacks that make friends and some closer ones sweet-talk away basic courtesies.
What Remedy ever exists for Humanity that forgets or ignores another because they are of no advantage; what cure for humans stooped low enough to desecrate the very purpose for which humankind were created? We become liars and connivers, we spread curdled words like butter on waiting bread and we lay it thick. All to draw fences between people: walls, barbed wire, little glass bit in walls. This isn’t news to any of us, but when it hits, it swings low. Especially if you don’t see it coming.
So Koala here snuggling, is my heart burrowing in the shade of Comfort few humans can tender. Maybe my Core is a Koala. I love the word Core: that invisible place deep there that tells me how I am at 3am,4pm,midnight.
One morning last year, I was alone a few hours at home, worrying my teeth out at how our youngest and blind, was to get through life. Eyes shut tight I told God if He cared He best give me a sign,
when I opened my eyes there it was staring me in the face, its black beady eyes twinkling through grey fur:
the squirrel took tiny steps into living room, then turned left into our bedroom. For the next 15 minutes nothing could’ve convinced me this wasn’t a supernatural event. Nothing. The room shone with my same old Indian sun, everything was gold tinted, even my dark thoughts.
Today I didn’t see how we were going to all recover from Joh’s anti-seizure meds* that have caused such a riot in all our lives – side effects of meds.
Is there any Light end of this tunnel? Yes, a few infact! All because dear Sis sent pic of Koala? Does Koala even know they’re in a blog post in another continent, leave alone that they’re cause for lights at end of tunnel?
Maybe that’s why God made all His species. Maybe every single creature was made to bless a certain of the other species, a type of Food chain, a Comfort Chain. What comfort is a mosquito? Maybe it is, to a particular shrub. We will never know somethings in this life, but some mysteries are there for all of us to see.
as I was crouching here over this post, our 18 year old (born blind and recovering from meds* now) Joh gave me a surprise gentle hug.
The past two months there’s been unreal aggression, a certain violence, uncertain days, nights of wondering when and how all this would/ could ever sort. Sure it can, it will, but the human core has a way of sitting down sometimes and not wanting to try getting up.
Today is different.
Something in me wants to unfurl and look up at the sun. There’s a quietened centre within that’s willing to give my own peace a chance. I have the power to make or break that peace,
oh yes it sure passes human understanding, it’s not from within. The only thing I could’ve cooked up today was a temper of tears. There’s kazillion words in my throat but must stop for now,
if you’ve read this far thankyou so much. If not, you’re still part of that Comfort Chain, maybe a bigger part than you know.