Tag: Life

Rage

It is there in the seams of us

in the hinge of my shadow sitting, of

lashed eye in naked street,

‘tween closed border & shut teeth,

..of all the ill we may conceive,

this might be the final viral of this age,

soul Rage.

***

@raylarn

FromWhat to do when you’re in a rage and ready to explode,.Pic V. Amano. Unsplash.

Stay precious, stay blest.

Intoxicating loneliness

Your ways are Mystery and Wonder. I stand as a miracle myself, we are all miracles in this hour- little footprints of You, in a desert of oceans of nothings: here we are…on the threshold of an intoxicating loneliness.

Trees outside one of our windows

Every move of leaf, bird, human voice, a kiss from the heaven we seek.

You are more suddenly more audible, more watchful in Your distance. We are weaning from other mothers, we are closest to the stars.

You are like the silence of the sun, the wind I cannot see, fire I cannot touch. Against my will, I glow in the glow of This.

No, not inside!

My daughter took this pic of me the day before her 25th bday Oct2019. Now its all changed so fast. Did you even know we’d miss our little easy trips in a time when there were no ‘untouchable surfaces’?

We grew from ponytails and little shirts to grown up wear & tear. We learned to rise when we stumbled; learned to be patient with new fatigue. We got new ways of doing old things. We matured, we regressed, we sat down and broke a little then mended. Hey. I’m not giving all that away.

God and life taught us how to take pressure, ride it like a bike to the beach somedays! Now I must sanitise my trips every which way one can and cannot imagine, fine. But I’m not adjusting my inner balance, I’m not going to make any ‘Covid’ feel it owns me, in any grip of fear. Not going to let my home believe for one moment we are victims, though we must be careful of a whole new array of things. We will not court dragons and dance with demons, but we will not forget we walk among angels.

I am not about to go from being a child of God into a frightened bear: a sore one with claws that gnaw my insides, hehe no. I will remember the ways in which I’ve grown and outgrown childish thought processes: oh no, there’s no monster under our bed. There may be a physical threat, but not anything that dare touch our spirit.

So we cannot go out as much but we can go in and remember everything else.

Everything else better not be forgotten for the sake of a sick virus. Nope. I like to think of the Human Self as a person totally under the control of One who brought you & me this far. That’s all I’m thinking on. It frees my mind. It reminds me of when I first learnt to bike.

We were in Gujarat, western India. Dad told me he was behind me….. he wasn’t. I was so sure he was there, I went on ahead. Was a few minutes before I realised he wasn’t holding on. He was there a few meters away, but I was on my own. It did not matter though, I still felt he was holding on. There was no new aloneness. He was right there.

I feel that now, the heavenly Father who brought us this far, mayn’t be visible but He is there. The ride ahead may have its bumps, but we got this life, this bike: we got our lessons, we can’t lose it now, we cannot forget….

FOR YOU MY GOD, HAVE GIVEN US THE SPIRIT OF POWER LOVE AND DISCIPLINE, NOT FEAR AND TIMIDITY…!”(quote,Bible)

Do join us for SUNDAY Family Fellowship here

@raylarn

Last night we watched this little guy…

…and had the feeling we’d seen him over and over in places around. Take a look.

A million things go through the mind as Eye receives images of this tiny creature’s liquid bones in the confines of that tube…. playing solitaire, 😃 but more! He’s hoarding……! Think we’re the only ones who think so? Nah its there in comments already, and how I LOVE this Personality..

he’s playing Humans, in the winter of their spirit. He knows the weather forecast, he knows he will get hungry, and he knows the ways of his kindred creature, he is aware of exactly how to stash, scramble, and twirl around in a tight corner. He races time. He does not give up or stop. When he cant take anymore, he adapts! He’s built for duress, is creative and quick no matter the route/ the confines, he stays cute. Notice he is in the presence of a mightier force than himself (the Lab!), does he know? Maybe, but he’s intent on fulfilling basic instinct.

There is a major difference between him and us though, many.

He doesn’t have a human mind, for one.

I’m guessing we can fare better than a Hamster, you think…? 😅

***

If you’re looking for some music, this also happening @ my home, “Good good Father,” do listen …HERE

Isolation Angels.

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

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

👆Courtesy Purple Ray’s Blog
***

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

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

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

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

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

Writer of Hannibal, Silence of the Lambs.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stay precious, blest.

@raylarn

Today is a Gift only you can unwrap

..a designer Key to unlock gates of iron:

Today is that Gift we asked for: tiny seconds tripping together, they warned last night of Dawn, and here we are, 24 hours closer to answers we task for;

Today is a Gift of colours we mayn’t notice in sill and (coffee?) swirls, in each others’ eyes, or our miles of sometimes hesitant smiles;

Today is a Gift which will never return: as we read this, Its arms tick tiny songs in ears tuned to fears, but now and then, we are turned anew by each others’ joy…if we would..

Today is a Gift, a Prophecy of Life in the bones of soul; how quick we can keep Its peace… like beautiful Feet, running to ourselves/ to each other yelling the good news, that we are beloved of the Father;

Today is a Gift, only you & I know to courier, to our depths or anothers’: gifts of mercy and forgiveness, the holding of a sister/brother/nation in prayer;

Today is a Gift, only you and I and we can unwrap- tremble with excitement, with relief, with hope and patience! I can die down in the horrific power of belief that healing is dead, but I believe-

I believe that you and I are Pulse and Breath in these streets and doors and walls we built: and today we must Lock-down the dark and wait for eyes anew: then see what Gifts we can give even ourselves, that cannot be bought or broken:

Gifts- stubborn confident that we are still here for a reason: we are Survivor-Mutants -of-health ay, wealth of True Love, e’en in the presence of the absence of evil:

and these Gifts of the Day, running tripping Happy Feet of the Good news of God’s Unshakeable Kingdom of Peace:

They are Life, more than we know, more than we know..

***

@raylarn

I take my fear and sit on it or kneel it to hell and pray!

Last month I wanted to look closer at this legendary masterpiece of Auguste Rodin’s, and found that it was a Type of Dante’s Poem, gazing at the portals of hell…. am I wrong?

There wasn’t time to dive deeper into that, we’ve all been flung a little further in at a new kind of emo/physical torment with Virus related issues. We’ve never been closer, in this new kind of loneliness, all of us together in a new kind of isolation, we’re like a Shadow of yesterday going into tomorrow, staring at Us all as through a glass, gazing at each other as if we’ve never seen us before, sans all the action. It’s a new kind of day. We’re unafraid of words we used to be afraid of. A friend who never asks for prayer, asked. What are we all thinking as we face another 24 hrs, an extended Lock down, or more news coming in from frontlines, where people are facing way more than emptied food shelves….

I got this ( pl see below Thinking Man). It isnt all gloomy. In fact, in it’s own heart rending way, the following words change me….

Thinking man, Musee Rodin.

Pray for Italy🙏🏻

From Dr. Julian Urban, a 38 year-old serving in a hospital in Lombardy, Italy:

—LIGHT IN A DOCTOR’S DARKEST NIGHTMARE—

Never in my darkest nightmares did I imagine that I would see and experience what has been going on in Italy in our hospital the past three weeks. The nightmare flows, and the river gets bigger and bigger. At first, a few patients came, then dozens, and then hundreds. Now, we are no longer doctors, but sorters who decide who should live and who should be sent home to die, though all these patients paid Italian health taxes throughout their lives.

Until two weeks ago, my colleagues and I were atheists. It was normal because we are doctors. We learned that science excludes the presence of God. I laughed at my parents going to church.

Nine days ago, a 75-year-old pastor was admitted into the hospital. He was a kind man. He had serious breathing problems. He had a Bible with him and impressed us by how he read it to the dying as he held their hand. We doctors were all tired, discouraged, psychologically and physically finished. When we had time, we listened to him.

We have reached our limits. We can do no more. People are dying every day. We are exhausted. We have two colleagues who have died, and others that have been infected. We realized that we needed to start asking God for help. We do this when we have a few free minutes. When we talk to each other, we cannot believe that, though we were once fierce atheists, we are now daily in search of peace, asking the Lord to help us continue so that we can take care of the sick.

Yesterday, the 75-year-old pastor died. Despite having had over 120 deaths here in 3 weeks, we were destroyed. He had managed, despite his condition and our difficulties, to bring us a PEACE that we no longer had hoped to find. The pastor went to the Lord, and soon we will follow him if matters continue like this.

I haven’t been home for 6 days. I don’t know when I ate last. I realize my worthlessness on this earth. I want to use my last breath to help others. I am happy to have returned to God while I am surrounded by the suffering and death of my fellow men.

Pls pray for Italy

****

And may I add, pray for our neighbours, each other, ourselves. For international wisdom and tact as we go forward.

Pray with peace.

Walk Tall into Tomorrow

This one is for the loved ones and those who have succumbed, or might, to Covid & other reasons humans and nations do not always thrive,

& too, for those of us who die a thousand deaths in lives that could be be lived out strong,

those for whom Love loses Its Light with eye dulled for fears they needn’t weep: we are freer than we imagine;

for all of us: Tomorrow is that gift we cannot see yet: we do not walk Its fields of harvest, we do not yet inhale Its aroma of rest, we do not hold It in our fingers, but we believe It too will arrive like yesterday,

we know in the hours before dawn that when we peer thru’ grey satin whispers of sunrise, we will walk into Its rays of hope,

Some said it well... ‘weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning‘; so walk, walk on. Brave Heart, walk on, till tomorrow comes…

….

I simply must add here, my friend Alastair Duncan’s extraordinary Sunrise.

STILL WALKS.

Sunrise in Carmarthenshire, South Wales’s bird & sheep… a horse towards Troserch/ footbridge/ river wild flowers, footsteps; head towards a kissing gate into the open…
Alastair Duncan
Thankyou for this beauty of a share.

….

@raylarn

Related Post:

A walk in the neighbourhood
Bruce Stambaugh.com

Stranger than fiction

Thankyou Rochellewisoff @ Friday Fictioneers for this inspiring space every week.

Photo Prompt @Ceayr

IS LIFE STRANGER THAN FICTION:

Friday Fictioneers @Ceayr

It is reverse in my dream: earth fills the tap,

that bench holding shadows? Nah, shadows hold all; the sky is floor,

the earth her roof.

When I awake, I am in my skin, no longer outside,

Is it tiring? No,

it is very tiring:

keeping up with what I see,

and what I do not, in reality.

….

To read more of 100 words on this week’s prompt, visit HERE.

Corona-Whisperer

We need a Corona- Whisperer, and we need one now:

Net pic.
Whisperer:
One who tames
animals by talking
to them in
certain tones.

….

like the fierce Santur Pills our soft voiced aunt had in thumb-sized steel box: bitter herb that scared whooping cough, sneezes, hiccups

tiny round terrors that could cure malingering children of tummy ache before school. Ma just whispering, ‘Sant,’ could bring instant relief…

our Santur dear relative lived alone in Mangalore where I was born. Her laughing tiny frame & white cotton sari all in stark contrast to her pill box! I thought of her this morning after a local silence at 8 am; there’s a School next door but today its all shut up. Our apartment kids aren’t at any school either these past few days after a health care warning. Streets are not falling over with wheelie- bikers, dog- walkers, joggers. Where do you go when they ask you not to go out too much?

You watch more movies at home, read, work new recipes, search out cobweb/ stars @ night, monitor each others’ sniffles, text/ do letters, check news…for nice news … like sports, but they’re cancelling tours? We even had breakfast together this morning.

“Don’t touch elevator surfaces,” Rish next door says, “…not staircase railing..

His wife Jaruna is not as worried, “This will leave like it arrived, suddenly. Summer will burn it up; be happy and it boosts immunity, releases endorphins, kills stress..”

I feel a sneeze begin and run to the safety of our front door. We’ve had a morning of putting away older paintings for few more in theme with the Season.

Check

It is Lent. Some of our friends are on a veg. fast (which for some reason includes fish).

Our Chinese neighbour Pinna had 2 days of “velli ba’ cough y’know,“. Gingko cured the thing. Pinna was born and raised in Kolko’a, “but people are ‘ellified of me. I don’ like go ou’ more much!” she grins, her darling eyes dissolving into wrinkling skin.

Sigh.

While I enjoy local kids not playing cricket in available car parking lot and we drink up lemon- ringed water,

I scour the news for mice cured of Covid, and this photograph shows up in Google search along with an Edvard Munch bio. possibly after yesterday’s Post.


Job mocked by his wife :

Georges_de_La_Tour

For anyone unfamiliar with long suffering Job and his infamous wife who said, “Curse God and die!”,

this was a good man, so good, it made Satan do a strange bargain with God:

You put a hedge of protection around Job, won’t he sing happy the whole 24×7, why won’t he be your star disciple?!

So. Hedge & favour withdrawn now, Satan gets God’s consent to try Job by fire, in Epic test of faith.

One by one, Job loses everything: children, wealth, health. His few friends taunt him, as he sits in the market square in proverbial “ashes & sackcloth”, but nothing shakes his trust in a God he calls his Redeemer.

Oneday I know I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living,” Job tells his friends who insist there must be hidden sin for him to be sitting in the dust, running sores like that. Is when his wife asks him to curse God and die,…

is when Job does the ultimate antidote to dis- Ease:

He asks God to not let his ‘friends’ perish. This shocks any further Satanic mutation. Sigh. What can succeed like that kind of Immunity against evil: absolute Love. It is death to destructive forces.

A Contagion deadlier than the vilest Pandemic, is my mind mutating with Things opposed to your wellbeing.

Fearless Job believes he will see Goodness in the land of the living, and he does. There follows a time of Restoration in which he takes back all his friends. Check here, for more on the ‘Patience of Job’ if you like.

What’s it got to do with Corona- care: maybe it does have a lot more to do with us than we know.

  • Maybe Fear invites things we do not know yet, to know:
  • maybe when faced with mortality, humans get Perspectives right.
  • Maybe I’m bargaining a bargain with my Maker: that we will ask good lives for each other. That you and I will not walk away from this experience, indifferent.

Maybe it is that time to ask in the open, ask redemption of lost time, lost life, lost peace. Maybe I believe we the human race aren’t as gone as we think we are, maybe we can still be shocked into restoration:

if we would whisper a prayer.

…..

Positively Shameless

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What does an everyday Citizen do:

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

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

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

one could choose to.

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

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

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

I’m stoked. It’s time!

Way to go girls. 👇You must be seen.

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

*Venue: Shoonya – Centre for Art and Somatic

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

SHAME: Synonym: embarrassment, humiliation.

When Panic is an Epidemic.

For Go Dog Go Cafè Writers

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.

Painting of a panic attack.
Net pic.
….

It was like the deadly thing Uncle Masi had been prophesying all December; was he surprised?

No.

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 …

Is it the Faults?

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.

Ah’m.

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.

Nice.

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?

What’s App forward

(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…

Net pic.

..

https://www.britannica.com/event/Bhuj-earthquake-of-2001

Flavour of the month

GoDogGoCafè

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.

2 weeks ago, Haven fellowship @ Cubbon Park.

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,

NetPic.
.

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.

Unrelated pic? But another of God’s touches of Love: little Chikku adopted by my cousins Shirl&Dan. At their table.

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.

Tokens of His care, for ‘the littlest of these...’
(Thankyou ShirlDan; hope your infant squirrel Chikku won’t mind breach of privacy?)
….

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.

My sister’s Gulmohar tree with shoeflower, last month at David’s Pasture.

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.

Our daughter Vi
..

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…..

Even a mother may forget her child, but I will not forget you..” quote, Bible. Pic – Sis Shirley and furry babe Chikku.

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.

I couldn’t have dreamt that up all by myself.

Related Posts:

idialects@gmail.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! 🌻

RN.

@ Sea with B.Harry

Thankyou Kate Motaung for triggering a revisit to my 7 year old self, in a place I loved and was terrified of: the Sea. Here I got something I’ll never let go of: how to ride a giant wave!

Word: RISK, 5 Mins.

Age 7 is a tricky sweet dangerous age to utterly trust a stranger, in a spot like that, deep sea. Those waves weren’t called Breakers for nothing. But Bro. Harrison (name unchanged*) was the kind of human any family would trust.

This was the Bay of Bengal, summer. He was an Australian lumbering red raw sunburnt priest on vacation from a Boys’ school in Darjeeling; he was dear and kind and sweet. Would take endless pictures of us, and himself, all black and white. He’d send us statutes and post cards from Italy and wherever he went. Summers were in our little coastal tourist village; he loved Indian fish fries, and Dad’s laughter in our veranda overlooking the sea. Then he’d hoist me over his shoulder to the beach. Ofcourse I trusted him, and he proved his worth in sand and mid sea, even with a six footer wave crest crackly overhead, spiffing white crystal fire in the gold sun.

I was afraid;

the Sea was a scary beautiful friend. She’d sweep out her large green blue skirts at my toes then swing them back in to herself, tempting me to go in deeper. I’d run in for shells, then fly back out again at another wave that chased me right to the edge of our hard flat beach, up the massive sand bund to where our compound wall overlooked a panoramic 180 degrees of this terrific watery Friend.

Brother H. as we called him, (he refused to be called uncle, flouting all nice Indian courtesy to senior relative), said it made him feel older than his 50, and that he was a child inside. He was. He was also a sort of Angel, no trace of guile or meanness, only the joy of living life to the full.

Come on, old lady!” He’d yell over our mulling muttering crash- echoing Bay. He was a certified Life Saver, I didn’t understand that but it made me feel important, and saved somehow from the churling tide, its rush and fervor, its lunging, pulling, eddy and mega swill.

B. H. would ask me to hold on to the tube and trust him as we paddled deeper in to where waves began.

The idea was to go through that startling blue water wall before it crashed- then ride its crest all the way ashore.

It was the most somersaulty crazy thing I’ve experienced or ever will. If I’d known how to swim, it would’ve not been as dangerous. Here I had to trust Bro. H., I had to go where he said, hold tight no matter my nose and face were smashed in that coaster, no matter I was in a sand-&-water rollercoaster, ears and brain thounding (yeah, you’d get new words) with the crash of tide in maddened swell.

The sound it still startles me but not as much as the glory of re-surfacing in great gulp of air, Bro.H’s laughing grey blue eyes, his lung full of a whoop shout, as we settled in the shoulder of yet another giant wave as she rode us all the way back to shore….

where sometimes dad or ma waited, wondering that I needed this.

Years down, I’ve relived that time there, over and over. It’s one empowered way to ride a risky wave like that – in the sea, or in Life elsewhere: surprise that Thing that’s coming at us, go through It holding on to the Hand that holds you & me better than we could hold ourselves, then break free as the Breath of God kicks in Life in our frame,

ride that Wave for the sheer joy of knowing that’s why there are Waves and Oceans, Sands and Seas in the stories of our lives.

Thankyou Kate M. & Storytellers, and all of Blog world for reminding me; I’m feeling 7 years old, at sea with the Hand that holds all.

….

*years down, I searched Facebook for him, we’d shifted cities and we’d lost touch. He wasn’t the kind to stop writing or telling us where he was, but he did. I suspected the worst; and found his smiling black and white profiles in a FB page dedicated to him by people who knew him, as we did too. Bro H. was/ is one if the most magnificent human beings ever created: he taught this 7 year old to walk on high walls, chase sand crab, find sea horse, race waves, love sea boats, love life no matter where….

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!

Streets around me

Streets around me

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!

Set me as a seal over Your heart.*

Its been released! AshaJourney of Hope, featuring my Cover and 8 paintings along with others’, in a slim back gorgeous Book that anyone anywhere might be intrigued by…

*pg 98. SET ME AS A SEAL OVER YOUR HEART is one of my 8 + (4 stunning paintings by Artist Anika Bogi) featured in this limited Edition addressing people in emotional/ physical trauma care, Asha: Journey of hope
Published by Biblica,Inc. All rights reserved worldwide. Print,India.
……

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.

Cover painting ‘Journey of Hope’. RN. Thankyou Biblica Inc., for a brilliant Publication.
(The reds are exaggerated a few tones in my camera though).

….

*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 scarred identities, 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.

Raylarn.

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.

Tender tantrums of healing

I’m fascinated at the way our human body mends, physically, emotionally, socially…

From our visit to valley near Kolar gold fields

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.

My lil thimble memoir from trip

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.

You touch me from the inside.

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.

Thimbles.

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).

Connecting With God

Co-incidence?

Taken by Guide at Banerghatta:

Uncanny: last year we were at this 👆 place like at this👇 photograph, courtesy Rochelle Wisoff- Fields, Friday Fictioneers. Thankyou! I needed a Reminder…

PHOTO PROMPT © J Hardy Carroll
…..

Coincidence?

2019, early summer.

The bio-dome hosted hundreds of butterfly …our 18 year old blind Joh was at peace, no aggression. We weren’t worrying about the things he couldn’t see, just grateful that his beautiful smile was back in this quiet place lush with flora. Post seizure meds’ aggression had reared its ugly head the past months, holding our gentle perfect son hostage.

Today life is getting better: piecing back together under a Force that held us. Negativity fades like long shadows of dusk as I look at Rochelle’s Prompt and the gentle Reminder that we are all still being held together …

….

@innerdialects

Click HERE to read other Fictioneers’ stories.

House with roof in the floor

Thankyou Yomargey, UK

Once upon a time there was this one roomed house with a thatched roof, and it was a nice house to a nice couple. They were happy people with enough peace and joy to go around this season and the next. Farmer Jose and wife grew potatoes and onions, they were not rich they were not poor, but they had enough to go around for visitors and neighbours.

Oneday thieves broke in; the thatched roofing fell in as four local young men stole through their well worn box of coins and notes.

Farmer Jose and wife asked the boys why they hadn’t told them they were coming, they could’ve cooked them a warm meal, they said. It was nearing midnight but the old man took out some fruit and offered it to the young men.

“Keep the coins,” Jose said as the men left their home. “And do come back tomorrow if you can. We are lonely for company, and our sons live far away.”

The four young men returned to fix the roof, and would return to the Joses’ whenever they could.

..

This is a true story, I just don’t remember the names.

Lest we forget

Lest we forget

I was born of the dust, where Light fell like a stairway, ’twas calling calling, Child of the Dew, ‘fore you even knew it,

I know you..

Before you were born in the womb of galaxies of Stars, you & I were summoned to breathe, by the breath of God –

falling like Dew,

Lest we forget we are first born Natives of Light,

lest we forget ….

Painting Lyrics of my heart Watercolour digitalized, RN

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.

….

There is a tide turning

There is a tide turning

There is a tide turning in your life,

a season returning,

a harvest,

a plot softened by the unexpected

shower.

This is time to weep release,

dance healing, restore

from tearing.

A time to take

joy,

stake claim make returns on what you never thought remembered your name

This is that time,

it comes by once in a few ways,

crumbs of yesterday.

This is that time, a tide turning,

a season a harvest, waiting

in you.

@raylarn

..

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