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Not by bread alone

..but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God, we live: & may I add, we live not by bread alone but by words that proceed from our own mouths, we live/ or do not live fully…..

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Words have the power of life and death, they kill or heal the human spirit. But ah the Words of God, they overwhelm basic human instinct. They breathe life, they forgive, grant hope and strength for our own intake and much left for one another. Word of God Speak.

Like an angel

To all the mothers that bless our earth

This Video is a Serbian greeting from my beautiful friend Maria Rajicova: “Dear Rayla, I wish on Mothers day: health & happiness. God’s presence be with all of you. You are beautiful. Love you all. Bye.” Maria.

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Lil poem for my own Momma Grace:

Momma, you kneeling in prayer – I remember you ~ mornings night, noon days of heart and song

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you in the fabric of our earth & heaven & us three lil girls, you – now a Piece of Thel & Li & me & all the children…

THANKYOU is such two little words but it’s all I have: like the young ones’ sweet stammer wishes, hush- baked cake late last night for Mothers day, I grin out loud; there’s you in me/ us ‘telling songs & wishes in the fabric of an earth you birthed…

you in our hands and feet, in the way we see things;

they’re going to stumble out their rooms now, there’ll be hugs and kisses, I gaze at this like you used to go speechless unsure how to say Thankyou when we said love you – it’s such two little words.

Early morn surprise coco-vanilla
from our terrific 3! They just sent me
this pic

You surprised that even I had three, me saying when I was 18, saying I’d never have kids Haha…

I know I know… there could be no mothers without our fathers and they are there strong in the brick of us, our dads and Sam and Jeff… and their mothers and fathers…and new sisters and brothers…your siblings with your face still here Uncles Sunny & Godfrey, precious aunt Bess miles away who just sent me a message, oh all their children …Ma…family roots spreading wings like angels

speechless now with our new selves ~ mothers all, even Joh our son tucking me into bed? Fixing my hair, his fingers a new tender last night; Vi whispering midnight hug, Kit with secret cuisine shopping list, hearts on their sleeve; and Anu and Sam and Akash across an earth not far at all from the heaven you birth every day anew thru’ all of us

thankyou is such two little words as I stare at them looking like you ….

Love you forever Mum

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I thought I was alone,

but the world looks in with need,

Its eyes hinge on my flesh for sustenance, I

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never knew we are befriended by the cries of aloneness like never before ….

We need each others faces and voices and arms of tenderness; love is no more an old fashioned abused thing; as a race we are hungry for Touch and hugs… we are not alone, just befriended by an aloneness waiting waiting to be fed.

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Have a nice day.

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When God Prays

Come on over, the sands are ripe for your heart. Yes it’s hard. But I Am with you. In every grain of sand, I AM for you. Watch this:

Thankful.
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there is a season turn turn, a time for every purpose under heaven. Come on over, the times are ripe for your tears that smile- they rinse the earth and grow your fields, watch how it needs you:

how I need you turn turn come on, winter & summer rain – nothing goes away, ‘except in My Hand. Permit a healing, beloved. My darling, in every grain of sand, all that you are, I AM.

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Tribute to a fabulous Human we had the privilege to call our Brother.

We drive off Commercial street (Bangalore, Peninsula India), 3 pm, mid a month’s Lockdown- the streets are clutter free, we are armed with ID and saying ‘Nice!’ through the pain of losing our precious brother Sam.

Yes, he would’ve approved. “No big church service, just like he’d want it. No suit…” quiet words from his sister Dr.Prema Dhanraj, her eyes misty with love. No sad song & masses of tears. No hyper-parade of bouquets. Just a clutch of family members, though masked, distanced….

Beloved brother
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He was a Minimalist with blazing intellect & humor. He lived to love but his love was quiet, no frills. If you looked for a compliment he’d say, “Nice!” Or “Good” complete with dimpled chuckle that I cannot get out of my system and shouldn’t.

My eldest sis Thel (Sam’s wife) had a Bible that we all wrote in; she snuck this in his casket: its lid standing on Stone nearby had “I am with Jesus” on it, it stilled me. Still does.

With him, I was my unselfconscious self: was it only a few years ago, he and I mimicked a local street drunks’ brawl lasting not a few minutes? Recently his health got fragile, his shoulders had that tiny tremor, you wanted to hug him just a little longer but didn’t dare make him think you were worrying. He could read your head, know your ‘unnecessary‘ thoughts!

Sam wasn’t big on ceremonious religion but had this Respect for God, a thing you didn’t mess with. It was the way he lived, careful, caring, sensitive to detail. You didn’t hide things from God, if you needed an occasional peg you had it in His presence. I remember asking him for a taste of his cigarette, I was 21. He choked laughing then gave me one: “Try exhaling that, k?” That was fun. I’m rambling. Running from memories I want to chase away, but they’re larger than life now.

The last time we spoke (10 days ago?) was an accidental Group-Call my second sis Li made via our sisters’ WhatsApp ‘Mermaid’ Group, yes mermaids 😅, don’t forget we girls grew up on beaches, (once on a sand dune we’d daydreamed of being mermaids, hehe! The name stuck).

So Li called and Sam picks up phone instead of Thel. Li : “Now who’s this low voiced man on Mermaids saying, ‘Hellooooh!?’

He chatted generally and about how good he’d been eating the past week; Thel walks in,” Uh ohhhh? Sam’s on Group call with …who?”

T ‘s her bubbly self, “This is a first group call of this, Haha!”;

she & he had become one Entity with shared polarities; how good they were together with their 2 fabulous sons Anudh & Akash: a treat to watch the four of them – each maddeningly independent, ferociously loyal to the other…… oh brilliant even to detail of when to add chillie to sizzling roast, steak!

These five can do wonders in any kind of day. Ask me how I know. Pic, Goa holiday with their beautiful darling ‘Girl-Sam'(antha) daughter-in-law who deserves a whole other Post: she’s more Indian inside than Australian : the Stunner kind you think must have some secret flaw? You look for it but it isn’t there. Ay, marriages are made in heaven, the Samuels are living proof of that...
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The last thing he said in individual byes to Li and me….. “Bye Rayla!” His voice strong and cheerful. “Bye Merman, Sam.” I replied.

Age 22?

Offstage while we waited for the next Event at a local Fund raiser…how can I forget his guitar doing the Beatle’s Crybabycry:

with no Lyrics, I worked my own non-word- stylized-gibberish. He called it Russian. We did this very seriously, Thel streaming tears down her cheeks hurting from laughter…

Now.

Thel & Sam’s gorgeous sisters: I could write reams about his three illustrious sibling, each serving Humanity like only they can: Bravehearts – brave now, as the Pastor wraps our small service in a Silence that somehow feels right. I cannot find a word good enough for it. Silence can be reverent gold. The sky rumbles for a second, gentle winds settle in the family tree under which the few of us huddle, forgetting Covid.

Death is where your sting, oh grave where your victory? Here we are immortal for the Love that binds us together across continents via Videocalls coming in and familial Love thicker than blood or the sadness of Now.


Like a tree planted by streams of living water
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Next to him, in engraved marble- lies the Stone of his first son, the most beautiful baby boy I had ever seen. He lived 5 days. 36 years have gone by.

Now as they lower his daddy’s mortality into the same earth, there is this silence of a family held by things best described as Peace that surpasses human understanding.

Marriage turns strangers into family. Sisters in law become a beautiful kind of sister: we admire their eyelashe and feature not just exterior but deep within. It turns our lives around to learn from each other through the years. I write this realizing how much we’ve been blessed by Sam’s presence, nah entire families, cousins, nephews, nieces….wish this post could cover also friends that became family because of Sam.

What can one say but go back and forth.

I could never count well enough even at our Scrabble board fights. He a Chartered Accountant / Sultan of Sudoku non par would cheerfully shudder. “If you try to, y’know? Maths is basic. Idiots.” His grin included all non-mathy people with me + tolerant brotherly kindness lending a generous taste of what it was to ever have a brother.

He’s not here, no Thel?” I whisper. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.

“No Ray.” Her voice is level.

Thankyou Thel for the photographs.
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I draw strength from her, admiring her straight firm back and calm doe eyes. Sitting down somewhere among family Stones, I am unable to tear my eyes from the candles and flower petals all around, the air softening with dusk and with the Presence of Comfort; with the presence of each other softening from sorrow. Tomorrow we’d be able to take this. Maybe not. Tomorrow would have its share of challenges. New ones? I don’t know.

As we walk back past more names and dates and symbols of Love and Departure, we walk close. Life was/ is short. I want to love without barriers and protocol.

We move past high ornate stone gates; the Caretaker and wife watch their children play with a plastic bat and ball, all safe- distanced from each other.

Somewhere a koyal calls.

It will rain tonight. You loved it cool Sam, but you’re not here.

You’re with Jesus.

I’m jealous.

Saw some of this yesterday, enroute…


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These past days on the edge of life, where is his spirit

Last night sometime around 2 am sleep got me in little bits: but my daughter’s words tossed me on pillow. “Hope can be a painful thing,” she said, her face melting with the things I was telling her….

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…how I want my brother in law back from the valley of death (not Covid) : how bad my sis Thel needs a miracle, how impossible it seems. Sometime now they will know whether he can really make it back. And how. Should I say all this in a Post at all; here it’s become an altar, an altar of healing, prayer for us all in steeping places: the best of us may face the worst. Dearest God please bring my brother back even for a bit, there were many wishes he had, many we all had, have.

Yes I know the pain of hope, how it can wrench heart. And we’ve seen the fulfillment of many things these past years.

Don’t you too wonder where the spirit of us goes when we rest in particular state in hospital bed? That tunnel of life, the Light at the end of breath….

Yesterday and now this reading: “..the word of God is alive and full of power( active, operative,energizing,effective), it is sharper than any two edged sword, penetrating to the dividing line of the breath of life(soul) and the immortal spirit, and of joints and marrow….” (Heb 4: 12, Amp.Bible)

What d’you say in a day like this…

we wait, pray; grief and hope hold each other. It’s raining outside. Is that a sign? My brother you are with God right now I know, just wish you’d come back for a bit and tell us all of it all. Love you forever.

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Just got word, you’ve gone ahead

Perspective

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

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

Here, I find me.. pieces of me, stitched together in the Hem of Your garment.

Old calendar on tiny easel at home.
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Look Lord, here around Your edge, pieces of prayers, darts sewn with silent fingers.

Here I am Hannah, a woman ridiculed, hated by her sister, despised for unproductivity. A Hannah ruthlessly in a life not as good as expected. Here my God

how did You find my ash heap (Hannah’s song), how did You recognize this enough to come by?

How do I feel the contentment of reaching in this moment-

You stopping to hold my holding of You. You not laughing, not You:

here there is zero derision/ judgment. Here, we receive that Touch that alone can reach a wound. Only You, of the Cross where no pride rules, only You could Hem the Streets of my Hannah,

I begin to shed all need of social acceptance. As I breathe, I understand this isn’t as bad a place as we thought it was. Humiliation can wear a crown of thorns. It can disgrace vanity: its stronghold. Rejection bears wounds you cannot receive in courts of honour. Being hated too: ah this one can teach us one or two lessons in freedom. Freedom from that race for supremacy.

There is a State of man, woman, child: a State that is freed from the clutches of skin-deep power. You lose the craving to be loved; you can still love, perhaps more! There is no bitter. There is forgiveness, there is a certain letting-go of all other hems.

You walk valleys and climb mountains barefoot till the mountain becomes you. You cannot be a plateau anymore. Or you sink sink in waters so deep, the river takes you: here, you cannot be anything else anymore. You understand the power of that very tide that towed you off limiting shores.

Or you walked a desert so long now, its acres speak in a voice you couldn’t have heard any place else. You’re grateful for that, for the way it could run without showers or oasis for as long as it took. If you’ve run to the Hem of His garment you meet these wastelands in the Hem. You hear the voice of the Humiliated, the cast down. There is no other place that holds it all, like here. Here there is zero pride of performance, of amassed wisdom, here, you are freed from the whip of laughing scorn, it cannot tug its hook in you anymore, how I don’t know. Ask The Hem.

I woke up this morning with all that. Like I’d met Ruth and Hannah here in the Tattered edge of This. I asked a few things, He will answer in ways we will understand later. He always gives us what we ask for, or something better. (Anonymous quote)

Cover me with Your garment Lord; spread Your shield o’er an earth keeling. There are things we do not know to see. There are Secrets in these Edges , as invisible as a virus, as potent, virulent. Here I kneel my inner being, grateful for the privilege of feeling a certain ‘lowliness’. How beautiful it is, to come apart and rest in the secret place of This Freedom.

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Do check below Poster: is a Live Concert, Vihan D. featuring Originals. You’ll need to be there, 6 pm to 8 pm tonight, April 23rd- Indian time, to know what else goes on. Please do.

ALL PROCEEDS BEING DONATED TO RELIEF WORK AMONG THOSE DISPLACED BY CURRENT SITUATION, INDIA.
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Rise Beloved

Social Distancing is perhaps The News now, but to an invisible majority it has existed in perhaps the most hideous ways. We do not easily talk of Social ostracizing but our ‘Outcasts’ have been there since the beginning of Time. ‘ They’ may even be you, or me in unique definitions via complexes, illnesses, alone-ness & abuse in ways we may not know how to say:

Rise Beloved’. Creative expression of Jesus and the woman who was about to be stoned to death. (The word Beloved here is taken from Song of Solomon, to capture the healing power of Divine Cover). Oil painting RN
For Biblica, ‘Asha~Journey of Hope’
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this morning as the sun rose in the leaves and trees and sky flushing with energy, I prayed that you and I would access the freely given liberty to make a call on the One who knows/ can touch our Core like none other can.

Ill health and virus existed from day 1 of existence; we mayn’t all have immunity to social dis-ease, but we do give it permit to continue to mutate. Say? I’m praying for Liberation from social ills, stigma, taboos, victimization. ..

I’m asking for the freedom to be His Beloved, body, soul, mind..

leaning on His peace, His unrestricted acceptance of human condition: here where you & I are somehow precious, beautiful and sacred in His accepting healing redeeming Hands. It is an important fact to realise we are not invisible to Him, hence we value the power of our own presence as solo individuals doing what we can in His absolute care. Those with familie or without, we run a Race solo, within – undefined by who we are with, undefined by circumstance. Now here I stand refined, defined by Grace: the greatest Cure to de-humanisation.

Beloved, rise.

Breathe. Inhale the scents of a new day~ grass and fresh mint: the aroma of Grace walking in all over, creating Its own atmosphere:

Inhale Its Light, Its Touch: Its Seep in my skin. Yes we are still touchable.

We are the blessed generation of those that have seen much. We are powered Creations. Nothing misses our eye. We know more than our fathers? No way, though we are pursued by technical intelligence, even a certain lack of innocence; we are numbed by our discoveries of Life as is now. Our acquired Wisdom alone will not save nor our faith in Self. Yet here we can rest, nestle in the Light of Grace.

I believe in heaven, and that no matter the odds, heaven can begin right here.

as hell too is here, where we as migrant workers try work out salvation in the fleeting way of a blade of grass. Dyou know tomorrow, or even this noon: are we ready for something beautiful beyond human senses- no matter how turned our noses are right now towards disaster?

Can you and I walk tall, be as gorgeous as God created us, can we be beloved– our frail self leaning on Him alone, Social Norms stripped away? Do I know my essence, my own brand of fragrance-

can I now exhale this Light that Touches like none other;

we can do that, at the Source that never leaves.

That done, can we go a step further:

be a particle of that Light for someone else.…make a phone call? Pack an ‘Essentials’ surprise gift for neighbour?

If we could reach out to even one other person/day with awesome Light within, that is roughly half a 7 billion reaching out to the other half.

Hills outside Bangalore.
My son J.
More lately I see best, with my eyes shut wide.
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