How long before Parks too will close down again? This Lil guy did not want to be seen, but few moments later he shimmied down that tree, his eyes brilliant with joy.
Why didn’t I give myself permission to talk to him? Courtesy- protocol. Sigh. I’ll never be able to walk past that rock without wondering if he’s ok.
As our State looks to more Lock down and vaccines, know what? For sure we have never peered closer at God. We as nations and homes, haven’t gazed deeper into each others eyes, haven’t admired nature, faces, leaves, skies, rocks, people;
As a race, we’ve not lingered as much at each other, socially distanced and all,
today as I read my Bible, the words came out and wrapped themselves around my head. “Give thanks..” And I had to stop beating myself over that boy I walked past at the Park. Gave myself permission to pray that he’s alright. Yes we can pray, right? My atheist friend ‘ll wag his head. Thats ok. In the end we will know for sure what we stutter at now.
He wore long curls under a hair band and old fashioned jeans with wide trousers folded in a hem that half sagged as if unsure of the Times. Sunlight fell in his uncombed locks needing a wash but it didn’t matter. It had an educated look about it, casual disgrace. It was the funeral of a dear brother,
we stood around the sunny open air chapel Gate#1, wanting to weep but the sun shone hard. Tall trees above us burned lemon gentle yellow. “It is well with my soul,” we sang. The lyrics fell into us, there’s no other way to say it. Funerals of good people do this to me.
The man with the locks stood like a statue two feet from where I leaned on a pillar. He hadn’t moved; his shoulders crouched with either fatigue or sorrow. He must be a close relative? The chapel steamed with hushed love.
VJ looked like Peace in his casket strung with garlands, wreaths, roses, jasmine bouquet, posies, petals in the floor around – it wasn’t like a mourning, it was a Graduation. A cousin broke down as he paid tribute, a niece, a sister, a classmate, colleagues, more wreaths- they crowded now in the floor like an unruly garden. No one stirred, light shifted.
Two hours had gone by, the man with long curls stood like a rock his arms curled in at the fist. I lost sight of him then saw him again at the burial – he got as close as he could then moved politely away hugging himself, why was I looking at him. Everyone grieved soft. Polite smiles, and gentle farewell. The sky, a stark baby blue covered everything in more Light;
He moved closer to where we stood with VJ’s wife and daughter, then he hugged VJ’s wife with burrowing sobs. The daughter didn’t know who he was, he didn’t fit in with any of the groups here- work teams, relatives, church folk. The sobs mutated, no one else was crying that way. We had cultured tears, in the back of our eyes and throats. VJ was that kind of guy, he wouldn’t have wanted noise, or loud wishes. He was a tree planted by streams of living waters. A tree that bore fruit in quiet neat ways. Not spluttering in the earth, but growing gently.
The stranger caught my eye for a quick moment as he stood back and wiped his tears; his hands were large, sunburnt, like his face with wide cheek bones and thick hair held back in fine wire band. Then he hung back a bit under tall trees swaying in occasional gust of breeze. February felt hot and cool at the same time in the cemetery with hundreds of memoirs of Life by our feet; not a place to discuss things in decibels. You wanted to rest, exhale.
The man wore a red and blackish windcheater over a once white Tee. Not 6 ft tall; wide shouldered, lowered gaze in the walk where others gathered to say things to VJ’s family, ‘visit us,‘ that kind of thing. The man lingered, not looking at anything in particular, then he slow-turned to leave.
Later we heard no one knew him at all. What was he, who? Perhaps…
a person blessed by VJ. Maybe a wanna be musician whom VJ heard out. Maybe he gave him some kind of help, he had that look about him: gratitude and pain.
Or maybe, maybe he was a chronic funeral crasher, identifying best among sadness. He seemed at peace in tears, not awkward in Grief’s ways. Maybe I’m reading too much into this, but I’ve seen them- some of us humans who fit in between lives of others, and we identify best in pain. Here we can weep out loud and not be misunderstood. Here there is solace, here there are grounds to linger in, in awe at loss. At farewells, at sermons that whisper at the Other Life, at the kind of Love that happens where we stare at that edge of the coffin. We are all one here, here there is no caste, creed, other separations of Humanity. Here we are one at this place where Life gazes at death, how futile even that is- when the spirit has gone ahead. It was apparent- VJ was not there. His absence a presence so loud you wanted to applaud his transition, his earth days done so well, and him now with God whom he worked for all his life.
The stranger’s face followed me home; we talked briefly about him. Then I had a headache and curled up in bed, but had to spill my thoughts here, blog. Perhaps:
between the Living and the Dead is a Race of Humanity belonging to neither (the living nor the dead); the corridors between the Two narrow down to one fine line and there they are- a People that identify best in places like Here, where pain is an acceptable emotion.
Perhaps. Though it is most likely this was a person VJ helped in some significant way, he was so like Christ, gentle steel and hard work, not choosing to be called Reverend; his songs hauntingly beautiful like his smile that said all. A man of few words, almost shy of being heard too much, except of the Christ he loved. Just the kind of man who reached out to strangers with no name…
(Few years ago VJ’s wife had been hit by a racing biker, hit bad enough, head injury, fractures. VJ did not breathe one word against him, no law suit, nothing. ‘The brother had something on his mind, surely. Else the accident wouldn’t have happened. I asked the Lord to bless him..” VJ said in our home months after the accident, not one trace of anger in him).
Now I’m thinking what if the stranger was that biker; but my thoughts they do run wild.
She wants to be loved like every other New Year, and I hesitate to call her good: I hesitate to say a nice word just in case it contrasts with something in the Headlines tomorrow: but then, the Still Small Voice inside me that urged the dusk to light up my holiday yard, It says, “Year of Harvest’, so
So here we are, another brand new Baby wailing to be fed, unwrapped, walked…. Um, stuck between a sigh and a smile; Jan 2nd feels like dew in fallen leaves: feels like health sneaking back in my bones, like summer in winter, like new ways to sit, walk, run, stand, be still, hush, God is in His heavens,all’s well. You don’t fake a good feeling. Its too late to fake much anymore. Not this time around, where we step into another 365….., what will it be?
I want to wish you the best year you’ve ever ever had, (said that to a friend and she sniffed loudly. Like it couldn’t be. She needed a new house and funds to run it. She needed everything humans need to run secure… but in a minute she grinned on the phone, as if she’d given herself permission to have the kind of year she needed, and I’m giving myself that permit too) –
“Choose life!” God always said, in His great Book we tend to blame for all our errors – the Bible. Some of us read old comics,for comfort, or Sudoku or Horoscope and the stars. We just want to heal, when no one’s watching we do just about anything to heal from things we are not healing in.
I’m looking forward to cold days turning warm in the light of days healing. Nice, you say. Um hm. Yes. There never was a better time as this one to be grateful for every miniscule and large detail here on earth. Never been a year where we looked beyond into the non material. Here we missed each other, we fell in love all over again with market places we shuddered at: we missed the way our morning papers fell at our door and the steps of the newsboy spiraling down away out past our gates where the jasmine seller woke up street after street of flower buyers; oh and dogs, they were silent too, like Christmas so quiet you could hear the sheep in old Christmas cards breathe! We gazed at stars and memorized each others faces,even politicians’ (and priests’ we remembered from churches now with locked down altars). We did not worry about lip gloss, we still aren’t, we mask new fears with new words; “..be practical, we must go out. We aren’t hermits,” but now we got used to sanitizing our tomatoes and phones. We are a Changed Race, we cannot go back to most things we did last year today, and I’m betting we are wiser, kinder,slower, sweeter,more giving, less fussy about toenails. We got used to pajamas at 12 noon, we understand Time better. Maybe.
What’s to be afraid of? Aunt Jena wears Psalm 91 like an armor; Minki eats spinach like Popeye and she a carnivorous being, now singing anthems to lemon and ginger brew first thing every morning, ah, inhalation too. And skull rinsing gargling, sounds like burglar alarms. No one’s laughing. We are waiting, for what exactly – is hard to say: for vaccines? For Life as it was? For what it can be, should be? Waiting for Immunities; for ourselves to wake from a nightmare that is still not inactive….
never the less, its a whole new year- the old has gone, the sky never felt this blue, the stars this wide eyed. Go to the country side, meet new people, a farm, a river, trees, choose Life, eat well, rest, pray, read His Word, drink His dew falling like gentle rain at dawn where an old woman named Thayi cooks you a hot pot of Forgotten foods. Ok I’m no promotional Blogger, but this Farm deserves mention for inspiring this Post!
Resolutions ? Yes, a huge one – to appreciate nice people in particular and to be grateful to God for making them! (Wish I’d taken more photographs, but that’s the way it is with a good day- you are not thinking of surface tension. You plunge in a river, you climb a tree, you scrape a knee, you kiss a scowl away! Life arrives differently, you bask in a new flurry of beginnings like a child happy about new socks to school never mind worries about homework).
I’m saying out loud Choose Life, I’m stealing my Maker’s line. He said it first. He knew we’d be making choices, not necessarily nice ones. So He makes years go round and round like a Relay race. This time around I’m not letting one day go by without paying attention to detail. This time around, is there really a choice ….to not choose?
Am attaching a👇🏼 must read by 17 yr old Gabriela and she’s good!
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.