Tag: Window

Just Once

Today is Ash Wednesday? My childhood Anglican Chapel with stained glass windows weeping blood tears into nesting pigeon, and my parents managing to look happy while duelling bass & alto at a Lenten anthem….

Pic Credit Ismael Paramo

Five minute Friday writers

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Gran insisted on a fast. Dad couldn’t bear the thought. Ma, she balanced the two acts with ease: gram- curry, complete with red boiled rice in ghee – kanji. Which was essentially Rice boiled water. Which Dad hated with his life. But he loved the protocol of sad-ish days! And this was a sad-ish event. Ash Wednesday hailed a new trek around a live Cross: over the next 40 days old songs would be nailed in new ways, new flowers cut for old vases, the brass Cross got polished all over again till you saw your face in it when they carried it down to the altar on Good Friday, weeks down.

Auntie Sukam wore her grey silk and brooches with foundation cream, stark cream in her brown face, the lipstick was always pale mauve on Ash Wednesday: Christ would notice, she had this aura of beautiful pain around her long ageing eyes, its crinkles running up her temples. When aunt Sukum sang you wanted to stop staring at the lit up pigeon and close your eyes and listen to it all. To the wheezing Organ, to the Padre’s high tenor killing it, to the roar of distant town bus and the occasional water pump bleating in Taj compound, the tourist hotel with four rooms and one tiny tower overlooking us all in the chapel with wild lilies outside. Its a lot to remember all of a sudden, not just us in stages of life, but Christ Himself and what He was doing back then, and now- seated at the right hand of the Father, interceding with pleas for the best and the worst of us:

I’m staring at this beautiful Ash. And Him on that Cross, that once. That was all it took. That Once; yes festivals can grow silly, sour, overdone, or flatten out with Time; there’s no one I know now that bares mauve lipstick and Grey silk reeking of mothballs, nor sings like old Chapel folk @’Old Rugged Cross’…

It never goes out of me: that spirit of the Lent. The word derived from Lean, as in Leaning, Lent. To lean on a Strength, on Redemption, on Grace, on Hope, on Love. To lean, I lent on His Memo of Salvation. I’ve never really celebrated this day as any particular event, but early this morning as a few pigeon messed my fern, and I went waving all arms to shoo them away, I remembered to remember the way this feels, in Present Tense:

The Cross – a tense all by Itself, an Entity. I won’t pretend to even begin to describe Its Data. It crossed hell for heaven for us, and back. And forth. Via decades of nonsense and dis- ease, It never stopped following Humanity, in and out of graves, in and through crises and vanity fairs. Above and beyond all powers in high and low places, between This and That, Here& There, These & Those, the Cross was an event that happened ONCE, and It changed everything, present continuous, changes everything as we speak. Don’t ask me how it felt for Him , I’m still staring : at Him: Him Seeping Life into death.

Its not a sad season, It can change the way Humans Lean, and Whom on. Once we get that, it Hits you: This is the real deal.

Rest, lean, pray

Lift your eyes to the sills of heaven, watch what happens when you pray. When the heart stills its noise and the mind rests with the pulse of God. How often I have not done that, amazes! The power of disbelief stuns me, its incredible power to hold us back from the greatest power ever given to humanity: the ability to talk to God.

PiCourtesy India Cultural Hub

“I think ‘Mercy’ is this..”

I’ve never done a repost this way: as someone suggested, here’s my take on “Mercy:…is this? “

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…he knew where it was. Day after day he watched her sit outside; he reached in that small ledge over the gutter- stood on the chair, then on his little toes … for that jar. The woman had no recall. Sickness had taken her mind away. She just knew this was somehow her home. Her family had gone in the plague. People passed by in the street, but no one stopped to ask. Except the little boy.

Ah there it was: a rusty old key, in that jar. He carefully brought it down; the woman smiled at nothing in particular. The boy looked familiar. Even the chair. She looked down at her hands but would not take the key.

He took the cement steps to her front door, then called the woman in. It was cool inside. He found water in an earthen jar;

the woman felt his smiling eyes and grubby fingers help her drink that water. It slaked a Thirst within; as she drank deep it was like a River quenching her parched days and nights searching for something she had lost but didnt know where to look to find it.

The Water went down her throat, first a trickle at a time, then more. She drank till the water jar was empty and till it swelled her death with Life.

She stared at the boy and felt Breath in her bones throb with newness. The boy grinned back and sat on his haunches, waiting, waiting.

Suddenly she knew this was her grandson. He had been there everytime she locked herself out; like Mercy pursued, like the Love of God : ’twas the Key to Life. Love like that was new. Twas like this child that had not rejected her. Like a God that had died for her. Words from sacred pages she had once read, returned. When the woman prayed a line, her own whisper startled her and the boy. He sighed a happy sigh then settled in the floor. He loved his Naana and the Words of life that spilled from her lips. “Lord You are my Shepherd ..I shall not want anything. You make me lie down in green pastures...”

Yes it came back in bit by bit, images, faces, indifference, pain. Even the face of her sons, her own children as they turned her away. But it was too late now to hate. Mercy did that: It hid its Key in secret places in the mind: Its Words of Life that cut away unforgiveness like a sword.

The woman laughed then cried: Re-awakenings were bitter, but oh so sweet if you found the Key!

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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.

‘What you see outside your window..’

So, no random wheeling around my city. No touching other Humans, Malls, or Theater, stay in!

I’m basically a hermit, but when asked NOT to go out, ah the urge – the urge to watch sunset from anyplace else but here. And where are we these days: an entire globe @home?

FourChairs Drayton, UK.
Pic : The Phoblography thankyou Dave Bignell for your amazing Blog presence.

My own window fills ~ with papers, books, younger elbows, easel, plants;

I wonder what life is like for you. We learn new words like Social Distancing, we stall some die hard 9-5 habits, dawn walk, handshake, warm hug, oh do not even whisper words mask & sanitizer to me🤧😷🤒.


Going through every bit of news I could get on Ugh Covid from here in Peninsula S.India to anyplace in the world that had even one nice thing to say, this fascinating page in the Irish Times yesterday kind of stunned me, though today’s toll at Italy takes Corono- casualties to a new 2500?,

still, let nothing take away from this heart warming Italian event; Article- “Coronavirus: Italy resists disaster with cultural pursuits”. It swaps ‘Distancing‘ for Sonic Flashmob, what’s that?

👇, do follow link for entire read & must – listen – to – Music video.

‘From the point of view of solidarity, beautiful things are happening … The Irish Times

Excerpts from Article Coronavirus: Italy resists disaster with cultural pursuits.

NAOMI O’LEARY Europe Correspondent. Mar 15, 2020.

All across Italy people are turning to music in an effort to beat boredom, socialise and keep their spirits high as the country battles Europe’s worst outbreak of coronavirus. Video: David Dunne.

In the minutes before six o’clock, Jessica Phelan climbed the stairs to the roof of her building to look out over her Rome neighbourhood. All day on social media, a hashtag had been trending: “sonic flashmob”, spreading the word that something would happen when the clock struck six.

Phelan saw neighbours emerge at balconies and windows, from apartments where they have been living in isolation under government orders to curb Europe’s worst outbreak of coronavirus, which has been killing more than 200 citizens a day in Italy’s overwhelmed hospitals.

People started waving to each other, calling ‘ciao, ciao’,” Phelan recalled. “A bunch of people started whacking tamborines, people had maracas. It was just noise at first. But then somebody started singing Bella Ciao.”

The “sonic flashmob” or “flashmob sonoro” began in Rome with the 18-member street music band Fanfaroma …

We were saying on our chat group, what will we do? How can we play?” said the band’s saxophonist Luciano Belvilacqua. “Then someone said, ‘let’s go out and play on our balconies’.”

It was madness, it was like New Year’s Eve,” he said.

Similar initiatives flowered spontaneously in other cities. Clips of apartment buildings producing impromptu choirs lit up social media over the weekend.

Songs of resilience that recall difficult times of the past are finding a special resonance. At noon on Saturday, one Bologna neighbourhood filled the with sound of applause after a resident broadcast from their window the Evening of Miracles, a song that recalls the town squares filling with people again after the second World War.

Comedian and musician Francesco Cicchella changed the lyrics of the traditional Neapolitian song Luna Rossa, or Red Moon, to tell the tale of the masks, disinfectant, and solitude of life under quarantine.

Let’s make this go more viral than the virus!” he wrote on Facebook…

We are trying to make this period of quarantine less sad, a bit more fun,said Cicchella.

Children can call a telephone number to be told a story. Theatres stream drama. Opera house the Teatro Regio di Torino, founded in 1740, began broadcasting performances of Verdi over YouTube. The Museum of Modern Art in Bologna is publishing videos from artists showing their work….botanic gardens launched virtual tours…..

A woman plays music from her balcony in Milan. Photograph: New York Times
A woman plays music from her balcony in Milan. Photograph: New York Times

The theme is ‘what you see from your window’. Perhaps we have more time to take notice of things, now that we are all shut in our homes,” Sanzo said.

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You need to respond in some way because otherwise people will feel too alone. Going onto the balcony to sing with other people gives you courage,” Belvilacqua, the saxophonist says.

REPOSTED FROM THE IRISH TIMES.

Another Link just in,

and this one tears me up much more here, ITALY ON LOCKDOWN.

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Windows locking in on our lives, and perhaps more than windows..

I’ve read this somewhere: that we each have a Stairwell running from the roots of us to a zone above our present time, our present tense…… routing us to Things we cannot know exist even just moments ahead.

My Ma had a song about that. “There’s a stairway that winds up to heaven, and it takes but a moment to climb. It’s a stairway of prayer and you’ll find it, anywhere you may be, any time. Whenever I pray I climb a Stairway….

Don’t you wonder what the past few weeks may be preparing us for: how a Season like this one could re-route you, me, all of us through to healthier or otherwise, co-existence in our respective communities?

Who knows how this will all pan out, but let’s please not let one Window stay shut, not miss one Step if we can. Tough call, but we are a Tougher Generation than we dare suspect. Did I just say that?

😇Stay inspired. This too, shall surpass!

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