Winds of contentment are blowing

“I am weary of personal worrying,
in love with the art of madness.”
― Jalaluddin Rumi

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Thrown back into powerlessness,
a spacious place to dwell.
Immersed in a sea of forgiveness,
absorbed by a transforming swell.
Galloping through pastures of freedom,
into the acceptance of being,
while winds of contentment are blowing
watching resentment flee.
I would like to exist here forever
where redemption songs can be heard,
my eyes still on the horizon,
no breath of love disturbed.
I can hear the applause of heaven,
as the Universe sways in glee,
and the stars are transmitting signals
to eradicate foreboding debris.

Freaky Friday

astronautEating apple pie,
on the fourth of July.
Hope soaring in the sky
reveries flying high.
Expectations I can’t deny.
New York is where I’d fly.
America dreaming in my eye,
and it’s no wonder why!
Will my visa qualify?
They may think I am a spy,
and I’d be left high and dry.
I’ll breathe a deep sigh
and end up in Uruguay.
I would be terrified.
Well how about Shanghai?
That won’t satisfy,
maybe have another try,
or go to Hawaii.
I love the thought of Versailles,
my plans may go awry
but that does not imply
that I’m really kinda shy!
My humour is quite wry
though I should specify
that if I qualify,
I may preoccupy
the way that I reply.
I can dignify,
that I’m not an alumni.
When I’m put on standby,
I’ll read “catcher in the Rye”,
watch the series “Firefly”,
enjoy cartoons like Popeye
and sing sweet lullabies.
Maybe meet the sultan of Brunei…
I hope they have Wi-Fi!
An Astronaut may testify
that I can’t grow Bonsai.
I ramble, I know not why,
I’m trying to make time fly.
I may need an alibi,
when they hear how much I lie.
I’ve escaped into sci-fi.
I’m not a Gemini.
Please do not notify
the authorities at CSI.
They may intensify
the search with the FBI.
I’ll have to justify,
the need to indemnify
the fact I was in Zhuhai.
Dr Who will verify
that I’m a social butterfly,
and so I’ll state hereby
that I do not qualify,
to be a Samurai.
I’m just a wise guy
taking the red-eye
to a place near Mumbai,
with a stop over in Dubai.
If you’re mystified
I do apologise
words are in short supply
But before I make you cry,
this poem typifies
my need to ratify,
that rhymes do comply
with verses I amplify.
I promise the end is nigh,
aye, aye…
Let me smile and wave goodbye…..

Breathing Under Water

This is one of my favourite poems
by Carol Bieleck

the-sea-4
I built my house by the sea.
Not on the sands, mind you;
not on the shifting sand.
And I built it of rock.

A strong house
by a strong sea.
And we got well acquainted, the sea and I.
Good neighbors.
Not that we spoke much.
We met in silences.
Respectful, keeping our distance,
but looking our thoughts across the fence of sand.
Always, the fence of sand our barrier,

always, the sand between.

And then one day,
-and I still don’t know how it happened –
the sea came.
Without warning.

Without welcome, even
Not sudden and swift, but a shifting across the sand like wine,
less like the flow of water than the flow of blood.
Slow, but coming.
Slow, but flowing like an open wound.
And I thought of flight and I thought of drowning and I thought of death.
And while I thought the sea crept higher, till it reached my door.
And I knew, then, there was neither flight, nor death, nor drowning.
That when the sea comes calling, you stop being neighbors,
Well acquainted, friendly-at-a-distance neighbors,
And you give your house for a coral castle,
And you learn to breathe underwater.

Courage

skeletons

“Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy—the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.”
Brené Brown

There have been times when I have been afraid to tell my story. It’s mainly because of the reaction I get  from some people, thus causing me to have shame. I think it’s because I care too much what people may think of me. I know it sounds silly, but I am afraid of being judged. Feeling alone with one’s secrets is terrifying.

I would like to be more courageous.

Often when I read someone else’s heart-rendering story, it helps me feel that I am not alone in the World. I admire courage, I do not despise it.

Franklin D Roosevelt said “Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the assessment that something else is more important than fear.” So actually if we expose our vulnerability and it thereby helps someone, we transmute our fear.

The principal of “Alcoholics Anonymous” is a sense of sharing one’s struggles and in so doing the pain lessens. In the rooms of AA people expose their vulnerability and still feel accepted and loved. I have seen more courage among addicts than anywhere else. I suppose it helps to keep things anonymous in the real thick of the battle.

Brene Brown said “If we can share our story with someone who responds with empathy and understanding, shame can’t survive.”

It is interesting that when we explore the darkness, we discover the light. Perhaps in exposing the darkness we put our hidden things into the light and that sets us free.

I would like to ask my younger self “does it really matter what people think of me and do I really have to look good?” My Mother used to say to me “we shouldn’t air the dirty family washing”! So maybe it was an old pattern I adopted from my Youth!

I would love to go forward from here and be more courageous…….

“When you’re 20 you care what everyone thinks, when you’re 40 you stop caring what everyone thinks, when you’re 60 you realise no one was ever thinking about you in the first place!” Unknown

 

 

Life in slow motion

birds

Recently I posted on my Facebook page that I’m a “breast cancer survivor”. I don’t really talk about it much anymore, mostly because I don’t want it to become my identity. I also don’t want pity.

I’ve thought about it and I realise that my story is a beacon of hope for those who are the midst of the struggle with cancer.

Having breast cancer was a major pause of reflection in my life. It was a time when everything was in slow motion and all around me were moments of gratitude intermixed with a lot of nausea. My memory has erased most of the bad parts.

At the time I thought I might die and I wrote some words to everyone who means something to me. I keep those words as a reminder of my hearts appreciation.

The hardest part of having cancer was the chemo, its horrible stuff; it wreaks havoc on every cell in the body. I cried when they said my hair would fall out.

The intravenous infusion I was given was called “the red devil” and it lived up to its name. When I got home I was violently ill for days and I had such bad thrush in my mouth that I could hardly swallow.

I felt all around me magnificent beings showing me love and support. I felt Angels watching over me.

The day I got my head shaved because my hair was a mere wisp I saw pity in the eyes of my beloveds.

On looking back though, I know I dodged a bullet. The first surgeon I went to when the lump was detected had visions of his Mauritius holiday when he saw me. He gave me no choice; just a “consent form” as he explained that if he found cancer during the surgery he would lop off my boob. (not in those words, but very close)

As I left his luxurious suite, he callously said to me “there, there, I operated on a woman just recently and she went to “The Met” with a sock in it”. He had the compassion of a gnat.

With tears streaming down my face I made my way out of the leafy upper-class suburb.

I spent the weekend trying to fathom out what sock size could replace my womanhood.

My niece a Medical student at the time had heard of my plight and she told me to go for a second opinion. It was the Sunday evening before the scheduled operation, and I had to act fast.

After firing Doctor “feel bad”, I found myself in the modest suites of gentle doctors. As one did the needle biopsy to see if it was cancer, the other, a surgeon explained that I had a choice. I could have a mastectomy or a lumpectomy. I chose the latter.

It’s now just a distant memory and I still bear a faint scar. I think about it sometimes if I get a bad headache or any unusual affliction and I wonder at times if it’s coming back.

I may have put it out of my consciousness to try and chase it away. Somewhere inside me some fear still resides but it’s not all consuming.

I have come to see it as the kind of life lesson that explodes with gratitude and hope. It has caused me to appreciate life more and smell more roses and imbibe more sunshine.

For those who were with me during this time my appreciation is cosmic.
I was lucky to come out alive….

Turning the World on its head

sunset

I’ve wondered for a long time what it means to be blessed. Then I looked up the word “blessed” in the dictionary, and it means holy/consecrated. Consecrated means sacred and sacred means connected with God.

The other dilemma I had was the beatitudes show a different version of what people in the church call “being blessed”.

I think that Jesus turned the world on its head, but nobody is listening!

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”. The interpretation in the message is “You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you, there is more of God”.

It makes you think doesn’t it? Those who bandy around the word “blessed” all the time need to rethink it. Nowhere does it say that having a new car and a wonderful life makes you blessed, because do those things really make you holy and connected to God?

Me thinks not, sometimes when we are at our very lowest ebb, and we’ve lost everything we feel the very presence of our Divine saviour!

So let’s read further….
“Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted”. That has been a hard one to comprehend, but when you see the true meaning of being blessed maybe it brings more understanding. The message says “You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One dearest to you”.

Being blessed doesn’t necessarily mean we feel good. We feel ripped to the core of our being when we lose someone we love. The amazing thing that we can know is that when we mourn we will be comforted and so connected to the Divine!

So my question really is “do material possessions bring us closer to God”? When you have a trouble free life, are you blessed?

I think the church would do well to rather say (when things go right for them) that they feel content which means satisfied or pleased or to really examine if a good life makes you closer to the divine?

My favourite one is “blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth”. There are many interpretations out there and the message says “You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are-no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought”.
Meek means to be quiet, gentle and easily imposed on. In reality can you see the meek inheriting the Earth? All around us are smug opportunists, platform builders and rich dudes who walk all over people and it looks like they are inheriting the earth!

However, I’m looking forward to that day when the meek inherit the earth!

Do me a favour and look up the word “blessed” in your concordance. You will find blessing comes from trusting God and walking in His ways. Sometimes it means being persecuted, feeling sad and being spiritually poor.

So if you hear me say “I’m blessed”, it could be that I have completely fallen apart and reached rock bottom and maybe just maybe got connected to the divine.