Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Serendipity, Sao Paulo

It was love at first sight for me. From the moment I discovered
the Internet, I was hooked. To seal the obsession, I was part
of the team that developed the launch campaign for the Internet
in Bahrain, inet for Batelco. I was one of those copywriters
who liked to believe in the products she sold, and with inet it was easy.

I could go on and on about the joys of the Internet, but for now
I'll rave about just one of them -  the way it connects us all,
around the world. Every day that I check my blog, I'm amazed -
and awed - that there are visitors from continents I may never see,
from cities and towns I have never heard of, or places whose names
bring back memories of books I have read or songs I've listened to.
Every now and then I like to google and look for the deeper connection
between myself and these places or the people who come to this blog from them.

This morning I blog-hopped over to Angela's blog in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
It was all in Spanish, but there was one little box in the top right corner,
whose contents I recognised immediately.

Se Deus e por nos,
quem sera contra nos?

It's a line from the Bible's New Testament, one that I'd heard
so often as a schoolgirl, but nothing that I've kept top of mind.
This morning, however, I was disturbed and confused about
something I'd read last night, and there were a zillion questions
bouncing around my mind. My little blog-hop to Sao Paulo
gave me the answer to them all.

Thank you, Angela, for being my connection to this.

Thursday, 21 October 2010

The Mysterious Case of the Unresolved Anger

Where does it go?
Nobody sees it, not even me.
I feel it birth and swell and rise and disappear.
I think it is gone, but I should know better.

Here it is, in my blood, spitting such words of poison to the cells around it
that they cling to each other, dig their nails into walls and hold on for dear life.

There my anger is, in my arteries and veins hardening me inch by inch
all the way to my heart.

And not just in my blood, I feel it in my bones eating through and wearing me thin.
Here it is in my knees, hurting me so bad I cannot climb the stairs to an open terrace,
or sit cross-legged to play games with a baby.

Here too in my eyes, holding back the tears so the pressure builds and builds and one day
I will have to give way and be blinded by the flood of anger that sucks me into its darkness.

Here is my anger, in my stomach burning acid.

Here on my skin, erupting in tiny volcanoes of rage, breaking out across my flesh like
a rampaging, molten mob.

Here - and there - in my kidney, in my hair.
My anger is invisible, nowhere and everywhere.

I can fool myself for a while, say it's gone and smile and ignore all the clues

but my body will snarl out the truth.


Friday, 15 October 2010

The facts of life.

Quite often, sitting on the potty brings forth pearls of wisdom. Here is today's:

Once I thought I was so cool
But really I was just a fool.

Once, I'm sure, I was quite hot
But now, alas, I'm not.


Friday, 8 October 2010

Tree #1's birthday present.

When I turned 42, I asked friends around the world to plant trees
for me, as a birthday present. I didn't quite reach my goal of 42 trees,
but it's nice to know that somewhere out there are trees growing
on almost every continent because of me.

The first tree from this  project was planted in my parents' garden,
a day before my birthday. It took three years, but on my birthday
this year, we discovered its first lime, ready to be plucked. 

My lime tree is nearly as tall as I am now (how quickly they
grow up!) and I wonder how the other trees are doing. I must
ask my friends to send me recent pictures. In the meantime,
if anyone out there would like to plant me a tree, please do!
Don't forget to take a picture that I can put up here. And if
any of you have "special" trees, planted in celebration of
a birthday or some other special occasion, I'd love to hear about it.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Choose joy.

The answers are always around us. It's how we look that helps us
to see. I can focus on the ugly pipe shaft from the building next door,
built a little too close to its compound wall, or I can focus on the way
the sunlight plays with the plant on my windowsill. There's always a choice.

Monday, 4 October 2010

Trees to paper to trees.

I saw these three tree designs in a book on applique stitchery
and they looked such fun I couldn't resist giving them a try -
but remembering years of accidentally stitching my needlework
projects to my school tunic, I decided I'd be better off working
with paper and scissors. An excellent form of therapy for anyone
with packrat tendencies. I can now justify all those old magazines
that I Just Can't Throw Away.

Sunday, 3 October 2010

A tiny bit significant.

My last post was about something hugely significant. It's getting 
such an incredible response that for the last two days I've been 
worrying about how to follow that up. Finally, I chose this picture 
I took last week. Visually I find it appealing - the round green 
leaves, the curl of the dried leaves, the white streaks against 
that lovely dark grey in the granite, and the texture of the sand. 
What I like about it best, though, is the fact that the green plant 
you see there, from one tip to another, would fit inside 
a 50 paise coin (a diameter of no more than 2 cm).

I love that it's possible to find beauty and symbolism in 
the tiniest of things. I look at this and I see so many different 
things. A story of survival in spite of the odds. A story of 
life's timeline - birth and growth, solidity and strength, 
withering and crumbling. And a story of reassurance:  
because if there is significance and beauty in a little weed 
down at my feet, there is significance in me, and in everything. 
And if everything matters, if nothing is unimportant, then 
the things I give far too much importance to - success, 
perfection, improvement and competition - might be over-rated.

All I have to do is be me.

Friday, 1 October 2010

Once upon 2.77 acres

Once upon 2.77 acres of land, people discovered God. Some 
of the people called Him Rama. Some called Him Allah. God 
smiled at them all, because only He knew that He was in every 
name, and that He was beyond names.

Sometimes God tried to explain this to the people, but they 
could not understand. He tried to tell them through the leaves 
of trees, and through the songs of birds. He planted His truth 
in the eyes of every child, and He waited for the people to 
see it. But they would not look, and so they did not see.

The people, however, did love God. They were fascinated 
by Him. They adored and feared Him, and they chose beautiful 
ways to worship Him. They did not all choose the same way, 
of course, because God had long ago breathed into each of these 
people the gifts of self-expression and choice. So some of the people 
heard a hymn to God in the striking of a bell, and some 
heard it in the voice of a man calling them to prayer.

God heard them both. But in time, another sound started to drown 
out the hymns He loved. It was the sound of the people, quarrelling 
amongst themselves as to whose god God was.

God bowed His head and wept. And the people looked up 
and said, “Ah, rain.”

For a time, they were distracted, and they began to speak of weather 
and soil and geography. But inevitably, they returned to their arguing. 
And this time they quarrelled about whose land God’s land was.

“Mine,” said God, whispering the word through the rustle of leaves. 
But the people could not hear the word over the noise of their angers 
and their fears.

“Yours,” said God, scattering the word through the songs of birds. 
But the people were too busy gathering evidence to spare any time 
to find the word.

“Ours,” said God, shining the word through the eyes of children. 
But the people kept their eyes fixed, burning with hate, upon 
each other, and did not notice the word.

Nobody knows the exact day when He walked quietly away 
from those 2.77 acres of land, and nobody said goodbye, 
because nobody noticed He had left.

(Edited 15 April 2014)