Posted in Christian, Family and Society, Personal Musings, poetry

Splash of Promise

Improvisation is a must, especially when running a houseful of tiny feet. This subtle fact is realized, when off-hand promises are called into account. When guile doesn’t help, it’s time to bring out the big guns and aim for a happy outcome. Alas, real life, especially for us big ones, it doesn’t always happen so.

“For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favour and honour; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless.” (Psalm 84:11)

Each of us may have had our fair share of promises. As the years go by, we realize that some mayn’t be kept as duly when said; while others may happen over time, albeit in a manner such that the snail may go at a faster pace. Yet many a time, we just let those words go fade away, for the mind and the heart feel those words would stay in the infinite emptiness.

Nevertheless when those believed to be empty promises do happen, the first feeling that swamps through is the gift of His Grace. Once this is known, the feeling of awa and surprise lights up within the self. In building our plans or going by our regular, we often tend to overlook the fact that there is He supreme above all of us. Every now and then, as we are shown, His Love and His Grace has the power and gift to dissolve the stones across the path or give us strength to chart a new route. His Promises hold true for those with His Faith, whether it be smaller than a mustard seed. The strong belief and faith that each of our rainbows will come in our due time, would bring in the light to chase away the shadows of uncertainty. And when the mind is being weighed by those unfulfilled promises, know that each of us will have our share our share of His Rainbow, all we need to do is to survive through the torrential rains or gales, whichever way it may be. Till then, hold true, pray deep, preserve on, buckle down and let His Love and Strength lift us from within.

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”(James 1:17)

God’s Rainbow
by Author Unknown
The falling rain dissolves into mist
And the thunder begins to die
As the sporadic lightning fades
An arch of color pours from the sky.

Rainbows appear after mighty storms
When things look their worst
Just when the sky is darkest gray,
Out of Heaven does a rainbow burst.

God first sent the rainbow to Noah
As a sign that His word is true
The rainbow’s eternal message
Still speaks to me and you.

The rainbow is a sign of God’s promise
That He will guide us through any storm
That He will ease all our troubles,
No matter what their form.

When you feel battered by life’s storms
And you are filled with doubt and dismay
Just remember God’s rainbow is coming,
For it’s blessing you have only to pray.

“With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.” Eleanor Roosevelt

Posted in Family and Society, Life, Personal Musings, poetry, Random Thoughts, Reflections, Work

Hazy, but in Form

The usual say, is that when the going gets tough, the tough get going. Sadly no one ever mentions, how to get the going part. In short, where or how does the inspiration for the going strike. For now, the skies offer some comfort.

“Your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go. They merely determine where you start.” Nido Qubein

Have you ever seen the shape of clouds ? They flit, they float, they reshape and they transform. The new game was a chance discovery by the kids. From heart shaped to fluffy shaped pillow like, or the wisps that looks like boots, the skies offer a break from the mundane and the lag of the present. The beauty of the endless forms of white scattered across the dusky or bright to dim skies, show one of the endless possibilities of the world.

“Often it isn’t the mountains ahead that wear you out, it’s the little pebble in your shoe.” Muhammad Ali

While nature has it’s own furies and wrath, the clouds in the skies offer a semblance of comfort in the tough moments. Each time one falls, look to the skies and the answer shall come to the self later. As for the cloudy and rainy days, the skies after may hold the rainbow in the vastness of own.

 

Still I Rise
BY MAYA ANGELOU
You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
’Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops,
Weakened by my soulful cries?

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
’Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own backyard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.

Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

Maya Angelou, “Still I Rise” from And Still I Rise: A Book of Poems. Copyright © 1978 by Maya Angelou. Used by permission of Random House, an imprint and division of Penguin Random House LLC. All rights reserved.
Source: The Complete Collected Poems of Maya Angelou (1994)

Posted in Family and Society, Life, Personal Musings, poetry, Random Thoughts

Contention

Each of us have one of those days wherein, the entire day starts off a sour note. The “what-ifs” and “if’s” plague us to the extent that one may have a couple of hours (or even days) of uncertainty, despair and anguish. While dwelling in it, things never make any sense at all. Later when the dust-storm settles down, things get a little clearer and the realization comes. The latter being that one has to either go with the flow, against or modify it to own heart’s content. The million dollar way out, is how to settle the storm within.

“It’s not always necessary to be strong, but to feel strong.” Jon Krakauer

Looking back, the sudden bout of “going downhill within” quite often stem from our own insecurities. Of whether what we have done so far, was any worth or whether we would be able to follow and do a little of our dreams in the near future. The hard fact is that these feelings are bound to stay and surface every now and then. The trick lies in not letting those “feelings” get ahead of us.

“So how to temper down the storm ?”

The answer never comes easy. But it helps never to forget how far one has come. The roots that we have come from and how far we have made it. Though the journey may hold many more miles ahead, to savour the success of the past and the present, no matter how small they may be, are important. The chart of our dreams need to be looked into again, to find our present standing in the map. Then we fold it, take a deep breath and dig out the shreds of will, strength and courage from within. Finally with one foot ahead of the other, the attempt to is made to find a way ahead. Though the gait may be shuffling in manner, the point is to try and be who we want to be. Not a mold of another, but who we are at heart.

As the phrase goes, “Accept that some days you are the pigeon, some days you are the statue” but the fact remains that one still holds the belief within that they can try. All it lies is not in giving up, but holding onto the flame within. As one reaches to the safe side and traces out those “storm days”, few of which may be buried deep in the recesses of the mind; the sheer survival of those dark hours gives strength to face the trials over time.

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams.” Henry David Thoreau

Be Who You Must Be
Diarmuid Cronin

I don’t know where you are on your path
I have never stood in your shoes
I see not with your eyes.
I know not what your purpose is here
In this stage of your evolution
But I feel blessed to know you
As you are not in my life by chance
And you are my teacher
As I hope you learn from me
I pray I show reverence to you
I pray not to judge you
I wish to let you be
Who you are
Who you dream of being
I will just be beside you
And watch you grow
And the day will come for sure
When we will know why
Our paths crossed this way
And until then my friend
Be who you must be

Posted in Family and Society, Life, Personal Musings, Quotes, Reflections

On the Search

Watching the raindrops hit against the window panes resulted in one of those work-from-home days being that one of deep introspection, beyond the daily routine of life. Reflecting on the happenings of the outside world, especially in the society around us; it feels like each of us is on a hunt for something.

Being human, we yearn for many things. From hoping to feel complete with a successful career, the “good life” as deemed by the society and the hope to be with those who make us smile. In the quest for all those and beyond, we forget a couple of things. Society is defined by us, who we accept as ours and those we choose to believe in. It is man, we humans, who make up society. So each of us have a place in it, for it is right so, when the true society is defined by all of us being a part of it. There will be many voices around us, but the choice is ours to make and listen to. The choosing and the listening depends on us; our inner beliefs and dreams.

Caught up in the fabric of the modern society, what one never must forget is to always be human, always be kind. It doesn’t have to be anything big, but something as small as lending an ear, or giving each one of those we love adequate space to not be crushed but near enough to catch when one accidentally trips. Letting the gleam of the silk fabric surround us, doesn’t give one any comfort for the cold rainy nights. Each of us need the other. And so does those around us, need us.

Resonating through each day gifted by time and life, is the feeling of being happy and content. To feel so, doesn’t equate to pure perfection or sunny days around the year. One learns to pick up the shattered pieces of the clay pot and make it into a mosaic for the flower garden. For that is life, to be content and happy lies in being comfortable in our own skin. In all the never ending search for the something better, we are bound to mess up. When the going gets a lot more tough, it is time to reach out for support and reach within to redefine ourselves. Each search needs to be defined to an end, to the real purpose. As far as quests go, being truly happy and content take the lead any time, any day.

“This life is what you make it. No matter what, you’re going to mess up sometimes, it’s a universal truth. But the good part is you get to decide how you’re going to mess it up.
Girls will be your friends – they’ll act like it anyway. But just remember, some come, some go. The ones that stay with you through everything – they’re your true best friends. Don’t let go of them. Also remember, sisters make the best friends in the world.
As for lovers, well, they’ll come and go too. And baby, I hate to say it, most of them – actually pretty much all of them are going to break your heart, but you can’t give up because if you give up, you’ll never find your soulmate. You’ll never find that half who makes you whole and that goes for everything. Just because you fail once, doesn’t mean you’re gonna fail at everything. Keep trying, hold on, and always, always, always believe in yourself, because if you don’t, then who will, sweetie? So keep your head high, keep your chin up, and most importantly, keep smiling, because life’s a beautiful thing and there’s so much to smile about.”
― Marilyn Monroe

Posted in Family and Society, Life, Personal Musings, poetry

Unparalleled

For one to realize the frailty of life versus time given to one, scanning the first few pages of the newspaper is enough, or just listen to the morning news hour. For some who thought they had time, there wasn’t any. Whereas others have been blessed with a second chance, good or bad, only time knows the final outcome. Through all this one realizes how blessed one has been. In fact, these thought bring out the true meaning of what “we have never realized”.

One never realizes how blessed one has been with a job or any form of employment, till the day the wages stop coming and the money is out of the hand. One never knows the gift of a family, unless they come back to an empty set of rooms with no voices, but only those of the media. One never realizes how much they were blessed with their own path to walk and friends to visit, until they are forced to confine within. Instead of realizing the simple gifts of time and life as a whole, we crib that theatres are shut, malls are out and we are all stuck.

“Life’s not about expecting, hoping and wishing, it’s about doing, being and becoming.” Mike Dooley

True that life may put one in a bind at times; yet for every things there aren’t just one or two but many sides which can be explored. While we crib about what we may have missed out on, learn not to lose out on what we have right now.

If one had to truly measure up the gifts we have been blessed with, the list made would put out the “so called better things” out with a whiff. As time shows us how fickle she can be with life, let each day be a highlight of the gifts that she offers us, put to use and not left behind in the chase for the perceived better.

How Much Would This Cost?
Courtland W. Sayers

One midnight deep in starlight still
I dreamed that I received this bill:
…………..In account with life:
Five thousand breathless dawns all new;
Five thousand flowers fresh in dew;
Five thousand sunsets wrapped in gold;
One million snowflakes served ice cold,
Five quiet friends; one baby’s love;
One white-mad sea with clouds above;
One hundred music-haunted dreams
Of moon drenched roads and hurrying streams,
One June night in a fragrant wood;
One heart that loved and understood.
I wondered when I woke that day
‘How much this would cost if I had to pay?’

Posted in Family and Society, Personal Musings, Photography Art, Random Thoughts

In Our Own Way

With the situation running along the same lines as in the previous months, all this sudden realization of the little things in life have given us plenty of food for thought. Slowly as the social strata get back into a semblance of an order, the reality is still unsettles remains strong. As each one of us embolden ourselves to face these small but significant challenges, we learn new things not just about others alone, but concerning ourselves as well. Of them, the most important thing, is to learn from the few experiences that life takes each one of us through.

“It isn’t what you have, or who you are, or where you are, or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about.” Dale Carnegie

As one journeys through, we learn to understand the silence in a better manner as well as to read between the lines and a glimpse into the souls around us. The art to speak soft, approach slowly , spread the warmth around us as well as to share the pain in the eyes of those around us; once learnt from life, then become her priceless gift to us. To not just know the bitterness of loss, but also to experience the joy of gaining is how time teaches us the value of each hour that we breathe the air around us.

The inner circle that we choose to live in, is not measured by beauty, wealth, education or fame alone; but by kindness, sincerity and love. While one may falter every now and then in keeping the circle of our choice, over time being true to oneself becomes easier and as learnt and discovered is a wiser way and option to hold onto.

“Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties.” Helen Keller

In our own way, doing small and simple things helps one to being whole. As universal love has taught and showed us, being grandiose never bears more fruit than just being ourselves, simple, kind and of the intent to share the joy and love with the world around us. Being kind, is no less beautiful and is the crux to finding own happiness. For no matter what comes and goes, these are the things that one yearns for in life. To share the simple joys, being happy and at peace within; one doesn’t have to journey far but start from within. At the end, being true in our own ways is what matters the most, in life across the aeons of time.

Posted in Family and Society, Life, poetry, Reflections

After the Stay

Switching by-lanes while on the long awaited drive to the office, courtesy of the slow lock-down restrictions being eased; the traffic queues were no longer an impatient. To see various expressions through the eyes, behind the masks, movement across the roads as well as the small flow of people, the feeling of belonging to a social structure was there. One never realizes how relevant each minute of our life is, unless we have been deprived of the routine. While the lock-down had seen the start of new routines, techniques and ventures; it has also opened up a whole new meaning to being complete from within.

“What a wonderful thought it is that some of the best days of our lives haven’t even happened yet.” Anne Frank

Staying in a place, and trying to phase out the schedule between work and home was no mean feat. Bringing the benefit of being closer as a family, exploring new interests or simply picking where one had left off like a project started years ago, brought back the essence of family and helped to re tune ourselves. On the other hand, the camaraderie at the work place, the weekly meet-up between local friends and interacting with the local townsfolk were some events which weren’t the same, even when done through video-conferencing or through social media. Fact is, those were some of the things sorely missed.

Human Interactions. It is what makes each of our days special and complete. As we hear and watch the experiences of others, we learn not just a lot about them, but also open up a fresh insight into ourselves and things to ponder about. While the past few weeks have been a time of finding oneself, setting new challenges as well as getting back in touch with ourselves; donning the masks and learning to blend in with the situation and re-enter society within the limits of the new guidelines teaches us how fragile and precious each second of the day is.

Slowly reentering back into the routine, the changes brought on will stay; but they have also taught us a lot about being human. Which is why, to be gracious and being kind should be always a part of our innate nature. And as we try to do so, we heal within and start off each bend in the road, with courage and stength with the promise of an experience worth our while in the world that we live in.

“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” Dan Millman

And People Stayed Home

And people stayed home
and read books and listened
and rested and exercised
and made art and played
and learned new ways of being
and stopped
and listened deeper
someone meditated
someone prayed
someone danced
someone met their shadow
and people began to think differently
and people healed
and in the absence of people who lived in ignorant ways,
dangerous, meaningless and heartless,
even the earth began to heal
and when the danger ended

and people found each other
grieved for the dead people
and they made new choices
and dreamed of new visions
and created new ways of life
and healed the earth completely
just as they were healed themselves.

Kathleen O’Meara (1839–1888)
(This poem was written by an Irish-French Catholic writer, Kathleen O’Meara (Dublin 1839 – Paris 1888), who also wrote under the pen name of Grace Ramsay, and is to be found in her novel Iza’s Story, set against the background of the Polish struggle against the occupation and partition of their country in various stages by Russia, Austria and Prussia from 1772 onwards. She compares the Polish-Russian situation to the Irish-British situation. For the present, this poem when set against the background of present makes way for a thought provoking read.)