Posted in Life, Personal Musings, poetry, Reflections, Work

Stop..Observe..Shift..Move

Ever felt the awe on wondering how one had reached the end. Sometimes it’s so hard to grasp that one has finally checked off that “to-do” in our own list. Such were the feelings on nearing the finish of the present project. While the start and the journey through were something not to be experienced again by choice, the lessons learnt have not just changed the mind but moulded the perspective for the years ahead. The initial phase of the project was something akin to the experience of Edison and his light bulb; too many glitches and hang-ups on how to start off. In the end we had to break it down to many minor components and then tackle it down. Through all this was team-work, improvisation and plenty of re-dos. But the point was to stick on to it.

“Life is a blank canvas, and you need to throw all the paint on it you can.” Danny Kaye

Many of us have gone through similar phases in some part of our lives. They were those days when one couldn’t earmark them as progressive days. But the reality was those were the rest days to regroup, re-focus and re-centre ourselves once again. Those gap days gave the energy to strive on. The change of thinking lay in not rushing off to mark each day as a failure or success, but to look at the bigger objective and target. Sometimes in our haste to reach tot he top, we forget that without the rest for the soul, the body nor the mind can’t move ahead.

“And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.” Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore

To regroup, sometimes we need to go back and re-trace our steps. Few may be wrong; but admitting them mayn’t be an easy task. For those moments let the feeling of “I’m always right” take a backseat. Being human, we all are prone to err. So it doesn’t really matter that one went wrong, rectification if feasible, is what makes a whole lot of difference. As long as one keeps the will strong, time would be an ally to the self. Take a moment, a deep breath and chin up. As always, be true to the self and move ahead. Eventually we’ll all reach there.

The Mountain

If the mountain seems too big today
then climb a hill instead;
If morning brings you sadness
it’s okay to stay in bed.
If the day ahead feels heavy and your plans feel like a curse,
There’s no shame in rearranging,
don’t make yourself feel worse.
If a shower stings like needles
and a bath feels like you’ll drown;
If you haven’t washed your hair for days,
don’t throw away your crown!
A day is not a lifetime.
A rest is not defeat.
Don’t think of it as failure,
Just a quiet, kind retreat.
It’s okay to take a moment
From an anxious, fractured mind.
The world will not stop turning
While you get realigned!
The mountain will still be there
When you want to try again
You can climb it in your own time,
Just love yourself till then!

Laura Ding-Edwards

Posted in Life, Personal Musings, Photography Art, Reflections

Flap to Flight

Cooped in the same stretch of space for a couple of weeks drives “not just the toddler in the house” but also the bigger ones into a frenzy. While the taller they are the more refined become the ways to kill boredom, the smaller ones don’t get diverted that easy. Which is why one of the practical purchases online included the “bi-no-culars”. Courtesy of it, the first project of interest was the nest on the old banyan tree in the backyard. For we had chanced upon the family of coppersmith barbet (chempukotti), with their hatch-lings residing covert amidst the branches.

“The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease for ever to be able to do it.” J. M. Barrie, Peter Pan

The curiosity and whispers that accompanied for the next couple of days were about the happenings on the tree. One of the activities observed was how the three fledglings were taught to fly. After the first few falls from the nest, they discovered that by spreading out the wings, the falls were not that jarring. After a couple of days the next things we saw was them flying onto the low branches.

What set the grey cells into action was the fact that they had “spread their wings and flapped”. Putting that little lesson into the realities of life, each of us are thrown into the situations that we least expect. There are many ways to deal with those scenarios. Crib and cry, or buckle up, gather the few feathers we have or grow new ones, spread them out and learn to flap. Eventually we’ll fly. At the end of the day, it all boils down what we really want to do. If one really wants to fly, know that one can and will. Whether it may be soon, in some time or long time; that isn’t entirely in our hands but what we can do is to learn and try. The rest shall soon follow.

“I was shown a fledgling learning to fly. It’s first efforts were very feeble. But as it used its wings more and more, they became stronger until it found the freedom of flight and was able to soar to great heights and fly great distance without any effort. I heard the words: Faith comes with practice. Live by faith until it becomes rocklike unshakable, and find the true freedom of the spirit.” Eileen Caddy

“You wanna fly, you got to give up the shit that weighs you down.” Toni Morrison, Song of Solomon

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

Little more “Give” than “Take”

Another end of one of the most celebrated days around the world; though this time by on the weekend, it gave a little more extra minutes to catch on those that make our “circle of love”. From the newspapers to television screens and, oh yes, not to miss out on the social media pages; get flooded with greetings of the day, we still need a reminder to know what really “love” is all about.

“Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get–only with what you are expecting to give–which is everything.” Katharine Hepburn

This emotion involves a lot of “give” than “receive”; such that the beauty or the richness is enhanced by the former. Love is what brings us hope on the dark cloudy days. It is what gives us the life when one has sunk deep. It is that which keeps one alive through the mundane days of life. It is what makes us whole, giving courage and strength; whether it is to love or being loved. From very simple things to big actions or statements, love can be shown in many forms. Whether they be big or small, the feeling or emotions behind them is what makes its’ presence felt not just during those moments but even beyond them.

“Love is like the wind, you can’t see it but you can feel it.” Nicholas Sparks

Cloaked in many forms, we all experience these feelings of endearment and warmth within our homes, across families extended , close friends and neighbourhood. Paradoxically this emotion doesn’t exist in itself but is made whole by tagging along with two aspects of any personality, the ability to be kind and respect. For both of these, one needs to give and share them around to allow love to enrich our lives. Love never boasts of being perfect. Rather its’ presence is felt better, when regardless of the imperfections perceived by own self, there is a mutual shared feeling of regard and attachment.

“The only thing we never get enough of is love; and the only thing we never give enough of is love.” Henry Miller

Love comes in different shades, but common to all of them, is the gift of being truly happy and at peace, within the heart, mind and soul. Being able to experience this is indeed a blessing in life. Spread a bit of the warmth around in the little things of not just today, but throughout the year. Let this day serve to be a true reminder of the gifts that life want to endow on us; but to receive them we need to share with others a true part of our lives. For roses are roses, whether they be seen through the bramly woods wild, or in potted sheds; the beauty is there to be seen only when one takes the effort and patience to nurture them, along with thorns and all.

Results and Roses
by Edgar A. Guest

The man who wants a garden fair,
Or small or very big,
With flowers growing here and there,
Must bend his back and dig.

The things are mighty few on earth
That wishes can attain.
Whate’er we want of any worth
We’ve got to work to gain.

It matters not what goal you seek
Its secret here reposes:
You’ve got to dig from week to week
To get results or roses.

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” (1 Corinthians 13:5-8)

Posted in Family and Society, Life, Personal Musings, Quotes, Stories Around the World

The Gem Within

Ever experienced the niggling sense or foreboding that the self is being taken for a ride. The sixth sense in us, comes out of the dormancy and starts issuing the alert, slowly increasing in tempo and then we finally make a decision or a move. Sometimes it’s easy to get hold of own self and walk away, other times we may be swept with the tide and barely escape from being drowned. Worst, when we know we are sinking and far too gone. Hindsight is a pretty powerful thing, ain’t it ?!

“Sometimes walking away has nothing to do with weakness and everything to do with strength. We walk away not because we want others to realize our worth and value, but because we finally realize our own.” Anonymous

No matter the situation one is placed in, we all have a choice; whether to do or not, how much to do or not or when to do or not. The choice depends on a lot of things, but quite often we tend to overlook how much “the doing or not” changes us deep within. No one is indispensable, neither is anyone of us disposable. Each of us has that little something, that makes us extra special for the other.

Never let go of that something; for that is what makes the pleasant and vibrant colours of the fields. As nature always says, there are many shads of green, but the riot brought by the flowers is what brings the green to life.

“Never see your importance through the standards of the world.” Anonymous

Lend a hand, but not to lose oursleves in the process. Working for the daily bread and butter, doesn’t mean to lose the self. Each one of us needs to better the “special wihtin us” and doing so, gives the feeling that truly life is beautiful.

“A father before he died said to his son: “this is a watch your grandfather gave and this is more than 200 years old, but before I give it to you go to the watch shop on the first street, and tell him I want to sell it, and see how much it is”.
He went and then came back to his father, and said, “the watchmaker paid 5 dollars because it’s old”.
He said to him: “go to the coffee shop”. He went and then came back, and said: “He paid $15 father”.
“Go to the museum and show that watch”.
— He went then came back, and said to his father “They offered me a million dollars for this piece”.
The father said: “I wanted to let you know that the right place values your value in a way right, don’t put yourself in the wrong place and get angry if you don’t. Who knows your value is who appreciates you, don’t stay in a place that doesn’t suit you”.
Source: The Internet

“People always think that the most painful thing in life is losing the one you value. The truth is, the most painful thing is losing yourself in the process of valuing someone too much and forgetting that you are special too.” Anonymous

Posted in Family and Society, Life, Personal Musings, Stories Around the World

In the Flow

Because I can count on my fingers the number of sunsets I have left, and I don’t want to miss any of them.” Suzanne Collins (author of Catching Fire)

The hustle and bustle of daily living gets to us at times, especially when we see someone whose time is drawing to a close. Even though some professional sectors especially the emergency sectors, healthcare workers, military and the like see it on a more frequent scale; each life threatening event strikes the core of own self, knowingly or unknowingly. It wouldn’t be something new for those who work in a field where one is deals too close to death like the healthcare sector, the police or even the military. For some of us (or maybe many) it would be a wake-up call; either being involved directly or indirectly (through someone) in a near brush with near-death situation as simple as a road traffic accident. Then we can feel the waves crashing around us wondering about the point of wearing ourselves down with life when death is one surety for all.

In such an event, it is time to step and see the bigger picture especially through the eyes of those who have survived near-death. We then realize that the beauty of living is when the smaller things add up and we become a part of someone else’s life. Just as “no man is an island” we are all part of a bigger orchestra to play the symphony. It is the little notes that finally sing the big tune. No matter how dreary our lives seem, there are others who have had it worse. Yet no matter whichever way it maybe, the echoes of death teach us to appreciate the hidden joys of the daily living. Each of us form a small thread in the fabric of life, be it our own or of those around us. At the end of the day, these little waves are what brings the harmony to the shore.

“Waves are the voices of tides. Tides are life,” murmured Niko. “They bring new food for shore creatures, and take ships out to sea. They are the ocean’s pulse, and our own heartbeat.” Tamora Pierce

The cycle of life and death, is an innate part of each of us. Many a time we chase behind the big wave or the bigger ride, forgetting that they came come few and far between. Instead chasing after the little clouds in our own sky zone, helps us to complete and draw a better picture than before. Not to get me wrong, do chase your dreams but learning not to forget that we are a small thread in the whole fabric makes the woven cloth a vibrancy of colours; a life of it’s own. In the face of that, the flaming embers don’t hide the gift that we all have received, been blessed with and have passed it on with our heart and soul.

The little wave The story is about a little wave, bobbing along in the ocean, having a grand old time. He’s enjoying the wind and the fresh air – until he notices the other waves in front of him, crashing against the shore. “My God, this terrible”, the wave says. “Look what’s going to happen to me!” Then along comes another wave. It sees the first wave, looking grim, and it says to him: “Why do you look so sad?” The first wave says: “You don’t understand! We’re all going to crash! All of us waves are going to be nothing! Isn’t it terrible?” The second wave says: “No, you don’t understand. You’re not a wave, you’re part of the ocean.” Source: “Tuesdays With Morrie” by Mitch Albom

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

Look up for a Smile

“Caelum non animum mutant qui trans mare currunt.
(They change their sky, not their soul, who rush across the sea.)”
― Horace, The Odes of Horace

Well into the humdrum of the working day, the ten minute walk to the local grounds for lunch, is something that one looks forward too. True that the hunger pangs may be going strong, but along with that factor is the chance to simply view the clear blue skies above.

The glorious hue of the skies often bring to the mind, the possibility of chances, new shapes of dreams, His Love and His Grace as well as the infinity of the world around us. If by any chance one notes the shapes of the clouds; their shape-shifting ability is remarkable. No one can measure the beginning or the end of the blueness of the world above us. Neither can anyone change the colour of the skies by own choice. The different hues mimic own state of mind at times, but at the end of the day the darkness is lit by twinkling lights and the blackness gives way to the brighter tomorrow.

“In the beginning was the word and the word was love and love was imagination. When love takes us through the sun-dappled garden of our imagination, no stalking horses can perturb the rainbow in our mind or fade out its bright colors reflecting in the blue sky of our memory. (“Alpha and Omega”)” Erik Pevernagie

More or less, the skies teach us to rise above the ebbs of life. It tells to climb out of the troughs and trenches that we fall into. It promises a better tomorrow if put the light of today to good use. The blue skies always highlights the fact that even after rainy days, they do come again. As the skies bring their rays around, let those strengthen the souls that live within us. For then every dark day will fade away in due time, chased away if not by the brightness of the rays above, the strength from those memories will hold the tide till then. As time always moves ahead, so do the blue skies and so will the day that always comes after the present one. All we need to do is believe and forge ahead.

“There is one spectacle grander than the sea, that is the sky; there is one spectacle grander than the sky, that is the interior of the soul.” Victor Hugo, Les Misérables

A New Day
by Anonymous
If life seems at its lowest ebb,
Because a day’s gone wrong.
Let not your heart be troubled,
For a new day soon will dawn

And we can never be quite sure,
Just what it has in store.
Since each one is so different,
Than the one just gone before

As it penetrates the darkness,
With its soft and tranquil beams.
It calms even the most restless soul,
And brings new hopes and dreams

So when a days been troubled,
And the night is dark and long.
Lift up your fallen spirits,
For a new day soon will dawn

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

Into the Next Over

While scheduling the work events for the next week and corresponding them into the wall calendar in the kitchen was when the irony of the innumerable uncertainties of the year that was the present.

“Last year’s words belong to last year’s language. And next year’s words await another voice.” T.S. Eliot

Despite all the chaos of the year, there are many things one would have been grateful for. There would also be many blessings that were received with surprise and gratitude; the help from unknown corners; kindness from a strangers and the unexpected blessings in the midst of perceived or true adversities. Through all this, one has prevailed and reached the next set of overs. What we do carry forward from the year previous are the lessons from the failures or choices that were made. Gather them and reap their benefit by looking beyond the emotional tangents and then strike ahead in the next given set of overs. Sometime we will eventually hit the boundary or go beyond it, and score more than the runs we expect.

“I close my eyes to old ends. And open my heart to new beginnings.” Nick Frederickson

One of the tangible things learnt this year among the known concept of the humane ability within each of us to adapt or survive, is the courage to do so. All of us have that strength in us to survive the falls in life; we just need to bring out the courage lying deep down. Let the dormant courage come to life, and steer us ahead. To find it, just put one foot in front of the other and take a few baby steps. Soon we will learn to walk and navigate those rocky paths with faith, courage and hope. Just move ahead, we all can do it.

Turn of a Year
Joan Houlihan

This is regret: or a ferret. Snuffling,
stunted, a snout full of snow.

As the end of day shuffles down
the repentant scurry and swarm—

an unstable contrition is born.
Bend down. Look into the lair.

Where newborn pieties spark and strike
I will make my peace as a low bulb

burnt into a dent of snow. A cloth to keep me
from seeping. Light crumpled over a hole.

Why does the maker keep me awake?
He must want my oddments, their glow.