January slipped by … and I have grown

A full month of the new year has gone by.  Did I catch even a part of it as it slipped away…?

If I were count  my ‘productive days’ by the measure I used before, I am sure I would barely add up a handful of days when I accomplished everything I set out to do.

But today,  I somehow don’t feel like counting successful’ days by what I have achieved externally but rather by what I have become.   Sure, completing tasks that have been on my to do list for ages, does give a feeling of satisfaction, completeness, even fleeting joy. The wall that I was thinking of raising  to hide an unpleasant view has been completed.  How can I not feel content?  Car registration papers which the department had messed up finally sorted after 9 months of to and fro.  Real relief!  Pursued my love of clay by joining two programmes – one with restricted studio time, the other unlimited mucking around time.  Therapeutic fun.   Many other things got done too  including moving back on my own after being with my sister for six years,  so yes … last year as a whole was fairly productive.

It also had some real jolts – like me falling 12 ft off  a safari truck onto rock hard surface due to  sheer carelessness (a,k,a, stupidity.)   I should not have stood on the side bars to start with and then I was so engrossed in clicking, I stopped holding on.  The cosmos came to meet me as I fell backwards and my head bounced off bone dry ground,  My neck and spine felt separated from my body as I  lay inert, frozen, unable to move. As I slowly regained awareness, and kept whispering ‘Jesus help me‘ I thought the angels were calling me to enter into His presence,  but it was only the guide frantically urging me to get up and move – FAST – as  water buffaloes, disturbed by the commotion, were stampeding towards us.  Technically, I should not have moved until I was checked out, but given the urgency,  allowed them to move me in the best way they could before the buffaloes stamped my body-print in the earth. 

So …. 

“As I sit beside the fire and think
Of all that I have seen 
In meadows flowers and butterflies
In summers that have just been”

I realise that incredibly, I came out of that incident and the last year unscathed.  I could so easily have been a “has been” –  dead or crippled – but that was spared me.   Did it change me?  Perhaps it did.

Other incidents too have worked on me.   I tried to wish my friend in Jamaica on her birthday only to find out I was a tad too late.  She had succumbed to her cancer the previous week. That was quite a punch in the solar plexus or what ever it is that knocks you out. And then,  just when I  decided to make contact with seven or eight other colleagues  from my stint in Jamaica, I found that ALL were  ‘no longer around’.

They had not been in my life – though oft times in my thoughts these past 23 years since I left,  so why did I feel despondent, futile?   I guess it brought home to me how fleeting is this life that we try to hold onto and make something of with external goods and possessions without being mindful of the things that really matter.

My brother bought the house next door to mine and we had such joyous expectations.  Now, he is not even certain he will be residing here but is thinking of returning to Australia.  Another sinking feeling.  It is not even a permanent farewell but reminds you of the pain of severance which will come one day.  Life is evanescent . How much attention do we pay to the things that really matter? 

I used to measure what I achieved externally. Now I feel the need for a different measure. The measure of our inner dispositions, the love and joy we spread, the relationships that we build and foster, the care of the environment around us (people and nature)  and the journey – the route – by which we are arriving at our final and eternal destination.

And so Yes  … January has gone by.  It has been most productive for I believe I have grown.

(Tolkien’s poem which reflects my thoughts and from which I quoted earlier is given below . minus last verse for I am looking ahead to the rest of the journey not for the past to return.

“I sit beside the fire and think
Of all that I have seen
Of meadow flowers and butterflies
In summers that have been

Of yellow leaves and gossamer
In autumns that there were
With morning mist and silver sun
And wind upon my hair

I sit beside the fire and think
Of how the world will be
When winter comes without a spring
That I shall ever see

For still there are so many things
That I have never seen
In every wood in every spring
There is a different green

I sit beside the fire and think
Of people long ago
And people that will see a world
That I shall never know

― J.R.R. Tolkien”


God grant me a sense of humour …

I used to be careless and carefree … but now – I don’t know whether it is due to age or  the weather or even a condition of blood pressure – as my younger sister  who aspires to be a home doctor claims – I find myself getting all serious on things that I did not bother about before.  ‘Over thinking it‘ in the jargon of my nieces.

Thus I was happily surprised when I came across this article in Aleteia mentioning the  prayer by St. Thomas Moore which Pope Francis has been reciting daily for 40 years!!  It is surely a secret to his cheerfulness … and so I gladly share for any of my cranky friends out there. 😍

Extract from Aleteia article

In a book-interview “God is Young,” the Holy Father reveals the prayer he’s been reciting for 40 years to not be taken too seriously and maintain a touch of humor.

“Grant me, O Lord, good digestion, and also something to digest.
Grant me a healthy body, and the necessary good humor to maintain it.
Grant me a simple soul that knows to treasure all that is good
and that doesn’t frighten easily at the sight of evil,
but rather finds the means to put things back in their place.
Give me a soul that knows not boredom, grumblings, sighs and laments,
nor excess of stress, because of that obstructing thing called “I.”
Grant me, O Lord, a sense of good humor.
Allow me the grace to be able to take a joke to discover in life a bit of joy,
and to be able to share it with others.”

St. Thomas More (1478-1535).

It reminds me of the words of Chesterton

Reason angels can fly

Quote: G.K. Chesterton

which I had also quoted in a previous post Angels with only one wing along with other advice to myself .. which I have not quite taken heed of.  Or have I ??

Aww … what the heck… life is too short to wonder whether I have or  not.   😘 😘




In memory of Khalua … and all the dogs who ever loved me.

Chatting with friends last evening and sharing stories on our four footed friends, I was reminded of the incredible story of Khalua as he breathed his last.

Doggy love

Khalua – or ‘the black one’ in Sinhalese – was a road dog.

I noticed him hanging around when I moved into my new home and thought he belonged to one of the other eight homes on a private street – but soon realised no one  ‘claimed’ him as their own.  I found out he had been adopted  by the workers on our construction site and left behind when then moved  on. Our street was his home and he would patrol the neighbourhood.  Everyone fed him.  There was  no routine and no regular diet but he was sturdy  (around 17 kg) and tough.

He was also an excellent watchdog.   Every time I reached home, he would come bounding in from wherever he was, jump over the boundary wall and carry out an recky (reconnoitre) of the premises, giving me a sort of ‘thumbs up, its safe for you to enter’.  I would open the gate and drive in but he never took the easy walk out but leaped over the wall again after I had closed the gate.  It was very comforting to have him around,  especially when I drove home alone, late at night.

I grew to love my security guard.  Others with evil intent did not.

They tried to poison him once and physically injured him another time.  I called the vet  – and he recovered from both incidents.  Then, the ‘would be intruders’ – I can’t imagine any other reason for wanting to injure the dog – had thrown something causing serious burns.  It was bad.

My living room was turned into a ward as the vet visited daily to administer a drip.  Dad took over as Matron in charge whilst I went to work.

One day, I had just reached office when Dad called to say Khalua had taken a turn for the worse. Dad figured corrected that I would want to be there.  I  attended to some urgent work and left for home. I was half way there when Dad called again to say there was no need to rush as Khalua had breathed his last.  Since I was in no mood to go back to work I decided I would continue as planned. I drove slowly for there was no rush. It may have taken me about 20 minutes to reach home  … and this is the incredible part that is seared in my memory.

When I entered the living room, the drip was off and Dad was standing by Khalua lying inert on the floor. Dad simply looked at me.  He loved animals and Khalua – there was no need for words.   I waited a few seconds to collect myself and then knelt by  Khaluas side and Khalua .. that beloved loyal dog that graced my life  .. lifted his head, licked my hand and then closed his eyes .. this time for good.

Again words failed us.  For twenty minutes or more,  he had held on to his last breath to say “Thank you”.  Khalu beautiful loving dog, it is I who have to say thank you to YOU,  for caring for me and taking over the job of security guard;  for making me feel safe when I returned home alone late at night; for loving me.

I love you too Khalu … enjoy eternal bliss with your creator.

And to all the dogs who have always loved unconditionally and who have gone ahead : Family dogs Spotty, Prince, Charky (Charcoal), Biscuit, Zippy, Chico , and my own dogs Scampy, Elsa, Misty, Rocky and Monster -King of the Road (whom I’ve written about) – thank you for loving me and caring for me.  I thank God for the blessings of all of you and am sorry for any neglect and lack of appreciation. You loved more than you were loved.  May you be loved unendingly and snuggled and live happy  in your heavenly abode

Image Credit : http://www.allthingsclipart.com/06/loving.dog.clipart.htm

Just do it !!


Credit : Haroldsplanet.com

No … this is not an advertisement for Nike.  It is a talk to myself.  (And also to you.)

I had got so used to the Book Lite theme – the colors and the Ramblin’ Rose image which I had set up and which seemed so much a part of me, that I am was hesitant of change.  It feels like letting a piece of me float away.

But I have gone ahead and taken the plunge tried out a couple of shoes themes and have been attracted by this Suburbia theme which captures recent blogs on one screen – without requiring you to scroll down ….. and down ….. and down ….😥  .. i.e. if you were interested/persistent enough to find out any thing of anything.  So – you can say I did it for you. ☺️

Honestly though, I did not start out thinking about you. I was helping a friend set up his blog and in ‘demo-ing’ various themes – realised the absence of a side-bar meant a lot of scrolling so decided to try this out – and try to make it feel like my space.

Book Lite has not, in any case, been updated for sometime so a theme change would have happened eventually.  I have also been trying to refocus my writings.

I started out with what I thought were clear demarcations of ‘Encounters with Myself, my Lord and life’ into which my posts would fall.  Naive me.  More and more I am finding out that all three Encounters are totally intertwined,  and it is difficult to draw the lines clearly.  So this theme change is also an occasion for a long overdue revamp whilst I think things through.

If you are one of my regular readers – or even a newcomer – I would really appreciate any feedback on how this looks, and feels  … and works.   It is still an’ ‘in progress’ task so I welcome all suggestions as I try on the different shoes till I find one that is ME.

Thanks for your patience whilst I do some redecorating.

Image Credit :

AbstractPaint : https://pngtree.com/freepng/abstract-ink_

Stickman with book :  https://pngtree.com/freepng/stickman-book_2809222.html


The dreams of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy

Martin Luther King quote

Aeschylus wrote: “In our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart until, in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God.”

What we need in the United States is not division; what we need in the United States is not hatred; what we need in the United States is not violence or lawlessness; but love and wisdom, and compassion toward one another, and a feeling of justice toward those who still suffer within our country, whether they be white or they be black …

Let us dedicate ourselves to what the Greeks wrote so many years ago: to tame the savageness of man and make gentle the life of this world.

Let us dedicate ourselves to that, and say a prayer for our country and for our people.

From the memorial of Robert F. Kennedy at Arlington Cemetery which includes immortal passages from his improvised speech in Indianapolis on the night that King was killed.




Remembering Maya Angelou

in her own words  … 😍

Maya Angelou on 'being'

Maya Angelou on Maya Angelou

Writer, poet, civil rights activist …she was indeed an intelligent, courageous and loving woman who taught us by ‘being’ who she was without fear or apology.

We write for the same reason that we walk, talk, climb mountains or swim the oceans – because we can.   We have some impulse within us that makes us want to explain ourselves to other human beings. That’s why we paint, that’s why we dare to love someone – because we have the impulse to explain who we are.

Maya Angelou



Betrayed   … shouts out from the roofs, the hill tops and vales today.

Betrayed with a kiss for 30 pieces of silver.  Open, upfront  pre-meditated, caving into confusion.  Misled.  Then despair.  30 pieces betrayal price and then burial price.

Betrayed – let’s not stick around to see what happens.  Let’s flee.   Then in guilt and shame they meet again; strength in numbers and strengthened in Spirit they go out. Then they make things happen.

Betrayed – One stayed close but the coals were too hot:  ‘I know not the man’.  Fear confusion … an unplanned fall.  Then weeping, remorse and gathering of resolve.  Never again to fall.

Betrayed – self righteous arrogance, fearing a change in status quo points to a ‘blasphemer’.  Then smug satisfaction at having ‘saved’ the nation.

Betrayed – a conscience niggles, this man is innocent.  Then expediency prevails – washing of hands.  I won’t do it – do it yourself.  A good man caves in.  Archetypal politician.  He could have stopped it.

Betrayed – miracles, healing, words of wisdom and saving grace  – yet no one springs to his defence. Did they return to Him?  The Books are silent.

Friend, disciple, leader, high priest, ruler, beneficiary of uncountable grace – I see myself in all of them.   But I have the benefit of hindsight – of a Resurrection,  a Pentecost and a 2000+year old faith.   Despite this …. it continues ….

Betrayed – unless I take the road less travelled; The road, the Way of the Cross.

Posted in response to Daily Prompt, Betrayed
Image Credit: http://truthbook.com/urantia-book/paper-183-the-betrayal-and-arrest-of-jesus

The night of love ….

Love one another

Image Credit : http://freefaithgraphics.com/2015/01/love-one-another/

that final night of Jesus’s life on earth – as he prepared to bid farewell to his friends.  He knew that on the morrow, their grief and loss at the loss of their Master, ‘Rabboni’,  would be compounded by fear and confusion;  their world – which began with a triumphant entry into Jerusalem just five days previously, would come tumbling down.

How can he console them, comfort them, give them hope that all is not lost.   How can he assure them of His love for them and the Father’s love ?

How would you say farewell to friends and family if you know you are going to die the next day ?

I’d like to share a previous post on the words of love that kept pouring out of Our Lord as he gazed on his disciples gathered around him in person for the last time.    Please click on the link which shares how our Master bid farewell to his friends,  and his instructions and guidance to us.

Can you feel the love tonight 


The Sacrifice

As we prepare to commemorate the greatest sacrifice of all, a moving poem by The Jolly Beggar caught my eye and my heart 💖

Blogger Dorah has beautifully captured the comparison of  the biblical Father -Son sacrifices in her retelling of the story of Abraham and Isaac in The Sacrifice — The Jolly Beggar

An excerpt is given below … but I suggest you read the whole for the full impact of the pathos of the sacrificial scene ….  so like the Sacrifice we will shortly commemorate.

……     When Isaac asked with mischief in his eyes,
“What trick do you have up your sleeve,
Father? An invisible lamb, I do believe!”

Slowly Abraham rose from the stones of the altar
Slowly he raised his face to his Father
Searching the heavens for a sign of reprieve
For now he could no longer deceive
The child who looked on him with trust
The child through whom his knife would be thrust  ……

Dorah maintains The Jolly Beggar and Dreams from a Pilgrimage.  blogs with poetry and prose that are really inspiring.