In the awkward pause…



close up of padlocks on railing against sky

We sat there listening to each others’ silence. He wouldn’t meet my eyes, I tried to look away. We got garlic bread and gravy. Paneer. Chilled cucumber. Yoghurt.


His face was a locked house; the eyes were shutters. We said nothing. Not a word, except the sound of a distant helicopter, a bird, and muted sounds of traffic through the glass doors behind him. Karim pulled his chin in and smiled at the table. He had a dimple when he smiled. He had old eyes and a stoop that made him look anywhere between 30 and 50.


I’m an alcoholic,” he said as if he were savouring the freedom of saying it;
this Thing had its agenda, it was a Spirit in itself. It had a time chart, its own vocabulary of mutters and words. The words were heavy, or clipped. Random. Philosophical. Questions were flat, with a full stop. Karim and I used to be such idiots together, never mind the whole decade between us. Now he had pondering eyes, eyes filling with regret, pain. Something in me bowed to him; it was an honour to share a dark detail like that, a detail that had changed him from a live wire guitar/ vocalist, to a hesitant human being. We were here, waiting for the rest of us to arrive; it was a day filling with sunshine. “Talk to Karim,” someone had said, I had looked forward to this, now I knew it wasn’t easy to talk, or even chat about the weather. The alcohol within had become a presence. We were three people here: the one Karim used to be (and all his apologies for not being that person anymore), the one he was now, and the personality of alcohol itself:


“I’d love to hear one of your new songs, Ka,” 

He gave me a half smile and stare.

“You won’t like my songs anymore, Ms. Ray.”

Nice! He was calling me Ms. Ray again, like old times. I had to check myself from talking too much, too soon, too warm.

“Why Karim?” 

“They sound old and boring, flat. No story. The last one I wrote was a few minutes ago, wrote it in my head. ” ‘Don’t let this last too long, I’m not used to the sun, I’m sad when I’m happy, cuz that one doesn’t last, so let it be just pieces of the light falling in, a little at a time..’ ” he stopped and coughed. An old grin slipped back in for a breath, then it was gone.

” .. I don’t understand why I must do that , y’know? Drink? There was no particular cause for it to start again, ‘least I can’t say yet. We’re trying to change..”



I didn’t want to intrude, this was so personal. Tears stung the back of my eyes but didn’t dare show.  He talked for a few very long moments, it felt like that. Maybe it was just five minutes, I’m unsure. When the others arrived, Karim grinned and said how much he enjoyed listening to horrific tales of Ms. Ray’s  (hey?!) drinking habits! That day by the lake, slowly slipped into early evening, the kids were full of chatter. Some of us just sat there staring at how light looked on water and how beautiful the ugly old pelican statue looked, its painted wings basking in gold dusk.


Maybe Ka will stop his habit one day, maybe he will respect his songs, and not underestimate the strength he has. Later he said it was a joy to talk to someone and not be judged. I wanted to say some things there, but the words wouldn’t come all out ; ‘ Thank you Karim, for trusting me with your pain, knowing I’d have no answers. I’m not even qualified to understand any of that; and what a joy it was to hear you laugh again, even just a little hint of it…’ 


Maybe I’ll tell him next time. Maybe not. Sometimes words are difficult to speak out loud, it’s easier to listen. I appreciate Silence so much more now than ever before – silent moments between awkward pauses – what do they do – unlock our gates of iron within; our rusty lock and cords of steel? Maybe they do just that. Maybe the lesser we speak out loud, the more we look at one another. The more we listen, the less we judge,  and the more we appreciate the spoken and unspoken details of life, each others’, our own. We spend a lot of time filling up gaps in conversation, filling up speechless moments;

I’m getting to see the power of silence…















Filed under addiction, Healing, LIFE, Reflections, Writers

Suicide Prevention Month/Day

This Post by Lauren took me back a few years when on two separate incidents we met people who would commit suicide in the following years: one could not have guessed what was coming, or why they would take the steps the did. Are there tell tale signs?
Lauren’s Post warns one of things to never say to a victim;
it is a reminder of an eventuality that is easily triggered, and asks if committing suicide is a sin, also the very existence of God.


This is true life, candid. Views expressed here are the personal opinions of Lauren, and I respect her for the same, though may not share the same ideas about God and Life. I wish with all my heart it were easy to say ‘No’ to suicidal thoughts, but there’s more to this can be glibly glanced at.


thoughts, musings, and stuff

thank you for letting me share this one and for the beautiful person you are. The Person of God has saved me from a different kind of death than you have experienced; and I wish one could reach out via Blog, via these little words : “You and I are not alone. We are not to blame for everything that goes wrong. Health in our inner beings is a crucial issue, especially if it deals with the mind. And yet, prayers are not exclusive. I believe God is for all, an ever present help in trouble, so I pray Life over you, and the rest of us so in need of answers…” 

Read on below for Lauren’s Post

thoughts, musings, and stuff

It’s Self-Care Awareness month, Suicide Prevention Month, and Suicide Prevention Day. I felt like I should contribute something to the cause, so I will, in probably a rambling fashion, tell some of my story.

I’m not going to write the traditional post. It’s not going to end with the number to a hotline or by telling you that life is worth living. Every person has to come to that conclusion for themselves.

I grew up believing that suicide was a sin. In fact, I never really understood it. Why take away such a precious gift from God? Needless to say, it was something I judged others for. Well, now I don’t believe it is a sin (and I’m not sure I believe in God, either.)

I started struggling with depression, or at least I could put that word to my feelings, around 16. I hated my life and everything about…

View original post 1,186 more words


Filed under Writers

nothing to sphere but sphere itself

Another Lovely Day

Men honour what lies within the sphere of their knowledge, but do not realize how dependent they are on what lies beyond it.

View original post

Leave a comment

Filed under Writers


Just came across this stilling drawing from a refreshing Blog  As much cake as you want via RED HATcapturing something I’ve always gazed at in trains and buses : the way we hold on, in Transit.


My Title ‘Holding On’ like the Red Cap in question here, is perhaps a symbol of Resilience to Gravity; a symbol of that millionth of inch that separates us from Falling or not Falling;





its what holds us together in our Stillness in movement, like in the eye of a storm; a Holding together that comes with knowing how to sit in there, in that seat that’s taking us in our journey to where our ticket says we go,

it  is the bullseye of Rest, of Peace Perfect Peace. It’s the Man asleep in transit, in the boat in the winds, with loved one resting in that Shoulder, watch how they aren’t shaken, how miraculously at ease their arms are, poised rest, yet not lounging, not horizontal, confident strong Peace @ Rest in movement.

I love that I’m so reminded today of what Peace is, and trust this gets you, the way it did me.





September 13, 2018 · 7:58 am



What if the sum total of our lives were not for what we actually, factually did, but the way we reacted to things;

not the bridges we built, not the menus we dished out, the people we shook hands with, the roads and rivers we crossed, the miles we ran, not all the mileage, the words we did/ sec, but the way we did it;

the way we walked talked, danced, died, spoke, wrote what we wrote, not the nice sweet things we said, but the way we said what we did, and why; not the prayers we prayed, but how;

gray scale photo of gears

Photo by Pixabay on

how we walked that river, that tide; how we climbed mountain and cliff

how we stormed skies for each other, and why, why we would not.

No no, not what we did for each other, the enormous price of love and forgiveness but how our faces dulled or shone,


grayscale photo of man on surfboard

Photo by Daniel on

Yes yes we reached out for one another, we clothed each other and dressed one another in storm and drought,

but what if the sum total of existence were not mere fact and presence,

what if the essence of our lives were accounted for by its very reactivity;

what if that were the reason we live and move and have our being? Not the way we look and talk and be, but how we are in an event;


reflection of finger in a mirror

Photo by Jenna Hamra on


what if the sum of all our activity- not in public but where inner beauty and courage, inner iron and diamonds overwhelm skin and other visible display –

I can’t help wonder… what if ?!


Filed under Healing, Inspirational, Personal Reflections, Reflections, Writers



If she could see Him, it would have been just the Remains, but there was nothing there. In the garden, it was chilly. The woman burrowed her fingers in the soil. Where was it all now? She needed something to scream at. Day broke, like the wound inside, just smashed it. If He wasn’t in there, in their man-made carved out tombs, then He was –  where? 


Moments later she sees Him, right in her face, breaking every last conclusion in her head. If there was a body it would’ve meant He was dead. If she could not see Him it had meant – He was alive???! The woman’s story sounded impossible, but it trails to where we try touch it. Pieces of its immortality (the Garden of Resurrection) went through me this morning; what a different story it would’ve been had she found the body, the dead body of Jesus.

A friend asks about when Answers are not visible;


nature romantic blue garden

Photo by Pixabay on


how do humans know what is outside the domain of Humans?

We make choices, we live, we die. We make some rules, we understand some. We are a million emoticons, we destroy.  We can do more than we ask think or imagine, but mostly we are limited by the visible.  We are perpetually intrigued by the Invisible, we make movies and thrillers out of it, call it paranormal, supernatural. We are gravity bound; we know it is no secret what man woman or child can do, but we stop there to stare down that Cliff;


it is no secret what Empty places can do ; or what our thoughts do when we cannot see the necessary Truth.

It is a secret, a precious Truth – what happens when an Invisibility meets us up front ; where Answers wait. Eagles and angels dare where we like fugitives are chased by the Answers we search for. That insane moment when the Breath of Answers tear in the back of your neck like a streak of tigers;

you know it, like you know Love, and Hope and Pain,…. like you know when you are about to heal. No one sees it, but deep inside the mechanics of you shifts gear, changing, whirring, shifting like when an ache leaves.


There is no evidence of the Truth like the presence of lies,

like there are no Answers without Questions,

Darkness itself points to the Light,

Emptiness looks to Filling,

Pain is evidence of Relief,

Hate is the absence of Love,

War the mother of Peace

Empty places > the labour pangs of Fulfilling.


Perhaps there is Logic in the absence of all ‘illogical’ explanations of Faith; disbelief being evidence in itself, of this stubborn pursuit of what peeks back at us thru a ‘ …glass darkly’? I have no answer for my friend who asked a question earlier, except that perhaps Questing is track evidence of / to Visibility’s best kept Secrets.




Check this link for a must see movie, I’d love to sit it out a third time!





Leave a comment

Filed under Blog, Challenges, Healing, Hope, Inspirational, Journals, People, Personal, Personal Reflections, Writers

September Spice


orange flower illustration

Today my September Garden surfaced for the first time.  What a surprise to find Ginger blossom orange yellow falling into me like a sweet emotion! Our life harvests these things? How was I to know; did you ? Did you know that we each own acres of fields; Fields of seeds, seedling, sap, sapling, growing in the Light we allow or will not; little Springs rising from Source we cannot see.                                                                 

A Brook runs in to nestle around my toes, Its music is Light. Light notes fall, rise like cascades of rain- the very rain that felt ominous last month, now buds a ripe gold September harvest. I hear the noise, the chatter of workers, arms busy, bare feet running in Mind-fields I never knew existed. I must sit down, inhale this aroma, this healing drizzle on raw earth.  Every incident that took place last month, (some were unwelcome intruders), these are our ‘workers’? Our helpmates. They work press, crushing my Spice to flow, overflowing tipping us over, shaken together, pressed down even if that seemed so.

Dearest Lord God, what are You saying? “Eden never left,” even if I did ? Your Goodness and Mercy follow us all the days of our life. We misunderstood delays, denials, waiting rooms, Pain- it was the Forerunner of  Healing, tugging us back to You. You pursuing us, the best You could. We asked for Peace and received a desert scorched thorn, and this dark thirsting time would home us to Your Oasis the more.  How was I to know ?

sea holiday vacation water

Photo by Skitterphoto on


How was I to understand the way of a Garden deep within, and oh the time this would all take? Wasn’t Life for the essentials – we built homes, had a family, work, address, a name. We were to be visited by some soul mate like an inadequacy, an ‘ugliness’, a time we were shortchanged, a burying dark underground experience choked like a dying seed yelling for air; oh we heard the underpass, everyone else seemed doing fine. ’twas just us here, no explanation,


and when we found our ‘Garden’ eventually, it is GINGER? 


We go to the Gardener. He has a Table spread out all ready; the Menu and hard work of chopping, chipping, all done. Our task is to add essence, the Spice to a Spread waiting for us. Oh and this. Our Ginger root’s possible best form is its spicy ‘AfterTaste’, 


this in our September Garden that has probably taken a few Seasons to grow. I wonder what you’re thinking as you read this? One could recommend a quick or real easy slow Garden trip within,


Leave a comment

Filed under Blog, Challenges, Culture, Faith, Healing, Hope, Journals, LIFE, People, Personal, Personal Reflections, Places, Reflections, Times, Writers



If you haven’t seen it, please do WAR  ROOM (Unsure if this is a good link).We have different kinds, given the day. Waiting Rooms between heaven and hell. little places that defy our sense of security.


Image may contain: 2 people, including Thelma Samuel, people smiling, people sitting and plant

2 years ago. How fast time moved us from day 1 to Now: how much I have learned in the little hands that nurtured me not just as mom but as a human being. How could life be just a trick of chance; there is the presence of Creation, the presence of Grace.

August has been hospital month for us, corridors, EEG, Scans, other peoples’ worried eyes and tender smiles. Especially that. Tender smiles from strangers. As a human race we’ve gotten suspicious, wary. ‘Love and kindness.’ are words that don’t belong anymore. Strength is now the Power of Tough. Tough Love, they say. Hard as iron grills in glassed corridors and chair riveted to cool floors.

A woman with green blue eyes and tribal wear sighs out loud. Where is she from, oh I don’t want to know really. Squads of pretty interns, people arriving with over night bags, the aroma of coffee from nearby Stall, a man dozes in a Tee with “Trouble Maker” written all over it. What kind of Tee is that ?! I want to grin but its the wrong place to do that maybe. Not the way I need to. I try stop our son from singing out loud. What’s with him. Can’t he just shush one single minute?! His voice is all crackly and he shouldn’t be singing. He’s happy about everything, even needles and doctors. I try telling him to be quiet, but the man with “Trouble Maker ” T shirt warms to Joh. Great. Now they’re going to start a Choir here. I just want to BE STILL< isn’t that good?

Joh wont listen. He’s that age now, my husband says. Its like he’s waging a war with negativity. If you’re one of those types, I admire you. If you aren’t, then grab a chair and sit next to me. Let’s have a pity party, I need a friend. I’m not jumping for joy next to this vision of delight on my left, Joh. What d’you know – man in Tee is warming up big time to Sunshine Club here; I want to run, want to capture this moment in Time. My heart wants to shut me up, but she too moves away from me to this son of mine. I want to yell ‘NO’ just stop the gladness, but Myocardium yields. Then she ( my heart ) begins to pray gratitude. I didn’t know this could happen. Hey this is a deadly viral. Two girls in front of us turn around to stare then smile. Its a soft slow smile, almost friendly as if they recognise us from somewhere. Maybe they do too. Maybe we were tripping up and down some beastly mall singing our toes off, what do you know. Maybe we were yelling Hallelujahs in rickshaws and bus stops, in the Metro and in crowded bazaars –

grayscale photography of person at the end of tunnel

Photo by Anthony DeRosa on

I want to mutter but the beauty of it all hits me even more as I write this. It IS war isn’t it? A constant wage we pay in everyday life, the price of peace – we combat doubt, fear, restlessness.We give in to manipulation, we party with selfishlessness. How we do it, year after year I don’t know, but somewhere we have forgotten who we are –

we are human, meant to spread the Light within us. We are not programmed to scissored words and barbed wire in our conversations. We do not live in No Man’s Land, we are our Brother’s Keeper, we are Sisters, we are Children, destined for the greatness of humility. Somewhere we mixed that up with foolishness. We are of the Light but we paint darkness. We are suspicious and fast forgetting the art of simple friendships. I suspect if we had a Hospital for hugs and friendship it would generate Health like never before; imagine Waiting Rooms where we congregate for each other’s problems. Tests that checked on gratitude levels, sadness scans, oh Magnetic Image Resonance for heart ache;

the Power of Humanity is bigger than we know. That, and there’s the King Source of Love and it doesn’t generate from my heart. There’s flood gates to It and it flows now and then when we allow it. When we are willing to wage war on the things that separate us from God’s arms spreading love, mercy, peace, and all for the asking. That’s the hardest frontier of this War – our forgotten capacity to Believe there is more to this Life than we can actually see….

selective focus photography of child s hand on person s palm

Photo by Juan Pablo Arenas on


Filed under Challenges, Faith, Fear, Healing, Hope, Inspirational, Journals, LIFE, People, Personal Reflections, Real life, Writers



Praying Hands by Albrecht Dürer

“Nothing is more dangerous to the kingdom of darkness than a man or woman who has found the unceasing wellspring of heaven’s life.” 
― Bob SorgeSecrets of the Secret Place


A reading by Oswald Chambers, triggered a day I will not forget, yesterday.

that, and a forward on Whatsapp that suggested prayer was any act of kindness.


Prayer for me, was Granma Tara rocking back and forth whispering in half English/ Kannada at the God of her fathers; she was a widow that brought up her five children singlehanded, she was a gutsy south Indian woman with fingers that could spread delicious cuisine out of cactus in the valley of the shadow of death. She and my Ma were women of steel and some iron. We never thought we could match up and never did. Prayer times were a cold floor getting warm, warmer as Ma and Gran’s pale temples bowed to a God they seemed to know on first name basis, I wondered at their friendship and their times of secrets. Secrets, that’s what it was! It wasn’t Padre Kumar yelling at the red tiled chapel to a God he feared in a way the village knew best, a God of terror. How could I ever be in a closeted room with that?



Prayer is an invocation or act that seeks to activate a rapport with an object of worship, typically a deity through deliberate communication.  The closer you get to God, the more you realize He’s in no hurry. …“To be set on fire, you must get close to God. When you feel cold, distant, and “out of it” spiritually, it’s time to retreat to the closet, place yourself before the fireplace of His word, and allow the intensity of His face to restore your fervency.” 
― Bob SorgeSecrets of the Secret Place: Keys to Igniting Your Personal Time with God


Yesterday there was that call to go in, quiet, shut the door. Oswald Chambers predicts much ‘wool gathering’ would follow.  Ha. It did. After my bales of wool were stacked neatly in either side of my head and other voices spiralled away, (material needs, the paying of bills, a necessary healing, a certain professional urgency), oh dearest sweet Lord, there it was, my altar among the cushions and me sitting like a lotus among prayer journal and paper. It had been that long since I’d come to my secret place… this way;

this way- stripped of material/ physical need. In His Presence. A Spring falling in, like Light. It took a whole day. There wasn’t anything to ask after all the asking which took an hour. Peace fell free. A completeness, a Light shining through chink and crack; complete in its very lack. It was my lack that drew me in; my sense of need, a beautiful pain, how do I say this? Can pain be beautiful ? Is the dark before dawn, dark ? Yes, and yet, no. There is the awareness of dawn. It isn’t there yet, and yet – the spirit stirs, awakened. Things that mattered just a few hours before, paled. Wounds heal here, disabilities are paralysed. Fear turns its eyes to the One that redefines mortality. Are Prayers answered? Is a cloudy day without a dawn? Is a storm not under the sun?


Prayer changes things for us, or changes us for things (not my quote); I’m still speechless. UNsure how to end this Post, how does one define the adequacy of being inadequate in the Presence of the Almighty? Is all this a figment of the human mind? Can Peace be imagined? Is there rest in the eye of the Storm, is there a force that even conducts that storm? Where is its origin? Who wove us in our mother’s womb? Who shields the mountain goat as she gives birth to her young? what calls the snow and frost, where do winds go, like migratory birds, and how does a bird know to nest its young, who teaches us to reach into our innermost sanctum and seek peace, when our carnal nature is pro- war? What is that Secret Place where you and I heal or walk away from that one power that can change me from a Storm to a Stillness…?



“So the power of prayer is found, not in convincing God of my agenda, but in waiting upon Him to hear His agenda.”
― Bob SorgeSecrets of the Secret Place 


Related Post :


Filed under Writers

After the Flood

After it recedes, we are changed. That’s what floods do. they re-arrange the way our furniture now sits, ( if there’s furniture left ), we learn how to walk without footwear. There are new levels of comfort, or discomfort.


Related image



Recent floods in Kerala and parts of Karnataka where I live, brought back vivid images of  a cyclone that near washed out a village I lived in as a child, in coastal Odisha, India. Three days and nights the cyclone wailed, it flattened a village, tore out trees, cables, flung dead fish, animals, roofs, and then all was still. When the sun came out, the sands were deathly white, no footprints. We talked in whispers, we didn’t care for yesterday’s formalities. I was seven years old, maybe eight, and remember not stopping to comb hair or bother about getting into outdoor clothes. We were glad to be alive, there were those who hadn’t made it. Food was scarce, water was boiled to be fit to drink. When veggies finally arrived in the market, they were expensive, rare.


Image result for kerala storm news

Storms teach us about survival. They work our inventory, they shove us against the wall, then make a statement. Storms aren’t polite, they follow their own rules. You don’t get to ask why, when, where. There’s no protocol, no schedule, or respect.

A storm possesses the land, is its owner for that spell of time, you are its slave. You run hide, survive or die. You pray.


Image result for kerala floods 2018

That cyclone in my childhood…? Oh I heard adults pray! Even Uncle Dutta, the die hard atheist next door, He was a nature lover, he talked to flowers and the moon. He swore they talked back at him, said humans had power over the universe, and that what you decreed would eventually happen. There’s a whole theory for that, ( Law of Attraction ). Well, into the second day of that storm, Uncle Dutta was changing. He swore there was more to life than laws of physics; he began to say words he never used before. Like ‘What is Life…?

I was too young to realise this was something I would face myself. We had beautiful times of prayer as a family, it was comforting, comfortable. But then comes the day you’re flung outside comfort zone, even God is quiet. Then comes the day you sense His presence. My late Uncle Prabhakar S. talked much about the presence of God. He said it like he meant it. “Pray, my girl, but pray in the presence of God.” 


Our kids were growing up at that time; I loved the way his words sounded. Pray in the presence of God, but in the years to come when other human security hung back, I sensed a larger Presence. Larger than Storms, a Presence more consuming than Fire Storms, or Gardens of Gethsemane themselves.  You don’t notice your glasses falling away in the enormity of this Rollercoaster, coasting you away from familiar comforts, into a zone now awash with No Holds. You have little choice but to believe there is a Force bigger than the thing that’s plucking at your feet.  You see nothing, but deep inside and all around there is a shift. You see with inner eyes, you are aware of an Intelligence that sees you. The sun comes out, and you wonder that you never noticed before how silent the sun is.

You’re like the silence of the sun,                                                                               
the wind I cannot see, Fire I cannot touch…


I’ve since learned to appreciate what happens after the Storm. Its not very pretty, this whole process/ I’m still learning to appreciate what happens even if all is quiet, no reply. God Himself isn’t saying anything, not in human words. New strength surfaces, fresh washed sands – soft gold with Dawn.

This Post was for me 🙂 me, learning to love the presence of God. I believe mankind is too intelligent to rely on roof and floor and clothes. Cavemen struck rock for fire. I’d love to see what we are capable of doing if all that were left of existence were words like Faith, Hope, Love. God.




Filed under Faith, Healing, Hope, Joy, LIFE, Personal Reflections, Prayer, Writers