Tag Archives: Health

‘Have you ever interviewed yourself ?’Guest Post

Guest Post :  Scott N Loveall ofInnersongs.com

Innersongs.com

Hi,
Have you ever interviewed yourself?
That was the task given to me by our InnerDialect and Lyrix & Life blogger Rayla Noel – lazy that one, right? I mean how long could this take?
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So anyway, she asked me to talk about the inspiration and/or origin of my poem Summer Rains. I’ll do that shortly.
I’ve read over and over, heard it said by many, comments by those that they ‘love the rain’. And indeed we seem captivated by it as a species. We stare at it for hours, respond to its tempos and moods. It is of course a practical matter to be dealt with as well – our hair, clothing, soggy feet, being on time to appointments.
As well it can be a calamity – flooding, suffering, and death.  Water/rain is a force in our lives. Yet on an emotional level, maybe a metaphysical level, if we are safe from its wrath, we seem to have a cellular connection to rain. Is it just that we are instinctually inclined to look at the elements more closely. Is it a matter of cellular memory… our primitive roots when rain and fire were primal forces. A life changing foes?
But you don’t see dogs starring at the rain with any sort of reverence. I’m sure the birds could do without having to fly into it with such velocity. Most other mammals just cringe or go on about their mammalness. Humans, however, romanticize it, create movie dramas, and tell ‘myths of arks’. As well we fixate on the anti-rain that is drought. Rain / water is after all crucial to our existence. We must hydrate. The plants must thrive. Vegetable ‘Good’! Pestilence and desert ‘BAD’!
So we look at rain as danger, and nourishment, a sort of food, and a wonder of nature. A magical fluid that we drink, bathe in, rinse our dishes, and count on for hydration and life. In a way that is how Summer Rains got started.
Summer Rains began simply enough one middle June afternoon when a large thunderstorm came ashore. I live a few miles from the sea. A gust front had whipped the trees like marionettes into a frenzy, their canopies dancing with downdrafts, the wind shear strong. As it darkened from lilac to violet, the winds eased, and first drops began to fall in huge plops. Huge droplets hit the windows and the garden wall with muffled bangs. I wondered at their size in the air. Then curtains of rain began, those great walls of blinding silver and steamy mist. The roar of a summer storm.
The first drops reminded me of a song from a DVD and CD called Natural States, by the great Seattle, WA based pianist David Lanz and collaborator, guitarist Paul Speer. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=avAa5TA5jocDavid and Paul had done that collaboration and two other brilliant sets called Canyonlands and Dessert Vision during the late 80s.  A song on Natural States called Behind the Waterfall came to mind. It starts with a few simple drops and traces how those drops and a bit more rain, collect into a rivulet – to a stream, then to a small cascade to a racing stream to a river – to a larger river… culminating in a huge waterfall, and then to rapids. Their music builds and runs as the water grows with more and more power and dance. So my words hear are partly evoked by that musical and visual experience. I imagine chasing the water and eavesdropping on places it traveled. The rest as they say are ‘mysteries of the mind’.
..
Summer Rains
I don’t measure my heart by the harvests,
nor in the coming days
when the winds will grow bitter.
Not the days of first gloom,
nor the first days that follow,
the tender cries and whispers of bloom.
My heart comes to dance
when the skies start to argue.
When the summer rains fall,
sheet-rapping the glass,
tap-spattering the walk,
snapping plops on the awnings,
the urban grime
wetted down to a shiny sardonic smile.
The summer rains fall,
liquid grains through the sieve of the sky,
the sizzling city, hissing…
gossips in the sewers,
trickles running to torrents of chaos,
racing through the vale to the river.
The summer rains fall.
Wet sloppy kisses,
wanton advances to the countryside slopes,
the lush shadowed corners,
and mysterious fringes of meadow glades.
Their aftermath… are cryptic notes,
an organic staccato on the forest verdure.
They cross the heart of this poet.
Their passing, shadows subconsciously counted.
I don’t measure my heart by the harvests,
nor in the coming days
when the winds will grow bitter.
I wait for the summer rains
And admire them
one by one by one.
___________________________
If you have stayed with me this far, my thanks.
Dry stuff sometimes… that rain. 🙂
I’ll leave you with an older piece… After the Rain
..
After The Rain
After the rain
          when the air smells like copper
          and the greens in the trees
          seem bright like wet paint.
After the rain
          when grass wants to sparkle
          and the birds speak like bullies
          whose bravado has faltered.
After the rain
         when the winds sigh, exhausted
         and the puddles lie tranquil
         as mirrors for the clouds.
After the rain
        when the asphalt gathers steam
        and the sewers chat like
        housewives gathering to klatch.
After the rain
        when the wires string like pearls
        and the sorrows in my heart
        seem dim and washed from view.
All rights reserved and © Scott N. Loveall – InnerSongs.com, 2014
Please visit me on www.InnerSongs.com, or my FB page Scott N. Loveall – InnerSongs and pass along your comments and thoughts. Or post them here. Rayla will, I’m sure, pass them along.
Carpe Lumen
Scott

 

“.. reflective to liquid and delightfully double-e, you can taste the colours and listen to what his words are singing.  It is there you feel the reverence he has for the written word, and the careful respect he has for what he chooses to share.  Scott draws from the deep pool where we all go down to drink, further out where the wild and wonderful things are.  At times his intensity affects me so deeply my throat aches in sympathy. – B.M., Vancouver, BA
Scotts’ work provokes me to listen to each others’ voice, to reach past the dark.Thank you Innersongs for your honest   ‘muffled questions’. Ay I’ve since felt the  ‘Pressure of dawn’, have ‘looked for plots’ among ‘Dusks that fell like a hammer’. The imagery is 3 D ! One  ‘Dances with fireflies’ / stares at Silences, thru’ pain, thru’ survival; Scott writes with  a sensitivity so rare in these days of indifference….
Innerdialects :
RNoel
Orchid Tree Bloominnersongs.com

Orchid Photograph credit: Innersongs

 
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Little steps in the dark

In the auditorium at Jyoti Seva School for the Blind* (pre-highschool) there are 60 of us – 50 ? I take off my foot wear and search for words as one of the kids grins. They are eager, and cannot wait.

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I have worked with kids at a few levels, but this time it feels I am learning, in this place that is like a piece of heaven. Dearest Lord God Almighty, little butterflies fill my stomach and heart. Outside it is Venkateshpura, Bangalore at its’ busiest. Little lanes cartwheeling with vegetable vendors and bullocks, women in burkhas, men in welders’ shops. Every vehicle in Bangalore city seems to be here, and I find it hard to understand how the Polish Prime Minister found his way into these tiny lanes for that visit a few years ago. But then God can do anything.

Sis G (music teacher ) and I  try a few voice routines ; what footwork will work on stage ? This is the very first time for me, for Jyothi Seva, dance and music, even drama is no big deal. I have many ideas, and Sis G among other amazing Daughters of Love here, (Franciscan) are generous with my various plans :  some amount of fun- drama  show casing Daily Living Skills, Physiotherapy rings onto a mock street scene thick with cut out (thermocol/cardboard )auto rickshaws, city bus, a cow, a bullock cart, vendors, and two sighted artful pickpockets ) Am I nervous? Am terrified ! Sis G. the music teacher smiles at me.

These are not just any kids, these are 85 + blind kids, brilliant, some do stunning vocals, and oh they can dance!  They are sharp, quick-witted and don’t you arrive without a proper plan.

One tiny tot (aged 5?) thinks it is time to break the ice. She holds my hand and says, “Aunty Ray, first you clap!”  Her little face peers up at me thru’ a fringe, then with her small palm in mine she stands on toes and asks,  “You are Johann’s Mama, no?”

“Yes baby”, I nod feeling utterly speechless. How big is God’s university of Life. How infinite His love that we should all be called children of God. How little I deserve to see such beauty thru’ the eyes of little Angels.

We sit in a circle and chat till lunch break. It is boiled rice with potato/ carrot gravy, an omelette and steel mug with cool cool water; little aprons tied to their waist, around neck- later everyone stacks their plates, rinsing spoon at low sink with tiny taps shining in the noon light.

Am humbled by the talent in these kids, humbled by how little I know about their world though our own son is blind and though I’ve been here so many times doing what one can with Personality Development. Am startled that all our words that try to be  ‘be somebody’ are still so uniquely variant with each individual – and startled is a limp emotion next to this.

Aruna (9 years old) is an acrobatic. Am thinking, this one should do a cart-wheel right across stage – can we pull that off ? The 6 minute- choreography underlines Confidence; not something I had planned to think or say , but as we met again, the word came out firm and quiet. “Look kids, this is more than doing a step, you are all great dancers and actors, but we’re going to show the world the confidence with which you go out the front door, right ?”

They aren’t jumping for joy but they each nod in quiet as if  glad I’ve finally got it.

“Alright, before we break now, let’s run through some emotions, okay?”

“OHHHHHKAY !”  (phew)

“Right. JSSchool, can you show us some SAD ?”

The room is too happy to handle that. 2 seconds later they are rolling into each other with laughter. Not anything I could do or say to make them show me ‘SAD’.

As I wrap this, am uncertain how to end this Post.

Outside the gates of JSSchool for the Blind the world is thick with debate on politics, crime. Here we have to work hard at happy face-smile- lines, we have to work out routines that display Goodness, Honesty, Gentleness, Talents…

I’ve brought home a few lessons in those hours spent with kids who cannot see, some have been abandoned, some have parents that do not want them home, others go home on holidays…  what I’ve seen is a thirst for the world outside their gate ;  they love the feel of fabric, footwear, perfume and little things in my bag, my bangles and watch, the buttons in my shirt,dearest dearest Lord God what am I feeling but a huge sense of a Universe so vast I am gagging to grasp it all. How many more people are there in this world in dimensions we haven’t even begun to come near – and what kind of song could I choose to fit into Choreography to show their life – words that will match, tunes that are rhythms of their life… the reality of their life – what can I teach that I must first learn, live, inhale, digest.

They sang for me , “Bright Eyes,” “Tomorrow”, a few songs in Kannada that sounded like heaven – raw sweet voices without the sin of assumption. I just hope and pray the world they grow into will not be a place ridden with power games and disguised crime. That they, all our kids, will be able to cross the street unafraid, pay their own electricity bill and at least one other persons’, with the ability to make each other unafraid…

I have run out of words, but hope and pray oneday you too will find heaven in the lesser known lanes and homes where God’s own babies wait to tell us their story. I hope and pray this world will understand the language of the Father as He sings over our blinded senses. My words are not enough to describe the way I feel.

Thank you for reading this.

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‘Yes, but don’t go.’

Last night, all plates and dishes put away, the lights low in the bedroom where our youngest son went into his blanket ; the girls were yet to fall asleep, I peeped in at Joh, and he lifted that dark head calling me for a second kiss, then a whisper –

“Ma,I feel lonely.”

My heart missed a few beats ; it had been a long two months, there had been illness, a trip, school year starting over, uniforms that did not fit, unfinished assignments, a lingering cough and so many unfinished things…

“Why son ? We’re all here aren’t we ?”

“When you ‘re all busy with other things, I feel lonely,sometimes. “

Speechless, I hugged him close, closer, a third a fourth kiss.“You feel good now ?” 

“Yes, but don’t go.” He said nothing after that just smiled and the room filled with feelings I have no words for.

Human touch. How abused, misunderstood those two words are : and so very easy to ignore in all our busy-ness. We sat there an hour, not just Joh and me, but all five of us, an hour in that quiet gentle dark as the little ones fell asleep.

Dearest Lord God, the worst disease on earth : ‘loneliness’ and such a simple cure right from the mouth of Babes.

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“Christmas like no other !”

408503_466640510051894_1511555378_nThis December I found myself saying, ” Dearest God  please  give us a Christmas like none other ( not imagining our dear friend Johnston Richard was onto an Album with the same  title , and asked if our visually challenged son Johann Noel would sing and do a small narration for him).

For those who know my family personally, much as we adore our kids and would promote them to the stars, there are often limitations..esp with 2013-03-24 10.20.36

Johann who has never really sung with studio headphones on, leave alone narrate  ‘cold cold snow’ not anything we have experienced. I now understand ‘snow’ is for the cold of the human heart…

Johnston Richard you raised the bar on this mother’s faith, on a  challenged kids’ sometimes lonely existence. Christmas is not exactly a festive season for everyone – for those who are disabled physically, emotionally, financially, socially,oh so many ways…

not everyone gets Christmas trees laden with gifts, banquets and new wardrobe, or Love…

1466022_1387241388187524_205367003_nnot every one is given a chance to be who they are. God reminded me/ us at the Noel home, He did create some really good people on earth, making for Peace, Joy, acceptance, of each other, and the Room for another to also shine.. ( rare ! )..

Listen to ” Cold Bethlehem” and our home visual -mix on U tube 🙂 of the song, also below, a brief from Johnston Richards

Talking about his new album and the Title :

JR  : People around the world give gifts to their loved ones and share the joy of family reunions. For many people, it is a season of give and take. However, the true essence of Christmas is the joy that comes from knowing the truth that you are loved unconditionally by God. No matter how others treat you or how you look at y0xourself. This love shatters all logic and liberates you from self-condemnation and leads you to self acceptance. Through the unseen power of the unconditional love that moves the universe, you are propelled to love ‘yourself’ and then other people unconditionally and give of yourself without expecting anything in return. Christmas like no other is the moment of history when time stands still and you experience selflessness and accept the intense and unconditional love of the creator of the universe who loved the world and gave his perfect gift of love to an imperfect world.

If you could make a wish for the world today – 

 JR    While Christmas is a time of joy and is celebrated around the world, to several people around the world it is a time of loneliness, financial hopelessness and emotional brokenness. But celebration and life doesn’t consist in the abundance of things or plethora of friends. Christmas is a message of hope. A message to the lonely : the Unseen power and love that moves the universe came down to earth in human form on Christmas day to save those who were ‘lost’. Without hope, without a future. Christmas is a time to go back to the basics and accept that love and feel the completeness. Love knocks on your door this Christmas and my wish for the world is that the people open the door and let the creator, who is love personified, fill their hearts with the completeness and euphoria of that blissful unspeakable joy.

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Johann with Daddy Noel at the Studio

 What’s the toughest challenge being  ‘Johnston Richard’?

JR            Writing and composing songs is a gift that God breathed into me. I am strongly compelled that the songs that I receive from the throne should not be kept under a bushel. As any trustworthy steward, as the guardian and scribe of the songs, I am strongly inclined to get my music out in the open and put it on a lamp stand. My mission is to play in what I call H.O.P.E, which stands for Hospitals, Orphanages, Prisons and Educational Institutions. The toughest challenge I am faced with is acceptance. The industry has changed and it is tough to survive, let alone thrive, as a Gospel solo artist. Somehow, I believe that bands gain favourable responses as compared to solo artists. When you are soft-spoken and humble, the world takes meekness for weakness and tried to ride on your back. People tend to judge a book by its cover. You can be judged by the colour of your skin, your nationality, and stature. And there’s another thing. It’s a catch 22 situation -You cannot become recognized if you don’t have enough people buying or supporting your music; and on the other hand, people don’t want to buy your music if you are not well known. So far, I have been funding my music from my own pocket. It’s a challenge to do  huge promotional shows on a shoe string budget especially when you have a family who depends on you. I personally know what sacrifice means. Through it all it has taught me respect for others in similar endeavours and has built in me strong values, character and  gratitude. I praise God for His faithfulness, and thank my wife and daughter, and my dear friends for their incredible support. Thank you for giving me an opportunity to share my story in here  God Bless what you do…

 
Richie Johnny This is the Best Christmas Gift I have ever received. Thank you so much. I am so moved that God could use someone like me to make something that turned out so beautiful this Christmas and for all other Christmases to come. I was 16 when I wrote and first recorded this song on a tape recorder;) God had his child Johann in mind and I am so overwhelmed with emotions for the love and support extended to me and my family. A special hug to Johann. Merry Christmas and a blessed Newyear. The best is yet to come.

Johnston Richard lives in Bangalore ; besides his 9-5 job as a Professional Writer, he is a singer-songwriter, worship leader, author, producer and a guitar teacher. He has written and composed over hundreds of songs and has released two studio albums.Johnston partners with Besso Orphanage for destitute children. WWW.JOHNSTONRICHARD.COM. His second album, which is a Christmas Album, was released on December 7, 2013

 

http://youtu.be/MvW2-t1ARME

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Heavens !

 

How little the dark is, next to Light.

 

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Innerdialects

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The heart of you

 

It is so beautiful, your heart

I cannot stop but stare at the beauty of

us. RN oil

Man and woman RN

your heart, the one you hide, didn’t you know

you have such a beautiful life

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Amazed by Grace

Top Post on IndiBlogger

 

It became common to have Lali say she was healed of her stomach ache, and that fresh air blew into her home, though the electricity had failed. We laughed a bit, like she was insane, even when she cooed over her plants and trees and spoke to unlikely people, gave them her smiles and food. And prayers. Lali aunty could irritate the pants off you, if you were not in the mood for her ‘ miracles’ and she had many stories to tell. ‘ Never take oxygen for granted’ she would say, ‘ ..also good clean water. These are our miracles. Or when someone is good to you… these are precious moments..”

Today, I realise these things are not common place, these are rare, and sacred. There are some things we must work for, and there are fantastic things that happen when we least expected it.

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Shhh .. listen to those Feet

 

..on these mountains, like the rhythm of hoof

shedding miles, with good news

of Peace – how beautiful those feet, shedding light

NoelJeff

like blood on pale faces,places;

like the trample of fresh new wine

cellars in the valley new with grain song unheard

like dawn fire among stars that pale

against Your sky, oh God, my God –

how beautiful the feet of those who bring… good news

on these mountains of division, despair, destruction, 

shredding miles of lost terrain,

with good news…

oh how beautiful these feet…

..

( re-written, suggestions  Abhra Pal thank you )

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My Father’s Eyes

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He had these tears,

like when a father is betrayed

it was the first time I wiped His eyes

when I prayed.

the first time here I felt a bit

what it must be like, to be hit

like that, oh dear God, like that

like when your own child steals Your Gold,

like warm food deliberately left out to get

cold.

How it feels like to be over ruled

envy, jealousy, pride, dear God, I never would have thought

You cried –

I never thought, how would I

this is not what mortals know –

what humans foil and demons throw :

humans can engineer two sides

two opposite sides…

yes it can make a father cry, but what I remember most is that

I dreamed I wiped Your eyes…

was that just a dream..

breaking-in-all-the-right-places

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A Human being with heart and Poetry : ‘Hariharan Balakrishnan’

” … for diamonds and rubies I do not care, all I have is for others to share, I crave for just a glimpse of Light, for peace and rest in that after-Life..” Hariharan Balakrishnan

Innerdialects : I am in awe of the creative fraternity, especially when they are there for the sheer passion of expression. H. Balakrishnan  says it like it is, without too much ‘modesty’ or ‘ guilt’ –  tracing Lost Horizons, the safety  of ‘Stars‘, of  moments,mementoes, of memories that never left, and of Dancing Diamonds and Volcanoes. The Equipoise of Silence …

His Works reflect a Universe waiting to be understood. They provoke the writer in me, silently reminding me of the human being perhaps neglected, within. Of secrets that wait to be told; of what Words can do in a Time that is more devious than ever before. Here is a human being that must be read, for he is more than a dad, husband, writer,traveller, lover of good food and music. He is an Indian with Spirit, heart and soul.

 ” Poetry, comes out of inner thoughts at some particular moments in time. I don’t see any need to feel guilty.It is the capacity to absorb things differs from people to people and also, in the same person, time to time. Otherwise, we wouldn’t be human. ” Hariharan Balakrishnan

SINGULAR

The silent man came in to this world                                                                                                 With a lusty cry, the wail for peace                                                                                                   He shouted screamed and swam about                                                                                               He saw he heard he smelt and stood

The silent man grew up and watched                                                                                                 The world around him go down in size                                                                                               His loudest wail of no avail                                                                                                             He chose to grow up, not capsize

The silent man too had his moments                                                                                               Of standing- and of understanding                                                                                                   People who had something to say                                                                                                With mere presence, now gone away

The silent man has chosen silence                                                                                                    He has his silence for company                                                                                                      He has no use for fools or falsehood                                                                                                 He is happy in his path of silence

The silent man too sometimes shouts                                                                                             He wants his voice once to be heard                                                                                                   He sometimes loses sight, his voice                                                                                                   And also, anon his equipoise

The silent man too tries to teach                                                                                                        The world that is within his reach                                                                                                  He came in shouting, wailing, crying                                                                                                  He wants to go out smiling laughing

The silent man sees, thinks and learns                                                                                               He has something to teach in turn                                                                                                     But chose to keep his thoughts inside                                                                                                 Like the volcano that never spewed.

……

Hariharan Balakrishnan 21.06.2001 With the Prime Minister of Bhutan , our INTACH Chapter decided to present him with a memento.

Lost Horizons

Lost horizons on the way                                                                   Of a lonely traveler on his road                                                           To some place somewhere                                                                 He knows not, does not care

A wayfarer in Eternity                                                                                                                 Without an inn- or an out                                                                                                             Only his thoughts- and dreams                                                                                                        Of someone else’s tomorrow

Horizons lost by one                                                                                                                         Can they be gained by another?

……………………..

The author here .. ? After father died, she read out to me some of the life experiences she noted down in Tamil. I told her if she writes a few more to make 100 pages in print, I’ll publish them in English. And that’s precisely what we did- on her 80th birthday. Only I know what went into the final product. The original mss was ‘lost’ for a few years etc. But the launch was really a ‘launch’. The book was released on a real launch which floated on the Husain Sagar in Hyderabad with some 200 people. Newspapers were competing to take her interview and outdo one another. The Hindu Friday Review did a story, and it was followed with a remarkable commentary by Eric Shackle of Sydney in his “Life Begins at 80”. Eric has since become a dear friend and now lives in Big Pond- still writing an occasional column. He is maybe 93 now. If I send him a mail, I can bet he’d reply within 48 hrs. That’s the kind of man he is. God bless him.

Hariharan Balakrishnan Poetry is subjective, and is often written in reflection- of events and moments that have passed long since.

Hariharan Balakrishnan

Came back a few hours ago after a trip to Greece and Turkey. Met a lot of people to understand these countries, saw a few memorable places and have already spun a few stories in the mind. In the next week and more, maybe I’ll be bale to put at least two or three of them in words, ably supported by some pictures that seem to have come out well. I promise to give you all a few glimpses soon.
There is also a series of humorous anecdotes that I can share only over a cup of coffee in a group. Who knows? Once I start writing, this idea may bloom as a book!
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In conversation with Hariharan Balakrishnan, a Poet and a Humanbeing to reckon with. 
Innerdialects

Photo: Kalpu, Nargis, Bhavani and Sanjeev. Good to heer that you want to read what I write. But first things first. Here is the picture of the doorway to the Palace where the last six Sultans of the Ottoman Empire lived. Mustafa Kamal Pasha also lived here for a while and breathed his last in one of the rooms. From what I heard from people, it is not for nothing that this great reformer was called the Ataturk (Father of the Turk Nation). There was universal adulation- even after 90 years since his time.

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