The Greatest Adventure! ( (Re blog from May 2014)

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grave

My heart is touched with sadness today. An old and precious friend has concluded his battle with cancer. As a fellow believer I rejoice is his present freedom from suffering, but feel a vacuum left by his passing, such men are rare.

He died as he lived with a peaceful heart surrounded by his family and mourned by friends without number the world over to whom he showed kindness, patience and a helping hand, (me included). Such a man needs no memorial stone to be remembered. I dedicate this next post to him through tears, but in joy that his free spirit is no longer confined to his bed.

  The Greatest Adventure! (A believer’s perspective)

Once all was clean and unsullied, fresh and new; mankind surveyed his domain. He walked childlike through creation, peeping through trailing vines, smelling the fragrance of the flowers and watching startled as birds took to the sky. Imagine the discoveries – of tastes, of textures, of rushing waterfalls and placid turquoise lakes, the mystery of the sunset, the glory of its rise…

Now it is jaded, much of the joy of discovery has ceased.

The world and creation are now mapped and cataloged, pictures flash on screen at the touch of a computer key, yet the heart of man still yearns for exploration, sometimes seeking it in perversity and corruption, but we have yet to begin to delve into the infinity of creation. Exploring one plain, the carnal, seeing from one viewpoint only, we’ve missed the infinite complexity of the universe. True science knows we see but the tip of the iceberg.

Death is a ticket to another dimension from which the view is very different, a startling realization of the infinite. At death one is freed from the restriction of the physical mindset so prevalent in this modern world. Casting off its former shackles, the spirit, that curious, exploring, creative element of man’s inner being, is finally free to explore infinite horizons of time and space. Free to come to God, at last casting off all confines of flesh, of time, of mortality.

No need to wait till we die, the door stands open, but to enter we must cast aside the glasses of conformity, surrender to the free wind of God’s spirit and let it awaken our senses in full, opening as a new bride to her lover, in trust, in expectancy of fulfillment. Then we’ll begin to comprehend the vastness of creation. Then we’d no longer fear death. The journey perhaps, but we would know the door, the portal to eternity.

“All men die, but only some truly live!” (Braveheart)

I’m glad my friend was one of them.

(Strange to re blog this now as I just heard another old friend has been hospitalized. This remarkable lady is also in the last stage of cancer. It brought forth an incredible sweetness in her and I know she is ready for the trip. It would be selfish of me to mourn yet I do feel sad that such precious souls cease to be among us.)

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You can’t paddle in high heels.

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paddling

I love to feel soft sand between my toes, the suck of the sea as it pulls the tiny grains away in a surge of water, the smell of the ocean, the pulsing, rhythmic, sound of the waves. I delight in the childlike feeling as my feet splash along adding their own sound to the cacophony of delights.

You just can’t do that in heels, they sink in the sand and you’d fall over, there’d be no sensation, anyway the shoes would be ruined.

Life is like that too, it cannot be enjoyed while trying to retain a sophisticated image. The shoes just need to come off sometimes so the toes can wriggle in abandon! Perhaps sophistication is needed in some aspect of your life, but to truly live cast it off occasionally and head for the surf and leave your true footprints behind you in the sand.

THE SPARK. (re blog from May 26th 2014 flash fiction theme of “flash”)

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light

Flash!! Darkness entered my life in a sudden, blazing, blur of light. The curtain fell, an excruciating blanket of night, one of those unforeseen, irreversible accidents, and with it descended a cage of fear. At first the pain was too intense to permit ought but its rending presence, but slowly, stealthily it came, hedging me in, with its cloak of nothingness.
There was no solace. A man, led like a child, provider no longer, a dependent. My pride withered, my self image decayed. Slowly fingers became my eyes, a stick my mapmaker, my ears bodyguards. Days dragged to months and months to years…

My release came from an unexpected source – my nephew. In former days I had played the fiddle – he remembered.
“Play uncle, play!” he said. I was too morose. But youth will not be gainsaid. Eager ten year old fingers firmly placed the bow in my hands and at last I played. I felt the strings vibrate beneath my fingers as if in sympathy, the bow slid across the cords drawing a rasping song from the friction as if it understood. Tears fell in gentle streams as my fingers remembered past skill, but something was added. The music now sang my own heart cry, the strings echoed my sorrow, wringing forth a sweetness.

I heard a stifled sob from across the room. My brother was crying. I’d played many times before but never touched the heart of another. It was the first of many. From that day I have played, my fingers truly becoming my eyes with a sensitivity I never had before, born of that flash. A spark reduced my world to ashes, but like a phoenix I flew free, reborn.

As spring turns to summer

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(View from my bed)

I linger this morning taking in the sunshine and gentle breeze. Grandson departed for the weekend, it’s just me and the sunshine. Nostalgia gone this morning I’m basking in English spring (remembering there is no real spring in China where I lived just rain, more rain, then the heat of summer). In South China beauty reigns in autumn but in England in the spring.

I think it was Kipling that wrote from India, “Oh to be in England now that April’s here,” (and May and June…)

It’s a time to be here to see nature awaken and blossom, to feel the chill winds turn to cooling breezes. I am reminded that where ever I am to be content, to take in the beauty that surrounds me and to breathe it out to others, sharing these breaths of nature’s bounty. The hand of God is everywhere!

a feast of nostalgia.

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chinese food

It’s Chinese but Anglicized, sweet and sour, but not succulent, noodles, stir fry, dumplings, but lacking the subtle nuances of the real thing. The smiles are polite and kind but lack the friendly vitality. I am heart sick for China.

The buffet tempted me in (that and my grandson’s eagerness) but it’s painful to be so tempted, only the feel of the chopsticks and the taste of the tea are the same. I long to book a flight and just go, but I remember too well the toll that trip takes on my body.

I recall my friends, the tearful partings, the smells, the humidity, the feeling of coming home, my other home. How I am sometimes torn between two worlds wishing I could spend time in both. Life is easier here but sometimes I miss that other home…

my ivory tower

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ivory tower

(Flash fiction fun re-blog from May 25th 2014 on the theme of “fairy tales”)

Well it didn’t look much like an ivory tower, with faded red brickwork and pealing white window sills it didn’t seem the type a prince might climb, but to be honest I didn’t look much a princess either, dumpy, with bushy dirty blond hair and a generally unkept appearence. I was studying law trying to make ends meet with an evening job at the local Indian restaurant.

I met him at the library. I was using the computers as my internet was off. I must admit he didn’t look much like a “prince charming” either, tall, skinny and  experiencing an outbreak of juvenile spots which I’d had my own episodes with, but he had nice brown eyes. He glanced up as I sat down and gave a half grin.

“Your internet down too?” It was more a statement than a question.

“How did you guess?” I gave the prescribed sigh.

“Easy, you’re a student I can tell. What are you studying?”

“Law, and you?”

“I.T. would you believe!” We both laughed and the ice was broken.

He never was a prince; save perhaps in the inner recesses of his heart, but the coffee we enjoyed together after never tasted so good. He offered to look at my connection and got it working, after that we were friends even when his was hooked up again.

He began to invade my tower (though he always used the steps even when the lift was broken.) Slowly I began to change; I died my hair honey blond and invested in a straightener. I encouraged him to eat better and in doing so began to lose weight myself. As he filled out I slimmed down and we became a more presentable pair, even the spots cleared up after a while. My ivory tower had become a cosy brick home. My prince moved in bringing modernisation.

But the greatest surprise of all was when he came to eat at the restaurant where I work. He fitted right in; he was the nephew of the owner you see!