Enjoying freedom.

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Today is the second day of being “boot free”! (I slipped and had to wear a surgical boot for two weeks). I’m reveling in simple things I took for granted for example:
1) Being able to ride my bike again – mobility!
2)Taking a shower minus the delicate, chair assisted, operation of getting into the bath tub without putting weight on my injured ankle.
3) Going up and down my banister-less stairs easily (crawling and bumping on my bum is so undignified lol!)
4) Starting to get back to normal walking speed instead of snail pace.
5) Not having to plan my life to the tiny detail. If I left something upstairs for example it was a big deal to go get it.
6) Not having to strap on “the boot” if I need to go bathroom in the night (takes a while by which time you are well awake.)

Some things I’m still working on – running, going downstairs normally (still doing a sideways shuffle for safety), and being able to fit both feet into my tennies again. Thankfully it healed amazingly fast with very little pain.
The biggest thing I was most thankful for, (and which I constantly reminded myself of) is that it was only very temporary. I bow to those heroes and heroines that bare with such things (or worse) on a permanent basis and manage to keep a cheery smile. I’ve many times helped those with crutches, leg supports even wheelchairs onto the boats so they could go sailing, but now I have even more understanding of just how frightening it must be trying to get down into that boat.I applaud their courage!

A new era.

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A new era is soon to begin. There have been many eras, many roles, in my life, changing countries, cultures, relationships etc. and now my excitement builds as a new one comes into view.
You see the grandson I take care of a lot (dropping at school, picking up and helping with homework etc.) will soon start secondary school and have officially outgrown granny lol. He will then be able to make the school trip with his older half brother. Already at 11 he rarely needs a babysitter more a place to stay till he gets picked up and someone to see he rides home safely.
Not only will I be free of the 3pm constraint that limits my activities somewhat but my youngest grandson who I tend to also interact with somewhat will start primary school. I’m happy they both got into excellent schools which they like a lot (not always the case in London)and will of course be close by should need arise.
I’m anticipating the freedom though and being able to do some of the things I’ve had to put on the back burner for the past few years, like holidays, trips to see more far flung friends, more frequent days out in London etc. and of course less interruptions in my time to write lol.I think this will be a great era!

Britania

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The bow breaks the waves as a vessel of ancient oak clefts the breakers for one last voyage of adventure and discovery. As winds of adversity blow away the cobwebs, she leans into the breeze seeking far flung shores of trade and commerce. Breaking with convention she sails, not knowing what strange waters she will encounter, what storms endure.
Folks look on in speculation. Why not stay in port, rust away in safety, secure in harbour? Yet she sets her face to the sea choosing to venture forth in strange uncharted waters, perversely seeking her own destiny, a heart of oak craving the freedom of the open sea even at great peril, for this has always been her role, she cannot depart from it.
They do not understand her heart, the call of the gulls the heady scent of freedom on the breeze. Will the strong old beams withstand the voyage or are they rotted away with corruption and greed. Who can say?
Her crew, long at anchor, scramble to hoist the rigging, to catch the prevailing breeze, startled by this sudden about face. Confusion on deck as the ship itself seizes the opportunity to cast off the chains of her anchor and set sail one more time for parts unknown.

“Where the spirit of the lord is there is liberty”

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It’s strange to me how many non believers view Christianity as restrictive, a repressive system of rules. One of its greatest attractions to me has always been its freedom.

This world’s systems of society, economics, politics etc. has always been the thing that seemed restrictive to me. I was always a rebel, but one for good. I hated hypocrisy, self righteousness and the status quo. Guess you could say I had a hippy philosophy even before there were hippies.

Sure God has “rules” but they are all based on love (“all the law is fulfilled in this” – love God and love others.) Simple but tough, so it’s good we get the grace, the spirit and lots of mercy and forgiveness to help us. The point is the things God wants I naturally want to do (though I blow it a lot of course lol!) and they bring me great joy. Love sets us free from hate, guilt, selfishness, envy etc. all of which imprison us and faith can even set us free from fear, sickness, financial problems, even death.

Why would anyone want to be bound when Christ came to set us free? I think it’s due to a misconception often tending towards the old testament rather than the new.

Are we being manipulated?

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“Only the farmers are free because they are not dependent on anyone else,” says father to son in “Farm Boy” (part of the “Little House on the Prairie”series I long ago read with my kids). The statement stayed with me. I love this series as a historical how to, survival guide. “Pa” could do everything, build a house, barn, furniture, grow crops,smoke bacon, hunt, trap and generally survive in the wild (Bear Grills has nothing on those 19th. century pioneers!) Many of the books explain just how he did it too. (If you thought they were just old fashioned kids stories think again – packed full of social historical detail)
Why has this statement stuck with me? The elder brother wanted to go into business where life was easier and more lucrative. Father was explaining to his younger son (Laura’s future husband) why he felt farming was better.Farming has changed a great deal from those times (and seems under attack from big corporations)yet I think there is a kernel of truth still in Pa’s statement. There are few professions in which we can be truly free to live according to our conscience without manipulation from the powers that be.
Living most of my life as a private tutor and children’s entertainer I had a large measure of freedom but not as much as these early pioneers. Of course a great factor is is our being greedy, the more we want the more we are open to manipulation.

Is Jesus crying this Christmas?

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wept

Strange as it may seem, I think he cries every Christmas. Sorrow taints his joy all year long to see the pain, the hate, the sickness, the want, but it must be particularly tough at Christmas.

Why you ask? Surely he rejoices in the love and kindness prevalent in the Christmas season’s “conspiracies of love”? Surely he’s made happy by the love and praises of his followers at this time of year?

I’m sure our individual deeds and remembrance of him bring great joy to him, but I think this time must also bring great sorrow, especially this year.

Why?

You see Christmas originally celebrates his coming to earth to be with us, to save us. He came and healed the sick, preached peace, sharing, love for all mankind. He fought the politicians and religious bigots of his day, embraced the poor, the outcasts, the dregs of society and won the victory on the cross so we could be free of the hate, the evil, the fear and hypocrisy. He did it all, he won for us.

Yet as he looks over this war torn world, the evils performed in the name of God/ politics/ greed it must break his heart. Mankind is not free. The same evil forces rule this earth, the four horsemen still ride. He gave us an opportunity to follow, to heal the sick, rescue the afflicted, to love. He gave us power to free the world of evil.

Instead slowly Christianity devolved into a religion, embraced the corruptions of “politics”. Seduced by pride, abandoned pure love and began to operate in the fleshly realm rather than the spiritual. It lost its power to free mankind from the hate and even in some awful episodes became part of that evil.

Given light, mankind chose darkness, chose, pride, greed, hate, some knowingly embracing the powers of darkness most simply deceived, pawns in the game.

I felt a strange sadness in the air this Christmas, the joy more restrained. Every Christmas I spend a day giving out tracts with a message of love. My goal? – to cheer hearts and make folks smile (especially the sad lonely looking ones) and give them each a present from my heart – a chance of peace, of healing, of love. This year was different, many folks were preoccupied as if in deep sadness. Instead of happy smiles and Christmas greetings they looked startled, the smiles coming more slowly as if they thought, “oh yes, it’s Christmas isn’t it.”

I’m sure it has a lot to do with all that’s happened in Paris/ Syria etc. It’s hard to be happy when you know others are in need, when your own world feels threatened. I yet believe in the good hearts of folks. Like that great statement about when distressed by the calamities of the world, wait for the volunteers to pour in (he said it better.) When bad stuff happens you find heroes, selfless souls who go to help.

Even so, like us, I think Jesus knows both joy and tears at Christmas.

Natures metronome.

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nature

Breathe in the pace of nature, the leaf that’s slow to curl

The bird’s song of the morning, the flowers that unfurl.

The pace mankind is keeping is far too fast to see

The beauty that surrounds him, the truth that could set free.

Up torn from nature’s rooting we stumble on our way,

A frantic timescale keeping until our dying day.

So quit the giant “rat race”, breathe in deep and see,

The life that you are living ‘snot what’s cracked up to be.

The soul that is within you was not made for this pace,

So leave it all behind you and go and find some space.

 

Two thousand and 84

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flash fiction from2014

Song Bird Songs

airship

“What is freedom?” she asked.
“It’s more than an absence of imperial domination,” he explained, eyes glowing in the dim lit cell.
“It’s something you must have inside, in your head, before you can live it, before you can give it to others. Some people think they are free, but they are the most bound of all, they are not even free in their thoughts.”
“Those that do the bidding of the masters?” she glanced down at the plastic cuffs securing her hands to the bench.
“Yes,” he whispered.
“Was I free before they captured me?”
“No, for you were bound by fear of them. That is not freedom.”
“Where you ever free?”
“Yes, for a while I was, free of fear and free of them. I lived on an air ship. I hid in clouds and scattered pamphlets … I was free like the birds till they shot me…

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Enough!

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desk

He’d had enough, more than enough! He just wanted it to end. He looked morbidly at the pills, pills, to sleep, pills to stay awake, to offset his stress levels, pills to adjust effects of other pills. It would be easy enough, a beguiling inner voice said. But what of his family, his few remaining friends?

That’s the coward’s way out, he told himself. Whatever else he was, he was no coward! Besides he didn’t really want to die. He wanted to live. But this existence, this endless matrix he found himself in, this was not living; it was a slow and painful death. He glanced at his “prison” hanging in its immaculate plastic wrappings, the crisp lapels, expensive cut, to hide a slowly disintegrating physique. It defined who he was, restricting him to a role, (an ugly one at that).

Angrily he grasped the hanger flinging it aside. He eyed the pills. Hell no! Gathering them together he tossed them into the black steel bin beside his desk. Something stirred within, rebellion! There was no one to tell of his decision, the immaculate penthouse apartment was empty, devoid of life, but deep in his heart a flame had kindled. Ignited, it devoured the dross, enlightening his surroundings. He would live once more, and through him others.

He sipped his coffee, feet propped triumphantly on the creamy white desk veneer, as he watched the sun rise.

Wanderlust visits.

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wondering

A strange restlessness took me today. Choosing rebelliously to walk back through the lakes, rather than sensibly take the bus in this dull, rainy, weather. I watched the wind scattering the leaves from their summer homes, spinning, swirling, not knowing their destination and an old melody came to my senses. My feet began to itch for the open road, possessions became burdens, security, chains.

This was a constant in my younger days when I traveled the world, living by faith, following God. But it’s been a long time since I felt it breathe through my soul reminding that all is transient, this life itself is transient.

When you stand in the wind of the spirit like this priorities shift, fog clears, things all make sense again, and a feeling of transcendent joy fills your heart. You become free once more.