Gifts, Promises and Thank-yous….

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Staying aglow

So I did promise myself a birthday gift – going out shopping and giving out gifts to others however I’ve not been able to go shopping. I did something worthwhile though considering this will be the 42nd time (ever since I could count) that I get to try and reset, I took a long cold shower (heat triggers dystonic episodes). I would have gone swimming but I’m nursing a shoulder and a back that has been giving out too many notices for me to ignore. I remember the porch light of my neighbor coming on and his concerned question, ‘why are you swimming in the freezing pool? Are you a polar bear?’ I did try to explain but not many have the time to listen and then try and make sense of your reasons so just do you.

It has been nigh on a decade when my journey veered into terrains i had never imagined. And although I do love traveling however this has been more of putting one foot in front of the other rather than taking in the sights and sounds. The shower was quite exhilarating and the concept of beginning this year spanking clean is really quite nice because all the grime and dirt from the past day gets washed away. Time doesn’t stop, it does however give me the opportunity to document this and I’m truly grateful. In a couple of days, we lose an hour as the seasons continue their transition. I have gained a year and in retrospect, I cannot wait to embark on the adventures of this new year.

Notwithstanding that a lot has taken place, I look forward to the future regardless of how long I have got. Nevertheless I am thankful for the gift of a clean slate, a clean body and an open mind. It is the little details, usually taken for granted, that ultimately define us and I know that I am here now because it all fits into a grand scheme of things. None of the party poppers (sic) et al, I am grateful for the comfort of a silent night even as I write. And with nought but a fairly sound mind, a spirit that refuses to be conquered, the wavering light within and the ability to choose, I begin another chapter. A chapter where I can write, amend what errors might come up and basically differentiate between doing what is right and doing what seems to be right (despite the deceptive allure of what seems right)

I am truly grateful for the friends who have stuck with prickly me, glad for the opportunity to meet and interact with new acquaintances but above all, I am thankful for hope that cannot be overwhelmed. The hope that resonates with the washing away of the dirt of past years and the hope that makes me choose responsibly each day. It’s another 365 days and the count is on, I am careful to back off where need be and doggedly push through no matter how exhausted I may be. My prayer is wherever He leads me, may my obedience be borne from a desire to get the best of what He’s got from me and completely yield in every aspect.

Today, I remind myself that both the warmth of the sunshine and the coolness of the twilight are a blessing. So today, I unfurl my sails and pray for fair winds and when the waves turn choppy and rough, I know that there will always be beginnings and endings.

Adios!

Whistles, Cheers and a new path….

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Be You!

Happy new year to everyone of you who has chosen to spare a moment or two to read what I write. Without you, there would be no redzhis.com and admittedly my felicitation might be viewed as belated however I opine, ‘better late than never!’ Coming from a Catholic background as a child, “bless me….my last confession was in September 2018!” However thank God for a clearer, easier path to starting afresh. It does seem that writing may not be a very lucrative career however life isn’t all about money. It sure helps but it is not ALL there is.

For the first time in nearly 3 decades, I slept (not rested) through into the new year and it is in my nature to be particular about the little things and details however just that minor aberration gave me something to hold onto. No matter how hard I try to make the best of situations from my own limited perspective, there is so much that I absolutely have no control over. Therefore, I’ve decided to really try hard to take better care of myself because if I don’t, I’m certain at least one person in the 8 billion population would mind. Oh well, it’s never going to be about me rather it is an evaluation of history (2018), celebrating and building on the victories and learning from the upsets. Like a stream, we each are adrift and the least we can do is keep your vessel properly maintained and pray for fair winds.

I am truly thankful for the air I breathe and the oft taken for granted fact that each day we awake is a blessing – what we do with it however is up to each person. I have no regrets because the learning points I received are just pointers to the direction I should take. Things like resentment, frustration, despondency and despair actually don’t appear in my journal, although like the masked burglar, creep in they will regardless of how fortified I think I’ve made my city. Have I been given the all clear from the relentless battle with myoclonus? Nope, experts are hard at work trying to figure it out and it would be foolhardy for me to watch the seconds go by in idleness, tweedling my thumb waiting for some answer from someone. There truly is no phase of life, private or public, that is free of responsibility. The question therefore is, ‘what is my responsibility?’

Self-care, being considerate of others, being kind and compassionate to as many as I come across are pretty much a good place to start from. Undeniably, there will be spill overs from history however our response determines who’s in charge. One of the spillovers I received was from an acquaintance who needed some space (I’m not in charge of apportioning space so take as much as satisfies you) although it brought to the fore this age old quote, “the greatest battle we fight in life is trying to be you in a world that consistently wants to make you someone else.” I will be me, while you be you and if life inexplicably allows our paths to cross then there can be only one of two options applicable. Flee as though the banshees from hell are after you (in my words, blaming anything else but you) or stay awhile and make that brief encounter count for something.

One invaluable lesson I’ve gotten is that regardless of the whistles and cheers, there must always come a time when you’re left to your own whims and if you never gave that some thought then buckle in and get ready for a roller coaster ride. We are each equipped with a distinct set of skills best used by you, however if burying your head in the sand like the ostrich while trying to hide behind a deluge of excuses is your choice, then I must bade you farewell. Just as the sun rises each new day, so also must we, determined and ready to face the day or like Scripture aptly puts it, “stay hidden beneath your bedsheets because there could be a lion outside your door waiting to devour you” (my summation).

Life will not cease because you are so wrapped up in yourself that you forget that neither the wrappings nor yourself are actually yours. However when we acknowledge that the rains fall upon both the good, the bad and the ugly….then that might make us rethink our priorities. In the void left by friends who have transitioned, I see an opportunity to live my life honored to have met them. And when my time comes as surely as all things created, I hope one person can be bold enough to say, ‘it was indeed an honor walking a while with you!’ Now that is no easy statement in spite of the political correctness of our current system, yet truth rings out, incapable of being silenced; we are neither animals nor creatures of monotony. There is a task for me and you, and the sooner we get to it, the more fulfilling our lives would be.

Life’s stage is big enough for everyone however be ready to give the best performance (sincere and without an iota of pretense) of your life when the light is cast on you.

Each morning, I awake with a thankful heart and a new song

And despite the agonies of myoclonus or the lack of knowledge

I pour out myself, desperate to revel not in my own understanding but in an unshakeable trust in My Creator.

Sing me an ode, a ballad or give an eulogy but this life I’ve got now has calls only I can make.

עד ניפגש שוב, תן אהבה שלו למלא ולשמור אותך!

Adios!

A glimmer shines through…..

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Seeing the glimmer…

“What is hope but a feeling of optimism, a thought that says things will improve, it won’t always be bleak, there’s a way to rise above the present circumstances. Hope is an internal awareness that you do not have to suffer forever, and that somehow, somewhere there is a remedy for despair that you will come upon if you can only maintain this expectancy in your heart.”- W.W. DYER

What words can best describe how I feel today? Again, sometimes words cannot really suffice but the best I can do is try to share how I feel in the best possible way. It is my birthday today and although I have been awake since 2 a.m however there is nothing that compares to the infusion of life and strength that every day brings and inasmuch as today is kinda special, it is yet another new special day for me. Looking back, I can with more than a wry smile, look at how far I have come through the obstacles and challenges that life has placed in my path….and truly say that if not for God, where would I be? Nothing absolutely compares to the thrill of realizing that I live because I am a creature of purpose and one whose destiny can at best be tampered with but never altered.

I am thrilled by the number of goodwill messages that are coming my way and as every one unique in its own way arrives, I have yet another reason to be thankful because I have long ago realized that life is not measured by the number of birthdays one celebrates but the inexplicable impact we have on the lives that we have been privileged to encounter on our individual journey through life. Amazingly, last night I was in the company of my high school mates after more than two decades and as I stuttered through, keeping up with the updates to our individual lives, I silently acknowledged that I am more than blessed. Regardless of Myoclonus and each new name this neurological disorder spews forth, I know that I have survived through it all for more than just the simple reason that I am a survivor but more importantly that there is yet a purpose to be completed with my days.

Seated right now, in a very comfortable lounge, I prepare to yet undertake another phase in my life so uncannily marked by my birthday. I have lost friends who weren’t and gained those that are and have touched my own life in their own unique way. I reminisce on how it all started and the days when I was all but consumed by the shadows of depression, uncertainty and irreparable loss of those things I erroneously thought were the pillars of my life. Today, I sit and acknowledge that buildings are torn down so that newer and more majestic edifices can be erected and whilst the pain of the demolition puts more than an acrid taste in my mouth, yet I know beyond any shadow of doubt that what is being erected is way more glorious than what was once there. I am grateful for the things I have lost because I would never have gained the things I so cherish. I am grateful for the people I have lost because I realized as my father was always wont to say during my growing up days that ‘the beautiful ones are truly not yet born’. I have been blessed to be the father of an awesome daughter and as each day passes, I realize that nothing might have prepared me for this phase and season which rapidly draws to a close.

i felt the beautiful cold winds of the early spring morning on my face and with each exhilarating breath, I know that I could never ever completely count my blessings least of all, naming them one by one. I have witnessed the blazing death of the phoenix and watched the splendid rebirth of a more majestic creature and whilst I may have so desperately wanted to sit amidst the charred remains of what I felt was so beautiful, yet I was strengthened to hope beyond hope and trust that from the midst of the ashes, something much more splendid and majestic emerges. I have encountered lives that have inspired me and spurred me to heights that I dare not dreamed before. I have watched hope arising as the early morning sun, every glimmer just a taste of the radiant splendor that is just beyond the horizon. I have been stirred to live by faith, and make it my lifestyle, replete in the knowledge that faith and hope are concepts that cannot be taught only experienced and captured by one’s self. Chucking out the feelings of resentment that threatened to pull me down, I stand free and unshackled and whilst my body may be yet weak, still my spirit is renewed daily much more than I could ever have imagined.

I have been privy to the ineptitude of hapless experts and the scorns of people I once held dear. I have struggled more mornings than I wish to remember, every waking moment, an overwhelming battle with the constraints of living with this neurological disorder. Borne more pain than I ever felt I could, accepted with some degree of defiance that I am unable to do the very things that I had so easily done in the past and yet today I stand with such an immense sense of peace and joy that the glimmer out there is mine to bask in and what an awesome experience it will be when I am basking and luxuriating in the fullness of the radiance of a beautiful beginning, a complete restoration of better things than I had previously thought were irretrievably gone. I am a witness to the fact that you are yet to live until you experience what it means to lose so that you can find. You are yet to live until you are confronted with an upheaval of the very things that you felt were yours by right. But now, with a chuckle, I know that you never can have until you are willing to let go of what you think you have. Loving without being assured that you would be loved back, giving even when your very being screams out in protest and simply just keeping your eyes on the hills where the vast and inexhaustible reserves of strength are yours to just tap into.

It is a beautiful year for me, and I choose to persist doggedly and unwavering in my walk and call, knowing that I am not just a pawn to be sacrificed on the board of life but the son of the King whose thoughts for me are simply beyond my ability to grasp or comprehend. Life is a journey where we are privileged to meet and part, and yet what wisdom compares to the assurance that in those few seconds, you have bettered the life of one just like you albeit on his own path. As I mark today with whimsical feelings, I know that the day is just dawning and what an awesome one it will be, because I choose to believe that no matter how long the night is, surely the day comes and with it such an immense measure of joy.

My chauffeur beckons to me, and so I say to all of you who have been such an important part of my still unfolding story, the best is yet to come and so I cast away all thoughts that say the contrary. Wishing you all many more years of fulfilling your own purpose.

Remember that what makes you family is not the blood you share with a few but the loyalty and sense of commitment to our unique paths and purpose with the many others out there who like you have made their commitment to not be put down by whatever life throws at them.

lמסתדר טוב עד שניפגש שוב בזמן שלו

Adios!