Days, Events, People!…..

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I am in the habit of sharing my thoughts in some of the most ingenious way because sometimes the world just seems too gloomy for inhabitation. I had a tank top made in London with the caption; ‘Everything seems funnier when you are not allowed to LAUGH!’ Now that is my general overview of the human emotions and the workings of this complex system we call our bodies. Up one day and down the next, and this is deniably the trend for a majority of us however when you get that feeling that something is really off with you then it is best to check it out. A full bellied laugh is such good medicine to the soul but we do not have to wait to be pigeon holed before we act as human beings.

Within the last 6 – 8 weeks, I have been barely active on social media (which includes this) because for some unknown reason, it just seems like my body is gradually coming apart at the seams. Wracked with relentless bouts of severe back spasms, unpredictable as usual, it has been more than a task to sometimes breathe freely and although the words, ‘NEVER GIVE UP’, are always within eye sight, it just seems that every round might be the one that finally bests me. Nonetheless, still I strive and with the unsure gait of someone who seems to be inebriated, I choose to take it one step at a time. And when I do have to let out the occasional groan, it is not for want of attention but rather a vent to all the pain going on inside.

All over the world, calendars are marked full with international celebrations (the dates may differ depending on where you are) and it is quite amusing that we still are wary of seizing our destiny or better still yielding to the capable Hands of Our Creator. We are creatures of purpose but the inevitability glaring us in the face is that without identifying and then understanding our purpose, abuse is certain. And as is oft the case with me, i take a step back and just try and grasp my own perspective of things. May 12 marked Mother’s Day in North America and what a beautiful day it was, there was no rain despite the fact that the day before the roads were flooded and the forecast was pretty grim. But still it was a beautiful day to celebrate mothers; that unique category of individuals who are for the lack of a cape, our modern day superheroes. Mothers in this post is a title that transcends biology, age, race and cultural proliferation!

Happy Mother’s Day!
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Truth be told, there are men too who would unashamedly be celebrated because of their parenting skills even with the added difficulty of being a single parent but then what about the countless women who single-handedly make the world a less dangerous place for their children. And for the men just mentioned above, the truth is that without a mother, it would be a case worthy of debate that you might very well not be the man you are today. Parenting, undeniably is hard work and just some hours ago I had a conversation with a friend who I had texted ‘Happy Mother’s Day!’. It was almost the same conversation as she bemoaned how difficult it was just trying to keep the home in one piece without letting the bills breach the hull of her home. Did I have the wise words that would make it all disappear? Definitely not, however I did let her know that we never know our best and if we let the pursuit of the tangible break us then what a twist of fate it is. It is my own opinion that life wants to put you on a treadmill with broken control knobs and if you choose to remain on that treadmill then better get properly strapped in because there is really no end in sight until you keel over in exhaustion and transit this life.

I have since learned that even though there are certain dates marked off on calendars hanging on the kitchen wall, it does not require a feat of supernatural strength to simply appreciate on a daily basis the sacrifices people make on our behalf. I remember when I was liquidating every asset I had at the onset of this battle with dystonia, and literally going around with cap in hand (if only I had an inkling as to how expensive the battle would be…), I was asked by a few would be helpers; “have you disposed of everything in your name?”. Summarily and predictably, they never did show up with their funds and my question till date is; when you see a need, do your actions depend on what the needy already have or do you just give regardless and move on. Funny but many of us are wannabe givers but then we need some justification that your hard-earned money will be the last piece to make the puzzle complete. It is just another tiny detail that we very often forget; we made our entrance naked and will depart in the same way so all that you gloat over daily isn’t really yours. Please work hard but remember every blessing we receive is a gift from God!

Mother’s Day! Heck there are 365 days in which to tell a mother that she is truly appreciated, why wait for that one day and oh by the way if you are on the taciturn side then there are also 365 days to tell people that you encounter daily how special they are. It is rather amusing that we bind ourselves to a piece of paper that seemingly dictates how to appreciate people. Unfortunately, I recently lost a mate and despite the pleas not to stress myself, I wanted to and eventually did give something to ensure his family is not left desolate. Did it cost me something? Oh it definitely cost me a lot but what a joy it is that I could be part of something that defining – letting someone else know that they are not alone. For me, hearing conversations like, ‘the family seems to be doing well’ or ‘the family is financially buoyant’ is just a huge downer. Give because you want to and not because you think they are desperate. I can assure you that desperate times are not the best of times to act especially when there were windows of opportunities to act in good faith.

For every breath we take, I know there is no record keeping of how much air we consume neither is there a quota that you are entitled to. And so if that is the case and we truly acknowledge that, then be as generous as you can when you can. There is such profound joy in giving, ignorance is a choice you make intentionally. I bade my family every night with these words, “Sweet dreams, I love you and I’ll see you tomorrow!”. I am by no stretch of imagination the timekeeper but I do know that now is all I have got and so it definitely falls within the category of the wise to make NOW count. My dad told me this years ago and they are still relevant, “A parent who is unable to ensure his offsprings have the opportunity to become better than him or her should be deemed to have failed.”. I do know that it is subject to debate because there are choices to be made however what we can do today is look around and put a little glimmer of sunshine in someone else’s life.

And so to all the mothers (this transcends biology) out there who consistently refused to be overwhelmed by the dictates of child upbringing, I celebrate you today, tomorrow and the next. Thank you for the sacrifices made because now we can invest in the next generation without tying the investments to the portfolio size that makes us feel comfortable.

פרידה עד שנפגשנו שוב בתזמון שלו, וייתכן שאהבתו של אלוהים להיות אמיתית לך!

Adios!

Taking Stock….

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Taking Stock

Choose to listen to your inner voice, not the jumbled opinions of everyone else. Do what you know in your heart is right for YOU. Its your road, and yours alone. Others may walk it with you, but no one can walk it for you. And be sure to appreciate every day of your life. – Melchor Lim (emphasis mine)

I have been struggling with severe excruciating bouts of sciatica for the last week and honestly it effectively dampened my desire to come alive here and do some heart sharing however I am better now, almost emptied my pharmacy of their supply of ice pack compress. A no holds barred struggle between the tremors that accompanied the initial icy feeling and the amelioration of the intense pain, I won!!! And the last week of the month was an exciting one, had an interview in Central London and despite my efforts to appear as normal as possible, it obviously did not work because most of the symptoms were triggered and caused quite a bit of consternation for Tony, Lloyd (?) and Hugo, who admitted that they had never seen anything like it within the five (5) years they have been dealing with individuals and unabashedly, I can take that as a complement now because they see thousands of people daily but most importantly, they were eager to learn and that tells me how amazing they really are. Life is all about learning and only stops in the grave, stimulating their ability to see the big picture was such a surreal experience and I left there knowing I had made new friends and shared myself with them.

Yesterday, I spent the best three hours this year in the company of one of the most remarkable ladies I have ever been privileged to encounter. Yeah, twas a lunch date at Harvesters’ and I truly left there with a great harvest excluding a filled belly of ribbed steak, mushrooms, chips, a healthy portion of vegetable salad and a glass of sparkling Chardonnay to round it off with. Now that is something for you to drool over…….

One of the issues that came up recurrently was the undeniable fact that every one of us has a facade and it is only the brave who are able to step out from the security of their rooms and face the world without that facade, armed with the knowledge that being different is the best compliment you can ever pay yourself. We took stock of our individual lives because hey!its December already and I remember how stunned I was whilst rearranging (I do that every moment when I can) my room when I came across my medical report dated January 2013 and it only seemed like the day before I sat with Professor Hanna reviewing my case on that day. Nostalgic indeed but so much has gone by so quickly that like the dropping leaves from the trees, we rarely ever have the time to notice when they drop. I have realised that the best thing we can and will ever get is NOW and so what we choose to do with it is as significant as the rest of our lives and yes, erring is an ability but our response to that ability is what differentiates us from the rest of the billions all over the globe. I have had my ups and my downs, each in its own varying measure but both present nonetheless. I have overcome a lot of the shackles that hitherto held me back, still trusting God for the perfection that He has promised and I eagerly await.

I have decided to devote this month particularly to taking stock (I kinda do that every morning but this is special) because I am truly overwhelmed by the faithfulness of The One whose purpose and counsel no one can thwart. I am humbled by the greatness of His Grace and favour bestowed upon lil ole me, even at those really dark moments when I just did not want to be found – His Grace found me. Amidst the gales and storms of the year, when it seemed like I had finally been cast adrift like flotsam on the vast oceans of the earth – His Grace found me and upheld me. What an awesome experience it is, being able to bask in and luxuriate in His Amazing grace……………………….. Getting that sms from my father in response to my congratulatory message to them on their 40th wedding anniversary, telling me that their journey would have been incomplete without me being a part of it was just beautiful. Such reminders, subtle and loud compel me to acknowledge that I am and can never be just a statistic in this world. Regardless of how rough the road is, I know one fact – there is an expected end and whilst I am being directed there, I choose to utilise every moment with everyone who has graciously given me their time, their resource, their support, their derision and disrespect (these ones really don’t know any better). And thankfully, I have gotten my back brace so I am glad to have been there to provide a shoulder for those who needed it and for those who will.

The Christmas trees are all out, the decorating is in full earnest, shopping is in crazy mode and I pause and wish I could tell as many as I can that everyday is a day to be grateful for and rejoice in. Take a look at the very things that you have even as you take your shower and be thankful, naturally we all get to shower at least once a day so…..! Be thankful for those moments of absurd laughter, be thankful for those moments of sorrow (it definitely made you think just a little bit deeper, didn’t it?), be thankful for the different seasons – spring, summer, autumn and winter, not everyone can. I still chuckle when I recall Joiv capturing distaste for London’s weather because she almost ‘lost’ her toes to frostbite but that is a reason to be thankful for because I remember my walk with Lawrence who had lost his toes but was still cheery enough to egg me one when I just felt like giving up. I am thankful for Vixen, for daring to do something different and demand happiness from life. I am thankful for Lisa, gorgeous and stunning but who has been such an amazing support of strength and encouragement. I am thankful for Elaine, Pam and my fellow compadre in this battle with dystonia, for being able to rip off that facade and stand tall and strong even with the pain. I am thankful for Shirls, Ele, Vichy – refusing to quit even when I was more than a burden. I am thankful for my brothers from High School – Como, Djecomms, my friends from University – few but awesome even in their little number.

I can go on and on, however I am very grateful for you all that take the pains to read and walk this journey with me. Alas! the night is indeed over and what a wonderful time we will enjoy now the day is come.  For you, my appeal is use this time NOW, to be thankful and grateful for the mistakes and the lessons you have learnt because without learning, you are sure to flunk the tests of life. Be thankful for yet another opportunity to take stock of your uniqueness and acknowledge that there is so much that you can do with just that one person that you encounter, but you must choose to or else regret the opportunity past.

“Life without thankfulness is devoid of love and passion. Hope without thankfulness is lacking in fine perception. Faith without thankfulness lacks strength and fortitude. Every virtue divorced from thankfulness is maimed and limps along the spiritual road.” – John Henry Jowett

Remember yet again, that a life without thanksgiving is worse than those who have passed away. Make your NOW count and rejoice in the memories tomorrow.

lמסתדר טוב עד שניפגש שוב בזמן שלו

Adios!

Stripped bare……

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Stripped n bare

“You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is like an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.” – Mahatma Gandhi

Admittedly, I have been yearning to get back to doing what I love best – this! however it has been a tumultuous period in the last two weeks and just when I desire to get back, something else comes up and yet still I strive to do my own little bit in the lives of the few people who I have been blessed to encounter. Now it feels like what has been dammed these past weeks just wants to gush out and that would inadvertently drown quite a few including myself and so I have to apply self-control or stand the risk of sounding like a blithering idiot. Like I have chosen to inculcate, each day is such an amazing experience whether I am down under, burdened by the travails of this medical challenge and besought by the emotional desolation that so doggedly accompanies this disorder or I am infused by the joys and beauty of life in every waking moment – I choose to make each day count because every day is a Present in itself and like a kid, I carefully unwrap it…….I cannot do otherwise anyway, being obsessively compulsive has its pros.

A few days ago, I travelled to beautiful South Yorkshire and even though travelling is wearisome and I have to make it as comfortable as possible, it is still a necessity. I actually fell in love with the region and above all I loved the fact that it was colder than London because I have learnt to accept that I am also a Super hero – Mr Exothermic, that is also one of the merits of this condition – accelerated metabolism enhanced by the regular tremors I experience, which translates to the need to be in a cooler atmosphere than most people would like. I was privileged to meet Ibrahim, Mark(s) and Hilary – sharing the stories of their own lives and the beautiful attitude they exuded even whilst doing their jobs. Such encounters make me realize that you can choose to continue to mourn what may have seemingly be lost or choose to celebrate that which you are blessed with finding each and every new day. Of course there were the ignorant ones who thought the shakes were quite amusing or those who seemed to be freaked out by my super hero outfit. All put together, it makes every day such a blessing because I know something that can never be taken away from me as long as I breathe – everything is working together for my good. Try as hard as you may, deride me, ignore me, withhold from me – I will still smile because you don’t and can never define me.

I am dedicating this piece to Carrie Ann who has finally bested dystonia and every illness, today she stands on the other side victorious and free of all disorders and disease and whilst her passing is painful but yet again it presents us with an opportunity to live our lives continually grateful that we were blessed to know her.

Amazingly, it is no news that we may be having the best winter since 1947 and honestly I look forward to it – weird or not! Every time I gaze out my window overlooking the front lawn, I am drawn to Miss Betula Lenta (the Cherry Birch tree) and as usual she stands stripped and bare as she is readied for the months in winter. To many, she has lost her beauty and appeal – gone are the chirping birds, gone are her beautiful leaves, gone are the exquisite buds…..however she still stands and teaches lessons that are priceless if only they can be grasped. If only we can but stop, dare to liberate our minds of all the meaningless junk that we have chosen to walk with and just learn, what a world of difference it will make to us as individuals and creatures of purpose. WHAT A CHANGE THAT WILL BE WHEN WE LEARN AND REALIZE THAT WE ARE FOR CREATED FOR PURPOSE!

How much I love these words ….“Let’s tell the truth to people. When people ask, ‘How are you?’ have the nerve sometimes to answer truthfully. You must know, however, that people will start avoiding you because, they, too, have knees that pain them and heads that hurt and they don’t want to know about yours. But think of it this way: If people avoid you, you will have more time to meditate and do fine research on a cure for whatever truly afflicts you.” – Maya Angelou……because humanity is like the ocean and its beauty is not defined by the few dirty drops. Walk with the few that God raises up for you when you are in need, determine not to dwell on the many that avoid you or that ignore you or worse still, the many that utter loads of balderdash and do absolutely nothing. My life, stripped and bare it may seem now is just a phase that is a precursor to the beautiful seasons ahead, and guess what, I am better off each passing day. I choose to continue to give from what I have, and whilst I may not have by the standards of many but I am so enriched each day by countless blessings that I have become attuned to appreciate even as I stand bare and stripped. And I am grateful to be stripped of all what I do not need now for this season, because it is such an awesome time to really acknowledge what I freely receive – from the new friends that prop me up each day to the lives that I can associate with despite their pain and challenges. I am thankful to be stripped of what has so long burdened me so that I can receive anew what truly counts.

I have seen seasons, experienced the lows and the highs and I have come to acknowledge without an iota of doubt that life in essence is simply a journey and each of us has a choice to make regardless of the circumstances we seem to have been thrust into unwillingly and seemingly without preparation. To realize that when we are forsaken by many,  it is yet an opportunity to be accepted by others. To acknowledge that when we are deprived by those that we thought would stand by us, it is yet an opportunity to give of what we have to those who stand alone like us and be cherished by others. To acknowledge that when we are disappointed by many, it is yet an opportunity to be a source of encouragement to another – choosing not to focus on the bleakness but painfully lift our eyes beyond and grasp the beauty of what lies just ahead. Acknowledging that when we can no more do what we used to, it is yet an opportunity to reach deep and pull out the potentials that have hitherto lain dormant within us. I choose to make the most of what I am blessed with daily, taking the taunts and the indifference and turning it inside out to be a stronger and better individual because the journey is one of endurance, perseverance and unrelenting faith in a Father who is able to perfect that which He alone began.

“How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a weary world.” – William Shakespeare

I am ready for the winter!

lמסתדר טוב עד שניפגש שוב בזמן שלו

Adios!

Just Wait…..

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Roxie…..

Right now, I feel like I was run over by a 30-ton Mack Truck. Struggling severely with insomnia and it does not look like I am getting the edge, was up till about 3am. The weather forecast was as usual spot-on; Rained all through the wee hours of the morning but it is a welcome development even though some say London rains are pesky and annoying. For me, really wish I could dance in the rain especially after the blistering summer and the almost unbearable heat. The consistent tremors ensure that I would be a perfect cast for the role of a super hero “Mr Exothermic” – that is one of the pros of Myoclonus. I am really considering having a yard sale for my thermal wear because I have gotten so used to my favourite birthday suit.

Anyway I had to go see my chiropractor again and twas yet another mixed session, he did comment on my fatigue level and emphasised the need for sleep (as though I enjoy not being able to sleep) however we both share the same opinion regarding most doctors and their appalling lack of honesty and professionalism. But this is not the real reason for getting onto my trusty companion – I had a mind-blowing encounter and that is what I want to share, and the lessons I learnt in the space of about 15 minutes on my way back home.

I love dogs, have always done regardless of the size and breed (although my predilection is for the huge ones). I would say that as a kid growing up, my best friend was Snoopy and even though he was not the real deal for whatever reasons (I guess pets were not really allowed in our rented house back then) but he taught me what loyalty meant. With each tug on his leash, he would roll behind me – tail wagging and droopy ears moving up and down. He was supposed to be a retriever anyway. He is still alive somewhere, missing a wheel or two but still unflinching in his loyalty. I am so proud that my little princess is also fond of dogs too. H.W Shaw captures it perfectly thus “A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.”

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Snoopy and I

As I made my way across the road to catch the 364, I met Roxie and it was like love at first sight, as she waited with her beautiful brown eyes and sleek black hair just outside the pharmacy. Seated on her haunches on the wet ground attached by her leash to the gate stand. She sure had one of the gentlest eyes and with just a brief glance at me, she continued her vigil and I did not need to watch Dynamo Impossible to realise  that her owner was in the pharmacy. Eyes fixed unwavering at the door of the pharmacy, head cocked as she looked through the glass plate window and just a brief glance at anyone who passed near – she waited and waited and waited.

Just as any real dog lover would, my heart went out to her because with each opening of the door, I also waited with expectation (it was so infectious) and still she sat on her haunches. No straining, no whining, just that blind unwavering watching and waiting that only dogs can express so sincerely. And so, I was not in a rush anyway, I waited with her – my heart going out to her as the slight rain persisted and yet Roxie waited. After a couple of minutes, I became apprehensive that there was a possibility she had been forgotten and so I made my way carefully (body aching as usual) into the pharmacy just to help her confirm that her waiting was not in vain.

With bated breath I approached the door, just as the ‘last’ customer (from my point of view) exited and as I made my way in, heading for the visibly empty counter, I saw two ladies at the far end of the shop. It was such a moment of relief which further blossomed as I heard the words “could you please hurry up, I’ve got my dog waiting outside”  What a thrill those words represented to me and as I exited the pharmacy, I whispered to Roxie “She’ll soon be out.” Taking a vantage point at the bus stop, knowing that the next bus would require me spending another 12 minutes, I watched with a wide grin as Roxie’s owner (Tracy) emerged and she leaped up with joy – finally the wait was over. I boarded the bus and together we each made our way home .

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Tracy & Roxie – the wait is over

Funny how those few minutes gave me an entirely new perspective regarding my struggle with Myoclonus. Roxie couldn’t read but she trusted that she was left outside for reasons unknown to her but known to Tracy. She continued waiting even in the slight rain because that was what Tracy asked her to do. She waited, confident in the fact that no matter how long it took, Tracy would re-emerge and they would both go home. She didn’t make a fuss about the conditions outside, she just waited – eyes fixed on the door through which Tracy had disappeared. She couldn’t have heard Tracy urging the pharmacist to hurry up and yet she waited.

Most of us would have given up the wait, hey! the ground was wet. We do not know why we are in this situation but we dare not give up because it is but for a season. Yes, the sleepless nights, the incessant tremors, the annoying independence of our neurological system, the indiscreet whispers and stares thrown our way, the look of indifference and nonchalance we encounter from those around us, the unwillingness to help…..the list is endless, sometimes we just wanna scream ‘I have had enough of this’ but guess what? Let us still wait because He’s in there (though we may not see Him or even acknowledge Him) working out things for our good. As I rode home on the bus, I muttered some words of thanks to Roxie for teaching me to wait.

We did not choose to have a rare neurological disorder (who would) but let us remember that we were born for a reason and purpose and presently, the ground beneath us is so wet and uncomfortable, we are cold and seemingly alone and abandoned but let us learn from Roxie to just wait because it is merely for a season and regardless of how long the season seems to last, someday, it is gonna end – one way or another and then we will make our way home joyfully. Every memory of the long wait and the bad seasons encountered in our sojourn, eclipsed by the joy of the reassurance that we are truly loved by the only One that really matters the most. And that as long as we just wait, eyes fixed where it matters the most, casting but brief glances to the distractions that  want to take our attention away then we can rest assured that we will inevitably finish as victors.

Remember that ours is not a life of mere existence but one of purpose,, so let us choose wisely and just wait.

lמסתדר טוב עד שניפגש שוב בזמן שלו

Adios!

 

In Another’s Moccasins……(1)

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hola queridos amigos,

Lovely aren’t they? (the moccasins, incase you tend to be slow in the mornings like me). My best friend, JOIV has a pair like these and on a good dry day, it is the most probable item to be adorned and sometimes I would be glad to wager a bet (Vas my chiropractor says bets are wagered by a fool and a brave man so naturally I incline towards being the brave party…lol!) that those moccasins could find their way home on their own in the event that JOIV left them somewhere. 

It is no news that most of the EU are battling with economic recession so Spain isn’t left out and prior to today, I swore that I would never board an Iberia Airways aircraft but my recent trip to Madrid aboard their National carrier has changed my opinion (not a very easy thing to do when it is someone else’s objective). What has brought this sudden vacillation of opinion? Definitely not the aircraft, they have not changed their fleet to the newer swanky aircrafts, but my experience at the hands of the unique set of individuals I have ever had the privilege of encountering. Just had our first young adults dystonia meeting and for a change, it was more relaxed and summarily cool – not in Madrid by the way, pre my trip and so it was with the right sense of apprehension that I embarked on this trip because living with dystonia kinda makes you a special needs traveller.

The North American Indians have a saying “To understand the man, you must first walk a mile in his moccasin.” and honestly whilst you may be drooling at the beautiful pair of moccasins depicted above, wipe the spittle and come back to reality because they belong to another. Those pair have been accustomed to another’s feet and they have seen their own share of wear and tear but just like JOIV, they are simply accustomed to another’s. Life as I always point out whenever the opportunity presents itself, is all about relationships and the beauty of relationship is that it is like a seesaw, you have to give so as to receive. Just as you experience the thrill of rocketing upwards, you cannot always be the one to catch the clouds – just across you is a friend or mate with his/her weight firmly planted to the ground to enable you get that thrill.

As I was being wheeled from the aircraft to the terminal, I had the unique opportunity of meeting Senor Victor D. Rodriguez and Senorita Mercedes who made me understand the difference between holla senora and holla senorita. And with a very cheeky grin on his face as he wheeled an 80.4kg bloke all through, Victor talked about himself and asked me what I thought about his ‘spanglish’ and it was less ‘span’ and more ‘glish’ even as he struggled with using the right terms and phrases and correcting himself mid-sentences. He shared the story of his friend who relocated to London and is desperately trying to get back (because the grass always looks greener as long as you stand on the other side of the fence) and as usual it got me thinking. What is it about us that makes us want to always be the one to be at the receiving end especially when there are benefits? How strong is that streak of selfishness that makes us choose to ignore the little kind gestures we can give out to the closest person who we can clearly see is having a bit of horrid time, at no cost?

For those of us, who are still clearly choosing to ignore the obvious, there is One in charge of all that happens on this earth and He again sure is in charge of what happens after our little sojourn here – you could ask Matt Damon ‘Hereafter’. And even as we rocket through life, experiencing the thrills of life, remember to look across and see Him choosing to plant His weight firmly on the ground just for you to get the thrill and instead of being all grumpy and upset when the tides change (cos they surely and always will), remember that there is more joy when you can and choose to do that teeny weeny bit just to make the other bloke experience some thrill too by walking in his moccasins just for a little while.

Senora Marissa, the senior flight attendant/chief air hostess took out just a little bit of her busy time to sidle in close to me and ask me with a twinkle in her eye what dystonia was and even whilst she was cutting my cuttlefish into bits, she responded to my profuse thanks with a cheeky ‘I am not doing anything with my hands right now’. Now these are the people who by their actions , not words changed my whole apprehension of flying with Iberia because there is always a choice to spend more of our energies engaging in heated debates on the pros and cons of a subject or just spend less energy doing the little to make that next person going through a difficult time just a teeny weeny bit more comfortable.

God says “I want you to share your food with the hungry and to provide shelter for homeless, oppressed people. When you see someone naked, clothe him! Don’t turn your back on your own flesh and blood!” Aha! I don’t turn away from my relatives when they are in need….hmmm! we are all of one source, doubt that? Well, the next time you are walking down that busy street, rushing off to that appointment, take a moment to look at the flesh of the next person and I dare you to point out the difference and make me eat my words and if you are as adventurous as I am, ask for a little prick of blood and tell me it isn’t as red as the one flowing in your veins.

Have I forgotten to mention the beautiful Indira, who is as gorgeous as a lady would ever be and ideally should keep to herself because of the predators out there looking around for a single woman to fill her ears with deceit and filth. Guess what, she relocated her seat and ensured that I lacked nothing and leaving off what she was doing – most likely sending word to her wonderful family of her itinerary, she made the choice to just talk with and listen to me. That meant a whole world of good, Indie. And what we fail to acknowledge is that whenever we sow, we must reap so why devote time and energy in sowing the wrong things because inadvertently our harvest is in multiples of what we have sown. Besides, it kicks against the natural instinct of self-preservation for any sane person (yeah more insane people are being discovered each day but we yet out-number them) to sow something detrimental to self.

It is a brand new week, and what better start can we have to do things just a little bit differently. Begin with the person next to you even as you are seated in church or anywhere, share a smile and ask him how he is doing and then as you part ways, tell him/her in all sincerity that you would want him to have a pleasant week and tell me you did not feel better after that. There is a spiritual aspect to our lives, when we give, we receive so be careful what you give.

“I am only one; but still I am one. I cannot do everthing, but still I can do something; I will not refuse to do something I can do.” – Helen Keller, and remember………………we were made to live for His pleasure and not just exist.

Adios!

פרידה עד שנפגש שוב חברים יקרים ….. 

Nine Lives or what?

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I have got these feline furry and nocturnal friends who seem to have taken a fancy to my driveway for regular jousting bouts and it is always preceded by these eerie sounds (now I think I know why they are most probable companions for those in the dark arts) and it usually has me up and watching cos there is always a thing or two to learn from life and it is simply horrifying how many of us walk through life with our eyes firmly shut. Inevitably, the end is always the same; Ginger slinks away whilst Blacky enjoys the victory of a conquered territory…..but the next night they are at it again. I sincerely hope that there will never be anything like feliscatusophiles ever especially with flashbulbs always going off from my window in the wee hours of the morning…..lol! However at the current rate of decadence, am guessing it will just be a matter of time and some required publicity…..

An acquaintance of mine recently returned from a three-month stint in the London Chest Hospital, and no he is not a cardio-specialist/intern or tourist, he is recuperating from a double bypass (lovers of House, Grey’s Anatomy, Scrubs – can I hear an Amen!). Now considering his age and background, it is yet another astounding display of God’s love for us regardless of the millions out there who refuse to acknowledge this truth. We are simply because He is and will forever be. There is something about having a life transforming event in man’s life that brings him to careful speculation of what priorities really make up life. There is something about sorrow that causes wisdom to permeate all the carefully layered years of crap whether we want to or not, if you are still reading with a smirk on your face – try crossing the A140 at noon with a blindfold on and then continue reading.

In the words of the preacher, it is better to be in the house of mourning than in the arena of gaiety because the transitional realism of life is starkly uncovered and much wisdom can be learnt (even that is a matter of choice). For those who love practical sessions, try going to sleep with the knowledge that you may never wake up because that is really what major surgery is like. Now I have grown a wee fond of him although proximity usually evokes such affection especially when there is more of sanity than insanity manifested by both parties and it is always a good thing when I saunter along with my staff of authority announcing me and spend some time with him. I usually find such brief periods stimulating because of his longer sojourn here and yet another opportunity to learn something new or refresh the old even.

During one of such camaraderie moments, we got talking about two of his previous tenants who immediately reminded me of Ginger and Blacky. Their daily romps were an inevitability and it was only a matter of time before the Met guys would be called in because they would go at each other day after day despite the fact that they lived next to each other. Why? Firstly because they were ladies (no pun intended pretty damsels) and secondly because they were both ‘single’ (no pun intended, all the single ladies…..if he wants you, he had better put a ring on it). Now what was the aggravating issue, it was simply a case of morals. Ginger, although a mother, would leave her kids (yeah 2 kids) unattended to at night and go in search of male company and naturally Blacky would have no option but to keep an ear out for the lil ones. And like it is popularly acclaimed ‘this is London, you ought to get paid for doing anything.’

Fast forward eight years after, they were both evicted for being public nuisances, and 46-year-old Ginger is still at it. Selena is 8 years old, a budding song writer and Jordan is 11, an intelligent well-mannered south-paw. I have also come to love these kids because even in the face of such despicability, you can still glimpse the beauty of their innocence and forming character and it is a wonder that Ginger still believes that they are blissfully unaware of her line of work but my acquaintance says “well she must pay rent and pay the bills….”

This brings me to the question, why do we often choose to play russian roulette with our lives believing that maybe we are like Felis silvestris catus and have spares somewhere in the probable event that the gun goes off because come to think of it, there are six chambers and one-sixth is worse than a zero. Why do we spend so much time pursuing the wrong things only to spend later years musing about them after a life transforming event, mind you, not many survive these events so it is a case of being like flotsam on the waves. Getting it right early is better than waiting for that transforming event, you may make it to the shore or get lost at sea. If you do make it to the shore, you may make it dead, barely alive or worse still decomposing.

Taking a look at Lady Gaga’s song, I want to ask why settle for the edge of glory when you can bask in it and leave a life and legacy worthy of emulation? Why opt for a life of derision hiding behind the all time lie of ‘I have got no choice’? Why spend your life hoping that just maybe you are one of the extra special ones with nine lives and when you get to the last life, it’s all gonna fall in place? It sure does not need to take that event to bring us to serious contemplation of why we are here because in the words of Dr Seuss “don’t cry because it is over, smile because it happened”.

I have to hustle because I am meeting an amazing Russian today but remember……….we were made to live for His pleasure and not just exist.

Adios!

פרידה עד שנפגש שוב ….

I believe I can fly…..

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What makes an eagle so majestic amongst its avian brothers? Do animals have souls? Can the loyalty of a dog to its loving master be ever put on trial? Can the stars ever be put out in response to the rising mayhem globally? Can the ant establish a school in order to avail us the wisdom of their ways despite their tiny size? As the Preacher put it, too much studying causes only weariness for to everything that is, there is a purpose. Why do good things happen to bad people? Why do the wicked seemingly go unpunished? Why do we judge others by their actions and judge ourselves by our motives?

I never cease to chuckle at the antics of my elderly neighbor’s Jack russel terrier (I simply love dogs, they are undeniably man’s best friend) whenever he brings him out for the evening walk. Snapping at every thing in motion, straining at his leash and then my most enjoyable moment is when my neighbor attaches his leash to his bike and lets him run. With every muscle straining, off he goes – almost single-handedly pulling the bicycle away (probably in his mind anyway)Jack Russell Terrier (Smooth). And that simple daily chore always sets me thinking with a huge grin plastered on my face as I turn into my driveway, that we are always limited by our own selves. Nothing is really as bad as it seems, for with every roll of the dice on a board game – fate decides what numbers come up but we do the counting. I recently watched a video blog of a courageous young lady who is also dystonic but has overcome her fears to begin a video blog and yet again I am in awe of the strength of the human spirit.

The world’s greatest #1 bestseller recounts the tale of our ancestors who came together and decided to build the world’s tallest building (sorry I’ve seen the Shire, London and the Burj Khalifa, Dubai and the Petronius Platform and this is no reference to any of them). The project commenced and stolidly they plodged on undeterred in their motive, without today’s modern day technology and but for the intervention of God, they were going to get there. The question is what could be so powerful a motivation that God had to intervene to restore the rightful order of things. It is simply two words numbering 9 characters…..I BELIEVE. Nothing fancy in the words themselves but the underlying truth and conviction makes it more than just words but a theme to live by.

We live in a world, constantly buffeted by the waves of life and yet for many of us something unexplainable keeps us going regardless of how high the waves seem or how close we were to drowning from the last encounter. It quickly brings to remembrance the paralympians from the most populous black nation in the world who not only achieved what their able bodied counterparts were unable to do but still have to face the stigma of a nation largely populated by clowns and cowards. And yet with the flames of self belief, they soldier on past the odds and the stigma and create legacies for generations to come ( if they can still learn anyway). Listening to the words of the popular song by R. Kelly

See I was on the verge of breaking down. Sometimes silence can seem so loud. There are miracles in life I must achieve. But first I know it starts inside of me……. If I just believe it, there’s nothing to it…….”

Nothing can be put in a better way than this truth, and whilst we croon the words, let us also imbibe the lyrics. There are miracles in life that each of us must achieve and if only we can just dare to believe, we will realise that there is indeed nothing to it. So just as the eagle watches and waits for that gust of wind with outstretched wings, believing that it can soar to heights unimaginable – let us with each new day, prepare ourselves for those miracles that we must achieve by simply telling ourselves those two words “I BELIEVE” and astound not just ourselves but those who have irretrievably put you down in the past by saying you are a failure by flying. There is no better vessel, no stronger source, no greater reserve than the Spirit of God within us. In the words of Napoleon Bonaparte

“There are only two forces in the world, the sword and the spirit. In the long run the sword will always be conquered by the spirit”

Today, I charge you – if only you can believe, you can fly. Gotta run now, Jeanette awaits me downstairs with a team of champions in life who are flying despite cancer, RA and whatever fancy names are assigned. Guess what, it is a marvellous start to a new week. Just believe and you can fly.