I took this photo this afternoon, as the sun was dipping toward the horizon.
It was a rare moment of peace, wedged between other moments heavy-laiden by noise, dirty nappies and projectile vomit, a blaring TV, and the general, constant cacophony of family-life chaos.
And so I sat, in precious silence, and stared at this sky, my spirit pleading to the heavens to replenish my soul with its beauty. Read more
I am in my early thirties. It’s a wondrous time, being over thirty. Forgive me for saying it this way, but when I reached thirty, I quickly developed an intolerance for bullshit.
My age suddenly became a stark reality. For the first time, I felt like a real adult, and realized how responsible I am for my remaining years on this earth.
Part of of this realization encompassed the area of friendships and relationships. I looked around and realized that I know a lot of people. I joke around with a lot of people and hang out with them at church and the like. I realized that less than a handful of those people actually knew me, and when I examined myself, I hardly knew them either. Not really.
When you are a child, you are shoved into school and soccer clubs and forced into circles of other kids that inevitably become your friends. In your twenties, a lot of those friendships fade away, and it’s a disheartening thing to go through. Suddenly you find yourself, thirty-something, feeling quite friendless.
And you think to yourself, “I’m a nice person. I’m funny and friendly and kind-hearted. Heck, I’m hilarious! What’s wrong with me?” Read more
Not long ago, a DJ on the radio brought up the spine-chilling topic of near-death experiences. The discussion really sank deep with me, because just that week, a family acquaintance’s life had been tragically cut short in a road accident, and so death was already kind-of on my mind.
It was a fascinating radio show to listen to, with people calling in and sharing their own personal experiences. Although each person experienced leaving their bodies in unique ways, there were some common threads that strung the stories together into an eery tapestry of the afterlife. Some of these commonalities were:
- I saw my Dad / Mom / someone I love, and they were dressed like…
- Someone spoke to me and said, “I’m not ready for you, son.”
- I saw my body lying there and I understood what was happening, but I felt incredible peace. I didn’t feel any fear at all.
- I was surrounded by a warm feeling and sensed a presence of peace and love.
- I didn’t want to come back.
Now, I’m not here to write about ghosts and lights and pearly gates. On the contrary, I’ve been thinking a lot about what happens here on earth in those final, fleeting moments before being called home.
I can’t help but wonder if the final encore that a person performs on earth is tragically their most powerful one. You hear it from people who narrowly escape death: they realised in that moment what was important all along. Read more
Sharing this song again.
I wouldn’t even call it a ‘song’. A musical scroll, if you will, inscribed with multiple spiritual messages, each one like a fruit waiting to be plucked at the right time, at harvest time.
Today, as I listen again (it’s been on repeat for two days), the words tease me:
Do you see what I see?
Do you hear what I hear?
Do you know what I know?
Do you want what I want?
It’s such… such a perfect day…
I listened to this song somewhat dreamily as I drove to work under a stodgy blanket of grey clouds. The day itself seemed grey. The tarmac on which I drove, the sand bars along the side of the road, other cars racing past, concrete bridges whizzing overhead… all grey. Only the grass remained green and against all this grey, it looked like wild neon flailing in the wind.
As it goes on grey days, my thoughts turned introspective and quiet. What is a perfect day, Chris Martin? What are you singing about? When last did you have such… such a perfect day? Your song sounds so ethereal, I wonder if you really have had a perfect day… ever? Read more
I received the news by a text message, a kind of chain-mail message being forwarded from friend to friend to friend. It was Sunday evening. We’d finished dinner and my toddler was nattering away into my ear, the TV blaring into my other ear.
I half-read the message, confused and refusing to believe that I was reading correctly. I glanced up and laughed at something ludicrous that my toddler had said.
“No!” my inner voice insisted. “It cannot be!”
I looked at my phone and read the message slowly. No. No. No. Read more
My toddler and I pop over to my sister’s house to see if her cousin wants to play. He is, but he’s in a weird mood, as it goes with toddlers, and so we mope around the garden for a minute before my daughter decides to invite herself inside the house. I say to her, “Cousin doesn’t want to play today. Do you want to go home and see what daddy’s doing?”
“No!” She protests, pointing at Aunty’s house. “In?!”
So we invite ourselves in and that’s not too bad because we often visit each other, but I cringe inwardly as my daughter takes my hand and drags me to the kitchen, saying, “Bowl! Bowl!” Read more
I heard today about a woman, only slightly older than me, who is gradually going blind. She has a disease that is causing her vision to narrow, resulting in tunnel vision, and eventually total blindness.
She’s apparently always wanted to travel to Morocco. So this year, her family are taking her to see this magical place, before its too late for her.
Do we really have to face blindness before we go see what our hearts burn with desire to see? Read more
…Things I would tell a younger me…
Dear Young Lover,
I want to tell you something about love, marriage and life. Sit with me, let’s talk.
I hear you say, “What could you tell me? You’re only 32 years old!” Even at 32, Young Lover, years of sunshine and smiles have begun to etch faint crowfeet beneath my eyes, and years of frustration and crying have begun to carve deep furrows between my brows. Sit now, let’s talk. Read more
What My Toddler Taught Me About Courage…
We attended a family birthday shindig recently, held at a kid’s party venue on the outskirts of the city. You know the type: a large outdoor garden, with a giant jungle gym, monkey bars, cricket pitch and plastic motorbikes strewn across a miniature race track.
It was a wonderful morning. Overcast, but not cool. About twenty young children showed up, and it was one screaming, messy, sugar-fueled blowout. Phew! Read more