I Will Look For You

For a very dear friend who died two days ago

My dear friend, Josie.
I will look for you wherever sunshine hides itself away,
And wherever smiles and laughter play.
And I know I will find you
In every leaf and glowing fire.
In the blackest coal and the brightest flower.
In Picasso’s blue and Vincent’s yellow.
In the still life of a fruit bowl
And the sweet song of Bach’s cello.

And in the pebble I picked on the beach for you,
A stone letter from the East.
In it I see the sparkle of your eyes,
And the white light of peace.
Soon I will place it close to where you lie,
Where you can read it still.
And I will lie on the Earth and feel its drumbeat.
I will smell the soil and touch the feet,
Of all who have passed before.
And then, reaching up to the sky,
I will give thanks for the Greatest Gift
Which you enjoyed so graciously,
Until the last,
And know you are alive in me
And the world is still changing constantly,
Because of you.

Boundless love xxx

Malala

She looked her would-be killer in the eye,

And saw the ignorance

That fuelled the fear

That powered the bullet

That pierced the skull

That passed right through

That took her to the other side,

Closer to the prophet than he could ever be

No matter how many times a day he prayed.

 

She saw a split second of confusion

When something deep inside himself

Questioned his actions,

But the wheel now firmly set in motion,

Powered by its own momentum,

Could only move in one direction,

Because, for now, he was sure,

He had God on his side.

Not so, later, when the question returned to haunt him.

Could it be the same God that had enabled her to survive?

 

She came back from the other side,

With wisdom way beyond her years,

Compassion and love in her pure heart,

And the words of all the prophets on her lips.

 

But that seed of doubt planted within him,

Would begin to grow and not let go.

In its climb towards the light,

It would demand answers.

He would see that light is knowledge

And that humans cannot grow in darkness.

He could only regret and repent,

And hope for some forgiveness.

 

But she – she dwelled already in the light.

She who had met the final darkness

Was hungrier than ever for its glow,

For knowledge, love and worldly peace.

The power was all hers,

All her fears already faced,

All wounds healed in love’s embrace,

All bridges crossed, no trace of hate.

She would surely find many pearls,

She would inspire and change the world.

Even more on truth

There is a grain of truth in every opinion,

and a bucket of lies in every tiny white lie.

Like a rolling snowball, they accumulate and stick,

and as the ball grows, it becomes distorted.

Unfortunately, truths also grow distorted,

and are soon obscured,

engulfed in the fog of misperception,

which descends upon them.

Though the light may be piercing,

still they fade,

becoming harder and harder to find

and harder still to define.

Cherishing Difference and Diversity.

It is currently very fashionable in our society to celebrate difference and diversity, and most of us genuinely believe we do. However, when it comes down to the hard-hitting realities of our everyday lives, most of us would rather fill our world with people just like us. This thought is distasteful and almost unacceptable today, since its logical conclusion is hate-filled racism and bigoted intolerance, but it struck me when I was thinking about relationships with our nearest and dearest, especially family and spouses or lovers.

Most of us have some kind of fantasy of a perfect partner and often waste years of our lives searching for him or her, often killing off perfectly good relationships in the process. Usually that perfect partner is someone very similar to us, but much sexier! When we think we may have found someone quite close to it, we get together and both tend to go along with each other and agree with each other on most things, really trying to fool ourselves that we are so very well-suited. But after a while, we start to see more and more differences. They just do not act in the way we think they should, and usually that means in the way we would, or like to think we would. At first these differences may be charming, then irritating and as they mount up and accumulate, sometimes maddening and that is when the rows begin. We try to make them think and behave like us and naturally they react badly to this and the differences are exaggerated still further. After all, they think we should behave as they do! Sometimes if the case is really justified, or if one partner is particularly keen to please, one or other partner may make a lot of effort to be accommodating and things may improve, but sooner or later, old ways and differences will come to the fore again. And so they should, because while compromise is often stated as the panacea for relationships, it is usually done grudgingly and is nowhere near as successful as genuine acceptance of difference.

I have struggled like this in many relationships, but now I have learnt to truly embrace difference and accept and love my partner purely for who she is, perfect in every way, as we all are deep down. We could hardly be more different and it has been a struggle, but worth the perseverance, and that is the key to truly celebrating difference and diversity in all its forms. It does not come overnight, or merely by saying the right words. It takes a lot of hard work and a genuine change in attitude with which we recognise that nobody is just like us. Everybody reacts in their own way to the world around them, and if we sometimes find those ways challenging, then we need to challenge them. If we can do this without passing judgement, then so much the better, but it will get us nowhere pretending they do not exist. On the other hand, separatism and messy divorces will only make things worse, with the one exception of a violent, abusive partner or oppressor. The key is maximum, continued exposure, deep listening and compassionate speech. Eventually we will all understand each other, then respect each other and eventually, really cherish our differences. These days, I think it would be quite boring to be together with a partner who thinks and behaves just like me and sees the world as I do. Such a partner would be little more than a mirror to reinforce my own vanity and confirm all my narrow-minded opinions and ideas and vice versa, boosting our collective ego in the battle of us against the world, in exactly the same way as the members of insular, xenophobic and monochrome societies reinforce their collective behaviour; perhaps a cohesive force within the relationship or community, but for the world at large, a definite destructive force. What would I learn from that? How would I grow? Who would challenge my beliefs and patterns of behaviour in my daily life, and who would expose me to such a rich tapestry of delights? No longer a fantasy for me, I can honestly say, with all my heart, difference and diversity really are things worth cherishing.