Tag Archives: laughter

Silence ~an Advent Quest ~merry and bright

Said one silly chook to the other,” Well, I did warn you that your bed of roses ideas would sink us.”

laughter in silence, silence in laughter

THEN
Daddy fell into the pond!

And everyone’s face grew merry and bright,
And Timothy danced for sheer delight.
‘Give me the camera, quick, oh quick!
He’s crawling out of the duckweed.’
Click!

Then the gardener suddenly slapped his knee,
And doubled up, shaking silently,

Daddy Fell Into the Pond by Alfred Noyes

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On a cake and a prayer

In the small hours of Tuesday morning, I settled into bed and into my 15 minutes of  dedicated, purposeful reading with my current book   Heaven on Earth by Stephanie Dowrick. My bookmark was placed, from the night before, at page 118, and, when I pressed open the pages, this is the prayer that greeted me:

Watch, dear Lord, with those
who wake or weep tonight.
Let your angels guard those who sleep.
Tend the sick.
Refresh the weary.
Comfort those who are dying.
Soothe the suffering.
Have mercy on those who are distressed.
We ask this for your love’s sake.

Augustine of Hippo

I know very little about Augustine of Hippo. I don’t know exactly when he wrote this prayer.  I don’t even know if I like him, or his ideas, or would have liked him way back when. But it moved me deeply  that someone, a hugely long time ago (somewhere, perhaps between 386 and 430 AD) wrote the words that I needed to hear, that I needed formulated for me, in 2014.  It moved me that, on the very day I needed them most, they appeared before me. But, in truth, it was more than being moved; it was more as if Augustine himself,  scroll in hand,  had reached through the ages and said, “Here, take this, I wrote it for you, right here, right now.” Was it a miracle ? (Unlikely)  Was it timely? (Certainly)  Did the prayer work? Possibly, but evidence suggests not for the bone-tired sister I had in mind. But, for me, it did bring some peace and rest and I have repeated this prayer every night since.

Last Sunday, the recent, particularly stressful weeks of  letting ‘nature’ take its heart-breaking course with my daughter’s mental health came to the inevitable conclusion; and she was hospitalized for the sake of her health and well-being. No fun for anyone: not for the daughter, crying uncontrollably; not for the mother listening, helplessly, on the other end of a phone thousands of kilometres away, across land and sea, and not for the on-the-spot aunt, trying to cope, in utter weariness, with the complex needs of elderly, frail parents and a troubled niece.

A few days on, a few prayers later, another phone call to my daughter and I hear words that cradle me: “Mum, they keep bringing us little cakes. They are so delicious. It’s so good to eat cake again. ”  Thank you, thank you, anyone who wants to be thanked. My daughter is delighting in cake once more.

This is only the beginning for my daughter’s recovery. It may even be a false start. Years of less than perfect mental hygiene do not vanish at the pop of a pill or two. Many of the bloggers I follow are affected by mental health issues; by health issues; many are weary; many are caring for family; many are grieving. There is nothing unusual about these situations. They are part of the human condition. As Stephanie Dowrick writes  on page 150 ” First Noble Truth: In life there is suffering.  We free ourselves whenever we ask:  “How can I help?”

And, I would add, by asking, “How can we help each other?”  By being “Angels” for each other? By prayer, by care?  By simply being there, and here, and taking time to listen, to read, to be compassionate and to lighten each other’s load? And by reminding ourselves, over and over, that in life we can also find joy and laughter and fun….and cake. 🙂

Helping  make the Christmas Cake; circa 1988, New York

Helping make the Christmas Cake; circa 1988, New York

© silkannthreades

 

Floral Prints

This day began with visions…of loveliness. The first vision came from the words of  William Wordsworth in his sonnet “Composed upon Westminster Bridge”.  Whilst London is far, far from me, the lines

“This city now doth, like a garment, wear the

The beauty of the morning;  “

were a perfect description of the loveliness of my garden, bathed in morning light. Not my entire garden, really, but the focus of my second vision, the Michelia tree.http://www.wairere.co.nz/Trees_Evergreen/Michelia  Yesterday, I didn’t believe the tree could look and smell any more beautiful than it did, but I was wrong. For, today, it is  beyond sublime and I can scarcely take my gaze from it.

Michelia, wearing the Morning Light

Michelia, wearing the Morning Light

My photos don’t do the vision justice but, perhaps, they will give you the smallest glimpse of what is before my eyes…. (the captions are taken from Composed Upon Westminster Bridge)

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Now, as I looked at the Michelia, all arrayed in white blossom, I began to think of a conversation I had with Annie at http://forestsogreen.wordpress.com/.   She commented about the floral print dress, worn by Grandmother, in my previous post here:  ” My grandmother also wore those dresses made of fabric with flowers :) ” said Annie. To which I replied, “Yes, Annie! Looking at the photo, I remembered so clearly those flower print dresses. My grandmother also had her flower print dress for morning when she did most of her household work and cooking and, then, in the afternoon, she wore a nicer, better flower print dress. She didn’t flop around in her pyjamas like her lazy grandaughter!!!!”  And, then, from my thoughts came laughter and love because, suddenly, my beautiful Michelia became a living, visionary version of my Nana’s  floral print morning dress. And, of the days, when we took our garden bouquets and imprinted them on the fabric of our daily lives; our house dresses and our aprons and our dresses for “best” .

Enough of the fanciful. Let me return to the  practical. My good  blogger friend at http://ordinarygood.wordpress.com/  told me that the soft fuzzy bud cover on magnolia and Michelia blooms is known as a perule. Such a pretty and perfect word for them. These last two photos are for her.

© silkannthreades

Will 2013 be this muddled? Absolutely!

For me, part of the fun of being a WordPress blogger is learning, learning and more learning. Another part is just having a go, for fun. A day ago, thanks to fellow blogger,kiwiskan,I found out about Wordle. And, a few days before that, another blogger Playamart – Zeebra Designs    introduced me to Irfanview. So, for the beginning of 2013, I put my two new learnings together, in the spirit of “having a go”,  and came up with this New Year wordle. It’s far from perfect but that is appropriate to life, where sometimes everything gets muddled and messy yet usually turns out well enough, albeit with  plenty of room for improvement.Let it Be

© silkannthreades