Looking Beyond …

thoughts and deliberations .. a theme is too restrictive


No need to wait until it is too late…..

Pusing up the daisies

This week started with a thanksgiving service for the husband and father of friends of mine.  He died quite suddenly aged 70 whilst out in the garden.  I was struck by the poignancy of one of the things his wife said to me when we were chatting some days later – she only wished that he could have heard all the nice things that people were now saying about him, when he had been alive.   I certainly shed a tear at the thoughtful and moving reflections written by one of the daughters at the service on Monday.

I have since been pondering on how after a death, family and friends speak with great sincerity and affection, extoling the virtues and happy times spent with their loved ones. Tributes given always focus on the positive and the good and choose the truths that edify that person and show them in a good light.   And yet that same person will rarely have heard these carefully composed encouraging words and received such appreciation whilst they were living – not unless they have come into the public limelight for some reason and have found themselves on the right side of the media.

I wonder why we are so bad at recognising the value of relationships whilst we still have them?  It seems so easy to pull a person down in conversation, to focus on their faults and failings.  It happens all the time.  It happens in the public forum, and privately – most frequently in relationships that would benefit greatly from the same shift of focus that happens when someone has suddenly gone from our lives.

After pondering on what the effect would be if I were to write my tributaries for important people in my life and let them read them before it is too late, I came across the following challenge from Jeff Lucas, the very next day:

“Who are the people who have impacted us?  Paul (he is speaking of Paul the Jewish convert in the New Testament) let his friends know, loud and clear, that they were important to him: he was very willing to express his love freely, without hesitation.  We should go out of our way – before offering a tribute at a funeral – to do the same”

And so, my idea for a series of blog entries was cemented in my mind.  After all, eulogies are given in public.  I have no idea how difficult this is going to be -I suspect it could present a significant challenge – but I am up for giving it a go.

Watch this space ……..


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Savouring the moment

The setting sun

We passed through ‘volunteers week’ about which I had much to say, and then into ‘carers week’; but I was too busy caring and volunteering and doing the things that fill life, to hold on to my thoughts and put them into presentable format.  I have wanted to post so many times of late, but frustratingly, the opportunity has not been there and the captured thoughts have escaped.  So instead, I am sharing a few words, hastily put together, from the weekend – I hope it is not too obscure!

An extravagantly sized circle of bright burnt orange sits tauntingly on the horizon, as mesmerizing as the big wide open eyes of a young child.

It is just a moment.  A moment enough to fix the image in my mind.  A moment enough to create simultaneous longing and awe and draw out a desire to share.

The setting sun becomes a backdrop to the silhouette of one of nature’s perfectly formed trees.  I glance fleetingly at my camera which sits within reach and yet out of bounds.  For what good is the image unless shared?  And the moment is gone.

The glorious sight disappears behind the urban landscape that is taking over the foreground as I drive along the motorway.  And then, as I already mourn its loss, it reappears in perfect view for another brief taunt, before slipping swiftly under the horizon leaving only its leakage to flood the sky with oranges, yellows and reds.

I arrive.  A cosmic shift.

The dining table offers no invitation and yet presents an eclectic feast for my eyes.

An incongruously  placed football takes centre piece. It’s large red sphere referencing me back to the setting sun.  Files with the latest hospital appointments; evidence of this week’s campaign against the powerful; medications; tools of measurement; tea and an empty milk bottle all surround the ball.  An open laptop awaits my attention.

The leakage in this table display is toast crumbs.  When all else is cleared away, the toast crumbs will remain.

Make of this what you will – there is much in it for me.

Capture those precious moments and savour them, for the special carries us through the mundane.