Be Present, Be Here

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I don’t have enough clothes. I wish I had her fancy job, this one is just too meh… I want a better phone, this one doesn’t have enough selfie power, *at least for me*. My life would be so much easier if I could just get my bangs right. Life for most of us is a catastrophe without our eyes glued to our screens, our mirrors to constantly affirm our beauty and our arrogance just to simply bolster our entitlement. After all, we deserve all that life has to offer but really according to who?

A friend invited me to a hospital visit this last Sunday and I gladly agreed. Together with some friends we were to visit some kids . I thought it was a great idea to help out and get a chance to take really great snap shots of their work. We got to the hospital about 30 minutes late but everything played out just fine, we were ushered into the ward by one of the nurses, her smile told it all she was glad we were there. The kids were not around, they had gone for the Sunday morning service. We stuck around the ward chatting and getting to know one another.

From a distance, we heard the delightful giggles of children. I walked out the hallway to see them all excited. I was quick to notice two of them were on crutches with their right legs amputated from the knee below. Their faces did not bear pain but joy and gratitude for an extra day with a beating heart.

“Realize deeply that the present moment is all you have. Make the NOW the primary focus of your life.”
Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

They all walked in and said hi then they rushed to their nurse and you could instantly tell that this was their family. Their playroom had sky blue curtains with Mickey Mouse curtains running from one end to another. Ladybird story books were on the table and the telly was on. We gathered for a word of prayer and soon after the nurse introduced us to the kids. Apart from being kids, all the bright innocent faces staring at us had one other thing in common. They had cancer.

For a moment I had a Universe-is-trying-to-tell-me-something moment when I remembered that the series I was watching at the same time was Chasing Life. I kept thinking, but they are just children, they have their entire lives ahead of them. They should get a chance to grow their hair long and unkempt, roll around in grass and play in the mud. But as life had it, they were here, now and they are incredibly strong children, stronger than I think I will ever be.

The ravaging thoughts never interrupted their love for life. It was play time they were more than happy to show us their playground. They knew every inch of the big hospital, it was their home. They played like their lives depended on it. For some of us, it was painful, to watch so much life gushing from the little ones. It was then that it dawns on you that a beating heart, perfect eyesight , a fully functional body basically is worth so much more than the material things we desire.

They say the eyes are the window to our soul. This proved to be true when the parents arrived in the afternoon. You could see a mother’s love… and pain all in one concoction. As human beings, we lose track of what actually matters in life. Moments like these help us realize that our existence is a blessing. I’m sure most of you won’t read to the end of this long post but thanks for starting 🙂 Live in the Moment.

 

 

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Been places and seen things

Yet there was always in me, even when I was very small, the sense that I ought to be somewhere else. And wander I did, although, in my everyday life, I had nowhere to go and no imaginable reason on earth why I should want to leave. The buses took to the interstate without me, the trains sped by. So I wandered the world through books. I went to Victorian England in the pages of ‘Middlemarch’ and ‘A little Princess’, and to Saint Petersburg before the fall of the tsar with ‘Anna Karenina’. I went to Tara, and Manderley, and Thornfield Hall, all those great houses, with their high ceilings and high drama, as I read ‘Gone with the Wind’, ‘Rebecca’ and ‘Jane Eyre’.”
Anna Quindlen, How Reading Changed My Life

Museums are  is the perfect place to visit for art lovers but I draw my love for them from books. From high-rising walls stretching up to the geometric patterned ceiling and the towering ivory pillars, the mere existence of the museum is appalling. It brings to realization that the world is bigger than human beings yet it is the product of the human mind. Then there’s the art consisting of perfect key strokes and shades of colors on canvas telling 1000 stories-subject to interpretation.

I love art. I’m no Neal Caffrey but I am one of those ‘weird’ people who see more than colors splashed on canvas. What I loved most about museums are the marble floors and the elegance it spurs (and all the marble-floor-lovers squeal in delight) . The combination of the walls ceiling and floors makes you want to just lie there making snow angels-Without snow of course ;). I have always been artsy, come to think of it but after reading Barbara Taylor Bradford‘s Playing the Game oh combined with Neal Caffrey’s charm 😉 I got a better appreciation for art.

Reading books is like penetrating someone’s mind, understanding their thought patterns, emotions and intellect. It stimulates the mind enough to sample the world’s finest cuisines, art and relish the African sunset. Like fine marble floors, our minds need polishing when it comes to knowledge and what better way to do than through books?

Keep turning the pages 🙂