Monthly Archives: May 2014

Poem – A Brave and Startling Truth by Maya Angelou

In honour of the amazing poet, Maya Angelou, who died today. Not possibly one of her most famous ones, but a beautiful poem nonetheless.

A Brave and Startling Truth

We, this people, on a small and lonely planet
Traveling through casual space
Past aloof stars, across the way of indifferent suns
To a destination where all signs tell us
It is possible and imperative that we learn
A brave and startling truth

And when we come to it
To the day of peacemaking
When we release our fingers
From fists of hostility
And allow the pure air to cool our palms

When we come to it
When the curtain falls on the minstrel show of hate
And faces sooted with scorn are scrubbed clean
When battlefields and coliseum
No longer rake our unique and particular sons and daughters
Up with the bruised and bloody grass
To lie in identical plots in foreign soil

When the rapacious storming of the churches
The screaming racket in the temples have ceased
When the pennants are waving gaily
When the banners of the world tremble
Stoutly in the good, clean breeze

When we come to it
When we let the rifles fall from our shoulders
And children dress their dolls in flags of truce
When land mines of death have been removed
And the aged can walk into evenings of peace
When religious ritual is not perfumed
By the incense of burning flesh
And childhood dreams are not kicked awake
By nightmares of abuse

When we come to it
Then we will confess that not the Pyramids
With their stones set in mysterious perfection
Nor the Gardens of Babylon
Hanging as eternal beauty
In our collective memory
Not the Grand Canyon
Kindled into delicious color
By Western sunsets

Nor the Danube, flowing its blue soul into Europe
Not the sacred peak of Mount Fuji
Stretching to the Rising Sun
Neither Father Amazon nor Mother Mississippi who, without favour,
Nurture all creatures in the depths and on the shores
These are not the only wonders of the world

When we come to it
We, this people, on this minuscule and kithless globe
Who reach daily for the bomb, the blade and the dagger
Yet who petition in the dark for tokens of peace
We, this people on this mote of matter
In whose mouths abide cankerous words
Which challenge our very existence
Yet out of those same mouths
Come songs of such exquisite sweetness
That the heart falters in its labour
And the body is quieted into awe

We, this people, on this small and drifting planet
Whose hands can strike with such abandon
That in a twinkling, life is sapped from the living
Yet those same hands can touch with such healing, irresistible tenderness
That the haughty neck is happy to bow
And the proud back is glad to bend
Out of such chaos, of such contradiction
We learn that we are neither devils nor divines

When we come to it
We, this people, on this wayward, floating body
Created on this earth, of this earth
Have the power to fashion for this earth
A climate where every man and every woman
Can live freely without sanctimonious piety
Without crippling fear

When we come to it
We must confess that we are the possible
We are the miraculous, the true wonder of this world
That is when, and only when
We come to it.

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The Strange Phenomenon of Wobbly Teeth

SC has reached that age when the Tooth Fairy has visited twice, and in all likelihood will visit again in the near future.

But, as his teeth have become wobbly I have noticed a strange thing.

You can actually tell which tooth will become wobbly – and no, I haven’t suddenly tuned in to Psychic TV – the wobbly tooth will move away from the surrounding ones.

Sounds weird, I know. But with his first one, I noticed, before we even knew it was wobbly, a small gap appearing between the wobbly tooth and it’s neighbour.

And sure enough a couple of weeks later it was wobble central.

His two front teeth are going to be the next ones to go, as an enormous gap has appeared either side of the pair – there is no gap in between the two wobbly ones …. yet.

But it just seems a really weird thing to be happening. My mum can’t remember if that happened with mine. All I can remember is that somewhere along the lines my baby teeth got replaced with rabbit teeth – thanks though to the modern wonders of orthodontistry they have been manoeuvred back in to a straight line 😉

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Out of the Mouthes of Babes – Time Travel

“Mummy, do you know time travel forwards is possible!” pipes up SC on the way home from school last night.DeLorean

“Ummm, no?”

“Well, what you need to do is go up into space at 99.9% of the speed of light and spend 4 months hanging around a black hole, and then when you come back to earth all your friends will be 24 years older!”

And there was me thinking all you needed was a mad scientist, a flux capacitor and a DeLorean 😉

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Friday Poem – Psalm 94

Of course, I am sure the same words ring true for any religious group.  For my part I only have one request, a bit like Henry II when he asked the immortal question “who will rid me of this turbulent/troublesome priest?”, I wish someone would help me remove the pebble in the shoe that is Mr Wrong No. 2 – a little wiccan magic would go a long way right now I fear 😉

Psalm 94

The Lord is a God who avenges.
    O God who avenges, shine forth.
Rise up, Judge of the earth;
    pay back to the proud what they deserve.
How long, Lord, will the wicked,
    how long will the wicked be jubilant?

They pour out arrogant words;
    all the evildoers are full of boasting.
They crush your people, Lord;
    they oppress your inheritance.
They slay the widow and the foreigner;
    they murder the fatherless.
They say, “The Lord does not see;
    the God of Jacob takes no notice.”

Take notice, you senseless ones among the people;
    you fools, when will you become wise?
Does he who fashioned the ear not hear?
    Does he who formed the eye not see?
10 Does he who disciplines nations not punish?
    Does he who teaches mankind lack knowledge?
11 The Lord knows all human plans;
    he knows that they are futile.

12 Blessed is the one you discipline, Lord,
    the one you teach from your law;
13 you grant them relief from days of trouble,
    till a pit is dug for the wicked.
14 For the Lord will not reject his people;
    he will never forsake his inheritance.
15 Judgment will again be founded on righteousness,
    and all the upright in heart will follow it.

16 Who will rise up for me against the wicked?
    Who will take a stand for me against evildoers?
17 Unless the Lord had given me help,
    I would soon have dwelt in the silence of death.
18 When I said, “My foot is slipping,”
    your unfailing love, Lord, supported me.
19 When anxiety was great within me,
    your consolation brought me joy.

20 Can a corrupt throne be allied with you—
    a throne that brings on misery by its decrees?
21 The wicked band together against the righteous
    and condemn the innocent to death.
22 But the Lord has become my fortress,
    and my God the rock in whom I take refuge.
23 He will repay them for their sins
    and destroy them for their wickedness;
    the Lord our God will destroy them

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Who has made an impact on your life?

As the song from the musical “Wicked” goes:wicked

I’ve heard it said,
That people come into our lives
For a reason
Bringing something we must learn.
And we are lead to those
Who help us most to grow if we let them.
And we help them in return.

And it’s also true that until we learn the lesson we are meant to learn, we will keep making the same mistake.

Something SC said to me this morning struck a chord.  He mentioned a friend of mine he had met once, for only a couple of hours, with such affection it got me thinking.

So, I think it just goes to show that it doesn’t matter who we meet in our journey through life, some people will always make an impact for better or worse and whether they are in your life for a long time or a short time.

SC has made a positive impact in my life in more than one way. For him to grow up to be the person I want him to be, I have to be that person myself, so he has forced me to do a lot of soul-searching about positive ways to live my life and be happy, so he can grow up to be a confident young man.

My headmaster at junior school made a big impact on my life. It was him who helped me develop my love of all things numerical.

I credit one guy (I can’t even remember his name) with making me realise what I wanted to do with my life. After watching a movie, which I spent several minutes dissecting (as is my want sometimes), he turned round and said to me “acting’s what you want to do, isn’t it?” Up until that point, theatre was something I just did. I’d grown up dancing and having drama lessons as a means of working off energy and developing a clear speaking voice. But that one comment made me realise that, yes, that’s what I did want to do. Writing it down now, some 20 years later, still makes me dream. Yes, I went to drama school and did a bit of professional stuff. Nothing major, but I never lose hope that one day … maybe 😉

So, who has made an impact on your life, in a positive or negative way?

And I might as well finish with another quote from that amazing “Wicked” song, and, yes, I confess this is the point in the show where I am blubbing like a baby into my tissue, and just reading the lyrics makes me well up – so if you’ll excuse me, I’ll leave you with the lyrics, whilst I go and find a tissue (sniff, sniff)…

It well may be
That we will never meet again
In this lifetime.
So, let me say before we part:
So much of me
Is made of what I learned from you.
You’ll be with me
Like a hand print on my heart.
And now whatever way our stories end
I know you’ll have rewritten mine
By being my friend.

Like a ship blown from its mooring
By a wind off the sea.
Like a seed dropped by a sky bird
In a distant wood.
Who can say if I’ve been changed for the better
But because I knew you
I have been changed for good.

 

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