04 September, 2017

A ball and multiple responses!

I was curious to know the thoughts behind the different body language of the players while following this ball!

I had a conversation with one of the players after the match. He mentioned to me that the response in the field is almost involuntary. There is no time to think or plan! Everything is almost at an impulsive level!

A sports psychologist, who accompanies  teams for the university level competitions mentioned to me that his role is to help the the players to develop quick thinking skills in a heavily demanding situation. His main approach is to help players to think, 'all situations can be redeemed to an advantage'. He uses the 'losing stage' in a match to bring a new level of synergy between players. 

Life is living is a series of  compelling circumstances. 

There is no winning or losing, but journey through experiences which are formative!

A friend, who recently moved on in life in her late seventy once remarked, 'life has told me that there is stillness beneath the turbulent surface of a sea'. 

This is a purposeful view of life and the all circumstance we are called to go through!

M.C.Mathew (text and photo)

Bird family !

This is the best picture I could capture at dusk without a zoom lens!

However this picture came alive to me when I heard them sing to each other almost reciprocally for a while. It was a strong wind prior to a down pour which interrupted the singing and them flying off to a safer place! 

They were male and female birds form what I could make out both form their physical features and the way they sang. The male birds sang with multiple tones and with a melody. The females were different in their tunes. 

What says with me of this sighting and singing of a bird family is how they flew in together to rest on this tree and flew away together to a far away place. There was an inherent harmony. 

I saw this captivating scene while in a recovery phase of a difficult situation where harmony wast at risk in relationships in a situation I was recently involved! 

What brings us together is our sense of belonging! Three children were playing with a handball in the garden. One of them fell down and bruised himself. The other two stopped playing and walked him home! I asked them, whey they stopped playing! The two boys told me, 'we stopped playing, because Ben was hurt'! A remarkable view of shared living!

I wish, we would learn to keep that value as inherent to our calling!


Should I !

This is the pause of Dulcey, when I call her to come in after the early morning stroll in the garden! There is a long pause with this 'pitiful' look before she slowly comes in. The two pictures show the reluctant response! But if I were to shake the biscuit container or say,'biscuit', she runs in to the house. I now deliberately allow her to come in without priming  her with a reward. 

As I have watched this behaviour for almost six months since we began to introduce to her some basic behaviour of compliance, I noticed that the tone of the voice matters a lot. When Anna or I call her in a gentle and pleasing voice she complies far better than when we are loud or forceful in voice. I learned recently that even dogs can discern a loving or caring tone in human voice!

I have been through a difficult phase recently on account of confluence of events. I have had to be involved in various engagements. I have been giving more attention to the tone of my voice as to how I use them on the phone, in conversation, discussion or even in arguments. 

I have noticed that there is more inclination to use forceful or categorical language in conversations or discussions almost appearing to control others or force one's opinion.

While spending a few hours with a family recently their fifteen months old baby kept amusing us with all kinds of social responses. I was amazed at the way the  parents make that happen by their gentle and  caring ways.

We can help others respond better when we show forth kind and caring ways and in the use of our language and tone of our voice!

M.C.Mathew(text and photo)

21 August, 2017

Play reveals a lot!

There are many things, I watch when children are at play!

When children below three years play with the peg board in the consultation room, I watch keenly how they use both hands for the play! The position of the opposite hand and foot is also something to watch for!

Every time when I watch a toddler use the left hand by preference, I enquire if any member in the family is left handed. If there is none, I take an extra effort to find out if the child uses the left hand because of pathology on the right side of the body or whether he is naturally left handed!

Most parents insist that children ought to use the right hand for the daily living activities. A naturally left handed child is terribly disadvantage by this insistence as the child would have to struggle with the dominance of the cerebral hemispheres. In majority of the situations the dominant cerebral hemisphere is the opposite to the side of handedness. Imagine the physiological challenge the child has, if he has to change to using the right hand because of insistence of teachers and parents, when actually his dominant cerebral hemisphere has predetermined him to be a left handed!

One of the causes of some children having a poor start with writing or struggle along in writing is because of the enforced change from natural left handedness!

What the body has designed to do is the best!

M.C.Mathew(text and photo)

Shades of Pink!

The flowers from the same plant, when photographed from two different angles with different light conditions! There is an appearance of  difference! 

This set me thinking. The same flowers appear different slightly! The flower has not changed, but its appearance to the beholding eye has changed!

As I occasionally watch the TV debates on contemporary issues, the opposing arguments which sometimes become hostile, are only different perceptions each carrying some truth!

Yesterday, one domestic helper commented that it might rain during the day; while the other felt that there is sign of sunshine in the sky! But what happened was that there were couple of showers with sunshine in between! 

Ours is becoming an argumentative society without sound reason... what w need at difficult times such as it is now, is a collaborating tone in our voice and intent!

M.C.Mathew(text and photo)

19 August, 2017

The hidden cottage!

The view of the cottage where Anna and I live is restricted by the greenery around it. We like it this way. The palms and other plants have grown well in the last five years that it gives us a good feeling of  staying in an environment which fosters healthy ambience. 

We have at least fifteen species of birds, and squirrels, reptiles, butterflies, and sometimes migratory birds in the garden. We are still waiting for some birds to nest in the foliage!

One of the special experiences is the quietness the premise offers us. The bird songs alone are the audible sounds we hear during the day and night!

We complete five years in this cottage this month and we feel grateful for all that my parents did to make this place wha it is! We are blessed by their labour of love! 

M.C.Mathew(text and photo) 


18 August, 2017

A growing tree!

VP and Nirmala planted this custard apple sapling in 2013 when they visited us first time. During their recent visit the tree appeared taller than themselves. We had a few fruits from it for two years now in a row.

It has been our custom to request visitors who come to our cottage to plant saplings in the garden. So we have an opportunity of keeping their memories when we walk through the garden! In fact few have come back to greet us and watch the sapling grow!

Humans thrive on symbols and signs!

Watch a sapling grow into a tree, is a transforming experience because, it symbolises the inner growth, all of us are called to be aware of and stay attuned to!

M.C.Mathew(text and photo)