27 February, 2017

Butter cups and honey bees!

The butter cups are open only for three hours in the morning! The honey bees appear in the scene at the correct time! I find this timing surprising!

We too have an intuitive sense of timing! A friend told me that he strongly felt to call his friend at a particular time! When he called the found out hat his friend was desperate to talk to someone!

To have such a sense of timing is because of an inner sense of awareness which can grow within us as we develop the habit of interior vigilance and attentiveness!

M.C.Mathew(text and photo) 

26 February, 2017

During the mid day!

While on a holiday recently, I felt inclined to take photographs at different times of the day of this bunch of flowers. 

This picture of the mid day was captivating because the bright direct sunlight masked and distorted the colours ! When the bunch of flowers were hidden in the shadow of the adjacent tree, it had a gentle and visually appealing brilliance of its own! 

It brought home a truth that engaged my attention.

Each of us has our own unique personhood! We are often covered from the vulnerabilities of life by family, friends, mentors, etc. We need them for us to feel safe and secure when there are all kinds of pressures working on us all the time! To be exposed unprotected is a terrible experience!

It is a good practice to stay connected with others who feel for us and with us in times of stressful situations. We draw strength from others who carry us in their thoughts and convey solidarity with us in our times of need!

Above all, God is the guardian of our life!

M.C.Mathew(text and photo)

Do not disturb me!

If Dulcie cannot be found and has not responded after calling her twice, it is a message to us, that she is wanting to be quiet or sleep. Her preferred position for her day time sleep is to lie underneath a chair! She developed this by habit!

Even a dog needs pauses from socialisation! 

Sometimes we crowd our days with activities that we forget that we need 'aloneness' !

It is necessary for us to learn to spend time with ourselves! It is to be a time when we enter into an inner conversation of gratitude, searching our thoughts, considering issues at hand, reflection on pleasant and difficult experiences, etc. Each of us has to grow in this attitude of friendship with ourselves!

Who am I! This is an ongoing search that we need to be engaged in! Our soberly view of ourselves is a result of such personal encounters! When we are in touch with our emotional and thought world we have better outer orientation and responses! God is the source of our being. It is when we are on a journey into ourselves, we get surprised by the consciousness of the presence of God in our lives!

Take time for 'Time Out', this is how we cultivate the habit of personal retreats!

M.C.Mathew(text and photo)

Our view !

I was surprised to find how this fern tree presented itself differently depending upon from which side I looked at the tree- from the side of the Sun or opposite! The tree was the same, but views were decided form which angle I viewed the tree!

As I sit in meetings and listen to conversations which progress into arguments, I get a similar feeling. The differing arguments spring from the view of a person on a particular issue! Other views are also equally important for the discussion. But some in a dogmatic way overemphasise a perspective that it leads to misunderstanding or confusion! 

I too have a tendency to be biased... when one becomes conscious of it or when pointed out by someone who cares, it is necessary to step back and recompose oneself to be open to others as much as one desires for others to be open to me! 

A senior friend was in a habit of revising his opinion every time he was better informed! 

Our inner growth is conditioned by our openness... 'to do to others as we would have them to do unto us' !

M.C.Mathew(text and photo)

Dew at night and hot during the day!

One of the first things that I look for when the sun rays fall on the leaves in the morning is for the dew on leaves! I find dew each day although it is decreasing day by day. 

The day time temperature has shot upto 38 degree celsius! It is too early to have the summer temperature almost daily! 

These are extremes in the rhythm of nature! This has affected our plants and the lawn. They have a 'burned out look'!

Yesterday in a conversation we covered this phenomenon of extremes in human behaviour! Recently there have been many 'hate' slogans during the electioneering in five states in India. We are yet to recover form the hate language used during the American elections!

Somehow we are loosing the art of moderate outlook to life and situations! There is a meeting point when there is a moderate view of life and events, unless it is an issue where a conviction rules our thinking!

One situation which reminds me of the loss of this moderation or consideration is on the roads! The heated arguments that motorists engage with each other is a call to turn our attention from education and employment to human formation!

M.C.Mathew(text and photo)

Attitude to learning!

While visiting the Jew town in Fort Kochi last week, I found a few groups of students sitting in the road side and drawing the street scenes! I happened to talk to one of them about his exercise. They as students in training in visual art go to places to do this exercise to capture the sights in black and white. 

As I have some interest in photography, I am quick to capture whatever calls my attention! The is an unfortunate second nature, which can take away the art of appreciation and  engagement!

These students spend about three to four hours watching the same sights and create their expressions on paper. It is a meditative and reflective time to visualise the details and feel connected emotionally, socially and figuratively. This student mentioned to me that he felt so immersed in the architecture of a 100 years old building that he felt like being one among the original builders! He travelled far back into history to appreciate it in terms of the original setting when that building was built. He told me that he would have a lot of library work to do once it is finished to understand more about the style of the construction that existed 100 years ago!

All lasting and good things in life would need time and attention! There is a dimension of depth and profoundness to our understanding which comes only by patient engagement! We grow inwardly when we bathe ourselves in a patient pursuit of messages we can draw out from our multiple experiences! All the things of life have a formative impact in our lives!

M.C.Mathew(text and photo)

Water birds!

The water birds have an alert presence all the time! As I kept watching these two birds who were near to each other, I found them in that still position for a long time. Even if they moved they just moved their neck from one direction to the other!

Every time I have an opportunity to observe similar water birds, what comes back to me is the message of presence!

I was listening to a friend the other day in the car park and my eyes and ears kept wandering to the sights in the street! He reminded me two times, 'Are you present with me'!

It is a common challenge for couples in their communication style!

Being present to the other is the only way to grow in understanding and belonging! Becoming present is both an art and attitude! All of us have a learning curve to learn to be present!

M.C.Mathew(text and photo)