Mrs Ted, affectionately known as Old Bear, has been my soul companion for practically all of my not-so-adult life. Never has there been a more loyal, earthly friend who demanded so little and gave so very much, although many have been close pretenders.
It was absolutely love at first sight. Right from the start, we spent many a hour huddled together under the dining room table. Two lovers, shut away from the alien adult world. There, in hiding, we played endless imaginary games, creating scenarios and characters to go with the booming voices and grown-up conversation rising above our heads, until sleep overcame us both.
Infinitely patient and tirelessly kind, Mrs Ted was a willing participant in a vast number of experimentations. When we discussed ‘what we might do when we grew up’, we thought hairdressing might be an attractive option. Mrs Ted was my first client and proudly carries her bald patch as a badge of honour to this very day. Somehow, her hair never grew back and we made a joint decision that exploring further career options might be a good idea.
A natural linguist, Mrs Ted acted as my interpreter on my first day at school aged four and three quarters and as a highly skilled mediator for a long time afterwards. When none of the other school children would communicate with me and absolutely nothing made sense, Mrs Ted was there to make sure I was never lonely or left out.
Old Bear is a great home maker and still adores family get togethers, especially when elders and little ones come to play. She loves all things beautiful, has exquisite taste and is frequently called upon for fashion advice and to answer “does my bum look big in this” type questions. These days she prefers to stay at home and hear all the news second hand, rather than do any long distance travelling herself.
Mrs Bear you are unique. The beautiful treasure trove of memories that we continue to weave and create are beyond all that this earthly plane can ever offer. Thank you for being in my life. Yours ever faithfully….Christina
Monthly Archives: April 2014
Any discussion on love and idolatry sets me in a spin. The swings and roundabouts of romance and love. The agony and the ecstasy. Maybe it’s because as a teenager I thought love made the world go round. Maybe it’s because now I’m no longer a teenager, I know love makes the world go round. I’ve arrived at a place where naivete and innocence are reconciled. And I’m enjoying the view. The 360 degree perspective. This is the joy of the journey of love. It never changes, just goes round and round in circles. A song without end. Love…fun…fairgrounds…err…where am I going with this?
I can’t remember hero worshipping the usual popular suspects, but then again I was not quite old enough to be fully swinging in the swinging 60’s. I do remember that Scott Walker’s beauty, the richness of his voice and his “Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore”, got my heart fluttering far more than Lennon and McCartney’s “Yesterday” ever did. Elvis the Pelvis never really quite did it for me, neither could I ever understand how Tom Jones acquired so many female knickers. Stevie Winwood, Marvin Gaye, Cat Stevens…hmm now we’re talking.
The concept of ‘teenage idols’ or ‘crushes’ may need re-examining. Perhaps the phrase is a bit too limited, too restrictive. My teenage idols were not necessarily mainstream populist people. I fell in love truly, madly, deeply (and always silently, more Bridget Jones style) with people who displayed passion through performance. I particularly remember Frank Wibaut, a very talented pianist in a Chopin competition I took part in. For years, he was my idol.
As we travel back in time, we realise we are forever teenagers in our hearts. Maybe the real beauty is in that it’s less about the messenger and more about the message. Maybe idols are simply people who stir our passion, awaken something in our souls, make us want to be more like them, less like us. Maybe an idol magically brings home the message that love endures and transcends time and space. That it never ever dies. And the spirit of romance is always alive within us. Rachmaninov’s second piano concerto, Frederic Chopin, the pulling of heart strings…these are my teenage and my forever idols.
Then again before I get too transcendental, purist or whiter than white, appearance does play a big part in the passion test too. Enrico Inglesias has always done it for me. And in his case, it’s definitely as much about the messenger as the message. He can be my hero anytime. Yes, love and beauty never dies. Long may we cherish our teenage sweethearts.
Easter Sunday…and the amalgamation of this Lenten journey. Truth, Beauty, Goodness…interwoven, ever flowing, ever giving, ever growing. Love Divine. Henry Thoreau’s image of the two oaks, crowns reaching to the heavens, roots firmly on the ground, “inseparably”. I cannot think of a more beautiful way to express human love and divine love becoming One. Vulnerable in our humanity, powerful in our divinity, the suffering Christ, the risen Christ. enJOY we celebrate and reach out to each other, to One and all. ❤
I think awhile of Love, and while I think,
Love is to me a world,
Sole meat and sweetest drink,
And close connecting link
Tween heaven and earth.
I only know it is, not how or why,
My greatest happiness;
However hard I try,
Not if I were to die,
Can I explain.
I fain would ask my friend how it can be,
But when the time arrives,
Then Love is more lovely
Than anything to me,
And so I’m dumb.
For if the truth were known,
Love cannot speak,
But only thinks and does;
Though surely out ’twill leak
Without the help of Greek,
Or any tongue.
A man may love the truth and practise it,
Beauty he may admire,
And goodness not omit,
As much as may befit
But only when these three together meet,
As they always incline,
And make one soul the seat,
And favorite retreat,
When under kindred shape, like loves and hates
And a kindred nature,
Proclaim us to be mates,
Exposed to equal fates
And each may other help, and service do,
Drawing Love’s bands more tight,
Service he ne’er shall rue
While one and one make two,
And two are one;
In such case only doth man fully prove
Fully as man can do,
What power there is in Love
His inmost soul to move
Two sturdy oaks I mean, which side by side,
Withstand the winter’s storm,
And spite of wind and tide,
Grow up the meadow’s pride,
For both are strong
Above they barely touch, but undermined
Down to their deepest source,
Admiring you shall find
Their roots are intertwined
Henry David Thoreau
Reflecting on my journey this Passion week, I am in utter awe of the sheer beauty and majesty of this world. So many heart stopping moments. The joy of friendship and family; the joy of community, participation, burgeoning new friendships, visions, nestling in and birthing from the bosom of the familiar; the vision of the red hot sun and the red hot moon on Tuesday ; Allegri’s Miserere at St Sepulchres on Maundy Thursday, where amidst the hustle and bustle, comings and goings, fortunes made and fortunes lost in this great city of London, all stood absolutely still in the silent presence of continuum. This is love. This is Passion. This is our Lenten journey. This is our Cross and our Joy. Creation and re-creation. Heart stopping moments of bliss, of sorrow and everything in between. Hearts are made to be broken; pierced; time and time, so we dive ever deeper through our individual and our collective wound. So that we can love ever more fiercely and faithfully, ever more lovingly, willingly and joyfully through our sorrow. When our hearts are pierced the waters of life and the rivers of blood meet and flow into the divine ocean of love. This is our one and only purpose. To surrender. To ask for forgiveness and remain centred in the presence of our own embryonic love, trusting, knowing that we are safe and deeply loved, no matter what chaos, turmoil or stormy seas abide. To know that no matter how far we run or hide, love finds us and is with us, always in all ways. With deepest gratitude on this Good Friday for everything that was, everything that is and everything that is to come. In peace, in joy, in sorrow and always in love ❤
Passion Week, Tuesday. A brisk evening walk; flowing conversation; sunset, moon rise; with friends in the silent backdrop of glorious Herefordshire countryside. Life is magical. Life is beautiful. This is the stuff that dreams are made of. For all these things I am grateful, so very, very grateful.
We are so many things, yet we are none
A daisy chain of crowning moments
A buttercup sequence of ‘love you, love you nots’
We are strong like oaks, guardians of the forest
Reaching upwards towards that vast expanse
We are soft and gentle willows, bending, flexing,
Caressing the ground with veils of tears
We are red hot suns and red hot moons
Taking turns to make star appearances
We are Each and Every One
Blinking, blazing, dancing, gazing
Saturday 12th April, Greenwich Community Centre, London. Inspired by the spirit of the dance, celebrating JOY and overflowing with gratitude to the dancer within each of us and the dancer in all of us. With special thanks to Alex Nikiforov of Freedom Dance.
This ‘n’ that
This ‘n’ that
Joy is where it’s at.
Picture : PHOTO BUCKET
Choices, choices, choices
Stuff, stuff, stuff.
Sweep up the ashes
Distill, define, refine.
Clarity, vision, action,
Alter, adjust, adapt
Still, silent, presence
Choices, choices, choices,
Do some, leave some, grow some.
Still, silent, presence