the Sadhu

I’ve been having a bit of a heart-altering afternoon collecting quotes for our 24-7 website.  Man, I’ve been walking with giants, overhearing their legacies, noticing my averageness.

One of my heroes is a guy called Sundar Singh, and I wanted you to read a couple of his stories, cos they’re just so beautiful.  He was a Sikh-turned-Christian about a century ago, who lived as a wandering Sadhu (hindu holy man) telling people about Jesus.  This is from one of his conversations:

‘"I have experienced many dangers in my travels, often because intolerant people wished to see me come to harm. Once near Kailas, I asked directions to the nearest village. Out of spite, the villagers deliberately sent me down a dangerous jungle path. As night came on, I came to a river that blocked my path and there was still no village to be seen. Already in the dusk, I could hear the sounds of wild animals nearby. With no way to cross the river, I sat down and prayed, thinking that the end of my life was at hand. When I looked up, I saw a man on the other side of the river beside a fire. He called to me: “Do not be afraid! I am coming to help you.” I was astonished to see him wade purposefully across the swift river. Coming up to me, he said, “Sit on my shoulders and have no fear.” As easily as before, he walked straight across the current with me on his back. He set me down on the far bank, and as I walked beside him, both he and the fire disappeared.’

‘Another evening, I was driven out of a village by an angry crowd, wielding clubs. They drove me into the forest until I came to a rock face and could go no further. There I huddled among the stones waiting for them to attack me and batter me to death. But nothing happened. After it was quiet for a time, I looked around and there was no sign of my tormentors. I built a fire, tended my wounds and slept at that same place. In the morning, I awoke to the sight of several men staring at me fearfully from a distance. Cautiously, they approached and offered me food and drink, asking, “Sadhu-ji, who were those men in shining robes who stood around you last night?”’

Find out more about this guy if you possibly can …

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of Assisi

okay, so this is something we used to sing in primary school, but I’ve started getting back into it in the last few weeks …

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy;

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

Stfrancis

 

written by this guy, about 800 years ago.

[nice belt]

I am a very boring person

My mum always used to say (and she still does, if you wanted to ask her) that "only boring people are bored." I wont go into an extended critique of the logic of this statement, but if it is true, then I am a very boring person. Of course, I wouldn’t say it like that; I prefer to be ‘eclectic’ or ‘restless’, but the truth is, I am like a 10 year old who was brought up on video games and television for breakfast lunch and dinner, and am therefore in almost constant need of distraction.

I am lying on my bed typing this. On the floor beside my bed (ignoring the water bottle, handkerchief, mobile phone, pen, pencil, mug, and socially aware wristbands) is my reading material. I presently have 7 books ‘on the go’ (not including my lyric book, which is also there), and I can proudly say that I am less than halfway through all 7, except for The Fellowship of the Ring, which I have read all the way through probably between 10 and 20 times and am approaching The Council of Elrond (the best chapter) once more. You see, I don’t start a new book because I have finished reading one. Lord no! I start a book because something in it grabs my attention enough for me to get somewhere-less-than-halfway through it. One book – a very very VERY good book – I started over 2 years ago, and am still only a third of the way in …

The same is true of my writing: half-written songs lie willy-nilly over the terrain of my life, and it’s even easier to start a novel than to finish it (my newest project, about a family who are faced with eviction when the roundabout they live on is scheduled to be turned into a nature reserve, has lots of great ideas, but only about 2 pages of writing, which aren’t very good). Similarly, I can say quite categorically that the only reason I can play the piano is for something to do when I’m bored of guitar, and I KNOW that the only reason I play guitar is because I used to play violin.

My existence seems to be a collection of side-projects (where ‘work’ freely intermingles with ‘everything else’), and one day maybe I’ll work out what I’m ACTUALLY supposed to be doing. But to be honest, I dread that day: I love the colour and vibrancy of variety; repetition is death, akin (and this is a guess) to wearing the same underwear every day, oblivious to how scummy life is becoming.

I’m in a race, running away from boringness …

you put the yellow in the sun

I know it’s not usually considered good form for an englishman to enjoy being publicly celebrated, but this is something a bit special.  My lovely friend Luke wrote me a poem yesterday morning, and here it is:

you put the yellow in the sun (a fond ode to david rowe)

i once knew a man
who was a pilgrim of sorts
on my land he did land
wearing cellophane shorts
from these pre-mentioned shorts
did come a shy glow
the nature of which
i would like you to know
was purely an aura
of sanguine delight
like the sun in the day
and the moon during night
for this one good reason
the people he knew
found a very great ease in
loving the hue
so to all of these ends
our young david rowe
was surrounded by friends
in love with the glow
and his friends, who were wise
with a wisdom of sorts,
knew the light, they devised,
was not from his shorts
for they secretly knew
the very best part;
the glow that he glew
came from inside his heart

[now please feel free to embrace the warm tingly feeling welling up inside you …]

A FLIPPING DINOSAUR!!!!!!!

Guess what?!  Yesterday afternoon (at about quarter to five), I FOUND A DINOSAUR!!!!

[it’s on the beach at Mangere Bridge, in the middle of a lava flow – don’t think it’s going anywhere …]

If you ever want to see it, just let me know.  I think it’s a brachiosaurus (ie. a REALLY big cow, with a long neck), or something quite similar.

The Friend

There are lots and lots of people who are always asking things,
Like dates and pounds-and-ounces and the names of funny kings,
and the answer’s either Sixpence or A Hundred Inches Long,
And I know they’ll think me silly if I get the answer wrong.

So Pooh and I go whispering, and Pooh looks very bright,
And says, "
Well, I say sixpence, but I don’t suppose I’m right."
And then it doesn’t matter what the answer ought to be,
Cos if he’s right, I’m Right, and if he’s wrong, it isn’t Me.