A Different Me

Culture, a way of being. It seems so settled, till we meet another living differently! My way seems so secure. “Of course, it all makes sense!” Until another – sees another me. How can that be! Who am I?  The one I knew or the one they see? It’s not a fight, it’s  just a change -both/and not either/or. So I live, alive and well, still learning more of what I will. I grow in light and see you there – a different me!

Culture, a way to see, a way to speak. It frames my thoughts and tunes my ties. It is and so am I! I live with you and we agree, to walk beside and dance with tunes. My feet are free- never stepping on your toes! Then somehow you appear beside, wildly suggesting a new dance tune. The dance is strange – so I must change! My habits deep, now disagree, this cannot be the way to dance with me! And yet I sense the joy!

Dancing with you, changes me! I’m alive to see my feet once more. They awkward feel and yet they seem – alive again! Soon, I am learning to be me, alive with you – and different within me! I now am learning, more of me. I see the world through different eyes. My world has changed! It’s grander still. Life is to be lived – not boxed! So now I bless this day, that opened eyes, and gave me more. I rest with arms spread wide!

Author – Bill Tidsbury

Tumbling words

Shoe shiner comes – desperate in heart,

Poverty’s grip is fierce. Vice’s promise lies so sterile.

Life drags amidst the barrenness -bruised and tattered.

Hope is lost, agony’s torture brings piercing cries.

Why is life so unfair?

 

Heart’s cry rises to form spoken word,

Need is real, eyes always searching.

Family’s lost -who’ll lend a hand to hope?

Words pour on, ears no longer hear!

Stories are old – well rehearsed – yet pain still grips.

True answers now seem rhetoric.

Escape! Can someone make it go away?

So hard to believe change is possible.

I sit in sorrow and share my story – again.

 

Tragedy’s blindness grips with steel

when bitterness becomes my destiny’s friend.

Words run on, eager fingers seek for more.

Yet hearts that listen heal. Quietness steps in by surprise!

In the silence something speaks.

Hope finds voice – a faint song whispers – mysteriously.

Can wisdom ever find a home

when trumpets blare panic’s song so fierce?

 

Still, quiet presence sits with faith softened eyes.

Hope is always heart’s most needed balm.

Presence is more faithful than words.

Sitting still, eyes probe beneath the words.

Gentleness speaks future’s grace! Believing.

Possibility awaits the day when choice once more awakes.

In a moment, frozen dams break wide.

Shifts occur when life seeps in.

Mercy’s caress invites the intimacy of our common bond.

 

Change dances quietly

as awakened grace shifts the tattered frame.

Dead and shattered fragments come together to dream once more.

Life is more than history’s repeated words.

Life is in the offering-

tatters lifted to a shining heart who makes all things new.

Author – Bill Tidsbury

Transitions

Every time I move across a cultural divide, I am shocked by the adjustment I have to make. Since I am repeatedly traveling back and forth between Canada and Honduras, I would think I would get used to it! Yet, I still find it a surprising shift.

I find I am comfortable in both cultures. I just live with different priorities and perspectives in each one! When I settle into Latin America, I slow down. I open up my being – to people’s eyes and hearts. People are expressive and willing to meet me with open eyes. I must unlearn my more guarded instincts that come from the busyness of our first world approach to life. I leave behind the guarded expectation of distrust and find I must actually step out into the embrace of people who are more willing to smile, to acknowledge lack and need, to give a warm embrace and a kiss on the cheek.

Vulnerability is a tDSCN1906reasure that we have exploited in our western agenda driven world. Vulnerability is valued in a different way in other cultures. All people guard themselves – it is part of human instinct. We have all been injured – in fact, repeatedly through life. Latin culture with it’s focus on emotional expression, gives people a deeper instinctive set of tools to read and mesh with those who live transparently and offer safety to a wounded heart. This set of tools is a gift to those who learn to walk in vulnerability through a broken world. I have much to learn from this culture!
So i find myself shifting gears. I find my antenna tuned differently. I find my heart engaging in a different way with my spirit. A fresh breath reaches out to caress my soul. I quiet myself to a new round of learning.

Author – Bill Tidsbury

Multiplication

The exactness of math is simple to see, when it is written in black on page that is free. However, the essence seems lost when it is written in sweat on the face of a man trying hard to find bread.

Yet even in commerce the sweat does transform and rapidly doubles the prize. When what was now one hundred, soon’s at two hundred, a light seems ignited and hope slowly dawns. When hope enters in, it also seems bound by the magic of this simple fact – that once you apply the workings of math, this hope seems to grow as fast as the wind.

It sweeps in its path, a wife and a child, and quickly lifts up a few neighbours too. There is gossip and whispers as eyes look beholding, a change taking place in real time. The story swings out and you know it’s now gone from something simple to a gesture  profound!

What once was just hope begins to transform and the sounds of laughter appear, there’s peace that seeps in, a little of grace and suddenly this thing that is community takes place. And still if you look, you can see with no fear, that quietly there in the background out there, continues this magic of multiplication’s fare!

It’s not hard to begin, it just takes some resolve and a wee bit of seed. A few gentle actions of love that give grace. A practical injection of tangible grace, a meal with some insight, an investment in strength, a belief that this life, can give momentum a space. It’s not a hand-out, but more a hand-up, as I invest rather than just give away. I look and believe in the possible good, of what endeavour can do if I give room for grace.

I take in my hand, the treasure I am, and give it away with some joy. I plant hard earned cash and kiss it good bye as I bury it deep in some need that’s forlorn. It’s buried and gone, yet never is lost, because soon this magic appears. I see something good blossom forth and unfold. I feel blessed as I’m now part of a much better world.

So step out today, just gently look up, and glance into someone’s sad eyes. As you lend them your hand, you’ll find that you have, helped them multiply what’s in their hand!

Author – Bill Tidsbury

The solitude of prison

I was in the local prison yesterday. Wow! Pretty harsh conditions. It was hot, stuffy, and crowded with most just standing around. There was a sense of despair, and also a sense of control that flows from those who are strong. Some of the oppression came from the sense of being cut off from any sense that anyone outside cares – few get visited. These are violent men, men who have raped, killed, tortured others and committed many felonies. And when you hear the story of their childhood, so often there is great trauma and abuse. And so they each exist in their solitude as a being who cries out deep within for someone to recognize them – to grant them honour in the midst of brokenness. It is very striking!!

As I walked among them, I was struck by their vulnerability. They are isolated in their own weakness, trapped  with the accusing voices that run around inside their own heads! Surprisingly there were no guards, thus they were also at risk in their solitude to who whoever was strongest, most capable in directing others and gaining influence so as to be in control of retribution. You could easily sense the weak and helpless and others who carried dominance. Yet all posturing. All seeking for a breath of something fresh. It was very dramatic.

I was struck by the privilege of walking along behind a woman – an unsung heroine. She has faithfully lived out a compassion for these men. She has entered every week for 11 years to bring small essentials and words of care and love. People glowed when they saw here – a mother who came to say they mattered. This woman is unnoticed by fame and headlines. She gives quietly, with no fanfare. Her love running into the vast emptiness of broken men caught in webs of violence they have no sense of escaping from. Still she gives and she touches hearts. A gift in the middle of a desert!

I was impacted by the hunger so many expressed as I looked into their eyes for some sense of honour from and older man – a father. So many wounded hearts run in a shredded condition as a result of never knowing approval and honour from a man who is more than a donator of sperm, but rather a figure who embodies a Daddy, a person who believes and calls forth greatness in the midst of great loss. I was aware of the gift we each carry to speak life over people. The grace that flows when we choose to see the treasure in the ones who we are privileged to cross paths with on this journey of ours.

Each day matters when we choose look into other’s eyes!

Author – Bill Tidsbury

What’s possible

Seeking to change but bound by pain, a thief’s eyes weep in despair. He plainly can see , the course of the years, the choices that wounded those dear. The vileness breathes, a noxious perfume, of guilt, raw blight and his shame. He weeps as he runs back to his deep gloom and hides with the fumes in his brain.

Yet something keeps rising, if ever so faintly, of possible change in his path. He longs for a friend who believes in him still and will release him from chains and despair. He knows it’s impossible, he knows he’s foredoomed, to wander alone and afraid. And still he cries out for a break in this bond, that always strangles and shames.

Through all the layers of fear and deceit, that flow like instinct to fleece, one more chance to find a nickel or dime, to lend seduction’s embrace. But one still does stand, who sees deeper than most, and calls to the promise in life. He beckons and breathes, new possibilities grow, where only boils shame and this plight.

A moment in time, an instant most sure, when choice reaches out to explore. A shift brings a crack, in the darkness of loss, and grace kisses dreams once again. The despair is so strong, the grip is so fierce as this chance looms bright ahead. A shift to believe, redemption enfolds, and peace paints a face once dead.

Triumph is hard when the pain is most fierce and chains bite hard into flesh. Victory is sweet, when death is revealed as feeble when facing new life. A heart learns to love, first himself, then his wife, as this soul senses joy that’s surreal. His journey begun, resurrection is true, and destiny greets promise for life.

Author – Bill Tidsbury

It is time!

Wisdom has taken her stand. She calls out – it is time!

The gentle whisperer calls – I feel it! I’m yearning -I know – I’m invited, in quiet instalments to become and step into more. I begin to move, breaking with status quo, opening windows to explore, needing to find answers, that hold out hope for Life. So I find I’m moving in newness, moving in currents. I’m shifting the blinders that have helped me hold pain at bay. The current is broadest  and deepest in places that most seem unsettled and losing their way. It is not time to cling onto, it is not time to snooze. It is the adventure of change that invites. It asks each to step out, to go without knowing, just sensing that something is opening doors.

The doors are unlocked. Things impossible are found. Movement is not defined by what has happened before! The risk is the greatest when the call is the deepest because radical has never looked this way before. Conventions will struggle. The wise will abhor the ventures that breakthrough unexpected borders. Creativity is living, outside of the boxes. It is growing in empty lots that have been neglected and spurned.

The power of living must be believed to bear fruit. It isn’t the knowing who are able to see. It isn’t about numbers, it isn’t about process! It is about giving You room to be free. This isn’t about leaders. This is not about force. This is all about people who have encountered the shock of no floor. To step out into nothing, to walk in the air, to experience unnatural and laugh and just be. The timing is crucial, it is never tomorrow, it is about “now” as you step out to soar.

The running are breathing! The flying are resting! The curious, a spring that just pours!

The call is incessant, for those who can hear. It never repeats and always is near. It’s always in motion, so follow as you will, to find the next possible, an outlet that fills. Hunger is drinking. Thirst is for seeing. Yet those who are settled in purpose – flash by in their rush!

So move with the wind. Quiet and still.  Look into eyes and find those that hold life. Dance to the music. Laugh with your being. Delight in each breath that sparkles your toes. It may not make sense. They may call you a child. Yet Living is worth breaking your dungeons set in stone.

Author – Bill Tidsbury