My Little Garden…


irina's letter (sml)My dear José,

From my first step on Portuguese land I felt so excited… me, in your homeland, walking same streets and smelling the same air.

I know that without you it won’t be the same.

But I am an explorer. Just like you. And I feel so peaceful here.

No excitement of Paris or Rome, no crazy crowds of Hong Kong.

Just peacefully at home…

 

It was about nine months ago; during the terrible experience of giving away and discarding the bulk of the contents of a home Irina and I so lovingly created and nurtured into the wonderful stage-set of our lives, that I came across this note… written with her usual flair and careless cursive style seven months earlier, during her short visit to the city of Porto ias portoon the way back to Hong Kong from her Camino de Santiago pilgrimage and, roughly two weeks before her untimely passing to God’s side.

Irina often wrote her thoughts on little notes she would mail or place in books or travel bags for me to discover but this one “felt” different; it read as an expressed wish and I have no idea why she did not give it to me when she came home… maybe because she too felt equally drawn to our warm and comfortable place at the foot of the mountains edging the South China Sea in the wonderful Three Fathoms Cove Bay.

Finding and holding this note; as people walked through our home looking at all of our things that I could not take to the little “cave” that was to become my next place, broke my heart all over again…

I felt the crush of her thoughts and very presence as I stood in the middle of the living room barely aware of all the strangers peeking and poking everywhere within our 3-storey Cantonese village house which had become a shrine to her memory; a place where neither our dog Max or me could make a turn without tripping on the fingerprints of her bigger than life self… her scent still prevailing and actively holding all of our spirits together… painfully, dreamily, peacefully.

I have treasured this one note closer than all of the others not only because it was her last, but perhaps because I sense it wasn’t finished… that there was more to her thought-flow which was left open; maybe as a sixth-sense over our unthinkable journey ahead, or maybe for me to influence its completion.

And so, when all the people, moving trucks and trash collectors left and all was done, when Max and I were finally alone; he in the very large backyard and me; as his “tenant”, in the sliver of a flat that sat within the walled-in compound, we sat together looking at the mountains and our new surroundings with a mix of hope and not small trepidation over the task ahead to heal our souls and rebuild our lives as I knew she would want us to do.

To that point, I had seven long months of getting intimate with pain and a terrible first Christmas/New Year season behind me but… I also knew we were being showered with prayer constantly as I felt a remarkable peace and clarity of purpose even with the absence of a considered script to follow.

That is when; as I placed the remaining “stuff” in its new places within the flat, that I felt Jesus’ presence guiding my thoughts, inciting me to transform Max’s yard into a garden where all of God’s life sustaining elements would be represented and celebrated, as a means of acknowledgment and gratitude for His loving gifts of pairing Irina’s short life with mine and of remaining side-by-side with me through the ensuing redemptive fire of her departure.

It begun with building a fountain with all of the elements that were so dear to Irina; the coolness and sound of crystal-clear waters cascading down rocks, the presence of plants and flowers and, the ethereal night reflection of living waters… strangely (for me who had never built a fountain before), I begun without drawing any plans beyond the image Jesus had placed and kept in my heart, as well as; for the next two plus months of long days, His constant “whispering” informing every decision on quantities, materials, plumbing, under-water electrics, and every cut and action as together, we slowly brought it to life without mistakes, electrocutions, material excess or shortages of any kind… He provided the know-how, I provided the labour.

It is perfect beyond my expectations and remains, as living proof of one of the many miracles I have had the good fortune to witness throughout my life… a healing thing of beauty filled with meaning, reflective of His Grace and Love.

Thus we; our Triune God, Max and I, officially completed and dedicated the works on the first anniversary of Irina’s passing… in the midst of a beautiful sun-filled day and clear evening with heartfelt scripture readings and the appropriate amount of Vodka toasting Irina’s bright spirit, my new lighter heart and my closer personal relationship with our Triune God… the renaissance of our “Great Dance” together as C. Baxter Kruger would refer to it.

Since then, Jesus and I have continued to evolve the garden to what it is today; all elements now present… water, fire, earth and air which, albeit still a work in-progress, has become a peaceful place filled with natural beauty, where we read, talk, laugh and cry with joy together… with Max always nearby, following with his beautiful brown eyes every reverend moment.

By our Triune God’s Holy Grace, this little complex Max and I know as “home” was transformed to become a place of peace and deep healing, a sanctuary where our hearts meet and where both her and I found ourselves “Just peacefully at home…” as our beloved Irina desired; Max and I here, and she on the other side of the stars.

Copyright, Joseph Pereira 2018-2020

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Tonight I Can Write


Pablo Picasso-1A (Small)Tonight I can write the saddest lines.

Write, for example, “The night is starry
and the stars are blue and shiver in the distance.”

The night wind revolves in the sky and sings.

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too.

Through nights like this one I held her in my arms.
I kissed her again and again under the endless sky.

She loved me, sometimes I loved her too.
How could one not have loved her great still eyes.

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
To think that I do not have her. To feel that I have lost her.

To hear the immense night, still more immense without her.
And the verse falls to the soul like dew to the pasture.

What does it matter that my love could not keep her.
The night is starry and she is not with me.

That is all. In the distance someone is singing. In the distance.
My soul is not satisfied that it has lost her.

My sight tries to find her as though to bring her closer.
My heart looks for her, and she is not with me.

The same night whitening the same trees.
We, of that time, are no longer the same.

I no longer love her, that’s certain, but how I loved her.
My voice tried to find the wind to touch her hearing.

Another’s. She will be another’s. As she was before my kisses.
Her voice, her bright body. Her infinite eyes.

I no longer love her, that’s certain, but maybe I love her.
Love is so short, forgetting is so long.

Because through nights like this one I held her in my arms
my soul is not satisfied that it has lost her.

Though this be the last pain that she makes me suffer
and these the last verses that I write for her.

 

“Tonight I Can Write” – Pablo Neruda, 1924

Copyright, Joseph Pereira 2018-2020

The Twelfth Month…


0-1st AnniversaryIrina transitioned to God’s side on the 15th of September, 2017.
Regardless of her short journey on Earth, she had a purpose, she made a positive impact on all that she touched and her Life mattered.
So, to mark the 1st Anniversary of Irina’s transition and as a last Goodbye from me and all of you that knew and cared about her, here is a short collage of images in her memory to a soundtrack written by Sarah McLachlan and rendered by Westlife.
Her Spirit is at God’s side shining brightly and all that needed to be done on Earth has been completed so, I moved-on with my life with Love in my heart and Peace in my mind that all was done well.
Thank you all for walking and sharing the weight of this cross with me. It is finished.
May God continue to Bless you all. ❤️

 

Copyright, Joseph Pereira 2018-2020

The Eight Month…


Woman and GodHeavenly Father, my Jesus and thyne Holy Spirit… mark these words of Love from my aching heart to your omnipresent being.

They are words that speak of your Power and your Grace. They are words of Hope, for you are the springhead where such ensues.

They are words of submission; that your will shall be mine, your command my daily-bread and your Love, within me as you intend it to be…

I desire you, ALL of you. I desire the Life you grant by your Love alone, as I desire another breath… another day to discover your presence within me.

And, as I desire you my God, I desire your Creation and to feel its purpose within me. To feel your Peace and your Caring through the breeze that rustles the leaves and caresses my soul. Your Peace and Caring that carries within its God endowed Spirit, the fragrance of my Lover… now intimately part of you, within you and as such, equally part of me still.

A Gift. Your Gift of Life everlasting by your will and presence alone.

Eight earthly months mark what to you is but a breath; a passing smooth and true from a flawed state to a perfect reunion. Eight months of aching for her presence only to realize she is more alive now than ever… present still in everything she touched, richer and brighter by the intimacy of your Light and Love.

It is all about Love… hers, yours, mine… intertwined and part of all seen and unseen; felt at times, hidden mostly. Waiting for a cry from the void of this reality to manifest itself brightly… yet, permeating all nonetheless in its patient expectation.

On this Eight month there is longing still… but there is also your touch smoothing its edges… bringing forth an “instinct”, an initial consideration that transcends and shatters death, to preview the true Life we are yet too dense to truly understand.

On this Eight month there is gratitude for all of the sheer pain that you and I have experienced together, through which and by your mighty will, I desire and care to enhance a closeness to its source; all of the life and love that is YOU my God… and thus; now that she’s an intricate part of all that you are, a closeness with her as well my God.

I am humbled and in your Peace this day.

Copyright, Joseph Pereira 2006-2019

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