When sky is falling; facing my Mother’s death.

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We think that we build our lives on axioms. We think that there is an order to our life, that is as unshakable as laws of physics. We think that people around us and our relationships are constant.
But then, an event comes that makes our reality crumble. We face our very own, personal apocalypse.
When sky is falling, it is hard to grab the pieces and put them back together. It is impossible in fact. Tragedy strikes, just like that, it comes uninvited.
And you realize, with dread; nothing will be the same again.
Bones will heal, yet scars will remain.
When chaos comes crashing into our lives, we need to be able to perceive a deeper order. We need to find a meaning behind suffering. In such moments, doubt and faith that reside in our heart, tangle themselves in an unforgiving combat.
And which wolf will win?, asks the man in ancient parable. The one that you keep feeding…
My mother died two weeks ago.
A person that gave me life is gone. It is something hard to comprehend. She was always there, but she is not here anymore.
One of the most fundamental axioms of my reality was shattered within a couple of days. It took that one phone call from my Father,  these three words; “Mum is dead” to send me spinning out of the comfortable, careless reality I have known. I found myself somewhere else.
Instead of my Mum’s Presence, there was a void and I felt like I was drowning in an abyss.
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Memories would swarm into my mind.
I remember we would sit with my Mum in the kitchen, same spots every time, my Mum beside the window, me beside the fridge (easier to reach for a snack). We would talk about all our family, all our common friends, their lives, latest developments.
We could talk like that for hours, until we completely depleted the family/friends list.
Then I would ask “Do you have anything more interesting to say?” and she would laugh at that old joke over and over again.
I remember my Mum reading books to her grandsons, my two little boys. Them cuddling to her, as she was the base upon which they were building the fundaments of their lives. She taught them the language of love, through her Great Presence, before they knew how to speak.
I remember last Christmas, when my Mother, would look at the battlefield that our living room has become; huge Christmas tree, pieces of gift packages torn, toys scattered everywhere, every single inch of space occupied by Her loved ones; my Family, my Brothers, my Father, my Aunt, and Uncle. My Mum’s eyes had that peace in them. Although my Mum looked tired, her happy eyes were saying; the big dream of having an “Italian sized family Christmas” finally came to be.
None of this will ever come back.  It all came to a horrible, sudden stop. These colorful pictures were torn by one image that carved its way through, to reside in my memories for the rest of my life;
Me and My Father, in an empty chapel, above an opened coffin with my Mother’s body. As I made the last blessing, the sign of the cross on my Mum’s cold forehead I faced a choice.
I could focus on what would never be, and what was taken away from us.
All the plans we made, all the hopes we had, all the possibilities my Family and my Children would have if my Mum would be still around. I could focus on some relatives that hurt my Mum by their selfish actions, and possibly even contributed to her rapid decline.
I could focus on that, and become even more enraged, and eventually bitter.
Or I could focus on the Light. The Light that is the Legacy of Love, my Mother left behind.  The crowds came to pay their respects, (the Church was full, people had to stand as there were no sitting spots left) is one of the best Testimonies to that legacy.
My Mother had a good life, we had a great, healthy relationship, she taught me a lot. She taught me enough, so in such moments, I would be ready not only to stand on my feet but be a pillar for those who need my support.
So choice is simple; be bitter or be grateful.
I believe it is time for me now to set my eyes for the future and keep carrying the Torch I was given.
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We think that we build our lives on axioms.
But in truth; life is a flow. What is constant about it is the motion.
We are all running somewhere. And so we need to face the reality, that people that are close to us, get lost on the way.
But it is fine.
As long as we are heading in the same direction, we will eventually meet again.

 

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Back from Dubai. Autumn & Anathema

Just recently I came back from a very difficult business trip to Dubai. Only thing I enjoyed was the view from the office, as I spent in there 12 hours daily for a full week. My journey was truly epic.

I was fighting bugs, like ancient monsters, repelling requests from other departments like raids of rogue nomads, getting through the new version of the binary for the Appstore release like it was a caravan traveling through the scorched desert.

But the sun of the desert was the sun of yesterday.
Today I am looking at the European autumn, enjoying my mate tea on my terrace.  Trees flutter with their colorful leaves stroked by wind and the rhythm of their whispers seems to be synchronized with a breath of my newborn son sleeping on my chest.

I look at my son and then at these trees. Then the realization comes through.

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Autumn is a parabola of the passing of time. One thing in life never changes, – it goes on.

Our biographies are like the autumn trees, full of colorful leaves –  all the different colors, are like frames of a movie of our life.

Some will float away carried by the wind.

I listen to Anathema now. The band’s tone is like a voice of autumn.
Weather systems. Somehow I cannot break the connection that this band has evolved with me. The brutal anger of the Dying Wish. The desolate music of Kingdom. Terrifying
dark, Alternative 4.

These were the tunes of my early twenties. When I was seeking my spiritual path. And I was roaming through some dark woods. This was not surprisingly a time when I wrote some of my best-received horror stories. But at what cost?

Grim music of early Anathema albums was my soundtrack. I managed to scratch the surface of the abyss back then. And these dark melodies were the beacon…
Yet I managed to find my way back into the light.
And so it seems with Anathema.

If you pick their latest albums, you realize that how much they changed. There is hope now in their music.  There is a reflection upon life and its purpose.

There is peace in words of such ballads as “Lightning song”.

“I found my place
In time and space
In hope and faith”

Quite a leap from the depressing lyrics of Alternative 4… ”Come and hide me from this terrible reality”. Don’t you think?
And guess what is the title of their latest album – The Optimist.

It is a hopeful feeling to see that one of your favorite bands seems to be evolving in synchronization with the development of your life.

Maybe you have to go through the darkness to find the light?

Here comes the calming voice off Lee Douglas from Anathema.

“Your world is everything you ever dreamed of
If only you can open up your mind and see

The beauty that is here”

I look at the face of my sleeping son.

So true.

—Post from “Sword in the woods” archive—

As my second son was born, he reminded me of what it truly means to be a father.

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Danielle MacInnes

My son took me by surprise. I thought I knew everything by now, he was second after all, but first look into his eyes changed everything in an instant.

It was like gazing into infinity.

Here I was again, looking at the world through the eyes of a newborn, in an absolute awe and with an absolute love.

I remember now, that to be a father means to have a heart beating in someone else’s chest.

To be a father means to love so much that it hurts.

To be a father means to live your life, as if you are in a constant spotlight – and the audience are those who you love the most.

To be a father means to willingly step down from a main role in life’s journey, handle it to your children.

To be father means to carry a sweet yoke for the rest of your life – as you will never cease to care for your children.

To be father means to have black coffee and white nights.

To be a father means, letting your children fall and guide them to learn from their mistakes, because as much as it hurts watching their knees get bruised, you know you it is the only way to get them ready for what’s up ahead.

Because to be a father, means also realisation that you raise your children not for yourself but for the world.

After all, nothing sums better the essence of parenthood as the poem of Kahlil Gibran.

These words ring in my soul, over an over as I stroke my son’s forehead and I dive deep into the depth of his eyes;

On Children
 Kahlil Gibran

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.