Towards the Silent Heart

kitchen table philosophy

Women exalted

Kitchen table philosopher JOSEPH RAFFA pays tribute to women.

Women are the beautiful people.  They are the tenderness, the warmth, the love of life – even the light of life. They are the music that life plays in the female form.  Life flows into woman in the softest of curves, ever so gently flowing from one part to another.

The spirit of life dances brightly out of sparkling eyes. Its remarkable depth expresses itself in the tears that slowly fall down a rounded cheek, in little drops of water stirred by the deepest of feelings.

Such exquisite features has life moulded in the female face. Such a blending of softness – a delight to behold – framed by a woman’s crowning glory – hair that dances in the wind and shinesin the sunlight. Music the sound of her voice – her walk a rhapsody of movement.

Man, you should be so lucky that God created woman. Your life is as barren as the desert when she is not near, yet ripe, like the sweetest fruit when she shares her love.

She is the mother that carried the seed of life in her womb. She nourished you then, suckled your body at her rounded breast, nursed you in sickness, wiped away your childish tears and comforted you in time of need.

‘She is the music of the universe in female form’

Love’s song echoes like a never ending refrain from everything she is.  She is indeed the music of the universe manifest in female form.  She can be as gentle as a dove yet show the fury of a wounded tiger.  She has a gentle touch yet claws like a cat when aroused.

And, when she finds fullfilment in the highest nature of all, she is love personified, understanding in motion, poetic in expression, wisdom in action.  Naught can match her in tenderness, in softness of nature nor in the capacity to give out beautiful human qualities.

Woman, you stand on the pedestal of my admiration.  With these words I pay you homage as an extension of the mystery and the wonder of life. You delight man in so many ways.

Inspired by the sweetest woman of all – my wife, lover and companion. Always in love with you. Joseph. 3rd March 1992.


1 Comment

A Gull Returns to the Silence

by Joseph Raffa

The struggles of the dying gull were sad to see. Borne helplessly towards the shore by a gentle breeze and the flowing motion of the water, it drifted, wings outstretched, head hanging limply backwards, beak open.  Now and again it made a desperate attempt to flutter its limp wings but the effort was beyond it.
It floated almost lifeless, rising and falling with the gentle swells, eyes closed, waiting, waiting for the peace of death to claim it and take it back to where it belonged – back to the great unknown.
I sensed a resignation about the gull, a subdued acceptance of the inevitable as if the force drawing it away from the world it knew was too powerful to be resisted.
With the patience engendered by the Eternal it awaited the end while its brother and sister gulls wheeled above or floated nearby, slightly agitated, knowing in the way that birds do that death was at hand.
The universal, knowing no death but only Eternal life enfolded the feeble gull into its all-embracing silence, absorbing it deep into the being from whence it first arose with wings of joy, eager to be active.  It lived fully as a bird does, sharing with its kind the feel of sun and wind, the sight of wave following wave, floating on the crests or flying high, wheeling and turning, diving arrow-like into the water, rising with a fish in its beak.
Surely life has consequence even for a bird if it has tasted all this even for only long point_522a short time. Is there need for deep sadness at its going?  Nature prepared all for it, fashioned its wings, its body, supplied the seafood it hunted, air to fly in, the sea to rest on and the seashore to forage along.  That which has given so much surely cannot be condemned for taking it all back if that is the way things are.
So, my children, put away your sadness.  The gull has gone but others remain to delight us with their ways. All things are lonely in death if one gazes only on the outer face of nature’s handiwork but to those who are blessed with awareness of her inner being there is the conviction of a deep togetherness even in death.
(Written after our young children were distressed at the sight of a gull dying slowly on an almost placid river.  It was too far out to retrieve so we had to let it be.)

A perfect expression

by Joseph Raffa

ID-10029114Old eyes, bored and tired, look out on the changing world and see only what old eyes can see. They see the shadow of death just around the corner and the constant surge of decay.
New eyes look at the world in a new way and see magic. There is magic in every precious moment of living. Strange magic!
The magic is in the birth of a new life. In the baby that lies, sleeping so sweetly in its mother’s arms. In time, the magic takes wings and the first smile breaks across a tiny face.
The mother smiles back and the magic brightens. They talk, these two, the language of a new love. The baby’s lips searchingly nuzzle at the mother’s well rounded breast. She bares the breast and teases the nipple along those tiny lips. Soft skin to even softer lips. She talks soothingly, gently.
The baby’s lips open and close around the nipple. Rounded breast and the face of a babe, contented together. A perfect expression of the magic.

1 Comment

What Kind of Love?

Baby2_edited-1People speak of love as the solution to the problems and difficulties that come our way. But, to say “I love you”, is that enough? You may care as much as you will for children, friends, even feel for the human race but this does not bring an end to the troubles that keep on coming.

We need more than to be loved. We need to be able to understand our actions. To be loved does not guarantee this. I speak here of what humans understand as love, in the way they love their children, or as husbands and wives love one another.

I do not speak here of that other kind of love – of what is called God’s love for mankind. This does indeed bring enlightened action and a deeper understanding of our actions, our motives and thinking processes. By this love we do see deep into our minds, into the very heart of what we are. Ordinary human love, no matter how well intentioned, cannot compare with this, neither in quality nor in its power to bring about change.

Both are necessary. Ordinary human love is enough to provide shelter, food, clothing, education, affection. This is the kind we know. It gives a measure of guidance to growing children, security and a feeling of well-being.The other overlaps this and extends beyond it.  There is a light that glows in the darkness of our living, that will not permit the brooding problems of the mind to overwhelm it. Human love as we know it cannot do this – cannot take us through life without being torn about inwardly, without being prey to anxieties.

Extend our arms as often as we will – offer ourselves, our help, our time, search for the words that may soften a blow – none of this can match the touch of Universal Love. The emptiness we feel inside, the loneliness, the disarray we reflect, the single-minded pursuit of what draws us regardless of consequences to our minds or health – this does not yield to words or good intentions.

When minds are enclosed, locked in a personal prison of desire and intention, the key to freedom lies not in the hands of the mind. We can acknowledge the desire to be free – urge to cast aside the restraints we feel, rail against the dark, prison walls that surround us – but if a greater love does not come our way, bringing the light of a fresh understanding, we will languish in time, in the restrictions of the mind. And we will not even understand why we are in trouble, why we suffer as we do nor why we are harried from all sides.

Joseph Raffa

For a list of Joseph’s books and links to where to buy them visit Joseph’s Bookshelf.