Being a Hero

Last night whilst coming from recording a show on #k24TV, I met a lady stuck on the road because her car had run out of fuel. My hero complex geared in and I had to help. I stopped my car on the side of the road, switched my hazard lights on and reversed back to her because I had driven away before I saw her with my left side mirror. Got to her, did some mechanic analysis and concluded she needed fuel. So I told her to get into her car, keep her hazards on, keep her doors locked and switch off anything that could drain her battery. I took her cellphone number and promised I would return with fuel. On my way to looking for a petrol station, I called my brother but he was out of town. He is always the one I call when I am in such a situation and he never fails me. My brother, ever protective, thought it was a plan to rob me, but I believed she was genuine and I knew she would be so crushed if I didn’t keep my word. So after talking with my brother, we decided that I ask someone at the petrol station to go with me. So I got there and asked. The fuel pump attendant said it would not be possible because they couldn’t leave their station but he asked a security team to take me. So I left my car at the petrol station and three men, who I call angels, took me back to the scene of the dejected with their security truck, I felt so safe and so protected.

We fuelled her car and just then her partner showed up. She had called him earlier before I left for fuel but he asked her, “what do you want me to do?” So of course I gave the man, a mouthful, piece of my mind! The three security men, I traveled to the scene with, hovered around me in protection. The lady’s partner apologised, vehemently and asked me if he could pay for the fuel. I told him I didn’t need to be paid but I would appreciate it, if he made a humble donation to my three angels because they had made it all possible.

For every unhelpful man there are three who will be heroes. This may not be a scientific statement and one event isn’t research or empirical data. But I am grateful that I met those men who helped back up my courage and Good Samaritan world view with security. I thank all the good men out there, who lay down their lives to protect and defend women. I pray for you all and celebrate you today!

I am not ignorant of the fact that this story could have had a sad ending because, ‘the road to hell is often paved with good intentions.‘ And my sharing this story is not pride rearing it’s ugly head but I am grateful that I didn’t wait on a hero but took a risk to be one. I didn’t let fear paralyse my human innate need to help. I guess just like Batman finally got Robin; I too found Hero assistants ready to be the wind beneath my wings.

Humanity is still humane and there are deeds of compassion still happening all over the World despite all the wars and rumours of war that we chant about in every News Bulletin. I hope you will change the narrative of human decay and prove that we still ‘give a damn’ about each other.

Love, laugh and live

It’s amazing how depressed, panicky and desperate we often get thinking about the future. Then it comes and it goes and often we wonder why we worried so much. Why do we forget that all that has a beginning also has an ending. Stop living for the moments that may or may not come, instead savour what is already in your present and in your presence. We often fail to see what we already have and only realise it, when it’s gone. STOP. No more, too little, too late. Love, laugh and live. No matter what aches you have; love, laugh and live. It all goes by too quick. Love, laugh and live. Even if all fails and you stand alone in an empty place. Love, laugh and live! It’s up to you. Love, laugh and live!

How I Have Loved You.

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“Oh how I have loved you so!”

Those words took her last breath away. She held his face, she was weak but she mustered the strength to touch him one last time. His face had aged but she saw the lost man she had loved, looking back at her in those old eyes. He was desperate, his eyes were pleading but she could not answer. No more would she pour out herself for him. She was finally finding her rest from the toilsome labour of loving him. She smiled weakly and her eyes fluttered as she fought to keep them open a little longer but the end called and she finally gave into the falling curtain.

He clung to her falling touch and held her hand against his cheek. He felt her palm growing cold and tried to hold on to the memory of her warm touch. She looked warn. She had loved him long and hard. She lay so close to him but he knew she was gone and he would never reach her. If she was in another place it would be a destination he would never deserve to go. She had loved him and he had taken up all her offerings as if he were a god and used them for his glory and pleasure.

There she lay, empty, a shell and the only thing that meant anything, now lay dead with her. His eyes blurred and the sting of dormant almost extinct tears surprised him. He gasped at the shock of a foreign tightness in his chest and was perplexed at the moaning rising from the back of his throat. She was gone. The only one who loved him true. The only one who held nothing back and got only hurt and neglect from him. The only one who stayed when every fan faded. The only one who danced to his music when the stage no longer welcomed his tunes. The only one who still watched his movies when they no longer aroused the numb restless minds of the overly stimulated seeker. The only one who read his words, when words no longer came easily to his abused creative senses.

He lay his brow on her still solid chest. Yes, she had loved him so. And now that she had finally walked away, now he wanted to love her back. He wanted to speak words long left unspoken but her ears would not hear. He wanted to plant those kisses that should have only been for her but her lips were tinged lifeless blue, they would feel no bliss from missed kisses.

“I am so sorry,” He sobbed. He took her stiff hand and placed it on his bowed head, but it slipped away, no longer mechanised by love because the one that loved him was gone. He wanted to shake her awake. She was the one who was supposed to be mourning him. He was never meant to be without her, ever. But he knew, it was loving him that had drained the life out of her. He could not hide from that truth; loving him had made the death of her.

He pulled the satin sheet over her frail body and his hands shook in utter brokenness. He stared at the framed portrait of the beautiful woman looking back at him from the picture on her bedside table and he wished he had left her alone. She should have been the one he left untouched, unstained, uncorrupt by his grasping greedy pleasure. He thought of all the worshipers that fell at his feet and how he had taken and never given anything. What the World wanted came naturally to him. The music, the songs, the words, the scenes and the looks. Nothing he gave required any effort, his genius was his throne and he was king.

But now. There was no music. Yes his fingers could still dance across the keyboard with the greatest of ease but the soul was gone. There was no genius. The throne was empty and the worshipers lay lifeless, drugged into nothingness on the altar of hollow pleasure. He thought he had taken his fill and walked away but he too had been robbed. He too had lost a significant self in him and she was the last drop of all the good that was left in him. He could almost hear the wings of damnation flutter and perch in the tomb of his creativity. What he had once considered his eternal kingdom had an end and as he watched the carers wrap her body gently and carry her away, he knew that her love had preserved his soul and now no one stood between him and the hell of his own making.

“Oh how you loved me so.”

Everyday, he called out to her. He worshiped at her tombstone every night. Longing for the only true thing he had ever known but had never appreciated. He longed to be with her but knew it would never be. Even his imagination would not allow such a pure thing in. The walls of his mind had been so blackened by perversity that it would not conjure any good. He closed his eyes but fluttered them open as phantoms of broken men and women lay littered on paths he had walked not so long ago. The cold decayed breath of Oscar Wilde stalked his heart and permeated his mind, “I grew careless of the lives of others. I took pleasure where it pleased me and passed on. I forgot that every little action of the common day makes or unmakes character.”

He had written songs that offered him no comfort. He had written scripts that spoke no enlightenment or encouragement. He directed scenes that dripped with deception. And now he realised he had unmade, unstitched his own character until there was nothing left. The pages of his life turned but he was no more. Here he stood not even a mist or a phantom but a shadow. A cold lonely void depiction of all his pride, greed and corruption.

“But what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and loose his own soul…”

The Invitation

By Oriah Mountain Dreamer

It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living.
I want to know what you ache for,
And if you dare to dream of meeting
Your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me how old you are.
I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool
For love, for your dream,
For the adventure of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon.
I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow,
If you have been opened by life’s betrayals,
Or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain.

I want to know if you can sit with pain,
Mine or your own,
Without moving
To hide it or fade it or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy,
Mine or your own,
If you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes
Without cautioning us to be careful, realistic, to remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true.
I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself,
If you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul.
I want to know if you can be faithless and therefore be trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see beauty
Even when it is not pretty every day,
And if you can source your own life
From its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure,
Yours and mine,
And still stand on the edge of a lake and shout to the silver of the full moon,
“Yes!”

It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up after the night of grief and despair,
Weary and bruised to the bone,
And do what needs to be done for the children.

It doesn’t interest me who you are, how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
In the center of the fire with me
And not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied.
I want to know what sustains you
From the inside
When all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone
With yourself,
And if you truly like the company you keep
In the empty moments.

A Woman’s Harbour

She said, “No matter how old we get, as women, we need a safe place where we can fall apart. Sometimes we just want to crumble but not loose a crumb of our confidence. Sometimes we just want to let our flaky resolve breathe but not loose a particle to the wind. Sometimes we just want to know that no matter how we melt that our flow will be safely stored until we become whole again, strong again.”

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I miss her. I am so tired and I need her. She was that place of rest for me. She was my sabbath. She was like coming home, locking the doors to all the World’s demands, stripping the confining tailored garments of feminine flawed sexuality and bathing in scents and senses of acceptance and grace. She was my only safety. The only place where I was not dominated or domesticated, obligated or objectified, conflicted or constricted, oppressed or depressed. She was the meditation that medicated the poisoned well that ought to have quenched my parched identity.

I am tired. Tired and tender from the beatings of debilitating debates of who a woman ought to be and how she ought to strut or waddle. I miss her all knowing shine in her eyes. I miss that serene smile that seemed to silence all the Worldly words wasted on her, because woman was written into her before words could work on her.

“Why are you here?”
I know that is what she would ask, even though she knew why I came.
“Are you here for the mending or for amending?”
Either something was broken in me which needed to be made whole again or I had taken into myself words to define me which needed to be edited with better and a more truthful vocabulary. I often sat staring for hours before I know why I was there. But with her, it was as if our souls communed. Every inhale took her into me and every exhale gave her me. She waited but at the same time she moved and I followed in the stillness, in the silence.

“Am tired.” I finally sigh.
“As you should be.” She says.
“I just want to cry.” I sob.
“Go on then, melt away.”
And the waters flood over and spill unto my cheeks. The room blurs and clears as the tears trace a now familiar path. Soon I start to sniff and snivel. My palms wet from wiping my face. My mind numb from self pity and mutilated confidence.
“What’s wrong with me.” My voice trembles from misery.
“Who said there’s anything wrong with you?” She asks.
“Is being miserable okay?” I demand almost offended.
I feel her turn to me and when our eyes meet, there is no annoyance or offence in her countenance. Only comfort looks back at me.
“Who says your miserable? Tears flow when we hurt, when dirt enters our eyes, when we laugh so intensely we almost burst and when we see an inexplicable love laid out to us for the taking and we know we don’t deserve the gift. And yes we also cry when we need and we know we ought to have but fate or hate won’t give us what is rightfully ours.” She turns and looks into the distance. My eyes move with her and even though she fades, her words echo into my today.

“If you weep because you hurt then seek out the reason for the pain. Hurt often reveals a situation that requires our attention. Attend then to it. If the situation requires remedy then cure it as best you can. Seek forgiveness, for often an unconfessed wrong poisons health. Repair the fracture or break of a relationship for we are relational beings and that’s how we breath. Repent and turn from the deeds of insanity because you cannot do the same thing over and over expecting a different result. So love living with change because change is the only guarantee in life, nothing remains stagnant forever and if by any chance there is anything that does then like still waters it would only breed parasites.”

I think on this, ‘anything stagnant only breeds parasites’. A butterfly lands on her knee. It flutters it’s wings and rests them wide apart. The bright yellow and black look almost gold in the sun light. We both wait. We both listen and receive the message. The wings flap again and carry the messenger away. The wind suddenly moves bringing a host of messengers, each bears it’s own mix of patterns, each caught up in its own dance. In the choreography of the undulating breeze my tears too dry up and my spirit is arrested by simple beauty.

Her voice summons my attention again “If your eyes water from the caress of the wind, then you need only blink and you will be ok. Or squint and let your lashes fulfil the task they were designed to fulfil. Often we are given solutions but we seldom think that easy answers actually work. Like the river, sometimes just take the path of least resistance because there will be waterfalls up ahead so you might as well enjoy the easy paths. Life will give you it’s complicated moments so enjoy the easy questions and simple navigations.”

Suddenly our scene is shrouded in a shadow as the sun rides the clouds. I remember her looking up at such times. I follow her glance and witness the cloud outlined by the shimmer of the disappearing sun; the silver lining. There’s a sudden chill and the branches move to the wind, awakening resting birds that voice their irritation in a chorus of song. I close my eyes and the sound of simple music eases my ache. In this moment I take that which is freely given. In this moment I need not understand in order to accept. The birds don’t care about your opinion, this is not ‘Idols’ and so they sing. The butterfly doesn’t care if its colours and patterns are en vogue, this is not ‘project runway’ and so it displays. The clouds don’t care if they are shapely, this is not ‘your next top model’ and so they glide. The wind doesn’t care if its choreography suits, “So you think you can dance?” The wind animates anything that will allow it. This is me! All nature seems to beam. Your opinion is of no use here, so I too get caught up in its carefree laughter.

Her words flood my moment of bliss. “If you weep out of utter joy. Then let it overflow you, so that others may drink up and find nourishment in the good fruit of your soul. Nothing eradicates dis-ease more easily than the ease of a simple smile. Nothing electrifies the soul more powerfully than mirthful laughter emanating from the deepest joy. When these members visit you, usher them with the deepest gratitude, host them with utmost sincerity and hope that they will last as long as possible for they can be fleeting. Very rarely do you ever desire to wipe tears from such jovial weeping, you almost want to store those tears because they are so rare.”

The sun is out again. And I walk out into the garden. It’s alive and my pieces start to crawl toward each other and my spirit begins to shed its weight. I slip out of the human creations that house my feet and step unto the cool green grass. The blades tickle their way into the parting of my toes as the rest of the commune of green cushion my steps. I am walking on clouds. In this moment I feel blessed. It is as if Earth knows my sorrow and has made arrangements to hold me and comfort me.

Her words concur with my thoughts. “If you weep because you know you have been taken into a harbour to escape a storm, then let your ship find refuge and dock without shame. Rest in the embrace of such a haven and let love do what love does best. Let love serve you. Let love fill your empty store house and replenish your dwindling supply. Let love refuel you and tend to your torn and tattered sails. Let love drain you of waters that almost sank you, for to sea you must return for your voyage is far from over. Let love make you anew, though the tide has dragged you with anchor and all. You will still ride the waves and scale their crests again against all torrential pours. The storm has not revealed your weakness but only introduced you to strength.

To be loved is your underserved favour given in mercy’s palms. Tears that flow from Love’s reception are of deepest pain for they flow from deep wells that tap into the soul. They hurt more than any other but also bless like none other. Savour them for they teach the deepest wisdom and reveal our True Self.”

Suddenly the wind wraps all around me. I close my eyes. Lift my face to the heavens and inhale. The wind circles up my body and swirls in waves around my head. I hear her laugh. She’s also caught up in the rupture of gratitude. The warm splash of sunlight on my face feels like the look of love and acceptance. I matter. Just as I am. In this whole scene of butterfly, sun, wind, clouds, green grass, birds and trees, I too have featured. I saw, I watched, I felt, I heard, I walked, I laughed, I danced and I healed.

“Yes, we weep when in need but needing is like kneading a wound. It only hardens it and creates an ugly scab. Especially when we need out of entitlement. Who says we ought to be pleasing to others? Who says we ought to make everybody happy? Who says anybody exists to make us happy? Who says we ought to be anything less or more than what we already are? Is it meaning you seek? Then live a life that is meaningful to you. Is it truth you seek? Then live with a truth that does no harm to your being or another; to oppress another is to oppress you. Is it love you seek? Then give, scatter love to the four winds and in due time it will return when you need it most. Is it safety you seek? Then be another’s harbour and you will find that as others seek refuge in you, they too in turn become your safety. Tears of need are only wept when we seize to meet a need. Earth is an ecosystem where even dead things fulfil a purpose in their decay. So be you and in doing so, you fulfil a purpose and meet a need. The wound doesn’t mend when the need is met, healing often comes when the body continues in it’s service. Medication is not the only cure but work, exercise, nutrition, laughter and love all play a critical role. So be that which you seek and you will realise you have always had what you sought. “It is in giving that we receive.”

We are often dragged to sorrow when we have expectations that others do not follow. We confine others by our demands to cater to useless fleeting needs. We dominate their role by wanting to comprehend their purpose and though there is wisdom in understanding, what good is knowing if it serves no good or if it offers no peace. As it is written, “But, my child, let me give you some further advice: Be careful, for writing books is endless, and much study wears you out.” Must you comprehend the rising and falling of the wings of a butterfly to find solace in its flight? Did you need the touch of warmth from the sun before it blessed you with its caress? Some of life’s greatest gifts come by surprise. So do not let lack or unmet expectation reduce you to a fleeting shadow. You are who you are and you can only be what you will to be. So live daily faithful to your destination. Rest in the seasons of rest and bloom in spring. Whatever the minutes bring grow, from both pain or joy and no matter the loss choose love. Labour in love and let compassion be the compass that guides you home. No matter which tears, let them water the garden of your soul and in that quiet place find your rest.”

God says, “Do it again.”

A child kicks his legs rhythmically through excess, not absence, of life. Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, “Do it again”

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“All the towering materialism which dominates the modern mind rests ultimately upon one assumption; a false assumption. It is supposed that if a thing goes on repeating itself it is probably dead; a piece of clockwork. People feel that if the universe was personal it would vary; if the sun were alive it would dance. This is a fallacy even in relation to known fact. For the variation in human affairs is generally brought into them, not by life, but by death; by the dying down or breaking off of their strength or desire. A man varies his movements because of some slight element of failure or fatigue. He gets into an omnibus because he is tired of walking; or he walks because he is tired of sitting still. But if his life and joy were so gigantic that he never tired of going to Islington, he might go to Islington as regularly as the Thames goes to Sheerness. The very speed and ecstacy of his life would have the stillness of death. The sun rises every morning. I do not rise every morning; but the variation is due not to my activity, but to my inaction. Now, to put the matter in a popular phrase, it might be true that the sun rises regularly because he never gets tired of rising. His routine might be due, not to a lifelessness, but to a rush of life. The thing I mean can be seen, for instance, in children, when they find some game or joke that they specially enjoy. A child kicks his legs rhythmically through excess, not absence, of life. Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, “Do it again”; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, “Do it again” to the sun; and every evening, “Do it again” to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we. The repetition in Nature may not be a mere recurrence; it may be a theatrical ENCORE. Heaven may ENCORE the bird who laid an egg. If the human being conceives and brings forth a human child instead of bringing forth a fish, or a bat, or a griffin, the reason may not be that we are fixed in an animal fate without life or purpose. It may be that our little tragedy has touched the gods, that they admire it from their starry galleries, and that at the end of every human drama man is called again and again before the curtain. Repetition may go on for millions of years, by mere choice, and at any instant it may stop. Man may stand on the earth generation after generation, and yet each birth be his positively last appearance.”

Quote by G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy

Paralysed by A Torment in a Confession

I first heard this in a sermon by Ravi Zacharias and my heart has not recovered. I am still paralysed by the torment of a deed that cannot be undone! The Author of this master piece is unknown but this cannot prohibit you from being moved by the raw misery of Pontius Pilate as he regrets being the judge over Christ’s crucifixion.

“It suddenly closed in on me Gaius, the impact of how trapped I was. The proud arm of Rome with all its boast of justice was to be but a dirty dagger in the pudgy hands of the priests. I was waiting in the room, Gaius, the one I use for court, officially enthroned with cloak and guard when they let this Jesus in. Well Gaius, don’t smile at this, as you value your jaw, but I have had no peace since the day he walked into my judgment hall. It’s been years but these scenes I read from the back of my eyelids every night.

You have seen Caesar haven’t you? When he was young inspecting the legion. His arrogant manner was child-like compared to that of the Nazarene. He didn’t have to strut, you see. He walked toward my throne; arms bound but with a strident mastery and control that by its very audacity silenced the room for an instant and left me trembling with an insane desire to stand up and salute.

The clerk began reading the absurd list of charges. The priestly delegations punctuating these with the palm-rubbings, the beard-strokings, the eye-rollings, and the pious gut-rolls by now which I had learned to ignore, but I more felt it Gaius than heard it.

I questioned him mechanically and he answered very little. But what he said and the way he said it, it was as if his level gaze had pulled up my naked soul right up into my eyes and was probing it there. And a voice kept saying in my ears, “why, you’re on trial Pilate!” And the man wasn’t even listening to the charges. You’d have sworn he had just come in out of friendly interest to see what was going to happen to me. And the very pressure of his standing there had grown unbearable when a slave rushed in all a tremble, interrupting court bringing a message from Claudia; she had stabbed at the stylus in that childish way that she does when she’s distraught, “don’t judge this amazing man Pilate” she wrote, “I was haunted in dreams by him this night”.

Gaius, I tried to free him. From that moment on I tried and I’ll always think he knew it. I declared him out of my jurisdiction being a Galilean, but the native King Herod discovered he was born in Judea and sent him right back to me. I appealed to the crowd hoping that they would be his sympathizers. But Caiaphas had stationed agitators to whip up the beasts that cry for blood, and you know how in this town here any citizen loves the blood of another person just after breakfast and screams for another’s blood.

I had him beaten Gaius, a thorough barracks room beating. I’m still not sure why, to appease the crowd I guess, but do we Romans really need any reason for beatings? Isn’t that the code for anything we don’t understand? Well, it didn’t work Gaius, the crowd roared like some slavering beast when I brought him back. If only you could have watched him. They had thrown some rags of mock-purple over his bleeding shoulders; they had jammed a chaplet of thorns down on his forehead and it fitted. It all fitted Gaius! He stood there, watching them from my balcony, flamed from weakness by now, but royal I tell you. Not just pain but pity shining from his eyes. And I kept thinking: somehow this is monstrous, this is upside-down, that purple is real, that crown is real, and somehow these animal noises the crowd is shrieking should be praise! And then Caiaphas played his master-stroke on me: He announced there in public that this Jesus claimed the crown and that was treason to Caesar. And the guards began to glance at one another quickly, and that mob of spineless filth began to shout, “Hail Caesar! Hail Caesar!” And Gaius, I knew I was beaten; I gave the order.

I couldn’t look at him. Then I did a childish thing: I called for water. And there on the balcony I washed my hands of that whole affair. But as they led him away Gaius, I did look up and he turned and looked at me, no smile, no pity, just glanced at my hands, and I’ll feel the weight of his eyes on them from now on.

But you’re yawning Gaius; I’ve kept you up. And the fact of the matter is you are in need of some rest and some holidays. Claudia will be asleep by now. Rows of lighted lamps line her couch; she can’t sleep in the dark anymore; no, not since that afternoon. You see Gaius, the sun went out when my guards executed him; that’s exactly what I said. I don’t know how; I don’t know what; I only know that I was there and though it was the middle of the day it turned as black as the tunnels of hell in that miserable city. And while I tried to compose Claudia and explain how I had been trapped, she railed at me with a dream and she’s had that dream ever since when she sleeps in the dark, some form of it, that there was to have been a new Caesar and that I, her husband, had killed him.

Oh we’ve been to Egypt; to their seers and magicians. We’ve listened by the hour to the oracles in the musty temples of Greece chattering their inanities. We’ve called it an oriental curse that we’re under and we’ve tried to break it a thousand ways Gaius, but there’s no breaking it, except in even that it might not you see.

But you know why I have kept going Gaius? Deeper than the curse is the haunting driving certainty that he is still somewhere near, and that I have some unfinished business with him, and that now and then as I walk by the lake he’s following me. And much as that strikes terror Gaius, I wonder if that isn’t the only hope. You see, if I could walk up to him and this time salute and tell him that now I know that whoever else he is he was the only man worthy of his name in all Judea that day; tell him I know I wasn’t trapped; that I trapped myself; tell him here is one Roman who wishes he really were Caesar, I believe that would do it Gaius wouldn’t it? I believe he’d listen and know I meant it, and at last I’d see him smile.

Yes, it is quiet tonight. Not a breeze stirring Gaius. Goodnight, you’d better run along.

No no, would you please waken the slave outside the door and tell him to bring me my cloak, my heavy one please. I believe I’ll walk by the lake.

Yes, it’s dark there Gaius, but I won’t be alone. I really haven’t ever been alone; not since that day.

Yes, goodnight Gaius.”