“To an alien mind, things often made more sense here. The littlest elements seemed so much more real, so refreshed. It was as if the people in this exotic and strange place were closer to the very fabric of life, the very fragility of existence. The folk I encountered were not so guarded by the thick veils and illusions that usually withhold us from embracing our reality. The air was lighter, less tense, more open. The focus was not on the pains of birth, but on the joy of infancy. Here, death was never far away; the perishable life wasn’t so hidden… it seemed, embracing death was necessary to understanding this journey, and our purpose within it. I took a little something from this. I take a little something from everywhere I go. This is what I saw. This is what moved me through the land of great rivers and red suns.“
Sacramentum et Meditationis
of Oath and Reflection
My dear soul, this is it… the life you chose. Are you content? Are you fulfilling your blueprint, your agreement, your plan? As a child you had an idea, a beautiful and simple idea of what you wanted to be. In your innocence you understood the power of possibility, the light of hope. Have you forgotten it? Have you let the world steal away your dreams? Have you let the dark of man stale you, corrupt you, and harden your eyes?
Do you still remember the Greater Things?
I, too, have to be reminded sometimes. I have to tend that flame of peace, truth, humility, and devotion to Oneness, which flickers in my heart. We do not ‘arrive’ here; there is no resting place in this reality. We are passing through. This is a journey not a destination. Be dazzled, be amazed and give thanks, but do not hold onto what you see here. The Change will come, undoubtedly. Let the flesh go with its own death… in soul, we are made immortal, held temporarily in earth. Dust will blow in the wind but a soul will fly… or fall. Unbridled Light eventually finds its way home, back to its source. For now we glide towards greater tides, and fairer shores. We are but passengers on the wings of love.
I find fuel in the natural world, and in people. The eyes and lives of our neighbours… they reflect many things. The simple things, I find, mirror the Greater Ones. Sometimes it is hard to be fully aware of all the little things around us, these reminders of the constantly-moving and ever-growing seed of life… especially when we are in our own place, our own nest. It is much easier to notice these things in surroundings that are unfamiliar to our eyes. This is why I move ~ to connect, to remember; to connect to myself, and to connect to the Greater Self in the world all around, the light reflected in the waters of the cosmos. This is God. This is the only way really to understand our reason for being here. One doesn’t have to travel far to find these reminders. They are all around. Indeed, they are within all things.
In love, the oath and pattern of all Creation, we feel whole. We feel complete… because without Love we are incomplete. Without the Father we are like a branch, drifting from the Tree of Life, upon a torrent of chaotic waters, heading for a wide and all-consuming sea. We need our roots; we need the Gardener.
I knew nothing really about this land when I arrived, about its customs or people. The very feeling excited me beyond belief! Nobody knew who I was… nobody had an expectation of me. It was a true freedom, perhaps the first time I ever truly tasted it. I was able to lose myself, to sink into the intoxicating treacle of a foreign way of life. I do not like to judge. To judge another is to ultimately judge yourself. Many people tell me of difficult times they encountered in India. I didn’t have any such problems or bumps in the path. Except one, perhaps… my time there was too short.
“There is no hand to catch time.” – Indian Proverb.
Ultimately, I believe what you reflect to others will be reflected back onto you. If you look into the eyes of another, not as man and woman, or as child and adult, nor as a stranger or even friend, just simply and truly, you will see only one thing ~ yourself. The truth of what you really are. If you are paranoid, focussing on the dangers, the assaults, the pains, you will see just that, you will find that, and surely it will find you! If you chose to see the best in people, and only the best of the people, the best of them will come to you. Greed will find the greedy. The anxious will become anxious about all things. Fear only breeds more fear. Those is stillness, understanding, and love, will find only that. You will look into the eyes of a stranger, and see you are made of the very same thing, that ultimately you desire and strive for the very same thing… the One thing. We are all made this way in fact, but many of us forget it… However, if you look deep enough, not with just your mind, but with the eyes of the soul illuminated and wide open, you will see the same Truth reflected in all people… in every inch of Creation… the same story. The same Great Love.
For now you are no longer looking at India; you are looking at God Himself.
“A smile you sent, will always return.” – Indian Proverb
One day, I think people will look back and remember a lot of little things I said. I don’t shout. I don’t need to convince people, talk the talk or make a scene. I can do all that when I need to. But really I am just a simple man, a witness, nothing more; just a student. I realise I know nothing of the Greater Things, only a few simple things. I can represent only what I have seen, felt, breathed and lived in my body and soul. I’ve seen more than most, perhaps. I am real. I laugh a lot, you can see it when I smile, I have a lot of laughter lines for a 20-something year old. I cry when I am sad, I dance and sing when I am happy. I hug a lot, never liked shaking hands. I love deeply. Too deeply perhaps. Which is why I am better single, wandering and giving all my love to all I encounter, those whose hearts are also open wide. I walk barefoot as often as I can, even when I’m not really supposed to (like, yeah, try to get a mask on me when I’m not even wearing shoes in your shop!). I open my arms to the wind, and exist, on the edges, where the burden of love hurts the most, but it’s such a wonderful treasured life. I know, in my soul, we are in danger now. We have been for a while. But it is okay. Those living with eyes wide open will see the sky. Others will only shovel earth, looking for stars.
Thank you, Father, for this life.
I am grateful for all I have, all I have endured, all that has been given to me. It is not much really. Yet it is worth so so much… and one day, it will all be completely gone. And I am happy with that. I know there is only love, ultimately. We are made to love. That is all that will endure. I will live that. I will die that. And I will not compromise.
I Love You.
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My dear reader, I treasure so much this connection, and this platform. I hope, as always, it inspires your own journeys in life. My dream has always been to create ways to connect with all people, of all kinds, and share my experiences of the world, of faith, art and philosophy. It is a very special thing to me to have so many friends following my story, all around the world.
James Dee Clayton.
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More from Love Letter To India Series ~
“It is true of the most beautiful flowers ~ in a flash of power and life, they rise up from the ground, burst open their silky petals, releasing an intoxicating miracle pollen into the skies for the admiration of bird, bee and man. The epitome of vibrancy, of vivacity, and of ephemeral beauty. Then, one by one their petals fall, back down to the ground; their stems wither and snap in the wind: a perfect marriage between progress and decay. Once again their magic is gone, sinking down into the earth, stirring root and worm. But some of the rarest flowers are denied such a temporal existence. They are plucked in their prime, firmly pressed between sheets of glass, or a decent book, pinned down and forever frozen to time and nature. A beauty immortalised and held…” – from Love Letter to India #1 (click to read)
“I record these things in this way so that people may look back and remember the things I said and did. Not that I am special! I am just a wretch when you really see the truth of things. I have been blessed with a life that I could never be worthy of. And that is why I share it. So that people can see. So that anyone who seeks answers here, even just one person, will see that everything I have done or shared has one ultimate theme. Once you live in love, once you embrace and go into the world open-armed, ready to give yourself to all people you encounter without judgement or fear, then loves comes to you, love finds you in all places. Love, always, finds the beloved.” – from Love Letter to India #2 (click to read)
Thank you very much… Jx
“The folk I encountered were not so guarded by the thick veils and illusions that usually withhold us from embracing our reality. The air was lighter, less tense, more open. The focus was not on the pains of birth, but on the joy of infancy. Here, death was never far away; the perishable life wasn’t so hidden…”
This is written so beautifully. I lived in Bangladesh myself for two years, and I could never put it quite into words but you have nailed it… It’s a completely different world and people are so warm there! I think every westerner should visit India, or any of those neighbour countries at least once in lifetime to open up their mind and soul.
Thank you for those beautiful heartfelt posts! 🙂
I am so honoured ! Couldn’t agree more. Jx
Hello! Happy New Year! I wanted to thank you for following my blog! I’m a new blogger and still trying to figure it out! I posted a poll on my page! If you could please put your input in that would be amazing!
Life on earth is temporary. Praying that many will realise that and accept the Lord Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior before leaving planet earth!
I really like your quote: “In love, the oath and pattern of all Creation, we feel whole. We feel complete… because without Love we are incomplete. Without the Father we are like a branch, drifting from the Tree of Life, upon a torrent of chaotic waters, heading for a wide and all-consuming sea. We need our roots; we need the Gardener.”
Isn’t the Father’s unconditional love amazing? Unconditional! Can we replicate that?
Always a special treat seeing your wonderful photos. Blessings, Elfriede
Thank you dear Elfriede and amen ! I pray all people will find the whole Truth of existence and can personally experience Jesus the Christ, who has saved my life so many times. It is not only ‘life-deepening’ but as you say (my firm belief) vital to our eternity hereafter. I am in Tanzania now and the faith story is very different here. People are very kind and very aware of the outward motions of faith. In India I found (in my limited experience) people to be very conscious of the inner workings of a faith life. I believe I met many souls truly striving for a deep and real relationship with God. I think many Indians would make better Christians than many people claiming to be Christian in our times! I am sure you understand what I mean. And I am sure God has His plan to gather His true disciples ! So wonderful to hear from you, and I am glad some of the words reached out to you. The particular part you quoted really came from my heart so I am honoured you recognised it. God bless you my friend ! In love, in Christ. James x
Love is the essence of life!!!💗ভালোবাসা ।
Thank you ! Love to you ! Jx
Love seeing India through your perspective! Such a beautiful journey that you have experienced. You are truly blessed.
Thank you my friend ! I feel truly blessed. Really and truly… I have a lot to cherish and be thankful for… Jx
Wow! This is beautiful. Thank you for sharing the beauty of my country. 💕🤗
Thank you so much dear soul… !
Your photography is incredible, especially combined with the travels you have embarked upon. I enjoy the way you have laid out your blog and find enjoyment and hope, reading your prose.
“I find fuel in the natural world, and in people. The eyes and lives of our neighbours… they reflect many things. The simple things, I find, mirror the Greater Ones. Sometimes it is hard to be fully aware of all the little things around us, these reminders of the constantly-moving and ever-growing seed of life… especially when we are in our own place, our own nest. It is much easier to notice these things in surroundings that are unfamiliar to our eyes.”
This section struck a chord with me, as I believe you explained very well why many people love to travel and explore so much. It is to create a greater appreciation for this gorgeous planet of ours, and to continue learning.
Thank you Ellie, for your kind and deeply-reaching response. It means so very much to me to connect with people like you. It is the reason I make effort to create moments worthy of sharing… I pray we can all travel again, in our own ways, and connect with the world within and without…
God bless you. Peace. Jx
I greatly value the opportunity to see the world through your eyes, imagery, and photos and videos. But I found one troubling discordant note in this essay. Perhaps I misunderstood, but it appeared that you were shunning a mask in a country with a major Covid-19 crisis. I hope that wasn’t the case. It seems quite out of character.
Thank you Annie. This is part 3. Writing is contemporary, photos are from my travels in India back in 2015.
Once again, your capturing writing has touched my soul and has given me a greater love for a country I long to visit one day. Thank you for the amazing photos that were like pebbles taking me on a path of discovery to the very heart of India! If you have never seen the movie ‘Outsourced’ I can strongly recommend it for an added joy of the country…
Thank you so much my friend! I feel truly blessed to know this reached into your heart and connected you with a country far different from your own, and my own. What a wonderful thing! I sincerely pray you make it to India one day. It is so completely diverse I defy anyone to not find a piece of their soul somewhere there… God bless you my friend. Jx
Dear James, I truly enjoy reading your posts. Well not just reading, it’s more of understanding and feeling what you are describing in the most beautiful words and I can feel that they truly come from your humbled and pure heart and soul. May your beautiful soul always be blessed. And thank you for sharing your path of life and experience with us.
Cornelia, I am so honoured by this comment. I can only say how grateful I am to have lived these things and that I have the chance to share with the world some of what has touched my soul. I am honoured and I thank you. Peace be with you my dear one!
Thank you James for your wonderful reply. Stay blessed with inner peace.
Thank you for sharing another beautiful reflection. Hope and prayers for all our fellow travelers.
It is my absolute pleasure and an honour for my soul… Thank you for connecting. Amen to your prayers. Hope is a very fine thing. Prayer is a powerful one… Love Jx
Hi James, I must say I’ve read a lot of spiritual writings on this computer, but found they only talk the talk but never walk the walk. You my friend are truly a spiritual person. Anyway I’m including one of my writings and hope it is as uplifting to you as your writing has been for me. https://www.dropbox.com/s/h6lc396yu38lm4r/seed%20of%20god.rtf?dl=0
Thank you so much my dear! What an honourable thing to say… I am touched. Bless you. I will read! Love Jx
I have experienced some of the same excitement and love of culture! Beautifully written. Continue to embrace the journey and life path ❤️
Thank you Erika! I will always do my best to live truly and fully… It is my Oath. Peace to you my friend ! and love…always… Jx
So beautifully explained. Simplicity is so beautiful and devine. Amazing pictures.
Thank you dear one! So happy to read your comments. Means a lot to me…. Love Jx
My Sincere Pleasure 💗.
Kuddos to you, As an Indain felt very proud after reading your writing.. well-penned
Thank you so much! Means a lot !
Thankyou for sharing this. You have brought the beauty to the simplicity of Indian life style. I am a Indian and reading this made me admire my culture more. Looked the amazing pics. Have a great day.
Thank you so much! I am very honoured by this. God bless you.
Beautiful. I so relate to it
Thank you. I thought you would… 🙂