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  • helen brain - A Ring of Tales
    sort of intimate like meeting up with an old lover On page 1 I found a story I thought I d lost forever Alison Uttley s The Spice Woman s Basket It s perfect Romantic gentle affirming beautifully described and deeply evocative It had as strong an effect on me now over 40 years later as it did when I read it over and over as a child It made

    Original URL path: http://helenbrain.co.za/blog_view.php?id=613 (2016-04-24)
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  • helen brain - Charity shopping
    but have decided that it doesn t help anyone if I give handouts This man wasn t after cigarettes He was muttering to himself and I began to listen He was repeating prophesies from revelation about the end times Then the little boy went back to the bookshelf to change his book and he was struggling to get it into the shelf The tall man leaned over and held the books out of the way The child had no anxiety about him he was entirely trusting He took another book and sat down to look at the pictures The man began to mutter again Blessed are the little ones he said To them belongs the kingdom of heaven Let no harm come to a hair of their heads They will be protected And somehow the innocence of the child and the vulnerability of the tall man touched me and my eyes filled with tears He seemed to have a vision of life as a safe better place than it is My common sense tried to persuade me that he could be any number of bad things a paedophile a psychopath a paranoid schizophrenic But his words resonated with me The

    Original URL path: http://helenbrain.co.za/blog_view.php?id=612 (2016-04-24)
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  • helen brain - Talia's story
    t be a ballerina or a real princess because she wears glasses One day a dragon lands on the castle roof and refuses to leave The king and queen offer it treasure but it won t budge When the head of the army sends a battalion onto the roof to chase it away it burns a hole in the turret and they retreat Now the turret room just happens to be princess Talia s room and the dragon pokes his head through the hole and asks her why she wears those things on her face She explains that she s shortsighted and the dragon tells her he is too and that s why he won t leave the roof He s scared So she gets the royal optometrist to make a dragon size pair of glasses and the dragon flies off and returns with gold for everyone in the kingdom She is the hero and when she goes to ballet the next week all the little girls are wearing glasses because its the newest fashion So I sent it off to my publisher and she loved it It s going to be a picturebook and I m hoping my very

    Original URL path: http://helenbrain.co.za/blog_view.php?id=611 (2016-04-24)
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  • helen brain - being happy
    employees We ve never had any reason to suspect that they would steal anything But mostly I felt disturbed by how uncharacteristic it was of Luke to accuse anyone unjustly He would always err on the generous side I realised again how the chemo drugs and the pain meds caused a personality change in him It s very sad to lose someone to cancer because its a long goodbye You

    Original URL path: http://helenbrain.co.za/blog_view.php?id=609 (2016-04-24)
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  • helen brain - Read the book
    because they NEVER wear spectacles Her mother wants to read her a story about a shortsighted princess I m thinking that they get stuck somewhere and don t have any matches and her father lights a fire by reflecting the sun off her glasses Any other ideas gratefully received Next blog entry Comments Marilyn on 11 October 11 Dear Helen I believe that Talia would love my idea I was the girl with the thick glasses who was not the prettiest flower in the bunch I would have loved to hear the story about the girl with glasses becoming a gorgeous dancing fairy wearing a glitteringly beautiful mask covering her glasses Because she danced so gracefully her ballet teacher made her the most important fairy in the year end concert Mommy and Daddy were so proud of her and the audience clapped and clapped when she took her bow Grace on 08 October 11 Miss your inspirational writings on the blog Helen Spectacular Spectacles should be about all the great and wonderful things that are only revealed to the little princess ballerina through her glasses Natasja on 29 September 11 Can her glasses give her special powers It allows her

    Original URL path: http://helenbrain.co.za/blog_view.php?id=608 (2016-04-24)
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  • helen brain - Part Three 1
    and make sense of it all Next blog entry Comments mary on 29 August 11 it must be too hard to do this because in a sense it is wrapping up this whole part of your life and thus making it the End of that phase of your life and letting it go like a balloon in the sky Caroline on 26 August 11 Just in time I m off

    Original URL path: http://helenbrain.co.za/blog_view.php?id=607 (2016-04-24)
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  • helen brain - God and Love 86
    ministry He nurtured the parishioners and I supported him behind the scenes Our system worked well while the struggle existed Our interpersonal tensions could be brushed aside in the much larger goal of ending apartheid and protecting our parishioners from injustice Luke fought for land claims he remonstrated with the school when it acted thoughtlessly towards pupils of colour he championed parishioners who had been ill treated or given second class treatment by authorities He was fearless and tireless He worked incredibly hard the six and a half years we lived in Laaiplek But there was a sense of mutual purpose of getting somewhere which was hugely energising After the first democratic elections in 1994 things changed We had a new baby and once the excitement of the new democracy and constitution had worn off his tension grew Many clergy found themselves in the same position People who had dedicated decades to the struggle now had to go back to work without the sense of comradeship that a mutual enemy provided They had to find a new theology and renewed energy for running a boring every day parish with no marches no protests no stirring orations It was all over Luke found it particularly difficult to adjust He loved the parishioners loved living in the country But he was bored He had no outlet for his intellectual gifts and he became increasingly frustrated as he was overlooked for positions in the church that could have used his scholarship It was shocking that the hierarchy left him in a rural parish where most of the parishioners had not finished high school with no use for his MA from Oxford and his PhD I d begun to teach myself to write and for the first time could envisage a career and a

    Original URL path: http://helenbrain.co.za/blog_view.php?id=604 (2016-04-24)
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  • helen brain - God and Love 85
    family I was hungry for comradeship and when I was at University the Pentecostal experience filled it Luke on the other hand didn t feel a longing for the same sort of companionship and affirmation Perhaps this was more to do with our personalities mine so feeling his so cerebral He loved Oxford precisely because it was so cerebral He flourished under the discipline of a rigorous intellectual study of theology But I became neurotic and intense I couldn t find a spiritual home I didn t like the evangelical college and I felt excluded from the community many of whom were critical of us as white South Africans during apartheid I didn t seem to have any commonality with them There were exceptions of course but I desperately missed the sense of family I had experienced at UCT Living in Oxford with too much time on my hands and no one to talk to during the day my fear of the devil and evil returned I tried a yoga class but when the teacher instructed us to lie on the floor and to do a simple relaxation meditation I asked for my money back on the grounds that what is not for Jesus must be against him Luke thought I was being ridiculous and he gently admonished me But he was too non aggressive to push me to think about the theological implications of my actions Perhaps he thought I might have a breakdown I was certainly pretty close to one those first couple of months in Oxford I prided myself then on being a theological peasant I didn t want to think about faith I wanted to believe everything I read in the Bible I wanted a strict set of rules an achievable aim of a growing relationship

    Original URL path: http://helenbrain.co.za/blog_view.php?id=603 (2016-04-24)
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