Monday, 29 April 2019

Rest in Peace by Ruth Bonetti

What a month! Many poignant emotions touched our hearts as Easter terrorism shattered once safe havens of worship, followed by ANZAC remembrances.

What a long first term! After 10 weeks, we craved rest! What better than a seven-night cruise from our nearby port?

My husband is wary of waves and crowds. But stabilisers and ginger tablets curbed queasiness. Moi? I have Scandi blood and welcome waves. We so enjoyed our first cruise that we booked a 4-nighter to the Whitsunday Islands in July. (Hey like-minded friends, do join us.)

As many grieve lost relationships, no one can be complacent. Like other couples, we weathered occasional turbulence. We're grateful for being sustained through those valleys. And give credit where it's due.


A few weeks before our wedding, my grandfather wrote us memories of his 1908 marriage to Christina. His letter described how he surprised his bride with the gift of a piano—her family were musical—and he’d phoned to engage a teacher. They knelt at the bedside and asked God to protect and guide and bless them through their lives.

"And we certainly asked for some material blessings that in the eyes of the Lord were very small and he blessed us with very much more than ever we contemplated or asked for. If you take God into your partnership I am sure it will be even better than what you anticipate."

Grandad presided amongst his prolific family, said grace before our smorgasbord. He died two weeks after our wedding. Out of range on our honeymoon, we missed the funeral.

[Excerpt from Burn My Letters]

Term 2 is busy playing performances of the musical, Strictly Ballroom and Mendelssohn's Oratorio Elijah with Brisbane Symphony Orchestra at St John's Cathedral and Caloundra. When do I find time to write, you ask. So do I. Can I submit a short story end of April? Write 9000 words on NaNoWriMo? Just two days. If not, some gentle goals are preferable to none. And in rehearsals I note how composers paint emotions, scenes and characters in music, as writers do with words. How dialogue carries action forward. 

Elijah's prayers for rain were answered; the drought broke. Pagan false prophets of Baal were executed. Then he crashed from his Mount Carmel pinnacle into burn-out, anti-climax and depression. When vengeful Queen Jezebel threatened to kill him, Elijah fled to the desert, huddled under a tree and wished to die. He needed rest. Angels provided food and drink. Then came the gentle whisper of the Lord's direction.

Enjoy the Aria "O rest in the Lord" as sung by Kathleen Ferrier.

Feeling rushed, frazzled, overwhelmed? Tick.
This resonates with me:

"...We become slaves to our to-do lists and become doers instead of be-ers. We give ourselves little or no time to feel, to more fully experience much of our lives.We forget that the essence to feel is the very essence of our vitality...When we're operating on the proverbial fast track, our brains will only do what which they have already done before...There is no room for the new...Slow is how we discover what it is to feel and be vital and alive, to fully participate in the dance of life.
                             [Anat Baniel, Move into Life, pp. 135-6.]

                                                         Slow down. Rest. Refresh.

RUTH BONETTI will share self-publishing panel tips at Toowoomba Omega Writers Retreat June 7–9. This year she has been invited to judge the Lutheran Education Young Stories of Life.

Burn My Letters won the CALEB Nonfiction prize in 2017. Midnight Sun to Southern Cross is Ruth Bonetti’s second book in her historical biography/memoir saga of local stories. In the tradition of great family migration stories, it continues the saga of the Back brothers’ flight from Russian-occupied Finland to Australia as the nineteenth century turned into the twentieth.
Available: Amazon, Bookdepository etc. Autographed copies from and Ruth’s blog is

Earlier books are in her primary field of performance–of words and music–and education. Ruth founded Omega Writers in 1992.


  1. Hi Ruth, yes, Elijah's weary mind frame resonates with me too. Your message is spot on in our day and age. I appreciate how your cameos from the past and present confirm that message. Life passes in a flash, so we might as well enjoy it with plenty of reflection as we go. Your cruise sounds great.

    1. Thanks, Paula, and may we all find ways to rest, breathe, appreciate beauty. Yesterday, my "day of rest" involved a two-hour drive, five-hour rehearsal then polishing this blog to publish. Wry smile. But we did manage a movie on the couch after.

  2. "When we're operating on the proverbial fast track ...There is no room for the new...Slow is how we discover" I found this thought so very encouraging, Ruth, as I've felt very 'slow' in terms of progress of late. However I have so much that is new to learn which is slowing my progress ... after reading your post, I don't feel so negative about that anymore. :) "To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven" (Ecclesiastes 3:1 KJV).

    1. Glad that helped and encouraged, Mazzy. It seems many are challenged similarly, not just me, hmm?

  3. Hi Ruth - love the photos both old and new, and the vingettes. It can be such a balance between doing and being and each season has its own rhthym. What a blessing to have a letter from your Grandad. So much your post to ponder on. Thanks.

    1. Thanks, Jenny. And yes, to have a personal letter from Grandad means so much to me. He wrote prolific business screeds carbon copied around the family, but this was personal and deeply reflective. I felt it set me off on a quest.

  4. I fight slow sometimes because it goes against my agenda but it is the place of powerful renewal. Thank you for your post. Snippets can have a lot of power. God bless.

    1. Yes, I can relate to that. An alternate health practitioner commented years ago that I function on high gear and resist going down to low gear. This was reinforced recently by Feldenkreis sessions. Renewal is such a heartening word!