I wanted to tell all of my readers that I will be away for 2 weeks. My oldest grandson is graduating and I am going to watch all of them while my daughter finishes her work for the year. I will try to blog while I am away but I will be busy. I wish you all a wonderful Memorial Day.I will be looking forward to reconnecting with my WordPress family.
Today, spring has moved into the neighborhood and I have spent so much time today enjoying it. I went to Yoga class and when we go out I wanted to drive west itl I got to the Pacific Ocean. It isn’t what I did though. It is like a perfect day here and so I wanted to give a little of my day to you who share my writing life. There is much grilling happening and I won’t torment to with that but it does smell wonderful.
Off to eat whatever my sister cooked for dinner. Don’t worry we take turns!!
I will be sixtythree in less than a month. Age, the subject no one really wants to talk about but we do. We wouldn’t want anyone to imagine that we are worried about our age. From the teens years on I usually hung out with those younger. This wasn’t a conscious choice, but it was one on a subtle level .The sixties and seventies, were for me, filled with protests, loud rock and roll and many things I had no control over.
I thought I would live to be 25. My goal was to have fun and make a difference in the world And I read and read and danced and read and listened to people when they talked. I tried to put it all together because I hadn’t found a “how-to” book for those wonderful, confusing and freedom making years.
As a young woman, I protested, I help to start a Domestic Violence shelter, I became a psych nurse, I learned to laugh until I couldn’t stand and to cry as if my heart were broken in two. I was on the board of directors for many non-profits and helped to start, “The Women’s Roundtable.” It was a networking group for business and professional women. I hiked in the Alleghanies and danced naked on top of a mountain.
I learned about the world and formed a strong dislike, nay horror of hypocrisy and injustice. I actually went through 3 major careers and learned which people brought good energy with them and who didn’t. Music was the tapestry of my life. I dated many musicians. They are still my favorite people. Never boring and filled with the same creative juices that I am filled with.
Middle aged woman trying photography
I feel I have lived a full life and have plans for more adventures and new experiences. These middle years have seen me change. I am still an idealistic rebel but when I retired for health reasons, I began to write and paint and dream. I am happy despite the fact younger people don’t want to hang out with me as much as before. I never expected to live this long but since I have this part of my life must mean more that the other parts together.I started winning awards in my young adult years. The one I am most proud of is “The Marquis Book Whose Who of American Women.” I won that in the late nineties.
I don’t have a “bucket list.” I never used to plan. I lived in each moment. Now that I am teetering into old age, I have decided to continue to embrace life, to love everyone as much as I possible can, to talk to teens and young moms. I don’t have a feeling anymore of when I will die, but I intend to go after living and loving fully. I will go out with a bang of color and noise. Wear purple ladies, do all the things your kids would frown on, laugh until you cry, may your final act on this planet be a kindness.
It is the middle of the night and I awoke thinking about the horror and devastation of today. My heart is breaking over the continued violence. Then as I was sitting, I heard a small sound in the quiet of the night, the black black night. I knew it to be the sound of angel wings moving as the angels moved to provide love, comfort and strength to all those involved.
My heart felt uplifted and I knew that here is hope, love, compassion and kindness in this world. Each of us are a symbol of them.
Today, our President gave a medal to Chaplin Kapaun, posthumously. This man was a hero in my eyes. He gallantly saved lives and kept up the spirits of the men who were captured. He gave them hope and reinforced their faiths. He really irritated their Korean captors who had the odious job of breaking the American men.
A decision was made to put him in a death block. It was a black, windowless square building where there was no plumbing, food or fluids. As the guards took him away, he blessed and forgave them, thus providing inspiration and hope for the captors and the captees.
Some of the soldiers he served with are still alive and were at the ceremony today at the White House. Each one is a brave and courageous man by the fact that they survived.
Heroes like Chaplain Kapaun do exist and are sorely needed in our world filled with pain, anger, hatred, judgement, and the urge to hurt others. This is the perfect time to remember that our society needs women and men to look up to. We need men and women to step up and speak out. Role models, mentors, and heroes will help to change our world. Their job would be to inspire, support, work hard and be educated; or as educated as each of us can be. We need to teach what we preach and we need to teach people how to think – not what to think, but how to think for themselves. It is important to think for ourselves and not to accept every bit of information that is fed to us.
We each need to do some soul searching. Are we doing enough? Should be doing more? I think I just might do more myself after my ankle heals.
The Romans had a ritual of lifting nieces and nephews to the rising sun. This image bonded the sisters into the circle of family. These women shared in the fruitfulness of their sisters’ lives and symbolically took responsibility for all the children of the community.
Today, we are not bonded in our communities. There is freedom that few experienced in earlier times. But the price is the loneliness that comes from severed connections. We have lost the responsibility for ourselves and the other people around us.
“This is the day when dawn
receives our saffron cakes
in her sacred temple.
This is the day which honors
the bond between sisters
and the freedom of all women.
There is no slavery today at the threshold of the temple. Today all women
are joined in the joys of motherhood:
for we hold up, not our own, but our sisters’ children to the sun.” –Ovid, Fasti
All Photographs copyrighted by Barbara Mattio 2013
The days of our lives are filled with many things. They can be filled with hard work, illness, anxiety, passion, protesting, child care, doing laundry and a million other things which are not exciting. Life can make us very numb where we just go through the motions. We can look but not see what is right in front of us.
There are days where getting out of your comfort zone is rough. Some days it is easier to over look the song of the bird or the honk of a goose. Some days you don’t hear the music, it swirls around you without being able to get near your heart or soul.
Some days life feels right as soon as we open our eyes. The air smells sweet, you can hear a robin looking for materials to build his nest, you can hear your favorite music in your head and it lifes your heart. You can do a little dance as you make breakfast. A smile graces your face all day and you in turn, can share it with everyone. In short, these types of days show our celebration of life.
Celebrating life comes in sections .One section is praise for the blessing in your life. Those things that could be material or simply the note you received from an old friend. Praise is easy on the good days. It will flow out and around you as it gently floats upward toward the heavens. Praise on the hard days, when sickness, problems, uncertainity plague you, make praise be something you need to work at. It is just as important on these days and probably more appreciated by The One.
The other section is gratitude. This is not the same. The gratitude raises up out of your soul and engulfs you as you take every breath of air and as you take each step. Gratitude is the ability and intention of seeing every little gift given to you. It is the ability to recognize that you are surrounded by tiny miracles and they make you feel so loved and cherished by the Divinity in life.
When you put gratitude and praise together, you find the ultimate goal. You find yourself celebrating life. Celebrating life takes the weaving together of gratitude and praise to create an emotional quilt to wrap around yourself. So try each day to find a way to be in touch with your innerself and celebrate life as often as you can. Life, here on this plane, won’t last forever. There will be a day when we move on to the next plane of existence. We go forward experiencing the cycle of life. So today, try to really see and hear your world, dance a few steps, and sing your favorite song, even if it is off tune. Celebrate! Celebrate and see what comes back to you. Blessings to all, Barbara