Archive for the ‘love’ Category

What Witches Know

June 6, 2009

Photo and Story © 2009 http://www.psychscribe.com

 

wintertresmm

 

 

WHAT WITCHES KNOW 

by

Psychscribe

 

     My grandmother, just before they burned her, said this to my mother: the only difference between them and us is they don’t know they have it.  She gestured with her chin at  the bonneted, jostling women, who far out numbered the men in the seething crowd around the stake. Her own unbound hair snapped in the wind as they lit her.

     Afterwards my mother fled to this secret, wooded place that welcomes our kind.  The curse they call a power spills like gentle sunlight upon the bears  and other wild things that feed from our hands. The beasts of the forest are kin to us.

     I had no father.  She grew me, all on her own she liked to say. I never asked her for the truth.  I knew he’d met the same terrible fate as all the others, the ones who came after. 

     We never knew how they found her here.  They would just appear between the trees, squinting and searching, as if sucked from the great open spaces by a hungry wind.  Raking her fingers through that thick, viney hair, she would sigh so deeply you could feel the cottage tremble.  I trembled too.  For them and for her.  Go away, she would whisper.  Not again, I would pray. 

     The gods did not answer. The men did not hear.

     She tried to warn them.  I’ll hurt you, she’d cry.  Leave while you can.  They never believed her.  Princes and farmers, hunters and noblemen, even the friar thought he could save her.  They never said from what.

     Save yourself! she would shriek.  They only chased her more.

     She looked safe enough. Layers of violet gauze robes hung from a tall, fragile frame, concealing tiny breasts and skin so pale it seemed as if she might vanish at any moment.  They must have thought they were chasing a fairy.  How could they know what she was?

     What they hunted, hell-bent, was their own annihilation.   They would forget to eat and drink, or wash, or even sleep, and laugh in delight when she called it to their attention.  See what you do to me, crooned the hunter to his prey.   See what you do. 

     And each would whisper his dream of wholeness and nothingness, the dream we’ve been hearing since time began, the one that sends them from their churches and wives’ beds and into our damnation.

     Did she love them?  Almost, always almost, she once said.  But as soon as I can smell the fear in them the feeling is replaced by something else, something I can’t name. 

     Sooner or later she would grow tired from the hunt.  How long can you run from water when your throat is parched?  But she never succumbed, not at once anyway.  Breathless and laughing, she would toss the suitor her robes and the promise of tomorrow, disappearing into the cottage and bolting the door.

     Witch! they would shout at her naked, fleeing form, angry yet smiling in a way I did not understand.  Burn her! Burn her! the wives left behind cried out in their dreams. 

     In the morning, still naked, she would unbolt the door and open it wide, her dark hair coiling and writhing, lifting toward the sun.  I could feel her heat from where I lay in my small bed.  She would not close her eyes when she made what they called love . They liked that at first ( ah… spirit! ) arched triumphantly over her like bows and staring into the depths of what they fancied to be their souls.  They always got to the point, of course, where they needed to close their eyes on what they saw. But by then it was too late.

 

     We keep a little piece of them.  Not because we are evil but because it is our nature.  What we take are their shadows, their dark, howling secrets.  If you’ve ever seen a squirrel skinned alive then you know what it is like.   

     They live through it.  They go home to their wives, their hearths and their children.  But a man without his shadow is never sure he’s really there.  He looks at the ground and sees nothing beneath his feet.

 

     The witch hunts come cyclically, just like the seasons.  We know it is time long before we hear the pounding of hooves, the blood-thirsty cries.

     The man who led the hunt for my mother was probably the most enamored of all her lovers.  And the most tormented.  He brought his wife, a small, plain  woman with flat brown eyes.  She’d known, of course.  They always know.  He’d offered her first torch when they found the witch.

     There must have been forty men.  You could smell the lust in the air when they stripped her.  I sure would like a taste of this one before we cook her, one of them said as he grabbed at her breast.

     Don’t touch her! I’ll kill the lot of you! screamed my mother’s lover, aiming his musket at all of them. The wife paled at his outburst.  She swayed on her feet like a sapling in a winter wind. My mother reached out a hand to steady her.

     A look passed between witch and wife that can hardly be described.. It flickered brighter than the torchlight in the air between them, a fusion of forces human shaped and witch radiant, so brilliant, so strong, that the men had to turn their faces from it. 

     She passed her torch to my mother, then gently wrapped her cloak around my mother’s bare shoulders.  Piece by piece she flung the rest of her garments at the men, laughing and spinning herself into the frenzy that is older than time.

     The men dared not say a word.  The husband could not.

     Embracing the stake like a lover, she wrapped her naked arms and legs around it as my mother lit the pyre.  Not a hand was lifted to stop it. 

     Afterwards he carried my mother home, belly down on his horse.  He married her and got his shadow back.  It was said, for a time, that he’d never looked better.  My mother, of course, died the death the wife had chosen for her.  It was slow, and a terrible thing to see.  First they bound her hair, then they put bonnets on her, and in time when he looked into her eyes he saw nothing.  Nothing at all.

     A witch without her magic is like a man without his shadow: useless both of them, and damned anyway.

Advertisements

Personal Stories of Lupus

May 10, 2009

Its Mother’s Day here in the USA.  I’m a mother home very sick with a lupus complicated drug reaction.  Since this is Lupus Awareness Month, I hope to blog  something every day about lupus in order to increase awareness. If you want to help me, please share the info and links on your blogs. If you are a woman, or love someone who is, you really  need to know more about the effects of this devastating disease:

Personal Stories of Lupus

Psychscribe Quote #59

May 4, 2009

“When there’s nothing left to be said, are you still saying it?” Old 60’s quote from who knows where…

Relationships: True Intimacy

May 1, 2009

True intimacy is achieved when you feel safe enough to be emotionally naked with your partner.  You know your partner will not try to talk you out of your authentic feelings, will not say you’re “over-reacting”,  will not try to fix it, and will not ignore you. You know you will be supported and validated no matter what you’re feeling and sharing, verbally or otherwise.  You know you will receive empathy.This is love, pure and simple…

A Comforting Ancient Story

March 25, 2009

My dear friend SanityFound sent me this ancient story to comfort and fortify me about my upcoming visit to my dying uncle. It did indeed comfort me, and it resonated with truth. I hope it helps some other reader here:

In ancient times it was believed that when someone gets an illness, someone who doesn’t die suddenly, it is God giving those that passed on a chance to be with those who visit the the ones soon to pass.  In ancient times those who loved the one who was ill would visit them, staying a while at their bedside with their eyes closed, just breathing and feeling. They said it comforted them feeling those gone already surrounding their loved one.

 God brings the angels who know the one soon passing so that they do not fear, and to give comfort to those visiting.

The Life Cycle

March 23, 2009

Even as I celebrate my daughter’s pregnancy and my son’s imminent marriage, I got terrible news last night. My  favorite uncle, brother to the father I’ve been grieving on this blog, has pancreatic cancer. The very same cancer that took my father’s life. Lethal and fast moving. And, even though I wasn’t present when my father died, I now know it was a very painful death. A death my uncle witnessed.   I feel sick at heart over what he has in store for him. What he knows he has in store for him. I always imagine, no matter where my illness takes me, that the doctors would give me enough painkillers that there wouldn’t be much pain. Apparently that’s not always the case.

This is the uncle who taught me to ice skate with my  beloved twin cousins, Lenny and Joe, both already dead before their time.. He took us on wild sledding rides, the three of us screeching in terrified glee.  He taught us  to dive into our pool head first, hands properly pointed above our heads. To make a game of raking autumn  leaves and watching him set fire to them…then toasting marshmallows, carefully, his hand on our wrists to be sure we were safe. He taught the twins, already raucous,  to make practical jokes at my expense. He was the one who made noise on the roof for Santa on Christmas Eve, complete with bells for sound effects. Who truly enjoyed the company of us three little rug rats. And most importantly, who took us off the hands of our stressed out parents and provided a safety haven whenever we needed it most. 

I want to run to him and see him, its been years. I will go with my aunt, his sister,when she is over the shock and ready to plan our flight. I confess I am terrified.  It already feels so like what we went through with my father. I want to be strong and supportive but I’m afraid the similarities will curl me into a useless emotional fetal position..I keep telling myself that he’s not my father. He’s my uncle. I keep telling myself that he is 75. My father was 53.  I tell myself that we all have to die of something. As he has said, he’s had a good run.

It doesn’t help.  It doesn’t help at all. My roots are dying one by one, as nature intended. Thank God a new one is sprouting in my daughter’s womb.

Baby V

March 19, 2009

(12 week sonogram found on youtube- NOT OUR BABY!)

I cannot even begin to describe what an experience it was to see the baby on the sonogram. I stood next to my son-in-law, my daughter of course on the examining table, holding her husband’s hand, as we watched in awe. That was no flat, lifeless screen as shown in the photo on my previous post. It was like an in utero video. At twelve weeks  he was moving around, very active, and even sucking his thumb! There we were, three adults, dumbstruck.  “Oh wow!” was pretty much the extent of the conversation from all three of us while the tech did her thing. My daughter’s “oh how cute!!!!!” periodically punctuated the conversation. She, as we all did, really melted when we saw the thumb sucking. That and our repeated question “is it a boy or a girl????”   The tech kept demurring that she couldn’t be certain at twelve weeks, but finally, having found the penis, she announced “Its a boy!”

We all exclaimed in joy! My daughter was no longer carrying an “it” but a male baby. From the moment I heard it, I no longer felt merely the excitement of the pregnancy. Now he had an identity.  I felt love for him . For that tiny little guy so active inside his mom. For  Baby V, already named before his mom even got pregnant.

At twelve weeks, this baby was no future unknown. This baby was now.

And I feel so very honored that they invited me to participate in this intimate, joyous stage of their journey.  I love all three of them with all my heart.

My Future Grandchild

March 17, 2009

(An Embryo at 12 weeks- not ours)

I am so excited. I’m going with my daughter and son-in-law for the 12 week sonogram tonight. What a way to meet my grandchild! I don’t remember them back in my day… Apparently this tech has a 100% success rate reading these things for gender, but of course the 20 week one will be definitive.   I have many deep thoughts about this baby’s soon to be arrival into our family, but that will be another post for another time.  Just had to share the present thrill.  Even my own Drama Mama (thanks for that one, Amber!) is excited. She will be a great grandma, and we even have a great great grandma waiting in the wings.  More tomorrow, friends.

Psychscribe Quote # 56

March 10, 2009

For my friend VanessaLeigh, who organized a vigil acknowledging the eve of the beginning of testimony regarding Prop 8 in California:

“Moral cowardice that keeps us from speaking our minds is as dangerous to this country as irresponsible talk. The right way is not always the popular and easy way. Standing for right when it is unpopular is a true test of moral character.”  Margaret Chase Smith

We’re Pregnant!

February 9, 2009

Ok, I know its customary for the mom and dad these days to say “we’re pregnant”, but I just have to tell you that my daughter is pregnant with my first grandchild, and it sure feels like WE’RE pregnant..(.actually just like her wedding felt like “our wedding”.)  We are just so close. She wants me in the delivery room and everything. I am just so honored about that. And even more honored that her husband wants me there.

No, he really does.

 She just got back from the doctor’s. We knew it of course from the home pregnancy test and other obvious signs, but it was nice to have him confirm that she’s healthy and they got to hear the heartbeat. She’s two months, due September 25th. 

Woohoowoohoowoohoo!!!!!!  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

She thinks she already looks pregnant, especially in her stomach. I don’t want to rain on her parade, she’s so excited, but truthfully, shhhh…here is what she still looks like:

If I Had My Life to Live Over

February 7, 2009

 

This is a well known column by Erma Bombeck, a very popular writer who was syndicated back in the days before the internet and died in 1996.. (Yes children, there once was a world without it when people couldn’t live without their paper newspapers!) 

Anyway, I thought I’d post it for anyone in younger generations, or other countries, who missed it. Its quite wonderful, I think. Hope you will too. Its called “If I Had My Life to Live Over”.  She writes:

I would have talked less and listened more.

I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained and the sofa faded.

I would have eaten the popcorn in the ‘good’ living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace.

I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth.

I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day because my hair had just been teased and sprayed.

I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage.

I would have sat on the lawn with my children and not worried about grass stains.

I would have cried and laughed less while watching television – and more while watching life.

I would have shared more of the responsibility carried by my husband.

I would have gone to bed when I was sick instead of pretending the earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren’t there for the day.

I would never have bought anything just because it was practical, wouldn’t show soil or was guaranteed to last a lifetime.

Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy, I’d have cherished every moment and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was the only chance in life to assist God in a miracle.

When my kids kissed me impetuously, I would never have said, “Later. Now go get washed up for dinner.”

There would have been more “I love yous”..  more “I’m sorrys”…  but mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute…look at it and really see it…live it…and never give it back.

by Erma Bombeck 

About Erma from Wikipedia: “Erma Louise Bombeck (February 211927 – April 221996), born Erma Fiste, was an Americanhumorist who achieved great popularity for hernewspaper column that described suburban home life humorously from the mid-1960s until the late ’90s. Bombeck also published 15 books, most of which became best-sellers.

From 1965 to 1996, Erma Bombeck wrote over 4,000 newspaper columns chronicling the ordinary life of a midwestern suburban housewife with broad, and sometimes eloquent, humor. By the 1970s, her witty columns were read, twice weekly, by thirty million readers of 900 newspapers of theU.S. and Canada.”

To My Everlasting Shame

February 6, 2009

I did not stay at my father’s bedside, to be with  him until he passed. There he was, right upstairs in the bedroom, while I hid like a coward downstairs and out of sight. We knew it would be that night. The doctors had called the family in and said so. 

All his brothers and sisters, the aunts and uncles I grew up with,  had been pretty much staying at my parents’ house for those last weeks.  The pasta pots were always boiling. They brought Italian bread and provolone cheese and sweet salami with big green olives. Most importantly,  they brought the black humor which is our family trademark , especially during our darkest hours.  It sustained us and carried us.

And yet, there was an age regression that took place for me. At age 32, they were still the grown ups and I was like a child again. That’s just how the dynamics morphed. When it was soon to be time, my favorite aunt had a talk with me and asked me if I really wanted to watch my father die. She explained to me, 32 going on 8, that dying was not like in the movies. It was quite a frightening thing to see.  She encouraged me to have my quiet time alone with him, now in a coma, and say my good-bye. I did so. Then I walked out of the room and all his siblings and my mother went in and the door was firmly closed.

And so he died with his wife, brothers and sisters all around and me nowhere in sight. They later said it was an awful thing. Blood and God knows what everywhere. Even his brothers were shaken by it. It was not something I should have had to see, they told me. As if they had protected me from something.

But not long after, I realized it was my own father’s awful thing. I should have been there. I allowed myself to be shielded by my beloved and well meaning aunt with childlike trust.  I should have been there. I was not a child. I was not, in truth, protected or shielded. I was written out of the last line of the last page of his life.  No, we wrote me out. 

And I am so ashamed, sorry, and regretful… What if my father knew or sensed I wasn’t there, right through the invisible walls of his coma? My shame is this: that I, his oldest and most responsible child, should have  accompanied him on the final stage of his journey. I should have been there. 

No tidy ending to this post. I should have been there.  

(This post was inspired by a poem by Cordie entitled:  If I had it to do all again)

The Measure of Grief

February 5, 2009

 

 

THE MEASURE OF GRIEF

 

Twenty-five years ago today my father died.  

Even in my dreamless sleep I knew it.

 

I stumble out of bed  

where is my husband?

 

I want to hug him    

hug him so tightly

but he is gone

gone to work  

to work his ass off.

 

Gone.

 

I worry about his heart.

 

I want to hug my father  

(who worked his ass off).

I want to hug him  

hug him so tightly

 

but he is gone  

 

gone to rest    

to rest in peace.

 

I’d rather he were here, God forgive  me.

Yes.  I would rip him right out of paradise  if I could

to have him back here with the whole family

loving    living   YES , even suffering

but right alongside us where   think he belongs.

 

A quarter of a century.

One-fourth of a whole.

A quarter coin is so small really.  

 

A hole the size of a quarter 

is still in my heart  

big enough to kill me.

 

by Psychscribe ©2009

I Am Not Yours

January 17, 2009
 
by Sara Teasdale
 
I am not yours, not lost in you,
Not lost, although I long to be
Lost as a candle lit at noon,
Lost as a snowflake in the sea.

You love me, and I find you still
A spirit beautiful and bright,
Yet I am I, who long to be
Lost as a light is lost in light.

Oh plunge me deep in love—put out
My senses, leave me deaf and blind,
Swept by the tempest of your love,
A taper in a rushing wind.

Psychscribe Quote #51

January 16, 2009

658_steasdale

“It is strange how often a heart must be broken before the years can make it wise.” Sara Teasdale

Words on Women & Strength

January 9, 2009

The Gift of the Magi- By O’Henry

December 20, 2008

This is another lovely story about the true meaning of Christmas.

 

The Gift of the Magi

By O. Henry

One dollar and eighty-seven cents. That was all. And sixty cents of it was in pennies. Pennies saved one and two at a time by bulldozing the grocer and the vegetable man and the butcher until one’s cheeks burned with the silent imputation of parsimony that such close dealing implied. Three times Della counted it. One dollar and eighty- seven cents. And the next day would be Christmas. There was clearly nothing to do but flop down on the shabby little couch and howl. So Della did it. Which instigates the moral reflection that life is made up of sobs, sniffles, and smiles, with sniffles predominating.While the mistress of the home is gradually subsiding from the first stage to the second, take a look at the home. A furnished flat at $8 per week. It did not exactly beggar description, but it certainly had that word on the lookout for the mendicancy squad. In the vestibule below was a letter-box into which no letter would go, and an electric button from which no mortal finger could coax a ring. Also appertaining thereunto was a card bearing the name “Mr. James Dillingham Young.” The “Dillingham” had been flung to the breeze during a former period of prosperity when its possessor was being paid $30 per week. Now, when the income was shrunk to $20, though, they were thinking seriously of contracting to a modest and unassuming D. But whenever Mr. James Dillingham Young came home and reached his flat above he was called “Jim” and greatly hugged by Mrs. James Dillingham Young, already introduced to you as Della. Which is all very good. Della finished her cry and attended to her cheeks with the powder rag.     

She stood by the window and looked out dully at a gray cat walking a gray fence in a gray backyard. Tomorrow would be Christmas Day, and she had only $1.87 with which to buy Jim a present. She had been saving every penny she could for months, with this result. Twenty dollars a week doesn’t go far. Expenses had been greater than she had calculated. They always are. Only $1.87 to buy a present for Jim. Her Jim. Many a happy hour she had spent planning for something nice for him. Something fine and rare and sterling–something just a little bit near to being worthy of the honor of being owned by Jim.

There was a pier-glass between the windows of the room. Perhaps you have seen a pier-glass in an $8 flat. A very thin and very agile person may, by observing his reflection in a rapid sequence of longitudinal strips, obtain a fairly accurate conception of his looks. Della, being slender, had mastered the art. Suddenly she whirled from the window and stood before the glass. Her eyes were shining brilliantly, but her face had lost its color within twenty seconds. Rapidly she pulled down her hair and let it fall to its full length. Now, there were two possessions of the James Dillingham Youngs in which they both took a mighty pride. One was Jim’s gold watch that had been his father’s and his grandfather’s. The other was Della’s hair. Had the queen of Sheba lived in the flat across the airshaft, Della would have let her hair hang out the window some day to dry just to depreciate Her Majesty’s jewels and gifts. Had King Solomon been the janitor, with all his treasures piled up in the basement, Jim would have pulled out his watch every time he passed, just to see him pluck at his beard from envy.

So now Della’s beautiful hair fell about her rippling and shining like a cascade of brown waters. It reached below her knee and made itself almost a garment for her. And then she did it up again nervously and quickly. Once she faltered for a minute and stood still while a tear or two splashed on the worn red carpet. On went her old brown jacket; on went her old brown hat. With a whirl of skirts and with the brilliant sparkle still in her eyes, she fluttered out the door and down the stairs to the street.Where she stopped the sign read: “Mne. Sofronie. Hair Goods of All Kinds.” One flight up Della ran, and collected herself, panting. Madame, large, too white, chilly, hardly looked the “Sofronie.” “Will you buy my hair?” asked Della. “I buy hair,” said Madame. “Take yer hat off and let’s have a sight at the looks of it. “Down rippled the brown cascade. “Twenty dollars,” said Madame, lifting the mass with a practised hand. “Give it to me quick,” said Della.

Oh, and the next two hours tripped by on rosy wings. Forget the hashed metaphor. She was ransacking the stores for Jim’s present. She found it at last. It surely had been made for Jim and no one else. There was no other like it in any of the stores, and she had turned all of them inside out. It was a platinum fob chain simple and chaste in design, properly proclaiming its value by substance alone and not by meretricious ornamentation–as all good things should do. It was even worthy of The Watch. As soon as she saw it she knew that it must be Jim’s. It was like him. Quietness and value–the description applied to both. Twenty-one dollars they took from her for it, and she hurried home with the 87 cents. With that chain on his watch Jim might be properly anxious about the time in any company. Grand as the watch was, he sometimes looked at it on the sly on account of the old leather strap that he used in place of a chain.

When Della reached home her intoxication gave way a little to prudence and reason. She got out her curling irons and lighted the gas and went to work repairing the ravages made by generosity added to love. Which is always a tremendous task, dear friends–a mammoth task.Within forty minutes her head was covered with tiny, close-lying curls that made her look wonderfully like a truant schoolboy. She looked at her reflection in the mirror long, carefully, and critically. “If Jim doesn’t kill me,” she said to herself, “before he takes a second look at me, he’ll say I look like a Coney Island chorus girl. But what could I do–oh! what could I do with a dollar and eighty- seven cents?” At 7 o’clock the coffee was made and the frying-pan was on the back of the stove hot and ready to cook the chops. Jim was never late. Della doubled the fob chain in her hand and sat on the corner of the table near the door that he always entered. Then she heard his step on the stair away down on the first flight, and she turned white for just a moment. She had a habit for saying little silent prayer about the simplest everyday things, and now she whispered: “Please God, make him think I am still pretty.

“The door opened and Jim stepped in and closed it. He looked thin and very serious. Poor fellow, he was only twenty-two–and to be burdened with a family! He needed a new overcoat and he was without gloves. Jim stopped inside the door, as immovable as a setter at the scent of quail. His eyes were fixed upon Della, and there was an expression in them that she could not read, and it terrified her. It was not anger, nor surprise, nor disapproval, nor horror, nor any of the sentiments that she had been prepared for. He simply stared at her fixedly with that peculiar expression on his face. Della wriggled off the table and went for him. “Jim, darling,” she cried, “don’t look at me that way. I had my hair cut off and sold because I couldn’t have lived through Christmas without giving you a present. It’ll grow out again–you won’t mind, will you? I just had to do it. My hair grows awfully fast. Say `Merry Christmas!’ Jim, and let’s be happy. You don’t know what a nice– what a beautiful, nice gift I’ve got for you.””You’ve cut off your hair?” asked Jim, laboriously, as if he had not arrived at that patent fact yet even after the hardest mental labor. “Cut it off and sold it,” said Della. “Don’t you like me just as well, anyhow? I’m me without my hair, ain’t I?” Jim looked about the room curiously. “You say your hair is gone?” he said, with an air almost of idiocy. “You needn’t look for it,” said Della. “It’s sold, I tell you–sold and gone, too. It’s Christmas Eve, boy. Be good to me, for it went for you. Maybe the hairs of my head were numbered,” she went on with sudden serious sweetness, “but nobody could ever count my love for you. Shall I put the chops on, Jim?”

Out of his trance Jim seemed quickly to wake. He enfolded his Della. For ten seconds let us regard with discreet scrutiny some inconsequential object in the other direction. Eight dollars a week or a million a year–what is the difference? A mathematician or a wit would give you the wrong answer. The magi brought valuable gifts, but that was not among them. This dark assertion will be illuminated later on.Jim drew a package from his overcoat pocket and threw it upon the table. “Don’t make any mistake, Dell,” he said, “about me. I don’t think there’s anything in the way of a haircut or a shave or a shampoo that could make me like my girl any less. But if you’ll unwrap that package you may see why you had me going a while at first.”

White fingers and nimble tore at the string and paper. And then an ecstatic scream of joy; and then, alas! a quick feminine change to hysterical tears and wails, necessitating the immediate employment of all the comforting powers of the lord of the flat. For there lay The Combs–the set of combs, side and back, that Della had worshipped long in a Broadway window. Beautiful combs, pure tortoise shell, with jewelled rims–just the shade to wear in the beautiful vanished hair. They were expensive combs, she knew, and her heart had simply craved and yearned over them without the least hope of possession. And now, they were hers, but the tresses that should have adorned the coveted adornments were gone.But she hugged them to her bosom, and at length she was able to look up with dim eyes and a smile and say: “My hair grows so fast, Jim!” And them Della leaped up like a little singed cat and cried, “Oh, oh!” Jim had not yet seen his beautiful present. She held it out to him eagerly upon her open palm. The dull precious metal seemed to flash with a reflection of her bright and ardent spirit. “Isn’t it a dandy, Jim? I hunted all over town to find it. You’ll have to look at the time a hundred times a day now. Give me your watch. I want to see how it looks on it.” Instead of obeying, Jim tumbled down on the couch and put his hands under the back of his head and smiled. “Dell,” said he, “let’s put our Christmas presents away and keep ’em a while. They’re too nice to use just at present. I sold the watch to get the money to buy your combs. And now suppose you put the chops on.

“The magi, as you know, were wise men–wonderfully wise men–who brought gifts to the Babe in the manger. They invented the art of giving Christmas presents. Being wise, their gifts were no doubt wise ones, possibly bearing the privilege of exchange in case of duplication. And here I have lamely related to you the uneventful chronicle of two foolish children in a flat who most unwisely sacrificed for each other the greatest treasures of their house. But in a last word to the wise of these days let it be said that of all who give gifts these two were the wisest. O all who give and receive gifts, such as they are wisest. Everywhere they are wisest. They are the magi.

Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus

December 20, 2008

20050922-1

 

Its always nice to read this famous letter- to remind us of the magic of Christmas and what its all about. I am touched every time I read it. Hope you will be too.

 

Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus

“Editorial Page, New York Sun, 1897

We take pleasure in answering thus prominently the communication below, expressing at the same time our great gratification that its faithful author is numbered among the friends of The Sun:

Dear Editor,

I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, “If you see it in The Sun, it’s so.” Please tell me the truth, is there a Santa Claus?

 

Virginia O’Hanlon

Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except what they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men’s or children’s, are little. In this great universe of ours, man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The external light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished. 

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies. You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if you did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that’s no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world. 

You tear apart the baby’s rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived could tear apart. Only faith, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding. 

 

No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives and lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay 10 times 10,000 years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.”

 

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!! 


Stand by Me: A Song from Around the World

December 11, 2008

How BEAUTIFUL is this?

 

World Aids Day Today- Who did YOU lose?

December 1, 2008

aids_day_en

I am so ashamed to report that  until I read VanessaLeigh‘s post today, I had no idea…

I lost three family members to AIDS.  My Uncle Joe died in his 40’s. He was a handsome, brilliant professional actor and singer who never did make it to the big time.  He never had the time. Also, in those days, he “passed”…but not enough… God what a guy magnet he was! I remember he visited my husband and I when we lived in Italy and we practically had to barricade the doors to protect him! Ok, I’m exaggerating a bit, but you get the idea.  He was also one of the funniest people I’ve ever met, my mother’s dearest friend, wild, witty, best known for his role as one of the original four cabaret singers in Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris.  When he died, they had a tribute to him that I will never forget at The Village Gate in Manhattan, where the show ran for years. I was so proud to be his niece. I was always a bit in awe of him and so I loved him from afar.  Uncle Joe, I pray that you’re alive and well and living in Paradise with my father and yours.

Lenny and Joe,  my own age and my cousins on the other side of the family, will be harder to write about, because I loved them more. They were  my age and we grew up together. They started drugs at the age of twelve which ultimately led to them dying of AIDS,  also in their 40’s. Lenny was the proverbial chick magnet. He was a swaggering, gorgeous, macho early Sly Stallone look alike. He was bitingly sarcastic (anyone who reads my blog knows I hate sarcasm) but I could read him…I knew him…I saw his facade…his emptiness and no clear sense of his own identity. The same emptiness drove his identical twin brother.  Joe was the less aggressive one. A goofier sense of humor. A one girl kind of guy. Rough around the edges, both of them. Street smart but no interest in academics, ever.   Their twinship, rather then feed a closeness, seemed to drain both of them of their psychological life’s blood. Almost as if there weren’t enough for both of them. God I miss them. My roots. We were the first three kids in a huge Italian extended family. We all lived together in a 3 family house until I was about 6. There was a built in pool which of course  needed  adult supervision in order for us to jump in. So we would start the garden hose and put drops of water on our foreheads in order to get someone to take pity on our overheated bodies.  On Christmas Eve we listened in awe as reindeer and bells clattered across the roof of our house, courtesy of our ingenious uncles.

I started life with two older “brothers”, and now they’re both gone. There but for the grace of God went I.

Lenny and Joe, I will always, always miss you. I will always be grateful for the love and the roots and the FUN we had as kids, before the drugs and the plague took you. And I will ALWAYS associate the magic of Christmas with you, and remember the sound of those bells on the roof.

Most of all, I pray that, like my Uncle Joe, you’re in Paradise with my father and yours.

And so, my friends….who would you like to memorialize here?

Parable of Two Wolves

November 13, 2008



securedownload

 

An elderly Cherokee was teaching his grandchildren about life. 

He said to them, “A fight is going on inside me, it is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves.” One wolf is evil………..he is fear, anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, competition, superiority, and ego. 

The other is good……… he is joy, peace, love, hope, sharing, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, friendship, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith. This same fight is going on inside you, and inside every other person, too.” 

They thought about it for a minute and then one child asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?” 

The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.” 

Baby Laughing at Wii

November 7, 2008

Ok, this may be a sign of my obsession with wanting a grandchild, but I ask you….can you watch this and NOT laugh just hearing him? I hope this brings a smile, or a laugh, to you today.

 

When A Spouse Comes Out

November 5, 2008

logo

 

I found an interesting column by Garry Cooper  in this month’s Psychotherapy Networker.  

He reports that  Amity Pierce Buxton, founder of The Straight Spouse Network, estimates that as many as two million straight spouses will, often suddenly, traumatically,  and by accident, find themselves discovering that they have a gay or bi spouse. The article also reports that Joe Kort, an Imago therapist specializing in gay issues, has seen couples negotiate arrangements other than splitting.  Some agreed upon solutions have been allowing one or both parters to have relationships outside the marriage, allowing the bi/ gay partner to use porn and webcams but not meet sexual partners face to face, or the bi/gay partner agrees not to indulge in outside sexual behaviors or porn.

What a tough and painful situation for everyone involved…particularly where there are children…or the spouses still love each other…  What would you do?

5 Years From Now Will This Matter?

October 11, 2008

That’s all I have to say regarding whatever you’re so anxious about today…

 

My Daughter’s Wedding & The Notebook

October 9, 2008

Oh, what a wedding it was! Everything and more than we’d dreamed of since she was five, when I caught her in our yard literally kissing frogs because, “I have to find my prince, Mommy.” She apparently squeezed one frog so ardently that she frantically presented it to me because she…well….she couldn’t wake it up.

I raised my princess to be strong, assertive, and independent. She did not need Prince Charming to save her or rescue her, but she did find a Prince Charming who is fairy tale handsome, protective, nurturing, kind, strong, gentle, and  generous.  (And yes, also an alpha male!)

Oh, what beautiful babies they will make!

They’re twenty eight, have been together for seven years, and lived together for the past two. So her new husband already felt like family, it seemed to me. Yet witnessing for them as they signed their marriage license, and watching them go through the ritual in the church, somehow made me love him differently. Because now he IS family. He will be the father of my grandchildren. He will take care of me when I’m old, if I should need it. He’s that kind of man, a good man. And so is his family. Our tiny family, long since dwindled from what it once was,  has  somehow been blessed with in-laws who have already absorbed us into their tribe. We have long yearned for this void to be filled. 

They looked gorgeous. They looked madly in love, even after all this time.  They never left each other’s side but ate and danced and laughed the night away. Their song was “I Could Not Ask for More”  by Ed McCain.   But I found this one on YouTube sung by a female vocalist, with video clips from The Notebook, my daughter’s and my all time favorite romantic movie. The lovers here remind me of my new newlyweds:

 

 

I truly could not ask for more.