Saturday, April 30, 2011
Above are some of the handmade peace flags hanging unfurled & free, in the lobby of the Storrs Friends Meetinghouse...
"Cousins in the Land of Abraham" is the program we attended last night-
Joyce McKelvey is speaking to Dr. Charlie Prewitt, just before announcing the guest speaker to her right, Mr. Christopher Doucot...
A not so familiar sign shared during this presentation, it is from the organization Rabbis for Human Rights
The espically talented & passionate speaker of the evening-
Mr. Christopher Doucot
A restful & sweet still life in the lobby of the Meetinghouse, note the proudly displayed
peace flags above...
The above is an article that I read after returning home, in the Lent 2011 edition of The Catholic Worker, by, Felice Cohen-Jappa, it tells quite briefly the story of the very brave & dedicated nuclear resister, Helen Woodson. Helen Woodson is the longest imprisoned nuclear resister in history. She is to be released in September 2011, after 27 years behind bars. The Catholic Worker is helping to get the word out, in order to raise funding in the aid of Ms. Woodson, *Please send checks or money orders to, the Nuclear Resister [with "for Helen" written on the memo line] & sent to the Nuclear Resister, PO Box 43383, Tucson, AZ. 85733
Above is the arched entryway of the Storrs Friends Meetinghouse where, all are welcome...
Yesterday was the royal wedding of William & Kate, the fairytale couple of Great Britain. The only very distant connection we would have to that grand affair is that our friend Neila & her recently departed husband Glen, their daughter Shana, played violin in the symphony during the wedding. I am sure Neila is so very proud, as would Shana's dad Glen, have been. Glen Douglas was born & raised in England & grew up either in, or around Yorkshire, of the countryside of James Herriot's, "All Creatures Great And Small". Glen we think of you, & your family anytime there is a brit story, you were such an excellent royal ambassador from across the pond, & your entire family, & the love of music that you & Neila have shared, & instilled in your two daughters will continue to do you proud!
On yet another note, last night my husband & I attended a presentation at the-
Storrs Friends Meetinghouse, of the Quakers
Titled, "Cousins in the Land of Abraham" presented by, Christopher Doucot
Mr. Doucent is a graduate of Holy Cross University, & Yale University Divinity School.
He spoke last night as a representative of the Hartford Catholic Workers.
The program was sponsored by the Israel/Palestine Peace, Education and Action Group, of N.E. Ct. for further info: 860-429-3107
Mr. Doucent has traveled to the hot spots of the world in order to gather a better understanding of what it is the peoples on the street are thinking & saying. His travels include:
Bosnia '93, Chiapas '98, Iraq '98-'04, Israel/Palestine '01-'11, Dufur '04 & '05,
It was an interesting presentation, as the title so captures the imagination-
"Cousins in the Land of Abraham" as the Story of Abraham, the patriarch of monotheism for the faiths of Judaism, Christianity & Islam connect all three faiths, for we are all, of us, certainly cousins if we have been raised in any one of the faiths of Abraham.
I will not go into the politics of the mideast, as the Peace Garden's mission is not one of politics, but I will bring forth & introduce individuals who are working, so very hard to bring peace to the world, by touching upon their unique stories-
Mr. Doucot is in his own words a pacifist, he is a married man, & a father. If I were to distill his presentation down, in so far as what I took away from some of the information that he shared, which he clearly stated on several occasions-
"In Palestine, it is not a conflict about religion, it is a colonial conflict, a colonial conflict about land."
It all makes sense, for as I recall my opening remark for today's posting was about the royal wedding, the empire that was king of the world, in colonialism, & of which so many nation states, including the U.S. have chosen to model after.
How is this all working out for humanity... , well we can pretty much figure that one out. A wedding that probably cost in the millions, & I can almost be certain if I were to say that every citizen that resides in Great Britain is not being excused from an existence of poverty.
Certainly it was quite the affair to behold, the gowns, the suits, the carriages, & the hats, all of it a visionary feast, but until we as a specie can truly take care of our own, do we really deserve this much decadence. Yes, even in high fashion, on the streets in London, a colonial conflict of it's citizenry continues.
I too love the beauty of fairy tales, but those of us that were brought up on the old & traditional ones, do remember the endings to these stories, they were not always happily ever after. But weddings are new beginnings, & on the individual level we all wish William & Kate, a lifetime of happiness, & I'm sure they too, will do their very best, to help to make this a better world, as the whole world is watching.
Thursday, April 28, 2011
Above are aspects of a collage I compleated in 1996, of which is titled-
In Flight Out of Egypt, My Naked Truth
Can you see, ever so slightly the pearls of wisdom, being carried in the beak of the dove...
A typical window's view from one of our Wednesday T rides out of Boston, for on this track we are homeward bound...
The final photo is of the conductor's area, with a fellow T employee, another conductor, having a chat with his co worker friend as they're nearing the end of our run.
A writers life, do we choose it, or does it choose us....
All my life I've been writing.... , as far back as I can recall, stories, plays, poetry & more, a this, a that, & chat, chat, chat- now it's blogging of course, what would I expect. I have always been so very appreciative to those who have taken the time to read what I consider to be my whole true thoughts, of a given point, of a given day, of which it, had been written. Thoughts from an inner life, as any writer would say.
Today I began, once again a new draft for my ? story/novella, whatever it is meant to be, of which only time will tell. When I got done writing this morning, it just felt so very right, & though it will probably take many rewrites to get it to where it's ment to be, I do know now, that I have a more solid handle on what it is I am doing, at least I have finally begun, which is really quite something! It has taken me approximately a year to shed a former role, a persona that had suited me well for just about four decades, & now, in the spirit of one's own true Exodus, I am literally free, & moving forward...
The photos above, tell a mini version of where my journey is at present, & to all my family, & other friends- old & new, of the Peace Garden, you have always encouraged me to take these very steps forward, & here it is now, testing the waters of a new time, & a new beginning. I'll keep you all posted, as time will truly tell...
Thank you all, as the Peace Garden is an ever true place, of continuing forward, on a path of boundless love & hope.
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
This was my early evening walk... , I decided rather than watching the evening news, which is almost always certain to be disturbing, to be in communion with nature which would prove to be a far healthier choice...
These gentle, gentle blossoms & hints of what's to come never, ever disappoints...
All in good time...
As one stone, put down at a time can tell...
These exotic orangery flowers are of the quince, a birthday gift many years ago, from a dear friend who taught me the pleasures, & charm of what a garden can truly bring...
Daffodils arrive early on, & bring with them trumpets of color announcing to the world that there's no going back, spring has finally arrived!
I don't know about you, but the enormous amount of simple beauty that surrounds us each & every springtime, is truly beyond any description. It does fill my heart always, with the possibality of hope that for me, only nature provides. It roots me, & reminds me that I am a native to my land, & aren't we all. It is all so simple, yet we all know the song, for we can certainly make it far more complicated then it needs to be.
"To be or not to be.... ", that will forever be, one of our major questions... , as "time will tell"...
So as we log out for the day, just a gentle garden lovers request- Enjoy this springtime, as it blows in ever so quickly, & leaves us with barely a rustle, only to make us wait long & hard, for yet another year. We wish you all many a spring time & also peace, a true, true, peace.
Today is the 25th Anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident. We honor & remember those who were sacrificed, passed on, & suffered due to this man made technological disaster. There is no peaceful atom when the atom is split, as we continue to not only pray, but to educate too.
Saturday, April 23, 2011
The beautiful & stately Easter Lily a tradition of elegence & hope...
These very pretty & sweet tasting mini donuts were ordered in advance by my husband as a special surprise treat, of which they were! I had promised to photograph them, as he had asked, but as you can see, they were beginning to disappear fast....
Some newly created characters awaiting their first performance. Here they are resting up a few days prior to showtime!
A sweet reminder of the simple things in life, that bring a note of happiness in childhood,
below is a scene midway through the first ever Easter Puppet Show performed by our grandchildren to a full house, to loads of applause!
Our interfaith family celebrated the coming of Easter along with the continuation of Passover, of which today is the fifth day. It was a lot of fun, with multiple generations sharing in the spiritual message of these two holidays of blessings, love, & goodwill with each other. Our thanks voiced, as to having personally arrived to this time & place in our lives, sharing thoughts & feelings regarding these two holidays & of what we hold as precious.
Food, food, glorious food, took center stage of course, as we shopped, prepared & feasted on the traditional dishes, & the ones that were a bit more surprising too. Everyone, really rose to a gourmet level of putting forth their own personal favorites, prepared with such tasteful skill, & delectably. Even Dolly my favorite pup, benefited from the feast, as she really seemed to enjoy the pleasure of the sedar plate's egg, & tomorrow it will be some chicken from what I put aside for her.
This year our annual egg hunt was held indoors, due to all the rain & mud outside. No complaints were voiced either, as all forty-nine eggs were found, with jellybeans & marshmallow bunnies hiding in the various eggs, all of bright & cheery springtime colors, which were collected in brand new beach buckets stuffed with green biodegradable Easter grass. We were also treated to our first ever puppet show, which our two grandchildren enthusiastically preformed. It really was a grand first time event, & we're looking forward to future performances, come additional holidays & other family gatherings.
Happy Easter Everyone, & a continued Happy Passover too!
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
I simply love this time of day....
Someone here, is about to stop...
And smell the nighttime blooms...
OO OO, a very cool python, created by my grandson, now don't be scared...
And no puppet family would be complete without their very own...
that's right, pink bunny, Easter basket & all...
Truly a busy time, this Holy Week-
Today is the second day of Passover, & in just a few days it will be Easter. We are an interfaith family so busy, is an understatement, besides all the day to day commitments that one tries to keep in, living a life.
I was with our grandchildren on Monday, & will be so again tomorrow, as our son & daughter in law are both working, so tomorrow will be day two of Nana Land. On Monday we made puppets, did errands, went out to lunch did a few more errands, & then ended the day experiencing bubbles, bubbles, & more bubbles. Perfect, simply perfect! So tomorrow after breakfast I will be sure to help my grandchildren complete a few extra touches on the sock puppets we made. On my granddaughter's pink bunny puppet, the googly eyes fell off, so much for that batch of glue. I'll be sure to travel in with my glue gun in the morning to remedy this glue malfunction. My grandson made a green python, & as far as I know, all of it's body parts held up, but I'll find out tomorrow, first thing.
This morning it was off to Boston for our weekly Writer's Group Seminar. I've been enjoying it immensely, as our teacher is excellent, & the women who make up this group come from such interesting backgrounds, truly they are all so brilliant & talented, & I am learning so much in regards to the craft. Yes we all certainly have our compelling stories to tell....
The Boston trek always ends with a ride on the T from downtown, with a ride back to the other T Stop, then back up to the Mass Pike, & in a little less than an hour, we're home. Today we were given an exercise of point of view, having our created characters take turns doing so with primarily dialogue. It took a little bit of time for me to wrap my mind around that one, but once I got into it, it really was a lot of fun. Every one's piece was so very different, even though we all had to work from an exacting list of requirements. Anyway, it was a lot of fun, & aspects of it were pure laugh out loud. Truly an extremely satisfying session, & now I say to myself, my my, where have I been all my life. Seek & yea shall find, true, so very true.
Yes, Mr. Shakespeare, "All's well that end's well." I may be slow as a turtle, but slow & steady, that's ok, as long as I have a sense of where I'm going with all of this. For now, just learning how to go on out there, & take the T, truly that was a big first step, of course my main goal is to learn the finer details of the writing craft, of which I am doing. My mind is open.
Thank you fabulous Wednesday Writers, it really is a most special time!
Just one other special note: The forsythias that are shown in full night bloom at the very beginning of this posting, are an offspring, from the front yard of the apartment complex in Rocky Hill, Ct., where my father had lived since the time of his first gandchild's birth, after he & my mother's most bitter divorce, back in 1973. In the summer of '94 when we were helping him to move, once again, this time out of his townhouse appartment, & to another apartment complex, in W. Htfd., that would be easier for him to manage, as he was at the brink of a most severe & fatal illness. On the day of the move I impulsively picked a handful of forsythia branches that were growing in the front yard of his decades long residence. My father was seemingly appalled that I would do something such as this, but I told him how I wanted it as a remembrance of this place where he had lived for so many years, which was filled with so many wonderful memories for myself & entire family. For once he recovered from the divorce, he bloomed, & bloomed & bloomed, & we then, as a family no longer had to endure the vibes & the head games, of being exposed to a marriage that had literally gone to seed.
This forsythia as you may be able to tell from the photos, is quite massive, & it blooms most happily each & every April, near the time of my father's birthday!
Yes, the Passover, Easter & the other magnificant stories of humankind's various faiths, teach invaluable lessons, & we human beings do learn through nature, & our own narraatives, how to take in the bitter with the sweet, & live a balanced life, no matter the challenges. For what many of these stories & lessons may say at the various & different times of a life cycle to those that choose to hear, is that truly, it is best to help one another along life's road, no matter how dusty, & challenging a journey may seem. "Why is this night different from all other nights?"
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
My posting to the Peace Garden, prior to today's was a comment in response to a friend's comment. To view the discussion in it's entirety please refer back to the previous posting, of which the topic I chose to address being the holiday of Passover-
In an attempt to bring the topic of one person's faith based belief's up to today, & my current thought over the past few decades, I wanted to expound & share more fully on where my thinking, over this lifetime has evolved to, by adding what I've come to embrace as my currently evolved thinking to date, on the topic regarding my own search, in living a spiritual life, & the realizations that have come to pass during this journey of- having left, as it could be termed biblicaly, having left my parents home, to wander, of which I truly did-
I felt it was important to include this paragraph as not everyone that visits the Peace Garden
may be so inclined to view any of the posted comments, & I just wanted to be sure to give a fuller sense of where my perspective is coming from, as I do believe we are all interconnected, & no matter the situation, time or place that we inhibit & walk this earth, we are all mere mortals, human beings, with the potential of what is positive, & also most tragically the opposite too. All my life I have been fortunate in my quest for learning about the various religions of the world, as we all have more in common than not.
All of us one, under the sun.
Saturday, April 16, 2011
A modern handpainted sedar plate, with a rather abstract olive tree in the center, & the word for Passover, stating Pesach written in the center, in Hebrew with the lettering going from right to left.
A simple yet beautiful traditional talis hanging to the right side of the window. The blue stripes on the talis, or prayer shawl as it is translated, is composed of the design as per the instructions from the Torah. The Torah which is scrolled & is in five books of parchment, was given to Moses, on Mt. Sinai as told to Moses by God, during the time of this great Exodus. The talis shown here was photographed at the Peace Abbey, where there is a space set aside with a display honoring all the known religions of the world.
Jewish holidays are customarily celebrated with a blessing over a cup of wine, & those of us from way back when, we often remember those early years of "Man o man a schiewitz what a wine"!
In Remembrance of Our Having Gone Out of Egypt-
To our families, present, & future friends, our thoughts & wishes are of these-
May all your cups of wine be sweet
And all your matozs crunch to eat
May all our roots and branches know
That families know, what is to know
That horseradish, is strong for some
And salted tears, it is no fun
But when it's said, and when it's done
A macaroon can sure be fun
So sit, recline, and sing of goats
And find that matzo where it pokes
And know Elijah comes to view
He's of the wind, our only clue
Our youngest asks of questions four
As we explain the plagues and more
For this we've done, generations past
The old, the young, our mutual cast
We love this time, though much is work
Will think it through with added hope
Oh yes it happened long ago
But then is now, and now is so...
Wishing everyone a good Pesach!
It has certainly been a while since writing a poem, the one enclosed this evening is a rather light one, though it is of a serious topic, as remembering one's freedom is always rather serious, yet a happy & celebratory time too. This year's first night of Passover is Monday April 18th.
Enjoy, enjoy- may it be good, & may it be fun, & if you're a gal, you'll definitely get this one-
"definitely, don't work too hard", remember we're "out of Egypt" !
This concludes tonight's addition to the ongoing Poetry A Muse In Motion Project.
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
The peace & harmony flags created by the children of this very talented community truly tell us, how they see the world...
How does one choose, I really can't as they are all my favorites, even the recycled fabrics have their own stories. The fabric above is from an old nursing uniform scrub, when we nurses wore all white, prior to it's being tie dyed, when I worked in the hospital, so many decades ago.
The flag being worked on above, by one of our youngest & most talented artists, he chose one of my father's pillow cases. Oh, how my father would smile, & be so very pleased with this project, as his father, my grandfather had worked for many years in the Garment District of NYC. Hmmm, I wonder, perhaps some of the thread he sewed with, perhaps just some, might have come from our beloved Willimantic's Historic, Thread City...
This next fabric painter having created what appears to be a red & yellow flower on a navy background seems to be using her strength & skill in getting as much glitter out of the tube as is possible, ultimately it pays off, as her flag, along with the others came out quite charming..
The creation being made above is by one of the library staff members, who so charmingly told me a snippet of her family's story- of her father & herself being peace activists & her father's dedicated involvement with the Peace Pagoda in Massachusetts. Quite a remarkable & inspiring story to learn about, in such a brief encounter, so very beautiful, & enlightening. Here she is working on another recycled medical scrub, this scrub had belonged to my brother's best friend Doug, who was an excellent pulmonary specialist in the field of medicine, during his young lifetime...
As you can readily tell, I love them...
All of them...
For their beautiful & unique artwork, & the generous spirit, the children & the staff of the Willimantic Public Library devoted so generously their talents to this ongoing project, of which a portion of some of these flags, will eventually be collected, strung together, to be presented to the
United Nations, as a gift & a reminder of what all the children of the world, truly want.
The Monday of this week was so cloudy & rainy, but there were pauses of this thankfully from time to time, which worked out well, as yesterday was a day for painting & decorating community peace & harmony flags once again. Almost two months ago I was invited to do this activity as an after school library project with the children in Connecticut's Historic Thread City of Willimantic. The Head Librarian Gail of the Willimantic Public Library, had emailed me some time ago, & we were trying so very diligently to set aside a date & time, when the children of the area would be up for doing such a project. Well what better time to do a craft together, than a rainy after school day.
The activity proved to be an immense success, as it was booked from 4:00-5:30pm, which provided ample time for set up, & a relaxed atmosphere of getting to know one another as different people would stream into the library's activity room from time to time. Preteens, very young primary age children, to staff, all took part. I must say this is an extremely gifted community, as many of the blank fabrics that were chosen by our participants were not limited to the typical colors, this group reached for the purple, blue & pink fabrics just as readily as the more neutral colors. Also, as much as they seemed to enjoy using the stamping objects to create their design, there was an immense amount of freehand artwork that really did, at times, take my breath away.
It was a truly wonderful experience, & still to this moment, I can't really think about it deeply without welling up with tears, as I found out yesterday, much to my own surprise that at this juncture of my life, I am really unable to speak about certain topics aloud, for the cause for peace really does overcome me with an overwhelming feeling, I just can't describe. I think for now, it is due to a bit of an overload, of perhaps, knowing too, too much, due to the radiation exposures, & overall suffering in Japan, & my own disbelief, of the military action in Libya. Since childhood the dream of a better world for all peoples, has been what I have devoted my life work to, & now with world events that are far too real in repeating actions of the past, I think the contrast of the dream, & seeing & knowing of the present day, & true reality, is a bit heavy to bear at times.
So what have I learned from this recent community art experience- Well number one is, that as I am loading up my craft supplies in the future, I am to also practice what it is I want to say to the children, & to practice it, word for word, over & over, if I must, as I want to be sure, that for future activities such as this, that any tears that need to be shed, regarding the world situation, will have been expressed, prior to any activity. It is important to be present & real, for certain, as my purpose, in my life work, is to always, present the hopefulness, of what peace, love & understanding, can ultimately achieve, & I, like all of us, do have my own feelings regarding these world events & situations, but I can & will work on this, much as one who works in a hospital emergency room, which I had done so many decades ago, did quite well, & found it most rewarding & satisfying. I will once again, find a way to allow myself to feel it, but to also continue to do this very important work. As human beings we do & can meet these challenges, each & every day.
Thank you Gail- To you, your very kind, welcoming & very helpful staff! I wish you all a wonderful springtime, as you all go forth working so very hard continuing to inspire the children of your community to full fill their ultimate potentials, one book, one discussion & one activity at a time....
& the Peace Garden is now a more peaceful, beautiful & hopeful place, because of this added experience, of which I sincerely say- "You all will remain a special place in my heart, forever... "
Sunday, April 10, 2011
On stage to the left is the gifted Bela Fleck on banjo, at center is Edgar Meyer on bass, & to our right sits, Zakir Hussain on tabala....
Our enthused & most receptive audience just before lights out at Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts, at the University of Connecticut, campus in Storrs, Ct. on Friday April 8, 2011
The view above, reminds me of a French Impressionistic painting, what it is is a street scene as the audience was out on the grounds, of the performance hall, waiting for an all clear during the evening's performance. The fire alarms went off just after the first three or four numbers. Can you see the fire engine in the background? Yes, most definitely a hot act, which we enjoyed, as they were truly excellent, & so very gifted.
& What's a Sunday without catching up with the comics, & with Garfield no less, as he's still going strong.... , & looks quite good for his age. How old is Garfield now anyway?
Good weekend, no complaints I must say, though some hours after this photo was taken, I lacerated the tip of my finger on my left hand, cutting a bagel of all things. After much inner debate, steri strip it myself,or sutures at the ER. I decided on the sutures, just to be safe in the healing process.... Voila, no sutures necessary, I am now the proud recipient of a super glued finger tip, & I was also given a tetnus booster, which is just in time for this gardening season.
Ah, now, tell me, who remembers the song- Fingertips, by Stevie Wonder,
what goes arround comes arround. Yes, fingertips....
Thursday, April 7, 2011
For many of us this was the very first time hearing this outstanding
A Cappella group
Singing the music of Chicago, Joni Mitchell, The Beatles & others.... , & doing a great job of making it their own....
Here's Tina the official MC & the true creative mind behind this really wonderful event.
Beginning at the left is Peg, Gail & Sandra, just a few of our devoted board members, & standing next to Sandra is one of our newest friends Lynn.
Of course how could anyone refuse this friendly hospitality, as Peg shares a nosh or two...
On Saturday April 2nd, just after sunset, a very unique fundraiser was held at the B'nai Shalom
Synagogue in Putnam, Connecticut, a simply beautiful spot, right along the bank of the beautiful Quinebaug River.
The evening started out, with all the pluses, with members of this very welcoming congregation assisting in the parking of cars, to the sincere & welcoming greeters at the door. The synagogue's recreation room was set up in a cabaret style, with the audience seated at circular tables with approximately seven to eight people at each table, facing the stage. This proved to be an excellent approach, as everyone seemed to be not only comfortable as to where they were sitting to view the concert from, but to also have the excellent company of friends, both old & new.
A very energetic group of individuals on the board of this very welcoming conservative congregation in northeastern Connecticut, really did their musical research. The entertainment for the evening was the A Capella group Extreme Measures, which has an appeal to all ages of music lovers. Below is a short bio which the group enjoys sharing-
Extreme Measures, or ExM as their fans know them, is a dynamic & innovative co-ed a capella group. Founded in 2004, ExM has since become a student body favorite at the University of Connecticut..... Performing all genres of music ranging from Classical to Hip Hop, the group prides themselves on vocal diversity, tightly blended harmonies & powerful soloists.
Their newest album Put Your Party Shades On is available now, & a new album will be released soon.
It really is a hard guess for me to say just how many people were in the audience that night, it was packed, but in a comfortable way. The women on the board of B'nai Shalom, certainly did everyone proud, not only were the complimentary dessert refreshments, beautiful & most appealing, but were hand baked on the premises. The additional welcoming touch was each & every tray full of desserts were brought, & offered to every individual table which further enhanced the welcoming quality & tradition of this event. Besides the excellent performance, fine company, & a raffle event, the hospitality of this fine group, truly was an experience beyond compare.
B'nai Shalom can be reached for membership info, & also inquires regarding other upcoming events & information by calling-
860-928-4496 [& leave a message]