“Mrs. Rogers….did we really need to know?”

In case you missed the news story, Mrs. Rogers said Fred used to fart in public to make her laugh.

I saw the comments……people thought it was hilarious.  Me, I didn’t want the image of Mr. Rogers farting to become ingrained in my mind…..instead of his cardigans.

How a sparkle of spotlight can sway the choices of some……do all intimate details need to be shared.    I don’t know, maybe all his friends and acquaintances already knew or became aware after one of his “incidents” at a dull party or engagement.

Why do celebrities like to reveal all in reality shows and tell all books?   Is the glitter of fame so bright it dulls our senses to the deeply private shining and not so shining moments of life……………….

It justs seems to me we all could have been spared the details of her private life ….Many say it brings him down to our level, makes him one of us.

Me…….I want to keep a few of us on that pedestal…….without warts or farts…….just a teeny few……a speck of glitter in this dull world.

It still is a beautiful……maybe a little less fragrant, day in the neighborhood of the world.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Shirl

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“A Ghost Mystery?” Weirdness at the farmhouse…..

Yesterday, a strange thing happened at my Gettysburg farmhouse.   I should say, another strange thing, because weird things happen all the time there.

Clocks don’t keep time, lights go on with switches turned off, statues move……..

It’s just the way it is in this town……you take each bit of weirdness with a grain of salt  (and I have had weighty salt bags moved)…..99 times out of 100, no harmful energy is felt…..

Now yesterday, I glanced at my windowsill.   I looked at my vase…then did a double take, as you will see why, in the photo.

My vase was filled with water.   Normal, right?    Not quite, I didn’t put any water in it.

Okay, the window has a leak?   No gutter above the window…….torrential rain falling sideways would have to hit that window….

My husband checked the caulking……no visible leaks ………

My window has sensors…….if anything hits or vibrates it……an alarm sounds.   No alarm sounded at that window.   When a branch hits, the alarm goes off……torrential rain pounding at it, enough to fill that vase, most likely would have set the sensor off.

And hit it only in one spot……directly in the vase?     There was no evidence of water damage anywhere else on the sill or the wall or any other object in the vicinity.

Were spirits having fun…….were mice having a drinking fest while I was gone from the farmhouse……

I have no explanation………if anyone cares to shine a light on this strange photo…..please do.

Maybe one of my spirits gave his lady love flowers and needed a vase in which to place them……..  ☺

window

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“For All Souls on this Day”

Death is entwined so tightly with the  mediumship work I do, the Hallowed ground I call home,  the cemetery photographs I take, and the stories I put to paper, it is no wonder that the origins and customs of All Souls’ day would hold timeless fascination with me.

Whether it be the soul cakes, the sugar skulls of Mexico, or the cemetery picnics of family members, or the water filled buckets left outside to quench the thirst of the dead; each country has its own practices to revere the ones who have gone.

I grew up in the Roman Catholic faith, where departed church members’ names who had crossed during the previous year would be read during the All Souls’ Mass.  I remember sitting in that mass a lifetime ago with my dad as they recited my mom’s name.  Candles are lit to help light the darkness of death for those who have not yet reached heaven’s gate.  The darkness is never as black as when one of those names entwines in your heart.

Time passed.  When my children were in school, I would make a delicious raisin studded bread on this day.   Too much time has passed since I have made it; I have been thinking of getting out the flour and yeast again.  One year, my son’s teacher honored this day with an enlightening session on its origins.  I baked this bread for the class.    Learning the customs and respect for those that came before was a wonderful thing, I tip my hat to this young teacher.

On this day when man thinks he can control the passage of time, let us prayer for those whose time has passed.   May all souls find peace and light and whatever needs quenching to be at rest until they reach the gates of eternity.

“Death is not extinguishing the light; it is putting out the lamp because dawn has come.”
~~~~~Rabindranath Tagore

Peace,

Shirlhope

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“There is a voice within me That will not be still.” For Sylvia

Today, remembering Sylvia Plath, on the day of her birth…October 27th 1932.

Another writer tormented by demons, Sylvia has the distinction by many as being the poet of death.

Her works were the voice of her inner torment…..a torment that ended tragically by her own hands…February 11. 1963. It was one of the coldest winters in London; perhaps that coldness of her own soul became inescapable as well.
The last thing she did was leave two mugs of milk and buttered bread for her two small children.

Milk, buttered bread and a legacy of words for all of us.

“because wherever I sat—on the deck of a ship or at a street café in Paris or Bangkok—I would be sitting under the same glass bell jar, stewing in my own sour air.”
― Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

May the sweet air of heaven surround her soul ………….

“I write only because
There is a voice within me
That will not be still.”~~~~Sylvia Plath

My daughter gave me a pendant with these words…….

True words, everyone who writes feels the fire of hushed words, closed up in their physical bodies and spiritual souls…..words that suffocate and smother the bearer unless they are finally released to pen and paper.

I didn’t publish until later on in life, but I always wrote.  I wrote satirical pieces and blogs before blogs were “in,” then tore them up in tiny pieces…….

I released them to the winds and the Universe, perhaps so they would not smother and suffocate inside…….

May today’s birthday be one of contentment Sylvia,  filled with the peace that escaped into the winds of your troubled life, before you chose to smother its breath.

Blessings,

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“It’s Just Not Worth it Anymore”

Today was my last outing to my hometown library book sale.   It used to be a day to mark on the calendar……    A day when you could amass a shopping bag full of books and audio CD’s for about $20……..Less if it were $5 a bag sale day.    These days, one audio book costs between 20 and 35 dollars in the large retail markets.

But no more…….it has become more of a dangerous trek than through the arctic tundra.   I am not joking……some people will kill you for a book……I heard another exasperated shopper utter these very words in a crowded aisle this morning.

Recently, used book sales have become more aggravating and dangerous than ever.   People with large boxes and bins push and shove their way down aisles; you could get easily get injured at one of these……..I have been bumped into more than once.  Every time I went, the book dealers with their electronic scanners would be waiting at the door, boxes at their feet.   Then, the stampede would begin and I mean stampede literally….

This morning was the worst.   Book sellers didn’t even bother with scanners.   They charged to the expensive art and photography tables and, I am not kidding, shoveled the books into their boxes like a dust pan and broom, picking up breakfast crumbs…..

I didn’t stand a chance.   I saw a book I would have liked get shoveled into a box.   Boy, was I tempted to take it out……But, like I say…….these people will kill you for a book…..

I complained to the library staff, but it really is out of their control now.   It has become the “norm”…..Book dealers and sellers circle the library like vultures, waiting for road kill.    If I had opened my mouth, I might have been one of the ones at the roadside.

If you think I am joking……go to one of the used book sales in your area if you dare….I think I would rather go on a haunted hay ride…….A field of zombies fills me with less dread than a charge of book dealers at a used book sale……

Shame……I used to love browsing independent book shops……..I used to love used book sales…..  Just another pleasure lost in today’s times…….

And the saddest part is……….if I search online for that book at used sites, I might very well be buying it from the person holding that dust pan and broom this morning   😦warehouse

 

Shirl

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“Gondola Ride of Prejudice”

This blog comes on the heels of flack received by Governor Cuomo yesterday, after he used a very derogatory “N” word to make a point about the many targets of prejudice’s arrow.

I am Sicilian; I grew up knowing about that “N” word aimed at those in the lowest “heel” of Italy’s boot.   Maybe it was because we were darker…..maybe it was because of the closeness to Tunisia…..maybe it was just ignorance…..(my money’s on ignorance.)

Yesterday brought back memories…….many years ago….decades now…….I took my daughters to Venice.

We paid for a Gondola ride……. not a small pittance to pay.

As we sat, enjoying the ride and enjoying our banter with a personable Gondolier, Marco, “He asked if we wanted a song…..and where in Italy, my people were from.

venetian sunset

I should have heard my mother’s voice in my head…..I should have hesitated…….but I quickly answered……..Sicily, I’m Sicilian.

Like the shadow of the Bridge of Sighs, I watched the smile darken across his face.   He didn’t say a word; he didn’t have to.    I didn’t say a word; I should have.   Maybe if I had been older…maybe if I had been a bit more brazen…….maybe a hundred things.

But I let the arrow of prejudice find its mark.   He sang his song…..I tried to enjoy the ride past Marco Polo’s home…….But what lived in the home of this Marco would linger always………

Governor Cuomo only spoke a true fact……something all Sicilians know…….It is why so many left such a beautiful land….a land where slavery and prejudice were present for those who only sought a better life……far from the reach of prejudice’s arrow.

Prejudice is ugly……….not matter how beautiful the scenery or what side of the ocean or part of the boot you call home.

Shirl

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“For Charlotte, Today”

On this day, 1952, and endearing spider named Charlotte wove her web into our hearts.

E.B. White’s Charlotte’s Web, was published on this day.  Illustrator Garth Williams came up with just the right combination of lines to create an arachnid children and adults would fall in love with, not despise.

Spiders get a bad rap.  Yes, there are some poisonous ones, who will defend if they feel threatened.

But, spiders do a lot of good…..they eat a lot of the pests that bother us even if we don’t threaten their space.

Long ago, Native people thought Mother Spider wove stories in her web……perhaps Charlotte’s story took inspiration from this legend.

I once had a spider build a cocoon of sorts in the corner of my bathroom ceiling.  We developed a kinship.  Each morning, I would say hello, each evening good-night.  She stayed there a very long time.  Then one day, she was gone.

I like the legends of Native Americans; they revere the spider.   Grandmother or Mother Spider was the mother of the universe.  She wove webs that sparkled in the dew like stars, which she tossed into the sky to become our celestial dewdrops.   When you gaze at the stars, remember the legend of Mother Spider.

Navajo women, known for their creative weaving, also thanked Mother Spider.   Indian maidens would rub their hands in spider webs to absorb the gift of weaving from Mother Spider.

Spider webs were medically used as clean ways of sealing up wounds…..a dirty barn where a wounded soldier lay bleeding would usually have a spiderweb hanging…..these were nature’s and Mother Spider’s gifts.   Modern day science has discovered webs are rich in Vitamin K…which helps blood clot.   Hanging in those dusty barn rafters, was the gift of life for someone bleeding from a badly broken limb.

People even used spider webs to create beautiful works of art in 16th Century Europe.  Who hasn’t gazed upon a spider web and marveled at the intricate beauty.

Next time you come upon a spider, look upon her with wonder, not disgust.  She has many stories to weave……listen.

Thank you E. B. White, for a casting spiders in a new light for generations of readers…..May your words keep shining like a spider web’s dew in morning sunlight and evening stars.  ❤

I have written my own fairy tales about kind spiders……This is one of my own illustrations.The Mouse and the Spider

Namaste,

Shirl

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