“The Blackest of Days….The Whitest of Snows”

 

 

Tomorrow,  the anniversary of one of the blackest days of my life…….
I lost a grandbaby
Steve’s father crossed
And my dear friend told me she had been diagnosed with ALS……..it was like a sledgehammer had been flung at my heart.
Today the winds are swirling snow like the Arctic tundra…spirits are swirling about me………….
The whitest of flurries, the darkest of days announces its ascent……………row upon row infrared
Shirl
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“Echoes of the Past” My son’s Christmas gift.

My son got me an Echo for Christmas….I have turned into that viral video of the Italian grandma yelling Google…..I have been reprimanded for yelling at the device quite a few times now……
Once I kept asking, well yelling, for Echo to do something. Then my husband entered the room and said,  Why are you yelling, you know you have to call her Alexa??????
sigh……….
I am still yelling at her……..:-)
Where are my tape cassettes and pencils for rewinding them???
It’s nice to hear a song you haven’t heard in a while without rummaging through your CD rack to find it……
I listened to my own book yesterday……..the robotic voice read “Birdsong, Barks, and Banter” to me……….
Of course, the robot got some word pronunciations wrong, which to an author is irritating……..read or read……the robut cannot differentiate …….
She pronounced Bram’s name wrong……….
She placed emphasis on parts of the sentence that I wrote in my head differently……….
But it was nice to listen to my memories, my words, while saying goodbye to 2017 yesterday…………..
Especially, since just two days ago, it would have been my Bram’s 12th birthday; he crossed 2 years ago…….thanks Echo…….er……Alexa.   ❤Bram smile
New Year Blessings,
Shirl
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“Pit Bulls”

It’s been all over the news……the young woman mauled to death by her Pit Bulls.   Some say no way, some say “kill them all.”   

There is always more to the story…….it has been coming out in bits and pieces…..how these dogs, once cared for with much attention, were receiving less devotion in recent time.

Are some breeds inherently aggressive?   I think some breeds possess the power to hurt and kill and must be raised with devotion and love.   It is man who has bred evil into these innocents and now these innocents carry the Scarlet Letter of killing around their necks, whether deserving of it or not.

I once exchanged conversation with a dog behaviorist and author.   He told me even a little poodle will become a killer if left on the streets to join a wild pack.   Even man will become a killer to survive.

But these dogs weren’t starving in the wild?   Why would they turn…..what moment precipitated the attack…..we will never know for sure what happened.   There are conflicting reports of these dogs’ pasts…..I don’t know if she knew them since puppyhood, or there were periods of time only from which these dogs harbored memories that might have triggered this event.

By the side of a devoted guardian, a dog will be a protector and friend.   Raised with aggression, a dog will learn that as his right way.   Raised with both……as with many formerly abused dogs…….raised with aggression and later devotion……we must face the reality of a grey world where a moment can change the life of the one saving and the one who has been saved.   That moment might never occur, fortunately, most rescued dogs become loving family members.   But that moment’s potential is possible and must be recognized by all who take one of these dogs inside the home.  Knowledge, respect, and devotion are never ending responsibilities, rewarded with love and gratitude.

All beings possess intricate emotions……love, hate, fear, sorrow, the ability to love and the ability to kill……

If we label one particular group, we must label all with this potential, for indeed, we all possess this potential within our being.

Man has singled out a particular breed to use as tools of fighting and killing.   If the fault lies within this breed, the fault must also dwell within man.

Man can be a killer, but not every man is one.

Pit Bulls can be killers, but not every pit bull is one.

Pit Bulls did not force us into the killing fields;  it was man who held the leash toward aggression.  Now, we attempt to hold that leash again and guide it toward love……most will succeed……..but there are those who will fail…………

 

******January 8th   Now, another sad story of a one year old mauled by what appears to be an unprovoked incident, by a pit bull, who has been a member of the family for five years. We may not know the whole story, the dog’s background, what occurred in that kitchen…….but owning a dog capable of harming your child requires knowledge of the fact that beside the gun, the knife, the father possessed, he possessed another deadly weapon in his house…..a dog…….Any dog is capable of hurting a child…..the more powerful the dog, the more danger……..
If you share your home with a powerful dog, you have to be aware that any moment can be a life changing one………..
I hope this child heals….she will carry this day with her for the rest of her life, both in outward and inward scars…….

Blessings this Holiday,

Shirl

 

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“Saints and Trees, God Before our Eyes” St. Lucy

 

Today is Saint Lucy’s Day in the Catholic Church.   Venerated by many cultures, St. Lucy is a martyr to the people of Sicily.  My mother observed a day without wheat in honor of her for as long as she lived.   She would buy a special grain at the Italian bakery and cook it for herself each December 13th.

St. Lucy is the Saint of the eyes…..she is portrayed with a tray of her own eyes, a self inflicted wound to herself in reverence to God.  Looking back at the shadows of Saints that graced St. Anthony’s Church,  most of them had frightening stories for little eyes to witness.   There was Saint Bartholomew, who held a large knife with a bloody slit down his forearm……..his skin flayed as a martyr.   There was kind St. Francis, pictured with a skull at his feet, to portray the fragility of mortality.   There was brave St. Michael, slaying a dragonly devil at his feet.  Somewhere, in my psyche, I am sure these statues left a mark on me……the fear of God, I would imagine.

When did people’s awe of the wonders of our natural world turn to fear …… When did sacred mistletoe hanging from the respected oaks be changed into the commercialism of a kissing “token” and a dead tree decorated with tinsel held in awe in the eyes of our children……….Trees suffer, die,  then are glorified in our eyes…….reminds you of the Saints, doesn’t it……….

When did fear replace awe……..when did killing become justified because of which Saint or God inspired worship in one’s home.

St. Lucy gave her eyes to God……he restored her blindness.

Which God will restore our blindness………………………………….Lucy

Blessings this Season of Holidays,

Shirl

 

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“The Notebooks of our Lives”

 

 

On this day, 1980, oil tycoon Armand Hammer purchased DaVinci’s notebook for over 5 million. In November, 1994, Bill Gates purchased it for 30.8 million.
Wouldn’t it be astounding to hold this little journal in one’s hands………..
There are some bits of paper I would love to hold…..an original Shakespeare folio, DaVinci’s notebook, the Dead Sea Scrolls……to name a few………
To just imagine the hands that put those words to paper, to physically touch what they have touched…….it would be extraordinary, wouldn’t it…….
Among the priceless in dollars, two other papers would be on that list……..the list of war letters my mother shredded the day before she died.   I would have loved to hold them, but they weren’t mine to read.   They were hers.
My father’s diary…….he wrote a page to my mother each day after she died until his arthritic fingers could no longer hold a pen.
He asked me if I wanted them………I did, but I couldn’t answer him.   I guess somewhere in my soul I knew they weren’t mine either, they were his.
He told me later he shredded them.   Sorrow filled my heart, but they were his, not mine.  When he died, I found one last page among his possessions.   He wrote,  I have to stop writing.   I cannot write the words any longer.  That was all……that was enough.
I have it.   It is my DaVinci notebook; one day, a child of mine will find it and make it hers.
One page…….my folio, my Leicester Codex, my biblical parchment……..
Blessings,
Shirl
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“Imagine”

We all remember certain days……for me………….JFK, RFK, Elvis, the Space Shuttle ………

And for me, one other………I was sitting in the parking lot of Quaker Bridge Mall, NJ with my infant daughter.    Light snow was falling; I was anxious to drive home.   I turned the radio on and heard the news…..

John Lennon was dead.

I came of age with the music of the Beatles.    My dad bought me my first album of Beatle music at Korvettes, another Jersey institution for those of you old enough and near enough to remember.

I raced to the corner store to buy my cavity inducing gum to collect Beatle cards, which,  to my horror, were tossed away as garbage when I left my childhood behind to become a wife and mother, myself.

I loved the Beatles, most of us did.   The man, well, he had his flaws, most of us do.  But he had a gift.  A gift, unfortunately, silenced too soon outside the shadow of the Dakota in NYC.   Just imagine where life and music would have led him………..

John Lennon, shot on this day, December 1980Lennon

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“How this Retrograde will Affect Women and Harassment”

I don’t think we’ve seen the last of harassment accusations.   Quite the contrary, December 3rd begins a Mercury Retrograde.   Retrogrades are times of reflection, where the past comes back to help or haunt.

I think a lot of women haunted will speak up, even though years have passed.

It has got me thinking of the past as well.   I have held many jobs, always searching for my niche until writing found me.  Harassment comes with many faces, and I have seen most of them.  Harassment with unwanted physical attempts, harassment with demeaning comments and harassment due to age.   I didn’t work while my children were small; in my forties, I went back to find “fulfillment.”

Instead, I found how tough it is for a mature woman to be valued above the minimum wage positions.   I found a job in a high powered attorney’s office.   For low wages, the work of really three employees was put on my shoulders and the stress was overwhelming.   The woman who held my position before had left with a life threatening illness.   As I sat in her chair, I worried how all this stress might affect me.   Was it worth it?   I decided no and walked into his office and gave my notice,

He looked at me with a smirk and said……….”You know you will never get better than this, at your “age” ……… you will never amount to anything.

I went to work for an older woman who had been a professional Realtor/Broker all her life.   I helped manage her office, then, eventually went on to school and became a Realtor myself.   The very first house I sold, the buyer used this lawyer.   As I stepped in the legal office of the seller’s attorney with my Broker at my side, we all exchanged “pleasantries.”   I looked at him, he looked at me and under his breath said, “We know each other.”   I collected my commission check (in the thousands) and left, feeling like one of the worst reflections of my life had turned into one of the best days of my life.

I think most of us have all been harassed in one way or several.   It’s how we show our strength, not our defeat that counts.

Real Estate wasn’t my place, writing is.   But I will always remember standing in that office as that man told me I would amount to nothing without his job.

Use this Mercury Retrograde to reflect, learn, and move forward with renewed confidence and strength.

Shirl

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