If Death Were a Woman


This poem grabbed me.  I wasn’t thinking about Death, but the beauty of the words — the possibility of it — captured my imagination today.

We all will face Death, one day — some of us sooner than others — but how we face it, how we accept it or fight it, can be as important as how we live on the way there.

Death is scary.  It isn’t something I want to do, any time soon — I have grandchildren to watch grow up, great-grandchildren to welcome many years from now — but when it comes, it would be nice to think it would be like this poem.  Nice to think that those I’ve loved and lost were welcomed to the Other Side in so gentle and beautiful a fashion.

Namaste,

Barbara

 

 

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If Death Were a Woman

–Ellen Kort

I’d want her to come for me smelling of cinnamon

wearing bright cotton      purple maybe       hot pink

 

a red bandana in her hair          She’d bring

good coffee         papaya juice       bouquet of sea grass

 

saltine crackers and a lottery ticket      We’d dip

our fingers into moist pouches of lady’s slippers

 

crouch down to see how cabbage feel when wind

bumps against them in the garden     We’d walk

 

through Martin’s woods      find the old house

its crumbling foundation strung with honeysuckle vines

 

and in the front yard     a surprise     jonquils

turning the air yellow     glistening and ripe

 

still blooming for a gardener long gone

We’d head for the beach wearing strings of shells

 

around our left ankles     laugh at their ticking

sounds     the measured beat that comes with dancing

 

on hard-packed sand     the applause of ocean and gulls

She’d play ocarina songs to a moon almost full

 

and I’d sing off-key     We’d glide and swoop

become confetti of leaf fall     all wings

 

floating on small whirlwinds     never once dreading

the heart-silenced drop     And when it was time

 

she would not bathe me     Instead we’d scrub the porch

pour leftover water on flowers     stand a long time

 

in sun and silence     then      holding hands

we’d post for pictures     in the last light

 

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Rest in Peace Kayla


 

The White House and Kayla Mueller’s family have verified her death while a captive of ISIL. She was a beautiful humanitarian and along with the other captive who have been murdered, May They All Rest in Peace in the beauty and love of God. May they be blessed and their families comforted. They are brave beyond understanding.

Nameste

 

The delicate beauty of God's world. Butterflies are so fragile and beautiful.

The delicate beauty of God’s world. Butterflies are so fragile and beautiful. Photographed and copyrighted by Barbara Mattio 2014

This is Domestic Violence


Some days, we all need some humor. I have over a foot of snow here. So you get humor!!!

Deadly shooting in Georgia with children among victims

Flowers and teddy bears lay on the street outside the home of a shooting scene where authorities say five people are dead, including the gunman, in Douglasville, Ga. on Saturday, Feb. 7, 2015. DAVID GOLDMAN, AP

Last Updated Feb 7, 2015 9:44 PM EST

DOUGLAS COUNTY, Ga. – At least five people, including children, were killed in a shooting west of Atlanta Saturday afternoon, authorities said.

Lt. Glenn Daniel of the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office said a man came to a house and shot his ex-wife and several children.

CBS affiliate WGCL-TV in Atlanta reported the shooting happened on Willow Tree Circle in the Amber Forest subdivision. Daniel said officers received a 911 reporting the gunfire at 3 p.m.

Daniel said that some neighbors apparently heard or saw the shooting and came outside to assist the victims until rescuers arrived. Some victims appeared to have been shot inside the residence while others were apparently shot outside.

A seven-year-old child was one of the people killed, WGCL reported. Daniel told the station two children were among the wounded. The youngest victim was described as a toddler.

The shooter is believed to have died by a self-inflicted gunshot wound, Daniel said. Police were still working Saturday to identify the victims and confirm their relationships, he said.

“I’ve never seen this many victims in one shooting in my 38-year career,” Chief Deputy Stan Copeland told WGCL.

Daniel said he did not immediately know when the couple divorced or whether the family had prior contact with police.

“I’ve been in law enforcement out here 20 years and this is the worst I’ve ever seen,” Daniel said.

Investigators have not released the names of the suspect or the victims because their family members have not yet been notified. The motive of the shooting was not immediately clear.

Investigators obtained a warrant to enter the home, now surrounded by crime scene tape, on Saturday so they could collect and examine evidence from the crime scene.

“It’s just shocking. As a parent, you don’t want to think that a mother would lose her child,” neighbor Geraldine Price told WGCL. “It’s just shocking all together and it’s sad.”

“It’s very devastating,” said Shelton Price. “Nothing ever really happens here.”

Kenya Beyah, who lives about four doors down from the home where the shooting began, left flowers at the scene Saturday evening. She didn’t know the family but said she saw kids playing outside from time to time, she said.

Gun violence in America


5-year-old boy finds gun, shoots baby brother in head

The Sexism Behind Abuse


Many different ways have been devised for keeping women subordinated to men in patriarchal societies. Footbinding was used by the Chinese to cripple women for over a thousand years. Purdah, is the Muslim practice of secluding women from contact with men outside of the immediate family. Muslim women are to this day, are prisoners in their own homes. Clitoridectomy, the excision of the clitoris, is still practiced on millions of young, pre-puberty girls today in Egypt, Sudan, Somalia, Kenya, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Iraq,  Guinea and Ethiopia.

 

Violence against women in the form of battering in the home and rape in and outside of the home is a major issue for societies to address and stop. Violence against women has happened so often for millennia. Yet women continue to leave in fear for their lives.

 

Women in Japan, Netherlands, France, Wales, England, Scotland, Ireland, Australia, USA and Germany began to stand up for their human rights as women in the 1970’s. There has been much done to stop the battering but we have not ended violence against women.

 

As women, we demand that governments recognize the existence and extent of this problem in almost every society. We demand safety for ourselves and our children. I began work in Domestic Violence in the seventies, and here in America women continue to be killed, to face daily violence, to lose their self-respect and their hope. It is very difficult to find the courage to leave an abuser when he has twisted your actions and words to manipulate and control you.

 

Whether the abuser is male or female, the penalty for Domestic Violence must be increased. The perpetrator must be more severely punished.

 

Rape is the other type of violence against women that must be stopped. Rape has nothing to do with sex. It is constructed by a man’s need to have power and control over a woman. Men in sexist societies are surrounded by sexist views and attitudes which they use to validate their actions against women.

 

Male violence against towards women can not be eradicated without also eradicating the unequal power relationships between the sexes. Many sociologists feel that the traditional family need to be changed. Equality within domestic relationships is very important if we are to completely eradicate violence in families. This includes violence against children.

 

Spanking children is abuse. Slapping them is abuse. In addition, it teaches them that at the basic level, violence is the way to deal with problems and/or behaviors we are not comfortable with. This is why abuse is found in dysfunctional families. It is passed on from one generation to another. Children in violent homes, learn how to abuse and how to be a victim. No one should be a victim, ever.

 

I must also speak to teenage girls. There is nothing you can do that means your boyfriend has the right to abuse, hit, batter, slap or kick you. It is his issue and not yours. Talk to your guidance counselor or doctor or your parents.

“Love is never meant to hurt. It should never leave red marks, bruises, or broken bones.”  — Barbara Mattio

 

 

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The first time you are beaten is the time you should leave. Abusers do kill women.

The first time you are beaten is the time you should leave. Abusers do kill women.

 

 

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Where Has the Peace Gone?


 

 

 

My friends, let us give thanks for Wonder.

Let us give thanks for the Wonder of Life

that infuses all things now and forever.

 

Blessed is the Source of Life, the Fountain of Being

the wellspring of goodness, compassion and Kindness

from which we draw to make for justice and peace.

From the creative power of Life we derive food and harvest,

from the bounty of the earth and the yields of the heavens

we are sustained and are able to sustain others.

All Life is holy, sacred,

worthy of respect and dignity.

Let us give thanks for the power of heart

to sense the holy in the midst of the simple.

 

We eat not simply to satisfy our own appetites,

we eat to sustain ourselves in the task we have been given.

Each of us is unique,

coming into world with a gift no other can offer: ourselves.

We eat to nourish the vehicle of giving,

we eat to sustain our task of world, repair,

our quest for harmony, peace and justice.

 

We eat and we are revived, and we give thanks

to the lives that were ended to nourish our own.

May we merit their sacrifice, and honor their sparks of holiness

through our deeds of loving kindness.

 

We give thanks to the Power that makes for Meeting,

for our table has been a place of dialogue and friendship.

 

We give thanks to Life.

May we never lose touch with the simple joy and wonder

of sharing life.   —Rabbi Rami M. Shapiro

Leave the world a better place.

Leave the world a better place.

Peace, in the sense of the absence of war, is of little value to someone who is dying of hunger or cold. It will not remove the pain of torture inflicted on a prisoner of conscience. It does not comfort those who have lost their loved ones in floods caused by senseless deforestation in a neighboring country. Peace can only last where human rights are respected, where the people are fed, and where individuals and nations are free.   —Dalai Lama

 

The only true guardian of peace lies within: a sense of concern and responsibility for your own future and an altruistic concern for the well-being of others.

—-Dalai Lama

 

As we are together, praying for peace, let us be truly with each other.

Let us pay attention to our breathing.

Let us be relaxed in our bodies and our minds.

Let us be at peace with our bodies and our minds.

Let us return to ourselves and become wholly ourselves. Let us maintain a half-smile of our faces.

Let us be aware of the source of being common to us all and to all living things.

Evoking the presence of the Great Compassion—–towards ourselves and towards all living beings.

Let us pray that all living beings realize that they are all brothers and sisters, all nourished from the same source of life.

Let us pray that we ourselves cease to be the cause of suffering to each other.

Let us plead with ourselves to live in a way which will not deprive

other beings of air, water, food, shelter,or the chance to live.

With humility, with awareness of the existence of life, and of the sufferings that are going on around us, let us pray for the establishment of peace in our hearts and on earth. Amen                                          —Thich Nhat Hanh

 

 

What is dying inside of you?

What is dying inside of you?

No More War


 

 

 

 

War is burning our planet.

War is burning our planet.

Dove of Peace

Dove of Peace

 

 

I had a blog planned for today. But the world has changed what I have to say right now. The negativity and darkness which has been lingering over the world is exploding much like the missiles exploding in the skies. So here we are once again and innocent people are being injured and killed.  Children are losing their lives or their parents. We must learn to live without war and violence. When will human beings learn that violence produces nothing but more violence? Where are the clear thinking leaders of our world who should be talking to each other and doing what is best for all peoples of all countries? We are all the same. Our hearts beat to the same rhythm. Our legs move in the same way. We all have those we love and those we don’t know. Does that make the “other people”  wrong or is it all right to kill them? The answer is a gigantic NO!

 

Whether you believe in God or not, whether you are a Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, Christian, Zoroastrian, Sufi, Agnostic or Atheist, whether you believe in a Goddess or in Divine Energy or nothing at all, we are made from the same matter. We are star dust. We are killing each other once again. God is not supporting anyone in these wars. God does not belong to any one nationality. God doesn’t favor anyone more than another. God loves all of us, no matter who is participating in war, God loves everyone the same. There is only one God. Despite the fact that we have many religions and spiritual paths, there is only one God and all are loved. It is not my God against your God, there is only one God. Call it whatever you want, there is only one God.

 

A Malaysian airplane has been shut down over the Ukraine. Three hundred human beings, innocent human beings from a variety of countries have  been taken down by surface to air missiles. Why? Which country took the airliner down? What did these people do wrong? Nothing. They bought a ticket and boarded an airliner that was shot out of the sky over the Ukraine. How can decent and reasonable people do this to the human beings on the plane? Were they involved in the conflict between Ukraine and Russia? Some of them, maybe, and but most were probably not. These were human beings who got up this morning and packed their suitcases to take with them on their flight and now they are dead. Maybe they were running late and forgot to say goodbye. Perhaps they were on their way to see someone they loved. Is there an excuse for these unnecessary deaths? There is not. No matter who shot it down, they killed innocent people for no reason. They committed murder. They must be punished, by law, but even this horrible act is not an excuse for war.

 

 

 

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That war is not a solution is not a new concept.  Edwin Starr put it very well:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hate isn't the answer

Hate isn’t the answer

The problems between Palestine and Israel is not new.  Iuntries believe that hate is the problem between these two peoples. I believe that both countries are in some ways right and in some ways wrong. So with hate in their hearts, they continue to war over a strip of land. It isn’t even a great piece of land. But the Palestinian people need a place to call home and to develop their lives. Israel needs to be safe from attacks and worry they will lose their country. There are non-Israelis living in Israel. Israeli hospitals have even treated Palestinians in their hospitals. So I am convinced if the leaders of both countries would stop their accusations, their selfishness and insensitivity to the pain of the other people, peaceful coexistence is possible.

 

The Israeli people need to allow the Palestinians to live unmolested in the Gaza Strip. The Palestinians need to have free access to the provisions they need and to get to jobs in Israel (which many Palestinians hold).  Israelis need to be secure in their homes without fear of suicide bombers coming into their country from Gaza. They both need to forgive each other and show each other compassion and gentleness. God, whether called Allah nor Adonai or by any other name, does not want this horrific suffering.

 

Today, despite the prayers from people around the world, Israel has launched a ground attack. The only result will be the loss of more innocent people. I want to declare that innocent people are not collateral damage. They are human beings who have parents, siblings, loved ones, children and friends, just as we do. We all lose when war is unleashed upon our planet. There are no real winners. One side may be declared a winner and think it is done. But what is produced is more hatred and suffering and pain. 

 

WAR MUST END! WE ARE GOING TO DESTROY OURSELVES AND OUR PLANET.

 

There are good, compassionate people living in both countries. There are nasty, thoughtless, mean people in both countries. We have had two World Wars. Innocent people are killed, tortured, imprisoned and suffer. Egos and greed are not reasons to take human lives. There is no reason to take human lives,  If leaders could only remember that, we would have no more genocide, no more suicide bombings, and ultimately no more war.

 

So I hope many people are praying for peace today. I know I am. There is nothing that makes war worthwhile. Nothing that gives human beings back their lives and their futures. How many mathematicians, authors, artists, future Mozarts have we destroyed? What wonders could we have accomplished if war hadn’t ended their lives? Let us stop war now. Let us discuss peace, find a way to co-exist, and work together for the benefit of our planet and all human beings.

 

 

The power of kindness

The power of kindness