What is in a name?


The beginning of a new year is exciting and filled with some apprehension. I am notorious for facing the new year with trepidation and glee. Yes, I realize that I sound strange. But there are reasons for both responses.

 

This year I know that if you were to draw a picture of me, you would see one funny looking woman. In 2015, I am looking forward to the possibility of adventure, new friends, new experiences and also leaving old friends, leaving the one grandchild that lives here, and leaving the culture that I love so much. It will be good, but I expect bumps along the way. If things unfold as I imagine them, we will be living in North Carolina this year. But it might be next year or not? No it is coming. An end to winter. Sixty four years on the Great Lakes is quite enough for any one. The doctors are pushing for the move because of my health. We are at the point that we are both taking steps to bring this to fruition, while trusting that the things that must happen will without our interfering. Depending on the universe in this is something I am working very hard on.

 

What I am ready for is to move, to spend more time in the sunshine. I am ready to be nearer to some of the other grandchildren. I am ready for new adventures and I am ready to be astonished.What I am not ready for is the details of making this come together like a puzzle. I dislike puzzles. So I am doing practical things, praying, believing, anticipating and dreading all at the same time. So I ask all of you, to say a prayer for my sister and I to be within the perfect order of the universe. Which brings me to:

Prayer is an Egg

 

On Resurrection Day God will say, ” What did you do with the strength and energy

your food gave you on earth? How did you use your eyes? What did you make with

your five senses while they were dimming and playing out? I gave you hands and feet

as tools for preparing the ground for planting. Did you, in the health I gave,

do the plowing?” You will not be able to stand when you hear those questions. You

will bend double, and finally acknowledge the glory. God will say “Lift

your head and answer the questions.” Your head will rise a little, then slump

again. “Look at me! Tell me what you’ve done.” You try, but you fall back flat

as a snake. “I want every detail. Say! Eventually you will be able to get to

a sitting position. “Be plain and clear. I have given you such gifts. What did

you do with them? ” You turn to the right looking to the prophets for help, as

though to say, I am stuck in the mud of my live. Help me out of this! They

will answer, those kings, “The time for belonging is past. The plow stands there in

the field. You should have used it.” Then you turn to the left, where your family

is, and they will say, “Don’t look at us! This conversation is between you and your

creator.” Then you pray the prayer that is the essence of every ritual: God,

I have no hope. I am torn to shreds. You are my first and last and only refuge.

Don’t do daily prayers like a bird pecking, moving its head up and down. Prayer is a egg.

Hatch out the total helplessness inside.”

—By Rumi

 

Both Wings Broken

 

Love draws a dagger and pulls me close.

Lock and key. Bird with both wings

 

broken. The love religion is all that’s

written here. who else would say this?

 

You open me up wide. Or you tie me

tighter. The ball waits on the field

 

to be hit again. You push me into fire

like Abraham. You pull me out like

 

Muhammed. “Which do you like better?”

you ask. All the same, if it’s your hand,

 

troubles or peace. Friends become enemies,

faithful faithless. Some knots tighten.

 

some loosen. Unruly tangle of caution and

rebellion, ropes and uncombed hair, no one

 

can tell. Then comes the sure attention

of a mother’s hand for her hurt child.”

—by Rumi

 

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Praying at the Wailing Wall.

Praying at the Wailing Wall.

 “Hear oh Israel, the Lord is God, the Lord is One.” — most important prayer in Judiasm

 

Prayer and meditation

Prayer and meditation

 

 

 

Sandlewood prayer beads

Sandlewood prayer beads

 

 “Go in Beauty, Peace be with you, Til we meet again in the Light.”

Prayer and meditation.

Prayer and meditation.

 

 “May the long time sun shine upon you. All love surround you. And the pure light within you. Guide your way home.”

 

Prayer of Tibetan monk

Prayer of Tibetan monk

 

 “Tell me, what is God? He is the breath inside the breath.”  —Kabir

 

Pray together to increase the power

Pray together to increase the power

 

 “Oh music, In your depths we deposit our hearts and souls.

 Thou hast taught us to see with our eyes and hear with our hearts.” —Kahil Gibran

 

Deep in prayer

Deep in prayer

 

“Flowers and bees may be different, but the honey is the same. Systems of faith may be different, but God is One.” —Rig Veda

 

Man at prayer

Man at prayer

Reality Check


 

 

Welcome to the real world.

 

 

The Milky Way. If we destroy ourselves, what happens to the universe?

The Milky Way. If we destroy ourselves, what happens to the universe?

 

 

 

Dolphins living free until we completely destroy our planet

Dolphins living free until we completely destroy our planet

 

 

 

Twilight on boat launch at Avon. Photographed and copyrighted by Barbara Mattio 2014

Twilight on boat launch at Avon. Photographed and copyrighted by Barbara Mattio 2014

 

 

California Poppies. Another gift from Mother Nature.

California Poppies. Another gift from Mother Nature.

 

 

 

Upper Waterfall in Letchworth State Park. The Genesee River has formed a gorge. We must take care of the gifts from Mother Earth.

Upper Waterfall in Letchworth State Park. The Genesee River has formed a gorge. We must take care of the gifts from Mother Earth.

We have to take care of our planet. It is more important than oil, money, arms, greed, jealously, bigotry, injustice, hatred and war. We must take care of Mother Earth. Our planet has changed greatly during just my lifetime. There is a supervolcano under Yellowstone National Park. If it blows, it will destroy most of America. Yet we continue fracking, mining, polluting the earth and the air. We must stop. To choose not to stop is to commit suicide.

 

 

 Great Spirit

 

Great Spirit,

give us hearts to understand;

never to take

from creation’s  beauty more than we give;

never to destroy wantonly for the furtherance of greed,

never to deny to give our hands for the building of earth’s beauty;

never to take from her what we cannot use.

Give us hearts to understand that to destroy earth’s

music is to create confusion,

that to wreck her appearance is to blind us to beauty;

that to callously pollute her fragrance is to make a house of stench;

that as we care for her she will care for us. Amen     —U.N. Environmental Sabbath Program

 

 

 

 

Praying for Mother Earth.

Praying for Mother Earth.

 

Only a self-destructive species would do to our planet, what we have done.

Only a self-destructive species would do to our planet, what we have done.

In Praise of the One


Sufi image

Sufi image

“God, I see you everywhere, wherever I gaze—
From the low valleys to lofty mountains,
A sweet song resounds:
“One of God”s great hands
Spanned the heavens,
Creating angels and worms,
Summer’s Breeze and winter’s storm.”
—–Salomon Maimon

The star of David

The star of David

Heart and wings

Heart and wings

The Compassion of Buddha

The Compassion of Buddha

The female aspect of Divinity

The female aspect of Divinity

In all cultures women are raped

In all cultures women are raped

Hands in prayer

Hands in prayer

At the End of the Day


The language of the eyes is tears.

The language of the eyes is tears.

This day has left many in pain, shock, disbelief, horror, and anger. I know I have felt each of these emotions through the course of the day. I have been praying, sending light and strength to the families of the survivors and the families of the victims.

This has been a week that reminds me of the 9-11 attacks. A time where your brain just can’t quite wrap around the truth–the awful truth that little ones have died. There really aren’t any words that can comfort a parent at a time like this, but it is important to put the sacred and pure energy out there to heal and lift up those whose hearts have been broken.

It doesn’t matter who these children were, they were all unique gifts from God and their time here was too short. I think about what they would have wanted their parents to feel and the entire nation. I think they would tell us they are in no pain and they are well. I think this because life is a cycle, it begins with birth and ends in death but that does not end the journey. I believe they would want us all to live in love, peace and harmony. I believe they would want to be remembered in our hearts.

bouquet

rosebouquet

June roses

Photo by Barbara Mattio

May all of the people who have been murdered this week Rest in the Peace of God now and always.

Another Day of Shock and Horror


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May the angels hold all of these children and aad the fallen adults in their wings and carry them on to the arms of The Beloved

My heart is heavy today as I listen and pray for the victims, their families and friends. I pray also for the survivors and first responders.I don’t believe that I will ever forget the little boy, in fourth grade who said, “We are just glad we are alive.” I also heard a mother say,” My heart is broken into little pieces.”

This is not the blog I planned for today and yet it is the one that I need to speak about. There were also school employees who were also dead. I am beginning to hear of acts of heroism that saved further lives. This bravery speaks to the best in the human heart.

I have visited the social media today and what I read that a few people have written is as frightening as this terrible act. We must not forget that how we respond to terrible events is important to how well survivors heal and how well families and friends can begin the process of healing. It is a process and it is a journey. Having lost someone very dear to me, I understand the process they are facing.

I pray for all of the first responders to this quiet, beautiful little village. They were also brave and selfless and viewed what the rest of us will never have to witness. Thanks to all of them for their quick response.

May the energy and the light of these candles surrounds the grieving parents.

May the energy and the light of these candles surrounds the grieving parents.

Just now, I can only think of the pain and grief of families in this small Connecticut village. I ask that many prayers be lifted up for all of those affected by this terrible event.

Healing hands bring Divine energy to those in pain.

Healing hands bring Divine energy to those in pain.

The Prognosis for Mother Earth


Our planet as it really is

“More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of.” —-Alfred Lord Tennyson

Invoking the powers of the Universe or bestowing our blessing on the Earth or other beings is neither a simple benevolent wish nor an act of hubris.. It is an act of creative consciousness. .As we shake off all other desires, we can proceed on our relationship with the whole Universe.

Peace be to earth and to airy space!
Peace be to heaven, peace to the waters,
Peace to the plant and peace to the trees!
May all the powers grant me peace!
By this invocation of peace may peace be diffused!
By this invocation of peace may peace bring peace!
With this peace the dreadful I now appease,
With this peace the cruel I now appease,
With this peace all evil I now appease,
So that peace may prevail, happiness prevail
May everything for us to be peaceful.”
——–Atharva Veda XIX

Prayers and blessings bring us into alignment with the rest of creation. They directly express our intentions and and utter wishes we hope to be achieved. We offer an invocation or blessings and we become mindful co-creators in this unfolding Universe.

“This is what I want to happen,
That our Earth Mother may not be closed in ground corn four times over…
In order that the country may be this way
I have made my prayer sticks into something alive.”
——–Zuni prayer

There is some magic to some prayers. Not the superstitious sort we usually think of, but rather in the ecological sense of the creative flux of all things. Through our blessings and superstitions we acknowledge this network of forces that flows through the world. This awakens the deeper levels, of our consciousness to affect these patterns of change.

It is an act of creative confidence, these invocations and prayers. It empties us of the needs of our personality, our ego, or the demands of our society, we free ourselves to come into a dynamic relationship with the whole Universe.

The color of Earth;  Photo by Barbara Mattio

The Journey of life can take us down beautiful paths

                                                                                                                                                                                   Photo by Barbara Mattio