Child Prodigy — then and now

Sometimes, talent touches a life young, and fades.  Sometimes, talent touches a life young, and never lets go.


Tallan Latz was first discovered 7 years ago at the age of 8 years old.



Today at 15, he’s still going strong:




I can’t wait to see what he’s doing in 8 more years, at the tender age of 22!

Religion: The View from the Coming Generation

I found this video on, and found it fascinating to see what was, to me, a different view of religion being expressed by children.

These children are Indian and Pakistani, but I wonder how different the views of American, British or European children would really be.

I’m sharing this post with you because we need to listen to the children, because, right now, they are pure and uncorrupted; and because we need to realize how the division between us brings about hatred and, often, wars.


I really would love to hear your comments on this one.  I think the opinions of these children is worth a good, honest discussion between us, the people who care about peace in the world.









What Artists Need

Creative people, or we could say artists, have some needs to be able to fully access their creativity.

They need to love and to be loved. We, as creative people, need intimate relationships, emotional and intellectual friendships. Creative people need wide-ranging relationships. They also need human warmth, the occasional handshake. They need people who respect their work and who respect and care about them.


They need love, intimacy, and friendship more than they need gallery shows or tenure. The flow of love through our human lives is what we need and what we must attain.


Relating needs to be more than a nice idea. Creative people need to relate well to others. Van Gogh loved the idea of complement as an essential life accomplishment. He looked at human relationships and color relationships to be essential. He loved to use blue and yellow in his paintings and he felt that men and women need to and can support one another in life. The inability to accomplish this is one of the thousands of reasons for depression.


Creative people can be great composers, painters, writers, a great intellectual or a great soul. We need to climb down off of our high horses, tear our enemies lists to shreds. We need to stop criticizing and blaming others for our own failures. We are special but not completely unique.


Therapists suggest that artists consciously make a point of caring for others. Give without taking.

Feel, rather than steel yourself to the actions and comments of others. Count to ten and perhaps count more than once.


Manage your ego. Someone else’s success is not a personal affront to you. Moderate selfishness. Share credit when it is earned. We have hungers and desires but so does every living human being. Reduce your sense of injury. Let the old hurts which continue to haunt you go. Open up and let them drift away. They are heavy baggage.

Buddha told a story about an angry man. He had been injured emotionally by someone. He held that anger like a charcoal briquette just out of the fire. He held on to it day after day and in the end, he was the only one injured. He had a terribly bad burn and the other person was just fine and went on with their life as always. The angry man was scarred for life.


We live in a harsh world and it needs every bit of beauty we can add to it. It also needs our kindness, gentleness, compassion and love. These can change the world. Not completely, but it can and will make a difference. It can start with all of us.


 Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2013

                               Black Mountain, NC


Remembering What America Could Be — A Guest Rant

Hello, Everyone.  It is I, The IdealisticRebel’s Sister, and I have taken over the keyboard today to share a few thoughts.

Okay, rants.


For those of you who are not aware, I turned fifty several months ago, so when I say I remember a different America, I mean that I grew up in a different America.


In the America I grew up in, anger resulted in shouting, fist-fights and, occasionally law suits.  It did not end up in bullet-ridden bodies on the street corner, in the living room or the movie theatre.


I grew up in an America where we played outside till the lights came on, and no one worried we were going to be grabbed and shoved into a van and sold into slavery.  Strange cars in the neighborhood were first waved at, then greeted by a crowd of teenagers watching closely if they seemed suspicious.  Because those teenagers might be picking on you, but you were somebody’s little sister or little brother or younger cousin, and nobody got to mess with you but them!


I grew up in an America where my Mom worked full-time, raising three kids.  I came home to an empty house after school, and called my Mom the SECOND I got through the door, or I got what-for when she had to call me.  I heated up the dinner Mom had pre-made for the two of us, after my siblings went to college, and Mom and I ate together and shared our days and our plans for the week or the weekend.  Weekends, my siblings (sometimes) came home and we all ate together and yelled together and played together and ignored each other.  There was no father in our house (ours was the first household in school to have that ugly seven-letter word:  D-I-V-O-R-C-E).  My father, in fact, moved to Canada and, if I was lucky, I saw him twice a year.  My siblings often saw him less.

And none of us ended up on drugs, or got in bar fights, or beat our partners, or bought a gun and shot some stranger who reminded us of our parents.  We actually ended up as reasonably well-adjusted adults.  Perfect?  Not even close!  Dysfunctional together?  You bet!  But, push comes to shove, loving and caring and compassionate people who, each in our own way, do our best for those around us and the world.


There is no one who needs to tell me what it’s like to come from a broken home; to come home to an empty house day after day; to not have friends to play with because my family was different (I did mention:  the FIRST divorce, didn’t I?)  I was there.  I lived it, I felt it.


I was (very minorly) bullied in school, picked on by the ‘cool kids’, made to eat my lunch alone (because the ‘cool kids’ would ostracize anyone who sat with me), but I learned to cope, and to be happy in my own company and it never occurred to me — nor to anyone else I knew — to walk into my school and blow all my classmates away.


When did we become a country whose knee-jerk response is to shoot first and not ask questions, ever?


I’m not saying that we need to back to the 50’s, 60’s or 70’s.  Go back to the time when blacks sat in the back of the bus?  When it was legal to hit a woman?  No, thank you.


But there has to be something between that and THIS.  Something between “you’re different, so I’m going to force you to stay away from me” and “you’re different so I’m going to blow your head off.”


I don’t know what the answer is.  When I was a child, I might have said religion.  But now, in a world where religion is an excuse to blow up synagogues and mosques and churches; where churches teach that anyone who believes differently will go to hell; where church groups picket the funerals of people who, in life, did or were something these narrow-minded people feel is ‘evil’?   I can’t believe THAT kind of religion — any kind of extremist religion, and it seems that, increasingly, that’s the predominant mentality of religious groups these days — is the answer.


I don’t know what the answer is.  When I was a child, I might have said the law.  But the lawmakers are trying to overturn basic human rights, and fighting granting rights to anyone different from them.  So I don’t know that the law is the answer (although, it’s getting better:  Thank you, SCOTUS; Thank you, POTUS).


I don’t know what the answer is.  Now that I’m an adult, though, I think the answer is more simple than I imagined as a child:  I think the answer might — just might — be US.  Each one of us, putting aside our differences to look for the commonalities; checking our prejudices at the door and actually LISTENING to the other side, without anger or vitriol; without judgement or censure; with open minds and open hearts and a genuine desire to make the world and each other better.


I don’t know what the answer is.


Do you?





The Depths of Me

Women are repeatedly accused of taking things personally. I cannot see any other honest way of taking them.

—Marya Mannes, American Writer


“Come to the cliff,

he said.

They said, we are afraid.

Come to the cliff, he said

They came.

He pushed them,

And they flew.

—old French poem


I am sitting at my desk in front of my bedroom windows. Everywhere I look is mountains, river and trees. The night creatures are singing to me their oft-repeated song. The sun is gloriously sliding down behind the mountains and twilight descends. I see no stars or moon yet, but they are there. I hear traffic far off in the distance, the collision of two worlds. In this present moment, I could not ask for more.



a last romp                            Two of my grandchildren having

                             the last romp in the waves for the day.

                             Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2013



Hidden Treasure


I came to plant some seeds

I came to plant a tree

I came with a treasure buried deep

in the depths of me.


I came like land to land

I came like sea to sea

the mysteries of earth

and the secrets of dreams

deep in the depths of me.


Who shall witness time’s flowers

pluck fruit

from the fruit-giving tree

and who be crowned with

the diadem found, deep

in the depths of me.

—David Sparenberg

     Mountain twilight. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2010


What is Good

Hold on to What is Good


Hold on to what is good,

Even if it is a handful of earth.

Hold on to what you believe,

Even if it is a long way from here.

Hold on to life,

Even if it is easier letting go,

Hold on to the hand of your neighbor,

Even when we are apart.

—Native American Prayer




 My garden in Avon. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio                                                                                            2014



It is important to hang on to what is good in our lives. The good gets us through the bad, the stressful and the painful. Each day we are given a new portion of good for that day. Hold on to it because it is the love of God manifested for us to sustain us. Life isn’t always easy, but we are ever in the care and love of the Divine.


The Promise of This Day


Look to this day,

For it is life,

The very life of life.

In its brief course lie all

The realities and verities of existence,

The bliss of growth,

The splendor of action,

The glory of power—

For yesterday is but a dream,

And tomorrow is only a vision.

But today, well lived,

Makes every yesterday a dream of happiness

And every tomorrow a vision of hope.

Look well, therefore, to this day.

—Sanskrit Proverb



Rebel Girls: 95 Photos of Feminists around the World

I found these images posted by Carmen at — 95 images of women protesting against their poor treatment, against their subjection and for their right to be equal.


Here in America we call it the Equal Rights Amendment.  Across the world it is called Human Rights, and it is the most universal right of all — the right to self-determination, regardless of sex or economic class.


We are not alone in our struggle, the struggle exists across the globe, wherever women are seen as objects and possessions, instead of equals and partners.


Could you look these women in the eye and say:  you are not as good as a man?







image002 image003 image004 image005 image006 image007 image008 image009 image010 image011 image012 image013 image014 image015 image016 image017 image018 image019 image020 image021 image022 image023 image024 image025 image026 image027 image028 image029 image030 image031 image032 image033 image034 image035 image036 image037 image038 image039 image040 image041 image042 image043 image044 image045 image046 image047 image048 image049 image050 image051 image052 image053 image054 image055 image056 image057 image058 image059 image060 image061 image062 image063 image064 image065 image066 image067 image068 image069 image070 image071 image072 image073 image074 image075 image076 image077 image078 image079 image080 image081 image082 image083 image084 image085 image086 image087 image088 image089 image090 image091 image092 image093 image094 image095 image096 image097 image098

The ERA Rally



My sister and I went to an ERA (Equal Rights Amendment) Rally, which is coming up again for a vote in Congress, soon.


Back in the 1970’s we tried, and failed, to get this important Amendment passed.  In the United States, no woman of any color or culture or religion is legally equal to any man of any many of any color, culture or religion.


This is the 21st Century, and it is time to remedy this. It will bring justice to women who have had to struggle without the support of the law on their side.

The below lyrics were written by Helen Reddy and Ray Burton, and I’ve included a video of the song as well.


The Equal Rights Amendment would not mean that women and men are “the same”.  It does not require shared toilets, or ignore the physical differences between the sexes.  It means equal protection and responsibility under the law.


Let’s make 2015 the year that every American Citizen is truly, legally equally for the first time in American History.  I think our forefathers would be please.


Photograph and Copyright by Barbara Mattio 2015

Photograph and Copyright by Barbara Mattio 2015


Photograph and Copyright by Barbara Mattio 2015

Photograph and Copyright by Barbara Mattio 2015



Photograph and Copyright by Barbara Mattio 2015

Photograph and Copyright by Barbara Mattio 2015



Photograph and Copyright by Barbara Mattio 2015

Photograph and Copyright by Barbara Mattio 2015




I Am Woman

–Helen Reddy and Ray Burton

I am woman, hear me roar

In numbers too big to ignore

And I know too much to go back an’ pretend

‘Cause I’ve heard it all before

And I’ve been down there on the floor

No one’s ever gonna keep me down again


Oh yes, I am wise

But it’s wisdom born of pain

Yes, I’ve paid the price

But look how much I’ve gained

If I have to, I can do anything

I am strong


I am invincible


I am woman


You can bend but never break me

‘Cause it only serves to make me

More determined to achieve my final goal

And I come back even stronger

Not a novice any longer

‘Cause you’ve deepened the conviction in my soul


Oh yes, I am wise

But it’s wisdom born of pain

Yes, I’ve paid the price

But look how much I’ve gained

If I have to, I can do anything

I am strong


I am invincible


I am woman


I am woman watch me grow

See me standing toe to toe

As I spread my lovin’ arms across the land

But I’m still an embryo

With a long, long way to go

Until I make my brother understand


Oh yes, I am wise

But it’s wisdom born of pain

Yes, I’ve paid the price

But look how much I’ve gained

If I have to, I can face anything

I am strong


I am invincible


I am woman


I am woman

I am invincible

I am strong

I am woman

I am invincible

I am strong

I am woman




Yes, I was there. I remember the marches and the picketing. I remember men and some women calling us foul names and throwing things at us. I remember the feminist men who marched with us in solidarity. We marched for all women, for rich and poor, steel workers and housewives, college professors and college professors. We marched for ourselves and for our children and their children. Girls and boys, because inequality is unfair even to those it favors. It is taking a long time to make people understand that equality whether between the sexes or nationalities or religions or any other imaginary divider is necessary. We will not stop until we succeed. Let your mothers, grandmothers, sisters, girlfriends and wives be your legal equal. You have nothing to lose and the strength of millions to gain.


Barbara, the Idealisticrebel

Women’s Lives

When Rock n Roll first started, musicians were men, roadies were men. Groupies were women. Since the first Beatle set foot on American soil, not only has music changed and morphed but many women have join the ranks of singers/songwriters/musicians. We have all changed and music bloomed to inspire Vietnam War protests and protests for rights for women and children.


We are indebted to the women who entered the professions where they weren’t really welcome. Medicine, accounting, factories, the law, music and the arts are now open to women and women have added a lot to our world. These pioneering women pushed open the doors and raised the ceiling on what a woman was allowed to do. Women weren’t let into these fields, they pushed the doors open until they could enter these fields at will.  Increasingly, women are breaking the ceiling of achievement, moving further up the ladder of responsibility than has ever been permitted before.


Today, we have women who are homemakers, building cars on an assembly line, working in an ER, being a cop or a fireperson. Some women combine jobs with having a family, as is their right and choice. Some women volunteer instead of working at a paid job because they feel they need to give back to their communities. So, in the twenty-first century everyone can contribute as they feel led to do.


The problem is that women do not earn equal pay for equal work. Many employers think that women don’t know, but we do. The government also knows and periodically puts out the numbers. This is a form of sexism and is illegal by federal law. Is the enforced? No. Not really.


Even for disabled women, there are many who want to give to their communities. They want to be useful and assist other disabled women and men.


Thank you to every American who grows and gives to their communities. You are heros/sheros. We appreciate your wisdom, generosity of spirit and for your time.



“One woman weaves a message

singing the sounds of silence

another wheels her chair to the center of the stage

changing minds and attitudes

with eyes that hear, and hands that see

these women, working, living…independently

and I look to you

I look to you

for courage in my life.”

—Holly Near


All women are, in a sense, differently abled, not by biology but by socially constructed mythologies from which they have had to liberate themselves. We do indeed look to them for courage in our lives.


Namaste, Barbara








possible doctor