Happy Hallowe’en


Happy Hallowe’en to all my readers and friends.

 

I’ve decided to be totally not serious, and not deal with reality in honor of it being Hallowe’en.

 

Some of you may remember these songs; for some of you they may be new.  But they’re some of my favorite “monster” songs, from when I was young.

The first is Vincent Price doing a wonderful cover of the Monster Mash.  For those of you who are too young to know the wonderful Mr. Price, he ruled the Horror films in the 50’s and 60’s, and did the ghoulish rap at end of Michael Jackson’s Thriller.

 

Flying Purple Eater is what was called a “novelty song” from the 60’s and it’s always been one of my favorites, never failing to make me laugh!

 

I have to go now, to chase the Zombies on the River!

 

Have a ghoulishly good day!

 

Monsterously yours,
Barbara

 

 

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Annabel Lee by Edgar Allan Poe

 

It was many and many a year ago,

In a kingdom by the sea

That a maiden thre lived who you may know

By the name of ANNABLE LEE;

And this maiden she lived with no other thought

Than to love and be loved by me.

 

I was a child and she was a child,

In this kingdom by the sea:

But we loved with a love that more than love —

I and my ANNABEL LEE;

With a love that the winged seraphs of heaven

Coveted her and me.

 

And this was the reason that, lonb ago,

In this kingdom by the sea,

A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling

My beautiful ANNABEL LEE;

So that her high-born kinsman came

And bore her away from me,

To shut her up in a sepulchre

In this kingdom by the sea.

 

The angels, not half so happy in heaven,

Went envying her and me —

Yes!–That was the reason (as all men known,

In this kingdom by the sea)

That the wind came out of the cloud by night,

CHilling and killing my ANNABEL LEE.

 

But our love it was stronger by far than the love

Of those who were older than we —

Of many far wiser than we —

And neither the angels in heaven above,

NOr the demons down under the sea,

Can ever disserver my soul from the soul

Of the beautiful ANNABEL LEE,

 

For the moon never beams, without bringing my dreams

Of the beautiful ANNABEL LEE;

And the stars never rise, but I feel the bright eyes

Of the beautiful ANNABEL LEE;

And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side

Of my darling — my darling — my life and my bride,

In the sepulchre there by the sea,

In her tomb by the sounding sea.

 

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Intentions


It is true that many of us have been traumatized by life. Some a few times and others many times. There are times that a person feels like they just can’t get up again. Some commit suicide and some soldier on. Some go through life broken, perhaps bandaged up and some having buttons that when pushed, trigger violent verbal responses that you are amazed are coming out of the person.

 

Trauma leaves very deep scars. Physical trauma leaves exterior scars, but the emotional scars leave deep scars. Therapy helps. Medication may help.Some scars keep you from loving and committing another because you feel vulnerable. Some scars keep you from loving yourself.

 

” Love is the way messengers from the mystery tell us things.

Love is the mother.

We are her children.

 

She shines inside us,

visible-invisible, as we trust

lost trust, or feel it start to grow again.”

—Rumi

 

Do You Love Me

 

“A lover asked his beloved,

Do you love yourself more

than you love me?

 

The Beloved replied,

I have died to myself

and I live for you.

 

I’ve disappeared from myself

and my attributes.

I am present only for you.

 

I have forgotten all my learnings,

but from knowing you

I have become a scholar.

I have lost all my strength,

but from your power

I am able.

 

If I love myself

I love you.

If I love you

I love myself.”

—Rumi

 

Love is not easy. No matter how long you know a spouse, partner, friend or even children. It can be the most joyous thing to ever happen to us and it can be the most mistaken and destructive. A doctor once told me that a broken heart can be really broken and he meant it the physical sense. I am not sure but I think he is right. When my husband died, my heart broke and I could feel it.

 

There are so many people and situations which can hurt us temporarily or for a long time. Turning our minds and hearts to meditation, positive thinking, forgiveness mixed  with gentleness, compassion, kindness and caring can repair the mental and emotional damage.

 

It takes work to convince a person you care for them and you are there for them, but it is worth the effort. In America, in the twenty first century many people live alone. Trust issues, a lack of love and terrible fear of being vulnerable can stop the circle. The broken heart, trusting a person or God (however, you think of God ) is one of the important life lessons.

 

Just one more thing, deciding to stay alone, you don’t need people, you don’t want people around very often enforces the buttons and issues from the past. Neurologists are working on the parts of the mind that hold on to those past hurts, pains and suffering.

 

” When the effort passing step by step,

Experiencing stages, recognizing states, ‘

Becomes so filled with love and

light and compassion,

Then it recognizes this love and light

and compassion on every side.

And there is nothing to which one is unattached,

When the love transcending self recognizes

self no longer,

When the compassion transcending self feels

equally the pain of all,

When the mercy transcending self sends

blessing and healing everywhere,

When self becomes love and there is nothing

left to love…

O that transforming wonder of redeeming light!

O that bliss of transcendental bathing!

O that wondrous calm of the life of life!

When time is gone and  bodies are no longer,

The dark night of sleep is ended,

The dark sleep of night is gone;

The eye perceiving pierces all veils

And only suffering is dead.”

—excerpt from In the Garden by Sufi Ahmed Murad

 

 

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My religion is LOVE

My religion is LOVE

 

 

Notes towards a poem that can never be written


I have long been a fan of Margaret Atwood.  Her stories and poems always touch me and, more importantly, they make me think.

This poem is from a collection of poems from 1976-1986, and it is no less relevant today than when it was written over 30 years ago.  The sadness in the world has not lessened, the losses are as great, and still we want to look away.

If the world is to be a better place, we must see it for what it is — even, as Ms. Atwood says, through tears.

 

Namaste,

Barbara

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Because we have had enough!

Because we have had enough!

 

 

Notes Towards a Poem That Can Never Be Written

 

i

This is the place

you would rather not know about

this is the place that will inhabit you,

this is the place you cannot imagine,

this is the place that will finally defeat you.

 

where the word why shrivels and empties

itself.  This is famine.

 

ii

There is no poem you can write

about it, the sandpits

where so many were buried

& unearthed, the unendurable

pain still traced on their skins.

 

This did not happen last year

or forty years ago but last week.

This has been happening,

this happens.

 

We make wreaths of adjective for them,

we count them like beads,

we turn them into statistics & litanies

and into poems like this one

 

Nothing works.

They remain what they are.

 

iii

The woman lies on the wet cement floor

under the unending light,

needle marks on her arms put there

to kill the brain

and wonders why she is dying.

 

She is dying because she said,

She is dying for the sake of the word,

It is her body, silent

and fingerless, writing this poem

 

iv

It resembles an operation

but it is not one.

 

nor despite the spread legs, grunts

& blood, is it a birth.

 

Partly it’s a job,

partly it’s a display of skill

like a concerto.

 

It can be done badly

or well, they tell themselves
Partly it’s an art.

 

v

The facts of the world seen clearly

are seen through tears;

why tell me then

there is something wrong with my eyes?

 

To see clearly and without flinching,

without turning away,

this is agony, the eyes taped open

two inches from the sun.

 

What is it you see then?

Is it a bad dream, a hallucination?

Is it a vision?

What is it you hear?

 

The razor across the eyeball

is a detail form an old film.

It is also a truth.

Witness what you must bear.

 

–Margaret Atwood

Our Place in the Universe


The American Museum of Natural History, in association with the Hayden Planetarium and the Rubin Museum of Art, has created a Digital Universe – a beautifully rendered graphic representation of the Universe as we have so far been able to discover it.

 

Watching this video made me think about all the things that divide human beings on Earth, and how truly petty they are.  We are fighting wars and killing our planet, and we think that we have so much power; but when you compare us to the brilliance, the ordered chaos, the sheer beauty of the Universe and other Universes, the greediness, the hatred, the lack of compassion and lack of respect for life and the planet is so unimportant.
We are made of stardust.  We are all as beautiful as the stars in any Universe.

 

Namaste,

Barbara

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The sun in our Universe

The sun in our Universe

 

 

Our solar system

Our solar system

Once a Hippie…


I think that in the 60s we were Idealistic and filled with optimism.  I know I completely believed in Peace, Love and Rock & Roll. (Still do.)

I know that the world is coming close to the same place we were in back in the 60s — the Edge of Destruction — and it’s important for those of us who are old enough to remember the lyrics or poems and the music that helped us make changes in the world, to remind people of the changes that are needed today.

We need today’s young people to do what we did:

To Speak Out, and March Out and Peace Out.

If you believe in something, if you believe something needs to be changed, Speak.  March.  Help people.  Write about it.  Be heard, be seen, make the world the world you feel in your heart.

Together, perhaps we can, once again, pull back from the Edge of Destruction.

Namaste,

Barbara

 

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peace out 60s soul

peace out 60s soul

 

 

Fill your hearts with peace and love

Fill your hearts with peace and love

 

 

 

Music and hope

Music and hope

 

 

 

Make love not war

Make love not war

 

 

 

Long live the Afro. I had one in the 70s. I loved it.

Long live the Afro.
I had one in the 70s. I loved it.

 

 

Slogan

Slogan

 

 

 

 

Bob Marley One love, One World

Bob Marley
One love, One World

 

 

 

 

 

Peace is for everyone.

Peace is for everyone.

 

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As the Days go on


The weekend is here and it has been a beautiful day and I am so grateful for it. The river is running and kayakers and canoers are moving quite quickly along the river. I am making chicken noodle soup and I hope it will be ready before the party we are going to.

 

Every morning when I open my blinds, I am overcome with joy and a sense of how lucky I am to have moved here. Tomorrow we are going to Bat Cave, NC and to the Light Center which is a healing center. It is in Black Mountain. It will be good fun.

 

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       River running fast today. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2015

 

 

Paddling upriver. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2015

Paddling upriver. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2015

 

 

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            Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2015

 

 

 

 

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            Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2015

 

 

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         Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2015

 

 

 

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   Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2015

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                   Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2015

 

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                  Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2015

 

 

Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2015

Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2015

 

Don’t Live with Violence


If you are living with violence, you must protect yourself and your children and get out. We all go into a relationship feeling love and having dreams. Your wedding day was just what you had wanted it to be. You had a beautiful honeymoon and you were so happy and so in love. It was a perfect wedding night.

Now, you are dressing for dinner. The two of you had had such a lovely afternoon and a delicious dinner. People toasted you in the dining room and when the band began to place you danced in your husband’s arms. A nice man asked to dance with you, but your husband said no. He was pretty quiet for the rest of the evening.

He decided you were going to go up to your room. You didn’t really want to leave but tomorrow was sightseeing. He says nothing on the way to your room. You are thinking about the nightgown you are going to wear to bed. He walks into the room behind you; then shuts and locks the door. You turn around with a smile on your face and he opens up his hand and hits you so hard that when you look in the mirror, you see the red hand print.

You are stunned. What happened? He is yelling and calling you names and telling you are a slut because that man asked to dance with you. You face aches. He grabs your arm and twists it while telling you that you will never dance with anyone else. He is shaking you so hard that your teeth chatter. You are trying to get away and are terribly afraid. What is going on?

He walks out, slamming the hotel door. You stand there with tears running down your face. Why did he get so upset? What should I do? You clean up and carefully get ready for bed. Carefully, because your face is very sore and your arm hurts. You cry yourself to sleep.

In the morning, you wake and his side of the bed is empty. You are shocked and very confused. Then the door to the hotel room opens and he walks in. He looks awful. You can tell he has been crying. He has brought you a huge bouquet of red roses. He is sorry. He never meant to handle you in a violent way. He loves you and it will never happen again, he swears. He kisses you and cuddles you and you make up. Your world becomes whole again. He is so wonderful to you, considerant and thoughtful.

Life goes on. Everything is fine. And one day, a girlfriend calls and asks you if you want to go shopping. You said, “Sure.”

You quickly get ready to meet her at the Mall. You leave a note on the kitchen table in case you will be late coming home.

You and your friend shop, have lunch and a couple of glasses of wine. It had been such a fun day. You are now a little bit later than you expected, but you left a note. No problem. You walk into the house and call out, “I’m home.” Your husband walks into the living room where you are hanging up your coat and begin to show him your purchases. His voice drips with sarcasm. “Where have you been?” You mentioned the note you had left. He says you hadn’t had his permission to go shopping. What? What is he talking about?”

He grabs you and punches you in the face. You hear a crack and then another punch. You go down to the floor and he begins to kick you. He kicks you where bruises will be covered with clothing. You are screaming at him to stop and he is screaming at you. He accuses you of meeting a man and cheating on him. He picks up your purchases and throws them everywhere. You can’t stop crying. He holds up the nightgown you bought to wear for him and he rips it apart. He screams you had worn it for your lover.

He took you to the hospital and refused to leave you side. You had taken such an awful tumble down the stairs. The staff allows him to stay. There isn’t much they can do for you. They bind your torso, give you pain meds, suggest you carpet the staircase which your husband agrees is very important. You go home with your discharge papers and he gently helps you out of the car when you reach home.

He is again sorry. Terribly sorry. It will not happen again. Please don’t leave him. He can’t live life without you. He will kill himself if you leave. You are in agony, the pain pills are making you fuzzy and soon you just fall asleep.

You used to discuss this type of incident with your Mom and your sister. You met a woman who is being battered but what she suffers is so different from what happens to you. As the months and years go by, your lady friend went to a Domestic Violence shelter. You never see her anymore. The shelter moved her to a new state so she could start again with a new identity. Your mom develops Cancer and he gets edgy when you go to see her. The day your Mom dies, you feel totally lost and there really isn’t anyone to talk to. You don’t realize that he has gradually isolated you from all of your friends and your sister. He calls them trouble makers. He is the one who really loves you. The only one who loves you.

Now, you just do what he says. Nothing matters anymore. Then one day you think about the battered woman you had been friends with. You wonder if the Domestic Violence Shelter is still in town somewhere. You get ready and call a taxi. You tell the driver what you need and he delivers you at the Shelter.

You talk with a counselor, have a bite of lunch. They explain what they can do for you, including legal representation. You decide to go home and pack a suitcase. You have to get away from him. So you go home. The shelter gave you a list of things to bring. You are moving as quickly as possible and try not to forget anything like your medicine. You hear a small noise behind you and you turn. Your husband is standing there screaming that you cannot and will not leave him. He pulls a revolver out of his jacket and shoots you dead. The neighbors hear the screaming and the gun shot and call 911. You are dead on arrival at the ER.

More women are killed trying to get out of a battering relationship than at any other time. Abusers have a motto. I call it a motto because it every one that I ever worked with would tell the woman, ” If I can’t have you, no one will.” I can tell you from my experience that they mean it.

Does this mean you should stay? No. Never. But the leaving must be planned in advance and in secret. No one can know where you are going. There is an underground railway to move women who are in the greatest danger. Some abusers are just much worse than others. Though none of them are good. Usually a well executed plan can take a month or more to put into place. Don’t go back. He will kill you in time or you will kill him trying to protect yourself. There are so many women and men working to help abused women. You are never alone. Domestic Violence is a crime. The court system will punish him for what he did to you.

If you are a man being abused I must give you the same advice. Abusers don’t stop abusing. Male or female. They will simply move on to another partner and begin the battering again. People care about you. So try to get out. Try to get to a safe place, a shelter or even a hotel. Talk to counselors and the police. No matter what, it is never all right to hit another person. You deserve better. You deserve to not live in fear and violence.

Zentangle Copyright Barbara Mattio 2014