Abraham Jam


Last Saturday night, a Jew, a Muslim and a Christian walked into a Masonic Temple

They proceeded to walk up to the stage and they each picked up an instrument. Each, in his turn, began to play music that they had each written.

It was music that opened the heart, touch the soul, and brought half of a full house to tears.

I’d like to introduce to you Abraham Jam:

 

Abraham Jam: Billy Jonas, Dawud Wharnsby, David LaMotte Photograph and Copyright Amy Halperin 2017 (used by permission)

 

These three men, each successful musicians in their own right, have embraced the concept that it takes a village to raise children who are aware, compassionate and kind to others.  They all three are living a life full of diversity, as well as fantastic music.  They do perform together in Abraham Jam, but each have solo careers.  Billy Jonas and David LaMotte are also authors.

 

Each recognizes the power of the others’ religion, and the validity and value of the diverse paths they walk, side by side.  Together, they represent the three peoples of the book, and walk — and sing — the talk of diversity, inclusion and brotherly love.

Diversity is exactly the concept that world leaders want to push to the back of their agendas, now.  The concept of an exclusionary, ethno-centric government is what is being brought to the forefront.  Exclusionary governments teach millions of people not to care about “the other”.

These three talented, loving men teach the opposite:  caring about each other; learning about and from each other is the goal, purpose and higher order of living.

 

I’d like to share a very short story:

When the bus driver on Rosa Parks’ bus threatened to call the police, and have her arrested, her exact words in response were, “you may do that.”  There is such power in these few words — claiming her own dignity and acknowledging that each of them had choices to make in that moment, and that those choices would have consequences.  That’s true for all of us.

–from the liner notes of David LaMotte’s album “The Other Way Around”

 

My belief is that we must have eco-diversity for Mother Earth to survive, because all forms of nature need each other.  Even we need the other forms of life.

As human beings, we also need diversity.  We need each other, despite having different ways to love; different ways to worship; different views on education; living in different locales and environments; living in different countries.  Whatever the differences, how seemingly major, however actually slight,  choosing to have different friends, friends who are different from you, is a powerful choice.  You may do that.  And if you do that, the world will become a better place — more peaceful, more harmonious.  More Whole.

My hope is that you will constantly open your ears, your heart and your mind to the concept of diversity, and that you will seek it in your own life, every day.

 

 

Namaste,

Barbara

 

 

 

 

Night Time in the Day


Today, the United States saw a total eclipse of the sun from Oregon to South Carolina.

Here in Asheville, we are not on the path of totality, but we’re at about 99%, and my sister, Amy, and I chose to stay local, and spend the time at the North Carolina Arboretum.

It was a beautiful day and an amazing experience.  The sky this morning was clear and Carolina Blue, but as the day went on and the time of the eclipse came closer, the clouds started moving in.  We were worried that we wouldn’t be able to see the eclipse, but when it started, the clouds were there, but not blocking the sun.

Neither Amy nor I had ever seen a full eclipse before, and I don’t think that either of us will ever forget it.  As the moon began to cover the sun, I noticed that the birds and insects, usually very vocal at the Arboretum, became silent, and the world seemed, to me, to grow more peaceful with each second as the moon moved further across the sun.

For a few moments, twilight fell in the middle of the day, and the shadows became deeper and somehow more magical.  The animals went still in the forest and the gardens, the birds held their songs still, it was as if all nature stopped and, for that moment or two, just watched and waited.

From our location, there was just a sliver of sun left and it was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen, that tiny slice of light trying to break away from the darkness.

As the moon moved off the sun, the light in the gardens seemed somehow different, almost ethereal, and tinged the leaves with a light such as I have never seen before.

It was truly an amazing experience.

The clouds moved in, and we were unable to see the moon’s retreat, but watching the eclipse is a moment I will cherish all my life.

Those of you who know me are, by now, well aware that I am photographer, and of course I took photographs today.

I hope you enjoy them.

Namaste,

Barbara

 

The Eclipse Begins
Photograph and Copyright by Amy Halperin 2017 used by permission

 

25 % gone
Photograph and Copyright Amy Halperin 2017 used by permission

 

99% eclipse, through the trees
Photograph and Copyright Barbara Mattio 2017

 

99% Eclipse
Photograph and Copyright Barbara Mattio 2017

 

Night in the daytime
Photograph and Copy right Barbara Mattio 2017

 

The sun starts to return
Photograph and Copy right Barbara Mattio 2017

 

Here’s a little something to welcome back the Sun after the Eclipse:

 

Ninety-One


Last evening, I attended a Tony Bennett concert on the Biltmore Estate. It was a magical evening set on the South lawn of the house. As my friends and I sat in the audience, the mountains rose and the sky was lit with color. It was a wonderful experience of music, nostalgia and beauty. My desire is to share some of that with all of you.

 

Ninety-One

 

The Stage

The people

The murmur

People settling

Bandstand is erect waiting

in anticipation.

Audience shuffling, moving

Looking

over right shoulder

Another Show

spectacular in beauty

Mountains in repose

intense sunset lighting sky —

Reds, oranges, yellows

The Bandstand —

The notes, rich music fills ears

As color fill eyes.

A voice, his voice. Amazing

His voice rises up

Transports listeners

Back, back to another time

Perhaps a more

innocent period

Big Band, Band Leader

Conducts

Men, women dance

away evenings

Some fall —

in and out of love.

Music fills ears

Color fills eyes

Spectacular!

He sings. He sings at 91.

His voice rises up —

He is enjoying himself

And happy to be alive!

—Poem and Photographs Copyright Barbara Mattio 2017

Biltmore House
Photograph and Copyright Barbara Mattio 2017

 

Tony Bennett with Pianist and Guitarist
Photograph and Copyright Barbara Mattio 2017

 

 

Tony Bennett with Pianist and Guitarist
Photograph and Copyright Barbara Mattio 2017

 

Tony Bennett with drummer, guitarist and bassist
Photograph and Copyright Barbara Mattio 2017

 

sunset
Photograph and Copyright Barbara Mattio 2017

 

Sunset with Mountains
Photograph and Copyright Barbara Mattio 2017

 

Biltmore After Dark
Photograph and Copyright Barbara Mattio 2017

 

Biltmore after Dark
Photograph and Copyright Barbara Mattio 2017

 

 

 

 

 

Beautiful Sights


A little over a week ago my sister and I took a day trip to Linville gorge and falls. It was a beautiful day. I left my cane at home and took my hiking sticks. It was some rough walking for me however I was able to get some great photographs which I am going to share with you. Thanks to all of you for your continued support. I really appreciate it.

 

Namaste,

Barbara

 

 

 

 

Not as overwhelming as Niagara Falls but still very powerful. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2017

 

There are two falls separated by a rock wall. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2017

 

Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2017

 

water tumbling over the rocks. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2017

 

 

Linville Falls. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2017

 

Sun over the path. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2017

 

Surrounded by mountains. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2017

 

Ferns along the trail. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2017

 

 

Mountain vista. photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2017

 

 

 

Water flowing. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2017

 

Mountainside. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2017

 

 

Water flowing among the rocks. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2017

 

Wild Orchard
Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2017

 

The Linville Gorge, North Carolina
Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2017

 

A view of Grandfather Mountain from the Linville Gorge area.
Copyright by Barbara Mattio 2017