I am Rambling Today

My nephew is coming through today. We planned to have breakfast together and then he would be on his way. His train is five hours late. I can’t get organized. It is a beautiful day and my mind keeps wandering. That and I pick up a book and read then set it down and am making a list as I am going away for the weekend. So I have decided that I am going to share my mind’s journey with you all. Fasten your seatbelts.


“O God, forgive our rich nation where small babies die of cold quite legally.

O God, forgive our rich nation where small children suffer from hunger quite legally.

O God, forgive our rich nation where toddlers and school children die from guns sold quite legally.

O God, forgive our rich nation that let’s children be the poorest group of citizens quite legally.

O God, forgive our rich nation that lets the rich continue to get more at the expense of the poor quite legally.

O God, forgive our rich nation which thinks security rests in missiles rather than in mothers, and in bombs rather than babies.

O God, forgive our rich nation for not giving You sufficient thanks by giving to others their daily bread.

O God, help us never to confuse what is quite legal with what is just and right in Your sight.”

—Marion Wright Edelman



God’s Questions


God won’t ask what kind of car you drove, but will ask how many people drove who didn’t have transportation.

God won’t ask the square footage of your house, but will ask how many people you welcomed into your home.

God won’t ask about the fancy clothes you had in your closet, but will ask how many of those clothes helped the needy.

God won’t ask about your social status, but will ask what kind of class you displayed.

God won’t ask how many material possessions you had, but will ask if they dictated your life.

God won’t ask what your highest salary was, but will ask if you compromised your character to obtain that salary.

God won’t ask what you did to help yourself, but will ask how many people to whom you were a true friend.

God won’t ask what you did to protect your rights, but will ask what you did to protect the rights of others.

God won’t ask in what neighborhood you lived, but will ask how you treated your neighbors.

God won’t ask about the color of your skin, but will ask about the content of your character.

God won’t ask how many times your deeds matched your words, but will ask how many times they didn’t.

—Author Unknown


” A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”   —Albert Einstein







 We are in the universe and the universe is within us.


We are all equal in the eyes of the Divine.

We are all equal in the eyes of the Divine.

Another Woman Who Worked to be Equal

Susan Griffin is a poetess who has published two collections of poetry. She worked in many stereotypical female jobs. Her poetry reflects much of the experiences she gained in these jobs. She lives in San Francisco. This poem is one of my favorites.


I Like to Think of Harriet Tubman


I like to think of Harriet Tubman.

Harriet Tubman who carried a revolver,

who had a scar on her head from a rock thrown

by a slave-master (because she

talked back), and who

had a ransom on her head

of thousands of dollars and who

was never caught, and who

had no use for the law

when the law was wrong,

who defied the law. I like

to think of her.

I like to think of her especially

when I think of the problem of

feeding children.


The legal answer

to the problem of feeding children

is ten free lunches every month,

being equal, in the child’s real life,

to eating lunch ever other day.

Monday but not Tuesday.

I like to think of the President

eating lunch Monday, but not


And when I think of the President

and the law, and the problem of

feeding children, I like to think to

think of Harriet Tubman

and her revolver.


and then sometimes

I think of the President

and other men,

men who practice the law,

who revere the law,

who make the law,

who enforce the law

who live behind and operate through

and feed themselves

at the expense of

starving children

because of the law,

men who sit in paneled offices,

and think about vacations

and tell women

whose care it is

to feed children

not to be hysterical

not to be hysterical as in the word

hysterikos, the greek for

womb suffering,

not to care,

not to bother the men

because they want to think

of others things

and do not want

to take the women seriously.

I want them

to take women seriously.

I want them to think about Harriet Tubman,

and remember,

remember she was beat by a white man

and she lived

and she lived to redress her grievances,

and she lived in swamps

and wore the clothes of a man

bringing hundreds of fugitives from

slavery, and was never caught,

and led an army,

and won a battle,

and defied laws

because the laws were wrong, I want men

to take us seriously.

I am tired wanting them to think

about right and wrong.

I want them to fear.

I want them to feel fear now

as I have felt suffering in the womb, and

I want them

to know

that there is always a time

there is always a time to make right

what is wrong,

there is always a time

for retribution

and that time is beginning.



 Ms. Tubman also worked in the women’s movement. She believed in equality for all people regardless of gender or skin color.She was tough and determined. Ms. Tubman crossed the Mason Dixon line hundreds of times to bring runaway slaves north to live in freedom. She also gave lectures to abolitionist groups, which wasn’t done. She was a woman and a woman of color standing up in front of  a room of mostly white people speaking her truth. Explaining what slavery was really like. Perhaps God did touch her and give her an angel to protect her as she went about her very important work. In my heart and soul, Harriet Tubman earned a Medal of Honor even though there was no such thing in the 1800’s. There wasn’t a Medal of Honor but she wouldn’t have been awarded it if there had been. But, when I think of Harriet Tubman, she is a woman who has earned all medals and whose bravery and determination helped to change the world and helped end the horror of slavery.














  No matter what gender we are, or what skin color we have, or what religion or spiritual system we practice, of if we practice any system, no matter if we are Oxford educated or street educated, we are all one people and we are the family of man. We have a journey of one life and we are all equal. We have one planet and we must preserve her to preserve our lives.


The Slow Accumulation of Evidence






I have had much to say about the shoot down of Malaysian Flight 17.  The media is telling us a lot and some may not be true. Some things may be exaggerated or twisted up. There are some things I am certain of. This shoot down of a civilian plane is an act of war. Pure and simple. Nothing anyone says can change that fact. There were eighty children and 3 infants killed. How do parents and grandparents deal with this senseless loss? A hole has been punched into the family of man. I can only imagine what they must be enduring. I personally can’t see how they can survive this loss.


Only by a careful search of the crime scene will we ever have answers. But we have been told that people have been looting and removing items from the scene. A souvenir, really? That is what matters to these people? That is so sick and so wrong. There is no way to excuse this behavior. War is killing innocent children here and in the war between the Palestinians and the Israelites. War is no answer. War is only going to bring more hatred and violence. Thousands of years have passed and human beings have still not learned to live in peace. This is shameful.




stopkillingchildren                                                                                      Innocent people are killed in war…guns are being shot. Missiles bring down 

                                                                                      planes. Why? War? 


The other thing which disturbs me is that bodies are still lying on the ground. They are beginning to decompose and valuables are being taken. The Ukraine is not in charge of the land that the plane was shot down in. No one is in charge. No one is guaranteeing the dignity of the victims. This is unacceptable. Their souls have left but the families deserve to be able to bury their dead loved ones. Each corpse deserves to be treated with respect and sacredness. It doesn’t matter what their nationality or religion is. The people at the site need to treat these dead as they would their own loved ones.


“O Thou, the Cause and Effect of the whole Universe, the Source from whence we have come and the Goal towards which all are bound: receive these souls who are coming to Thee into Thy parental arms. May Thy forgiving Glance heal their hearts. Lift them from the denseness of the earth, surround them with the light of Thine own Spirit, Raise them up to Heaven, which is their true dwelling place. We pray Thee grant them the blessing of Thy most exalted Presence. May their lives upon earth become as a dream to their waking soul, and let their thirsting eyes behold the glorious Vision of Thy Sunshine. Amen.

—Hazarat Inayat Khan



In Memoriam to the passengers of Flight 17 Photographed and copyrighted by Barbara Mattio 2014

In Memoriam to the passengers of Flight 17 Photographed and copyrighted by Barbara Mattio 2014

A Composition of Excerpts

Images of the goddess

Images of the goddess

Beyond God the Father (excerpt)

Why indeed must “God” be a noun? Why not a verb—the most active and dynamic of all? Hasn’t the naming of “God” as a noun been an act of murdering that dynamic Verb? And isn’t the Verb infinitely more personal than a mere static pronoun?  The anthropomorphic symbols for God may be intended to convey personality, but they fail to convey that God is Be-ing. Women now who are experiencing the shock of non-being and the surge of self-affirmation against this are included to perceive transcendence as the Verb in which we particapate—live, move, and have our being.   —Mary Daly


The Divine Spiral  (excerpt)

The importance of the Goddess symbol for women cannot be overstressed. The image of the Goddess,  inspires women to see ourselves as divine, our bodies as sacred, the changing phases of our lives as holy, our aggression as healthy, our anger as purifying, and our power to nurture and create, but also to limit and destroy when necessary,  as the very force that sustains all life. Through the Goddess, we can discover our strength,  enlighten our minds, own our bodies, and celebrate our emotions. We can move beyond narrow, constricting roles and become whole.

The Goddess is also important for men. The oppression of men in Father God-ruled patriarchy is perhaps less obvious but no less tragic than that of women. Men are encouraged to identify with a model no human being can successfully emulate: to be minirulers of narrow universes. They are internally split, into a “spiritual” self that is supposed to conquer their baser animal and emotional natures. They are at war with themselves in the West, to “conquer” sin, in the East, to “conquer” desire or ego. Few escape from these wars undamaged.



Meditations with Julian of Norwich  (excerpt)

God wants to be thought of

as our Lover

I must see myself so bound in love

as if everything that has been done

has been done for me.

That is to say,

the Love of God makes such a unity

in us

that when we see this unity

no one is able to separate oneself

from another

—Julian of Norwich

May the goddesses bring love and peace to all hearts and peace to all souls

May the goddesses bring love and peace to all hearts and peace to all souls


Poems to Soothe the Heart

Praying hands that mean so much to God

Praying hands that mean so much to God

Many scholars feel that Rumi is the greatest poet the world has every known. I think they are quite possibly right. But I do love the poems of many gifted poets. I would like to share a couple of them with you today.

We Point to the New Moon

“This time when you and I sit here, two figures
with one soul, we’re a garden,
with plants and birdsong moving through us like rain.

The stars come out. We’re out
of ourselves, but collected. We point
to the new moon, its discipline and slender joy.

We don’t listen to stories
full of frustrated anger. We feed
on laughter and a tenderness
we hear around us.
when we’re together.

And even more incredible, sitting here in Konya,
we’er this moment in Khorasan and Iraq.
We have these forms in time.
and another in the elsewhere
that’s made of this closeness.”

Midnight Question

“Near midnight, in disarray, you come asking,
is it still like this, my love,
when your‘re old?”

Who would refuse to answer?
The same was heard
before the creation of the universe,
“Am I not your Lord?”

Whatever’s poured then must be drunk.
It may be pure soul, merely grape-wine,
or some combination, but say Yes,

as I have many times,
as we all once did in unison
outside time and space.

Never regret that answer!

“Let the beauty we love be what we do.” —Rumi

Radiating energy and light as you meditate or chant

Radiating energy and light as you meditate or chant

The Magic of Love

Two important words

Two important words

Everyone seems to be talking about love these days. It is an important word for our existance on the planet. Love, the favorite word of Cupid and one that drops easily off of our lips. Just what does it mean? Well, there is the Hallmark sense and family sense. I am writing today about love in a much different and bigger sense. As sentient beings, we throw the word around easily. What the world needs now, is love sweet love.

Love means so much more than we think. It is the reason we care about the survivors of the Oklahoma tornadoes and Hurricane Sandy. It is the reason that we care about the millions of abused women and children in the world. Love is why when we hear of a young woman having to endure genital mutilation or an acid attack that we care.

Love is why we make beauty in this plane. We plant millions of flowers, raise vegetables and plant trees. Love for our environment is very important. I think that raising some of your own food, increases the love you give to yourself and to others.  Taking a bouquet of home grown flowers to a friend strengthens the love between both of you.

Love is inclusive. Real love will embrace everything in your world. Love doesn’t exclude anyone or anything that comes firmly from the Beloved. The Beloved dwells within all living creatures. To love does not mean that you agree with everything someone says or does. The tricky bit is that we are all children of the Universe. No matter what we say or do, we carry Divinity within us. Love encircles and brings goodness. It grows as it is spread around. It transforms as it is shared. It heals wrongs like an anti-biotic cream.

Fear has nothing to do with Love. It is exclusive of love and it can’t be healing like love is .Fear makes us judge others who are different in their looks, skin color, religion and in how they love. Fear contracts the sphere of our lives and it can even cut us off from people who love us. There is no way that love and fear can dwell together. A person who has brown or yellow skin is not different than you areThey are the same except for the color of their skin, that is all. Divinity dwells within that person also.

Fear within our hearts and souls leads away from God, and there is no right way to worship or love God/Goddess/ Adoni/ Allah. Fear destroys and love creates. If we could all conquer fear, we would have peace in our world. So I ask you to try it and see what happens. See if you don’t find yourself enveloped in love.

“It is time to put up a love-swing!

Tie the body and then tie the mind so that they

swing between the arms of the Secret One you love,

Bring the water that falls from the clouds to your eyes,

and cover yourself inside entirely with the shadow of the night.

Bring your face up close to his/her ear,

and then talk only about what you want deeply to happen.

Kabir says: Listen to me, brother, bring the shape, face, and odor of the Holy One inside you.”

—Kabir; this wonderful poet was an Indian and the son of a weaver. His poems were influenced by Sufi poets.

Loving hands create love

Loving hands create love

The Poetry of the Mystics

A wise goal for each of us.

A wise goal for each of us.

The Lord Be Praised

“The lips of the one I love are my perpetual pleasures:
The Lord be praised, for my heart’s desire is attained.

O Fate, cherish my darling close to your breast:
Present now the golden wine-cup, now the rubies of those lips.

They talk scandal about us, and say we are drunks–
The silly old men, the elders lost in their error.

But we have done penance on the pious man’s behalf,
And ask God’s pardon for what the religious do.

O my dear, how can I speak of being apart from you?
The eyes know a hundred tears, and the soul has a hundred sighs.

I’d not have even an infidel suffer the torment your beauty has caused
To the cypress which envies your body, and the moon that’s outshone by your face.

Desire for you lips has stolen from Hafiz’ thought
His evening lectionary, and reciting the Book at dawn.
——Hafiz, translated from Persian by Peter Avery and John Heath-Stubbs

Spiritual energy

Spiritual energy

Gathering flowers

The Mirage

One day in the desert a bedouin
Looked up and saw a mirage shimmering
Ahead. Not water, but the splendor of
A dazzling girl.

In the thirsty, burning desert
among dry thorns, under a shadowless sun
He tried to reach her but instead
Of that marvelous love he found death.

In his immaterial, immortal sleep
He still saw the splendor of that girl
Shimmering ahead, an eternal mirage.
And in his endless dream he began to walk looking for her.”
—-Avedik Issahakian, translated from the Armenian by Diana Der Hovanessian

The journey is peace and we must meet every act of violence with peace and loving forgiveness

The journey is peace and we must meet every act of violence with peace and loving forgiveness


The beauty of poetry is that the words and images are never out of style. They can be thousands of years old and still have meaning and messages for the present time.

The Truth

The face of truth is open,
The eyes of truth are bright,
The lips of truth are never closed,
The head of truth is upgright,
The breat of truth stands forward,
The gaze of truth is straight,

If you are a child of the Universe

If you are a child of the Universe

Truth has neither fear nor doubt,
Truth has patience to wait,
The words of truth are touching,
The voice of truth is deep,
The law of truth is simple:
All that you sow you reap.
The soul of truth is flaming,
The heart of truth is warm,
The mind of truth is clear,
And firm through rain or storm.
Facts are but its shadows,
Truth stands above all sin;
Great be the bettle in life,
Truth in the end shall win.
Soul of truth is God.
Life of truth is eternal,
Immortal is its past,
Power of truth will endure,
Truth shall hold to the last.
–Hazarat Inayat Khan

Towards the One

Towards the One

A Basket of Poetry

Flowers in South Beach

South Beach Florida
Photo by Barbara Mattio

“Love more often is to be found in kitchens at the dinner hour,
tired out and hungry, lingers over tables in houses where
the walls record movements; while the cook is probably angry,
and the ingredients of the meal are budgeted, while some
where a child cries feed me now and her mother not quite
hysterical says over and over, wait just a bit, just a bit,
love should grow up in the fields like a wild iris
but never does.”
—–Susan Griffin

“Anger shines through me.
Anger shines through me.
I am a burning bush
My rage is a cloud of flame.
My rage is a cloud of flame.
in which I walk
seeking justice
like a precipice.” —Marge Piercy

Photo by Barbara Mattio

Photo by Barbara Mattio

Learning to love differently is hard,
love with the hands wide open, love
with the doors banging on their hinges,
the cupboard unlocked the wind
roaring and whinpering in the rooms
rustling the sheets and snapping the blinds
that thwack like rubber bands
in an open palm. —-Marge Piercy


June Rose
Photo by Barbara Mattio

“Neighbors, the old woman who knows you
turns over in me
and I wake up
another country. There’s no more
north and south
Asleep, we pass through one another
like blowing snow,
all of us
all. —Native American,Linda Hogan

The Miracle of the one single flower. Photo by Barbara Mattio

The Miracle of the one single flower. Photo by Barbara Mattio

“So you’re God
Tell me I’m straw, chaff, mist.

Tell me the sea has springs
deep and cold as dreams
that make me wake exhausted.

Enough thunder
What have you done
with my children?” ——Betsy Sholl


Greenhouse at Niagara Falls, Canada; Photo by Barbara Mattio

“God is fed up
All the oceans she gave us
All the fields
All the acres of steep seedful forests
and we did what
Invented the Great Chain of Being and the chain saw
Invented sin.” —-George Ella Lyon


“Gerber Daisy” – Acrylic Paint on Stretched Canvas
Painting by Barbara Mattio

If I Told You the Truth About God

Many people claim to have the truth about God. Millions of people on our planet are determined that they know God and that they are the only ones who do know God. They are so sure that wars are fought to prove their point. I think it must get difficult to be Divinity because you are supposed to guarantee both sides victory because they know all about you and you want them to win. Where do we go from here? Many mystics, over the millenniums, have had intimate experiences with God, cosmic consciousness, Divinity or whatever name is used, on the inner landscape. The following poem was written by Kabir, a eastern mystic centuries ago. Typically, he and his work were not accepted until after his death. He understood that most people wanted God on their terms; not its. He experienced the presence of the Beloved and was ridiculed by Muslims and Hindus alike until his passing. There is a unique irony in his poems. Many mystics have used poetry, music and nature to help explain the God experience. The following poem is one of my favorites.

I Just Laughed

“If I told you the truth
about God,
you might think I was an idiot.

If I lied to you about the Beautiful One
you might parade me through the streets shouting,
‘this guy is a genius!’

This world has its pants on backwards.
Most carry their values and knowledge
in a jug that has a big hole in it.

Thus having a clear grasp of the situation
if I am asked anything these days

I just laugh!

Photo by Barbara Mattio

Photo by Barbara Mattio