We The People


Today is January 21, 2017.  Today, the People of America responded to the inauguration of Donald Trump.  Our response was nationwide and clear.  America’s response stimulated the response of countries around the world.  There were supportive marches on all 7 continents — including Antarctica.

My day started with fatigue and excitement.  I feel emotionally fatigued — I have ever since election.  I feel fatigued even though I didn’t watch the inauguration yesterday.  I still feel that he is not my President, and nothing can ever change that.

When I arrived in downtown Asheville for the Women’s March here in Western North Carolina, my sister and I joined in with thousands of others Americans who care about basic moral decency and equality.  What I found at the park were men and women, boys and girls, young babies in strollers to 88-year-olds.  There were all minorities, religious affiliations; people who were concerned and wanting to stop Muslim registration and possible deportation.  There was about an hour of speeches, and I of course photographed the entire event.

White doves of peace were released.  I, like many others at the march, was very moved and inspired not just by the speeches but by the sheer numbers of people who were moved to come out, enmass, and show support for the America WE know and love — an America based on civil rights, equality, justice and opportunity for all, regardless of color, religion (or lack thereof), race, gender identity.

The people around us felt strongly enough about these issues, and about the inauguration of Trump that they came out of there homes on a rainy Saturday; and together we pooled our energy and our hope and our compassion and kindness towards one another into a march that was peaceful and nonviolent, inspiring and motivating.

As the crowd of around 10,000 people began to march, we all had a little more personal space and it was easier to look around and see the faces of those who stood in solidarity with us, and to feel a deep sense of pride because all of us were there to support the kind of Americans that the Founding Fathers designed this country for.

I took over 400 pictures — don’t panic, I’m not including them all — but I am including a representative selection of some of my favorite shots, to inspire all of you, whether you are in America or around the world.  These photographs are pictures of the men and women of Asheville, NC who stood up today to be counted, to be inspiring and to be peaceful in their protesting and marching against the actions, already taken, of a man who was inaugurated to lead a country where the majority did not vote for him and do not want his hateful, bigoted, divisive and unjust policies enacted.  10,000 people standing together, shoulder to shoulder, to support one another and all those whom this new administration would seek to disenfranchise.

Many people said they would protest for the next 4 years. So will we.

We protest not just for Americans, but for all of you around the world who are shocked and dismayed to see the world moving back towards hate and division, and away from caring and inclusion.

We stand with you, as you around the world have stood with us.

Namaste

Barbara

 

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Inspiration


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Inspiration is a precious commodity in our world. Maysoon Zayid is a young woman who exudes inspiration. Life is always full of ups and downs. When we are in a valley, often we feel insecure or a lack of confidence. Often these dips are small in the big picture. It is hard to pick ourselves up and brush ourselves off and not take the obstacle personally. It is hard to stay positive all the time and we need to put negative thoughts and feelings aside because they can destroy everything we built up. Back in the day, when my life got tough, I would look at my patients or my clients at the Domestic Violence shelter and realize that yes, things had been bad, but I needed to focus on the people around me who were carrying much more than I was.

I wasn’t hearing voices or living in violence. I had my health and I was intelligent. How could I complain? But human nature tends to want to feel sorry for itself. The truth is we need to fight these negatives and it takes strength. This young woman has real grit, she is brave in capital letters. These days people are so mean to each other, kids bully the vulnerable among them. Our busy schedules make some people short tempered and susceptible to negativity.

Keep your heart open and ready to give and receive love no matter where you are in life. You may be having the worst day you have ever have had, but there is someone out there who is having  the same kind of day. The difference is  it is a better day for them. When I watched this video all I could think about was her total charm and positive emotions. Is she like this all of the time? Probably not. She is human and will have days when she can’t put it together. But she won’t give up. She will work through the negativity and rise up again like  a phoenix.

This is what we need to do. We need to stay in the positive spaces in our lives. We need to forgive ourselves when we hit a bad patch and everything feels negative. We need to learn to meditate and be in the present moment. We need to breath and stay calm.We need to let go of the things that bring us down. If you can’t manage this today, it is all right. You will do it when you can. But take this inspiration and tuck it away in your heart and it will be there when you need it. Life is good.

The ecstasy of chanting

The ecstasy of chanting

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The Dalhai Lama and his wise and love filled words.

The Dalai Lama and his wise and love filled words.

Ghazal of Hazrat Inayat Khan

“Thanks be to God, the very world that birthed us
now is bathed by wondrous Nature
in a rapture of her glorious light:
the splendor of Earth, Air, Fire, and Water, now revealed.
And humankind, highest of creatures, endowed with Intellect’s might
so that all the beasts, wing’d and hoof’d
are place under his command
And Adam’s veins are filled
with Art, Science, Faith:
he knows the sciences are clear
but music is the weightiest
as a surging ocean
outweights the very world through which it flows.

If he whose heart’s been moved
by the science of Music’s world effect
Were offered the pleasure of emperorship,
he’s certainly ignoring it
for Man is not alone in his delight
at that sweet sound
since even animals have sacrificed themselves for it.

More stubborn than a donkey,
he who holds that Music’s “impure”;
Ignorant of beaty,
how clain acquaintance with the Lord?

Creator!

The ocean surges!
Permit my skiff to reach the shore
-King!
I beg what kindness thou canst afford.”

—-Hazrat Inayat Khan, founder of Chisti Sufi Order

what a wonderful gift

what a wonderful gift

Have you heard the music of the spheres?

Have you heard the music of the spheres?

Open air amplitheatre at Chautuaqua Institute, NY. Photo copyrighted in 2001 by Barbara Mattio

Open air amplitheatre at Chautuaqua Institute, NY. Photo copyrighted in 2001 by Barbara Mattio

A tale from Korea


Galveston Beach, Tx;   Photo by Barbara Mattio Former Korean vet

Galveston Beach, Galveston Island, Tx; Photo by Barbara Mattio Of a former Korean vet

 

 

Today, our President gave a medal to Chaplin Kapaun, posthumously. This man was a hero in my eyes.  He gallantly saved lives and kept up the spirits of the men who were captured. He gave them hope and reinforced their faiths. He really irritated their Korean captors who had the odious job of breaking the American men.

A decision was made to put him in a death block. It was a black, windowless square building where there was no plumbing, food or fluids. As the guards took him away, he blessed and forgave them, thus providing inspiration and hope for the captors and the captees.

Some of the soldiers he served with are still alive and were at the ceremony today at the White House. Each one is a brave and courageous man by the fact that they survived.

Heroes like Chaplain Kapaun do exist and are sorely needed in our world filled with pain, anger, hatred, judgement, and the urge to hurt others. This is the perfect time to remember that our society needs women and men to look up to.  We need men and women to step up and speak out. Role models, mentors, and heroes will help to change our world. Their job would be to inspire, support, work hard and be educated; or as educated as each of us can be. We need to teach what we preach and we need to teach people how to think – not what to think, but how to think for themselves. It is important to think for ourselves and not to accept every bit  of information that is fed to us.

We each need to do some soul searching. Are we doing enough? Should be doing more? I think I just might do more myself after my ankle heals.

I can dream, I can fly and I love everyone on this planet.

I can dream, I can fly and I love everyone on this planet.

She Walks in Beauty


She Walks in Beauty (By George Gordon, Lord Byron)

She walks in beauty, like the
night
Of cloudless
climes and starry
skies;
And all that’s best
of dark and bright
Meet in her
aspect and her
eyes:
Thus mellow’d to
that tender light
Which heaven
to gaudy day
denies.
One shade the
more, one ray the
less,
Had half
impair‘d the
nameless grace
Which waves in
every raven trees,
Or softly
lightens o’er her
face;
Where thoughts
serenly sweet
express
How pure, how
dear their
dwelling-place.
And on that cheek,
and o’er that brow,
So soft, so calm,
yet eloquent,
The smiles that
win, the tints that
glow,
But tell of days
in goodness spent,
A mind at peace
with all below,
A heart whose
love is innocent!

When ill or injured, I find poetry to be a soothing balm. I will be in the new walking boot for two more weeks and then I will begin PT. It could have been much worse. It could have caused more pain but I was blessed. This poem is one of my favorite ones and it was also Jacqueline Kennedy’s favorite poem. I like to read it when life challenges me. So I wanted to share it with all of you. Thank you for all of your kind wishes. I know I will have a speedy recovery. The gift of my heart is these  images I am sharing with you tonight.  Blessings, Barbara

Garden of solitude

Garden of solitude  Photograph copyrighted by Barbara Mattio  2013

Surrender yourself to peace.Photography copyrighted by Barbara Mattio

Surrender yourself to peace.Photography copyrighted by Barbara Mattio  2013

A Day For Contemplation


Love in the World

Love in the World

Roaming in Thought

“Roaming in thought over the Universe, I saw the little that is Good steadily hastening towards immorality, And the vast all that is call’d Evil I saw hastening to merge itself and become lost and dead.”                                                                                                          –Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass

The Snow Light

In the snow light,
In the swan light,
In the white-on-white light
of a winter storm,
my delight and your delight
Kept each other warm.

The next afternoon
and love gone so soon!-
I met myself alone
In a windless calm,
Silenced at the bone
After the white storm.

What more was to come?
Out from the cocoon,
in the silent room,
pouring our white light,
amaryllis bloom
opened in the night.

The cool petals shone
like some winter moon
or shadow of a swan,
echoing the light
after you were gone
Of our white-on-white.”
—May Sarton

One Life

“A woman walking in a walker on the cliffs
recalls great bodily joys, much pain.
Nothing in her is apt to say
my heart aches, though she read those words
in a battered college text, this morning
as the sun rose. It is all too
mixed, the heart too mixed with laughter
raucousing the grief, her life
too mixed, she shakes her heavy
silvered hair at all the fixed
declarations of baggage. I should be dead and I’m alive
don’t ask me how; I don’t eat like I should
and still I like how the drop of vodka
hits the tongue. I was a worker and a mother,
that means a worker and a worker
but for one you don’t pay union dues
or get a pension; for the other
the men ran the union, we ran the home.
It was terrible and good, we had more than half a life,
I had four lives at least, one out of marriage
when I kicked up all the dust I could
before I know what I was doing.
One life with the girls on the line during the war,
yes, painting our legs and jitterbugging together
one life with a husband, not the worst,
one with your children, none of it just what you’d thought.
We took what we could.
But even this is a life, I’m reading a lot of books
I never read, my daughter brought home from school,
plays where you can almost hear them talking,
Romantic poets, Isaac Babel. A lot of lives
worse and better than what I knew. I’m walking again.
My heart doesn’t ache; sometimes though it rages.”                       —–Adrienne Rich

Gayan

“if you will go forward to find Us, We will come forward to receive you.
Give Us all you have, and We shall give you all We possess.
In man We have designed Our image; in woman We have finished it.
In man We have shown Our nature benign; in woman We have expressed Our art divine.
Make God a reality, and God will make you the truth.
Give all you have, and take all that is given to you.”                                      —excerpted from The Complete Sayings; Hazrat Inayat Khan

The receipe is to add positive energy to the negativity you find.

The recipe is to add positive energy to the negativity you find.

I am love

I am love

Be free, be lovePhoto by Barbara Mattio

Be free, be love
Photo by Barbara Mattio

I have had the Peaceful Time of my Life


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Hello everyone. I am home and feeling so relaxed and happy. It was a wonderful trip. The light, sounds, smells, and textures of the trip are filling my heart and mind. I met many wonderful people and laughed a lot.

I think if you breathe in love and exhale peace, you see the world as it “really” is. I am so grateful that I won this trip and every day was an adventure. Music, hot tubs, beaches, waters colored by the hand of heaven. My sister and I were walking down a hallway on our way to breakfast. I suddenly thought, wow, I hardly have any clothes on and it is January. It kind of became a motto,”We are doing —–and it is January.

I believe I could have stayed forever except for a few excursions to New Orleans. My favorite city is New Orleans, actually French Quarter.

Peace was woven into our lives during this trip. I heard nothing but reggae music and laughter. People went out of their way to be kind and thoughtful. I heard not one voice raised in anger or hatred. People never were inconsiderate. Neither staff or passengers.

As a person on this planet, I realized that we are capable of kindness, discussion, manners, laughter, thoughtfulness. We are able to live on the One World with love and peace.We can look out for others, care about their troubles and give smiles and laughs rather than hatred and violence.

Walking on deck in the evening .Photo by Barbara Mattio

Walking on deck in the evening .Photo by Barbara Mattio

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Abstract sculpture
Photo by Barbara Mattio

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