Song of the Open Road


Song of the Open Road


Afoot and light-hearted I take to the open road,

Health, free, the world before me,

The long brown path before me leading wherever I choose.


Henceforth I ask not good-fortune, I myself am good-fortune,

Henceforth I whimper no more, postpone no more, need nothing, Done with indoor complaints, libraries, querulous criticisms,

Strong and content I travel the open road.


The earth, that is sufficient,

I do not want the constellations any nearer,

I know they are very well where they are,

I know they suffice for those who belong to them.


(Still here I carry my old delicious burdens,

I carry them, men and women, I carry them with me wherever I go,

I swear it is impossible for me to get rid of them,

I am fill’d with them, and I will fill them in return.)


You air that serves me with breath to speak!

You objects that call from diffusion my meanings

and give them shape!

You light that wraps me and all things in delicate equable showers!

You light that wraps me and all things in delicate equable showers!

You paths worn in the irregular hollows by the roadsides!

I believe you are latent with unseen existences, you are so dear to me.


All seems beautiful to me,

I can repeat over to men and women, You have done such good to me

I can repeat over to men and women,

I will recruit for myself and you as I go,

I will scatter myself among men and women as I go,

I will toss a new gladness and roughness among them,

Whoever denies me it shall not trouble me,

Whoever accepts me he or she shall be blessed and shall bless me.   —excerpted from Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass



Acrylic painting of courtyard in the French Quarter. Painted and copyrighted 2009

Acrylic painting of courtyard in the French Quarter. Painted and copyrighted 2009 by Barbara Mattio









The Bahamas. Photograph taken and copyrighted 2013

The Bahamas. Photograph taken and copyrighted 2013














World Wide Commonalities

The art of music

The art of music

It has been a really painful week for many people in the world. Boston and Texas really have suffered great pain and loss.Our prayers continue for the victims and the families and friends, not to mention the survivors. After surviving any traumatic event, from the events of this last week to the unseen wounds of war, healing can take a lot of time, perseverance and gutsHorrors seen and experienced can leave terribly deep wounds.

I found my husband dead of a heart attack, sitting in the study with his feet propped up on the desk and a cup of coffee next to him. He had been there all day while I had been at work at the American Red Cross and had gone grocery shopping. It was dark and I turned on the desk lamp and found him. The diagnosis was a massive heart attack that I could not have stopped.

I had a diagnosis of PTSD and don’t like the dark to this day. The point is that no matter what your lifestyle is, pain and tragedy can find you. There is a wonderful book called, “When Bad Things Happen to Good People.” It was written by Rabbi Kuschner..

From my experience running a psych unit,  through my husband’s death and after being battered as a child, I have found a prescription of sorts for healing.

Beauty and our love for it is an inborn need and many artistic tastes are universal across the countries of the world. People in most countries prefer water and trees in the distance.From writing music to words, from singing your favorite songs to painting your first tulipwe have a need to express the art that resides in our souls. From looking at Degas sculptures to writing your first book, you are working from the instinct to produce what you relate to as Art.
Miriam, the Jewish Prophetess danced, sang and played the tambourine. KISS wears make-up and stick out their tongues and millions rocks to their music and its message for the soul.

Close your eyes and try to imagine a world where everything is utilitarian, political or for business. No music, dance, no sketching, painting, writing for pleasure, no moments of the day savored because of their beauty.Across the world people find many different things they consider art but it all performs to express the basic instinct. So today, work on healing with the creativity in your heart and soul.

The beauty of music

The beauty of music

Art evolution

Art evolution

A profile in color

A profile in color

Horse made from drift wood

Horse made from drift wood

Mellow Yellow Monday #2

It is Monday again. It always confuses me how quickly that happens! So it is here once again and I want to talk about art. There are many people who believe, and I agree, that the love of beauty is inborn. Landscapes are more popular than graffiti. Harmonious music is enjoyed more than discordant music.

Whether we look at pottery, writing, performance art, or music composition. Many feel that human traits are evolutionary and cross cultural lines. Scientists feel that tastes in art are shaped by natural selection.

I feel the love of beauty is inborn. Artistic values restore pleasure, beauty and skill back to a prominent place in our culture. The arts are no more remote from the evolved features of the human mind and personality than a magnolia tree is remote from the soil.

The tendency is to treat any form of art as secondary and essentially fluff. That is so far from the truth. The human soul needs beauty and beauty is as essential to the soul as oxygen is to our lungs. Creativity is a bridge between cultures and stimulates the brain so learning is increased.

Creativity is a way to discover your authentic self and to express that self by composing, dancing, acting, throwing a pot or painting a landscape. The creative soul is tied to the Divinity within. People often recognize this and some don’t. What they create still brings a message to those who see the end product be it a play, a symphony, a pastel drawing, an amazing garden or a smashing novel. Without the creative urge, we become diminished as humans and we don’t experience all of the life we have been gifted with. Creativity, of any kind, helps us to be more fully alive and to more fully embrace this plane of existence. Don’t hesitate, listen to your heart and soul and create what is inborn within you and be at one with the Universe.