Kahlil Gibran

Khalil Gibran is the author of The Prophet and is known through the world as the immortal Prophet of Lebanon and the Savant of the time. He wrote in Arabic and his works have been translated into English and other languages. I hope you enjoy what I have selected.

Song of the Rain

“I am dotted silver threads dropped from heaven

by the gods. Nature then takes me, to adorn

Her fields and valleys.

I am beautiful pearls, plucked from the

Crown of Ishtar by the daughter of Dawn

To embellish the gardens.

When I cry the hills laugh;

When I humble myself the flowers rejoice;

When I bow, all things are elated.

The field and the cloud are lovers

And between them I am a messenger of mercy.

I quench the thirst of the one;

I cure the ailment of the other.

The voice of thunder declares my arrival;

The rainbow announces my departure,

I am like earthly life, which begins at

The feet of the mad elements and ends

Under the upraised wings of death.

I emerge from the heart of the sea and

Soar with the breeze. When I see a field in

Need, I descend and embrace the flowers and

The trees in a million little ways.

I touch gently as the windows with my

Soft fingers, and my announcement is a

Welcome song. All can hear, but only

The sensitive can understand.

The heat in the air gives birth to me,

But in turn I kill it,

As woman overcomes man with

The strength she takes from him.

I am the sigh of the sea;

The laughter of the field;

The tears of heaven.

So with love—

Sighs from the deep sea of affliction;

Laughter from the colorful field of the spirit;

Tears from the endless heaven of memories.”


wpid-img_20150217_101759.jpg                                    Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2014

My Soul

My soul is my friend who consoles me in misery and distress of life. He who does not befriend his soul is an enemy of humanity, and he who does not find human guidance within himself will perish desperately. Life emerges from within, and derives not from environs.

I came to say a word and I shall say it now. But if death prevents its uttering, it will be said by Tomorrow, for Tomorrow never leaves a secret in the book of Eternity.

I came to live in the glory of Love and the light of Beauty, which are the reflections of God. I am here living, and the people are unable to exile me from the domain of life for they know I will live in death. If they pluck my eyes I will hearken to the murmurs of Love and the songs of Beauty.

If they close my ears I will enjoy the touch of the breeze mixed with the incense of Love and the fragrance of Beauty.

If they place me in vacuum, I will live together with my soul, the child of Love and Beauty.

I came here to be for all and with all, and what I do today in my solitude will be echoed by Tomorrow to the people.

What I say now with one heart will be said tomorrow by many hearts.

—khalil Gibran




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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.

Now Where Did I Put That Artist

Oil Pastel by Barbara Mattio 2011

Here we are and where I live, it is the middle of the night. I worked on a painting earlier. At some point during my session I reached the zone. I believe it is an interesting place. It is where creativity and spirituality meet and become one.

“Paradise is at your own center
unless you find it there
there is no way to enter.
—-Anglus Silesius

The Buddha says, “We do not learn by experience, but by our capacity for experience.” The creative person has a capacity for experience. It is our ability to not just look at something, but to really see it. Is what we see exactly what we will paint, draw or sculpt? No probably not. There is a place within ourselves where the artist meets with the Divine. This is the place where the created and the creator blend. The blending of the two conditions is the place where we do not move our hands anymore to compose a song, write a novel, arrange flowers in a vase or paint what your soul experiences.

Due to economic restraints schools are reducing their art and music classes. Reading and math and science are totally necessary. What they don’t teach our children is not just to look but to really see..

Not seeing is becoming rampant is our culture.There are some who that when humans do not “really see” what they look at, Then they lose the ability to look at other humans and care about their sufferings or sorrows. They lose the ability for compassion.

When I draw a flower, it is not the little “I” or the ego which is expressing itself, it is the flower that is being able to express itself.When the creativity inside meets with The One, then we are really one with the Universe. We are part of the Creative Process which unfolds continually in Nature.No matter what your medium is, you become part of the cosmic consciousness. The eyes really see and the hand moves and we are in a state of grace. Here we stop looking at and begin firsthand seeing. At this moment, you find the artist you are looking for.

Angelus Silesius wrote the first Western haiku.
“The rose is without why
it blossoms because it blossoms.”

So exactly what am I attempting to say? I am saying that for creative/artistic people there is a point when their medium becomes meditation. It is actually meditation in motion. The hand and eye work in tandem. Quiet and solitude are not the place where art and meditation meet. So if you haven’t seen the artist within for awhile,simply start living the “artist within.” Peace will descend and your work will pour out of your hands. M.C. Escher did a plate of his hands and it is my favorite. The amazing energy which flows from his drawing makes you know you are standing in the presence of Divinity.

Just be yourself, the unique and creative person that was created out of star dust and allow the creativity to flow out of your soul and into your work.

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.

A Garden of Her Own

Photography by Barbara Mattio

I confess the title is a twist on Virginia Woolf’s A Room of Her Own. However, times have changed a lot since the days when Woolf was writing. In Woolf’s time, there was still the concept of a woman having a room where she took care of no one else and could peruse the few things in life considered appropriate for young ladies and women.  It as also a world where we were wearing corsets and breathing was a skill and swooning was the inability of the lungs to acquire the proper amount of oxygen. This also made physical exercise beyond a sedate walk quite an impossibility. So times have changed and we have changed.

The media has, of course, changed much of what happened in the 1970’s. A time came when we, who were feminists were called FemiNazis because we were expected to line up and get in our places. Being a feminist became something that some no longer wanted to admit. We had made a difference, so it was no big deal. Many people spoke up that we can accomplish everything we needed as women.

It is now the twenty-first century.  With the signing of President Obama’s equal pay law, women now will make $0.77 for every dollar a man makes for equal work. In the 1970”’s, we made $0.67 for every dollar a man made.

We worked to give women choices in the 1970’s. Many women stayed home with the children then. Many thought they were slowly losing their minds. A book called The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan came out and changed the prospects of American women. It was, for me an” aha! ” moment. Women were capable and many wanted choices. To stay home with your children, to go into the workplace, or to do both. Over the years, big business has made it almost an impossibility not to have two family incomes. So we don’t really now have the choices we worked for.

The grassroots movement against Domestic Violence began in the 1970’s and many women were able to seek legal recourse, to receive counseling, have a support system that let her start again where she and her children would be safe. We used educational programs and training for educating local police departments on how to safely answer a Domestic Violence call. Historically, more officers are injured answering a Domestic call that any other type of call.
In the twenty-first century, Domestic Violence is on the rise. FBI stats document this fact. Young women don’t understand Domestic Violence and don’t realize that when they are pushed, shoved, kicked, slapped, humiliated or even called demeaning names they are victims of Domestic Violence.

We are once again fighting for the ability to control our own bodies. They are after all, ours. We and our bodies have become a pawn in national politics and this fact is so distressing. Congress wants to be able to tell us when we can go to a doctor and when we can have procedures. They even want to be able to tell us when to have procedures.

So, we all need a room or a garden of our own. I think of my daughters and I know that they are not wearing corsets but between the demands of running a home, having a career (for those who have chosen this path), and children and husbands, they need some space for themselves. I believe that we all need the room and a garden of one’s own can be a fragrant, colorful, non-political place to breathe, be true to yourself, make decisions, and give hurried, pressured lives a time of rest and relaxation. I encourage you to try it. It also is a soothing balm for the soul.

Photography by Barbara MattioPhotography by Barbara Mattio