The Depths of Me


Women are repeatedly accused of taking things personally. I cannot see any other honest way of taking them.

—Marya Mannes, American Writer

 

“Come to the cliff,

he said.

They said, we are afraid.

Come to the cliff, he said

They came.

He pushed them,

And they flew.

—old French poem

 

I am sitting at my desk in front of my bedroom windows. Everywhere I look is mountains, river and trees. The night creatures are singing to me their oft-repeated song. The sun is gloriously sliding down behind the mountains and twilight descends. I see no stars or moon yet, but they are there. I hear traffic far off in the distance, the collision of two worlds. In this present moment, I could not ask for more.

 

 

a last romp                            Two of my grandchildren having

                             the last romp in the waves for the day.

                             Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2013

 

 

Hidden Treasure

 

I came to plant some seeds

I came to plant a tree

I came with a treasure buried deep

in the depths of me.

 

I came like land to land

I came like sea to sea

the mysteries of earth

and the secrets of dreams

deep in the depths of me.

 

Who shall witness time’s flowers

pluck fruit

from the fruit-giving tree

and who be crowned with

the diadem found, deep

in the depths of me.

—David Sparenberg

     Mountain twilight. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2010

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Views from my new home


I am now settled into my new home which is in Asheville, NC. We have an apartment on the third floor and I have wonderful views of the mountains and the French Broad River. I have done some research and found out that the river is older than the mountains. I find that very cool. Also the river flows south to north and is the only one in America to do so.

 

I hope you enjoy the pictures:

 

 

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Photography and copyright Barbara Mattio 2015

 

 

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   Photography and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2015

 

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             Photography and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2015

 

 

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  Photography and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2015

 

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    Photography and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2015

 

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        Photography and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2015

 

 

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       Photography and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2015

 

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           Photography and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2015

Bringing Purpose to the Journey


sailboat

Steady the course

Life goes on – even after the adventure is gone.  We must not forget the importance of living fully, of keeping the excitement of life.  If it seems that your life has none, then it is your quest to find it and live it and share it.

I find, at twilight, that I experience that unique second, the moment that you recognize your complete and utter solitude and your deep and abiding connection to the universe.  The feeling keeps me connected to the adventure of life and to the universe, and readies me to share my journey.

The journey through our days is often long, and sometimes seems too solitary, but you will meet the people you need in your life as you walk on the road.  Open yourself to them, and let them open to you, and you will find adventure in the knowing of one another, and share the adventure of each morning, each evening and each lovely twilight as you walk side by side.

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Some parts of the journey we walk alone and feel alone, but we are never really alone Photograph copyrighted by Barbara Mattio 2013

Thoughts on Twilight


Twilight at Holden Beach. One last romp with the waves. Photograply copywrighted by Barbara Mattio 2013

Twilight at Holden Beach. One last romp with the waves. Photography copyrighted by Barbara Mattio 2013

I find, that for me, there is a moment, one pure, crystalline moment when the day begins to fade and the night begins to wrap its arms around you, that brings the bitter sweetness pain and love.  I don’t know why it happens. I have experienced it since I was a child. There are times that this moment brings tears to my eyes. Not sad or happy tears. I believe they are the tears of knowing that in those precious seconds, you live.

Twilight reminds us of our invisible and silken thread which connects us to the Universe. The air smells pure. You take a breath and know that all that matters is the fact you are alive and you are in every living thing on this planet and they are all in you. You might be sitting on a porch, walking along a beach, standing breathing the mountain air or driving along a highway,  but this moment will flutter your heart. You are alive.

Shakespeare was the English bard and controversy not withstanding, he moves us as few others ever have . He was an expert in the craft of words. He crafted them for the common people and for Kings and Queens. For me there is an American bard. It Is Walt Whitman. While I don’t write poetry I love to read it and Whitman is my default poet when my heart and soul truly needs comfort.
I hope you will enjoy these selections as much as I do.

A Twilight Song

As I sit in twilight late alone by the flickering oak flame,
Musing on long-pass’d war-scenes–of the countless buried unknown soldiers,
Of the vacant names, as unindented air’s and sea’s–the unreturn’d,
The brief truce after battle, with grim burial-squads, and the deep-fill’d trenches
Of gather‘d dead from all America, North, South East, West, whence they came up,
From wooded Maine, New England’s farms, from fertile Pennsylvania, Illinois, Ohio,
From the measureless West, Virginia, the South, the Carolinas, Texas,
(even here in my room-shadows and half-lights in the noiseless flickering flames,
Again I see the stalwart ranks on-filing, rising—–
I hear the rhythmic tramp of the armies;)
You million unwrit names all, all-you dark bequest from all the war,
A special verse for you–a flash of duty long neglected–
your mystic roll strangely gather‘d here,
Each name recall‘d by me from out the darkness and death’s ashes,
Henceforth to, deep,deep within my heart recording, for many a future year,
Your mystic roll entire of unknown names, or North or South,
Embalm’d with love in this twilight song.:

—Walt Whitman

“Come, said my Soul,
Such verses for my Body let us write (for we are one)
That should I after death invisibly return,
Or, long, long hence, in other spheres, There to some group of mates the chanting resuming,
(Tallying Earth’s soil, trees, winds, and tumultuous waves,)
Ever with pleas’d smile I may keep on,
Ever and ever yet the verses owning–as, first, I here and now,
Signing for Soul and Body, set to them my name.
Walt Whitman

The beach at twilight. Photgraph copyrighted by Barbara Mattio

The beach at twilight. Photgraph copyrighted by Barbara Mattio

 

Blue Ridge Mountain twilight. Photograph copyrighted by Barbara Mattio

Blue Ridge Mountain twilight. Photograph copyrighted by Barbara Mattio

 

Seven Sisters Mountain twilight, Black Mountain.Photograph copyrighted by Barbara Mattio

Seven Sisters Mountain twilight, Black Mountain.
Photograph copyrighted by Barbara Mattio