Archive for February, 2012

When I Grow Up I’m Gonna Be An Old Woman

February 15, 2012

There is great stuff, encouraging research coming out of the National Center for Creative Aging (NCCA) that I thought you’d love to know about. Yes, you my old lady friends! When we are all grown up and become old women we are going to be able to do the things we like to do; the things we have longed to do. And you wanna know why? Because these things are good for our health, longevity and sanity.

Recent studies show that music has positive effects on aging. So when I crank up the tunes, be it Beatles music or Frankie Valle, it will be because listening to the loud melodic noise will increase blood flow, improve arterial health and trigger memories.
Next is the study that states that Coloring Books are hip for people who are isolated or alone for many hours of the day. So bring on those crayolas and let me have at it because art therapy will be a bridge from my mind to yours!
Finally, there is the study on movement.  For all the years you said that I couldn’t dance… too bad. I am going to dance anyway.  I am going to need a way to express myself when words fail me so I am going to move it shake – twist it – burn it.  If I need a way to break out from my walker or wheelchair or from the pain of osteo, I may take up Yoga when I am 88 years old.
You have seen it now in writing, so don’t be surprised.

With Every Christmas Card I Write

February 15, 2012

With Ever Christmas Card I Write

Pandora is pounding out Christmas tunes, the computer database is open, cards are sprawled across the workspace and with pen in hand I address the envelopes that will soon be filled with sentiments of love and Christmas wishes.

Writing Christmas cards is a time of reflection and connection, something I do each year as the fire dances all around and music surrounds me.

With each card I write, I draw closer to a friend or loved one in hopes of keeping that special relationship alive and well amidst all the noise and distractions that come between us.

It all begins with that moment.

Tinker, Scribbler, Blogger, Writer

February 14, 2012

I started my career as a writer in fourth grade. My most powerful short story was about a chasm in the earth near Mount Kilimanjaro that set off an elephant stampede which killed my parents.

At the age of 11 I pretended I belonged to a writers group comprised of stuffed animals and oversized dolls.

I was given amazing opportunities to travel the USA, Mexico, Europe and the Soviet Union. With the Dave Barry motto  “Do things, not think things” and an overactive imagination coupled with a dysfunctional childhood, I never lacked for material for my short stories and poetry.

I’m a doer every bit as much as I’m a writer.

I have often thought of joining a  writing support group, but I didn’t want to sit around and shoot the breeze;  I wanted to write about it, feel and and try to help others experience the breeze.,,,
“Knowing a lot of writers doesn’t make you a writer, writing does.”

I make time to write anything and everything.

Most of what I have to write is unimportant or of little consequence. But my writing is a snapshot, like that photograph, a point in time moment. It is an opportunity for growth and self-reflection.

At the Root of All I Do

February 10, 2012

At the Root of All I Do

‘Honored’ journalist, Kelsey Timmerman posed this question: “What do you do and what has your work done to help people you write about?

I write grants. To respond that I am just the writer is like a doctor stating that he or she just treats a patient.

Seeing another’s suffering without action increases the pain.
Hearing someone’s symptoms without feeling the pain does not mend the hurt.
Treating the sick without repairing the hurt cannot heal the brokenness.

God given gifts bestowed upon me are rooted in responsibility. Just as I am called to duty, I am charged to write such that I am to raise you, my friend, my reader, to raise you up. If my written words do not stir within you to do, to pay it forward, and yes if only to facebook “Like” then time spent on my work as a grant writer has been wasted.

Wasting Face Time?

February 6, 2012


A waste of time or wasting “face” time?

For all of the reasons there are to dislike facebook, there are more than enough reasons to extol its relevance, if not its importance in any given day.

What started out as a way to stay in tuned to technology has turned into an important immediate form of communication.

Today, as an example, with facebook, I learned a friend had to take someone to the hospital and was in need a prayers and support. It became a call to action and a way to connect virtually “firsthand.”  A moment later I was introduced to one fascinating young modern artist! I was able to join a cause and show my support for an issue dear to my heart that is half way around the globe.  I was able to share a job lead with someone- instantly providing a friend with a jumpstart on her lonely search.  I learned that two friends have recently started blogging and so I shared in seeing a side of each previously never witnessed. The list goes on.

Just slice of facebook life:

  • article from Christian Examiner
  • updates from CNN
  • hot off the Huffington Post
  • UCLA parents news
  • a movie review
  • a tempting recipe for tonight’s dinner
This all takes place inside of 10 minutes from the seat of my pants and waiting on hold for a call with the cable company.
Wasting face time? I don’t think so!

Maid in Chi-nah

February 6, 2012

Step on foreign soil, the harsh reality is that life of the garment worker is hard.

Damn the industry, cry the worker’s rights advocates.

Lead them out of poverty, shout the consumers.

But what do the people want? Work, and the right to a decent life.

Developing countries want business. You want it cheap; the cheaper the better.

“Globalization is good-Globalization is bad.”

How do you make better choices? How do you sort through the acronyms? DWCFC, what does that mean to me? MFA, I don’t know what to say. Is NGO or ILO the way to go?


Park Bench Poverty and Happiness

February 3, 2012

It was the first day I travelled without my camera. It was the day I needed it the most. The morning drive had proven ripe with once in a lifetime out of the ordinary images, in what was a rather ordinary day on an ordinary street.

Conservative talk show host, Dennis Prager filled the air waves with his weekly special of “The Happiness Hour.” I was ready to be happy. And to quote Prager, “happiness is a moral obligation.” Generally speaking, I was keeping my happiness obligation.

Southbound on the boulevard a tall, clean, Chassidic Jew stood at a busy intersection. Getting up the courage to step into the crosswalk, his blackness, his orthodoxy was most out of place. I wished I could have stopped for a photo shoot and an early Shabbat greeting.

I couldn’t help but being happy. I hoped that the clearly “marked” Jew was happy too.

I drove through another neighborhood or two when a most unusual sight caught my attention. There were three middle school aged boys riding on bikes… each carrying fishing poles. In a rural setting that may have been commonplace. Certainly not, however, in this upscale part of the suburbs. These Mayberry boys looked happy and carefree.

I was sorry not to have my camera to capture this Rockwell moment, but I was happy nonetheless.

Crossing through the shopping district a man wrapped in several coats, a hat and clutching a fully loaded shopping cart, appeared to be asleep on the bench at the bus stop. His rugged face and bent fingers showed the wear and tear of the elements. I watched him rock back and forth, moaning in discomfort every now and again.

Glad that I didn’t have my camera, I was unable to shake that image. If beauty lies in poverty, this homeless man was a man of beauty. I wondered if this man was morally obligated to be happy. At this moment, I could not help but be unhappy.

88 to Infinity

February 2, 2012

I admired her from a distance.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              California to Poland.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Polish poets we two.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       She made ideas simple.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           I was complicated by words.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              A weaver of irony was she.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I simply seek it out.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             She loved her cigarettes until the her flame was extinguished by lung cancer.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    88 now free.

Wislawa Szymborska

Some Like Poetry


  Some –
thus not all. Not even the majority of all but the minority.
Not counting schools, where one has to,
and the poets themselves,
there might be two people per thousand.

Like –
but one also likes chicken soup with noodles,
one likes compliments and the color blue,
one likes an old scarf,
one likes having the upper hand,
one likes stroking a dog.

Poetry –
but what is poetry.
Many shaky answers
have been given to this question.
But I don’t know and don’t know and hold on to it
like to a sustaining railing.



What happens when heart and poor collide

February 2, 2012

What happens when heart and poor collide

We cannot be everywhere. We cannot do it all. But we can try to be as informed as possible and be a light unto the world.