It’s Christmas Time Again

It’s Christmas time again

a time to share with friends

a time to be

with family galore

and someone you adore.

 

It’s Christmas once again

to celebrate

the infant boy

born in Bethlehem.

 

We all know it is the season

we all know the reason

Joy is in the air

 

Lights shine bright

All is right

under the mistletoe

 

It’s Christmas time again

a special time of year

The message is so clear

We need to love each other

not just at Christmas

but all through the year.

Fancy Tree

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Dictionary will not Suffice

I looked up words randomly

in my dictionary the other day

I was looking for precise

and the most perfect ways

to say

and illustrate my emotions

when I heard I would

be a grandma again.

 

I feel eternity is mine;

new beginnings are always divine.

I cannot stop smiling,

nor imagining

whom this little person will be

in the distant future.

 

The dictionary will not suffice

to express the way I feel.

Being a grandmother is such a real big deal.

 

So all I can say is

I have the greatest expectations

and my heart grows fonder

of the new little person

that is about to be.

Thank you Lord

for this blessing

you have given me.

 

 

 

 

Grand

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Essentials of Life

I now have lived long enough to know the real essentials in life. The reminders flow into my life constantly. All I need to do is look at a photograph of my grandsons or look deeply into the eyes of my husband or children and everything is put into perspective. I find myself researching my roots and trying to remember memorable events about my childhood. I don’t think it’s a baby boomer mentality. A friend told me that baby boomers go through a similar experience.

My journeys continue. My goals remain stronger than ever. My bucket list grows longer by the day. I suppose that is a good strategy to keep yourself in check. I still hope for world peace. I believe in the wonder of Santa Claus. I believe in God above all things. I even believe in myself lately. I ask myself about destiny. I wonder about if there is another side. Although I still ask the why questions about things, I think I figured out some of the  mysteries about my soul.

Joseph Addison, an English essayist, once said, “The great essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love and something to hope for.”

I think I have most of these covered. However, I believe there is a continuum. You have to shift the focus every so often. You also have to be grateful for everything in your life. Some experiences will be magical, inspirational, and others will bring you done like a roller coaster out of control. But that is what makes up this thing called life. It is what makes us alive. To live is to learn. Your heart will tell you what do each time you are in doubt. Just listen. Don’t let doubts creep up on you and fill you with fears. Be still and you will find the answers you are looking for.

The essentials to happiness are clear to me now. I listen to my feelings and take notes. I try to hug the people I love a few more counts of Mississippi. I take deep breaths to avoid getting upset over nothing. I take longer breaks for me to be me. I pray more. I send out blessings into the universe for anyone who may need them. I visualize only as far as I can see. I locked my ego outside of my heart. I forgive and forget.

The essentials of happiness begin with every new day. This is what I have learned and will live by. I imagine a field of Daisies waving hello and greeting me. That always puts a smile on my face.

 

 

PHOTOS FOR KEEPS 469

Originality

37f179f7dc9c4bc253f21dc3621458e9_002                                                        Melba’s Kind of Self -Portrait

Writing can be the most fulfilling activity. I know that it gives me great satisfaction and pleasure. The fulfillment augments when someone tells me that my poems inspire them or have made them look at things from a different perspective.

All of us want to be acknowledged and praised for our work even when we do not consider it work. For me writing helps me release tension. I learn. I think and I am inspired to read the work of others so that my writing becomes more meaningful.

But I also want to be creative and original. I want people to say, “This is unlike anything I have ever read before.” Perhaps this is not realistic but should it be the poet’s or writer’s goal.

Since my retirement a little over a year ago I have pondered the idea of originality. What does it mean to be original? I started watching more movies on Netflix and TV shows and looked for originality. I found some that seemed original but many that had repetitive story lines and themes. For example, many of the new reality shows promote competition and require people to either spill their guts out about their personal lives or ask them to do outrageous things like eat bugs or wrap snakes around their necks. Original perhaps but not anything that will remain memorable I do not think.

Movies made for TV usurp most cable channels and many even say that the screenplays are original. Some producers claim the stories are real life. So I guess that makes them original.

I looked up some quotes about the idea of originality. Therefore, I am not being original by quoting these thoughts or concepts here but I do hope to get some original feedback and opinions about what originality is or should be.

My drawings and photographs are original. My poems are original. My problem is that I want to be extraordinarily original. Please send me your comments and thoughts.

Here are the quotes:

 

“What is originality? It is being one’s self, and reporting accurately what we see.”  – Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

Great works of art “are not the product of single and solitary births; they are the product of many years of thinking in common, of thinking by the body of the people, so that the experience of the mass is behind the single voice”

Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Quoted in http://web.mit.edu/comm-forum/papers/alfrey.html

“Originality as a part of the big picture, where everything else is balanced and in place, can be a wonderful and valuable thing indeed. When it has a definite purpose to express something that cannot be done by conventional means it is special, and those types of innovations are far more effective, powerful and beautiful.”  Tom Hess quoted from http://tomhess.net/Articles/Originality.aspx

 

” Originality can come only from what you bring of yourself to your story. In other words, originality is not a function of your novel; it is a quality in you.”

- Donald Maass

Quoted from http://writerunboxed.com/2009/04/01/what-is-originality/

 

“The merit of originality is not novelty; it is sincerity.” – Thomas Carlyle

 

“Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original: because if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring twopence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it.”

~C. S. Lewis quoted in http://undiscoveredauthor.wordpress.com/2010/01/31/quote-c-s-lewis-on-originality/

 

“Seems to me – if I was an author, I would want to try for a title that was just a tad more original…..Just saying….”

- Quoted from http://cataids.wordpress.com/2012/03/28/originality-in-titles/

 

“What does it mean to be original with your art? Can you truly be original when you follow the wisdom of those who preceded you?”- Patrick Ross

Quoted from http://artistsroad.wordpress.com/2011/07/06/creativity-and-originality/

 

“Poetry demands originality. It is, however, unfair to expect brand-new poets to produce fresh, original work all the time—even the most seasoned poets struggle with this task. Poets often find that they must first imitate what has come before them—by reading the work of others and by imitating the work that inspires them—until their own unique voice begins to come through. And by honing the craft through dedicated practice, a poet develops his or her own style.”

-http://writersrelief.com/blog/2008/03/fostering-originality-in-poetry/

 

Here is my concept of originality in a painting I made a few years ago.

 

OriginsMelba Christie (C) 1993

 

 

 

Coming to America

PHOTOS FOR KEEPS 465

 

 

Coming to America

 

She was only 18 years old

Her heart raced in her chest

like galloping stallions on the finca

they left on the island of emerald-green.

 

 

Soon their ship would pass by Lady Liberty;

All decks were packed with passengers

Some would salute proudly,

others knelt thankfully

as if at church,

but she simply held her breath

like when you get ready to

blow-up a balloon at a birthday party.

 

Her dreams danced in her head

like her favorite dancers Fred Astaire

and Ginger Rodgers.

 

She envisioned herself looking out

her bay window framed with lace curtains

as her two young girls jumped rope.

 

She imagined her Cape Cod home

surrounded by a three-foot white picket fence,

daffodils and daisies leaning comfortably against it.

That was her American Dream.

 

Yellow and red flowers growing along a white picket fence in traditional garden Stock Photo - 13865383

 

 

 

 

She knew there was hard work ahead

No one said it would be easy

her heart reminded her everyday

that hope makes everything possible.

 

 

No one warned them about the

False pride and prejudice of some folks

or about the stereotypes (woven

into the fabric of the what they called

the union)

that would always look at her dreams

in the face and call her “SPIC” and stupid.

 

 

My mother was a strong woman

She proved them all wrong.

Her last wish was to return home someday

that was her Puerto Rican Dream.

 

House in PR

 

 

She accomplished both.

She is in Heaven now,

Of this I am sure.

 

I bet she’s wondering

what is going on here?

what happened to our American Dream.

What happened to the “I CAN” attitude?

Mom, you don’t want to know.

 

 

 

Points to Ponder

“It’s up to you

If you think you’re a winner you’ll win,

If you dare to step out you’ll succeed,

Believe in your heart, have a purpose to start,

Aim to help someone in their need,

Thoughts of faith must replace every doubt,

Words of courage and you cannot fail,

If you stumble and fall, rise and stand ten feet tall,

You determine the course that you sail.”

- Anonymous

 

brain freeze                                                                 Digital Drawing by Melba Christie (c) 2014

Tree Energy

Someone once told me that hugging trees energizes your spirit. I hug trees everyone so often when no one is looking. I photographed this spectacular tree and although I did not hug it, something about it put me a zen place. I edited the photo and this is the end product.

image