On the 8th day of a New Year


A tad late at wishing everyone on WordPress a Happy New Year! I certainly hope that this year will be more harmonious, full of wise choices, less political bickering and more, at lot more tolerance and love. Last year was at a tough year for me and my family. We lost a few loved ones and grieving is most definitely a long process.

On this 8th day of our New Year, I hope we all have a “Year of Magical Thinking”. I borrowed the title of Joan Didion’s national best seller of 2005, which I have just recently read. The book helped me through my grieving process. It is an extraordinary read for anyone who has had to accept the death of a family member of dear friend. A true must read.  But the title also connects to my newly found optimism that we will collectively begin to read more, think things through more objectively and clearly as well in quite stillness and complete mindfulness. Therein, lies the magical thinking.

Mario Gianluigi Puzo’s novel The Godfather uses the reference of “going to the mattresses” in the voice of Sonny:

“No, no, no! No more! Not this time, Consigliere, an adviser, especially to a crime boss. No more meetings, no more discussions, no more Sollozzo tricks. You give ’em one message: I want Sollozzo. If not, it’s all-out war: we go to the mattresses.”

I ask for all of us to go to the books, the sacred documents of our founders penned and to the words of thoughtful, mindful writers. Read, write, react, respond and foster great ideas and stand up for our democracy. I ask you as a teacher, a mother, a grandmother of four, a proud American and of course as a poet.

There is a Chinese proverb that says, “Outside noisy, inside empty.” I see this in politics today and it scares me.  However, we have the moral responsibility to make the “Noisy” go away. Hopefully, something will fill the emptiness. The emptiness inside any individual can only be filled by that individual. I can only pray for people who have that void.

On this 8th day of the New Year I hope you can join me in growing hope for the present, for the now. We must nurture it like a plant and keep it safe from storms. and coldness today. Death has taught me that life is too precious and too short. One of my favorite authors Dr. Wayne Dyer said it the best:

                                               “Stop acting as if life is a rehearsal.

                                               Live this day as if it were your last.

                                              The past is over and gone.

                                              The future is not guaranteed.”

 

 

There seems to be much uncertainty today. It may overwhelm us this very moment. I felt that way. But it made me ill. I began asking myself, what I can do today to change that feeling, erase the fear. The response was the same each time. Act now. Think magically now. All shall pass. Happy today! Happy today, the 8th day of the New Year!

 

 

“You Only Live Once Kiddo”


My brother passed away 21 years ago to the day and just two days before his passing we had a very long telephone conversation. I did not know it then but he was saying goodbye. We talked about everything. The one thing that still resonates is what he said a few minutes before we finished our long talk, “You only live once kiddo.”

I am reminded every day that life is too short and that we must live the present, the now,  mindful of what matters the most to us. We must make time to look at the view and relish the beauty right smack in front of you. Learn to shut-off the electronics for a while and use the time devoted to keeping up with your Facebook posts to actually talk with you family members. We post the most attractive messages to share with friends but how often do we say those sentiments face to face. Out loud?

I painted the following and called it happiness. Take a deep breath, and be happy. Don’t wait until tomorrow because “you only live once kiddo” and life is too darn short. Peace!