We All Should be Wonder Woman!

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We All should be Wonder Woman!

Last night I FINALLY got around to seeing the new “Wonder Woman” movie. Subsequently, I felt empowered, inspired, and more ready than ever to fight for equality and justice for everyone on the planet!

The film was terrific! Directed by a woman, it took on an entirely different approach to a super hero, showing that when a woman is at the helm, not only can she be strong, intelligent, and capable, but she can do it without revenge and with love in her heart. I think that is why more women need to have leadership roles in our country and around the world. The movie brought up that theme in many ways. The Amazon society in this film was about unity, appreciation, community, responsibility, strength, and caring. It survived on resilience, honor, and intelligence and love for humanity. Qualities in my mind that go along with being female.

I pre- ordered the film on Xfinity knowing that someday when my grand daughter gets a little older, we would watch it together. And the extra video clips that come along when you purchase the film, included spoken word poetry, inspirational thoughts from the director and other contributors of the film, as well as technical details, costumes, historical information about the original Wonder Woman, and a noted call for peace and unity in the world.

*What I found especially fascinating was that the athletic trainers noted a huge difference in preparing a group of women to become fit and strong for their roles as Amazons, in contrast to how men react and respond during similar strength training. They said men usually become competitive and aggressive, whereas the women were continuously supportive and encouraged one another. Each time a woman succeeded, she was applauded for her efforts by the other women in the group. They worked as a united team rather than individuals. YES, imagine that!!! They worked together. A completely different experience from the way men train. The director selected female athletes from all over the world, including women of all races and all nationalities, and trained them for five months. And so to everyone’s delight, the women  became more united the more they trained. They WERE Amazons!

Of course, I have to admit, that I could not hold back tears of joy seeing a Sabra play the heroic role of Wonder Woman. A young Israeli woman chosen to lead the fight against the forces of evil in order to save humanity. That was the icing on the cake for me!!!

Quite honesty, I cried, I smiled, and I felt pride as a woman as I watched this film. It made me feel like I was a warrior too. That I could achieve any goal I set for myself, or I’d die trying to accomplish it! And that is what I have always believed. That we women can change the world for the better. We can do it because we are able to unite and fight for freedom more easily than men. (We don’t seem to let ego get in the way.) And not only can we do it, we do it with love in our hearts!   So far, men have muddled things up pretty badly. Therefore, it is time for women to make sure that justice prevails. We ALL can be Wonder Women! We can do this!!!!!

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Know Your Women’s History!

KNOW YOUR WOMEN’S HISTORY!!!

This morning I turned on the television while having my morning cup of coffee and the channel was already tuned in to the “Today Show” (A program I usually never get to watch). The host, Jenna Bush, was asking women in the audience some EASY questions about Women’s History. (They were given 3 multiple-choice answers to make it even easier.) And these young women still did not know the correct answers.  Ladies, seriously?? You didn’t even know who Sally Ride was???? How is this possible?

I taught Women’s History long before President Jimmy Carter declared March as Women’s History month in 1987. (I got my teaching degree in 1971.) I was happy that the White House finally understood that we needed to recognize our unsung heroines, but by 1987 I had created dozens of lessons that I did every year with my students to help them learn about the AMAZING females who were part of American history, even though most of them were not in our text books.

Ironically, I usually presented my lessons around March simply because it fit nicely in between some other important historical events.  After honoring the Presidents and African Americans for Black History Month in February, and then paying tribute in April to William Shakespeare, (His birthday is April 23rd – and also his recorded death.) I decided that in my classroom April would be poetry month (Decades before it was declared poetry month in the 1990’s.) I mean what teacher in her right mind wouldn’t celebrate poetry and writing for an entire month to pay homage to the Bard??? Duh!!! It’s common sense!!  So, I added women’s history in between and that way I could include First Ladies, important African American women, and add female poets and writers too, and have a three month research-biography celebration in my classroom. It just made creative academic sense! At least it made sense to moi.

After 1987, Broward County, where I was teaching, created their own curriculum and had writing contests about Women’s History. So lessons for every teacher were made available if they wanted to take the time to add that to their curriculum.

I will never forget when Esther Rolle (Good Times) came to Florida in the late 80’s and helped judge the Women’s History essays and the top two winners in the entire county were MY students. (YES, they actually beat out the high school students!!!! One girl and one boy from my class won! It was picked up by the local and national papers and turned into a big deal. The funny thing was that the essay topic my kids wrote was from a lesson I had created back in the 70’s!!

But, suddenly March was National Women’s History month and so my students won awards for the knowledge they would have learned anyway in my gifted class.  I was thrilled, but my point is, why was I, (then and even when I left teaching after almost 4 decades), just about the ONLY teacher in most of the schools teaching children about women who made a difference??? This is something every female on the planet should know. It is important! Yes, you can now buy pre-fab bulletin boards about women in history and decorate your classroom during March. But how many teachers actually TEACH this  to their students and have them research these women????? Sadly, not many feel they have the time with all the testing.

The fact that so many young people do not know the names of the women who helped forge our nation is unforgivable. No wonder so many millennials (and women in general), didn’t understand the implications and magnitude of the first woman candidate of a major party running for President. They had no clue about how long and hard women fought for equality and what a big deal this was. Oh, they thought they understood. BUT, clearly they did not. Our current situation in Washington is proof enough of that.

Ladies of all ages, it is time to get with the program. We are handing over the torch to you! You have to learn this stuff because my generation is getting old and won’t be around forever to help guide you and remind you about your history. We’ve already lost most of the amazing WWII generation of women (and men) who fought tyranny and kept America from fascism. It was filled with strong women who flew planes, bravely went over seas and participated in defeating Hitler. And here at home women put away their aprons and filled the factories to build bombs and planes that helped us win the war. We need to remember those women. They did all that and yet women couldn’t even get a home loan in their own name or a credit card, and their husbands were legally allowed to beat them without police interference. That was the way it was back then. However, they could save lives, build bombs, fly planes and fight Nazi’s!!!

My generation got us those credit cards without having to use our father’s or husband’s signature. We gave you the right to wear pants in the work place and jeans in school. We fought to give you jobs that were previously only allotted to men. We ended quotas for women in law and medicine, and gave you the chance to become managers. My generation of women gave you the right to stay working if you got pregnant, and allowed you to get hired to teach school even if you were divorced. We did all that and more!!! We flew into space, we won gold medals, and we were mathematicians and CEO’s. We were members of Congress, Secretary of State, and we ran for President.

Now YOU have to carry the torch and continue the fight for female equality and the first step IS TO KNOW YOUR HISTORY! READ! GOOGLE IT!! Study! And then tell your daughters and grand daughters. Tell your students, your nieces and nephews. Everyone needs to know!

And teachers, don’t give me the baloney that you don’t have time to teach Women’s History. I made time for it and you can too! It’s one month out of the year!  MAKE TIME! Even if it is just five minutes every day in March! Because if you don’t, our girls won’t understand how valuable they ARE!  They won’t know they were an important part of American history and made a huge difference in the lives of their mothers and grandmothers. They won’t know that once upon a time, women inventors had to use a man’s name to get a patent to create an invention and that they never got credit in history for their genius. (Example: Ely Whitney did not invent the cotton gin. His landlady, Catherine Littlefield Greene did. He lent his name to her invention because women were not allowed to get a patent!) But today, WE can invent anything because we have the power to be whomever we choose to be. But we must teach this in our schools and in our homes.

This past election was proof enough that not enough women support women, and that is mainly because they are not taught to be aware of their illustrious past. They don’t recognize all the fabulous females who paved the way for their future. So…

Happy Women’s History Month. We Celebrate ALL women. Know your history!!! Remember, Susan, Elizabeth, Sojourner, Alice, Harriet, Shirley, Eleanor, Rosa, Sally, Madeline, Gloria, Hillary and all the little girls who will one day be women who will change the world! REMEMBER them and celebrate!!!

NO MORE!!!!

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This is my America. The country I have loved for 67 years. The land I felt immense pride in while driving cross-country visiting every historic landmark in my youth. This is the country I stood up for and pledged my allegiance to every single day during my childhood, and for 36 years every morning when I taught elementary school.

I pledged my allegiance to the flag even when we were fighting in Viet Nam and my friends were coming home in body bags. Even when people were protesting against wars, against racism, against animal abuse, against guns, against pesticides, and a million other causes, because in America we have always had the right to free speech. We are accustomed to living in a democracy and being able to express our thoughts, opinions, and assemble peaceably.

Decade after decade I happily stood in front of my students and led them standing tall and proud as I put my hand over my heart and faced the American flag. I wanted them to understand the importance of why we began each day with The Pledge. I explained how lucky we were to be living in the greatest country on earth, America.

And every April I read aloud the Poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, “The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere”, to help them understand how it all began. But, towards the end of the poem, no matter how hard I tried, I would have to hold back my tears, barely making it through to the last stanza because I inevitably got all choked up. Some years I would have to hand the beautifully illustrated poetry book  to one of my students to finish the last few sentences for me, because my tears would be falling and I couldn’t get the words out.  The children always seemed to understand that their teacher was greatly moved by this historical event. An incident that took place long before any of us were born. And they too were moved and inspired by those men and women who helped form this great nation.

“A cry of defiance and not of fear,

A voice in the darkness, a knock at the door,

And a word that shall echo forevermore!

For, borne on the night-wind of the Past,

Through all our history, to the last,

In the hour of darkness and peril and need,

The people will waken and listen to hear

The hurrying hoof-beats of that steed,

And the midnight message of Paul Revere.”

I never tire of hearing that poem. The bravery and dedication and all the sacrifices the men and women who fought to make this a free nation, lingers between every line, every stanza. And those courageous values have been entrenched in our history and embedded in my heart.

So much so that when I left for work each morning I felt lighthearted and safe. And when I returned home at the end of the day to see my own children, I rejoiced in the fact that I could raise them in this glorious country and that they too would be safe and secure and have countless opportunities ahead of them. Yes, that is the America I grew up in. The America I love so dearly. That is the democracy that chose a young Jewish woman named Emma Lazarus to write the poem that was engraved on our Statue of Liberty, which represented to the world how America welcomes everyone:

“Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,

I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

THAT is the America I have known for almost 68 years. Those were the values I was taught growing up and those were the American values I taught my children and my students. But I realized today that THAT America is fading quickly under this new administration and may soon cease to exist.

For the second time this week the JCC ( Jewish Community Center) down the street from my home was threatened and evacuated AGAIN!  Over 200 Jewish schools, centers and Temples have been vandalized and attacked and threatened and every day it gets worse. People of my faith are threatened all over this country. We Jews no longer feel safe in our homes, in our schools, or in our Synagogues. That is no way for any American to live. We should not be fearful in this country.  This is the home of the free and of the brave. None of us should have to be afraid for our lives and the safety of our children.

Every single day I watch as my fellow Jews are put in danger and little Jewish children are rushed out of their classrooms simply because of their faith and I think this cannot be happening in the country that I love. NOT in my America. Freedom of religion is part of our Constitution!!!   I am heartbroken, disappointed in my government, and frightened for my family and for my fellow Jews.

We The People can NOT turn our backs on this kind of discrimination and bigotry. We demand action, protection, and punishment for the perpetrators of such evil. And we say to you, NO MORE!

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Anti-Semitism In My Neighborhood

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Anti-Semitism Hits My Neighborhood!

I have taken some time to cool down from the fear and anger that has been building up inside of me since the latest string of hate attacks on Jewish schools, community centers, cemeteries, and other acts of anti-Semitism and vandalism has happened across America in the past several days.

This is not the first time anti-Semitism has raised its ugly head in South Florida since Mr. Trump was elected President. But it IS the first time it has been so close to home, and the first time my entire family was affected. These strategically calculated attacks have been too numerous to ignore, and have brought back some disturbing and sorrowful memories from my childhood.

As a little Jewish girl growing up in Cleveland, Ohio during the 1950’s, I heard hushed accounts of what happened to Jews during World War II. My father was a decorated Army Lieutenant and I lived in a housing development where at least 90 percent of the community fathers were Army Veterans who fought against Hitler and fascism. I played with children of all faiths and remember having a happy and diverse childhood. I knew that there were bad people in the world, but because of loving parents and a strong relationship with my family and our local Synagogue, I felt relatively free from anti-Semitism. I knew it still existed and the threat of it was still very real for my parents and grand parents who had grown up experiencing bigotry and exclusion on every level, but  to me I couldn’t feel or comprehend their fears. In my innocent childhood world, I liked everyone and they all seemed to like me and nobody judged me by my faith. Or at least I was not aware if they did. 

However, it was impossible not to notice that one street over from my house, were several neighbors who had bluish numbers tattooed on their arms. I would often come home from school to find my mother sitting at the kitchen table with women from the neighborhood, and sometimes I could hear crying from those ladies with the ugly blue numbers marring their creamy white skin.

When I would ask my mother about the numbers and the crying, she explained that the Jews who were taken prisoner by the Nazis were tattooed. She told me that people who had numbers still carried very bad memories of all the sad things they saw when they were put into “The Camps.” I tried to find out more information, and while she tried her best to answer and still be honest and age appropriate for my inquisitive young mind, she let me know that the survivors had all lost their families during the war and were treated cruelly in the camps. That much I seemed to comprehend, but I didn’t fully understand the extent of what these people had endured.

I may have been very young, but I was extremely curious about all the people with numbers and kept quizzing my mother to learn more about them. And I was instructed NOT to stare at their arms. They all went to my Temple and always seemed kind and gentle, but also appeared to carry an unspoken burden of sadness with them. (Even when they laughed.) And that was confusing when seen through a child’s eyes. I knew there had to be much more to this and my confusion haunted me. 

I recall one afternoon after walking home with my older brother, instead of going out to play; I crouched down outside the kitchen and hid. I tried to listen to the conversations my mother was having with the women from the neighborhood. I recognized the voice of one woman crying. It was the beautiful raven-haired lady who lived behind us. She was speaking a mixture of English and Yiddish and sobbing. I couldn’t understand all her words just the horror and sadness in her voice along with gasps of air and sobs emerging from what was usually a warm and inviting room. And so being intrigued, I peeked in, only to see her lovely face contorted in agony! I instinctively got up and ran to her and gave her a big hug. I started crying too at her grief, even though I didn’t understand the implications of her tears. I couldn’t have been more than five at the time because I do remember being in kindergarten.

It wasn’t until years later that I learned the extent of why she had been crying. When I was young my mother obviously did not go into detail about the Holocaust. I only knew my pretty neighbor had been put into a concentration camp simply because she was Jewish. I knew for some reason she could not have children and sometimes cried because she wanted them desperately, but the war somehow made her unable to become a mother. Well, that had me confused!!!

I was very aware of how she fawned over me. She and her husband owned a clothing shop for children and she would design and make gorgeous outfits as well as selling other brands. She’d delight in having me try on various styles of dresses and model her creations before putting them in the store window. Honestly, she made me feel like a princess!  Yet, even when she delighted in watching me twirl in her fancy lace and satin dresses, I could still sense the overwhelming sadness behind her smile. Sometimes her eyes filled with tears when she watched me.

What I discovered years later, when my family moved to Florida and I was a teenager, was that this beautiful, Natalie Wood look alike, had been tortured by the Nazi’s. Her entire family had been shot and killed in front of her, and she was saved as a young teen simply because of her extreme beauty. She had been passed around from officer to officer to do with her as they pleased, and then when they tired of her, experiments of some kind were performed on her that made her unable to have children. I was never told anything else, no matter how much I asked.  As I grew up I realized her torture was much, much more than even my imagination could conjure up. So, to this day, I still don’t know the horrific treatment she must have suffered.  And I still shy away from reading about Dr. Mengala and his inhuman experiments, because I can still see her beautiful face and I don’t want to think about what she might have been forced to endure.

Every time I hear of an anti-Semitic act, I think about the beautiful lady who lived behind me when I was a little girl. Her dark, shiny hair and bright smile that lit up the room, but who cried sometimes in my mother’s kitchen. And I remember how she would gently grab my hand and I tried so very hard not to gaze at the blue numbers on her arm while she whispered into my ear that I was such a lucky, special girl, and how she wished that she could have a beautiful little daughter just like me!

She even told me once that I reminded her of  when she was a little girl. (Now, keep in mind I was a feisty child, and often spoke my mind a little too much for the 1950’s! Compared to my mild mannered older brother and my baby sister, and being the notorious middle child, I was a spitfire and well aware of being the most challenging of the three children in my family.) So, to have “the dress lady” tell me that she too was a bit “spirited” when she was little, made me happy. But, at the same time, even as young as I was,  I somehow knew that those memories of herself were before the Nazi’s came and took away her “spirit .” Because even though her beauty remained in tact, and her smile was as lovely as any movie star on the cover of Photoplay Magazine, there was always sadness behind those dark eyes of hers.  I understood that deep down, when she looked at me, she saw not only the little girl she would never have, but also the girl she could never be again.

I tell you this story dear readers, because this was as close as I ever got to understanding some real life pain the Nazi’s caused. Her husband had numbers too, but he was a quiet, intellectual man, who only smiled and nodded at me and mostly kept to himself. It was his beautiful wife whose warm heart and kind smile that I remember most. And her longing eyes… which made me understand that being a mother was a gift not everyone was lucky enough to experience.

So, I share this memory to explain to you that for the first time in almost 68 years, I am afraid while living in America. I have felt safe in my country up until now. In the 1950’s I watched Jewish Concentration Camp survivors persevere and try to live their lives even through their sadness. They deeply loved this country with all their hearts and souls.  I protested for equality and women’s rights during the late 60’s when I was in college, and I am still fighting for those rights even now that I am in my late 60’s and a grand mother. I lived my life never worrying that my country was anything but the essence of democracy and freedom. I felt safe living in America.

Not until Donald Trump ran for President has that changed. And suddenly anti-Semitism has personally affected my family and myself. And now with this string of daily vandalism and bomb threats it affects my entire community, my religious freedom, and every person in this country. And just two days ago it affected my grandchildren’s school and the Jewish Community Center down the street from my home.

What is happening in this country is shocking. Especially since these acts are play-by-play incidents that are exactly like what Hitler and his band of Nazis did in Germany to the Jews in the late 1930’s. Trump is systematically making anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry something the people in this country are becoming numb to. It is so frequent, that nobody is watching or caring any more. Even the police are not taking threats seriously. “Another false alarm” one local officer said about the JCC a few streets away from my home the other day. As if it were nothing at all. But it isn’t nothing at all. It is a big deal. A very big deal!!!!!!!

Those of us who have studied history know what this is, and what is to come if we don’t stop it. I predicted this rise in hatred would happen if Trump won the election, and people did not want to listen. BUT now it IS happening. He has incited masses of people to do his dirty work. He preys on the weak and incites hatred and bigotry in the minds of the fearful and the uneducated.  We all need to protect our children and grandchildren from the monstrous things that are about to occur in America if we do not stop Trump and Bannon. I cannot resist Trump by myself, but I will try. I will continue to reject his policies, write my representatives, phone them, and protest!

I will give my life to save this country because freedom and justice matter. And my children and grandchildren matter and so do yours! No matter what faith they are or what color they are. They ALL matter!

“We the people” CANNOT IGNORE WHAT IS HAPPENING. WE CANNOT NORMALIZE TRUMP’S BEHAVIOR! And we cannot allow anti-Semitism to rise again. Not ever!!!  America needs to unite and remain strong against bigotry and hatred. We must demand that freedom of the press continue and that our right to life, liberty, and THE pursuit of happiness is not denied or destroyed. And we must fight and resist every single day if this is to remain the land of the free. WE MUST RESIST!!!!!! Please, JOIN ME!!!

I want to continue to hold my precious grandchildren (pictured below) and know that we are all safe and free!!

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Dust In The Wind…

I awoke today with slight vertigo and a migraine headache.
So, as I sip my tea, and try to be patient until the pounding in my head dissipates (And I know it eventually will), I can’t help but hear the song, “Dust in the Wind” rolling around my brain.

With the Trump Inauguration tomorrow, my hopes and dreams have been temporarily shattered. The causes I fought my entire life for seem to be disappearing and floating away before my eyes.

The struggle for equality, all our precious freedoms- including freedom of speech and freedom of the press, the rights of EVERY human being to matter – from the severely handicapped to the most brilliant of minds, for the poor to have as many opportunities as the wealthy, for medicine to be available to every person on the planet, for scientific discoveries to be applauded and encouraged, for the creative arts to be honored and appreciated and studied in schools around the country, for people of all genders who love one another to be able to share that love, and finally, to at last see a qualified woman become our President… all those dreams now seem to be just dust in the wind…

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My Parents, right after WWII ended and my father had just returned home from the war.

 

Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night…

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I was just going to write Happy New Year, or say something about the burden of 2016, and then decided to turn this blog in a more positive direction. (I have written quite enough  about my disenchantment with 2016.)

Instead, I want to think about all the GOOD things I’ve learned from a year that had me riding the wave. Yes, I was heartbroken, angry, and left numb at the roller coast ride that was the catastrophic 2016. But, then I thought about a few of the miraculous events that took place this year that helped me gain knowledge from the Universe. (If we cannot learn from what drags us down or causes us pain, then we aren’t taking advantage of growing as individuals.)

This year some incredible events actually did take place!!  I mean, who would have thought that 50 years after I first listened to Bob Dylan that he would have received the Nobel Prize? Now THAT is something extraordinary isn’t it? (I do have to take a moment out and thank my friend, Marla Schaefer for being the first person to introduce me to Dylan’s  album, which totally rocked my musical world!)

SOMETIMES greatness takes time to be appreciated and honored. Therefore, I learned patience and appreciation when Bobby “Zimmerman” won such a  prestigious award more than half a century after he recorded his first commercial album. So, THANK YOU 2016 for giving me a lesson in patience and understanding. I now realize that brilliant minds and poetry written or sung can indeed make a difference and change the world. My hope is that this achievement will encourage more funding for educational programs to promote writing, poetry and music in schools in the year that is to come.

Next, I am grateful for all I have learned watching and listening to Hillary Rodham Clinton. Her perseverance, her intellect, her patience and determination for decades, and her grace under fire, taught me that sometimes the smartest person in the room doesn’t always win or get the job. And although she and the women (and men) who supported her did not reach our ultimate goal, she DID CHANGE HISTORY!!! (That somehow has been underplayed and forgotten in this election). She WAS the first woman to ever run as a major candidate for The Presidency. And that is no small feat when you look at the role of women in American history. Hillary is a bit like the late, great John Glenn, who may never have been able to land on the moon, but he WAS the first to orbit the earth! And without him, others could not have gone as far or even dreamed of reaching their goals.

So while 2016 did not give me the first female President in my lifetime (thus far), it did give America a role model for all the girls growing up in this country. One is my own grand daughter who suddenly became aware that she could be more than a Disney Princess. She could make her own choices and become ANYTHING she wanted to be. (Even a princess if that was her choice. But SHE was in control of her destiny.) She could lead a nation if that was what she chose to do. And while it personally broke my heart that women did not go as far as I had hoped, we still went further than ever before. Because when I grew up, it would never have even been a dream in the 1950’s, that I could possibly have run for President of the United States. But now girls know that it IS a possibilty! And that’s really progress!

AND most of all, 2016 has taught me that NEVER can we as a people, become complacent with the world, or our country as it is, because at any time, our freedom and our equality can be taken away. And if we refuse to look at history and respect and believe in it, we will be forced to repeat the mistakes of the past. (We cannot go forward without honoring the past to give us guidance.)

Yes, I have learned all that. The fact that two people from my generation, a musical, poetic genius, and a female who has made children, women, education and healthcare a priority in her lifetime, changed the roles that had been previously defined for them is monumental! Artists can earn awards they never imagined, and women can soar to great heights and inspire others to dream beyond the boundaries that were put in their pathway.

And “We the people”, have learned never to be content with the status quo, because society is fickle and can change like the wind. Thus, my words to all of you for the upcoming year are this:

“Do not go gentle into that good night” (Dylan Thomas)

Be kind to others. Love your neighbor, no matter what their race, religion or gender may be. Strive to learn and reach your goals. Think about all the positive things you can do to make this a better world. Never ever give up!!!  And be grateful. Happy New Year. May 2017 bring you enlightenment, joy, and the ability to be kind and make a difference. Peace out… xoxo

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Out, damned 2016! Out, I say!

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Out, damned 2016!  Out, I say!

So very many people left us this year. With each one’s passing I kept hearing the words that Shakespeare wrote so long ago. Lines I had to say as Juliet when “She” walked on stage thinking about her beloved Romeo. To this day, those words reflect how I feel when someone I love or admire dies. So,without thinking, the Bard’s lines race through my brain as a tribute of sorts, to those who have passed away in 2016 and were cherished by us all.

Quite often, the way I deal with sadness or grief is through poetic verse. Prose and poetry can often express what the heart feels but cannot say. The month of December for me is never easy. My late Mother’s birthday is on the 8th, the passing of my son’s father is on the 12th, and my wedding anniversary was on the 28th.

And so when celebrities die, it brings back sweet memories of my own family and our happy times together watching or listening to those talented few. And the words that have been rolling around my brain ever since our Star Wars Princess and her Movie Queen Mother passed…. Those select words that have forever made me look to the night sky and see it very differently are below. Somehow, they changed my life in 1970 when I transformed into Juliet, and spoke the beauty that Shakespeare wrote so effortlessly.

“Give me my Romeo. And when I shall die,
Take him and cut him out in little stars,
And he will make the face of heaven so fine
That all the world will be in love with night
And pay no worship to the garish sun.”

After playing that part, every time I saw the night sky and the stars glistening, I thought of all my loved ones who had passed, and all the philosophers, the artists, the writers, the scientists, the entertainers, all the people who changed our world. Every star, every night sky, reminds me of all those souls who now light up the sky and guide us here on earth and help us find our way through the darkness.

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