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Showing posts from October, 2012

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness

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English: This is a high-resolution image of the United States Declaration of Independence (article (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Teaching English as a second language to immigrants and refugees is an eye-opening experience.  First, there is the exchange of ideas, beliefs, customs, etc. that can't help but happen when one is teaching someone of another culture.  Then, there are the stories of hope that pull at your heart-strings, shared in between grammar lessons or during a practice conversation. 

One of the greatest hopes of many of my students is to become a U.S. citizen.  To these amazing people, it is the ultimate dream.  

As the great grandchild of immigrants, this dream is not so far from my personal experience not to understand the great passion and drive people have towards reaching it.  Therefore, I jump at the chance to teach my students what they need to become citizens. 

One of the questions for citizenship in the U.S. is, "What are two rights in the Declaration of Indep…

The Woods Are Lovely, Dark and Deep

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Autumn in New England
There is no place like New England in the autumn.  Poets and writers have captured the essence of the beauty in poems, essays and songs.  Indeed, many of my favorite poems are those written about the woods, trees, flora and fauna of New England.

This weekend, I had the delight to go on a road trip up into the hill country of Western Massachusetts with my cousins.  We had a wonderful time discovering covered bridges, waterfalls and great landscapes, all of which will inspire future writings, I am sure.

As we walked around the woods, I kept thinking of all the Robert Frost poems that speak of these hills.  I remembered how Thoreau loved them and how Emily Dickinson captured them in her lilting lyrics.  As the wind blew, causing leaves to rain down upon us, I recalled the song, Autumn Leaves.




 I guess it is true, what I have been told so many times.  I am a romantic.  I love the sound of babbling brooks, rushing waterfalls and falling leaves.  As my cousin said, it must…

The Power of We!

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Today, I am participating in Blog Action Day 2012, as a member of the National Writers Union (NWU).  The theme for today is The Power of We - We, the People - We, the Underdogs - We, the Marginalized and We, the 99%.

Margaret Mead said, "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.  Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."  One person alone is like a pebble dropped into the pool of humanity.  Their strength, convictions, and abilities ripple out into the universe creating change.  As each ring of the ripple moves along, more and more people become engaged in a cause.

Today, the Power of We has never been more obvious.  Each day, we are deluged with imaged from cellphones, tweets, and Facebook comments.  We know within seconds if someone has lied about an action or committed an injustice.  More than once in the past year, pressure from people around the globe has changed the world.

As an ordinand for  Interfaith Minister, I am mindfu…

Finding the Music in Life!

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All my cherubs being silly
Finding the music in life requires making a choice to see beauty rather than the ugliness.  I have often been accused of wearing rose-colored glasses, because I choose to look for the music, to listen for the counter-point and to dance my way along the road.

Finding the music is easier when one has a full backpack of joyous tools.  My tools are family, friends, nature, Spirit, and the arts.  Little reminders come at the strangest times, usually when I need them most.  Little things like a yellow butterfly - a reminder of my Mom, or a line from a poem.  Little things like the way my grandchildren call my name, or how a dear friend will phone, out of the blue.

May you find the music in your life and may it fill you with joy, especially when the rest of the world is out of tune!

Namasté!


From the Poet's Own Voice

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Poetry is a form of writing that is best heard from the poet's own voice.  By hearing what a poet says and how he/she says it, we are able to grasp the essence of the poem.

This week, I taught myself how to create audio recordings of my poems.  I am so excited, because now I can actually share them with my family and friends as if I were sitting with them.  What fun!

In introducing my first recording, it seems appropriate to begin with The Oak and the Maple.  This is a love poem of sorts, speaking of how some people come into our lives for a short time, but leave their mark on our souls forever.

Listen to The Oak and the Maple here.


And, for those who wish to read along --

THE OAK AND THE MAPLE



Once upon a time, two trees grew
side-by-side in the forest. On one, there grew a sturdy oak leaf and on the other a delicate maple. As spring warmed to Summer, they grew stretching themselves out to meet the other. By Summer’s end, the edges of their being gently kissed, as they danced to the cool breez…