Showing posts from 2014

Resolutions that Work!

Quite a few years back, I realized that making resolutions for New Year's was often a futile and humiliating process.  After all, most people never make it past the first month of the new year, let alone all twelve, before failing.  Once I realized this, I set about changing. A resolution should be something that A. is easy to accomplish, B. brings you as much satisfaction as it does anyone else and C. add to your life (and to the betterment of the world).  In the past few years, I have found gratitude daily, looked for beauty in each day, discovered moments of joy, etc. Rather than getting to the end of another year feeling like a failure, I have come to the end of the year feeling such wonder, gratitude and joy!   Joy was the word I chose last year.  At first, it took a bit of imagination and creativity to find joy-filled moments, but before long, my daily list was endless!  Yes, and that includes the difficult days.  Let me explain! Take for instance the day I had to hav

In Defense of the Happy Holidays Greeting

Recently, I greeted an acquaintance with, "Happy Holidays!"  What I received in return was the most unexpected reply, "Come on, Linda, you mean Merry Christmas, don't you?" Since I knew that this particular person was Christian, it might have seemed more appropriate to wish a Merry Christmas as I left, but we were in a public venue with people who I knew did not celebrate the Christian holy day of Christmas, let alone the secular version.  So... the greeting of Happy Holidays as I was leaving seemed very appropriate. As you can see from the picture above, there are many Holy/holi days in the winter months.  The ones pictured include six that are not Christian. Since I work, live and communicate in a multicultural, multi-faith traditioned society, I believe wishing others a happy holiday is A. kind, B. thoughtful and C. more than appropriate. I also think about that adage that many use, "What would Jesus do?"  Well, first of all, Jesus wouldn&

Celebrating Poets and Poetry

  Reading poetry at Smith College During a very stormy night, approximately 50 people braved the weather to gather at the Smith College Poetry Center.  The occasion was the celebration of the conclusion of the 30 Poems in November fundraiser for the Center for New Americans . Poets from the community, including several young people, faculty of CNA and board members, read their poetry.  Poems by the students of CNA were on display.  The evening was a wonderful celebration of literacy. One of my dear sister/friends donated to the cause in honor of a friend of hers who had become a citizen.  When I read this, I contacted her to offer my thanks. I told her I would write a poem in honor of her friend. She was thrilled, immediately putting the two of us in contact. I had a wonderfully delightful chat with Amelia.  She immigrated to the US from Nicaragua.  She came as a young girl, becoming a citizen as an adult.  Her story touched me in so many ways. The following is my poem cele

A Nation of Immigrants

Frank and Catherine Kasper - East Boston Airport, MA 1928 We are a nation of immigrants. These are the words that President Obama repeated several times in his speech last night.  This is a fact that has colored my life and driven my passion for teaching those who find themselves without the tools to function in the United States. The picture above is of my grandparents.  My grandfather's parents came to the US in the late 1800's from Bohemia/Hungary/Slovenia. (The place name dependent on who had control of the area and when.)   My grandfather was born in New York - first generation American. But, shortly after his birth, his parents returned to Kassabela (the town in what was then Hungary) for reasons we do not know.  In January of 1914, they sent my grandfather back to New York, through Ellis Island, to live with his older brother. A few short months later, Archduke Ferdinand was assassinated and World War I began.  My grandfather enlisted, as did many young man

Wordsmithing Word Pictures that Give Back!

The 30 Poems in November challenge has begun!  I am about 60% to my goal, which is so wonderful!  I give thanks to all who are supporting my efforts, both financially and emotionally/spiritually! As promised, I am posting some of the poems I have written thus far. Thanks to Robert Lee Brewer from Poetic Asides for all the great prompts!   Enjoy!  If you want to contribute to the 30 Poems in November fundraiser , you can click on the link at the upper right hand corner of the page, or send me a note and I will let you know how to snail mail the donation. Namasté! A Piece of Home The edges were frayed after years of use, much like Momma’s nerves on days when the four of us were more than she could handle. The colors, though, stood bright and clear as the moment they were patched, one piece – after – another. Wrapped in it, I always felt safe – like this bit of cloth and threads had magic that not only kept me from the pain and suffering of being poor and