The Peonies

Thank you again Tony. Your work never fails to inspire me. 

Dark Matter

Originally written in 1999.

In the year I turned thirty nine
the peonies did not die
quite the same way
as the peonies always had before 

In the year I was thirty-eight
the fragile man I was then
looked at the peonies
in the backyard

The progress of the year 
seemed so fast 
I thought about how quickly
those pink and white heads

would droop and drop their petals
fade and decay
I feared that if the year of thirty-eight 
continued this pace into

my years of forty forty-one forty-two and beyond
every thing I had learned
by putting myself together 
would come undone

But then in the year
I was thirty nine
I learned that in remembering
the scent of peony

the heat of their pink
the regal ice of their white
in all these memories
there was enough of youth to make

my mortality irrelevant
I learned that thirty nine was an opening and not
an end…

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Language, Literacy, and Storytelling – Part 3

A Teacher's Reflections

In Part 2, I shared worrisome statistics about children who enter school excited to learn to read, and the dramatic drop-off when they are not exposed to books and hearing words.  I talked about the next step, engaging children in both conversation and thinking – writing picture stories.

Part 3
There is proof in the pudding down the road.  Language, literacy and storytelling makes a difference, and not just with children.  Well, there’s more. Adults. That proof is in the high quality of Cuban cigars. It’s a great story, one of my favorites.

Reading aloud never gets old. It weathers time and generations. For adults, when we are read to, we listen, think and feel. And, we have to stretch our brain. When we only hear the words it sharpens our mind, and our performance is much better.

The Cuban cigar industry understood this. That’s why they make…

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Wednesday’s Words to Ponder

“Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, small minds discuss people”.  – Eleanor Roosevelt 

“Justice cannot be for one side, but for both”.  – Eleanor Roosevelt

“You must do things that you think you cannot do”.  – Eleanor Roosevelt

               “Never allow someone who is not allowed to say yes, to say no to you”.                           – Eleanor Roosevelt

“When will our conscience become so tender that we will act to prevent human misery rather than avenge it”.  – Eleanor Roosevelt

      “I once had a rose named after me and I was flattered. But I was not happy to read the description in the catalog: not good in a bed, but up against the wall”.                     – Eleanor Roosevelt

“A woman is like a tea bag –  you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water”.  – Eleanor Roosevelt

Eleanor Roosevelt was born on October 11, 1884, in New York City. The niece of Theodore. Roosevelt, who would become president and who married a man who also became president, Franklin D. Roosevelt. Eleanor took on the role of the first lady and made it her own. She wrote her own newspaper column, My Day, advocated for human rights and women’s rights. She held press conferences and after the death of her husband went on to chair the United Nation’s Human Rights Commission.

 

Despite being married to the president, she was not content to sit back idly and smile for the camera. She developed her own public voice while working with the American Red Cross. Eleanor accepted increasing challenges following her husband’s polio attack that would render him dependant on physical assistance for the remainder of his days.

 

As her husband took on the mantle of command of a nation, she forever changed the role of a first lady. refusing to be relegated to a life of domesticity, she gave press conferences and rallied people for causes that she held worthwhile. Among the causes she campaigned for were human rights, children’s causes and issues relating to women. She worked tirelessly with the League of Women Voters. She focused on ways to alleviate the suffering of the poor and against racial discrimination. During WWII she traveled abroad in support of American troops. She continued this role until her husband’s death on April 12, 1945.

 

Despite her plans to fade away from public life, that was not to be. In 1945, then President Harry Truman appointed her delegate to the United Nations General Assembly which she served until 1953 when she became chairperson for the U.N.’s Human Rights Commission helping to create the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, an endeavor she considered to be her highest achievement in a remarkable life.

 

In 1961, President John F. Kennedy reappointed her to the United States delegation to the U.N. and to the National Advisory Committee of the Peace Corps and chair on the President’s Commission on the Status of Women.

 

On November 7, 1962, Eleanor Roosevelt died in NYC of aplastic anemia, tuberculosis and heart failure. She was 78 years old and was laid to rest on the family estate in Hyde Park, NY.

 

Eleanor Roosevelt set a standard for First Lady that has not been equaled. She was a humanitarian of the first order and dedicated her life to fighting for social and political change and committed to bringing the issues that would affect them, to the people.

Bisous,

Léa

“Think of your son. Think of your husband.” #ThrowbackThursday #MeToo

CHRISTINE IS A HERO AND THE FBI ONLY FOUND WHAT THEY WERE ALLOWED TO. THIS GOVERNMENT IS A SCAM AND CORRUPT TO THE CORE.

Barb Taub

“Think of your son. Think of your husband,” Trump continued. “I’ve had many false accusations. I’ve had so many. When I say it didn’t happen, nobody believes me.”—Donald Trump mocks Christine Blasey Ford’s Testimony at Mississippi Rally

Dr. Christine Blasey Ford testifying before Senate committee [Image Credit: The Cut]

I sat in front of my computer, riveted to the live feed of the hearings. I watched Dr. Ford’s gut wrenching  testimony and Brett Kavanaugh’s bewildered, infuriated response. And as the tears poured down my face, I remembered…

Events such as this happened to almost every woman of my generation. Lives were ruined, damaged, or simply never realized full potential. Overall, we got on with the business of living despite the memories we didn’t let ourselves think about.

BUT THAT’S NOT WHAT WE WANT FOR OUR DAUGHTERS AND OUR GRANDDAUGHTERS. IT HAS TO STOP.

Sure, decades have gone by since…

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10 Popular Misconceptions About Writers — Jessie Bingham

People thinks and say such silly things sometimes, we’re all guilty of it. But here are ten common misconceptions the rest of the world has about writers.

via 10 Popular Misconceptions About Writers — Jessie Bingham

What It Takes To Be A Serious Writer — Have We Had Help?

In the good old bad old days, wrongly or rightly, writers were shielded by their agents and publishers from their reading public to maintain an air of mystery, and to shield them from the more repugnant elements of society, among other things. These days since the internet became reality, it has become a necessary tool […]

via What It Takes To Be A Serious Writer — Have We Had Help?

Anton Chekhov on the 8 Qualities of Cultured People

irevuo

“In order to feel comfortable among educated people, to be at home and happy with them, one must be cultured to a certain extent.”

Cultured people must, in the opinion of Anton Chekhov, one of the most prolific writers ever, satisfy the following conditions:

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