Birthday Joy

   Enclosed here is a poem and a link (hopefully) in celebration of my 70th birthday.  The address will take you to YouTube video of 80 happy people singing their hearts out in fun, plus the marvelous cake with cannoli rum filling and buttercream frosting with the little gypsy dancers on top.  You can also see pics of the beautiful worship space of Unity Temple, the Frank Lloyd Wright church in which the party was held.
   The  poem is from Carolyn Aguila, a neighbor from many, many years ago in Chicago when we took in Kevin Price Sanchez and Kelly Price Jorgensen as foster children one winter.  Carolyn has a wonderful published book of her own Chicago/family/literature based poems:  “Flirting with Rhyme and Reason,  EM Press, Channahon, IL 2006.
     YouTube:   Marti’s 70th Birthday          

      by Kevin Sanchez

Marti’s Matthew’s 70th Birthday – Dec 27, 2014

   

 
GRATITUDE AND ACKNOWLEDGMENT
By Carolyn S. Aguila ~ December 27, 2014
 On the occasion of Marti Matthews’ 70th Birthday—
 City moms have different worries,

but all moms worry,
about all children,
all the time.
It’s always been so.

In ancient ages,

young boys and girls were sent
to uncles and aunts for fostering,
particularly when mothers grew tired
from the fretting.
Sometimes a family needs a rest from itself—
–or an urgent matter must be tended to
far from a child’s daily life.

I would not learn

until many years latter
that my own bricked city street
harbored such a mother
who mothered without question
the child of another,
a woman who understood
the sacred mission of tending to children
who were not her own,
but who were in need.

This is ancient,

this type of generosity,
and it is passed on and between and among
the bones and blood of motherhood.
We are finer, brighter, and sturdier because of these mothers—
   –and one is named, Marti.

                         Happy Birthday.
 
 
 
 

Tom’s Inspirations

    Today, Sept. 17, 2014, is the fifth anniversary of the return to spirit of my son, Tom Dix.
    In memory of him, I’ve posted this list of 65 inspirational quotes that Tom had put into an oatmeal box, apparently to pull out now and then to inspire himself. There are a great variety; some are like fortunes..You could print the page out, cut them separate for yourself, even add your own and get yourself an oatmeal box . Do this fun discipline to keep your spirit going.
       You might also like to read the previous posting here:”After-Death Communication with my Son” and the posting for Sept.17, 2013:”Death is not the End”, a long and excellent reading of Tom’s presence through a medium.
  • . You ask me how I can remain calm and not become agitated when those around me are bustling about. What can I say to you? I didn’t come into the world to upset it. Isn’t it disturbed enough already?
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  • Limits and markers make travel possible for people: circumscribe our lines of sight and we can really get somewhere.
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  • First and foremost, remember that you are unique. Your life is a once-told tale, an unrepeatable drama. No one has your mixture of passion and inhibitions, sensuality and fears, generosity and greed. No-body has identical erogenous zones or ways of expressing love.
  •  
  • Solitude is the nurse of enthusiasm, and enthusiasm is the true part of genius.
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  • The best remedy for dispute is to discuss it.
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  • No one can solve problems for someone whose problem is that they don’t want their problems solved.
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  • God, grant me patience for the changes that take time; an appreciation for all that I have; tolerance for those with different struggles; and the strength to get up and try again, one day at a time.
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  • There/here is the ‘Same-old-you’ and here is the ‘Same-old-me’: What we do together is new-born, in between. It has never happened before. Will never again.
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  • Better to pray for yourself than to curse another.
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  • It is only in solitude that men and women can come to know the happiness that is like the delight of children in nothing at all.
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  • Forcing someone to do something religious is useless.
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  • Those who want to know everything become old while they are young.
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  • It is far better to withhold our judgment on something we do not understand than to condemn it. We can leave understanding until later.
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  • He who has placed himself in God’s hand stands free vis-a-vis man: he is entirely at his ease with them, because he has granted them the right to judge.
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  • Speak from your heart and you will speak to God.
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  • Fear is tangled with humility and humility is tangled with grace.
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  • The only independent element in ourselves is the attention of our mind.
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  • The capacity to be alone is a valuable resource when changes of mental attitude are required.
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  • The “great” commitment is so much easier than the ordinary one – and can all too easily shut our hearts to the letter. A willingness to make the ultimate sacrifice can be associated with, and even produce, a great hardness of heart.
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  • Tears smash through the gates and doors of heaven.
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  • You are much loved.
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  • You will not obtain what you love if you do not bear a great deal that you hate, and you will not be released from what you hate if you do not bear a great deal from what you love.
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  • The courage to not betray what is noblest in oneself is considered, at best, to be pride. And the critic finds his judgment confirmed when he sees consequences which, to him, must look very like the punishment for a mortal sin.
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  • In our era, the road to holiness necessarily passes through the world of action.
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  • Forgiveness is unconditional, or it is not forgiveness at all…Only because (of) this, does forgiveness make love possible. We cannot love unless we have accepted forgiveness, and the deeper our experience of forgiveness, the greater our love.  We cannot love where we feel rejected, even if the rejection is done in righteousness.”                -Paul Tillich
  • An American disease…is forgetfulness. A person or people who cannot recollect their past have little point beyond mere animal existence: it is memory that makes things matter.
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  • It is better for the health of the soul to make one person good than “to sacrifice oneself for all humanity.”
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  • The purer the eye of her attention, the more power the soul finds within herself. Strive, then, constantly to purify the eye of your attention until it becomes utterly simple and direct.
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  • Nobody grows old by merely living a number of years. People grow old by giving up their ideals.
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  • If we are dependent on each other for the order that makes life possible, we are even more dependent on each other for the kind of disorder that makes life human.
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  • “Whether somebody is praising you or blaming you, renounce your feelings for either. Only then will you find the highest. To go higher, have equal vision.”
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  • It was when Lucifer first congratulated himself upon his angelic behavior that he became the tool of evil.
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  • Those who do not grow, grow smaller.
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  • In faith, I do not love thee with mine eyes, for they in thee a thousand errors note. But ’tis my heart that loves what they despise.
  • “Forgiveness, human and divine, looks forward. It is the means whereby the future can be different from the past. It is not the same as resignation or acceptance, because of this hope; it believes things can change.” -John Lampen
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  • Namaste – the God in me salutes the God in you.
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  • If you insist you’re right long enough, you’ll be wrong.
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  • Sincerity is, in its origin, a power of the mind that can exist under any conditions of life. All that is needed is a basic discrimination between what is actually within one’s power and what is not.
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  • I believe we should die with decency so that at least decency will survive.
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  • Make your ideas, ideals. Live into your thoughts. Manifest them. Pay attention to your inner world.
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  • Always be on sentry-duty for the chance to do a good deed.
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  • Beware of mirages. Do not run or fly away in order to get free; rather dig in the narrow place which has been given you; you will find God there and everything, God does not float on your horizon, he sleeps in your substance. Vanity runs, Love digs. If you fly away from yourself, your prison will run with you and will close in because of the wind of your flight; if you go deep down into yourself, it will disappear in paradise.” -Gustave Thibon
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  • “Time is the beauty of the road being long.” -J. Popper, Blues Traveler, song: “Just Wait”
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  • Those who are compassionate when they should be stern end up being stern when they should be compassionate.
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  • The fulfillment of every individual vocation demands not only renouncement of what is bad in itself, but also of all the precise goods that are not willed for us by God in our particular calling.
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  • If I am not for myself, who will be? But if I am only for myself, what am I?
  • To love oneself is the beginning of a life-long romance. -Oscar Wilde
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  • Truth cannot be found in appearances.
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  • When a baby is born a mother is born, too. At birth, and for months thereafter, her needs for contact exceed those of the infant.
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  • When the focus is shifted from the outer to the inner, true contentment arises. True Love is found.
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  • The price you must pay for your own liberation through another’s sacrifice is that you in turn must be willing to liberate in the same way, irrespective of the consequences to yourself.
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  • Our life is like a tapestry. And by the tapestry’s nature, it demands that we work on it from the back. In a blind. The Sabbath is a reminder that one day in seven, or one hour in seven, we should step back and turn our tapestry over so we can see the larger pattern of who we are, the implications of our efforts, and the world wherein we work.
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  • Science without religion is lame; religion without science is blind.
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  • Romantic love is often a case of mistaken identity.
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  • What I’ve come to cherish I’ve come to slowly, usually blindly, not seeing it for some time…
  • There is nobody from whom you cannot learn. Before God, who speaks through all people, you are always in the bottom class of nursery school.
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  • Love is an irresistible desire to be irresitably desired. -attributed to Robert Frost
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  • We have to try to cure our faults by attention and not by will.
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  • Most of humanity’s grievous suffering is brought about by our desire for what is unnecessary.
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  • Love your enemies in case your friends turn out to be a bunch of bastards. -R.A.Dickson
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  • Seeing is believing but feeling is the truth.
  • Once you tell somebody the way that you feel, you can feel it beginning to heal.
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  • In an encounter with Divine Reality we do not hear a voice but acquire one – and the voice we acquire is our own.
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  • The heart has its reasons, which reason cannot understand.
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  • Leave a good name behind, in case you return.

comments

Re: poems on Daffodils

From Pamela Timme    Thank you so much, Marti. I am going to the Arboretum to see the daffodils on Saturday, so especially enjoyed reading Tom’s piece. They’re all lovely!

*****
Thank you so much Marti, I read your poem – such an eloquent description of that traumatic time – and Tom’s writing – I felt “with him” again, after so long. I had no idea he wrote that much after his stroke. And the Wordsworth poem is an old favorite of mine – I had it memorized at one point!
Love,
Marilyn Myles
******

Thank you for sharing those wonderful poems. I just finished from doing our taxes all day and reading the poems helped me return to a more peaceful, present state of being,

Sweet dreams, Vanessa
********

Marti,

I’ve always liked that Wordsworth poem, too. Ecstasy that seeps into our souls….such a lovely way of putting how beauty enters us. And your tender poem, marking that difficult, beautiful winter….then love claims the body…..that line washed over me. Thanks for sending these splashes of brightness into my morning.
Carol Tyx

Comments on Early Spring Poems

Hi Lynn,
Only you could create joy from the stinkiness of a skunk cabbage! I tried to put this comment right onto your website but I had to choose to be things that I wasn’t and failed. Hope your spaces between snows get longer. I’m at work on the last big section of my Zimbabwe memoir. Then I have to organize and add in some vignettes, but it basically feels finished.
Love, Natalie

******
Marti,

What I need to live, life will offer…..such a line to hang on to. Love the simplicity and at the same time, the depth of these poems.

Your essay on dancing reminded me of a day last summer when I went to a downtown Iowa City outdoor music event. In the back of the crowd a young man in a wheelchair was waving his arms around. Feeling more outgoing than I am at other times, I went back and danced a number with him. Such enthusiasm for dancing!

Thanks for sending the reminders of life’s beauty…..as well as its complications.

Carol Tyx

*****
Dear Sis~

Hi there, and happy spring! I loved your poems in the recent posting – are you the author of all of them? I’d especially like to refer/reprint the Frog one – so cheery and sweet –

All the Best~ Terry
Terry Matthews-Lombardo, CMP TML SERVICES

******
Great concept, Marti! Where do you get these ideas? sounds like, by sitting in quiet. They just drop by! Bonni McKeown

PRAY FOR PEACE
WORK FOR JUSTICE
BOOGIE FOR SURVIVAL
www.barrelhousebonni.com
Reconnecting generations through blues education: www.chicagoschoolofblues.com

*******

Hi Marti,I enjoyed the poems. They are very cute and inspiring regarding the lovely sights of spring. Now, I can not wait for spring to come and show all of its beauty. How are you doing? Its looks like all of well. Love, Dottie

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Mar 26 Re: Early Spring Poems

Good evening, Lynn! You are so creative! I just read your poems and can imagine the sights and smells!!! Even tho we still have a foot of snow on the ground and 28inches of us on the lake!!! Thank you for making my day!

Love, Jamie

******

FROM Ethel Potts TO You

Marti – In Michigan we still have about half of our snow left on the ground. However, I see green shoots of a few confused snow drops in the back yard. Will they survive the still-with-us temperatures in the teens and twenties? They must be responding to the sun. Eppie

*****

 

Thanks!
Love the poems and the handicap dance story.
Nancy Paul, Lyric Healing

 

Comments on Dancing with the handicapped

Comments on “Handicapped”
Dear Marti,
What a beautiful story! You must come dancing with me some Saturday night! Have taken up country dancing. Most of our dance partners are over 80 and just enjoy the music and exercise! Love and miss you.
Dorene

Dr. Dorene P. Wiese
President
American Indian Association of Illinois
6554 N. Rockwell
Chicago,IL 60645
773.550.9600
Chicago-American-Indian-Edu.Org
********

Marti,

I loved your story-telling. Thanks for sharing your experience.

Love, Jill Mollenkamp

*********

From: Diane Willis To: Marti Matthews <martim1234@sbcglobal.net> Sent: Sunday, February 23, 2014 11:03 PMSubject: Re: “Dancing with the Handicapped”

Lovely story, Marti…..thanks for sharing it.

Diane, IANDS

(Intn’l. Asso. of Near Death Experiences)

*******

From:PATRICIA R MCMILLEN To:Marti Matthews <martim1234@sbcglobal.net> Sent:Wednesday, March 12, 2014 2:42 PMSubject:Re: “Dancing with the Handicapped”marti,

loved the piece – tried to comment but apparently i don’t have an “open ID” on wordpress. <sigh> anyway it sounds like you had a good evening and I’m delighted to have read about it.

best

          patty
Dear Marti,
It wasn’t until I read this blog that I realized I could post it on Facebook and I did, introducing it as “Another great blog by my dear friend, Marti Matthews”
Your picture is there and a profile. Wish you could see it!
                  Love, Marian
Marian Tompson
Passionate Journey: My Unexpected Life (Hale, 2011)
******
from: Ethel Potts To: Marti Matthews <martim1234@sbcglobal.net> Sent: Monday, February 24, 2014 9:30 AMSubject: Re: “Dancing with the Handicapped”

Dear Marti – Thank you for sharing such delightful parts of your life. You have a real talent for enjoying the heart-warming aspects of every situation. I am learning from you to try to do the same.

I may have some of your viewpoint. In my all-absorbing political work, I lose more often then win on issues and elections, but somehow I happily continue on. [ I’ve wondered if it’s not a personality defect, that I don’t know when to quit, which so many of my colleagues have done over these years.] I think that you and I find meaning and joy wherever we can, right? With my love, Eppie
            ********
 
I felt like I was there too, Lynn. Thanks!
Love,
Natalie Kreutzer

*********

from: June Ryushin Tanoue          what a beautiful well written piece- thank you for sharing it with me!

I’d like to use it for my hula newsletter sometime ok? I may have to edit it some and shorten it to a page and a half?

but you should edit in what you said in the paragraph below or people will think that i’m an uncaring teacher ;0)

Aloha,

June Halau I Ka Pono, Hawaiian Hula School of Chicago

Sankta Lucia comments

RE: Sankta Lucia

Marti,
I really enjoyed your recollection of your first Sankta Lucia Fest and how you got in-touch with your “inner Swede”. Would you mind If I copy/pasted your story into an email to my friend Rich Lindberg?
Merry Christmas!
Mike [ Rich is author of the book “Whiskey Breakfast, my Swedish Family, my American Life”, Univ. of Minn. Press, 2011]

St Lucia

I absolutely enjoyed your story, I smiled remembering my own Hungarian heritage and the night of St Lucia. Although I don’t quite recall, I have vague memories….will have to google it!
Have a wonderful evening celebration! Enjoy the festivities!
Many warm hugs!
Annika

Re: Sankta Lucia
Thanks for a wonderful note! We just had our Christmas party with the 3rd grade of Goudy school who sang for us. 51 nationalities and I did not see a Swede!!!
Wil

Re: Sankta Lucia

Marti, this is beautiful. You are always discovering something about yourself and the universe. I could practically feel the cold, the snow and the reserved Swedes feeling that despite everything, all’s right with the world.
PRAY FOR PEACE
WORK FOR JUSTICE
BOOGIE FOR SURVIVAL
www.barrelhousebonni.com
Reconnecting generations through blues education: www.chicagoschoolofblues.com
The Story of a Chicago Blues Musician, co-authored with Larry Hill Taylor: www.stepsonoftheblues.com
Dear Marti,
Good to hear from you and love your message. I too remember the Sankta Lucia festivals. I was always in awe of the beautiful candle lit crowns,the beautiful songs, and of course the hearty smell of hot Swedish coffee brewing in the church kitchens and cardamom rolls baking. Happy holidays to you as well. See you soon.
Dorene
Dr. Dorene P. Wiese
President
American Indian Association of Illinois
6554 N. Rockwell
Chicago,IL 60645
773.550.9600
Chicago-American-Indian-Edu.Org