Saturday, March 28, 2020

Happy 94 years Mom, And Thank You for the Miracles!

March 30, 2020

Dear Mom,
You are here with me this morning. You would be, if you were alive, 94 years old today.

But Mary, my spiritual therapist, says that you are still alive. Your soul is eternal.

Our souls never die, Mary says. "The soul continues and continues and love is the bridge between life on earth and life eternal."

Is that the message you want me to take from this Mom?

Oh MOM I LOVE YOU SO MUCH. I KEEP LOOKING AT THIS PHOTO OF YOU HOLDING YOUR SPECTACULAR APPLE PIE!
How I wish we could sit together and have a cup of coffee and a slice of pie.

Sigh.

Something mysterious just happened. I opened a new blogpost file and there, staring at me once again was YOURS AND DAD'S PHOTO WITH ME!!!!! DO YOU SEE IT DO YOU SEE?




Yes, the photo keeps appearing, Mom. That's how I know for certain that I am heading in the write direction as I am righting this book.

So maybe all that Mary tells me is true!

"You asked for direct communication with your ancestors," she said to me just yesterday. "And now they're giving it to you."

But Mary, who will believe me?

"Don't focus on those who turn away," she texted me the other day. "Focus on those who feel encouraged and reassured by your experience of miracles."

OK, then, here I go.


Thursday, March 26, 2020

SURRENDER!

The literary blog Two Drops of Ink has published my poem, "COVID-19: WHAT TO DO NEXT?"

It starts this way:


STOP TEXTING.
STOP PHONING.
STOP FACETIMING.
STOP SKYPING AND ZOOMING.
STOP POSTING ON INSTAGRAM.
STOP BUYING TOILET PAPER, EGGS AND MILK.
STOP BEING SCARED.
STOP ALL OF IT.
AS MY DAUGHTER’S HANDMADE SIGN
SUGGESTS...

Read the rest at Two Drops of Ink!








Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Feeling like You're On the Edge? Dance to Lady Gaga...

What to do on a Wednesday with nothing to do.

Somehow, about noontime today, I found myself dancing around the living room to Lady Gaga with my adorable little dog, Poco, in my arms.

What could be more perfect than Lady Gaga's heart pumping "The Edge of Glory?"

It fit the mood to a T. And here are a few lines of lyrics:

"I'm on the edge, the edge, the edge
The edge, the edge, the edge, the edge...

I'm on the edge with you
I'm on the edge with you
I'm on the edge with you"'
Here we are, Poco and me,  on the edge, with everybody else in the world.
And now I've stopped and I feel so much
calmer.

As Gaga advises during this difficult time, "Keep your mind as stress-free as possible and your body moving."




Tuesday, March 24, 2020

The World is Too Much With Us

The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;—
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon;
The winds that will be howling at all hours,
And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers;
For this, for everything, we are out of tune;
It moves us not. Great God! I’d rather be
A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;
So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;
Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;
Or hear old Triton blow his wreath├Ęd horn.

    Editor's note: This morning, during meditation, I found myself saying those words: "The world is too much with us." In that poem, Wordsworth says that we are too caught up in the material world. And not paying enough attention to the spiritual world. Now, though, I think the virus is helping to change that. My husband says the irony of the situation is that as people are more distanced from each other physically, they are also becoming aware that they are more connected with one another. "We're understanding that we're all in the same boat and what each of us does really does impact everyone else." 


Monday, March 23, 2020

Good Thing!


This is a painting by my dear friend, Sharon Flitterman-King, of Hillsdale, New York. She has been painting for years and her house is filled with the most exquisite artwork!

Earlier this morning, I was playing a song called "Good Thing," sung by a very talented young woman named Kehlani. The song is all about the way we can enjoy our own company, by reminding ourselves that we've "already got everything we need."  This is a good thing to think about especially now when it's tempting to look at all the negatives associated with the virus. All the things that have been closed or lost.

We still have so many blessings!

This morning, I played "Good Thing" loud loud and I held my doggie Poco
in my arms and we danced around the living room together. I highly recommend it as a mood lifter!

I offer the lyrics here, as the song makes such a wonderful poem.

"Good Thing"

I book myself tables
At all the best restaurants, then eat alone.
I buy myself fast cars
Just so I can drive them real slow.
I like my own company
Company, I don't need it
I'm not always cold
I'm just good on my own, so good on my own!
I've always been told, one day, I'll find
Somebody who changes my mind.
If they come along, I won't think twice.
'Cause I already got a good thing with me
'Cause I already got a good thing with me
Yeah, I already got everything I need
The best things in life are already mine
Don't tell me that you got a good thing for me
'Cause I already got a good thing with me
Yeah, I already done everything I dream
I'm good by myself, don't need no one else
Don't tell me that you got a good thing for me
'Cause I already got a good thing
I make myself up
Just to dance in the mirror when I'm at home
I pose and take pictures
Then send them to people that I don't know
I like getting compliments
Compliments how I'm feeling, oh
I'm not always selfish
Just bad at romance, it's not in my bones
I've always been told, one day, I'll find
Somebody who changes my mind
If they come along, I won't think twice

'Cause I already got a good thing with me (good thing with me)
Yeah, I already got everything I need (everything I need)
The best things in life are already mine
Don't tell me that you got a good thing for me
'Cause I already got a good thing with me (good thing with me)
Yeah, I already done everything I dream (everything I dream)
I'm good by myself, don't need no one else
Don't tell me that you got a good thing for me
'Cause I already got a good thing
I've always been told, one day, I'll find
Somebody who changes my mind
If they come along, I won't think twice
'Cause I already got a good thing with me (oh, good thing with me)
Yeah, I already got everything I need (everything I need, yeah)
The best things in life are already mine
Don't tell me that you got a good thing for me (no, no)
'Cause I already got a good thing with me (good thing with me)
Yeah, I already done everything I dream (everything, yeah)
I'm good by myself, don't need no one else
Don't tell me that you got a good thing for me
'Cause I already got a good thing
EDITOR'S NOTE: The image of the woman against the purple backdrop is an extraordinary collage by another artist friend, Kellie Meisl, of Pittsfield, MA. Kellie kindly allowed me to  use the image for the cover of my second novel, Seeing Red.

Poco (on the right in the photo) is pictured here with her boyfriend, Burt, of Lenox, MA.






Saturday, March 21, 2020

THE MIRACLE OF MOM AND THE ORCHIDS


HOW DO I EXPLAIN WHAT JUST HAPPENED? 

IT BEING SATURDAY I WAS ZOOMED INTO A SHABBAT SERVICE IN GREAT BARRINGTON, MA.

IT WAS QUITE CHAOTIC AND I WAS A LITTLE BORED SO I WAS SCROLLING THROUGH SOME WORD FILES AND SUDDENLY I NOTICED THAT A FILE CALLED ‘OH SPRING1” WHICH ORIGINALLY CONTAINED A POEM I WROTE FOR A MAGAZINE CALLED EDIBLE BERKSHIRES WAS NOT THAT POEM ANYMORE BUT INSTEAD IT CONTAINED QUITE AMAZINGLY THE BIRTHDAY GREETING I WROTE FOR MY MOM 

DENA CLEMINTINA RICCI

ON HER 87TH BIRTHDAY IN 2013.

THINGS LIKE THIS KEEP HAPPENING.

COINCIDENCES. MIRACLES. MY SPIRITUAL TEACHER MARY M SAYS IT’S TIME I’M WILLING TO ACCEPT THE FACT THAT THESE MIRACLES KEEP OCCURRING.

IT JUST SO HAPPENS THAT A FEW MINUTES 
AGO I SAID TO MY HUSBAND, “WHEN YOU GO
TO THE GROCERY STORE, PLEASE BUY ME
A PURPLE ORCHID.”

HE SAID HE WASN’T GOING TO LOOK FOR
ORCHIDS.

SO MOM YOU BROUGHT ME THESE ORCHIDS INSTEAD!

JUST AS YOU RAISED THEM SO BEAUTIFULLY WHEN YOU
WERE ALIVE.

YOU ARE SENDING ME SIGNS AND I HAVE
FINALLY STOPPED DOUBTING IT.

THANK YOU SO MUCH MOM.  ON MARCH 30TH
(YOUR BIRTHDAY) I WILL CELEBRATE YOU
BEING 94 YEARS OLD.

AS I WRITE THIS I’M SITTING HERE IN MY PURPLE PRAYER SHAWL
AND ALL KINDS OF SUNSHINE IS POURING FROM THE SKY AND ALL I CAN SAY IS THANK YOU GOD FOR THIS NEWEST MIRACLE RIGHT HERE TODAY.

MY HUSBAND JUST GOT HOME FROM THE GROCERY STORE AND NO HE DIDN'T BRING ME AN ORCHID.  I WILL JUST HAVE TO GO BUY ONE FOR MYSELF!

HERE IS THE CARD I WROTE TO MOM IN 2013


Dear Mom,

Today is your 87th birthday.
When you turn 87, there aren't a whole lot of birthday presents

You want health and happiness for
Yourself and all of those
You love
Orchids.

The one I bought you a year

A few months ago
all the blossoms
had disappeared
and Dad said, let's
get rid of
that plant it's just three bare sticks.

But no, Mom,
despite your vision issues,
you saw something
tiny and green budding there
on one of those bare branches
something wonderful
four or five new pink blossoms appeared!
So eager you were to visit
the sun room
each morning
each week, on Tuesday,
you put two ice cubes in the pot
not a drop more water.

You were just adorable
caring for your orchid.

So today, your day, it
wasn't difficult to know
what to buy you
I ought to get my mother
another orchid I said
so
I did.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!
We Love You So Much,
Claud




Friday, March 20, 2020

A Divine Sunrise on Maple Syruping

It's been almost 18 years since I published my first novel, Dreaming Maples. I still recall how thrilling it was to live in the sugarbush in Vermont with the women artists who inhabited my book. 

Recently, a wonderful writer named Kathy Joy, from Erie, Pennsylvania, sent me this stunning photo.

Kathy is the author of a four-book series, "Breath of Joy."  She writes for the collaborative group, Books For Bonding Hearts, and is a blogger at www.coffeewithkathy.blogspot.co Kathy snapped this photo in the little hamlet of Cable Hollow, Pennsylvania, where her mother resides, and where sugar maple tappers are enjoying a robust season.


Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Flip the Weather Switch




Two Drops of Ink, a wonderful on-line literary site, has published my poem, "Flip the Weather Switch."

It begins this way:

Once again the weather forecast calls for a solid grey day.
But once again they – whoever the forecasters are – have got it wrong.
Maybe we can explain it this way: weather men are operating out of the same negativity bias that scientists tell us is hard wired into our brains because long long ago in very ancient times humans had to be on guard for every possible saber-toothed tiger and other disaster lurking around each corner.
Consider this: scientists say that negative emotions have three times the impact that positive emotions do.
So if 24 wonderful things happen to you today and just one bad thing
It’s quite likely the dark event will shadow your whole mood.
But the really good news is
It doesn’t have to be this way once you know what’s going on.
Like right now, I am sitting here
staring into the forest and somehow the sky is turning that powdery blue right outside the window...