Sunday, June 28, 2020

SWADDLED BY LOVE

NOTE: I should have posted this poem on May 11, 2020 when I wrote it. BUT THEN AGAIN WHEN I THINK ABOUT THE NOW AND HOW TIME IS ALWAYS PRESENT IT DOESN'T MATTER THAT IT'S SO MANY WEEKS LATER! Sitting here today and reading it out loud to my husband I see that i really HAVE COME FACE TO FACE WITH SADNESS.  I really did/do let love envelope me.
I have Mary my spiritual therapist to thank for all these years of instruction: live in your heart, stay in the present moment and wrap yourself and all others in love. And NOW as I try to post this poem, another coinkydinky occurs: the computer screen pops up with a message that Word has had to close because of some malfunction. Another overload of the electronics in my life! This is the screen I faced:



I AM GRATEFUL TODAY FOR THIS SCREEN AND FOR EVERY MIRACLE THAT HAS BEEN HAPPENING SINCE I FIRST STARTED NOTICING THEM AND ESPECIALLY SINCE I STARTED WRITING THIS BOOK IN FEBRUARY 2020, FOUR MONTHS AGO.

So here now is the poem:



I am grateful today for this poem, which is kind of an experiment,
You might call it MY NOSEDIVE
into expressive writing,
I’m desperate to see if 
I can finally stop fighting.
If I can surrender up
my 
absolute 
terror
of the big D!
No No, not death
But DEPRESSION.
Can I use this writing to
to yield up to DIFFICULT EMOTIONS
USING DIVINE POWER?
Right now
Write in this moment
I am determined to allow in
All the fear I’ve been
running away from
all these years.
And all the sadness
I’ve tried to stuff under
The pillow of my heart.

Before today, I really
THOUGHT IF I JUST RAN FAST 
ENOUGH AND WROTE
LONG 
and OFTEN ENOUGH
Somehow I could keep
Pain and sadness at bay.
I would not 
KNOW THE PAIN 
OF 
THE FLESH OF
DEAD FLOWERS
AND THE ABSENCE 
OF DEAR LOVED ONES.
I WOULD BE SPARED
UTTER LOSS AND DESPERATION.


I’ve been working so
hard to deny it.
SADNESS. 
But now I know that
I can fight and fight and fight 
Morning noon and night
And 
I can write and write and write
a hundred thousand
novels
and 14 million poems
and still I must at
some point come home
to the death of joy
and life and laughter.

After eight weeks of isolation
I woke up a few days ago 
FEELING DEEPLY DEEPLY LONELY.
Depressed, and ANGRY dammit, missing
My family and friends.
Every time I imagine
hugging one of my children
warm to my chest,
I FEEL DESPERATE.
Every time I see my
new granddaughter
DANI on a video,
Her little mouth,
Her teeth, 
her chubby cheeks wet
from dribbling. I yearn
to hold her
on my lap
and kiss hers and Ro’s foreheads
and their
blessed tiny faces.
OH GOD HOW LONG
will this isolation last? 
At those times, my patience evaporated,
My unhappiness seems endless
and downright dangerous. 
LIKE IT WILL SWALLOW ME UP!

That’s why I am writing this poem
So that I can face it: 
I have to own my sadness.
The squeeze of the heart
And the gaping hole in the chest.
OH GOD IT IS RAINING NOW
BRING ON THE DOWNPOUR
CRASH THE LIGHTNING
AND THUNDER,
While I let my tears water 
My face and heart.
I AM FEELING THE LIQUID PAIN
RUNNING UP AND DOWN
MY ARMS AND LEGS.
But I am also feeling a dribble
NO, A WASH OF WARM LOVE
IN MY CHEST
AND I CAN HEAR IT TOO.
I CAN FEEL LOVE WHISPERING
AND NOW ROARING
IN MY EARS.
MY FEAR IS REAL BUT SO
IS MY LOVE 
IT SWADDLES
MY HEART.
I will move very slowly
through this day
I WILL KEEP THE LOVE 
CUDDLING UP THE
FEAR.
I CAN DO THIS:
I CAN WRAP 
MY DESPERATION UP
I CAN
PLACE
IT
HERE
 IN A 
GOLDEN
SHAWL
OF 
DIVINE
LIGHT AND LOVE.
MY GAUZY PROTECTION
STRETCHES 
FROM HEAVEN
ABOVE
TO EARTH
BELOW.
So here now
I am going 
VERY
VERY
SLOWLY
I am 
GOING 
TO 
STAY
IN 
THIS 
DIVINELY
SACRED
NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW
AH
SEE HOW NICE IT FEELS TO WRITE THAT!
SEE HOW NICE IT FEELS
TO FEEL THAT LOVE
IN EACH
AND
EVERY
MOMENT?
I VOW
NOW: 
I AM GOING
TO
FEEL
MORE 
AND
MORE
ENERGY

I’m going to 
EXPAND 
PRESENCE
AND
COMFORT
AND
LIGHT.
I FEEL 
SOME
IN MY
FACE 
--SMILE –
I FEEL IT FLOODING 
MY ARMS
MY 
LEGS
AND TOES
AND
ANKLES
AND
NECK
AND 
WRISTS
AND
EVEN THESE FINGERS
AND MY NOSE.
WRITING THIS 
EXPERIMENTAL POEM IS WORKING!
THE PAIN IS STILL COMING ROARING 
UP FROM MY 
MY GUT BUT 
RESTING HERE
IN MY CHEST
LOVE IS SWADDLING

ME
==COMPLETELY==
THANK YOU GOD!

AMEN!

May 11, 2010


Friday, June 26, 2020

COLLAPSING TIME INTO THE NOW

How amazing it is to write my ancestors' story. How amazing to bring my great grandfather, and his mother, into the

NOW.

A sunny Friday morning. Crystal clear blue air. A slight cooling breeze. Flowers everywhere.


Somehow, writing this history is making me see time in a new way. I feel time whirling and whirling around me. I go back into family history, and then I zoom forward and think about my darling grandchildren.

Ronen and Dani are 6 years and 10 months respectively. God willing, they will live into the 22nd century. And they will carry me with them. I've got goosebumps.

I feel the past and the future colliding into the present. I keep stopping in the PRESENT MOMENT AND FEELING THE AWE and RICHNESS OF THE NOW!



Pasquale ORZO, my great grandfather on my father's side, was born out of wedlock to Filomena Scrivano (Pera) on November 3, 1870 in the southern boot of Italy in a little town called Paola.

Exactly 100 years later, on November 3, 1970, I was a freshman at Brown University. This realization kind of stuns me. Why? Because

a CENTURY just COLLAPSES INTO ITSELF. So much happened in a hundred years.

(On November3, 2020, GOD WILLING, the ABSOLUTE WORST PRESIDENT THE U.S HAS EVER SEEN WILL  BE VOTED OUT OF OFFICE!)

Two days ago, I laid out all of my journals -- some on the study floor, some downstairs in the basement. I found the oldest journal, dated on my birthday,

November 29, in 1971.

Almost 49 years ago. I was talking about the NOW even then.

Somehow all that time has passed. Half a century.

When you are 19, as I was then, the thought of 1870, was ancient history. One hundred years ago would have seemed like an eternity!

But today, in this older body, at age 67, a century is within my time frame, within my scope.

While retrieving my old journals, I found a photograph in the basement -- four generations.

Taken in October 1986, I'm the lady in pink. In my lap is my oldest, Jocelyn, about to be two. I am pregnant with my second daughter, Lindsay Ann, and I would deliver her within days. Beside me is my dear Grandma Mish, the sweetest lady in the universe. She was 85. When I was suffering from nausea during pregnancy number one, Mish made me ravioli so tender they dissolved in my mouth.

And beside her in the picture is another sweetie, my mom, Dena, or Dee as everybody calls her. She was 60.

And now ten months after her birth on August 6, 2019, baby Dani (named for Dee) is a bundle of energy. And my daughter Jocelyn, calls her

DEE.

I miss Mish. I miss Dee. But my spiritual therapist Mary assures me that they are still alive. I've got them embedded in my heart along with Dani and Ro and all of my loved ones!

My husband's mother, Abby, thinks Dani looks like my mother.

Is it any wonder that I keep bouncing back and forth in time?

And I'm always coming back into the now,

to the hummingbirds that keep sipping at the feeder,


to the meadow this morning, the beautiful deer, soft and tan in color, wandering in the tall grasses while I was meditating moments ago.

And this painting I did for my sister-in-law Jo, who had open heart surgery in May.


I am so very grateful for all of my family, past and present and future. I'm grateful for writing and painting. I'm not sure why I got so lucky, to have so many blessings, but I humbly say THANKS to the Universe.

I look at all the flowers and the birds and the crystal blue sky and the cool air and I breathe in and out and smile.


And the night sky thrills me too.


DEAR GOD, THANK YOU!

Time to do my yoga! And oh by the way, I was doing yoga way back in 1971!








Sunday, June 21, 2020

Telling the Orzo Ancestors' Tale


It is the day before the Summer Solstice, and the weather couldn't be more lovely. I am sitting at the table outside my study. I sit here with my laptop and a cup of dark coffee and my Italian dictionary. It gets mighty hot in the sun, however, so I can only write outdoors in these shady morning hours.


Where do I start? How do I tell the story of my father's ancestry, the Orzo family?

I wouldn't know anything about this family if it weren't for my cousin Donna Ricci who has spent years assembling the history of the Orzo clan. Donna has scoured birth/death/marriage records and census records to come up with the story. She has assembled stories that have been passed down through the years by my grandmother, Albina, and her five sisters, Pasquale's children. She has also travelled to Calabria, in southern Italy, to see the tiny town of Paola where the story begins.

It is November 3,  1870 when we begin. And we probably wouldn't be so interested in the story except for one big detail.

My great great grandmother, Filomena Scrivano (Pera), gave birth to Pasquale out of wedlock.



The shame about that illegitimacy would follow Pasquale through his life. And it would be passed down through the family to at least two generations. My grandmother Albina Orzo Ricci, and her five sisters were so ashamed about their father's background that they never spoke of it to their children, i.e. my father's generation.



It wasn't until Grandma Ricci and her sisters passed away that the full story emerged. It is amazing to me that my great great grandmother's last name, Scrivano, translates into the word "scribe." This is exactly what I want to do for my ancestor, be her scribe and write her story!

Donna has made it her quest to find out what happened. She writes:

"Pasquale's birth record from Paola is very detailed. It states that he was found on the doorstep of a home in Paola. A farmer came to the municipio (municipal offices) on November 4, 1870, to confirm (the baby's arrival.) However, the child was actually presented to the officials by a woman named Annunziata Sessa, wife of Raffaelle Signorelli, who requested the opportunity to 'foster' the child. Presumably, she was capable of nursing the newborn as baby formula was not available at the time. The municipal official granted her request, approved the name "Pasquale Orzo." According to the records I've seen, Annunziata remained Pasquale's foster mother for the rest of his life."

It's somewhat of a miracle that Pasquale survived. Donna explains:

"My genealogy consultant's opinion is that Pasquale's birth father and/or his family was likely wealthy and powerful and arranged not only the placement of this child with a hand-picked family but also influenced the listing of these foster parents on his military records. At the time of Pasquale's birth in Italy, neither the government nor the church allowed illegitimate children to be kept by the mother.

"The children were normally placed in a contraption called the "Ruota" or wheel where the child could be anonymously abandoned at a municipal office of foundling home. [Citing a book by David I Ketzer, Sacrificed for Honor, Donna writes that] the mortality rate of illegitimate or foundling home children in Cosenza in the 1870s was 93% due to malnutrition and disease in the horrific Cosenza  foundling home and the shortage of wet nurses."

Donna stresses the fact that we are fortunate "that someone interceded on behalf of Filomena and Pasquale because his chances of survival without this support would have been very low. We have no way of knowing what type of relationship, if any, Pasquale shared with his birth mother Filomena. However, he did grow up in the town of Paola," and hopefully she "was able to watch from a distance."

We have the photograph of Filomena, taken in 1919. On the back Filomena has addressed the photo to "mio caro Figlio Pasquale."



It's so strange to think about the fact that the entire family line would never have existed if it weren't for the intercession of Pasquale's foster family. And this story wouldn't exist without the huge amount of research by my cousin, who created an ORZO SISTERS FACEBOOK PAGE. For this and everything else, THANKS DONNA!


Saturday, June 20, 2020

Peeling the Orange, a dream

Sometimes I marvel at my dreams. And if I recount them to my spiritual therapist, Mary, who has a PhD in Jungian psychology, she helps me make sense of them.

A few days ago, I dreamed that I was in a novel. Don't ask me to explain, all I know is that I felt myself living inside a book.


Then I started peeling oranges. But every orange I peeled had a rotten center.

Weird?

I asked Mary, "So what does it mean?"

She started by saying it might be a dream for the collective.

"On the surface, America looks really beautiful," she said. "But when you 'peel off the layers,' the country has a rotten core."

That made sense.

She stopped and thought some more and then she had a revelation, one that overwhelmed her. "Oh my gosh I'm crying," she said.

Here's how she interpreted the dream for me:

"You are in a novel and in that story, you peel back layers of an orange and find it is rotten at the center. But that's not the true story. That's just one story you can tell yourself. You after all are in a book. You can see when you have told yourself a negative story, but you can close that book and tell yourself a positive story." Mary always emphasizes that we choose our path every moment of every day. We decide whether to tell ourselves positive and empowering stories or negative, disempowering stories.


It helps to start living in the present moment, Mary says. It helps to start observing your behavior and emotions moment by moment. That gives you a framework in which you can start choosing how you will act or react at any given moment.

It's all part of becoming more mindful.

Sometimes when we are ready to be free of a particular conflict, Mary says, we can have enough consciousness that our psyche presents us a dream "that will come forward as a completed story."

Amen.

I think it's time I start keeping a dream journal!

Friday, June 19, 2020

You Rock!

By Kathy Joy

According to Wikipedia, “soft skills” are a combination of people skills, social graces, communication finesse, personality traits, attitudes and emotional intelligence. 
They are like the “resume” you wear on your face. Potential employers watch for this perhaps more than the paper resume you carry into the interview.
Your soft skills help you navigate your environment, and they are really getting a workout in this sort-of-post-Covid season we are in at the moment. You have had to reach deep into your resources for flexibility in uncertain times. You have challenged your own wits and discovered new ways to perform your job.
Hard skills, on the other hand, are teachable and measurable abilities, such as writing, reading, math or ability to use computer programs. 
Hard skills are seen and measured, while soft skills are nuanced.
And so the combination of soft and hard skills is a dynamic force in the workplace – your combo is unique to you.
We are all rock stars tuning our instruments to perform great music today.
Nobody else can bring quite the guitar riff you can; each member of the band is legendary in their own way.
So let your education serve you well – but let your creative side lead the way. We may be a fragmented team, but we’re still an awesome band. 
Our fans are waiting. 
We are unstoppable.


Kathy Joy is a Pennsylvania-based author of a four-book series, "Breath of Joy." She writes for the collaborative group, Books for Bonding Hearts, and is a blogger at Coffee With Kathy.  Recently she was asked to keep a mini-blog for her coworkers, who are sequestered at home because of the pandemic. "You Rock" is one of those daily blogposts.


Thursday, June 18, 2020

Sharon and the Beautiful Pink Roses

There is no end to the miracles!

June 18, 2020 This spring, our rosebush beside the porch has grown to an immense size. Yesterday, in my blue bathrobe, I trimmed the branches that were scratching at the paint job on the side of the house.


I took one branch, with several beautiful roses on it, and set it into the stunning green vase that my dear friend Sharon gave me on my husband and my 40th wedding anniversary in September 2018.

Sharon is forever giving wonderful gifts to people and writing delightful cards. She has inspired me to write a lot of cards too, for birthdays and holidays, but also, just to say thanks to somebody or to tell someone you are thinking of them. These cards are always full of love!

The other day I saw a card that made me think of Sharon. I decided I would send it to her. But I had forgotten what the cover of the card looked like.  When I went to pick it up to write it yesterday, I was surprised and delighted to see that it was full of ROSES!!!


Dear Sharon, may you be healed and full of life. May you find the strength and courage to embrace the joy you have always had! In Hebrew, "El na r'fana." God, please heal her.

I pray every day for Sharon's healing and return to love and life.

And in Italian I say:

"Caro Sharon, che tu possa essere guarito e pieno di vita possa trovare la forza che incoraggi ad abbracciare la gioia che hai sempre avuto Dio, per favore, guariscila!

Prego per la guarigione di Sharon e torno all'amore nella vita."

June 19, 2020 I was desperate for a haircut and on Wednesday I bumped into a woman I know. Cynthia recommended her hair salon near the Price Chopper in Great Barrington. I made an appointment and today I went to get my hair cut. The woman’s name is Liz, and we got to talking. It turns out she’s been cutting Sharon’s hair for almost 40 years! What is the chance of that happening?

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Kellie and the White Orchid

Miracles seem to be happening constantly...

My dear friend Sharon is grieving the loss of her beloved husband, David King. Flowers and cards have been flooding her home in Hillsdale, New York.

Two orchids arrived. I happen to be an orchid nut and I commented on how beautiful they are.


"Please please take them," Sharon said. "I can't possibly take care of them."

"But all you need to do is give each one of them three ice cubes a week," I replied.

Sharon was firm. She didn't want to keep the orchids.

I loved the lime green and cranberry one. But I knew the towering white orchid was not for me.

But who would I give it to?

Suddenly I knew. It has to be Kellie, I said. My dear friend Kellie, an artist extraordinaire, who also is on Instagram as WalkArtDream. She takes daily forays into the forest near her home and takes amazing photos.

So yesterday I texted Kellie a photo of the white orchid, towering over the others in my kitchen. I told her I wanted her to have it.

And this is astonishing text she sent back to me:

Omg!! It’s beautiful and perfect!! It’s so funny because I’ve been very attracted to white flowers. In fact I am planting only white annuals in this little garden on my patio… I’ve been on the hunt for white geraniums and haven’t come across the right size yet— I just want tiny ones to start with so I can take them in, in the fall. Meanwhile, I’ve been nursing an orchid that has not re-bloomed that was at my mom’s house and just yesterday I was thinking that maybe I should start fresh. This white orchid is just perfect!!!!! I can’t wait to hear the story X0XOXO Oh! And I reluctantly took my mother’s milk glass collection… And have been enjoying every piece of it, unexpectedly!

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Grandma Michelina sending us SIGNS!

Another "coinkydinky," or miraculous coincidence: This I believe was the first one I recall, but I will keep meditating on that. My sister Holly Ricci -- a writer herself -- is wrapped up in this one, as I believe she is capable of telepathy. She has conveyed other truths to me!
December 1, 1996 Grandma Michelina’s funeral takes place today, she having died on my birthday, November 29th. We go to the Trattoria for lunch afterward and in the parking lot, I see a rainbow overhead and I say "Grandma Mish is here." 

Aunt Joyce overhears me and says I’m a “romantic.” Holly comes up to me and for no reason she places in my hand me this sparkling star. Why are you doing this Haw? It takes me many years to understand that Grandma Mish was with us sending me (us?) signs!

Today another coinkydinky:

June 16, 2020 Mary sends me a link to a video called “Powerful Healing Meditation with Archangel Raphael’s Emerald Green Flames,” and I start to play it but then decide to go change into my exercise clothes. I walk into the kitchen and the radio announcer is talking about “GREEN LIGHT!”
There will be thousands of these coinkydinkies, Mary says!

Sunday, June 14, 2020

"Please God Heal Her!"

Another coinkydinky -- a miraculous coincidence-- happens this very morning:

June 13, 2020 10:30 a.m. I am eating scrambled eggs and toast and worrying about my friend Sharon. There is nothing I can do to heal her and I feel a bit desperate. Suddenly I remember it's Shabbat and Torah services are underway. I slide onto ZOOM and on the screen I see the Torah portion and I am astonished as it is all about HEALING!


Rabbi Hirsch is leading the discussion, all about what Moses says to God when he wants to heal Miriam:

"El na r'fana!"

"Please God Heal Her!"

I start saying El na r'fana over and over and over again.




The discussion is fascinating. Someone points out that the name El, for God, is the name of the God Who acts in the world. This God doesn't speak to Moses in a vision or a dream, or in riddles or figurative language or metaphor, but rather in plain speech. God pierces straight to the heart of the healing matter. And Moses asks not just for physical healing, but for healing greater than the physical. That is, spiritual healing. I am feeling so swept up in the discussion.

Suddenly, my cell phone rings. I see that it is Sharon, so I answer it. I tell her I am at services. I will have to phone her back.

"El na r'fana!"

Oh God, please heal her. When Sharon was well, she went to Shabbat services practically every Saturday morning. And then, on the holiest day of the year, Yom Kippur, last October 9th, when she was speaking to Rabbi Gordon at the altar, she fell backwards and broke her hip. That started a chain of events that has continued. Among those events is the death of her beloved husband, David King.

"El na r'fana."

"Oh God Please Heal Her!"

This morning when I was meditating I selected this card from my angel cards:


I write in my journal:

"Please God, let me be humble. Let me be filled with love. Let me be strong. I pray she may heal. I wrap her in purple flames!"

"El na r'fana!"

When I spoke to her this morning, I told her I wished I could heal her.

She replied, "I have to heal myself!"

EL NA R'FANA!


Saturday, June 13, 2020

The Miracles of so-called Coincidences -- For me, They Began Decades Ago!!!!

The new book I'm writing, "ANGELS KEEP WHISPERING IN MY EARS," has a strong supernatural focus. A few days ago, I wrote about the many "coincidences," or coinkydinkies as my husband calls them, that I have experienced. Here are more MIRACLES I have recorded over the years. It's only a fraction of the number I've experienced! Since I started writing this book in February, 2020, there ARE MORE AND MORE ALL THE TIME!"



(I DID THIS PAINTING FOR MY  HUSBAND'S COUSIN, LIZ GREENBERG, who lives in Florida with her family.)

December 1, 1996 Grandma Michelina’s funeral takes place today, she having died on my birthday, November 29th. We go to the Trattoria for lunch in Canton, Connecticut. As we are approaching the restaurant in the parking lot, I see a rainbow overhead and I say "Grandma Mish is here." Aunt Joyce overhears me and says "oh Claudia you are such romantic.” My sister Holly comes up to me and for no reason she places in my hand a sparkling rhinestone star. Why are you doing this Haw? It takes me many years to understand that Grandma Mish was with us that day sending me (us?) signs!

September 2008 I am meditating one morning and suddenly I am thinking about Allegra, the young daughter of my teaching assistant, Lori Cullen. I am overwhelmed with feeling for the girl, and I decide to go into the closet and find a pocketbook that my mother in law had bought for my daughter. I wrap it up and bring it to my office and hand it to Lori saying, "I'm not sure why but I really wanted Allegra to have this today. The only thing is I don't have a gift for your son." Lori looks at me strangely. "Well, of course it's Allegra who should get the gift. She almost died in the emergency room last night after suffering a severe allergic reaction to peanuts!" I was stunned.

December 3, 2016


I am in Washington DC and I meet my old friend Becky for coffee. The next day I visit the Hirschorn museum and on my way back, I am not sure which train to transfer to. Just when I was about to ask someone, I see Becky walking toward me. What are the chances of that happening?
November 15, 2016 
In the category strange but wonderful, I just called Nancy Dunlop and we were talking on the phone and then somehow we were on my house phone and she was calling my cell phone and then we were face timing, WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT ALL ABOUT? J
September 14, 2016 
Writing an email to my friend Leslie, I am saying that our mutual friend Karen, who is dying, had such joie de vivre! After the email I get on the computer and immediately there is a New York times ad talking about joie de vivre.
So often I am reading a word when I simultaneously hear it spoken. WEIRD!
September 2016 I had a dream a few weeks ago that my daughter Lindsay’s best friend Tracee is 8 months pregnant; the next day Lindsay tells me that Tracee is pregnant, she is due in 8 months because August is the 8th month!

July 27, 2016
I am not going crazy. It cannot be me. 
I don’t understand how this happened.
I was in the outlet store looking at shirts for my Dad when suddenly the phone (husband RICHARD’S) rang. “Did I see a call from you?” Dad said. 
“No, I didn’t call you Dad but it’s amazing you dialed me now, because I am looking at shirts for you!” We went on to talk about the sizes and colors and I said I would bring them Friday, and he could return them if he didn’t like them.
So tell me is this just an accident, a serendipity? Mary would say it’s not. There are no accidents. No coincidences.
December 8, 2017 After being in Morocco and flying home via Malaga, Spain, I return to the US and go into my password for a program on the iphone/computer and the password is:
MALAGA1969!
THE SAME AFTERNOON I GET IN THE CAR TO MEET SHARON FOR COFFEE AND ON THE RADIO IS A SHOW ABOUT MOROCCAN FOOD 
March 21, 2020
How do I explain what just happened? It’s Saturday (Shabbat) at the start of the pandemic so we are going to temple via ZOOM. It’s the first time the rabbi has used the program so the service is rather chaotic. Finding myself a little bored, I start scrolling through some word files and what pops up is a poem called “OH SPRING!” which originally contained a piece I wrote for a local magazine. Instead what pops up is a birthday greeting I wrote for my mom on her 87th birthday in 2013. How the hell did that switch happen?
Just a few minutes before this happened, my husband was going grocery shopping and I called to him at the last minute, “Can you please buy me a purple orchid?” Rushed, he says he isn’t going to take the time to shop for orchids. But now, reading the birthday greeting the piece is all about my mother loving orchids! I feel so connected to mom on this day!
 March 30, 2020
It’s Mom’s birthday, she would be 94, and I open a new blogpost file and what appears is a photo of mom and me and dad, which pops up over and over again!
When you post a blog, it comes up in the next day’s email. But this post I write to my mother doesn’t come up. Instead what appears is a post that my daughter Jocelyn wrote to commemorate her daughter Dani’s naming ceremony. Dani is named for her grandmother, Dina. Jocelyn calls her baby “Dee,” which is what we all called my mother!
Later, I am in the living room where my husband is lying on the floor doing his stretches. I tell him what happened, the post by Jocelyn magically replacing the post about my mother, and he says: “Yeah I saw that post by Jocelyn in my email and I wondered why you posted it again.”
“I didn’t post it again! It just appeared by magic!”
At that very moment, a black and white bird flies up right against the window. I hear you Mom, I hear you!
These coincidences are steering this book more and more!


June 17, 2020 Miracles seem to be happening constantly...

My dear friend Sharon is grieving the loss of her beloved husband, David King on May 21st. Flowers and cards have been flooding her home in Hillsdale, New York.

Two orchids arrived. I happen to be an orchid nut and I commented on how beautiful they are.


"Please please take them," Sharon said. "I can't possibly take care of them."

"But all you need to do is give each one of them three ice cubes a week," I replied.

Sharon was firm. She didn't want to keep the orchids.

I loved the lime green and cranberry one. But I knew the towering white orchid was not for me.

But who would I give it to?

Suddenly I knew. It has to be Kellie, I said. My dear friend Kellie, an artist extraordinaire, who also is on Instagram as WalkArtDream. She takes daily forays in the forest near her home and takes amazing photos.

So yesterday I texted Kellie a photo of the white orchid, towering over the others in my kitchen. I told her I wanted her to have it.

And this is astonishing text she sent back to me:

Omg!! It’s beautiful and perfect!! It’s so funny because I’ve been very attracted to white flowers. In fact I am planting only white annuals in this little garden on my patio… I’ve been on the hunt for white geraniums and haven’t come across the right size yet— I just want tiny ones to start with so I can take them in, in the fall. Meanwhile, I’ve been nursing an orchid that has not re-bloomed that was at my mom’s house and just yesterday I was thinking that maybe I should start fresh. This white orchid is just perfect!!!!! I can’t wait to hear the story X0XOXO Oh! And I reluctantly took my mother’s milk glass collection… And have been enjoying every piece of it, unexpectedly!

There is no end to the miracles!

June 18, 2020 This spring, our rosebush beside the porch has grown to an immense size. Yesterday, in my blue bathrobe, I trimmed the branches that were scratching at the paint job on the side of the house.


I took one branch, with several beautiful roses on it, and set it into the stunning green vase that my dear friend Sharon gave me on my husband and my 40th wedding anniversary in September 2018.

Sharon is forever giving wonderful gifts to people and writing delightful cards. She has inspired me to write a lot of cards too, for birthdays and holidays, but also, just to say thanks to somebody or to tell someone you are thinking of them. These cards are always full of love!

The other day I saw a card that made me think of Sharon. I decided I would send it to her. But I had forgotten what the cover of the card looked like.  When I went to pick it up to write it yesterday, I was surprised and delighted to see that it was full of ROSES!!!


Dear Sharon, may you be healed and full of life. May you find the strength and courage to embrace the joy you have always had! In Hebrew, "El na r'fana." God, please heal her.

I pray every day for Sharon's healing and return to love and life.

And in Italian I say:

"Caro Sharon, che tu possa essere guarito e pieno di vita possa trovare la forza che incoraggi ad abbracciare la gioia che hai sempre avuto Dio, per favore, guariscila!

Prego per la guarigione di Sharon e torno all'amore nella vita."

THE MIRACLE OF THE PURPLE IRIS AND THE VIOLET CLEMATIShttps://1.bp.blogspot.com/-X3ffU2LpZ44/X42RgdCVn2I/AAAAAAAAIHg/OMFTRkrp76sj81vec4Ebhm5Nw5OVNOwkQCLcBGAsYHQ/s320/VIOLET%2BFLAMES%2BIRIS%2BBLOOMING%2BOCTOBER%2B19%252C%2B2020.JPG



Talk about miracles!

Here it is October 19th

with temps in the 30s and 40s,

and suddenly

Grandpa Angelo's irises 

bloomed 

TODAY!!!!!

And there are

several more

iris blossoms

coming.

And so too are the purple clematis

in bloom.

https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-W4czo2_k2bQ/X42SXphiBuI/AAAAAAAAIHo/lM5WufkC7egS0Tomz-2V1Ni7Kk3M1BrJwCLcBGAsYHQ/s320/MIRACLE%2BCLEMATIS.jpg

I was astonished.

And then yesterday,

I thought of something 

just awful

that my mother used to say to me

IN ITALIAN.

The expression

is so hurtful, so shaming.

so disgusting and abominable

that I didn't think I could write

about

it.

I was furious. I was

trembling with anger.

My husband was

furious too.

But he also saw

the silver lining

in the situation.

"Do you realize that this is another step in your healing journey? Writing this book has done wonders for you! The fact that this came out of your memory means you can handle so much more. This has been lurking in your subconscious forever!"

 

I thought of calling

Mary but it was

Sunday and I realized

I could handle the

DECONSTRUCTION

OF THIS

MISERABLE

EXPRESSION

ON 

MY OWN.

This morning, however,

I texted Mary.

I didn't tell her

what my

mother used to

say, but I told

her I 

was tapping

and deconstructing

and I wondered

if she had any

other recommendations.

She wrote back:

"Violet flames for you, for your mother and everyone in your ancestry."

And it was

only then 

that I realized

that the

IRIS 

LOOKS EXACTLY LIKE PURPLE FLAMES!

https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-4YpmoO1ufgI/X42TbKrt4sI/AAAAAAAAIH0/YPXLcZ898LQuYLiqhHIkgfeizqlbGWlsQCLcBGAsYHQ/s320/VIOLET%2BFLAMES%2BIRIS%2BBLOOMING%2BOCTOBER%2B19%252C%2B2020.JPG

 

And the clematis is violet too.

https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-I7wzctKBcpc/X42T57dUccI/AAAAAAAAIH8/UxqhhwhsFtAcUVlTvn98nMxTk1mW05YYACLcBGAsYHQ/s320/MIRACLE%2BCLEMATIS.jpg

 

I have written about violet flames before, back in May 2020. Violet flames are an invisible spiritual energy that  "revitalize and invigorate us and change negative energy into positive energy. By transforming negative thoughts and feelings, violet flames provide a platform for our healing."

 

So I am bathing

myself in

violet/purple flames.

And I am seeing

my mom bathed

in violet flames, too.

And suddenly

the shame feels

lifted. 

AND I FEEL LIKE I'VE BEEN GIVEN

A GIFT.

MANY MANY GIFTS,

Mary texted some more:

 

"Here it is October and gardens are turning brown and you get new purple iris and clematis -- they grow in the spring!!!! You are truly blessed!! Angels are with you for this great transformation and healing work."

 

And more:

 

"I have the best job in the world -- I get to witness your miracles!! I am humbled and filled with gratitude. It's spring at the Ricci's!!!!!"

 

And speaking

of gifts.

Today happens to be

very very special for another reason:

https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-eYTypPuPV7s/X42WxRra3kI/AAAAAAAAIIM/8lTKkvURyGwdVnCFhRvIPiQqNakaXbz9ACLcBGAsYHQ/s320/BIRTHDAY%2BGIRLS%2BIN%2BOCTOBER.JPG



my daughter Lindsay was born on this day in 1986.

And her sister, Jocelyn, was born on October 16, 1984.

THEY CELEBRATED BIRTHDAYS ALL WEEKEND.

I am humbled.

I am grateful.

And I can't wait to go outside

to do my yoga 


https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-kZPWyR-uGfY/X4296JFqHEI/AAAAAAAAIIo/SNKBVTInJTQD0P0WxnlKCDcvQttbPtlaACLcBGAsYHQ/s320/purple%2Byoga%2Bpose%2Bnear%2BIRIS.jpg

while staring at the iris and

https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-iZXZ8rs6FFU/X42awbeHLaI/AAAAAAAAIIY/VTCtCHE7x34cTmoqTvP8fCKmy0cikp-JwCLcBGAsYHQ/s320/VIOLET%2BFLAMES%2BIRIS%2BBLOOMING%2BOCTOBER%2B19%252C%2B2020.JPG



the clematis

again

and 

again

and

again.

 

All

 

Day

 

LONG.

 

OCTOBER 25, 2020

 

I was just writing Jossy an email asking if I could use a composite photo of the D’s. I was writing that the weather (SNOW) is coming to Denver and at that instant I got an INSTAGRAM FROM DENVER DRY GARDEN!