Monthly Archives: September 2013

A Peaceful Theme for Today

This poem by George Herbert (1593-1633) seemed to speak to me.

George Herbert, who had known ambition and tasted fame as Public Orator of his university (Cambridge), withdrew from a public career to find fulfillment and serenity as the rector of a small country parish.  His poetry, entirely on religious themes, has a lyrical quality that reflects his pervasive sense of God’s holiness and love.  Highly sensitive to the interrelationship of feeling and form in poetry, he tried to make the pattern of each poem uniquely expressive and devised a remarkable amount  of stanzaic forms, even experimenting with visual effects, as in “The Altar.”

Peace

Sweet Peace, where dost thou dwell?  I humbly crave,

Let me know.

I sought thee in a secret cave,

And asked if Peace were there..

A hollow wind did seem to answer, “No,

Go seek elsewhere.”

I did, and going did a rainbow note.

“Surely, I thought I,

“This is the lace of Peace’s coat;

I will search out the matter.”

But while I looked, the clouds immediately

Did break and scatter.

Then went I to a garden, and did spy

A gallant flower,

The crown imperial.  “Sure”, said I,

“Peace at the root must dwell.”

But when I digged, I saw a worm devour

What showed so well.

At length I met a reverend good old man,

Whom when for Peace

I did demand, he thus began:

“There was a Prince of old

At Salem dwelt, who lived with good increase

Of flock and fold.

“He sweetly lived; yet sweetness did not save

His life from foes.

But after death out of His grave

There sprang twelve stalks of wheat;

Which many wondering at, got some of those

To plant and set.

“It prospered strangely, and did soon disperse

Through all the earth;

For they that taste it do rehearse

That virtue lies therein,

A secret virtue bringing peace and mirth

By flight of sin.

“Take this grain, which in my garden grows,

And grows for you;

Make bread of it; and that repose

And peace which everywhere

With so much earnestness you do pursue

Is only there.”

The Moody Italian

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Louie Manfredi was known as a snappish person to his employees, but appealing to the loyal patrons. A proud owner and operator of Pappa Louie’s, a local Italian restaurant. Eighteen booths and tables inside with tiffany lamp lighting, a quaint bar and buzzing atmosphere. Customers have come here to dine for over thirty years. The food is tasty and the prices are affordable.

The smell of garlic from the kitchen consumes the restaurant, filters out through the building’s pores and into the streets. Louie’s main expertise is making hand tossed pizza. His area of the kitchen consists of a marble counter top with a stainless steel compartment attached ,containing toppings. His favorite piece of cooking equipment is the massive oven, which has four levels for baking the mouth-watering pizza. The floors covered in flour and dough, as well as Louie, similar to the Pillsbury dough boy. Every few months, he has a need for pizza cooks, but is a difficult task due to his high standards. Many have tried, but few made the grade. There is no training and you have thirty seconds to show your stuff. The ones that had the guts to stay usually got an earful of unnecessary abuse. When it comes to how he wants the pizza made, there is only his way-no exceptions. So, if the dough is not pulled to edge, covering with the right amount of cheese, sauce and toppings, then you are labeled an idiot. Louie does not tolerate anyone that does not have his qualities. No mistakes, only perfection.

Louie has a gruff voice and shouting is the only way to get you to listen. There was a server granting a customer’s request for extra blue cheese dressing for his salad. Louie came up behind her and said: “unbelievable, do you think we are giving away blue cheese?”

Pizza is the favorite among most of the customers, so Louie stays in his part of the kitchen. But every once in a while, he gets to take a breather and then the tension begins to heighten. Everyone’s peripheral vision is activated because you always have to be aware of where he is walking. If you are behind him while he is strolling the dining room, and he suddenly turns around, it will be your fault that you were in his way, as you hear him loudly sigh.

As he saunters into the dining room, the corners of his mouth turn up like a Cheshire cat. Seeing the other Louie is as if you are in a fantasy. He picks up babies, sits down with people like they were family and talks about what’s on his mind. The favorite topic of conversation is baseball, a Yankee fan, and anyone who does not share the same is on the silent treatment list. The patrons don’t mind, they play the game and enjoy the challenge.

I believe that Louie is in his late fifties, early sixties, although at times in his mind is still in his twenties. Mostly gray hair covers his head with shades of black at the tips, neatly combed back. His brown eyes, gray shadows under them, his facial skin slowly losing muscle mass. Whenever he is irritated, he looks at the floor while stroking his beard.

Even though his demeanor changes sporadically, customers still desire to eat delicious Italian food and communicate with the locals. Although he is a grumpy boss to his employees, his pleasant and accommodating persona will never stop the faithful and loyal customers from enjoying the good times at Pappa Louie’s.

The Words are Lost….Can You Help Me Find Them

I seem to be having a little trouble today to write something worthy of putting on this blog.   Many writers out there can surely relate.  Days when you have an idea but you just don’t feel too sure about letting the whole world read it.   I decided to take a little break from staring at my computer and watching the cursor blink at me.   For some reason, I turned to the left to look at the quotes I have taped to my wall.  This one was calling out to me, not sure why.

“The writer can grow as a person or he can shrink…His curiosity, his reaction to life must not diminish.  The fatal thing is to shrink, to be interested in less, sympathetic to less, desiccating to the point where life itself loses its flavor, and one passion for human understanding changes to weariness and distaste.”  ~Norman Mailer.

Earth

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Poem by Tammy More 2013

What is this world I live in,

abundant hate and destruction,

love and peace blowing in the wind.

How did this happen,

from where did it arise?

As a child,

not seen through my eyes.

A world where you could walk

down the street without fear,

children could go outside to play.

What is this world I live in today?

I close my eyes and see a beautiful

and loving earth,

no death, destruction or hurt.

Peace is a pleasant place,

I hope and pray,

we all live there someday.

I am currently reading  On The Duty Of Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau and would like to share this excerpt from the chapter of Solitude.

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How vast and profound is the influence of the subtile powers of Heaven and of Earth!”  We seek to perceive them, and we do not see them; we seek to hear them, and we do not hear them; identified with the substance of things, they cannot be separated from them.”

They cause that in all the universe men purify and sanctify their hearts, and clothe themselves in their holiday garments to offer sacrifices and oblations to their ancestors.  It is an ocean of subtile intelligences.  They are everywhere, above us, on our left, on our right; they environ us on all sides.”

We are the subjects of an experiment which is not a little interesting to me.  Can we not do without the society of our gossips a little while under these circumstances,–have our own thoughts to cheer us?  Confucius says truly, “Virtue does not remain as an abandoned orphan; it must of necessity have neighbors.”

With thinking we may be beside ourselves in a sane sense.  By a conscious effort of the mind we can stand aloof from actions and their consequences; and all things, good and bad, go by us like a torrent.  We are not wholly involved in Nature.  I may be either a driftwood in the stream, or Indra in the sky looking down on it.  I may be affected by a theatrical exhibition; on the other hand, I may not be affected by an actual event which appears to concern me much more.  I only know myself as a human entity; the scene, so to speak, of thoughts and affections; and am sensible of a certain doubleness by which I can stand as remote from myself as from another.  However intense my experience, I am conscious of the presence and criticism of a part of me, which as it were, is not a part of me, but a spectator, sharing no experience, but taking note of it, and that is no more I than it is you.  When the play, it may be the tragedy, of life is over, the spectator goes his way.  It was a kind of fiction, a work of the imagination only, so far as he was concerned.  This doubleness may easily make us poor neighbors and friends sometimes.

I find it wholesome to be alone the greater part of the time.  To be in company, even with the best, is soon wearisome and dissipating.  I love to be alone.  I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude.  We are for the most part more lonely when we go abroad among men than when we stay in our own chambers.  A man thinking or working is always alone, let him be where he will.  Solitude is not measured by the miles of space that intervene between a man and his fellows.

This Day is for Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Vastness

Many a hearth upon our dark globe sighs after many a vanish’d face,

Many a planet by many a sun may roll with the dust of a vanish’d race.

Raving politics, never at rest–as this poor earth’s pale history runs,–

What is it all but a trouble of ants in the gleam of a million million of suns?

Lies upon this side, lies upon that side, truthless violence mourn’d by

the wise,

Thousands of voices drowning his own in a popular torrent of lies upon

lies;

Stately purposes, valor in battle, glorious annals of army and fleet,

Death for the right cause, death for the wrong cause, trumpets of

victory, groans of defeat;

Innocence seethed in her mother’s milk, and Charity setting the

martyr aflame;

Thraldom who walks with the banner of Freedom, and recks not

ruin a realm in her name.

Faith at her zenith, or all but lost in the gloom of doubts that darken

the schools;

Craft with a bunch of all-heal in her hand, follow’d up by her vassal

legion of fools;

Trade flying over a thousand seas with her spice and her vintage, her

silk and her corn;

Desolate offing sailorless harbours, famishing populace, wharves

forlorn;

Star of the morning, Hope in the sunrise;  gloom of the evening,

Life at a close;

Pleasure who flaunts on her wide downway with her flying robe

and her poison’d rose;

Pain, that has crawl’d from the corpse of Pleasure, a worm which

writhes all day, and at night

Stirs  up again the heart of the sleeper, and stings him back to the

curse of the light;

Wealth with his wines and his wedded harlots; honest Poverty, bare

to the bone;

Opulent Avarice, lean as Poverty; Flattery gilding the rift of the throne;

Fame blowing out from her golden trumpet a jubilant challenge to

Time and to Fate;

Slander, her shadow, sowing the nettle on all the laurell’d graves of the

great;

Love for the maiden, crown’d with marriage, no regrets for aught that

has been,

Household happiness, gracious children, debtless competence, golden

mean;

National hatreds of whole generations, and pigmy spites of the village

spire;

Vows that will last to the last death-ruckle, and vows that are snapt in

a moment of fire;

He that has lived for the lust of the minute, and died in the doing it,

flesh without mind;

He that has nail’d all flesh to the Cross, till Self died out in the love of

his kind;

Spring and Summer and Autumn  and Winter, and all these old

revolutions of earth;

All new-old revolutions of Empire–change of the tide–what is all

of it worth?

What the philosophies, all the sciences, poesy, varying voices of prayer,

All that is noblest, all that is basest, all that is filthy with all that is fair?

What is it all, if we all of us end but in being our own corpse-coffins at

last?

Swallow’d in Vastness, lost in Silence, drown’d in the deeps of a

meaningless Past?

What but a murmur of gnats in the gloom, or a moment’s anger of bees

in their hive?–

Peace, let it be!  for I loved him, and love him for ever: the dead are

not dead but alive.

I Carry Your Heart With Me

This is one of my favorite poems and wanted to share.

 

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Photo credit: T. Mora Photography 2013

 

I Carry Your Heart With Me

E.E. Cummings

I carry your heart with me (I carry it in my heart)

I am never without it (anywhere I go you go, my dear; and

whatever is done by only me is your doing, my darling.)

I fear no fate, for you are my fate,

my sweet-I want no world-for beautiful you are my world,

my true-and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant

and whatever a sun will always sing is you.

Here is the deepest secret nobody knows-here is the root of the root

and the bud of the bud and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;

which grows higher than soul can hope or mind can hide and this

is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart

I carry your heart-I carry it in my heart.

Soul

 

Flight-of-the-Soul-Rumi

 

Poem by Tammy More 2013

 

The soul- how would you explain-many definitions, just one name.

The soul within a form-an image not visible to the naked eye,

each one has a vision-destiny is calling.

Love, hate, truth, light,

personalities and emotions take flight.

The soul- a representation of  yourself within yourself.

When you shine your soul today,

what will it have to say.

My Attitude Did a 360 When I Received an Unexpected Gift

For the last couple of months, I have been spending Saturdays  at the Downtown Market to sell my recycled creations.    At times its a bit of a struggle with my body to get motivated at 5:00 a.m., but when I do, its worth it.  Always the same routine to get my pieces together and load them into the truck, along with tables, tent and chairs.

After that is finished, I let my dogs go out to do their thing, and then I am on the road.

Five minutes of driving and I am here.  The time is about 6:30.  The area is an open, grassy setting, quite large.  The back drop is  a view of the waterside and the sun on the horizon.  This particular Saturday the sunrise was breathtaking.  By the way, I live in Florida.

The space that I have been in for a couple of weeks now is next to a very nice gentleman named Mike, who sells some rare and amazing jewelry and gems.  He has such a positive energy and like that we are next to each other.  He is definitely a motivator.

I will not bore you with the setting up details……

Jumping ahead: set up is complete.  After coffee and some breakfast, its now about 8:00 a.m. , and now the fun begins.   I almost forgot, we have the honor of listening to live music until about 1:00 p.m.  A different local band every Saturday.  People from all over come to enjoy the music, food and art from the locals here.

I have to say that I am very grateful and blessed to be able to spend time with all the beautiful and friendly artists and crafters.  They are all amazing!

So, let’s get on to the point of the title of this post…..

It’s reaching the noon hour and it has been a pretty awesome day!  Talked to a lot of people, and even got to see some friends that I have not seen in a while.

The time has come now to start packing it up, people are dispersing and going on with the rest of their day.

While I am getting my things together, Bernie and Donna (they run the market) come by and inform me that they are going to do a drawing.    Last week they came and collected all the vendors business cards, so I thought they already did the drawing because I didn’t win.

They come to the middle of the grassy knoll and with them is a little blond hair, blue-eyed girl who I wish I had a picture to show you, because her smile was a heart melter.   Her name was Jessie and she had the honor of pulling the winner.

Drum roll…..

She pulled the card and gave it to Donna.  Donna turned to look at me and smiled.  I jumped out of my seat and said: “no way!”  I won!  I was very grateful.  Wondering what the prize was?   I was blessed with a whole month of free rent for my space!  ($120.00 value)

This day could not have turned out any better!

Every day is a gift and everything or everyone that you meet is just an extra blessing in your life.