“Yes, Virginia (and Andrea) – there is a Santa Claus!”

These words, minus the added parenthesis — (and Andrea) — appeared on the editorial page of the now-defunct New York Sun in 1897. Written by Frank P. Church to Virginia O’Hanlon in response to her question “…please tell the truth, is there a Santa Clause?”

His wise response included the above “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus” and the following: “He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias (and no Andreas, Graces, Donnas and Toms etc.) There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence.” We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The external light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.”

So thankfully, with these remembered words, I am inspired to believe in the magic of Santa Claus or Papa Noel knowing that there is kindness, generosity, beauty, joy and a frivolity in our human clan. There must also be the same spirit and light in our greater “hood” – the milky way and beyond its star dusting. Actually, there are no borders in expressing and sharing joy, love, and peace. And there is also space for grief, anger and sadness. It’s all on the creative spectrum. Just for now though, during this feminine and holy Solstice season, I welcome childhood’s version of Santa’s magic (grace) into my life and believe in it for all life.

Peace.

 

 

 

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Real Pseudo-Holidays

It’s the last day of February and the last day of National Haiku Writing Month. This year, it also happens to be a leap year and therefore February’s extra day. In folk stories – it’s Sadie Hawkins Day, a pseudo-holiday based on an old hillbilly comic strip that evolved into the real world practice of Sadie Hawkins dances where the girl gets to ask the guy to dance – early role reversal.

I also use it as Procrastination Day – an extra day put to good use the practice of avoiding a task that needs to get done sooner rather than later. In that vein,  I am putting off working on paying bills in order to write this post – my last for NaHaiWri Mo ~ 2016.

Grateful thanks to all who “liked” my posts and shared your thoughts. And to all readers, writers and lovers of haiku and poetic spell. You are in my heart always.

~

February thaw
the last patch of snow remains
north of my daydreams               (5-7-5 haiku)

Flora and fauna on a Sunday stroll

 

Kickin’ Cancer Poem

Strength Hope and Gratitude
for Carolyn

 

We all know that some days are hard
If not careful they can leave us scarred.
“A sense of humor is required”
As Carolyn’s kickin’ cancer is inspired.

Strength is ours for every struggle,
Grace and grit gets us through any trouble.
“Be faithful always in small things”
God’s grace soars on butterfly wings.

There is guidance for every decision
When hope and gratitude are the vision.
Strength can grow without understanding
Our human frailties become less demanding.

“Look for the good in every day”
Music and beauty can light our way.
“Strength, hope and gratitude”
Expand our horizons and attitude.

“Be faithful always in small things”
God’s grace soars on butterfly wings.
These are gifts to own and nourish
Friends of ours always to cherish.

~

Andrea Grillo ~ February 2016

Children’s Misspelled Wisdom

I found this child’s drawing on a paper bag and have tacked it up in my studio. It’s a visual conversation between two young people:

“Dose any Body want to play with me”

“I will”

The misspelling in the question just adds to its precious simplicity, truth and  beauty. That there is a positive answer warms my heart.

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winter stars dip down to earth in words “I will”

 

 

 

Writing My Way Home

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For my last small stone writing practice of January 2016, I would like to share a Kyirelle poem that I wrote at my writer’s group. A Kyirelle poem is structured so that all the lines have eight syllables and each stanza of four lines ends in a refrain. There are four stanzas. It takes on a rhythmical form very much like a rhyming couplet. I won’t go into its exact structure – let’s just say that it’s like finishing a puzzle in the form of a poem. Writing a Kyirelle poem was given as an optional prompt or writing exercise, and while I often ignore these, I jumped on it and finished it with a flourish. This poem almost wrote itself, and I was the scribe. Since its theme centers on this month’s blogging, I am sharing it here:

 

Writing My Way Home  – A Kyirelle

As a mindful writing practice,
I blog daily on that and this.
It is called sharing a small stone,
A spoonful of prose and a poem.

January lobs with a cold moon,
And winter scenes of snow monsoons.
My muse inspires an artful tone,
A spoonful of prose and a poem.

Tales of grit, grace and gratitude,
Shape its forum and latitude.
With tears of laughter, grief and groans,
A spoonful of prose and a poem.

Presence is my daily prayer.
Growth is awareness being here.
To this end I write my way home,
A spoonful of prose and a poem.

c   Andrea Grillo ~ 2016

“You Are Loved”

Tucked into a sunny yellow pitcher-vase filled with fern, dainty caramel-colored roses, daisy-like chrysanthemums with lime green centers and wisps of goldenrod in bud came the simple note:

“You are loved”.

I am blessed for this and more friendship and family love, support  and humor than I can possibly describe. For me, in between all the wonderful pitchers of flowers, poems, painting, dishes and such come periods and visits with depression. I am a person who sees the glass more than half full – someone who is filled with wonder at the sighting of acorns and oaks, moss and lichen on winter-wood, early morning dew and waves on the beach, profanity, profundity and poetry – i.e. all of life. And yet, I too can slip into dark periods best explained as close to hiding in a damp shadowy cave. Depression is not a state of mind or mood swing. It’s a physical and painful emotional state when your vitality or life force is ripped away, and all hope and humor disappears. You lose control of an objective rational approach to problem solving, your literal and figurative appetite and plain living. Sylvia Plath’s bell jar decends and from under its glass your inner and outer vision are distorted. Thankfully my times of depression are not as severe as many others, and I now know that an end is surely in sight. Depression can visit unexpectedly as well as build slowly and steadily. It is fairly common, democratic and browbeats at varying degrees.

I share all of this now, because it goes along with sharing the sun-yellow roses, poetry and paintings. It is life as a tapestry – well worn yet more beloved for its wear and tear and frayed edges.

Wabi-Wabi revisited.

To all my friends and family from my youth through new arrivals on the horizon – thank you always for the flower bouquets coming from your hearts and your compassionate understanding.

~

under-painting with blue brush strokes a tender portrait

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The Gift of Community

Last night some dear friends gathered at my home and gifted me an African drum. It touched my heart on many levels. But mostly, it is an invitation to join in community with them, the traditions and conversations of local and global drum circles which are as ancient as life itself. Drumming can be used as a tool for artful creation, balance and healing. For me, the drum and its gift are also gentle reminders to connect with my tender loving self. They showed me how to hold it, feel into it and honor it. The djembe drum is beautifully hand-carved from hardwood and the drumhead is made of untreated rawhide.

From Wikipedia:

According to the Bambara people in Mali, the name of the djembe comes from the saying “Anke djé, anke bé” which translates to “everyone gather together in peace” and defines the drum’s purpose.

Who can ask for more? As I believe that the gift is in the giving, it was truly wonder-full to see  the light on their faces as my own face lit up when I opened their gift. The circle of giving and receiving, love and friendship, drum circles and community is the treasure. As my friend Robin would say “I am forever grateful.”

~

in the dark of night a quiet conversation with my hands

 

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