The 4th of July Meets Memorial Day

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MemorialI intended to write this for Memorial Day but got sidetracked by the hoopla around the joy of Dakota’s graduation, so I’m offering it instead as a tribute on the 4th of July.  

In these politically troubled times, it’s easy enough to forget that we can hate the carnage and waste of war, but still love and honor the courageous men and women who’ve served and sacrificed themselves in the name of a country they love and the freedoms they mean to defend and uphold.

I ran across this poem recently quite by accident and was so touched by it, I’d like to pass it on to you. It reminded me of a family incident a few years ago, that showed me how easy it is to overlook the true heroes around us, or perhaps, simply not know their stories, so we can honor them appropriately. Continue reading “The 4th of July Meets Memorial Day” »

Posted on June 29th 2012 in Poetry, Politics, The Philosopher’s Teacup

What if We’re the Ones We’ve Been Waiting For…

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Lady Liberty and the FlagIn my lifetime, Women refused to keep their place, Blacks refused to ride in the back of the bus, Men refused to be drafted into an unjust war.  Gays refused to be kept in the closet.  A Black man became President of the United States.  So I know we have it in us to change the world.

In my lifetime, I’ve seen other, less hopeful signs, too:  insider deals that made the rich richer and the poor poorer.  Prisons sanctioned by our own country, but outsourced to hide the truth, where people are tortured and held without trials or lawyers or hope of due process. Continue reading “What if We’re the Ones We’ve Been Waiting For…” »

Posted on April 19th 2012 in Politics, The Philosopher’s Teacup

How to Get a Story Out of Your Head and Onto the Page

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Writing DeskI know from your letters to me that many of you, in your heart of hearts, fantasize about writing a novel. So, I’d like to use my own wacky path to authordom, to inspire you to write that novel or to pursue whatever other passionate dream you’ve got.  I know for a fact that it’s never too late, because life is the schoolroom and the more life you study, the more likelihood there is that your dream will come true.  I was 40 years old when my first bestseller was published… and that was only the beginning. So please do forgive me if this blog is longer than usual…life is a long and winding road. Continue reading “How to Get a Story Out of Your Head and Onto the Page” »

Posted on April 13th 2012 in Novels, The Philosopher’s Teacup

Equal Rights… Did You Think We Had them?

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“Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.”

The proposed Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution

 

ConstitutionThat’s it.  That’s all of it.  24 words.  It says nothing about having to endure dual-sex toilets or the draft.  It pretty much just outlines what most of the young women of this generation think they already have:  equality under the law.

But, of course, they don’t have that.  The current debate on contraception and Choice – a debate in which both secular and religious old men seem to think they have the right to determine what rights women should be “allowed” to have about their own bodies – makes that abundantly clear.

Continue reading “Equal Rights… Did You Think We Had them?” »

Posted on March 29th 2012 in The Philosopher’s Teacup, Women

A Free School Based on Talent and Heart

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“The Heart of the Matter is Free Education.”

                                                Caroline Simonelli, Fashion Designer

 

Caroline Simonelli and studentsHow many people do you know who delight in the idea of working or vacationing in Beirut?

My dear pal Caroline Simonelli, fashion designer and fashion educator extraordinaire, has just returned from her third trip and has every intention of spending as much time in Lebanon as her duties as Professor in the BFA Program at Parsons School of Design in Manhattan will allow.

All because Caroline and one of her very talented former students Sara Hermez had a dream.  They envisioned reinventing the way in which fashion design is taught, and offering a free education to young Middle Eastern men and women of talent, who could not otherwise afford such an opportunity. Continue reading “A Free School Based on Talent and Heart” »

Posted on March 23rd 2012 in The Philosopher’s Teacup, Women

May the Road Rise with You

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Go n-éirí an bother leat.

May the road rise with you.

 

Irish CountrysideI couldn’t be more Irish if I tried… Irish on both sides of my family tree, back to the dawn of time… so Irish, in fact, that we even have a family Banshee.  So how could I not take this lovely St. Patrick’s Day to wish you the best of Irish Blessings.  The Irish have such  a long and cherished tradition of kindness and generosity toward family, friends and strangers, alike, that proffered verbal  blessings have blossomed with as much fertility as everything else in the Emerald Isle.  This fact, combined with Irish loquaciousness and their love of beauty and poetry, has resulted in such an abundance of  good wishes to be shared at the drop of a shamrock, that the task of picking favorites becomes quite a lengthy and loving  adventure.  Continue reading “May the Road Rise with You” »

Posted on March 17th 2012 in The Philosopher’s Teacup

The Haunting of the Heart

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Fancy on Black HorseThe optioning of Paint the Wind for the movies has caused me to be reminded very hauntingly of my mother.  I should tell you, I think, that although my mother’s name was Kate, the family called her Manu, because it meant Giver of the Law in Hindi – she was a formidable force of nature, in any language.  What has brought her so clearly to my mind today, is the fact that she loved two things passionately (besides her family)… books and politics.  To explain just how much she loved politics, I should tell you that in her last illness, when we all thought she lay in a hopeless coma, she suddenly rose up in her bed and said quite lucidly, “I wish to enquire about the State of the Union.”   Continue reading “The Haunting of the Heart” »

Posted on March 9th 2012 in Paint the Wind, The Philosopher’s Teacup

Dr. John Upledger…Cranio Sacral Therapy

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For me, Dr. John Upledger was the answer to prayer.  Literally.

My 13 year old Cee Cee was in a coma, close to dying, from an apparently undiagnosable malady no one could figure out or fix.

I’d listened for days, as doctors tried to sound as if they knew what to do, knowing in my heart they didn’t.  Frantically, I’d begun searching for a miracle.  I heard over the alternative medical grapevine, that a doctor named John Upledger was working miracles somewhere in the South.  He was an osteopath and surgeon, they said, and something much more, that no one could quantify.  In my panic, I couldn’t remember where to look for him.  But some maternal instinct – probably the intuitive equivalent of being able to lift a car off your child in an emergency – told me he could help us. Continue reading “Dr. John Upledger…Cranio Sacral Therapy” »

The Moving Finger Writes…

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Old TowerMy childhood was spent in a haze of books and familial propriety.  The small-town-America life, where children safely walked alone to school and dawdled their way home, lulled into daydreams by the sweetness of the neighbors’ gardens, is probably gone now, but the visuals are clear to me still.  A wall of rambling roses at Mrs. Flynn’s… an exaltation of wildflowers behind Dr. Goldstein’s mansion… the New York skyline beyond the great river that separated me from my destiny, or so I believed.  Wait for me New York, I’m coming… I’d breathe to it from Boulevard East, staring out at the glittering, beckoning megaliths of Manhattan. All those childhood images are as close to me now, as the scene outside my office window.

Life was good, except for my mother’s Vesuvian temper, which I’d more or less learned to deal with by going underground to my imagination.  I also went to the library, a magnificent old edifice with all-but crenellated battlements, an ivy covered round tower and several leftover suits of armor, collected by some turn of the century tycoon, who’d created a castle that would become a book depository… and my escape to Paradise. Continue reading “The Moving Finger Writes…” »

Posted on February 24th 2012 in Family, The Philosopher’s Teacup

Virtual Casting Call, so far…

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Cowboy at sunsetDear Readers, here’s the list of casting suggestions submitted so far. It’s amazing how many people suggested the same names…and equally amazing that many people offered the same names, but for differing roles?  Thanks for all your terrific inspirations … I can only hope Hollywood will be this creative.  It’s  such fun to dream, isn’t it?. Continue reading “Virtual Casting Call, so far…” »

Posted on February 24th 2012 in Paint the Wind, The Philosopher’s Teacup

For Health & Happiness…Thoughts for Your Shopping List

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Feet in the BathI’m  delighted that  response to my Bathing blog has been so enthusiastic, so I thought it might be helpful to have some crib notes about the aromatherapeutic  properties of many of the Essential Oils you’ll be exploring. But first, a word of caution: these oils are powerful…only a few drops can cause a dramatic response for both body and mind, and some cannot be used during pregnancy or if you have diabetes or are epileptic. There’s plenty of information available on the internet, of course,  and  Essential Oil dealers, health food stores, and of course, books, can impart a great deal of wonderful knowledge, so if you decide to embark on this  Essential Oil journey, please be sure to do it safely. Continue reading “For Health & Happiness…Thoughts for Your Shopping List” »

Posted on February 17th 2012 in The Philosopher’s Teacup

Paint the Wind…a Virtual Casting Call

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Curtain CallThe Indians say a story stalks a writer.  Watches, waits to see if you’re worthy of telling it.  Then it comes to live in your heart for a time, and it’s your responsibility to work very hard and learn enough to give the story the voice it deserves.  If you fail to do the legwork, the story will never give you its truthful ending… I wonder if that’s why so many books enthrall us til the end, and then they let us down?

Paint the Wind not only lived in my heart every moment of the five years of writing and researching it exacted of me, it has never left me for a moment since. The story stalked me, leading me to many extraordinary learnings and expansions of the spirit -how to handle a six-shooter – guns, Apache medicine ways, silver mining, ritual magic – just a few of them. Its characters moved permanently into my heart, where they remain almost as family members, to this day. Continue reading “Paint the Wind…a Virtual Casting Call” »

Posted on February 10th 2012 in Paint the Wind, The Philosopher’s Teacup

This Wisdom Thing…

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MoonSomebody called me a Wise Woman the other day and it almost made me laugh out loud.  Isn’t that something like those Lifetime Achievement Awards they give you in Hollywood when they can’t find roles for you anymore, I wondered? But it set me to thinking…

Nobody sets out to be a Wise Woman.  You set out to be sexy, smart, loved, a wife, a mother, a friend, a success… yes.  But to be Wise?… not so much.   Continue reading “This Wisdom Thing…” »

Posted on February 10th 2012 in The Philosopher’s Teacup, Women

The Key to Qi…How Energy-based Healing Systems Work

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So many people have asked me to explain the basics of Chinese Medicine and other energy based healing systems in a way that’s understandable to the Western mind, that I’d like to share with you what I’ve been privileged to learn about it.  

Qi is the name the Chinese use to express universal energy – but because this lifeforce is ineffable, unseeable, and unmeasurable, it isn’t an easy story to tell.  Qi (also called Ki, Prana, etc.) is the cornerstone of all the medical miracles I’ve witnessed in Chinese, Tibetan, Hindu, African, Native American and Shamanic medicine, and it’s the gateway to a larger understanding of many other mysteries of the Universe, so I’d like to try as best I can, to make the concept palatable for the Western mind.  The poetic Chinese, knowing the ephemeral nature of the Qi concept, call this Grasping the Wind.

Continue reading “The Key to Qi…How Energy-based Healing Systems Work” »

Posted on February 3rd 2012 in Metaphysics, The Philosopher’s Teacup

Qi… The Power of the Invisible

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ball of lightIt isn’t easy to quantify Qi for the Western mind, but inasmuch as so many now experience it in Alternative Healing modalities like Acupuncture and Cranio-Sacral Therapy, Martial Arts, Yoga and Body Work, I’d like to offer a little crib sheet that might help you wend your way through the many subdivisions of Qi.  

The Chinese do not differentiate between matter and energy and Qi has many different functions and names.   Continue reading “Qi… The Power of the Invisible” »

Posted on February 3rd 2012 in Metaphysics, The Philosopher’s Teacup