When Asked: How do pro-choice people respond to the question “What if your mom had aborted you?”

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Instead of boring you with the usual response, let me tell you the story of an unforgettable moment I experienced just a few hours ago….

I volunteer at my local Jewish Community Center in Palo Alto, CA.

For the record,I am not Jewish, nor am I religious, but I respect the rights of those who wish to worship in any way they choose. I also think there is a lot to be learned through studying the history of every religion and its people.

The people where I volunteer are lovely and I love my job and get to help out during a fantastic, weekly cultural arts event called Community Tuesdays(open to the public).

Today, the program featured an amazingly talented singer and accordionist of Yiddish music, Jeanette Lewicki. Her show was entitled, Belarus to Brooklyn: A Time-Traveling Tour of Yiddish Song.

I wasn’t sure what to expect, but she led us through a history-rich, captivating tale of song and story that was both interesting and beautiful.

She explained each song’s translation, origin and any special history, prior to preforming each song in Yiddish. She eventually came to a particular song with a story old as time, about a woman, that had originally been recorded and/or sung by a man.

I will recount the introduction she gave as best I can:

“A young woman of meager means from a small village in the old country,comes to rest at the edge of a green river, holding a new baby close to her full breast.

She calls to the little fish in the river, so she can whisper to them a story. She has a secret to tell them. She wants to introduce them to the babe in her arms.

She tells the little fish that they will soon know and then forget her baby, who she will never forget. She drops her baby to the bottom of the river for the fish to feed upon and walks away.

That was it.

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Contemplating the Arts.

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“From within or from behind, a light shines through us upon things, and makes us aware that we are nothing, but the light is all.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

I love this quote. It speaks to what I believe deep inside my heart and soul. When I think of the light that shines through us, I think of myself, my children, and about all of the people I know and even those I don’t know or haven’t met yet.

When I apply this idea to the arts, magical light starts shining from within me. And I begin to think of others—how glorious would it be if more people let their light shine upon a painting, photo, song or poem?

I also think of our future—the children in this world. Will they grow to appreciate and let their light shine upon various types of art?

With so many of the arts being taken out of school curricula, my hope is that the next generation will learn either through self discovery or gentle guidance from their parents. And my true wish is that they will learn to do this mindfully.

When I was a child, art was something that I could escape to, and oh how wonderful it was! It made me feel every emotion I never knew I had.

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I grew a deep love for the arts at an early age, as I enjoyed the many paintings that we had hanging on our walls, and I was profoundly mesmerized by the photography and art books in our home.

In particular, I spent hours studying a photography exhibit made into a book called, The Family of Man. This book showcased photos of various people from all the world over. I would stay blissfully fascinated for hours at a time looking through those photos. They chronicled people from birth to death—in war, happiness, fear, serenity and all that fell in between.

I studied those photos so much that I became those people in my mind, noticing every detail of their facial expressions, contact that they had with the land, objects or people among them. I was entranced, and I still often retreat to this cherished book. Continue reading

Understanding my Dyslexia. A Personal Story.

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I never knew why I didn’t know my right from my left or why I had to use an eraser far more often than everyone else around me.  This is a personal story about finding out, accepting  and understanding my learning disability.

“I now embrace what makes me unique, even if it labels me, and am much more easygoing about it.” Laura Kutney

http://www.elephantjournal.com/2014/01/mindfully-accepting-my-learning-disability/