Monthly Archives: January 2020

Peace Be Still!

waterfall   As  educators, we always seek ways to create and maintain peaceful environments. Most conflicts among the children seem to come after lunch or recess. They often return to the classroom with some levels of angst after having had a rift with someone.

We make efforts to promote peace through sharing circles, conflict-resolution talks, soft music, deep- breathing exercises and a host of other activities. Yet, like the children, we adults also search for ways to get a grip and calm down.

After being showered with endless news clips and news bites, our heartbeats unknowingly accelerate at higher rates. If we are not careful about our intake of the negative, we border on high levels of anxiety with heightened heart palpitations.

At some point, we must take control as we strive to do with the youngsters. We can push the mute or off button and totally disconnect from the merry-go-round. After we have come to our senses, we should ask ourselves these questions. “What does this information have to do with me? Will it affect my daily existence?’

If we are honest, we will realize that it really has nothing to do with us. Though it may seem both addictive and entertaining, we come to see that we have been in a hubbub over nothing quite like Shakespeare’s play title,, Much Ado About Nothing.”

So, we must practice what we preach to the children. We, too must calm down, take deep breaths, or retreat if necessary. B.J. Hoff’s poem A Quiet Heart is a great way to help us locate our peace, once we become still.

A Quiet Heart
Make the most
Of quiet hours;

Let your heart
Be calm and still…

Believe this day
Will bring a gift

   To lift your spirit…
And it will.

Lynn M.                                                                                               January 18, 2020

2020 Vision!

downloadRemember the phrase, “finding your bearings?” One would probably have to fall into a certain age bracket to have heard it.  Yet, it is a perfect saying to ponder at the beginning of 2020.

We may have realized that we have gotten off track, so to speak.  The elders often used the phrase, “coming to yourself.”  They meant that we had not been working from our own true base.  We may have become caught up in someone else’s agenda.

Or perhaps, the busyness of life just found us side-tracked  Our trains have, proverbially, jumped off the track.  Our affairs are out of alignment with the natural order of things and out of kilter.  Though things seem to have gone awry, we are still here.  That means that we have a chance to get it right.

I recently heard that January has the highest rate for filings for divorce.  Many of us have had time to look back over the holidays and made a host of New Year’s resolutions.

It is now 2020 and we hope to see life with a perfect 20-20 vision.  We begin with a fresher start while discarding the fallout and debris as we leave toxic people behind.  “When you cut toxic people out of your environment it becomes a lot easier to breathe” (#Say Quotable).  We can become more prepared to take on the next task.

Maturity helps us realize that it is not all about us nor the gaudy, the tinsel nor the shiny things.  It is more about how we can be of service to others.  Dr. King reminded us that, “Everybody can be great because everybody can serve.”

We are free to forge ahead with clearer heads, minds and souls. Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. once posed the question, “What’s in your hand?”  He was asking us what we have to give to others?  How can we make a difference?  It is time for us to roll up our sleeves and get busy working with those who will most certainly appreciate our efforts!

Lynn M.                                             January 11, 2020

Little Women: A Movie Review

220px-Little_Women_(2019_film)The new movie version of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women moves with great rapidity. It makes me think of Hemingway’s title, A Moveable Feast. It serves up scrumptious bites and small morsels from this well-known plot in a circuitous fashion.

If the viewer does not know the plot with some level of detail, he or she may have a hard time following at times. The new director (Great Gerwig) uses flashbacks but not in a linear way and it will take some time to reflect and see the whole scheme of things.

For those who know and love the Civil War Era story of the March family, it is a treat as one enjoys the creativity used in telling this age-old tale. The beautiful period dresses and clothes, the use of the actual Orchard House in Concord, Massachusetts, the low candle-lit rooms, the snowy scenes and the beach adventures all add to the beauty of times gone by.

The rivalry between the sisters, the death of a sibling and the absent soldier father help to display Jo March as the guts and backbone of this family of women. Her scribblings sustain her as she gets ideas from the theatrics that the wardrobed girls act out in the attic.

Jo is central to the story and though she does not get the trip abroad nor the boy next door, she gets so much more. She becomes a published writer and truly exemplifies Alcott’s legendary life. Filmmakers are still using her words over 150  years later.

In truth, Alcott did write for eight hours at a time and when one hand was tired, she wrote with the other hand. The movie showed her changing hands and it got many other facts right. It did not, however, show the sister’s art drawn on the walls of the home but then, one would have to take a trip to Concord to see it.  Also, the family often experienced poverty and despair due to the father’s progressive beliefs which made him ride against the tide. Alcott was the breadwinner for many years through her writing.  One would have to delve deeper and do some more research to know her real plight.

This new version of Little Women takes a lot of risks, but the fine acting helps to pull it into its final stop. Notables like Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Laura Dern, Chris Cooper,  Meryl Streep along with several newcomers all assist as this story is told from an independent woman’s point of view. It closes with Jo March holding her newly pressed book in her arms after negotiating her royalties with her publisher. And that is fair enough!

Lynn M.                                                                         January 7, 2020

Celebrate 2020!

Dreamcatcher 31

Wow! It’s a brand, new decade,
Puts a lot on all folks’ plate.

We have much to live up to,
Many dreams are overdue.

Also, a sparkling New Year
Has burst forth with a big cheer.

As some hearty dreams come true,
Dreamcatchers block the bad, blue.

Add good and delete the wrong.
Sound the trumpet. Sing a song!

Lynn M.                                               January 5, 2020