Aftershow Afterglow

Monday November 27th 2017 -   grateful that good rest found me up and ready this morning.

Study subject for Spring/Summer art

Study subject for Spring/Summer art

Monday is Sunday for many artists because they work nights and weekends often, and sometimes permitted to do my Sunday religious things on Monday, as well, since the Sunday idea is restoration of the spirit , study and reflection - focus for the week ahead. 

Lunch was wonderful Thanksgiving dinner leftovers and amazing soup!  Then it was about packing gear and on to unfinished business from the previous Saturday.  The bus at my door and ten blocks to Artspace Hartford, to pickup a painting that did not sell after this year’s OSH Group Show closing.  Two strong fabric artwork sleeves and bungee, on a wheeled dolly for the 36 x 48 inch framed art, found me trotting merrily back home - cost:  thanks to senior deals and planning - $2.24 ,  a fun fee for  a trip to America’s  cradle!

Connecticut State Capitol Hartford and the famous ancient burial grounds and waters taken by the Founding Fathers and the Old State House that ran things, including the famous Amistad trial,  upstairs,  and on the groud floor- well….ground:  a mini-mall farmers market with dirt floor in places for livestock for sale and area produce in 1776.   Today the modern Farmers Market pitches its tents and tables there as a love song to forebears.   And THIS Hartord is my stomping grounds for five years now! Wow!   The nation's first museum now crowned by a controversial neon “OMG” over the fine restoration, to show they are NOT only about yesterday.

Four shows done this fall - and fit again, after a disability - my window to un-disable my formerly-lovely money.  New legal and business help empowers -  I WILL do it.  Recent prizes and sporadic sales satisfy the misgivings of others who are not used to working “upper-midlife-ers” like me. Done making  less money than I made babysitting as a girl  - no more  - Dues paid -  EARNINGS now and money fixes - age with dignity.

These were my thoughts,  while minding it all, as the famous Hartford chill  city winds caught the large wrapped wheeled painting, as though it was a boat sail !   But I smiled in my heart because  I grew  up on Southport Harbor and loved it !   So I tacked thru it like a good little sailboat art and artist, doing just fine!    Ten or twelve historic blocks to the bus hub.  Careful navigation wins.

When the bus driver looked at me at boarding,   I said "not to worry, i am fine  . I do this all the time! " truthfully, and settled safely and was delivered to my door before dark!    YES...I love my life at “55-and-holding” !  Checking the FitBit ap when I got in - YESSSS!!! the extra work found me OVER THE TOP for the day's goals  and blessed home base met by day’s end !   

Do Monday right and the rest follows well.

Ekphrasis Prize Poem "In the Woods"

Find time this summer for a cool walk in the shade along a stream like this - good for everything!   The painting has a nice story.  Read on.

"Ekphrasis" is an event  of the  Open Studio Hartford annual city-wide presentions.  Ekphrasis extols selected images from its group show in song and dance and poetry.   I am honored to say that Poetess Susan Mardinly made the poem "In the Woods" about my  2016 painting of the same name , shown here.  Comment Welcome.  Thank you at Thanksgiving to Susan and her beautiful verse!  Poetry is her second suit - she is lifetime music with honors in teaching as well. But she has shared here book of poetry here           The painting was special to make and it has been really nice to see it win attention - for sale here


The painting sold this June!  More like it on request. Thank you to the buyer!

The painting sold this June!  More like it on request. Thank you to the buyer!

In the Woods

Light shines upon the forest stream,

facets dancing upon rocks and pebbles,

singing to us, knowing we also are fashioned of light,

magnetic, electric, fused, 

particles, forms, waves, 

of dreams, of unperceived matter,

of fundamental knowing,

but always drawn light unto light.


Prisms of cumulus rainbows, 

flashing through the eye of winter snow,

reflecting upon limbs and branches,

illuminating watery paths above and below,

a recipe made of hydrogen and oxygen,

metamorphosis beyond human ken,

in sound streaming, in heat dancing, 

or scattering in luminescent flow.


Far beyond reason or logic,

inspired by these miracles,

we become trained to see with other eyes: 

smaller worlds that dwell enlightened:

tree roots wriggling in shimmering growth,

caravans of ants as they scurry to bring food,

flowers in unencumbered rest far beneath the sparkle,

new life about to emerge from joyful winter dens.


Taking this wild journey in the woods,

shimmering insight burns away dross

radiant within the light that imbibes us:

in optical duality, in mirrors upon mirrors 

our inner blaze transforming,

listening to the speed of creations’ flashes,

to the scent of fire’s kindle, the taste of luminous fruit,

of healing love that light sustains.  


copyright © 2016 susan j mardinly 


For My Midlife Children at Mothers Day

I know I won't see you this year, so I will send the good wish to you here and  now.  

Best wishes and thank you for the gift of yourselves to my life for so many years of uninterrupted love and laughter, on easy days and not-so easy ones.  They can't take that away from me!  I learned that one very well - that there is triumph in every scenario that ever had good days to it , even if it ends, and even if it ends with difficulty !     As people realize that they must put it away and get on with things, right where they are today, there is, often by surprise, the "Great day in the morning!"    The good of the good days returns once the pain of separation is done and it is gold!    This was true of your Father's early passing and true of your empty-nesting.    I delight in it all !    Like found money, but better!    


This topic, "Children"  needs a separate blog.  Nothing is more important than survival and our children are its basic element.  I will make pages with  stories, linked from this one.

It seems just a moment ago that I saw my husband-to-be and both our children in my "mind's-eye", and  full or love and gratitude and commitment to them when they were the dream come true in my life.      And yet, they are born, raised , empty-nested, and now married and preparing for children of their own and I am glad I started young - it saved me when thing got "interesting".   They live distant from me, and  I miss them very much, but am able to be busy and happy in my own pathway.  


At this Mothers Day,   this one is a love-note for my own children and all those in  children's groups I was blessed to help in cultural enrichment, arts and crafts, swim club, junior olympics,  BSA and GSA scouts,  and endless response in good moments and challenging ones - now with their own children and some grey hair.     Not possible!  

Smile, children:  I am still running around and coloring my hair down, senior fitness keeps me sparkly and wrinkle-fixers disappear them and lift the sags.
I am still "yours in a heartbeat" to talk all night long if you like, but nice to see you do not need much, and when there is the moment, you seem to figure it out just fine!

I am still so proud of you!

Stay young.  Growth to adulthood and decline to our passing are naturally  GRACEFUL  - with the human complications to keep it lively all along the timeline.

You have no right to say 'old' - that is the business of your life drive and  whatever you call the source of all life.

I still say, "Life is easy- pay attention"  We don't, you know, and then we claim "complications".

Encourage your aging parents to stay young.  In a minute that will be YOU needing to hear that one. And it can make a real difference.  Again , you have no right to age yourself - it's a sin.    No one has the right to undermine the life of another or of themselves.  

I see that my aging is arriving almost 20 years later than it did for my parents - thanks to my parents, in many of its specifics - health, fitness, money, creativity, spirituality, and personal powers.  My thoughts are satisfying - I have not ruled the world, so far, but put my hand to all I could do and I have done some things really well, so far, and have the drive to do more. Choose the good things for health and energy and ...yes...laughter and love are still the best!

See the miracles at later life - some things are forbidden by youth in its passions, and obligations and immaturities , but they get golden later in life.   Since we are able to enjoy much better health, for many more years,  we can do more.   Factoid:  Each year more are living to be one hundred years old, and that fact makes us realize that retiring from things too soon is unwise and even silly.  Picture you in a rocker in a corner at 40-something, and STAYING like that for sixty more  years. Silly.

At "upper midlife" you and I may be doing the best life ever, making the most money, and enjoying new things beyond our earlier dreams.      
Whether that be for a day or for many years to come:  never think "old".  

For all things, there is a time to pass, and when it is my time,  I pray  that I can co-operate to make a fine day of it, for all involved.  I want To leave with a blessing, not a curse, with loved ones near for a moment and then on again - love empowers.   

 "Love is a Freedom Song" 

The Mommy Stories will be here as links to entertain you and some password protected , to protect the privacy, and keep it "entre nous" - you know who you are - find me for the password......elle

Easter Alleluja !

 like ours from those days and so charming!

 like ours from those days and so charming!

Best wishes for Easter / Spring 2017

O Radiant Dawn!     Splendor of Eternal Life!    Sun of Justice!     Shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of Death !       - I love this one of the famous  "O Antiphons" - my favorite.

Easter falls on the first Sunday after the first Full Moon after the Vernal or Spring Equinox - to keep it in tune with nature and with Source of all nature, however you exprience it.  Spring is a miracle, but can be capricious and laughs, as it defies Man's attempts at structure - with a blizzard and a record high in the first thirty days of this year's season in America's Northeast.

I love my present life and I believe it is powerful to visit the past and bring some of the best of it to the present and share it round for the future - a treasure to leave my busy children to enjoy later, when they like.  And so this memory for you.

There had been grand life energies in my parents' large families that triumphed over wars, recession and even death.  And having endure they truly rejoiced at " the Radiant Dawn"; they enjoyed in those years: beauty , love, prosperity, property, good work, love marriage and children - they sang and danced through their days and helped the others and were helped as life calls us to do.  

 And , oh, the holidays!   It did not take much money to make it the best and done with youth and energy and hearts full of love and gratitude, they seemed always ambitious to share the good glow!   I grew up thinking everyone did the same and many did.  Hundreds of cards at Christmas and visits that took till New Years to complete.  Gifts and cozy warm things and fun in the snow and all tucked up safe and sound in work and love.

And Easter brought the same wonderful feelings, although , until I was older, I remember finding the Birth of a Baby easier to understand than Redemption and Resurrection -  my own shortfall did not daunt me - and I  just enjoyed the renewal of the seasons - Spring!     

Mornings smelled alive with new life and the wonderful New England soil - as soon as I could, I planted my first little garden and aunties and uncles smiled an told me lots about flowers and trees, so I would know a bit about what I was doing - they liked my many questions.  And later the fun of sketching and painting them - and making photos with my own first camera. Yes.

My Dad was musical and a tecchie - his record collection would be worth a small fortune today and some of it was saved, including the wonderful Easter music, still sung today - "Here comes Peter Cottontail!" , "Poor Floppy"  and others to make the days a happy dance.  

 There seemed to be Jellybeans and chickies and bunnies and Easter eggs everywhere!   The large sugar ones with hollow centers filled with dioramas to enoy thru a peep window at one end!   For me - already interested - there were Instructions for the crafts - coloring the eggs!  

Who would guess in in 1957 that that one day one fancy egg of mine would be viewed by a First Lady of the United States of America at the White House - but my happy heart on the subject is a fine thing to enjoy - a thing that no one can daunt.    I see the proud faces of my relatives, though I lived distant from them at the time and joyful phone calls had to be enough.  

It was the delight in doing up the simple little happy colored eggs that inspired and the Mommies who showed us how it was done.  Boiled and colored and served to many guests with the fancy beets and horseradish sauce that won over the flatness of egg and brought bright pink to the table, with the Easter ham, and irish bread and Polish borscht for spring with the special spring sausage!  The kitchen was boiled to shining before, during and after - and even Mother's new range was pink with pushbuttons!  

Then, since it was all about Jesus somehow - and very sad, but then happy again - we would take some of the food in a basket to church for the Priests' blessings, so that all from the kitchen would be good and blessed, and always with new happiness, too!  

And Spring meant putting the winter things away - all the fine and not so fine would be done till after Autumn when the weather chilled again.   For now it was Spring and joyfully running about with Mother and friends for the gay spring things for home and wardrobe - plenty of the light wools  often in lilac - including the lilac blossom-clustered hats that were popular at the time.  We love to look our best and win the respect of the women and the  affections charming our men - then and now!

Such happy bustle and  prayer at end of day - thanking God for the good grace!  Odd -  somehow my own love and work does not feel the same as those endless glowing days as a child in that world. And  yet,  I know I did similarly with  our own son and daughter later on with extra to spare for all the other children near us, so grateful to have that example to pass on.  They are married and I hope they will want to make their own version of it all to share with children of their own, but if not, at least they have that good in them from us.

Those bunnies!   Chocolate ones in pretty baskets woven and full of fun green grass and cellophane - or bunny cakes or the wonderful huggy ones, small and huge later on for fun!  But most of all , one year there were real bunnies, as we scampered at our parents' call one Easter morning to enjoy the living room egg hunt before church - out from behind Dad's lounge chair they came, to make us catch our breath - the thrill!   "Lippety, lippety !   lippety, lippety !"  two tiny marvels  to pet and feed and love.   Soon we had proper  lessons in their care and Dad built a hutch in the back yard for them and finally trained them to enjoy the back yard and then on their own in our wooded yard with brook nearby.  

And someone's baby bunnies showed up the next year!  I share the story to share pure pleasure and inspiration. All these years later, I remember and it feeds me - a life thing!   Not only our own family circle but Easter at the homes of friends and family living distant dance again in my mind - one did the ancient egg crafting with the waxes and dyes.  Another did up an Easter Egg Tree, and another lived in the garden feeding the lilacs and planting for the warm months to come.   And instead of a teddy bear, a musical stuffed lamb was mine - of real sheeps wool - I was sad to outgrow him but at that point someone "disappeared" him and yet I guessed it was time.  Growing up is fun and we must not be babies. 

Especially not at Easter !  
The Church music and Handel's Halleluja Chorus or Leonard Cohen's  -  the world sings - the air sings with rains and breezes and our hearts sing, every time we're not looking , especially!  

Winter and War may have their way - but I am Spring and I win!  

May it be, for you and yours always.
If you would like to share a thing here, please feel welcome.   

Happy Easter!


Safety and Escape Technology - Planes & buildings

In spite of the fact that most third graders could understand the technology needed to make these upgrades, to which we have RIGHTS  ,as we have rights to life, we are told it cannot be done.  The thing for buildings is even cheap - easy - and could be in progress in a year.  The one for the planes of course, is harder; it involved some basic restructuring and lots of safety tests before the ejection enabled cabins could be in use. But it is surely the way and we can do it and should. NOW.

Please do a little research online on this topic and  you will see - then email your leaders to ACT - it is shameful that this issue has been so long neglected.

Read More

Hallowe'en Stories of a Sort

Do not let the cheery pumpkins fool you - I have scary stories to share at Halloween at this true stories blog.  But should they be shared at all?  Grownup scary stories are not pretty. 

Mayborn, my life has been a blessing, and very normal;  these stories only a fraction of my generally happy life.   More -  these stories  enjoyed happy endings,  but I certainly do have my moments - and then I realize most folks do.

  Life is not "Trick or Treat" but Trick AND Treat ! 

A list of my scary stories - details on request

Read More

Golden Autumn !

I think I am lucky - raised well with "the good lights" and a family who passed on their love of nature and life in all forms - here it is Autumn and the time of Harvest and taking stock, and being sure that all is set safely till Spring.   Winter in Connecticut can be grand and a fairy treat,  sparkling with cold or a long dreary trek, but Autumn if done well,  makes all the difference. 

Read More

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month -

Today the testing is easy and liberally covered by insurances and almost required, because it saves lives, and that might have included mine in 2009 - but did NOT.  And my happiness and insights made it necessary for me get active about helping with Awareness every October and I love it!  It's an honor to share the good news we enjoy toay - IF.....

Read More

Visions happen

No one believes me, and when they do, they never approve - they feel uncomfortable and sometimes, so do I, but it is time to share the memory anyway.    

Mind's eye - with happy parents and romantic ones, and seven Irish Uncles on Dad's side, I was bound to be a bit fey.  NOT always happily as when I'd find "The Merry Widow Waltz" strangely appealing - my Father said " you peeked" - looking into your own future.  The idea that I would probably be a widow if statistics held, but not necessarily so unhappy....things like that make it difficult to share sometimes.

Read More

September is Aneurysm Awareness Month!

Summer 2016 marked the 35th anniversary of the year that Aneurysm issues hit home and changed our lives forever!   When suddenly widowed to the "Time Bomb In the Brain",  there was not much we could have done to prevent it.  NOTTANYMORE!  Share the message to any you know who may be at risk for it: Get the Tests!  They save lives.....and enjoy this post and comment as you like - find me as needed - I am here for this one.....elle.

Read More