Looking Ahead

Yes, I know it has been awhile since I have been here.  By now I should be filled with words, ideas, opinions.  Thoughts that will somehow change a life if not the world.  It isn’t as if I don’t have lots to say.  There is enough material around to keep me writing for months. 2016 is a busy year.  Lots of weddings, parties, doctor visits. It’s an election year as well, and boy is America reeling with opinions and competition!

I should tell you that it has been a slow go since my surgery last November. So many tests to follow up with and new docs to see.  For awhile I had thought my back problem improved and my life was gonna change delightedly for the better, but nope right back to square one with no hope in view that I will ever boogie as I once did.  There are other productive things though as long as they don’t take standing more than 10 minutes at a time.

My youngest son got engaged last November and life continues once again.  Unfortunately, being the mother of the groom there isn’t much to do in terms of planning and such.  I love my sons totally, but it’s kinda sad that I’ll never know the joy of having a daughter as well.  The mothers of girls seem to have most of the fun sharing, planning, spending time with their daughters more often than the boys do with their mothers.  I truly am very grateful for all my sons do for me and with me, guess it’s like they say, “You always want what you can’t have.” It should be a great December wedding though!  Christmas in the air and all!

Day to day life for me is truly blasé now that I am retired and without true mobility. Even my wondrous friend, writing, is suffering from the doldrums.  Bare with me as I am trying to revive this tired old friend, hoping to bring a fresh new outlook to its soul while keeping its heart beating stronger than ever.

So we are living in an election year.  Attempting to elect a new POTUS. The playing field is astounding. We have Bernie Sanders (not the Colonel) and Hillary Clinton on the Democratic side and Ted Cruz and Donald Trump (yea the Millionnaire) on the Republican side.  Not a day goes by where I am not either astounded or hysterically laughing. How this isn’t the biggest political fiasco of all time is beyond me.  I love America and believe always that it is the greatest country on earth…..but with this election my head is hiding in my elbow 90% of the time!

Hopefully, my thoughts will stop gathering moss and I’ll share my own insights into this year’s election shenanigans very soon.

Until then,

That’s the Way I See it here in Brooklyn!

K

 

 

 

Happiness is a baby playing!


Wouldn’t it be great if we could recapture the innocence and freedom we had as a baby? just imagine a day without worries or cares! Just enjoying your environment and loving every second. I wish we could all experience this joy just once in a while and perhaps the world would look a bit different. The joy it brings to me watching this video infuses my heart and allows my mind to roam free if even just for seconds.

Happiness is the joy of a child!

And that’s the Way I See It here in Brooklyn.
K

Where My Heart Is

Where My Heart Is

 

BROOKLYN

BROOKLYN, OH BROOKLYN

From the Verrazano to the Brooklyn Bridge

Through the Ridge and up the Slope

Diverse personalities in every nook

Streets of Brooklyn are “off the hook”

From Coney Island to the Navy Yard

Local churches, restaurants and museums

Amazing all people from every scene,

So enticing on the movie screens

Schools,sports and entertainment abound

The people of Brooklyn create and astound

Showing the world its undying glory

Brooklyn, oh Brooklyn, you are my life’s story

Leaving your streets to explore other places

Shadows of memories tracing empty spaces in my heart

For here lies the key to my home

Brooklyn, oh Brooklyn from you I cannot part

~Kathy Napoli

ColorBridge

I hope you will forgive me, today I felt an overwhelming sense of sadness from the thoughts that I may soon need to leave the borough of my birth.  My present circumstances is making it harder and harder to live here and be financially stable.  Not quite sure about the definite plan as yet, but I know there needs to be one very soon.  How will I ever be able to break my own heart?  Life is not always as we planned nor does change always come with joyful challenges.  For now, though, its just a jumble of thoughts.

And that is the Way I See It here in Brooklyn!

K

My May Memorial

In Flanders Fields
John McCrae, 1915.

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Being a product of the Catholic School System the month of May meant many things to me, but most of all I have always associated it with peace, joy, and beauty. My father passed away on May 4th and one of my sisters passed away on May 8th. So along with my wonderful memories of May comes a bit of heartache. Among the most vivid memories I have is one of the Blessed Mother. Not meaning to give anyone the idea that I am still affiliated with any organized religion, because I chose a long time ago not to associate, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t believe in some of the things that I was taught as a child. Naturally, I don’t believe them as blindly as I did back then, however there was always something to the idea of my beliefs, especially when it came to the Blessed Mother. I belief that the man Jesus may very well have had a mom named Mary and that she suffered greatly when he was crucified as any mother would. She has always been a part of my life and I have turned to her many a time to console me and to help me deal with the most painful moments of my life. Perhaps it is just an idea that I turn to, but for me she was a very real person and her spirit lingers within me. She represents all that is peaceful and beautiful to me. She encompasses the makeup of my heart. I strive to be as loving as I believe she had to have been for she sacrificed greatly for the good of all. The other side of my persona is very much rooted in patriotism. This from both my father and John Wayne, two men who convinced me, whether acting or not, that America was a great country and worth defending to the death. Listening to my father and watching John Wayne with him in the old movies was a great adventure for me. I got to spend time with my father, which wasn’t always possible in our lifestyle. My father loved Fred Astaire, John Wayne, James Cagney, and many more movie stars long gone to graves. My father instilled in me that same passion. I am not so naive as to think that this could possibly be conceived as “brainwashing”, but whether it was brainwashing or it wasn’t doesn’t matter anymore. That feeling of  patriotism is still very much a part of who I am and what matters in life to me. Wouldn’t you say I have that right?

I recall those days in May when we would wear our communion dresses for the crowning of Mary. It was an exciting time in my young life and I always loved the songs we would sing as we processed down the aisle of the Church to where Mary’s statue sat and one of the girls would be chosen to “crown” Mary with a bouquet of flowers. I felt such inner joy and peace during those simple ceremonies. I can still recall some of the songs we sang and how their lyrics and tunes would be forever imbedded in my mind. Perhaps they might ring a bell to some of the readers, so I have inserted a couple below.  You still might be asking yourself, “What has this got to do with Memorial Day?”

    

When Memorial Day was approaching, at the end of May (May 30th to be exact), our school would collect donations from the students and once we donated we would receive an artificial poppy flower to wear for Memorial Day. I was always lucky in the fact that I was always able to “purchase” that poppy. I recall walking along the street, proud as a peacock with my poppy pinned to my chest for all the world to see. I knew it had something to do with our military dying for our country, but as a child, I never connected it to the horror of losing someone you love in a war. Nowadays, I would never deny that this is truly horrific, however it is also an honor for those who chose to fight for this country and for the families who sacrifice because of that choice. No one wants to be at war.  No one wants to have men and women dying because they chose to join the military.  The ugly facts are though, that it is a reality and since the Civil War onward, our military have given of themselves to protect what they believe to be freedoms.  They fight in wars so that those freedoms can be protected.  So that their country can continue to be a “land of the free and a home of the Brave”.  Perhaps the reasons aren’t always crystal clear to many.  Perhaps those people are right in saying that America should mind her own and stay out of other country’s troubles, but I personally wonder how long we would be able to be the country that gives all the people those rights, if we don’t defend her ideals?  How long could we maintain our independence if we don’t help defend the independence of those who need it or ask for it?  Not long I assure you.

poppy.jpg

This weekend is Memorial Day weekend.  Somehow, along the way, the very reason that Memorial Day was declared a holiday became lost in a new idea that Memorial Day was the beginning of summer. While I personally believe barbecuing and celebrating is a great way to commemorate Memorial Day, it should never be without remembering how it came to be.

http://www.usmemorialday.org/backgrnd.html

People have  forgotten or have set aside the notion that it is truly a day set aside to remember all those who have fallen in the service of their country since the beginning of our time.  It is a solemn day, yet joyful day when we can get together to celebrate the sacrifice of life that our military has made in order to ensure that we keep that right to celebrate.  We can best honor them by doing what we do best, going to parks, beaches, backyards and enjoying the freedoms that are ours because the military who have died, and the military who still serve, have given us those freedoms for a while longer.  And when we are at our events, we need to stop and remember those military personnel and their families and be grateful to all of them for their sacrifices. That is how I can connect  Mary, Blessed Mother to Memorial Day.  As a mother, she sacrificed when her son gave his life up for the things he believed, just as our military men and women give up their lives for what they believed.  As do their mothers and families.  All who have sacrificed and suffered should be remembered on Memorial Day.  This day should remain so that the memories and the lives of all these people will be forever immortalized in the hearts and the minds of each of us.  We should never forget.

poppyfield

For me May will always be a month of memories, memorials, joys, and beauty.  It will forever hold for me the wish that all who seek peace in this world will work toward it.  Merry is the month of May and hopefully, we will continue to keep it that way.

And that is the Way I See It here in Brooklyn,

K

Poetry II- Love

Today my thoughts turn to love and something my mom always said to me. She would often tell me, as I would speak about loving someone, that there was no such thing as love. I realized a long while ago that she said that because of all the hurt that she had been through in her life. To her love meant getting hurt physically, emotionally and intellectually. I do believe that regardless of what she said, she did love and knew she was loved, she just couldn’t bring herself to express it for the fear of feeling that (oh so awful pain) one feels when love hurts, and love, my friends can be excruciatingly wonderful and even more excruciatingly painful. I have always been fascinated by the emotions of love and how one can completely change their own vision of themselves or their ideals once love enters their emotional make up. I have always wanted to study what constitutes love as love, but never had the opportunity. So instead I have written over the years a series of poems and/or essays, which I will share with you today. Some may seem complicated or perhaps way to deep to comprehend, but if you can read them more than once, perhaps the message I am attempting to convey will dawn on at least a few and my efforts in creating them will at least not have been for naught. Of course, I know that my mother’s reasons for not wanting to believe in love were very valid, but her words did spark the notion within myself to wonder, is there really such a thing as love? Or is love just an illusion that people create so that they can give more freely of themselves? I know that I love my children and my siblings and my friends, but I don’t believe that form of love is the love I am curious about. It is the love between two people that ignites my interest in the subject. How can we really be sure that the chemistry or the caring or both is truly selfless love and not just an expression of need within our own self? What if, my mother was right without knowing she was right? What if there is truly no such thing as love?

Hope you enjoy my thoughts on love.

What is Love? 

Love is a moment, and too often it passes without a second thought.  It’s the one moment in your life in which everything is right.  Your faults and failures don’t matter.   Love is the moment you know why you’re here; it’s the answer you’ve sought. Love is the absence of emptiness.  Love is the sole reason you feel emptiness.  Love is a changeling.

It is different feelings in different people.  Love is a defined human emotion tugging for comprehension within the center of reason.  Love is the confidence to be. Love is essence of beauty.  Love is felt.  Love is neither intelligence nor a theory-provoking process.  Love is the core of humanity’s beliefs.  Love can be paradise.  Love can be excruciating pain.    Love is a personal expression of inner self.  Love is a mystery waiting to be revealed.  Love is the driving force in the pursuit of happiness.  Love is self-deprivation in a quest toward selfishness of the highest form by creating happiness in another.  Love is what you feel it is and not what you think it is.  Love is unforgettably embedded in your being once it is truly experienced. 

Love is a lifelong search.  

~Kathy Napoli

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The Passage

  by Kathy Napoli 

Two beings meet amidst the threshold of love and suddenly its a choice of life and death,

A kindred spirit arises in each with no thought, no strive just need and to need

Reality a fleeting whisper of wind.

As if inside a vacuum of space the depth of one another silently speaks.

A tumultuous, rapid commonality grows – the need is met

The whisper of what could be gushes through the vacuum pulsating its vibrations until it gains a voice.

Spirits connected through embedded memory emerge infiltrating the kindred’s peace.

Now the threshold  of love between life and death surrounds the passage splitting the heart, suffocating the spirit.

Struggling, transforming the internal emotions into a battle of the self.

Abandonment the strongest appeal; dependency the anchor.

A self expression surrounds the vacuum – yet longs to linger among the kindred and the memory.

Turmoil  of the soul continues -diversions emit magnetic power dulling the reality

Somewhere the whisper of wind filters through and once again the vacuum emerges –the threshold attached to the memory.

Within the spirit a solution evolves and hides itself as a sacrificial lamb

Fantasy guides the consciousness as need controls its direction

A sheltered thought of love shackles the spirit while feeling it emancipates the emotion.

For the spirit to pass through the threshold of love between life and death-happiness must saturate the passage

Seeking through the haze of disbelief, clinging desperately to the unfounded trust, the heart is bound 

Knowing full well the answer lies within and reality must win  

hearts

DOUBT

Flighty, wildly swirling about

Like butterfly cocoons split apart

Exploring, sensations vibrating; carried afloat

Surging onward touching each cell

Vanishing briefly; suddenly appearing

Fluttering, nagging, pulsating the nerves

Spirit pushing the soul

While logic disintegrates and explodes the brain

Wet as the rain, soaking and drowning

Sense evaporates; fear begins

Searching for answers; never sure of the questions

Looking, listening, hearing, seeing; still swirling about

Ah, it comes, like sunrise o’er the Balkans

So simple, so easy, always safe, secure

Hidden inside until the dawn springs its light

Dreams long forgotten in the flutter of wings

Sweet song of belief; singing through the heart

Words making music for faith to exhale

Always inside the shell; fate through circumstance prevail

Darkness came whilst the doubt sauntered in

Now the light of self has broken the spell

As once again we create what once was known

A short stay of doubt lingers awhile

~Kathy Napoli

“Reeling”

Hazy and Floating

No thoughts or ideas

Through stairwells of drifting

No focus to grasp

The heart rejects the pleading

And the mind continues reeling

Fate is still fleeting

No more standing the pain

Deep in the soul as if fleeing

Yet knowing full well it remains

And the mind continues reeling

Lost and Alone

The search never-ending

No promise of love

Hope lingers everlasting

While reality surrounds

And the mind continues reeling

~Kathy Napoli

And that is the Way I See It here in Brooklyn,

K

 

 

Poetry

Image

Today I sat quietly thinking.  My mind filled with images and words about the condition of the world today.  Reading about them in papers; hearing about them on the News.  I had discussions with my closest friend and members of my family about them.  I listened to all the points of view about the war in the Middle East; the North Korean concerns; the conditions in Africa;  the crime in our American cities.  Each person of my generation seemed to be of the same opinions and all were at a loss for any solutions.  As for me, well I have always thought of myself as an individualist and yet, a staunch supporter of justice for all.  I’ve intense feelings of fairness and often cannot rest my mind when something occurs that I feel is unjust. At times these thoughts swirl inside my mind needing an escape.  The best way I have found to expel them is to write poetry or better said, what I believe to be poetry.  So for the rest of this week I will choose some of my poems and share them with you on this blog.  With my sanguine attitude I will begin by sharing my thoughts on humanity, since that at the moment seems to be the predominant force inside my cerebrum.

Through emotional intellect we sometimes see what we ordinarily overlook.  We all experience humanity in our everyday existence, only we think we are different. The language of words, in whatever form they possess, spoken, unspoken and written connect us all.  ~ Kathy Napoli

Come share my words that I hope will inspire you.

Image

Is Humanity a Myth?

To know one another through human familiarity or frailty 

Opens the path to peace 

Deliberating all differences as a form of communication

Paints the road with compassion

comprehension,  and patience

 

Asking questions and learning about one another

opens minds and ends all illusions

Existing together as one human race

Begins a euphoric condition

Resulting in peace throughout each one’s space

 

Illuminating humanity as life not myth

We merge as the same race – all sharing a similar body

Hoping all senses and intellect intact 

Will grant us the comfort to be able to be.

Knowing only what we have learned

Learn to love and you will love

Learn to hate and you will hate

Learn to conquer and you will conquer

 

Never giving peace its chance

Is killing the human race

Seeking peace is the salvation

Within the human race

~Kathy Napoli

I and others like me have tried to comprehend the political, religious and pragmatic sides of wars and abuse, crime and depravity, but aren’t things that a sane mind can grasp. These atrocities in life seem to repeat throughout history, no lessons being learned, no sensible reasoning for disrupting peace, and no regard for the human species in general. It is a sad world we exist in today, perhaps sadder than ever before since the emergence of formidable technology.  Everything is transparent for all eyes to see, so how can we not at least try to make a difference? Here in NY some people held an “Occupy Wall Street” protest against the corporate world, people from many walks of life and places around the world heard their cries.  I would love to see bloggers and others who use words to make a difference, perhaps begin an “Occupy Cyberspace” with messages of humanity.  That would be totally cool in this ever-changing speeding technological world where we exist.  Oh well, wishful thinking again on my part to right injustices.

It has dawned on me many times that perhaps to understand the ugliness in the world we need to look at it closer and identify it before we can begin to change it. Or perhaps we do see it and have no control over its spreading.  In either case, my thoughts are below.

Ugliness

    Today the media shows it everyday.  It is in print, it is on television and radio every hour on the hour.  It is in everyone’s home, on everyone’s lips and in everyone’s mind. It is impossible to hide and no one can completely turn away.  It is provocative and alluring. It is history in the making.  It is war.  It is inhumanity. 

  Human nature tries to turn from ugliness.  It masks itself with excuses.  No one wants to admit that ugliness has a right to live side by side with beauty because it is too hard to accept.  The reasons for it cannot be truthfully known for it is only the truth of those who must create it.  Blame has no place in ugliness just as it was born it will die.  Yet, to endure it is to be in the pit with the beast. 

    Beauty is simple.  There are no complications. It just exists as it was created and pleasured for– as it is accepted.  Ugliness does not share this epiphany.  It must reveal itself over and over again for it to be looked upon.  Its hideous, deplorable methods are drawn toward the center of each human being’s existence.  With the absence of ugliness – the world would not know the value and joy of beauty. 

   If we had the power to strike down all that was ugly, could we survive?  As a race of human beings we must embrace ugliness so that true beauty can surface. Realistically, all ugliness is not evil, yet evil is the ultimate ugliness we know.  Our existence is based on the powers of good and evil, we have not evolved to a level of wisdom wise enough to decipher the real difference.  So we must determine with limited ability the realism we exist by and that is acceptance of all things that are beautiful and ugly without truly knowing if it is good or evil.  

  War is ugly and war may be evil, yet without war those who embrace evil will create all that is ugly within the world.  Peace is the ultimate beauty, yet peace can only be fully achieved by eliminating all that is ugly and yet, all that is ugly is not evil.  To accept both beauty and ugliness and not equate it with good and evil is to reach a level that human beings have yet to achieve.  Peace must be seen as ugly and accepted as beauty for the human race to realize its destiny  

~ Kathy Napoli

And that is The Way I See It here in Brooklyn,

K