Portrait of Thanksgiving

“If the only prayer you say in your life is ‘thank you,’

that would suffice.” ~ Meister Eckhart

Copyright by JM DiGiacomo 2014

Copyright by JM DiGiacomo 2014

Once again

she touched the emptiness with

a stroke of genius, had

a brush with color, used

her sense of shape and style, portrayed

her imagination with

simplicity and sophistication, and

found her purpose in doing

what she loved

for the sake of being

lost

in everything

she was meant to be.

 

My mom, June, rarely draws or paints now. At 85 she has reduced mobility and arthritis in her back and hands, but she was determined to create Thanksgiving cards for some family members.

I just had to share the beautiful result of her perseverance: a gift she has given me that I must pass on.

 

“It is never too late to be what you might have been.” ~ George Eliot

“Do not grow old, no matter how long you live. Never cease to stand like curious children before the Great Mystery into which we were born.” ~ Albert Einstein

 

If you like my mom’s work, please glance over to the right hand sidebar and towards the top of this blog where there is a link to a 2015 Calendar, Of Two Artists, which features her art and mine – now available at lulu.com.

Happy Thanksgiving

(Thursday, November 27)

to all in the US

and the world.

Gratitude is a most powerful healer.

 

 donatellasmallest©Artwork and writing, unless otherwise indicated, are the property of Diane M Denton. Please request permission to reproduce or post elsewhere with a link back to bardessdmdenton. Thank you.

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Repost: Contemplation on Saint Cecilia – Feast Day: November 22nd

The martyred Saint Cecilia (2nd Century) is the patron saint of music, musicians, and poetry.

I’m so grateful for all the arts, including music and poetry, and for those who participate in them in whatever way they are inspired to.

So, every year I like to repost my prose-poem below in honor of Saint Cecilia’s Feast Day, which is November 22nd.

As she was dying she sang to God. It is also written that as the musicians played at her wedding she “sang in her heart to the Lord” … and that she listened to the voices of angels.

Copyright 2012 by DM Denton

Copyright 2012 by DM Denton

 

 

If music was a light, it would sound brighter in the dark. Like the glow around the moon, it would fade to illuminate the stars.

If music was composed of rays, it would lift the mist from the world, until its brilliance played across the skies not silenced by the clouds.

If music was a mirror, it would reflect each soul that listened.

If music was eternity, it would be heard beyond all breathing, accompanied by the heartstrings of the angels, never to be broken.

If music was silence, it would be for our ears to hear nothing but its calling us to paradise.

 

 


 

“Oohs” and “aahs” made Master Purcell’s cheeks pinker as he took the hand of Leonora and brought her forward. Unfortunately, cheers and even whistles greeted the prospect of her singing ‘She Loves and She Confesses Too’ accompanied by a self-directed Charles Coleman on the theorbo. Her bright eyes and voice, swelling chest and gestures were unashamed and confident that honor was no match for love—a meaning Donatella’s mother helped her understand. No translation was necessary when a long-faced Henrietta stepped up to insist on concealment of the heart’s desire, a nobler course than pleading for or forcing love, so it was lost to silence in the grave. Despondency sighed out with her breath, Leonora only agreeing as her echoing part required. The divergence and blend of their crying vocals was joined in a dramatic and richly harmonic final section by Master Purcell singing bass, all three voices slowing and softening until they culminated in a single sound of grief.

Stillness inescapably filled the room like smoke overcoming its occupants, only broken by fits of throats clearing and coughing. Donatella squeezed her mother’s hand or her mother squeezed hers, as aware as everyone else there was more despair to come. Draghi, who had claimed the harpsichord again, followed William Turner’s sudden falsetto into ‘A Dark and Melancholy Grove’. The countertenor’s head and chest voice mixed on waves of low and high emotions, his consonants clear and vowels open, nothing about his singing pushed and yet such force in its exhibition; creating a pain in Donatella so deep and beautiful, pleasure could never again be preferable.

A swelling grief siezes on ev’ry string,
And I weep when I should sing.

~ Excerpt from To A Strange Somewhere Fled (sequel to A House Near Luccoli) VERY SOON to be published by All Things That Matter Press.

 

donatellasmallest©Artwork and writing, unless otherwise indicated, are the property of Diane M Denton. Please request permission to reproduce or post elsewhere with a link back to bardessdmdenton. Thank you.

My Review of Montpelier Tomorrow

Montpelier Tomorrow was written by fellow All Things That Matter Press author, Marylee MacDonald. Here is my 5-star review:

An Important Story about Coping with Adversity

Montpelier TomorrowAt its most obvious, ‘Montpelier Tomorrow’ is about a family’s struggle with one of their own being diagnosed with ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis or Lou Gehrig’s disease) and the demanding caregiving and improvised coping that ensues. Even with all the publicity this incurable progressive disorder has recently received, this book’s ability to reach out might have been limited in its appeal to those who had specific experience of ALS or some other chronic neurological condition such as MS. However, it has so much more to offer than a discourse on the ravages of ALS. Written from the heart with intelligence and honesty, a touch of the everyday on almost every page, wit tempering the harshness of the subject, vulnerability and frustration given as much attention as the call to strength and sacrifice; this very readable book speaks to the reality and challenges of sustaining relationships with family and friends despite–to borrow a concept from Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath–life’s jerks.

Through lithe storytelling Ms. MacDonald’s narrative tackles the feelings and behavior that rise out of the sense of powerlessness illness can evoke, as well as conflicts that may never have a chance for complete resolution. It addresses the material, emotional and even conscionable resources that affect each one’s ability to cope with adversity–how some grit their teeth and do things that have to be done and others avoid the nitty-gritty of the situation. No judging going on, though. By her own admission (in an interview with the Literary Fiction Book Review), Ms. MacDonald says she writes to be a “storyteller not a preacher” and throughout the book she remains true to that objective. She handles all aspects of the story without pretension or sentimentality and offers a compellingly sincere personal perspective.

The book’s narrator, Colleen, mother-in-law of the ALS sufferer, is independent, forthright, loyal and forgiving. For anyone who has ever had to relinquish their own routine or goals as a caregiver, she is relieving to identify with because she doesn’t play the martyr or mask her grief, desire and irritation, or hide her human frailties from others and herself. However, she is honorable and strives to love unconditionally and pragmatically, to give herself over to caring for and understanding her daughter, sons, son-in-law, grandchildren, students and even strangers such as a young unwed mother, while realizing she has to honor her own needs and forge ahead with fulfilling them in whatever way is still viable.

The ending offers the unexpected in terms of what is about to be lost: the end of life looming for us all at every moment, but, also, the possibilities for how it will go on.

I highly recommend Montpelier Tomorrow, which is available in Paperback and Kindle editions.

Read review on Amazon.

Check out Marylee MacDonald’s blog.

 

Announcement: I have created a 2015 Calendar, Of Two Artists. It will be available very soon. This is a standard size calendar more reasonably priced than the one I did last year and would make a very affordable gift to others or yourself!

Two artists, JM DiGiacomo (mother) and DM Denton (daughter), take your through the year with their naturalistic, impressionistic and even playful artwork. D M Denton, novelist and poet, offers sublime reflections on each month.

Cover Image for Website etc

If you are interested in being notified of its availability, please click here to contact me.  At the same time, let me know if you are interested in being notified of the release date of the sequel to A House Near Luccoli: To A Strange Somewhere Fled. I just received promising news that it should be available early in 2015.

Here is an excerpt from a pre-publication review by Deborah Bennison of Bennison Books of To A Strange Somewhere Fled:

To A Strange Somewhere Fled Header with cover image circle-cropped resizedIn this beautifully realized sequel to A House Near Luccoli, the author once again effortlessly blends the vividly imagined fictional character Donatella with real-life historical figures and settings to create a world that is as beguiling as it is believable.

We are invited to follow Donatella’s progress as she faces a very different future from the one she had begun to imagine for herself – without the quixotic musical genius who reawakened her passions and zest for life, the 17th century Italian composer, Alessandro Stradella.

This is a subtle, understated exploration of love and lost possibility and there are no easy answers or conventional happy endings … Donatella, her heart awoken and then broken, remains ‘another man’s secret’. She can perhaps reveal herself again, but surrender has many guises.

Scrupulously researched and historically accurate, the novel immerses the reader in its historical period. That we can meet Purcell within these pages and find him totally believable as a living, breathing human being is a mark of the author’s imaginative powers and literary skill. There are, appropriately enough, no false notes to be found.

If you haven’t read A House Near Luccoli yet, there is still time before the release of its sequel. It’s available in Paperback (now 12% off on Amazon), Kindle, NOOK Book, and audio editions. If you’re interested in a signed copy, please contact me as that can certainly be arranged.

A Friendship with Flowers Kindle CoverAnd please excuse one more note of self-promotion: a reminder that A Friendship with Flowers is now available in Kindle edition.

As always, thanks for your interest and support. Sharing my passion for writing, art and however creativity wishes to express itself through me continues to be a blessing whether it reaches out to one or many.

donatellasmallest©Artwork and writing, unless otherwise indicated, are the property of Diane M Denton. Please request permission to reproduce or post elsewhere with a link back to bardessdmdenton. Thank you.

Publication – Dancing in the Rain

I am so grateful to Christine Moran for inviting me to take part in her journey to the upcoming publication of her poetry anthology, Dancing in the Rain. Watch this space for its release – all profits from sales will go to The Multiple Sclerosis Trust.

journeyintopoetry

This post is to let you all know that my  book Dancing in the Rain, published by Bennison Books will be available shortly. The image which I am sharing here today will appear on the cover and has been created by my dear friend Diane Denton, artist, poet and author of a truly lovely historical novel. ‘A House Near Luccoli‘. She has also written a sequel called ‘To a Strange Somewhere Fled’ which will be published soon by All Things That Matter Press. I can highly recommend the first one and am very excited about the sequel. Thank you so much Diane!

I would like to thank all of you who have followed my poetry journey so far, from its very unsure beginnings in 2011. Every single one of you who has taken the time to visit my blog and comment has had an input in this book, because…

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