Christmas Card 2021

A Story for a wintry afternoon…. As many of you know, my Christmas Card Story usually gets posted in the weeks following Christmas, sometime between Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and Easter Sunday. This year, this seems the perfect week for it. The temperatures are low and the daylight is short… perhaps a story about this little Bakery in the Italian Section of the Bronx a few years before the turn of the century will help remind us to appreciate how much Beauty and Value can be found in the simplicity of what we do. It is sprinkled with Miracles and Italian expletives!

It has been a wild ride these past two years. Perhaps Showing Up for our Lives is the Miracle!
The idea of sending this out after Christmas is in part to remind us all to celebrate Gratitude, Readiness, Openness and Willingness, and all the values of Christmas the whole year through… The other part is that it takes me a while to write it! 🙂
It is sent to you with Gratitude for our manifesting here upon this planet at the same time, for our paths crossing, for the Life that we share, and with Love…

The Course in Miracles says, “There is no such thing as coincidence and chance plays no part in God’s plan.” The poet, HAFIZ, says, “This place where you are now. God circled on a map for you.”

 And so, inspired by the idea of just how Lucky and Blessed we truly are, I offer the following story…
Perhaps you would like to make yourself a cup of hot chocolate, or bubbling herbal tea, or some delightful warm beverage, and take a little time to cozy up and enjoy this Story Adventure…

Un Fornaio Cuoce (A Baker Bakes)

By Arnold J. Mungioli

I. * * * * Mama * * * *

You would have thought her a crusty old lady. Pugnacious and confrontational, Mama was a tough First Generation Italian American Woman from the Bronx with a heart of gold! If you were a child and walked into her bakery, you would often be hit over the head with a breadstick just a little too hard, and then she would smile the warmest smile and hand it to you. It was an act of generosity, as she saw it. She had made the breadstick herself, so it was a heartfelt and handmade gift. Moreover, she never wanted to see any child go hungry. But no kid likes to be hit over the head with a breadstick. Often the children would cry just from the shock of it, not because they were hurt at all. And Mama would dismiss the child disparagingly and unsympathetically as “shpeel la beep’,” “mingherlino” or “affamato.” She didn’t trust skinny people. And she held firm the belief that to spare the rod was to spoil the child.

“Shpeel la beep’” in Mama’s Italian dialect meant literally, “pipe cleaner” and was used derogatorily to insult a skinny person. Growing up as her daughter — a Second Generation Italian American Girl — these dialect expressions would fly by when the families got together – sometimes you would get a translation. More often than not, you’d get slapped for asking because somehow you were supposed to know that it was a dirty word and not appropriate to ask about that one.

Eventually you would learn to just accept that some phrases get translated and others you just have to figure out for yourself – decipher from sequence context. As I tell you Mama’s story, you’ll learn to do that too.

: Christmas Card 2021 (more…)

It’s not too late.

Summer technically does not end for two more weeks — Autumn begins on Monday September 23rd this year! That’s a Full Two More Weeks!
And while the summer Harvest is beginning to wane, and Autumn’s apples are coming in. You can still find Blueberries… Pluots… Heirloom tomatoes!
Large crops of fresh local Tomatoes, ripe and red! Not from warehouses where they’ve been gassed for color. …Fresh!
Beautiful, Robust, Tasty, and Delicious!
There’s even a few peaches here and there… They might be done sometime this week….
But it ain’t over!
What can you do with that?
What can you make?
What can you Create, just one more time…
See the possibility!
Waste not the golden hours in grudging they’re going! But rather, celebrate what is here!
Savor what is Now!
One of my very favorite meals is Heirloom Tomato Watermelon Salad! (more…)

ReAwakening: Summer 2018

The Scent of Lilacs

The Desktop of my Computer usually has a plethora of Open Documents in the Dock,
Both Creative and Work-Related…
So many Undone Things!

Some of these Projects have been open and in development for a Year
or Two or Seven…
Some resurface periodically,
Others I am just always working on…
It is a slow-going Process.

The Birthing Process, takes a full nine months to make a tiny tiny human being,
one that needs everything — daily bathing, education, clothes, Love and Care…
(more…)

To the Artist with the Broken Wing

As Classes for this Semester come to completion, and the Season of Commencement is upon us, I offer this in honor of my students, past, present, and future. Perhaps it will speak to the Artist in each of us…

Be not afraid.
You are Safe.
Your time here is short — briefer even than we think.
This World is not made to sustain ethereal Souls such as yourself for too long
Perhaps you are from another ether and must return there;
Perhaps the oxygen here cannot sustain your delicate lungs long-term.
Either way, you must get to work.
You mustn’t dawdle.
Mustn’t stravage.
Do what you are here to do.
You must Begin!

When someone arrives with a precious Gift such as yours,

(more…)

Imperfect and Sweet

Nothing perks up a Winter’s Day like Baking a Batch of Cookies!
This week was a time to delight in Baking!
People have told me over the years that the timing in January is quite ideal, as having gotten through the Holidays and all of the treats that they bring, it is just the time when a new treat may be welcome!
I send Holiday Baking to my Accountant’s office every year!
It feels good to let them know that their hard work behind the scenes is Appreciated! They do such a great job, and are among the many unsung heroes that fill our Day to Day Lives.
I bake a few extra for MOM, my Partner, my Office, the Neighbors…

Baking is always Fun to do! It is also a bit of work!
I find that quite often in Life those two things go together.
(more…)

My First Diwali

Arrival in Delhi

Annnnnnd… I’m Here!
…In India
For my First Diwali.

In my last post, I talked about how exciting and Beautiful I find this Holiday!
Read about that HERE
And here I am!
And now, let us talk of Miracles…
About the power of Manifestation…
About all that can Happen for you!
As Abraham Hicks says, “It is as easy to create a Castle as a Button!”

Last April, a Very Special Friend was due to have a Very Special Birthday!
Her Husband, another Very Special Friend, told me a year before that he was taking her to India, and he thought it would be Fun to surprise her with a group of her friends showing up for Breakfast at the same hotel where they’d be staying.
This was all meticulously planned for last April,
But a series of events caused the trip to be rescheduled for Autumn.
A week before we left, my friend said to me, “By the way, you know it’s some festival while we’re there next week. There’s something going on in India then. I think it’s called, ‘Diwali.’”
I Gasped with a sound I had never heard come out of me before — It was some kind of Jubilation mixed with Blissful Recognition and AwesomeSauce!
“DIWALI!!!???”
(more…)

Masculinity

Coming of Age, the Young Men sometimes ask me about Masculinity,
Often wrestling with the Question: Are they “Masculine Enough?”…
I tell them to be careful of ever placing a Question Mark after that word, “Enough,” when referring to themselves — in the context of one’s self, it is a word best followed by an exclamation point.
I am Enough!
I have Enough!
I do Enough!
I give Enough!…
And to always align with their own Inner Being about how Truthful these statements feel,
in terms of how they are Showing Up for their Life
at any given moment.

What is Masculinity?
Masculinity is Gentleness.
(more…)

An Eclipse…

Eclipse Photo from CBS News

e·clipse (i-klips)
n.1. The partial or complete obscuring, relative to a designated
observer, of one celestial body by another.
2. A temporary or permanent dimming or cutting off of light.
— The American Heritage Dictionary

Curious, our fascination with this,
This “Dimming” or “Cutting off of Light”…
Let us enjoy today’s Spectacle!
It is a Rare Event, and it’s Fun!
And when it is done,
Let us consciously Celebrate the ongoing Daily Miracle of Light:
The Sun
The Moon
The Electric Light Bulb
The Candle Flame
Fire
Lightning
Faerie Lights
StarLight…
The Sun has shone in the Sky every day of our Lives!
That is the Real Miracle!
That is the Real Beauty! (more…)

Three Beautiful Things

Charles Johnson Tuthill

Last Week there was a Memorial for my friend CHARLES.
He was a fairly renowned Acting Teacher.
And I Loved Him!

Who could Not Love CHARLES!
There was Nothing not to Love!

It was a Simple and Heartfelt Memorial at an Acting Studio where he taught.
So Many Current and Former Students.
A few presentations, after which anyone who had something to say was invited to come forward.
After several students spoke, I got up,
“So many of you are talking about CHARLES as a Teacher,” I began. “But I knew CHARLES as a Student.”
(more…)

Element-ary

2016-08-26 19.16.56

PTown Sunset 2016

I Love Provincetown.
I think it’s the Sunsets!

In this contemporary world in which year after year, we find ourselves increasingly immersed in the virtual reality of the internet,
it is so refreshing —
So Peaceful —
To return to the Elements.

Sunset on the Beach involves being Fully Present with the Four Miracle Elements: (more…)