You deserve credit

 

 

img_1508

To all my blogging friends out there, I want you to know what an inspiration you’ve been to me while I’ve been recuperating from surgery for the past several months.  Forced to be patient while my body recovered, I was restricted to reading a few books, watching TV and having a few massages thrown in for good measure, to help me through the healing process.

The only options left were a stroll once a day (and make that outdoors please, not on a treadmill as per my doctor’s orders)  between heavy doses of pain medication.  Thank goodness for escape provided by HBO On Demand and Hoopla via my local library service.  When a desperate wave of nostalgia kicked in, I reacted by seeking out titles I had long forgotten, such as “Three Coins in a Fountain”  “Casablanca”and that good old Frank Sinatra classic, “The Man with the Golden Arm.”   In the early days of my recovery, I indulged in some romance titles like Debbie Macomber’s, “Inn at Rose Harbor,” Harper Lee’s “Go Set A Watchman”, as well as an older mystery by Stuart Woods, “Dark Harbor.” Stuart Woods writing is entertaining and light, and a quick read.  Since his mysteries are centered in Florida, I find them very relatable.  Eventually, I was able to concentrate for longer periods and could graduate to more serious titles like “Night” by Elie Wiesel, and  “The New Jim Crow” by Michelle Alexander.  The latter deals with some serious questions concerning the topic of mass incarceration, and what we need to do to avoid it in the first place.  Not to be forgotten was  “When Breath Becomes Air” by Paul Kalanithi & Abraham Verghese – a very touching memoir and bio.  “River of Doubt- Theodore Roosevelt’s Darkest Journey” by Candice Millard was a suspenseful account of one of Roosevelt’s sojourns, which almost cost him his life.  There are other titles that I devoured, but I’ve chosen these as I consider them the more memorable and worthy of recommendation.

I knew I was  fully functional  when I was able to drive to the movies and see “La La Land” & “Moonlight,” on the large screen.  Both nominated for Academy Awards and well done artistically.  I’ve also returned to attending the Author’s Workshops I enjoy so much and will share some interesting reviews in another post.

While I missed participating with my blogging community immensely,  it was always a joy to be able to read the varied and creative content that you posted during that time.  When all I could do was lay in bed and read, you reminded me that I could still dream and experience faraway places and a broad range of ideas, without having to be there physically.   Thanks, and please keep writing.  You never know what a difference your perspective is making in someone else’s life.  Especially you masterfuly lyrical poets!

 

 

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah & Happy New Year

img_1499

To all of you who supported me by visiting my blog this year and leaving comments or giving feedback verbally, I want you to know how much it’s meant to know you took the time out of your busy schedule to do so.

To those of you who have followed me, in spite of the fact that I have been learning a lot from you, I appreciate your willingness to come along for the ride although I haven’t been as consistent as I wanted to be this year.

And those of you whom I’ve chosen to follow, let me tell you how much you’ve inspired me to keep on going and to develop that next post even when there were img_1496periods of extreme physical pain to overcome.  I’m looking forward to putting some of that agony behind me in the future, having recently had surgery, so I believe I will have more time to write.  Thank you for helping me to be brave, motivated and to keep going.  Your poetry, your beautiful prose have empowered me. And finally, to my husband who always takes the time to add eyeballs to anything I do, I thank you for being there.

Happy Holidays to you out there in blogosphere and your families, wherever you are.  Stay inspired keep sharing your work.  You never know when you will touch someone with your words.

 

Gemma

Photos of Florida sunrise & sunset courtesy of Bruce.

 

Lies, Fake News & Falsehoods

It seems that telling the truth is only something we do when we can no longer hide our falsehoods.  There are times when lies are useful – such as when doctors think it useful to conceal from a patient how ill they  truly are; or when a surprise is planned and a little white lie is appropriate to make the secret successful.

Very often our leaders and politicians get a pass on making irrational promises or reneging on commitments, without giving much forethought to the impracticality of their applications and don’t pay the consequences. Several frequent occurrences by sports organizations allowing athletes to break records while using steroids and concealing these facts for years,  is now creating concerns that call for investigations into our testing standards and dictate a definite need to question our moral values.

Deceitful marketing has long been a practIce of retailers who continue to advertise their goods at markdowns listed below false stated prices, giving the impression to customers that they are getting a discount.  It is hardly surprising then that fake news should rise to prominence now, and cause the reactions we are witnessing from people who assume these reports are credible. Conspiracy theories abound with spins on everything that emerges from the recent political campaign promises. Technology to check these stories, although it exists is not yet in place to weed out inaccuracies fast enough.

In the interim, we must be vigilant and careful about what we retweet, and what we repeat. So much of our news is derived from the Internet, that we need to use reliable sources and when in doubt check with sites like http://www.snopes.com or http://www.FactCheck.org for verification of our data.

Above are some spectacular pictures of Florida sunsets.

Election fact or fiction

We’ve all been barraged by stories of sexual assault recently in the media, which the alleged predator dismisses as “fiction.”  I would be remiss if I glossed over the controversial topic without adding a few comments of my own.

As someone who has been a victim of unreported sexual assault, I understand why these women never stepped forward to report the incidents in the first place.  At the time (think about twenty years ago), women who did not have a witness or a police report to substantiate their claims of assault or rape, knew that they would have their cases dismissed as hearsay and that the predator, if well-known in the community, would have the last word.  Allegations of wanting to sue for money were a common defense by predators, and the humiliation in Court was not worth the shame.

I know that my own experience of having a doctor force himself on me and kiss me on the mouth during my hospital stay when I was immobile with crippling back pain, would have been a difficult one to prove.  The curtain was drawn, I was alone with the doctor and totally helpless and in shock when it happened. Needless to say, after I was discharged I never returned to that doctor for follow-up care.

Anita Hill changed the course for women in 1991 when she testified at the confirmation hearings of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and his obscene sexual harassment during the time of her employment as his assistant.  She empowered us to come forward and speak out against the disgusting, unwanted solicitations we encounter in the workplace and in society at large, but unfortunately there are still several who remain untouched by the sensibility of sexual assault and its effects on women, although there may be female members in their own families.

This post is not meant to influence anyone’s decision in the upcoming election.  It is only meant to share a painful experience that I know is similar to what many others have endured, and were helpless to do anything about.  It is meant to empathize with those women who chose to speak out and are afraid of recrimination or dismissal.  Perhaps, there are some of you who failed to listen in the past, but would listen today?