What Do I Want to be When I Grow Up

I was pacing, jumpy, unable to settle down. I wanted to do something and didn’t know what. I’d like to write but my head’s empty. The guy’s coming to fix my bathroom but that’s not for another 45 minutes. What to do in the meantime? This was how my days went. Little or no direction unless I made one up.  

Today feels different and I’m not sure why. I force myself to sit down at the computer hoping words will come. “Just write,” I tell myself, “it doesn’t matter what.” Two words go through my head, nothing and enough. It isn’t like I did nothing with my life, it just feels that way, like it’s never enough. I had a modest career as an opera singer and got to sing in major opera houses and with almost all of the prestigious names in the business. I was fortunate to sing major roles with all most of the smaller opera companies in every part of New York State. I loved singing; I didn’t always love doing smaller roles. No, it wasn’t ego. It was the need to express emotions inside I couldn’t get out of me any other way.  

I established an office as an agent for opera singers and relevant personnel, a business I gave up because it wasn’t satisfying. I gave it to a woman who was interested and moved on to my next career – singing and acting as a ship’s hostess on cruise ships. That lasted for a few years. I loved the glamor, the gowns every night, the caviar and turtle soup, free use of the beauty shop, and free drinks. Who could ask for more? Me. Life there was so much like a fantasy that I finally walked away, realizing that I missed my family and needed to have my feet on the ground.  

After settling in at home I go through a major existential crisis followed by an awakening that sends me back to school to finish my bachelor’s degree and go on to get my Masters while studying a different kind of psychology called Psychosynthesis. I work in the field of addictions and think I found my place. I do my Ph.D. in psychology and holistic healing when I come across another kind of therapy that integrates voice, movement, and breathwork. Voice Movement Therapy combined interests I had throughout my life. The two-year course is stimulating and provocative until the last module. The founder and trainer shows the class his true colors. He methodically attacks and demolishes everyone in the room. Since this horrendous experience, I am not able to use the material I learned.  

The big question that constantly rears its head is, “What do I want to do with the rest of my life?” I say out loud, “What do I want to be when I grow up?” That’s the one I can’t answer. I’ve asked that question for years. My family laughs it off and moves on to the next topic. It’s not that I have nothing to look forward to. I fill up my time with things I love to do – singing in musicals, acting in plays, doing commercials, and see my psychology clients three days a week.  

I cut back after having a full-time practice when my father dies. I need to grieve my own way. I start writing and although it helps, it’s not enough. All of it together is not enough. Is this how I’m supposed to finish out my days? Tears well up, so I knew there is something else. A major change? A grand move? I consider going to Afghanistan or Costa Rica to volunteer and work to help empower the women of those countries. My deep desire is to help women who have no voice. Perhaps I identify with them and want to show them the possibilities of a different existence. My dissertation was about helping women find their voices through movement and sound work. I didn’t think this was the kind of work the women of third world countries need. I didn’t presume to know what they needed but whatever it was, I wanted to learn and help. 

Am I being a drama queen? Am I immersed in my own grandiosity to think I could do this? Can I survive in the conditions in which they live? What will I learn and how will it change me? Will I go and be disappointed? Will I be able to help at all? A million questions go through my head with no answers. And the fear of making such a change, such a commitment holds me back from deciding. 

When will there be enough? Enough applause, enough awards, enough recognition to satisfy that attention-starved little girl who still lives inside me and needs to know she exists. Not just exists physically, but as a person with feelings, thoughts, ideas, hopes, and dreams that are valid. 

 

SORRY – I really want to give my books away. This is not a Sham.

The problem is I don’t know how to do this and keep everyone’s emails safe. I need the email to get in touch and have the address to send the book and gift.

If anyone can help me please let me know. About 100 books are waiting.

Please reply to this email if you can help.

Thanks, Irene

 

 

I Must Clean Out The Office

THE BOOKS LISTED BELOW ARE ONES I READ. SOME HAVE MARKINGS OR HIGHLIGHTING, VERY FEW ARE OLD AND YELLOW. THEY ARE ALL IN READABLE CONDITION SO….

                  THIS WILL BE FIRST COME – FIRST TO GET – SO JUMP IN, SIGN UP ON MY BLOG SO I HAVE YOUR ADDRESS AND CAN MAIL YOUR CHOICE.

And HAPPY READING   

           The first to sign up will also receive another small gift.                                      

JUST FOR FUN READING

  1. DOUBLE CROSS, by Sam & Chuck Giancana
  2. BILLY BATHGATE, by E.L. Doctorow
  3. ECHOES, by Maeve Binchy
  4. CRISIS POINT, by Ken Currie
  5. THE GENERAL’S DAUGHTER, by Nelson Demille
  6. THE CHARM SCHOOL, by Nelson Demille
  7. SUITE 606, by J.D. Robb
  8. THE PARSIFAL MOSAIC, by Robert Ludlum
  9. THE SICILIAN, by Mario Puzo
  10. SHADOW OF THE STORM, by Debra Dier
  11. PRAYER FOR THE DEAD, by David Wiltse
  12. THE TWO MRS. GRENVILLES, by Dominick Dunne
  13. THE HOUSE BY THE SEA, by May Sarton
  14. SHAMAN, by Noah Gordon
  15. BACK TO EDEN, by Jethro Kloss
  16. TERRORIST, by John Updike
  17. COLD MOUNTAIN, by Charles Frazier
  18. FUGITIVE PIECES, by Anne Michaels
  19. DRESS YOUR FAMILY IN CORDUROY & DENIM, by David Sedaris
  20. THE SALAMANDER, by Bayard
  21. THE LINCOLN LAWYER, by Michael Connelly
  22. ASHES TO ASHES, by Tami Hoag

CRAFT OF WRITING

  1. THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE, by William Strunk Jr & E.B. White
  2. THE WRITER’S GUIDE TO CHARACTER TRAITS, by Linda N. Edelstein
  3. MEMORIES, MILESTONES & MEMOIRS, by Emily Rosen
  4. I GOTTA CROW, WOMEN, VOICE & WRITING, by Jill Hackett
  5. BODY LANGUAGE, by Julius Fast
  6. READING LIKE A WRITER, by Francine Prose
  7. 20 MASTER PLOTS & HOW TO BUILD THEM, by Ronald B Tobias
  8. THE WRITER’S JOURNEY, by Christopher Vogler
  9. THE PLOT WHISPERER BOOK OF WRITING PROMPTS, by Martha Alderson
  10. WIRED FOR STORY, by Lisa Cron
  11. BREAK INTO FICTION, by Mary Buckham & Dianna Love
  12. THE ART OF FICTION WRITING, by Emily Hanlon
  13. WRITING DOWN THE BONES, by Natalie Goldberg
  14. WRITING THE NATURAL WAY, by Gabriele Lusser Rico
  15. PROPOSALS THAT WORK, by Lawrence F Locke
  16. HOW I SOLD 1 MILLION E-B00KS IN 5 MONTHS, by John Locke
  17. WRITING YOUR AUTHENTIC SELF, by Lois Guarino
  18. THE ARTIST’S WAY, by Julia Cameron179 WAYS TO SAVE A NOVEL, by Peter Selgin
  19. OLD FRIEND FROM FAR AWAY, Memoir
  20. PRACTICE OF WRITING MEMOIR, by Natalie Goldberg
  21. MORE, A Memoir of Hungers, by Sara Truit
  22. MEMOIR, by Judith Barrington
  23.    INTIMATE READING, The Contemporary Women’s Memoir, by Janet Mason Ellerby         

                                     SPIRITUALITY

  1. THE ART OF HAPPINESS, by The Dali Lama & Howard C Cutler
  2. THRESHOLDS OF THE MIND , by Bill Harris
  3. STOP YOUR CRAVINGS , by Jennifer Workman
  4. THE SOUL’S CODE , by James Hillman
  5. WATER DANCE , by Juliana Larson
  6. CROSSING THE UNKNOWN SEA , by David Whyte
  7. ARISTOTLE, NICOMACHEAN ETHICS , by Martin Ostwald
  8. THE REIKI TOUCH , by William Lee Rand
  9. ANAM CARA, A Book of Celtic Wisdom, John O’Donohue
  10. THE LIGHTWORKERS WAY, by Doreen Virtue, PH.D.
  11. AWAKENING THE HEART, John Welwood
  12. THE MIRACLE OF MINDFULNESS, by Thich Nhat Hanh
  13. TRANSFORMATION AND HEALING, Thich Nhat Hanh
  14. ANATOMY OF THE SPIRIT, Caroline Myss, Ph.D.
  15. FINDING COURAGE, by Irene Zahava
  16. AWAKENING THE HEROES WITHIN, Carol S. Pearson

 

            JOURNALING

          RENEWAL, a time for you. Personal Journal, Deepak Chopra

          My life pages, by Janet Conner

I Wish it Were Over

IMG_0513 - CopyI am giving up hope. I hear my Abba and Ima talking about the council and what may happen to me. They have many choices while I have none. They can cut off my hand, shave my head, tie me to a post for days, and beat me until bones are broken. And no one can say a word against them.

Banishment may be the kindest thing they can do. I don’t want to hope for that. It might interfere with something less horrible I have not thought of.

What am I to do? My days are filled with anguish and a bad tummy. I shake all over as I try to obey Ima’s instructions. When will the torture end? Whatever their decision, I hope it comes quickly. It is hard to live this way, not knowing what will happen and how I will survive.

I am sorry to write all this to you but it is the truth – the way it is for now and I don’t know how much longer. If you do not want to hear from me anymore I understand. I wouldn’t want to hear it either.

I will let you know as soon as I find out and thanks for being my friend.

If you don’t hear from me it will be because they chose death.

Pray for me.

Elisha

Mountain Of Full Moons is now available on Amazon .

Healthy Eating. Why Cauliflower?

Cauliflower, spinach, and Chickpea Patties.

6 servings. 1 hour/15 minutes.

3 cups 2 inch cauliflower florets.  1 ½ cups cooked chickpeas

1 10oz. package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, squeezed of excess liquid.

¾ cup finely chopped red bell pepper

4 scallions, white and light green part only, finely chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

½ tsp. ground cumin

½ tsp. ground turmeric

Sea Salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 cup Panko bread crumbs, more if needed

4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, more if needed

Sauce of choice. Tahini, Salsa, spiced yogurt

Preheat oven 350- line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

Place florets in a steamer over 2 in. water, medium high heat, 10-15 min.

Use potato masher to crush chickpeas and cauliflower til smashed but not smooth. Add spinach, bell pepper, scallions, garlic, parsley & mix well. Stir in cumin, turmeric, 1 tsp. salt, ¼ tsp. black pepper. Add eggs & ½ breadcrumbs. Stir to combine. Shape 1/3 cup chickpea mix into ½ in. patty. Coat with crumbs and place in large skillet with heated 2 Tbs. olive oil. Cook until golden brown about 4 min. then flip over. Repeat until all are done.

Benefits of Cauliflower: contains chemopreventive properties that reduces the risk of developing early cancer and stop further reproduction of tumor cells.

It contains good amounts of vitamin K that shows anti-inflammatory properties. This vitamin is an essential nutrient that prevents vitamin K deficiency and hemorrhages.

Checkout Mountain Full of Moons, now on pre-order on Amazon

Things are getting worse.

I was called before the council three times in the past four moons. They are very angry. I think they will banish me. If they do, how will I survive? I’m young and have never been anywhere but here and I’ve heard many stories of bandits who rape and kill for no reason. Where will I go? I do not know of any other places except Urusalim, of course. Everyone knows about that big city. How can I get there?

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I know I am going on and on but I can’t figure out what to do or how to do it. If they banish me I may never see my family again. Never feel safe again. My head is in a tangle and I can’t straighten it out. Not even my brother can help me. He knows so much more than I do because he is a boy and gets taught all kinds of things. 

I am shaking so much I can’t write anymore. 

Please pray for me. I do not know what will happen until the next time I write. Thank you all for listening and not pushing me away because I am young and stupid. I am stupid – they tell me that all the time.

I must go and try to work it all out. Hope to talk to you soon.

If you know anything about my country and where I might be safe getting to and living there, Please, Please, let me know. I am willing to do any work that is wanted for my keep.

Mountain of Full Moons is now available on Amazon.

 

Who Is God?

My parents said it out loud, “I don’t believe in God.” I never heard that word before. Not even in the synagogue, I was once taken to when I was six where they spoke in a different language. Females had to walk up steep steps to a room where we sat and listened while the men downstairs did the praying. I was bored and wanted to be where things were happening – with the men. It was not fair and I was angry.

I don’t know if my parents always felt that way or if it was because of WW2 and the Holocaust. They decided that there couldn’t be a God because he never would have allowed it to happen, or if God was real, he was horrible for allowing six million Jews to die.

I sang a song by Richard Strauss in a concert. My Dad rushed over to me and was furious. “How can you sing that. Strauss supported Hitler”.

“Why is that important, it was twenty-five years ago. Music is about the beauty and emotion of the song, not who wrote it,” I said. His face turned red and he walked away.

Spirituality is another thing that was not spoken of as if it tainted religion. It was laughed at, derided, ridiculous, stupid and any term that fits. That idea is still so strong in me that it’s taken a whole year for me to be brave enough to pen this on my blog.

It tuned out that spirituality was a great part of my life. It happened slowly at first, creeping in unasked, and turned out to be the way for me, my path and I will forever be grateful for its gentle insistence.

I Am In Big Trouble. Help me

MountainOfFullMoons BLOGIma did not say a word about my finishing all my chores, but at least she was not mean. I guess if I want to not be in trouble, I always have to do it all. It is not like I did not know that, but I think my anger at Ima for her meanness made me angry. I think I just taught myself a lesson.

But that is not all that is going on. Did I tell you about Sandalphon? I do not think I did. He comes to me like a cloud and talks to me, tells me about life and doing a better job. I talk to him and the other day I got caught by some kids. They went home and told their parents I was talking to the air. The parents went to the Elder Council and told them and know I am in big trouble. This is not the first time this happened, but now I am older, almost thirteen seasons of growth and the whole village is talking about how to punish me.

They do not understand that he is a helper and they think I am crazy. The kids threw rocks at me yesterday. I have bruises all over my arms that I hid them from Ima. I have no say in what the council decides. Women are not allowed to attend the meetings. The council could decide to hurt me or send me out into the wilderness,IMG_0513 - Copy never to come back.

I do not believe in God but I am asking you to pray for me.

Speak if Spoken To

MountainOfFullMoons BLOGIt seems to me that I’ve been alone all my life. Even when I was surrounded by people I was alone. It was a feeling, I know that. But I also know it interfered with my life. It was not that I didn’t want to or didn’t have anything to say, but there was a strong tendency to hold back.

I don’t remember going to anyone’s house where I could play with someone or playing with anyone at home, except the neighbor’s son, Ronald. But he was a boy and didn’t play with dolls or color.

I had a hard time being close. Not with everyone, but a lot of people. It was almost as if I didn’t know how or I was so used to not speaking, that it was natural. That sounds crazy, unnatural but I spent most of my childhood that way, being shut up, and I think it became ingrained.

Those who know me would tell you the opposite. I learned how through the years to take part in any conversation and if asked a personal question, to answer it. But in those years I didn’t offer very much, as if I was on guard.

My father and mother would tell you that I didn’t shut up. I told the principal in first grade that I talked too much because I had a lot to say. And I did have a lot to say. But I had a lot more that was kept inside. Not because I wanted to, but because I didn’t knowimage-2 how. In my house, it was not acceptable for a child to speak unless you were spoken to. Not that my house was quiet. My parents fought all the time didn’t care who heard them. I, on the other hand, was consulted only when I had to be – what time would I be home, what movie was I going to see, and the rest of the time was filled with orders. Do this, that, or the other thing.

They fought, I listened. I don’t know what they talked about in bed at night. They were on the other side of my wall. I could hear their voices but not what they said. Thinking about it now, I wonder if they ever talked about how they felt because they never asked me. Not even once. ‘How do you feel’ was reserved for the physical. They never asked about friends, if I had any, who they were, where they lived.

Occasionally they would ask about school, but only occasionally. One of the regular orders was, ‘Do your homework,’ after the dinner dishes were put away.
My parents were not exactly approachable, and I was left to my own devices to figure out my world, to maneuver and survive in it. From the very beginning, my world was either harsh-voiced or non-existent and I hated the yelling.

I Did It

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I really did. All my chores. And I did it without complaining. I even did it without being asked.

I think my ima was amazed though she did not say one word. Neither did my abba, but I think they were both happy and did not want to spoil the contentment.
I must admit that I am tired. It was a lot to do at one time. Now I understand better how Ima feels. She works all day. Whether it’s making thread from the wool, or taking care of the garden, cooking the meals, making clothes on the loom, or cutting wood when Abba is away.

How will I be able to do it all when I get married. If I ever get married or even work for someone else. It leaves no time to breathe, to have fun, to sing or play the harp. It is no wonder they are always exhausted and ask me to do things for them. I never thought about that before.

Will I ever play my harp again? It hurts my heart to know it is there right next to my sleep mat and I can not touch it – unless I want a beating. That’s Ima’s way of making me behave. I still do not understand why she is mean – whether it is my fault or is just because it is. It started when I was a child.