EAST COKER By T.S. Eliot:
I said to my soul, be still,
and wait without hope
For hope would be hope for the wrong thing;
wait without love
For love would be love of the wrong thing;
there is yet faith
But the faith and the love and the hope
are all in the waiting.
Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought;
So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness
LOVE AFTER LOVE by Derek Walcott, 1996 Nobel Prize winner for literature
The time will come, when,
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door,
in your own mirror.
And each will smile at the other’s welcome,
and say, “Sit here, Eat. Relax.”
You will love again this stranger who is your Self.
Give wine. Give bread.
Give back your heart,
to this stranger who has loved you
all your life,
whom you ignored for another,
but who knows you by heart.
KNOW THYSELF By Paul Murray
There is a world within you
no one has ever seen,
a voice no one has ever heard—
not even you,
as yet unknown,
you are your own inner seer,
your own interpreter.
And so without eyes and ears grown sharp
for voice or sign,
not to these words
but to that inward voice,
that impulse beating in your heart like a wave.
Turn to that source and you will find
what no one has ever found,
a ground within you no one has ever seen,
a world beyond limits of your dreams’ horizons.
Please note: the words for this poem were taken from an audio tape and so the exact format of the poem is not correct.
I’m pacing. I’m jumpy, unable to settle down. I want to do something and don’t know what. I would like to write but my head is empty. The guy is coming to fix my bathroom but that is not for another 45 minutes. What do I do in the meantime? This is how my days go, little or no direction, unless I make one up.
Today feels a little different and I’m not sure why. I force myself to sit down at the computer hoping can allow something, anything, to come into my head. “Just write,” I tell myself, “it doesn’t matter what.” The two words that come to me are startling. Nothing and enough.
It’s not like I’ve done nothing with my life, it just feels that way. I have three grown children, and two divorces. But it never seems to be enough. I had a modest career as an opera singer and I did get to sing in major opera houses and with almost all of the prestigious names in the business. I sang major roles with all of the smaller opera companies in New York. I loved the singing and even liked doing the smaller roles but wished they were bigger. Yes, I know ego, ego and more ego.
Then I established an office as an agent for opera singers and relevant personnel. I had a lovely group of talented young singers but grew to hate the business because also was not satisfying. I turned it over to a woman I knew who was interested.
I moved on to the next career which was singing and acting as ship’s hostess on cruise ships. At least I was back doing something I loved.That lasted for a few years. I relished the glamour; the gowns every night, the caviar and turtle soup, free use of the beauty shop, and free drinks. Who could ask for more? But life there was like a fantasy. I missed my family and walked away from it. I grew to realize that I needed to have my feet on the ground.
TUNE IN NEXT WEEK FOR MORE
Have you ever felt that way? At odds with yourself not knowing what you wanted to do or who you wanted to be?
ANXIOUS FRUSTRATED I’M NEVER ENOUGH OPERA WRITING
My dog, Star, was introduced to you, but I didn’t tell you how she came to live with me. The beginning really started with another dog named Teddy – which happens to be my eldest son’s name. Although the owner told me about Teddy’s aggressiveness I chose to not hear her. One look and I was in love with that gorgeous animal. Needless to say, the nine months I had him was hair-raising.
He got into fights with other dogs in the community and hurt two of them. I also got hurt (never told my children) by just trying to stop the fights. Neighbors came running. The police were called. The police person was a woman and you could see the fear on her face when she came to the door. Teddy laid down while we were talking and she was surprised. I invited her in while we finished our talk and she remarked about how good he was. What she didn’t know was that he was an angel… but only in the house.
We went away for the summer that year. I convinced myself it would be different. It wasn’t. He got into three fights. This time no one was hurt. But I had had it. When we got home I called and told the former owner that I had to bring him back. She understood and came to get him herself.
It took most of the year to rid myself of feelings, both good and bad. I did the best I could and loved him madly. I also knew I was foolish for thinking I could handle him or change him. Who did I think I was?
It took almost the whole next year for me to realize I wanted another dog. I looked in a few places but those dogs were not the right ones. I went to the Broward Humane Society online. One dog interested me because of her description, but there was no picture of her. This time I wanted a gentle female. I was told that Star was being hosted at someone’s house and the lady would bring her the next morning.
I had mixed feelings as I drove there. Was she the right one? Or was I going to have trouble again? Star didn’t make the decision easy. The hostess told me she gets overexcited but quickly settles down. And she did get excited. She was all over me and my son, and jumped all over the small room we were in. I must admit that what sold me was the fact that she was brought into the Humane Society on my birthday! For me, that was a sign that is was meant to be.
It was one of the best things I ever did.
I can’t believe what just happened. I am on 23&me and the following is a copy of the messaging I shared with a man who figured out that we are Second Cousins! The gentleman who made this happen is Rick Leavitt of Southern California and we share 3.49% of our DNA.
Rick: Hello, I noticed that we are potentially 2nd cousins. Would you like to share information?
Me: Yes. According to the chart we may be connected on my mother’s side. Her mother was born in Belarus and married first husband Alexander Yoslowitz who died of a crane falling and hitting his head. Does any of this sound familiar?
Rick: My grandfather was Wolf (William) Yoslowitz from Grodno area. I don’t know of his brothers except I just connected with Jessie Yoslowitz to find out that Harry was a brother. Wolf lived in NY City and immigrated in (circa)1908. He married three times, two of which was because he became widowed. Was Alexander your father? Does Irving Yoslowitz sound familiar? He was Wolf’s son from his third marriage.
Me: I would have been his granddaughter so what does that make us. Who is Wolf? I’m in Florida where are you?
Rick: If Alex was your grandfather and Wolf was my grandfather then you and I are second cousins. My mother, Nancy (Joselowitz) Leavitt would be your mother’s first cousin. I live in Southern California.
Rick: Hi Irene, I just found out that Wolf had many siblings of which one was your Alexander. If you are his daughter then you and my grandfather are 1st cousins and we share the same ancestors Isaac and Gussie (Nadelstein) Yoslowitz. That makes you and me 2nd cousins once removed. Is your mother’s maiden name Yoslowitz?
Me: Not daughter, granddaughter. Yes, but I did not know that until I was in my 50’s.
Rick: Furthermore, that makes Marc Alexander your first cousin once removed. I have Alexander born in 1891
Me: I just found his Death certificate and YES 1891. I knew none of his relatives. After he was hit in the head from the crane he spent the rest of his life in an insane asylum from water on the brain. He died on Apr. 25, 1962 and was the family’s BIG SECRET. Sad life. Are you near LA.? I will be there in Oct. for a wedding. Who is Mark Alexander?
Rick: Did you know of any of your grandfather’s siblings?
Me: No. Don’t know if my mother did. All I ever had was his death certificate found after my mother died.
Rick: Wolf Joselowitz(yoselovitz) my grandfather, Alex’s brother. Do you see any family resemblance. I know it is a long shot.
Rick: Well at least we figured it out. Nice to know you my second cousin, Irene: Me: Same here.
Rick: Very cool indeed. It’s unfortunate that my mother never knew of her biological parents until I found them about 10-12 years ago through research. She would have enjoyed talking to your mother. My mom died 2 years ago at 98. I live in Rancho Mirage, Ca about 2 1/2 hours east of LA, but raised in Seattle all my life. Do you have any photos of Alex? I can send you a photo of Wolf if you’d like to see it to see if there is any family resemblance. Also I can send a photo of my mom who is your mom’s first cousin. I will need to send it to an email address.
Me: Please send it. email@example.com and stay in touch.
Rick: did they come through?
Me: I do not see any resemblance with either.
Me: Yes. Who is the man again?
Rick: Wolf Joselowitz(Yoselovitz) my grandfather, is Alex’s brother. Do you see any family resemblance. I know it is a long shot.
Me. I would not know. I never saw him and there were no pictures. As I said – only the death certificate.
Lost Family Contact Birth Grandfather Found History
As you can see the picture is of New York City, my home town. I was born in the Bronx in 1934 – therefore the almost a century subtitle – and lived there for most of my life. Florida is now my home, I have been here many years, and I love it.
Perhaps I should have started with my family, but my kids are not kids anymore and have their own families. My grandchildren are not kids and I have a brand new two month old great-grandchild named Noah.
I started this blog because I learned a lot by living so many years. In first grade the principal asked me why I talked so much in class. I told him “I have a lot to say.” I’m a newbie at blogging and I guess we will have to see if that is still true.