Day 44: Burning Freedom

14 February 2011

The 44th Day of 2011:
The Lifecycle of Freedom and the Power of Words

On the 11th day of February. . . last Friday. . . after 18 days of a determined, often angry, but consistently peaceful massive resistance and protest. . . Egypt was liberated from dictatorship.  The modern day Pharaoh, President Mubarak resigned.  The message delivered by his vice president announcing Mubarak would finally step down after a 30-year rule over the people. . . took about 30 seconds to announce. Continue reading

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Day 38: Mothers and Memories

The 38th Day of 2011

Mothers and Memories

The 4th of February was the second anniversary of my mother’s death.  It was the fifth anniversary of the death of Betty Friedan, a founding mother of the modern Feminist movement, and author of The Feminine Mystique. Change was in the air as her book was published. Many women like my mother read her words. And new conversations began.  My mother and her friends began to talk about and do things not before imagined in my childhood suburban town. Friedan didn’t get it all correct; she didn’t know everything.  She wrote what she knew and observed in her peers.  She changed the lives of women who then changed the ways in which they talked to their daughters. Continue reading

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Day 31: The New Forever

Monday the 31st day of January 2011

The last day of the first month of the New Year.  At midnight newness turns into February. Another year proceeds with or without our permission.

During January’s 31 days we, a people belonging to one country, were wounded by a man’s internal demons that erupted into a public violence.  His gun’s bullets brought death and disability, misunderstanding and sorrow. Tucson, Arizona is a place of beauty awash with colors provided by its natural palette. A part of the sheltering Southwest, the landscape and terrain do not suggest the imminent disruption of life. Reality does that — it surprises us individually and communally. Our daily lives are interrupted again and again.  We turn around to find dreams transformed into nightmares. Continue reading

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Day 24

Monday.

This is the 24th day of 2011.  This year no longer feels so young to me. Tucson prematurely aged the calendar and many of us along with it. I am determined to stay far from the shadow of fear that leads to emotional and creative paralysis.  In Manhattan today it is about 8º — far too frigid to risk an adventure into the urban tundra. The Stone Sage Lion who lives on my terrace has put on his icy thinking cap. He is staring through the glass doors perhaps wishing to come inside.  He seems to suggest it’s time to pause from concentrating on coldness and solitude.  I am giving a thought then to spring, and the inevitable renewal that accompanies it.  For now, the task is to “winter through” individually and together.  And here is the first stanza of Rilke’s XIIIth Sonnet To Orpheus.  I am taking these words with me this week  as an intimate companion.

Keep ahead of all parting, as if it were behind you, like the winter just now passed, for in winter you are so endlessly Winter, that only by Wintering through it will the heart survive.

Rainer Maria Rilke, Number 13, Part Two, Sonnets to Orpheus

Photo Credit: Alida Brill

©2011 Alida Brill, From This Terrace

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