Saturday is for Sharing – Musings on Saturday Morning

 

Saturday is for Sharing

 Saturday Musings ~

on the LAST DAY OF JUNE, 2018

Lynda McKinney Lambert

 

 

An essay by Lynda McKinney Lambert

 

Walk dogs – Check!

Morning Coffee – Check!

Open window for Miss Opal – Check!

Read E-mail – Check!

 

Miss Opal is my feline writing companion.

She is seated on top of my file cabinet, watching intently out the open window as she does each morning.  Like all cats, she is intrigued by the bird sounds and life passing by on this rural western Pennsylvania road. We begin our days before dawn. We rise with the crows and the red-tailed hawks that soar over the landscape outside our window. 

 

Next Saturday, I will present my first Guest Author on “Saturday is for Sharing.”

That is exciting because I have some stellar authors lined up for this new adventure.  You will love meeting my guests!

 

I am so interested in the responses to the questions I ask my guests.

Reading them and working on the articles caused me to do some musing on my own thoughts about what I do as a visual  artist and a writer/author. I work across disciplines in everything I do.

 

First, I considered my own challenge –

I am a blind person.

 

Unlike some other artists and writers who are challenged with a handicap or disability, I have never written much about the sudden sight loss that I experienced eleven years ago.

 

I was at the height of a wonderful career and my personal life was fantastic the year I turned sixty-four.

 

I worked out at the gym 6-7 days a week. My body was so healthy and I felt so good in my skin. Hi energy! Excited about life! Living my passions! High Achiever!

 

Other pleasures-

  • My teaching schedule at Geneva College (Beaver Falls, PA)). It was a career that I loved. My courses included lecturing and teaching in the Humanities, Fine Art Studio classes, and special courses in English literature.

  • My studies and teaching extended to include a month-long course I taught while living in Europe every summer. I wrote and drew in my sketchbook every day as I traveled.

  • My first book, Concerti: Psalms for the Pilgrimage developed from my sketchbook jottings and drawings. Life was a grand adventure.

  • In my artist’s life, I was having exhibitions all over the world and had done so since 1976. Literature and art are my passions.  I was so blessed to be living my dream.

 

In a day, that all ended.  While I say it ended, what really happened is that it all changed dramatically when I lost my vision due to Ischemic Optic Neuropathy.  How does a person pick up the pieces and move on, when it seems that you have lost everything you have in your life?  The answer is one that comes slowly – over time. The answer unravels, day by day, year after year.  It has now been eleven years since my own personal disaster stopped me cold.

 

When I thought I was finished

and my life was over – 

I was mistaken!

 

I’ve moved on in my art making to new places where I might never have gone without the sight loss. However, I realize now that my mind was going into uncharted territory before the sight loss.

 

In my writing life, I have written about sight loss by creating some essays about individual works of art that I created after I began to recover. I had intense rehabilitation training – but it took a few years for me to be able to do art work again.

 

I realized that I do not want to be represented by blindness. It was not my choice and I will never embrace it. I will never “get over it.”

I seldom say that I am blind because I don’t want to be viewed through that lens.

But there! I have spoken about what I think of this disability.

I am blind.

  • Yet, I write books.
  • Yet, I make fine art.
  • Yet, I walk by INNER VISION, not SIGHT
  • Yet,  my art is in international exhibitions.
  • Yet, I win awards for my art and writing.
  • Yet, my  life is active and wholesome.

Yet, I have a voice and I will use that voice to speak through literature and art.

All’s well.

Though I walk in cloudy mists and shadow…

 

Yet, I walk!

 

 

Today, as I read the comments that one of my physically challenged guests wrote to me, I began to think more about my own visual challenges.

 

I know some visitors to my blog will read this story and will be inspired and encouraged, to face their own life situations no matter what they are.  I want you to know we all give a voice to what we all deal with every day.

 

Some of us offer hope & insight with our words.

Some of us speak to the world through our works of art.

Some of us write extensively and create works of art also.

However, we choose to do it, we put a voice to our thoughts in our creative works.

 

If you were to scratch down through the surface of me, you will find that  I am an artist at the core, and my writing evolves from art – and art-related ideas. My writing is created as I would create a work of art – in many layers.  These days, in my writing studio, I am layering words and images as I paint the pictures that come through in poetry and non-fiction essays.

 

You are not a disability.

You are not a handicap.

You are courage personified.

The world needs to hear what you have to say.

 

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“Saturday is for Sharing is created by Lynda McKinney Lambert.

Copyright June 30, 2018. All Rights Reserved.

 

PLEASE pass this message along to you friends today.

Please comment at the end of this message. Please re-blog.

Thank you for visiting with me today. Happy Final Saturday of June, 2018.

All;s Well!

Visit me:  www.lyndalambert.com

 

Read more stories by Lynda Lambert at:

http://www.llambert363.blog

 

Author:

Concerti: Psalms for the Pilgrimage: Poems, Kota Press, 2003

Walking by Inner Vision: Stories & Poems, DLD Books, 2017

first snow : Chapbook. Manuscript completed and ready to send to editors for publication.

Star Signs: New & Selected Poems.  Manuscript completed and ready to send to editors for publication.

Editors: contact me for information & viewing.

My Author’s Page:  http://www.dldbooks.com/lyndalambert

 

 

Lynda’s Blogs and More…

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Knitting15_Scarf9_4
Lynda Lambert – My Pink Scarf

Lynda McKinney Lambert. Copyright 2016.. All Rights Reserved.

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Lynda’s 2 blogs:

“Walking by Inner Vision” Link:  Walking by Inner Vision Blog
“SCANdalous – Recollections” Link:  SCANdalous – Recollections Blog
Contact Lynda:  riverwoman@zoominternet.net
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Lynda’s Bio

Lynda McKinney Lambert is the author of “Concerti: Psalms for the Pilgrimage” published by  Kota Press. To order this book, click here:  Concerti: Psalms for the Pilgrimage
Lynda  authors two blogs on writing, the humanities, arts, and faith.
She is a freelance writer and her poetry and essays appear in numerous books and literary journals.  She is a retired professor of fine arts and humanities and she exhibits her fiber arts in exhibitions worldwide.
Currently, Lynda  has two books in development for publication in 2016.
Contact me:  riverwoman@zoominternet.net

If you would like a signed copy of my book, contact me for information.

Lynda McKinney Lambert. Copyright 2016. All rights reserved.

Remembering Grandma Farm

 

NOTE:  With many thanks to my creative friend Lynda Lambert for asking me to be one of her “guest bloggers,” I happily share with you a post from my Word walk blog.  The following memoir and poem comprised a Word walk post on May 14, 2014.  The accompanying photos of my grandmother’s lace pieces were taken this summer by my sister, Mary Elizabeth Fanyo, of Colorado.  As you enjoy looking at the photos, remember that my grandmother never crocheted from a pattern–except the patterns that were in her artistic mind.

 Blog15_SCAN_Massa_LacePiece5

Remembering Grandma Farm on the 122nd Anniversary of Her Birth:

 May 17, 1892-February 27, 1988

by Alice Jane-Marie Massa

Photography by Mary Fanyo

 

 

At times when I am walking home from Metro Market with a bag full of groceries in my right arm, other groceries in my backpack, and my left hand on my Leader Dog’s harness handle—I  think of my paternal grandmother, Elizabeth (Liza) Massa, who too frequently walked the three miles from Klondyke, Indiana, to the nearest town of Clinton to purchase groceries.  While I am walking just a few blocks home, I ponder the load my grandmother carried for a few miles.  Since she lived on the small farm at the curve in the gravel road in Klondyke, so many of us called this remarkably strong woman “Grandma Farm.”

 

Born in Levone, Italy, on May 17, 1892, my grandmother quickly matured into a very young woman whose dreams looked toward a new life in the United States of America.  Having had a not too easy life in Northern Italy where she was raised by her peddler father and an unkind stepmother, Liza worked for a ship captain and his family before she and her dreams set sail.  In 1910, my grandmother took the SS La Savoie from La Havre, France, to New York.  The story is that aboard this ship, she danced across the Atlantic Ocean.  At Ellis Island, Liza became “Elizabeth.”  My grandmother ventured onward to the Midwest; soon after arriving in Indiana, Elizabeth kept her promise and married a tall, thin coal miner (who was also from Levone) on June 29, 1910.  James and Elizabeth Massa had six children.  After the arrival of sons Charles (Charlie) in 1911, James (Jimmy, my father) in 1913, and John (Johnny) in 1916—my grandmother gave birth to a beautiful baby girl named Rosemary in 1925; but sadly, Aunt Rosemary died in infancy.  Then, my grandmother had two more children—Jules in 1926 and Katherine Mae in 1937.  Besides raising her five surviving children, cooking, gardening, working on the farm, keeping a meticulously clean farmhouse and outhouse—my grandmother learned English and loved to talk with family and her many friends.  Both of my grandparents were truly proud to become citizens of the United States.

 

Blog15_SCAN_Massa_Lace4The period which demonstrated her greatest strength and her greatest worries was during World War II when four blue stars were proudly displayed on a window of the farmhouse.  Yes, all four of my grandmother’s sons served in the United States Army, in Europe, during WW II.  Throughout those long years, I cannot begin to imagine how many prayers and rosaries my grandmother must have said nor how many tears she must have shed.  Most fortunately, all four of her sons returned safely home after serving their country.  Soon after the homecomings, the years of enjoying grandchildren—ten of us–ensued.

 

I can still picture my grandmother wearing her dark royal blue and white dress and donning a hat for her daughter’s wedding on June 16, 1956.  A few years later, in 1960, what a celebration our family had for my grandparents’ fiftieth wedding anniversary!  Grandma even wore a corsage for the dinner at Binole’s Restaurant, followed by a reception at Aunt Kathy’s house.

 

When I was in high school, my grandparents left the farm with its grape arbor and front-porch swing to move to a nice house with indoor plumbing—a house just across the very small town of Blanford where my parents, my sister, and I lived.

 

Whether in Klondyke playing cards with her good friends Julia and Dominic or in Blanford visiting with relatives at a family reunion, Grandma Farm knew how to have a good and happy time with company around her.  Although life was not always easy for my grandmother, she had a way of finding and sharing good cheer and keeping up with modern times.  When her beloved daughter Kathy and her family moved to New Jersey, my grandmother—with Italian salami and brick cheese in her train case—flew in a jet to the East Coast to visit her daughter, son-in-law, and the three grandchildren—as well as visit our nation’s capital.  When my sister was married in 1975, my grandmother attended her first wedding reception at a hotel.  Throughout the years, Grandma Farm wrote a letter each week to her son Jules who still lives in California.  Watching the news on television, reading The Daily Clintonian newspaper, talking with her friends and family at her home or on the telephone—Grandma kept in touch.  Besides her ready laugh, she had a forceful voice and was not at all hesitant about giving advice.  Although Grandma continued to speak Italian at times, she was perfectly adept at speaking English, with a little Italian accent.  Not even once did I hear her talk about returning to the “Old Country”—her family, friends, and home were in America, the country of which she was a proud citizen.

 

Although I most remember my grandmother’s apple pies, apple turnovers, and yellow cake—I am gratefully surrounded by her artistry.  When she came to the United States from Northern Italy, my grandmother brought with her—only in her mind—the skills and patterns for remarkable crocheting.  Not only did Grandma Farm crochet afghans for all her children and their spouses, grandchildren, and others—Grandma crocheted from thread exquisite lace pieces.  Called “doilies” by some, my grandmother’s lace pieces numbered into the hundreds and were of many patterns and sizes.  Her lace pieces would rank her as a textile artist today.  Although the majority of the lace pieces were white or ecru, some thread which she worked into her patterns were pink, blue, and green.  Even though the lace pieces were traditionally starched, I still use her lace pieces, but do not starch them.  Her lace pieces of varying shapes were made to adorn the tops of tables, end tables, bookcases, and my piano.  While many of her designs are floral patterns, others are geometric patterns.  Having these treasured lace pieces in various rooms of my townhouse allows me to keep warm memories of my very artistic grandmother who—despite her arthritis—could crochet with yarn or thread faster and more precisely than you could ever imagine.

 

One day, a number of years ago, after the death of my grandmother at almost 96 years, I began pondering the lace pieces that were around me and thought of the following poem as a tribute to her textile artistry.  Blog15_SCAN_Massa_Lace2

At a local copy shop, I had note cards made with this poem on the front of the  card and gave sets of these cards to relatives.  This poem has special meaning for me, and I reprise it here to honor the 122nd anniversary of Elizabeth Massa’s birth.

 

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Lace Pieces

 

by Alice Jane-Marie Massa

 

 

More than just dust-catchers,

 

these snowflake look-alikes—

 

lace pieces from the Old Country—

 

become starched artistic monuments

 

which once could have dressed angels

 

at the Sistine Chapel,

 

now rest pristine on tables

 

to gather soft memories of

 

hands that crocheted them,

 

hands that starched them,

 

piece by piece—

 

not for famous chapels,

 

but for family hope chests.

 

 

God bless all on our Massa Family Tree and all on your family tree, too!

Alice

 

May 14, 2014, Wednesday—the eleventh month birthday

of Grandma Farm’s great-great-granddaughter Lanie

 

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Biography:  Alice Jane-Marie Massa

After earning two master’s degrees and teaching for 25 years, Alice Jane-Marie Massa retired from teaching writing and public speaking at a technical college.

Alice invites you to visit her blog:  http://alice13wordwalk.wordpress.com, where she posts her poetry, essays, short stories, recipes, or memoirs each Wednesday.  Her writings on Wordwalk frequently focus on her guide dogs, her rural hometown, her Italian family heritage, and holidays.  Being the current president of Behind Our Eyes also fills hours of her retirement.  Away from her desk, Alice most enjoys long walks with her third Leader Dog (Zoe), container gardening, and the television program Jeopardy.

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Copyright 2015.  Featured  GUEST BLOGGER on

SCANdalous-Recollections Blog

28 November 2015 – by Lynda McKinney Lambert.

All rights reserved by the author, Alice Jane-Marie Massa.