Author Archives: Matagisso

Ex

My ex-husband died.

How am I doing?

It is difficult.

I loved someone with all my heart, then the love was betrayed, and a chain of hurts took place, and I finally became reconciled to there being only these things left: two elusive treasures, a few good memories, and a million bad memories.


In the meantime my own garden flourishes. A new and faithful and true love appears. There is much healing. The treasures grow and prosper, each developing in lovely and unexpected ways. I also grow in lovely and unexpected ways.


I’m ready for this painful era of my existence to wash off the beach and out to sea.

Strandhill in County Sligo, Ireland – August 2021

When I Listen Carefully…

I hear my heart say quiet things. This morning I took a walk down a road in Ballylicky. West Cork. I took pictures of wild flowers. Some I magnified.

It has been said that everything is beautiful in the right light. I think that everything is beautiful when magnified beyond the ordinary view.

I think we need to take time to look at the little things, then look very closely. Then even more closely. Things will reveal their beauty if we look closely. They won’t ask us to do it. They won’t cate if we do or don’t. It’s our own loss or gain if we miss or take advantage of seeing something magnified,

Here are some examples.

Foxglove
Foxglove
Fern
Fern
Buttercup
Buttercup
Queen Anne’s Lace
Queen Anne’s Lace

Branches
Branches
Bamboo
Bamboo
Dogwood and Pieris Andromeda through a window
Candlelight Reflection
Old Lovers

Shadows and Lessons

I took some pictures this morning that taught me some surprising things.

Blackrock Castle 6 am 11 May 2021
Water Shadow Blackrock Castle 6 am 11 May 2021

I was delighted to be up and about on such a splendid day. I have taken many pictures of the Castle but never one of its reflection, which I called a shadow.

Sun Shadow 6 am 11 May 2021
Sun Shadow 6 am 11 May 2021

Then I was able to photograph the sun and it’s long reflection, which I whimsically called a sun shadow.

VG 6 am 11 May 2021
My own shadow 6 am 11 May 2021

Then I saw my own shadow. I almost passed it by. Then I decided to take a picture.

Then I thought about the scripture verse about “who by taking thought can add a cubit to his stature?” And I thought, I just did. That’s a tall shadow. I felt proud. Then I thought, “Why is my shadow so tall? Because I got up so early.” And I felt proud again.

Then I thought, “It just shows what you can accomplish if you get up early every day.” More shadow, more height, more power, more influence, more connection.

My voice professor used to say, “The higher you rise, the bigger shadow you cast.” He went on, “And the higher you get, the bigger your shadow, the more people are standing in that shadow saying I want that to be me.” That could be for good or evil. He said it to me as a warning.

But I am old and reckless now. I’ll take it as a positive thing. So I’ll continue to rise early, cast a long shadow, and see what I’ve left to influence in this old world.

Sean Daniel – Self-Portrait

Travel Planning Again!

Ireland has issued a guide to the gradual reopening of the country for stay-cations! Since we simply can’t get enough of Ireland, I am thrilled to start making travel plans again!

THEREFORE I have made plans and begun to make reservations!

Thursday 6 May 2021 – Train to Cobh with Neal to walk and explore a lovely city!

Monday 10 May 2021 – Walking part of the Waterford Greenway starting in Dungarvan, walking with friend Christine ❤️

3 – 4 July 2021 – Wexford Lavender Farm

20 – 23 June 2021 – Limerick by Train

23 – 30 July 2021 – Strandhill; Cloona Health Retreat

Life is opening up, and not just because the lockdown is gradually unlocking. It’s because of walking.

See Walking Journal

All of our trips have to do with walking. They are planned around my life commitment to keep walking for at least one hour every day.

Life is fuller and richer! And I’m ready for new adventures.

New Tray Basket Thingie

I’ve been making trays out of recycled materials including ALDI circulars, sweetener containers, corks, and recycled office paper. I use hot glue. ModPodge, and spray fixative to finish them off.

My first tray…

Some more … they take days to complete.

The last one I’ll show here will be the final one for a little while. Making these is tough on my hands.

Shebang

I created Shebang (as in “the whole shebang”) to be the centerpiece of my back garden studio. It is made from recycled materials. I made all the components during the first 2020 lockdown between March and the end of June, continuing into July during our brief reprieve. Because the garden studio was being constructed some of the material was discarded from that project: PVC pipe, wire, tile spacers, etc. from the kitchen came sweetener boxes, soup boxes, a cocoa can and other trash. Grocery store circulars with slick paper and newspapers were used to cover the objects. Leftover paint provided the background and the canvas is a piece of Masonite packing material backed by leftover lumber.

It all starts with this can blowing off its lid.

Objects fly up…
They fly all over the canvas

It was Shebang that caught the attention of Reverend Mike O’Sullivan who invited me to do an outdoor collage for the Unitarian Church Cork. More on that later.

I refer to Shebang as my “masterpiece” because it makes me feel so good!

10,000 Steps a Day in May

A few years ago, I had two total knee replacements, but I recovered and walk fine. The problem was, I was not walking. I was turning into a slug and my knees were stiffening. And when the first lockdown came in 2020, I decided to learn to make soda bread and scones and lemon curd and FOOD!

All this and NOT walking led me to gain 50 whole pounds – not the COVID-19 pounds people joke about. 50! And me not walking. Which led me to be pretty darned depressed – fat and feeling like a big useless depressed slug.

I started walking in March 2021 and have committed to doing so every day. I increased my steps from only 17 thousand steps in February to 147 thousand steps in March. I use an LL Bean walking stick to help my balance and to exude authority over my walking space. My current goal is 4 km per day every day at a rate of 18 minutes per kilometer or better.

Catching my breath on the Mahon Greenway

Then, on Facebook I saw the invitation to walk 10 K a Day in May for the Mater. Well, my inner walking hero decided this was for me. It was only about 2000 steps more a day than I was walking already. The beautiful orange tee shirt was the deal maker – I wanted to walk in a bright orange shirt!

To Donate

SOOOOOOO……I signed up in
April and started to make an effort to walk 10 K that day – which I did! Today I am going to try to do the same. Then I will be ready for May, you see. It will be a piece of cake. Which, by the way, I don’t feel like eating so much since I’ve refocused my goals AWAY from the baking oven and onto the walking path.

Already I can feel big differences in my body though my weight has not gone down. My clothes fit better, and my skin looks nice, and I just feel more in control of my impulses! I figure the weight will drop automatically and I need not worry about that as long as I get out there and WALK.

Furthermore, ME taking care of ME keeps me out of the Mater, so that the hospital front line workers can take care of people who really need it.

Click arrow below!

I closed my video this way…

“So if you are dangling on the edge of commitment, jump on in. The Mater’s fine!”

UPDATE! Update! UPDATE!

10K Steps a Day in May

Mama Got Murdered

Mama – Virginia Isabelle Wathen “Virginia Belle”
Me in 2021; Mama in about 1985

Yes, it happened. I still can hardly believe it. I lived in Oklahoma at the time and Mama lived in Atlanta, Georgia. My brother Tom called and said, “I have the worst possible news to tell you that I could ever tell you.” I knew Mama must be dead then, but there was more. Some people had broken into her house and killed her. She was not assaulted, just knocked over the head and she died from it.

Tom Giglio and Virginia Wathen Giglio

The police never found who did it. They were of the opinion that the murder was an accident; the murderers thought the house was empty and were looking for money or valuables and my mother came out of the bathroom and surprised them. Evidently they hit her over the head and laid her on her bed. The police said that was a mark of respect for the victim. The murderers did take her diamond rings off her fingers and they stole her pistol which was in a drawer by her bedside. At first the police thought they might be able to trace the murderers by identifying the pistol when it came to light, but that never happened. They believed the robbery to be drug-related, as there were drug users in the neighborhood and a needle park a few blocks away.

All of us siblings (five of us) were aghast and took it very hard, and very differently. I wish we had all gone to counseling together about it. Wouldn’t it be nice if that’s something that was provided to victims immediately, before they make mistakes with one another that are fueled by confusion and grief and disbelief? Or shaken beliefs.

So, we have never had to endure a trial, or a mistrial, or any kind of monkeyshines in a courtroom. As for myself, it didn’t take long for me to forgive the people who murdered my mother. They were likely drug addicts who died not too long after she did. They did not profit by the robbery in any financial way. But they sure messed up the house. And the police did the rest.

The fingerprint powder all over the house was a worse mess than the ransack. It is a greasy black substance that is hard to wash off. The police also transported my mother’s body to the coroner and by the time she was released she was in no condition to be seen – too much time had elapsed before embalming took place. She had a closed casket, so we didn’t get to say goodbye to her sweet face.

All of us took it differently. I will speak only for myself.

I became compelled to do things RIGHT NOW that I had always wanted to do. I lost weight, bought new clothes, took a leave of absence from my teaching assistant position and my PhD work, and decided to get out of the orchestra pit and onto the boards. I had always wanted to be on stage, not playing flute for the actors.

So I decided to audition until I got a part. And soon I did. Evidently I brought some passion to the auditions, because I got the lead in one production (The Glass Menagerie at The University of Oklahoma) and a character singing role in another production of The Old Maid and the Thief. I started water exercise and stopped eating and got very very thin, down to 106 pounds. I couldn’t eat. Thinking of Mama dead took away all desire to eat.

At first I could not watch violence on TV or in the movies. It was real to me; it had happened to me.

Later, I became enthralled with violence and emotion in movies. There was a movie where Mel Gibson played a suicidal cop who shouted “Shoot me! Shoot me! Shoot me!” and I felt such catharsis. I guess I had kind of a violent inner depression. I felt a bit like a lethal weapon myself.

It took years to get over the PTSD of my mother’s murder. It still crops up from time to time.

Tom Giglio, me, Angela Giglio Andrews, John Giglio, Jim Giglio after Mama’s funeral. Giglios laugh when their hearts are breaking.
Mama in 1928 – 18 years old
Graduation from Blessed Sacrament Academy in 1927

Old Resumes are Interesting

I came across the resume I used when applying for the position of Patient Access Representative at Kingfisher Mercy Hospital. I’m going to post it here in the memoirs because it will jog my memory for future writing. But also gives a snapshot of me at a particular space in time and what I had to say about myself. It is an attempt to summarize my experience for the purpose of getting the job. So glad Lisa Wilkinson hired me!

Denise Boots, Travis Boots, Chasity Kirkman, Barbara King, Lisa Wilkinson

Virginia Giglio
Kingfisher, OK

PERSONAL STRENGTHS / QUALITIES

• Sunny disposition

• Enthusiasm

• Compassion

• Enjoy Teamwork

• Organization

• Ability to Help People Understand Difficult Concepts

DEMONSTRATED SKILLS / EXAMPLES

Oral Communications

o Teacher

o Fund Raiser

o Telemarketer

o Toastmasters Member

Office Operations

o Budgeting, Customer Service, Clerical and Bookkeeping

o Ran Small Businesses

o Secretary for a city social services department

o Secretary for an elder services department

o Telemarketer, Great Expectations, Inc.

Written Communications

o Published Author (Books and Articles)

o Editor (Books and Articles)

o Journalist (Newspaper)

o Publicist (Events, Causes, People)

o Focused Online (Webs, Social Media

Leadership / Organizational Skills

o Fund-raiser, volunteer coordinator, organizer

o Kingfisher Free Community Thanksgiving Dinner

o Kingfisher Rough Rider Bicycle Festival to Benefit Kingfisher Hospital

o Grant writer, Kingfisher Wheatbelt AMBUCS

o Professional Conference (Academic and Recording Industry Alliances)

Computer Skills

o Web Master

o MS Office

o Quicken

o Photoshop

o Technical Writing

WORK EXPERIENCE

College Teaching 1985-1997

o Bureau of Prisons, El Reno, Oklahoma

o University of Oklahoma

o Wesleyan University, Connecticut

o University of New Haven

o Florida Atlantic University

Technical Writer and Secretarial 1997-1999

o Secretary, City of Wethersfield, Connecticut Social Services Department

o Secretary, Palm Beach County Jewish Community Center

o Nortel Networks Caribbean and Latin American Region

o AutoNation

Small Business Owner 1999-2015

o Web Design – Global Thinking, Inc.

o Free-Lance Journalist for Kingfisher Times and Free Press

o Consignment Antique Shop – Kingfisher Antiques

o Commercial Flower Farming – Virginia’s Zinnias

o Alterations, Clothing Repairs, Fabric Shop – Silk Sword Sewing

EDUCATION

o Post Doctoral Studies, New York Institute of Technology, 1997

▪ Coursework in Instructional Technology for Trainers in Industry

o Doctor of Philosophy in Music Education, University of Oklahoma, 1991

▪ Dissertation: Oklahoma Cheyenne Women’s Traditional Everyday Songs

▪ Award: Outstanding Dissertation, Fine Arts and Humanities, 1992

o Master of Music Education, University of Oklahoma, 1987

o Bachelor of Music, Georgia State University, 1974

This resume got me the job that put me where I am today, Ireland. It’s amazing what can make a huge difference in the trajectory of life’s journey. The photo below is me as a Patient Access Representative.

Neal

A poem by Mary Oliver came to my attention and I thought of my husband Neal.

So every day

I was surrounded by the beautiful crying forth

of the ideas of God,

one of which was you.

Mary Oliver
Walking at Blarney Castle Gardens