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,
I took some pictures this morning that taught me some surprising things.
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.
Then I was able to photograph the sun and it’s long reflection, which I whimsically called a sun shadow.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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!”
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.
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.
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!
Virginia Giglio Kingfisher, OK
PERSONAL STRENGTHS / QUALITIES
• Sunny disposition
• Enjoy Teamwork
• Ability to Help People Understand Difficult Concepts
DEMONSTRATED SKILLS / EXAMPLES
• Oral Communications
o Fund Raiser
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 Technical Writing
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
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
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.
A couple of years ago (or less) I did a little reflecting on why I’m a Unitarian at the moment. I even did a little research project and made a little movie. I have 14 statements from real Corkonian Unitarians in it. I also had a nice coffee-chat with my Pastor who is fine with my beliefs and opinions, some of which I will state below.
I am a non-Wikipedian Unitarian. I’m my own Unitarian who believes (in):
– the deity of Jesus the son of God
– the power of the Holy Spirit to do miracles and fuel my best efforts
– an Omni-loving Father God who is close and cozy
– redemption of humankind through the sacrifice of Jesus was a brilliant solution to a terrible problem called death that was invented by God in the first place
– that Allah is indeed Akbar
– that meditation is fabulous and we commune with God while doing it
– that we humans are all capable of the most heinous evil and the most wonderful goodness and we carry these possibilities in our DNA
– the devil exists but has no ultimate power because Jesus won that battle and stands between us and the devil like Gandalf stood off with Durin’s Bane in the Mines of Moria and “that one little word shall fell him.”
– speaking of which, the whole of “A Mighty Fortress is our God” is sublime, outrageous and most wonderful truth
– that hell doesn’t exist but punishment results from evildoing because evildoing sets the wheels of punishment in motion
– that goodness is indeed its own reward and sets the wheels of reward in motion
– that loaves and fishes can multiply
– that whited sepulchres will eventually erupt like pimples and false prophets be exposed like the ersatz emperor’s nakedness
– that Jesus is our ultimate advocate
– that we can’t change the story but we can change the ending
– that God gets smarter every day just like we do just on a much higher plane
– I believe cats and dogs and chickens go to heaven
– I believe in the power of St. Joseph to take care of most anything either through extraordinary intercession or means undiscovered and unimaginable
– I believe St. Anthony finds things
– I believe Mary was a virgin but I also believe in a woman’s right to choose
– There is a Santa Claus
– People would like to be good but some are damaged
– You can find good in everyone if you listen to their story with an intent to find the good
– That suffering just is
– Freak accidents are freaks
– The world needs renewing annually and thank God The Cheyenne American Indians know that and take care of the necessary rituals to make it happen
– That all good prophets come from God, e.g., Jesus, Mohammed, Buddha, Sweet Medicine, Mr. Rogers, Gandhi, Mark Twain, Robin Williams
– Comedians are special envoys from God
– Gay people need love and God bless them when they find it
– Gender dysphoria is a physical condition
– All are welcome in my world but I prefer nice people who like art, music, laughter, flowers, and are kind to animals and the mentally disabled
– God is so smart and tries so hard, just like me
– Music is another realm altogether and those who know it are richly blessed – same for maths
– Dreams are rich messages and we would do well to pay attention
– We are surrounded by spirits and we need to respect that. The same with travelers, and maybe fairies.
– The more we give, the more we will have.
– Driving carefully is important.
– Buskers and beggars should be dealt with generously and humanely.
– Pay your taxes with joy and forget it.
That’s probably not all but enough to be going on.