Take Back Your Life!

Do You Give Up Too Easily?

November 29, 2015 by Giulietta Nardone

“When the world says, ‘Give up,’

Hope whispers, ‘Try it one more time.’ “

~ Unknown

It’s taken me a lot of living to figure out that the people who make it in life do so because they do not give up.We like to think that these people are smarter than us, more crafty than us, more creative than us.Nope, they just do not give up on their ideas and dreams.Most people start out gung ho on pursuing something they want to do, but when the rocks on the path start to appear (and they always do), most of us will lose our stamina to keep going over and around them.

This summer my husband and I hiked up Mt. Osceola for my birthday. I wanted to climb a 4,000 footer. The path started out rocky – like a vertical jetty. I thought, “it will clear up soon.” Jimmy and I walked up and up and up, expecting the rocks to clear or lessen.

They never did. (more…)

Wild Painting!

April 25, 2014 by Giulietta Nardone

I’ve discovered that imagination gets rusty when we don’t use it. As a young elementary school kid, I painted all kinds of wild pictures with nothing but my mind. No photos, no books, no anything.

I could conjure up what folks looked like, images, scenes from my yard. And I had a distinct style of semi-distortion. Over time, I stopped painting/drawing completely and then when I retook it up around the age of 39, I found it difficult to paint anything without some kind of crutch like a photo, etc

About two years ago, I took a drawing class and forced myself to draw only from my mind. I got better and better over time. In between classes, I might look at a picture of a ferris wheel, but once in class, I painted “wild.” (more…)

Perhaps, Make More Time For People

January 3, 2014 by Giulietta Nardone

On Christmas Eve, I picked up the phone and called five friends, three were home, two were out. I hadn’t spoken to some of them in years. I’d been meaning to call. Yet, the days turned into months, the months into years. One was a best friend from grade school. We reminded each other of a tree we climbed in her backyard, a birch onto which we carved our initials and the initials of boys we liked. I wonder if that tree and the four sets of initials still exist? Thinking about the sets of initials reminded me of my favorite line from one of my favorite movies: The Summer of ’42, “Life is made up of small comings and goings, and for everything we take with us, there is something we leave behind.” We move forward in life, but little bits of us stay behind for others to find. If you haven’t seen that 1971 coming of age movie, I highly recommend it. It’s beautiful and tragic and uplifting and breathtaking. And has no special effects, unless you count the magical things we forget that nature can do.  (more…)

Listening With Your Heart

October 31, 2012 by Giulietta Nardone

Recently, I returned from vacationing (hiking) in southern Utah. A beautiful and spiritual place. While in the Bryce Canyon National Park Lodge, I stumbled on a book called, “Listening With Your Heart: Lessons from Native America.” Part of me said, “don’t buy it, you’ve got way too many books living in your home already.” But another part said, “This book is calling out to you, bring it home.”

It offers sayings, chants and suggestions to improve your health. Honestly, just being in the wilderness improved my health. I slowed down. I revved up my creativity. I used my body. I met new people. I witness the darkest sky I’ve ever seen. I listened to the birds. I fed my body with delicious food. I opened my eyes to new possibilities. I hiked about 3 miles up a river to a slot canyon that required all my muscular and staying in the moment strengths. (See pic of me sloshing up ahead. Lots of slippy rapids with rocks to traverse, often up to my upper thighs. This part was pretty calm and not too rocky.) (more…)

Baraka, A Transcendent Poetic Tour

July 16, 2012 by Giulietta Nardone

I’m not sure how I discovered the movie Baraka (1993), but I watched it this weekend.

It’s almost indescribable – poetry in motion comes the closest. The documentary travels the world contrasting peoples and landscapes. Music. No speaking. Yet at times there is human noise. It’s beautiful and heartbreaking at the same time. It may be 20 years old, but its message seem more important that ever. My takeaway? Why do we continue to do create an inhumane world in the face of Eearth’s incredible beauty? (more…)

The Anthropology of Turquoise

April 30, 2012 by Giulietta Nardone

I’m in essay writing mode, which means I’m reading a lot of essay/memoirish type books these days.

One with spectacular writing is The Anthropology of Turquoise by Ellen Meloy (2002, Pulitzer Prize Finalist). I majored in Anthropology and love the word. The clothing store chain spells it Anthropologie, which I like too. Funny how words become in vogue after sitting in obscurity for years. I’ve heard that anthropology is one of the most popular majors at my alma mater. I must be a trendsetter of sorts. When I attended the program had about 40 students majoring in it — if that.

I loved the classes and teachers and subject. We went to Safari type places, studied the Yanomamo on the Orinoco River, genetic drift, vervets, cultures and people. Offbeat, fascinating stuff that I’ve come to appreciate the last 10 years or so. I’m so tired of everyone saying all the jobs will be in math and engineering. How can that even be true? Imagine if everyone majored in one of them, nothing else. Would that create more jobs? I don’t think so. (more…)

The Best Thing About Getting Lost

April 23, 2012 by Giulietta Nardone

I’m back into essay writing mode. Perhaps, it’s because I have a lot of interests – not sure exactly – but I go through phases where all I want to do is paint or draw, then I enter a new phases were all I want to do is write op-ed pieces, then writing, then savings things.

Well, I’m back in essay writing mode after a 3-month hiatus. Wrote one and am onto a few more. I’ve always wanted to write about the benefits of getting lost. Will script some ideas for the essay here on the blog.

Am not a GPS fan. During our Christmas drive up the Pacific Coast Highway in California, the female voice shouting out of the box mounted on the rental car dashboard while we zoomed around LA got so annoying I had to turn it off. “TAKE A LEFT HERE. TAKE A RIGHT THERE.  1 MILE AHEAD.” Her proclamations kept interrupting our conversation. But even worse, I began to feel like a helpless creature who couldn’t find her way out of a driveway. (more…)

Write To Save Your Life

March 9, 2012 by Giulietta Nardone

Hello wild things,

Real writing, the kind that comes from deep inside, will reveal what you want out of life, what’s missing, what’s in the way. We’ve been so molded from the outside in to conform with the consumer mindset, that we sometimes forget our truer selves live inside and they want something different, something unique.

For me, I had to find a way to get that side of me outside so it could free the rest of me. (more…)

What Is It To Be Human?

March 2, 2012 by Giulietta Nardone

A friend sent me a short film clip that explains why it’s so hard to save things that matter to the heart, like nature. It highlights the book by Charles Eisenstein called, “Sacred Economics.” He traces the origins of money and talks about the need to return to the gift economy, where people actually need each other. In our present economy, nature becomes a commodity we destroy to make stuff, to fuel an economy that doesn’t celebrate our humanness.

It’s fascinating to me because I studied Anthropology in college. It married my love of people, culture, and geography. Some of the most interesting indigenous populations we studied lived along the Pacific Northwest Coast of North America. That’s when I first heard the term “potlatch,” a type of feast. During these feasts, the host family gave away as much of their wealth as they could. People derived status not from how much they had, but from how much they gave away. (more…)

The Devil’s Den, Community and Perspective

February 22, 2012 by Giulietta Nardone

Well, I’ve just spent the last 10 days trying to save one of my town’s two archaeological sites.

Our town decided to build a field complex in an area that contained a beautiful 18th century road and several archaeological sites. One of those sites is Devil’s Den, the only granite solutions cave in Eastern Massachusetts. (It’s a lot bigger than it looks in the picture.)

The fields committee and architect said it would be saved and folks believed them.

Ten days ago I opened the paper to this headline, “Devil’s Den To Be Demolished.” Shocked folks wrote to those in charge.

The next morning we first heard our cave had been demolished. Later that had been revised to “hoe-rammed.” They broke a chunk off the left side.  But the rest of it was still intact.

Then the finger pointing started. Then the throwing folks under the bus started. The the mea culpas started. Then the over compensating started. The BOS got TONS of emails from all sorts of folks.

I visited the cave yesterday. They had to blast through an unbelievable amount of New England Ledge on this hilly site. The cave had blasting paraphernalia all around it. The area around it had been dug up. Yet, it stood so proud up there on the top of its hill.

I wondered who would hurt something so defenseless. It was hard to enough to see 9 acres of trees, hills and dales go.

The cave is in the Images of America series on our town. It’s on cave sites. It’s on historic sites. It’s one of a handful of “Devil’s Den’s in Massachusetts, named by the Puritans.”

And still this happened. It took my husband to point out why.

He said, “Were any of you at the site on a regular basis making sure it was being protected?”

“No,” I said.

“To folks who don’t care about natural history,” he said. “It probably looked like a pile of big rocks.”

Ah, that ole’ perspective.

We had a public hearing last night, where I spoke first. I expressed my municipal motto, “Build community, not resentment. This isn’t the way to do that.” Tens of folks got up to speak about the cave. Eloquent, impassioned speeches about how this happened to our special little cave, our Devil’s Den. They spoke of its importance to our local history.

Some of our leaders appeared to have all ready decided the cave’s fate. Not sure they have the right to do that. The cave belongs to all of us. But the roomful of people who cared about the cave, their speeches, the cave’s historic evidence, it alerted them to the gem they were about to lose forever.

I learned more important life lessons in the past week than I have in the past six months:

a) Don’t assume someone will keep their word.

b) If you care about something, be actively involved in its protection.

c) Make sure the exact care and feeding instructions are outlined in writing.

d) Educate folks about the importance of natural wonders and local history.

e) Understand that it’s never too late to save something.

f) Jump into action and give it your all.


p.s. Please check out my self-discovery writing adventure at story circle on-line.

Grab Life by the Writing Gusto: Finding Your Life Theme



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