the work of Priscilla Galasso in response to the weekly photo challenge from WordPress
Oh, boy. It’s a dangerous thing to invite a widow and empty-nester to post a blog on the theme Nostalgic! Contemplating the past can lead to maudlin stretches and lots of used Kleenex™, even if I don’t have a glass or two of wine first. I don’t think that would be at all edifying to the blogging community, so I’m going to try hard to steer away from that. I hope to write and show something that is true about a time that has come and gone.
Life is characterized by impermanence. Our kids don’t stay little; our loved ones don’t stay alive forever. What we live is present moments. If we try to hang on to them and make them more permanent or attach our happiness to them, we are in for a world of frustration. As we get farther away from present moments, it’s hard to remember what they were really like. We lose perspective. That wonderful family outing…did I yell at the kids that day? I don’t remember. I probably lost patience at least once. Did my kids remember that? How did they feel? How did they heal? Or is it all, as my mother often puts it, ‘a merciful blur’?
In my current life, I see a lot of families on outings with their children, since I work at two different family museums. Families interact in all sorts of ways. I try to look at them with compassion and tolerance remembering what I can about how challenging it is to raise four kids at one time. The important thing is to BE KIND in the present moment. With your kids or someone else’s. If the world is to be a good place to live, it’s important that all seven billion of us humans remember to BE KIND. And this is not a glib solution. If you think deeply about being kind, you’ll see that it is a profound power in the universe. BE KIND to your fellow humans. BE KIND to every living thing. BE KIND to yourself first, and feel what that is like. It is peace. It is well-being and health. It is life. Don’t settle for feeling nostalgic about a time when you felt the world was a kinder place to live. Make it a kinder place to live this very moment by acting kindly!
– Priscilla Galasso
© 2013, essay and photographs, Priscilla Galasso, All rights reserved
PRISCILLA GALASSO ~ is a contributor to Into the Bardo. She started her blog at scillagrace.com to mark the beginning of her fiftieth year. Born to summer and given a name that means ‘ancient’, her travel through seasons of time and landscape has inspired her to create visual and verbal souvenirs of her journey.
“My courage is in the affirmation of my part in co-creation”, she wrote in her first published poem, composed on her thirtieth birthday and submitted alongside her seven-year-old daughter’s poem to Cricket magazine. Her spiritual evolution began in an Episcopal environment and changed in pivotal moments: as a teenager, her twenty-year-old sister died next to her in a car crash and, decades later, Priscilla’s husband and the father of her four children died of coronary artery disease and diabetes in his sleep at the age of forty-seven Awakening to mindfulness and reconsidering established thought patterns continues to be an important part of her life work.
Currently living in Wisconsin, she considers herself a lifelong learner and educator. She gives private voice lessons, is employed by two different museums and runs a business (Scholar & Poet Books, via eBay and ABE Books) with her partner, Steve.