Sunday, February 3, 2019

2019.02.03 Images To Love By, And Live By

As everyone by now knows, I love words. They’re my thing. I also love pictures. Images can spark uplifting feelings, laughter, and often memories. They nourish my soul. Here are a few.

1) In Blackers, a Kosher bakery in Newton, MA., I spotted this amazing sight: a huge (4.2" diameter) cupcake modeled after the small ones we used to love to eat daily for lunch in school: Hostess Cupcakes with the cute squiggles on top. They came two in a package. Inside the cake there is white creamy filling—a temptation too great to avoid, diet or weight paranoia or not. This bakery must have a memory too. They have packaged this giant treat—twice its the original size—by twos in a box.  We bought them. We loved them together. (We split them in half—wisely, then ate both halves.)

2) Just outside our front door there is an upside-down icicle. The heating pipe outlet that shoots out from the side of the house emits steam, and water drips down from it. In the freeze of winter the drips don't melt; they create quite an erection. 😂😂

3) On FaceBook I saw this wondrous image. (Thanks to It tells a universal truth, and it tells my truth. I have always been a reader, voraciously so. As soon as I could get rid of the Dick and Jane series that taught me to read but did not stimulate my creative imagination, I plunged into the world of books. Books made me wonder, laugh, quiver, and love. Books made me want to be a writer of books myself. How many favorite characters can you recognize? I imagine God on top, not Santa. Nuts, huh?

4) Here is one of my favorite pictures from an old scrapbook. It pictures ( r.) Amanda, John, and Rob. They are cousins about 7, 3 and 6. They are playing dress-ups, donning old hats, scarves, ties, purses, and pretending, for a moment, to be grown up. Dress-ups is a game kids don’t play any more, but I used to love it and so did my kids.  Now kids play video games. I miss dress-ups. John, in the middle, is looking a bit smug; he has kept ahold of his Pooh Bear. Smart kid. Don’t these kids look delighted with life and themselves?  It fills my heart with joy.

5) Lest I forget, my favorite image of Jesus in good humor. He must have laughed if he was human, which he was in every way.
People don’t like such images I know, but I think they add to the Spirit of religion, keep it honest. After all, no one knows what Jesus looked like, and most images are deadly serious and stern, or too pious for their own good. My current favorite image for Jesus is Danny DeVito—short, swarthy, stocky, a bullet of energy, walking fast with a slight side-to-side gait, gesticulating wildly and flinging forth words as he goes—gospel words. Many follow him, trying to grab and grasp something—just something. Just something to feed their ravenous appetite for Hope.We're still doing this.

 6) Last but not least, old and faded photos of my four children when they were young. They sit today on my home altar. No, I do not worship them, but yes, I did and do adore them. I am profoundly grateful for their presence in my life. (Jill, 5, Bev, 7. Below: Rob, 6 and John, 3, on right.)


7) OK, two more I love. They also have a place at my home altar—not for worship but for love.

On top is Richard John Simeone, my beloved husband Dick at age four, delivering his first ever "sermon" to a watering can. Gramps is in the background. Some things start early and keep on going.  Below, Dick again as a boy chorister at St. Stephen's Cathedral in Harrisburg, PA.—now more serious and with an official vestment and glasses. Too cool!

Whatever your images are, follow them with passion and laughter and good soul. For heaven’s sake do not indulge in too much piety—unless it's authentic enough to connect heaven and earth.