Posts Tagged ‘Peace’

Peace, Love, Unity: A Message from the Rio Olympics

August 6, 2016

Baba 1



Lady of Shallot rose


Peace, Love, Unity. A message from the Rio Olympics

Last night I watched the opening ceremonies of the Olympics. I was moved to tears seeing the 10,000 people who are there for the games and the 100,000’s of thousands there in support. Just seeing the different faces, races, ages, countries, flags moved me. In this day of age, where we are under so many negative mesages and fears: Islamic Terrorism, the election circus of two fools, the devestating lost of life in these terrorist attacks, the apprehension of more and in our own cities…well, it is too much.

Seeing the Refugees section, where these people have continued to train and work hard to get to the Olympics is something to hold high. In the face of no shoes for the track runners, no pools for the swimmers, having to ‘make do’ with conditions that Americans and Europeans would not tolerate, it broke through my cynicism.

The messages of hope from this Olympics: Peace in the time of War and upheaval, Love in the time of hatred and division, Unity in the times where we are so divided by so many things….This gladdens my heart.

And…the relatively ‘low tech’ (considering previous Olympics) of the Rio Olympics….and the Salsa Party….was the way to go. There is a humanism in this Rio Olympics that brings Unity to the whole shebang.

May it continue on and through the Olympics.


Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2016


‘Reason For The Season’ ……And Happy Holidays.

December 13, 2014


I saw the Cooper’s hawk this morning. She landed on the chimney pot, probably looking for my miniature hen, Grayson.  Four years ago she was a starving fledgling who mantled over while I fed her cold chicken.  She’s back this holiday, my spirits lifting. A good Christmas present.

In the middle of the commercialization of Christmas, Nature closes the gap.  I have noticed squirrels with pecans in mouths leaping the trees, hawks hunting low over now-bare woods, unknown song birds sitting on fences, heard the migration of Sandhill cranes as they honk in formation. You hear their cacophony well before they appear.  Their chiding cries float down to our upturned faces.

There is brightness to the holly, washed by our late autumn rains and the orange of the nandina berries has turned crimson. Smell of wood smoke in the air and the crispness of mornings means the earth is going to sleep.

We humans should reclaim our past and fecal plugs and join the slumber party of our brother bears. Jingle Bells will fade and our tension with it. Looking towards deep winter when the Earth is again silent will restore our balance and calm nerves with a blanket of Peace.

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2008-2014

“A Reason for the Season”….

December 17, 2013
Clach Mhullinn....home

Clach Mhullinn….home




   I saw the Cooper’s hawk this morning. She landed on the chimney pot, probably looking for my miniature hen, Grayson.  Four years ago she was a starved fledging who mantled over while I fed her cold chicken.  She’s back this holiday, my spirits lifting. A good Christmas present.

   In the middle of the commercialization of the season, Nature closes the gap.  I have noticed squirrels with pecans in mouths leaping the trees, hawks hunting low over now-bare woods, unknown song birds sitting on fences, heard the migration of Sandhill cranes as they honk in formation. You hear their cacophony well before they appear.  

   There is brightness to the holly, washed by our early winter rains and the orange of the nandina berries has turned crimson. Smell of wood smoke in the air and the crispness of mornings means much of nature is going to sleep. We humans should reclaim our past and join the slumber party of our brother bears.

   Jingle Bells will fade and our tension with it. Looking towards deep winter when the Earth is again silent will restore our balance and calm nerves with a blanket of peace.

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2009-2013

‘The Peace that Surpasses All Understanding’, Part 3

August 29, 2011

Getting tired of this title?  WOOF!

Well, perhaps I can finally use this quote  closer  to its meaning.

We went to the Unitarian Universalists Congregation this morning. We have been one other time, about a month ago, and were really moved by the service. It was on the 150th anniversary of the Civil War: not blue, not gray, but a musical tribute to all who suffered and died.  Perhaps only the UUs could  walk this path between the North and the South.  And it wasn’t about Slavery, either.  It was about humanity embroiled in a conflict that is still shaking our nation today.

But this morning was of a very different theme.  I didn’t check, because I wasn’t sure we were going to make it.  Both husband and I were snarly the day before, and putting aside our insults and hurt feelings  was almost asking too much:  it seemed  a lot of effort to go and sit amongst strangers.

We are glad we made the effort.  It was the annual “Blessing of the Animals” service and the place was full of dogs, cats, a Japanese fighting fish in a tupperware bowl, and a rooster.

Music holds a lot of weight with the UUs, and this service was no exception.  “Puff The Magic Dragon”, “Waltzing With Bears”, “Home On The Range”, “I Wanna be a Dog”, “Spirit of Life” and “All Creatures of the Earth and Sky” pretty much rounded out the musical offering.

Actually, it was a LOT of fun, and really very moving.  I think it took suspending the ego for many of us:  “Waltzing With Bears” was hilarious and “Home On the Range”, projected on a large screen overhead brought both us to tears.  Ok, it brought me to tears, the Great Stone Face doesn’t cry much (any) in public.  The lyrics are tender and moving, something we forget about  this song, yet there on the screen, with a background of incredible Western beauty, well,  it was something that stirred us both.

There were fewer cats there than I would have liked, and those  there crated, poor pussies.  Some dogs howled during certain songs, especially on the refrains, and the Rooster?…well, he crowed in all the right places.  I thought  maybe someone had a very good recording of a rooster and were playing tricks, but I was assured by the lovely woman next to me “the rooster was here for the blessing last year.”

There were no dog fights, just a few overly friendly attempts to make friends, and a couple of half-hearted snarls. Watching the dogs was a treat.  A young German Shepherd was the model of discipline, sitting or asleep quietly at his owner’s feet, the numerous Standard Poodles– an elegant addition to the morning, the beagles, as beagles do, fell asleep, the Goldens looked happy, eager to please, the pugs looked…..bored.  We were amazed how well behaved our canine (can’t say anything about the fish) friends were in such a potentially stressful environment.

We were thinking of what dog we could have brought (the cats  are atheists). Gally, the big Shepherd/Hound mook at 80 lbs is well trained to sit and lie down, but this would have been too much temptation.  Merlin, the mostly- Golden, is fiercely protective and growls and might snap. Laddie the almost- cocker is totally deaf, so he has this piercing bark:  He would start a riot with his alarm.  We realized  the only dog we could have brought was our Sparky, our English Field Spaniel, who died of cancer June 20th this year.  He was a gentleman, such a good example of his rare and intelligent breed, but he was planted out in the front garden under an old boxwood.  His loss to us, especially this morning, brought me to tears.

This is such a different entry…considering the last two other “The Peace…” offerings…but this morning the Blessing of the Animals went exactly where it should have gone: straight to our hearts, opening a pathway to memories and further compassion.  I also got a good tip on a Standard Poodle breeder not far from our home.  My husband is groaning, and puffing on his inhaler but there is no better balm to grief, (and my grief in losing Sparky so suddenly went deep) than another animal to wrap your arms around. 

Of course some would call me a hoarder: 12 (kittens, thrown over the fence at various times) and then cats who have been with us  for  15 years, they are not just cats…they are treasured members of our family.  My dear husband’s nose hasn’t stopped dripping for 26 years but his shots are helping nicely here.

Today was a wonderful example of compassion, charity and love. Seeing the care  people expressed with their animals, and seeing the pianist with his pug in his lap while he played, well, it was a lovely morning.

Even unto the least, which I guess would have been the goldfish in tupperware, the message was loud and clear.  Extending our love to other species is natural and good: we aren’t the only ones who live on this Earth.

We are enjoined in love. Or should be.


Lady Nyo

“The Peace that Surpasses All Understanding”….

August 20, 2011

To readers of this blog from the DoNMs website: I can no longer support that site in good conscience.  Details aren’t that important or that interesting, nor do I know much of  anything, except there seems to be a nasty dogfight between different websites that are concerned with the very same issues that we should be all united around: the effects of NMs on our lives.  Personalities, Ego, Competition, flaming, etc…are not the stuff of healthy dialogue about these important issues. Life is TOO good to be involved in what seems to be narcissistic behavior by the very people who should know better.  Who are looked to by others as leaders.

I just don’t have time for stupid bullshit, and I don’t think people who take these issues seriously do either.

However, I appreciate the readers from those different websites here, and you will never be turned away or told you don’t have the right to post your opinions here, whether it is of your religious, political or any other personal values you hold dear.

Lady Nyo


People come across this quote from Isaiah in the Bible.   I am not applying this quote in a religious sense.

Recently, my husband, son and I decided to make a radical rupture with a particular part of our family.  Over the years, too many years, there has been a lot of issues, in particular with one member.  The excuse of the behavior of this person can’t be laid on the doorstep of  years, which are many, but  in something more troubling.  Some people came in for a lot of insults, belittling behavior, forms of abuse and just…well, pure hatred.  Some people were held in esteem (few) and many were trashed.  It really depended upon the whims of this person, and it changed like the weather.

When we are children, we have few options. When we are adults, we have choices.  To continue to hope  a person will stop their abuse is rather naive.  Some people are driven by things  others of us don’t understand.  Perhaps they  are driven by jealousy, illusions about their importance in the world, competition, and other strange things.  Sometimes family members who surround such a person feed this narcissism because they don’t have the stones to walk away. Some use their religion to excuse what they do.

 John has an answer to this:  “When you see evil, you walk away.” 

 In my estimation, evil isn’t something with horns and a forked tail: it’s the conscious abuse of people who are vulnerable or just available.   It’s the pointed abuse of children, adults,  and after years of this behavior, it is more than ‘abuse’….it becomes a conscious evil.  It can become random, without thought by the abuser, and these people know the effects.  They take a  delight in what they have done to another.  With some people, they just see others as prey.

It took me a long time and some pretty intense therapy, but I realized  I was deeply afraid of this person.  There was no trust: this person’s behavior did not inspire trust or comfort.  This person inspired self-doubt, undercut positive things I and others had done.  Why have someone like this in your life?  They may be an important fixture in the family of origin, but living like this, never being able to trust the behavior of this person from one day to the next…well, this is hell.  And my little family decided we didn’t deserve this hell.

There are certainly ‘benefits’ for those who surround the main irritant:  by being ‘yes men and women’ to these disturbed people, by keeping their heads down, they don’t become the targets of these people.  But this is really a sort of slavery.  (and you can’t really trust this main irritant. Given time, the target changes)

Our little family, with the support of others, in particular our family counsellor and what was to become a new spiritual ‘home’ decided we could do better.

But why stop there?  We also decided to clean our lives of people who really weren’t on a positive track: this was hard because we want to give the benefit to all people and not act like the ‘main irritant’, (‘loved ones’ were disposable) but we also knew  a lot more was at stake.  The ‘health’ of our little family was our priority.

We decided to start attending the Unitarian Universalist congregation here in Atlanta.  I was nudged repeatedly by some good people before, but just didn’t think we would ever find a place where we were comfortable with the dogma of religion.  We wanted to protect our ‘religious intellectualism’, we wanted no creeds, no signing on the bottom line.  We wanted to sit a spell and feel a gathering spiritual energy and see if it permeated our own hearts.

So, these past few months have been a heady sort of change:  making that rupture with family who are abusive and finding a spiritual place where we can investigate questions, beliefs, and see how they hold water, where we feel there is growth….

And, one of the best realities is this: the majority of the world is NORMAL. They function in normal, loving, compassionate ways. 

We have relaxed with the knowledge  we have escaped something depleting of dignity.   Constant walking on eggs, constant fear  whatever is said or done is taken in the wrong way. There was no win-win situation there. This is no way to live…and you have to sum up what is on the other side: is it something you want in your life? Or is it something you just have to endure until the abuser is gone?  We decided to make our escape now. It had gone on too long.

Well, this has become a time of “Peace that Surpasses All Understanding”.  It is a peace that we didn’t think possible, but we had to clear out the underbrush to see the possibilities.

Lady Nyo

I have always known

That at last I would

Take this road, but yesterday

I did not know that it would be today.

Narihira, 9th century Japanese poet

“Gallipoli, 1915”, posted for Oneshotpoetry

May 30, 2011


Daniel Wood, 2004


Gallipoli, 1915 

“Are you joining up, mate?”

“Why? It’s the Brit’s war”.

“Cause Aussies are part of the empire, ‘one for all’…you know the drill”.

Both young men soon in the trenches, barely eight meters from the enemy.


“Hasim, leave off the plowing, we all go to fight the British.”

“My wheat will not be planted in time for the rains.”

“Forget the planting…leave the plowing to the women.  If you don’t go, the infidels will take your fields… Once more our country will be invaded.”

Both young men crawled into their trenches, pushing past bodies bobbing like apples in gore.

The slaughter was horrific.  New men replaced dying men. Then, within hours, they  too were dead.

The trenches filled with blood, guts, madness – a stinking circle of Hell serving all faiths, welcoming all comers.  Plenty of seating.

The Aussie mates and the Turkish farm boys didn’t last the night.  Their bodies, shoved aside by a seemingly endless supply, sank in the mud.

These were the “Founding myths” of nations, claimed with pride by politicians who never saw the muck up close or personally.


Beautiful Gallipoli.

 Turkish soil and streams nourished by the mixed fruit of the dead.  

Mothers, your children rest in the now gentle bosom of the land. They sleep as brothers. Your tears feed the oceans forever.

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyright, 2007, 2011


March 11, 2010

I awoke at 2am, hungry, aware of distant thunder, flashes of lightning closed eyes did not shutter.

Two nights ago I stepped on a small block of wood with a rusty nail that went deep into my foot.  The tetanus shot and antibiodics gave pain and a stomach discomfort and probably disrupted sleep as much as anything.  My sweet brother in Savannah, Georgia writes:  “It sucks to be you”.  Yes, it does right now.  LOL!

(A friend and fellow writer, Berowne, writes to me today to go to bed until December, pull the covers up and don’t forget the helmet.  It seems like a bad year already, but if the ‘law of threes’ holds ….we are in the ‘clear’….we have had our ‘threes’ already.)

I buttered a slice of bread and went into the new Great Room to watch the display of night.  We have tall windows across the north wall, with a ceiling that reaches to 26 feet.  A pointless waste of space really, but magnificent and elegant when nothing else serves.

The almost- silent Winter night casts a pale glow outside.  No electrical lights presume to challenge the peace, for our electricity is awaiting Georgia Power to come in the morning.  A unending two week stretch as  ” Mr. Sparky”  and his boys rewire the house and update the old 1940’s power box.

The trees in the South are huge: Live Oaks and Pecans 120 feet high and 120 years old.  They are impressive leafed out, but even more impressive to my eyes as black, overwhelming giants thrown against the late winter sky.

For the last two nights we have been going to bed with the chickens and using candles for light.  Not a bad idea, the chickens thing, because we are tired and worn with the dealings of strangers in the house and a disrupted service.  The other day I climbed into bed and was taking an afternoon nap when the shriek of a smoke detector made me sit upright.  There were two workmen in my bedroom on ladders and the look on my face, pulled out of a sound sleep, must have been funny.  “They didn’t want to disturb me”, but the smoke alarms had to be ‘primed’.  I had to pee after that, but the bathroom was part of the new master complex, and there are no curtains on the doors yet.  Well, there won’t be either, because my husband ordered beveled doors and the sun from the other windows in the bath make such a beautiful cast of light through them.  So I awaited as long as I could until I thought ” the hell with modesty” and curtains or not……

The holes in the sheetrock and plaster will eventually be patched by Harry Homemaker here, but important things first.  Like sound wiring.

Lying on a couch beneath these tall windows in  the early hours of the morning,  the woodstove flaring with it’s dinner of heavy oak, this being the only other illumination besides the pale sky outside.  On one of the window sills is a heavy cut crystal vase.  The light from the colorless sky creates prismatic colors in the glass, and I wonder at the beauty in the darkness I didn’t notice during the day.  It’s like a lost Aurora Borealis has dipped almost to the ground and minimuzed itself in the vase. My Xmas quilling is still hanging in the windows, delicate paper glued curls my son and I did years ago.  We pack them away in January, wrapped in tissue paper and in a special drawer for finding the next year.  I forgot to remove them, but seeing these white curls against this strange night makes them even more magical.

In some of the windows are china hummingbirds, gifts every Xmas from a long-dead aunt.  They are hung on fishing line and tonight seem to hover in the air, illuminated by flashes of distance lightning.

The kettle is on the woodstove and I can make myself a cup of tea, and then I hear the gurgle of rain.

There is perfection in this late Winter night, and the absence of electricity perhaps draws my eyes and mind to it.  In the morning there will be the disturbance of ladders clanging against the sides of the house as they re-connect the promised service.  There will be soured milk and off-butter to give  my hens and again the cleaning out of the fridge.  The noise of modern conveniences will sound again in their almost invisible harmony: the hum of the fridge, the lights of electronics, but for now, in this moment, there is a a completeness of silence, of darkness, a suspension of time.

Only the natural sounds of a gurgling rain, a flash of weakened lightning and a faint drum of distant thunder intrudes upon my wakefulness.

It is perfection.

Lady Nyo

Grasping at straws, or maybe signs….

March 18, 2009

Lately I’ve been preoccupied with ‘internal’ issues…mostly spiritual issues.

We go from concepts to concepts without ever really touching down, or if we do…we land hard and uncomfortably.  Well, I do.  The ‘issue’ of becoming a writer, and mostly in the genre of erotica, has been a downward rolling snowball, but it has to be juggled with the reality that many people don’t read erotica for many reasons.  I am finding that out with sending my first book, “A Seasoning of Lust” out to relatives and some friends.  Probably sending the book to elderly relatives and friends is NOT a good idea, but sometimes you stretch the boundaries of reason.  And then, sometimes you are pleasantly surprised….

This hasn’t stopped me from compiling Vol. II of “Lust” to be released sometime this summer…and it will be very different from Vol. I.  That’s the ‘uplifting’ part for me.  Erotica is still a fascinating subject for a writer, and I intend to pursue and develop this in my writing for the future.  But it’s only one part of being a writer.

I’ve experienced a lot of different influences over the past two years, since I started writing online.  Some of the influences were good, and some I should have had my head examined.  Some fell into the category of  “think…where is this going?”.  But mostly we don’t. Think.  We respond and ‘feel’.  We are led by our curiosity and sometimes we adopt things that aren’t exactly healthy.

The issue of domination and submission is one of those mixed bags. There are people who are good influences in this knotty subject, and there are people who should be avoided.  When you are so inexperienced, it is the ‘luck of the draw’.  But you learn, and hopefully you learn to discern better.  My husband and I have settled into our own ‘brand’ of D/s, and it’s not a carbon copy of others.  We laugh a lot, and we are very much more cognizant of each others natures and surprisingly, abilities.  He has blossomed to me, and I have surprised him, as he tells me.  This is wonderful news after so many years of marriage.  For us, we may not look any different to outsiders, but there are definite changes between us.  There is a process of discovery going on.  That makes for a lot of interest and surprises.

I have stepped out into the study of Jewish Religion.  I do this for personal reasons, but I have had an abiding curiosity to do so for years.  I have never really been a Christian, and many of the issues inherent in Christianity are alien and strange to me.  Very recently, we celebrated our first Shabbat as a family.  We were helped and guided by a lovely Rabbi, Loren, from The Temple here in Atlanta.  I am still amazed at the way my family responded, and the feelings I had holding these rituals.  They were alien and at the same time, they were not.  Full of intense and purposeful meanings, we sat over our Shabbat meal for three hours and played Scrabble and chess.  This is the first time I can remember where we actually enjoyed each others company and for so long a duration.  We were invited to a Bat Mitzvah the next day, and our spiritual joy and opening continued.  The Temple is a Reform Synagogue, and I understand that there are a lot of issues with Orthodox/Conservative/Reform/etc. demoninations.  Some say Reform ain’t Jews…but we don’t have the reasons to distinguish this.  We don’t care.  The community and welcome and mostly the Spiritual lessons we found trumped any other concerns.  However, this above, the differences between them…reminds me of the same arguments in the Christian world.  We only want to draw nearer to God and have this effect on our family.

This time approaches Easter and Passover.  It is a time of great considerations.  Spiritual issues abound.  Life issues also.

Last night, our only child, in college, announced that he was seriously considering entering the Air Force to continue to train in aviation mechanics.  He has been studying this for two years, along with recent computer courses.  Of course this is unwelcome news to his mother.  There is a war going on, and more troops have been sent to Afghanistan last week.  I am hoping that his decision will be blessed with his personal safety.  However, my best friend of many decades, Jerry in NY, tells me that the employment situation for college age kids is horrendous.  He is facing some of the same issues with his child.

I have spent a restless night thinking of all of the above.  This morning, my son called to me to come look outside.  There was a white dove perched for the longest time on my neighbor’s roof.  I don’t know if it was a pigeon or a dove, my son who knows better said it’s definitely a dove, Mom….and I will take his word for it.

Hence, the “Grasping at Straws” in the title of this blog.  I embraced my son, and we are a bit more at peace.  It was a good sign and helps restore many things right now.  Important things of the heart.

Lady Nyo


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