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Poems by Sal–and more.

September 13, 2018 by in category From a Cabin in the Woods by Members of Bethlehem Writers Group tagged as , , , , ,

New Life | Sally Paradysz | A Slice of Orange

 

I always feel a little sad each month when the 13th rolls around, and I realize that Sal is no longer with us.

But this time I have good news. First, A Slice of Orange is pleased to publish two of Sal’s poems. Next, members of the Bethlehem Writers Group have volunteered to write columns for the 13th.

Here is the schedule so far:

October: Diane Sismour

November: A. E. Decker 

December: Carol L. Wright

January: Jodi Bogert

February: Christopher D. Ochs

March: DT Krippene

Sal was one of the founding members of Bethlehem Writers Group, and I think she would be over the moon that her fellow members are filling her spot.

Marianne


Poems by Sal

 

ANCIENT RITUALS

Sally Paradysz

Next, I heard some named penance an ancient tradition.  A struggle between senses and sense.

Lash marks bled on bare backs.  Knees on scarred hardwood, calloused and worn, bent until they screamed for relief.

Men seek to give lessons, but silence was the teacher.  Then, we are swept clean and told to go forward in purity.

Penitent, but longing still.

 

 

 

SILENT PAIN, SILENT LOVE

Sally Paradysz

  

In this world where personal

commitment, with all of its

delicate forms, seems

to be shattering apart,

 

And unconditional and

undying love has become

nothing more than a

matter of convenience,

There are some of us still,

who find the intelligence

and passion born of living…

In some who approach their

life without analysis,

which can destroy the Whole,

There is some magic in this life,

you know, where if

you only consistently

look at the pieces,

They will just as surely

blow away in the wind

and demolish the All…

Are we becoming obsolete

within a world of

organization, rules, regulations,

in “Bud” we trust,

to borrow a phrase…

Will this magic disappear

with stick-on name tags and

clothes that make us

all look alike…

It is with this passion and

controlled arrow-like intensity,

mixed with warmth,

That I will approach the time

of day when white months

are on the wing,

And in the heat of that

summer’s evening, will let

myself be taken away,

To transcend and merge in

the Light, where such certainty

comes only once, no matter how

many lifetimes you live…

In this dance with the

universe, my eagerness gives way

to shaman-like silence,

Discarding all sense of

anything linear and spiraling toward

millions of candles,

Where my constant companion

of loneliness disappears for

the last time,

And I become consumed and out

of a world that seems

to be God-abandoned…

Never again will I live with dust

on my heart, or feel

trapped by foggy mornings,

Instead I am forever grateful

for the four billion years

Of love,

Which will help me with my

systems of balance and order

in the lifetime I have left…

I have ceased being separate

and now feel free to continue

the dance of integration…

 

 

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Paths by Sally Paradysz @A_SliceofOrange

October 13, 2017 by in category From a Cabin in the Woods by Members of Bethlehem Writers Group, Writing tagged as , , ,

New Life | Sally Paradysz | A Slice of Orange

 

Paths

 

I love paths. We have one that goes to the field for our tractor, but the best ones are those I’ve made to my writing/meditation cabin, and the one I use to walk to the field. These two I’ve lined with rocks and as I stroll by I’m always amazed by the large roots that grow above ground. Different and yet so eye catching. It took a long while to clear the brush away, find and place the stones alongside, and then try to keep them clear enough to follow over the years.

 

Special attention paid to the little things on my land makes a huge difference to me. These are the points of life that mark my growth as I go forward. Time spent in nature with love and opportunity all encompassed into this one small three-acre-place that I call home.

God has given us a world full of hope for everything and everyone. We are all unfinished people, moving forward at the rate of speed we are meant to travel. And as we wander on our different paths, finding and following our own heart’s desires, let us take time to be thankful for what we have right now. It can all change in a moment, and then this opportunity will be behind us….

 

Sal


Sally Paradysz | A Slice of Orange

 

Sally Paradysz writes from a book-lined cabin in the woods beside the home she built from scratch. She is an ordained minister of the Assembly of the Word, founded in 1975. For two decades, she has provided spiritual counseling and ministerial assistance. Sally has completed undergraduate and graduate courses in business and journalism. She took courses at NOVA, and served as a hotline, hospital, and police interview volunteer in Bucks County, PA. She is definitely owned by her two Maine Coon cats, Kiva and Kodi.

You can like Sal on Facebook, or read her monthly column, From a Cabin in the Woods, here on A Slice of Orange, or on her personal blog, Sally Paradysz.

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Stories My Mother Told Me

September 14, 2017 by in category Writing tagged as , , , , ,

My mother will be 93 years old on September 21. She travels with me, reads all my books and is my best friend. I wrote this blog some time ago, but I want to share it again because it deserve repeating that she is an amazing woman. I am so proud of my mom. Happy birthday, mom.

_________

Mom at 92

      My parents made a pact to stand on every continent in the world. When my dad passed away, my mother went to the Antarctic for both of them. That’s when I figured there was a lot I didn’t know about mom.

     When she returned with a bright orange jacket that she got ‘for free’ (don’t count the cost of the cruise) she had lots of stories to tell. Yet, when the excitement of the trip wore off, we both had the sense that we were still standing on a pitching deck with no way to get to calm seas. A big piece of the puzzle – my dad – was missing.

     “Write your memoir,” I said.

“My life wasn’t interesting,” she answered.

But the idea must have taken hold. Not long after this conversation, she called. She was done with her memoir.

“Impressive,” I mused.

It took me months to write a novel and she finished hers in a week. Then I saw why. Her ‘manuscript’ was five pages long and she was eighty-five years old. There had to be more.

And so began a year of weekend sleep-overs as we poured over photographs for inspiration. She had twenty beautifully documented photo albums, a box with pictures when cameras were still a new fangled thing.

There was mom wearing waist-length braids and Mary Jane shoes standing in the Germany village she called home.

She was a teenager in the U.S. while war raged in Europe, catching up the grandmother she had lived with, cousins and friends.

There was my mom posing in a swimsuit she bought with the dollar she found on the street.

Mom in her twenty-five dollar bridal gown perched in the back of a hay wagon beside my father, a skinny, wide-eyed farm boy who would become a doctor.

Mom with one child. Two. Three. Five. Six of us all together. Dark haired and big eyed we were her clones dressed in beautiful, homemade clothes. I remember going to sleep to the sound of her sewing machine.

And there were words! I bribed my mother with promises of Taco Bell feasts if she gave me details. Funny, what came to her mind.

To keep body and soul together when my father was in med school, he was a professional mourner and bussed tables for a wealthy fraternity. My mom worked in a medical lab where the unchecked radiation caused her to lose her first baby. They ate lab rabbits that had given their all for pregnancy tests. They were in love and happy and didn’t know they were poor. But St. Louis was cold, she remembered, and they couldn’t afford winter coats. Still, she insisted, they weren’t poor. I listened and knew they were happy.

She typed, I edited; I typed, she talked. My youngest brother almost died when he was 10. She didn’t cry for a long while; not until she knew he would live. The captain of the ship that took her back to Germany was kind. She dreamed of becoming a missionary doctor. In 1954, she had two toddlers (me and my brother) and another baby on the way when she and dad drove to Fairbanks, Alaska where he would serve his residency at the pleasure of the U.S. Air Force. Her favorite outfit was a suit with a white collar. She loved her long hair rolled at her neck in the forties. In the fifties she made a black dress with rhinestone straps and her hair was bobbed. In the sixties, she made palazzo pants and sported a short bouffant. She looked like a movie star in her homemade clothes. I wanted to grow up to be as glamorous as she was. She still thought she wasn’t interesting.

Mom wrote the forward to her memoir herself. It began:

      A great sense of loneliness fills the house as twilight approaches. In the silence, I can almost hear the voices of my grown children as they recall their childhood years, the laughter of grandchildren and the quiet conversations of friends who have gathered here in years past, echoing through the empty rooms.

       You see, she really had no need of my help as a writer.

We had seven copies printed with a beautiful cover of a sunset. She called the book In The Twilight of My Life and would not be swayed to change it. Mom thought it perfect and not the least depressing. It was, she laughed, exactly right. It was the laugh that made it right. She gave my brothers and sisters a copy for Christmas. My older brother had tears in his eyes. Everyone exclaimed: “I never knew that”.

Now I have a book more treasured than any I have written. I learned a lot about my mom and I realized why I create fictional women of courage and conviction, strength and curiosity, intelligence and, most of all, spirit. It’s because, all this time, I’ve been writing about my mother.

 

 

 

 

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From a Cabin in the Woods: New Life by Sally Paradysz

August 13, 2017 by in category From a Cabin in the Woods by Members of Bethlehem Writers Group tagged as , , ,

New Life | Sally Paradysz | A Slice of Orange

The fawns are here!

On my wooded acreage here in Bucks County I have new life.  The fawns are here! So far one of the does has a set of twins, and another doe of my same herd has a new fawn as well. They are not teeny tiny anymore as they grow up quickly, and seemingly right in front of my eyes. Fawns are amazing animals. Just minutes after they are born they are able to nurse, and soon after that, they are able to stand. As quickly as they can travel, sometimes in just hours, the mom leads them away from the birth area and somehow persuades her babies to hide. The fawn/fawns creep under a low growing plant or bush, curls into a ball that would fit onto a dinner plate, and stays there. If she has twins she will lead the other to a different place, she doesn’t want them together because of predators.

What a blessing it is to watch these new fawns grow.

But now they are large enough to follow their moms all around my woods. They drink out of my ground water bath, and nurse right in front of me while I sit on my porch. Never have I seen such gentleness in the eyes of the does. What a blessing it is to watch these new fawns grow. I do feel tension when I see fox or the occasional coyote walking around, but I feel confident that the does are well aware of any danger and will act accordingly and swiftly.

I’m not sure if I have enough wood drying in the field to get me through this coming winter, but these fawns seem to enjoy walking around the pile that is left to split. I still have a lot of work to do this summer, and I’m hopeful that I will get most of it completed while these fawns grow and play.

A sigh of contentment escapes as I continue to live on my “Winnie the Pooh” land, and I think I must be the richest woman in the world…..

Sally


New Life | Sally Paradysz | A Slice of OrangeSally Paradysz writes from a book-lined cabin in the woods beside the home she built from scratch. She is an ordained minister of the Assembly of the Word, founded in 1975. For two decades, she has provided spiritual counseling and ministerial assistance. Sally has completed undergraduate and graduate courses in business and journalism. She took courses at NOVA, and served as a hotline, hospital, and police interview volunteer in Bucks County, PA. She is definitely owned by her two Maine Coon cats, Kiva and Kodi.

Read more about Sally’s life as she builds her home :

FROM SCRATCH

FROM SCRATCH

$16.95eBook: $3.99
Author:
Genre: Memoir
Tag: Non-ficition

Why I Walked Away From My Life and Built This Home

More info →
Buy now!
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Spring’s Finest

May 13, 2017 by in category From a Cabin in the Woods by Members of Bethlehem Writers Group, Writing tagged as , , ,

The Taste of Spring

 

Spring 1 | Sally ParadyszSpring | Sally Paradysz

When I was young, I lived in western Massachusetts. To earn money for a new bike, I picked blueberries at the large blueberry farm in our town. The owner, Blueberry Joe!, let me pick every day that I could get there as it was miles away, and it became something wonderful for me in those years before I turned sixteen and could get a real job. It took a very long time until I could make enough money for my bike, but the fault was mine as I ate more berries than I picked for sale.
I think the love of all berries, but especially blueberries, has stayed with me all these years. I have bushes of my own now in the field, and it is yet another one of the miracles of nature for me. We are having many bees pollinating this year, so the crop should be a good one. My uncle had bee hives in his back yard so I was able to watch the process of beekeeping and the honey that I still love.

As a child, I loved listening to the bees, and watching them fly free. At times, they were not even looking for a flower and it seemed to me that they were flying just for the feel of it. The wind on their body, the noise of the humming, the high-pitched zzzzzzzzz, all turning my heart into a love of mixed emotions much like the walls of honey-combs in my uncle’s white bee hives.

So now I move on from the taste of spring to the smell.

 

Spring 3 | Sally ParadyszSpring 4 | Sally Paradysz

Lilacs are one of my favorite spring fragrances. I love to stop by a bush and inhale my deepest breath, wishing it would last all year round. Its time is short for flowers so one must do this as often as possible. My other favorite is viburnum. Mix these two together in a bouquet, and you almost cannot take the powerful aroma it gives. I then carry it forever in my mind, and I think the flowers know that.

Flowers are akin to kindness my heart says. If I didn’t have them now in my life a part of me would dissolve, I fear, and all I counted on for spring might be lost. For it is kindness that makes the most sense anymore, and it follows me like a shadow once I recognize that piece. It is tender and yet unbearable if you don’t receive it.

Like the sprout that is hidden within the seed, all of us struggle in our life to be seen and heard, and listened to. If we have this kindness in our life our sense of failure fades away, and we again trust ourselves to see things as we perceive them to be…and then rest.

Sally Paradysz

https://sites.google.com/site/sallywparadysz/

http://sallywparadysz.blogspot.com/


Sally Paradysz | A Slice of Orange

 

Sally Paradysz writes from a book-lined cabin in the woods beside the home she built from scratch. She is an ordained minister of the Assembly of the Word, founded in 1975. For two decades, she has provided spiritual counseling and ministerial assistance. Sally has completed undergraduate and graduate courses in business and journalism. She took courses at NOVA, and served as a hotline, hospital, and police interview volunteer in Bucks County, PA. She is definitely owned by her two Maine Coon cats, Kiva and Kodi.

 

Read more about Sally’s life in her memoir FROM SCRATCH; available in paperback and ebook.

FROM SCRATCH

FROM SCRATCH

$16.95eBook: $3.99
Author:
Genre: Memoir
Tag: Non-ficition

Why I Walked Away From My Life and Built This Home

More info →
Buy now!
3 1 Read more
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