Nicaragua Calling

I am a woman who is blessed in so many ways. My trip to Nicaragua in February of this year was also a very real healing trip for myself as well.My experiences with our wonderful group of women that I travelled with who gave their time and talents to this project and the ProNica partners attending our workshops had a profound effect. Experiencing their bravery, the work they all do is wonderful. I am very grateful I was able to join them on this trip and I look forward to going again sometime.  Oh, did I mention, we travelled to Managua on my birthday! We went with a humanitarian Group called ProNica. Here is Bette’s article from the ProNica Summer Newsletter.

Warm breezes welcomed our team of six healers to Managua on Feb 18, 2016. The group settled in at Quaker House where we were greeted with a delicious meal and hugs from ProNica staff. The team included massage therapists, yoga teachers, a psychologist and a sex therapist. For several team members it was their first visit to Nicaragua. Our mission was to lead workshops and retreats on trauma healing for ProNica staff and partners in various parts of the country.

The first day the team visited sites in the city of Managua and listened intensely to the history of the country. It was important to understand the context of the country and the inter-connectedness of our nations. The tree-lined Salvador Allende Bolivar brought us to present times as we admired the “trees of life” that were created by first lady, Dona Rosario Ortego. The well-lit metal structures loom tall and powerful on the avenue and around the city. Political billboards proclaiming the strength and goodness of the Ortega government are everywhere. A tourist might surmise there were no other political parties in Nicaragua.

Our first workshop was a one-day AVP (Alternatives to Violence Project) training on trauma healing held at the Kairos Center. ProNica partner, Harold Urbina, and other AVP facilitators from around the country enjoyed the intense “advanced” workshop experience. For most of our team, it was an introduction to AVP and the popular education modality.
Next we traveled to the Centro de Retiros La Palmera in Diriamba to spend the next few days with Los Quinchos staff. Initially, we visited the children and were entertained by a visiting circus working with the former street children for a month. Our team was excited by the holistic approach of Los Quinchos to the traumatized street children. We observed them learning new skills (like sewing or drumming), cooking together and a cooperative family approach.

“The best part of the experience for me was working with Los Quinchos staff. It was amazing to see their resilience, desire to learn and help in spite of all they had been through themselves. “Sometimes I feel jaded about the world, and working with them boosted my sense of hope.” This statement is from Melanie Ricaurte, one of the team members. Her reflection was shared after several days in retreat with the amazingly resilient and resourceful staff of Los Quinchos.
Our third – and final- retreat was held in San Ramon at the Sueno de la Campana Retreat Center. Retreatants came from ProNica’s northern partners, and some traveled for many hours by bus to join us. Casa del Nino, Casa Materna, Rio Blanco Women’s Network were all well represented at the retreat.

Each person was scheduled to receive a massage and got called from the circle when their turn came. Again we explored types of trauma with a popular education format. We spoke of stages of grief and how to deal with them. There was ample time to share stories and learn some new information as well. For many the five circles of sexuality were a welcome way to explore issues of relationship and violence. The circles include: sexualization, sensuality, intimacy, sexual identity and sexual health and reproduction.
In addition to leading the three retreats, the team had time to swim at Laguna de Apoyo, stroll along the lakeshore waterfront park in Managua, and have a mini-retreat at La Garnacha near Esteli.
The healers were all pleased to participate in this project. They were deeply moved by their interactions with ProNica partners who are so deeply committed to the work of social change. Several described a deep healing that happened to them during the experience as well.
Understanding the historical and political context was crucial for the healers in addressing the origins of trauma in the country. We hope and trust that out healing work with ProNica partners affected them as much as it did us. Just Peace Circles, Inc plans to return with another team of healers in February of 2017, as way opens.
By Bette Hoover, Just Peace Circles Inc. & Baltimore Yearly Meeting



Happy New Year 2016 HANG on we’re OFF

It is 2016, this year in February I am going to Managua, Nicaragua, to do  various kinds of healing on the many healers in that area giving their lives, devoting their lives to the care and healing of mankind in one form or another. My friend Betty has been doing this kind of work and service for many years in such places as Honduras and Nicaragua. She has honored those who have little in war torn nations. We are going to work with the folks that run an orphanage, among one of the places we will be visiting  There are many orphans in Nicaragua after the wars and slaughter that have taken place there. Such a need. We are going under the auspices of an organization that has worked with the Quaker Community over the years to bring Peace in whatever way they can to this nation, so torn and weary and now somewhat for sale to the highest bidder seemingly. If one can hear the tyrant words of the Chinese Businessman wanting to put through a canal similar to the Panama Canal. It would cut a  swathe through farmland, rain forests and  the largest natural inland lake, tearing asunder natural vegetation and water levels and stripping good farmland from many farmers.

Change is difficult for any nation and weighing the pros and cons of any large project that seemingly decimates natural lands without adequate studies in view of the possible destruction of a major natural lake and so many farms and well I already said it, the question is why? how can this benefit. We have already seen oil companies come in and devastate communities, spilling oil on delicate land, ecosystems and peoples turned to slave labor. We don’t hear much about the consequences, NBC is not reporting it. Unless you are listening to some news reports outside of the general American airwaves you will not hear those reports.

No, America is made out to be too perfect, however I digress. So I am going to Nicaragua with 5 other healers and we are going to be presenting Trauma healing workshops and massage and energy healing and body movement among our combined modalities, to these women and men to help and to support their healing.

We are going to be traveling through the countryside and drinking in the beauty of Nicaragua. Listening to the song of birds and water, wind and the green that is everywhere there. The heat and the sun. We are going to listen to the voices of her people and her land and we are going to be living there and listening.I pray we can truly make a difference. Many of the people we will be working with have been victims of the war machine, rapes and murders of family members, rape of themselves, their own body and deep loss. Deep deep loss.

This I have learned and it is a simple fact, that when  you ask the Divine to come through you and allow you to serve in some sweet way, the Divine says yes as much and more, as deep and as willing as you are to say yes, the Divine says Yes even louder and so much deeper.

All About Meditation

In 40 years I cannot begin to tell you what an honor it is to have this deep experience of the Divine within my heart. How long have I waited. How grateful am I and I have to tell you that after sitting with the Divine Mother in the form of Sai Maa I am feeling so loved and empowered. That Life and Light is all here with me now. Maa says now is the time.

She is not kidding. So loved. In am so grateful in your Divine Love  so cleansing, so perfect, so healing.

My Love, call me home to our heart of hearts.

Come come come be with me now…

My Beloved…

and Light to you.

In these recent days I have been doing some guided meditations  and they have been so powerful and so beautiful. How so? A time where the room was still so quiet even with the 5 or 6 people who have joined me for these events. A quietness and a real dance with the Divine has been going on.

One friend said” I have not been able to stand up straight for years, because of my cerebral palsy, but I felt I was standing up straight and it was magnificent.”

Others reported a deep sense of peace and others a joy just bubbling and delicious.

I would love to share that guided meditation with you all soon. Yes, yes how lovely…

Love and Light to you,



As summer slipped away I found myself at first resisting the autumn chill yet no sooner did the lovely colors arrive and I said a quick hurray and went on. I drive east to Annapolis along the beautiful Rte 70 quite often and the trees there truly put on a show. So I decided to invite a friend and we went for a days drive down to Skyline Drive entering at Front Royal Virginia and wending our way along. We stopped at several of the overlooks. At the lower altitudes the trees were so colorful and as we drove higher the cloud cover blotted out the views and the air got wetter. We had a nice lunch at a store with a lunch counter  on the drive then we went on a bit, but the predicted rain was getting heavier and we decided to return home so we could beat the rush hour traffic.

What a glorious drive. The traffic was light and it was easy to pull

Skyline Dr, VA

Skyline Dr, VA


Skyline Dr , VA

Skyline Dr , VA

over at the overlooks jump out,  take some photographs and enjoy the vistas and move on.

Today on NPR I heard the Skyline Dr recommendation for Fall colors. Yes I second that!!

Skyline Drive, VA

Skyline Drive, VA

Juan Felipe Herrera at The Library of Congress Sept 15th Our New Poet Laureate

Dr James H Billington started the program speaking of the choice of  Juan Felipe Herrera as Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry. He also spoke of previous Poet Laureates and their choices of projects that they achieved during their tenure. Wonderful  Projects like the favorite poem project by Robert Pinsky in 1997 and Ted Kooser’s project to create space and presence for poetry in American Culture by providing  a free  weekly column for newspapers and periodicals and Natasha Tretheway’s project of exploring societal issues through poetry’s lens in a series of reports with PBS NewsHour Senior Correspondent Jeffrey Brown, as part of the show’s Poetry Series just to name a few.

Juan Felipe calls poetry Freedom and he is right. This is what he said to NPR

“Poetry is a call to action and it also is action. Sometimes we say, “This tragedy, it happened far away. I don’t know what to do. I’m concerned but I’m just dangling in space.” A poem can lead you through that, and it is made of action because you’re giving your whole life to it in that moment. And then the poem — you give it to everyone. Not that we’re going to change somebody’s mind — no, we’re going to change that small, three-minute moment. And someone will listen. That’s the best we can do.”

I was honored to be at this wonderful reception and reading by our new Poet Laureate, Juan Felipe Herrera. I was able to get some photographs of Juan Felipe during the reception and also later at his reading. There was a wonderful Balada and spoken word performance which was put together in an earlier ballad class presented by Juan Dies, Juan Felipe’s friend. The words were written  by the attendees of the class:   I have recorded most of the words spoken by Juan Felipe here accompanied by the beautiful guitar music of Juan Dies who often frames Juan Felipe’s own poetry in just this way :

I want to sing about it about a woman who died   her name was Sandra Bland they say she committed suicide.  It was the 10th of July in Texas the police arrested her just because she didn’t blink the lights right and took her to jail. She was a brave African American she who knew her rights she was a great  activist and she stood up against the police. Brian was a mean man he thought too much of himself and he abused Sandra Bland and now everybody knows. Sandra knew about all the dangers of discrimination, she shouted out “Black Lives Matter” and that was her doom. When Brian told Sandra, “Put out that cigarette” she said “no sir, I know my rights.”

Brian was so upset he just yanked her out of the car with violence and with pushes and with force he arrested her. She was in jail for three days no one knew what had happened to her with a plastic bag they say she committed suicide. “Please everybody you know, violence is going to continue even though you have a video that may not save you.”

There was more, unfortunately my iPhone photo app was suddenly full, so I missed the last bit. It wasn’t much longer, but so beautiful and I am going to put up what I have on You Tube.

I was moved to tears more than once by the poetry of Juan Felipe. It is so real and so deep, so honest and so free. The son of Mexican migrant workers Juan Felipe was encouraged to use his voice by his 3rd grade teacher who had him get up in front of class and sing. When he finished his song she told him what a beautiful voice you have Juan Felipe and so his journey with words began.

This wonderful woman was present for this event along with Juan Felipe’s family and friends from Riverside CA. Recently has been the California State Poet Laureate.

The poetry of Juan Felipe Herrera speaks to the richness of color and life of the earth and her bones, he writes of the journeys of man, the war and famine the soldier and suicide, the soldier and mental illness… ” all those lives    never go away      they burn they burn ”       He writes with a kindness and gentleness, with a scream and a rhythm that is this life. He writes with honesty and the freedom of the gritty and the Light.

The first photo is of myself and Grace Cavalieri at the Library of Congress.


IMG_1916 FullSizeRender-14 IMG_1932 FullSizeRender-15

This is what Juan Felipe read as his closing poem. He wrote this poem for the event.


Let it begin – you say, crimson fibers &

solar epoch rise up at the broken spoke of

the life highway

bones of ragged singers the ones you find painted in

street shadow life


the ones made of sugar, black coffee, tin can drink

asleep by the mountain scar – they

still keep songs woven on brown-off-white belts


let grandfather fire Tatewari tear himself

for the ache sweet waters of mother waves Aramara

teal glaze ocean – red beads sea speak here


speak here:

long and ancient strings splintered

tiny guitar plywood sanded down

sit here – this corner by Fanta machines teetering

gas pump road to Guadalajara —






Here I am down the road a few years from where I started trying to say a few things to those who might listen or argue or be somewhat entertained by my thoughts about acupuncture,  5000 years of Chinese practice might mean something! Acupuncture had saved me from terrible, lousy, allergies.

I also spoke of energy healing and the fact that there was more than one galaxy.

The fact that we ( our consciousness at that time) didn’t really know it all.. Meditation and Yoga!! Yes all this, so powerful, and such a contribution to our society at that time and now today it’s all normal!!! Such a difference. It’s all mainstream.

So I at one point got discouraged gave up and let go and now I’m back, meditation and Yoga, I have lost that weight, and my Beloved Teacher Sai Maa who brought me home, home again, to what you ask,  to the Divine within, that’s her lovely lovely work in this world. To bring us back to that experience of the Divine within.

My first trimester of pregnancy with my third child just about wiped me out with upper respiratory congestion, trying to breathe at night, asthma, wheezing and  the whole breathless catastrophe. Oh man, imagine my relief when I was finally treated by the best acupuncturist in the Washington DC area. We made a trade, I would work as a receptionist Saturday mornings and he would treat me.

What a difference, 6 weeks of treatment and I was no longer sneezing or congested. I was breathing easily and walking tall! Soon after I started studying with Dr Wu and doing energy healing work which was my specialty with some of his clients. What a gift to study with such a great Master Acupuncturist.

To this day I am still practicing energy healing and I am my self a Master Healer.

At 71 I am a happy, healthy and delighted Human Being.

My teacher today, Sai Maa, teaches us the Divine state of being and as an Enlightened Master and a living Saint raises our vibration and what I know now is that, that is the job of a teacher….to raise our vibration, to inform us and heal ourselves in that exchange.

Maa as a living saint has a signature program called the Journey of Profound Healingwww.sai-maa/profound during which she cuts the roots of those haunting and injurious traits that run from  generation to generation, such as depression and suicide which runs in my family, could be abuse and heavy alcoholism whatever……  You can find out more about Maa at

I would like to acknowledge my poetry teacher and mentor, Grace Cavalieri. I do so love words and the art of poetry. Grace has been a tremendous contribution to my life as a poet, as a woman and for her tremendous contributions to the lives and words of all the many poets she has made eternal by her recordings with their interviews at The Library Of Congress at “The Poet and the Poem.”

You can find my interview along with my fellow West Virginian and dear friend, the poet Sonja James at Part 2 at this address 

How I love you, My Maa and how I love you Dearest Grace. I am so grateful for you. Your appreciation and encouragement of my poetry craft.Your guidance and editing. I am so grateful.

So In september there will, I hear, be a huge influx of energy to our beloved Mother Earth. This to raise the energy, enliven and enlighten the consciousness of the planet. God knows we need it.

With so much of our world stuck in we versus them it is time to go to work. Raise your own vibration through meditation, dancing and the enjoyment and self expression of our lives in gratitude for this life. Somewhere you agreed to come here to this earth at this time to bring in a world of Peace and Prosperity.

A state of joy and Knowledge of our own individual Divinity.

Are you ready to roll? Come on Come on!!

Grace Cavalieri with the Poet Laureate  Charles Simic.

Grace Cavalieri with the Poet Laureate Charles Simic.


Grace with Sue Silver and Sonja James  at the Library of Congress, Washington DC  The Poet and The Poem 2014

Sia  Maa in India

Sia Maa in India

The love of my Beloved Sai Maa, heals the world.

Here is one of my poems written at a wonderful workshop with the poet and neurologist Frederick Foote.


I am from infant failing to thrive

saved by intramedullary feedings

saved with Mother’s milk.

I am from always the new person

on the block.

From unknown to maybe you’re OK,

milk bottles delivered to the house

air raid drills under the desk

Rock ‘n Roll and Elvis

I am from the ocean, clean salty swell, surfing the waves

on 8 foot boards at Piha beach, black sands and riptides,

sweet parties at the Surf Club, 1960’s

Scuba diving, in the caves of the Poor Knights Islands

I have travelled on the Oronsay to this new home down under

the land of the Long White Cloud, New Zealand,

the Maori. Mother’s friends and family.

I am from divorce and decree, Catholic school and rules,

writing, writing and my first Brownie camera.

Poetry, stories and photographs

The Newmarket Swim club, sunburn and swim meets.

I am from the red phone box, press button B to speak

the sailboat adventures with friends, on the 36 foot sloop with ketch rigging,

winning the race at the Akarana yacht club,

nightime sailing in the cold, warmed with coffee and a drop of rum,

I am from Scuba diving in caves at the Poor Knight’s Islands.

Nursing school and Post graduate studies , the Ann Arbor riots

I am from Meditation, Kriya Yoga, energy healing and growth

Soul retrieval,


Travelling through profound healings.


Hillary's sister and Maid Of Honor with Hillary and Danica. Such beauties !!

Hillary’s sister and Maid Of Honor Philippa Miller with Hillary and Danica. Such beauties! 

Hillary Topping and Thaddeus Stamps my daughter and her love Thaddeus recently married at a lovely ceremony at the Carrollton Inn, Baltimore, MD.  What a lovely setting for a very beautiful ceremony planned and executed in 10 days by my dear daughter Hillary and her Beloved,Thaddeus.

It was a lovely gathering of close friends and family in such a unique place. Lots of photos here.

This is Mr and Mrs Thaddeus and Hillary Stamps, Their children Danica and Decimus Stamps and her friends. Decimus and Grayson, Pip and Hillary and Danica.I love my dress

At the Reception

At the Reception

Throwing the Bouquet

cutting the cake together as we will share  our lives deeply  in love and Light  always my love

cutting the cake together
as we will share our lives
in love and Light
always my love

on the left, my grand daughter with two friend at her parents wedding.

getting kind of tired

getting kind of tired

Danica Stamps

Danica Stamps

More DanicaMonk, Thaddeus and Hillary

Monk Topping, Hillary’s Dad, Thaddeus and Hillary.

Decimus and Grayson in the second from the top photo. Just lovely. Lovely lovely, lovely.


IMG_1454Stopped by the river today for a visit, the air had a sweet breeze blowing so gently and the light was delicious.

I took my friend’s little dog Dusty, a Tibetan Spaniel. An easy companion, we sat on the dock for the longest time, just watching the light play with the clouds and the waves. A nice place to be after a good days work. Outside at last.IMG_1452IMG_1463

New Blog Theme

Lots of rain happening for us here and we are happy to have it. What better task to undertake on such a day as to look around for a new theme. One that might show off my photographs and blog content better. I hope you like this new look. Let me know.