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Abrazos! xox Penny

Monday, December 31, 2012

Little Bites

of art and technology illuminating the way to the New Year...

I probably should call this post "Movie Madness". We had no power for a few days due to an ice storm followed by a "thunder-snow" and after huddling in a 40 degree house, opted to go to a really warm movie theater and see both "Lincoln" and "Les Miserables". They are fabulous...exquisitely acted and emotionally engaging.

So much so that one thing led to another and from these movies, especially "Lincoln", I learned volumes about my own family...people and places I had never heard of before. There were some truly stunning discoveries.

My family is fortunate to know a lot about many. While there have been some avid geneologists, they missed a huge part of one branch of the family that I unearthed.

I learned that the state where I have been living for over 27 years and thinking there was no familial connection at all, has hundreds of relatives who have been here since the early 1800's. I learned that this line goes back to a Dutch merchant who arrived in the New World in 1624 and was one of the first land owners in "New Amsterdam", now my beloved New York City. I learned, sadly, my family had slaves until the late 1700's, maybe beyond. Because some stayed in the North and some came South, they most likely fought against each other in The Civil War. I learned my great-grandfather's grandfather was one of Napoleon's grenadiers and his personal bodyguard. And there is so much more...all because of art and technology: the movies, an old family lithograph, an inquisitiveness about any possible ties to Lincoln and the incredible access to information on the little bite after another.

All this has given me pause and thoughts for the New Year. There was a beautiful interview that aired on Christmas with CBS's Scott Pelley and Nazi death camp survivor and Nobel Laureate, Elie Wiesel. Technology allows me to hear these poignant words whenever I want to and need have a reminder, to illuminate the way. When asked how to create peace, Mr. Wiesel said start with ending humiliation and taking small daily steps...little bites of peace, one at a time.

Getting ready to welcome in 2013 and all of its discoveries, here are my New Year's little bites...

May peace be with you and your families this coming year and always!

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