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Oh My Art ! What an ab~SOUL~utely gorgeous post. It was so gorgeous...that I read it about 5 (maybe even 10) minutes ago and I still have the tears in my eyes. I keep reading it and I keep crying! *LOL* There's such a wealth of wisdom there.

When you said "I left Staten Island because I took it all for granted and expected that the life I made for myself would be better." I thought to myself: Wow! Countless Souls can benefit from that! Countless! I, like you, have counseled numerous people and they usually think that "going away" and "starting over" will help them with their problems. Rare are the times that it works out that way. Peace, Happiness and Whole-ness are states of ~BE~ING~...they're not "destinations". That's not to say that anyone who does move away from their place of birth...their roots... is "wrong". I'm not at all trying to saying that. What I am saying though is that the real key to inner peace is INSIDE OF US. All that we REALLY possess...all they will EVER possess... is inside of us already. We don't have to physically move anywhere to access it.

I had a friend once, who moved all the way to England just to "get away" from his horrible family. He's been gone many years now and he doesn't even know whether they're dead or alive. He "claims" that he's uninterested and that he never thinks about them but his "actions" say differently. In the material sense, he's very successful. He owns a couple of major companies. He has just about everything (and then some) that money can buy.....

...but you know what? He's sad all the time.

He's sad, and he's lonely, and he's always striving. But striving for WHAT???? He's striving to PROVE something to people that he claims he cares nothing about.

He's living for the sake of others. He's not listening to his own inner voice. He's so busy WORKING HARD....most of the time....he doesn't even know he has one.

For someone that "left" his family long ago....he sure does talk about them alot! *S* O.k.! He doesn't talk about them in a nice way....but still yet....he talks about them. That means that he hasn't REALLY "left" them at all!

I, like you, feel exhilarated to be able to say: Hey!!! I went to PS 30...and Junior High 51....and Port Richmond High School. My Mother went to Port Richmond High School too. My Daughter now goes there. THAT'S ROOTS TO THE HILT! Wow! What an an inheritance it is!!!!! My Mother, Daughter and I share a BOND!!!!!!!!!!! I really do think that's so neat. I remember walking around the halls of PRHS when I was there thinking...WOW! My MOTHER was actually here. Now *LOL*...My Daughter has said the exact same thing to me.

Those are the things that bring a Smile to your ~*Heart and Soul*~. No ONE and No THING....can take them away. I feel Blessed beyond measure every single time it happens!!!!

Art, Yours was a journey that has come Full Circle ....and that's eactly THE WAY... it's suppose to be. *S*

I loved it when you said: "Who else but StatNislanders have the choice of experiencing big city sophistication, small town provincialism, rural wildness and suburbia all at once. At no time are you perminantly locked into any one of those choices as you would be if you lived where I do now."

High Five! I've always said the SAME THING myself. It's like having everything the Universe has to offer....

....right at your Fingertips!

You're already ~HOME~ Art...because you're home in your ~Heart~...but who knows, perhaps one day.....you'll come ~HOME~...the other way too!!!!

Hey! You just never know! *S*

Again....GREAT POST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

~*Donna*~



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