Zebras Got Talent 2022

Zebras Got Talent Exhibition

1st Place Winner!

Sadie DePalma – Painting

2nd Place Winner!

Kelly Dimitrov – Dance

3rd Place Winner!

Zayah Flores – Music

Christie Cox – Creative Writing

This Moment

By Cli 🌻

The power of mindfulness in my search for wellness

The worry, the pain, the fear was consuming

Constant ruminating on what if and what’s looming

Lacking in facts it continued to take hold

The power of the mind in dictating how this would unfold

Powerless, consumed by feelings of losing control

The past and future thinking was taking its toll

The light of spirit and hope diminishing

What is the answer, how can this change?

Talking, questioning, endless research and reading

Yielding little results only fueled the screaming

My children, husband, family, my friends

How must they feel, how will this end?

What are my options, how can this change?

Many therapies and trials, mixtures, and fixes

Most of which failed, leaving feelings of frustration

Then something happened, one day it became clear

The power was within to dampen the despair

Within what, you might wonder, what does that mean

Through presence my friend, through simply being

Away from ruminating, past, and future thinking

Letting go of the judgments, letting go of the sinking

Allowing space to soften the tension

The pain it then settled as did the apprehension

Cutting attachment to worry and strife

Silencing its power – releasing the fear

Making space for new insights of what was really there

It wasn’t so bad, those thoughts were…….just thoughts

My mind was misbehaving and calling the shots

It ambushed my logic, my reality, my freedom

Once taken to task it quietened, it calmed

Allowing space for wisdom

Where is this wisdom, what does it mean?

It is right there my friend once given space to be seen

Clearing the baggage, untruths, and misleading’s

That can block our ability to truly feeling

Step back for a moment to notice the sounds

What can you hear, what can be found?

I hope clarity of mind as bright as the day

That will guide you to a place of freedom and peace

Not without challenge, worry or strife

All part of the human experience, all part of life

But a place of acceptance where awareness is key

Finding peace of heart and mind amidst, adversity

Understanding what is and not focusing on what could be

Allow it my friend this amazing gift

Of being here and now with only what is

This Moment.

Karen Purpero – Creative Writing

Today I was in one of those antiquities shops that sells all manner of plaques for every room of the house.  Like, “flush the toilet so you don’t kill the cat”.  I consider myself a lover of words, but I don’t want them engraved on cheap signs in every room of my house.

One in particular caught my attention today: My wife is not fragile like a delicate flower, she is fragile like a bomb.  At first I thought, “Well crap!”  I hate it but that is just too true of me.  But, in the super special way we wives have of explaining why we are the way we are, I explained to myself (in my head, where I always agree with myself), “You know what? You are STRONG.  You don’t just flop over at every gust of wind!”

I think I am like this pansy.  I named her Forza.  In Italian it means Strength.  It’s lovely (I tell myself). It’s colorful.  It looks delicate.  But this crazy-strong pansy managed to push her lovely face through concrete and sand and bricks to say hello to an otherwise un-colorful front porch.

Obstacles? So what.  Physical limitations? Big deal.  A hand surgeon who can’t believe I can still play at all? Who says he knows everything?

The Spirit of the Living God lives within me and He wrote all the days of my life in His book before one of them came to be (Psalm 139:16).  His plan for my life, and for your life, includes obstacles. Sometimes the obstacle can seem like I’m underneath brick and mortar. And then the Lord, in His sweet way, brings this little pansy to my porch.

I love what I do and will keep doing it for as long as God allows.  And my heart and spirit can rest because I know the Lord knows what is ahead on the path and He had it figured out before I was born. 

I always told my kids to keep their head up when they are walking.  But sometimes when you look down, you just may see something surprising.

Eleanor Bishop – Music

Rachel Han – Dance

Jennifer Stacy – Drawing

Christina Ponsell – Photography

Karen Purpero – Music

Susan Cradit – Video Performance

Susan Cradit – Photography

Leah Harris – Drawing

Maria Fernanda Marin – Graphic Design

Jessica Taylor – Photography

Carol Herz – Graphic Design

Maria Fernanda Marin – Creative Writing

Inspired on my own lifestory –

The worst thing about being too transparent is that you can become invisible

And at that moment… no one can see you or hear you, even if you say it loud and clear

You are in a cold and dark place, where no one can touch you, or hug you, no one can see your tears

Even if you shout it… you no longer exist

What you thought was there is suddenly gone and now, it’s only you, and yourself

What held you now let you down, now there is only air, in which you vanish, slowly… painful… like the last breath of an agony, you can’t scape

The same ending repeats itself in a loop, over and over again, it covers you, it traps you… you can no longer get out, you just close your eyes but you can’t scape

You feel that you are useless, worthless, that there is no hope, you are not useful, there is no place for you, not for you… because it is you

You are forgotten, but you don’t forget

You never forget… life hits you, breaks you, destroys you

You put on a mask, a smile, this one is visible, it’s nice, but still…

Even with all the signs, you’re still invisible inside

You try your best, even if is not enough, you still do, you wanna run

You don’t want to give up, even though everyone has already given up on you, you don’t wanna be the lost cause

But you can’t by yourself, broken

You don’t want… alone… ignored… it hurts

I don’t… i can’t…

I just… can’t

Scape from myself.

Denise Skotek – Video Performance

Randi Chrisdoulou – Drawing & Graphic Design

Lisa Wise – Christmas Tree Design

Ashlee McKenna – Painting

Marisa Giachetti – Creative Writing

The Lost Place of the Invisible In-Between

I live in a place between healthy and acutely unwell
That which is commonly misunderstood.
It is a place of the in-between that is chronic and complex in nature. A place with great stigma.
A place where many live in secret.
The invisible in-between.

Inwardly riddled with frustration and conflict,
although seemingly “ok” on the outside.
The conflict of living with a mind that says “go” and in a body that says “no” And in return, the mind rebels.
A place of complexity,
that you often have trouble making sense of.
It’s a place of loss.
A place where the grieving feels relentless.

The losses, both tangible and intangible. The loss of body and mind.
It’s the loss of mobility.
It’s the loss of autonomy.

It’s the loss of time.
It’s the missed years and experiences
It’s the temporary loss of sanity.
It’s the loss of self.
It’s the loss of health.
It’s the loss of dreams and plans.
It’s the loss of friendships.
The loss of a body and mind that maybe you thought you once knew,
or never did.
The loss of familiarity of living in a body and mind that you once felt safe in,
or maybe it’s the very loss of that safety, stability, and familiarity that you never came to meet.

All that is lost, hurts.
Not all losses have a rhyme or reason.
And not every loss is meant to make you stronger or teach you a lesson. Loss is traumatic.
Loss hurts and loss breaks, but you are not broken.
In the invisible in-between, you are your strength. Believe it or not, you are what carries you through.

Remember that.

In the insurmountable moments,
the moments that feel suffocating and inescapable,
The in-between of weak and strong,
Where you’re not sure how or if you’ll make it through time and time again, you somehow still do.

A place of invisible struggle
the invisible battles, both physical and mental.
A place between defeat and overcoming.
A place of somehow managing while also feeling unmanageable. A place between succumbing and recovering.
A place where healing feels impossible,
and yet you are unknowingly taking the steps already.
A place where you feel like you have lost yourself and
continue to lose yourself over and over.

This place of the invisible in-between,
This place of great loss is a place of continuous grieving.
A place of living, breathing, enduring, suffering, struggling, managing, persevering, embracing, and accepting.
This place is also a place of continuous healing
physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

With each loss, there is a gain.
And with each gain, there is a loss.
Not all pleasant and not all troubling.
In between the times of losing yourself,
In between losing the parts of you that you continue to grieve,
you also have gained yourself.
Shedding the parts of you that needed to be shed
and gaining the perspective and self-understanding needed for you
to keep moving through the invisible in-between.
To stay open and keep moving toward new opportunities, dreams, and adventures. Not replacing what was lost but recreating and rediscovering all that can be found.

All may be lost, but you are not.
You never were.
You are somewhere chronically in-between.

I am here in this place of the invisible.
A place invisible to others.
A place of feeling chronically misunderstood.
And in this place of the in-between, that often feels lonely…

I am visible. I have lost and I am found. I have myself.

Marisa Giachetti @chronicallymissyg