My Music Medicine

There were two comments made to me — about me — in the last year that I have been pleased to keep active in my memory:

1. “If I were stranded on a desert island, I’d want to be there with you.”   I knew what my colleague meant by the statement.  She had witnessed my broken aura.  She knew I’d find a way, a solution and anyone in my close proximity would benefit from my instinctive, inventive, inspirational ways to survive.   Another person I told about the complement, totally missed the mark — replying that I’d play my oboe to keep happy.   That’s not at all what the comment was about.

2. When you play oboe, I see a white glow around you.  You bring life to the notes.  This comment was especially impressive.

The Auric Field – Aura is life. It is the energy that animates our physical body. The auric field exists in different layers sometimes referred to as harmonics because of the color fields they emit. Each layer of the auric field is a body just as real and alive as the physical body. Each layer is a mini world with its own sense of purpose. The magic of the auric field is in how these mini worlds intertwine and dance with one another. These layers interconnect with one another determining our experience with our physical reality.”

Treatment Tunes

Musical Resonance

Music Therapy

I currently perform with the Sunbury City Band.  It doesn’t provide income — most of us professional musicians can’t survive on our highly skilled craft.   But band is part of my “music therapy”  — priceless reward of camaraderie.

L-R: Marti, Christina, Deanna, Marvin

L-R: Marti, Christina, Deanna, Marvin

My next therapeutic session will be providing music for others during a Sunday at Six program at All Saints Episcopal Church of Selinsgrove.  Second Sunday at Six (10/13/2013).   My mother (Mariam) will accompany me with piano on four pieces. One selection will be for unaccompanied oboe.

The proposed program is a mix of traditional folk music, standard ballads (instrumental version) and film theme.  Hope to see you there — if you’re in this country or county.

Office of One

Each day brings a new challenge for me as I determine where I will locate my portable office.

1. Will I work in my transitional space in which I was forced to take refuge after my multiple businesses were destroyed?

2. Should I locate a new eating establishment with WIFI and a suitable table for my laptop and papers?

3. Is the weather such that I can explore an outdoor space with a canopy of trees or gazebo?

Image

Of course this is not the typical issues a regular office worker has to deal with.  Many TV shows portray an exaggerated work environment of friendships and personality conflicts.

Lately, I find the best office space for me is OUTSIDE with the unknown ceiling height of the sky.  Research has shown that work spaces and areas with high ceilings are more conducive to creative thinking, productivity and problem solving — yet most companies confine workers to cubicles for fear an employee or student will get distracted.

Today I couldn’t set up in one of my standard locations due to a towering oak tree propelling acorns at rapid intervals — boing, bounce, plop, plunk — either on my papers or head. What I did find was and enchanting surrounding — nicer than the previous location.

ButterflyOffice

I update inventory for my website, write articles for the blog and plan for upcoming music programs and a potential replacement brick & mortar business.  I spend rainy/inclement days inside completing oboe repairs and sketching out new ideas.  Sunny/temperate days give me the greatest joy for work — outside with nature to accomplish the goals of the week.

My only concerns when working outside are rapidly changing temperature (too hot/cold), invasion of spiders, flies, mosquitoes AND rain, wind, darkness, too much light.   (hey, those sound like the same concerns during an outdoor music performance…)

Today, I had two visitors pass through my “office”:   a lady on her afternoon stroll and a stray calico cat on her afternoon prowl.  I sometimes have the pleasure of a ladybug, caterpillar, katydid and squirrels to check on my progress at work.

Katydid

Oh — office hours are ending shortly — the battery on the laptop is 20% power !    I still have time for pad and paper till “lights” dim for the evening shift.


OutdoorOffice

Caterpiller

10-1-2013 007

The Road Not Taken — or Found

Many of my blog readers are familiar with the poem by Robert Frost “The Road Not Taken“.

Now with GPS, it would seem all roads would be discovered AND traveled.    Not so when it comes to the road leading to a monument memorializing the victims of Sept 11, 2001.  

The location of the former World Trade Center was easy to locate.  All trains, subways have it as a destination.  It has been a point of interest since it was first built.    The new construction being erected in place of the destroyed/demolished Trade Center Towers is incredibly stunning — by day and night.  Security was located everywhere and barricades were placed on each street for most city blocks surrounding the WTC.
Image

Why is the extraordinary monument constructed by the Russian government and its citizens not mentioned in a prominent flier or tour guide for NYC?   I was fortunate to be introduced to the artwork through a friend and an online video.

 Image

It took much determination and alternate directional skill to located the monument.  NO road matches the one listed online. There is NO sign or marker pointing the way to the monument.  The towering reminder is on a desolate space that looks across the water with a view of the Statue of Liberty AND the newly constructed WTC memorial tower. 

 Image

 

While snapping several photos of the Tear Drop, a young gentleman approached and asked if I wanted him to take a photo with the monument in the background.   He shared that his uncle was killed in the Towers. He travels from California each year to see the Russian monument. He added that there is a new item added on the grounds each year — the latest being a sample of the steel beam from the WTC.

I took the road less traveled and discovered a monumental display of art that expressed without words, the grief of loss to our country AND the world.   

www.youtube.com/watch?v=88sz4SPVefQ

 

Tear Drop Monument
Former Military Ocean Terminal 
Bayonne, NJ

Dreading Treading

Fitness_Equipment_Gym_Equipment__Commercial_Treadmill_RT-C008[1]

Tonight was a breakthrough in my process of discovering the “joy of fitness.” I was informed that in the early morning, by 6:30 am, the place is full — the fitness center . . . Who in their “right mind” would think of exercising that early in the morning. Oh actually — not any right-minded people — nope, only left-minded people. My first day at the fitness club was completely overwhelming and stimulating — sounds, bodies, TVs, machines everywhere.

The contraptions look daunting. I see an eerie similarity to a Medieval torture device. But no, these are modern engineered machinery to improve human condition and endurance. Go “figure.”

fitness_equipment[1]<
<

And by the way, I have to take breaks often to build my brain muscle i.e. — writing a blogpost. Tonight was a new adventure for me. I was sensing a need to try something different and this week I visualized my plan. There it was right beneath me . . . as I tread lightly on the mill. I set the speed to low, held onto the side posts — and flipped around. That was it. My mind slipped into a form of euphoria. I was treading backwards!

Don’t think that’s an easy task for someone — particularly me — who can trip and fall on a flat, dry, non-moving service while not even walking!

Can’t say I’m adept with large motor skills, but this was a breakthrough. I hadn’t been that coordinated since the days of marching band. We were expected to march in tempo, hold an instrument, count, turn on cue — and even walk backwards.

Left - Right - Left - Right

 

Photo Phace Phriends

How do I, a creative spirit, find folks in a town where there are no past connections?

I spent the early part of the day looking at architecture in another area.  I drove back to my temporary town and stopped off for supper in the local pizza shop. My somewhat new assertive courage actually worked out fine today.

BroccoliTomatoHamPizza
(broccoli, ham, tomato, cheese pizza)

I was doing work on my laptop when I looked out into the room where seven young folks congregated after school. They sat around a double table with their beverages (and sandwich) while all proceeded to peer intently into their cell phones.  They were involved in a typical social gathering with comments, jokes, belching, laughing, etc.  A group photo shoot was a predictable event for the gathering with friends.  There doesn’t seem to be enough photos of themselves and/or their friends . . .

I assumed they just took self-portraits, which would be posted on Facebook instantly, or later that evening.  The teens were certainly startled when I popped up from my seat and asked if I could also take a photo of them – but rather – if they’d be willing to be part of a creative photo shoot.     I envisioned a photo of their camera face-photos instead of their actual faces.

My animated energy was spent explaining “my vision.”  At least two in the group seemed to understood what I wanted to do for a photo.  Then one by one — light bulbs began to illuminate in their heads.   “Oh, I get it” one girl was pleased with her sudden insight.
Next, someone would project the image in their head with words to the head next to them until all 7 were “getting it.”  They even began to see the tongue-in-cheek humor in the concept.

The gang gathered around me in the same way my students did when I teach group art lessons.  This time, however, they had to help me with my technology.   First I had to get them to disconnect from the WiFi. There was a huge drain on the connection with all those “smart phones.”

I think our meeting was a magical moment — well, to me, it was.  Will I ever see the goofy gang again?  Not sure.  But if our paths do cross again, we can compare creative tech talk.

PhotoPhaces

Here are my new phound phriends and their photo phaces.

Hey gals/guys, see if you can elaborate on this photo concept and send another version to me.   Most of you in the gang participate in sports.
One of you can contribute to this blog with a creative sports shoot — and hopefully have a “ball” with it.

Thanks for providing a phamiliar pheeling of phamily.

Smile.

You’re on iCygnet Blog.

Charming Community Connection

Discovering charm in small town establishments has become more difficult in the last few years. The expense and multitude of regulations make starting a brick & mortar” business difficult. Surviving beyond start-up is an even more daunting challenge.  I survived and thrived over 20 years in a small town.

I have always been drawn to unique, non-franchise style establishments. I understand the process of start-up, development, advertising, hiring, operating several businesses. A large gap exists between “cookie cutter” franchises and independent operations.
A chart and floor plan for where every item is to be placed — a standard for block stores — keeps employees from feeling connection to their workplace.

This Wednesday, I visited Pizza Phi in Lewisburg, PA. It had the standard look of a town pizza shop. The employees were at their job — pleasant, but there was no phenomenal friendly service.  As a customer, I was also not engaged in the establishment.

PizzaPhi

Burger1

There is a spirit of spontaneity that will never feed my soul when I walk into other establishments.

I will have to build a new place with personality again — someday.

We Experienced the Extraordinary

It was my honor to educate and empower a dozen young people in my art/music studio coffeehouse over a 10-year time span. We all grew in knowledge and understanding of how to relate to the public — and each other. Our work gang was truly a delight — full of energy — creative and dedicated to accomplishing any task.

AngelaMatt_S Cheesecake

My all-time favorite energetic creative volunteer extraordinaire worked around the customer created murals.
She helped transform the space into a tearoom.

DianaSignatureWall TeaTime6

One of the best part of any independent shop is the empowerment an employee experiences because he/she is given the chance to add their creative spirit to the establishment.

The next higher level is the connection with the customer. We had a unique bond of spontaneous energy unable to be duplicated anywhere else.

WindowArt

WindowArt2

These Junior High School students loved the opportunity to decorate the windows on their Half-Days.

VE1cook

Two precocious children grew up in the studio/coffeehouse from age four/six for 5 years.
We had art, music and baking adventures.

BettyViolin

Betty and I met years earlier with her purchase of tubes of paint from Cygnet Studios.  Her first gallery exhibit featuring 70 years of artwork  was a grand event.  My father passed away October 2009, Betty was comforted through his violin the next year.  We lost Betty to Cancer, January 2011.  Her family requested my community coffeehouse for the life celebration — an honor.

JavaJournal2011

The community coffee connection is memorable. These ladies decorated their own “Java Journal” and didn’t even make the mistake of dipping their markers in a coffee cup. Way to go, gals.

GalleryGames

Sitting in the art gallery was inspirational, a huge reason many youth frequented my establishment.  Conewago Coffeehouse was more than just fun and games . . .

PositivePostIts

Spontaneity emerged and manifested itself instantaneously with this post-it project and became a new in-house activity.
We celebrated the joys of life and the sadness of death — together.

conewagocoffe-300x272

Go ahead, ask “what happened to your amazing establishment?”

Evil does exist.   I found out first hand — I looked it in the eyes . . .

Predatory placed and promoted establishments didn’t kill OUR community coffeehouse — though a few DID try with “Imitation is the sincerest of flattery.” (Charles Caleb Colton) My community connection was calculatedly destroyed by a duo of “bully-boys” (names omitted for anonymity) then veiled through a twisted legal system.

I bet YOU and I are counting on justice to prevail.   Anyone for a family reunion?

Bookless Library, Artless Gallery, mp3 Opera House

539w[1]

Are we headed to pagless books, bookless libraries, computer classrooms, digital galleries, big screen dance stages, mp3 auditoriums? How do you think the future of the performing, visual artists and writers will change in the future?

iQ, mEq, uQ, eQ, WeQ

While working on my website and emails today, a tweet popped up about college students and getting grades for their emotional intelligence.
I clicked on the link and read through the artical.  I reminded me of the book published in 1998 called “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.”

Kindergarten

The question was whether college students should be given grades for emotional intelligence?    (the question)

Then I read a comment from a person who asked “give credit for breathing?”   That got me thinking — look out folks.   I’m back at it again, analyzing.   So, consider the fact that at age nine I started learning to play oboe.  My lungs not yet fully developed (that process is completed at age 12), and there I was holding an instrument in my hands in which I had to, ever so slowly, hold and control my breath.   hmmm, I think.  I became a professional oboist about 12 years later (getting paid to perform and/or teach).   Did I get “credit” for breathing or for controling my breath?   I sorta think so.   You can see my breath condensate (my science knowledge) on the inside of this oboe.  Does that makes my invisible breath real?

MarigauxPlexiglasss

At what point will we as humans, begin to accept that emotions ARE part of our existence.   They are as real (or unreal, sometimes) as our breath.  Emotions ARE real.  Ask the folks who lost a loved one in one of the countless, senseless shootings across this country and world.   What is the worst part of a death — not the loss of the body — but the loss of the spirit of the person, the personality, the air space the person occupied, the feelings that came WITH the person.   Emotions can not be replaced with things or money.   They ARE real.  They need to heal just as any other part of our body needs to heal after a “boo boo” or down right surgery.   Emotions are housed in our brains.

Subjective. Sure.  So is art, music, writing, reading, dance, sports, medicine, lanquage, science.  Lots of subjects are subjective.  What we need is a form of measurement like the mathmeticians have managed to get to work in their favor.   “It’s all about the numbers.”  — one of my very unfavorite comments in the last year.   There are SO many aspects of life that are “priceless” that have nothing to do with numbers.

iQ vs eQ (the difference)

Poder These:

iQ – intelligence quotient (answer)

eQ – emotional quotient (answer)

mEq – abbreviation for milliequivalent

hiQ – (answer)

uQ – university quotient — OK, this was odd

WeQ – wind erosion eQuation, worry emotionality questionaire, war event questionaire, work experience questionaire (check this out)

wiQ – Waring Intimacy Questionaire, Walking Impairment Questionaire, (huh?)

theyQ – alien emotions — just kiddin’ (or not?)

I scream. You scream. We all scream for ice cream. (answer)

Selecting your Season

I have a theory that people often enjoy or feel most comfortable in the season in which they were born.  What do you think?
Take this quick survey.

Four Seasons is Antonio Vivaldi’s most famous work.

January is my birth month and I prefer colder temperature to warm temperature. I don’t tolerate the summer well.
I enjoy this season of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons performed by the renowned Itzhak Perlman.

4 panel painting

I prefer to hear a flute play the melody — more pleasing as the violin even with the greatest performer can get scratchy to my ears.
Which is your favoite season of the year?  Factors that may effect your answer may be from what area in the world you live.

As far as my favorite time of day — that’s also probably uncommon. I prefer the nightime because it’s a great time to write, read — think.

The Long and Winding Road

Winding-Road[1]
The path to peace is a long and winding road for survivors of violence.
There may be no guiderails. We get near the edge or end of the road often feeling discouraged.
But when we look around, we discover great beauty and comfort during our travel to wellness.

0_A_winding_road[1]

A problem that really exists – Media, Advertising, Family.
People believe and perpetuate what they see, read and hear.

Time to Heal
_____________
End the old
Begin the new
Reflect and hope
This is a safer year.
_____________
Meet new people
Find new places
Comfort and help
This is a better year.
_____________
Replace a memory
Discover a talent
Peace and laughter
This is a happier year.
_______________________________________
Transitions_Address_Logo[1]
_______________________________________
Songwriters: LENNON, JOHN / MCCARTNEY, PAUL

The long and winding road
That leads to your door
Will never disappear
I’ve seen that road before
It always leads me here
Lead me to you door

The wild and windy night
That the rain washed away
Has left a pool of tears
Crying for the day
Why leave me standing here?
Let me know the way

Many times I’ve been alone
And many times I’ve cried
Anyway you’ll never know
The many ways I’ve tried

And still they lead me back
To the long winding road
You left me standing here
A long long time ago
Don’t leave me waiting here
Lead me to your door

But still they lead me back
To the long winding road
You left me standing here
A long long time ago
Don’t keep me waiting here
Lead me to your door

_______________________________________

Fall2011 – Voices

Winter2012 – Voices

Summer2012 – Voices

Fall2012 – Voices

gig-a-bites — feed the musicians

How do musicians land performing gigs in a time when more people play tunes on their phones than on their pianos?   Many venues where musicians were hosted weekly, monthly or even yearly have removed music performances from their budget.

What do musicians do when economic times don’t even give space on a street corner for them to earn money with the skill that took a decade or more to learn?

Back in the 1990s, I began marketing small music ensembles to my local area.  It was possible to get my woodwind quintet work at almost bimonthly.  Then it was quarterly, yearly — until the gigs dried up and we all returned our individual instrumental parts to the owner of the score. Paring down to a quartet helped for a brief time.   The most “popular” group to be hired was a trio.   Eventually, the request was for a duo.  Then — down to a soloist.

Our training is extensive as well as expensive when we consider the potential job market.  “Fall back” positions as teachers is an insult to my ears considering I decided and prepared to be an educator since the age of twelve.  I often wonder if your doctor, dentist, lawyer would “love” their work for a concilation for not making a respectable income.

ariettatrio[1]

There were times when I received phone calls from “charities” inquiring about musicians to help them earn money for their cause.   They always seem to think the artist and/or musican is able to donate his/her skills or product because they “enjoy” what they do and may benefit from the “exposure.”    When I became more skilled at discerning the intent or asking bluntly “do you have a budget?”, the request for a “free performer” did not make my skin crawl as often.

At some point, I began to question whether the fundraiser consisdered asking a garage mechanic, electrician or plumber to donate their time.    I replied to a lady who expected I find someone to be a volunteer so SHE could earn money, “the electric company is not impressed that I’m a musician when they send me a bill, or that I volunteered for your organization.”   Her “tune” changed and she said she could afford $75.  Wow, from $0 – $75 in only 5 minutes.   Good work on my part.

There still is the problem of skilled musicians that have “real” day jobs and then volunteer.  They play for fun by volunteering their service for local symphonies who don’t even pay the musicians!    The symphony will pay for tote bags, advertisement — but not pay the musicians?! (more on this topic another time)

This topic is open for discussion and suggestions for how to preserve our heritage of live music performance (not “pop stars”)

100 Four Letter Words to Celebrate 100 Blog Posts

OBOE – REED – SOLO. Yes, those are four letter words. SWAN – DUCK – BIRD — they are too. So what’s so FOUL about 4 letter words. Those last words were simply FOWL.

For years when my oboe students voiced concern and discontent about the troubles they had with reeds, I would remark that OBOE was one of the few four-letter words they could speak openly and NOT get in trouble. Then I’d move on to REED. Then SOLO. Students would need a moment to ponder my comments, and then snickered with the flash of insight to the coincidence of their troubled feeling as countered with their LOVE for the same unique instrument.

 

I find that writing my blog has allowed me a way to be FREE with words.  At least I hope I don’t end up in jail for something I write here especially after breaking free from a “domestic” prison last year . . .

A month ago I was chatting online with a young gentleman (Daniel) who frequented the studio and coffeehouse that I owned and operated up until November 2011.   He works 2nd shift — as I do.  We had a “heart to heart” discussion about the difficulty in finding people who are capable of less than shallow conversation and behaviors.  Even at his young age of 24, he had an insight about how a building is nothing without the person or people who existed there.  He reminded me that the home/business I had to evacuate a year earlier was just a building, a shell with no soul.  The life created, the joy projected, the creativity encouraged, were GONE when I left.

Replacing ME with a photography studio was a bizarre way for an abusive spouse to gain power and control.  Was control more important than stealing my earned income?

I was given a small green notebook entitled GRATITUDE by the couple that gave me a room the first night I evacuated my home.   It took several months till I felt like making note of anything. The words finally came.   After I listed the freedom from abuse, my precious cat Carmel was next on the list of entries.

After chatting with Daniel, I began a list of all the FOUR letter words that popped into my head – most were POSITIVE.    Here are some of the words:

life – cool – hope – oboe – home – game – mini – food – heal – swan – head – love – book – mind – bake – town – song – sing – rest – feel – care – rain – kind – text – call – talk – blog – cook – note – safe – have – look – lake – cake – cafe – save – rose – tree – leaf – bulb – type – able – good – more – many – most – each – will – want – wish – past – take – show – wise – wait – best – soul – wake – dawn – moon – star – wing – full – help – even – ever – grow – sign – gift – last – lark – part – harp – find – seed – bulb – read – seek – calm – free – milk – fork – high – draw – clay – blue – post – flag – frog – meet – horn – meal – meat – stay – gone – sink – soap – knob – roll – wall – bean – need – pack – oven – band – bell – make – mask – loaf – soon – line – fine – fill – soda – time – pure – sure – move – give – snow – word

To Name or Not to Name?

It puzzled me for some time why boats throughout history were given names.  Roads are named.  Businesses have names.  I taught a private student who named her oboe.   I have often been asked if I named my instrument.  I don’t name my oboe because without me it has no life of it’s own.  I give the instrument life through my breath.  We are not separate. My oboe and I exist as one.  We are ME.

Marti, Oboe & Jazz

Marti, Oboe & Jazz

Then there are cars.  The first car I ever named was a 1984 Chrysler Laser.  The name was “Alfred” (Alf).  A computer system inside the vehicle commented about his condition and informed me  “Your headlamps are on”, “Your door is ajar”, and other sayings that resembled a British butler. Alfred was given to, and subsequently wrecked by “your mother-in-law.”  (See older post… No Grasp of Grief)

laserXE
Sample of a Chrysler Laser XE

My next vehicle was a 1986 cherry red 2.2-liter, turbo, T-top, hatchback, 2 door, Shelby Z Daytona.   I didn’t name her. My art students from my public school teaching position did.   They named her “Lauren.”   I drove “Lauren” from 1992 – 2005. She was stored in a garage till she needed to be brought back to life Summer 2011.  Lauren needed new tires.  Her passenger side window didn’t open/close properly. The cruise control was broken. The trunk wouldn’t stay up without a prop. Rubber seals were brittle.  A new battery was required. Sometimes the smell of fuel required me to hang my head out the window to breath while driving.

Daytona T-top Turbo

But “Lauren” was mine. I earned the money from teaching and two part-time jobs. I paid for her.  She was purchased before an abusive spouse slowly conned his way into my life, surreptitiously robbed me of my earnings then destroyed my 30-year self-made career.  I had emotional attachments to Lauren, but she had to go for some of the same reasons – mental reminders. One of the last mental pictures was a cynical sneer from the abuser as I drove past in the broken down car (he in a 2004 Crossfire – not YET paid off!)

I wanted a small hatchback that was “fun.” There it was – a Mini Cooper S in my price range and in my preferred color for my “new” car.  Soon after I acquired my Mini, people asked if I named it. A personality must have been emitting from my mechanical, electronic machine so I started brainstorming names. I have Spanish language CDs queued each time I start the engine so I new she was learning Spanish along with me. But instead of “Maria”, I wanted a name that resembled an Oreo cookie with a vanilla wafer, cookies ‘n cream or something relating to a musician in concert attire.   I finally settled on a simple, descriptive name. “’Nilla”  is my 2004 Mini Cooper’s name.

My Mini

Send a note and let me know if you have a car, instrument, boat, chair, hairbrush, coat – or any non-living thing that you named.

Crochet to Comfort

There were 2 magazines that “mysteriously” appeared in my mailbox a few months ago. It has been at least 8 years since I subscribed to a magazine.  I had no time to read the articles, didn’t want to spend money, plus I would need to dispose of outdated issues. My name was purposely put on a mailing list — a lesser form of harassment than stalking. The first magazine I cancelled, but I didn’t get to cancel the 2nd magazine.  It arrived Monday.

I looked at the table of contents, scanned the recipes and then spotted a short article that caught my attention: Handmade scarves for traumatized women.  I knew women who crocheted, knit or sewed hats for cancer victims, but I never heard of anyone making something for victims of abuse.   A young woman, age 29 (I’m over 50. She’s young to me) suffered from depression earlier in her life as a result of trauma.  At the suggestion of her therapist, she decided to re-explore a craft she learned as a child — crocheting.   Within a few months JoHanna gave away the 15 scarves she crocheted to other abuse survivors.

Now JoHanna continues to create comfort through crocheted scarves and offers them to girls and women through her website.

If you know of anyone (even yourself) who needs a special boost of comfort to continue moving forward through life, contact JoHanna.   She will wrap you with woven warmth to heal your head and heart.

Participation in art, crafts, music, reading have always provided therapeutic comfort for people in need.   JoHanna has found HER voice through her crochet hook and she creates scaves for strength to girls and women who have thankfully survived their episode of abuse.   Thank you JoHanna!