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Joanna M Leone

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The Matador and The Bull
By Joanna M Leone
Monday, June 16, 2008

Rated "PG" by the Author.

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All of us, in some way, are Matadors in that we must fight and challenge the bad experiences which come our way. The bull is representative of our habits, addictions, and the bad luck or challenges we may face.
I want to express my gratitude and appreciation to John Kalucki, for granting me the permission to use his beautiful photo of "The Matador and The Bull" which serves my story so well.

The bull charged at the red cape seeking victory. The bull wanted to defeat the Matador each time the Matador entered the arena, though the spectators sitting in the bleachers gathered and cheered for the matador. The matador stood his ground in the arena, not intimidated or fearful of the bull or mindful of the noises from the crowd. As the afternoon sky faded to aqua and gold, the matador walked out of the arena, his cape draped over his shoulder, laughing, smiling and moving freely.

The matador's victories did not end there. With each season, the matador's skills became stronger as he perfected his movements and with each battle, as time passed, the seasons and their landscapes changed. The matador's first victory was in the spring, amidst slow winds of circling air. When the summer arrived, the matador wiped the sweat from his brow, ignoring the stale humid air and once again the spectators cheered and yelled his name. With the arrival of autumn, a red and orange gown of changing leaves draped around the arena and the winds blew more quickly and more bitter. However, even with the wind blowing and the curled leaves against the fences, the matador sternly looked the bloated creature in the eye, victorious yet again.

Then, something different happened. Winter arrived and laid its silver and white crowns over the hills and on the bleachers where thousands of spectators had once sat. None of the spectators would come to watch the matador now as they feared that the coldness would confront their faces and chill their spines. Even still, in the cold, the Matador took his cape and entered the arena on this winter day, when no one came to watch. The matador waited and paced intermittently. The bull lurked under the bleachers now, exactly beneath where all the spectators once sat. No one to clap for the matador now.

The matador's eyes shifted from the ice-coated bleachers down to where the bull's eyes were planted. The bull's eyes were like red pools of vengeance only to be quenched by victory. The bull charged out from the bleachers, his steps bringing the enormous creature closer and closer to the matador. The white and innocent snow crunched beneath his feet. His horns seemed sharper now and more threatening. The matador, once again, anticipated victory but suddenly the bull collapsed into the cold white powder and laid on his side, helplessly. The bull was quite serene now, peaceful. Old age had caught up with the bull and a wound, which had never fully healed over the course of several years, had contributed to his demise. The matador never knew about the bull's wound until this moment. 

Quietly, the matador placed the ruby cape over the bull.  For the first time the matador walked out of the arena with no cape draped over his shoulder and no victory. It was at that moment that the matador realized that without the bull he could no longer be challenged or feel the lust for victory which once drove him. The matador's dreams had died with the bull.

Sometimes we are challenged and must confront situations which arise in our lives. We must realize that there is always a reason for such struggles. Whether our battle be with food addiction, substance abuse or we are struggling with a career change or the loss of a loved one, we will grow stronger for having to deal with such difficulties. Without these challenges to confront we would not appreciate the enjoyment and exploration of the joys, glories and victories of life.

       Web Site: The Matador and The Bull

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Reviewed by Joanna Leone 3/9/2009
From: Sarah and John Piselli
Sent: Sun 3/08/09 10:35PM
To: Joanna M. Leone

It is too bad that you did not get Concetta's phone number or address. Sometimes coincidences and chance meetings happen for a reason. It seems like you had so many exciting experiences during your train rides and trips in Europe. We think your travels have made you wise and they are experiences that you will always treasure.

See you soon!

Sarah, John, Kelly, Steve, Eric and Melissa

Your pals in Massachusetts!

Reviewed by rob glenn 12/30/2008
I think you met Concetta on the train so you can realize that you get stronger even with the bad stuff and challenges in your life. Wow! what an amazing travel story. What a great encounter you had during your train ride!
Reviewed by Maria Smith 7/17/2008
Did you ever stop to consider Concetta may have been an angel?
Great story.
Reviewed by Andre Bendavi ben-YEHU 6/17/2008

Wonderful wise story. "Il Matador ed il Toro, or The Matador and the Bull" inspires and teaches.

In respect and admiration,

Andre Emmanuel Bendavi ben-YEHU

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