Saturday, November 6, 2010

Wasted Hours

If I can, I will post more today or tomorrow. I am heading out to rake leaves, but this song is worth noting. I downloaded it when it came out a while ago. Bailey played last night at the Colonial Theater and it was a blast to be back stage and see each season's artist autograph boards since the theater reopened in 2006. I rented a Van to allow Bailey to use his own (far superior) marimba for the concert. It was a lot of work, but worth it. He is very talented and his band teacher wants him to try out for senior districts for Massachusetts even though he is a freshman. More to come.


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

DARK LUMINOSITY!

Each that we lose takes part of us;
A crescent still abides,
Which like the moon, some turbid night,
Is summoned by the tides.

Emily Dickinson

Thomas Moore says that the special language of a dark night is poetry. That is surely why many special selections of music have always been so important and such inspiration to me at difficult times in my life. He says that the following secret is generally hidden from modern people and sometimes learned in a dark night, and it is "the truth of things can only be expressed aesthetically--in story, picture, film, dance, and music. Only when ideas are poetic to they reach the depths and express reality."

Ralph Waldo Emerson in "The Poet" said that the poet "stands one step nearer to things" and "turns the world to glass." Here I am teaching English literature and composition to sixth graders and it can be so enjoyable. I get to teach poetry and read wonderful novels such as, The Watsons Go to Birmingham-1963, which is a wonderful work of historical fiction with a backdrop of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church bombing which killed four little girls. Which is not why I am writing this post. I went to work today at 6:30 and got home at 5:30 and I am a bit delirious at this point, so forgive me. Speaking in story and images makes writing richer and more meaningful. "Poetic language allows for a deeper imagination of who you are and what you are going through," and as Thomas Moore says, "The usual way of talking is heroic....speaking of progress, growth, and success." Psychology and even religion often, "avoids the dark by hiding behind platitudes and false assurances." I agree when he says, "if you turn to spirituality to find only a positive and wholesome attitude, you are using spirituality to avoid life's dark beauty." What we need and can possibly achieve is an intelligence about our lives.

Well, I guess this all connects for me. It may not for you and that is OK! Not that I would choose a dark night, but there is a "special beauty" to be seen and "poetry is sea-language."

I am certain of nothing but
the holiness of the Heart's affections
and the truth of the imagination.
John Keats



Oh yes, listen to windmills from my music player on my side bar.....PERFECT!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Time Stand Still

Wow! My first post in many months and I have only begun to think about why I haven't written. I am not even ready to really, truly express it. I only know that for 16 months or so a powerful, spiritual experience gripped my life and made it impossible not to see some very amazing, sad, meaningful, dark, light, deep and penetrating things. Now, as that experience has slipped away, I find myself in a kind of even darker void.

I know I'm tired of the answers that were so definitively thrown at me, and I abhor the notion that somehow everything will always end up perfect because of a supreme being that, depending on our ability or goodness, will sometimes rescue the miners of this Earth and sometimes won't! I know some would say it is my failure that I don't feel simply wonderful. (By the way, I do feel ok at times.) The truth is that I am ignorant.....I don't understand, and I fear the judgement of people who look down on those in a Night Sea Journey!

A night sea journey would not be a night sea journey if it ended quickly. It is by nature a long lasting "rupture" to use Thomas Moore's words "in your very being." Most people want you to be OK, so in turn they can feel OK, and thus life and it's gifts are avoided. I think most religion has at least some element of this avoidance, which prevents experience and growth. Just like the alcoholic that must be able to stand and say, Hi my name is_____. I am an alcoholic, a dark night "pares life down to the bare essentials and helps you to get a new start." The alcoholic, now no longer in denial, has freedom to explore the depths of themselves that would not be possible in denial. The dark night may never be truly over, and as TM says, "its contributions may be what it does for others and not what it does for you!"

Dark nights may not always end happily, but that doesn't mean it didn't have value along the journey. So be careful in negative judgement of people who have entered this other-worldly place, where opportunity exists for transformation to some degree. Sometimes life requires us to go deep in a place that is not full of that religious bright light, but instead takes you to less illuminated places.

I heard this song this morning and it has reverberations (maybe) of that journey on the sea.
The video sucks, but then again Rush was, and is about the music! Remember these are my stream of consciousness ramblings and not any form of declaration of knowing much of anything!

Monday, June 28, 2010

GRACE



This Sunday at First Church of Christ in Pittsfield Rev. Lumsden preached a sermon from Paul's letter to the Romans. The subject of the sermon is Grace! I enjoyed the sermon and it's message floated me back in time to a sermon I heard at a week long retreat on Lake George that included an English evangelist named Malcolm Smith. He preached every evening and I remember being transfixed by his ability to explain the bible! I looked forward to every evening after enjoying the beautiful lake and other activities all day long. His books and message were an important part of my early Christian development! I was only about 20 years old and had really been seeking sources of inspiration for several years and that inspiration led me to enroll at Bangor Theological Seminary where I was the youngest student at the time. I didn't stay and finish, but it was, nevertheless an experience that I still treasure. It was there that ironically, I first met and played basketball with the now Pastor Emeritus of First Church in Pittsfield, Rev. Richard Floyd!

I purchased the cassettes of those very sermons that were recorded at Lake George and I have dragged them out every once in awhile. I even rerecorded them digitally to preserve them as the tapes were showing signs of disintegration. One of the sermons was titled,
G.R.A.C.E. or God's Riches at Christ's Expense. I am uploading the sermon in two parts to my Mixpod music player in my sidebar on this blog. If you are interested give a listen. I had to split the sermon in two pieces to meet the size limitations of MYDATANEST.com where the files are uploaded and linked to MIXPOD!

The references he makes to our culture are now dated some 34 years later and I am not nearly as literal as he is, but the message is still clear and valid to me and very much connects to Rev. Lumsden message yesterday! There is a link to to Lumsden's blog in my sidebar and you can find his sermon notes there. I won't attempt to interpret or regurgitate any of these two vital messages. Just read and listen if you are so inclined!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

All I Need!

Therapy today really helped me to gain some insight and validation concerning my feelings and recent events in my life! My therapist does understand and said that I keep getting up from the tragedies life has dealt me, and then just as I am up, something happens to knock me down again! She sees that my support system is almost non-existent and hopes that I continue to try to find a circle of people that can "get" me! No easy task! She expressed that it seems that my job consumed me to the point that I could not mourn and now that I am on vacation I actually feel worse. I described it as being uncomfortable in my own skin. Vicki has been extremely visible in my dream world and I even discovered that I am receiving some money from an insurance policy that Vicki took out the year we were married. It is policy that she took out and then abandoned after we took out policies together some years later. The policy still has some relatively significant cash value. I ordered a marimba for Bailey with some of the money and told him that it was truly a gift from his mother. The marimba is his favorite instrument and the one he is getting lessonS for at Williams College. The picture above is the actual instrument we are waiting for!

Music continues to be the source of so much comfort for me. It has been that way since I was very young. I was near Boston 5 or 6 weeks ago and I went into a Newbury Comics store and found an Import Tears for Fears Cd/DVD of a concert in Paris in 2006. Newbury Comics is a very cool store with lots of music (Vinyl as well as Cd's) and lots of other funky stuff like posters and other collectibles. The import is printed entirely in French as are the menus, etc. It contains a CD of the concert as well as a live DVD of the same performances. I really like the arrangement of Shout that they created. (Just as I was typing this UPS called to say that Bailey's Marimba will be here tomorrow between 12 and 4! This is sooo cool!)



The next song is by One Republic and I am grateful to my sixth grade students for the discovery of this song. I was helping two of my students with their video poject and they wanted to use the song, STOP AND STARE for their background music but they didn't own it. So I found the CD at FYE and bought it. STOP AND STARE was a hit but I really didn't know much about them. I fell in love with this song, "Say...(All I Need)."


Monday, June 21, 2010

Comeback! (Light Therapy)

This is my first blog entry in over six weeks. This fact alone speaks to how busy I have been. Well, it is the end of the school year and I am grateful for some time to rest and hopefully do some work around the yard and house! It has been about 18 months since Vicki died and of course I think about her everyday! This time has left me with some pervasive feelings that I do not understand at all. My self-esteem seems to be at an all time low! For some reason I feel unattractive, undesirable, and at times unmotivated. Here I sit at the computer and I feel like I should be more upbeat, but I am not. That doesn't mean that I never feel optimism, because I do. The optimism never stays long and in some way I feel buried by the responsibilities of life! I know.....if you want to feel good and upbeat about this day, my blog may not be a good read! These are strange feelings since my school year, which was a ton of work, went well. I escaped any sort of lay-off or reassignment and established some good working relationships. I even got to present video book reports at a staff meeting that my class completed as a final project. I was so proud of them. They picked great music by artists such as the Beatles, Lady Antebellum, One Republic, Michael Jackson and more as thematic backdrops to a pretend movie trailer advertising the wonderful novel, Bud, Not Buddy! Maybe some rest and time for reflection can help to lift me up! I was driving home the other day listening to XM satellite radio thinking some deep thoughts and a song came on a channel that I rarely listen to. The channel is called The Loft and it was just the perfect song about summer and light and how that makes us feel, but it also has a second level that I think you might understand. It is called Comeback (Light Therapy) by Josh Rouse. I made a quick, silly video to go with the song for upload....

video

Lastly, Bailey and I had to deal with a very evil, mean spirited accusation here in our neighborhood that left us both dumbfounded and hurt. I cannot go into it in this blog, but can only say it is the very worst thing that has happened to us since Vicki's death! The accusation was unequivocally proven false, but it does prove how misguided people who claim to care can be. We will do our best to put it behind us, but it will much more difficult for Bailey! I feel a strong sense of irony about the support Bailey and I have received since Vicki died. It has come from places I did not expect, and the people I expected to be caring and supportive have vanished or proven to be unable to be present in any way. Oh well! On with summer and trying to enjoy life! We need smiles and laughter, adventure and magic, kindness and empathy!

How about one more song! I was listening to an XM channel that was doing an all time 80's best summer song count down and this song was near the top...




I want to post one more song for two reasons. The first is that after listening to the Bananarama song above I remembered that this next song was a favorite summer song of Vicki's from the 80's. The second reason is that tomorrow JUNE 22, 2010 would have been our 24th wedding anniversary! The actual music video is banned from embedding by EMI so I had to use this video that someone else made.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Finally! A Music Player For My Blog!


I have tried without success to post a music player in my blog, specifically in my sidebar. Well, finally I found a link and instructions for how to do it and I am psyched! Now, I can post music that is in my own personal play list! Most times in my life, I have songs that I listen to quit a bit until they fade out of my rotation and are replaced by other songs. I had to play with the player code to make it a bit narrower to fit better on my side bar, but it works wonderfully. I may even post a sermon or two that I have converted to MP3 (take note RJ). To make this happen I had to join two sites and thankfully both are free. First, I had to join MYDatanest which gives me a site to upload the MP3 files. Then I had to copy the URL for each song and post them to the MixPod.com music player. Then you can choose a player, color etc. Then you have to get and copy the code for your saved playlist and player and add a gadget to blogger. I may play with all the settings later. For now, I am happy with my discovery and creation! So listen away as the list grows and changes and watch for other interesting spoken word additions!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Lamps Are Differerent, But The Light Is The Same

After completing my obligation as a potential juror this morning, and a wonderful conversation with RJ at First Church, I got to have a very contemplative, philosophical day at home. I spent some time making MP3's out of some sermons that I heard at a retreat on lake George in 1976 and also watched the Madonna DVD of her Sticky and Sweet tour from Buenos Aires. Most of the songs were off of her latest CD, Hard Candy, which I really enjoyed! I especially found this portion moving because Like a Prayer was such a great song and video when first released,but also because of the moving performance she puts out in Argentina! As you watch keep a close eye on the video screen behind her. With graphics like, The lamps are different, but the light is the same she shows her sensitivity and social conscience. She can still perform, even in her early 50's!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Night Reveals What Daytime Hides


The title of this short post is a line from a David Byrne song titled "A Soft Seduction" from a solo CD called Feelings. For those who may not know, David Byrne was the lead man in the awesome group Talking Heads! When they were together, I was the first one in the store to grab their new releases. I continued to follow David's solo work, but not as closely. I never saw the Heads in concert, but I did see David Byrne live here in the Berkshires at the cozy, now defunct venue called, The Berkshire Performing Arts Center (BPAC) and then saw the rest of the group here also, as The Tom Tom Club. BOTH concerts were awesome! Anyhow, I got up early this morning ripping more of my music library onto a portable hard drive. When I got to David Byrne's stuff, I found this song, "A Soft Seduction", that really grabbed me! Those who know me will understand and he really includes irony in lines like, "The laws of chance, strange as it seems, take us exactly where we most likely need to be." He recognizes the randomness of life, but ponders the meaning of it all and wonders maybe..mostly likely..we end up where we need to be, which begins to remove the notion of chance alone? Irony! He alludes to God as a scapegoat when we blame our misfortune on the divine! And how much more Night Sea Journey can a line like the following be, "Night reveals what daytime hides." I can speak to this truth completely, and compare that line to a line from Thomas Moore in my previous blog entry, "Every decision for happiness will get you in trouble, and your occasional courageous forays into the dark will likely give you a taste of heaven." Anyhow, the song grew on me this morning, so please take a moment to listen.


video

The first Talking Heads album I purchased was 77, because when I heard it I couldn't sit still...I just fell in love with it, and then purchased backwards into their catalog and never missed another album! I think now just for fun I'll post a Tom Tom Club song as well! I've chosen a clip from the Talking Heads concert DVD, Stop Making Sense, which Rolling Stone calls one of the top ten greatest concert DVDs ever made!





One more song just because it is sooo much fun!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Living in Moments

I finally found the time and energy to play with new blog templates and editing features offered by Blogger, so here is my new expression of The Night Sea Journey! Let me know what you think.

I have felt this feeling for the last year or so as I have mourned Vicki's death and tried my best to embrace this new life that I live. The feeling is that I only get moments of optimism, moments of joy, moments of a sense of well being, and sadly only moments of true friendship. But these last few days, I have had several profound moments that have made a difference in my life. They provide a glimmer of light that reminds me of the life I have yet to live, different as it may be. I know we all need friendship and love in our lives. people with whom you can feel safe to reveal your reasonable and unreasonable ways. People (and probably just a few) that you can share mutual vulnerability with. That is one of the issues that I have discovered in this loneliness that I am experiencing. The loss of the mirror that intimacy innately provides, and yes that mirror reveals both good and not so good things about ourselves. That mirror shines deeply and reveals the soul of our existence and its deepest meanings. Without it we are doomed to float on the surface of life. Anyhow, I am grateful for the moments that exist and I do not pray for all my needs to be filled according to my desires, but instead turn my face to the light that shines and remain open to the next moments absorbing and reflecting that light and with it accepting the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference. Living one day at a time; Enjoying one moment at a time; Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace; Taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it; Trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His Will; That I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with Him Forever in the next.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Reason, Logic, Role Models, and a Sense of Irony!

I am really not sure where this post is going, but I know I have a desire to explore, seek and experience things, and I am not even always sure what those things are. The last two weekends were crazy for me! I had to to grade a mega-amount of paragraphs, essays, tests, and worksheets for my sixth grade language arts classes, so I could input grades before the deadline for the third quarter. I also had to scramble to allow myself the time to attend Bailey's first performance with The Eagles Concert Band here in Pittsfield. It was held at the First United Methodist Church and the music included songs like; The Phantom of the Opera, An American in Paris, and more contemporary selections like Circles of Light and Beyond the Horizon! Bailey did a great job and this mostly adult band was fantastic! I am so proud! Here is a clip of Bailey playing the xylophone at a wonderful dinner and talent show at First Church of Christ on Park Square..




The second thing I want to venture into is the whole idea of role models and the notion of irony. I was once told that Emily Dickinson was not much of a role model, and I am not sure why she wouldn't be, even though I don't really believe in role models, at least in the typical sense of perfect, shiny people to try to be like! I think that in spite of her many issues she was able to create great art. Michael Jackson was as flawed as can be, but he entertained people with his moves and music. Certainly, the Pharisees appeared to be perfect in their external, surface ways, but they lacked the depth and deeper soul that Christ was pointing to. I think it is dangerous to be caught up in these surface views. We as a culture are so SHOCKED when a supposedly perfect person like Tiger Woods is exposed, and on and on it goes when seemingly perfect or high end role-model people screw up. You see, like Pharisees they look good on the outside but there is rot on the inside just like the majority of us. I bet Christ would have hung out with someone like Emily Dickinson because she found self acceptance in her malady. She put aside pretense and dealt with what was real in her life! She didn't let it stop her from producing great art in spite of her "not so perfect insides." She couldn't leave her house or even greet people, but that life produced great poetry! That is so ironic and certainly there is room for healthy admiration.

A quick quote from Emily...

Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul - and sings the tunes without the words - and never stops at all.

I am not sure where this is leading at all, but I know it is filled with irony, and irony is a truly religious thing, unlike the more traditional religious views , as Thomas Moore points out, "Many theologians and religious people largely avoid irony and instead try to state their positions one-dimensionally, allowing no mystery, and therefore no real religion. They are often the most irreligious of people because they use the language of God to fortify their own human one-dimensional ideas." I have to say right here that pretty much all words in quotes from this point forward are from Dark Nights of the Soul, and I want to be careful to acknowledge that, as so much of it is emblazoned in my memory! So, "To be religious is to be ironical, because you see the bigger picture." TM even goes on to quote the Tao Te Ching..."He who speaks doesn't know; he who knows doesn't speak." TM includes this quote in many of his lectures which immediately acknowledges his own contradiction.

I know I am truly in a "Dark Night of the Soul," and on the one hand, I want to move on (and in some ways have) from Vicki's death and at the same time don't want to. This re-birth of my life has resulted in a strange new world, that just like a new born, feels cold, foreign, and much less comfortable than anything I have experienced before! I sometimes want to try to define all of this, share it with people and at the same time i want to stay away from people. I sometimes feel moments of inspiration only to feel them vanish. Again Thomas Moore says, "During a dark night you may feel the need to be quiet, even silent. You may find talking difficult, and you may seek out a quiet place....You may feel the need to be alone, or at least to avoid certain kinds of socializing. You may disappear for awhile, and your friends wonder what has become of you." He even goes on to explain how you may even be a "monk of sorts in your own way." Whatever I am feeling sure feels more intense during free time like this vacation, because my professional life simply allows no time for MY feelings! I understand this isolation in some ways causes people to be extreme in their reaction to it! Some ignore it, either because they want darkness as far away from them as possible, or as Moore again says, "They try to bind you and give you orders" in that one-dimensional religious way that I cannot stand at this time! Yes, I feel the danger of cynicism, self-pity, and depression, and people offer help to try to make everything go away (which I am sure is to make themselves feel better) or they ignore me. But, during a dark night you need to become darker, yet at the same time this doesn't have to be negative or defined as depressed, but more like "the weight of the world pressing down on us." Thomas Moore goes on to say...."You can be bright. thoughtful, creative, and imaginative during a dark night. You can use your power to imagine your situation in your own way. You can reverse expectations and refuse to be literally defeated. And none of this has to be denial of your tragedy or the repression of your feelings." I think this is what people like Dickinson, Anne Sexton, Brian Keenan, John Keats and many others in dark nights have done, which to paraphrase from Dark Nights of the Soul, is to "make your own world, instead of succumbing to the one that presses down on you!" I guess all of this brings me back to my original point about role-models. People like Dickinson are role-models if we allow a more whole view of life and realize that to have "happiness to you have to accept profoundly and honestly the sadness that awaits at every turn. Every decision for happiness will get you in trouble, and your occasional courageous forays into the dark will likely give you a taste of heaven." IRONIC!!!! I always like to include music in a post so i will include this song from Roland Orzabal from Tears for Fears. The CD "Tomcats Screaming Outside" tends to be obtuse in its meaning but he visits Cain and Abel, atheism and many other subjects in his lyrics. I love the Music and cannot get enough of it.....This song is called Low Life and it just seems to fit here (for me!)

video

Now please remember as you read this that I am NO theologian, nor trained a philosopher or writer. I am sorting through all of this, trying to keep my wits about me and I DO know that irony surrounds me, and maybe I really haven't yet been re-born yet. I think I am still in the "gestation" process. Maybe I am in a "period of lifelessness that precedes a new birth of meaning." Maybe it is "one big ironical challenge, just the opposite of what it appears to be...not a dying, but a birthing."

I think this next part fits in well with all I am trying to say here.......I watched the movie "A Beautiful Mind" again this week and just felt that same irony in this movie about the life of professor John Nash and his battle with mental illness. Logic and reason, numbers and theory mean nothing in the face of love. He was able to survive his dark night not because he completely beat his illness, but by accepting that the delusions were there, acknowledging it at times with a sense of humor, but choosing not to empower them, and all motivated by the love of one that stood by him. This is Russel Crowe's depiction of Nash's Nobel Prize acceptance speech which still moves me to tears!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Wherever You Are


Just the music today!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Melody For My Soul


I have to admit, and I have covered this well with my therapist, that I am very sad and lonely! I am grateful for the nuts and bolts that sustain the necessities of life, but some things, like my job take so much of my energy and leave very little time for me. I mean, you have no idea what it takes to engage a class of 22 sixth graders in this age of technology and entertainment. At their age I had music, sports and 2 channels on my TV. These kids have the world at their finger tips. I sing, dance, plead, laugh, story tell and use just about every bit of energy I have. To a degree it works. I have a reputation for connecting with kids...especially the tough ones! It is just so obvious that so many kids are broken, from broken homes, and they don't have their emotional needs met. I have to teach kids that are not in a place where learning is possible, or a priority in the hierarchy of things for them.

Anyhow, I have been listening to my inner voice and I know I need to make a better effort at this life I am living. I need to get in shape physically as well as spiritually. The first thing my therapist said when Vicki got sick was, "EXERCISE!" Exercise to help deal with stress and exercise to have the energy to cope. I haven't got the energy I once had. I have remained slender but my energy is crap!

Now to music.....I find myself gravitating to softer, beautiful melodies in music. This might not appeal to some who'd rather hear more hard driving stuff, and believe me I have a very diverse interest in music. Vicki once came into my music room with a smile and I asked her what she was smiling about, and she said, "You listen to so many kinds of music!" I may have listened to the 1812 Overture, then Madonna, then Led Zeppelin and some New Age like maybe George Winston or anything off of the Windham Hill label, and any sound from almost any decade starting with the 50's. Back to making my original point, I think I am gravitating to beautiful soothing melodies cause that is what my soul desires......comfort, beauty, peace, rest, healing, and meditation. I think music goes straight to our need and even mirrors the metaphysical waves the emanate from the cosmos to our souls and from our souls to the cosmos! WHEW! I just need the opposite of discord! So here is a song that I love, from a voice that I love, by a young newer artist..Colbie Caillat...."I Won't." By the way, her father was the engineer and co-producer of Fleetwood Mac's Rumours!








During our winter vacation, I was able to locate a Roland Orzabal solo Cd released in 2001, and I love it. His lyrics can tend to be obtuse, but the themes tend to be about openness, dealing with pain, communication, and introspection.....remember his Tears for Fears songs like SHOUT and Cd's like The Hurting. This song is "For the Love of Cain." I have posted the lyrics as well!


video


If I said I was Abel
Would you know my name?
I've swung from the trees
in the Garden of Eden
And I have shorn off my mane
I've got no horns sticking out
I've got no sting in my tail
I've got no sins to pluck out
Because I do so well
And maybe I can raise the stakes
For the love of Cain
For the love of Cain
We'll dissolve our schemes
And indulge our dreams
For the love of Cain
If you look out your window
With your Sunday smile
If you walk hand in hand
through the Valley of Evil
You walk the miracle mile
I just need someone to love
straight from the cradle to the grave
Maybe it's you I'm thinking of
Because I know your game
And maybe I can raise the stakes
For the love of Cain
For the love of Cain
We'll dissolve our schemes
And indulge our dreams
For the love of Cain

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

February 23, 1964

Today is Vicki's Birthday. We promised her that we would still celebrate her birthday as an extra special remembrance for her. So in spite of the weather we bought a cake and Bailey and I will take a moment to reflect on the special person she was and how we are grateful that she was a part of our life. We received a card in the mail from a teacher friend of Vicki's and inside she included a poem that a third grade girl had written about Vicki for her Real Women Essay. The poem was titled Mrs. Forfa...


Mrs. Forfa

She is a role
model to me
because she was
good in Math
and she always
was happy and
never sad. She
was really smart
and fun. We always
made cool projects
and cool stuff
with her. She was
really nice. She was
my 3rd grade teacher
who died in the middle
of the year and she
was very pretty. She
had short blonde hair
and she always wore
nice clothes. She was
very funny and she was
an awesome teacher.
Mrs. Forfa's class missed
her and still does, but
she's in a
better place
now and I'm
happy about
that.


I thought a bit about a song to post and decided on one by Sade from a Cd called Lovers Rock. Vicki kept this Cd in her car and she listened to it a lot. I really wanted a song that she listened to on this post!




Quietly while you were asleep
the moon and I were talking
I asked that she'd always keep you protected
She promised you her light
That you so gracefully carry
You bring your light
and shine like morning
And then the wind
pulls the clouds across the moon
Your light fills the darkest room
And I can see the miracle
That keeps us from falling
She promised all the sweetest gifts
That only the heaven's could bestow
You bring your light and shine like morning
And as you so gracefully give
Her light as long as you live
"I'll always remember this moment."

Friday, February 19, 2010

Every Little Kiss

Like a punch in the stomach, today was as sad and low as I have felt in a long time! I mean cry real tears by yourself sadness. I had a great therapy session yesterday and we talked a lot about what I can do for myself to make life better, sweeter for me (and that doesn't mean that Vicki is forgotten or that grieving is done.) When we looked at it together, life has been pretty rough for me for since about 2004...a real Dark Night of the Soul for sure! There is just so much sadness inside of me....I feel it, and today some needed to get out.

I spent much of today converting more of my Cd's to lossless Windows Media Audio (WMA) files. I even uploaded the Cd's that Vicki had in her car, some of which I bought for her. Carly Simon, James Taylor, Sade, and more. So I heard lots of music that I haven't listened to in a while. MUSIC REALLY IS A VERY GOOD FRIEND! This song stuck from a very good CD. In fact, the best cut on the CD is The Way It Is. The cut I am posting is EVERY LITTLE KISS!


video
I never get sick of this CD and it's piano sound. The next song from the same CD is just about perfect for today. Some might say I need to keep busy to stop feeling this way, but as much as it does not feel good, I know I need to feel it, to ride these waves to where I need to be.

video

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

In Light Syrup and it is sweet!

As I mentioned in my last blog entry, I ordered some hard to find CD's from Amazon. After some great conversation with a friend about music and other creative stuff, I came home to find one of the CD's had arrived via UPS! In Light Syrup by Toad the Wet Sprocket. I just gave a quick listen and found two more songs I love in addition to Good Intentions and Little Heaven. The first is All in All......I made these two videos myself to post quickly since they were not on You Tube.
video

The next song is Brother and I am also including the lyrics in a pretty cool format right below the video!. I cannot explain enough how great it feels to find great songs! That ethereal feel is here. I can't wait till the rest of my Cd's arrive!

video


Lyrics | Toad The Wet Sprocket lyrics - Brother lyrics

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

SNOWDROP!

Ahhhh!! Vacation, and while a bit lonely, I finally have some time to dabble in some online searching for rare music and inspiration! I ordered several hard to find Cd's by Toad The Wet Sprocket and a solo album by Tears for Fears alpha member Roland Orzabal. I will post a song or two from this solo album that was released on 9-11-2001! Anyone who knows me knows how I feel about TFF! The album is called Tomcats Screaming Outside! This is the first time I have heard these songs! This song is SNOWDROP! Oh yes, the pictures of Bailey when he was about 5 or so show that we shouldn't be too mad at winter.....Look at that pile of snow!




The next song is Hypnoculture and shows Roland's diversity.



I am psyched that this CD is on the way here from AMAZON! Most retail stores have such a poor selection of music these days! It is is very hard for Audiophiles and aficionados to find music in a form better than the tin sound a 128 mps MP3 provides! Toads first CD Bread and Circus is no longer being printed by the manufacturer so that was very hard to find, but I got it used from Amazon.
Now for a Toad song from Dulcinea...CROWING....love it and it has that ethereal sound that so reaches deep for me. There is an acoustic version of this for free on The Toad website by Glen Phillips along with a lot of other free songs by Glen and a new group he plays with WPA!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

LITTLE HEAVEN

Toad the Wet Sprocket continues to amaze me with their introspection, depth of exploration, and feeling as I explore their music!







I will give the secrets you request
And you will be the one to sacrifice
So lay your olive arms upon my breast
And sing the poems, free the butterflies

Pray your gods who ask you for your blood
For they are strong and angry jealous ones
Or lay upon my altar now your love
I fear my time is short
There are armies moving close
Be quick, my love

I feel my body weakened by the years
As people turn to gods of cruel design
Is it that they fear the pain of death
Or could it be they fear the joy of life

Pray your gods who hold you by your fear
For they are quick and ruthless punishers
Or lay upon my altar now your love
I fear my day is done
There are armies moving on
Be quick, my love

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Everybody Wants To Rule The World





I have to post this song by a group that I love. Propelled by the MTV thrust and admittedly written in an effort to make a top 40 song, Tears for Fears succeeded to create a big hit. I just loved this song then and now. It is one of those songs that I just never tire of! This won't be a long post since my mattress and warm blankets are calling. But I want this song to be a part of my blog.




The next two songs are meaningful ones for me as well. They both revolve around loss for me. The first is The Last Days on Earth from their most recent CD reminds me of Vicki, and the second, which is contained on the same YouTube Video is Goodnight Song. I used this for my Father's Memorial Video back in 1993. When I heard this song it just connected deeply to saying goodbye to my Father in 1993! You have to listen to the lyrics in this song. For example, "They never mention the beauty of decay!"







Picture Credits:







Sunday, January 31, 2010

THIS IS IT!

One of the results of Michael Jackson's death has been the discovery of his music and dancing by millions of kids. In my middle school- kids are really into him. My son Bailey has really enjoyed learning about his music as well. Last night we bought the Blu-Ray DVD of THIS IS IT! The very high quality recording of Michael's rehearsals. HE STILL HAD IT! Great voice, great moves and an amazing visual experience! Here is the new recording from the DVD.





He seemed like a man who was finding some comfort with himself or least happy doing what he did best. In a way, seeing this was a healing experience because with all the media attention (some true, some not) it just felt good to see him doing his thing. Reports were saying he was so physically unfit that he could never have performed etc. etc. I watched and loved it! He was at peace, alive and doin' it!

The quality of the sound and visuals would have been spectacular. I felt bad for the musicians and dancers who worked so closely with him and had their dreams smashed when he died! Most were in tears when they learned they had been to selected to perform with him. On the other hand, they did get to spend months watching and working with him and you could see that whenever Michael performed all those not in that particular number weren't off getting lunch, they were WATCHING and amazed. I am 53 could never move like he did at 5o!



Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Voice of God in The Kingdom!

Oh, I know some people would scoff at the notion of hearing God speak, but I did feel God speaking today at a meeting after church. No matter what anyone thinks it does happen now and then. For me it is just a deep awareness that something important is being heard or felt. This morning I felt it. I think the voice of God is everywhere. I think it exists in between the things that are easy to see. Thus, it isn't actually so easy to see because we have to be still and open enough to hear it. That is the paradox that always exists with God. The most powerful force that we could possibly imagine being seen between things that are easy to see, but we must look and listen closely to see or feel it. Perhaps the voice of God is manifested in this world as the kingdom of heaven! I think we'd all agree that God is everywhere...Thomas Moore refers to the kingdom of heaven this way....

"The kingdom, too, is like an open window, nothing in itself, and yet it allows everything. it is transparent and translucent. It allows the fullness of life shine through. It is a way of seeing and living, but it is not an entity separate from ordinary existence. It is not a set of beliefs as much as a slant on life....."

The paradox is amazing when it come to God and Jesus.....Moore then also says....

"The Kingdom is invisible, empty. It's more like a color than an object, more like a sound than a structure. It isn't anything more than a point of view, but it is a perspective on life that makes all the difference. As literalism and hard belief gradually leak out of your idea of the Jesus way, you get closer to the mystery of the Kingdom. You come home."

I think this validates my feeling about the voice of God. Nothing but everything.....art and music, literature, poetry, color and sound...an open window, invisible!

Moore quotes the Tao Te Ching which says....Cut doors and windows for a room; it is the holes which make it useful.

I am not ready to share what I heard and felt. But there were tears and a basic, common yearning filled journey toward the open window that the Moore and the Tao are refering to. What I felt wasn't loud and boisterous and certainly wasn't inside or present in my voice, but I heard it and what it spoke ran contrary to what my HARD BELIEF would say! But what I heard felt important yet subtle like the space between the threads of a fabric!

Tonight as snow begins falling I feel the pressure of a thousand weights pressing down on me but I know I need rest and introspection! I was surfing my music service and this song seemed to fit with lyrics like, Some things come out of nothing, as with God!.....Tears for Fears of Course!



I felt like posting this song from the same Tears CD...just because I love them so much!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Closer Than Dreams

I have a full day of things to do today, including tons, and I mean tons of essay grading which takes lots of time (maybe I should teach Math!). Yesterday as I was undecorating the tree carefully, since we have so many antique and precious ornaments and I was playing music that I have burned to a small external hard drive! The song I am posting came up and I was deeply touched by it. The song is titled Closer Than Dreams and the CD title is Play on Words, by Tom Kovar. The interesting thing about this Cd and song is that I had never played it before! It was given to me by Greg Steele who owns Derek Studios in Dalton, MA. I knew Greg because from 1993 to 2002 I rented an office and meeting room from him for the Youth Leadership Program that I directed for the American Lung Association and the Department of Public Health. I also knew Greg even before that when he worked at a really cool stereo store called Taylor'd Sound. It was the kind of shop that is hard to find today, independent with great brands that aren't necessarily found in the big box stores that have taken over! I think there is a dollor store in that spot now on upper North Street. Anyhow, I shared the second floor of the building with his recording studio! The main focus of the program was to educate teens about the dangers of tobacco use as well as other issues. I took the position to try to make a difference after my father died from lung cancer in 1993 at the age of 60! Anyhow, he gave me this CD and a few others. Tom Kovar was a local artist! I had the privilege of meeting a few other not so famous local artist and some more well known ones like Arlo Guthrie! Well, this is a short post and I am off to finish putting Christmas stuff away, correcting papers, and making sure Bailey is ready for a birthday party for his cousin in North Adams!



video