Sunday, February 27, 2011

Shine It All Around

Vacation is over and I spent the day preparing lessons for the week. Readers may not see me posting for a while, but I will try. I am working to try to be more in shape to meet the challenge that life has given me. I joined Twitter and it is very cool. I can make quick comments and they post to my side bar.
Anyhow I am watching Robert Plant with Strange Sensation on Palladia. This is a high def channel with great sound and it sometimes features music I love. The song that grabbed was from Mighty Rearranger and called Shine It All Around. I found the exact performance on You Tube. Plant can still sing and is exploring great music.
Oh Yes....RJ......James, keep rockin'.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Pisces Fish for Black Pete


Conversations between Black Pete and fellow blogger RJ, as well as others, inspired this post. (Black Pete and RJ have an amazing blogs and you can find their links right here on my sidebar.) They have been discussing the Beatles and their evolving and changing connections to the Fab Four. I, for one, always liked McCartney the best. I know that Lennon was the driving force behind starting the Beatles and his issues also tore them apart. Lennon was an enigma at best, but I agree that the "quiet Beatle," George Harrison was under-appreciated by many. I think he was the one Beatle who TRULY embraced and communicated a spiritual sensitivity in his music right to the very end of his life! The word genuine comes to mind. I have read many articles in Rolling Stone about Harrison's kindness and generosity. He had many guitars and was known to give them away! Here is a review of his last Album which he recorded while he was fighting cancer and was completed with help from his son after he died....

George Harrison went quiet not long after the second Traveling Wilburys album, surfacing only for the Beatles' Anthology in the mid-'90s. He was recording all the while, yet he died before completing the album that would have been the follow-up to 1987's Cloud Nine. His son, Dhani, and his longtime friend/collaborator Jeff Lynne completed the recordings, released late in 2002, nearly a year after George's death, as Brainwashed. Given its baggage it's easy to be suspicious about the merits of Brainwashed prior to hearing it. Posthumous efforts often feel incomplete, Harrison's albums were frequently inconsistent, and Lynne favors ornate, cinematic productions that run contrary to George's desire for this project to be simple and low key -- nothing that would suggest that Brainwashed would be a success. Defying all odds, Brainwashed isn't just a success, it's one of the finest records Harrison ever made. No, it doesn't achieve the splendor of All Things Must Pass, nor is it quite of its time like both Living in the Material World and Cloud Nine were, but it's a quiet, subtle gem, one that strikes close to the heart of Harrison's music. It's intimate, alternately insightful and cheerfully lightweight, balancing his trademark black humor with silliness and good humor. Anyone searching the album for his views on mortality -- as he faced not only cancer, but an attacker that nearly took his life -- will surely find it, but this is not a somber album, it is a warm album, the sound of someone enjoying life without losing his wry sense of humor. This same spirit carries over to the music, with Harrison abandoning the idea of getting a hit and simply relaxing, primarily by playing a lot of ukulele and guitar. There aren't any major songs here and perhaps a tune or two could be pegged as throwaways by the cynical, but there are no down moments and it all holds together well -- better than most Harrison albums -- and it's a fitting way to say goodbye, every bit as good as Double Fantasy and, in some respects, even sweeter. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi

Here is a song, Pisces Fish..

And the lyrics..

Rowers gliding on the river
Canadian geese crap along the bank
Back wheel of my bike begins to quiver
The chain is wrapped around the crank

Old ladies, who must be doggie training
Walking, throwing balls, chasing all the sheep
While the farmer stands around, and he’s complaining
His mad cows are being put to sleep
I’m a Pisces fish and the river runs through my soul

Smoke signals from the brewery
Like someone in there found the latest Pope
In a vat of beer that keeps pumping out with fury
While the church bell ringer’s tangled in his rope

But there’s a temple on an island
I think of all the Gods and what they feel
You can only find them in the deepest silence
I’ve got to get off of this big wheel

I’m a Pisces fish and the river runs through my soul
I’m a Pisces fish and the river runs through my soul

And I’ll be swimming until I can find those waters
That’s the one unbounded ocean of bliss
That’s flowing through your parents, sons and daughters
But still an easy thing for us to miss

Blades go skimming through the water
I hear the coxswain shouting his instructions about
With this crew oh, it could be a tall order
Have we time to sort all these things out?

Sometimes my life it feels like fiction
Some of the days it’s really quite serene
I’m a living proof of all life’s contradictions
One half’s going where the other half’s just been

And I’m a Pisces fish and the river runs through my soul
I’m a Pisces fish and the river runs through my soul
I’m a Pisces fish and the river runs through my soul

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Weigh Away

This song appears in my music player, so it can be played anytime by anyone. I have also posted it before, and this morning it just hit me again as songs can do.....I am really swirling around lots of stuff......ideas...sadness..optimism...weight...betrayal....surprise...blessing...truth...untruth...and somewhere in the middle!

Lines of people to pass you by
Posing sympathy with their whitewash eyes
With the ladies feigning their mourning cries
And the men shaking hands:
Weigh away
Way away
All the pictures in your mind
As you're passed the thousandth time
Thousandth photograph
Listen to sympathetic lies
As their reasons change under mourning guise
With the gentlemen feigning sorrowed sighs
And drinking champagne:
Weigh away
Way away
As all the people pass and pose
You hold back the tears
And hold onto memories
Small talk hangs like a dirty cloud
Saying nothing real but deafening loud
An urge to run away from the crowd
And mourn all alone:
Make a promise to no-one
Wondering if you'd been worthwhile
Turn away from the chatter
And the hungry smiles

Also yesterday was Vicki's birthday, so I will post a video and great song that I made and posted a while back! In the first picture you will see my father who died at age 60 in 1993 dancing with Vicki at our wedding! There are many pictures of my father in Korea where he served in that war! There are also many of my mom and dad before they were married and it ends with one of me.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Spirituality of the Deep!

I have sat in front of this computer so many times trying to write a post and I just get frustrated and confused. I am not dead or stagnant, but instead in a dark night, and it is not an event or a feeling or a fleeting moment. It is a journey, and as Thomas Moore states in Dark Night of the Soul;

"that is not a challenge to be dealt with quickly or cannot be dismissed so easily. It leaves a lasting effect and in fact, alters you for good. It is nothing to brag pushes you to the edge of what is familiar and reliable, stretching your imagination about how life works and who or what controls it all. The dark night serves the spirit by forcing you to rely on something beyond human capacity. It can open you up to new and mysterious possibilities."

I truly sense this fact too. I feel optimism. I feel possibility, but it is all so confusing. It is like reaching into a bag containing all the letters of the alphabet and you reach in knowing the endless possibilities the letters possess, but I cannot see what I am reaching to grab and I don't know what to spell. Does that make sense?

I am not a soul vampire or a person trying to manipulate anything. I am trying to get through each day as best as I can. The issues and problems I face are real, and yes, I suppose in some ways imagined, since we rarely see with perfect vision, but that doesn't make the issues any less important, painful, or less in need of care. It is a lonely journey. In therapy, my therapist has listened and supported me. She has pointed out that year two in dealing with the loss of a spouse can be the most challenging and I would have to say I agree. The support falls away and you are left alone to navigate this undulating sea. I understand that!

Perhaps this vivid and emotionally charged dream is a better way to try and explain. Bailey and I were at some kind of public attraction or event. It could have been anything from a carnival or berry picking or some other outdoor thing. It was a sunny day and there was a large flat screen TV showing highlights of previous days and visits. I remember staring and seeing something familiar. I squinted to see what looked like Vicki with two other people. As she walked closer, I could see it was her carrying a bag and she was with her bother and his wife as best as I could tell. At this point Bailey who was much younger than his 14 years (maybe 6 or 7) also saw her and slowly approached the screen. he put his out out and Vicki did too and they each touched the screen. Bailey in tears, kept repeating MOMMY! I began to cry and we moved out of the way of many other people who were also gathered there. I wrapped my arms around Bailey and we cried together while everyone watched mumbling about how strange we were, like we were doing something wrong. I remember knowing that no one understood and even ridiculed us a bit! I shared this dream in therapy which was vivid and remembered unlike many that I have had.

So, I have many thoughts and it all just seems mangled and confused. I have a new life that I am living but it just doesn't feel like mine yet. I get up at 4:30 everyday and get Bailey and I ready for school. I get to school by 6:45 and leave for home by about 4:00 most days. Then comes dinner and on three nights per week Bailey either has a basketball game or music practice. He has a major concert coming up at UMASS with the best young musicians in Western Massachusetts. I try to make Saturday a day for me, but I end up trying to get some house stuff done like laundry and other cleaning. Sunday ends up being anywhere from 6 to 8 hours of planning or grading compositions.

So, I guess that has left very little of what I used to love or be! Music, creativity and reading for myself! The hardest part is that only one person has stopped to ask one simple and caring question during the last 6 or 7 months as I have slipped under the current of this night. That question is, "Are you OK?"

I am just at a loss for words at this point! I am not trying to offend anyone or hurt a single soul! I feel a sense of a new life, but it just hasn't formed for me. I just don't know how to express it all and I don't want to burden anyone. I am exhausted too. I want to exercise to meet this challenge with more energy.

I have never been here before and I don't know how to do it well! Going back to the beginning of this post; my imagination is being stretched, I am trying to find that thing beyond human capacity on which I can rely and I sense new and mysterious possibilities. I am sorry if this isn't what some would want to hear to make them feel good. It isn't a bright shining place where it is easy to see, but a darker place where only if there is an inner light I can shine shine. I hope I have that inner light?