Thursday, December 16, 2010
This Christmas/WinterSolstice, how about a zero calorie feast? And what better gift could you possibly receive than YOURSELF!
"Reflections in the Entry Mirror" from the Scenes from Daily Life Series by gifted mixed media artist Marcia Joffe-Bouska who says, "My artwork is my interface with the world around me. It is how I attempt to understand the unfathomable and seek meaning in the most mundane of experience. Put succinctly, my art is my way of making sense out of life."
LOVE AFTER LOVE
The time will come
When, with elation,
You will greet yourself arriving
At your own door, in your mirror,
And each smile at the other's welcome,
And say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was yourself.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
To itself, to the stranger who has loved you
All your life, whom you ignored
For another who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,
The photographs, the desperate notes,
Peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.
-- Derek Walcott
Derek Alton Walcott, (born January 23, 1930) is a Caribbean poet, playwright, writer and visual artist. Born in Castries, Saint Lucia, he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1992.
His work, which developed independently of the schools of magic realism emerging in both South America and Europe at around the time of his birth, is intensely related to the symbolism of myth and its relationship to culture. He is best known for his epic poem Omeros, an allusive, loose reworking of Homeric story and tradition into a journey within the Caribbean and beyond to Africa, New England, the American West, Canada, and London (with frequent reference to the Greek Islands).
Walcott founded the Trinidad Theatre Workshop in 1959, which has produced his plays (and others) since that time, and remains active with its Board of Directors. He also founded Boston Playwrights' Theatre at Boston University in 1981 with the hope of creating a home for new plays in Boston, Massachusetts. Walcott retired from teaching poetry and drama in the Creative Writing Department at Boston University in 2007. In fall 2009, he will commence a three year distinguished scholar in residence position at University of Alberta. He continues to give readings and lectures throughout the world. He divides his time between his home in the Caribbean and New York City.
Thursday, December 16, 2010
From classic to jazzy with a most favorite artist, female jazz pianist-vocalist Diana Krall, a native of British Columbia and married to musician Elvin Bishop. She and her hawt trio are doing "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas," the title cut from her Christmas collection (she's a big hit in Europe, thus the added Portuguese translation).
A girlfriend gave me one of her CD's many years ago, thus beginning the love affair. Acquiring her DVD, Live in Paris, which is absolutely mesmerizing, made me a life-long convert to her elegant creativity.
THE 3rd DAY OF CHRISTMAS:
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
In sharp contrast to soul singer Stevie Wonder yesterday, today I'm offering Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Michael George and the Choirs of Coventry and Lichfield Cathedrals doing a favorite Christmas song, In the Bleak Mid-Winter. Gustav Holst wrote the music for the poem by Christina Rossetti.
I saw New Zealand Maori Dame Kiri perform in the San Francisco Opera many moons ago, and have been a big-time fan ever since. Though I hadn't previously heard Michael George, I enjoyed him immensely as well (he ain't hard to look at, either!)
In lieu of experiencing the event live at the Coventry Cathedral, here is a virtual tour of the 900+ years old cathedral in Canterbury, Britain:
THE 2nd DAY OF CHRISTMAS:
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
It is exactly 12 days before Christmas...and since I love music so much, I have been ruminating about posting a YouTube link to a favorite Christmas song each of the days. And I think I will -- it's so easy and no time at all!
I'm beginning with a musical hero, Stevie Wonder, doing Joy to the World with the group Take 6. The video quality could be better, but it's ok, and the music is quite wonderful.
THE 1st DAY OF CHRISTMAS:
Monday, December 13, 2010
Lots of extraordinary content...no words from me:
To pray you open your whole self
To sky, to earth, to sun, to moon
To one whole voice that is you.
And know there is more
That you can't see, can't hear
Can't know except in moments
Steadily growing, and in languages
That aren't always sound but other
Circles of motion.
Like eagle that Sunday morning
Over Salt River. Circles in blue sky
In wind, swept our hearts clean
With sacred wings.
We see you, see ourselves and know
That we must take the utmost care
And kindness in all things.
Breathe in, knowing we are made of
All this, and breathe, knowing
We are truly blessed because we
Were born, and die soon, within a
True circle of motion,
Like eagle rounding out the morning
We pray that it will be done
~ Joy Harjo ~
(How We Become Human: New and Selected Poems 1975-2001)
Joy Harjo (born Tulsa, Oklahoma, May 9, 1951) is an American poet, musician, and author of Native American Canadian ancestry. Known primarily as a poet, Harjo has also taught at the college level, played alto saxophone with a band called Poetic Justice, edited literary journals, and written screenplays. She is a member of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation of Oklahoma and is of Cherokee descent. She is a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop at the University of Iowa. In 1995, Harjo received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Native Writers' Circle of the Americas.
EAGLE MEDICINE (SPIRIT):
Eagle medicine is the power of the Great Spirit, the connection to the Divine. It is the ability to live in the realm of spirit, and yet remain connected and balanced within the realm of Earth. Eagle soars and is quick to observe expansiveness within the overall pattern of life. From the heights of the clouds, Eagle is close to the heavens where the Great Spirit dwells.
The feathers of Eagle are considered to be the most sacred of healing tools. They have been used for centuries by shamans to cleanse the auras of patients coming to them for healing. Within the belief systems of native American tribes, Eagle represents A STATE OF GRACE achieved through hard work, understanding, and a completion of the tests of initiation which result in the taking of one's personal power. It is only through the trial of experiencing the lows in life as well as the highs, and through the trial of trusting one's connection to the Great Spirit, that the right to use the essence of Eagle medicine is earned.
Eagle is reminding you to take heart and gather your courage, for the universe is presenting you with an opportunity to soar above the mundane levels of your life. The power of recognizing this opportunity may come in the form of a spiritual test. In being astute, you may recognize the places within you soul, personality, emotions, or psyche that need bolstering or refinement. By looking at the overall tapestry, Eagle teaches you to broaden your sense of self beyond the horizon of what is presently visible.
In learning to fiercely attack your personal fear of the unknown, the wings of your soul will be supported by the ever-present breezes, which are the breath of the Great Spirit.
Feed your body, but more importantly feed your soul. Within the realm of Mother Earth and Father Sky, the dance that leads to flight involves the conquering of fear and the willingness to join in the adventure that you are co-creating with the Divine.
If Eagle has majestically soared into your consciousness, you are being put on notice to reconnect with the element of air. Air is of the mental plane, and in this instance it is of the higher mind. Wisdom comes in many strange and curious forms and is always related to the creative force of the Great Spirit.
If you have been walking in the shadows of former realities, Eagle brings illumination. Eagle teaches you to look higher and to touch Grandfather Sun with your heart, to love the shadow as well as the light. See the beauty in both, and you will take flight like the Eagle.
Eagle medicine is the gift we give ourselves to remind us of the freedom of the skies. Eagle asks you to give yourself permission to legalize freedom and to follow the joy your heart desires.
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