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Christmas Eve, 1513

Thursday, December 23, 2010

"Take peace! The gloom of the world is but a shadow. Behind it, yet within our reach, is joy. There is radiance and glory in darkness, could we but see. And to see, we have only to look."


Tahquamenon Falls, MI, in Winter


Fra. Giovanni Giocondo (c.1435–1515) was a Renaissance pioneer, accomplished as an architect, engineer, antiquary, archaeologist, classical scholar, and Franciscan friar. Today we remember him most for his reassuring letter to Countess Allagia Aldobrandeschi on Christmas Eve, 1513.

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I salute you. I am your friend, and my love for you goes deep. There is nothing I can give you which you have not. But there is much, very much, that, while I cannot give it, you can take. No heaven can come to us unless our hearts find rest in it today. Take heaven! No peace lies in the future which is not hidden in this present little instant.

Take peace! The gloom of the world is but a shadow. Behind it, yet within our reach, is joy. There is radiance and glory in darkness, could we but see. And to see, we have only to look. I beseech you to look!

Life is so generous a giver. But we, judging its gifts by their covering, cast them away as ugly or heavy or hard. Remove the covering, and you will find beneath it a living splendor, woven of love by wisdom, with power. Welcome it, grasp it, and you touch the angel's hand that brings it to you.

Everything we call a trial, a sorrow or a duty, believe me, that angel's hand is there. The gift is there and the wonder of an overshadowing presence. Your joys, too, be not content with them as joys. They, too, conceal diviner gifts.

Life is so full of meaning and purpose, so full of beauty beneath its covering, that you will find earth but cloaks your heaven. Courage then to claim it; that is all! But courage you have, and the knowledge that we are pilgrims together, wending through unknown country home.

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www.panhala.net/Archive/Written_on_C
hristmas_Eve.html

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MARCHMAID 12/24/2010 9:31AM

    A wise old monk--hope he was right!

Thanks for posting this. A thought provoker before the onslaught of party party.

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MOOKBALL 12/24/2010 12:40AM

    The taking is within our power if we will but use our powers. How many of us are too timid to do that?

Blessings.

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LYNNANN43 12/23/2010 10:00PM

    You make such a wonderful teacher to me! You've opened my eyes to so many things... made me ponder deep thoughts, enjoy beautiful writings and had me listen to new, amazing music.

How can I ever thank you enough?!

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The 12 Days of Christmas, 10

Thursday, December 23, 2010


Christ Emmanuel, icon with riza by
Simon Ushakov, 1668. According to
the Gospel of Matthew, Emmanuel
refers to Jesus.
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I share today a haunting piece by Loreena McKennitt, Emmanuel, from the album A Midwinter Night's Dream. I'm totally infatuated by her talent and approach to music.



For those who are not acquainted with this extraordinary talent, McKennitt is a Canadian singer, composer, harpist, accordionist and pianist who writes, records and performs world music with Celtic and Middle Eastern themes. Researching and singing in authentic dialects and languages and using indigenous instrumentation is a hallmark of her work, and she has been awarded honorary doctorates and other awards for these scholarly pursuits as well as her musical accomplishments.


THE 10TH DAY OF CHRISTMAS:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uo-9W8syrOE&
feature=related

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LYNNANN43 12/23/2010 5:32PM

    What a haunting, stirring version of Emmanual!

Now here's one for you, Maha! I absolutely adore this one!

http://www.youtube.com/
watch?v=sDeXUvWbLp8

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FRACTALMYTH 12/23/2010 4:12PM

    Oh - I love Loreena McKennitt :D Thanks for sharing this one!

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INSPIREBYNATURE 12/23/2010 11:10AM

    Simply amazing

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CLAYKEEPER 12/23/2010 9:44AM

    Oh ! So beautiful my friend... thank you for sharing. Wishes for peace and joy !

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SUNNY332 12/23/2010 9:30AM

    Beautiful and very spiritual. What a great voice! Thanks so much for sharing.

Have a Blessed Day.

Sunny

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ONEKIDSMOM 12/23/2010 7:15AM

    Just wanted to say how much I've enjoyed these blogs... and the music links especially. They make my advent mornings!

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DOR2BFIT 12/23/2010 7:07AM

    Beautiful! We have one of her CDs in my classroom. emoticon

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The 12 Days of Christmas, 9

Wednesday, December 22, 2010



"O Tannenbaum" ("O Christmas Tree") is a Christmas carol of German origin. A tannenbaum is a fir tree and its evergreen qualities have long inspired German musicians to write "Tannenbaum" songs, the earliest dating back to 1550. The best known version was written in 1824 by the Leipzig organist, teacher and composer Ernst Anschutz. The melody is an old folk tune.

I love Dave Brubeck's music and he plays an exceptional and smooth jazz interpretation of this traditional Christmas song.


THE 9TH DAY OF CHRISTMAS:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=rMVj-v2DNTs

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LYNNANN43 12/23/2010 5:28PM

    I missed this yesterday! What a beautiful version of the song!

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MEMAWS5 12/22/2010 6:11PM

  Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year. The music, lights and activities and the most precious gift"Jesus". Merry Christmas to all!!!

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FRACTALMYTH 12/22/2010 2:47PM

    I've started singing carols all day, and last night I swapped the kids' lullabies cd for a christmas one :D

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SUNNY332 12/22/2010 9:22AM

    I have long been a Dave Brubeck fan and this was awesome.

Thanks for sharing.

Sunny

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GOANNA2 12/22/2010 8:59AM

    You sure know how to pick the best music Maha.
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FRANCESCANAZ 12/22/2010 8:54AM

    That will really put you in the Christmas Spirit.

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The 12 Days of Christmas, 8

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

WAAAAAH! The internet signal misbehaved and I somehow lost THE EIGHTH DAY offering --

Dianne Reeves' and Lou Rawls' version of "Baby It's Cold Outside"

-- including the lovely comments that several of you left! It won't be the same without all of you, but I'll reconstruct it anyway!
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THE EIGHTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=vy70vAgmHcU

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ONECOOKIETWO 12/22/2010 8:03PM

    Thank you for this happy little addition to my day!!
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The 12 Days of Christmas, 7

Monday, December 20, 2010



WORLD CHRISTMAS is my very favorite holiday CD. And all the artists contributed their songs without the royalties, the artwork was contributed as well, all for Special Olympics International.
tinyurl.com/2csz29w

I have been loving Beninoise singer-songwriter Angelique Kidjo's music for years. I recently saw this stunning talent perform at Herbst Theatre in San Francisco in all her charismatic dynamism.

She is a Grammy Award-winner, BBC African Service has included her in its list of the continent's 50 most iconic figures, and Time Magazine called her "Africa's premier diva." I hope you enjoy her "O Holy Night" from WORLD CHRISTMAS as much as I do!




THE 7TH DAY OF CHRISTMAS
www.youtube.com/watch?v=P-LyZDpEO08

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FRANCESCANAZ 12/20/2010 5:41PM

    My favorite Christmas song. Never heard it like that before.

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GOANNA2 12/20/2010 5:07PM

    Βεαθτι
;φθλ.

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INSPIREBYNATURE 12/20/2010 12:07PM

    love it!

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MISS_VIV 12/20/2010 10:32AM

    Fantastic - what a wonderful peace she sends. emoticon

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LYNNANN43 12/20/2010 9:39AM

    Incredibly fascinating version of the song!

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B_HORTON 12/20/2010 9:05AM

    Beautiful! Thanks for sharing, doll!!!

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SUNNY332 12/20/2010 9:03AM

    Beautiful - absolutely beautiful.

Thanks for sharing this one with us.

Hugs, Sunny

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JESPAH 12/20/2010 8:12AM

    Sweet

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FCARMICH 12/20/2010 8:09AM

  okay

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