Jim sent me this video today. It is just gorgeous; had to share it.
I added it also to my old post of Over the Rainbow renditions. If you love the song like I do, check 'em out again...right here.
Jim sent me this video today. It is just gorgeous; had to share it.
I feel like there should be a photo of me here, wiggling my eyebrows up & down like Groucho did... It hardly seems real, even now. I look at the photos and know I was there, but during that whole week I felt - different. Perhaps I'll figure some of it out - or how to express it - while posting this to share with you.
There will be LOTS of photos, and I hope I can share some of the joy, surprise, and actual wonder I felt.
Joel and I first talked about getting married a month or two before this trip. It was casual; no one fell to her knees with anything like a 'proposal'. After all, we've considered ourselves 'married' for over 18 years - since the Commitment Ceremony in Chicago. It just seemed 'cool' to us. Who knows, maybe the feds will decide to get with civil rights and grant us some legal rights before we croak. And wouldn't it be fun to be 'the first on our block'.
We're hardly the senior couple in terms of longevity among our friends, but none of the other couples have taken this particular plunge. Knowing us as I do, we probably will celebrate both anniversaries. We do like a good reason to eat out!
Two things surprised me, and one of them had begun to make itself felt even before we got to this 'wedding' thing. The first is the really deep sense of relaxation I was able to achieve in that lovely family setting in Cape Cod. The second is the vastly deep feelings I experienced during and because of the way that whole wedding thing went. I found that it - the ceremony, the clothes, the fashion show, the simple yet fancy 'style' that the whole week had - touched ancient fantasies I didn't even know were still important.
As for the first surprise: that comes mostly from Jane and her way of walking around in the world that is unique. Joel kept telling me to quit futzing; Jane had 'everything' and would give it all to us. I simply didn't believe her. And so I did my stuff around packing and worrying and list-making, etc.
Turns out Joel was right. Jane is thoughtful, generous, comfortable, relaxed and gracious. As an example, she gave us a guest room that was truly ready for guests! The closet was empty, except for beach shoes and bags that were bought for us. The chest of drawers held ONLY a pair of reading glasses and a DVD in case we couldn't sleep one night. The bedside tables had only flashlights in them! Crazy. And so welcoming.
There will be a few changes made around here to add some of that comfort for the next person who visits here, I can tell you.And that is just one example...
For the second surprise...I realized, when I relaxed into Jane's ideas for the ceremony, that I was - maybe - going to get that wedding I dreamed about when I was a kid. An actual wedding with music and a photographer and stuff. It's not at all that I had been missing something. As my life evolved, I stopped even wanting a wedding in any real sense. And later, I was happy to let our commitment ceremony in Chicago ('94) be that special day. All was perfectly fine.
I haven't been going thru any angst about what didn't happen all those years ago. But, last week, I began to feel like a bride in ways I hadn't in Chicago or in the ceremony we had the next week here in Ruidoso. In funny little ways hard to describe, I was experiencing these days with a very real and very deep joy. And in ways that made me think of that really little girl I used to be. Such a sweet realization.
Some of the joy came from knowing consciously that I had done all my 'work' well. I released one old dream ages ago when a new one came along in Joel. And I found a new/old one unfolding around me in the nurturing way that everything came together thru Jane. It was very surprising. Makes me smile, even now. I let go of running the show, but kept true to what I wanted by expressing opinions and asking for things - like a bride should.
I realize, too, that I'm not explaining the feelings well at all. But then, I'm really the only one who must understand.
And, btw, the music included: (most links to to YouTube; we played from iTunes.)
As Long as You Love Me, cover by Michael Henry and Justin Robinette
And there were instrumentals, too...forgotten which. Lovely things.
This first set of photos is pre-ceremony, some of them the afternoon before... setting the stage and getting dressed.
It doesn't need another thing.
Jane is more than amazing. Without leaving the house, or ordering anything, she began to gather stuff together. What was just an empty (gorgeous) back yard one minute is transformed in the next. The tent was over the golf cart late Wednesday. By that evening, the cart was in the garage and the tent was in the back yard. Before you know it, the curtains off her bedroom doors are hanging in the corners of the tent. Everything went that way.
Then we have to get to fussin' with our own stuff:
Bearly's Best Man Boutinniere!
No, he doesn't like clothes, no matter the reason!
Isn't she lovely?!
well...half dressed so far.
Oh, it's Time!
Yes, I will.
Happily, she did, too.
Hard to see in this picture is my 'engagement ring' that Joel slipped on at the end. It is a Giant Plastic Diamond! Fun and funny, and just like my Joie. And a touch that had to come from Jane.
We even had a wedding buffet; this lovely Key Lime Pie, Champagne Bellinis, petit Deli Sandwiches, and Purple Cabbage Slaw. Yum...
And a grand send-off!
Our wedding trip was to Provincetown...'nother post for that..
Bearly traveled beautifully throughout the whole New Mexico to Massachusetts experience. He only used a tiny bit of the calming drug the vet recommended and managed the plane changes and altitude changes, etc. beautifully. He met our host family as if he were ambassador for the whole canine kingdom. I'm one proud Mama, you betcha! He's definitely aware he's not home, but he's taking things in stride very well.
Yesterday afternoon we were included in a block party to celebrate the Grand Centennial for Janet, a neighbor. I have never lived in a place where this sort of event could/would take place. Very impressive!
We arrived in Providence about 5 ish and drove less than an hour to E. Sandwich. After dinner, we made a quick run to the beach (2 blocks away) to catch the first sunset of our trip. We've been to a marina for a great seafood lunch yesterday, and will probably do a whale-watching day cruise from here. Can't wait for that! I've never seen a whale in real life!
The household is awake and moving now. Kids will be off to camp in less than an hour. Time to put the computer away and begin to think of breakfast. yum.
I have my own room now. I've mentioned it on FB, but I don't think I've shown you here...and it is spectacular! Here are some shots of it.
(each is clickable for a larger view)
The first image will give you a general feel for the room. The chair is now a little farther back into the corner. I removed a closet door and replaced it with curtains to make space. The painting is one done by my Aunt Conny, and there is a piece of my step-Mom's crochet on the lamp. The window now has curtains, too; blue, of course. That black & brown unit under the guitars is a humidifier.
The second one is there to show you a sense of the 'sanctuary' part. I do my morning meditations and some Pilates in here, too.But the wall has changed. I lowered the little shelf unit and added a junk store treasure.
The third shot shows off that little treasure. The fourth shot is detail of the piano part.
Please notice the wonderful ribbon I found to hang it with; it's music staff ribbon with a real antique look. This room makes me smile; whether I'm in it or not is not relevant to the feeling.
And now, for your listening pleasure (or tolerance) is some more stuff. I'm still working on getting volume levels right.
This first one is Tradd and me playing Dust in the Wind, by Kansas:
Next is this one of me playing with Sting on Fields of Gold, by way of YouTube and the computer (which is one of the reasons there is a computer in the room).
And lastly, is a Reggae Improv with Tradd. Just learning different rhythms.
Thanks for listening (if you did). And thanks for all the great things some of you have said. I can NOT possibly tell you how much fun this is. I've begun playing some with a friend who sings sometimes at Karaoke. We used to have places with Open Mic Nights, but the last one closed up a few weeks ago. I guess I'll start holding some kind of jam sessions in the den now & then. Anyway, it is wonderful fun and closer to passion than I have been in years!
Ladies and Gentlemen, prepare yourselves for the new ... uh..for the... hmmm...
OK, nevermind that... here's my YouTube debut.
You are among the privileged (very) few who are seeing this now.
This was recorded in my Music Sanctuary, after an afternoon of recording several things for Tradd Tidwell, my very accomplished teacher. You can see more of his videos here.
We didn't have anyone to frame it, and then I had to go turn it off... our next one will be better.
AND Tradd is making noises like he might let me play with him at some local gig. ! ! WOW
...someday... : )
...a little humorous bastardization of Rossini, here's a wonderful a cappella arrangement of The Barber of Seville. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
a friend sent it to me this morning. I had to answer back with a piece by the old Swingle Singers. Does anyone remember them? They are still around, but I still love the original group.
Shaula, thanks for the memories...
Happy Morning, all. May you have a lovely Sunday.
part of the traditional Ronni conspiracy to send you lots of greetings on this
Up here in the mountains it’s just past sunrise; the light is gorgeous.
I hope the day is lovely where you are.
May it be chock full of love and family and friends.
This is my favorite birthday greeting. I hope you enjoy it. Turn your speakers UP!
Riffing off of my own (mild) guilt about the frequency of my posts, and inspired by Friko's terrific post, I show up here today.
It is only to say, though, that I am still not really here...
Ruth, I am thrilled by your comments and questions and absolutely intend to answer them, it's just that...
I'VE GOT THE MUSIC IN ME!!!!
I've been learning and playing an acoustic bass guitar over the last few months and now I can actually play a few things. I'm so excited about it, I can hardly stand myself. And I can't stop right now, even for you. I have a great teacher named Tradd who comes weekly. I've discovered TONS of terrifically helpful videos on YouTube from musicians who play as I do, or even professionally, and who post fingerings and lessons and great stuff I can play with. (...'with which I can play' does not fit my image of the usual bass player. )
So, for my faithful readers (no, you won't see the 'Follow' widget here), please bear with me a little longer. I'll be back.
I Walked into a Moment of Greatness
“I walked into a moment of greatness. There was a wave of pure emotion running through the air like a pulse recording the beat of souls. I stood against a wall, the house was in darkness, light on the stage.
The last act of Meistersinger had begun. I listened. All of me heard. If that straight line of terrific tensity which stretched continuously between myself and the music, growing more and more sensitive each moment, could have existed indefinitely until the line became inseparable with the state about it what would have happened?
Everything had merged there was no possibility of any retention of the separateness of a human self from the space of sound into which that sentient self had projected. An extension of feeling and a diffusion of music with it creating a condition of oneness. A passing of each into the other.
Sound, Giving, Will, Feeling, an insistent entity reached. Was there any part of me that did not respond? I was not a woman. I became merely a part of the attunement of the moment as did all the others. The strangers standing so near that I could have touched them and I think we were touching. We had dropped our little selves we were not but something greater than ourselves was breathing. What gave it the impetus to breathe? And if it could have endured, if a climax could have been reached and held for the fraction of a second - would not that instant have become infinite? Would it have been death? Or escape into a quickening of life?”
Katharine Rhoades April 1915.
Ms. Rhoades was an artist as well as a writer. I found this excerpt about her work interesting.
”The terms in which critics evaluated Rhoades' work at the 1915 exhibition place her paintings within a loosely defined expressionism, which prioritized emotion, intuition, and spirituality. Charles Caffin in the New York American insisted that Rhoades' reliance was on intuition, rather than observation: "Miss Rhoades seems to have a capacity of psychically sensing her subject" (19). Agnes Meyer, a journalist, photographer and fellow member of the Stieglitz circle reviewed Rhoades' work at the time of the 1915, commenting on the artist's individual vision:“her whole impulse to paint seems to spring from a close communion with and a desire to impart the underlying significance of the world as she sees it . . . There seems at first to be a strange and foreign quality in her portraits but a sympathetic study reveals the fact that she has seen further or at least differently than we (Meyer 8).”Meyer again points to Rhoades' ability to visually articulate a metaphysical consciousness and stresses her status as a seer, psychic, or medium through which highly developed states of consciousness are expressed.”
The article in which this excerpt appears was found online.
- an acapella jazz choir... Wait until you get a load of this...!
This is how I first heard it.
Then someone sent this full version:
Now, here's the Toto original:
Which one do you like?
Long time no see...
I've been working in the yard (- beautiful results, if I do say so myself!) and getting ready for our trip to Chicago.
Meantime, here's a little ditty you've heard before with a video you may not have seen...
I'd love to embed one, but most videos are cartoons or still shots or no good. Go ahead, click thru and enjoy the link above.
"One of my parents' deepest fears, I suspect, is that society would not properly value me as a musician, that I wouldn't be appreciated. I had very good grades in high school, I was good in science and math, and they imagined that as a doctor or a research chemist or an engineer, I might be more appreciated than I would be as a musician. I still remember my mother's remark when I announced my decision to apply to music school-she said, "You're WASTING your SAT scores." On some level, I think, my parents were not sure themselves what the value of music was, what its purpose was. And they LOVED music, they listened to classical music all the time. They just weren't really clear about its function. So let me talk about that a little bit, because we live in a society that puts music in the "arts and entertainment" section of the newspaper, and serious music, the kind your kids are about to engage in, has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with entertainment, in fact it's the opposite of entertainment. Let me talk a little bit about music, and how it works. The first people to understand how music really works were the ancient Greeks. And this is going to fascinate you; the Greeks said that music and astronomy were two sides of the same coin. Astronomy was seen as the study of relationships between observable, permanent, external objects, and music was seen as the study of relationships between invisible, internal, hidden objects. Music has a way of finding the big, invisible moving pieces inside our hearts and souls and helping us figure out the position of things inside us. Let me give you some examples of how this works. One of the most profound musical compositions of all time is the Quartet for the End of Time written by French composer Olivier Messiaen in 1940. Messiaen was 31 years old when France entered the war against Nazi Germany. He was captured by the Germans in June of 1940, sent across Germany in a cattle car and imprisoned in a concentration camp. He was fortunate to find a sympathetic prison guard who gave him paper and a place to compose. There were three other musicians in the camp, a cellist, a violinist, and a clarinetist, and Messiaen wrote his quartet with these specific players in mind. It was performed in January 1941 for four thousand prisoners and guards in the prison camp. Today it is one of the most famous masterworks in the repertoire. Given what we have since learned about life in the concentration camps, why would anyone in his right mind waste time and energy writing or playing music? There was barely enough energy on a good day to find food and water, to avoid a beating, to stay warm, to escape torture-why would anyone bother with music? And yet-from the camps, we have poetry, we have music, we have visual art; it wasn't just this one fanatic Messiaen; many, many people created art. Why? Well, in a place where people are only focused on survival, on the bare necessities, the obvious conclusion is that art must be, somehow, essential for life. The camps were without money, without hope, without commerce, without recreation, without basic respect, but they were not without art. Art is part of survival; art is part of the human spirit, an unquenchable expression of who we are. Art is one of the ways in which we say, "I am alive, and my life has meaning." On September 12, 2001, I was a resident of Manhattan. That morning I reached a new understanding of my art and its relationship to the world. I sat down at the piano that morning at 10 AM to practice as was my daily routine; I did it by force of habit, without thinking about it. I lifted the cover on the keyboard, and opened my music, and put my hands on the keys and took my hands off the keys. And I sat there and thought, does this even matter? Isn't this completely irrelevant? Playing the piano right now, given what happened in this city yesterday, seems silly, absurd, irreverent, pointless. Why am I here? What place has a musician in this moment in time? Who needs a piano player right now? I was completely lost. And then I, along with the rest of New York, went through the journey of getting through that week. I did not play the piano that day, and in fact I contemplated briefly whether I would ever want to play the piano again. And then I observed how we got through the day. At least in my neighborhood, we didn't shoot hoops or play Scrabble. We didn't play cards to pass the time, we didn't watch TV, we didn't shop, we most certainly did not go to the mall. The first organized activity that I saw in New York, that same day, was singing. People sang. People sang around fire houses, people sang "We Shall Overcome". Lots of people sang America the Beautiful. The first organized public event that I remember was the Brahms Requiem, later that week, at Lincoln Center, with the New York Philharmonic. The first organized public expression of grief, our first communal response to that historic event, was a concert. That was the beginning of a sense that life might go on. The US Military secured the airspace, but recovery was led by the arts, and by music in particular, that very night. From these two experiences, I have come to understand that music is not part of "arts and entertainment" as the newspaper section would have us believe. It's not a luxury, a lavish thing that we fund from leftovers of our budgets, not a plaything or an amusement or a pass time. Music is a basic need of human survival. Music is one of the ways we make sense of our lives, one of the ways in which we express feelings when we have no words, a way for us to understand things with our hearts when we can't with our minds. Some of you may know Samuel Barber's heart wrenchingly beautiful piece, "Adagio for Strings". If you don't know it by that name, then some of you may know it as the background music which accompanied the Oliver Stone movie Platoon, a film about the Vietnam War. If you know that piece of music either way, you know it has the ability to crack your heart open like a walnut; it can make you cry over sadness you didn't know you had. Music can slip beneath our conscious reality to get at what's really going on inside us the way a good therapist does. I bet that you have never been to a wedding where there was absolutely no music. There might have been only a little music, there might have been some really bad music, but I bet you there was some music. And something very predictable happens at weddings-people get all pent up with all kinds of emotions, and then there's some musical moment where the action of the wedding stops and someone sings or plays the flute or something. And even if the music is lame, even if the quality isn't good, predictably 30 or 40 percent of the people who are going to cry at a wedding cry a couple of moments after the music starts. Why? The Greeks. Music allows us to move around those big invisible pieces of ourselves and rearrange our insides so that we can express what we feel even when we can't talk about it. Can you imagine watching Indiana Jones or Superman or Star Wars with the dialogue but no music? What is it about the music swelling up at just the right moment in ET so that all the softies in the audience start crying at exactly the same moment? I guarantee you if you showed the movie with the music stripped out, it wouldn't happen that way. The Greeks: Music is the understanding of the relationship between invisible internal objects. I'll give you one more example, the story of the most important concert of my life. I must tell you I have played a little less than a thousand concerts in my life so far. I have played in places that I thought were important. I like playing in Carnegie Hall; I enjoyed playing in Paris; it made me very happy to please the critics in St. Petersburg. I have played for people I thought were important; music critics of major newspapers, foreign heads of state. The most important concert of my entire life took place in a nursing home in Fargo, North Dakota, about 4 years ago. I was playing with a very dear friend of mine who is a violinist. We began, as we often do, with Aaron Copland's Sonata, which was written during World War II and dedicated to a young friend of Copland's, a young pilot who was shot down during the war. Now we often talk to our audiences about the pieces we are going to play rather than providing them with written program notes. But in this case, because we began the concert with this piece, we decided to talk about the piece later in the program and to just come out and play the music without explanation. Midway through the piece, an elderly man seated in a wheelchair near the front of the concert hall began to weep. This man, whom I later met, was clearly a soldier-even in his 70's, it was clear from his buzz-cut hair, square jaw and general demeanor that he had spent a good deal of his life in the military. I thought it a little bit odd that someone would be moved to tears by that particular movement of that particular piece, but it wasn't the first time I've heard crying in a concert and we went on with the concert and finished the piece. When we came out to play the next piece on the program, we decided to talk about both the first and second pieces, and we described the circumstances in which the Copland was written and mentioned its dedication to a downed pilot. The man in the front of the audience became so disturbed that he had to leave the auditorium. I honestly figured that we would not see him again, but he did come backstage afterwards, tears and all, to explain himself. What he told us was this: "During World War II, I was a pilot, and I was in an aerial combat situation where one of my team's planes was hit. I watched my friend bail out, and watched his parachute open, but the Japanese planes which had engaged us returned and machine gunned across the parachute chords so as to separate the parachute from the pilot, and I watched my friend drop away into the ocean, realizing that he was lost. I have not thought about this for many years, but during that first piece of music you played, this memory returned to me so vividly that it was as though I was reliving it. I didn't understand why this was happening, why now, but then when you came out to explain that this piece of music was written to commemorate a lost pilot, it was a little more than I could handle. How does the music do that? How did it find those feelings and those memories in me? Remember the Greeks: music is the study of invisible relationships between internal objects. This concert in Fargo was the most important work I have ever done. For me to play for this old soldier and help him connect, somehow, with Aaron Copland, and to connect their memories of their lost friends, to help him remember and mourn his friend, this is my work. This is why music matters. What follows is part of the talk I will give to this year's freshman class when I welcome them a few days from now. The responsibility I will charge your sons and daughters with is this: "If we were a medical school, and you were here as a med student practicing appendectomies, you'd take your work very seriously because you would imagine that some night at two AM someone is going to waltz into your emergency room and you're going to have to save their life. Well, my friends, someday at 8 PM someone is going to walk into your concert hall and bring you a mind that is confused, a heart that is overwhelmed, a soul that is weary. Whether they go out whole again will depend partly on how well you do your craft. You're not here to become an entertainer, and you don't have to sell yourself. The truth is you don't have anything to sell; being a musician isn't about dispensing a product, like selling used Chevies. I'm not an entertainer; I'm a lot closer to a paramedic, a firefighter, a rescue worker. You're here to become a sort of therapist for the human soul, a spiritual version of a chiropractor, physical therapist, someone who works with our insides to see if they get things to line up, to see if we can come into harmony with ourselves and be healthy and happy and well. Frankly, ladies and gentlemen, I expect you not only to master music; I expect you to save the planet. If there is a future wave of wellness on this planet, of harmony, of peace, of an end to war, of mutual understanding, of equality, of fairness, I don't expect it will come from a government, a military force or a corporation. I no longer even expect it to come from the religions of the world, which together seem to have brought us as much war as they have peace. If there is a future of peace for humankind, if there is to be an understanding of how these invisible, internal things should fit together, I expect it will come from the artists, because that's what we do. As in the concentration camp and the evening of 9/11, the artists are the ones who might be able to help us with our internal, invisible lives."
I would love to embed the video here, but that feature has been disabled. Here is the link to one of the Susan Boyle videos - we've seen her several times already!
Watch Simon's eye-rolling when he asks Susan her age. The cameras catch audience members doing the same and many are laughing.
Susan's response? "That's just one side of me."
And her sheer delight at the reaction of the crowd, and later of the judges, seems charming, & genuine. She was not remotely flustered by everyone's reactions: not the first laughter & derision, and not by the turnaround when those watching realized what they were seeing.
You can't judge a book by it's cover.
Age is a number in someone else's mind.
Follow your dreams.
Take a chance.
Savor the moment.
Bookmark this video and watch it often.
Joel & I rewrote the lyrics to You Are My Sunshine, shortly after we were married. We're hitting 15 years next week! Yea Us!!
You are my sunshine,
My only sunshine.
You make me happy when skies are gray.
You'll always know, dear, how much I love you,
And our sunshine is here to stay.
I was going to post a YouTube video or two, but the real lyrics are SOOOO sad...
Forget your troubles, come on, get Happy!
We're gonna chase all the Blues away.
People passed on two little treasures to me today that I want to save here.
Hope you enjoy them!
The first one is a performance by a jump-roping group called King's Firecrackers.
I can't imagine hopping 7 times, much less 7 MINUTES! Great workout, though.
Now, enjoy this performance in the Central Station of Antwerp, Belgium.
It's a promo for a new TV show.
And that concludes today's broadcast, ladies & gentlemen, and any who would choose a different category. May you set down the burdens that are not your own.
Today is the Solstice. Noon is less than hour away, here. Meet me outside with your bells!
Here's a link to a video of the Real Drifters singing this, too. (sorry, embedding was disabled.)
Head over to YouTube to hear more from this Indiana University's Men's Chorus.
Wait until you see/hear the mouth bow...and stay tuned until the very end to see Thunderwear! Video is about 25 minutes and worth it all. ENJOY! He's got a dobro, too, Bill.
A friend (Thanks, Frank) sent a wonderful slide show of animal baby photos with an incredible vocal performance of this wonderful song. The artist wasn't credited, and in the search for her I'm finding some other moving performances, so...
This post will be entirely video versions of Over the Rainbow. If I find a way to post the slide show, I will.
I just want to have these here together for my personal edification. Enjoy, if you've a mind to... :)
Simply MUST start here, with Judy:
Then, Israel Kamakawiwo'o:
Then the beautiful guitar of Tommy Emmanuel: (Jim, this one's for you)
One of my personal favorites, Katharine McPhee:
And who could resist the charm of Britain's 6 yr. old Connie Talbot
Now, I'm dating myself, but I must include Doris Day:
And a beautiful rendition by Eva Cassidy:
It's Eva in the slide show... maybe not the same recording, but her voice none the less...just lovely.
And even more poignant when I learned that this angelic voice now resides in an actual angel somewhere...Eva passed in 1996 at the age of 33.
You still inspire, Eva. Thanks.
Found a new one - a dobro ditty:
Looks like I can't 'embed' these anymore... but here are some more versions (added 9-27-11)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oNHTCglQ_Wk&feature=colike A Glee version, taken from Iz Kamakawiwo'o.
And one by Celtic Woman: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I5T6gyCPDvM&feature=colike
And this lovely, delicate rendition by Keith Jarrett: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eq0EWNuR1H8&feature=colike
And Eric Clapton's rendition: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-V2yTD1FV4Y&feature=colike
Here's Ray Charles: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LTk-t8s_R0Y&feature=colike
There are tons of others, of course; go find your own faves... :)
January 12, 2013..got this one from Jim thru email: