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Showing posts from November 29, 2009

Star Poetry and Music

Sometimes looking at the stars has a lovely way of placing things in perspective. You feel so small, yet so embraced in the vastness of sky, light and sea. My own pulse calms, steadies, and becomes more in sync with the pulse of creation. Take in a deep breath and look up at the stars... Here are two very different perspectives on Stars. One is the poem "Stars" by Freya Manfred and the other is a video/song by the band Switchfoot called "When I look at the Stars." What happens to your heart when you go stargazing? What matters most? It's a foolish question because I'm hanging on, just like you. No, I'm past hanging on. It's after midnight and I'm falling toward four a.m., the best time for ghosts, terror, and lost hopes. No one says anything of significance to me. I don't care if the President's a two year old, and the Vice President's four. I don't care if you're cashing in your stocks or building homes for the homeles

VOCATION is a 50 cent word

Image for The Byzantine . I've loved words for a very long time. When I was little, my Dad would comment on my use of a big long word by saying, "Well Tara, that is a 50 cent word!" It seemed to me then, and sometimes even now that words have untold hidden value, if we take the time to get to know them better. When I was in first grade, I got the book "Greensleeves" out of the Bookmobile because it was the BIGGEST book they had in the four wheel mobile library. I remember reading the book, but not quite getting the full meaning of the words. I wanted to know the whole story and the meaning of the words of that big book, but at that point in my childhood, the fullness of it escaped me. It's one thing to be able to quote 50 cent words, it's quite another to truly understand what they mean. Sometimes a word will stand out to me and I will find myself looking it up to find out how it came to be. Recently the word vocation has been speaking to me. Yes

The Swell is coming...

If you like independent/folk/poetry/story as much as I do and if you have had the chance to see the film Once , you surely fell in love with the music and plot and that was enfolded in a quirky and unique love story. It was one of those rare occasions that I literally went out a few days later and bought the soundtrack to the film. The music from this film and the new CD release Strict Joy is the duo called "The Swell Season." The Swell Season are Glen Hansard (from the Irish band, The Frames) and Marketa Irglova (classically trained Czech pianist and vocalist). Musicians that have appeared on their albums and accompanied them on tour include: Marja Tuhkanen (violin), Bertrand Galen (cello), John Carney (bass guitar), Thomas Bartlett (keyboard), Joseph Doyle (bass guitar), Colm Mac Con Iomaire (violin), Rob Bochnik (guitar), Graham Hopkins (drums), Javier Mas (guitar), Chad Taylor (drums), Steven Bernstein (horns), and Clark Gayton (horns). This is unique and lovely mu

Wear, give and shop (RED) for the love of it...

December 1st is World Aids Day . Organizations are encouraging folks to wear the color red in agreement that help and support is needed to overcome this crisis worldwide. The excerpt below is from the blog "(Red) One Color Unites Us" and more information on the sponsors and vendors involved can be seen there. At the least, wear some red..at the most use your holiday shopping budget at some of these vendors to help make a global difference this season. DECEMBER 1 IS WORLD AIDS DAY - ONE COLOR UNITES US. Did you know that 33 million people in the world have HIV. 22 million live in Africa. It costs around 40cents a day for the 2 pills that are needed to help keep someone living with HIV alive. Yet, more than 70% of the people in sub-Saharan Africa live on less than $2 a day. Because of supporters of the (red) campaign, to date $140 million has been sent to Africa through (RED) partners and events, which has supported programs that have helped reach 4 million people. Than

SWB: It's Alive!

It can be funny what things make you more aware of living. Last Friday evening, I went ice skating with my family and my brother's family who was visiting over the Thanksgiving holiday. It was not our plan to go skating, we had banked on going bowling - but when we arrived it was leagues only, so we had to come up with a plan B. Plan B's are always interesting. When we left to meet up with my brother and his family, I admittedly was a little nervous. While we try to keep in touch via Facebook and such, it had been a long while since we'd seen each other in person. On my husband's suggestion on going ice skating, we both initially thought that the kids would go; but the adults? Nah! Well, upon everyone's arrival at the ice arena we all got into the spirit of things and EVERYONE decided to go skating. Was that my voice saying, "Sure, I've never done this before. But I'll give it a try!"? Surely, that could not have been me, right? Well, it was

SWB: Waiting for what's coming round the bend

This piece written by Mark Twain, was the focus of today's vignette for The Writer's Almanac for November 30th, 2009. I love the artful blend of this excerpt that follows because it captures the sleepy restfulness of the small town, and the jarring excitement of what new thing is soon coming down the river. On this second day of Advent, it is a time of expectation and waiting. If we allow it, Advent can also be a time of rest in preparation for the joy and light of Christmas to arrive. So on this Monday of expectation and waiting, what moments of the last week made you feel most alive? What ones made you feel most drained of life? Do you sense something new and exciting stirring in your heart? Is there something that needs to be released to the churning river waters so that the next step in the journey can be freely made? As you read this short piece by Mark Twain, let the mighty Mississippi roll around in your heart. We never know for sure what a wade in the water can s