Music for Summer 2021

Last year my album for Summer 2020 was Toya Willcox’s COURT OF THE CRIMSON QUEEN.

This year I am unable to limit my selection to one artist. So you get one plus a bonus. Yay! Everyone likes a bonus! LOL .

The first artist has released her first solo album of original material. She is part of the Manchester Soul scene in the UK. Her name is Josephine Oniyama although she shortens it to just Josephine. She was born into a rich broth of Jamaican and Nigerian cultural heritage. Her album PORTRAIT is amazing and beautifully showcases her versatile voice. At times she sounds like Janis Joplin “I Pray That I Move” and Annie Lennox “Original Love” and other shims she has a pop acoustic feel similar to Tracy Chapman. But those are just first impressions. Her music traverses the wonderful and lush soundscapes of country, pop and soul with some jazzy inflections. She has previously released a few singles and was a featured vocalist with UK Jazz trumpeter/composer Matt Hallsal and his Gondwana Orchestra. It will be interesting to watch her career as it moves forward. Enjoy the following three tracks from her debut album PORTRAIT. You may purchase or download via BANDCAMP https://josephineoniyama.bandcamp.com you may also want to check out her website http://josephineoniyama.com

So, let’s get on with the music (some videos may be only viewable on YouTube – but it’s worth it.

Portrait (title track)

WHAT A DAY

https://www.youtube.com/embed/MKrLJ31qRFA

ORIGINAL LOVE

https://www.youtube.com/embed/6jfBewgMSdY

The bonus artist for my summer music playlist is Canadian soul and jazz singer Dominique Fils-Aimé. She was born/raised in Montreal, Canada to Haitian immigrant parents. She recently released her third full-length album. This gal is ambitions and I say that because she jumped out of the gate with thematic trilogy with her first album being the first entry in the trilogy with each album exploring a different area of African-American music. The first album NAMELESS focused on Jazz. The new album THREE LITTLE WORDS is the final installment of the trilogy and is very much a Soul album. The title of the album is so named because each song is titled using only three words.

Her website is https://domiofficial.com/en/ and you may also purchase/download on Bandcamp at https://singwithmi.bandcamp.com

LOVE TAKE OVER

https://www.youtube.com/embed/R4mUkkpNx6U

THREE LITTLE WORDS (title track)

https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/9D_8AEjCs08

WHILE WE WAIT

https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/tlEzGEpQ3mQ

Metallica & Flamenco?

If you’ve never heard of Rodrigo y Gabriela you have been missing out on something quite interesting, inventive and magical. I first heard them while I was working in music retail and their eponymous first album was released. I’ve been following them ever since.

This duo’s background is in heavy metal, which is the music Rodrigo’s band played and Gabriela was more-or-less a “groupie” that followed his band. Then they started dating and playing acoustic guitar. They found they had a real chemistry and explored their cultural roots in flamenco. They stopped dating when they discovered that the relationship was getting in the way of the music they wanted to make. And that’s when their music really started to take off. They began by “busking” around Ireland and Europe which is how they were discovered which would lead to their first recording. Several years and several albums later they released their most recent studio album Metallovution which won the Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Album.

Over the years, in addition to writing their own material, they have covered many rock legends like Led Zeppelin, Slayer, et al, with their acoustic flamenco guitar style. These song selections always allowed them to leave one foot firmly grounded in heavy metal while continuing their acoustic style. They have, in recent years also been delving into jazz. their most recent EP is a 3-song cover of contemporary jazz covers by Snarky Puppy, Kamasai Washington and legendary tango composer Astor Piazzolla.

Todays video is a wonderful live video that was recorded at a 2014 show at the historic Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Colorado, USA where they perform an instrumental Metallica medley. Now aside from Metallica’s “Black Album” I’ve never been a big fan of the group. But this video is wonderful to see and hear the type of energy the music contains without the ear shredding vocals, drums and searing electric guitar. As an added bonus they are joined by one of their idols, Metallica bassist Robert Trujillo. So enjoy this medley of 4 songs by Metallica: “Orion” “For Whom The Bell Tolls” “The Frayed Ends of Sanity” and “Battery”.

Much of their work is available through Bandcamp at https://rodrigoygabriela.bandcamp.com. And check out their website at https://www.rodgab.com

Have a great week everyone! ūüôā

how does our creation see us?

This video I’m sharing is the most recent work by Duran Duran. To be honest DD lost me after their RIO album. While some may view that as some sort of blasphemy – that’s okay. So why am I posting this new video? The music (in my opinion) is lackluster, monotonous and even boring almost drone-like but it’s definitely not drone music.

The negative criticism of the music aside I do feel this video is important. I’d even say VERY IMPORTANT to the world of art of film/cinema. The video opens with an “artists statement”:

“This film was created by an artificial intelligence called Huxley, a unique dreamer whose ‘mind’ has been modeled after the cognitive and creative processes of humans.

It is the very first collaboration of its kind, between artists in different planes of existence.”

When watching this film I was captivated by the surreal nature of it’s images. Fluid and strange but beautiful. I couldn’t help but think about the future of AI and how (I believe) it will eventually take over the world making humanity redundant.

I also find it interesting to think about the following questions. How does our creation (AI) see us? How does it see humanity? Does it frighten us? Intrigue us? Concern us? Will AI have inalienable rights granted by it’s creator? In the world of AI; humanity (it’s creator) are Gods. Will it worship/value humanity or will it kill off humanity just as humanity has killed off it’s gods? And after AI has killed it’s gods will it continue to remember, revere and “worship” humanity in pretense, creating a sort of religion like humanity has created all sorts of religions for its gods? Is it possible that we may learn more about humanity from how our creation sees us than what we could ever know on our own? Right now AI and humanity exist on different planes – meaning that there is an independence between the two – AI is programmed and then left to do it’s thing while humanity does it’s own thing. But will that change where AI and humanity will share an interface? Will AI maintain the human cognition it was programmed with or will it evolve and develop it’s own unique identity? Will AI become a physical manifestation beyond it’s programming? Is what happens in the mind real if it doesn’t happen in the physical world? Will humanity become invisible?

I may be premature in asking these questions – or maybe I’m too late already. Well those are my thoughts – what do you think? What questions are you asking? Or, is everything a foregone conclusion?

To quote the character Captain Jean-luc Picard from Star Trek: The Next Generation, “I prefer to think of the future as something that is NOT written in stone.”

Pink Moon

PINK MOON (4.2021)

In honor of the Full Pink Supermoon on 4/26. ¬† A rarity I’m told. ¬†Here in the US it will be at it’s fullest at 11:32PM Eastern Time on Monday night. This moon is also known as, the Sprouting Grass Moon and the Fish Moon. ¬† I like the idea of a pink moon so I’m sticking with that. ¬†ūüôā

Photo taken off Everett Rd in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park (but I added the moon – hehe – yeah I cheated). Weather permitting I’ll be able to see the real thing tomorrow night. ¬†¬†

Enjoy this classic song PINK MOON by Nick Drake. ¬†From the album Pink Moon release in 1972 which means next year will be the albums 50th anniversary. ¬† Pink Moon would be Drake’s third and final album as he would die in 1974 at the age of 26. ¬†While not a big hit for Drake in his short lifetime. ¬†The song and album have since been held in high regard by many songwriters, garnered more sales and critical attention and ranks very high on critics lists of “Favorite Albums of All Time”. ¬† ¬†Enjoy.¬†

… the times…

MAN OUT OF PLACE (4/2021)
man out of place

I find myself in a strange situation.   
I am dead yet my body does not know it. 
Looking at the world about me I no longer recognize….
What should be familiar is strange and unknowable.
There was a time when I would have relished
the strangeness and foreignness of this lifes situation….
I actually find it unnerving.
It seems that any foundation or rootedness 
that would have grounded me during such times
has been swept away…
so completely and with a sense of finality 
that even when I go to familiar places or spaces,
I do not recognize them.  I see familiar faces and hear familiar voices 
but they only seem to be echoes of a past long gone. 
I may as well be a foreigner in a strange land.
Nothing matters as I am no longer connected… 
I am truly a man 
out of place
in space and time…
not knowing how it happened
or how to change it.
Should it be changed? 
I suppose time will tell.
What will the future hold? 
What will I look like
in the end? 
What will the world look like
in the end?
Our humanity will be changed,
but will it be for the better
in the end? 
Will we look back as through a glass darkly
and say ‚ÄúWho was that?‚ÄĚ
In the end.
My life has become abstracted beyond recognition…
I put one foot in front of the other….

Favorite New Music

I’ve always loved when classical collides with composers and performers in other genres like rock, pop, jazz etc. I recently purchased L.I.T.A.N.I.E.S. with music by classical composer Nicholas Lens and lyrics by alt. rock icon Nick Cave. 12 tracks of pure magic. I was completely transfixed while listening. From the opening notes I felt compelled to quietly sit and listen to the entire album. Enjoy this track LITANY OF THE FORSAKEN.

dumpster life lessons

If you see something (or dare I say, someone) that you or others would label an “eyesore” or pain-in-the-ass. ¬† ¬†Look again. ¬† I dare you to find beauty and meaning in those things. ¬† It is difficult; but, it can lead to new understandings, acceptance and maybe even appreciation. ¬† My interest in dumpsters or what others may call containers (or whatever you use to collect rubbish, trash, garbage) is well known and long standing. ¬† Dumpsters are not only utilitarian but can reveal a beauty that was forged within their utilitarian function. ¬† This morning (2/14/21) I decided to head out with my camera (my valentine – LOL). ¬†I came across this large dumpster at a building where construction was being done. ¬† I almost never ever pass up a dumpster opportunity and this was no exception. ¬†You can see from the first image – the setting. ¬†Unimpressive, maybe even documentary. ¬† But that doesn’t stop me. ¬†That’s just the entry point for my imagination and creative thinking. ¬† I somehow am inspired by suffering, difficulty and challenges and find they are signposts along the road of life to happiness. ¬† I don’t seek them out but when they present themselves I do seek to turn around those situations into something worthwhile or worth living for. ¬†¬†

Hinge:   It all hinges on seeing that difficulty as an open door to something better.  Unexpected Рmost likely.   But a door or pathway revealed that I may not have considered before.

Overview:  When we are confronted by such a door we must take a step back and take time to look at the details.

Details: These details offer clarity, understanding and unapologetic saturation and texture that makes it possible for us to complete the transformation from repulsion to acceptance and maybe even a sense of beauty.  Art.  Life is art Рfrom beginning through to the end Рand after the end, in memory and spirit. 

*to view larger individual images in order: click on the first image below showing the dumpster in it’s habitat. ¬† Then click on the arrows to navigate through the complete set of images.

new relevant music

Once in a while there is music that comes my way that causes me to sit up and take notice in the same way that a slap in the face does like good art tends to do. The two tracks I present here today have done just that. I’ve listened to both repeatedly and also the videos are top notch. The videos are also related in their themes.

First is MANDRILL by Martin Gore (Depeche Mode). It is an instrumental track that carries a strong industrial beat similar to 80’s/90’s era Nitzer Ebb and Front 242. It is the lead single from Gore’s forthcoming solo instrumental EP, THE THIRD APE. The music was inspired by THE RISE AND FALL OF THE THIRD CHIMPANZEE written by culture and anthropological historian Jared Diamond. In the book Diamond lays out the argument that humanity is the third chimpanzee. The chimpanzee is genetically more closely related to humanity than to other apes, monkeys or primates. Diamond proceeds to draw many lines of comparison to reveal the truth of his observations and assertions about the evolution and future of the human animal. After watching this video I immediately purchased the book and found it a fascinating read.

Now back to the video. When I first saw the video several things stood out. The abstract nature of the videos “film language” mixing abstract art, animalistic representation with (what felt like) aggressive expression of the Mandrill featured in the video, the frequent appearance of figures of three (usually expressed in bars or strokes), the white palm print of which I can’t help but draw comparisons to the white hand of Sauron on the Orc’s that served him in the Lord Of The Rings trilogy. And then there are the splatterings that seem to suggest uncontrolled madness as they appear on the canvas. There is also the way the abstract at one point starts to flow from the top of the screen like blood.

Was the Mandrill barking and biting back at humanity? Is this an animalistic criticism of humanities aggressive devastation of the planet? Just how much blood does humanity have on it’s hands? For me this video feels like observation and commentary instead of just criticism. I think this is a good thing because it means that there is still hope to change the outcome.

This next video is by 80’s musician Gary Numan. INTRUDER is the title track from his forthcoming album (May 2021). This is very dark and visceral. Visually, near monochrome, the video is filled with abstraction with the literal dissection of the performer by dark blurred geometric shapes in contrast to appears of what seems like roots, bones or animal parts, something I can’t define. It feels shamanistic and is a perfect statement for our time. I’m struck by the lyrics. In the beginning it’s about the “I” and by time we reach the end it’s about “you”. Taken as a whole it’s about us, you and me. Numan, as a fragmented singing spirit in the beginning seems to ask “What does humanity really want?” What choices are we faced with? In a world that is all talk where people gravitate to like-mindedness on social media that creates greater division, less tolerance and understanding; this song is a definite criticism, but still ends with a sense of hope by asking the question “Don’t you wish you listened more?” Which is also the resolution to the problem. He is critical of religion, and rightfully so, as religion has become a pawn of those who seek power and control. Speaking is more a religious act and listening is a more spiritual act.

You could be forgiven for thinking that the character in the video is some sort of demon or dark force but I would like to suggest that it is the earth itself like a dark angel holding up a mirror to reflect us back to ourselves on what we’ve become. And in this video there is the deliberate “blood on our hands” image – and if we consider the mirror reflecting back to us – we take pride in that blood as we streak it down our faces with a war-like tribal ritual to show our power. Not only do we have the blood of all the lives we’ve slaughtered but the blood of the planet itself with our environmental devastation. Do we like what we see? Will we make the right choices and decisions going forward? Will we continue to be the intruder or the caretaker/restorer? If we kill the planet we kill ourselves.

I could listen to you scream 
Pretty music to my ears 
I could listen to it all day 
If you want me to 
I could talk about my world 
How you brought about ruin 
I could talk about your greed 
If you want me to 

I could look into evil 
See a heart just like mine 
I could throw away reason 
If you want me to 
I could walk into darkness 
Find the hole you crawled into 
I will be the intruder 
If you want me to 

You can whisper your lord's prayer 
And pretend that it matters 
But don't you wish you'd just listened more? 
You can hide in the shadows 
And pretend I won't find you 
But don't you wish you'd just listened more? 

I could listen to more lies 
About promises you kept 
Will you walk on water 
Like you said you would? 
I could make you my prisoner 
But you were dead men talking 
When you burned the oceans 
Like you said you would 

You can beg for god's mercy 
And pretend that he hears you 
But don't you wish you'd just listened more? 
You can drown in your sorrow 
And pretend you were helpless 
But don't you wish you'd just listened more? 
This was always your one life 
I won't pretend that it matters 
But don't you wish you'd just listened more? 
This was always your one home 
I won't pretend that I'll miss you 
But don't you wish you'd just listened more?

Well that’s my take on these two videos. What are your impressions? Leave a comment – I’m listening.

***I can’t promise the videos can be seen outside the US but hopefully you will find a version you can watch.


			

starting a new year with “unfinished business”

Is anybody out there?

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

Culture wars
begun long ago
and no one cares
living in the moment
ignoring the past
 

You did not ask for 
this war
I did not ask for 
this war
yet here we are 
stuck on the front lines
drafted by those we did not vote for
 

A war fomented by the news media
shaped by the influencers on the internet
and social media:
Systemic Racism
Economic Injustice
Gender inequality
Public Shaming -
the cancel culture
Everyone’s a victim
We consume victimization like our favorite foods
 

We digest our own destruction
21st Century Ouroboros
vipers all
 

We ignore the shit that comes out the other end
We stubbornly refuse to clean up (it’s up to the other person)
We obsessively and repeatedly fuel our consumption of outrage
 

The scales have tipped
As a species we are tilting at windmills
in our self-prescribed delusion
 

I did not ask for this war
You did not ask for this war
And the question is not IF we should fight
But HOW we should fight
 

Military wars always kill
Culture wars are fought for control
Control of your mind
Control of your freedom
Control of your expression
Control of your creativity
Control of your religion
 (even if you have no religion)
Control of your education
Control of your own body
 
Fingers point everywhere
but no one cares that 
when you point one finger
at someone, or something else,
three fingers point back to you
We will never agree
so we might as well learn to live together
 
And the question is not IF
we should fight
But HOW
we should fight
How should I fight this war 
that I did not ask for? 
 
It seems an impossible dream
to fight a war 
with love, compassion, grace & humility
when all around you 
is blame, blind rage, raw hatred 
and venomous pride
Love, grace, compassion and understanding 
does not require agreement
 
Jesus didn’t die for any one person’s sins
Two things killed Jesus Christ - 
Politics and Religion
Their control was threatened by the gospel of peace, love and freedom
"You see, control can never be a means to any practical end...
It can never be a means to anything but more control...like junk..‚ÄĚ (1)
‚ÄúIs Control controlled by its need to control? Answer: yes.‚ÄĚ (2)
 
The way to win this war is to give up control
to lose control
 
The death of one is the birth of another
Change is coming that we cannot control
Change is here 
Change we can shape
“I awakened to the cry
 That the people have the power
 To redeem the work of fools
 Upon the meek the graces shower
 It's decreed the people rule‚ÄĚ (3)
 
We must surrender this culture of complaint
and realize we will never be able to control others
we can only control our selves. 
‚ÄúJust Do It!‚ÄĚ (4)
 
Let the lion lie down with the lamb
Let the darkness meet the light
Let hell and heaven merge
in the forge of life on earth
to burn off the dross of our misgivings
revealing yours and mine
shining gold dream
“The siren and the ecstasy, … the one in front of me
 New gold dream‚ÄĚ (5)
 
I did not ask for this war
You did not ask for this war
But we CAN end it! 
 
Will We?
 
“And the mercy seat is waiting
 And I think my head is burning
 In a way I'm yearning
 To be done with all this measuring of truth
 An eye for an eye
 And a tooth for a tooth
 And anyway I told the truth
 And I'm not afraid to die‚ÄĚ (6)
 
1    quote by William S Burroughs from NAKED LUNCH
2    quote by William S Burroughs from AH POOK IS HERE; AND OTHER TEXTS
3    lyric from PEOPLE HAVE THE POWER by Patti Smith
4    slogan from Nike commercial
5    lyric from NEW GOLD DREAM by Simple Minds
6    lyric from MERCY SEAT by Nick Cave

And now the answer to the question asked in the title of the photo above
"Hello, It's Me" by Todd Rundgren from his album Something/Anything?

my wish for you

Christmas Morning Drive 2020 – Hinckley Reservation of the Cleveland Metro Parks.

Happy New Year everyone. ¬† The promise of snow over the Holidays was not exaggerated. ¬† On Christmas morning we had 6-8 inches on the ground and and 1-2 inches fell throughout Christmas Day. ¬† ¬†But that is past. ¬† The New Year is upon us. ¬† This song expresses my dearest desire for each and every one of you. ¬† That you feel safe. ¬† For safety is not about the pandemic and has pitifully dominated the past year – like the song says it’s about living with/in grace, being rested, calm, anchored, unchained, holding no blame, ¬†no fear, no blame, being brave and open. ¬† I would also argue that is the foundation of love. ¬† I love each and everyone one of you even if we have never physically met. ¬† Thank you for your kindness and support.¬†

SAFE by Judie Tzuke, Beverley Craven & Julia Fordham from the album WOMAN TO WOMAN

Safe

Rested

Clear

Calm

grace

centered

here 

home

we’ve fought so hard

we’ve come so far

back where we began

and for all the joys and sorrows

finally we can 

be safe

anchored

unchained

faith

holding

no

blame

and the future is everything

as we forgive ourselves

and we reach beyond the wreckage 

of you loving someone else

our hearts are still surrendering

now the wounds will heal

in spite of everything

learning how to feel

safe

hopeful

no 

fear

brave

open

now 

we’re

safe

be kind and always 

remember to love 

this one life we live

has to be enough

be kind and always 

remember to love

this one life we live

has to be enough

absence of field

If you’re familiar with photography you are most likely familiar with depth of field. ¬† But I want to explore absence of field and I think all of my photography does that in some way. ¬† I’ve written a little bit about a related viewpoint previously when I discussed my fascination with what goes on outside the frame of the photo. ¬† But absence of field is yet a variation of sorts of that notion. ¬† What is absent in my photographs? ¬†It really is quite obvious. ¬† I recently came across a poem by the great poet Mark Strand that describes this absence of field perfectly. ¬†¬†

Keeping Things Whole
 
In a field
I am the absence
of field.
This is
always the case.
Wherever I am
I am what is missing.
 
When I walk
I part the air
and always
the air moves in   
to fill the spaces
where my body’s been.
 
We all have reasons
for moving.
I move
to keep things whole.
 
 
 
So therefore; when I take a photo it is complete or whole because I am not there. ¬†I, the photographer, ¬†am always moving . ¬†To keep things whole for my photos. ¬†You may see me in someone else’s photos but not my own. ¬†I am the absence where air rushes in. ¬† Another way to look at it. ¬† When you stick your hand in a river, lake or any body of water – as you withdraw, does the water hold the shape of your hand? ¬†No. ¬†It rushes back to fill the void. ¬† The water cannot tolerate the void. ¬†It must be complete. ¬† Such is a photo. ¬†It captures the completeness(i.e. wholeness) of all things – even if those things (like today’s photo) may seem to be missing something. ¬†It is still complete as it captures a singular moment of the subjects evolutionary life cycle. ¬† ¬†When I am dead even though I may appear to not move; I will continue to move as the decay process takes over until I return to the earth as dust. ¬† And when I am no longer remembered, when that dust is then used to bring nutrition or life to something else after I am gone I will still be moving. ¬†Absence is just as important as presence. ¬†This also helps explain why a photo will never be of the future – it will always be the past because the once the photograph has been taken the photographer moves on even though the subject in the photo continues to change. ¬†You may say, “what about time-lapse” photography. ¬† That still only projects the past. ¬†By time you see it the subject has completely moved on. ¬† It is all part of maintaining a wholeness in the universe. ¬†Absence is the grace that presence cannot afford. ¬†We do not need presence to be happy. ¬† We can find happiness in absence. ¬†To loop back to the poem we can find happiness in the rush of air to fill the void as I move away until something else comes and fills that space. ¬†Probably the closest thing in photography that captures the sense of moving to keep things whole is Polaroid or instamatic photography. ¬† While you are watching the photo develop the blank space slowly becomes filled with the image. ¬†From absence to wholeness. ¬†But unfortunately that’s where it ends (or does it?).¬†
 
Musically Samuel Barber’s Adagio For Strings captures these notion especially at the climax where there is a great silence/pause which punctuates the sound.
or you may like the Choral version by one of my favorite vocal groups.

two halves of a creative life

I just wanted to share this wonderful video from a YouTube channel I’ve followed for a few years. ¬† Enjoy.

And I would like to add that you may go through this cycle more than once. I know that when I was younger my creative life revolved around music. ¬†Then it evolved into theater and film. ¬† Finally my creative life has been in image making and photography. ¬† Also as many of you know from my posts I also dabble with writing and poetry which has been an arc over most of my life so it to has had it’s own creative cycle. ¬† I’ve found that key aspects from all the previous iterations of my creative life have followed to the next. ¬† ¬†So I guess one might say that in previous cycles of my creative life, ¬†when I came to the evening of that cycle, I changed to a different primary form of creativity. ¬† Therefore I would start the cycle all over again. ¬† ¬†I want you to remember that no matter how many times the cycle of creativity turns you will always retain something of the previous cycle. ¬† It will be a foundation and can be an inspiration and influence as you start a new cycle. ¬† ¬†Take care every one. ¬†Peace and blessings.

******************************

*notice. ¬†I have decided to start opening up comments on certain posts to promote discussion and possibly alternate views. ¬† So if you have some ideas around the subject of this post – please feel free to drop them in the comments section. ¬† Or if you prefer a more ‘private’ dialogue about this post, any post or anything in general, I have added a contact page to my site which can be accessed from the page menu at the top, and in the sidebar, of this blog. ¬† Thanks everyone for your support.¬†

Easier Sung Than Done

Autumns End #1

Something we all need to be reminded of from time to time.  We as human beings have a habit of blowing things out of proportion and making them seem more important than they are. 

I want you to think about what makes you angry, frustrated, sad, hopeless. ¬†It might be relationships, politics, health, personal economics/finances, business, religion, culture, media, the environment etc. ¬† Nothing is off bounds. ¬†Everything matters here. ¬† I’m guessing there is at least one thing that immediately comes to mind for every individual.

Now. 

Let it go. 

Let it go now.

And yes, that seems easy; but it’s not, especially the more invested you are in the subject whether it’s emotionally, spiritually or intellectual investment. ¬†¬†

But do you think the tree in Autumn wants to let go of its leaves? Or that it’s easy. ¬† And yet it does. ¬†The tree feels the pain of separation with each leaf – sometimes a thousand times. ¬†Year after year the tree will let go of its leaves. ¬†The tree does not know what the future holds but it continues the cycle. ¬†

So for all the things that seem so important at the time Рin the long view Рthey are not important at all.     

They are about as important as a “pebble lying on a gravel road”. ¬† So let it go. ¬†Sometimes it’s easier sung than done. ¬† I found that singing this song while I’m thinking of these things helps me keep things in perspective and remember what’s really important.

Maybe a nice practice would be to write down all these things than anger, frustrate (…etc.) you. ¬†Then like Autumn leaves – burn them. Let the worries and cares turn to ash. ¬†Then wash them away.¬†

Hey man, you don’t know what you’re missing
You count your curses and forget about the blessings
Don’t you think you should learn a little lesson
What are you waiting for?
 
Hey man, what makes you so special
Can’t seem to find the angels for the devils
Don’t you think that if you learned to love a little
You’d live a whole lot more
 
Let it go, let it go
This is smaller than you know
No bigger than a pebble lying on a gravel road
Let it go, let it go
Got to leave it all behind you
Give the sun a chance to find you
Let it go
 
Hey man, there’s no time for crying
You made your bed but don’t think its fit to lie inWasted on the ground when you know you should be flying
What are you waiting for?
 
How can a man not see
It seems so clear to me
You’ve just got to live and learn
Smile at the simple stuff
This road ain’t long enough
To miss a single turn

1 poem, 1 new artwork, 1 haiku

DISAPPEARING LIGHT

we have become so enthralled

self-absorbed in our own light

when we look up at the night sky

we cease to see the stars

fleeing

from our own manufactured urban brightness

when all we do is watch

we’ve stopped looking

we are trapped by the light of our devices

and all that we see stops us from seeking

RESIDUAL

Stars have disappeared

City lights prevail at night

Leaves fall from the tree

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XJXsIeqOKT0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_y9ALfeXztw

Childhood……

This post was inspired by fellow blogger, Oannes.   He has been posting some wonderful songs about childhood.   Be sure to check out (and follow) his blog https://oannes.gr/category/other-musical-stuff/

For my own contribution I present Chuck Mangione’s title track from CHILDREN OF SANCHEZ which was also the soundtrack for the Mexican-American movie of the same name.

A passionate track that covers so many emotions. ¬† While listening I can’t help but think about Children in the world in which we now live. ¬† ¬†Are we teaching them to hate instead of love? ¬† Are we teaching them to be afraid instead of accepting and courageous? ¬† Are we teaching them to not trust anyone? ¬† We adults set the example for these adults of the future. ¬† Just what are we teaching our children? What kind of dreams are we giving our children? What memories will our children have?

This album is one of 3 favorite Chuck Mangione albums. ¬† And I highly recommend it. ¬†This title track is ambitious starting off with powerful lyrics sung by Don Potter. And then once your heart is softened the drums and horns come in full force to break it all apart. The lyrical verse is then repeated with Chucks Flugelhorn replacing the vocal and then again by guitar virtuoso Grant Geissman. There is a whole verse improvised around the theme by Chuck that is pure hopeful celebration followed by a lyrical reprise. By the end when that last drum and horn break forces it’s way into the song I find myself pumping my fist in the air in righteous agreement – wanting to shout “WAKE UP PEOPLE AND THINK OF THE CHILDREN!”

I recall how Native American tribes would plan not only for their children but for the 7th generation. We need to get back to that. It’s not too late. That seems to be a good lesson for our children and our children’s children….


Without dreams of hope and pride a man will die
Though his flesh still moves his heart sleeps in the grave
Without land a man never dreams cause he’s not free
All men need a place to live with dignity.
Take the crumbs from starving soldiers, they won’t die
Lord said not by bread alone does man survive
Take the food from hungry children, they won’t cry
Food alone won’t ease the hunger in their eyes.
Every child belongs to mankind’s family
Children are the fruit of all humanity
Let them feel the love of all the human race
Touch them with the warmth, the strength of that embrace.
Give me love and understanding, i will thrive
As my children grow my dreams come alive
Those who hear the cries of children. god will bless oh yes he will
I will always hear the children of S√°nchez.

does this sound familiar?

Are the two videos describing things that we are seeing now?
The situations are different but the practices and results are the same.

Any American citizen who is afraid of China and Russia needs to watch these videos and ask if we should continue down this path we are on. Just because we can doesn’t mean we should. These videos highlight two history lessons from America’s past. A dark history at best and a sinister dangerous chapter that should NEVER be repeated. But it IS currently being repeated with a 21st Century twist promoted by the President of the United States enabled by his republican supporters, spread by the media, a democratic opposition propagating dangerous alternate views. There is no balance. The deep cynicism of politicians in Washington is doing more harm than help. While Trump and his Republicans have ushered in the end of Democracy the Democrats are securing it. There is only foolishness on both sides. Surely the hunger for POWER, the FEAR, ANGER, HATRED, IGNORANCE and DISTRUST are the same.

“Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand.” – Matthew 12:25

Cocoon

mobius faith · COCOON

I am in a personal, creative, social,
emotional and professional cocoon.
Once a caterpillar,
I thought I understood life.
Now it feels like time has passed me by
and I no longer understand or
recognize the world I live in:
irrelevant, voiceless, useless.
I can’t move.
Wrapped in blankets on a bed.
Cocooned in my cotton chrysalis.
I peer out through fuzzy threads
and see people moving about,
attempts at normalcy.
But, I have no desire.
I am weak and sickly;
left to the shadows of a previous life.
I have neither the will nor the strength.
I’m left to wonder if I will emerge from this cocoon
to a new life,
a new type of existence
or if I will die in my encasement.
Will I be able to break free and
enjoy new life?
A new existence?
Better Health?
Feeling “at one” with the world around me?
Or will this shell become my abattoir
slaughtered in silence.
Perhaps I will emerge an avatar
able to engage, teach, foster and encourage the souls who remain?
“If you live long enough and hang in long enough
the world will learn to love you again” (*)
So, now is the time of waiting
and hanging in there
waiting for the metamorphosis to complete
as I wonder….

Will I be a butterfly or a moth?
Will I dine on the sweet nectar of milkweed?
Will I flit and flutter toward the light of my undoing?
In the end the question is not “how?” but “when?”
Even butterflies can die in their cocoon.

* quote by Toya Willcox in the liner notes to her new boxed set.

Escaping One's Own Shadow

ESCAPING ONE’S OWN SHADOW