Tag Archives: joy

December Newsletter: A Review of the Month’s Culture, Arts + Trends

22 Dec

DECEMBER WISHES

light-stars-decemberwishes-dec2016
WISHING YOU A WONDERFUL HOLIDAY SEASON
FILLED WITH FRIENDSHIP AND DELIGHT.

JOY

joy-bird-dec2016-cr-use
Tread softly, breathe peacefully, laugh hysterically.”
Nelson Mandela

As we welcome in the New Year, we can choose to be positive, optimistic, and to hold fast believing deep down in our hearts that, just as spring follows winter, good things will come.

LIGHT

light-treestarlights-dec2016“You can’t have a light without a dark to stick it in.” (Arlo Guthrie) Arlo’s right, right? … So much light all around us at this time of the year. Light from the Chanukah candles, lights on the Christmas trees, twinkling white lights on the trees in the city streets. In Genesis 1:3 on the very first day of creation “God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light.” As a verb, it means to illuminate and enlighten as with knowledge, to cast light upon. As a noun, we shed a light upon a problem or mystery, gaining enlightenment. The Eagles had this to say in Already Gone: “Just remember this my girl when you look up in the sky, You can see the stars and still not see the light.”

GOT CHOCOLATE?

chocolate-dec2016-1
Did you get or give a box of chocolate? This is the best time of the year for chocolate lovers. Chanukah gelt made of chocolate. Christmas gift boxes filled with all kinds of chocolate treats. Do you like it plain or with caramel or nuts? But the big question is milk or dark? (You know that white is not chocolate, right?) The dark has lower added sugar and fats than milk since the benefits come from cocoa. Thus, the more cocoa, the darker the chocolate, the better it is for you. But the lack of milk solids can make it dry and bitter. On the other hand, the milk is all creamy and yummy because it contains all the good stuff left out of the dark. Me? I’ve never met a chocolate I didn’t like. Luckily my present was a tower of the stuff.

WE CAN HELP: REMEMBER OUR VETS

veteransartwall-skullpic-dec2016This mask was painted by Perry Hopman, Staff Sergeant who served in Iraq and Kosovo. “The flag side was the face I showed to the world. The dead side was how I felt.” … Our veterans come back from combat suffering from PTSD. They need to come to terms with their overwhelming memories and emotions. Creating art for the American Veterans Art Wall helps them express their feelings of isolation and despair so they will see the promise of light ahead and feel real community. On the Art Wall, you will see paintings, poems, photographs, collages, cartoons, sculptures – and even tattoos. Take a look. You will feel sad, uplifted, grateful, and most of all proud. To ensure the American Arts Trust can continue to help heal veterans through art, we can donate or volunteer to be part of this worthy project!

Soundtrack to this Issue and a Bonus Track!

soundtrack1-hankwilliams-dec2016-cr2-use
Hank Williams’s I Saw the Light
(1948)

C’mon, sing along, you know the words:

I wandered so aimless life filled with sin
I wouldn’t let my dear saviour in
Then Jesus came like a stranger in the night
Praise the Lord I saw the light.

I saw the light I saw the light
No more darkness no more night
Now I’m so happy no sorrow in sight
Praise the Lord I saw the light.

soundtrack2-toddrundgren-dec2016
Todd Rundgren’s I Saw the Light
(1972)

It was late last night
I was feeling something wasn’t right
There was not another soul in sight
Only you, only you
So we walked along,
Though I knew there was something wrong
And the feeling hit me oh so strong about you
Then you gazed up at me and the answer was plain to see
‘Cause I saw the light in your eyes

Who rescued whom?
barkley-img_3216-cr-dec2016
So grateful for Barkley coming into my life.
Thanks to Westie Rescue of New England.

Buddha, stay. Good dog. z”l
IMGP2541.cr.newsltr
“…live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.”
(Buddha)

 

Sources:
The Eagles Already Gone lyrics: Jack Tempchin, Robert Arnold Strandlund ©Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.
Combat Art Therapy Mask pic: American Arts Trust.org
Hank Williams’s I Saw the Light lyrics: Hank Williams ©Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.
Todd Rundgren’s I Saw the Light lyrics: Todd Rundgren ©Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

December Newsletter: A Review of the Month’s Culture, Arts + Trends

23 Dec

DECEMBER WISHES

 HappyHolidays.1.Dec2015

HOPE

Hope.DalaiLama.Optimistic.Dec2015As we wind down the year, I wish you a new year filled with kindness and friendship, love and joy, and peace and prosperity.

JOY

OliverSacks.ArtsQuote.cr-use“I started working with Oliver Sacks on a music therapy program called the Institute for Music and Neurologic Function. Up until I started working with him, I had thought that music was a nice thing that I enjoyed and liked making, but it wasn’t a serious healing modality. What Dr. Sacks has proven is that music is actually a quantifiable, profound healing modality. I think that’s true for a lot of these other things that are joyful and expansive. On a very literal level, they are incredibly healing, they promote neurogenesis, they’re good for our immune systems, yet we sometimes ignore them.” (Moby)

GRATITUDE (PART ONE)

Grateful.Proust.Dec2015“My predominant feeling is one of gratitude. I have loved and been loved. I have been given much and I have given something in return … Above all, I have been a sentient being, a thinking animal, on this beautiful planet, and that in itself has been an enormous privilege and adventure.” (Oliver Sacks)

GRATITUDE (PART TWO)

EaglesDeathMetal+U2.Dec2015“We want to offer our heartfelt thanks and appreciation for everything our brothers in U2 did for us in the aftermath of the November 13 attacks. They reminded us that the bad guys never take a day off, and therefore we rock ’n rollers cannot either … We are incredibly grateful to U2 for providing us the opportunity to return to Paris so quickly, and to share in the healing power of rock ‘n roll with so many of the beautiful people – nos amis – of this great city … and thank you to everyone in the world who continues to prove that love, joy, and music will always overcome terror and evil.” (Eagles of Death Metal)

PEACE + LOVE

JohnLennon.bdayOct9.Dec2015“If someone thinks that love and peace are a cliché that must have been left behind in the sixties, that’s his problem. Love and peace are eternal.” (John Lennon)

DOG NEWSMoby.Dec2015withDOG-use

His album Play sold over 10 million units worldwide. And his song Extreme Ways plays over the credits of all the Bourne films. Moby partnered with the Humane Society of the US (HSUS) to raise money and awareness for animal rights programs. He created MobyGratis, a library of his instrumental film music “for independent and non-profit filmmakers in need of free music for their independent, nonprofit film, video, or short.” Money generated from commercial license fees goes to HSUS. “One of the things that impresses me most about HSUS is their diligence and their persistence. And because they’re such a big organization, they’re actually able to accomplish a lot on a legislative level.” … Asked what dogs teach us, Moby says: “I’m certainly not the first person to say this, but they teach the idea of loyalty, and the capacity to find joy in just the simplest things—to be uninhibited in our emotions.”

WE CAN HELP

Barkley.WeCanHelp.Dec2015

Barkley hopes you get a lot of toys this holiday … Westie Rescue Of New England sent me this beautiful bundle of happiness. All volunteers, they are dedicated to saving, fostering, and placing West Highland White Terriers into new loving forever homes. Your donation helps them continue their mission, one that is close to my heart … When our Westies smile, the world seems a little lighter.

 

Soundtrack to this IssueBeautifulDay.Dec2015.crU2’s Beautiful Day

C’mon, sing along, you know the words:

It’s a beautiful day
Don’t let it get away
It’s a beautiful day
Touch me
Take me to that other place
Teach me
I know I’m not a hopeless case 

See the world in green and blue
See China right in front of you
See the canyons broken by cloud
See the tuna fleets clearing the sea out
See the Bedouin fires at night
See the oil fields at first light
And see the bird with a leaf in her mouth
After the flood all the colors came out 

It was a beautiful day
Don’t let it get away
Beautiful day

 

Who rescued whom?
Delivery.10.29.14.happiness.cr
So grateful for Barkley coming into my life.
Thanks to Westie Rescue of New England.

Buddha, stay. Good dog. z”l
IMGP2541.cr.newsltr
“…live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.”
(Buddha)

 

Sources:
Moby joy and the arts quote: Thrive Magazine
Dr. Sacks quote: NY Times Opinion Page, My Own Life: Oliver Sacks on Learning He Has Terminal Cancer, February 19, 2015
Eagles of Death Metal and U2 pic: Eagles of Death Metal Facebook page (December 7, 2015)
Eagles of Death Metal quote: Rolling Stone, December 8, 2015
John Lennon pic: Bob Gruen, Power to the People: The Hits (2010)
Moby and dog pic: The Bark
Moby Dog News quotes: MobyGratis.com
Beautiful Day lyrics: Bono ©Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group

The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow

20 Nov

I have written about mourning Buddha. But writing solely of my sadness, well, that’s something else. Maybe addressing sadness head-on is the step that leads to healing (read: getting to the opposite of sad). So here goes.

Essentially, I have an upbeat, positive, happy nature. And now I am unbearably sad. As is understandable and expected at such a time. I do know that the day will come when I will be ok. That I will be less sad. I cannot yet say, even in contemplating future feelings, not sad. So less sad it is. For now.

“When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.” ― Kahlil Gibran

Although I don’t know much about Khalil Gibran, I know he speaks truth TulipEars.b.hi-cin this quote. For what I am sad about is exactly that – that which gave me happiness, joy, and contentment. The delightful creature Buddha was. And who I now weep for. Snippets of remembered pictures appear in my mind’s eye. Especially the last time I saw my baby. For it was a beautiful picture. Thankfully. His all white body surrounded by white down comforter and white pillows. A black nose. And those beautiful big pink ears. Sleeping peacefully. A comforting picture.

“Given the choice between the experience of pain and nothing, I would choose pain.” ― William Faulkner

A recurring theme in talking about the loss of our companions is their shorter lifespans than ours. Yet we repeat this experience throughout the course of our lives. We love them, we lose them, we grieve. Repeat. Would I want it any other way? Sure, I wish they would live long lives alongside ours. But the thing I have always thought, during Buddha’s lifetime and since losing him, is that it is better to have him than not. It surely, surely is. That he affected my life positively, I am thankful for. That Buddha affected many along his life’s journey, I am thankful for, too. So many things to be thankful for. So we choose pain over nothing. But really we are choosing love. And choosing to live. And whatever comes, well, that is life.

“Be still, sad heart! and cease repining, Behind the clouds is the sun still shining, Thy fate is the common fate of all, Into each life some rain must fall.” ― Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I have found solace in the words and music of George Harrison’s Here Comes The Sun and Cat Stevens’ Morning Has Broken. Their identical messages resound in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s famous poem. That the sun is sure to shine again. I know it will. Because, Buddha, you are my sunshine. My memories of you and the beautiful pictures I have of you – those that are tangible and those in my mind’s eye – are beside me now. I hold them close. I have hope and I have peace and one day soon I will be less sad because I have the certainty that your enduring spirit will shine forever. And ever. Amen.

 

Sources:
Khalil Gibran quote: On Joy and Sorrow from The Prophet by Khalil Gibran (Alfred A. Knopf)
William Faulkner quote: The Wild Palms [If I Forget Thee, Jerusalem]
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow poem: The Complete Works of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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