Tag Archives: Love

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

28 May

FOR THE LOVE OF MAY

1.IndianaLOVE.may2018

The beloved artist of LOVE, Robert Indiana (who changed his name from Robert Clark in honor of his home state), died this month on May 19. Originally a Christmas card that was commissioned by The Museum of Modern Art in 1965, his LOVE painting became the embodiment of peace and love of the ‘60s. He turned it into the famous sculpture that is erected in cities all over the world. It even became a U.S. postage stamp issued for Valentine’s Day 1973 … The design was his interpretation of the phrase “God is love” that he heard as a young boy raised as a Christian Scientist. The red and green of his first LOVE version were the colors from the Philips 66 gas sign, in memory of the company where his father worked. In the early 1960s, as a reminder of his mother, he created works with HUG, her word for affection.

 

THE FIFTH OF MAY

2.Margarita.LineEmUp.may2018

Line ’em up! Here’s to the merry month of May, a personal favorite. And of course the perfect toast is a Margarita to celebrate Cinco de Mayo! The holiday recognizes the victory of the Mexican army over the French army on May 5, 1862, at the Battle of Puebla.

 

STYLE AND SUBSTANCE

3.Jackie.may2018

Jacqueline Bouvier always got right back on her horse after she fell. Figuratively and literally, as a child she toppled from her horse on her first day at riding camp. She was bookish and aimed for a career after college. In fact, she ranked being a journalist over landing a man. Until, of course, she met John F. Kennedy. When he became president, Jackie brought progressive ideas about art and culture to the White House. Intelligent and charming, she won over foreign dignitaries … After JFK’s assassination, she displayed unforgettable dignity and the “steel under all that beauty and style,” the steel that was always there. And oh yes, Jackie got right back on that horse, moved her children to NYC, helped save Grand Central Terminal from demolition, and became a revered book editor … Just Being Jackie, a Young Adult book by Margaret Cardillo with illustrations by Julia Denos, is great for anyone at any age as a reminder of this icon’s cool strength and backbone.

 

TRUTH

4.RobertFrost.may2018.c-USE

“If art is to nourish the roots of our culture, society must set the artist free to follow his vision wherever it takes him. We must never forget that art is not a form of propaganda; it is a form of truth…[in a] democratic society, the highest duty of the writer, the composer, the artist is to remain true to himself…In serving his vision of the truth, the artist best serves his nation.” (President John F. Kennedy)

It was at JFK’s inauguration in 1961 that Robert Frost became the first inaugural poet, delivering an ode to the dream of including the arts in government which touched JFK deeply. Frost died two years later in January 1963. That fall, JFK spoke at an event honoring the poet at Amherst College. His speech mirrored Frost’s about the arts and celebrating the role of the artist in society.

 

THE DARCY DEFENSE

5.JaneAusten.Quotation.may2018-USE

Would you be surprised to learn that many judges cite Jane Austen quotes in court? It is as an authority on relationships that her influence prevails in the courtroom. Although Harper Lee and Mary Shelley also show up in legal decisions, each is quoted from one work (Mockingbird and Frankenstein). On the other hand, quotes and references are taken from all of Austen’s many books such as Emma, Mansfield Park, Northanger Abbey, and, of course, Pride and Prejudice. As well as from Jane Austen herself … In a fraud case involving friends who formed a partnership that went really bad, the judge cited Emma: “business…may bring money, but friendship hardly ever does,” and concluded that had the litigant “been mindful of the words of Jane Austen,” he would not have gotten himself involved in the lawsuit … In a gender discrimination case where a female plaintiff alleged her managers “did not tolerate intelligent and articulate female subordinates,” the judge quoted Northanger Abbey: “A woman especially, if she has the misfortune of knowing anything, should conceal it as well as she can.” Doing so, the judge used Austen’s satire to shine a spotlight on what the civil rights law at stake aimed to end … And to emphasize that “looks can be deceiving,” the judge wrote in a legal malpractice case: “…one must get the whole story in order to have an accurate picture of events. The seemingly haughty and prideful Fitzwilliam Darcy turned out to be a pretty nice guy by the end of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.”

 

AND THEY’RE OFF!

6.HorseRacing.may2018

In May there’s also the Kentucky Derby. So here are some common phrases you might not know come from horse racing! … Hands down: To win something hands down means to win it easily. It comes from the practice of horse racing jockeys loosening the reins when it seemed certain that they would win … Give-and-take: The art of compromise or a lively exchange of ideas originally referred to horse races in which bigger horses were given more weight to carry, lighter ones less … Dark horse: In addition to meaning lacking light, dark also means concealed, secret, or mysterious. So a dark horse is a horse about whose racing powers little is known. And in politics, a dark horse candidate is one who unexpectedly comes up from behind … Front runner: The leading candidate in a contest or election and comes from the horse racing term referring to a horse that runs best while in the lead … Running mate: Another political term that we get from horse racing refers to a candidate for the lesser of two associated political offices such as a vice-presidential candidate is the running mate of a potential president. In horse racing, a running mate is a horse that sets the pace for another.

 

MEMORIAL DAY

7.MemorialDay.may2018.courtesy.cr-use

“On Memorial Day, I don’t want to only remember the combatants. There were also those who came out of the trenches as writers and poets, who started preaching peace, men and women who have made this world a kinder place to live.” (Eric Burdon, musician)

 

DOG NEWS

8.DogNews.may2018.c-westie.3-USE

Alexandra Horowitz, the author of Being a Dog: Following the Dog Into a World of Smell, explains how dogs perceive the world through their extraordinary organ. What every dog knows about the world comes mostly through his nose. Every breath of air a dog takes is loaded with information.

How can we tap into our dogs’ world of smell and enrich their lives? “Let them smell. If you live with a dog, start thinking about what the world is like from an olfactory point of view. Let them smell you (you are your scent, to your dog), let them smell each other (that’s how they find out who it is), and let them smell the world. Take walks for smelling (not just for peeing, or for exercise). The pleasure that comes from watching a dog snuffling down a path, nose to the ground and nose in the air, guided by nothing more than the filaments of odors that come his way, is to me unmatched.”

 

ENDNOTE: PHILIP ROTH
(March 19, 1933-May 22, 2018)

9.EndNote.PhilipRoth.may2018

“The only obsession everyone wants: ‘love.’ People think that in falling in love they make themselves whole? The Platonic union of souls? I think otherwise. I think you’re whole before you begin. And the love fractures you. You’re whole, and then you’re cracked open.” (The Dying Animal by Philip Roth)

 

WE CAN HELP

10.WeCanHelp.AliCenter.may2018

Muhammad Ali, The Greatest, used his greatness as a catalyst to do great things for the world and, in turn, inspire us to do the same. The Muhammad Ali Center promotes respect, hope, understanding, and love, encouraging everyone everywhere to be as great as they can be. Your donation will help them continue to preserve and share Ali’s legacy and values.

 

Soundtrack to this Issue

11.Soundtrack.AllYouNeedIsLove.may2018

The Beatles
All You Need Is Love 

Love fills May’s fair spring air. At Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s royal wedding, people all over the world saw the blossoming of love. Robert Indiana’s sculptures and paintings remind us of the endurance of love … John Lennon’s All You Need is Love was written for Our World, the world’s first ever worldwide televised satellite link-up broadcast to 25 countries. Its optimistic message captured the mood of the Summer of Love (1967), and its simple lyrics and disarming chorus perfect for a global audience. 

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

Love, love, love
Love, love, love
Love, love, love
There’s nothing you can do that can’t be done
Nothing you can sing that can’t be sung
Nothing you can say, but you can learn how to play the game
It’s easy
Nothing you can make that can’t be made
No one you can save that can’t be saved
Nothing you can do, but you can learn how to be you in time
It’s easy
All you need is love, all you need is love
All you need is love, love, love is all you need

 

 

Who rescued whom?
10.KEEP-YP+BarkleySo grateful for Barkley coming into my life.
Thanks to Westie Rescue of New England.

Buddha, stay. Good dog. z”l12.KEEP-Buddha“…live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.”
(Buddha)

 

Sources:
Jane Austen pic quote: Emma: A Novel, Jane Austen (1867)
Jane Austen references: Matthew H. Birkhold, Electric Literature
Dog News quote: Being a Dog: Following the Dog Into a World of Smell by Alexandra Horowitz (Scribner October 2016)
Philip Roth pic: Philip Roth
Soundtrack lyrics: John Lennon/Paul McCartney ©Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC 

May 28, 2018
All Rights Reserved

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

27 Sep

SEPTEMBER’S NEW LEAF?

HappyFall.sept.2017.fscottfitz 

WHAT THE WORLD NEEDS NOW

Ringo.GiveMoreLove.sept2017

Count on Ringo to catch the zeitgeist and encourage its remedy. If words alone would heal…Give More Love.

Sometimes this world can be a hard place
We wonder where we go from here
So many hurting bad, Lost everything they had
It’s hard to know what we can do 

Give more love, Give more love
It’s what we know we need more of
From the heart, Let it start
To spread to everyone, Now it’s up to you
There’s something you can do
Give more love, Give more love, Give more love

 

NOM NOM IS A NO-NO

NomNom1.sept2017.CookieMonster.red

“I’m hungry, let’s get some nom noms at the dining hall.” “I just had a cheesy pizza. Nom nom nom.” “You like that burger? Nom nom nom.”Sesame Street’s Cookie Monster originated the expression nom nom. While eating something delicious, he would keep repeating the phrase “om nom nom.” The earliest appearance of om nom was in the Urban Dictionary in 2004, defining it as “1. eating with extreme delight. 2. The noise made when food is **** good nd u wanna show everybody [sic]” … Now it generates loathing. Is it something a grown-up ought to say? Doesn’t it sound like baby talk? Maybe it’s a little gross? Or is it a trend that is oh so over? … How did it become a buzzword? The OED‘s definition of buzzword: “a catchword or expression currently fashionable; a term used more to impress than to inform.” I think both those definitions are applicable. It was even in the running for 2010’s word of the year.

NomNom2.sept2017.Cats

Nom nom became popular in 2007 when a cat licking a birthday cake was posted on the ICanHasCheezburger website with the caption “nom nom nom/nooo it are my birthday” … Let’s bear in mind that nom nom is not in the dictionary (the real dictionaries, Urban Dictionary aside). Scrumptious is a better word. So is delicious or delish, tasty, lip-smacking, and yes, yummy is cool. How about we all agree that nom nom belongs to Cookie Monster – and only Cookie Monster.

 

AFTER THE DELUGE

Hurricane1.sept2017

The word hurricane comes from Taino, a language spoken by the Arawak, the indigenous people of the Caribbean and picked up by Spanish explorers there. The Taino word hurákan means “god of the storm.” Interesting to note that the word hurricane now only applies to tropical storms that occur in the Caribbean or Atlantic Ocean … At the end of the 15th century, Christopher Columbus noted a severe tropical storm while in the West Indies: “Nothing but the service of God and the monarchy would expose me to such danger.” Sure enough, three of his ships capsized … The word appeared mid-16th century in the English translation of a Spanish historian’s opus detailing the Spanish conquest of the Americas (from 1492 to 1547) with this description of a great tempest: “…when the deuyll greatly intendeth to feare theym, he threteneth to sende them great tempestes which they caule Haurachanas, and are so vehement that they ouerthrowe many howses and great trees.” … Shakespeare used hurricano in King Lear when Lear howls on the heath: “Blow, winds, and crack your cheeks! Rage! Blow! You cataracts and hurricanoes, spout Till you have drench’d our steeples, drown’d the cocks!” … Nature may be reminding us that out of destruction comes the chance to make new, to make better; out of destruction can come creation.

Hurricane2.sept2017.dylan

Rubin could take a man out with just one punch
But he never did like to talk about it all that much
“It’s my work,” he’d say, “and I do it for pay.
And when it’s over I’d just as soon go on my way.”

And then there’s Rubin Hurricane Carter, whose lightning-fast fists earned him that nickname. A top contender for the world middleweight crown, he had an astonishing four-fight winning streak, including two knockouts. Sadly, at the height of his boxing career, he was wrongfully convicted of murder and imprisoned for 20 years. Bob Dylan, advocating for his innocence, wrote about his life in the song Hurricane after visiting Carter in prison in 1975. Every night on the Rolling Thunder Revue tour, Dylan sang Hurricane and asked his audience to lobby for Carter’s release. Ultimately Dylan’s efforts actually helped get him out of jail.

 

BERNSTEIN!

LeonardBernsteinAt100.sept2017

“I can’t live one day without hearing music, playing it, studying it, or thinking about it.” And we are all the better for it … Leonard Bernstein at 100 is a two-year celebration of his life and legacy that kicked off with the Kennedy Center’s concert Bernstein on Broadway, featuring selections from his musicals. Events in cities all across the world will continue through August 2019 … The Grammy Museum’s traveling exhibit will go across the country. His record companies are issuing box sets, remastered recordings, and new recordings of his music. New documentaries will include highlights of his fervent support for civil rights through his music and in his own voice. And of course there will be concerts. Many concerts … I grew up going to Bernstein concerts with the Philharmonic. He was bigger than life, inspiring an enduring love for music. He made music easily accessible for the music novice as well as the trained musician. And most of all, using his favorite word, he made music fun … At a time when we all need our anxieties abated and our emotions and spirits uplifted, we have the Maestro’s music that reflects his own response to a time of great angst and disappointment. Motivating and hopeful – he has never failed to touch us deeply and remind us of our shared humanity.

 

LIGHT SHOW

JoshuaLightShow.sept2017

Light elevates us. But a light show transports us … Liquid light shows, projected on a screen behind the band, mix a live film to the beat of the music using glass oils or by cutting up transparencies … You remember being mesmerized by the colorful weaving wiggly psychedelic patterns at Grateful Dead, Pink Floyd, and The Who concerts, don’t ya? A light show is a fully artistic visual interpretation of the music as the band is performing. So no two shows are alike, creating a truly unique and totally immersive experience. Joshua Light Show, perhaps the most famous light show, still going after 50 years, has even been prominently displayed in concert posters … “There’s no question that the development of the scene as it evolved in San Francisco was way more than the music,” says Jefferson Airplane (and Hot Tuna) guitarist Jorma Kaukonen. “And part of it, of course, was the visuals that came along with the light shows.”

 

DOG (AND PET) NEWS

DogNews.ASPCA-Irma.sept2017

The ASPCA saw the devastation of Hurricane Irma firsthand and they were there for animals in crisis. The ASPCA prepared water rescue, emergency sheltering, and relocation efforts for the areas where animals needed help most. 100% of our donations are going toward the ASPCA Field Investigations and Response Fund, to ensure that rescue teams are always ready to help animals from situations of cruelty, neglect, and natural disaster … The ASPCA has these tips to prepare for an emergency situation such as Irma: Pets should be wearing ID tags with contact info; micro-chipping is a more permanent form of ID; make an emergency kit with medical records, water, bowls, pet food, and medication; and download the free ASPCA mobile app, to store important records needed for boarding pets at evacuation shelters.

 

ENDNOTE FROM RINGO

Endnote.RingoTweet.sky.sept2017

Even the clouds in the sky [are] beautiful
I am listening to we can work it out
peace and love

Endnote1.FingersPeaceEndnote2.HeartStarEndnote3.SunEndnote4.NotesMusicEndNote5.PeacePurpleSign

WE CAN HELP

WeCanHelp.ElieWiesel.sept2017

The Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect engages Americans to fight harder for Anne Frank’s dream: An inclusive world in which mutual respect replaces hatred and its consequences. We can help them to continue their traveling exhibits and educational programs across the U.S. and Canada. They go to museums, schools, universities, companies, and houses of worship. With our help they can carry on Anne Frank’s legacy. Fighting prejudice and discrimination, and advocating for her dream of a kinder and fairer world is more important now than ever.

 

Soundtrack to this Issue

Soundtrack-Picture.ConcertPoster.sept2017.v3cr

David Bowie sings Paul Simon’s America

Organized by Paul McCartney to honor the memories of the victims of 9/11, The Concert for New York City was held at Madison Square Garden on October 20, 2011 … David Bowie opened the concert with a beautiful heart-rending cover of Paul Simon’s America with only guitar and bass for back-up. He told the crowd: “Hi friends, my fellow New Yorkers. I’d particularly like to say hello to the folks from my local [FDNY] ladder, you know where you are. It’s an absolute privilege to play for you tonight.” … It was originally released on Simon & Garfunkel’s Bookends album in 1968. Rolling Stone noted: “It captured America’s sense of restlessness and confusion during the year that saw the assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert Kennedy, as well as the escalation of the war in Vietnam.” The emotion it stirs keeps it forever relevant. 

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

And we walked off to look for America
Cathy, I said as we boarded a Greyhound in Pittsburgh
Michigan seems like a dream to me now
It took me four days to hitchhike from Saginaw
I’ve gone to look for America … 

Cathy, I’m lost, I said though I knew she was sleeping
And I’m empty and aching and I don’t know why
Counting the cars on the New Jersey Turnpike
They’ve all come to look for America
All come to look for America
All come to look for America

Who rescued whom?

KEEP-YP+Barkley

So grateful for Barkley coming into my life.
Thanks to Westie Rescue of New England.

Buddha, stay. Good dog. z”l

KEEP-Buddha

“…live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.”
(Buddha)

 

Sources:

Give More Love lyrics: Ringo Starr, Gary Nicholson/Ringo Starr Official Website
Hurricane pic: The aftermath of Hurricane Ike in Gilchrist, Texas (2008)/Reuters
Dylan’s Hurricane lyrics: Jacques Levy, Bob Dylan ©Bob Dylan Music Co.
Joshua Light Show pic: Joshua Light Show with Nicolas Jaar and Dave Harrington, October 2013, Fierce Festival, UK JLS (Twitter December 23, 2013)
Dog News pic: ASPCA
Endnote Ringo Starr quote: @ringostarrmusic (September 10, 2017)
Soundtrack quote: Readers’ Poll: The 10 Greatest Simon and Garfunkel Songs by Andy Greene/Rolling Stone Magazine (January 15, 2014)
America lyrics: Paul Simon ©Universal Music Publishing Group 

Special note about the Soundtrack: The video is May 30, 2002, but the sound is the actual performance from the October 20, 2001 concert.

September 27, 2017
All Rights Reserved

 

 

 

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

26 Aug

HOT DOG DAYS OF AUGUST

Weather.Aug2016.cruse.png

 

 

How hot is it? Real Feel: 118 degrees – wow! … This has been one hot summer for most everyone everywhere. Hope you (and your dogs) are keeping cool wherever you are … Prediction: There will be snow soon enough!

 

THE BOSS TELLS HIS STORY

BruceBornToRunBook.aug2016

 

 

“I come from a boardwalk town where almost everything is tinged with a bit of fraud. So am I. By 20, no race-car-driving rebel, I was a guitar player on the streets of Asbury Park … But I held four clean aces. I had youth, almost a decade of hard-core bar band experience, a good group of homegrown musicians who were attuned to my performance style and a story to tell.” … From the forward to Bruce Springsteen’s autobiography, Born to Run, to be released in September.

 

SO HOW’D YA WRITE THAT SONG?

RobertPlant.aug2016

 

Many were mollified at the unquestionably correct verdict that, no, Led Zeppelin did not steal a lesser known band’s music for their not derived, resplendent, iconic Stairway to Heaven Robert Plant testified in court on the song’s origins: “…I sat with Jimmy by the fire, and he began playing. And I had this little couplet lyrically that, if you like, in tempo, fitted into what he was playing. So I just started developing that into two lines, then four lines, and then on, slowly, opening it up…‘There’s a lady who’s sure all that glitters is gold, and she’s buying a stairway to heaven. And when she gets there she knows that the stores are all closed; with a word she can get what she came for.’…I was really trying to bring in that aspect of Welsh, the beauty and the remoteness of the pastoral Britain…Meanwhile, the guys were working on opening up the song and its transition into something that was really flowering and it was quite a thing as we moved on through the song, to open it up and to turn around various parts of it and see it develop into something I couldn’t even imagine.” … Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, that’s how they wrote that song.

 

DON’T STOP BELIEVIN’!

Tchaikovsky.aug2016

 

 

The Nutcracker. Swan Lake. 1812 Overture. The celebrated Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840–1893) believed that one must keep working and working, just keep at it, and inspiration will happen … “We must always work, and a self-respecting artist must not fold his hands on the pretext that he is not in the mood. If we wait for the mood, without endeavoring to meet it half-way, we easily become indolent and apathetic. We must be patient, and believe that inspiration will come to those who can master their disinclination” … Two centuries later, producer, songwriter, and lead singer and guitarist of The White Stripes, Jack White echoes Tchaikovsky’s ideal … “Inspiration and work ethic — they ride right next to each other…Not every day you’re gonna wake up and the clouds are gonna part and rays from heaven are gonna come down and you’re gonna write a song from it. Sometimes, you just get in there and just force yourself to work, and maybe something good will come out.”

 

PEPSI-COLA HITS THE SPOT

PepsiColaSign.aug2016.day.2

 

 

The distinctive Pepsi-Cola sign in Long Island City, Queens, that faces the East River and Manhattan, is now an official New York City landmark. Its bright red swirly lettering has long been a welcoming beacon on the waterfront. Crowning Pepsi’s bottling plant at this site in 1940, its reconstruction in 1993 was faithful to the original sign. The 50-foot painted Pepsi bottle was probably replaced in the 1970s with an updated bottle design. Serving as a longstanding and well-known branding symbol, this sure is a testament to the power of a great marketing imprint.

 

READY FOR LIFT-OFF

MetChandelier.aug2016

 

 

Another should be New York City landmark are the Metropolitan Opera’s spacey chandeliers. Who doesn’t ooh and aah as the world-famous show before the show starring 12 radiant starbursts begin their ascendency as the lights fade? A gift made by the Austrian government to thank the US for its help after WWII, it was a shining symbol of the friendship between Austria and the US. Fondly named sputniks, their design was inspired by the post-war era’s International Space Race and the Big Bang. And now they have been mechanically overhauled, outdated equipment for raising and lowering them updated. Let the oohing and aahing begin!

 

YOU MAY SAY HE’S A DREAMER

JohnLennonVsUSABook.aug2016

 

 

“Let’s see, I think it was Jack Lemmon and Yoko Moto,” said Leon Wildes when asked the names of his new clients. With immigration and deportation hot-button issues in this election year, how timely and informative this new book is about John Lennon’s four-year battle to stay in the US. Wildes was John and Yoko’s lawyer, an expert on immigration law. Insights abound. We see that the debate about discretionary targeting of political protestors was as relevant then as it is now. Richard Nixon may have wanted John banished but, as Wildes states, “Thanks to [Lennon’s] willingness to fight, we managed to discover and helped create a remedy for impossible cases.” Funny how John’s 1972 deportation case with its societal significance and legal impact, is as essential a lasting legacy as is the extraordinary music he left us.

 

…AND SPEAKING OF JOHN’S MUSIC

BeatBugs.aug2016

 

 

Netflix’s new animated series, Beat Bugs, tells stories through Beatles songs, teaching kids life lessons while turning them on to great music! About a quintet of kid characters and their insect friends, Eddie Vedder performs as Jasper, a grasshopper who takes the insects on a Magical Mystery Tour. Pink sings Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds as Lucy the dragonfly, and yes, she has kaleidoscope eyes. James Corden sings I’m A Loser and Sia covers Blackbird. All You Need is Love is the theme song. Animated bugs singing Beatles songs? I’m taking that Ticket to Ride!

 

RIP, MENTSCH

StevenHill.aug2016

 

 

Law & Order is just a fact of life. It permeates countless homes. Who doesn’t love feeling the palliative power of watching L&O reruns over and over again? Switching channels, we are compelled to stop when there’s an episode airing. We know the words, we know whodunnit, we know the wisecracks. Especially those pithy gems spoken by Manhattan DA Adam Schiff, Steven Hill’s character. Hill even studied the law to make his character more convincing. Born Solomon Krakovsky to Russian Jewish immigrants, he passed away August 23. A devoted Orthodox Jew, he did not work on Shabbos, which was written into all his contracts. And when Hill resigned after a decade on L&O, in the show Adam Schiff resigned to work with a Holocaust organization. Oh, and he played the rabbi in Yentl. I admired him. A great actor who stayed true to his faith, Steven Hill had a deep sense of his own purpose and a heartfelt compassion which he exuded in every one of his roles. “Take the deal.”

 

I LOVE MY DOG

CatStevens.ILoveMyDog

I love my dog as much as I love you
But you may fade, my dog will always come through.

All he asks from me is the food to give him strength
All he ever needs is love and that he knows he’ll get.

All the pay I need comes shining through his eyes
I don’t need no cold water to make me realize that.

 

It is the 50th anniversary of Yusuf/Cat Stevens’ first hit single release, I Love My Dog in 1966. That was followed by The First Cut Is The Deepest, Wild World, Hard Headed Woman, Where Do the Children Play?, Father & Son, Morning Has Broken, Peace Train, and Moonshadow. Did you forget he wrote all those great songs? He’s on tour to celebrate his 50th anniversary as an artist – even playing New York City for the first time since 1976! Through his charity, Small Kindness, a portion of every ticket goes to UNICEF and International Rescue Committee to help children affected by the current refugee crisis. Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2014, his most recent albums (2006’s An Other Cup is excellent!) are as notable as his early ones we cherish.

 

I LOVE MY RESCUE DOG

RescueDog.aug2016

So there’s this cartoon about the wonders of rescuing a dog. If you’ve ever adopted a dog, you will relate to comic artist Bird Born’s simple yet right-on telling of how he welcomed home his new friend. Remember, we never know where they are from, what kind of damage has been inflicted on them, nor are we ever assured that they’ll forget their history. But, we can shower them with loads and loads of love, make them feel safe, and show them the world will be a better place for them. Born’s experience in We’ve Taken A Dog From An Animal Shelter is a mirror of our experience, too. It’s the story of fear turning into owning the couch, the bed, the easy chair, well, you know the rest.

 

WE CAN HELP

WeCanHelp.ASPCA-LAFlood.aug2016

 

 

The ASPCA has dispatched its Disaster Response Team to Louisiana to conduct water rescues for animals displaced by the area’s devastating floods resulting from three days of torrential rain. Donations will help the ASPCA “give people peace of mind while they cope with this crisis by making sure their pets are safe.”

 

Soundtrack to this Issue

Soundtrack.JoshuaTree.aug2016.cr

U2’s I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For

 

One can relate to this gospel-influenced anthem from U2, especially heading into fall’s new beginnings. This is critic Jeff Jensen’s description: “[It] is my bridge over troubled water, a psalm of reorientation in times of disorientation. It embraces hopeful paradoxes: that doubt and faith are compatible, that certainty doesn’t preclude a constant search for truth … a bittersweet hymn that calls me to look up when I’m down and keep clear-eyed when I’m fogged.”

 

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

I have climbed the highest mountains
I have run through the fields
Only to be with you
Only to be with you.

I have run, I have crawled
I have scaled these city walls
These city walls
Only to be with you.

But I still haven’t found
What I’m looking for.
But I still haven’t found
What I’m looking for.

 

 

 

Who rescued whom?

Barkley+Mom.Tartan.IMG_0587.cr.Apr2016

At the New York Tartan Day Parade.
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:
Bruce quote: Bruce Springsteen official website brucespringsteen.net
Robert Plant trial pic: Mona Shafer Edwards
Robert Plant quote: Rolling Stone, August 16, 2016
Tchaikovsky quote: Life and Letters of Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky by Modeste Tchaikovsky (University Press of the Pacific 2004)
Jack White quote: from the documentary, Under Great White Northern Lights
Leon Wildes quotes: John Lennon vs. The U.S.A.: The Inside Story of the Most Bitterly Contested and Influential Deportation Case in United States History (American Bar Association, August 2016)
Beat Bugs pic: Netflix
I Love My Dog lyrics: Cat Stevens ©Universal Music Publishing Group
Soundtrack quote: Jeff Jensen/Entertainment Weekly August 12, 2016
U2’s I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For lyrics: Adam Clayton, Dave Evans, Larry Mullen, Paul David Hewson, Victor Reina ©Universal Music Publishing Group

 

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

27 Jun

JUNE IS LOVE IS LOVE IS LOVE IS LOVE IS LOVE IS LOVE

peace..love.understanding.june2016.2

As I walk through
This wicked world
Searchin’ for light in the darkness of insanity

I ask myself
Is all hope lost?
Is there only pain and hatred, and misery?

And each time I feel like this inside,
There’s one thing I wanna know:
What’s so funny ’bout peace love & understanding?

ALI: THE GREATEST LOVE

Ali.redgloves.june2016

When I was a kid, my father took me to the simulcasts of Ali’s big fights at our local movie house, the Symphony on Broadway … As beautiful a boxer as Muhammad Ali was, floating on air and dancing on the lightest of footfalls, his bigger than life generous spirit was the thing I loved about him … I have a bookshelf dedicated to him. Many great books about him. But David Remnick’s King of the Word is must-read Ali. And any documentary about him is worth seeing. But When We Were Kings (1996) is must-see Ali.

Ali.IWishPeopleLove.june2016

I remember being in tears as I made my way through each exhibit and video at the Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville, KY. I cherish every moment I spent there with him … He has always been my hero. I will miss him and be thankful for him and to him forever.

FROM GRACELAND TO NOW

PaulSimon.StrangerToStranger.june2016

“If you don’t do it, who will write a Paul Simon song?” asked Philip Glass on the topic of Simon’s retiring … Although it’s been 30 years since Graceland, the sounds he created in that monumental work are updated to reflect the present time in his new album, Stranger to Stranger …. We sorely and surely need all the Paul Simon songs we can get. Just as the title track reassures us:

Still believing
That love endures
All the carnage
And the useless detours

Oh I love you, I love you, I love you
I love you, I love you, I love you,
I love you, love you, love you …

Words and melody
Easy harmony
Words and melody

HEY HO! LET’S GO … TO A MUSEUM!

Ramones.june2016

Hey Johnny, Joey, Dee Dee, and Tommy Ramone, you are in a museum! For real! … In honor of the 40th anniversary of the Ramones’ self-titled debut album, Hey! Ho! Let’s Go: Ramones and the Birth of Punk is an exhibit at the Queens Museum until July 31. It shows the Ramones from their roots in Queens to Manhattan’s CBGB’s, where their fun brand of punk rock was manifest … “Just get me to the airport, put me on a plane, Hurry hurry hurry, before I go insane.” Then take a plane to the GRAMMY Museum in Los Angeles on Sept. 16 where, through March 2017, the band is seen in the larger context of music history and pop culture … Cheers to you, Joey, my Joey, I sure do miss talking to you.

NOW SERVING BREAKFAST!

SupertrampCover.june2016

That’s Kate Murtagh. We know her as the Supertramp waitress who is 95 now (she was 90 in this pic). Retired from acting, she is a resident at the Motion Picture and Television Country House and Hospital and takes improv classes … Roger Hodgson wrote the classic title track, Breakfast in America. “Never could I have imagined when I wrote this song at age 19 that it would be gaining in popularity, if that is even possible over 40 years later. It’s the playful, fun, jubilant quality that people love to hear and sing along to.”

MEAT LOAF: RECIPE FOR STAYING POWER

MeatLoaf.Album.june2016

Meat Loaf collapsed onstage during a performance at the Jubilee Auditorium in Edmonton, Canada. A scary moment, it was due to severe dehydration and according to his Facebook page, he has recovered. Good news for sure … But wait, there’s more good news! Meat will release Braver Than We Are, his long-awaited reunion with songwriter Jim Steinman on September 16. The first single, Going All the Way, is another majestic-rock epic that features vocals by Ellen Foley and Karla DeVito, Meat’s Paradise by the Dashboard Light partners … “My songs are anthems to those moments when you feel like you’re on the head of a match that’s burning…they’re anthems to the essence of rock and roll…the fury, the melody and the passion.” (Jim Steinman)

DOG NEWS

Dog.GracieComfortDogOrlando.june2016-2

Bringing comfort to OrlandoGracie, from Davenport, Iowa, is one of the specially trained Comfort Dogs sent to Orlando, FL to help the victims, their families, and the community deal with the tragedy. Joining Gracie was Phoebe from Texas, Kye from Illinois, Sasha from South Carolina, Barnabas from Indiana, Katie, a Comfort-Dog-in-Training based in Nebraska, and Jewel from Tennessee. Brave, sweet, and loving, champion comforters all.

DogNews.2.911DogDiesBrittany.june2016

What a good girl. There were 300 or so search dogs working at Ground Zero, using their mighty noses to try to find survivors. Sadly, the last of these brave dogs died at age 16. Bretagne, pronounced Brittany, a happy golden retriever, lived an adventure-packed life until the end. In addition to 9/11, she was also deployed in response to Hurricane Katrina and other disasters.

DogNews.3.VanityFairCover.june2016

Check out the cover of Vanity Fair honoring Queen Elizabeth’s 90th birthday. Seems she was upstaged by her four dogs, two Corgis and two Dorgis (Dachshund and Corgi mix). Annie Leibovitz shot the pic starring Holly, Willow, Vulcan, and Candy. And, oh yeah, the Queen.

DogNews.Pumi.june2016

Intelligent and whimsical. That’s the Pumi, a high-energy Hungarian herding dog and the latest new breed recognized by the AKC, its 190th breed headed to compete at the Westminster Kennel Club. Cute, huh?

WE CAN HELP

WeCanHelp.AliCenter.june2016

The Muhammad Ali Center promotes respect, hope, and understanding, and encourages everyone everywhere to be as great as they can be. Your donation will help them continue to preserve and share Ali’s legacy and values.

WeCanHelp.AnimalShelter.catdog.june2016

There are more than 13,000 animal shelters across the US and combined they take in nearly 8 million cats and dogs per year. You can help your local animal shelter by donating: animal beds and blankets, dog and cat toys, laundry detergent and cleaning supplies, toys, crates and carriers, cat litter and boxes, leashes and collars, medical supplies, and your time and monetary donation.

Soundtrack to this Issue

Soundtrack.Ali.gloves.june2016

Simon and Garfunkel’s The Boxer

Toward the end of his concert at The Greek Theater on June 3, Paul Simon strummed chords to The Boxer and announced, “I’m sorry to tell you this way, but Muhammad Ali has passed away.” And then he sang the final verse:

In the clearing stands a boxer,
And a fighter by his trade
And he carries the reminders
Of ev’ry glove that laid him down
And cut him till he cried out
In his anger and his shame,
‘I am leaving, I am leaving.’
But the fighter still remains

Who rescued whom?

Barkley+Mom.Tartan.IMG_0587.cr.Apr2016

At the New York Tartan Day Parade.
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:
Peace, Love painting: United Nations Art for Peace Contest 2012, entrant (not winner) Armaan, a 7 year-old from Canada.
(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding lyrics: Nicholas Orain Lowe ©Universal Music Publishing Group, Plangent Visions Music, Inc.
I Wanna Be Sedated lyrics: Dee Dee Ramone, Douglas Colvin, Jeffrey Hyman, Joey Ramone, John (Ramone) Cummings, Johnny Ramone ©Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.
Roger Hodgson quote: RogerHodgson.com
Stranger to Stranger lyrics: ©2016 Words and Music by Paul Simon/paulsimon.com
Jim Steinman quote: 1978 Rolling Stone profile of Meat Loaf
Gracie the Comfort Dog pic: Gracie Comfort Dog Facebook Page
9/11 Dog Bretagne pic: Denise Corliss
The Boxer lyrics: Paul Simon ©Universal Music Publishing Group

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

26 Feb

FEBRUARY FULL OF LOVE

ASPCA.ValentinesEcard.cr-use

LOVE IS ALL YOU NEED

Beatles.Love.vbb55

“All you need is love, all you need is love,
All you need is love, love. Love is all you need.
Love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love.
All you need is love, all you need is love,
All you need is love, love. Love is all you need.”

A SHINING STAR SHINES FOREVER

MauriceWhite.RobVerhorst-Redferns.Feb2016

Maurice White didn’t focus on one musical genre, he mixed it all up in his band, Earth, Wind and Fire – rock, pop, funk, gospel, soul, R&B, jazz, Latin, Caribbean steel drums, and classical … Just honored with a lifetime achievement award at the Grammys, EWF’s music “naturally appealed across racial and socio-economic lines.” … He was a unique visionary who delivered exuberant, funky music with a mighty message of peace and unity. Inspired by the times of the 70’s, his music and message are even more relevant today.

“Being joyful and positive was the whole objective of our group. Our goal was to reach all the people and to keep a universal atmosphere. All of our songs had that positive energy. To create uplifting music was the objective.” (Maurice White)

YO-YO MA

YoyoMa.Feb2016.cr-USE
A child prodigy, Yo-Yo Ma has been performing since he was five … “I started the violin when I was three. I screeched away and sounded horrible, so I gave it up…I saw this double bass and I said, ‘I want to play that.’…The cello was a compromise. So my parents said, ‘You have to promise that you’re not going to switch again.’ So I kept my promise and I’m still playing the cello.”

WHAT DO YOU THINK?

MetLogo.old.feb2016MetLogo.new.feb2016
Based on a woodcut in its collection by Luca Pacioli (Leonardo da Vinci’s colleague), the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s “M” logo (top) has been iconic for 45 years – suggesting the museum’s great hall with its three square chambers topped by circular vaults or the proportional geometries of Leonardo’s Vitruvian Man. Whichever, it has been hailed a classic, conveying what it represents – art, history, and architecture … So what do you think of the new logo (bottom)? Does it look like “a typographic double-decker bus crash” (New York Magazine)? Or Robert Indiana’s “Love” sculpture? Is it clean and modern? Is the red too bold? Does it say: museum? And the two words – did you think it referred to the opera house, also called The Met? Changing a company’s logo generates buzz, even controversy. Will this new logo unify this massive institution’s identity and connect its past to the future, as it is designed to do? Will it endure? Time will tell.

DOG NEWS

Westminster.TimothyA.Clary.AFP.GettyImages.Feb2016

No, the adorable, stubborn, spirited, intelligent, and brave Westie did not win the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show’s Best in Show. That honor went to the German Shorthaired Pointer named CJ. Rumor the German Shepherd, Charlie the Skye Terrier, and Bogey the Samoyed came close. Judge Richard Meen explained, “It’s very important that every dog take me back to what they were bred to do. Pointer CJ never stopped looking, focused in front of him, and he floated around the ring.” … New breeds welcomed in this year included the Bergamasco, Boerboel, Berger Picard, Mini American Shepherd, Spanish Water Dog, and the Lagotto Romagnolo.

DogNews.DavidFrei

Faithful companion. Could be said of dogs, sure, but must also be said of their human ambassador, David Frei. This was the last time he hosted Westminster. But we will still hear his knowledgeable and warmhearted commentary at the National Dog Show … Here he is with Gracie (left) and Angel, for whom his Angel On A Leash organization is named. A human who is synonymous with the love of dogs.

WE CAN HELP

DOgNews.WestminsterPOster.Feb2016

This year’s Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show poster is a 19th century painting by J.M. Tracy, Haunt of the Woodcock: Sensation and Bang Bang. It depicts the Pointer, Westminster Kennel Club’s symbol since 1877 The recipient for the poster sales proceeds is the Warrior Canine Connection. Using Canine Connection Therapy, they help Wounded Warriors learn how to train service dogs for their fellow veterans. By interacting with the dogs from puppyhood to training to adult service dogs, Warrior Trainers benefit from the interaction with the dogs and the veterans with disabilities receive the finest in trained service dogs … By purchasing this poster, we can help bring the healing power of dogs to these heroes.

Soundtrack to this IssueSoundtrack.DowntonAbbey.Feb2016Philip Glass’s Escape! (The Hours OST)

We hear the familiar stirring theme music begin each episode and we know what’s in store. In celebration of Downton Abbey, here’s [hear] something interesting: Downton Abbey’s theme composer, John Lunn, admits he “started out with elements of Philip Glass and I did listen to a lot of English, early 20th century music … But the underlying harmony is actually very simple and perhaps almost a bit like pop music.” … Take a listen to Philip Glass’s Escape from Stephen Daldry’s film, The Hours. Both themes share a similar mood – evocative, moving, and hypnotic.

Who rescued whom?Barkley.WeCanHelp.Dec2015So grateful for Barkley coming into my life.
Thanks to Westie Rescue of New England.

Buddha, stay. Good dog. z”lIMGP2541.cr.newsltr“…live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.”
(Buddha)

 

Sources:
All You Need Is Love lyrics: John Lennon and Paul McCartney ©Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
Maurice White pic: February 1982, Rob Verhorst, Redferns
Producer Wayne Edwards quote: Roger Thompson, NY Times, February 12, 2016
Maurice White quote: Songwriter Universe, March 28, 2007
Yo-Yo Ma child pic: Adelaide de Menil, New York Magazine, January 12, 2016

Yo-Yo Ma quote: New York Magazine, January 12, 2016
Met logos: Metropolitan Museum of Art
West Highland White Terriers at Westminster pic: Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images
Judge Meen quote: NY Times, February 17, 2016
David Frei pic: Ben Walker/AP
Downton Abbey pic: PBS
John Lunn quote: Hollywood Reporter, September 4, 2012

My Journey of Rescue: Part One

19 Jan

I love dogs. I have been sad over losing my Buddha Boy. I have felt rudderless. Without an anchor to hold me steady. I lost something beautiful and oh so important.

I started on a journey of rescue. Ready or not, friends started sending links to rescue sites where cute terriers awaited my visit. And as it turned out unexpectedly, I fell in love. A lot. With cute faces and warm eyes. Just as my wonderful vet said I would. But permanent attachment to any of these loves was not to be.

What did happen by the end of the journey – which I am calling Part One out of high hopes and a positive feeling of what will be – is that I realized I learned so much more than I could have ever imagined. About dogs, sure. About myself, too. And about finding myself anew. Our capacities for love really know no bounds. Neither computer screen nor 7-page applications keep us from getting touched by living creatures that get under our skins.

Each dog has made an

indelible paw print on my heart.

You do not meet these sweet vulnerable beings – in person or online – without remembering them forever. I have not forgotten any one of them. I can’t. Each has made an indelible paw print on my heart. And though it makes me sad now. Brings tears to my eyes. I know that my heart is fuller for knowing them. For going through the experience (as hard as it turned out to be for me). And that can only be a good thing.

SimonSimon.cr MaxxMaxx.cr

All need to be rescued. Their stories are difficult to hear. Their damage both visible and unseen. Because of my own story, exactly because of my own story, I have always believed that as long as a creature is present on this Earth, it will need rescuing. Shelter or shop, it’s a living thing that needs a home. As I know only too well, the picture presented on the outside isn’t always the reality on the inside. We all need rescuing.

At each trial, however, my gut instinct was telling me no, not right, not this one, not yet. There is scientific evidence of “an inner knowing preceding our rational mind.” I have always listened to my gut feeling and my intuition. Heeding these inner inklings has always been my natural course. You can’t overthink on love. You feel the rightness about it, in which case there is no back and forth, no right or not right debate. With intact memories of my first meetings with Skeffington, then Buddha, I knew what I expected. That would be a strong feeling of joy without any thought of anything else. This is my guidepost. The only one I know. Thus on this journey, my ultimate conclusion was that heart not head prevail.

FergusFergus.cr BennieBennie.cr

I think about each dog. Those I met and the ones I met solely online but hoped to meet. I pray that they are well and that they are happy. That they are comfortable and loved. They deserve to be in homes where kindness is the norm.

I learned right away that it was not just about the dogs. The people I met on this journey were kind, trustworthy, and well-intentioned. Very smart, very savvy about the dogs in their care. It is their mission. I did not want to disappoint any of them. They deserved to know the truth about their charge’s future home life. They learned my story to determine my value to their charges. I answered all their questions. I asked a lot of questions of each of them, too. And they rewarded me with their knowledge and patience. In each case, hard as it was for me, and I was told hard for them, too, the right decision was always made. Always. Just because I am sad for what might have been, the right way prevailed. It is always about the best for the dog. That’s what we’re all in this for, right?

LucasLucas.cr2 MatthewMatthew.cr2

Rescue works both ways. Believe me. It is the truth. I believe this deep down in my bones. Don’t let anyone tell you different. Although Richard Gere rescues her, Pretty Woman Julia Roberts rescues him right back – it is how this whole life thing works.

We rescue each other. With kindness and love and respect. And our dogs deserve nothing less. They are sweet, sweet, sweet creatures. They will love you and trust you and count on you. You need to be worthy of all that. Anything else, anything less, will not, cannot do.

I am changed by the dogs I met. By the people I talked to. By the experiences I went through. By the feelings I had. Every day I think about Simon, Maxx, lovely Fergus, Bennie, Lucas, and sweet, shy Matthew. Does a new chapter await? I hope so. There is still the next journey to be taken. Because there is a need yet unfulfilled. Love will be found. So I am told. So I believe. Amen.

 

 

pawprint.cr

Sources:
Inner knowing quote: The Intuitive Compass by Francis P. Cholle (Jossey-Bass 2012)
Simon: Home For Good Dog Rescue
Maxx: Zani’s Furry Friends
Fergus: Unconditional Love Pet Rescue
Bennie: Animal Haven
Lucas: Posh Pets Rescue
Matthew: Bideawee

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

29 Nov

NOVEMBER = GRATITUDE + LIGHT

Love.pic.11.28.13

From mourning to morning…The light was sure to come…And it came with the support from friends and colleagues…Cards, calls, emails, visits, Facebook and LinkedIn messages, blog post comments, a special prayer, deli dinners, lemon bars, wines, carrot cake, flowers, plants, hugs, dog kisses (from Ethan) and pics (from Bogey), chocolate babka, and latkes…With heartfelt gratitude to you all…And with best wishes for you at this auspicious time of Thanksgiving and Chanukah…Let there be love. Let there be light. Let there be life.

MOVING ON TO MUSIC…

A new doc on PBS, American Masters: Jimi Hendrix – Hear My Train a Comin’ looked at his life and music. Oh, and those clothes. Everything about him was colorful. Loved it…Musicwood covers concerns over wood by guitar makers, environmentalists, land developers, and loggers…A third doc, 12-12-12, went backstage at the benefit concert for Mozart.WQXR.Nov2013Hurricane Sandy victims at Madison Square Garden…Over at WQXR, it’s Mozart Month. The NY Philharmonic played his Requiem with the NY Choral Artists and performs his three final Symphonies, Nos. 39, 40 and 41, broadcast live November 30…And let’s hope the Brooklyn Philharmonic finds a way out of a dire financial situation…An eight-part series on YouTube, Zirka chronicles Robert Plant’s journey in Mali and features Malian music…Y’know those wonderful 92Y events that you wish you could go to all of them? Now ya can. They opened their archives, so stream away…Dylan Fest concerts benefited Sweet Relief Musicians Fund…The Stand Up For Heroes concert at Madison Square Garden featured MusicCorps wounded warriors playing alongside Roger Waters…City Winery hosted the Guitar Mash Benefit Concert and Jam that raised money for music education programs…Jazz and Colors in Central Park with 30 acts…Are record stores back? Vinyl, too? Rough Trade NYC opened in Brooklyn, has CDs and vinyl. WFMU’s Record Fair success is a sure sign of LP love. And Record Store Day expands to Back to Black Friday after Thanksgiving Day event…The Beastie Boys handled a toy company’s use of their music with a good outcome that respects the rights of artists. “We strongly support empowering young girls, breaking down gender stereotypes and igniting a passion for technology and engineering…As creative as it is, make no mistake, your video is an advertisement that is designed to sell a product, and long ago, we made a conscious decision not to permit our music and/or name to be used in product ads.”…Based on live recordings from their archives, the busy BBC released a new Beatles CD, a reissue, and a book. Thanks!…Van Morrison played NYC and has new deluxe behind the scenes CDs that include a re-mastered Moondance…Speaking of 92Y, Anthony DeCurtis talked to Lou Reed in 2006. “Lou Reed has defined so much of what contemporary music is about…my favorite conversations with him have often occurred running into him on the streets…that’s why we live in New York. So, the King of New York, Lou Reed.”…Finally, Lou Reed’s memorial at Lincoln Center was a fitting tribute, no speeches, no talking, just listening. His music speaking for him. And for us.

…AND ART + WORDS

At $58.4M, Jeff Koons’s Balloon Dog (Orange) went for the highest JeffKoons.OrangePuppy.11.28.13auction price paid for a living artist…Remember Al Hirschfeld’s line drawings, caricatures of Broadway stars, that were on the cover of the Sunday NY Times arts section? His works are on view ‘til January 4 at the NY Public Library for the Performing Arts. Count those NinasThe Leonard Bernstein Letters (Yale U Press) is a collection ofLeonardBernstein.Letters.NovNewsletter.11.29.13 letters he wrote and received. Those by and to Aaron Copland and Adolph Green (who called him Lennish!) reveal wit, passion, anger, humor, and above all, the immense value they placed on music…Oxford Dictionary’s Word of the Year is selfie…Not too late to catch The Forty Part Motet sound installation at the Cloisters, there ‘til December 8The ever topical, musical, and erudite Tom Stoppard (Arcadia and Rock ‘n’ Roll!) wrote a radio play based on Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon. Darkside, commissioned by that busy BBC in honor of the album’s fortieth anniversary, is also on CD…Malcolm Gladwell talks about underdogs and what advantage really is in David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants. He explains, “…underdogs win more often than we think because their limitations can force them to be creative.”

WE CAN HELP

PoliceDog.11.28.13

Police dogs finally get bullet-proof vests. What took so long? Although over 450 now have them, there are many more who need them across the US. A vest costs $950. Donate to: Vested Interest in K-9s, Inc.

ABOUT A BLOG

I wrote four posts about losing my precious Buddha on Yvette Perry’s Blog…And I got back to business, though still hurting, with a post about Johnny Cash’s deeply moving version of Hurt as it was used on the TV show, Person of Interest…Also posted there is this newsletter so you can easily share it with your friends. Just click on any of the share buttons below each post…And hope you follow the Blog!

GeorgeHarrison.GiveMeLove.11.28.13Soundtrack to this Issue is George Harrison’s
Give Me Love (Give Me Peace on Earth)

Buddha, stay. Good dog. z”lIMGP2541.cr.newsltr“…live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.”
(Buddha)

Sources:
Love pic: Robert Indiana exhibit at the Whitney through January 5, 2014
Beastie Boys quote: LA Times, November 27, 2013
Mozart pic: WQXR
Jeff Koons Balloon Dog (Orange)
outside Christie’s pic: The Pup Diary
The Leonard Bernstein Letters
pic: Yale University Press (2013)
Malcolm Gladwell
quote: 60 Minutes, Sunday, November 24, 2013
George Harrison pic: Popdose

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

Mourning Has Not Broken…Yet

16 Nov

I miss you so much, My Beautiful Buddha Boy. The second week of missing you did not get easier. In fact, it was harder.

I said before that sadness sucks. Mourning sucks even more. What are you supposed to do? Think? Not think? Dwell? Not dwell? Well, I did think, I did dwell, I also walked around, I sat down, got up and walked around again. Repeated over and over. I even crawled into bed twice in daytime. Oh, and all while crying, howling, wailing, sniffling.

What I do know is that there is no supposed to, that much I know. Sadness is this thing that you just can’t say, “Go away,” and it goes. It doesn’t. It can’t. It just stays. Until I guess one day it isn’t there. Or it isn’t there like a big heavy cloud-like boulder above your head weighing you down. That day is not yet here. My friends say, “It’s ok, take a step at a time.” Step at a time. That is good advice. I have been doing that, little by little. Cleaning out Buddha’s things, giving some away, keeping those things dear to me, writing, making a book, and reading all my messages and cards.

You established your covenant with us through the family of Noah, and with every living creature, the birds, the cattle, and with every beast of the earth that came out from the ark. (Genesis 9:10)

Dogs. It’s been said that they are all about unconditional love. But I think it’s so much more than that. It’s not that they just give us that. Well, it is, because they do. But I think we need to deserve such an awesome gift. Because that is a huge gift. And we better be worthy of it. I hope that I was. Because Buddha deserved that from me. I took care of him. With love. And with unconditional devotion. Through lots of medical issues, I did my best for him. I loved taking care of him. I really did. It didn’t matter to me what was needed. I did it. You just do. And now I just miss him so much. It hurts. He was my precious, precious baby. Adorable and loving and sweet and kind. How could I not be missing him? He is irreplaceable.

I lost someone I love. I had a beautiful baby boy and now I don’t. Thirteen and a half years flew by. Where did they go? I can’t reconcile these things. Buddha’s no longer here. I look for him. He’s not here. It feels like he’s here. I trip over him. And I trip over his water bowl. And then I realize that he’s not here. And the bowl’s no longer there on the floor. It went by so fast. How did that happen?

Our pets give us the gift of unqualified and unconditional love. They love us, and love us and love us some more, and there is always more love where that came from. When they become a part of our lives they become a very special part of our family life and all that we share. We thank You, O God, for all that they gave to us. Compared to the number of years that we humans live, their lives are brief. And when their lives come to an end, we feel the pain of our loss, because a beloved member of our family has died.

I lost him on Halloween. Every year he was the Angel Boy. So not only was halloweenangelhe an Angel Boy with real wings this Halloween, he will be my angel boy always.

Goodbye is not an option. He’s always with me. As I am with him. I know that. I can feel that.

(Buddha with his angel wings on Halloween.)

I was reminded this week of a news story on Barbie’s birthday about Stanley, a man who collects Barbie dolls. He said, “You’re always in a good mood because you always have beauty around you.” Writing about it at the time, I noted, “He made happiness.” Because Barbie made him happy, that’s what he surrounded himself with. How wonderful is that? I, too, made happiness. Buddha and I had a happy home. It’s a wonderful thing to make happiness. And it’s even a better thing to be grateful for it. While you’re in it. And after it’s gone.

Was it by chance or by fate that the two songs I have referenced during this time, Here Comes The Sun (see previous blog post) and Morning Has Broken, both speak of sunlight – the light that brings hope for a new day. That both these songs I find comfort in lyrically and melodically. That both are by songwriters – George Harrison and Cat Stevens (Yusuf Islam now) respectively – who sought spiritual enlightenment wholeheartedly, candidly, and publicly. That here’s my Buddha Boy, suitably named, for he was truly a Buddha inside and out. And that I have found comfort in such an inadvertent coincidence. Call it a fluke, godsend, blessing, or stroke of luck. By any definition, it’s all a reflection of my Buddha and my love for him.

Buddha. He was love, peace, beauty, kindness. He was light. He was life. He was a mitzvah. Buddha, thank you for being my dog. Your mother loves you forever and ever. Amen.

Morning Has Broken
Morning has broken, like the first morning
Blackbird has spoken, like the first bird
Praise for the singing, praise for the morning
Praise for them springing fresh from the world
Sweet the rain’s new fall, sunlit from heaven
Like the first dewfall, on the first grass
Praise for the sweetness of the wet garden
Sprung in completeness where his feet pass
Mine is the sunlight, mine is the morning
Born of the one light, eden saw play
Praise with elation, praise every morning
God’s recreation of the new day

 

Sources:
Pet prayer: Adapted from Rabbi Neal Schuster
Barbie collector: ABC News/GMA, March 9, 2013
Morning Has Broken: Words by Eleanor Farjeon and music by Cat Stevens, 1971 (BMG Rights Management), from the album Teaser and the Firecat.

Buddha

31 Oct

My Beautiful Buddha Boy

Forever loved and cherished.

Buddha.TiffanyLatz.b-w

 

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