I have decided to step back from Blogging for a while, so thought it appropriate to offer you a musical blessing.
The reason for the Blogging decision falls into two main areas. The primary one is that I have numerous other interests all competing for my time, and a number of which have been badly neglected these past few years. The other reason is the ongoing frustrations of WP screwing around with their programs, and leaving me (the user) floundering about wondering what happened, and how do I now ….. (whatever).
This morning I went to display my earlier posts so I could finish one for today, and did not recognize the screen that popped up. Further, I saw no explanation, nor any help, to find what I was looking for. This has been an ongoing habit of WP, and now I am quite simply tired of spending time trying find my way around my own Blog. The Blog will be “open for business” from your perspective for a long time yet, as I want to copy many of my Posts into a separate file on my pc, so you are welcome to stay in touch if so desired.
This Blog was started in 2014 and the relationships created as a result have been wonderful. I will not mention names, just in case I overlook somebody, but I can honestly say that:
Without this Blog, I would not have met people from all around the world.
Without this Blog, I would have never met a Follower who was visiting Canada, and with whom I ultimately co-authored a book (“The Odessa Chronicles”).
Without this Blog, I would have never realized the interest that could be shown towards an ex-shelter dog, and would probably have never written “Who Said I was up for Adoption?”
Without this Blog, I would have never known (and later had dinner with) a Follower who decided to move here to live.
Without this Blog, I would never have put some of my poetry “out there” to see how it was received, and consequently would never have published “Just Thinking”.
Without this Blog, I would have never met a number of people who are generally in synch with my perspectives … or perhaps I am just in synch with theirs?
Anyway, it has been a lot of fun … and who knows what the future holds in store for any of us!
“The Past is the Past” is both quite complex and simplistic. It is complex because most of us (perhaps all of us) have events in our history which we may question many times, and simplistic because it is a statement of simple fact.
A number of blogs I follow have recently posted thoughts about dealing with the past, and this can be very challenging depending on the individual and also (of course) on the specifics causing the unrest.
Past unpleasant (perhaps traumatic) experiences can generally be attributed to what somebody did to us, or what we did to somebody else. The following thoughts/comments are around the latter scenario because sometimes it seems easier to forgive somebody else for their mistakes, than it is to come to terms with our own.
Perhaps that decision we made a long time ago was, in hindsight, simply poor judgment? Perhaps we just listened to the wrong people when trying to decide how to address a particular situation? Perhaps we were given good advice but, even knowing that it made sense, chose to ignore it anyway?
“I’ll expect perfection from you as soon as I can set the example. You’re quite safe for the foreseeable future!” … has been my philosophy to staff, friends and family for many years now. However, while mistakes will always be made, I do have an expectation that lessons will be learned and, hopefully, the mistakes not repeated.
In the context of coming to terms with your own shortcomings in past situations, it is my belief that you have to accept two very basic truths:
None of us are perfect … and that includes you!
Every mistake we make produces an opportunity to learn from it.
Admitting to ones own flaws can be an issue, especially if there is an existing lack of self-esteem. However, there is a reality that everybody will/does make mistakes and, while that must include you and me, it is good to remember that it also includes those around us who may well act to convey quite the opposite impression.
We have probably all encountered individuals who project a sense of confidence about everything in general. It would seem that their life has been perfect. While a healthy ego is a positive asset, it must be balanced with a sense of reality, so while they may not acknowledge their inherent imperfections, it is up to us to recognize that they exist in everybody … in order to put ourselves at a healthy point of reference.
i.e. It is probably a good start in dealing with our own history if we simply acknowledge that, regardless of the images presented to us by various people, we are all imperfect. We can all make mistakes. In fact, just as in dealing with an addiction, the first step to healing is to acknowledge that you do have a problem. (You cannot fix a problem you don’t have … right!)
If you can do that, then you are already ahead of so many others. Well done!
So, if you accept that everybody makes mistakes (including you), and you accept that every mistake is an opportunity to learn so as to avoid a repeat performance, what is next?
Perhaps dwelling on your specific oversight would be a good starting place, and then asking yourself (with hindsight) … “What could I have done differently?” Depending on the issue, the answer could be quite simple, or it could involve more thought. An option may well have been to simply not said/done whatever it was in your past, but you may have had a goal in mind which dictated an action on your part. In this case, perhaps think about alternative ways you could have approached the issue.
If your action was done of out of ignorance of other factors, then you now know for the future. If it was done with no allowance for the potential sensitivity of the issue, then you know to be more sensitive next time. If it was done because you were acting only in your own interests, then you have learned to consider other perspectives next time. All of these examples result in a more educated you, and how can that be anything other than good!
The whole point of the above is not really to prepare for a repeat of those circumstances as that is unlikely to happen, but is intended to reinforce that while mistakes were made, there have been things learned as a result which we can hopefully apply to whatever lies ahead of us.
Remember – None of us are perfect, and we therefore all make mistakes.
Remember – Every mistake provides us with an opportunity to learn and grow.
Remember – The past is the past. It is history and cannot be changed. Tomorrow, however, is an opportunity to live our life using lessons learned from our past.
Just some thoughts.
I have liked many of Nana Mouskouri’s recordings over the years, but this particular one only came to my attention quite by accident and very recently. I love her vocal tones and her very clear pronunciation of the English lyrics. Put that together with a sensitive story-line and a lovely melody, and that is why she is here now! Enjoy. 🙂
Yes … according to the page heading on the book which somebody left behind!
Just look at that face!
We just recognized Ray’s 8th year with us (that’s 8 years of us not having a life unless he is included), which translates into him being about 10-1/2 years old now. Doesn’t time just fly when you’re having fun. 🙂
I had a number of songs to choose from for today but, while looking for YouTube videos of them, I accidentally came across this! I am not a great fan of Country music and, while Dolly Parton has done a few songs which I really liked, I do not have much of her work in my music library. I do however always appreciate a celebrity who can/does behave like a normal human being rather than elevate themselves as a result of their achievements. Dolly Parton? Who could not love her!
Note: If you get a “Video Unavailable” pop-up message, the issue is resolved if you select the YouTube link offered!
Spring is just around the corner! That is what we are telling ourselves as our snow has melted quite a lot these past few days, but then …. I can recall being dressed “for the Arctic” one Easter. I can also recall getting sunburned one Easter, so perhaps it is wishful thinking and with minimal basis for it to be true! The reality is we could get pretty much anything for the next month or two.
The pic below is of our town harbour which was totally iced over not too long ago, but the attraction was not the ice flows, but rather the sole Canada Goose mixing in with the seagulls. (You may not see him/her on a small screen). I was trying to come up with a caption for him/her, and thought of “So Spring is right around the corner eh!” or “Hi Gulls! How yer doin’ eh!” or (to the Gulls) “Hi Guys! You don’t mind if I chill here for a while eh?”
What I eventually decided on is below the pic!
“MOM . . . . . . . . MOM . . . . . . . . ! Where are you Mom? MOM . . . . . . . I’m surrounded by a gazillion Gulls! MOM . . . . . . . !”
There was no music planned for today, but then I had some thoughts about music pieces being kinds of milestones! This was made very clear to me this past week … but I am getting ahead of myself, so let me go back in time.
If I reflect musically, I am taken back to numerous recordings which made an impact such that they are associated with a particular time in my life. My father was an ardent lover of Classical music, and had little time for the “pop music” of the 1960’s (my teen years). My mother liked some classical, and some “pop”, but she really liked the soundtracks from musicals such as “Carousel”, Oklahoma” etc. I had an older sister (by 3 years) who was listening to Buddy Holly, Elvis Presley, Sal Mineo, Pat Boone etc. My exposure to music during my teen years was therefore rather conducive to developing a broad range of musical tastes …. and I can revisit certain periods in my past simply by recalling the music.
Let me give you some examples:
Peter Lind Hayes – “Life Gets Tedious” … goes back to the late 1950’s and could well have been the first song I heard which I liked. It was unusual, creative and funny!
Lonnie Donegan – “Cumberland Gap” – Released in 1957, was my first 78rpm record, and I loved the skiffle rhythms.
Bruch’s – “Violin Concerto #1” (3rd Mvmt) – My first connection with a classical piece. I loved the violin tones and the speed of the piece. I later learned that 3rd Movements were typically written for a fast tempo. I was therefore “anointed” into the realm of Classical music by Max Bruch around 1960/61.
The Searchers – “Needles & Pins” – Came out in 1963, but I first heard it at the beginning of 1964 when I was living in a college across the other side of the country to my home.
During college, and for quite a few years thereafter, music was relegated to a rather insignificant position in my life due to unplanned career path changes and a social life, and then in the late 1960’s I met Les who had just moved into a house just round the corner to us. We shared a common interest in music and he introduced me to The Moody Blues “Question of Balance” album (and many others). He played guitar as a hobby (with dreams of public performances) and eventually influenced me sufficiently that I went out and bought one!
What does all this have to do with milestones? The above clearly suggests that music can take us to a specific point in time, and I would not be surprised if many (perhaps all) of you can travel back in time to a point dictated by music. However, this post was not started with the goal of reminiscing over music, but rather the potential ramifications of a journey into the past and being guided by music.
My very recent journey started when I was in FB, and came across an old photograph of Les (ref earlier comments). It was instant recognition because it was exactly how I remembered him, with very long and rather “out of control” hair! Given that there has been no communication since we moved to another part of town (and later emigrated), the question that came to mind was “What does one say to somebody after 50 years?”
The answer was very simple … say “Hi Les. Just found you by accident. Remember me?”
We are now in regular dialogue as we slowly recap our respective lives. Les is still playing his guitar and has partnered with a lady who plays/teaches violin, and sings. They have formed a “contemporary folk” group (aka alternative folk), and were playing pubs and clubs until COVID put an end to that. As I also maintained my musical interests (my book “Just Thinking” includes a number of pieces that were originally written as songs), we are currently in the process of sharing our musical endeavours!
… and all this came from music. Not only can significant time frames in my life be revisited by way of a song, but a common interest in music was a catalyst to restore a 50 years old relationship.
Music does seem to have that ability to create memories, and if you cannot remember too much about specific times in your past, you probably will if you hear the appropriate song! I am enjoying the magic of music, especially during these COVID times … are you?
Life Gets Tedious – https://meandray.com/2018/04/07/life-gets-tedious/
Cumberland Gap – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WRUGuuz7yVo
Bruch’s Violin Concerto 3rd Mvmt – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p5Qhne9qZFY
Needles & Pins – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZFHpEINyZ-E
Question – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NP9iOqdxS8c
I am slowly working through my old albums as I load them onto my PC, and so there are inevitably many memories being “revisited”. The album that sticks out this past week was “Pete Seeger Live”. There were no real surprises in the content given it was a mid 1960’s recording, so I happily enjoyed Pete Seeger’s take on the racial discrimination and other cultural issues of those times with “We Shall Overcome”, “If You Miss Me At The Back Of The Bus.”, “That’s What I Learned In School”, “I Ain’t Scared Of Your Jail” … and “Little Boxes”!
I remember being quite absorbed with “Little Boxes” ( I was in my late teens then), and so thought that I would find a video of Pete Seeger singing it. As is often the case, I was rather sidetracked by an unknown (to me) band singing “Little Boxes” … and showing over 14M plays, which far exceeded the Pete Seeger videos. My curiosity got the better of me and, while I was skeptical during the first few moments, I was quite impressed with how Walk Off The Earth presented the song.
I checked into the band yesterday, and was rather embarrassed to read they were from Burlington, Ont … about a 20 min drive from where we live! They’re certainly creative. What do you think?
If you liked their creativity, then here is a bonus:
Melanie Safka came into my life (musically speaking) around late 1970/early 1971. She was the ultimate “flower-child” of those times, and made it quite clear on many occasions how she disliked the manipulation aspects of the music industry. Her “Tuning My Guitar” makes it quite clear that she is a free spirit and will fight manipulation …
… but this song (below) was, I think, my introduction to Melanie.
As for my daughter having the same first name? That is not entirely coincidental!