Something different!

I have always loved the interpretation of music in ice skating, and this is one of my favourite performances … from 1988. Tracey Wilson (now a skating commentator) and Rob McCall (sadly no longer with us) appear to have so much fun here. Continue reading

People of the Street.

Just imagine …..

Just imagine that, because you feel the experience would be valuable to you, you decide to spend a night on the streets in your town. To so many people, it would be a crazy idea … but what if you really wanted to know what others are experiencing  on a daily basis?

The following verses are from “The Project”, which is part of a collection of verses in a book “Just Thinking”. Click on book cover in right column (may have to scroll) for more information.

I sit tonight on the pavement,
People watching… just to see
Who says “Hello”?
Who just walks by?
Who actually acknowledges me?

But I don’t seem to exist
In so many passing eyes.
Am I an embarrassment?
Do I make them feel uncomfortable?
Perhaps I am simply despised?

They are colder than the air
Which surrounds me this night.
For a caring and humane society,
At least as I understand it,
That’s really not right.

We’ve probably all done it at some point in our lives. We have side stepped somebody on the street; may have thought derogatory thoughts about them; wondered why they don’t get a job like the rest of us; wondered whether “that girl” was a sex trade worker; turned away from them rather than risk eye contact. In general, we have all probably disapproved as they do not fit “our standard”.

They’re wrapped up in their lives.
Fashionable; conforming; neat.
They just don’t see…
People like me…
People who live on the street.

Sadly, that tends to be the state of our society. We are so controlled by commerce, which suggests that either we “play the game” or be considered something less than normal. We struggle to buy that nice house; we want peer approval so must stay in fashion; If we don’t whiten our teeth, will we ever smile again?  So much advertising pushes the message that unless you buy/use their product, then clearly something is wrong with you. This comes often from comments like “This must be in everybody’s bathroom” … “Everybody in our survey gave us a 5 star rating” … “Do you want to be the only one without …….”  “Surely you can afford a few pennies a week?” Many companies have a psychologist on their sales team, so they know how to convince you that their product is invaluable, and that your life is incomplete without it.

When was the last time you heard that it would be humane to just acknowledge a street person? When was the last time you affirmed that a street person was, in fact, a person?

I am lucky and I know it.
I do have a home.
I do have food and friends,
And I can leave here whenever I choose.
Unlike many… l am not alone.

To live on the streets
Is in nobody’s dreams.
There are reasons behind such a move.
Reasons we may not understand but
Is life ever what it seems?

It is such a basic fact that nobody has gone through school with the dream  of living on the street! If we can accept that statement, then we must acknowledge that those people must have experienced something which put them on the street.

Say “Hello!” to the next person you see,
Sitting in their sidewalk home.
Recognize that reasons they must surely have,
To live in such a way.
Being ignored… and alone.

It would be pure fantasy to believe that we can take all those people and reintegrate them back into our society, but is it such a stretch of our imagination to actually acknowledge that they exist.  Perhaps even smile at them? Perhaps just say “Hi”, or even  go and get them a coffee?

And when you say farewell.
When you leave and go to your home.
Remember those people
Who… for whatever reasons,
Will be spending another night on the streets… cold and alone.

Just thinking.

Melodic recycling perhaps?

Carol has been sorting through some boxes of history, and came across the metal keys from a childhood Glockenspiel (Xylophone with metal keys instead of wood). Her recollections were that it sounded pretty bad and came to an untimely end however, she had decided a long time ago to keep the keys. They might be useful in the future … perhaps for wind chimes?

She has a 5 years old nephew who is pretty outgoing, and who loves the band Queen, and I have all kinds of scrap wood in our garden shed. Those two facts raised a question from Carol “Can you make a Glockenspiel out of your wood and with these keys for him?” Continue reading

Perspectives!

The world would appear to be evolving into a very unstable place to live and, sadly, that has nothing to do with environmental changes; the structural integrity of our planet, or some cataclysmic event in our solar system. Sadly … it has everything to do with us. Continue reading

“The Carnival is Over”

The  Seekers released “The Carnival is Over” in 1965 and, needless to say, it was very popular. What continually amazes me with many bands, is how they can perform their earlier hits with great success around 50 years later … as evidenced in this 2014 video of The Seekers performing “The Carnival is Over.” Continue reading

I’m a hoot!

Hello!  Allow me to introduce myself … I am Odessa!

What am I doing here (I can hear you asking)? Well I decided to take over Colin’s blog. Here’s the problem you see …”The Odessa Chronicles” (note my name in the title) has not sold a copy for quite a few weeks now. I could just leave it to chance (aka Colin and Carolyn), but I have little faith in that having any impact, or I could take charge … hence why I am here!

So what”s  the book all about? Glad you asked! It’s about a very clever Barn Owl (me), and a few other characters, one of which (sadly) is a human.  One of the other characters is a Jackalope named Jaxon, and then there is a cat named Dewey …  and of course we cannot forget me (note my name is in the book title).

We three (Jaxon, Dewey and I) came together as a result of unfortunate circumstances and I (the main person in the book, hence the book title) managed to find us an old and abandoned farm to live in. Things quickly went south when a human moved into the farm (the cheek!). He had apparently just retired, and so dreamed about an idyllic life on a rural farm, but we were about to change all that! I was surprised at how easy it was to train him to be relatively acceptable to us, and we soon started having the adventures that are written in the book.

Of course it was always up to me (Odessa … the book title?)_ to get them out of trouble. Dewey was a typical cat. He was either sleeping or eating. Jaxon was a typical Jackalope (is there such a  thing?) with magic at his finger tips. In reality it was probably at his tail, given the mistakes he made. The human soon became known as the man-servant (good training eh!) … and then, of course there is “Moi!”, whose name is featured prominently in the book title.

So what else do I think you should know? Well, from my perspective (being the only one that matters really … the book is named after me after all), the book is a collection of stories suitable for young, middle-age, and senior children (I believe  it is promoted as “suitable for ages 4 to 104”).

We have lots of adventures, and I made sure that there were lots of good messages to get from the various stories. The importance of friendship; how four totally different beings can get along well together;  the frustrations when things go wrong, and the celebrations when they go right!

I think the most important part of the book … is me! That is why I am in the title, in case you had not noticed. My book is available from any on-line book retailer, and also direct from the FriesenPress Bookstore (Sssh…. don’t tell anybody, but the paperback and hard-copy versions are probably cheaper at the FriesenPress Bookstore).

So there you are. If you have never met a really nice, sensitive, compassionate, understanding, well educated, warm and friendly Barn Owl, then get the book and allow me (and those others) into your life. You won’t regret it. You have the word of Odessa. What more could you possibly want?

Odessa.

“Dream With You”

Many (probably most) of you will know of Mike Oldfield  who is (to me) the king of “dreamscape” music. His music allows my mind to go pretty much anywhere. The only criteria is that I must have the time, and a comfortable place, to allow me to just “leave” for a while! More recently I came across Sally Oldfield, who is Mike’s sister and who has a wonderful depth of tone in her voice (checkout “Silver Dagger”) however, this Post is about Terry Oldfield! What a talented family! The link below goes to a 10 min track, but there appears to be some technical issues because the track ends at around 6:10. A new track then starts and ends abruptly around 10:00!

I am suggesting you experience Terry Oldfield in the 0-6:10 time frame. Enjoy!

A different perspective!

I have written a number of Posts where “Perspective” has been the driving force (put it in the search field and you will get quite a few responses). Perspectives are important (if we are going to survive as a species) because everybody has a history, and that history has created personal perspectives.

Trying to see the world from Ray’s  perspective helps in our ongoing canine/human relationship. Just acknowledging that we are, who we are, because of our perspectives should hopefully drive home the simple fact that we can be very different … and have every right to be that way. Why is that person living on the street? Why did that couple do those things to that child? How that did lady achieve fame so quickly? If we understood their history and their resulting perspectives on life, all could well become very clear. Continue reading