Something beautiful for you
Life has been so stressful lately and I’m sure we’re all feeling it. So instead of trying to stuff your brain with more words and thoughts, I wanted to just give you something truly beautiful to listen to. Magnificent! Enjoy!
If you are interested in learning about Cal Morris’s amazing music here are his links:
And no, I have no personal connection to Cal Morris whatsoever – just heard his beautiful music at a time when I needed something beautiful in my life. And I thank him.
Dancing with the light – instant stress reliever
Incredible. Worth the four minutes to sit back and dance in the light with these two amazing dancers.
Amazing Grace in all its amazingness
Sometimes music can transform us into a place that we rarely see. In my opinion, that is the case with this song and performance. Have an amazingly graceful day.
Shoes – Theme Friday
They were silken, silvered wings that hung from iridescent ribbon and called Moiré’s name whenever she passed by. She would stop and watch them, helpless against their power to enchant her. Pressing her hands and face against the glass she would wish them into her life, but all the wishing in the world didn’t make them hers. They simply hovered just out of reach and teased her with each sparkle.
“You love those shoes, don’t you, dear?” Mrs. Gamble, the shop owner, asked.
Moiré nodded and mouthed the word, yes, unable to speak in their presence.
Mrs. Gamble smiled and sighed. “I remember my first pair…they were so beautiful I was afraid to put them on. I only wanted to look at them and then put them away so they wouldn’t scuff. But they do you know. They scuff and they split and eventually you have to get new ones. The first pair, though, they are special.”
Moiré looked up at Mrs. Gamble, a plump and cheerful woman, and couldn’t imagine her leaping and pirouetting across a dance floor. Even though she’d seen the pictures on the walls of the shop, seen the awards Mrs. Gamble had earned in silver frames and spied through the window sometimes when she held dance class. Moiré wished to be in Mrs. Gamble’s class too but she knew it was only a wish that would never come – just like the shoes, she could see but not touch.
“I have to go to school,” Moiré mumbled.
“All right dear, see you later,” Mrs. Gamble waved. And she would see Moiré later because after school she would come back and commune with the shop window to covet the shoes for a while before going home.
School was filled with geography, history, English and math but Moiré’s mind held only images of pink tulle and satin, bright lights and varnished planks that gave with each landing of perfectly pointed toes. Of music so grand that you could not help but dance, that you could not help but fly through rarefied air like petals catching the breeze on a summer’s day.
Teachers frowned and admonished Moiré’s endless daydreaming and advised she learn her lessons well. The day would come when the real world would expect her to earn her keep and be a good, productive citizen. Moiré agreed and tried to memorize the fifty states, the names of dead presidents and long division but the shoes were her destiny, somehow they would save her from the dreary future the grown-ups forecasted.
It was dark when Moiré returned home and long past the time she was expected. Mother was red and angry as she so often was. Moiré braced for the slap sure to come. “Where have you been you little mongrel?”
Moiré shrugged and went to the kitchen. “Just around. Are you hungry? I’ll make you some soup.”
“I don’t want any soup,” the mother monster growled. “Where were you? Mooning after those damn shoes? Again?”
Moiré opened the can of soup – plop into the saucepan, whoosh, the gas flame ignited. Carefully she filled the can with water and added it to the soup then stirred. “It’s cold, the soup will taste good,” she murmured. “I think we have crackers too.”
The beast calmed and Moiré served her soup and crackers and rubbed her tired feet. “I used to dance when I was your age.”
Moiré nodded, dark blue eyes fixed on the pattern in the worn rug. “Uh huh.”
“I was damned good too,” mother lamented. “But it broke my heart. It broke my heart I tell you.” A small whimper escaped the stern mouth that once was sweet and gave kisses freely. “I just don’t want you to get your heart broken, you see?”
Again, Moiré nodded but she didn’t see. Mother fell quiet and snored softly. In silent stealth, Moiré covered mother with a blanket and took the dinner dishes to the sink.
Too tired to do any more, Moiré went to her tiny room and locked the door behind her but did not bother to turn on the light. She undressed, carefully folded her clothes and placed them on the little chair by her bed, pulled on her soft blue nightgown, then crawled into bed. When she lay down her head something felt wrong. She reached under the pillow and pulled out a pair of old, worn ballet shoes – mother’s shoes. Her heart exploded into tears and smiles and little girl giggles. And she dreamed of the dance.
Christine’s shoes are walking here and Jess’s shoes are shuffling here.
Pain, Art & Random Thoughts
Pain. There are a lot of opinions about it. Particularly in artistic circles. Are you sensing a trend here? Some deep thoughts? Perhaps. As may be obvious I have been thinking a lot in the last few days about the other things one considers when they have time to think. Usually life demands so much of us and gives us so little time for ourselves that we don’t get the chance to ponder things. During my time off from the blog, I traveled among some writers – or maybe less traveled among, than more went along for the ride. I went to new blogs, read, commented – took on the mantle of the persona of my other blog and experienced what it felt like not to be Writer Chick. It had been something I’d been planning for a long while, actually and would have happened much sooner, but snafus in the freelance department, friends having fatal accidents, then new blogs to push back the grief… And so on. Many things that ate my energy and took my attention. Many things that changed my perspective forever and whatever the previous perspective was I couldn’t tell you now, so gone is it, so never was, is it – not even a shadow remains of it.
So, I lined up some friends to write me some posts and off I went. It was a curious world to travel in, I’ll be honest, I’m not sure I liked it. I found it filled with wonderful writing and also huge egos, odd ideas, isms, prescribed methods of thinking and a lot of form over function – still the writing was awfully damn good and interesting and in some cases, exciting. Certainly inspiring and challenging. I felt a child among savvy, sophisticated thinkers, unable to divine their in jokes and witty repartee and felt like I wandered about this particular part of the blogosphere with my virtual mouth agape, jaw on the floor. An exotic and exhausting vacation – exotic because of the newness, exhausting because for the first time in a very long time I was able to just throw myself into what I consider to be my work. I have written nearly 30 pieces in the last week. Which may not seem like much to some writers but it was an enormous amount for me.
I became almost obessessed with it – and I do think some part of me was owned by it. I would get up in the middle of the night to scribble down this and that – I’d be in the middle of a conversation with someone and a phrase would leap out of me while I was trying to keep up my end of the conversation and still scramble for paper, pen and the words. Exhausting. Draining. Wonderful. And I honestly did worry that when I went back to being Writer Chick it was all going to go away and I would be dashing off memes and jokey lists once again. I’m sure there will always be memes and jokey lists here on this blog but I am also sure that I will not lose whatever it is I gained this past week. Perhaps it was the fruition of these many past months which began last November about seriously pondering how to be what I was, am – a writer. Where it all comes together in one crystalized moment or it could have been the company I kept during that time or a combination of both or something else altogether. No matter how many times a writer is asked where their ideas and inspiration comes from I don’t think any of us can really give the exact answer – from everywhere and nowhere, from all of your experience and the lack thereof, from all of the love you’ve ever felt and all the tears you’ve ever spent, from all the wonderful things that you will discover in the future. From everywhere and everything is now my answer to that question.
Sorry…I digress…yes, back to pain. Here’s the thing – there are many artists out there whether they are writers, painters, dancers, actors, poets, sculptors, and so on who believe that pain is a primary motivation for their art. And I was certainly among them because what is more exquisite than the sharpness of deep pain? And despite it’s awful attendant physical and emotional tearings one does feel alive during it. And I think it is this aliveness that brings this idea to the fore. I think that because great love songs are written in the throes of great loss, great paintings painted at the pique of despair and incredible dances delivered on searingingly painful legs that it is easy to believe it was the pain that forced the beauty through. But I don’t think it’s true.
I think that greatness in a person’s art, whatever the form, comes from all things, all feelings, all interactions and that if pain has any significant part in it, it is because the way an artist works through their pain is with their art. Sort of a Catch-22 I guess. I know when I am in pain it is easier for me to write about it than talk about it or even ironically think about it. It is easier to take that surge of enormous, white hot energy and pour it into something that will eventually, hopefully become beautiful. It is the proverbial making of lemonade from lemons.
So, for all my strange travels and foreign experiences this week, I think my biggest lesson is this: that I do not have to be married to pain to produce beauty. I do not have to have horrible hurt to have depth in my words. I do not have to own a particular emotion more than any other. They all produce that which leads to the thing we eventually create. It was a good lesson. I’m glad I learned it.
And once again, sorry for not being funny, as I intended to be. Though I will keep trying. 😉
Beauty is only skin deep? – Guest Post by Teeni
Hi, my name is Teeni from the blog The Vaguerian Tea Room. First, I’d just like to say how honored I was that Annie asked me to do a guest post. I thank you, Annie, for giving me a different audience to try out a subject that has lately made me wonder how others feel about it. What I’ve been considering lately is beauty versus attractiveness.
We all know the saying that beauty is only skin deep. But also, we all have our own ideas of what beautiful is. I’ve often wondered about the words beautiful and attractive and what they mean to other people. According to dictionary.com, the two words are almost identical in definition, although attractive appears to carry a more sexual connotation.
To me, natural human physical beauty, always meant possessing physical qualities which made others desirous of them or to want to look like them. Again, everyone has their own opinion of what is beautiful. For instance, Angelina Jolie is often touted as the world’s most beautiful woman. Personally, I do think she is naturally beautiful but I don’t think she is the most beautiful woman in the world and that title just means nothing to me because each person has their own standards of beauty.
Now as far as what is I think is attractive for a human, here’s my thinking. I’ve always considered attractive to be the ability to make oneself appealing to others in a physical manner, the ability to attract, whether considered beautiful or not. For instance, Sarah Jessica Parker is by no means what would be considered a typical natural Hollywood beauty. However, I think she is extremely attractive – she knows how to play up her good features and always appears clean and is neatly attired. Angelina Jolie also shines in this category – when she wants to, that is. Sometimes she looks dirty and skanky to me (think back when she was with Billy Bob Thornton), but she cleans up wonderfully (most public appearances with significant other, Brad Pitt). And some people are both beautiful AND attractive, in my opinion, such as Aishwarya Rai.
But now, inner beauty, in my opinion, transcends the physical level. For some it is harder to find because we are so easily blinded by physical traits. Inner beauty would enhance any physical beauty and turn mere attractiveness into ravishing beauty. It’s like a glow that emanates from within, but becomes noticed by those around. It is something that grows the more you get to know the person because it has more to do with an attitude, a concern for others, a love of life. It’s a goodness that isn’t extinguished when the flame of youthful physical beauty dies out.
I can’t point out famous people who I feel have this inner beauty because I don’t personally know them. But there are a few that I suspect have it. People like Halle Berry, Drew Barrymore, and Jennifer Garner seem to me to be the type that would also be beautiful people underneath their outer beauty as well. Again, I don’t know for a fact that this is true, as I don’t personally know these actresses but they are an example of some that I think would be a pleasure to know and have as friends, not just to be pretty faces to look at. I try to consider how they treat others, and how they behave themselves when they don’t know they are being watched.
Whenever I see magazines and shows put together lists of people they feel are the tops, I always feel some people are left off or some just don’t even belong there. So I wonder how other people feel about this whole beauty and attractiveness thing, especially when so many pretty faces are in front of us in movies and on television and in advertising. I know I generally think of women when using the word beautiful but this could equally apply to men. What do you all think and what are your definitions of beautiful and attractive when considering people?
(thanks so much Teens for a great post)
Hi everybody, hope you’re having a lovely Sunday. The sun is shining and it’s a perfect summer morning out here.
I just wanted to give you a quick heads up. My friend JOS of Shyspeak, has opened a new blog called, Uno Voce (one voice). To my surprise and delight I have discovered he is quite a talented poet. Please go visit him and say hi, read a few of his poems and comment. They are worth the time and are such a perfect read to go with your morning and coffee.
JOS, I’m so jazzed you are doing this. I love your work, you closet poet, you.
The Truth About Beauty
A friend sent me this in an email, and though I’d read it before it hit home more this time around. It’s a poem by the timeless beauty, Audrey Hepburn. I really like how that lady thought. WC
“For attractive lips, speak words of kindness.
For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people.
For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry.
For beautiful hair, let a child run his/her fingers through it once a day.
For poise, walk with the knowledge that you never walk alone.
People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone.
Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, you will find one at the end of each of your arms.
As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands; one for helping yourself, and the other for helping others.”
I’m tired and my soul aches down to its toes
Staring eyes see the blue between the words where I try to find your message.
Trembling hands grasp for meaning in my daily bread but the crumbs scatter toward the crows
That perch outside my window
I hear them mumble prayers of unrepentance and sing hyms of opportunity
My feet don’t stand on their own and prop me up like flapping sheets on windy clotheslines
Arms wrap around to protect what hides beneath – stacatto breath chasms deep inside my lungs and
Forces down the screams that seek pity and surrender
And then your sunset slides down the wall of sky and creeps across the lawn
To comfort me.