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Archive for the category “Video”

playing (great music) for change

If you have just returned from interplanetary travel and don’t know about Playing for Change, do yourself a favor and check them out. What they’re up to is “connecting the world through music”–and what beautiful and moving music it is. These are four personal favorites of the over 70 videos they’ve produced. I can hardly wait for the next CD to be released.

You can never ever have too much music!

episode 63: a change is gonna come

Live from Folsom Prison, the PFC Band at its most soulful.

episode 53: la tierra del olvido

Translates to “land of the forgotten.” 75 musicians from all over Colombia. Just amazing.

episode 49: satchita

A musical journey from Brazil to India (from the PFC2 CD). So joyful.

episode 38: imagine

John Lennon’s song around the world. Still gives me chills

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the eyes of my eyes are opened

Sunlight is in short supply here in the Northern Hemisphere. But fires roar in  fireplaces inside our homes, crackling with light and heat to dispel at least a little of the gloom. Here Richard Feynman explains the nature of trees and how the heat and light of those fires is actually “stored sun” being released from the wood.

And here is a brief animation of his “Ode to a Flower.” Very short–and so worth looking at.

i thank You God for most this amazing

i thank You God for most this amazing
day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes

(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun’s birthday; this is the birth
day of life and of love and wings: and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)

how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any–lifted from the no
of all nothing–human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?

(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)

–e. e. cummings

hope for the new year

Dancer/choreographer Lionel Hun performed this exquisite dance in Macau shortly after the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami in Japan. The credits say “For Japan.” Let’s have it be “For Everyone Everywhere.”

 

NOTE: As of January 2013, give me a daisy will publish new posts every Tuesday and Saturday, instead of every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.

Please check out my new blog, Farther to Go: Creating Meaning in Midlife &  Beyond if you are so inclined.

‘tis the season to be buoyant

buoyant morning

buoyant morning (Photo credit: Pedro Moura Pinheiro)

With the arrival of the winter solstice last week, I needed to choose a new keyword for the next three months. The first (and last) time I chose a keyword for a season, I did it without putting much thought into it. Velocity came to me immediately, and so did the accompanying theme song, Glad Tidings by Van Morrison. Somewhere along the way, I realized that focusing on velocity without having first determined my direction was like sending a driverless race-car speeding 100+ miles per hour along a track. Nothing good was likely to come of it. So I paused to set a couple of goals.

This time, I wasn’t quite so hasty. I discarded my first choice of keyword, focus, when I realized focus is one of those things that repeatedly gets me into trouble. I don’t usually have difficulty focusing. On the contrary, what I have difficulty with is stepping back and loosening the reins of my focus. Sometimes circumstances change, you know? But I’m nothing if not persistent, so it often takes me a while to notice and then to back off or switch gears.

What I came up with for my winter keyword is buoyant. If I haven’t mentioned it yet, I really dislike winter. I dislike the cold temperatures, the noisy furnace, the layers of clothing, the short days, the gray skies, and the snow (when we get it). Winter feels heavy and oppressive to me. If I could wear shorts, sandals, and a T-shirt year around, I would. It takes temperatures hovering around 100 degrees before I comment on the heat. I’ve hiked the Sandia foothills in the mid-afternoon in the mid-90s. You just have to slather on the sunscreen, wear a hat, take plenty of water, and try not to run a marathon out there.

So the three months between December 21st and March 21st are my least favorite of the year—a trial to get through. This year I’m going to try a different tactic by attempting to lighten up, loosen up, and be a little more cheerful. Along with cheerful, lively, and sprightly, a few other synonyms for buoyant are:

Bright
Sunny
Animated
Genial
Blithe
Light-hearted

All good stuff, but it gets even better because buoyant also means:

Expanding
Developing
Strong
Thriving
Vigorous

Since I’m working on a new venture right now, this sense of the word buoyant is ideal for that, too. The third definition of buoyant refers to being light and able to float on water. Large bodies of water and I are not friends, so although I love this concept, it’s a little edgy for me. But that’s OK; a little edginess never hurt anyone. And light is the opposite of heavy, which is good.

now i know how it feels
to have wings on my heels

The search for a theme song also took longer this time than it did before. A lot of songs came close, but none of them hit exactly the right note. Then I came across this one by, of all people, the Moody Blues, from To Our Children’s Children, and it’s perfect.

 

Floating free as a bird
Sixty foot leaps, it’s so absurd
From up here you should see the view
Such a lot of space for me and you
Oh, you’ll like it
Gliding around, get your feet off the ground
Oh, you’ll like it
Do as you please with so much ease
Now I know how it feels
To have wings on my heels

I confess to having owned several Moody Blues albums way back when, but I don’t think I had this one.  And I probably wouldn’t have chosen this song for one of my playlists in the normal course of events. But the purpose of choosing a keyword is to aim my attention in a different direction, to consider things from a different perspective, and to get out of my usual mindset. In this case, to be more buoyant!

Do you have a keyword for winter? If so, please share it.

CDZA: collective cadenza of crazy good music

CDZA is composed of many musicians, some from Julliard School of Music and other music schools such as Manhattan School of Music, Berklee College of Music, and Brooklyn College of Music, along with several Broadway singers. For the past nine months they have been working on a project to create “musical video experiments.” These are some of my favorite results. But there are many more, so check out their website.

What a Wonderful World as you’ve not heard it before:

It’s too late to order fries:

Great singer–and I love the guy in the Elton John glasses:

A little sad; a lot funny:

paradise?

This is another gorgeous animation short, mixed media this time, by Ishu Patel, titled “Paradise.” The music is by Zamfir.

When I saw it, it reminded me of the creation story I wrote over a dozen years ago for a mythology class, very loosely based on Buddhism and quantum physics’ theory of the unified field.

the yearning of desire

In the beginning, All was One, and the One was nameless and without form. Within the One existed All Things. But there were no distinctions within the One; no thing was separate from any other thing. Although countless aeons passed, there was no experience within the One of the passage of time. Gradually, from within the center of the One, arose the beginning of Desire. At first Desire was like a small bubble rising to the surface of a perfectly still lake. At first Desire was only the softest whisper of the wind. Desire wanted to give form to the formless and to name the nameless. Desire yearned for forms to touch and to surrender to.

More aeons passed, and Desire continued to grow within the One. Desire pulsed within the center of the One, louder and stronger, and the pulsing of Desire gave form to Spirit, that which inhabits all and everything. Spirit allowed himself to be inspired by Desire and to contemplate all the possibilities that form could take. Spirit saw that formlessness needed form, just as form needs formlessness. Spirit saw that formlessness needed form to complete itself. Spirit then dreamed the dream of the universe taking form, from its beginning to its end, which was not really an end but only a return to formlessness. As Spirit dreamed the dream of creation, Desire allowed herself to be infused with Spirit, and as she did, she took the shape of a large, graceful bird, covered in the palest of green iridescent feathers. Spirit was the air that she breathed.

Spirit longed for the forms that he had dreamed of. And Spirit longed to be inhaled by Desire, just as Desire longed to breathe Spirit. With each inhalation of Spirit, Desire flapped her pale wings. As the flapping of her wings increased, the colors of her feathers deepened into verdigris and copper, turquoise and silver, aqua and gold. She spread her wings and flew in a wide, lazy arc, and she sang the purest, most exquisite songs, whose haunting echoes trailed behind her. She coasted on the currents of air that were Spirit.

As Desire breathed in more of Spirit, she too began to visualize the forms that Spirit had dreamed of. As her yearning increased, so did the flapping of her wings. Her tail feathers grew longer and their color changed from pale green to deep red. She swooped and glided through Spirit, inhaling more and more of his visions. The feathers of her body turned crimson and saffron. Desire felt something growing inside her, in the same place where her yearning had first begun its delicate pulsing so many aeons ago. She flapped her wings again and soared upward. An indigo band formed around her neck. Her singing became louder, more rhythmic, and more intense. It filled the entire universe with its insistent, rapturous vibrations. Spirit was enthralled by the songs of Desire and continued to fill her with the countless forms he had dreamed of.

Desire was full of a longing so powerful that she thought it could never be filled. The feathers of her head changed to amethyst and violet, and a royal purple crest took shape along the top and back. She opened her mouth to cry out but no sounds of any kind emerged, neither cry nor song. Instead, when she opened her mouth the countless forms of the universe began to spill out into the air, into Spirit. Each time she opened her mouth more forms issued forth until everything that Spirit dreamed had been given its form. Spirit was satisfied because he was everywhere, inhabiting all of the forms of the universe. But Desire, without whom no form could exist, could not touch them, could not fully satisfy her yearning. It is the nature of Desire to remain unfulfilled. And we, too, who were given birth through Desire, know that no matter what we have, something is always missing. Though Spirit fills us and gives us joy, there is a place in our hearts that it cannot touch. Desire is the permanent longing in our hearts for home, for the One, for formlessness.

all we have here is sky

New Mexico is called The Land of Enchantment. And it truly is. I never tire of the changing light and color and cloud configurations. I keep my camera near the front door because all I have to do is step outside to get a hit of wonder.

This is the sky at sunset a couple of weeks ago:

Some zigzag clouds in October:

The liquid amber tree across the street:

The sun setting behind bare trees:

Another one. (Couldn’t decide which photo to use.)

Early November sky:

The pale moon in October, not quite full:

I feel fortunate to live in this place. Fortunate to have a camera. And fortunate to have a place to share these pictures. I also feel fortunate to have come across this loopy but totally irresistible video of Jane Siberry. Who remembers this?

all is not lost

Found on Radiolab. Wow!

 

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