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“God loves each of us as if there were only one of us.”

~St. Augustine

 

“People see God every day, they just don't recognize him.”

~Pearl Bailey

 

“When we lose God, it is not God who is lost."

~Author Unknown

  

“How tired God must be of guilt and loneliness, for that is all we ever bring to Him.”

~Mignon McLaughlin

  

“Those who believe that they believe in God, but without passion in their hearts, without anguish in mind, without uncertainty, without doubt, without an element of despair even in their consolation, believe in the God idea, not God himself.”

~Miguel de Unamuno

 

“God is not what you imagine or what you think you understand. If you understand you have failed”

~Saint Augustine

  

“Been taken for granted? Imagine how God feels.”

~Author Unknown

  

"I believe that God is in me, as the sun is in the color and fragrance of a flower, the Light in my darkness, the Voice in my silence."

Helen Keller

   

Evening Solace

 

The human heart has hidden treasures,

In secret kept, in silence sealed;­

The thoughts, the hopes, the dreams, the pleasures,

Whose charms were broken if revealed.

And days may pass in gay confusion,

And nights in rosy riot fly,

While, lost in Fame's or Wealth's illusion,

The memory of the Past may die.

 

But, there are hours of lonely musing,

Such as in evening silence come,

When, soft as birds their pinions closing,

The heart's best feelings gather home.

Then in our souls there seems to languish

A tender grief that is not woe;

And thoughts that once wrung groans of anguish,

Now cause but some mild tears to flow.

 

And feelings, once as strong as passions,

Float softly back ­a faded dream;

Our own sharp griefs and wild sensations,

The tale of others' sufferings seem.

Oh ! when the heart is freshly bleeding,

How longs it for that time to be,

When, through the mist of years receding,

Its woes but live in reverie !

 

And it can dwell on moonlight glimmer,

On evening shade and loneliness;

And, while the sky grows dim and dimmer,

Feel no untold and strange distress­

Only a deeper impulse given

By lonely hour and darkened room,

To solemn thoughts that soar to heaven,

Seeking a life and world to come.

 

Charlotte Bronte

  

...finally awoke to some sunlight :)

The human heart has hidden treasures,

In secret kept, in silence sealed;--

The thoughts, the hopes, the dreams, the pleasures,

Whose charms were broken if revealed.

And days may pass in gay confusion,

And nights in rosy riot fly,

While, lost in Fame's or Wealth's illusion,

The memory of the Past may die.

 

But there are hours of lonely musing,

Such as in evening silence come,

When, soft as birds their pinions closing,

The heart's best feelings gather home.

Then in our souls there seems to languish

A tender grief that is not woe;

And thoughts that once wrung groans of anguish

Now cause but some mild tears to flow.

 

~Charlotte Brontë

 

HBW.

 

Explored! Highest position #107

I've taken some time off of Flicker for a bit for a variety of reasons. I've had a really difficult Autumn, first with a bike accident and with three bikes being stolen despite being locked up securely with at least one if not two expensive locks in broad daylight. My job has also become incredibly intense and pretty much unmanageable in terms of stress and what is possible in a day. I've also been thinking a great deal (as usual probably too much) in terms of my own photography and my own sense of self as an artist. I really still feel very drawn to street photography but, at the same time, have always felt some need to capture the expressions of humans I admire who happen to be creative artists themselves. Finding this balance has always been difficult and sometimes impossible.

 

I've been working on some of my street photography and hope to share more of this in 2015. My goal is to post a couple of photos a week on average, which seems more reasonable than 5 a week considering my work schedule. At the same time, I know many of you enjoy music and like to experience live music as well from time to time. So, the next two posts will be about my favorite live shows and albums of last year complete with links and such in case you'd like to check out my recommendations. Let me know if you decide to or if you experienced a great show yourself, whether it is on my list or not. Sharing is caring ;)

 

Happy New Year.

 

Best Live Shows of 2014

 

1. Slowdive October 30th, 2014 Vic Theater, Chicago Illinois

 

Seeing Slowdive at Pitchfork Music Festival was a phenomenal sort of experience for me and one that made the whole weekend worthwhile but seeing them play their own headlining show was even better. The band had by then even more so perfected their live sound and there were also a few more songs they played, most notably "Dagger." There is also something to be said for seeing a band with all of their die hard fans who are there just for them (or for them and Low, who were also fantastic as usual!) As a long time Slowdive fan, I've been listening to their albums for over a decade without the hope of ever seeing them live. I am so glad I had the chance to!

www.wonderingsound.com/pictures/slowdive-low-chicago-live/

www.flickr.com/photos/kirstiecat/sets/72157648057573740

bigtakeover.com/interviews/just-for-a-day-an-interview-wi...

 

2. Temples May 3rd 2914, Austin Psych Fest Austin, Texas

 

I saw Temples three times last year and I treasured every set but I will probably never forget the first time I saw them at Austin Psych Fest (which is the best festival I have ever gone to and this year is called Levitation Fest.) These Brits play the sort of mesmerizing psychedelic rock music that fills my heart with sheer joy. It makes me feel connected with the entire world somehow. If home is really just a state of mind, I think I found it with Temples.

templestheband.com/

 

3. Low, June 16th, 2014, Subterranean, Chicago, Illinois

 

I have been seeing Low for the past 15 years or so and none of their shows have ever disappointed me. They are one of the bands I feel very connected to emotionally and would see even in the middle of a blizzard on a Monday night. Few bands have as many fantastic albums and such a genuine sense to everything they do.

 

This particular Low show was special because they played two long sets and pretty much every favorite song of mine that I had hoped to hear. It really moved me to tears!

chairkickers.com/

www.flickr.com/photos/kirstiecat/sets/72157622149796303

 

4. Thee Silver Mt. Zion, May 8th, 2014, Lincoln Hall, Chicago, Illinois

 

TSMZ or pretty much anything connected with Efrim Menuck is also a band I am quite dedicated to. Their albums are always so filled with anguish and intelligent politics. Many people have a difficult time with Efrim's passionate vocals but the music is supposed to challenge you.

TSMZ live is a little different than their albums though because of the unpredictable and somewhat awkward experience of the Question and Answer periods...if you want to read more about that, here's a link to this show review with more photos aa well.

gapersblock.com/transmission/2014/05/08/photosreview_thee...

 

5. Loop, May 5th, 2014, Austin Psych Fest, Austin, Texas

 

I really hope that Loop play another US tour because their headlining set at Austin Psych Fest was phenomenal and way better than I was expecting. I really wasn't familiar with the band's albums before then and I regretted that I hadn't seen them when they played Chicago earlier on as it was on a Sunday night and didn't want to start another intense with week totally exhausted. In any case, I was glad I had a chance to catch most of their set at Austin Psych Fest. I know there were a ton of people let down when Primal Scream cancelled (they are playing this year, though) but I've seen Primal Scream and Loop's set was very special.

 

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loop_%28band%29

 

6. White Fence, October 18th, 2014, Subterranean, Chicago

 

It's really no surprise that I would enjoy this set as the band has put out their best album to date and one of my favorites of this year, For the Recently Found Innocent. They also seem to be ready to take the songs to a higher level on a live front and really managed to put on an amazing show.

www.facebook.com/pages/White-Fence/109125289153214

 

7. Superchunk, January 18t, 2014, Cabaret Metro, Chicago

 

Superchunk isn't quite the same live without Laura Ballance playing on stage but this was still a really fantastic live set with some great vigorous jumping too! More photos and details within the live review here:

gapersblock.com/transmission/2014/01/19/day_four_tomorrow...

 

8. Bo Ningen, May 4th, 2014, Austin Psych Fest, Austin

 

Japan and now London based Bo Ningen come out like sort of underground and dizzying superheros. They have these incredible robes and long black hair and they are in almost motion twirling around like psychedelic dervishes. Unfortunately, both this set and their set at Cabaret Metro were extremely dark and difficult to capture the essence of what makes their live performances a bit spooky, extremely heavy hitting, and very powerful. These guys come with a high recommendation!

boningen.info/

 

9. Liars May 3rd, 2014 Austin Psych Fest, Austin,

 

Aussie Angus Andrew has always been unpredictable and strange but this tour saw some of his most unpredictable behavior yet with a mask made of yarn on his head for the beginning of the performance and Angus back to flipping his hair, dancing, and pacing like he used to before he started having some back problems. Touring on their most recent album, Mess, brought about one of the most intense sets the band has played in a long time or ever.

liarsliarsliars.com/

 

10. Gruff Rhys (Super Furry Animals), November 12th, 2014, Schubas Tavern, Chicago,

 

It's probably more telling to read the show review and see the photos to really understand what this tour was about but suffice it to say some of the bizarre ideas behind the American Interior album and tour that relate to fictional early Welsh explorers making way for Lewis and Clark is at the very least unique and memorable.

gapersblock.com/transmission/2014/11/12/photosreview_gruf...

www.gruffrhys.com/

  

Honorable Mentions:

Each year, I shoot a music festival or two and end up catching some of a set that is exceptional but, as there are often overlapping bands I am assigned, I rarely catch all of one band but do catch a significant enough part of a set to have a sense of how good it is. The following are some of the sets I saw that I was wowed by as well as some other sets that I felt worthy of a mention.

 

Austin Psych Fest 2014:

As I already mentioned, Austin Psych Fest was my favorite music festival and was the best music festival I have ever been to, which includes numerous Lollas, Pitchfork Music Festivals, Hideout Block Parties, Riot Fests, Tomorrow Never Knows fests, and Coachellas as well as the dozens of street festivals which often have stellar lineups throughout the Chicago summer. I've always been more fond of psychedelic music than any other genre of music but this fest was also great because they really sought out diversity both within the genre and in terms of international bands I wouldn't have been able to see otherwise. It was an incredibly memorable experience for me and I also had a wonderful time with my friend Randy Cremean, who is an amazing photographer. I also wanted to say that the overall crowd for Austin Psych Fest was very invested and showed some astute active listening skills. They weren't talking or texting or being generally obnoxious at any point in time and that made the overall mood quite pleasant and enjoyable.

If you are interested in Levitation Fest tickets, here is the website:

www.austinpsychfest.com/

My coverage for this festival was through The Big Takeover:

Friday (Day One):

bigtakeover.com/concerts/austin-psych-festival-2014-frida...

Saturday (Day Two):

bigtakeover.com/concerts/austin-psych-festival-2014-satur...

Sunday (Day Three):

bigtakeover.com/concerts/austin-psych-festival-2014-sunda...

 

Boogarins at Austin Psych Fest

Boogarins also played a great opening spot gig for The Clean (who unfortunately didn't live up to my expectations, though it was an odd night in comparison to the previous time I saw them in Chicago). This Brazilian psychedelic band is fantastic live and on album! Highly recommended!

boogarins.com/

 

Fantasmes at Austin Psych Fest

This Puerto Rican band also played some lovely and interesting psychedelic music!

fantasmes.bandcamp.com/

 

La Femme at Austin Psych Fest

 

La Femme from France did the art work for the festival and performed. Their set was quite engaging as they each had their own costume. One of the male singers also danced around in a blue cape for pretty much the entire weekend as he watched all of the other bands play, which was quite nice.

lafemme.bandcamp.com/releases

 

Quilt at Austin Psych Fest as well as SubTerranean in Chicago 2014

 

Quilt really are coming into their own as a band and both of these sets were fantastic! Don't miss them on their next tour!

www.facebook.com/quiltmusic

 

Mikal Cronin at Austin Psych Fest

 

It's fantastic to watch Cronin's career progress and his ability to perform in front of an audience strengthen as time goes on. He presents himself as more accomplished and confident on stage even when he's singing his more personal songs and it's a great experience to witness all of this.

mikalcronin.bandcamp.com/

Lollapalooza 2014:

Coverage for the festival on Wondering Sound: www.wonderingsound.com/pictures/lollapalooza-2014-outkast...

 

Kate Nash at Lollapalooza, Chicago in August 2014

Kate Nash was in top form dancing, jumping, and joining the crowd at Lolla. She had an amazing energy and sense of light heartedness that made her fans even more devoted.

www.katenash.com/

 

Outkast at Lollapalooza, Chicago in August 2014

Outkast has put out some of the catchiest songs the world has ever heard. They get stuck in your head and you don't ever want them to leave like the welcome visitors they are. It was nice to finally see and photograph Outkast this past summer and, though I couldn't stay for their entire set as I needed to get home and photoedit for a deadline, what I did hear was fantastic!

 

Benjamin Booker at Lollapalooza, Chicago in August 2014

 

I wasn't familiar with Benjamin Booker's music but was very impressed by both his energy and his sound at Lolla. He played early on at a side stage but I could already tell that if he kept up with the stamina and stellar songs, he would really go somewhere quickly.

www.benjaminbookermusic.com/

Pitchfork Music Festival Chicago July 2014:

Coverage for the Festival on Big Takeover:

Day One (Friday):

bigtakeover.com/concerts/pitchfork-music-festival-2014-fr...

Day Two (Saturday):

bigtakeover.com/concerts/pitchfork-music-festival-2014-sa...

Day Three (Sunday)-Slowdive:

bigtakeover.com/concerts/pitchfork-music-festival-2014-sl...

 

FKA Twigs at Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago

From the time that Tahliah Debrett Barnett emerged on stage, I was a little transfixed. Her style in every way seemed intriguing from her dress to her stage presence overall and her music. She's a great performer and one that I hope to see perform again someday.

www.facebook.com/fkatwigs

 

St. Vincent at Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago

 

I had seen Annie Clark at the Riviera Theater back in the spring but, even though her actual performance of the songs is always good, I was really bogged down by her sort of inane stage banter. Annie Clark is a super intelligent woman but she sort of ruined it with this faux flaky meanderings that mainly just encouraged bro dudes to cheer and gained her more middle of the road fans. Her music, in my opinion, has been slowly heading down this direction as well and, though she is a guitar goddess live, her recorded tracks in recent albums haven't measured up to her album Actor. She was in great form at Pitchfork, though, whilst bringing her stage setup with her as well as her performance artist moves. She's very visually engaging to watch and listen to while she's playing.

ilovestvincent.com/

 

Grimes at Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago

 

Claire Boucher or Grimes isn't really my thing so to speak. It comes off as very light hearted pop music live to me (or at least it did in this set). Though, then again, I spend quite a bit of time listening to drone music so that might explain a bit more. Boucher was very entertaining and seemed to be having the time of her life at Pitchfork but I don't think I'd really have the same feeling about the music whilst listening to the albums at home.

www.grimesmusic.com/

 

Riot Fest in Chicago:

Coverage through Wondering Sound here:

www.wonderingsound.com/pictures/riot-fest-chicago-humbold...

 

The Buzzcocks at Riot Fest in Chicago September 2014

 

The Buzzcocks were definitely my favorite performance of what I caught. I have previously caught whole sets by these Brits but not in several years and I was happy to see that they still had the kind of energy and dynamic playing that makes their songs some of the most memorable singles of one's lifetime.

www.buzzcocks.com/site/index.html

 

Gogol Bordello at Riot Fest in Chicago:

 

Riot Fest this year was really cold, rainy, then extremely muddy. I had just had a bunch of dental work done that same day and I probably would have been more miserable had my friend Lindsey Best not been up visiting to shoot the fest with me. Gogol Bordello played in the pouring rain but Eugene Hutz and friends definitely made the best of it. I spent most of the time with my heart in my throat worrying someone was going to slip and fall right off the stage but they put in a daring and stellar set and managed to salvage

much of the dismal soaked evening.

www.gogolbordello.com/

 

Death Cab for Cutie at Hideout Block Party in Chicago September 2014

I looked forward to shooting Hideout Block Party for quite some time but, while coming home before the fest, got into a really unfortunate bicycling accident. After spending some time in the Emergency Room, I was able to make it via taxi in time to see Death Cab for Cutie headline the evening. I started listening to Death Cab for Cutie back in 2001 when college radio (of which I was graduating from) started playing some tracks from We Have the Fact and We're Voting Yes. Over the years, my fondness for the band sort of waxed and waned a bit but I felt like this performance in particular really showed off some of their better material. I'm glad I headed out instead of staying at home and crying my eyes out.

 

Coverage here: gapersblock.com/transmission/2014/09/06/your_guide_to_hid...

www.deathcabforcutie.com/

 

Other shows and reviews:

 

OOIOO at Schubas Tavern July 15th, 2014 in Chicago

gapersblock.com/transmission/2014/07/16/ooiooschubas_tave...

 

Tim Hecker at Lincoln Hall in Chicago January 16th,2014

gapersblock.com/transmission/2014/01/17/day_two_tomorrow_...

 

Disappears at Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago November 22cnd, 2014

 

Disappears covered David Bowie's Low and it was really spectacular to hear those songs performed live so well to commemorate the artist who the museum is featuring an extensive exhibition of.

www.disappearsmusic.com/

www2.mcachicago.org/exhibition/david-bowie-is/

 

Tom Petty August 24th, 2014 at the United Center in Chicago, IL

 

I've been a long time Tom Petty fan and grew up listening to his albums and watching his videos so being able to see and photograph him was quite heavenly. He really does put on an amazing show and is, as I reassured my mom, still very sexy!

www.wonderingsound.com/pictures/tom-petty-chicago-live/

 

Swans June 22cnd Lincoln Hall in Chicago

 

Michael Gira is a strange and wonderous sort of beast and when he's performing, you'd best not be texting one of your friends. This was the show where Gira literally grabbed a cell phone out of the hands of the guy next to me up front and set it on his amp for about 15 minutes. He then promptly told the man not to do this again or to go to the back. It was a mesmerizing sort of set as most Swans sets are...so intense emotionally and physically that one became conscious of one's heart beat and breathing. Read more about it and see photos of this here: www.wonderingsound.com/pictures/swans-chicago-live/

 

Nick Cave June 20th, 2014 at the Milwaukee Theater in Wisconsin

 

My friend Robert Loerzel incidentally mentioned that he was considering driving up to Milwaukee for this show and, though not having a car this was not something I had even considered, I was grateful and very happy to join him. Robert, Cinchel, and I had some pizza after the drive and then settled in for the show soon after. Nick Cave never had a dull show nor moment when he's performing and it was great to enjoy the adventure that was the day and the artist as well as good friendship. Milwaukee hadn't seen Cave perform in quite some time and fans seemed very thankful. I wouldn't have had the chance to see him this time around (as he didn't have any proper Chicago dates) had Robert not been willing to indulge our collective whims.

 

Last but not least, I have the exceptional experience of being married to a musician myself who also has a day job but creates art just about every chance he gets. He goes by the name of Cinchel and he puts out ambient and drone music. His best show of the year was at Subterranean on December 10th on the same day that I had my 3rd bicycle stolen in a period of a month and a half (it's been a rough Autumn). Suffice it to say that I wasn't exactly in the mood to socialize or see anyone play but, as usual, he made it worthwhile. It's really something to live with an artist and he's a great deal easier to live with than I am (all of our friends would agree) but it's also very interesting to see the progression that he makes throughout his years as a human being and an artist both in a much more intimate way. Most of the time, I am lucky enough to hear his music live while I am photo-editing but I never take this for granted...he's a musician that should be appreciated and I never forget how glad I am that I married him.

His music as well as some of the paintings he's created can be found here:

cinchel.com/

 

**All photos are copyrighted. Please don't use without permission**

At the cross her station keeping,

Mary stood in sorrow weeping

When her Son was crucified.

 

While she waited in her anguish,

Seeing Christ in torment languish,

Bitter sorrow pierced her heart.

 

With what pain and desolation,

With what noble resignation,

Mary watched her dying Son.

 

Ever-patient in her yearning

Though her tear-filled eyes were burning,

Mary gazed upon her Son.

 

Who, that sorrow contemplating,

On that passion meditating,

Would not share the Virgin's grief?

 

Christ she saw, for our salvation,

Scourged with cruel acclamation,

Bruised and beaten by the rod.

 

Christ she saw with life-blood failing,

All her anguish unavailing,

Saw him breathe his very last.

 

Mary, fount of love's devotion,

Let me share with true emotion

All the sorrow you endured.

 

Virgin, ever interceding,

Hear me in my fervent pleading:

Fire me with your love of Christ.

 

Mother, may this prayer be granted:

That Christ's love may be implanted

In the depths of my poor soul.

 

At the cross, your sorrow sharing,

All your grief and torment bearing,

Let me stand and mourn with you.

 

Fairest maid of all creation,

Queen of hope and consolation,

Let me feel your grief sublime.

 

Virgin, in your love befriend me,

At the Judgment Day defend me.

Help me by your constant prayer.

 

Savior, when my life shall leave me,

Through your mother's prayers

receive me

With the fruits of victory.

 

Virgin of all virgins blest!

Listen to my fond request:

Let me share your grief divine

 

Let me, to my latest breath,

In my body bear the death

Of your dying Son divine.

 

Wounded with His every wound,

Steep my soul till it has swooned

In His very Blood away.

 

Be to me, O Virgin, nigh,

Lest in flames I burn and die,

In His awe-full judgment day.

 

Savior, when my life shall leave me,

Through your mother's prayers

receive me

With the fruits of victory.

 

While my body here decays

May my soul your goodness praise,

Safe in heaven eternally. Amen Alleluia.

 

NEW: I NOW CREATE MUSIC, JOIN ME ON SOUNDCLOUD!

 

SHOP: www.icanvas.com/canvas-art-prints/artist/ben-heine

 

"The Silence of the Village" was my first title for this image. I captured this peaceful scenery in Saint Léon. It's a very quite place in the South West of France. A must see if you ever travel in this region...

_______________________________________________

 

For more information about my art: info@benheine.com

_______________________________________________

  

The Deserted Village

 

A poem by Oliver Goldsmith

 

Sweet Auburn! loveliest village of the plain,

Where health and plenty cheered the labouring swain,

Where smiling spring its earliest visits paid,

And parting summer's lingering blooms delayed:

Dear lovely bowers of innocence and ease,

Seats of my youth, where every sport could please,

How often have I loitered o'er your green,

Where humble happiness endeared each scene;

How often have I paused on every charm,

The sheltered cot, the cultivated farm,

The never-failing brook, the busy mill,

The decent church that topped the neighbouring hill,

The hawthorn bush, with seats beneath the shade,

For talking age and whispering lovers made;

How often have I blessed the coming day,

When toil remitting lent its turn to play,

And all the village train, from labour free,

Led up their sports beneath the spreading tree:

While many a pastime circled in the shade,

The young contending as the old surveyed;

And many a gambol frolicked o'er the ground,

And sleights of art and feats of strength went round;

And still as each repeated pleasure tired,

Succeeding sports the mirthful band inspired;

The dancing pair that simply sought renown

By holding out to tire each other down!

The swain mistrustless of his smutted face,

While secret laughter tittered round the place;

The bashful virgin's sidelong look of love,

The matron's glance that would those looks reprove:

These were thy charms, sweet village; sports like these,

With sweet succession, taught even toil to please;

These round thy bowers their cheerful influence shed,

These were thy charms -But all these charms are fled.

 

Sweet smiling village, loveliest of the lawn,

Thy sports are fled, and all thy charms withdrawn;

Amidst thy bowers the tyrant's hand is seen,

And desolation saddens all thy green:

One only master grasps the whole domain,

And half a tillage stints thy smiling plain:

No more thy glassy brook reflects the day,

But choked with sedges works its weedy way.

Along thy glades, a solitary guest,

The hollow-sounding bittern guards its nest;

Amidst thy desert walks the lapwing flies,

And tires their echoes with unvaried cries.

Sunk are thy bowers, in shapeless ruin all,

And the long grass o'ertops the mouldering wall;

And, trembling, shrinking from the spoiler's hand,

Far, far away, thy children leave the land.

 

Ill fares the land, to hastening ills a prey,

Where wealth accumulates, and men decay:

Princes and lords may flourish, or may fade;

A breath can make them, as a breath has made;

But a bold peasantry, their country's pride,

When once destroyed can never be supplied.

 

A time there was, ere England's griefs began,

When every rood of ground maintained its man;

For him light labour spread her wholesome store,

Just gave what life required, but gave no more:

His best companions, innocence and health;

And his best riches, ignorance of wealth.

 

But times are altered; trade's unfeeling train

Usurp the land and dispossess the swain;

Along the lawn, where scattered hamlet's rose,

Unwieldy wealth and cumbrous pomp repose,

And every want to opulence allied,

And every pang that folly pays to pride.

Those gentle hours that plenty bade to bloom,

Those calm desires that asked but little room,

Those healthful sports that graced the peaceful scene,

Lived in each look, and brightened all the green;

These, far departing, seek a kinder shore,

And rural mirth and manners are no more.

 

Sweet Auburn! parent of the blissful hour,

Thy glades forlorn confess the tyrant's power.

Here as I take my solitary rounds,

Amidst thy tangling walks and ruined grounds,

And, many a year elapsed, return to view

Where once the cottage stood, the hawthorn grew,

Remembrance wakes with all her busy train,

Swells at my breast, and turns the past to pain.

 

In all my wanderings round this world of care,

In all my griefs -and God has given my share -

I still had hopes my latest hours to crown,

Amidst these humble bowers to lay me down;

To husband out life's taper at the close,

And keep the flame from wasting by repose.

I still had hopes, for pride attends us still,

Amidst the swains to show my book-learned skill,

Around my fire an evening group to draw,

And tell of all I felt and all I saw;

And, as a hare, whom hounds and horns pursue,

Pants to the place from whence at first she flew,

I still had hopes, my long vexations passed,

Here to return -and die at home at last.

 

O blest retirement, friend to life's decline,

Retreats from care, that never must be mine,

How happy he who crowns in shades like these

A youth of labour with an age of ease;

Who quits a world where strong temptations try,

And, since 'tis hard to combat, learns to fly!

For him no wretches, born to work and weep,

Explore the mine, or tempt the dangerous deep;

No surly porter stands in guilty state

To spurn imploring famine from the gate;

But on he moves to meet his latter end,

Angels round befriending Virtue's friend;

Bends to the grave with unperceived decay,

While Resignation gently slopes the way;

All, all his prospects brightening to the last,

His Heaven commences ere the world be past!

 

Sweet was the sound when oft at evening's close

Up yonder hill the village murmur rose;

There, as I passed with careless steps and slow,

The mingling notes came softened from below;

The swain responsive as the milkmaid sung,

The sober herd that lowed to meet their young;

The noisy geese that gabbled o'er the pool,

The playful children just let loose from school;

The watchdog's voice that bayed the whisp'ring wind,

And the loud laugh that spoke the vacant mind;

These all in sweet confusion sought the shade,

And filled each pause the nightingale had made.

But now the sounds of population fail,

No cheerful murmurs fluctuate in the gale,

No busy steps the grass-grown footway tread,

For all the bloomy flush of life is fled.

All but yon widowed, solitary thing,

That feebly bends beside the plashy spring;

She, wretched matron, forced in age for bread

To strip the brook with mantling cresses spread,

To pick her wintry faggot from the thorn,

To seek her nightly shed, and weep till morn;

She only left of all the harmless train,

The sad historian of the pensive plain.

 

Near yonder copse, where once the garden smiled,

And still where many a garden flower grows wild;

There, where a few torn shrubs the place disclose,

The village preacher's modest mansion rose.

A man he was to all the country dear,

And passing rich with forty pounds a year;

Remote from towns he ran his godly race,

Nor e'er had changed, nor wished to change, his place;

Unpractised he to fawn, or seek for power,

By doctrines fashioned to the varying hour;

Far other aims his heart had learned to prize,

More skilled to raise the wretched than to rise.

His house was known to all the vagrant train,

He chid their wanderings, but relieved their pain;

The long remembered beggar was his guest,

Whose beard descending swept his aged breast;

The ruined spendthrift, now no longer proud,

Claimed kindred there, and had his claims allowed;

The broken soldier, kindly bade to stay,

Sat by his fire, and talked the night away;

Wept o'er his wounds, or, tales of sorrow done,

Shouldered his crutch, and showed how fields were won.

Pleased with his guests, the good man learned to glow,

And quite forgot their vices in their woe;

Careless their merits or their faults to scan,

His pity gave ere charity began.

 

Thus to relieve the wretched was his pride,

And e'en his failings leaned to Virtue's side;

But in his duty prompt at every call,

He watched and wept, he prayed and felt, for all.

And, as a bird each fond endearment tries

To tempt its new-fledged offspring to the skies,

He tried each art, reproved each dull delay,

Allured to brighter worlds, and led the way.

 

Beside the bed where parting life was laid,

And sorrow, guilt, and pain, by turns dismayed,

The reverend champion stood. At his control

Despair and anguish fled the struggling soul;

Comfort came down the trembling wretch to raise,

And his last faltering accents whispered praise.

 

At church, with meek and unaffected grace,

His looks adorned the venerable place;

Truth from his lips prevailed with double sway,

And fools, who came to scoff, remained to pray.

The service passed, around the pious man,

With steady zeal, each honest rustic ran;

Even children followed with endearing wile,

And plucked his gown, to share the good man's smile.

His ready smile a parent's warmth expressed,

Their welfare pleased him, and their cares distressed;

To them his heart, his love, his griefs were given,

But all his serious thoughts had rest in Heaven.

As some tall cliff, that lifts its awful form,

Swells from the vale, and midway leaves the storm,

Though round its breast the rolling clouds are spread,

Eternal sunshine settles on its head.

 

Beside yon straggling fence that skirts the way,

With blossomed furze unprofitably gay,

There, in his noisy mansion, skilled to rule,

The village master taught his little school;

A man severe he was, and stern to view;

I knew him well, and every truant knew;

Well had the boding tremblers learned to trace

The day's disasters in his morning face;

Full well they laughed, with counterfeited glee,

At all his jokes, for many a joke had he;

Full well the busy whisper, circling round,

Conveyed the dismal tidings when he frowned;

Yet he was kind; or if severe in aught,

The love he bore to learning was in fault.

The village all declared how much he knew;

'Twas certain he could write, and cipher too;

Lands he could measure, terms and tides presage,

And even the story ran that he could gauge.

In arguing too, the parson owned his skill,

For e'en though vanquished, he could argue still;

While words of learned length and thundering sound

Amazed the gazing rustics ranged around,

And still they gazed, and still the wonder grew

That one small head could carry all he knew.

 

But past is all his fame. The very spot

Where many a time he triumphed is forgot.

Near yonder thorn, that lifts its head on high,

Where once the signpost caught the passing eye,

Low lies that house where nut-brown draughts inspired,

Where grey-beard mirth and smiling toil retired,

Where village statesmen talked with looks profound,

And news much older than their ale went round.

Imagination fondly stoops to trace

The parlour splendours of that festive place:

The white-washed wall, the nicely sanded floor,

The varnished clock that clicked behind the door;

The chest contrived a double debt to pay, -

A bed by night, a chest of drawers by day;

The pictures placed for ornament and use,

The twelve good rules, the royal game of goose;

The hearth, except when winter chilled the day,

With aspen boughs, and flowers, and fennel gay;

While broken teacups, wisely kept for show,

Ranged o'er the chimney, glistened in a row.

 

Vain transitory splendours! Could not all

Reprieve the tottering mansion from its fall!

Obscure it sinks, nor shall it more impart

An hour's importance to the poor man's heart;

Thither no more the peasant shall repair

To sweet oblivion of his daily care;

No more the farmer's news, the barber's tale,

No more the woodman's ballad shall prevail;

No more the smith his dusky brow shall clear,

Relax his ponderous strength, and lean to hear;

The host himself no longer shall be found

Careful to see the mantling bliss go round;

Nor the coy maid, half willing to be pressed,

Shall kiss the cup to pass it to the rest.

 

Yes! let the rich deride, the proud disdain,

These simple blessings of the lowly train;

To me more dear, congenial to my heart,

One native charm, than all the gloss of art.

Spontaneous joys, where Nature has its play,

The soul adopts, and owns their first-born sway;

Lightly they frolic o'er the vacant mind,

Unenvied, unmolested, unconfined:

But the long pomp, the midnight masquerade,

With all the freaks of wanton wealth arrayed,

In these, ere triflers half their wish obtain,

The toiling pleasure sickens into pain;

And, even while fashion's brightest arts decoy,

The heart distrusting asks, if this be joy.

 

Ye friends to truth, ye statesmen, who survey

The rich man's joys increase, the poor's decay,

'Tis yours to judge how wide the limits stand

Between a splendid and a happy land.

Proud swells the tide with loads of freighted ore,

And shouting Folly hails them from her shore;

Hoards even beyond the miser's wish abound,

And rich men flock from all the world around.

Yet count our gains. This wealth is but a name

That leaves our useful products still the same.

Not so the loss. The man of wealth and pride

Takes up a space that many poor supplied;

Space for his lake, his park's extended bounds,

Space for his horses, equipage, and hounds;

The robe that wraps his limbs in silken sloth

Has robbed the neighbouring fields of half their growth;

His seat, where solitary sports are seen,

Indignant spurns the cottage from the green;

Around the world each needful product flies,

For all the luxuries the world supplies:

While thus the land adorned for pleasure, all

In barren splendour feebly waits the fall.

 

As some fair female unadorned and plain,

Secure to please while youth confirms her reign,

Slights every borrowed charm that dress supplies,

Nor shares with art the triumph of her eyes;

But when those charms are passed, for charms are frail,

When time advances and when lovers fail,

She then shines forth, solicitous to bless,

In all the glaring impotence of dress.

Thus fares the land, by luxury betrayed,

In nature's simplest charms at first arrayed;

But verging to decline, its splendours rise,

Its vistas strike, its palaces surprise;

While, scourged by famine, from the smiling land

The mournful peasant leads his humble band;

And while he sinks, without one arm to save,

The country blooms -a garden, and a grave.

 

Where then, ah! where, shall poverty reside,

To 'scape the pressure of contiguous pride?

If to some common's fenceless limits strayed,

He drives his flock to pick the scanty blade,

Those fenceless fields the sons of wealth divide,

And even the bare-worn common is denied.

If to the city sped -what waits him there?

To see profusion that he must not share;

To see ten thousand baneful arts combined

To pamper luxury, and thin mankind;

To see those joys the sons of pleasure know

Extorted from his fellow creature's woe.

Here, while the courtier glitters in brocade,

There the pale artist plies the sickly trade;

Here, while the proud their long-drawn pomps display,

There the black gibbet glooms beside the way.

The dome where Pleasure holds her midnight reign

Here, richly decked, admits the gorgeous train;

Tumultuous grandeur crowds the blazing square,

The rattling chariots clash, the torches glare.

Sure scenes like these no troubles e'er annoy!

Sure these denote one universal joy!

Are these thy serious thoughts? -Ah, turn thine eyes

Where the poor houseless shivering female lies.

She once, perhaps, in a village plenty blessed,

Has wept at tales of innocence distressed;

Her modest looks the cottage might adorn,

Sweet as the primrose peeps beneath the thorn;

Now lost to all; her friends, her virtue fled,

Near her betrayer's door she lays her head,

And, pinched with cold, and shrinking from the shower,

With heavy heart deplores that luckless hour,

When idly first, ambitious of the town,

She left her wheel and robes of country brown.

 

Do thine, sweet Auburn, thine, the loveliest train,

Do thy fair tribes participate her pain?

E'en now, perhaps, by cold and hunger led,

At proud men's doors they ask a little bread!

 

Ah, no! -To distant climes, a dreary scene,

Where half the convex world intrudes between,

Through torrid tracts with fainting steps they go,

Where wild Altama murmurs to their woe.

Far different there from all that charmed before,

The various terrors of that horrid shore;

Those blazing suns that dart a downward ray

And fiercely shed intolerable day;

Those matted woods where birds forget to sing,

But silent bats in drowsy clusters cling;

Those poisonous fields with rank luxuriance crowned,

Where the dark scorpion gathers death around;

Where at each step the stranger fears to wake

The rattling terrors of the vengeful snake;

Where crouching tigers wait their hapless prey,

And savage men more murderous still than they;

While oft in whirls the mad tornado flies,

Mingling the ravaged landscape with the skies.

Far different these from every former scene,

The cooling brook, the grassy-vested green,

The breezy covert of the warbling grove,

That only sheltered thefts of harmless love.

 

Good Heaven! what sorrows gloomed that parting day

That called them from their native walks away;

When the poor exiles, every pleasure passed,

Hung round their bowers, and fondly looked their last,

And took a long farewell, and wished in vain

For seats like these beyond the western main;

And, shuddering still to face the distant deep,

Returned and wept, and still returned to weep.

The good old sire, the first prepared to go

To new-found worlds, and wept for others' woe;

But for himself, in conscious virtue brave,

He only wished for worlds beyond the grave.

His lovely daughter, lovelier in her tears,

The fond companion of his helpless years,

Silent went next, neglectful of her charms,

And left a lover's for a father's arms.

With louder plaints the mother spoke her woes,

And blessed the cot where every pleasure rose;

And kissed her thoughtless babes with many a tear,

And clasped them close, in sorrow doubly dear;

Whilst her fond husband strove to lend relief

In all the silent manliness of grief.

 

O luxury! thou cursed by Heaven's decree,

How ill exchanged are things like these for thee!

How do thy potions, with insidious joy,

Diffuse thy pleasures only to destroy!

Kingdoms by thee, to sickly greatness grown,

Boast of a florid vigour not their own;

At every draught more large and large they grow,

A bloated mass of rank unwieldly woe;

Till, sapped their strength, and every part unsound,

Down, down they sink, and spread the ruin round.

 

Even now the devastation is begun,

And half the business of destruction done;

Even now, methinks, as pondering here I stand,

I see the rural virtues leave the land:

Down where yon anchoring vessel spreads the sail

That idly waiting flaps with every gale,

Downward they move, a melancholy band,

Pass from the shore, and darken all the strand.

Contented toil, and hospitable care,

And kind connubial tenderness, are there;

And piety with wishes placed above,

And steady loyalty, and faithful love.

And thou, sweet Poetry, thou loveliest maid,

Still first to fly where sensual joys invade;

Unfit in these degenerate times of shame

To catch the heart, or strike for honest fame;

Dear charming nymph, neglected and decried,

My shame in crowds, my solitary pride;

Thou source of all my bliss, and all my woe,

That found'st me poor at first, and keep'st me so;

Thou guide by which the nobler arts excel,

Thou nurse of every virtue, fare thee well!

Farewell, and oh! where'er thy voice be tried,

On Torno's cliffs, or Pambamarca's side,

Whether where equinoctial fervours glow,

Or winter wraps the polar world in snow,

Still let thy voice, prevailing over time,

Redress the rigours of th' inclement clime;

Aid slighted truth; with thy persuasive strain

Teach erring man to spurn the rage of gain;

Teach him that states of native strength possessed,

Though very poor, may still be very blessed;

That trade's proud empire hastes to swift decay,

As ocean sweeps the laboured mole away;

While self-dependent power can time defy,

As rocks resist the billows and the sky.

 

-----------------

 

The poem appeared on www.bartleby.com

Yellow

 

Hunger conquers. Love considers.

As life concedes and pain bewilders.

Anguish strips us of our shielding.

Cold. Relentless. Ever-wielding.

Yet we let the anguish pass

Forget, and hide amongst the mass.

Even I who swore to never

Seek cold comfort, cruel forever;

Even I found yellow rest,

In the days upon my nest,

Long descended from the sky,

Angry when the night asked why.

 

It had been hated. Degraded.

Hardly heart-defying. Shaded.

Hard warmth. For a moment's pleasure.

Mindless. Careless. Lady's leisure.

And yet the strongest of the weak

Can break in sobs and fade grow meek.

None can tell you your belief.

None may soothe you in your grief.

None can tell you where to go.

None but you can ever know.

When you learn that, when you see,

It may break your heart in three.

Yet 'tis not bad to dance alone.

May your eyes remain your own.

  

Written by Anna Williams at age 17

in Prague, Czechoslovakia

 

By the Calgary airport, View to the west, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

 

June 5, 2011 • Taken by Lorien

 

Photos are © 2005 and on to Lorien, Joe & Moshe, JoLoLog. All rights reserved. You may not download or copy anything from JoLoLog, unless you E-mail us, ask first and get our written permission.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

 

Original goodness!

 

And then, the skies opened up for me

 

And then, the skies opened up for me, sending sun rays staircase to caress my feet.

I've let my eyes climb to the top and standing there - I saw you.

 

You smiled at me, your eyes filled with sun light, no sign of pain, nor anguish or suffering. You waved at me, then nod slightly for "Yes", and then I knew - you were well again.

 

That's how I'm going to remember you: Full of love, light, joy and smiles. And when the skies will open up for me again, sometime tomorrow... We will meet again.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

 

This post is dedicated to few of our Flickr friends, who lately lost their loved ones to illness. They're going through hard times, and we wish to let them know our hearts, thoughts and well wishes are always with them.

 

I wish I had a better foreground to combine with those divine sun rays which came through... but that was not the case. But, still, these amazing skies deserved capturing and saving. So... here they are.

Do Good Feel Good ...

 

To Diesel for Her Bravery ... Nov. - 18 - 2015 Paris ...

 

This is our New Family Member,Ares the Great ...

 

He was abandoned,sorrowful,homeless,scared,helpless ... he wanted a family,a mum,a dad,siblings ... and LOVE ...

 

Only one stare was more than enough,and now,Ares is living happily with us ...

 

♥ Dedicated to the Heroic Police dog Diesel who lost her life during a firefight in Paris ... ♥

 

♥ Many Thanks Dear Friends for your visits & comments ♥

 

www.youtube.com/watch?v=NuOCeJSQCTs

  

* And,many thanks Emile Zola ...

"Why is it that my heart is so touched whenever I meet a dog lost in our noisy streets? Why do I feel such anguished pity when I see one of these creatures coming and going, sniffing everyone, frightened, despairing of even finding its master? "

 

And,Aldous Huxley ...

 

"Somewhere in the rain, there will always be an abandoned dog, that prevents you from being happy“

 

** "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of Animals" Immanuel Kant.

series of Altocumulus lenticularis Cloud Formations around Mount Adams on January 4, 2011. We have had a series of at least 3 days full of these remarkable everchanging cloud formations.

   

and i am feeling so very happy for my daughter, but currently progress has stopped on her pledges for her CD project. thank you to ALL who have pledged on her project, you know who you are!!!

  

she is stuck at $1870 in pledges with 13 days left to go to achieve her goal of $3000. If she does not reach the goal she will get none of the sponsered money

... My daughter's CD project on Kickstarter, you can learn more here and

you can listen to another of her original songs here leannan sidhe also has released a promo of another song you can listen to here at this link or get it as a free download for pledging one dollar or more on the kickstarter site

 

here are the lovely lyrics for this song

 

"In the darkness where you’re hiding

Let me be your guiding star

Let my smiles and my laughter

Lift you up and take you far

 

CHORUS: Step out of the shadows

Step into your dreams

Look into tomorrow

Hear the nightingale sing

 

I can hear the aching silence

I can see how deep you’ve gone

As the darkness folds around you

Pulling you forever on

 

CHORUS

 

Let my song pierce through the silence

Let its warmth cut through the cold

Let its joy drive back the anguish

Let your battered wings unfold

 

CHORUS

 

In the stillness and the silence

Let me be the breath of air

That lifts you up and sets you soaring

Ever higher if you dare

 

CHORUS

 

And as the morning light awakens

You remember how to sing

Let the shadows fall behind you

As you race the sun with windswept wings

 

CHORUS 2x

Hear the nightingale sing

Hear the nightingale sing"

 

creditsreleased 30 December 2010

Shanti Singleton - Lyrics, tune, vocals

Alexander James Adams - Guitar

tagstags: faerie folk Seattle

licenseAll rights reserved

   

A HEARTBROKEN lighthouse keeper’s ghost has taken up residence at a famous North Wales landmark.

 

The silvery, 7ft figure has made his haunting of Talacre Lighthouse permanent, some 50ft above the popular North Wales beach, following countless sightings by local residents and visitors. But The Keeper is a sculpture made of highly polished stainless steel, being the culmination of a project between the lighthouse owner and Flintshire coastal rangers.

 

For years there have been reports of an apparition, that of a lighthouse keeper, seen patrolling the balcony or inside the lantern room at Talacre Lighthouse. Many of the sightings have been in broad daylight.

 

Inspired by the resident ghost, lighthouse owner James McAllister and Flintshire County Council’s coastal unit wanted to bring him to life and commissioned a local artist to create a sculpture.

 

James said: “As owner of Talacre Beach Caravan Park I often hear stories from residents and guests that they’ve seen something on the lighthouse, or their dogs have reacted strangely around it, as if they sense something.

 

“We had a medium investigate and she made the connection to a keeper called Raymond, who may have died of a fever and a broken heart. It seems like he was a rather lonely figure, so I’m hoping that his new guest will be company for him and will go some way to soothing his anguish.”

 

The sculpture idea quickly developed into a serious art project and required listed building planning consent to be installed. It has taken two years to complete.

Angela Smith’s design is inspired by the coastline’s marine life.

 

Constructed by a local blacksmith, The Keeper is made from hundreds of highly polished, medical-grade stainless steel sea creature shapes, making him rust-resistant.

 

He reflects natural light and gaps between the shapes allow wind to blow through, potentially allowing him to make a suitably ghostly moaning noise.

 

Mike Taylor, senior ranger for Flintshire County Council Countryside Services, is delighted the project has come to fruition and hopes the sculpture will become an attraction in its own right.

 

He said: “We believe The Keeper is a fitting tribute to this coast’s maritime heritage and marine wildlife, and of course to the ghost of Talacre Lighthouse.

I've spent almost one year in this place, through wonderful moments of joy and a bit anguish in some moments of solitude ... both of them have left a sign in my heart .... and on that last day, the same in which I said "goodbye", I like thinking it was crying with me for our parting...

the human heart has hidden treasures,

in secret kept, in silence sealed--

the thoughts, the hopes, the dreams, the pleasures,

whose charms were broken if revealed.

and days may pass in gay confusion,

and nights in rosy riot fly,

while, lost in Fame's or Wealth's illusion,

the memory of the Past may die.

 

but there are hours of lonely musing,

such as in evening silence come,

when, soft as birds their pinions closing,

the heart's best feelings gather home.

then in our souls there seems to languish

a tender grief that is not woe;

and thoughts that once wrung groans of anguish

now cause but some mild tears to flow.

 

and feelings, once as strong as passions,

float softly back--a faded dream;

our own sharp griefs and wild sensations,

the tale of others' sufferings seem.

oh! when the heart is freshly bleeding,

how longs it for that time to be,

when, through the mist of years receding,

its woes but live in reverie!

 

and it can dwell on moonlight glimmer,

on evening shade and loneliness;

and, while the sky grows dim and dimmer,

feel no untold and strange distress--

only a deeper impulse given

by lonely hour and darkened room,

to solemn thoughts that soar to heaven

seeking a life and world to come.

 

~Charlotte Bronte~

 

© All rights reserved

Images may not be copied or used in any way without my written permission.

Kylemore Castle and Abbey

  

Kylemore Abbey, that stunning castle at the foot of Duchruach and beside the waters of Lough Pollacappul, has fascinated visitors to this part of Connemara since its completion in 1871. It was four years in construction and the cost come to little over £29,000. Now, splendid new look “The History of Kylemore Castle and Abbey’ has just been published and was launched recently at a ceremony in Kylemore Abbey by An Taoiseach, Mr Bertie Ahern.

 

The author is Kathleen Villers-Tuthill who was born in Clifden and who has devoted much of the past twenty five years to researching the history of Connemara. Other books on the region complied by Kathleen include The History of Clifden 1810-1860 and ‘Beyond the Twelve Bens’.

 

I first met Kathleen on a trip to the Holy Land back in 1987. We were among a group of over 100 people who enjoyed a very pleasant ten day journey to that famous part of the world. Our group was led by Donncha O’Dulaing, the well known RTE radio broadcaster and it involved stays in Tiberius and Jerusalem as well as visits to many of the famous Biblical places.

 

Her latest publications is a superb work of research and presentation and is an engrossing read. Kathleen goes into great detail on the history of Mitchell Henry and his family and their association with politics, including a political career in England as well as contesting the Galway seat, the advent of tenant rights, the Home Rule Bill, and the closing years.

 

In a foreword, Mother Abbess Magdalena Fitzgibbon reflects on the history of this famous place. “Kylemore Abbey has been a Benedictine House for over eighty years. The Abbey, which was once a fairy-tale Castle, was built in the 19th century by Mitchell Henry and stands today as a monument to a great gentlemen and kindly landlord who spent most of his fortune on the estate and for the good of the local people.

 

The Community of twenty four nuns, who took up residence here in 1920, had fled from their Abbey at Ypres, Belgium, at the outbreak of World War 1 in 1914. They were of mixed nationality and had displayed great courage and determination in the six years prior to settling at Kylemore.

“The Community brought with them a strong devotion to the Benedictine tradition and the Benedictine way of life. They also brought with them a history that stretches back much further than that of Kylemore.

 

“Founded in Ypres in 1662, our community was made an Irish House in 1684. On the request of King James 11, and under the guidance of Lady Abbess Butler, the Community moved to Ireland in 1688. However, following James’s defeat at the Battle of the Boyne two years later; the Nuns returned to Ypres, where they remained for the next 224 years.

 

“Having gone through the vicissitudes of wars, extreme poverty and few vocations at times, the Community has reached this new Millennium. It is quite a tradition we carry with us, one which we cherish and shall always endeavour to keep fully alive.

 

“Since its beginning, Kylemore has been a focal point in the West of Ireland. Previous generations of Benedictine Nuns, for whom Kylemore served as home, have left us with a legacy of love for the place, a sense of stewardship for its continuance and a recognition of its uniqueness in location and attraction.

 

“Here , there is not only a natural beauty, there is an aura of peace and tranquillity and a sense of spiritualness. Peace is the Benedictine motto and at Kylemore Abbey it is a palpable presence. In the midst of a busy tourist area, Kylemore is an oasis of peace in a restless world and we, as a community, are glad to share this peace with all who visit. The Benedictine life is balanced with prayer and work (Ora et Labora) and at the Abbey we invite those who wish to do so, to join us in prayer.

“Mitchell Henry was a deeply spiritual person and it can only please him to know that a Community of Benedictine now has its home in his Castle, praying the Liturgical Hours, while maintaining the estate and undertaking the tremendous task of observing and restoring its many natural and important heritage features”.

 

The book contains a wealth of background knowledge set against the prevailing conditions of the time in this region of Connemara. The Galway Express of 1882 reported:

“The country is ruined, and the people find nothing can save them but emigration”. A scheme was set up by James Hack Tuke, and others, to assist evicted tenants to emigrate to America and Canada. Between April and June 1882, a total of 1,276 people left Clifden, Errismore, Roundstone, Renvyle and Letterfrack under the Tuke scheme. And for those with means, the Allen Line was now offering direct service between Galway and Boston”.

 

The story of the Benedictine Nuns at their famous convent in Ypres (Belgium) and how they has to evacuate it as German forces advanced on the area is recalled in the chapter on “Leaving Ypres”. German bombs were raining down on the beautiful monastery as the nuns made their exit from the building . “ A cry of anguish arose from hearts as, hurrying along the deserted street, we saw our convent apparently burning”. is a quote from the Mother Prioress. A bomb had exploded as they were preparing to leave.

 

As the War continued to rage in Europe the nuns decided to move to Ireland and took up residence in Merton House, Macmine, Co. Wexford in February 1916, It was from here that they were to travel in a saloon carriage provided by the Midland Railway Company to Galway.

 

The nuns took possession of Kylemore Castle and estate on the 30th November 1920. The purchase price was £45,000 for a property that “ stood silent and forlorn” at the time. As Kathleen says: “The cold and unwelcoming appearance of the family and guests of Margaret and Mitchell Henry.”

 

The background to the large statue of the Sacred Heart, which is located halfway up Suchruach mountain, is recalled here. In 1932, Lady Abbess Maura fulfiled her promise to erect a statue in thanksgiving for their safe delivery to Kylemore. The Sacred Heart was chosen in recognition of the community’s long tradition of devotion to it.

 

It was put in place by ten men John Joyce, Tom Conroy, Tommy Kearney, Jack Coyne, Pat Nee, John Lydon, Anthony McDonald, Frank Keane, J.J. McLoughlan and Michael Fitzsimons, the carpenter.

“Using a large hand barrow made by Fitzsimons, the statue was carried up a previously prepared path. The men were followed by members of the community reciting the rosary. At the designated spot, the statue was blessed and cemented into place on a platform over looking the Abbey.”

 

In 1953, history was made when Lady Abbess Agnes Finnegan, a native of Westport, became the youngest Abbess in Europe at the age of 36. There were forty two nuns in the community at the time.

The guesthouse had become enormously popular and Kylemore Abbey was fast becoming a popular destination for almost every tourist visiting Connemara. Lunches and afternoon teas were served to accommodate the growing numbers of day visitors and a small shop was opened in the hall, selling religious objects and craft work made by the nuns.

 

But the events of the early hours of Sunday 25 January 1959 had a major impact on the life of the community. It was a beautiful , calm moonlit night, with no wind, but very cold and frosty, Inside the Abbey the community of thirty-six nuns who had been invalids for some years, thirty students, aged between seven and seventeen, and two lay mistresses, were sleeping in their beds. Lady Abbess Agnes would recall the events of the night many years later.

 

“I remember going to bed that night and it was very, very cold and I was thanking God that I had a bed to go to, and I was thinking of people who were suffering and living rough, that was what was going through my mind.

 

“I remember waking up about two in the morning, and I heard a cracking sound, It had snowed a short time before that and then it was frozen over, and so I thought it was the frozen snow falling off the roof. And as I was thinking this the door opened and in came my next door neighbour, Dame Michael, “Oh! Lady Abbess there is a fire,” she said . The two of us ran around waking everybody up. I ran up to the school dormitory, and I called the nun sleeping there and told her to get the girls up. We got them out the back way, there was a door leading onto the mountain at the back. If that door had not been there we would all have been burnt. We had just got out in time when the whole dormitory was up in flames. Dame Michael was great, she went around calling the nuns.”

 

Fire Brigades from Clifden, Galway, Westport, Castlebar, Claremorris, Gort, Loughrea and Athenry attended the fire. The Galway firemen later told the nuns they could see the ‘reflection’ in the sky at Recess and felt sure they would be unable to control the fire. When they turned into the avenue, the fire captain later recalled being greeted by a ‘magnificent view of the Abbey in flames reflected on the lake’.

 

The chief fire officer on the night was Captain P.B. Sugrue. The source of the fire was an electrical fault and was traced to an old fuse board.

 

Radio and news reporters from around Ireland made their way to Kylemore while the post office was inundated with telephone calls from around the country and overseas.

 

After three years of hard work and great attention to detail, the Abbey was fully restored by the contractor John Sisk and Sons and normal life resumed again.

 

Kathleen refers to the sweeping changes in the aftermath of the Second Vatican Council in 1961.

“The daily prayer was shortened and changed from latin to the vernacular: devotions that had grown up during the centuries were dropped , but all liturgical prayer was kept, The vernacular, however, did not entirely supersede Latin at Kylemore,Latin Vespers are still sung each Sunday evening and plainchant remains the dominant music in the nuns worship.

 

“By for the most popular change to come under Vatican 11 was the one which allowed the nuns regular trips home to visit aging parents and to holiday with family and friends. However, for many that trip home had come too late, forbidden under the strict rules of enclosure to attend the funerals of their parents, the irony of being allowed home to an empty house was not lost on them,” says the author:

In the past few years, under the guidance and direction of Mother Abbess Magdalena Fitzgibbon and her committed group, a number of major restoration projects have been undertaken including the old Gothic Church which has been lovingly restored after being in a state of most severe disrepair and the Walled Garden which represented a huge challenge.

 

Today, there are eighteen Benedictine nuns in Kylemore Abbey, A total of one hundred and sixty two pupils are attending the school, eighty of whom are boarders. It is the only Benedictine community for nuns in Ireland and, like many other orders, is experiencing a serious decline in vocations.

The author quotes Sr. Benedict, the community archivist, who remains optimistic: “The House has witnessed a fall in numbers in the past and has survived to tell the tale. This too shall pass. And today’s dilemma will simply to be case study for the historians of the future.

 

And Mother Abbess Magdalena concludes; “I believe Monastic life holds a key to the secret of stability, peace and tranquillity, We then have a responsibility towards the healing of society, to help, through our liturgy, our prayer life and our hospitality, through our Ora et Labora. This is the challenge of the new millennium for us in Kylemore.”

 

The History of Kylemore Castle & Abbey by Kathleen Villiers-Tuthill is published by Kylemore Abbey Publications and retails at 25 Euros. Their contact number is 095 41146.

 

Courtesy of Michael Commins and the Western People

   

kings of leon- cold desert

www.youtube.com/watch?v=bWkYu-hYTZs

 

I'm on the corner

Waiting for a light to come on

That's when I know you're alone

It's cold in the desert

Water never sees the ground

Special unspoken without sound

 

You told me you loved me

That I'd never die alone

Hand over your heart

Let's go home

Everyone noticed

Everyone has seen the signs

I've always been known to cross lines

 

I never ever cried

When I was feeling down

I've always been scared of the sound

Jesus don't love me

No one ever carried my load

I'm too young to feel this old

Here's to you

Here's to me

On to us nobody knows

Nobody sees

Nobody but me

Nature holds high disregard for your prowess, it's fury you will never possess. Shy away from early morning caress, the ocean holds our hearts - so say the foolish and careless. As they realize now, running towards the ships bow; we made a blunder, the ship is torn asunder - so it shall be for our flesh and bone. We sought to venture out into life alone...anguish will soon vanish under skies of thunder...

 

Become a Fan on Facebook

Will you still care? will you be there?

In my trails and my tribulations, through our doubts and frustrations,

In my violence, in my turbulence,

Through my fear and my confessions,

In my anguish and my pain,

Through my joy and my sorrow,

In the promise of another tomorrow,

I'll never let you apart for you're always in my heart.

~ Michael Jackson. ♡

 

* E x p l o r e d *

View..Large

dedicated to Mario who has recently found love , I am so delighted for you my friend .

 

" I crave your mouth, your voice, your hair " .. by Pablo Neruda

 

Don't go far off, not even for a day

Don't go far off, not even for a day,

Because I don't know how to say it - a day is long

And I will be waiting for you, as in

An empty station when the trains are

Parked off somewhere else, asleep.

 

Don't leave me, even for an hour, because then

The little drops of anguish will all run together,

The smoke that roams looking for a home will drift

Into me, choking my lost heart.

 

Oh, may your silhouette never dissolve

On the beach, may your eyelids never flutter

Into the empty distance. Don't LEAVE me for

A second, my dearest, because in that moment you'll

Have gone so far I'll wander mazily

Over all the earth, asking, will you

Come back? Will you leave me here, dying?

 

texture by Pareerica

 

I wanted to convey a message in this photo ;

the romantic love we normally see in the media and in movies is of beautiful YOUNG people , but I am an older man and I can still love and I love walks with my sweetheart

 

and of course I love Pablo Nerudas poetry

The Vows, before God, made Him essentially THE Lord of these rings..and our home.

23 years, later and, PTL, He still is our central cornerstone.

=====================================================

 

And for those who need so desperately a Restorer, a Comforter..there's hope. The story of Joseph is told by my fav wordsmith, Max Lucado here..read on and rekindle hope.

  

Family Wounds Are Slow to Heal

by Max Lucado, You'll Get Through This

 

Family wounds are slow to heal.

 

I hope your childhood was a happy time when your parents kept everyone fed, safe, and chuckling. I hope your dad came home every day, your mom tucked you in bed every night, and your siblings were your best friends.

 

But if not, you need to know you aren’t alone. The most famous family tree in the Bible suffered from a serious case of blight. Adam accused Eve. Cain killed his little brother. Abraham lied about Sarah. Rebekah favored Jacob. Jacob cheated Esau and then raised a gang of hoodlums.

 

The book of Genesis is a relative disaster.

 

Joseph didn’t deserve to be abandoned by his brothers. True, he wasn’t the easiest guy to live with. He boasted about his dreams and tattled on his siblings. He deserved some of the blame for the family friction. But he certainly didn’t deserve to be dumped into a pit and sold to merchants for pocket change.

 

The perpetrators were his ten older brothers. His brothers were supposed to look out for him. Joseph’s brothers were out of line. And his father? Jacob was out of touch.

 

With all due respect, the patriarch could have used a course on marriage and family life.

 

Mistake number one: he married a woman he didn’t love so he could marry one he did. Mistake number two: the two wives were sisters. (Might as well toss a lit match into a fireworks stand.) The first sister bore him sons. The second sister bore him none. So to expand his clan, he slept with an assortment of handmaidens and concubines until he had a covey of kids. Rachel, his favorite wife, finally gave birth to Joseph, who became his favorite son. She later died giving birth to a second son, Benjamin, leaving Jacob with a contentious household and a broken heart.

 

Jacob coped by checking out. Obstinate sons. Oblivious dad. The brothers needed a father. The father needed a wake-up call. And Joseph needed a protector. But he wasn’t protected; he was neglected. And he landed in a distant, dark place.

 

Initially, Joseph chose not to face his past. By the time he saw his brothers again, Joseph had been prime minister for nearly a decade. The kid from Canaan had come a long way.

 

Joseph could travel anywhere he wanted, yet he chose not to return to Canaan. He knew where to find his family, but he chose not to contact them.

 

He kept family secrets a secret. Untouched and untreated. Joseph was content to leave his past in the past. But God was not.

 

Restoration matters to God. The healing of the heart involves the healing of the past.

 

So God shook things up.

 

All countries came to Joseph in Egypt to get grain, because the famine was severe in all lands. — Genesis 41:57

 

And in the long line of folks appealing for an Egyptian handout, look what the cat dragged in.

 

Joseph heard them before he saw them. He was fielding a question from a servant when he detected the Hebrew chatter. Not just the language of his heart but the dialect of his home. The prince motioned for the servant to stop speaking. He turned and looked. There they stood.

 

The brothers were balder, grayer, rough skinned. They were pale and gaunt with hunger. Sweaty robes clung to their shins, and road dust chalked their cheeks. These Hebrews stuck out in sophisticated Egypt like hillbillies at Times Square.

 

They didn’t recognize him. His beard was shaved, his robe was royal, and the language he spoke was Egyptian. It never occurred to them that they were standing before their baby brother.

 

Thinking the prince couldn’t understand Hebrew, the brothers spoke to him with their eyes and gestures. They pointed at the stalks of grain and then at their mouths. They motioned to the brother who carried the money, and he stumbled forward and spilled the coins on the table.

 

When Joseph saw the silver, his lips curled, and his stomach turned. He had named his son God Made Me Forget, but the money made him remember. The last time he saw coins in the hands of Jacob’s older boys, they were laughing, and he was whimpering. That day at the pit he searched these faces for a friend, but he found none. And now they dared bring silver to him?

 

Joseph called for a Hebrew-speaking servant to translate. Then Joseph scowled at his brothers.

 

He acted as a stranger to them and spoke roughly to them. — Genesis 42:7

 

The brothers fell face-first in the dirt, which brought to Joseph’s mind a childhood dream.

 

“Uh, well, we’re from up the road in Canaan. Maybe you’ve heard of it?”

 

Joseph glared at them. “Nah, I don’t believe you. Guards, put these spies under arrest. They are here to infiltrate our country.”

 

The ten brothers spoke at once. “You’ve got it all wrong, Your High, Holy, and Esteemed Honor. We’re salt of the earth. We belong to the same family. That’s Simeon over there. That’s Judah... Well, there are twelve of us in all. At least there used to be.

 

The youngest is now with our father, and one is no longer living. — Genesis 42:13

 

Joseph gulped at the words. This was the first report on his family he had heard in twenty years. Jacob was alive. Benjamin was alive. And they thought he was dead.

 

“Tell you what,” he snapped. “I’ll let one of you go back and get your brother and bring him here. The rest of you I’ll throw in jail.”

 

With that, Joseph had their hands bound. A nod of his head, and they were marched off to jail. Perhaps the same jail where he had spent at least two years of his life.

 

What a curious series of events. The gruff voice, harsh treatment. The jail sentence. The abrupt dismissal. We’ve seen this sequence before with Joseph and his brothers, only the roles were reversed. On the first occasion they conspired against him. This time he conspired against them. They spoke angrily. He turned the tables. They threw him in the hole and ignored his cries for help. Now it was his turn to give them the cold shoulder.

 

What was going on?

 

I think he was trying to get his bearings. This was the toughest challenge of his life. The famine, by comparison, was easy. Mrs. Potiphar he could resist. Pharaoh’s assignments he could manage. But this mixture of hurt and hate that surged when he saw his flesh and blood? Joseph didn’t know what to do.

 

Maybe you don’t either.

 

Your family failed you. Your early years were hard ones. The people who should have cared for you didn’t. But, like Joseph, you made the best of it. You’ve made a life for yourself. Even started your own family. You are happy to leave Canaan in the rearview mirror. But God isn’t.

 

He gives us more than we request by going deeper than we ask. He wants not only your whole heart; He wants your heart whole. Why? Hurt people hurt people. Think about it. Why do you fly off the handle? Why do you avoid conflict? Why do you seek to please everyone? Might your tendencies have something to do with an unhealed hurt in your heart?

 

God wants to help you for your sake. And for the sake of your posterity.

 

Suppose Joseph had refused his brothers? Summarily dismissed them? Washed his hands of the whole mess? God’s plan for the nation of Israel depended upon the compassion of Joseph. A lot was at stake here.

 

There is a lot at stake with you too. Yes, your family history has some sad chapters. But your history doesn’t have to be your future. The generational garbage can stop here and now. You don’t have to give your kids what your ancestors gave you.

 

Talk to God about the scandals and scoundrels. Invite Him to relive the betrayal with you. Bring it out in the open. Joseph restaged the hurt for a reason.

 

Revealing leads to healing.

 

Let God do His work. The process may take a long time. It may take a lifetime.

 

Family pain is the deepest pain because it was inflicted so early and because it involves people who should have been trustworthy.

 

Let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. — Romans 12:2

 

Let Him replace childish thinking with mature truth (1 Corinthians 13:11). You are God’s child. His creation. Destined for heaven. You are a part of His family. Let Him set you on the path to reconciliation.

 

Joseph did. The process would prove to be long and difficult. It occupies four chapters of the Bible and at least a year on the calendar, but Joseph took the first step. After three days Joseph released his brothers from jail. He played the tough guy again. “Go on back. But I want to see this kid brother you talk about. I’ll keep one of you as a guarantee.”

 

They agreed and then, right in front of Joseph, rehashed the day they dry-gulched him:

 

Then they said to one another, ‘We are truly guilty concerning our brother, for we saw the anguish of his soul when he pleaded with us, and we would not hear; therefore this distress has come upon us’. — Genesis 42:21

 

Again, they did not know that the prince understood Hebrew. But he did. And when he heard the words, Joseph turned away so they couldn’t see his eyes fill with tears. He stepped into the shadows and wept. He did this seven more times. He didn’t cry when he was promoted by Potiphar or crowned by Pharaoh, but he blubbered like a baby when he learned that his brothers hadn’t forgotten him after all. When he sent them back to Canaan, he loaded their saddlebags with grain. A moment of grace.

 

With that small act, healing started. If God healed that family, who’s to say He won’t heal yours?

  

Healing of the heart involved healing of the past

 

For Reflection

 

Listed below are several words and phrases that characterize some of the hardships and dysfunction evident in Joseph’s family. Which issues have marked your family?

 

❑ abandonment

 

❑ troubled marriage(s)

 

❑ premature death

 

❑ hatred

 

❑ sibling rivalry

 

❑ favoritism

 

❑ severe grief

 

❑ disregard for others

 

❑ parental abdication

 

❑ guilt

 

❑ deception

 

❑ betrayal

 

❑ infertility

 

❑ resentment

 

❑ abuse

 

❑ extramarital relationships

 

❑ harsh treatment

 

❑ brokenness

 

❑ self-absorption

 

❑ secrecy

 

❑ neglect

 

Part of the healing process includes unearthing the details — the specifics of how you were hurt — and inviting God to relive those experiences with you. What help do you need from God? How do you want to experience His presence, comfort, or guidance?

 

Coming face-to-face with old hurts can be disorienting. When Joseph first encountered his brothers again, he withheld his identity, spoke harshly, made false accusations, jailed them, released them, put conditions on their departure and return, held one of them hostage, concealed powerful emotions, and was secretly generous to them (Genesis 42:6-28). What conflicting thoughts and emotions surface when you consider the possibility of engaging old hurts and the people connected with them?

 

Joseph’s path to reconciliation with his family was long and difficult, but it began with a small act of mercy and grace — he loaded his brothers’ saddlebags with grain and quietly returned the silver they had paid for it. A gift, free and clear.

 

What small act of mercy and grace do you sense God inviting you to extend to someone in your family?

 

from You'll Get Through This by Max Lucado,

Dominican Republic - When I think about the hours these local Dominicans spent without a care in the calm water the day I visited Catalina Island, and the anguish, danger and devastation so many in the Caribbean are facing today from Hurricane Irma, I feel so very sad.

 

This pic is dedicated to them, their warm, hospitable hearts and the beautiful island homes they share with so many of us. With heartfelt thanks and deep appreciation. I hope we can help them recover quickly!

In Our Darkest Hour

In My Deepest Despair

Will You Still Care?

Will You Be There?

In My Trials

And My Tripulations

Through Our Doubts

And Frustrations

In My Violence

In My Turbulence

Through My Fear

And My Confessions

In My Anguish And My Pain

Through My Joy And My Sorrow

In The Promise Of Another Tomorrow

I'll Never Let You Part

For You're Always In My Heart.

 

MJ

  

NEW: I NOW CREATE MUSIC, JOIN ME ON SOUNDCLOUD!

 

SHOP: www.icanvas.com/canvas-art-prints/artist/ben-heine

 

Michael had an incredible talent, force and energy.

He was unique and incincible, he was the King of Pop.

 

Please, don't miss my other MJ portraits:

 

- M J - Eternal Hurt Child: www.flickr.com/photos/benheine/3728685685

 

- M J - Heal the world: www.flickr.com/photos/benheine/3677029800

 

- M J - Text Portrait: www.flickr.com/photos/benheine/3668777383

_______________________________________________

 

For more information about my art: info@benheine.com

_______________________________________________

  

We Had Him

 

By Maya Angelou (*)

 

Beloveds, now we know that we know nothing, now that our bright and shining star can slip away from our fingertips like a puff of summer wind.

 

Without notice, our dear love can escape our doting embrace. Sing our songs among the stars and walk our dances across the face of the moon.

 

In the instant that Michael is gone, we know nothing. No clocks can tell time. No oceans can rush our tides with the abrupt absence of our treasure.

 

Though we are many, each of us is achingly alone, piercingly alone.

 

Only when we confess our confusion can we remember that he was a gift to us and we did have him.

 

He came to us from the creator, trailing creativity in abundance.

 

Despite the anguish, his life was sheathed in mother love, family love, and survived and did more than that.

 

He thrived with passion and compassion, humor and style. We had him whether we know who he was or did not know, he was ours and we were his.

 

We had him, beautiful, delighting our eyes.

 

His hat, aslant over his brow, and took a pose on his toes for all of us.

 

And we laughed and stomped our feet for him.

 

We were enchanted with his passion because he held nothing. He gave us all he had been given.

 

Today in Tokyo, beneath the Eiffel Tower, in Ghana's Black Star Square.

 

In Johannesburg and Pittsburgh, in Birmingham, Alabama, and Birmingham, England

 

We are missing Michael.

 

But we do know we had him, and we are the world.

  

(*) Dr. Maya Angelou is an American poet born in 1928. She is known as one of the great voices of contemporary literature. As a poet, educator, historian, best-selling author, actress, playwright, civil-rights activist, producer and director, she continues to travel the world, spreading her wisdom. Within the rhythm of her poetry and elegance of her prose lies Angelou's power to help readers of every orientation span the lines of race.

 

The above poem was written by Maya Angelou for Michael Jackson's public memorial at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. It was read by Queen Latifah, one of the many celebrities that paid tribute to the King of Pop.

 

------------------

 

The poem appeared on www.mtv.com

Aberffraw is now a small village on the south west coast of Ynys Môn. In the early Middle Ages Aberffraw was the capital of the Kingdom of Gwynedd from c.860 AD until c.1170. Under the Aberffraw Dynasty it came to be the most important political centre in medieval Wales and the palace on the banks of the river was the symbolic throne of the Kings of Gwynedd (North Wales) from the 9th century to the 13th century. When the last Welsh king (Llywelyn ein Llyw Olaf) was killed in 1282 the palace was dismantled as a show of naked English power to provide building materials for the imperial Caernarfon Castle over the Menai (pic below)

  

The pain of this loss was lamented by the local court poet Gruffydd ab yr Ynad Goch in words of searing pain at the loss of Welsh national sovereignty, which stands comparison with the best of early medieval verse.

  

Oni welwch chwi hynt y gwynt a'r glaw?

Oni welwch chwi'r deri'n ymdaraw?

Oni welwch chwi'r môr yn merwinaw'r tir?

Oni welwch chwi'r gwir yn ymgweiriaw?

Oni welwch chwi'r haul yn hwyliaw'r awyr?

Oni welwch chwi'r sŷr wedi'r syrthiaw?

Oni chredwch chwi i Dduw, ddyniadon ynfyd?

Oni welwch chwi'r byd wedi'r bydiaw?

Och hyd atat ti Dduw na ddaw - môr dros dir!

Na beth y'n geidr i ohiriaw?

Oer calon dan fron o fraw

Am frenin, dderwin ddor, Aberffraw.

Aur dilyfn a delid o’i law

Aur dalaith oedd deilwng iddaw.

  

Do you not see the way of wind and rain

Do you not see the oaks beating together

The sting of the sea against the shore?

Do you not see the anguish of the truth?

Can you not see the sun's path in the sky?

The falling of the great stars?

Why does not the sea cover the land?

Oh Lord, why are we left here to linger?

There's no place to hide from fear's prison,

Nowhere left to dwell, such a dwelling!

Mourn, with cold and fearful heart

For the King and oaken door of Aberffraw

From his hand came bounteous gold,

Gold of a Nation was owed him.

  

This (1282) was a time when the central European powers were finishing their wars of conquest against peripheral European nations. Twenty years earlier the last stronghold of the Cathars at Montesegur had been crushed. Just two years after this, the Teutonic Knights completed their conquest of Prussia. Big (and fascinating) historical events. Long historical memories. And over 800 years later the language still spoken in Abreffraw is almost exclusively Welsh

  

In our darkest hour

In my deepest despair

Will you still care?

Will you be there?

In my trials

And my tripulations

Through our doubts

And frustrations

In my violence

In my turbulence

Through my fear

And my confessions

In my anguish and my pain

Through my joy and my sorrow

In the promise of another tomorrow

Ill never let you part

For youre always in my heart.

M J

Challenge No. 44 - Debbe's Pick: PAIN

 

Pain: ache, affliction, agony, anguish, despondency, discomfort, distress, grief, heartache, hurt, illness, martydom, misery, sadness, shock, strain, suffering, torment, torture, wretchedness.

 

Take your pick. We all have pain, we all have sorrow. But, without pain to hollow your heart, there would be no room for joy. This I believe.

 

www.youtube.com/watch?v=JR0NZqu6igg Bill Withers

 

Vintage photo from my collection, duplicated and resized a few times. While this is not a selfie, I have used this same photo in other work to represent me.

 

Texture "In The Dark" from my Textures to Share set

A fill layer of e4e5d7 set to soft light and opacity adjusted for more light in the image.

An amazing texture from Mariana Armata: Mirror of a Rainy Day: www.flickr.com/photos/marianna_armata/6894353722/in/photo... Without her generosity in sharing her work, this image would not be what it is.

  

Please Pray for Delphine

 

Photoma World site : www.flickr.com/photos/34305729@N07/

 

14 year old Delphine, granddaughter of Yvette is hospitalized and very ill. Please pray for her and Yvette (Photoma World). Pray for Delphine’s speedy recovery and let have peace in Yvette heart.

 

I am saddened upon hearing the news and I am lost of word. I hope this dedication would help to cheer my dearest god mom up (Yvette).

 

I flipped the bible and these are what the Lord has to say and I truly believe it.

Psalm 91:1–2

He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress; my God, in Him I will trust.”

 

Believe that His shalom which He has left with you will change all your difficult situations, bringing you from sickness, lack and mental anguish to health, prosperity and total wellness! “Shalom” does not just mean peace of mind, but also wholeness for your entire being — spirit, soul and body. It means having a sense of completeness and soundness. In other words, shalom encompasses your prosperity, health and total well-being.

 

John 14:27

Shalom (peace) I leave with you, My shalom I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you…

 

I always rely on God in all situations. And it really helps. He never fails me..not once. So, I know He will attend to Delphine and have all guarding angels around her, He loves Delphine.

 

Lets pray!

 

Father in Heaven. You love us truly. You love us so much that you allow your only Son, Jesus to be sacrificed in exchange of our sins. We do not deserve this but your grace is amazing. Your love has no string attached and always kind. I trust in you and bow down before your Lord, to ask for speedy recovery of Delphine. I ask for a miracle healing now Lord. Please install peace in Yvete’s heart, in the parents’ hearts and in our heart Lord. May the spiritual operation be conducted now. Let the healing starts now my Lord.

 

I trust in you and have faith in you Lord. Thank you for healing Delphine and free her from illness. May your shalom be with Yvette and Delpine. In the name of Jesus I pray, Amen.

 

* This picture will not be shared to any group. But I hope it encourages everyone, whatever religions you may be, to be united and pray. Thank you.

A poor,adorable,stray dog who found affection and love near us.Our Lab,Edward,respects and loves him .I think he sympathises with him in a way.

 

Mavrikios was in the woods but 'out of the woods' thanks to our daily care and love.

Now, he is burried in the woods. 2/9/2011

We will never forget you Mavrikios.

  

Thank You Emile Zola ....

 

Why is it that my heart is so touched whenever I meet a dog lost in our noisy streets? Why do I feel such anguished pity when I see one of these creatures coming and going, sniffing everyone, frightened, despairing of even finding its master?

 

And,Aldous Huxley ...

 

"Somewhere in the rain, there will always be an abandoned dog, that prevents you from being happy“ ...

//2054//

//Former Southwest States of America//

 

"My people... Sons and Daughters of America. This much I vow: The history of these days will be written in blood. By crushing the armies of our enemy, by seizing the weapons they thought to turn against us, we were fighting for our very existence. But if there are those who would deny us peace; refuse us our rightful place in the world, then we will unleash such terrible vengeance that generations yet unborn will cry out in anguish!

 

The enemy may shatter our bodies, but they cannot break our spirit. Even now they advance on our country, to seize by force what they cannot claim by right. They cannot imagine what awaits them. WE WILL SMITE THE INVADERS FROM OUR SKIES! Though they sweep over our lands like the sands of time, never again will we bow before them; never again endure their oppression; never again endure their tyranny.

 

We will strike without warning and without mercy, fighting as one hand, one heart, one soul. We will shatter their dreams and haunt their nightmares, drenching our ancestors' graves with their blood. And as our last breath tears at their lungs; as we rise again from the ruins of our cities... they will know: America belongs to the Americans."

 

More to the story and what exactly happened soon...

O God,

Open our eyes that we may see the needs of others;

Open our ears that we may hear their cries;

Open our hearts that we may feel their anguish and their joy.

Let us not be afraid to defend the oppressed, the poor, the powerless, because of the anger and might of the powerful.

Show us where love and hope and faith are needed, and use us to bring them to those places.

Open our ears and eyes, our hearts and lives, that we may in these coming days be able to do some work of justice and peace for you.

  

International Day of Prayer for Peace: 21 September 2009

  

View On Black

It's hard to imagine that eight years have passed since that day...that day when we all stood witness to an endless shattering of lives, of hopes and of viewpoints of the world...

A bright September day that began so normally, and shattered into a million pieces of shock, horror, anguish, and disbelief...and so many innocent lives shattered beyond comprehension...as we assembled around the TVs at work that day, a coworker sank to his knees...his sister worked in one of the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center...we quickly gathered around him for our strongest prayers for her safety before he was driven home to join his family in seclusion as they tried desperately to reach her cell phone to no avail...and his closest buddy from work would make sure we all would be informed if word came...it was the longest wait of our lives, as we tried to come to grips with all the horror coming into CNN minute by minute...at 7 PM that night, I got the call..."She's alive! She was one of the last out before her tower collapsed!" Thankfully, this one family was spared a devastating loss...but so many, many others were not spared and my heart still aches for them today...and they all remain in my prayers...and I pray we never know another day so horrific, so dark, so shattered...

God bless the United States of America, today and always...

www.youtube.com/watch?v=k9UwJ_i5EXQ

 

Act 1

In front of the imperial palace

 

A Mandarin announces the law of the land (Aria – Popolo di Pechino! – "People of Peking!"). The Prince of Persia has failed to answer the three riddles, and he is to be beheaded at the next moonrising. As the crowd surges towards the gates of the palace, the imperial guards brutally repulse them, causing a blind old man to be knocked to the ground. The old man's slave-girl, Liù, cries out for help. A young man hears her cry and recognizes that the old man is his long-lost father, Timur, the deposed king of Tartary. The young Prince of Tartary is overjoyed at seeing Timur alive, but still urges Timur to not speak his name because he is afraid that the Chinese rulers, who have conquered Tartary, may kill or harm them. Timur then tells his son that, of all his servants, only Liù has remained faithful to him. When the Prince asks her why, she tells him that once, long ago in the palace, the Prince had smiled at her (Trio with chorus – The crowd, Liù, Prince of Tartary, Timur: Indietro, cani! – "Back, dogs!").

 

The moon rises, and the crowd's cries for blood dissolve into silence. The doomed Prince of Persia, who is on his way to be executed, is led before the crowd. The young Prince is so handsome and kind that the crowd and the Prince of Tartary decide that they want Turandot to act compassionately, and they beg Turandot to appear and spare his life (Aria – The crowd, Prince of Tartary: O giovinetto! – "O youth!"). She then appears, and with a single imperious gesture, orders the execution to continue. The Prince of Tartary, who has never seen Turandot before, falls immediately in love with her, and joyfully cries out Turandot's name three times. Then the Prince of Persia cries out one final time. The crowd, horrified, then screams out one final time. The Prince of Persia is then beheaded.

 

The Prince of Tartary is dazzled by Turandot's beauty. He is about to rush towards the gong and to strike it three times – the symbolic gesture of whoever wishes to attempt to solve the riddles so that he can marry Turandot – when the ministers Ping, Pang, and Pong appear. They urge him cynically to not lose his head for Turandot and to instead go back to his own country (Fermo, che fai?). Timur urges his son to desist, and Liù, who is secretly in love with the Prince, pleads with him not to attempt to solve the riddles (Signore, ascolta! – "Lord, hear!"). Liù's words touch the Prince's heart. He begs Liù to make Timur's exile more bearable by not abandoning Timur if the Prince fails to answer the riddles (Non piangere, Liù – "Do not cry, Liù"). The three ministers, Timur, and Liù then try one last time to stop the Prince (Ah! Per l'ultima volta! – "Ah! For the last time!") from attempting to answer the riddles, but he refuses to heed their advice.

 

He calls Turandot's name three times, and each time Liù, Timur, and the ministers reply, "Death!" and the crowd declares, "We're already digging your grave!" Rushing to the gong that hangs in front of the palace, the Prince strikes it three times, declaring himself to be a suitor. From the palace balcony, Turandot accepts his challenge, as Ping, Pang, and Pong laugh at the Prince's foolishness.

 

Act 2

Scene 1: A pavilion in the imperial palace. Before sunrise

 

Ping, Pang, and Pong lament their place as ministers, poring over palace documents and presiding over endless rituals. They prepare themselves for either a wedding or a funeral (Trio – Ping, Pang, Pong: Ola, Pang!). Ping suddenly longs for his country house in Honan, with its small lake surrounded by bamboo. Pong remembers his grove of forests near Tsiang, and Pang recalls his gardens near Kiu. The three share their fond memories of their lives away from the palace (Trio – Ping, Pang, Pong: Ho una casa nell'Honan – "I have a house in Honan"). They turn their thoughts back to how they have been accompanying young princes to their deaths. As the palace trumpet sounds, the ministers ready themselves for another spectacle as they await the entrance of their Emperor.

 

Scene 2: The courtyard of the palace. Sunrise

 

The Emperor Altoum, father of Turandot, sits on his grand throne in his palace. Weary of having to judge his isolated daughter's sport, he urges the Prince to withdraw his challenge, but the Prince refuses (Aria – Altoum, the Prince: Un giuramento atroce – "An atrocious oath"). Turandot enters and explains (In questa reggia – "In this palace") that her ancestress of millennia past, Princess Lo-u-Ling, reigned over her kingdom "in silence and joy, resisting the harsh domination of men" until she was ravished and murdered by an invading foreign prince. Turandot claims that Lo-u-Ling now lives in her, and out of revenge, Turandot has sworn to never let any man wed her. She warns the Prince to withdraw but again he refuses. The Princess presents her first riddle: Straniero, ascolta! – "What is born each night and dies each dawn?" The Prince correctly replies, Speranza – "Hope." The Princess, unnerved, presents her second riddle (Guizza al pari di fiamma – "What flickers red and warm like a flame, but is not fire?") The Prince thinks for a moment before replying, Sangue – "Blood". Turandot is shaken. The crowd cheers the Prince, provoking Turandot's anger. She presents her third riddle (Gelo che ti da foco – "What is ice which gives you fire and which your fire freezes still more?"). As the prince thinks, Turandot taunts him, "What is the ice that makes you burn?" The taunt makes him see the answer and he proclaims, "It is Turandot! Turandot!"

 

The crowd cheers for the triumphant Prince. Turandot throws herself at her father's feet and pleads with him not to leave her to the Prince's mercy. The Emperor insists that an oath is sacred and that it is Turandot's duty to wed the Prince (Duet – Turandot, Altoum, the Prince: Figlio del cielo). She cries out in despair, "Will you take me by force? (Mi porterai con la forza?) The Prince stops her, saying that he has a riddle for her: Tre enigmi m'hai proposto – "You do not know my name. Tell me my name before sunrise, and at dawn, I will die." Turandot accepts. The Emperor then declares that he hopes that he will be able to call the Prince his son when the sun next rises.

 

Act 3

Scene 1: The palace gardens. Night

 

In the distance, heralds call out Turandot's command: Cosi comanda Turandot – "This night, none shall sleep in Peking! The penalty for all will be death if the Prince's name is not discovered by morning". The Prince waits for dawn and anticipates his victory: Nessun dorma – "Nobody shall sleep!"

 

Ping, Pong, and Pang appear and offer the Prince women and riches if he will only give up Turandot (Tu che guardi le stelle), but he refuses. A group of soldiers then drag in Timur and Liù. They have been seen speaking to the Prince, so they must know his name. Turandot enters and orders Timur and Liù to speak. The Prince feigns ignorance, saying they know nothing. But when the guards begin to treat Timur harshly, Liù declares that she alone knows the Prince's name, but she will not reveal it. Ping demands the Prince's name, and when Liù refuses to say it, she is tortured. Turandot is clearly taken aback by Liù's resolve and asks Liù who or what gave her such a strong resolve. Liù answers, "Princess, love!" (Principessa, amore!). Turandot demands that Ping tear the Prince's name from Liù, and Ping orders Liù to be tortured even more. Liù counters Turandot (Tu che di ciel sei cinta – "You who are begirdled by ice"), saying that Turandot too will learn the exquisite joy of being guided by caring and compassionate love. Having spoken, Liù seizes a dagger from a soldier's belt and stabs herself. As she staggers towards the Prince and falls dead, the crowd screams for her to speak the Prince's name. Since Timur is blind, he must be told about Liù's death, and he cries out in anguish. When Timur warns that the gods will be offended by Liù's death, the crowd becomes subdued, very afraid and ashamed. The grieving Timur and the crowd follow Liù's body as it is carried away. Everybody departs, leaving the Prince and Turandot. He reproaches Turandot for her cruelty (Duet – The Prince, Turandot: Principessa di morte – "Princess of death"), then takes her in his arms and kisses her in spite of her resistance.

 

The Prince tries to convince Turandot to love him. At first she feels disgusted, but after he kisses her, she feels herself becoming more ardently desiring to be held and compassionately loved by him. She admits that ever since she met the Prince, she realized she both hated and loved him. She asks him to ask for nothing more and to leave, taking his mystery with him. The Prince, however, then reveals his name: "Calaf, son of Timur – Calaf, figlio di Timur", thereby placing his life in Turandot's hands. She can now destroy him if she wants (Duet – Turandot, Calaf: Del primo pianto).

 

Scene 2: The courtyard of the palace. Dawn

 

Turandot and Calaf approach the Emperor's throne. She declares that she knows the Prince's name: – "It is ... love!" The crowd cheers and acclaims the two lovers (O sole! Vita! Eternità).

  

In Cina, in un mitico "tempo delle favole", viveva una bellissima e solitaria principessa (Turandot), nella quale albergava lo spirito di una sua antenata violentata e uccisa.

Da ciò nasceva l'odio di Turandot per gli uomini.

 

Il popolo di Pechino e l'Imperatore suo padre (Altoum) da tempo fanno però pressione affinché si sposi.

 

Ella, alla fine, accetta di sposare solamente il giovane nobile che sarà in grado di sciogliere i tre enigmi da lei proposti: in caso di fallimento, però, verrà decapitato.

 

L'opera si apre con l'ennesima testa che cade, quella del giovane Principe di Persia.

 

Tra la folla è presente in quel momento Calaf, principe tartaro spodestato, che non riesce a resistere alla bellezza di Turandot e decide di provare a risolvere gli enigmi.

 

Fra la folla ritrova il vecchio padre (Timur) e la fedele schiava Liù (da tempo segretamente innamorata di Calaf) che tentano inutilmente di fargli cambiare idea.

 

Calaf si ritrova faccia a faccia con la "bella di ghiaccio" ... e riesce e a risolvere tutti e tre gli enigmi.

 

Turandot è ovviamente disperata e Calef le propone a sua volta un enigma: se prima dell'alba la Principessa riuscirà a scoprire il suo nome, egli morirà.

Altrimenti diventerà il suo sposo.

 

Turandot, riesce a rintracciare Timur e Liù, ma entrambi, seppur sotto tortura, tacciono; anzi, Liù sentendo di non poter resistere, si suicida.

 

Alla fine sarà lo stesso Calaf a rivelare alla principessa il proprio nome, ma solo dopo essere riuscito a darle un bacio appassionato.

 

Bacio che sconvolgerà nell'intimo Turandot, la quale andrà con Calaf davanti all'imperatore suo padre ed al popolo, e qui annuncerà trionfante di aver finalmente scoperto il nome dello straniero: Il suo nome è "Amore".

© 2009 Philippines | Rodel Joselito Manabat | All Rights Reserved

In Our Darkest Hour, In My Deepest Despair

Will You Still Care? Will You Be There?

In My Trials And My Tribulations

Through Our Doubts And Frustrations

In My Violence, In My Turbulence

Through My Fear And My Confessions

In My Anguish And My Pain

Through My Joy And My Sorrow

In The Promise Of Another Tomorrow

I'll Never Let You Part

For You're Always In My Heart

 

"Will You Be There", Michael Jackson, 1993

"Wag Maging Dayuhan Sa Sariling Bayan"

 

About

This is one part of the the Lourdes Grotto Catholic shrine in Baguio located on a hill in the western part of the city. It is a favorite pilgrimage site during Holy Week, especially during Holy Thursday and Good Friday. Access to the top of the grotto is by climbing 252 steps or by driving a vehicle on a winding, narrow road. Devotees who go to the grotto to pray usually light a candle at an altar below the image. There are also vendors at the shrine who are willing to light a candle and say a prayer for visitors.

 

Taken at Baguio City, Philippines

 

See more of Baguio here.

 

Exposure

EV[-2, -1, 0, +1, +2], f/8, ISO 100

 

Toys

Canon 400D, Sigma 10-20mm f/4-f/5.6 EX DC, Canon RS 60E3 Shutter Release, Tripod

 

Processing

 

Photomatix

Bracketed 5 Exposure RAW files merged to HDR

Tone Mapped using Detailed Enhancer

Saved as 16-bitt TIFF

 

Photoshop CS4

ACR5.2 Tonal Adjustments

Adjustment layer - curves, colour fill (blending)

Borders

A moments respite, that summer eve , I sat

Indeed mum, without a thought,

When I heard her voice, not strange

But alluring with a tinge

Of sensuality in its range,

To thrill my heart and lend my ears.

 

Slowly accosted she,

"Dear, I pray pardon me

For this intrusion into this hour

Of peace and tranquility, just

Worried am I , to tell you why

Words don't come, they are shy

 

Oh dear ! How could I, a girl

Of my age, her anguish unveil

When it touches her very heart

The soft most part of it really

With heat unbearable and alarming

Of the hurdles to be encountered on its path".

 

With her lying on my lap, I thought

What providence has her led

To this plight, to take rest

On my lap, sad and tired

Is it a test ? Impediments put

on two loving hearts

 

"Oh dear !" looking up she said,

"God bless us ! tomorrow I bid

At this hour shall we meet".

Leaving me with a sigh so quiet

She fled to join her sinless friends

The flowers and butterflies in her garden.

 

At twilight the next day, weeping

And pressing her plumpy breast

Against my chest, clinging tight

to my neck, she somehow said,

"Lord, I am yours I know, but

Why am I to leave you now ?"

 

"I believe in Love, I tell you"

With a deep sigh she said

"Be firm, bother not about me

We will meet again be sure".

She for certain spoke the Will of Love

For at last, I proceed to meet her again.

 

- Anuj Nair

 

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© 2010 Anuj Nair. All rights reserved.

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Contact : www.anujnair.net

________________________________________________

 

© 2010 Anuj Nair. All rights reserved.

All images and poems are the property of Anuj Nair.

Using these images and poems without permission is in violation of international copyright laws (633/41 DPR19/78-Disg 154/97-L.248/2000). All materials may not be copied, reproduced, distributed, republished, downloaded, displayed, posted or transmitted in any forms or by any means,including electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording without written permission of Anuj Nair. Every violation will be pursued penally.

  

If you could see into my heart

And through my very soul,

You'd find a world of emptiness

Of pain I can't control.

This anguish only you can mend

You'll pacify my fears;

My unknown love, my hope, my wish,

Please, won't you dry my tears?

I love you, though we've never met

I'm not sure when we will;

An expectation gone unfulfilled

Can make a person ill.

I dream of you both night and day,

I long to see your face;

For where your features ought to be -

A question mark's in its place.

Thoughts of you can bring me joy,

But equally great pain;

While a thought may pass by fleetingly,

The loneliness remains.

I want a partner to stand by me

As both our lives we share;

I want to know that I am loved,

I need to feel secure.

I'll share your joys and triumphs,

Rejoice when you are glad;

And I want to be the shoulder

That you lean on when you're sad.

I want to know you through and through,

I want you to know me;

Ever-tightening our bond

That gains strength through loyalty.

I've waited patiently so long

And though we're worlds apart;

Step out my dreams into my arms,

Relieve my aching heart.

I live my life half-aimlessly

I'm waiting still, for you;

Please, come and end my misery

And make my dreams come true.

 

"Unknown Love"

- Shay Sherwood -

our path of life isn't always easy.

A black day Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela a great man has left our mortal world.

 

Listen to: ♪ The End Of The Line Traveling Wilburys

 

Message from the Mayor

 

"City mourns the loss of the father of our nation, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela

Today is a time of national loss and mourning. All of us stand silent, united in our grief at the passing of the father of our nation, former President Nelson Mandela; Tata Madiba as we knew him in our hearts. On behalf of the people of Cape Town, I extend my deepest condolences to the Mandela family: his beloved wife Graca; his children; grandchildren; and great-grandchildren.

We know of your pain. We share it.

But let today, and all the days before us, be of remembering. Remembering the legacy and the mission Madiba laid out for us. Remembering the sacrifice he made to show us the way. Remembering that together, every day, we try and build that other country he showed us.

Though anguish and grief surrounds us now, these too shall pass and be replaced by the strength and the joy of Madiba’s legacy.

I recall being in our first democratic parliament just after the 1994 elections. Those were days of turbulence and disagreement. But when Madiba spoke, we stopped and we listened. We did not know what the future held for us and the peace we had made seemed fragile. And yet, there was the grace and authority of Madiba’s vision that, unwavering, was resolute of purpose and saw further than any of us could.

It was the comfort of a visionary leader who gave up his own happiness so that all of us might be free.

These are the stories which anyone who knew Madiba can tell you. His leadership has become a truth for all South Africans, whether they knew Madiba personally or not. I believe that each one of us knew Madiba because his sacrifice and vision made us what we are today: a country that knows freedom, democracy and human rights.

Knowing him was knowing the best part of ourselves.

Our city has a special relationship with Madiba. To our country’s shame, it was the place where he was imprisoned by the Apartheid regime for trying to set us free. He was not imprisoned for a crime; he was imprisoned because he knew what justice was and he would not stop fighting until it was achieved.

Pollsmoor and Victor Verster prisons bore the indignity of his imprisonment. But for Capetonians, and the world, there is no greater symbol of his sacrifice and the brutality people are capable of than that place just off our coast which is removed from the city and the world: Robben Island.

The shell of Robben Island’s prison stands as a reminder that we must never forget where we came from and where we wish never to return.

But Cape Town is also the place of Madiba’s eventual victory. From the balcony of our City Hall, he pledged to continue the fight for our freedom to the city and to the world. His speech that day showed us all that the scene of our greatest adversity can also be the scene of our greatest triumph.

The City of Cape Town was honoured to award the Freedom of the City to Nelson Mandela on the 27th of November, 1997.

Some figures try and place themselves in history. Others achieve their place because of who they are or the position they held. In some instances though, there are figures that stand outside of history. They are so rare because they shape the course of the world to themselves, even if they did not wish to bear what seems to be the immense burden of destiny.

Madiba is such a person. His legacy is wrapped in the future of our nation. Though he may not have wished it, he was more than just a man: he was and remains the ideal by which we all try and live.

I call on all Capetonians to honour him so that we can continue to build this city according to his vision of unity in diversity; a commitment to non-racialism; the attainment of dignity; and respect for the sanctity of human rights.

In so doing, we will continue to know him and the future that he dreamed for us all."

 

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, Tata Madiba: 18 July, 1918 - 5 December, 2013

 

with love!!

Addy and red Prince Alfie

 

Edited by Angelica~ Effect by Befunky/ Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936)

The Female of the Species

 

WHEN the Himalayan peasant meets the he-bear in his pride,

He shouts to scare the monster, who will often turn aside.

But the she-bear thus accosted rends the peasant tooth and nail.

For the female of the species is more deadly than the male.

 

When Nag the basking cobra hears the careless foot of man,

He will sometimes wriggle sideways and avoid it if he can.

But his mate makes no such motion where she camps beside the trail.

For the female of the species is more deadly than the male.

 

When the early Jesuit fathers preached to Hurons and Choctaws,

They prayed to be delivered from the vengeance of the squaws.

'Twas the women, not the warriors, turned those stark enthusiasts pale.

For the female of the species is more deadly than the male.

 

Man's timid heart is bursting with the things he must not say,

For the Woman that God gave him isn't his to give away;

But when hunter meets with husbands, each confirms the other's tale—

The female of the species is more deadly than the male.

 

Man, a bear in most relations—worm and savage otherwise,—

Man propounds negotiations, Man accepts the compromise.

Very rarely will he squarely push the logic of a fact

To its ultimate conclusion in unmitigated act.

 

Fear, or foolishness, impels him, ere he lay the wicked low,

To concede some form of trial even to his fiercest foe.

Mirth obscene diverts his anger—Doubt and Pity oft perplex

Him in dealing with an issue—to the scandal of The Sex! But the Woman that God gave him, every fibre of her frame

Proves her launched for one sole issue, armed and engined for the same;

And to serve that single issue, lest the generations fail,

The female of the species must be deadlier than the male.

 

She who faces Death by torture for each life beneath her breast

May not deal in doubt or pity—must not swerve for fact or jest.

These be purely male diversions—not in these her honour dwells—

She the Other Law we live by, is that Law and nothing else.

 

She can bring no more to living than the powers that make her great

As the Mother of the Infant and the Mistress of the Mate.

And when Babe and Man are lacking and she strides unclaimed to claim

Her right as femme (and baron), her equipment is the same.

 

She is wedded to convictions—in default of grosser ties;

Her contentions are her children, Heaven help him who denies!—

He will meet no suave discussion, but the instant, white-hot, wild,

Wakened female of the species warring as for spouse and child. Unprovoked and awful charges—even so the she-bear fights,

Speech that drips, corrodes, and poisons—even so the cobra bites,

Scientific vivisection of one nerve till it is raw

And the victim writhes in anguish—like the Jesuit with the squaw!

 

So it comes that Man, the coward, when he gathers to confer

With his fellow-braves in council, dare not leave a place for her

Where, at war with Life and Conscience, he uplifts his erring hands

To some God of Abstract Justice—which no woman understands.

 

And Man knows it! Knows, moreover, that the Woman that God gave him

Must command but may not govern—shall enthral but not enslave him.

And She knows, because She warns him, and Her instincts never fail,

That the Female of Her Species is more deadly than the Male.

© 2009 | Rodel Joselito Manabat | All Rights Reserved

 

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Inspired by Will You Be There

 

Hold Me Like The River Jordan

And I Will Then Say To Thee

You Are My Friend

 

Carry Me Like You Are My Brother

Love Me Like A Mother

Would You Be There?

 

Mary Tell Me Will You Hold Me

When Wrong, Will You Scold Me

When Lost Will You Find Me?

 

But They Told Me

A Man Should Be Faithful

And Walk When Not Able

And Fight Till The End

But I'm Only Human

 

Everyone's Taking Control Of Me

Seems That The World's

Got A Role For Me

I'm So Confused

Will You Show To Me

You'll Be There For Me

And Care Enough To Bear Me

 

(Hold Me) show me

(Lay Your Head Lowly) told me

(Softly Then Boldly) yeah

(Carry Me There) I'm Only Human

 

(Lead Me) Hold me

(Love Me And Feed Me) Yea Yeah

(Kiss Me And Free Me) Yeah

(I Will Feel Blessed) I'm Only Human

 

(Carry) Carry

(Carry Me Boldly) Carry Yeah

(Lift Me Up Slowly) Yeah

(Carry Me There) I'm Only Human

 

(Save Me) Save me

(Heal Me And Bathe Me) Lift me up, lift me up

(Softly You Say To Me)

(I Will Be There) I Will Be There

 

(Lift Me) I'm gonna care

(Lift Me Up Slowly)

(Carry Me Boldly) Yeah

(Show Me You Care) Show Me You Care

 

(Hold Me) Whoooo

(Lay Your Head Lowly) I get lonely some times

(Softly Then Boldly) i get lonely

(Carry Me There) Yeah yeah carry me there

yeah yeah yeah

 

[Spoken]

In Our Darkest Hour In My Deepest Despair

Will You Still Care? Will You Be There?

In My Trials And My Tripulations

Through Our Doubts And Frustrations

In My Violence In My Turbulence

Through My Fear And My Confessions

In My Anguish And My Pain

Through My Joy And My Sorrow

In The Promise Of Another Tomorrow

I'll Never Let You Part

For You're Always In My Heart.

below from www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/s/soren_kierkegaard.html

are a few quotes from Soren Kierkegaard, Danish Philosopher

Date of Birth: May 5, 1813

Date of Death: November 11, 1855

 

Love does not alter the beloved, it alters itself.

 

Love is all, it gives all, and it takes all.

 

Marriage brings one into fatal connection with custom and tradition, and traditions and customs are like the wind and weather, altogether incalculable.

 

Most men pursue pleasure with such breathless haste that they hurry past it.

 

Not just in commerce but in the world of ideas too our age is putting on a veritable clearance sale. Everything can be had so dirt cheap that one begins to wonder whether in the end anyone will want to make a bid.

 

Old age realizes the dreams of youth: look at Dean Swift; in his youth he built an asylum for the insane, in his old age he was himself an inmate.

 

Once you label me you negate me.

 

One can advise comfortably from a safe port.

 

Our life always expresses the result of our dominant thoughts.

 

Patience is necessary, and one cannot reap immediately where one has sown.

 

People commonly travel the world over to see rivers and mountains, new stars, garish birds, freak fish, grotesque breeds of human; they fall into an animal stupor that gapes at existence and they think they have seen something.

 

People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use.

 

People understand me so poorly that they don't even understand my complaint about them not understanding me.

 

Personality is only ripe when a man has made the truth his own.

 

Prayer does not change God, but it changes him who prays.

 

Purity of heart is to will one thing.

 

Since boredom advances and boredom is the root of all evil, no wonder, then, that the world goes backwards, that evil spreads. This can be traced back to the very beginning of the world. The gods were bored; therefore they created human beings.

 

Since my earliest childhood a barb of sorrow has lodged in my heart. As long as it stays I am ironic if it is pulled out I shall die.

 

Take away paradox from the thinker and you have a professor.

 

The function of prayer is not to influence God, but rather to change the nature of the one who prays.

 

The highest and most beautiful things in life are not to be heard about, nor read about, nor seen but, if one will, are to be lived.

 

The more a man can forget, the greater the number of metamorphoses which his life can undergo; the more he can remember, the more divine his life becomes.

 

The paradox is really the pathos of intellectual life and just as only great souls are exposed to passions it is only the great thinker who is exposed to what I call paradoxes, which are nothing else than grandiose thoughts in embryo.

 

The truth is a snare: you cannot have it, without being caught. You cannot have the truth in such a way that you catch it, but only in such a way that it catches you.

 

The tyrant dies and his rule is over, the martyr dies and his rule begins.

 

There are, as is known, insects that die in the moment of fertilization. So it is with all joy: life's highest, most splendid moment of enjoyment is accompanied by death.

 

There is nothing with which every man is so afraid as getting to know how enormously much he is capable of doing and becoming.

 

To dare is to lose one's footing momentarily. Not to dare is to lose oneself.

 

Trouble is the common denominator of living. It is the great equalizer.

 

What is a poet? An unhappy person who conceals profound anguish in his heart but whose lips are so formed that as sighs and cries pass over them they sound like beautiful music.

  

EXPLORE # ____ on Friday, April 11, 2008

Tears Roll Up

 

Pushing the sound away, to hear clearer

is that what it takes to turn life around

awaiting the voice of some divined one

as all that's been lost is still no nearer

 

yesterday's damn and blast hardly helps today

it's legacy roams my thoughts like a devilish fox

my hope is but a stretcher bearer

seeking another way out of this hellish foray

 

dust to dust has turned quickly to mud

entrenched in the bitterness of struggle

like nothing else on Earth before it

there is not a single thing of compare to spilled blood

 

it's eternal mind is my mortal body

irretrievable upon notice of life's final demand

oh the anguish! oh the tumultuous torrent of torment,

trying to stay afloat, isn't this all that survival must embody?

 

still...no voice, no signifying choice

hands so adept at escape become landlocked and inept

society is occupationally haphazard

for the craft of etching the right tone of voice

 

the night has passed like a crucifer

what did this silence spell I'm left to wonder

that slight form illuminated by a sickly tuna-hued moon

now lacquered by the cold light of a day it will outsuffer

 

so to this moment, this respite, this lacuna

unseen by the meanest energumen attacks

pitted against the wits of the minutes accounted

the darkness prevails for now the hours turn to Fortuna

 

my God, my humbling, my second coming

it was said so nobody can deny

only a mere myth can act like a fly -

upon the pulse of a giant taking note and succumbing

 

to the throng and buzz of flight's insight

through the eyes an untold mystery speaks it's mind

heard afar is it's cry of silent running

outdone by the victorious gain of countenancing foresight

 

isn't that the way to go...a meson lesson of the bigger picture

recounting the unseen, unheard, unmentioned 'mere' rumour

we let run amok without authentication from our space

then, without further ado, rasp and undo with unremorseful stricture

 

who are we trying to fool in this be-jungled techophobic sleaze palace?

the mire is nigh but it's heavily peopled with followers

of it's fashion conscious, spellbinding edicts

this is one time to step out of line without malice

 

be and see yourself afresh without permissions

no governmental guidelines or life-serving suggestions

we can do without, thank you, now let life resume

for every heart, we will always refreshingly outnumber the statisticians.

 

by anglia24

10h00: 16/05/2008

©2008anglia24

 

"The summit of Snowdon, here you are nearer to heaven

The rocks record the aeons of creation

It’s our duty to guard this glory

Here you will see tempests and tranquillity

All around us are the grandeur and the anguish of an old, old nation"

  

Apparently this is the coldest lake in the UK in which to swim; I would rather walk past and admire its beauty! In the shadow of Yr Wyddfa in the centre, Carnedd Ugain to the right and Y Lliwedd to the left. A magical setting in the heart of Snowdonia. The Miners track reaches the lake from Pen y Pass and then there is a scramble up Carnedd Ugain joining the PYG track on the slopes.

I had the area to myself and didn't see another walker until nearly back to the start of the path.

 

Its a privelidge to be born and live in such a beautiful place, to experience its beauty daily

  

209

 

part 3/4. The end of life

Listen: www.youtube.com/watch?v=v1CiINFsBkY

 

The pain that consumes us inside, no one is strong enough to endure the pains of the heart. It would almost always lead to self-destruction.

 

Collaborators:

Nochi sardea

Hannah chu

 

Again as a challenge to myself, tighter crops and closer portraits!

Facebook | Twitter | website

361/365 Work with textures

 

Please do not send any invitations at this time. I'm so far behind that I'm going need a month of Flickr time to update all my invitations and that would be when I finish my project. I appreciate your personal comments though. I'm going to quote this phrase from a dear friend of mine "Do not add your picture or Flickr river link with your comment, it will be removed"

 

I took the original photo @ American Orchid Society

Delray Beach, Florida, USA

July19th/2009

 

Nikon D5000

..........................................................................................................................................................................

 

Change of plans.

by Nancy Violeta Velez

 

For some time my husband and I talk, plan and coordinate our vacations.

 

I dreamed of enjoyment that time especially for my husband after a year of work and effort. I said goodbye to my simple things and my distractions to concentrate my efforts on the long-awaited trip.

 

Over was not that way, my beloved husband got sick so that required hospitalization at Florida Medical Center, fortunately is recovering slowly thanks to God and the good care of doctors and nurses. Today I was advised to return home early to rest (cares for me even at his worst).

 

I've always admired and loved my husband, but never as now when I saw their vulnerability to disease. And I think the vulnerability of human beings against a virus, a fall, an accident, can instantly lose the greatest asset we have, our physical and mental health.

 

Almost completing this project, each texture is beautiful and reminds me of moments, some moments of anguish. This texture is over all (though not the most beautiful) that represents the love that unites us and I dedicate it to Roberto with a grateful heart to God for his speedy recovery.

 

February 26th/2011

 

............................................................................................................................................................................

 

Aretha Franklin - I Say A Little Prayer

  

The moment I wake up

Before I put on my makeup

I say a little prayer for you

While combing my hair, now

And wondering what dress to wear, now

I say a little prayer for you

 

Forever, forever, you'll stay in my heart

And I will love you

Forever, forever, we never will part

Oh, how I'll love you

Together, together, that's how it must be

To live without you

Would only be heartbreak for me

 

I run for the bus, dear

While riding I think of us, dear

I say a little prayer for you

At work, I just take time

And all through my coffee break-time

I say a little prayer for you

 

Forever, forever, you'll stay in my heart

And I will love you

Forever, forever we never will part

Oh, how I'll love you

Together, together, that's how it must be

To live without you

Would only be heartbreak for me

 

I say a little prayer for you

 

Forever, forever, you'll stay in my heart

And I will love you

Forever, forever we never will part

Oh, how I'll love you

Together, together, that's how it must be

To live without you

Would only be heartbreak for me

 

My darling, believe me

For me there is no one

But you ....

 

.........................................................................................................................................................................

 

Texture with my appreciation to: vaula Thank you very much!!

Who was the oldest mafioso that The Curmudgeon ever dispatched? Let me think. Ah, yes. That would be The Alderman who was 70. What, you were hoping for a longer answer? Fine. The Alderman was a nasty sort of man, precocious when he was an ankle-biter, spent a few years in the can, no candy-ass back then, who turned into a lier and a cheat. So for many reasons, mainly his Machiavellian ways, he had his light snuffed out aboard a steamship from Chicago to St. Joseph during that rare warm winter - you know the one I’m talking ‘bout. We good? What do you mean “No”? I can see that you have befriended curiosity and still want more. *deep breathe* Fine, fine. Here’s the tale, nightingale.

 

Back during that unseasonably warm winter, the Graham & Morton Transportation Company decided to take advantage of the situation and make some extra coin by starting the season ahead of the normal June through September season. Ben and Anna decided to take a train from their home in Elgin, Illinois to Chicago where, at the docks of the Chicago River, they would board a steamship bound for St. Joseph, Michigan. Ben and Anna were married in St. Joseph years prior and they saw it fitting to travel back, February fourteenth of that year, and indulge in some of the wonderful winter fruits of the areas and maybe enjoy a mineral bath at one of the luxury hotels. While the husband and wife planned a special weekend, they did not know what was in store during the voyage on the deck beneath them.

 

Stronzo Potere Avidità is the Alderman of what was the largest ward in Chicago at the time and had strong ties with the mafia through business dealings. As such, many refer to him simply as The Alderman. He is oddly a gregarious man. While he seeks to be sociable and surround himself with others, it comes at the cost of their mental anguish. For you see, The Alderman seeks to be more powerful and to have more than those around him. He constantly lets them know their faults, as belittles them to the point that they wish to either leave or argue to no avail. Lies are no stranger to his arguments, for he will do or say anything in order to be able to flaunt power over others. For that is what he truly craves and can never get enough of it. One has to wonder if there is a belief that he has something to prove. However, none endure his presence long enough to find out. I could list many atrocious behaviors and actions that occurred during his tenure but that would take quite some time to accomplish. Let us just end this vignette by saying that being given his wealth, The Alderman knew not true struggle growing up but found his struggle is the pursuit to gain power and that is most likely what gave birth to his amoral and sociopathic tendencies.

 

It could be said that what The Alderman never banked on was the astounding level of psychopathic tendencies that The Curmudgeon possesses. The Alderman’s social/antisocial tendencies brought on by social and environmental factors were no match for more innate traits of The Curmudgeon which were acquired by a chaotic and violent upbringing. This brings us back to the steamship on the Chicago docks.

 

As departure time grew near, The Curmudgeon, humping his swag up the ramp that consisted of an empty luggage case carried on his back, so as to fit in with others, flipped his fifty cent copper excursion route token to the token taker, and made his way to the private cabin to hide out, ahead of The Alderman. Departure time had arrived and The Alderman was nowhere in sight. Did The Curmudgeon get it wrong? Was The Alderman traveling at a different time? Did he cancel his plans? Time was slowly passing but the steamship was not departing. What was going on? As it turned out, The Alderman had already contacted the crew and ordered them to wait for his arrival. Ain’t that a kick? He was asserting his power to make others wait on him in order to make a grand entrance. The discrete black vehicle drove up as close as it could to the ship and The Alderman was escorted to the ramp and led to his private spacious cabin on the lower deck with all the amenities one could desire, albeit quality befitting a steamship. Once within the cabin, The Alderman was left to his business, as he liked it that way. That would prove to be his downfall.

 

Once settled in, The Alderman started to conduct business from the wooden table, that acted as a make-shift desk. Not too long after getting down to business, there was the sound of a click and a strike from somewhere within the cabin. A few seconds later smoke came from a darkened area. With curiosity, The Alderman started to rise form his chair, his head cocked to one side. What came out from the smoke, moved with great haste, knocking The Alderman back into his chair. It was The Curmudgeon. He had two lit Luckies in his mouth and he also was ready to get down to business.

 

The left hand extinguished the first cigarette to the high side of The Alderman’s temple, while exclaiming, “Senza cervello!” The placement was meant to temporarily disorient while the significance was that The Alderman lacked higher intelligence as it was well known that he relied on getting his local news from radio shows that were more fiction than fact. The right hand extinguished the second cigarette on the base of the back of the neck. The significance there was the idea that a man's soul can be taken through the back of the neck so The Curmudgeon hoped the cauterization would block any possible escape of this amoral man’s soul feeling it was better left trapped within.

 

Seizing The Alderman’s forehead and chin, The Curmudgeon forcefully opened the mouth and emptied down his gullet the contents of a small bottle, to the last drop. He then closed the wretched man’s mouth and plugged the nose to force him to shallow the liquid. The Alderman started to seize up and slumped onto the table.

 

The Curmudgeon began to speak in a tranquil manner. “You have ingested a grand old tonic that derives from Saint-Ignatius' bean, commonly known as strychnine. Do not try to move, for you will not be able. Do not hope to survive, for there is no antidote. We have some time before you will expire by means of respiratory failure. Now, there is the matter of reparations. Dear, dear, Alderman. You have failed the residents of your ward with myriad atrocities. Your pyramids of money will not cover your debt but I believe flesh will suffice.”

 

It has been said that the Italian stiletto knife is meant more for thrusting or stabbing. In the hands of a master, it can be much more. Gripping the knife like an icepick, there was a swift downward stroke to pierce through the shirt, flesh, and muscle. With two quick slices, there was enough shirt cut to grab and rip open to expose the upper back. Switching to a saber grip, more slices were made in order to remove a chunk of flesh. “That looks to be about a pound. Would you not say?”, as The Curmudgeon holds the rectangular section of skin and muscle in front of The Alderman’s face in a false attempt for approval, before tossing its bloody form onto the justice scale for measurement. “’Tis the people’s, and they will have it.”

 

As The Curmudgeon started to calmly leave, he turned to The Alderman and simply stated, “Hey Alderman, vaffanculo”. His statement came with a hand motion where he scraped the back of his gloved fingertips from the base of his neck to his chin then a few inches in The Alderman’s direction before stopping and holding it there for a few seconds, to provide emphasis. Opening the cabin door, The Curmudgeon quietly exited towards the back of the ship, leaving the door open for others to eventually find his handiwork.

 

Once arriving in St. Joseph, and people were starting to disembark from the steamship, Ben and Anna passed the open door of the private cabin and their screams could be heard from all on the ship. Guess that put a damper on their weekend plans. The coppers were sent for and when they arrived on the bloody scene, they immediately recognized The Alderman. He might be from a different state but stories of his monstrosities reach far. Accessing the scene, the coppers recognized the trademark cigarette burn, although this time there were two, being of what they thought came only from a man born in myth. They even saw a heart with an arrow drawn into the blood that had dripped down from the scale, which they knew from previous fables came not from The Curmudgeon but from some third-party jester that makes it to every crime scene linked to The Curmudgeon and that may still be on-board the ship. However, the scene laid out before them turned the fables into their reality as they realized this was no ordinary murder and the killer was no ordinary person.

 

Credits:

The Curmudgeon, played by Dennis Valente

Stronzo Potere Avidità, aka The Alderman, played by Dennis Fong

Story, Set design, Lighting, Photography, created by Dennis Valente

 

View the entire series of The Curmudgeon.

We were wandering through the Metro in Paris. We had only four hours to get to the top of the "ugliest building in Europe" and then find our way to Jim Morrison's grave in a massive cemetary. The ship left at 7 p.m. Sharp.

 

It felt like living an episode of the Amazing Race: a strange city, a tight timetable (because the bus WILL leave without you if you're late) and really foreign everything.

 

We'd asked the tour guide for information on how to use the Metro but one of us (not me) had written down train number "12" -- and there was no "12" leaving from the station.

 

"Why don't you ask someone for directions?" urged Sheree. Again.

 

I hate asking for directions. And I especially hate asking for directions when I have learned most of the language I will be using from the back of cereal boxes. (In Canada, we have English and French on everything.)

 

Besides, Sheree is the one who is good at talking with strangers. People like her. She's genuinely charming. When she lays that smile on them, hearts melt and strangers can't do enough to help her.

 

They generally hate me on sight. And if they DO give me directions, I am likely to forget them, since I am way to big a pride-filled dumbass to write them down. I will nod and stroke my chin thoughtfully as though each word they speak is flowing directly into the steel trap that is my mind. In reality I am not hearing a word. I'm just glad they didn't drive a fork into my eye.

 

All of this means I have to repeat the process with a significantly (and I suppose 'understandably') more annoyed wife beside me.

 

I resisted the pressures of time and my wife as long as possible, and then wound up stopping a young man. Speaking the kind of French that brought a polite smile to his face I started asking where the "12" left from.

 

"Oh. And where are you going, Sir?" He responded in delicately accented english. Thank God. He didn't appear to hate me OR be armed with a fork.

 

We told him and he nodded confidently: "You want the TWO." He pointed to a sign three feet away from us.

 

I spared Sheree the mental anguish of my patented Withering Stare because we were on vacation...and because it wouldn't have killed me to pay attention to the directions we were getting.

 

We had a precious four hours in Paris. In the Metro, it looked to be all about the lines...perfect lines running in perfect balance. It looks like this.

 

Many thanks to Human Decoy, one of Sheree's flickr friends for his kind advice on Paris. Find his Photostream here: www.flickr.com/photos/humandecoy/

" How much can we ever know about the love and pain in another heart? How much can we hope to understand those who have suffered deeper anguish, greater deprivation, and more crushing disappointments than we ourselves have known? "

Orhan Pamuk

 

" If you pretend to be good the world takes you very seriously. If you pretend to be bad it doesn't. Such is the astounding stupidity of optimism. "

Oscar Wilde

 

youtu.be/XHxTC2NVYaE

Perhaps one of the most heart rending, breathtaking and inspiring monuments in the world, the Vimy Ridge memorial stands as a visual representation of a nation mourning the loss of thousands of her sons. The central figure is of a woman, representing Canada, the look of anguish on her face almost too much to bear.

 

"Canada's most impressive tribute overseas to those Canadians who fought and gave their lives in the First World War is the majestic and inspiring Canadian National Vimy Memorial which overlooks the Douai Plain from the highest point of Vimy Ridge, about eight kilometres northeast of Arras. The Memorial does more than mark the site of the engagement that Canadians were to remember with more pride than any other operation of the First World War. It stands as a tribute to all who served their country in battle in that four-year struggle and particularly to those who gave their lives. At the base of the Memorial, these words appear in French and in English:

 

To the valour of their

Countrymen in the Great War

And in memory of their sixty

Thousand dead this monument

Is raised by the people of Canada

 

Inscribed on the ramparts of the Memorial are the names of 11,285 Canadian soldiers who were posted as "missing, presumed dead" in France."

 

(Taken from the Veteran Affairs Canada Website)

 

Designed by the Canadian Architect and Sculptor Walter Seymour Allward, it took 11 years to build and stands on a bed of 11000 tons of Concrete!

 

There is another version of this image that I have manipulated as a submission to the Dictionary of Image. See it here

 

See where this picture was taken. [?]

 

Explore - Highest position: 328 on Monday, October 1, 2007

It would be silly in this day and age to suggest that I actually have the ability to listen to all of the albums in a given year that come out when I work a full time job unrelated to music. In fact, some years I feel that it’s so difficult keeping up with the new stuff that comes out that I have very little-no time to listen to any old stuff. After the fact of my top ten posting, I inevitably stumble on great albums I missed by reading the blogs

/top tens of others. (Feel free to post a link to your full list if you have one) With that in mind…

 

My Top Ten (or Eleven) Albums of 2010

 

#1 Jónsi: Do

 

I became obsessed with this album rather quickly and the more I listened to it, the more I craved it like a delicious chocolate. There are some magical songs more on the pop end of things like the title track “Grow Till Tall” but I always find myself drawn to the darker and more middle of the night feeling songs like “Kolniður” and “Tornado.” They are sad and yet hopeful, filled with the spirit that you can overcome all of the horrible things that happen to you, change, progress, become better. I’m not sure if that makes any sense but that’s what I get from these songs. There’s a kind of catharsis that occurs for me and a reassurance that everything is going to be ok when I listen. I can understand why some may not enjoy the album. The Icelandic Sigur Rós frontman has a very strange and unusual voice and doesn’t always sing in English. His vocals are sometimes a little falsetto and nasal but to me, when they are at their best, remind me of a falling angel calling out his last song and it’s the last song that matters. It’s the only one you sometimes want to remember.

 

So many of these songs you can listen to from myspace so that you can decide for yourself if its right for you:

 

www.myspace.com/jonthorbirgisson

 

#2 Thee Silver Mt. Zion: Kollaps Tradixionales

 

If turbulent, emotional, and sometimes really depressing music is your thing, you and I have a great deal in common. I don’t care for a great deal of common pop music because it just seems meaningless to me. What really matters is anguish, longing, and the expression of the human soul, even when it’s crying out or screaming. Lead singer Efrim Menuck has always been really adept at. The guitars can be reeling and the orchestration can be the saddest or the most violent accompaniment depending on what the song demands. Menuck’s voice is another one that is an acquired taste as he seems to be in pain the way he sings his vocals. They also tend to take on a more nasal quality but have a transformative effect to go from urgent and edgy to solemn. Thee Silver Mt. Zion songs are often very long and go through major shift changes. This is music from the underground and it is the kind that grandmothers sing to their grandchildren at bed when the world is an urban wasteland and all of Lady Gaga’s vapid refrains are long since forgotten.

 

This is another band that has many songs, old and new, available to listen on myspace. Don’t be too turned off at first. These are jarring, visceral songs for people who realize that any escape from the bleakness of the real world is futile. This is the stuff of Joseph Conrad and Dostoevsky.

 

Listen on myspace: www.myspace.com/asilvermtzion

 

#3 MGMT: Congratulations

 

Believe it or not, at one time, this was actually my very favorite album of the year. I’ve already blogged and rambled about it in the past here. Basically, at this time last year, I would have been shocked to find out that I would have even bought a MGMT album. I was no fan and am still not a fan of their older stuff. This one, produced by Sonic Boom, shows a real sense of growth and an epic vastness to the way the songs transform. The bridges are tight and more complicated but there’s also a sense that MGMT can handle the abstract and more emotional side of things. I would be remiss if I were to leave out the fact that the lyrics and some of the music to guide them are downright quirky at times. You wonder if the band has lost it completely in the glorious enthralls of “Lady Dada’s Nightmare,” for instance but there’s still some pop left in “Brian Eno.” and the very offbeat single “Flash Delirium” The only real dud on the album for me is actually the title track. It’s a downer and it’s the end of the party when no one has any energy left. It fails where essentially “Siberian Breaks” succeeds. If that track was completely absent, this might still be my #1 album. As is, the tracks I really relish in completely are “It’s Working” and “Song For Dan Treacy”

 

It’s just a shame about all of their dreadful cover art.

 

Listen on myspace: www.myspace.com/mgmt

 

#3 Tame Impala: Innerspeaker

 

You may now be noticing that there are two #3s in my Top Ten (Eleven) of 2010. Yeah, I am indecisive and also a little absent minded. This album is really amazing and quite brimming with blissful psychedelic pop out of Australia. Transcendent stuff. These guys also put on an amazing live show. I can't believe that I forgot about this album because I played it incessantly when I bought it. Really highly recommended!!!

 

Listen on myspace: www.myspace.com/tameimpala

 

#4 Pepper Rabbit: Beauregard

 

Many thanks to my brother-in-law Adam for introducing me to this band. The album has a warm sound that recalls bands like Beirut at times. It’s somber and anthemic all at once, which few bands can seem to master. Many of these songs are catchy and tend to infect all your mind’s sensibilities, making the chord progressions linger in your head quite long after you’ve heard them. Indeed, a great deal of the songs seem to be simple and at the same time possess an orchestral quality that elevates them dramatically.

 

Listen on myspace: www.myspace.com/pepperrabbit

  

#5 Woods: At Echo Lake

 

I grew up listening to Neil Young and it seems I wasn’t the only one. In the same way that Young can make you feel emotional without crying and can cause all your internal organs to clench up, Woods has quite a few bands beat. It’s a little bit of garage and psychedelic, ALOT post-folk (hey, if there’s a post rock, how come no one ever uses the term “post-folk”) Anyhow, another somewhat acquired taste nasal vocal wise but hey that never stopped anyone from putting on After the Goldrush…well, anyone that matters that is.

 

Listen on myspace: www.myspace.com/woodsfamilyband

 

#6 Wild Nothing: Gemini

 

This is probably the most easily accessible album I’ve put on my list with a perfect harmony between the pop and the shoegaze genres in a way that feels nostalgic and, ultimately, just seems right when you’re listening to it. It draws from a bit of an older sound but manages to feel fresh and like a re-awakening of these genres instead of a re-hash. For me, this is feel good music and I can actually dance to it, which I can’t claim for Thee Silver Mt. Zion, much as I love their records. Every time I listen, I think that things aren’t so bad.

 

Listen on myspace: www.myspace.com/wildnothing

 

#7 Titus Andronicus: The Monitor

 

Lead singer of Titus Andronicus, Patrick Stickles, may just yet be my generation’s Bruce Springsteen. There’s an incredibly convincing quality to the way he sings his lyrics that seem simultaneously edgy and ubiquitous. His live show demonstrates a sense of feat all on its own, of course, but one can guess how the band got from point A to point B. It’s rooted in classic and garage rock but its bigger than that. It’s the kind of thing that makes you think if everyone in our generation had this must energy, maybe we could really make the world a much different and better place.

 

Listen on myspace: www.myspace.com/titusandronicus

 

#8 Deerhunter: Halcyon Digest

 

I don’t mind this post garage rock era at all but Deerhunter take it to a new level. It’s almost like over the years they have further gotten a handle on creating a sound that defines them. This album can be a little jangly with some driving chords on the classic rock end kicking in as in the case of “Revival.” At other times, it feels more postmodern though not as abstract as Cyprograms for instance. No, the song is stronger and shows a great deal of growth for the band. The band is also putting on their best live shows of their career in terms of sound (They still can’t top the stage presence of Bradford Cox donning a wedding dress at Pitchfork Music Festival 2007: www.flickr.com/photos/kirstiecat/838631359/ )

 

Listen on myspace: www.myspace.com/deerhunter

 

#9 Dum Dum Girls: I Will Be

 

I don’t want to just say that Dum Dum Girls are this year’s answer to Vivian Girls because they do have their own sound but at the same time their songs take that same strange post garage rock space in my heart for me. So delicious if you like a sugary girl pop mixed with garagey goodness. I’ve missed seeing them live in Chicago twice (the last time, they cancelled due to family illness) but hopefully will finally catch them at the Empty Bottle this spring.

 

Listen on myspace: www.myspace.com/dumdumgirls

 

#10 Secret Colours: Self titled

 

If The Treasure Fleet (http://www.myspace.com/thetreasurefleet) had a proper album release this year, they would certainly be on this proper list and definitely pretty high up there. Still, it’s not too difficult to be happy and hopeful for this band’s possible 2011 release and exult in another Chicago band, Secret Colours, whose songs have some psychedelic tones but also a little bit of shoegaze thrown in there at times. This album is gorgeous and you can listen to the whole thing on BandCamp.

 

Listen: secretcolours.bandcamp.com/album/secret-colours

 

#11 Young Veins: Take a Vacation!

 

This is a lot less muffled than much of the garage rock revivals to come out today but is nonetheless perfect with songs that can be incredibly catchy even when they are quite busy being sentimental. These tracks make great sing-alongs! I think this band has a lot of potential to grow with some potential more abstract opuses in further years but this marks a really stellar start to it all.

 

Listen on myspace: www.myspace.com/theyoungveins

  

“And when you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss also gazes into you.” – Nietzsche

 

The dark has a narrative of its own. It is as living and breathing as we are, because it is each and every one of us. Like a morbid blank canvas, it beckons us to paint upon it with all the colours of our fears. You always know when the painting is done – in the pounding of the heart, in the quickening of the pulse, in the sweat rolling down the forehead, in the shivering of the hands, in the scream that lies curled up in the throat, stuck, waiting for release. It awaits, patiently, silently laughing at the internal tortures we inflict upon our minds, not knowing that there is nothing in the dark but a projection of ourselves. But that day...the dark had a voice.

 

***

 

The blood and sweat were glistening in the early afternoon sun that burned my skin. Even though the path we were following distorted itself into an unrecognizable hell of thorns that mercilessly cut the flesh, we finally reached the door and stepped into the soothing darkness disturbed only by an occasional bat. “I’m going to go check upstairs”, he said, panting heavily. I nodded, unable to do much more but put down the gear and evaluate the damage. My shirt – wet to the last thread. My arms – bleeding. After what seemed like hours of bloody anguish, we were here. “Hope it’s worth it.”

My moment of solitude was disrupted by fast-approaching footsteps and a worried look on my partner’s face: “I heard sounds”. “Sounds?, I asked, as the word echoed through my mind, “what kind of sounds?”

 

“I don’t know.”

 

“Human? Animal?”

 

“I don’t know. And I saw fresh wooden planks piled up on the floor.”

 

I looked back at the thorns and the path we created through them. How could’ve anyone managed to carry in huge wooden planks through that hell surrounding the villa? After a moment of consideration, we pressed on, in search of a very specific room. One corridor came after another, the rooms became a blur of dark-lit gray decay. Until we found it – the room of a painter, all dressed up in blue and rust. The sun cast its harsh light onto a pile of toy airplanes on a shaky wooden table. I wondered about whose hands touched them before I ever laid my eyes on them, while my partner rushed on about discovering the perfect angle.

 

Click clacks of tripods. Click clacks of shutters. Soft creaking of wood. Dust hovering in the air. Footsteps.

 

Footsteps?

 

My body went completely rigid as I heard that ominous sound, not knowing from whence it came or if the footsteps were approaching. My partner froze in his movements as well and in a moment of silent communication, it was obvious that I was not alone in hearing the sound.

More footsteps. A cough. Soft humming.

 

“We bail out”. He nodded in agreement. During the bone-chilling agony of the journey back downstairs when every shadow held a new danger, thoughts kept racing through my mind: “Human, definitely human. Worker boarding up the place with that stack of fresh boards? Too quiet for a worker. Lunch break? But he heard us, we were too damn loud. If he was a worker, he would’ve found us and kicked us out. If he wasn’t a worker, he would’ve been quiet. Definitely heard us, no doubt about it. And just how did he get those boards inside this place? But nothing was boarded up yet...makes no sense. Explorer? Possibly.” I wasn’t about to stay and find out.

 

We were out, headed once again for the thorny path. This time, I welcomed the pain.

 

(Explore done with SuspiciousMinds :) )

 

Identifier: ourdomesticanima01voog

Title: Our domestic animals, their habits, intelligence and usefulness;

Year: 1907 (1900s)

Authors: Voogt, Gos. de Wormeley, Katharine Prescott, tr Burkett, Charles William, 1873- ed

Subjects: Domestic animals

Publisher: Boston, Ginn & Co.

Contributing Library: The Library of Congress

Digitizing Sponsor: Sloan Foundation

  

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Text Appearing Before Image:

ATES German Dog Frontispiece t Page Kittens 73 HoKSK 96 Donkeys 158 Sheep 164 Rabbits -52 Cockatoos 280 _ OUR DOMESTIC ANIMALS INTRODUCTION Our subject is inexhaustible. From the boywho bcheves that his dog knows as much as heto the scientist who demonstratesto his satisfaction by laboratoryexperiments that animals are butcreatures of habit and not of rea-son, all the world is interested inthe animals of the home. Theirpresence seems to be necessary incomplete the family circle. What touching tales we readof the fidelity of dogs ! Who hasnever amused himself by plavingwith kittens, whose gracious littleways are equal to their graceful-ness . Who does not rememberthe anguish of heart when his petlamb of childhood was laid away in the gardengrave, or when the pet of any kind, whose lastda\s had come, was returned to the earth forburial and rejjose . These things indi-cate the affection whichman has for domestic animals, and the almost human ties that oftenbind him to the brute creation.

 

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Normally when I post a photo I take time to describe it, or something that struck me worthy of mention when I took it. This time, I've decided to try something a bit different. Since getting into night photography, especially mountain scenes I’m often asked about what it’s like to hike up in the dark and cold. A recent trip to Mayflower Gulch and the Boston Mine was a perfect opportunity to try share this experience.

 

I had the pleasure of joining Brad McGinley, Mike Berenson, Darren White and Cooper the Wonder Dog last weekend on a trek up Mayflower Gulch to the Boston Mine tram.

 

This post is the third of three consecutive installments describing a recent nighttime hike to the Boston Mine. My goal is describe for you what one of these adventures is like, but since the write up got a bit long I broke it up into three parts.

 

Part Three:

…..It went on like this for an hour or two. Each of us running around getting different vantages in an effort to balance foreground and background. Well, they did that mostly. I did keep recomposing, but kept close to Cooper so he would remain wrapped in his blanket. I checked up on him every 10 – 15 minutes and he seemed ok, but I still wasn’t happy with the situation I put him in. Around 4:30 I decided it was enough so Brad, Cooper and I left to go down. We gave up about 15 minutes of shooting before the early dawn light began to diminish the stars.

 

For nearly the entire first mile down, we ran into the same phenomenon as on the way up with the light playing tricks on us. It looked like 50’ in front of us was a crest where the slope got very steep, but no matter how far we walked we couldn’t reach it.

 

When we reached tree line the wind was gone and we were warmed up from hiking back. I took Cooper’s jacket off and we rested for a spell. Getting up to go the remainer was really hard as I was pretty tired. Fortunately, it was downhill, but after another mile I knew I was exhausted. I’ve been fighting various ailments with my feet and back so haven’t been staying in nearly as good of shape as just a year ago. Combined with the extra 20 lbs of gear and clothes necessary to do one of these hikes I felt like a weeble on stilts. I took only a little solace that even Brad (Mr. Hiker) was complaining.

 

The good part was that the trail maintained a downhill slope which allowed me to create a momentum in my mind as I pushed each step out, one at a time, to keep going. Brad asked if I wanted stop when were about 3/4’s down but I knew I’d never get up again so I declined. I did slow my speed down though as I felt a bit out of control with the uneven terrain. Several times we noted a clearing of the trees ahead thinking it had to be the parking area, only to be fooled. These were really heart wrenching but I trudged on.

 

By the time we reached the parking area I felt like I’d lost a boxing match. I told Brad that a half hour ago I had nothing left and the only thing that got me to the bottom was the promise of sitting down for the drive home. I wasn’t kidding.

 

So now you know what it’s like to go on one of these winter night hike adventures. Of course, this was just my perspective and I’m sure each of our experiences, including Cooper’s, was quite different. It’s now a week later if you were to ask me about my experience I would reply that it was a blast! All pain and anguish are gone or recalled fondly and I can’t wait to go up again. 8^) I hope you liked it, and as always appreciate any feedback you’re willing to share.

  

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