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Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

Be Someone’s Firework!

Do you ever feel like a plastic bag,
Drifting through the wind
Wanting to start again?
Do you ever feel, feel so paper thin
Like a house of cards,
One blow from caving in?    Katy Perry, Firework

Have you heard the song?  Do you know the feelings?  I do, and have much of my life.  The sad thing, is many of our young people are today too because they can’t make the grade and after being beat up emotionally they feel suicide is the only way because of bullying and belittling.  It’s deeply painful and real and it shreads a kid’s self worth to the point that there only seems one way out.

“So, I hear you saying so what can I do?”  “I don’t know any kids that are feeling that way!”  Well, there is something you CAN do!  When you see those young people behind the counter in the restaurants and stores you frequent smile, make an honest compliment – be the bright spot in their day!

How about volunteering at your local library or school for an hour a month to read books, or go to your local school and be a tutor for a kid who needs help reading – reach out and be there.

Maybe just give one kid what you never got as a kid!  Light the fire of confidence by being you – be kind, be caring and be your own firework!!

A Music Junky

I have to admit that I am a total music junky. I have many genres that fill my iPod with the music that I listen to on a regular basis. According to a friend, I have quite an eclectic taste when it comes to both the sound, and the types of music that drive me on a given day. I begin the day with classical music, and finished it with the throbbing sound of John Fogerty and CCR. Most days it is filled with the added sounds of the likes of the Dubliners, The Chieftains and of course Cara Dillion too. For those who aren’t familiar with those musicians, they are all Celtic in sound and at heart.

But if I am honest, I am drawn most to the Celtic music of the six nations more than any other (Cornwall, Wales, Ireland, Isle of Man, Brittany and Scotland – but they sometimes includes a seventh Galicia, Spain.). I was exposed to it in my early years in the form of Irish music that had been brought to the States from groups like the Irish Rovers and The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem in the sixties. Since then my interest and love of the music has grown to include Irish/American groups such as the Elders out of Kansas City, Cherish the Ladies from New York, as well as the likes of the Celtic punk band The Pogues out of London.

What has accelerated my exposure to the music in the past few years whether it be ballads, or throbbing jigs or reels has been my fellow music junkies and friends, as well as YouTube and other Internet sites of course.  The growth of this genre world-wide  has been phenomenal with fans that call Japan as well as Slovenia home.   Some of the best share a wide variety that the music from the older songs, to whatever is being written and sung  today.

Celtic flavored tunes can rock with punk bands like The Pogues, or an American band Gaelic Storm who are known for their tuneful jigs that were a part of the well known movie Titanic.  The music seems to grab  or drive you but you certainly cannot simply sit and not be a participant.

What has helped expose many to the music are the many music festivals that have sprung up around the world.  From Scotland, to the fabulous Celtic Colours Festival in Cape Breten, Nova Scotia, Canada and from Louisiana’s Celtic Nations Heritage Festival to festivals in Australia and and Japan this musical genre has become an ever growing form that shows no sign of stopping…thank goodness!

A Picture – Is It Really Worth a Thousand Words?

If you blog as I do, you put words to a page almost daily in the hopes of bringing it to fruition on a blog. But more often than not my thoughts for any given blog has been inspired by the pictures I take.

I’m really not that good a photographer, but there is something about an image in a given picture that sets my mind to thinking in phrases, or words pictures. Though words can seldom recreate the exact beauty or feeling that has captured my heart and mind I love to attempt the feat but seldom do it justice.

This is one of those pictures that is one of those impossibly beautiful photos that when I take it in I find myself touching an achingly sad feeling that immediately takes to the spot if I close my eyes.  Here I see St. Kevin’s Church.  Here also I see the graveyard of many who lived, and died and are buried in the hallowed ground.  But what grabs me and holds me by the throat is the green that envelopes the whole scene.  Like Ireland, this scene holds faith, life, and death but mostly the irrepressible spirit of a people who lived, fought, and died for the land.  Here they created a music that began to share personal stories about the pain and separation of families as well as of the loves and joys in the smallest things of life.  They sang, and sing, a song for Ireland.  The music of the Celtic soul of this land is often what makes life bearable and worth living.  It is not always beautiful, nor is it always easy to hear.  But like many a song it is a way to deal with those experiences and then continue on in living.  From the joyful songs to their most painful ballads and laments the Irish have allowed for a letting go in song and the music.  The pain is never really gone with the singing of the words it is only given and shared freely, and through that act permitted to be given away.  A load shared, is a load lightened for many.