Category Archives: frowns

Solemn Poem

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This Emily Dickinson poem is quite solemn and sad.

It offers little solace to those who read it.

I feel bad, imagining her writing this.

She only lived 56 years.

 

I am not sure why,

since it is Summer,

I am posting this.

 

I think it is because of a few of my friends,

fellow bloggers, are going through more

turmoil than I would wish for them

to have to go through.

 

There has been another enormous tragedy, the Malaysian airplane

which held possibly 300 people in it. The images of its crashing

down in the Ukraine, imprinted on my thoughts today.

There are some assumptions of its being shot down

or a bomb having been set off, within it.

Most of the television newscasters

are leaning towards the former,

rather than the latter

conclusion.

 

“A Certain Slant of Light”

~ Emily Dickinson ~

(1830 – 1886)

 

“There’s a certain Slant of light,

Winter afternoons

That oppresses like the Heft

Of Cathedral tunes.

 

Heavenly Hurt, it give us

We can find no scar,

But internal difference

Where the meanings, are.

 

None may teach it- Any-

‘Tis the seal Despair

An Imperial affliction

Sent us of the Air.

 

When it comes, the Landscape listens

Shadows hold their breath

When it goes, ’tis like the Distance

On the look of Death.”

 

Reprinted on the internet with permission from

Amhearst College, from the book,

“The Poems of Emily Dickinson,”

originally published posthumously, in 1951.

Rainy Days and Mondays

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Today is Monday and it does have a foreboding forecast of

sleeting rain and even, in the northern part of Ohio and

other areas of the country: Snow!

The most memorable song, which includes the variability of

our weather forecast for tonight is, “Cold Rain and Snow,”

by the Grateful Dead, 1966. Its original song was an upbeat

tempo rock song, but is also recorded more slower paced.

We can feel cheerful when we remember the way our elementary

teachers had us draw, paint or write about this little ditty:

“April Showers Bring May Flowers…”

I used to staple umbrellas and ducks for the month of April on

my bulletin board in my preschool and elementary school teaching

days. My teaching assistant and I used to like to use chocolate

pudding to create ‘mud’ during our finger painting art times. Once

their paintings would dry, we would have the children the next

day paint pink pigs. Which later, we cut out and glued in their

“mud holes.” I used the pattern of Wilbur, from the book,

“Charlotte’s Web,” by E. B. White to draw on fingerpaint paper.

The subject of ‘rain’ is one that could include multiple choices!

It all depends on your mood or what reference point that leads to

the subject matter. Your mood can be affected by when it comes to

which thing or event reminds you of it. Whatever triggers you

into rain’ it can be powerful in its message. The word can evoke

imagery.

Rain can be deep, richly laced with symbolism.

Rain is a ‘favorite’ or popular subject found in poetry, musical

lyrics and movies. It is the subject of the Shakespeare play,

“The Tempest,” and the movie, “The Perfect Storm.”

Then, there are the simpler, less nuanced, basic levels that

come to mind when you think of ‘rain.’ Of course, coworkers

and people one runs into on the street, often talk about the

weather! Everyone uses this as one of the ‘blandest’ and most

common denominator of subjects.

It can also evoke memories of good times where the song

brings back fun thoughts. Then, due to its darker side

which includes such diverse elements as cloudy skies,

lightning, thunder and storms, it can hold serious ‘weight’

to it. It can be a dangerous event or subject. Monsoons,

typhoons and storms while boats or ships are out to sea are not at

all light-hearted subjects.

There are familiar expressions that include those same words, too.

I like the fact that there are a couple of movies with the subject

of ‘rain,’ included in them.

Some have theme songs, that are paired where they are remembered

as ones that originated in the movies. There are songs which simply

imply the subject matter of rain in their lyrics.

When people complain about too much rain, they say it is ‘raining

cats and dogs.’ This probably brings smiles to children and ones

learning English!

There are many people who have not lived through a drought or a

monsoon, so they should be careful when they complain about the

weather. It could certainly be much worse!

Here is everything I could come up with, from the top of my mind,

on the subject of Rain:

1. “It’s raining, it’s pouring the old man is

snoring,…” This is a rather silly nursery rhyme or old saying

chanted in a singsong manner.

2. I love that breathy rhythm and blues song called, “Stormy Weather,”

don’t you? This was sung in 1933, for the first time in the famous,

“Cotton Club,” by Ethel Waters. The movie of the same name, is still

considered one of the best musicals, with an ethnically diverse cast.

The beautiful singer, Lena Horne, is included in that cast. I highly

recommend this, if you have never seen it!

3. Although not really fitting with the theme of the movie, B.J.

Thomas’ song, “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head,” was featured in

a light-hearted break in the movie, “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance

Kid.”

I love the picture I get in my mind, of Paul Newman riding in circles,

with the actress, Katherine Ross, on his bicycle’s handlebars. My

favorite lines in that song are not about the rain, but about the sun

and the way you can change your mood: (Remember “I did some talking

with the sun…”)

“But there’s one thing I know,

the blues they may send to meet me,

won’t defeat me.

It won’t be long, till happiness

comes up to greet me.”

4. “Rainy Days and Mondays (Always Get Me Down)” can get me both

sad and weepy or on better days, just nostalgic. My memories of

the Carpenters include how they were guests on variety shows.

Since Karen Carpenter’s voice is so beautiful in this song, I

try to remember the gifts of their voices and songs the sister

and brother sang together. Richard must have been devastated after

his sister died accidentally of her body shutting down from the

serious illness of anorexia nervosa.

5. I cannot help remembering the excitement I felt, when I heard the

song, “It’s Raining Men.” (“Alleluia!”) It is credited to be sung

by the Weather Girls, but somehow I thought Donna Summer also sang

it.

6. In the song, “Let It Rain,” Eric Clapton created a true iconic

song. He married a central Ohio woman, which makes me happy. His

song about the death of his son, he wrote into a song, “Tears in

Heaven.”

7. If rain were colors, then I would like “Purple Rain,” but

the song and movie, with Prince the singer (who now uses a

symbol to represent himself), is very dark and includes an

abusive life.

8. On the “B” side of the record that had a much more famous

Beatles’ song of “Paperback Writer,” is the one which is now

featured in a Cirque de’ Soleil musical simply called, “Rain.”

9. One of my oldest daughter’s favorite groups, during her middle

school years, was Creedence Clearwater Revival. We used to just

say, “CCR.” There are two songs with the word rain in it that we

enjoyed. Our favorite was “Have You Ever Seen the Rain?” and the

second was, “Who’ll Stop the Rain?” They are not the same and both

carry different messages.

10. Who can forget the group, “The Eurythmics?” They sang a really

meaningful song, which became overplayed and lost its importance.

“Here Comes the Rain Again.”

11. There are Bob Dylan songs with rain in them, but only remember,

“Buckets of Rain.” What is another one?

12. I love and adore James Taylor’s, “Fire and Rain.” If the first,

beginning notes or chords are played, I have to turn my radio up

loud and sing the words with him!

13. An ‘oldie but goodie,’ that Melvin reminded me of, at lunch

today, was another ‘favorite’ of mine: “The Temptations” singing,

“I Wish it Would Rain.”

The final reference for rain, that you have been waiting for,

asking, “Did she forget it or what?” is…

The movie and song, “Singing in the Rain!”

Simply a fun and sunny outlook on rain, with Gene Kelly, Debbie

Reynolds and Donald O’Connor. Gene Kelly’s voice and dancing

erase all the bad moments and memories on the subject of Rain!

 

Adding a postscript today, July 30, 2014:

There is a definition in the urban dictionary, where they accept all

kinds of ‘new uses’ and like to ‘invent’ words. Anyone out there who

enjoys or likes rain, you are a “pluviophile!” Smiles for this addition!

Reflections (In the Mirror and Inner Self Awareness)

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George Orwell, sometime in his life, said these

profound words,

“At age 50, everyone has the face he deserves.”

From that thought, I will use it as a springboard

choosing a few different ages to think about and

while I reflect, it may give you some thoughts, too.

Does your face show more smiles through your

multiple laugh lines?

Do your lips show more signs of “pursed lips” due

to “tsk tsking” a few too many times? I am going to

stereotype the teachers and the librarians, (myself

having been one, my cousin the other) that we may

have given more stern looks say, then the ice cream

truck person. Or did you make it an absent minded

habit to pull your lips into a frown or by biting your

lip, pulled it in one corner or another?

Maybe you smoked and those wrinkles around your

mouth are from the “pleasure” of taking deeply

inhaled breaths of nicotine. I have heard from at

least two good friends, a brother and a meeting full

of people that it is almost easier giving up alcohol

or heroin than nicotine…

Sometimes, while younger, I depended on others to

verify or give me validation that I looked “okay.” I am

still working on this insecurity. Not sure where it came

from. I was much loved by parents, friends and most

of the time, people in general.

During my elementary years, I liked my pointy black

glasses with the sparkles in the corners that raised up.

I imagined myself a little like a cat in my appearance.

I liked my dark brown hair, when long enough to sit

on it. Then, when I tired and ached from the daily

pullings and yankings, I accidentally “groaned” or

let a little ‘yelp!’ out. That brought the end of long

hair until after high school. Mom cut it in the style

of Julie Andrews in “Sound of Music.” Never mind that

she played a character who was a nun. I got used to

that short hair. It was nice also, that during Sally Fields’

reign as “The Flying Nun,” short hair was in style.

While in Junior High, there were a few shows where

the girls had short hair (or the Mom in Partridge Family

and the Mom in the Brady Bunch.) I particularly wished

for the cute adorable short bob of a British actress

and also, Goldie Hawn, of “You bet your sweet bippie!”

fame and fortune.

I think in one’s teenager years, there is a lot of peer

pressure and self awareness. I was suddenly not so crazy

about those glasses, switching to contacts. I was still a

little awkward and a “late bloomer.” Although I joined

many clubs and belonged to the honor clubs, too, I felt

a little on the “fringe” of life. I was loved within my groups

and therefore did fine on a daily basis. There were som e

insecure moments, when the girl ask boy dances came

around, also when the times were more noticeable that

I did not have the “popular” clothes, shoes or hair style.

Time marched on. Happiness should never be fleeting,

but a continuous sense of contentment. The source of

peace came more over me, when my teachers and

parents shared this awesome thought,

“Reinvent yourself when you go off to college. Imagine

yourself popular, accepted and well defined in your goals.

Don’t focus on your imagined shortcomings.” Lots of little

tidbits and nuggets as good as gold to this young woman.

I have been feeling some joy since I have completed the

resposibilities of raising three children, along with helping

and challenging some students, child care/babysitting kids

and neighbors’ children along the way. I feel very good with

those accomplishments.

There are still bubbles of hope for finding a partner, some

say to give up the quest. I am not sure that this is the way

I would like to go. There are some who advise that someone

may enter my life when I am not looking. That is entirely

possible, but it doesn’t hurt to keep my eyes open wide for

the ones who may be a little shy or not likely to approach

me. After all, my goal is to find a partner to share the rest

of the road, holding hands, having fun that we can remind

each other of, when there may be times our memory is

a little ‘faulty.’

I like the movie, “Moonstruck,” where Cher slaps Nicholas

Cage’s face, the line, “Snap out of it!” makes me smile! It

is almost as good as this one, repeated in teen shows and

some comedies, “Get over it!” or better yet, “Get over

yourself!” Letting go of your worries, the things that weigh

you down is so important to do. I also like this little ditty

that applies to us as we get older, “Eat dessert first!”

To me, it is not so much about the content of the words

but the meaning behind them. Enjoy life and don’t wait

to get to the fun part of life!

There is a big wave of authorities and an author besides

who is emphasizing writing down what you would have

told your younger self. The “notes to self” movement is

good, maybe to teach others who have not made their

mistakes yet. But, to tell you the truth, honest to God!

If I had a time capsule and sent myself the warnings and

other pieces of sound advice I am thinking would be so

wise to impart: There is NO way I would have changed

any of my actions!

I had parents who I loved dearly and did not rebel

against since they were that good. I chose the men I

chose, who let’s face it, those are my biggest mistakes,

ALL BY MYSELF! Against advice of my parents and even

one friend of mine, too. I honored and respected my

Mom and Dad, yet went against their best guidance.

Oh well! I have to get over myself and those books or

notes to self would have been ripped up and thrown

out, sorry to say!

The best compliment is that I survived my mistakes

and I hope my face shows some of those happiest

seared into my brain and memory moments. I made

it after all!

I am well aware when I visit my mother that I may get

more forgetful, she likes to ‘hide things’ but ends up

forgetting where she hid them! I like to think it is okay

to forget because she seems so much happier, less

stressed.

The sands of time are slipping down the glassed walls

of the big timer in each of our lives. It is like a sundial

that is pointing with the shadows each day more quickly

passing to the next.

If you are like me, over fifty, there is more sand at the

bottom of the timer and less at the top. Like the gas

in your car, the gauge once it reaches below the half

way point, it seems like the gas runs out more quickly.

It would be nice to put the timer sideways, or retip it

so it will have more time left. But that is not the way

life goes.

So, cherish each grain of sand, let it be a special moment

and notice more, seek more, challenge yourself to get out

of your ‘comfort zone.’

Lastly, as you are possibly reflecting on your growth and

self awareness, have you developed some good strategies

to handle the future? Are you looking at that face with its

lines and saying, they were all worth it, each and every one?

The credit or inspiration for this post today, is from a

column Connie Schulz wrote and was published on:

February 19, 2012. She chose five face photographs and

commented on her own self awareness and ones that

were less complimentary, explaining why. The ages she

chose are interesting, too. She chose ages 12, 21, 37, 45

and 53. Connie’s story was titled, “My Story in Five Faces.”