Category Archives: James Taylor

Aside

These four simple quotes are meant to bring you some bright thoughts along with

your daily walk in life. Finding meaning in any one of these will make me feel good,

passing on some gems I found.

Please let me know what is bringing you special smiles around where you live lately.

 

~* There are 1440 minutes in  a day. Remember to use them wisely. *~

 

~* “How beautiful the leaves grow old. How full of light and color are their last days.” *~

(John Burroughs)

 

~* “Every leaf speaks bliss to me,

fluttering from the autumn tree.” *~

(Emily Bronte)

 

~* “Winter is an etching.

~* Spring a watercolor.

~* Summer an oil painting.

~* Autumn a mosaic of them all.” *~

(Stanley Horowitz)

 

This just reminds me of James Taylor’s song that begins with those memorable lyrics:

“Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall,

All you have to do is call. . .”

“You’ve Got A Friend.”

 

Simplicity While Seasons Change

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!

The Truth

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It seems like this word, in itself, could fill journals about

its meaning and consequences. The lack of it, definitely present

in society, individuals and often in companies’ actions. It is a

hard thing to come by, these days, it seems, to find an honest

person. Everywhere you turn, media in all its glory, flashes on

the falseness, the liar, and the unfaithful people. Businesses

have false advertising and people who hold C.E.O. positions are

often taking the brunt of the lies, sometimes knowingly promoting

them. Politicians are not to be trusted, or so the media often

publicizes the ones that are the worst, anyway.

“White lies” or “fibs” are what you would normally expect among

friends, loved ones and family. It would be great if that was the

“worst” you would have to face on a daily basis: someone telling

you look “nice” when you are recovering from the flu or that

dress “fits you,” when it has different areas pinching you in

all the wrong places!

It would be fantastic if there were no lying going on. I loved

the wit, satire and sarcasm of Ricky Gervais in the “The Invention

of Lying.” Poor, beautiful Jennifer Garner’s character is the “foil”

for a lot of the jokes and being so sincerely sweet and innocent,

believing Ricky’s character’s bold faced lies!

The song, “You Can Count on Me” comes from the adorable animated

children’s film, “The Fox and the Hound.” It is a great song about

how friends can count on each other. It was written in 1982, by

Burt Bacharach and has been performed by Rod Stewart, Dionne Warwick

Stevie Wonder, and many more. This leads to my second favorite

song about friendship, it begins with those infamous words, “Winter,

Spring, Summer or Fall…” (“You’ve Got a Friend” sung by James Taylor.)

Both of these songs are talking about your friends being there for you,

through thick and thin. I would like to say, that most people also

assume their friends and lovers will be honest, too. I mean, why would

someone say they are your best friend, or “You are my best friend” and

then, turn around and lie? Also, who would expect someone to say the

wedding vows, then within months, turn around and cheat on their new

bride or groom?

I have a “belief system” that I have “paid” for my mistakes in not

always being honest, if I have misjudged someone, or when I omitted

the truth. This is when I feel “karma” has come into play. Maybe

some would think God would punish the lies. I am not sure about this,

I prefer to think payback comes in time, “what goes around, comes

around.”

As I get older, though, sincerely to tell you the truth, I find it

easier to keep my ‘facts straight’ and to stay on the ‘straight and

narrow,” by just telling the truth. Isn’t that a mouthful? But, I

think you may understand, when you ‘make up excuses’ for not attending

a dinner, helping a friend move or something even more serious, you

don’t feel like going to a funeral, if you don’t just say, “I don’t

feel like it,” inevitably you will be caught in this “lie.” You will

be running out to get milk and you aren’t really “sick” as you had

given for the excuse out of a dinner with a somewhat irritating

friend or relative. They catch you and then, not only is their mistrust,

but you must pay with a bunch of guilty feelings!

While discoursing, without much factual backing on this subject, I had

to tell you that the famous line, Jack Nicholas’ character belts out

in the great movie, “A Few Good Men” echoes in my mind:

“You can’t handle the truth!!”

This can also happen, in your life, you are hiding your head like a

turtle, sheltering your heart. You don’t want to know that the person

you loved is unfaithful to you. You don’t want to really know your friend

cheated on her income taxes. You don’t want to… fill in the blanks of

when you would rather hear a lie. You would rather be comforted with the

blanket of untruthfulness.

Have you ever met someone who could look you straight in your eyes, without

batting their eyes, and they could tell you a lie? I have had two men in

my life and a girlfriend do this. It is heart breaking and also, strange when

you look back, seeing that there were threads left dangling, there was some

unraveling going on and you chose to ignore it.

While watching a rerun of “Criminal Minds” I found out that a man or woman

can take the lie detector test and still “pass it” by biting the inside of

their mouth. By creating a painful moment, their can be irregularities in

those “spikes” where the reader can see the lies. But, it can be artificially

created in intervals with little tricks like biting the inside of your mouth,

taking big, deep breaths and exhaling to give your pulse and reactions some

time to relax.

When people are put on the witness stand, they place a hand on the Bible,

then they say those famous words, “I swear to tell the truth, the whole

truth, so help me God.” Wish we could just go around in our lives, being

able to trust our friends, neighbors and loved ones. Sometimes this is

not possible. When you have to face a person who lied to you, how easy

is it for you to forgive? Are their different “levels of transgressions”

that would help you to decide how soon to give out forgiveness?

A serious subject and a diversion from Christmas. Far from the happy

posts, recently, and I hope you will forgive my “breaking up the party”

for these few moments…

Lying.”

Saying Goodbye to a Friend

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I have come to realize that my hanging out with Bill after we broke up is just lingering

onto hope for him and sometimes for me it is like a big security blanket. He leaves me

notes in my locker at work, I return notes to him. I got off his cell phone bill only in

September! We had broken up over 18 months ago and gone out on walks, had phone

talks and even a dinner out from time to time.

I wrote him that I took my friend the fisherman up to the lake. It was nice to show him

the sights and not to worry about the competition out there in cyberspace. He still has

one woman who writes and calls, he saw her only once in September but she feeds his

ego and actually says lots of mushy things for “just a friend” and gave him a lot of

expensive things.

(Like a valuable, lucky coin worth $250, circa 1922.)

I also said that I thought that the man I was seeing more often lately may be a “boyfriend”

and told Bill that maybe I should not rely upon him so much. I think that his reply did

not reflect what I meant to say as he said he bought a cord of wood and

would Fri. or Sat. be good for me to come over for a bonfire?

He also sent a note asking if I would ever want to eat another dinner out together?

So, this led me to a discussion with the fisherman about his other friend and did he

think that holding onto her was for his future time with her? for her because he didn’t

want to hurt her? Or for his own (possibly) ego that liked having more than one woman

paying attention to him? This was in the car so he could not escape!

Tough questions but regardless of how he answered it led me to believe that I needed

to be clear.

Bill, I think we had a lot of communication differences, I like to solve things and make up.

You, as part of your nature, like to brood and be quiet for long, long lengths of time.

You are a smoker and thought you would only do it outside. You were a night supervisor

but when asked if you wanted to ever change shifts so we could spend more time (this

was our 3rd year when I asked this question)?

You answered you would never want to work days. It made us cranky and we did not

do well on trips together.

Remember asking me to be quiet for 4 hours?!

He answered back in a cryptic note, “I didn’t realize you were getting serious with this

other guy.”

No attempt to address the past nor try to make sense of how we were then and how we

could continue as only friends. I think that I will just back off.

Because even though there is no proof of this, I think he is just waiting for me to come

back.

That is bad of me to keep him on a string and it is worse than what Joe does.

It is always hard because all my exes and their wives and children are part of my life.

We are all connected in some way on holidays, weddings, and births, etc. I cried when

their parents died and they will show they care a lot about my Mom when she passes on.

 

James Taylor’s song, “You’ve got a friend, winter, spring, summer or fall….” just echoes

in my head tonight.