Tag Archives: Inspiration

Who’s Musing Who?

Art, writing, and other musings . . . that’s my bi-line.

When this blog began there was the art, though the writing was always there, hidden from public view. Then came the novel, my biggest and most cherished writing project so far . . . in many ways as satisfying as the art, a pleasure that at one time thought not possible.

For months now, this blog has been skewed towards the promotion on the novel, interspersed with a little about art, and woefully lacking in the musing.

Fascinating and Elusive . . .

What is musing? What is a muse, and is what the right term, given that the muse may be something completely non-physical? It’s a fascinating subject, though it’s one that I’m only now more formally investigating, but not in the sense of a yearning for new knowledge. You see I’ve been close to my muse for a long time, so my knowing is already there, in very personal way. It’s such an intimate experience – a presence at times – and one that is cherished beyond words, but still one tries.

Beyond words . . . perhaps this is why for so long it seemed impossible to use words to find that same satisfaction as in creating art. This I now understand. Someone wrote a really nice blog today about the writer finding that inner voice, and what happens when one writes without it . . . when it becomes superficial. Quite simply, without that muse my inner voice seems weaker, with a sense of loss, and to the point where creating not from the heart becomes a risk.

Searching The Invisible For Common Grounds

It didn’t take long at all – only a few days of research on how history views the muse – to discover how so many others have had similar musing experiences in their creativity. That’s somehow reassuring . . . so many legendary artists and writers, their influences, their loves and relationships, their passions, eccentricities, lusts, questions, controversies, triumphs and heart breaks, and through it all, this mystery of the musing.

Much of the material is about one individual impacting the other – the inspiring returned by the affection – the dynamics between the two. Sometimes the issue goes well beyond the individual, into the realm of the spiritual, perhaps the divine? Questions arise as to where do original ideas come from? Are they really from the muse, or the writer or the artist, or from somewhere unknown? Perhaps unknown, yet truly felt . . . the fuel of genius . . . the gift received, and then the gift created, followed by the need for more. It seems this is the way of musing, always mysterious.

Same Journey, New Curves Along the Path

In the next part of my journey I’m about to write in a different way. I have begun a relationship with a large web site devoted to the issue of what it means to be a good man in today’s world. It features an incredible amount of amazing contributors, and so I am honored, humbled and excited. This kind of writing presents an entirely different challenge than writing a novel or writing here on my blog. Both of those are more personal, kind of like writing for an audience of one, which helps immensely in trying to write from the heart.

In this next project that kind of writing must continue, but differently. If you haven’t noticed, my blog is often kind of like thinking out loud, which helps me to focus on one thing or another. Every now and then it seems to resonate with others, which is really nice. Lately I haven’t done enough of that, not enough writing that will somehow help others . . . you.

That kind of helping seems imperative in writing for this men’s project, and I’ll start by gleaming through this musing material. I’m sure this can help cut through some of the confusion and anguish that seems to be there for so many men. Of course, it’s not just there for the men, but for everyone . . . the same but different. Contributors are encouraged to write in the first person, to tell personal accounts of this and that. I will do so, gently though, and as much as possible with a touch of humour, the non-offensive kind. I don’t always succeed at the ‘non’ part,  so I’m asking this of you, “Wish me luck – the good kind!”

I’ve actually written a first draft of an article. I wrote it awhile ago, but have decided to sit on it. It’s actually pretty funny – yes and no – it has to do with the use of certain toys in long distance relationships. It’s a good article, but not the one I want to lead in with, so perhaps closer to Valentine’s? It certainly doesn’t fit in well with the subject of muses . . . no pun intended. Also, I’d like to write articles that are in a way congruent with Dawn at Last, which is oozing with secrets and mystery and well, you know . . . muses!

The Challenge

So much that is written on this topic is related to gifted artists and creative people. I believe that is unfairly so, that anyone can have a kind of muse-gift in any close relationship. I need to believe this as much as I need to believe that love is the most important aspect of the universe. Illustrating this through my new writing project will be a challenge, which is perhaps just the motivation I need. You will see what I mean when these articles are published, and I’ll be sure to mention them here, on my blog, as soon as that happens.

To give you a feel for what I mean – the gift of the muse in everyday life – here is an excerpt from Dawn at Last. Based on comments from the book’s fans, it is certainly one of the favorite segments of the novel. This is about Pierre, the owner of a French restaurant called Papillons, telling Sunni (a waitress) about the inspiration and origin of the name:

“Okay Sunni . . . the house of butterflies. It’s my home, you see. How can I tell you this? When I was a youngster I had my chores to do, and they varied depending on the time of year. This one summer day it was getting close to supper time and I had to prepare a bunch of vegetables for stew. I had to go to the kitchen sink to get some water and our kitchen window overlooked the yard between the house and the crops. There were little flower beds around the yard. While I was running the water I looked outside and there they were.”

He pauses, and looks as if he’s lost in a dream, though she’s sure it’s a memory, and once again in her impatience she asks, “What did you see, papillons?”

Her words breaks his trance, and he smiles as he looks at her and says, “Yes, that and more. My mother was out there on the right side of yard, tending to some flowers. She was bent over. She was wearing those favourite blue jean shorts of hers and a colourful blouse, an old one she wore mostly for chores. Then I saw my father on the left side, about fifty meters away. He was repairing some kind of tool or something. It was a hot day, so he paused to wipe off his sweat. As he stood up he looked at my mother. At that point she hadn’t noticed him looking. He started to walk quietly toward her, as if to sneak up on her. About half way there she must have heard him, or perhaps it was les papillons floating around her, five of them. I think it was five − they were hard to count.

When my father noticed that my mother had spotted him sneaking up, he started walking a little faster. Then she stood right up and turned to face him, at the same time looking around the yard. She started walking away, slowly at first, not toward him, but toward the house, and smiling. He began to run a little and so did she, giggling now, and it was bit like a touch football game as she zigged and zagged a bit, and then my father slipped on the grass and fell down to the ground. I was startled. It really looked like he was hurt, but he it turned out he was faking an injury to get her to come and help him, and when she did, he pulled her down and they kissed, and for a long time. Then they got up and walked away, hand in hand, somewhere towards the side of the house, where there are lots of trees.”

Then he pauses, and looks closer at Sunni. “And then then these butterflies – when my mother was running they seemed to follow her – like they were playing their own game. They even seemed to follow them to the trees, until I lost sight of them as well. It was really something. In those moments it was all about love, don’t you think? Only playful love and affection. And it seems that’s all the butterflies know − and that’s what I try to do with my restaurant. It’s a safe place for people like you and Andrea and the other young ladies, at least I want it to be, and maybe sometimes love comes out of it, somehow. Is that so wrong?”

The Perfect Gift, If Only For Awhile

One of my favourite aspects about this excerpt is how the couple interact so playfully and with no need for words – in a way they inspire each other – and so this is too is the play of the muse? I hope this gives you a bit of a flavour for the direction I’ll be taking in the project. If I succeed then I will make some people happier, if only for awhile, and hopefully a long while. Maybe some in their busy lives need a reminder, need to stop and look at the love that is still there, but possibly dormant in all the stress and confusion? I plan to provide many reminders – a series on this issue of the muse and musing – of awareness, the selfless kind.

It would be nice to help like that, in some small way . . . it does feel good when it happens, and shouldn’t it? There are those who says that such kindness is somehow self-indulgent and that giving gifts like this is really a selfish act because one gets pleasure in the process. I disagree. If you want to see it as being selfish, go ahead. All I know is that it is perfectly acceptable . . . perhaps the only true definition of perfection. How do I know? Why do I believe this so strongly? The simple is answer – I can sense that the muse approves and I need no more than that.

Thank you for getting to the bottom of such a long post . . . you must be well-grounded by now! As such you deserve a treat, so what could be more fitting than a little music? Enjoy . . .

Who’s Musing Who?

Be My Guest

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When I first released my debut novel it was kind of thrilling – the feeling, not the book – it’s exciting but not a thriller!

Back then I didn’t realize how difficult it is have one’s book “discovered”. Naive I suppose, but I’m glad I was . . . without a certain amount of child-like innocence I’m not sure the book would have ever been written. I like to think there is plenty of that naivete throughout Dawn at Last, which is odd given the rather serious and adult themes . . . undercurrents.

It felt much like preparing a fine meal, ten years in the making, and then opening the door to hall, ready to serve up a feast. I like to cook for someone special, one of life’s simple pleasures. While I wrote the novel because I just had to, it was never just for me but rather for a guest of one. Often I’d think of one person reading it, but no one in particular. I can’t imagine writing in any other way.

A Playful Reminder

Last week I came across something on YouTube that reminded me of this joy of launching my novel. It’s an old Disney clip, from that string of musical stories that came out just while my dear ones were my little ones. Watching them with my girls was very much like being a kid again, at least for awhile.

Aside from the launching of the book though, it’s quite remarkable how this short musical piece also ties in to much of the content of the book – in a condensed kind of way.

There is this issue of serving – giving with no expectations other than the pleasure of another – turning work into play? There is the curious combination of a little clock and a candle, an odd combination to say the least! For me clocks give a false perception of time, while with candles – within the flame – there is something timeless.

There is fine French dining, plenty of dancing, reasons to pop the cork, something about flowers and even tea. To top it all off, there is only one guest, and it seems an inquisitive one, delighted by the feast. She’s very much an individual, as are all six of the main characters in Dawn at Last.

Oopsy Daisy!

The funny thing is that perhaps this individuality comes out the most when they all sit down to one meal, or should I say when they all try to work together in preparing it? Now that I think of it, that Ben guy is smarter than I thought . . . he got away with simply pouring a little champagne . . . kind of like me getting out of doing the dishes!

I hope your week is full of “Oopsy daisies”, so please be my guest and take a few minutes to enjoy this fine dining experience.

My Smashwords Author Interview

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Did Knee

Smashwords has this really nice feature. Authors can select from a list of questions and provide answers that form an interview. There’s also the option of selecting your own questions. It’s a great way to explain one’s work, much easier than trying to do it in an essay or a blog post.

Rather than send you to my Smashwords page, I’ve included the interview here, just below. If you have questions of your own, please feel free to use the reply link and ask away . . . just don’t ask about my radio, okay?

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Is it true that you write naked?

 Now why does this question remind me of Marilyn Monroe? There was all those reporters asking her is she has anything on when she goes to sleep. She once gave me this fantastic response, “Did I have something on? Of course I did, I had the radio on!”

My writing doesn’t punch the clock, except perhaps when I’m writing about something timeless. I haven’t worn a watch in over a decade. I’m not always writing, but when I do it can be noon as easily as the middle of the night. When I actually sit down and type is another story. My mind is very active – sometimes too busy – I get lost in my thoughts. When that happens I may just as well be naked. But then, even with our clothes on, aren’t we all pretty much that way?

 What is the greatest joy of writing for you?

 I have a strong need for finding a creative outlet. It really is a passion and a very satisfying one. I’m an artist as well. While I’ve always felt that I would do a little writing some day, there were times that I didn’t think the joy of creating art could be found in writing. I’m so glad to find out that I was wrong! It seems storytelling is a bit of a gift for me, and moving people, making them happy, giving them something to think about . . . this process is one of my great joys in living.

What do your fans mean to you?

When I hear from a fan, when she tells me what the book has meant to her, that can go right to the heart. It’s one thing to write something, hoping that it affects someone in a very positive way – it’s quite another to find out about that when it actually happens. While I don’t need that kind of feedback for motivation, it certainly does help. It’s much the same with my art. Sometimes I ask myself, “Why bother, aside from my own joy in the process?” Then a few people come along and tell me how it has moved them somehow, and I know it’s not just about me, that it is simply something worth doing, and so I continue.

How do  you approach cover design?

 I’m a firm believer that the cover shouldn’t matter. I also know that from a marketing perspective, it is important, especially in terms of catching people’s attention, and even more so for an unknown talent. As an artist, it is a different kind of challenge, and I couldn’t be more pleased in finally coming up with a cover that matches the book in both content and tone. I guess I’m a bit of a tease, and my cover is a gorgeous tease, but also it’s an honest one. It’s also a little mysterious, as it’s supposed to be!

What is your writing process?

Basically it comes down to elements and rules. While I’ve internalized much of the “Element of Style”, I still refer to it in a pinch. I’ve been using it for over 30 years now. I’ve studied all kinds of writing manuals over the years, though it seems the best ones have to do with writing advertising copy. Those books really do teach one how to write concisely, yet effectively. As for rules, once again I lean towards simplicity. I follow W. Somerset Maugham’s teachings, something I stumbled upon over 20 years ago, “There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.”

Funny how it works. I read his “Of Human Bondage” in high school and now after all this time I begin my novel with three words, “Bound and impatient.” It seems like my characters must be somewhat like Maugham, just trying to figure out the rules of life are as they move along. One of them wants to be a writer.

When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?

First of all, when I’m writing that is almost the only thing I do. Then there is the time spent on marketing, which actually takes up more time than the writing, at least for now, as an unknown independent author. When I’m not doing something book-related, by far my favorite activity is my art. Between the two that doesn’t leave much time, and that time is spent mostly with family, a little reading, watching a good movie, going for walks, trying to make the odd person laugh or smile – mostly strangers – or just being a pain in the ass for someone – mostly friends.

What inspires you to get out of bed each day?

 At my age, and almost without exception, there is this incredible urge to pee. Not to pee? That is out of the question!

Is there anything you want to say specifically about Dawn at Last?

 The most frustrating aspect of trying to describe the book concerns this issue of genre. I never gave it much thought until after the book was finished. It really crosses a number of genres, and I can’t find one where there’s a really snug fit. I really wish “Adult bedtime stories” would become a genre. That’s perhaps the best tag I could put on it, in a few words. My hope is that people will read the first few chapters and then decide if it fits for them. It really is one of those books that kind of grows on you as it moves along, so if you enjoy the first 10%, it only gets better.

What are you working on next?

 When I was about 2/3 done Dawn at Last it occurred to me that this could easily turn into a trilogy and I was quite excited about that. Since finishing the book I’ve vacillated on that notion, but readers keep telling me that I must continue the story. So given that, and my joy in cooking, for now I am stewing!

The characters make it easy to continue the story, but they also make it more difficult to keep them out of trouble. After all, there is only so much an author can do to protect the likes of Dawn and Sunni and Andrea. The trouble I see them getting into down the road is already starting to piss me off, and it doesn’t look like the men in their lives are going to help them too much, though I’m sure they will try their best.

Is it true that you once looked like Brad Pitt?

 Well yes, so I’ve been told, but you have to consider the source. She was only about 11 at the time, one of my two daughters, and the comment came shortly before her birthday . . . such a clever little girl! They are both gifted in their own ways . . . remarkable young ladies . . . now much quicker than their father. By that I mean it took me about 10 years to finally explain to my little one that since I’m older than him, in fact he looks a little like me. To clarify though, the actual statement was, “You know dad, if you had hair you’d look just like Brad Pitt!”

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Now please don’t be shy about using these share buttons – I’m honored when you do. 🙂

Spanky and the Gang (Not the Group)

Abstract Art

Raw . . . Hiding

Lately I’ve spent a lot more time reading blogs than writing them. All kinds of blogs. It’s kind of strange how I tend to be drawn into the edgy ones. They tend to be on the raw side, sometimes deeply personal – but not drowning in self-pity – I can’t stand that. Some of them even piss me off now and then, but in a good way, not like the news on television. I admire or treasure them all, but each differently.

By no means is this list exhaustive, so please don’t be offended if you don’t see your blog on it. Then again, you may be on this list but don’t feel your blog fits the description above. If that upsets you then the only phrase that come to mind is one of my personal favorites, ideal for this type of predicament, “Well just spank me and call me silly!”

So here they are, on their own path:

Gunmetal Geisha

The Awakened Dreamer

Random Thoughts

Wildflower Women

Awake Black Woman

The next time I do post like this, it will be entirely on book-related blog.

Dawn at Last – Book Description

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Some call it sinful, others say divine . . . they all call it refreshing.

A smart and sexy romance, perhaps the kind your mother doesn’t want you to know? Chances are she will love it too, even though this is definitely not old school shenanigans!

Secrets deeper than the Seven Seas . . .

Modern day Victoria, BC sets the stage for Donna Belauche, a professional intimacy counselor who keeps her client list short and her list of friends shorter.  Life is far from fun and games for Donna. In her quiet time, it is not her work that brings her to the brink of madness. It’s the weight of her past – so many deep secrets – almost crushing her. Holding love at arm’s length, she pushes men away, even one who especially adores her.

That’s when she wrote in her journal, “genuinely kind and charming,” but next to that she added “perhaps a little dangerous…be very careful.”

Making Dali Blush

As she pushes love away, Donna devotes her free time to the pursuit of a different kind of passion – a hobby involving tulips, a creative exploration of women – an exploration of what some call sinful, and yet others divine. She is not alone in this project. She and her partners do it all in the name of art . . . but have they taken it all too far?

As wonderful as it seemed, still is it even okay, or was it all just decadence? Yet such a sweet decadence, as fresh as the first drop of honey.

It’s funny how it works when love’s at play.

Some say this book is controversial because of its characters – interracial relationships, unconventional pasts, and affairs between lady friends who are oblivious to the label, “lesbian romance”. They see nothing unusual in any of it. For them it is just how they live. There is Ben, the house painter who will paint most anything, and a server named Sunni, with a thing for buns. Along with three others, they manage to help Donna find her way, almost in spite of themselves.  They don’t realize how important each is to the other, especially to Donna, as she scratches away at the ties that bind her.

Untwisting the Night Away

The lives of these misfits twist together like vines – never knowing exactly where they will wind up. Through all the intertwining, love offers up one amusing surprise after another.  Then, on one final night – three men and three ladies – everything finally comes together. Lives are changed forever . . . but for the better? How does one ever really know? At last, is it ever just about love?

Read these comments from fans of Dawn at Last . . .

Exciting and Adventurous – The intersecting plot lines led me on an adventure, an intriguing blend of humour and mystery.

Fresh and Amusing – The humor and wit throughout is really enjoyable. The interracial relationships feel very contemporary, and say a lot about love in today’s world.

Breath-taking and Sexy – The intimate scenes are seductive, making me want to be involved – a wonderful adult romance.

Complex and Mysterious -The emotional journey is challenging. It took me through many stages before emerging at the other end with my own thoughts and revelations.

Dangerous and Raw – There are times in the book where I sensed an element of risk and it heightened the experience.

Entertaining and Evocative – Overall the book is fun. It’s a wonderful adult romance. The story, themes and characters stayed in my mind long after I finished the book – waiting for the sequel now!

Life Without Fear

I wonder how many people in our culture, or any culture for that matter, really understand this teaching:

Girl in Yoga Position

Found on Pinterest, originally from Amy Jirsa – Quiet Earth Yoga

I know it may be very hard to comprehend the truth of this, especially in the part of the world I live in . . . this way of thinking is not widely taught. Certainly the main stream media, and many other institutions, do not want you or I to think this way – it flies in the face of greed when you think about. It’s also bad for a lot of business.

Put as simply as I can, this is why I like watching butterflies and trees and the wind and the clouds. There is this truth there, life without fear. That is part of what inspires me. Enjoy your Monday.

A Little Magic

One thing I love about my kind of painting is how unpredictable it can be.

Last night I had a wonderful time polishing up colom, putting the finishing touches on it . . . for a comparison, see My Saturday Column – Pardon the Typoh! I lost track of time and almost packed it in when I was done at 2:30 in the morning . . . but I didn’t.

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colom – finally finished!

As often happens when I’m finally finished a picture, such as colom above, I’ll spend a little more time just playing with it – this where life becomes unpredictable – at 3:00 in the morning, after playing with a few effects, a little magic happened. The picture below is what I’m talking about . . . it’s still untitled, but I really couldn’t wait to put it up here, and soon it will also be on my site.

Finally, the funny thing is that I went to bed last night thinking about how much this new picture ties in to my novel, Dawn at Last, at least in the emotion of it all. For a minute I thought perhaps it would make a great cover, but I’m not really sure about that.

If I ever do a hard cover version though, I’m sure it will include some of this art as an appendix, or perhaps I will call it a heart – a book should have a heart, right?  🙂

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But Sir, Are You Real?

Youthful Passions

As a child my first real passion was baseball. I loved to be outside and in the summer we played ball every morning, then we would hang out at the community center for hours after practice. For a break from the heat, we would go inside the youth building, where an endless tournament of ping pong happened . . . the winner keeps playing, so it all worked out more or less equal.

There was a drink machine, either coke or 7-up, and at the age of 11 or 12, we tended to lean toward the 7-up . . . after all, that’s what was on our team uniforms, so it made sense. For lunch we had two choices, but this was before the revolution began. We had a choice between plain potato chips and barbecue, and both came in only one size. The revolution came with the introduction of salt & vinegar, but by memory it seems we were unscathed by this – the youth center seemed to be sheltered from the onslaught.

In looking back, everything seemed so innocent then, and perhaps that’s something I’m most thankful for – everything was for fun, with no intent beyond that. That innocence carried through in more intellectual pursuits. At that early age, it was a pleasure to drift off to the library, which was half town away from the ball park, perhaps a mile away. It was a place to go to find some shade, pick up a book or two and sit in the grass, under a tree, and read awhile.

Eclectic, just because

This was all independent learning. My parents didn’t tell me what to read, nor my teachers . . . it was summer and I was free. So for the fun of it I would pick out a big book about some ancient guy named Leonardo da Vinci. The only part that wasn’t fun was lugging this monster home – bike or no bike! It was a mixed bag, a little Leonardo, some Archie comics, detective books, logic puzzles, The Iliad, and those pin-up magazines stashed in a friend’s garage, the ones that belonged to his father. That garage was a library unto itself, and every boy in town knew about it, much more so than the place where I discovered the ancient guy that liked to invent as much as to draw.

This “pattern” of seemingly random interests continued most of my life, though there were periods of interruption, such as 7 years of college and university, and then something called becoming an adult. Eventually I grew out of all that. One piece of randomness really hit home. I can’t remember when I first came across Salvador Dali – it’s so long ago – it seems I found the big books most intriguing, probably because of the pictures. Yes, I’m guilty of not reading about him, of only studying the pictures, or rather of losing myself in them, and again, just for the fun of it.

Along the way I’d do a little writing, often adding some sketches and doodle to the scribbles, though I can no longer remember the details, only the innocent pleasure of the doing of it. The process never became wearisome, and there are limits to all the running around, the sports and stuff, such as the raiding of gardens and orchards.

A Return or an awakening?

About eight years ago, I left behind a lifestyle that is beyond description now. I took a leap of faith of sorts by returning to my innocence . . . my creativity. I didn’t do it haphazardly, though at the time many may have saw my decision that way. It’s a different kind of heartbreak to be ridiculed for such a decision, something I’ll never really understand, and something I really wasn’t prepared for, and I’m thankful for that as well – the lack of preparation. After all, if I had been able to foresee that kind of criticism, I’m not 100% sure that I would have been brave enough to change direction.

At first I thought I’d do some writing, but then the art took hold of me, and that has been a great surprise. In the past number of years I’ve actually done plenty of both, though the only “official” writing is in the form of a book, the novel I’ve been blogging about lately.

It bothers me somewhat, this moving between the art and the writing, even though I know than many creative people have done both, but then I see no valid reason to specialize. Perhaps it is only in this deep jungle of self-promotion where the only trouble lies . . . my self-induced brand confusion?

It does get frustrating at times – frustrating as hell, to be honest – staying positive is more of a challenge than I’d ever want to share with anyone. By that I mean much more than becoming successful, which for me is no more than paying the bills, attaining enough “security” to do what I do, and helping my children financially as much as I can. Yes, these necessities are trouble enough, but it is the bigger set of questions and observations that trouble me so much more – the stuff that is much bigger than me – the kind of stuff that gnaws at our very existence.

My favored combat for these bigger troubles is humor, though I can lose days on end in a personal despair, and hiding that has become kind of skill on its own. I say all this because this morning I came across a wonderful video about a man who seems so little understood – one of my childhood heroes – and the warmth and charm, and perhaps a touch of innocence, is all encapsulated in this clip – and yes, there is plenty of humor!

A leading man . . . undoubtedly, but not necessarily followed

Chickens, bravery and bagpipes . . . not the Scottish ones

I had no idea there are so many kinds of bagpipes . . . pretty much one for every European nation, and even a Chinese version . . . the ones in the music of this video are Romanian.

I picked this video for a few reasons. One is that the pictures remind very much of some of the pictures of some of my now-deceased family – my grandparents – they really worked the land. Their stories are heartwarming, funny, inspiring, sometimes so very sad, and sometimes maddening.

They were not gypsies, except perhaps on the occasional Saturday night! I don’t know if the people in this picture were gypsies either – when is a group of gypsies no longer gypsies?

The other reason I chose this clip is because it also reminds me of a brief mention of a wonderfully humorous gypsy folk tale. I mention it in my novel, and no matter how I classify it, the story is about love – both mine and the gypsy tale!

I’ll only mention how the tale begins. Apparently there was a young man who was completely smitten by a certain gypsy girl, but she taunted him terribly. The story is all about his laughable quests to gain her favor, and the first of these is to fetch her a chicken, but not just any chicken!

And so it goes . . . I really can’t tell you more than that here . . . the games we play for love!

I’m kind of surprised that even today there are those who are wary of gypsies, though I apologize here because the term has as many variations as the bagpipes – probably many more!

All I can say is where would Cirque du Soleil be without them first? And even in this video, there must be something of love? I hope so . . . .

Thank you for risking so much!

Two Strings Attached

Of all the arts, music is regarded as the most universal in its appeal and acceptance. This universality,however, does not mean that music is without individual character. Each country has its own kind of music that embodies the total experience, the collective consciousness of its people. Music, therefore, is the collective expression of the musical genius of a particular people.

Such is the case of Philippine music which today is regarded as a unique blending of two great musical traditions – the East and the West. Being innately musical, the Filipinos, from the earliest to contemporary times, have imbibed these traditions and have woven their musical creations along these mainstreams of musical thought. Through time, Philippine society has witnessed the evolution of music expressed in different forms and stylistic nuances.

A people gifted with a strong sense of musicality, the Filipinos turn to music to express their innermost feelings. Hence, every song they sing, every instrument they play, every music they make is a direct, almost spontaneous reflection of their hopes and longings, frustrations and fulfillment, failures and triumphs.

The above quote come from Antonio C. Hila, found in a wonderful article on the musical instruments of the Filipinos.

My little musical journey continues, and it is starting to feel like the missing element of a troika . . . the art, some writing, and now the music . . . there will certainly be some dancing along the way.

I’d have to agree with Hilda’s first sentence (above), and It does seem like less there’s less arguing and such when it comes to music. I’m tired of getting involved in so many trite ones – yeah, one happened today in an online discussion – in the end though, it seems that I did help the art student with one of my observations. It was his discussion. He took my comment back to his teacher, who was caught off-guard by it.

There’s a strange mentality in some of the art world revolving around the issue of integrity when an artist sells their art, and how that is somehow “less than noble”. In the context of this discussion, the issue was about fine art ‘versus’ commercial art (advertising). One or more artists/ participants seemed to be offended when I said, “If you do a painting and have it hung in a gallery for sale, it is also a form of advertising.”

It got pretty quiet when I asked whether the picture of a can of soup is fine art. When you think about it, the can is actually covered. The picture is mostly a picture of the label of a can of soup, and believe me, packaging is all about advertising. Funny how no one knows who did the graphic arts on the original label . . . I wonder if Andy had the talent to do that?

As you can see, these kinds of discussions are pretty non-nonsensical – though I’m glad the student and his teacher saw the humor in the truth of it. I really don’t like any discussions on the issue of “what is art” . . . it gets wearisome and only leads to frustration, and this can literally throw me off for hours, if not the whole day or evening.

I don’t care to rank them either, but still there is the music . . . perhaps the common thread in all of it is the heart? That certainly helps makes a good book – the words –  special, it draws one in to a painting, makes the music charming and exciting, and when you add some dancing in there it can be down right exhilarating. There’s no need to judge it, much more need to enjoy and celebrate it. Hopefully as time goes on that message will come through in this blog – hopefully another way of sharing pleasant surprises.

Some words, a little music, lots of light and some dancing – get the picture? 🙂