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Monday, October 31, 2011

Promised photos

 I went for a drive on my day off, and I took my camera with me.  I wish the photos could capture what I actually saw.  The desert is so beautiful and peaceful.

I could almost hear this "roadrunner" say, "MEEP MEEP!"













Tuesday, October 25, 2011

New Mexico, Week 1

Today was the day for my computer class at work.  At the end of the training, I started talking to the young lady who had been sitting next to me.  Like me, she has interests in music.  She plays several instruments, and would like to connect with people of similar interests.  The instructor of the class gave her a website to check out, and it fueled a conversation between the two of us. We talked about our lives, a bit.  At 28, she is going through some of the same things I went through several years ago.  We talked about our reasons for coming to NM, and about looking forward to plugging in to the community.  When I think about the difference between my experience today, after one day at work, and the weeks I spent in Maryland working, I can't help but notice the stark difference.  My friends in Maryland aren't the people I met at work.  Those are long established friendships.  Here in New Mexico, I don't know anyone, but I have already met several friendly people.  The girl at work today is someone who will probably be a friend.

When I was in Vienna, someone said to me that they thought I was there to heal.  Today, Stephanie and I talked about New Mexico and its healing environment; acknowledging that we are probably here to heal.  I started seriously pondering that today.  It is true, but more true than most would imagine.  When I was born, I was a sick baby.  Most of my life has been spent "healing," "getting well," and "getting over" something.  Maybe this whole life is supposed to be a healing journey.  In my life, that is glaringly, obviously true.  When healing is complete, a new journey will begin.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Packing Music

Classical music makes my soul happy. Purcell, Grieg, Ravel, I have heard and loved you all today as I have been packing!  I can't sleep to an orchestra.  What if I miss something?  What if there's a lovely voice singing I haven't heard before??  Maybe someone is playing with their opera and making a duet out of a solo piece, just think!!  What a perspective would be opened that I hadn't thought of before!  I also was listening to singers and swing. It was nice.  I could listen to hits from the 80s that would make me nostalgic for simpler times. However, ever since playing the overture to  La Traviata in high school band, I have loved opera, descant lines, and weirdly intricate harmonies that have just enough dissonance to keep them interesting.  I just flipped to the "light classical" station.  It is described as having a "tasteful" mix of classical music.  It makes me wonder if they have filtered all the overtones out and made elevator music out of great classics. How outrageous! Elevator music is any genre of  "real music" that has been spayed or neutered in the most cruel and unusual way.

The composers who wrote the music were passionate, mad, creative individuals, even in the 1600s.  I wonder why our society treats the music of Bach, Beethoven, Haydn, and Puccini (the list could go on) and all the music that is the cultural foundation of all their favorite artists as if it isn't worth knowing. People who loved watching Bugs Bunny's versions of the great masterpieces find no joy in the inspiration for the cartoon version of the Barber of Seville (or many other works adapted for cartoon land ).  In fact, I once had a friend tell me that he learned all he needed to know about classical music from Bugs Bunny.  I have been to the opera and laughed at the funny parts as well as cried at the sad parts and been amazed at the music, the voices, and the energy of the live performance. Maybe I felt more excited, educated, or enlightened after attending one of those events, but never more reserved, quiet, or reverent.  I realize that we all have different tastes, and I don't say that everyone should LOVE or have the same attitude as I do about the great masters of the past, but I think it would give some depth of appreciation to understand where our favorite music came from, and that what is now seen as "stuffy" or "churchy" was once seen as maybe mad, risque, and not appropriate for all ages (I would dare say, it's still not necessarily appropriate for all ages.  After all, most opera plots surround themes of sex and death).

I'm always inspired by complexity in my music, my literature, and in my food.  This is a post I could write a myriad of opinions, experiences, and reasons why one should know his/her music.  For me, all music is spiritual and it somehow brings me closer to God.  It is one of those wonderful gifts that allows us to pour out all of our thoughts, feelings, situations and desperation to God while he can use that same music to apply balm to a wound, express great love, and give people the resolve to do or be better than they are right now.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Increasing Lifes Expressions: The Best Thing You Can Do to Protect Your Health a...

In my life (and in the lives of many women I know), I have been encouraged to be nice rather than tell the truth. It seems that keeping the appearance of the situation from the outside is more important than working to improve it from the inside. In the British comedy, Keeping Up Appearances, the main character, Hyacinth, is an extreme example of self dishonesty. When I see the show, I think it is funny, a parody of our everyday ways of "saving face." What isn't funny is the cost of that behavior: physical ailments such as high blood pressure and ulcers as well as a web of unhealthy behaviors that are maintained to keep up the facade. I believe that we would love and support each other through life much more if we could be more honest with ourselves and each other. I included a link to another blog post dealing with this subject. Dear Christian brothers and sisters, please substitute the "meditation" for prayer. Otherwise, eat the hay and spit out the sticks. I have found the information in this blog helpful, and I hope you do too.

Increasing Lifes Expressions: The Best Thing You Can Do to Protect Your Health a...: Truth Expresses Feelings That Become Healing The best thing you can do to protect your health and happiness is to tell the truth .

Friday, October 14, 2011

Watching Oprah

I've been watching an episode of Oprah's Lifeclass as I'm writing.  She is reviewing her season 19, in the year 2004.  This show is about joy rising.  It was the time she gave away cars to her audience, and she brought out the Wildest Dreams bus in the subsequent episodes.  Besides the stuff she gave people, she opened opportunities for people that they wouldn't have otherwise had.  One guy had bombarded her with emails, and the other lady hadn't asked for anything, but what she got was more than she had even imagined.  As cool as it would be to take a ride in the Wildest Dream bus, I wish I had the bus and could make that kind of change in someone's life.  Just a thought...

Up Next

My contract in Baltimore has come to an end, and it is time to  move on.  Today, I had to choose between going to an ocean town in Connecticut and Albuquerque, NM.  Most of my friends being Texans and Southerners thought that NM was the "no brainer" choice.  It would be easier to drive to Connecticut from here, and I would love to see the water; but when I did a Google search on both towns, I knew that Albuquerque would be the best fit for me.  The locals have a reputation for being friendly, and there are TONS of fun things to do there.  I will miss that I didn't spend any time at the beach, but the Connecticut town has nothing else of interest to someone who needs more fun than refresher in US history. I'm anticipating that this assignment will unhinge even more opportunity for creativity. (The photo is one of Wien. Dear Wien, I miss you!)

Monday, October 3, 2011

Project

This is a departure from most of my blog posts in that it doesn't have to do with an external event or lesson in my life.  I started working on a project that I hope to develop into a book.  I have lots of photos from Europe, and I have started writing poetry (in addition to the bit of blogging I do).  My idea is to make a picture book laced with poetry and other work to express thoughts inspired by the photos and life lessons.  Currently, I have about thirteen rough entries that seem random, rather like my blog.  I am hoping for a unifying theme to help me pull all this together and to come up with a meaningful work to be used for some inspiration and reflection.
 Over a year ago, I saw a picture/article book by Laura Contreras Rowe.  She intended to be an inspiration to Hispanic women, but I found that the work transcends her focus group.  I, a woman not of Hispanic origin, was wonderfully inspired by her work. Her book is inspirational for any person whose family struggled during childhood years. If you would like to know more about her book or work, I will forward any inquiries to Laura.  As for my project, I welcome your ideas.  What inspires you?

Love to all,

Rhonda