Thursday, May 26, 2011

In Search of...songs that inspire me

Did you ever hear a song that moves you so much you have to pull over to the side of the road just to listen? Did you ever hear a song and feel grateful that there was someone else out there, going through what you're going through, who understood exactly how you felt?

Don't misunderstand me, I think songs are a great source of entertainment to bop around to on a dance floor,or sing along with in the car during rush hour, but even more importantly, they are the stuff that gets us through both the good and bad times in life. At their best, they uplift us, comfort us, inspire us, and make us feel a little less alone in the world. They are the stuff which unites while the world goes mad with divisiveness.

And so I wanted to share with you some of what makes me tie a knot and hold on when I'm at the end of my rope. I hope you enjoy them, and that they bless you like they do me.

(NOTE: Once you've clicked on a link below, you have to hit your "back" button to return to the blog.)

"I Will Raise My Voice" - Kira Small (Kira Small)

"Who I am Today" - BethAnne Clayton (BethAnne Clayton)

"Stand" - Lorraine Ferro (Tanya Leah, Lorraine Ferro, Joanne Sonderling)

"The Fragile Ones" - Jason Elliott (Tanya Leah, Matthew Garringer, Jason Elliott)

And here's one from me -

"Stronger in the Broken Places" Ilene Angel (Ilene Angel)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

In Search Oprah blog

It turns out nothing can make me carve out a few minutes to return to blogging like the end of the Oprah Winfrey Show. As the final episodes wound down, and a feeling of overwhelming loss swept over me this past week, I wanted another chance - to soak up whatever wisdom I somehow missed, to pay attention, to savor. I wanted another opportunity to feel the comfort of the certainty that came from knowing I could count on one hour of television that would make me think differently, open me up, inspire me to be my best self day after day, year after year.

As I reached for endless Kleenex, I knew that this twenty-five year old conversation was drawing to a close, and I would be left, like the rest of America, to treasure and fondly reflect on our time together as a thing of the past. Oprah called us all to take whatever we've learned and put it to use. I feel like our collective training wheels have been removed, and we are forced to find our own balance, and strength, and courage to claim a future that is called our lives.

I've already decided that the hour a day I'm gaining would best be spent doing the work of the mind and spirit. Maybe it will be reading a book. Maybe it will be writing one.

I know that many of you feel the same way I do, and that it is normal to mourn a loss, even as we celebrate a new beginning and wish each other well.

To Oprah Winfrey I wish the ability to somehow take in the magnitude of the affection that is directed her way. I wish her good health, long life, and a chance to take a deep, long, satisfying breath.

From a grateful Oprah fan - thank you and Godspeed.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

In Search of...some comedy, man!

Last night was the White House Correspondents dinner, and once again, I was snubbed. Okay, so I'm not a correspondent and I don't work in the White House, but still, neither do a lot of the three thousand other people who attended.

Yes, this is the one night a year where Washington pokes fun at itself, and generally takes the joke pretty well. After watching the festivities on TV for many of years, I think I can safely say that this year was the best one yet. Oh, I don't have any delusions that, along with running the free world, President Obama is sitting there writing his own jokes, but a man who can both take a joke and dish one out, is a rarity in the Oval Office. And dish it out he did so well.

Whether it was the Lion King video with his birth date and time stamped in the corner, or starting the rumor mill that Michelle Bachman is Canadian, the President doaled out some humdingers. Of course the icing on the cake was the incessant butt of most of the jokes for the evening - Donald Trump - who, as we all saw plain as day, can not take a joke. This really comes as no big surprise to anyone, but he would have scored points if he would have at least tried to look like he was a good sport.

Seth Meyers hit it out of the park, as far as I'm concerned. I'm sure the jokes had to be vetted by somebody, but I'm certain that it wasn't Donald Trump. And speaking of vetting, Seth pointed out that Trump's ownership of the Miss USA pageant would come in handy in the selection process of the Republican vice presidential candidate. Good one, Seth.

I could go on and on, but I think it best viewed for yourself. Enjoy, and thanks for stopping by.

President's speech:

Seth Meyers speech:

In Search of...a royal wedding blog

In an uncharacteristically bah humbug spirit, I recorded instead of watched in real time the royal wedding of William and Kate. Oh, I could've gotten up in the wee hours of the morning like so many did - heck, like I did thirty years ago for Charles and Diana, but this time I just couldn't bring myself to do it. In fact, thanks to the fast forward button on my DVR, I skipped most of the waiting, the hymn singing, and all the other extemporaneous things that took up five hours time.

Everywhere I went during the day people were talking about it, excitedly most of the time, and with the hopeful exuberance that one would have if he or she still believed in fairytales...which got me wondering why instead of feeling elated, I felt melancholy.

It didn't help that all the networks intertwined footage of Charles and Diana's wedding. That only worsened it, for we all know how much of a charade that was now, and how tragically it ended. But here we all were with such a different feeling, because this was not a union based on duty, on appearances, on lies and betrayal from the get go. No, this is a joining of two people clearly in love, of a man who seemingly has taken to heart the lessons that his mother's life and death taught him. Will and Kate made a thoughtful decision and we are all hoping that this particular royal wedding will be the fantasy we can all still cling to in our heart of hearts for yearss to come.

Still, I felt sad - sad for the Greek tragedy of Charles and Diana that played out over decades on a world stage, sad for a man who couldn't marry the woman he'd always loved, so he married someone the world loved but whom he did not (in the sense that truly matters, that is). I felt sad for the princess who married her prince only to find that she was a means to an end, and not at all the object of his desire.

And so after all was said and done, Charles did marry Camilla, the woman he'd loved all along, and Diana never lived to know if she would find that kind of love for herself. And she did not live to see her son walk down the aisle this day. And so, no matter how I tried to be overjoyed, I felt the absence of Diana amidst the promise of young lovers. Diana's boys were left with a legacy that we can only know the full content of as their lives play out.

As I watched William and Catherine take their vows with eyes so filled with love and a world wishing them well, I whispered the prayer we all share for them: Please God, let this fairytale end happily ever after this time around. In these days of uncertainty and so much suffering everywhere, that is all we can ask for, wish for, hope for. For in William and Kate, we see the vision of promise, of beauty, of a future, and mostly, of love.

Cheers, Will and Kate. May you have long life and much happiness together. And may the indelible images of this day that we will all carry with us for the rest of our lives be a signifier of love and lasting happiness.

Thanks for stopping by. Please tell your friends.