The Palau de la Musica Barcelona.

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Like a spot of Heaven! Built by Goudi’s teacher on behalf of the local choir. Still hosts musical events from around the world. Breathtaking! Note the nature theme of roses. It was far lighter than my limited photography skills can portray (there were no dark areas, it glows with light!)

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Duet with God.

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piano

I see the sheet of music,

Instructions what to play.

I try my best. It comes out wrong.

The timing is to blame.

For God plays as my other hand, a melody imparts

Without which all my efforts ring discordant on the heart.

I have to play in time with Him to blend the two correct,

The melody and harmony must plainly intersect.

LIFE SYMPHONY

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from June 2014

Song Bird Songs

music

Life within its essence is found within the heart,

The playing of a symphony in which we have our part.

The thrilling of the fiddle, the sax’s sexy ring

The heart feel of the violin, that moves most anything,

Triumphant peel of trumpets, the bass’s steady beat

That rings within our senses and drives us to our feet.

The rhythm of percussion that keep us dancing on

When zeal has left our bodies yet we’re still amidst the throng.

Now will you play the cello or will you strum the bass

Will you choose to be discordant or your music interlace?

Oh life can be a melody of music quite divine

If you just tune up your instrument before you step in line.

If you listen to the rhythm, if you step into the style

Or even stand in silence and just listen for a while.

If you learn to…

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THE SPARK. (re blog from May 26th 2014 flash fiction theme of “flash”)

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Flash!! Darkness entered my life in a sudden, blazing, blur of light. The curtain fell, an excruciating blanket of night, one of those unforeseen, irreversible accidents, and with it descended a cage of fear. At first the pain was too intense to permit ought but its rending presence, but slowly, stealthily it came, hedging me in, with its cloak of nothingness.
There was no solace. A man, led like a child, provider no longer, a dependent. My pride withered, my self image decayed. Slowly fingers became my eyes, a stick my mapmaker, my ears bodyguards. Days dragged to months and months to years…

My release came from an unexpected source – my nephew. In former days I had played the fiddle – he remembered.
“Play uncle, play!” he said. I was too morose. But youth will not be gainsaid. Eager ten year old fingers firmly placed the bow in my hands and at last I played. I felt the strings vibrate beneath my fingers as if in sympathy, the bow slid across the cords drawing a rasping song from the friction as if it understood. Tears fell in gentle streams as my fingers remembered past skill, but something was added. The music now sang my own heart cry, the strings echoed my sorrow, wringing forth a sweetness.

I heard a stifled sob from across the room. My brother was crying. I’d played many times before but never touched the heart of another. It was the first of many. From that day I have played, my fingers truly becoming my eyes with a sensitivity I never had before, born of that flash. A spark reduced my world to ashes, but like a phoenix I flew free, reborn.

Why I didn’t blog yesterday.

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It’s that time of year when folks from all around flock to my tiny town for the Grand Union Canal boat festival. For two days every year its as if we’ve been transported back to the 70’S (or even earlier). Folks with flowers, smiles, feathered hats and colourful costumes abound, (and that’s just the spectators!) There are three stages for live events, historic re enactment, craft stalls, fun fair, boat rides and much more. Here’s a glimpse of what I was up to yesterday.

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I always fancied a knight in shining armor, these were all very realistic though – not so shiny! There were several contenders (tourney winner announced today). I also watched as they armed the knights etc.

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Wouldn’t be a country festival without Morris dancers! They also roamed around enjoying the festival between performance together with Star Wars personalities.

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Kids petting zoo (we English love our animals) with goats, lambs, rabbits, etc. I didn’t actually do this one, though I’d have loved to if I could pass as a child.

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This one I did do – free speed boat trips round the lake perfect for a hot day – feel the spray!

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Walk along the canal to watch the barge tug of war and admire all the canal boats in town for the festival decked out for the festivities.

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Couldn’t get a good picture of this (due to the crowds of people) but she playing a boat song.

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My favourite (and smallest) music venue featuring folk and river songs. I spent an pleasant hour here while waiting to catch the final trip up the canal.(see tomorrows post when I’ve sorted the photos – guess where I’m off too?.)

First two chill pills – Jigsaw puzzles and something bigger than yourself!

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I just love doing jigsaw puzzles, it’s quite an addition, once started it’s hard to stop! There’s an immense satisfaction when you find where a piece fits. They have so many applications to life, not worrying when the piece you need appears to not be there (it always turns up eventually), discovering when something is in the wrong place and thereby joining up whole problem areas, learning patience knowing it will all become clear in the end.  Especially when combined with soft, inspirational type music I find them hugely relaxing and they are even said to be great for stimulating brain cells.

Somehow puzzles and my life seem to have some correlation and tend to bleed into one another. I’ll often find comfort and answers to real life problems among the pieces.

Something bigger than yourself? This is the basis for alcoholics anonymous groups etc. that some things are beyond our means to conquer so we need a belief in something outside ourselves. (If you believe you can handle all life throws at you, you are headed to “crash and burn” ‘cos life can toss some pretty curved balls!)

Personally I’m a Christian with a pretty strong reliance on Christ. That doesn’t mean I belong to any particular church or denomination, I don’t, but I know when I come to the end of my resources I can reach for His. This, it has to be admitted, is the most active and always available resource in my anti stress armoury (not to mention the reason I’m still here! Lol!)

You don’t have to be a Christian, or member of some recognized religion, to utilise this one, it could be some vague belief in the power of nature or a universal element. The fact is we all reach a point sometimes when we realise a problem or situation is beyond our ability, if we can then willingly pass it on to another entity (understanding that we are not the centre of the universe) it relieves the stress levels 100%.

One of my favourite chill options is a combination of these two. Doing a jigsaw while listening to (and often singing along if no one’s around – my voice is awful! lol!) some Christian music. It requires very little mental concentration (if you choose the right puzzles with lots of well defined colours all over) and gives a comforting feeling that all is well and will turn out OK in the end, like the puzzle.

31 day Challenge Day 5

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hippie

Ten songs you love right now?

This is going to be the toughest assignment! Why? because I don’t like music? No, I love listening to music. The problem is that as I don’t partake of TV or radio my contemporary music exposure tends to be an occasional face book post from my kids etc. Add to this I generally listen to Christian music (encouraging with all the bad stuff right now) 60-70’s songs or classical and with my non-existent memory and IT lacks I frequently don’t remember the artist or even titles of songs. So enough with the excuses! I’ll try to come up with 10 songs.

  • “Mary Did You Know” by Pentatonix (the guys who make the musical accompaniment verbally – amazing! and they bring a new one out every Christmas.)
  • “California Dreaming” by Mamas and Papas (great for drab, rainy, English winter like now – of course I’m not visualizing California but all those sunny places I’ve lived.)
  • “Nights in White Satin” by Moody Blues (beautiful dreamy old song that brings back 100 memories.)
  • “Born to be Wild” by Steppenwolf (the rush of the road and the past energy of youth overwhelm me again every time I hear it.)
  • “Carry On” by Crosby Stills and Nash (Memories of when hope was new and fresh and world peace seemed attainable – if you are wondering “why so many hippie type songs?” my son in law downloaded a bunch for me at Christmas – I was surprised to find he liked them too.)
  • “Blowing in the Wind” by Bob Dylan.
  • “Where Have all the Flowers Gone” Joan Bias (Two classic anti-war songs that can still tear me up.)

After two sad songs gonna cheat a bit here for 8-10 and add some real “feel good” music from Abba with the “Mamma Mai” songs (I love them all and listen again and again but don’t know most titles.)

Can I get a pass please teacher? Please? pretty please?

Twilight Falls

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Twilight years evoke a response as a cord of music entices the ear and stirs the senses reverberating in the dusky silence. You long to sing but don’t yet know the words or melody, just an echo stirring your heart like a gentle breeze, sweet to the lips. Pause, breathe in its essence, soft, fragrant, defused.

Watch as the sun dips low on the horizon and purple and crimson splash their colours on the sky. Listen for the echoes far off. You’ll not hear the melody till the sun sets and things of life grow dim, but you hear the echoes. Like ripples on the water they come to you from the declining sun, borne on the tide of faith. What sweetness can be found here, standing at the water’s edge as the sun bathes the ocean in scarlet. Its dark red orb sinks ever lower seeking its reflection in the waves, and worlds touch just for a moment. You sense vibrations of a world beyond present sight, sighs and visions, sounds and touches born hither on the wind, enticing, calling …

You heard it before, long ago. Once heard it is hard to forget, it reverberates in your soul, the dulcet tones, soft touch of the air, blended colours awakening to your eyes. It waits at sunset when you come home.

Enjoy this twilight, sweetest wine, as a vintage long stored and matured. Savor it, swill the taste in your mouth, smell its aroma. It is a pungent brew and will make you smile, perhaps even laugh at times.

See the fire kindled on the beach. The sun grows dim but the blaze of love shall keep you warm till it dips as fire in the ocean. Throw on things you no longer need, outgrown things of youth, empty ideas, false concepts. No need of them now, consign them to the flames, even your shoes, for there is not far to walk, and the sand is soft and smooth. You are tired now and do not wish to travel more, but there is yet a little time, time to stand in the fires glow and watch the colours of the sky as the sun descends in majesty. It has been a good life, touching the heart of many an ocean and strange, wonderful creatures you met on the sands.

Now it is the final beach, no more wonderings to and fro. Now is time to pause, to listen and in the sound of the surf to hear the echoes again, gently calling. It is not time yet, the fire yet burns, the sun still a ball of flame in the sky. Come, dance, sing, roll free in the surf and lie propped in your lover’s arms as you listen to the echoes the waves bring across the ocean and write them as memorials to your times here. Sit in the twilights lingering glow and listen.

 

LIFE SYMPHONY

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music

Life within its essence is found within the heart,

The playing of a symphony in which we have our part.

The thrilling of the fiddle, the sax’s sexy ring

The heart feel of the violin, that moves most anything,

Triumphant peel of trumpets, the bass’s steady beat

That rings within our senses and drives us to our feet.

The rhythm of percussion that keep us dancing on

When zeal has left our bodies yet we’re still amidst the throng.

 

Now will you play the cello or will you strum the bass

Will you choose to be discordant or your music interlace?

Oh life can be a melody of music quite divine

If you just tune up your instrument before you step in line.

If you listen to the rhythm, if you step into the style

Or even stand in silence and just listen for a while.

If you learn to hear the music and flow within the song

You’ll find yourself in harmony and dance the whole day long.