As an avid reader of Lorna’s Voice I am awakened every Thursday with a regular entry of hers titled “Lighting Up the Blogosphere – One Flicker at a Time”, which is part of a campaign aptly named “Occupy the Blogosphere” started by another WordPress blogger, Soul Dipper. It is a rather refreshing and optimistic counter to all the stress and negativity that manages to creep into our lives, and being the eternal optimist, it strikes a resonant chord in me.
Since I’m away in a totally different time zone, and I’m wide awake due to my internal clock telling me morning should be long gone even when dawn is only now breaking into my window, I thought I’d try my hand at this uplifting kind of thing and showcase someone who really does light up the world in his own magical way. Have you guessed yet that it will probably be a topic about music? I know, so predictable sometimes, but hopefully you’ll be surprised.
Music is the universal language of mankind
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
So very true. In order to demonstrate both the universal appeal of music and the joy it can evoke from everyone, I have selected a few short videos of one of my favorite people on this planet when it comes to music, Bobby McFerrin, doing what he does well – playing the instrument that is his voice, and likewise playing the audience, engaging them to create magical moments through music.
Bobby McFerrin was born with mad vocal abilities. The son of Metropolitan Opera Baritone Robert McFerrin Sr. and regional opera and Broadway singer and Professor Emeritus of Music Sara, he certainly had the genes for vocal abilities. He is most famous for his 1988 hit, Don’t Worry, Be Happy done entirely a Capella with only his voice. But his real gift is how he shares that gift and joy with his audience.
I dare you to watch the following videos and not manage to crack a smile or feel a bit of happiness sweep over you, if only for a moment while you forget all else in the world:
Ah, dear readers (if I have any left), I’ve returned home after a rather long stretch of work related travel that has kept me preoccupied and away from all your sites, which I miss reading so much. With a little luck, these weekly trips away will subside shortly.
It is so good to be home! Why, just looking out the window I can see…
- Lawn in serious need of mowing
- Vegetable garden in need of tilling
- Fence in need of repair and a section to be relocated
- Weeding – why the hell can’t lawns be as hardy as weeds?
- Flower beds in need mulching and weeding
- Landscaping plants to be put in
Yes, good to be home all right. Dammit!
Perhaps if you stumble upon this posting, you could help me out by suggesting a topic or two I might write about when I return here later this evening, or perhaps tomorrow, completely exhausted from my outdoor chores. I could use a little motivation and inspiration.
I just returned from another visit to Victoria’s blog, whereupon I was intrigued by this week’s Monday Morning Writing Prompt topic of Sacred Music. Last week was quite extraordinary for me, two funerals and a wedding. There was no shortage of Sacred Music to be heard and felt as a result. This particular writing prompt captured my imagination, as I have been surrounded by music all my life, and I easily resonate with its raw beauty and power to transport my mind to another plane.
The word sacred evokes the notion of reverence, devotion, or veneration with regard to a higher order of a religious or spiritual nature. For today’s prompt and reflection that follows, I selected two musical pieces that some may consider to be deeply religious in nature. I am not, however, a particularly religious person although I do consider myself spiritual. These musical pieces are excellent examples of what some call prayer, or others meditation; a conversation of a simple creature seeking and reaching out to some higher order power in a uniquely personal and private moment of serenity, tranquility, and beauty. Inspirational, ethereal, and sublime.
I cannot simply put the musical pieces up without a set-up; I am after all a musical geek. Both pieces are commonly known as the Ave Maria. First is my absolute favorite version, written by Charles Gounod in 1859 as a melody superimposed over J.S. Bach’s Prelude No. 1 in C Major written in 1722. The lyric is the Hail Mary prayer in Latin.
Ave Maria – C. Gounod (1859) sung by Jessye Norman
The second selection, also a personal favorite, is commonly known as the Ave Maria, however it is actually Ellens dritter Gesang (Ellen’s Third Song), written by Franz Schubert in 1825. The song was part of a seven song Opus, a German translation of Walter Scott’s Lady of the Lake epic poem. The original lyrics of the song begin with Ellen praying to the Virgin Mary to protect her and her father from harm as they hid in exile in caves near Lake Katrine from their enemies.
Ellens dritter Gesang (Ave Maria) – F. Schubert (1825) sung by Barbara Bonney
I can be an incredibly long-winded person, almost never at a loss for words, but as I close my eyes to listen and reflect upon this sacred music, I am moved and filled with a simple thought:
Life is beautiful.