"Lions have a mouth like a grin
And a throat like a bin,
And they let out such noise,
That you really take poise,
‘Cause at first you just think,
That the world’s ‘bout to sink,
But then you think, WOW,
What a grown up MEOW.
Then you simply realize
That all Lions take pride,
And it’s their funny way
Of putting on display.
But, aside from all that,
Lions are merely just cats,
Just standing around,
Making overgrown sounds,
Which if thought of just right,
Could be their fun delight,
At their extroverted display
At wishing all, A GOOD DAY!" JM
Enthusiasm, in a sustained state, opens doors to the existence of a wave of creative energy. All you have to do is ride the wave. Enthusiasm brings an enormity of empowerment into all that one does. Enthusiasm does not oppose. It is non conditional. It is based on inclusion, not exclusion of others. It is not a manipulation of others, as it is the power of creation. Enthusiasm makes the foe the friend. Through enthusiasm, one enters into an alignment with the outgoing creative universal principle, without ego identification. It is the ego identity with what one endeavors that creates the opposition and negativity. Get enthused and forces will aid you.
Being open to affection is such a compliment to the one offering it, to the gift itself, and to acknowledging the importance of you to receive it.
Geese are Busy Bodies
“Geese are noisy and most persistent.
And, in forcing their voices, geese are most insistent,
With spreading the latest in barnyard talk,
And they do it, endlessly, with a tiresome squawk!
Creating a turbulent atmosphere there,
geese fuss around with fracas and flare.
Scurrying turbulently, the whole family in tow,
geese are always putting on a commotion show,
And, all the while, just voicing their opinions,
As to "who'a" should do "what'a" and in "which'a" dominion?
It is surely none of their business really,
As the farmer is master in decision dealings,
But it does add spice to the barnyard life,
As no other animal offers such consistent strife,
So geese are the busy bodies in the crowd
And they do make themselves heard, hefty and loud." JM
The beautiful essence of an act is lost to the wind, if all that appears important is the kill, the win, the high number...This is, in fact, the essence of a perfectionist's imperfection. The symptom worst of all is the perfectionist's lack in seeing the difference between "love" and "approval," his own and everyone else's. Here, we are touching upon the "heart" of the matter!
“Potbelly Pigs are kind and most clever,
But no one ever pays them such a mind, no never,
Cause they like to lie around in the barnyard mud,
Being of skin type recommending that they should,
And their strands of coarse and very straight hair,
Also protect from the sun’s potent glare,
And their sachet-walk is at a tempo rather slow,
What with their bellies near the ground, down there low,
Though they really can cavort incredibly quickly,
Just that fast moving makes them toxic and sickly,
So they tend to lie 'round in the barnyard there,
Shading themselves from the sun’s harmful glare,
But, oh, they yearn for compassion and half a 'snappy' chance,
And then they'll stand right up and show you a festive dance,
While they sweep and sway, with hips like a Mambo,
You see the smooth footwork of a dance like the Tango.” JM
Trusting the Process
Simply trusting the process has great power and discovery. If the learning process is a process of several steps backward, before eventually retracing those steps and moving forward, then kneel into this process like Columbus discovering America. No need to loose confidence. This is the process. Feel powerful in the discovery!
Sense of Meaning
A powerful sense of meaning to alter the experience of work, of relationship, or even life cannot be overestimated. Survival itself may depend on seeking meaning. Meaning is strength. Finding meaning in an even familiar task often allows us to go beyond this familiarity and find in the most routine tasks a sense of joy and gratitude. Competence may bring us satisfaction, but meaning can alter our lives.
Mystery seems to have the power to comfort, offering some hope in a positive outcome, lending meaning in time of great loss or great suffering. Fairy tales offer a magic word to undo the negative spell that releases the imprisoned someone, freeing him or her, and stumbling on the formula is always a source found by chance. Out of the mystery of offered clues, one relaxes, and then one lets the answer be intuitively revealed. This is not so different to that in real life.
Those who are angry are passionately in touch with the elements of their lives and they feel strongly energetic about them. As an emotion, the "press" for anger would surely be less than positive, and the limitations of anger are notoriously obvious. But, anger really only becomes a problem when one is wedded to it, as a way of expressing one's life. Eventually, anger may show us the freedom of feeling strongly and of loving. The "press" for this would be more than positive.
Constant Sacred Ground
Wisdom, perhaps, lies not in the constant struggle to bring the sacred into daily life, but to recognize that there may not be a daily life into which to bring the sacred. That life is committed and whole and, in spite of appearances, we are, all of us, constantly on sacred ground. Ritual can be a source of remembering this, in the midst of daily living.
In rejecting change, we often cheat ourselves. That is, the quest for something is part of the important process of finding our strength and greatness, or maybe, even, realizing that the love we have been given can be trusted. Hidden treasures may, indeed, come in unattractive wrappings, and it is natural to prefer the known to the unknown. Life often offers more than our instincts and biases will accept and, maybe even, allow. Beyond the horizon of comfort is grace and mystery. Releasing our preconceived ideas about life may actually encourage experience of life. If the loss of emotional or spiritual integrity is the source of our suffering, pain may be an important source in healing this suffering, paradoxically. In avoiding pain and looking to find comfort at all cost, we may be left without compassion or intimacy.
A Spore is a Survival Tactic
When a child finds no one listening, he becomes a kind of a spore.
Spores are the result of tough times in the plant kingdom, where, as a means of survival, plants dampen down their life force in order to survive. In an environment hostile to a child's uniqueness, where he is judged, criticized, and reshaped into what is desired rather than supported and allowed to bloom, naturally, into what he uniquely is, a child walls off the unloved parts of himself. Some people become spores early and never regain their individuality, but a spore is a survival tactic, not a way of life. Reclaiming ourselves usually means coming to realize and recognize that we have both sides of everything. We are capable of fear and courage, generosity and selfishness, vulnerability and strength. These do not cancel each other out, but offer a full range of power tools as response to life. Sometimes our vulnerability is our strength, out of timidity develops a courage, and our woundedness is a road to our individual integrity.
In my recently published anthology, by Oxford University Press, in a Mussorgsky song, with text by the brilliant Russian poet Lermontov and translation by me, the text describes the yearning for a warm worldly environment for nurtured development of children-both composer and poet, which was the reason surely for collaboration, having suffered under unconventional personal and social pressures. This song is a haunting "Prayer" and so aptly and beautifully exemplifies my point.
If we are willing to show our vulnerability, and the right word is spoken, the right hand extended, and the right touch offered, an experience of life becomes consecrated. Out of vulnerability, opportunity to receive is offered. We are able to experience something that is already pertinent and real, describing what has been hidden in the obvious. One is soothed into an awareness of awakening.
Spirit be joyfyful - Advent & Christmas for Recital
Spirit be joyful!
Compiled and edited and translated by Jane Marsh
14 songs for Advent and Christmas
for high voice and piano with accompanying CD
Covering the Baroque to the contemporary, this anthology features 14 lesser-known gems in English, German, Italian, Latin, and Russian by major composers. Marsh provides faithful English singing translations. A CD with piano accompaniments is included. Perfect for solo recitals or church services.
Contents: Bach Mein gläubiges Herze frohlocke
Beethoven Hymne an die Nacht
Chilcott The Time of Snow
Cornelius Die Hirten
Loewe Der Hirten Lied am Krippelein
Reger Maria am Rosenstrauch
Respighi Venitelo a vedere 'l mi' piccino
Schubert Die Allmacht
Verdi Ave Maria
Wolf Schlafendes Jesuskind
To order, please contact your local music store or customer service at 1-800-292-0639. Questions or comments? Please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Grieving Helps You
The bottom line is that you grieve, because it helps you. It is the road forward, to love again-whether having lost a person, job, way of life, or a limb. Shrugging, as if loss were nothing and you are beyond that depth of feeling, is denial of common humanness. It is saying that a person, thing, way of life, etc. can die and leave us-right in front of us-without touching us. It is a rejection of whole humanness and makes no sense, particularly when you try to say it out loud!
Laughter is an Attack of Life’s Delights
“Releasing endorphins and raising the sights
Of life’s pure enjoyment way up to its heights,
Laughter is a pleasure, really very well known,
As a wonderful way to keep events as one’s own.
Reeling and keeling with insurmountable joy,
Only to be hit with another and another ploy,
Laughter is again and again reignited,
As though an end to this would never be sighted,
And tiring one, but filling one with glee,
Laughter changes one’s thoughts incredibly,
From passive to euphoric,
Showing blatantly rhetoric,
That Laughter is a medication for the doldrums and blues,
To say nothing of its adding to life’s beautiful hues.” JM