Friday, September 8, 2017

Clive Hamilton - Defiant Earth and Anthropocene

Mother's Prayers Are Carried To The Grandmother - Catherine Meyers

Fifty two years ago, at the age of 12, I first heard the words The Green House Effect from my best friend's Danish mother. She was a wise woman, and always giving us educational lessons about the environment and health at her kitchen table, and these lessons stayed with me into my adult life.

 Clive Hamilton is someone I heard speak on the CBC Radio Ideas episode yesterday, and frankly it confirmed my ever mounting concern about climate change and the health of our planet, particularly it light of present catastrophic environmental disasters happening throughout the world.

 Have you ever heard the word Anthropocene? Me either. Perhaps I'd heard it once or twice in the past, I don't really recall, but I heard about it yesterday.

I know there are those who deny climate change. Regardless of what we believe, the fact is the overall climate is changing right before our eyes, and we all have to find some way to learn how to adapt and take responsibility for improving the current situation, whether it be pressuring our politicians or proactively engaging in environmental and activist organizations such as Avaaz or Greenpeace.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

"The Java Jive"

There are numerous quotes I've read, and even songs I've heard over the years, about the pros and cons of coffee. I mostly stay clear of the negatives and focus on the benefits of drinking coffee. Here are a few of my personal favourite quotes that really resonate with me.

 " A coffee a day keeps the grumpy away."
"  Depresso, the feeling you get when you've run out of coffee"
" A day without coffee is like...just kidding, I have no idea."
" Sometimes I look forward to going to bed at night because I know that when I wake up, I get coffee."

Lots of us are addicted, and I confess I'm one of them.  But I do usually adhere to a limit. I'm not sure if this addiction is the result of nature or nurture, but I know my family members were died in the wool coffee drinkers.

I recall one of my vivid and favourite memories as a kid, was being in the kitchen with my father, who had one of those old fashioned classic coffee perks, and the smell of that coffee was heavenly to me at a very young age, though I wasn't allowed to drink it.

My dad  loved to make my brother and I big pot of a rib stickin' mixture of oatmeal, Red River and Cream of Wheat for breakfast, before my mother got up. We wanted to down our breakfast early before she'd appear, and then we'd fly out the door, as she wasn't a morning person, and consequently was often a little on the grumpy side, before gulping her morning coffee. And I don't blame her, because I understand what it's like not to have my morning caffeine fix, before I start my day.

Hustle and Grind, a blog I subscribe to had a great post about the benefits of coffee, and how it can be used to stimulate creativity, especially when writing.

Here's one of my very favourite jams by the Ink Spots, that I remember from my childhood and throughout the years it's stayed with me close to my heart, all during my love affair with the Java.


Growing up in an great Italian neighbourhood in the East End of Toronto, I identify with comedian Gerry Dee, and his Italian neighbourhood. When he talks about "gofocoff", it makes me think about how I'd so love to "gofocoff" in Italy.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Marzia - Primavera

What I love about blogging is that I am continuously learning about creative people, and a variety of topics.

Yesterday I learned more about the Portuguese music genre of Fado, which has been described as a living language. That is a perfect description, because regardless if you understand Portuguese or not, the emotion embodied in the songs and music touches the soul.

I couldn't put together the singer with the song and mismatched the song with the singer, because I missed hearing the name of the song and the artist. I'm not disappointed I made this mistake because I'm very happy to learn about Carminho, whom I really love, but it wasn't her song that I'd posted yesterday, nor was she the singer who inspired me to write the post. The singer was Marzia, and the song she sang, was Primavera (Spring).

Like Carminho and many other Fado singers, Marzia was also greatly influenced by Amália Rodrigues and has been propelled forward in the tradition of Fado, and she has been called the Queen of Fado, and it's easy to see why.

Here is Primavera.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Carminho - Fado

Jose Malhoa - "Fado"

A number of years ago, I first heard the Portuguese music known as Fado, which means destiny/fate. The music embodies the longing feelings of loss expressed through mournful tunes and lyrics often about the sea or the life of the poor with a sense of resignation, fatefulness and melancholy.

  I was fascinated upon first hearing this music many years ago, but not knowing enough about it, the music I heard just didn't seem to capture my soul for whatever reason enough to listen to more, until today.The singer I heard sang a moving  song by a young woman known as Carminho. I was immediately reminded of the late and much loved, American born, Montreal singer Lhasa de Sela.

I wasn't sure what the connection to Fado and Lhasa's music was, but it resonated deep within my soul, without understanding the language. And then I found out just what the connection was when I learned that Lhasa was greatly influenced by the famous Fado singer, Amalia Rodrigues.

Hearing each singer you see the direct connection between these three women and it's a beautiful thing.

 Meu Amor Marinheiro

Sailor, my love

I feel jealous
Of the green waves of the sea
That insistently try to kiss
your body, as you stand before the tides.
I feel jealous
Of the wind that betrays me
Kissing you as you stand in the bow,
And runs away through the deck.
I feel jealous
Of the light of the full moon
That curls up around your body
In order to dance with you
I feel jealous
Of the waves that rise along your way
and of the mermaids that sing
That sing to charm you
Oh sailor, my love
Oh lord of my desires
Don't let the moon at night
Steal the color from your hair
Don't look at the stars
Because they would steal
The green of your eyes
These eyes color of the sea.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Death and Grief

 I listened to an interview today that author Phillip Roth gave a number of years back. He said some things that resonated with me, having recently lost another one of my life long friends to illness.

It was pointed out during the interview, that there is a theme of death running through his books, and he was asked if this was something he often thinks about. He said yes, everyday. He explained that when we become a certain age, 60 years and over we begin to see many friends that get sick and die.

Unfortunately we live in a culture that keeps death at arms length. The result of which is the inability to know how to cope with death, within our immediate families or extended circles of friends. I think it's much more difficult when we don't have a belief in a Creator, that can enable us to come to a level of acceptance, understanding and even comfort, in knowing that it is death that teaches us the most essential and important lessons about how beautiful and precious life is.

As a youth and into my young adulthood I had several friends, close family members , and a young husband who died at the age of 26, and so I've been acutely aware of death and it's profound affects that are manifested through and in grief.

Certainly coping with death and grief is never easy, it takes time, and remains difficult for me to this day. But I also know there are many things in this world worse than death.

Today I'm very grateful that I've many more tools at the age of 64, in order to help me cope, because I have a belief and a faith in a power greater than myself, and an ever increasing hope in a higher consciousness of this life force, and a transformation that is beyond my complete comprehension while on this earth.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

People You Love

People you Love

The Star – Pandora and The Goddess of the Rainbow  
                                                                                                                                                                                         For Jeanne, our  WW (Woman’s Weekend) sister and to all that loved her and for those that she loved, especially her devoted husband Rick and her family.                                                                                
Our  past is born of story 
In the present we live our story
And then we become the story  
                             - Catherine Meyers 
In Memory  of Jeanne Bourque
March 29th, 1957 - August 9th, 2017                                                                                                                                          

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Sean Pinchin - Goin' Hobo

It might seem contradictory to say you love Blues music because it makes you happy but that's the way it makes me feel, and I suspect a lot of folks would say the same. Some may say Blues is depressing and miserable but I see it as covering a spectrum of emotions.

Listening to Holger Peterson's Saturday Night Blues last night, like I've done for more years than I can count, I heard this amazing blues guitarist Sean Pinchin. If you want to hear the f the tune I heard Goin' Hobo played Live at the release party of his new album he does a wicked solo riff at the end of the song that isn't included on the Blues Tribe interview below.

Sean Pinchin has an interesting background, left his job as a Baker and took up his Blues music full time. I'm sure glad he did.

What I found really took note of, was how he's used his own creativity to help him confront his own demons and to work through his own mental health issues.