Saturday, September 30, 2017

Harrison Kennedy - " Shame The Devil"

A brand new season of Saturday Night Blues means all new featured guests and music. Celebrating 31 years of this wonderful program is a milestone for sure. I've learned about so many different musicians over the years and continue to learn.

Last night I found out about a fantastic musician singer/song writer who happens to be Canadian, from Hamilton Ontario. Harrison Kennedy gave a great interview with Holger Peterson and it really excited me to know he was buds with Eric Bibb, as he is one of my very favourite musicians. Harrison plays with him often, and wrote a song, Might Be You Might Be Me, that Eric also recorded. It's a touching and very meaningful song about homelessness. Unfortunately I couldn't find it online.

Harrison shared a great story about one of the Neville brothers who first heard him play, and asked someone who he was. When told who he was, and that he was from Hamilton, they then asked. "Is that an Island?" That gave me a good laugh. It makes you realize how much talent is in Canada and how little people are aware of that fact, including Canadians.

We are blessed here in Canada to have such a wonderful show like Saturday Night Blues, with a fabulous and knowledgeable host like Holger Peterson who has done so much to promote Blues musicians in Canada and throughout the world.

Friday, September 29, 2017


My internet server has been down for two weeks but that hasn't stopped me from writing about 16 blog posts, so please stay tuned, I've been busy unplugged!

The Soul of a Culture

"When the body of a woman was equivalent of the body of the Goddess, a woman was the container for the miracle of life.

"The soul of a culture cannot evolve if the body is not reclaimed and honoured."
                                                             - Maureen Murdock The Heroine's Journey

This quote is from the most important life changing book I've ever read in relation to my own creativity as a woman.

I'd come to understand how my mind and spirit are influential to my overall well being, personal health and happiness. And yet I could never make the connection with my body, that I now understand, is the glue and the grounding tie that brings mind and spirit together in order to be a happy, creative person I was born to be, fully alive.

I've struggled for many years to understand this deep spiritual interconnection, until I read Maureen Murdock's book, The Heroine's Journey.

In my 20s and as I got older my weight became an issue, and I then went to extremes in my physical activities. I wasn't able to find a balance. It was all or nothing. I either involved myself in a lot of exercise that realistically I couldn't maintain over the long run, or I did next to nothing, and then watched as my weight increased, my health declined, as did my happiness and self-esteem.

At 24 years of age I was at an ideal weight, perhaps thinner than I should have been, but regardless, I felt fat. Several years later, I saw pictures of myself back then. Suddenly my thoughts came flooding back and I remembered those the feelings I had in relation to my body, and how it didn't match up with the image I had in my mind's eye, or how I really felt about myself. The image didn't connect with what I thought about my body. I came to the conclusion that my thinking was distorted and after some intensive therapy I could see my thoughts were the beginning precursors of anorexic thinking.

It's taken me many years to finally begin to develop my own spirituality and to comprehend just what it means to see myself as the 'container for the miracle of life', and to understand the sacredness of my creativity, body and soul and to know the role I play in evolving 'the soul of culture'.

Today, I can finally say I reclaim and honour my body and I now know the balance and connection between mind, spirit and body and understand just what this truly means.

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.