I had an entirely different post written for Thanksgiving but in searching for something else, I found the libretto for "The Promise of Living" from Aaron Copland's opera "The Tender Land." It seems more fitting...
The promise of living With hope and thanksgiving Is born of our loving Our friends and our labor.
The promise of growing With faith and with knowing Is born of our sharing Our love with our neighbor.
The promise of loving The promise of growing Is born of our singing In joy and thanksgiving.
For many a year I’ve know these field And know all the work that makes them yield. Are you ready to lend a hand? We’re ready to work, we’re ready to lend a hand.
By working together we’ll bring in the harvest, the blessings of harvest.
We plow plant each row with seeds of grain, And Providence sends us the sun and the rain. By lending a arm Bring out the blessings of harvest. Give thanks there was sunshine, Give thanks there was rain, Give thanks e have hands To deliver the grain.
O let us be joyful, O let us be grateful to the Lord For his blessing.
The promise of living The promise of growing The promise of ending Is labor and sharing and loving.
(While I love the libretto, I actually prefer the instrumental version... I also have a weakness for old home movies... even when they're not my own...)
It's the season of disguises and secret identities and I am thrilled that my not-so-secret alter-ego will be blogging in support of one of my favourite organizations
On October 30 and 31st, with the help of some mad scientists, the Charlotte Street Arts Centre will be transformed into a haunted house. Over the course of the two days there will be events for the whole families from haunted house tours for the kids to a battle of the bands for high school students to a Danse Macabre for the grown-ups.
There's a lot of great stories and people behind this new fundraiser and in the lead up to the event I will be blogging about them here.
Just before we left the orchard yesterday, we heard the roar of a prop engine and saw this strange vehicle rolling across the horizon. And as we were all trying to figure out what it was, it took to the sky... I think every person, young and old, on the hillside stopped and watched in a mixture of awe and delight. My friends' daughter put it best: "It's Chitty-Chitty Bang-Bang."
It was the kind of thing that seemed more likely to happen in the world of Roald Dahl than here in our little corner of the world.
It's hard to be cynical in a world that surprises you with stupendous flying machines.
Last night Denis and I hit Crumbs for a show by the Good Lovelies. Their self-titled album has been in constant rotation on my playlist for the past week and their live show did not disappoint.
These girly-girls ("we have a strict no pants policy.") come armed with a van-load of instruments, pitch-perfect three-part harmony, clever catchy tunes and hilarious repartee. It would be impossible to be gloomy while watching them dissolve into a genuine and spontaneous giggle fit on stage.
I kind of want them to follow me around with their banjos and banter.
They have a Christmas album coming out in November and I cannot wait!!
Really... the banjo is completely under-rated...
Doing a cover of the Boswell sisters "Heebie Jeebies".
Who wouldn't want to spend the evening with these girls?
Bliss Carman Middle School officially opened last night so this morning, at the start of a new month, this poem seems appropriate...
A Vagabond Song
THERE is something in the autumn that is native to my blood— Touch of manner, hint of mood; And my heart is like a rhyme, With the yellow and the purple and the crimson keeping time. The scarlet of the maples can shake me like a cry Of bugles going by. And my lonely spirit thrills To see the frosty asters like a smoke upon the hills. There is something in October sets the gypsy blood astir; We must rise and follow her, When from every hill of flame She calls and calls each vagabond by name.
September brings a new season of shows at the UNB Art Centre at Memorial Hall. Tonight they unveiled Neurotica: a journey into the obsession of the mind.... by SilverFish Photography Collective.
SilverFish is a diverse group of Fredericton photographers who exhibit together usually a couple of times a year. They work with a variety of techniques and equipment from digital and Polaroid, vintage equipment and mixed media. For this show 10 photographers took on the challenge of obsessions - with the mundane and the bizarre, with beauty, with sex and with self.
The result is a cohesive show thas still allows each artist's own voice and style to come through.
Loving Rachel Brodie's pieces exploring the love of and fear of home.
It was interesting to see Chris Giles' work in digital. More accustomed to seeing him explore older techniques.
My lovely and amazing friend Lori Quick not only mounted the show and designed and produced the catalogue, she's also one of the SilverFish photogs. She first told me of her idea for this show over coffee back in February or March. It's wonderful to watch a piece grow from an idea through to a fully-realized installation. Lori explores our obsession with beauty. Across the mirror are the little questions and self-doubts thast fill our heads, particularly as women. On the dressing table are flip-books of photographs detailing all those rituals we go through in our obsessive pursuit of perfection.
I love that Lori so frequently brings an interactive element to her work, inviting viewers to become participants.
A portait of the artist and her mother. You can check out Neurotica at Mem Hall until October 23.
J. B. Priestley was a self-confessed grumbler. “Probably,” he wrote, “I arrived here a malcontent, convinced that I had been sent to the wrong planet. I was designed for the part, for I have a sagging face, a weighty underlip, what I am told is a ‘saurian eye,’ and a rambling yet resonant voice from which it is difficult to escape. Money could not buy a better grumbling outfit.”
In the 1940s, the born grumbler had fallen in love with someone who was not his wife, his marriage was crumbling, he suffered a colossal flop at the theatre and much of his public writing was a grumpy criticism of the austerity of post-war England. But despite all of this - or perhaps because of it - in 1949, he published Delight a collection of essays capturing the wonder and beauty of everyday life.
He begins with Fountains (“I doubt I ever saw one, even the smallest, without some tingling of delight.”). He meanders on to the sound of a football… walks in pine woods… new boxes of matches… streets like stage sets… preparing for old age and the Delight that never was; in total 114 little meditations on delightful things.
I first discovered Delight a dozen or so years ago buried in the stacks of the Vaughan Memorial Library when I was a student at Acadia. In the intervening years, I have, every so often, tried to locate it but inexplicably it seems to have been out of print for several years in the U.S. and Canada. From office to office I carried a Xeroxed copy of my favourite chapter: Making Writing Simple (“any man who thinks the kind of simplicity I attempt is easy should try it for himself, if only in his next letter to the Times.”) But Delight in its totality eluded me.
Enter the wonderful folks at Powells books. Today I arrived home to discover a brown paper package peeking out of my mailbox (delight!). Inside was a 60th anniversary edition of Delight published this year in the UK. There they were, like old friends: “Detective stories in bed” and “Mineral water in bedrooms of foreign hotels”, “Locusts I have known” and “Making stew” and on and on.
Being re-united with a favourite book? Pure Delight.