It is amazing that people who have been greatly blessed with a special gift can continue to use that gift even after they physically find it almost impossible. The determination, courage, and faith that it takes to continue…to press on regardless of the circumstances is inspiring indeed.
One of my favorite pieces of music by Beethoven is the part of the The Piano Sonata No. 14 in C♯ minor “Quasi una fantas,” which we know as the Moonlight Sonata.
It was completed in 1801 and dedicated in 1802 to his pupil, the Countess Giulietta Guicciardi The piece is one of Beethoven’s most popular compositions for the piano, and it was a popular favorite even in his own day. Beethoven wrote the Moonlight Sonata in his early thirties, after he had finished with some commissioned work; there is no evidence that he was commissioned to write this sonata…The name “Moonlight Sonata” comes from remarks made by the German music critic and poet Ludwig Rellstab. In 1832, five years after Beethoven’s death, Rellstab likened the effect of the first movement to that of moonlight shining upon Lake Lucerne. Within ten years, the name “Moonlight Sonata” (“Mondscheinsonate” in German) was being used in German and English publications. Later in the nineteenth century, the sonata was universally known by that name. (Wikipedia)
By the love letter Beethoven wrote to Giulietta, it was obvious that he was in love with her. However, it appears that her father objected to a marriage for the two. Beethoven was not rich enough nor had a position he considered suitable for his daughter. This great piano virtuoso would not have his love, for she eventually married another man.
Beethoven’s love letter to the Countess:
My Angel, My All, My Very Self,
Just a few words to-day, and only in pencil . . . Can our love endure otherwise than through sacrifices, through restraint in longing. Canst thou help not being wholly mine, can I, not being wholly thine. Oh! gaze at nature in all its beauty, and calmly accept the inevitable – love demands everything, and rightly so. Thus is it for me with thee, for thee with me, only thou so easily forgettest, that I must live for myself and for thee – were we wholly united thou wouldst feel this painful fact as little as I should . . .
Now for a quick change from without to within: we shall probably soon see each other, besides, to-day I cannot tell thee what has been passing through my mind during the past few days concerning my life – were our hearts closely united, I should not do things of this kind. My heart is full of the many things I have to say to thee – ah! – there are moments in which I feel that speech is powerless – cheer up – remain my true, my only treasure, my all !!! as I to thee. The gods must send the rest, what for us must be and ought to be.
The young Beethoven and a painting of Beethoven after his illnesses and the loss of his hearing. What could be more devastating than for a composer to not hear what he was playing…Yet, he continued to use the gift God gave him.
“Beethoven died in his apartment in Vienna, on 26 March 1827 at the age of 56, following a prolonged illness. Beethoven’s funeral was held three days later, and the procession was witnessed by a large crowd. He was originally buried in the cemetery at Wahring, although his remains were moved in 1888 to the Vienna Central Cemetery.”
In this short, dramatic movie clip, given in part here, Beethoven could hear nothing of what his genius and gift from God had allowed him to compose. The strings of the orchestra moved, but for Beethoven, where was no sound. The audience heard it, however…and finally, he was given the applause that he could at least see. He finally saw with his eyes their appreciation for his beautiful music.
Turn up sound and click link and then click the back arrow to return for a piano performance of Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata.
PIANO PERFORMANCE OF THE MOONLIGHT SONATA: Arranged by Georgii Cherkin Classic FM Orchestra Conductor: Grigor Palikarov Soloist: Georgii Cherkin – piano
Children the world over are God’s beautiful creation. They are meant to be loved, encouraged, taught and become the wonderful adults we hope them to be. They will be our next teachers, ministers and priests, doctors and nurses, leaders, mechanics, scientists, great artists and inventors. They will be what their God-given talents can make them…..IF….they are taught, loved and shown the way by the examples of adults. What we instill in them will bring us joy, laughter and peace… or the very opposite.
WHAT A CHALLENGE FOR US! We are the adults. They are the followers. I remember a young man in a 5th grade class I was teaching, who mostly wanted to draw. He had a talent that I pray he is using today. At least that was what I encouraged his mother to do for him…“Find him the best art teachers you can find. Let him do what he loves most and bring him along a path of art adventure in his life. What other children will do, he may have no interest in doing. Let him be who he is. Let him use the talent God has given him.”
For your pleasure, I want to introduce to you a young child, approximately 9 years old, from Russia. His name is Elisey Mysin. In 2019, he mesmerized the audience in the city of Naberezhyny Chelny when he performed Mozart’s Concerto No 3 in D. Major.
Thank God for children…the talented and the less talented…they are all His gift to us!
Turn up your sound.
During this time of self-isolation, I continue to write, but I also stop to paint when I truly want to relax. My art is nothing like a professional, but I love the freedom it gives to paint whatever is in my mind. Usually it has something to do with God’s nature…a flower, tree, or anything beautiful. As we sail along on this time of testing, we know that life will continue.
Nothing ever stands still…not time, events, or even our own living breath. Each moment we live is different from the last. We will move forward and it will be ours to find the peace God wants us to have. It may be in reading our favorite books, working in the garden, painting or sewing some special thing. We should also make this time to sit down to read God’s Holy Scriptures, an inspiring book or to be consistent in praying. We have the choice of how we will face these times.
One of the things that my husband and I have enjoyed has been the ability to travel. We may not be doing much of this in the time to come, but we remember with fondness some of our favorite trips. Going to Japan ranks very high on the list.
First time I went to Japan was as an educator, invited by the Japanese government. The second time was with my husband who had at one time been to Japan as a U.S. Navy Chaplain. It was great to return together. Being a part of another culture has always intrigued and delighted me. There is so much to learn. Perhaps the thing I come away with from getting to know different parts of the world is how much we are really alike. We work, play, and often make our faith a honored part of living.
I’m sharing with you a video by the artist, Akiane Kramarik, who has an amazing God-given talent. Akiane has taken her art around the world and in doing so, as a young woman has gained insight into the beauty of all people. It is even more true as we know that the whole world is trying to rise above the difficulties of the time. As we have heard many times, we are in this TOGETHER.
On this trip, she talks about visiting Japan and what it meant to her. She stresses that we have a need to SAIL FORWARD…even before she had any knowledge about a world-wide pandemic about to happen. You will notice that the people of Japan are going about their daily business in large groups. Such were the “good old days.” Go with me now on a tour of Japan with Akiane. At the end, she will demonstrate her incredible artistic talent.
This blog post is also presented as a gift to all Mothers around the world and especially those who have found it difficult to see family, whom they love, during the coronavirus…and especially on this MOTHER’S DAY!
In Honor of my Mother, Alta, who died at age 93.
Here I am with Mother when we were both young!
Video: Turn up the sound
For those who read the Stock Market Reports, and you have invested in the electric car, Tesla, you may be delighted to know that Tesla’s stock has “gone through the roof.”
According to (Reuters) – Tesla Inc shares surged on Wednesday, 2020, and the company became the first publicly listed U.S. automaker to cross $100 billion in market valuation, more than Ford Motor Co and General Motors Co combined.
Tesla was founded in July 2003, by engineers Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning, under the name of Tesla Motors. The company’s name is a tribute to engineer Nikola Tesla. Tesla Motors was joined by Elon Musk, J. B. Straubel and Ian Wright, all of whom are retroactively allowed to call themselves co-founders of the company. Musk is the current chief executive officer.(Wikipedia)
WHAT DO YOU REALLY KNOW ABOUT TESLA? THIS IS THE QUESTION.
It might be surprising to some of my readers and to Mr. Tesla, who died penniless and deserted by most scientists, that his name is now famous. He was an emigrant to the United States and contributed much to the world as we know it today. As with any great mind, their dreams often hit roadblocks. Personal life is usually difficult, as with Albert Einstein. Einstein’s relationship with his wife led to a divorce when he drew up a plan for her to sign if she was to continue to be his wife. It said in part that she should not talk to him unless he asked to talk and to expect no intimacy. She walked out, thinking that she must have been crazy to have married him in the first place. (Another blog to come on Einstein.) For now, it is probably true to say that most genius dreamers are loners and hard to understand. Their real lives are inside their heads.
Ask any high school student, or even a college student, if they know about Tesla and they probably would have no idea of Tesla outside of a car. No, we are not talking about Tesla, the car, or the adventures in space with Elon Musk, but of a man who brought electrical history to our lives. As a teacher of history, I cringe to think what our young people may be missing…such things as the meaning of “socialism.” They may reply, “Oh, yes, I love the social media…use it everyday!” I digress.
NIKOLA TESLA : Tesla was the son of an Orthodox priest, he was from Serbia. He had a great imagination, often saying that he saw great “flashes of light” and was always fascinated by lightning and electricity. Even as a young man he believed that electricity had a type of frequency that the world didn’t understand. Sometimes looking into spiritualism, he believed that the day his mother died she said goodbye to him through a type of frequency wave. He also dreamed of taping the sun’s energy and thought of a world wireless communication. Wouldn’t he be surprised at the power of our modern day communications?
In a nutshell, As a Serbian engineer and physicist, he made dozens of breakthroughs in the production, transmission and application of electric power. He invented the first alternating current motor (AC) and developed AC generation and transmission technology. His temper may have gotten the best of him when he walked out on his first American employer, Thomas Edison, who refused to give him a fair payment.
LIFE OF NIKOLA TESLA (from history.com)
Nikola Tesla was born in 1856 in Smiljan, Croatia, then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. His father was a priest in the Serbian Orthodox church and his mother managed the family’s farm. In 1863 Tesla’s brother Daniel was killed in a riding accident. The shock of the loss unsettled the 7-year-old Tesla, who reported seeing visions—the first signs of his lifelong mental illnesses.
Tesla studied math and physics at the Technical University of Graz and philosophy at the University of Prague. In 1882, while on a walk, he came up with the idea for a brushless AC motor, making the first sketches of its rotating electromagnets in the sand of the path. Later that year he moved to Paris and got a job repairing direct current (DC) power plants with the Continental Edison Company. Two years later he immigrated to the United States.
Tesla arrived in New York in 1884 and was hired as an engineer at Thomas Edison’s Manhattan headquarters. He worked there for a year, impressing Edison with his diligence and ingenuity. At one point Edison told Tesla he would pay $50,000 for an improved design for his DC dynamos. After months of experimentation, Tesla presented a solution and asked for the money. Edison demurred, saying, “Tesla, you don’t understand our American humor.” Tesla quit soon after.
After an unsuccessful attempt to start his own Tesla Electric Light Company and a stint digging ditches for $2 a day, Tesla found backers to support his research into alternating current. In 1887 and 1888 he was granted more than 30 patents for his inventions and invited to address the American Institute of Electrical Engineers on his work. His lecture caught the attention of George Westinghouse, the inventor who had launched the first AC power system near Boston and was Edison’s major competitor in the “Battle of the Currents.”
Westinghouse hired Tesla, licensed the patents for his AC motor and gave him his own lab. In 1890 Edison arranged for a convicted New York murderer to be put to death in an AC-powered electric chair—a stunt designed to show how dangerous the Westinghouse standard could be. (The execution using AC power went very poorly for the man being executed…as Edison predicted.)
Buoyed by Westinghouse’s royalties, Tesla struck out on his own again. But Westinghouse was soon forced by his backers to renegotiate their contract, with Tesla relinquishing his royalty rights.
In the 1890s Tesla invented electric oscillators, meters, improved lights and the high-voltage transformer known as the Tesla coil. He also experimented with X-rays, gave short-range demonstrations of radio communication two years before Guglielmo Marconi and piloted a radio-controlled boat around a pool in Madison Square Garden. Together, Tesla and Westinghouse lit the 1891 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago and partnered with General Electric to install AC generators at Niagara Falls creating the first modern power station.
In 1895 Tesla’s New York lab burned, destroying years’ worth of notes and equipment. Tesla relocated to Colorado Springs for two years, returning to New York in 1900. He secured backing from financier J.P Morgan and began building a global communications network centered on a giant tower at Wardenclyffe, on Long Island. But funds ran out and Morgan balked at Tesla’s grandiose schemes.
Tesla lived his last decades in a New York hotel, working on new inventions even as his energy and mental health faded. His obsession with the number three and fastidious washing were dismissed as the eccentricities of genius. He spent his final years feeding—and, he claimed, communicating with—the city’s pigeons.
Tesla died in his room on January 7, 1943. Later that year the U.S Supreme Court voided four of Marconi’s key patents, belatedly acknowledging Tesla’s innovations in radio. The AC system he championed and improved remains the global standard for power transmission.
WHAT WAS TESLA LIKE AS A REAL PERSON…OTHER THAN A GENIUS INVENTOR?
- -Tesla rarely slept, and claimed he never dozed for longer than two hours. The inventor also said he once worked for 84 hours straight without any rest, according to John O’Neil, author of the book “Prodigal Genius: The Life of Nikola Tesla (Cosimo Inc., 2006).
- Later in his life, Tesla frequented parks in New York City, often rescuing injured pigeons and nursing them back to health. A special PBS report on Tesla’s life and legacy claimed that when the inventor took up residence at the Hotel New Yorker, “he had the hotel chef prepare a special mix of seed for his pigeons, which he hoped to sell commercially.”
- Tesla was a vegetarian, but eventually limited himself to a peculiar diet of only milk, honey, bread and vegetable juices, according to Marc Seifer, author of Wizard:The Life and Times of Nikola Tesla (Citadel Press, 1996). Later in life, he was consumed by an extreme aversion to germs, and would only eat food that had been boiled, reported PBS.
- Tesla allegedly had a photographic memory, and could memorize entire books, according to Margaret Cheney, author of Tesla: Man out of time (Simon and Schuster, 2001).
- According to Seifer’s book “Wizard: The Life and Times of Nikola Tesla,” the inventor claimed that repeatedly squishing his toes helped to stimulate his brain cells. In fact, Tesla reportedly performed his toe exercises nightly, 100 times for each foot. (article by Denise Crow, Sci-Tech Editor 2014 livescience.com)
Sadly, great minds do not always get the recognition that they deserve. Part of Tesla’s life was living high and keeping company with the great minds of his day. At one point, an organization of Electrical Engineers decided to give him a special recognition for his accomplishments. He was invited to the event, but was found sitting outside feeding pigeons instead.
Many believed that he had become a “mad scientist” as he reached out with his proposed inventions to the world. He believed that he could achieve world peace as like his father, he hated war. Little did he understand that Nazi Germany had other plans. Tesla proposed to them and other countries that he had a new invention for war. He believed he could wipe out an army with lightning bolts…perhaps from the sky. Even though he hated the thoughts of war, he believed that though his work he could “link all nations for peace.” In 1943, the White House scheduled a meeting to discuss what he proposed. That meeting never took place because of his death.
FUTURE WORRIES OVER TESLA RESEARCH Will Tesla’s research papers on future weapons have any effect on our lives today?
Some worried that since the U.S. had not taken possession of Tesla’s research and paper, but sent them back to his home country where he had started his research, that his ideas for the future could have gotten into the wrong hands. It seems that in 1960, the Soviets attempted to produce a Beam Weapon. Where did they get this idea? Perhaps this article may fill in the story about Tesla’s Beam Weapon:
By 1937 it was clear that war would soon break out in Europe. Frustrated in his attempts to generate interest and financing for his “peace beam,” he sent an elaborate technical paper, including diagrams, to a number of Allied nations including the United States, Canada, England, France, the Soviet Union, and Yugoslavia. Titled “New Art of Projecting Concentrated Non-Dispersive Energy Through Natural Media,” the paper provided the first technical description of what is today called a charged particle beam weapon.
What set Tesla’s proposal apart from the usual run of fantasy “death rays” was a unique vacuum chamber with one end open to the atmosphere. Tesla devised a unique vacuum seal by directing a high-velocity air stream at the tip of his gun to maintain “high vacua.” The necessary pumping action would be accomplished with a large Tesla turbine.
Of all the countries to receive Tesla’s proposal, the greatest interest came from the Soviet Union. In 1937 Tesla presented a plan to the Amtorg Trading Corporation, an alleged Soviet arms front in New York City. Two years later, in 1939, one stage of the plan was tested in the USSR and Tesla received a check for $25,000.
Tesla hoped that his invention would be used for purely defensive purposes, and thus would become an anti-war machine. His system required a series of power plants located along a country’s coast that would scan the skies in search of enemy aircraft. Since the beam was projected in a straight line, it was only effective for about 200 miles — the distance of the curvature of the earth.
Tesla also contemplated peacetime applications for his particle beam, one being to transmit power without wires over long distances. Another radical notion he proposed was to heat up portions of the upper atmosphere to light the sky at night — a man-made aurora borealis.
Whether Tesla’s idea was ever taken seriously is still a mater of conjecture. Most experts today consider his idea infeasible. Though, his death beam bears an uncanny resemblance to the charged-particle beam weapon developed by both the United States and the Soviet Union during the cold war.
Nonetheless, Tesla’s dream for a technological means to end war seems as impossible now as it did when he proposed the idea in the 1930s.
One of the more controversial topics involving Nikola Tesla is what became of many of his technical and scientific papers after he died in 1943. Just before his death at the height of World War II, he claimed that he had perfected his so-called “death beam.” So it was natural that the FBI and other U.S. Government agencies would be interested in any scientific ideas involving weaponry. Some were concerned that Tesla’s papers might fall into the hands of the Axis powers or the Soviets.
AFTER HIS DEATH, RELATIVES STEP IN FOR TECHNICAL PAPERS AND PAPERS DISAPPEARED:
The morning after the inventor’s death, his nephew Sava Kosanovic´ hurried to his uncle’s room at the Hotel New Yorker. He was an up-and-coming Yugoslav official with suspected connections to the communist party in his country. By the time he arrived, Tesla’s body had already been removed, and Kosanovic´ suspected that someone had already gone through his uncle’s effects. Technical papers were missing as well as a black notebook he knew Tesla kept—a notebook with several hundred pages, some of which were marked “Government.”
P. E. Foxworth, assistant director of the New York FBI office, was called in to investigate. According to Foxworth, the government was “vitally interested” in preserving Tesla’s papers. Two days after Tesla’s death, representatives of the Office of Alien Property went to his room at the New Yorker Hotel and seized all his possessions.
Dr. John G. Trump, an electrical engineer with the National Defense Research Committee of the Office of Scientific Research and Development, was called in to analyze the Tesla papers in OAP custody. Following a three-day investigation, Dr. Trump concluded:
His [Tesla’s] thoughts and efforts during at least the past 15 years were primarily of a speculative, philosophical, and somewhat promotional character often concerned with the production and wireless transmission of power; but did not include new, sound, workable principles or methods for realizing such results.
Just after World War II, there was a renewed interest in beam weapons. Copies of Tesla’s papers on particle beam weaponry were sent to Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio. An operation code-named “Project Nick” was heavily funded and placed under the command of Brigadier General L. C. Craigie to test the feasibility of Tesla’s concept. Details of the experiments were never published, and the project was apparently discontinued. But something peculiar happened. The copies of Tesla’s papers disappeared and nobody knows what happened to them.
WHAT RESEARCH FROM TESLA DID TITO or PREMIER KHRUSCHCHEV POSSESS?
In 1952, Tesla’s remaining papers and possessions were released to Sava Kosanovic´ and returned to Belgrade, Yugoslavia where a museum was created in the inventor’s honor. For many years, under Tito’s communist regime, it was extremely difficult for Western journalists and scholars to gain access to the Tesla archive in Yugoslavia; even then they were allowed to see only selected papers. This was not the case for Soviet scientists who came in delegations during the 1950s. Concerns increased in 1960 when Soviet Premier Khrushchev announced to the Supreme Soviet that “a new and fantastic weapon was in the hatching stage.”
Work on beam weapons also continued in the United States. In 1958 the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) initiated a top-secret project code-named “Seesaw” at Lawrence Livermore Laboratory to develop a charged-particle beam weapon. More than ten years and twenty-seven million dollars later, the project was abandoned “because of the projected high costs associated with implementation as well as the formidable technical problems associated with propagating a beam through very long ranges in the atmosphere.” Scientists associated with the project had no knowledge of Tesla’s papers.
In the late 1970s, there was fear that the Soviets may have achieved a technological breakthrough. Some U.S. defense analysts concluded that a large beam weapon facility was under construction near the Sino-Soviet border in Southern Russia.
PRESIDENT REAGAN ANNOUNCES PLAN:
The American response to this “technological surprise” was the Strategic Defense Initiative announced by President Ronald Reagan in 1983. Teams of government scientists were urged to “turn their great talents now to the cause of mankind and world peace, to give us the means of rendering these nuclear weapons impotent and obsolete.”
Today, after a half-century of research and billions of dollars of investment, the SDI program is generally considered a failure, and there is still no realistic means of defense against a nuclear missile attack.
For many years scientists and researchers have sought for Tesla’s missing papers with no apparent success. It is conceivable that if Nikola Tesla knew a means for accurately projecting lethal beams of energy through the atmosphere, he may have taken it to the grave with him. (from Life and Legacy Index)
EINSTEIN’S WARNING ABOUT THE FUTURE:
Since President Reagan Strategic Defense Initiative against potential nuclear attacks, much has happened since them in Research and Development. However, after decades of R&D, particle–beam weapons are still very much at the research stage. Since most of the highly technical countries would not look highly on releasing the knowledge of their possession of technology inventions, it remains to be seen if or when they will be deployed as high-performance military weapons. We pray that this will not be used by nation against nation.
Tesla may not have heard what Albert Einstein had to say about his or anyone else’s weapons of war:
“I do not know with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.” – Albert Einstein.
Most people in the world hear the news of terrible fighting, human atrocities, and wonder why the great inventions of the past have not led us into a more peaceful world?
Science should be a help, not a hindrance to this goal. Yet, with all our knowledge and brilliance, the world continues to slide down the slippery slope that may seem like complete destruction. We, the ordinary people, can only look on with amazement and continue to say our prayers to a loving God who made the universe and those of us with brilliance minds. It may be concluded that only our Creator will know how to bring us out of the messes we make or invent. The geniuses will continue to be among us with their dreams for mankind.
As Shakespeare said, ” “Be not afraid of greatness: some are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them.” (Twelfth Night)
WHAT DOES THE HOLY SCRIPTURE SAY ABOUT NOT BEING AFRAID OF WARS OR END TIMES…should our inventions be used in this way?
MATTHEW 24:6-7 And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places.
LUKE 21:36 But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.”
MATTHEW 24:21-22 For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be. And if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short.
REVELATION 20:7-10 And when the thousand years are ended, Satan will be released from his prison and will come out to deceive the nations that are at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog**, to gather them for battle; their number is like the sand of the sea. And they marched up over the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, but fire came down from heaven and consumed them, and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
2 PETER 3:3-4 Knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. They will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.”
MATTHEW 24:36 “But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only.
JOHN 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
**(Difficult passages in which scholars of the Holy Scriptures vary in their opinion of who, or what area, is the modern “Gog and Magog” countries that is in Revelation. See maps below:
To God be the Glory and we thank Him for His Amazing Grace.
For my readers’ listening pleasure! Boyer Writes
Video: Andre Rieu and Bagpipers
As we scrambled today to batten-down everything that could fly away or become a missile during the hurricane that is about to hit Florida and the East Coast of the United States, I decided to write something about a place far away with their own problems…and delights…Paris, France.
No, I won’t talk about the terrible tragedies that happened along the Champs Elysées when a crazy mowed down the poor pedestrians just strolling along and enjoying this beautiful city. We have enough crazies right here in the U.S. doing equally insane things.
Instead, I want to write about nostalgia. Paris is a place of history, romance, and the Eiffel Tower. We have places of nostalgia, believe it or not, right here in a not so old country. They are our favorite places to eat, sit and talk with those who also love to go there and talk, eat and sit. I know some ladies in the Blue Ridge Mountains who meet every day for a cup of coffee in our favorite “Mom and Pop” place. How many cups they consume, I’m not certain, but they are always there…relaxing and enjoying life.
Why are we drawn to special eating places? The Cafe, The Bar, The Up-scale Restaurant like Ruth Chris or down-home Mom and Pop places.
What makes a good cafe? It is probably the people in Paris, as an American artist from New York, Rick Tulka, finds fascinating. Let’s let him explain why he goes to the cafes. He’s been going there for years.
Turn up your sound.
Thomas Edison is quoted as saying:
“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
In case you are a little rusty on history, Thomas Edison was one of our great American inventors. The lights that we can see around the globe from outer space can be attributed to a man who literally lit up the world. The music that we enjoy was first recorded by this man. We, in Florida, benefited from his concrete houses when hurricanes tear through our state. These inventions and so many more are those of an inquisitive mind who did not mind hard work. Edison liked to say, “Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.”
Who was Thomas Edison?
“People often say Edison was a genius. He answered, “Genius is hard work, stick-to-it-iveness, and common sense.”
Thomas Alva Edison was born February 11, 1847 in Milan, Ohio (pronounced MY-lan). In 1854, when he was seven, the family moved to Michigan, where Edison spent the rest of his childhood.
“Al,” as he was called as a boy, went to school only a short time. He did so poorly that his mother, a former teacher, taught her son at home. Al learned to love reading, a habit he kept for the rest of his life. He also liked to make experiments in the basement.
(It is surprising how many people who have touched the world with their creativity were home-schooled or allowed to skip school. Some may not know that the great movie maker, Stephen Spielberg, was often taken out of school by his mother to attend concerts, see the great art galleries and more when he was a child.)
Al not only played hard, but also worked hard. At the age of 12 he sold fruit, snacks and newspapers on a train as a “news butcher.” (Trains were the newest way to travel, cutting through the American wilderness.) He even printed his own newspaper, the Grand Trunk Herald, on a moving train.
At 15, Al roamed the country as a “tramp telegrapher.” Using a kind of alphabet called Morse Code, he sent and received messages over the telegraph. Even though he was already losing his hearing, he could still hear the clicks of the telegraph. In the next seven years, he moved over a dozen times, often working all night, taking messages for trains and even for the Union Army during the Civil War. In his spare time, he took things apart to see how they worked. Finally, he decided to invent things himself.
After the failure of his first invention, the electric vote recorder, Edison moved to New York City. There he improved the way the stock ticker worked. This was his big break. By 1870 his company was manufacturing his stock ticker in Newark, New Jersey. He also improved the telegraph, making it send up to four messages at once.
… Edison moved from Newark to Menlo Park, New Jersey, in 1876. There he built his most famous laboratory. He was not alone in Menlo Park. Edison hired “muckers” to help him out. (Old English word meaning low-level laborers) These “muckers” came from all over the world to make their fortune in America. They often stayed up all night working with the “chief mucker,” Edison himself. He is sometimes called the “Wizard of Menlo Park” because he created two of his three greatest works there.
The phonograph was the first machine that could record the sound of someone’s voice and play it back. In 1877, Edison recorded the first words on a piece of tin foil. He recited the nursery rhyme “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” and the phonograph played the words back to him. This was invented by a man whose hearing was so poor that he thought of himself as “deaf”!
Starting in 1878, Edison and the muckers worked on one of his greatest achievements. The electric light system was more than just the incandescent lamp, or “light bulb.” Edison also designed a system of power plants that make the electrical power and the wiring that brings it to people’s homes…
In 1885, one year after his first wife died, Edison met a 20-year-old woman named Mina Miller. Her father was an inventor in Edison’s home state of Ohio. Edison taught her Morse Code. Even when others were around, the couple could “talk” to each other secretly. One day he tapped a question into her hand: would she marry him? She tapped back the word “yes.”… (Practical…but not so romantic)
Edison built a laboratory in West Orange that was ten times larger than the one in Menlo Park. In fact, it was one of the largest laboratories in the world, almost as famous as Edison himself. Well into the night, laboratory buildings glowed with electric light while the Wizard and his “muckers” turned Edison’s dreams into inventions. Once, the “chief mucker” worked for three days straight, taking only short naps. Edison earned half of his 1,093 patents in West Orange…
Not only did Edison improve the phonograph several times, but he also worked on X-rays, storage batteries, and the first talking doll. At West Orange, he also worked on one of his greatest ideas: motion pictures, or “movies.” The inventions made here changed the way we live even today. He worked here until his death on October 18, 1931, at the age of 84.
(from the National Park Service)
Edison would certainly say, “Try…try…and try again.” for whatever you try to accomplish with your God-given abilities.
(turn up sound for video)
The voices of the Three Tenors presented for Christmas by Boyer Writes
In Vienna, a concert in Vienna of traditional and sacred Christmas music featuring Pavarotti, Carreras, Domingo.
Turn up sound and push red slide to the beginning of video if it starts in the middle.
Today I want to introduce my readers to a man who has found his direction in a most unusual way. I write about him because in my previous blog, I talked about “New Directions.” This man has followed his passion after leaving a profession as a sailor and it has led him to more than he could have ever imagined. His name is Caras Ionut (or Ionuţ Caraş in the Romanian language ) His specialty is manipulating photography in a surreal style.
“In his work, he uses his own photographs, which he inserts, composes and colorfully adjusts in a suitable way. In his dream works, physically impossible scenes arise, such as a little girl hanging on a swing hundreds of feet above the ground, an elephant riding a bicycle, a little girl riding on the back of a huge fish, and the like. Ionut often puts man in his paintings. Often they are small children, but also special people not fit into the standard society. Roamers, beggars, comedians, and so on. Their image is enhanced by a dark landscape with old trees, dark sky, mist, mountain scenery or rainy weather. Often, the element of umbrella, ships, water, rocks or birds (such as ravens) is repeated in his work. Ionut’s inspiration for his works draws from his dreams in the night, from the colors of autumn and winter. He works as a professional photographer and a retoucher, offers courses and tutorials for those who want to learn how to digitally manipulate photos… Many of his images have been used for book covers, audio cd, bank advertisements, website materials, local publications, prints, and many other uses. He now has many clients…such as Stephen King and others…” (Wikipedia)
Below are three sets of slides for you to enjoy. Take your time and study them for the creative side is excellent. I’m not certain if the child he often incorporates in his photography is his own, but the combination of the “impossible” with the real is somewhat chilling, but very interesting.
- THE IMPOSSIBLE
- DRAMATIC NATURE
- THE WARMTH OF ORDINARY PEOPLE
Look around you for the beauty that is in YOUR path…
Credit: All photography by Caras Ionut
When we are in Virginia, we receive an email telling us when the Space Station will be flying over our home and the Blue Ridge Mountains. Because we have no street lights, it is quite clear and the Station can be seen moving on the path above our heads.
The video I’m sharing with my readers today shows a working relationship between the U.S., Russia and Japanese astronauts. It is a good thing that they are professionals and want to do their work and experiments without political interruption. Hope you enjoy this as much as I did.
The tour of the Space Station is given by Sunita Pandya Williams, an American astronaut and U.S. Navy officer of Indo-Slovenian descent. She formerly held the records for total spacewalks by a woman (seven) and most spacewalk time for a woman (50 hours, 40 minutes). Sunita was assigned to the International Space Station as a member of Expeditions 14 and 15. In 2012, she served as a flight engineer on Expedition 32 and then commander of Expedition 33. (Wikipedia)
Thank you, Sunita Williams, for your great tour. As we watch from the ground, we know better what the crews in the Space Station are experiencing amid the stars. Long live international cooperation!
VIDEO (Turn up sound)
THE VOICE….A GIFT FROM GOD
Boyer Writes presents to you the voice, in concert, of a young man that you will know has been given a great gift. Below is a bio of this young musical talent.
Aksel Rykkvin was Born April 11, 2003 in Norway
The Norwegian boy soprano (treble), Aksel Rykkvin, has received singing lessons since he was 8 years old …He is a classically trained treble from the Children’s Chorus of the Norwegian National Opera & Ballet and Oslo Cathedral Boys’ Choir. He is in high demand as a soloist in operas, concerts and music festivals all across Norway. In March 2016 he received international acclaim for his role as ‘the boy’ in Rolf Wallin’s new opera Elysium. …In January 2016, Aksel Rykkvin recorded his debut album in London, with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, directed by Nigel Short.
Aksel Rykkvin has held very well attended solo concerts in Oslo and Nidaros Cathedrals, as well as solo church and house concerts. At several official functions, he has sung for the Prime Minister of Norway, the Crown Prince and Crown Princess of Norway, and also for the Secretary General of NATO. In November 2015 he sang with the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra for a full Oslo Concert Hall. For summer 2016, he was booked for multiple performances at the chamber music festivals in Risør and Oslo. In June 2015 he was invited by Assistant Director of Music Ben Parry to sing a solo program in King’s College Chapel, Cambridge. (Taken from Bach Cantatas Website)
Laudate Dominum, from Vesperae solennes de confessore (K. 339) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Sung by Aksel Rykkvin (treble)
Classical Music is a joy to listen to when it is performed by some of the world’s most gifted musicians. Boyer Writes is happy to share this great performance for your listening pleasures.
Some words about our musicians:
Joshua Bell: Bell was born in Bloomington, Indiana in the U.S.A. He began taking violin lessons at age four, using a scaled-to-size violin. He was much like any young person growing up with interests in sports and video games. He studied the violin under several teachers. At age 12, he became quite serious about his instrument, appearing with the Philadelphia Orchestra at age 14. From Indiana University, he received an Artist Diploma in Violin Performance. He was given the honor of “Indiana Living Legend”. Bell played at Carnegie Hall at age 17 and since has performed with the world’s major orchestras. Bell plays his 300-year-old Stradivarius violin made in 1713 in a number of movie scores, winning him a Grammy. (taken from Wikipedia)
Misha Maisky: Born in 1948 in Riga, Latvia, Mischa Maisky received his first music lessons there at the Children’s Music School and Conservatory. In 1962 he entered the Leningrad Conservatory. In 1965 his debut with the Leningrad Philharmonic earned him the nickname “Rostropovich of the Future”. One year later he was a prizewinner at the International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow and began his studies with Rostropovich at the Moscow Conservatory while pursuing a concert career throughout the former Soviet Union. After being imprisoned in a labor camp near Gorky for 18 months in 1970, he emigrated from the USSR. 1973 Settles in Israel; wins the 1973 Cassadó Competition in Florence; debut at New York’s Carnegie Hall with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra under William Steinberg; after the concert, an anonymous admirer gives him a 18th-century Montagnana cello on which he still performs today. 1995 Returns to Moscow for the first time in 23 years to give a concert and to record works by Prokofiev and Miaskovsky with Mikhail Pletnev and the Russian National Orchestra; CD release: Vivaldi and Boccherini concertos with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. Since then, he has performed throughout the world with many musical releases. (taken from Biography)
Evgeny Kissin: Kissin was born in Moscow to a Russian Jewish family. Recognized as a child prodigy at age six, he began piano studies at the Gnessin State Musical College in Moscow. At the school, he became a student of Anna Kantor, who remained Kissin’s only piano teacher. Between ages 10 and 12, he was performing with Russian Symphony Orchestras. He went to Japan and the first Western European concert was in Berlin and he began touring throughout Europe. In September 1990, Kissin made his North American debut playing Chopin’s two piano concertos with the New York Philharmonic and also in Carnegie Hall. He has had an extensive career since then with many awards. (Wikipedia)
Enjoy this performance of Great Classical Music!
|Joshua Bell, Misha Maisky, Evgeny Kissin||Play Tchaikovsky’s Piano Trio in A Minor, Opus 50|
Are we erasing history? Every generation has its conflicts…wars…inequalities and disputes. One might even today believe that the United States of America is coming apart at the seams and will someday have to pick up the pieces of our history that are being destroyed or hidden away.
People who are part of history never have had unanimous beliefs. Headlines may read “The KKK and White Supremacists Fight a Race war in the U.S.” …or “Everyone Hates the Police…or “The President is an Evil Racist.” Wait a minute…perhaps we should get a handle on things! What exactly does our very short U.S. history tell us about dissent and civil unrest?
The news clips and internet videos show that the recent violence in Virginia appears to be made up of young people as do the worldwide clips of terrorism and unrest. What is this saying about our future generations and public property? Have they not learned anything from historical figures such as Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks or Mahatma Gandhi about a peaceful protest for change?
It is true that there has been recent disputes and bloodshed over the removal of Southern, historical statues. Most politicians and Americans condemn such violence. As much as I dislike many of the things our President says, I agree when he said, “Where does this stop?” Will we have to rename Washington, D.C., our Capitol, because George Washington was an owner of slaves? What will happen to Mt. Rushmore?
Some would say that the actions of removing monuments is to “sanitize history.” Yet, according to the writings of Chris Graham, there can not be any sanitizing or rewriting history. He is correct on that point. History is history and should remain a lesson from which we learn. It should not be a lesson that is erased.
As an example, what would one think if we went to Auschwitz and removed the evidence of one of the most heinous crimes in history? Would we think that the Germans of today, who were not part of the Nazi era, would be offended and therefore the suitcases, eyeglasses, gassing buildings, ovens and Nazi signs should all be taken down? I think we know the answer to that….No, of course not! Would out of sight also mean out of mind? The Jews, by the millions, suffered as well as Christians who spoke out, gypsies, and homosexuals. If we tried to sanitize that period of history, we could be opening up another generation to treat these same people to another Holocaust…because they had learned nothing from history? We are also told that “those who do not remember history, will live it over again.” This includes the generation that is not taught history. Thankfully, we have people like Stephen Spielberg who is recording the stories of the Holocaust survivors to preserve for all times.
Chris Graham says “…you can’t rewrite the history of the United States to the point of sanitizing our collective experiences to meet the demands of our 21st-century sensibilities. Slavery was literally written into our Constitution…” (See paragraph below on the 13th Amendment)
“Even the great Thomas Jefferson, as he penned the Declaration of Independence, not even arguably the most important written document in human history, owned slaves at the time he put the words to paper and did for the remaining 50 years of his life after. George Washington owned slaves. Abraham Lincoln demurred over the Emancipation Proclamation. Every president and Supreme Court justice and other statesmen of any significance between Washington and Jefferson and today acquiesced in the perpetuation of slavery, Jim Crow, massive resistance, housing and job discrimination, mass incarceration and disenfranchisement, dilution of voting power through political gerrymandering. We don’t have the capacity to produce enough bleach to cleanse the sins of our past, our present and the ones that we will continue to commit into the distant future.
But our collective history is more than our collective sins. Jefferson, a slaveholder, breathed life into the concept that all men are created equal. Washington led our armies to victory in our American Revolution. Lincoln did issue the Emancipation Proclamation and prosecuted the war against rebels intent on preserving the institution of slavery to the bitter end. Women waged a decades-old battle to win the right to vote that had been denied them. We persevered through a Depression and then immediately after defeated a literal axis of fascism, and the seeds of that victory jump-started a civil rights movement that de-codified Jim Crow and thrust our nation into the modern era…”
The Civil War was fought between April 12, 1861 and May 9, 1865. Abraham Lincoln issued the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation (Freeing the slaves) on September 22nd, 1862. It stipulated that if the Southern states did not cease their rebellion by January 1st, 1863, then Proclamation would go into effect.
13th Amendment to the Constitution (The Abolishment of Slavery)
“Before the Civil War ended, Congress passed and sent to the states for ratification, the Thirteenth Amendment which abolished “slavery” and “involuntary servitude” and authorized Congress to enact “appropriate legislation” implementing the abolition. The Amendment was understood to also make blacks citizens of the United States (overruling Dred Scott on that point). The House vote to propose the Thirteenth Amendment followed the Senate vote and barely made the 2/3 majority requirement. When the vote was announced the galleries cheered, congressmen embraced and wept, and Capitol cannons boomed a 100-gun salute. Congressman George Julian of Indiana wrote in his diary, “I have felt, ever since the vote, as if I were in a new country.” Ratification by the states quickly followed, and Secretary of State Seward proclaimed the Amendment adopted on December 18, 1865.
Less than a year after ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment, Congress used its newly conferred power to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1866, giving black citizens “the same right in every state…to make and enforce contracts, to sue, be parties, …to inherit, purchase, sell, and convey real and personal property; and to the full and equal benefit of all laws and proceedings for the security of person and property as is enjoyed by white citizens.” Supporters of the 1866 law argued that its guarantees constituted “appropriate” means of “enforcing” the right of blacks not to be held in bondage.
The Thirteenth Amendment, unlike most provisions in the Constitution, is self-executing, in that it directly reaches-even without action by Congress- conduct by private individuals (slave holders). Because of this fact, Congress’s power under the Thirteenth Amendment allows it to punish forms of private conduct when it might not be able to do so under an amendment such as the Fourteenth, which restricts the conduct of states (prohibiting states from denying equal protection of the laws or due process).”(Exploring Constitutional Conflicts)
What about the removal of Southern, historical monuments? Many of our artistic, beautiful bronze statues are headed for the warehouses…unless they are pulverized first. Should we take a lesson from a more recent history where ISIS, that is good at destroying antiquities and monuments with which they do not agree, bombed a 2,000-year-old temple in Syria?
Think of it. Will we someday have scientists and archeologists sifting through the ruins or warehouses to find the antiquities of our American past? The people of Syria are desperately trying to save every piece of their temple history, even at their own peril. They are collecting even the smallest pieces, photographing, and storing them in boxes to save for future generations. CNN VIDEO on Syria
Yes, many of our nation’s founders were slave holders. Today everyone is appalled with the history of slavery and the hate that it inspired. It took too long to right a wrong, but finally, our government leaders decided to do something about those in bondage and the terrible road they had traveled…literally, from far away shores that they called home.
Yet throughout our history, people of color rose above the discrimination and sadness they encountered. Below are a few examples of over 118 African Americans who chose to build and develop America by their inventions and expertise. The list of white inventors…or Asian or Hispanic would also be long. However, the color of the skin made no difference. In any case, the people who made America what it is today only tried to better it and not destroy it. So many of the videos that show the recent violence appear to be mainly young people. Let’s hope that they will learn about these people and our history that worked for us in building a great nation. Each of these people had a vision of their self-worth and acted upon it.
A few African Americans from previous history and modern history:
- George Washington Carver: Discovered hundreds of uses for previously useless vegetables and fruits, principally the peanut.
- Sarah Boone: Invented the ironing board, allowing sleeves of women’s garments to be ironed more easily
- Harold Amos: Microbiologist Harvard Medical School Department Chair
- George Alcorn Edward, Jr.: Physicist Invented a method of fabricating X-ray spectrometer
- Archie Alexander: Civil Engineer Responsible for construction of roads and bridges including the Tidal Basin Bridge and Baltimore- Washington Parkway
- Leonard Bailey: Inventor of the folding bed
- Alice Augusta Ball: chemist Extracted chaulmoogra oil for treatment of leprosy
- Benjamin Banneker: Mathematician, astronomer, surveyor of Washington, D.C.
- Janet Basher: First African-American woman to receive a patent for a web-based software invention, LinkLine, an Equal Employment Opportunity case management and tracking software
- David Crosthwait Jr.: Heating, ventilation, air conditioning patents ( 40 US patents) relating to the HVAC systems See the entire list of 118
Modern Day contributors to our American history:
All of us must decide to be a part of building a better America through cooperation, non-violent discussions, and protests needed for change. We should look to history from which to learn and from which to teach the lessons that are needed for a better tomorrow for all generations. If we continue to tear down, destroy, promote violence that leads to death and injury or disrespect the history of our country, we will be no better than other countries that are having to pick up the pieces of their violators. Americans…We must not be like ISIS…destroying and turning our backs on our past. We are a young country and our monuments and statues are not thousands of years old, but they are OUR HISTORY. Our future generations need to know about their ancestors…for good or for bad. Disagreement does not mean DESTRUCTION.
VIDEO: Take a look. Do we want to be like this? Remember, it all started with the destruction of the FIRST statue and monument. We must not be a part of erasing history.
In Honor and Memory of Khaled al-Asaad, Antiquities Director, murdered by ISIS for refusing to divulge the storage of historical antiquities. (Look for another blog to come on his amazing life.)
We often hear that a person who is creative is highly developed on the right side of the brain. An analytical person uses the left side most frequently, so science tells us. Hopefully, there are some of us who use both sides of the our brains. We are told that we use a small percentage of what the brain is capable. It would be fascinating to know what we really could accomplish…should we put our mind to it!
My talents, or lack of, are definitely in the organizational arena, but I know that I am the happiest when I am creating something special. This could be in the realm of art, design or simply setting a table for dinner. Food preparation is also a creative skill that many have developed to our culinary delights. Some of us dabble in many of these areas, but find that there are a few that give the most pleasure.
What are your skills and talents? Perhaps you should think seriously about what areas God has given especially to you , that others say they cannot attain. It would be a shame to waste these or not use them in the way our God, the Creator, wanted for you. You are a unique individual and in that way, you are quit special with many gifts and talents.
When we think of creativity, we also think of the word “creation” for the word actually means: “the action or process of bringing something into existence.” For God Created the World would be one example.
Recently I wrote a blog about a young artist in England who said that his biggest thrill was to actually put something on canvas and know that it is the only one in existence…for only he made it.
Recently, I set aside some of my writing and dived into learning more about video creation. I know that it is easy these days to whip out a camera and push the record button. Actually producing a video with special effects and creative skills is a challenge. Understand me, the video below that I’m sharing, is simply a use of a video producing program that I have been trying to understand. Hopefully, as time goes on, I will accomplish something more profound. I would love to learn animation, so I’m open to any suggested programs that some of you think are great for a novice.
In this video, I am showing some of my abstract art work, and also promoting the books that I have written over the last few years.
Thank you for sharing in this beginner’s efforts at video production:
Turn up sound.
To be really…..really good at something, it takes efforts that no one ever sees. I follow a blogger whose name is Iain Crockart. He recently shared a film that he directed about the artist Vincent Kamp. Kamp lives in England and his efforts to paint the ordinary people that he finds in barber shops or in a more seedy side of London are quite amazing.
It is not the subject matter that makes me want to write about Vincent Kamp. It is his passion at what he does and the great wealth of study that he has put into his artistic efforts that no one will ever truly understand, but the artist himself.
I am a writer, photographer…and sometimes artist. I know that I shy away from anything that is realistic basically because I don’t have the skills to produce such works. The closest to realism that I come is when I photograph something special and then use my paints to paint and enhance certain sections of the photograph. Some have turned out to be quite interesting, but if it becomes too much of an effort, the whole thing may turn into an abstract. It is the colors in abstracts that often fascinates me. Painting artistic realism is as much of a dream as I have at becoming a great pianist.
Vincent Kamp worked on his talent. Never having a degree in art, he became self-taught by looking at books and pictures painted by the great art Masters or sitting in on living artists’ demonstrations that he admires. His depth of study when painting a portrait takes more effort than most would ever attempt…bone structure and anatomy being some of his research.
This is what is written on Vincent’s website.: “Vincent’s arresting portraits are built on the assumption that society will always identify with rebels and the gritty underground world of urban subculture. For his latest work he has traveled around the UK visiting barber shops and events to gather material in a setting which transcends social class and makes everyone feel like ‘one of the boys’. These mesmerizing oil paintings evoke emotion, fascination and intrigue about both the backstory and the future of a character. He seeks out moments of tension, and explains: “My paintings are all quite dark, subtle and intense. I’m always imagining there’s something surreptitious going on in a potentially innocent situation.” He is heavily influenced by cinematography and its impact on storytelling, believing that by manipulating the composition, light and color you can completely change the feel of scene.”
Below is a film that I am sharing from the blog by Iain Crockart mentioned above and shown on Vincent’s website. Whatever your passion may be, decide that you will put the effort into learning and improving your skill, as Vincent Kamp has done. Hopefully, his words on the video below will be your inspiration.
Click and give video a moment to start: See video on Vincent Kamp’s website
Addicted people must WANT to change their lives more than anything in the world. A friend of mine recently knew that for years of her life she had been addicted to tobacco. She had attempted to quit smoking many times and failed. Finally, she made the decision to give herself a hope for long life. She wanted to see her grandchildren grow up and be there for their special days. With determination and encouragement, she stopped smoking and has been smoke-free for over six months. We know that it takes courage and the “want to” to make it happen.
The man, shown above is Donald Gould. He was once a Marine, but became addicted to various drugs after his wife died and his baby boy was taken away by authorities, because he was unfit to raise a child. That baby was adopted into a loving, Christian home. Donald became homeless and lived on the streets.
He had one talent…the gift of music and could play the piano was ease and beauty. While living in Sarasota, Florida, he was given a chance to roll out a piano on the street and play where people passing by in this beautiful city could hear him. His story is one of determination, but it is also the story of the caring people around him and those internationally that wanted to see him lick the terrible addiction. It is a one of the most serious health problems in our country and the world today. It is a fact that without help to recover, these addictive drugs will suck the life completely out of its victims. Our military vets are known to greatly suffer from addiction and find themselves without employment and no place to call home.
Through rehabilitation, therapy and opportunities made available to him, Donald found a new life and an outlet for his talent. One of his greatest heartaches was losing his baby boy.
The adoptive parents of his son, who had just graduated from high school, made it possible for Donald to reconnect with his once lost son. They said that they all prayed about it and believed it was the right thing to do.
A contract to make an album of his music soon followed and he was asked to play the National Anthem at a football game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Minnesota Vikings. Donald had been given a great and special gift…a chance to start a new life.
If you are fighting addiction, know that you can ask for help. You will also be given the chance to fight the bondage that is making your life one of misery…giving you a chance at a new beginning. You, however, must truly want it! Everyone has some God given talent. Yours may not be music or the ability to play the piano like Donald, but you will find the talent He has given you. Go for it!
Boyer Writes introduces you to Donald Gould and his story. (Turn up sound) At the end of the video are a couple more updates on Donald that you may want to watch: When he played for the NFL game and his first contact with his son.
Training of U.S. Navy Seals
Life is extremely hard at times. As shown above, the training of U.S. Navy Seals is some of the toughest in the world. Most people will not have to endure this type of hardship, but some things in life could parallel to what one has to do to survive physically, emotionally or mentally. Sadly, we find out too often that one of our Seals has been killed. All the training in the world can’t prevent such tragedies…whether Seals or other branches of military service.
Take a few minutes and listen to some excellent advice on how to face “the sharks” that come your way. It will not be easy. Life is not easy. Nevertheless, the rewards can be great. The character that is built can last a life time.
So…what does “making the bed” have to do with it? Listen to an excellent speech and find out.
Naval Adm. William H. McRaven
The joy of great music and art are readily available. In a world over-powered by sound and fury, it would be good to rest our minds with music from some of the great composers and literary figures in history.
- History of the music, Ave Maria:
“The original words of Ave Maria (Hail Mary) were in English, being part of a poem called The Lady of the Lake, written in 1810 by Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832). The poem drew on the romance of the legend regarding the 5th century British leader King Arthur, but transferred it to Scott’s native Scotland. In 1825 during a holiday in Upper Austria, the composer Franz Schubert (1797-1828) set to music a prayer from the poem using a German translation by Adam Storck. Scored for piano and voice, it was first published in 1826 as “D839 Op 52 no 6.” Schubert called his piece “Ellens dritter Gesang” (Ellen’s third song) and it was written as a prayer to the Virgin Mary from a frightened girl, Ellen Douglas, who had been forced into hiding.The song cycle proved to be one of Schubert’s most financially successful works, the Austrian composer being paid by his publisher 20 pounds sterling, a sizable sum for a musical work in the 1820s. Though not written for liturgical services, the music proved to be inspirational to listeners, particularly Roman Catholics, and a Latin text was substituted to make it suitable for use in church. It is today most widely known in its Latin “Ave Maria” form.” (taken from Song Facts)
- Franz Schubert’s inspiration:
” Franz Schubert’s inspiration was the epic poem of Sir Walter Scott, The Lady of the Lake, written in 1810. The poem tells the fictional tale of 16th century Scottish clans at war with each other and in rebellion against the king. Schubert wrote a cycle of seven songs based on the story, using the German translation of the poem by Philip Adam Storck.
The heroine of the poem is Ellen Douglas who has fled with her exiled father to a mountain cave to escape the pursuit of a rebel chieftain. While in the cave, Ellen sings a song praying to the Virgin Mary for help, accompanied by the harper Allan-bane.
This is in part the original text of Sir Walter Scott:
Ave Maria ! maiden mild !
Listen to a maiden’s prayer !
Thou canst hear though from the wild,
Thou canst save amid despair.
Safe may we sleep beneath thy care,
Though banished, outcast, and reviled—
Maiden ! hear a maiden’s prayer;
Mother, hear a suppliant child !
Ave Maria !” (Taken from the blog and harpist, Ann Sullivan)
Michael Lucarelli is a classical guitarist who has written compositions of his own. Having received his Bachelor of Music degree at the University of Utah, he now teaches guitar there. His Master’s degree was from the University of Arizona. Born in Ohio, Lucarelli studied with Peruvian Guitarist Ricardo Linares.
- Performance Location:
Michael Lucarelli plays Franz Schuberts’s Ave Maria on classical guitar. Filmed at “the Cathedral of the Madeleine” in Salt Lake City Utah. The Cathedral of the Madeleine is a Roman Catholic church in Salt Lake City, Utah, U.S.A. It was completed in 1909 and currently serves as the cathedral, or mother church, of the Diocese of Salt Lake City. The cathedral was built under the direction of Lawrence Scanlan, the first bishop of Salt Lake. (Wikipedia)
For your listening pleasure, Boyer Writes brings you Ave Maria performed by Michael Lucarelli Turn up sound.
This Christmas Day is a happy day for many and a sad one for the lonely or destitute. Many are blessed with families to share in gift opening and a wonderful meal. Sometimes those who are far from us come home to share the moment. That is not always true of every home, but last Christmas Eve the churches were filled with those who did make it home for Christmas. Our military men and women stationed and working far away probably dislike “I’ll be Home for Christmas” because they know that it has to be only in their thoughts.
Take a moment; relax from all the activities of the day and reflect on how you made someone feel better at a sometimes troubling time of year. Feel good about that and give it to God because you were doing it as His hands…and His voice of love.
This is one little girl who shares her God-given talents with others, especially at Christmas. Elizabeth says, “The thing I most enjoy about music is getting to go to different places and dressing up. I also like seeing the smiling faces of people in the audience enjoying my music. It seems like the people that listened to me play enjoy classical music. Because of this experience, I may want to play for retirement centers again.”
Elizabeth Aoki is from Cresskill, New Jersey and has studied at the Juilliard Pre-College division with Masao Kawasaki. She attended the Aspen Summer Music Festival, where she auditioned for From the Top. She has been a member of the Juilliard Pre-College String Ensemble and Youth Chorus.
Here is Elizabeth performing in 2012, simply for your listening pleasure on this Christmas Day.
It takes effort and work to fine-tune talents that we may have. Some seem more pronounced than others, but all in all…our talents great or small are God given. Consider the brain that tells the body what to do. Consider the fingers that play the piano that the brain tells the muscles to move as one reads the notes. All of this is miraculous.
When I was very young, I went to to boarding school. My love there was playing the piano with Mrs. Tolison as my teacher. I have mentioned this in a blog before, but looking back on the event I believe that there was talent there. Nevertheless that talent was placed on hold because of a move to an apartment with many steps that prevented a large piano from being moved there. It also had something to do with the fact that my dear mother was a single parent and could not afford anything else at the time. Circumstances change things in our lives. The talents we have may lay dormant for years…and then be renewed if we are willing to put the effort into its renewal.
Sir Winston Churchill had a talent in painting. Being that he was busy being the Prime Minister of Great Britain may have had something to do with his delayed use of his artistic talents. He had the responsibility to plot the future course of the military campaign to defeat Nazi Germany. But Winston Churchill could not resist the allure of the magical medieval city of Marrakesh, which was a five-hour drive to the south.
We are never too old or too young to develop the talent God has given to us. What is your talent? Use it…for it would be a crime to waste it. Yes, it takes work and perseverance.
Video of a 4 year old developing her amazing God-given talents.
(Notice that she is reading the music as she turns the pages. Unfortunately we don’t see her dear face because of advertisements at the end…oh well, the rest is great and beyond belief!)
This blog is not a political endorsement, but it is FREEDOM of SPEECH and our ability to express it.
Good for this guy who not only knows his rights, but also has a great design ability. Standing up for his rights as an American, but not out yelling at anyone or causing damage to property in order to be heard. He’s just using what is his own….and making a statement. It is a good thing that we still have freedom and the “correctness police” cannot bang on our doors or take over our property. Maybe we can all learn something from him and his creative spirit. Thumbs up to this American. He reminds me of the spirit of the people I am getting to know here in the Virginia mountains.
The innocence…quality…and tenderness of the voices of children is what I am sharing with you today. As we grow older, the voice changes…as do the qualities of childhood. It is a beauty that is lost to age, but nonetheless a joy forever when captured before it is no more…as in this video.
One of my favorites is Going Home. (Lyrics shown below.)
The boys singing are from the U.K. and are called Libera. The singers are aged seven to sixteen and attend many different local schools in South London and come from a variety of backgrounds. Libera thinks of themselves as more than choirboys, but also as a boy band. Don’t miss the beautiful song that calls for God’s Mercy (Salva Me) and Abide with Me.
I leave you with this thought.
Ask God for mercy, and to know that He gives mercy and forgiveness. Certainly feel safe with Him. This song is about being saved from the darkness, chaos, from things that harm. To fly away and be saved from this darkness. To feel calm within the grace of God.
Sit back and quietly listen and enjoy in the frustrations of the day and in busy lives. You will not be disappointed. Lyrics to Going Home by William Arms Fisher, Music by Antonin Dvorak
Goin’ home. Goin’ home. I’m a-goin’ home.
Quiet-like some still day, I’m just goin’ home.
It’s not far, just close by, through an open door.
Work all done, cares laid by, goin’ to roam no more;
Mother’s there ‘xpecting me, father’s waiting, too,
Lots of folks gathered there, all the friends I knew.
Morning star lights the way, restless dream all done.
Shadows gone, break of day, real life just begun.
There’s no break, there’s no end, just a-living on;
Wide awake, with a smile, going on and on.
Going home. Going home, I’m just going home.
It’s not far, just close by, through an open door.
The Composer’s Story:
William Arms Fisher was a pupil of famed composer Antonin Dvorak, studying under Dvorak in New York City. A native of Prague, in 1893, Dvorak composed his most famous symphony, the Symphony No. 9 in E Minor “From the New World”. It was commissioned by the New York Philharmonic and was an homage to the United States, which had just passed its 100th anniversary of being a country.
Contrary to popular belief, Dvorak did not base the symphony on any existing folk songs. Rather, he wrote original themes based on what he’d heard of Native American and African American music in the United States. The symphony was met with immediate success at its premier on December 16, 1893 at Carnegie Hall.
In a newspaper interview, for the New York Herald in 1893, Dvorak challenged American composers to look at their own country’s rich heritage of native music to draw their inspiration from. His full quote: “in the African American melodies of America I discover all that is needed for a great and noble school of music. They are pathetic, tender, passionate, melancholy, solemn, religious, bold, merry, gay or what you will. It is music that suits itself to any mood or purpose. There is nothing in the whole range of composition that cannot be supplied with themes from this source. The American musician understands these tunes and they move sentiment in him.” William Arms Fisher took up the challenge, starting by penning words to the Largo melody of the second movement of Dvorak’s symphony.
I have a blogging friend in the UK. We enjoy reading each other’s blogs and find friendly ways to agree and disagree. Stephen has nominated me as for a quotation challenge and I, in turn, have nominated bloggers who are worthy of note. (Thanks, Stephen)
Here are some of my favorite quotes:
- What you are is God’s gift to you. What you become is your gift to God. Hans Urs Balthasar (Priest from Switzerland 1905-1988)
- Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak. Courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen. Sir Winston Churchill (Prime Minister of the UK. born 1874- died 1965)
- As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. John F. Kennedy (1917-1963 35th President of the United States who was assassinated at the age of 46.)
I always like quotations that are uplifting, challenging and inspirational. If they are politicians, I may not be on the same thought wave…but appreciate any words that have meaning to me personally or to this troubled world in general.
Here are the rules for the Quotation Challenge and my nominees, who have blog sites worth notation. If you have not seen these sites, please take a look. You’ll be glad you did.
1.) Either once a day for three days, post a quotation, or post all three quotations at one time. It is your choice.
2.) Nominate and notify three other bloggers of the challenge.
3.) Thank the blogger who nominated you.
The nominees are under no obligation to complete this challenge, but it would be fun if they do. Plus, this will introduce them to a whole list of new readers.
My NOMINEES for the Quotation Challenge are: