For a Monday: “Fix You.”

To start the week off right:

My girl.  Can’t see  her face well enough to suit me, but I still like hearing her sing….

{production note: the girl playing violin is her friend  Jacqui Ramos, a very talented musician and nice girl.  This was the school talent show at end of March….but it seems that there was a production glitch in the upload and the song plays twice though.  So, if you love it, by all means, listen twice; otherwise, it’s only actually 5-ish mins long, not 10, don’t panic}

Falling Fire

It’s the Feast of Pentecost!

Makoto Fujimura, "January Hour - Pentecost"

I love this feast, not only for the terrific art through the centuries, the storytelling and imagery of it all….but for the entire concept of it.  It’s truly one of the mysteries in life and yet, it’s one we get to walk through often as well.

What? Sound a bit crazy?  Maybe…but I know and I bet you do too that you have had times when you were able to say something to a friend or family or someone that was totally the perfect thing to say, and you had NO idea you were going to say it.  And right after those words slipped out, you kind of marveled at them.  Did you really say that? Well…yeah.  Wow.  Good job and um, it wasn’t you.  Right? I know that very thing has happened to me.  Many more times than once.  And used to be, I’d kind of sit there and think, “Wow, how clever am I and who’da thunk it“…..until it dawned on me (like a beam whacked across my forehead) that um, it wasn’t me after all.  No way.  Now, I know better.  It’s NOT me.  It’s the Holy Spirit and when it happens, I’ve basically just finally shut up long enough to give Him an edge, an opening.  Really, I should do it more often.  I know, I know.

I get to feel it in my parenting too.  Not often enough of course cause I’m typically way too busy getting in the way with  my controlling ideas.  But, when I’ve been able to slow down and step aside, either through sheer exhaustion or sheer empty brain cells, then I’ve gotten the gift of seeing someone, something else at work.  And I marvel.  Because then sometimes if I quietly let that fire fall on me and through my arms I can bring my kids into the warm embrace of it – and we love and heal and grow.  At least for a moment or two before I start slapping it out with my own schedule and commands and ideas; back to the buzz.  But those moments, ah, they are gold.  They really do kinda glow.

And that’s why I love this Feast. It reminds us that we can walk through falling fire. It doesn’t burn.  It’s a little bit of magic in our world, but better.  Because it’s grace.

Below is the song that I wake with, every feast of Pentecost.  It’s my tune for the day.

08 Let The Fire Fall

Happy Feast of Pentecost!

>Missing Monday

>So, it’s Monday again, already and I guess I’m not quite ready for it.

Dragging myself into the dawn and the day. 
I don’t know if it’s the gloom of the incoming rain or if it’s the lingering of the bugs in the house or just my old age and moody nature, but this morning I’m dragging and moody.

I miss my boys.

So, what I do, and even coffeedoc does, when we miss our boys is torture ourselves somewhat by listening to their music.  Sometimes.  Sometimes I can’t even bring  myself to do it.
But today, I want to hear Chris sing.
So you get to as well.

This was from a year or so ago, my Chris is on the keyboard, his pals are terrific too.
A bit melancholy Monday….

>Pondering the season: Music

>I have much pondering in my  heart this season.
But now and again, I hear this song on the radio and it pulls me from the core.
This song is Christmas and Advent for me; especially when it is played on our piano in the living room by my eldest, Chris.

Music is so evocative, especially in this rich season.
This one brings back memories of the Snoopy Christmas Special as a kid {yes, I did just date myself again, and yes we did wait ALL YEAR to see those specials}.
But it also conjures up many memories of my family here in our home over these years.
Now I know what Christmas songs my kids, especially Little Man, like (because he sings it loud and often…and lets just say, I’ll let you guess which one is top o’ the charts: involving jingles and a fat man smelling).
What Christmas songs are “IT” for you?

>Song for a Sunday

>Well, I have a shameless Mom brag today…

My Hannahboo made the Freshman Honors Choir for our region.  Auditions were Friday. Despite the choir teacher’s concerns about Hannah “distressing her voice” through her cheer practices and despite Hannah actually distressing her voice from just being too loud screaming at the pep rally on Friday (not even as a cheerleader..this was a football rally, she is a basketball cheerleader, to be precise…), and perhaps being a touch less prepared than she should have been (by which I mean, the auditions snuck up on her and she hadn’t practiced), she made the choir!

I’m so proud and happy for her!
Now, it’s not too big a deal, one performance in November. But it’s great experience at having to sing in front of real people, not just our empty living room at the piano.  She’s great at that and sounds great playing that piano and singing her pop songs…but for real, in public, and classical choral music? That’s a whole ‘nother ball game.

Of course, now she says we have to go shopping for the outfit.
Hmmm, somehow it always comes back to the clothes doesn’t it?
Such a girl.

Anyhow, this is  a happy tidbit for a hopefully peaceful Sunday at home.
Music from audition, not HER, but the piece that they had to sing, below.
Perfect for a Sunday.
I love Sundays.

>"Acoustic Flood:" Song for a Friday

>Ok, it’s late, but still worth a listen.

My son Jon, Booboo, wrote and played and recorded this for me for Mother’s Day.

It’s a song: “Acoustic Flood,” but I rather prefer the title, “Mom’s Song.”  Just for me.  It’s acoustic guitar, one of my favs….and it’s tailored to me, for me, because I fuss at him to play “something nice.”  Jon is very creative and loves to spend every waking moment a good bit of time fiddling with his music stuff.  Often however he asks me to listen to his latest creation or some music that he and his friends were making and that he recorded.  Often that music is, um, LOUD, and ELECTRONIC, or RAP and just too hard for my old stodgy ears, I guess. That’s when I fuss and say, “Good…but, oh, play me something nice.”  He usually rolls his eyes and says, “I am!”  And around we go, but with a smile.

So for Mother’s Day this year, he did it. Jon played me “something nice.” He made me smile, and he made me start to cry.  Because THIS sound is my son, my Booboo, and his playing makes my heart kinda burst.

Have a listen, it’s a treat {h/t to Marc}:

>Winding down from warp speed

>It’s Friday.

Let’s say that one more time, it’s FRIDAY and I am hoping that means that this week is really done.  Finished. Close the cover on this week.  Because it’s been a slamming crazy kind of week, with no time to even wait for coffee to perk, much less slow down to catch a breath.  Even by our kind of unusually intensive standards, well, it’s been a HECTIC week!

I caught this as I passed by the study, Chris just threw this online, and I am linking to it.  Because this slows me down.  In the right sort of way, in the take a deep breath and stop, slow, listen.  Breathe.  That’s my boy singing, by Buddbug, my Chris. He’s singing in Rome, at the Lateran Basilica.  How cool is that? (I know, mom moment, so sue me. I am missing him and his calm kind ways.) – Lateran Massbysearch244

So, I’m offering it to any of you who’ve had a harried week, one of the weeks where you fantasize about hopping the next plane to Bermuda and getting lost in that legendary magnetic blind spot.  I hear they serve strawberry coladas there though……so it might still be a consideration….but for now, a little peace and reminder. More at the link, go, listen. Breathe again. 

Happy Friday!

>Cool Convergence

> So how cool is this? This is one for you Chris, and you Tom, and you Marta….and all you Ethiopian adoption folks.  This is a nun, now living in Jerusalem, who is Ethiopian and also a pianist.  So in this one woman we have so many of the interests and passions and parts of our family: music, piano, Ethiopia, faith, prayer, Holy Land, religious life:

Read below from BoingBoing (or go and see for yourself):

“Emahoy Tsegué-Maryam Guèbrou is a nun currently living in Jerusalem. She grew up as the daughter of a prominent Ethiopian intellectual, but spent much of her young life in exile, first for schooling, and then again during Mussolini’s occupation of Ethiopia’s capitol city, Addis Ababa, in 1936. Her musical career was often tragically thwarted by class and gender politics, and when the Emperor himself actually went so far as to personally veto an opportunity for Guèbrou to study abroad in England, she sank into a deep depression before fleeing to a monastery in 1948. “

“Today, she spends up to seven hours a day playing the piano in seclusion.  A compilation of her compositions was re-issued on the consistently great Ethiopiques label. You can read more about her life at the Emahoy Music Foundation.”

And more on her religious/music life from the Emahoy Music Foundation:

Young Yewubdar secretly fled Addis Abeba at the age of 19 to enter the Guishen Mariam monastery in the Wello region where she had once before visited with her mother. She served two years in the monastery and was ordained a nun at the age of 21. She took on the title Emahoy and her name was changed to Tsege Mariam. Despite the difficult life in religious order and the limited appreciation for her music in traditional Ethiopian culture, Emahoy worked fervently day and night. Often she played up to nine hours a day and went on to write many compositions for violin, piano and organ concerto.”

nee, Yewubdar Gebru c. 1940
Celebrating Christmas in Bethlehem
I love a convergence like this.  It just reminds me how very small the world is in some ways.  The piano solo is beautiful (I LOVE the piano).  I don’t know her of course, but still….there’s that connection of touchpoints.   And it’s cool.  
{h/t to Anchoress, and boingboing}

>Song on a Sunday: The Marti Song

>Because I still miss him, although I’m very happy he’s having such a great time in Rome.

And because we were watching this yesterday and realized that this is now, in our  minds, “The Marti Song”…..because this is the song that we used for the court pass.  So, this is an old version, Chris was younger, still in high school (the school talent show, kooky fun)…..but still makes us all smile.  So I think it’s perfect for this Sunday.

>Song on a Sunday

>Because I miss him.

That’s my boy: Buddybug.  Ok, Chris, in the middle on the keyboard.   Playing the last time of the semester with his friends Katie Buetow (cello performance major), and Daniel Tostado (former vocal performance major) at Legends, up at college.  And gosh, a sad song: a cover of Ben Fold’s “Fred Jones.”I know I’m just the mom, but I think they sound good…and it’s nice to hear him sing and play.  
Note: I’m not techno-literate enough to get it the video sized right and keep Katie from being cut off.  So if  you’d like to see her play (and she is terrific, I love watching her play…ah a cello…) then go here to see it full size and full resolution.  And yes, Chris does need a shave!

>Writer’s Block


No, not getting much done, lots of procrastination…
We are having writer’s block here.
The kids at least, in all different ways.

It is the Week O’ Book Reports in our little homeschool. Some public school have teacher ‘in-service’ days. We have “teaching in-service’ days where we do intensive focus on some hard stuff. Almost always: the dreaded book report. There is much wailing and gnashing of teeth…..and the kids don’t like it much either. Ok, kidding, mostly. It’s a time of high drama and I remember how much I hated essays and reports until I learned that it is like a puzzle and let that whole perfectionist side go and realized that writing is editing (unless you’re blogging…kidding, mostly).

So we girls will hang in and keep plugging away at it; revamping those outlines and retyping those drafts, mom’s red pen at the ready. It might be a long week…
Turns out, we are not the only ones with writer’s block. Buddybug too, has writer’s block: songwriter’s block. Now, as the mama, I shouldn’t probably point out that he is in midterms and shouldn’t really be worrying about writer’s block…..ahem. But then again, as he and his roommate and pals have determined the source of his lack of lyrics:

Not too long ago, Steph and AJ figured out why I have this lyric problem.
It’s kind of a threefold reason: I’m not in love, I don’t hate anyone,
and I don’t spend my free time tripping on LSD.

I think I will be just grateful they are all so smart. It’s not much help for his sister’s this week, but gives me one more reason to be grateful for this great kid, erm, young man.
And I would post a link to his music, but it usually makes me tear up and also I can’t figure out how to do it and lastly, back to his writer’s block, I don’ t think I can post cover’s without copyright legal gobbledygook. So, it’s just pics. You can hum along tho’!