Friday, September 28, 2012

Happy Birthday to Me!

This isn't my actual birthday cake, but I wish it was!

For my birthday, I'm not writing a column. I'm just listing random images and lyrics I like (emphasis on “random”). Because that's how I roll, baby! It's my day and it's even more about me than usual! Um, did I say that out loud?

I provided links (and in some cases, imbedded the videos themselves) to videos for easy reference. You can get my intended effect from this column without listening to the songs themselves. They will, however, enrich your experience if you do choose or are able to listen (specifically, the two videos past the photo of a leopard).~~GHC

Vincent van Gogh's “Starry Night” is my favorite painting. The rhythm of the elements, the theme of darkness and isolation and nature, the redemption of Light – yeah, good stuff.
Procol Harem's “A Whiter Shade of Pale” - Keith Reid

If Music be the food of Life
then Laughter is its Queen

(Keith Reid suggests he wrote “Life” although the lyrics are almost always transcribed as “Love.” To me, Love is Life, so it's all the same.) Music and Laughter. Good stuff.
I wonder what influence music had on van Gogh? Music is vital to my soul. An artful lyric turned just so can affect my mood and change my outlook for hours, if not days. A rhythm, a tone, a note can resonate and touch my heart in a way little else can. A good laugh can lift me for a week.
Alan Parsons Project “The Eye in the Sky”

The sun in your eyes made some of the lies worth believing.

Did you ever really pay attention to the full lyrics of “Scarborough Fair”? The full version has two songs, Scarborough Fair and Canticle sung in a quasi-round, and the second song is about war. The best I could come up with as far as a label goes is it is a “canon.” (Forgive my musical ignorance).

Trivia: Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme represent comfort, strength, love, and courage.

Simon and Garfunkel “Scarborough Fair/Canticle” - Traditional/Traditional

On the side of a hill in the deep forest green
Tracing a sparrow on snow-crested ground
Blankets and bedclothes the child of the mountains
Sleeps unaware of the clarion call

That's the first verse of the second song. I won't spoil it for you. Watch the video and read the lyrics as you listen to the canon. Maybe you'll understand why this line touches me so: And to fight for a cause they've long ago forgotten

Yes - “I've Seen All Good People” - Jon Anderson and Chris Squire

I've taken liberties with these lyrics and just listed the first half of several lines, because that's how I think of them.

Take a straight and stronger course to the corner of your life...
'Cause it's time, it's time in time with your time, and its news is captured...
Just remember that the goal is for us to capture all we want...
Don't surround yourself with yourself...
Send an instant karma to me...


Vicky Bragova-Mitchell is a friend and fellow Zazzle designer (except she is an actual Artist with a capital "A" and I just play a graphic designer on the Internet). We first got to know each other in 2004. Check out her Wikipedia page for info about her fascinating life (and trust me, there is SO much more).

She's an amazing woman. Vicky creates fractals -- amazing, astounding, dances-with-math fractals. Her web site:

Happy birthday in two days, my friend. **hugs**

Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young - “Southern Cross” - Stephen Stills, Richard Curtis, Michael Curtis 

While the majority of the song is sailing jargon, the heart of it is, I think, about recovery.

In a noisy bar in Avalon I tried to call you...
What Heaven brought you and me cannot be forgotten
Who knows Love can endure and you know it will
The truth you might be running from is so small
But it's as big as the promise of a coming day

And my love is an anchor tied to you with a silver chain
She is all that I have left, and Music is her name
So we cheated and we lied and we tested
And we never failed to fail – it was the easiest thing to do
You will survive being bested
Somebody fine will come along and make me forget about loving you
There is a line from "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves" said by the dark-skinned, tattooed Moor in response to a little Anglo girl's question about why he looks different ("Did God paint you?"). Akeem gently answers, "For certain. Because Allah loves wondrous variety."

Julie Fowlis and Bruce Molsky - “Bothan Airagh Am Braigh Raithneach”
“A shelter on the slopes of Rannoch (in Scotland)”

**If it is at all possible, I urge you to listen to this song.**

English translation:

It was my love and my treasure
who went yesterday to Glengarry,
the man with hair like gold
and kisses that taste of honey.

You suit your clothes
better than any man on earth;
you look better in your garments
than any man I've ever seen.

You look better in stockings
and comfortable laced shoes,
a dark blue London coat
that cost many crowns to buy.

When you arrive at the fair,
you'll bring home my gear,
my small belt and my comb
and my little narrow fastening

My belt will come from Edinburgh
and my marriage head-dress from
we'll get cattle from the Mearns
and sheep from Caithness.

And we'll rear them in a sheiling
in BrĂ igh Raithneach,
in the brush-wood enclosed hut of

The cuckoo will sing
its song to us from the trees,
the brown stag and its roaring
will wake us in the morning.

Who could ask for more than to be sequestered in a shelter on the slopes of a hill in Scotland with Nature surrounding you and the one you love? Throw in some music and books, good food and an animal or two or three, and you've pretty well defined Heaven for me.
Then there's Dr Pepper, and cheesecake.

Then there's the Shenandoah Valley, my favorite place on earth. Photos do not do it justice.

This time last year, I thought I knew what Life held for me. I was married and expected to remain so for the rest of my days. Now I find myself turning 55 today, unattached, the future a blank slate. I hold my chalk and doodle, wondering how the shapes will firm up.

And just when we think we understand, Life giggles behind her hand and shows us what fools we are to think we can ever figure her out. As Robert Frost said so well: 

In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on. 

Or as my favorite writer put it: So it goes.~~Kurt Vonnegut

Which leads me to close with my favorite singer's lyrics to "And So It Goes":

In every heart there is a room
a sanctuary safe and strong
to heal the wounds from lovers past
until a new one comes along

I spoke to you in cautious tones
you answered me with no pretense
and still I feel I said too much
my silence is my self defense

And every time I've held a rose
it seems I only felt the thorns
and so it goes, and so it goes,
and so will you soon I suppose

But if my silence made you leave
then that would be my worst mistake
so I will share this room with you
and you can have this heart to break

And this is why my eyes are closed
it's just as well for all I've seen
and so it goes, and so it goes,
and you're the only one who knows

So I will choose to be with you
that's if the choice were mine to make
but you can make decisions too
and you can have this heart to break

And so it goes, and so it goes,
and you're the only one who knows.

Trivia: This song was so intensely personal to Billy Joel that it was not released for seven years after he wrote it. I think it's exquisitely beautiful.

Thank you for reading. I'm looking forward to the best year yet. Thanks for traveling along with me. You're a great companion.~~GHC


Vicky Drake said...

Happy Birthday, Ginger! What a beautiful column. Our birthdays are only 2 days apart. Love, Vicky. (PS This will get posted as Vicky Drake, it's all Blogger recognizes me as although my blog has been dead for years)

Karen Brideweser said...

Happy Birthday, Ginger1 You have the ability to paint pictures with words in such a beautiful way. Thank you for sharing your thoughts wit hthe world, so I may go t othe beautiful places the Shenandoah Valley. :)

Ginger said...

Thank you very much, ladies. You both touched my heart. Knowing my words meant something and moved someone--that is what makes it all worthwhile.