Sunday, September 11, 2016

Appalachian Spring

For me this music connects us to the little town truth of America that I think my parents lived and told stories about. There is difficulty and ugliness in the history of small town America and much of our solidity and strength. Copland captures and releases it all without words. Strengths, conflicts, moods, remembrance, horrors and loves in wordless memories. These days the strengths and moods and peculiarities of "Small Town" America all seem to have gone somewhere else. 

In the 'connected' world is there a small town anywhere? Popular culture is not a small town, spreading as it does along every freeway and airway across the world. It is hard to pin point where those small town strengths now live. I think they must live in the millions of small communities of friends that are not so much about places as they are about shared time and memory. The relationships I am noticing are about communication with each other over distance and time. Perhaps it is about choosing to utilize technology to witness each others lives. A living network among each person's disbursed loved ones and friends and memories... at a distance. Telling stories to each other like mom and dad told stories except now we do it over the phone, email, text, and Facebook. Mom and dad in their stories introduced us to earlier times to help us witness the family in history through their eyes and hearts and memories. 

Elders share with youth the basic human strength that we all need to tell stories, share memories and take the risk of sharing our dreams.   We all need to find uses in these new tools and do strong work with the.  Aaron Copeland, in his Appalachian Spring shows us how and inspires us to tell the whole story underlying our days to each other.

Here is Aaron Copland rehearsing Appalachian Spring:

And here is The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center performing Appalachian Spring (with other selections) in one of the country’s most beautiful historic sites: Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill in Kentucky.

And here an amazing performance live in Detroit 2014. It is the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Conducted by Leonard Slatkin.   Mr. Slatkin tells a compelling story about Copland's final communication regarding his work.


Wednesday, November 25, 2015

However our eyes may be dazzeled...

And  however our eyes may be dazzled, or our ears deceived by sound; 
however prejudice may warp our wills, or interest darken our understanding, 
the simple voice of nature and of reason will say, it is right.

Thomas Paine, Common Sense, 1776

Friday, November 20, 2015

Time and Mortality

"Today, my friends, we each have one day less, every one of us.  
And joy is the only thing that slows the clock."
John D. McDonald, The Scarlet Ruse, a Travis McGee novel.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Under Pressure

Wow! Urgently relevant. Incredible performances. Thanks to my neice, Emily Marlor for posting this on Facebook!

Under Pressure


“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing:
the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude..."

― Viktor E. Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning

In any situation we still choose our next action even though it may only be a thought. Even though a threat may lead to our death it does not absolutely determine our next choice or the consequences of that choice. When we experience fear the larger danger is to choose powerlessness. Closely focusing on a bully is a mistake. Listening too closely to fearful people as they make impulsive choices is a mistake.  Owning my choice and my possible outcomes gives me at least a bit of autonomy.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Too Many Older People?

  • Older People are becoming a larger and larger percentage of the world population. 
  • Some say older people are becoming an overwhelming burden upon the youth of the world. 
  • Of course if I qualify as Old I still qualify as a Person.
  • As days and weeks and months and years and decades go by each person has more and more knowledge and perspective. 
  •  If I, as an older and older person use my increasing knowledge and perspective to do better and better self-care... I will more than carry my own weight in the world.
Chuck Britt