A Star is Born. True Art!

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We often go to see a movie as a form of escapism or a reprieve from everyday life.  Yet, when I saw the new A Star is Born with Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga, I thought, “Now this is art- a movie of real though sometimes raw substance.”

The credits at the end of the movie revealed that many of the songs had been written by each of them.  Wow!  A lot of real talent was involved in this piece and it is not only worth viewing a second time but should include the purchase of the soundtrack.

In A Star is Born, we are able to see a well-developed relationship between Jackson and Ally.  We see them go through many of life’s ups and downs together and we unfortunately see them outgrow each other.  It is all true of real life.  People come into our lives for a reason and a season.

I will not spend time here rehashing the plot because I would not want to spoil anyone’s chances to witness these art forms at their best on the big screen.  We know that it is a boy meets girl movie or shall I say husband meets wife.

The mere fact that both are musicians pushes the entertainment level up many notches.  He’s a rocker doing his thing and her performances reminded me of a little bit of Janis Joplin and at other times, Carole King.

It is the first time that we see Lady Gaga’s (Ally) natural beauty.  It made me wonder why stars adorn themselves where they are barely recognizable.  I liked her in this role because we see get to see her.  Bradley Cooper (Jackson) reveals sides of his character that haven’t been displayed in his other roles.  Their chemistry is steamy and they take us on a memorable voyage.

In closing, I would say that even though we are imperfect beings, this movie shows how we are all interconnected and sometimes, it takes that certain someone to hoist us up and put us on our charted path!

Lynn M.                                                                             October 8, 2018

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Girl Power!

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Oh, girl power. Girl power,
Spilling beans by the hour.

Like a bag filled to the brim,
No longer will lights stay dim.

Release it now. Let it go.
So your children can flow!

Sweeping no more under rug,
While heartstrings are in a tug.

Claim your places, queens of chess,
Speak out and tolerate less.

Lynn M.                                                                             September 29, 2018

Today is Cash!

dollarsHow many times have we looked back at times gone by and claimed that they were better than the present day?  But are we really being honest with ourselves?

Perhaps we selectively choose to remember snippets of the Truth.  If we are really honest, those cherished days had its flaws and share of pain, disappointment and hours of anxiety.  Those times were also filled with life’s imperfections.

Of course, we all wish we felt comfortable all of the time, but then we would not experience those growing pains which are needed to grow us up, so to speak.  Yes, life is a process and at some point we must all learn that it is filled with both light and dark just like the day and night.

When we look back at those former days, we choose to recall the minutes of light.  We remember the sun and the fun.  We unconsciously hide the times of darkness and anguish and tuck them away because they are too painful to revisit.  And why should we pull open that drawer and rummage around unless we need to do a deep cleanse to work towards greater wholeness and healing?

Case and point?  Enjoy today!  Seize the moment.  There are several movies about angels who want to return to this life for at least one more day.   They would exchange places with us in a heartbeat.  The saying goes, Yesterday is a cancelled check.  Tomorrow is a promissory note.  Today is cash.  Use it wisely!”

Lynn M.                                                                       September 19, 2018

September 2018

Cooler days of fall are upon us,
It’s back to basics. No time for fuss.

Time for the kids to go back to school.
Where they should practice the Golden Rule.

As they all learn to read, write and count,
The hierarchy of skills do mount.

September- a reality check.
Labor, work and use all hands on deck!

Lynn M.                                                                                                       September leaves                                                                                           September 15, 2018

Through the Clouds

cloudsMany spiritual lessons remind us that the sun is always shining underneath or behind the clouds.  It is a comfortable thought but when we are feeling gloomy or have limited inspiration, we may find this hard to believe.

Yet, when things lighten up and we feel better, we are more able to say, “Hmm, there is some truth in that statement.”  Once we are feeling more jubilant, we can see that hindsight is indeed 20-20.  We say, “Oh, I was simply traveling through the fog.”

We can then congratulate ourselves for keeping it moving though the destination was not visible to us at the time.  We can comfort ourselves and even give ourselves a loving hug because we kept on going forward and did not get stuck in the middle of the tunnel.

It’s comparable to the takeoff of an airplane.  As the plane makes its ascent, we passengers cannot see anything but surrounding clouds on both sides of the plane. But the pilot already knows the altitude that he or she plans to reach before leveling off.

As we passengers hold in our breaths, it finally happens.  The plane rises above the clouds and the beautiful sun and clear skies are sitting right there.  It is as if they were saying, “Welcome to better times. We were right here waiting for you and cheering you on.  You just had to get through the clouds!

Lynn M.                                                             September 8, 2018

Our Best!

best I always think of September and the autumn months in general, as a time for new beginnings. Of course, it is time for students and teachers on all levels to return to the classroom.  Most students do not realize that teachers and faculty members feel anxious too.  They also get butterflies in their stomachs and experience high levels of anxiety the night before meeting their new students.

They worry and wonder things like, “Can I do it?  Will this turn out to be a successful year?  Will my students be cooperative?  Will they be challenging?  Or will they become a unit and forge full steam ahead?”  I saw a news clip that talked about the stress that students feel before returning to school.  But guess what?  So do the parents and the teachers.

All are hopeful for a good outcome for all involved. So, yes, we teachers are prepared for the children’s occasional  meltdowns and they do come with speed and continuity during that first week of school.  We are armed with plenty of boxes of tissues and hugs to soothe the waters.

But the hidden truth is that we educators have our private parties of uncertainty as well.   The famed Erma Bombeck said in essence, “Now that I have it all together, I forgot where I put it.”  After we have unpacked the boxes, taken down the chairs, thrown out the old furniture and taped down the new name tags, we may feel a sense of readiness.

But then, it dawns on us that we have not prepared what we will teach.  So, we sit down and plan lessons and try to fill up the lapses in time and space to create order and discipline.  Then, we may think that we are ready, but them oops, we still forgot something that is major in this venture.

We think and ask, “What about these new personalities that are about to enter our clean, neat and organized space?  Who are they?”  That is when we may sing like Aretha Franklin and “Say a Little Prayer.” Or, we may take Julie Andrews’ lead from The Sound of Music as she blessed the Captain’s children by name to call out each one’s goodness.

Then, we silently bless each little person now in our charge and hope that after our time together, they will leave us as a more knowledgeable and whole person.  As I said to a fellow educator, “We can only give them the best of us.”

Lynn M.                   September 1, 2018

Rockin’ the Heavens: To Aretha

Re-Re
Re-Re just entered that pearly gate,
Left us behind like childhood bait.

Trying to figure out who was that?
Sassy, feisty. She left no lines flat.

Here we are pulling up every song,
Wishing she had stayed a tad more long.

Strange. We feel like we know our icons,
Like we’ve partied with them on their lawns.

Their breaths and their cells, we think we own,
But we learn that they are here on loan.

She’s now been welcomed in heaven’s arms,
Belting out tunes. Turning on the charms!

Lynn M.                     August 18, 2018

Fellowship

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Having fellowship with a confidant or friend helps to wash away the hurt feelings and creates a vacuum.  Then that new space that can be filled with the cool breath of greater understanding.

Once those dark feelings and emotions have been shared with a dear friend, the heaviness begins to dissipate. There is more room for light to pour in because it takes the sunlight of truth to nurture our growth.

Being energized, there is a lightness that frees us to graciously advance forward.  We feel strengthened and more able to cope with our missions in life.

We step livelier as we hoist up our crosses and stand firmly to face our battles. And yes, these are our personal battles that no one can fight for us.

Friends and well-wishers can, however, assist us by listening and acting as sounding boards as we wheedle through the stuff, as Alice Walker calls it.

Once we have refilled our cups, we can take a warrior’s poise and get ready to slay the Goliaths that try to block our paths.

The cobwebs of our minds have been swept down and now the daylight of clarity shines in every corner.  We continue on and fill up our gratitude pages as we thankfully progress on our journeys.

We see ourselves as overcomers because those grand fellowships serve as mirrors. Our reflections are silently singing that, “Every little thing is going to be alright.”

”Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.” Philippians 2:2

Lynn M.             August 11, 2018

The Forgotten Road

Forgotten Road

Maya Angelou wrote a book called, Wouldn’t Take Nothing for My Journey Now.  Well in The Forgotten Road (Richard Paul Evans), Charles James takes a long unexpected journey.  He is a highly successful businessman who is presumed to have died in a plane crash.  But as fate would have it, he did not board the flight because he ran back to get his bag.

Yet, when he decides to attend his memorial service in disguise, he sees that the place is basically empty.   He realizes that it is the perfect time to use this opportunity to take a long walk. He sets out on the old Route 66 and his goal is to end up in California where he hopes to make amends with his former wife, Monica.

Each town teaches him something about the American landscape but more importantly, he has time to take a look within himself.  He has a backpack full of cash because he is a multimillionaire so supply is no problem for him. He meets many interesting everyday people along the way and some leave greater imprints than others.

One woman saves his life by giving him a ride in a dangerous area.  He rewards her richly.  Another man makes him take a deeper look into his spiritual beliefs when he shares his near-death experience.  Charles is left plenty of time to ponder his life more deeply and each encounter further pounds into his psyche.

Probably, the most memorable character is Eddie, a Mexican migrant worker.  Charles is forced to live and work as a migrant worker after he was is robbed by a motorcycle gang.  His soul is opened while living that life for a week.  He sees how the workers have to take whatever they are given because they are undocumented and have no other recourse.

Ultimately he is forced to look at his father’s life towards whom he still harbored a strong resentment. His father, also a migrant worker, was harsh and treated Charles as he had been treated by his father.   Charles soon realizes that those circumstances helped to shape him into becoming a financial success.

Now, if he would add a dose of humility, kindness and love, he could work towards becoming a whole person. He breaks down and calls his assistant, Amanda because he is out of cash.  After she is slowly convinced that it is indeed him, she shows up at his hotel.  She tells him that he  has changed.  She notices a greater calm and peace.

At the end of the book, Charles has only made it halfway across the country. Readers will have to wait for the sequel to see what happens when he gets to California.  He fully intends to complete his walk which will end up at Monica’s doorstep at the end of Route 66!

 

Lynn M.                                                            August 4, 2018

Are You Rich or Poor?

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What does it mean to be rich?  By most standards, being rich means that a person has an abundance of things like houses, cars, boats, planes and access to loads of cash.  Yet, as recently seen in the media, an abundance of things do not necessarily bring those lasting treasures such as joy, contentment and peace.

Some have traveled the world over yet they still have a continual need to keep grasping at the straws. They still want more like an insolent child who screams to get his or her way. They continue to spend their assets and use their resources to get or do more, failing to realize that oftentimes, less truly is more.

Paul wrote about Christ and said, “though he was rich, yet for your sakes, he became poor, that ye through his poverty might become rich.” (II Corinthians 8:9)  And how did he become rich in his poverty?  The poor often have an increased wisdom and understanding.  They know what it feels like to be in pain so in turn they are able to share compassion with others.

The poor have walked in meekness and humility after they realized that they could not force change. They have learned to wait until the tide changes, as it surely will.  During their wait, they have grown in patience.  Like an astute farmer, they have become attuned to nature and its timings.

Yes, the poor are well-seasoned in long-suffering yet unconsciously they have become richer as their inner peace expands beyond measure.  In a quiet, yet watchful grace, the poor become witnesses to the passing of the material things as they cling to their faith and a more spiritual assuredness.

Ultimately, hope floats to the top and sure enough others reach out to them. They want to garner a few moments in the presence of the poor to feel their richness of spirit though it is often a mystique.  The humble poor are often well-loved because they have successfully found those real treasures of life blanketed around their inner joy!

Lynn M.                                                                                    July 28, 2018