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Archive for August, 2014|Monthly archive page

Blending Is Art

In Life in Society, Music on August 5, 2014 at 11:02 pm
Photo by Laurel Greszler

Photo by Laurel Greszler

By Heila Rogers

The documentary 20 Feet From Stardom is about backup singers. Even that term, “back-up singers” can imply, “second-rate” in our minds.

Because people are supposed to be the one and only STAR, right? That’s what success means? For instance, if you’re 4th place in the Olympics, no one knows your name. Having your name known is what matters. “Second-place is the first-place Loser,” as the saying goes.

But the art, the creation of something, can get lost in that way of thinking.

What about the music itself, and all the parts?

All voices, parts and instruments melding together ~ to create a unified and transcendent piece of music – how to quantify that? How to determine its value?

Stardom isn’t bad though. Or is it?

Self-promotion is necessary, there’s a business side to things.

Promoters have a place.

“We can’t let the people decide, we have to tell them what they like, and what to buy.”

What the people often like and decide to buy on their own (is it the advertising or is it market-driven?) isn’t the most uplifting though.

But then again, it often is just that. People often see, buy and like what is uplifting — but it’s sometimes harder to find.

In the 20 Feet From Stardom movie, Sting says about these women:

“There’s a spiritual component to what they do, an inner journey, and any other success is cream on the cake.”

Photo by Heila Rogers

“Don’t Coppy M*” | Photo by Heila Rogers

Maybe we have to be ready to be the star, too. How to do that with grace and integrity, realizing we’re part of a whole — we’re a part along with others, we’re a piece of the bigger world. Not to mention eternity.

In many ways, this story of back-up singers is the story of women. Of being in the background, but maybe not by choice. Sometimes though, being in the background is a choice, both for men and women. There is an evolving awareness of the contributions and value of all voices, including those quieter ones, or those in the background.

When every one can share their unique piece with others as a part of the whole, then we’ll have the best, the most beautiful, music.

Also in the movie:

“It’s up to you to perfect that gift that you’ve been given.” — Stevie Wonder

Photo by Laurel Greszler

Photo by Laurel Greszler

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SPOUSE INBETWEEN

In Military Life, Poetry on August 5, 2014 at 11:01 pm

By Laurel Greszler

 

Your world and mine

here and there

ticket to anywhere

 

Day one of deployment

is inbetween grief and relief

frustration and anticipation (resignation)

 

This word, spouse

tossed differently

between military and non

 

Here, it is —

signifier;

identifier;

access;

attribute;

retribute; and,

constant reminder

of the space

inbetween

now and forever.

Photo by Julie Black

Photo by Julie Black

Thoughts on Beauty

In Art, Nature on August 5, 2014 at 10:51 pm
Photo by Laurel Greszler

Photo by Laurel Greszler

By Heila Rogers

There is such beauty and creativity in the natural world around us.

It makes me think, “Why?!”

What purpose is there to all that beauty and limitless variety? If things are just functional, for use, if life has no meaning beyond the grave, or beyond self-satisfaction or acquisition – then why should there be ten different varieties of colorful koi fish, or different multicolored hummingbirds? Those hummingbirds could all be gray (but also amazing), and it wouldn’t matter, if there weren’t some purpose to beauty. If one looks at life as if there’s no eternity we can somewhat appreciate the beauty of flora and fauna – but there’s no reason for it.

If we see natural beauty as a clue to the existence of an extraordinarily creative God, what does the beauty then also say about this possible Creator?

I think it says that this God is the ultimate Artist … and I think that it says this God is Loving. Because why else would the One who made them, make these myriad creations we’d enjoy, except that this God cared about us? And knew … that we’d draw strength, enjoyment, and even spiritual encouragement from looking at and seeing these beautiful things.

That we’d draw hope from experiencing the amazing way they live, and move, and have their being. I think it also means that this God can’t help it. This God is who this God is.

laurel - cobweb

Frosty Cobweb | Photo by Laurel Greszler

A person’s acts out of Who they are. We people are all flawed. So when we’re angry, sometimes we hurt ourselves or others. When we’re happy, we sometimes sing. This God acts out of Who and how this God is.

People say, “But bad things happen.” This is true. But I’m noticing that the bad things are perversions of the good. Nothing has been created bad in the first place. All human beings, even with perhaps deformed parts (which is all of us, to some extent) have beautiful, precious souls. Each blade of grass, each sparrow, each hair of our head matters and is beautiful in its way.

In the documentary film about his life, the unusual artist Wayne White has this to say about beauty:

It’s embarrassing.

What does he mean by that?

I think he’s touching on the grand, beyond-us, divine aspect of it. He’s explaining somewhat its power. He’s examining how we interact with it when we find it.

By beauty I mean the visual, emotional things that strike our eye, ear, nose or thoughts and we feel… comforted, amazed, speechless, satisfied or invigorated and calmed at the same time. We delight, and yet a part of us almost feels not worthy of it sometimes.

Photo by Blaize Wilkinson

Golden Aspen | Photo by Blaize Wilkinson