Music

Close Your Eyes – Michael Buble

This is an all time great song and of course has everything to do with declaring your love and commitment to someone.

The lyrics give reasons for why the singer is going to ‘stay’…

It leaves me with a huge lump in my throat and very teary eyes.
Don’t you just love love?

It makes me remember …
The beautiful cards my dad used to give my mum on her birthday …
words of undying love and commitment…

The amazing ‘liefde briewe’ that my sister’s boyfriend used to
write to her whilst he was in the army doing national service…

It makes me think of the times dad shared his heart with us and we
danced on his toes to music of his heart!

It reminds me …
That a lot of love is duty – “doing what we gotta do”.

That everybody expresses love in different ways and how we need to
be sensitive and aware of this with our loved ones.

That true love makes one feel secure – we choose to stay!

that love sees another as “one of a kind” despite our faults

If there was anyone whom I would want to give this song to, right
now it would be my gorgeous mum. This is for you MUM with all my
heart and love, and yes Dad, I know you’d love it too!

Close your eyes and listen deeply mum and dad.
We miss you and love you lots.

Education

Loving reading, books and libraries…

At some point in my teaching career there was a natural gravitation towards books, reading and libraries. I am not entirely sure how it came about, except that I remember my then HOD went off to get married and I took over her position. My honours focus had given me a firm foundation in the teaching of reading, with both gifted and remedial students, now here I was, running a small foundation phase library for English second language learners. What a privilege it was learning how to make reading come alive, using multi-media teaching techniques like puppets, music, drama, art, reading aloud etc.

I remember that I delivered a paper  on these techniques  in Abuja, Nigeria. I also delivered a paper at an IASL Conference at the ICC in Durban on the same teaching methodology.

I remember that I changed the library boxes into alphabetical order according to author to take the students a further step into book knowledge and facilitate their use of a public library in some later point in their lives….

My love for libraries though did not start there… I remember always having my own public library card. Being able to go to the public library and choose a book each week was the highlight of the week.  But it did not start there either……

It began with my grandfather, who ordered weekly magazines for us from overseas… from Tennisson & Burrows, a Bookstore in Town – Durban’s CBD.  Each week us kids, took turns to go in with Grandpa to town by bus, to fetch the magazines, have a lunch of pie chips and gravy and then catch the bus home again, to curl up on the bed or the livingroom couch with our mag…. The earliest recollection I have of mine was “jackie” a teenagery-type magazine with stories, band photos, dating tips, grooming tips etc…..

I lived for this reading material…….

I also remember my Dad never being without a book… whether it was a Louis Lamour western or a Valiant comic or the newspaper or the race card, he was always reading…. at the dining room table. 

I am fortunate to be a librarian:

 instilling in little ones the love of books and reading. Seeing their faces as you share stories with them.

Having special library days, library sleep overs, celebrating Roald Dahl’s Birthday, Shakespeare’s Birthday, World Book Day, Readathons and many more….

Discussing with seniors their best reads and motivating those hesitant readers or non readers to dip into a book by sharing tasty titbits with them. Starting up a book club with eager young adolescents….

I am also now a grandmother and I like nothing better than jumping up onto the big kingsize bed with Esme and hauling out a new pile of books and sharing them. With her…… turning the pages.  With her saying “again Nana!” With her saying “what about this one Nana?”.  What a delight! This is love transferred…..

Being passionate and in love with books and reading is in itself a marvellous joy but sharing this passion and love with young and old alike is the ultimate in being a librarian.  There can be no better thing than to talk about books at an assembly and to have an eager face arrive at your library counter/door and ask to know where that book was that you spoke about……… nothing could be sweeter than that!

Today libraries are under serious threat worldwide, Technology is seen to be replacing the age old treasure we call ‘the book’. TV, Kindles, iPads and even cell phones are the new books. 
Parents don’t seem to have the time to take their children to the library…….. to share that love of reading and books.  To give them the experience of smelling, feeling, touching, hearing, seeing ‘a book’. 
This is indeed sad and one wonders whether the children of the future will eventually live in a bookless world? A love lost!

 

 

 

 

Philosophy

She wears her heart on her sleeve

Have you ever heard that expression?

What picture does it conjure up for you?   What kind of person wears their heart on their sleeve?

How do you wear your heart on your sleeve?    Should you wear your heart on your sleeve?

If the heart is the seat of love, then does that mean by implication that one is wearing one’s love on one’s sleeve…..  Is this a good or a bad thing?

Can love, worn any way, be either good or bad?

At the very least, a heart worn on a sleeve is evidence of passion, vibrancy and love.  A committment to the very inner core of one’s being.

Love is a verb, so it should be worn somehow?  Shouldn’t it?

wearing her heart

oasis cover
Music

Music and Love – a sound experience

oasis cover

Since time began music has concerned itself with the notion, idea and the emotions of love.

Thinking back upon my own life and love and the connections I made with music, I discovered that I too had concerned myself with music from an early age…..

The first memories I had were vinyl renditions of the fairy tales, complete with awesome sound effects – the imagination ran wild.  I remember ‘The Sound of Music’  played over and over again. Elvis Presley’s ‘Blue Suede Shoes’,  and of course  ‘The Beatles’, my sister’s all time favourites.  Certain parts of my life has song titles attached to very specific events.  I remember an angst moment as a teen and the comforting lyrics of the Troggs, 45 rpm vinyl, ‘You can Cry if you want to’.  In later years, an anniversary, finding a love note, pressing ‘play’ and listening to “I’ve got you under my skin’, by Grace Knight and Vince Jones.

Oh yes! then there was the time we moved to Johannesburg. I was a stay at home mum, who gymmed and studied by morn and did the ‘mummy thing’ from noon. The favourite song of that time, much to the horror of my two young girls, was Colour me Bad’s ‘I wanna sex you up”.  Retrospectively, I think I was myself having some kind of revolution, in lifestyle, sexually, family roles, and of course the new physical space in which I found myself.

Then came the time the whole family decided to choose a theme song for the year!  None other than Boyzone’s, ‘No Matter What’.  As young parents, with a young family, carving out our niche in society, we obviously felt we needed to make a statement of who we were and what we stood for.  What an awesome year!

“No matter what they tell us, no matter what they do, no matter what they teach us, what we believe is true.”

The chorus echoes the strength of our family at that time …

“I can’t deny what I believe, I can’t be what I’m not, I know this love’s forever, that’s all that matters now, no matter what.”

Oh! the naivety of youth! what joy!

Of course intertwined throughout my musical meanderings were other family influences probably the biggest being my Dad.  His quiet romantic nature and love of the crooners, Frank Sinatra, ‘ol blue eyes.  I remember dancing around standing on his toes, to ‘New York New York’.   His choice of classics like, ‘Tales from Vienna Woods’.  I remember the scratchy sounds of the 75rpm vinyl on the record player and the high notes of the singer wafting through the house, and Dad standing there with watery eyes…..  Talk about a softie!   Later it was the Beatles ‘ob-la-di-ob-la da’ and Dad’s washing board dance and then again his soft side exposed as he sang along to the ‘Long and Winding Road’.

I think it is through him and the sharing of his love and passion for music that I grew up with a wide ranging appreciation for music. Thank you Dad!

Scratching around I found the awesome site of Robyn Frederick 2011. In his site, ‘Sound Experience – For Lovers of Love Songs’  http://www.soundexp.com/history-of-love-songs, he tells of ancient love songs going as far back as the 4000 to 1500BCE.  Love songs seemed to have flourished in the Egyptian, Roman and Greek times but barely survived through the dark ages, where the writing and singing of love songs was supressed.   Brought alive again by the Renaissance love songs blossomed and were sung in taverns – becoming bawdy and often sexual. Time marched on and the most common genre of the day became the ballad – songs of lost or unrequited love. e.g. ‘The First Time Ever I Saw your Face’ & ‘Black is the Colour of my True Love’s hair.’  Soon music became an accepted form of entertainment in the courts and love songs became merry and raucous.  ‘Romance was on the rise’  and in France, the seat of romantic passion, were birthed some of the most beautiful & famous love songs. e.g. ‘Plaisir D’Armour’.  In the 1900’s with the birth of the Romantic poets love music came into its own, with professional songwriters joining the fray. Music was flirtatious and fun and love songs like ‘Jeepers Creepers’ sold like hot cakes. Then in the 1930’s musicals were birthed and with them came love songs that were expressive and exposed the whole gambit of emotions that love exposed in humans.  They spoke to the heart and are audible in the music of Cole Porter and Geroge and Ira Gershwin.  Then came the big band era and the love song was redefined e.g. Duke Ellington’s, ‘The Wonder of You’.  As the big bands faded the era of the love song vocalists began with big names like Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, and many others.  Love songs became cool yet sizzling with sensuality and desire. It was the era of the crooners…

Love songs took off again in the 1960’s continuing prolifically until the 1990’s with a wide range of ‘love revolution’ love songs.  There were protest songs which advocated make ‘love not war’. Dylan was a popular protest singer and poet.  Love songs continued to be an eclectic mix and fusion of styles.   Teen songs of this era reflected the confusing hormnal times with titles like ‘Will you still love me tomorrow’.

Love songs reached a fever pitch in the 70’s with the entry of disco and Fleetwood Mac. Then throughout the next 30 years love songs continued to flourish with the likes of Bowie, Prince, Eurythmics, Lionel Richie, Robert Palmer, Cyndi Lauper, Madonna, Bryan Adams, Eric Clapton and many others……..

The love song has continued to morph with the times and somehow the only one who seems to have lost touch with  the love song, is me.

I wonder – am I out of love or just to busy with love to keep the music going?

Whatever the reason, this trip down my personal musical memory lane has shown me how enriching music is when it is a part of our lives……….then surely our love will be the richer for it too!

with thanks to R.Frederick (2011)

Philosophy

Starting out…….firsts!

I sit, mind blank, fingers hovering over the keys… to blog is the question. But this is my first!

My first of many I hope. The thoughts fly in and out like like an anxious mother bird feeding it’s chicks, they fill my mind with a host of ideas….. too many I fear.

Then a calm confusion settles and  like a hungry chick the thoughts are gobbled up by my fingers on the keys, swallowed, digested and ideas appear on the page.

My first blog takes shape…..  It reminds me of other firsts.

my first loose tooth falling out … excited. The tooth fairy would be visiting.

my first ride on a bicycle…nervous. What if I fell? What if I hurt myself?

my first friend… longing acceptance. Intimacy, giggling, sharing, ready to face the world.

my first kiss.. tentative, fumbling. Tense and hesistant attempts at sharing.

my first date… the family like jurors, the doorbell, the introduction, the escape.

my first encounter with love… abandonment. Release, giving and getting,  or so I thought.

What is this love thing? so glibly spoken of,  so easily given and yet so deeply scarring?

What has love got to do with you and me?  Are we made to withstand and endure love? Can we fully embrace love?

D. H. Lawrence once said “why don’t people leave off being lovable and be a little more elemental instead? but then he said in Lady Chatterley’s Lover, “Love is the flower of life, blossoms unexpectedly and without law, and must be plucked where it is found, and enjoyed for the brief hour of its duration.”

Share your thoughts, as you journey with me to discover what has love got to do with it?

when was.....