Archive for the Memorials / Obituaries / Epitaphs Category

Carl Orff – Music Composer

Posted in Biographies, Memorials / Obituaries / Epitaphs, Poems, Song Lyrics & Analysis, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on June 15, 2020 by Drogo

Music composer and educator Carl Orff was born in Munich, Germany in 1895. When Carl was 29 he co-founded a school of gymnastics, dance, and music in Munich. Carl Orff’s teaching work at the school reflected his interest in musical education for children. As with Wagner and Mascagni, Orff’s work was sponsored by Fascists for nationalist propaganda.

 

Carl Orff created major works for theater stages including operas (‘The Moon’) and musical plays. Carl also wrote chamber music. Three of his cantatas are called ‘Trionfi’ (Triumphs). The first composition, ‘Carmina Burana’ (Songs of Beuron) was written in 1937, and consists of songs set to medieval texts. Orff used poems by the Roman poet Catullus in the second cantata, ‘Catulli Carmina’ (Songs of Catullus, 1943). Finally in ‘Trionfo di Aphrodite’ (The Triumph of Aphrodite, 1953), Orff compiled texts by Catullus and the Greek writers Sappho and Euripides. Orff’s style in the ‘Trionfi’ was based on rhythmic propulsion; melodies and chants in changing meters of tempo and volume over the matching motor rhythms of instrumental ostinatos.

 

Orff’s obsession with rhythm led him to develop a method to train young children by means of percussion instruments. Carl Orff used asian and medieval scales, as well as texts in several languages sung simultaneously or in overlapping rounds. In his master-pieces Orff combines instrumental music, singing, gesture, syncopation, and dance into unified spectacles. Sometimes his music emphasizes folk music harmonies. However his powerful percussive rhythms drive a heavy orchestral signature; so like Richard Wagner before him, and Basil Poledouris after him, Orff’s unique sound stands out from less bombastic popular themes.

 

‘Carmina Burana’ has been used in modern films like ‘Excalibur’, ‘The Doors’, and ‘Shadow of the Wolf’. It is also even used for commercials for films, even when not actually in the sound-tracks (‘Ravenous’). If not for Orff’s ‘Carmina Burana’, these movies would only be half as dramatic. Orff summed up his theories in an impressive 5-volume book called ‘Music For Children’ (1934). He revised his book in 1954, and died in 1982.

Pietro Mascagni – Opera Composer

Posted in Biographies, Memorials / Obituaries / Epitaphs, Recommendations & Tributes, Song Lyrics & Analysis, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on June 14, 2020 by Drogo

Pietro Mascagni the Italian composer was born in Leghorn, Italy. Pietro lived from 1863 to 1945. He studied in Leghorn and at the Milan Conservatory. In 1888 Mascagni entered a musical competition. Pietro presented his first one-act opera, ‘Cavelliers Rusticana’, and won first prize. Although he wrote many other operas, the other two most performed are ‘L’Amico Fritz’ (1891), and ‘Iris’ (1898). Not only did his other works lack the same enthusiasm, but they were pounded by critics. Mascagni suffered continual attacks from critics during his career, although he is one of the most famous composers. Mascagni and his beloved Italy fell under Fascist rule, duty bound to serve patriotically or be branded an enemy of the state.

 

The music of ‘Iris’ is the epitome of operatic atmosphere, as the dramatic sounds create emotional visuals. The last part of ‘Iris’ is perhaps the most sensual, as the dying body of the main character is dragged from the sewers and lies crippled; as slowly the magnificent Sun rises to meet and take her away from all this earthly suffering and discord. As the basses, violins, and horns combine to form emotional melodies; an undertone of raw passion and omnipotent renewal is created. Also the opera is filled with powerful, theatrical libretto (words). ‘Iris’ truly reflects the inspiration and cool flow of the Aesthetic movement.

 

When asked who were the greatest composers of all time, Mascagni replied “Wagner and I”, without hesitation. Pietro Mascagni was physically and socially impressive, and matched only by Toscanini on the podium. Operas flowed from Pietro’s pen, and he became the official composer for Fascist Italy. Mascagni had a fighting spirit, but became disgraced publicly by the critics; and was replaced by Giacomo Puccini. Looking back Mascagni said “It has been a bitter, relentless struggle; and I have surely not spared myself or succumbed to unworthy influences… I was not wanted; my best efforts were scorned; yet I went on writing for the sake of Italian opera, which is after all, one of the chief glories of our country”. Mascagni was a poetic nationalist to the end. Despite his critics, Mascagni is remembered as a sensitive artist, dramatic visionary, and musical poet.

Richard Wagner – Opera Composer

Posted in Memorials / Obituaries / Epitaphs, Recommendations & Tributes, Song Lyrics & Analysis, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on June 13, 2020 by Drogo

Richard Wagner was born in Leipzig, East Germany (a city of rich cultural influence), on May 22, 1813. His parents were officially Karl Friedrich and Johanna Wagner; although there was rumor that his real father was allegedly Ludwig Geyer (an intimate friend of the family). As a child Wagner attended the best schools, and showed extreme fondness of theater. Wagner was very interested in acting and stage performances. His mother, however, threatened to curse him if he tried to make a career on stage.

 

In time Wagner became one of the most famous composers of opera music. His musical sagas of spiritual, emotional, and moral power were fueled by his fierce urge to create. Wagner influenced philosophers, authors, actors, and musicians with his music. He even built his own theater, and founded the world’s oldest summer music festival. 

 

Wagner’s first opera was ‘The Fairies’, in German romantic style. From 1833 to 1839, Wagner worked as an opera conductor in a few German cities. Other early projects included: ‘The Ban On Love’, ‘Rienzi’, ‘The Flying Dutchman’, ‘Tannhauser’, and ‘Lohengrin’. Nietzsche was a huge fan of Wagner.

 

In 1849 due to his anger at the unjust treatment of musicians, and poor operation of the theaters, Wagner took part in a failed revolution (sparked by the French Revolution). A warrant was issued for his arrest, and he fled to Switzerland. Later Wagner lived in and out of Paris, France. From 1853 to 1874, Wagner developed the great ‘Ring Cycle’ of German folklore [Nibelung – ‘Ride of the Valkyries’] . His last work, ‘Parsifal’ was completed in 1882. Wagner died in 1883.

 

Wagner’s philosophy was to have various harmonious elements of musical composition in operas. Musical composition should have climaxes and goals, to move the audience. Although his work flowed with super-noble purpose, Wagner did not take many as many dramatic risks in his personal life. There is a distinction between Wagner the human, and his immortal compositions.

Socrates, Jesus, & MLK

Posted in Critical Commentary of Civilization, Ethics & Morals, History, Memorials / Obituaries / Epitaphs, Military, Philosophy, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on January 29, 2020 by Drogo

Social Martyrs of History – Socrates, Jesus, & MLK 

Remembering Leaders Who Risked Their Lives for Civil Rights

 

For all the famous leaders there are countless common martyrs who sacrificed their health and well being for the sake of others and the pursuit of virtuous truth. In remembering the lives of great figures we know about, we can also reflect on their human flaws or imperfect traits.

The main three figures I want to talk about are Socrates Jesus and Martin Luther King Junior. The stories of Socrates, Jesus, and MLK (Martin Luther King Jr.) will always be relevant so long as there is an ambitious and hungry military, supported by plutocrats and a population that mocks peace and philosophy. Their stories are very similar, except that MLK wanted to actually have political change. They were despised by those in power for raising too many questions, and they were put to death for their influence. I will also mention Simon Bolivar and Martin Luther of the Protestant Reformation in reference to the topics, although they were not put to death by authorities. These are figures which were influential obviously in the annals of history, but more importantly they were people who questioned civilization. They bothered society as social gadflies. Simon Bolivar was more of a political-military leader and I don’t really know his biography so I’m not going to talk much about him; but he is largely unknown in North America although a local town is named for him.

Socrates (circa 400 BC) was a veteran and a retired stone-mason, who taught young men of Athens philosophy for free (unlike the Sophists who charged to teach legal rhetoric). Socrates was such a public nuisance about asking questions, that he was written into theater comedy plays as a ‘clownish fool’. Religion, plays, and politics were all wrapped up in each other as democracy allows; although with the growth of population these extensions became more specialized fields over time. Cultural systems were blended as they are now actually; but we tend to want to try to keep social functions separate. We might say “I don’t want to talk about politics”, but meanwhile our money is spent to kill people; and issues in politics, religion, and entertainment cross-over. However even back in ancient Athens people would say “Why are you asking me these stupid questions? I’ve got business to do, excuse me, but get away.” Socrates would insist on asking people what they knew about their business, life in general, and whether that applied to politics.

Socrates was getting people thinking, and the plutocratic military establishment did not appreciate it. Their industrial complex may not have been like factories with our modern mechanized technology; but there were workshops making weapons and leaders of armies who wanted to boss soldiers around, conquer other people, and get rich as an official leader. Athens had been at war with its neighbors, and had seen massive defeats. Ironically during a period that had despotism and imperialism, it was their democracy that put Socrates to death (see Plato’s writings).

One of the perennial problems of democracy is that it gets tricked by the oligarchy into voting against worker interests, to favor conservative benefits for the few. There will always be some people that want to hurt and bully others to extract resources and wealth from them, and selfishly take it as their personal property. War culture is part of male patriarchy for sure, and the ethics of that ‘might is right’ domination is now being questioned more than ever before by progressives. It took a long time for women to have civil rights in civilization. It took thousands of years for large countries to grant women the same power and influence that men were legally allowed. I am not sure why it took so long to recognize women as adults officially in public, they say it has to do with babies, muscles, and testosterone but this is not an essay on gender issues. My point is that many of us hope that democratic society is slowly becoming more compassionate every century, with a few massive steps back in some ways, some decades.

The problems of society were addressed by Socrates, Jesus, and MLK; and they were punished as enemies of the state. Socrates, Jesus, and MLK may have been peaceful, but they also threatened the establishment by wanting individuals to ask questions within the society. Philosophical questions threaten authoritarian control. Socrates bothering people in the market was stirring up the pot and getting people wondering “What is best? What do I know? What can I know?” We want to usually have will-power and self-esteem and confidence. We want to know that we have answers to problems. It was frightening for Greeks to think that they might not actually know how best to vote. They did not want to be blamed when they invaded somebody else; even when they got their asses handed to them and their soldiers maimed, crippled, and killed. Their most important leaders had told them that war was justified, so it must have been right; right? Who was this old foolish man to harass them with questions? So they put him on trial and sentenced him to death. 

Later Jesus came along from Galilee, Israel. So Jesus was Jewish, but he was questioning the laws defended by conservative Pharisees, Sadducees, King Herod, and of course the Imperial Roman overlords. These popular stories of Jesus are perhaps the most common myths in society today, although no remaining period records noticed him while he was alive. We certainly have Jesus around us almost every day, with churches on every road. We are constantly reminded of Jesus probably more than the other figures, but yet if we go into a church and ask Christians what it means to be Christian, it is really hard for them to answer.

Most Christians do not give up their wealth and follow the holy spirit. Jesus never said we should go to Church and worship him, instead his example was to live communally with friends and practice religious compassion. Modern Christians want their property and their capitalist profit; that’s how most of us live our lives. Most Christians would not ‘turn over tables’ even in metaphoric churches, because Fox News and other corporate media conditions them in their homes as consumers. Commercial propaganda keeps people silent about politicians who keep spending our money on weapons and taking us to war. What would Jesus do? Would Jesus spend more on the military than all other countries? I don’t think conservatives have asked that question enough; if they want to spend so liberally on authoritarian budgets, they are not progressive on social issues like Jesus was. My New Testament understanding of Jesus is that he was profoundly anti-establishment in mostly passive ways. Now yes he did proclaim (according to the Bible) that he was the ‘son of God’, but he also said that we are all the ‘children of God’. Jesus also didn’t put much stock into earthly class systems or elite nobility. Our ability to love each-other was most important to him, which meant loving our enemies as well as our neighbors, as well as our family, as well as ourselves.

The Emperor of Rome (coincidentally also son of a god) would have considered accounts of early christians much like how Nixon reacted to hippies, but with less interest or subtlety. The Kent State shooting and the MK-Ultra project were sensitive compared to the more formal crucifixions and arena events; although I expect there were many undocumented tactics used unofficially in the streets by Roman soldiers too. Sharing wealth of property and goods was crucial for Jesus and gang, in between healing the poor and not chasing profit. Authorities mocked that hippy rebel and his proclamations of peace and love as the king of the Jews, with the crown of thorns on his head and the procession of pain carrying the cross.

His lessons were about helping those less fortunate, rather than giving wealth to the rich who ‘earned it’. Ask the Jesus in your heart “who deserves help the most; those greedy hoarding wealth already, or those who could use some and will spend it?” Collective compassion flies in the face of corporate assholes like Trump and those who want to be selfishly ignorant because “god damn it we don’t give a f@ck.” Everyone knows that making martyrs who people later worship defeats the purpose of killing them; but cultural ignorance is perennial even among elites. Reflecting on past mistakes is weird while still doing them. We might feel it was stupid and cruel that those people in the past killed Socrates, Jesus, and MLK; and we’ve come such a long way like when the FBI says MLK was such a great guy historically, although we know their boss wrote that death threat to MLK and probably had him assassinated (if it wasn’t some other covert militant agency that most don’t hear about because they redact most of their official public documents when they actually do release information).

  • to be continued…

 

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Space Drogo – lyrics

Posted in Memorials / Obituaries / Epitaphs, Poems, Poems, Rhymes, Riddles, Song Lyrics & Analysis, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on August 30, 2019 by Drogo

Space Drogo, always doing things with space!

Space Drogo, out to save the human race!

Space Drogo, the great king of the Appalacia,

Space Drogo, you betcha – he’s here to save ya! Space Drogo!

Always on a mission, space Drogo, flying in good condition!

Space Drogo, now you now his name!

Space Drogo, life will never be the same!

SPACE DROGO….. SPACE DROGO!!!!

– Lyrics by Andy Sweeney 2019

Poem on Death or Loss

Posted in dreams, Memorials / Obituaries / Epitaphs, Poems, Poems, Rhymes, Riddles, relationships, Spiritual, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on April 26, 2019 by Drogo

My gardens, my pets, my friends, my family… those I lose are still with me every day and every night. i still see, hear, and feel them around me and inside me. im always reminded of those things that make me who i am. the things i lose are alive in my dreams or in the presence of other things. Sometimes my dreams of my dead father being alive feel very real. To be remembered is not a depressing concept it is the dying and absence aspects that hurt; but only in forgetting is there absence of our conscious minds; but that is limited absence in the totality of being. 

– Drogo

The Horror of Lovecraft

Posted in Book Reports, Critical Commentary of Civilization, Individuals / Members / Monsters / Creative Writing, Memorials / Obituaries / Epitaphs, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on October 19, 2018 by Drogo

The thing about writing horror is that you basically admit you are really sick and twisted. His racist writing describes accurately how people like him would think as they narrate the events. For me it shows how the concept of evil is a human perspective, based on what we fear; from fish people to aliens. To write about your fears shows your weakness and vulnerabilities, in my opinion. Lovecraft shows how fear is a scary illness from hating ethnic differences to being petrified of anything resembling fish or squids. Another aspect of Lovecraft is that his “heroes” do not ever really “win” against the demonic powers that spread, as migrants in NY did while he was living there, and they were thriving while he was failing. Clearly Lovecraft shows how conservative culture always dies of entropy as progressive immigrants take over, for better or worse, depending on who you are. That he describes the changes in culture as evil in fictional demonic terms exaggerates his own feelings to an absurd level of parody, which i feel he must have been conscious about to marry a Jew.

RIP H.P. Lovecraft  1890-1937

The Inklings

Posted in Fictional Stories, Memorials / Obituaries / Epitaphs, Society Clubs or Social Groups, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on October 5, 2018 by Drogo

The Inklings (1930-1949)

The Inklings were an informal literary discussion pub group, led by JRR Tolkien and CS Lewis and other friends associated with Oxford University in England. The Inklings valued fantasy narratives in fiction. Lewis loved listening to other authors who were reading, and he memorized their passages easily.

Lewis and Tolkien invited and met fellow writers to talk and listen at pubs. Regular Inkling meetings were on tuesday mornings at the ‘Eagle & Child’ (aka “Bird and Baby”). Meetings were also held in Lewis’s Magdalen rooms, thursday evenings with tea served.

The third main member of the Inklings was Oxford University Press editor Charles Williams. Other Inkling members included Lewis’s brother Warren Lewis, Victor “Hugo” Dyson, Adam Fox, Lord David Cecil, Neville Coghill, Owen Barfield, Robert “Humphrey” Havard, Gervase Mathew, and Commander Dundas-Grant. Associate Inklings that visited were Colin Hardie, Christopher Tolkien (JRR Tolkien’s son), Roger Green, Percy Bates, Ronald McCallum, Charles Wrenn, E.R. Eddison, Roy Campbell, and other friends of regular members. There were no officers, agendas, or minutes taken at meetings. Most of these did not write fiction, but were scholars of non-fiction.

The whimsical group name “Inklings” was borrowed from an Oxford under-graduate literary club circa 1930. Tolkien described his Inkling meetings as “a feast of reason and flow of soul”, which basically meant lively listening and responses. Lewis said “What I owe them all is incalculable.” And to emphasize their enjoyment, he asked, “Is any pleasure on earth as great as a circle of Christian friends by a good fire?” Lewis said that friends made a difference in his life.

RIP Artist Thor Carlson

Posted in Arts (Design & Performance), Memorials / Obituaries / Epitaphs, Recommendations & Tributes, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on July 11, 2018 by Drogo

E. Thor Carlson was from Massachusetts and New Hampshire, of Finnish descent. Thor Carlson was best known for his Oil Paintings and Woven Tapestries, but he was also a WW2 veteran. [1925-2013]

“At Yale studied with Eugene Savage, Louis York, Dean Keller, and Sante Graziani. Before graduation, he was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship for a year’s study at the Academia in Florence to study fresco painting. Returning to Yale, he completed his fifth and final year, studying with Josef Albers and Willem DeKooning. He graduated ‘In Primi Honoris’ with a BFA in painting (1951). After graduation he went to New York City, working first as a Junior Art Director at the advertising firm of McCann-Erickson and, later, on advise from well known muralist, Allyn Cox, as a free-lance mural painter. He became a member of the National Society of Mural Painters (1956) after painting a mural in the Waldorf-Astoria for Conrad N. Hilton. In 1986, he moved to Charlestown, New Hampshire. During the summer of 1987, he was a “Visiting Artist” at Saint Gaudens National Park in Cornish. Tapestry weaving has occupied much of the artist’s work during the past thirty-four years. His grandmother taught him Scandinavian methods for tapestry. Many of his tapestries have won prizes. His tapestry, “Peaceweaver’s Web”, on exhibit at the Entler Hotel Gallery, Shepherdstown, West Virginia, was viewed by President Bill Clinton during the Israeli-Syrian Peace Conference in January 2000.” – from his website

“Thor visited with my family, and we visited with him for many days over many years from the 1980s to 1990s and a few times after 2000 before my father died in 2009. I mailed him back some of his paintings which were in our gallery but we did not own. We sold some of the pieces we owned, but still have others. He shared with me many personal insights into his art and his writing, and was always kind and gentle. I almost studied oil painting with him, but instead discussed descriptive narrative with him regarding our related thesis work about ‘dwelling’. I was greatly influenced by his style, from having his paintings in our house on display all my life. My favorite times spent with him were reflective at Lake Sunapee, in his house, and at Saint Gaudens. It was my father that got his work displayed at the Entler, and got Clinton in to see the exhibit by running into the street and waving his hands in front of the motorcade. Clinton remembered my father as Mayor of Harpers Ferry during the Earth Day events previously, so he agreed to check out Thor’s Peace Tapestry.”  – Walton Stowell II

Peace Tapestry 01

NIKE: Nuclear Incidents Kindle Enlightenment

Posted in Alternative Architecture, Fictional Characters, Memorials / Obituaries / Epitaphs, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on September 18, 2016 by Drogo

[Essay for NIKE T-shirt design]

N uclear

I ncidents

K indle

E nlightenment

Davros lives! The Cold War was over, and the archetypal design war was on! The underground silos for NIKE nuclear missiles were flooded and silently waiting on the outskirts of campus. The technicians of NIKE became genetically cultivated to be a new breed of outcast architects. They marched forth from the icy North Lot, bent on extermination and rule of the Earth. Davros sent seekers to comb the Jetty, searching for model supplies. The white-caps had multiplied, spawning sports fans like a vast sea of soapy dish water. The white-caps became a grey race of skippies. NIKE is removed from time, held in suspension in a parallel dimension; perched on the edge of oblivion. We watch for survivors and plan our thought crimes. The day will come when we will storm forth again from the snowy North Lot like a cloud of ice locust, and commence the dawn of a brave new world of double-think.

davros-nike

WAR WEARY : Turning to Nature for Solace

Posted in Critical Commentary of Civilization, Homesteading, Memorials / Obituaries / Epitaphs, Poems, Rhymes, Riddles, Spiritual with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 10, 2014 by Drogo

August 2014

There is no one on this earth who is not affected by all the wars, and rumors of war, these days. Of course, all through the history of mankind there have been wars and rumors of war, and according to some thinkers and writers this is how it will always be, forever.

However, that is not what I want to debate, or discuss. I only wish to convey a few of my personal feelings about how war is affecting people, all people, and the natural world upon which we depend for survival. Whether people are aware of it or not, those in the muddle of the Middle East countries, or here in the USA where we are not hearing air raid sirens daily, we are all affected. There is not one thing on this earth that does not affect another.

Now how can I say that ? Aren’t we insulated from the worst of it here in America? Actually, we are not. “Whatever happens to the least of these happens to us”. Some very wise person said something like that 2,000 years ago. Actually, the words are more like this: “Whatsoever ye do to the least of these, ye do also unto me.” No wiser words were said.

Most natives of America thought along the same lines. They were natural ecologists, born and bred with “all our relations” in mind as a way of life. Some wise native said that we are all connected, that what befalls one part, affects another, and more…that a great sadness would befall us, as human beings, when there are no more sounds of nature and we loose the company of wild creatures. They are here for our use, but also to uplift our spirits with their amazing beauty and diversity. The earth and all of its inhabitants are a profound miracle! So, as I look around at what war and materialism have done to the natural world, and are doing, I feel a great sadness that I cannot seem to shake.

Such is the sadness we all feel on different levels, whether we are conscious of it or not. We are all war weary. Weary of wars between each other, and war against the natural world. The earth itself is weary too, its water, its air, its swamps and rivers, its plants, its butterflies, bees, birds, the polar bears, and on and on. Shall I list every remaining species?

As I wandered my gardens this morning, picking dried peas for next years planting (now there is an act of hope) and herbs for a healthy tea I need to make, my thoughts were solemn. What if there comes a day, due to rampant human ignorance upon the face of this beautiful earth, what if someday, there is no pure air to breath, or clean water to drink, or swampy breeding grounds for myriad birds and amphibians to thrive and procreate. In Syria, Gaza and Iraq,and many other places around the world they are already experiencing serious problems, and my heart bleeds for them. Innocent, hardworking people, with children and old people, all suffering due to the ignorance of their leaders. There is no clean drinking water and poor sanitation is pervasive. Swamps are drying up, rivers and lakes polluted. The inhabitants are war weary, and so am I, and so are we all. So is the Earth….

Yet, there is always hope. There are people doing their best to keep the balance between … and I will say it as it is…good and evil. To water it down, between dark and light, life and death , is stoically philosophical, though true. But this is not a philosophical exercise. This IS a war, another sort of war, a genuine fight for survival, and not just for survival of humans, but for the entire delicately balanced ecosystem.

So, how not to groan and lament the demise, the poisoning, of such a gift? Why are we throwing this precious gift back in the face of the Giver, the Great Spirit, as well as our OWN spirits. Doesn’t , shouldn’t, everyone know that without the purity of the earth, we will all sicken and die, together, some sooner, some later? I suppose some people simply do not care enough, or think, or feel for that matter. If egotistical ignorance and materialism continue as they are, and if misguided leaders feel only hate and fear, then we are doomed indeed.

Am I war weary.?… You bet ya I am. So are you. Now, what to do about it ?

I say, turn to the purity of nature, and fiercely protect and nurture it, wherever, however you are able. That is our only salvation, our only hope. Then someday, when we are truly weary of this life, and it is our time to say farewell; with forgiveness in our hearts for those who knew not what they were doing, we will die in peace knowing in our hearts that we did the best we could.

Walk Lightly, but with a strong walking stick…

~ Christine SCHOENE Maccabee

CSM 3

Thin Veil … A Chicken Tale …

Posted in Farming, Homesteading, Memorials / Obituaries / Epitaphs, Sustainability with tags , , , , , , , , , , on July 28, 2014 by Drogo

THIN VEIL  …A Chicken Tale… of sorts…

There is a thin veil between yesterday and today, between our present moment and our past moments, between our experiences yesterday and those of today. Something happens in the present moment and WHAM, there we are again facing our past head-on. Something happens that we are not totally in control of, triggers a sad or a happy response, and we are suddenly reliving our past, immersed in similar / familiar sorrow, or joy.

Sometimes it is nearly impossible to distinguish between the two, between our past and our present, as they are such an integral part of the fabric of who we are. There is no way to consciously control what comes filtering through that thin veil, between then and now, and all the emotions trailing behind the memories. I guess the best we can do is acknowledge the veil, and then try to embrace it as a part of who we are, both the good and the bad. For example….

Last night I was so busy I forgot to close the chicken hatchway. My body was so tired, my knees and arm ached from the days activities, and I could not wait to fall into bed. Just as I was drifting off, I heard a chicken shriek, and I knew what had happened. Pissed at myself, I jumped out of bed, threw on my robe, and rushed down to the chickens. Golden girl had been slaughtered by a fox, and poor Red was beside herself, looking around warily and squawking. I pet her and comforted her and little Belle, my blue egg layer, even as I tried to comfort myself.

Old memories of loss of precious birds came flooding back as I kicked myself for forgetting. But I had to stroke and comfort myself, understanding that I was exhausted and overly tired from a huge day of music playing and car driving. I was consciously taking a small break last evening from all my responsibilities, watching a movie and emailing friends. I was so relaxed and spent, that I forgot to protect my chickens, one responsibility I forbid myself to forsake. I had let my guard down, just as I did the day my yurt burned to the ground last year. Yes, such things have happened before and no doubt will happen again. I will mourn the loss of my lovely gold chicken who laid huge brown eggs. Later today I will do as I have done in the past with other good birds. I will take her body to the field for the vultures to feed on her, I will bid her farewell, and I will go on with my life. Yes, there is a thin veil between yesterday and today.

What is that saying that I really did not like nor completely understand? “The more things change, they more they stay the same.” Now I understand the meaning of these words. They apply appropriately to this latest episode in my life here as a mini-homesteader. And then there is the ongoing problem with a woodchuck eating my soybean plants and broccoli…yet another difficult perennial problem to solve. Nature is consistently indifferent and does not care about me. I tire of trying. Perhaps it is time to stop. I have no help here…there is too much for me to do…so what’s new? The thin veil, the triggers, are intact, there is no denying it. Nothing has changed. Would I really expect it to ? Perhaps that is my problem… I keep trying, and all I am doing is spinning my wheels.

Pretty morbid, mournful thoughts today. Thanks for letting me vent. See me tomorrow once the garlic is harvested and the blueberries and the peas are picked ! The Indefatigable will continue to pick up the pieces, get beyond the grief, and continue on with life with even more humility than before.

Humility…human…humus…hmm… Still, darn that veil. Would it could be a high, thick, impenetrable wall, protecting us from pain and sorrow !!

But such is the stuff of stories… I suppose I should be happy they keep coming !

CSM 2

Christine Schoene Maccabee – July 3, 2014

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Quest for Community

Posted in Cooperatives / Communities / Networks / Travels, Critical Commentary of Civilization, Memorials / Obituaries / Epitaphs, Organic Development, Spiritual, Sustainability with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 25, 2014 by Drogo

“Once upon a time…in search for community…isn’t that what we’re all doing here? my family looked into moving to an Intentional Community, hopefully one that championed both the environment and the arts in which both my husband and myself were trained. Zendik, which was in Texas at the time, and has recently disbanded after moving to W.V. and leaving it’s property up for sale, was one of the top considerations of the 36 communities we wrote to. An artist community where people understood each other and celebrated diversity and the freedom to practice your art be it music or painting whatever moved you. In reading this i was sad to see the fall of Zendik and wonder how many other efforts like theirs have fallen. Yet here we are. Stay with me now, i know i suffer from excess verbiage. Here we are reaching out to each other for community. Our culture has tried to mimic it through churches or the camaraderie of sports. And to some that is enough. You go home. No more responsibilities to other people. No sharing -which is at the very heart of community. Yet wouldn’t it be nice if we could be in closer proximity to share ideas and help each other build garden beds or clothes lines or front porches where we could sit an have a drink together or drum and watch the sunset? This is what brought me to SCOD. It’s always here to see what you guys have done today. You give me ideas of what i can do tomorrow. And this medium has made it possible for like-minded people to talk about things that matter. that’s real community.”

– Karen Boe

House On The Rock – Wisconsin Architecture

Posted in Alternative Architecture, Memorials / Obituaries / Epitaphs, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 18, 2012 by Drogo

Villa Saint Francis of Deer Shelter Rock

Casa Del Roche

Little Switzerland

Castle Island In the Sky

Alex Jordan Jr. was the chief artist, architect, poet, master builder, owner, pioneer, innovator, and creative driving force behind the marvelous architectural wonder known as ‘House on the Rock’ in Wisconsin. The idea began around 1920 when his father, Alex Sr., was returning from a visit with Frank Lloyd Wright (FLW) where Wright had insulted Jordan’s designs without bothering to be polite. You see, the Jordan family had been fans of FLW since they lived near one of his houses, and Alex Sr. had been building the house of their dreams called “Villa Maria”. Alex Sr. had probably not expected someone that he respected and admired to be so personally rude to him. So Alex Sr. was understandably mad at FLW, and swore to put a house on the rocks nearby that would spitefully compete with FLW’s Taliesin, his architectural style, and perhaps most of all…his titanic and competitively selfish ego.

In 1945 Alex Jr. had been turned down for service in the US Military because of a heart condition, so he began camping, drinking, picnicking, entertaining, blasting dynamite, building, and hauling mortar and masonry up to the site for the House on Deer Shelter Rock. After 15 years of work, around 1960, Jordan was satisfied enough with the construction to formally advertise and open it to the public for tours. House on the Rock was written up in newspapers and magazines, and became a self-funded tourist attraction. As a true work of art, the house would never be ‘finished’ during Jordan Jr.’s life, and continued to grow.

During the 1960’s the Main House, Gate House, and Mill House opened and introduced collections of curiosities and antiques. In the 1970’s the buildings for ‘Streets of Yesterday’ and ‘Music of Yesterday’ opened. In the 1980’s ‘Carousel Room’, ‘Organ Room’, and ‘Infinity Room’ opened. Alex Jordan Jr. died in 1989. A year after his death, the ‘Heritage of the Sea Room’ and ‘Discovery Center’ opened in 1990.

The entire site is so immense and such a dense labyrinth, that no description can take the place of actually personally experiencing the complex. Alex Jordan Jr. may have shied away from personal fame, but by building the ‘House On The Rock’ for the public he also achieved a public immortality that few people achieve. He was a creator that never stopped building, collecting, and making art, architecture, and artifacts to share with other people. Alex Jordan Jr. may not have finished making additions to ‘House On The Rock’, but he did complete and surpass his father’s dream in the process of his life’s work.

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death

Posted in Memorials / Obituaries / Epitaphs, Poems, Rhymes, Riddles on March 6, 2012 by growing togehter

When you died,
at first i cried.
Then i asked why?
not why did you die,
but why do i cry?