Telling the Truth

connecting the dots of my life

slow cold drizzle

slow cold drizzle
hangs in late winter air
song sparrows sing spring

I’m just back from a morning errand. Chilled to the bone, umbrella in hand, winter hat and gloves in place along with multiple layers of warmth. As I walked down our driveway, I heard and then saw a resident song sparrow getting a jump on competitors that might want his staked-out territory! Here’s to an early spring–which we seemed to have for two  glorious days this week before another cold front came through yesterday.

Enjoy the birdsong, if not the weather, wherever you are. (There are two song sparrows on the short video.)

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 23 February 2018
Video found on YouTube – by Lang Elliot at musicofnature.org

winter haiku

snow crackles
beneath my feet
an icy carpet

trees
hibernate
motionless

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 2 February 2018
Photo found at all-free-download.com

Advent and Lullabies

evensong
wraps today’s anguish
in lullabies

Living with unexpected physical challenges feels like a roller-coaster ride. Up one day, down the next. My short list of essentials for each day is simple: write, read, listen to or play music, exercise, rest, and prepare food as required for my diet. Sometimes my energy level is up, and I’m able to do everything and then some. Other days, I pare it down.

I’m not in love with this situation. Nonetheless, over the last two years I’ve accepted my wellbeing as my number one priority–not the way the house looks, or showing up for gatherings I used to attend regularly.

As the first-born of four daughters, I learned to neglect my own wants and needs in favor of caring for others. Today I often think of myself as the little girl I once was. I focus on listening to her and comforting her–acknowledging in the present that she still lives in me and still needs affection and affirmation.

All I have is one moment at a time–the precious gift of the Spirit of my Creator. Writing has been my best tutor when it comes to connecting with myself in the present. It’s demanding, but immensely rewarding when a haiku or poem begins to take shape on paper because it’s taking shape in me–echoing what’s going on inside me. The haiku above is a case in point.

Even Jesus wasn’t born into this world immune to tough choices or anguish. I can imagine his earliest comfort included lullabies. They also work for me. Especially when I sing them to myself as a way of bringing my past into the present.

The Christmas Lullaby tune above is “Restoration” from William Walker’s shape-note song book, Southern Harmony. It’s an old American tune, sung here by Doc Watson.

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 18 December 2017
YouTube video found here 

A Bird came down the Walk —

I just found this nimble, lively, graceful, agile and elegantly athletic interpretation of Emily’s well-known poem. Emily wrote the poem in about 1862. The young woman who produced the video prepared it for one of her school classes. Don’t miss her creative credits at the end, or her short interpretive written summary.

The video is short–less than 2 minutes. I’ll have my say about the poem later this week. Here’s the written version, in case it’s difficult to catch all the words in the video:

A Bird came down the Walk –
He did not know I saw —
He bit an Angleworm in halves
And ate the fellow, raw,

And then he drank a Dew
From a convenient Grass —
And then hopped sidewise to the Wall
To let a Beetle pass —

He glanced with rapid eyes
That hurried all around —
They looked like frightened Beads, I thought —
He stirred his Velvet Head

Like one in danger, Cautious,
I offered him a Crumb
And he unrolled his feathers
And rowed him softer home —

Than Oars divide the Ocean,
Too silver for a seam —
Or Butterflies, off Banks of Noon
Leap, plashless as they swim.

Emily Dickinson, written c. 1862

Happy Monday!

Elouise

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 2 October 2017
Video found on YouTube
Daily Prompt: Athletic

Thank you, Louis Armstrong….

Thank you, Mr. Armstrong, for recording this amazing song, first released as a single 60 years ago today. Your smooth and grainy, gravelly voice is an inspiration. The seniors among us remember what it was like in the USA in 1967.

  • Viet Nam war drags on with no end in sight
  • About 2500 mothers of drafted soldiers storm the Pentagon, demand a meeting with Defense Secretary Robert McNamara
  • LBJ doubles down–determined not to ‘lose’ this war
  • Edward W. Brooke, Attorney General of Massachusetts, seated in the US Senate as the first elected Negro Senator in 85 years
  • Muhammed Ali refuses to be drafted into the Viet Nam war, is stripped of his world heavyweight boxing championship
  • Anti-war protests break out across the United States
  • Blood poured on draft records by a Roman Catholic priest and two companions
  • California Governor Ronald Reagan suggests that LBJ ‘leak’ the possibility of nuclear weapons being used
  • Stokely Carmichael calls for a black revolution in the US, using skills “they taught us” in Viet Nam
  • Thurgood Marshall confirmed by Senate as first black on the Supreme Court, opposed by one Republican–Strom Thurmond of South Carolina

I know you didn’t write this song yourself. Yet you chose to record it during a difficult time in our history. Perhaps because of the chaos, you wanted to shine a light on the simple gifts and beauty of this world, and on everyday life with our neighbors. I need this as much today as I did back then.

With admiration and gratitude,
Elouise 

©Elouise Renich Fraser, 16 August 2017
BBC video found on YouTube; pop ballad written by Bob Thiele and George David Weiss 
Response to WordPress Daily Prompt: Grainy

Oh Lolli-Lolli-Lolli


Can’t get it out of my mind. Thank you WordPress for this delectable word of the day: Lollipop!

No, I wasn’t allowed to listen to it at home, or dance and romance to it, but I loved it. It was alive, incredibly fun to sing and cheeky in days when cheeky wasn’t on The Good Girl’s List of Acceptable Behaviors.

Here it is, in its original glory, performed  by the Chordettes. One of their glorious hits from the 1940s and 50s, recorded and filmed in the good old days. Their biggest hit was Mr. Sandman.

Don’t blame me if you can’t get it out of your mind….

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 20 July 2017
Tootsie Roll Lollipop image found at sweetcitycandy.com

Response to WordPress Daily Prompt: Lollipop

Why I Love Lucy

I still crack up watching this 1950s episode–
Lucy at her creative, in your face, unrehearsed and unashamed best!
The secret ingredient, of course, is alcohol….
a side-splitting spoof on all the snake oil remedies being foisted on us.

Lucy Pacemaker is soooooo excited I’m posting this.
I hope she doesn’t have a heart attack!

Happy Tuesday!

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 28 March 2013
With thanks to the hands that recorded, edited and uploaded this to YouTube.
Response to Daily Prompt: Elixir

“I’m under the weather…”

Here’s the best medicine I’ve had in the last four days!  Enjoy. . .

Actually, I was looking for the origin of “under the weather,” but found this lively if somewhat soggy country music performance instead.  Beats all other serious (and interesting) explanations, hands down! Read the rest of this entry »

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