Tag Archives: Stories

Wonderful Wednesday

This is a homey, light-hearted piece from April’s blog “April’s Perspective” about being grateful for some of the little things we take for granted e.g. security, medical care, freedom of expression, privacy etc, versus those who are not so fortunate.

A grandmother and volunteer, her short anecdotes and re-collections/comparisons of her parents’ time sets down some notes of time, change, place. Particularly of interest, the spot on how frightening polio, measles, mumps, and rubella were not so long back, and the improvements to medicine since (modern medicine is still not perfect of course).  

A personal account! 🙂

Image Credit: Beau Considine, Autumn Temptations

April's Perspective

Its another Wonderful Wednesday and time to be grateful for how darned spoiled I am.

It is a beautiful summer day, and listening to NPR this morning, I heard stories of the struggles of Syrian refugees.  Here I am in the land of plenty, and taking full advantage.  I live in a home where I feel completely safe.  I feel no need to be armed.  I feel no fear to walk down the street, not even at night in most neighborhoods, in most anywhere in the country.   I can say whatever I want and express any opinion no matter how many others disagree with me, I don’t even have to be particularly nice about it.  Being nice helps if you want people to stay and listen, because where I live we can just walk away and stop listening.   These rights extend to social media, where I have blocked several…

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Into The Woods

Into the Woods is a highly entertaining and award winning film (musical).  An adaption of the acclaimed Broadway piece in the same title, it is brought to life by a star-studded cast and a great ensemble.  This masterpiece is definitely one of my Top Ten Movies.

Synopsis

The tale is of a Baker (James Corden) and his wife (Emily Blunt) who sought to reverse the curse of childlessness placed on their family by a Witch (Meryl Streep).  In order to do so, the couple need to go into the Woods to assemble a list of items the Witch required, in time for the blue moon’s appearance on the third night.

Into the Woods - france
Intertwined flawlessly with the main story are plots and impeccable details from Brothers Grimms’ timeless fairy tales: “Little Red Riding Hood”, “Cinderella”, “Jack and the Beanstalk”, and “Rapunzel”.  What’s so engaging is the seamless storyline, riotous humour, sophisticated yet realistic twists and ironies. Not least the brilliant portrayal by the talented cast who fleshed their characters with great depth and charm: the human frailty, aspirations, inner most fears and imperfections.  And all while keeping in good rhythm and step of the luscious soundtrack!

I Wish!  (More than Anything, More than the Moon, More than Life Itself!)

Every Character in the movie each had their all consuming Wishes.  The Baker and his wife longed for a child (“more than the Moon”).  The Witch wanted to regain her beauty, and to keep Rapunzel (MacKenzie Mauzy) in her care/company.  Cinderalla (Anna Kendrick) dreamt of going to the King’s Festival, and to meet her Prince Charming (Chris Pine). Little Red Riding Hood (Lilla Crawford) was perpetually hungry, and easily distracted by pretty things. The Wolf (Johnny Depp) was on the prowl.  Jack (Daniel Huttlestone)  wanted to keep his cow and friend “Milky White”, his mother (Tracey Ullman) wanted her sold for gold coins. etc.

To savour the expressions, nuances and imagery, please go Full Screen.

I Know Things Now!

Like in a good tale, everyone cut their corners, told their white lies etc.  And like a good story, everyone got what they wished for, only to invariably discover the ironic irrelevancy.  Worse, the consequences of their selfish actions during the course of getting their wishes were so disastrous, they lost the things that actually mattered.  Nevertheless, in the end there was redemption of sorts; yet also a hint that the hard won lessons have not fully sunk in.  It can’t get more real than this!

My Thoughts. 

Look out for the different stations of Life that each character or group of characters represent e.g. the childless couple, the woman pining for Prince Charming etc, what they did and the results!  It is amazing how similar the movie is to some of Life’s drama…

As Emily Blunt puts it, “The theme very much is “Be careful what you wish for”.”  To know what we really want in Life, to appreciate what we have, and to know the real consequences of what we wish for.

Two words. “Highly recommended!”

Here is another snip of the musical and opinions.

On Doing it Right

“Into the woods, but not too slow- Into the woods, it’s nearing midnight-
Into the woods to mind the Wolf, To heed the Witch,
To honor the Giant, To mind, To heed, To find, To think,
To teach, To join, To go to the Festival!

Into the woods,Into the woods, Into the woods,
Then out of the woods And happy ever after!”

Media Credits : Disney

Morning Coffee Reflections and The Fool’s Prayer

I came across a beautiful piece written by Carol recently.

“Morning Coffee Reflections” is a narration of Carol’s childhood memories as a 3rd grader who chose to recite Edward Rowland Sill’s poem “The Fool’s Prayer” in class, as well as her journey and thoughts on openness, truth and social nature.

The Child Clown

The poem’s protagonist was the court jester.  When required by the King to provide frivolous entertainment in the ill-suited form of a prayer, the Jester prayed aloud for forgiveness of his own follies and mistakes, while alluding the same foibles to the Court.  It follows that at the end of the day, instead of taking offense, the King chose to quietly heed wise counsel.  The contrast is subtly intimated in Carol’s recollections: Carol’s teacher was less amused by her 3rd grader’s thought provoking poem, and subsequently banished her from future participation in class.

The point?  We have much to reflect on to better ourselves, yet there is room for improvement when it comes to being positive to enlightening truth / a mirror.  Like the King perhaps, we can learn to listen to/follow a wise critic, “like we would, a map to hidden treasure.”, and  like the Jester, we can have the courage to convey the facts when required (albeit gently).  

Happiness is a state of mind, but pass basic contentment, it does help additionally if we become better people and our surroundings improve through truth and consideration..

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“Fool” Training School

I have reproduced the “The Fool’s Prayer” below, but I profess I am wanting of Carol’s great skill to delight with her elegant weaves, light touch and vivid imagery.  Hence, a visit to her blog “Voices from the Margins” to savour the treat and peruse the original emphasis is much warranted (it differs slightly from my more general view re humility, courage and consideration), and highly recommended.

Do enjoy the reads and interesting opinions!

The Fool’s Prayer
Edward Rowland Sill (1841 – 1887)

The royal feast was done; the King
Sought some new sport to banish care,
And to his jester cried: “Sir Fool,
Kneel now and make for us a prayer! 

The jester doffed his cap and bells,
And stood the mocking court before;
They could not see the bitter smile
Behind the painted grin he wore.

He bowed his head and bent his knee
Upon the monarch’s silken stool;
His pleading voice arose: “O Lord,
Be merciful to me, a fool!

“No pity, Lord, could change the heart
From red with wrong to white as wool;
The rod must heal the sin: but, Lord,
Be merciful to me, a fool!

” ‘Tis not by guilt the onward sweep
Of truth and right, O Lord, we stay;
‘Tis by our follies that so long
We hold the earth from heaven away.

“These clumsy feet, still in the mire,
Go crushing blossoms without end;
These hard, well-meaning hands we thrust
Among the heart-strings of a friend.

“The ill-timed truth we might have kept –
Who knows how sharp it pierced and stung?
The word we had not sense to say –
Who knows how grandly it had rung?

“Our faults no tenderness should ask,
The chastening stripes must clense them all;
But for our blunders – oh in shame
Before the eyes of heaven we fall.

“Earth bears no balsam for mistakes;
Men crown the knave, and scourge the tool
That did his will; but Thou, O Lord,
Be merciful to me, a fool!”

The room was hushed; in silence rose
The King, and sought his gardens cool,
And walked apart, and murmured low,
“Be merciful to me, a fool!”

Image Credits: Pan-American Coffee Bureau, Katherine Kirkland, Richard Elzey