Yes, I have been spending too much eating, sleeping, dashing about, and in general thinking about, but not writing, blogposts. Guilty, guilty, guilty as charged. Here are just a few of the blogposts I didn’t write:
Divine Celtic and Eastern Music – I recommend that you listen to glorious Canadian artist Loreena McKennitt, the musician, composer, and peerless soprano who my husband and I love so much that we traveled to Montreal to see her–only to find that later in that same tour she was coming to our hometown of Knoxville, Tennessee! The first time we saw Loreena live was at Radio City Music Hall in New York City while we were on our way to Europe. Pure magic! She rarely tours so we thought this would be our only chance to see her.
Loreena plays the harp, accordion, and keyboards, writes the most sublime Celtic and Middle Eastern music, and performs with musicians that play the ancient instruments that make her songs come alive.
When Loreena came to Knoxville, she played in our 1920’s-era movie palace, the Tennessee Theatre, an acoustically perfect space designed in a Spanish-Moorish style that beautifully complimented her tribal rhythms.
When I hear her music, I travel back to Elizabethan times and bow to my partner in a courtly dance. In another song, our caravan passes through the desert and stops for the night with lanterns hanging from the tents, and music swirling like smoke around the campfire. Loreena creates a world and invites us in.
Check out the sheer delights of her songs Brian Boru’s March, The Old Ways, Santiago, Marco Polo, and The Star of the County Down, and see where you travel.
Nabobs and Noohoos – the blogpost I didn’t write where I call out politicians at all levels of government (local, state, and national) who are making mindless concessions to monied interests, arguing over which legislative body will cross the street first, and eating hot dogs with their constituents when they are up for re-election, but not getting any bills passed through their various political bodies. They are totally clueless.
Birdman, Birdpoop, and Other Oscar Musings – in this post I wonder aloud how many years the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences can study its collective navels and crown movies best picture that are totally unwatchable. Yes, I am talking about the movie Birdman, which is one of the worst movies I have ever suffered through, and yet it inexplicably won the Best Picture Oscar this year. I am one of the 25 stuuu-pid people outside Hollywood film circles who saw the movie.
I love art house films, can’t get enough of subtitles, love documentaries, but pull-leazzzzee, Oscar voters, find another way to pat each other on the back for memorizing long paragraphs of pointless dialogue and shooting it in one take (whee!) instead of making coherent movies we actually want to see. Phew, got that off my chest about a month too late, but it feels good anyway!
50/30/20 – here’s the post where I share what my allergist/immonologist told me is the percent of food we are supposed to eat at each daily meal. As my doctor explained, our bodies are primed and ready for fuel when we wake up, our digestive organs ready to take in food. Thus, our first meal, breakfast, is where we should eat 50 percent of our daily food, with 30 percent eaten at lunch, and 20 percent at dinner. When the sun goes down, our bodies naturally respond by shutting down the digestive process, so eating the biggest meal late in the day is not the best choice for our health, for sleeping well, or for optimum weight management. I haven’t gotten even close to following his advice, but I am trying.
The Empire of the Summer Moon: Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History – last week I finished this uniquely satisfying book by gifted writer S. C. Gwynne which tells the true story of the lifeways of the Comanche people, the most feared native tribe in North America, and the tribe that fought white domination the longest and most successfully. It is also the unbelievable story of Quanah, the half-white and half-Native American man, whose white mother, Cynthia Ann Parker, was captured by the Comanches when she was 9 years old.
Usually a half-white Comanche would not have been a chief, but Quanah won the leadership role on the open plains by being the fiercest, most intelligent, and more courageous warrior of all the Comanches in his tribe. And yet, this chief, who no doubt scalped countless enemies of his people, not only became friends with U.S. President Teddy Roosevelt, but counted his greatest legacy in how he led the Comanches after they entered reservation life with his unerring political acumen, boundless optimism, and generosity to all his people. And speaking of Teddy Roosevelt . . .
Teddy Roosevelt/Franklin Delano Roosevelt – in this post I would have shared my intense and beautiful love for all things Roosevelt! Teddy was rambunctious, used his bully pulpit to call out the rich and powerful nabobs and noohoos who got in the way of his policies, and created national parks and conservation areas that we enjoy to this day. Franklin Roosevelt saved our country from financial ruin; gave Americans a way to live their retirement years with shelter, food, and dignity with Social Security; and defeated fascism and Hitler.
The Roosevelts both used government for the good of the American people–how breathtakingly simple and yet profound. Both Roosevelts came from the monied aristocracy (though TR was not from the wealthier branch of his family) and were hated for turning their backs on their kind by helping the poor and middle class. Could we have more of that, please! We need another Roosevelt: a true leader for the 21st Century would be beyond my wildest hopes, but sometimes leaders come at the moment we need them.
In this vein, I give the last word to one of my favorite Native American actors, Chief Dan George, who said, “Endeavor to persevere,” in the seminal Clint Eastwood Western of my young womanhood, The Outlaw Josey Wales. I can’t count how many times I have quoted those words during my lifetime.
Here’s the story as Dan George’s character, Lone Watie, so eloquently told it in the film:
I wore this frock coat to Washington before The War. We wore them because we belonged to the five civilized tribes. We dressed ourselves up like Abraham Lincoln. You know, we got to see the Secretary of the Interior. And he said, “Boy, you boys sure look civilized.” He congratulated us, and he gave us medals for looking so civilized.
We told him about how our land had been stolen and how our people were dying. When we finished he shook our hands and said, “Endeavor to persevere!” They stood us in a line: John Jumper, Chili McIntosh, Buffalo Hump, Jim Buckmark, and me—I am Lone Watie. They took our pictures. And the newspapers said, ‘Indians vow to endeavor to persevere.’
We thought about it for a long time. ‘Endeavor to persevere.’ And when we had thought about it long enough, we declared war on the Union.
I couldn’t say it better myself!
//Anna ~ 3/27/2015