Arcadia

Clever, but sterile, Tom Stoppard’s play Arcadia didn’t grab me. I could appreciate the weaving together of characters from the 19th and 20th century, but the play never grabbed me or carried me away. One part of the play focuses on a precocious young lady who exasperates both her lascivious tutor and her mother; the other looks at a small group of annoyed and annoying modern intellectuals who bicker about Lord Byron and their professions. While the play won awards, I wouldn’t run to a theater to see it. In fact I’ve never seen it advertised so I assume it’s not going to be a classic.

Poem of the Week

it may not always be so . . .

by e.e. cummings

it may not always be so; and i say
that if your lips, which i have loved, should touch
another’s, and your dear strong fingers clutch
his heart, as mine in time not far away;
if on another’s face your sweet hair lay
in such a silence as i know, or such
great writhing words as, uttering overmuch,
stand helplessly before the spirit at bay;

if this should be, i say if this should be—
you of my heart, send me a little word;
that i may go unto him, and take his hands,
saying, Accept all happiness from me.
Then shall i turn my face, and hear one bird
sing terribly afar in the lost lands.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Spring Scenes

Each week Cee of Cee’s Photography challenges bloggers with a fun prompt. This week we’re to share photos with colors that show spring in all its glory.

 

Click here to see more spring scenes photos, click here.

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Weekend Coffee Share

wordswag_15073188796611453091488Weekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some time catching up with friends (old and new)!

I’d tell you that I tried Balinese Gong Meditation, which was definitely different, and I was mesmerized by Wim Wender’s Wings of Desire. 

For the last day of the official Christmas season, I went to mass at another church from the list of the “Eleven Churches Not to Miss When You Visit  Chicago” I attended mass at St. John Cantius and stopped in to take some photos of St. Stanislaus Koska, which is also featured in this article. I’m still blown away by both churches.

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St. John Cantius

Christmas actually lasts until the Sunday following January 6th. The reading is about Jesus entering public life.

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St. Stanislaus Koska, Chicago

I’m half way through a “cosy mystery” called Duck the Halls. I’m not that impressed as I’m on page 80 and so far there’s no real mystery. I think I can guess who’ll get murdered, but let’s get on with it.

Balinese Gong Meditation

Last week I attended a program at my library on Balinese Gong Meditation. Though I lived in Indonesia and went to Bali several times, I knew nothing about this.

The presenter briefly spoke about how sound healing was becoming better known for its effectiveness and how she’s been using gongs from Bali for a few years at various retreats and library programs. She explained that the gong’s sounds often “bring up” a lot of toxins and emotions.

The lights were dimmed and we were urged to get comfortable. I closed my eyes, but I don’t think that was necessary. The “gongist” began by striking the gong to get deep, long tones, which was rather pleasant to hear. After an interval, she’d make a series of quicker higher pitched sounds. These made me feel like someone was chasing me.  She alternated between these kinds of sounds. The quick sounds always made me a little nervous, while the deep, slow ones calmed me. Perhaps that was the point.

She played for about 40 minutes and some people fell asleep which was fine. The leader did say that 40 minutes of listening to gongs was like 4 hours of sleep as far as relaxation goes. Hmm.

In the end, I thought it was fun to explore this kind of meditation, but yoga or meditation by repeating a mantra was more my style. I tried to find a picture of the sort of gong she used, but no Balinese gong looked like hers. This is in line with my memory of what I’d seen in Bali. It was fun to try, but I’m glad I didn’t pay for the experience.