Mentally Strong

A friend of mine on Facebook shared one of those inspiring a/o funny text graphics you see all the time. This was a serious one called “6 Things Mentally Strong People Do”. I’m not sure the person who originally posted it is the original creator as it looked like one of those canned images that has been around awhile. I thought the message was powerful enough that I wanted to remember it and strive to follow the things it recommends. So I stripped away the graphic and am just posting the message here so that I can keep reminding myself of it.

6 Things Mentally Strong People Do

  1. They move on. They don’t waste time feeling sorry for themselves.
  2. They embrace change. They welcome challenges.
  3. They stay happy. They don’t waste energy on things they can’t control.
  4. They are kind, fair and unafraid to speak up.
  5. They are willing to take calculated risks.
  6. They celebrate other people’s success. They don’t resent that success.

The golden apples of the sun

WB Yeats 1908Stumbled across this old W. B. Yeats poem in the weirdest of places (a sci-fi show). The mention of this poem interested me enough that I looked the poem up and it meant a lot to me. Wish I could write like this.

Anyway, thought I would quote it here so I won’t forget it. Continue reading The golden apples of the sun

Can you resurrect dead dreams?

A friend of mine posted something on Facebook that really hit me where I live today. I’m going to quote it in it’s entirety here cause I do NOT want to forget this. I’ve looked it up. The source is the book “The Pilgrimage” by Brazilian author Paulo Coelho. You can find this on a page of his blog. I’m going to look into reading “The Pilgrimage” and his novel “The Alchemist” which I read a lot of raves about. Anyway, on to the quote… Continue reading Can you resurrect dead dreams?

The deep and lovely dark…

Doctor Who - Listen

“The deep and lovely dark. We’d never see the stars without it.”
The Doctor — Doctor Who S08E04 ‘Listen’

The Doctor at the end of a speech about the “superpower” of fear, and the reasons to harness and use it. The character Clara summarizes and expounds on this idea near the end of the episode:

“Didn’t anyone ever tell you? Fear is a superpower. Fear can make you faster and cleverer and stronger. … You’re always going to be afraid, even if you learn to hide it. Fear is like a companion, a constant companion, always there. But it’s okay because fear can bring us together. Fear can bring you home. Fear makes companions of us all.” Clara — Doctor Who S08E04 ‘Listen’

Started re-watching the latest season (season 8 of the new series) of Doctor Who, as the last episode should be coming out in a couple of days. For the most part, I haven’t been a big fan of most of this season, but the first several were pretty good. And the second to last one kind of grabbed my attention too. It’s interesting to note that most of the episodes that I have liked from this season were written or co-written by Moffat. The other episodes haven’t necessarily been bad. They had great acting and production values as usual. It’s just that the writing (the plot and banter) just did not grab me and hold my interest. The first time watching many of them, I got involved doing something else while watching. Still there are quite a few episodes, this one included, that grabbed my from the get go and wouldn’t let go.

Ode To Joy

Friedrich Schiller, German poet & writer (1759-1805)
Friedrich Schiller, German poet & writer (1759-1805)

This poem, (despite its age and that it was written in a foreign language,) is one of my favorite bits of lyric writing. I wish I could “live” what it recommends (I can’t…) but I “feel” the truth in most of it. A small, somewhat altered part of it appears in the final “choral” movement of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony. That symphony is also my favorite, and what got me interested in the poem.

When ever I hear that 4th movement or read this poem, it reminds me of my old, blind, now deceased dog, Buddy — who, despite everything, was the most joyful creature. At least he gave me joy…

Below is the entire text of the poem, in both the original German, and in an English translation. I have bolded the one verse that really jumps out at me whenever I read it (the one about Joy driving the wheels of “the Cosmos” (that’s how I read it, anyway 😉 ). Ironically that verse is not in Beethoven’s ninth (though a slightly altered part of the chorus of that verse does appear). I also really like the verse and chorus which precedes my favorite verse, (the one that starts “All creatures drink Joy”) Continue reading Ode To Joy

Define yourself by what you are…

Richard Biggs as Dr. Stephen Franklin in Babylon 5
Richard Biggs as Dr. Stephen Franklin in Babylon 5

Dr. Stephen Franklin: “I realized I always defined myself by what I wasn’t… Always what I wasn’t, never what I was. And when you do that, you miss the moments. And the moments are all we’ve got… I can’t go back, but I can appreciate what I have right now. And I can define myself by what I am instead of what I’m not.”
Captain John Sheridan: “What are you?”
Franklin: “Alive. Everything else is negotiable.”
Babylon 5, S03E21 “Shadow Dancing” – written by J. Michael Straczynski

Music: Beethoven’s Response to a Critic

Ludwig van Beethoven

Beethoven composed a short (15 minutes long) orchestral work called “Wellington’s Victory” or “The Battle of Vitoria” (Op. 91) in 1813. Wellington’s Victory is now often compared to another famous “battle piece”, namely Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture”, as both call for the use of a large “percussion battery” including muskets and artillery, and by opposite “sides” of the orchestra playing the national themes of the opposing armies.

Like a lot of Beethoven’s work it has been called a hodgepodge of styles and an “atrocious potboiler”. I of course love it! You can listen to it here (with full muskets and cannons, performed by the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by the Herbert Von Karajan,) and judge for yourself.

The reason I bring it up is that I happened to discover a response by Beethoven to similar criticism to this piece that he was receiving in his day. Read on for Beethoven’s Surprising Response→