O Tannenbaum!

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“ O Christmas Tree O, Christmas Tree,
Your branches green delight us.
O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree,
Your branches green delight us.
They’re green when summer days are bright;
They’re green when winter snow is white.”

Vancouver’s Christmas tree, from what I witnessed when it was being assembled in the Vancouver Art gallery plaza a few days ago,  is a masterful piece of engineering.  The cranes were in place, and the sidewalk was blocked off from pedestrians.  An attentive ground crew, along with two brave men high above the ground, worked together to secure the placement of the branches. There was even a brisk chill in the sunshine of a Vancouver afternoon that gave a nod to winter with the possibility of snow for Christmas.

December is fast approaching, the month that heralds the upcoming holiday festivities with the promise of gingerbread cookies, eggnog, and gathering of families and friends. The  music that came to me as I watched the evolving tree transformation was “O Tannenbaum.”

To be clear, Tannenbaum is a fir tree, not a Christmas tree, nor does the original lyrics refer to Christmas.   It has an old and ancient history – that is, if you consider the Renaissance to be ancient.  This is the story of how O Tannenbaum came to be a Christmas carol:

It all began with the German composer Melchior Franck, (1579 – 1639), who was both an influential and prolific composer during the late Renaissance and early Baroque eras.  One of his compositions was a Silesian folk song, “Ach Tannenbaum.”  Silesia, as I found out in a Google search,  is a historical region of Central Europe which is located mainly in present-day Poland, with small parts in the Czech Republic.

Fast forward to Joachim August Christian Zarnack, (1777 – 1827) a German preacher, teacher and – here is the important part – a collector of German folk music.  In 1819, he transformed Melchior Franck’s composition into a tragic and heartbreaking love song,  using the symbolism of a faithful and loyal fir tree in sharp contrast to the unfaithful lover.

A few short years later in 1824, Ernst Anschütz, a Leipzig organist, teacher and composer decided to add his creative touch by including two verses of his own, still keeping to the theme of the fir tree being true and faithful.   Somewhere along the way,  the word “grün” (green) was added to the lyrics.

How did “O Tannenbaum” become “O Christmas Tree.” No one knows for certain how it all happened.  It just did.  Somewhere in the 20th century, it transitioned into a new role of becoming a beloved Christmas Carol.

 

Maybe it was the magic of this holiday season.  Or… maybe a song takes on a life of its own.

O Tannenbaum, Vancouver Art Gallery from Rebecca Budd aka Clanmother on Vimeo.

Imagine

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December 18, 2010 marked the date of the first LadyBudd post.  It was short, and simply welcomed one and all to my Photo Blog!

I have over 10,000 photos – some good, some not so good and some really not so good.  I enjoy photography, especially the automatically point and snap, because it captures the essence of a moment in time that we want to remember.  Memories are like old photography paper – they fade and become mellow with time.   I leave the artistry to others, more proficient in the details of the art form.  Welcome to my moments.  Hopefully this will inspire you to leave your footprint in the “pixel sands” of time.

I held my breath as I tentatively pressed that first publish button. I tossed the words into the air of the blogosphere unknown and wondered, with cautious expectation, where they would land.  Nearly ten years later, I will enter a new decade surrounded by a marvelous community of kindred spirits.

Year 2020!  Another unknown.  But just imagine…

Imagine all the conversations. Imagine all the adventures.  Imagine all the possibilities.  Imagine all the knowledge that will be exchanged.  The future waits for us.  But today, let us continue pressing the “publish button” and celebrate our compassionate and life-affirming community.

With gratitude,

Rebecca aka Clanmother

 

Walking in the Autumn Twilight from Rebecca Budd aka Clanmother on Vimeo.

Bike the Night Vancouver

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Cycling has become a major player in responding to the need to seek the cleanest and most energy efficient forms of transportation. With every push on the bike pedal, we are the energy creators. It is the best of all solutions, for we respond to two imperatives: embracing a healthy lifestyle all the while seeking solutions to safeguard our precious world.

Serendipity is timely. On my evening walk up to my local grocery store, something exciting was happening.

Bike the Night, Vancouver

Bike the Night, presented by MEC, brings out over 5,000 cyclists, young, old and in-between, to ride through the streets of Vancouver. Starting at 8pm, riders embark on a 10-kilometer journey through the open streets of Vancouver. Even the Burrard Street Bridge is closed for the event.

 

The excitement and energy is unmistakable and compelling. The spirit of adventure comes through the lights, glowing reflectors and stickers. Bike the Night lights up Vancouver.

Come and join the party!

Thank you, Deb & Cat

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Dear Deb & Cat,
We have never met…

There is a possibility that we may have passed in the street without knowing that we had somehow connected through your artistic endeavour. Yes, it is your mural that appeared overnight along a path that runs under a bridge, leading to a busy street. The one with the brilliant sun shining over a tree, three tulips, a flowering shrub.

I was in a hurry to complete a scheduled task. Until…

The spreading branches, with fresh leaves called to me. There was an enveloping warmth, a feeling of renewal, the arrival of spring.

You reminded me that we live in a beautiful world of light and colour. Pablo Picasso once said, “Art washes away from the souls the dust of everyday life.” Your mural exemplifies this idea.

Looking back, I have no recollection of the “urgent” task. Instead, I have a memory (and photos) of the moment I spent with you via your art.

Wherever you are, whatever you do, I know that you will accomplish great things.

With gratitude,

LadyBudd

The Future is Now

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We received the City of Vancouver’s notice a few weeks ago in the mail.

There would be lane closure on West 1st Avenue to support a public event to be held between February 18 – March 3, 2019.  ELA was coming to our city.

This past week, Vancouver hosted a free Autonomous Shuttle Demonstration.

ELA, the diminutive of ELectronic Automation, is the future of transportation. Vancouver and Surrey are the first in Canada to have this demonstration. According to local news sources, “ELA…is manufactured by EasyMile, a leading autonomous manufacturer that has deployed driverless shuttles in over 20 countries across Asia-Pacific, the Middle-East, North America, and Europe. The shuttles use a combination of sensors, video cameras, and computers to understand their surrounding.”

 

Battery Life: up to 14 hours.
Speed: up to 40km per hour
Powered by: Electricity
Capacity: Maximum 12 people per shuttle.

Sleek and confident – those were my first thoughts when I encountered ELA on my walk down 1st Avenue.    In a time of unprecedented discussion on climate change, Vancouver is following on their commitment to Greenest City Action Plans.

The Future is now! Are we ready?

The Future is Now from Rebecca Budd aka Clanmother on Vimeo.

 

Driverless vehicles are anticipated to eliminate one of the leading contributors to collisions – human error,” says City of Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart. “By piloting them on these corridors, we can learn more about how they can be used throughout the region to improve safety, reduce congestion, and create safer, greener, healthier, more connected communities. In Surrey and Vancouver we believe that together, we are leading the way and setting the standard for other cities in Canada to follow for smart mobility.”

 

Freedom in the Delay

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Vancouver Seawall Winter 2019

Whenever anyone brings up the subject of procrastination, they invariably give a nod to Mark Twain who stated with his usual clarity and generous humour:

“If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.” …

Those poor frogs!

Procrastination is simply the action of delaying or postponing.

We know how not to procrastinate.  In fact, there are books written to help us through the trials and tribulations of avoidance.  I have read books on de-cluttering, time management, setting priorities – all are filled with marvelous vignettes and stories that give that exuberant promise that once I make a list, and dramatically cross off completed tasks, I will be liberated.

Living a productive life is a noble goal with great outcomes. Lists allow us to measure our performance, and perhaps stave off the dread of procrastination.

What if we looked at procrastination a different way?

What if we stopped the tasks, took a moment to simply be in the moment, and allow our mind to gather strength and resilience?  Perhaps what we consider urgent, may not be important. Perhaps a delay or postponement is the best course of action.

Maybe those frogs should be allowed freedom.

And with that thought, I invite you to share a walk along the Vancouver Seawall, just as the sun is setting.  Take a deep breath and leave your lists to another day.

 

Winter Sunset from Rebecca Budd aka Clanmother on Vimeo.