Sunday Reflection with Jean-Jacques Fournier

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Welcome to Sunday Evening Reflection. I invite you to join me on a quiet walk along the Breakwater District, Victoria, British Columbia. The Poetry of Jean-Jacques Fournier accompanies my thoughts as I look out at the distant horizon.  

 

“ Singlehood ”

– rather in between –

I contemplate

The solitude
Of single life,
And find somehow
It’s rather in between
The then and now,
Like not too hot
Or not too cold,
A sort of midway
Life and death
Tho not so bold,
A kind of lazy comfort
That goes nowhere
In a most committed way…

Don’t get me wrong
That’s not to say
It’s all without reward,
Who can deny
The pleasurable sensation
Of unbroken blissful silence,
No need to share
Or patience held be there,
No threat of deprivation
Nor succulent seclusion,
A feast without an equal
For one-way conversations!

ode to a solitude awakening…

© Jean-Jacques Fournier

“Singlehood” – rather in between – by Jean-Jacques Fournier from Rebecca Budd aka Clanmother on Vimeo.

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.

Sunday Evening Reflection – Shetland

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“Trees are poems that the earth writes upon the sky.” Khalil Gibran

Welcome to Sunday Night Reflection. I invite you to join me on a quiet walk through Kergord Woods. It is early Spring and green leaves are beginning to appear. It is a little chilly so bring along a sweater.

Kergord Woods is a symbol of resilience against Shetland’s fierce winter gales.  It is a forest that thrives since its planting in 1913 by Dr.George Munro who owned Kergord Estate. What was designed to be a shelter belt of Japanese larch, Sitka spruce, Silver fir and other species, has become a welcoming home to woodland birds.

 

 

Sunday Evening Reflection

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I love the dark hours of my being.
My mind deepens into them.
There I can find, as in old letters,
the days of my life, already lived,
and held like a legend, and understood.” 

Rainer Maria Rilke

Victoria Breakwater

 

Sunday evenings are complex because we are at an “end” and about to head into a “beginning.” Sundays signal the subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) transition from time based on personal agendas to time structured by others who are depending upon our focused attention and interaction. I think of this as moving from “my time” to “their time.”

Some call it the Sunday Night Blues and many people have felt the sting. I first experienced this when I was in grade school, when I knew that a math test, or even worse, a spelling bee was scheduled for Monday morning. I confess that spelling was never my strong suit.

Over the years, I have created ways in which to embrace a spirit of anticipation for what lay ahead. Sunday evenings have become a time of reflection, a pause, a breathing space. Tomorrow will come, but for tonight, I am here.

Join me on my Sunday Evening Reflection.

Ocean Reflection from Rebecca Budd aka Clanmother on Vimeo.

Remembrance Day 2019: Lest We Forget

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“The Homecoming” by sculptor Morgan MacDonald

Tonight, as the twilight closes in on November 11th, Remembrance Day, I think of my Father who was one who came back from WWII. The day he left home for the first time, in a soldier’s uniform at 18 years of age, he remembered hearing his mother playing a hymn on the piano as he walked down the road. There was no certainty, only a knowledge that life was precious.

Earlier this year, I traveled to St. John’s Newfoundland. It was a place that has always been on my “to visit” list ever since I studied the map of Canada in my early grades. Bannerman Park in St. John’s holds a poignant reminder of the sacrifices made by those of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment soldiers and their families.

The Homecoming” brings to mind both joy and sorrow, and the need to come together as a community.

It’s passing on the torch to the next generation.” Sculptor Morgan MacDonald

We Are Story

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My father passed eight years ago. His last request was that I tell the stories. I made that promise without fully understanding the definition of stories. What stories? Over the years, I have come to recognize that he was speaking about a wider narrative, one that integrates the past with our current reality. A story that could be sent off to the future as a recollection of what was, mingled with a call to action to continue.

And that is the background of how the Podcast, Tea Toast & Trivia came about.

Tea, Toast & Trivia is about exploring the creative spirit within a dynamic, ever-changing global world. The pursuit of creativity is essential. It speaks to the soul of our culture and society. It allows us to celebrate our individuality and our togetherness. We live in a world that offers unimaginable possibilities.

My goal is to encourage a deep and profound awareness of our personal journeys. There is always a story to be read, an adventure to be imagined, and an idea to be understood. Our conversations and connections give meaning to the present while expressing the universal hopes and aspirations of humanity.

Sharing a cup of tea signals a pause, a breathing space.

Toast signifies bread – the staple food that has been with us since ancient days.

And trivia – those seemingly insignificant details that we soon forget – they are important. They influence our actions and define our lives. Isn’t it time to give relevance to what we overlook in our busy, even frantic schedules?

So put the kettle on and join me for Tea, Toast and Trivia.

All that we are is story. From the moment we are born to the time we continue on our spirit journey, we are involved in the creation of the story of our time here. It is what we arrive with. It is all we leave behind. We are not the things we accumulate. We are not the things we deem important. We are story. All of us. What comes to matter then is the creation of the best possible story we can while we’re here; you, me, us, together. When we can do that and we take the time to share those stories with each other, we get bigger inside, we see each other, we recognize our kinship – we change the world, one story at a time…” Richard Wagamese