Sunday Evening Reflection: At the Orpheum

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The Vancouver Orpheum

The Vancouver Orpheum opened its doors on November 8, 1927. Ah, it was a grand building, the largest theatre in Canada at the time, with a construction price tag of $1.25 million.  Three thousand seats awaited an audience eager to see the interior of the much-awaited theatre.

Buildings have biographies and encounter transitions that reflect our ever-changing societies. Would it surprise you to know that the Vancouver Orpheum was launched as a vaudeville house? The vaudeville that became popular in North America from the early 1880s until the early 1930s, was similar to the music halls of Victorian Britain.

When the voices and acts of vaudeville’s singers, dancers, comedians and magicians fell silent in the late 1930’s, the Orpheum became a movie house, under the Famous Players name.

The crisis occurred in 1973.

In 1973, Famous Players made a financial decision that would change the course of our beloved Orpheum’s history. The Orpheum was scheduled for a major upgrade to a multiplex.  The magnificent interior was to be gutted.  The public protest was heard across Vancouver and beyond.  Even Jack Benny made an emotional appearance.

The Orpheum was saved.

The City of Vancouver bought the Orpheum and closed the theatre on November 23, 1975 to complete a full restoration. April 2, 1977 the Orpheum was reopened and is now the permanent home of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. Two years later, in 1979, the Orpheum was designated a National Historic Site of Canada.

During December, our family attended a performance of Handel’s Messiah.  After the crowds dispersed, I stayed behind to capture a few photos to celebrate the history of this noble building and all those who came together to save its legacy for generations to come.

Come, join me on a short walk through a building that has graced Vancouver for nearly 100 years.

 

Music by Cercles Nouvelles “Palace Garden Roses” Epidemic Sound

Sunday Evening Reflection: Who has seen the wind?

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The wind and trees have a special relationship. Together, they create exquisite music that comes with fluttering leaves and waving branches. The fresh air that trees bestow on this earth brings a sense of well-being.  A recent Instagram post by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization stated that “studies show that trees boost happiness and reduce stress levels.”

Trees are the vital source of fruits, medicines, oxygen.  They decrease the greenhouse effect and prevent soil erosion, which in turn prevents water pollution.  Under the shade of trees, wildlife find protection.

Tonight, I am celebrating trees with poetry by Christina Georgina Rossetti.  Embracing the dance of the wind and trees.

Who has seen the wind?

Who has seen the wind?
Neither I nor you.
But when the leaves hang trembling,
The wind is passing through.

Who has seen the wind?
Neither you nor I.
But when the trees bow down their heads,
The wind is passing by.

Christina Georgina Rossetti

 

 

Sunday Evening Reflection: Desiderata

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“You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.”

 

Tonight, I am going back in time to the moment I first heard Desiderata, which is Latin for “things desired”.

It was the beginning of a new year and a new decade – 1970.

A poster designed to look like ancient parchment with the Desiderata written boldly in an elegant script was a treasured purchase. It remained on my study desk for inspiration and traveled with me to college a few years later.

2020, the Desiderata continues to be relevant as I look forward to the years ahead.  It is a new year and a new decade.

Desiderata by Max Ehrmann Recitation by Rebecca Budd from Rebecca Budd aka Clanmother on Vimeo.

 

Desiderata

Go placidly amid the noise and the haste and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexatious to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time. Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass. Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore, be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be. And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

Max Ehrmann, 1948

Sunday Evening Reflection: Celebrating Robert Burns

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January 25, 2020, the world celebrated Robert Burns, affectionately known as Rabbie Burns, the great Scottish poet and lyricist.  He has been given the honoured titles of National Bard, Bard of Ayrshire and the Ploughman Poet. Whenever I join in the chorus of Auld Lang Syne, I feel a debt of gratitude to Robert Burns, who penned the words in 1788.  In a letter to the Scots Musical Museum, Robert Burns indicated Auld Lang Syne was an ancient song that had never been put to paper.  Auld Lang Syne, or days gone by is a reminder to celebrate and remember times past, even as we look forward to a new day.

Auld Lang Syne has greeted many New Years through the centuries. Friendship, camaraderie, compassion and hope come together. “And there’s a hand, my trusty fiere!”  We are not alone but share our time with others. Whatever life has in store, friendship will see us through even the most difficult time.

Life does bring about an ending, but words cannot be contained.  They live on and stoke fires in the hearts and minds of those that follow.  When we read William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Percy Bysshe Shelley, we are reading words that hold the influence of Rabbie Burns.  When we listen to Bob Dylan, it is good to know that he was motivated by Rabbie Burns’ “A Red Red Rose.”

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne?
For auld lang syne, my jo,
For auld lang syne,
We’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.
And surely ye’ll be your pint-stowp!
And surely I’ll be mine!
And we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.
We twa hae run about the braes,
And pu’d the gowans fine;
But we’ve wander’d mony a weary foot,
Sin auld lang syne.
We twa hae paidl’d i’ the burn,
Frae morning sun till dine;
But seas between us braid hae roar’d
Sin auld lang syne.
And there’s a hand, my trusty fiere!
And gie’s a hand o’ thine!
And we’ll tak a right gude-willy waught,
For auld lang syne.
For auld lang syne, my jo,
For auld lang syne,
We’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.
And surely ye’ll be your pint-stowp!
And surely I’ll be mine!
And we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

 

Celebrating Robert Burns, National Bard, Bard of Ayrshire from Rebecca Budd aka Clanmother on Vimeo.

Sunday Evening Reflection – Canada in Winter

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Canadian winters are legendary.  Think Snowmageddon St. John’s Newfoundland this past weekend and Edmonton, Alberta’s coldest morning of this century: Wednesday morning (January 15, 2020) when the temperature set a record  of – 37.8 degrees Celsius.  I grew up in Northern Manitoba where the average temperature in January is considered “severely cold.”  So, when Vancouver had a winter storm warning this past week, it felt like we had joined the rest of Canada.

I love our winters – the snow, cold air, the fresh smell.  Yes, I can smell when snow is in the forecast.

Canadians know how to embrace the cold!

  • Buy boots with removable liners and be sure that your feet don’t feel cramped.
  • Wear a hat and cover your face. I learned firsthand what it felt like to have frozen cheeks.
  • Buy a thermos so that you can bring along a hot drink if you are walking. You will notice that I have a stash of regular and herbal tea on hand in winter months.
  • Protect your hands. While I love gloves, mittens are even better for keeping your fingers warm.
  • And if you are in cold, cold, cold weather, check out those fashionable fleeced-line leggings. Your legs will thank you.

Vancouver’s snow is disappearing with the rain, but I captured the moment.  Join me on my snow walk.

Sunday Evening Reflection: Klapa Music in Croatia

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The Vancouver winter storm was to be over in an afternoon.  And yet, here I am in the late evening looking out my window onto a street full of snow, with more coming overnight.  It is a lovely sight, especially from my warm perch with a cup of tea close by. Tomorrow, everyone (including me) will be out with their cameras determined to capture the layers of snow.

Tonight, I chose to leave Vancouver and head over to memories of Croatia, where I discovered Klapa music.  Well, to be honest, I did not know it was Klapa music until a few days ago when I met up with my Croatian neighbour.  When I showed her my video, tears came to her as she remembered her homeland. It is a magnificent blend of voices that resonate with exuberance and power.

Klapa is a form of traditional a cappella singing that comes from Dalmatia, Croatia. In 2012, Klapa was inscribed in UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Klapa speaks of love, life and home.

“Klapa singing is a multipart singing tradition of the southern Croatian regions of Dalmatia. Multipart singing, a capella homophonic singing, oral tradition and simple music making are its main features. The leader of each singing group is the first tenor, followed by several tenori, baritoni and basi voices. During performances, the singers stand in a tight semicircle. The first tenor starts the singing and is followed by the others. The main aim is to achieve the best possible blend of voices.”

UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity

Welcome to a new week.  May your days be filled with music of love, life and home.