Tag Archives: House of Bethan

Hear our voices

Bethan at  the House of Bethan is moving house, in a virtual sense, and talks of closing doors and saying farewell to important rooms in our lives.

With her words on my mind, I decided to close the door on my birthday season with a photo of the birthday card that  Megan chose for me. It’s delightful and reminds me of the happiness that Megan is experiencing now she can be outdoors enjoying the beauty of Bloomington. Her winter room time is over.

Blossoms from Bloomington

Blossoms from Bloomington

And, in a really large segue, Megan’s card leads me into my next section, which is a celebration of New Zealand Music Month .  How, you may ask, shaking your heads in bewilderment? Well, Bloomington, home of Megan, has some lovely connections with New Zealanders and their love of music.

For instance; there’s New Zealand born Matthew Leese, baritone and conductor, who earned his  Master of Music degree in Early Music from  Indiana University in Bloomington.

And, then, there is New Zealander Michael Duff who works in Bloomington  and is ‘saving’ the world of music and the Music Tree  (the pernambuco), one Berg Bow at a time.

And, then, comes the annual  Lotus World Music and Arts Festival which is held in downtown Bloomington and, last year, featured the  Pacific Curls  ;  ‘ the high energy trio of Kim Halliday, Ora Barlow, and Jessie Hindin ( who deliver) an eclectic and progressive mix of world roots music with Māori, Pacific and Celtic influences.’

Closer to home, as in closer to my home in Christchurch, there is performer and teacher Valerie Wycoff who has a Master of Music in Opera Performance from Indiana University , and who has been educating our young ones at the National Academy of Singing and Dramatic Art (NASDA) for over 10 years.

And I am sure there are many more of us in New Zealand who have associations with, or have benefited from, the music, theatre and performance that are nurtured in Bloomington, Indiana.

Perhaps, one day, Bloomington will host some of the fine  singers who participated last year at the  New Zealand Secondary Schools’  The Big Sing.

I love this piece by Dilworth’s Fortissimo at The Big Sing. It thrills my heart.

I don’t have a translation for the song but I don’t think that  matters. The language of song and music seems to be universal, with very few barriers; it opens more doors than it closes.

So welcome, come on in and listen:

listen to this non-New Zealand choir, at Slovakia Cantat 2012, singing the beautiful Maori song,  Nga Iwi E, by  Hirini Melbourne. This song  begins All you people! All you people! Be united as one, like the Pacific Ocean

(Nga Iwi E was apparently adopted by Greenpeace and sung on board the Rainbow Warrior during its protest against French Nuclear Testing at Mururoa Atoll.  Maybe we can sing it next for the pernambuco 🙂 )

 

 

 

 

 

© silkannthreades

Gorgeousness, plain and simple or Epiphanies, real and imagined, continued.

In my previous post on  Epiphanies I touched upon the theme of how we feel about the way we are dressed and how we imagine we are dressed, as opposed to the reality of how we are dressed. (So that’s what she was on about, you say 😉 ) Implicit in this theme, ( well,  implicit as I see it ), is the idea of how we feel about our body image.

Over the years of my lengthening life, I have led myself to believe that I am comfortable and happy in my own skin, but it occurred to me, after reading House of Bethan’s recent post on Gorgeousness  (aka this year my body will be gorgeous) that, perhaps, I was fooling myself about my relationship with my body image. After all, I don’t particularly like having my photo taken; I don’t particularly like looking in the mirror at myself; and I don’t like shopping for clothes, at all, and I don’t like wearing make-up or having my hair styled and fancified. I do  LIKE buying jewellery though; no worries there.

So I decided to *test* and *challenge* my body image feelings/confidence…..just a little…..by daring to display, to the  wide world, my style, or what passes for style in my wardrobe. And I discovered that even to do this was incredibly scary.

Glad Rags or Ordinaries

Glad Rags or Ordinaries

Incredibly scary because I come from a puritanical, Protestant tradition  that considered too much interest in physical appearance as  improper for a well brought up young lady. Feeling/being gorgeous , it was subtlely and quietly  implied,  was vainglorious, prideful and inappropriate for ordinary, every day persons… ( but perfectly okay for movie stars, princesses and Mother Mary, but not the plebs ). The ideal was to be modest, tidy, neat and plain, and to those standards I have been faithful most of my life….which probably explains why I have rarely, if ever, been complimented on gorgeousness. 😦  About the closest I have come to such compliments was during the years of  a very sweet and dear friendship with an elderly Italian gentleman; a professor of ophthalmology whom I met at Queen Elizabeth House at Oxford in 1979. Every time we met, no matter if it were the first or the third time in a day, the Professor would open wide his arms, bring one hand to his heart and exclaim with delight ” Cara, cara,  A……, Bella, bella A…..” and, then, take my hand and proclaim to anyone  within hearing distance how wonderful I was….the only person in Oxford whose English he could actually understand 🙂  Then we would sit, side by side, in the Common Room, sometimes discussing English words from his dictionary and, sometimes, just sitting, in the silent contentment of friends who need no words. It was gorgeous.

The Prof and I

The Prof and I

To honour that  long-ago time of  gorgeousness, and to acknowledge Bethan’s current day call to encourage us to live gorgeously in our bodies, ( and not merely comfortably and just so-so), here are some more  of my *being brave * photos of what  I will wear today:

the clothing, ( most of it gifted to me);

the accessories: the necklace;

the rings, the earrings and jewels for the wrists 🙂

Phew….so there you have it. Now I am off to flaunt (not)  my neat, tidy, plain and simple  gorgeousness at the supermarket; *ttfn* otherwise known as ta ta for now 🙂

© silkannthreades