I Found God in the Drums of ‘Boléro’

Listen to the music as you read – read it slowly, enjoy

Brad OH Inc.

Under the Green Desk Lamp…

Green Desklamp

This article is inspired by the classical piece ‘Boléro’ (Link), by Maurice Ravel (1875-1937) (Link). If you aren’t familiar with that piece, it should be considered required listening for the article to follow. You can find it here (Link).

I listened to this piece recently, and found an unexpected intensity within its plodding rhythm. I hadn’t put the song on for any specific reason, yet early in, I understood the depth of the moment I was having.

It should also be noted, perhaps, that I was at the time firmly entrenched in my (11th?) reading of J.R.R. Tolkien’s ‘The Silmarillion’ (Link), a book to which I ascribe particular inspiration. So you should probably read that, too.

Nonetheless, my revelation started with the first beat of that oh-so-familiar snare-drum. Described as an ‘ostinato’, the pulsing rhythm…

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Why I Pray for Paris – No I am not jumping on the bandwagon

Paris is one of the only international cities I have ever visited. I was only able to go because I won two tickets to anywhere Air Canada flies ~ 23 years ago.

My wife and I could only afford two weeks of travel and we decided that we wanted to spend it all in Paris. It was the right choice. It would be the first place that I would go back to in Europe, if I travel again.

Why?

It is one of the only truly cosmopolitan cities in the world. I can’t prove this to you, I can’t present wonderfully crafted arguments, Paris and Parisians are what they are. The only experience that I can compare it to is my first kiss. (Yes I am going there). The fear before hand, the hesitation – what if she doesn’t kiss me back – the timeless moment being held and holding while our young lovers lips touch. This is Paris for me. It will always be Paris for me.

At a time when everyone in North America was trying to wear the same shoes and same clothes, Parisians where individuals of choice. People being who they wanted to be, in fashion and attitude.

There is a fierceness that pervades the people of Paris. At that time Paris was one one of the most culturally diverse cities in the world. The Lebanon section had some of the finest Jazz music in the world. We went to the old Paris Opera house and watch a stunning modern ballet that someone fused the ancient brocade architecture of the building with the art of today. We went to New Paris Opera house and watched an achingly beautiful presentation of Carmen. We ate food on the right bank and left bank of the Seine, we walked and we walked and we walked. The metro system was a joy to use and beautiful to behold. We watched the Bastille Day parade with millions of Parisians and stood silent with them in respect as the President at the time Jacques Chirac passed by in an open jeep. The silence of a million people is deafening.

And then there is the Art. It breaks my heart to think about the beauty that I saw. I tried to fix it in my mind forever. But I can only remember trying to remember.

My hope for peace, close to me after this past remembrance day is sadly dying.

I pray for Paris, the secret love of my heart. I pray for the families and loved ones who were killed yesterday.

I pray for the return of hope for this world.

Remember

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My dad is third from the left. He fought for Canada in Korea. He is one reason why I take time to remember that those that have fallen in battle. Those that fought hoping and praying that their war would be the last war. He rarely spoke of his involvement in death and destruction and suffering that is war. War for him was not to be glamorized.

It is doubtful that we will ever experience what his generation did. While he did not fight in World War II he live through it. Imagine a war so fierce and resource demanding that the government requires you to turn in your cell phones to be used as metal for the war effort. Your WiFI must be turned off permanently or the enemy will use it for targeting and failure to do so labels you an enemy of the state. There are no fast food places. They have all been turned into factories to make supplies for the war effort. Texting doesn’t work because the towers and bandwidth are all used by the military. You can’t afford gas. Meat is a luxury item you get once a week. Sounds like a dystopian world that we don’t understand – like a story from a book. A fairy tale. A fairy tale where your friends and family die. Certainly not a glamorous life.

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. George Santayana

I must remember. I hope that you do to.
Be Well – dcd

N A N O W R I M O 2 0 1 5 P A R T D E U

Way behind this year, like way, way behind. Made it to the second write-in. However, I clearly understand how very little I know about mysteries. Every time I write a sentence, thousands of questions jump out of my mind. Like, if an adult child dies and the parents are still alive and are broke, but the will states that all the money goes to a  charity. Are parents entitled to money? So confusing? How long in real time do all the tests and lab reports take. So many questions, fortunately  I work for a law firm now… le sigh!

How far behind – about half of what I should be. But I have a plan a cunning plan! An update with an excerpt later.

Be Well – dcd

NaNoWriMo 2015

It has taken me much longer to get back to writing from my full time job change. This past April I left a company after seven years of service. I moved back into the world of day to day IT work from working as specialist in Radiology Imaging software and hardware. In hindsight I believe that the job change was good for all sides: the company I left, the company that I went to and oddly, myself. It is a rare occurrence in my life to have a win, win, win.

The result for me is that I have not been writing, at all. (With the exception of some political rants during the Canadian Election). I have been thinking about writing a lot. I have been reading about writing and following the missives from the writing groups that I participate in. To the “Scruffies” and Edmonton Writer’s Group I am thankful for the communications. I did attend when When Words Collide 2015. This did help me stay at least somewhat in touch with writing.

And now its NaNo Time! I good way to get back to writing. Even if I don’t succeed, It will get all the juices going again. The most important aspect for me is the return of the daily habit of writing. If you are going to be a writer, I firmly believe that you need to me writing something daily. And so I am off today to the first event of the Edmonton WriMo’s events, a write-in:

WHERE: Stanley A. Milner Library (7 Sir Winston Churchill Square). It will be in the Edmonton Room, which is in the basement of the library, so head down the stairs (or up the stairs from the Pedway) and there will be signs to point you in the right direction.

So if you are writing NaNo in the Edmonton Area come on down! The statistics show that if you attend the all the “Write Ins” you have a much better chance in succeeding in the challenge.

What am I writing? I am glad you asked. “The Yoga Murders”, a Key Club Ladies Mystery. Never tried a mystery before.

Teaser: Arriving early to a Yoga Class, three work friends discover the body of a dead man stuck in the Downward Dog pose. With one of them a possible suspect it is up to the Key Club Girls to prove her innocence and solve the mystery.

My thoughts on preparing for conferences

A Quick Stream of Consciousness blog on conference prep

Read this list one bullet at a time – SLOWLY – in place of the bullet say your name

  • schedule a time within 7 days AFTER the conference to go over you notes to correct and organize – schedule one hour of every day you attend – you may need less – for this conference I have schedule 3 hours over two days the Tuesday and Wednesday I get back
  • Define Goals – Don’t be vague. Example – One of my goals this year is to send out 3 tweets a day. (I almost never tweet, like one a month)
  • Get an early copy of the program and  have a plan, but don’t force yourself to rigidly stick to it
  • bring a Tide to Go Stick
  • Hydrate – AC is a conference attenders biggest enemy. Rooms are cooled by removing moisture from the air…you do the math
  • Carry snacks – my go to snacks are apples, almonds and good granola bars (not chocolate bars)
  • Eat breakfast, I don’t care if you never eat breakfast, eat breakfast, Oatmeal or Fruit/yogurt/granola
  • Water, or a sports drink – not pop
  • Dental floss or dental picks
  • Try and limit your coffee consumption. This is VERY HARD, dare i SAY  IMFRICKINPOssible for me.
  • Deodorant
  • No aftershave
  • Antacid – I take Gavscon – that’s what I like
  • Power outlets are your friend
  • Don’t be afraid to say hello to a stranger, it may be Brandon Sanderson
  • Ask questions
  • Thank people, especially the volunteers
  • Take notes, there is no way you can remember everything you want to remember at the conference, find out if there are notes available for sessions.
  • Find the nearest local grocery store and stock your fridge
  • Napping is fine, use the alarm on your phone to wake you up
  • Laugh – enjoy the humor
  • There are two sides to writing – creative and editing – feed both sides of your writing at the conference – you will thank me later
  • Buy Books – bring cash – small publishers get more money in their pockets – get recommendations from the small publishers.
  • Take the free stuff, go over it when you get home
  • Expect to be super-saturated – there is nothing wrong with being overloaded with information, it will stretch your little grey cells

/End of the list

My goals: 3 tweets a day (already mentioned), volunteer at the conference (3 x 2 hour sessions booked), Eat healthy, Blog every day about the sessions I attend every day, thank Randy McCharles (Done!)