Les Petite Bonheurs

~ all the little things that make each day a miracle ~

Sunday, February 25, 2007

A swan-like end, fading in music...

~Portia in Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice

Anna Pavlova

The Silver Swan Madrigal by Orlando Gibbons:
The silver swan, who living had no note,
When death approached, unlocked her silent throat.
Leaning her breast upon the reedy shore,
Thus sang her first and last, and sang no more:
"Farewell, all joys! O death, come close mine eyes!
"More geese than swans now live, more fools than wise."

To leave a place is to die a little.~French proverb

Arrivederci, amici! Adieu, mes amis!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy St. Valentine's Day!

Romeo and Juliet by Sir Frank Dicksee (1884)

Sonnet 116
Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.
~William Shakespeare (1564 - 1616)

Valentine's Day began during the Roman Empire. Juno, the Queen of the Roman Gods and Goddesses, was honored on February 14th in ancient Rome. Juno was also known as the Goddess of women and marriage. February 15th was the Feast of Lupercalia. Boys and girls were segregated during this time in history, but name-drawing, on the eve of Lupercalia, paired children for a year. Often, these pairs would fall in love and, later, marry.

Rome was involved in many bloody battles, under the rule of Emperor Claudius II, also known as Claudius the Cruel. Claudius was having a difficult time getting soldiers to join his armies because the Roman men did not want to leave their beloveds or families. Because of this, Claudius cancelled all marriages and engagements.

Saint Valentine was a priest in Rome during this time. He helped Christian martyrs and married couples secretly. Saint Valentine was captured and dragged before the Prefect of Rome, who condemned him to death. He was clubbed to death and beheaded. His martyrdom occurred on February 14, 270 A. D.

Early Christian pastors in Rome attempted to substitute saints' names for those of maidens and changed Lupercalia to Saint Valentine's Day. The custom of young men choosing maidens for valentines, or saints as patrons for the coming year, thus came about.

Here is what I learned about love today:
God has given me a devoted husband who is the joy of my life.
God has protected one dear daughter on her Valentine's Day trip to Rome.
He has given me the chance to spend tomorrow evening catching up with another precious daughter while shopping for a dress for her upcoming solo recital at her university.
He has blessed me with a son who called to invite me to Mother's Day weekend at his university.
He has given me time to relax and enjoy reading two chapters of The Courage of Sarah Noble to my youngest four children.
He has blessed my family with the upcoming birth of our first grandchild and the anticipation of watching a dear daughter and son-in-law grace this precious blessing with their loving care.
He has given me time and energy to comfort and tend to a sweet, athletic son who is ill, and who appreciated a Valentine teddy bear holding a football more than I would have imagined.
He has surrounded me with friends and family who inspire and edify.
He has arranged things so that I might see my darling mother and amazing sister this weekend.
He has given me a teenage daughter who just hung a family game night schedule on the frig which instructed us to bring "games, soda, and happiness" to the event.
He has given me the time to watch a fine son (attending yet another college!) sketch an amazing drawing while teaching his youngest sister about chiaroscuro.
He has given me music in my home - tonight, some lovely Texas Western fiddle and Welsh harp pieces.
He has given me a daughter who, even after becoming a leader in business and a diplomat with a heart of gold, continues to take her role as eldest daughter and sister most seriously.
I learned that love is counting my blessings, naming them one by one, and being filled with gratitude.

Happy Valentine's Day to you and your beloved(s)!

Thursday, February 08, 2007

She holds Trikonasana pose at the Seastacks.

Triangle pose is a yoga posture that improves every muscle, joint, tendon and internal organ in the body while revitalizing the nerves, veins, and tissues. Calm and inspire yourself as you find stillness, strength, balance, and flexibility in the body and mind.

May you take joy as you find yoga in every moment!


Monday, January 15, 2007

Happy Anniversary Of Your Birthday, Roxanne!

Roxanne is an artistic, vibrant, and prolific blogger whose marvelous mosaic of photographs and quotations provide her loyal readers with daily inspiration. She is not only the mother of the incredible Nyssa, but, a pathologist and devoted daughter and sister. We share favorite composers, Beethoven and Bach, and a best loved artist, Caravaggio. We are mutual and devoted fans of Vicki's esteemed blog, Outside In, and I thank Vicki for introducing me to the magnificent Mélange! Apparently, Roxanne's extraordinarily handsome photos will soon be delighting our senses even more, thanks to her brother's perfectly chosen gift!

Because Roxanne shares a birthday with Martin Luther King and has a special reason for loving opera, I humbly post an MLK Day tribute to the great operatic contralto,
Marian Anderson.

Marian Anderson as photographed by Richard Avedon

Sometimes I feel discouraged and think my work’s in vain,
But then the Holy Spirit revives my soul again.
There is a balm in Gilead to make the wounded whole;
There is a balm in Gilead to heal the sin sick soul.

If you cannot preach like Peter, if you cannot pray like Paul,
You can tell the love of Jesus and say, "He died for all."
There is a balm in Gilead to make the wounded whole;
There is a balm in Gilead to heal the sin sick soul.

Don’t ever feel discouraged, for Jesus is your friend;
And if you lack for knowledge, He’ll never refuse to lend.
There is a balm in Gilead to make the wounded whole;
There is a balm in Gilead to heal the sin sick soul.
~There Is a Balm in Gilead/African American Spiritual

Bonnie and Roxanne by Caravaggio
(Mary Magdalene Condemning Martha's Vanity)*
Detroit Institute of Art
*It's your birthday, Roxanne - I'm Martha.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year!

These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.~John 16:33

On the eighth day of Christmas my true love gave to me ~ eight maids-a-milking!
What a lovely way to remember the eight beatitudes from Matthew 5:3-12:

Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven

Blessed are they who mourn,
for they shall be comforted

Blessed are the meek,
for they shall possess the earth

Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for justice,
for they shall be satisfied

Blessed are the merciful,
for they shall obtain mercy

Blessed are the pure of heart,
for they shall see God

Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they shall be called sons of God

Blessed are they who suffer persecution for justice sake,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven

The Milkmaid by Jan Vermeer (c. 1600)

Beatitudo is Latin for happiness. I wish you happiness and blessedness, even in times of tribulation, in the New Year and always!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

O come, o come, Immanuel!

The Song of the Angels by William Bouguereau 1881

From Heaven above to earth I come,
To bear good news to every home;
Glad tidings of great joy I bring,
Whereof I now will say and sing.

To you, this night, is born a Child
Of Mary, chosen mother mild;
This tender Child of lowly birth,
Shall be the joy of all your earth.

’Tis Christ our God, Who far on high
Had heard your sad and bitter cry;
Himself will your Salvation be,
Himself from sin will make you free.

He brings those blessings long ago
Prepared by God for all below;
That in His heavenly kingdom blest
You may with us forever rest.

These are the tokens ye shall mark,
The swaddling clothes and manger dark;
There shall ye find the young Child laid,
By Whom the heavens and earth were made.

Now let us all, with gladsome cheer,
Follow the shepherds, and draw near
To see this wondrous Gift of God,
Who hath His own dear Son bestowed.

Give heed, my heart, lift up thine eyes!
What is it in yon manger lies?
Who is this Child, so young and fair?
The blessèd Christ Child lieth there!

Welcome to earth, Thou noble Guest,
Through Whom e’en wicked men are blest!
Thou com’st to share our misery,
What can we render, Lord, to Thee!

Ah, Lord, Who hast created all,
How hast Thou made Thee weak and small,
To lie upon the coarse dry grass,
The food of humble ox and ass.

Were earth a thousand times as fair,
Beset with gold and jewels rare,
She yet were far too poor to be
A narrow cradle, Lord, for Thee.

For velvets soft and silken stuff
Thou hast but hay and straw so rough,
Whereon Thou King, so rich and great,
As ’twere Thy heaven, art throned in state.

Thus hath it pleased Thee to make plain
The truth to us, poor fools and vain,
That this world’s honor, wealth and might
Are naught and worthless in Thy sight.

Ah, dearest Jesus, holy Child,
Make Thee a bed, soft, undefiled,
Here in my poor heart’s inmost shrine,
That I may evermore be Thine.

My heart for very joy doth leap,
My lips no more can silence keep,
I too must sing, with joyful tongue,
That sweetest ancient cradle song.

Glory to God in highest Heaven,
Who unto man His Son hath given,
While angels sing, with pious mirth,
A glad New Year to all the earth.

~Martin Luther

Saturday, November 04, 2006

God did not create hurry. ~Finnish proverb

No time for politics...

The Music Lesson by Frederic Leighton (1877)

...no time for blogging.

Farewell, God's Peace, and may you find yoga in every moment!

About Me

My photo
I live on a forested mountain with my beloved husband and our large family. Less is more, except where children are concerned. My favorite pastimes are practicing yoga on my side deck, learning how to improvise on the cello, and boating into the Puget Sound with my sweetheart.