Flittering, fluttering, butterfly wings One of life’s wonders such beautiful things Alighting on flowers and floating on high Painting new portraits way up in the sky Some look like tigers and some look like eyes There’s so much to see as the butterfly flies You may be surprised at the height they can soar Six […]
Here is another lovely fragment from Mala of the Heart, this time by Hafiz of Persia (Iran). It reminds me of the need and mutual benefit of kindness in the world. God blooms from the shoulder of the elephant who becomes courteous to the ant. *** Hafiz (ca. 1320-1389) was born in the garden city of Shiraz. It is said that after the early […]
I remember a long ago teacher warning all of her pupils never to use the word NICE because it wasn’t a proper word, It wasn’t nice!
The derivation is rather strange:
Middle English (in the sense ‘stupid’): from Old French, from Latin nescius ‘ignorant’, from nescire ‘not know’. Other early senses included ‘coy, reserved’, giving rise to ‘fastidious, scrupulous’: this led both to the sense ‘fine, subtle’ (regarded by some as the ‘correct’ sense), and to the main current senses.
However, I rather like the word, and I shall use it because I think it is NICE.
Now, it just so happens that I knew what an Oud was, but I wanted to know where the instrument originated from so I entered the long and dark tunnel known as Google, and then Wikipedia, and this is part of what I found:
The first known complete description of the ‛ūd and its construction is found in the epistle Risāla fī-l-Luḥūn wa-n-Nagham by 9th-century Philosopher of the Arabs Yaʻqūb ibn Isḥāq al-Kindī. Kindī’s description stands thus:
“[and the] length [of the ‛ūd] will be: thirty-six joint fingers – with good thick fingers – and the total will amount to three ashbār.[Notes 1] And its width: fifteen fingers. And its depth seven and a half fingers. And the measurement of the width of the bridge with the remainder behind: six fingers. Remains the length of the strings: thirty fingers and on these strings take place the division and the partition, because it is the sounding [or “the speaking”] length. This is why the width must be [of] fifteen fingers as it is the half of this length. Similarly for the depth, seven fingers and a half and this is the half of the width and the quarter of the length [of the strings]. And the neck must be one third of the length [of the speaking strings] and it is: ten fingers. Remains the vibrating body: twenty fingers. And that the back (soundbox) be well rounded and its “thinning” (kharţ) [must be done] towards the neck, as if it had been a round body drawn with a compass which was cut in two in order to extract two ‛ūds“.
I just love that language. It is so much better than modern idioms, youth speak, or Essex garbage. That, in itself, is worthy of NICE.
But (and my favourite teacher would be horrified that I started a sentence with but) I then went on to discover this absolute gem of music, and this is REALLY NICE.
So, not only do we have a nice review of a nice film from the nice Geoff Le Pard but we also have some really nice descriptive language, followed by some very nice music.
I think this deserves a new occasional series of NICE things. I hope it gifts you a smile today.
Yesterday the sky was filled with dark grey clouds and it looked very unlikely that I should get to see the annular eclipse. If we were lucky, people across the UK would be treated to views of a crescent sun as the moon appeared to partially block out the sun. In other parts of the world the “ring of fire” would be visible from places such as Canada, Greenland and northern Russia.
I was kitted out with polarised lenses for my glasses, and with my trusty camera. The only problem was that although I can look directly towards the sun with my lenses attached I cannot then see the screen of my camera so it was a case of lenses on, look at the sun, lenses off, look at the camera – repeat ad infinitum. I do not have a tripod – a lack I will have to address!
Here are the results: (My camera time is one hour behind)
But that’s not strictly true. Some people are mute, they never ever speak audibly.
Ah yes, there is a point there, but did you note the subtle nicety that, although someone cannot speak, they can still be ‘heard’.
That can only be a good thing. Everyone should be able to have their voice heard, but we all know that all voices are not equal.
But what can we do about that?
We can carry on speaking, making our voices heard, even when we think our voice is inaudible.
We have to speak the truth. We have to speak the love. We have to speak the beauty. We have to speak the peace. We have to speak the forgiveness. We have to speak the reconciliation.
I have never before watched a Presidential Inauguration all the way through, as it happened. Yesterday I did, and I am glad that I did. There was much common sense, much compassion, and great reason for hope.
Did you hear Amanda Gorman’s poem? Amanda, America’s Youth Poet Laureate, gave a stunning oration and, at the age of only 22, spoke better than the majority of politicians do nowadays. Her words embody the hopes and dreams of all right-thinking people. She is smart, bright, articulate. A lady to watch, learn from, and encourage to do wondrous things in the future.
Her final words spoke volumes, and should speak to all the world, not just to America. Her voice, and ours are voices to be heard.
When day comes, we step out of the shade aflame and unafraid. The new dawn blooms as we free it.
Jim Adams’ Song Lyric Sunday gives us the chance to share familiar, and sometimes not so familiar, songs. Jim has given us Odor /Scent /Smell /Taste this week to be included in the title or lyrics.
If you fancy sharing one of your favourite songs you can find out how to participate, and also listen to all the great entries, here.
This week I’m pondering on the final concert, and the final public performance, of The Beatles, Paul and Linda McCartney’s move to the Mull of Kintyre, and the beauty of that part of the world. I was fortunate to live in the Outer Hebrides for two years, based in Ballivanich, on the Isle of Benbecula. Wild, sparsely populated, enduring some tremendously strong winds and wild weather but beautiful, captivating, and instilling a sort of desert fever in those who are lucky enough to experience it.
The Beatles’ final paid concert of their career took place on 29 August 1966 at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, California. The band played to an audience of 25,000, leaving 7,000 tickets unsold. They had become disillusioned with live performances, singing the same songs time and again, unable to hear themselves playing. They had upset many fans with John’s statement that The Beatles were more popular than Jesus.
The Beatles’ rooftop concert on 30 January 1969 marked the end of an era for many fans. The group did record one more album, Abbey Road — on which work started the following month — but by September 1969 the Beatles had unofficially disbanded.
To save some money from the taxman and as a bolt hole from Beatlemania, Paul had, encouraged by then girlfriend Jane Asher, bought High Park Farm in Campbeltown, near Argyll’s Mull of Kintyre in 1968. But it was only when newly married to American Linda Eastman in 1969 that he decided to make it a home.
He said: “Going up to Scotland was real freedom. It was an escape – our means of finding a new direction in life and having time to think about what we really wanted to do.”
The farm, which was rustic to say the least, would become home to Linda’s daughter Heather and the couple’s first child Mary. Stella, now a top fashion designer, arrived in 1971.
But it was also the place where Paul’s next music project was born.
The new expanded editions of Wild Life and Red Rose Speedway include never-before-seen pictures of the McCartneys’ life in Campbeltown, which in time would inspire his love letter to the area – Mull of Kintyre – a 1977 Christmas No1.
They released the album ‘Ram’ together in 1971 and formed the band Wings in the same year. The couple were also nominated for an Oscar for their song ‘Live And Let Die’, the theme tune for the 1973 Bond film of the same name.
“When she came to Britain and we got to together the greatest thing about it was we both wanted to be free. We did what we wanted and she took pictures of it all.”
Linda McCartney died after a battle with breast cancer on April 17, 1998. She was 56 years old.
The video shows some great examples of the free and easy life in their dream home. A great place to raise their children, grow their own food, ride in deserted areas (UK horseriders may note they use American style saddles and tack), and generally enjoy life.
The song aint bad either!
If you want to see more then there is some lovely pics, and music, at the bottom of the lyrics.
Today, as most days are, was a beautiful day. It doesn’t have to be sunny, or warm, or special, it was just beautiful.
I was alive when I woke up, that’s always a good start.
I ate breakfast, hung out some washing, fed the cat, washed the dishes, had a (please pardon the expression; it is crude, but adequately describes nearly every morning, and dates from army days) shit, shave, shower, and shampoo. I went for a walk. Talked to the trees, to spiders, to dogs and cats, and to a couple of humans.
I returned home, had a coffee, and started to read the blogs that I follow. Now, I follow far fewer blogs than (supposedly) follow me. I do, however, attempt to read every single post of every single person that I follow. I like every one of these, but choose fewer to comment on. It is very time consuming, but I enjoy it, and that, surely, is what life is all about!