Tag Archives: music

Let There Be Music!…….

Yes indeed!  Let there be music!  This gift that we call music brings into our lives so much that is good and pure and beautiful.  Music brings freedom to our spirit and gives nourishment to our soul, yes?  I cannot tell you how many times that I have been laid low by circumstances, my hopes crushed and my heart tired, no longer caring what may befall me in the days to come.  But then Life itself sends to me a song, oftentimes  one that I’d not heard in quite some time and one that breathes a refreshing into my being and provides to me a reminder that Life is indeed for living.  The melody whispers to me that I must give it yet another go for it is not over until we ourselves give up and give in.  Friends, I say to you today that this is the truth of it.  If music and melody were to be taken from this world, its soul would wither and whatever goodness we have as individuals and as a people would die.  I myself would be emotionally lost were there no longer the sweet taste of symphony within me.

Let there be music!  What brought me into this arena of thought today was due to a visit to my dear Mom yesterday.  She is a woman of many years and I am blessed that she and my own good Dad are still around these days.  Be aware that many are unable to make that claim and if your parents are still in this world, be sure to appreciate this fact.  Better still, let them know it.  Knowledge and cognition mean little if not acted upon and that in good measure.  And if there be differences between your folks and yourselves, then mend those fences.  In doing so, your life and theirs can only become better.  This is because the gift of forgiveness is one that is complete.  By this, I mean that forgiveness heals the one who receives the gift but it also heals and frees the party who offers that forgiveness as well.  I felt that important to mention just now.  Let us now get back to that other gift, that of music, yes?

As I was saying, I went, as I do to visit my Mom yesterday.  She resides in a home for those who are older these days.  It is a very nice place and it is evident that those who are responsible for the care of the residents at this institution have a heart-felt devotion to these folks.  I am very grateful for this since this cannot be said of so many other places such as this.  However, living in someplace that is not the home one was used to is an adjustment for anyone who was used to a life that was more independent and free.  Such is the case of my own dear Mom who has her days, as the saying goes.  Some days are good and some are better than others.  Well, yesterday was one of the not-as-good days and when I arrived, my Mom’s spirit was quietly tired.  She was glad to see me and she did say so.  But the light in her eyes was absent and her smile was not strong.  Allow me to say that when I go to visit, my goal forever and always is to cause my Mom to laugh and to smile.  I often act the fool by putting my hat on backwards and slipping into some silly character that I seem to make up on the spur of the moment.  Or I may bring an imaginary friend into the room and try to bring her into a conversation with this invisible fellow.  But what seems most effective is when I decide to let there be music!  Whether I am singing the theme song from the Beverly Hillbillies or that very old song “A Bicycle Built For Two”, it is the gift of music that brings a fresh vitality and life into the eyes of my dear mother……..Which brings me to the events of my visit last evening.  My usual antics were only bringing a limited success where my Mom was concerned and this simply would not do!  Laughter and smiles, as we all know are a key essential for the health and well-being of any and all who still have breath in their body.  Given this, I wondered to myself what avenues were open and available that I may lift the heart of my Mom and cause her to smile.  I began a conversation with her about the importance of this act of smiling and its benefits and that is when my mind caught up with me.  I remembered the old song written by Charlie Chaplin entitled “Smile” .  That particular song has been performed by so many but perhaps my favorite rendition was done by Jimmy Durante, a fellow that the young of today may not even be able to recall.  Mr. Durante brought much feeling into this song and I believe Mr. Chaplin would’ve been honored by his performance of the same.

Let me say that I had my trusty iPhone with me while visiting my Mom last night.  I will also state here that I am not a big fan of technology, at least not in the level at which it has taken over our society.  People are forgetting how to interact, how to even carry on conversations anymore.  I see it each day and it is more than a bit disconcerting, to be honest.  But that is not our subject of discussion tonight, is it?  So, suffice to say I was grateful for this fancy telephone yesterday evening.  It was a simple matter to, via my device go onto YouTube and find a number of corresponding videos highlighting the wonderful music of Jimmy Durante……which included that grand song “Smile!”  If you’ve not heard it, you owe it to yourself for the words will embrace your heart and cause you to soar!   Perhaps my favorite verse of this song is “If you smile through your fear and sorrow, Smile and maybe tomorrow, You’ll see the sun come shinin” through for you…..If you’ll just smile.”  These are more than simply words, my friends.  They are words that carry with them the elements of Power, Promise and most importantly they bring to Life’s table the gift of Hope for the word Hope defined is “the expectation of the good to come.”  You see, to live without Hope is to die everyday.  And believe me, there are many of us who have spent too many days dying.

Well friends, I played that song for my Mom and when I did so, Hope, Power and Promise strode into my mother’s room and sat with her on the bed.  I had the privilege of watching my Mom transform as her eyes became bright with tears and with a beautiful light.  I watched as a smile returned to her face and listened as she spoke, saying how beautiful this music was as the lyrics filled her heart.  I took her hands then and asked my Mom to dance.  Her face saddened for a moment as she said she could not do so.  You see, walking is no longer option for this sweet woman.  I told her then the truth, that the act of dancing lay within our spirit and heart and had really nothing to do with anything physical.  She smiled then and accepted my invitation to become a part of the music that night.  It was something to behold, to see her smile and even laugh as the music played on.  It will be always on film in the theater of my mind.  The gift of music given to each of us is always present.  It presents to us inspiration and growth as well as preservation of all that is good.  Music and melody bring to us the symphony of our world, good folks.  Embrace and enfold it within and feel its wonder!  Then release that wonder back into our world for it is wonder that we lack today.  Let there be music and allow your heart to sing!”

 

Authored by William J. Thompson, Jr.

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Life is Grand, Ain’t It?

Good evening to all!  I pray that all those who view these words here and everyone else as well has had a tremendously blessed day.  And I would further trust that you have blessed others in return.  As for the title of this little piece I am writing, I will tell you that I have not forgotten the value, the necessity of proper speech.  To be quite honest, it pained me a bit to use the word “ain’t” because as we all know, “ain’t” ain’t a word!  I will further confess that it was a cheap ploy to hopefully gain your attention here.  However, those first three words there are very much the truth.  Life is indeed grand!  I was going over the various things that I have posted here and discovered something.  Well, it wasn’t so much a discovery , I suppose.  I know myself fairly well and the fact that I gravitate towards the serious is no secret to me.  I am passionate about things, about injustice in our world and about regaining the greatness of our nation, about people coming to know the beauty that is within them and about so many other things.  Given all of this, I sometimes in the midst of being intense, forget about the simple joys that are so abundant in this world.

There is so much to smile at and give thanks for each precious day that we are alive.  For example, did you feel the rays of the Sun today as it gently warmed you?  Smile and give thanks!  What is that you say?  There was no Sun for you and it rained most of the day?  Then smile and give thanks to the heavens for giving to us once again the water that sustains us all.  And perhaps better still, do as you did as a child and turn your face upward to feel those rain drops upon your skin.  Then smile and give thanks for the gift of this miraculous liquid sunshine!  For Life is indeed grand!

Take a moment or two out of your day here and ruminate on the grandeur of Life.  And if some of you are grumbling, saying, “Oh, if you knew what my day has been like, then maybe you wouldn’t even suggest such a thing.  I was stuck in traffic for an hour and arrived to work late and the day went downhill from there!”  Hmmmmmmm……So, you did arrive to work which means you are still breathing, yes?  Take a deep breath even now so as to be sure.  But I want you to savor that breath, really feel that breath and realize the miracle of it.  Now, smile and give thanks for being alive.  That is my suggestion for you on this beautiful day.  There is a line from a Mel Brooks movie that my dear brother reminds me of now and again and here it is  –  “There are so many things you can’t do when you’re dead!”  A bit boldly stated for my taste but very much the truth.  Think about those words.  In fact, print them out and place them where you will see them often.  For Life is indeed grand!

Did someone send a smile your way as you walked down the street today?  And how about the person who held the door open for you because they noticed that your hands were quite full?  And what of that dog or cat that greets you each day, freely giving you their love and affection when you walk in the door?  And do you remember seeing that elderly couple in the store today?  Remember how you smiled when you noticed that they were still holding hands after all those years?  Smile and give thanks for Life is indeed grand!  And earlier today, when you were having that particularly stressful moment and that one song that always brightens your day came on the radio and for those few moments, things became just a bit easier to handle?  My friend, these are all small but precious gifts that Life provides us with each and every day.  If we take the time to notice and appreciate these and the countless other occurrences throughout our day, we will begin to realize that Life is indeed grand!

I should tell you that there was a catalyst that brought about my train of thought here.  Actually there were two incidents that gave me pause and made me think, really think about the grandeur of Life.  The first incident was when a few weeks ago, someone in my immediate family had a series of mini-strokes. And in actuality, the “mini-strokes” were a blessing, as odd as that may sound.  I suppose one could say it was the difference between getting punched in the arm a number of times or getting one swift, hard uppercut to the jaw.  The swift uppercut to the jaw would have obviously been the worst of the two.  There has been much prayer obviously and add to this the fact that this individual is a fighter and the result is a rather substantial recovery thus far.  This has caused me to remember that Life is indeed grand!  It is all too easy to get caught up in our life and forget about Life itself, yes?

There is also someone I know who is very dear to my heart who recently lost a loved one.  It is a difficult time for them, I know.  And strangely enough, this person is steadfastly giving words of encouragement to others throughout this ordeal.  It amazes me, to be quite honest.  This was the other incident I spoke of previously.  These are the reasons why I am realizing afresh and anew that you and I, that all of us need to savor every precious moment of every wonderful day and to be aware of the many gifts and blessings that surround us always.  My desire is that we consistently smile and give thanks for Life is indeed grand!

Thank you for your kind attention this evening.  Take care, be blessed and live Life abundantly!

Authored by William J. Thompson, Jr.

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Ode To Mom

She has a fine heart, one with kindness and with caring.

It’s warmth can be felt by all those who know her.

Her eyes are expressive, they have depth yet they sparkle.

They reflect contemplation and her spirit within.

Her laughter, like music, a pleasure to hear.

It floats in the air and makes others smile.

Her voice is a mystery, it is strong, yet still gentle.

Her words carry merit for all that will hear.

Words of life, love and wisdom for those that she cares for.

Her strength is a quiet one, not boastful or loud,

developed through time and has brought her thus far.

Her manner is conservative, yet not overly so.

It has flexibility and brings with it humor.

Her ears, they do listen, with discernment, compassion.

They hear in an effort to help the one speaking.

Her talents are varied.  Of this, I trust she is aware.

Many things have I learned from the Mother I know.

I’ve the knowledge of life skills, to cope in this world.

These things, they were taught me by the Mother I love.

But I’ve learned things much smaller which have value too.

What things do I speak of?  I will tell you just now.

I speak of cooking and sewing. I speak of boxing as well.

As a lad, I learned much, countless lessons to be sure,

from the woman, my Mother whose character shows here.

These words I’ve penned here are a tribute to you, Mom.

I wanted to tell you and speak best when I write.

 

Your son, Billy

 

Authored by William J. Thompson, Jr.

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Laugh Always!

Do you know what the problem is with most folks today?  And to clarify, by “folks” I mean grown-ups.  The problem of which I speak is not a mystery really.  By and large, grown-ups (or adults, if you prefer) no longer laugh.  It seems they have forgotten how to do so.  Laughter is one of Life’s fundamentals.  But somewhere along the way in our journey to adulthood, we become grim and feel the need to be serious about our life all the time!  And in order to be serious, laughter and a happy Spirit must be put up and away on the top shelf and into the darkest of corners.  Consequently, our wide grins and our big smiles, our chuckles and laughter which we once experienced many times daily seem to fade out as we become “responsible adults”.  Happiness, humor and a care free spirit gives way to stress, worry and an often heavy heart, weighed down by the cares of Life.  I paint an accurate picture of so many of us, yes?  And that is simply how the Wheel of Life turns round and round. It is the way of the world, as they say.  Is this not correct?  To this I say, No, no and no once more!!  Nothing could be further from the truth!  This is simply the Big Lie that society has forced upon us.  I say to you this……Laugh Always!  As children, it was a natural, unstoppable reaction.  You remember, don’t you?  If not, make it a point to listen to the children around you.  You will hear it then……the laughter of a child which is purity expressed in its simplest form……unbridled happiness!  This is what we, the grown-ups of this world are lacking.  Laughter has become something that feels unnatural for so many adults today and this should not be so.

Allow me please to pose a question to you.  When would be the last time you laughed?  And I don’t mean the polite laughter that is deemed as proper by so many these days.  I am speaking of genuine laughter, the deep-down, from the gut,side-splitting laughter.  The kind of laughter where you laugh so hard that the tears run down your cheeks like rain and when you try to stop, even beg to stop, you cannot stop.  And those around you begin laughing even if they don’t really know why because laughter is contagious, as you well know.  And why is it contagious you might ask?  I believe I know why.  See if this answer rings true.  It is because Laughter is a gift, one where your heart and your Spirit join in on the chorus which causes one to desire to sing just one more verse and then another.  Laughter comes from deep within the soul and flows outward and upward like a special kind of music with lyrics all its own. You see, Laughter is the music of our soul and those around us are drawn to music always.  That is what my heart and spirit tells me to be so.

Oh and remember something else as well.  Remember when you would laugh and when the laughter finally wound it self down?  As the tears of laughter dried upon your cheeks and the soreness in your stomach ebbed away, how did you feel afterward?  Go ahead….say it!  You felt good, almost cleansed really.  Laughter does that for you, for us.  That is why it is a gift, you see.  So, for the sake of yourself and those you love as well as for the sake of our world which needs our laughter, please Laugh long, loud and always!! May you blessed in your joy and laughter, my friends!

Authored by William J. Thompson, Jr.

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