My Lazy Days of Winter

      

      

“Inspiration is a guest that does not willingly visit the lazy.”-Tchaikovsky

It has been 4 days since my last posting. Just didn’t know what to write about. Life has been OK, no emergencies…Mom’s doing all right, though she’s been in the house for weeks due to the weather and the mountains of snow; yet she doesn’t complain. As long as I always have library books for her and she does her daily crossword puzzle, she’s not bored. How lucky I am that she has never been a demanding person who needs to be entertained. Speaking of Mom, I’ve written before on the time she took me uptown to see a panel discussion on Civil Rights in the early 60s at the NY Society for Ethical Culture. The society is over 100 years old. I definitely remember Sydney Poitier and Harry Belafonte being on the panel and I think James Baldwin also was there among others. Well, today is Mr. Poitier’s 87th birthday!!!  I remember mom and I going to the movies to see “Lilies of the Field” and singing “Amen” along with Sydney Poitier and the nuns. I’ve seen every one of his movies. Today also marks the death of the great Frederick Douglass in 1895. It was a sudden death after having a very nice and productive day at a Women’s Rights conference. Folksinger, Buffy Sainte-Marie was born today in 1941. Always loved her music.

So, I found a little inspiration today to do my blog posting! Yay!

Hope all are well out there in WordPress Land!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synonyms for Literate: Educated, Well-Read, Informed

 

“What’s Another Word for Thesaurus?”-Steven Wright, American Comic

How many of us have a worn paperback or hardback copy of Roget’s Thesaurus?   I know I do…somewhere. Roget’s Thesaurus and a dictionary were always by my side growing up and came in so handy. Today I learned that Peter Mark Roget, who took 12 years to compile the thesaurus, was born today in London in 1779. Dr. Roget accomplished quite a few things, “the log slide rule, which included a scale displaying the logarithm of the logarithm in 1815;”about.cominventors    and “He was the first to notice something called “persistence of vision” — the illusion of movement when looking at a series of still photographs in rapid succession — which formed the basis for future motion picture technology.”The Writer’s Almanac

The Greek word for “treasure” is thesaurus; I can only imagine how Roget must’ve valued, appreciated, treasured his project once it was completed for all the world to use and use they did….it is still in print and online.

Joan Baez wrote and sang: “Then give me another word for it  You who are so good with words”Diamonds and Rust   Hey, did Bobby use a thesaurus?????

 

 

  

Friday’s Fragments…A Little of This and a Little of That

Let’s Give Them Something to Talk About.”-Shirley Eikhard

 Today we celebrate words in literature, words in music, words in journalism and words in the world of television. As writer, Theodore Dreiser, who was born today in 1900 said, “”How true it is that words are but the vague shadows of the volumes we mean. Little audible links, they are, chaining together great inaudible feelings and purposes.”

How true those words ring out as we think of the African American actress, Esther Rolle, born today in 1920 (though I’ve also seen her DOB as 1922) who played the mother on the hit TVshow, Good Times. When Ms Rolle was offered that part, she told the producers, “I couldn`t compound the lie that Black fathers don`t care about their children. I was proud of the family life I was able to introduce to television.” – ER, referring to her show “Good Times” and her insistence on having a husband and father figure.”-pinterest our history    Many years ago I had the pleasure several times of seeing Bonnie Raitt, born today in 1949, on stage and at rallies, such as anti-nuke rallies with Jackson Browne.  As a youngster, I loved her dad, the Broadway star, John Raitt and I admired the loving relationship they had. Bonnie was raised in a Quaker family and it is no wonder she got her political activism from her upbringing. Ms Raitt literally learned at the feet of Blues masters and made it her life’s mission to ensure that Blues musicians were credited and acknowledged for their great contributions to American music and music world wide. She helped co found The Rhythm & Blues Foundation which highlighted the plight of Blues musicians and singers who did not reap the royalties that they so deserved. As Bonnie Raitt once said, “I never saw music in terms of men and women or black and white. There was just cool and uncool.”  American journalist and activist, Dorothy Day born today in 1847 would agree with Ms Raitt in her actions to help those in need and recognize that too many in our society have been treated unfairly and that continues, in various forms, today. Ms Day spoke out for pacifism, women’s suffrage and reform to help the poor. She believed that, “The greatest challenge of the day is: how to bring about a revolution of the heart, a revolution which has to start with each one of us?” How true that is today, Nov. 8th, 2013!  Margaret Mitchell, born today in 1900, wrote Gone With the Wind, which turned out to be more of a surprise to her than to anyone else for as she said, “In a weak moment, I have written a book.” A lot of controversy about racism within the book has been written about so that’s for you to google. I know I read the book and saw the movie and we all can never forget Rhett Butler and Scarlett O’Hara. I don’t think Ms Mitchell ever expected her “weak moment” to produce over 30 million copies! Ms Mitchell went onto use her money to establish “…establish scholarships for Black medical students after WW II.  Theodore Dreiser’s great American novel, Sister Carrie was published today in 1900, the same year Margaret Mitchell was born. I know I enjoyed his novels as a young teenager. His books were schmaltzy, like soap operas. “SISTER CARRIE is the story of Carrie Meeber, a poor girl alone in Chicago. She lives with a traveling salesman and then runs off to New York with George Hurstwood, a prosperous married man. Hurstwood’s fortunes decline, and he becomes a bum and commits suicide. Carrie finds success, but not happiness, as an actress.”-PBS American Masters

Friday’s Fragments demonstrate those “little audible links” that have given us “something to talk about,” as Bonnie Raitt so beautifully continues to sing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Speaking of Emotions…

“Music is the Shorthand of Emotion”.-Leo Tolstoy

Today is the birthday of three very creative individuals: Leo Tolstoy (1828), Sonia Sanchez (1934) and Otis Redding (1941). Both were good with words!  It’s been quite a while since I’ve read Tolstoy, but I did enjoy his novels, War and Peace and Anna Karenina.   Sonia Sanchez is an American poet whose poetry I’ve always admired. She was the original “Def Poet” Mama and to hear her recite her words is always a treat.Otis Redding was also an excellent writer and wrote such hits as: Respect, I’ve Been Loving You Too Long (with Jerry Butler, another very good singer/songwriter), The Dock of the Bay (with Steve Cropper) and others.

“I cannot tell the truth about anything unless I confess being a student, growing and learning something new every day. The more I learn, the clearer my view of the world becomes.”-Sonia Sanchez

“What So Wild as Words Are?”-Robert Browning, Poet

Where would we be without Roget’s Thesaurus compiled by  Peter Mark Roget?   It was first published April 29th, 1852.  How many times have we looked up synonyms, antonyms as we wrote middle school, high school, college and post graduate papers?   Roget’s Thesaurus has been an invaluable tool and I know I used to have a very worn copy. Now we all look up words on the internet. A new generation may not even know about Roget’s Thesaurus! 

“Roget was an English doctor, writer and inventor, but today is best known for his ‘thesaurus’.  Peter Mark Roget was born on 18 January 1779 in London, the son of a Swiss clergyman. He studied medicine at Edinburgh University and graduated in 1798. As a young doctor he published works on tuberculosis and on the effects of nitrous oxide, known as ‘laughing gas’, then used as an anaesthetic.”-BBC

What a marvelous book for “Marvelous Monday!”