December 9 & 11, 2014
HIGH HOPES Holiday Concert Newsletter
“SGT. PEPPER’S LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND”
“It was twenty years ago today, Sergeant Pepper taught the band to play.
They’ve been goin’ in and out of style, but they’re guaranteed to raise a smile.”
My favorite Beatles’ memory: The Beatles first visit to the U.S. happened when I was in 7th grade. The day after they appeared on the Ed Sullivan show, the 7th grade girls congregated in our music class and swooned over the Beatles’ performance. Mr. Bostwick, our teacher (likely only 10 years older than we were) pooh-poohed our conversation by saying, “Oh you girls. Next year you’ll be saying, ‘Beatles who?”’
Beatles’ Quote: “And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.”
Next time you’re found with your chin on the ground, There’s a lot to be learned, so look around… A problem’s just a toy balloon, They’ll be bursting soon…
Symbols of High Hopes:
Leaves that change color, fall and renew the earth Playfulness in a child
Pass someone who looks me in the eye and smiles from the heart A flower bloom A Pleasant smell A singable melody Matching pitch or singing harmony Random act of kindness Unexpected joy Phone call or letter from friend
The leaves you mentioned, changing color, falling, and renewing the earth reminds me of a seed that falls, and for all purposes, “dies.” Talk about helpless situations! Then that “dead” seed bursts forth with new life, exploding through the hard soil, and reaches for the sky with determination and “high hope.” Then blooms with flowers which give off a pleasant smell, bringing birds that sing, all from a helpless seed…
If we practiced “looking around” for these symbols of hope, we would likely be able to conquer anything!
“THE LONESOME ROAD”
“Walk down that lonesome road all by yourself. Don’t turn your head back over your shoulder.
And only stop to rest yourself when the silver moon is shining high above the trees.”
Why do you think he walks down that lonesome road all by himself? Perhaps he has made some mistake, hurt the one he loves. The encouragement is to continue on and don’t look back. While we can’t live in the past, sometimes we need to reconcile before we can successfully go forward. The “Lonesome Road” is a time for reflection on where We are going, but it is always good to add the balanced perspective from a friend.
As I re-read the lyrics I think the silver moon that rises above the trees is a metaphor for the light that you feel after your “troubled mind” is cleared.
The energy of the sun interweaving with the coolness of the moon is a fine metaphor to remind us to cool our head and connect with inner wisdom. I think a regular practice of noticing provides a means for us to face difficult situations with grace. When we are finding and feeling gratitude for the tough stuff, our quality of life increases.
“THE STORM IS PASSING OVER” “Courage my soul, and let me journey on.”
What gives your soul the courage to journey on? Each day the things that encourage my soul to journey on change… Externally, a smile from a stranger, an affirmation from anyone, a meaningful connection with another person, awareness of following my own body wisdom. Internally, a core love, a feeling of unconditional love, nurtured through prayer, spiritual discipline, deep breaths, trust, surrender, and ease.
So many times all we need is the small stuff – a small kind word. But the journey is more than the next step, the next smile and it’s the habits and discipline we develop that will determine our goals and direction. To practice and maintain our unconditional love of self and others, to allow oneself the awareness is a constant trial by fire. And singing makes it easier.
” Who, who do we want to become? We want to be the change that we want to see in the world.”
When you were young, who did you want to become? Was there someone to encourage and mentor you? Did you become what you wanted or were there “Changes”? Because the end of “The Change” loops back to its beginning- “oo” becomes “who”- it seems to say that change never ends, and we are always asking, “Who do I want to become?” … I remember my parents worried that I seemed to have no idea who I wanted to become. I must have learned about muckrakers at school, so I started giving that as an answer. I explained a muckraker is someone who uses writing to point out social problems that need fixing. “Oh, you mean a lawyer!” They said relieved. I didn’t mean a lawyer, but just what I did mean is still changing.
With all the things going on in the world, what are some things that would be at the top of your list to be changed? Change must begin with ourselves. Do you welcome change? . Change is something many fight against. “I like the way things are” – status quo. What we don’t seem to realize is that change is inevitable…It wasn’t America’s too distant past when work was tough, overtime and vacations were unheard of, disputes were settled in the streets with guns, and owning another human was normal.
The changes I would like to see most are the ones that currently affect me the most. Our justice and correction systems are broken. The overuse of plea-bargaining is rampant, the big sentences are absurd and rehabilitation, in many cases is withheld until the end of a sentence. Families are being destroyed in the mean time and society pays the cost.
The real changes I see that need to be made are the ones that come from the heart. They are the deepest changes because they are personal. It’s not an outside change that makes our lives easier, but an inside one that changes our perspective, our view of people and the world. It changes what we believe, and in turn our attitude and behavior. Compassion, patience, acceptance, forgiveness, generosity, graciousness, love, diligence, resourcefulness and humility are some positive results in character when those inner changes are made.
In the spirit of “You ’re a mean one, Mr. Grinch,” what brings out the grinch in you and how do you counteract this desire? I love to give, but I resent being asked to give…I enjoy answering and giving more than they asked for, unless they’re demanding and express dislike…Then it’s tempting to be rude right back! … In general I think what keeps my Grinch in check is that I recognize we’re all in this together. Multiplying peace and love in our world is just as contagious as hate and fear, and will get us farther in the long run.
Poem on the Statue of Liberty Base:
“… Give me your tired, your poor Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door! ”
Look back through the history of our nation and you will always see new comers and those who have a choice to welcome them or look down on them and oppress them. Our nation became great not because of a few who thought they were better than others, but generation after generation of those who leave one place and come with hope for a new life. They come hungry, work harder, and though not many would be famous, they accomplished great things. Today men in prison are among the huddled masses yearning to breathe free. Not all are a threat to the public. Not all are looking to the government for a handout. Given a chance we would work hard to provide for our families – who are the ones really being punished.
Feeling at Home
The best thing about my family home was how welcoming my mother made it. Even though our furniture was shabby my friends always wanted to be at our house. In high school we had kids there every weekend, and my mother even supplied the paint for us to have a graffiti wall in the basement (this was the 60’s)
There are a lot of disappointed people tonight including me, but we are lucky to live in a country where we have the freedom to be disappointed in the outcome of an election. People come here from all over the world because they don’t even get to vote on the people who make decisions that impact their lives. We get that right here in the U.S. (Taken from Concession speech by Rep. Bruce Braley.)