Five Photos – Five Captions

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Most Americans have voted by now, 6:15 CST, Nov. 8, 2016. When I left my polling location I was almost in tears.

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Although there was an autumnal celebration in Plymouth in November of 1621, it was Abraham Lincoln who called for a day of  “Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens,” during the Civil War. He made the last Thursday in November Thanksgiving Day and hopefully, this year American families and friends can come together for a peaceful , warm, and happy gathering. No talking about politics !

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Black Friday, when sales and price reductions lure consumers to big box stores, malls, and shopping centers, has become an American ritual. But USA Today reports that Black Friday may be close to extinction due to the rising number of internet shoppers. Some stores are opting to not even open on the Friday after Thanksgiving Day. Could it be possible that the traditional frenzied spree to purchase the popular stuff that may sell out before Christmas Day will cease? I’m thinking not anytime soon. Still, wherever you shop, no talking about politics!

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Then the Christmas carols begin. Make no mistake, I adore Christmas music. When the carols are wafting through stores, restaurants, and our homes, I am a total fan. However, about one-and-a-half weeks after they begin to be played, I start to get a little agitated. By two weeks in, I am almost oblivious, and by the time Christmas Day rolls around, I’m hoping all speakers in all locations in my town will have their electrical cords clipped. Ubiquity is killing our collective holiday musical vibe. No singing about politics, either!

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Then, in the blink of an eye, we will be celebrating  Christmas Day. After the grand feast has been devoured, the presents have been opened, Tiny Tim has asked God to “bless us every one,” and Uncle Jim has gotten royally sozzled, we will be only days away from 2017. Here’s what T. S. Eliot said about new years:

“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language
And next year’s words await another voice.
And to make an end is to make a beginning.”

Allow me to explain what he was trying to say. Eliot meant that we should never talk about politics again.

 

 

 

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Banned

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Just hearing the word “banned” makes me feel a little sick. Whether it’s used as a word meaning to forbid or suppress, or it is used to mean excluding or expelling, it’s a word to which I have a visceral reaction.

One of my first forays into understanding this word was in high school when we were learning about books being burned by the Nazis. The books to burn were selected based on their subversive natures. This was a time in my life when books were very important to me. I wouldn’t even take notes or underline in my textbooks. Seeing pictures of “un-German” books being lit with matches and engulfed in flames was at the same time frightening and senseless to my young brain.

In my home state, hearing the word “banned” catapults me back to the 1950s and 1960s when Jim Crow laws enforced racial segregation. African Americans were banned from white restaurants, drinking fountains, and restrooms, among many other places.They were not allowed to  be a part of white workplaces, institutions, clubs, or the military.

I wish that I could wrap up today’s thoughts by saying something like,”I know that being banned is a terrible thing in whatever context it appears, but at least today, we do not have to face the hurt and humiliation of banned books or banned human beings,” but I can’t because it’s just not so.

In Kentucky, this year at a certain high school, students who had hairstyles such as dreadlocks, Afros of over two inches in length, cornrows, and mohawks were banned from their high school prom. And according to the American Library Association, in the past decade, there were 5,099 “challenges” against books that were deemed by some to have inappropriate content or were simply inappropriate overall.

Thankfully, the ALA “condemns” censorship, believing it is “still a very serious problem.” It is beyond their control, however, to monitor all schools and libraries in the nation which receive challenges and take the books off school and library shelves without the ALA knowing.

So it’s not time yet to pat ourselves on the back and enjoy a victory lap around the track. We, as a country, still have a long way to go.

“To deny people their human rights is to challenge their very humanity.” Nelson Mandela

Three Days – Three Quotes III

“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.”

Albert Einstein

This is a part of a networking activity between bloggers. This particular activity involves quotations. Read on and I’m pretty sure you will get it.🙂

As an educator, this is a quote i have always held in high esteem. After all, helping young ones gain knowledge and expertise became my central life’s work. But this quote, from a man whose very name conjures intellect and achievement, caught me happily off guard.

I began to think of those who have made a mark on the world and quickly discovered that for many of these success-oriented people, imagination played a huge part in their careers.

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Walt Disney, for example, showed an interest in drawing in his childhood, and by 18 was a commercial illustrator. The rest is history, as they say, but the immense impact of imagination on not only this man’s life, but also all who have been touched by his work in all its iterations, cannot be argued. Though he may have been and remains controversial, the man had a vision.

Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni was in a league of his own when it came to Renaissance art, sculpture, and architecture. Some even say he was the greatest artist of all time. His skills, techniques, and talent were beyond compare.

He once said, “I saw an angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.” How’s that for imagination? And yet, on many occasions, he spoke of how difficult and draining the actual labor of making art could be.

Imagining, daydreaming, visualizing, whatever you want to call it, we all have it, and we all need to use it as much as possible.

The rules for the Three Day – Three Quotes challenge are as follows:
1.A quote will be assigned each day for three days.
2.Three different nominees will be notified each day (no repetitions).
3.Thank the person who nominated you.
4.Inform the nominees.

Thank you to the Settle in El Paso family for nominating me to become part of this generous challenge. Take a look at their blog, it will fill you with happiness.

My nominees for today are:

Three Days – Three Quotes II

This is a part of a networking activity between bloggers. This particular activity involves quotations. Read on and I’m pretty sure you will get it. 🙂

A bell is not a bell till you ring it. A song is not a song till you sing it. Love in your heart isn’t put there to stay. Love isn’t love till you give it away.”

Oscar Hammerstein II

I’ve already told you that everything I know I learned from Broadway musicals. Well, this is a little-known verse that introduces the song “I am Sixteen, Going on Seventeen” in  the musical The Sound of Music. I may be wrong, but I think Maria sings it to Liesl before the reprise of the “Sixteen Going on Seventeen” song. And, of course, I love it.

But I find that many things I loved for one reason or another when I was younger, mean more to me as I look back on them.

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And now that I have known love in so many different forms, I realize that Mr. Hammerstein was speaking of love as an action. His reference to a bell is a perfect metaphor to explain that love is an action. And when I love another person, my dogs, my children, and children in general, for example,  speaking the words “I love you” is special, but hugging, helping, supporting, spending time with, listening, showing up, feeding, and back-rubbing, to name but a few, are the actions that solidify the love I feel inside me for another.

Might there be a “bell” in your life that needs ringing?

 

The rules for the Three Day – Three Quotes challenge are as follows:
1.A quote will be assigned each day for three days.
2.Three different nominees will be notified each day (no repetitions).
3.Thank the person who nominated you.
4.Inform the nominees.

Thank you to the Settle in El Paso family for nominating me to become part of this generous challenge. Take a look at their blog, it will fill you with happiness. Thank you El Paso family for following my blog as well.

My nominees for today are:

1.bythestand.com

2.lifeofcreativityblog.com

3.talkaholicme.wordpress.com