All photos by © 1inawesomewonder 2015
Chances are, you have seen much better pictures and/or videos of the magnificent lunar eclipse from the other night. This is just a picture I took from my back yard with my unaccomplished skills and unprofessional camera. This picture captured an object some 221,753 miles from where I stood. This picture, captures movement as the earth and moon were in motion for the 10 seconds the shutter was open. Although there are better visual representations of the lunar eclipse, I rather enjoy this one, and the time I took to stand in a near silent, nearly dark backyard to stand once again, in awesome wonder.
While watching NH Public Television, I came across “Trans-Siberian Orchestra: The Birth of Rock Theater”. I had seen it before, but I watched it again. I also recorded it, and watched it again, with my 5-year-old twins. They loved the music and the effects, even on TV.
As I await the arrival of my tickets for this year’s show, I find myself still drawn to the sounds of the music, and also to a few quotes from Paul O’Neill, Founder of Trans-Siberian Orchestra. I will share those below.
If you haven’t read any of my posts on TSO, I have an entire category dedicated to my experiences listening to, following, and interacting with the band. You might notice how much of an effect the band and their music has had on me over the years. Undoubtedly, it has been, and continues to be, an emotional connection to the music and the message. As you will see below, for me, the goals of O’Neill, and TSO, are being realized.
Paul O’Neill from the airing of “Trans-Siberian Orchestra: The Birth of Rock Theater” on NHPTV. “Trans-Siberian Orchestra was designed to be different than any other band out there. One of the ideals was to do anything to make the music have the most emotional impact possible. We decided to develop this thing called Rock Theater. It’s not a movie where you have the, you know, the silver screen. It’s not a Broadway play where you have sets. The singers by the little nuances that they put in their voices, can take all those synapses and wind them up and put you some place else. Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s, you know, mission is, when we make an album, we do a concert, the only thing that matters is that it’s great…When you come to see Rock Theater we will take you to some place that you wouldn’t think you would be able to go to unless you were asleep and dreaming. I just want to blow their minds…”
Once again this year, I can’t wait to get taken “some place else”. They succeed every single year. And I cannot wait. #TSOTIME
Yesterday my Uncle Dean passed away. This world lost another good man. I know he suffers no more, and for that I am grateful. I look forward to seeing him again one day, Lord-side. When we meet again I will look forward to his gentle smiling eyes, the discussions of baseball, and his enjoyment of the bakery’s sweeter things to eat. I am thankful for the times in my life that his life and mine were able to overlap and we were able to spend time together. I pray for his immediate family, and our extended family.
A tribute of sorts. Or, certainly my look into the chains that bind us. Those that don’t understand how one can be touched or moved by these actions, may well be the ones that need to be moved the most.
There is hurt, and there is darkness all around us. There are boundaries that constrict us. Often times, we have played a role in constructing the barriers that bound us. Sometimes though, these obstacles are willed upon us, or even arranged as such, while the creators search in vain for the inner calm that their own souls are unable to attain on their own.
Then, there is peace. There is clarity. There is freedom where the stream of consciousness flows unabated and peace with all things internal is reached. This place where the creators of turmoil and strife, these harborers of control; they have no understanding of the separation sought by those longing to be at peace. For they are the creators of the barriers they don’t recognize, yet they deem so necessary.
When there is peace, there is also the opportunity for progress. Progress, the promise of moving in a direction, yet never down the same road traveled to reach this place. To me, this, in and of itself, is another meaning of return to the wild. Return to the innate. Sometimes I think we’d all be better off if we could return to the times before we learned, to the times when we were natural, only as God had made us.
Sometimes I travel just to pass through an area, but many times I travel to a spot just to let it pass through me.
I wrote this in 2011, and this post has been a permanent page on my blog, and still is. This morning, I remember.
This page is a place to more permanently keep this close at hand. On 9/11/11 I watched, I listened to, and read pieces on the 10 year remembrance of 9/11. I cried, I thought, I remembered, I swelled with pride, I felt a lot of emotions that day. That evening into the wee hours of the following morning I also wrote a piece in my style, my words, and I want it to be here, close at hand. There will be times when I will add to this page I am sure but this is where it starts for me. Never forget.
9/11 – Ten Years Later – God Bless the USA
Today, and every day really, I thank God that I was fortunate enough to be born and raised in the greatest country in the world. I am proud to be an American every day. Please God, continue to bless the USA, and may we honor and glorify you in all we do. There is goodness in all of us. We were created and born, morally aware. And, just as those who ran towards the unknown terror of 9/11 as to free those who needed help, so did our founding fathers brave the unknown in hopes of freedom for all. It’s the USA, “One Nation, under God”, made up of millions of people with tremendous resiliency, and free will to choose that we will not give up, while harboring a true responsibility to help one another (all of whom are created equal) in times of need. I feel, and I pray for those who lost loved ones or saw so much more than anyone should see 10 years ago today. May we never forget those who were innocently taken and those who have sacrificed so much.
I am in no way trying to be political here and I don’t always know where my thoughts may take me, so let’s find out. I pray that we, the USA (that’s each one of us), don’t lose sight of the spirit that was embraced in founding our great country. I hope that we don’t forget to fight for the freedoms that we have defended around the globe. We should be continually thankful for those who have literally battled on our behalf and knowingly risked the greatest asset; a human life, for their country, our country, the USA. We should be cognizant of our own behaviors that help pave the way for true freedom in the future and be wary of those self indulgences that provoke others to restrict our freedoms with red tape and political correctness. This country was founded on right and wrong, and there is nothing political about that which is right. Right is right. Right is morally justified, while politically correct is often times a choice to act in a manner that gets a desired outcome. If the desired outcome is not right than why be politically correct?
It was December of 1967 when my dad and mom drove over the border from Canada back into the USA just so I could be born in the USA. That may not mean as much now as it did then, but I am awfully proud to have been born in the United States of America. I love Canada dearly and cherish my Canadian family who are some of the greatest people I have ever met. Still, I thank you dad and mom for making that run to Caribou, Maine, USA, right before Christmas, on my behalf.
My favorite combination of colors is truly the red, white, and blue. My favorite song is “The Star Spangled Banner”. Our National Anthem being sung at various events and venues is the television I record most often. I get goose bumps every single time I hear it. I think of the words and the inspiration behind them in a time of uncertainty. Those words will be 197 years old this week, and I think of how many times those words have meant so much too so many people. Climatically our anthem gets to “Our flag was still there” and I think of our resiliency, I think of our free will and am reminded to be so careful with this precious gift. I truly do think of us as the land of the free and the home of the brave. This week I again connect this to 9/11 as there has been, and hopefully always will be an American flag flying at Ground Zero. I will also never forget those who were technically free to run, as thousands did, but instead, instinctively were brave as so many before them have been.
I offer a closing prayer for those who care to read it. With my head bowed, I thank you God for this great country of ours, and for the thousands upon thousands of brave men and women who have given their all to maintain our freedom and our independence. I pray that we don’t forget the sacrifices and struggles past and present, allowing our quality of life to be what it can be today. We have so very much to be thankful for. In a time when we seem to measure our life’s success by things we have accumulated, money we earn, or status we have attained; may we truly cherish the choices we have, the freedoms we share, and the right to put God and our families first. I pray that each of us make the time and the commitment to love and fellowship with friends and family. At the end of our days, it’s our family who will be there with us. The recollection of the choices we were able to make will ease our hearts and minds when our days here are short. It will be the freedoms we embraced, the risks we were willing and able to take, and the free will to forgive and make that which is wrong, right that will allow a smile on our lips as we breathe for the last time. Lord, I pray we wait not, for those days to think on these things, but to actively pursue them with all that we are, and all we can be. We know not what the future holds for any of us. Let us not be caught up in that uncertainty, but have faith in You, and the tremendous power we possess to be present now. May we serve you Lord each day, knowing that the time we invest in one another is truly what makes the world go round. Lord I thank you for your many blessings as there are too many to count. Our days are full of blessings that we often times don’t even take the time to notice or thank you for. Forgive us for our sins and may we learn from our mistakes, in doing so, setting an example for others to follow so that we all may be better off for it. Lord, I ask these things in your name. Amen.