Thursday, November 26, 2015

Hugs All Around

“You know, sometimes the world seems like a pretty mean place.'
'That's why animals are so soft and huggy.”
~Bill Watterson

Thanksgiving seems like a good day to celebrate hugs! ALL kinds of hugs... even face ones :-)

Group Hug
photo by Peter Harrison

by Twice25 & Rinina25

Senior Chief Construction Mechanic Renato Hidalgo hugs his son before departing for an eight-month deployment to Afghanistan
U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communications Specialist 2nd Class Ace Rheaume

Free hugs
photo by Matthew G

Douglas Gets Hugged
by Marji Beach

by popofatticus

Self-Portrait with Her Daughter
by Elisabeth-Louise Vigée Le Brun

Free Face Hugs
by Nathan Rupert

Free Hugs shirt

Monday, November 23, 2015

Bogányi (and a massage)

You write to become immortal, or because the piano happens to be open, or you’ve looked into a pair of beautiful eyes.
~Robert Schumann

Sharing a new kind of piano today. Hungarian pianist Bogányi Gergely invented a piano that he plays in the video below. Differences between the Bogányi and traditional pianos include: the Bogányi is made with different construction materials, it has fewer legs, and it is played with the top open. What is the result? A jazz pianist who tried it out says it's like playing in a bubble of sound. Interesting!

Sometimes I talk about relaxation music and things people can do to feel less stressed. Here's something I like a lot: hand massage. It feels great and doesn't take long to do. (Isn't it so nice that people share information freely on YouTube? This helpful person has a lovely Irish accent.)

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Ashraf Fayadh, Poet in Danger

Once a government is committed to the principle of silencing the voice of opposition, it has only one way to go, and that is down the path of increasingly repressive measures, until it becomes a source of terror to all its citizens and creates a country where everyone lives in fear.
~Harry S. Truman

I am concerned about this news:

Poet and Artist Ashraf Fayadh Sentenced to Death in Saudi Arabia

From English PEN (Freedom to Write, Freedom to Read):

Fayadh was first detained in August 2013 in relation to his collection of poems, Instructions Within. He was released on bail but rearrested in January 2014, accused of ‘atheism and spreading some destructive thoughts into society’, before being sentenced in May 2014. The dismissal of his appeal led to the retrial which concluded earlier this week. Fayadh is reported to be ‘really shocked’ by the sentence, stating, ‘I didn’t do anything that deserves death.’

* Sign an Amnesty International Petition on his behalf *

Friday, November 20, 2015

More Gifts, More Doctors

As soon as healing takes place, go out and heal somebody else.
~Maya Angelou

As you might know, I am really interested in health, wellness, medicine, and the like, which is why I want to read this book: Poetry in Medicine: An Anthology of Poems About Doctors, Patients, Illness and Healing, Michael Salcman (Editor). Has anyone read it?

Here's a video about using poetry to help student physicians from becoming too disassociated from their patients:

Time to talk about poetry gifts! I have posted lists of such things in the past. Here are more possibilities:

Shirts, shoes, and accessories:
Custom Poetry Shoes: Red Wheelbarrow
Similes are like metaphors... shirt
Read More Poetry
Stacks of books scarf
French poetry earrings
Wordsworth button

Posters, books, and cards:
"If I Can Save One Heart from Breaking" poster
Fantasy library poster
100 literary postcards set
Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Vogon Poetry book
Nature poem card

Visit The Miss Rumphius Effect for the Poetry Friday round-up.

Thursday, November 19, 2015


just as it is,
as it is,
as is.
Flowers in bloom.
Nothing to add.
-Robert Aitken

I once read a novel that centered on ikebana (Japanese floral arrangements) but I hadn't looked at many until I put this post together. They grew on me and the more I saw, the more I liked them. Which is one reason I am including quite a few, since, if you're like me, maybe it will take a little while for your appreciation to grow.

Der Herbstwald
Johanna und Heinz Günter Saemann

by David Sobral

Ikebana, Gorcum
Frans de Wit

Ikebana 1
by Holly

Plum Blossoms, Ikebana
by Christopher Paquette

Schlechte Herrscher
Johanna und Heinz Günter Saemann

by Leonid Ll

Für Edda-Sophie
Johanna und Heinz Günter Saemann

Ikebana - Yoshiko Nakamura 01B
by Joe Mabel

Exposición Ikebana
by Carlos Donderis

Saga Goryu moribana useitai
by Gryffindor

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Book recommendations

A different kind of book recommendation:

And a walking library!

Monday, November 16, 2015


If there’s anything that I would like to do, it would be to turn people on to choral music. Choral music, and classical music in general, has to do with exposure. Ninety-five percent of the time, if you can just get someone in the room to see someone great, it’ll blow their minds. So, yes, if I can in any way become the gateway drug to choral music, that would be just fine.
~Eric Whitacre

I heard E.W.'s choir in concert two years ago, but it feels like yesterday. (At the time I thought that, if we were living a Doctor Who episode, they would be the thing that would convince the invaders not to exterminate our species. Yes...I am that much of a nerd that I think things like that.)

One of my favorite pieces of music. Seemed like something worth hearing this Music Monday: