Music From Another Era


One of my earliest memories was hearing my parents play and sing together. My dad played the piano, while my mother played the violin. Sometimes they sang together in performances, not just at home. I started playing piano at the early age of five, gradually adding in violin and French horn.


Many times I sang and played with them. I remember when I was as young as five (maybe even younger), being part of their performances. As an adult, I added even more instruments – guitar (both folk and classical), recorder, lute, organ, balakaika, koto and on and on – and I kept on singing.


When my brother came along, he sang along with us with, sometimes playing his trumpet or piano. A few weeks ago, my brother posted about the sheet music he has from that era. I still have some of those pieces, also.


In a musical family, it’s no surprise that there are piles of music all over. They take up all the storage space in my living area. Periodically I go through these stacks and reorder them according to my passion du jour.


This past week, while rearranging my music one more time, I pulled out old sheet music from the twenties and thirties, music my parents played and passed on to us. Sad to say that many of the covers had been torn off; I think it was to make it easier for them to keep it on a music stand while they played. I’ve made copies of those not destroyed.


I also have stacks of music from my teen and early adult years of the forties and fifties, as well as from the era of my hippie days in the sixties and seventies. Each of these generations of music has its own particular flavor, as you know. Maybe I’ll show covers from those eras another time.


My mother and my brother share January as their birthday month (Happy Birthday, bro!), and she would have had her 96th birthday this month if she had lived. Although she was quite musically talented, I believe her creativity in other areas often became stifled, not because of the era but because of the expectations required of her as a pastor’s wife. She and my dad passed their creative genes to my brother and to me. It is up to us and future generations not to let it die.


My hope is that my own musical children remember hearing and playing music in our home from their early years, and that they have passed it on to their children and grandchildren.

A hui hou!

Thoughts for the Day

Canterbury Cathedral
Canterbury Cathedral

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin was not only a Jesuit priest but he was well known as a palaeontologist. Among other accomplishments, he was involved in uncovering the skull of the Peking man. As someone with a mind of both the spiritual and the scientific worlds, he has inspired me in several ways.

A birthday can be a good time for reflection, so it is on this occasion I think about one of Teilhard de Chardin’s primary concepts. The way I understand it, we constantly are evolving or spiraling to a higher and higher state, which he called the Omega Point. He described it as a “transcendent centre of unification,” a convergence, rather than a divergence.

As I apply that concept to myself, I see that I have evolved over the past decades, although perhaps starting that process later than I might have wished. As he put it, in my life there was “a clear pattern of a rise of consciousness…a continual heightening, a rising tide of consciousness.”

Like his description of Time and the Universe, “in any period of ten million years Life practically grows a new skin,” I, too, have grown a new skin throughout my own quest. More than ever before I am aware of how my action or inaction affects my traveling companions, aware of the world around me and of its cyclic nature. It is my personal evolution – “a condition of all experience,” he would say.

There is another quote attributed to Teilhard de Chardin, although I’m not sure which of his books it is in. I use it as my own mantra.

“Our duty as men and women is to proceed as if limits to our ability did not exist.”

In his Hymn of the Universe, he writes “Happy the man [sic] who fails to stifle his vision.”

For the next several decades, I want to continue an upward evolution without stifling my vision!

A hui hou!

Happy Birthday!

Here are some famous (and infamous) people who celebrate their birthday today!

1630 – Charles II, King of England was born.
1736 – Patrick Henry, American hero
1903 – Bob Hope, Comedian
1917 – John F. Kennedy, US President
1935 – Gordon Taylor, British anesthesiologist (retired)
1989 – Danielle Keough, Elvis Presley’s granddaughter

I send them all my very best wishes, dead or alive!

Hau`oli lā hānau (Happy Birthday)

A Pink Birthday Party!


Every year on my birthday, I do something a little special on this blog in honor of myself. This year, I’m taking myself back to a “little girl in pink” with a trip to the Royal Hawaiian Hotel in Honolulu.

For the past twelve years, always over Labor Day weekend, I have gone to the Hawaii Writers Conference. Until three years ago, it was held on Maui and known internationally as the “Maui Writers Conference.” Then they began holding it on Oahu where there were hotels who would handle the volume of people who came, and the name changed to “Hawaii Writers Conference.”

This year, it was held at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel, well-known for its pink décor. Everything is designed around the theme of “pink.” And no matter where you are, you can see the pink hotel! This shot was taken from my window at the Princess Kaiulani Hotel, a block away. It almost looks artificial and Disneyesque among the modern hotels of Waikiki.


No matter what view you have of the Royal Hawaiian, it is always a distinctive pink.


And when you look toward the beach, there is a sea of pink umbrellas, actually quite colorful against the blue of the ocean and the sky.


There are pink columns, with pink flowers in the floral arrangements standing before them. Even though most of these tropical flowers last quite a while, someone comes around to redo all the arrangements with fresh flowers periodically.


I loved walking down this pink corridor with its display of Phaleonopsis orchids.


Here is a close up of one of the Phaleonopsis orchids. Even though they were white, they appear pink against the strong pink of the columns.


Tucked everywhere on tables or in corners, you will find little touches of pink in the floral arrangements.


Even the shops displayed their wares against pink walls, or in pink jewelry boxes. The dolls were made of pink sequins. I didn’t get the pink walls behind these silver and sequined shells but they were there.


One room showed an example of what to expect if you arranged for them to serve a special dinner for you and special guests, or just that special someone – and of course, all in pink! Very romantic, if you are into that sort of setting!


The pink theme is evident even when you are walking around the gardens outside the Royal Hawaiian Hotel.







Even if not the true pink you find in most of the hotel, some plants either looked pink or were in the same color value, like red or lavender.







Although I’m typically not a “pink person,” I had loads of fun taking pictures of all the “pink” at the hotel. I hope you enjoyed my “birthday pink” celebration!

A hui hou!