Be so busy loving your life, you have no time for hate, regret or fear

Posts Tagged ‘NPR’

An Ode To Nelson Mandela…

In Daily Musings, Friday Chronicles on December 13, 2013 at 10:56 am

 

mbali-vilakazi, Nelson Mandela #mbali-vilakazi #NelsonMandela #mandela, mandela

I’ve been so busy of late, that I have not had a chance to blog about the passing of Nelson Mandela, who was a true hero of our modern times, where there are so few.  While listening to NPR this morning, the poet Mbali Vilakazi. read her beautiful poem  “The Black Pimpernel” in honor of this wonderful man.  

In her own words Ms. Vilakazi says “Where there are no easy answers, there will be no easy poems, and there is so much that has been said and written about him, and there’s so much that I feel has also been reduced in relation to him. So for me, I wanted to begin where I stand. I wanted to look back, but I wanted to also begin with a firm footing in the present, looking toward the future, because as that generation that comes after all of what has happened that has enabled even me to be here and have a voice, it is now up to us.”

Here is the poem she read this morning, which caused me to stop what I was doing and listen intently. To me her words truly captured the man, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela.

The Black Pimpernel

This hour upon the horizon is its own song; a dirge

But this is not the hour of yesterday
This is not the time for tears
Nor celebration

We have our work to do.

And we have been shown:

Wind of life blown without roots
Into exile and iron fire grieving
Blood and shackled love
And those other things —
Those that remain undone

We have always been reaching

Before the smoke machines
And statues of bronze, and invention
Before martyr and metaphor
Before the truth, and the lies

Before ambiguous
And surface scraped clean
Of complexity

There were regular swoops on your Orlando home then.

There were the workman’s blue overalls and the Mazzawati tea glasses
And there was you —
The Black Pimpernel.
The fearsome shadow of purposeful stride
An AK-47 grip on necessity
A chauffeur’s hat and your pocketful of ‘tickeys’

You have always had your way.

Black fist of words raised beyond the precipice
You bore the burden:
Hammer, rock and
The lime quarry in your eyes

They say it affected your sight.

‘I am not a saint’ you said.

A man who seeks the hands of children in the crowd.

The terrorist and the statesman
The paradox comes home here
Where we remain.
Where a daughter will remember how she could not touch you
Behind the glass
Behind your smile

Mortal, man, one amongst many
You led yourself and lead us to the same.

Of what you could not give
We will remember that you did not take.

We will make our own meaning.

This hope, it belongs
It is ours

We claim it.

This is the hour of tomorrow.

And if we have stood on the shoulders of giants,
We are giants still
And giants, we will come again

Because we are all Nelson Mandela

And because the struggle continues.

“The Black Pimpernel” by Mbali Vilakazi. Copyright 2013 by Mbali Vilakazi.

Listen to the full interview here

 

Photo of Mbali Vilakazi courtesy of NPR

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Afro & Bass…

In Daily Musings, New Loves! on March 13, 2012 at 9:44 am

Esperanza Spalding‘s new deluxe  album “Radio Music Society” drops next Tuesday on March 20.  This is a 2 disc set (which I will purchase on iTunes or Amazon, as I don’t buy physical cd’s anymore).  I was able to listen to a  preview of the entire album on NPR (see link below).  This album is a  fusion of jazz, pop and soul  music, which showcases jazz musicians in an accessible manner suitable for mainstream radio, it’s a little different from “Esperanza” her second studio album, but brilliant in my opinion.  for me every track stands out on its own. The track “Land Of The Free” is particularly moving in it’s telling of the injustices in America, you have to listen to the lyrics for yourself to understand what I mean.  Each of the 12 songs are accompanied by a series of conceptual short films, which are on the second disc.  For the  iTunes/Amazon fanatic you will receive this as a digital download.

It is actually quite difficult to pick a favourite, as all of the songs on the album have some meaning.  This is not your everyday, empty, saccarine infused album, far from it.    There really isn’t one bad track on here, “Crowned & Kissed “, “Let Her“, “Endangered Species“, “Cinnamon Tree“, “Black Gold“… I could go on here.   This is an album you can just press play and leave it to do the rest.

Esperanza does an excellent interpretation of “I Can’t Help It“, with her beautiful voice, she truly puts her own spin on this classic favourite and does a very good job of it. 

The official trailer, watch here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SpDMLPixO8s&feature=player_embedded

You can listen to the album, in its entirety here: http://www.npr.org/2012/03/11/147979893/first-listen-esperanza-spalding-radio-music-society

The Woman and her Bass

 

You Hate The President?

In Daily Musings on February 23, 2012 at 9:48 am

This morning while listening to Morning Edition on NPR, they were conducting  interviews with potential voters in Michigan.  One man said and I quote “I hate the President, if this sucker gets reelected, I’m leaving the country.  This President makes me want to leave this great nation” unquote.  The hatred and animosity I heard in this man’s voice made me stop in my tracks and say… WOW!!  It actually sent chills through me.  He was so upset Obama had been elected in the first place, he could barely contain himself.  The blatant disrespect for President Obama, is something I’ve never seen in my 20+ years in this country.  I understand there is freedom of speech and freedom of expression, where you may say what you like; but the loathing and hostility towards this particular President appears to be very personal to some.  They made fun of Bush Jr. and may have criticized other Presidents, but with President Obama, the contempt and disrespect has been taken to a whole new level.

Why?

Respect the President, until further notice he still is!

 

This Morning I Heard…

In Daily Musings on January 30, 2012 at 10:43 am

About the “Obedient Wives” club in Malaysia, while listening to NPR radio this morning.  Are you serious!! This is yet another misinterpretation of a holy book. A local women’s group is preaching Polygamy and the obedience of wives to their husbands.  Apparently this is a good way to deal with the social issues blighting Malaysia and a way to help cut down on the rising divorce rate in that country.  This story was amazing and entertaining to a degree to listen to, I won’t go too much into the story here, but please take 5 minutes (actually 4:08) to listen to the story on NPR, it’s an interesting listen and will remind us of how fortunate we are in the western world to not be dictated to in this way.  We are free spirited, fabulous, and intelligent woman who are able to excercise our God given freewill.

http://www.npr.org/2012/01/30/146066783/obedient-wives-club-irks-some-muslims-in-malaysia

Happy Monday to you!

Smooches!