danicawaters.com

a personal collection of original music, photographs, observations and other random stuff that happens inside my head…

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Famine is the Real Obscenity.

Really?  Are we really in 2011?  Is all this really happening?

WHY?

Watch the video.  Add your voice.  Stop the madness. Visit www.one.org.

Posted October 4th, 2011.

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Endless Thanks to Rapture Man and the Halleleujah Gypsies

You never know; this just might be it. If Rapture Man and the Hallelujah Gypsies are correct, today will mark the End of the World As We Know It.  According to them, my kids won’t even make it through dinner before The End officially ends it all.  I have lots of friends on Facebook who have lost sleep over what might happen today; of course I have many other friends who are blatantly blowing raspberries at the whole idea.  Either way, every single one of us has something in common:  we’ve all engaged in a moment (or several) of self-reflection, and we’ve all come away with a stronger sense of appreciation for the moments we’ve had on this awesome planet, and for the people we’ve shared them with.  Here’s where I think  Rapture Man just might have succeeded in his prediction of the End of the World As We Know It.

Respectfully moving past all the differences in opinion of How It All Came To Be, we’ll land in the inescapable, undeniable and truly wondrous world of  Quantum Physics.  Basic metaphysical laws dictate that awareness and emotion create profound change at the most fundamental levels.  Faced with the prospect of today’s impending doom, I can’t help but notice that we’re not thinking about all the negative stuff that seems to come with Life.  We’re not bitching about the little irritations, the folks who cut us off on the freeway, the rude cashier at the grocery store.  We’re spending our time, energy, awareness and emotion actively appreciating our lives, feeling super-lucky to have our friends and family, and even formulating healthy inner visions about how we can be even better people, should we live to see tomorrow.

I, for one, am absolutely  flooded with love and gratitude;   my moments on Earth have been nothing short of magical.  When I contemplate my crazy life path, I stand awestruck at its twistings and turnings; how am I so lucky as to have shared such awesome unpredictable moments with so many utterly fantastic people?  I am so fortunate to have known you all.  And the places I’ve seen!  I mean, how incredible is this planet, with its jagged, breathtaking peaks and shaded, womb-like wooded valleys; its quietly burbling baby streams that eventually grow to feed the raging rivers, determined to indelibly carve their energy into the face of the planet as they race to join the vast oceans teeming with unseen life at the end of the line.  It’s all interconnected. And how humbling  it has been to stand on a beach as the waves crash against it, wiggle my toes in the foam and realize I’m getting to watch the whole cycle begin again.   Yep, I’m grateful.  And I know I’m not alone.

So, if we’re all focusing today on what we appreciate, if our awareness and emotion is centered on memories and thoughts that transport us back to an ultimate state of Love, then maybe Rapture Man and the Halleleujah Gypsies have correctly prophesied The End of the World As We Know It, unwittingly helping us find our collective power to create an even better one in its place.

(And, at the very least, I’ve just come up with a damn fine name for a band!)

Posted May 21st, 2011.

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Thanks, But I Don’t Want To Live In A Bubble

Several years ago I had the pleasure of teaching computer literacy to children in grades 1-5 at a school for the gifted and talented. I vividly recall advising elementary school students who were tasked with an internet research project to be extremely discriminatory when it came to choosing which link they would click on. I spent a lot of time teaching them what to look for – and what to stay away from. Even a keyword search on something as seemingly harmless as “Howler Monkeys” would turn up all sorts of deviant variations on the theme. Thankfully, the school district had strong content filters, but who knows what these kids would have been exposed to at home?

Now, it appears our information is being filtered for us automatically. Unfortunately, it’s not limited to just those sites with an xxx rating. Now, based on what we most frequently “click” while surfing the internet,  an algorithm makes largely ignorant decisions about who we are and subsequently chooses our content for us.  Granted, I’m kinda’ glad I don’t have to wade through a bunch of questionable sites when trying to research a particular topic.  But I will NEVER consider having vital news and information automatically filtered out of my available options a good thing.  Let me choose. Let me customize my own filters.  Check out this video – what do you think?

Posted May 20th, 2011.

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“Each Man’s Death Diminishes Me”

“I took my eyes away; we didn’t want to be reminded of how little we counted,

how quickly, simply, and anonymously death came.”

(Graham Greene, The Quiet American)


Yesterday, March 11, 2011, a massive earthquake shook Japan – it was the biggest seismic event in Japan’s recorded history. Italy’s National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology reported that the quake, which measured 8.9 on the Richter scale, threw the earth off its axis point by 9.8 INCHES.   The US Geological Survey reported that the main island of Japan moved nearly 8 feet.

Like the rest of the world, I am haunted by the images of the devastation that ensued.  My heart aches for the people who have lost loved ones, for the tens of thousands of people missing.  Watching footage of the tsunami sweeping away ships, automobiles, homes, and entire buildings was a horrifying experience.  But it almost becomes too much to bear to contemplate the pain, fear, shock and terror of the thousands of people who were powerless to help themselves or others against the will of an angry earth.

After the 2004 tsunami in Thailand, I remember experiencing the same feeling of helplessness and despondency.  Stunned and emotionally devastated by the images we’d seen, my husband, my kids and I went down to the beach to try to clear our heads.  There, stretching as far as the eye could see in either direction up the Southern California coastline, were hundreds of altar-like memorial structures crafted from enormous bamboo fronds that had mysteriously washed up in tangled piles on the beach.   It was late in the day; there was no sign of the person or persons who had constructed the remembrances, but the message was clear:

We will remember. You are not alone.

We added our own bamboo memorial to the collection on the beach; the kids made little stone messages around the spires.  Days later, my husband traveled down the coast by train, and came home that night to excitedly report that the bamboo memorials stretched for miles and miles down the coastline.  It felt like hope.

Maybe time is circular; it’s been years since I looked at the pictures of that day, but the emotion and sentiments evoked by those simple structures many years ago, on a beach that is now many miles away, remain as pure and potent as they were then.  And the message is the same:

We will remember.  You are not alone.

Posted March 13th, 2011.

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Ok, it’s my birthday, and I’m cleaning house… Free Downloads, everybody! :)

I love birthdays… It’s like getting to celebrate your very own personal New Year…

In keeping with clearing out the old to make way for the new, this year I figure NO HOLDS BARRED! Having just moved to Los Angeles, it seems like I’ve cleaned out and eliminated in every other aspect of my life – now it’s time to clean out the creative stuff in my studio. (If you only knew how many pieces of music I have sitting in hard-drives – stuff for albums, stuff for film and tv, holiday stuff, jingle-kinda’ stuff… Lord. Time to chase away the spiders and blow off the dust, girl.)

So today we’ll start with some free downloads. They didn’t require too much polishing, and feature some amazing instrumentalists from San Diego… I hope you enjoy them! (Songs & accompanying stories will be posted subsequent to this post… just keepin’ it easy. 🙂 )

Posted March 5th, 2011.

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An Ode to St. Valentine

Valentine’s Day has always been a really weird day at my house.   This Valentine’s Day began with my kids reminding me for the umteen-millionth  time how Valentine’s Day is the “stupidest, most worthless day EVERRRRR…”.  On their return home, I got another earful from my son about how he was trying to forget it was Valentine’s Day but he “got hit in the face with, like, fourty-five shiny, freakin’  heart-shaped balloons” as he tried to pass some lucky recipient in the school hallway.

Sigh.

Poor St. Valentine.   I doubt he envisioned shiny heart- shaped balloons as a commemoration of his martyrdom.  Torture and decapitation = heart-shaped balloons.  Struggling with that one, myself.  And what about the cherub, the symbol of the romantic love he championed?  Personally, I’m still trying to get past the little flying naked baby as an appropriate symbol for anything but, say, baby diapers.  Naked flying babies could be dangerous. after all.  (Come to think of it, is that where the chocolate comes in?  The whole ritual smacks of those really bad baby shower activities where you have to taste-test a candy-bar out of a diaper.   Ewwww….  )  Let’s see.  St.Valentine + Romantic Love = Naked Flying Baby Boy.   Hmmmm…   Let’s rephrase that.  Esteemed Church Official/Saint+Romantic Love = Naked Flying Baby Boy.  That is wrong on soooo many levels.

Ok, so maybe we should look at the WHOLE history of the Valentine’s Day mystery… as much as one can figure out the original ingredients of a really good Pagan/Christian Stew that ‘s  been left to simmer a long, looong time, topped with a healthy dollop of commercialism.  (My endless thanks to good ol’ Wikipedia.)

It seems that there were several saints by the name of Valentine.  None of them really had anything to do with Romantic Love at all, but through the ages, it seems that the Saint Valentine responsible for all this muss and fuss was able to be narrowed down a bit.    This particular St. Valentine everyone seemed to know something about had been persecuted as a Christian by Roman Emperor Claudius II.  The story goes that while imprisoning and torturing Valentine, Claudius kindly paid him a visit.  The two had a nice long conversation, and it seems Claudius liked Valentine enough to try to persuade him to convert to Roman Paganism.  As any good martyr would do, Valentine refused and gallantly tried to convert the great Claudius to Christianity, which got him more torture and a big fat ugly death sentence.  Still, being a stoic, good martyr as martyrs go, Valentine cured Claudius’ daughter of  her blindness before he was horrendously murdered.  The End?

Welllll….. the “Romantic Legend Board” voted: Two Thumbs Down – Not Romantic Enough. Thus,  the “Romantic Legend” of St. Valentine was born.  Further embellishments on the legend report Valentine and Claudius’ daughter were deeply in love, and Valentine supposedly sent her a letter declaring his love for her which was delivered as he was on his way to being beaten,  stoned, and decapitated. That’s the original Valentine, folks. Makes you want one, doesn’t it?  (No wonder guys break up with chicks the day before Valentine’s Day… who wants to say they’ve lost their head over their beloved? ) Of course, every embellishment has its variation.  (FYI, according to Wikipedia, that version was  supplied, coincidentally and with no connection to historical fact, by American Greetings to History.com.)

The second Romantic Legend of St. Valentine goes something along the lines of this:

Valentine was a priest who refused to abide by a previously unchallenged law dictated by none other than Claudius, which ordered all young men to remain single.   Apparently, Claudius was trying to build his army, and he figured out that married men didn’t make good soldiers.   According to Wikipedia, “The priest Valentine, however, secretly performed marriage ceremonies for young men.   When Claudius found out about this, he had Valentine arrested and thrown in jail.”  (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valentine%27s_Day).  Their words.  Haven’t researched that further.   Doesn’t matter.  Marriage is marriage as far as I’m concerned.  It’s just that church officialcherub thing.

Moving on,  let’s switch from the Religious to the Commercial Quagmire, compliments of none other than the endlessly romantic Geoffrey Chaucer (1342/43-1400).  According to history, the first official connection St. Valentine really had to Romantic Love was through Chaucer’s The Parliament of Fowles. In this literary work, Chaucer portrays Valentine as the patron the of marriage of Richard II and Anne of Bohemia, and further depicts all the imagery the modern Valentine’s Day evokes:  Love-Birds, Voluptuous Blossoms of Spring, Venus, and – hold on, folks, CUPID.  And Hello, Hallmark!  Chaucer officially started the tradition of composing Love Poems on Valentine’s Day.  (Thanks, Geoffrey.  Really.)

FYI, in 1969 (ahem!),  the February 14th  feast day of St. Valentine was actually removed from the Roman Catholic Calendar of Saints because they said they knew nothing of the man, except that he (or one of the many) was buried on that day on the Via Flaminia. ( Odd, since the God Cupid (cherub=naked flying boy) was of Roman origin.  So was the ancient Roman holiday Lupercalia, which was originally observed February 13 – 15 as an archaic rite connected to fertility.  You think they’d want a piece of that.)  But hey, the Churches of England and Elsewhere kept the celebration alive. (How decent of them.)  Of course, by the early 1900’s, the greeting card industry had gone ballistic, ironically promoting the very paganism that sent St. Valentine to his death.  Add confectioners and jewelers and florists to Chaucer’s Happy Wagon.  No stopping that train in 1969.

So, all of this, this, ENORMOUSLY DRAMA-LADEN DAY is the work of early screenwriters, folks.  Early Hollywood.  Trust me – they’re laughing at us all the way to the bank.    Ahhh, but like all the other suckers out there,  I love Hollywood.  I always will.  It keeps us entertained, at the very least.  Good, bad, gorgeous and freakin’ 45-shiny-balloon-UGLY, any story that features romance at the heart of the story line (or the punch line, hard to tell sometimes), no matter what happens on this ultra-weird day, I remain the mom who will always tell her kids they are her very own Valentines, year after year after year.

Posted March 5th, 2011.

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Solstice to Solstice – My Blog Journey Begins

 

“It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg.   We are like eggs at present.   And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad. “

C. S. Lewis

Welcome to my blogsite.  December 21, 2010 seemed the perfect day to launch it, as the astronomical, astrological, numerological, and other unnamed and generally illogical signs all point to today being an amazing day to start something new.  After all , everything in our natural world begins a new cycle on this very day.

 

I intend it to be a humble perspective into my world; as an outlet for my muses, memories, and for my multimedia menagerie that has outgrown the proverbial china cabinet I’ve been keeping it in…    Sort of like a giant “coming out’ party.    I welcome your comments and contributions – sharing makes everything more vibrant  (that’s why there’s more than one facet on a diamond, right?) .  Cheers and Happy Solstice.

Posted December 21st, 2010.

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