Posts Tagged ‘Holiday Music’

Practice giving things away, not just things you don’t care about, but things you do like. Remember, it is not the size of a gift, it is its quality and the amount of mental attachment you overcome that count. So don’t bankrupt yourself on a momentary positive impulse, only to regret it later. Give thought to giving. Give small things, carefully, and observe the mental processes going along with the act of releasing the little thing you liked.

–Robert A.F. Thurman, American Buddhist author/professor

I like this bit of advice.

Give away things that mean something to yourself, something to which, as Thurman points out, you have a mental attachment that must be overcome. That’s always been the yardstick I use when giving away work at my talks or simply as a gift. It has to be something that hurts a bit to give away, something that you just want to hold onto a bit longer. 

But giving away the valued things of self brings on a feeling of magnanimity in myself, a feeling that seems so much larger and grander than that which usually comes along with clinging onto something. The feeling of generosity is warm and encompassing, like a field of fully opened sunflowers reaching toward the sun. On the other hand, miserly stinginess feels cold and all balled up, like a raisin sitting on a frigid garage floor.

And you most likely will find that the more that you give away, your desire to cling on to these things will fade away.

Let me clarify: I am not saying that you should give away all you have. Again, as Thurman also points out, don’t bankrupt yourself on a momentary positive impulse. First of all, a large or expensive gift doesn’t necessarily have any emotional attachment. Sometimes a small but thoughtful thing, even something that might appear trivial to someone from the outside, holds the most lasting meaning.

So, don’t equate price with meaning. But give when you can or when it it is needed and don’t be afraid to give of yourself, even if it’s only a few sincere words on a piece of paper. Those always ends up being the gifts that hold the most meaning for both the giver and the receiver.

But you probably knew this, right? So let’s listen to a song with a similar message from JD McPherson and his fun holiday album, Socks, from a few years ago. This is All the Gifts I Need.

Have a great day.

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Come my dear, I’ll sing a song
Hoping you will sing along
Come my dear, I’ll sing a tune
To the stars and to the moon
Glowing in her magic light
Lighting up the dead of night
Still I can remember once upon December
Come my dear, I’ll sing a song
Hoping you will sing along

–Blackmore’s Night, Once Upon December

It’s a winter wonderland out there as we enter the last few days before Christmas. It is cold and treacherous but the beauty of it all as well as the quiet it induces far outweigh these negatives for me. It has a meditative stillness that calms nerves frayed raw by the constant assault on them on a daily basis from external sources.

I won’t list them here now. They are all out there for all to see if they choose to do so.

So, today I am just going to play a song. My choice this morning is called Once Upon December, a new song from an unlikely source. Quite honestly I never thought I’d be playing anything from Ritchie Blackmore, the British rock guitarist best known for his work with Deep Purple and Blackmore’s Rainbow. When I first came across this song I was afraid that it might sound like Smoke on the Water or My Woman From Tokyo with a holiday twist.

However, since I haven’t followed his career I was unaware that since 1997 he has been part of a duo with his wife, vocalist Candice Night, playing what is called Renaissance folk rock under the name Blackmore’s Night. Their music incorporates medieval, renaissance and modern stringed instruments.

I was pleasantly surprised by this tune. The lyrics won’t change your life, as you can see by the lines at the top, but it has lovely movement and bright tone throughout. It’s not a bad way to move a bit further from the news of the day.

Have a good day and be careful out there. 

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