MarsEarth

Old world wisdom, new world insight – poems, poetry, philosophy, dreams, commentary, ideas


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HOPE is not a four-letter word

by Lawrence J. J. Leonard

“Allegory of hope” Francesco Guardi  1747

In speaking English or learning to speak it, there are some idiomatic phrases which take on certain meanings.

Expressions and exclamations are usually formed when certain words become more commonly used by active groups or pockets of society.

This makes the language more useful and in some cases more colorful and expressive.

More people are then very willing to use a new expression in regular conversation because it is helpful in conveying the meaning of something important.

The subject of much contemplation this summer I am concentrating on is hope
Hope is defined as “the feeling that what is wanted – can be had.
Also, it can mean that what is wanted will turn out for the best.”

What is it about hope that causes us to feel optimistic?

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Memories returning

by Lawrence J. J. Leonard

Memories

You said you had a question about the way we live
explaining that there was a girl you knew long, long ago
who used to walk with you to school.

She always talked about her house.

She revealed that her bedroom had no windows.

 Then one day you went to visit her there
and saw for yourself.

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Billy Graham – not gone, just moving on ahead as promised

by Lawrence J. J. Leonard

William “Billy” Franklin Graham Jr. KBE was born November 7, 1918 and died February 21, 2018. Billy was an American evangelist, a significant evangelical Christian figure, and an ordained Southern Baptist minister. He is still considered one of the most influential preachers of the 20th century. His evangelical revivals are re-broadcast into the 21st century.

Be of Good Cheer
” ‘Jesus said, I have overcome the world.’ Now, Jesus made this statement just before he went to Gethsemane and just before he went to Calvary. He warned the disciples in that upper room. He said, ‘As the world hated me, it will hate you, too.’

“He used the word COSMOS, the world SYSTEM. Not the Earth. Not the trees. Not the Nature, but the WORLD SYSTEM. And, the Bible teaches that this WORLD SYSTEM is dominated by EVIL. Satanic cosmic principles of force and greed and selfishness and ambition and pleasure seem to be in control most of the time. Continue reading


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The Saddest Songs of Rock and Roll – #10

by Lawrence J. J. Leonard

Can we ‘have our cake and eat it, too?’ This is an example of a kind of paradox. If we eat it, it is gone then we do not have it. If we have it, we cannot eat it, too, because it would be gone. It is akin to saying, ‘this statement is false.’ Which may be true. But, it cannot be both ‘false’ and ‘true’ at the same time. In some instances we look at our own lives and say to ourselves, “I refuse to live like this.” Then again, paradoxically we are here, living those lives we are refusing to endure.

Consider the American rock band Shinedown. They hail from Jacksonville, Florida, and were formed by singer-songwriter Brent Smith. He started the band after his self titled “Smith” band broke up while still under contract with Atlantic Records. He reorganized in 2002 and recruited original band members: guitarist Jasin Todd, bassist Brad Stewart, and percussionist Barry Kerch. But these members did not stay together for long. The group members outgrew each other after the first two albums. And it was these works which sparked the Shinedown trek into music history. To date the band has accounted for over 10 million records sold.  They have 11 #1 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 Mainstream Rock charts, which is third behind Van Halen and Three Days Grace.

Being happy or sad or upset with the way our current situation is, may be a matter of choice. Each day we face situations that are thrust upon us. We somehow keep trying over and over to get it right. This is how Shinedown eventually began writing songs that dealt with pain and angst for their debut album “Leave a Whisper.” They crafted lyrics which discussed coping with life’s hurts and disappointments. After  a handful of demos and seven auditions for a drummer, which Barry eventually made the grade, they were able to fulfill their recording contract. The first track, “Fly from the Inside” was released as a single just two months before the album debuted.  The song which featured cries of pain and frustration peaked at #5. Then there was another song which sparked some serious controversy.

This new new song was reportedly not about suicide but about being comfortable in your own skin. Apparently, the world hands us the power to enjoy the gift of life or the power to destroy our own world. The group’s fans reacted favorably to the desolate guitar riffs and gloomy tone of the melody.  Do we have the will to get through the ashes of a bad day despite our fears?

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The Sky is Crying – Texas Flood

by Lawrence J. J. Leonard

Today we celebrate rain and wind and convection and hurricanes.
Hurricane Harvey is causing way too much anxiety for the East Texas coast.

We are praying for the south Texas coast, especially Corpus Christi and all the surrounding cities.
We are praying for Kingsville and Brownsville, Texas, and Matamoros, Mexico, too.

Stevie Ray Vaughan said it best, “The sky is crying.”
But this weekend, we are having ourselves a genuine Texas Flood.

Thank you for praying for Houston, too.

GOD BLESS TEXAS!

Peace!

Hunker down!

Copyright © 1960-2017 Lawrence J. J. Leonard All rights reserved.


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Telltale Tongue

by Lawrence J. J. Leonard

When we stick out our tongues at someone who has angered us,
it is a sign that what we really feel is frustration or defiance or disgust.
When we have that exact reaction in a pleasant context, it is a demonstration that what we really feel is consolation or irony or just playful.

What matters most is what we intend to express. What is in the heart.
The tongue is a big red flag (pun intended) that we wag when we want to express something cutting or hurtful.
Then again, it is a soft and comforting tool when we want to speak soothingly to someone in pain or console someone’s exasperation.

Why the tongue so powerful?
This explanation will be shorter
than a Top 40 song from 1960s.

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Saddest Songs of Rock and Roll – #36

by Lawrence J. J, Leonard

We have heard cries for help from little children who got their feelings hurt. Some pleas may have come from colleagues, peers or friends who needed money, more time to fix a problem, or even a little emotional support. It is not always easy to ask for someone to care about our issues much less a crisis. So, we live in fear that the one we ask will say ‘no.’

In 1970 Pete Townsend of the British rock band The Who was writing songs for the band’s fifth album. Pete was on tour with lead singer Roger Daltrey, bass player John Entwistle, and drummer Keith Moon in Denver, Colorado. Rumor has it that  Roger encountered a spiritual conflict as he turned down a romp with a groupie. He then went back to his hotel room alone. Because he followed the enlightenment teachings of Meher Baba, Roger wrote down his wishes to make himself a better person. The words called on the divine force to help him keep true to his beliefs.

When Pete heard about it, he collaborated with Roger on setting the experience to music. The two of them recorded a first version of the song at the Record Plant in New York in March, 1971. The band recorded a second version at Olympic Studios in London which took nearly three months to complete it. Sometimes we have to do something over and over until we get it right.

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