Wednesday, March 7, 2018

The Power of Mothership... and Music

Today, Wednesday March 8th marks International Women's Day around the world. It seemed relevant and necessary for me to recognize and to celebrate all women in the world as they attempt to seek a better share of possibility and recognition as equals in all fields of human endeavour.

I have always been an advocate and supporter of women's entitlement to equality. I owe much of my own success in every facet of my journey to important women contributors. Each of our human journeys owes its origin to "the Mothership"- carrier and first home for all humankind.

My Mother with her endless love, sacrifices, generous spirit and role model left an indelible blueprint which I have carried forward into a present that she would never see, or experience. I have shared its content and values with my own children and countless students and friends since then. Through me... her legacy will continue to survive her and be passed on to women... and men that she will never meet. We will collectively carry her legacy forward with usd to places that she never could travel to or see.

Mom was just one... in a succession  of women that I would meet... be befriended ...loved and mentored by. She single handedly ushered me into relationships with other women that I would meet... teaching me to respect and trust their person, their wisdom and their intellect. There exists no barrier between us. She enabled me to embrace and practice my own egalitarianism without fear.

I am greatly blessed... for the presence and gifts of  Deb as well... and all women who enriched my life. I encourage each woman... wherever you live... whatever your circumstances, or goals to stand up for the rights you will only receive if you speak out against dominance or oppression. Change never comes without resistance or hardship. Peace will always come afterward.

There are many other men like myself who are willing to strive to make the playing field more level. Sometimes the greatest examples o f strength and beauty can arrive through the careful use of "small instruments."

Play on... with your own small instrument,or voice.

Music... from my Past

I was very fortunate to have earned the opportunity to visit and study for eight weeks in Venice, Italy in the spring of 1989. That adventure would form the basis of a change in artistry and my personal growth and development which has led me right up to the present day.

It too would lead my darling daughter Allison to follow my footsteps to Venice... and beyond. She ended up teaching and becoming Director of the very Queen's University Summer School that I attended as a student. It would become the very wellspring of her entire mission on earth. I am greatly blessed to have shared that gift with her. It enjoined us forever as equals.

While I was there, I was befriended by my professor Catherine Harding and another woman student Jean Smith. That unlikely close friendship ensued because we three were much older than the other students. Simply put... our interests are more closely aligned. While the youth cavorted at the Lido beach by day and boogied into the night, we three turned our attentions to cultural opportunities as they arose over the eight weeks.

I will always be grateful to these two women ior sharing outings like an evening of stringed chamber music within the very halls of Antonio Vivaldi's church where he was concertmaster and organist. However, the highlight for my entire visit was an unforgettable night at the dazzlingly beautiful Fenice Opera House. The entire evening... with its tapestry of sights and sounds still reverberates in my memory.

However, the tour de force for this evening would be the final piece... Ravel's Bolero. Words fail to describe or grasp  the emotion that I felt as I swayed in my seat... seemingly for hours, as the music raised from the almost inaudible... through to a crescendo of the entire orchestra thrown into a frenzied cacophony of duelling instruments by section in the tumultuous concluding bars and notes.

My attention was riveted on the elegantly attired, tall, slender, older, white-haired maestro... iconic  to the point of appearing almost God-like as he wielded his white baton. His every movement and gesture captured the inner passion and intensity that he felt... and brought to this performance.

Those movements were locked onto by every section player as the tempo and cadence lifted. It was magical... for them... and the audience as well. At its conclusion, the entire audience rose to its feet in unison... wildly demanding that they play further. And it did... on four more occasions. I shall never forget it. I cried then shamelessly... as I still do every time that Bolero transports me back to that special marker in my life. The power of Music... "in concert" with memory!

Fast forward to the present...

I was ready to head into Tim Horton's this morning to pick up a brew after my grocery run to Gananoque when my Classic am station struck into that very version of Bolero. It was at that moment... after being unable to proceed in for my java fix, that I decided to jump ahead and reboot my Venetian delight tonight to share it with you.

When I searched out a good YouTube version to share here, I came upon this very special... and significantly appropriate version for so many reasons. The orchestra leader uses a toothpick???... to lead the orchestra. Judge for yourself.....

"The power of a small stick"... in a BIG world! then be ready to visit my next post soon...which will further this idea.

Stay tuned... and enjoy Ladies of my Life - you know who you are.
And thank you... ALL!

I love You... Forever Jemima Puddle Duck and Miss You!

Love Dad



  1. Lovely post, Bruce. Actually, I can envision the person your mom was, as she has passed on her gentle nature to you!

    "The power of a small stick!" This reminds me of a quote by the Dalai Lama..."if you think that you are too small to make a difference you have never slept with a mosquito!"

  2. Good morning to you Wendy Allison!... Thank you for checking in... and sharing your kind thoughts and support... and the wonderfully appropriate quote from His Holiness.

    I too... aspire to incorporate many of his beliefs and "chuckles.... and his wonderful smile therapy.

    Small can make a very large difference... as you quip!

    You are one of my blogging family Ladies. I am blessed to share time, energy, ideas and Hope with you and the others.

    Though we may never meet physically... we have "been' together... spiritually and artistically. Send me your "snail mail" address if you wish to and I will pass forward a small token of my thanks for your many acts of kindness and support.

    Rich blessings "Mighty Mite"... HA HA!!
    Warmest regards,

  3. Bruce, a visit to your shop is on my bucket list! I'm hoping to cross that one off, this summer! I would, without hesitation, send you my snail mail address, however, I am gifted every time you post! I'm sure we all are! (I'm still here, quietly enjoying every one.). See you in person in a few months!

  4. Good morning Wendy Allison!... Your thoughtful message underscores exactly why we are drawn together under a true spirit of Friendship.,

    I too... am gifted every single time that you take the time to support and encourage my two journeys so openly. I am forever grateful to you for those words and uplifting presence.

    I look forward to meeting you... whenever you can find your way to our humble studio in Rockapulco. Have a great weekend.

    Warmest regards and Blessings,