Friday, July 5, 2013
July 4 dawned full of anticipation! I had "planned" to write, but "Oh well, later." I gave way to carry water chop wood "chorz," grounding exercises in patience...."All in good time" I mused. "Enjoy the moment."
* Watching Giada de Laurentis cook was a great needed break, virtual cooking and eating in a pleasant home.
Later, I my son Rob and I had planned to watch Yankee Doodle Dandy, a black and white movie (1942). The first time I saw the film I was in first grade and home from school. I didn't go to school very often if I could help it! I'd watch Kay's Kitchen cooking show and Afternoon Movie Classics. The TV was a huge banquet of black and white programs occupying a prime place in a mahogany cabinet in our living room. I remembered the walls were painted a soft blue with white trim. You could close the TV from view when you weren't watching! Out of Box experience has arrived!
Watching Yankee Doodle Dandy for the first time, I focused on the whole movie without moving. My parents liked it when I sat still even for a little while. Setting the stage, my mother explained to me that James Cagney was an actor playing out the life story of George M. Cohan. She told me I wasn't born until three years after the movie's release, and mentioned I was born just two weeks before the Armistice of World War II.
I absorbed the black and white chess board harmonies of set design and character placement. I noticed the lead character playing George M. Cohan (Jimmy Cagney) was stunning with his cunning looks and scene stealing gestures. The actor rode a horse on set for the horse race! I noticed horses rather than people. I liked how the man who played Jerry Cohan (George M.'s father) looked, talked, and smiled like my Dad's Dad. I noticed costume designs, transitions in plot, and skillful lead-ins for songs and dances.
Classic melodies merged themselves into my heart-mind! I breathed in the energy of the American Tribute Medley peppered with bugles, drums, fanfare, and dancing including You're A Grand Old Flag, The Battle Hymn of the Republic and more. Later Over There appeared, my favorite song. George M. sat at the piano composing. I learned a bit about how a musician creates. I was already drawing with line and color, while musical composition plays with sounds, beats, and sometimes lyrics.
As I watched "yesterday" I dissolved in emotion, recalling houses with high up ceilings, thick oriental rugs and gently carved wood. A new learning experience happens each time I watch Yankee Doodle Dandy. Like a treasured book, each re-view or scan brings up new dimensions of memories, thoughts, energy, and power.
For Rob and me, our favorite part is the finale where George M. Cohan receives the Congressional Medal of Honor. We see the song and dance man dancing down the long staircase without looking down! Focus! Concentration! Emotion!
Earlier we all contributed to making a great simmered dinner of Northern Italian Minestrone Soup containing a mix of beef, cannelloni beans, onion, garlic, tomato bites, carrots, kale, and a Rosemary sprig based on a recipe by Giada. We ate while we watched our favorite scenes and songs.
After the movie, right away next on deck was a concert with fireworks (NBC TV). Among other performers,Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran sang together Everything has Changed. Again I stopped stock still and watched, listened, sang along...absorbing the haunting harmonies into my soul....And to think I almost turned off the TV!
Later I discovered I own this song on Cd, but had by-passed listening to it until last night! The live performance sparked new interest in music and lyrics Zen and Now:
**...."and all my walls stood tall, painted blue....
All I Know Since Yesterday Is Everything Has Changed."
Carry Water Chop Wood (June 2011), Manifest (June 2013)
Yankee Doodle Dandy biographical musical movie stars James Cagney as George M. Cohan.
* Giada de Laurentis presents Everyday Italian and more on the Food Network and the Cooking Channel Award winning cook book: Giada At Home
** Song of the Day Everything Has Changed written and performed by Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran from Taylor's Red album.
Visionary Artist, Author, and Tai Chi Instructor
Photos by Dahlis:
Butterflies through Stained Glass