Friday, May 20, 2016

Durham Symphony

      This year, the Symphony celebrates its 40th year and needs money.  In the past, the City of Durham contributed $30,000 but this ended when the recession started in 2007.   (The County of Durham continues to help fund the Symphony).  We think it is time for the City to consider including the Symphony in its budget.   But we all know that once money is taken away, it is difficult to get back.

     Yet the Symphony has dramatically increased its outreach since 2007, in spite of decreased funding.  During this past season, the group gave four free concerts.

      Durham has a world class symphony.  Accessible, friendly, educational.  The group is involved in out-reach to area schools, and has a regular season with guest artists like John Brown's Little Big Band, Al Strong, and Brian Miller.  Tonight there was a free performance at the Museum of Durham History and earlier this month there was one at Trinity Park.  Always, the Symphony brings great music and jazz to our ears.

     Many of the musicians are volunteers.  The calibre of the symphony and its conductor are stellar.  Maestro John Curry is a graduate of Oberlin and received the Leo Stokowski Award for Conducting in 1988.  Durham is lucky indeed to have a symphony of such magnificance.

     There are several "value added" aspects to attending a concert with the Durham Symphony.   For example, eloquent overviews are given by Maestro Curry at the beginning of each piece.  These are reminiscent of Leonard Bernstein's "Young People's Concerts," in which he so masterfully engaged the audience.

     Then there is the opportunity to meet the musicians after the concert or even chat with the Maestro himself.   Many agree that these qualities make the Durham Symphony truly memorable and impact lives.   Young listeners, especially, may be inspired to play an instrument that they hear.

     Finally, going to hear the Symphony is a chance to make new friendships and to establish a tradition in the family of listening to great live music.

     Durham, this is YOUR symphony.  We hope that the City of Durham will consider including the symphony its budget. and that the people will consider making a donation of support.  Contributions can be sent to Durham Symphony, P. O. Box 1993, Durham, NC 27702.  Thank you.

Dana Stone, Durham


Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Don't Mess With the Nuns

Katy Perry wants to buy a convent and move into it


On the Bus

My car was in the shop this week so I had to ride the bus.  Turned out to be a very bumpy, noisy ride.  Two things to do when riding the bus -- read from a book of poetry and hold on!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016


To find my own strengths, I set aside rigid ideas and prejudices that limit my thinking...I can admit that my desires are not always in my best interest -- like having a "wild hair" about going to Boston.

Monday, May 16, 2016

The American South

From UNC's Study of the American South...

fabulous photographs by Alex Harris

Copperhead Country

Copperhead Country

Walking on the path near

my house I saw

a canopied forest

neath azure skies and 

porcelin clouds

and touched my pearl earrings

the ones you gave me before we left Tennessee

as a copperhead slithered by


continuing on its way

unlike the other ones I will meet

on the bright gleaming campus

 its noble archway

bidding all who enter here --

"Arbeit Macht Frei"


Saturday, May 14, 2016


Only about 30 minutes from Durham is Stagville, which to me, is kind of a sacred space.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Adam Stone

Fabulous interview on Adam Stone, DP for Midnight Special.

Ernest Hemingway's First Wife Hadley

Audio interview with Hadley Richardson Hemingway:

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Tongass National Forest

Sorry to learn how the U. S. Forest Service is abusing one of our national treasures, the Tongass National Forest. one of the largest temperate rain forests on the planet.

School Librarians

     Some of the hardest working school employees are the librarians.  I just noticed this tribute to a librarian from a middle school in Chapel Hill, NC.  It's very touching that the school honored this gentleman with such an eloquent.  Steve not only was the librarian, but coached a couple of sports also.

Amazing guy...what a loss.

Women's Resources

Check this out:  The Resource Center for Women and Ministry in the New South (located in Durham)

Monday, May 9, 2016

Marcus Thompson

Violist Marcus Thompson teaches at M. I. T.     I watched him play at the Sitka Summer Music Festival and just came across his biography.  His sister Leonita Cornwall teaches at Shaw.

Boston Chamber Music Society playing May 15, 2016

Papa Hemingway


        I digressed this morning from trying to find a recipe for cooking stone ground yellow grits in order to read up on Hemingway.  
         I saw the film "Papa Hemingway" last night, about Hemingway's life in Cuba.  At the time, he was married to his fourth wife, Mary Walsh Hemingway.
       The film touched on a supposedly true story.  A reporter for the Miami Globe, felt that Hemingway's books had given his life meaning and purpose.  That reporter's name was Ed Myers.
        As a child in the 1930's, he was orphaned, like so many other children during the Great Depression.  He felt that Hemingway's novels gave his life a framework, and ignited his love of writing.  After writing Hemingway a heartfelt letter, he was surprised to get a phone call from the great author, invited him to go on  a fishing trip.
        Thus began a friendship that lasted until the end of Hemingway's life about two years later.  The two went on fishing trips, drank at parties at the Floridita, and at one point, Myers helped to save Hemingway's life.
         Around this time, Hemingway was starting to become unglued.  He drank heavily, had a violent temper, and felt that he wanted to die because he could "no longer write or screw."  Indeed, an entire morning could go by where he had not written anything.
         He was sent to the Mayo for shock treatments after moving back to Idaho.  It's unkown whether the treatments helped or not.  But not long after that, he took his rifle and killed himself.
         I remember when Heminingway  died.  It happened when I was about 11.  How could I know about Hemingway?  I guess that he was such a larger than life character that it was just about impossible not to know about him.  I remember feeling how tragic this all was, even at such a young age.  I'd never heard of anyone killing themselves before.  But there it was, in the afternoon paper's headline.
         Hemingway had four wives, and the last one was Mary.  They partied hard and the years were not kind to Mary in the last years of her life.  She died in 1986 at 78.
         I'm not sure how I feel about Hemingway.  He seems like a man's writer as so many of his themes revolve around war and killing.  He himself was a hunter.  But perhaps his stories have a universal theme as they are known throughout the world.

A film review can be read by clicking the link below.


Sunday, May 8, 2016

Mother's Day

     Powerful sermon at Iglesia Emmanual.  And Vanji translated it for me.  A simultaneous translation as Julio was preaching.  The title was  "For Whom is Your Home?"
      Seek God's will in all things, that was the message.  I was touched that Vanji could translate for me.  It was an amazing experience...really touching.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Sports Scandals

     It's really something how the U.S. makes such heroes out of sports figures.  But many are fallen heroes.  Consider Heisman Trophy winner, O.J. Simpson, who murdered his wife.  And who is now serving a 40 year prison term.

     At one time, I suppose these honors really meant something, but integrity disappeared long ago.  Consider Reggie Bush, who actually won the Heisman, then had to give it back after betting activities.  Sheeesh...

       Does nothing matter?  Then there is Joe Paterno, who covered up the abuse of one of his coaches, Jerry Sandusky, for years.  Sandusky is serving out a prison term of 30 some years.   His abuse of children came out around 2009.  Such a sordid tale of sports and abuse is hard to comprehend.

Todd Gurley

      I've never been a football fan.  But I remember living in Tarboro, NC and hearing about a high school player by the name of Todd Gurley.
      I came across him name yesterday in reference to playing at the University of Georgia where he was a star running back.  He was even a nominee for the Heisman Trophy until he was suspended for accepting gifts.
      He's now playing for the LA Rams and is creating a legend with his talents in football.  I watched him playing on a YouTube video and he seemed almost unstoppable due to his talents in hurdling (he was also a track and basketball star in high school).  Pretty amazing to watch.  I can't remember the last time I watched a professional football game, except for maybe the Super Bowl of 2011.  But I'll have to keep a look out for Gurley because that kind of talent doesn't come by very often.
     I hope he stays honest, though.  It's so easy for players to become tempted by greed and the desire to be a "star."

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Janis Joplin

Janis Joplin

     Her bright light burned out at 27 with a heroin overdose in 1970.  Now, Amy Berg has a documentary streaming on PBS on the life of Janis Joplin.  "Little Girl Blue" will run through May on PBS and features interviews with Joplin's family, her lovers, and former band members.  Of particular interest are the letters that are read by a woman who sounds amazingly like Joplin.

     I was especially interested in Joplin's trip back to Port Arthur, Texas for her 10th high school reunion.  It was brave of her to go back, considering how difficult her life there had been due to her classmates' ridicule of her.  She turned her pain into a high art form.

     She became an overnight sensation at the Monterey Pop Festival.  "Little Girl Blue" includes film footage of that event and Janis' amazing performance with Big Brother and the Holding Company.  Amy Berg features members of the band in her documentary, which took seven years to film.

     Janis Joplin would be around 73 today.  It's a shame she did not get professional help for her heroin addition.  Jimi Hendrix had died the week before she did.  Had she lived, she would have been the "grand old lady of the blues."


Tuesday, May 3, 2016


I saw a 150 year old tree
and met a little girl named Greta
who came running into the study room
at Lily Library
and then dinner with friends
and a chat with a guy about Bruce Springsteen who,
it turns out, is really quite short
and then in the group, I heard Lucy
share about finding oxygen in the principles
when the air gets thin.

Monday, May 2, 2016


I have to list my gratitude:  for creative inspiration; for getting to church and the lunch afterward; for warm greetings and holding babies; for dinner at the Weaver St. Market; and for a good book to read; for my beautiful granddaughter and a phone call from my son; and for my poem about prayer flags.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Prayer Flags on Everest

Renewal/////Prayer Flags on Everest

One hundred prayer flags 
on the Mountain Kingdom
dancing in samir

blue for sky, green for water, red for fire
white for air, yellow for earth
and gold for souls long gone
flinging blessings
for healing
and good fortune
and long life

Prayer flags bearing blessings
may everyone be happy
may everyone be free from misery
may everyone be free from attachment

the mountain folks believe that blessings
are spread by the wind
there you see the goddess
bearing three jewels in her hair
and there you see the flags of
sacred animals
snow lion

Prayer flags soon evaporate
faded by weather
shredded by wind
bright hues pastelled into blue mist
with each new rising of the sun.

our lives come clean
flow off and away
blessed by the elements
taking us out to do what is required

there is joy
as all is forgiven in earth, water, air
we take shelter inside a prayer

When the air gets thin...
 oxygen will be there in the
form of blessings

Tibet, where shamans used plain flags in healing ceremonies, and legends of the Buddha’s prayers were written on battle flags used by warring deities called devas and asuras.  The transmission of Indian Buddhist Sutras to the rest of the world on pieces of cloth is the more prosaic explanation.  They are now a common sight throughout the Himalaya.
Prayer flags come in five colours – blue for the sky, white for air/wind, red for fire, green for water and yellow for earth – and are traditionally woodblock-printed with images and texts.  You’ll have plenty of opportunities to examine these in detail on your Everest Base Camp trek. The centre of the flag often depicts a Lungta (strong horse), a symbol of speed and transformation of bad fortune to good, bearing three jewels on its back that represent the Buddha, Buddhist teachings and the Buddhist community.  Images of four sacred animals – dragon, garuda, tiger and snow lion – can appear in the corners.  Covering the rest of the flag are versions of the 400 or so mantras (powerful ritual utterances) and prayers for the life and fortune of the person tying the flag.
Himalayans believe that when the wind blows the flags, it spreads the blessings, good will and compassion embodied in the images and writings across the land.  Eventually the prints fade and the prayers become part of the universe, and the prayer flags are renewed.  When you see them on your Everest Base Camp trek, treat them with respect but don’t be afraid to linger.  Their brightness may be one of your most vivid memories.

Pauli Murray

Pauli Murray

“Whatever future ministry
that I might have as a priest,
it was given to me that day
to be a symbol of healing.
All the strands of my life
Had come together.
Descendant of slave and of slave owner,
I had already been called
Poet  Lawyer   Teacher   Friend

Now I was empowered                                                           
To minister the sacrament of One
In whom
There is no north or south,
No black or white,
No male or female.
Only the spirit of love and
Reconciliation drawing us all

Toward the goal of human wholeness.”