Sunday, June 5, 2011

Life is Beautiful

Beauty is all around us, all you have to do is look for it

I see beauty every Sunday in church.  A family of middle aged siblings and their spouses lovingly help their aged and frail parents get seated, and then help then down the aisle and back for communion.  They've got a system of getting the wheel chair for mom and bringing it around, helping dad with his cane, but not too much, and getting the chair folded up and everybody back seated in their pews.  

There's beauty in children singing and playing, unencumbered by the cares of the day, happy in their own fantasy worlds that one will be lost to them forever...

I know many of us struggle to see that beauty, in ourselves, in others, in our country.  Unending wars, crushing debt, shouting and anger...  We're broke.  Financially, but not yet spiritually, but we are close.

Our salvation won't come from DC republicans or democrats.  It will have to come from us.  From our families and our communities. 

Fuzzy Slippers posted a video yesterday that made me cry, and I wasn't even drunk at the time.  The people of Grand Rapids Michigan produced a video of them and their city to the tune of Don McLean's American Pie.  It is an awesome display of civic pride and it's a beautiful slice of America.  Optimistic, happy, but humble.

These are people who cannot be broken.  This is America

America is being crushed by the nationalization of everything and the inevitable partisan clashes that go with it. National politics now poisons every corner of our lives.  It is embittering us and pitting us against one another.

Local efforts used to take on their own local flavor, most often non-partisan, or at least without the screaming ideological anger we see now.  In that video are democrats, republicans, conservatives, liberals, moderates, people of various religions and beliefs, human beings. 

We lost our innocence on 9/11.  We became hard and angry, and we turned it on our enemies in righteous vengeance.  But we also turned it on ourselves, and we ceded too much to an overweening federal government, forgetting how to do for ourselves and our neighbors.

We've lost it, but we can get it back.

* - Big H/T to Fuzzy Slippers I apologize for stealing your idea, Fuzzy, but this really struck a chord with me


Always On Watch said...

I admit that I'm having difficulty in the beauty around me these days. My problem? All the woes here in this household.

The family doc wants me to take antidepressants. But I don't want to add a pill to the mix I already have to take (because of my back injury). Besides, a pill doesn't solve the problems this household is facing.

Silverfiddle said...

Mental stress and depression are common in caregivers who are taking care of a spouse or other family member 24/7, and it's obvious why.

Add in medical bills, a shrinking dollar eroding your savings and purchasing power, trying to keep meds straight...

It has nothing to do with how strong you are, the never-ending responsibilities toward the household and your spouse wear on you physically and mentally. I watched an aunt and a grandma go through it.

I hope you have some support. I've been keeping you and Mr. AOW in my prayers.

The Born Again American said...

There is a lot to be thankful for and unfortunatly as you pointed out, sometimes we can't see the forest for the trees... I know I sometimes need to put on those "Rose Colored Glasses" (not to be confused with beer goggles, which help sometimes) and look at the world fom a different perspective... Then reality smacks me in the face and it's back to the task at hand, making Obummer a one term president...

amanofwonder said...

Mr Buddy Holley went down in a plane crash and there were those who remembered and that makes me hopefull.

Lost my virginity in the only seat uv a 68 El Camino listening to this song wondering am I gunna be happy on the day I die. Odd thing to think about in the throes uv wondering what do I do with this. But I got er dun and she wuz happy for a while.

And yep after 39 years you folks bring up the past and I gotta fall back on the grace thang in a big way.

She shows up and brings up the past every decade or so and I am a fool to listen to the unsolvable thangs in life.

So life is wut it iz.

I ain't gunna worry about it no more. Imma gunna be happy and it is a choice I freely make.

Silverfiddle said...

Man: The first one was a better song, but the second was more visually appealing.

Anonymous said...

I saw the video several days ago and had the same reaction as you. I was really proud of my fellow Michiganders.

Anonymous said...

For some reason I'm reminded of this quotation:

"Love your life, poor as it is. You may, perhaps, have some pleasant, thrilling, glorious hours even in a poorhouse. The setting sun is reflected as brightly from the windows of an almshouse as from a rich man's abode."

~ Thoreau (1817-1862)

Life, itself, even with all its terrors, drudgery, heartache and pain, is a beautiful thing -- God's GIFT to you and me. As long as trees put forth leaves in spring, flowers bloom, birds sing, children play -- as long as there is someone to love and care for, even if only in memory, -- as long as we have the capacity to read, think, appreciate the great things others have accomplished -- as long as we can till be touched by acts of unselfishness and devotion -- as long as we can appreciate beauty -- as long as we maintain sympathetic interest in others, even if they be our jailers, -- there is a reason to feel satisfaction -- and much for which we should be grateful.

"The stars belong to everyone --
The best things in life are free ... "

"This is the day the lord hath made.
Let us rejoice and be glad in it ..."

~ FreeThinke

Christopher - Conservative Perspective said...

Most excellent post and share your experience Silver and also share the thought of conservativeonfire about my fellow Michiganders.

This video is very representative of communities across the U.S. of what liberal elites deem "fly-over" country and I think it would be a great idea for communities do repeat this or make the idea go viral across the land. It reminded me of the times in my youth and believe sadly most have forgotten those times.

I hate to break this to you though, sliding in some more politics that is (it just cannot be avoided), but Grand Rapids,MI is the center of conservatism here in Michigan.

p.s., Thank you again for your kind word's over at my place.

Anonymous said...

I snagged this from you, Silver ... with a hat tip to both you and Fuzzy.

I would like to see more cities coming together; they are the links that count toward making our nation strong.

I am very proud of the people of Grand Rapids, MI ... Very Proud!

Silverfiddle said...

Christopher: I've never been to Michigan, so I appreciate your local spin.

Silverfiddle said...

No worries, Mustang. I'm only the two-millionth person to "discover" this.

This video is something so awesome you just gotta post it.

Anonymous said...

The world always has been and always will be a bleak and cold place.

Those who can see the beauty even during the darkest of times are those who are truly enlightened.

Jersey McJones said...

"America is being crushed by the nationalization of everything..."

I don't understand that statement. What's being nationalized that already isn't? We are still among the most laizzez faire nations on the planet, at least economically.

I don't understand that statement at all.


Z said...

SF, Mustang tells me you're a talented musician; have you a video or anything I can hear? Are you a Mark O'Connor fan, per chance?
I'm a jazz singer and classical pianist (not at the same time! :-)and sing with my church praise band now..loving it..tho I was a "HYMNS ONLY" girl for years.

I nearly wept hearing your beautiful take on what you see in church. On Ash Wednesday, a family of Mom, Dad, and two little boys, were walking back to their seats all with the ashes on their sweet, so good, so touching to me. Later, I asked little Van "Whose cross IS that, Van?" He says "Pastor's!" I just had to pure and sweet.

I saw 3 clean cut 16 yr olds cross the street the other day, and wave thanks to the car which had made an opening for them....that nearly made me weep, since so many kids are so unconscious and don't even know it's nice to acknowledge someone who's helped. When we feel weepy over these things, we know things are getting tough; this should be the norm, these lovely people caring for their elderly family members, or those little boys wearing the cross on their foreheads and being in church as a family, or the kid crossing the street.
We need to bring THAT back to America...that caring, that family togetherness, etc.
I saw the video at Mustang's; every city ought to do that..if nothing else but to confound the left :-)

Silverfiddle said...

Z: I don't know about talented...

But I do love to play, everything from Bob Wills to Pink Floyd.

Here's the only public thing I have out there, it's about my fiddler buddy Valentino Gomez, and I play a bit part.

Things are getting tough, we've lost something, and we are on the verge of losing our soul as a nation if we don't clean up our act and get back to basics.

Silverfiddle said...

I cut myself off...

That video touched something in me because it reminded me of life before 9/11, and it gives me hope that our best days are not behind us

Jersey McJones said...


Ya' know - and thank you Z for bringing this up - I was a musician for many years too. I gave it up about a decade ago. Not that I was bad, or that it was bad for me, but nowadays you can't make money in music unless you completely devote yourself, and I found marraige and comfort and stability to be preferable.

Here's the one and only "video" I ever made:

I'd love to know what you think of it. It's a song recorded in 1994, written in the 80's, and YouTubed a couple years ago.

Funny enough, it's a particularly stupid song, and I wrote it that way. So I tried to give it a little substance via the video.

But it remains a really stupid song. Ironically, for the most part, I used to write pretty heavy stuff.

I watched that video you did with that great ol' entertainer. Now, that's good stuff. The kind of good times you never forget. I know the feeling. I've experienced similar things. It must be one of the things that draw me to your blog.


Silverfiddle said...

Jersey: I really liked your song. You guys had a really good, professional sound. Was that you singing?

Playing in a band and marriage don't mix. I gave it up after about 1 year of marriage.

I wish my buddy Valentino lived closer. I've always found sitting around jamming more rewarding than playing on stage.

Jersey McJones said...

Yeah, that's me singing and playing.

I quit just after I got married too.

And yeah again - jamming is so much fun.

We should do it more with the younger guys. After all, we're the older guys now.


WomanHonorThyself said...

Beauty is all around us, all you have to do is look for it..amen my friend..great reminder..thank u Silver!

Unknown said...

"Our salvation won't come from DC republicans or democrats. It will have to come from us. From our families and our communities"
Couldn't have said it better, Silver!

MathewK said...

"Our salvation won't come from DC republicans or democrats. It will have to come from us. From our families and our communities."

Well said and that applies to everyone in the western world. Enough of us have to learn to grow up into adulthood and accept the responsibility that comes with it.

Until then, freedom and liberty are neither earned nor deserved.

Anonymous said...

>We are still among the most laizzez (sic) faire nations on the planet, at least economically.

I don't think "laissez faire" means what you think it means...

No country with over 350,000 pages of federal regulations has much of anything laissez faire about it, economically or otherwise.

Most Rev. Gregori said...

That certainly showed the stoic spirit of the American people. Sadly, there are those in the world and right here in America who will do all they can to destroy that spirit.

Anonymous said...

"No country with over 350,000 pages of federal regulations has much of anything laissez faire about it, economically or otherwise."


That about sums it up nicely.

~ FreeThinke

Z said...

is that you in the cap playing? It's just wonderful!
And there's such happiness on the fiddler's face it made me happy!
thanks SO much for linking that for me. I LOVE Orange Blossom Special!
Obviously, O'Connor is a professional ....You've probably heard of him but CAN HE PLAY THE FIDDLE!
Maybe I'll post one of his videos today...

Silverfiddle said...

Yup, that's me, with my brand new summer haircut.

My favorite rendition is by Charlie Daniels.

Thank you for the kind words.