Come see my yard sign - civility & compassion!

Come see my yard sign - civility & compassion!

Monday, July 24, 2017

"Words that we say weave a pattern of lace".

Hello dear friends and readers one and all,

This post's title is a lyric line from my song "Conversation".  I haven't posted in a while.  My muse was always with me but I had tons of mundane tasks that are now either done and out of the way or piled up in a dusty stack in a remote corner of my mind (I was going to say "brain" but realized that could sound a bit scary :) I've just taken a deep, wonderful breath ... aahhh. Now to weave some amazing thoughts into our pattern of lace.


I'd like to first tell you about my dog's sitter and friend, Jennifer the Pet Nanny. Jennifer took the lovely picture you'll see currently at the top of the pix column; in it Ruby was in the process of lifting her right paw to shake hands.  Jennifer is such a loving, capable, pleasant  person that I highly recommend her for anyone in the Knoxville area who has a pet needing regular or occasional care and companionship.  Her contact number is (865) 216-6118.


I'd like to share with you some quotes that I particularly like, each one is on a different emotional level and is personally special to me.


The first is:


"Even this late it happens;

The coming of love, the coming of light.
You wake and the candles are lit as if by themselves,
Stars gather, dreams pour into your  pillows". ... by Mark Strand.     

The second is:


"The wondrous voice, the voice of the one who attends to the cries of the world,

The noble voice, the voice of the rising tide surpassing all the sounds of the world,
Let our mind be attuned to that voice.
Put aside all doubt and meditate on the pure and holy nature of the one who regards the cries of the world,
Because that is our reliance in situations of pain, distress, calamity, death.
Perfect in all merits, beholding all sentient beings with compassionate eyes,
Making the ocean of blessing limitless,
Before this one, we should incline." ... by Thich Nhat Hanh.

The third is:


"Soul is something creative, something active. Soul is honesty.  I sing to people about what matters.  I sing to people who accept it like it is. There are tears when it's sad and smiles when it's happy.  It seems simple to me, but to some, feelings take courage"... by Aretha Franklin.


And to those awesome words I'd like to add my own little one-liner: "We are all in the same cosmic canoe'"... Clara the Lady Wolf.


Please, if you haven't, check out my music video "Fantastik Five".  And  if you like it, click on the You Tube "Like" tab.  Please also send your blog comments to the blog; it's easy, just click on Anonymous.  Thank you :)  Peace and blessings.


Friday, June 23, 2017

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Thoughts About My Dad ...

The upcoming Father's Day weekend lends itself well to memories; my father passed away in 1996.  I think about him often ... Daddy was, in many ways, unique. While I was growing up, most of my time was spent away from home with my mother, who took me hither and yon to do music performances.  So I  had a kind of "double life" :)  An interesting couple, my mother and my father were from different worlds ... she was a city girl and he was a country boy. In those days "country" meant where there were few vehicles and mostly woods and ponds and swamps (real swamps with skunk cabbages growing).    

Every day when Daddy would get home from work he would go outdoors and busy himself with his garden, which was more like a mini farm.  He loved trees and could identify every tree; he spent many hours building and remodeling bird houses to hang in some of the trees.  In wintertime, he would be shoveling snow, putting down ashes or sand to make the walkways safe. When he did get to spend time with me, he would tell me about Nature and things like putting mud on insect bites and bee stings so they would stop hurting. He delighted in making little jokes about some of my mother's visiting relatives; the jokes would be little rhymes usually. He was not the warm and fuzzy type of father (no hugs) but he put much effort into teaching me ... conveying Native American lore and he knew a lot about animals, both wild and domestic. He would go out of his way to help an injured or lost dog or cat. We went hiking often. There were, at that time, ponds and creeks that lent themselves to his obvious respect and reverence. He could predict the weather with uncanny accuracy.


A few years ago while going through some very old photographs, I came across one of him, sitting on the back steps of what was then his parents' house (ours was next door and the properties were connected into one huge area of land).  In the photograph, he was carefully holding a baby on his lap. The baby, who was dressed in a knitted outfit complete with ruffled cap, was about seven or eight months. On the back of the picture he had written "This is me holding MY baby -- this is the only baby I've ever held". When I read that I felt very touched by the image of this young man with his thick, unruly hair, holding what was, perhaps in his mind, the most fragile thing he had ever held.


He was a very talented hockey player and could ice skate so swiftly and well, it was fascinating to me. He had also been a softball player and a saxophone player before getting married. Active always, he could run up the hill leading to our house in the middle of winter when it was slick with ice; his philosophy was that if he kept running, his pace would propel him too fast to slip and fall. I remember hearing him say that many times to people who would be struggling up the hill (either on foot or with their cars). "Just run" he would sometimes call out to them. They would be in disbelief seeing him glide by :) To me it seemed to be a lesson in perseverance and rising to the challenge.

    
These are nice memories to recall. Thank you, Daddy.
And happy Father's Day to all dads.  


Sunday, May 14, 2017

Delightfully eclectic!

Tonight I am in "picture mode" and so have posted a few new, exciting pictures.  I just thought of one additional one I should put up there ... it isn't exactly a picture, but is actually a promo for me and my music.  It will probably not be easy to take your eyes off the gorgeous wolf that meets your gaze as soon as you log onto the site :)  He/she is amazing!

Also tonight I'm focusing my thoughts, hopes, and dreams on wondrous things ... such as the pictures, and the theme of today which is "Mothers".  I said a meditation this morning in honor of those of us whose moms are deceased, focusing on my own mom and the mom of my best friend.  Both were amazing women who dealt with hardship, yet remained faithful and kind to all. 

Tomorrow we will again, undoubtedly, find ourselves shocked by the latest crazy antics in Washington DC, but I'm ever hopeful something and/or somebody will pull us up and out of that mire and into the Light of Peace.  Two things that best promote the possibility of peace (besides prayer and meditation) are Nature and Music.  So I will put up my little jpeg music promo (that is very newsy and sort of cute) and also a picture that may be surprising though pleasant to see ... it's a current and very classy photo of Mr. Putin playing some of his favorite music on his grand piano.  

One more bit of news !  Currently (here in Knoxville) work is being done on a video that will feature five of my recorded songs, with a myriad of exciting visual offerings, and awesome production.  The songs were recorded at Songwriters Recording Studio here in Knoxville,  with multi-talented Sandy Garrett at the helm.  The video production is being handled by HPVideo in Knoxville, where Ben and Tom's expert talents will put together "Fantastik Five" (that's the working title) by Clara ... the Lady Wolf.  It will go up on YouTube and on this blog and perhaps elsewhere.

Now I need to get those remaining two pictures up! 


Sunday, April 23, 2017

"Never In A Million Years"

This post will be a bit of whimsy and nostalgia. I'm placing it here as the first post so that people will be curious and log onto the blog and see the post about Leo and his rescue organization which is directly after this one :)

This post will require a bit of imaging. Most people who are acquainted with me know that my childhood and youth (well, most of my life) was in music performance at venues of many descriptions. My mother was a very active "stage mom"  :) When I was 19 years old and had left my home of origin (actually, had been run off by my sibling who was not a nice person), my mom saw an ad in the newspaper about a vocal group looking for an additional singer who can do harmonies. She renewed her interest in being backstage and insisted that I inquire and I found myself with three guys who were going to sing and one additional guy who was a talented piano player. The building was very old and in the center of New Haven (CT), about two or three floors up in an old building. The floors were that nice, worn-looking kind of wood. I didn't really want to be doing this kind of music... I was 19 and these guys were in their mid-thirties (old) and the piano player, Tony, must have been in his 50s. They called what we were doing "progressive jazz"; of course I was much more enthused about rock and roll. Well, we practiced there and at each other's houses for a while, then added our own instruments ... me on piano, Charlie on guitar, and Geno on bass ... or sometimes Charlie would play the bass and Geno would play some kind of hand rhythm instrument ... later Ray entered the scene and played drums. By this time I was really enjoying the harmonies ... very close jazz chords on some terrific old (at that time) songs ... and Tony kept saying "Rock won't last, it won't last!" This is all leading up to what I want to tell you :)

One night while we were in the old building, we heard footsteps coming up the stairs.  It was a  smiling middle-age man of stocky build and I think he was carrying in his own huge stand-up bass. The guys knew him and asked him if he'd like to do a song and in a split second he responded by saying "Sure" and I heard my very first vocal and bass solo as he launched into a spell-binding rendition of "Never In A Million Years". I'd never heard the song before.  It was mesmerizing to me and at that moment, the bass became a much-loved instrument to me. I later realized that the bass sound is very important to me when I play piano or my split keyboard (which has a bass function). As a matter of fact, a saxophone player who came to my house five or six years ago, jubilantly exclaimed "A keyboard player with a left hand!"  

The song "Never In A Million Years" has stayed alive somewhere in the background of my mind and, recently, I looked for the lyrics on the Internet.  I made myself a lead sheet and have added the song to my repertoire :)    


D.E.L.T.A. Rescue Needs Help ...

D.E.L.T.A. Rescue (Dedication and Everlasting Love To Animals) Needs Help!  This is the largest "no kill and care-for-life" animal sanctuary of its kind in the world, home to more than 1500 animals who had been abandoned in the wilderness.  Located in a lovely high desert area of Los Angeles, it's surrounded by rolling hills.

Founded by Leo Grillo, it is a genuine 501(c)3 non-profit organization and has an "A" top charity rating. (Guide Star is one of the reliable ways to look up financial information about non-profit organizations ... especially look at the fund-raising expenditures). D.E.L.T.A. Rescue has two veterinary hospitals and a full-time veterinary staff on the premises and state-of-the-art equipment to provide care for each animal's needs. In 1979, Leo put his career on hold when he began rescuing dogs, puppies, and cats who had been dropped off and abandoned in the wilderness. He says that people told him he was a "fool" to devote his life to rescuing animals, but he stayed with it for going on forty years.

I heard from Leo recently and he is urgently hoping for some new donors, because many of his long-time donors have grown old and passed away. He says that he can't compete for funds with organizations that have professional fund-raisers and who have very effective television ads. He is asking each person who reads his appeal (let this post serve as a part of his appeal, please), to tell another person ... and pass the word along.

The work he has done and is doing is vital and admirable. This is a very good man.  The website is at http://www.deltarescue.org.  Donations can be made on the site via Pay Pal or can be mailed by postal mail to D.E.L.T.A. Rescue, c/o  Leo Grillo, P.O. Box 9, Glendale, CA 91209.


Wednesday, March 8, 2017

"A Real Little Trooper"

I wonder if anyone still uses that old phrase (the title of this post) ... so often said backstage during the old show biz days :)

I meant to put up this post recently when I wrote a couple of others. This one is in the "Nature's Wonders" category of my mind. It's about a poinsettia plant that I bought three or four Decembers ago either at the grocery store or Kmart; it summered outdoors and then came in each autumn just before the frosts would begin. I would bring in the scraggly (neglected) plant because it was clinging to life so valiantly; I admired that.

Last summer's drought hurt and even killed some of the plantings I attempted to keep watered, dragging the hoses around the property in the intense heat each day. The poinsettia was not on my plant priority list but, somehow, it managed to catch enough water spray when I when I watered my other outside plants to hang on ...  and it still had a leaf or two when autumn arrived, so I brought it indoors in November so it wouldn't freeze. It stands on a table with my houseplants here on my sun porch and now has a full crop of leaves on new branches and bright red brachts with the little yellow flower centers.  It looks proud :)  All this with no special care except weekly watering.  

I admire and respect the life force ... the courage and determination an organism (including human) can have under adverse conditions, in order to endure, grow, blossom, and fulfill its purpose.  And so I've named this plant "Little Trooper" :)  


Monday, March 6, 2017

Fierce Love!

"The Divine is with us, my friends, if we
only bring our attention there. Take heart.
Be courageous and brave. Practice
faith and patience as you Stand with Fierce Love.  When the consciousness is kept on God, you
will have no fears; every obstacle will then
be overcome by courage and
faith."     ~ Paramahansa Yogananda

Thank you, Ike, for sending out that quote.

Fierce Love is passionate and unconditional.  For me, it is the only kind of love that I can really call "love".  Fierce love does not back down or shrivel up; it lasts through the storm and administers caring; it is honest and palpable.  It is the way I live and breathe and, at times, pull myself or another back from the abyss.  It gives me courage. Fierce love is the real deal.
 ~ Clara the Lady Wolf

  

Friday, February 17, 2017

Important Stuff Of Many Colors !

Dear Readers,
I always do my writing and then add pictures, if any. This time it had to be done in reverse order, as I couldn't wait to see these photos on my screen :) They run the gamut in terms of feelings, importance, and you-name-it. Rather than do a bunch of individual posts to cover each topic, I think I'll sort of ravel on, putting each subject in a different color font and, of course, dividing up the paragraphs.
  
The first photo you'll see covers the space of a double column and I hope it is readable; in case not, I'll type the words here: "A white Rose to honor and hold in loving memory the dogs and all other animals who suffer and die torturous deaths by the hands of persons who are intentionally cruel. May civility and compassion for all beings enter the hearts of all humans"... Clara ... the Lady Wolf.

As an animal advocate and humane educator all of my adult life, I have known of many, many intentional cruelty and neglect cases foisted upon our fellow-beings, the animals. Each one is heart-breaking and sometimes justice is done. We learn of cases of starving horses, cruelties inflicted on farmed animals, and the killing off of wolves and other wildlife. Most frequently though, we hear of cases involving dogs -- man's best friend. And the catalyst for this post does/did involve dogs. About a year ago, I read a carefully documented investigative article that detailed a horrifying, violent, protracted death inflicted on a docile small collie dog and other dogs who had been waiting to be reclaimed by their owners at the dog pound in a small town in Texas.  The crime was, in essence a "fun" exercise, carried out at the city garbage dump where no one would see or hear the activities and the dog's cries. The perpetrator was/is an employee of a branch of the federal government; this particular man and his "trainees" were referred to as a "rogue" agency because it basically has little or no accountability, although it is under the umbrella of the Department of the Interior. What he did I would like to be asked about by media, in whom I could confide. For months I wrote to and called various animal help groups in the hopes that someone would raise this issue within the government realm and prosecute the guilty.That did not happen. So I mourned in silence and my health declined. I also realized that talking about it could put me in jeopardy, but I would like to talk with sincerely interested media and advocacy groups.  

Very recently I decided to place a beautifully-shaped boulder and the sign bearing a white rose, to honor the little collie and other animals who fall into cruel hands. Here is something we all can do:  Please tell others about the need for civility ... and compassion for all living beings.

Ruby, my dog adopted in late May of last year, just celebrated her ninth birthday on January 1st. She's a wonderful girl and I am blessed to have her. She has a huge understanding of the English vocabulary, so I often need to spell words, especially about going "out in the car" which she loves.  Some words I need to spell backward; "car" becomes "rac", for example.  

For the past eight or so weeks, I've been doing my own aerobics routine in the sitting room where my stereo is located. I raised the chandelier so it's out of my way. I did it because I was being overtaken by some kind of arthritis, from toes to knees to hips, even a couple of my fingers.  I take anti-inflammatory supplements, and for a while was relying sometimes on WD-40 (which does clear up a balky joint just as it would a rusty hinge). My motto is "whatever works". My range of motion has increased greatly; my pain is rarely thought about, but I know I need to regularly work those joints. I was always one for aerobics, so I know the routines. I'd recommend it for arthritis ... just start off slow and gradually increase the level of vigor. I've always loved to dance, so this is the best medicine (besides my supplements) for me.  Maybe for you too?     

My new CD "Early In The Morning" is here; contact me for it ... also I have a few copies of the previous one "Fantastik" !
As my readers know, I'm a songwriter, musician, singer, and piano teacher. Life needs music!  (865) 659-5383. You'll see my truck is shakin' his tail feathers with new tail-gate decals.

Our weather is majorly doing flip-flops; our political environment is turbulent. Let's hope our planet's health, the well-being of humans and our fellow beings will be salvaged. Let's hope for peace. Peace is cool; war isn't. Let's all meditate on peace, civility, compassion, and clear heads.       

Blessings and peace to all ...
Amen.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Very newsy news coming soon!

Dear Readers,
I've got some news items I'll be writing about here this week.  Please check back soon.   Meanwhile, feel free to check my newly redone personal website at http://www.claralandau.com.  It's got a totally new look and a new song player with your favorites AND my newest recordings (many that are on my Early In The Morning double CD album).  There is much more to come, though, so check back here on LW's Notes soon :)
Oooohhh!  Oooohhh!  (I love to say that and I love to sing it)!  



Saturday, December 31, 2016

A New Year!

Wishing for one and all -- peace and blessings in the New Year.  Welcome to 2017 ... may it be a time of peaceful resolution, good will, ethics, wisdom.  May there be compassion for all living beings.



Small Talk !

Here we are on the cusp of a new year, perhaps sighing with relief that 2016 will be over; hopefully, feeling some optimism or at least neutrality at the thought of the "changing of the calendars" ritual :)  I re-discovered something this morning that  I'd like to share with you, for what it's worth. 

My day started with my planned trip to Kroger's at Northshore.  I went mid-morning so I could avoid the crush of crowds later on. Once in the store, I set about looking at my list and decided to go first to the deli counter where there was nobody in line.  I needed to buy 5 or 6 slices of chicken for Ruby, my dog (I don't eat meat, haven't since 1980 but dogs are carnivores, so I buy her chicken and give her a slice each morning to have with her dog food). When I walked up to the counter, I saw that the lady employee in the department had on a "top hat" that said "happy new year) and she also was wearing some matching very glitzy neck jewelry.  She looked festive!  I could not help but smile, actually a big grin, and told her that I liked her holiday gear. She smiled back and said "Well if I have to be here, I figured I could have fun too". I quickly agreed and then, while she was slicing the rest of Ruby's deli treat, she and a co-worker (also decked out with top hat, etc.) were talking briefly about someone with an attitude who was annoyed and they agreed "she" would get over it.  Not one to be shy among strangers, I chimed in "Sounds like you're talking about a moody boss". My lady (now done with the slicing) said "It's my dog. She got mad at me this morning because I left earlier than usual and she turned away and refused to look at me". I said "OK, then it is the boss.  My dog acts the same way if I have to leave the house more often than she thinks I should". We laughed and went into a full conversation and she asked me what part of the north I'm from. I replied "Oh, it still shows?" Yes, so I told her I'm from Connecticut but have been here 30 years and she told me that she is from Washington, DC -- was born in Nashville, but has never been back there since. We both agreed that we like it here and the only thing we miss is the ocean. The point I'm steering toward here is that when I had to turn away and leave the deli department, both of us felt sort of a sense of separation, even loss; our conversation and liberty to just speak and share and smile had really lifted the day for her and for me.  

I often talk to people in the grocery store and in other public places, parking lots, etc. I used to talk with lots of people at airports during all the years I flew everywhere. I have thought that conversing with strangers is more important to me now because of the limited opportunities I have these days to talk with people in person. But I think there is more to it than that. Even for someone like me who is capable of enjoying her own company, I think that face-to-face small talk is getting scarcer and I miss it, as we spend more and more time with our faces buried in our computers, communicating, yes, though at a different level through a different medium.  

Suppose we were to try to have more in-person, face-to-face conversation and friendly telephone calls (like in the "olden" days)? We can see the person's facial expressions and they can see ours; most importantly (to me) it will be good to hear the inflection in a person's voice. It's a thought :) So I thought I'd bring it to the table :) Small talk !    



Friday, December 23, 2016

"Early In The Morning" - my new and final CD album!

Yes! Yes!  My new CD album is finely-crafted  double album "Early In The Morning".  It contains some awesome surprises (that you will never hear elsewhere)"Pride and Joy" and "Out Of Nowhere". And beyond those, along with some favorites of assorted genres. I've prepared a typed insert for the inside back of the disc; it tells how and why each song was chosen for this project.  When I finished writing it, I had to smile at the truths it conveys. So it's definitely worth a read. All songs are representative of my biographical life (in random not chronological order). Along with my most recent original "Early In The Morning" (the morning is my most creative time) are awesome cover songs "Since I Fell For You", there are special tributes to cosmic travelers, my beautiful companions (you must hear "Dixie Lee's Song"), a precious person, and wonderful emotional and spiritual elements that have shaped, elevated, and enriched my life.

Humor interweaves there, too in songs like Pride And Joy.  Listen to the CDs to identify my awesome life enhancersThe album (with a total of 16 songs) came into being via the very artistic and capable hands of William (Sandy) Garrett of Songwriters Recording Studio in Knoxville, whose amazing talents are without limit. He did the recording and mastering of the songs and a beautiful job on the album's graphic design. His website is at www.songrecord.com. The albums are ready now!  Please contact me at (865) 659-5383 if you'd like to get one. 





Sunday, December 11, 2016

A thought, a wish, a prayer ...

May we extend well-wishes of unbounded friendliness to all beings;
May all beings be free of danger and harm;
May all beings be happy and peaceful in heart and mind;
May all beings be strong in body and spirit;
And may all beings live with ease.
And as we wish these things for ourselves and others, so too do we wish them especially for those who are in need.

Thank you, Ike, for sending out this quote. Yes, may all beings be at peace. This is a wonderful wish at any time and perhaps especially now amidst all the turbulence juxtaposed to our hoped-for holiday cheer. The very thought, the very wish, the very prayer for all beings ... the people, the animals, the trees, all the living elements of Nature safely clothed in wondrous peace! Amen.


Sunday, November 13, 2016

Questioning Our Values … and much more


Our  country is and has been very divided and the corruption in politics has been shown to have been running rampant for quite a while. Some of the questions that come to mind might be: What are our values and priorities? Can and will our government reduce the reality of the wealthiest 1% elite financial system? Can we lower the volume on considering ourselves (and boasting that we are) the top-dog of all nations?  Do we regret the fruits of starting wars for nefarious or unsubstantiated reasons?  Do we believe government and corporations should not have the right to trample on the lands and rights of citizens?  Will our infrastructure be fixed? Should citizens know what's going on within federal agencies such as FDA, CIA, Dept. of Interior's Wildlife Dept. and others that have serious shadows via rogue factions in some of their activities?  I'm just tip-toeing through the tangled mess of issues that I've become aware of.

We have a new president now and he and the congress have a mammoth job ahead of them in working toward unifying and fixing so many facets of our country. I believe the time has come for each one of us, as citizens, to abandon hate, political violence, corporate greed, bullying, unaccountability, and anything else that could invite negative energies and destructive actions. It's time to let the dust settle and then for government and citizens to adopt an attitude of ethics and peace.

As a nation, we need to seek and legislate for solutions that will be helpful to middle-class American citizens who are in an economic, healthcare, and employment squeeze-play. Also as a nation, we need to seek and legislate for what will be positive solutions for Planet Earth's well-being.

Worldwide, a peaceful human co-existence is the only way for our planet and all of its people and interconnected life forms to survive. Most Americans are nice people ... and most people in other nations are nice people. I'm asking us to put aside residual and/or unclear thoughts about other established countries and their perceived positions as friends or enemies. Rather, consider that most of them are very much like us under the skin. Peaceful discussion is always a good idea. Even people in war-torn areas and suppressed nations have feelings like we would have if we were in their situations.

Also, please consider the birds flying in the sky, our wonderful fellow creatures THE ANIMALS who DO NOT have a vote in human politics, NATURE'S SUPREME ARTWORK the flowers, adorable bumble bees, butterflies and honey bees currently being wiped out by insecticides, THE TREES who give us shade and beauty and who supply us with oxygen so we (even asthmatics like me) can breathe, the wondrous beauties of nature on Earth. Consider the CHILDREN. Should all THE INNOCENTS I've just mentioned suffer and be annihilated because of our behaviors, political gestures, and choices? Better to choose a compassionate, ethical course of interactions ... so that life at a cellular level can have a chance to survive and so that our planet will never be made devoid of life. Whether the  human race evolves or devolves, depends on the choices our human species will make now. There is a whole lot riding on our planet's big picture. We each and collectively can heal ourselves and our world if we really want to. If we really, really want to.

Please check out my Healing The Earth Family blog and listen to the song that is included called 'I Love All The Voices"; it is at http://healingtheearthfamily.blogspot.com.  



Saturday, November 12, 2016

Updates !

Dear Readers.

I haven't posted to this blog since mid-September.  It wasn't for lack of things to say; rather, it was lack of time to say them. And some pesky joint inflammation issues that got in the way. And partly because my Facebook Artist's Page doesn't properly work despite my many efforts on its behalf. And because of my activity in writing thoughts and "comments" to post on Yahoo and Google news and political commentaries.  And very majorly because of my commitment to and enthusiasm about my new and what I believe will be my final music CD project! Therein reside the causes of my blogging lapse   :)

I dearly treasure every reader of my blogs; please check out my animal ministry blog and my healing the earth family blog and my personal website (links will be listed below).  And complete info about my new (and final) CD album is forthcoming. 

Also, I should mention that I am accepting a few new adult and teen piano students (enjoy learning note-reading, chords, ear training).  More than ever, Life Needs Music!  Thank you, as always.  Peace and Blessings ...
Clara  

Links to my other blogs and personal website:  http://animalministry.blogspot.com; http://healingtheearthfamily.blogspot.com; www.claralandau.com.

My Take On Bullying ...

I wrote the following in response to a recent media article written by a psychologist who blamed Mr. Trump for the post-election street violence that is taking place in some large cities … AND … claimed Mr. Trump will be the cause of an increase of bullying in schools and other areas of life. To blame Mr. Trump for perceived future bullying is IMO ridiculous. I mean the entire campaign was malicious and devious. The media did their best to create and inflame the news rather than reporting it and, in some cases, media ignored (a kind of bullying) candidates they wanted to push into the background, as in the case of Sanders.  In many ways, it was a very unkind election process.  But my thoughts on bullying are not politically influenced, as I was neither a Trump or Clinton supporter (I voted third party Green). 

We constantly hear about bullying these days. I think that to blame Mr. Trump or anyone for perceived "future bullying" is really off-base, as I am an elderly person and bullying was very alive and active all the while I was a child.  All it takes is for one individual (and his/her posse or accomplice if he/she has one) to pick on a child who seems "alone" or smaller or special in some way.  Both verbal and physical bullying are devastating to the recipient.  As an eleven-year-old, I was thrown from the sidewalk into the street twice by the same gang of teen girls, and as a very young pre-school child, was repeatedly thrown to the ground by a large boy in my neighborhood who sat on me and pummeled me with his fists until my mother would run out of the house in response to my screams (he later added putting one hand over my mouth so I couldn't scream and at that point, my mother talked to his parents about it). I also had a brother who once punched me in the face. The bullying that I was so conditioned to followed me into adulthood and marriage.  One day I responded to bullying by throwing a bag of garbage at the bullying person; I knew I was doing a dangerous thing but it was my moment of turning point.  And typing the word "turning" brings to mind an early conversation in which my father had given me some well-meant advice when I was a kid, but I hadn't followed it.  He said "don't act scared but if a bully starts chasing you, run away (to fool him/her), then when he/she has almost caught you, suddenly stop and turn and punch him/her as hard as you can wherever you can reach with good leverage.  So in essence, the garbage bag was my sucker punch and it worked. IMPORTANT -- This is not advice I'm giving on how to deal with a bully in today's world. I survived bullying because I learned and practiced avoidance techniques and because I have a guardian Angel who works overtime.  In today's world, bullied kids and adults have agencies and resources that can help -- if they know what's going on.  People who are bullied need to find the courage to get over their reticence to report it to proper authorities.  

There will always be bullies in our population because some humans do carry that gene or have been conditioned by their own bullies to pass it on. On a national and world level (bringing this writing back to where it began), I believe Mr. Trump wants to be a good president. Now we need to let the dust settle and stop the bickering and street violence in our country. I believe Mr. Trump and some of the other world leaders are awake to the fact that war is a huge mistake and peace is the prize we should all seek.








From the November 9th issue of Indian Country Today ...

Clergy Support Water Protectors
"Prayer has been a powerful part of the Standing Rock protests—and never more so than at a memorable gathering last week. “We knew you were coming; that one day you would come here and start asking questions about your government,” said elder Regina Brave, her long, gray braid falling the top of her black leather vest. “We are all children of God. Black, red, yellow, white, are all represented.” Brave, an Oglala from the Pine Ridge Reservation took the microphone at a gymnasium in Cannon Ball, North Dakota on November 2. The next morning, more than 500 interfaith clergy and laity would join opponents of the Dakota Access Pipeline in a show of prayerful, peaceful, nonviolent, and lawful solidarity and witness. Lynette Wilson, Episcopal News Service" 

This article and photo were good for this reader's eyes to see ...
Clara

Monday, September 12, 2016

Looking For Treasures ..."

It's been a long, hot summer and the heat has kept me hiding indoors a lot more than usual. Nature-loving me spent a lot of time hosing down the plants and filling the birdbath. The man who faithfully comes to mow the lawn has lately been mostly raising clouds of dust out of the mottled areas of brown grass.

But I'm finding little jewels among the last vestiges of summer.  Young zinnia plants still popping up through the dry soil and then, somehow bravely producing flowers.  Birds showing up at the birdbath.  Butterflies of many colors that seemingly come from nowhere, doing what looks like the show-biz finale where all the cast comes on stage for the grand bow. Those are some of the works and wonders of Nature.  I even saw a late-season lightning bug the other evening.

In the totally human world, with politics and war news occupying so much of what we read, see, and hear, sometimes I need to just turn away from it and invest in what I'll call "hope". Hope, for me, is a supreme treasure, a rescuing spiritual vehicle ... for me it can be found in reading inspirational quotes, gazing up at the blue sky, watching the dawn climb and glide over the horizon, seeing a comical magazine cartoon, sending money to one of the many animal rescue organizations (http://animalministry.blogspot.com), spending meditative time -- at my piano or keyboard, meditative time while walking among stands of trees, and perhaps the most serious meditative time in the sanctuary of my designated meditation/breathing room.  Hope, for me, is getting the inspiration for a new song. I don't think I've mentioned my newest song "Early In The Morning", recorded at Songwriters Studio a month or two ago. It almost wrote itself one morning while I was waking up (morning is my most creative time). I put it up on Sound Cloud and Reverbnation. It's also on a CD single with a beautiful label created by Sandy. It's also on my revised personal website at www.claralandau.comFor me, that song is loaded with hope!

Anyway, hope is one of the most important by-products and treasures of love. "Peace is the vision; love is the key" is one of my original quotes; the other two are "we are all in the same cosmic canoe" and "whatever works"; I think the three of them are quite compatible. Let's look for the real treasures and help them to endure.




Friday, July 8, 2016

Seeking And Offering Solace Along The Path –

My life's chariot is pulled along by two marvelous powers -- one is intuitive music for which I am a thankful conduit ... and the other is the wonder of the universe, nature and our fellow travelers, the animals.

The music genres I crave and identify with are blues, jazz, and love ballads. Blues is the most honest music in the world ... it cleanses, lifts, wails, exalts, sobs, complains, resolves ... all the feelings. I love to perform and listen to blues. Jazz I admire when hearing others play it, although I prefer to be playing it myself than listening because I like to create ‘as I go'. Blues and jazz are precious music forms given to us by our African-American people. Born in sad and impoverished conditions, these music forms endured and we are fortunate to have them. I offer my deep thanks to those creative, musical people whose fortitude and talent gave us this music. My piano students know that one of the first things I teach them is the ability to create a song with the I, IV, V chords and 12-bar blues. 

From my Buddhist, Animist, and Shaman standpoint, I see and regard all beings and all of nature as precious and part of the grand tapestry. I see the need for humaneness, harmony, and compassion in dealing with humans and with the rest of creation. Early on in my life, the Animist and Shamanic qualities were part of my consciousness (though I didn't yet know their names ... and later on, I learned that there are other people with these feelings). During the “autumn” of my life – a nice phrase referred to by my best and very beloved friend – I became attuned to Buddhism (by way of said beloved person) and I admire the way he conducts his spiritual self. Also I admire the words of the Dalai Lama and one quote of his that I want to write here is: “My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.”  

A few days ago, I wrote and briefly posted a lengthy blog article about national and world problems, politics, and social issues. The article was very accurate, but it felt disturbing to me when I read it, so I took it off the blog so it wouldn't disturb others. Since all living beings are connected at a cellular level (here I’m borrowing an oft-said, very wise Native American quote which says "whatever happens to one individual or species will ultimately happen to all,") I feel the need to offer readers, our planet, all species, and myself the hope of a path to peace and humane love. Kindness. I believe the healing needs to come from within each of us and it must come from humane love. 

I invite you to see my "Healing The Earth Family" blog at 
http://healingtheearthfamily.blogspot.com/. It's a novel, comprehensive program and it ends with a nice, uplifting song.

I would like to add to this writing a closing thought and a request. 

The thought is:  We are, each and all, ripples in the tide of life's ocean. Each ripple is a part of that ocean and affects its entirety.  

The request is:  Please pray to the God of your understanding ... for peace, justice, harmony, compassion, humane love, wisdom, respect, ethics, courage, faith, blessings, gratitude, awakening.



Friday, June 24, 2016

"They Say Ruby You're Like A Dream" (song title from movie)

As I look around my house, I see the photographs of my pre-Dixie dogs ... some of whom resided in Connecticut with me, one that bravely traveled in my truck with me and a bunch of household items during my move from Connecticut to Knoxville in October of 1986, and several other wonderful dogs that I acquired after I got settled in at my first Knoxville house. Their framed pictures were carefully preserved in moving boxes in 2004 when I moved from one side of Knoxville to another, twice. In the days and weeks after Dixie passed into spirit, I took comfort in getting the dog photos out and putting them where others and I can see them. Faith Rose "Rosie" is looking down at me right now from the wall above my computer ... she's in a reddish brown frame (to match her poodle hair color).  I'll have to get the picture scanned so I can put it in the computer (she's sitting in the 1974 Ford Courier pickup truck that made the move).  

I had some multi-faceted talks with myself about whether to have another dog ... and "when" the time might be right. I found myself sitting on the benches in the park Dixie and I had frequented ... and I would sort of "borrow" people's dogs as they walked by. Petting a dog is such a soothing, spiritual experience.   

During the second week of May I saw an ad in the Bargain Mart featuring some of the dogs at Young-Williams Animal Center (Knoxville and Knox County's animal shelter). One of the faces peered out at me and I went to the main facility to see if she was still there. Yes, and the staff told me the sad story about her past.  No wonder she hardly would look at me in the "get acquainted room".  I kept talking to her in soft tones and petting her. She was at the shelter for a second lengthy time, after being confiscated from her first owner and then brought back in by her next owner. She was suffering from heartworm. Some kind soul had paid the money for her treatment (expensive) and her adoption.  God bless the person or persons who saved her! Her fur was growing back in at the two shaved sites of the medicine injections. The Shelter staff was fond of this 90 or so-pound dog and coddled her, though no adopter was choosing her. Probably it was a combination of her size, age (8 years), color (black dogs are the last ones to be adopted for some nutty reason), her heartworm recovery process, and what seemed to me to be her trust issues.  I took a leap of faith and filled out the adoption papers.

A trip to the pet supply store yielded toys, leash, collar, and dog food. Next day I went back and got her. She was  happy to get into my truck and seemed right at home lounging in the back seat. The first several weeks were rigorous for me because I had to leash-walk her around my hilly yard to keep her physical activity minimal (until the safe-date had been reached regarding her heartworm treatment recovery). Once June arrived, this sweet dog could safely walk and run off-leash in our fenced-in backyard and everything got much easier for me. Her personality has blossomed and bloomed!  She is very affectionate, very smart, and IMO very beautiful.   

I would like to introduce to my readers my awesome, wonderful girl -- her name is Ruby.    



Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Pets For Vets ...

I just learned about a wonderful organization called Pets For Vets.  I posted a lot of information about it on my Animal Ministry blog.  Please check that out at http://animalministry.blogspot.com.  The organization has chapters throughout the U.S. to help veterans suffering from PTSD by matching them (re personality and needs) with rescued shelter dogs.  There is a video there, too, and it will make you feel good :)





Thank you ...

Dear Readers,
My heartfelt thanks for the kind comments, notes, e-mails, and cards sent to me following my Dixie Lee's passing. Your empathy, kindness and caring was and continues to be a great comfort to me.  Thank you so very much ...
Clara



Monday, April 4, 2016

Dixie Lee Landau ...

Rest In Peace, Dixie Lee (8/1/02 - 4/3/16)

My beautiful Dixie Lee passed into Spirit yesterday evening ... peacefully, under the guidance of gentle hands.  I miss her terribly, though that is consistent with the deep and beautiful love we shared.  Please wish her well on her cosmic journey. I will go to her favorite park today and walk among the trees.



Saturday, March 26, 2016

Let's Help Arizona Voters ...

Let's urge the Department of Justice to launch an immediate investigation into voting problems in Arizona to ensure that all eligible voters are treated equally under the law. It only takes a moment and is so important.

 http://act.credoaction.com/sign/az_voter_suppression?referring_akid=a223834537.6501792.oM9F__&source=conf_email&aktmid=tm1741368.CxD1dG&t=2





Sunday, February 28, 2016

Thoughts For Chaotic TImes ...

Sunny, sunny day ...  Spring is on the way and on March 20th we will have the Vernal Equinox, first official day of Spring and equal hours of daylight and darkness!  Accentuate the positive :)

Things in our world are chaotic; the election politics are vicious, the middle class is in financial difficulty, our fellow creatures in Nature are in trouble, and our nation is coming apart at the seams in all the important categories. We're encouraged to vote ... and we do vote ... and yet there are super delegates who can ignore our votes and decide elections. Much of the media and both of the party national committees are definitely not playing a fair and impartial role, quite the opposite. They each in their own way are choosing our nominees and next president. There is a lot of anger being expressed in news reader comments by "ordinary" citizens and the outcome is of great concern. And so ...

And so I look out upon the sunny day and try and think of good things. The sun is helpful. I think about my walk along a spiritual path that is guided by Buddhism, Animism, Nature, Empathy, and Wonder.  For me, they go together very well. I understand and love the concept of mindfulness and am greatly helped by it. How about (to go with mindfulness) soulfulness?  I don't think I've heard anyone speak of soulfulness.  Soulfulness feels like love and compassion, deep caring. Wonderful Buddhist author Thich Nhat Hahn doesn't call it that but his writings are full of references to how each of us is part of, responsible for, and connected with the plight of others. His references to the unfortunate life roles of pirates and prostitutes, for example, are food for thought.  His wonderful references to flowers and other denizens of Nature ... and the "continuation" of each living entity, give light and hope.  Here we need to avoid confusion by differentiating between "hope" (which I consider an essential), "faith" (which I regularly pray to have), and "expectation", which can be disappointing and can cause us grief. Soulfulness comes ultra naturally to me. I think it is that mystical part of existence that I haven't really seen named. The Zen word "suchness" is very valuable to me and it neutralizes a lot of frustration when I understand that a person or thing is the way he/she/it is because it is his/her/its suchness to be so. And "It is what it is" often is the best advice to fall back on (for me) and I'm very grateful for it.

I find that I'm greatly helped when I remind myself of the Serenity Prayer -- God grant me .... the serenity to accept the things I cannot change (very hard for an empath to do because we're so sensitized to what other beings are feeling), the courage to change the things I can (I try, I try ... and I pray for courage) ... and the wisdom (ah, there's the pivotal point) to know the difference. Amen.  It's a wonderful prayer.  And some of my readers are familiar with my affinity to Nature and its healing power.  Take me to the mountains, the ocean, the forest, a lake, the park, an overgrown part of the backyard!

For anyone who is so inclined, I still have my free "Healing The Earth Family" program components standing handily by. Contact me if you or an east Tennessee group you belong to has an interest. Also, I have a few copies of my highly unique booklet "The Invisible Hand And Awesome power of My Guardian-Guide -- A Divine, Ever-Present Being Of Energy" (a revelation of some of my experiences); the photo art in this booklet has been praised.  I guess $12 is an affordable price for the booklet and postage.  Also I've got three or four copies left of my "Dr. Clara's Music For Esoteric Healing ... (Mind, Body and Spirit"; it's different than anything else that's out there and goes into detail regarding music, keys, peripherals, and color, their correlations even with the Cosmos; this is a slim booklet (13 pages) crammed with information and should be especially interesting to musicians and anyone else who senses the intrinsic value and power of music. These I can send for $7 which includes postage. Please contact me via e-mail at claralandau@yahoo.com or call me at (865) 659-5383.

OK -- meanwhile, let's think Spring!  Think Beauty, think Loving Kindness. Embrace your loved one.  Have faith in the planet's renewal. Have hope for peace and honest, ethical government. Have courage to carry your sign. Thank a tree for oxygen and fellowship. Maybe get some nice rocks and stack them around your flower bed. And send me your thoughts if you would like to :)


Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Personal Stuff ...

If you'r'e still with me, dear Readers, thank you for hanging in there.  It's been a while since I've posted.  Things have been on the difficult side, emotionally and physically, with my being sort of a "multiple care-giver" (spouse, aging dog, and house) and having more than 99% of all responsibility -- from the mundane to the complex.  Dixie Lee is still with me, doing her best to stay with me and life ... and is still a beautiful spirit; she requires a lot of patience and extra care now. Jerry's conditions are hard to describe and I wouldn't attempt it out of consideration for his privacy, but I can say that he is almost completely immobilized and socially out of the loop.  For me, sometimes it's hard to be here in this house in which I put two years of major repairs and a huge emotional, physical, and financial investment. The times, too, are added to the mix.  My piano student roster, once vital and overloaded, has dissipated and my Healing the Earth Family (free) program has not had any takers ...  which indicates to me a widespread mix of apathy, fear, and perhaps lack of time and energy in the population. Too, many people have their faces buried in their social media and that has largely taken the place of interacting in person with groups and individuals. There is no substitute, though (well, no genuine substitute), for the real deal -- a special person, and the natural world.  I talk to people in the grocery store and everywhere ... for conversation and my head's idea rolodex ... and I turn to the natural world for comfort, encouragement, and healing :)  I like to keep things vital and positive.  And I've got a meditation room here that I love; it is filled with things that I treasure.

I've been writing and arranging my newest song, getting in some practice on it!  Will be bringing it to my dear friend's studio to record soon.  Am jamming a couple of times a month (on average) with my former guitarist bandmate, and that is rejuvenating and enjoyable -- lately we've been adding some really old songs ... I mean from the 1920s or so.  I remember them from when my mother used to sing or whistle them many years ago, so it's fun to hear them in my head, figure out the chord progressions, and put a contemporary style on them.  Life needs music!  And it really is the universal language.




Beautiful Influx Of Robins ...

This morning hundreds of robins flew into my yard and all around and over my house -- just arriving from somewhere.  They were chirping, swirling, landing, and touching terra-firma probably after many hours of flying.  My guess is that they were forced by the storm in the northeast to fly south for food.  They are beautiful birds.  One landed in a shrub right outside the window where I am sitting at my computer -- and we had eye contact.  Welcome ... even though a bit early ... to these harbingers of Spring!