Christmas 2016

Christmas 2016
God Bless Our Troops

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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

So did you see the season premier of The Biggest Loser? I love this show . . . but . . . there is a meanness creeping in that disturbs me. The meanness looks scripted. It looks like it's added for dramatic interest. It looks - well - it looks mean. The scene where Jillian is beating the girl with boxing gloves hit me like a blow. I understand that obesity is a killer and these people need help, however, it is a fine line between tough love and abuse. This borders on abuse. The screaming and the yelling left me cringing. Many overweight people trace their food addiction to abuse in childhood. A large part of the Biggest Loser audience is overweight people. Overweight people may need tough love, in some cases, but this just looked disturbing.

Another thing that bothers me is the huge losses. Unless these people keep up the grueling pace that they keep now, they will gain this weight back. I would rather see a more moderate, real life approach - one that the average person could do - not a turtle's pace, but a happy medium here.
But that's just my opinion.
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I had a good day yesterday. Even though I started out behind, I ended up getting a lot done. I am off for a walk. Later . . .

My stats for today:

Type: Walk/jog
Route: Deadend and back
Time: 26 minutes
Average heart rate: 122
Maximum heart rate:
Calories burned: 345
Down 2.6 from last Wednesday

Oh, today's walk was wonderful! When I hit the road I could smell the orange tang of burning leaves mixed with the scent of ripening corn awaiting the harvest. In a couple of weeks we will cut some corn shocks to decorate our front porch. Perched in front will be a scarecrow surrounded by pumpkins. The house will be filled with the scent of AppleJack 'n Peel and Harvest Homebrew from the candles and wax tarts we've made for fall craft shows. I love fall - can you tell?

Word of the day:
Wednesday of the Twenty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time
Gospel
Lk 7:31-35

Jesus said to the crowds:
“To what shall I compare the people of this generation?
What are they like?
They are like children who sit in the marketplace and call to one another,

‘We played the flute for you, but you did not dance.
We sang a dirge, but you did not weep.’

For John the Baptist came neither eating food nor drinking wine,
and you said, ‘He is possessed by a demon.’
The Son of Man came eating and drinking and you said,
‘Look, he is a glutton and a drunkard,
a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’
But wisdom is vindicated by all her children.”

Thoughts from the cornfield:
Dancing the Unfamiliar - from "The Tarantella Dancers"

"We played the flute for you, but you did not dance.
We sang a dirge, but you did not weep."


The second movement of Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 6 in B Minor begins with a waltz . . . or at least it sounds like a waltz. It has all the lyricism and lilt of a waltz, a truly beautiful piece of music. However, don't try to dance to it if you come with preconceived ideas of what a waltz should be.

A waltz, according to Funk & Wagnall's Standard Desk Dictionary, is defined as, " a dance, or any similar music in triple time." The key word here is "triple" time, meaning three beats to the bar or 3/4 time. The rhythm of a waltz is "ONE, two three, ONE, two three," with the emphasis on the first beat of each bar. Tchaikovsky’s waltz is written with five beats to the bar or 5/4 time.

Tchaikovsky's "Sixth Symphony," nicknamed "Pathetique" by his brother, is considered by many to be his greatest work. I share that view for in this symphony we see into the very soul of Tchaikovsky. The second movement in particular gives us an important clue as to how Tchaikovsky viewed himself in relation to the world in which he lived. When I listen to the movement I can see a very clear picture of what he may have been feeling when he wrote it.

In my mind’s eye I see a great ballroom with hundreds of dancers. Tchaikovsky, host of the ball and composer of the dance music, has invited these dancers to his great celebration. The dance begins, but the host dances alone. Tchaikovsky’s 5/4 rhythm is clearly not in keeping with the 3/4 time world in which he lives, and the dancers he has invited prefer instead to dance to their own rhythm. Host and guest never become on in the dance.

It is perhaps ironic that Tchaikovky died nine days after the premier of this final symphony, reportedly of cholera. There is some question about the exact nature of Tchaikovsky’s death which is reflected in the unofficial nickname “Suicide Symphony.” When I listen to this second movement, I am not always clear as to whose “suicide” is implied - the host’s or the guests’.

I think there are some analogies here that can be applied to our relationship with Jesus. The Lord of the Dance, its author and choreographer, invites us to dance with him. He has provided all that is needed. He had decorated the ballroom, written the music, and orchestrated the steps. He has set himself in the midst of his guests and has patiently demonstrated the choreography. All we need do is join in the dance. Simple? It would seem so. Easy? I don’t know about that. To join in the dance we need to let go of our 3/4 time mentality and seek to discover the rhythm of the dance to which we are invited. We need to keep our eyes focused on the Lord of the Dance. In dancing the unfamiliar, we risk stepping on toes, and we risk getting our toes stepped on. It can be uncomfortable and sometimes painful. With each missed step the temptation is there to abandon the dance to which we are invited in favor of the dance with which we are familiar.

Jesus has invited us to waltz with him . . or at least it sounds like a waltz. It has all the lyricism and lilt of a waltz, a truly beautiful piece of music. However, don't try to dance to it if you come with preconceived ideas of what a waltz should be. The dance will go on with or without the guests. The invitation has been made. The choice is ours.

copyright 2000, The Tarantella Dancers, Mary A. Moeggenborg


God bless our troops!





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