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The right words in the right order

Dorothy Parshall 19 Aug 09 - 09:24 AM
GUEST,Neil D 19 Aug 09 - 10:40 AM
Tootler 19 Aug 09 - 11:10 AM
GUEST,mauvepink 19 Aug 09 - 11:30 AM
Amos 19 Aug 09 - 12:47 PM
Art Thieme 19 Aug 09 - 05:13 PM
frogprince 19 Aug 09 - 05:49 PM
The Sandman 19 Aug 09 - 05:57 PM
Dorothy Parshall 19 Aug 09 - 06:31 PM
Tug the Cox 19 Aug 09 - 07:43 PM
Tattie Bogle 19 Aug 09 - 08:08 PM
My guru always said 20 Aug 09 - 03:40 AM
Dorothy Parshall 20 Aug 09 - 06:13 PM
Janie 20 Aug 09 - 10:11 PM
jeddy 20 Aug 09 - 10:21 PM
Beer 20 Aug 09 - 10:46 PM
Dorothy Parshall 21 Aug 09 - 12:07 PM
SharonA 21 Aug 09 - 12:42 PM
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Subject: The right words in the right order
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 19 Aug 09 - 09:24 AM

"Words are important. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones, in the right order, you can move the world."
--Tom Stoppard

One of the theme songs of my life: "I have been around this land, just a'doin the best I can trying to find what I was meant to do..." was brought home to me in a very special way yesterday.

About 10 am, I spoke to a small group of friends about the importance of small things: words spoken in kindness, or not; a smile, or a frown.... About 4 pm, a woman I had not seen in years, stopped me in the hall to thank me for words spoken 24 years ago:

"I was suffering from post partum depression and my milk would not come. You said to me, 'You don't think it's your fault do you?" Of course I did. And you told me about your belief that everyone does the best they can at any given time. That helped me so much! I just wanted to tell you."

I had tears in my eyes as I thanked her for her gift to me of letting me know my words had helped. Later in the day, I realized the origin of those words - the musician who wrote that song which I have sung so often through the last 30-40 years. I wrote an essay back then, never published anywhere yet, declaring my belief that each person is born wanting to do the best they can. Even though we each are damaged to some degree by the world around us, we continue to do the best we are able. Regardless of how short of the ideal we may fall, we are doing the best we can. This I believe absolutely.

That songwriter bears some of the responsibility/credit. Together we helped a young mother heal her depression - which helped her whole family, and all those who care about her. Like the ripples on a pond, those words reached out to untold numbers of people, improving, perhaps even transforming, lives.

As all you songwriters write your songs - Do you realize the impact the smallest word can have?


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Subject: RE: The right words in the right order
From: GUEST,Neil D
Date: 19 Aug 09 - 10:40 AM

That's a great philosophy. I've always thought we are often too had on ourselves. We should be self-forgiving, self-healing, self-nurturing, but not self-centered. As Hillel the Elder said: "If I am not for myself, who will be for me? And when I am for myself, what am 'I'? And if not now, when?" Your story about the post-partum mother and your kind words reminds me of a series of Q&A's from Zen. I don't remember it verbatim but it's something like this:

Where is the most important place?
Here.
What is the most important time?
Now.
Who is the most important person?
The one you are with.
What is the most important deed?
That which is needed.

You were able to sense that she was the most important person at that time and place and do that which was most needed, give her comfort and reassurance. Good on you.


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Subject: RE: The right words in the right order
From: Tootler
Date: 19 Aug 09 - 11:10 AM

The song you referred to is "Can't help but wonder where I'm bound" by Tom Paxton. It's time I dusted it off and sang it again.

It's in the DT here


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Subject: RE: The right words in the right order
From: GUEST,mauvepink
Date: 19 Aug 09 - 11:30 AM

What a beautiful story :-)

I am just reading Cecelia Ahern's novel, "Thanks for the Memories", in which a young woman has just lost her baby and is trying to get over that and a broken marriage. Last night I read a part where her Dad says to her "it's nice to be important...", "but it's more important to be nice"... and that struck a chord for sure.

Songs, Novels, Poems: those that write them can sure have a massive effect on your mood and what a gift it is to be able to impart them onto others often.

I am minded to remember using "If you see someone without a smile give them one of yours" many years ago but have no idea where it originates from. Smiles too can have lasting consequences. There should be more of them around.

Thank you for what must be the most good news post I have read here in a while :-)

mp


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Subject: RE: The right words in the right order
From: Amos
Date: 19 Aug 09 - 12:47 PM

Strange synchronicities: I sang that song the other night for no reason, sitting by meself and plunking; I haven't sung it for years (since Laura and I did a duet on it in front of a campfire in Orange County).


A


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Subject: RE: The right words in the right order
From: Art Thieme
Date: 19 Aug 09 - 05:13 PM

No, it ain't no sin
Because you ain't no kin
To your daddy anyhow.

Art


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Subject: RE: The right words in the right order
From: frogprince
Date: 19 Aug 09 - 05:49 PM

We happen to be people who attend church. Our local congregation tends to be on the conservative side for it's denomination. My wife gets to sing an occasional solo. I've written a couple of songs on the "gospel" side that she has done there, or in other local settings. It's an interesting balancing act to try to write something that the theological conservatives can take in and accept, but at the same time not reinforce their fundamentalism, or help ingrain any kids who hear it with fundamentalism. I basically try to go with positive values and outlook, and I really haven't had anyone complain because the content really isn't exclusively Christian.
                            Dean


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Subject: RE: The right words in the right order
From: The Sandman
Date: 19 Aug 09 - 05:57 PM

last night I finished a book called I choose to live,an extraordinary story of strength.
words are important but not as important as actions.


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Subject: RE: The right words in the right order
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 19 Aug 09 - 06:31 PM

We can help or harm just as surely with a word a with an action. Think about it.


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Subject: RE: The right words in the right order
From: Tug the Cox
Date: 19 Aug 09 - 07:43 PM

Sadly we can also hurt without knowing it. I once joked, in public, to a journalist, 'still misleading the public'. I thought it was funny.( I quite often greeted fellow teachers with 'still misleading/corrupting the youth) A few years later he told me how he has not wanted to see or talk to me since, and how upset he was. I of course apologised , and thanked him for finally letting me know. I misjudged the ocassion, and was fortunate to get a second chance to rectify it.


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Subject: RE: The right words in the right order
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 19 Aug 09 - 08:08 PM

"Flower of Scotland"
Whatever you feel about nationalism or Scots independence, it makes me cringe when I hear (or even see printed) the wrong article: such a snall thing makes a big difference in meaning.
Roy Williamson wrote: "to be THE nation".
Too many folk sing: "to be A nation".


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Subject: RE: The right words in the right order
From: My guru always said
Date: 20 Aug 09 - 03:40 AM

How lovely Dorothy, thank you for sharing that!


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Subject: RE: The right words in the right order
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 20 Aug 09 - 06:13 PM

Amos:
I sure hope you were not relating to that song the way I so often have. The critical verse generally having been " ... NAIL your shoes to the kitchen floor...." I have moved SOOOOOO many times!

Back in Montreal "where it all started" I realize the only reason I left was because I needed to earn a living. I could have come back five years ago. Now I am "home" as in "I wanna go home, I wanna go home, Gonna tell that man, I never more will roam..." (Not sure who "that man" is yet.)

This week at our Canadian Quaker gathering (near Ottawa), we are singing from Peter and Annie Blood's Rise Up Singing. I found another fav: "All things shall perish from .... Music alone shall live, music alone shall live, music alone shall live, never to die." Thank goodness for that!


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Subject: RE: The right words in the right order
From: Janie
Date: 20 Aug 09 - 10:11 PM

I think it was Freud who said "Words were originally magic...."


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Subject: RE: The right words in the right order
From: jeddy
Date: 20 Aug 09 - 10:21 PM

thanks for posting that dorothy, you have made me feel all warm and fuzzy.

it is amazing how much we can help to lift someones mood with such a small thing as a smile or by saying hello.

when we used to go busking it was wonderful to watch the way people perked up and even for a while they walked abit lighter and held their heads up insead of looking at the ground ( even the stingey ones who didn't pay us).

it is incredible how many of us live in our own little bubbles, without knowing why, it makes one feel better when someone acknowledges you as being alive.

take care all

love
jade x x x x


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Subject: RE: The right words in the right order
From: Beer
Date: 20 Aug 09 - 10:46 PM

Very well said Dorothy. Sounds like you had a great retreat if I may so call it.

Music has always been a part of my life and has helped me in times when I wasn't sure where to turn. But the guitar was close so I would pick it up and sing till I would loose a few pounds by doing so. And those of you who know me I can't afford to loose weight.

We will all pass on but music will never die.
Thanks again Dorothy.
Beer (adrien)


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Subject: RE: The right words in the right order
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 21 Aug 09 - 12:07 PM

Music is a special gift to the ill and the dying as well as those who are grieving.

Pashta Mary Moon, co-director of Pagan Pastoral Outreach, co-founded Songs of Passage, the only bedside singing project in North America to officially work within the medical system. They use bedside singing to ease the suffering of people with HIV, dementia and other illnesses. Pashta suggests singing as a way for families to process grief and suggests, "You sing to a person even when they are comatose. It can be easier for a family to sing than to talk. Song reaches their loved one as a subconscious or spiritual level, even when the person is unable to respond." (reported in The Canadian Friend, March 2009)

So music can also help loved ones to leave this temporal world peacefully and with love.

This journal also includes a quote from Code of Silence by Springsteen.


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Subject: RE: The right words in the right order
From: SharonA
Date: 21 Aug 09 - 12:42 PM

"As all you songwriters write your songs - Do you realize the impact the smallest word can have?"

Yes indeed. I am a very meticulous lyricist. I also take my songs to critique sessions on a regular basis, to see how they're received and interpreted by listeners before the songs are sung at gigs. Sometimes my critiquing friends offer constructive suggestions, but more often than not they "get" the message of the song and have nothing to suggest, which leaves me a bit frustrated when the song still doesn't quite come up to MY standards!


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