Let’s Just Walk Beside Each Other!

"Don't walk in front of me...I may not follow. Don't walk behind me...I may not lead. Walk beside me. Just be my friend."-- Albert Camus

We are not all born leaders. We are certainly not all born followers!

But friendship isn't about who is leading and who is following. Now maybe in High School the popular kids set the trends and their buddies followed right along. But we are talking about worthwhile friendships between real adults now.

These are the kinds of friendships that we've been able to see through Roses in the Alley. We might all be "following" each other because that's the terminology. but really what we are doing is keeping up with each other. That's what you do when you walk side by side.

Another thing you do when you are walking beside someone is you lend an ear. You guys have been and hopefully will continue to listen to us and you better know that we'll return the favor.

I'm sure many of you have art, stories, ideas, and opinions you would like to share. Hey, we're walking together on this street, let's just take a turn down the alley and discover this beautiful stuff together!!

Courage Discouraged

“You cannot swim for new horizons until you have courage to lose sight of the shore.”
William Faulkner

We live in a world that glorifies taking risks, but offers little in the way of understanding how to build the true courage and integrity to actually swim for new horizons.

Years ago, my father said to me: "Look where the crowd goes, and go the other way." Now this idea can come from just being contrary or it can come from true courage, the kind that Faulkner alludes to above. It can be and often is some uneven mix of the two.

When I frequent Facebook, when I'm reading about people's lives, families, pets, graduations, marriages and other things, I see life. Some say only the best parts, but others have the courage to share the worst as well.

But when I read the "news", fake or otherwise, I see something else, a spirit that can be called one of "dis-courage"; one complaint piled on another, not all without merit, but many that do not express the courage of living. Often I see a refusal to live through the messiness and hardship of this reality we call life.

So, let's not accept the spirit of "dis-courage", and let's not let our sense of entitlement ruin our integrity. Instead we might learn to start again, to encourage one another to swim together to new horizons far from the limits of these shores. 

Music always helps to encourage us; Check out this great song: "Oceans (Where Feet May Fall) by Hillsong United

(If you could humor me and re-read this post with this song playing in the background, I would really appreciate knowing if it speaks to you.)

 

Photo by Arnaud Mesureur on Unsplash

Unpublished

The Unsplash Book -Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash

Unpublished = Unsplash (no splash, no effect)

But this is no longer true. In a world where anyone can publish anything, publishing no longer equals the big splash!

The big splash today is making an impact in blogs, video, Facebook, Pinterest, Youtube and whatever new platform comes along. It's not about getting published; it's about making a difference in the many places your work can be seen, heard or experienced.

In fact, Unsplash itself is making a HUGE splash in today's photography world, bringing us exciting images from photographers all over the world. You've seen some, as this one above, already on Roses in the Alley.

You will soon see more images from more talented photographers we are finding every day. And you will hear new music from musicians you may never find on your own.

In a world full of chatter and noise, we hope you will take the time to stop and chat about our Vinosophies and enjoy the art and artists we bring to you.

Watch for more coming soon! 

And contact us on our website, www.rosesinthealley.net if you want to join in. There is nothing more exciting to us than to watch art and new artists come to light on our pages!

ADAPT! It’s Our Only Shot…

Adapt to Truly Live!

 

"The thing about living with any disability is that you adapt; you do what works for you." -- Stella Young.

Last year my Dad and I went to the DIY Musicians Conference in Chicago. It was cool to hob nob with aspiring and established musicians. And I got my first box of Roses in the Alley business cards. Cool, I'm official!

The problem is I'm not a musician, so why exactly was I there?? You should've seen the looks I got when asked what I played.

Still it was cool. I got to go my town and hang out with some of my closest friends, and my Dad.  Something big has to happen though, right? I'm joining forces with Pop in the greatest city in the world, something must impact us!!  It wasn't until the last day that something did impact us in a big way, from a very small person (in size only).

That's when Gaelynn Lea spoke and then performed....

Gaelynn is a singer, violinist, public speaker, and advocate for the disabled. She was born with Osteogenesis imperfecta, a disease that leaves your bones and limbs less developed.

She won NPR's 2016 Tiny Desk Competition!!

When this tiny lady came out onto the stage in her wheelchair and not fully developed limbs, it begged me to wonder how the heck is she going to play the violin?? Then when she speaks,  her voice is certainly high-pitched and with a bit of a speech impediment. Now I wonder what her singing could sound like.

Then she whips out her violin and leans it on her shoulder like a cello. Securing  it from the bottom with one tiny, disfigured foot, she proceeds to put out some of the most hauntingly beautiful chords I have ever heard.

And that imperfect, high-pitched voice? Yep, it rounded out her whole style, perfectly! There were few dry eyes in the room.

I'm not saying that she is attempting to be an inspiration for all of us. I truly believe this young lady just had music in her and had to find a way to get it out. With the help of a music teacher that saw something in her, she found a way to ADAPT and make it happen. And thank God she did!!

Check out her Tiny Desk contest winning submission! You won't be upset with the four minutes you've spent....

Someday We'll Linger in the Sun by Gaelynn Lea.

If It Doesn’t Kill You

Where does brokenness lead us?

"If it doesn't kill you, it makes you stronger!" - I grew up from childhood with that saying drilled into my psyche.  

This is actually a quote from Friedrich Nietzsche. Most people don't know this. I didn't. He said it this way: “That which does not kill us, makes us stronger.”

Though Nietzche made this statement, and undoubtedly believed it at the time, he ultimately would be stricken by an unresolved psychosis and his mental capacity would completely fade away in his 40's, an atheist suffering and dying from an undocumented mental illness. That which didn't kill him made him weaker, and ultimately did kill him.

Another famous philosopher/psychologist, Victor Frankl,  wrote: "The way in which a man accepts his fate and all the suffering it entails, the way in which he takes up his cross, gives him ample opportunity – even under the most difficult circumstances to add a deeper meaning to his life."

Frankl would not only live well into his 90's, but he would survive the Holocaust, and indeed this experience would shape his entire lifetime of thought and therapy.

Frankl interestingly also penned these words:  "Then I grasped the meaning of the greatest secret that human poetry and human thought and belief have to impart: The salvation of Man is through love and in love."

One of my personal take-aways from this dichotomy would be that love and compassion should be first and foremost, especially for those suffering among us.  That suffering can and does make us stronger at times, but it also hurts and kills us as well. And that the love we share in suffering is indeed what makes us stronger.

We should endeavor to find meaning in the often apparent meaningless of life through and in Love (which Frankl sees as the essence of the SuperBeing, God), rather than resorting to individual positivism and the false sense of "God is Dead" and that we have to make it on our own.

 

Space + Grapes

Space Grapes

As humans we are always searching!!

The wine and movie pairing for this weekend is Satellite Sauvignon Blanc with Apollo 13.

This delicious Sauvignon Blanc comes from a producer named Spy Valley in New Zealand. They consider themselves to be a bit of a clandestine (secret) operation. The spy base down the road is perhaps what makes the valley of their location so bewitching.

And what's more bewitching than the dark abyss that is Outer Space?  I'd say (for good reason) that NASA can be a bit secretive from time to time. And there quite possibly could be some spy stuff going on out there as well.

Apollo 13 passing the dark side of the moon marked the farthest humans had every ventured away from the soils of our planet. A monumental moment in our history of discovery.

Human beings' thirst for discovery is truly one of our best qualities. Some choose to dig into the Earth with their bare hands in their search while others blast off from it into Space! We need both types.

Spy Valley wineries focus is on sustainability and the nurturing of soil and vine to preserve it for future generations. Whether those future generations want to explore our world's  beauty by sticking their hands into the earth or by blasting-off from it into Outer Space , it's our job to make sure they have those options.

So let's continue to explore soil and space, but do it in a way that keeps our wondrous planet around for future astronauts, winemakers, filmmakers, and everyone in between to do the same.