Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Holocaust Remembrance Week

Grate Heat by John Lynner Peterson

I frequently use the above photo in my writing because it says so much and yet doesn't coerce the viewers interpretation. It seems an appropriate art work to engage my readers in the commemoration of Holocaust Remembrance Week.

This week is Holocaust Remembrance Week with Holocaust Remembrance Day --- Yom HaShoah --- from sundown this Wednesday through sunset this Thursday. It is crucial that we remember. That we mourn. That we say, "never again." 

I am indebted to my Facebook friend, Rodney Allen Reeves, pastor in Portland, OR for bringing to my attention the text and choir anthem below.

"I believe in the sun even when it is not shining.
I believe in love even when feeling it not.
I believe in God even when God is silent."

The anthem "Even When God is Silent" composed by Michael Horvit, has a poignant text by an anonymous author. It was discovered written on a wall in a hidden area of a building in Germany in 1988, believed to have been written 50 years earlier during Kristallnacht, the Night of the Crystal Glass, November 9, 1938, when about 90 Jews were killed or seriously injured, plus 1000 Jewish owned shops, 200 Jewish homes and 76 synagogues were completely destroyed and 191 additional synagogues set on fire. 

We remember so that such acts never happen again.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Travel is the Enemy of Bigotry

Photography of John Lynner Peterson

The subject line quote is by Denis Belliveau and Francis O’Donnell retraced Marco Polo’s entire 25,000-mile, land-and-sea route from Venice to China and back. It is a motto my husband John and I have found to be true throughout our lives. John’s exhibit, “Who is My Neighbor” opens at the Lyric Theatre this Friday, April 20th in connection the Gallery Hop in Lexington. The exhibit will run from April 20 to June 2nd with the Opening Reception April 20th from 5-8 pm. John will lecture on the exhibit on May 6th from 2-4 pm.

The story of John’s travels ranks right up there with Belliveau and O’Donnell’s retracing of Marco Polo’s. The provenance behind the photos brings even more enlightenment to the concept of being a neighbor to all peoples.

Remember the song, “You have to be carefully taught” from South Pacific? The song, sung Lieutenant Cable, was considered controversial when the musical first opened. The dialogue which preceded the song said, racism "not born in you! It happens after you’re born..."
Rodgers and Hammerstein risked the entire success of the show when legislatives challenged its decency or supposed Communist agenda. Georgia lawmakers even introduced a bill that would have outlawed entertainment containing "an underlying philosophy inspired by Moscow." Rodgers and Hammerstein defended their work strongly. James Michener, upon whose stories South Pacific was based, recalled, "The authors replied stubbornly that this number represented why they had wanted to do this play, and that even if it meant the failure of the production, it was going to stay in. (Wikipedia)
Join us for John’s exhibit at The Lyric for an update on “Who is My Neighbor?” You have to be carefully Untaught if you got the message wrong the first time.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Response to Up: A Mother and Daughter’s Peakbagging Adventures

This blog post is in response to reading Patricia Ellis Herr’s book, UP: A Mother and Daughter’s Peakbagging Adventures on hiking the summits of New Hampshire’s White Mountains with her 5 year-old daughter, Alex. This is not a review. I received a copy of the book by virtue of my membership in

Parenting comes with making so many decisions. The task can be overwhelming. A therapist friend told me she was so impressed when she asked a new father how he was going to parent his child and his response was, “I don’t know until I see who my daughter is.” Brilliant!

My son famously said, “I don’t care if my son is gay or a nerd or non-athletic, as long as he is not a Duke University basketball fan!”

Trish Herr gave her daughters a chance to decide whether they were mountain hikers at a very early age. What she discovered is that little Alex not only had the interest but the drive to summit all 40 of the White Mountain peaks.

As I watch my 6 year-old grandson Tristan try on various vocations, I grin with delight at the choices and the changing of his mind. He wanted to know one day what he had to do to become “in charge of the room called Mission Control where the space shuttles take off.” But later when Pappa had arranged a visit to the Aviation Museum, I commented, “This will be good information for when you are in charge of Mission Control.” He replied, “No, Mimi, now I want to work in the Oreo Cookie factory.”

Readers of this blog may remember the NASCAR driver, museum director and philharmonic conductor stages from this blog post:

It’s never dull with Tristan.

And little Miss Payden at 23 months show all the signs of becoming the next fashionista. When Mommy got dressed Monday evening she said, “Oh, Mommy, I love your bracelet! Oh, Mommy, I love your shoes!” Last night, it was, “Oh, Mommy, I love your boots.” And rubbing her hosiery but not knowing what it was called she said, “Oh, Mommy, I love this!”

But tomorrow, I’m sure she will be in her gymnast stage. Stay tuned. And parent with great latitude!