Friday Faves! Here we go.
1) The Exquisite Beauty of Classical Guitar – We need beauty in our lives. We are made to create beauty, in fact…we are meant to refresh and to rejoice in beauty. To discover our own hearts when arrested by it. To appreciate the beauty in others as we pause to see it…even in those so different from us. Beauty surrounds us. Here’s one significant example – the classical guitar creations of Nathan Mills at Beyond the Guitar.
Photo Credit: Beyond the Guitar
While Nathan takes a brief hiatus from his usual YouTube channel to focus on his other work, only we Patreon subscribers get new content (subscribe). In this bit of time, I decided to highlight some of his arrangements already appreciated by his 500k-plus subscribers. These 5 (5 for Friday Faves) are just a sample of the beauty we can bring into our lives from the realm of classical guitar. Enjoy!
More to come. Any favorites of your own from his channel? Comment below.
2) Refugees and the English Language – [Obviously this relates to refugees whose host countries have English as the primary language, but this could relate to any country’s first language.]
For many years, we lived overseas. We had jobs already in English but worked hard to learn the local language. We knew we would need it to flourish in the home culture there, including being “good neighbors”. Language learning takes persistence but the rewards are incalculable.
Our church is a providing local resettlement support to an Afghan refugee family. The children came with some English language ability which helped them enormously in school and cultural understanding. In our relationship with them, we have met other Afghan refugees. Some with English and others with none. One family, in particular, has really captured my heart this week.
In this family of mom, dad, and four kids, they know Dari, Farsi, and Turkish. None know English yet. [That’s all the details I will offer.]
[Fortunately there are some similarities to English in the Turkish alphabet.]
Photo Credit: Turkishaholic
How do families like this get jobs in our country? Pay bills? Shop in American stores? Learn in school? Meet their English- and other-speaking neighbors?
They get English as fast as they can.
Although teaching ESL was something I did for years, it was always with people who had some English. I didn’t have to start at the complete beginning. Thankfully English language helps abound online. So…we learn and we teach (or help learn maybe is a better way to describe this process).
Just yesterday, shopping with the Afghan family we are helping resettle, a small unsettling thing happened. In the shoe department, I caught the face of a lady who was trying to get around us with her cart. Her face was stern, and she was clearly impatient with us. I apologized to which she said nothing. It is possible she was having a really hard day. Or something darker related to foreigners could have been going on. I hope not…in fact, hopefully, her day got better all the way around.
For us as native English-speakers, we can be enormous help to refugees with little cost of time or money…as we welcome them with our language. Appreciating the courage and fortitude they must exert every day to even live here, far from home and all that was happily familiar there.
I will always remember, with gratitude, all the people who knew so little English, but used it to connect with us when we lived overseas. “Welcome in Egypt”. We felt the welcome.
I’m learning a little Dari, but more importantly, I’m hoping to communicate in English in ways that empower and encourage.
Something we can all do for these so far from home in a strange, new one.
Photo Credit: Vikash Gupta
3) Laughing Out Loud – Laughter is a balm to our minds and bodies. It is just plain good medicine. I had several experiences just this week that were so funny they made me laugh out loud. In fact, a couple of times, in the car with grandkids, I had to just pull over, laughing to capture the moment in a note so as not to forget it.
We were on an errand in a neighborhood they didn’t know. It’s one of the oldest residential areas in our city – tall, 3-story houses of a different era. Our grandson commented that it looked haunted. When I told them that, yes, some of the houses were old and tired, but many had been renovated and they were all beautiful. Then he said, “There are bad guys on my side of the road throwing doughnuts at the car.” Then he asked his sister what she saw on her side of the car. Without hesitation she said, “There are baby bunnies jumping on my side and they are throwing baby kittens at my window…and they’re soooooo sweet.”
Then on the car ride home, the little one always wants a treat to eat on the way. She said, “Gram, I want gummies.” Continuing to reinforce asking instead of telling in such matters, I said, “I don’t respond to that sort of request.” When she then asked, I told her she had had enough sweets. Then she asked, “What can I have then?” I replied, “You can have peace of mind”. Whereupon she immediately responded: “OK, then can I have a piece of yours?”
These may not seem as funny without their voices, but they made me laugh so much.
An unexpected “home for lunch” visit from Papa was another cause for laughter.
Any laughter out loud happening your way these days? Hope so. Books and movies can help with that if grandchildren aren’t around. Also some friends, like our dear Heba, have that great gift of just making us laugh at every occasion. Hope you have some of those as well.
11 Books that Will Make Your Kid Laugh Out Loud – Lindsay E. Mack [Includes a separate link with even more funny books for kids and adults alike]
Facebook page – The Rabbit Room Chinwag – subscriber suggestions for all ages
5) The Treasure of Old Photos –In this age of minimalism, I have had to confront the bins of pictures and photo albums from a lifetime before the digital era. Including those given to my parents that are now back with me. Photography has always been my hobby as far back as the late Kodak Brownie camera days. [In fact, my first summer job beyond high school babysitting was at a Kodak film processing lab. It was so fascinating being a part of that work of turning film into treasured keepsakes.
The sheet above had been stuck in a different storage bin so it avoided the purge for now. I took pictures of some of the images. They are not great quality but the emotion is still all there. Enjoy!
…and capture the past even in this minimalist age. It is precious and it is still with us.
That’s it for this week. Hope your weekend is full of joy with your people present with you. Blessings!