Monday, March 22, 2010

Art Antidote for the Disappointed

Given recent news, I thought I'd share a poem that I love--and which is appropriate. Called "How did you Die?" it was written by Edmund Vance Cook.

Did you tackle that trouble that came your way
With a resolute heart and cheerful?
Or hide your face from the light of day
With a craven soul and fearful?
Oh, trouble's a ton, or trouble's an ounce,
Or a trouble is what you make it.
And it isn't the fact that you're hurt that counts,
But only how did you take it?

You are beaten to earth? Well, well, what's that?
Come up with a smiling face.
It's nothing against you to fall down flat,
But to lie there - that's disgrace.
The harder you're thrown, why the higher you bounce;
Be proud of your blackened eye!
It isn't the fact that you're licked that counts;
It's how did you fight and why?

And though you be done to death, what then?
If you battled the best you could;
If you played your part in the world of men,
Why, the critic will call it good.
Death comes with a crawl, or comes with a pounce,
And whether he's slow or spry,
It isn't the fact that you're dead that counts,
But only, how did you die?

Update: Don't miss out on the other art antidotes here at The Nearby Pen--and be sure to also check out the 8 quotes from Mind Over Mood that I share elsewhere.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Baby Toy Review: Logan the Lion

I remember the first time I heard Rachmaninoff's Prelude in G Minor and I imagine it's the same way kids feel when they leave the world of black and white panda toys or board books and come face to face with Logan the Lion.

"This is what I'm talking about," they must think, their eyes greedily devouring the bright red mane and the explosion of colors that stream away from it. "I don't know what those blue and green circles are called," I imagine them saying, "but I'm going to eat them up--and that purple star too--even if it means I have to puke out a rainbow!"

Logan the Lion is that good. He's a sensorial blast of different textures and bright colors. He's cheerful. And he's an unforgettable introduction to the wonderful world of colors. "That black and white stuff is OK," they must think while raising Logan up in their hands, in sync with a rising smile, "but this is what life is all about."

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Baby Book Review: Because a Little Bug Went Ka-Choo

Because a Little Bug Went Ka-Choo! provides the same thrill as watching a Rube Goldberg machine in action--or seeing a million dominoes falling consecutively from the push of a tiny finger.

Starting with the sneeze of a little bug, a chain of events takes place that ends in a chaotic parade. The realization that each action is causing something progressively larger builds excitement for the satisfying conclusion (which shows, though doesn't state, that small actions can have big consequences).

I wonder: How many millions of kids will get to hear this exhilerating story because a loving parent with a soft voice read it to their little kid a long, long time ago?