Sunday, March 25, 2012

Banjos, Pots, and Keys

You read right. Banjos. Pots. Keys. Lately those words keep popping up in my daily adventures as the Littlest Herdman. Starting with the banjo explanation, my awesome friend Beno Seely (yes, also in my El Cheapo post) took me to see Ryan Shupe & the Rubberband at Timpview High School for the soccer benefit concert, along with other friends. I've only ever been familiar with their Christmas music, "Dream Big", and "Banjo Boy" (thanks to Andrew Tate). It turned out to be quite the fest, and I don't think any of us were prepared for all the "hooting and hollering" that went down. I've always loved bluegrass music, and I think it all started when I went to Fillmore, Utah for 2 weeks to visit my Grandma Herdman- which by the way was her 87th birthday yesterday! My Grandma took my to a "Hoedown" at one of the old barns when I was in 4th grade. We made banana cream pie together and she fixed my hair in long loose braids. I remember sitting there on bails of hay listening the music and watching older couples square dance. Since then, I've always had a place in my heart for the country. Anyway- I am so glad that I was able to go the concert! I can't wait to hear them again. Here is one of my favorite songs from them:

Pots. BYU's Museum of Art currently has the exhibit of Islamic art called  "Beauty and Belief". I went by myself first before one of my viola lessons. When I walked into the entrance, my mouth dropped 4 feet and I got slightly giddish. I have this strange passion for Islamic culture, along with Persian, Byzantine, and Ottoman empires. I give credit to Disney's Aladdin for instilling a love of the Middle East in me. The exhibit hosts 250 artifacts from the region, displaying the diversity and creativity of Islamic culture. One thing I found fascinating was that they had plates, bowls, and sketches of animals and people. I have always thought that Islamic law outlawed those "idol" figures. Turns out I was wrong, and I wish I could remember why. (another good reason why I should walk through the exhibit again!) Here are some photos of some artifacts:

Calligraphic Scroll
Ink, watercolor and gold on paper
Syria or India, 14th – 15th century

Falnama Manuscript Painting of the
Virgin Mary and Baby Jesus
Gouache on cloth
India or the Ottoman Empire,

Qur’an Manuscript, Volume16
Ink and color on burnished cream paper with
brown morocco binding
18th century

Tile Mosaic Fragment (Alicatado)
Tin glazed earthenware
Spain (Granada),

Parokhet (Torah Curtain)
Egypt (Cairo), early 17th century,

Cast bronze with engraved decoration
Spain (possibly Cordoba),
11th century
If you get the chance, come check out the whole exhibit. It was amazing to see a glimpse of their diverse culture and religions. The photo of the Torah Curtain is one of my favorites, since it is a symbol of Jewish and Islamic faith. Through history we that both religions were able to find unity with each other, and that gives at least me the hope that one day the past with filter into the present. The conflict between them today, is something I will hopefully study more fully once summer comes around. But until then, I can busy myself with their art!

About 2 weeks ago I had an experience with my set of keys that taught me how to be be diligent and patient with my circumstances and myself. I was parking my mother's car in front of our house, when my key got jammed in her ignition. Frantically trying to twist and pull it out, the key continued to steady itself in its locked position, mocking me. After fiddling with the break I rested my head on the steering wheel in defeat. The thought then came to me, "sometimes you need to go backward before you can move forward." I lifted my head and looked directly at the shifting gear and put the car in reverse. The car shot backward a few inches before I put it back in "park." I tapped the key once more, and it popped right out, without much force. Exclaiming my gratitude, I learned that sometimes in life, my natural instinct is to hurry past difficult challenges and trials Heavenly Father has placed before me. Dieter F. Uchtdorf, the 2nd Counselor of the First Presidency, in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints quotes: 

 `"What do you suppose pilots do when they encounter turbulence? A student pilot may think that increasing speed is a good strategy because it will get them through the turbulence faster. But that may be the wrong thing to do. Professional pilots understand that there is an optimum turbulence penetration speed that will minimize the negative effects of turbulence. And most of the time that would mean to reduce your speed. The same principle applies also to speed bumps on a road....
When stress levels rise, when distress appears, when tragedy strikes, too often we attempt to keep up the same frantic pace or even accelerate, thinking somehow that the more rushed our pace, the better off we will be.

One of the characteristics of modern life seems to be that we are moving at an ever-increasing rate, regardless of turbulence or obstacles.

Let’s be honest; it’s rather easy to be busy. We all can think up a list of tasks that will overwhelm our schedules. Some might even think that their self-worth depends on the length of their to-do list. They flood the open spaces in their time with lists of meetings and minutia—even during times of stress and fatigue. Because they unnecessarily complicate their lives, they often feel increased frustration, diminished joy, and too little sense of meaning in their lives."

(taken from this talk)

I love this quote so much! When we take the time to discover what we can learn in our times of trial and despair, we will be able to find the essential truths that will keep us hopeful, comforted, and optimistic about the future. This year I've had to put a lot of the things I enjoy on the back burner as I've tried to work hard in school and build relationships with family and friends. At times, I find it easier to indulge myself with the things that entertain me, than the things that matter. I've realized that it doesn't matter how much stuff we can cram in day- it matters on what we take time to focus on. 

Hope this entry hasn't bored you to sleep! Happy Sunday everyone!

-The Littlest Herdman

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