46d-Spring Break 2017

46d-S[romg Breal-Giuseppe_Castiglione_-_Gathering_of_Auspicious_Signs“Gathering of Auspicious Signs” by Giuseppe Castiglione.  Painted in 1723.
Public Domain.

I have one very vivid memory that recurs each year around the time of my Mom’s birthday on April 18th.  No matter what the weather was like or what was going on in our lives Mom said a birthday is a time to celebrate.  Each day is a gift no matter what we find in the box we open each morning.  We each have a role to play and bring our own unique gifts to the setting in which we participate.  Mom also held that each day is a re-birth because at the end of the day we should leave off the exhaustion, the gains and the losses and put them behind us.  Sleep was a renewing process.  All that happened the day before could be recycled and of use in the present or the future.  We just need to get on with the day ahead and not dwell too much on the past.  Answers will come in the course of time.

To illustrate this point Mom once told me that the newly found realizations are akin to Spring.  From within will blossom the knowledge we need if we just quiet the ramblings of the conscious mind and spend some time in a sweet solitude where we gather ourselves together.  “In springtime, the world is born anew!” Mom always said when it was her birthday.  She used that as a way to encourage me in the practice of seeking time out and spending it in quiet reflection.

Each year Uncle Sammy and I take a Spring break.  It is a time to rest, to socialize during the Easter holidays, visit the resting place of Josie and Sam and pray for those we are with in spirit but cannot make the visit to, whether at home or at their resting places.  We hope everyone is awakening after a very long winter and taking time to attune themselves to the cycle of renewal and rebirth going on in nature right now.  May it also happen for all of you, too.

To add an element of learning to this posting we have showcased a painting by Giuseppe Castiglione.  He was a Jesuit missionary who became a painter in the court of the Chinese Emperor during the 18th century.  We have also learned that Giuseppe Vivaldi, composer of “The Four Seasons”, wrote sonnets to accompany each of his concertos.  We present here Vivaldi’s sonnet to Spring in Italian and English which come from the website BaroqueMusic.org  Acknowledgements and links follow the sonnets.

We will return to WordPress in mid-May.

–EmilyAnn Frances May
–Sam Serrapede, Jr.
–April 9, 2017

Spring – Concerto in E Major by Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741)
Allegro
Springtime is upon us.
The birds celebrate her return with festive song,
and murmuring streams are softly caressed by the breezes.
Thunderstorms, those heralds of Spring, roar, casting their dark mantle over heaven,
Then they die away to silence, and the birds take up their charming songs once more.

Largo
On the flower-strewn meadow, with leafy branches rustling overhead, the goat-herd sleeps, his faithful dog beside him.

Allegro
Led by the festive sound of rustic bagpipes, nymphs and shepherds lightly dance beneath the brilliant canopy of spring.

 

Spring – Concerto in E Major by Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741)
 Allegro
“Giunt’ è la Primavera e festosetti
La Salutan gl’ Augei con lieto canto,
E i fonti allo Spirar de’ Zeffiretti
Con dolce mormorio Scorrono intanto:
Vengon’ coprendo l’ aer di nero amanto
E Lampi, e tuoni ad annuntiarla eletti
Indi tacendo questi, gl’ Augelletti;
Tornan’ di nuovo al lor canoro incanto:”

 Largo
“E quindi sul fiorito ameno prato
Al caro mormorio di fronde e piante
Dorme ‘l Caprar col fido can’ à lato.”

Allegro
“Di pastoral Zampogna al suon festante
Danzan Ninfe e Pastor nel tetto amato
Di primavera all’ apparir brillante.”

————————————–

“Gathering of Auspicious Signs” by Giuseppe Castiglione
Giuseppe’s Chinese name:  Lang Shi’ning
Public Domain.  Wikimedia Commons.
http://tinyurl.com/m9g54j4

Giuseppe Castiglione
Bio
The Art History Archive-Chinese Art
http://www.arthistoryarchive.com/arthistory/asian/Giuseppe-Castiglione.html

Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons” Sonnets
BaroqueMusic.org
http://www.baroquemusic.org/vivaldiseasons.html

Vivaldi’s Four Seasons “Spring”
YouTube

 

 

 

 

 

41a-2016 Holiday Greetings to our blog friends and subscribers

 

Happy Winter Solstice!
December 21, 2016

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Blessed Hannukah!
December 24, 2016-January 1, 2017

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Merry Christmas!
December 25, 2016

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Happy Kwanzaa!
December 26, 2016-January 1, 2017

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It is the season of Light
when Joy, Hope and Love
shine upon us with blessings
from Heaven above.
May the flames of Love and Hope burn bright in your heart,
bringing Joyful inspiration as the New Year starts.

With best wishes,

–Sam Serrapede
–EmilyAnn Frances May

——–

We will be on a one month holiday break starting this week.  See you all in the New Year.

 

 

31d-Interlude: Memorial Day Weekend 2016 in Bay Ridge

We are enjoying beautiful weather here in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, NY.  Spring is moving into Summer and the prelude is gorgeous.  I took a walk yesterday to Ridge Boulevard and eventually meandered down towards Shore Road.  I never tire of the many moods that the time of day, the weather and the people enjoying the parkland create.  These photos were taken after 6 p.m. Since this is a holiday weekend the mood was much different than a regular weekend.  There was a sense of relaxation and calm as people lingered to enjoy the view of the Verrazano Narrows Bridge, Staten Island and all the boats gliding on the water.

I hope you’ll enjoy these photos.  I’ve not added any captions because none are needed.  The mood of the holiday weekend comes across very well in each photo.  If you went away this weekend or are planning a vacation, please tell us about it.

A walk along Shore Road, Memorial Day Weekend, Saturday May 28, 2016

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27a-Spring Break 2016

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Tammy, our little office assistant at Through The Byzantine Gate, is looking forward to springtime in Bay Ridge.

Uncle Sammy and I are going on Spring Break starting this week.  There are so many holidays coming all at once.  It’s impossible to stay with a routine!  There is St. Patrick’s Day, Palm Sunday, the first day of Spring, Good Friday, Easter Sunday and April Fool’s Day.  A break is in order.

A mood of gaiety is setting in as the buds on the trees become fuller, the days longer and bright yellow daffodils fill the flower shops.  Little by little Winter is leaving.  Two weeks ago I polished the curio cabinet and set up the collectibles and mementos my late Mom left me.  A small votive candleholder with painted pink roses has written across it:  “Bright Spring, New Beginnings!”

We hope this is true for everyone in a wonderful and beautiful way.  We’ll be back to regular posting in April.