List of Lists

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List of Lists I’d Like to Write:

  • Funny sounding words
  • Places I’ve been that I loved or were life-transforming
  • Places I’d like to go
  • Miracles I’ve experienced
  • All-time favorite restaurants from all the places I’ve traveled/lived
  • Names for the color blue
  • Names for the color green
  • Names I’d like to use in creative writing
  • Colors in the sea
  • Top ten books that have transformed my life or world-view
  • Favorite poets
  • Ways to procrastinate and still get things done
  • Reasons I keep going when I think I can’t
  • What matters most
  • Why we’re here (the meaning of life in general)
  • Why I’m here (my purpose/s in life)
  • How to value life when you feel disconnected or without purpose
  • Why I love Jack so much
  • Good things I’ve gleaned from bad experiences
  • If I lived in Paris…
  • Why the world feels so different “after 9/11”
  • Why the world feels so gone after my parents’ deaths
  • Why I don’t like the world anymore
  • How I might fall in love again with life
  • How to make friends with an alien world
  • How to value a small sliver of life even if the rest of the world seems fu@%&d
  • What I can learn from my cats
  • What I admired in our beagles Sadie and Winston
  • Best coffee brands
  • Favorite coffee beans or flavors
  • Why I love the French language
  • Books with writing I find most beautiful
  • Books I would recommend reading more than twice
  • Favorite composers for classical piano
  • Favorite non-piano classical compositions
  • A playlist for myself to represent the progression of my life
  • Music I would like people to hear or sing at my funeral
  • Bouquets (flower/plant combos) I would love
  • Five reasons “why” I’m still so stuck
  • Five ways I might get unstuck
  • If I could start a peer-support group, what kind would it be?
  • Components of an ideal diner
  • Components of an ideal cafe
  • Twelve movies with great cinematography
  • Twelve great movie soundtracks
  • Twelve movies with powerful and beautiful story
  • My favorite visual artists
  • Why I’m drawn to nostalgia
  • Why I sometimes can’t stand anything nostalgic
  • Things I’d take to a desert isle if I could take only one from each of my favorite-things categories
  • Things I use every day
  • Things I keep but never use
  • Things I’m saving for the next generation
  • All the beaches I’ve been to
  • Why I love being on an ocean’s beach
  • Modes of transportation I’ve experienced and when I first did so
  • What I like about travel
  • What I don’t like about travel
  • What I like about being in a new place
  • What I like about being at home

For Frances and Her Parents

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To celebrate Frances’ birth, I made a playlist for her and her parents.  Some of the songs are obviously and perfectly suited for a baby, either because they were written for a baby or about a parent’s love for their newborn.  The inclusion of a few of the songs might surprise some because they were originally written for lovers, but I think they fit because these parents are celebrating their love for each other and for the life their love has created.  Several songs I included for other reasons; see more details below.  [The “by” refers to the artist(s) who recorded the music, not necessarily the composer/lyricist.]

For Frances and Her Parents, playlist on Amazon Music, curated by ML.

    1. Isn’t She Lovely by Stevie Wonder; because it’s wonderfully joyful.
    2. I’d Like To Teach The World To Sing by The New Seekers; for its sweet vision of building a home full of love and singing and sweet peace with nature.
    3. Free To Be You and Me by The New Seekers; I just discovered this one when selecting #2 and I liked its message; I thought Frances’ parents would too!
    4. Never Ending Song of Love by The New Seekers; isn’t it lovely?
    5. Longer by Dan Fogelberg It’s one of my favorites for any expression of love!
    6. What A Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong; I always find the world more wonderful with each new person born!
    7. Over The Rainbow by Israel Ka… and The Hawaiian Rainbow Ensemble; I especially like this arrangement for its sweetness and simple innocence.
    8. Here Comes The Sun by Yo-Yo Ma and James Taylor; everything on the album is wonderful and I thought this song especially fitting for this playlist.
    9. Improvisation on Dona Nobis Pacem by Paquito D’Rivera; this is also from Yo-Yo Ma’s album “Songs Of Joy And Peace” and I thought this song made a nice transition to the next one on my list.  It’s an incredible fusion of classical, jazz, and folk elements.  Plus I like the prayer for peace.  It’s also a sort of nod to St. Francis and his prayers for peace with all of nature.  (I couldn’t find a version of his “Canticle To The Sun” whose performance style/tone suited this playlist.)
    10. Coeur Volant by Zaz; I adore the movie “Hugo” from which this comes, plus I wish for Frances (besides unconditional love, renewing joy, and perpetual peace) a courageous heart.
    11. Fly Me To The Moon (acoustic version) by Angelina Jordan; I wanted to include a younger artist who expresses her own authentic wondrousness (as well as an amazing genius for recreating other voices); plus I love this song and I think parents can sing it to their children.
    12. Sur Le Quais Du Vieux Paris by Lucienne Delyle; because I love Paris and Frances was originally a French name.
    13. La Mer by Chantal Chamberland; because I adore the sea and because Frances and her family live near an ocean.
    14. Dance Me To The End Of Love by Madeleine Peyroux; I fell in love w/ MP’s voice when I heard this.  It might be the most surprising inclusion, but I think it works.  Parents in love with each other and their newborn want to celebrate love in every way!
    15. Over The Rainbow/ Simple Gifts by The Piano Guys; I wanted an instrumental version of OTR as a sort of reprise for the entire playlist; the incorporation of Simple Gifts is a bonus!
    16. Wait Till You See Her by Lori Carsillo; a very sweet lullaby-styled version of one of the greatest songs about the amazement of life and being in love as experienced through what I would consider our first encounter with the Beatific Vision when parent and child gaze into each other’s eyes.
    17. Wait Till You See Her (instrumental only) by New York Trio; I like this one so much I had to include two renditions of it.
    18. Longer (instrumental only) by Dan Fogelberg; again, more reprise of favorites!
    19. You Cannot Lose My Love by Sara Groves, and then there’s this one; it says it all!  Blessings to you Frances, and D&D!


I tried to include some lovely variety while keeping a general tone of not-too-loud, fluid (mostly lyric but full of richly textured rhythms and complex harmonies), singable, compelling, joyful, sweet sweetness that has depth.  These are songs I can imagine Frances’ parents D&D singing to each other and to Frances.  I can see them rocking her in their arms, gazing into her sweet face while swaying to the music.  Maybe the last several songs can serve as lullabies.

Happy listening!  Happy loving!  Happy parenting, D&D!  Happy growing, Frances!

Made and sent with lots of love, joy, and blessings forever!  ~ML

July, Justice, Journey

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I made a playlist on Amazon Music for July 2019 “July, Justice, Journey”.  It currently has 19 songs (I might add to it later on), and runs about an hour.  The songs are at the moment ordered like this:

  1. Fanfare for the Common Man by Aaron Copland
  2. America, the Beautiful performed by Ray Charles
  3. This Land Is Your Land by Woody Guthrie, performed by Peter, Paul & Mary
  4. If I Had A Hammer by Pete Seeger
  5. Alabama by John Coltrane
  6. I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel by Taylor & Dallas, performed by Nina Simone
  7. Feeling Good by Newly & Bricusse, performed by Nina Simone
  8. Song For The Morning Star by Carlos Nakai
  9. One Tin Soldier by Coven
  10. Where Have All The Flowers Gone by Pete Seeger, performed by Joan Baez
  11. Untold by Matthew West
  12. Welcome To Our World by Chris Rice
  13. Concordia by Yo-Yo Ma and Dave Brubeck
  14. Saturday In The Park by Chicago
  15. Forever Young by Bob Dylan
  16. On A Clear Day by Lane & Lerner, performed by The Oscar Peterson Trio
  17. Higher Love by Steve Winwood
  18. Happy by Pharrell Williams
  19. On A Clear Day by Lane & Lerner, performed by Barbra Streisand

Many people would expect a playlist for July to include some patriotic hymns and Americana folksongs or even peace-and-justice protest music.  In addition to such as these, I’ve included some other instrumentals and vocals that you might find surprising.  My theme is the journey toward justice for “the common man”, which is all of us, each of us.  So, on this July 4th when Americans rightly celebrate our independence as a nation, I also celebrate my hope for justice, freedom, life for all people and every individual human-being ever conceived.


Easter Monday

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  • He is risen!
  • But the story doesn’t end even there: He meets us on the road to Emmaus,
  • He offers His wounds for us to touch and see,
  • He breaks bread with us,
  • He prepares breakfast for us when our catch is slim and our faith wavers,
  • He reminds of all that came before & shows us what it means,
  • He bids us share the Good News with others,
  • He gives us His Spirit,
  • and for me, today, He reminds me that He is risen even with scars; His scars don’t disappear, but they don’t shackle Him to the past; His scars give further testimony to how we ourselves are one (body & soul) and we are one w/ Him, He with us.

For I know that my Redeemer lives,
And He shall stand at last on the earth;
And after my skin is destroyed, this I know,
That in my flesh I shall see God,
Whom I shall see for myself,
And my eyes shall behold, and not another.

(Job 19: 25-27)


Thoughts on Individuals, Community, Love, Wholeness

  1. The Individual is First and Absolutely-Essential.
  2. Relationship and Community are secondary and totally dependant upon the reality of individuals.
  3. All who think it’s the other way around are just wrong.
  4. God is One.
  5. I am one.
  6. True Love between two is only real when each one loves their Self, and can then give Love freely.
  7. Any “love” dependant upon anything (or anyone else) is not Love, but addiction/ obsession/ evil-perversion.
  8. Love begets Love.
  9. Love is always better than “Perfection.”
  10. Love in the midst of brokenness is best because it is Love being and giving True Love for Love of Being.
  11. Wholeness is brokenness healed by Love.  (NOT a return to unbrokenness, NOT “Perfection.”  It is better than never-having-been-broken.
  12. Brokenness is part of the sacred path to Wholeness; Love is the Way; Wholeness-in-Christ is Home.
  13. Brokenness (and suffering) are holy, not for the sake of suffering, but for the time and space to choose Love through free-will.  When we choose Love in the midst of our own suffering, we are choosing Love for Love’s sake.
  14. Even so, Love is so prolific, so generous and lavish, that every love has some reward, some good, and opportunity for further redemption, i.e. empowerment to love better.  Love is like Light: no darkness or evil can overcome it or squelch it.  Love grows.  Love endures.