Time is frozen in winter. The Northern Lights dance across an inky black sky, dotted with twirling & twinkling stars. Even amid winter’s dark shadows & frigid air, the beauty of our natural world shines bright. There are many reasons to love winter. Maybe, it’s the spectacular snow days, the delicious taste of hot cocoa, the generous acts of giving or the anticipation of holidays. As we wrap beautiful gifts for our loved ones, we begin to appreciate & celebrate the beauty of this surreal season. “Winter is the time for good food & warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand, for a hug beside the fire – it is time for home.” I love the sights & the scents of winter – the smell of pumpkin spice, cinnamon, nutmeg, gingerbread & spruce.
The stillness of the frozen air heightens our senses, making the mist, the glimmering snow or a cardinal’s song even more inspiring. Allows the much needed time for quiet reflection & tranquil moments of peace. Though the days are the shortest, they are still filled with amazing natural wonders. Crunching along a mysterious snow covered trail is blissful. The lovely landscape shimmers as the warm sun illuminates each tiny crystal of ice & nature’s intricate patterns. A crisp, white blanket of snow is the perfect minimalist backdrop to showcase nature’s magnificent colours. “The colour of springtime is flowers, the colour of winter is in our imagination.”
Children are extremely precious & vulnerable. Their protection assumes great significance for a healthy & holistic development. United Nations Convention on Child Rights declared Right to Protection as an essential child right. Prayas supports children whose security is at stake, reeling in situations of neglect, physical abuse, exploitation, trafficking, child marriage & child labour. Ones that truly need our compassion & immediate protection.
Prayas provides institutional facilities for their effective rehabilitation – health, education & livelihood training. Runs 6 Shelter Homes, Child Emergency Helplines & Crisis Intervention Centres across India. Prayas has raised the issue of child protection vehemently in collaboration with over 280 child protection NGOs as an Integrated Child Protection Approach. Runs multiple ‘Drop-in Facilitation Centres’ where any child can seek assistance in the form of care, security & residence.
Within the pages of Allie Esiri’s gorgeous collection, A Poem for Every Winter Day, we will find verse that transports us to sparkling winter scenes from the Christmas Day to the New Year’s Eve. An amazing array of poems from the familiar favourites to remarkable new discoveries. Precious poems by Mary Oliver, Edgar Allan Poe, Thomas Hardy, E. E. Cummings, Robert Burns, Benjamin Zephaniah, Wendy Cope, Roger McGough & Jackie Kay. An incredible soul-enhancing book to give us company for every day of winter.
Where words fail, music speaks! It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, joy to the heart, flight to the imagination & a charm to life. Music expresses that which cannot be put into words & that which cannot remain silent. “Sometimes, music is not in the notes, but in the silence between” – Mozart. After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.
It’s the most profound language of love with an incredible power to heal, to bring people together. Music is my refuge. Occasionally, I crawl into the cozy spaces between the notes. “The most exciting rhythms seem unexpected & complex, the most beautiful melodies seem simple & inevitable. Everything in our infinite universe has a rhythm, everything dances” – Maya Angelou.
Read The Power of Music Thinking. Offers new & innovative frameworks to see our business from different perspectives, simultaneously. Inspires us to work towards inclusive & meaningful collaborations. Shares amazing analogies between the power, impact, value of music & business in the broadest sense. Great insights on the importance of leadership, listening, creativity, team-work, trust, passion, planning & performance. Helps us imagine & integrate agile methodologies, design thinking & organisational change in an unusual way.
Interestingly, it prompts us to re-think our business, product, service or team with the help of inter-connected dynamics that relate to the immense amount of musical styles. The Power of Music Thinking is a fresh approach to harness the lessons in music for business success. Listen, tune, play & perform to have fun at work. Incredibly motivational.
Read a fascinating book – the Philosophical Perspectives On Musicby Wayne Bowman. Explores the diverse historic accounts of the universal nature, value & idea of music. Highlights music’s emotional expressiveness & the vibrant ways in which music may be understood. Is music abstract or organised sound? Since there’re many examples of organised sounds that are not music like human speech & machines, is it too broad a classification? What is the relationship between music & mind?
As we define it, “music is any event intentionally produced or organised to be heard & either have some basic musical feature such as pitch, rhythm or be listened to for such features?”Examine the importance of mathematical structure, systematic organisation & the significance of creative aesthetics to music – lyricism, style, emotiveness, innovation, playfulness & soulfulness? From pre-Socratic Greeks to idealism & beyond, it beautifully shares what music truly is, how it works, the incredible impact & inclusivity it creates. What does music mean to you?
Cafe Terrace At Night&The Starry Night Over The Rhone are the most famous Van Gogh paintings. Henri Dutilleux’s orchestral work Timbres, Espace, Movement is subtitled La Nuit Etoile (The Starry Night). Einojuhani Rautavaara wrote an opera on Van Gogh’s life – Vincent. The Symphony No. 6, the 1st movement is titled Starry Night.
Pythagoras (490 BC) believed that music embodied unique mathematical mysteries. Musical order & beauty was the result of a mathematical harmony carved out of noise. Originated the idea of the heavenly ‘music of spheres’. Inaudible, made by the movements of the planets around the earth. Plato(380 BC) highlighted the role of music in the management of emotions (The Republic). Harmony was an elegant expression of simplicity, delight & temperance.
Schelling, a transcendental idealists thought that instrumental music was the purest of arts, a rare glimpse into the absolute, the divine. Schopenhauer loved & correlated music to an inexplicable experience into the sensory realms, inspiring a feeling of oneness with something beyond ourselves. Nietzsche proposed that the two essential elements of music need to be carefully balanced – the creative order or organisation & the chaotic inspiration or imagination. Interesting insights.