Welcome to Our Nonprofit Site . . .

We are glad you found your way to our site. All images on this site are copyrighted, and if you want to use any of them, you need written permission from us. Enjoy our site! - Anne Copeland, Director

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Planting a Dream Seed

I daily receive lots of free inspirational newsletters, quotations, and other positive and motivational messages. In my mind, we cannot fill our minds and souls with too much good, surrounded as we are by so many negative messages about life as it is viewed. One of the wonderful things I receive is inspirational email from www.gogratitude.com.  Today they sent me something I think is a fantastic idea as we are coming into the New Year, and it is a good time to start thinking about the seeds we want to cast for our dreams and goals. The site is: www.BloomingHumans.com. I posted this photo of a quilt I made to enter in a challenge in 2006. It was my depiction of the story of "The Little Match Girl" by Hans Christian Andersen.

I used to ask my Grandma to read this story to me over and over again, along with the story, "The Red Shoes," also by Hans Christian Andersen. These were my two favorite stories, though on the surface, both seemed very negative in their messages. Both of these stories were made into films.

I have never seen the film, "The Little Match Girl," but I have watched "The Red Shoes, a British feature film about a ballet dancer, written, directed and produced by the team of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, known collectively as The Archers. The movie employs a story within a story device. A young ballerina  joins an established ballet company and becomes the lead dancer in a new ballet called The Red Shoes, based on the fairy tale. The film stars Moira Shearer, Anton Walbrook and Marius Goring and features Robert Helpmann, Leonide Massine and Ludmilla Tcherina, renowned dancers from the ballet world, as well as Esmond Knight and Albert Basserman. It has original music by Brian Easdale and cinematography by Jack Cardiff, and is well regarded for its creative use of Technicolor and also some of the cinematic techniques that were truly unique for the time (1948).  There is a scene, a ballet, that takes place in a deserted street. The entire scene is very staged, though at the same time, it feels believable.  The ballerina is dancing around a newspaper that is blowing around in the street, and suddenly, it becomes a man, who continues to dance with her.

The Red Shoes is about obsession and the way it can ruin a life.  So what kind of positive message can a film or story like this have for us?  In this particular story, I think the real message is that we DO need to be dedicated and somewhat driven if we have a dream we want to achieve, but at the same time, we must find a sense of balance in our lives. I will not spoil the movie for you lest you decide to see it based on this writing.

As for "The Little Match Girl," this story I will tell you since it is doubtful that we might find or watch the film. This little girl in 19th century England, is seen on Christmas Eve, out in the street trying to sell a handful of long matches. It is cold, she has not had anything to eat and she has no warm coat.  She cannot return home until she sells her matches.  People are coming and going all around her, doing their last minute shopping for food and other things as they might need for the holiday.  She stands there, but no one comes to buy her matches.  She grows so cold that she lights one out of sheer desperation, and in that few seconds the match is lit, she sees a most beautiful image, a pretty home with a Christmas tree and presents, and good food on the table.  Soon the match goes out though, and once more she is left in her miserable condition.  Then eventually, she decides to light another match, and again, once more she sees into the Christmas scene, and feels drawn inside it.  This continues through the night and finally, she lights ALL of the remaining matches, and at once, she is drawn inside the scene, and sees herself enjoying the good food, the presents, and the warmth and beauty of the night.  In the morning, her body is found; she has died of exposure.  Seems pretty dismal, but for me, the lighting of that match represents the lighting of our imagination, and how powerful it can be.

As we come into this New Year, I think that many of us may be having struggles - with jobs, or perhaps trying to keep our homes, or having lost them and wondering where we will go next and what we will do next.  It would be easy to just settle into negative thinking, but I truly believe that while we might not be able to control our circumstances outwardly, we CAN choose how we will perceive it.  The very worst things that have happened to me in my own lifetime have turned out to be some of my greatest blessings.  They have enabled me to share my knowledge from my own experience with others who have been suffering, and to have true compassion for others that comes only from having been through some of the things ourselves.  I have often thought that the best gift we can give to others is to teach them that no matter what happens, we can find a way to effect change. I planted MY seed on www.BloomingHumans.com and you can too. See if you can find my little square and what I have to say about the picture of "The Little Match Girl." Who will you choose to be today?  Both of these fiber arts pieces were made by me.