Tag Archives: memories

Reflections: 9.11 – A Decade And A Year Later…

“Those whose lives were lost on September 11 will remain in our thoughts and prayers forever.” Vito Fossella

Reflections: 9.11 – A Decade And A Year Later… Tribute in Light

“When I look out the window, I exhale a prayer of thanks for the color green, for my children’s safety, for the simple acts of faith like planting a garden that helped see us through another spring, another summer. And I inhale some kind of promise to protect my kids’ hopes and good intentions we began with in this country. Freedom of speech, the protection of diversity — these are the most important ingredients of American civil life and my own survival. If I ever took them for granted, I don’t know.” -Barbara Kingsolver

It’s been 11 years since the horrific September 11 attacks occurred. We live in a world that has seen revolution in many parts; changes in governments and calls for the end of oppressive regimes. There is still so much work to do on the path to global peace and equity…  My heartfelt prayers and hugs go out to all who have lost loved ones to acts of violence, may justice prevail.

Memories: Remembering 9.11…
It took a long while to reconnect with the city again… and now, ten years later, we pause to reflect, mourn the many lost, and vow to never forget… The new North and South Memorial Pools, the Tribute in Light and more offer hope and peace. I offer prayers and plant fall flowers to honor the dead and encourage the living. May all find peace and comfort on this day… My heart and healing wishes go out to all the families that lost a loved one on 9.11. What do you do to remember?

“Even the smallest act of service, the simplest act of kindness, is a way to honor those we lost, a way to reclaim that spirit of unity that followed 9/11.” -President Barack Obama

Reflections: 9.11 – A Decade And A Year Later… South Memorial Pool via Robert Deutsch/USA Today

“Time is passing. Yet, for the United States of America, there will be no forgetting September the 11th. We will remember every rescuer who died in honor. We will remember every family that lives in grief. We will remember the fire and ash, the last phone calls, the funerals of the children.” -President George W. Bush, November 11, 2001

Above and below, I’ve shared some of my thoughts/reflections from previous writings and also the reflections of others. Let us resolve to treat each other with dignity, love, and respect for life. Blessings to all.

Welcoming Another Decade: Of the many memories I will cherish from the last decade, 9/11 will remain the most powerful and painful. Others revolve around work, family, health, travel, and many learning and growth opportunities. I tried out a few new career paths, I ate and traveled plenty and watched my children grow. I welcomed nieces into my extended family, I said goodbye to a few friends and in-laws, I recuperated from a few health scares, celebrated many birthdays and read a lot… September 11 left an indelible impact on many of us… May we always remember to stand for peace.  More below!

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Memories: The Lion Sleeps Tonight…

“Memory… is the diary that we all carry about with us.” Oscar Wilde

Memories: The Lion Sleeps Tonight… Wimoweh, wimoweh, wimoweh, wimoweh


Happy Hippo & Stan – “The lion sleeps tonight

The Lion Sleeps Tonight… Lyrics from lyrics.net submitted by Naj Uyanik
Ee-e-e-um-um-a-weh
Ee-e-e-um-um-a-weh

Wimoweh, wimoweh, wimoweh, wimoweh
Wimoweh, wimoweh, wimoweh, wimoweh
Wimoweh, wimoweh, wimoweh, wimoweh
Wimoweh, wimoweh, wimoweh, wimoweh

In the jungle, the mighty jungle
The lion sleeps tonight
In the jungle, the quiet jungle
The lion sleeps tonight

In 1939, when Solomom Linda and The Evening Birds sang and recorded his famous song – Mbube – for the South African Gallo Record Company, he had no idea that it would eventually earn millions for others, and be recorded internationally by many well known singers of the century; from The Weavers, The Tokens, Jimmy Dorsey, Yma Sumac, Miriam Makeba, to The Kingston Trio. The original song evolved into other versions; particularly two popular versions, Wimoweh (US charts, 1952,#6) performed by The Weavers, and The Lion Sleeps Tonight (US charts #1,1961,UK #11) by The Tokens. Much has been said on how Solomon was cheated out of royalties but more on that later. My memory of the song is tied to my mother… Read on.

“Gratitude changes the pangs of memory into a tranquil joy.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Memories: The Lion Sleeps Tonight… Setting Sun


Solomon Linda’s Original Evening BirdsMbube (ORIGINAL VERSION OF WIMOWEH)

Wimoweh, wimoweh, wimoweh, wimoweh
Wimoweh, wimoweh, wimoweh, wimoweh
Wimoweh, wimoweh, wimoweh, wimoweh
Wimoweh, wimoweh, wimoweh, wimoweh

Near the village, the peaceful village
The lion sleeps tonight
Near the village, the quiet village
The lion sleeps tonight

My siblings and I gathered in the living room. Mother had called us to come downstairs for a surprise. I’ve always hated surprises but when your mother calls… well, it’s a surprise alright. We sat on the carpeted floor and looked expectantly at our mother who was ensconced in a comfortable stuffed armchair. She smiled at us, “Now be quiet,” she whispered and then said nothing more. We sat and waited; waiting and wondering when the shit would hit the fan or the surprise would land… Finally, when I thought it might be time to say something to mother, who, by the way, was busy sewing another baby outfit, she got up and turned the radio on. It crackled, buzzed, and then filled the room with melodious voices.

“Yesterday is but today’s memory, and tomorrow is today’s dream.” Khalil Gibran

Memories: The Lion Sleeps Tonight…


Miriam Makeba – Mbube – The Lion sleeps Tonight 1960

Wimoweh, wimoweh, wimoweh, wimoweh
Wimoweh, wimoweh, wimoweh, wimoweh
Wimoweh, wimoweh, wimoweh, wimoweh
Wimoweh, wimoweh, wimoweh, wimoweh

Hush my darling, don’t fear my darling
The lion sleeps tonight
Hush my darling, don’t fear my darling
The lion sleeps tonight

At first, we weren’t sure what was going on, but then we heard the announcer (what we’d call a DJ today) say something to the effect of “Ladies and gentlemen, today we bring you a few new contestants. Each will sing a favorite song of their choosing and you can call in and nominate your favorite singer in the group. First up is Mr X from XYZ.”  Mr. X sang a popular song. I think it was I’m Leaving on a Jet Plane by John Denver. We thought Mr. X was quite good… Then the announcer paused for a commercial break, came back on the air and announced the next performer… “Ladies and gentlemen, Welcome Mrs… Yes, it was Mother! And her song of choice?  The Lion Sleeps Tonight.

“In memory everything seems to happen to music.” Tennessee Williams

Memories: The Lion Sleeps Tonight… Ee-e-e-um-um-a-weh, Ee-e-e-um-um-a-weh, Wimoweh, wimoweh, wimoweh, wimoweh…


The Weavers – Wimoweh

Wimoweh, wimoweh, wimoweh, wimoweh
Wimoweh, wimoweh, wimoweh, wimoweh
Wimoweh, wimoweh, wimoweh, wimoweh
Wimoweh, wimoweh, wimoweh, wimoweh

Ee-e-e-um-um-a-weh
Ee-e-e-um-um-a-weh

♫ ♪ ♬Ee-e-e-um-um-a-weh, Ee-e-e-um-um-a-weh♫, ♫Wimoweh, wimoweh, wimoweh, wimoweh…♫ ♪ ♬ Mother’s voice filled the air. We were shocked and then stifled fits of laughter… Only my mother would be daring enough to thwart the social mores of her tight-knit community, and sing a popular song in a contest on the radio. ♫ ♬Ee-e-e-um-um-a-weh, Ee-e-e-um-um-a-weh, Wimoweh, wimoweh, wimoweh, wimoweh… In the jungle, the mighty jungle, the lion sleeps tonight… ♫ ♬ She sang Happy Hippo’s version and put all her passion and pride in that song.  As her voice got stronger, it took on a tone of defiance. ♫Wimoweh, wimoweh, wimoweh, wimoweh… Hush my darling, don’t fear my darling, The lion sleeps tonight…♫♩  At the end of the song, we applauded loudly and assured Mother she should and would win. From then on, The Lion Sleeps Tonight became one of my favorite songs and has remained so for years.  More below!

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Memories: Reading Charles Dickens In The Best & Worst Times…

“There are dark shadows on the earth, but its lights are stronger in the contrast.” Charles Dickens

Memories: Reading Charles Dickens In The Best & Worst Times... Happy 200th Birthday Charles Dickens! A young Dickens by D. Maclise

Memories: Reading Charles Dickens In The Best & Worst Times... Happy 200th Birthday!

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times; it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness; it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity; it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness; it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair; we had everything before us, we had nothing before us; we were all going directly to Heaven, we were all going the other way.” Charles Dickens

Happy 200th Birthday Charles Dickens! Today is the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Dickens (7 February 1812 – 9 June 1870). Dickens was considered the greatest Victorian author of the day; his serialized writings were hugely successful and read widely in England. His writings, which were often social commentary on the horrific conditions of the poor, were informed by his own difficult life experiences; including his time working in a blacking factory. When I found out it was his birthday, I flashed back to my earliest memories of reading and watching Dickens works.

A Child’s Hymn by Charles Dickens
Hear my prayer, O heavenly Father,
Ere I lay me down to sleep;
Bid Thy angels, pure and holy,
Round my bed their vigil keep. (Contd below)

My favorite Dickens writings, from the dozens of books, short stories, plays and non-fiction he published were: The Pickwick Papers – 1836, Oliver Twist – 1837, Nicholas Nickleby – 1838, The Old Curiosity Shop – 1840, Barnaby Rudge – 1841, Martin Chuzzlewit – 1843, Dombey and Son – 1846, David Copperfield – 1849, Bleak House – 1852, Hard Times – 1854, Little Dorrit – 1855, A Tale of Two Cities – 1859, Great Expectations - 1860, Our Mutual Friend – 1864, and The Mystery of Edwin Drood – 1870.  What the Dickens! Yes, I covered the list of his key writings because, as a painfully shy child, I spent many long hours in my dad’s office/study/library losing myself in the world of books. Of all the Dickens books I read, Oliver Twist haunted me and the movie gave me nightmares. During the Nigerian civil war, I imagined the possibility of having to beg for food… It frightened me. It was the worst of times.

“Have a heart that never hardens, and a temper that never tires, and a touch that never hurts.” Charles Dickens

Memories: Reading Charles Dickens In The Best & Worst Times... Dickens Dream

“Nature gives to every time and season some beauties of its own; and from morning to night, as from the cradle to the grave, it is but a succession of changes so gentle and easy that we can scarcely mark their progress.” Charles Dickens

London and Paris are in the top ten of my favorite cities in the world. I have lots of happy and fun memories of my time in both cities. One is the city of my birth and the other is the city some people think is the city of my birth; something to do with a slight french accent I supposedly have (I don’t think so). Nevertheless, when I first read A Tale of Two Cities, I tried to imagine how life must have been for many during that period, based on the French revolution. It certainly wasn’t the France or England I knew. After reading the part on the guillotining of Sydney Carton, I was grateful that the world I lived in no longer condoned such practices…

My sins are heavy, but Thy mercy
Far outweighs them, every one;
Down before Thy cross I cast them,
Trusting in Thy help alone.(Contd below)

The London and Paris of my youth was party central all the way. Traveling between both places, connecting with friends, shopping and eating out, even movie going was exhilarating. The shyness of my childhood was long gone; replaced by the youthful exuberance of a far more adventurous spirit. It was the best of times.  As for the made for movies adaptations of Dickens books, my favorites, or, at least, the ones that lingered in my mind were Oliver Twist, A Christmas Carol, David Copperfield, A Tale of Two Cities, Great Expectations, and The Pickwick Papers. They were mostly distressing movies, reminding me of the line from Leviathan by Thomas Hobbes – life in those states of war was solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short…  More below. ;-)

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