Friday Food for Thought: October 14, 2022

Hello Friends, welcome to Friday Food for Thought. Every Friday I’ll help start your weekend by sharing four people, thoughts, or things that are on my mind this week. These may be books or movies, podcast suggestions, interesting people I follow on social media, music, products, or, well, anything. You may find interesting creativity boosts here, some conversation starters, or just a small dose of entertainment. Click here for my previous post. Feel free to share this with friends, or offer suggestions via the comments. Let’s begin!

1) All the World’s a Symphony:

I’ve been revisiting my collection of Alan Hovhaness recordings this week. Born of an Armenian father born in Turkey and an American mother of Scottish ancestry, Hovhaness composed no less than 67 numbered symphonies and documented works reaching Opus 434. While some might consider him a modernist, his work was heavily influenced by his Armenian heritage as well as musical traditions of India, Japan, and other regions, as well as his love of astronomy – Journey to Arcturus, The Stars, and Saturn were a few of his compositions. Hovhaness’ music is not easy, but it has a mellow quality, no doubt a result of his passion for nature – also among his works were Hymn to Glacier Peak, Spirit of Trees, and Majestic Mountain. Despite his substantial body of work, Hovhaness’ music is not always easy to find in physical media, but many of his compositions can be purchased for digital download.

2) Looking Beyond Borders:

I live in the United States but my wife and I are considering retirement (still years away) outside the U.S. It seems daunting, but one source I turn to for inspiration is the YouTube channel of Amelia and JP, an expat couple in Ecuador who share their experience and advice. They also have a web site loaded with helpful information. While their focus is on Ecuador, much of their advice provides a good launching point for the expat life in general.

3) Deep Thoughts – A Life’s Work:

I’ve just begun reading At Canaan’s Edge: America in the King Years, 1965-1968 by Taylor Branch. It’s the third book in a trilogy that Branch worked on for more than twenty years. It got me thinking about the weariness and satisfaction that must go hand in hand to devote so much of one’s professional life to a single project. Historian Mike Wallace is reportedly working on a third volume to his history of New York City, the first two volumes of which, totaling well over 2,000 pages, were published in 1998 (co-authored with Edwin G. Burrows) and 2017; Wallace also founded the Gotham Center for New York City History during this time period. Robert Caro has apparently worked on little beyond his extraordinary Years of Lyndon Johnson series since the mid-1970s; I’m one of many readers eagerly awaiting volume five. Sometimes I’m envious of people who have such discipline. At the same time, I’m not sure I’ve found a topic yet which would compel me to drop everything else for twenty or more years. Either way, I’m grateful for these individuals because my life has clearly benefited from their effort.

4) Those English Sure Know How to Breakfast:

As I’ve written before, I begin almost every day with a cup of hot tea, often purchased from the English Tea Store. One of my favorite varieties recently is their loose-leaf English Breakfast tea. I love the flavor, and despite the caffeine content of black tea, I find it very comforting. The ETS tea is the variety I’m familiar with, but they offer other brands of English Breakfast tea on their site, both bagged and loose leaf. Enjoy!

That’s all for this week. Have a good weekend!

This post contains NO affiliate links. All suggestions are based on my own personal experience, your experience may vary. Nothing herein is intended to serve as medical, legal, financial, or any other advice for which you should consult professionals and not some random guy on the Internet.

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