Queen Elizabeth II enjoyed Agatha Christie’s mystery novels so much that she made the author a Dame of the British Empire. It’s hard to believe that in the beginning, Christie was a hardworking World War I nurse and military wife who was originally unsuccessful at getting her first book published! In 1920, however, a small […]Read more "Q: What Agatha Christie, the “Queen of Crime,” Reveals About the Human Heart"
“In his eyes, all the sadness of the world.” Christine – Phantom of the Opera “Pitiful creature of darkness, what kind of life have you known? God, give me courage to show you. you are not alone!” Christine – Phantom of the Opera In its day, French Grand Opera was the single greatest […]Read more "P: “Phantom of the Opera” – A Haunting Reminder"
“Now and then, for no good reason, life will haul off and knock a man flat.” Jim Coates – Old Yeller (1957) “You crazy, wonderful dog!” Katie Coates – Old Yeller (1957) Okay – confession time. I stand among the ranks of those who were absolutely traumatized by Old Yeller as […]Read more "O: “Old Yeller” – Why It’s Okay to Cry Your Eyes Out"
Novels and films across all genres have described man’s quest to find an elusive source of eternal youth. Whether it is the Holy Grail, the Fountain of Youth, or an inventive medical procedure, we’ve made it pretty clear that we’d do just about anything to stay forever young. One of the most beautiful and imaginative […]Read more "N: “Neverland” and the Beauty of Growing Up"
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) has gone down in musical history as a master composer, an art that he took up at the tender age of five. His greatest claim to fame, however, is that he was a “Master of Melody.” His melodies are simple, clear, and stunningly beautiful. Mozart knew better than to overcomplicate his […]Read more "M: Mozart and the Beauty of Simple Things"
“One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.” During college, I volunteered to earn extra money by working in the library during Christmas break. No one was on campus, and the entire building was absolutely deserted. To pass the […]Read more "L: Three Powerful Symbols in “The Lord of the Rings”"
“I paint self-portraits because I am so often alone, because I am the person I know best.” Frida Kahlo While strolling through a modern art museum one afternoon, I suddenly stopped and cried, “Why are all the paintings in this room of this crazy lady with the unibrow?” Laughing, my wife took me by […]Read more "K: Frida Kahlo – The Beauty and Danger of Self-Examination"
It’s perhaps the most recognized musical theme in the world. Every child who has ever pretended to be a shark in the swimming pool has heard it, and even those who haven’t have played it on the piano. John Williams, the composer who gave us the memorable film scores to cinematic treasures such as Indiana […]Read more "J: “Jaws” and Beyond – the Genius of John Williams"
“The secret to staying young is to live honestly, eat slowly, and lie about your age.” Lucille Ball When you hear the words “classic television,” the I Love Lucy theme song should be one of the first to pop into your head. This American sitcom, which aired from 1951-1957, won five Emmy awards and […]Read more "I: “I Love Lucy” and the Appeal of Real Relationships"
While I was working on my master’s degree in music, one of my professors told us something that I thought was incredibly profound. “If you’re going to survive as artists,” he told us solemnly. “You’re going to have to become masters at reinventing yourselves.” I took this advice to heart, and it has served me […]Read more "H: Handel’s “Messiah” and the Art of Reinventing Oneself"