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Wednesday, 18 March 2009

When life throws you lemons, make lemonade...

goddess of light Pictures, Images and Photos

A little bird sent out by the hallowed Temple of La Wiki tells me that dear blogging Braja of Lost and Found in India, who was in a horrible accident last week in Kolkata, India, is today preparing to travel to her home to convalesce. Jahnu, Braja's Danish husband will need to be in hospital for some time, but is strong and fighting. News of their driver is not known.

Mes bloggy chums, I don't just want to keep focusing on the negatives, the near-tragedies of our lives, the what ifs and never minds, but it appears as if we are constantly coming up against adversity... Yesterday offered the news that the gifted English actress, Natasha Richardson, is in a critical condition in a hospital in New York, following a fall on beginner's slopes in Canada.

Prince Caspian NY Premiere Pictures, Images and Photos Natasha is my age, and is married to Irish actor Liam Neeson. They live in New York and together have boys aged almost 13 and 14. Sometimes, these things don't bear thinking about...

Adversity - Noun, hardship, trouble, distress, suffering, trial, disaster, reverse, misery, hard times, catastrophe, sorrow, woe, misfortune, bad luck, deep water, calamity, mishap, affliction, wretchedness, ill-fortune, ill-luck...

every adversity Pictures, Images and Photos

Today, once more, I am taking us into the world of advertising, and only because I was intrigued from the start by the music used in this ad for a credit card...

Looking up from the ol' blogging tippy-tappy, I saw this wonderful man on crutches, performing devilishly artistic leaps and jumps, shimmying up and down stairs and railings, and riding a skateboard. The flow of this man's movements and the modern beauty of the shapes he was able to throw captured my attention...

crutchmaster Pictures, Images and PhotosThis is what La Wiki has to say about Bill Shannon, who is sometimes called the Crutchmaster: "...Influenced by breakdancing, hip-hop, silent film aesthetics and disability culture, Shannon's unique hybrid of movement defies gravity with devastating style and grace.

Diagnosed at the age of 5 with a rare form of arthritis that affects his hips, Shannon dances on crutches, and has developed an extraordinary vocabulary with impeccable timing, fluidity and body awareness.

Bill Shannon is known internationally as a conceptual, interdisciplinary performance and media artist. He considers his work rooted in street/club culture and informed by the fine arts. He is widely recognized in the dance/performance world, the underground hip-hop and club dance scene as well as the disabled artist community. Shannon was recently honoured with a John Simon Guggenheim (2003), and holds a BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

His performance and video work have been presented nationally and internationally over the past ten years".

Bill Shannon is five years younger than me. His is an example to us of what to do with those lemons that life sometimes cares to throw at us, which La Wiki doesn't quite get to bat away with her pikestaff, non?!

Please watch the clip, or if you would prefer to look at Bill's dance-oriented work without the advertising, just type his name into Google or Youtube.

Tell me if his style does not make you go, "Wow!"

If you just want to listen to the music track, try this - It is a Northern Soul classic by Don Thomas, Come On Train... (Remixed by Ian Parton)

(Visa Europe's new television ad, created by Saatchi and Saatchi, starring Bill Shannon. Life flows better with Visa 60 second version Find out more about Bill here.
Bill's visual and multimedia art have been exhibited in contemporary museums, galleries and fairs in the U.S. and Europe. Shannon’s video installations have been presented at Douz & Mille in New York (2008) ArtDC in Washington, DC (2007), Kiasma, Helsinki Museum of Contemporary Art in Finland (2005), at the Tate in Liverpool, UK (2003), and the Headlands Center for the Arts in San Francisco (2005)).

adversity Pictures, Images and Photos


Amy @ Milk Breath and Margaritas said...

The video is amazing. I've never heard of him before!

Belle said...

That was a wonderful post Fhina. I really enjoyed it. That advert totally fascinated me as well when I first saw it.

Artist Unplugged said...

Wow, I've not heard of him, amazing. It is understandable that you have thought alot about the tragedies many face. With your son's brush with injury and your friends, now Natasha R. I have been following closely about NR last night and today and have stopped to pray for them, so sad. Reminds me of Diana's boys, being so young. Tragic as it all is, many do have silver linings; a closer relationship with loved ones perhaps, recognition for life fleeting and lessons of care and safety. For all those going through difficult situations now, I pray for you. Without the valleys, the peaks are meaningless.

Suldog said...

Wow. Amazing stuff, really.

You know how I feel about life handing us lemons, of course, so no need to befoul your blog with obscenities :-)

Jane! said...

That guy is amazing! I couldn't stop watching. Remarkable.

Michelle said...

I need to say WOW 2X!!!

That is amazing and i dig the music too!!!

I am glad that Braja in able to go home to recuperate. I hope Natasha Richardson pulls though!!! How sad!!

AND I love the photo at the end of your post!!! BLISSFUL!!!!

blognut said...

Your post goes along with a book that I've been reading that talks about how not to let your tragedies define you.

Lovely post, my dear Fhina. You are a gem. xo


Great link thanks. I love stuff like this :) TFx

carma said...

thank you for posting that video of Bill Shannon- simply remarkable; what people notice is his fluid motion and not his "handicap" which to him is definitely not a handicap. Talk about overcoming adversity!!
Must show this to my son!

Diane said...

If I tried that, I'd be in a wheelchair... forget about crutches ;) He's remarkable. Watching, I was reminded of those artists you see sometimes who paint/draw the most amazing pictures with their toes or with paintbrushes in their teeth. And here I am complaining because my heel hurts. Sheesh. Thanks for posting this... I needed to see it today :)

And I just read that Braja's home! Yay!!

Woman in a Window said...

Amazing video. What some people can do, blows my mind.

lizspin said...

I love that photo. . .

And the video? Even more amazing to me because all three of my daughters have a form of arthritis that limits their physical activity from time to time. And how lucky we are that it isn't worse than it is. . .

But how wonderful is it to make lemonade like that in the face of adversity!!!

Pouty Lips said...

Beautiful post.

Rob-bear said...

Beautiful post, indeed.

If life serves you lemons, you can also ask for tequila and salt.

Good to know that Braja is improving, as is her husband.

Sadly, the New York Times is reporting that Natasha has died, Wednesday evening. No cause given.

Chairman Bill said...

Natasha Richardson? What about Saint Jade?

Anonymous said...

What an inspiring post! Thanks for that. And Shannon is just astounding.

I love your new blog look! Didn't realize where I was at first...

Scriptor Senex said...

and when life throws you coconuts - Duck!

Protege said...

Loved this post for so many reasons; most of all the sentiment behind it that is so very touching. I love to be inspired of people that seem to do the best wit what they have got. Instead of complaining and limiting themselves, they perform miracles. I have never read of Bill Shannon. LOVED the clip and while watching it, I realized that I loved the music as well. And then I scrolled down and found the music clip, how extraordinary.
Great post as always Fhina.;)

Henry the Dog's Mum said...

Great post - really interesting. And thank you for the 'Come on Train' - it took me right back to my miss-spent youth. It was one of my favourite tracks - we called that type of music Northern Soul and we were, accordingly, 'soulies'.

Lisa said...

i feel like i am that flower

Derrick said...

Hello Fhina,

I am sure that there are two types of being; those who transcend and triumph and those who crumble beneath their burden. I'd like to think I would be in the former category but, who knows?

Great pity about Natasha Richardson but super that Braja and her husband are getting better.

Love your new look!

French Fancy said...

I'd never heard of that chap before but he was incredible. It just shows you what people can do. I'd probably just curl up with my books and never move again if it had been me.

A Woman Of No Importance said...

Amy @ Milk Breath and Margaritas: I love Margaritas too! Glad to introduce you to Mr Shannon - I've only just found out more about him!

Belle: Bless you, Belle - I felt it was a bit of a dog's breakfast of a post! I knew people might have seen the ad, but maybe didn't know much about the artist. Such an inspiration.

Artist Unplugged: Hello you! I know, it has been a turmultuous (is that a word?) couple of weeks! It is indeed sad news about Natasha R. It is such a difficult age for both those sets of boys, as you say, AU, very wisely, thank you so much! xx
18 March 2009 16:31

Suldog: You've remembered me, Sir, after all your loss of followers for techie reasons! You have made me very glad!

Sir, I don't know how you feel about life handing us lemons, "of course, so no need to befoul your blog with obscenities :-)" I think I'd need to search through your fabulous writings with a toothcomb to fathom that! ;)

Jane! Hello Stranger! Glad you enjoyed the l'il taster of Bill Shannon!

Michelle: Hi, you! Glad you liked the music, M - You always have such fabulously eclectic tastes - I am pleased to have offered something you liked! xxx

Bloggus Nuttus: I think I'd be very interested in hearing more about that book you are reading, BN. Sounds just the ticket! Bless you for your bloggy goodness, BN (yes, I know I'm repetitive!!) xox

TOM FOOLERY: Hi lovely TF! Glad you enjoyed it xx

carma: Good morrow, Carma! Exactly - I thought he was using 'adult wheelies' in the ad, then found out more about him - He is really inspirational, and just imagine juggling with that grace and fluidity, on a skateboard! x

Diane: You are right to draw comparisons with that very talented foot and mouth school of artists. Your heel is very sore, you deserve to complain, petal! Happy that you enjoyed it, and it's great news about la Braja! xxx

Woman in a Window: :)

Lizonspin: I never imagined that your DDs were also affected by a form of arthritis, Liz - What little stars they all are, to still find the energy to madden and infuriate their parents so!! The little teen tinkers! We should all count ourselves lucky every day, it's true, isn't it - My blessings to you, Liz, and thanks so for sharing. xo

Pouty Lips: Bless you, Pouty, and thanks for introducing your dear sis to me, too! x

Rob-bear: Thank you, Rob-bear - Almost forgot myself and called you 'Sir' there, as I do all my gentlemen callers - Oops!

I love this: 'If life serves you lemons, you can also ask for tequila and salt'. My thanks to you for all that you do...

Chairman Bill: Saint Jade can go read her memoirs. I am sure they will be rivetting.

ladyfi: Bless you, ladyfi! x I did decide to tweak the place up a little, with the advent of spring here!

Scriptor Senex: Ah, Sir, what are you like?! '...and when life throws you coconuts - Duck!' V. funny!

Protege: Hi Z! Thank you for feeling the sentiment behind this dog's breakfast of a post! The music was the first thing I picked up on, and then watched the ad. It's from the sixties/seventies, I think, when Northern Soul, as Henry The Dog's Mum mentions below, was a big dance movement in the UK - It is fabulous, non? xx

Henry the Dog's Mum; So Madame, that's where Henry the Dog gets all his cool moves from - You! Come on Train is such a feel-good piece of Northern Soul, n'est-ce pas? I can't believe for one moment that you had a misspent youth! xx

Lisa: :) x

Derrick: Sir, once again your words transcend whatever I could pen! "I am sure that there are those that transcend and triumph and those who crumble beneath their burden. I'd like to think I would be in the former category but, who knows?" We all should strive to be in that former category, I know - Never letting circumstances obliterate our humanity - Ooh, that sounds very deep - Time for my medication, methinks!

Love your new look!

A Woman Of No Importance said...

FF, darling - I know exactly what you mean! It just goes to show what the human spirit can do in the face of adversity - There but for the grace of the Goddess, and all that... xx

sallymandy said...

Lovely and uplifting thoughts about adversity. I'm glad to have them.

This was not a dog's breakfast of a post. I love the first photograph you have posted, and as I've neither heard of Bill Shannon nor seen this ad, it was refreshing and encouraging.

Also love your new background!

Thanks for the visit..

Something I wrote earlier...

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