BRAVE new world…and a bionic one

 “Modern medical advances have helped millions of people live longer, healthier lives.”    Ike Skelton

I’m going to be off a few weeks – working at becoming the Bionic Woman, one hip at a time. (This will be my second and shoulder next). But the prospect of joint replacement surgery got me thinking about the incredible time we live in in terms of medical advances. I’m old enough to remember the very first heart transplant ever, to have had to reschedule my wedding because a beloved member of our wedding party had found a donor and was going to have a kidney transplant – a rare and tricky procedure then that is commonplace today. I remember discussing the prognosis for our friend and hearing the word that the expectation was that the transplant – if it worked at all – would give our friend five more years of life. He is, thank God, still very much alive and that was 45 years ago.

I remember too, a time when there was no such thing as joint replacement – if your knees went bad or your hips gave out, you lived with a lot of pain and wound up in a wheel chair. Arthritis is not a forgiving disease – you can slow it down but you can’t completely restore function once a joint is badly worn. But today, the miracles of modern medicine let us opt to replace knees, hips, shoulders with titanium parts or to fuse the vertebrae in the spine with metal rods. Most people come through such surgeries extremely well and after several months of physical therapy, they are almost as good as new! I’m pretty sure that we’ve barely scratched the surface of the kinds of advances that are going to keep people living and living well well into their second centuries of life. It is indeed a Brave New World – and I’m grateful that I get to be a part of it.

So I hope your first weeks of summer are filled with light and warmth and joy and I’ll see you when I get back around the end of the month. I’ll be looking forward to catching up on all your “discoveries” and creations when I get back

Brave New World digital seascape painting by Lianne Schneider buy

D-DAY…we must always remember

 “Soldiers, sailors and airmen…The hopes and prayers of liberty-loving peoples everywhere march with you”               General Dwight D. Eisenhower, D-Day message

I watched a young man on the news last night, in Normandy with his great grandfather, overlooking the wide open beach and the impossibly rugged, tall cliffs of the Normandy coast, saying honestly, “I can’t imagine putting my life on the line to cross that beach under heavy fire…I don’t think many of us can.” And yet, if we can’t imagine it, how are we to remember it and to honor the courage and the sacrifice of the thousands who gave their lives for our freedom? I remember as a teenager watching in awe and respect as the Cornelius Ryan book, The Longest Day, came to life on the “big screen.”

The complexity of the operation, the sheer logistical nightmare that it was, the impossible odds of making it across the beach or up those cliffs was almost overwhelming. In 1998, I was overcome by emotion and watched the first half hour of Saving Private Ryan with my hands covering my eyes and tears running down my face, as the reality of D-Day, raw and far too real, pounded my senses so that I could almost smell the fear, and the blood, of those who were part of the D-Day invasion. Over 40% of those who disembarked on the beach on June 6, 1944, died under the never ending hail of fire that peppered the beach or picked off individual men as they struggled up over the cliffs. I sat enthralled and so awed through the 10 hours of Band of Brothers which Tom Hanks and Stephen Spielburg produced after Hanks had starred in Saving Private Ryan.

Seventy years after that day, I can stand in freedom and put my hand over my heart to salute a flag stained by the blood of heroes…and pray that the world, which has too often forgotten the lessons of war, might remember this sacrifice too and work for the peace so hard won, in good part because of those who died in Normandy 70 years ago.

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You can see my full portfolio at http://lianne-schneider.artistwebsites.com

Eternal Father Strong to Save digital painting by Lianne Schneider buy now

DREAMER, Dream No More

I walked beside the evening sea

And dreamed a dream that could not be;

The waves that plunged along the shore

Said only: “Dreamer, dream no more!”

                       – – -George William Curtis

I’VE NEVER LIVED BESIDE THE SEA

I’ve never lived beside the sea 

though I feel as if I have

but the sea fascinates me.

Its power, its moods, its vastness…are somehow

an endless source of inspiration to me.

I think of an ocean in a raging storm and I’m reminded

of the storms that life can bring to us

and the deceptive calm that often precedes them.

I think of the ship of my life

occasionally adrift, no wind to lift the sail,

and at times, no landfall or welcoming shore in sight.

Some nights the stars wink out

and all seems black and endless,

my astrolabe of little use.

But now and then I see a lighthouse

and I know that there is somewhere –

in a friend’s heart, a lover’s touch –

a light to guide me through.

I think of the journey each of us is on…

our own personal quest for peace,

for truth, for wholeness…

the journey of self-discovery –

and it takes me to the sea.

© Lianne Schneider

 

This digital painting is from my “Sea Stories” collection and you can see the rest or purchase a print at http://lianne-schneider.artistwebsites.com/

Dreamer Dream No More digital painting by Lianne Schneider buy

A Season of Wonder – new beginnings

“Always be on the lookout for the presence of wonder.” ~E.B. White

It’s a new day for me…I’m moving to WordPress in place of or in addition to my Blogger blog. It seems a perfect time for new beginnings…summer is almost here, people are already heading outside, to the beach, to the lake, to the woods and those are all the kinds of places that inspire my art and my poetry. I won’t wax long and philosophical here, though I may excerpt some of those musings from my other blog. Here I’ll try to confine myself mostly to what I find beautiful or inspiring and share a little of what I’ve created as a result. I hope you’ll join me often as I venture into this “brave new world.”

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buffalosouthlightad