A Playlist of Inspiration and Hope

Bill, our Head of Adult Services, has put together an online playlist of uplifting songs.

Music unites, inspires and comforts us. Songs express strength, joy and sadness. They are a common thread through our culture and our lives. Music unites us across the country. It ties us together whether we live in Connecticut, Florida or California – and these songs resonate across generations and offer hope in our troubled time.

This song list is dominated by Boomer Generation songs (alas, what can I say? I’m a Boomer) – but they are timeless inspirational tunes that speak to everyone.

Song Sequence

(click on the artists’ names to see more titles by them in our physical collection):

  1. Lean On Me – Bill Withers
  2. In Times Like These – Mavis Staples
  3. The Weight – Robbie Robertson, Ringo Starr & others
  4. Bridge Over Troubled Water– Simon & Garfunkel
  5. You’ve Got a Friend – Carole King
  6. Make You Feel My Love – Adele
  7. Secret of Life – James Taylor
  8. If You Want to Sing Out – Cat Stevens
  9. Here Comes the Sun – The Beatles
  10. Somewhere Over the Rainbow – Israel Kamakawiwo’Ole

***

Lean On Me (Lyrics)

In Times Like These

The Weight

Bridge Over Troubled Water (Lyrics)

You’ve Got a Friend  (Live at Farm Aid 1985)

Make You Feel My Love

Secret of Life

If You Want to Sing Out

Here Comes the Sun (2019 Mix)

Somewhere Over the Rainbow

Cheshire Library in 2019

Ever wonder how many people visit the Library each year, how many items are borrowed, or even how many items the library has altogether? Consider your questions answered, here’s a numerical look at Cheshire Library for the past year:

The Magic of Mindfulness and Meditation

This post comes to us from our Head of Adult Services, Bill:

“Slow down, you move too fast You got to make the morning last Just kicking down the cobblestones Looking for fun and feelin’ groovy” ~ from The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy) by Paul Simon (1966)

Our world in 2020 indeed moves too fast for many of us! This can have negative effects on our mental and physical well-being. What can we do to counteract these negative effects? Maybe try a little mindfulness…

Mindfulness is a form of meditation and its magic comes in the form of improved concentration and happiness, and physiological improvements that often include lower heart and blood pressure rates. It can also reduce stress and chronic pain as well as improve sleep.

A few years ago, Forbes Magazine published and article detailing  6 Scientifically Proven Benefits Of Mindfulness And Meditation:

  1. Mindfulness reduces anxiety
  2. Mindfulness meditation reduces implicit age and race bias
  3. Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) may prevent and treat depression
  4. Mindfulness meditation helps increase body satisfaction
  5. Mindfulness meditation improves cognition
  6. Mindfulness meditation helps the brain reduce distractions

Though the practices of mindfulness and meditation have been around for centuries, the science behind it has only recently become more understood. Health practitioners, and even the  business world, have begun taking the concept of mindfulness quite seriously as more and more evidence comes to light on how the practice can actually change the “wiring” of our brains.

Want to learn more about the practice of mindfulness and what it can do for you? This month Cheshire Library is presenting a 3-part Mindfulness Series:

Check out these books for even more information:

Mindfulness and Meditation : Your Questions Answered by Blaise Aguirre

Aware : The Science and Practice of Presence by Daniel J. Siegel, M.D

Bliss More : How to Succeed in Meditation Without Really Trying by Light Watkins

Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics by Dan Harris and Jeff Warren, with Carlye Adler

 

What’s Happening at Cheshire Library in March

You know what they say about March, it comes in like a lion & goes out like a lamb. No matter the weather, you might say we’ve got a “menagerie” of programs to entertain, educate, and inspire you this month!

Author Talk: The Pledge of Allegiance and the Star Spangled Banner

Tuesday, March 3, 2020, 6:30 – 8:00pm

Cheshire resident, John White, will discuss his book, The Pledge of Allegiance & the Star-Spangled Banner: A Patriot’s Primer on the American Spirit and a Citizen’s Guide to Restoring the Republic, which deals with the essence of America—its principles, ideals and values, its history, its future. Registration is required.

New Movie Thursday – Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (2019)

Thursday, March 5, 2020, 6:00 – 8:00pm

Tom Hanks portrays Mister Rogers in a timely story of kindness triumphing over cynicism, based on the true story of a real-life friendship between Fred Rogers and journalist Tom Junod. After a jaded magazine writer is assigned a profile of Fred Rogers, he overcomes his skepticism, learning about kindness, love and forgiveness from America’s most beloved neighbor. Rated PG. Registration appreciated for this adult program.

Abilities Without Boundaries All Star Band

Saturday, March 7, 2020, 2:00 – 3:00pm

Join us for this open house concert with Abilities Without Boundaries All Star Band. Cheshire musician John Ingrassia will lead the All Star Band for their debut performance. John hosts his music therapy class “Music Matters” for Abilities Without Boundaries and has assembled an all star band to perform around the area. No registration required.

From Jazz to Soul with Rhonda Denet and her trio

Sunday, March 8, 2020, 2:00 – 3:15pm

Rhonda Denet and her trio were the most popular concert we had last year, so we are bringing them back for  “part 2” of From Jazz to Soul!  They will perform jazz and soul standards from the 1930s through the 1960s, paying tribute to song stylists from Ella Fitzgerald to Aretha Franklin. No registration required.

Ogham Celtic Alphabet

Tuesday, March 10, 2020, 6:30 – 8:00pm

Colleen Conway, co-owner and artist of Ogham Art in Southington, will discuss “The Ogham Alphabet: Past & Present”. Represented as a series of perpendicular and intersecting lines, Ogham is the earliest written form of primitive Irish and the oldest of the Gaelic languages. It is thought to be influenced by the Latin alphabet using 20 characters. Registration is required.

Introduction to Gmail

Wednesday, March 11, 2020, 11:00am – 12:00pm

Learn the fundamentals of Gmail; set up an account,learn to compose and send an email. Must be familiar with basic computer knowledge. Registration is required.

Starting Plants from Seed

Saturday, March 14, 2020, 2:00 – 4:00pm

This event, geared to the home gardener, includes: unique method of pre-sprouting large seeds; making pots from newspapers; using found materials for plant markers and mini greenhouses to start small seeds; proper watering and fertilizing; hardening off of plants; and catalogs where heirloom, rare or exotic seeds can be found. Registration is required.

Irish Music with Deirdre McMorrow and Paul Pender

Sunday, March 15, 2020, 2:00 – 3:00pm

Enchanting traditional Irish fiddler, Deirdre McMorrow, and guitarist/songwriter, Paul Pender, will energize every Irish native—and those who turn Irish for St. Patrick’s Day– in a concert of traditional and original Celtic songs. No registration required.

Intro to Meditation Workshop

Monday, March 16, 2020, 2:00 – 3:30pm

Presenter Tia Mandrozos will explain what meditation is and its positive effects—the many ways that meditating bestows  benefits on those who practice it regularly.  Tia will also lead a 15 minute guided meditation. Registration is required.

Irish Dancing Through the Ages

Wednesday, March 18, 2020, 4:00 – 5:00pm

A program on “Irish Dancing Through the Ages” will be presented by Irene Horgan, Ph.D., Director of Cheshire’s Horgan Academy of Irish Dance. Geared for all ages, the program will include demonstations by Horgan Academy dancers. All attendees will be invited to learn a popular Irish dance step! No registration required.

Nature as Mentor

Wednesday, March 18, 2020, 6:30 – 8:00pm

Learn the magnificent language of nature in this powerful workshop with Marlow Shami, M.S., who will present an informative talk enhanced by beautiful illustrations, a compelling activity, and a deep relaxing guided meditation. No meditation experience necessary. Registration is required.

Spring Canal Walk @ Lock 12 Park

Thursday, March 19, 2020, 4:00 – 4:45pm

Celebrate the first day of spring with a story and a stroll along the Farmington Canal Trail here in town! We’ll meet at Lock 12 Historical Park, 487 North Brooksvale Road, and explore the changing seasons on foot. Best for ages 5 and up. Registration is appreciated.

Sound Healing Bath

Wednesday, March 25, 2020, 6:00 – 8:00pm

Join Donatella Moltisanti, internationally renown Sound Healer, for an evening of transformational Soul Healing! Donatella will discuss how music can heal the body and take us to new levels of awareness and peace, then guide participants through an hour-long sound healing journey. Registration is required.

Poetry in Song: A Cheshire High School Choral Concert

Friday, March 27, 2020, 12:00 – 1:00pm

The Cheshire High School chorus is going on the road !  Please join us for this special noon-time concert featuring the Cheshire High School chorus.  The chorus will be performing choral works by Lauridsen, Stroope, Lauridsen, Whitacre and more, featuring poetry by James Agee,  Robert Burns, Robert Frost, Lewis Carroll, Rudyard Kipling and others. No registration required.

 

 

The Amazing Short Stories of Ted Chiang

Our sci-fi guy, Harold, has an author recommendation for you:

If I could only recommend one science fiction author to read this year, it would be Ted Chiang. Though Chiang has written only 14 of short stories and one novella, his works have been critically acclaimed. His short story collections are Exhalation and Stories of Your Life.

Chiang has been the recipent  of four Nebula awards, four Hugo awards, and won the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer (for his short story, “Babylon”).  His short story, “Story of Your Life,” was the basis of the film Arrival (2016). Exhalation was a Goodreads Choice Award in 2019. The New York Times named Exhalation one of the 10 Best Books of 2019. That’s a lot of awards that are, in my opinion, well deserved!

Chiang’s works are hard to describe since they are not conventional science fiction, per se. It’s a subtle distinction, but they are more fiction based on science than science fiction. President Obama, via Facebook, said that they are “a collection of short stories that will make you think, grapple with big questions, and feel more human. The best kind of science fiction.”

These are precisely articulated, well-crafted and thought-provoking stories. There are no rocket ships or cosmic battles. Instead, they expand upon and extend science, and technology that exists today. Two of my favorites from Exhalation are “Babylon”, a re-work of the Tower of Babel story, and “Merchant and the Alchemist’s Gate”,  about a merchant in ancient Persia who can travel through time to correct past mistakes.

Exhalation  and Stories of Your Life are available at the Cheshire Public Library as printed books.  Exhalation is also available as an ebook, and Stories of Your Life is also available as a downloadable audiobook. They are well worth reading. The film, Arrival, based on Chang’s “Story of Your Life”, is available on DVD and Blu-Ray.