Say What You Need to Say

To Love and to Be Loved

When singer-songwriter John Mayer performs “Say What You Need to Say”, reviewers note that most listeners have its title emblazoned in their memories. And why wouldn’t it be? That lyric line repeats itself no less than 32 times in total.

John Mayer

Meanwhile, supporting lyrics interspersed throughout the score impart profound messages that address longings in the human heart — with a central root being “To Love and to Be Loved”.

Hence, while yielding one’s open mind and feeling realm to these assertively instructive verses, one’s needs, desires, and ambitions may well be enriched by the timely insights voiced therein. And they are further amplified when actuated via resonant practices, like these (herein below).  

“Take out of your wasted honor every little past frustration.”

Meditate deeply by surrounding yourself in silence. Then, relax into a serene headspace that is focused solely on your long, rhythmic breathing in & breathing out; breathing in & breathing out.

“Take all your ‘problems’: Better put them in quotations.”

Journaling is an act of expressing one’s deepest thoughts and feelings by writing words that reflect true and abiding currents. And Journaling helps one clarify ingrained habits of belief and concept, and bring release, and thus relief, from latent patterns of emotion.

Consistent journaling calls upon one to slow down and give thoughtful attention to present-day facets of Life here on Earth. And “Your Earth’s” unique realm manifests from your individual responsibilities, opportunities, and resultant circumstances.

“Walkin’ like a one-man army, fightin’ with the shadows in your head,
Say what you need to say.”

Affirmations aid in transforming random mental drifting into Self-governed thought. In addition, unchecked emotions — like, for example, fuming anger from grief over the loss of loved ones — can be soothed with affirmations that are rhythmically sustained by measured out-breaths of grateful joy for living Life in Its fullness.

“Givin’ up the same old moments, knowing you’ll be better off instead,
Say What You Need to Say.”

Visualization frames vivid, present-moment experiences — not just sight, but sound, taste, smell & touch — connecting one’s senses of vibratory essences to practical manifestations in form.”

“Have no fear for giving — No fear of giving in, or giving over …”

This integrated text involves different meanings — each one, pivotal to true Being.

  1. Have no reticence over giving and receiving forgiveness of your Self;
  2. Release yourself from restraints as regards the robust abundance of Generosity;
  3. Express your true Self, without concern for results or the views of others.

It could even suggest fearlessly surrendering a perceived need to control the uncontrollable.

Physical Exercise, I find, is a fertile field for giving oneself a unique gift of Plenitude — a quiet, unassuming, yet actionable wellspring that satisfies all of the aspirations listed above. 

One’s physical body, when kept healthy, is a “willing servant”, so to speak. Having no capacity of its own for judgment or reservation, it unerringly serves whatever one’s heart and mind require.

An example of this from my experience involves the physical exercise regimen that I created (four years ago now) to sustain my Life force while facing quite an intense health challenge. 

Even decades before that, I was barely able to manage 20 pushups in a row. Well, that was then. And This is the Here and Now! — Wherein …

20 challenging pushups for me back then expanded, over time, to 420 easy pushups now.

Seven days a week (for three 20-minute sessions), I reel off those 420 push-ups during daylight hours — 140 (20×7) pushups in each of 3 sessions (early morning, noontime, & late afternoon).

The sets of pushups are timed to the second with a stopwatch, and integrated with various other exercises (ie. planks, handstands, leg lifts, and assorted aerobic and anaerobic routines).

In rhythm with consistent daily meditation, disciplined diet, plenty of sound sleep, informed, Self-governed thought, and a blessed surround of loving family and kind friends, my physical body gives itself fully in response to the Wholeness in Life Currents with which it resonates.

 In the end, it’s better to say too much
than to never say what You need to say.”
(Remember that “personal Journaling” is a “contained” (safely private) way to say too much!)
“Even if your hands are shakin’
And your faith is broken
Even as eyes are closin’
Do it with a Heart Wide Open

Where you can
Say What You Need to Say

One Nation Under God

In God We Trust

At times, when I observe varied present-day tensions (and even powerful tumults) in America, I take deep breaths and let my soul relax. And in doing so, I am warmed by reminiscences of magical times when, as a child, I spent periodic weekends at my grandparent’s house in the Highland Park area of Dallas.

Memories Live Here

I and “Grandma Mammoo” never missed a chance to spy on Idella, our vigorous housekeeper. Idella would rehearse her gospel solos for church while she cleaned house; baked bread; washed, dried, then ironed mountains of laundry; as well as mopping and polishing the several expanses of hardwood flooring.  

One remarkable instance (which I remember to this day) was when we heard Idella sing all four verses of “My Country, tis of Thee” — the forerunner of the current “Star-Spangled Banner”.

So indelible was the deep symbolism of that original patriotic anthem on my young soul that I grew up singing it in all the years since then.

The first verse is the one that the most people in the USA would readily recognize now:

“My country, ’tis of thee, Sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing;
Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrims’ pride,
From every mountainside, let freedom ring!”

The second verse I solo sang at a variety of spring and summer festivals in the uniquely majestic Rocky Mountain National Park — Amidst the backdrop of two vistas that cradled the mountainous “Twin Sisters” — Long’s Peak and Mount Meeker.  

“My native country, thee — Land of the noble free, thy name I love.
I love thy rocks and rills, thy woods and templed hills.
My heart with rapture thrills, like that above.”

This third verse I sang (amidst all four verses), at my outdoor Graduation Concert that served as the finale of my 2-year conservatory study at Cleveland Institute of Music:

“Let music swell the breeze and ring from all the trees, sweet Freedom’s song;
Let mortal tongues awake; Let all that breathe partake;
Let rocks their silence break, the sound prolong.”

When I was 3 years old (in 1954), the “Pledge of Allegiance” was amended to declare the United States of America as being “One Nation Under God”.  As I matured, so did my vivid envisioning of the One Planetary Nation of Mankind — Not only serving in outer expression “under God”, but Being ONE in GOD.

So, this song’s final devotional verse inspired in me a wakeful dream of hope:

“Our Fathers’ God, to Thee, Author of Liberty, to Thee We Sing;
Long may our Land be Bright with Freedom’s Holy Light.
Protect Us in Thy Might, Great God, our King!”

Generations of Greatness

I have lived and worked in the company of greatness for decades. In my 20’s (as covered in last week’s blog post) I was the chauffeur and concierge for a Russian-American master pianist, world-famous in her day — Madame Vitya Vronsky Babin. Then, In my 30’s and 40’s, I served the role of Performing Arts Director for a network of humanistic communities headed by Martin Cecil, England’s 7th Marquess of Exeter.

These days, I and one of my close, longtime friends, Joseph Antell, are still in consistent touch. And we sometimes find ourselves reminiscing about times past.

Like Brothers

In that vein, Joseph recently sent me some of his wise, eloquent thoughts on my recent blog entry about Madame Vitya. (The post is titled “Light in the Shadows of Greatness”). He recalled essences of our common experiences in close proximity to Greatness in others, and how our own greatness is summoned in these unprecedented days of intensity for mankind. He said:

“We have rejoiced in the richness of their personal character and suffered the inadequacies in ourselves just being near their velocity of focus. Nowadays, it is our responsibility to be examples of leadership in the outer world that was set in motion.

“The work now at hand requires us to remain steadfast in those currents of greatness, knowing that our actions, while seemingly quiet, simple and obscure from outer world appearances, are actually of cosmic magnitude.”

I agree. And I take special note of the cosmic power with which Source Energy creates Worlds.

Such a creative energy is powerful enough, by far, to deftly actuate the resonant fields that enfold Mother Earth and all the ranges of Life Substance that dwell therein.

And I also know that one’s caring thoughts and loving feelings are powerful; And transparent enough that they ably clothe Greatness in “seemingly quiet, simple and obscure” ways. 

More often these days, I observe phenomena reflected in my experience which unfold like this:

First, during my quiet meditations, a lively energy “makes an entrance.” Perhaps it is inspired; or it has an innovative freshness to it; or it may summon a distant memory from some other time. Then soon thereafter, I am made aware (from media, word of mouth, or even a dream) of other people who are manifesting, in obvious fashion, what I have already discerned from its essence.

That “essence” is, by its nature, invisible (not seen) or perhaps “ineffable” (beyond words). Whatever the case, it fits Joseph’s description; it’s “seemingly quiet, simple and obscure.”

Hence, I delight in that unspoken yet coordinated wonder. It is free and efficient, to say the least. Moreover, it proves that we each are able, if willing, to work in one accord — with all the blessed benefits that such a state of Oneness bestows. It is (and always has been) there for the asking.

So, back to Generations of “Greatness”. The word, “generations” often refers to collective waves of human beings who “arrive” on earth in rhythmic time/space sequences, called ”age ranges.” 

However, “Generations” of Greatness can also herald the energetic generating of Life Essences that imbue the minds, hearts, and hands of incarnate human Beings. In the view of such pristine generations — ones that rhythmically power each unique moment in which any of us lives — No division or discord exists between one another or within any of us.    

There was a time in my young life, when I thought that I was totally ignored by others, I truly felt that I was invisible. Moreover, I sensed that energies of my Soul were so weak and “porous” to numbing discords that I had to protect them from a psychic state of non-existence on Earth.

Obviously, that was then & this is Now: A time so radically different and life-changing for me: I have discovered anew that, amidst a now-stable “porosity” (a high sensitivity to vibratory rhythms and currents), I now abide in a deeply peaceful and assured knowing that my every positive emotion (followed by clear, accurate thought) radiates pure Joy that is light as a feather – as effortless as a summer breeze.

And at the same time, creative Currents running through my living, breathing Soul bestow an amazing quality and quantity of Abundance of all sorts for me and the people close in my world. THIS is the Emanation of Source Energy Actuating the Resonance of Greatness in Abundant Manifestation.

To requote Joseph’s proclamation:

“The work now at hand requires us to remain steadfast in those currents of greatness, knowing that our actions, while seemingly quiet, simple and obscure from outer world appearances, are actually of cosmic magnitude.”

THIS is the Emanation of Source Energy Actuating the Resonance of Greatness in Radiant Expression.

Onward We Go …
Warmest of Regards — PenDell


A Tribute to Vitya Vronsky Babin

In attending Cleveland Institute of Music (CIM) for one of my Master’s degrees (this one in Performing Arts), I was awakened to what all it takes to learn by leading: In this case, my learning experience was all about offering leadership: Cueing accompanists, arranging music scores, conducting instrumentalists, and stagecrafting whole productions. 

Awaiting a Performance… (Photo Cred: Rob Laughter, Unsplash)

In addition to my graduate work, I needed to suss out viable part-time jobs that would pay the mounting bills that came due, amidst a twin set of specialized, top-drawer masters degrees.

I vividly remember that there was a day that was notably nondescript — until I was called to the office of the Institute’s Director, Grant Johannesen. After inviting me to sit, he then stated, “Our meeting time now will be something of an interview with you. Do you agree to this?”

“Indubitably,” I replied, suddenly nervous and all ears. He then smiled warmly and observed, “Indubitably? Ah Yes, you have the makings of a Wordsmith! I have taken notice of a unique writing style in your correspondence, PenDell — one that was reviewed by the Institute’s Selection Committee prior to our admitting you to CIM.” (“Where is this going?,” thought I …) 

He continued, “Here, I have several specific questions to ask you: Do you have a safe driving record, and an insured car here locally, one that is in good condition?”

I attempted to sound nonchalant, “Yes, I do, Sir. Would you like me to drive somewhere soon?”

“Yes, probably many times. The point is, we have someone here who needs ongoing transportation to and from our campus here.”

When I disclosed that my license doesn’t allow minors to be chauffeured for hire, he chuckled, “No, this person is not a minor. She heads the piano department here at CIM.”

“Is that department head still Madame Vitya Vronsky Babin?” When he nodded Yes, I knew that I was captured by awe over the legendary fame of such an one!

“Do you know of her?” he asked, intrigued. In reply, I stated that I had done extensive research on the Institute’s faculty (including him, the Director) when I was first considering applying there.

Hence, from what I had learned about CIM faculty members, I had been utterly engaged and amazed by the phenomenal, worldwide success that Vronsky & Babin had achieved as a pair. Newsweek acknowledged them as “The most brilliant two-piano team of our generation.” Time magazine called them “One of the foremost duo pianists of the 20th Century.”

They were both interested in collecting fine art pieces, and were friends with others of similar interests, including great composers Igor Stravinsky and Darius Milhaud.

All the while, strikingly evident to everyone was their deeply-felt love and adoration for each other, as well as their disciplined dedication to making sublime music together.

At the end of my “interview,” Dr. Johannesen affirmed that he perceived me as being quite well suited for work with Madame Vitya; that he would give to her an enthusiastic recommendation in my favor; and, when Madame Vitya agrees, he would inform me of when she wants to meet me. 

Long story shorter — The next step, my face-to-face meeting with my new boss,  unfolded very nicely. Two subtle but telling elements that made an impression on her are outlined, as follows:

  1. When I referred to Grant Johannesen as Dr. Johannesen, and she let me know that he was not a physician, I (A) reminded Madame Vitya that he had in fact been awarded an honorary PhD degree from Case Western Reserve University, nearby in Cleveland; And (B) I would always address or refer to Grant Johannesen as Dr. Johannesen, out of my great respect for him and for his mighty contribution to CIM and to the Arts in general.
  1. When Madame Vitya asked me if I knew how to do anything beyond my driving the auto — Among other things, I described teenage experiences of my father mentoring me in the Art of Concierge, as well as other various personal assistance and liaison functions for executives. (His own work included ongoing, in-person consultations with Dale Hewlett and Dave Packard, whenever one or both of them were present at the Hewlett-Packard facility in Loveland, Colorado.)

Thereafter, I drove Madame Vitya in her Lincoln Continental via a direct route between CIM’s campus in Cleveland and her elegant townhouse in upscale Shaker Heights. And sometimes on the way, she would readily wax wistful with recollections of precious times at home with her dearly-departed Victor.

Now, I delighted in regularly escorting Madame Vitya to her favorite local restaurants, where I nurtured a first-name rapport with the chef and head waiter, complete with subtle two-way, head nodding, eye-winking sign language.

Sometimes, I might “make the rounds” momentarily visiting staff members — especially at times when Dr. Johannesen was available to dine with us. Then, after most every course, I had a reason to leave the table, so that those two had some time and space to themselves.   

When not mobile, I accompanied Madame Vitya to many of her meetings where my detailed note-taking was a necessity. And then, there were the inevitable errands and grocery runs, though Madame Vitya was always prepared, highly organized, remarkably adroit with a grocery basket, and in silent, yet clear command of me handling the big grocery cart.

Amidst it all, I was fortunate to be a happy, young workaholic in good physical, vocal, and scholastic health, while earning a generous salary. 

In my last month there, with encouraging support from both Dr. Johannesen and me, Madame Vitya was preparing to revive her first concertizing without Victor — albeit with three specified conditions:

Any profits from concerts would go to the Institute’s Student Aid Fund; compositions by Victor would be well represented, and Grant Jonannasen (Victor’s original protege and then his successor at CIM) would be Vitya’s sole partner for any two-piano repertoire.

Along the way, Grant Johannesen talked with Vitya about me, after I graduated, being their tour manager for events in distant locations. Days afterward, he mentioned their short but sweet conversation. Evidently, her prompt reply was this:

“Oh No, Grant — While at work with you and me, Dear PenDell illuminated the shadows inherent in Our so-called Greatness. Now it is High Time that He Brings to Light Greatness of his Own.”

Madame Vitya passed away at home 20 years after Victor did. And she was subsequently interred in the same place as was Victor — at their other home near Santa Fe, New Mexico — Rancho Piano.


So, here and now, 45 years later, I still often sense the majestic essences of Madame Vitya’s Greatness celestially illuminated and shining on us here on Earth. I can still contact her now: 

Madame Vitya — Your ineffable, lovingly-remembered Spirit “visits” me at times when you know that I am filled with thankfulness for the Love I am blessed to receive and offer up in return. 

Thank You and Bless You, Magnificent “Madame Vitya” …

And Now, I Release You, as You, Victor and Grant Have Released Me.

For Indeed, WE Are ONE …