Riverdance Turns 25

I couldn’t let today pass without acknowledging the 25th anniversary of a show that changed my life: Riverdance. The stage show began as a 7-minute act performed during an intermission at the Eurovision Song Contest on April 30, 1994. The performance was a smash hit with the audience, causing a chain reaction that breathed new life into Irish dancing around the world. The great minds behind this phenomenon are composer Bill Whelan, director John McColgan, featured dancers Jean Butler and Michael Flatley who also contributed choreography, producer Moya Doherty, and, of course, the rest of the hardworking crew & talented company of dancers.

Four years after Riverdance made its grand debut, I received a VHS from a family friend, a tape of the show during its 1995 debut run in Dublin. Four-year-old me had no idea my life was about to change. I can’t even tell you how many times that tape played while I leaped & twirled across the living room floor. It wasn’t long before I was taking my first tap class. Did I become an Irish dancer? No. Did I bring every ounce of passion I possessed as a proud Irish girl into ballet, jazz, modern, & tap classes for 12 1/2 years? YES I DID!!! 🔥

It’s hard to explain how much this show means to me, but believe me when I say it holds a very VERY special place in my heart. It was not only my introduction to the dance culture in both Ireland & Spain but also my introduction to dance. I lost my passion & did not pursue a career as a dancer, but I never lost my love for all things dance. To this day, I drag my dad to the theater if Riverdance visits our neck of the woods (he knows he loves it!). I’ve seen it five times, & I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon.

To the Riverdance companies & crews: From the bottom of my heart, thank you for all that you have done. Happy Anniversary! I am looking forward to 25 more years of this special show!

Do yourself a favor & watch the moment when it all began:

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RAtkcHpSHCw

P.S. Shout out to María Pagés, the original flamenco dancer in Riverdance & my Spanish queen since the age of 4. 🇪🇸

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rk6LYFwP8lE

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– Lauren Michele ❤

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Farewell Rio

🏀 🏇 🏉 🚣 ⛳ 🏊 🎾 🚴 ⚽ 🏀 🏇 🏉 🚣 ⛳ 🏊 🎾 🚴 ⚽ 🏀 🏇 🏉 🚣 ⛳ 🏊

With sadness, I bid farewell to the 2016 Olympics.  I have been filled with pride and joy watching my teams compete these past two weeks.  Yes, I said teams.  Of course USA is my number one, but I also support the countries that make up my heritage.  After all, they are underdogs compared to team USA.  No harm done!  Let’s take a look at the medal count:

🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆🏆 🏆🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆

• Team USA 🇺🇸 | 121 Medals | 46 G – 37 S – 38 B

• Team Great Britain 🇬🇧 | 67 Medals | 27 G – 23 S – 17 B

• Team Spain 🇪🇸 | 17 Medals | 7 G – 4 S – 6 B

• Team Israel 🇮🇱 | 2 Medals | 2 B

• Team Ireland 🇮🇪 | 2 Medals | 2 S

🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆🏆 🏆🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆

What were your favorite moments in Rio?? I have so many I could mention, but I will try to narrow it down.  I felt like a proud mother watching Michael Phelps have one last successful Olympic games after the rough few years he’s had (maybe he’ll be back!).  The USA women’s gymnastics team kicked butt and made me feel more patriotic than I have ever felt in my entire life.  Shout-out to Michael Phelps (5G, 1S), Katie Ledecky (4G, 1S), and Simone Biles (4G, 1B)!!  According to Google, they are the top medalists for 2016.  Team USA made me proud all around, but it felt good to dominate artistic gymnastics and swimming.  After a rough start, I am so proud of Spain for getting the bronze in men’s basketball.  Also, a silver in women’s basketball.  Top 3 in the world.  Not too shabby!!  I watched Marc Lopez & Rafael Nadal win gold in men’s doubles.  I’m pretty sure I grew gray hair during that match.  The stress was real, but Lopez earned his first medal, and Rafa now has a gold medal in singles and doubles.  I watched Team GB get the gold in women’s field hockey.  It was a stressful but thrilling game.  Well done ladies!  I did not have the pleasure of watching Ireland at all, but I am nonetheless proud.  Last but certainly not least, I want to express my admiration for Team Israel.  My heart breaks knowing that the Israeli athletes continue to be treated like trash.  However, they held their heads high, maintained composure, and walked away with two medals.

Farewell Olympics!  See you in Tokyo!! 🇯🇵

🏀 🏇 🏉 🚣 ⛳ 🏊 🎾 🚴 ⚽ 🏀 🏇 🏉 🚣 ⛳ 🏊 🎾 🚴 ⚽ 🏀 🏇 🏉 🚣 ⛳ 🏊

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– Lauren Michele <3

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Show Your Colors

July 4th, the day that Americans put the flag on display and shout their pride from the rooftops in honor of freedom.  Now is the perfect time to share what makes me feel patriotic.  I love my country, but I’m not the most vocal about it.  However, there are two things that make my blood run red, white, & blue.  Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and I respect that.  But, I can’t help feeling rage when someone born and raised outside the American borders feels the need to judge.  I am American-born and American-raised.  I can count the number of times I’ve left this country on one hand.  I speak English with an American accent.  I received education and now work as an adult here.  I can criticize this country because I am a citizen and know what I’m talking about (for the most part 😉).  Think of it this way.  As a brother or sister, you can tease your sibling(s) to your heart’s content, but God help the outsider who feels led to do the same.  Suddenly you’re on the defensive!  Perhaps that paints a clearer picture of my point.  Moving on.  I see or hear stories about soldiers every day, but nothing compares to seeing or meeting them in the flesh.  As a retail employee, I meet military personnel of all races and ages and feel an indescribable level of honor and pride to serve them.  I respect the diverse group of people willing to train and fight for this country.  If any soldiers, past or present, are reading this, thank you from the bottom of my heart.

🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸

Go out & have fun readers!  I wish you a safe, happy holiday.

🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸

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– Lauren Michele <3

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Can’t Help Falling in Love

(Image Source: http://www.rougemagz.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/il_570xN.309602305-570×400.jpg)

Three months ago this blog post was 75% complete and well on its way to being published.  Despite my August deadline, I was feeling uninspired and decided to walk away for reflection.  I missed the opportunity to connect this post to August, “Romance Awareness Month”, but I would much rather publish content I am proud of than meet deadlines for the sake of being clever.  That being said, allow me to set the stage for this project that has been a labor of love (HA!).  Back in April, I made two collages of Gilbert Blythe and Anne Shirley from “Anne of Green Gables” in honor of Jonathan Crombie.  When I found out August was “Romance Awareness Month” (who knew?!!), I immediately put my Photoshop skills to work and made collages for my favorite TV and movie couples.  This project is near and dear to my heart.  The couples I have chosen are fictional, but their stories inspire me because they have substance.  Personally, I am not fond of glorifying the physicality of relationships.  Less is more!  I recently watched the BBC miniseries “North & South” for the first time.  The main characters do not interact romantically until the last few minutes of the series, and yet I felt tension and passion throughout; I did not need to see more in order to empathize.  It was absolutely brilliant!  I strongly believe purity and subtlety go a long way, much further than graphic details.  We should all have high standards and use the term “love” with caution.  Go ahead and call me a “hopeless romantic”; I accept that label with open arms.  :)

<3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

(Image Source: https://quotefancy.com/quote/772/Helen-Keller-The-best-and-most-beautiful-things-in-the-world-cannot-be-seen-or-even)

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**These stories come from either a TV show or a movie, not book(s)**

*** It is hard to keep track of so much content.  Feel free to notify me of any mistakes. ***

*** I recommend you click each image to make it bigger ***

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Counting down from #6, let’s meet our couples!

6. Jim Halpert and Pam Beesly

(Image Source: https://longagoandohsofaraway.wordpress.com/2014/10/17/for-your-consideration-the-office-2-05-halloween/)

What: Television Show, 2005 – 2013

Title: “The Office”

Jim and Pam

Jim Halpert: “Not enough for me? You are everything.”

I could name specific episodes, but I wont because there is at least one Jim and Pam moment in every episode.  The list would go on and on and on!!  Instead, I recommend that you take the time to watch the entire show.  It is hilarious so time well spent.

Jim and Pam’s Love Story (SPOILERS):

“The Office” Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/ustheoffice/featured

<3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

5. John Thornton and Margaret Hale

(Image Source: http://north-and-prejudice.tumblr.com/post/103886129826/why-do-i-love-north-and-south-so-much)

What: Miniseries, 2004

Title: “North & South”

John and Margaret

Margaret Hale: “It offends me that you should speak to me as if it were your… duty to rescue my reputation!”

John Thornton: “I spoke to you about my feelings because I love you; I had no thought for your reputation!”

“North & South” Trailer:

John and Margaret Montage (SPOILERS):

<3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

4. Captain Frederick Wentworth and Anne Elliot

(Image Source: http://biathenas.tumblr.com/post/115466669253)

What: Film, 2007

Title: “Persuasion”

Captain Wentworth and Anne

Captain Frederick Wentworth: “I imagined myself indifferent to her but I was only angry and resentful. Too late… too late I began to understand myself and her.  Never have I met her equal in good sense or sweetness of character. She’s perfection itself. I’ve never loved any but her.”

“Persuasion” Trailer:

Frederick and Anne Montage (SPOILERS):

<3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

3. Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet

(Image Source: http://katieoliver.com/ko/2015/05/ten-reasons-why-mr-darcy-reigns-supreme/)

What: Film, 2005

Title: “Pride and Prejudice”

Mr. Darcy & Elizabeth

Mr. Darcy: “Miss Elizabeth. I have struggled in vain, and I can bear it no longer. These past months have been a torment.  I came to Rosings with the single object of seeing you… I had to see you. I have fought against my better judgment, my family’s expectations, the inferiority of your birth by rank and circumstance. All these things I am willing to put aside and ask you to end my agony.”

Elizabeth: “I don’t understand.”

Mr. Darcy: “I love you.”

“Pride and Prejudice” Trailer:

Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Montage (SPOILERS):

<3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

2. Almanzo Wilder and Laura Ingalls

(Image Source: http://effyeahlittlehouse.tumblr.com/post/108620013240)

What: Television Show, 1974 – 1983

Title: Little House on the Prairie

Almanzo and Laura

Laura Ingalls: “I took Ma’s advice and didn’t say anything more about Almanzo. I guess I knew I’d always be Half-Pint to Pa, but I was just as sure that I would someday be Laura Ingalls Wilder.”

“Little House on the Prairie” Trailer:

Almanzo and Laura Montage (SPOILERS):

Important Episodes to Watch:

Almanzo And Laura Meet – “Back to School” Parts 1 and 2 (Season 6, Episodes 1 and 2)

Laura Gets Jealous – “Annabelle” (Season 6, Episode 5)

Almanzo Starts to See Laura as an Adult – “Wilder And Wilder” (Season 6, Episode 20)

Almanzo Falls in Love With Laura – “Sweet Sixteen” (Season 6, Episode 22)

Almanzo Proposes – “He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not” Parts 1 and 2 (Season 6, Episodes 23 and 24)

Almanzo and Laura Get Married – “Laura Ingalls Wilder” Parts 1 and 2 (Season 7, Episodes 1 and 2)

*** From this point on, the newly married couple are seen on and off on the show.  The following are some of my favorite episodes post-wedding. ***

Laura Thinks Almanzo is Having an Affair – “Divorce, Walnut Grove Style” (Season 7, Episode 7)

Almanzo And Laura Get Their First Taste of Parenthood – “Nephews” (Season 7, Episode 14)

Laura is Pregnant – “I Do, Again” (Season 7, Episode 20)

Almanzo Comes Close to Death – “Days of Sunshine, Days of Shadow” Parts 1 and 2 (Season 8, Episodes 17 and 18)

Almanzo And Laura Lose a Child – “A Child With No Name” (Season 9, Episode 18)

Baby Rose Wilder is Kidnapped – “Little House: Bless All The Dear Children” (Movie)

<3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

1. Gilbert Blythe and Anne Shirley

(Image Source: http://anneandgilbert.tumblr.com/post/24994025167/polkadotage-squeeeeeeeeeeeeee-3)

What: Film Trilogy – 1985, 1987, and 2000

Titles: “Anne of Green Gables”, “Anne of Avonlea”, and “Anne of Green Gables: The Continuing Story”

Gilbert and Anne

Gilbert Blythe: “Anne, There’s not going to be any wedding anymore.”

Anne Shirley: “You’re gonna get well, Gil. I know you are.”

Gilbert Blythe: “I called it off. It wouldn’t be fair to Christine. There would never be anyone for me but you.”

“Anne of Green Gables” Trailer:

“Anne of Avonlea” Trailer:

“Anne of Green Gables: The Continuing Story” Trailer:

Gilbert and Anne Montage (SPOILERS):

<3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

(Image Source: http://lovehonourandrespect.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/1-Corinthians-13-vs-4-8.jpg)

<3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

Shoutout to my fellow November 5th babies.  Happy birthday!!  :)

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– Lauren Michele

Previous Post: https://laurenmichelelifestyle.wordpress.com/2015/10/27/the-great-boot-detective/

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– Image Sources (L to R, Row by Row) –

* * * Jim Halpert and Pam Beesly

Image 1: https://ngbbpc.files.wordpress.com/2010/10/1197844.jpg

Image 2: http://i.ytimg.com/vi/xebHJQU4Lqg/maxresdefault.jpg

Image 3: http://s892.photobucket.com/user/irishirideyo2/media/movies/f9575553-e6d0-49ef-9ffa-0a1822ab7c64.jpg.html

Image 4: http://canbabiesdrinkredbull.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Office2.png

Image 5: http://www.fanpop.com/images/polls/16619_1_full.jpg

Image 6: https://pixelbrushstudios.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/1403451878497.jpg

Image 7: http://www.ew.com/sites/default/files/i/imgs/100714//Jim-Pam-Niagara-office_400.jpg

Image 8: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/d8/fa/1b/d8fa1b5fdd4405c1c03c65a41f07b600.jpg

Image 9: http://blog.mysanantonio.com/jakle06/files/2013/05/officejimpam.jpg

Image 10: http://reallylatereviews.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/jim-and-pam.jpg  (This is the source, but the link is no longer available)

Image 11: http://www.eonline.com/eol_images/Entire_Site/20100303/425.fischer.krasinski.theoffice.lc.030310.jpg

Image 12: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-muSy491aT_w/UZ4EGLxeBgI/AAAAAAAAAeI/XeL5DOVd34Q/s1600/jim+and+pam+family.png

Image 13: http://www.ew.com/sites/default/files/i/2012/10/08/the-office.jpg

* * * John Thornton and Margaret Hale

Image 1: http://caps.desert-sky.net/n&s.htm (Zip File 1)

Image 2: http://caps.desert-sky.net/n&s.htm (Zip File 1)

Image 3: http://caps.desert-sky.net/n&s.htm (Zip File 2)

Image 4: http://caps.desert-sky.net/n&s.htm (Zip File 2)

Image 5: http://caps.desert-sky.net/n&s.htm (Zip File 4)

Image 6: http://caps.desert-sky.net/n&s.htm (Zip File 4)

Image 7: http://caps.desert-sky.net/n&s.htm (Zip File 3)

Image 8: http://www.richardarmitageonline.com/north-and-south/north-south-pictures-episode4.html

Image 9: http://caps.desert-sky.net/n&s.htm (Zip File 5)

Image 10: http://caps.desert-sky.net/n&s.htm (Zip File 10)

Image 11: http://caps.desert-sky.net/n&s.htm (Zip File 10)

Image 12: http://caps.desert-sky.net/n&s.htm (Zip File 10)

Image 13: http://caps.desert-sky.net/n&s.htm (Zip File 10)

Image 14: http://caps.desert-sky.net/n&s.htm (Zip File 10)

Image 15: http://caps.desert-sky.net/n&s.htm (Zip File 10)

* * *Captain Frederick Wentworth and Anne Elliot

Image1: http://kissthemgoodbye.net/movie/displayimage.php?album=225&pid=492280#top_display_media

Image 2: http://kissthemgoodbye.net/movie/albums/Persuasion%202007/P_2007_0522.jpg

Image 3: http://kissthemgoodbye.net/movie/albums/Persuasion%202007/P_2007_1833.jpg

Image 4: http://www.janeitejournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/Persuasion-2007-persuasion-5250064-1024-576.jpg

Image 5: http://kissthemgoodbye.net/movie/displayimage.php?album=225&pid=492761#top_display_media

Image 6: http://www.cap-that.com/austen/persuasion/2007/images/persuasion-2007_1041.jpg

Image 7: http://www.janeitejournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/Persuasion-2007-persuasion-5249840-1024-576.jpg

Image 8: http://www.janeitejournal.com/moving-pictures/through-the-eyes-of-a-janeite-2/through-the-eyes-of-a-janeite/persuasion-2007-persuasion-5249807-1024-576/

Image 9: http://kissthemgoodbye.net/movie/albums/Persuasion%202007/P_2007_1708.jpg

Image 10: http://kissthemgoodbye.net/movie/albums/Persuasion%202007/P_2007_1277.jpg

Image 11: http://images2.fanpop.com/images/photos/5200000/Persuasion-2007-persuasion-5251119-1024-576.jpg

Image 12: http://images2.fanpop.com/images/polls/127454_1223825332686_full.jpg

Image 13: http://www.cem.itesm.mx/signo/images/Notas/cinetv/Persuasion-2007-persuasion-5251156-1024-576.jpg

* * * Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet

Image 1: https://reginajeffers.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/lizzy1.jpg

Image 2: http://images1.fanpop.com/images/image_uploads/Elizabeth-Darcy-pride-and-prejudice-couples-954305_1280_554.jpg

Image 3: http://images2.fanpop.com/image/photos/9500000/Mr-Darcy-jane-austens-heroes-9589809-2560-1664.jpg

Image 4: https://terbsworld.files.wordpress.com/2010/06/pride_and_prejudice_0980.jpg

Image 5: https://imheathcliff.files.wordpress.com/2011/03/darcy_lizzy2005.jpg

Image 6: http://images.fanpop.com/images/image_uploads/2005-P-P-mr-darcy-and-elizabeth-683783_1920_1237.jpg

Image 7: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8U56CTlGkx8

Image 8: http://breezybaldwin.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/sh4.jpg

Image 9: https://terbsworld.files.wordpress.com/2010/06/pride_and_prejudice_0980.jpg

Image 10: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/9570217930523482/

Image 11: http://images1.fanpop.com/images/image_uploads/Elizabeth-Darcy-pride-and-prejudice-couples-954122_1280_554.jpg

Image 12: https://vinnieh.files.wordpress.com/2015/02/elizabeth-and-mr-darcy.jpg

Image 13: http://images2.fanpop.com/images/polls/127418_1223818551045_full.jpg

* * * Almanzo Wilder and Laura Ingalls

Image 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OzYG03I3whc

Image 2: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-BVvMG2BIWs0/UtnyxArlXmI/AAAAAAAAgfQ/t4CduAeYOcE/s1600/Ya+wanna+talk+about+it+now.JPG

Image 3: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/361343570077920259/

Image 4: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=euFznRRl0SE

Image 5: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=euFznRRl0SE

Image 6: http://www.moviemarket.com/library/photos/291/291536.jpg

Image 7: http://i.ytimg.com/vi/OzYG03I3whc/hqdefault.jpg

Image 8: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=euFznRRl0SE

Image 9: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OzYG03I3whc

Image 10: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HEf-gdSgE8s

Image 11: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HEf-gdSgE8s

Image 12: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OzYG03I3whc

Image 13: http://auto.img.v4.skyrock.net/2203/84812203/pics/3106697159_1_3_SBzOa5hG.jpg

Image 14: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HEf-gdSgE8s

Image 15: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=euFznRRl0SE

Image 16: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HEf-gdSgE8s

Image 17: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HEf-gdSgE8s

Image 18: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=euFznRRl0SE

* * * Gilbert Blythe and Anne Shirley

Image 1: http://data2.whicdn.com/images/173326929/large.jpg

Image 2: http://40.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_ljnf0kbWtb1qak5hto1_500.jpg

Image 3: http://anne.sullivanmovies.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2013/07/AOGG2-001.jpg

Image 4: http://sullivanmovies.com/articles/fashion-in-avonlea-gilbert-blythe/#jp-carousel-4246

Image 5: http://images.fanpop.com/images/image_uploads/AOGG-The-Sequel-anne-of-green-gables-600620_500_375.jpg

Image 6: http://anne.sullivanmovies.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2014/09/Gilbertc.jpg

Image 7: http://anne.sullivanmovies.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2013/07/AOGG2-002.jpg

Image 8: http://images4.fanpop.com/image/photos/17600000/Anne-and-Gilbert-anne-and-gilbert-17693147-500-333.jpg

Image 9: http://anne.sullivanmovies.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2013/07/AOGG3-008.jpg

Image 10: http://images4.fanpop.com/image/photos/17600000/Anne-and-Gilbert-anne-and-gilbert-17693181-500-333.jpg

Image 11: http://anne.sullivanmovies.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2013/07/102-580×377.jpg

 

Love Out Loud

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

I am going to try very hard to get these words out without becoming overly emotional and rambling.  I apologize for the serious note of this post, but my heart is telling me to write.  Because of the picture, you already have a basic idea of what I am going to discuss.  I have watched quite a few Holocaust-related movies but am not sure why because it is very hard for me to do so.  I suppose that as a Jew I feel a strange sort of loyalty, a loyalty that urges me to watch and empathize to the best of my ability.  I did not experience a concentration camp nor did my Sephardic ancestors.  However, Jews are brothers and sisters no matter the category one belongs to (Ashkenazi, Mizrahi, or Sephardic); after all, we all descend from the same bloodline.  I cannot speak for other Jews, but I can speak for myself.  When another heart hurts, I hurt, no matter how far back in history that hurt occurred.  I have been emotionally disturbed by Holocaust movies in the past, but this film wrenched my heart to the point of illness.  As soon as the credits started to roll, I ran away from my computer and wept alone in another room.  My head throbbed, and my stomach was in knots.  I do not pretend to have felt pain anywhere near that of the Jews in concentration camps, but I did indeed feel pain.  Pain and anger.  I could not speak, only weep.  One word kept coming to mind over and over and over again: Why.  Why?  Why??  Why??!  Why!!!

– If you have not seen “The Boy in the Striped Pajamas”, I suggest you stop reading now. –

There is one specific element in this movie that grabbed my attention.  It is subtle but very much significant.  When Bruno is mistakenly taken with a group of Jews to the gas chamber, the Nazi soldiers do not question his presence.  Yes he is disguised, and yes he is surrounded by numerous other Jews, but take all that away.  Cut off Bruno’s hair.  Take away from Shmuel the dirty appearance and malnutrition.  Line them up side by side in matching “striped pajamas.”  They are two young boys, same age and same height.  Shmuel could be German.  Bruno could be Jewish.  Both could be one or the other.  It is unclear whether Bruno was visible to the soldiers, but he looked just like everybody else therefore he received the same treatment and tragic death.  He was one of them, a German, and yet the soldiers could not tell the difference.  What does that tell you about prejudice?  Hatred will show you what you want to see, not what is actually there.

If you think your contribution to the fight against prejudice as one person is too small, think again.  Love goes a long way no matter the number of contributors.  I will end with some lyrics from a song called “Let It Be Love” by Family Force 5.  I encourage you to read the words, click the following link to hear the entire song, and take time to reflect.

“Stronger than every fear
Comfort for all the tears
It’s where the war is won
And it has overcome
Louder than the loudest shout
Deeper than the deepest doubt
We’ll watch the walls fall down…

Let it be a heart wide open
Bigger than the words we’ve spoken
Let it be a heart for the broken
If we’re gonna light, light, light the way to You
Let it be love…
It’s love that lights the way”

“Let It Be Love” by Family Force 5: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vTZHl5cNLJE

Please don’t pick and choose who to love.  Love everyone!

– Lauren Michele :)

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