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Cherish your winters: Remembrance of a old winter, five years past. Read an old post here about beauty in winter
For a more Zen experience, read my poetry series :The Awakening of Silence


"Little Boxes" is a song written by Malvina Reynolds in 1962, which became a hit for her friend Pete Seeger in 1963.

The song is a political satire about the development of suburbia and associated conformist middle-class attitudes. It refers to suburban tract housing as "little boxes" of different colors "all made out of ticky-tacky", and which "all look just the same." "Ticky-tacky" is a reference to the shoddy material used in the construction of housing of that time

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The song came back to peoples attention when a new wave of artists released covers of it since 2000. And is most familiar as the intro theme to the TV Series “Weeds”.

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I went through many cover versions of it , and the best one i found was by a relatively new band  called “As the Crow Flies”. You can freely download this cover version by Saving this mp3 file.

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You can listen to the original version below.

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I tried running around the city a couple to days ago to find a fairly common book, and to my misfortune i was unable to find the edition i wanted.

So i decided to try flipkart.com the online book store service of India. And i have to say i am terribly impressed by their service. :)

I ordered two books Yesterday (midnight) Morning at 1:30AM
I received a Shipment confirmation of one of my books by 8:30PM yesterday.
And i received my first book today at 11:30AM.
Within 36 hours!. Even though the website said it will take 8-10 days at first, and consequently 2-3 days.
And at 8:30PM Today i received my shipment confirmation for my second book. It says i will receive it with in the next 2-3 days.

May be the fact that i resided in a Bangalore speed up the delivery process. I am not sure how fast they will be able to serve remote locations. They might use Indian Speed Post for it. That might take like 3-6 days for a delivery. But since a lot of out of print versions are available here i am sure it will be worth the wait if you want a scarce book.

all this and that too no online transactions were required , i could pay by “Cash on Delivery”.

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Great things about Flipkart.com
1.Free Shipment above 100.Rs order.
2.Great Packaging
3.I could see up to 30 % discounts on a few books!
4.Prompt delivery if book is available within India.
5.Cash on Delivery option, even online payment is available if you need it.
6. Free Book Mark

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Hildegard of Bingen's sequence, 'Columba aspexit', is an interesting work both as music and as poetry. It is a Plainchant but Hildegard's musical genius did bring into it a almost heavenly melody. It is a personal favourite of mine.
I tried searching for many versions on the web. and the best one i found was performed by Emma Kirkby on a for Christopher Page’s Gothic Voices production.

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The albums name is :”Gothic Voices : A feather on the breath of God



The Album was cited by this website , as a recording you must hear before you die, under the classical section.

Not to mention Emma kirkby’s performance is excellent, i couldn't imagine a better rendition possible anyone i know.

Blessed Hildegard of Bingen (German: Hildegard von Bingen; Latin: Hildegardis Bingensis) (1098 – 17 September 1179), also known as Saint Hildegard, and Sibyl of the Rhine, was a Christian mystic, German Benedictine abbess, visionary, and polymath.[2] Elected a magistra by her fellow nuns in 1136, she founded the monasteries of Rupertsberg in 1150 and Eibingen in 1165. One of her works as a composer, the Ordo Virtutum, is an early example of liturgical drama.

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She wrote theological, botanical and medicinal texts, as well as letters, liturgical songs, poems, and the first surviving morality play, while supervising brilliant miniature Illuminations.

source of text : Wikipedia

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After a long search i was able to find the text and translation of Columba Aspexit.

Columba aspexit
per cancellos fenestrae
ubi ante faciem eius
sudando sudavit balsamum
de lucido Maximino.

The dove peered in
through the lattices of the windows
where, before its face,
a balm exuded
from incandescent Maximilian.

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Iste turris excelsa,
de ligno Libani et cipresso facta,
iacincto et sardio ornata est,
urbs precellens artes
aliorum artificum.

The heat of the sun burned
dazzling into the gloom:
whence a jewel sprang forth
in the building of the temple
of the purest loving heart.

Calor solis exarsit
et in tenebras resplenduit
unde gemma surrexit
in edificatione templi
purissimi cor dis benivoli.

He, the high tower,
constructed of Lebanon wood and cypress,
has been adorned with jacinth and diamonds,
a city excelling the crafts
of other builders.

For the remaining part of the text and translation see this webpage.

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Hymn: A derivative of the Latin hymnus, which comes from the Greek hymnos, derived from hydein, to sing. A Hymn is usually a Praise/Prayer to God which is sung.

This is my favourite hymn.  Its a very moving to experience to hear a choir sing it.

Since there isn't any proper choir version i could download on the net, I found a few choir videos on YouTube. I was going through one of them and i found the following comment.

comment  holy god we praise thy name

This hymn is also features in the movie ‘Doubt’ , as the background music for the first few minutes into the movie. 




1.	Holy God, we praise thy name; 
Lord of all, we bow before thee;
all on earth thy scepter claim;
all in heaven above adore thee.
Infinite thy vast domain;
everlasting is thy reign.

2. Hark the glad celestial hymn
angel choirs above are raising;
cherubim and seraphim,
in unceasing chorus praising,
fill the heavens with sweet accord:
Holy, holy, holy Lord.

3. Lo! the apostolic train
joins thy sacred name to hallow;
prophets swell the glad refrain,
and the white-robed martyrs follow.
And from morn to set of sun,
through the church the song goes on.

4. Holy Father, Holy Son,
Holy Spirit: three we name thee,
though in essence only one;
undivided God we claim thee,
and adoring bend the knee
while we own the mystery.
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