Sunset Beauty of Creation

Reblogged this one due to just blogging a post on the sunrises of Gardner Webb. I think it would be fun to see how beautiful both Gardner Webb’s sunrises and sunsets truly are

Meg's Magical Musings

Gardner Webb is home to some of the best sunsets. Whenever I see them, I am reminded that this the place where I am meant to be. It shows that God will guide me through my college years. I know deep down that I was meant to be at Gardner Webb. I also can look up and feel God’s presence. Sunsets are an amazing part of God’s creation. College is really challenging, but if you trust in God the experience will not seem as hard. As long as you trust in the Lord, you will be able to make it through the day and survive rough times in life. I know that I was called to join a service club when I started Gardner Webb and that is why I am fully committed to Campus Civilian, the only service club on Campus. The other clubs do service, but it not…

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Sunrises of God’s Creation

So this morning after leaving my dorm for breakfast, I was able to catch a glimpse of the sunrise. One of the things I love the most about my school are the beautiful sunrises and sunsets they have. This is the first time I have been able to see the actual sunrise. It reminded me that God will always be with me no matter what. I think seeing the sunrise on the first of February was quite special. It told me that today will be a good day. God is one of the reasons I have been able to thrive at school.

Memorable Couples of Musicals

Romance in a musical is the biggest theme ever. Below is a list of memorable musical couples that I have come across yet. Romance in my opinion translates well to song. The love songs are some of the most beautiful musical songs. Some have innonence built into them and some have a more mature melody. I will identify which musical couple is my favorite.

  1. Elphaba and Fiyero- favorite (Wicked)
  2. Jack and Katherine- Newsies
  3. Belle and Beast- Beauty and the Beast
  4. Nala and Simba- Lion King
  5. Jasmine and Aladdin- Aladdin
  6. Nellie and Emelie- South Pacific
  7. Mimi and Roger- Rent
  8. Christine and Raoul- Phantom of the Opera
  9. Cosette and Marius- Les Mis
  10. Marian and Harold Hill- Music Man
  11. Captain Von Trapp and Maria- Sound of Music

When Uneventful Things Happen

Sometimes in life, some things happen that are out of our control or happen unexpectedly. Sometimes these times lead to dark times or its a surprise you did not see coming. However those times are worth it even when you enter a period of darkness.

When something bad happens in life, just remember that the situation is only temporary and is a part of life. Bad times sometimes do not make sense at all, but try to make something out of it. It is important not to let those times tear you down and lead you on a kind of downward spiral. Sometimes, the dark times in life can last months or even years, but sometimes those times are an excellent time for growth. Those times can truly hurt you, but don’t let it get to you.

However, there are some good times in life that happen out of the blue. You might end up loving a movie or genre you didn’t think you would appreciate. Those can be quite confusing as well and sometimes you are trying to make sense of that. Life is quite a mystery, but everything happens for a reason.

Both good and bad things have happened in my life that were quite unexpected. Back in high school, I did not even want to take Spanish, but the moment I started learning it, I was hooked. I don’t know why I thought I would hate it, but it is my minor now. I even was so close-minded to both Psychology and Sociology and ironically I already had the interests of both. I was asking my parents questions relating to both subjects not knowing my questions were a part of those two subjects. I decided to take those two classes in college and I ended up liking both and ultimately decided to major in Sociology.

Even the genre of tragedy was a problem spot for me. I first discovered the genre in high school and the genre did not even make sense to me. I automatically associated them with sad and nothing else. I told myself that they don’t belong in the world of theatre and literally pushed them back and ignored them for several years. That was a big mistake I made. Than Les Mis entered my life and I realized that the genre of tragedy isn’t as bad as I once believed.

Sometimes the beauty of life is to expect the unexpected. I learned to appreciate classes that I believed I would strongly disliked. I learned to appreciate a genre I thought I would never find appreciation for. I love those kind of moments that happen out of the moment, which actually are not even a bad time in life. It is hard to understand life at times, but life is beautiful, but so fragile.

Heartbreak and Inspiration of Les Mis

A progress from evil to good, from injustice to justice, from falsehood to truth, from night to day, from appetite to conscience, from corruption to life; from bestiality to duty; from hell to heaven, from nothingness to God. The starting point: matter, destination: the soul. The hydra at the beginning, the angel at the end

-Victor Hugo

Yes, Les Mis again

The quote above just shows the tale of Les Mis and how the main character’s journey progresses from beginning to end.

The musical, Les Misérables, is one of the most successful musicals of all time. The tile literally means the miserable and can even mean the downtrodden, the outcasts, and the fugitives. The title literally gives away the fact that Les Mis is indeed a very heartbreaking musical. The musical takes place during early 19th century France starting in 1815 and ending up in 1832.

It can be quite curious as to why such a heartbreaking musical is so successful. I do remember the first time I saw the movie, the moment I learned Les Mis was a tragedy, I was so confused and sort of lost. That time around, I saw the musical as too depressing. I didn’t know if I actually liked that movie or not when it finished. I didn’t know if I would give the movie a second chance or not.

Despite all the confusion, I still decided to research the musical and learn more about the book. I even started to listen to the songs more and discover more about them. After all of that, I did decide to watch the musical movie a second time. This time around, I truly knew there was something special about the musical. I was curious as to why so much heartbreak can actually make you feel uplifted in the end.

In Les Mis, it is important not to view the musical as just a heartbreaking musical because it is way more than that. True, most of the scenes are sad and heartbreaking, but those scenes are incredible scenes to watch as a matter of fact. The story is one of misery, heartbreaking, suffering and death, but also a story of love, compassion, hope, sacrifice, forgiveness, humanity and redemption. In a lot of ways, the inspirational side of Les Mis does exist throughout the heartbreaking nature.

The heartbreaking and the inspirational nature of this musical both show up in the prologue. The very first scene, the negative emotions enter the picture and up until the bishop scene, we see Valjean being treated poorly by society. No one is given him a place to stay, a job, or even something to eat all because he was an ex-convict. All of those scenes are heartbreaking and we can feel the injustice that Valjean faces. But enter the bishop and he offers Valjean a place to sleep and food to eat. But Valjean does still steal some silver from the bishop out of desperation and he is caught. He is surprised that the bishop actually lies and tells the police that he gave Valjean the silver has a gift and gives Valjean two candlesticks. Valjean uses the lesson that bishop taught him throughout the rest of this journey. The moment the heartbreaking and the inspirational natures clash together, the two are inseparable.

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Possible Spoilers:

You see inspiration through Valjean helping the poor once he becomes mayor. There is something inspirational about Valjean rescuing a man who has fallen under his cart. There is even inspiration when Valjean learns that a man was falsely accused of being him and Valjean turns himself in. But Valjean truly shows compassion towards Fantine, a former worker at Valjean’s factory, who turns to prostitution after being fired. Valjean promises to Fantine on her deathbed that he will raise Cosette, Fantine’s daughter, as his own. So there is compassion shown during death scenes.

Another death scene where compassion is shown is through Eponine’s death scene. She has just retuned to the barricades (different circumstance in the movie) and gets caught in the crossfire and gets shot and unfortunately her wounds are fatal. She loves Marius, a revolutionary on the barricade, unrequitedly. The moment she climbs over the barricade, Marius has no clue that she is terribly hurt. But after she collapses in his arms, Marius knows what is going on. He is truly devastated, but ultimately shows her compassion by never leaving her side. Even though he thinks it is too soon for her to leave, he still stays brave for her.

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There is something hopeful about the students standing up against the government. They are so passionate about their cause. Up until Eponine’s death, the students feel like there is a chance they will win. But after Eponine died, the students realized that they are way outnumbered and feel hopeless. But they still fight hoping that others will stand up for what they believe in. Valjean arrives shortly after Eponine died and he shows mercy and forgiveness towards Javert after he releases him from the barricades even though he promised the students he will execute Javert.

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If I never found a spiritual side to Les Mis, I feel like I would be kind of tired of the musical by now. I love feeling hurt and heartbroken in this musical because I strongly care about the characters and strongly love the plot and strongly love how the show makes you feel. You can feel hope, compassion, forgiveness, love, joy, excitement, uplifted, sad, heartbreak, guilt, loneliness, anger, hopeless, fear, desperation, devastation, depressed, and even uncomfortable and there are even more than that. To understand the success of Les Mis, you need to see beyond its heartbreaking nature.

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The reasons why I believe Les Mis is so successful because it has incredible and memorable characters, like the angered, harsh, hateful turned compassionate and saintlike Valjean, the strict and obsessive Javert, the loving and prostitute Fantine, the greedy, abusive and comical Thenardiers, the loving, brave, neglected and lonely Eponine, the revolutionary and romantic Marius, the kind and innocent Cosette, the passionate and hopeful, leader Enjolras, and the unloved and heroic Gavroche. In addition, I love the brilliance of the story, which is the tale of Jean Valjean, an ex-convict and his journey to redemption, which includes the love triangle of Eponine, Marius and Cosette, the student uprising (AKA June Rebellion of 1832), and the story of Fantine.

But ultimately, I think the biggest reason why Les Mis is so successful is due the emotional nature of the songs. They make you feel several emotions at such a deep level all the way to the deepest level of the Holy Spirit. This musical feel so realistic and feels like you can truly care about the characters. Even though it is heartbreaking, it has several topics found in Christianity like love, humanity, sacrifice,  compassion, forgiveness, hope, and redemption. Les Mis is the most powerful musical ever and its complexity changed my view on musicals and taught me the value of tragedy in the first place.

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God being Love

And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them

-I John 4:16

God best represents love. Love is how to live your life. If you live in love, you are living according to the biggest commandment, which is love yourself and to love others. Love is the most powerful force of all and truly guides us. If we live in love, we live life to fullest and treat others with compassion, understanding, and acceptance. Love is strength and love is God. Fear is so much weaker than love. If we as humans bind together, it is harder for the devil to manipulate us and make us live a life a life according to fear. When we live a life in love, there is a greater sense of hope and humanity. Without love, life would be even more messy and more chaotic. Without love, there would be no good in this world. Without love, we are not truly human. So live you life in love and not live your life in fear.

 

Standing Up For What You Believe In

I think there’s a stigma that one person can’t help make a change in the world. But it has to start with someone

-Jennifer DiNoia (A actress who played Elphaba on Broadway)

If you think about it, this is so true about life. Some musical characters actually do help make a difference.

Possible Spoilers:

Musical characters like Elphaba, Jack Kelly and Enjolras do help make a change. Elphaba is passionate about fighting for equal rights for everyone in OZ including the animals. She breaks against the stigma that one can’t help with making a change in the world, but she decides to go a separate route than the one the Wizard plans to do. The Wizard’s plan causes more harm than good. He wants to strip the animals of their right and plans to use Elphaba to do the magic for him, but she goes against him because she knows that is not right. The Wizard wants to use the flying monkeys as spies to spy on the animals, but Elphaba would rather give them equal rights. Through this circumstance, Elphaba discovers a whole new purpose in life and this when she truly matures.

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Than there is Enjolras, the leader of the friends of the abc. He is the most passionate of all the rebels. He is the one that really brings them together to go up against the very weak government. Even when he realizes that they are most likely going to lose, he still knows that their standing up for they believe in will encourage others to stand up against the government as well. He and the other rebels are warned several times that they should just give up, but Enjolras just doesn’t listen to them.

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Sometimes it can take a whole group to stand up for what they believe in. That is the case for the Newsies, but it was Jack Kelly’s idea to have the strike. They form a union and strike against Pulitzer and Hearst. They never once give up and this does cause Jack some inner conflict in act two especially since at the end of act one, he sees Crutchie being taken away to the Refuge. Jack is almost ready to give up, which is clearly shown through his solo, Santa Fe. But through the help of Katherine and Davey, he finds the courage again to continue what he and his brothers started.

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So sometimes, you might think that you may not make a change in the world. But change has to start with someone. When someone stands up for what they believe in, it takes great courage. It can be scary to stand up for what you believe in, but that is where change truly comes from. Standing up for what you believe in truly shows who you are and shows bravery.