Fanny Mendelssohn, sketched in 1829 by her husband, Wilhelm Hensel
“Fanny Mendelssohn (14 November 1805 – 14 May 1847) was a German composer and pianist of the early Romantic era who was also known, after her marriage, as Fanny Hensel (as well as Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel). Her compositions include a piano trio, a piano quartet, an orchestral overture, four cantatas, more than 125 pieces for the piano, and over 250 lieder, most of which went unpublished in her lifetime….Due to her family’s reservations, and to social conventions of the time about the roles of women, six of her songs were published under her brother’s name in his Opus 8 and 9 collections.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fanny_Mendelssohn
How sad that patriarchy feels threatened by the creativity and talent of their sisters. How fortunate that the United Nations has been celebrating international girls and women’s events to correct the inequities of the past.
Today’s homage haiku: Happy Birthday Fanny Mendelssohn
Known as the “Father of the Nation” of India, Mohandas Gandhi was also called Mahatma (Great Soul) or Bapu (Papa). Gandhi’s birthday, 2 October, is celebrated in India as a national holiday, and worldwide as the International Day of Nonviolence.
“Gandhi grew up in a Hindu and Jain religious atmosphere … which were his primary influences, but he was also influenced by his personal reflections and literature of Hindu Bhakti saints, Advaita Vedanta, Islam, Buddhism, Christianity, and thinkers such as Tolstoy, Ruskin and Thoreau… At age 57 he declared himself to be Advaitist Hindu in his religious persuasion but added that he supported Dvaitist viewpoints and religious pluralism.” (See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahatma_Gandhi)
Family lore suggested my first great grandfather Cole had emigrated from Ireland to Canada. After a personal genealogy study, I surprisingly discovered three great grandfathers had been born in Canada, their five predecessors came from New York before my oldest known six great grandfathers were born in Holland. So far, the oldest records go back to 1450.
Yesterday was Ancestors’ Day in Cambodia which is a far distance from North America or Europe but why quibble. I’m choosing to recognize my ancestors today because my eighth great-grandfather, Jacob, was born on 9/25/1639 in New Amsterdam. Note: New Amsterdam was founded by the Dutch in 1624 and was renamed New York by the English in 1664. My grandfather would have been 25-years old when New York was established. He went on to live another 55 years and died at the age of 80 in 1719.
“too easily we are inclined to imagine that God created this world for a purpose. We are so caught up in purpose that we would feel more comfortable if God shared our preoccupation with work. But God plays.”
William Wilberforce was born on this day in 1759. He was a British politician and leader of the movement to abolish the slave trade. It took him over forty years to accomplish this objective but his perseverance and ability to compromise ultimately led to success.
I was fortunate to have been accepted as a son-in-law by two men. Both attended the wedding ceremonies that conferred my legal status with their daughter. Both co-signed significant bank loans to support major investments that financial institutions would not approve without their signatures. Both were avid anglers who taught me how to fish in their favorite lakes. Both were golfers who smiled as I hacked my way on their favorite courses.
Both mean more to me than I can express today. I am grateful for their time in my life.