The Psychic View – The Benediction Of Genius

By Marjorie Young

With the current madness and turmoil pervading our world, many find themselves in dire need of being uplifted; to experience something which will reawaken us to the beauty and possibilities of life. This may come in myriad forms, serving as a reminder that cause for wonder and gratitude is all around us and abounds.

These reflections began recently upon viewing an audition on ‘America’s Got Talent’ by a thirteen-year-old girl named Laura Bretan. She was lovely, sweet, and very shy, but when she opened her mouth to sing…pure glory was delivered in the form of an operatic aria, no less! Both audience and judges were slack-jawed and were on their feet well before her performance ended. How could a child possess such a mature, astonishing gift? I watched her again and again, and each time was thrilled and moved to tears.

Only a few days later, I saw yet another child genius on ’60 Minutes’…a jazz piano phenomenon…a twelve-year-old from Bali, of all places! His brilliance has already attracted some of the greatest jazz musicians as mentors, and Joey Alexander is already performing in New York to sold-out audiences.

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Amanda's View: Photographing Women: Taking the plunge Part 2

By Amanda Knox

In my limited modeling experience, the most difficult thing has always been the face. So much can be conveyed through a facial expression. It’s not as simple as deciding to smile. Minute muscles may compose all kinds of smiles—ecstatic, ironic, indulgent, concerned, condescending, embarrassed, communicative—the difference between them so subtle and yet so legible. Usually I don’t think about what my face looks like while I’m emotionally responding to a context which might make me smile. When modeling, suddenly I am made aware of not just one, but two simultaneous expressions: 1) my face in context, self-conscious about the act of playing pretend in front of a camera; and 2) my intended face, conveying the character of the composed image. If I’m not careful, the self-consciousness of the first will eek its way into the second, compromising my expression entirely.

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Amanda's View: What was lost

By Amanda Knox

Some things are irrevocably lost. The time I spent in Perugia—when I was just another young college student in the crowd—feels that way. I had been there for only a little over a month before tragedy struck. I couldn’t say that I knew even my own roommates deeply. There is only so much you can know about a new place or person in so brief a time.

And then, for circumstances to turn on their head… It’s difficult to reconcile Perugia, the paradise, with Perugia, the prison, especially when the duration and intensity of prison dwarfed my experience of paradise. For that reason alone, looking back on my memories of blossoming friendships, cultural discovery, and delicious food feels painful. It’s as if wrongful accusation not only physically removed me from Perugia, but by redefining me as something I was not, it also stole from me who I had actually been in Perugia, and everything I had actually done.

Long ago I gave up dreaming that any piece of Perugia, the paradise, would ever be restored to me. Because that’s life.

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