How Did Butterflies Get Their Wings? A Myth of the Origin

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By Abby Berman Mazenod 

 

Myth Project: How Did Butterflies Get Their Wings?(click here to view Myth)

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    The myth is such an interesting concept. Each culture seems to have their own mythology that is significant in the foundation of that culture. We all remember studying Greek and Roman mythology, and many would consider various religions to be cultural mythologies as well. The stories and characters in these works can be informative, fun, they can teach a lesson, or a concept, or establish a meaning for creation. It is beautiful and overwhelming to think of the weight that these myths have carried with people and cultures of the past.
    In one of my classes we were supposed to create our own myth, and a website to explain about it. I chose to write of the origin of a natural phenomenon: Butterflies. I have always been fascinated by butterflies and thought that their beautiful wings are somehow magical. This seemed like the perfect opportunity to establish a story about their evolution that is actually magical. I loved creating this story. I had so much fun giving personalities to little caterpillars and bringing in the fantasy elements of fairies and magic. I don’t know if writing this will help with my understanding of myths, but it definitely helps me to understand and appreciate the art of storytelling a bit more. I loved it!
    Have a magical day!
    xoxo-Abby
    http://www.tracingabby.com

 

It’s Simple that You’re Complicated: A Song

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Written and Performed by Abby Berman

 

It’s Simple

That you’re complicated

And it’s fine

That you have your own mind

For something so easy to say

I wish it was easy that way

To believe the words tumbling, stumbling

From my mouth

 

It’s shameful

My attempt to tie you down

Like some exotic creature

I don’t get used to seeing you around

Hypnotic words you say

They do all they can to steal my heart away

Without a warning it’s still beating as you’re leaving

Tucked tightly in your hands

 

Because I’ve tried and tried

So many times

Even from the start

To convince my heart

It doesn’t love you

But my heart is a stubborn one

It runs miles and miles

Through mountains and streams

It does what it wants

It lives in it’s dreams

That someday you’ll love me

Buy my heart is a stupid one

Oh my heart is a stupid one

And it’s torturing me

 

These people

They’re not complicated

They’re fine

There’s nothing that they mind

They’ve never had a struggle to see

They know not of what you burden on me

And I wouldn’t wish it or curse it, not the worst of it

Though I feel so alone

 

Because I’ve tried and tried

So many times

Even from the start

To convince my heart

It doesn’t love you

But my heart is a stubborn one

It runs miles and miles

Through mountains and streams

It does what it wants

It lives in it’s dreams

That someday you’ll love me

Yes, my heart is a stupid one

Oh, my heart is a stupid one

And it’s torturing me

 

This can’t be good for me

It just can’t be good for me

My belly is hungry

I’m starving for more

This can’t be good for me

It doesn’t feel good to me

But I guess I’ll always get what I settle for

 

Because I’ve tried and tried

So many times

Even from the start

To convince my heart

It doesn’t love you

But my heart is a stubborn one

It runs miles and miles

Through mountains and streams

It does what it wants

It lives in it’s dreams

That someday you’ll love me…someday you’ll love me…someday you’ll love me

Someday you’ll love me…someday you’ll love me…someday you’ll love me

Someday you’ll love me…someday you’ll love me…someday you’ll love me

My heart is a stupid one

Yes, my heart is a stupid one

And it’s torturing me

 

It's Simple That You're Complicated-A Song by Abby Berman

It’s Simple That You’re Complicated-A Song by Abby Berman

Writer of Song: A Song

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Written and Performed by: Abby Berman

Recorded by: Gabe Dulek

 

I met a man

On the train yesterday

He told me he was married

But we could talk just the same

Was on his way back home

To see his lovely wife

He told me of his travels

He told me of his life

Then he said “Hey Sister,

What you plan to do?

Your life is just beginning

Your childhood finally through.”

And I just said “Well Mister

Anything else would be wrong

I want to be a writer of song.”

 

Well that’s beautiful through and through

And there’s nothing else that I could ever do

Than be a speaker of dreams and truth

A writer of song

 

So I will take this harmony

And I will take the tune

And I will show the world

What a melody can do

These words they will have meaning

And their truth will be said strong

When I become my writer of song

 

Well that’s beautiful through and through

And there’s nothing else that I could ever do

Than be a speaker of dreams and truth

A writer of song

 

So I will taste this sunset

And speak the broken earth

While I relive this beauty

At its humble birth

This moment not forgotten

It will live forever long

Sheltered by this writer of song

 

Well that’s beautiful through and through

And there’s nothing else that I could ever do

Than be a speaker of dreams and truth

A writer of song

 

These words they will have meaning

And their truth will be said strong

When I become my writer of song

 

(**I wrote this song quite a while ago, and decided to rerecord it recently. It really was written on a train about a month before I graduated high school. )

 

xoxo-Abby

http://www.TracingAbby.com

 

"Writer of Song", a song by Abby Berman, www.tracingabby.com
 

 

 

 

 

 

She’s the One: A Song

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By Abby Berman

 

 

Like a storm that drowns your soul

Then waits for you to come back again

Take the pieces, once so whole

She waits for you to run back again

 

She’s the one

Your angel, who somehow fell from grace

She’s the one

You kiss her, her porcelain angel face

Let her go

It kills you, it breaks your tender heart

You should know

She’ll slowly tear you apart

 

Like a storm that drowns your soul

Then waits for you to come back again

Take the pieces, once so whole

She waits for you to run back again

 

She’s the one

Your savior, the healer of your pain

In your dreams

You see her, she lets you live again

Let her go

It kills you, but you’ll be better off in time

You should know

They watch her, eat you alive

 

Like a storm that drowns your soul

Then waits for you to come back again

Take the pieces, once so whole

She waits for you to run back again

 

She’ll never give to you

All the things you expect her to today

She’ll only say to you

All the world she knows you want her to say

She’ll never give to you

All you need

Because there is no cause for hope…  when there is no loss of vanity

 

Like a storm that drowns your soul

Then waits for you to come back again

Take the pieces, once so whole

She waits for you to run back again

 

…Take the pieces, once so whole

She waits for you to run back again

 

Written and performed by: Abby Berman

Recorded by: Gabe Dulek

 

***In simplest terms, this is a song about a man who falls in love with a demon.

"She's the One", a song by Abby Berman

“She’s the One”, a song by Abby Berman

Regina Spektor-New Album, New Tour, Same Charming Musical Goddess

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By Abby Berman Mazenod

Regina Spector-www.tracingabby.com

Regina Spektor at the El Rey, Hollywood. September 29, 2016.

 

Last night, I was blessed enough to see the incredible musical performance of Regina Spektor. Celebrating her new album “Remember Us to Life” and the two and 1/2 month tour to support it, this  was the first full-length performance she had done in the three whole years… and she’s still got it!

I have never in my life been to a concert that was more of a sing-a-long than a viewing and listening experience. The small venue only fits 771 people and when looking around at the crowed, every one of those 771 people were accompanying her with every word to every song (excluding the songs she performed from her new album-which was release today). In songs like “Sailor Song”, the chorus of “Marianne’s a bitch” was chanted by the crowed like an anthem. In the final encore song “Samson”(a personal favorite), Spector magically lost her place halfway through while performing and the crowd graciously finished the song complete with “Ooo”s and “Ahhh”s.

Her demeanor as a performer is charming and whimsical. She has a shy and a friendly but quiet way about her, even though her songs are nothing if not open and revealing. An artist that I have often considered the Salvador Dali of modern music, her songs have such depth and an element of tragedy and desperation  while still maintaining a sweet quirky genuine character to them. This was the experience of a lifetime.

 

Regina Spector-Www.tracingabby.com

 

Songs that she performed from the new album included “Grand Hotel”, “Older and Taller”, “Bleeding Heart”, “Tornaoland”, “The Light”, “Small Bill$”, “Obsolete”, “Selling of Flowers”, and “The Trapper and the Furrier”.

regina-spektor-remember-us-to-lifeRegina Spektors new album-“Remember Us to Life”

Her new album, “Remember Us to Life”,  is exactly what fans had hoped for… at least it’s exactly what I had hoped for. Consistent with her traditional sound and storytelling in songs like “Grand Hotel”, she also breaks away from the singer-songwriter style in songs like “Small Bill$”, which has a creepy offbeat melodic chorus true to Spektor’s unique genius . A genuine masterpiece of an album… it is everything to be hoped for from this musical goddess.

 

Hope you enjoy the album as much as I do.

 

Best wishes,

xoxo-Abby

 

http://www.tracingabby.com

Every Ounce of Me: A Poem

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By Abby Berman Mazenod

 

In case I never feel this way again, I’m just going to feel

In case my heart is never this full again, I’m going to drink it in as much as I can

In case the whole world crashes down on me

In case we don’t end up where we’re supposed to be

I’m going to love you with every ounce of me

 

In case I wake up one day, and my life has been a dream

And all this that feels so real and alive, is just a song painted in my mind

You need to know while it’s so real to me

Just know how it feels to me

Know how I love you with every ounce of me

 

And if I’m too young to make all this make sense, can I please not be a fool

And I’m too naive to understand such a find, can I please not have made it up in my mind

You need to know how it’s so real to me

You need to know how it feels to me

Know that I love you with every ounce of me

 

-Abby

 

http://www.tracingabby.com

Don’t Give Up On Me Yet: A Song

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Don’t Give Up On Me Yet

By Abby Berman Mazenod

 

 

It’s simple they say

Life simply gets in the way

And I forget

To remember what’s really real

I’m sorry I don’t show

I forget to let you know

Times have changed

But the phone still goes both ways

I’ve disappointed a few

Like I’ve disappointed you

Can you forgive and forget

I’ve disappointed a few

And I disappointed you

Don’t give up on me yet

 

Do you rewind through memories

Perfect times with perfect ease

It all makes sense now

We had no idea

If we went back right now, right here

Would it finally all be clear

All that seemed so important

Meant nothing at all

I’ve disappointed a few

Like I disappointed you

Yes, I have my regrets

And I have forgotten a few

But I never forgot you

So, don’t give up on me yet

 

Tell you right here right now

That I finally see how much you mean to me

It’s taken time

And it’s happened so very gradually

But I’ve had my time

Made my life the way I wanted it to be

And you had yours

And I know that made you happy

 

It’s simple they say

Life simply gets in the way

And I forget

To remember what’s really real

Yes I have forgotten a few

But I never forgot you

So don’t give up on me yet

 

*** This is a song/poem about keeping in touch. The older we get, the harder it seems to be to make the important people in our lives feel that they are important. It also becomes a challenge for us to realize how much we need certain friends and loved ones in our lives. I am all for filtering out the toxic people that weigh us down, but sometimes we need to take note of the special people who build us up; The ones that help you and me to be a better you and me. This was really inspired by losing touch with one of my closest friends and my attempt to reconnect.

 

xoxo-Abby

http://www.tracingabby.com

http://www.facebook.com/AbbyBermanMusic

abigailmazenod@gmail.com

The Beauty of Connection

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By Abby Berman Mazenod

What is happiness?

In truth everyone has their own definition and a list of their own personal ways of achieving it. In starting this post, my intention was to help people find simple ways in achieving daily happiness. My list really included similar items to what I would assume most people’s lists would contain-things like the importance of taking care of yourself, the value of alone time, time management and filling your day with productivity. But when I actually wrote down my list, my “roadmap to happiness”, I realized that almost everything I could tell anyone about “getting happy”- they really could figure out for themselves. Most people know themselves, and what day-to-day things they can do to make themselves happy. When I wrote down my list I realized that only one thing on it was even worth mentioning. Of course you know that you are the only one who can bring you happiness. I don’t mean to downplay the power of “self” and a need for confidence in ones own life. However, in my opinion, after finding yourself and understanding who you are, the “root of happiness” and ultimately “life” is human connection.

This one is hard. Possibly one of the hardest things for me to do period. I’m not sure why, but the older I get the harder it is for me to allow myself to connect with people. Connecting with people takes an effort. It means that we need to take down those protective walls we have built and actually let people in. The older we get, in hopes of protecting our fragile little hearts, we push most people away and stop our chance at feeling real feelings for them. It’s hard to know when we can really trust someone not to disappoint us because most of us have become so accustomed to disappointment. It’s sad to me that we start to associate all new encounters with disappointment. True, people will disappoint, but they will also be the ones to help you find meaning in your own life. We have so much and can learn so much from ourselves, but life can be just as enriching when we choose to learn from others too. True connection is where humanity lives and it’s what this crazy thing called life is all about.

It’s easy to be lazy! It’s hard work to get to know someone and to find someone that you really feel a natural connection with. It’s very instinctive in this digital age to shut ourselves off from the physical closeness of people because we have limitless access to them through our phones, tablets, computers, etc. However, it’s also unnatural and unhealthy for our happiness. While this modern access to so many people can eventually lead to connection, this connection through a device isn’t the physical connectedness that we need. As humans we need true human closeness.

If you can’t see it in yourself, look around. We live in a world that is hungry for human contact. We have starved ourselves from the beauty and the essence of humanity itself. Please allow it in your life. Take your head out of whatever device it’s stuck in and give the gift of a real friendship to someone. Give the gift of real friendship to yourself. I’m working on it too. People will shut us down out of pure habit, but don’t be too hurt. They are only a product of this time. Be persistent and take the time to allow yourself to feel the fulfillment of closeness. Open yourself up to the possibility of connection. It’s important for your health and happiness.

xoxo,

Abby

 

http://www.tracingabby.com

 

A Small Gift: A Poem

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By Abby Berman Mazenod

 

Don’t let them affect you

Don’t let them infect you

Don’t let them be the ones to bring you down

 

Because you know how to see without eyes

And you know how to feel without hands

And you know what is right and what’s wrong

 

It breathes in the pit of your stomach

It speaks from the inside of your ears

It stomps on the imaginary walls that they have tried so hard to make real to you

 

 

Don’t make this a statement of rebellion

Don’t think of this as a cry for help

This is merely a small gift from me to you

 

A token of hope to keep in the pit of your stomach

Next to what you know is right and what is wrong

 

-Abby

 

http://www.tracingabby.com

10 reasons why going back to school as an adult isn’t as scary as you think it will be…

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by Abby Berman Mazenod

 

It’s OK. I get it. You don’t even need to explain… School just wasn’t for you. It really wasn’t for me either. After 13 years of being forcibly educated, once I graduated high school I was just over it. I tried to do junior college, and even went to half of my classes that first semester. But when I got honest with myself, my brain was fried and I was done.

Fast-forward 10 years later… I finally earned my Associates degree last fall, I am transferring to a four-year university next fall, and I can honestly say from my experience, that going back to school as an adult freaking rocks! I love being a student, and I think you will too. Here’s why…

 

 

  1. It’s way easier than you remember.

 

I remember the school of my younger days being really hard. Don’t get me wrong, school is hard work… but if you’re anything like me, by now you’ve gotten yourself through much harder times. Compared to paying rent, buying a car, paying a mortgage, keeping a steady income, paying taxes, dealing with crazy relationships, getting married and just the plain day to day survival that you’ve most likely mastered by now, school is a piece of cake! The organization and simplicity of it has almost become a sanctuary for me. It’s simple. You do the homework, reading, and studying, and you WILL get good grades. I wish I realized it was that easy when I was younger… but then again, I probably wouldn’t have cared much then anyway.

 

 

  1. You’ve already found yourself.

 

The search is mostly over. In my late twenties I know who I am. I can only imagine that the older I get the more truth that will hold. I know what I love, enjoy, and want to spend my time doing because I’ve had the majority of my twenties to figure it out. I have more self-awareness, and understand how I learn, and how I best present myself. There are still things I’m figuring out, which is a journey that I never want to end, but as for right now, I know my acedemic goals because I know myself, and that’s something that 18-year-old me wouldn’t have been able to figure out.

 

 

  1. You know how to just get crap done.

 

I spent most of my late teen years and early twenties avoiding things. It literally took good old life experience for me to realize that if something needs to get done, you just need to buckle down and do it. Once you’ve realized how less stressful life can be when you stop avoiding the unavoidable, getting schoolwork done is easy peasy.

 

 

  1. You’re better at time management.

 

In my early twenties, I usually had two jobs, a band, a boyfriend, a multitude of daily commitments that include spending time with friends and family, going to the gym, keeping my apartment somewhat clean, and that’s not even including doing the fun activities like reading, traveling, cooking, girls nights etc. Basically what I’m trying to say is, becoming an adult trains you to manage your time wisely. Sure I still waste time, but the important thing is that I know the best ways for me not to waste time. I use lists, alarms, an actual calendar, I allow myself down time and allow myself to sleep, and my brain works more efficiently in the time that I have.

 

 

  1. You actually study.

 

Like I said earlier… you do the homework, reading, and studying, and you WILL get good grades. Going back to school, and making it your choice makes all the difference. You’re not sitting in a classroom full of, let’s face it, children to not get good grades. Studying is still a bummer most of the time, but the cool thing about being an adult is that you’ve finally gotten a grasp on that whole idea that sometimes you just have to do things that you don’t want to do. It also feels really awesome to know that you’ve got your shit together before midterms and finals.

 

 

  1. You have a goal.

 

If you’re anything like me, you’re not just doing this because you have some free time and you need a new activity. (If you are going back to school because you have free time and need a new activity, then your life rocks and I’m jealous.) If you’re anything like me, you may have realized that it’s time to get a better job; maybe one with benefits, healthcare, sick leave, vacation pay, a salary, and you’ve realized that going back to school to get some kind of a degree or training is a means to that. Once you have some kind of an action plan, life is exciting! Seriously exciting! And it’s much easier to be successful in something that you’re excited about.

 

 

  1. You get to pick your classes.

 

Okay… there are some classes that you have to take to be able to transfer, but for the most part you have lots of options. I’ve taken Karate, Film, right now I’m taking three English Literature classes (which feels very indulgent-I’ve become a Lit nerd). There’s every reason for you to have fun in your classes when you’re “choosing your own adventure”!

 

 

  1. You have a legitimate excuse to ignore other responsibilities.

 

When you’re in school, you very quickly learn to make school the number one priority. What’s shocking though, is your family and friends understand and encourage your new priorities. People get a lot less upset when you’re not available if they know that you are trying to dramatically improve your life. You’re allowed to get take-out a little too often, splurging on anything that you can consider educational is encouraged, and your husband/wife/significant other might even do your laundry every once in a while (mine does, but I’m a very lucky girl.)

 

  1. Winter/Spring/Summer Break

 

Seriously. Remember how great Spring break was when you were a kid… It’s still just as great! Okay, bills still need to be paid…I still have to go to work, but somehow those extra few days off that week seem like a real vacation, and if you’re someone blessed enough to not have to work… I can imagine its FREAKING AWESOME! Winter and summer breaks are so deliciously long (two months) that at the end of them I am just itching to get back into the classroom. It’s the perfect yin to my yang.

 

 

  1. New educational technology is awesome.

 

Okay, not just educational technology, all technology!

Remember when you had to look for actual books, journals and magazines for research papers, and then you had to find your material in those books, journals and magazines, and then you had to photocopy your article and highlight it, and then figure out how to cite it? Remember that?! Yeah… it’s not like that anymore! Now to find 6-8 good sources it takes all of about 30 minutes on websites like “jsor” and “academic one file”. These websites only have academic journals and articles, they summarize the article for you in case it doesn’t apply to your topic, and they even cite the articles for you in the correct format for your bibliography. With these tools writing a research paper is a breeze.

It’s not just writing papers though. With audiobook apps like audible and overdrive, if I don’t have time to read this book for that report, I am listening to it while I’m driving to and from work every day. Almost every novel and short story is available instantly in audiobook format, and pretty inexpensive compared to how expensive books on CD are.

Studying is made easier with apps like StudyBlue. StudyBlue connects you to people in your class so that you can share flashcards. Digital flashcards are so much better than hand written flashcards.

There are mountains of amazing technological advances that make school a million times easier, but the last I’ll mention is my very favorite, especially when I’m feeling extra lazy… the speech-to-text option on your computer. If I’m really tired, and my hands can’t type fast enough, it is so nice to be able to just talk my text into my computer and have it type my research paper for me. It really takes so much stress out of writing a paper.

 

 

That’s it!

 

I’ve given you 10 great reasons why going back to school as an adult can be one of the best experiences of your life. It might be a little bit scary to take the plunge, but once you do it, I guarantee you won’t regret it!

-Abby

http://www.tracingabby.com