"This is a song a wrote called Chances Only Wait. I sing and play piano, and the song is about the push and pull between making your own luck and creating opportunities, and trusting that the right thing will come at the right time."
Sydney Harrison submitted this song to Give Luck A Chance!
The celebrated evolutionary biologist Stephen Jay Gould once called Fritz Goro “the most influential photographer that science journalism (and science in general) has ever known.” LIFE’s science editor, Gerard Piel, praised Goro’s extraordinary gift for capturing “abstractions, of the big ideas from the genetic code to plate tectonics.” Here, LIFE.com presents Goro’s most striking, imaginative, technically accomplished, unsettlingly graphic, and frequently downright beautiful science pictures. Above: Metal samples studied in a glass vacuum, 1946. NOTE: Some images in this gallery are graphic, and might disturb some viewers.
"Our project is a combination of storytelling and music. One person will tell a story, either written or improvised, while the musicians play music, also either written or improvised. We do improvisations and compositions where the story leads the music, and vice verse where the music leads the story. It’s about collaboration and reaction between words and sounds.
The attached files are an example of a story we wrote accompanied by arrangements of Christmas carols to accompany the story. In line with the theme of luck, the festival performance would include more improvisation and original music rather than arrangements of, in this case, Christmas carols.”
On Monday January 23rd 2012, Berklee Student Richard Gould met up with Melissa Rogers to discuss her work. Melissa is a Visual Artist from West Virginia who’s submitted an entry for the Give Luck a Chance Art Festival taking place April 13th 2012.
Works by Melissa include Elsie and Luck, which are discussed in this interview.
Neil Strauss:“Could you record what you felt was the greatest album you’ve ever made, and then bury it in the ground somewhere afterward—knowing no one else will ever hear it—and still be satisfied?”
PJ Harvey:“I don’t know. That’s a very interesting question… I write loads of words I’ll never show to anybody. It’s for me—and I need to do it. It’s part of my learning process and part of my life, of being here and experiencing as much as I can. So, yes, I think I could make an album and never play it to anyone, and it wouldn’t really make much difference.”
“For many years I worked in palliative care. My patients were those who had gone home to die. Some incredibly special times were shared. I was with them for the last three to twelve weeks of their lives.
People grow a lot when they are faced with their own mortality. I learnt never to underestimate someone’s capacity for growth. Some changes were phenomenal. Each experienced a variety of emotions, as expected, denial, fear, anger, remorse, more denial and eventually acceptance. Every single patient found their peace before they departed though, every one of them.
When questioned about any regrets they had or anything they would do differently, common themes surfaced again and again. Here are the most common five:
1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
This was the most common regret of all. When people realise that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made.
It is very important to try and honour at least some of your dreams along the way. From the moment that you lose your health, it is too late. Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it.
2. I wish I didn’t work so hard.
This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children’s youth and their partner’s companionship. Women also spoke of this regret. But as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence.
By simplifying your lifestyle and making conscious choices along the way, it is possible to not need the income that you think you do. And by creating more space in your life, you become happier and more open to new opportunities, ones more suited to your new lifestyle.
3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result.
We cannot control the reactions of others. However, although people may initially react when you change the way you are by speaking honestly, in the end it raises the relationship to a whole new and healthier level. Either that or it releases the unhealthy relationship from your life. Either way, you win.
4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
Often they would not truly realise the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying.
It is common for anyone in a busy lifestyle to let friendships slip. But when you are faced with your approaching death, the physical details of life fall away. People do want to get their financial affairs in order if possible. But it is not money or status that holds the true importance for them. They want to get things in order more for the benefit of those they love. Usually though, they are too ill and weary to ever manage this task. It is all comes down to love and relationships in the end. That is all that remains in the final weeks, love and relationships.
5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.
This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realise until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called ‘comfort’ of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content. When deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again.
When you are on your deathbed, what others think of you is a long way from your mind. How wonderful to be able to let go and smile again, long before you are dying.
This has been going around for a while, but if you haven’t yet seen it, the wisdom of those facing mortality bears a heavier truth.