Posted by: thebluemusicblog | July 22, 2011


Today my blog is about friendship and it is about change. On our way from Africa to the Russian Tajga on “the Three Continents in 42 Days” tour, our plane flew so slowly, partly to give us time to reflect on the African experiences, that we have time for an interlude covering some other aspects of life. (But the final chapter from Russia will come!)

Over the years I have been invited to the Canadian YMCA a few times, and I have thoroughly enjoyed those visits and have got friends in Canada who are very close to me. They even made me an honorable member of the National Council of YMCAs in Canada, so much so that I feel half Canadian in my YMCA life.

One of my good Canadian friends is Pat, and she has sent me this poem.

It is from a book that it is now out of print by a German-Polish-Canadian poet who lives in British Columbia, Ulrich Schaffer.  The book is called Growing into the Blue. I wrote to Ulrich and he answered back immediately and gave me the right to print his poem on my blog. On his homepage  ( you will find some stunning photos, I wish I had asked for the right to use them as well, but for now you have to stick to photos by Yours Sincerely.

NEW WAY is all about change and Blue Music, and I love this poem:

All growing is changing

from one state to another.

Leaving a world behind,

entering the fear of the unaccustomed:

of colours that don’t blend,

of holy words that jar,

of fractures that give rise to visions.


We have left one realm

but we have not arrived at the other.

We have given up one safety

but not gained another.

Above the gazing crowd

the trapeze artist lets go of his swing,

and then, if his timing is right, 

seizes another swing,

without asking time to stop for him.

That is the flight into growth.


That is the changeover

in which we experience our nakedness

to the point of hurting. 

But there is not real growth without leaping,

without burning bridges

and standing wide-eyed and shivering

on a new shore.


And yet

without growth

there is nothing

Warm regards,


Patricia Thompson
Metcalf Foundation Innovation Fellow
@ Massey College (University of Toronto)

“Out of the quarrel with others we make rhetoric; out of the quarrel with ourselves we make poetry.” ~ W.B. Yeats

Another very good friend is Romulo Dantas from Sao Paolo, Brazil, working in the office one floor below me here in Geneva. He is 29 years old and is the Executive Secretary for Youth Empowerment at NEW WAY. I said good bye to him yesterday afternoon, as he was flying to New York to deliver the speech on behalf of YMCA to the United Nations General Assembly. YMCA has been chosen to deliver the speech at the end of the UN International Year of Youth, on behalf of all the youth organisations in the world, and Romulo is the person to deliver the speech. The speech will be web casted on Monday, July 25, at 10.00 a.m. local time New York and the link for this event will be published on our website,, just a few minutes before the event starts.

Romulo will share the podium with the Secretary General of the UN, Ban Ki-moon, and Josepf Deiss, former President of Switzerland and current President of the UN General Assembly.

Romulo is really making a gigantic jump on behalf of the YMCA, and I know that he will fly high and make us all very proud!

“YMCA taught me that I could do incredible things and I learned how to be a leader and an active citizen by participating in civic education programmes, camps and sports, but also volunteering in my own community.”

“I had no self-esteem or self-confidence before joining the YMCA. Even with a great family, you need other reference in your life. The YMCA became mine.”

Heads of States, Ministers and young leaders from all over the world are expected for this important meeting. The outcome of the event shall inspire and shape public policies and programmes in all countries.

I would really appreciate if you would post your comments to Romulo’s speech here at the Blue Music Blog, if you find time to listen in on Monday.

Happy weekend with a nice photo from Lac Leman, Lake Geneva, with the UN building here in Geneva at the centre!

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