Greg Murat (mur-rah)
Singer-Songwriter Guitarist Poet
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Journal July 2004 Journal Archive Flash Poem Archive
July 29, 2004
With the week finally ending and our sun baked bodies feeling fun weary, I sit down to catch a few fleeting thoughts. We have spent the week relaxing and watching the incredible power of the Pacific pound the shore and the lava rocks outside our window. I spent the days with Andie, Randy and Terri, playing Andie's Taylor guitar at the pool and entertaining the new friends we have made. We lost one day after having too many Margaritas in the sunshine at the pool. It was quite the comedy, or so we were told later. Clay and Sharon and a DEA agent, whose name we won't mention, helped us get to our room. We woke up to several inches of water on the floor from the tub we forgot to turn off. I spent over an hour mopping up the water with a beach towel and wondering just what had happened. We won't try that again. We had the whole pool singing Desperado with us earlier in the day. "Why don't you come to your senses" was a line that came to mind as I tried to remember the day. Apparently no harm was done and we were quite entertaining, because where ever we went the next day people seemed to be pointing to us and smiling. Actually they may have been laughing, I'm not quite sure.
I got some good ideas for songs but they are in my subconscious because I can only remember one line that Clay said, "How do you top this?" I love traveling because of the interesting people you meet and the
wonderful stories they have to tell. Sharon described winter mornings in Chicago when the temperature is Zero and the snow is freshly fallen and the air is so cold and crystallized that you could almost take your finger and write your name in it. We discussed the beauty and frustrations of the different places we live. The "why I want to leave" and the "why we continue to stay" of it all.
Another good idea for a song came from a story that Clay and Sharon told me about spending the night on an island camping and how that was one of those days you ask "How do you top this?" Clay had an answer, by the way, he said you don't. You just go to the next best day and the next. You just have as many best days as you can while you are here on the planet. Sounds good to me.
July 22, 2004
What lovely sunshine warms the air today. I have been listening to Bahia and Stan Getz Latin Jazz all morning. It puts you on the beach out in the sun. Andie and I had a lovely light dinner at Arnie's and we watched the kite surfers in the distance. There were 20 of them out there and they were blasting through the water. It is hard to see from such a distance but it does look like a lot of fun. It was nice to have some quiet time together and just chat. We got a few phone calls during dinner but that's okay. We do good just hanging out sometimes.
Liz is cooking in Eastern Washington. I guess it is so hot over there she is afraid she will melt. It was so quiet at home with Spot staying with Grandma and just the two of us at home. I am trying to remember what it is like to work in the studio. Hopefully I will find out again after Cabo San Lucas. In two days we will be with Randy and Terri again in the Mexican sunshine. It's all good. I am looking forward to more down time or should I say up time. We will have a little time to have the Freedom my son is always singing about and that is a good thing. I love walking on the beach and playing Andie's Baby Taylor guitar. It is becoming quite the world traveler. It is hard to fit my fat fingers on that little fret board but it sure travels well. It is hard to get online down there so there may be a lull in updates for a week. But you know if there is a way to get online I will. Viva La Musique!
July 21, 2004
It is another beautiful day here in the great northwest. These are the kind of days that make you say, what a place to live! We have so much to do around the home front. Clean, clean, clean. It is time to get ready to sell or stay there is a lot of outside work to do before winter. I like the idea of a new home whether we go or stay. I think we would feel so much better if we could see more sky and water. We are traveling more than ever because of where we live and we have found that is something we love to do. Besides seeing new places we have made some of our very best friendships on trips. Terri and Randy have become quite dear friends and we have a lot of fun. You know you are close to people when you don't see them for a long time and it is like you have never been apart. We have so many blessings it is kind of silly to get into a funk although I still can manage to do it anyway. But today I am happy for the sunshine, glad Freedom is in town and Josh is hanging out with them. Glad Chani is happy in her lifestyle and sharing her art on human canvases (tattoos). Liz is doing good and is at a Christian Festival this week. Sarah is growing as a person and in her many talents. I hope she will find a love interest that will appreciate the wonder of who she is and forgo being with another spiritual amoebae. Glad dad is sounding at peace and happy, for a Murat. Have a cookie and pray for peace.
July 20, 2004
Andie says she is feeling better although our little dog kept us up all night. She will probably be dragging today.
We watched Freedom's show last Saturday night and I loved seeing Josh play music with his brother. Aaron pours his whole heart and soul into his performance. It is very powerful stuff. He can take it to the next level by talking to his audience. I can sure see how that has an impact as that is something that I struggle with as well. I hope to see a lot more of Josh on stage. I think he has a lot to offer the band in personality and musicianship. I think they would both grow from the experience. Natalie and Aaron showed up last night along with Jim and Tenson. That was a surprise. Natalie and Aaron stayed the night and we saw some beautiful pictures they had taken at concerts and in Arizona. I was ready to fall asleep early in the evening when Aaron called and said they were stopping by. Andie and I wondered what happened to Josh, I guess he couldn't fit in the car. We were all pretty tired last night so our visit was very low key.
I am glad we have a home we can share with our family as they make their way on the road, going where the wind blows them. We have a different approach to communication so we have learned to be very flexible. It would be good for growth if the extended family was better at letting us in on what is going on with them when it affects us. Time. So much talent and diversity runs through this tribe. There are always challenges on both sides of the Tee Pee.
I miss Sarah Maria. She is in Eastern Washington and I look forward to her coming home and once I get a new copy of Nuendo, finishing her project. On with the rest of the day may it bring a peaceful wind and may that wind bring our brothers and sisters home from hostile foreign soil.
Josh in Portland
July 19, 2004
Andie, the sun we spin around. The one who shows us the grace of acceptance and forgiveness while being all together as human as the rest of us. She displays the joy that comes from doing things to help others even when she is feeling bad herself. She reminds me of the female version of George Bailey in It's A Wonderful Life. Now with health concerns popping up I feel the dread that comes from not knowing what to do or how to help. We had an army of people helping with prayer and support from Lake Stevens Covenant and lots of other places. I am praying this will pass and mean time we can find a doctor who doesn't have his or her head stuck where the sun doesn't shine. I want to hear her singing again. She has such a sweet soft voice that reminds me of turquoise seas, Brazilian water falls and the sunset swept beaches. She doesn't slow down for anything but she is tired. It will all be better in time. That is my prayer.
July 18, 2004
Andie is not feeling well again. We were going to go to Noah Israel's birthday party but it looks like we will be staying home. We appreciate prayers as we are baffled as to what is going on. She is sleeping away the day. I love her so much and I hope this will just go away.
I had a great time at the concert yesterday and our loyal listener friends Kathy, Dale, MaryEllen, Jerry and Loretta were among those who showed up. We went for it and played straight two hours, no breaks. John Matthews was in rare form and played his butt off. Jimmy was so relaxed and right on with his five string bass. Mike was his big smiling self and kept the rhythm dialed in with his acoustic drums. Mark is an exceptional soloist and I looking forward to spending more time with him and refining our performances. Andie got up on stage and shot lots of photos from the concert. I drove straight to Provs for dinner and then down the street to Cafe de Paris for another two hour performance. We topped off the day by going to the Jet Deck to see the Freedom band play. Josh got up and played two songs with them and we were so proud of him. He could round out the sound and be a dynamic addition to the band.
It is not a peaceful day outside. Lawn mowers are going. Children are chattering. It is incredible that Andie is sleeping through it all. Life is pain, so said Wesley in Princess Bride. Pain triggers our nerves, which is a good way of waking up to the possibilities in front of our eyes to find the joy beyond the pain. Wake up and live. Last night we slept on the trampoline underneath the stars. It was beautiful.
July 16, 2004
Finally Friday again. I got to go see Kenny Loggins last night with my buddy Dale. It was a great show. It was very reminiscent of Loggins and Messina in many ways. The best part of the show was the opening act. Kenny's son, Crosby Loggins. The only down side was he brought just 16 CD's with him and they were sold out before I could buy one. Marymoor Park is a very comfortable and uncrowded place to see a show. Good food and a beer and wine counter featuring Columbia Winery, my pals. It was a good evening but I did miss my lady. She says she's feeling better but she doesn't sound very convincing. I was wishing I could be on that stage in many ways. I am come to the time of realizing so many dreams will not happen for me. So I pass on that hope to the talented musicians in our family. I hope they will shine for huge audiences world wide. I will shine where ever and when ever I get the chance. I know some gifted musicians who also happen to be very fine people. This week end at Camano Island I will be playing with some of them. Hope to see you there.
July 14, 2004
Finding time is quite a challenge. I love being on vacation some place that is warm. It seems like the natural state to be. Everything is slowed down. I was reading about Key West and the island style. I think that is the appeal of Lopez Island too. It is slow there. You get off the ferry and you can feel the pace difference as you drive onto the island. It is just so expensive to take a ferry boat ride anymore. You definitely want to be able to just stay once you arrive. I talked to my dad about Florida. He is doing good by the sound of things. I am glad to hear that. He doesn't have any desire to live in Florida even though it is where he was born. I am okay either way. I want Andie to be happy in a warmer climate. I don't mind humidity and as long as we could cruise along in low gear I would be happy. This has always been my home for as long as I can remember, but I am open to change. Hoping for change. I do love my friends most of all and that would be the hardest part of moving to another state.
July 13, 2004
I watch the interaction of people and wonder how it is that so many things that don't matter seem to matter so much to some. Integrity is something that is worth learning if it is not innate. The old adage that says he who trusts least is to be least trusted came into my thoughts today. I think of boundaries and the consequences of crossing them. Listening to Josh impressed me that he has some boundaries when it comes to relationships. I think it is funny when people think of other people as being something they can own. Relationships are based on the commitment of both parties and they remain or leave by choice. At the point there is an end so ends their responsibility to each other. Still there are those little unspoken rules like you don't date your best friend or brother's former girl friend. I don't see how it should matter myself, if it is over. It is funny when someone assumes you would do that when you wouldn't if you were Josh. I say it's funny but it really isn't funny at all. Listen to your heart and mind your values, I guess. Don't do what you wouldn't want done to you was Andie's comment. It will come back and bite you. In that case I will enjoy the time I have before that happens because I am in for some big bites for many of the choices I have made in the past.
July 12, 2004
Lighten up and live was the message I heard on the radio this morning. Good Message. It was a good and fast weekend as they tend to be when you are having fun. We visited the MacGougan's in their new palace in Gig Harbor. I say palace because their garage is bigger than our house. It is a lovely home for a lovely family. I am happy Scott has a recording room where he can work and use his incredible gift of music.
Andie was feeling very poorly but she insisted we make the trip anyway. We were treated with such hospitality and kindness, I think that made it for Andie. We weren't great company but we sure had a good time. I was able to help Scott get his midi to work with Digital Performer, the best sequencing software on the planet.
I did play at the Airport for the Flt In. It was a fun 1 and 1 half hour set before racing home to pick up Andie and Liz and head to Gig Harbor. We rocked to the sound of stunt pilots flying over and my ears are still ringing. We also got a call from Randy and Teri with some ideas on businesses we could do in Clearwater. We are all thinking it would be nice to live down there. We are working on the prospect. It would be a good place to lighten up and live.
July 10, 2004
Another day on the run. I am playing at the Arlington Airport with Jimmy and Mike for a few hours today, from two till four, and then we are off to Gig Harbor to see Debbie and Scott MacGougan's new home. It will be good to see them for more than a few minutes.
I look forward to someday having a little weekend where I can visit our home for the whole weekend. I would like to do that before we leave it. Andie is still feeling funky and we don't know if she will be going into the hospital or not. We have to wait and see. Have to run.
July 9, 2004
When a new day begins there in lies our hope. Another chance to live, to squeeze some life out of the day to day. Andie is preparing to learn how to Kite Surf. It is her dream and I believe she will be out on the jetty in Everett before too long. There are several schools in Hawaii and Florida. It will good for her, some joy and excitement. I can picture her airborne over the sea. We could all use a little more excitement that is fun related.
I am going for the mood this morning. I have been listening to Jimmy Buffet's Meet Me In Margaritaville and Sting's Dolphins. I am beachin' today. I like looking at Andie's photo of the the sunset as I type in my journal. I have some strange foreboding feeling about Florida and I don't know what it is. Something threatening is what I feel. It could just be my mind's reservation, but I don't know. I am in a well looking out again. I think I see my guitar perched on the edge. I think I'll climb the ladder, get it and step out into the sun playing and singing.
July 8, 2004
What are you going to do when it all comes down? It seems like one challenge after another is coming our way. I am ready for this set to end and to go on break. But like Robert Frost said, life goes on. Prayers for Andie as we go through this next test. I feel like a former Enron employee sometimes: all these trials.
We Murat's do have laser guide trouble finders but we have a lot of positive too. Liz and Sarah stayed up all night long and assisted the Kitty as she delivered four new baby kittens. The young ladies were very proud midwives. They have spent hours just watching the little babies. Last night Sarah and Andie gave the whole kitty crew baths to get rid of those nasty fleas
Sarah is reading a book called, BE HAPPY, DAMN IT! I am proud to see how hard she is pursuing a better quality of life for herself. She is a joy to have around. We like having everyone around, really. I wish we had a bigger space and financial independence. That would be the best. I love listening to Josh just sit and play the guitar. I love hearing Freedom sing, Sarah playing the piano, Liz and Chani chatter, watching Andie flutter around like a butterfly. Simple pleasures are the best. All the rest of this stuff just makes us pay more attention to the good things we have. We have a lot.
July 7, 2004
We did go to see the Sarah McLachlan concert. I missed Andie but she insisted I take Sarah and Liz and go. We met up with her cousin Bri and her friend Richard and had Thai food and looked at a photo exhibit at Seattle Center. There were some fascinating photos and some very scary ones too. The concert was excellent. What a voice Sarah M has and what a gifted musician. My Sarah commented on how relaxed she seemed on stage and how comfortable she was talking to the audience. She was and it seemed as if you were sitting on a sofa and she was talking directly to you. She sang a generous amount of her songs, both old and new and we were all happy with her choices.
I would love to play on a big stage like that, it sure looked like fun.
July 6, 2004
The definition of insanity has been referred to as doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. If that is the case, then I have been insane for some time. Somehow that thinking is tied into fear as well. When a situation is not what you want and you are not happy but it's so familiar, you fear it will end. You repeat it again and again ever surprised that the results are the same each time. But it is familiar. Familiar is a word that doesn't mean what a lot of us think it means. It is mistakenly deemed synonymous with secure. This thinking perpetuates situations like bad marriages, abusive relationships and demeaning jobs. It also feeds a more subtle slow stealer of life, complacency. Complacency robs us of passion and makes it difficult to take any action at all. That's my big challenge. Change is a scary thing. A lot of us don't like fear. Yet fears faced are how new futures are born. As I write these words a loud voice in my head is saying, "Are you talking to me? Are you talking to me?" Yes I am. Now if I'll only listen.
July 5, 2004
The day after Independence day. Andie doesn't feel well. Our puppy is having surgery. We are supposed to go to a Sarah McLachlan concert tonight. I am not sure what to do. Don't want to leave Andie home and take Sarah & Liz.
It is another hot day here in Washington. It is a far different hot than Florida. Yesterday Sarah and Liz said, "We're going swimming." I felt a pang for the beach when they said that and I flashed back to the last few weeks and the lovely beach in the picture above. Sarah is such a help and such a beautiful soul. I was ready to head off on my dump run this afternoon and she said, "I wouldn't let you do that nasty job by yourself." Not the best environment to bond, but I do enjoy the trips to recycle and dump garbage when she is with me. I don't much care for it at when I do it alone. We talked about making change and my concerns about leaving a familiar job and environment for a new and unknown situation. She pointed out the cost of what I do right now in terms of wear and tear on my heart and soul. Good point. Listen to your children, you'll be amazed at what you can learn.
July 3, 2004
Josh called from Portland last night to say his concert with Ray and Genevieve went great. He learned an hour and one half of music in an afternoon and did the show the same day. It was a good day. He sounded so happy it made me smile from my heart. He went from deep down in the dumps (deep in) to a phone call, a train ride and to the stage. Life! We were just talking about how quickly things can change and how he was free to do whatever he wants. Then it all came together. He has so much to give. I am thankful the journey to share his talents has begun. Through the changes of the last weeks we have grown closer than ever before. It was important to both of us.
There was a moment yesterday that I will always treasure. We had had our Starbucks and visited while waiting for the train to load. We hugged and he got in line. I watched him as he moved towards the door. Just before he went out of sight her turned and, with a huge grin on his face, he waived good bye. That last turn and waive meant so much to me. When he called I said "I was thinking about you all night during my show. He said "I was thinking about you too." I am so proud of him and how he set out on this new adventure with a twinkle in his eye. My son, one more dreamer in a long line of such.
July 2, 2004
God is great and He answers prayers! The beginning of the week I was praying for protection for all the sons and daughters and Freedom and Josh were especially on my mind. Josh had been slam dunked by things over the last month and had just discovered Rondo had let the storage room go and all the positions of his whole life were auctioned off without his knowledge. Freedom was strong in my thoughts and I prayed hard for protection and named each person by name. Freedom and Natalie crashed into someone whose car was blocking the road when they rounded a corner. The hit full impact. It was that or go over the cliff. They both said they felt an angel cushion as they hit the car. They weren't wearing seat belts, but they didn't go through the windshield and Freedom hit the steering wheel but didn't lose his teeth. Thank you God. Thank you for protecting my loved ones.
Josh and I were talking about the loss of his possessions and his love relationship and said "It can't get any worse." I said, "Never say that, just believe it will get better, eventually." Yesterday he gets a phone call from Ray in Portland. She is sharing a house with Genevieve, another musician. She invited him to come and stay with them in Portland and play guitar with her while she promotes her new CD. I put him on a train this morning. Things are pulling up. Thank you God.
This morning as I was almost to work I looked up and saw a sign flashing Clearwater! Clearwater! I blinked and looked again and sure enough it did. Clearwater Casino. It is a sign from God! Well it was fun anyway and I believe it is time to make the move. Make the move. Make the move.
July 1, 2004
The month of independence is at hand. Independence for which we stand. We are free to come and go and make a new life in another state or even another country. That is a good thing. I can take my wife and move like we are talking. I am thankful for that freedom. We are talking about how to make a move happen: how to take the steps and what are our goals once we get there. Of course the longer we are here the less likely it seems that it will happen, but I think it is because there is so much to do. We are just ready to move and that is the plan, where we end up remains to be seen. I think when you live in the Northwest, you coach yourself into overcoming the grayness of the weather. A bit of time in a different climate makes you think, this weather sure can perpetuate the blues. Then again Murat's have their own blues that aren't affected by the weather. The beach is the sandy foundation of my island songs and I need that to revive. I need that to come alive. More beach to you.
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Greg Murat (mur-rah)
Singer-Songwriter Guitarist Poet