Greg Murat (mur-rah)  
  Singer-Songwriter  Guitarist  

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Journal  June  2004

 

Papa and baby Kayden

June 30, 2005
  It is the end of June and it is a brand new day. I will be spending the afternoon and evening with Erik Helmerson at Triad Studios recording some music and being there for support. Erik has so much enthusiasm and passion for music. He is a giant Dave Matthews fan. This will be the first time I have heard him play and I am looking forward to it. Any day in the studio is a good day. Well, that may not always be true, but it should be. We will be tinkering with a few of my songs too, I guess. It seems to be a pretty free spirited session.
  Yesterday afternoon I sat on the porch and played and sang to Kayden for a couple of hours. He watched for a while and then slept. I had fed him a bottle before the show-it is always best to prime your audience. It was a lovely sunny afternoon with a very light breeze blowing. Liz brought out one of those 1950's style canvas chairs that are like a large open mouth waiting to swallow you when you sit down. Missy snuggled at my side while I played my old beat up guitar. It is not much to look at but so capable of emitting beautiful music. The summer time makes our home a wonderland with the Wisteria, the Roses, the ferns, the Dogwood blossoms. One can barely walk past the lilac bush to the porch because it is so lush with leaves. I love the maroon colored delicate leaves of the Japanese Maple and little pond ( more like a puddle) surrounded by greenery. The brick walk way is very charming to me. It was musician installed and reflects the feel of the work of a drunken mason in the 18th century. Stroked by leaves and scents I approach the porch and home. I love to sit on that porch and play my guitar and sing. It is humble, but it is home. And home is the place for a Red Painted Tugboat, and home is the place for me.


Nothing is so potent as the silent influence of a good example. James Kent


June 29, 2005
    I woke up this morning and as I slipped into a sweater and gazed out on another chilly gray Washington day, I thought of missed chances to show caring . I wish I had known my mother better. I wish we had spent more time talking about her life and her dreams. Now she is gone. Time is constantly slipping through our fingers like hour glass sand. Caught in cares and concerns that have no dimension or real meaning, it is so easy to miss so much, while the people and things that really matter slip to the end of the line. Many times continuous cuts in line leave what really matters further and further back in line away from our hearts and minds. Freedom says "we've been wandering in the desert land for so long, when the Promised Land was in our hands all along." The years pass and people pass on and the chance to give them precious time is forever gone. Having a full house with Josh, Christina, Liz and Kayden and Andie and I is really a blessing. There is so much love, I only want more time and more ways to show it and to share it. Don't wait to say I love you.

We will not be remembered by our words, but by our kind deeds.
Life is not measured by the breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

June 28, 2005
  Well we have all just about put another month in our memories and there have certainly been some good memories made this month. I am listening to some of those memories this morning: Santiago & The Three Amigos, Larry, Carl and Garey. It was fun to hear Garey's sense of humor once again. He remembered referring to Make Peace With Yourself as Make Pizza Yourself. Garey is an amazing bassist and recording engineer as well. Larry sings great harmony. The Amigos were solid and their passion for playing recorded well. I can't help but wonder what they would sound like with Deirdre on harmony and banjo. I can hear it and it's good. We have celebrated Larry's 50th birthday, done our first rehearsed and tight band show, had our first grandchild, Josh and Christina are bringing us our second grandchild in late fall: in short it has not been a dull June.
   Andie has had a very happy gleam in her eyes since little Kayden arrived. She is so patient and loving with him. We are both walking around like Zombies from lack of sleep but it is worth it. Liz has been holding up to the task of caring for a baby and adjusting to being a food producing milk machine. It is a very unselfish and caring thing to do and she has not complained.
  I was taking inventory last night after the Birthday Bash. It seems like whenever I volunteer for shows I end up short of gear afterwards. This one wasn't a big deal. I lost my microphone case and my clip on sunglasses. It is usually microphone stands, chords or more. So it wasn't bad. We will begin working on our next performance for Jimmy's air show at the Arlington Airport on July 9th. Larry Mason will be playing drums with us. That will be a kick. I wish I was in Florida today with the Fickels playing my guitar and drinking Jolly Man Rum, especially if I could take the whole gang along.

June 27, 2005
 I heard from Chani and she is in the country in California where she and Chris will be soaking up some relaxing time in a natural hot springs. That seems to be something she loves about Alaska too. I would love to have a hot tub. I am so sore from jumping around at Larry Mason's party. I am getting too old for that. It is a cool gray and rainy morning in the great northwest. Jerry called from St. Louis complaining about the heat and humidity. I like heat and humidity.
   Mr. Kayden was up all night long and so was Missy. I couldn't even look at her this morning, I would have growled. I spent a leisurely Sunday mixing down Carl and Larry's performance from the Birthday party. It will forever be a mystery why our sets did not get recorded. I hit the button, saw the bouncing meter but just like Jody Foster's trip into space, there was nothing on the tape. Erased by aliens I guess.
    Many, many years ago I walked into a hair salon in Snohomish ready to lose my hippie hair style. I met Larry Cronin and he taught me a lesson I remember to this day. Although it had to do with how to comb your hair, it has had application time and time again in my life. Keep in mind that this took place a few lifetimes ago. Larry had black hair in those days and a youthful passion for his work as a hair stylist. He wore a block smock with pouches across the front that contained numerous sizes and shapes of scissors. He knew the location and use for each pair and he would withdraw them with the swiftness of a gunslinger as he circled the barbers chair and then swooped in for a snip here and a cut there. The whole experience was new to me and I was fascinated by the precision of his work and his ability to carry on a conversation at the same time he was so intensely focused on shaping my lion's mane. This was in the days of Loggins and Messina and the shear cut..
   After the styling, blow drying and brushing out I always felt like a rock star. The problem was I only looked that way when I left Larry's chair and for the rest of that day. So on one occasion when I was having my hair styled I complained that I couldn't remember how to dry and brush my hair to make it look like it did after he finished styling it. He turned to me and said "You can't do it because it is not important enough. You don't remember because it is not important enough for you to learn and to do." That was one of those moments in life I will always remember because Larry seemed to have uncovered an over all flaw in my approach to life and the reason I felt so much was lacking. Now whenever I find myself struggling with learning something new, or taking on just about any task, I remember that day and what Larry said. When I apply importance to anything, consciously, I know I can do it, even if it is hard. Thanks Larry.

June 26, 2005
  Well even though it is Sunday it is funny because I don't have that "where did the weekend go?" feeling. I feel full and content and happy. Larry and Cindy Mason really know how to throw a party. It was immeasurably wonderful to see them again and be at the Love Shack. We got to see Larry, Carl Funk and Garey Shelton play together. I recorded it for Larry and it sounds great. Eric Tingstad did a set after them and then it was Papa Murrah. We lovingly kicked booty. I think that is one of the best shows I have ever been a part. Every single player was on the mark, heart and soul. Jimmy did Unchain My Heart and Christopher did You Can Leave Your Hat On and the crowd loved it so much, they had to do each song twice. We ended up with Valley Island Lady with Jimmy singing. In between we did a rock solid set of my songs (19) that we had rehearsed for two weeks. Even though John Matthews was unable to make rehearsals he slam dunked his parts. Christopher Nickels wood shedded hard and it showed when he played songs which included two songs we just introduced just last week. Today is one of those days when my face hurts from smiling. Mike Daily held us steady and drove us hard on drums as did Jimmy Culler on Bass. What a day. I am so thankful that all those musicians came to give the gift of music to our friend on his birthday. What a day it was.
  I got to spend a couple of hours with my grandson this morning while the girls were sleeping. We bonded. I love the little fellow so much and thank God he is here to add his light to our lives. It is a day I feel richly blessed to be alive and so thankful for my friends and family. Thank you God for my life.
  I checked out my mini disk recorder and fortunately I got all of Santiago's set, including Carl's song written just for the occasion. That is all that was on the disc. Some how it got nothing of our show. It was so good too. Next time.

June 25, 2005
It is a rainy Saturday, now why isn't that surprising. I was going to sleep a little extra this morning because I feel like I am about to blow a gasket but I got with Andie and Kayden. I fed and burped and changed him. Then I talked to him and sang to him for a couple of hours. He is pretty entertaining. We are off to Larry Mason's to play for his party. Ron has gone to Kenny Loggins and Manolito doesn't answer his phone so we are doing a four piece. It may be five if John Matthews shows up to play percussion. I hope so. We are ready for some fun and a little celebration on the island. It is nice in the course of the day to day to stop and spend some time with friends and when the opportunity to celebrate together comes, jump in with both feet.

June 23, 2005
Another fine Friday and one with a night off. It seems both strange and good when I have a Friday evening free. We will be visiting Larry and Cindy Mason for Larry's birthday party and the band will be doing two sets. It will be fun. Andie is trying to decide if she wants to take Kayden on his first road trip and to his first grandpa concert. I hope it is sunny this weekend and we have a nice show. We have been working hard. Anytime we have a show it is hard to decide which songs to play. It seems like there is never enough time. Life seems that way too. I sometimes feel like I am looking out the window of a train and time is the countryside passing by my window in a blur taking my numbered days with it, faster and faster. Still, I am enjoying he view.

Argue for your limitations and they are yours. Richard Bach

June 23, 2005
   Meditation is good for the soul. The stopping of all thoughts is amazingly challenging for me. Even when I reflect on writing, even when I am trying to pray, my mind wanders. Stillness and quiet are both great achievements in our minds and in our lives. Having a new baby in the house creates an almost meditative state as Andie and I sit and watch him sleep and ladle love on this new life with all his possibilities. Time really does fly. It seems like only moments ago, Freedom, Sarah Maria, Josh, Chani and Liz were as little. What is the sound of one hand clapping? It it is the sound of a baby laughing.

Though reading and conversation may furnish us with many ideas of men and things, our own meditation must form our judgment. Isaac Watts (Thanks Dale)

June 22, 2005
   Midweek and all is well. I was playing the traffic game yesterday, two and one half hours to go 45 miles. It is really hard not to be stressed when you just want to go home. When I arrived Liz handed me Kayden and said he is clean and fed and dry. This is hard on our little dog because this is taking her one on one time with me for snuggling. She is being a good sport though. She gets my attention when the girls are around.
   I heard some new stuff Josh is writing on guitar. It sounds very good. He has such a good sense of melody. As I was turning in last night I heard him talking to Phil Whitman out on the porch. I hope they are following though on their opera.
   Today I hope to put some music into the hands of a group that is doing a presentation on domestic violence. I have a CD with Far Cry From Love on it that I would love to put into their hands. I really feel that particular song could save someone's life. Take back your life. This is the one we have. The one that will be over before we know it. Renew it often. Wake up and live.
   Decide that you want it more than you are afraid of it. Bill Cosby

June 21, 2005
   The weekend approaches, well, actually it is only Tuesday but somehow I just feel like the weekend is almost here. There is a great deal of joy in our little abode with this new little angel, Kayden. Andie just beams when she is holding him. I pick him up and he is immediately asleep. That comes in handy sometimes. He is taking up our time these days but it is a good thing.
   Christina is growing a big baby I think. She says she thinks so too because she is so hungry and is eating so much. Josh doesn't say a lot. He spends a lot of time playing guitar although still not with me. I had hoped to have him play for Larry's birthday party but he showed no real interest. Bummer for me. He is working on his writing though and that is always a good thing. I think it is just one of those strange things about relatives who are composers. At least in our house that means being more focused on writing your own rather than learning a family member's songs.
   We had another rehearsal for the Larry's last night. I think we all showed up running on fumes. Still we had some moments. I hope Wednesday is better and we are more rested and have more fun. I am working up the set list. Music flow is important on a CD or at a concert. I have mostly pulled songs out of the air but the shows I really planned are the ones that came off the best. It like the old saying: he who fails to plan, plans to fail. I am looking forward to seeing Larry and Cindy a lot. I have missed them. They really showed us a lot of kindness. They are good people. We know a bunch of them. That is a good thing: a daily top five blessing.
 

June 20, 2005
  Wow we are just 6 days from Larry Mason's birthday party. I am really looking forward to the chance to play with some of the band. Mike Daily on drums will be a welcome change from the unplugged and undrummed version of every song. We are planning a hot set of happy tunes: beaching music. I will be thinking of the Fickels in Florida while we are playing our sunny songs. I love the picture of Kayden smiling. I wanted Andie to slice me out because me big head is taking up too much space. It does give you a perspective of just how tiny he is. Sarah was so cute yesterday. She learned how to hold and feed him. It was great to see. It was a nice father's day. I had a good phone visit with Freedom. I wish he would come home to stay. I missed Chani's call. I talked to my father and my sister Maria. Rob, one of my adopted sons, called to wish me happy father's day. We had a lovely meal with Josh and Christina present too. Next time I want Sarah, Josh and I to play some guitar together. There was a bit of strangeness in the air but overall it was simply a lovely day.

The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary. Satchell Paige

June 19, 2005
    Kayden is home and happy. He is eating like crazy, I should say nursing. I fed him this morning but I used a bottle. Andie is going to shoot some new pictures because Kathy was telling me she wants more pictures on the web. I will get to that as soon as I get the photos. I am so glad he is better. I went to work at the Cafe last night and when I finished Nicole stopped me and told me she had something for Kayden. She handed me a beautiful afghan that she had knitted herself. I was so surprised and touched I could hardly speak. I will be putting a picture with him in the blanket up today I hope.
    We were so happy to talk to Terri and Randy in Florida yesterday. They are all down in Clearwater enjoying the beautiful weather and beach. I wish we were there too. Happy father's day to all you Dad's. What a blessing it is to be a father and grand papa is pretty good too.    I worked on the Seattle Pro Audio website this morning and I am taking the rest of the day off. Have a great one. We will talk soon.
   

June 18, 2005
   Kayden is still in the hospital. He is regaining color and making some improvements but we are not sure if he will have to stay another night or not. I am off. Keep him in your prayers please.

June 17, 2005
Part 4. 11 PM Late in the night and the girls have taken Kayden to the hospital to spend the night getting a tan. Prayers please. We are not sure what exactly is wrong, but he needs to be there for a day to see if he is growing properly and because he is so yellow. Rarely simple, huh?
    I am listening to Grateful Dead concert on PBS. They say you had to be there, I believe they are right. I suspect had I been at on of their concerts, I would have been a big fan. I do see, and know, the wonder of sharing the experience of music with fans, not as many, but you know what? Everyone counts the same. I love the "jam" aspect of the GD. That is what we have mostly done for live performances. All of the people who have played music with me over the years have had a great ability to play new songs on the spot and add their own flavor to what is happening musically. Those have been the most, as Bill Spies would say," present" moments of my life . When you are tuned into the flow of what is happening at the moment making music magic, there is nothing like it. Nothing.

Part 3. 5PM Late in the day now and I am at home wondering what to do with myself since I am not playing. I need to play on Friday nights. I started picturing the band doing shows last night. It was a nice picture. Cafe de Paris is closed tonight for Crystal's graduation. She has worked very hard and I am sure the whole family is very proud of her. Josh has been making good use of the gazebo and playing guitar for hours and hours a day. That is a good thing. I am sure he wishes Phil was here now. I heard some of their music and it is sounding good. It just needs to be engineered better so they can move forward. Andie is with Liz and Kayden and they are spending the evening at the hospital again getting Kayden checked out because he is so yellow and getting more so. That reminds me of a song but I won't go there.
Part 2 10AM. Okay, I am waking up now. Phil Whitman came over last night to jam with Josh. Those two friends have a special chemistry and I am glad to see them writing together. Phil is going through some real challenges now and could use your prayers. Hey throw Josh in there while you are at it please. They are working on a rock opera they have talked about for a few years now.
  I also heard from Chani. I thought maybe something was wrong and when she responded to my e-mail she said she had fallen on her bike and was laid up. She didn't give any details but I got the feeling she got banged up pretty good. She said she couldn't go anywhere. She is in our prayers too.
Part 1. 5:30 AM I am crispy critters this morning. Too much to do and too little sleep has me feeling punch drunk. I don't have a lot to say this early morning as I get a bit discouraged when I am weary. I wish we had more rehearsal time and less other things to do besides music. I felt a tiny bit of hopelessness last night at our weariness and tardiness and forgetfulness. We had some great moments of harmony and Christopher has some unique ideas on some old Hamilton Murat songs. Conflicting schedules make much more rehearsal before Larry's party difficult. Well, we will have Monday and Wednesday and I was thinking we could sit around and play acoustics and harmonize during the day up at the Love Shack. It will be fun.
   Kayden put a scare into Andie yesterday. She is having a terribly difficult time going off to work and leaving Kayden and Liz. He was fussy and the girls were frustrated but it all worked out and by the time I saw him he looked like the above picture, sleeping beauty.
   I talked to my sister Maria yesterday and it seems like we could play one ups on all the chaos that transpires in our lives. Stay calm in the storm. Stay calm in the storm. Stay calm.


June 16, 2005
     Change is something that is easy to resist. If fear is the dark room where negatives are developed then I am positive that courage is the sunlight room. Life is possibilities. We are all so much more than flesh and bones. We are spirit. We have an interconnection with every other living thing. We have a connection to God. I don't really believe in fate. Fate is mostly the failure to take action. If we are open to possibilities, possibilities will open to us. This is my little morning pep talk to prepare me for a future that is shrouded in a veil of undefined opportunities. Caring for the new little member of our family, finding a way to make it possible for Andie to retire from her work and changing business direction is the focus of our goal planning priorities. Making music is always a part of these plans and I feel a batch of new songs brewing like a fresh pot of Starbucks coffee. I feel like there are good possibilities for the band. The view is clearing slowly as the morning fog lifts. I need a change.

 My barn having burned to the ground, I can see the moon. Chinese Proverb

June 15, 2005
  Sleep is illusive with a new baby in the house, especially for Andie. She has been looking after everyone and getting worn out in the process. I think I must be getting used to running on empty because other than being scatter brained, I feel fine. It is so amazing to look at the brand new little human and think of all the babies that don't get a chance to live and be loved. I am so grateful he made it and that Liz made the choice she made. There is music stirring over all this I will tell you right now. Words and thoughts don't form clearly when I am sitting and holding this little one. It is a spiritual and calm place with angels looking on and smiling. It is a reminder of the wonder of this time with all of the children who have blessed my life. What an incredible honor, to have the care of a brand new spirit placed in your life and your hands.. Tired? You bet but I wouldn't trade this time for all the money or sleep in the world..
    .

June 14, 2005
Is this month passing fast? It seems like it. Kayden tried some Thai food a la breast milk last night and he was not a happy camper. I held him for hours in the after noon before that happened and just watched him sleeping. When he awakened in the night Andie was able to soothe him right down. She has that gift of comfort. Josh loves to hold him. Last night Andie was the only one who could calm Kayden down. Liz is being a very good new mom. Maturity in bloom. It is really somewhat amazing to see. We are all looking forward to Josh and Christina making the number of grandchildren two. The joy of new life and all its potential.

Life is the movie you see through your own eyes. It makes little difference what's happening out there. It's how you take it that counts. Denis Waitley. Thanks for the quote Dale..

June 13, 2005 
Baby is sleeping in grandpapa's arms now. He gave me a manly burp after Liz fed him and out he went. He is so beautiful. It is better than watching your favorite movie just sitting and watching him sleep. We had a wonderful gathering last night in celebration on his birth. We played music and had much of the extended family here, old and new. I am feeling worn but in a good way. That is all the one handed typing I can manage at this time. Thanks to Kim and Provinces for all the great gifts. Sharon & Clay thanks for signing the guest book. It is everything you said it would be Sharon. So much love to you for your support. Bye for now.
Kayden Slides

 

June 12, 2005
It is 4:20 in the morning and little puppy is asleep on the bed on her heating pad. Liz and Andie are still at the hospital. I needed some serious sleep still, although I am still awake. My mind is racing. It has been an intense weekend: new grandchild or nephew or whatever, gigs, calls, friends, being alone two nights in a row. That has almost never happened; actually it has never happened except the week I spent on a business trip for training. I hope this is not the shape of things to come.
 Josh and Christina made it up to the hospital yesterday to see Kayden, Andie and Liz. Josh looked so beautiful holding the baby. All that good heart he has was shining on his face. We got a chance to visit when I left to head out for my gigs. Josh is a great guy. He got a lot of good and bad from me and I pray the Lord will bless him so he can see how wonderful he can be. When we look outside ourselves to see who we are we can be greatly disappointed. If a person has a low self image they can tend to draw people into their lives who will reinforce that idea. But life is always balance, so if we pay attention we can see there are plenty of people who come along who can help us see the good in us.
    This weekend I have felt kind of low and Christopher, on Friday and Mia, last night shared the fact that this music has touched their lives and helped them in different ways. I remember my friend Vicki, who filmed a solo performance I did for a Northwest Songwriters Showcase. She said she was healed by Love Is Kind. I know that God gave me the gift of healing. My life has been more a series of breaking things and hoping they will be fixed in the end. I also have moments of fixing things. Did you ever straighten a drawer full of clothes, fold and stack them neatly and then tear through them and undo every thing you did by looking for one piece of clothing? That's been my life as I saw it. The funny thing is that a lot of times people who tried to love me got burned in the brush fire I set unconsciously. Andie is amazing in her ability to just love me, and she has seen it all. How come? God knows. How come I have played "solo" gigs (as in pay for one person) for years and years and years and was blessed by friends like Jimmy Culler, Dale Fuentes, Jamie Phalen, Christopher Nickels, Mike Daily, John Matthews, Doug Hamilton, Scottie Drexler, Ronnie Illanis, Dave Noren, Gordan Uchima, Paul Demming and a host of others have made it all magic and did it all for free. It is, at this late stage in the game, occurring to me that if we were to play bigger venues more people would see and hear the music and more people would get paid. Wow! No one can accuse me of being too fast. I am not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but I have a sharpener. So I am a weary grandpa, papa Murat. Bon Sois. If you hear a grinding sound in the night, that is me sharpening my wit

Friendship is precious, not only in the shade, but in the sunshine of life. And thanks to a benevolent arrangement of things, the greater part of life is sunshine.
Thomas Jefferson .

June 10, 2005
   Kayden Anthony Luke was born Saturday afternoon and weighed in at under 6 pounds. Elizabeth's mom, Theresa was the first to see him. Liz didn't want any of us in the room with her once she started to push so we missed the whole delivery. Once we got a chance to glimpse his squished little face, he was pretty cute. He looked hungry and naturally inclined to begin breast feeding right away. The doctor said wait an hour and Kayden was making his displeasure known at the time I left to go to play at Provinces. I have been awake since 5 AM Thursday morning so I am thinking this is pretty much like an acid trip. My thoughts are on the left side of crazy. I'm proud of Liz for insisting on getting what she wanted. It makes the arrival seem a bit dream like having been isolated from the birth but sleep will probably help that. While he was crying I whispered to the top of his head that his grandpa was going to help take care of him and he was going to be fine. He stopped crying right away but began again when I stopped speaking. Was it something I said?. Welcome to the world.
   A little after 4 AM Liz and I finished our last game of Sequence. She kicked my bottom pretty quickly and I think she was a bit bored. Her contractions were coming about every three minutes but she was pain free . Well except for the 5 holes the nurses put in her arm trying to find a vein. Hospitals are scary places when you think some nurses made A's, some made B's, C's and D's. That variance in competency is a bit daunting. Liz has been nothing short of amazing. Her patience with being poked and prodded was wearing thin just past four this morning however. It looks like we are in for the long hall as Kayden does not seem to be in any hurry to join us here on the outside Andie was getting some much needed sleep last night. I told Liz I had to leave for a while to go get some work done. She said, "No! Don't go! Why do you have to work?" I said, "So we can buy food." She said, "Go!" She loves to eat. So as of 8:39 AM June the 10th Kayden is still waitin' to be born.
When you judge others, you define yourself.

June 9, 2005
It is 4 PM and still no word from the hospital on what is going to happen now? Will it be tonight or tomorrow. We don't know!
They called from the hospital and have put Liz back until this afternoon or even for inducing labor. Now my opinion of scheduled delivery is gone to hell. I, and several other people, took the day off to be at the hospital for Liz and now Kayden won't be beginning his journey until late tonight or in the day tomorrow. I have three jobs tomorrow so I won't be able to be there. So much for scheduled deliveries.
   One of Andie's friends who is 80 years old said, "There is nothing more important than welcoming a new baby to a family. And there is no smell in the world like the smell of a baby"  He is still young at heart I would say. Josh called to offer his and Christina's support and offered to be at the hospital too. I was touched by that offer and hope they will, whenever that is going to be. It could turn out to be quite an entourage that shows up. Time will tell. Here we go, eventually.

Music is all about involving the audience; making them feel a part of it If you don't do that why play music. Aaron Ewing

June 7, 2005
What a work out I am having. I had the web site moved to a new server and I have to reload over 3,000 files so it is taking a while. The last to come back will be the 60 folders of photographs. I guess this might have been a good time to clean things up a bit and I may yet do that. Two days left till Kayden arrives. It is going to be exciting around here. I may be pacing the floor and uploading files at the same time Liz is in labor. It could turn out to be a zoo at the hospital but I hope not. It is hard to tell how many people are going to show up but I am pretty sure Liz doesn't want too many people in the delivery area. You never know what will happen when the drugs hit though. I don't think the plan is to go clean and sober into labor. Medication has been brought a few times. We will all be there, whoever we is. Thanks to my friend Dale who keeps a sharp eye on the website and lets me know when I goof up.
Andie is making fun of my as I type in "whine-neese". That is it. I am back to work. Beam me up Scottie.

June 6, 2005   
Possibilities are endless. I just read that the most handicapped person in the world is a negative thinker. Nuh uh. Just kidding. I think so much sometimes it hurts my brain. It is pretty quiet around the house. I think there is lots of reflection taking place. That was true even during the visit with Noel and Lois. Kayden goes from inner to outer space in just a few days. We go from being just parents to being grand. No matter how much I think about it I still haven't been able to grasp the fact. Life is a teeter totter between the losses and the gains; children represent the biggest example of that and now here we go. The blessing of having a stewardship for a time of ushering new life into the world and setting them free to make their way is one the greatest rewards and challenges of life. Children and parents will always have each other just as we always carry the child we were inside of our own hearts. If Einstein said he thought months and years and was wrong 99 percent of the time maybe we can change our childhood for the better by changing the way we think about and remember it. It is never too late to have a happy childhood. Sometimes it takes a lifetime.
 
The mind is like a parachute. It works best when it is open.    
            

June 5, 2005
The shower was great at the church and Andie and Liz are seated in the living room almost buried in goodies for Kayden. Andie is putting together a swing for him right now. Andie looks like she feels better having seen some old friend. We love Jane Parker a bunch as she is always so full of life. I miss her face and many others. Pastor's wife Kathy didn't make it to the shower but so many people did. Thanks to them all.
Sunday and it is Liz's baby shower day. It is being held at Lake Steven's Covenant Church where we used to go. We need a place to gather and it has not happened in a long time. Our spirits get their nurturing from the Vesper Services in Bellingham once a month and now that is done for the summer. I miss a lot of the people at Lake Stevens but I wasn't feeling right there. I think what I perceived as so much back ground bickering and people struggling with control issues pushed me away. But I am not sure that was the right thing to do. People aren't cutting our heads off for believing in Jesus, at least in Machias at the moment. So I guess things aren't really that bad. The issues are probably mostly mine. The line in the Bible about taking the beam out of your own eye before you worry about the tiny piece in your neighbor's eye really has a lot of relevance for me. I have what I think is 20 20 vision when scrutinizing someone else, I probably need glasses when evaluating my own self. I think for many of us our personal views are often much too harsh and unforgiving. That kind of thinking leads to all kinds of destructive behavior. Better to be kind. Better to listen when speaking to yourself and turn down the harsh knob and equalize the negative with some positive. When all else fails, ask God. He knows more than Jeeves.

All this trying leads up to the point you turn to God and say, "You must do this. I can't." C.S. Lewis

June 4, 2005
  I have back pain and I was wondering where it began. I then thought that recently my father was suffering back pain as well. His pain seemed to have resulted from emotions associated with trying to get some belongings from someone who seemed reluctant or unwilling to return them. He gave it up to God and I got involved and hence the back pain. I realized at the point I started fretting over this stuff that I developed this nearly debilitating pain in my low back. It is funny how emotions tend to seek that particular spot. Now that I have figured that out, how do I get rid of it. A trip to the chiropractor would be a good idea because I think I have pretty firmly established this symptom as a physical reality.
  .On a happy note I see Chani sent me some love in a note in the guest book. (I am moving the website to a new server so there may be a few glitches coming along. Keep me posted.) It was good to hear from Chani. She is a love; one of the many traveling Murat's.
    I have gotten good feedback on the Cafe de Paris website so far. I could sit around and build websites all day.
    We are having a nice visit with Andie's dad and Lois. It was a fun evening for them but I was playing at the Cafe and only got a brief visit in the afternoon before playing. It is amazing the differences in the way families interact. I am grateful for the kindness that mostly prevails in Andie's family. It is all good as they say. I am looking forward to Provinces this coming weekend. Christopher confirmed that he will be there. I will be a one day old grandpa on that Friday. Look out!.

Life don't pass me by. I have seen how time can fly. And I think maybe love can survive
All of the struggles of being alive, but we need to be knowing
Where are we going? Where are we going?   Greg Murat

June 3, 2005
So, the realization that a new baby, Kayden, will be taking over the household as of Thursday, June 9th is slowly beginning to sink into my head. Who knew? Our friend Sharon from Chicago has been the most encouraging of anyone regarding being a grandparent. I have really appreciated her e-mails in that regard. Memory paints a picture of a tempestuous family life growing up. I was sure I had all the answers right up until I was tagged "parent." All that mental preparation flew out the window soon after Aaron was born.. If we knew all the pain that love and family could cause I wonder if we would run off into the night screaming to avoid them. Probably so. That is unless we were also shown how much joy and fulfillment that comes from loving and being loved, from nurturing and caring for someone else, even more than for yourself. We know of some grandchildren who did not have the opportunity to be born and to experience life in all of its wonder. I am grateful that Kayden is coming and look forward to welcoming him with open arms. I trust that God will help him find his porpoise, I mean purpose.


Measure yourself by your best moments, not by your worst. We are too prone to judge ourselves by our moments of despondency and depression.
Robert Johnson

June 2, 2005
I have ridden a roller coaster for a few days on the waves of some wounding memories. I am better now, As I coast to the end of the ride I am grateful for my family. Thank God for Andie and the patience she shows me when I wrestle demons from the past and send them packing. Thanks for Liz who as of Thursday June 9th will be holding little Kayden. She has matured in so many ways and represents a fine balance of part young woman and part young girl. That is the balance of our household these days, just the three and soon to be four of us. Josh and his friend Christina come and go from time to time. We don't really know what they are doing but our thoughts are with them. We hope they are at peace with each other and the world. They will be parents in about 6 months and that will make us grand parents twice in one year. We haven't heard from them in a week or so so we turn them over to "Spirit" as they say. Chani, I believe, is in Lake Chelan but I am not really sure. Sarah is busy with her film (see link below) and advising me on some Bosa Nova arrangements for an acoustic recording series. Freedom is buying a house in Arizona and getting tanned. My relatives are mostly a coast away and that is a good thing I think. We are not the Clevers for sure. Let the past be past so that we don't miss our lives passing by while we wander lost in the dream that is yesterday. There is a lot we can do to improve the planet if we don't waste our talents and strengths replaying things others said to us that shaped our early lives in negative ways. It is never too early to start being nice to yourself..

Life is a mirror; if you frown at it, it frowns back; if you smile, it returns the greeting. William Thackeray

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Greg Murat (mur-rah)  
  Singer-Songwriter  Guitarist