Greg Murat (mur-rah)
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Journal January 2004 Journal Archive Flash Poem Archive
January 30 Another Friday and tonight the Cafe de Paris. I guess Freedom flies in today and they are off to Oregon for concerts. I am listening to the concert CD by Sarah McLachlan. What a concert! All those years of touring and hard work culminating in a spectacular show. Speaking of shows, Jim, Mike and I rehearsed last night for some up and coming shows at the Tail Dragger in Arlington. I am still wondering about instrumentation for the show. I need percussion in the band to keep me smiling. My mind is bouncing off the walls with music and Andie's birthday, the family, the studio, the gigs, writing songs. It seems like sleep is a rare commodity these days. People keep asking me if I am okay. I must look as tired as I feel. We need some fun excitement in our lives. We get lots of stimulation. For instance we looked out last night and saw that there is two inches of water in our yard and you need rubber boots to get to the car. It certainly is never dull.
My dad sent me two cassettes on setting boundaries. It is interesting to hear someone speak on the impact others can have if boundaries are not clear and enforced. Still have a big challenge helping Josh learn that. I think he is growing but so many things that seem like they should be second nature are not for him. He is playing better all the time and I invited him to do some shows with the band but he has declined to come into the last two rehearsals. It is all too trying sometimes. I love Andie and am amazed at her capacity to love and welcome the people in our lives.
January 26 This new day is sliding in almost seamlessly from yesterday. I didn't sleep much last night. My mind was playing ping pong with ideas. We made some steps forward yesterday with communication and goal setting and with boundaries. It was good. I watched and listened to Andie as she shared her perspective on the amount of love she has poured out to the young ones over the years. It was, too much of the time, not returned. She said something to me later about how she coped. The issues with the children weren't with her but still she took the brunt of their pain and anger. They were children, she said. She is done with that now. She said I think sometimes we think we can fix our childhood. We can't. We have to, at some point, own our own lives and take responsibility for who we are and where we are going. I think the simple truths are the most profound. It is so easy to look at life through the mirror of the past while the present slips away. Moment after moment can be lost as if life was the rehearsal and not the play. There is a lot of love in our home and our ever expanding family and Andie's heart is the center piece along with God's light. All this energy will float to the top like cream and pour out in new songs in this year of 2004.
January 15 I am riding the waves of life another day. I met with Kathy from church last night to listen to the plans for the future. Change is often painful, but without growth we stagnate. My dad once told me as a musician you can't just stay the same: you either get better or worse. That may apply to life. I know in a small setting and very loving community there is comfort. We want continuity in our lives. I think the changes ahead are for the better but I don't think I have the energy to watch the clashes that seem to be inevitable. Sometimes I believe it is easy to lose site of what church is all about and focus on ourselves. When I am in a sanctuary I want peace and love and quiet meditation. I want a sense of being a part of a bigger whole that points towards God. If I play music there, God is who I play for, not me. That is what I am seeking and that is what I will find. The trips to Bellingham are providing that for me at this time and I am grateful to Paul for the invitation. My heart and prayers go out to Eric and Kathy in their efforts to grow the little church that could. There is such a good spirit there. It is the work of the"other guy" that seeks to hold it down and divide and scatter us. I hope he loses.
The last two mornings Josh has been awake to visit with me for a few minutes before I head out. It has been very nice to see his face and listen as he tells me about the songs he is working. He has so much talent and I hope that we get to play together with the band before too long. He can do it and I would love it. When I look back on my life I feel some sorry for mistakes I have made and pain I caused. I am so grateful that I didn't vanish from the area and I have this proximity to the souls I helped bring into the world. Andie and I can stand together in love and watch them bloom into the fulfillment of their dreams.
January 14th Another day is Paradise and the Seattle rain is falling on the dark and wet morning. I felt a bit fogged in this morning as I was talking to Josh about music. Andie said to me yesterday that she needs to find a way to not have to work. I asked her to let me know what it is as soon as she does. I was talking to one of Andie's relatives and he said the years go faster the older you get. I agreed and we discussed why. His theory is that days seem so long when you are young because you have so much of your life ahead of you. Actually he used the words "percentage of your life left". So the thought is the older we get the less percentage of our lives we have left and therefore the days go by more quickly. It could be that we just can't remember what happened in the day and therefore it seems to be passing fast. It could also be that it takes so darned long to do anything that it just seems like days fly away. I think I will have a cup of coffee and ponder this for awhile, as the day drifts swiftly past and I wonder why I didn't get more done..
January 13th I have been listening to Sarah McLachlan's CD Afterglow. Thanks Dale and Kathy. Push is my favorite tune. I love the arrangements and the songs. I think some of the endings are a bit abrupt but that may be because the songs are over too soon for me. I haven't been playing much due to working on the studio but I feel ready. Music is such a fulfilling and bonding experience. I was listening to an interview with an R & B cellist and he said the reason that musicians can bond across generations is because they recognize music as an integral part of their lives. I love seeing the music in our family carrying on to the next generation. Josh gets so excited when he is learning something new. He was showing me an instrumental he is teaching himself. I am always delighted by his ability to learn music note for note just by listening. Sarah is focusing mostly on her piano at present and I am looking forward to all three of us playing and getting Andie in there singing. Liz is showing an interest in the piano and she has great hands for playing. We are definitely an eclectic family musically. You can hear Josh listening to Phish is one room, Andie to Fernando Ortega, Liz to anything from rap to Frank Sinatra, Sarah East Indian music. I am rich in family. So I am thinking about the day ahead, the session with Bill tonight, wearing the sweater that I got from Faith for my birthday, hearing Sarah sing and feeling thankful for another day on the planet.
January 9th Sarah & I were driving together this morning and any time we do it usually involves an enormous amount of laughter. Today we were both too fogged in to giggle. She has been working away on her piano again and playing some very complicated classical pieces. She is so gifted.
Josh learned another one of my tunes last night. He plays it beautifully. The tune is called Avalon and it makes a nice instrumental. He was so excited about learning the tune that he stayed up all night playing it. Andie and I woke up to his guitar at 4:30 in the morning, not a good thing for Andie. I mentioned that it sure was lovely music though. I got up and took Josh to the studio so Andie could sleep and I listened to him play. He has an amazing ear and a gift for remembering anything you show him. I see him showing love to the whole family now and it is so good to see. He loves music. Don't we all.
I saw Chani yesterday and she gave me a happy Buddha for my birthday. It was very sweet of her. Most of my family gives me Asian things for my birthday or Christmas. It is fun. Maybe next year I will get a kimono and some sandals or one of those straw hats for when I putter in my garden. Chani has a plan and is working very hard towards it. I am so proud of them all.
Well the snow held and the ice formed and it is like a skating rink on our deck. Another day home with the family. We finally made it out late in the day to get some water from the store. There are 140,000 people without power here in the greater Seattle area. The bamboo in my Asian garden was bent to the ground and coated with ice. I had to beat it with a stick so it would stand up and leave a small path out of the gate to the car. At present we are in the light with heat and I surely hope that remains true. I am feeling tired today. It is a weary to the bones feeling. I am reluctant to work in the studio since the power has been flickering and I don't want anything to fry. I have been thinking about Uncle Frank who just went in the hospital for the 7th time this year. I feel like we need to make a trip to Florida. Josh and I are off for a run to the store. Stay safe, stay warm. Hold hands and say your prayers.
It is a winter wonderland here. It is funny how everything comes to a halt with a few inches of snow. It makes you wonder about places that have snow all winter long. We are so far out in the country that snow plows don't give us much priority. A serious freeze and we are bound to stay off the roads. It is so very beautiful outside though. It makes me very thankful for the warmth of home. We have been lazy bones around here. Sarah is the only one doing anything today and she has been playing her scales and practicing her piano. It has actually been nice to be home. I really enjoyed having a weekend off. I had forgotten how nice that can be. I spend a lot more time in the studio when that happens. We have really enjoyed our time with friends like Jim and Penni who treated us to a fine dining experience. Kathy and Dale's party on new year's eve was much fun.. Ammishadai, from the soon to be gone Love Israel Farm, almost came over to see us and play some music. She was held back by the weather.
I have had so many blessings this past year. I am thankful for my dad and all the love he is showing our family back east and for the way John and Leta and Frank are facing their trials. Their courage is an inspiration. I am happy to have finally built this website for it has given me a creative outlet to share with the world. I have enjoyed and been inspired by the Quijano brothers and their music and drive. I am thankful for being blessed with such unique individuals who call me Papa and have blessed me with so much of their love and presence this last year. They are all so talented and apart from any average that it is a joy just to know them and watch them blossom as human beings. And the Fickels, our new extended family, were such a warm and unexpected addition to our lives. And not much time passed after our friendship was kindled before we were sharing life's joys and sorrows and feeling their emotions as if they were our own. I miss the friends I don't get to see anymore. Make new friends but keep the old as the saying goes. That is one thing I wish I could change: not having time with people we love. But life keeps moving and time stands still for nobody. I think the key is paying attention to moments as they happen so we don't let life pass us by while we are lost in the past or future.
January 1st Happy New Year. It was a very laid back evening. Chani came over and we played Cranium with Liz and I on one team and Chani and Andie on the other. It was fun. I had told our friends that I was staying home to play music with my son Josh. He pooped out on us and went out with Ronna. That is the last time we make plans excluding other activities to be with Josh. The new year will bring some big changes and more positive energy into our lives and home. I am ready to pull up from the 2003 blues. I struggled quite a bit with those but it gets better all the time. I am looking forward to writing a lot of new music in 2004. We have had more company than ever before and that has taken some getting used to but in a good way. I want to take some time to reflect on the last year and make some big and positive moves this year. I am getting ready. One thing I want to do this next new years is stay in a hotel in Seattle or somewhere else and watch the fireworks with Andie. I want to travel much this year and see some new places together. I want more peace and harmony in our home too. That will most likely involve some big changes in our house. Here we go.
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Greg Murat (mur-rah)