Greg Murat (mur-rah)  
  Singer-Songwriter  Guitarist  

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Journal    June 2003

June 30th Sarah is home and very tired and even more beautiful . It is so good to have her home! Yea! She is settling into her little "cottage" as she calls her room. There is so much in her eyes I can tell that she has seen. Life. Something to be lived and shared experienced and travel is so good for the soul. But a place to call home or a refuge to rest and prepare for the next adventure is what is missing from many traveler's lives. I am glad we have a haven for Sarah. It is nice to have some time with just Andie, she and I. I am very, very glad. Before Sarah arrived Andie and I had a few days with just the two of us and it was like a vacation in itself.

June 29 What an incredible day we had yesterday with the Columbia Winery Wine Club. We went by bus to Red Willow Vineyard outside of Yakima, Jesse and Diana hosting the ride over. Andie and I were entertained by Dan and Gary, who were sitting behind us. We sampled some wonderful wines and learned a lot about how much goes into making a good bottle of wine. On the way back Andie talked me into taking out my guitar and we did sing-along songs. I had to move from the front to the middle so people could hear to sing. It was a lot like surfing while playing guitar and my legs are really sore today. I loved that I could play a new song I wrote that is called "Caribbean Islands" and have people singing the chorus with me. We visited with the friends we made on the last event on the Spirit of Washington Dinner Train, Blu and Jason. We all went to the When Pigs Fly party up in Arlington after that. I played about a forty minute set with Mr. Right Now. Andie and Blu danced out in front of the stage. Good Fun. Much more fun in the future. Watch for pictures. Jason and I talked about creating an unofficial Wine Club web page, possibly called the Columbia Wine Club Drinker's Guild, so we can immediately post info and pictures. I have posted pictures from the concert on Saturday on the home, band, photos and schedule pages that were shot by Jason Copeland. Great stuff!

Tomorrow Sarah comes home. I am so excited to see her. I talked to her today and I can tell she has grown a lot from her travels. I get the feeling she will head back to Japan for an even longer stay next time. For now I so long to see her lovely face.

June 27,2003 I am in angry land right now. I am thinking about all the wisdom in the lyrics of so many of my songs but I am still angry. I cannot totally define it, although it has a lot to do with the young teen who lives in our home. It is a hard thing as one remembers, through the fog, those early years and the angst and thrill of it all. I feel captive for the first time in many, many years. It is not my favorite feeling and it has lead to dark places in the past. I know I have good people praying for me at this time and I need it. I am unable to articulate my feelings because they involve the darker side of emotion and I feel explosive so I keep to myself and I keep quiet. I went for a drive last night and ended up at Mike's house and the Mr. Right Now band was rehearsing and imagine my surprise when I heard them singing one of my songs. I ended up staying and playing for hours and I felt much better for it but when I went home it all came back. My brother David had good words and prayers for me today as I shared my feelings. It's real to feel, right? But this is an emotional time I long to be done. I am very excited on the other hand about Sarah's return on Monday. I know it will take her awhile to acclimate but I am looking forward to opening that wine I have saved and hearing of her tales and travels. As to the other, I have to remind myself that this too shall pass. Greg
June 24-Life! It is a roller coaster at times, like the weather in Washington. It changes by the minute. I got a call from Joules yesterday and it was an encouragement call when I was pretty down. Another reminder of the power of good in what we do. It is so good when someone knows what to say. Andie does that all the time. I spent a few days dubbing Wildcrafted, the first recording I heard of Joules, to CD. It is a great album, full of life and so much of the spirit I feel when we are on Lopez Island. The gift of music is so wonderful, whether I am listening or playing I could not imagine life without music. So I arose this morning to another day singing away as I drove and thanking God for the kindness of friends and the gift of song.

June 23, 2003 I am at a loss for words, ha ha. One thing I am never and that is at a loss for words. I think our lives were meant for living and learning to love and experience joy, to learn empathy and compassion. I think our true families don't necessarily have anything to do with paper or bloodlines. They are bonds we build with people in our lives. I think many lives are wasted pouring them into relationships and situations that are like a black hole that sucks the life and energy from us and keeps us from doing what we love and were meant to do. I also believe we are without a clue sometimes as to how much good can come from simple acts of kindness. Lives are saved or changed by some thing we say or do. It is like George Bailey in It's A Wonderful Life. I believe we are all a part of the whole family and we each add something that the world would sorely miss were we not here. I thank all of you who continue to live, to breath, to love and to laugh and keep on going. I am thankful for those of you who have shared how my gift of music has touched your lives, I will keep on till I am done.

June 17 New day dawning. I am here in Seattle thinking of changes. I feel it in my bones that it is time to make a change. I have been doing this same gig for 6 years and I know it is time to move on. I am the tortoise though, the great feet dragger. Andie told me last night, " You don't like change, but it is time." She is right, as she usually is. I open my heart to the possibilities before me and open my mind to change.
I received an encouraging e-mail from Joules. It made me smile. I so look forward to the Garlic Festival each year and seeing Freedom, Joules and the many friends we made and continue to make each year. Freedom called me on Father's day and made my heart glad. He is so full of love and I am so thankful for him and his music. Sarah is coming home the end of this month and that is a joy I long to embrace . It will be good to bask in the warmth of her lovely face.
The creative juices are flowing in my head for the first time since I fell at work and conked it. I was wondering if I would ever feel that flow again and though it is now only just the stirring, I can feel the tide of creativity is on the rise.

June 15 Father's Day. Happy Father's Day to all dads out there, especially mine. Fathers are an important part of all our lives starting at home and going all the way to heaven. It is a great privilege and honor to have. I wish we were taught things like fatherhood in school and how to build and keep healthy family relationships, how to make and keep commitments. I sure could have used that information as I was going through life causing damage along the way to which I was totally oblivious. I know now, however and it brings some sadness to my soul. Yet I am grateful for all I have experienced and the love I have known. I would really only change the heartaches I have caused, I would not change the time I shared with people in my life, only the mistakes I made that caused pain. It is a new day each time we wake up and a chance to start all over again and let the people you know and love just how much they mean to you. I love all the people who call me Papa and I am thankful for all they teach me and how they love me even in my many short comings. I am glad I am a dad.

June 9 Wow it has been busy. We got three raised garden boxes built and hauled 6 yards of topsoil via wheel barrow to fill them. Andie is so happy playing in the dirt and planting her flowers and blue berries. It makes me happy to see her smile from simple pleasures. Thanks to Tom for the lumber to build the boxes. They do look like they were built by a songwriter. It has been quite a work out and next comes the green house. I hope to have that done in a week or two.
I heard from Freedom. He called to tell me Josh is in Arizona so I am passing that on to anyone who cares.
I had a great rehearsal with Papa Murat. I will be sending a CD to Garlic Festival this week in hopes of getting a concert slot. This version of Murat is going to be called Island Rock. Lonnie really puts a rock flavor to the tunes and so I say Let's Do It!
It is getting closer to the time when Sarah is coming home, I love you Sarah Maria. We are trying to get the cologne smell out of the back room but not having much luck. I am going to try painting the room next and shampooing the carpet. Wah hoo.

June 3rd  I have a brief break in my Independent Medical Exam. IME is a term used to describe a modern form of legalized torture in which doctors, subsidized by the state, set out to disprove injuries to patients. An interesting twist to the process occurred at my IME two years ago. I said a prayer before the exam that the doctors would find the reason for my pain. One of the doctors said "That is not our job." I said, "None the less, I am praying you will find the reason for this terrible pain in my back." To disprove my claim, an MRI was ordered and it showed that when I fell, I broke a vertebrae in my back at the exact spot where my pain complaints were originating. How that must have flustered that doctor. God is the ultimate physician and He does answer prayers. The psychologist here is very good and very objective. His assistant was friendly prior to beginning the test and not robotic like the last test administrator I had.. The staff at the front desk is very friendly and supportive. As to the rest, well, in the words of Thumper's dad, "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all."

June 1st  Got a message on the answering machine inquiring where Josh might be. He and his whereabouts are a total mystery to me. Got him a ticket to go to California in December. I heard he came back but never heard from him again. He is a different cookie. I told my dad on the phone this weekend that I thought he did a lot better as a father than I think I did. The children who seemed to have faired the best in life were the ones that spent the least time with me with the exception of Chani. Of course, like every generation, I can't comprehend a lot of the life styles. Body piercing and tattoos. The world moves on. We pass through time but time doesn't really change. We do. Seasons come and go and seemingly faster as we age. I hope Josh is okay, but I don't know. But like Robert Frost said,
Life goes on.
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Greg Murat (mur-rah)  
  Singer-Songwriter  Guitarist