May 31-Memorial Day Memories
are the theme of today. I see the papers and signs saying
today we recognize and remember our fallen countrymen. I remember
John Wesley today. The sad part is I don't know his last name.
I only knew him for three days and after all these years I
still can clearly see his face and recall how full of life
he seemed. Andie and I traveled to the Viet Nam Memorial in
Washington DC and tried to find his name. I thought his last
name was Wesley but we couldn't find it on the memorial.
The time in the Central Highlands of Viet
Nam is such a blur to me that I am not sure when John was
killed. It wasn't the monsoon season, I do remember that much.
At times, when I feel the weight of the world on my shoulders
and wave the poor me banner, I remember the day I last saw
John. The choice of one person separated our paths and that
choice meant death for John and life for me.
So each day we arise to new chances and new choices.
Of all the things I experienced in Viet Nam, the look on John's
face just before he turned away to follow orders, still has
the most impact. I know John knew his time had come when I
looked in his eyes. Time is what we are given freely in this
life. Time is what those we remember today don't have anymore.
Let's spend wisely.
those who are beyond the touch of time, but are ever tethered
to our hearts,
Till veils is rended and life departs and so starts the next
Remember those who are beyond the touch of time.
is yet another rainy day in the Northwest. It is funny how
the weather changes in the course of a day and over a few
miles. It can be pouring down rain and sunny 10 miles away.
That's what makes it different though. Mark Twain said that
San Francisco was the only city where you could experience
all four seasons in the course of a single day. I don't think
he spent much time in Washington.
Josh and Ty are off to see Flow Motion at
the Folk Life Festival. I think those boys will probably make
national waves someday. I think the same is true of Flow Motion.
I have a rare few moments of quiet here at the house. I can
hear the fountain. All night long I heard the soothing sound
of rain pouring down on the leaves outside. This morning I
felt rested and like I could have slept away the day. Instead
I went in the Studio with Bill Spies and had a rewarding day
working on his tune, Eternal Love. I can feel the forward
momentum on his project. His music has the same message and
intent as Freedom's music. It is nice to have the chance for
Andie and I to chose to work on projects we believe and not
be tied to taking on music projects that we don't feel in
our hearts. I have some friends who spend their time in their
studios recording music that they don't even like. I am glad
that is not the case here. We are not really bent on being
a commercial studio anyway. Just recording the tunes I have
written would be a full time job. I just haven't figured out
how to make it pay that way.
Still, I feel a peace today. I am enjoying
playing at the Cafe de Paris. I wish they would throw in some
food though. It isn't like playing at a concert there, but
it is a chance to shine some light and love on people I may
never meet. You never know the impact you can have on a person's
heart or life with music when it comes from your heart. That
is why we have the gift, to shine Love on the people whenever
we can. Music balances out the rain.
is a Bosa Nova morning with Stan Getz and Diana Krull keeping
me company. I love the music of Brazil. I love the culture
of Japan. Maybe I should write a song called I'm a Little
Bit Japanese and a Little Bit Portuguese. No! There is something
joyous about Latin rhythms that makes the rain disappear.
You can almost feel the ocean breeze as cares just slip away.
I grew up listening to this music and it has a special
place in my heart. I love the timelessness of the Jazz Standards
that Dianna Krull sings. Just like all the emotions we feel,
they continue to live on from one generation to the next.
In much the same way as the lyrics of these songs, life continues
to go on and on. The same questions arise. Who can teach anyone
about love? Who knows anyone else's timing? Listening to these
songs I realize love is still the great mystery and will continue
to be a source for songs till the end of time. Make
mine Bosa Nova please.
The rain pours down and cleans the air.
The cool wetness makes Sedona seem like a distant dream. I
listened to Freedom's new CD this morning and pondered the
way time races by with a seeming stillness. I blink and a
week has passed. Wasn't it yesterday that I was breaking brush
in the woods with Freedom in a baby back pack. The weight
of war on my heart and the preciousness of life on my mind.
We walked in silence and in wonder of the beauty of the river
and the cedar trees. I sang him the chants I learned from
the Cree Elders in a Sweat Lodge Ceremony I attended for a
week in Oregon. I hear those early melodies reflected in his
songs now. I have become the White Buffalo, the elder in the
tribe, more prone to reflection than action, as the years
build up on my brow and in my heart. Was I ever really that
young man who ran barefoot and shirtless along side a half
tame horse on the farm, swung myself up and rode without saddle
or bridle. Life is but a moment. And then another, and another
until we reach the next great adventure. I have been blessed
with many golden moments. I have been blessed by freedom.
It is beautiful here this morning. Mt. Rainier
was radiant in the morning sun. The skies were clear and it
was the kind of morning that reminds me why I live in Washington.
I love all the green we have here. The cost is clouds and
rain but well worth it I believe. When it rained last week
I began to miss the sunshine though. I think there is something
to say about the effect of sunshine, it makes for happy feet.
It is difficult to determine how we'd feel if we lived somewhere
like Arizona because we were hanging out by the pool and wining
and dining. All that heat in a work day might be overwhelming.
I do love to walk about at night in shorts and a tee shirt
though. Maybe you get the feeling you are secretly on vacation,
even when you are working, if you live somewhere sunny.
I am feeling pretty even keeled, a combination
of meditation and Juice Plus +. I am still working through
the book Bill Spies lent me on the art of meditation. Grace
is the great comforter and grace is what takes away the wanting
what you don't or can't have and provides contentment with
each moment of life. I want to feel that grace. It is the
foundation on which to build our lives and our dreams, I believe.
In the still of the night, in the cool of the morning, I feel
the Spirit Wind.
This has been quite the week. I am not sure what
it all means, other than the fact that the old saying holds
true, if it doesn't kill you it makes you strong. I am thankful
that Andie and I aren't swept apart by the less than intelligent
actions of other people. The good news is all we need is Grace
and we are never alone. We have so much love in family and
friends. It was so good to get away and spend some time in
Arizona. The desert is awesome. I think we are too much in
love with water to live there though.
are seriously looking at Camano Island. With all the businesses
we have that may be getting a bit far out in the boondocks.
I love the countryside though. We would like to be able to
see some water and the sunset from our house because both
are such healing visions. And day to day, with all the cares
we encounter, some healing is a good thing. I try to remember:
life goes better with kindness, to take the time to soak up
the wonders of the world around us, and make sure to let the
people we love know you love them.
Obladi, life goes on. I spent some time with a book called
the Art of Meditation. It is not a quick read, but a powerful
one. In Sedona I was reminded of the importance of listening
to God, that His temple is around us and inside us. There
are so many beautiful things on this planet. It is far too
easy to focus on the bad. When we do, we get bad feelings.
Imagine that. When we soak up the many ways our Creator displays
beauty and wonder we are healed and renewed. We feel good.
What a choice!
a silent strength growing inside me as I reflect on the words
to Freedom's song: Wake Up and Live. The impact of the people
in our lives and the choices we all make are all a part of
this journey. So many times I wondered, as Jimmy Buffet put
it, "Is this really heaven here or is it really hell?"
In the end, I think it is a bit of both. There is a high road
and a low road to life. Twisting and turning or straight and
narrow, we choose our paths. We choose our paths. When
we are aware of that fact, we pay a little more attention
to where those side roads are going to take us. If we traced
our steps back from the point we found ourselves wounded or
stranded along one of life's highways, it all began with a
choice. Thank God each day is a new start and we are free
to choose again. I have learned in time that those choices
go better with God as our guide. If we, like in scuba diving,
stop, think and breathe. Except when listening for that still
small voice, we need to stop thinking, breathe and listen.
want to express our gratitude to Doug and Carrie Hamilton
for the hospitality and invitation to come to Arizona. Doug
and I wrote many great songs together and I keep that closeness
alive by continuing to perform those songs after all these
in the saddle again and feeling refreshed and ready for change.
The time we were gone passed in a blink. It was time for feeding
the soul. Watching the sunset over the Grand Canyon in its
many layers of beauty I felt a peace inside and a sense of
the power of the Infinite. I saw the inner peace Freedom has
as he hung his leg over the cliff on one of the peaks we climbed.
Sitting in the living room of the house in which Freedom lives
and looking at Thunder Mountain, I thought of how he has trusted
in God to guide and provide for him so he can share his music
and He has. Always through people who care for him but it
is God, just the same. Take the time for music or music will
not find the time. Doug and I never got to play a note. We
were both too tired and I wish we had had some moments of
sharing music again. Well, next time. We certainly had fun
visiting and making merry. We all felt such heavenly welcome
and comfortable rest and I am so grateful. Doug still gets
the best micro brew award. Andie took many spectacular photos
and we will put some up for viewing soon.
Our friend Dana wrote a note that said when we die our souls
are set free. How can we send a healthy soul to the heavens
if we don't take the time to feed it for the flight. Amen
to that. This week end was definitely flight food.
17 Preparing to leave for the airport. Everyone
is silent. This part doesn't feel the same as the
departure from home. It has been a whirlwind of relaxing
time. I am so grateful for friends and family who
made this time possible. Till the next time we will
keep these memories of closeness in our hearts as
we keep the ones we love near us in spirit every day
of our lives.
God for the time we take out to live and to bond and
to share this time we are allotted.
are looking forward to seeing Josh. I greatly missed
sharing this time with him.
16 The last night of the journey has come to
a close. We spent a day and evening in Sedona. What a magical
place that is. We visited the band house and the house that
Freedom shares with Natalie and Sebastian. Their house looks
straight out at Thunder Mountain. All that red rock has a
silent majesty that seems to call to the inner soul. Stop,
listen, and breathe. We climbed some rocks and walked out
in the wilderness near the road. It was a gradual climb over
what looked like mystically landscaped terrain. There were
flowers, bushes and cactuses that abounded along the make
shift trails. There were small plateaus of red rock. The rocks
had cracks that were surgically precise in the straight lines
was very gracious to drive us all day. We had the full crew
with Rob and Freedom and Sebastian and I in Jim's car and
Mish, Liz, Sarah, Andie and Pure in the other car. We didn't
waste a minute and spent the day soaking up the beauty and
wonder of Sedona. Rob told me to put my hands on the rocks
and release all the "stuff" I am carrying. He said
it was safe to let go of that kind of energy in a place like
this. It is just reabsorbed by the earth, he said. I did kneel
down and put my hands on the red rock and pray to release
the burdens, real or imagined, that I am carrying. I could
feel a release when I did. Freedom said he used to camp out
in the countryside around Sedona. I could see that there is
so much spiritual energy in that whole area.
had some food and beer at the old trading post and eventually
made it back to the house after shopping.
spent the evening visiting at the band house. Rob, Mish and
I sang Give Us Free and 911. We had a grand feast and a laid
back evening. We spent the night at Natalie's while the party
went on without us. We realized as we went to bed that we
really didn't feel like we gave ourselves enough time, but
it was good time that we gave. It was good for the heart to
see Freedom and Natalie together. They make a beautiful couple.
The previous day we went to the Grand Canyon.
We soaked up every scene with heart and soul. We watched the
many colors unfold before our eyes as the sun shifted across
the sky. The wind was blowing and the air was much colder
there than in Phoenix. We saw a huge Raven that followed us
around. He was the size of four crows and he had one white
feather on his back. A coyote walked right up to our car at
one of the points we stopped along the road. At the point
when the sun was setting, we all snuggled up with a sleeping
bag draped over our laps. It had gotten so windy and cold
at day's end. It is a different kind of hot an cold here than
back in Washington. When it is 92 degrees it doesn't seem
that hot and when it is 68 degrees it feels very cold. We
laughed about being cold at 70 degrees.
looks like Freedom's time is coming to shine. It looks like
they will be going to perform in Amsterdam at the Freedom
Festival. They will be playing at the Meltdown at the end
of July. They will be moving to California, much to our surprise.
Freedom said that is where they need to make connections to
move to the next level and get this music out. I am praying
for their success. I am glad I am not in that business. I
believe in the music and the message. Their needs to be balance
and there is so much darkness is so much music I believe we
will find a way to help the Freedom Tribe shine their light..
14 This is our second day in Phoenix with Doug
and Carrie and family. It has been quite a good time. I wish
I had more time to talk with Doug. He is always great to visit
and he is so passionate about anything he has to say. We had
an incredible Vietnamese dinner last night, and I had two
pints of Doug's Micro Brew and when we got home I just fell
asleep on the couch. I am pretty run down I guess. Then I
spent the night in stress filled dreams. What is that about?
I dreamed I was in Everett at a restaurant and lots of friends
and family were there but no one could hear me when I spoke.
I saw a van hit a parked car outside and push it into the
intersection. I saw Jim Culler and he could hear me. I had
thought that it was my car but then I realized I had driven
another vehicle. I had also put my laptop in what I thought
was my car so I ran outside and got it back. I thought that
I better call Andie and let her know I would be headed home
soon, but then I realized I hadn't gone to work yet. Hmmm.
No work, no phone call. I was probably in trouble. I then
said to Jimmy,"Are we in Everett?" He said, "Yes."
I said, "I can't be in Everett, I am in Arizona. I don't
have to go to work because I am on vacation. Maybe I am dreaming."
Jimmy said,"Maybe you are."
was the easy dream, the other's were just mind beaters. I
told Andie if I explained these dreams they would probably
lock me up. Do you ever dream so much that you wake up exhausted?
That was the kind of night I had.
waking part of the dream, that is to say, life. It has been
fun here so far. We got to see Torrie's new horse yesterday.
It is fun to see so but unbridled joy on the face of someone.
She is so full of love for Sugar. The Hamilton's have shown
us so much kindness and hospitality I feel really touched.
I hope Doug and I get a chance to play some songs together
before we head back. Today it is off to the Grand Canyon.
12 So much to do in these days, I am glad for
my dad. He has found a purpose in helping orphaned children
in Nicaragua. The organization he is working with has all
volunteer staff and all of the funding goes to support their
efforts to take care of these homeless children. Wouldn't
it be amazing if we could get 87 billion dollars from Congress
to help our own homeless population and to address the poverty
in our own country. I would like to use the music we will
be making in the future to support efforts for the lost souls
in our own communities. I think there is so much good we could
do. I loved doing the benefits I have done in the past and
want to pool our knowledge an marketing skills to really make
a financial impact on the causes of hunger and homelessness.
I saw a picture that belonged in a horror show. It was me
tuning my guitar at the anniversary party we were attending.
I looked like I had died 4 or 5 days before and no one informed
me. Yikes! I am in need of some rest badly. I think that time
away from the day to day, and some time with a book Bill Spies
gave me on meditation, will help me get back into being and
feeling alive. I haven't felt that way for a while. I still
can go there with music but lately even that has been hard.
I feel like I am pulling a freight car with a shoulder harness.
The funny thing is that it is all imaginary and there are
quick release straps on the harness anyway. Press the release
and walk away I say. Walk away. Breathe deep and soak up the
love and life around me.
I am looking forward to getting the whole
band together when I get back and moving to the next phase
of making music. I am praying for more of me left after work
for more of life. That would be a good thing.
11 I am going to make it to vacation time.
I am going to make it. Sometimes reflection is required to
see the things that are good and feel the wonder of life.
It is all perspective anyway. I seem to forget that a lot.
So things happen like seeing people who have touched my life
in different ways like Ellen, who stopped into Cafe de Paris.
I hadn't seen her since the days of the Morning Show. Jamie
and I played on King TV a few times and that is where I met
Ellen. She shared with me that this gift of music is healing
and comforting in lives in ways I probably couldn't imagine.
You know, in my heart I know that and that is why I continue.
There are times when I feel like I will lay my guitar down
and walk away and every time someone special, like Ellen,
will come along and remind me why I do music. Crystal is another
person who touched my heart by sharing the impact the music
that comes through me had on her life. I am truly blessed
to have this connection with people to shine a little of God's
grace and beauty on the planet through music. I realize at
some of my darkest hours, when I walked in dark shadow lands
and felt totally alone in the world, that I was em belay with
God through music and that lifeline saved my life more times
than I can count.
Sometimes the connection to the Source of all
creativity is so strong and clear that I feel like a mirror
reflecting the light that is lovingly and freely given to
me. Why? To share. As I grow older and whiter of hair (if
that is possible) I realize that music isn't about me. It
is about us. It is about we. One of the things that comes
with the gift of writing is empathy, only stronger. At times
I feel like I am looking out through the eyes and feeling
from the heart of the person whose story I am telling. That
is a source of both joy and sorrow. I wouldn't change the
gift, nor forgo any of the emotions that come with being a
messenger and comforter through music. I thank God each time
I am blessed with a new song, or revisit an old one. Music
heals me too. Sometimes this life gets in the way of making
music. At days end there is little left but that will change
over time, especially as I continue to slowly learn to let
the little things slide and maybe even listen to the words
of my own songs.
7 My how time seems to fly. Here it is Friday.
I spoke to Grampa Joe yesterday and he sounds great. He is
going to go to Nicaragua on a mission. Mean time he is working
in the office of the mission organization. He sounded like
he feels really good about what he is doing. I am so glad
to hear that he is.
I got instant messages from Maria yesterday. That was great!
What a surprise to be chatting across the continent with my
lovely sister. That is one great side of technology.
day is coming and we will be going to a wedding anniversary.
I wish it was on another day because we have traditionally
spent that day with Andie's mom and I enjoy sharing that time
with her. She is mom to a great woman. I will miss Sunday,
but we will make it up to her. I am still stumped on what
to get Andie but I have a few ideas.
will be heading to Arizona next week. Josh can't remember
that we asked him if he wanted to go way back months ago when
we booked it. He said he never wanted to go back to Arizona.
I almost felt that way after the last trip. It was so cold
and overcast. I thought it deserved one more chance and I
look forward to seeing friends and family there.
I am wondering what I have learned this week? I think that
patience is a good thing to have, deep breathing is important
to help delay what might come out of your mouth in a time
of crisis. I have learned that God is watching over us and
his plan is still a mystery to me. I have learned that He
gives me the strength to go through the changes of every day
and I have learned to continue to trust that He will lead
us onward. I continue to learn that other people's lives are
their own responsibility and that boundary setting is a daily
process. I have learned that God still does miracles and I
am grateful for that because we need one. Now. I have learned
that I am blessed beyond expression by the love of my wife
and family and humbled by this gift. I have learned that so
far the everyday stress hasn't killed me and I hope I am learning
to step outside and let it roll by sometimes. I have learned
to be grateful for each new day.
5 It is Cinqo de Mayo. In olden times I would
have been playing in some bar tonight. Instead some musician
friends will be getting together at Studio 04 to record and
play some music and socialize for awhile. I caught a glimpse
of my grandfather's heart yesterday. He left one day for a
pack of cigarettes and never came back. It is just that the
highway seemed like the only place to be for awhile to drive
away my troubles. I just wanted to silence all the thoughts
on war, poverty and work. My days of running away are over.
After all, no matter where you are, there you are. But sometimes
there is just too much going on in my head. I drove 50 miles
to Camano Island State Park. I turned off the car and parked
overlooking the water. The rain was falling in a steady rhythm.
I closed my eyes and listened to the sound of raindrops landing
on the leaves and felt my worries wash away. I thought of
Freedom's song, Northland Home. "Cedar trees, on their
granite throne." In what seems like another lifetime,
I used to drive to Troublesome Creek out by Index and listen
to the rain. I would stand beneath the tall cedar trees and
watch the raindrops drip from the sodden branches and fall
silently to the ground. The turbulent waters of the creek
wrestled with the river rocks and my cares were churned into
perspective while watching their ancient struggle. The cascading
water flow created a white foam and gave an aqua marine hue
to the creek. There was something very healing in that blue
color, in the silent majesty of the cedar trees and the rushing
of the river. It was like listening to God's heart beat, and
that is a good thing to do while worries wait.
weekend was full of life, to say the least. Live and learn
in the business arena. Play and live in the music arena. Scratch
your head and wonder in the family arena. I went into the
weekend at the extreme low end of the emotional spectrum.
I hit bottom and bounced a few times and slowly began to get
some lift and take off. Unfortunately , I never did get much
wind under my wings on Friday and most of Saturday. When we
began to play on Saturday evening I could see the ground coming
from above in the distance. It wasn't long after that that
I could feel myself emotionally and spiritually lifted off
the ground. Thank God for music.
saw some old friends, Betsy and Dave Haber. We haven't see
each other in decades. It is great how music can bring old
friends together. It also makes me happy that they saw where
I was playing by looking at the schedule on this website.
long ago I was talking with Jim and Mike about doing more
shows with a band. I said, I want to but we need a guitarist
and a percussionist. How can you do this music without a good
hand drummer. John foots that bill perfectly. Mark fills out
the rest. God is good. So I say, bring it on!
1st We are now into May! We did the gig at Taildraggers
and we packed them out. By 11:30 the place was empty. I am
retiring from music very soon. We had some moments but I was
fretting over things at home and didn't feel like I ever really
arrived. Mark was great! Dale was his fun self and played
with that joyful island style. I am really wondering at life
and some of the statements I made when I was a young and foolish
man. I once said in my youthful arrogance that I would get
by in life and get over relationships that waned. The only
thing that could really smash my heart would be my children.
The first part of that statement was not true, wounded hearts
are slow to heal. But the second has proved to be the great
prophecy. Dale told me he hard a saying that when you are
a parent you live outside your heart. That would be a neat
trick. Maybe that is a way of saying Don't sweat the small
stuff. That's all good, but what about the big stuff. I see,
as time passes, the need to learn to let go and accept the
moment. Mistake made cannot be unmade and you cannot make
your children's or your friends or anyone else's choices.
Just your own. You can make amends when possible, but you
cannot undo. So what does one do to learn limits and boundaries
of your own heart. How do you move on after you hit a wall.
How do you get around it. I am going shopping for a helmet