Greg Murat (mur-rah)
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Journal January 2009
January 24th, 2009 Embrace the cold from inside a blanket.
I just word form Becky that Dave Noren is in the hospital after a fall. He could use some prayers. He is in Harbor View and I know lots of people love The Delivery Boys. So we invite you to send love and prayers for his recovery. Becky says he is in a lot of pain. We will let you know what we hear. Prayer is powerful medicine.
It snowed again folks. Isn't there a rule book somewhere with a limitation number set. Apparently not. Kayden was trying to get me to take him out in the snow at 7 o'clock this morning. I declined. He has been sick for three days and needs another to really recoup. I may take him out this afternoon. We hear it is sunny in Seattle and out lying areas. Surprise. Surprise. It is gray and overcast here in the hollow. Thank God for heat and warm clothes.
January 23rd, 2009
Take time to listen to the quiet.
It's is still stinking cold! It creeps through the walls, shellacs car windows and chills bones. Winter wields a mighty wand.
I am looking at a postcard with four pictures from Key West Florida on the cover: a brilliantly colored parrot, the silhouette of a palm tree against an amber sunset, a boat with a magenta and yellow sail billowing in the wind and a delicate yellow and gold tropical flower surrounded by thick green vegetation. It is from Chani who just spent a holiday there this month. I am thinking of our friend Tani saying she needs a tropical vacation. I am thinking of Jason and Blu who just came back from the Dominican Republic And here I am typing with a little portable heater next my legs, I turtle neck sweater and warm slippers. We need a summer vacation!
I am also thinking about people needing to be around people.
Interesting. We spend a great deal of time not around people when Andie, Kayden and I are together and we love people. We need to fix that somehow. Moving might be a good way to go. "Now don't start that again!" I drive Andie crazy. One day I say that I love it here. This is my home. Another day I will say we have to move somewhere warm. How do you do that when it was 20 degrees in Miami a few nights ago. It is hard to pack when you are spinning in circles.
It has become quite quiet as Kayden had fallen asleep. Andie is playing on Facebook. I was playing my guitar in an open G tuning and working on a song called Letting Go that I started a year ago in December. Very quiet. I remember when every Friday night, most of my adult life, I would be packing up to go play a gig somewhere. I can't remember the last time I did. Actually the last time I played I didn't need much gear. It was our friend Rebel's wedding. Gotta get out more. I am so thankful I have had the opportunity to do some shows at the Thumbnail Theater thanks to Scott Drexler introducing me to Tim Noah. Time to play now. Let's have a great weekend.
January 22nd, 2009
Hard times makes good times sweeter.
Kayden is having another rough go of it tonight. Andie is missing her favorite shows as he only wants her to hold him. He has put up with me all day long. I will have to make him stay put tomorrow as I think he was just too busy today and I couldn't get him to rest. I think he was so happy he felt better than he did in the night time that he wanted to be on the move. Every few hours he would keel over on the futon and be still for awhile. I am tuckered out and it looks to be another long night. I know Andie is exhausted. She whooped me good at Wii boxing though. We did a fitness test and I am 57 according to their data. It is funny that we both were out of breath and sweating while virtually kicking the crap out of each other. It is probably therapeutic on some levels.
I am going to play my guitar for a while if the silly dove will be quiet. I believe she woke up Kayden. She can hear me play even with the studio door closed and she coos in bursts of seven and very loudly. Love her but wish she would sleep at night and coo in the day. Here I go again, maybe I will be given a song.
January 21st, 2009 You are filled with the potential to give back so much to the world. Deliver the goods!
We have a new president. It is a new day. I am trying to motivate myself to write more but I need to change my setup. I like to be around Andie and Kayden when I am writing and without the laptop that is difficult. I thought of using a long extension chord and a modified TV tray with a neck strap attached. The TV tray would hold the monitor, workstation, keyboard, mouse and power strip. But there is just no way to keep the Computer and monitor from falling off. As you might guess, the strain on my neck would make typing rather difficult. It would also be impossible to play running chasing with Kayden while carrying a complete computer work station around my neck. Hence, I am at my desk as Andie reads to Kayden. He is not feeling well tonight and that has dampered all our spirits a bit. Mix those feelings with all the fog and it is down right soggy here.
What about this weather? I heard it was twenty degrees in Miami last night. Twenty degrees! It was eighty four in LA. Our latest wonder of nature is the FOG that came to stay. This morning and this afternoon I could barely see past the end of my car and driving down Cavalera's Hill with its dips and turns and forking road was no fun. I was in a complete white out. It was like being in the Twilight Zone. All sense of direction departed. The edge of the road, which is skirted by ditches and some drops offs, was totally invisible. I even lost any sense of how far I had gone. Each traffic light was totally unfamiliar even though I have seen them hundreds, if not thousands, of times. I was very grateful when I finally put it in park and stepped out into the misguided moisture. Warm and dry again. Thank you God.
The Woodstock Tribute was a success and we had the walls of the Tim Noah's Thumbnail Theater practically bulging with people. There was quite a line up of musicians and I was very impressed with the caliber of the performers. We have quite the cultural hub going in the land of Snohomish. Volkert put the event together and he was cool and collected yet full of joy over the turn out and the show. There was a lot of joy on the faces of everyone in the audience. My friend Justin Moore came over from Bellevue to catch the show. He is a great support. Tim Noah, accompanied by his son Jude, closed the show and then we all sang together after his final song. It is heart warming to see talented musicians donating their time and energy and playing their heart out to help raise money for the Snohomish Food Bank and just to share their gifts. Thanks to all involved.
Another blast from the past. I heard from my friend Susan Martin. She is doing great and as funny as ever. I always loved her sense of humor. She is also a fine singer. She is the only one I know who can actually play Freebird and pull it off. I love hearing from friends who have moved and made something of their lives. It is quite an inspiration. Now if I could just accomplish something. Hmmmm Oops gotta go. We decided against Gold's Gym and went with a Wii. Andie just challenged me to a boxing match and she's been working out.
.January 9th, 2009 Keep the dream alive..
I sit here in a bit of a daze and watch the pictures of Paris flicker by on the digital photo frame Andie bought me last year. I smile thinking about the time I spent with Sarah Maria there.
Andie and I so often watch the news of natural disasters around the world. We are grateful that most of the time our biggest issue is lack of sunshine. That certainly is different this winter and everywhere you go you hear people talk about being ready for spring to come. We are really only three weeks into winter. It is no wonder though. Some sections of the freeway are under 3 feet of water. Houses are sliding down hillsides. Ten thousand semi-trucks have been parked for days along side the freeway, unable to go south to Portland Oregon, or North to Seattle. There are local rivers seven feet above flood level. Downtown Snohomish is under water. Highway Nine is closed in and out of Snohomish. Once again I awaken and am grateful when I flick the switch and the light illuminates the darkness. We have heat and warmth and although the flood waters are over a foot deep in parts of our back yard, they are only lapping over the first step of our deck and not coming into our house.
I was reading a book Bill Spies gave me on meditation. I just read a few pages and ponder them. It brings me back to the place that Andie reminds me I need to be: spiritual. I don't know why that is always so hard for me. The truth is that wanting to be that totally independent being apart from God is not a source of fulfillment. Quite the opposite. I think it comes from past baggage. The need to let go is so important. People will hurt us. We will hurt them. Mostly by mistake, but sometimes people set out to do damage. Whatever the reasoning, whatever the cause, these are lessons in letting go and forgiving. I truly believe that the person who benefits most from forgiveness is the one who needs to forgive. A hardened heart is a physical as well as a spiritual ailment.
I listened to a friend talking about a particularly terrible divorce and at the end of the conversation I said I know how important it is to let go of those feelings and that experience. I related an incident where someone deliberately and deceitfully sought to drive a wedge between a loved one and me. I was dumbfounded and felt betrayed, manipulated and made to appear a fool. I said it is very difficult for me to forgive this person. It is a choice to have some people not be a part of our lives but we need to let the baggage go along with the relationship. Bless them and release the bond that binds them to us in any way. Forgiveness is different from stuffing. I am very good at stuffing. It is the difference between holding your breath and breathing in and then out. Michael Neil said to ask this question. What if it meant something else? Since we can't really know what someone else feels, we don't really know the whole story behind the actions. What if the experience was stripped of ominous emotions and descriptions. What if we zoomed out and took a look from the perspective if hero, victim or villain? I am tossing out ideas in hopes that one will work for me because there are a few people I see as the source of my sorrow and therefore it is so. Let it go. Let it go. Let it go.
The past can so easily blind us to the present. Who cares about the past when there are so many things to be grateful for now. This little person in our lives, Kayden. I love to watch Andie interact with him. She shines with love. When I jump up and start dancing around the living room and he shouts what about me and runs and leaps into my arms and wraps his arms and legs around me and puts his head on my shoulder. I do the leaping spinning hillbilly ballet while he clings on to me. I love to watch Faith with Kayden too. Her love for him is sweet to see. I am grateful for the love I feel for Chani, Sarah Maria, Josh, Aaron, Liz , Sariah, Anjali and how the family has expanded to include more and more people like Natalie, Christina, Steve and all the friends we know and love. We are blessed. Thank you God.
When life leaves a skid mark there are several choices; washing machine, trash can or back to front. You choose.
January 8th, 2009 What you have to do is to decide what you going to do with the time you are given. Gandalf the Gray
The floods have arrived. We are now in a castle with a mote around it. Parts of the back yard are so deep underwater that the water nearly spills into my knee high boots when I am wading in it. The next door neighbors pond has provided a swift creek flowing into the side of our yard. Beware the under toe. It is just bizarre. Weather for the times in which we live. God bless all the people who are being flooded out of their homes, some for the second time in 2 years. Interstate 5 is closed North and South of Chehalis and now it is closed North and South of Arlington. All three mountain passes are closed due to avalanches. It is a beautiful day in the neighborhood. I told Sarah on the phone tonight that she is lucky to be in New York City during this hostile planet weather.
Josh sent me some links to John McLaughlin playing with Shakti, an Indian hand drum orchestra. Great stuff. I am going to check out Josh's YouTube to see some Sariah Videos. It is awesome listening to her sweet voice. You can't see her very much but you can hear what a singer she is going to be.
I am weary from wading so I am going to call it a night.
January 7th, 2009
The rain is pounding the roof. Ten to twelve inches they say will fall in the next few days. The adventure continues in the land of changing weather. Young Kayden awoke ready for the new day at 3:30am and remained enthusiastic and alert until around 6am. He has developed a craving for a bagel and a glass of milk at around that time of morning. He is very happy and wiggly. We continue to experiment with the possibility that he could just snuggle in with us and go back to sleep. He continues to thwart any such hopes and either Andie and I are off to bed with him. Children who are extraordinarily sensitive like Kayden like to be brushed. You use a soft plastic brush that stimulates the surface of the skin and helps them to relax. The practice of brushing has evolved into something new and the request for this action is a sign that sleep might be in sight. He will say "Scratch my back." And after several minutes of carefully directed scratching (harder please, over here, tickle there, more please) he will drift off to sleep leaving behind a very weary parental type person. Such was the beginning of this blustery birthday for me. I am grateful for my life, for my family and my friends, for music, lovely music, for my health, for my heart and spirit. For time with the ones I love. For the light, the everlasting light.
January 4th, 2009 Happy Birthday Freedom
The snow returned yesterday. I haven't looked outside yet this morning. Reports last night predicted 5 to 6 inches. It is so beautiful and creates a sense of gratitude for a warm house to live. It seems very quiet this early morning. Our dove, Lucy Lieu woke me up at 4 am with her typical series of 9 very loud coos. The phone just rang to tell us school will be delayed 2 hours. We don't have anyone in school but they seem to need to continue to share this information with us. I am somewhat zoned out this morning.
I made a few entries that never got posted. I spent several hours the first two days of 2009 in the recording studio with Mike Daily and Jimmy Culler. That was a great way to start the new year. I am going over several songs that are in the nearly finished bin. I spoke a few times with John Matthews about the need to get the band out there to perform somewhere soon. The calendar is wide open spaces at this point with the exception of doing two songs at the Woodstock Tribute this month.
I was unable to reach Freedom on his birthday but I left e-mail, phone and MySpace messages for him. C'est la vie. Saw some really cute pictures of Anjali. She does look like a little Pebbles. We need to receive some pictures of Sariah, Josh and Christina's beautiful daughter.
Well the day has slipped away. Kayden is sleeping, Andie is listening to 7 Thunders Internet radio and I am in the studio burning a little wood incense that Rob gave me. It is from the mountains of Peru. It stinks, but in a good way. I have moved and cleaned and re-patched chords. I have stacked gear and now I am running out of reasons why not to sit and play in this wonderful place I have for making music. And there fore I shall now. It is quiet. The aquarium water is trickling in the background. There is the soft light of a candle. Now, do I just sit here and play or start turning on all this technology. I sit and play.
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Greg Murat (mur-rah)