Greg Murat (mur-rah)  
  Singer-Songwriter  Guitarist  

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Journal  February  2008 

 

February 28, 2008    
 It is up to us to figure out what to do with the time we are given. Gandalf the White
   There is a thundering in my ears. Andie says she had the same thing. It is like rumbling from inside your head. All a part of this strange virus. I am seeking strength against this ongoing feeling of weakness. I so much want to sleep and yet I cannot sleep. I got a note from Rae Indigo saying I should try a Master Cleanse Fast. I think that is what Andie and Ammishaddai did but I am not sure. I will ask. I feel like these walls are closing in on me. Last night I was informed a very close friend's sister passed away suddenly. You just never know from one day to the next what will happen. Our thoughts and prayers go out tonight for comfort and peace.
    Kayden seems to be tip toeing towards papa again. He has wanted Mama only for two months. He knows something is wrong with me. Every time I cough he says" Papa's got an auwee." His timing is great in the sense that I have not had the energy to be the favored one for over five weeks. I still don't but I can hack my way through story time and he is patient with my coughing. Besides he knows I am a sucker for forty five minutes to an hour of stories and rocking. He called me after I put him to bed and when I went to check on him he was on the outside of the rail of his crib about to step down to the floor. So each night in the rocking chair we switch from rocking with intermittent tickles to snuggles until he says he is ready to get into his bed. Tonight we had five minuets of Eskimo kisses. Last night I knew he was ready for bed by by his very hearty snoring. Tonight he is holding out and wiggling around but not fussing. Another day in wonderland. I am hoping to be able to sleep for a change. Cough syrup makes me jittery and sleepless in Shohomish. Maybe I will write a screenplay.


February 27, 2008
I am grateful for today. It is gray in the Washington style. I sit in front of Faith's Lite Brite getting a treatment for Sadds. I think it is (comically) the name of what happens to us living in this overcast wonderland. You get sad because of lack of sunlight. I want to get a battery pack light and hook it onto one of those contraptions like the one Bob Dylan and Neil Young use to hold their harmonicas. That way I could walk around and the sun would follow me wherever I go. "Top of the morning to you miss. Care for some sunshine? Just lean into the light. There you go." It could catch on. You never know. Couldn't you see a bunch of smiling faces in the Starbucks line with little beams of lite in their faces, everyone smiling and cheerful. Enough of that, it's too early.
  Sleep still seems like the best great adventure at this time. Sleep and this oxygen deprived dizziness spawned by this ridiculous cough. I am healthy, healthy, healthy, healthy. It is hard to repeat these affirmations between lung ejection attempts. Sorry I cannot write at this time and besides I am spooging my screen. I have to go rest.
Live long and prosper.

February 24, 2008
  Andie just took Kayden outside to play. I am laying low again and resting trying to get my radiant health back. To the right is a photo of Anjali that Freedom just sent. It was titled Popeye. She is a cutie. She is growing so fast. They all do. Sariah is growing like crazy too. Kayden is too and although we see him everyday sometimes after a morning and afternoon you can see a difference in his size. He has grown that fast. Days are a bit blurry at the moment. I lose track of time focusing on stopping a cough or getting a good breathe. I am visualizing a new dwelling by the end of March. I think it is time for this old house to come down therefore I have been looking on line at what the process is. Andie has already researched it and it takes six months to get the necessary permits to take down the mobile. It is hard to know what to do. Sell as is, clear the property. The learning process is educational. Andie has been working on it for some time and she has helped us with our options in so many ways. What happens next remains to be seen. I am mostly resting and not really that able to think clearly at this time. Having no energy isn't really my favorite. It is time to get over this bronchitis and move on so Andie can have a rest. She has been taking great care of me.
  Chani is about to go to Hawaii in a few days. She will be tattooing some friends of Christina's. It is a great opportunity. She said she is thrilled that she went to Mexico last month and now she is off to Hawaii. She chose her path well and it just goes to show what can happen when you are true to your dreams.
   I have been talking to Josh nearly every day. They are just about to make their move to the new place. It will be quite a change for them, Josh, Christina and Sariah. Sariah loves the new place though. We will probably be headed that way for a visit before too long. I feel like I will doing some traveling this year and I hope that is true. We need a major change of major proportions. It is way past time. Bring it on.
............

February 24, 2008    
   Well I am laid back resting. Resting and resting which seems to be the only treatment for this condition. I tell you one thing, it makes one really appreciate the ability to take in and release air. It seems like I just can't get quite enough air with each breathe. That fact may be of some relief to people who are upset that I am breathing their air. I am but not very much.
   Andie just shot and put together a video to teach herself Adobe Premier. She is amazingly gifted at learning programs like that and also at putting together footage very artistically. The audio is from the video camera and the film features an old guy with bronchitis trying to sing between sips of tea while juggling a cough drop on his tongue. We used a body double for the shot of the guy with his arms spread on the upper deck of a ship. That pasty white pear shaped fellow could not possibly be me. I tried to record the song in the studio but the wheezing was so pronounced and the continuity kept being interrupted by fits of coughing that I bagged that idea. Prior to shooting we decided to cut my hair. I was going to go for the Sting semi crew cut look but after cutting about 10 lbs of my hair I thought an early Beatles look might work. Unfortunately my hair poofs when not weighted by length and I look like someone from an early 70's sitcom, or a member of the Brady Bunch. All that aside, I think my lovely wife is very gifted and I am so grateful for her. I look forward to being well and able to really sing so we can shoot another video. And as long as we are using body doubles I think we'll use a different agent next time and go for more of a Brad Pitt look.

February 19, 2008
This month is going by in a huff and a puff, or a hack and a gack. It is time for the winds of wellness to blow. To the right a picture of our grand daughter Anjali that Freedom just sent a few days ago. What a cutie! We got to visit with them on Skype for a little while over the weekend. They all look so happy. Natalie had the biggest smile on her face and Anjali tried to get the camera so we got some great close ups of her little face from all the way down there in Sedona. The visit was way too short. Freedom said it rained the whole time they were in Maui except the last couple of days. It doesn't seem right does it?

We got to see lovely little Sariah for a few minutes too when Christina and Andie were on Skype. I love the fact that we can chat while they are going about their day in Ojai. They are busy moving to a new place and should be actually moving in a week or so. I know they are looking forward to a change. Josh is stoked because it is just a short walk to his day gig from their new place. He just gave me the low down on that new movie Old Men and Borders or whatever it is. He should write reviews or summaries because he can really tell a story and if you close your eyes you can almost picture the movie playing in front of you. It is like the director's cut with commentary only better.

Well I am looking forward to being all full of life and energy again. Every time I cough Kayden says Papa got an awee. I have used up my stash of energy and will have a little rest now. Andie is working Adobe Premier and doing some great editing. She played what she had done with a live recording of Give Us Free and it is really fun except for the old guy singing. I may have to do a voice over when I feel better and try to match the scratchy audio on the video camera. I will also make and attempt to play the correct chords and sing the correct words. That may be stretching it though. So peace prosperity and health to all.

.


Where my girl belongs

February 9, 2008
More coughing and sleeping. Sleeping and coughing. Andie came to check on me what was I thought before work. The fact is it was in afternoon and I had slept the five hours she had been gone. I can't believe it. Now I am ready to sleep more. I haven't done anything all day and I am thinking I have to kick into
gear but it is not happening yet. I did manage to upgrade the memory in her laptop and so she is installing the Adobe Suite Jason got for her. What an incredible array of software. I am looking forward to seeing what she is going to do with it. She is talking about writing a book too. I am thinking about being tired of trying to breath and she is ready to take on the world. Amazing. That is it for me for now, I am in the same vortex I have spun in most of my life. Maybe I will launch this side, maybe not. If I don't make sense it is because I don't make sense. I am not well at all at this time and not seeming to be improving. I am in dis-ease.

February 8, 2008

I am sick as a mother. Two weeks and counting. I am healthy. One of the other is true I guess. I couldn't get up to go to the rest room until 2:30 today. I am riding those waves of near delirium and negativity and trying to break free. Thoughts are pinging all over the place. Like this, when does it stop making sense for a parent to provide services to a young adult at a tenth of the cost of those services ? You get these adds that say add one more for twenty dollars and look at your three hundred dollar bill and wonder how is this working out for everybody? When you add services, taxes, fees, fees for charging fees, fees for charging fees for charging fees, fees for printing your bill in Malaysia, fees for actually providing proof of what you are being billed, your seventy nine dollar bill is now three to four hundred dollars a month, no matter what. Now from what I hear, it really helps and makes it so much easier when the young adult is appreciative and respectful and really reaches out to see if they can contribute in return. And that does happen I hear, but in some cases you would be more likely to see a platter of flaming snowballs on a beach in the Bahamas. But we are here for service. Andie has that figured out. We are here to make it easier on others and reap the rewards. There is a certain mentality that runs through some families and is passed on and on however unfortunate that may be. People who screw up and get mad at you as a result. What kind of brain works like that? Not one destined for early sainthood I fear. One like mine, perhaps. Perhaps. As for now I want to get well or die soon. Preferably the first but one or the other.

February 3, 2008
It is already February, this is the winter wallop we are in with all the snow and flu. Much more music is needed to contend with these winter days. I don't recall being so sick so often ever. It could be that all this reading, listening to audio books and the absorption of all this information without a musical release or process is doing all this. Too much information. I think it is focusing on things outside my control and forgetting to live. There are songs waiting to be written. There are recordings to finish. There is so much to do. Yet I feel as the frozen man for some reason. Letting go. Every day is letting go. And something that I want to work into my next song and it is this thought: Life in every breath. Life in every breath from The Last Samurai. Life is as it is supposed to be. Our lessons are here before us. Our opportunities to become the best we can and fulfill our life's purpose are all here. I have been lost in thinking of all the inaction or actions when it really comes down to Life in every breath. Don't waste a moment on people who would hurt you on purpose because in so doing it dims the vision and makes it difficult to see all of the wonderful loving human beings who are all around you. Life in every breath. Be a loving helping human being. Show the love to those you love and wrap yourself up in gratitude for the blessing of being loved. Life in every breath. If you sing make sure you mean it because it might catch on and if so you will be singing that song over and over and over the rest of your life. I have felt that fear a time or two when recording some of the songs I wrote decades ago. I wouldn't feel bad singing Love is Kind over and over or Wasn't it a Time for the rest of my days. At the same time I would love to feel like my best work is in front of me waiting to be mined and milled and made into song. Life in every breath. Still I have a library of songs that have been heard by only a very few ears. That is going to change. I am grateful for so much in my life especially my beautiful bride Andrea. It is her birthday tomorrow and she has spent the last entire week taking care of Kayden and I as we have both been so sick. She is proof God has a loving and forgiving heart as she loves me still after all these years and it is a miracle that never ceases to amaze me. I love her too and the is still the best of all. And whenever I hold her close I know "Life in every breath".

January 29. 2008   I have been busy with correspondence and study and it has been a challenge to sit and write. Kayden is sleeping in this morning so I am going to grab this opportunity to jot down a few lines. The kitty is staking her territory and looking for mischief. I am claiming health in spite of the messages I am getting from my nose, throat and lungs. They are not the boss of me. I have to smile when I look at the picture of our pool and recall our Renton vacation. Who would have thought? Since we are now members of the Seattle Aquarium, Andie and I was talking this morning of our next outing there. I have been absorbing so much information in the last month that my brain is getting in shape and fit. It feels good. I am looking forward to taking some yoga classes with Andie. We may have to take them at separate times because of Kayden but we can practice together here at home.
   The family is doing good. Josh is working at an up scale food store and stocking and getting plenty of exercise. He has figured out Cubase and his recording gear and is sending me tunes regularly. I love his feel for guitar. It is a little like mine only different and more intricate and precise. Sariah is singing up a storm and gives us lots of love every time we talk on the phone. That is usually a few times a week or more. Christina has finished her massage therapy school and is beginning her practice. I look forward to our next visit. Chani is rocking out at Hidden Hand Tattoo and is on her longest run of good fortune and contentment with the flow of her life and her relationship with Knuck. He is a winner. She is off to Hawaii for a week some time in March. She is going to be famous with her skills, perseverance and dedication. Sarah is plowing through the editing of her feature length film that she wrote and directed. She is going to be famous with her skills, perseverance and dedication. She already has the satisfaction of doing what she loves. Liz is working away at her same job and is very versatile. She is consistent. She is getting ready to go back to school and gain some more skills probably in finance and accounting. Freedom and Natalie I believe are in Maui enjoying the sun. Anjali is gorgeous and growing more so each day. Kayden is ruling the house and has been sick for about 4 days now. I hope he wakes up in a good mood. He doesn't like me right now. He swings back and forth between Andie and I and it is just about all or nothing. I am on the nothing end at the moment. I think it is harder on Andie when he favors me although it is tough on me too.
  I just did a recording session with Anna Moya at Mike Daily's Studio 04. It was great. She created and sang harmony parts on a Doug Hamilton and Greg Murat tune called Where Can I Find Love. She is a pro and a lot of fun in the studio. I hope we can work it out so she can add some more harmony to the CD so we get wrap it up release Life Songs and Essence. I am ready to write some new music that is in line with what I am learning about life and living. I am going to seriously move some things around in the little fort of Silent T Studio and make it a writing space that is ready on a second's notice to kick in and capture new ideas. So there it is in a nutshell. Andie's birthday is on the 4th. That was a good day for us all when she was born. Be well, live long and prosper. G



January 12, 2007    Draw even with the evening stars. JT
  We are back from Holiday. We spent six days and nights swimming in a private heated pool and staying in the adjoining studio apartment, just Kayden, Andie and I. We had one adventurous day when we went for an Argosy cruise around the sound and went to the Seattle Aquarium twice. We had a lovely dinner with Sarah Maria on Capitol Hill and spent the rest of the time resting and swimming up to six hours a day. It was wonderful. The picture to the right is of Andie and Kayden at the far end of the very warm pool. To the left and right of where I stood taking the picture there were two neon palm trees. I joked that I had visualized privacy, warm water and palm trees for our vacation. I got my wish and we didn't even have to get on a plane.

   Kayden is a total water baby and the last day we went swimming on his initiative a total of four times. He had a routine that was just the opposite of ours. He would get into the hot tub and soak for twenty minutes playing with toys on the edge and then he would walk over to the steps to the left of the Jacuzzi (which are just outside the view in the photo) and jump into the pool. He would swim the entire length of the pool with his little floaties on his arms. He was fast. Then he would swim for up to two hours. One wall of the studio apartment was a series of windows and a sliding glass door that looked out on the pool, and he would stare out of them and say "Kayden is looking at the beach. Go Swim?" I had been telling him we were going to the beach as I thought we were going to Hawaii. This was beach enough for us. It was peaceful, simple and so very much fun. It poured rain, and I mean poured, every single day but we were in our own oasis. The weather did not matter, we were cocooned in our own little tropical space pod.
   On the way home we stopped by to see Kathy and Dale and Dale gave me One Man Band JT DVD and CD set. What a wonderful birthday present. I spent a few hours this afternoon watching it. It brought tears to my eyes to listen to him play his guitar and perform in what began as solo and simple presentation. I still would love to see and hear him play a whole show with just his guitar. He did two songs that way and the rest of the time he was accompanied by a wonderful pianist, and on a few tunes by a prerecorded choir. He also utilized an amazing wood shop crafted monster of a drum machine on a few tunes. That was a kick. It was interesting to hear him talk about the origin of some of the songs. It reminded me of how I meander some times when I am talking on stage. Our dear friend, Don Perry, shine in peace, used to tease me about how my stories would change when I described how and why I wrote songs. What is the truth, he would ask. It is all true, I said, at one time or another. It is all true.
  Now Andie is reading to Kayden and it may be time for Papa to go rock him for awhile.
There is no place like home. There is no place like home. There is no place like home.

January 8, 2007 Let the sunshine in
Take the time to see the possibilities and the horizon is wide open. Everything I am reading, everything I am listening to starts with the same initial step. Define what you want. Make it clear and detailed. As Jack Canfield says, vague goals lead to vague outcomes. So the books and CD's are stacking up as I struggle to define that initial step. We are making progress though. Andie has bought vision boards for herself, Kayden and me. Now we need pictures of all the things we want to have and do. There will be many. Once you change your focus from lack, to gratitude all kinds of ideas start to arrive: rich land with room to grow and build, a thriving recording studio, a flourishing cultural center, a healthy haven for children, an inspired publishing company, a holistic Center for natural healing, a peaceful spiritual retreat, a profound yoga studio, a joyful oasis for art and dance, a highly sought after retreat for life skills workshops. All those ideas just flowed into my mind and out onto the keyboards and from there they make their way to vision boards, to action plans and well defined goals. It will be great in 2008.
 We heard from Mish and she told us about her visit to Ojai. She said our grand daughter Sariah is quite the show person now. She sings into the microphone and then takes it off the stand and holds it, sings and then places it back on the mic stand, all as part of her performance. She is so cute. Click here for a YouTube shot of her playing guitar. That is it for me. I am watching the weather and it is dumping snow on the passes.


January 3, 2007   I can replace my feelings of depression, anxiety or worry with peace.
I could see peace in this situation instead of what I now see in it. A Course in Miracles


Happy Birthday Rob. I wish we were all sitting around playing music together tonight celebrating your day. We will be missing another Maui birthday but I hope this is the last time that happens. Next year I want to be somewhere sunny on my birthday. Somewhere with warm white sand. The last time Rob and I got together in the studio he got everything running perfectly. We had a great session doing what we love to do; working in the studio and playing music.
To the left is a picture of Anjali that Freedom just sent yesterday. Isn't she a beauty. I am sure looking forward to hugging that baby girl. Happy birthday to Freedom tomorrow, just in case this laptop bites the big tofu before then. He and Natalie made a beautiful baby girl.
  I am sleepy again. I saw Liz today and got a hug and a plan to get together. Talked to Josh last night but haven't heard from him today. I think Chani is still in Mexico. And I am ready to call this a day. Happy new year. Money comes easily and often. Friends and family are our greatest treasure.


  Happy New Year! 2008 is going to be great!
  The evening of the first of the year took an interesting turn. We called Dale and Kathy and found they weren't doing anything so we decided we would drop by to see them. We had invitations to a Jamie and Becky party and a Jason and Blu party but Blu wasn't feeling well and that was canceled. I received a very gracious phone call from Jamie just before we left and invited us to please come see every one. We dropped by to see Dale and Kathy, had some snacks and Chile and then we all drove over to see Jamie and Becky and the gang. The Delivery Boys were the band with Ronnie, Dave, Jamie and Jimmy. We didn't get there until 11. We weren't even sure we were ever going to leave our house but Faith came over so we could have a break and get out. It was good to see the guys and Jamie, Jimmy, Ronnie and I played a few tunes together and spent time visiting. It was a cold and icy evening but very warm in the house. We all chatted for a while and then we played some more. The funny thing is that in all the years I played music on New Year's Eve, the changing of the year was a count down and big deal. We were all playing Heaven In Your Eyes when someone walked in from outside and said Happy New Year's. I thought this is a good omen for the coming year. Playing and sing as the 2007 became 2008. I also received a text Happy New Year from Freedom right at midnight. It was a great night. We actually stayed up and visited until about 1:30 and as we were leaving we heard that Kelly was coming. We were already on our way though and it was about a week past the normal time I go to bed these days. We dropped Kathy and Dale off at home and cruised back to find Faith still awake and waiting for us. Kayden had a mellow sleep while we were gone so we were happy about that. We both had a Blueberry Tea at Kathy and Dale's and that was it for the drinking. Still were both were tuckered out when we got home and I blinked and it was New Year's Day.

  With the changing of the year came the Kayden shift. He favors either Andie and I at different times and it has been me for a few weeks now. I wake up and hear a long drawn out "Papa" coming from his room. Now he wakes up with a favorite and he doesn't much care to see the other parental type figure. I said Hi Kayden and he answered Mama. And he sent me to get Andie and he was happy. It is a great feeling to have that special favor but it is hard to get much done when you are called to run around the Jump-O-Lene or head into the vocal booth and hang out. I spent the last two days reformatting my laptop and reinstalling all the software. It didn't nothing to fix the display. Still everything is squeaky clean and this machine is still outdated but functional, just a little hard to see as it continues to fade.

So a happy new year to all. May it be a time of spiritual growth and healing. It has started out with study and reading the works of Wayne Dryer. I watched a tremendously enlightening show on PBS that was full of inspirational insights. He asked the audience who wakes up at the same time every night at about the same time. Nearly everyone raised there hand. Here I thought it was only me who wakes up. He said get up. That is the time for Spirit, for creativity. It is when God will guide you and when your creativity is greatest. It is the middle of the night. Don't worry about the sleep he said. Twenty minutes of meditation is equivalent to eight hours of sleep. On that note I am going to get some. I have a story to tell about a dream but that is for another day. Happy New Year.

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Greg Murat (mur-rah)  
  Singer-Songwriter  Guitarist