Greg Murat (mur-rah)  
  Singer-Songwriter  Guitarist  

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Journal  April  2007 

 

Kayden at the Creek
Kayden's Creek


April 29, 2007
  I am so grateful today. I got see my grand daughter Saria taking some of her first steps all thanks to Josh, MySpace and video. Sariah is an amazing little soul with the combined beauty of Josh and Christina and the blend of their spirits and a heavy dose of Josh's sense of humor. Here is a link up to the video. Saria steps out. I have collected a large fortune in happy thoughts via my family. There a ton of them captured on the videos Andie shot when we were at Sun Mountain Lodge. We did all these skits that Andie directed and they are still hilarious. Josh has a wicked wit. In one scene he was singing the song from the movie Parenthood.
"When you're sliding into home and your pants begin to foam, diarrhea, diarrhea diarrhea." He was standing in a boat and as he began singing a verse a yellow jacket began flying around his face and he so he sang something like "when you are sliding into third and you drop juicy and there' s bee in your face." He screamed and ran off camera." I remember Chani doing the bird dance at her roller skating lessons flapping her little arms like wings with a look of utter seriousness and determination on her face. Every time I picture skating behind her and watching he little elbowed wings working I get a huge grin. I am grateful for times Aaron and I sat on river beds banging rocks together and chanting Native songs I learned from Cree elders in Oregon. I remember how Sarah used to wake me up when I was sleeping by pulling up one of me eyelids and asking me if I was in there. She also liked to drag her thumb over my eyebrows and push the hard backwards towards my nose. I remember Liz taking a bath in the sink at Sun Mountain Lodge and being so serious as I was interviewing her from behind the camera. Ever time she moved a little bit water flooded onto the floor. She got a kick out of that. It is hard to believe now that any of them were so little once. The treasure of these happy memories help raise me up if I want to sink down.
  The human mind is an incredible thing and at the same time simple. Our minds can't tell when we are making things up and that is why stress, real or imagined,can be so hard on us. I have begun the practice of going back over scenes that didn't play out very well and playing them with a different ending. For now, just with little things like, traffic, a disagreement. After I imagine a more pleasant experience a funny thing happens. I feel better. Also I am better prepared for the next time around and have set up a good out come. Like Henry Ford said "whether you think you can or think you can't you're right." This exercise works really good over memories that hurt or haunt a person. Make a new one. The simplest thing for peace of mind is being present and aware of life at this moment and being grateful for what we have now. We draw into our lives what we think about and dwell upon so it only figures that if we think about happiness and abundance we will draw those things into our lives. Since we get more of what we give our focus if we focus on health rather than sickness we will heal faster and better. It makes sense to me. God bless. Papa


April 20-21, 2007

  These days it is more and more challenging to find the time to write. I am on my way to Costco to pick up The Secret and see if that will help us make a move. I am not hearing from any of the people we spent last weekend with so quickly we come together and are then swept back up into our separate lives. I waste a lot of time with MySpace because there are so many friends and no organization to where they are. I flip through and accidentally bump people off my list, like I did with Josh's Johnny Suede page. I am going through 1200 people to find him and this is the 5th time. I decided to do a page at a time but not look at it for about 5 minutes until everybody's picture is there. I hate waiting. Still I am blessed with a lot of very nice friends who are quite amazing people and artists. What a great thing to be able to network and share with so many people all over the world. I love it!
  I am very excited to go to the theater tonight and see and hear all the work Sarah Maria has done on this interactive dance performance. She composed nearly an hour's worth of music and I am so proud of her. We missed out on a long planned weekend together last weekend so tonight is very special to me as we will get to hang out with her for a bit after the show.
   I did a lot of talking on the phone yesterday. I talked to Freedom and he sounds very good. We talked about the fact that when we are holding guitars and singing there are no questions such as "why am I here?" or "what am I supposed to be doing?" It is funny that works. It was good to hear his voice. Then I talked to Natalie for a long time and that was nice. She is doing good and says the new little one growing inside is very healthy and fine. It was good to listen to her share her feelings about life, love and the pursuit of happiness.
   It is very important to think before acting or speaking. It is early and that just popped into my head. Our thoughts are such powerful magnets. I just learned that the subconscious does not know negatives. Therefore what we focus on is what we get. In other words it we say "I don't want to be late." Be late is the message the brain gets. If we focus on debts we get more. Focus on having abundance, then pay off the debts and don't worry about it.
It is so vital they way we perceive our world. We are shaping our lives, our destinies with the things we place in our thoughts. These are not new concepts, they are just taking on new life as Andie and I reach out for the future we are creating together. A future that includes loving and lifting Kayden into a space where he can be all he can be. He blossoms a little more each and every day. In the past we have been blessed with many lessons in patience and perseverance. By the past I mean up until he went to sleep last night. And soon his new day will begin. I love Saturdays because it is just us two guys hanging out together. It is our time and I cherish it. It seems like a blink ago and I was carrying Freedom in a backpack style baby carrier through the woods on what is now the Nordstrom Farm. Back then it was Sky Meadows. What a place to be born. He soaked up every site and sound and loved being in the woods. And Sarah was just popping out into the world a moment ago with her ancient and magnificent soul all so keenly aware of everything. Josh was blessing us with his radiant smile and beautiful baby face. Sariah looks so much like he did. He came into the world sporting a unique sense of humor. Chani charged into the world with "a gimme that spoon I can feed myself" attitude accompanied by "sleep is for old people" philosophy, all topped off with "I need a pen and paper please." Liz was taking baths in the sink and practicing her freeze you where you stand glare, tying strings around everything in the house and driving us crazy playing hide and go seek. We almost never found her and we were really looking. Now it begins again with this new amazing soul in our care. Blessings continue to abound.
PS Fell asleep watching The Secret. I suspect that staying awake is part of the key to successfully learning from the DVD. :)

April 13, 2007
  Driving to the airport. Not picking up freedom though. Rob and I are picking up his lead guitarist Al. Rob and I are cruising down the road. Freedom said there was some fiasco on the plane and everyone was asked to get off the plane. April 17, four days later. Where do I begin? I will begin at the end. I drove Kestral, Al and Freedom to the airport after we took the ferry back from Lopez. I say I, what I mean is Kestral drove us in Rob's car and then I drove that back to our house after dropping off the guys at the airport. The weekend went by in a blink, a squint and a flutter. We picked up Al without a hitch but Freedom for various and sundry reasons did not get in at 11 PM as he was scheduled. Instead he arrived at 4 AM. Jimmy Culler picked him up and they had a great visit on the ride up. Jimmy is my spirit brother, bass player and long time friend. He hadn't spent time with Freedom for decades so it was good for both of them.
Jimmy looked illuminated when they arrived in Bellingham in the morning. I missed having that time with Freedom but it was meant to be as it came to be.
  When Andie was getting ready to drive up on Friday night she fell on the porch steps and really twisted her ankle bad. She insisted on driving north anyway. We were all very anxious to see Freedom. We hit a few bumps in the road with communications between several of our family members but the view was worth it. It was great to go to Lopez Island again. We love it up there and we were blessed with beautiful weather. Kayden ran, hoped and jumped all the way over on the ferry, just about the whole time we were on Lopez.
Since this was a late in the game journey we were not prepared for camping or we would have stayed at the cabin. Instead Andie headed home with Kayden around his bed time and I stayed behind to play at the benefit for Joules Graves. I wish Andie had stayed and Kayden had gotten to watch the music and dancing happen. I missed her and Kayden when they left.
The reason we were all gathered on Lopez was a benefit for singer songwriter Joules Graves and for a CD release party for the Tribute CD recorded with Northwest artists doing 17 tracks of her songs. There was a local band playing and opening the show and they did nothing but Joules songs. What an honor for her to loved and supported so well. The band consisted of percussion, bass, lead guitar, vibes, and rhythm guitar player who was also the vocalist. They really cooked. The vibes player was wonderful and the hand percussionist very tasty. When they were finished we slowly came on stage in stages. Stephen and I were last and we attempted to play into SM57 mics. I was just happy to be there. Ammishaddai played flute, Clarity played djimbe and sang, Tani played djimbe, Brotherhood also played djimbe, Al played lead guitar, Rob played his 12 string, Freedom sang and played acoustic guitar. He poured his heart and soul into the performance. It was all so good to be playing together.
   Throughout the experience, perhaps to remind us of the times in which we live, there were intermittent pot holes in the road, the occasional small log to go around but as in all families who love each other, acceptance, love, forgiveness and laughter prevailed. I love this big family. We stayed up most all night after the concert and played music in different rooms in the hotel. We were able to migrate from rooms if anyone complained. Shockingly only one person called the front desk. It was so good to have the time and make the music and be close. I wish Josh could have been there with Sariah and Christina. Tenzin and Clarity brought every pillow and blanket from their house so we eventually all settled in like sardines on the floor and slept a bit.
   In the morning I took a shower and went for a walk to enjoy the quiet and beauty of Lopez and Joules pulled in across the street from me. I said what are you doing. She said looking for you. So we had a nice visit and took Tani's son Raynan to breakfast. I am out of time this morning. So the adventure continues. Peace and prayers for my Uncle John who broke his pelvis when he fell off a ladder trimming a tree branch. He is in his late 70's but still 18 at heart.

April 9, 2007     It's not the answer that enlightens, it's the question. Eugene Inesco
I have a lot of questions. I can't think of any just at this moment. But I have a lot. It snowed, rained and hailed today while Andie was at the grocery store. You certainly can't say we don't have a variety of weather. We have thirty different kinds of rain: showers, sprinkles, intermittent, heavy, light, overcast, drizzle, threatening ( we get a lot of that). My favorite is partly sunny. They say you can find a half an hour of descent weather on any given day to take a nice walk. So make pop corn and pull up a chair near the window and have your coat, hat and gloves ready and keep watch. Jump on the spatters of sunshine.

 Freedom is coming up this weekend to play at a benefit for Joules Graves on Lopez Island. I think we are going to go. Well we are at least going to Bellingham to be with that part of our extended family, stay up late and play some music. Al is flying in as well and I am hoping to pick them up at the airport. It is a busy week as Sarah is back in town before her trip to Paris and wants to hear her compositions on the speaker in our recording studio and maybe do a little mastering. And to give us some hugs and kisses too. We have missed her a lot.

We had a Mish, Tani, four young family members and Rob, Kayden, Chani, Faith, Liz and Dj and me here yesterday. We stayed up late (for me) and had an overall very good time. The spirit of confusion danced through the house a few times and muddled things now and then but the spirit of love prevailed and it was a good time. We played a bit of music but not nearly enough. I have to remember to teach Rob "Let's Stay Friends Forever". That would be a very good family gathering song. "Melody and harmony, I feel like I can fly, let's stay friends forever you and I. Bon Nuit.

April 4, 2007         I always wanted to be somebody, but I should have been more specific. Lily Tomlin
   Another brisk morning arrives. I could hardly believe it Monday morning when I opened the door to let the kitty out and saw everything covered in a couple of inches of snow. It is some crazy weather we have had all year. Kayden loves the snow. But it is really like a giant dish of ice cream to him and he is so busy eating it that he hardly notices the vastness of it all. He started pitching a fit to go outside when he saw the snow out the window. Andie was saying "Kayden, it is too cold and wet." And it was bitingly cold. Guess what he said? "No!" In pigeon sign language I asked him if he would like me to get him a bowl of snow to eat. He got a huge grin on his face and nodded vigorously. I had to do a lot of careful clean surface skimming to fill a bowl for him. His sign for thank you is a flat palm against his lips followed by what resembles blowing a kiss and the sound "muwah". He was so grateful that he used two hands and a very long "mmmmmmuuuwah." Somehow and at some point we began a ritual of setting up a little make shift snow snack table for him at the foot of the aquarium so he can watch the fish and see through his little play gym to the TV as well. Elmo was on and Kayden was in heaven. A bite of snow, a look at the fish, a peek at Elmo and repeat; all accentuated by mmm's and ahhhh's. He eats like I do with a lot of audio embellishment. Little moments to remember and make me smile.


April 1, 2007
 Part II
   I finished up at the Winery today. I learned a few new tricks experimenting with two loop pedals and a mic. I got a little crazy experimenting but I discovered ways to use both loop pedals for different things: play drums and voice on one loop station and then record the whole thing on another. I guess you had to be there. I am really writing this down so I will remember that I learned something and can take it to the next level. I came up with some song ideas while playing live too. It was a very good day. I am aching in the back from standing and playing 16 hours this week: the first time in ages and boy did it feel good.
After I packed everything up I headed out and stopped for some food on the way home from Woodinville. At the Buzz Inn in Snohomish I ate and read a little of the loop pedal manual. Nothing like a little light reading with a snack. That was nothing like light reading either. As soon as I arrived home and walked in the door Kayden looked up and walked past me to the shoe rack and pointed up and said "boots". So without even really getting in the door out we went. He wanted to walk around in my sadly neglected Asian Garden so I began kicking up weeds with the toe of my rubber boots while he gathered rocks. He decided to throw the rocks in my pond instead of the creek. He climbed on my Bleeding Heart Orchids so I carried him to the other side over the pond. It is really a wading pool so it is more like a puddle than a pond. He is in love with the word "no" and he had already used it on me about thirteen times. I said "you are getting to close get back."
" No!"
" Kayden get back please."
"
No!." I looked down and went to kick at a bunch of weeds when I heard splash. There he was head first in the puddle pond, butt in the air. He pulled forward to raise his head and then he was all the way in the water. Now this water is maybe 5 or 6 inches deep but he scared the heck out of both of us. He was in the water about half a second and I had scooped him up as I was right behind him. He wasn't crying and I think his biggest concern as I carried him through the door and called Andie to help was that his outside time was being cut short. That and he was freezing his butt off. We powered off his clothes while toweling him down and me telling Andie "Kayden went splash in the pond!" I said it with great fanfare and he nodded his head and began to laugh. He then reached out in an attempt to put his boots back on. I showed him his one boot was full of water by dipping his had in it. That cured him of any interest in putting the boot on his foot. We both hustled him off to the bathroom for a warm bath. While Andie cleaned and warmed him up I ran out to the car and unloaded all my gear from the shows. That is my story and I am sticking to it.
  I did talk to Josh last night and today and he played me sound bites and various ghastly farts. He has quite a sense of humor. I could hear Sariah talking and giggling in the background. Love those guys! I am tuckered out. I am going to bed now and get some rest. God bless.

April 1, 2007    Part I
The first day at the Columbia Winery went great. I played Rob's Telecaster and my Hernandez Classical. It felt so good to play again. We went up to the airport on Thursday for a Hanger Party. Ended up playing with Jimmy Culler, Jimmy Wright, Mike Daily and John Matthews. That was a great night. It just came together like never before and in a different way. I didn't think I was even going to play that one but it turned out in the end. Jimmy Wright really kicked butt and we were a bunch of happy musicians. Jimmy called us the silver topped daddy's. A bunch of good guys making music and having fun. It was good for the heart. The young people were even dancing. Jimmy plays lots of dance tunes but we were doing almost all Murat tunes. I could hardly move when I woke up from jumping around so much. Now today I played for 4 hours almost straight. It was fun using the loop pedals and improvising on the guitar and singing too. I have to get some rest now and Andie is making me business cards. It is happy birthday to Christina's Mom Linda. Josh called tonight and made me laugh until I cried. He is so darned funny. Happy April Fool's Day. Keep your eyes peeled.

 

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Greg Murat (mur-rah)  
  Singer-Songwriter  Guitarist