Greg Murat (mur-rah)
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Journal May 2007
May 27, 2007
Cheers to a time of world peace and to the men and women who have given their lives for the cause of freedom.
Remembering the many people who have suffered through the wars of this world, especially the second one where so very much was at stake. To my friend John Wesley who died the third day he was in Viet Nam. Pray for the protection and return of all our women and men abroad and that God's spirit will plant the seeds of peace in the hearts of all those who kill in his names. We all come from the one source and why we kill each other is beyond my comprehension. There are times when one who is peaceful is forced to fight and I am thankful for those who do and have done so in the past. I long for and envision a time when minds give over to hearts and we see the common bond of life we all share. Hell, it is hard for two people who love each other to get along so a prayer for world peace is asking for miracles. I believe in miracles. Pray for peace.
May 22, 2007 Where is the time going? If time isn't real it is strange how fast it seems to pass. I came across a picture of Kayden when he was as bald as a baby's butt and I was giving him a piggy back ride on my shoulders. Now he is sitting in his high chair feeding himself oatmeal and jabbering away. He still prefers to speak mostly in his own language that only he can understand. You can tell when you are being scolded by the tone of his voice and he repeats the same sounds in the same order. I was playing one of Freedom's guitars and he either didn't like the song or the guitar but he was giving me the what for. Faith and Andie and I laughed because we were all clueless. Earlier in the morning it was easier. I was playing "Give us free". He said "NO, no, no, no. Bad!" I tell you, you have to develop some hard bark if you are going to write songs and play them for the people you love, especially ones who express their opinions so freely and honestly. So like any entertainer worth his salt, I adjusted my playing to my audience. I got a rousing round of applause for Elmo's World, followed by "Wonders all around" from It's a big World. Then I felt brave and I made up a song on the spot called Cowboy Kayden. He was wearing a cowboy hat and climbing up and down on his horse. His horse wears a cowboy hat too by the way. He listened a bit suspiciously and then nodded for me to continue. When I finished the song he clapped and said "yea" followed by the sign for more. Redeemed! He can be a tough audience. When he was little baby he would start to cry every time I tried to sing Somewhere Over the Rainbow to him. I mean every time. He was born with a dislike for that particular song. Needless to say he didn't have to listen to that song and as he has grown he has only strengthened in his opinions of the music he likes and dislikes. I have to admit we share some similar tastes. For instance we both are really fond of Where Is My Hairbrush, a fine Veggie Tales tune. The Veggie Tales theme song is, we both agree, most excellent. I do not share his affinity for Elmo's songs in which a single word is repeated for an extended period of time to the tune of Jingle Bells. Well it isn't exactly Jingle Bells but close enough. Imagine for example. Fish fish fish. Fish fish fish. Fish fish fish fish fish. Fish fish fish fish fish fish. Fish fish fish fish. Fish. Now repeat until your company runs out of the run screaming. I am grateful to revisit childhood and parenthood yet again. All good things are coming our way and yours too. Somewhere over the rainbow way up high....
Now what else is happening. Sarah is in France in a rural area that is not too hot and not too cold but just right. She will be in different parts of France for a total of six months and we will visit her there. She never ceases to amaze me with her adventures. I have been listening to her first CD which was composed for a dance performance in Seattle. The show was wonderful and the dancers exquisite. They all shared a deep affection and respect for Sarah, her commitment and talents and the fine person she is. The CD would be well received in Europe with its techno electro beat foundation. I love her sense of humor and it comes through in some of the compositions and titles. I asked her to create a MySpace because it is an easy way to communicate and she said she would. She can also post some songs there. That will work great because she can put up pictures of her travels. I have several friends in Paris and I am hoping someone can help her get situated when she goes there to stay for a month. I am grateful and richly blessed by Sarah.
Chani is chaffing at the bit as she awaits the opening of the new shop where she will be one of the featured tattoo artists. I will put up more on that later. She continues to build her reputation as a fine artist in this field of body art. It is hard to believe that she began this pursuit such a short time ago. The incredible thing about her tattoos is the dimension. There is so much depth to some of them they are 3 dimensional. Like the street artist in New York who chalks sidewalks and it looks as though you could fall down the steps he drew. The petals on the flowers look like you could pluck them one by one or part them and take in the sweet fragrance. She is a late bloomer musically and continues to rapidly increase her skills on the guitar. It is such a joy to sit and watch her playing and finger picking the notes. She has always had a huge appreciation for all kinds of music and I find it wonderfully fascinating that she is taking to jazz standards and some of the old school vocalists like Billy Holiday. She has a cool voice too that is smoky and rich and fun to hear get stronger and stronger. She is also fearless in her pursuit of life and an old and beautiful soul. I am grateful and richly blessed by Chani.
Liz is living with her Grandma these days and working hard at her job in a Deli. She seems to be doing well and is very responsible when it comes to her work. Faith says she is very good at helping keep the house in order. Liz has the gift for decorating and has more ideas about ways to arrange furniture and combine paint colors into very Feng Shui friendly dwellings than anyone I have ever known. She has a clear picture in her mind of what she wants when she has her own home. I would love to see her study for interior design. We had hoped to see her in college by now but were held up waiting for just a bit of unselfish effort from a fellow tribal member that was not forth coming. That makes me think of one of the secrets of life. Bless your enemies because like attracts like so what we send out comes back a hundred fold. Now it is true if you pursue this path sometimes at first the best you can do is say "Please give that so and so everything they deserve." That is okay because if you continue over time it will become easier and more kind to bless them. I think both Faith and Liz are really enjoying this time together. Liz gets more beautiful with the passing of time. Liz's kitty misses her a lot too. I am grateful and richly blessed by Liz.
Now Josh is a wonderful father to Sariah and he and Christina sure created a special little soul there. Josh was such a beautiful little baby boy and so full of joy and wonder and Sariah reflects so much of him. She has his sense of humor and the combination of genes between he and Christina turned out one of the most lovely persons on earth. Josh has a kind and huge heart, maybe not always visible to me in the past, but it is now. He shines like the sun with his baby girl. If he ever had any shield up regarding love it disintegrated in the light of Christina and Sariah. Love and joy pour out of him like a celestial wind and it turns up the corners of any nearby mouths, and sprinkles stardust into any watching eyes. Love and gratitude can change the world and it is a wonder to see it on Josh's face when he looks at his girls. When it comes to music he continues to burst forth like an Arizona springtime. He is precise and clean in his guitar playing and has an impeccable ear. One of those pivotal moments for me was when after teaching him what I know of guitar for some time, he pointed out I was playing Mother Nature's Son and Blackbird all wrong and proceeded to teach me how the songs really go. He is brilliant. He continues to perform more in front of people and that is a huge joy for me to see because I believe that is the purpose of music. He recently did a show with his brother Freedom on the beach in Laguna beach California. He told me proudly that he played a solo guitar for the audience. He also said that at the end of the songs Sariah would yell "Yea!" and clap loudly. I am grateful and richly blessed by Josh.
Freedom has turned out to be a loving father and husband to his wife Natalie and her son Sebastian. We had our brief time with Cheyanna for just a few months before she flew away. Never in my life have I seen such an outpouring of love from father to baby. I see that love in his eyes for Natalie and I see him loving and fathering Sebastian too. Now we are expecting another baby girl from them in the late fall. Oh boy, another grand daughter. We need a gathering and celebration for that wonderful event. Papa Freedom. Now Freedom is working long and hard at a day job. He has become a craftsman at Faux painting and has displayed some of his grandpa's gifts for creative construction. All these years he has been free spirited and walked a path that was his very own. He has chosen this new path. We have talked and he realizes the importance of continuing to pursue his music as well and get it out there to the world. I feel in my heart and bones that this all will happen together. When I heard he and Josh were playing together in California I was so thrilled. I just wished I could have been there. Their show was great they both said. I happened to call just at the end of the concert and I got to talk to both Freedom and Josh. Sariah also got on the phone and said "Hi Grampa." She stole the show at one point when at the end of a song that was particularly moving every one was quiet and all alone she yelled "Yea" and everyone in the audience laughed. I listen to the ever growing collections of recordings of his music and am blessed and touched by his gift for lyrics and melody. We hope to see him and the family soon. I am grateful and richly blessed by Freedom.
Andie grows more beautiful with each passing day. She is the best. She is a loving, patient and kind mama (or MeMe as she calls herself) to Kayden. She is a phenomenal wife to me. My best friend and the best partner ever still wears her name. It is exciting for us as we learn to reinvent our life together and open up our imaginations to all the possibilities. We want to be by every one in the family. Let that sort itself out. That is our wish. She is such a gifted photographer and she recently shot some world class pictures of Kayden that are just magnificent. She is still toting her Mary Kay line of cosmetics and seems to really enjoy sharing that with people. She is so smart. Kayden has always scratched his face at nap time and bed time and it is so distressing to see the damage he would do to himself in his sleep. It was very disturbing to both Andie and me. She went and bought fabric and made him some light and soft mitts, or more like little sacks, and then sewed them on a pair of pajamas and a shirt. He has room to move his hands freely inside and touch the fabric and even pick things up by his ability to damage his skin is gone. What a wonderful thing. In the past he always looked like he had been in a cat fight and no matter how far down we filed his nails he could still hurt himself. His face is almost completely healed thanks to Meme. We had our friends Jason and Blu over for dinner and games on Saturday and we had a blast. Andie made Salmon, Chicken and corn all on the grill. It was delicious. She also roasted garlic and served it hot with french bread and got cheese and olive oil. We almost had knife fights trying to get at the goat cheese. The flavor combination was out of this world. Blu made us apple pie on ice cream desert braised in Maker's bourbon. Delicious. She and I drank the rest of the bourbon. We played Cranium and I laughed so hard a few times that I might have popped my rib out then too. Andie is so charming and gracious. Some her drawings just struck me as so funny I exploded in laughter. They were not bad, it was really just the way my mind works or some might say, doesn't work. She drew a shrimp that to me looked like a bent fish with little squiggley hairs on its tummy. I missed the question and she laughed right along with me when she told me what it was. Laugher and gratitude can cure any dis-ease. We laugh a lot. Andie truly knows that you get the greatest joy from giving. She inspires me that way. I am grateful and richly blessed by Andie.
May 13, 2007 Boys will be strong. Boys soldier on. Boys would be gone without warmth from a woman's good good heart. John Mayer
Happy Mother's day, the best and most important day of the year. Through out history the amazing power of and love mothers have shown the world and their children, and all children are an inspiration for every day. I think the most important lessons in unconditional love over time are from mothers. In feeling gratitude for each day every day mothers come to mind. I am grateful for mine. I miss her. I am grateful for the gift of life that comes through a mother's powerful spirit. I love to watch Andie's eyes light up when she looks at Kayden. I am grateful for the love she has shown me and everyone in our family. Happy Mother's day to mamas every where.
May 11, 2007
I had a great time with Mike and Jimmy over at Studio 04 last night. We worked on Caribbean Islands and Club Americana both very upbeat and happy Murat tunes. I played Rob's Telecaster. I am playing that more and more. I love the sounds I get out of the electric. They work great for finger picking. Spring is so beautiful here is Washington. It is so very green and rich. We have as many shades of green as we do types of rainy days.
Andie's dad left his hat here the other day and Kayden saw it hanging on the coat rack and pointed to it and said hat. I gave it to him and he put it on the way it appears in the picture of him showing me the Forget-me-nots. He then showed me his boots and said said "Outside." Man, I think he would sleep out there and never come inside if we would let him. I love the fact we have so much open space for him to play. I am very grateful for our land and home. It is a good thing to have this space and to gather here with family and friends.
I was going to record again tonight and then I realized that Jason and Blu are coming over so I had better tell Jimmy and Mike. They are going hang gliding today. It is about time to get Andie back up in the air too. She absolutely loves flying. I liked the view but not that wet sensation in my pants. Just kidding. In the past I have been heights challenged. I can look up just fine. I will look as high you want. Looking down from up high is a tale of a different color. So it is Mother's day on Sunday. Where would we all be without mothers? I love being a papa and I love my family. Still there is a comfort that can only come from Mama for children big and small it is true. A mother has been gifted ,or perhaps has chosen, to show a depth of unconditional love that I believe helps keep the world spinning on its axis. The lioness and comforter and entertainer and all the other hats she wears make magic in the lives of her family. Andie is great mama and she sure loves her mama too. Where would we be without you? I am grateful every day and every day should be Mother's Day.
May 9, 2007
Another day whirls into another day. I am thinking of sleep and it is 5 in the afternoon. What does that mean? I think I may finally be weary of the up keep of the website. It is therapeutic to me but has brought some share of crap for to me regarding what I write. So I write less and less. Maybe if there was more apparently going on to talk about I would write more. Right now I am thinking, thinking, thinking. I need to be feeling, feeling, feeling. I spoke to Josh today and he is playing a show with Freedom in Ojai this or next month. I offered to play bongos. Denied.
Here in Washington we are feeling our way to clarity. If only we could decide just what we want and agree on the same thing I am sure we'd have it now. What is the saying? If you have mixed feelings you get mixed messages. As Kayden would say, "Oh no!"
Well spring sprang softly with a chilly breeze and heralded the winds of change. It could be any of a variety of rainy days ahead with sprinkles of sunshine. Andie is winding Kayden down for his slumber. He was not happy as he pointed to his frog boots and pleaded with me to take him outside again. So sorry little one the clock runs and sleep is calling. It is calling me too. I am reflective and working on being grateful for everything in my life. Gratitude paves the way to happiness. Did I make that up? If not, I meant to. I am challenged with not giving focus or words to conditions and situations that would irritate me in the past. When that censor gets done with my thoughts there is nothing but wind blowing down an empty alley. I am learning to see the good. I learned to see the good. I see the good? This much I know, love is the most powerful and real thing in this matrix. Love. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
May 5, 2007
I am grabbing a quick second while Kayden is studying the poster from Veggie Tales. It is our Saturday morning together and I love this time. He is demonstrating his skills with Leggos right now. Since I have more than enough time for everything I would like to write more. These are interesting times. I didn't even write a rave review of Sarah Murat's music and show that is still playing on Capitol Hill at the Fine Arts Center. The dancers were wonderful and obviously inspired by Sarah's score. It is an unusual venue for the audience in that taking in different views of the dancers is encouraged. At one point I lay on the floor to watch the interaction. The choreography was very innovative; dramatic, comedic and spirited. Now Sarah is preparing to go to France for 6 months. She is such a traveler, ancient soul and beautiful spirit. We are very proud of her. It is time for Veggie Tales "I can be your friend" is playing the background. Good things are coming every day and the flow just increases. We are so grateful for so much. We are blessed every day. It is fun to be doing some work outside now that spring is here. We are going to landscape the back of the house tomorrow. It is gutter time and side the back room. So much to do and look forward. We will prepare the property for renting at some point down the road. But for now we are fixing it up for us. After all, we live here.
Dad left a message that Uncle John is home from the hospital and healing quickly from the broker pelvis he got. He is an amazing soul with such a positive attitude toward life. It spills over and touches people all around him. I have to go play with the boy.
May 2, 2007
Pretend. Remember pretending. It is a fun thing to do. Kayden is just now starting to really pretend. He has a little toy cell phone and he walks through the back yard jabbering away on it. He is very serious and animated and engaged in deep conversation with someone. Maybe my mother. He is also pretending to be asleep by chomping his mouth open and shut and making funny noises. He must be imitating Andie. Just kidding. He is probably trying to recreate the image of his Papa sleeping on the couch. He does not like when I sleep. I don't know if I just look dead or my snoring is scaring the heck out of him. Andie is reading to him now and he is practicing some new signs. The little person in the story was sad so he took his palm and brought it down across his face from his fore head to his chin and makes a sad face. He says the word sad with a very sorrowful tone. I am tired today. Jimmy Culler and I sat up late in the studio playing guitars and laughing a lot. Laughter truly is the best medicine.
May 1, 2007 You become what you think about.
Nothing to say today. What is up with that?
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Greg Murat (mur-rah)