Greg Murat (mur-rah)  
  Singer-Songwriter  Guitarist  

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Journal  August  2007

Gray day at the beach

August 27, 2007
Happy days are made of happy moments truly lived, eyes opened and mind present.
We did the Monroe Evergreen State Fair on Sunday, Andie, Kayden and me. It was a lot of fun. There were some silly moments like me trying to fit into the kiddy car with him for his first ride. The operator came up to me and said "You can no feet. Too beeg." I thought this is not going to work but I stepped back and off they went. Kayden's lower lip came down just about past his chin, he looked straight down while gripping the steering wheel and his eyes filled with tears. He was holding on for dear life. He would no look up but he never really started to cry. He had just a touch of sheepish grin at the corners of his classic frown. When the ride ended, after what seemed like a week to me, I swooped in and scooped him up and Andie and I cheered for him. Andie rode on the other rides with him, a train and an airplane. I could never catch his eye although I jumped up and down like a fool trying. It was a nice fair and it seemed, except for the petting area, really clean. Since there have been several cases of echo every year I think they have come a long way towards trying to prevent that from happening. It is amazing what washing your hands can do. One of the high lights of the day was a Dixieland Cajun band, Tuba, trumpet, drums, trombone and electric guitar. They had a little red wagon and hidden under flags was an amp, either battery powered or run by a generator. It powered the guitar and a mic and they just pulled to different spots and stopped and played for a while. Kayden like the swing music and we listened while he scarfed down a piece of roasted chicken breast. There was a booth with some great mini hot tubs that we really liked. You could easily spend days there or at least one long one. We came across a booth that sold rubber boots. Kayden wore out his frog boots. They had the cutest fireman boots that Andie and I wanted to get for him but of course he had different ideas. Bright blue boots with big eyes, like his frog boots, and teeth around the toes and riotous red spots on the sides. They represent one ugly dinosaur but he put them on said "Guys, come guys. Go." The sales person really liked Kayden. It took about a minute for him to show us the boots he had immediately picked, put them on and set out on his way again. It was a good day.
 Last night Freedom sent us about 6 pictures of Anjali. My goodness she is so pretty and she has so much expression. I have to get to the Mac store so I can get a camera that will work with Freedom's Powerbook so we can visit on line like we do with Sarah and also with Josh and Christina. It is so good to see Sariah and hear her say "Hi Gampa." It feels good to be a Grampa. I like it a lot. I would love to have each day free to just spend playing with the grand kids. I am still trying to get the pictures off my phone so I can share them with family and friends. It is sunny here today but that arctic breeze is blowing through the window and through my bones. I may try to snag a nap while Kayden is taking his.

August 22, 2007
When you judge others, you define yourself.
Andie did the deed tonight and read to Kayden and put him to bed and he is asleep at 7:30. I put him to bed at 7 last night and he went to sleep at 9:30. That is how it has been going. It leaves no day left for papa, C'est la vie. So what is up? Jason and Blu came over for a visit and as always brought a fine wine selection with them. Blu also gave me a fancy wine opener that has a lever and you squeeze then push down and then pull up and voila the wine is open. It may be too darned easy to open wine now. It was very much appreciated and I am very grateful. We had a grand visit. Chani also stopped by and said how do you do. She brought Chaos in the house, we don't generally have doggies in the house and she proceeded to poop right in the middle of the living room. I think she was nervous. Chaos that is, not Chani.
 I was thinking about Randy Fickel out in Ohio today so I called him. We had a very nice visit on the phone and some good laughs. He invited us to Cabo San Lucas but I told him we can't travel without Kayden and since Liz gave him Luke for a last name we are concerned about getting him in and out of the country with the ridiculous way things are. Any time the government over regulates they end up picking on innocent people while the bad guys continue to skate on their way.
I talked to Freedom last night and he was heading back to work today after taking the last three days off. We discussed the fact that we have to trade time for money. I would love to get checks in the mail. We do and I am grateful that more is coming. Anjali is wonderful and Freedom seems so happy. Kate is visiting from here and Natalie's sister Rhonda just arrived. This is about the only time we could go but that would be just too much deja vu from last year. We sure do want to meet that new baby girl though. I thought I had a whole bunch to say but I sent a few e-mails and now I am pooped. It is nice that Kayden is sleeping early tonight now so can I.

August 21, 2007
Love is thicker than blood.
Anjali Sol Ember is the name Freedom told me baby girl picked. There may be more he said but that is the initial message I got so I am passing it on. Ahn-joh-lee. Very French. She is so beautiful. I wish I knew how to get these pictures off my phone so I could share them.
  It is a nice mellow evening. Kayden has been wanting to close the day with papa lately. Andie says we are both sevens. I always thought of that as a lucky number. I don't know what that means other than we have a special connection. That is true. He is like a weather vein. If I am in a funk I see its reflection in his moods and actions. I guess the reverse might be true too. Better not to funk. Andie is busy trying to find a way to get these pictures on the computer. You know what. I am really tired, content but just day weary. It was a nice day. I hear myself playing guitar in Kayden's room, C'est Syrah. He sleeps to that every night. Makes me sleepy too. Night night.

August 18, 2007 5am
 Change your thoughts, change your life. Wayne Dyer
So begins a journey through a book by Wayne Dyer about living the wisdom of the Tao. It is interesting to note that if you are seeking to grow and learn then ways to help will appear. I found a small book called The Law of Attraction which had some very big lessons in it. One was the power of negative words and ways to avoid them. Words like don't, can't, no have polar opposites. We are conditioned to say Don't statements to children. It is a question of focus. Focus on what you want and you get more of it. Instead of don't run in the house you say walk in the house or run outside. Andie and I are both practicing so we often make both statements as we learn to go for the positive. Now Kayden has picked up a habit, we are guessing from a child at daycare, of pointing his finger and saying bad. I'm bad, Andie's bad. Food is bad and so on. We don't use that phrase so we say back to him nice and use the sign for happy. Now he will point and say bad 2 or 3 times followed by pointing and saying nice. It is all communication and the emphasis on the positive is helping. Back to the original thought that I would like to journal my way through this book to help absorb what Mr. Dyer has to say and to share the ideas. He mentions starting his day by drinking juices and I realize that I have felt compelled for some time now to look for and purchase a really good juicer. I am grateful that I am in the process of finding one now. As for now the sounds of the house shifting in its old age awakened me so I took the time to write a bit. Now I shall investigate my dreams by going back to sleep. Until next time.

August 18, 2007
  Big hope often comes in a small package.
  7:43pm last night 6 pound baby girl freedom came out into this world. Freedom sent us a pix message around 11pm saying she is perfect and awesome. The day before he told me she looked like a mermaid in the ultrasound because her long hair was waving in the water as she swam inside Natalie. She has a hat on in the picture so we couldn't see her hair but she is here! She is here! I wish I knew how to get the picture off my camera and onto the computer. She is a little beauty.
  Andie limped off to work today. Poor thing. She almost tripped over the corner of the couch again this morning. I think we will have a house with hardwood floors and that is all. Maybe we could have some tatami mats on a shelf and we could bring them down when it is time to sleep.
  Kayden is still in the "I can't stand your face Papa" mood he has been in since his dad was here last week. This is not the vision I had for life. Come from love or ask the question is there heaven here on earth or is this really hell. Only time will tell. I was reading a note sent from Rae Indigo last night that said that the reason for all dis-ease is not having love; love for health, love for happiness, love for peace of mind. It said some other stuff too but I was too depressed to pay much attention. I love the notion that we can think our way out of situations, illnesses and distress. It is just hard to focus when you are looking through a window of funk. Maybe I could invent a cleaner for that window like Funk-dex. Spray it on. Wipe it off. Or Funk-Gone in single cloth dispensers. Wipe away those blues and see the sunny side of life. How about Blues Away tablets taken once each day a half an hour before rising. Spring into your day with Blues Away. Blossom into being. How about Up Yours. In a funk? Got the blues? I turned my life around with this new all natural juice drink. My life is looking up so Up Yours! Okay I am stopping now. I'll just have some coffee and set about the new day smiling.

 August 17, 2007
  The words you speak today should be soft and tender for tomorrow you may have to eat them.
  Just heard that Freedom and Natalie's baby girl is coming today! Good day for it, our anniversary.
  This fine morning brings another day of wonder in the land of gray skies. Time passing or rather us passing through time. What will the day bring? Sometimes it is hard to get a mental picture of how I would like the day to go. I check in and hear the echo as I knock on the door of my thoughts. Up pops a sign that says "nobody's home."
 For something new and different Andie just stubbed her big toe on the couch and broke it. Her little toe points out and to the left now. I fear she may just walk in circles until it is fixed. Last week she stubbed and broke her big toe. Is this a quest for balance? A test for endurance? She is watching a video on how to tell if your toe is broken and how to put it back in place. Fortunately we picked up two bottles of really good red wine today. We may have to put that little toe back in its place. Luckily for her, we made up from out last fight, mostly. Well here goes.
  Sometime later, after waking up from fainting, her toe is still taking a left turn. Do you pull then twist or twist then pull? Maybe we should do this before too much wine. I can just imagine that twisting the wrong way could be a bad thing. Do you trust the Internet? Andie just read a web site that suggests that the treatment for a broken toe is as follows: you just "rub it with vagisil and get to work." I think we might have some preparation H, maybe that would work. We are abandoning the tug and twist for watching Thomas the Train with Kayden. We are pursuing the ignore it and it will go away method of medical treatment.
  We took an outing to Costco today, just Andie and I. We dropped one hundred fifty dollars on stuff we didn't know we couldn't live without. On the good side it included two new Tommy Choo Choo videos and we are both excited to be watching a new video. About 16 years ago a fortune teller told Andie that trains would have a special place in my life; little did we know.

August 16, 2007
The winds of change sometimes blow fiercely. Bend forward and face the wind or turn and run. >=<
  It is amazing how tired one can be and still remain standing. A purpose helps and sometimes that purpose is no more than to remain standing. Today I am working on the process of allowing all good things to come into my life and not giving my focus to the condition of my body or mind. I will say the affirmation that I am whole, perfect, strong, powerful, loving, harmonious and happy. If I say it enough it will be true.
 Coffee first thing in the morning is an eye opening comforting experience; the aroma, the warmth of the cup in your hands, the ritual of making the coffee. I prefer making coffee to standing in the espresso line. Starbucks is still the best at making ordering coffee a joyful experience. With one exception, the Starbucks in Sedona. Sedona has the Starbucks from hell but that is one out of tons that we have visited. The product is the same consistent and good espresso in Sedona, it is the people that don't fit the mold of typical joyful partners. They were actually rude and consistently so. Now we can't live in a town that has funky Starbucks partners. It is creepy, kind of like the Outer Limits.
  One of the things I love about the great northwest is that there are so many good places to dine. There is also the lakes, the mountains, the rivers, the sound and sometimes spectacular sunsets and sunrises. We have had a few sunny days but we are warned that the typical rains are returning today or tomorrow. It was 61 degrees outside at 4 this morning. The stars were still visible and the cloud cover had not set in yet.
   It is interesting to note that in the discipline of becoming the master of your thoughts you learn that you spend a good deal of time and energy censoring the things you think and say. Your body is saying you are sick and it is necessary to not give that your energy or attention so you don't get more of it. Sometimes that is easier than others. I have to stop and talk myself out of all the signals I am getting in that regard. Happy happy. Healthy healthy. Full of energy and maybe something else.
Bye now.

August 13, 2007
You can always find a reason for doing the wrong thing. It is still the wrong thing.
That thought was on my mind yesterday as I was struggling to let go of negative feelings I have. I went to Jack Canfield's website today and listened to several short videos that were aimed at imparting lessons of life. One had to do with ownership. If you are holding back from doing something you need to do to succeed because you are afraid you can say I don't do this because I make myself afraid of the outcome. By repeatedly owning the reason for the fear you put yourself in a position to find ways to over come it. So I take a risk sometimes when I see someone being less than honest or not following through on a commitment. I speak out and cause friction and listen to justification. I have heard it all before because I have said it all before. That was long before I became an elder of the village and a grand father. Believe you have enough. If you don't think you have enough, have faith and start giving. Thoughts of lack lead to lack. I once wrote, and then promptly forgot, a song called "Joyful Giving." That is the shtick. It is part of believing to receive. It is funny that giving feels better than receiving. Ask your heart not your mind. The mind is what tells us we have tons of things to fear. We must survive. The fact is no one gets out alive. Live in the joy of giving and gratitude and it will make all the difference. I love my family, all of my family.

August 9, 2007
If opportunity doesn't knock, build a door. Milton Berle
Andie and I were talking last night and she was advising me on the promise of good things coming and the need to let go of negative attitudes towards some people in my life, especially certain royalty type people. Now that is shocking. It was kind of strange as I was already thinking about that myself today. Little seeps of questions that asked what is my part in these feelings I have? It is my preference to come from love but lately some of the experiences I have had make anger a more comfortable place to be. Of course it isn't really comfortable at all, natural would be a much better word. Her information was really accurate. She put on the carpenter belt and hit the nail on the head with a hammer with what she said next. You have a need to let go of a lose, a death, someone you love. It is time to move on and release Cheyanna. She reminded me that I say over and over I haven't been able to process the lose of her. She is right of course but that is a wound that heals slowly. Still hanging on is blocking the joy I could be feeling about the new grand daughter about to arrive at the end of this month. That is so totally true. I can almost hear Cheyanna saying "It is okay Grampa, let me go." Even typing those words causes the tears to stream down my face.

Less than three months here and what an impact she had. She called very nearly the whole family together in Sedona to celebrate her life and to mourn her passing. I will let go the loss but I will hold her ever in my heart, my son Aaron's first child. What a power she was and is. I still miss her but I set her free from the burdens of this world and my near sighted vision. I am grateful to have held her in my arms. Fly free butterfly.

August 8 2007
True Silence is the rest of the mind:
it is to the spirit what sleep is to the body;
nourishment and refreshment. William Penn
  The very long day went into a very long night as Kayden didn't really go to sleep until around 10 PM. I was really visualizing him being nice to Andie this morning. He goes through phases of not liking one or the other of us. It is really hard on the heart and feelings. You have to wonder what could be frustrating a little soul so much. He gets so angry. Andie has so much love for the little one I know it hurts to be rejected. Now that Dad is coming around he will be challenged with the wait for acceptance, an acceptance that is intermittent when it comes. And sleep, sweet sleep. There is a reason people have kids when young: so they can keep up. Kayden will do us in or keep us young. One or the other. Right now we are reaching for boundless energy but feeling worn out. Then the giggles come and it makes everything all right. We can always play chase. One of us holds Kayden and runs around the couch and the other chases. It is always good for peals of laughter. Laughter is the best medicine.

August 7, 2007
To keep a lamp burning we have to keep putting oil in it.  Mother Theresa
We need some oil. Kayden is going through the 2nd year passage and seems to be so frustrated and angry. This new adventure started a few weeks ago and has seemed to escalate lately. It is tough. We are all still weary from the long trip to Ashland and still recovering. It was good to see Freedom, Steven, Stephen, Rob, Tani, Mish, Tenzin and Clarity. It was nice to meet Asha and be introduced to the lovely community of Ashland. There is a magnificent park just across the street from Asha's house. It is bordered by National Forest so what a place. I could see why Josh, Christina and Freedom have all talked so fondly of the place. I put a link to Asha's website in the bottom of the newsletter. What the heck, here is another one:
   If anyone has visited this site lately please forgive my experimenting with html and fun stuff like that. I was trying some guidelines that made me crazy. Originally I had my own ideas how this website should flow and that is how I built it. It took me 40 hours to really screw it up and about 45 minutes to fix it. Let me know is you see any more glitches. I haven't spent much time working on the site as I haven't been performing much and I have been busy making friends on MySpace. Anymore it is so slow it is a waste of time. I liked to listen to the new music of artists and give them some feed back but the music is too darned slow to load and 75% of the time if doesn't play. That is a huge waste of time I can spend making music. I love being a supporter but that will have to wait until there is something at home faster than cable.
  I talked to my son Josh and he seems to be doing good except for not getting paid from his last gig. Lots of changes happening but everyone is holding up fine. Freedom almost became a papa while he was in Ashland as Natalie started labor the night before he left. It turned out that baby girl decided to wait for her papa. Good idea. We are looking forward to the news and some pictures but won't be heading down that way until late in the year or early next year. We are traveled out and there is no where for us to stay down there and we would probably just be in the way of all those goddesses caring for Natalie. We will send lots of love on the winds of spirit.
  I hope we hear from Sarah this coming weekend. I want to know how her trip to Paris went. I can picture her walking those streets amidst all that wonderful architecture and history. I would love to be walking down the cobblestones with her right now.
Chani is doing the tattoo trade show this weekend. She had a 5 by 7 inch add in the Stranger ( a popular avant garde Seattle Newspaper) right beside Flowmotion's add for the Meltdown music festival. I think we may try to make the Saturday show if it works out. Well I just wanted to see if the fingers still work. Tomorrow is another day. Peace. If someone or something is bothering you is Asha's words "Drop it!"

August 2, 2007
Some souls seem to arrive whole and strong, others struggle their whole life long.
Some of us are a blend of the two.
   Sleep seems to be playing an illusive melody that keeps my eyes open and mind working. Still my body knows enough to rest in spite of my mind. I spoke to Sarah for about an hour yesterday. What a joy. She sounds so great. She is still loving the farm. The folks she is staying with are in their 80's and still working the farm full time, making their own food and (no surprise) loving having Sarah stay with them. She is still baking for the students and making more friends. She has two friends who live in a castle near by and they throw good parties she said. Imagine heading out to the storm the castle for the Friday night bash of red wine and music. We are still weaving our way around a way to go to France and see Sarah while she is there. I can picture walking down the road to the farm. It is a two mile walk to the school and she makes it every day. We laughed at the fact that she was born out on a farm and now she is back on a farm only in rural France. It is a very hot day today. We spent a good deal of time encouraging each other with our art and I am committed to start recording my anthology with just voice and guitar. I had 4 hours of original tunes on cassette and I gave the tapes to Danny Deardorf to listen and give some feed back. Never give your masters to any body. He threw them away without listening to them. Bless him with all he deserves. I am releasing that so I can move on and make more music.
    There is much to do today. I planned on yard work but I killed the mower and it is in the shop getting resurrected. I love the sunshine. Wish we could cruise on down to California and hang out with Josh and Christina, Sariah and the gang. Someday soon I hope. That is all my story for the moment and it is sticking to me.

August 1, 2007 (not really)
Time is like a relative, it can be good or bad, but you can do a lot to make time good,
with relatives you take what you get. Still you get lucky sometimes.
It is the first of August somewhere. Just like it is five o'clock somewhere. In France, as a matter of fact, it is 5 in the morning Wednesday. I spoke to Joseph Murat today, my father. He was very supportive and said a prayer for our meeting with the new part of our family. I spent the day visualizing everything going well. I coached Kayden to make him aware new family was coming to see him. He is very intelligent and he listened. At least I think he listened. He may have only heard wah womp wah womp wah womp. Still I was so proud of him. He has made miraculous strides in the last several months. Sheila, John, Breanna, and Derrick all showed up and he was a bit shy at first. They brought him Thomas the Train books, an outfit, a train but the books were the show stopper. He loves to read and it is a part of his every day life, especially at the end of his day. We have probably a half an hour of reading time before he goes to sleep and more if he switch hits and asks for me when Andie is done. Our family members are really good people and it is nice to have an extension of the family. I guess they were told that we were great grand parents to Kayden. In other words. They thought we were Liz's grandparents. I could see where that might be a concern. I really liked them all and Kayden did too. Breanna (not sure about the spelling) is a sweet heart and like any good aunt she charmed Kayden right away. He went back to the trampoline with Derrick and her and played. He also walked around with Derrick for awhile too and played sticks. Andie and I stressed pretty hard in anticipation of this gathering but it came out good in the end. We are very tired tonight now. Kayden had a good end to his day, a nice bath and story time with Andie and he is fast asleep now. Thanks for the prayers Christina, Dad and everyone. It is a brand new morning. It's a brand new day. I am grateful for my life. I am grateful positive thoughts are so much more powerful than negative thoughts. I am thankful for my pillow. I love my buckwheat pillow. Mmmmmm. Sleep.

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Greg Murat (mur-rah)  
  Singer-Songwriter  Guitarist