Greg Murat (mur-rah)  
  Singer-Songwriter  Guitarist  

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Journal  October  2008 

Randy and Aileen Fickel

Aileen & Randy Fickel

Kayden Wallace Falls

2nd Hike at Wallace Falls Park

Love and condolences to the family of Randy Fickel.
He passed away this week suddenly and has gone to Higher Ground.
He is loved by so many people. We will miss him.


October 29, 2008
The days go by and autumn is leaning hard towards winter. It is a chilly evening with frost in the air. I look at the picture of Aileen coming down the stairs, the smile on Randy's face and I recall just how much fun we had. They say live each day as if you are going to die. Of course we are going to die. The Native Americans have a saying today is a good day to die. I like what my son Aaron did with that saying: today is a good day to live." Life it. Be it. See it. Get old with a smile on your face for all the wonderful memories you have made one moment at a time.

Scott MacGougan and I did a show at Border's Books in Gig harbor and there was a great turn out and we made some music magic. Talk about taping the wild wave of joy. We both have smileyosis cheeks after playing together. You know, when you smile so much your face hurts. Recovery is quick but the best prevention is smile a lot more of the time. Chris, Justin and a ton of other people leant their ears and hearts to the music and it was a wonderful thing. We passed the had for a children's charity that Scott and his wife Deb are involved. People generously contributed nearly four hundred dollars. Thank you all. Scot and I played in his studio for a few hours before the show and we hit some of the songs on the list that didn't make the live performance. What a joy.

Our set list included performing all these Murat tunes:

Love Wears Your Name
Give Us Free
Heaven In Your Eyes
Summer Vacation
Make Peace with Yourself
Boody Wah Scoody (Happy Feet)
Gone to Yesterday
Cool Wind
Gotta Get Back to Love
Little Ones
The Dawn
Dream a Little
Let's Stay Friends
Walkin' with Jesus
Love is Kind
Brighter Days
These Blues
Club Americana
Salty (Scott Solo)
Who is more Blessed
Stronger

These are the songs on the set list we didn't quite get to play

You are the One
It Was You
Springtime
Faces
Spinning
Just Don't Know
Hey Buddy
Don't Trade Tomorrow
Love me one more time
Mask
Kinda Like It Mellow
It's Too Late
Let it Pour
Something's Gotta Happen
Siempre
So Much Love
Lost
Somewhere over the rainbow

We received a standing ovation at the end of the show and it filled my heart with gratitude for the gift of song and the joy of sharing with people

Clear Water Florida
Journal October 25, 2008
We walk the miles we face the trials, no one seems to see the end
Some search for treasure, some live for pleasure
No one can measure the value of a friend
 
Last night I dreamed I was standing on the beach at sunset. The sky was pink and purple and shades of blue. Twilight was descending. I was looking on a scene of Andie, Terri, Aileen, me and Randy Fickel on the beach in Clearwater Florida. We were laughing and I was playing my guitar. Then Andie was standing beside me and she asked me "What are you doing?" I said "I am turning back time so I can say good-bye to Randy." The scene was a blend of Clearwater Beach and the beaches in Cabo. I listened and Randy said "This would be the perfect place for someone to propose on the 4th of July on the night of a full moon." I walked into the scene.
He looked different. His hair was longer than the last time I saw him and he was clean shaven. He looked at me and smiled. He was laid back in the sand and leaning on one elbow. I knelt down next to him and held out my hand to shake. He took my hand and gave me a firm and friendly shake and I said "I never got to say good-bye." And then I started to cry. I just kept shaking his hand. He said, "I have to go now." I said "What? Is there paperwork there too?" He looked back over his shoulder as he walked away and gave me a grin. I thought I saw a folder tucked under his arm. "Are you okay?" I asked. He said "I'm getting there."
I awoke with tears streaming down my face. I thought it would probably be really good for me to just let it rip and have a huge cry. Didn't happen though. It was good to see Randy. As he listened to me speak of my grief I saw patience in his eyes. They seemed to say the cares on this side are done for him now but he understood my grief and the need to say so long. I loved my friend and I miss him. Thanks for the visit and good luck with the paperwork. See you soon.

October 19th, 2008
Send out the love, feel the love and gratitude for every moment and the people you love will be drawn to you.
Then you can show them in person.
It has been a ROY G BIV (red orange yellow green blue indigo violet) thank you Jiminy Cricket: full spectrum week.
Hearing of Randy Fickel's passing at the young age of 52, it seemed so tragic: Still Randy lived fully with passion and his good nature and generosity was wide spread. I learned to be grateful for my friends and to pay attention to time and to take the time to spend with them while I have it. If you get that feeling to call, do it. Do it now.
Seeing Sarah Maria Murat screen her first feature length film, it was magnificent. I learned the world is exactly as it is supposed to be. I was given a roller coaster ride of emotions and wonder.
Seeing Chani's work as part of the first annual "How I Would Decorate Her" women's tattoo convention. Her piece was a unique wood cut out of the templet they were given. The tattoo was a reverse image of the templet, very clever. I learned that beauty will always reveal itself in ways that surprise and delight you. Andie, Kayden and I saw Lisa Marie, jim, Steve and Sarah there to support her. We also saw April and Jeff, the owners of Hidden Hand Tattoo where Chani proudly does her creations.
Hearing Josh on the phone tonight describing his first martial arts competition since he began to study jujitsu and hearing the confidence in his voice as he described his completion and the outcome. Honor, confidence and maturity were apparent in is dialogue. I learned that the deep soul within us can come to light with time and allowing.
I learned acceptance. Every day is a new lesson in letting go and being grateful. Prosperity is knowing what you have when you have it and being grateful for it now. Knowing that good or bad, this too shall pass.
Andie, Kayden and I hiked 2 miles in towards Wallace Falls before we turned back with aching backs and burning feet. Kayden walked all but a few hundred yards at the end of the nearly 4 mile hike and still he got down to finish the walk when he saw we were nearing the parking lot and because he was excited to see Chani. We were hiking back he wanted to get up and stand on a 3 foot tall sawed off stump and I said let's keep moving and pulled him along. My spirit turned my body right around and I picked him up and sat him on the stump. I held his hand and then let go so Andie could get his picture, took his hand again and held it as he leapt confidently to the ground. We all walked on happier for the stopping. I learned that the voice inside you that gives you all those negative messages isn't God, it just thinks it is. (Michael Neil)
Sail away Free

We were like the three amigos
Laughing loudly here in Cabo
So many margarita's
The night, the moon, our senorita's

A time truly meant to be
Hands on hips and saying "See!"
Don't miss the cigarettes
But Pure joy eclipsed regrets

Cares fled freely far to roam
One hand remained tied to home
Sometimes you felt descended on
There were so many that depended on

You being there and taking care of business
It's who you were, one meant for giveness
You were not one who was want to whimper
At I times I saw the flaring of your temper

This I say in truth for it's no rumor
It was far out weighed by your humor
What is life? What is destiny?
We're human, the best that we can be

At any given point in time
Sail free, let your light shine
You are ever in my heart
Life long friend, late start

Leave these worldly cares behind
The bills, the stress, the daily grind
I'll keep your memory here with me
Sail away my friend you're free

I will see you in the end
You will always be my friend
Heaven's within reach
Purple sunset, sandy beach
Sail away free
Sail away free
Sail away

October 19th, 2008
For Randy


Saturday October 18, 2008
In the studio in the early morning for the first time I can remember. Andie and I went to see the screening of Sarah Murat's new film. Luck To Three last night. It was excellent. She wrote, directed, filmed and edited the film and had the support of a fine cast of actors over a period of three years. She looked mature, beautiful and European standing in front of the room at Gage Art Academy introducing us to her new movie.
The characters were real, emotional, funny, tragic, shallow and deep. Elliot, Kelly, Gina and Allen Sutherland as Elliot's diabetic father took us on a journey an hour and forty minutes that stirred emotions, created tension, provided comic relief and entertained us thoroughly. I loved the flow from start to end. The camera angels were dynamic, unusual in a very effective way and the use of fast and slow motion was also excellent. The sepia tone gave the film a warmth and helped create empathy and endearment for the characters. The sound was a bit of a problem and it was difficult to hear some of the dialogue. I am not sure if it was the sound system, room or a combination of the two. The room a had high ceiling acoustically not suited effective sound wave travel. The enhancement of further mastering of the audio might be in order. I know someone with a studio. I look forward to hearing and seeing the film at home. I loved the story, the whacky characters and the ending.
Trailer http://www.youtube.com/user/sarahmurat
After the screening we said good-bye and left Sarah at the academy amidst a group of inquirers and fans. Chani, Steve and Andie and I went to a tavern on 87th and 35th in Lake City and had what was, next to Andie's, the best burger I have ever had. Really good beer too but danged expensive. It was fun to hang out with Chani and Steve and munch down and discuss Sarah's film.
Andie and I rarely get out except when Faith comes to see Kayden and gives us a little break. It was nice to talk on the drive into the city. When we get a pause we quickly remember how much we love and like each other. Sometimes the day to day makes it difficult as we are swept along by the cares of this transient world. We talked about many things including Randy and his passing, his family and what will be in store for them now.
http://best.king5.com/king-5-s-the-best/beauty/tattoo-and-piercing
1st Annual Female Tattooist Art Show
Seattle's Saucy Skin Artists take their
place in Tattoo History and have
a little fun with
"As We'd Decorate Her"
Presented by
Women's Tattoo Forum
at
Kaladi Bros. Coffee
511 East Pike
Capitol Hill, Seattle
For the Month of October
Not to be missed
Special Presentation at
October 19th @ m
For more info contact
artshow@womenstattooforum.com
425-453-6091



October 16, 2008
A fuzzy rain fell this morning, a mist as fine as frog's hair. Yesterday was long and sad as we got the news that our very dear friend, Randy Fickel passed away suddenly. The day swept me along as so many days do. I couldn't process the fact that Randy has gone. His daughter, Aileen, called me at 5 in the morning but I didn't get the message until around 9. Last night Andie and I made a drink that Randy and I discovered on a pirate ship off Clearwater Florida. We dubbed it Fickel-Murah. One shot of Crown Royal, One shot of Parrot's Bay Rum, Two shots of Pineapple juice. We watched some video of Randy, Terri, Andie, Aileen, Kyla and I in Mexico and in Florida. We were almost constantly laughing.
I met Randy in Cabo where Andie and I was on holiday with our friends Jim and Penni. I was walking by the pool carrying Andie's Baby Taylor guitar when Randy asked if I knew any James Taylor. I sat down and played the rest of the afternoon. I know one or two Billy Joel songs and when asked to play one I chose an obscure one,You're My Home. It was one of their favorite songs. And so began a friendship that brought us together in Florida, Ohio and Mexico. We did get to see Randy once when he was in Seattle on business. Andie and I took him out to dinner at Trader Vic's. I may be wrong about the name of the restaurant. He was more full of life than bunches of other people put together. He loved his family in a huge way. He was very generous with people and a very hard worker. I loved to play music for him because he appreciated it so very much. He made me really grateful for the gift I have been given and the joy it can bring.  When we visited in Ohio we met the whole clan and it was such fun to hang out and sing, drink wine and just talk with the Fickels.
In Clearwater when we all set out on the pirate ship tour Andie shot some footage that we haven't located yet. The crew on the ship picked Randy to play the part of a pirate for the children on board. They then armed the kids with squirt guns. Randy came out in his pirate hat and vest and was blasted by a dozen kids who all took aim at his glasses. He was a great sport. I know we have footage of Aileen and Randy dancing together to some funky song. We talked on the phone at least a few times a year, sometimes more. He invited us to go to Cabo with him last year but we said we could only travel with Kayden and we didn't have a passport for him. We talked about getting together soon. Andie and I both had strong urges to call last week and now we really regret that we didn't follow our instincts. Randy got the easy part because he is home now and free from pain and care of this world. We who are left will feel his loss all the days of our lives. He was like a brother to me. He was my friend. Show the ones you love how you feel because you never know when they'll be gone. There is no time like Now to say I love you.

October 10, 2008  
The cold is coming. Mornings are getting really foggy. I had forgotten how thick the fog can be here. But the autumn colors are bursting forth and are so very beautiful. It really is one of my favorite times of the year. I am very excited about our book. It was great to have Chani, Sarah and I all together working on it. Sarah scanned all the drawings and I didn't have a way to get them off her computer: files were too big. I typed out the second book back at Chani's house and she is busy starting to plan the next series of paintings. After all these many years I have come full circle and I am starting to feel alive in the way I did when I first came back to the states after being in Asia for a year. I find myself thinking of all the people who are living in war torn areas, of the men and women serving in combat stages. My heart goes out to them with a prayer for peace. I was given a white band that says One and the organization that made it says it represents the fight against poverty and aids. Typical. To me it represents a hope for prosperity for all people and health for all people no matter who or where they are. We are one. I wonder why that continues to be so hard to see.

October 8, 2008     A new laptop is coming, is coming, is coming. From where? Where is it?

My Powerbook:The Band-Aids and duct tape are holding up but now the power supply is shot so I am borrowing one from Andie for a quick update. That's it, see you later.
  I have got a lot going. It is time to get ready for my concert with Scott MacGougan on the 25th in Gig Harbor. Sarah has her film preview at Gage Academy of Fine Art on the 17th at 6PM. Chani has an Art Show on the 14th and I have to get those details.
  I played another gig with the Delivery Boys and it was a lot of fun. Dave, Ronnie, Jamie and Jimmy and John Matthews and myself sitting in and playing along. It was a DB night and everyone was happy and oh so glad Dave Noren showed up. We played 3 of my songs, Cool Wind from Jamaica ,Trouble and Baby. The rest of the night was classic DB rock and roll. There was a lot of crap to wade through to get to and from the gig but it was a joy to play. It was wonderful to see Kenny Lee and eat his magnificent food at Shallots.
   Chani and I have been meeting weekly and she has cranked out the drawings for our book. We should be hooking up tomorrow and maybe getting to see Sarah Maria too. There is a pumpkin carving event tomorrow at Kayden's preschool for father and son, Papa will have to do I guess. That is if he is feeling up to it.
  Last weekend Jason and Blu came over and brought their new Cranium game and Jason and I teamed up to prove that large quantities of wine definitely affect the function of the brain. We got slammed in spite of my lucky dice rolls. It seems both Jason and my internal servers were down for the evening and no data was available. They also brought us an early Christmas present of their former TV. I am so happy because it has a headphone input and I can sleep or read and not hear the TV. It also works really good for watching TV as well. Thank you, thank you , thank you. Our technology has become absolute under the reign of GW. Medical bills, food, taxes, electricity and gas have commandeered the capitol we would have used to upgrade our gear. Now I buy flowers on sale and plant them in the yard. I dig in the dirt for my meditation and walk barefoot on the cold grass.
  I finally got to have a great visit in with Josh on the phone. He e-mailed me some video of him sparing using his new jujitsu skills. He is gifted. There is a bit of Asian in us I believe hidden behind the white skin and light hair. He sounds great. I even got to speak to Sariah and she informed me that she loves her grampa. That's me.
 So my time to rest is neigh once again. The back is happy flat. Imagine that. Peace and prosperity. I am grateful for music and friends.

September 22, 2008     Remember to remember.
I was thinking today about how grateful I am to have such talented and helpful friends. Casey Garland and Mike Daily were instrumental in getting out new pressure tank in a new shed before winter. That was not small task and it is amazing how quiet it is now to run the water without hearing the constant clicking of the well as it turns on and off every few seconds. I joke with Andie when I was running the water in the bathroom. "Hear that?" I asked. "What," she responded. "Exactly." I replied. That is so nice. Andie's cousin Patrick installed three new windows and put a fence around a portion of the property. I am also very thankful for that. People with those talents will always stay busy wherever they are. In fact Casey is looking to get a job on Maui or some other tropical place as a handy man, maintenance person. He has seen jobs like that for around $90,000 per year. We could stretch that over 12 months pretty good. It is a little late for me to take that path as I could hardly get up after three days of working on the shed and the pressure tank. My back and arms are sending enthusiastic signals to help me choose a different route. They have succeeded. Thank God for the generosity of friends.


September 20, 2008   Kayden sings Rolly Polly
   Hasn't this month been streaming past? So much has happened. We had a night out with Sarah Maria and Chani to go see Drag Strip Riot in Ballard. It was a three band show and Steve (Knuck) was great. Sarah, Andie and I were falling asleep at the wheel after Steve's show. We were holding out for the All American Playboys. They came on too late for us and were only able to stay for about 5 songs. Chani said the rest of the show was awesome. They were a very good band with four players: two lead guitars, bass, drums and every body sang. This was to be their last performance in Seattle as they are going separate ways to pursue other interests.
 Chani and I started work this week on a very old children's book of mine. I am very excited and look forward to seeing it on the shelves in book stores soon. After we worked for 3 or 4 hours I drove down to Edmonds to meet with Craig Cooke of Pacific Rim Talent and other members of The Edmonds All Star Band. It is Craig's concept to put together a concert that will feature musicians that played this year at the Taste headlining and closing the show Saturday night on the main stage. We jotted down names of the people who have played in Edmonds over the years at places like Bickford's, Sailor"s and Provinces. It is quite a line up of musicians including The Delivery Boys, The Banana Brothers, Scott Lindenmuth and quite possibly some members of Rhythm Cafe. It was fun to speculate and plan. As often happens when you are on the right path an interesting coincidence occurred. When I first arrived two people, Nancy and Nataliya, were sitting with Craig and I thought that they were part of the meeting. Jamie Phalen arrived just after I did and the five of us talked about benefit concerts and getting more recognition and support for the organization where Nataliya works: The Max Foundation. I would love to see our concert be tied to a worthy and charitable cause such as that one. Ron Llinas, and Aaron Stadler showed up a short time later and the meeting lasted for over 3 hours. So we are ironing out the details and I will keep you posted. It could be a whole lot of fun.
  I apologize to those of you who frequent this "blog". My laptop has died as a laptop but like any good Mac, it functions still as a desk top. It makes it challenging to write at the end of the day as I love to rest my aching back and type away. Alas, that is not possible at this time. I will have to toughen up I guess. If anyone has a Powerbook lying around that they no longer use, let me know.

So be good and enjoy life and remember you can have anything you want. Just believe it is meant to be and it will.


 

September 6, 2008   Lucky Strike
Went to see Santana tonight with John Matthews and Ronnie Llinas at White Horse Amphitheater. That was the best show I have ever seen in my life. Son of God as a drummer, a timbale monster and tiger skin conga player, a bass player who was from Paris Mars, The bass player and drummer had the longest solo's I have ever heard, heard of or seen. There are no words to describe the other worldly experience of watching them play. Oh, yes there was also Carlos whose message was peace, love brotherhood and if the women aren't happy, nothing will get done.
We also had a lovely day at he park in Everett celebrating Faith's birthday. It was a pleasant gathering. We all love Faith very much. Kayden was so glad to see her and Robin. It was really a delightful day. Now it is late thirty but that is okay. I have kissed my bride and am taking a few moments in the studio to soak it all up. I am blessed. Prosperity is being grateful for everything in this moment and I am so very much.


September 6, 2008
Be free. Live now. Give hope. Show how. Share love. Take care. Stand tall.
Play fair. Know right from wrong. Be happy. Live long.
Sarah Maria Murat
Happy birthday Maria! I love you!
Well on a rare occasion I am up while others are sleeping. I woke feeling like dancing and that didn't go over too well with my beautiful sleeping bride. She woke up feeling like sleeping some more. So, in the interest of continued marital bliss, I got up and came to the office to write for a while. I have so much to do that it will require a list to keep me from turning in circles wondering where to begin.
  I was going to practice in the studio last night. After I woke up from a nap it was too late for rehearsal or recording at Mike's so I came in here and thought I would write a bit about the gig at Lucky Strike. When I went to tell Andie I ended up watching Oprah with her instead. What a swinging Friday night.
   Earlier I had a long conversation with John Matthews about where to go musically. He brought his Roland hand percussion instrument into the gig later on and played some great stuff. We had a nice musical chemistry with just the two of us. I love the sounds that come out of that percussion droid and we were talking about how to dial it in for more volume and so he could hear better. We discussed the fact that the back of our knees don't have ears. Therefore, it is no wonder when an amp or monitor is pointed towards our knees we can't here it. That is why God and Guitar Center make those amp stands that tilt.
  Regarding the gig at Lucky Strike. What a cool place. First of all thank you so much to all the people who came to see me play. You filled the room and made the night for me and for Dee. Even though Dee had told me she was not playing and it was my gig, she brought her excellent keyboardist Hans. He arrived close to starting time with a whole sound system which he proceeded to set up right beside the one I had already put into place, Dee ended up playing the better part of the evening to the crowd of friends who came to hear me. When they had all gone home she had John and I close the evening. It was great to see such support and love from so many good people. Singer songwriter Casey Garland came out. Justin Moore, a new friend and music affectionado, came to listen. Jason and Blu came with Rebel and a friend. Keith and Linda and Steve and the rest of the gang came from Renton Highlands. Dear Dale and Kathy were there as well. My lovely daughter Chani and singer song writer rock star Steve came and stayed the whole evening. I was so tired I can't remember everyone. Old timer's disease. Many people came. Thank you so much. Several people were confused as to why I wasn't playing. So was I. C'est la vie. Happy birthday Dee. Her present was a wonderful audience. She was in rare form and good voice and so thrilled to be singing. I sure was happy when I was playing and look forward to much more. I looked in the mirror when I got home and my eyes were clear. Everything washed away by songs and singing and playing. I thought, this is what I am supposed to do. Thanks for helping me remember.



September, 1, 2008           
The only people you should try to get even with are the ones who help you.
I read that quote today while retiring pages from a Franklin Planner. I stashed those pages so good that I tried unsuccessfully to find them for a year. I was doing a purge in the studio and trying to clean up the clutter when I finally found them. By then they were out dated as a calendar but they still contained words of wisdom. So I sat out back and read all the quotes hoping they would sink in and spark some action or higher consciousness. What a great philosophy: get even with those who help you. That definitely is the glass is half full philosophy. I also read that you will always be paid back what you lend but not necessarily by the one lent. More good stuff.
  We visited the MacGougan's yesterday and that was nice. Scott and I sat in the living room and played and sang for a couple of hours. Deb sang a bit of harmony on Heaven in your eyes. That was sweet. We had a great dinner. I received another lesson in life about asking for what you want. I told Scott in early August that I was playing up in Oak Harbor on the day of Andie and my Wedding Anniversary. I said the show was part of a benefit for the Toddler's Learning Center and said it would be nice if he could play too. It passed him right by as I mentioned it in passing. He didn't remember me saying it and said he would have loved to have been there. Picture an outcome, get attention, ask for what you want and be specific. It works much better than hoping people will read your mind. I would like to say after these many years on the planet that I have found that people suck at mind reading. Yet I continue to experiment and reprove that fact again and again and again.
  My laptop is a sad triangle standing on its side with an external keyboard, mouse and monitor as nothing but the hard drive and mother board still work on it. I like to lay down and type at night and that doesn't work too well now that it has become a little desk top computer. So I will cut it short as I am tired and need some rest. I will mention that I will be playing the 4th at Lucky Strike and the 27th at Shallots with Ronnie Llinas, Jimmy and a drummer. There may be a reunion of the Edmonds All Stars in November. I will keep you posted on that one. Have to stop now. Night night or good morning as the case may be.

August 30. 2008 Procrastination is the thief of time. Edward Young
If something needs doing, now it the time. It is so easy to keep putting things off. If one realizes that it is possible to purposefully hold onto old beliefs of unworthiness or victim identity in order to maintain a sense of failure, then it is easy to see how procrastination can be a useful tool. I believe it is true that more often than not we don't use our minds as much as our minds use us. Learning to stop the endless flow of random scattered thoughts, even if briefly, can be a life transforming experience.
  The continuous effort to learn to live with gratitude provides me with ample proof that if I am not directing my thoughts they go down every side street they can find. At times I feel like a good old country boy when I am trying and to make a point in a conversation. I take one back road after another to get from point A to point B. I stammer and mumble as I try to find my way back to the main road. Focus. Focus. It is the same each morning as I start to make a list of the things for which I am grateful. For example, the people in my day to day life: my wife Andie, young Kayden, the rest of my wonderful family and friends, my talents, a place to live. As I start this list and seek a sense of gratitude I might find pictures from the news, or some violent images I stumbled on surfing channels on the TV. Then I seek a sense of peace and a clear mind and start once again. Quite often my mind is quick to divert me once again.
As I study the art of happiness I am learning how important it is to feel the feelings of gratitude. I am good at making a list of reasons to be grateful but truly grasping the feeling of gratitude is still a work in progress. Maybe I will work on it tomorrow.

August 27th   Life is neither good nor bad. It is simply life. The more you give the better it gets.
Another Thursday passes when I was going to meet with Chani and work on our books. Instead I drove a screaming Kayden across the trestle and continued to drive to Granite Falls where he finally fell asleep. I drove to the Jordan Bridge and parked and napped for half an hour my self. Then we hiked across the bridge and down to the water where we threw rocks, climbed fallen trees and found a fort at the base of the tree and the edge of the woods. Extremes. Now I am waiting for him to go to sleep after we spend and hour and a half reading books. Andie is not feeling well again tonight. Another of those headaches. I hope we can find what is wrong and make it right. I really do. I just hate to see her suffer. So for a few brief moments I will jabber. Okay, all done. The drive and the river were lovely and for a time Kayden was in a good space.

Dee Robersin asked my to play for her birthday at the
Lucky Strike in Bellevue on the 4th of September from 8-11. I am getting paid half of the original asking price so I guess I am helping pay for the party. That is just how I am. Business has not been my specialty. I am looking forward to seeing all the people who have responded to my e-mail. I am looking forward to the gig and seeing everyone who shows up and seeing Dee on her birthday.

In the past it has been fun to get together in bars and jam but it is a lot of pre and post work and I have just gotten to the point that if I am not going to make any money, then to to be for a good cause like the Toddlers Learning Center, or battered women, or cancer victims and not for the sale of alcohol. I cannot in good conscience ask my friends to come out to bars to play for free anymore. The days of moving my gear for a few bucks and asking my musician friends to play for free are over after this. I need venues that support a bigger group and can pay for it or concert venues that promote the music or some worthy cause. I am full of it anyway. I just want to play. Call me. I will be there.

Yesterday I was a farmer. Kayden and I had on our straw hats and he had his broom horse. My horse was invisible. I think we were cowboy farmers. We had to take a break and go pick up a pizza. He rode his broom in and I my invisible horse and I announced that we were farmers and we had come for our pizza. Everyone laughed and said how cute Kayden was. We just tipped our hats and rode away.


August 25th   Just the mama. Not the papa.
Someone also seems to be on the outside of the circle. Such is life. The trick is to be content at each present moment, at each juncture. The saying at Chris's and Debbie's beach house keeps playing in my head. Relax, it doesn't get much better than this. We can find that magic in every moment we are truly awake to the wonder that life is. I am grateful for being and for every single breath.
John Matthews, Larry Mason and Greg Murat 
John Matthews, Larry Mason & Papa Murat


August 24th   You are a special person and the world is a better place because you are in it.
Is is an overcast Sunday morning. Andie and Kayden are playing racket baseball. You pitch a plastic ball a little smaller than a soft ball and he bats it with a full size tennis racket. He bats under hand with the racket on the floor in front of him and over head with the racket as far back over his head as it can go. He is great throwing the ball back if he gets a strike. He is equally accurate with left or right hand. He can really smack that ball when he connects. The game involves a lot of cheering on both sides of the racket and once again proves we would not be good neighbors in an apartment. Several games we play in our playground living room involve joyful screaming and stomping of feet. It is one good source of gratitude for me as I always say thank God we don't live in an apartment.
 We were one for three yesterday regarding the events we had planned. We made it out to the Roger and Rebel wedding very early. I was set up and patched into the band's PA a couple of hours before time to play. The DJ was a total pickle head. While I was playing he announced that there would be live music later. It brought up that fear I get from time to time after having watched The Sixth Sense. "Am I dead and just don't know it." Guys like that make me wonder. In my typical business style I left without being paid. Oops. I really didn't have a clue who to ask. We had fun. I was referred to as "that musician" regarding sitting at the table we were assigned. "That Musician sat in Svinctie's chair." It takes all kinds of people. We had fun seeing the friends we know and it was nice to meet Roger. The wedding was short and sweet. Andie had the idea I should play here comes the sun as they walked down the isle. They were thrilled. I sang Be as One as they finished. I love the blessing that song is to a newly wedded couple. It was a lovely ceremony and gathering of which we were happy to be a part.
   After we left the wedding we tried to find Michael Gardner's surprise birthday party and we drove around for what seemed like an hour on the back roads east of Monroe. We never found it and by the time we gave up we realized it was then too late to catch Casey Garland's concert in Redmond. So home we went before 10 PM. Andie's mom, God bless her, gives us the only couple time we ever get. So far it usually involves going to an event but a date night for the two of us would sure be nice some time.
  Chani and I plan to meet this week to discuss the book ideas we have. Maybe today I will type out the stories I found in my filing cabinet. She wrote them when she was very young and they have an edge to them that would make them appealing to children and adults.
I am really excited about working together on these books. Prosperity is calling.
I don't have a vision board covered with the pictures of my dreams but on my piano I have four post cards Sarah sent from Paris and I looked at them nearly every day and in April I was walking the streets of Paris to find the place where Sarah was working. I also have a picture of a house with hard wood floors, modern furniture, a grand piano and a view of the water. It is a picture of a living room. It is similar in many ways to Chris's and Debbie's beach house where we stayed last weekend. I an grateful to Chris and Debbie and Larry and Cindy for that wonderful experience. I told Andie that this looks like our beach house in the picture. She had a sense of deja vu as well. See your dreams clearly and coming true and they will.

What I learned: Expectation leads to disappointment.
What I know:
Expectation leads to what's expected, so expect good things.
August 23rd    Thoughts create your reality, make them good.
Another busy day in the neighborhood. New adventures in Andie's health so any prayers in that direction would be greatly appreciated. We don't like the possibilities we see when we look at all these symptoms. Anyone know a doctor that is more than a corporate collector of fees and a drug dealer for the pharmaceutical companies. I saw an add for asthma medicine last night that said in teeny tiny letters "May lead to asthma related deaths." Cool. Let's get some right now! Our neighbor's sister just had surgery on a brain tumor. We are thinking of and praying for them today as the prognosis was challenging. I am wishing for and seeing better times for all of us.
   We are still feeling the afterglow of being on the Island with our friends. Mix that with what the hell is going on with all these mysterious ailments and you have what I believe is called life. Today is Rebel's wedding day at Wallace Falls, one of my favorite places on earth. Many happy hiking trips occurred there when the kids were young. Wallace Falls was Kayden's first hike just a few weeks ago. Casey Garland is playing at the Soul Food Cafe in Redmond and there is a birthday party we are supposed to make an appearance. Sarah Maria suggested I break out my Franklin Planner and buy some new pages as it seems the calendar is getting more and more busy. It is funny too that things are changing as I continue to work on spiritual growth and keep prosperity in mind. Prosperity as defined by gratitude for what you have now, by choosing to be happy now. It is a minute by minute endeavor that becomes more and more of an adventure.
  I am happy but tired this week as all week long Kayden has been Peter Pan, Andie Captain Hook and in spite of my strong protests I continue to be Wendy. What can one do? This weekend Kayden became fascinated by nail polish and asked Andie to paint his finger nails. At the Mason's party he asked April to paint his toe nails. He is in touch with his feminine side Andie told a few of the female couples who were watching. They found that to be most impressive. It did not affect his ability to tackle me and play Hop on Pop. A game where he leaps into the air and lands feet first on my stomach and leaps off onto the ground. To get the most enjoyment from the game it involves several repetitions and may eventually lead to the need for a few internal transplants on my behalf. But the level of pain to pleasure ratio is negligible from his perspective. And so it goes.

August 18th Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time. T.S. Elliot
What a great holiday and wonderful time with amazing people we have had. The gray cast of the sky has returned. The heavens threatened rain all day Sunday but it never came. I guess it poured at Larry's and Cindy's and it cleared the air of pollen. It was a great thing for Kayden and the rest of us. It is so good to have such great friends. There seems to be more and more to do every day. I am looking forward to being a part of Rebel's wedding. I hope to also catch Casey and Elanine in concert at the Soul Food Cafe in Redmond on the same day. We will see how it all turns out. Right now I am enjoying the company of Andie and Kayden while Michael Buble sings in the background. It is a lazy gray day.
I laughed yesterday as Larry was talking about how it wasn't that much work, in fact it was easy, putting on the event. He said that just as John Matthews passed by carrying one of the the or for collapsible tents he brought. And Larry and Cindy were going nonstop from the time we arrived. One thing is for sure. They know how to put on a gathering. Working for a Living in the USA was a good closing song for the gathering. I met one of the owners of the lovely place we stayed. You can just tell sometimes looking in someone's eyes what a kind soul he or she is. Again I was filled with a sense of warmth and gratitude.
It has been so good for Andie and I and for Kayden too. He got to spend time with Mike's wife, April and with Cindy too. He thoroughly enjoyed himself. He loves beautiful ladies.

Barefoot Kayden on the swing


August 17th
The benefit was a great success. The music was fantastic. I will have to get more detail specifics but David did sound and he did and outstanding job. Larry opened up the show and it had John and I come up for Don't Let the Sun Catch You Cryin'. It was a great start of the day for me to play with Larry. Janie and Joe did an amazing set too. I was blown away by the sweet and precise sounds of Joe's guitar work and Janie can belt out a tune and has a very strong style. Very nice. We got up and knocked out everything on our set except Give Us Free which Larry and I had talked about doing. I think he and Carl would do a great job on that tune.
Our set list
Let me just say thank you God for the weather. Let me say thank you to those who came and those who participated in the party and the work. What a joy. Good people doing good things. Like Graham Nash said, "We can change the world." Andie and Kayden came up on the stage with me for I love you naturally and they were dancing and having a great time during our whole show. Kayden kept yelling out "Great Job." Each time Joe and Janie finished a song. April and Cindy both spent time with him and he love it. So much to be thankful for. Larry was able to spring for some gas money for my band and I was very grateful as they have donated their talents and their expense so many times. And I sit at the counter of this beautiful place they provided for us and give this update. We are blessed. We are blessed. We are blessed. I would just like to say thank you for my life. By the way, my laptop screen is hanging by a thread and it is hard to get it to work at all but I am playing for Rebels wedding next Sunday and the price is a zillion dollars (negotiable). I tried to leave a message but didn't get through. If I say I am going to be there I am going to be there. We love you.

Today August 17th we will play a benefit show on Whidbey Island. The event will benefit the Toddler's Learning Center . Contact Cindy Mason for details and tickets. Cindy is selling 100 tickets only (One pig feeds this amount) for a suggested price of $75.00 each. Contact Cindy at 360-679-7958. TLC Brochure Hope to see you there. It will be the acoustically electric set in a new and refined light. There will be a few tickets available at the event.
Larry went out yesterday and bought plywood and covered the flat bed struck stage with it, put down rugs and built steps. John Matthews showed up with tents and we covered the stage with a 10 by 20 tent. Larry is about to burst with enthusiasm and it is contagious. It reminds me of when he produced Room with a View. He came into the studio every day fired up and ready to rally. What a guys. So now we are putting the gear on the stage. I got a call and the Ramey's are coming. It will be great to see them. Larry freaked me out a bit last night when he said not to play anything mellow. We have a thoroughly planned show and it includes a fair amount of excellent songs that happen to be the "M" word. Oops. We are going for it.
A good time is guaranteed for all
.


August 17th         It is on today!
Today is the day! We celebrate our anniversary at the place we were married and being part of a benefit all at the same time. I am so thankful for my wife and my family. I wish we could all be together today here at the Love Shack. Love grows as do our spirits and I am excited for today and all days to come. Andie is an amazing person and she continues to grow in knowledge, beauty, spirit and giving. Good times are coming. Good times are here.

August 16th
One day left before the show that will be talked about for years. Larry Mason in concert solo! Carl Funk, Larry's music partner, has a prior engagement but really wanted to make an appearance. Of course Janie and Joe will play as well and finally the Papa Murat band. Mike Daily drums and vocals, Jimmy Culler bass and vocals, John Matthews Latin Percussion, Greg Murat Acoustic guitar and vocals. It is going to be great weather, food, company, location and magic is in the air. We come full circle to where Andie and I were married to celebrate that union and the work that the Toddler's Learning Center is doing. It is wonderful to be a part of great music doing charitable works. Thanks Larry and Cindy for making this a wonderful anniversary already. Kayden, Andie and I spent the morning walking on the tide flats and catching little crabs, chasing fish, building sand castles and getting mucky in the mud. We had a fine time and were a perfect mess. Now Kayden is having a little nap and I can have a moment to write before I go back to practicing for tomorrow. I am glad to be sharing this time and space with Andie, my love.
It is a good day to live.

August 10, 2008
  Great rehearsal today at 10 am with the boys. Jimmy, Johnny and Mikey. We got to chat with Larry a bit about the sound system for the TLC show. We played our whole show today. As always there is a reserve of songs. Everyone was singing sweetly today. I love that harmony. It is fun to have a chance to tap into and express ideas for arrangements that utilize the rhythm and percussion of the songs. Mike is playing a Sanga beat on a Latin set that just smokes and Let It Pour is an old song made new as a result. It is funky. I am so looking forward this show on Andie and my anniversary. 

August 9, 2008
  I had a really great day today in spite of the fact that I had the unfortunate experience of opening and reading an e-mail that was hateful and hurtful. That will kick start your day I am here to tell you. Enough of that though. I had fretted all week because I had five different tugs for time on this fine and rainy day: a wedding, the Taste of Edmonds, a Gallanger family reunion, rehearsal and a convention. The reunion did not happen for me as Andie wanted to have fun so I stayed home. Now I did not make Chani's tattoo convention as the distance and traffic factor prevailed on that one. I really wanted to hear Knuck play. I had placed rehearsal at the top of my list as I want to do a really good show for the benefit for the Toddler's Learning Center (see schedule) on the 17th of August. So I was letting everything else slide. Then, when drummer Mike Daily and I talked this morning he suggested I come over around 11 and we rehearse at noon for a few hours and then we could have the rest of the day free. I thought, wow, that is a change of plans. Okay. One step and thing at a time. Yes that would be fine I said and left a voice mail for Jimmy. We rehearsed, planned our set and were done by 3:30. The wedding was at 4 on Ebbey Island. I said what the hell and Jimmy and I drove over to Jim McLaughlin's for his wedding. It was a quick ceremony and I got up afterwards and Jim and Pamela stood in the rain and listened while I sang Love Wears Your Name to them. Then it was off and down the road to Ronnie Llinas's house to get a parking pass for the Taste. He only had one so Jimmy and I drove to Edmonds and I found a great parking spot and then we headed up to what used to be Bickford's for a snack and a drink. Then it was back to the Taste
  What a great night it was. I was a Delivery Boy for an evening. Jamie Phalen, Dave Noren, Mark Lull, John Matthews, Jimmy Culler, Ronnie Llinas. Scott Lindenmuth and me. Some guy named Bob was supposed to show but never did. The sound out front and on stage was fantastic. The Boys were on. I don't think I have ever seen Dave look so happy. I think tomorrow his face is going to have stretch marks. I just sang two songs and played percussion with John the rest of the time. It really was a kick, almost like being on the history channel. There was 25 years of history on the stage.
Earlier in the day I got a call from Aaron, my son, while he was in phone range. He is way out in the country these days. He said he had been feeling me and missing me a lot. It was perfect timing. I really did struggle with my feelings during the day as I wrestled not to identify with the hateful message I had received. Don't waste time or energy on people who make it their goal to make you feel bad. Life is too short. While Aaron and I were talking, Anjali was screaming in the back ground, a blood curdling piercing sound. Kayden can make that sound. It was so good to hear his voice and encouragement about healing family and having harmony. Last night Josh and I talked for nearly two hours. He is doing great and was sharing life and work news. I could feel so much love from both my sons. Life is balance. I think some huge changes are coming, some I have had no idea were even in the works, but it is going to be okay. It is all unfolding as it should.

August 1, 2008
Too tired to write really. Just thinking about going to sleep. I am cleaning the studio and attempting to get me a working space that has a good feel and vibe to it so I can be more creative. I am looking at the pictures of Paris and feeling like it was just a dream. But perhaps all of life is just a dream of form, a dream within a dream. I had great day with Kayden. We went to Howarth Park and played in the sand for two or three hours. He dug his first clams. We let them all go. We met a man who was catching sand shrimp for bait and he had a whole bucket full. Kayden was impressed with them and insisted they were crabs. Up until today a sand castle was something I built and he tore down. Today we built several together. He does the cutest hop, squat, dance as he goes along and he has wonderfully warm hello for everyone. Even at the license place today when we went to get my tabs he charmed the very tired and crabby ladies behind the counter. They said they were tired when I asked how they were doing. They were quite abrupt and cold at first. The three children in front of us were not so charming. One kept yelling "I have to pee." They kind of looked and laughed at Kayden and I. We had been caught in what we pretended to be gale force winds and even though I was dressed in black slacks, a shirt and vest the wind "knocked" me to the ground. Kayden then saved me but in the the course of our adventures we both got rather dirty. By the time we left the licensing office Kayden had the two ladies smiling and waving good-bye to us. It was an adventure keeping him awake on the way home. He was so tired and it was too early for sleep so I opened the moon roof of my car and pretended I was being snatched up through the hole. He thought that was hilarious. When we got home I was showing off flipping a bottle of air freshener and when I dropped it he burst out laughing. Of course I repeated the trick several times dropping the can each time. When it rolled into the kitchen I bumped my foot into the garbage can. He followed laughing but then he head butted the stainless steel can and the party was over. He burst out crying and I had to hold
him for quite a while. We agreed that a head butting contest with a steel can was not a game we should play.
  While all this was transpiring Andie as having a little break from us. We all need time to ourselves. Kind of strange night from here on though. I spent a good time practicing for the show at Larry and Cindy Mason's Benefit August 17. There will be another band rehearsal on Sunday. Arranging songs is a new and exciting experience. I love the spontaneity from the past but it is not always there and fresh life in these songs calls for a fresh approach. It will be great.
I got the talk to Sarah three times today. She called to thank me for helping last night. She is feeling better and was busy modeling at Gage Art Academy.
Okay that is it. I am pooped but think I will do some playing. Welcome to August.

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Greg Murat (mur-rah)  
  Singer-Songwriter  Guitarist