26 October 2019

What are we doing here??

Tonight is the 40th Spiral Dance put on by the Reclaiming community, of which I am a part.  Thousands will gather to celebrate and honor the lives of the Beloved Dead during this time when, in many traditions, the veil is thin between the world of the living and the world of the dead.  We will be surrounded by altars for the directions, for the dead, for the living.  We will travel to the Isle of Apples, we will sing, and we will dance the spiral, looking into each others eyes as we share this moment of life.  It's a beautiful thing!

Do you ever ask yourself why you are here on Earth?  Do you ever ask yourself why here in this place where you are, and why now?

"Why" is a fun question because it has many layers.  The answers are many-layered too. 

What answers do you encounter, if any?

I've always been more interested in "How" and "What" because they are more functional questions, but "Why" is an invitation into one's own deep inner being, into the convoluted brain and all of the stories of who and what a person actually is.  We are human, we have bodies, we have minds and emotions, and we have awareness, but...what are we?  Does one's existence have meaning?  What is "meaning"?

Life as a human on Earth, in these times, depending on where one was born and into what kind of body, is a mixed bag of, well, everything.  There is joy, hopefully, and there is definitely suffering.  For some there is material plenty and for some there is not.  Some people experience a sense of purpose, direction, a path of being and doing that they embrace.  For some it is not so simple or easy.  We humans span the spectrum of possibilities.  And yet with all of that variety of experiences we have some things in common.  We all live in these bodies which have specific requirements.  We all have time...a little, a lot...but some time in which (most of us get to) breathe, feel, sense, think, exist. And in those moments or decades or whatever amount of time we have, we perceive ourselves in relationship with everything else in the lovely paradoxical dance of individualism and collectivism.

I invite myself and you to be conscious of all of this as we walk through the world.  Re-membering (making whole) our Selves and Each Other; that we are in this together as a whole lot of individuals, creating the world every day, every moment, through our actions, our emotions, our thoughts, and our awareness.

29 May 2019

Wey Valley Radio

There's nothing like live radio, and there's nothing like community radio!  It was a real treat for me to get to visit Wey Valley Radio in Alton Hants, UK.  Community radio is a labor of love, wherever you find it, bringing live music, local news, and fostering that feeling of community connection that is so vital to humans.

Tobiah, my friend and host here in the UK, was invited to be on Acoustic CafĂ© Radio at Wey Valley Radio 101.1 FM.  Along with the wonderful Colette O'Leary on accordion, and with fellow musical guest on the show DiElle.  The songs reflected the loving hearts of the musicians.  It was very special. Host Brian Player facilitated a wonderful 2 hours of music and conversation.  You can listen to the recording here.

If you are looking for real music, real information, brought to you by non-corporate people, find your local community radio station, and if you can't find one, start one!

Tobiah and Colette


I love working in radio, and as always, like to acknowledge the person who mentored me in radio, Greg Hooker, one of the best radio hosts, and a deeply decent human.

25 May 2019

This afternoon at Meadow End...

Visiting friends Tobiah and Steven, looking forward to Tobiah's concert tomorrow at St. Georges Church in Trotten.  The concert celebrates Tobiah's new record Are We Angels, which I hope you will listen to, and even buy!  It will feed your heart and soul, I promise!

I'm sitting in the breakfast nook with a cup of tea, while Tob, Simon Callow, Colete O'Leary, and Rowan Piggott (soon to arrive) are rehearsing. Sarah Miles just came by to say hello; Academy Award winning actress and brilliant actor, a neighbor, she's been a guest on Paradigms.

This morning I read 3/4 of the new book Buffy Sainte-Marie The Authorized Biography by Andrea Warner and discovered that my favorite of her songs, Starwalker, is her favorite too.  I listened to it over and over driving across Canada in 2005 during my grief travels.  If you have a chance to listen to the song at the link above, do, and do read the book! Buffy is one of my great inspirations.  I had the honor of an interview with Buffy in 2009, and am hoping to talk with her again this year.

You know how sometimes you encounter someone and you connect deeply with ease?  That's how this friendship is. Tobiah and I have been friends via internet and phone since she was first on Paradigms in 2010, introduced by Will McCoy, The Rhythm Rancher, who is himself an amazing musician and was a guest on Paradigms in 2010.  Well, we finally met in person 2 days ago at Heathrow when she and Steven picked me up.  When Tobiah released her new album and scheduled this concert we both decided it was time for me to visit, and so, here I am. 

I am listening to the rehearsal, and as much as I want to sing along I am keeping quiet.  I know these songs and love them.  I've listened to them all countless times, but to hear them being sung in the next room...well you can't beat that with a stick!

Music is the healer, music is the healing...if we listen to beautiful music with messages of love and care and tenderness, it can help heal our wounds. Even the most broken damaged person who has committed the most despicable acts can find healing if the seek it.

05 January 2019

Random musings in early 2019...

Some people find treasures when they go to the sea; jewelry, shells, sponges...all in the sand.  It’s a talent.

When I go to the sea I find moments of transcendence.  The water on the sand.  The light in the water.  The sound that never stops and is always soothing.  The sensation of ebb and flow that comes and goes after immersion. The smell.  The sensations of water and sun on skin. These are my treasures.


I like material comfort as much as the next person.  I appreciate beauty with an aesthetic that has been developed with intention. But the physical world is not what my sights are ultimately set upon.  

The images of the cosmos that we have, thanks to the technology we call science, has provided us with an easy conceptualization of what is beyond Earth’s thin layer of atmosphere. I focus on these images in my mind, often, and as part of describing to myself and contemplating where and what I am in a meditative experience.  I see myself sitting or whatever, the room, the building, the locale...always moving out (up?) seeing concentric spheres of geography, if you will, until I see the planet, the solar system, the galaxy...and out and out...all that great NASA Star Trek imagery informing images of space and the cosmos.  I find comfort in this.

Then gradually coming back, eventually returning my awareness to this body in this place.


In the morning when I awaken I am still and peaceful...for a moment.  Then I feel tension rising in my body and my mind remembers where I am and what is in front of me and then I feel anxious, and a desire to burrow back into sleep and dreams, and stillness and peace.  No such luck though. I know that I will get up, so I do...and the anxiety diminishes as I move into activity. But always this sense of...like I am wearing a garment that is just a little too small.