Saturday, March 24, 2018

The Kids are Alright

This has been an emotional day. For many of us. For most of us.

My heroes today are children, thrust into a spotlight they were never meant to occupy. Or maybe they were. I find it hard to reconcile the movement with the deaths that finally jarred it into existence.

For years, I wrote anti-gun pieces for HuffPost and in this blog, and anywhere anyone would listen, as shooting after shooting took place. Maybe it assuaged my feeling of helplessness. Or maybe it gave voice to a grieving parent. I don’t know, because those weren’t the people I heard from.

As anyone who has been vocal about gun legislation can tell you, there are threats, and whether or not those threats are viable is the question we get to live with as the cost of taking a stand.

It’s easier not to say anything. Not to be vocal. Not to write a letter or call a Congressman. It’s easier to be silent. But to be silent is to be complicit, and sooner or later we all must decide what it is we are willing to be complicit in, exactly.

I’ll be honest with you, the past year and five months, roughly, have exhausted the hell out of me. I’ve looked at the world and thought it was beyond redemption, beyond my ability to impact any healing of it, and not really a place I particularly wanted to be, anymore. The only problem is I’m here. And so are you. And so are all of us who are tired of fighting fights that seems futile.

Enter the children from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Leaders born of necessity. Courageous in ways they never should have had to be. And these kids are fearlessly showing an entire population that miserably failed them, how it’s done. How to behave like grownups in a world where the actual grownups act like petulant children. How to have a singular vision and purpose and relentlessly pursue it.

For the first time in a long time, I am looking at these grieving children and feeling a sense of hope and promise. And I cry because their loss has been our nation’s gain. And it’s not fair.

They should be contemplating prom dates and colleges, not how to get corrupt politicians to stop taking bribes from the NRA. But we didn’t get that done for them, so they will – with or without us.

As Emma Gonzalez stood silently in front of the massive crowd, for the time it took the gunman to ravage her school and take out her classmates, history was made. In the long uncomfortable silence. In the tears. In a sobering moment where a teenager had to remind us to do our freakin’ jobs as human beings.

I will always believe that the value of our lives is in how well we love. It is in how kind we can be to one another, how much compassion we have, how well we care for the least among us.

The children redeemed us today. And if we have any desire to love well, then we will return the favor.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

In Color - the anniversary edition

Something happens as we get older – we start to give serious thought to our legacy, to what we’ve done that could be enduring and of value beyond our time here.

I’ll admit, the older I get, the more frequently those ruminations consume me, but I do not think that it is altogether a bad thing. I think that it can sharply change and has sharply changed the quality of life lived now, here, in the present moment.

It is more than likely every artist’s dream to profoundly impact on a grand scale, and I would be lying if I told you I didn’t want that, too for my work. I would love to know that what I wrote and sang not only held meaning and gave enjoyment, but changed lives for the better somehow for more than a handful of people.

So because every moment is a blank page and a fresh start, I think today, on this second anniversary of the release of In Color, it would be a good time to not only reflect, but to set new intentions and make new declarations for the future of the CD.

Before I had any inkling of how the record was going to materialize, or who’d be playing and singing on it, or how it would look, I sat down and wrote my intentions for it. I may not have known the specifics, but I knew the spirit I wanted it to embody and I knew I wanted like-hearted people participating on it.

Now, this may sound a little (or a lot) woo-woo to you, but the freaky and amazing thing is those intentions all came to pass. Every. Single. One. Of. Them.

So when I look back on it today, I am overwhelmed with gratitude both for those beautiful souls whose artistry is on the record, and for those whose support made it possible.

It is my intention that this record will continue to reach new listeners, that it will inspire and encourage, leave people feeling less alone, understood, and reconnected to themselves and their heart’s desire in some way.

I am open to exciting new and unexpected opportunities that allow that to happen.

If you’ve listened to it, I would love to know what song or songs resonated with you most and why. And if you would share it, by word of mouth, social media, or in any other way, I would be profoundly grateful.

Before I sign off, I would like to give a big shout out to all those whose incredible talents are captured in both small and big ways on this record – Tanya Leah, Anthony Barone, Fred Rowles, Mark Prentice, Matthew Bubel, Everett Bradley, Kenny Loggins, Brian Mann, Caitlin Evanson, Kris Wilkinson, Lorraine Ferro, BethAnne Clayton, Arnie Roman, Jeryl Brunner, Garry Novikoff, Sue Fabisch, Alisa Swerdlove, Marvin Levy, Brian Montgomery, Alan Silverman, Stan Tomczak, and Marina Drasnin.

Below are the places you can listen to and buy In Color.

Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing part of your day with me. Please tell your friends. And here's to a project born of love. 



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