Saturday, February 10, 2007


Free Association in the Arts

I'm sitting here on my front porch. It's the middle of “winter” in Central California. It's early morn and the rain is gently falling. I'm surrounded by the “legs “ of giant redwood trees and from where I'm sitting I can see three statues of Buddha and one virgin Mary peering down from their tree altar. There is however no partridge in a pear tree. A large crow careens overhead and rests somewhere high in the trees. My sweetheart and I watched a special on Africa a few nights ago. I was enchanted by the landscape and the beautiful faces. The narrator spoke a little about the impact of the deBeers mining industry. Then today on NPR I heard a discussion on the movie Blood Diamond and the changes the deBeers company are now making in order to change the way they are viewed. There was talk about the brilliant marketing of associating a product (in this case the diamond) with the long-standing, highly dependable ritual of marriage. Pure genius. I imagine that most couples feel obligated to have a diamond be a part of their marriage story. And I am wondering what it would take to dis-associate this dynamic duo. To liberate the ritual and get unhooked. And would we even want to? I guess it depends on who's making the money. Come on, hear me now, give me a back up chorus when I say... Who's makin the money? Who's going down into those diamond mines?

I have my own diamond mine/mind. My own way of traveling into the creative source. I begin my creative process by opening myself up to the unknown. I find some vehicle in which to begin this journey into improvisation otherwise known as free-association. This seed or starting point can begin with writing, movement, rhythm, lyric or sound and then it takes off. Through the joy of free-associating I find my deeper self; I find what matters to me. I like to describe my own universe, the one that my particular i is experiencing. Themes of place, nature, loved ones, people I know or don't know, my dreams, my feelings and my deepest concerns arise again and again from this wellspring. I write about my internal terrain and the process of healing and transformation.

I would like to write more about my deepest concerns. There is a message to entertainers to keep their personal opinions ie. Political biases, to yourself. For artists it is different. You're allowed to have your discontent as a poet and your are allowed a vision for humanity. You just won't be reimbursed for it. Sing it with me one more time...Who's makin the money?

Poetry and music have layers. My song Delphina appears as a love song. Yet it is deeper than that. It is a Jungian song. Where one's inner male and inner female unite, where the light and the shadow meet and through this synthesis, like in a fairy tale, integration and transformation takes place. My song Slow Vibration has a hint of my unrest with our current political reality. Even though it's an honoring of my time in Costa Rica it is also a lament, a prayer for my grandchildren. I remember the night Operation “Shock and Awe” was announced. I was driving in my car and I pulled over to a pay phone. I had a glimpse of the suffering that was about to begin. I called Phil in my despair. I remember now it was raining as I stood there and cried.

I am little more hopeful now. The political climate is changing and I sense a big collective change on the horizon. I want to be a part of it. And I want my music and my life and my love to reflect it. I want to fully participate in what Joanna Macy calls the Great Turning. Sign me up or beam me up, whatever. I just want to be in that number.


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Sunday, January 7, 2007

New Web Site!

Hi Folks,

We've got a new web site! ( I'm open to comments. suggestions, anything!