Don't open the door to the study and begin reading.
Take down a musical instrument.
Let the beauty we love be what we do.
There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.”
We spent Memorial Day weekend in Lake Tahoe performing at Marriott’s Timber Lodge resort which is nestled comfortably at the base of Heavenly Mountain on the South Shore of Lake Tahoe. The weather cooperated Nicely leaving us with light blue skies and the deeper and more mysterious blue of the lake. Our Muses have three cousins who live in the area and spent the whole weekend playing hard. We had some pleasant hours out on the beach, hunting Crawdaddies, playing in the sand, or just quietly listening to the pulse of the planet.
Sunday we performed a couple of sets out on the patio near the Gondola and ended up with a great crowd, many of whom braved 2 hours of sun to stay for both sets. Afterwards, a group of listeners came over to talk with us. They had been finishing up a round of drinks and were planning to go for a short hike before heading home early from vacation later that day but heard us sing a snippet of one of our songs during our sound check and decided to stay and hear a couple of tunes. Two hours later they said they had decided to extend the vacation another day or so and told us how much the music had meant to them and how it had opened them up and helped them relax into their vacation instead of rushing back home to work.
I am constantly amazed at the power music has to connect us deeply to our souls, to each other, to humanity, to our planet, and to the universe. Hearing from others, the difference our music made to them is always humbling. I still remember years ago the first time I heard the Indigo Girls on the radio. I was driving home from work and pulled in to a record store because I had to buy that song so I could listen to it again and again. I
remember how much certain songs helped shape the course of my life, opening up in me the courage and passion to face a struggle, or at other times, providing safe passage for sorrows that seemed too great to bear. This is the reason I call myself a Folk musician, because the music doesn’t just belong to me, it belongs to everyone it touches. My friend Utah Slim once said to me that “music opens me to myself.” I’ve thought of his words many times since then. The music that moves me most opens my heart to let me peer a little deeper into my true nature, It opens a door or a window into my soul and leaves me looser and more open than I was before, it connects me outward to the people I am with and the planet I’m on and the universe I gaze outward at on dark nights. I don’t know how it works, but it is the closest thing I’ve ever found to magic. There’s something about music, that reminds me that we’re all in this together, that we were all once (the stuff we’re made of at least) part of some long extinguished star, that our hearts are never as separate as we might think.
Most of our drive back to life as usual in Salt Lake was stormy and both the muses and their parents were beginning to get irritable, but late in the evening the clouds parted and the sun illuminated a Rainbow that arced right over the road home like a gateway into Oz. “Maybe,” I thought, “music is the light that lets us see the beauty of the moment that we were blind to before.” As a folk musician, I love sharing the music that flows from my heart and out into the world, where it mingles with the hearts of others and comes back to me richer and more pure! If that isn’t a gateway to a magic kingdom, I don’t know what is.