Autumn 2018

Howdy my friends,

I’ve sensed autumn in the air for a few weeks, but yesterday was the first day I could see it. Stepping outside after a memorial for a life passed too soon, I noticed three maple trees starting to light up in orange. I hadn’t seen them going in. Had they turned in a couple of hours? Maybe it was the doing of the man we were there to celebrate, showing us that he was not gone at all, but decorating the trees in a fashion he’d not had access to before.

Autumn comes to mean something different as we get older, doesn’t it? When you’re young it means a new school year, maybe new love, for sure new adventures. As a boy in Amarillo, even though the trees weren’t particularly beautiful, but mostly just went from a faded green to brown overnight, I was still deeply appreciative of those crispy leaves blowing in the wind. The symbol itself played a big part in my life. As I’d daydream of adventures, of romance, my dreams were always accompanied but the rustle of leaves blowing down a road, across a meadow and through the air on crispy autumn wind.

When I was in my mid-twenties, I took a job with an airline, Texas International. I could fly for free if I could ever get a day off. I flew with a friend to Denver for a Neil Young concert. I think it was around 1978. Denver had many more glorious trees than Amarillo and I was enthralled by the color. Across from the house we were staying in, there was a boulevard, long grassy, tree-lined islands in the street. I remember walking out to one and lying on my back and watching the colorful maple leaves spin and tumble out of the blue and settle around me. That tells you a lot about me — if you couldn’t tell already from my songs — that I hold moments dear from all eras of my life. Most of them involve nature and seasons and weather, and they are as alive in me today as the moment when I lived them.

I have been working on something new to share with you. In the last four years I have been meditating regularly, several times a week if not every day. It would be impossible to express all the beautiful changes in my life because of this, but I do keep trying. I tried sharing some of the hour long guided meditations I use with friends. While some were drawn to them, almost no one really took up the practice. But one friend asked me to make him a short, ten minute meditation. He knew he would do nothing longer, but very much needed a release from anxiety and stress. So I created a simple ten minute meditation; a bed of soft music, wind and surf in the background, and my gently spoken words to the fore. He loved it and still uses it three years later. I made others and gave them away to people who would buy a CD at my concerts. Many told me they’d begun to make it a regular practice and were sleeping better, feeling less emotional stress and being more creative.

So I decided to create a full CD of short, mostly ten minute meditations. Spoken word over nature and sometimes music. My goal is this; I want to meet you where you are. I want to create something that is so inviting and pleasant for you to listen to that you WANT to be there. Getting started in meditating, your mind plays tricks on you. Your already racing thoughts speed up. You get irritable and restless. That is all the status quo trying to keep you from opening your heart and mind. Because the status quo — in this case the ego — fears that kind of change at first. But then when you DO begin and you stay with it, even the ego loves the gifts that flow. Your creativity blossoms, your ability to solve problems and communicate improve. Your health often improves and you start to enjoy people more. Even yourself. You like yourself more. Who wouldn’t want that?

I will have the first of several meditation CDs ready soon — on disc and also for download — and will send word to you if you’re on my email list. I truly think you will like these and feel when you listen as if you’ve been invited into the home of an old friend and allowed to be yourself there. Your self is the best thing you can probably be, so if you ever come over to my house, you are welcome to be that.

I hope this autumn is a loving and beautiful one for you my friends. Don’t forget to take some deep breaths and be kind to yourself.

Your friend in breezy Seattle, ~Michael

PS, If you’re on my email list, I will always send notice to you of concerts in your state. Also, a few times a year I am brought into various cities for a private concert, someone’s anniversary or birthday or just because they want to celebrate. I’ve played living room and patio and back yard concerts all over the US. You can read more about it here under my Private Concerts link. I’d love to come to your town and create a concert for you and your family and friends.