PAST RAMBLINGS - 22
(collection of past Homepage greetings and stories)
Nov 9, 2007   -to-   Mar 1, 2008

Michael Tomlinson - Past Ramblings
Ramblings 1
3/13/99 - 7/11/99
Ramblings 2
7/27/99 - 1/8/00
Ramblings 3
3/6/00  - 8/7/00
Ramblings 4
9/18/00 -  11/19/00
Ramblings 5
12/17/00 - 4/10/01
Ramblings 6
5/9/01 - 6/25/01
Ramblings 7
07/23/01 - 10/07/01
Ramblings 8
10/19/01 - 2/18/02
Ramblings 9
3/22/02 - 8/5/02
Ramblings 10
8/27/02-12/22/02
Ramblings 11
1/24/03 to 5/31/03
Ramblings 12
7/18/03 to 12/24/03
Ramblings 13
1/11/04 to 5/28/04
Ramblings 14
7/03/04 to 10/1/04
Ramblings 15
11/03/04 to 2/22/05
Ramblings 16
4/01/05 to 7/1/05
Ramblings 17
08/21/05 - 11/16/05
Ramblings 18
12/20/05 to 6/11/06
Ramblings 19
07/19/06 to 11/13/06
Ramblings 20
12/02/06 to 4/2/07
Ramblings 21
5/21/07 to 9/4/07
Ramblings 22
11/9/07 to 3/1/2008
Ramblings 23
5/16/08 to 11/8/08
Ramblings 24
12/11/08 to 09/06/09
Ramblings 25
11/01/09 to
10/21/2010
Ramblings 26
5/10/10 to
12/4/2010
Ramblings 27
4/01/11 to
10/1/11
Ramblings 28
2/1/12 - Fall 2012
Ramblings 29
Spring 2013 - Present
Ramblings 30
Spring 2014
Nov 9, 2007

Howdy my fine Thanksgiving friends,

I just spent the afternoon doing something that really brings back memories of my youth. No, I wasn't stealing candy and yoyos from the corner grocery, I was raking leaves! Fancyin' myself a decent writer and all, I don't like to overdo the exclamation points but with the profusion of weak willed people relying on leaf blowers these days, I think a man wielding an old fashioned rake warrants a little celebration, don't you? Hence the exclamation point. Hence, also, the quart of chocolate milk, banana creme pie and People Magazine when I finished. Just joking, I celebrated with a sprig of parsley and some head stand meditation.

You don't really know what to believe when you read my website ramblings, do you? The reason I know this is because many, many times through the years I've gone out of my way to write the most outlandish story - for instance, the time I climbed a radio tower antenna, got scared up there and was rescued by Ahnold the Governator. Believe it or not, I heard from people concerned about me climbing so high without a safety harness. Or the time I spent Thanksgiving Day on a pogo stick, hopping through Seattle and all the way out to the mountain town of Snoqualmie, where I spoiled the Thanksgiving Dinner of my friends by mis-hopping and landing sprawled spread eagle in the middle of the feast. Of course, this never happened and yet, quite a few folks wrote asking if I knew where they too could get a jet powered pogo stick.

I've never been one to try to fool people, it's just that once I get to writing, I myself am often not sure what's real and what is not. My fingers type it out and claim it's high truth. My mind questions occasionally, but mostly I go with the fingers. They can punch me out if I ask too much.

I'm always the last person on my block to rake my autumn leaves. It's been that way my whole adult life. I like to hang onto the seasons, squeeze just a little bit more out of each one before the next one bullies it's way in. It's been a beautiful fall here in Seattle, the leaves lasted much longer than they do many years. We usually get high winds just about the time that the leaves are at their most brilliant - and they're gone in a day. Last weekend was just one of those blustery days and I hiked several miles around town, loving the way the sky and air was filled with fluttering golden leaves as the wind was bending trees and bushes every time it gusted. To get out in the wind like that just feels like you're being cleansed, like the wind is blowing through you and washing out everything and making you clear and free again.

We're in such a mild part of the country here in the Pacific Northwest that people don't think we get much wind, but let me tell you podnas, it does blow a bit. My girlfriend, Patricia, and I were up on Orcas Island in October on a wildly blustery day in October. Perhaps you saw photos on the news of the ferry bouncing around in Puget Sound. Luckily, I carry suction cups every where I go, and we were able to stick them suckers on the glass and not wash overboard like most everybody else and their cars. (guys, if you want to impress your girl, carry suction cups!)

When Patricia and I were on Orcas Island we began taping the first of a series of music videos I'm doing for YouTube and a number of other internet sites. Patricia is a professional photographer and so the transition to video seems to be a natural one for her. At one point she got the idea though, that she was a full-on movie director and started trying to get me to do dangerous nude stunts. She wanted me to drive nekkid with my feet on the wheel and play my guitar hanging out the window. She claimed this would be "romantic" but it seemed foolhardy to me and contrary to the idea of living another day. My beautiful sweetheart was hell bent on it though and, as I've learned in the two years we've been together; it's best to just take a deep breath and do it, dammit. Though she pouted (in an insanely endearing way), I convinced her to at least allow me to drive some remote rural roads rather than the main highway. I believe the results, if I live to finish, will give people a whole new view of what I do: Tender ballads, jazzy-pop tunes, reckless, nude automobile stunts.

I'm still a few months away from finishing the new CD but we are going to be putting up some of my earlier songs in video format for now and preparing to do many of the songs from my upcoming CD. I'll send you notice and post word on my site when you can see these daredevil music videos on your own home computer.


Looking for Sponsorship: Looking for Sponsorship: Looking for Sponsorship:

      The New CD is nearly finished       The New CD is nearly finished       The New CD is nearly finished


I've spent nearly a year on my new recording and I'm so very happy with it. It is truly filled with some of the best songs I've ever written and the production is beautiful and rich and vibrant. Every week I feel that the songs reach a new level of excellence. It's such a dream to see this coming true and I'm really excited to release this music into the world.

In hopes of really promoting the CD widely, in the US and Europe, I'm looking for sponsorship companies or organizations or individuals. It's an extremely expensive thing, creating a new album. I've spent many thousands on it so far and am nearing the finish. But there are pressing and design costs and mostly, promotion costs that lie ahead. If you are interested in being a part of this project, of having your name or company or organization name associated with this music, I'd love for you to get in touch. There are a number of ways I believe the association can serve everyone involved.

MY PLAN is to do something much in line with the way PBS promotes their sponsors: tastefully and with respect and clarity. For instance: This recording made possible by a generous grant from the folks at Evergreen Corporation.
  • Each sponsor will have included in the actual CD packaging; mention and thanks by name, along with logo and website URL.
  • Also, on my personal website and MySpace page, I will have my webmaster create a page of sponsors with descriptions and links to your homepage.
  • According to your sponsorship amount, I will send you a stack of the new CDs before they are officially released to the public.
  • All sponsors and their guests will be invited to a private performance I will give in 2008.
  • There are endless other ways we can be associated and I'm open to talking about your thoughts on this. If you are interested, please email me and I'll get right back to you.  mt@michaeltomlinson.com

My CDs on iTunes and other paid download sites My CDs on iTunes and other paid download sites My CDs on iTunes and other paid download sites


So far, five of my CDs are available on all the major paid download sites. Of course, I'm a big fan of full albums. I love to hear the whole song cycle an artist presents, but I know the world is on a different track these days. It's more like it was in the fifties, when people bought 45s and the single from an album was what people sought. I've been very happy to see that on iTunes, most people are buying the whole album instead of just a song or two. Yay!

I'm working hard to get the new CD up as quickly as possible after I finish it. I'll be sure and send you notice when it's there - and of course, when the CD is available on my website.

Want to use my music on your website? Want to use my music on your website? Want to use my music on your website?

If you've got a website and would like to place one of my songs there so that visitors will hear my song as they browse your site, just let me know and we can arrange your free use of my music. There are many ways to do this but my webguy and I are preparing some songs for Flash so that you may use them without taking a long time for your page to download. Let me know if you're interested.  mt@michaeltomlinson.com
 
 

This is one of my favorite times of year, not just the leaves and chilly air, but the season of Thanksgiving. I feel like it's the one of the few Holidays that has not been over hyped and made too commercial to enjoy. To me, there is no more beautiful feeling than gratitude.

Whatever is going on in your life this year, as scary as our world situation may be, as difficult as your personal experience may be, I'm asking you to please pause now and then, look around and see if you can find anything to feel thankful for. It's a beautiful start and I believe there is something that will call to you if you give it a chance. And one simple thing is all it takes. If there is one thing in your life that you are truly grateful for, then you should celebrate - even after all these painful, difficult, even disappointing events of life, you, my friend have managed to still feel grateful for something.

In 1983 I wrote a song that has come to mean Thanksgiving to me over the years. Perhaps because the first time I ever sang it for anyone was on an icy Thanksgiving in Seattle. That day and ice storm had come and electricity had gone out over most of the city. People were gathered around fireplaces for warmth and friendship, sharing stories and laughter. It was one of the best Thanksgivings of our lives. At the end of that day, just before everyone went out to their frozen cars to drive home on the slippery, crunchy streets, I sang Run Like the River Runs. I'll never forget the soft firelight and the silence in the room as I sang this beautiful song that had somehow come through me on a camping trip in the Cascade mountains a few months before.

You probably know the song, "Tell me what you will my blue-winged friend . . . " I've never grown tired of singing it. I've walked ocean beaches and river sides and trails over hills and through canyons and even through the Redwood Forest with my guitar strapped on and singing the song with my heart wide open. It's a huge gift that I've never quit giving thanks for. I'd like to leave you with the lyrics and say Happy Thanksgiving to you, my friends. Thank you for believing in me over the years, for listening to my songs and sharing them with your friends. It's meant a lot to me. Take some deep breaths and be kind to yourself.

Your friend in chilly Seattle,
      ~Michael
 

Run Like the River Runs
1985 Michael Tomlinson

Tell me what you will, my blue-winged friend
Did you hear me from where you drifted on the wind?
This autumn wind on a summer day
Sure can turn a blue sky gray
Oh, it's a lonely day and cold
There are secrets you've not told
And there are part of me that I have never known
And I wonder if you see
All the walls inside of me?

Feathered friend, I wish that you could say
Why you sit on that wooden post and watch me play
The sky is yours and the ground is mine
Do you want to trade sometime?
And let me soar above these trees
See the earth through golden leaves
Breathe the air and watch the rivers from above
There are many things to love
But it's these that call to me

     If I run like the river runs, if I fall like water falls
     Oh, if I breathe like the wind, will I ever learn it all?
     If I change like autumn leaves
     If I grow like summer weeds
     If I'm as quiet as snow, will I ever know it all?
     Learn it all?

I don't really know from day to day
If I'm willing to walk this road or turn away
But something here in the silver sky is exactly what I need
To begin the song again, help me sing my winged friend
With the melody you rise and float away
Then I'll leave the way I came, but I'll never be the same

     If I run like the river runs, if I fall like water falls
     Oh, if I breathe like the wind, will I ever learn it all?
      If I change like autumn leaves
      If I grow like summer weeds
      If I'm as quiet as snow, will I ever know it all?
      Learn it all?


   from the CDs
      Run This Way Forever
      and the solo-acoustic Watching the Storm Roll In

Dec 24, 2007
Howdy Holidays, my friends.
We enjoyed a beautiful, sparkling snowfall in Seattle earlier this month. I woke from a Saturday afternoon nap (my specialty - I won a contest once) to see it snowing magically outside my window and was mesmerized by it, feeling like I was still dreaming as I watched a world of feathery snowflakes flying about my yard. Oh boy! I grabbed my little pooch and took her outside to get a picture of her in the snow. I figured this was as good a Christmas card photo as I was likely to get. She turned out not to be as excited as I was, but then, the snow didn't come up to my crotch. It only went to my ankles, I guess it's a different story when you feel the contact of freezing snow in certain other vulnerable places. I took her back inside and I bundled up for a walk around my neighborhood streets. It all seemed like another world out there, softened by elegant white drifts and reshaped into completely different houses and yards. Every so often I'd see a magnificent scene that just took my breath away and I'd fumble with my little camera, trying to work the buttons through big gloves so that I could take pictures of what I saw before me. Then I'd look at the screen on the back of my camera and realize that I'd failed completely. You just can't capture that kind of wonder.
In Seattle, rain almost always follows snow, so you if you love snow, you'd better get out there in it right away. I thought about the time a few years back when it had snowed all night and I got up very early, walked outside with my new snow shovel and cleared the walks of all my neighbors on both sides of the street. I was really sweating, trying to get it all shoveled before anyone got up. What a nice surprise, I thought, to awaken to fresh snowfall and see that your own walk is cleared already. I was quite pleased with myself, feeling kind of heroic and Cub Scout-like. Then, before anyone could get up out of bed and see my magnificent good deed, the weather changed and rained all the rest of the snow away. No one would ever know that I'd spent hours shoveling the whole dang block. It's not the kind of thing you can just bring up in casual conversation without looking extremely pretentious. "Uh, hi. I know there's no snow any more, but there was a bunch this morning and I worked my ass off shoveling your sidewalk. No, no, it's okay! I just thought you should know in case, uh . . .  in case you wondered why my back is all bent over an' stuff."
No, you just can't go around talking about what you did when there is no evidence to show. For that very reason, I don't talk much about putting out house fires or stopping mudslides. I just go about my day and let people think Nature did it.
I've been working a lot in the studio and am getting closer to finishing my new full band CD. I'm so excited about this record! After nearly a year of recording, I'm at the stage where the icing is going on the cake. In the last month my friend, Miles Gilderdale, guitarist from the band, Acoustic Alchemy, has played on three more of my songs and knocked us all out with his creativity and talent and heart. We've built really solid arrangements over this last year and now to have such sparkling accompaniment added near the end is a dream. I'm still singing final vocals and adding harmonies to several of them but I can now begin to see the end of the project and will probably be through in another two or three months. 

I have been so blessed with love in my life these last two years. It's a huge part of the sound of this new record. My beautiful girlfriend, Patricia, is my sounding board for so much that I do in the studio and she's been amazingly insightful, helping me get past the places where I'm stuck and inspiring me to reach for something stronger and better with every song. To have so much love and friendship in my life while I'm trying to create a work of magnificence is beyond any gift I could ever have hoped for. 

I used to always give all of my friends a solo acoustic version of all the songs that would be on an upcoming album. That's the way I always start: recording the solo versions to get a sense of arrangement and tempo. I'd give these to friends and family and then I'd spend several months and many thousands of dollars recording the new CD. When it was finished I'd be all excited to hear what my friends thought of it. Inevitably, about half would always say, "It's nice, but I think I like the solo version better." Imagine my reaction to that. So I learned my lesson. No one gets the solo version. That way there's a better chance they'll like the band version. I must hedge my bets.

Upcoming Concerts Upcoming Concerts Upcoming Concerts

    Seattle, February 2 - Ground Hog Day Concert
          at Sunset Hill Community Hall in Ballard.   Click here for more details  

Looking for Sponsorship: The New CD is nearly finished Looking for Sponsorship: The New CD is nearly finished Looking for Sponsorship: The New CD is nearly finished

I've spent nearly a year on my new recording and I'm so very happy with it. It is truly filled with some of the best songs I've ever written and the production is beautiful and rich and vibrant. Every week I feel that the songs reach a new level of excellence. It's such a dream to see this coming true and I'm really excited to release this music into the world.

In hopes of really promoting the CD widely, in the US and Europe, I'm looking for sponsorship companies or organizations or individuals. It's an extremely expensive thing, creating a new album. I've spent many thousands on it so far and am nearing the finish. But there are pressing and design costs and mostly, promotion costs that lie ahead. If you are interested in being a part of this project, of having your name or company or organization name associated with this music, I'd love for you to get in touch. There are a number of ways I believe the association can serve everyone involved.

MY PLAN is to do something much in line with the way PBS promotes their sponsors: tastefully and with respect and clarity. For instance: This recording made possible by a generous grant from the folks at Evergreen Corporation.
  • Each sponsor will have included in the actual CD packaging; mention and thanks by name, along with logo and website URL.
  • Also, on my personal website and MySpace page, I will have my webmaster create a page of sponsors with descriptions and links to your homepage.
  • According to your sponsorship amount, I will send you a stack of the new CDs before they are officially released to the public.
  • All sponsors and their guests will be invited to a private performance I will give in 2008.
  • There are endless other ways we can be associated and I'm open to talking about your thoughts on this. If you are interested, please email me and I'll get right back to you.  mt@michaeltomlinson.com

My CDs on iTunes and other paid download sites My CDs on iTunes and other paid download sites My CDs on iTunes and other paid download sites


So far, five of my CDs are available on all the major paid download sites. Of course, I'm a big fan of full albums. I love to hear the whole song cycle an artist presents, but I know the world is on a different track these days. It's more like it was in the fifties, when people bought 45s and the single from an album was what people sought. I've been very happy to see that on iTunes, most people are buying the whole album instead of just a song or two. Yay!

I'm working hard to get the new CD up as quickly as possible after I finish it. I'll be sure and send you notice when it's there - and of course, when the CD is available on my website.


A Tribute to Dan Fogelberg A Tribute to Dan Fogelberg A Tribute to Dan Fogelberg
 

On a December morning in 2007, Dan Fogelberg passed away. It was a sad day for me and millions of others. I carry a sadness still that someone so filled with love and imagination has passed on from this world.

For almost anyone who has listened to my music over the years, it must be clear that Dan was one of my strong influences in my early years. I was 21 when I first heard his song Part of the Plan and the entire Souvenirs album and it astounded me from first listen. I'd been writing songs for less than a year at that time and suddenly I had heard another writer doing what I was trying to do, only much, much better. Instead of causing me to feel less capable, his music inspired me. His writing and singing, the beautiful songs and lyrics he imagined, made me want to find the poetry in my own life and sing it to the world.

In those years I had a little band called Desert Rain, consisting of a few friends I'd gone to high school with and a friend from the local community college I was going to in Amarillo. Every one of us loved Dan's music. We brought wide ranging inspirations to the group, Carl liked Humble Pie, Ray liked Grand Funk Railroad, Joe loved the Beatles, Buddy loved Bruce Cockburn, I loved Joni Mitchell and Paul Simon. We all loved James Taylor and Elton John and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. And then Dan Fogelberg came along and became in those early years, the artist I most resonated with. His longing and yearning melodies, love of nature and romance found a home in me. That was years before I ever wrote Yellow Windows, but his influence very much fills that song.

I was living in Whitefish, Montana, about to go to work running a chair lift at Big Mountain Ski Resort, when I saw that Fogelberg's Phoenix album had just come out. I was waiting for work to start and as soon as I got my first paycheck I was going to go buy that record. I remember standing in the record store in Kalispell, Montanta, and reading all the lyrics and looking at the pictures. Remember how exciting L.P.s were? You'd get that new record and lie on the floor listening, reading lyrics, turning the album cover over and taking it all in? I couldn't wait to buy that record.

What needed to happen first was for there to be some snowfall. I couldn't go to work until The Mountain opened and it wasn't going to open until enough snow fell to ski upon. One late November night, the first snowfall came. You could tell it was going to be the one. We'd had a few light dustings, but this night the sky was full and heavy with snow and it was almost a blizzard. I took a hike down the country roads around Lake Whitefish, bundled up. blowing steam as I hiked and hummed songs that I loved. The roads were empty and wouldn't have a car go by for twenty minutes at a time. I'd walk in the silence past open, snowy meadows and forests, past houses and cabins with warm yellow light glowing from the windows and smoke rising from the chimney. I started humming something as I walked, some new melody that felt like what I was seeing out there on that snowy night.

I was out a couple of hours that evening and when I returned to Kamp Karefree, where I lived. (yes, that was really the name of it) My beard and mustache was filled with ice. I walked into my little warm house and stomped the snow off and within ten minutes was playing my guitar and writing down lyrics. All in that one night Yellow Windows was born. I was a young songwriter and dreamer and it was a part of my process to imagine certain song writers when I wrote my songs. Dan Fogelberg was all over that one.

I thank you Dan, for the years of love and sweetness your music gave me and so many. We hold you in a special place in our hearts, a place for friends and loved ones. You knew you would go on and on, that there would truly be no end to your spirit life. You sang about it over and over again. So I do not worry about you. You will be growing and creating and loving and soaring in every place you go now. Thank you especially, for those early years when I needed to believe there was something in me that was good enough, loving enough, to be poured into music that would soothe and heal and comfort and uplift - just as your music has done all these years.

       Your friend in frosty Seattle,
       ~Michael


 
My friends, I wish you a loving and peaceful season and life. We're all pretty overwhelmed on this planet now. But there is always a way to love, always a way to feel, always a way to forgive and always, always a way to begin again to open our hearts. That is what I wish for you. No matter where you are or what you're doing, take some deep breaths and remember to be kind to yourself.

I'll leave you with the song that Dan gave me way back when I was a young man wandering the snowy roads around Whitefish Lake in Montana.

 
  Your friend,
     ~Michael

 

Yellow Windows
1985 Michael Tomlinson
 

Once I knew all the things that I wanted in love
On this snow covered ground I was born
Some part of me knows what a young heart can give
And love would be warm where I live

And I walk these hidden roads
I love these snowflakes and this cold
And these home with yellow windows
Shine their warmth into my soul

Gentle wind, you are an angel
Oh, if you were flesh and blood
But that chimney smoke's your lover
I have watched you making love

Not long ago I held a woman so close
I wonder why I let her go
Oh, what a year
I've learned to live with my fear
Will I ever hold love so dear?

And I walk these hidden roads
I love these snowflakes and this cold
And these home with yellow windows
Shine their warmth into my soul

Gentle wind, you are an angel
Oh, if you were flesh and blood
But that chimney smoke's your lover
I have watched you making love

In the mornings I remember
And I try hard not to cry
Well, she knows the love I send her
Will be warm until I die
And she walks this road inside me
With these snowflakes and this cold
May these home with yellow windows
Shine their warmth into our souls?
 

~ from the CDs:
      Run This Way Forever
      Solo version on the CD At Your House

MARCH 1, 2008

Howdy my friends,

It seems like a couple of months or longer have gone by since I last wrote you, but I'm sure I must be mistaken. Then again, I've had a strange relationship with time ever since I got hold of some bad bong water in the seventies. I won't go into details, please just know that I've changed my ways since then and am no longer known by my neighbors as The Giggler. (though I am still kind of known as the laughing man down the block)

I thought I saw a speck of purple out in my backyard this morning and ran outside to be sure. Yep, spring is on the way. It was the first little crocus blossom peeking up out of the grass. It's funny how one little thing like that can mean so much to me.
The older I get, the more it means to me to see new blossoms and sprouts every year. When I was a boy, and then a young man, autumn was my season. Worlds of emotion, especially a kind of sweet, romantic melancholy flowed through me when the leaves would change. It's that way when you think you have an endless life ahead of you. When you know for sure you've lived more than half of your life at best, those early spring blossoms come to mean something more and to be a particularly precious sign in life.


She's good on either side of the dang camera

Speaking of something else very beautiful and precious, my sweet love, Patricia, has begun taping videos of me singing some of my songs so that we can post them on YouTube and other online sites. She has this sparkle in those beautiful brown eyes of hers that convinces me, despite all my deeper instincts, that it's okay to have my picture taken or a video camera following my every move. I swear, you could be repulsively hideous and she'd find your good side. I don't know how she does it unless it's just all the love. (she may have a magic camera)

We set up a shot by my living room fireplace and it was quite a circus there for a while, trying to get sound and light and fire all coordinated. My friends, if you want to test your relationship and see if it can hold up under big pressure, just have your true love film you singing a long song, trying to stay in good light while also trying to keep the microphone from showing up in the frame - and hoping the back of your body doesn't catch fire when chunks of exploding coals pop out of the fireplace and down your collar. Whee! I sang Living Things about ten times before we could get it right, but eventually, I think it came out pretty good for our first try. You can only detect just a slight hint of surliness on my face.


I don't spend much time on YouTube, partly because I'm one of those cave men who still has a dial-up connection in my home, but also because you have to spend hours to find a single thing worth watching. I've noticed that a great many of the music videos on YouTube look like someone filmed them underwater with their cell phone, so I figured we could do at least that well. As it turned out, my girlfriend, who is an excellent professional photographer, is actually great with a video camera, too. So she made it less painful than I ever would have imagined. If you'd like to see my Living Things video, just go to
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HHMVkXs4WTs 

We are working on some other tunes and will have them up soon. I'll be sure and post notice when they're done.


Groundhog Day Groundhog Day Groundhog Day

I performed a concert in Seattle on GroundHog Day and it was such a beautiful gathering of friends. I don't mean that everyone there was beautiful. No sirreee, there were a couple of dozen doozies that you didn't dare gaze directly at, but it certainly was a happy, good-willed group.

I got a lot of letters and emails after that concert; no matter how many times I hear someone's story about where they first heard one of my songs or what they were doing when they listened, it never gets old to me. A woman who'd taken the ferry over from Whidbey Island that night wrote me the next day, "With all the terrible news we hear about every day concerning the state of the world and the pain the people and the planet are suffering, hearing your words, and music was a breath of fresh air. Thank you so much for putting my world back in order and giving me hope."

I don't think there's much more a songwriter could ask of a song than that it make someone feel like that.

I also played a private concert in Lake Tahoe last month. The whole countryside was covered in deep snow and the sunshine radiating off it was brilliant and beautiful. Patricia and I took a drive on the road around the lake and had breakfast in the rustic metropolis of Truckee. It's a beautiful little town and reminded me so much of my time in Montana and Colorado when I was young. (I'm a geezer now)

You may not have noticed on my website over the years, but as well as my public concerts, I am often hired for private performances, flown to various parts of the country to play for a group of friends and family, sometimes a whole community or organization. It's always an amazing event because I get to step right into a family of people who really love each other and am always received like an old friend. Patricia went with me for the Tahoe concert and we joined a group of folks in a beautiful snow covered lodge. It was such a joy to be with people who exuded so much love and goodwill and humor. It was truly a living room concert I'll never forget.

If you're ever interested in any of my private performances, you can click here  -or-  just write me to find out more.

About my Dan Fogelberg Tribute About my Dan Fogelberg Tribute About my Dan Fogelberg Tribute

In my last  rambling I wrote a tribute to Dan Fogelberg, sharing my sadness at his passing and also the strong influence his music had on me in my early years of learning to write songs. I must say, in all my years of posting stories on my website, I have never had so many people write me in response to one. In reading your messages, I could tell that many were grieving alone, perhaps not knowing anyone else who felt as close to or as grateful to Dan as they did. It seemed that my tribute released something in people and the letters that poured out really meant a lot to me. I answered every one, as I do all my emails and letters, but I thank you again for your kind words and for sharing your own feelings.

Progress with my new CD Progress with my new CD Progress with my new CD

I'm making good progress with my new CD. Every week I marvel at how the songs are evolving and how much more beautiful and vibrant my songs are than I even realized. I'm really excited for you to hear them.

Soon, I plan to go to all the folks on my mail list and ask for contacts and ideas, places and people to send this CD to so that it has the best chance of getting heard around the world. I've never been more sure that all the songs are good, that each one is filled with heart and spirit and goodwill. Yes, I always try to do that, but in the last two years of my life something in particular has happened to me: I've found my true love, my best friend and true companion. That does something to a man. It brings out more love, more compassion and gratitude and humbleness. I'm really excited for you to hear what the result is.

If you know people in the media, press, in movies or television, magazines, organizations, charities, communities, who you think will be moved by my music and might do something with it, let me know. My plan is to get these songs to people in positions where they can really get things accomplished. I'd love to have songs placed in movies or tv and to have worthwhile organizations use my music in their work. The possibilities are endless and I'd love to have your help.

~How to be be a Sponsor of my new CD~ ~How to be be a Sponsor of my new CD~ ~How to be be a Sponsor of my new CD~

I've spent over a year on my new recording and I'm so very happy with it. It is truly filled with some of the best songs I've ever written and the production is beautiful and rich and vibrant. Every week I feel that the songs reach a new level of excellence. It's such a dream to see this coming true and I'm really excited to release this music into the world.

In hopes of really promoting the CD widely, in the US and Europe, I'm looking for sponsors; companies or organizations or individuals who would like to be a part of releasing this music into the world. It's an extremely expensive thing, creating a new album. I've spent many thousands on it so far and am nearing the finish. But there are pressing and design costs and mostly, promotion costs that lie ahead. If you are interested in being a part of this project, of having your name or company or organization name associated with this music, I'd love for you to get in touch. There are a number of ways I believe the association can serve everyone involved.

My plan is to do something much in line with the way PBS promotes their sponsors: tastefully and with respect and clarity. For instance: This recording made possible by a generous grant from the folks at Evergreen Corporation.

  • Each sponsor will have included in the actual CD packaging; mention and thanks by name, along with logo and website URL.
  • Major sponsors will have an opportunity to share a presence at my concerts. We can talk about how this best serves you.
  • On my Official Website, I will create a page of sponsors with descriptions and links to your homepage.
  • All sponsors will be acknowledged in a national e-mailing I will send out to announce the release of my CD

I'M ALSO SEEKING A SINGLE SPONSOR TO SUPPORT A NATIONWIDE MAILING TO MY ENTIRE MAILING LIST.  I plan on sending out a beautiful letter, not a newsletter, an actual letter offering something special for everyone on my mail list. That one organization - if it is one that is in alignment with my music and goodwill - would benefit by being included in the mailing and having nearly 9000 folks know about what it is that they do and offer.

  • According to your sponsorship amount, I will send you a stack of the new CDs before they are officially released to the public.
  • All sponsors and their guests will be invited to a private performance I will give in 2008.

There are endless other ways we can be associated and I'm open to talking about your thoughts on this. If you are interested, please email me and I'll get right back to you.

There are endless possibilities and I'm very open to hearing about what you envision. If you're interested in becoming a sponsor, please email me at
mt@michaeltomlinson.com    My mailing address is PO Box 15248 / Seattle, WA 98115-0248



I cain't hep it, dogs jis loves me

Ever since my first concerts I have told stories. I'm known for many of them and sometimes people come to my concerts almost as much for the stories as the songs. I've actually surprised myself sometimes, talking about something very personal or painful on stage, something I would never have dreamed that I'd talk about in a room filled with people I don't know. But I've learned to trust this and if I feel a story coming on, I try to allow it to emerge. Sometimes it's left a room in stunned silence, sometimes it leaves them howling in laughter or quietly crying. Ideally, a little of all. There is often a sense of ebb and flow of emotion and humor permeating the evening that feels like breathing. And when it's all over I marvel at what transpired that was so much more than a concert.

This flow of stories became gradually easier and more natural for me. I'm fortunate for this; because there is a freedom in being able to tell your stories and in feeling that your listeners come along on the journey with you. I've known for a long time now that they come along because my stories are so much like their stories. Different names and places but still, they are stories of my own search in life for love and friendship and spiritual connection.

In my years of hosting my own weekend retreats called, A Gathering of Friends, I learned this beautiful lesson: Given a safe space and enough time in which to tell it, there is not a human being on earth who cannot leave you stunned by something in their life experience, something they have overcome or accomplished or survived. It's a beautiful thing really, watching and listening to another human being tell you their stories. There is really nothing more fascinating on earth.

I've brought this up because I want to suggest to you that you begin to tell your own stories more often. Sure, start with the charming ones if you like. All expression is a door to deeper communication. But when you can, when you're courageous enough, tell your difficult stories. Even your sad and shameful stories. These are the stories that will free you and will free the person you tell them to.

I remember several years back that I was having a great many powerful spiritual dreams and revelations. I had not told anyone about many of them, thinking they were such unusual and powerful stories that I wasn't exactly sure where to begin - or if they were too strange to share. But then I thought how important it is to me for the people I love to really know who I am. It's important to me to know that when I leave this earth, the people who I love will have known the real me and loved me for who I was and not only for who they thought I was. This means that I need to share my difficult stories as well as my entertaining ones.

I went to each of my closest friends and talked to them about the dreams and experiences I'd been having. To a person, each and every one I told would glance off almost in a transe during my telling, reliving something they themselves had experienced, and when I was finished, couldn't wait to gush out experiences of their own which mine had reminded them of. It was a deeply intimate thing to have trusted that I could tell my stories and then to have my friends gratefully feel free to tell theirs.

I've been in an unusual position in this lifetime, certainly in the years since I recorded my first album, to hear from people all over the world. The stories are as unique as each fingerprint and at the same time, they are the same story. I have received thousands of messages and letters over the years from people who feel that they have no one to share their stories with. They hear my songs and think I'm someone safe to do this with. What they don't always realize is that every neighbor up and down their street, every co-worked and family member thinks the same thing: that they cannot share some parts of their world and experience with each other.

That's why it takes some courage to be the first. I wonder what would happen if you were go to someone you love - or maybe even a stranger - and tell them something of your story in life. I don't mean just your achievements and accomplishments. I am talking about your revelations, your losses, your awakening or your grief. What if you were to tell someone something you are ashamed of or afraid to tell? Do you know what kind of gift this could be for the person you entrust? No matter what your story, I promise you the person you tell will then be relieved of having to hold their own story inside. They will say something like, "Are you kidding me? That's not bad! That's nothing! If you knew what I'm like, you'd freak totally out!"

Which is where you then get to listen and then yell out, "No way!" and shove them like Elaine Bennis would shove Jerry Seinfeld when he told her shocking gossip. And then of course, you get to get out your vast supply of untold stories you've never dared to tell. Dammit, you're going to shock this person one way or another. To hell with this "oh, I've done far worse" bidnis!

I think you get the general idea, don't you? I'm just suggesting that you start to tell your stories. There is someone who you can safely do this with. It takes courage, but you will feel so proud of yourself for being so courageous as to share a story of your own journey through life so that your friend may feel free to do the same.

Thanks for visiting my website and for reading what I've dreamed up here. Thank you for listening to my music and sending me such good will, whether through emails or letters or thoughts and prayers. I get them all.

I hope you have a beautiful springtime coming your way. Take some deep breaths every day and be kind to yourself.

Your friend in sunny Seattle,
     ~Michael
 

   

   

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