Years ago, when I was going through a dry spell as a songwriter, I stumbled upon a book by Julia Cameron called The Artist’s Way. It is a 12-step program for recovering artists. This book gave me some very practical tools for opening my (sometimes blocked) creative channels. For a long time, it was my “bible”, and the exercises in the book were very helpful. I believe it is still in print and is readily available on-line, in bookstores, or in libraries. (more…)
You know, we never discuss politics on MLR. It’s okay. My mother taught me never to talk about religion or politics in mixed company. In fact, she taught me never to talk about religion or politics at all! It always leads to big arguments. It ruins friendships, wrecks marriages, and nobody ever gets converted. To put it another way, as Art and I have so often observed, “You can’t tell anybody anything!” So, we won’t start talking politics now.
However, we can talk about meta-politics. (I just made that word up.) In other words, we can talk about how politics, on the whole, affect us. And that, I think, most of us can agree on. Say what you will about the past year, but it’s been full of politics! People have been yammering away about what’s happening in Washington, and the talk has not been pretty! (more…)
In these turbulent times, when there is so much political discord and the noise level from our TVs, radios, Internet and print has reached staggering proportions, you might find – as I do – that it is important, maybe even crucial, that you take some time off from the cacophony and clear, or at least quiet your mind. (How else can you possibly hear the music?!) To that end, I would like to refer you to a beautiful little book by Jack Kornfield, a psychologist and Buddhist priest. It is called The Art of Forgiveness, Lovingkindness, and Peace. The book was written in 2001, just before the events of 9-11, and I have found it to be an invaluable friend over the years. I can open it to any page at random and find something that nurtures my soul. (more…)
It’s Crunch Time. We are a few weeks from Christmas and Chanukah. Once again, we must gather whatever remaining strength we have at the tail end of a challenging year and summon up the holiday spirit. We have shopping, cleaning, cooking, family gatherings. Some of us might have holiday gigs, musical or non. You might be tempted to drown your sorrows in Haagen-Dazs. (I might be!) So how do we take care of ourselves at a time like this? (more…)