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Robin’s Nest

May I Be Excused?

To whom this may concern,

Please excuse me from my usual tasks as a music creator for a while.  I can’t help but feel that this latest global crisis, the coronavirus, is thwarting my Creative Brilliance. 🙂

What’s that you say? You say I should be writing up a storm, given the lack of distractions? That I have all the time in the world? That I have no excuses now for my lack of motivation?

But that’s just it! Days seem to drag on forever.  The TV talking heads drone in the background, the numbers escalate, and I seem to have become nearly numb to the daily reports of human misery on a colossal scale.  I long for reassurances from our leaders with phrases like, “The buck stops here!” and “We have nothing to fear but fear itself!” and “Courage is not having the strength to go on, but going on when you don’t have the strength.”  But all I get (from one particular leader, anyway) is stuff like, “I take no responsibility at all!” and claims that what we are witnessing before our very eyes is a hoax or a conspiracy. Or maybe, somehow, that everything is hunky-dory! That there are plenty of supplies for all our health care workers and first responders. That we will pull out of this predicament within a couple of weeks.  (Even though we can’t escape the images of doctors and nurses swathed in Hefty bags and bandanas. Of seasoned health care workers weeping. Or the image of a long refrigerator truck parked outside a hospital in Queens.) (more…)

Morning Pages!

by Robin Munson

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.
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MUSIC FOR THE STRESSED OUT COMPOSER. . .

by Robin Munson

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…)

Lovingkindness Meditation

by Robin Munson

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…)