Stages
  • A Call to Arts

    Never before have the arts mattered so much. As hate crimes escalate across the country the need has never been greater for the artist’s sacred calling: to enlarge our imagination, inflame our empathy, awaken our compassion, and inspire us to action. If you are an artist, you are hereby summoned to ply your craft with […]

  • And So This Is Christmas

    To whom does Christmas belong? Is it a private event or a come-as-you-are potluck? Although Andy Williams’s dulcet tenor claims, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year,” some of us wonder. Still, there’s something sweet and beautiful about Christmas flowing all around us. It would be a shame to get to January and find […]

  • Three Breaths

    I woke up, again, at 3:30 in the morning. Outside in the Eucalyptus trees a pair of Great Horned Owls called across the chaparral. The stillness wrapped the world like a blanket. But inside my mind there was anything but stillness. It’s not that I wasn’t exhausted—it’d been another tough week, and I was only […]

  • The Three Truths

    Life is dizzyingly complex. It’s easy to feel lost, confused, and overwhelmed. So many conflicted voices clamoring for our attention—it seems impossible to cut through the clutter and find the essence. But in the end there are only three truths: impermanence, presence, and love. Impermanence On the surface, everything’s impermanent. Nothing lasts. All forms arise […]

  • A Drop of Ink

    When you put a drop of ink in a clear glass of water, the whole glass goes dark. When you put a drop of ink in the ocean, nothing happens. A tiny dot of darkness is no match for the immensity of the sea. So, too, the smallest slight can darken our whole world. Does […]

  • The 10 Rules of Art

    In 1967, Carol King and her husband, Gerry Goffin, were the hottest songwriting team in the business. As King told David Remnick of the New Yorker, they were walking down Broadway one afternoon when a limousine pulled alongside them. The window rolled down and Jerry Wexler of Atlantic Records stuck his head out. “I’m looking […]

  • Big Sur

    Big Sur is impossible. It should not exist. But there it is. A crazy road clinging to the cliffs between San Simeon and Carmel. Lapis lazuli waters with sea otters at play. Grey fox pups peering up through the poppies. High above, California condors, back from the brink of extinction, set their ten foot wingspans […]

  • Wild and Precious Life

    Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life? —Mary Oliver, The Summer Day It is the sacred task of poets, songwriters, and artists of all stripes to awaken us to our own magnificence. They plumb our depths and announce the ugly impotence of our fear. They celebrate […]

  • Our Sacred Longing

    Sometimes it’s a subtle nudge. Other times it’s an insistent desire. We can’t tell if we’re being pulled toward something or pushed away from something else, or both. All we know is, we can’t stay here. Frustrations mount. Powerful emotions like sadness and anger cloud our vision. We know we’re not happy, but we don’t […]

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