Stages
  • When the Music Fades

    I wanted to cry, but I had to laugh. Sitting in a sound proof room at my local Costco, the results of my hearing test in plain view on the computer screen, the evidence was incontrovertible. I need hearing aids. It seems that all those years playing in rock ‘n’ roll bands has finally caught […]

  • Wielding the Sword

    When you take a second look at Jesus, there are always a few surprises. Just when you think he’s the guru of peace and love along comes a passage like this: “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.” (Matthew […]

  • I Believe We Will

    Ammar texted me late Friday afternoon. “Can you write a campaign song for us, something I could pull out at events when people ask me to sing?” “Hell, yes!” “Just something off the top of your head, about country over party, and bringing people together.” “I’ve been wanting to do this anyway. Let me take […]

  • The Method of No-Method

    All over the internet you’ll find articles on creativity, productivity, and how to build success in 10 easy steps. Everyone’s trying to describe the mysterious path from inception to fruition. In the chaos of conflicting advice it’s hard to find a clear way forward. Instead of reading yet another life coach blog, let’s look at […]

  • Music and Meaning

    When we lost Aretha Franklin, we lost an American icon, a towering genius of musical prowess. But, in an important way, her beauty never left—it lives within us, and when we listen to her music, all of the power and magic is fully present. Music doesn’t die. Nothing real ever does. There’s a timeless essence […]

  • The Heart of Being

    We live in the Psychological Age. Every modern malady is traced back to psychological roots. Another mass shooting? Mental health problem. Homelessness? Mental health problem. Depression and anxiety? Mental health problem. What is the deal with Donald Trump anyway? Mental health problem. There’s no doubt that psychological healing modalities—talk therapy, wisely applied pharmaceuticals—have healed families […]

  • The Two Faces of God

    Let’s talk about God. It isn’t going to be easy. Is there any more charged word in all of the English language? It seems that any conversation about God gets immediately bogged down. So before we begin, some simple housekeeping is in order. What do we even mean by the word “God?” As passionate, partisan […]

  • The Ordinary Miracle of Meditation

    There’s an inherent paradox in meditation: it is at the same time easy and hard. It’s hard because ever since birth we’ve falsely identified with our thoughts and that’s a hard habit to break. But meditation’s easy because once you learn a few simple techniques you’re able to slip beneath the thought-stream into an indefinable […]

  • Sound and Silence

    Like every other folk singer, I’ve played some weird shows. Stuck in the corner of a restaurant’s empty back patio, playing for no one, while the crowd inside was watching football. Set up alongside a marathon route, playing for an endless stream of somewhat preoccupied and utterly indifferent runners. Performing on a cruise ship’s main […]

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