Stages
  • The Evolution of Music

    I was five years old in February 1964. The Ed Sullivan Show was a 7 p.m. Sunday night ritual in our home, followed by Bonanza at eight o’clock. There I was, sitting cross legged in front of the black and white television, ready for the evening’s entertainment. And then it happened. The Beatles. The Beatles […]

  • Innerstanding

    We need a new word, a word for that indescribable awareness within—that dawning realization that did not come second hand from another, or from a book, or at the end of a long line of reasoning. It simply arrived—a lucidity, a clarity, a simple wordless opening through which to see the world. “Understanding” doesn’t quite […]

  • Why Travel Matters

    If you think traveling is expensive, try staying home. It’ll cost you everything. Travel, on any budget, changes you. It destroys your old boundaries, resets your trajectories, and lets you loose in a world where anything is possible. You’re challenged, and you grow. You come home stronger, freer, happier, and more alive. Staying home binds […]

  • Wildflowers

    After eight straight years of record-setting drought, the rain finally came to California. The Sierra Nevada mountains are packed with snow, ensuring full rivers and lakes all summer long. The Giant Sequoias finally got the deep watering they so richly deserve. And the 40 million people who call California home can breathe a little easier […]

  • Call Off the Search

    When on their 1987 masterpiece Joshua Tree U2 sang “I still haven’t found what I’m looking for,” everyone knew exactly what they meant. We seem hard-wired to search, a behavior we no doubt learned hunting and gathering all around the world these last hundred thousand years. An unquenchable longing pushes us toward ever new horizons. […]

  • The Lost Art

    Plants and animals are really good at it. But somewhere along the way we forgot how to practice the lost art of stillness. All life-forms require periods of rest to reset and restore their natural processes. In winter plants pull energy back into their cores and wait for the cold to pass. Animals balance periods […]

  • 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 […]

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