There are certain people whose talent stands alone. They are shining lights from distant stars. Try as some might, they can never be duplicated. They are a force unto themselves.

David Bowie was one of them.

david bowie

He has headed home now to that galaxy beyond we always suspected he was from. His music has left us richer, and the world a little dimmer. Always unique and daring in his creativity, he will be greatly missed.

Still it gives comfort to imagine that, were we to listen carefully, one day not too long from now, we might just catch the magical tones of David Bowie wafting through the galactic air.

Bless you, David. And thank you.

for Paul Horn

paul hornThank you for the beauty of  your music and of your heart. 

Serenity is yours. 

Blessings and the pure essence of the Aloha coming your way, Paul, as you sit among heaven’s clouds and play your magical flute.  If we listen deeply, we might hear it still.

                                                                     Namaste

 

Blessings to you, Paco de Lucia

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I first came to hear the amazing sounds that poured from the heart and guitar of Paco de Lucia a few years ago while sitting in a modest house on a hilltop in the foothills of the Sierras in the ever moody and majestic Alpujarra of Andalucia.

I was house sitting, it was winter, it was my first time in Spain, and I was alone – alone with an exuberant mountain wind flicking through olive branches,  the sound of distant tinkling bells as goats were herded through the fields below, and the whispering whispers of the poetry of Federico Garcia Lorca mingling with the air (this was the region where many felt he had been murdered long ago).

It was a place ripe for the music of Paco de Lucia. And so was I.

One day as I sat sipping red wine, eating Spanish cheese, and pondering the mysteries of my life, I came across two DVDs sitting on the shelf; one of Paco’s life and music, another of the music and dance of Blood Wedding, a play written by Lorca. I became entranced by the power and passion, the sense of perfection and haunting beauty of both. From that moment on I was fascinated – with the music of Paco de Lucia, and the poetry of Federico Garcia Lorca.

I speak no Spanish, yes sadly still, so everything I know of it is from translation, and perhaps most important, from the heart –of the poet, of the artist/musician, of the music of flamenco and of an incredible Spanish classical guitar –  to my heart. For me it is a music whose touchstone is pure heart. What an amazing place to emit from. What an amazing place to be brought to.

It is of course possible that in order to travel to such a place, it will demand from us an inner quest for nothing less than excellence. Such a journey can be arduous. It certainly asks the best of us. From everything I have read, that is what it did for Paco de Lucia.

When I listen to his music I know that we, you and I. are blessed because of it.

Paco de Lucia left us today. He slipped away from our arms somewhere on a beach in Mexico.

He leaves behind a wealth of music. Like Andalucia, it is a musical landscape rich and vibrant, one that can colour the very fabric of our lives, if we open to it.

So gracias Paco, thank you. May your music kiss the angels as you grace their skies with your heart.

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It occurs to me that lately I am writing about profound talents who are leaving our world, some far too early. Talents, and yes, souls who will be truly missed, both for their journey into excellence, for the jewels they have bequeathed us, and for the beauty of their spirits and hearts.

I cannot help but wonder – what does that ask of us who are still here?

 

Bye for now, Richie Havens

richie havens

 

 

 

A few years ago when I was still living in Ireland, I was gifted the opportunity of listening to Richie Havens play in a concert in Cork City. In truth I had gone mostly to hear the warm-up act, a wonderful singer/songwriter by the name of Don Mescall who I had briefly gotten to know. Of course I had heard of Richie and like many growing up in North America had at one point or another seen the iconic documentary, Woodstock. But that’s as far as it had gotten.

I was unprepared for the sheer power and beauty of this man’s performance.  For almost three hours, he wrapped us in the warmth of his heart and talent. He had more energy than you could possibly imagine and he took that energy and generously gave it to us so that by the end of that evening we were all inspired, delighted, and at moments, yes perhaps a bit blown away by the incredible power of word and image and song that he invoked. Later he sat in the lobby of the theatre and graciously signed CD after CD to a line of fans long and winding. His patience impressed.

I read online today in one of what will surely be many articles about the man that at some point he was quoted as saying, “I’m not in show business, I’m in the communications business”. I can acknowledge the truth of that. From my perspective and experience of his music, Richie Havens knew with each concert he gave (perhaps even with each song he wrote) that he had an opportunity to, for a brief moment, lift the spirits of those around him and open their hearts just a little more. I sense he recognized that in doing so each of us might become more inspired within to envision and create a more loving and beautiful world. For me, that was often the message within his songs and his life.

A day later I got to meet him again while visiting Don at his family’s home. Richie and the band dropped by. It was an easy effortless sitting around chatting on a sunny Cork day. The man exuded both gentleness, kindness, and a beautiful depth of spirit. I consider it an honour to have met him.

So here’s to you, Richie Havens – fly high and free, soar with the angels, sing with the heavens. We are all blessed to have had you with us. Your music lives on.

Namaste

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

shamrocks for st patrick's dayST. PATRICK’S DAY – that time of celebration for all things green and Irish, whether you are or you’re not.

SO GO AHEAD NOW, wear a shamrock, down a green beer or two, sing Danny Boy, the Pogues, Sinead, or Van the Man to your heart’s content. Raise a glass and bless the land, the country and our world.

MAY YOUR DREAMS BE fruitful and come true. May love shine throughout your days. May the sun warm you gently, and may you always walk with the Eternal ever in your heart.

Here’s to Ireland.
Here’s to The Green.
Here’s to you.
Happy St Patrick’s Day!