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Wednesday, September 14, 2005

mystical wanderings in new england

what a week. i have learnt (that's real english for learned) many lessons this week. one is... don't take anything personally. two is, be impeccable with your word. three is, always do your best. four is, don't make any assumptions.
I am not one to ever be rocked by the petty stuff but i will elude to one incident that made me question every sane reason as to why I do things for others, why i spend copious amounts of time assisting and supporting other artists only to find that some just don't know how to accept with gratitude, give compassion, nor see beyond their own egos.
I notice, as i preside over this altruistic organization that is Songsalive!, that I expend energies that may never go unnoticed. And that, my friends, is one thing I have to accept. No one knows the undertaking I have done to create and grow this organization, the work, on a daily basis, that goes into maintaining, creating, building, executing a website, programs, partnerships, workshops, showcases, networking, memberships, correspondence, accounting, legalities. No one truly could possibly comprehend the undertaking i have. I have a solid team, of around 30, but about 4 or 5 who truly are like rocks for me as I am for them on the same cause and a considerable energy expenditure on their parts.
I have had one particular artist, once friend, who has now decided to throw stones. It is not the first time, and I'm sure it won't be the last. But I have learnt that no matter what, I am doing a great thing, in my ongoing journey and will continue to foster creativity, collaboration and positivity amongst the artist community at large, for this is just sheer example of how we need to behave as a human planet.
To that end, having performed 2 enlightening shows in New York and New Jersey, with firey energy (see poem below which says it all in a nutshell), I made my way up north to New England, to tranquil waters, to calm observers and open arms.
i conducted a great workshop last night to 40 songwriters for the connecticut songwriters association in Glastenbury CT, an hour horth of Hartford. This area is so historic and reminds me of Old England. There are a lot of names of towns from England. It reminds me of the British countryside too, with the mists, and waterways, the animals, the trees, the houses and the softness of the people.
i'm really getting into the philosophy of "owning one's own creativity" and "enjoying the journey" with my talks. i had all ages there many over 50 year old guys who write songs and who are into folk, and young artists and mothers as well. a motley of artists, writers, etc. i was very inspired to listen and critique their songs as well as speak for an hour about the contents of my book, which are selling out!
it's like i feel like i'm on this journey from town to town, inspiring and uplifting tired artistic souls who need some inspiration and nurturing to do good, and create magic in their lives, and use their talents and voice for bigger missions. interestingly enough, there were 4 songs out of the 7 (even though there were 40 there) who wrote songs about war. these people on the east coast have been highly affected by what's going on. some songs were about old english war and historic things in this area.but still, one can see where they are at. I'm touched that at my age that people of all ages come to hear me and feel some connection and learning from what i know. I'm really humbled by it. I received this note from one of the writers today:
"Thanks so much for your feedback at the CSA meeting last night. I've considered your comments and already have some solutions bouncing around in my head. I can't wait to get home this evening and see how they work out... Since most of my "performing" has been in my basement rec room with my dog as an audience(and he wags his tail whether I'm good or awful), it was a treat to share my music with people for whom music is a central portion of their lives. The work that you are doing sounds both exciting and uplifting, and I congratulate you for having both the courage and the character to pursue your own muse, both artistically and financially. Your willingness to share with and encourage others is all the more to your credit."
I needed to read something like this. Other letters have been coming in about my talks here on the East Coast:
"You have inspired me to intensely continue to pursue my dream. It is empowering to know that you are doing what I want to be doing "
"Gilli was amazing and has given me new hope and inspiration. Please pass on my compliments. Her beauty in her heart and writing matches her outward beauty! Simply gorgeous!"
And then a really cool one about the new album "extraOrdinary life":
"From the very first song your album spoke to my heart. It was like a story book had been opened and it contained bits and pieces of my life. Some of the songs spoke directly to my circumstances while others helped to put things into perspective. I am absolutely floored by your talent. I feel your giving of self in the music. I was extremely moved. Your album is wonderful. Know that it also served as a lift to a friend in need. The timing was perfect. Continue to bless the world with you beautiful songs."
So it needs to noted, for me right now, that my mission in filling people's cup up with positive motivation, in my MPWR workshops at these music conferences, my talks at songwriter groups, my performances on tour.... ALL HAVE A HIGHER PURPOSE. This is not about me. Never was about me and just isn't. It's about the message. It's about the change that can happen in people to SHINE, to feel uplifted, to be taken on a journey so that they can see their own journey as being AMAZING, EXTRAORDINARY. I have had to remind myself of the qualities in myself that are for goodness, and for collaboration, not competition, for education, not humiliation. I say all this because my organization has been knocked a bit around by the ego of an artist who cannot see the BIGGER PICTURE. For what it's worth, I wish her well. She does have a beautiful spirit too, but, ... alas, chooses anger over harmony, ... public humiliation over reconciliation.
So I have learnt some lessons. Who to be. Not what not to be or behave. What to believe in. Making the right choices in relationships. Always choosing compassion.
I lie here in this cool, quaint farmhouse in Mystic Connecticut, feeling the outdoors, seeing the mist and the sliver of a moon, hearing the crickets and frogs, loving the isolation... and knowing that my heart is warm and filled up. Thank you universe for allowing me to share my stories, through my music, lyrics, poems, writings, talks and gatherings. I learn 1000 times fold more than those who come hear me speak or sing. I am the student of life.
And to top it off, it was equally cool to have Newsweek come up and do a story on me today in this magical place called Mystic. I guess the karma does come around eventually... ;)

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