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Cross-country highlights and everything on sale! 

It’s said that we overestimate what we can accomplish in a year and underestimate what we can accomplish in ten years. Similarly, I think we overestimate the length of a cross-country drive and underestimate the length of Pennsylvania. Sheesh. After I-I-I-O that final stretch of I-80 is lllong!! But I am so happy and grateful and relieved to have successfully completed another continental crossing. :)

Back at the starting line I feared I wouldn’t make it because after I sent the last email update I went outside and discovered that my car - along with everything I own - was gone. Before you lecture me know that I normally don’t leave anything I’d be devastated to lose in my car (mainly my guitar and my computer containing thousands of pages and hours of work). But as it was Sunday morning and people were waking up and jogging and smoothie-ing… and as I was on my way to sing at the OC Center for Spiritual Living (so much good juju)… and as it was just a teensie weensie quickie stoppie…

Yes, friends... I gambled my life’s work, my house on wheels, and my beloved panda bear... for a smoothie. But - under a crisp blue sea-breezy sky, pacing in circles, hyperventialing on the phone with the LAPD, trembling so hard that my teeth were chattering, I realized - hey - wait! - my car wasn’t missing! I was on the wrong block!

LMAO. Sleep deprivation is not only dangerous, it's embarassing. And in the best case scenario, it’s also hilarious.With a renewed sense of gratitude (not to mention pulse) I sang and journeyed on to Phoenix, arriving just in time for a pre-sleep swim. Floating underneath palm trees and a third quarter moon after having regained all my material possessions I recorded a memory I will replay anytime I doubt that I'm incredibly blessed and that the universe is a magical place to live (basically anytime I accidentally watch the news).

Then Santa Fe… oh, how I love Santa Fe! Lilacs dangled in sweet bunches of grape goodness and Meow Wolf is just about the coolest thing I’ve ever seen. The shows in Taos, Santa Fe, and Las Vegas were the perfect exhale to Let It Breathe.

Then in Denver I reunited with a soul sister and soul doggy and we walked around a lake until cherry blossom drizzle turned to rain. Then we watched Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and laughed and laughed until my heart felt very plump and pink. 

Then the serious hauling began. Denver to Omaha to Bowling Green to home. Halfway through Illinois I was pulled over for using my hands-free headset (apparently this is illegal in a bunch of states) but the real reason was that the (very nice) officer was looking for drugs. What's weird is that seconds before I'd been thinking about "Great Whites," which I'd written on the same stretch of road the last time I'd driven it (some five years ago) and I thought, "Oh, man, I hope I don't get pulled over and searched." #lawofattraction

Officer Nice questioned my Santa Cruz bumper stickers and the strange herbal fragrance (he hit his head on a smudge stick when he leaned inside the passenger window), but when he asked to look in the trunk what he saw either scared the hell out of him or he has good sense because my car was packed so tightly had he searched it I don't know if we would've been able to fit everything back inside. Like a parachute. Of stuff. 

He let me go without a warning and I was very grateful however I couldn’t help thinking that had I been wearing different skin our encounter might’ve gone very differently. The remaining thousand miles were solemn. I felt very shaken and sad. 

How to steady myself in these moments of despair? Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations (always).

If you can believe it I didn't listen to any music on this trip (except for a few works in progress) but I listened to a bunch of audiobooks - A Gentleman in Moscow got me through the desert and Year of Yes and Mom & Me & Mom got me home. I especially recommend the latter for this season of motherhood/Mother consciousness. I save Maya Angelou for emergencies, such as when I’ve lost all perspective and I’ve begun screaming (literally) in the final hours of a drive. Her voice is balm to my frayed nerves and her stories have me sitting upright and alert right through the finish line. Gratitude. Perspective. Grace. Wisdom. To know we are not just what life makes of us but what we make of life.

And then I woke up to this. 
Spring. In the spirit of moms, dads, grads, you, me, Meow Wolf, friendship, lilacs, cherry blossoms, Officer Nice, Maya Angelou, and the daring red squirrel I watched dash across a four-lane freeway during morning rush hour - everything in the store is 20% off and all music ships for free! 

Happy Mother's Day. May you birth something glorious. 

Cygne

 

 

 

Current Inspiration: my record player 

For the first time in over four years I woke up and turned on my record player. As I lie on the floor listening I re-realized that one of the many things I love about music is its movement - not just of the music being played, but of that which is playing music. Records, CDs, cassettes… revolution. Revolution is essential to music. Music is essential to revolution. 

I feel fortunate to be alive when music still spins. It’s so magical! Like earth, chakras, breath... maybe this is why streaming doesn’t work for me. Aside from the fact that everything’s compressed to shit and makes my head hurt (not to mention that artists aren’t fairly compensated) it’s energy is so… scattered. One song streams and spills into the next, a big jangly mess of all the wrong keys. Even when I play my favorites, they never make it past the porch. My body remains locked. In need of revolution. 

Maybe I’m loopy after driving 4000+ miles but I’m always loopy and that’s the point. We loop. We spin. Might as well commit to a groove and let it play out. :) In the spirit of spring spirals and new nests everything in the online shop is 20% off plus FREE SHIPPING on everything that spins! 

So happy to be home again. Different yet same home. What a trip. Sending an email as soon as I upload the pics.

To sing up the earth 

Happy Earth Day! 

With the Pacific in the rearview and desert winds calling me east I'll have many opportunities to appreciate Earth today. I hope you do, too.
Before I launch I wanted to share this clip from To Spring from the Hand, a film about the life and art of Paulus Berensohn. It inspired me so much last fall (you might've already seen a clip on the blog) that I doubt I'd be on this journey had I not seen it. (Though you know I love a road trip.) It feels especially relevant today as we honor this eARTh project we're all part of. If you're feeling a little stagnant or in need of inspiration here you go

To be inspired we must first exhale. Otherwise there's no room! We need space - where would Earth sit without all this space? - so that we can welcome inspiration. Children are so inspired (and inspiring) because they scream all the time - wow! wheee!! wahhh!! - creation moves through them. They surrender to the chaos. They are chaos. They let it go. Their aliveness is contagious (or really annoying if you're in close quarters) because their embodied expression of chaos reminds us that we, too, are alive and capable of expressing whatever unique form of creation is being called forth from within us at any given moment, never to be repeated or replicated, though echoed through eternity-infinity-space-time-whatever's-out-there-in-here-everywhere-forever-et-cetera-I-don't-understand-but-it's SO COOL!

Overtime adults try to hold on, box up, and put a price tag on this magic. It becomes stagnant. So immersed in our projects - our "work" - we forget to exhale. We cling what once inspired, our vision narrows, and our focus becomes mastery, production, survival. Our work becomes our worth. I must do this to keep on living. My life depends on this. I'm worthless without this. Blah blah blah. Obviously I'm speaking from personal experience. 


I worked so hard to make a living with my art. It was killing me. All I ever wanted was to express, connect, experience, create. Fortunately I never lost this awareness but I struggled more than I needed to, becoming hooked on noise rather than trusting the sweet desert song weaving through my spine. So I started to exhale... and I'm still exhaling... and I'm still alive. Art is inspired. Earth wants us to bloom.  


As Paulus says, "This earth is alive... and the function of the artist is to sing up the earth. It isn't to make a career, it isn't to be famous, it is to sing up the earth." We are all artists and Earth is our greatest teacher. We can chase carrots, or we can grow them. We can struggle for likes, or we can embrace love. We can suffer through life, or we can celebrate our lives.

It's easy to take what we love for granted but Earth has so many creative ways of getting our attention. Thank you for paying attention. Thank you for being here and for creating your unique beauty. I look forward to sharing these creations with you in the months and years to come.  

Love, 

Cygne

P.S. Here are SW tour stops this week: 

Apr 22 FOUNTAIN VALLEY, CA @ Center for Spiritual Renewal, 10am 
Apr 26 TAOS, NM @ The Mothership, 7pm
Apr 27 SANTA FE, NM @ Oxygen & Healing Bar, 7pm
Apr 29 SANTA FE, NM @ Center for Spiritual Living, 10am

Take Me Home: Maplewood, MO 


April 3, 2015 I still see her face. Too shy to offer in person she slipped me this note during the concert. I had to drive on somewhere that night, and I regretted it... I wanted to know her, felt like I already did. But sometimes we only have a moment, and that is enough. 

Today as I pack to leave Santa Cruz for the last time (for now) this note drifted out of the cupboard. What a lovely reminder! No matter where we are... Grace lives upstairs. 

Thank you, Grace. Thank you, all people I will never know and yet somehow know because we're all One. Thank you, Santa Cruz family. I will miss you and yet I am with you.

Take Me Home: Charlotte, NC 

November 13, 2010 

For all the strangers I've stayed with I've only used the couchsurfing website a handful of times. While it's connected me with sweet people (namely Danna & Javier) I feel more comfortable winging it and going on intuition. (Well, I never feel comfortable winging it, but it usually works out.) Plus between booking, promoting, driving, performing, and having to be in a different place every day some things need to be left up to chance. Like my physical safety and wellbeing, apparently. 

Fortunately this night I landed with two kind strangers in Charlotte, NC. I had reservations about the bar where I'd be performing so I arranged to meet Paras and Shivani beforehand. It was already dark as I rolled up to their pretty house by the hospital and tapped on the door. Shivani greeted me, led me to a candlelit fireplace, and offered a silver cup of water. A few moments later her husband joined us, demonstrated his sarod, and then asked me if I'd like an acupuncture treatment. Next thing I knew I was lying on their table while he needled my belly and hairy legs. He left me in pitch darkness to rest.

The show turned out to be great - my cousin and her husband drove all the way from Roanoke to surprise me and Gwyneth & Monko played the second set. More than anything, though, it was that I felt connected, grateful, and secure knowing I had a home to return to. We finished close to one and as I had to leave a few hours later I never saw my hosts again (another reason I don't use the couchsurfing site - I always feel like a terrible guest). However Paras and Shivani had prepared steel cut oats for the morning, and I awoke to the fragrance of cinnamon, chopped apples, walnuts, and plump raisins baking in the slow cooker. A silver bowl, a spoon, and a cup of water welcomed me with a sticky note: "enjoy breakfast - help yourself! thank you for being our guest." 

Sigh. People. People are so caring and generous. Don't let voices teach you to fear them. Don't let voices teach you to value money over people or freedom or creativity or your natural impulse to expand, know, explore, become, share, connect. That night like so many nights I didn't make any money for my work yet I was nourished, sheltered, and deeply restored. My accountant might think I'm a failure but I go to sleep feeling like the luckiest girl on the planet. Not that it's a competition. I hope you all fall asleep feeling like the luckiest girl on the planet. 

Thank you, Paras & Shivani. Thank you, Gwyneth & Monko. Thank you Kate & Joe. Thank you to all acupuncturists, massage therapists, and healers who keep me keeping on.

April showers... 

Flowers are coming!!
Some of you woke up in warm tropical places but a lot of you woke up to rain/snow showers. (Again.) I thought we could all use a blast of rainbows. :)This time of year can feel like a start-and-stop up-and-down god-when-will-this-end final push to spring but we can't push spring. Spring springs. On its own. It wants to. All of life wants to, so just take a deep breath and know it's coming. Down days don't outlast the sun. And when the sun pops through and our skin laps up its rays and sweet jasmine wafts through our nose and we land our dream job and close on the house and the beloved says "I do" and all those other wonderful blossoms we yearn for pop open we'll look back to our empty bed days with nostalgia. 
Right now I'm feeling nostalgia for the present as I prepare to cast off from Santa Cruz (again). It's been a deeply healing and reflective time (thank you, winter!) and I'm excited to continue working with words and music in a new port. I'm also looking forward to desert blooms! SW friends, here's where I'll be at the end of the month:

Apr 22 OC Center for Spiritual Renewal, Fountain Valley, CA 10am
Apr 25 The Mothership, Taos, NM
Apr 26 Oxygen & Healing Bar, Santa Fe, NM
Apr 27 TBA, Las Vegas, NM
Apr 28 Center for Spiritual Living, Santa Fe, NMI'll send newsier news soon. In the meantime I recommend coloring books, dance parties, and Isle of Dogs

Have a great day!
Cygne