Greetings! I'm Cygne, a songwriter-guitarist based in Santa Cruz, California (looks intimidating, but it's pronounced seen). I just completed a fifteen-country tour in support of my latest album, Let It Breathe. (Enter your email to the right and I'll send you an acoustic version!) Right now I'm taking a pause to write-reflect-record-reeeelax and I'm documenting my discoveries-uncoveries-recoveries here as well as on Instagram. If you feel moved to, please say hello!
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.
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.
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!
May 18, 2014
I have no recollection of this night. However my computer tells me I was in Fairview Shores, FL so I assume I went home with someone from the venue. I vaguely remember waking up to a backyard filled with bunnies and hens, and feeding them lacinato kale. And that sweet, sweet Floridian sunlight my skin I can almost taste now... thank you, kind stranger. Happy Saturday, all.
August 6, 2014
"What is that?" a little boy asked as sunlight rippled through my soles. "That's the singer," his mother whispered. The singer? I wonder how his mind processed this strange, foot-headed creature sprouting up from a bed of deer tracks. I wonder what happened when he went to music class and the teacher asked him to sing.
From childhood we're fed answers. Some are helpful, some aren't, and most threaten our imagination. When looking replaces seeing, when what we're fed replaces how we feel, our experience is no longer ours. By the time we're teenagers it's no wonder we're confused, dissatisfied, suspicious, and angry at those who tried to teach us. We act like we know everything because deep down we sense we've forgotten. Answers, those stories we learned so well, fail to protect us from the discomfort of not knowing.
And then adults - what are adults? Technically I'm an adult, but I'm not fully grown. There will always be more to know, more to grow, and the amount of unknown/ungrown never diminishes. In some ways we're stronger but mostly we're just further from the ground, focused in our heads, frozen by the gnawing knowing that one day we will return to that, down there. We are so scared. Of what? We reach for the sky forgetting we touch it on all sides and instead cling to whatever storyline is available, even if it is barbed. Wouldn't you rather fly?
Don't be afraid of questions. Don't be afraid of not having answers. Every quest begins with a question and the point isn't to find answers but to find more questions so that we may continue these wonderful, strange, scary, frustrating, exhilarating, tragic, hilarious, joyful lives. We're all heroes on a journey, blossoms on a stem. We are creating a new world, every moment.
Embarking on a new quest in a couple weeks. See you in Santa Fe, Taos, and Las Vegas. Happy Spring.
Thank you, Redfish Lake Lodge. Thank you, Sawtooths. Thank you, Paul.
“We have a job to do, reclaiming our glory. It’s work, and it will not please everyone. We will be called grandiose. We will be accused of being in dangerous denial, of our faults, our neuroses, our weaknesses. But it’s an ancient trick this, telling a woman that her glory is her sickness. You bet we’re in denial. We deny the power of weakness in our own past. We are on to better things, such as owning our beauty and honoring the courage it has taken us to get here and claiming our natural power to heal and be healed. We’re not grandiose, but we’re tired - tired of pretending we’re guilty when we know we’re innocent, that we’re plain when we know we’re beautiful, and that we’re weak when we know we’re strong. For far too long, we have forgotten we are cosmic royals. Our mothers forgot, their mothers forgot, and their mothers before them. We regret their tears; we mourn their sadness. But now, at last, we break the chain.”
- Marianne Williamson in A Woman’s Worth, which after a year of traveling in my backseat I finally started to read this morning. Then I remembered - Happy International Women’s Day!
Photo by my friend Meridith on April 18, 2015 at her studio in Boulder. I was touring west to California while booking a tour east to NY and Europe while finalizing Passenger artwork so that it could come out a few weeks later... I was really tired. But Meridith and Izzy (pictured) kept me smiling.
Thank you, queens.
How are you? So many people around me are swirling in big shifts/little crises. Frankly these Piscean waters can feel like a giant toilet flushing. And yet… I guess that’s necessary?
Though it's still colder and wetter than ideal for a romp at the beach or even down the block, stepping outside is so helpful for letting these energies move through us. (At the very least Mama Earth provides more appealing metaphors!) Right now it's cold and rainy (relatively) and I'm tempted to stayed curled up with my hot water bottle all day but as soon as I hit "send" I'm getting out there because I know I always feel better when I do. When I'm outside I remember that nature is change and I am nature, so I'm more connected to myself and less afraid of my own nature. Or something. It just feels good.
Other people count as nature, too! We’re all little crumbs of this Earth pie. Tastier together. That’s one of the many things I love about live music so much - the coming together of these pieces. The shared experience of human connection. It’s what’s missing for me on the internet - I’ve experimented with online concerts and videos but I've realized that approach doesn’t feel good to me because the essential pieces are missing: you. It’s just me and a screen, and while I suppose a screen is also a crumb, it’s really not the same.
So, hello. This grain of sand is thinking of you. And if we’re all grains on the same beach I recognize that we’re always connected and any illusion of separation is just that - illusion. But I’m not enlightened yet (so annoying) and to return to the first metaphor (sorry) some days feel like a shit storm. But it is - we are - changing.
As for live music - I’m excited to play a couple of shows in the Santa Cruz/San Jose area this week!
These will be my last “local” shows for an indefinite period of time so please come. Sunday will be outdoors and my screen tells me it will be a gorgeous sunny day.
To the vast majority of you who cannot make it, I’m working hard on taking it easy and letting the new sounds come. As you’ve seen I’m craving the road bigtime but I know good things are worth waiting for.
In the meantime this is a great album to help connect with your own nature spirit-morsel. I’ll be listening to it tonight at 8:30PM Pacific if you'd like to join me. When I listen to "Devi Prayer" I often have flashbacks to Oandu, Estonia. Sometimes I can even smell the forest.
Lots of love!
April 1, 2011
I arrived in Amsterdam courtesy of an 82-year-old lead-footed ex-sailor who’d forgotten his glasses in Belgium. He had me watch for signs (and bumpers) as he floored it north, cursing every Dutch and German driver with maniacal cackling that erupted into chest-heaving spasms I feared would take us both out. The grand finale was when my new friend maneuvered us onto the tracks of an oncoming train - facing our deaths for the hundredth time that day the old sailor swung our little ship over the median just in time, laughing in shock and narrowly missing a flock of cyclists.
As you might imagine I was trembling as I tumbled out of the car to meet Joris (pronounced “gorgeous”), who I’d met through a friend I’d met via the internet who he’d met through a friend through Burning Man… I can’t remember the details, but we’d never met before. And yet Joris invited me to stay in his houseboat for a few days. After a quick tour and instructions on how to operate the gas fireplace he handed me the keys to his palace and went to stay with a friend so that I could enjoy solitude.
People. People are so incredibly kind, so generous, so thoughtful, so freaking funny, if a little unhinged.
Naturally I spent three days in ecstasy. But that's another story for another day. Enjoy the Oscars! Or whatever you're doing this evening. :D
Thank you, Joris. Thank you, dear sailor. Thank you, Amsterdam.