WELCOME

I'm Laura Meyer AKA Cygne (looks intimidating, but it's pronounced seen). I'm a musician-writer from all over - lately (and originally) the New York City area. I recently completed a fifteen-country tour in support of my latest album, Let It Breathe. Right now I'm taking a pause to do just that. Please enjoy the music and writing and if you feel moved to, say hello. :D

Current Inspiration: dancing in the rain 

So... much... rain. It's been a very wet summer here in the NE. Wet when it's raining, wet when it isn't raining (it's always raining). I ain't complaining - the plants are happy and it's still warm enough to get out and boogie. But the days are getting shorter so I need to establish a cold-weather plan NOW because I get SAD if I don't move (I get SAD when I do move, too, but not as BAD) and it's gonna be hard to boogie out there in the dark and ice. 

I was just looking up dance studios in my area which led to a search into the history of jazz which led to this video... almost enough to make me want to sign up for tap dancing lessons... but I doubt I'd find a playlist this good. And the playlist, we all know, is everything. <3

When was the last time you took a class? Signed up for something new? Something old? Something that'll feed your soul and make your inner child squeal with delight? I recently signed up for a pottery class!! So stoked. This is the first fall since forever I'm not touring so it was nearly as exciting to commit to a ten-week class as it will be to take the class... nearly. I fell in love with clay when I stayed at the Beatrice Wood Center back in 2011. One night I slept on the floor of her old library and awoke to voices of dinner parties past... ever since then I've heard her whispering from time to time, urging me to get my hands in some earth. Thank you, Beato

Silver linings & golden nuggets 


I just shared a previously unreleased recording & deep thoughts with fans on Patreon. Here's the link. :)

As I work on the next album... slowly... thoughtfully... feeling-fully... I want to share the process with my community.

Isn't everyone community? Yes and no. We are all One. Yet everyone isn't a fan.

In order to spill and slosh about as one does while slowly, thoughtfully, feeling-fully creating... I need a container. A safe space. A way to communicate with fans.

I've chosen Patreon.

Why? Over the past year and a half of quietly posting for a handful of supporters, we've established trust. Connection. Something that feels right, away from the prying eyes of the internet-at-large.

Now for as little as $1/month I'm inviting you to receive everything I create for as long as you want to participate. Over the course of a year that's less than the price of an album... and your contributions will enable me to continue creating and sharing this work. 

Please consider joining us.

Thank you. 

<3

 

Hope 

July was an angry month. Maybe it was Mars retrograde or Sun in Cancer or Earth in freaking freakout mode but I felt like at any moment I might smash the TV, rip out its still-flickering electric heart, eat it, and turn into a crazy transformer, roaring ferociously as the the ground split open and swallowed every fragment of corruption, greed, and hatred in a flash of rainbow light.

Alas, I’m not a superhero and I don’t like hospitals, so I asked a mentor for advice instead. She said, “Anger is unprocessed grief.”

“Good grief,” I thought. “Really? Still? All I do is process. I'm tired of processing! When will it be over?!”

*sob*

Apparently life is a process. Living is processing... and there is much to process. Endless waves of joy and sorrow, e-motions that seek to move through us if we’d just let them move. 

I turned off the news and I cried. For the children. For the planet. For Nia Wilson. For the talking heads I want to smash and for all the bodies I cannot save. For so much that I love.

It’s easy to get sucked into anger, but anger doesn’t release us from the pain that's causing the anger. Our freedom is in grieving. Anger only appears powerful as it churns, a whirlpool inside us, its vortex threatening to pin us to the seafloor. When we surrender to the awesome current of grief we realize that the ocean wants to deliver us back to shore. That is the power of Love. The Whole Ocean. Crack open the heart and we surf back to solid ground like Venus on a half-shell.

It's good to be alive. 

As my friends, Chris & Louis, say, "Excellent and better all the time." 

I'm full of hope. 

Songs are coming. In the meantime here is an old performance... one I'm a little embarrassed to share, but then... it was for Hope. :)

With love,
Cygne

 

Take Me Home: Scary Places 

When I feel scared (especially when I’m alone at night, envisioning every terrible thing that could possibly occur before and beyond dawn) I remind myself that I’ve survived nights on bar floors in foreign countries, the haunted basement of a warehouse in downtown Albuquerque, vehicles from the Olympic Peninsula to the Blue Ridge Mountains, and hundreds of other seemingly terrifying “sleeping” arrangements, all to see the light of day.

I just came across this photo I half-jokingly (okay, 1% jokingly) texted to a friend one night in case I went missing. I don’t think people realize how fearful I am... I slept with a nightlight until I went away to college. (And then I was in NYC so it never got dark anyway.) But I’ve been able to live on the road for so long because I love it that much. I love you that much. More than I fear, which is a crazy amount, because love is stronger than fear. Love is real. Fear is not. Yes, fear appears to be real when we’re fixated on the shadows of things we don’t understand and/or cannot control. But when the light returns we see that love is everything.

With the news of the world in the palms of our hands we don’t need to use our imaginations to terrify ourselves. We need to use our imaginations to transcend this thick fear swaddling Earth so that we may continue to move freely and joyfully across every imaginary border, connecting and celebrating these lives we are so unbelievably blessed to experience. Thank you for holding up your light, and for sheltering me from so many storms. Sweet dreams.

Current Inspiration: Sandra Boynton 

I'm crushing so hard on Sandra Boynton right now. Do you know her? You know her. You've probably given or received at least one of her greeting cards:

I met her this morning and before I realized who she was I was already crushing because she was so incredibly kind and gracious. And then I Googled her... and I realized she's not only the creator of at least 75% of the staples from my nannying days, she's also at the heart of some of my earliest childhood memories. Early, formative, joyful memories of falling in love with words and pictures and silly hippos that made this strange planet seem more familiar, fun, and faceable. 


Her work is hilarious in the most brilliant way, a wit that highlights the joy of play for all ages, something that is extremely rare and direly needed now and always. Plus she loves chocolate enough to write a book about it. I'm in awe of her. Look at what this woman has created


After spending a good chunk of time laughing out loud on her website I ordered a bunch of greeting cards and I'm going to have a hard time parting with them... but they'll be the next batch of mail that goes out to my patreon peeps. :D

Have a great week! New tunes soon!

Current Inspiration: Fred Rogers 

Last week I went to see Won't You Be My Neighbor? Have you seen it? It is such good medicine... especially when it feels like the world's experiencing a shortage of leaders or - let's be honest - adults. I loved watching Mister Rogers' Neighborhood as a kid and I credit him with introducing me to music and songwriting, as well as enabling me to navigate the emotions that feed music and songwriting. The documentary surpassed my expectations. I cried five times and I guffawed at least twice that. When I got home I did a quick search and watched the first episode that came up. Of course it's about music, starring one of my heroes, Yo-Yo Ma. :)

Love is at the root of everything. - Fred Rogers

Take Me Home: PKP 


Seeking the approval of others is a form of self-hatred. We have been groomed to do this. Or maybe we just do this… because we do this. But we do this. I do this. Seeking, scrolling tweeting, trolling… onscreen and off. Each journey around the sun I crave approval a little less, but I still find myself jumping to please a Loved One. Am I not a Loved One, too? Is it so hard to see ourselves? Will selfies ultimately give way to deep unconditional acceptance of Self? I don’t know, but one thing I do know is that fear spends what Love saves. Energy. Life force. Protect your precious resource. Your life is worth more than the U.S. National Debt (currently $21,205,959,245,607.94). Don’t let it slip into the pockets of others, figuratively or literally. We don’t need all this stuff. We Are. I love you.

Bath-time thoughts. Happy Tuesday. Mars is cray, yo. 

Photo from somewhere between Łódź and Toruń, just before my 32nd journey ’round the sun…

Shout-out to Musicians 

This morning I woke up to a text from my sister: "You are not alone. It's a crisis facing much of the industry." Then she sent a link to a recent article, Musicians Are Poorer and More Abused Than Regular People Survey Says.

Than Regular People. The title sounds like an Onion article. So often we hear about how poor musicians are - wait, do we hear that? I don't even know what people hear... for so long I've been consumed by the hustle I have no idea what the mainstream sounds like. Maybe the majority of "regular people" think of musicians as the Beyonces of the world? (I recognize that there is only one Queen B, but you know what I'm saying).

All people are regular people - and all people struggle. "From the cradle to the grave," as Joni says. For musicians, though - musicians you know and love, musicians singing in that dark corner of the restaurant, musicians on the subway platform, musicians at the coffee shop, musicians onstage, musicians on TV - it's a struggle that's often romanticized... even trivialized. A struggle for which we're blamed and ridiculed. 

"If it's so hard why are you doing it?" "Get a real job." "You're just not good enough." "What do you expect, handouts?" "You do it because you love it, right?" Yes, yes, YES, we make music and share it with the world because we love it - enough to do it for free, to go into debt, to sacrifice relationships, to forgo stability, to risk our future, and to damage our health. But that doesn't mean it has to be this way. 

Lately I've been receiving texts and emails from musicians experiencing depression, anxiety, and injustice on the road. Musicians who appear to be "successful" on the internet. Musicians who think I'm "successful" because of the internet. The internet is so tricky. We're all limited by our own little window to the world... a world we're in together. 

Keep reaching out. Keep singing out. The world needs your work. 

And to those of you who love and support us... thank you. <3 

Take Me Home: København, DNK 


Outside a small cafe in Nørrebro, a “hip” part of København, a man was selling assorted household items on the sidewalk — gently worn shoes, children’s blocks, a giant kitchen timer, etc. 

“Are you having a good day? Are things selling well?” 

“I always have a good day,” he smiled. “It’s important to focus on the good things.” Seeing the notebook under my arm he asked, “Are you American?” 

I looked down and noticed the cover bore a small US flag with “Made in USA” beneath. Shit, I thought. “Yes.” 

“Where do you come from?” 

“Eh….” I never know how to answer this. Every attempt feels like a lie. He laughed. 

“Once I saw a guy on a talent search show who had a similar answer,” he said. “Here, there… the guy was really funny! Are you having a good day?” 

“Eh….” I wasn’t. I was jetlagged, overwhelmed, and sharing a room with a guy who stared with longing and told me I reminded him of his ex-girlfriend. “Just tired.” 

“Come,” he said, moving aside vests and a blanket so we could sit on a bench. “Give me your right hand. You are going to send all your negative feelings to me.” 

My heart surged. Not the surge you’d expect of a young woman meeting a strange man in a foreign city street, but the surge of a struggling sadhu meeting her guru in the forest. As I placed my hand in his my eyes swelled. Paris. Brussels. Terror. Anger. Refugees. Despair. One more puff and I felt like the whole world would fall down. 

“It’s okay, I can take it. Just breathe and know you are safe.” 

A tear slid down my cheek. A bicycle pinged. Sunlight danced on my eyelids. A cool breeze shivered my spine and then… breathing.… I was breathing. 

After a time I opened my eyes and he said, “Fasting during Ramadan has helped me become more positive. It’s a mental as well as a physical fast — to conserve energy one speaks less, is more reflective.” He looked at me so kindly, without judgment or proselytizing. Just compassion. “It’s important to focus on thinking about the good things and only speaking good things.” 

Lately it's hard not to dwell on the bad, sad things… but what does that accomplish? Where does that take me? Who does that empower? When I think of holding hands with a bodhisattva on a bench midway between our respective homelands there is a break in the fog… and I’m reminded that this planet is filled with living, breathing, loving beings and there are so, so many hands to hold if we just reach out our own.

    

Take Me Home: Telluride, CO 

Happy Solstice. Ten years ago today I woke up in Telluride for the first time. I arrived late the night before, not super late but late enough that the only vacant camping spot was half falling into a river. I was thrilled. I was in Telluride, and the river would sing me to sleep. 

The next day I woke to a sky so crisp I thought it might melt in my mouth. Lilacs. Smiling faces. Music. I was already in love when I took the stage at Telluride Bluegrass Festival. I felt my chest might explode, and not only because of the altitude. 

The performance went as well as I could've hoped... though my hope was pretty wild back then. I was very green. So green I didn't recognize the man waiting for me afterwards as that night's headliner. Not until we were halfway through lunch did I recognize his face from the cover of the gossip magazine I'd seen at my sister's apartment the month before. 

After sharing soggy peach cobbler we circled through the campground to drop off my stuff. At first I couldn't find my tent because now it really was falling into the river - I forgot to mention that it was broken so I had tied it to branches above, which apparently had given way. "That's so punk rock," he said. "Don't worry, you'll stay with me tonight."

And so it went... if you've heard "Back in NY" you know the gist of it. My enchantment deepened, heightened, expanded in every direction as I stood backstage, wide-eyed and enamored with not one but with All. I didn't just feel like a fish out of water, I felt like a fish with its face pressed against the side of the aquarium, drooling fish drool, longing for admission to this super cool fish school. And yet... I was a fish, too. 

There's too much to squeeze in this little box but one image that still makes me laugh is that of him scooping up armfuls of candy and videos (actual videos #tbt) in the hotel lobby after his show, manic, elated, childlike, qualities I see in musicians of all ages, all over the world. Maybe it's what makes us crazy and difficult to live with... but it's also why you love us. And we love you.

 

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