I'm moving!! Check out all the goodies on sale! :D
Greetings! I'm Cygne (looks intimidating, but it's pronounced seen). I just completed a fifteen-country tour in support of my latest album, Let It Breathe. Right now I'm taking a pause to write-reflect-record-reeeelax and I'm documenting my discoveries-uncoveries-recoveries here. If you feel moved to, please say hello.
I'm moving!! Check out all the goodies on sale! :D
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.
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
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.