STUFF I THINK ABOUT

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Current inspiration: Mary Oliver 

I Worried 
by Mary Oliver 

I worried a lot.  Will the garden grow, will the rivers 
flow in the right direction, will the earth turn 
as it was taught, and if not how shall 
I correct it? 

Was I right, was I wrong, will I be forgiven, 
can I do better? 

Will I ever be able to sing, even the sparrows 
can do it and I am, well, 
hopeless. 

Is my eyesight fading or am I just imagining it, 
am I going to get rheumatism, 
lockjaw, dementia? 

Finally I saw that worrying had come to nothing. 
And gave it up.  And took my old body 
and went out into the morning, 
and sang. 

From Swan

Current inspiration: "Vissi d'Arte"  

Vissi d’arte, vissi d’amore, 
non feci mai male ad anima viva! 
Con man furtiva 
quante miserie conobbi aiutai. 
Sempre con fè sincera 
la mia preghiera 
ai santi tabernacoli salì. 
Sempre con fè sincera 
diedi fiori agl’altar. 
Nell’ora del dolore 
perchè, perchè, Signore, 
perchè me ne rimuneri così? 
Diedi gioielli della Madonna al manto, 
e diedi il canto agli astri, al ciel, 
che ne ridean più belli. 
Nell’ora del dolor 
perchè, perchè, Signor, 
ah, perchè me ne rimuneri così? 

*

I lived for my art, I lived for love, 
I never did harm to a living soul! 
With a secret hand 
I relieved as many misfortunes as I knew of. 
Always with true faith 
my prayer 
rose to the holy shrines. 
Always with true faith 
I gave flowers to the altar. 
In the hour of grief 
why, why, o Lord, 
why do you reward me thus? 
I gave jewels for the Madonna’s mantle, 
and I gave my song to the stars, to heaven, 
which smiled with more beauty. 
In the hour of grief 
why, why, o Lord, 
ah, why do you reward me thus?

Things I'm still learning...  

Evolution is a process.

Although we can't always detect it, we are making progress.

We are moving forward. 

There are potholes. There are smooth patches. It's all one road.

We will get there.

We are here.And we're here to grow.

We are complete. We are unique.

We are equal. We belong.

Get out there. Happy Fall.

<3

What I learned on summer vacation 

It's easy to get stuck in a rut.

It's just as easy to bust out of it.

Dive in. Shake it up. Try something new. Break the rules. Venture a little farther. Know your limits. Transcend them.

Choose a different seat. Try a different perspective. There's no such thing as a detour.

Windex really does fix everything. 

Life isn't about winning or losing. It's about the people you're with. (And Stella Starfish.)

Televised world championships of cornhole exist. (You can't spell SAUSAGE without USA.)

Bright lights and screens were designed to take our money, so proceed with caution.

We don't need all this stuff.

However medieval-themed blacklight mini-golf - complete with an alternative hits of the 90s playlist - is a fantastic investment.

Sometimes pointlessness is the point.

After all, the world is round. 
Nature nurtures.

We are nature.

There are places where you don't have to worry about your bike getting stolen.

There's no right way to do anything.

If you think you can, think you can, think you can, you will make it up the hill. 

When you feel scared, scream.

If screaming seems inappropriate, there's probably no reason to be scared. 

However it's okay to sit some rides out. ;)

Nothing lasts forever.Yet the present moment is infinite.
Once a kid, always a kid. (This is the house where I was born.)

So there you have it. Souvenirs from summer vacation. Now I'm typing in my pajamas and a down coat listening to rain on the roof, settling into fall vacation... everything feels like vacation when I'm not touring. But then tour often feels like vacation... I guess life is a vacation. A working vacation, but a vacation no less. As long as we play in our work and work in our play.

I tweaked the site a bit... added a new photo:

My friend Kristijan took it on his roof in Zürich, the same apartment where the Let It Breathe cover photo was taken. We were excited about this one for the cover of the next album. The working title for the past year and a half has been One Woman. It will be stripped-down. Solo. More like how shows are. I'm pretty certain it will be a Laura Meyer release, though Cygne has a bunch of songs stockpiled, too. I'm documenting the process on patreon. It feels good to be slow. There's so much more time this way... 

Sending love <3

Laura / Cygne / One Woman

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.

    

Current Inspiration: Richie Havens 

This song has been running through my head in recent days. My heart aches for the families separated at the U.S. border. I can't sleep. I can't think about anything except those poor motherless children and childless parents. Only a voice as powerful as Richie Havens can hold me steady now.

When I was thirteen or so I got to see him perform this song in my hometown. It was as close as I'd ever come to meeting god. In fact, I did meet him - he towered above me with a wide open smile and shook my hand (which I didn't wash for days), infusing my palm with the electricity of nothing less than an angel's wing.

Thank you, Richie. <3

You can hear me sing a version of this song on Patreon. All proceeds will go to Together Rising

A message from Cosmic Turtle 

There’s abundant evidence that the world is spinning out of control. And it is. Because the world has never been in our control. And it’s okay. We’re okay. When we notice this, we’re out of its control. We’re free. We have choices. We have imaginations. And then we can use them.

This morning I jogged along to the last minutes of an audiobook, The Female Persuasion. I like to listen to audiobooks on low volume without headphones so I can hear the birds and keep the bears away (I’m not sure if this is an effective bear-deterrent, but it’s a comforting thought.) Plus, out here in the “country” it’s helpful and inspiring to hear other human voices, especially smart, witty ones that offer entertainment and perspective on difficult subjects.

Today I was faster than usual because I got a late start. I always feel behind, no matter what I’m doing. There’s just so much I want to do. Here we are in the longest days of the year and they still feel too short.

As I approached the top of the hill I noticed a lump in the road I couldn’t identify…  a new shape in my growing encyclopedia, slightly domed. Just before the stop sign the narrator reached the final lines of the book —There wasn’t much time. In the end, she thought, the turtle might outlive them all — and at that exact moment the lump in the road revealed itself to be a turtle.


Can you imagine my delight? Yes, there are many critters in these woods… but this is the first time I've seen a turtle, and I can’t remember the last time I read/listened to a book in which a turtle had a starring role. The world might be out of control but maybe, just maybe... something is connecting all these moving parts?

As we approach solstice, the top of the hill, the time when the planet is divided into extreme darkness and extreme light, find solace in nature. Slow down, says Turtle in my hands. See all the light has to reveal. Feel all that is shrouded in darkness. Beyond these extremes and constant flux there is solid, common ground. Proceed carefully, watch for signs, trust yourself to recognize them, and you will get there. You are here. And you are needed. 

Love, 
Cygne