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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

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

 

 

 

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

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

 

Waving hello 

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!

Mar 11 Byington, Los Gatos, CA, 2pm
Mar 13 Davenport Roadhouse, Davenport, CA 6pm

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!
 
Cygne

Happy Valentine's Day! 


Just a lil note to send a lil love <3

Valentine’s Day gets a bad rap for being a "Hallmark holiday" (what holiday isn't?) but I love it because I love love. It comes in so many flavors! Friendly, familial, romantic… sweet, salty, nutty, dark. Oh wait - that’s chocolate. 

A couple weeks ago I unpacked my car for the first time in five years. Dead pens, city maps, pumpkin seeds, jumper cables - lots of interesting finds. However the treasure chest was in my overhead visor: 


Yeah, it’s been a challenge to wear my hair in a bun, but for 100,000 miles I’ve had the love of these angels hovering over me. That’s powerful! I share this not to boast about wonderful friends (friends are wonderful, though, aren’t they?) but to inspire you to scribble a lil love note. It doesn’t have to be fancy or profound to brighten someone’s day. And I promise it will brighten someone’s day. I mean, it’s February, things are shaky, and it’s tax season. A splash of hearts can do us good. 

Emails can be sweet, too - a quick, “hi, thinking of you” lights up the inbox. But in this digital world it feels extra special for our digits to receive something from another human's digits. In my early twenties I used to send letters of encouragement to my future self. Receiving them from my past self broadened my perspective when the present wasn’t so comfortable. 

When I was in middle school one of my classmate’s dad’s used to pack her lunch and write a note on her banana peel every day. I thought that was just about the coolest thing ever. Bathroom mirror notes are fun, too! Along with assorted wedding photos, birth announcements, and holiday cards I've treasured three post-it notes, a piece of an envelope, and several origami swans for the better part of a decade. Just holding them I feel the love from the sender. 

I’m superstitious about unpacking because it seems that as soon as I take my clothes out of a suitcase it’s pretty much guaranteed I’m going to be putting them back in very soon. So I usually keep them in a suitcase. But I took them out. And now…

This is an excerpt from the newsletter. If you'd like to keep in touch please enter your email address above and I'll send you a download of my most recent solo album. :D Thanks for reading!