Friday, July 01, 2011

So Many Thoughts...

Part of writing a blog is knowing who your audience will be. When I used to write often, I knew that the folks who were going to read it were my friends and family. I would send a link occasionally when I would put up a new post. Now and then I would write something that I crafted for particular music friends so I'd post it on a music discussion list. I'd get lots of traffic from those. Mostly I'd write to help myself find some clarity about what I was feeling about something. I'm one of those people who figure out things by writing them down.

I have found that facebook has done several things to change my habits and my thoughts about blogging. On facebook, small bits of information can be passed along through status updates. I can post links to interesting articles (interesting to me), and I can comment on the postings of others. But... somehow, it seems to lack much depth. It's like a snapshot, a quick note, a phone call that lasts a minute. I'm not quite sure who my audience is going to be when I blog. Will it be my music friends? My old friends? My family? My school co-workers and parents? I can't help but consider how what I write will be received by each of these groups.

I want to get back into the habit of blogging, of writing, even if it is just for me. I want to delve deeper, think my way through difficult ideas, and put it out there for whomever wishes to add their thoughts.

Welcome to my blog. Hope you enjoy reading as much as I've enjoyed writing.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

It's Been a Long Time Coming


I used to blog quite a bit. I’d write about music, travel, guitars, weather, education, and my cats. There came a point when I realized that I was writing more and more about the death of my parents. It was cathartic for me, somewhat interesting to my close friends and family, but in general, not the stuff of which blogs are made. So I stopped blogging.

So, what’s new in my world since I stopped?

Hmm….. my old Compaq laptop (my first laptop) that I bought in 2004 finally made it obvious that it was not going to last much longer. I wanted to buy a MacBook Pro, but could not justify the price tag. Oh, Consumer Reports loves them, and I usually go along with what Consumer Reports says…. But…. I just couldn’t. So, I bought a nicely rated Dell. Disaster. Hard drive was bad almost from the start. Took it back (past its exchange date) and they wanted to repair it. Nope, the computer was new and I wanted a replacement. So I chose another well rated PC, a Toshiba. The Toshiba was nice enough, but the Apple kept calling to me. Finally, I decided that I had to. I went down to the Apple store and left with a computer that cost about the same as my first new Toyota Corolla in 1974. I expect it to match that amazing Toyota in service and longevity. So far, so good. I have a lot to learn and need a pair of good reading glasses for the small icon labels.

I went to a pottery show yesterday. I had gone to this studio show/sale two years ago (blew my mind when I realized it had been TWO years) and bought two very different pieces by the same artist. I liken them to siblings, sharing genetics but so very different. Perhaps I’ll take some pictures and post them. I’d hoped that artist would be there again, but he wasn’t. I wrote to the link on his website and found that he’d moved back to his home place of Indonesia.

Then there’s Facebook. Enough said, eh? Many of my friends who used to blog have given it up because of Facebook. Now we’re all in touch, we can share links, pictures, thoughts, all in small, easily digested packages. I love it. I can see what my children are doing, I can check in on my favourite music, I can search for old friends. I have reached the 200 friend mark, and did go in and take off a few that I never communicate with. It’s an interesting social medium, but makes me wonder what the next big thing will be and what it will be like.

Coffee. Have all but stopped drinking it. I save it for times when I need to get a million things done and know I won’t have the energy at the end of a long day. Otherwise I drink one cup of PJ Tips tea through the morning…

Fall in Southern California. Hot one day, cool the next, wonderful evenings.

Holidays. Last year I was so excited to be going back to NC for the holidays. I hadn’t seen my dad in a year and was so looking forward to spending some good time with him. It wasn’t to be. Two days after I arrived, he went into the hospital, six days later he died. I got to say goodbye, but I wasn’t ready to. This year has been about trying to get my head around the reality of both of my parents being dead. So this year I am again traveling back in hopes of spending some good time with my family…. This year it will happen.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Jerry Macky

July 4, 1930 - December 28, 2008

Dad at the beach:


A dear friend once told me that she only wrote in her journal when she was sad, when something bad had happened, or when she was upset. She said that if somebody read her journal, they'd think she was always like that. Truth was that when she was happy and busy and productive, she didn't feel the need for catharsis through writing.

In some ways I think I'm the same. Though I have posted on this blog about things that make me happy (music, storms, education, my cats, architecture), I am more likely to write when something is weighing on me and I have the need to put my feelings into words and pictures.

In the past three years or so I've written about the death of my mother, my trip across the country leaving her perfume bottles along the way, our celebration of her first birthday after she died... I wrote about my dad and how the knowledge that he wasn't going to be around for long made him seem all the more special to me. I wrote that I mourned the opportunities I've missed to spend more time with him and that I wished we lived closer to each other.

I didn't make it home this summer. A job change, a change of living arrangement, the lack of a chunk of time to visit... So, I planned a nice, long visit over the Christmas break from school. I arrived in North Carolina very late in the evening on the 20th of December. On the morning of the 21st I went to my dad's home to see him. Though my beloved sister in law, Laurie, had let me know that dad would look much older, I was surprised at how unwell he looked that day. She had seen him perhaps a week before and he had seemed OK, but when she arrived that day she knew something was wrong. She told him that if he wasn't much better by morning, he needed to go to the emergency room.

He was trying to wait until his doctor appointment a few days away, but the next morning, she insisted. My dear brother, Greg, met him there. We all assumed that we'd all be home together in a day or so. Well, that night daddy laughed and joked with the doctors and nurses. They tweaked his medications (don't get me started on the state of pharmacological health "care"), shook their heads, admitted him to the hospital, shook their heads some more, added more and more medications, and on the night of the 7th day he was there, he died.

I'm so thankful that had the honor of being his daughter. He was an amazing man. I never knew anyone else like him. He was kind and gentle. He was strong and striking. He was a loyal and helpful friend to more people than anybody could ever count.

The parts of me that I am most proud of are the parts of me that are like him. He will live on in his children and grandchildren. He will live on through all who knew him.

I was humbled to be there as he took his last peaceful sigh of a breath. He and I had stood by my mom, his wife, three years ago as she did the same. Death is a passage, for certain, I am awed by its power and its pain.

I love you daddy.

Dad and my brother Greg:

Friday, August 15, 2008

Lightning and Thunder


I got home around midnight tonight and was unloading the groceries from my car when I saw it. Flash! I thought it must have been a car rounding the corner on the road above me. I brought in my grocery bags (yes, my reusable ones) and then saw it again. Wow, it's a thunderstorm!

I put things away and then went to the back deck to see where it was coming from. My camera wouldn't even begin to capture how cool the sky looked. There's an almost full moon high in the sky, and an bank of orangy clouds in the northwest ~ with lightning flashes in them. Cool. Especially cool seeing all that and the twinkly skyline of Los Angeles at the same time. It makes me want to see a REAL thunderstorm (like the ones back east) rage through. What a sight that would be through the picture window! It's about an hour later and it's still flashing, the clouds have moved closer, and the moon is behind them.

Ok, it's late, gotta get to bed, friends coming over in the morning. I'll find a good picture to put on this tomorrow.

Goodnight!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

In the Blink of an Eye



"Life runs," my friend Peter used to tell me. Today I was looking through some of the pictures on my computer and was blown away that it had been more than a year since the above picture was taken. If I had been asked yesterday when that trip to Morro Bay happened, I would have sworn it was no more than 6 months ago.

It has been a month and a half since I last posted here. I've been busy. I've changed schools and moved to a new place. The changes are good ~ the path is intriguing ~ but life runs way too fast...
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Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Gong Show



Today was my last day at The Garden School... Tomorrow is graduation for the children who will be attending kindergarten next year. It is a fun and fantasy-rich celebration.

One day this year I took my gong for show and tell. The dad who is coordinating the graduation ceremony asked if I would like to share it as part of the ceremony. I thought quite a while about it and decided that it might be just the right touch for a meaningful departure.

There was a show on TV back in the 70's called The Gong Show. It was a talent show and the contestants would be "gonged" in the midst of their performance ~ their sign that their performance was over.

So at graduation we will use my gong to signal the graduates' passage out of The Garden. The difference is, *they* will sound the gong ~ they will make the transition.

I will sound the gong for myself... I will make the passage too.

I will bring my gong home and hang it from my trellis.

It will be imbued with a spirit of transcendence and good karma.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Love Through Action



As somebody who spends her life immersed in the world of young children, this touches my heart deeply. Please click here and read this blog.

Let's all create love by being love to others.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Joan Baez Endorses Obama




I've written about Joan Baez here before. She's has been a beacon and inspiration for me since I was a teenager. She has now, for the first time in her life, endorsed a political candidate. Here is the endorsement:

I have attempted throughout my life to give a voice to the voiceless, hope to the hopeless, encouragement to the discouraged, and options to the cynical and complacent. My weapons have been a singing voice and a commitment to nonviolence in both word and action. From Northern Ireland to Sarajevo to Latin America, I have sung and marched, engaged in civil disobedience, visited war zones, and broken bread with those who had little bread to break - for all of which I am richer in spirit. The experience dearest to my heart was marching with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as he led the movement to end racism, bigotry, misuse of power, and poverty. Those were times when sacrifice was an accepted and meaningful concept, before greed had swelled to the proportions it has today.

Through all those years, I chose not to engage in party politics. Though I was asked many times to endorse candidates at every level, I was never comfortable doing so. At this time, however, changing that posture feels like the responsible thing to do.

I am endorsing a candidate for the office of President of the United States. If anyone can navigate the contaminated waters of Washington, lift up the poor, and appeal to the rich to share their wealth, it is Barack Obama. If anyone can bring light to the darkened corners of this nation and restore our positive influence in world affairs, it is Barack Obama. If anyone can begin the process of healing and bring unity to a country that has been divided for too long, it is Barack Obama.

It is time to begin a new journey.

Joan Baez

Monday, March 31, 2008

Too Much and Nothing


If I look at a friend's blog and there are no new posts for a few weeks, I wonder what is happening with them. I wonder if life has become too rich or busy for them to spend time at the computer, I wonder if they have grown bored with the medium or if no one has told them in a while how much they enjoy reading their posts...

I look at my blog and see one from January 10th ~ from just after I came back to Los Angeles from visiting with family in North Carolina for a few weeks. I put up a picture of my dear brother Greg and a tiny bit of a very big story about us. There's a fascinating story there, damn, there's a BOOK there that is just waiting to be written. My other brother, the youngest of we three, gave the yet unwritten book the title The Flower Child, The Redneck, and the Fag. Oh, but I digress.

Posting. I have a link on my task bar that says "Friend's Blogs" and I check it 'most every evening before I go to bed. I peek in on Hannah (my former student and dear friend's daughter). I am always surprised and delighted by Gracie's blog . I can hear JJ's voice in hers (Apparently Los Angeles is "too small," for some folks, so JJ took hers down.) Diane has a wonderful gardening blog. My friend Kim has a great Daily Photo page (and yes she posts every day!) Through Kim's, I found another Daily Photo site that I love. It is so well written and it is based where my youngest son Eli lives, New York City. It's called New York Daily Photo. I enjoy reading posts from Montessori teachers who are creative and who deeply understand the peace curriculum inherent in Montessori education. I always look at the Montessori Mama blog each night. My hometown guy D.R. Adams has a great little personal blog that I love seeing. He chronicles his daily life in New York City, alludes to his growing up in Jacksonville and Raleigh, North Carolina, and gives a glimpse of how somebody pulls out of the "get famous and then (possibly try not to) crash and burn" scenario. (Ryan decided that the public chronicle of his breakdown was too much, and took his down.)

My dearest friend Randall has a blog that is wonderful to read.... hey Randall, post something new!

Ah... I so appreciate these glimpses into other lives, other worlds, other passions. But I haven't posted since January 10th! Why? I feel so neglectful!

Busy? Heaven's yes. I am teaching and directing at a dynamic and complex parent cooperative school. I work an average of about 50 hours per week for the school. I am a half-time student at UCLA Extension. I have family on the east coast and friends on the west coast and .... and .... and ....

Usually my *muse* grabs me and says "write about this!" but lately that hasn't happened. What have I been thinking about? I've been watching the HBO miniseries "John Adams" with great enjoyment. (Strange, because I don't have a TV, eh?) I find myself lamenting my history classes that never let history come alive. It's so incredibly amazing to see, in retrospect, what happened in our past. I've always had a strange and ethereal connection to Thomas Jefferson (without knowing an enormous amount about him). Watching his character in this series has reignited that interest.

My friend Hayes Carll gave me an advance copy of his new CD, and though it sounds great, I simply haven't been able to get into it. Very little new music has grabbed me in quite a few months.

Other friends I See Hawks in LA have a new album coming out on May 20th. I've heard about seventy percent of the new songs and they are amazing, so it is something I'm looking forward to. I'm sure it will inspire me to gush.

Perhaps posts are brewing.

Don't give up on me.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

My Brother

 
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Mack. Macky. Greg. What can I say? He's an amazing character. The story behind the red cardinal I gave him for Christmas is a long-won one. Greg, I love you with all my heart!

Monday, November 12, 2007

My Dad



My dad is an intriguing person. He grew up in upper Michigan. His passion was the outdoors. He loved camping, fishing, and hunting. He had two sisters, one older, one much younger. He spent his life outside. One of my favourite pictures of him is one where he is feeding a deer out in the woods. He and his friends had built a log cabin and there were many deer around. It took me a long time to understand how he could hunt *and* love animals.

He joined the United States Marine Corps right out of high school. He was sent to Korea.

He was in the Battle of Chosin Reservoir and almost lost his feet and his life. He was told in an evacuation hospital that they were going to amputate both of his feet because of how they had frozen. He told a Corpsman nearby that he was holding him personally responsible for making sure they did NOT do that and that there would be "hell to pay" if it happened. The Corpsman held his promise, dad kept his feet.

He came back to the USA and became a recruiter for the USMC in Morgantown, West Virginia. He met and married my mom and then a few years later had me. They were a happy young couple, but my Dad's career in the Marine Corps was not a simple one.

He was telling me a story a few years ago about how he'd recruit young men into the Corps. Many of them were sent overseas to fight. Many did not come back alive. As one of the few Marine Corps personnel in Morgantown, he'd be called upon to attend the funerals. He said it was quite emotional realizing that he'd recruited these young men (who were just about his age) and then would attend their funerals within the year. It was one of the first times that his emotions about things he saw and did in the military showed. I started to see my dad differently than I ever had.

He didn't talk much about his military life while I was growing up. He retired when he was 40 (and I was 15), and started a second life as a civilian. I got to know both men. One was a Marine Captain who rose through the ranks as an enlisted man. The other was as a mellowing southern gentleman with a past that he only rarely spoke of.

Now he occasionally tells stories. Some are about his two tours in Vietnam (where I thought he was just an engineer building bridges), his life in Michigan as a child, his many friendships and joys. I'm always struck with how glad I am to still have him in my life, realizing how often he was in danger.

Right now he's fighting another kind of battle. His body, which has carried him through enormous turmoil and unfathomable joys, is aging. Over the past 5 months he has had radiation treatment for cancer and major heart surgery. He is recovering, but I know that he won't be around forever.

We're close but I wish I knew him better. I wish there was unlimited time. I wish we were not so much closer to the end. I wish I had understood these things when I was younger and had him nearby.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

A Full Circle



Watching your children unfold into the adults they will become is an amazing journey. They absorb and integrate everything and every person they encounter. They (as we) are always in a state of "becoming."

One of my earliest Montessori students, Hannah, has come a full circle, and is now a teacher in a Montessori school. She wrote to me a few days ago telling me about her new life adventure and sharing the blog she and her boyfriend are keeping.

This young woman is the daughter of a very, very dear friend and has herself become one of my friends.

The picture above was of our Kindergarten class when Hannah was a student. Hannah's mom Roberta drew the picture. It was so much fun figuring out who was who. What cherished memories it unearths!

I thought you might enjoy reading about her adventures.

Here's a link to her blog.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Autumnal Equinox <~ click here to see today's sun clock

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Flash, Boom, Wet


I've been traversing back and forth from middle to eastern North Carolina for the last two weeks. There have been a few thunderstorms since I arrived. One blew by as I was sitting alongside a pond at my brother Greg's hunt club, but it was just a teaser ~ just a bit of far away lightening, some soft rumbles of thunder and a tiny bit of rain. I stood in my brother's yard later that day as the sun was about to set. I had my back to the sun as a light rain fell on me... in front of me was the full arch of a rainbow. Ah... the wonder of rain, sun, and country acreage.

Yesterday though.... as I was driving towards "down east" the leaves began to fly. As I drove past the Pamlico River, there were waves and whitecaps. The sky was darkening as the 100 degree heat of the day was fueling the storm. There were white puffy clouds under the dark storm clouds; they seemed to be running for cover ~ blown by the wind. Ionization shifts, the temperature drops, big raindrops begin to fall...

This was not an "isolated thunderstorm," the kind that pops up here and there every afternoon. This was a biggie and it lasted into the night. (See the picture ~ right in the middle of the red ~ the tip of the middle "finger" into the NC coast is where I was last night.)

As the lightening flashed and the thunder boomed and the neighbors came out on their porches to watch, the rain soaked into the parched grass. North Carolina, like California, is in the midst of a pretty serious drought. The mosquitoes also took shelter under the porch, sending most of us inside fairly quickly.

The welcome rain continued into the night. The lightening faded into the distance and the thunder became imperceptible other than to the cats hiding under the tables.

This morning everything is clean and green. The mosquitoes are happy, the tomatoes have some hope of finally ripening, and the humidity is back up around 100 percent. Woo hoooo.... more thunderstorms predicted tonight!

Peace. Mona

Saturday, May 05, 2007

The Library of Dust


In the late 1970's my amazing friend and soulmate Keith Bowden left North Carolina on a continent-crossing adventure. He landed for a few years in Salem, Oregon where he worked as a night attendant at a mental institution. He'd call me late at night and we'd talk about the people he had befriended there, the occasionally deplorable conditions, and the deep connection he had with the humanity of insanity.

Keith loved people. He "drank in" people, absorbing all about them into his own being. You could feel that when you were with him. I felt honored to be his friend and knew that the people who encountered him at the hospital were as fortunate.

Today I stumbled upon a photography project of a man named David Maisel. He was photographing the asylum where Keith worked. During the photo shoot, he discovered a great many copper cans of human ashes that had been stored at the asylum. He became fascinated with the aliveness of the decomposition of the canisters. He writes about it here:

The Library of Dust

What happens to our bodies when we die? Inside a dusty room in a decaying outbuilding on the grounds of a state-run psychiatric hospital are simple pine shelves lined three-deep with thousands of copper canisters. The canisters hold the cremated remains of mental patients who died at the hospital from 1883 (the year the hospital was opened, when it was known as the Oregon State Insane Asylum) to the 1970’s, and whose bodies remained unclaimed by their families. The copper canisters have a handmade quality; they are at turns burnished or dull; corrosion blooms wildly from the seams of many of the cans. Numbers are stamped into each lid; the lowest number is 01, and the highest is 5,118.

The intensely hued colors of the blooming minerals, the etching of the surface of the copper, the denting of the metal, and in some cases, the vestiges of paper labels with the names of the dead, all combine to individuate the canisters, and to imbue each with a remarkable singularity. Simultaneously, the etching, the mineral blooms and the deformations of the canisters evoke the celestial- the Northern Lights, the moons of some alien planet, or constellations in the night sky. Heavenly bodies are referenced in the surface of these containers of the dead and the forgotten. Surely there are physical and chemical reasons for the ways these canisters have transformed over time; but perhaps there are other interpretations which offer a more open-ended sense of what it means to live and to die in a secret place, forgotten or abandoned by one's family. Matter lives on even when the body vanishes, even when it has been destroyed by an institutionalized methodology of incinerating the body to ash and categorizing it by a number stamped into the lid of the ashes' metal housing. Does some form of spirit live on as well?

The project's title is "The Library of Dust". As I was setting up to photograph in a storage building that houses the cremated remains, prisoners from the local penitentiary were called in to clean up some of the mess in the adjacent hallway, crematorium, and autopsy room. A young male prisoner leaned into the room lined with the copper cans, scanned the room, and said in a low tone, "The library of dust.”

-David Maisel

Keith would have loved the "death into art" aspect of Maisel's work. Keith lived his life as art. He would have loved seeing the people whose ashes are in the canisters memorialized this way.

Here's to corrosion of conformity!

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Tree Spirit





I love trees... I bought my house in North Carolina partly because I fell in love with the two trees in the front yard. They weren't perfectly beautiful, but they were haggardly majestic pecan trees. I'd touch them when I'd come home, I hugged them goodbye when I moved away.

There have been other trees I've loved too. Dogwood, live oak, cedar, maple, ginkgo, pecan, pine, palm. I remember the houses I've lived in, but I even more remember the trees surrounding them. I remember my yard blanketed with yellow maple leaves. I remember with incredible pain losing all but one of my dogwood trees to hurricane flooding and disease. I remember the first year the pecan trees blessed us with an overwhelming number of nuts. Trees have always been central to my life.

The Tree Spirit Project is... well.... I'll let you decide.

The artist who created the project lent his support to a group of people in Berkeley, California who were trying to save a grove of live oak trees (I have the hardest time not capitalizing the names of trees ~ I think of them as proper nouns).

He knew that his "people get naked with trees" would attract the media . Here's a video of the photo shoot.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Mom's Birthday



A lot has changed in my life since last March 19th. My mom was born on March 19, 1930. Last year, a little more than three months after her death, our family got together to celebrate her birthday. I wrote about it on this blog. Two years ago, she celebrated her last birthday, her 75th.

Our family isn't together this year. I have moved across the continent, my dad has a new love, my children are deeply immersed in their lives, and my brothers' in theirs. Mom's book has closed and the print of her life is fading. It is such a strange feeling. It will happen to all of us eventually. It is a lot to think about.

Again, happy birthday Mom. I can still see you.

Friday, February 09, 2007

I see Hawks In LA "Motorcycle Mama"

I See Hawks in LA "Humboldt"

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Whiskeytown * Gram Parsons


Desert sun, frozen plants, the Inn, RIP Sneaky Pete, big pots shining in rows and villages, The Institute for Mental Physics, not psychics, Joshua trees and more Joshua trees, Hawks up high in the air on a cold, desert, winter, night... everybody dance.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

To every guitar there is a purpose...


Many times over the past few months I've found myself wanting a small guitar to play at The Garden School. I have several at home ~ one of those is even a small Martin that travels well. When I would leave for work in the morning, with all intentions of taking it with me, I would fill my hands with other things and then decide that the guitar was too much to carry. So, in the three months I've been at the school, I have not once played a guitar with the kids.

So... I started looking around for one to keep at school. I love the shape of the Tacoma parlor guitars, and had seen an Olympia 3/4 parlor-style guitar at Harry's Guitar Shop in Raleigh, NC that had a similar look and feel. Of course it didn't sound like the $1200 Tacoma I'd been looking at, but it sounded much better than I expected. I didn't buy one then, but recently decided to look around and see if I'd have any luck on Ebay.

I found one right away... with a gig bag... for a total price of $39.99!

It arrived a couple days ago. I have enjoyed playing it at home ~ and am having twinges of hearing it (I haven't figured out if it is a girl or boy guitar yet) ask me to keep it here and not send it to school...

But... it starts to school on January 2nd. I think it is going to have a great time.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

If a spirit is going to visit me......



...it would make sense for it to come in a book. When I moved to Los Angeles, about half of the weight of my move was books. I left more than 80 percent of my books back in North Carolina and my heart yearns for each of them. Books have always embodied the very spirit of my life. If I was interested in something, I'd buy a book about it and read it cover to cover. If I wanted to share something important with somebody, I'd lend or give them a book. I've been like this since I was a very young adolescent. My books are part of me, I am part of them. Each one is special, not a single one is unimportant.

Over the years, other than children's books, my mom gave me a couple of dozen books that she felt I'd like, or could use, or needed to have. I brought many of them with me when I moved to Los Angeles. One book she gave to me that I hadn't seen in years is called The Complete Book of Sewing.

When I was a teenager, I made almost all my clothes. The style of clothing of the day just wasn't what I liked to wear and she'd taught me to sew years before. She bought the book for me so I could refine my sewing skills. I left it at my parent's home when I got married in 1974.

I'd personally packed all my things from my apartment when I left North Carolina. I packed each book. I had three bookcases that I brought with me. All the boxes and furniture were taken from my apartment on a small truck. Then they'd been moved to the warehouse and a week or so later all the furniture was re-wrapped in blankets and put on the big moving van to come across the country.

So... the moving van arrives in South Pasadena. One by one the pieces of furniture come off and the boxes come off and everything gets checked off the inventory sheet. One bookcase is unwrapped and there, on the bottom shelf of the bookcase, lying flat in the middle of the shelf, is my sewing book. The driver unloading the truck was absolutely amazed that it was there. He said that it couldn't have been there when they re-wrapped the bookcase. He had wrapped them himself and he'd have noticed and secured the book elsewhere if it had been there. He was dumbfounded.

My younger brother (15 years younger) had gone to design camp when he was in high school. When I opened the book, there were certificates of his from when he'd gone to camp. He'd taken it to camp, and then brought it back to my mom and dad's house.

Somehow, the book followed me to California. It did so in dramatic fashion (not just showing up in a box or on the bookcase).

Mom, I'm glad you know where I am. I suppose my trail of scents worked...

Peace. Mona

Friday, December 01, 2006

The Fastest Year




Thanksgiving came and went last year. I hadn't been in my parent's home for Thanksgiving for several years, so it was ironic that I was there, cooking Thanksgiving dinner for my family, while my mom was in the hospital. There was wariness that she'd die on Thanksgiving or on my brother's birthday, which was several days later. Her death would be sad enough without connecting it with ritual celebrations.

I spent Thanksgiving cooking in her kitchen instead of going back and forth to the hospital as I had for most of the week. She lived for another eight days, dying on Friday, December 2nd, 2005, one year from tomorrow.

Tonight marks a year since the last night I spent with her. That night, my dad went home to sleep, so mom and I were there alone together from around 11 PM on Thursday night until around 5:30 on Friday morning when Dad came back. I spent a lifetime in those in-between hours. I cried, I held onto mom's hands, I summoned nurses as her oxygen levels dropped, I turned out the lights and put my head down on her bed, the staff adjusted the monitors so they would no longer alert us of her slipping away.

Dad and I were there together when she took her last breath. We held her hands as her breath grew shallow, and then ceased all together. The last monitor, which couldn't be set low enough to not go off, signaled a heart rate that soared and then steadily dropped... 260, 220, 180, 130, 60, 20, 0....

I'd never before witnessed death of a human being. I felt it somehow right that I was there with both her and my dad as she slipped away. It was a time of silent sadness.

I'd taken pictures as the sun rose that morning. Her last sunrise. My last sunrise with a mom. My dad's last sunrise with his love. The room was bathed in an orange and red light for a few minutes that morning, then it lifted. The sun shown bright and it was a new day.

I miss you Mom.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Arizona ~ California Ecotonic Journey


Interstate 40 slashes through the country, in some places putting fast-traveling cargo and humans through completely wild land. In other areas it's more like a many-miles-long strip mall. Most days of my trip across the country were a mix of the two, yesterday was a day of feeling dwarfed and awed by "wild."

I love the desert. I grew up on the Atlantic Ocean, so my thoughts of "desert" were the beach without water. The first time I saw one I was astounded by the amazing abundance and diversity of plants. I couldn't see the animals and insects, but I knew that the desert was teeming with life. The first time I saw a Joshua Tree, it was midnight at the Joshua Tree National Park, by headlights! I felt like I'd landed on another planet.

I spent lots of time in the desert yesterday. I drove west until suddenly I wasn't in the wild anymore. I was in one of the most populous and vibrant cities in the country. What an amazing ecotonic shift.

Hello Los Angeles....

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Tucumcari to Flagstaff



Not the best day..... but the architecture in the bathroom at the Arizona Welcome Center was interesting.

Three out of four nights of hotel satisfaction is doing well, I suppose. Tonight's is horrid.

LA tomorrow!

Monday, September 25, 2006

This Land is Your Land << click



The first time I drove across the country almost every place I stopped had music connections. I went to Nashville, Sun Studios in Memphis, Okemah, Oklahoma, and Joshua Tree National Park in California. This trip is being made quite a bit faster, so I'm not making as many stops, but have still not strayed far from music.

I visited a music friend in Nashville, and today went to Okemah (Woody Guthrie's childhood hometown). Today I went by the place where his home stood and spent some time in the wonderful little Okemah Public Library.

These water towers always tickle me though... I've always meant to try to find out if the town actually did provide hot water at one time. In case you can't make it out, the one on the left says "hot." Hmmmm.... I should have asked while I was at the library!

I'm in Tucumcari tonight, will probably make Flagstaff, Arizona tomorrow night.

Holly



Several years ago when I was living in Los Angeles, I had the sweetest "roommate." Her name was Holly. She loved to sit on the headboard of the bed and purr. I'd wake up to her soothing sound and sweet blue eyes.

One time while I was there I was quite sick. Instead of sleeping in my bedroom, I stayed on the sofa in the living room. Holly was seldom more than a few feet from me the whole time. She was a comforting, kind, and knowing friend.

Holly died today. I can't even fathom how much I'm going to miss her. She was always watchful, always warm and peaceful. Holly walked in measured steps, carefully and gracefully. She moves into the ether with a beautiful grace.

Holly, your footsteps on my bed will always make me smile.

Here is Randall's post about Holly.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Industrial Strength


Waffle House coffee saved the day.... (Thanks Paul!) I was about to run out of steam around 4 o'clock this afternoon. I'd had a great visit with an old friend in Nashville, Tennessee, but needed to get to Oklahoma before stopping for the night.

Both the coffee and the barstools were industrial strength.

Between the coffee and the Bruce Cockburn show Ramcey gave me (THANKS!!) I arrived in Van Buren, Arkansas (which is right on the Oklahoma line) in time to get a good night's sleep before heading to Tucumcari tomorrow.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

A Day of Flowers and Scents


Today was a day of flowers and beautiful scents. I took the picture today along a roadside in western North Carolina. The field was glowing from the sun low in an early fall sky.

I have a tradition when I go on a trip. I always pick a flower or herb and put it in my car as I leave. Having a good place to put them was actually one of the deciding factors in buying my Toyota Matrix. I have dried flowers from more than three years worth of trips on my dashboard.

On this very special trip as I move from Raleigh to Los Angeles the flowers would be just as special and meaningful.

As I left Sterling Montessori on Friday, I picked a bloom from the Rose of Sharon in our class garden. I added a gardenia (blooming out of season!) from my Dad's house in Rocky Mount, NC. I took a small yellow rosebud from my daughter's wedding bouquet as I left my apartment in Raleigh. I picked a dandelion and a sprig of rosemary from her yard in Greensboro, NC.

Another "beautiful scent" experience isn't tradition ~ and won't become one I'm sure, but it is meaningful to me.

My mom loved perfumes. When she died in December she left behind probably 50 different kinds. I told dad I'd take them and sort through them and do something with the rest. They sat in a paper bag in my bedroom for 9 months.

As I was packing to move, I knew I couldn't just throw them away. I had tried to go through them before, but wouldn't get far. I'd open one that would remind me so much of her that I'd start remembering things connected with that scent...

Well, the time had come that I had to decide what to do. So... I went through them and took out a few that contained my strongest memories. There were ones that she wore often, ones I remember seeing on her dresser since I was very small, ones that were special evening scents. I kept those. I threw a few away that seemed to have never been used (she must not have liked them). I put the rest in a basket and put them in my car.

My mom had been almost housebound for the last ten years of her life. She would go out only on rare occasions. She had always wanted to travel, but by the time she and my dad were at the time in their life when they could, she was too ill. So, she's traveling with me on this trip.

Every time I stop at a nice place, I take out one of the bottles, spray a bit into the air and then leave the bottle in a only slightly inconspicuous spot for somebody to find. Today I left three.

It has what feels like two main purposes. One, to travel with her... to take her along the ride across the country with me. Another is to sort of leave a "trail of crumbs" so she can find me.

It's been a powerful day.... and my car smells REALLY good.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

International Day of Peace

The International Day of Peace will be celebrated on September 21, 2006. Visit the website to learn what you can do "in your own backyard" to create a more peaceful world.

Here are a few of the people who have contributed in their own ways to creating peace through education:

MARIA MONTESSORI



I've been immersed in peace education for my entire career. As a Montessori teacher, my main focus has always been on creating an environment for my students that honors each child's need for an emotionally, spiritually, and physically rich, peaceful, and nurturing environment. Peace education begins at home, as parents interact with their children in peaceful and respectful ways. It continues as children progressively move outside the direct sphere of their parents and home.

As the children grow into awareness of the larger world around them, peace education seems like it would become more abstract, but it does not. Peace, like love, is not something that is, it's something we do, every day, in every way. It's woven through the curriculum. It's in every word we speak and in every deed.

RUDOLPH STEINER



I've also studied the work of Rudolph Steiner and have been fascinated with the correlations between his Anthroposophical Studies and Waldorf Education in relation to teaching peace. Here is an amazing article about the "reverse symmetries" of Montessori and Steiner's philosophies.

JOHN DEWEY



John Dewey's Constructivist learning is, like Steiner's work, thought to be very different from Montessori's, but a deep and real look at all three philosophies show that they not only share common threads, but that they are woven from the same cloth. That cloth includes understanding that children have to be active participants in their own learning, that they must have choices, and that it is the adult's responsibility to expose them to an environment that is rich in opportunities for growth and understanding.

Dewey is well described in this poem:

A Philosopher's Faith ~ by John Shook
Inspired by John Dewey

My person returns to unwind all its threads,
Woven by language into the habits of heads;
An old wearied head must bow down one final eve,
But my lively thought shines in cloth I helped to weave.

Your gift by my leave is but some seeds yet to grow,
Whose value was found in times of need long ago;
Sow all of these seeds in our vast garden with care,
Protect and defend the greater harvest to share.

To view such swift change, see truths melt under new suns,
To watch how scared souls kept on refining their guns;
My nation was home despite such strife with no cease,
My freedom was here while humbly searching for peace.

By trial did I live, by more trial find my thought’s worth,
My death you will get if you conceive no new birth;
No life without doubt, for the best fail now and then,
No rest for my faith, that each new day tests again.


The pictures on this post are from a website called Better World Heros. It is empowering to think of the mass of positive energy that has been created by these people. What is even more empowering is thinking of the difference each one of us can make.....

Yes, in our own backyards.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Kris Kristofferson "In the News"



I saw this video a few days ago and was reminded of what a powerful artist Kris Kristofferson is.

I think many of you will agree.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Art, Soul, Humanity, History


Why do we build memorials? What is their purpose? How does their design influence our experience not only of the memorial itself, but also our understanding of the significance, both historical and human, of the event or person being memorialized?

When I first visited Maya Lin's Vietnam Veteran's Memorial in Washington, DC, I was unexpectedly struck. I was awed by the power of the emotions that were elicited as I traveled down the walk, essentially underground, along with the people whose names were carved into the hard stone. Even though my father was a Vietnam veteran, I had never truly experienced the depth of the human cost of the war. After all, he'd come back, twice, physically unscathed. During the walk down the wall, there was a silence, even in the noisy crowd ~ a silence so loud, of voices gone forever.


I feel that the purpose of memorials should be more than to simply elicit remembrance and emotions, or to impart knowledge. The vision of a memorial is best served by weaving the past to the present to the future. We should come away from a memorial changed. Our hearts and souls can drink in the passion of the ideals that fueled the greatness of the person or event being memorialized.

At the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial in Washington DC, I was again in awe of the power of art to shake my soul. As I walked along the path through the four terms of his presidency, I already knew the facts. The genius of the art showered light on the history and the connections between what happened then and who we are as a country now.

In no place is this more evident to me than the last view we have of FDR at the memorial. He is sitting in his wheelchair, circled by his great cape, his Scottish Terrier, Fala, by his side. Unlike the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorial statues, he is not enormously more than life size. He is accessible. He is literally within our reach.

The art..... oh, how amazing the art is. He is reachable and touchable, and he is changed by our touch. Just about everybody who goes to the memorial touches FDR's outstretched finger, puts their hand on his knee, and pets Fala. Our touch leaves a gleam ~ a collective gleam on the statues just as our touch as citizens, as humans, leaves a gleam on our world.

Few understood that more deeply than FDR.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Cowboys vs. Indians?


Save The Southwest Museum
Gene Autry's Legacy and
an Indian Museum Merge (and Collide)
By EDWARD WYATT

LOS ANGELES, June 22 — When one of the country's premier collections of American Indian artifacts joined forces three years ago with the collectibles of the Singing Cowboy, Gene Autry, the move was officially billed as a merger of equals.

This being Hollywood, however, the storyline was reduced to something simpler: the cowboys were once again battling the Indians.

Guess which side won.

Instead of celebrating the 100th anniversary of its founding next year, the Southwest Museum of the American Indian will lock its doors here on June 30. Over the next three years, the 240,000 objects in its collection, many of which have not been out of storage for decades, will be cleaned, cataloged and prepared for a move to a proposed new building next to Autry's Museum of the American West, in Griffith Park.

That is where the Autry National Center, as the merged museum complexes are now known, will celebrate another 100th anniversary next year: the Gene Autry Centennial, a birthday exhibition that, according to the museum, will explore "the Singing Cowboy's influence on myth and history in the American West."

For many residents of the neighborhoods surrounding the Southwest Museum, the museum's plans to move its collection smack of a bait-and-switch. From the time the merger was first discussed in 2001, both sides stressed that the Southwest Museum — whose identity is embedded in the landmark white adobe building that towers over the Arroyo Seco northeast of downtown — would remain separate and apart from the Autry.

"I grew up visiting the museum," said Ed P. Reyes, a Los Angeles city councilman whose district contains part of the Southwest Museum's grounds. "I don't want us to lose a cultural landmark that has had a tremendous impact on our community in terms of education and culture. I was always under the impression that they were not going to close it down."

Autry officials say there is no alternative. "We looked for a way to resurrect this campus as a museum," John L. Gray, the president and chief executive of the Autry National Center, said of the Southwest's location. "We couldn't figure out a way to make it work."

The dispute illustrates a continuing issue in the museum world. When cash-poor but collection-rich institutions are forced into partnerships with their opposites, often no one is left happy.

The Autry museum, opened in 1988 by the Autry family, was backed by a large fortune but had a collection that tended toward movie memorabilia and less distinguished Western paintings.

The Southwest, by contrast, suffered from a small endowment and declines in membership and visitors. But since its founding by Charles Lummis, an explorer and collector, it had built an extensive collection of Indian artifacts, including 13,500 Indian baskets, perhaps the largest such holding in existence, as well as thousands of objects, ranging from the sacred — including human remains — to the mundane.

Most of that collection is now being put into storage as the Southwest strives to deal with long-festering problems. Severe damage from the 1994 Northridge earthquake, which caused the partial separation of the Southwest's tower from the main building, has never been repaired. Heavy rains last year resulted in extensive leaks, with water pouring into some of the museum's cramped storage spaces and damaging some displays. Insect infestations have threatened some artifacts, Southwest curators say.

To remedy the problems, all of the building's exhibition space must be given over to storage and restoration work, Autry officials say. They expect the work to take three years.

Mr. Gray stressed that the historic Southwest site, built by Mr. Lummis in 1914, was not being abandoned. A small, rotating exhibition featuring artifacts from the museum's collection is likely to be put in place once the conservation work is finished. But he said that the location must add other uses, both educational and commercial, to remain viable.

During the restoration, the building's gift shop and a lobby display about the project will be open on weekends. No artifacts from the collection will be on display, although tours of the conservation work will be available to museum members, and the museum's scholarly library will remain open by appointment.

Some neighborhood leaders say that plans to transfer the collection are unacceptable. "It needs some work, but everything is in place for the museum to be successful where it is," said Nicole Possert, co-chairwoman of the Friends of the Southwest Museum coalition, which characterizes itself as an IMBY group — one that wants new development "in my back yard."

"Look at the Disney Concert Hall," Ms. Possert said. "It changed how people viewed downtown and the communities near it. We're open to expansion of the Southwest Museum, as long as it is creatively done and looks good. We would trade that off in return for being able to have a real destination here."

Not everyone is opposed to the Autry's plans to move. Kathleen Whitaker, a former chief curator at the Southwest Museum who is now director of the Indian Arts Research Center at the School of American Research in Santa Fe, N.M., applauds the Autry's efforts.

"For those of us who grew up in Los Angeles, it's very disappointing that this very historic institution has suffered so much," Dr. Whitaker said. "But the Autry has in essence rescued a collection of national importance. The people in the neighborhood and the city of Los Angeles haven't offered any real viable support for keeping the museum open."

To build the new museum that it hopes will house the Southwest collection, the Autry National Center must get city approval to expand.

Councilman José Huizar, whose district includes the Southwest's main building, noted that the city had made accommodations to serve the Southwest Museum at its current site. For example, the city built a stop on the Gold Line light-rail service at the museum, partly because the hilltop site lacks enough parking.

"You don't abandon a site like this just because of parking issues," Mr. Huizar said.

The city has organized a series of public hearings on the museum's future. While Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa said during his election campaign last year that he wanted the Southwest to stay where it is, more recently he has not sided either way. The mayor's press office did not return four phone calls seeking comment on the issue.

Mr. Gray, a former banker who, with his cropped hair, rimless glasses and white shirt, could have played an Old West banker in one of Autry's cowboy films, admits that while he is a museum executive, he is not a curator or an expert on American Indian cultures.

"I'm a total dilettante," he said. "But when we came in, the museum didn't have enough money to pay its bills. It didn't have security guards. It didn't have conservators. It never had the public support that the collection warranted."

Saturday, June 03, 2006

The Hawks Leave Their Nest



My friends I See Hawks in L.A. have packed the Yukon and headed east out of Los Angeles. They're trekking through the desert heat, blowing into the coolest clubs of Texas, slippin' down to the Louisiana bayou then making the requisite stop in "Music City," Nashville, Tennessee. (May the force be with you, friends.) They'll be baptizing the city of Athens, Georgia with Hawk song, then drifting into the mystic of the North Carolina humidity.

They'll play three dates here in the state where Senator Robert C. Byrd was born, and where you can meet the family at a truck stop diner during a long, strange trip from Minnesota to California.

They'll be playing at the Evening Muse in Charlotte on June 16th, The Garage in Winston Salem on the 17th, and the Pour House Music Hall in Raleigh on June 18th.

Not ones to travel without soaking in the local culture, they are adventurously eating their way across the country, heeding recommendations of friends, family, and kind strangers ~ then sharing the juicy details on their Hawkslog page.

Here's a link to the rest of their schedule. This band is so unique and extraordinarily literate. I promise you'll leave the show with at least one of their songs running around your brain...

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Hayes Carll

Cat's Cradle, March 31, 2005


Several years ago a dear friend heard a song on the Americana channel on Music Choice TV. He immediately ordered the CD it was from and had it sent to me. He knew that I'd love it. I received the CD, put it on and did something I don't usually do the first time I listen to an album ~ I listened all the way through. I was blown away. The CD was Hayes Carll's Flowers and Liquor.

There was so much about it that I liked, from Hayes' beautiful twang to the mood that shifted between reverence and incoherence.

It was several years before I had a chance to see Hayes live and by then we'd crafted somewhat of a friendship as I tried valiantly to get him to travel to Los Angeles to play at Cole's with I See Hawks in L.A. That hasn't come to pass yet, but I'm still holding out hope.

Hayes will be here, in Raleigh, on Sunday May 14th. He's going to be playing at the Pour House on Blount Street at 7:00 pm. The Pour House is a great little music club. Come see and hear for yourself just how special he is.

Here are some more dates:

Wednesday, May 10, 2006
Eddie's Attic
Decatur, GA TBA

Thursday, May 11, 2006
The European Street Listening Room
Jacksonville, FL 8:00 PM
Solo

Friday, May 12, 2006
The American Theater
Charleston , SC 8:00 PM
Solo

Saturday, May 13, 2006
Myrtle Beach Train Depot
Myrtle Beach, SC 8:00 PM
Solo

Sunday, May 14, 2006
The Pour House Music Hall
Raleigh , NC 7:00 PM
Solo

Monday, May 15, 2006
The Evening Muse
Charlotte, NC

Tuesday, May 16, 2006
Jammin Java
Vienna , VA
Solo

Wednesday, May 17, 2006
Joe's Pub
New York, NY 7:30 PM
Solo

Friday, May 19, 2006
Cafe 9
New Haven, CT TBA
Solo

Saturday, May 20, 2006
Silo Ridge Country Club
Amenia, NY TBA
Solo

Sunday, May 21, 2006
Gruene Hall
New Braunfels, TX TBA
KNBT American Jam
w/ band

Tuesday, May 23, 2006
Hughes Room
Toronto, ON 8:00 PM
Solo

Wednesday, May 24, 2006
Creole Gallery
Lansing, MI 7:30 AM
Solo

Thursday, May 25, 2006
Schubas
Chicago, IL TBA
Solo

Friday, June 02, 2006
Floores Country Store
Helotes, TX 10:30 PM
Band Show

Saturday, April 01, 2006

El Alisal


For many years I've been enchanted with early 20th century Los Angeles, California. The art and architecture of this time resonates in my soul in a way that I've never completely understood. When I first visited Southern California in 2001 I knew that the connections I felt were not just ones of academic curosity or art appreciation. It was something deeper. Like the Craftsman and Arroyo stone architecture, it seems almost organic, rising from the earth and taking form.

Today I visited a house that I'd wanted to see for several years. It is in the same general area as my beloved Abbey San Encino. El Alisal was the home of Charles Lummis. He was certainly acquainted with Clyde Browne who built the Abbey. Today's visit will send me on a quest for all the information I can find about the connections both artistically and socially. I love exploring these connections and will share more here soon.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Mom


Joan Elizabeth Bare Macky
March 19, 1930 ~ December 2, 2005

I think saying "Happy Birthday" to people who have died is strange, but today is my mom's birthday so I'm thinking about her quite a bit. I'll be spending the day with part of my family, sort of a birthday party without the guest of honor. Strange day indeed.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

I See Hawks In L.A.


“Twist through the high hills of bluegrass gospel, down into the deep valley of hillbilly rock then across a one lane bridge and into a meadow of surrealist country.”

That is how one reviewer describes the music of I See Hawks in L.A.

I saw them for the first time about four years ago. It was in a tiny basement listening room of a bar in downtown Los Angeles. Cole's is just off skid row (or maybe not off at all other than through its magical doors). I immediately knew that I'd stumbled upon something incredibly unique and wonderful.

The Hawks are Rob Waller (guitar, lead singer, songwriter), Paul Lacques (dobro, acoustic and electric lead guitar, lap steel, vocals, songwriter), Paul Marshall (acoustic and electric bass, vocals, songwriter), Shawn Nourse (drums, cardboard boxes and brushes), and Brantley Kearns (violin, mandolin, vocals, and a wickedly warped sense of humor).

Glenn Swan from All Music reviews the Hawk's eponymous first album:

I See Hawks in L.A. takes a slightly more cerebral approach to country music. This is not to say the genre is overrun with cavemen, but clipped onto the well-worn bootheels of this outfit is a spur of skewed wit, intelligence, and contemplation. The music itself is the very picture of congeniality — accomplished players strum languidly with reverence and grace, conjuring deep-seeded tradition rather than new country (aka, rock music from people in cowboy hats). There's a grass-roots essence running through the album, but the band sidesteps tradition in the lyrics with tracks like "Nicotine & Vitamin C," the lovely sunset lullaby of "The Beautiful Narcotic Place I Reside," and the saddle-shop quartet of "A Dog Can Break Your Heart Too." Furthermore, "The Mystery of Life" and "Duty to Our Pod" seem downright existentialist in their approach. The modest bari-twang vocals of Robert Rex Waller Jr. and the other contributing voices are all appropriately unpolished, and everything goes down as smooth as molasses. This self-titled debut album has too much grit and professionalism to be a novelty act, but I See Hawks in L.A. is, in fact, such a smart band that they practically alienate themselves from the genre they fit so well. Also, the fact that they received an award for Best Country Band in the city of Los Angeles only furthers the notion that the quintet is a little left of center. With a nod and a dry smirk, these boys are the best-kept secret in philosophical tongue-in-cheek Southern hospitality that California has to offer. Only you can decide how vital that is, but rest assured these boys can play.

Grapevine, their second album, continues the trip. The trip may be up the 5 north of Los Angeles ("Grapevine"), out to the high desert ("Wonder Valley Fight Song"), down to Mexico ("Libre Road"), from Minnesota to North Carolina to California in a Ford Taurus station wagon ("Texarkanada"), or up to the green fields of Humboldt County ("Humboldt"). Through their songs they took me along for the ride ("Hitchhiker"). I was a new resident of California when I first heard the songs on this album, so in very real ways, they served as my travel guide.

Their third album, California Country, will be released on May 9th. It was mixed at the Hyde Street Studios in San Francisco, California. The music is "woody" with an analog sound that is deep and real. The songs are just as real. (To read about the Hyde Street Studio adventure click here.) On the album there's a biography of Senator Robert C. Byrd from West Virginia "Byrd from West Virginia." "Raised by Hippies" is a story of a couple who move from San Francisco to the mountains of Tennessee and who discover along the way that "hippie" isn't about living in a school bus traveling along the Blue Ridge Parkway, but it's something you're made of that doesn't fade away ~ even among the Izod's and argyle's of Chicago in the 80's. You can hear cuts from the new CD on the I See Hawks in LA My Space page.

The Hawks will be traveling down to Texas for South by Southwest (SXSW) next week. Be sure to check them out if you're down there:

TEXAS TOURETTE:

Wednesday, March 15th
Sig's Lagoon (In-Store), 3710 Main Street, Houston, TX. 8 PM
Continental Club, 3700 Main Street, Houston TX. 10:00 PM

Thursday, March 16th
Maria’s Taco Xpress 2529 S. Lamar, Austin, TX. 3:20 PM
Hole in the Wall, 2538 Guadalupe, Austin, TX. 7 PM

Friday, March 17th
Opal Divines Freehouse, 700 W. 6th Street, Austin, TX. 6 PM

Saturday, March 18th
BD Riely's 204 6th Street, Austin, TX early afternoon
Opal Divines Penn Field, 3601 S. Congress, Austin, TX. 8 PM

Oh... and the "CD cover" at the top of this post isn't the one that's on the album. "Raised By Hippies" isn't the name of the album. It's just a figment of my imagination. The official cover is from pictures that were taken on the Hawks tour this past summer. The feel it elicits of traveling, illustrated by the gas station in the dark, is such a powerful one. But... those hippie children were just too good to leave unseen!