PAST RAMBLINGS - 29
(collection of past Homepage greetings and stories)
Spring 2013   -to-   Holiday 2013

Michael Tomlinson - Past Ramblings
Ramblings 1
3/13/99 - 7/11/99
Ramblings 2
7/27/99 - 1/8/00
Ramblings 3
3/6/00  - 8/7/00
Ramblings 4
9/18/00 -  11/19/00
Ramblings 5
12/17/00 - 4/10/01
Ramblings 6
5/9/01 - 6/25/01
Ramblings 7
07/23/01 - 10/07/01
Ramblings 8
10/19/01 - 2/18/02
Ramblings 9
3/22/02 - 8/5/02
Ramblings 10
8/27/02-12/22/02
Ramblings 11
1/24/03 to 5/31/03
Ramblings 12
7/18/03 to 12/24/03
Ramblings 13
1/11/04 to 5/28/04
Ramblings 14
7/03/04 to 10/1/04
Ramblings 15
11/03/04 to 2/22/05
Ramblings 16
4/01/05 to 7/1/05
Ramblings 17
08/21/05 - 11/16/05
Ramblings 18
12/20/05 to 6/11/06
Ramblings 19
07/19/06 to 11/13/06
Ramblings 20
12/02/06 to 4/2/07
Ramblings 21
5/21/07 to 9/4/07
Ramblings 22
11/9/07 to 3/1/2008
Ramblings 23
5/16/08 to 11/8/08
Ramblings 24
12/11/08 to 09/06/09
Ramblings 25
11/01/09 to
10/21/2010
Ramblings 26
5/10/10 to
12/4/2010
Ramblings 27
4/01/11 to
10/1/11
Ramblings 28
2/1/12 - Fall 2012
Ramblings 29
Spring 2013 - Holiday
Ramblings 30
2014 & 2015

Spring 2013 
Howdy my friends,

I always drag my feet this time of year, wishing to keep Springtime around as long as possible. Fortunately, we have a very long spring in the Northwest,  usually until Independence Day, when the random blasting of gunpowder into the atmosphere signals the official end of spring. Until then, I plan to frolic. Speaking of which, when is the last time you turned to someone and said, "Hey! Let's frolic!" I try it out at random on folks sometimes and surprisingly, it doesn't always go over. I said it to some surly motorcycle types and got the feeling that it wasn't something they were comfortable with. I realized quickly that "you dudes wanna frolic?" was too open-ended of an invitation so I left as fast as I could. But it's hard to hurry when you're taking the bus. When the driver shut the door behind me there were six of 'em slammed up against it with various tools in their paws. 

In mid-May I'm performing some private concerts in the South. I'm playing in Kentucky, Tennessee and North Carolina, then wandering around to enjoy some of the beautiful country down there before the wall of humidity crashes down on 'em. I love to travel where I have open ended days and can drive three of four hours and stop for the day if I like, or if I'm in the mood and "makin' good time!", drive the whole day if I like. It all depends on what calls to me along the road. There's nothing like rolling into a little town you've never seen before, loving the feel of the place, and just checking into a hotel and spending the day wandering around town. I'm a wanderer at heart. I have no degree, but somebody should give me an honorary Doctorate.
I have had some really wonderful concerts over the last year. Last fall I played in Vail, Colorado at the Season of Song Festival, then did a concert in Los Angeles and one in Casper, Wyoming. You can't really get more varied than that. I also played several concerts around Washington State. For many years I played all over the US but not often in the Northwest. It's been very enjoyable to sing for folks in some of the Washington towns I've always loved but never sang in. Anacortes, Snohomish, Conway, Oysterville, Issaquah, Olympia, Bremerton, Winslow. You'd enjoy any one of those towns if you were to walk through them and see their neighborhoods. 

I still have plans to begin a Kickstarter campaign this year in order to raise the funds and get a buzz going for my next album. I have some strong songs that I really love for this one. I tend to go slow in my writing, collecting songs here and there until I realize that I have a batch of songs I believe in and that will flow beautifully together on an album. I am going to need a lot of help and a lot of word of mouth when I get ready to launch this. If you've never checked out Kickstarter.com or any of the other crowd funding sites, they essentially are a way for people all over the world to help a work of art or a project or new business get off the ground by participating at one of several levels offering various gifts for your money. If you love my music and want to hear more, and would like to be a part of the groundswell that gets it going, I would love to have your help. I'll send you notice when I'm ready, so please be sure I have your current email address. 

There have been some really deeply painful things happening in our world this last year. For me and for many, there has been nothing more painful and despairing than the loss of those precious children's lives - and their teachers' and guardians' - in Newtown. I stumbled around like everyone else over Christmas. It just didn't seem possible that it had happened. I walked out on a dock in a lake one evening, trying to find my way, and I began writing a song. I knew I could not hurry it. Those precious lives and that earth shattering tragedy are forever a part of our lives now. I trust that if I am going to be able to write anything meaningful and comforting and uplifting, it will have to come not from my mind, but through my soul. For me, the only way to do that is to take my time and allow to come through what is there in the moment. I pick up my guitar every few days and I sing what I have and I sense faint pictures and  messages forming. Sometimes there is a new line or only a new word. When I feel in my heart that it is done I will share it with you. 

I have a strong desire to come to New England to sing. The upper East Coast and New England have endured some extremely difficult challenges in this last year. I would love to sing in rooms full of neighbors and help people to remember that we are in this together, no matter our political leanings or philosophies. I hope to find a way to get there in the fall. If I do, I will definitely send you notice.
As I always do, I would like to remind you to take some deep conscious breaths every day. As many times as you remember to do so. While this idea can sound like simple common good sense - and it is - it is truly something so much greater than that. There is literally a path to peace in following your breath. There is a transmutation of pain and fear that can come about, a natural process given to humanity. We don't need to know how. We only need to sense ever so slightly that there may be something of value here - and it will begin to happen. We don't have to understand. We don't even have to have such faith that we KNOW it will happen. Just a speck of faith in your own inner voice. If anything I write here calls to you in some way, inhale and exhale slowly into your heart, and follow your sense of where that leads. You may do it far better than I do. I hope you do. 
I greatly appreciate that you listen to my music and that many of you have shared it with friends over the years. I have 13 albums. If you're missing any, or you feel you have a friend who could benefit from having one or two CDs, please consider going to my CD Ordering link and browse through. See if there are any that call to you. You'll be helping me to make a living and keep on recording and singing. But more important, you'll be sharing something that often brings comfort and peace and a sense of gratitude in the world. Thank you for that. I hope this springtime is a loving one for you. 
Your friend in breezy Seattle,
   ~Michael
PS, I have this Standing Offer: If you have a friend or loved one going through a difficult time of loss or illness - yourself included - please allow me to email a kind note and an uplifting song. Anytime you wish me to do this, just email me and send this information; first/last name, city, email address. I will send a song and a note.
Also, I am a frequent updater of my Basefook page. If you do not normally enjoy FB or if you fear that it might be a waste of your time, I understand. But I believe you will find that my posts are uplifting and sometimes hilarious, on occasion even insightful. You can find me at www.facebook.com/michael.tomlinson
Summer 2013
Howdy my friends,

S
omething must be wrong with my calendar. It says 2013 and that's just ridiculous! Wasn't I just a few days ago panicking in fifth grade Math class because I hadn't done my homework? Wasn't I just yesterday slipping a red Duncan yo-yo down my britches from the Dime Store shelf and sneaking it out of the store while whistling Jingle Bells wearing my most wholesome expression? Maybe it's all caught up with me and the price I have to pay now for my sins is to wake up in the unimaginable chaos of 2013. Oh well, I hardly ever look at the date anyway. And the last watch I wore was just a Swatch. If you recall, those were the cutting edge in 1984. Two or three on each arm. But then Boy George was a fashion icon too. If y'all don't mind, I'm just going to pretend that it's still the mid-80s and my hair is great and my belly is hard to see looking straight down and all my friends and I ever did was laugh and throw frisbees.

Okay, I got carried away because I'm in a Tully's Coffee House and they were playing Tears for Fears. I'm back now and living full-on in the present. Which can be fun too, I think. But if you and I ever get the chance to share stories of the mid-80s, I have a feeling we'd be talking for days.

I've been preparing for a Kickstarter campaign for my next album. Well, writing the songs for it too. Last night I was strumming around and happened upon a song I was writing last year that I'd forgotten all about. What a find! I'm still short on a few verses of lyrics, but I've got all of the music and quite a few of the words written. "If I could, I would write you a song/ That would wash everything that hurt you away/ And I'd sing to you every morning/ Like a bird from the Wild Blue North." If I sang it for you now you'd get mad at me because the hauntingly beautiful melody would stay with you for days and then when you finally forgot it, you'd be frustrated, waiting for me to get the dang record out.

Well, back to Kickstarter.com. If you haven't heard, it is the leading Crowd Funding website in the world. People who have a project they want to create or an invention they want to bring to market - or any number of ideas for businesses, products, services, etc., go to Kickstarter and they put together a proposal for what they are creating and why they think you will want to be a part of making it a reality. Then they start spreading the word so that people will come and see that they've set up several levels of participation, starting from just a few bucks up to as much as $10,000. At each level you are given great rewards for your investment. When the goal is reached, whatever amount of money has been set, the artist/inventor/writer etc., goes to work finishing the project and then delivers it to all the participants of his campaign by the proposed date.

To me, it's more than just a way to raise money for the recording and manufacture and promotion of my album. It's a way for people to take part in the creation of something positive and loving in the world. If you've ever thought that you wish you had some special talent that you could share with people all over the world - and you may well have many - this project is a way to help make something uplifting come alive in people's lives.

For a few years now I've been giving away more songs and CDs than I actually sell. While I will always give away my music, it is not easy to make a living doing that. Still, I have long known that there is some quality in what I write and sing that soothes and comforts people, that gives the listener a sense of peace and positivity - and maybe more than anything, a sense that we are not alone. I sing not just what I feel, but what you feel. Because we are all so much more alike than is usually acknowledged. We're all human beans. We all seek love and peace in our hearts. We seek freedom and joy and to live lives that makes us feel good about getting up in the morning.

I think what comes to mind most for me, when I think of my music and what I have filled it with over the years, is that what I've tried to do is to write and sing songs that help you remember to be grateful that you are alive. When you're feeling grateful there is a peace beyond all peace, and it is usually accompanied by compassion as well. To truly live with compassion for others is a blessing indeed.

My plan for Kickstarter is to launch in August - with a 60-day campaign. I don't know the exact date yet but I will get word to you in plenty of time. I will be asking you to spread the word for me. I'll send you a link to my video presentation, which I hope will be inspiring, and ask you to share it with the people you love. It will take that for me to accomplish what I'm setting out to do - which is to record an album of loving, open-hearted songs. Songs that make you move in rhythm, songs that make you want to hear the melody again as soon as it's over. Songs that remind you of the home in your heart and of the richness in life. I know that there are pathways through this chaotic world we are living in. Paths that are still rich in content, in wonder and mystery and kindness. That is what my songs are and what these new ones will bring to your heart and mind.

Most of you reading this are probably on my email list, but if you think you are not, if you've changed your address or never been on my list at all, please write me at mt@michaeltomlinson.com and send me your new address. I need your First/Last name, City, State and Email. Or just go to my mail list link here on my website and sign up. I'll let you know about the Kickstarter campaign and I'll let you know again when the album is ready. And I'll let you know when I'm performing in your part of the country.

Thank you for visiting my website. It means a lot to me that you took this time from your day. The last thing I'd like to leave you with is this: Remember to breathe. Notice your breathing in ways you never have before. Use this blessed gift for more than survival. When you are stressed or sick or in conflict, pause and breathe. Something I do that has been life changing for me is this: I ask the question; "What do I feel?" And as I ask it, without trying to figure out the answer, without letting my brain take over and become obsessed with defining my situation, I simply inhale and imagine the oxygen flowing into my heart. Try it. ask of yourself, "What do I feel?" Inhale into your heart. Now hold it a couple of moments, allow it to settle. Then exhale into the vast and limitless sky, allowing yourself to expand into the openness. And do it again.

This my friends, will change your life. It will bring you into the present moment; the only place we ever really live. A place we avoid constantly. Breathe yourself into the present moment several times a day. And especially when you are frightened or stressed, inhale into your heart. Do it for a while and there will be some peace flow into you. And it will become more and more a part of your life to do this. Your life will still be hard, it will still have heartache and conflict, but there will be a current of peace moving through you also. And that feeling is heaven on earth. It will automatically begin to transfer to others around you. So do it for you and for them. Do it for all of us, because I promise you, if you seek peace in your heart, the entire Universe will feel it and respond with a sigh.

Your friend in cloudy Seattle,
  ~Michael
Holiday
Season 2013
Howdy my friends,

It's a cool, misty day here in Seattle and I just came inside from trying to nail a section of my rain gutter back up where it belongs. It's harder than it sounds, but then most stuff up on a ladder goes rougher than you think it will. Many an outdoor Holiday light-stringer will attest. I have many a time been stringing up lights with a cool mist soaking me down, praying that nobody in the house would see the end of the cord and think they ought to plug it in. It's one thing to decorate the house, it's another to have the aluminum ladder lit up and glowing with me on it. 

I have really enjoyed autumn this year. I began the first day of it in Southern California where I had a concert in San Juan Capistrano. It was hard to tell it was the first day of Autumn, but still, there was a little bit of something in the air. Here in Seattle, I've been walking trails and meandering through neighborhoods several days a week. It's been good for my writing and songwriting. There is something about beautiful seasonal changes that evokes the desire in me to write and sing about it. You may have noticed this. 

Speaking of songs, I played a new song at the Coach House in San Juan Capistrano that I hadn't completely finished. I just wanted to give that audience something special that night and so I told them that I'd tried to finish it and couldn't force it, but that I was going to sing it for them anyway. I had all the lyrics for the verses and I had the melody for the chorus, but didn't want to sing lyrics that I wasn't really sure were the right ones. So I just vocalized the melody of the chorus. It turned out to be one of my most enjoyable songs of the night. By the time I got back to my hotel after the show, I'd already had half-a-dozen folks write to tell me it was their favorite song of the night. I took that as a wonderful sign, knowing that they already had a number of favorites from way back when. The song is called "Since You Came" and will be on my upcoming album. 

Speaking of my upcoming album, I have been talking about doing a Kickstarter campaign for many months now in order to raise the thousands of dollars I need to record, pay musicians and studio, engineer, mixing, mastering, manufacturing, etc. I have not given up on that, but it's so very important to me to do it right, in a way that will inspire people to want to be a part of it, that I have taken my time with the video presentation, really trying to make it my best work. As of now, I don't know if I'll go ahead with the Kickstarter before the end of the year, or wait until January. I promise to let you know. I will definitely need your help and your assistance spreading the word. If you don't know what Kickstarter.com is, it is the most successful of all the "crowd funding sites." Which is exactly what it sounds like. An artist/inventor/entrepreneur can post a project and invite people from all over the world to take part in it at one or more levels of participation. It is not a request for donations, but an offering of many various rewards for different levels of financial assistance. It's a wonderful idea, a way for like-minded folks to get behind something they believe in and co-create it. It's a little more formal and expanded version of what I've done with many of my albums.

We're coming up on Thanksgiving. I love that theme and am playing a couple of concerts near that day. More and more in recent years I have thought of my concerts as a beautiful little oasis where people can take a couple of hours to just be, to breathe and surrender to what they feel. I sing my songs to open my heart and yours, and I have seen that happen now for a very long time. I have seen couples who were angry at each other gradually soften through the evening and come together, cheek to cheek by the end. A woman at one of my concerts approached me with tears in her eyes and said, "I just hugged my brother! We haven't talked in five years and I didn't even know he knew your music. We saw each other and just started hugging and crying." That is what my music is for.

In recent years I have begin offering my songs to people and their friends who are going through difficult times. You are welcome to take me up on this. If you have a friend or loved one going through a difficult time of loss or illness - yourself included - please allow me to email a beautiful song and a kind note. I'm more than happy to do so. Here is all you need to do:
email me first/last name, city and email address. Often, people tell me what someone is going through - or what they themselves are going through. I always read this, but it is not necessary. You can just ask me to send a song and I will. Here is why I think it matters: While sending a song is a very small gesture, there is something in music which can sometimes be the thing that gets past our thinking, into our feelings, when nothing else does. And when that happens, if we have been stuck and feeling despair and hopelessness, that little bit of movement that music gets flowing, can be what is necessary for our own natural gifts of balance and peace and harmony to begin again to do their work. I have seen miracles happen because someone listened to a song. So please always feel free to ask me for one - any time of year. mt@michaeltominson.com

As I bring this to a close I would like to say that the reason I do not write as many stories here on my website is because I write something almost every day on Facebook. Or Basefook, as I call it. Many of you have read them and visited me there. Even more people read my page and never say a word - which you're welcome to do. I just want to say that for you who have negative feelings about Facebook, I absolutely understand. But I will tell you this; I do something very different with it. I post humor and kindness and insights and imaginative stories almost every day. I use it as a place to explore my creativity and to share good will and love in the world. And I think if you read a few of my entries you'll like what I'm doing. Here is a recent story I wrote based on an old photo I found online. I do this often and they all go different ways.  Take a look if you like

I hope you're doing well this autumn. Thank you so much for reading my words and listening to my songs. When you hear my new songs I think you're going to be very pleased with what I've been doing this last couple of years. Don't forget to take some deep breaths every day and to be kind to yourself. 

Your friend in misty Seattle,
   ~Michael

PS, Two things: please remember that I also do Private Concerts. I did half a dozen this year, from North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, to California, Colorado and Washington. You can read about them HERE.

Also, most often if you buy my CDs for Holiday gifts, you will be giving people something that they definitely do not already have. And as you know, so many of my songs are something that you can listen to for many years. Order CDs HERE.

 

   

Download Albums | Order CDs | Pr