PAST RAMBLINGS - 32
(collection of past Homepage greetings and stories)
Winter 2017

Winter 2016-2017

Howdy my friends, at this time last year I was deep into the creation of my new album, House of Sky. I enjoyed that recording and the writing and playing and production that went with it, more than any recording project I’ve ever done. Much of that was because so many of you reached out to support me through my Kickstarter campaign, that you gave me the time and money to take as long as I needed to finish it. That album has been out since last summer and I have had such wonderful and passionate response to every song on it. It was my dream to make a record that would make you want to listen like we did in our youth, where we’d give an album our full attention and get lost in it over and over again. I wanted every song to matter, to give you something that would better your life, lift your mood and give you hope and help you feel that the creativity I expressed in writing and recording it came from the same well of love that you too have the ability to drink from.

In all my years of recording I have never seen so many people buy a new album over and over again to give it away. One person bought 50 copies, another 30. And so many folks have come back to my website again and again to buy more for friends they felt would love the album. I’m hoping that many of you will do that for gift giving this Holiday Season. I honestly cannot think of another gift you could give which someone might love for years and years. Think back to the songs and the albums that have meant a lot to you in your life. And how you can still listen and feel good about life when you hear those songs today. That is what I envisioned and what I know is happening for those who have this new album.

Holiday Gifts ~ I’ve set up a couple of options for you this season. If you buy 3 or more CDs, you may choose another CD for free. You can see the instructions on my Special Holiday Offers link. Also, I’ve been creating short 10-minute guided meditation recordings that are receiving such good feedback and response. Several people have written me to let me know that my Restful Sleep meditation has truly helped them to fall asleep easier and sleep more soundly. And others have let me know that my Peaceful Breaths meditation has relieved stress and anxiety in their lives and helped them to feel more centered and well. If you purchase a CD on my website, you may ask for either one of these meditations and I’ll email it to you right away.

Meditation ~ Next week will be my two year anniversary of beginning to meditate regularly and consistently. My life has been so much richer and more peaceful since — and it began almost immediately after starting to meditate. I do hour long guided meditations and I know that when you are just getting started that may seem like an impossible amount of time. That’s why I’ve created these shorter ones to help you get started and to stay with it long enough so that you feel the gifts start to come.

Someone wrote me last night and said she’d been encouraged to begin because of my frequent writing about meditation. For five months she has meditated and I loved the simple way she described her results; “What you say is so true — it will change your thought patterns.” That may not seem particularly profound to you until you start to realize that our days are filled with negative thoughts; What is wrong? What might be wrong later? Did someone criticize me? Am I not good enough? I wish I wasn’t fat. I’m frightened by what is going on in the world. ~ It goes on and on. And I will not tell you that I never have those thoughts, but almost immediately after starting to meditate they began to recede. And when you start to notice yourself waking up happier and more peaceful in your heart, you will know that it was the communion with your own soul — which is what meditation is — that did it. If you wish to pray, you will never in your life pray more beautifully and gratefully than after clearing your heart and mind through meditation and coming to prayer as a very natural expression of your gratitude.

Concerts ~ I just played a really enjoyable concert in Seattle last month and the week before last, I played two concerts in Southern California. One was a private concert. Private concerts are a big part of how I am able to survive with music as my livelihood. All my concerts are a joy and all of them are uplifting and filled with good will, but these private concerts are particularly special. People in all parts of the US have bring me in to sing in their home or some venue they have arranged, and I sing and tell stories to their family and their closest friends. I feel like I have walked into a rare and sacred space every time. If you are ever interested in my Private Concerts, check the link under my Concerts menu.

I would love to do performances in many regions of the US in this next year. I need help doing that though. I’m a one man operation and while I can rent halls and put on my own shows in some cities, generally, I need someone else to do that for me. Some existing venue or concert series or promoter. It is most helpful to me if you actually have an inside-track to one of these. If you are a part of creating shows or want to do so, or you know someone who does that and may really listen to you when you suggest that they bring me in for a concert, that is the most helpful thing for me. On occasion, I’ve had people get in touch and say that they want to produce a show in their community themselves. I’m thrilled for that to happen and will do my best to offer you some guidance if that interests you.

How can I reach you? It is SO very important to me to be able to send you an email for concerts and events and new music. Facebook is not enough. My mail list is large, several thousand names and addresses, but probably a third of those bounce back. So if you did not receive an E-letter from me this last week of November, that means I DO NOT have your current email address. I really do need that, so please email me at mt@michaeltomlinson.com or click on my mail list link and sign up again. I never share your information.

Our country, our people, our healing. For me, this election was extremely painful. I say that with respect for you if it was not so for you. If we are not honest and forthright, we do not as likely come together in a loving and kind and intelligent way. I believe in humanity and I know that I play a part, as you do, in all that comes to this world. What I wish for us all is a softer way with each other. I wish for us to breathe and pause now and again before we speak, even if we are being yelled at. Especially if we are being yelled at. Because we are not here to test each other, to challenge each other, to criticize and judge each other. We are here to accept each other and to come to kindness and compassion again and again and again and to love each other, no matter how many times in our life we have failed. So I wish for us as a nation and for all humans and living things to inhale and exhale and remember kindness. It is worth holding in your intention, no matter how opposite it may seem that the world actually is. We just keep loving and forgiving and holding a vision for the unlimited expression of creativity and kindness and love everywhere. There is no better way.

I hope you have a loving Holiday Season and coming winter. If you have not yet listened to House of Sky, I truly believe it is a wonderful gift awaiting your attention. One of my closest friends said to me about it, “I realized the other day that when ever I listen to the songs on House of Sky, I love myself more.” That is where it all starts, my friends. Take good care of yourselves and don’t forget to take some deep breaths.

Your friend in breezy Seattle,
 
 ~Michael
Spring 2018 for stories, humor and day-to-day updates click here
continued from home page  

I spent January and February looking for a new place to live and moving into it. Whew! Let me tell you podnas, I accumulated too much stuff in the 13 years I’d rented that house with the thousand square foot basement. Too much storage! Also, I think there was a lot more going on that the actual moving, I believe there was a process flowing in me, some evolution in emotional/spiritual realms. I embraced it to the best of my ability, though I was sometimes sad. And until I found my new place, I was even a little scared sometimes. Seattle is not an easy place to rent a house, but I was fortunate to have been shown a wonderful little house right here in the same neighborhood I first moved into in 1984. All the albums I’ve recorded and most of the songs have come from right here in this part of Seattle. I feel blessed to get to remain here a while longer.

The end of 2017 was a wonderful one for me. (before I found out on Jan 5 I had to move) I recorded one of my all time favorite albums and did the entire thing in my house. Going against my long time vow, I recorded an album of songs celebrating Christmas and Wintertime and I absolutely love it. It’s called Songs of the Season and I finished it on Dec 8, which was cutting it mighty close. But y’all didn’t let me down, I was extremely busy for three weeks filing orders, mailing out more CDs and sending out more album downloads than I even dreamed I’d sell. It’s just a simple solo acoustic album, my interpretations of some classic carols and six songs of my own, several which I wrote specifically for that album. But it is rich in peaceful feelings and love. I am so happy with it — and the support was so great and response so enthusiastic — that I’m recording Volume 2 before next Christmas. I’ll sell it as a double album or you can buy the discs individually.

I’m also starting to work on something that I feel strongly drawn to do. I’m recording a couple of guided meditation CDs. They will be mostly a variety of short, ten minute meditations. If you already meditate regularly, you probably don’t need my help. But if you are not or have tried and thought you couldn’t, you are who I’m creating these meditations for. There is nothing I have ever done in my life that has consistently brought more peace, calmness, understanding and love into my life than the regular meditating I’ve done these last three and a half years. And I really feel a strong desire to share it with you.

I believe that I can help you to see that meditation is not a trick, it’s not some rare talent that you do or don’t have. It’s not just one technique that you must get right. Meditation is a pause in your active life, a chance to rest your mind and slow your racing thoughts and allow a deeper knowing and peace to flow into you. It will in fact, allow your creativity to rise and blossom. No matter your age, you have unlimited creativity to enjoy and explore. Why not do that the rest of your life? That is what I hope to help you discover. As these projects come into existence, I’ll let you know more. I’ll share advance notice and share some snippets of what I’ve done.

I will also perform a few concerts here and there. I have one scheduled in Astoria, OR for May 31 and one in Mountain View, CA for Aug 18. Notice isn’t up yet, but I’ll have that posted soon. Also, I’m doing a Gathering of Writers day in Seattle for May 12 which will be on sale soon.

Also, one of the reasons I’ve been able to survive in music is that people hire me to come to their city, to their home, and perform a private concert. I love these and some of my most moving experiences have been singing for a group of friends and family in their home or out in their backyard — and then hanging around to visit with them afterwards. You can read about my private performance here on my website.

Thank you for reading this. I hope you are well and that you’re taking deep breaths now and then. Don’t forget to be kind to yourself. That one thing can change this world in ways that would amaze us all.

Your friend in chilly Seattle,
 ~Michael Tomlinson
Autumn 2018

Howdy my friends,

I’ve sensed autumn in the air for a few weeks, but yesterday was the first day I could see it. Stepping outside after a memorial for a life passed too soon, I noticed three maple trees starting to light up in orange. I hadn’t seen them going in. Had they turned in a couple of hours? Maybe it was the doing of the man we were there to celebrate, showing us that he was not gone at all, but decorating the trees in a fashion he’d not had access to before.

Autumn comes to mean something different as we get older, doesn’t it? When you’re young it means a new school year, maybe new love, for sure new adventures. As a boy in Amarillo, even though the trees weren’t particularly beautiful, but mostly just went from a faded green to brown overnight, I was still deeply appreciative of those crispy leaves blowing in the wind. The symbol itself played a big part in my life. As I’d daydream of adventures, of romance, my dreams were always accompanied but the rustle of leaves blowing down a road, across a meadow and through the air on crispy autumn wind.

When I was in my mid-twenties, I took a job with an airline, Texas International. I could fly for free if I could ever get a day off. I flew with a friend to Denver for a Neil Young concert. I think it was around 1978. Denver had many more glorious trees than Amarillo and I was enthralled by the color. Across from the house we were staying in, there was a boulevard, long grassy, tree-lined islands in the street. I remember walking out to one and lying on my back and watching the colorful maple leaves spin and tumble out of the blue and settle around me. That tells you a lot about me — if you couldn’t tell already from my songs — that I hold moments dear from all eras of my life. Most of them involve nature and seasons and weather, and they are as alive in me today as the moment when I lived them.

I have been working on something new to share with you. In the last four years I have been meditating regularly, several times a week if not every day. It would be impossible to express all the beautiful changes in my life because of this, but I do keep trying. I tried sharing some of the hour long guided meditations I use with friends. While some were drawn to them, almost no one really took up the practice. But one friend asked me to make him a short, ten minute meditation. He knew he would do nothing longer, but very much needed a release from anxiety and stress. So I created a simple ten minute meditation; a bed of soft music, wind and surf in the background, and my gently spoken words to the fore. He loved it and still uses it three years later. I made others and gave them away to people who would buy a CD at my concerts. Many told me they’d begun to make it a regular practice and were sleeping better, feeling less emotional stress and being more creative.

So I decided to create a full CD of short, mostly ten minute meditations. Spoken word over nature and sometimes music. My goal is this; I want to meet you where you are. I want to create something that is so inviting and pleasant for you to listen to that you WANT to be there. Getting started in meditating, your mind plays tricks on you. Your already racing thoughts speed up. You get irritable and restless. That is all the status quo trying to keep you from opening your heart and mind. Because the status quo — in this case the ego — fears that kind of change at first. But then when you DO begin and you stay with it, even the ego loves the gifts that flow. Your creativity blossoms, your ability to solve problems and communicate improve. Your health often improves and you start to enjoy people more. Even yourself. You like yourself more. Who wouldn’t want that?

I will have the first of several meditation CDs ready soon — on disc and also for download — and will send word to you if you’re on my email list. I truly think you will like these and feel when you listen as if you’ve been invited into the home of an old friend and allowed to be yourself there. Your self is the best thing you can probably be, so if you ever come over to my house, you are welcome to be that.

I hope this autumn is a loving and beautiful one for you my friends. Don’t forget to take some deep breaths and be kind to yourself.

Your friend in breezy Seattle, ~Michael

PS, If you’re on my email list, I will always send notice to you of concerts in your state. Also, a few times a year I am brought into various cities for a private concert, someone’s anniversary or birthday or just because they want to celebrate. I’ve played living room and patio and back yard concerts all over the US. You can read more about it here under my Private Concerts link. I’d love to come to your town and create a concert for you and your family and friends.
 

 

 

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