As a musician, artist, contemplative, theologian, and cultural explorer, I find a strange joy in grappling with the larger questions about life and existence. To me, this is the heart and soul of communications — exploring the dynamics of what it means to be human, how we connect and relate with one another, how we cultivate love and growth, and how we perceive ourselves in relation to the wider universe or the Divine. My reflections here are an attempt to capture moments of life — through a canvas of words, songs, images, and reflections — that I hope bring a deeper meaning into focus.
I’m having an anniversary this month. It’s a celebration! Twenty years this month, perhaps even to this very day as I write this, I set up my new home in California and I haven’t looked back. I remember quite vividly making the trek into Oakland, California in a caravan with my dad. He drove the Uhaul truck with my belongings. And, I followed behind in my blue-grey Toyota Cressida packed with even more of my belongings…because, I have never mastered the art of traveling lite.
There are certain qualities that define the peak of summer in Maryland. And I revel in them all. Everything is lush and green and alive, and the air often thick with heat and humidity and the smell of fescue and ryegrass. Mornings are filled with the songs of all variety of woodland birds, from the red-breasted robin to the Carolina wren, the caw of black crows and the triplet coo, coo, coo of morning doves. Birds warble, low light pierces through trees, large insects zip by — horse flies, bumble bees, big black cicadas that sometimes smack into me as I stroll down the driveway to fetch the morning paper.
There’s a Norman Rockwell illustration that’s stuck in my head lately. The image comes from the April 1, 1961 cover of The Saturday Evening Post. It shows a cluster of men, women and children, all of various religions, races and ethnicities standing together, shoulder to shoulder. Each figure’s gaze is earnestly fixed upon the words of the Golden Rule emblazoned in golden serif font across the bottom of the illustration: DO UNTO OTHERS AS YOU WOULD HAVE THEM DO UNTO YOU