You’ve Got the Universe’s Back

I know what you’re thinking. It’s supposed to be the other way around, right?

Like this: “Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

Either way, or both ways, I really like this idea. You may have noticed, though, that the whole ‘universe making it happen’ thing sometimes takes form in unexpected ways.

Like, oh, I don’t know, challenging you to learn something new in order to move forward. And leading you to the right teacher at the right time.

Or bringing up issues and emotions that you thought were already settled. And cracking open your heart to a greater understanding of those issues and emotions.

Or putting obstacles in your path when you were expecting an easy wind at your back. And putting the tools into your hands to move those obstacles.

Or pushing you to your breaking point. And reminding you that your breaking point is still a long way off.

Or plunging you into the dark part of the forest because that’s how the road winds on its way to the light. And shining that light just when you thought the darkness was too much for you.

Good one, Universe! Very funny!

Here’s one thing that always turns out to be true though: the stairs are better than the elevator. Make a decision, make your move, get stronger and get ready for the miracle that’s been inside you all along anyway.

Why? Because just as a drop of water is a part of the ocean, it is simultaneously the entire ocean. Always has been, always will be. A seed is part of the crop and it is simultaneously all the food and all the flowers in the world. Always has been, always will be.

And you …

God speed, fellow travelers. We’ve been home all along.

Two Streams


In 50 years of being a musician, the two main threads in my musical life have been American soul music (Otis Redding, Sam and Dave, Booker T. And the M.G.s, Al Green, Sly and the Family Stone, Earth Wind and Fire, all the Motown artists) and English progressive rock (YES, Genesis, Gentle Giant, ELP, Jethro Tull, Moody Blues.)

They may seem like opposites, but to me they’re exactly the same. Beautiful melodies, smart arrangements, hot playing and most importantly, a transcendent spirituality. Put it this way: the notes are cool, but the space between the notes is where God lives. And come to think of it, those two streams certainly have their headwaters in the church, don’t they? American gospel and English high church! What a celebration.

Side note: I also really love those rootsy sounds from the old timey country world. Dobros and Martins. They have such a resonance, both sonically and culturally. Paddle faster if you hear banjos, though.

Side note #2: Oh, yeah, the Beatles!

A List of Links You’re Likely to Like


Just for fun!

” If you’re not drowning, you’re a lifeguard.”

The intersection of spirituality and fitness, with a heaping helping of awesome.

A positive path for spiritual living.

Demographics and more.

Frugality, smart investing and a bias for bicycles can lead to an entirely different way of living and thinking about life. Is it possible to retire at 30? This couple did. What does it mean for the world when lots of people make these kinds of choices?

News and commentary. Smartly written, reasonably objective. The magazine version is 160 years old!

The name says it all.

For those of us who like to write music using notation software.

For those of us who like to produce music with our Macs.

My favorite keyboards by far.

My favorite guitars by far.

‘Cause it’s fun to look at houses, you know it is.

Ha! Did you click it?

The Bicycle People ™

Three years ago today …

When I was running this morning I passed one of the Bicycle People(tm). He was on his hands and knees, barfing like it was an Olympic event. His friends were looking on sympathetically through their iPhones.

I felt bad for him, so I offered some uplifting words of encouragement: “Hey! Too much breakfast, numb nuts!” And do you know, I think it did him some good, because he was able to gather his strength enough to raise one hand and offer me a salute as I went on my way.

. . . well, ok, I admit it, that second part didn’t actually happen, but it sure does make the story better.

Now you might be thinking, “ok Mike, yes, that is a little rude and maybe even marginally funny. What’s it got to do with our theme of raising it up?”

Just this: runners, hikers and bikers are really, really good encouragers. Really, really friendly and helpful. Really, really good at offering athletic support …

>”Stop right there! We see what you’re up to.”<

Ok, sorry, but it is true that if you’re lagging or struggling out there on the trail or in a race, especially in a race, people will cheer you on and help you over the line if need be. And you’ll just naturally want to do that for other people too. Upward spiral activated, hearts in motion, game on.

See you out there! Or should I say up there?

David Bowie’s Furniture

It seems that David Bowie was a sophisticated collector of art. No surprise, really. I was surprised, though, to learn that he had, among other things, an extensive collection of museum quality furniture. Would you like to see it? Well, you can if you’re in Central Florida right about now!

The Modernism Museum in Mt.Dora FL is the place.

The members only preview is October 26th at 6 pm. Music by yours truly!

You can learn more or become a member (well worth it, by the way) by visiting:

Starting on Friday the 27th, it’s open to the pubic. It promises to be, what’s the word? Well, what would be a good word to describe Bowie?


Opening October 27th!
Become a member today by visiting and enjoy the upcoming Member only preview event on October 26th. For more information call 352.385.0034
David Bowie, mourned by the world on his passing in 2016, was one of the most radical figures in recent popular culture. Memphis, founded under the leadership of Ettore Sottsass in Milan in 1981, was the most radical of all design groups. This exhibition brings them together. Bowie built up an extensive body of Memphis work over the years – iconic works by Sottsass and his colleagues, including Michele DeLucchi, Nathalie DuPasquier, Shiro Kuramata, and Martine Bedin. This exhibition, the largest gathering of Memphis objects ever presented in an American museum, includes over 75 examples, many from Bowie’s private collection. It is a fabulous opportunity to see Memphis as it should be seen – in profusion – and to experience the private world of a great pop visionary.


Hiking or Sauntering?

A quote from John Muir –

“Hiking – I don’t like either the word or the thing. People ought to saunter in the mountains, not hike! Do you know the origin of the word ‘saunter?’ Away back in the middle ages people used to go on pilgrimages to the Holy Land, and when people in the villages through which they passed asked where they were going, they would reply, A la sainte terre,’ To the Holy Land.’

And so they became known as sainte-terre-ers or saunterers. Now these mountains are our Holy Land, and we ought to saunter through them reverently, not ‘hike’ through them.”

Paula and I just came back from a few days in the mountains. And there was much sauntering!


Geeks and Prayer Warriors


What a blessing, what a gift! We’ve just come through a couple of hurricanes, Harvey and Irma by name, and it’s been rough for a lot of people. Rough? More like devastating. It helps, though, that we can have warnings and information when this happens. And it’s a downright miracle that we can stay in touch with our loved ones as the storm rages around us.

Let’s offer a mighty thank you to the scientists and tech innovators who push us forward. They’re in government, academia and business. And they rock.


What a blessing, what a gift! All over the world, people of faith and good will join their hearts together. We share love, we uplift each other, we raise up the energy of the world. And who knows, maybe we even make the waters move. God moves in wondrous ways.

Let’s offer a mighty thank you to all the big hearted people who join hands across the water and pray us into wholeness. They’re all over the world. And they rock.

Geeks and prayer warriors: I think we just might make it.

P.S. I know, storms don’t rage, but it made for a good sentence, don’t you agree? 🙂


Top 10 Things I Like About Being a Musician

10. Work and play are interchangeable words.

9. When I wave my arms, people speed up and slow down. Sometimes they speed up and slow down when I’m not waving my arms. This teaches me to be patient.

8. Green rooms.

7. It’s the second best connection you can make.

6. Applause and money are nice, don’t kid yourself.

5. The notes are an awesome, intricate and endlessly fascinating structure. The space between the notes? That’s where God lives.

4. Any rock musician who’s honest will tell you that wires and amps and guitars and keyboards and drums are just cool all by themselves. Many rock musician spouses do not subscribe to this philosophy.

3. Reading a chart, writing a song, improvising or working a dance groove are all a rush, not unlike riding a bike or driving a car, or, I would imagine, walking a high wire. It feels good to move forward, and the knowledge that you could crash and burn at any moment concentrates the mind. Very Zen, eh?

2. Speaking of Zen, making music is it. You lose yourself, the spirit moves and the mystery shakes you. World within worlds, atoms and universes, same thing.

1. Nine is enough. What are the top ten things you like about your life?