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Category Archives: Performing


Photo by atmtx

Pat’s performance in our home yesterday was amazing, so moving. We invited just a few people each evening for a four-day series of live recordings for his next CD – Alive Again! It is such a privilege to live with a great musician and performer! To have friends and family come to our home to participate in making a live CD! It has been good for me to just let go of all my projects for a few days and be part of the support team for Pat’s recording and special anniversary, to go along for the ride, helping, cleaning, preparing food, listening, anticipating needs, ringing a temple bell at the right time, appreciating the moment. It felt relaxing.

We support each other in our artistic endeavors and are blessed with many friends who also support us, listen to our latest sentence or the beginning of a new piece of music. His producer is a dear friend and an amazing musician who also practices meditation and Qi Gong with us in the mornings. He seems to be a favorite of our granddaughter. He must be special because he didn’t get as many “tickets” for “talking too much” or “embarrassing me” as I did. We had fun while accomplishing important work.

All artists need support. All humans need support. Gigantic trees need support. Giving it is even more wonderful than receiving it.

How are you being supported and supporting others today?

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by John Althouse Cohen_______________________

You might ask this question if you notice a gap in blog entries here.  Summer vacation?  Can a serious writer ever take a vacation, you ask?  Or have family obligations or other interests that permit a pause in writing?  Don’t we need to write every day to keep our skills sharp?  Aren’t we compelled to write?  YES!  And I have continued to write every day, even yesterday on the second day of a medical procedure that required three days of fasting and general anesthesia two days running (one of my shortest ever journal entries).  But I am not yet open enough to the world to publicly share my daily journal.  Perhaps after my death you’ll see those boxes of hand-written journals dating back to 1969 and the computer journals from the last eight years.   Is that selfish?  Prudent?  Shall I try a few to see what you think?

But there has also been exciting progress on the book during this gap in blogging.   Since my guitarist husband had already scheduled to have his producer here to record his four days of live performances, Tony also did two sessions with me.  The first was a 45 minute recording of a guided meditation similar to ones I do for women’s retreats and the second a recording of the introductions to the first several chapters of my book, The Power of Love.  Shall I post one when I receive them?

Have you recorded your voice reading your own writing?  How did you feel about the process?

Photo by Patrick Smith

Thank you, Susan Faucon,  for including our new creative works in your fabulous variety show – “Voices from the Heart.” (www.killerstilts.com).  I have allowed a few close friends to read selections from my book, but this was my first opportunity for a formal public reading.  I chose introductions from the first three chapters.  The setting is the day of our sentencing for three federal felonies – May 6, 1970 – only two days after the Kent State massacre.

” Escape?  Flee?  Find George, tell him everything and ask him for contacts and money to fly to Cuba?  My stomach churns on acid and water, no food, not able to eat this morning, too conflicted, too afraid.  The fear is unfamiliar, new, a fear for someone other than myself.  I have been so careless with my life, my future….Does safety exist for me?  Can I ever be free again?”

The writing of this book has taken on a life of its own.  It is now a living entity that carries my heart and words but also has an existence apart from me.  Sharing it publicly feels a bit like sending a child off to school alone.  Will she be received well by the other students?  By teachers?

I am grateful to each audience member who listened deeply and gave me feedback.  I am grateful to Susan for the opportunity.  But most of all,  grateful to my husband for his patient and loving encouragement throughout the writing process.  Writing can sometimes be a lonely effort that perhaps no one else will understand or appreciate.  I saw a new level of understanding and appreciation in the eyes of many last night…just as it has been there for years in my husband’s eyes.

How appropriate that this unleashing of my book should coincide with our 16th wedding anniversary and a full moon.

Tomorrow evening I will be reading from my book The Power of Love at the Voices from the Heart Community/Unity Variety Show.  This is a very exciting moment for me and several of the other artists performing new works for the first time in public.  I am particularly grateful to the producer of this event for offering a similar opportunity four years ago.  Although that event never happened, I was inspired to begin writing my book with publication in mind.  The writing process revealed new themes and a deeper understanding of my own experiences.

So, tomorrow, I come to the Community/Unity Variety Show with a completed book, 39 chapters long.  Of course, I will only read short introductions to the first three chapters.  The setting for the reading is my sentencing for three federal felonies for burglary and destruction of property at the Dow Chemical lobbying office in Washington, DC in March, 1969 as part of the DC-9, a “Catholic Left” anti-Vietnam War group.

“I stretch out my stockinged and healed foot toward the Federal courthouse step and quickly pull it back near its partner.  Should I actually climb these steps that could lead me to 35 years in prison or run down Constitution Avenue and flee?”

I hope those of you in the DC metro area will join us.