Wednesday, November 5, 2008

We, Troubadours, have never been more proud to be American than in this defining & divining moment! Let us all "Be the Change we wish to see..." and remember "all things are possible to those who believe". Love trumps fear and hope is the bridge to everywhere...let's meet each other in the middle of this miracle .
The wisdom & words of our President Elect, Barack Obama echo our hearts in this incomparable moment of HOPE...

"If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible; who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time; who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer.

It's the answer spoken by young and old, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, black, white, Latino, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, disabled and not disabled - Americans who sent a message to the world that we have never been a collection of Red States and Blue States: we are, and always will be, the United States of America.

It's the answer that led those who have been told for so long by so many to be cynical, and fearful, and doubtful of what we can achieve to put their hands on the arc of history and bend it once more toward the hope of a better day.

It's been a long time coming, but tonight, because of what we did on this day, in this election, at this defining moment, change has come to America.

This is our chance to answer that call. This is our moment. This is our time - to put our people back to work and open doors of opportunity for our kids; to restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace; to reclaim the American Dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth - that out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope, and where we are met with cynicism, and doubt, and those who tell us that we can't, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people:

Yes We Can. Thank you, God bless you, and may God Bless the United States of America. "
--President Elect, Barack Obama


There IS still hope, now let us take THIS moment in our hands and as Dreamers & Doers be Dreamers that Do working together to form a perfect reUNION of minds, spirits & hearts.
Our hearts embrace this truth that change has come and now...

"...let us summon a new spirit of patriotism; of service and responsibility where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not only ourselves, but each other".--President Elect, Barack Obama

God Bless You all,
God Bliss You all,
God Bless & Bliss America,
Love to ALL our Brothers & Sisters,
your troubadours of divine bliss

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Singin', Workin', Dreamin' (Again) With the Troubadours of Divine Bliss (Louisville Music News Cover Story)

Photo of Troubadours of Divine Bliss
Photo By Photo by Laura Roberts
Troubadours of Divine Bliss
Singin', Workin', Dreamin' (Again) With the Troubadours of Divine Bliss
By Tim Roberts

Whate'er the theme, the Maiden sang

As if her song could have no ending;

I saw her singing at her work,

And o'er the sickle bending; --

I listened, motionless and still;

And, as I mounted up the hill,

The music in my heart I bore,

Long after it was heard no more.


--William Wordsworth,

"The Solitary Reaper"

Let's give Middle Ages a break, huh? Lots of great things happened, even if plagues wiped out a third of the population of Europe and peasants feasted on dirt five nights a week (that's actually an exaggeration: two nights they feasted on dirt, the rest of the time they gnawed on straw; and the old folks, the ones who lived past 45, would say, "Back in my day we didn't have straw to gnaw on. We had to carve rocks into thin pieces to look like straw. And we were thankful. And we had to make our own snow to walk to school in, and had to build our own hills to get to it. Hell, we had to invent schools and snow and hills. And we were still thankful").

So consider what we got from the time of plagues n' dirt feasts:

Courtly Love (not Courtney Love), Chaucer and Dante, the Magna Carta, gorgeous illuminated manuscripts of all kinds of books created by monks, herbalism, the Arthurian Legends, Beowulf, Marco Polo venturing east and and bringing back spaghetti (which means it was probably the Chinese who originated the phrase, "Eat this, it'll make you feel better."), breathtaking Islamic architecture.

And the troubadours.

They were an all-in-one entertainment bargain: they wrote music and poetry and sang them both, they played instruments, they danced. Springing from what was believed to be their origin point in southern France, they traveled and performed their pieces in the language of the people. The speculation is that some troubadours were also Cathars, the mystical sect the Catholic church considered heretical, fighting against them to the point where ten thousand French troops laid siege to a Cathar castle at Montsgeur in 1244. Many of them were burned when they renounced their faith. Days earlier, though, the story goes that several others slipped away from the castle, taking some kind of "treasure" with them.

"We love to go over [to Europe] once a year to balance out the states a little bit," said Renee Ananda. "They're very receptive to the music. We visited the land of the troubadours in southern France. We were on Montsegur and we climbed 768 steps to get to the top where there were these old temple ruins. We stayed up there to watch the sunset. We had been from castle to castle and to all these magical little places.

"And it was about dusk and we were coming down the mountain, just Aim Me and I, and there were tea lights and papers from troubadours. The papers had all this poetry and mystical things written in French. It was really magical."

"We translated it," said Aim Me Smiley, "and it said we're still here. We're still alive. The Cathars and troubadours were one in the same. They were connected."

"It was cool. It was a message from the troubadours."

Aim Me Smiley and Renee Ananda are also troubadours. Specifically, they're the Troubadours of Divine Bliss, a duo consisting of Smiley's acoustic guitar, Ananda's accordion, vocal harmonies more rich than State Fair fudge, and a stage presence that brings the best parts of an intimate cabaret performance and a circus in microcosm. If the spirits of the troubadours of medieval times did indeed send them messages of affirmation for what they do, it's only because the Troubadours have had a message for anyone who listens to them: find your dreams, live your dreams, free your dreams, find your bliss. And have lots of fun along the way.

Since their story was last chronicled in this publication eight years ago, the Troubadours have toured Europe, welcomed a new Blissdog into their family (a black lab named Miracle that Ananda had found abandoned one rainy night on their farm, as a young puppy with its eyes barely open) to join their 16-year-old Lhasa Apso named Blossom, acquired a new Blissmobile (a sleek Dodge Ram minivan, replacing the old late 70s rust-patched Chevy that had taken them across and around the nation), and spent their non-music-playing hours at home at their farm in southern Indiana in a remote area they've dubbed "As You Wish" woods, a name borrowed from The Princess Bride. And as any fan of the book or movie knows, when the farm boy Westley said those words to Buttercup anytime she asked him to do something, he was actually saying, "I love you." He also said, while serving his term as the Dread Pirate Roberts, "Life is suffering ... anybody who tells you otherwise is selling something."

And there's something else new: a self-produced CD, Sacred Letters of Surrender, a follow-up to the double-live set, Off the Cuff, from two years ago. While Off the Cuff caught the Troubadours at their showy best, with fun songs and a few ribald jokes with the audience, with Sacred Letters they turn inward. Most of the songs are based on letters, one written by Smiley's brother while he was in jail in Bowling Green and another based on the words of Ananda's grandfather after his wife of 53 years died, that explore pain, loss, frustration, anger.

But the words in the letters get worked through the Troubadours' own kind of magic. They are transformed into something different, maybe something clearer, without completely stripping away the feelings that created them. It is as if you handed them a block of stone and they managed to carve and polish it into a globe of marble.

"We started realizing that, over the years, we started telling other peoples' stories more and more," Ananda said, "and really embracing the moments and experiences of people. Everybody has a story to share. People coming by choice, or not by choice, to that moment of surrender in their lives."

"There are some deeply personal songs, too," added Smiley, "like a journal entry of sorts, or like a prayer you say to yourself. It's all about letting go. A lot of people, understandably so, are geared toward numbing themselves. Whether it's working to much, watching too much TV. We hope that these songs are kind of an outlet to have feelings. Sit with them, have them, and surrender them."

Their first release, There's No Place Like OM, was followed by Dressing Room for Eternity, the title of which was taken from something Ananda's late grandmother told her: "Renee, our life right now is just a dressing room for eternity." Two more releases later, which includes the double-disc set Off the Cuff, recorded live at a club in Cleveland, Ohio, they now share Sacred Letters of Surrender, featuring a batch of guest musicians from their gigs all across the nation. To be sure, a theme of surrender runs through most of their music. But the surrender is worth it if you are giving up the one thing that is preventing you from freeing your dreams and finding your bliss.

In a way, it was a surrender of sorts that started their journey as friends and musicians when they were both teenagers at the same Pentecostal church in a small town outside Louisville. Ananda was 16 and playing the church organ. Smiley was 13 and bouncing up the aisle as the "Faith Bunny" during an Easter pageant. Ananda's father was the minister; Smiley's was the deacon. After a nasty schism that, even all these years later, is still is either too painful or ridiculous to discuss, Smiley's dad kicked Ananda's dad out of the church. All during their teen years and up through young adulthood, the two young women kept in touch. Ananda graduated from Evangel College in Springfield, Missouri with a degree in broadcasting, got married and ended up selling computer networks. Smiley, meanwhile, studied theater at Indiana University and DePaul University in Chicago, sang in a duo called Cooper's Eden, and performed a two-woman show called Tango Palace.

Ananda felt her life, packed to her hair follicles with stress, was falling apart. She called Smiley. The two reunited, questioned what they were doing with their lives. Ananda surrendered her life of comfort, predictability and its accompanying craziness. Smiley surrendered a show and a life of a solitary libertine. Together, with an accordion, a guitar, and a pair of voices, they became the Troubadours of Divine Bliss.

The feud that drove their father's apart but put them together has shown some vague sign of healing, as Ananda described.

"A couple of years ago, my dad and my mom and my brother were at Cracker Barrel in Shelbyville, and this guy walks up and says, ‘Steve!' And they're shaking hands and talking. Everything was great. It was [Aim Me's] dad. So her dad goes and gets his table, and my family finally sits down, and my brother and mom are looking at him. They're like, ‘What just happened?' He said, ‘What do you mean? And who was that guy, anyway?'

"They had a reunion, and he did not even know it was her dad."

So while time might have dulled the memory of one, the other seems to have sealed off the acrimony behind him.

"They're both forgiving and lovable guys," Ananda said. "They're not going to go out and play tennis together. But they'll shake hands at Cracker Barrel anonymously."

They were grandiose visionaries, as Smiley described them, to the point where they performed an Easter drama for their congregation, complete with an ascending Christ.

"Renee's father had the ceiling cut out of the top of the church," Smiley said. "so that Jesus could ascend. My dad was Jesus, in a loin cloth and eyeliner and mascara."

"Nobody knew what was going to happen," Ananda said, "but the mood was elevating and the music was lifting. Then all of a sudden we heard ... arrrrriiikkkkk Aarrrriiiikkk. They had rigged up this pulley and had fashioned it into the loin cloth of her dad. And he was really ascending. But it wasn't smooth. It was jerky. He'd go up a little bit and stop. Up a little bit and stop. And you could hear the arrrriiikkkk."

"My dad was getting the wedgie from hell," Smiley added.

"But they got him up there, then he had to bungee back down for the resurrection. So you can see they'd been through a lot together."

As have their daughters, as musicians and now as activists. The Troubadours of Divine Bliss have now taken the themes found in a lot of their songs and put them into action.

"In the past year we were awarded a grant from the Kentucky Foundation for Women," Ananda said, "to work with survivors of abuse."

"It's called the Mariposa Project," Simley said. "Mariposa means butterfly in Spanish."

"And all with the intention of giving women an opportunity to express the trauma and the abuse through workshops, journaling, collage, music, poetry."

"We have these Heart Workshops, what we're calling these home retreats where we've gone into women's homes and also into different neutral facilities. It's a three-hour workshop where we give the women journals. We do a collage on the back of the journal, which is in the outline of a woman's body, [expressing] where they've been and what they've experienced. They make it inside that outline. On the cover is a butterfly. It gives them the opportunity to experience art as healing. Through those visuals comes poetry because you write about what you just did visually."

"It gives them words," Ananda added, "that they didn't know. We encourage them not to second guess. By the time they've collaged the front and back, they have the words. The images are now metaphors for what they've experienced and expressed what they've buried."

They have also started a pair of organizations, the Tree of Life Alliance and Mighty Kindness. Tree of Life is a forestry preservation organization and Mighty Kindness is a community resource web site listing and linking to all kinds of other social organizations, community organizations, volunteer services, and local farms and farmers markets.

"It's really important," Smiley said, "that we build our connections and our community. There are so many amazing organizations springing up."

"That's been the point of Mighty Kindness," Ananda said. "Helping those visions come together so that nobody's duplicating efforts, so people can fan each other's flames."

That doesn't mean the Troubadours of Divine Bliss have stopped performing. They still, in their words, spend evenings on their porch tapping their toes and writing music. They have their gigs at Clifton's Pizza, the Blue River Cafe in Indiana, and the Third Avenue Cafe, and a regular Sunday night performance at the Hideaway Saloon.

"We've been hosting an Open Stage for the Sage at the Hideaway," said Smiley, "which has now been informally dubbed Church on the Rocks. It has that great kind of spiritual community feel. And it's completely open to all. But it's particularly about performing and freeing your dream. People from San Francisco, other countries, say they've never experienced anything like this before because they caught the ahhhh in Jah." Jah, of course, being an abbreviation of Jehovah.
(Troubadours here...noting that we were comically misunderstood, as we actually said, the "Awe of Ya'll", which many of you know what we mean regarding COTR, and it was heard as "Awe of Jah" which was decoded as an abbreviation of Jehovah.;-)
What Aim Me Smiley and Renee Ananda do as the Troubadours of Divine Bliss is an art form that has survived nearly 800 years, a blessed task that has them take music, poetry, and joy to the streets and taverns and into homes. That task, reflected in the epigraph by Wordsworth, is one that slips a song into your heart, one that you carry along.

And in that song might be a message, a call to act on something or think about an issue, or even be the tiny key that unlocks the big dream you've always had.

"We're still playing anywhere we can be soft or loud and tell stories," Smiley said.

"Troubadouring has been the central chord," Ananda said. "These other things have been woven into it to make it stronger."

The carnival of bliss is always open at www.troubadoursofdivinebliss.com. You can also get connected at www.mightykindness.org.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Troubadours Live Lunch Performance - LISTEN NOW!

Troubadours of Divine Bliss
on WFPK's Live Lunch

to listen to the Live Lunch Audio Archive
from Sept. 5th, 2008
A heartfelt thank you to all of you who supported us
at both our Live Lunch performance & at our CD Release.
What an amazing day of music & mingling of hearts & souls!!
We are in AWE of you, our beloved awedience! You are
our family of bliss and we are eternally grateful to you
for all of your goodness!!
Immeasurable gratitude to our fellow troubadours
who gave their simply divine gift of music...
Sarah Bielish on Cello
Mando-Rando Brewer on mandolin & bass
Steph Dlugon on violin
Nick Payne on drums & percussion and video
This divine day has infused our spirits beyond belief!
We are on tour right now, but we can't wait to get home
sit on the front porch and write some more
songs & letters for us all to sing & dance along together
You travel with us
You are the muse in our music
All love to you divine ones,
your troubadours
aim me & renee

Friday, August 1, 2008

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Summer of Bliss 1996 III

Summer of Love part trois
August 1996
So we tried to enter into Canada and were denied because we said we were street performers so we made a U-turn and drove to a different entry point, put a package of maxi pads in the front window and said we were on vacation -we got right in. Couldn't afford the ferry to Victoria and Vancouver was pretty and clean but dry as a dead leaf...more concerned with buying a blouse than listening to free music-invisible! Trekked to Calgary and made it on fumes.Played downtown to a lukewarm reception. Drove to Bamf (excuse me) and found out you had to pay a fee to enter the town(National Park)...we just sped up and drove in. Played on the streets to a fantastic reception before we were shut down for no permit.Made a group of friends- one Indian, a Canadian ranger, a black Canadian and 2 American troubadours...we talked under the full moon at a picnic table by the lake. "What will become of this world? What do people want?...to be happy with themselves" On to Regina (ha ha)the capitol...no place to play...on to Winnepeg- where they say they eat their young- played a festival and busked at an inside market. Played the Fat Angel Blues Bar where I got stupid drunk, performed horribly and swore I'd be a troubadour no more. Also where we met Dwayne "don't just think about it" Duecke Duecke Duecke (who wrote the song that we sing "Are You Leaving?") He introduced us to Frasier, radio personality and wild witchwoman.We stayed with them for a week and fell under their spell. Left for Ottawa- Ottawa is FUN! Looked for Bob.Played the open air market and did well. Met mystical older woman teacher.Decided Montreal would be our last stop. got lost and woke up in a multi-million dollar subdivision.Made coffee next to car in front of a fancy house.Owner came out and we thought we were busted, started conversation, ended up played their daughters 3rd Birthday party, made $300 bucks and slept inside their house that night;] couldn't play streets of Montreal because it rained constantly,slept in a cul de sac .man came out to the car yelling at us in French holding a shot gun telling us to leave, he came back out because he felt bad, fed us breakfast and we played music with all afternoon.We followed our Bliss and the Divine Destiny that blazed our trail and headed home to N'awlins to start a whole new adventure.

Summer of Bliss 1996 II

Summer of Bliss- part deux
July 1996
Left Park City,Utah and drove all the way to Sunnyvale,California to visit friends Jeanne and Howard. Rested for a few days then took the train into San Francisco. Tried busking downtown, Fisherman's(permit), Castro-Disastro,Mission-no dice...should have tried Haight-Ashbury. Went to Santa Cruz instead.WOW! Wonderful exchange with people.invited to do a 2 hour radio show. Head up the coast to Cresent City,CA. We renegade camp on a cliff over-looking the ocean...breathtaking.Renee leaves her body and I leave my mind. Next stop, Eugene,OR, go to the Redwood Forest...so completely mesmerizing! In Eugene, no camping but the ranger invites us to camp in their front yard which happens to be next door to a dairy farm..uugggg! Can't sleep because of stink.Put eucalyptus up my nose.It doesn't work.Don't play Eugene.market too small but have a fun time and run into friend from Chicago.On to Seattle.Play Fremont market.Meet Camel photographers party at Cosmos.Tell us the story of "Amy Van Idden...where are you hiding?" Played the hill, downtown and the market but no permit so no play.Saw Sizzlin Sue Corcoran, the filmmaker, and she took picture for our first CD. Left for Canada! Rejected. We were honest and said that we were coming to street perform and they said,"You're not coming into our country and begging for $$ from our people!" U-turned and tried another point of entry.
to be continued...

Summer of Bliss 1996 I

busking 27,000 miles across the US & Canada(cliffnotes)
May 24 1996 at 25
First summer on the road and we troubadoured 27,000 across America and Canada in a Mazda 626. We left New Orleans and headed to Bloomington for my sister,Cami's, Birthday then to Louisville for a couple of weeks where we played Twice Told and The Rud. Then we went to Chicago for 5 days . We busked on the Miracle Mile where we were tipped a Cowabudza & $100 in a High Times magazine from a mysterious man carrying a saxophone. Subway- DUDway.Spent time with old friends, Astra, Jen, John, Kitty Kat,Ric then headed for the National Rainbow Gathering in southern Missouri. Make it there where close to 20,000 people are gathered in the forest.Run into Monk the Drunk from New Orleans. He was in the gravel parking lot of the forest in a stretch limo with neon lights, pulling forward and back 20 feet drinking moonshine and rumplemintz. We play and have an incredible experience! Leave a week later with hope for humanity.Head for Boulder,Colorado. Make friends with Double Dig musician commune-Jaime,Maya,Stacy and are invited to camp there while in town.Go to "hippie church" in the park with Rev.Friendly,play on Pearl Street...fantastic!!! Meet musician goddess Libby Kirkpatrick.Meet Gordon who was spun for 25 years by a skinhead who slipped him 500 hits of acid. Meet Exadour who changed his name based on a character from the TV show "Mork & Mindy", an old rebel who sells rolling papers. Judy, our Mazda, breaks down and we have to make $1200 to fix her.Hitchhike into town and play for two weeks.Write "stuck between Boulder and a Hard place" and finally leave for Aspen. Judy breaks down in the hills and is towed back to Boulder.3 days later back on the road to Aspen.Beautiful camping- dead town-rich and stingy.Go to Salt Lake City Utah and play across from the Mormon Temple...not such a good idea...nobody listened and we almost got arrested.Found out about a festival outside of town in Park City. Set up at festival-did well-then booted off for no permit.Played a restaurant for $75. Met up with a Rugby Team in the park and they offered $200 for us to play-RUGBY ROCKS! California here we come! to be continued...

the Seed of a Dream "Journey"6

the seed of a dream "Journey"6
New Orleans April 8, 1996
I can't believe how Destiny wants...is always just waiting for you to ask her to dance. I can't believe this dream unfolding. Dancing on nothing and having a ball! Playing on the street is an amazingly transformative experience...for me...to try out these new wings and this voice that longs to be a vessel...for the people we encounter who are ready to share themselves, their secrets, their hopes and secret dreams. People are on vacation and in an altered reality and there is no barrier on the street between us and them so we have incredibly meaningful, intimate encounters with glorious people from all over world. I am so thankful for this journey.
May 1996 at 25
Someone tipped us their Alcoholics Anonymous 20 year anniversary Coin tonight...incredible.
A woman approached us on the corner on the full moon.The soothsayer prophesied as the smoke curled around her eyes- a galaxy within her mind.She had a moustache and was missing several teeth and if it weren't for her birdsnest chest- you might mistake her for a man. Her laughter told of hardship, hunger for life and too many cigarettes.I trusted her completely and believed that she was, indeed, a modern day sage able to leap chasms of Time.Perhaps, it was her skin, wrinkled deep and ancient like a tree, that convinced me she had mystical connections.I opened myself- I didn't want to be caught hiding-and let her see into my life- every shame, triumph, sin, abuse and miracle. When she smiled, I knew that she had accepted my unveiling.
May 17th, 1996
Singing songs on a New Orleans street while a distracting madman claps his hand off beat
Smoking with 3 French boys in the rain, exchanging stories and rings
Listening to Tori Amos as we drive out of town, thinking of Seven and hoping she's got her guitar by now
If I die a dog, will I come back as a bone?

Wild beasts of spontaneity "Journey"5

Wild Beasts of Spontaneity from "Journey"
April 3,1996 at 25
No Songs today, not even music, just quiet peace...I don't have to move or speak but just be...right here...now...the best present you can present to yourself is giving yourself The Present. My Muse is louder now than the demons and ghosts. And I find I have plenty to say in my own time, in my own particular way.SSSsshhh,sweet girl, lead with the love in your heart.Sweet girl, continue to believe in your dreams then give them a life of their own.
Garden of Lost Dreams
"I'm in love with everything," he echoed, looking up from the well of himself."I finally see- it's all magic. And the magic is growing, spreading into every aspect of my life. I can't describe it or name it, but I can see clearer into the heart of my Soul. I searched the frontier of my Self and discovered a forgotten land where nothing grew until it was introduced to Light...then it flourished.
He was a kind-eyed writer and my favorite regular at the Wishbone. He asked for another diabolical dollup of gravy for his mashed potatoes then peered into me and said,
"The wild beasts of spontaneity are clawing to free themselves from your caged soul."
And that was the last day I waited on a table or worked a regular job again.

Taking the Leap '95 "Journey" 4

Taking the leap 1995
June 1995
Such a little girl- really-unprotected and compulsively voracious in her conceitful deceit.
Slipping in and out of realities and personalities,
missing target after target when-BOOM-
all of the sudden,,,a shining moment of revelation
of resuscitation. Why so slippery this truth?
June 1995
I am working as a temp in an office. Silent noise. Put me in an office and I feel like a clown with red nose and big shoes. It just seems so ridiculous to me- the business world. Stern. Anal. Uptight.All the things I'm not. Putting yourself in diverse and multi-dimensional realities allows you to see yourself in MANY ways. It's exploration and different shades of your soul. When I let go of judgement, the world becomes much less hostile.
July 1995
I met Cup'n coin, a wandering gypsy street performer and realize what I want to do for the rest of my life. CARPE DIEM! Seize the Day!
December 1995
Needing to clear the mental brush from my mind, I find that I'm full of feelings left without healing, dreams that are just out of reach. My body is weak and my soul is meek but my heart is racing.
Here in New Orleans. Self the same but different somehow. To be alone with myself is still many things that I have not accepted and don't understand- the dialogue is staccato and progress is demand, dreams are dreamy. Lift the Light from the dawn of Siren's Night. Distill the buzz of passion's potent gulp and make your own universal yelp out of the Unknown. Dance awhile amid the heap of yesterdays regret, fingers full of atonement of the lesser god's losing bet. I'm not sure how to say what I feel. I don't know how to claim what is mine but, I'll take my suitcase full of hope and dreams out under a streetlamp in New Orleans.

The match has been lit '95 "Journey" 3

The match has been lit Summer '95
May 1995 24 yrs
I define my lines before you and shed my wetted burden of fear. I arch my back in protest in reverie of desire because naked freedom is stunning. I never before deserved you and I never before deserved my Life because I didn't embrace it. A sad thing- the fear of God.
But I will burn myself from the inside- out. The match has been lit.
June 1995
My head has been lowered far too long and I, with all myself, refuse to be fearly ashamed of my Life. My silent prayer will always be echoing through my mind, unbridled and unabashed love and living. No constraints on fulfillment. No shields. No barriers. No walls.
A wise man once said to me, "You gotta play all your cards- every last one of them." The guy who dies having played all his cards wins the game. If not- who knows- maybe you gotta come back to finish your hand. I wanna play every fuckin card I've got.

Ragamuffin angel "Journey" 2

Ragamuffin angel Journey 2
March 13,1995 24 yrs
The first fly of spring bounces on my knee while I sit on the backporch of our apartment in Chicago trying to find my place in this world.
Waiting tables, waiting in the wings, waiting to unveil my self. I was forced deep inside, now I'm reaching into that dark place to retrieve me from the buried core. I don't have to be afraid to be vulnerable anymore. I can walk confidently in loong, smooth lines with so fresh life! All I know is that your life grows longer when you slow it down and realize that there are more moments than you thought...
I, in my ragamuffin hat and smudged nose, turn my sparkles upwards to stare at the gods...And that ball of fire, light years away, comes all the way to kiss my forehead and touch my cheek-How lucky am I!
March 16, 1995
O Great Spirit, Creator, Mother Earth, Father Sky, Angels lead me, help me. I am open, I'm willing. I offer humility and surrender. I fill myself with Light. I will reconstruct the Temple from the dust. I will build my house on the Rock of resurrection. This is a call upward.
Be as bold as the Wind- sweeping itself against everything
Be as wise as the Trees who stand silently firm in the fulfillment of themselves
Shed your skin as a snake does when it's flesh has become dull and unreceptive
Ride with the wave of change trusting that it's force is carrying you closer to your Truth

3:20 PM - 1 Comments - 2 Kudos - Add Comment - Edit - Remove
Lost in the Emerald City 1st Entry 3/8/95
"Journey of a Soul seeking the Divine"
March 8th, 1995 24 years old
I am writing my first pages and it doesn't feel very safe. I have a bitter 24 hour censor living in me that I would very much like to demolish. I'm already scrutinizing what I'm writing. I feel terribly insecure about everything lately. Am I going forwards or backwards? Thank God the sun's light is brilliant and clear today. I can't seem to hold on to anything. I am loaded with self-consciousness. I feel like a vacuum. My self worth and self-confidence is too fragile. I need to build up my base-what do I consist of? I am constantly reminding myself what I am not. I need to free myself to play...expose my creative nature. What do I consist of?
I am whatever I allow myself to slip into- but what is the core? My censor is louder than my muse. There is a battle inside and I am determined that my magical true friend will win.
I am a complete mystery to myself.
I have looked so far outside of myself that the only place left to look is within.
March 9,1995
I need to call a truce.
I need to make friends with my censor and turn up the volume on my true Voice...forgotten like a child's favorite toy. I am reconstructing my Life.
I am teaching myself how to think, how to learn, how to eat, how to love, how to let go, how to pray, how to live fully. I am addicted to experience...wild,eccentric,mysterious,moody,scattered
funny,nice,flighty,bold,flirtatous,curious...I am a patchwork girl with a cheshire grin...
so young and tender was I as a child
shut down my world, withdrew my smile
I believe in my unique Destiny. I believe in my inner Light. I believe in my Voice. I will be open. I am free. I AM opened. I will look at myself with loving, compassionate eyes. I am Christ. You are Christ. I can only see you as Christ when I see myself as Christ

"Journey of a Soul seeking the Divine

Journey of a Soul seeking the Divine
Hi, Aim Me, here.
I was reading through my journals beginning the fall of 1995 and it became so clear what an extraordinary transformation I have been seeking...going from lost girl...finding Spirit...then becoming a Troubadour of Divine Bliss.
Of course, the journey never ends and I will always be seeking my purest Self . This is just an example of one Soul's journey back to herself and finding her Spirit along the way.
These entries are in mostly in chronological order starting in the fall of 1995 while living in Chicago, just discovering my voice, my dreams,my Spirit.
These are the musings of a lost girl on her way back hOMe. I am just posting them for anyone who finds comfort, direction or inspiration in them.
May you keep your eyes on the clearest gods and walk courageously in the direction of your dreams,
Aim Me

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Mariposas heARTwork shops


Wow, weeeellllll, so much for our regular blog posting but that just means we have been focusing on other things from completing our new CD "Sacred Letters of Surrender", to the spring Mighty Kindness gathering (check out http://www.mightykindness.org/) and the Mariposa Project for women who are survivors of abuse. We are starting these Home Retreats that have proven to be extremely transformative! We will also be making these available as we travel from town to town so if you are interested, please contact us at :troubadours@psci.net.
We also welcome men, who are also survivors, to host a Home
Retreat. Here is a little more info about the HeartWork:

This is a personal invitation from our hearts to yours inviting you to join us
healing the heart through the art of collage, storytelling, song, poetry and journaling.
A Mariposa (butterfly) leaves that which has held her captive in her life, that which has made her feel alone in darkness, trapped, and fearful that she'll never be free, in the cocoon of the past. How do you envision your future? If you were that butterfly, now free from restraint, how would you want to paint the canvas of the sky in all its infinite possibility? What do you see on the horizon that reveals to your heart the possibility of healing & hope?
It is a deeply troubling, unspoken reality that nearly two out of three women have been abused physically and/or sexually. The feminine spirit needs circles of healing to empower and nurture the warrior of the heart. If you are a woman who has survived sexual abuse, molestation, incest, rape, assault, and/or domestic violence you are invited to share this heART work with us.
The intention of this heARTwork shop is to be an invitation and introduction to self-care techniques and a healing path for your life. It is intended to be a support for your healing process that empowers you with tools to continue to use for growth.
What are Mariposa heART work shops?
Mariposa heART work shops are a powerful process for self discovery and expression. It is a journey into your soul through Journaling, Collage art, Poetry & Song. Art is the language of the Soul. Through the medium of collage you release piece by piece creating a beautiful mosaic from the shattered parts of your life . Journaling is a key that lifts veils and heals at it reveals. Mariposa heART workshops are a safe place to feel, to share, to dream, to let go and move forward with vision and a tool for healing in your life.
We will conduct guided intuitive collage and writing exercises that reflect on the inner dreams and voices that might otherwise remain unheard.
No art experience is necessary, as this is heARTwork!
What can you expect in a Mariposa heART workshop?
You can expect to nurture your authentic creative voice and realize that you are not alone as we explore in a creative circle. You can expect to be encouraged in your creative self-expression. You can expect deep listening & compassionate encouragement to live your deepest truth in all areas of your life and likewise be inspired to encourage others.
heART work gives you....
an open space to reflect on your dreams in a safe, supported environment
an opportunity to process hurt and to recover self empowerment
tools to empower your voice, heal your heart and continue soul-growth
a safe place to explore the ways in which life experience has influenced your relationships
an opportunity to offer compassion to others

a way of finding your voice and the transformative power of expression that opens your wings

When we share our personal art and reveal what we have learned from it with people who listen deeply, healing happens. Honest and open sharing, supported by the group invites each person's intuitive wisdom to guide their own life and inspire the lives and healing of others.

Like the butterfly, we must have the time in the cocoon, sitting in the stillness of ourselves,
in order to create the wings that let us fly!
. Please dress comfortably Space is limited but we encourage ALL women who are interested to please reply .
May your spirit soar like a butterfly who has opened her wings for the first time,
Aim Me & Renee
Troubadours of Divine Bliss

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Flight of a winged Heart

Thank you everyone for sending your beams of love, light and healing! They have reached the icy shores of Jake Hollow and the warmth of your hearts melted the snow and your Big Medicine of Love restored Aim Me's health!
"Every little cell in my body is happy.Every little cell in my body is well!"- It works!!
Well, this has given us some time to create press & posters for the Mighty Kindness Earth Day Hootenanny April 19th! It's going to be powerful fun! Tell yer friends...
We have also been doing research and finalizing the Mariposa Project- workshops for women who are survivors of abuse. We came across a new Heroine! Go check out http://www.angelshelton.com/. Watch the videos of her speaking engagements-amazing! She is a documentary filmmaker/screenwriter/ex-model/actress and true Goddess.
We are in mixing heaven and feeling really good about the CD. It's a journey of release & hope.The returning of the light after the eclipse(did you see the eclipse?..wonder full). It's going through the dark tunnel to reach the Light.
We have decided on the songs & order...
Wild Darling
Waterfall
Bird called Hope
Chantepleure
Ramanama
Somewhere Over the Rainbow
53 Years
L&N
Bowling Green, Kentucky
Learn to Love
Root
What If?
Dream to Wake

We still aren't sure what to call it. We keep saying poetic phrases to it to see what it will answer to...
Remember you are the Master of your Fate
the Captain of your Soul.
think Divine thoughts,
your troubadours

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Our Bliss Bubby

Our brother, the Minister of Mandolin!
Our kind brother, he makes our hearts flutter with his heartfelt music and transformative melody. Randy, aka "Mando Rando", laid down some weeping, wailing, rockin, haunting, ethereal,booty-shakin,waltzin, so you can dream Medicine on our new CD. He is so incredibly versatile, he shapeshifts into what the song longs for and gives the graces that the soul of the song needs. He even became Mando Chutney and played Tanpura, a sitar-like droning instrument, on "Ramanama". He then became Brother Bubby Bass Love and laid down some low end on "Dream to Wake", "Bowling Green","Waterfall" and "Bird called Hope".
We have known Mando for a long time, even had the honor of marrying him and his beloved, Sonia. We are continually amazed by how his musical talents keep us stunned & inspired but also the depth of his compassion, grace and devotion to his Spirit.
Mando Rando is our Bliss Bubby and we are so honored to make music with one so Divine!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Oh, that burning violin...

Oh, that burning violin
What a gift of goodness it was to have Steph Dlugon add her ethereal, experimental mingling to the music we are recording for our new cd! Steph is "our violinist". She is a tranformational gold thread woven through the tapestry of our songs. She is pure poetry.

It is an incomparable blessing to have someone harmonize with the soul of your songs. Steph always adds the longing, the lilting, the lifting, loving melodies to our music. She makes us weep in prayer and joy.

We are now even more excited about the new cd!
Heartfelt Gratitude to Steph for resonating with us so beautifully....for giving of her time & her inimitable talent on violin!!!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Sir Cup'n Coin

Sir Cup'n Coin...
*a serenade to serendipity...
an unbelieveably true tale that turned me into a troubadour

...all along on Clark Street in Chicago

Standin on the rooftop at sunset
smokin a cigarette, and I confess,
a lil high, cuz I'm wearing warm socks,
light shoes, a tremblin heart and
I refuse to let this moment pass me by...
Why should I? Live another dream
and not the miracle around me?
Not let the cool summer air -swim my skin
or the colors shake my bones or
the sounds- silence my noise?

I descended the stairs with the sun,
knowing then that night had just begun.
Cause you see I had a date with... my Self
and I couldn't be late
as I reached my destination at the bus stop.

My chariot arrived and I thrived on the
mumblings of the over-worked laborer,
song of the under paid everyday
same-shit-different-day man
but it's Friday night!
"TGIF" they whispered under their breath
tgif...."tGif" ......TGIF....TGif

It's Carpe Diem, baby,
you never know what you're gonna get
Keep your Heart, Ears, Eyes & Mind OPEN
and you'll never know what to expect
You might find a jewel in a trash can
You might meet your new best friend
You could tap dance with a beggar
and learn something you would never forget

Well, I moved with a strut and a curious smile
hoping for spark of magic all the while
When to my surprise- before my very eyes-
stood a shadowed door frame with nothing to claim
but a huge peacock feather and a cheshire cat grin...
I was secretly wishin to be invited in.

So I glanced down as I was about to round
the edge of his shoulder and
delivered a sincere nod and a look "I'd like to linger"

"Hello," he cooed, as he wooed me with his voice.
"My name is Sir Cup'n Coin."
"I'm sorry ....Sir.......what?"
"Cup'n Coin."
leaning into the streetlight,
so I could see him better....
tipping his maroon tweed golfer's hat
with yet another peacocok feather.
His face was tightly drawing back a wide-toothed grin,
donning a goatee, he was the color of cinnamin.

"You look like someone who appreciates a lil magic."
he taunted, knowing just what I wanted.
"Would you like to see me juggle?"
With a giggle and a soft ,"yes."
he unleashed his bag of tricks.

He rose a stately 5'2" and had a lazy eye
I could've sworn right there that Sammy Davis Jr. never died
tossing up the balls delicately balancing them all
on the tip of his finger.
Well, I've seen lots of jugglers but I never believed
that there was a living soul that could outwit gravity...like he
uh huh, it was magic...

It's Carpe Diem, baby,
you never know what you're gonna get
Keep your Heart, Ears, Eyes & Mind OPEN
and you'll never know what to expect
You might find a jewel in a trash can
You might meet your new best friend
You could tap dance with a beggar
and learn something you would never forget


Well, I offered up a rousing applause.
He took a graceful bow.
I introduced myself.
"Where are you going?"
"To the theater to see a play"
"Is it good?"
"I don't know but I'm going anyway."
"Would you mind if I join you? I could pay my own way."
"It'd be my pleasure."......well, I wasn't exactly sure
what I was getting into but it held
a certain promise of a supernatural voodoo...
and I was ready for that!

Like a well-seasonsed tramp, he had a swift steady stride,
carrying his backpack with the ease of his life.
A carnival shaman and lil ol' me...
we must of looked like two lost gypsies
looking for our Time Machine...
then he started to speak...he said,

"I hail from the city of Angels
and I swear I ain't never going back.
You see, I've been traveling for 20 years
and for 13 addicted to crack.
I was begging then, ghostly thin, lost within,
I hadn't discovered juggling yet.
But the dealers always knew, now,now,now
just where to find me
with the music of the coins
clanging against my cup, hence my name,
"Cup'n Coin" it's the same but I changed
and, baby, I swear I ain't never giving up

It's Carpe Diem, baby,
you never know what you're gonna get
Keep your Heart, Ears, Eyes & Mind OPEN
and you'll never know what to expect
You might find a jewel in a trash can
You might meet your new best friend
You could tap dance with a beggar
and learn something you would never forget

The tap of his cane was hitting the concrete
like a slap in the face and I could not erase my look of awe
I was amazed as he continued to tell his story of failed romance and the tragedy of circumstance-
"Do you dance?" he turned. I confirmed.
"Well, I do a little bit of dancing myself girl."

He leaned against a streetlamp and
let fall his house to the left of a hotdog stand
and *POOF* came to life...
this Louis Armstrong, Tom Waits character with
a voice of satin gravel and the moves of Fred Astaire
and the twirling skills of a 13 year old baton girl.
He held my heart like the cane that he spun and whirled.

Street scatin' with a Cheshire Cat, imagine that,
a transformed rat, a vegetarian bat ,a rat-atat-tat!
I'm an alleycat- now that's were it's at.
Always time for a lengthy chat.
I'm puttin' out the welcome mat so,
step inside my groovy flat.
There's room for everybody
so grab your favorite hattttttt!

Well, I stood there stunned....the reality of the illusion
came into focus and I became aware
there was no one there...I mean people passed but
no one stared. They just walked by heads hung with pride,
too embarrassed to try or cry or fly or dance with a gypsy
underneath the midnight sky....Why?
Would no one see this invisible dream?
Was I deceived? Well, then go ahead and laugh at me.
Because I was touched by the fingerless Hand
and what I saw right there made more sense then this whole damn land!

It wasn't about money or intoxicating honey,
a hateful funny or synthetic sunny,
power trips, Kings or Crips,
computer chips, silicone tits, academic wits
steroid wimps or religious pimps

It was about a homeless black man who traded in his
crack pipe for a set of juggling balls....
but that's not all-
dropping the mask....
taking the
fall
into transformation
of Self, addictions,
fear and pain
of a vacant parking lot
with nothing but....a hat and a cane...

I cheered louder than
Wrigley Field on a Sunday afternoon.

It's Carpe Diem, baby,
you never know what you're gonna get
Keep your Heart, Ears, Eyes & Mind OPEN
and you'll never know what to expect
You might find a jewel in a trash can
You might meet your new best friend
You could tap dance with a beggar
and learn something you would never forget

well, I'm never gonna forget, I'm never gonna forget,
I'm never gonna, I'm never gonna, I'm never gonna.
I'm gone.

Bluebeard

"Bluebeard" from the CD Dressing Room for Eternity

Once there was, once there was not.
In a land so far away & not far away enough,
there lived a cunning man asking for the hand
of a naive girl who believed in fairytales.

I knew Bluebeard. I knew Bluebeard's wife...
young and innocent, mesmorized, blushing bride.
He was a failed magician, lonely and dark.
He tried to steal her light to brighten up
the shadows in his heart

He woed her with horses tied in bells and crimson ribbon
He fed her savory stories and sweet dainty treats
She surrendered herself, fell under his spell,
her eyes turned blue as the beard on his face
dark as the ice in the lake.

Her sisters warned, "He is a man to be feared."
but the veil she wore hid the mask of Bluebeard
He took her to his castle of 100 doors
gave her keys to all of them-
except for one she should ignore!

He said I must leave for a time-
remember these words of mine!
But despite his plea she drank the potion curiousity
Invited her sisters to play the game, "Unlock the Maze"
going door to door to find out what the last key had in store

Somewhere behind a wall ,a shutting door cries
Only the forbidden key, shows what hides inside
She turns the lock, there she finds skeletons of hope
withered souls, decayed desires, ashes of neglected fire

The sisters slammed the door and shrieked all at once!
Shook the key free, it began to weep and bleed
it stained her dress and everything it touched
questions answered....can't be hushed

When Bluebeard returned he inquired of his newlywed,
"How was everything? Can I have my keys back again?
Where's the smallest? The one you weren't supposed to use?"

"I lost it!" she exclaimed, as blood ran down her silken gown

He moved his hand as if to caress her lovely cheek
then he grabbed her hair and dragged her down the stairs
"Infidel!" he yelled, "now you'll have to die!
I'll behead you like all my other wives."

There comes a time to shiver and run-
or draw the line.
That Blueberry-eyed maiden now had fire in her eyes!
She drew her deepest breath, summoned all the strength
that she had left, blew open the cellar tomb and
brought back to life those Widows of Doom

Somewhere behind a wall ,a shutting door cries
Only the forbidden key, shows what hides inside
She turns the lock, there she finds skeletons of hope
withered souls, decayed desires, ashes of neglected fire


The Wives encircled him, joined hands stirring a whirlwind.
As they began to dance, it broke the trance.
The illusion of Bluebeard dissappeared setting them all free.
I could still hear their laughter as
they rode into happily ever after
I could still hear their laughter as
they rode into happily ever after

I knew Bluebeard. I knew Bluebeard's wife...
young and innocent, mesmorized, blushing bride.
He was a failed magician, lonely and dark.
He tried to steal her light to brighten up
the shadows in his heart

yeah, I knew Bluebeard...I was Bluebeard's wife.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Two Punks Under God

Cloudy days and Mondays always get me...looking for the Sun...for light...today it was found in the inspiration of Jay Baker, One Punk Under God.

We had a wonderful tour through Missouri, Illinois & Indiana this week and just returned home last night around 3 am. After 4 late night shows in a row we were ready for a slow, savory Monday to unload the road. Today we found a pace of grace... We watched a marathon of "One Punk Under God", a 6 episode documentary that was featured on Sundance.

It is the story of Jay Baker, the son of Jim & Tammy Faye and his incomparable mission to start a revolution of grace. It is the story of his journey, of the detours that led him down a different road and off the beaten path into the alley of the alternative.

The billboard of his vision reads "show all people the unconditional love and grace of Jesus without any reservations due to their lifestyle or religious background, past or future".

We pulled off the "road" at the drive-in of the divine, started the marathon & began to unwind. The unwinding was more than a physical one...it was a emotional and spiritual journey into the unchartered territory of grace.

Like Jay, and many of you, we found that "religion kills" and spirituality heals. We were given the gift of having our hearts opened to God in the church. Likewise, we had the heartbreak of seeing the law of the church overrule love many times. We experienced the judgement and holier-than-thou law crucify Christ's law of love...that you "love your neighbor as yourself".

This has been the deadend for so many seekers who have given up on God, because the church gave up on them. The doors of the church have often been shut in judgement of a person's lifestyle, religious background or spiritual struggle. That air of holiness has slammed shut the hearts of many who have truly hungered for acceptance, community and to fulfil their calling.

Jay's ministry is giving heart & home to those who feel abandoned by the church. In one part of the documentary, a women tells Jay that before she came to his church, Revolution, she was giving God "one more chance". She was ready to tell God to F**K off. Jay visits a transgender woman who had her pastor ask her to never return to church again. Both of them were about to give up on God and their life purpose until they found a community that truly revealed to her the incomparable compassion of God's grace & unconditional love.

How many others has the church not chosen to save? How many has it cast into hell here on earth?

Jay's vision, his story, his gifts of grace are truly divine inspiration to live the law of love. So many people feel like outcasts and feel unworthy...they need a revolution.

We all need a revolution, and need to continue to keep that revived in our community of love at Church on the Rocks. We can continue to be ambassadors of unconditional love & grace. We can continue to accept & embrace and welcome into our community those who have never found their place.

A heartfelt thank you to Jay for his good works of grace. Please check out his website at:
http://revolutionnyc.com/
Buy or Rent the documentary "One Punk Under God"
Listen to messages here:
http://www.revolutionnyc.com/media.htour m#Audio

Let your heart be inspired to give more grace to yourself and to others. Long live the spirit! Long live the revolution!!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Recording a NEW CD!!!

Your Troubadours of Divine Bliss are recording a New CD!!!

We are very blissful to announce that many previously unrecorded songs will be included on this album. The process is going very well and has been our best recording experience ever!

There will be harmonies mingling with accordion & guitar, as well as guest musicians playing violin, mandolin, cello, bass & percussion.

Some songs that may be included are:
Wild Darling
53 Years
Learn to Love
Chantepleure
What If
Dream to Wake
Bird Called Hope: On the Lid of a Dreamer's Eye
Somewhere Over the Rainbow
Bowling Green
L & N
Ramanama
Cami's Rainbow
Come to the Root
Waterfall
and some more surprises

We have listed some lyrics to these songs in posts below

Stay tuned for more updates on the recording! We will be posting updates on the process and release dates on future bliss blogs!

YOU are the best AWE-dience of them all!!!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

CHANTEPLEURE

CHANTEPLEURE
( weeping and singing )

Lost the face on my clock, I went for a walk
I returned with dirt on my shoes
I had nothing to lose, some call it blue.
I'm a collage of faces, a mosiac of places
Lance-a-lot's horse in four directions
I'm racin' and chasin', chasin' and racin'

Thirsty for Water, shivering for Fire
Grasping for Earth in this desire
I'm gasping for Air, I'm praying for prayer
Fill my cup until it spills my pain
God's tears on my face, I'm caught in the rain
but I'm feeling again...I'm feeling again

Broke the vase, found the flowers
pieces and petals and powers
of a garden once lost
found a wildflower field when the sun drank the frost
I am both Angel and Fool ...rush into me
save me from sobriety
I am drunken and dreamin,
sunken and schemin

Thirsty for Water, shivering for Fire
Grasping for Earth in this desire
I'm gasping for Air, I'm praying for prayer
Fill my cup until it spills my pain
God's tears on my face, I'm caught in the rain
but I'm feeling again...I'm feeling again

Tumble in my lock and set me free
in one hand chains,
in the other the key
I want the breath of God. I want the thread.
I want the jewel,
the Ruby after the death

Thirsty for Water, shivering for Fire
Grasping for Earth in this desire
I'm gasping for Air,
I'm praying for prayer
Fill my cup until it spills my pain
God's tears on my face, I'm caught in the rain
but I'm feeling again...I'm feeling again

Waterfall

WATERFALL

Twilight in my heart, trace of light as I face the dark
You were my sunshine...I miss the rays
You were my end of the road
at the end of the day
you were my life...now everything's changed

Don't know who to blame for
empty picture frames and losing my name
You were my fantasy...I miss the dream
I am a princess in a tower
now who'll rescue me
you were my fairytale
where's my happy ending

Like the water...falling down
Letting go...to become the ground
seed of Hope waiting for the Planter's plow
face me toward the Light

What about our wedding vows?
what do they mean to you now?
You were my first love...I miss that feeling
you tell me to let you go
you say it will heal me
Where do I put this ring
and this house of things that used to be a home

Like the water...falling down
Letting go...to become the ground
seed of Hope waiting for the Planter's plow
face me toward the Light

I am weak...running out of strength
trying to support these pillars I'm between
If I let go, if I fall to my knees
Will it all fall apart?
How will rebuild these ruins of my heart?

Drove through our old neighborhood today
nothing seemed the same
Yesterday held my hands under a moon that waned
There were more joys than tears
down this memory lane
as I drove into the night
it finally started to... rain

Like the water...falling down
Letting go...to become the ground
seed of Hope waiting for the Planter's plow
face me toward the Light

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Cami's Rainbow song lyrics for the butterflies

"Cami's Rainbow" for the butterflies
*all proceeds from this song will
go to survivors of abuse

Nobody ever said it was going to be easy
and it's certainly never been easy for you
a little girl's dreams and innocence shattered...
at such a tender age
it's a wonder any soul could make it through
Everything they took from you
made you question what you have
and everything they said to you
still echoes in your head
and like a turtle in it's shell
you slipped inside to save yourself
but your volcano's gonna erupt on day

So come on out and let me in
it's not too late to begin
to say all the things you want to say

CHORUS
If the rainbow was your palette
and your canvas was the sky
how high would you fly, girl,
to paint the masterpiece of your life?
How high would you fly?

Remember when we used to play
dress up in roller skates and hide and seek
in the cornfields out back
whispering under the covers
about nightmares and secret dreams
oh, I would have done anything
to protect you
you know a wolf will heal its wounds
by howling at the moon
only people close their eyes
and hope it will go away soon
But baby sister I'm hear to say
the past don't disappear
it's with you every day
til you release your pain and
set yourself free

CHORUS
If the rainbow was your palette
and your canvas was the sky
how high would you fly, girl,
to paint the masterpiece of your life?
How high would you fly?

I knew you before your walls went up
I knew you before your rage
and I've always seen deep in your eyes
the warmth of a childs playful gaze

and it makes me wonder...
CHORUS
If the rainbow was your palette
and your canvas was the sky
how high would you fly, girl,
to paint the masterpiece of your life?
How high would you fly?

"Bird called Hope...on the lid of a Dreamer's eye" song lyrics co-written by James Oh

inspiration from Emily Dickinson...
Hope Is The Thing With Feathers

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words, And never stops at all,
And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.
I've heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea; Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.

Bird called Hope (on the lid of a Dreamer's eye)

I'm sorry for your pain, tried to shield you from the rain
When the clouds wring out their tears and
the sky starts to fall...
and I know that you feel lost, if I could I'd pay the cost
but I've learned that the Poverty is worth it all

CHORUS
Take this moment...in your hands
it will never come again, my friend
Hope's a bird perched in your Soul
that sings the tune without the words
and never stops at all

As long as the rainbow still follows the rain
As long as a momma's hand still comforts the pain
If when we hear heartbreak, we keep crying
when all seems hopeless, we don't stop trying

As long as our cries don't drown beneath the sea
As long as we can pray to the God in which we believe
as long as the seasons still come and go
as long as we're willing to know there's so much more to know

CHORUS
Take this moment...in your hands
it will never come again, my friend
Hope's a bird perched in your Soul
that sings the tune without the words
and never stops at all

BRIDGE
What am I?
What are we?
We are but dreamers...you and me
We're all the same, whatever your name,
can't we believe, this Bird has wings
this Bird has wings

Where I end...you begin.
We extend, extend my friend
We don't win. We don't lose.
We choose. we choose. we choose


CHORUS
Take this moment...in your hands
it will never come again, my friend
Hope's a bird perched in your Soul
that sings the tune without the words and never stops at all

BRIDGE
What am I?
What are we?
We are but dreamers...you and me
We're all the same, whatever your name,
can't we believe, this Bird has wings
this Bird has wings

there's still hope...

Take this moment...in your hands
it will never come again, my friend

What If? song lyrics

WHAT IF?

What if...we die young?
What if we live to be old...and alone?
What if we venture out... but get lost before we make it home?
[CHORUS]
These are the walls we come up against.
This is the change that we never spent.
This is stopping at the edge of the cliff...what if?
What if we loose our job, our hair, our minds...eventually?
What if we dare to speak up...but no one is listening?
[CHORUS]
What if we prayed to the wrong God?
wailed at the the wrong wall?
What if we'd given up everytime we've taken a fall?
[CHORUS]
What if we die young?
What if we live to be old and alone?
What if we venture out but get lost before
we make it home?
These are the walls we come up against.
This is the change that we never spent.
This is stopping AT THE EDGE OF THE CLIFF...
What if...

"The Root of the Root of your Self" Rumi trans.Helminski as arranged & performed by troubadours

The Root of the Root of your Self

Don't go away, come near.
Don't be faithless, be faithful.
Find the anitdote in the venom.
Come to the Root of the root of yourself.

Molded of clay, yet kneaded
from the substance of certainty,
a guard at the Treasury of Holy Light-
come, return to the root of the root of your Self.

Once you get hold of selflessness,
you'll be dragged from your ego
and freed from many traps.
Come, return to the root of the root of your Self.

You are born from the children of God's creation
but you have fixed your sights too low.
How can you be happy?
Come, return to the root of the root of your Self.

You came here from the presence of that Fine Friend,
a little drunk, but gentle, stealing our hearts
with that look so full of fire; so,
come, return to the root of the root of your Self

You are a ruby embedded in granite.
How long will you pretend it isn't true?
We can see it in your eyes (open your hidden eyes)
we can see it in your eyes ( open your hidden eyes)
so, come, to the root of the root of your Self.

You were born from a ray of God's majesty
and have the blessings of a good star.
Why suffer at the hands of things that don't exist?
Come, return to root the root of your Self

Wild Darling song lyrics

Wild Darling
Kiss my neck and make a woman of me.
Brush your lips against my cheek, Wild Darling.
If I revealed my desire, the world would catch fire
The way we make love is the way we are with God.
When you open your mouth, birds fly out.
When you laugh, children are born.
You are the Golden One
they've spoken of for centuries...
Let me press my head against your heart
and listen to the sea...
The blessing, this shipwrecking, on your shore.
Don't send for me, I don't need to be
rescued anymore
Under the spell of your call, I willingly fall
into the arms of the one who was in me all along
When you open your mouth, birds fly out.
When you laugh, children are born.
You are the Golden One
they've spoken of for centuries.
Let me press my head against your heart
and listen to the sea...
As our love grows from a seed to a tree,
root yourself deeper and deeper into me
each passing season brings a constellation of reasons...
I still come alive 1,000 times when your eyes meet mine
When you open your mouth, birds fly out
When you laugh, children are born
You are the Golden One they've spoken of for centuries
Let me press my head against your heart
and listen to the sea...

Ramanama song lyrics

RAMANAMA

Take me away from the weight of the world..
I'm a punch drunk boxer who can't leave the ring.
I've lost faith in your religion now "Love"...is my God's name
Rush and roll through me, continue ro pursue me-
I'm a boat that doesn't know it needs the sea...it needs the sea...
Don't give up on me, don't give up on me, though I'm restlessly...fumbling...
deep in my Soul I know, deep in my soul I know you well...
*CHORUS*
Take me away...where silence speaks
Take me to your Ocean, let me fall into your grace
Take me to your Sunlight, let it fall upon my face
Let me lie upon your fields, rest inside your shade
Take me where the wind blows, the sound of your name...take me away...

Take me away from the weight of this world
I'm Atlas struggling...my knees are buckling
Take this burden from me, it was never mine to carry soley.
But my mind is a puppy that begs to play fetch
bringing fears of tomorrow and yesterday's regrets..
Heal, steal me, send your spell through me
I'm a reed...make music through me, make music through me..
Pour your paradise upon my head,
whisper Love's secret like it's never been said.
Like a seed through it's shell, like a root through the stone- break me out of these bones, break me out of these bones...
Like a mighty waterfall, an eagle's soaring call Let me surrender, let me surrender all...
Like the ocean flowing, steadily growing,
like the tide I keep coming and going,
going and coming, surges and stillness in the waters of my knowing...
*CHORUS*

"Dream to Wake" lyrics

"Dream to Wake"
Driving down I-65,
she's loaded up her car and she's loaded up her mind
She's leaving everything thing behind..
.gonna make her own rules baby, in her own sweet time

He's cleaning out his desk.. takin his last call..
tellin the boss ain't gonna take your shit no more
Been someone else's doormat...his whole damn life
Well, there's gotta be a better way
to scrape together a dollar and a dime

CHORUS
I HAD TO FALL...SO I COULD FLY
I HAD TO SEEK ...SO I COULD FIND
I HAD TO DIVE...SO I COULD SURFACE
I HAD TO DREAM...SO I COULD WAKE UP....WAKE UP!

She tried to believe it wouldn't happen again..
.she tried to believe he'd become a better man
Can't catch a cannonball without gettin knocked down
Well it's time to tell ol' Misery aint good company
now git on out of town

He's trying to get his life...back on track..
.pullin off that monkey that's been clingin to his back
pullin' out...of a tail spin
Well it's time to kiss that frog and show the world
the prince you've always been!

CHORUS
I HAD TO FALL...SO I COULD FLY
I HAD TO SEEK ...SO I COULD FIND
I HAD TO DIVE...SO I COULD SURFACE
I HAD TO DREAM...SO I COULD WAKE UP....WAKE UP!

BRIDGE
If your treasure is sinking...it's time to spend it
If your fabric is tattered...it's time to mend it
If your garden's over-grown...it's time to tend it
caught up in a craze...lost in a daze..
.find your way out of the maze

CHORUS
I HAD TO FALL...SO I COULD FLY
I HAD TO SEEK ...SO I COULD FIND
I HAD TO DIVE...SO I COULD SURFACE
I HAD TO DREAM...SO I COULD WAKE UP....WAKE UP! repeat chorus wake up...wake up.....wake up... WAKE UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

OPEN E TUNING WITH SLIDE

"Learn to Love" song lyrics & chords




LEARN TO LOVE ( with capo on 2nd fret)
Em Am Em Am
May Day...May Day... I need some help...
Em Am
Rescue me... from myself
Em Am
I need to be saved...
Em Am Em Am
I'm afraid to embrace this face and Em Am
step into my skin in the fullness of my flesh Em Am
lose all fear...lose all regret...
Em Am Em Am
remember to forget...remember to forget... D Am D
this pain or it will become a chain around my neck
Am C G D Em
I'll stick out my neck, lose my head and gain a crown
C G D Em
lose my head and gain a crown
Em Am Em Am
Rain pour down through the rivers of this Soul
Em Am
cleanse me in your Holy Yoke
Em Am
drench me in Rebirth
Em
and I will surface from the ashes,
Am
like the Phoenix I will rise!
Em Am
Bring my Spirit back to life!
Em Am
It keeps the currents flowing through my veins.
D Am
Makes me feel that I'm made of flame
D Am C
Makes me feel that I'm made of Flame...
G D Em Am C G D Em
a wildfire of roses, a wildfire of roses
Em G
I will dance. I will whirl.
Em G C Am
I will play the violin and beat the drum.
Em G C D
I will tell stories and sing poems.
Em Am
I will learn unfettered focus
C
*hocus pocus*
D Em
I'll be turned into my Higher Self.
D Am
Take my strength down from the shelf
D Am C
Stop trying to please someone else
Em Am Em Am
and Learn to Love my Self...
Em Am Em
Learn to Love my Self.
Em Am
I am the Target and the Archer..
.Em Am
aiming at the bullseye of my heart.
Em Am
I am the Walker and the Watcher..
.Em Am
cheering the show as I play my part.
D Am
It makes me feel that I'm made of flame.
D Am C
Makes me feel that I'm made of flame...
G D Em Am C G D Em
a wildfire of roses, wildfire of roses
Em G
I will dance. I will whirl.
Em G C Am
I will play the violin and beat the drum.
Em G C D
I will tell stories and sing poems.
Em Am
I will learn unfettered focus
C
*hocus pocus*
D Em
I'll be turned into my Higher Self.
D Am
Take my strength down from the shelf
D Am C
Stop trying to please someone else
Em Am Em Am
and Learn to Love my Self...
Em Am Em
Learn to Love my Self.

"53Years" song lyrics

53 YEARS

She was a seamstress
A songstress
A gardener
A poet, Sharpshooter
And a prayer warrior

He was a Boxer
A Soldier, Storyteller
A Barbershop Singer
Kindhearted
Hard Working Feller

They were Valentines
For 53 Years
53 Christmases
In their Love Affair
53 Birthdays
53 Chapters
Of tragedy and triumph, tears and rapture
53 years
And one last prayer
Said he'd waltz her to sunset
With a love so rare
'til she closed her eyes here
And opened them there

He was her Hero
She was his Queen
He was the Anchor
She was the Sea
He was the Melody
She was Rhapsody
From Big Bands to Hymn Books
And the symphony between

They were Valentines
For 53 Years
53 Christmases
In their Love Affair
53 Birthdays
53 Chapters
Of tragedy and triumph, tears and rapture
53 years
And one last prayer
Said he'd waltz her to sunset
With a love so rare
'til she closed her eyes here
And opened them there

As he placed his hand upon her cheek
All of us there began to weep
We sang "There is a Name I Love to Hear"
As he whispered so gently in her ear,
"It's okay, honey"
Then he bowed his head and said
"Say Goodnight Here and Good morning there"

They were Valentines
For 53 Years
53 Christmases
In their Love Affair
53 Birthdays
53 Chapters
Of tragedy and triumph, tears and rapture
53 years
And one last prayer
Said he'd waltz her to sunset
With a love so rare
'til she said Goodnight here and Good morning there
Just before dawn
Opal blew out the candle
Drew back the curtain
Raised the window to heaven
And into the light
Her soul he did lead
From Sunset to Dawn
And her soul was freed

They were Valentines
For 53 Years
53 Christmases
In their Love Affair
53 Birthdays
53 Chapters
Of tragedy and triumph, tears and rapture
53 years
And one last prayer
Said he'd waltz her to sunset
With a love so rare
''til she said Goodnight here and Good morning there

Go to sleep
Close your eyes
We will meet again
On the other side…

"Superman" lyrics & chords

SUPERMAN
G C G D
Here's a song for the unsung heroes

G C D
Men who don't need fortune or fame to make them proud

G C G C
He earns his respect with fairness and heart

G C D
His honor and integrity set him apart

C D G C
He's a king among men A Man of his word

C D G C
Always willing to help another

C D G C
His favorite part at the end of the day

C D
Is coming home to his kids to play

D C G D
So if you're looking for Superman

D C G D
Thought that the good guys were gone with John Wayne

D C G D
Here's to the Heroes who seldom get praise

C D G C
Fathers that do the best that they can

C D G
Men who earn the name "Dad"

G C G D
You can bet he'll be there consistently

G C G D
cause nothing comes before his family

G C G D
He's the boss all day and after work Coach Dad

G C D
Trying to give the love that he never had

C D
Makes his little girls feel special

G C
Lets his boy always win

C D G C
When no one will listen you can talk to him

C D G C
He tells the best stories when he tucks them in at night

C D
And somehow makes them feel that everything's gonna be alright

D C G D
So if you're looking for Superman

D C G D
Thought that the good guys were gone with John Wayne

D C G D
Here's to the Heroes who seldom get praise

C D G C
Fathers that do the best that they can

C D G
Men who earn the name "Dad"

F D G C
Some men never had a father of their own

F D G C
Others had Dads who didn't treat them right

F D G C
But they took a brick wall and made stepping stones

F
To give their kids a better life

D
and fight the good fight...


D C G D
So if you're looking for Superman

D C G D
Thought that the good guys were gone with John Wayne

D C G D
Here's to the Heroes who seldom get praise

C D G C
Fathers that do the best that they can

C D G
Men who earn the name "Dad"



C D G C
Yes fathers that do the very best that they can

C D G
Men who earn the name... Dad

"Bowling Green,KY" lyrics by Holy Joe Benningfield

Bowling Green lyrics by Holy Joe

BOWLING GREEN, KENTUCKY
lyrics by Holy Joe (Aim Me's brother)
Bowling Green, Kentucky sitting in my cell...
Bowling Green, Kentucky sitting in my cell...
Thinking 'bout my baby
wanting out of this hell
been running for so long
I don't know how to be still
now I'm sitting in my cell
Bowling Green, Kentucky sitting in my cell...
Bowling Green, Kentucky sitting in my cell...
it's not the first time I've been behind bars
sure it won't be the last
at least I'll catch up on some sleep
hoping it will all just pass
while I'm sitting in my cell
cause I love her and she loves me I need her and she needs me I love her and she loves me I need her in Bowling Green
I'm sure she's thinking of a way to break me outta here
Blow up the place with dynamite or bond me out of here
No task is too tall, she just break down these walls and be in my arms tonight
while I'm sitting in my cell
Bowling Green, Kentucky sitting in my cell...
Bowling Green, Kentucky sitting in my cell...
My baby's still out there somewhere
I sure do miss her
Heck we'd never got caught
if we'd just thought
to put some gas in the car
how I wonder where you are
well, I'm sitting in my cell
cause I love her and she loves me I need her and she needs me I love her and she loves me I need her in Bowling Green
Bowling Green, Kentucky sitting in my cell...
Bowling Green, Kentucky sitting in my cell...
thinking about my baby
wanting out of this hell
been running for so long
I don't know how to be still
learning how to be still
sitting in my cell
cause I love her and she loves me I need her and she needs me I love her and she loves me I need her in Bowling Green
Bowling Green, Kentucky sitting in my cell...
Bowling Green, Kentucky sitting in my cell...

musings by the fire on Winter's lap

The eye of fire with lashes of flame
stares through me, into my soul,
to the back of my head- the face I never see..
illuminate the parts of me
that can only be seen when all has fallen and
there's nothing left but naked bones like
the black velvet veins, arteries of sky,
the horizon of lace silhouetted by the January sunset.
The sky puts on her party dress....you know the one...fuscia and orange with a pink sash.
She's going out tonight and leaving me to go warm another face.
The air is wet and warm,it's confused, it thinks it's in New Orleans not southern Indiana.
It's sending a postcard of Spring that says "Wish you were Here" but I relish the burlap, bare season...I don't wish it away.
Spring is a coquette that flirts like everyone wants her but she's not raw and ripe and real like Winter's shawl and all the stories that are remembered in it's long loud silence.
Every part of my being is spinning
like the Earth around the Sun
and at the nucleus is Adam and Eve
the Divine Mystery thats fueled by the play
of Creation and Destruction , of life and death...
put on your little black dress and let's dance on our graves
Dance with me til we're dizzy with delight
from the brilliant shine of it all.