The True Story

There are some who will think me quite mad. Others, in growing numbers, will congratulate me on the success of my research into the reasons I chose to come back to this planet, this incarnational plane. For starters, I am tough. That is a given for anyone choosing this planet to grow their soul in.

I did not know that I would ever speak in such a way prior to June 12, 2009. On that day I accepted that none of us ever die. A scientist and lawyer, I was a hardened skeptic. Ghosts, UFOs: all nonsense. (In fact, after I consciousness shifted, I realized I actually had been the truest skeptic: I had been atheist but could not admit it to myself as I judged it to be wrong to be atheist.) What was required for this change of perspective and what I received was irrefutable evidence that I had gathered by my own hand, camera images that I came to understand to be ghost pictures. The story of these pictures can be found in the essay entitled, "Rita and The Ghost Pictures."

That fateful day launched a two year intensive study into a wide range of literature, starting with near death experience literature, which I favored as my first course of study because it featured the work of MDs and PhDs, and my prejudices at the time led me to believe their reports would be more credible than those of psychics, channelers, mediums and the like. I went on to past life literature, life between life literature (the heaven research of Michael Newton and Robert Schwartz), then graduated to literature on anything weird: UFOs, shamanism, channeling, angels, crystal healing, astral projection, etc. The journey has been fascinating and taken me to places and thoughts and understandings that are strange and wonderful.

Upon acceptance of the notion that we live forever, I released my suspicion that life is pointless and asked myself, "Why am I here?" Indestructible consciousness in truth, I chose this short term experience called the life of Robyne Richardson Lau Bridgman (stage name: Byrdde). Why? My footsteps took me down the path of past life regression experiences of my own, forked into life between life regression, and launched other trips into channeling, meditation, moon goddess rituals with candles and crystals, pendulum communications with the other side and the list goes on.

One thing--the most important thing--I did not need to read about or meditate about or discuss in spiritual workshops or ask a psychic about. This I knew the moment I awakened. I came to earth to make music.

I understood this about myself when I was about twelve. When I listened to Elton John, Queen, and The Beatles, I knew that was what I wanted to do. It resonated to my core. I proceeded to spend the remainder of my youth and most of my adult life not making music. Or, rather, making music half-heartedly, with lukewarm effort at best, when I bothered at all, between long stints of not making music. Understanding why I chose to take my journey that way has been another long journey of its own, one that is not the focus of this discussion.

This discussion centers on why I was born with one burning desire: to make music. I found the answer through past life regression and channelers. Channelers are people who are able to connect with higher vibrational intelligent energy that supplies them with information. Some refer to this intelligent energy as spirit guides, angels and the higher self or oversoul. This information can be received in the form of thoughts, feelings, understandings, knowing, visions, etc. Sometimes it can be music or sounds (this is one of the ways I channel).

A channeler named Kathryn Leeman, who connects with her spirit guide, The Blue Lady or Divine Mother, gave me the first clue. Kathryn began connecting with The Blue Lady when she was a child. As a culture, we are not yet at a level of development in which such connections are readily understood; thus, as I see frequently with channelers and psychics, she turned away from this path for some time, but eventually returned to it. I saw Kathryn at an event at Inner Peace, a spiritual center founded by healer Lisa Marks in my hometown of Richmond, Virginia.

At this event, a gentleman asked The Divine Mother why it was so easy for him to create music when he was in a gathering, but why it seemed as though no inspiration came to him when he was alone. She answered that it had to do with the vibrations occurring at the events, which were absent when he was alone. So, he needed to try to achieve those vibrations when he was trying to compose music at home.

I asked the next question, which was why did I have exactly the opposite experience: I create music readily in solitude but find no enjoyment in playing for others, rather the experience stresses me. I was quite surprised by the answer. The Divine Mother told me that I had a past life as a starving artist. I was a proud man and would accept no help from anyone. I died alone, in poverty, a failure. So, I have quite a bit of soul level angst around making music: disappointment, anger, resentment. She said my path to healing included making music and doing my very best: it was what I came to do. It is the pursuit my soul desires.

I wanted to learn more about this starving artist lifetime. At the time this information from Kathryn came to me I already had engaged in past life regressions. In past life regression, one undergoes hypnosis and visits the subconscious realm which holds all memory of the past and knowledge of the future. To date, I have not undergone hypnosis to look at the future. I have focused primarily on the past. I realize it may seem impossible to some to be able to see the future, but there really isn’t any such thing as the future: that is a fiction of this incarnational plane. On the other side, in the real world of heaven, all time happens at once and all experience is simply a web of probabilities, with the experience that occurs in this plane being based on the exercise of free will by all of the consciousnesses involved.

One night I had listened to a very effective self-hypnosis CD by a healer from Lynchburg, Virginia named Jenny Haynes who channels a spirit group called the Nexi. On a lark, rather than choosing to awaken from the meditation, I sought to meet this starving artist. So, I focused my intent on that desire. In my mind’s eye, I saw him. He wore a long, expensive-looking, very fine yellow gold coat with knee britches. Under his white wig, I knew his hair was short, light brown and curly. I saw him with a violin and a harpsichord in his apartment. I had a sense that he was from France or maybe Austria. But, my initial impression was France. I understood his name to be Charles.

Normally I do not bother researching internet search engines to find the identities of the past life persons I discover I have been. I can tell by the appearance of most of them that there is no point. So far, of the over two dozen past lives I have discovered, this is the only one who appeared to be a person I should bother looking for. Unlike the others, his clothing seemed very fine, so I thought if he were a musician and composer, there could be a chance that I would be able to find out something about him.

I started by researching the clothing I saw Charles wear. I was quite puzzled by what I found. The clothing was consistent with men’s clothing styles in England in the first half of the 1700’s. French clothing at that time looked different. I searched using the terms Charles, 1700’s, composer, violin, harpsichord, and England. I found a couple of composers who did not match the description of what I sought in that they had been successful in their lifetimes. I tried again, using the same search terms, but this time I added the word “poverty.” I found him.

The entries I found for Charles Francois Dieupart made sense. He was born to a candle maker in France and wore English clothing in my vision of him because he had moved there to teach the daughter of a wealthy English nobleman. Most importantly, his story resonated with me. He died alone, in poverty, a master of the harpsichord and violin, who went from playing in the finest houses in England to playing in beer halls by the time of his death.

While I have a number of missions in this lifetime, healing the karma of that lifetime figures prominently. I have invested much time and effort learning more about that lifetime. I have seen events from that lifetime and felt the feelings of that lifetime. I have come to understand at least some of Charles’s disappointments, dissatisfaction, anger, resentment, distress and despair. There really isn’t much in the way of good feeling that comes to me in regard to that lifetime, except this: I began to work very hard at music once I understood its place in my life experience.

I have made a commitment to myself and my higher self to spend the rest of my life making music every single day and taking step after step along that path, without stopping. I believe that part of my soul finally trusts me to do my best and knows that I will not quit or dally further. Finally, I had a vision of Charles sitting in front of a bank of tall windows, looking out upon a perfectly groomed expanse of lawn. It was the first time I experienced peaceful energy from him. He knows I’m trying my best.

Sometimes, just as I awaken, I receive message from spirit. The morning after I finished the bulk of the recording for my first solo effort, 8, I awoke with this word in my head: Oui. I know who sent that.

At this point, I do not believe in coincidences: rather, I’ve come to appreciate synchronicities. It was no accident that the name my French teacher gave me in high school was Françoise. It was no accident that my teacher called on me, with my normally redneck, hillbilly accent, when she wanted the other students to hear the correct pronunciation of the French terms we were learning. The accent came quite naturally to me.

It also was no accident that the first record I ever bought was “Love Train” by the O’Jays. That really is the true nature of this journey: it is a trip all about love, and understanding that sometimes, one of the ways we learn about something is through the absence of it and the return to it. I am glad to be back in the flow at last.

Rita and the Ghost Pictures

I am a new thought practitioner. To me, new thought in a nutshell means that I believe God (source, universe, whatever you like to call it) is in everything and is everything. Thus, I believe that each person, place, thing, thought, feeling, etc. is an expression of the source energy which is an intelligent energy made of pure love. I absolutely do not believe that God is some guy hanging out in the clouds dispensing judgment, punishment, approval, etc. That’s just not my current understanding at all. It is not my understanding that God is a separate entity who made us. Rather, you, me, everyone, the dust on the floor, the air we breathe, every drop in the ocean and in every mud puddle, all of it is God. Everything is made of love energy as that’s what source is: pure love energy.

We are the eyes, ears and hands of source. We undertake explorations in the illusory plane of separate consciousness in order to experience what we experience for the web of consciousness so that all that is can be all that is.

I was not raised up in these beliefs. I was raised protestant: whatever kind was closest to the house, basically. When I was a young child in Southwest Virginia, I went to a Methodist church. Later, when we lived in Central Virginia, I was baptized and confirmed into the Episcopalian church. When I had children of my own, they were all baptized into the Episcopalian church, where I taught Sunday school and served as part of the church vestry. I left the Episcopalian church in 2013 and joined the Unity church, which I also left shortly thereafter. I engage in my spirituality, however, in every waking and sleeping moment. I am my spirit.

Throughout my life, until my consciousness shift occurred, I prayed every day. I felt weird if I didn’t pray. Prior to that time, I tried to quit praying, but I just couldn’t do it. What’s so funny about this is that upon my “awakening” I realized that I, in truth, had not believed in the afterlife. I think I prayed “just in case,” but at the moment I understood and accepted that we don’t die when we die, I also understood that in my core, prior to that moment, I thought we really just turned into worm food in the end and that was it. I did eventually quit praying because I found it unnecessary as I pretty much constantly remain in a state in which I feel connected to and have an ongoing conversation with the divine.

At the time of my awakening, I described myself as a happily married mother of three young children (4, 7 and 9 at the time), a scientist and attorney working as an environmental regulator for the Commonwealth of Virginia. On May 23rd of 2009, my family celebrated the 4th birthday of my youngest daughter and the 77th birthday of my mother. Two weeks later, on June 6th, I made a trip to the Washington, D.C. area to see Rita O’Hara, my dear friend from college whom I had not visited in over a decade.

While at Rita’s home, as I waited for her to check her emails and take a phone call, I picked up a library book from her coffee table. It was James Van Praagh’s newest book. As I looked over the table of contents I did not see much of interest, having spent the first 46 years, 2 months and 12 days of my life as an avowed skeptic of anything paranormal or UFO-related. However, the book contained a chapter on karma, and I am a believer in the golden rule. I began reading this chapter and found it interesting enough that I jotted down the name of the book so that I could check it out from my own library when I returned home. While I had not visited a library in many years, I thought it would be worth a visit to check out this book, especially since it was time for our annual beach trip and I would have time for pleasure reading.

At the library, meaning to pick up the Van Praagh book, I mistakenly pulled a book called “When Ghosts Speak” by Mary Ann Winkowski off of the shelf. I read a paragraph and thought it might be worth a try, but knew it was quite possible that I might not even crack it open before the due date. I checked out both books.

That Friday, June 12th, as I was packing for our trip, my 9 year old daughter flipped through the photograph section of Mary Ann Winkowski’s book. She showed me the pictures. They stopped me cold. The hair on my neck stood up.

At my youngest daughter’s birthday party, I had taken photographs. Sometimes, I’ll do a quick check to see how they look, but then it likely will be months before I bother to download the pictures onto my computer and often I don’t even bother to print any. At the party, I took several photos of the dining room, decorated with balloons and streamers at the doorways. At the time I took the pictures, I noticed a dark shadow in the lower left corner of a few of these shots and was upset because I thought my camera lens was broken and that I’d have to shell out for a new camera. However, as the day progressed, the picture cleared, so I forgot about it. I also happened to note, however, the extremely bright sun mote in front of the head of one of my children’s friends in one of the shots on the deck. I had never seen anything quite like that in any of the literally thousands of photos I have taken over the years. But, as I said, I thought it was a sun mote.

So, when I saw the “moving” dark shadow photos and the spirit orb photos in the Winkowski book, I realized I had similar images on my own camera and that I myself had taken those pictures. You can believe that I quit packing and immediately got my camera and sat there comparing my photographs to those in the book. I was in a state of disbelief. In fact, both that day and on a later day, I took more than a dozen additional photos at the same time of day, with the same lighting, from the same angles, to try to recreate the dark shadow in the corner of the photograph. I simply was unable to replicate it. Every time I took photos of that room, the whole shot came out crystal clear.

I was extremely freaked out. I called friends who I knew believed in the paranormal and asked for their advice. It was a very humbled person on my end of the call. I once had been very dismissive of their points of view, but by this point was grateful for their expertise. They told me to call in Archangel Michael and ask for his protection. I did as they advised. And what that turned into?

We left for the Outer Banks, and while I normally don’t like to read in the car, I read the Van Praag and Winkowski books the whole way down. That first night there (and for months afterward) I slept with every light in the room on. I was in the strangest state of fear and amazement.

Of course, the weird picture episode was by no means the end of it; rather, it was just the beginning. That night, as I lay awake very late engulfed in paranormal literature, I noticed something in my peripheral vision that was hard to describe. It was a sheet-like field of blue and white sparkles hanging in mid-air about the size of a king-sized pillow case, and then, in a room in which all the windows and glass doors were closed and no fan or AC was running, I distinctly felt a cool breeze across my left hand. I have since come to understand that was only he whom I had summoned letting me know he was there. Archangel Michael is an angel of blue light, and when I called, he came.

So, because of that book on my friend Rita’s coffee table, my life changed. Dramatically. It was no mistake that I pulled the Winkowski book off of the library shelf. It was time for me to wake up. Spirit can and does make anything and everything happen in divine right time.

Since that day, June 12, 2009, which I consider to be a birthday of sorts, I’ve become a much better person. When you truly understand that your consciousness, the core of who you are, is eternal, it changes everything. I began to live in my soul purpose in earnest from that time forward. Hence, I will be making music until the day I leave this incarnation. It’s what I came to do.


My dear friend Angela Philastre Atkinson was married on the last day of the Mayan calendar, 12/21/2012. I ascribe to the belief that that was a day of great significance to the world because it marked the beginning of The Golden Age, The Age of Aquarius. Five years ago I would have considered such concepts to be rubbish, but I experienced a shift in consciousness on 6/12/2009 and life hasn’t been the same since. There is now nothing so far out that I won’t believe it. Through concerted study of spiritual and metaphysical matters, I have come to learn of the wonders of the invisible world, which truly makes life magical and miraculous. Plus, I believe that is where the truth of reality lies.

Angela wanted to sing the U2 song “All I Want Is You” to her husband at the reception. She needed accompaniment plus she also needed a band to play at her wedding. I very rarely learn covers. I find it extremely tedious to learn songs and much more fun and rewarding to engage in the discovery process of writing songs. However, for my friend, I was willing to do this.

Enough of gash gold vermilion, the all female progressive folk band I founded in 2009, was still together that we could meet Angela’s need. So, the two guitarists and bassist from that band performed at the wedding. It was my singing debut. As the guests were arriving for the wedding, I performed a song I had written for my son called “Every Good Gift.”

It was important to me to perform that day. I wanted to express my intention for the path of my future on that day, the first day of the new age of the Earth. Energetically and spiritually it was a very important day. I was pleased that the performance went well musically.

The U2 song is a very pretty three chord song, G, C and E minor. A couple of weeks after the wedding, I was hanging out playing and started playing the U2 song again. As I played it, I started exploring, using the G and C chords. What I created came out with a very different sound. The melody that came to me was entirely different. I don’t know much about music theory so I don’t know the names of the chords I added; all I can say is it wound up being a very different song with no trace of E minor--a bunch of other things I don’t know the names of instead.

The lyrics came readily. Certain features of them I like a lot. When I was growing up in the seventies, a brother (Richard) and sister (Karen) duo called The Carpenters was very popular and wrote some of the sweetest songs out there. A song called “Close To You” was huge and everybody who grew up then knows this song. Very sugary, very sweet, a great slow dance at the prom type song. One of my all time favorite love songs: it is nectar.

Sadly, Karen Carpenter met a tragic end. She had received negative press about her weight and became anorexic. She died young, of complications from anorexia. I don’t really know why, but something about her spirit speaks so strongly to me to this day. She had one of the loveliest, strongest voices I ever heard and I know her spirit lives on in the earth realm in my thoughts and the thoughts of other fans. I still feel sad when I think about what became of her.

“Close To You” is among the best love songs ever written and I wanted to acknowledge Karen Carpenter, so I included a reminder of a lyric from “Close To You.” The line from “Evermore” is “Close to you, birds suddenly appear, every time you’re near.” This lyric was a natural fit to the music, a perfect and humble way for me to acknowledge and tip my hat to the great talent of The Carpenters.

To hear The Carpenters song, you can visit YouTube and search on Carpenters Close To You. I also love “We’ve Only Just Begun,” and “Hurting Each Other.” Karen’s voice is absolutely amazing, period, but especially on the latter song. It’s like perfect coffee going down, rich and powerful.

Also, I don’t really know why, but I wound up with Alice In Wonderland references. They just flowed right in. (“It’s as though, I’ve fallen down a hole, stepped through the glass to evermore.”) It may be because new love can cause one to feel a shift into a new dimension, as Alice experienced when she fell down the rabbit hole. It also could be because I started listening to Alice In Chains in 2012 pretty much to the exclusion of all else for about twelve to eighteen months. Maybe it’s both.

What I have come to learn is if I ever bother to learn a cover song, which is rare, I apparently have to use it as a jumping off place from which I will dive off into the unknown and see what I pluck out of the void--find my own path, my own thing. I seem to have been born to this: doing my own thing musically. Hence, shortly after I learned “Man in the Box,” (long story on why I put the effort into that) I wrote a song called “Insect” in which I turned the man in the box into a fairy (actually, a “fairy thing”). More about that later, when I get that song recorded professionally, post it, and write a song story about it.

Hat in Hand

Part 1

Hat in Hand is another mostly channeled song. It was a gift from heaven. I received it because I chose to be kind and supportive to people for whom I felt full of hate, anger and judgment. In the Spring of 2013, my ex-husband and the woman he left me for were furloughed from their jobs while the business they worked for relocated. The move took longer than expected and they became quite pressed financially.

My ex called and said he wanted to come by and talk with me. Now, those kinds of calls are never good. So, when he came over, I expected him to ask for money, and despite the magnitude of my anger and judgment for him and my out and out hatred for her, I searched my heart, and I knew I would never see them on the street. So despite the ever constant rage that had made me sick from months and months of stuffing it down, I had resolved to help them.

As it turned out, he did not ask me for that. He asked me how to go about cashing his last IRA. It made me so sad. My ex had been more than fair in the divorce. Essentially, he left with his guitars, his amp and speaker cabinet, his bicycles, his clothes and the old car. Significantly, he did not touch my retirement. He knew he had a right to part of it, yet he knowingly declined it. I will always remember his decency in this choice. On my way home from work on the day I had resolved to help them, the angels put this song in my head.

Some would think my ex deserved to suffer for leaving his wife and children and that his hardship was karmic pay back. Although I was in a place of deep darkness and suffering because of his abandonment, I did not wish to see him devastated. I didn’t want him to be happy, but neither did I seek his ruin.

On September 19, 2010, I dreamt of a door with a giant white star on it. The star was made of concentric rows of white and silver garland that had started to unravel. It was so big that its tips reached beyond the left side of the door.

One year later to the day, my ex came home from work and told me he was in love with another woman. With one sentence, he destroyed my vision of the rest of my life: one in which we raised our children together and helped them raise their children, one in which we remained together, always there for each other. I fought with everything I had to save my marriage. It was clear to me within about three months that all my efforts were in vain.

In my ensuing state of despondency, I became so ill that I began to hemorrhage and required major surgery. Words cannot describe my emotional, psychological and spiritual suffering. Those who have survived an unwanted divorce, one in which there are young children, I know will understand me. I don’t think it’s possible for other people to grasp it. You simply cannot and will not summon that degree of misery into your understanding unless it’s forced upon you.

My first imperative was to keep my children in a state of peace and innocence as long as possible, so we carried on in a state of false normalcy. Not one word or action suggested the dark fate before our family to our children until seven months later when we talked with them during spring break, when they would have time to adjust at least a little before returning to school.

Because we had an essentially silent divorce, free of the relief valve of screaming and throwing things, I kept a lot inside. That approach made me very sick. I lost a lot of weight and took quite some time recovering from a long, involved surgery.

My thoughts strayed not infrequently to extreme violence. While my exterior remained subdued, internally I spent quite a lot of time and energy conjuring extravagant acts, the kind that make the evening news and get you the death penalty. Fortunately, thoughts can be checked, and those vengeful dreams never saw the light of day.

Instead, I found myself growing weary of rage, tired of hate, yet unable to change. Not quite two years after that fateful September, I recognized my helplessness. I was unable to get myself to a place of forgiveness, unable to stop feeling violent rage whenever her name was spoken, whenever the thought of her entered my mind. It was safer for me to focus my anger upon her, as I never had to see her. So, there it grew so large, it was suffocating me and leaving me joyless.

In a state of hopelessness, I handed it over to my angels. One day I simply admitted to them that I could not change. I could not forgive. I asked them to help me. I really wanted to let it go, but just did not know how.

I truly believe that when you have faith, heaven answers you. Every time. Without fail. You just have to know your answer has come when it’s handed to you. The answer heaven gave me was a thought. The thought that entered my mind, the thought that the angels sent me was the key to my healing.

It occurred to me that I would no longer permit myself to think or say anything ugly about the woman my husband left me for. When the thought of her or her name came up, all I would allow myself to do would be to picture her face set against a bright blue sky with sunshine upon her. She would radiate health and happiness. No word would be thought or spoken. Just that picture. That is all I would allow myself.

After making this resolution, I slipped up only twice, and all the rest of the time, my mind went to this picture and this feeling whenever I experienced the thought or mention of her name. It changed the energy of our relationship completely. I’m not quite sure how long it took. I didn’t make special notes in my journal regarding the day I made this resolution; however, I did make a journal entry of the first day I allowed my children to spend time with Bryan and Emily. It was 10/5/2013. And, a little over two months later, Emily and I cooked Christmas dinner together and enjoyed the holidays as family.

That’s what a miracle looks like. Emily is a soul who has travelled with me for many life times. I am grateful to her for her courage in helping me to heal karma from a past life. I am grateful to her for her love and support that I now enjoy abundantly in this life time.

Part Two

I am grateful to Emily for her love and support that I now enjoy abundantly in this life. I am grateful to her for courage in helping me to heal karma from a past life. In agreeing to come to earth again, in part, to help her soul mate with this healing, she understood the risk she took in doing so: the first time she came to my house after the divorce and sat down to talk with me, she thanked me for not killing her.

You can bet, when the stakes are this high, there is some kind of a karmic prequel in play. In this case, Bryan and Emily helped me heal karma from the very first past life I saw when I started exploring my prior incarnations. I know this was important healing because I was able to clearly see who I was in this past life the very first time I tried doing past life regressions. It took me a while to believe that what I saw was real.

To explain this lifetime, I will borrow from an essay I wrote for my last band, gash gold vermilion. That band did a song called “Perfecting,” which pertained to this past life. Since I’ve started making music again, I have had a natural inclination to write a story about each song. It is interesting to me that one of the great psychic intuitives that I see regularly (Mary Roach) said that I was to come to the front of the stage and to tell stories. So, here’s the story I’ve shared before about this past life:

I tried my first past life regression in a small room at the back of the Aquarian Bookstore ( in Richmond, Virginia in the fall of 2009. Joan Wash ( led the regression. I have to say I was shocked that it worked. Part of me thought I was making it up, but at the same time, it seemed too weird to make up.

After leading us in a group hypnotherapy into our subconscious, the first thing Joan told us to focus on was our feet. The feet I saw were absolutely beautiful. Joan then had us look at ourselves. I was drop dead gorgeous. I could not believe the flawless beauty I beheld. I was a young American Indian woman. I did not have a particular sense of the historical time period I was viewing, except that it was before the dawn of industrialized culture, electricity, etc. I wore a dress of animal skin and was barefoot.

I had a sense that I was in Virginia, near the Appalachian mountains. I was at the edge of a wood that looked out onto a field of high, brown grass. There were mountains in the near distance. Sunlight spilled onto the field. Dusk neared. I was touched by the peace and beauty of the scene before me.

I became aware that I was alone. Completely alone. In total isolation. I wondered what had happened to my people. Had they been massacred? Joan told us if we saw or felt something we didn’t understand to ask our spirit guide to explain. (That, by the way, was the first time I had ever addressed my spirit guide or even knew I had one.)

As soon as I asked my spirit guide to help me understand why I was alone I gained an awareness that I had been banished. When I first saw my feet, they had red toe nail polish. I couldn’t understand this at first because the red polish was anachronistic given my dress and my “feeling” of what the time period was. I then understood that the red polish was meant to communicate other information: the nature of the misconduct that led to my exile.

So, the first past life I saw was that of a young Native American beauty who had committed adultery and was judged by her people and exiled to isolation, starvation, exposure and death. What was the healing to be done? I died alone, cold and hungry because of the judgment of others. I know that a lesson that seems to be ever present for me is to put aside my own judgment of others and equally important, perhaps even more important, to forgive those who judge me.

This isn’t bragging by any means, but I think I’ve gone quite a ways towards mastery on this lesson thanks to Emily and Bryan. I overcame my judgment of another who stood in the same shoes I stood in long ago. I did not commit myself to a lifetime of judgment of her; rather, I forgave her completely, fully, honestly and truly. She is my friend, soul mate and part of my family.

For a third time, I will say: I am grateful to Emily for her love and support that I now enjoy abundantly in this life. I am grateful to her for courage in helping me to heal karma from a past life.

By the way, speaking of synchronicities and knowing you’re on the right track: I am finishing this essay today, 4/9/2014, one year to the day after I laid down the first draft of Hat in Hand on my computer. 4/9/2013. That is no coincidence. The numerology for the day I made this song was 28 which reduces to 10 which reduces to 1. 10 is the number of ending and 1 the number of beginning. There is a beginning in every ending.

So Like This

My youngest daughter, Abigail, has been composing on the piano since she was four. She and her brother, Blake, have a gift for sitting down and just making up music. When she was five she put together the two chords that form the foundation upon which So Like This is built. She called her song Dance of the Athena Girls. She did not have any lyrics for it.

I very much liked the riff from the first time I heard it and played it many times. I always seem to have a significant list of songs needing completion. This was one of the riffs I’d been meaning to complete into a song, especially since I had promised Abby that I would help finish her riffs into complete songs.

On July 22, 2013, I was a day away from what would have been my twentieth anniversary had my marriage survived. Instead, I was alone, facing my first anniversary as a divorcee. I had hoped to be out of town for it, but a work meeting later in the week prevented me from traveling. As I was struggling with my feelings, I received a call from a friend whom I had first met about eight years prior. She said she wanted to come over and talk with me. I sensed it was a matter of some seriousness.

As I awaited her arrival, I was struck with a palpable, intense and overwhelming feeling of not wanting to live anymore. This was quite odd for me. Suicidal thoughts and tendencies are pretty much nonexistent in my life, except for short forays into escapism in the early days of the demise of my marriage in 2011.

This feeling was like being bound in ropes. It felt suffocating. I did what I learned to do during the course of my divorce: I turned to music for help. Normally, it’s my Gibson acoustic that brings me solace, but in this case, the feeling was so strong that I turned to my keyboard, which was stationed just to the right of my desk, and put my hands down.

I played Abigail’s riff. This time, however, words flowed from me. The lyrics came out just as you hear them now: the truth of my heart in a very hard moment.

When my friend came over, the discussion was such that I wound up walking away from that relationship. In retrospect, I believe a strong contributing factor to the feelings I experienced was the intensely negative energy focused upon me in those moments as she was driving to see me. I am empathic and readily pick up on the feelings of others. It felt as though hate, judgment, fear and a strong desire to control were focused upon me, and I feel certain that’s what I was picking up on as those feelings of wanting to be done with this life swept over me.

I let the song sit, as a piano piece, for some time. In late August, 2013, Anthony Curtis offered to help me record my music. As part of that process I played through all of the dozen and a half guitar songs I’d completed for performance as a solo artist. There was not a keyboard set up in his home studio at that time so I did not show him this song.

It occurred to me sometime in October, 2013 that if I wanted to perform this song I would have to transcribe it to guitar because my electronic keyboard weighs too much for me to be cheerful about trucking it around for shows. By that time, Anthony and I had spent many hours on preproduction of the other guitar pieces. However, as soon as I played this song on guitar for him, he put it at the top of the list and chose it to be the first song that we fully developed.

Anthony enlisted the assistance of one of his former guitar students, Robin Payne, whose distinctive and virtuosic style elevated So Like This to a new level. Before we could get the song finished, however, Anthony, Robin and I went separate ways, so I wound up completing the song on my own with Lance Kohler at Minimum Wage Recording.

It took me such a long time to figure out why musicians like Anthony and Robin would take an interest in playing with me. I am no virtuoso. I create pretty simple folk tunes and have not one ounce of shredder in me. Finally, though, I have come to understand my gift: simplicity. Writing a simple song turns out to be a somewhat elusive skill, but one that I seem to have been blessed with. And, the ability to hear value in and have respect for the piano noodlings of a five year old is another.


Although I usually seem to keep a list of at least a couple dozen or so songs that I’m working on writing at any given time, I seem to bring in new songs to the world pretty much every time I sit down to play or when I sit quietly in meditation. I really just can’t seem to help it. There’s always new music waiting to come into the world and I very often hear it.

“Hiding” came in out of the clear blue. I picked up the guitar, meaning to work on something else, but I started plucking out the pattern for it absent-mindedly and found myself coming back to it. I believe the way that happened was the musical equivalent of automatic writing, a process in which the source of that which the writer puts on paper is from the subconscious or spirit world, rather than being the product of the writer’s own intellect.

While the Hiding riff is not the most original or unique, it has a very alluring feel to it that calls out to me. So, even though I’ve had some songs on the development list for a very long time, this one butted in line and got done quickly. It’s essentially a two chord song. As I played those two chords back and forth, I just let whatever words came to me spill out. I found myself doing what channelers do: I got out of the way and let the words come. When I did that, I got the first verse and the chorus.

These words came quite readily, as do the words and music that I get from the other side. When the energy and connection cooperate, this is the easy way to go about songwriting. Channeling occurs when you connect yourself to the energy or consciousness of the other side (that is, higher vibrational levels of consciousness). Some scientists refer to this consciousness as the Field.

While I did not begin a formal study of channeling until early 2011, I realize now that it is through this type of connection that I actually have been writing songs for a very long time. I sometimes have whole songs download into my head; other times just the chorus and maybe a verse or so; and sometimes, just music. I can tell the difference between the songs or parts of songs I receive from the other side and the ones I write myself. The former come with great ease, while the latter really can be quite a struggle to complete.

I recently had the pleasure of listening to a presentation about the Field and creativity. The narrator reported that both Mozart and Beethoven likely received their music from the Field. Both wrote out their music note perfect from the get go, and Beethoven wrote his after he was deaf. This video can be found at: You Tube. It’s relatively short (about a half hour) and really fascinating. Happy viewing!