Originally, “You’ll Never Walk Alone” was a show tune by Rodgers and Hammerstein from their 1945 musical “Carousel”.
It has been recorded by scores of artists. Roy Hamilton, Frank Sinatra, Gerry and the Pacemakers, Judy Garland, Elvis Presley, Andy Williams, Johnny Maestro and The Brooklyn Bridge, and Doris Day all had hits with it.
For over forty years, Jerry Lewis used to perform it at the end of his MDA Telethon.
More recently, it has been covered by the Dropkick Murphys, Celtic Woman, Josh Groban, Trisha Yearwood, and the Spice Girls’ Mel C (Sporty Spice).
It’s a song of hope. It’s a message of faith. And, in my own personal experience, it’s a reminder that, no matter what happens, your guides are with you.
Spirit Guides have been very important to me ever since I found and began to travel along my spiritual path. I find the fact that a spiritual team is with me to be so comforting, even if I only know or feel the presence of one member of that team.
I tried to explain Spirit Guides to my mother recently, telling her that, wherever I go and whatever I do, I’m never really alone. She said that I must find that comforting. And she’s right, I do. And that led me to want to help others find that, as well.
We all have our own team of guides. And there are lots of different philosophies about who they are (and who they are not), and what their purpose is.
I believe they are people in spirit, who we may or may not know (or know of). They are with us to give us guidance and support. And they are still with us and still love us, even when we don’t take their guidance.
They do not live our lives for us. They don’t make decisions for us and they don’t give us winning lottery numbers. They are also not Santa Claus.
But connecting with them can give you the love and compassion to get through difficult times. If you’re willing to allow it, of course.
Some believe you have a specific number of guides, who all have specific purposes. And it’s up to you to figure out who they are and what their purpose is.
I don’t believe that.
As with so much that falls under the heading of Metaphysics, I think your intention is of the utmost importance. That said, I was told who my primary guide was by a psychic medium. I did buy a pendulum and figure out how to connect with my guide that way, and was able to proceed to get to know him better and grow that relationship.
My relationship with my primary guide, and my other guides, gives me strength when I don’t always feel that I have any more. And the love and compassion they have given and shown to me is bigger than any emotion I could imagine.
And that is all something I want to share.
I’ve teamed up with Psychic Medium and Author Toni DeMaio for a Spirit Guide Workshop, as well as individual and private Spirit Guide consultations.
The workshop will be a small group, and it will take place on our Blog Talk Radio channel. If you are unable to attend this first one, I am pretty sure there will be others. This is something I feel very strongly about, and I would like to offer this up to anyone and everyone that is interested.
In this workshop, Toni and I will explain more about Spirit Guides, including our own experiences with them. We will go through the group one-by-one to give you messages from whichever of your guides step forward, and we will let you know whatever they would like you to know about them. And we will give you tools so that you can begin to connect on your own.
Also, for any that sign up for this workshop that are musically-minded, I will also let you know who in spirit is willing to work with you. This is not necessarily someone who is or will be a guide. I will let you know who they are, and give you suggestions on how to connect. It will be up to you to follow up and grow that relationship.
Don’t misunderstand me. I am not handing out guides, or assigning dead rock stars to be on your team. I will only be letting you know who has come forward that is willing to work with you. What happens after that is up to you.
All those who sign up for this workshop by June 11 will also receive a free pendulum (which I will ship to you so that it hopefully arrives in time for this workshop). I will clear all the pendulums before I send them, but since it will pass through many hands on its way to you, it will be a good idea for you to clear it again, and I’ll include instructions for you on how to do that.
Sound good? If you’d like to be a part of this workshop, you can sign up for it with the Paypal link here:
Spirit Guide Workshop
For a very long time, I felt that I knew what good music was. And, just as important, I know what good music wasn’t.
In my teens and early 20’s, I liked singers and bands that most people hadn’t heard of, yet. Once those artists became popular, I moved on to someone new. I had disdain for almost everything on Top Forty radio. This includes songs I hadn’t heard, and artists I hadn’t heard of.
That softened somewhat with age, and even more so as I found my metaphysical and spiritual path. As recent as five years ago, I had an instant reflex where I’d change the radio station in the car the moment I heard the opening notes of a song I didn’t like.
For the most part, I don’t do that anymore. But there has been one hold out.
I have nothing personal against the current or former members of this band. I never met any of them. And I don’t even eschew them their success.
But their music is connected to a person and situation in my past. While I won’t go into details about what happened (or who was involved), that bad experience has been connected, for me, to this band for decades.
It’s finally time for me to let this go.
I wanted to share this because you might have something similar in your life. It’s probably not a decades-long grudge against a band you never met. But maybe you have connected things, places or even people to something that they don’t really have anything to do with.
This may sound silly, but shortly after I got out of a long-term relationship, I visited a restaurant that had been significant to that relationship. It was a small, regional chain that I’d been to before, but it had taken on new meaning during the course of that relationship. And afterwards, I had trouble separating the two.
So I went there, by myself, almost once a week. And slowly, it lost the connotation I had given it.
A relatively simple solution that simply took time. And money.
I could do something similar with Journey, but I don’t think that’s the answer. In fact, I don’t think what I did with that restaurant was really the answer, either.
The answer is forgiveness.
I have forgiven the person I was in that long-term relationship with, but that restaurant chain has no locations where I now live, so I have no idea if that would have made a difference. Especially since my continued immersion in it at the time seemed to do the trick, anyway.
This other situation has had a lot longer to fester. And I don’t think locking myself in a room and listening to Journey for hours would change anything.
You know what did change things? When I forgave them.
It was a long time ago. We don’t even know each other anymore. We’ve all moved on, and have our own (reasonably) grown-up lives now. Carrying a grudge seems pointless. And letting it continue to have any power over me seems more than counter-productive. It’s dumb.
Forgiving doesn’t mean deciding someone’s bad behavior is acceptable. But it does mean not carrying around the weight of anger, disappointment and hurt feelings.
So how does this song fit into all this?
“Lights” was a minor hit for Journey in the summer of 1978. It was the third single from the band’s first album with singer Steve Perry. None of those singles cracked the top forty. “Lights” had become more popular over the years, and is now a staple on classic rock and oldies stations.
The song is about visiting, or returning to, San Francisco.
And the sun shines on the bay
I want to be there in my City
Well my friend I'm lonely too
I want to get back to my City by the bay
Songs often serve as an audio yearbook, freezing in time certain people, places, things and events. Dick Clark called it the soundtrack of our lives, and I think that’s wonderfully appropriate.
But when it’s connected to something that doesn’t make you happy, that doesn’t bring back good memories, it’s time to take a look and see how forgiveness can help you let it go.
Here’s Journey’s original video for this song, filmed just a couple years before MTV…
First, about the song. This was a top ten hit for Sam and Dave in early 1968. Though they would go on to release over a dozen more singles, it was their last top ten hit. Only their song “Soul Man” from the previous year was a bigger hit.
ZZ Top had a top forty hit with it in 1979. Bon Jovi and Bonnie Raitt have also recorded versions of it, and so had Tower Of Power (with a little help from Tom Jones).
This song came up for me as I continue to think about gratitude, which was a major part of the conversation on this past Friday’s show.
For those who don’t know, Toni DeMaio, Julia Hoffman and I begin each episode of Psychic Tapestry’s Love Show with gratitude, thanking everyone for listening, connecting and calling in to our show, as well as those who go the extra mile and engage with us on social media.
It’s not always easy to express gratitude, especially when you just feel like Life is really kicking you in the teeth. And, of course, those are the times you really need it the most.
I wanted to share something that I do, as I know this is very difficult for some. This is a pretty simple exercise I do every evening, and you can copy this and adjust it anyway you’d like.
Before I go to sleep, I think of eleven things I’m grateful for.
Why eleven? A couple reasons. First, eleven is a significant angel number, inviting spiritual support. That’s part of the reason I post the 11:11 Songs each day (and you can click on 11:11 Songs on the left-hand menu for more details on that).
The other reason is that I wanted the number to be big enough so that it wasn’t something easy where I could just say I’m grateful for my wife and kids and be done every evening. A number too small would make it too much of a simple string of words that, eventually, I wouldn’t even have to think about while repeating them.
I wanted to make sure I did think about what I was grateful for. I wanted it to mean something.
And I didn’t want that number to be too big. I didn’t want this to become homework, something that was too difficult to do every night, and where I might fall into the habit of deciding I was too tired to come up with so many things, and I’d try again tomorrow. Or the day after.
Eleven seemed doable.
To be honest, the first couple times did feel like I was just going through the motions, making a mental list the way you might try to remember what you need to pick up at the grocery store.
But making myself do this every evening, I noticed a shift after those first few times. And the words really started to mean something. I really did feel grateful.
Don’t misunderstand me. I don’t have it easy, and I’m not rich. Some days are difficult, and sometimes, it’s not so easy to feel grateful. But after making this appointment with myself, which I don’t break, it has become easier. And important.
And it makes a difference.
I feel grateful. I am more appreciative throughout the day. For little things and big things. It has changed my perspective and my attitude.
That doesn’t mean I don’t occasionally lose my temper, or get annoyed or frustrated. But those moments are shorter than they used to be. And even when they’re happening, I feel differently about my temper, annoyance and frustration. It dissipates faster.
I’m pretty sure my family is grateful for that.
So I’d like to challenge you to do this yourself. Make a date with yourself to review your own list of things you are grateful for. It can be at the end of your day, or at the beginning, or whenever you feel that you have the time. Just make it at a time that works best for you, and will work for you every day.
It can be eleven things. It can be more or less. The number is completely up to you. I would only suggest that you make it more than five and less than fifteen, just to keep it manageable. If you find that it’s very easy to do more, you can always increase it. Just don’t make it so big that it becomes an overwhelming chore.
And it’s okay if some of the things on your list are the same from day to day. The first five things on my list are always my wife, my kids, my dog and my home. When I think of each item on my list, I try to think of something that happened that particular day to associate with each. It’s easy to rattle off that I’m grateful for my wife, my kids, my dog and my home, but it gives each more value if I add in why I’m grateful for them.
The next five vary from day to day. Some are about food. Some are about weather. Some are about opportunities. Some are about challenges. Some are about something fun.
And the eleventh is always, always, always that I’m grateful for the music. Sometimes I expand on that and include specific artists or songs, and I add in the way I use music to give messages, and I add in that I’m grateful for all of my angels and guides, and any others in spirit who choose to connect with me.
As an example, here are the eleven things I’m grateful for as I sit here typing this:
1) My wife, who sang beautifully this morning (and cleaned a bunch of things while I took a nap today)
2) My daughter, who shared some fun stories (and Snapchat videos) when she got home
3) My son, whose laugh always makes me smile because it’s so deep, rich and sincere
4) My dog Benji, who will probably be bonking me with his cold nose soon to see if it’s time to go to bed and get his nighttime treat
5) My house and my home (I am grateful every day that I am fortunate enough to live in a house that is also a home, and not just a place where I’m living right now until something better comes along)
6) Sam and Dave, whose song inspired this post, and whose music makes me feel good
7) The Irish Pub we tried for the first time today (and it won’t be the last time we eat there)
8) Pokemon Go, a silly game I play on my phone along with my wife (and sometimes my daughter, too)
9) A beautiful, sunny and warm day
10) A nap I desperately needed to recharge
11) Music, which continues to be such an important part of my life and who I am
My parents, who I was able to Skype with today for nearly an hour, having a wonderful conversation about nothing of great importance
Traffic today wasn’t bad, with no accidents for us or for anyone else along our way (though a couple of them did get pulled over, presumably for speeding)
The evening walk I went on with my wife and Benji
The drive-thru we hit on our way to church this morning got our order right, and the tea was good
I get to go back to Myztic Isle tomorrow
I get to do three Psychic Tapestry shows this week, plus an appearance on Mainstream Metaphysics Radio with Eve from Elite Tarot
As you can see, sometimes I go over eleven. Some days, I recognize that my cup really overfloweth!
By the way, and I probably don’t have to say this, but I hope you understand that I didn’t post this list to show you how great I am, how lucky I am or how blessed I am. I only did that to give you an example of just how much there is to be grateful for, every day, and that those things don’t always have to be big, giant things.
If you feel comfortable, I hope you’ll share one of your gratitude lists, or how you’ve altered this to better fit yourself.
And here’s Sam and Dave, with their song “I Thank You”, with a 1969 TV performance (and the video is kind of blurry, but the music is wonderful)…
Saturday, I went with my wife and daughter to see the new Beauty and the Beast movie. At the end, as the credits rolled, I turned my phone back on.
And then I got the news notification that Chuck Berry had died.
I was surprised how hard this hit me. Sure, I was a fan. I even knew a bit about him, and had seen the terrific documentary “Hail! Hail! Rock And Roll” (which I watched again Saturday night.
I have been doing the Psychic Tapestry radio show for almost four years now. And in that time, I’ve had my own share of experiences (maybe more than my share). I know we all go on. I know that this isn’t it. I know that everyone I’ve ever known and loved is still around; they didn’t end when they passed from this life.
I’ve even talked to dead people (and some have talked to me).
I say all that not to brag. It’s just that I felt that I had learned enough, that when someone died, I would know they still existed. That also made me think that I wouldn’t be sad about losing them, since I knew we don’t really lose anyone.
But when I saw that Chuck Berry had died, the tears flowed.
I felt the same Leon Russell died a few months ago. And last year, Glenn Frey’s death was also hard on me.
There were plenty of others, but those were the ones that leaped to mind.
My connection to music is what made me feel close to these folks, even though I never met them. But that isn’t really the point.
The point is that the grief I felt surprised me because I knew I hadn’t really lost Chuck Berry. He had just transitioned and is only a thought away (and probably feeling better than he did when he was in his ninety-year-old body).
Grief isn’t something you just shrug off because you know that we don’t really die and that we all go on. It’s something we all deal with, just because we’re human.
And that isn’t a fault. It’s not a short-coming. It’s not something you should be embarrassed about.
And there’s no time limit on it.
This isn’t just about Chuck Berry. This goes for family and friends, for anyone you have known and loved. You don’t just get over it in a day or a week or a month or a year.
Even if you know they’re still around, they still love you and that they’re only a thought away.
The truth is, you never really get over it. You just figure out a way to live with it. Day by day.
And that is okay.
It’s okay to be sad. It’s okay to cry. Even after it’s been days or weeks or months or years.
Just remember that you also need to live your life. You’re still here. You have things to do, and people to love.
At times, it can be overwhelming. At times, it can hit you out of the blue. At times, it can be a mix of both, or somewhere in between.
Grieving isn’t the same for all of us. And you have to manage it as best you can, even if that means letting yourself cry and deciding not to manage it at all.
You aren’t alone. Your loved ones, your guides, your angels are always just a thought away. And you can talk to them, even if you don’t always hear them talking back.
They always listen. And they love to be remembered. And they love you.
You can be sad that they died. You can even be angry that they left you. They understand, and they still love you.
And you should never think that the grief you feel is wrong, or that you should be over it by now.
Your loved ones, your guides and angels are always with you, always supporting you and always sending you their love. Even when you feel lost and alone. Especially when you feel lost and alone.
I know Chuck Berry isn’t gone. And I’m grateful for the time we did have him here, and I’m grateful that we’ll always have his music.
But part of me will always be sad that, on this plane at least, we had to say goodbye.
Usually, I write these posts about one particular song. This time, I want to talk about the power of music using playlists.
For those who don't know, a playlist is simply a group of songs that you've put together for a particular reason. Songs you like to listen to on a Monday. Or on a rainy day. Or that are all by, or about, a particular artist, or about a particular place, or thing.
I often talk about my Psychic Jukebox, which is basically a huge playlist, containing thousands of songs. I use this for readings on Psychic Tapestry's Love Show (Friday's at 5:00pm Pacific on Blog Talk Radio) as well as my private readings (either through this website or in person on Mondays at Myztic Isle).
I set my playlist to shuffle, which is to say that I let it play randomly, and I ask my angels and guides to play the song that is the message for whoever is getting a reading.
I thought, instead of writing about one song, I'd offer up a list of songs that I find inspiring. Not just inspiring. I find these songs especially conducive to connecting with my guides and angels. And I thought you might, too. And there are two songs by each artist, just to help you really build your jukebox.
This is not a list of my most favorite songs. Or a list of songs that guarantee you any kind of connection. As always, your intention is most important. And using that, I hope you'll find this list of songs a springboard to create your own Psychic Jukebox.
Don't get overwhelmed by this list of songs. Feel free to pick and choose what you like, or what you feel strongly about. You may not know, or even like, all these songs. And that's okay. Use them to find songs you do like, or that resonate with you.
And you may also find that there's another version of one of these songs that you prefer. That's okay, too. You should use whatever you feel is right for you.
You can create playlists on Amazon, Spotify, iTunes and Napster, among others. If you don't own the music, and if you don't subscribe to streaming services (or if you don't want to), you can always search YouTube, where you should be able to find most of these songs.
Don't treat this like a homework assignment, searching for meaning, solutions or some kind of Da Vinci Code secret in these songs, or in some kind of special combination. Just select what you feel will work for you, and add in whatever else springs to mind (and believe me, if you start to do this, songs will spring to mind).
Anyway, here's a starter list of a hundred or so...
Grateful Dead "Ripple"
Grateful Dead "Uncle John's Band"
Otis Redding "Try A Little Tenderness"
Otis Redding "(Sittin' On The) Dock Of The Bay"
Queen "Don't Stop Me Now"
Queen "The Hero"
Frank Sinatra "That's Life"
Frank Sinatra "I've Got The World On A String"
John Lennon "Instant Karma (We All Shine On)"
John Lennon (The Beatles) "In My Life"
Jim Croce "Workin' At The Carwash Blues"
Jim Croce "Photographs and Memories"
Andrew Gold "Never Let Her Slip Away"
Andrew Gold "The King Of Showbiz"
Buddy Rich "West Side Story Medley"
Buddy Rich "Birdland"
Ray Charles "Mess Around"
Ray Charles "I Believe To My Soul"
Roy Orbison "You Got It"
Roy Orbison "I Drove All Night"
Elvis Presley "Follow That Dream"
Elvis Presley "Kentucky Rain"
Johnny Cash "I Walk The Line"
Johnny Cash "I've Been Everywhere"
Michael Jackson "Off The Wall"
Michael Jackson "Man In The Mirror"
George Harrison "Any Road"
George Harrison (the Beatles) "I Me Mine"
Del Shannon "Hats Off To Larry"
Del Shannon "Runaway"
The Clash "Should I Stay Or Should I Go"
The Clash "The Magnificent Seven"
Beach Boys "God Only Knows"
Beach Boys "I Can Hear Music"
Jimi Hendrix "The Wind Cries Mary"
Jimi Hendrix "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)"
James Brown "Please, Please, Please"
James Brown "I Don't Want Nobody To Give Me Nothing (Open Up The Door I'll Get It Myself)"
Bing Crosby "Too Marvelous For Words"
Bing Crosby "Swinging On A Star"
Whitney Houston "Step By Step"
Whitney Houston "The Greatest Love Of All"
Nat King Cole "L-O-V-E"
Nat King Cole "Stardust"
Andy Gibb "I Just Want To Be Your Everything"
Andy Gibb "Words and Music"
Patrick Swayze "She's Like The Wind"
Patrick Swayze "Cliff's Edge"
Sammy Davis Jr "I'll Begin Again"
Sammy Davis Jr "For Once In My Life"
Dean Martin "I Take A Lot Of Pride In What I Am"
Dean Martin "Pennies From Heaven"
Joe Cocker "Cry Me A River"
Joe Cocker "I'm So Glad I'm Standing Here Today"
John Entwisitle (The Who) "Success Story"
John Entwistle "I Believe In Everything"
The Blues Brothers "(I Got Everything I Need) Almost"
The Blues Brothers "I Don't Know"
Janis Joplin "Mercedes Benz"
Janis Joplin "To Love Somebody"
Karen Carpenter (The Carpenters) "Now"
Karen Carpenter "The Last One Singing The Blues"
Cass Elliot "Make Your Own Kind Of Music"
Cass Elliot "The Good Times Are Coming"
Bo Diddley "The Shape I'm In"
Bo Diddley "Pretty Thing"
Wilson Pickett "Mustang Sally"
Wilson Pickett "Ninety-Nine And One-Half (Won't Do)"
Rosemary Clooney "I Get A Kick Out Of You"
Rosemary Clooney Let's Face The Music And Dance"
Ludwig van Beethoven "Symphony No. 5"
Ludwig van Beethoven "Symphony No. 9"
Sam Cooke "You Send Me"
Sam Cooke "Frankie and Johnny"
Nirvana "In Bloom"
Nirvana "All Apologies"
The Outfield "All The Love In The World"
The Outfield "No Fear"
Toto "Stranger In Town"
Toto "I'll Be Over You"
Glenn Frey "True Love"
Glenn Frey "I Found Somebody"
Sweet "Fox On The Run"
Sweet "Love Is Like Oxygen"
Andy Williams "The Impossible Dream"
Andy Williams "More"
Harry Nilsson "The Lottery Song"
Harry Nilsson "I Guess The Lord Must Be In New York City"
Prince "Purple Rain"
Keith Moon "Together"
Keith Moon "Fiddle About"
David Bowie "Ashes To Ashes"
David Bowie "Blue Jean"
Etta James "At Last"
Etta James "Trust Yourself"
Naked Eyes "Promises, Promises"
Naked Eyes "(What) In The Name Of Love"
Jimi Jamison "I'm Always Here"
Jimi Jamison (Survivor) "High on You"
INXS "Need You Tonight/Meditate"
INXS "Kiss The Dirt (Falling Down The Mountain"
Lynyrd Skynyrd "Free Bird"
Lynyrd Skynyrd "The Ballad Of Curtis Lowe"
Leon Russell "Tight Rope"
Leon Russell "The Ballad Of Mad Dogs And Englishmen"
The Waitresses "I Know What Boys Like"
The Waitresses "I Could Rule The World If I Could Only Get The Parts"
George Michael "Faith"
George Michael "One More Try"
Bonus songs that came to me while I typed out the above list...
Bobby Vee "The Night Has A Thousand Eyes"
Bob Welch "Sentimental Lady"
B.B. King "How Blue Can You Get?"
Solomon Burke "Everybody Needs Somebody To Love"
Dan Fogelberg "The Leader Of The Band"
Harry Chapin "Circle"
Rick Nelson "Garden Party"
Okay, I could keep going for days, but that's more than enough to get you started!
The playlist you put together does not need to include all of these songs, Or half of these songs. Or any of these songs, actually. This is just a sample to help you get started building your own Psychic Jukebox.
If it all seems too overwhelming, just pick five songs. Put them together in any order and let them play. See how that feels. If you like those five, but want more, start adding in others. As many, or as few, as you want.
Remember, you are building Your Psychic Jukebox. Any rules, guidelines or limitations are totally up to you!
And I'd love to hear from you if you do start to do this! Let me know how it goes!
Wishing you Love, Light and Music!
Andy would have three more top ten hits in the U.S., but this was his last number one.
It was written by Andy and his three brothers (Maurice, Robin and Barry), and it marked the first time that a solo pop artist had his first three singles hit number one.
In another first, while Andy performed at a concert in Miami that summer, his three brothers joined him on stage to perform this song – the first time all four brothers performed on stage together.
This song came up for me after having an interesting experience with shadows.
I was walking around the Old Town area of San Diego one evening (yes, still playing Pokémon Go – gotta catch ‘em all). Old Town is home to the Whaley House, the most haunted house in America. There is also a small cemetery with many graves going back into the 1800’s. And there’s a rich history there, with other historic landmarks, and stories of ghosts and hauntings.
This didn’t take place near any of that.
While I was walking, I had this feeling that I wasn’t alone. It was a surprisingly quiet night in Old Town, which is usually a bustling tourist area. I stopped and noticed that I seemed to be casting two shadows (though one appeared to be much taller). Since I already had my phone out, I snapped a photo of it.
Feel free to share any photos you have taken recently where someone (or something) showed up unexpectedly!
In the meantime, here’s Andy Gibb…
As you know, it's Valentines Day. And this is a blog I actually wrote a while back, with only some slight modifications.
For the Valentine Grinches, Scrooges and Mr. Potters, you probably don't want to read any more. This is going to get kind of mushy. You've been warned.
Once upon a time, I was pretty sure I had a handle on what love was. Truth is, I think I was one of those who was in love with the idea of being in love.
I'd seen the movies and read the books, and thought love was pretty cool. Love lifts us up where we belong. Love is like Oxygen. All you need is love.
I was ready to find my Meg Ryan and live happily ever after, where our biggest problems would be arguing about which movie we were going to see (and I'd let her win almost all the time, because Tom Hanks would want it that way).
I remember once doing this bit on one of the show's I produced, where we had people give us popular slogans and commercial jingles that could be a motto for their lives. Mine was "Walk-Ins Welcome". I used to say that I was just looking for someone who knew me and loved me anyway.
As time marched on, I came to learn that I was really setting the bar very low. It's not so good, having someone that loves you in spite of who you are. They can make all kinds of excuses to themselves, but sooner or later, they like you less and less as those other things about you that they don't like, well, they seem to have a way of magnifying themselves. And then you find out that that's a pretty sorry excuse for love.
I don't know why it is that we can't learn these kinds of things about love early on. I know it's hard to explain, especially to anyone who hasn't been there. Maybe like so many other things, you need to have the experience of what love isn't to really appreciate it when you find the real thing.
That might sound like so much hyperbole, but I think it's true. It's much easier to appreciate the poetry of a gentle rain after you've lived through a thunderstorm or two.
I've always been a fan of love, and a fan of Valentines Day. I like the idea that there's a particular day set aside to celebrate something that I think is pretty important.
I know there's an ongoing argument, about how we should tell people that we love them all the time, rather than just on some "Hallmark Holiday". There is truth to that. And I try really hard to let the important people in my life know that they ARE the important people in my life, and that I love them very much. And I try to do that often.
But on Valentines Day, I like to let the most important person in my life know that I am absolutely ga-ga over her. She's all the cliches. The wind beneath my wings. The light of my life. She had me at hello. The Rose to my Jack (except we both lived).
I'm pretty sure she already knows all of this. I don't wait for February 14 to tell her. But I do like to make sure she does know on Valentines Day. And not because I give her jewelry or roses or a gift card for a pedicure, either.
I think she knows for the same reason that I know that she loves me. It's a million different things, some big, some infinitesimal. Mostly though, it's because I love her for who she is. And she loves me for who I am. No charades. No pretenses. No exceptions.
I wish it hadn't taken me so many years to figure out that what I really was looking for, what I think a lot of us have been looking for, is someone who knows us and loves us BECAUSE of who we are. And not in spite of it.
As we get older and more set in our ways, it becomes easy to think of love and romance as two separate things. But they don't need to be mutually exclusive.
And that's one of the things I really love about Valentines Day.
On February 14, we can all get mushy. It's not just expected; it's encouraged. And I enjoy reveling in it.
I also think it's a nice annual reminder about what's really important. Amazing how quickly we can get lost in the day-to-day stuff and lose sight of that. A hug, a caress, a kiss, those can make such a difference, and too many times, we get too busy to remember that.
It doesn't mean we love each other any less. It doesn't mean that your love isn't important, or AS important, any more. But too many years without a Valentine's Day can make it harder to remember what really matters.
Lisa, I'm pretty sure you already know this, but just in case you forgot...I love you. With all my heart, and all my soul, and all that I am. You are the best friend, lover, partner, the best everything, that I've ever had. And I am a very lucky man.
We don't have one particular tune that is "our song", but Elton John's "Your Song" is pretty close. After all, all the songs are hers, because without her, there would be no music.
Happy Valentine's Day!
Leonard Cohen originally recorded it in 1984. He labored over the lyrics, and the rumor is that there are over eighty verses!
In addition to his struggle with the lyrics, Cohen also had to fight his record label to let him add the song to his album, Various Positions (which they finally did).
The song was not originally released as a single, and garnered almost no airplay. Cohen did perform it in concert over the next few years, though the version he played contained different lyrics from the commercially released version on his album.
While many of the cover versions are much smoother, I like the gritty and raw sound of the original. It’s a song about almost everything in life, and life just isn’t always smooth and pretty. It’s also about hope, perseverance and, with faith or maybe with luck, triumph.
Here’s Cohen performing the song live, with some of the added verses…
At some point in the mid to late 1980’s, Bob Dylan began performing the song in concert. From there, the Velvet Underground’s John Cale heard it and wanted to record it. He contacted Cohen, who faxed him fifteen pages of lyrics.
Cale picked what he wanted and recorded his own version of the song for a tribute album to Leonard Cohen. His cover version was more piano driven, and is much closer to the version many others would cover than Cohen’s original.
In the early 1990’s, Cale also recorded a live version, which would appear on his own album, Fragments Of A Rainy Season.
Here’s John Cale, on stage alone with his piano, with his take on “Hallelujah”…
A solo artist named Jeff Buckley was playing clubs in New York City, and he recorded a four-song Live EP called Live At Sin-é, which included a version of “Hallelujah”. This was his first release. He followed it up in 1994, a year later, with his first album, which was called Grace. In addition to original material, he also recorded a version of “Hallelujah”.
Again, there was no single. Critics loved him. In fact, about a decade after his first album was released, Rolling Stone would name him as one of the greatest singers of all time.
Here’s Jeff’s very powerful version of “Hallelujah”, which is so powerful that many people believed it was his original song!
Tragically, Jeff Buckley drowned in 1997 and, while there have been some posthumous releases, he never completed his second album.
Into the 2000’s, and more versions popped up, started to appear on the charts. Rufus Wainwright and k.d. lang had hits with “Hallelujah” in America, while Epsen Lind took it to number one in Norway.
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Burke’s version sold well, and set records, and while it went to number one in the U.K., Jeff Buckley’s version was right behind it at number two, giving him his first smash hit, sadly arriving over a decade after he’d passed away.
That same year, while Burke and Buckley were at the top of the charts, interest in the original version began to grow, and Leonard Cohen’s original version cracked the top forty.
The song’s popularity continued to grow.
Kate Voegele performed it on One Tree Hill. Classical vocalists Renee Fleming and Katherine Jenkins each recorded it. American Idol’s Jason Castro also recorded it. And so did German electronic band Tangerine Dream.
Bon Jovi had a hit with it in Austria. And Pentatonix just released a version on their new Christmas album.
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“Hallelujah” has been performed by over three hundred artists worldwide. The BBC has filmed a documentary on it (which you might be able to watch online one of these days RIGHT HERE), and there’s even a book that has been written about this one song (which you can find out more about if you click the book cover)!
It has endured and triumphed over incredible odds. The original artist’s record label nearly refused to release it. Buckley died in that in-between time when MTV was fading and iTunes and YouTube were still years away.
Plus, even if you don’t try to include all of Cohen’s original 80+ verses, it’s still a pretty long song! Most versions clock in at over seven minutes, and there just aren’t that many popular songs that are that long.
Enduring and triumph. Music did that. It helps us get through, even when we feel beaten and worn out by the struggle. It helps us to be grateful for what we have, and it gives us hope for what we can achieve.
Whether you prefer that gritty and raw version that Leonard Cohen first recorded, or you like the more popular voices singing a smoother song, it still comes down to the same thing.
A global love for music. It unites. It heals. It touches our hearts and our souls. It helps us all muster the strength to whisper, to shout and to sing.
But it popped up on my cloud player and made me think of something.
First, about the song. It’s on Elvis’ 1961 album “Something For Everybody”. Another number one LP for the King. His 7th number one album.
Not bad for someone who’s career had only been five years long at that point. I’d imagine that even today, the list of performers with seven number one albums in their first five years is a really small number.
Anyway, the song made me think of a segment that Psychic Medium John Edward does upon occasion. He uses the phrase “Up Until Now” and suggests you repeat that after addressing something that hasn’t been going well or has been a problem, adding different affirmations afterward.
So if you have financial difficulties, you’d say something like, “I never have enough money…up until now.” Then you would add something like, “I gratefully except the abundance the Universe brings to me.”
I find this song to be useful in that same way.
Many of us have this that we’re stuck wherever we are, that somehow, our circumstances make us resigned to a life we don’t want.
Every day is a new opportunity to start again. And not only is that true, but you don’t have to solve all your problems, or completely change everything, in one fell swoop.
Starting Today, you can change your life.
Instead of making it into some insurmountable task, give yourself permission to make progress at whatever pace you need to.
Starting Today, I will take better care of myself.
You don’t have to lose 100 pounds today. Or even 1. And you don’t have to run a marathon. You don’t even have to walk a mile. Start however you can. Even if that only means not finishing your fries and walking for five minutes.
The important thing is to start. And you’re in charge of building toward whatever it is you want to achieve. The only time limits are the ones you put on yourself.
But just the simple act of starting helps you feel like you are accomplishing something. And that affirmation can lead you to the next.
Starting Today, I will walk for ten minutes.
Starting Today, I will get back to daily meditation.
Starting Today, I will begin looking for a better job.
Starting Today, I will learn new things every day.
Starting Today, I will clean one part of my home.
Starting Today, I will do something that makes me happy.
You can make it as specific or as general as you want. And if for whatever reason you don’t accomplish what you wanted to, you have another opportunity tomorrow.
The important thing is to get started.
Otis had the idea for the song while he was staying on a houseboat in the San Francisco Bay, after his appearance at the Monterey Pop Festival, inspired by watching the ships come in and out of the Bay.
The song hit number one, and won two Grammys.
I was inspired to include it in my Psychic Jukebox deck, for the Seven of Pentacles. To me, it’s about relaxing after you’ve done whatever you can do, and allow the Universe to take it from here.
And it’s inspired me to create a new deck, the first one Psychic Tapestry is offering for sale!
Like Otis’ song, I have often found peace near the ocean. It’s comforting, and so much more. I feel renewed after spending some time gazing into the ocean. Healed in many ways, with a restored sense of hope.
And that’s what I hope to covey in this new deck.
I call it Ocean Therapy, and it’s a very simple deck to use. There’s no book, and you don’t have to learn anything or have any previous card-reading experience. Each card has a picture of the ocean, and a simple word or group of words.
That’s it. The rest is up to you.
You can pull as many cards as you like, from one to one hundred and eleven.
Yes, one hundred and eleven. I felt that a deck inspired by the ocean should be massive. Like the ocean.
If 111 cards seems too big for you, I’ve also broken it down into two smaller decks of fifty-six cards each. The two smaller decks are completely different, each made up of one-half of the cards in the larger deck. Accept for one. Each of the smaller decks also has one card in common.
You can use any of the decks by themselves, or with other decks you already have. That’s also for you to decide.
The big deck, as well as the two smaller decks, will all be available in September. If you’d like to be one of the first to get one, you can pre-order them HERE or over on Etsy HERE.
There are many more Psychic Tapestry decks in the works, and while none of the others are close to ready, here’s a little tease of the next two, which I hope will be available in October.
My goal in all of this is to continue to spread hope and healing, and if you decide to pick up one of these decks, that’s what I want you to find.
For more hope and healing, here is Otis Redding with “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of The Day”…
Ken Kessler has always been interested in psychic phenomena, and like Mulder on the X-Files, wants to believe. But like most, he tends to look for, and accept, rational explanations. (More)