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I'm all about Quest, Connect and Inspire through writing, music, advocacy and action.

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A Hand Gesture, Welcome

Just got back from a few days in Montana.

Photos to come.

The image that sticks in my mind, though, is more simple and less colorful.

Driving on a gravel and dirt road toward the ranch in the Shields Valley, I'd pass an occasional truck or car.

Each time, the driver raised his/her fingers from the wheel in that ages-old greeting I hadn't seen for many, many years.

"Hi. I see you here on the road with me. I probably know you. You might be a neighbor. But even if I don't know you, I'm comfortable with telling you that I see you here on the road with me. I acknowledge your existence in this simple and pleasant way and I don't even have to think twice about it. I'm not in competition with you and I don't feel threatened by you. So, hi!"

This world still exists. Wow.


The Birth of an Artist

It was always there inside him.  But for the past few weeks America's been watching the birth of the artist who is Lee DeWyze (American Idol).

I've been talking about him on Facebook and all that. And yeah he's cute and has incredible eyes and all that stuff. He's endearingly and refreshingly shy and insecure. At the beginning of the season, painfully so.

And there's the fun part. Watching all of that change. Not entirely, mind you, but enough that we've all been brought along on Lee's confidence-building roller coaster ride. Each week he's sounded more secure in his vocals and looked more comfortable on stage. He now smiles.

And there's the best part, too. The guy's truly an artist.  And the judges see that. It's a pretty powerful thing to know you'll likely always have Simon Cowell as an ally. And Harry Connick, Jr. And Shania Train. And pretty much anybody he's worked with.

And we've gotten to see all that happen.

Break the wrappers off them cigars, kids. 'Cuz "It's an Artist."


The Mind-Blowing Mystery

Saw the Hubble 3D movie at IMAX this morning at the Air & Space Museum surrounded by staff from Goddard Space Flight Center who worked on many of the Hubble servicing missions, plus two shuttle astronauts who flew on those missions.

The story was mainly about the 4th and final servicing mission last year that breathed new life into the amazing machine.

But most amazing were the 3D images that had been constructed from Hubble data.

In particular, the final image of the billions and billions of *galaxies* that exist and how scientists have now seen that those galaxies are connected like strings, and that those strings make a web, and this same *web of life* exists on a cosmic scale.

The web of life -- DNA -- existing at such a level I can barely comprehend.

It is amazing. It is inspiring. It is to have but a glimpse of understanding of what this all might mean that gives meaning to life.

Go see the film!


Riot Act

Got read one last night. Politicians did. And deservedly so.

I have this sinking feeling that if we were all ever really able to pay real attention to what politicians at the federal level have done to damage and disrupt our lives, I'd be searching for an exit door pretty quick.

At least the Republicans didn't sit on their bums during last night's State of the Union. To not show any sign of unity or agreement is just what divides us even further. Get out of your chairs! Act like adults who give a damn! I would have given *anything* to see one Republican stand up and applaud when no one else in his/her party was doing so.

What turns the tide is unity. What turns the tide is people reaching out and shaking hands -- making connections however they can. Become the better man. Become the better woman. 

What lifts spirits and energizes hearts is acting from a place that you weren't before -- the next level, the one where the "I" becomes "i" and the "Me" becomes "We." When courage pushes you from behind and pulls you ahead.

That, and Barack's smile.


Focus on Flutes

I got myself involved in organizing an annual Native American Flute festival. And so I've learned that, if you want to see something move forward, you have to become involved.

As many times as I've tried to stay on the periphery, it doesn't work.

And with it come all the requisite headaches, stresses and occasional high moments when everything runs well.

It's worth it, though. As a medallion embedded in the wood of my first harp says, "Music Will Save the World." Not only that, music shapes it, defines it, soothes and heals it.

Got music? :)