Welcome

A few weeks ago, on a particularly gloomy and frigid Monday afternoon, Sarah and I began writing words on a blank page we had posted on the wall at Petit-Château. Our “wall” is really two large wooden doors, but we have found that the packaging tape we use attaches far better onto the door than…

When you cross the border

Two Mondays ago, I met a man named Samba at the refugee center where I volunteer in Brussels, Belgium. He told me he had been in Belgium for a week. My co-volunteer, Sarah, and I had posted a piece of paper on the white door beside our poetry wall as usual. As it was our…

All we have is this moment

I am often alarmed at the violent nature of enmity with which people respond to other beings. I recently posted a photograph of an enormous spider, which had bitten me when I had put my arm into my jacket sleeve, where it had been quietly minding its own business. At shaken as I was by…

I want a peaceful life

March is Women’s History Month. In the past, I participated in Lowell Women’s Week in Lowell, Massachusetts. I offered a songwriting workshop and concert where I performed songs I had been working on from the oral histories of female factory workers. This year, I am composing songs in Brussels, Belgium as a volunteer at one…

What did you learn in school today?

I spent the past four years in a doctoral program studying sustainability education. With each year in the program, I began to view sustainability as something that begins from within. Practice what you preach Walk the talk Be the change These are common phrases I have heard that speak to my own definition of sustainability….

More of a good thing

In my mind, more music in the world is a wonderful thing. Combining music with the sharing of stories from real people and their lives is even better. The more songs I write from the stories of human lives, the more I want to spread those songs far, wide, and everywhere in between. This is…

Growing pains

I recently attempted Story-to-Song (STS) in a new forum. I had spent a week learning about an education technique called Facilitated Dialogue, a new realm the National Park Service is exploring for expanding beyond the formal interpretation techniques that have been employed for many years. Rather than the park ranger speaking as the authority on…

Demonstrating Story-to-Song

This third video in the “What is Story-to-Song” series is a live demonstration of the songwriting process. I share an original story and create a song on the spot. Join me in writing a song and then try your hand at writing your own! I hope you will share your thoughts, feedback, and songs with…

In the light of justice

I have been incorporating songwriting into my day job in every and any way that I can this past year and a half. Recently, the word went out through the National Park Service for park sites to find creative ways to commemorate the 1963 March on Washington for the 50th anniversary. In a conversation with…