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Robin & Jim DEVOlving at the Beachland Ballroom, August 15, 2015

Robin & Jim DEVOlving at the Beachland Ballroom, August 15, 2015

This summer’s treks to points west were good ones. Over the past couple years, the odd niche of concert performance, kirtan, SubGenius shenanigans, and Devo worship has been fun. It also reminds me that the width of Pennsylvania is substantial, and that a gig or two along the way to Ohio would make for reasonable stopping points. I have made such idle complaints from time to time. For the most part, I am happy to travel, often alone. I’ve taken a lot of life that way.

I still thrive with a fair amount of aloneness. Lately, there has been more time filled by getting emotionally in line with writing than actually writing, but I’ve recognized that as a necessary part of my process. I don’t love this fact, but it is what it is for now.

I am happy to say that the balance of aloneness to togetherness has changed in the direction I’d hoped. Back on 2011 I wrote about preparing a place in my heart, mind, and home for poly family. It has been a long road and for a while it was best to mostly forget about. I didn’t dwell in a state of constant longing or go on a relationship quest. That hasn’t been my way. I have, though, allowed myself to be conscious of the intention.

This summer was the first time I took the mini tour to the Cleveland area with a partner. It was an easy-going, great experience to have a friend and lover (not to mention driver, roadie, and general assistant!) along for the trip. Here’s hoping for many more travels to local and faraway places. I do like to stay in motion, but even more than that I love the prospect of an emotional and spiritual traveling companion – Someone who wants a support system to navigate the twists and turns of the mind and is up for the task of being so for me as well.

I’ve never been set on the configuration my poly family should take. I’ve been one to allow relationships to develop as they will without a lot of engineering from the outside. In this case, I find myself developing deep bonds and becoming part of a family already well in progress. I had the chance to talk about our connection this week at Poly Role Models. There are ecstasies and practicalities, even-tempered positives, and some challenges I do my best to look at clearly. I’m up for all of it.

It’s a good thing that calls for appearances have been making room for themselves in the midst of my quiet intention toward personal life and personal growth. I have a few gigs coming up – one at the Center for Relaxation and Healing in Plainsboro, NJ on November 6th and one pending for Collingswood in the same time frame. I’m also gearing up to kick off the 2016 Caldera Pagan Music Festival in LaFayette, GA this coming May. I’ll be putting together a string of East Coast gigs to make my way south and back. I may have companionship for a few of those gigs, and by circumstance, I’m likely to also take on some alone. Those logistics are still some distance away. Either way, I have a sense of mutual support in my life these days, and that makes all the travels feel grounded in the heart space. It’s been a very long time since I’ve felt quite that way.

Seen on Robin Renée mini-tour August 2015. A very homey display at a Dutch-style restaurant in Pennsylvania en route to Cleveland, OH.

Seen on Robin Renée mini-tour August 2015. A very homey display at a Dutch-style restaurant in Pennsylvania en route to Cleveland, OH.

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At the end of the kirtan last night at The Yoga Place in North Canton, OH, I mentioned that I like being in the area.  Someone said “Why don’t you move here?”  My impulse response was “If you move the ocean here, I’ll think about it.”  I feel most at peace and most able to uncover a sense of union with All when I am on the shoreline.  On the edge of the continent, cool and sandy earth, vast sky, fiery sun warmth, and infinite-seeming water couldn’t be more clear expressions of the makings of all life.  Rarely do I ever feel homesick, as I am generally happy to be wherever I am, experiencing what is there.  In that moment of remembering the shore, though, I had a twinge of it.  It suddenly felt alien to be more than seven hours from the closest ocean.  How fitting that as I drove over the Ben Franklin Bridge this evening NPR was playing an interview with Bruce Springsteen on the making of Darkness on the Edge of Town.  It was good listening– I’d never considered his poetry that directly before.  Welcome back to Jersey.    

 All four of the gigs on this mini-tour worked out very well.  The people and the vibe to carry the evenings all showed up.  I am never sure what my inner experience will be while I’m singing, so I let myself be surprised.  Somewhere in the middle of leading chanting in Kent and in Toledo, the bemusement crept in. 

 What the heck am I doing up here?  Why am I singing mantra again?  How did all this even happen?  Am I here to facilitate spiritual experience?  No, I just sing.  Whatever – Time to stop analyzing – Sheesh. 

 It is the old familiar WTF that I try to treat as I would any thought in meditation – see it, breathe, and let it go.  It’s not an easy one to let go.  Sometimes I need to run through the timeline in my head just a little—remembering the visions, the love, the white light, the dreams that swept me into recognizing that Spirit would be more a part of my music and overall being than I’d ever known. 

 Why does all this still surprise me?     

Thankfully, the surprise washed through and moved along, swept up and sublimated in the ocean of sound.  All the events this time out were sweet experiences.  House of Yoga in Berkely, MI near Detroit was an ideal in many ways – not the least of which was for the chance to see some amazingly cool black squirrels nearby the next day!  But I digress—the musical joy was that I was able to sing nearly an hour set of songs and then the same time was given to chanting.  It feels wonderfully dynamic and balancing when these elements are invited together and I intend to develop the show and do more in this format.  North Canton was a straight-up kirtan after which there was a sense of exuberance and deep fellowship in the air.

All the people I met or had the chance to see again on this trip are good, good, solid, loving beings.  I am blessed to have found a path that leads me to them.  Some kind of general positivity swirls for me in the Cleveland area and into some margin beyond.  It is where the Devo fans gather for the annual DEVOtional.  It is where kirtan connections have led to knowing kind people on rich paths.  It is where whenever I am linked up with a musician for a gig, we usually sound like automatic magic.  I may be a coastal being, but I will be back to be part of these circles as I am able.

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