Tag Archives: Family

A Childs Nightmare

I released this song about a month ago now.

I hope you guys have been enjoying it!

If you haven’t heard it yet, take a listen here:

It is a song that kind of came out of no-where. I was not planning on writing a song at all. In fact I was playing my guitar earlier that night and was just frustrated with it so I put it away.

My son was in bed one rainy night and woke up crying and screaming uncontrollably. I thought at first that it was a night terror and that perhaps he would go back to sleep. Well, after a few moments I realized that he was definitely up.
He had this severity and urgency in his voice.
I walked into his room and he stood up immediately, reached for me and began to exclaim “Daddy come here!”. I picked him up and he just wailed on my shoulder. He threw his arms around my neck and buried his head in my chest as if his life depended on it.
I asked him if he was ok and he replied a very shaky, tear filled “yes”.
He couldn’t really remember what he was dreaming about, or maybe he was too scared to express it, but either way, it was real, it was intense and it was scary.
I was just glad that I was able to be there with him.

We eventually sat on the floor and he sat in my lap with his back up against my chest. His breathing was beginning to slow back down to a normal pace with the exception of a occasional sigh.

To watch my son experience this just broke my heart, but the moments during and after this are things that I hope to never forget.

Children really are a blessing and they remind me of that in the strangest times!

I can still quite vividly remember some of my nightmares as a child. And to this day, they feel quite real, quite intense and pretty scary. While I don’t know much about nightmares, I feel like they have their purpose, their place and their meanings. In some ways, they remind me of something so much bigger than our mundane day to day activities.
As a result of this night and all of these thoughts, I picked up my guitar fairly late that night, and this song came out of it.
I really like this song and am quite excited about it.
I hope that you all enjoy it to.

Please let me know what you think! I would love to hear from you guys!

Until next time.

Be well!

Jonathan.

Live performances

So a couple of Friday nights ago I played a show at a local coffee shop called Cafe Bella.
Its a great little place that is built on community, arts, atmosphere and a drink and food menu that is out of this world.

They have a different band or musician come in every Friday night. They put together a flyer and post it up on their Social Media sites. They tag you in the post and wah-lah, you have a great way to help spread the word about your show.

First, let me start by saying that a guy with his guitar and a looper, and a few effects pedals can really generate some energy during a performance.
Confession time: I was really nervous going into this as it was kinda my first “real show” in a long time. I have played for benefit concerts, dinners, art shows, and various other events, but this was different. People were there to hear some music and watch a performance.
Now this is the trick to the thinking that I am getting at here: they weren’t necessarily there to see me, but a show, a performance. So that was part of my thinking going into this, yes, some of my friends were there and I am super appreciative of their support and I really love seeing people I know and respect in the crowd. It helps to put me at ease a bit, but the thing that got me thinking was there were going to be people I didn’t know. They didn’t know my songs, they have never heard of me.
They were coming because… well maybe their are too many reasons to list here and not bore you to death, but needless to say, they weren’t there for me! That began to freak me out, what if I make a bunch of mistakes? What if I play the song too fast? What if?….

Wait a minute here….. I said to myself.

Then it dawned on me as I was watching people walk in, I thought to myself, “yeah, what if? they have never heard my songs before, for all they know, any mistake I make could just be part of the song.” Especially if I don’t have a sour reaction when a mistake occurs. That is part of being a professional,

Just smile…..

I won’t go into those details now, but that really helped calm me down.
Then I just told myself, these are my freaking songs and I own them. I am suppose to be having fun while playing these, otherwise why did I agree to do this in the first place? Right?

All in all, I had a blast, the crowd seemed to really enjoy the evening. We shared some laughs and I got to share a lot of my-self to them through these songs.

Its experiences like these that remind me why I got into the music busness in the first place! What a joy it has been!

So thanks to those of you that showed up and thanks to Cafe Bella for creating an environment like this to promote the local art and music scene.

Until next time :

Be Well!

Jonathan

What’s Next?

Whats next?

In everyday life, I am super busy, too busy in fact.
Sometimes I am so busy I feel a little neurotic, and that seems to be the culture these days. Cram as much as you can into your day so you can feel accomplished, or important or what ever we need to feel worthy.
   While on vacation two weeks ago, I was able to stop and hear the trees sway back and forth, the leaves shake in unison as a breeze gently plucked them into a dance, hear and see the waves come crashing onto the beach. I couldn’t help but slow down.
     However, my thoughts and body began to get antsy for the “next thing”. I had a hard time slowing down, which is something I am encouraged to do almost daily, by people who are close to me.
   I seem to suffer from a common ailment in our society, what I call “whats next?”.  I exhibit impatience, dissatisfaction, hurriedness etc. As a result, my family suffers, my relationships suffer, my job suffers and my psyche suffers. I am not as close to people or God as I want to be, or should be for that matter. I am so tired of living this way.
    My job requires me to “herd” people into telling me what they need in as few words as possible and in as little time as possible. It’s commission based and you have to work as quickly and efficiently as you can. That leaves no time for banter or chit-chat. The term “land the plane” gets tossed around frequently. Sure, there is time for goofing off and blowing off steam but your mind is always on your next task.
    I used to say that I was really good at multitasking, but over the last few months, I have realized that I AM TERRIBLE AT IT!  In fact, I suck at it!!!. If I am having a conversation with someone and pick up my phone to check something, I completely lose my focus on the conversation. At this point, the relationship has suffered,  and the other person may be hurt, and they have a right to be, but we are so accustomed to this type of behavior that we deem it socially acceptable. No time is sacred anymore.
      I don’t want to trudge through life intentionally or unintentionally ignoring people because I am so busy trying to accomplish what I “need” to get done.
    I can’t help but look at Jesus; this dude was busy, and had a genuine agenda to accomplish, but he healed, broke bread, fed, taught, challenged, and discipled real people day after day, willingly, lovingly and graciously. He was more human than I will ever be.

Unexpected Lessons

Balance and Creative Outlets:

 
    As some of you know, my family and I went to Lake Tahoe for a week of much needed vacation. We packed up our Volkswagen TDI Jetta and hit the road. No cargo box on the roof so it was “cozy” inside this little car.
     With a pregnant wife and a two and a half year old in a car seat, there wasn’t much room inside the car, which is where I keep my guitars on trips since the climate is regulated. In Flagstaff it was a balmy 74 degrees, 110 degrees in Las Vegas and the highs of Tahoe were 68 ish.  Not what you would call “ideal” for instruments during travel. So, I opted to leave the guitar behind. Good call I would later find out!
     I felt so inspired while I sat and reflected on the surroundings and the conversations that Shaila and I had. The time with Noah was just amazing. It is really nice to spend the week with the family, uninterrupted and undistracted, although I feel like my mind and soul are on sensory overload from all the things we saw and experienced. The desolate bad lands, crystal clear blue water, fourteen thousand foot peaks, rushing water falls, beaches and the constant interactions with my family, just to name a few. I really have a hard time expressing my thoughts in voice but I am learning that a pen is sometimes just as mighty as a guitar.
   When I do not have a creative outlet I begin to become a bit frustrated, impatient and antsy. Think of a volcano just before the top gets blown sky high because it has nowhere to vent its lava…. ..
Ok, so it’s not that bad; I completely exaggerated there! Haha The first day or two were the hardest for me without my guitar, but then the opportunities to write became available and the pressure began to subside.
     I am usually so focused on one thing that everything else gets blurred out. Sometimes that is not a bad thing, but the word “balance” came to my mind many times throughout the trip and in my writings. I think that was one of the focal lessons from this trip and something that I am really going to explore these next few weeks.
    All in all, this trip was a great time “away” from my distractions. No car failures, no major blowouts with the family and a ton of laughter at the expense of myself, my wife and my son.
 
What’s your creative outlet for things inspire-able or challenging? I would love to hear how you express yourself!

The Patter of Little Toes

I was playing a series of notes in a drop D tuning about a year and a half ago. I really liked the natural progression of the notes and just couldn’t get the melody out of my head.
    I remember playing with my son one day while my wife was out and about. Noah and I were in the living room and he was not quite mobile yet. He was able to roll over but not able to crawl.
     As we were in the living room, he was laying on his back looking up at me with this drooly smile and giggling quite a bit. I was playing this particular song but I didn’t have a title for it yet. I had all the rhythm parts down and an idea of where I wanted the song to go with all the different parts but it was still “under construction”.
    Noah loved to spend time on his back with his feet and hands stretched up in the air. Something he still enjoys doing I might add.  I would take his feet and make them clap like a pair of hands and he would just laugh and seemed to really enjoy the strangeness, craziness, and goofiness of his dad.
    So as I was playing this particular song for him, he had his feet out-stretched upward towards the sky, his toes were wiggling like crazy and he was smiling and shrieking like a  pterodactyl.  So it seemed to fit the moment and it stuck.
    The real inspiration for the song came one day as I just became overwhelmed with emotion as I looked at this little guy sleeping in his crib and thinking about what interactions would be like once he became mobile. I couldn’t help but be reminded of my childhood, and if any of you know me, you know that I have always had two speeds, ON and OFF.  Which Noah has now received from his dad. Hahaha.
    I was really laughing at some of the things that I did in my childhood, like chase my parents around the house with a hose just before we had to go to a wedding. My parents were less that thrilled! I can’t remember if I actually soaked them or not, but imagine my folks enthusiasm while their child tried to ruin their really nice clothes on a hot Minnesota day just before a big wedding. Not the best decision I ever made! My mom reminded me of that story many times growing up and we could laugh about it. So I expect to have many, MANY experiences that we can laugh at down the road.
    But now that he is mobile and running around our house like a wild man, I will enjoy hearing The Patter of Little Toes, but also the screaming helps announce his presence too!
    Thanks for taking the time to read this!

The News of Another Son

This song title came from the fears, excitement, joys and hopes that come from expecting a second child. In some ways, I am not as freaked out about what is coming, but in other ways, I have no idea what to expect. This particular song was written as I thought about the joy of what is coming.

    I am so stoked that we are having another boy. Truth be told, I was really hoping for a velociraptor, but a boy works too! Hahaha! My wife on the other hand was hoping for a girl, but we knew that we would not be disappointed either way. As we were watching this little guy on the monitor at the Dr’s office, I was just amazed that we could really see this little guy moving around and all of his different parts. Which I have to tell you, one of the first things we saw was his “boyish” features. We both new right away before the technician told us that we were having a boy. Just the fact that we can see this human moving around inside the womb of mommy is pretty incredible. I mean think about it, this lil dude is swimming around right now and we have the ability to watch him do what he does in there. We could see his lungs moving, his blood flow, his heart beat, his hands move and toes wiggle. Just incredible!
    To be a father is kinda scary, but it is the biggest blessing and I can’t imagine life without out my son. Don’t get me wrong, parenting has its challenges, but to watch them grow and figure things out is just amazing. Every day they learn new things, say new things, and do new things. I anticipate that there will be much laughter in our house with the interaction of our first son and his little brother.
    This song is really written from my anticipation of watching this little guy grow up. To see what he will do to test things, how he will learn things, and those really amazing sounds that newborns make, like the shrieks of pterodactyls flying in the sky, or the joyous smiles that have not been tainted from the outside world. I have absolutely no idea what this little guy will be like, but I know that no matter what, I will love him more than I could ever explain. So as I process the reality that we are about to have another child, I can’t help but be overwhelmed with a unexplainable joy for the arrival of this little guy. This is a glimpse into the inspiration of this song.