Is our Flame Burning Brightly?

– from Bev

Two CandlesTwo candles burn side-by-side, one noticeably shorter than the other. We know that one will burn out before the other, but until that time – right up until that time – both burn brightly.

This has been a week of emotional extremes for me. We greeted a beautiful, healthy baby grand daughter on Tuesday August 12 – the same day as her aunt Christine’s 23rd birthday. It was a day of celebration – Aubrey Grace brings the joy and perfection of new life to our family once again and we are so grateful.

This morning I was dressed in black, for the funeral of John Foster McKenna who passed away last Friday after a 20-month battle with brain cancer. He would have been 24 later this year.

Christine had let me know about John last Friday morning. Later that day my mom called to tell me that my Aunt Ann had passed away, also that morning. She was in her 80s.

Birth and death. Death at opposite ends of life expectancy.

mama papa aubrey blogThe priest at John’s funeral said he didn’t have the answer to the inevitable question, why? But he offered this illustration – of the two candles. And he voiced what the 500 people in attendance already knew about John: He had burned brightly, even though the flame had not lasted as long as ours.

Love is the source of that flame. It is the fuel that knows no limit and it is equally available to all of us. It can change the world of a young family with a brand new baby, a widower in his 80s, parents mourning an unfathomable loss and yes – the family, friends and fans of Robin Williams who also passed this week and made the whole world stop and think.

Let’s all burn brightly.

Happy Anniversary to Us! How Love has Changed Our World

weddingAugust 24, 2012 is our tenth wedding anniversary. This photo is of us exchanging our vows – singing Buddy & Julie Millers’ Holding up the Sky. We started to write our own, but couldn’t’ have said it better than they already did.

Wow. Ten years.

It seems silly to say, but it has truly taken everything  we’ve have been, and every circumstance we’ve each been through to become who we are.  Our love for each other has inspired and spilled over into the love we feel for everyone and everything in our lives. Our deep love for our children (and now our new grandson)… for people of all cultures, faiths, and lifestyles… for the things and circumstances that have forced us to grow… for friends with whom we disagree, but love for who they are.

Love is a very powerful thing. And make no mistake, love changes the way we look at the world and everything around us. We are all love, because love is all there is.

Our gift to you, in celebration of our ten years together, is a free download of our love song, Sonnet.

Just click Download to get to the download page then click Buy Now and enter zero (0) for the amount. You’ll see the green download button. No email address required, its just our gift.

Here’s a video of a live, acoustic version of Sonnet from earlier this year, at Russ & Julie’s House Concerts.


Bev & Greg

Calico Heart

Sometimes the love that can change the world is as simple as a waltz.

We love our friends from Americana band Houston Jones, and we loved singing this song, written by Chris Kee, with Travis Jones and Glenn Houston during our TrueWind Tuesday Webcast on January 24.

You Can’t Evict an Idea Whose Time Has Come

Wise words of building community, embracing gifts, and understanding that the revolution is love.

Beautifully done.

Directed by Ian MacKenzie
Co-produced with Velcrow Ripper

Ronny Cox, Hopeless Romantic

Ronny Cox’s first love, his soul mate, was Mary Griffith. He was 14 and she was 11, and she had a paper route. He was aware of her when she was 11, he says, because “there weren’t too many girls who had paper routes in those days.”

We met Ronny and Mary at the 2006 Folk Alliance Conference in Austin, and later Ronny performed in our house concert series. We see him at music events and we keep threatening to take him up on his offer to stay with him when we visit Bev’s daughter at UCLA.

He says he doesn’t like just being Ronny the actor, or Ronny the musician … he just likes to be Ronny.  And he does a pretty darn good job at that. He’s a great story teller, a wonderful performer, and a fabulous human being who took the time to visit the Rolling Hills Middle School cast of Hello Dolly the afternoon before our house concert.

Ronny Cox co-stars in an ABC Family Movie Truth Be Told tonight, Saturday April 16, at 8/7 central. This is a short interview about his life with Mary as inspiration for his role in the movie. His voice – his whole face – lights up when he talks about her. It always has.

What’s funny, to me anyway, is that we saw Mary and Ronny at the next table in the hotel restaurant in Austin before we actually met them… and they were arguing. But we know all about that. That’s passion for you. Deep love and respect create a truthful relationship where it’s safe to speak your mind – and safe to shut up and listen.

Thank you Ronny and Mary, for that deep love. We can still see it in Ronny’s face, and it does change the world.

– Bev

Thoughts on Valentine’s Day

My 16 year old son announced that today is “singles awareness day.”  Valentine’s Day, it seems, has become somewhat politically incorrect as we strive for inclusion and compassion for everyone, regardless of their state of romance or relationship.

I do understand that when someone has been hurt, all the hearts and flowers and happy couples can be upsetting. When we performed in Astoria Oregon a couple of years ago I was talking to a man before the show who seemed like he was really looking forward to the evening – then out of the corner of my eye I saw him walk out after our second song. I knew he was a friend of the club owner, so I asked him about it. He said he was going through a divorce, and he was having trouble watching how in love we were. I was torn. This is who we are, after all. But should we tone it down a bit, recognizing that it can be upsetting to people who are struggling in their own relationships?

We want to create an environment of love and respect for everyone. And we recognize that love does not exist only for the couple in a committed, romantic relationship. Love is the source of everything, the power within us all and the guide that joins us together as one community.

Yesterday, we participated in a re-commitment ceremony at the Center for Spiritual Living in Fremont, California. The importance of this seemingly small departure from our otherwise very hectic existence (moving, recording the new CD, taking care of business, etc.) was profound for us… and somewhat unexpected. There is power in pausing to renew and recommit to what we believe in, what we trust, how we love, and who we love. We then return to our greater causes in the world refreshed and with the capacity for even greater love.

Dr. Jay Scott Neale offered these words from Khalil Gibran’s On Marriage at Sunday’s re-commitment ceremony:

You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore.
You shall be together when the white wings of death scatter your days.
Ay, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God.
But let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.

Love one another, but make not a bond of love:
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.

Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.

This message of love and relationship speaks to our individuality and mutual respect. It speaks to the expectation that we are each on our own journey, while supporting and respecting one another’s. I submit that this is not only true of marriage or committed relationships, but of all our relationships.

So, today we’re celebrating love in all of its glory. Because without embracing the essence of love, we have no room to love – or to support – another person, whatever role that person plays in our lives.

– Love, Bev