A New American Dream; Community First Village

In 2005, Patrick O’Gilfoil Healy wrote an article for the New York Times about Alan Graham and his vision to offer unconditional love and hospitality to the chronically homeless. Healy wrote;

“ON the eastern fringe of town, beside the airport and clogged freeway entrance ramps, there sits a bargain-rack version of the American dream.

Five formerly homeless men are now living in recreational vehicles that were given to them by a homeless outreach group. The men, who are trying to recover from decades of drug abuse, alcoholism and jail time, pay $260 a month each to rent a lot at an existing trailer park. They spend their days working, attending rehab and getting accustomed to electric bills, locking doors at night and the quiet of sleeping inside.

The notion of a trailer park dedicated to homeless people is striking new ground, homeless advocates say.

Alan Graham, a former real estate developer who devised the project, said he is buying more trailers and hopes to set up a recreational vehicle park exclusively for homeless men, women and families. A group he helped found, Mobile Loaves and Fishes, would buy vacant land or cheaply lease a parcel from the city, county or state, he said.

Rudy Garza, an assistant city manager of Austin, said the project is the only one he has ever heard of that takes this approach. “The only thing that would come close to it is Habitat for Humanity,” he said….

Fast forward nine years and this vision, Graham’s fortitude and a community effort are seeing this exciting ideal come to fruition.

community_first_logo_3_24_2011We were honored to visit the MLF Community First Village and Genesis Gardens over two Saturday afternoons. Although, we didn’t meet Alan Graham himself, we did meet the folks on the ground. Steven Hebbard, the Good Soil Developer, invited us to come out and share some music during their volunteer lunch hour. We jumped at the chance to meet these kinfolk and hear their story, first person.

Mike, who has lived on the property for three years, was our unofficial tour guide and told us the history of MLF, as well as, how his own story intertwined with the community. Mike was formerly homeless and his excitement for the community and farm were quite evident. He was kind and very articulate, well versed in agriculture and surprisingly, had a real knowledge of folk music and venues. It was a delight to met him and hear how MLF’s vision gave him a sense of purpose and dignity.

In an article written by Jan Buchholz for the Austin Biz Journal in Feb of this year, Graham states that in the late nineties, he spent about 150 nights sleeping on the streets trying to understand what it is about the homeless lives that had them in this predicament.

It’s not drug problems or mental health problems that precipitated a downward spiral, he said. “It was a profound, catastrophic loss of family.”

That situation could happen to anyone, he added. The most important question became, “How can I bring relief into their life?”

“This was not their dream in life to be homeless. They have the same dreams as you and I,” Graham said.

screen-shot-2014-03-19-at-1-45-09-pmOn our visit we saw the vision coming into focus for The Community First Village with the Genesis Garden producing, Chicken Coop functioning, main kitchen in working order. There was also a creative spirit about the grounds with art displays and splashes color through out the village.

The over all plan will include 60 or so repurposed recreational vehicles as well as a neighborhood of microhomes, which will provide a place for the homeless to regain their bearings. Each will pay rent, depending upon the income they can reasonably produce. There’s a community garden, an arts facility, a medical center and an income-producing community outreach center for showing movies and providing lodging for visitors. The community is gated, so it’s a safe retreat.

If you have a chance to visit Austin, TX be sure to take a Wednesday or Saturday morning to roll over to the Community First Village and Genesis Gardens and lend a helping hand. And, if you are not in the vicinity you can always help with the $7million dollar project by heading over to MLF.org to make a financial donation.

Seems like a large amount but considering Grahams tenacity along with his fellow workers, I don’t doubt that need will be met before they know it.

We’ll be back in Austin Sept-Dec and we can’t wait to reconnect with these kinfolk and get our hand in the dirt!

 

 

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The Zone; One More Time Around

A2J Garden, 3 Blocks from The Zone.
A2J Garden, 3 Blocks from The Zone.

We’ve been rolling around this country for a few years now and Phoenix is one of our original stops. It’s a place that holds so much in terms of learning about faith and humility. Which I guess makes sense, seeing as it is the desert.

The first time we showed up Phoenix we had about $50 in our pocket, which we have found isn’t that unusual. But, two years ago when we were really just getting a taste of the nomadic life it was extremely worrisome. We still drift into the anxiety that comes when we are down to the last cent but we have always made it to the next stop and remembering that gives us faith.

That shift in perspective came the first time we visited the Zone. I’ve written about the Zone before but for those who are new to our travels, it’s a place similar to Skid Row. It is a place where physical, mental and spiritual afflictions really stand out because there are no pretenses to hide behind. It is where the rawness of humanity is found and where we are confronted with the core of our being. It is in this type of environment that texts like the ones found in Matthew or Luke make so much sense to us.

“You’re blessed when you’ve lost it all. God’s kingdom is there for the finding.
You’re blessed when you’re ravenously hungry. Then you’re ready for the Messianic meal. You’re blessed when the tears flow freely. Joy comes with the morning.”

And so, here we were a few visits later, down in the Zone with Dave, Amber and a few other from the A2J community. This time around there was a warm breeze and folks were in relatively good spirits. In fact, if you didn’t know the harsh reality of where we were you might think we were at an outdoor music festival. We gathered in a circle and played all sorts of old timey tunes, hymns and later a fella named Nick showed up and lead us all in a few Motown songs. I met a homeless woman named “Little Mar” who was about my age. She was clearly mentally ill, professing to be the Princess of Persia, as well as, one of the best crime stoppers on Americas Most Wanted. She had a strength about her, and although she was skittish, she had a generous in spirit.

"Little Mar" is sitting in the blue tank and hat, to my right.
“Little Mar” is sitting in the blue tank to my right.

As we sang “Tis So Sweet,” I began to watch her more closely. I tried to imagine what her childhood was like, did she have children, how did she get here, what did she do if she had to use the bathroom, what about when she was thirsty? I didn’t find any answers but I was in awe of her resilience and stamina to face the elements and oppression of a world that was whizzing around her at a frantic pace.

IMG_7397The added bonus was having so many other kinfolk there with us, sharing in song, listening, being present and bringing peace to a people who are constantly living in survival mode. The healing nature of the arts and music provided the space for creativity, unity and understanding.

We believe it is important to care for the widow, orphan and poor, but have learned that doesn’t always mean meeting physical needs. Sometimes, we need to go deeper and offer something of our selves. When we go to the Zone it isn’t because we feel superior or desire a pat on the back for serving the homeless. We go to the Zone to find ourselves, to look in the mirror and see that we are all made of the same mud. We go to the Zone to bring and receive healing.

And so, when that spirit of anxiety or striving tries to steal our joy we remember. We remember that day we sat and sang and shared in community with the Princess of Persia and her court.

Being Present

IMG_3788When one thinks of Carmel, California, images of surf beaches, movie stars, a playground for the elite arise, and to some extent it is.  However, there is a whole underbelly of kinfolk who live and work in this region who are desperately trying to hold on to life. There are those who work 3 jobs to pay the bills, trying to uphold the standard of the upper middle class. And, there are those who wonder the shore line without a home, looking for work and a place to lay their heads at night.

The economic divide is vast and yet there is a rising up. The rhythms of the “hidden community” beat stronger and stronger. There are kinfolk in all walks of life, doing the hard work of community. They are committed to the trials that come when one is trying to bridge two worlds. They are committed to the ministry of reconciliation.

The Bajari family is part of that hidden community and they invited us into the fold, to experience the local struggles and joys, and to share their radical hospitality with us. Brian is involved in the global conversation as the executive director for Care Corp International, a NGO that specializes in trauma counseling for refugees around the world. His beautiful wife, Suzie is as a counselor for youth who have experienced extreme violence and trauma in the neighboring town of Salinas.

IMG_3942On a local level, Brian Bajari has a heart for the marginalized in his area and has made efforts over the past five years to build community amongst these weary friends and travelers.

Originally the youth paster at one of the wealthiest churches in Carmel, Brian left the secure position to engage the greater community in a conversation about humanity and what it means to care for one another. He, along with a faithful team of volunteers, build bridges with the city councils in the surrounding areas by attending meetings, they listen and they advocate for the homeless. They communicate with the area churches about drops for the homeless, places that they can bring goods and meals. They also facilitate Gathering by the Bay, which meets every weekend at 9:30am, beachside Monterey, across from the McDonalds, and is open to the public.

IMG_3946Brian leads a simple time of prayer/meditation, sharing stories from the week and an encouraging word, he opens it up for a song and at the end, they share a meal. We were invited to participate last Sunday and our time with them was precious. When we arrived there were a handful of homeless gathering around a few picnic tables on the beach. Cars with boxes of supplies, socks, sweatshirts, pants, shoes, toothbrushes, etc were unloaded. Michael and Tia brought a home made meal and by 10am the beach was filling up. A bicycle race was just finishing up and families were making their way for a day at the beach. All the while, the Gathering by the Bay continued.

We stood in a large circle, with room enough for others to enter in, if they wanted to. Passers by would stop and have a listen or sing along, engaging at all different levels.  It was humbling sharing sacred space with those who have but the shirt on their backs. The thing we were most impressed with was the authenticity of it all. Brian’s motto on caring for others, “It’s not about fixing or solving, its about being present.” And, that is what we felt when we were on the beach with them, presence. There was no agenda for outcome in the way we have seen others approach the poor or homeless. There was a trust and understanding between his crew and those that they were caring for and most importantly there was permission given to the homeless to care back.  In a results driven missions economy, this open approach was refreshing.

20131017-144257.jpgWe spent a ten days with the Bajari’s, jumping right into the rhythm of their lives, sharing meals, story, and friendship. Our first night in town they welcomed us by hosting a BBQ with their neighbor Dan at the helm. We parked/plugged in our rig, just down the hill from their home on a patch of land owned by the city. All of the neighbors were welcoming. Our twelve-year-old and their twelve-year-old hit it off immediately and were inseparable the whole visit, making swords and shields for an epic battle, video gaming, playing ping-pong, boogie boarding at the beach and exploring the woods and river where they caught craw dads. The two youngest delighted us with songs and their sweet smiles. Our high schooler’s took a little longer to warm up, but once they did, it was a blast to see such a rich connection. Craig did a few handy things around the property and I was able to have, Ellis their elderly neighbor, over for afternoon tea.

IMG_3932We also met Justin and Maddie who welcomed us by offering to teach us to surf, connecting us with local folkies, Anne and Pete Sibley, and putting together a fantastic bonfire on the beach for our final farewell.

Justin, who grew up in Carmel, was genuine, kind and down to earth with a passion for youth. He invited us to sit in with him at Carmel Presbyterian after we finished at the Gathering by the Bay. So, with four minutes to spare we hoped on stage and joined he and his congregation is a few songs. It was such a trip to go from one extreme to another that morning, from the homeless church on the beach to such great wealth in a bright, new building. In the end however, we’re all made of the same mud, we’re all one. What a joy to be with the Saints!

After the service, we got to chatting with British artist Simon Bull and his wife Joanna. They invited us to lunch where we engaged in fantastic discussions about the momentum in the body, about the hidden community and the faithfulness of the Lord.

We met some fantastic friends in Monterey and can’t wait to get back. Plus there is that beach thing!

Phoenix Arts and Community

20130203-172550.jpgPhoenix hasn’t also been know for the arts but over the past few years the downtown district has done so much to encourage the arts. There is still work to be done, specially in The Zone, which we discovered last time around. However, we meet a community that sites just a few blocks from the desolate streets and offers a constant peaceful and creative presence. We meet Ryan Thurman through our gracious host family, The Skeens and visited his A2J community one afternoon. We were inspired by the communities commitment to their community and to each other. We heard stories of struggles and redemption in the neighborhood. One story included a woman who had been homeless for a time and found her way off of the streets into the A2J community and know offers her gift of hospitality behind the prayer house. We heard about the longing for more families to move into the neighborhood, for a deeper connection with the greater body. We immediately thought of our friends in Oakland at New Hope and our friends, in Omaha at InCommon and began to tell their story. There is something encouraging knowing that there is a global/local community out there. We’ll be thinking about them as we make our way, and encouraging folks to consider hanging with these kinfolk for a while.

We were also able to connect with a number of aspiring and professional visual artists at the Artistree Arts Conference which we offered our Songwriting Workshop, our Swimming Upstream Workshop and a performance. Our kids were able to take advantage of the sketching, journaling and graphic arts workshops offered by other practitioners.  Joel Pritchard spearheaded the event. We met Joel through Steve, with Hope thru Art and are excited to announce that Joel will be doing all of the art and design on our upcoming album. We’ll keep you posted on his work.

While at Artistree we meet John and Elli Milan, world renowned oil painters. And are especially unique in that the Milans create their paintings together. Although John and Elli are both accomplished artists on their own, their collaborations bring out a side of their work that neither could reach by themselves.  The couple says that the Spirit of God inspires their work and allows them to create together and maintain a unified vision.  The end result is aggressive and spontaneous layers of paint which create a bright and playful scenario that is interwoven with hints of narrative.  We were invited out to the Milan farm and studio in Queen Creek, AZ for lunch and had an encouraging visit, learning about their faith journey finding their purpose in creating together. We even saw the beginnings of a painting that was inspired by our album, Ashes to Beauty. We meet two of their four children, who are quite the artists in their own rite. We enjoyed the horses, chickens, dogs and cats. It was energizing to meet a family committed to one another and to creating together.

Engaging Poverty

There is a bit of a culture shock that happens when we get into a big city. Mostly because of the poverty that is overtly apparent. We see it in smaller towns but it’s much more hidden. It stirs such a deep emotion in me, deep to the core. A feeling of helplessness and contempt. The system is broken. I am broken.

I recall back to our time in Minneapolis in Sept. We decided to offer a week of service at the CCDA conference on Reconciliation. We had no work that week and were broke so we decided to busk (play music on the street corner with our case open for tips) We have never really busked as a family, so it was a bit of an uncomfortable experience, however we all buckled down to make some money for dinner. We picked the spot right in front of the Target because it was shaded and had a few spots for folks to sit. We started playing and crowd seemed to really get into it. A few coins started to trickle in but after about ten minutes we realized that we had set up our profiteering efforts smack dab in the middle of the homeless. We felt sort of ridiculous knowing our intention wasn’t necessarily to help anyone but ourselves.  However, we decided not to move because we were exhausted from the uncertainty of it all and though we’d just finish up with thirty more minutes of songs. Then a middle-aged black man approached me, he smelled of alcohol and was wearing a leather jacket. He handed me a piece of paper, on it a poem about salvation through Christ. He said he wrote it. I asked him to read it. He did in sort of rap style. I knew, as he was reading it, that he wanted something in return. I waited and sure enough about ten minutes later he came and asked me for the money in our case. I hesitated but then bent down to grab out a few of the dollars. He smiled and walked away. A few minutes later he waltzed across the street holding up a pack of cigarettes, waving them in the air and smiling at me. Such an awkward interaction.  Connection failed.

Recently in Denver, I was shopping for groceries. I had our last $20, but we’re always at our last $20 (it’s like manna, just enough for each day) none the less, it was all I had and I wanted to use it to get ingredients to make a Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake for Craig’s birthday. I was at the back of the store and a woman in her late 50’s about 5’7, long dark brown hair in a low pony tail, maybe Native American or Hispanic, jeans shirt and pants approached me and asked if I had $2.00. It was a flash of a moment and I instinctively responded, “no.” She turned and briskly walked away. I immediately felt like a jerk, I totally just lied to her. I turned to follow after her but she was gone. Connection failed.

I’m still processing these moments, but the hypocrisy is apparent. I’ve grown up with an understanding that caring the poor is of the upmost importance and I have a heart to serve. However, the challenge comes when I am just going about my daily business and a ‘pop up’ moment, like the examples above happen. I hope that next time I would engage more and really understand the questions. Both experiences were brief and I wonder if I had taken the time to really communicate with these people if we both would have been able to see clearer, to see the tie that binds us together. So, until next time, I wait… understanding my own depravity, thankful for the grace given me and hoping that in times where I’m engaged by poverty it opens more opportunities for connection success.

“The Zone” Phoenix, AZ

The Zone is an area in Phoenix, where all of those down trodden and tired are corralled by the local government into a three block radios. I believe the idea of keeping them in this area is so they can be monitored and kept under raps. It’s a dark and lawless place filled with double murders, prostitutes, child trafficking, drug lords, mentally ill, refuges and rovers. It’s a few blocks down from the government buildings and the business district of Phoenix. So, the contact with the outside world is mostly from the law and business men/women coming down to get there fix, whether drugs or sex.

Our friend, Steve and his team, are a breath of fresh air and visits these folks regularly. They call their efforts Hope Thru Art. Their purpose is to bring a spirit of healing and peace into that hard environment through the arts. On a practical level, they hang raw and unassuming “disposable art;” installations that can be disassembled by those who choose to take. For instance, Steve might hang the letters HOPE on a fence and then using clothes pins he’d frost the piece with layers of colorful photographs of nature scenes and poems. The impact these installations have on this artistically poverty-stricken population is profound.

We spent a few hours on Saturday afternoon with Steve and Dave down in the Zone. I brought my mandolin, Grace sang, Craig and Banjo brought a drum and our friend Cindy came along and played her instruments. Our first stop was the four corners, this was where folks claimed their status. There was the prostitute corner, the drug dealer corner (which happened to be the only one under shade) and the corners where folks were just trying to get by.  A middle-aged man approached us asking, “what’s you gonna play?”  The first song that came out of my mouth was “I got a home in glory land.” He beamed and began to sing along. More folks gathered around and after about 15 minutes in the sun we decided to cross over to the shaded side of the corners. There we meet Lorenzo, who had kind eyes and a warm spirit. He was so excited that we were there and began to bless us with encouraging words. He ended up staying close by our sides the whole afternoon, singing along to all the old hymns and folk tunes, hand to his ear to hear the harmonies.

After about 20 more minutes on the corner we were ready to walk into the heart of the zone. The rectangle yard was large with a few buildings and a fence around it. Folks were sprawled out on the ground, benches and picnic tables, all trying to find shade and comfort. There was a level of tension in the air and folks who seemed apathetic could be arouse immediately if they felt threatened. We sat down in one corner of the yard welcomed by an old Mexican fella. He asked if we spoke Spanish and Steve answered. A huge smile came over the fella’s face as he realized he was about to receive his own personal concert. I wished at that moment I knew even just one folk tune in Spanish and vowed to learn one. More folks gathered around. A few young fella’s, who looked as if they were once soldiers in Iraq or Afghanistan, a woman who wore a badge and acted as if she were the nurses aid in the village but was not, a few older fella’s with anger in their eyes and a number of young girls walked by with vacant looks in their eyes totally unimpressed by of our presence. A man named David came by and asked for prayer for protection and safety. A 30 something black woman  (I’ll call her Stella as she would not give me her name) sat quietly nearby. She had a sneaky grin and at one point she blurted out, “Ya’ll know Amazing Grace?” “Yes,” I answered. “Then play it,” she demanded. I said, “only if you sing along.” She smiled and, we played it happily.

We continued to play gentle tunes of hope and rest. At one point an old Chevy pulled up and a fella jumped out and opened the passenger door. He began to hand out brown bags. Folks flocked over and took a lunch. One man yelled out, “there burgers” which brought a larger crowd. Upon further inspection they were peanut butter and jelly and the crowd pulled back. Someone gave Stella a bag and she looked apathetically at it. She was sitting behind the angry fella’s and began to break off pieces of her sandwich and toss them in their direction. The pieces would bounce off of there heads and she would giggle. The fuse blew and they were up at her. Within seconds, a few other men jumped up to stop the angry men. They walked off in a huff, all the while we were singing “Swing Low.” She continued to throw the sandwich, aiming further at another happier fella. He just laughed it off. I tried to engage with her by moving over onto the bench next to her. She ignored me. I touched her shoulder and asked her to sing along. She answered, “What’s their problem, I’m throwing it at the birds.” I looked over and sure enough about fifty feet past the men was a few pigeons. I laughed, she cracked a little cheeky smile. We both knew that she was really aiming at those men and using the birds as an excuse.

That night, I dreamt about Stella. Only in the dream she was a very wealthy woman, still the same disposition, but wealth beyond measure. Everyone knew she was wealthy and would put up with her ill spirit because they all wanted something from her. It was said that she paid her cleaning lady, $15,000 a week to clean her house. I heard whispers in my ear about ways to get her to hire me and if I could just clean for one week, all of my needs would be met. I approached the lady with this mindset and when she open the door the scene morphed into Stella sitting on the bench in the Zone. She sat vacant with a sneer on her face. The woundedness the same in the rich woman as in the woman in the zone. I woke up.

At the end of the day, we are all made of the same mud. At the end of the day whether we have wealth or not, the condition of our souls is what matters.  Regardless of circumstance and status,  we are all apart of  the precious precious tapestry of humankind.

KINEO HOUSE:

We meet Steve at Cornerstone Music Festival. Steve also connected us with the Kineo House, and they were our hosts for the weekend. They are a beautiful picture of folks committed to sharing in community and caring for those around them. They were compassionate and possessed a desire to bless and serve each other and their surrounding area. We were encouraged by their openness to us and their genuine offer to pray for us as we continue our journey. We can’t wait to come back and spend more time sharing in community with Steve and our hosts at the Kineo House.

CONNECTING OF THE SAINTS:

Our original contact for Phoenix was a little folk venue called Fiddlers Dream. It’s an all acoustic venue hosted by a handful of sweet and dedicated folkies.  We were delighted to share in song with them all. Specially our host, Bill, who expressed a great desire to sing with other musicians on a stage someday. So, we invited him up to sing a little Johnny Cash with us.

Through that booking a kindred and gentle soul named Cindy and her hubby, Alan, contacted us and offered us hospitality, friendship and the added bonus of Cindy’s gift with the tin whistle and bodhran. Besides sharing a lovely meal together, Cindy joined us the whole weekend and by the end of our time together a deep spiritual friendship rooted. Alan and Cindy are our family now and we look joyward to meeting down the line.

Our last stop in Phoenix was in Chandler, AZ at a church called The Grove. It’s one of those big mega churches where everything is beautiful and runs like clockwork. It was a bit of a culture shock after our day down in the Zone but The Hommel’s, our hosts and friend of my parents, were welcoming and cared for us with a meal and opportunity to relax. It took me a moment but after processing the dream I had, I realized that my prejudice towards those with wealth, fame or status was burdensome. That morning my heart was heavy as I began to take steps towards rebuking and confessing my false belief system. We can not be all things to all people if we see them with disdain or if there is any hinderance because of jealousy, insecurities or twisted thinking. It’s easy to care for and love the obvious but much harder when the souls around us tap into our own desire for power and security.

That evening we enjoyed a concert on the lawn with a handful of engaging and encouraging folks and once again we were blown away by the provision offered and allowing us to keep on our way. We came to AZ with our last dollar and we leave with just enough to get to CO, by a few groceries and pay for the $200 hoses to fix the oil leak in the engine. A powerful weekend emotionally, spiritually and physically. Just one more reminder that we are not in this alone but apart of a bigger picture. We continue on filled with gratefulness, joy and ready for more hard lessons to be put to the test.

Industry Standard

We’ve been on the Northwest Coast for about two weeks. Our first destination was Eugene, OR for the Far-West Folk Alliance Conference. A trade show of sorts for those involved in the Folk music scene. The city is beautiful and quite user-friendly. It’s a smaller city about the size of our recent home, Green Bay.

I am always looking for the greater meaning in life and although we were in Eugene for the “conference” the underlying purpose was an awaking to a compulsive need we all have to be in control, “make it” and to be desired.

As I made my way through our daily workshops and showcases I found that there were moments that I would have to go outside of the 3 block radius to find a grocery or office store. Those trips provided a window into the reality of a town that is broken by the economy and struggling. I saw several young (30-40’s) folks holding signs on corners, stating their desire to work or a felt need. They were my age, wearing decent clothing and standing on a corner doing whatever it takes  to care for their families. It invoked a deep discomfort in me as I found myself staring but not exactly knowing how to help. Paralyzed, that’s how I felt for I could see myself in these folks eyes.

After returning to the conference, I started to noticed the desperation was similar, only we weren’t holding signs, rather name tags and business cards; hoping someone would take notice and see the value in having us perform at their venue.

The irony was glaring. I sat through a delightful and encouraging speech by a fellow folky about our purpose as musicians and the impact we can have to change the world and then in the next breath found myself in a business meeting trying to understand the ugly and confusing world of Performance Rights Organizations and “why” we as artist need to join these cronies and ban together to protect our interests. One conversation was driven by an open desire to serve and care for others and the other, fear based and self protective.

Having purposely stripped away to nearly nothing. (well, I can’t say nothing, we do own a bus and a car and are renting our home out) but in essence we are down to nearly nothing, I find this paradox even greater. If I look up and to far ahead I panic and find I’m lost in a place that is unfamiliar, a place of fear and self-protection. The vision to love others with a servant’s heart and ideals to live simply and sustainably are the only things that make any sense and so I focus on them.

We take what we do musically quite seriously and want to understand the “world” we are swimming through and with. However, there is a certain resistance we have as DIY artists and rightly so. This fear driven, self-protection will be the demise of us. We are reminded once again to stay open and be available. To be in the world but not of it.