More Notes from the Road:

Long Overdue Notes from Home (October 31, 2005)

Notes from the Studio Entry #6 (June 29, 2004)

Notes from the Studio Entry #5 (June 28, 2004)

Notes from the Studio - Entry #4 (June 25, 2004)

Notes from the Studio Entry #3 (June 24, 2004)

Notes from the Studio Entry #2 (June 23, 2004)

Notes from the Studio Entry #1 (June 22, 2004)

Midnight to Midnight - June 12th - A Day in the (somewhat nuttier than usual) Life Of (June 15, 2003)

Finding Helen. Arkansas City, KS. (January 16, 2003)

a stranger piece of humanity (September 4, 2002)

Leroy Brown and the Plight of the Singer Songwriter (March 30, 2002)

keeping your eyes open...Thanks for sharing (July 20, 2001)

Keeping My Eyes Open (June 16, 2001)

Who am I that I should have all this? (February 9, 2001)

notes from home... (October 21, 2000)

kentucky highway... (October 13, 2000)

from a highway in texas... (September 30, 2000)

the first installment (September 21, 2000)




Germany and balance. (March 25, 2006)

Balance is a hard thing for me. It always has been. And this life I lead adds to the imbalance and some days I wish I worked a nine to five job, but even then I probably would still lack the balance I desire. These last couple months I have been home in Nashville alot more, to work on writing new songs as well as just being home for more than two days at a time like 2005. It has been a blessing to say the least. My mother and father came to visit Nashville for the first time in January. My brothers were here for a long weekend in February. And I have managed to find some state of regularity in an actual routine every day. It has been excellent! And great for our new house cause I have been able to work on projects channeling my inner handy man as well as work on what my father calls "the Vision," (aka: the yard) which used to be called the "South-40" as well as "the campus." I now have "a vision" and it is a constant process of tending it to enjoy it when the warm weather arrives...something I have longed for.

With all of the above, you would think that this world of mine is absolutely perfect and in a wonderful state of supreme balance, but alas I have learned that with one thing in check, others manage to fall by the wayside. This Notes from the Road page being one of them. I swear after every entry I make that there will not be as much of a delay between the next one and the current and almost every time, I eat my words and make the same statement again. Here I am again...

But I could not let slip my adventure to the wonderful country of Germany and my first European visit. For all of the roads I have travelled in this fine country of ours, I have never been out of this country, except for a short visit to the Dominican Republic with some friends from North Carolina, which was a life changing experience. I can't say that Germany was life changing, but it certainly opened my eyes to the fact that it is a very very big world and I want to see more of it.

All of the fine folks that I came across on my travels laughed when I told them all I was doing in my brief stay in their country...but in typical american fashion I did not stay still for very long in one place and conquered my travels seeing as much as humanly possible. And despite the language barrier, which created some funny moments, especially when ordering food, I managed to find my way around. The trip started in Berlin where I was playing percussion with my friend David at a couple of Peace Rallys. We played and shared our thoughts on the war and shared the stage with a trio called the Grandmothers Against the War, who are exactly that, three grandmothers ranging in age from 72 - 87, who in their twilight have decided to make a stand for the future of their country and their grandchildren by rallying, protesting, and going to jail to make their voices heard. One of their best stories was when they tried to enlist in the army and obviously were not accepted - they ended up going to jail after staging a sit-in that made national news. Brilliant! I hope that I have as much spunk as them in my twilight years. Many thanks to my new friends Elisabeth and Richard for hosting me while I was in Berlin. I was humbled by their simple home and their generous spirits.

From Berlin I travelled to Cologne where I got a brilliant tour of most of the cathedrals there by Elisabeth's brother-in-law, Stephan. And on to tiny town of Bacharach, along the Rheine, on my way to Munich for the night. The next day I spent at Dauchau, the first concentration camp set up by Hitler in 1933. Intending to stay only two or so hours I ended up spending 7 hours walking the grounds and taking it all in on that very cool and foggy day. Honestly, this had to be the highlight of my trip - to be moved and brought in touch with something so big and so beyond human comprehension. My older brother received the History gene in our family so my knowledge of WWII and anything historical is severely lacking, but thankfully you don't need to know much history as they lay it all out in the museum and on the grounds. I don't mean to draw comparisons and by no means are these two things equal, but I was really moved by the use of language at Dauchau and how it made me think about our current political climate here in the states. The use of the word 'terror' and 'intimidation' and the spin/media/manipulation tactics used by Nazi German leadership leading up to WWII that allowed them to carry out their agendas sounds vaguely similar to how our current government and the media today have created a state of fear in our people. Again, I am not stating that these two times in history are the exact same, I am stating that I was moved by what I read and the images I saw at Dauchau. And that it made me feel extremely sad for what it lead to in Europe with the concentration camps and how that made me reflect upon where our country is currently with creating this life of fear. Fear of terrorists. Fear of traveling. Fear of other races. Fear of the food we eat. Fear in the simplest things. You name it...and we see it on the news. That is probably why I don't watch the news often. Anyway, it was an amazing day and I highly recommend spending the time if you ever go to Germany and/or Europe, as the concentration camps are scattered all over Europe. I was really amazed too, by the conversations I had with local Germans, as I learned alot from their view on history and education, and their views about our United States. Enough said...

Continuing on my whirlwind four day German adventure, I took the overnight train from Munich to Dresden and to a little town that boasts one of the most overlooked castles, Schloss Weesenstein, in the tiny town of Weesenstein. And more cathedrals and history that I never really understood was in Europe - thinking that living in old town Marblehead, MA. several years ago was historical?! - how about cathedrals built around the Roman walls surrounding the cities. Okay...that's old, really old...again, my narrow American view and something that needs to be balanced out. Traveling will do will open your mind and give you experiences and bring people across your path that will cause you to think. I am thankful for my little adventure - that may not have happened if I worked a nine to five job.

I hope that you will take a look at the photos on the Photo-a-Week page of my little trip. I changed it from "a-Week" to "a-Day" for reasons of balance because on my trip I took 400+ photos over the course of 5-6 days, and having to choose only one photo for the whole time would have been ridiculous. Thanks for reading this entry and I hope that it has spurred you on to think about some real things...besides my narrow American view. Blessings.