And the Wheel Goes Round and Round

Back in March I talked about the Rosanne Cash album “The List,” a collection of songs culled from a list of 100 must-know songs crafted especially for Rosanne by her father.

The List is an essential music history lesson.

That story and the resulting album became the inspiration for my best friend and I to endeavor to create our own list as a legacy for my two goddaughters.

It’s been an ongoing process, serious work, and we’re making progress.

Over the weekend, I had the chance to see Rosanne Cash perform live at the Uptown Theater in Napa, CA.

I’ve been a fan for a while and I think Rosanne is a massively accomplished songwriter. I love the heart and emotion she puts into every lyric.

I figured as a consummate musician, she would put on a great show. I was in no way prepared for how stunning seeing Rosanne perform live really was.

Her backing band, including her husband John Levanthal on guitar, was one of the tightest bands I’ve ever seen. I told The Good Man during the show “I know musicians who would kill somebody to get at her drummer.”

I’ve spent a lot of years in the company of musicians who struggled have a band that is tight and seamless. Rosanne has that in spades.

And talent too. She’s an amazing, emotional and powerful singer. Like any great musician, the sound seems to pour from her effortlessly. It takes a lot of work to make it look that easy.

Then, after putting on a show that brought the house down, Rosanne went to the lobby and signed autographs for her fans. I got her signature on my copy of her recent bestseller “Composed” and had a chance to tell her that my best friend and I are working on our own version of The List.

And when I awkwardly mentioned that her gorgeous song “Seven Year Ache” is on the list, Ms. Cash smiled and shook my hand.

Made. My. Year.

What a powerful, beautiful, wonderful woman.

I am deeply inspired.

Photo by Karen Kristofferson, as posted on her @KarenKristo Twitter stream.

He Spoke to Me

Do you have any idea how powerful it was when I read the following poem, written by Shel Silverstein as part of his book “Where the Sidewalk Ends?”

Listen to the mustn’ts, child.
Listen to the don’ts.
Listen to the shouldn’ts, the impossibles, the won’ts.
Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me…
Anything can happen, child.
Anything can be.

I don’t know how old I was, ten or twelve maybe? But to have an adult, especially such a surly looking adult, say something like that to me!


This past weekend, I pulled “Where the Sidewalk Ends” off my shelf and gave it a new read. It had been years. Maybe even decades.

And that poem, it still stopped me in my tracks.

I just finished a biography of Shel Silverstein called “A Boy Named Shel” that I found, of all places, at the Dollar Store.

I’m not going to lie to ya, the biography is not the greatest writing I’ve ever encountered. In fact, it’s pretty bad, worthy of the venue in which it was purchased. That said it did give me some (hopefully true) insight into the life of the very prolific writer, cartoonist, songwriter and playwright.

I learned from this biography that Silverstein’s mind was constantly in motion, constantly creating without restrictions.

I only know of a few creative people in my life that are *constantly* channeling The Muse. One of them might even be related to me.

I’m pretty creative and am usually chock full of ideas, but I also go through extended periods of time of writer’s or crafter’s block. Perhaps for me, these are quiet periods that are essential to my own creative process, because as frustrating is to be creatively constipated, I usually come through it stronger.

I have learned that The Muse will return if I just relax and let her go. She always comes back.

It’s funny, sometimes seeing art or meeting a creative person will touch off a creative spark inside of me, thus breaking through the blockades. Through the words of his poems, Shel Silverstein did that for me this weekend. I started a new art project and I did photography and I felt the creatives begin to whisper in my ear, which always gives me such satisfaction.

I understand that Silverstein was a mentor to many of his friends. He would push them to create more, to push the bounds of their art and to be better artists.

Silverstein died in 1999, but his words remain powerful. They speak to me as loudly today as they did when I was young.

Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.

Photo From