Friday, July 16, 2010

Let me be a clear channel and an instrument of your love

Good morning everyone...I just had to write about this morning. It’s been typical Catskills weather, hot , a little muggy, some days an afternoon shower...but this morning the air wasn’t so hazy and the breeze is constant. I can hear every creature chirping in the surrounding woods. I went to the main lodge (Valley View House), got my coffee and stood out on the sprawling front deck taking it all in. I called to Johnny with my secret whistle. If he was awake I would hear the whistle off in the distance. He was awake. I walked to the end of the drive to meet him. We cheered with our coffees and agreed this morning was magical.

We are finishing up our week at The Full Moon Resort teaching with Tommy Emmanuel and Jorma and it has by far, been one of the most amazing weeks. These mountains have an amazing wealth of talent in them right now. When you have teachers like Jorma and Tommy, we see poets of the guitar in our students. I think Tommy played with every one of his students and the pieces the students chose were great. Having Tommy sit in as accompaniment must have been the thrill of a lifetime. I know it would be for me. Tommy is such and amazing human being. He is a true lover of life and he’s never not completely grateful for his life and the ability to do what he does for others.

A big up to Jorma too. A few days before we started , he was in Winnipeg performing with Hot Tuna. He flew in Monday afternoon and started teaching right after dinner. With Marjorie Thompson by his side as his teaching assistant, his students got the kind of music lessons you can only find at The Fur Peace Ranch.

One of the things we never wanted to do when we opened the Ranch was to get financial assistance from the state (because we are a school) or from inventors. Because when the economy is not up to par, the first thing to go is the arts. We couldn’t risk the possibility of someone else saying, “Sorry, this isn’t working anymore…time to call it a day.” If we couldn’t do this with just Jorma’s and my income and savvy, then maybe we wouldn’t work as hard to keep it alive. We had no idea that it would be the students that fed the spirit of The Ranch. The Ranch is an amazing place….but whether we are in Ohio or off-site like here at Full Moon, when the students show up….it becomes The Fur Peace Ranch. We’ll be back in 2011. Next year David Bromberg and Jorma will be here. We just posted our 2011 schedule late last night. It will be another impressive year thanks to all of the instructors and of course….our blessed students.

I’m heading up to breakfast now...then a Coffee Break Concert after that with John Hurlbut & friends will close out this stellar week. Tommy just stopped by on his way to the lodge...he told us about the prayer he offers to his students before he always plays... Lord make me a hollow reed from which the pith of self has been blown so that I may be a clear channel and an instrument of your love.

Amen brothers & sisters


  1. ..."the pitch of self has been blown"... wow, a very heavy concept indeed, one might say zen like.

    but if there is any place where you can shed the beasts of burden of everyday life it is the Fur Peace Ranch. Whether it is in Big Indian or MAUI next year (wohoo!!) FPR is a place for retreat and contemplation. a place of peace

    Om Shanti Shanti Shanti

    peace be with you

  2. can't wait to feel the magic of FPR some day......whether at your home base or one of your many homes away from home......
    much love