Free Fall

Free Fall

Due to the long awaited reappearance of a cloud sequestered sun, we were at last able to schedule the final music video shoot day for the song “What’s Freedom For,” from my latest CD called “Stand Up”. A multitude of shots included walking in icy waters of a mountain stream on wobbly rocks near a waterfall, climbing up to a mossy, sloping boulder, along with walking into a massive field filled with tall grasses. Nothing too dangerous, but I needed to keep my wits about me. Although growing up in nature, city life had shifted that focus. Living for years in Manhattan, a “city girl” had insidiously emerged with a well-developed “street sense,” wistfully replacing a previously well-honed “nature girl.” That said, rustlings of uneasiness began whispering to me regarding upcoming tasks for numbers of reasons: Falling on the rocks, leeches or bugs crawling up my legs, ticks falling off leaves onto my head, ticks in the woods, ticks in the field etc. Have I mentioned ticks?

Readying myself to step into the stream and traverse it on my own, my director noticed some loose rocks and coached me towards several more stable-looking stepping stones (Excuse me… Who needed this help with countless hours of childhood frolicking in the Milwaukee River? Me, evidently. Grrr.) The videographer then unexpectedly offered to take my hand and walk with me in the water over to the moss-covered boulder; to which I succeeded with ease. Seen only in a previous dream, my feet, now in this reality, settled into the juicy moss; and with fears abated, tasted heaven. I certainly didn’t expect to be hand-held, as my plan was to “tough my way” through these silly irrational concerns, by golly. But, inadvertently open, the support flowed in with the rushing waters, much to my pleasant surprise.

Next was the field of tall grasses. We got to our destination, and the direction was to carry some wildflowers found on the side of the road to the center of the expansive landscape. Same dream, different venue. Inviting still, yet unsettling. Flooded with this annoyingly new fear of ticks, an assumption was brewing that they were quietly hiding on long grasses, waiting to jump on their prey, ruining lives. Hmmm… an updated version of Rod Serling’s You done good Anthony, real good...? Despite all that, determination walked me into the beckoning field. My director, a symptomless survivor of a recent tick bite, looked at me and asked if I was scared. Sheepishly muttering-- Well… a little. He then offered: How about I walk with you into the field for a bit? We walked side by side, and after a little while, he said: You keep going. I am going back now.

Now alone, a voice in mantra-like fashion arose. I am protected…I am protected… plus a few improvisations on that. At last in the center, standing very far from my compatriots, a hovering Star-Trekkian drone was launched to film me in the middle of the ‘amber waves of grain.’ The flowers in hand were by now completely covered with bees. But all was fine. To assuage any abashedly remaining anxieties, I pretended to be on one of those Australian walkabout journeys that seekers take; or in a Shamanic training, directing the wind. I finished the shot and walked back in a rhythm, in step with variation on previous protection mantra. I am supported by the universe… Alrighty then. The shoot was over.

I went home, carefully checked for ticks and went to bed. Upon awakening, a most tender memory flashed up into my consciousness of when my dear Dad taught me how to ride a 2-wheeler at age 4. He ran along side me until he felt I got it, and then inconspicuously let me go on alone. I remember assuming he was really still there, running beside me, but then realized I was balancing all on my own. Exhilaration. The actions of the videographer and director taking my hand in the scenes; of walking me towards my task and then letting me go, seemed touchingly reminiscent of the auspicious vignette with my Dad. Yes, I am a grown up, and could have done these tasks without support or connection. But we are human – and an openness to one’s vulnerabilities is part of being in one’s truth. It reaps kinship and camaraderie with others. It teaches love. It encourages deeper reconnection with Nature. The day overflowed with a sense of exalted freedom, love, connection, laughter, and a sweet taste of transcendence.

Tick Report: None.

Peace and Blessings,


A True New York Story

A True New York Story

It was another very gray, dreary, not yet spring morning, as I headed out the door decked with my headset in place. I was headed for the subway, beginning to familiarize myself with the song, Stand Up, in preparation for my upcoming recording session. I got on the C train, and on this day, the “C” stood for crowded. I locked eyes with an old man sitting on the train leaning on his cane. In my earbuds only, I heard the lyrics urging, “Stand up… Stand up.” Suddenly the man stood up and said, “I am going to stand up. You sit.” 

I sat down and looked up and into the eyes of a weary pregnant woman in her last weeks. The lyrics again danced in my earbuds… “Stand up… Stand up.” This time I stood up and waved her into my seat. She sat, and pretty soon a number of passengers started smiling, laughing, and standing up, offering their seats to others on the subway car. 

As the train pulled into my stop at Times Square, a few of up got off, smiling like old friends. We had connected by standing up together. On that initially dreary morning, the music, as soundtrack to my life, seemed to magically transform me and somehow those around me, with a sparkling inspiration to stand up for ourselves and for others, and to have some fun in the process. It happened in New York City, so it can happen anywhere. 

Thank you for the opportunity to share my music with you. This album of songs is about “standing up” while connecting with the joy, passion and love that resides within each of us. The title song, “Stand Up,” offers a universal message, and for me, a unique deeper personal meaning. May the music speak to you, bless you, lift you, and encourage you to stand up to the beautiful truth of who you really are.

Peace and blessings, Wendy