a pleasant surprise

Today is a good day to celebrate life and the sweetness of all the possibilities each moment fosters!

I was hiking a couple of days ago and found a nice shaded rock to succumb to for a breather.  I looked out over the scrub oaks, into the vast, seemingly depthless canyon that started its decent a few yards from my feet. The breeze stretched from those unknown depths, carrying its gift of restorative coolness to my happy respite.

I glanced up at the distant amber cliffs, mottled in a palette of golden highlights, crimson crevices, and pale alabaster shocks, shouldering the bluest blue a sky can be. Then by providence or happy accident, it didn’t matter which, my eyes fell on a perfect heart shape, plastered on that beautiful face of corrugated colors.  I gazed and smiled and took in a slow filling of my lungs because I didn’t want the moment to pass too quickly.  I looked deeply, watching it, to assure my own heart it wasn’t a picture flung from my imagination into the solidification of 3-D reality, momentarily. It wasn’t.  It was really there.  As real as the sheer cliffs, the busy ants that carried oversized packages passed the sweet rock I rested on, and the kisses the wind brought me.

I couldn’t avert my eyes.  That pristine heart appeared to be about the size of my thumb from far across the chasm that swallowed humongous forests of ponderosa pine.  I tried to make out if it was a dark out-cropping of rocks, pushed by force of storms, deftly arranged, over the years, into this happy shape.  Or perhaps it was engraved into the side of the cliff by wind and water of eons past.  Then again, it might be a miraculous bas relief caused by the stiff, slow currents of ancient glaciers, sculpting the faces of limestone and basalt.

“I wonder if it’s a shadow,” I said to magical air around me, “that only shows up at this time of day, in this season of the year, from this particular angle.”

I sat and watched.  I hummed to the trees.  I watched some more.  I told the ants to slow down and enjoy the scenery. They didn’t listen.

Then it came — the secret of its creation.  As soft as a whisper afraid of its own telling, it moved. It was no longer a perfect heart.  As the late afternoon became later afternoon, the shape imperceptibly morphed into a nebulous blob — still beautiful, for it lay in the arms of the painted cliff, but definitely not notable.  “Wow!”  I thought as I made my way back down the trail, “what a gift…  to catch those earth-bending moments at the perfect time…  to behold the heart of gold smiling at you from the bosom of Mother Earth, herself.”

So many possibilities each moment holds for us!

And as summer is just around the corner, like the sweet song of a river you can hear calling you but can’t see till you make that last bend in the trail, here’s a little celebration of that coming season:  “Serenade to Summer” written by Jerry Reed, performed by Tommy Emmanuel and Richard Smith.

Click here to watch:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p7bFQSYg1yU

Courtesy of Harold Hall Photography:  http://haroldhall.photoshelter.com/image/I0000w4y5IDsMWeE



trickling down
already feeding the side
of the mountain

starting to sing all those songs
you practiced in your head
when you were still a snow flake

blushing against the western rose sky
gazing up at the stars
like your own reflection

holding each others’ tiny hands
humming to the sacred silence
of the mountain top

            —-  shashi light

Thanks to:  http://pcwallart.com/mountain-stream-painting-wallpaper-2.html
for image

between the subway and carnegie hall

it raised a buzz in our small town
people whispered in the library
and out loud in the grocery

tickets were going fast
we counted down the months
then the days and finally the hours

till we stood in line
borrowing each others scarves
and mittens to keep warm

when the flood gates opened
there was a scrambling but mostly
respect for the older folks

who couldn’t move
as fast as i would have
liked them to

a lady threw herself on 3 seats
like a hero when I yelled
“save those seats!”

we became instant friends
it just so happened those seats
held a pocket of clear vibrant sound

unaccustomed to visiting
the rest of the theatre
an accidental acoustic caveat

i was too excited to sit
so i weaved through ribbons of people
like a salmon jumping upstream

kids teens mothers grandfathers
moved in various curves
of undertow

i chatted with an usherette
and got the answer
to my burning question

the lights dimmed
i floated down to my seat
as the excitement of a thousand or so

percolated bubbled giggled
through an expectant hush
blanketing the residual chattering

an electrical silence
humming with unison breath
united our anticipation

then like a miracle
there he was
instrument in hand

stepping like an ordinary human
onto a stark stage
solely adorned by a grand piano

our ears leaned forward
our minds slowed
to capture every golden particle

sure to follow
brandished by the
uninhibited dance of his magic wand

our hearts felt safe
to open to his glittering notes
that took a thousand years to make

we feasted on that sweet decadence
note after note
phrase after glistening phrase

there were moments of
frolicking soaring lilting chasing
diving thundering experimenting

delicately commanding our lives
enrapturing our senses
expanding our possibilities

we were happy captives
our cells always thirsty for beauty
soaked in every morsel

our minds forgot
we were sitting in an auditorium
did we even breathe for those 2 magical hours

afterward he came out to sign cds
so we could hold his name in our hands
as living proof of his ethereal presence

he smiled at a child
when her mother mentioned
her daughter played the violin

“may I shake your hand?”
he asked
in complete humility

only a child could
respond to that
without turning into jelly

for days we talked about his hair his clothes
his burgundy cumber-band
his pauses and crescendoes

how much is his violin worth?
did you notice how he held his bow?
why did he come here?

that was what everyone wanted to know
what on earth brought him to our
speck on the map

i smiled and recalled the remarkable story
the usherette shared with me
of Joshua Bell honoring a humble request

of a gentleman who turned
his loss
into our beholden gain

—- shashi light

Thanks to: http://info.music.indiana.edu/faculty/current/bell-joshua.shtml
for image

Warm Wishes for A Beautiful Holiday Season!

Dear Friends,

Sending you, and those you love, warm wishes for a truly special season of sharing simple joys, remembering how blessed we all are in countless ways, and seeing ourselves through eyes of kindness and compassion.

And may your 2017 be full of what most delights your heart!

With Love,
Shashi Light



a good-bye kiss to summer

thank you Grandmother Sun

for your sacred sweet breath of fire
twisting and swirling through amber arms
that dance us across the galaxies

for your secret array of colors
caught by prism raindrops
unleashed to sprint across the eternal canopy
in sublime translucent beauty

for your warm smile
for your quiet rising
and steady traverse across our ever changing sky

for your compassionate shepherding of our scurrying
with a gentle swish of your paintbrush hair
settling in masterpieces every night
canvasing our evening surmises

for your great love reaching across our human miles
known to you as celestial thought you catch us in
to gather the great unending dream

for growing our crops
for drying my clothes
for clay pots balancing water
for making raisins

for the sweet golden flow
onto the unwritten page of a new day

— shashi light

thanks to the following for images:
www.massacademy.wordpress.com, www.huffingtonpost.com, www.tumblr.com, www.veniceclayartists.com


the freedom of joy

A few nights ago, as I was falling asleep, letting my thoughts drift through the maze of activities of the day, thankful for my health and vitality, it just hit me that every so-called challenge in our lives is just a new path of joy. There are numerous established, well-trodden avenues of happiness, such as winning the lotto, going on a great vacation,
meeting someone extraordinary, being kissed by a beautiful sunset, hearing a brilliant piece of music, etc.
But wouldn’t it be grand to blaze new pathways of bliss? Like reveling in rising each morning
because we can get out of bed and eat breakfast, or open our lungs freely and take in new air
every few seconds, or know the surety of our commitment to the well being of our own selves.


As I lay in bed, my mind glanced upon a strange occurrence in my life. A few months ago, I got the flu.
I call it strange because I never get sick. And, as it turned out, this illness became a bizarre, lengthy
sequence of various, painful symptoms that lasted several weeks. I got over it eventually, but it remains
enigmatic to me in many ways.


But here’s the aha!

 Confined to my bed, my mind a muddy melange of sadness, confusion, worry, and self-pity, I eventually got to the point of utter exasperation with my negative thoughts, and
became desperate to be healthy again. So I decided to think of everything I was thankful for.

So it began, a journey of creating joy. Creating a trail through the tangled brambles of my feelings
of powerlessness and pain.


I’ve been that annoying type of person who tends to be relentlessly optimistic, who will smile at most
adversities, and who is seldom shaken by seeming difficulties, but this new challenge in my life totally
knocked me off my silver lining (literally), and it took every inch of will power in me to start shifting my
mind from sadness and loneliness to gratitude. I was too weak, at the moment, to write anything, so
I began saying them softly to the air in my dim lit bedroom. “I’m thankful for my bed, my soft pillow,
my friends, my family, that I don’t have a terminal illness, for the birds I hear singing outside my window. . . ”


As I spoke, I began weeping, partly because of the exhausting effort it took to exude those soft words, but mostly
because a great sorrow began to be unleashed from my heart as I turned my thoughts away form the self-imposed prison of concentrated pain. My tears fell everyday, as I continued to practice my commitment to
speak my gratitudes each morning.

Now, as I look back on that time, I realize it was a gift, just as everything I may have misperceived in my life
as a negative experience. An opportunity, if I am willing to forge a new path of joy. A gift to create a
magnificent leap of consciousness.

So if you are fortunate enough to be experiencing something like health issues, money problems,
relationship challenges, etc., just say, “Thank you!” And become an innovator of elation. It will confound the people around you. They will question your sanity. It will puzzle your friends.
It will rattle some cages. And it will open up new roads of bliss for you.

The idea and the doing are two different entities, of course, but there is growth in the reaching for, like a
plant bends gently toward her grandmother, the sun. We can bend in the direction of what we perceive as
truth, and in that reaching, there is a cleansing, a purifying, a freedom, and a new path of joy.

Thanks to the following for images used:
www..bet.comwww.thejaggedword.comwww.kids.healthychurch.com,  www.pinterest.com

time for some fun

If you need a lift, enjoy this video of one of my favorite guitar players, Tommy Emmanuel, who is joined by his brother, Phil.  This will put a smile on your face!  Happy music…  humorous comments…  lively crowd… and not to mention stellar playing!

Tommy and Phil are playing the fast-paced Joe Maphis song, “Town Hall Shuffle.” Filmed at the Chet Atkins convention in Nashville in 1999.  Hang on to your tuner!

Click here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mrv24JD2RZc

Courtesy of:  manxcatstales

february, theee month of love

Isn’t it grand to have a whole month to celebrate love?  I love that!

And there are so many types of love to celebrate …  love between friends, lovers, mates, parents and children, between brothers and sisters, love for nature, for this amazing planet we inhabit, love for life, love for your special pet, love for yourself!  They all feel pretty good!

For me, love and appreciation go hand in hand.  Like, when I’m looking at the stars in awe, wonder and appreciation, my heart just automatically opens up, you know?

It’s so nice that love can be described and experienced in so many ways.  It must be inexhaustible!  You gotta love that!

Here are some of my favorite quotes about love:

“You don’t love someone because they’re perfect, you love them in spite of the fact that they’re not.”
― Jodi PicoultMy Sister’s Keeper

“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.”
― Lao Tzu

“I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where. I love you simply, without problems or pride:
I love you in this way because I do not know any other way of loving but this, in which there is no I or you.”
― Pablo Neruda100 Love Sonnets

Happy love month to you!  Keep celebrating!

Thanks to the following for images:
www.quotesforbros.com, www.designbump.com, www.verybestquotes.com





Ho! Ho! Ho!

A simpler time breathes like quiet embers in a corner of my memories.
Sometimes late at night, when I close my eyes to the busy world, I am a  barefoot child
pumping water at the village well, carrying my bucket back to the women
squatting around the fire, preparing the next meal.
As my warm memories nestle around me, I begin to smell the soft swirl of wind
that carries a mesmerizing message of ripening mangoes on wild trees,
sun-baked red-yellow dust, and rice steaming in banana leaves –
like incense held in the small hands of rural India, where I was born.
I think we all have cherished memories of simpler times, perhaps of just taking walks along sun-sprinkled dirt paths among wise old trees, maybe baking cookies with Mom or Grandma,
perhaps doing canon balls off the side of a pool on a hot July afternoon, or climbing a tree
and feasting on its bounty which tasted like freedom . . .  and so many more ambrosial reflections
we could recount.
I love progress and evolution and technological advancement, but sometimes I let it get in the way
of simply taking in the moment, and feeling appreciation for things like sunshine,
fluffy clouds, a chord progression, the intricacies of a single snowflake, and friends
who make me laugh.
So I am taking this moment to send you my gratitude for being a beautiful part of my earth experience,
for being as extraordinary as a snowflake, for adding your flavors to the deliciousness
of life.
May this special time of year remind you of your particular savvy, and bring insights
into your own psyche that reveal how beautiful you are, and the unique gifts you bring to our journeys.
I’d like to share a video I posted on youtube last year when I got
a chance to perform at “Guitar Camp with Tommy Emmanuel.”  It’s a song I wrote
a couple years ago that celebrates the meaning of this season:
LOVE — no matter what your race, religion, or type of hair day you’re having. *~X( at wits' end I hope you enjoy it!
And thanks so much for your support of my music!
With love and warm wishes for the Holiday Season,

bidding Nashville a fond farewell


(Me in front of the Killian Circle Statue in Nashville)

From the honky-tonk bars that pierce the thick shuffle and chatter of the night crowds,
boasting rugged boots of natives and squeaky ones of gaping tourists…

(My dear friends, Debi Champion, Tommy Turner, Billy Lee, Marceia Bonin)

To the gentle nonchalance of the Cumberland River, once an important transporter of goods,
now a curving spectator through an every-changing façade of faces…

(Two of my favorite song-writers, Jimmy Borja and Kevin So)

To the pensive pulse of a myriad song-writers’ imaginations, ever-vigilant of the muses’ gifts, which may appear any where, at any time…

(One of the sweetest guys I know, Paris Delane)

To the almost tangible, magnetic energy drawing dreamers from the four
corners of the world, inviting the creative spirit to test its wings with brother and sister fledglings…

To the concrete and metal rising higher and higher…

To the ghosts lingering in notes and stones, the children of so many great makers of music,
a legacy, free to the earnest seeker…

To the dichotomous mix of tradition and innovation, mysteriously birthing new sounds…

(Seemi and Ric Sadler, two sweet souls)

Nashville, you may not remember my face, among the interesting conglomeration of the
20,000 that come and go every year, you may not hear the notes I have added to the
cacophonous treasure of melodies, words, rhythms - manifested in art for the ear and heart;
but remember to keep loving those who come to you, offering their unique expressions of this
magical journey called life on planet Earth.

(The multi-talented, Antsy McClain)

Give them a place in the expansive, twirling skirts
of your dances to the moon.  Part your clouds from time to time and give them stars to wish upon.
I will always remember the surprisingly warm embrace you greeted me with, and the fertile furrows
of your imagination that fed my creative spirit and helped name my deep yearnings for self-discovery, self-expression, and self-love.

Thank you, Nashville, for growing me up by letting me be a child again.  For your gifts of courage, humility, self-confidence, and music – life changing music.  As I pack my bags, this is the bounty I will most cherish.