If I could be a word

I headed to the refugee asylum center yesterday afternoon sans chien (without dog). I had left our new wolfie dog in his plastic crate for the first time, and I was nervous at the state my husband might find him in. we texted back and forth, me from bus 17 on my way out of…

The best is yet to come

In January 2016, I began volunteering at a refugee asylum center near the center of Brussels. I did a lot of research and contacted many places and organizations before happening upon one that gave a positive response to my request to offer songwriting from stories. When I participated in an entrepreneur accelerator program in Lowell,…

Sous la pluie

The woman who wrote the song from a couple of Mondays ago was very inspiring. She was reticent to sing, as most people tend to be. I had asked the group already if anyone was feeling brave and the men had shied away entirely. She wasn’t sure what to sing, but as soon I started…

Jingle all the way

I believe that every person is an artist and a musician. I have witnessed people subconsciously tapping their foot along to a song after insisting they had no sense of rhythm or musical ability.   I think responding to music is a natural part of what it means to be human on this earth. Melodies…

Zindgi Sakhta/Life is hard

Every Monday, I visit the Petit-Château. With ukulele in hand, I walk through every kind of weather to get there. We stand outside for two hours, writing poetry and turning poetry into music. By the end, my body is freezing, but my heart is warm. Each time I visit the château, I wonder if I will…

I want a peaceful life

March is Women’s History Month. In the past, I participated in Lowell Women’s Week in Lowell, Massachusetts. I offered a songwriting workshop and concert where I performed songs I had been working on from the oral histories of female factory workers. This year, I am composing songs in Brussels, Belgium as a volunteer at one…

I’ll meet you there

This past week, I visited the Petit-Château on Monday for poetry and music and Friday for a special songwriting workshop for Women’s Week. Monday began with sunshine and ended with grey sky, but the music we created warmed my spirit tremendously. At the start of the Monday session, there were just a few folks in…

We sing together

My third visit to the Fedasil Petit-Château refugee asylum center was literally stormy and creatively dynamic. Rain, hail, thunder, and lightening swept through the open courtyard as our little group sang our hearts out to a melody shared by one of the participants. The poetry volunteer had written two lines from an ancient Chinese poem…

Never give up

I knew that I was going to be more on the spot at my second visit to the refugee asylum center. As I walked from the metro to the center, I could hear the voice of my inner critic, chatting away in my ear.   What if you aren’t able to come up with a…

Come on up to the house

Since arriving in Brussels in the beginning of December 2016, I have been sending inquiries to any and all agencies that I can find who assist immigrants and refugees coming to the city from other countries. I have followed several possible leads but only recently finally happened upon one where I can volunteer and songwriting…

How to be funny?

Several years ago, I learned about an entrepreneur accelerator program from a friend, who encouraged me to apply with the songwriting method I had co-developed with a fellow student from the Prescott College Sustainability Education PhD program. I submitted an application, fully expecting to be rejected. Why would they think songwriting was a good idea…

Tales from an introvert entrepreneur

I am an introvert and a homebody. While I can psyche myself up to go out, mingle, and be social, I much prefer to just stay home and cuddle with my cats on the couch. I love working from home and wearing my sweatpants all day! I am also an entrepreneur. I realize that there…