The meaning of life

So far as I can tell from my 37 years on this planet, the purpose of my life seems to revolve around creating empathy and understanding. Since I was a child, I wanted to care for beings who needed love and shelter. My parents allowed me to adopt animals whose owners had abandoned them. I…

The birth of a song

It was legitimately cold on Monday when I met Sarah at the refugee center. We posted papers on the wall and invited people to join us. That morning, I had texted Sarah a few lines from a Robert Frost poem, “Fences make good neighbors.” She suggested that we write them at the top of the…

How do you honor a person with no name?

I recently published a piece about the importance of recognizing and honoring individuals whose ideas have inspired your own work in order to ensure they receive acknowledgment for their hard work and innovation. I wrote mainly from the creative and academic perspective, but this concept certainly extends to all realms of innovation and discovery. Since…

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…

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…