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Tales from the Shadow Gallery

In Alan Moore’s “V for Vendetta” the underground lair of the main character is an underground treasure trove of art, music, and cultural artifacts that he calls the Shadow Gallery, an endless source of inspiration and enrichment that by its very nature threatens the oppressive status quo. I remember being really struck by how awesome that was, collecting all of the masterpieces and subversive art to ensure they survived, and encapsulated by the thought that “A revolution without dancing is a revolution not worth having” ~ I took this to mean that all of the things deemed frivolous or dangerous by the vested interests of a corporate state are verily the very things that bring color, wonder, joy, and meaning into our lives. 

My own Shadow Gallery has been kept secret for a very long time, and I’ve come to realize that by having it buried I am essentially hoarding what should be shared. What’s the point of being creative, having stories to tell, and songs to sing, if they’re not shared? For years I have written and composed and recorded and then moved on, putting whatever was created on the shelf and rarely granting access.  But I’ve come to realize that this does not serve me anymore, nor potentially anyone else, and so it’s time to open the doors and explore.  All of my projects, all of my offerings, are the tales I have to tell, the Tales from the Shadow Gallery.

As a creative, I can’t help but produce and this is my place to take these creations off of the shelves and leave them out for you to find. But I needed a place to set free all of the music and writing and circus performance art that come through me in all of their various forms, and so it’s time to build a house for all of this creativity. Projects might be whimsical or serious, some philosophical or opinionated. Sometimes the movement is towards pure celebration of the human spirit, or exploring the depths of the human condition, or focusing on the wonders of our earth. Sometimes the spotlight will be on the pain and suffering that we seem to be so good at, or on my projects that explore how we grow and evolve through our pain and suffering to become better, as individuals, as communities, and as the living organism that is earth. 

For so long I’ve tried to make sense of where all of these different expressions fit, so instead of trying to find that place I’ve decided to create it as well. And here we are, and I raise my glass to you ~ Cheers for sharing this adventure with me!  So welcome to my Shadow Gallery, and as we emerge into the light I hope you are touched and inspired by your visit.  If any of these tales move you in any way, please consider sharing them in your world and amongst your friends, and invite them to visit the gallery for themselves. 

Onwards Team Human…

World War III

The message is clear, we need to change how we live, or the Earth won’t be fit, do you think our children will forgive?

Eleven thousand scientists in 153 countries have declared a climate emergency and warned that “untold human suffering” is unavoidable without huge shifts in the way we live.

That needs to be said again, loudly, and frequently ~ We are living in a CLIMATE EMERGENCY.

I understand how challenging it is to face this reality, it’s so big it’s virtually surreal. I’ve known about these issues for most of my adult life and yet it’s still hard to grasp. Perhaps it is my children’s presence that has brought this to the forefront in my path, and perhaps each of us needs to find the personal reason that brings it to the forefront for you, but the fact is inescapable that this is the paramount issue of our times and everything else pales in relation to this global crisis.

Our house is on fire, it is not a metaphor. Yet most of us continue to act like it’s just another day, what are we going to do this weekend, what was your favorite distraction this week, did you see the new _______?

We need to mobilize for World War III, with the same comprehensive urgency our country and allies did with Hitler knocking on the door. Except the foe isn’t an individual country or an evil dictator, it’s our collective way of life, our dependence on fossil fuels, our aversion to discomfort and inconvenience that must be actively combated each and every day until the tides turn and we establish the foundations of sustainable energy systems and food supplies, as well as nurturing inclusive communities, in order to possibly see this through.

I can’t pretend anymore that everything is alright ~ that delusion has become more stressful than facing the reality of our times and the imbalances our species has created. It’s time for action, for empowered movement and inspired creativity to navigate the challenges ahead.

https://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-emergency-scientists-emissions-letter-climate-change-a9185786.html?fbclid=IwAR3SFJRB-tpB4WlYdJkroMraD7GqOF2_FMOu6_LM8wUjbGfKT3f4HgG52Sg

The Birth of TemplEarth

The phrase Temple-Earth first came to me in late 2008 while trekking in the Adirondacks of New York. It haunted me and stuck in my mind in a way that few ideas have over the course of my life. I loved the idea of merging the words into one and fusing the concept that a reverent attitude towards the Earth, treating it as a sacred temple, would be a powerful energy to nurture. At the time I thought it to be the title for a piece of music I had been working on and released that celebratory mystical musical journey in 2010 (a story in its own right). At the time I thought that’s that and moved on to my next project, as well as a major change in my life’s trajectory.

Years later, the phrase still haunted me in a way that I began to suspect meant it wasn’t done with me and wasn’t merely the title to a piece of music. I allowed it to gestate and began to think of TemplEarth as the kernel of a community, and once there it began to bloom in a living way, not content to be a static thing on the record shelf.

I’ve been very inspired and shaped over the years by the eco-philosophy writings of Thomas Berry, the spiritual-philosophy of Joanna Macy, and Zen-Buddhism in general, as well as by all of the earth activists and spiritual warriors treading the path. Artists like Alex Grey that awaken our deeper selves through the resonances in their work and music that stirs the soul are constant sources of motivation, and part of the vision for TemplEarth is to cultivate an ever-growing community of artists, musicians, and activists who embody these ideals through their work, helping to stir the pot and help awaken humanity.

The re-awakening of indigenous cultures, and in particular those communities who have arisen to defend the Earth, has been a profound source of energizing direction, as I firmly believe that the emergence of these Guardians and Protectors will usher in a new era of reconnecting with Earth in a fundamental way.

TemplEarth has evolved over the years to embody a philosophy, an outlook, a community, an artistic vein, an arts organization, as well as it’s current gestation as an active seed for a periodic celebratory gathering ~ stay tuned for more as TemplEarth unfolds, for it’s an idea whose time has come.

If any of this resonates with you, please consider connecting, signing up for my newsletter, letting me know of your activities that align, because together we are strong and have the power to enact change, and the more of us there are moving forward with power and vision to help heal imbalances and restore environmental integrity, the closer we are to making it so.

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