All I Know 

I've been thinking a lot about what I’ve learned in my longish but not ultimately long life. In my younger years I was kind of cocky, and I definitely ruffled some feathers even though I was relatively tame. I had some wisdom early on, but it didn’t keep me from making a lot of dumb mistakes and miscues that hurt my relationships. As I aged I continued to think that lots of work was the best way to go - sometimes avoiding deeper situations just to make another buck. As I went through mid-life I gained some perspective on health and well-being - trying to put some continuity in my everyday existence. Now that I’ve almost reached retirement age (even though I don’t plan to retire) I look back on possessions and situations with a different eye. Security is important, but relationships and caring for others seems to be all that ultimately matters. Through it all I see more and more that no matter what your race or religion, social status or politics, wealth or location, the love of friends and family is all that matters. That’s all I know.  

—— 

What have I been up to? 

My outdoor senior and facility shows went very well last week. The temperature has dropped just enough to make them very comfortable. It’s so good to see these folks.  

My Thursday show doing Chuck Pyle's music went swimmingly. I love Chuck's music so much, and I even got to have some surprise guests along on the show like Gordon Burt who played fiddle with Chuck for 30 years.  

My Sunday show was a big crowd with a lot of fun. I cherish these nights of camaraderie with so many good friends even when they are crazy wild.  

—— 

What am I up to this week? 

I have senior and facility gigs almost every day either online or outdoors this week. I absolutely love seeing these folks.  

Thursday my online show 7-8:30 mountain time will feature Fall shows. I have a bunch of great Fall songs, and I figured that rather than doing another artist I would do a variety of Fall songs this week. I think you’ll like the surprises I have in store for us.  
facebook.com/tom.munch 
tommunch.com/photos-videos  

Sunday my online show 7-8:30 will have a variety of requests and favorites as always. It’s amazing some of the songs I’m learning for folks. Please tune in if you can.  
facebook.com/tom.munch 
tommunch.com/photos-videos  

—— 

That’s it for this week. I wanted to say something more profound above about life, but I think it was pretty well summed up by what I said. Love is ultimately all that matters.  

—— 

Details this week: 

Who:  Tom Munch 
What:  playing and singing an Online Concert of Fall songs 
Where:  facebook.com/tom.munch and tommunch.com/photos-videos 
When:  Thursday, September 24, 7-8:30 pm mountain time 

Who:  Tom Munch 
What:  playing and singing an Online Concert of favorites and requests 
Where:  facebook.com/tom.munch and tommunch.com/photos-videos 
When:  Sunday, September 27, 7-8:30 pm mountain time

Monday, September 14, 2020 - Beats and Life 

I wrote a new song last week that has bedeviled me. The idea was to create a song that demonstrated the concept of being behind the beat and ahead of the beat in a way that anyone could actually feel the pull of the beat the way a musician does. By doing this I hoped to convey my belief that we can play with time in our minds, and that time is the most interesting thing in our life here on earth. The way I wanted to do this was to create a guitar melody and rhythm with a well-defined beat that the voice could contrast against by pulling and pushing the beat to go with the lyrics talking about falling behind and getting ahead of the beat. It would have an effect like the t-shirts and posters that put a word out of focus just enough that you strain to focus the word, except that you would strain your sense of timing to pull the words back to the beat. It’s an interesting concept, and it’s something that musicians, especially drummers, practice with exercises that help them hone the skill and mastery of rhythm. The problem for me is that I can’t disassociate my playing from my singing enough to coordinate the effect of pulling and pushing. I would like to intuitively pull and push the beat, but it would be better to actually count the rhythm mathematically so that I’m am just behind and just ahead of the beat. Hopefully I’ll get it figured out so I can actually play the song and get the effect I’m going after. In this way I can demonstrate that our life is really just the moment we are in right now and not the memories of the past or the worry of the future. I said it once in a song, “This moment is my goal, the only thing I can truly know.” That is the key to the current popular practice of mindfulness. Wish me luck in accomplishing this.  

—— 

What have I been up to? 

Last week was a really busy week. The weather was bad enough that I had to reschedule all of my senior facilities since I couldn’t play outside in the cold to the residents, but I had four evening gigs.  

My Fogelberg online show on Wednesday was so sweet. I often forget how much his music had an effect me. I will long remember this night.  

Thursday was my private virtual show for a women's group in Wisconsin, and it went very well too. Thanks to Mary for setting it up so well.  

Saturday was an online group show for the Yellow Pine Guest Ranch where I normally play a weekly summer barbecue. It was so good to feel a little bit of the spirit of that place and those folks.  

Sunday was my favorites and requests show online, and it was like old home week with so many friends from over my whole life. Wow! 

—— 

What am I up to this week? 

I have several senior facility shows scheduled outdoors this week, and it looks like the weather will be just right for these. Every one of the good days is a gift until the weather changes and I won’t get to see these folks for a long while again.  

Thursday 7-8:30 for my weekly theme show I’ll be featuring the music of Chuck Pyle online. Chuck was a phenomenal songwriter, and I have loved his music since the first time I heard it and met him. This will be my tribute to him since we won’t have a big tribute in Denver for him again this year. I’ve recorded his music, and if you don't know his tunes then you’re in for a treat. Please tune in. 
facebook.com/tom.munch 
tommunch.com/photos-videos 

Sunday 7-8:30 I’ll do my favorites and requests online show. I can’t express how much I enjoy doing this evening of music and interaction with so many friends. It is very special, and I’d love to have you with me.  
facebook.com/tom.munch 
tommunch.com/photos-videos 

—— 

That’s it for this week. I’m still thinking about time and how it dominates our existence. Hmmm... 

Best, 

Tom 

—— 

Details this week: 

Who:  Tom Munch 
What:  playing and singing a Facebook Live Concert of Chuck Pyle songs 
Where:  facebook.com/tom.munch and tommunch.com/photos-videos 
When:  Thursday, September 17, 7-8:30 pm mountain time 

Who:  Tom Munch 
What:  playing and singing a Facebook Live Concert of favorites and requests 
Where:  facebook.com/tom.munch and tommunch.com/photos-videos 
When:  Sunday, September 20, 7-8:30 pm mountain time

Monday, September 7, 2020 - Creative Performances 

I have heard and read a few interesting stories about how people are making and getting their music during this time of isolation. I’ve been doing only online shows other than my distanced shows for senior homes, but there are all kinds of other ways that people are performing and spreading music. One classical music couple are doing custom recorded video performances of song requests for special occasions like birthdays and anniversaries on viola and piano. They call it “pick a song.” I did a custom CD of favorite songs for an anniversary and another for a long-time friend. One musician in Canada has a platform on his vehicle that he performs shows from in front of people’s houses, and I’ve heard of others doing this from pickup truck beds in parking lots and driveways. There are several bands that have set up concerts on stages at drive-in movie theaters to people in their cars. I even heard about a performance that had speakers mounted on hot-air balloons that flew over neighborhoods in an area with the live music wirelessly broadcasted. Music is just very important to our well-being, and it turns out there are a lot of ways to deliver it. I may try some of these more creative ways of performing, but for now I’ve been enjoying the intimacy of online performances a lot. The technology is finally good enough that the quality is acceptable even though there is always room for improvement. I guess we will see where performing music returns to after the pandemic is over.  

—— 

What have I been up to? 

Last week was a lot of fun. I just had a couple senior homes. With the weather changing quite a bit this week we will have to think of other ways to entertain the folks. Online shows don’t work as well for them yet until higher speeds and more screens are available in the facilities.  

Thursday online I did more of my own original songs, and there were songs I haven’t played in 30 years that I attempted to reconnect with. Some worked better than others. I’ve had an interesting career with quite a few different songwriting influences.  

Sunday online I did a bunch of new requests and one new song I wrote in the vein of John Prine. It being Labor Day weekend I had a lot of folks tune in whom I hadn’t seen in a while. It is so good to connect with old friends and acquaintances.  

—— 

What am I up to this week? 

Wednesday 7-8:30 mountain time I’ll be doing my weekly theme show instead of Thursday because I have a private online show on Thursday. This week I’ll be doing the music of Dan Fogelberg. I can honestly say that he is one of the few artists that I have every album. I didn’t hear his first couple albums until a few years after they came out, but I was a big fan once I latched onto his music. He had such vocal and instrumental talent, not to mention very poetic lyrics. Many of his songs affected me in very deep ways. Please tune in if you can.  
facebook.com/tom.munch 
tommunch.com/photos-videos 

Thursday I have a private performance for a women's club in Wisconsin on Facebook. One of my childhood friends is part of this group, and I’m really looking forward to playing for them.  

Saturday I’m playing a show on Facebook for folks who have joined me at the Yellow Pine Ranch for the barbecue over the years. The barbecue was cancelled this summer due to the virus, and this is my chance to connect with all the friends I’ve made over the years at the Yellow Pine in Cuchara and get to sing for them a bit. If you’ve been to the Yellow Pine and would like to be part of this then let me know.  

Sunday I’ll be performing virtually for the Cuchara Chapel service that is recorded and shown online on the cucharachapel.org site. My good friend Rev. Eileen Ramsey leads these services all winter, and I’m proud to play for the second Sunday of each month. Tune in if you’d like a little inspiration and a few songs from me.  

Sunday 7-8:30 mountain time I’ll be doing my weekly favorites and requests show on Facebook. My list of requests grows every week, and I spend a lot of time learning new songs each week for this show. It has become a very special time that I look forward to. Please join us if you can.  
facebook.com/tom.munch 
tommunch.com/photos-videos  

—— 

That’s it for this week. I’m pacing myself for performances and recordings each day.  

Best always, 

Tom 

—— 

Details this week: 

Who:  Tom Munch 
What:  playing and singing a Facebook Live Concert of Dan Fogelberg songs 
Where:  facebook.com/tom.munch and tommunch.com/photos-videos 
When:  Wednesday, September 9, 7-8:30 pm mountain time 

Who:  Tom Munch 
What:  playing and singing a Facebook Live Concert of favorites and requests 
Where:  facebook.com/tom.munch and tommunch.com/photos-videos 
When:  Sunday, September 13, 7-8:30 pm mountain time

Monday, August 31, 2020 - Music Makes Us Synchronize 

I'm still basking this morning in the light of my online show last night. I am so fortunate to have so many good and kind friends who are so supportive and participative in my music. And it makes me try to understand again what it is about sharing in the delivery of a song or evening of songs that is so satisfying and fulfilling. Ultimately, I think it is because we are all one, and when we share in music we are actually experiencing our oneness in a visceral way where we hear, feel, and move together. Turns out that science shows us that our brains actually show synchronization while experiencing the same music. A study published in the journal “NeuroImage” and explained in an article in “Scientific American” tells how our brains synchronize while listening to and performing a song, and that the more they synchronize the more we enjoy the music. Our neurons actually fire together. I’m always thrilled when science figures out what we somehow intuitively know. I’ll include the links to both the study and article below if you want to read more. In my Sunday shows I sense a flow between me and my listeners even though we are not together in person that I really cherish and love. Because people can comment in real time without interrupting the performance verbally we can actually express our togetherness as it happens. This is pretty unique and valuable, and it’s something that makes me not want to ever give up online performances in favor of only in-person performances when this virus and its precautions are over. If you’d like to experience this then tune in to one of my online shows. We have created a family in a unique and special place. Here are the articles.  

Scientific American 
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/music-synchronizes-the-brains-of-performers-and-their-audience/ 

NeuroImage 
The averaged inter-brain coherence between the audience and a violinist predicts the popularity of violin performance - ScienceDirect 

—— 

What have I been up to? 

My senior facilities last week were very gratifying. Again I’ll be so disappointed when the weather cools enough that I can’t perform outdoors for my folks. I’m hoping that the weather stays warm enough and the vaccine arrives soon enough that we won’t have a long time apart.  

My Michael Murphey online show last Thursday was so much fun. His music has been with me almost as long as anyone's in my life, and it has definitely impacted me and my musical career.  

The Sunday online show as I mentioned above was wonderful. I had a bunch of requests that I worked really hard on, and the whole evening just flowed back and forth.  

—— 

What am I up to this week? 

I only have a couple senior facilities this week. I’m working on trying to do a few other facilities if it works for them before the weather cools.  

Thursday 7-8:30 for my online theme show I’ll be doing more of my own original songs. I have several older songs I haven’t done in a long time and several unrecorded songs and new songs that I’d love for folks to hear as well as other special songs I’ve written that I’d love to share. Please tune in if you’d like to hear some of my own heartfelt songs that I made up.  ;-) 
tommunch.com/photos-videos 
facebook.com/tom.munch  

Sunday 7-8:30 I’ll be doing more favorites and requests online. I’m finding it pretty challenging to work up some of the requests I’ve gotten. I really enjoy it, but my brain sometimes tells me that it can’t fit another song up there. I usually just laugh and push it some more. I know there’s always more room to store them. I’m also thrilled to see the creative ways and places that people listen and experience the evening. Some sit out on the sidewalk with other neighbors and a glass of beer or wine and share the music. Some set a laptop out by their outdoor fire pit to have an impromptu campfire musical experience. Some watch on a phone with headphones so it becomes an intimate personal evening. It’s all wonderful. I’m just thankful to have such good friends willing to take a ride with me every time. Here are the links again.  
tommunch.com/photos-videos  
facebook.com/tom.munch  

—— 

That’s it for this week. Next week we’ll either have to skip a Thursday or choose another day for a theme show as I have a private online show on Thursday. I’m fine with either one. I have so many more ideas for theme shows. I’m just loving getting to connect with friends in such a meaningful way.  

—— 

Who:  Tom Munch 
What:  playing and singing a Facebook Live Concert of my own original songs 
Where:  facebook.com/tom.munch and tommunch.com/photos-videos 
When:  Thursday, September 3, 7-8:30 pm mountain time 

Who:  Tom Munch 
What:  playing and singing a Facebook Live Concert of favorites and requests 
Where:  facebook.com/tom.munch and tommunch.com/photos-videos 
When:  Sunday, September 6, 7-8:30 pm mountain time

Monday, August 24, 2020 - Numbness Joy Waiting 

The past few days I have been feeling kind of brain dead. I know we all go through this. You get worn down and seem to lack focus. It reminds me of numbness in my body. I don’t know if you have this, but I have areas in my legs that are numb to the touch - either from procedures for bad circulation or for no apparent reason at all. My hands also go numb when I sleep so that often I’ll wake up unable to pick up my phone or feel my hands for a few seconds until they wake up. If you have ever had surgery you know that numbness is common around an incision. The waiting during this COVID-19 time has created a numbness too. We’re waiting for it to be over - hopefully with each of us coming through relatively unscathed with maybe a new perspective on life. It has had its opportunities - from catching up on reading to doing house projects to reconnecting with those we live with. But it does include this numbness and need for stimulation in a meaningful way. And there is joy in small moments. It’s important to find that. I’ve been trying to provide that with my photos and music. It’s a small thing, but it seems to help - at least I know it helps me to experience and share it. And the connection with you all helps. I know it’s tough to be social without being able to see each other or give a hug, but we’ll make it through. Just keep up your patience looking for joy through the numbness and the waiting. The waiting really is the hardest part. 

—— 

What have I been up to? 

Last week I had several senior facilities outside which was a bit of a heat challenge with the temps measuring around 100° every day. But with shade and a little breeze it was bearable. It was great to see my friends.  

My John Prine show on Thursday went very well. His music just seems to speak to me and to others in a deep and meaningful way. I’m thankful he got to do one more really good album before he passed. If you missed my show you can hear it on my website and on Facebook. tommunch.com/photos-videos and facebook.com/tom.munch  

My Philmont show on Saturday was a blast as well. I didn’t know if a reunion like that would work very well. My experience in spoken online reunions hasn’t been that great. Everyone is waiting for someone else to speak, and there almost needs to be a moderator to suggest topics. But with music everyone has something more in common, and it spurs memories of where people were when they heard the music. On top of that you can have a small conversation in the comments while the music is going that doesn’t distract like it would in person. It’s actually very cool! We will do it again! 

My Sunday Facebook show went very well too. We ended up doing more popular oldies this week, and I really enjoyed it.  

—— 

What’s up this week? 

I have several online and outside senior facilities this week while the weather is still nice. Hopefully we can continue these into October. They are good for the folks and good for me! 

Thursday my online concert will feature the music of Michael Martin Murphey. I’ve been playing his music since he first hit the scene, and I’ve run into him many times over the years - even running sound for him for a show many years ago on one of my systems. He’s had a great career through 50 years of being a singer/songwriter, country singer, and cowboy singer. I’m going to mostly do songs from his early career through the ‘80s, and I think you’ll find a lot of great songs. I’ve learned a lot of music from him over the years, and he is a favorite of many musicians throughout the southwest.  
tommunch.com/photos-videos 
facebook.com/tom.munch  

Sunday is my weekly online show that I’m calling my Favorites show. I have a bunch of requests that I’m working on as always for folks, and I have really come to love the musical family that we have created at these shows. Please tune in if you can.  
tommunch.com/photos-videos 
facebook.com/tom.munch 

—— 

That’s it for this week. I hope you’re doing okay with the numbness and can find joy through the waiting. Just reach out if you need some encouragement.  

Best always, 

Tom 

—— 

Who:  Tom Munch 
What:  playing and singing a Facebook Live Concert of Michael Martin Murphey songs 
Where:  facebook.com/tom.munch and tommunch.com/photos-videos 
When:  Thursday, August 27, 7-8:30 pm mountain time 

Who:  Tom Munch 
What:  playing and singing a Facebook Live Concert of requests and favorites  
Where:  facebook.com/tom.munch and tommunch.com/photos-videos 
When:  Sunday, August 30, 7-8:30 pm mountain time

Monday, August 17, 2020 - Fiery Beauty 

I was walking with Jen during the sunrise yesterday when we were absolutely taken aback by the sun coming over the hill in the wildfire smoke from distant fires as a huge red ball. It was unbelievably beautiful, and yet we knew the beauty came at the cost of pain and suffering for the folks being affected by the wildfires raging in many places in our state and beyond. We also got to talk yesterday morning with a couple who are facing uncertainty at the cost of the tragedy of the man having had a debilitating stroke that has changed their lives seemingly irreparably. Are these two incidents related somehow? Does tragedy lead to beauty in many situations? Some people who have had cancer say they would never go back in time and undo the cancer in their lives because the cancer taught them lessons of appreciation and love. Is it possible that these lessons are part of our growth and purpose in our lives? I have not liked the painful lessons in my life, but they have made me a more caring and feeling person. Maybe these painful things are gifts from the divine to make us more human and godly at the same time. Some people are hoping that COVID-19 will be the same thing for our world. I don’t know, but I’m sure glad the red-ball sun was breathtaking and made me think and appreciate for a moment.  

—— 

What have I been up to? 

I had several senior facilities during the week that I really enjoyed. It’s hard to express the lift it gives me and the folks to pass smiles back and forth even though we can’t see them under our masks.  

Thursday was my Facebook theme show doing Gordon Lightfoot songs. I learned several new ones, and we really reached some wonderful moments reminiscing and sharing his music. Gord is one talented guy! 

Sunday was my Facebook request show with a ton of requests this week. I think I got to most of the requests although I had to leave some out and we went a little long. There was some really fun and insightful stuff. If you missed it and would like to hear, it’s on my Facebook page and on my website with all my shows except a few that have been taken down for copyright.  

—— 

What am I up to this week? 

I have gigs every day this week which is the first time in months I’ve had that happen. I have five senior facilities during the week either performing outdoors or online. A couple of them are for folks I haven’t seen since March or even February. It will be so good to see them! 

Thursday at 7:00 mountain time is my Facebook theme show. This week I’m doing the songs of John Prine. He was a songwriter's songwriter, and he passed in April of COVID-19 - making him one of the earlier deaths of the virus. There were many tributes to him at the time, but now that we’ve had a little more reflection I think that his music is even more poignant. If you don’t know his music then you’re in for a treat. Please join me if you can.  
facebook.com/tom.munch 
tommunch.com/photos-videos  

Saturday I’m doing a special Facebook show for Philmont Scout Ranch folks online on a Facebook group I made just for this concert. If you’d like to attend you can find the group with a simple search on Facebook for my name and Philmont. Anyone is welcome, but there will be a lot of Philmont reminiscing and music, so it may not be something you’ll enjoy if you’ve never been to Philmont.  

Sunday at 7:00 mountain time is my weekly Facebook request show. I have a few requests left over from last week, and I usually save requests for folks until I see they are in the audience, so there’s always plenty of songs to choose from. If you have a request please let me know durning the week and I will try to include it.  
facebook.com/tom.munch 
tommunch.com/photos-videos  

—— 

That’s it for this week. I had thought about doing a Labor Day marathon, but I think I’ll wait to do another marathon maybe at Christmastime. It just doesn’t feel right to do one at this time. I hope you are well and taking care as much as you can. I still feel that these tragedies are here to teach us - as hard as that may be to  consider.  

Best always, 

Tom 

—— 

Details this week: 

Who:  Tom Munch 
What:  playing and singing a Facebook Live Concert of John Prine songs 
Where:  facebook.com/tom.munch and tommunch.com/photos-videos 
When:  Thursday, August 20, 7-8:30 pm mountain time 

Who:  Tom Munch 
What:  playing and singing a Facebook Live Concert of requests and favorites  
Where:  facebook.com/tom.munch and tommunch.com/photos-videos 
When:  Sunday, August 23, 7-8:30 pm mountain time

Monday, August 10, 2020 - Rattlesnakes and Mountain Lions, Oh, My!  

We had two interesting things happen in our neighborhood since my last blog. First Beau scared up a baby rattlesnake on our walk, and then the next day a mountain lion killed a deer a few hundred feet from where we walk. We are in the prairie near some pretty good bluffs and outcroppings that look like good mountain lion habitat, and we see bull snakes and red racers on our property during the summer, so these sightings are not that out of place, but it’s still a reminder that we are in their land as much as they are in our land. It’s a privilege to see such wildness, and I cherish every opportunity I get - even when it’s dangerous. As much as anything it’s a reminder that we are all in this together - a theme I often repeat. I’m usually talking about people, but we share this world and this universe with countless other creatures and forms of life. Everything is interwoven in ways we don’t really understand. It’s a joy to think about, and is even more of a wonder to experience. And in the midst of so much consternation in our current world it’s refreshing to see that there’s a whole world around us going about its business - seemingly oblivious to whatever we are currently occupied with.  

—— 

What have I been up to? 

Last Thursday online playing the standards of Nat King Cole and Ella Fitzgerald was so enjoyable. I’m normally immersed in this music weekly as I sing for my seniors, although more and more they prefer country and ‘50s tunes. The songs just dance off my fingers and off my tongue, and I love, love, love doing them.  

Last Sunday online was a completely different night with all kinds of favorite songs from a wide range of genres. It was a blast, and I can’t tell you what a thrill it is to see people from every era of my life and career - from childhood to recent days.  

—— 

What am I up to this week? 

I have several senior facilities outdoors and online this week to play for. It seems that it’s still very hard to be essentially locked into these places although there are more outside visits and outdoor entertainment than there were at the beginning of quarantine. I pour as much love as I can into these musical visits - as I always try to do.  

Thursday 7-8:30 mountain time I’ll be playing a Facebook Live show of Gordon Lightfoot songs. I’ve always liked Gordon’s songs, and I look forward to doing a deep dive on old favorites of mine as well as some newer requests. Gordon’s writing and playing is mesmerizing, and he always had top-notch players accompanying him as well, so it’s a joy getting to play these melodies and riffs. It’ll be on my website at tommunch.com/photos-videos and on Facebook at facebook.com/tom.munch.  

Sunday 7-8:30 mountain time is my Facebook Live Request show. I’m calling it a Request show now, but it also becomes a chance to so some different kind of songs for me. Please tune in if you can. We always have a fun and fulfilling evening - tommunch.com/photos-videos and facebook.com/tom.munch. 

—— 

I’m also working on some private shows for Philmont and the Yellow Pine Guest Ranch. I’m creating Facebook groups for both of these shows, and I’ll also broadcast these on my website. I’ll post more as we choose dates, and you can join the groups on Facebook. I have the Philmont one up now, and I’ll put up a Yellow Pine one shortly.  

—— 

That’s it for this week. As this virus continues it really puts this transitional state we’re all experiencing into some interesting territory. I’ll have some more thoughts about it as we progress, but for now I’m doing okay and am contemplating the reflection it provides although I hate the cost to others it is causing.  

Best always, 

Tom 

—— 

Details this week: 

Who:  Tom Munch 
What:  playing and singing a Facebook Live Concert Gordon Lightfoot songs 
Where:  facebook.com/tom.munch and tommunch.com/photos-videos 
When:  Thursday, August 13, 7-8:30 pm mountain time 

Who:  Tom Munch 
What:  playing and singing a Facebook Live Concert of requests and favorites  
Where:  facebook.com/tom.munch and tommunch.com/photos-videos 
When:  Sunday, August 16, 7-8:30 pm mountain time

Monday, August 3, 2020 - Paranoia 

I’m pondering paranoia this morning.  It’s a curious trait in people that I don’t quite understand.  I have felt it at times in my life in strange ways.  When I was a teenager in love I thought that every note from a girlfriend had hints that she was seeing someone else on the side. I remember thinking that some kids in my neighborhood were plotting something against me or other kids (sometimes they were!)  When shows like the X-Files were on the air I bought into some of the paranoid theories at least far enough to enjoy the show.  I’m sure paranoia was a valuable trait in our ancestors who needed a bit of it just to survive, but it leads to stress and worry that often leads to real problems in us.  What is the Bible quote?  “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”  I think worry comes from paranoia when we think about other people and their motives.  Either way it does not come from trust, and trust is what’s necessary to have a functioning life, family, and community.  Trust comes from a reassurance that we all are looking out for each other because we understand our interdependence and oneness.  I’m not sure what it takes in people to instill this.  For some it’s religion and the fear of God.  For some it’s a desire for growth and improvement.  For others it’s just a realization that it’s necessary.  I tend to be a utopian, but I really think that love is the answer.  I’ll just keeping making it my life’s purpose. 

—— 

What have I been up to? 

I only had one senior facility last week, but I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I think the residents did too.  I can’t tell you how much satisfaction I get from helping to make others lives more enjoyable. 

Thursday was my Facebook Original Songs Show, and it went very well.  I don’t do my own songs all that often, and it was very gratifying to have so many people turn out to watch and listen to my songs and stories.  I wish I had written more of them over my life so far. 

Sunday was my Facebook Requests Show, and I worked on learning a lot of songs this week, and for the most part they came off pretty well.  I’m always a little hesitant on new songs until I’ve performed them several times, but my fingers and my brain didn’t fail me this week. 

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What am I up to this week? 

I have a couple shows at senior facilities outdoors that should be rewarding. 

Thursday 7-8:30 mountain time I have my Facebook Theme night again.  This week is titled Nat King Cole and Ella Fitzgerald Standards.  I have lived a lot of my life in these standards.  I have close to 50 Nat King Cole albums with his trio, and I have at least half that in Ella albums by herself or with collaborators like Louis Armstrong and Joe Pass.  My dad grew up learning standards off the Hit Parade radio show, and I have played them for my seniors for more than 40 years.  This will be a very enjoyable night of stories and great songs. 

Sunday 7-8:30 is my Facebook Request Show again.  I’m not getting quite as many requests as I had been, but I have dozens of requests from the past weeks that I’m still working on, and I’d love to be able to do some as they are requested as well.  Please join me if you can. 

— 

That’s it for this week.  I’m having a good discussion online with a group of friends about what I wrote about above, and I think we’re close to solving it!  Just kidding!  These thoughts will be around long after we’re gone, I’m afraid.  Have a good week, and I hope to see you down the road - maybe online. 

Best always, 

Tom 

—— 

Details this week: 

Who:  Tom Munch 
What:  playing and singing a Facebook Live Concert of Nat and Ella standards 
Where:  facebook.com/tom.munch and tommunch.com/photos-videos 
When:  Thursday, August 6, 7-8:30 pm mountain time 

Who:  Tom Munch 
What:  playing and singing a Facebook Live Concert of requests and favorites  
Where:  facebook.com/tom.munch and tommunch.com/photos-videos 
When:  Sunday, August 9, 7-8:30 pm mountain time

Monday, July 27, 2020 - Coincidences? 

Last night’s Facebook show had so many good friends with so many interconnected stories with each other and with songs that the night really reminded me of the serendipity we should expect in this world. At many times during the show I was beyond delight at the people and songs that popped in just at the right time as if someone was directing a movie. It’s a thing we have all experienced and usually shrugged at as just a coincidence, but some cultures and belief systems not only are not surprised at these but also live in full expectation of these happening every day as part of their routine. My favorite exploration of this idea comes from a book I have mentioned before and even wrote my song “The Great Mysterious” about by Roger Welsch called “The Reluctant Pilgrim: A Skeptic’s Journey into Native Mysteries.” If we accept the idea that we are all connected in ways we can’t see and that we are ultimately all one, then the idea that we have things happen in harmony with each other is not a surprise. What if we lived our lives with the anticipation and acceptance of these things every day. It would definitely bring more peace and joy. Of course some will dismiss it as magical thinking, but they can’t deny that when it happens to them they have that feeling that something more is going on. That’s how Roger Welsch referred to it - “Something is going on.” I encourage you to dwell on this idea a bit this week and see if maybe there is something “going on” in your daily interactions and happenings.  

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What have I been up to? 

Last week I played at several senior facilities and had a lot of fun. Outdoor shows work very well for these folks since they like heat and are thrilled to get outside. It was a little challenging with folks out mowing and the noise of the street, but we made it work.  

My Facebook show Thursday doing James Taylor tunes went very well. I even learned a couple songs that I had not done before, and it was really fun reminiscing over stories of James Taylor and his wonderful songs.  

My Saturday show for the Don K Guest Ranch former staff and guests went really well too. It is so much fun connecting with people from the past, and the memories just grow sweeter.  

My Sunday Facebook show was a really special time as I wrote about above. People really rise to the occasion on Sunday nights with me and make the experience truly greater than the sum of the parts.  

—— 

What am I up to this week? 

I only have one senior facility this week which is surprising since several of the places are trying to do outdoor shows now for their residents. I’m not looking forward to cooler weather this Fall when I won’t be able to do outdoor shows anymore for the folks and I fear that the virus will still not be under control.  

Thursday 7-8:30 mountain time I'm doing another show in my theme-night series. This week I’ll be doing my own original songs. It thrills me and scares me a little to get to share my own songs, and I hope you’ll join me for a genuine evening. facebook.com/tom.munch and tommunch.com/photos-videos  

Sunday 7-8:30 mountain time is my weekly request show on Facebook, and after this last week I am really looking forward to it. I have a bunch of new requests I look forward to playing and learning. Please join me if you can. facebook.com/tom.munch and tommunch.com/photos-videos  

—— 

That’s it for this week. Let me know if thinking of life in expectation of coincidences and serendipity leads you into any revelations this week. I didn’t mention it earlier, but those of you who follow me on Facebook will know that our mailbox was vandalized twice this last week - the second time being stolen altogether, and I’m waiting to see what coincidences come out of that experience. Be good and be safe.  

Best always, 

Tom 

—— 

Details this week: 

Who:  Tom Munch 
What:  playing and singing a Facebook Live Concert of my own original songs 
Where:  facebook.com/tom.munch and tommunch.com/photos-videos 
When:  Thursday, July 30, 7-8:30 pm mountain time 

Who:  Tom Munch 
What:  playing and singing a Facebook Live Concert of requests and favorites  
Where:  facebook.com/tom.munch and tommunch.com/photos-videos 
When:  Sunday, August 2, 7-8:30 pm mountain time

Monday, July 20, 2020 - The Science of Love 

I read a great article that I also posted to Facebook about love, so you may have already read it, but I wanted to mull it over a bit this morning with you. The article was about our present state of high stress and fear during the pandemic. It said that hIstorical philosophy and religion teach that love drives out fear. I’ve always believed that love is the most important thing in our lives - both love for others and love for ourselves. Science is now also telling us that love is the answer to our current stress and fear. Living in a fearful or distrustful state produces chemicals in the amygdala in our brains like cortisol and adrenaline that lead to more stress and fear. But we have a natural regulator of the amygdala called oxytocin that is produced when we experience love. It actually inhibits the amygdala to react to stressful stimulus. The article pointed to a few things you can do to increase love in your life like telling your loved ones your fears, telling someone you love them (both someone you know and someone you don’t really know), and showing love to your enemies. All of these things can increase the love in your life and drive out the fear. I practice spreading joy and love because I feel it is my purpose in life, and it’s something I can give that has meaning in other people's lives. Secretly I believe that love is actually a force that goes all the way down to the quantum level, but that’s a story for another day. So give the article a read and let me know what you think. How to Fight Fear With Love - The Atlantic - https://www.theatlantic.com/family/archive/2020/07/how-fight-fear-love/614227/ 

—— 

What have I been up to? 

I had several outdoor shows for my seniors last week. One of them was close timing with a really big storm that moved in right as I was packing and loading my car. It was exciting! 

Thursday was a blast doing John Denver songs on Facebook. There were so many shared memories of moments with John and his music in the chat and in the songs. It was an honor to celebrate his life and music. 

Saturday my niece got married with a small group in attendance and the rest of us tuning in on Zoom. I pre-recorded a couple songs they used in addition to other songs from other friends. It was very special, and I wish them well as they start their life as a married couple! 

Sunday was my weekly Facebook concert, and it was a doozy! The requests were all over the board, and the fun was flowing in great measure. I can’t tell you how much I enjoy spending time playing music with friends.  

—— 

What am I up to this week? 

Today, Tuesday, and Thursday I have online and outdoor shows for my seniors. I know I won’t be able to do these when the weather cools too much to be outside again since the virus is still raging, so I’m really cherishing the chance to see these folks and cheer them as much as I can. 

Thursday at 7:00 pm mountain time I’m doing a Facebook Live concert featuring the music of James Taylor. I’ve been doing James’ music since the mid 1970s, and I have always felt a kinship with his intricate guitar playing and simple melodies. Please tune in if you’d like to hear some JT - facebook.com/tom.munch and tommunch.com/photos-videos. 

Saturday I’m doing an online concert for the former guests and staff of the Don K Guest Ranch where I played for almost a decade in the 1990s. It’s going to be an afternoon show so all the folks from across the pond can tune in. You’re welcome to tune in, but it will be tailored to the conversation of music of the Don K folks. 

Sunday at 7:00 pm mountain time I’m doing my weekly Facebook Live Show with requests and favorites. I never plan a theme for these shows, but we always have a good time chatting and doing songs for all over creation. It’s always a good time. Please tune in if you can - facebook.com/tom.munch and tommunch.com/photos-videos.  

—— 

That’s it for this week. I’m still mulling over the above paragraph about love and how we can use it to be happier and better humans to each other. Be good and be safe! 

Best always, 

Tom 

—— 

Details this week: 

Who:  Tom Munch 
What:  playing and singing a Facebook Live Concert of James Taylor songs 
Where:  facebook.com/tom.munch and tommunch.com/photos-videos 
When:  Thursday, July 23, 7-8:15 pm mountain time 

Who:  Tom Munch 
What:  playing and singing a Facebook Live Concert from my home 
Where:  facebook.com/tom.munch and tommunch.com/photos-videos 
When:  Sunday, July 26, 7-8:15 pm mountain time

More entries at my Blogger page - http://tommunch.blogspot.com/