Blog Archives

The Wedding Song (There is love)

Thank you Dave Willems et. al

A Mile of Music, a measure of pride

The Peridot Project: Hope rests in shadows

The first time I listened to “Lonely Work”, a brand new single by a branded new musical group, I found the juxtaposition of sweet music and sad lyrics intriguing. Unrequited love hurts my heart, yet there I was humming along.

Each time I listened, though, I heard more optimism woven into the compelling harmonies and score. I loved the image of a shadow on a shoe, as described in the lyrics.

So, asked by one of the band’s founders and lead singers, Hillary Reynolds, to create a reflection, I wrote the following piece:

Hopes rests in shadows.

It retreats, sometimes, from desperation’s scalding glare, gathers itself under the cool shade of sturdy trees, regroups in quiet corners among cracker crumbs and lint.

It’s there, though, in the rings left by half-empty glasses and pencil sketchings of half-baked dreams. Hope lives in unpretentious places – wine-soaked corks, dull keyboards, worn running shoes.

Strum-soothed, stride-tended, sweat-nursed, lyric-healed, hope feeds on common things like effort and risk.

The search for hope can be lonely, just like the search for love. You have to approach them honestly, with your father’s open heart and your grandma’s fearless soul.

Hope and love trade leads in life’s sweetest dance, bowing low to beckon. You just have to be brave enough to step out on the floor.

I wonder what you think when you listen to the song. Does it conjure up images of your first love? Do you think about how contagious love is? Have you ever been lonely in love?

Check out Peridot, a group that grew from the Hillary Reynolds Band, featuring Hillary and fellow Berklee College of Music graduate Trevor Jarvis.  Here’s a link to Lonely Work. Give it a listen or four and let us know what you think.

blurry Hillary

Here’s a nice, blurry action shot of Hillary and Trevor when they were the Hillary Reynolds Band.

Mile of Music 117

We caught up with Hillary at Mile of Music this year.

Hope Rests in Shadows

Blinded by the light

I had a parental epiphany during a breast cancer fundraiser, and it became a metaphor for the fight against the disease.

Asked by my daughter Katherine to perform a reading, I stepped on a stage, looked out into the audience, and saw absolutely nothing but a blinding spotlight.

Rookie revelation.

Did you know this? Did you know that you can wave enthusiastically from your seat in the audience, give a thumbs up, think you made eye contact with your beloved artist and he or she won’t have seen you at all?

Good lord, I thought, 29 years as a parent, a lifetime as a fan, and I never knew this.

My sister Kathy is here tonight,” I read from my script, and then I looked up and squinted. “I think she’s here. I can’t see a thing.”

Kathy was in the crowd (front row!), which was a good thing because her brutal battle inspired the event, Based on a True Titty.

All proceeds went to the Trina Fund, founded by my friend Trina, who, though she ultimately lost her own fierce fight against the disease, left a legacy of love in the form of her fund, which provides monetary support for women to seek treatment and second opinions.

As I stood myopically on that stage, I spoke about Kathy, Trina, and many of the other women I know, including my mother in-law Mary Jane, who has been so sanguine about her diagnosis that we sometimes forget she has the disease.

All of the performers donated their time, including Trina’s daughter, Hillary Reynolds, and comedian Amy Haeussler, whose mother Julie, a breast cancer survivor, sat in the audience.

I watched them dance, sing, tell jokes, share poetry and perform sketches, and each one told a story of passionate support through their lyrics, rhymes, movement and lines.

It seems to me that having cancer is sometimes like standing in a spotlight. You aren’t always aware of the support you have, because you can’t see it. We’re all right here, though, praying, baking, donating, honoring, and sending love.

They can’t see me, but I am also giving an extended standing ovation to Pure and Weary for conceiving, producing, and hosting this great event.


A view from the stage

I took the stage for my debut, and this is what I saw. There are plenty of people out there, including my sister Kathy, her husband Keith and step-son Traveain, but I could not see them.

Ariel Atkins

Slam poet Ariel Atkins.

Atra Amy Kristen

Ta da for the Ta Tas! Comediennes and actors, Atra Asdou, Amy Haeussler and Kristen Tallon performed a sweet and funny set that honored Haeussler’s mom, Julie.

Green room photos

A couple of pre-show photos in the purple green room.

Purple green room

I’ve never been backstage before, it’s a busy place…

Green Room

…especially during the show.


Hillary performed in honor of her mom, Trina.


Jimmy Hibbard, a fellow Appleton North grad, danced a poignant tribute.

Seriously Unprepared

This hilarious scene outside a doctor’s office was performed by Seriously Unprepared.

Kathy and Me

My sister Kathy and me, post show.

The whole group

Here’s the family shot — Katherine, Keith, Kathy, Traveain. Molly, me, Donna, Vinnie.

Leah and Katherine

Brava! to hosts Pure and Weary.

We built this city on Rock and Roll

The beautiful soul of a city, a university and a brand new music festival