Purple Moon on Clouds

One night, laying in bed, my wife and I looked out through the frame of our window to a purple moon resting on a canopy of opaque clouds. Perhaps the clouds were purple and the moon was opaque. I am color blind and it was my wife who ‘chose the colors’….. but it was a special moment…. and though we live in a city that never sleeps…. it seemed to us that the world had stopped…. and our crazy life was still…. and quiet….. and maybe we were in neverland (and I mean the original neverland!)…… in a place where all our dreams could come true.

The next morning I tried to recreate that moment in a piece of music. As I sat down to write, I realized that what I wanted to convey was the sense of peace in the midst of trouble. In a strange way the purple moon on clouds made me feel that I wasn’t alone and that everything would be okay.

In Field of Dreams,Terrence Mann says to Ray Kinsella…….

“They’ll pass over the money without even thinking about it: for it is money they have and peace they lack.”

I am fortunate enough to travel and play in Europe several times a year. Usually, after 4 or 5 months of working in a LA all I can think about is strolling through the forests of Switzerland and France (oh and savoring the wine and cheese of course). It is amazing the effect that genuine quietness has on our minds, our bodies and our souls. It is like drinking cool fresh water from a mountain stream.

Living and working in LA can be a lot of fun but it’s definitely life in the fast lane…… and even formula 1 race cars have to make pit stops occasionally.

I know this reads as self indulgent, but there is a peace that I find (sometimes) in my own music. When it’s all too much….. and I am drowning under all the expectations….mine and others …… I can crawl into my room (metaphorically), pick up an old guitar, sit still and strum gently to myself…… If I hum along…… quite naturally a string of jumbled words form on my tongue and I sing them over my life. I don’t know how many times I have sung a prayer calling out for peace to fall…”like tears from the sky”.

Learning to be still is hard work….. often with the natural chaos of home life I am forced to seek refuge in the garage of all places …… but even amongst the clutter and dust….. surrounded by things waiting to be thrown away or packed again only to be unpacked and discarded into the ‘next’ garage….. yes even in this environment I find an old chair on which to sit and there I sing and make gentle music….. searching for that quietness…. that peace that belies my own understanding.

Ironically the morning I chose to ‘sketch’ this music to tape, a building across the road was being demolished. Jack hammers, trucks rumbling down the street, mariachi music blasting its way through tinny transistor radios…. the stage was set for me to record!

Perhaps it is apropos that while buildings were tumbling down around me I could still find a way of expressing some of this peace. It is peace in the storm that we generally need, for it’s in the storm that we spend much of our lives.

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9 Comments

  1. Hi Chris,

    I don’t know if you remember me, but we played together one night at Jubilee with the band Holy Smoke. I think of you often and still listen to your tunes often as well. In troubled times I spin “Cool Water” and everything else just kind of fades away.

    I know the feeling exactly that you are talking about. I find myself seeking refuge from the hectic life in Silicon Valley, but I usually gravitate towards a room with a vaulted ceiling. It’s a very strange ethereal feeling. It’s usually while my wife lies sleeping and I just feel that if I sit and strum and open my mouth to sing softly, the vaulted ceiling gives me some audial and spiritual space and I truly feel as though the music is going up. Usually my Akita dog comes in and parks herself at my feet and shares the ambience.

    I do some of my best writing in those moments. I also find that the best tunes I’ve written are usually the ones that take about 10 minutes. Another thing–in most of the best songs I’ve written I was actually trying to do something else.

    I’d love to have a chance to talk with you again sometime. My e-mail address is still the same as it’s always been. I’ll send a couple CDs of stuff I’ve done in the last 5 years to the address on your website. If you get up this direction I’d love to get together and jam.

    Peace,

    John

  2. hi chris,
    just a short note to voice my appreciation of your gift,
    i am emerging from a dark tunnel (common term burnout)trying to wear to many hats,and hats that just didn’t fit whilst heading up creative ministries in a group of churches here in Tas.
    I stumbled upon your album “”the quiet” and since i have stepped away from all ministry invovlement have had time to breathe. Over the last few months I’ve been falling in love with Jesus all over again (lots of praying in tongues and listeneing to “the quiet”)
    I hadn’t written anything for years and out of the blue I wrote a song in 2 minutes flat inspired by a clip of Pink’s new single Mr President
    w’ell see where the rabbit goes from here

    do you have anything current in the Quiet flavour?

    ps’ my wife Anne and I sang bv’s for you at Frank Houstons church a lifetime ago
    thanks again mate

    cheers from Oz

  3. Hello Chris,

    I just wanted to thank you for a great time in Clarksboro, NJ, about a month ago now. Daniel and I keep talking about what a special time that was. We felt honored to be a part of what ever it was that was happening in that little studio.

    I enjoyed reading your stories on your site. And listening to your songs. I am at my parents house in Norway, and I thought my dad would like your music. I guessed right, as I listened to your Purple Moon song my dad walked in and asked me to save your site in his favorites.

    Hope to see you in South Jersey again soon. Greetings to your family!

    Love from Elin.

  4. In the early morning dawn as GOD gives me the identity of his purpose….this song allows me to read and be reverent to my father. I play it and meditate on GOD’s words. Be Blessed. Man of GOD. Thank you for sharing your gifts.

  5. Chris’.. guess i’l never know if you actually doooo get to read all the new blogs that pop up from time to time.

    This song right here.. omg.. is soo sooo soooo… i can only say “breathless”. Just like that drink of Cool Water we all crave for on a hot sunny day.. lol, well some crave for a cold beer ofcourse.. depending where 1 is.

    But this song is soo beautiful.. thank You Man..

    I now know i have to buy a copy of your new/current cd from somewhere.. will do a search of where i can purchase 1.

    x

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