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I have loved music for as long as I can remember;
in all honesty, I have loved music
longer than I have loved poetry;
I have loved music, I have been changed by music,
I have felt more alive than ever
when listening to music,
I have been overcome with emotion when listening to music;
I have closed my eyes, been taken,
carried far, deep, and high-
as if I were swimming in the voice, the lyrics,
and the sound of the music, the energy of the music,
and drifting peacefully, contently, effortlessly,
free like a feather.

Music has been a big part of my life since before I could talk;
music had me running before I could walk;
music sent me to sleep and coloured my dreams;
music awoke me every morning as a child,
and within the heart of my soul
it has always been and will always be.

I must have heard thousands of songs;
I must have heard hundreds of artists,
singers, musicians, and bands;
I must have dreamed that I were John Lennon
playing guitar and singing along with the other Beatles
about fifty times, bu I could be wrong;
I must have had more favourite songs in my life
than I could count with the fingers on both of my hands.

I love songs, styles, speeds, of every type,
and possible genre, and classification, of music;
I love songs that take a hold of both my mind and my heart,
and make me feel epic;
I love songs that have unique, poetic, empathetic,
sometimes tragic, lyrics;
I love songs that are nothing short of celestial magic.

I love female voices;
I love male voices;
I love instruments;
I love voices that are soulful, special, lyrical,
incredible, unbelievable, beautiful, different;
I love who I am when a song makes me want to dance;
I love when a song puts me in a trance;
I love what I think about when a song is playing;
I love where I go within myself,
as I sing along to every song,
and as I repeat every line without mistake,
it is almost as if I am chanting or praying;
I love a song that to me is nothing short of perfect;
I love life, art, inspiration, memories,
feelings that were made, created, felt, captured,
made infinite, because of, and for,
the love of music.

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It all begins at the Birmingham Moor Street train station,
on Platform One, as I stand behind the yellow line,
and the yellow painted words ‘MIND THE GAP’,
as I wait for the 10:01 train to Stratford-upon-Avon.

I love train journeys,
but I dont make them that often-
the last train journey I took was on the New York Subway
last year, and I loved every second;
for me, going somewhere, anywhere, even if it is somewhere
I have been before, but not for a while,
is always an adventure, is always inspiring, is always fun.

It’s a rainy day, but the wet weather doesn’t leave me undettered;
the cloudy sky above looks like a black and white photograph
from another world.
Travelling by rail- through the green countryside of the places I know
so well, and seeing them and passing through them at high-speed-
gives me a new perspective of them, and I love the places I know
even more than before, and their importance to me
has never rung more true than the last time I heard the sound of a bell.

Walking the streets where Shakespeare walked,
seeing and hearing all the people who are visiting England
from all over the world,
seeing tourists of all nationalities excited about being in Stratford-upon-Avon,
William Shakespeare’s home, as much as I am, makes me smile-
and as I look and listen, see and think,
the streets, the history, and the infinite stories of so many people
jump out at me, and their latent voices talk,
and this place of inspiration I can already feel inspiring me,
and the magic of words and language that I can feel everywhere is undeniable.

I love returning to a place I have been to before, but with new eyes,
a new heart, but with already magical accumulated experiences
and memories that I bring with me and walk with me always.
I feel more at peace here now than I did before,
I keep expecting to turn a corner and actually bump into Shakespeare
still walking these roads and paths, like me,
like I am doing today, and he and I actually looking at each other
in the eyes as our mutual spirits exchange a powerful poetic connection-
like two kindred spirits- as we two hear the voice of nature
and life’s beautiful call.

This place is a writer’s paradise;
this place is an artist’s dream;
this place is a people-watcher’s place to be,
because every thing and everyone
is worth looking at more than twice;
this place is a great place to visit, feel, and to be.

Sitting and having my lunch in The Black Swan-
with a roaring hot fire to my left,
the theatre right in front of me outside the window,
and to my right the rippling river Avon-
I sit, I look, and I don’t want to leave.
The rain is stopping now.
The blue sky is returning.
I am reflecting on the day I have had,
and the journey I have taken,
that has inspired, compelled, and availed me.

The last place in Stratford-upon-Avon that I visit
is Holy Trinity Church- the place on this pilgrimage
that I wanted to revisit and pay my respects to the great
master of language, and my eternal inspiration and idol,
the one and only William Shakespeare.
Standing before Shakespeare’s grave again,
I feel introspective-
my mind, for the first time in a while, is quiet,
and as I bow my head before his grave and monument
I feel the connection between he and I so unwaveringly and so clear.
And as I leave his church I feel something amazing come over me,
and my mind feels as turbulent and changeable and full of colour-
like heights and depths of the atmosphere.

When the end of the day came, and I was on my way home on the train,
I left Stratford-upon-Avon reinvigorated with hope, optimism,
and inspiration from so many things that I saw, felt,
and experienced for the first time and again while I was there-
the moments that will not easily be washed away,
and I just wish I could have shared my time there with someone else;
but as I think that, as I am writing about my day
and as I re-read what I have already written,
I realize I have and I am sharing everything with someone else-
with you who is reading this now,
because you are interested in me and my life
and the things that inspire me like nothing else,
and because, first and foremost, you are just like me,
and because you care.

Today has been amazing.
Today has been about me meeting Shakespeare,
and about William Shakespeare meeting me.
Today has been fun, exciting, enlightening,
and in a word: inspiring.
Today has been, and will always be,
the day I found something I have been waiting to fine for a long time-
today was an adventure, a pilgrimage, a trip back in time,
that like a great book that you never want to close or put down
opened my mind wide, and like my life so far-
every second surpassed the last.
It was the most epic, great, and amazing journey.

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There are times when you feel you have to get away;
there are times when you need to have a change of scenery;
there are times when the weight of reality
can feel too heavy;
there are times when there is only one thing
you can do, and one place you can go,
to bring you back down to Earth,
and which has always been and always will be
your sanctuary for reasons you could never
share or ever say.

For some people their escape can be a dream
that they imagine and remember;
for some people their escape can be somewhere
filled with people, music, intensity,
and outward displays of freedom and emotion;
for some people their escape can be a place
they have been coming back to ever since they were a kid,
and would go back to every day of the year-
from the 1st of January to the 31st of December;
for some people their escape can be somewhere quiet
that they go to by themselves when they are alone,
or somewhere they go to with someone else
who feels the same about the place as you do
and is the only other person in the world
who can understand why your heart beats so fast,
because they too have been spiked with the same love potion.

The escape can be you home.
The escape can be a holiday you have been waiting to go on.
The escape can be a song or an album that makes you feel
more hopeful and more amazing the more you replay it
and the more you listen.
The escape can be a person who knows you
and who loves everything about you,
just as much as you love everything about them.

Your escape can have a plan.
Your escape can be a point on a map.
Your escape can and should be something that makes you happy,
and not somewhere you want to escape to forever-
your escape shouldn’t ever feel like a trap.
Your escape can be a life-long journey,
or a mission to fulfill something primal, or instinctive,
and could see you jumping from an airplane,
jumping off a ravine, travelling over many bridges,
and through many tunnels, just so that when you reach the ground,
or you finally feel the light you have been chasing,
you achieved something you wanted,
and you did something you needed to do,
and your reason and your mantra the whole time was
‘I am doing this because I can.’

Choosing to escape is not a mistake.
Choosing to escape is a choice everyone has to make.
Choosing to escape can be slow at first
and then accelerate into the speed of a chase.
Choosing to escape can be the first thing
you think about when you look in the mirror
and you see you own face-
everyone has a place to go to for what they need
and for what always makes them feel better,
and for me right now this is my escape.

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Every second we are transmitting;
every minute we are all broadcasting;
every hour we are all receiving;
every day we all sharing and revealing.

Every morning I feel something I have never felt before
and I reach out;
every morning I write something I might have said
a thousand times before,
but every time I say it again I mean it even more than before,
and to me it is like an ice cube that will never melt.

I have a tendency to repeat myself,
to watch something, and read something, over and over,
and to listen to a song continuously on its own
or part of a playlist;
I love seeing, hearing, and remembering,
things, music, people, places, memories, song-lyrics-
especially when all those wonderful things
combine into one perfect moment-
like the time you are listening to one of your favourite songs
while looking into the eyes of the one you love,
and sharing your first kiss.

I am addicted to communication, and sharing a connection.
If I think, read, see, or hear something
I feel other people would respond to, love,
like, and share too, I get so much pleasure in writing,
tagging, re-blogging, texting, and tweeting, messaging,
a link, a quote, a photo, a picture,
or writing a poem about it,
and seeing the ripple-effect of reactions.

I could talk for hours about hundreds of different things
and have a myriad of opinions about everything-
from religion to literature, from music to television;
I could talk for days about who I have met in my life,
what happened, and what I have seen, where I have been,
and what I heard, and why I was inspired,
because I chose to stop and listen.

Everyone and every thing has a story.
Every life, every love, every heart-break,
every inspirational, magic moment is a song, a musical,
a novel, a poem, a piece of art,
waiting in the wings to be released.
Every person, every leaf, every animal, every coffee bean,
every planet, every cloud, every fish, every grain of sand,
is on a journey, and that shared journey is a journey
of growth, motivation, reflection, impression, disconnection,
reconnection, intuition, in infinite ways,
and with infinite gifts of communication.

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Today for some is just another day-
it is a day, a moment, a place, a venue,
an instrument, a microphone,
to do, to say, to play,
something worth doing and hearing
that everyone is desperate and clamoring to hear,
and it is the religion and the god to whom they pray.
The religion of truth, the god of one,
the reason for the importance of energy and youth,
the enduring message of legacy and constantly evolving ages of wisdom.

In this day and age the best way to share what you have made and created,
and to make yourself heard is to record, film, copy,
and upload to the internet for all the worlds ears to hear,
and for all the worlds eyes to see-
wherever you are in the world you can watch, listen, enjoy,
and be moved by something beautiful
made by someone in their bedroom, or their home studio,
or anywhere where someone has been touched by inspiration,
and moved by the feeling and the energy of the moment,
to set the fire in their heart burning bright and burning free.

For centuries, poets have written, musicians have played,
singers have sung, for their own fulfillment of spirit and life,
but I promise you everyone has always wanted to share
with as many people as possible their poetry, their music,
their voice- so as to commune with another a universal knowledge,
message, and light.
Artists will forever seek any way, avenue,
stage, screen, page, and canvas,
to display their stunning and wonderful masterpiece
of a greater masterpiece of a life, a time,
that is part of the poetry, the music, the voice of all life,
that everyone plays a part in making it what it is-
and it will never end, and that thought is what excites me so much,
and of all the miracles of the universe that is the most epic and sublime.

I watch a street performer play his guitar.
I watch people from every direction, hear, approach,
and repay the talented musician for sharing his gift with everyone.
I watch and I feel the amazing voice and the music of the guitar player
permeate and connect and remind people, even children,
how wonderful music is and what it can do.
I watch and I see why he performs in the first place-
he doesn’t do it for the coins in his guitar case,
he does it because it is what he and everyone loves and enjoys.

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On a cold February morning,
as the wind blew bitter cold
and the clouds in the sky were as white as snow
and appearing to be giving a sign to all of forewarning,
as I walked down the steps of a subway
my ears and my mind could not believe what they heard-
the music that played out and got louder as I drew nearer to the source
was entrancing, energising, beautiful- I was truly lost for words.

The subway tunnels were like a network,
branching in all directions left and right;
but the music guided me to its player,
as if each echo were a beacon of not only sound but of flashing light.

As I turned a corner, I immediately felt powerful sound-waves hit me
and reverberate through my body,
I was instantly stopped in my tracks
as I came face to face with the eclectic
and amazing musician who seemed genuinely happy to see me
and to be playing for me.

The incredible music I discovered was coming from a musical saw,
and it was being played by a woman who I will never forget
and I will always remember her name:
Natalia Paruz, the “Saw Lady”,
whose music was and is unlike anything else I have ever heard,
and the joy on her face told me that
she was doing what she loved and what she loves is playing.

I don’t know what she was playing for me,
for all I know it could have been a completely new and original creation
that she was composing as she played;
it didn’t matter,
what this incredibly-gifted woman was playing
as she sat looking up at me was magic in every way.

I don’t know for how long I stood watching, listening, imagining;
but I suddenly became distracted
when I noticed that other passers-by were approaching.
As always, I remembered that I had somewhere to be.
Still entranced by the woman’s music,
and wanting very much to repay her for blessing me with her gift,
I took out five dollars from my pocket-
all the money that I had on me at the time-
and I put it into the gold buckect in front of her,
and I again saw her amazing smile as I watched her face lift.

Not long after leaving the subway,
I sat looking out of the window of a coffee shop at the rest of the world
that was now being bathed in bright sunshine,
as I reflected on the woman, her saw, and on her music.
I was still overcome by the experience of meeting the musician in the subway-
even though it had only been for a short amount of time,
it was unbelievably-meaningful and beautiful-
I can find no other word, there is simply no other way
that I can find to describe her, her music,
and the way that her music made me feel,
and continues to make me feel, without using the word epic!

I hope the subway continues to echo
the beautiful voice of the saw player forever.
I hope that even when she is not there
she is there in people’s mind and heart who have heard her play.
I hope people will never stop being intrigued and ensorcelled by her.
I hope the entire world will one day be blessed
to hear the beautiful symphony of the saw lady of the subway.

Check out Natalia “Saw Lady” Paruz’s amazing and beautiful music
by checking out her website www.SawLady.com, follow her on twitter
@SawLady, or perhaps you may be lucky enough to hear Natalia’s
beautiful saw music in person as she plays on the New York City subway.

Whether near, or far away-
Family is the gravity that binds everyone together like clay;
from Homo sapien hunter-gathers, to our present day society,
Family is the spice of life that is also known as variety;
Family is a connection to one another that is literally not skin deep,
Family is the language that you can speak to each other while still asleep;
Family is a love that vibrates from your DNA,
Family is a game that you don’t need to know the rules of how to play;
Family is where you return to when the path of your life twists and turns;
Family is the teacher which everyone looks to, listens to, and learns;
Family is the sail that rides the winds of the good times and the bad;
Family is the love that is constantly reciprocated by your Mum and your Dad;
Family is a touch, a feeling, an indistinguishable and necessary part of me-
to me, above all else, there is nothing like Family.

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