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The Sensible Flutist

The Sensible Flutist: September 2011

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Ghost Ranch

I spent a week in August on Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu, NM. Aside from where I grew up in Southwest Virginia, it felt like the most secluded place I had ventured.

It was amazing.

Enveloped in nature and music, I performed for Keith Underwood, had amazing conversations with like minded people (now friends), hiked and ran and ate some great food. The week began with culture shock (4 years stuck on the east coast will do that to you) and by the end of the week, I felt at home and energized.

I had kept hearing about the effects of Ghost Ranch on its visitors, but it sounded a little mumbo jumbo to be honest. I'm a transcendant type but those experiences still sounded too spiritual.

But I understand now. I'm on the path to making some great changes in my playing because of Keith and spending a week mostly disconnected from the daily grind and technology helped release some emotional blocks. My week at Ghost Ranch combined everything I value - music, fitness, transcendence. Instead of having to fight to balance those values as I do in my daily life, they all combined effortlessly there.

On my way back to Albuquerque to fly home, my friend Allie and I stopped in Santa Fe. I was in search of turquoise, but instead I found a great bracelet. The artist who made it said the bird symbolizes independence and free spirit. I wear it as a reminder of my independence as a person and the type of free spirit I want to cultivate in my performances as a musician and artist.

It also serves as a reminder of that week. It was such a transforming experience that I have plans to go back next year if my schedule allows.

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