Tag: david wilcox

Flow Like a River

Flow Like a River

“May what I do flow from me like a river, no forcing and no holding back, the way it is with children.” Rainer Maria Rilke

The manatee played with my vest, searching for something interesting to satisfy her curiosity. I kept flooding my mask as I laughed into the snorkel while holding my big underwater housing at an awkward angle for a selfie with my friend. This was a moment when unbounded joy leaped from my heart and the experience of Oneness was celebrated. I think Rilke had it right….be as a child and let life flow.

I see that with musicians, especially at venues like The Frog Pond in Silverhill, Alabama, where singer-songwriters are encouraged to jam. When the minds of musicians go into that flow, they sync and magic happens. Literally….it unfolds before our eyes.

I want to explore the world with the spirit of flow and openness. When I can be in that place within my Self, I can find holy ground no matter where I roam.


When I was in Ireland last September, on the island of Inis Mor, I allowed the spirit of flow to take my feet and surrendered to the direction it led. The path dead-ended at an ancient bee hive stone hut. Far in the distance was a beautiful white horse. I couldn’t see a way to the horse but longed to meet it.

Later that day, our retreat attendees went with a guide to the same place and there, in front of the stone hut was the white horse…waiting for me. Excitement bubbled forth as I greeted the horse. I called her Fiona. Later, when I looked up the name, I found out it means white. She and I still have a strong connection even though there is an ocean between us.

Even in my painting, I follow the muse of humor and fun. Buddy meets a dolphin….Buddy and the whales….much of my work with paint and canvas is a celebration of color, fun and life.

You don’t have to be frisked by a manatee or meet a white horse who likes to smile to connect with the flow. Everyone’s flow and presence can look different. The key, perhaps, is to open our hearts and minds to surrender, to acceptance….and then simply play.

Musicians can be excellent examples of how to be in the flow…to not force or hold back. When they are having fun…it’s magic.

What magic would you like to experience? What calls your heart? What holds you back?

Whatever you do, stop wasting time and waiting for the right moment to be in your flow. Open your heart and mind and leap into the River of Life. “May what I do flow like a river, no forcing and no holding back, the way it is with children.” And I might add to Rilke’s contemplation that you might find Holy Ground wherever you are in that flow.

I invite you to listen to Luka Bloom’s music and follow the way of the Sacred Child to find Holy Ground.


Push the Sun

Push the Sun

Awaiting sunrise, my impatience began to urge, shove, plead with, cajole the orange orb to kiss the horizon so I could get back to my cycling. Seriously….when has it ever taken so long for the sun to peek above the sea.

I checked Siri….she said, in her Irish accent, Sunrise is at 6.35 am this morning. Five more minutes. I think I heard her add,  What’s the hurry, Simone?

The eastern sky had been growing lighter for half an hour as I pedaled to the beach. I stood in sock-feet on the wet sand after removing my cleats….who can walk in cleats on regular ground much less soft, squishy sand? My socks were getting soaked, it was getting hotter and still the sun hid below the horizon.

The sun took its time and left me with no choice but to relax and enjoy the nearly deserted shore. Usually I enjoy the pause…the wait…but not today. Not this week or this month. I am so ready….

My intuition and sense of change is usually a few months ahead of the actual happening so I always go through this insanely frustrating experience before a big change. Once I know change is coming, I’m ready to leap and continue on with life. But it rarely happens like that for me.

Rise, dammit! Why won’t you show yourself so I can continue on? The perfect mirror to my process wasn’t lost on me. Whatever, I mumbled as I stood in increasingly wet socks. Just take your own sweet time sunshine. I’ve got all freaking day.

I can laugh at my silliness from the dry carpet and comfortable desk as I write this and I might have laughed at myself on the beach. In my willingness to listen and be open to the depth of the lesson I asked Mother Earth….What do you want me to know?

Her reply came through waves softly kissing the sand and the glow of orange light on tidal pools. You don’t have to be in control of everything. You can let go. I realize I am afraid everything will fall apart if I let go…..so I must let go.

We develop ways to cope with life that become more of a hinderance than a help as we progress through life. David Wilcox wrote a song that popped into my awareness as I typed….The song is Slipping Through My Fist. It sat in my heart and mind and answered the message from Mother Earth. Here are the lyrics.

“I have drifted down a ways along the shoreline
I just watched these ropes give way where they were tied
I could have reached out quick
When the ropes first slipped, if I had tried
But I was wondering where the wind was trying to take me
Overnight, if I never did resist
What strange breezes make a sailor want to let it come to this
With lines untied, slipping through my fist
It is downhill all the way to the ocean
So of course the river always wants to flow
The river’s been here longer
It’s older and stronger and knows where to go
I guess I’m wondering where the river’s trying to take me
Overnight, if I never did resist
What strange breezes make a sailor want to, let it come to this
With lines untied, slipping through my fist
This is where I played as a baby
This is where I ran as a child
This is where my dad
Took the last breath he had and smiled
I guess I’m wondering where this place is trying to take me
Overnight, if I never did resist
What strange breezes make a sailor want to, let it come to this
With lines untied, slipping through my fist
With lines untied, slipping through my fist.”
Who Squealed Louder?

Who Squealed Louder?

photo 3A balmy 97% humidity made it feel as if I was paddling my SUP board through water instead of on water. So close to the consistency of liquid was the atmosphere that I was soon drenched as I got into my fitness groove.

No air stirred, and the reflective river’s surface was only broken by mullet, alligator gar and bumblebees. Two of these flying wonders were upside down creating small ripples. I love bees and always stop and lend a paddle blade to rescue them so the two fat-bodied, pollen-toting creatures flew off to gather more pollen after a little help. I then continued downriver.

photo 2It was a hot paddle even though I started at 7am. But the playlist for the morning kept me going and before long I had paddled past the ski course, my 2.5 mile mark, and turned around. I faced the sun on my return paddle and it felt like I was being steamed alive. As fast as I drank water, I sweated it out of my body. My focus narrowed to simply getting back upriver and into the shade of the narrow part of the waterway.

Alligator gars were popping the surface as they came up for air. They can breathe underwater or at the surface and in the summer I see them from my paddle board as they pop up to breathe. I’ve had close encounters with them before and one time a large one (four feet long) surfaced at my left foot and I screamed like a kid. Since my board moves through the water silently I find myself too close often.

On-line photo
On-line photo

Today I had a particularly interesting encounter with this living fossil fish species. I was digging in, paddling hard. Jackson Browne was playing on my iPod and I was singing along…of course. “Fountain of sorrow….” and BUMP! My board was knocked. I squealed at the same time the gar squealed. I swear…I wasn’t suffering from heat stroke. The fish squealed! Either that or her armored, jagged, diamond shaped ganoid scales, that are nearly impenetrable, scraped the bottom of board and made the high-pitched sound. Or perhaps it was that double-row of sharp teeth. Regardless, I heard two squeals and can only claim one as my own.

It gave me a good laugh and brought me out of fine voice form momentarily. But I quickly recovered and went back to sweating, singing, paddling and groovin’ on this fine, summer morning on the Magnolia River.

My playlist you ask? It’s listed below in no particular order:

musicnotesriverFountain of Sorrow, Jackson Browne; Keep Breathing, Ingrid Michaelson; There Will Be a Light, Ben Harper; Never Alone, Lady Antebellum & Jim Brickman; Brothers & Sisters, Coldplay; Get On Your Boots, U2; Love Someone, Jason Mraz; Best Friend, Jason Mraz; Love is the Solution, Will Kimbrough; Sugar, Sugarcane Jane; My Someday, Brigitte Demeyer; Blessed Are the Brokenhearted, Jill Johnson; Washboard Lisa, Grayson Capps; Go in Peace, Sam Baker; Lift Your Spirit, Aloe Blacc; Ocean Soul, David Wilcox; God Bless, Lisa Carver; Mercy Now, Mary Gauthier; Singing Me Home, Lady Antebellum; Lost, Jay-Z & Coldplay; Knockin’, Carolina Chocolate Drops; Gypsy Train, Willie Sugarcapps; Not Alone, Ben Taylor; People of Love, Snatam Kaur; Surround Me, Ben Taylor; A Couple Hundred Miracles, Will Kimbrough; Running on Sunshine, Jesus Jackson; Beautiful, Akon, Colby O’Donis, Kardinal Offishall; Make You Feel My Love, Adele; The Whole Enchilada, Keb’ Mo’; Belief, John Mayer; …and more that I can’t remember.


Soul Full of Music

Soul Full of Music

SimoneLipscomb (7)
Corky Hughes, Grayson Capps, Bill Kirchen, Will Kimbrough, Webb Wilder at The Frog Pond

The morning began with a journey through my musical past as I pondered a question posed by a Facebook friend: What are your twenty most favorite albums? Music seemed to rush into my mind as did experiences and places where specific melodies and rhythms brought to life emotions from long ago.

SimoneLipscomb (4)
Savana Lee Crawford

For hours I thought about music and the powerful role it has played in my life…from beginning piano lessons at age seven through a lifetime of relationship with various instruments and of course listening, dancing, living to tunes created by those gifted souls whose lyrics, melodies and emotions have touched me, changed me, guided me.

SimoneLipscomb (8)
Corky Hughes, Grayson Capps, Will Kimbrough

Art and beauty expressed as emotions…harmonies…rhythms…melodies.

SimoneLipscomb (3)
Anthony Crawford

As I reflected on favorite albums I found the melodies intertwined in experiences packed with emotions.  Many revolved around the time I was coming into my own person as a late teen/young adult. I remember an ELO concert that was simply mind-blowing with their laser lights bouncing off the strings of the cello. Or the Santana concert which left me with ringing ears for days…but the power of Carlos Santana’s music was incredible. Finding music that expressed my heart and mind and created joy within me was empowering….was life changing!

The daughter came much later but she followed the Auburn path.
The daughter came much later but she followed the Auburn path.

Dixie Chicken by Little Feat came to mind strongly. It was a constant at Auburn with pre-football gatherings going into post-game cook-outs. Summers working at Gulf State Park during college years were enjoyed with The Eagles, Allman Brothers, Van Morrison, Bob Dylan, Bob Marley. Every album I chose had strong emotional tattoos that will be with me throughout this life, coloring my soul.

SimoneLipscomb (5)
David Wilcox…photo taken at COTA in Fairhope, AL

Songwriters and musicians take their ideas about life and transform them into anthems for us. They weave words with rhythms, melodies and harmonies that become magic while we sing and dance along, creating our lives. Like the old slave tunes that created musical maps used to navigate escape, music gives us all a map of sorts to living joy-full, soul-full lives.

SimoneLipscomb (1)
Will Kimbrough

What does music mean to you? How has it influenced your life?

Bill Kirchen
Bill Kirchen


In Ways I Can’t Explain*

In Ways I Can’t Explain*

A few years ago I stood on this hill overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and felt my bones vibrate with resonance of the land. For the first time in my life, I felt I belonged in a way I’ve never belonged to any other place on the planet. I was in Devon, England.

Later that week, a beautiful elder of the area told me the Lipscomb’s (Lypscombe) were from Devon. When I returned home I looked up a family history cousins had compiled and found that Ambrose Lypscombe was from the Devonshire line and lived in Silverton, England. He was born in 1610. His son, Ambrose I, arrived in Virginia around 1668 (called New Kent County). And the lineage progressed forward through the years as my ancestors found their way to the Alabama coast.

As I prepare to move away from the mountain that overlooks this beautiful valley, I have reconnected with my intense love of the land here. As I was approaching this area on my morning walk a few days ago, a new song I had downloaded started playing on my iPhone and suddenly everything made sense. David Wilcox sings about wanting to go to Ireland and his lyric made me stop and breathe in the significance, *”My heart is here in ways I can’t explain.”

I have pondered the deep connection I have to the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Alabama Coast. I love both places dearly and completely. I feel torn with my love of the sea and my love of the mountains.

When I thought back to my visit to Devon and Cornwall I realized that the ancestral link I have to the coast of western England is strong in my blood, in my DNA. The seashore of Alabama I love so well and the mountains of North Carolina are two similar aspects of a very significant place where my dad’s family originated. With the Wilcox song, everything clicked and I had a rather large ah-ha moment.

Understanding a bit more of my heritage gives me insight into my path now, specifically about the move south. I spent my entire childhood, teenage and young adult years wanting to get ‘back’ to the mountains. After finally moving ‘back’ I met people that provided assistance as I developed important tools for my life’s work. It was as if we arranged, before birth, to meet up on this mountain and catalyze ideas and skills. And now, I am better prepared to move forward with contributions I came to make.

The chances of me moving to England to live are rather slim; however, the inspiration it provides and the fire of love for the sea and mountains create within me the devotion necessary to commit fully to this Path I have chosen to walk.

We all make choices about how to invest our energy and talents. As I move forward in this life’s journey, my intention is to utilize the skills I have to help create positive change for life on this beautiful, water planet. I embrace the gifts the mountains and friends here have supported and helped cultivate within me and with gratitude take the leap back to the sea. I allow the ocean of life to carry me.

Lyrics from David Wilcox Ireland and Let the Wave Say:

I’ll speak the words of poets gone: my music’s ancestry
We’ll hear the voice of Ireland in the wind beside the sea
In waves of music far as I can see
The voice of every poet singing free:
Singing bring your orphan children home–to me
(from Ireland)

And the high blue wall can break you
You can never fight the sea
You just learn to let it take you
To the place you want to be (from Let the Wave Say)

I am ready to ride the wave back home. (Thanks David for the music…and wisdom!)