What News? February
(terry gonda newsletter)

terry's Eighth Notes

Last time I wrote you it was summer! Today it is a balmy 35 degrees. And I mean balmy. Having been mostly around the 20s, we hadn't seen the 30's for about a month in Detroit and we're glad now for it! Made it through some hectic holidays...still miss my mother terribly during this time. Okay, most of the time, but especially from Thanksgiving through early Jan (she died Jan 3, 1998). I thought it was supposed to get easier. Not fair.

Speaking of sadness, this past weekend was the Columbia Shuttle accident. I've been pretty unaware of the flights lately, but I'd heard a live interview with Michael Anderson that week and had connected to him. It made the loss that much more real for me. Anderson had said (along with the other members who had been in contact with friends family and the media via email, cell phone, and interviews!) that the experience was really indescribable...that there was no vocabulary for the beauty and the thrill. The crew was diverse and yet each one shared in a dream--I understand they were literally pinching themselves that they were lucky enough to be up there. You know, side by side with my grief is a sense of awe about them and maybe some jealousy. It's weird...I don't think I'd hestitate that long in deciding whether to trade places with any one of them. It must be worth the risk to those who are close to it. Just watch them stand in line to be next. The experience certainly has inspired many. I have heard incredibly beautiful prose and poetry coming from people as they struggle with their feelings.

Speaking of many people,I am preparing for the annual Folk Alliance Conference. This year it is in Nashville. For those who aren't involved, think of it as the Auto Show for Musicians...Exhibit Hall, workshops and 200,000 showcases (or so it seems) by performers all vying for attention. 20,000 trees are killed by supposedly eco-friendly folkies to put up fliers advertising showcases in mainstage, conference rooms, hotel rooms, and broom closets. Presenters and DJs quickly adopt a hunted poster and avoid eye contact with anyone. Chaos and ego crazed, it is also where you will find the most incredible people to hang out with. Folkies are a great breed. And by the way, you get to hear some music too!

Well...I've made some progress since I last wrote. I was hoping to have the CD ready this month, but I'm close. I have a nine song sampler I'm taking with me to the Folk Alliance. I'm shooting for May and am scheduling a release concert in Detroit to force the issue. I've written several new songs, one of which is probably what you would call the single for the CD. The CD is called "love, lose, repeat". I still have to tidy up some songs, record a few more and send it out to OASIS.

Some playing around...
The Festival in the UK was excellent. Great weather and I was very well received this year. It's becoming a tradition I think. I haven't made my way to mainstage yet, but had a prime spot in the performance tent with great attendance, plus several appearances on the local festival radio station. It is an incredible event.

The Arts Beats and Eats Festival in Pontiac MI was wonderful. If you're in Michigan during Labor Day, it really is worth going to. It's becoming one of the top arts and music festivals in the country. The food alone is worth the trip. And the same weekend the Jazz Fest is downtown. A big weekend.

In December, I did a benefit show with my friend Rev Renee Billings Machiniak and the Broe Rehab Tabernacle Choir. We had a day of celebrating hope with the Detroit Rescue Mission.

This January, I was once again musician-in-residence at a weekend retreat for students and young adults (young is used VERY loosely here!) at a Benedictine Monastery in Oxford Michigan. The theme was Matters of the Heart and I wrote a theme song that may make its way to the CD as it fits the theme very well. Some of you may recall, "Calls You", was written just after the Fall retreat with this crowd. Obviously, they inspire me deeply.

I'll have a few showcases during folk alliance and then I'll start performing a bit more until I get the CD done.

I also have a new nephew to attend to and even more attention to give to his older brother! I guess sleep will be optional for a few months.


Feb 15

Birmingham MI
MAMAs Coffeehouse Annual Song Circle
38651 N Woodward. $10, Seniors/Students $8.

Terry is joined in-the-round with Jen Cass, Dennis Kingsbury, and multi-instrumentalist Dev Singh.(some references I have say 651 is the address others, say 38651).

Mar 1
Bridgewater MA
Off The Common Coffeehouse
First Parish Universalist Unitarian Church
Church 50 School Street. $8

Apr 4-6
Oxford, MI
Dominican Retreat Center
Musician-in-Residence for the Mission: Possible Retreat.
Thinking of taking on more of a leadership role in the Catholic Church? Drop Lisa a line. 248-370-2189

I'll close this one with the poem I wrote the day after`my mom died.
Stay warm.

I promise--spring is coming.



The Butterfly’s Garden.
For Ellie May, 4 Jan 1998

The Butterfly flits from flowerbed to flowerbed.
Sowing her love and her laughter.
Gracefully entertaining the bees and squirrels.
There is Joy in the Butterfly’s Garden.

"Pretty girl! Pretty girl!" calls out her best friend the Bluebird.
And she dances with him in delight.
The neighborly mockingbirds drop in for a visit.
There is Love in the Butterfly’s Garden.

All come who are in need of a friend.
In need of some rest. In need of a smile.
The Light of the Lord shines on them all
There is God in the Butterfly’s Garden.

It is Fall and we watch her slow her pace
And prepare for Winter and its inevitable alterations.
Her color seems to fade as she spins a new cocoon.
There is Fear in the Butterfly’s Garden.

January chills us as we look at the empty cocoon
And feel more empty still
The butterfly has left us to go through our own changes.
There are many Tears in the Butterfly’s Garden

But we will not be denied our laughter and song
As she flies in our memories each day.
We share her love and know we will see her on our own day.
Once again--there is Joy in the Butterfly’s Garden.

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