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
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.
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
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
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.
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).
First Parish Universalist Unitarian Church
Church 50 School Street. $8
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.
I promise--spring is coming.
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.
To sign up for terry's newsletter,
For past newsletters, see the Old News archive.