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February 2016
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April 2016



Driving toward our Sunday hike, Patrick and I passed a hand-painted sign that I caught out of the corner of my eye. It said:
Golf Cart
Fishing Poles

I asked Patrick, “Do you think that means they make art for fishing poles? Wouldn’t that change the weight of the pole? And who would ever want art for the golf cart?”

 He responded, “Or does that mean they MAKE art with fishing poles? I’m not sure how they’d make art with golf carts…”

Continue reading "IN OTHER WORDS" »

YOU HAVE TO DREAM - The Story Behind the Song

You-Have-to-Dream-Painting-background-V1-no-drop-shadow-copyOver the years, I’ve been asked to define the difference between poetry and lyrics. Poetry is complete unto itself. Lyrics can be read as poetry, but often seem hollow or “rhyme-y.” When coupled with the right melody, the music and the lyrics enhance each other and live happily ever after together. It is an alchemical process that is both mysterious and magical.

Continue reading "YOU HAVE TO DREAM - The Story Behind the Song" »



True story. Last June, we saw our next-door neighbor "Ralph" (not his real name), standing in his driveway holding a pink leash attached to a very cute, very young American Bulldog puppy. Patrick and I rounded the corner to our…(and the puppy’s) delight. Ralph...not so much. Before we could even ask one question (What kind is she? How old is she? What's her name?) Ralph said, "It's not my dog. It's my daughter's dog." As if that very fact separated him from the living creature chewing on the pink leash.

And so it began, the dog that lived next door that wasn't really their dog. And this energetic puppy wasn't getting any attention, training, exercise or even a decent and comfortable place for herself in their concrete backyard.

Patrick and I are both dog lovers. All the neighborhood dogs know and love us, and the feeling is mutual. So early on, Patrick offered his dog whisperer skills to Ralph, free of charge, just to get this puppy off to a good start. But Ralph declined behind his usual excuse: "It's not my dog. It's my daughter's dog."

Sparing you the details (of which there were many), Roxy the puppy learned only bad behavior. And one morning, after chewing through the air-conditioner cord, Ralph's wife went to discipline her with a long piece of lumber. That was it. I snapped. Patrick snapped. I called Animal Services and reported them, while Patrick rang the doorbell and told Ralph EXACTLY how he felt.

Since that day, no one in Ralph's family will even LOOK at us, let alone partake in the kind of neighborly chit-chat that we had previously enjoyed. On the contrary, now they were literally turning their backs whenever they saw either us! Like we're the enemy and turning away from us protects them somehow...

For the seasons of her puppyhood, Roxy barked. All through their stony silence toward us, Roxy barked. Very early in the morning, late at night, Roxy barked. She barked when anything moved outside, she barked when she was lonely, she barked when she was happy. In fact, the only time she didn't bark was when she was sleeping. For a while, we tried talking to her through the fence in our very best dog-soothing voices. But Roxy barked even harder. Sometimes, Ralph would come out and quietly say, "Stop barking." She didn't.

One Saturday, she barked from 7 AM until after 10 PM. Ralph and his family had left her alone for the day, and she wasn't happy about it. (Did they even leave her any food and water? We didn't know.) It wasn't fair to her...and it wasn't fair to us. I finally wrote a note to put on their door. Already taped to the door was a note from one of the other neighbors who was equally displeased with the noise.

The next day, the ever- barking, miserable but hopeful, mistreated dog disappeared. We don't know if they gave her away, or if she's living at the daughter's house, or if she died of maltreatment, or if she ran away to a happier family. All I know is that our neighborhood has gotten noticeably quieter.

But as in life, there is a always a trade-off. Now that the dog is gone, Ralph and his wife have a new habit - leaving the back patio light on all night. They have no idea that their patio light shines in every window of our house, bouncing off walls and brightly lighting up the bedroom. (Imagine a full moon shining directly in your eyes and you'll get the general idea...)  In all the years they've lived next door to us, the light has never been on. And now, it's on every single night. (They do turn it off during the day, or I would think they just forgot about it. No such luck.)  I am deprived of my ink-black nights with star-lit skies, and began having not-very-charitable thoughts about our neighbors. I didn't like THAT even more than not liking the light.

So I made up a story about why they need the light on all night now that Roxy is gone. And once I thought of it, I felt much better about the light in the window. The story that I invented for my peace of mind is that Ralph's wife had something traumatic happen to her that has made her fearful. Now that Roxy is no longer there to bark at every movement, she needs the light on to feel safe.

Is that true? I have no idea. But I'd rather believe that's the reason they leave on this light - to soothe her as opposed to annoy us. For me, that adjustment made all the difference. And all I did, as a storyteller was to re-tell the story.

I share this story not for your sympathy or advice, only to offer you the new tool of rewriting the possibilities.  I also now purchased a wonderful eye pillow to block out the light...

JOURNEY TO ETERNITY - The Story Behind the Song


One of the more comforting aspects of believing in reincarnation is the freedom it offers from the understanding that one precious lifetime is actually one of thousands of such life times. Each carries a piece of the puzzle, a lesson learned, an experience integrated. Pondering this, I thought about my own potential collection of lifetimes and how they led me to this time, this present moment. And how each of us has our own footprints to make on our own paths, being authentically ourselves.

Continue reading "JOURNEY TO ETERNITY - The Story Behind the Song" »



Ah, Spring! The days are getting longer, the birds are singing and the buds on the trees are bursting. What a wonderful time of year to be awake and alive!  Because while it's nice to freshen your living space, learning how to clean out limiting thought patterns and beliefs is even more transforming than washing the windows!

Continue reading "SPRING CLEANING" »

EASIER ROAD - The Story Behind the Song


I was driving home from upstate New York after attending a sad-but-beautiful memorial service for my dear friend and long-ago musical theater collaborator,  David K. Rose. We were in the BMI Musical Theater Workshop, learning from Lehman Engel how musicals are made. David and I had been working on a project based on the play Sabrina Fair by Samuel Tayor and as I thought about missing David and wondered how my life will feel without him, my attention was suddenly pulled by the spectacle of the most incredible sunset all around me. It looked like a painting that only God could create. David would have loved it. Then, out of nowhere, these words came to me:

Continue reading "EASIER ROAD - The Story Behind the Song" »

UNSEEN BLESSINGS - The Story Behind the Song


Many spiritual traditions talk about the state of gratitude as the doorway to the Divine. Being in appreciation brings us to a higher vibration than grousing about all of the things that trouble us. Besides…it FEELS better, doesn't it?

Around the time I was delving into exploring my own experience of appreciation, I kept a gratitude journal, and made a concerted effort to notice as many things as possible that elicited a feeling of gratitude. I remember hearing a line credited to Native American spirituality that said something like: "Thank you for the unseen blessings." I loved that thought, and tucked it away for future use.

I didn't have to wait long. I started writing my list of gratitudes:
    Thank you for the day before me and the one behind

I could feel my vibration begin to lift immediately, and I was grateful for that! I also felt seen and heard by the unseen and silent:
    I believe you do adore me - body soul and mind

I was onto something, so I continued:
    Thank you for a thousand things each and every day

And then it was time for the cherry on top:
    Thank you for the unseen blessings already on their way…

Short, sweet and complete, another "thank you" song is born. And for that, I am eternally grateful…

Unseen Blessings

Unseen Blessings  is on my second album, Music In My Soul. Featuring John Guth, Unseen Blessings  is available at my website or for download at CD Baby and iTunes.   Please visit Sandi to learn more about me and my music.  And thanks for listening!

Words & music by Sandi Kimmel

Thank you for the day before me
And the one behind.
I believe you do adore me
Body, soul and mind.
Thank you for a thousand things
Each and every day.
Thank you for the unseen blessings
Already on their way.