Hello from Cafe Eleven! I was on an errand for the Wileyware empire this morning and decided I'd come visit this cafe. I'd been having an ongoing correspondence with the owner for the past year and now we've finally met. The coffee is good and my breakfast sandwich was top-notch, too.

Well, though I sound peppy, I'm still saddened by the passing of my friend and fellow performer, Ben Bochner . I traveled with Christina Osborn to Eugene on Saturday for Ben's memorial and got to celebrate his life. I think a big part of why this feels so hard is that we shared a lot of similar traits - the main one being - that we are people who can lead others in song. That's what also made us such great companions - between the two of us we've been able to keep groups singing for hours. We got to do that last year at Kathy Lavine's birthday party before the Oregon Country Fair and at Singing Alive later in the Summer - and many many other times, too. To be honest, I feel a bit of weight being added to my shoulders (which makes it even more evident to me that I really need to get on the Oregon and Maui guitar camp ideas :) Ben was also connected to Amira , another key person in my life - and many people brought her up at the memorial. It was heartwarming to see so many people come out for Ben on Saturday - and so many incredible musicians playing his songs. We'll have an event for Ben in Portland (looks like it will be in May) soon.
Though I am missing Ben, I also recognize that his passing is catalyzing some thinking on my part. It mainly has to do with what I'd call BRINGING IT! I've been hinting at this for years - and it's something I picked up at Burning Man. It means, well, bringing it :) That in any situation you take extra steps to make things better. That could be bringing an extra bottle of wine to a passover seder or coming to an event early to help set things up. It's an attitude towards life that I try to live and something I want to codify more because I think it's important and our world really needs us all (me, included) to step up our game :) I think we often just accept what's happening around us and don't take the extra time to make things right (and incredible). I think part of bringing it has to do with being aware of our surroundings - and often that has to do with using our eyes - slowing down and seeing what's happening around us and really seeing it . I'll say more on this, soon - but if you have an example of where you're bringing it, or where you brought it - awesome - I'd love to hear about it.

One area I feel I'm bringing it is in my neighborhood. I've been having conversations on a variety of topics on I finally got around to it and made a " training video " on how to use Nextdoor. There's a lot more to it than this - I wrote this article a while back - but I think Nextdoor is the best local organizing tool that has ever existed. Enjoy the video and if you have any questions or something to add, please let me know .
Thanks for all the good work you're doing in the world. I know that you're doing the best you can and it makes a difference. There are many opportunities to help make the world a better place right now - please figure out how to use your talents in the places they are needed and join me in BRINGING IT! You and I can change the world!


Ejoy, Albert, Beth Miriam Rose and Keith Sheldon at Ben Bochner's Memorial in Eugene, Oregon. The image above was created by Ben for the Oregon Country Faire.