This last Sunday, I hesitantly relinquished the role as "daily podcaster". although I cannot in good faith refer to myself in such a way honestly. This year, I've missed some days. I missed some weeks. But mostly, I just missed communing with you. I missed the free flow of ideas traveling back and forth from wherever we happened to be in the world. It was like having a great group of friends that came with you wherever you wanted, but could be, ever so delicately, silenced and put away in a dark pocket somewhere when found inappropriate.
However, as I found myself nearing the five hundredth episode, a feeling of despair began to cloud the future of the podcast. I found myself unsure if I was repeating ideas and more often, concerned that I was becoming half baked or redundant to my friends on the other end of the line.
A few weeks ago, I sat in a small diner in Denver, drinking coffee and reading a long lost book that I had remembered being intrigued with a long time ago. This time, I found it tedious and difficult to get along with. Following a particularly exasperated sigh, I heard a muffled woman's voice, yelling in sotto voce at a rather dejected man sitting across from her.
She was recounting all of the stresses in her life; her job, her mother, Donald Trump, the environment, money, her weight, HIS job, and so. It occurred to me at that moment that she could have been any one of us. Our culture is very stressful if left unchecked and can wreck havoc on every aspect of our lives.
The idea appeared to me easily, like all of the best ones do. What we need is a place to heal. To reflect. We need a refuge, a place to grow, and a place where the beautiful things in life are waiting for us, wherever we might be. We need a place without any agenda, without any need to convert it's visitors. We needed a church "without the church part". For myself, and for many others, that comfort and connection comes from the arts; music, art, poetry, prose, and philosophy.
I envisioned a small house on the side of a hill in the midst of a midnight gale. Outside, the rain drenched the weary traveler, desperate for a place to stay. Yet, inside the cottage, a fire is going, the tea is on, and there is a comfortable place waiting for you.
There was something that felt sacred in this idea, something deeply meaningful. It was something that I wished existed, in some accessible form.
That moment was the birth of what was to become "The Rite Of Song", which has taken over "The Michael Amidei Show" as my main podcast project. It is longer form and includes such things as poetry and song, invocations to muses, playing cards, short stories about dragons and entrepreneurs, and that's just in the first episode.
To be honest, I don't really know what "The Rite Of Song" is yet. I've learned enough to know that you never can really tell what a project is for quite awhile, if at all. The cosmic twist to all of this creative stuff is that the artist is often the last person to really understand the work. But for now, I am trying to remain open in receptive to wherever the Muse is trying to direct my hand in the creation of this new thing.