Feature, Interview

Spirit Sound: Ron Colone – Writer, Director, Producer

By Kevin Alan Lamb

In the final act, or the prestige, magic is witnessed in the form of a reveal. I think with people, spirit helps us see that the only thing preventing magic from happening in our own lives is our belief that it doesn’t exist. How is a hot air balloon supposed to fly when it believes it cannot? Why would a hot air balloon try to fly if it believes it cannot? When we listen to the song our soul is meant to and intent to sing, we begin hearing the notes which will lift us to where we’re designed to be. The willingness to say “I’m not alone” begins our surrender to abundant resources within which there is always a way.

Ron Colone is one of the most fascinating humans I’ve crossed paths with, and I’m grateful he took the time and intention for this edition of Spirit Sound. He is a writer, director, and producer. You can find his long-standing column in the Santa Ynez Valley News, and Santa Maria Times, where his background in athletics, and physics will tango with his passion for metaphysics. You can watch his most recent creation, a music documentary featured in this year’s Detroit Music Awards, “The Artist, The Dreamer, The Lover, The Fool” on the life and music of Ron’s brother, Michael On Fire. And when you find your way to Santa Ynez, CA. please do yourself a favor and experience Tales From The Tavern, an extraordinary concert series and community cultural program that Ron has helped produce with his sister Carol, since 2003. In that time they have hosted more than 150 concerts, involving more than 275 acclaimed artists, including Hall of Famers, National Medal of Arts recipients, cultural icons and underground heroes.

Following the premiere of “The Artist, The Dreamer, The Lover, The Fool” I found Ron in the historic Marquis Theatre in Northville, gave him a big hug, and he said “When I found myself searching for something in the room for feedback during the film, I found you are your pure heart, thank you.”

When we find ourselves on an authentic path, often referred to as The Hero’s Journey, it takes a little longer to find mentors and guides who not only believe in this road less traveled, but have great wisdom and experience to contribute to the journey. If you find yourself searching for your tribe, just remember, only the love and passion in your heart can lead you to where you are supposed to be. Lead with the longings of your soul and you will begin to find those who will stand by your side, shoulder-to-shoulder, toe-to-toe, ready to go to war with you.

An infinite number of choices have lead me to a place where Ron Colone is my peer, friend, and brother in arms; for that I’m grateful; empowered, and actively paying it forward for those seeking their trail of breadcrumbs to reveal a ladder to whichever stars shine brightest in their eyes. With intent I choose to pursue my personal truth and use my hands to translate these thoughts and feelings into a motion which will move me towards the ones I love, while learning to let go of others. This is a time for routines; this is a time to find my breath and focus on dosing myself with improvement daily. I do not know what the future holds; I’m unwilling to be defeated by those grown cold; and I will find the best way for me to continue growing into the man I’ve always felt I could be.

Ron Colone helps me tune into the courage that has driven me all along; the passion behind the intention of singing my soul’s song; and the magic within his mission will help remind you that you have always belonged.

Do spirituality and faith play a major role in your life?

Absolutely. You know how – several times a day your body and mind direct you to take a drink of water? Well, several times a day I am compelled to drink from the Fountain of Spirit. I consciously draw it in and visualize it as a vital force that imbues me with the power and the wisdom, and whatever other qualities are called upon, to make it through life’s circumstances in a positive way. And I guess my faith is that from this process of communion with, and activation of, my “higher self” comes the guidance, provision, protection and healing I pray for.

Do you have daily/weekly practices that help you stay connected with your guide?

Well, first off breathing – for sure. And I don’t mean just breathing with your mouth and your nose, but “conscious breathing,” through your pores and with your imagination – where each breath holds an intention.

Stretching is also part of my daily routine and my daily connection. Not only does it help soothe my body, but it brings my body, mind and spirit together – in relative harmony. When that happens, it usually sets off my visualization process, and a sensation spreads through my body and my extended aura, which is like this subtle awakening of my cells, my aims and my prayers.

I also like taking long walks, especially in natural settings if possible, and using them as walking meditations, where the movement and the breathing and the rhythm serve to propel the prayer and the intention through the levels and planes of existence.

Does writing help you honor and connect with your greater sense of self, and purpose?

I know that writing is a talent of mine, it always has been, and from the time I was a little boy, I always wanted to be a writer.

For me, writing is the means or the process by which I observe myself in relation to everyone and everything else. It helps me sort out my ideas and attitudes and beliefs, and to think my thoughts and feel my feelings, and sing my song. It’s my most creative activity, and it’s fun, and it’s gut-wrenching, sometimes it’s easy and sometimes it’s really hard, and when I get through writing something I feel a tremendous sense of accomplishment.

As far as – if it helps me honor and connect with my greater self, I would say, no more so than breathing, or smiling, or encouraging someone, or spreading positive uplifting vibes through whatever space or situation I occupy.

Are there personal sanctuaries you visit to be uplifted? (forest, lake, church, concert)

Not specifically, but I am constantly uplifted by sights and sounds and sensory impressions. I walk a few miles every day as a walking-meditation, and since I live in a rural, mountainous area, I am inspired constantly by far-vision; by mountains and clouds and grasses swaying in the wind.

Are there any musicians whose spirituality/faith you admire, and feel empowered as a result of?

Absolutely. For me, the songwriters and the artists are my philosophers, coaches and religious teachers. I’m constantly dipping into the huge well of lyrics that are always in my brain to pull out an affirmation to empower me. Things like: “I and I don’t expect to be justified by the laws of man” – Bob Marley; “I’m higher than the world” – Van Morrison;” “Only love can conquer hate” – Marvin Gaye; “Love’s in need of Love today” – Stevie Wonder; “All your strength, All your power, all your love” – Michael On Fire; or countless, countless other examples by Dylan, John Lennon, Jackson Browne, Neil Young, War, Leonard Cohen, Rickie Lee Jones, Joni Mitchell, Bruce, Mark Knopfler, Paul Simon, Leon Russell, Willie Nelson, Sam Cooke, Mick and Keith, Smokey, Curtis Mayfield and so many others. I quote this stuff to myself like some people quote scripture and others quote Shakespeare.

Do you pray? If so, when usually, and to who?

I pray constantly; a thousand times a day – to the very essence and source of all life and existence and movement and consciousness; to that which is beyond being able to be named and described. I pray for the highest intentions and best outcomes for myself and my loved ones and for the world, including the natural world of trees and rivers and animals.

Can you speak to the abundance you’ve discovered in spirit?

Just that – when you feel connected to everybody and everything, to your heart and to all of Life, it delivers you from feelings of scarcity and isolation and fear.

Have you ever experienced a significant catharsis or “aha” moment as a result of your faith/spirituality?

Oh man, it’s happened more times than I can even recount.

There was this one time, I was managing the Michael On Fire band, and we were on the road all the time, I mean – for years – and we hit this one stretch where – we just didn’t know how we could keep it going, or how we’d even get to the next gig. The financial pressure was super intense, and I was trying to keep all these balls in the air, and I was really stressing out. I was on the phone with this “Channeler” woman; I mean, I didn’t pay her to do that or anything; that’s just what she was and what she did, and we’re on the phone and she says, “You’ve done everything you can, so now you have to put it in God’s Bag.” She instructed me to go grab a paper bag and write “God’s Bag” on it, and then she said, “Now, write down what you need on a piece of paper, put it inside the bag, put the bag in a drawer or closet somewhere and don’t think about it; let God take care of it.” What I needed was enough money to pay the phone bill, pay the credit card, service the van, and gather the band together from their homes in Tennessee, New Mexico and California for our next stretch of gigs. I wrote down the figure of how much I needed for that, I put it in the bag, and put the bag in a drawer. Ten minutes later, I went to the P.O. Box to get the mail, and inside there was this amazing greeting card with a beautiful and encouraging handwritten message from a woman who had been at one of the gigs recently and had gotten inspired by it. Inside the card, there was a check from her for the exact amount I had written down in God’s Bag. I was like – how can I ever doubt anything ever again.

Another time, I was with a few guys, we were watching the whale migrations from Zuma Beach, near Malibu, and I had the experience that a whale “spoke” to me; actual, very specific, words that were implanted into my consciousness – however you want to describe that. Later on that afternoon, we hiked up to the top of Pt. Dume to watch the sunset, and this circle of people started gathering on the rocks. This one Indian guy, who I never saw before and have never seen since, walks up, and starts talking about how his father told him to leave the reservation (which was near Ontario, California in San Bernardino County) and go travel the world to find the people who he was supposed to do “the work” with, which is how he phrased it. He said, “That’s why we’re all gathered here right now,” and then he looked straight at me and said, “And that’s why the whale spoke to you today.”

Ka-boom! That was definitely an aha moment. But like I said, there’ve been a lot of them.

Who in your life helps you stay on the right spiritual path?

Me, mostly.

I’m the one who constantly reminds myself and nudges myself to breathe and to trust, and to invite my higher self. I’m the one who proclaims the power of the heart and the subconscious mind.

Also, I speak with my brother Michael (On Fire) several times a day, and he doesn’t speak about or relate to things in a normal three-dimensional way. It’s more metaphysical, intuitive, heart-centered, right-brained, and always in relation to soul and spirit and higher purpose.

So, the spiritual path is not an alternative or a-sometimes-departure from our regular path; the spiritual path is our path.

What do you find most often disrupts or gets in the way of your spiritual journey?

It’s ALL part of the spiritual journey; everything we do and everything we go through. It’s not like – now I’m spiritual and now I’m not. Now I’m the body part of me, now I’m the mind, now I’m the spirit; we’re in all these realms all the time, it just depends where we place our attention. So I guess in that sense the answer is whatever draws our attention away from being our incredible multidimensional selves; whether it’s how busy we get, how tired we get, technological breakdowns or a letter from a bill collector; whatever shrinks us down into three dimensions, that’s the disruption.

If you had a God Bag what would you place in it? Are you willing to let go of programmed archetypes and ideologies in favor of faith? Are you uncomfortable with the notion of faith as a result of the institution of religion? What would you do to change the world if we could begin again? Go.

Just in case you were listening for one, This Is A Good Sound; a universal sound; a hopeful sound.

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1 thought on “Spirit Sound: Ron Colone – Writer, Director, Producer”

  1. aw man – thank you. I’m humbled and grateful to be asked these questions (by you) and to be able to put these responses out into the world. And to be friends.

    Muhammad Ali used to have this “technique” he called “The Green Room.” Whenever he got really rocked by a punch, and was momentarily disoriented and felt vulnerable, he would tell himself he had entered the Green Room, which was a room with an uneven floor, strange angles, a threatening ceiling, and that was filled with all sorts of uncertainty. At the far end of The Green Room there was a door, and Ali would tell himself – I just need to make it across this room and walk through that door and then I’ll be OK.

    I’m kinda in The Green Room right now (with this forced move and all), and I’m just staying focused and keeping my wits and walking resolutely to that door on the other side of the room.

    We have a Tales from the Tavern concert tonight – first up is Tom Freund (who does a bunch of stuff with Ben Harper) accompanied by percussionist Wally Ingram (he was the percussionist on the recent Bob Weir/Phil Lesh “duo tour,” and with David Lindley.) Second act of the night is Detroit native Marshall Crenshaw. He now lives in Woodstock and has a nationally syndicated radio show on XM/Sirius (shall be – a Good Sound)

    Talk to ya soon,

    Ron

    Like

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