Newsletter Issue #04 / July 2020

Hello, My Name is Matt...

Issue #04 / July 2020


** Stretching out
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Hello, friends! Welcome to the Major Matt Mason USA Newsletter. So much has happened since my last correspondence it's hard to know where to start. We are all expert Pandemicers now... a skill, I am sure, few of us ever thought we would need. But here we are. It's looking like right when we thought we could stretch out a little (at least here in the US) we may be in for some more challenging times. Just as the grace of these times begins to reveal itsself the suffering never seems to be far behind. I try to look at each day as another opportunity to be mindful and compassionate, to myself and others. I am grateful for the opportunity to connect with you this way. And happy to be of service.
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If you know me, you know that I've undergone a bit of a transition over the past couple of years. For those that don't know me, I guess that's what this letter is for. What started as a simple five minute a day meditation routine has blossomed into a deeper pursuit that I find myself connecting to for most of my day. It's hard to explain in words. To my old friends, there's no need to worry. I'm still me. I'm not going out to live on a mountain top with a bunch of monks, (not yet anyway). But I feel my priorities have changed. I'm still actively playing and writing. I'm just doing it through an ever-evolving lense of love and connection. I know it doesn't sound so "cool" or original. There was a time in my life when I despised people that spoke like that. I saw them as ego-driven hypocrites. I'm not saying that I've totally eradicated those qualities in myself. I'm just experimenting with some different masks. It's fun to remember that life is an experiment and regardless of how we are on
the outside, we're all essentially the same inside?
Speaking of masks, I've started rehearsing with Brian again. We are doing our part to stay safe. You can check out a sloppy version of the song Victims Of the Storm (https://www.instagram.com/tv/CBqM-DFpWNq/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link)  from our most recent rehearsal. It's been so wonderful playing loud again. NEWS FLASH: There is a bass player on the horizon but I'll leave you in suspense and save it for the next newsletter. I smell power trio (more like "empower" trio)! Stay tuned!

For the third time in my life, I've started working at a record store. It feels good! It's just three days a week. It's like paid research for me. I'm also discovering the front lines of retail, during a pandemic, to be an excellent opportunity for deepening my practice. It's a tough time to be a musician but it's an amazing time to be a listener. Occasionally, I've been writing about my discoveries at the shop. You can read about them on stores Facebook Page: Vinyl Underground at Seventh Heaven (https://www.facebook.com/TheVinylUndergroundKC/) .

I had such a wonderful 50th birthday in April (back when I had hair)! Thanks to everyone who might have caught the Livestream (https://majormattmasonusa.com/2020/05/08/50th-birthday-livestream/) . It was great to be able to share it with so many people from so many different periods in my life, in so many different places, at the same time. .
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Let's Eat

One of my favorite edible comforts has been a snack that I've convinced myself is healthy due to the fact that its foundation consists of oatmeal. I'm pretty sure this was clipped out of our local newspaper The Kansas City  Star (https://www.kansascity.com)  (FYI, a young Earnest Hemmingway worked briefly as a reporter for The Star). Anyway, I believe it's basically what my UK friends would call a flapjack, not to be confused with pancakes. I'm on my fourth batch of the pandemic and I figured I'd share the recipe with you. FYI for this last batch, I used unsweetened coconut and unsulphered molasses (in place of honey) and I think it's been the best so far! (see below for recipe)

I was thinking that maybe I could start sharing some of my favorite recipes here? I don't really fancy myself much of a cook but another little
silver lining to becoming a professional Pandemicer is cooking more at home The time has allowed me the patience (mixed with a little trial and error) to sharpen my skills in the kitchen. Feel free to share (https://majormattmasonusa.com/contact/) your favorites with me. Maybe I could put them in the Newsletter as well?
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Video Corner
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVISxqLtgjTZbYYV8mlNigg?view_as=subscriber
I'm continuing to make videos. I've started calling this set my "Mindful Moments (https://majormattmasonusa.com/category/mindful-moments/) ."  If you'd like to check them out you can either see them on my blog (https://majormattmasonusa.com/blog/) or go to the Youtube channel (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVISxqLtgjTZbYYV8mlNigg?view_as=subscriber) . If you subscribe you will be notified as soon as I put up a new one. They have been fun to make and it feels great to hear that some people have found them useful. If anyone has a question or anything they'd like to see me play or talk about in a video please feel free to reach out or post a comment.
What's good?

Writing
https://bridge909.org/news/women-behind-waxBack in March, I had a piece on local radio station The Bridge 90.9's website about four, female-fronted Kansas City music stores called Women Behind the Wax (https://bridge909.org/news/women-behind-wax) . The work that these women do makes me proud to be a part of the KC music scene.
https://www.flatlandkc.org/commentary/pandemic-is-prime-time-to-start-meditating/In May I wrote another piece for the online magazine Flatland about how The Pandemic is Prime Time To Start Meditating.  (https://www.flatlandkc.org/commentary/pandemic-is-prime-time-to-start-meditating/)  I interviewed two of my favorite local teachers and I think what they both have to say is very helpful.

MMM 1st Monday Playlist
https://majormattmasonusa.com/category/major-matts-1st-monday-playlists/I still put out a monthly playlist of some of my favorite musical discoveries, new and old. I release it on the first Monday of every month paired with a little mindful musing about music. You can always catch the full version on my blog (https://majormattmasonusa.com/blog/.) . If you just want to hear the music you can subscribe on Spotify (https://open.spotify.com/playlist/4Tea0yyi19b3QdYcYJ0zgX?si=nvT1GBs0SMarotlf7CUY3w) to get a new playlist automatically every month. You can also click onmy user link (https://open.spotify.com/user/1230320001?si=xi6M8eWvQuiaoKDdEFyLxA) or search Major Matt’s 1st Monday on Spotify to cruise past playlists and discover more music.

Stickers
If you didn't get a sticker for signing up for this newsletter you can go here: https://majormattmasonusa.com/contact/ to send me your address and I'll be happy to send you one in the mail. In the interest of waste conservation, if you live in the Kansas City area and/ or think you may be seeing me soon just let me know. I'll try to have some on me and I'd be elated to personally deliver one to you. But, yeah, that might be a while. Thanks again for listening. Please be safe. I wish you happiness! To respond with any comments or questions feel free to use the contact link above. Even if you just feel like talking, I'd love to hear from you.
https://majormattmasonusa.com/contact/Until we meet again,
MMM

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