In this encore episode I’m sharing a conversation with Kate Chadbourne, an award-winning songwriter and poet, scholar and teacher of Irish language and folklore, living in Massachusetts.

We rambled all over in our conversation, talking about space clearing using traditional feather brush made by the Shaker People, being present, quality of attention, storytelling, the ugly, messy phase of the creative process and how valuable it is, the gifts of getting older, kindness, being a teacher, mentor and student and finding your story, getting swept up in your life and giving your gift to the world.

Kate is a beloved performer at venues throughout New England.  She has been honored as a “tradition bearer” in the Revels Salon series and in the Gaelic Roots Concert Series at Boston College, and her music has been featured on NPR’s programs, “Cartalk” and “All Songs Considered.”

She has released four solo CD’s, three collections of poetry, and has collaborated on recordings and live performances with many wonderful musicians.

Named as one of “The Most Fascinating People” in Central Massachusetts by the Sentinel and Enterprise Newspaper, Kate is also the founder of The Bardic Academy, a private art school for writers, musicians, singers, and young scholars. 

She brings to her audiences the sounds of the harp, piano, tin whistle, Irish flute, and melodeon, a deep love and knowledge of traditional Irish story, a warm and welcoming presence, and a voice often described as “the voice of an angel.”

Things we chatted about in this episode:

the Irish fairytale An Fear Gan Sceal: The Man Without A Story

  • About finding your story, getting swept up in life, giving your gift freely and generously
  • About doing your bit and wlaking through the darkness
  • About being generous and sharing our essence with the world
  • How everyone has a story
  • Listening to each other is a sacred act
  • The fairy wind as a beautiful image for being swept away
  • We all belong in the greater story
  • A story is a behicle for perspective
  • We’re not just floating isolated in a vacuum, we’re tethered in a loving way to the story unfolding
  • How we need rituals of landing together, to commit to taking 5 minutes to do our last things, then tell a story of where we’ve come from, then commit to true listening, focus

relationship with body

  • On turning 50. On turning 40.
  • On enjoying aging
  • Feeling like life gets getter than ever
  • Developing a deep companionship with body, feeling the creatureliness of the body
  • Believing the best is yet to come

relationship with creativity

  • On the terrible myth of the tortured creative genius
  • On receiving the world and making things and letting things flow out into the world
  • On creating safety for creative to thrive and experiment and improvise and get messy
  • On being a teacher and a mentor and a student