Posted by: ryanmontbleau | December 27, 2011

Gluttonous with Gratitude

“Success is gratitude.”

Another gem from Livingston Taylor’s book.  Think about that.  Successful people are thankful.  There is so much power in that idea.  They say if you take time every day and make a list of what you’re thankful for, it’ll transform your life.  I believe that.  Not that I’ve been making lists.  But I do pray sometimes.  And beyond praying for others, I always try to speak a silent “thank-You” for what I have.

Spent Christmas Eve and Christmas with Jess’ family.  A feast of food and gifts and conversation and family love around an old table in an old house in an old town in Massachusetts.  Warm lights and the smell of a huge pot roast with delicious vegetables and fresh baked bread.  Endless desserts.  Wine.  Little barking dogs.

And now I’m back home in my big cluttered room in a cold house in Lawrence, the space heater humming and the old radiators whistling, trying their best.  I just watched a documentary about Jean-Michel Basquiat on Netflix.  The other night I stayed up until 5am to watch a fascinating show about plant-life (no bullshit).  Skate videos have been in heavy rotation, political articles, a full-length documentary about Christian Hosoi, an inspiring little interview clip of Kelly Oxford, Thrasher Magazine, a great article about sleep cycles, recipes for cilantro-honey-lime marinade.  And I’ve been reading Josh Ritter’s novel “Bright’s Passage.”  It’s great.

I’m soaking stuff in.  The guitar feels good when I pick it up, I’ve practiced a little too.  I haven’t really been writing, except for this blog.  Mostly I’m just taking in.  And semi-stressing about the New Year’s shows.  They will be great but we have to make them great.  We need new things to happen, new covers, new collaborations.  I always stress about this stuff heading in but that’s just part of the process I guess.  Can’t wait to snowboard.

This brain dump has been brought to you by a few needed days without shows.  I’m not sure where I’m going with all of this, why I feel the need to share.  But I do.  I’m floating in the cosmos, keeping the feelers out for whatever passes by.  I’m looking for a little clarity, a little direction right now.

And I am thankful that you’re listening.



  1. This is the time of year when you’re able to take a little time, decompress, slow down and spend time with loved ones. You sound good. A little respite taking in some useful and entertaining information to help recharge you for the new year is very healthy and good for the soul. Knowing you’re a little stressed about putting on a great NYE show confirms it will be. It always is. We are so excited once to again to ring it in with you and everyone. I hope to get there early to hear that new soul album with you. It will be a highlight for me. Wishing you another new year filled with great opportunities, endless inspiration, joy and an abundance of love. 2012 has your name written all over it. Go get it. Thank you for sharing your gift with us.

    • Thank you, Deb, you guys are always there for us and I can’t thank you enough. It’s always a hard thing for me to slow down from the road and still feel productive. Lazy days are needed, but they don’t feel right, you know? So as long as I’m soaking stuff in, I guess I feel pretty good.

      Hope to see you and Mike at Stowe!

      • Your normal seems to be the daily routine of a national touring musician which in itself is unique so if you feel a little dizzy when you get off of that wheel, it makes sense. It’s impressive that for you it feels odd to not be constantly going and accomplishing something. Ambition is necessary to succeed. But look at time off as “balance” in your life. That is necessary as well for your well being. Take time to slow down and reflect on all you’ve accomplished and all that’s in store. Set new goals. I’m sure you can fill up your days with other business stuff, but what you’re looking for is inspiration for new creative pursuits and clarity. It’ll come, it always does. See you soon.

    • well said, Deb.

  2. I always read your blogs and I’m glad to see two of them in the last few weeks 🙂 I don’t usually comment, and I was wondering if there is anyway for you to see how many views you get on here. But Id like to take a second to tell you I really enjoy listening to your blog posts. I’m really glad you had a wonderful holiday with your gf and her family!

    I also focus on Gratitude a lot. It seems easier for our ego to focus on what’s lacking in our life. Needs, wants, desires. But even with all the craziness that’s going on in this world right now, we live in the world of plenty. I like to focus on the simple things. I’m grateful for shelter, food, water, clothing, shoes, health, and love. Anything more than that is extra. We are all spoiled 🙂

    My husband and I watched the plant video on Netflix, well there is two, but both were fascinating !!!

    I’m glad to here you got some time to rest. I’m very excited your playing at the 8×10 in Baltimore, in February!!! I’ll be sure to bring out lots of friends who have yet to be introduced to you guys! I haven’t seen you since last time you were in Baltimore and opened for the Bridge. I don’t even know if it was last year or the year before?? Time seems to mesh all together lately! Have a wonderful NYE show, you guys will be great!!!!!!

    • Thank you, Jesseca. Glad you read the blog! I’ve been trying to think of other creative things I want to do besides music, sometimes I feel like all I do is gig, gig, gig. (Which is essentially true). And I love to write in general. The blog is certainly related to and about the music, but I want to keep doing this as a creative outlet on its own.

      There are stats here on WordPress, and it looks like lately I get about 150 people to check out the blog when I post. Then there are between 10-50 people every day who will read it. The most I’ve had is 500 folks in a day.

      The plant program I watched was called “The Botany of Desire,” named after Michael Pollen’s book, which I have yet to read.

      I agree 100% with your comment re: gratitude. It’s easy to forget the roof over your head, the air in the room, the heat keeping us warm, the people around us.

      See you in Baltimore! It has been too long…

  3. Thanks, Ryan. Always interesting and transparent. Another great blog.
    What a word: blog. Blaaahhg.. “Plug in modem, Jane. Me blog.” -Tarzan
    (…sorry; easily distracted—>that’s why I’m writing, sort of..)
    I appreciate how you mentioned you’re looking for a little clarity and direction right now.
    I feel the same way. Really, for me, I need the courage and will to follow my path, once it’s revealed. Problem is, it takes work! And sacrifice. And I so enjoy my playtime.. but I’ve been stuck in one spot awhile. Me-ville. Population: me. And there’s so much more.
    I think you are on the right track. You recognize that this is all a gift- this miracle of living. And a gift, by definition, is undeserved and not something we earn. We receive a gift and naturally react: “I’m happy!”; but a response is called for, and it’s simply and humbly, “thank you.”
    Anyway, thank YOU for reminding me about gratitude. To be a seeker who’s eager to learn. To stay open to life’s goodness (and know that I’m a part of all the wonder!) and to be always ever-grateful for the countless blessings in my life.
    I know one thing: Gratitude sure increases my awareness of others’ needs. Hurting and less fortunate people who could use a little blessing or two that I could provide.
    With gratitude comes a responsibility: the chance to help others. I need to get better at that.
    Think the clarity and direction the whole world needs right now.
    Thank you, Ryan.

    • (Meant to say, have a ball in Costa Rica! Wish we were going!! Praying for safe travels. And anonymous is me, Nina, of sweetcindylu fame.. Happiness and success in 2012, Ryan!)

      • nuttin anonymous ’boutchu Ms. Neenimo

        She’s right tho,

        During various periods of my life I have learned (and relearned and relearned – can’t seem to master it) that an “attitude of gratitude” is so important. But when I manage to live that out is when I am happiest – can’t stop smiling and feel like I’m walking on air, maybe even invincible. If I could just sustain it during those difficult times.

        Ryan, you are so blessed in so many ways – the fact that you do relish your blessedness and recognize it puts you light-years ahead of so many other people in this world.

        Your desire and ability to absorb everything is also remarkable – your song writing reflects this. Your lyrics are so very intricate, lovely and true. This could only occur because you are allowing your mind to be quiet, allow others to bless you and to be a blessing.

        I have listened to the bulk of your works in various forms and somehow just now “discovered” ‘Love and Love Lost’ (hope I have that right). Once again, my core has been shaken with specks of enlightenment gained from sort of studying your music. Once a song starts speaking to me, I just listen the heck out of it and the net result is I grow a bit more.

        You, my friend, are a true vessel of light. Keep praying and thinking all the good things you do, they are certainly conveyed via your art. Your work touches hearts and helps change lives. I’m living that testimony!

        Most sincerely,

  4. Gratitude is success…life is all about perception…most times I have found when I don’t like a situation in life, the only thing I have to change is me…which works out well because it’s the only thing I can really change anyway.

  5. “You’re floating in the plevalot. You feel the pheeling You forgot, swimming weightless in womb & gently bouncing round the room? In a minute You’ll be free and go splashing in the sea” Also, it depends on whether you Theme from the Bottom or Theme from the Top? with time in the forest to dig under rocks perhaps you’ll see anything that you’d like to try, as you’re swimming by 🙂

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