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 The Amanda West Newsletter | NEWS & ADVENTURES of a mama musician artist
| September 2020

Dear Ones, 

It’s been a while, and SO much has happened.

If you missed it, in late August, I (and about 70,000 other people) were evacuated from the CZU lightening complex wildfire in the Santa Cruz mountains. Today, 5 & ½ weeks, and 86, 509 burned acres later, it is at last at 100% containment. The grief and after-effects will carry on for many years in our community here, but the Phoenix does rise from the ashes…
I wrote a little piece about my experiences and some of the learning that came out of it for me, and I’d love for you to read it. {Below}

Today is also a celebration in music and love, and you'll find that below as well.

I cannot begin to describe how challenging these many months have been (maybe you know), but the songs keep on flowing and we are all being called to wake up and stay awake.
I'm nervous and delighted to announce that I will soon be coming to Patreon, and inviting you to join me in a deeper commitment to forging the brilliant and sustainable future that we all so desperately need. Music is the nourishment that I have to give to the world, and I am determined to give it as best I humanly can right now.

I hope this letter finds you, and I hope it finds you well (or at least, holding on, which is sometimes just where we are right now). I’m hanging on too, perhaps by just a few threads, but I'm still here...

with Truth, Love & Understanding,


your mama musician
~ Amanda


My Fire Story ~ 
{Photo: process art made from the burned leaves in my backyard}

We are home.

The great flood of tears I’d been holding back as I stayed strong for my children, broke as I pulled into our driveway. And I sobbed. And sobbed. And sobbed. In gratitude, and relief, and sorrow for all that has been lost to so so many.

We are now slowly unpacking, and putting away the pieces of our life we shoved into boxes and took with us when we fled, not knowing if we’d ever come back again.

In our days away (only a week and half, but it felt like forever), I was consumed with the questions:

~ Where will we sleep tonight?
~ Why didn’t we bring any _____ ?
~ What will we eat for our next meal?
~ When might we go home again, and will there be a home to go to?
~ How will I make sure my children feel safe and loved, even in all the chaos?
~ Who do I need to call/email/text to cancel tomorrow’s plans, whatever they had been?

And in the midst of this moment-to-moment living, I learned so much about giving.

Giving looks like this:

~ Texting me even though we haven’t talked in years, just to see if I’m ok
~ Texting me again, even after I haven’t responded to your last 3 texts, just to let me know that you love me
~ Saying, “I have that, you can borrow it”
~ Saying, “I have that, you can have it”
~ Saying, “I have that, I’ll bring it to you”
~ Saying, “Let me door dash you some dinner”
~ Saying, “Let me Venmo you some money for groceries”
~ Leaving me a phone message
~ Being a listening ear
~ Saying, “I know, me too”
~ Bringing me food/clothes/toys even though I hardly know you
~ Offering your yard to camp in, office to work in, house to live in
~ Letting me know you’ll still be ready and waiting for music lessons whenever I’m ready to return to work

All of this and more my family and I received. And all this kindness and love moves my heart more than all the fear and loss ever could.

Kindness and love are truly the most powerful forces in this universe. We are all so connected. We weep together, and we rise together.

THANK YOU THANK YOU, a million times THANK YOU my dear, sweet community for all the ways you have held me and my family during this time. And thank you to all the brave souls who have risked their lives keeping the fires from our homes. I feel so lucky, and also so heartbroken for those with not such an easy path before them.

So now as we are finding our own ground to stand on again, I am passing on the love ~ donating to fundraisers, reaching out to my friends who haven’t gotten to go home yet, and gifting music lessons, and what I can.

Here is the biggest thing I am walking away with: Remembering that If we each give what we can, and take what we need, we are all held, and safe, and enough.


Music of the Month ~ 


Today, September 23rd, marks the 10 year anniversary of the release of my album, “Truth, Love & Understanding,” which was released on the day of Pete’s and my wedding. It is our wedding EP.
This afternoon we walked around the redwood grove where we were married, and re-stated our vows again, as we do each year. We ate ridiculously rich chocolate cake (which we had to share with the children and my, did it get them running!), and we took a drive and listened to these songs again.

All our previous celebration plans and intentions were cancelled due to the pandemic, wildfires, and complications of children, but the Truth, Love and Understanding we share still holds fast through it all.

I invite you to LISTEN or re-visit these songs with us ~ these passageways through time and space ~ into the story of a partnership that's still working, more than a decade later. We are unspeakably grateful.


~  U P C O M I N G   E V E N T S  ~

October 17th  | Saturday @ 3-5pm
--> Community Healing Ritual 
{Private event} If you're interested in participating in future ones, please email me! 

November 14th  | Saturday @ 2-4pm
--> Amanda's Music Student Recital
More details TBA

November 23rd | Monday @ 7-9pm
-->CZU Fire Victims Fundraiser for Valley Churches United Mission
With Betsy Rose, Joya Winwood, Freesia Rain, Amanda West & more... Tune in via zoom. More details TBA.

December 20th | Saturday @ 4-6pm
-->Women's Winter Solstice Circle
With Debbie Nargi Brown. Save the date!

ONGOING --> private lessons in voice, guitar & songwriting

10 years of Truth, Love & Understanding
has brought so much, including of course,
these two wild munchkins to share it all with!

xoxo Amanda
Copyright  © 2020 Amanda West Music

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