Broward County. I’ve known that name my whole life. Broward. Such a strange sound as I think about it and say it out loud, just a little under my breath. Broooowwwward.
To me it’s always meant home. Even though, as I’ve said many times over the course of many writings throughout this young career of mine, home is something that takes on many meanings for me. And though, on some level, nothing can really match that place of your actual birth and upbringing…when it comes to Yours Truly, home can mean a whole variety of places.
It could be New Orleans, that city not too far from here—comparatively speaking—where I got my first taste of any real adventure, or it could be Gainesville, Florida, my old college town where I first felt any real stirring of hunger to see the world outside my own walls. Then it could be Barcelona or Paris, home to my blood brothers and sisters, or Madrid or Budapest, each bearing the inconspicuous and unmistakable mark of my ancestral roots. And then of course, it could be Los Angeles, where I came of age as I navigated a new world; or better yet, it could be New Mexico, where on a highway in the early morning hours before the sun rose over the desert, I first bore witness to the sheer scope and power of that new world waiting for me, smiling down with all the beauty and mystery and sanctity of God and all Her angels in heaven. I think now of Mont St. Michel, the secluded abbey in Lower Normandy named for my patron saint, or the numerous American National Parks…Zion, Smoky Mountains, Yosemite, the Everglades…each a spiritual refuge for reasons that I won’t get into now.
Yea, I have many homes, and I suspect I’ll have even more as I move forward. The whole world is my country. All mankind are my brethren and to do good is my religion. Thank you Thomas Paine. Now I’m getting ready to head back out west. Back to Los Angeles. While it’s true that my life is something of a collage, make no mistake, I am just a simple man. I’m an American Boy, a young bluesman with a rose in his ear and a guitar…just an old guitar strapped ‘cross my back.
My name is Ren Michael. Once I was dead. Now I’m moving through the world again, strumming and a-crooning, neath the light of the moon and chasing the sun ‘round the bend, looking to get born. Looking to get back home again.