broken film

December 6, 2013

broken film

sonia examing her life so far

on a train from amsterdam to leiden

May 25, 2012

on a train from amsterdam to leiden

i can see the farmland and the sky

i will be the tulips in your garden

one day i’ll be the garden going by

my little sister jane so yound yet so wise

came to us before our wedding day

and the gift she gave was better than McDonald’s French Fries

All she said, all she said was…



Jane’s gonna have a baby

I’m the aunt that’s a luxory

I get to teach guitar and give them candy

probably leave the diaper changes to Nancy

it’s the chases i’ve been changing

like the hunger that consumes me

i can’t promise to quit racing

hopping plane to train to plane

making suitcase movies


Sitting on the 4th Room in Leiden

and the window is wide open

paintings on the walls above the sewing

with faces i have met before but never knew i never knew

so i sing this song to Micah Zach and Dylan

and our nieces nephews and our cousins

to stay above the gossip and the ruin

water your soul with LOVE and you’ll keep blooming

CHORUS: STAY AWAKE…it all goes by so fast

Catch your dream…cause today won’t last

COPYRIGHT 2012  Sonia Rutstein words and music all rights reserved

guiness, guns and grapes

August 19, 2011

sigh…now in the distance i am in the garden we landed in Copenhagen yesterday and somehow Peter found me with out my dreads…my hair is short now and feels wonderful…first time i could brush it in over 7 years…small and wonderful sensation. so i am at Jane and Peter’s table there are orange flowers and sunflowers 8 feet tall that gard the end of the vegetable patch over looking fields of wheat and the fijord..lined on the other side by deep green trees and there are windmills (turbines) and i am told more organic food is grown in Denmark than anywhere else on earth…and it feels this way…like a true and excellent and positive communion of smart technology and nature…hand in hand and then my mouth on the perfect combination of sweet and seductive grapes from the green house  they remind me of when Grandma Reba and Grandpa Joe used to grow them when i was a child and we would pick them and eat them and the rest Grandma would crush with her feet i would wash my feet and then crush them too…in a small tub…and the juice just dribbles down.

serenity…tonight we will go see Poul Dussing perfrom here in Roskilde.  He has preformed his kind of music since the early 70s so it will be a new sound for me..he sings 98% in Danish…all though most everyone’s english is very good. this is all in sharp contrast the whirlwind 9 days 10 conerts in 8 towns -me and the Jukebox Gypsy Tour we completed Tuesday Night in Dublin  … my favorites were the Greyhound in KilKee and DeBarra’s in Clonakilty with Gavin Moore…a really warm and unique kind of songwriter  like you can tell his songs and his approach is for centuies in his blood  so good and so natural. i also loved  the first show i did in Wexford at the Sky and Ground.. and they invited me back to do a candlelight show too…i believe i will be coming back to Ireland with my own tour next spring…but that is not fully the the gist of this gist…it is whoa  with a large emphasis on the WHOA  to be with Jukebox Gypsy was like being on tour with the folk version of Guns N Roses…a full on diet of Guiness daily nightly and inbetween and we can’t forget the jaegermeister shots with red bull for good luck there was a bit of gin and jameson spinning our heads as well…it was nearly an all blasting barrage of beer beverages- pints of Heineken also flowed making the mustaches on the boys complete…truly after the show when the pubs closed down is when the ultra party would commence…and more than once the boys came in at 6:30am  once at 8:30am and once Dave didn’t make it back to the beachhouse at all…of course it was nearly his birthday. The Cliffs of Moher are just down the road from that particular Dave and Ben and Isaac and Nick used the diving board and all jumped in..for a truly refreshing splash. i was fast asleep in my cozy bed at the time of the 6am swim…but we did take a lovely walk up to the horses and around some cliffs in the golden light of the afternoon before Sabbath. 

To be here, today is quite restful and appreciated…i have 900 folks on facebook waiting for me to friend them and i reached my limit of 5000 over a year ago…so if you are one of these people please like me at sonia and disappear fear..i don’t at mean to sound like an ad…it is just the best way to stay connected …which is important to me…i also

i am sad to learn of the passing and totally premature death of my friend Blair of Urban Folk Collective (Detroit) he was a sweet and talented singer songwriter performer and activist for human rights …my rights and some law’s wrongs…

i am blessed to be here…the poplars are only 3 feet high so far and so the veiw goes on and on…tonight the concert in town we will walk around and soon i will visit the cathedral…

sending out love hugs to Pam and Parisch in Galway and to my new Pride Friends…all colors …doves in love  showing me the wej (way in Danish)

who will stand behind me?

June 23, 2011
palestine/israel/the future:  I love all the people that share this land and have many friends on both sides of the issue.  I too think all people should be treated equally and pray for the day that there will be a land here that is truly for all the people.  I have been to many villages of people that identify as Palestinians  and many who are Arab but identify as Israelis.  Like me they love this land.  I work for peace for all of us.   
see my   the non profit i created and see why.
each day my life expands a little..some days more than others.. like when you see my face on Disney channel  playing guitar with Sam Weiser or when you see me standing behind Pete Seeger in concert at the Hudson Clearwater Revival’s homepage.
i stand behind Sam, i stand behind Pete and i stand behind Israel.
who will stand behind me?

in the middle of the middle

May 22, 2011

and it is evening and i am lying in bed here on the 2nd floor in a 3 story apartment building in a city called Ramat Gan which means High Garden… to be able to be here for a day for an hour for a few moments gives my life more meaning and LIFE more meaning than most of the days and years and cups of starbucks soy chai lattes in cities of the countries that i work and visit.  when i am here my heart sings…there is a hunger that the heart must have to request to require another beat another chance to answer the sensations of our physical and spiritual questions…and while i am tantalized by the spring this year in Besigheim the ‘spargle’ asparagus and the wonderful greens we discovered and the lucious wines and wonderful company of my new friends there….there is something that is so powerful and so deep…and so bursting with light…maybe it is the essence of God. it is no surprize that once you step off the plane that who you are is how you live and how you live is who you are…and you will move around souls that live in the moment and the cycles of this great turning of the earth their entire existence. this is one of the physically smallest countries and yet person after person it moves forward in miracles every day… it also is no surprize that sitting in traffic with no blood in my hands and my stomach in a tight burning knot…that jesus would want people to just be nice to eachother…i feel like the questions i utter and the ones that tear me apart and the ones that i don’t even know  are answerable.   and here who i am and who each of is…is clearly not determined by the car we drive …status is the soul and that gets measured with out human judgement  for human judgement is just an opinon and fleeting like the wind across the Negev, Here the thirst that i feel even if i never get the latte…i am aware of my purpose and i am in the moment of my life – not chasing it. and though we are in the middle of the middle  it is OK that is exactly as it should be.

jason’s letter

February 25, 2011
To whom this may concern,
  My name is Jason Irons, Terry Irons is my aunt and as long as I can remember she has been in a committed and loving relationship with her significant other, Sonia.  I’ve never seen a difference in their relationship other than the obvious and have always viewed Sonia as family. 

 I am currently in the United States Marine Corps and have been for three years. My job as an engineer requires me to sweep for improvised explosive devices (ieds), use demolitions for breaching, and many other tasks to ensure routes are cleared. I’ve got a combat deployment to Afghanistan where I was involved in the push to Marsha and I will be leaving tomorrow for my second tour. 

  In the three years I’ve been in the Marines there have been very few who have supported me the way that they have.  My views on military relationships are very strict because of the fact there should be no romance male, female or otherwise in a high stress environment,  but they are not in the military.  One of the big reasons  so many of us joined is to protect the freedom s of all the  people.  If they choose to love one another and live with each other under the same roof, maintain an up standing and contributing household then they should receive the same opportunities as other couples who look to get married.  If people of opposite sex can get married in order to get tax breaks, claim dependents, take care of one another in a next to kin situation then why not people of the same sex.  It makes no difference to me what people do in their personal life that’s up to them.  A ring can be worn with out legal papers, public displays of affection can be done (not in the military), and if you choose to turn a blind eye then fine.  But if its not going to be stopped anyway, why not just allow them to get married.  If it has to do with religion then fine leave that to the church to decide if the a ceremony will be held there, but a court house can do the same legal processs.  Church and state are suppose to be separate anyway so that’s a mute point to try to argue.  As I said before I do not agree with relationships in the military but if I fight for the rights all Americans to voice their opinion and be heard and that also includes that of those who choose same sex partners. 
thank you and sincerely,
Jason Irons let’s do this!

February 21, 2011
 democracy is only as good as you make it.   sdr 2-18-11
it is my birthday today the 18th- the best present would be for all people in the world to have equal rights…i live in maryland and our congress is voting for or against my equality….there is a new web site that gets you or your maryland friends connected to their/your senator or delegate. what you can say is “i want to my friends Terry and SONiA to have the same rights as you.  Please support the Gay Marriage Bill.” that’s it here is the link:
&thanks for the best present on EARTH: freedom to LOVE : that is the essence of all my music.  let’s do this!

My grandma Goldie

January 21, 2011

so many bagels so much lox so many sunday mornings grandma Goldie and pop-pop would come over and watch us eat brunch. they always said they just weren’t hungry. still every sunday that was the ritual…for all of my life grandma Goldie has been there lately sitting in her tennis whites on the blue recliner at the kosher living place on park heights and on saturday as her 80-year-old daughter stroked her forehead grandma moved with out a sound into the next world. she was 101.

she always made me feel tall. she was just about 5 feet tall and by the time i was 11 i was easily as tall as her.  that was a big win for me and my sister, Cindy.

she was all about fashion -classy fashion and as Steve Grossman said she looked like she was ready for her ‘after tennis martini’ well he did not actually say ‘martini’ but she did wear white warm up suits most of her last decade. she fashioned her self after the great actors of her day and was quite the looker. she always wanted me to look my best and while through much of my life i thought she was putting me down. as i got older i realized she just wanted me to be proud and out about my own beauty though we had different ideas about what that was.

one incident that totally stands out for me was the TERRY INTERRYGATION- i had been dating Terry for just under 2 weeks and when we told GG that we were seeing each other romantically she had a barrage of question for Terry- we were sitting outside on the green iron garden furniture it as was june 1997. “how will you be able to tour and make good money when you are on the road with Sonia? How much money did you make? Will you do this instead of practicing law? What are your real intentions?” and on and on i was mortified and wanted to crawl under the table i was sure Terry would bolt. But in retrospect i think GG could see into the future. And she really was the only one ever in my life so unabashedly ‘old school’ that she took my relationships very seriously gay or straight it did not matter: equal grilling for Sonia’s would be inti-mates. and i am grateful. it made us step up. it made life more valuable hour by hour…no such thing as a wasted kiss.

A great walker she walked and walked. Goldie was all about Healthy Living.  She taught me about yoga and exercise and good healthy food. She would make me the most delicious lentil soup or kashi and served me toasted 7 grain bread. searching out the grocery store for ‘the best stuff’. And she never scolded me for being a vegetarian.

Later when i was starting to sell my paintings she would always encourage me to ‘put a little something away Make sure you keep a savings account Leave it there Forget about it’. I am happy that for the past 10 years my paintings decorated 3 out of the 4 walls in her private bedroom.

I am so grateful to my friends Rochelle and Lea Ann for taking care of Goldie coming in to  give her a manicure or personal trims and countless little tasks that Rochelle would dutifully perform week after week into year after year. and then more recently Nancy would go in my absence to see GG and give her a hug from me. And she would let me know how GG was feeling. looking, saying….

Grandma was intensely specific on how she wanted things done. she was honest to the point of pain and yet when i got a compliment that was like a loud sunny day. Towards the end of her life she did not speak very much, but she would squeeeze my hand and let me know that SHE knew i loved her. SO Grandma i will miss you i miss you already and i will take your smile, your perseverance, your respect for the finer things and unwavering focus on a healthy life with me and we all will having loved you.

that is basically the eulogy i gave at Sol Levenson’s of Baltimore yesterday january 19 a little past high noon. it was an over cask sky with just a smidgen of pale blue in far away and small amounts. but as i finished my goodbyes and Rabbi Liz sang a beautiful prayer-  for  one final moment Grandma Goldie opened up her eyes and greeted me in a huge smile; i know this because in just that moment there was a loud sunny sky. i could see the outline of my shadow on the green grass next to a muddy puddle of snow.  then we squished our way back to the limousine. God Bless you GG.

a different post card from texas

December 16, 2010
as an independent artist one wonderful thing about what i do is there is so much freedom and this being true there is wide room for big pleasure and big mistakes…here’s a story about a  choice i made in my song repertoire one morning in texas. (probably 2005)
Kerrville: i was invited to promote the Kerrville Folk Festival and do an interview and three songs Live on a country music radio station near the event in Texas.
it was the Morning Show around 8:30 am so i was real happy to play. i was introduced to the Morning DJs and proceeded to do my first song- at the last moment i chose to do a song called, “Me, Too.” by the way i was wearing a very colorful Peruvian hat. so when i finished the song one of the DJs says to me, “Great hat! Thanks for stopping by …See Ya!”
i was shocked and as i moved back away from the microphone and handed Terry my guitar  i was heart broken – devastated. i kept running over and over in my head….beating myself up..”why did i Have to do THAT song?
why do i always shoot myself in the foot? Why didn’t i just choose a funny stupid light country ditty instead of some deep issue related song that makes folks angry and confused and in all places on country commercial radio? in Texas? what was i thinking…oh yeah in my huge folkie naivity that someone somewhere out there in the land of broke back mountains would hear the song and get something wonderful to make their day and maybe even their whole Life better having heard “Me, Too” and thinking  me, too, too  in my ever large worldly wisdom. but, mostly i was sad and angry that i chose that song  when i could’ve  been boring and regular and got to play three songs and had a nice conversation but no, I had to be an idiot and put my real heart out there on the airwaves…stupid stupid stupid!
So fast forward to the next year. I get invited to play Kerrville again AND i get invited to do the Morning Show at the same time…so walking into the studio- as i am coming in, Steve (same dude as last year) walks up to me- reaches out his hand to shake mine and says, “ ‘Fell in Love with the Girl Next Door’ I nearly fell off my chair when you sang that last year  so welcome back and Welcome Home.”

airport security problem solved: Hug First

November 17, 2010

…seems like there is a lot of fuss and fear and anxiety now as flying travelers have to submit to a full body scan or be touched all over by a security guard. so i think the best way to ease these fears is to receive a little hug from the security guard who does the radiation scan and/or the hands-on scan.  Security “PLEASE  GIVE the FLYER  a HUG.” At the start of the security check just ask  “where’s my hug?” and let me know how it goes… after all…99.99999% of all of us flying are peace bunnies. pass it on.

and please tell that guy from san diego.