Ron Colone

Since 1996, I've been a columnist in the Santa Ynez Valley sharing my observations and whatever occurs to my mind and heart. To date, more  than 2000 of these essays have been published in various newspapers and magazines. I use this space, primarily, as a vehicle to share my writings. 

I also produce concerts and events (most notably Tales from the Tavern and Music on the Green), I am the president of Real Eyes Productions, the Executive Director of the Artist Advocacy Foundation, a podcaster,  a film-maker, a sports enthusiast, a cook with a passion for food, a gardener, and a father, son, brother and boyfriend - and I have some very good friends.

Featured Column


In response to the reactions of those around me ….

(written the morning after the election)


Am I going to crumble and sulk? OF COURSE NOT!

Am I going to project and expect the worse? No.

Am I going to wrap myself in a cloak of doom and despair? No; it is not my nature, and it is not what I want to give to the world.

My values haven’t changed; they are the same as they were before the election.

I am still going to smile at people I pass on the street or in the store, because I know the power of that smile, and how it positively affects them, and me.

My true power (TRUTH POWER) is not and never was something that was given to me by an elected official; it’s in my ability to control my thoughts and emotions; it’s in my passion, and the strength and stamina with which I pursue my dreams – and in the extent to which I respect myself and others.

If this is a wake-up call then it is for those who are or have been under the delusion that the responsibility for their happiness rests with the president, or anyone else; it is for those who overestimate the power of politics and technology and data and intellect, and who underestimate the power of heart and spirit, philosophy and friendship.

To me, this is no different and no worse than who and what we have given power to for many years now, which I characterize as image over essence and form over content (i.e. looks, money, youth, materialism, artificiality, etc.) Not only have we tolerated it, we’ve exalted it. (I have tried shining a light on it to raise awareness, to diminish the power of what I consider to be degrading qualities, and to boost our hope and humanity, and our soul potential.)

I don’t want to be an obstructionist, and I won’t be. If I see something that so offends my sense of decency or tramples on my vision, then hopefully I will have the clarity to speak out, but the real courage is in waking up and being a living, breathing, shining example of our values and our vision and the things we hold dear.

We’ve faced so many setbacks before, so many threats and crises that have affected and jeopardized our health and happiness and well-being and sanity. We’ve endured and overcome many, many times before, and we can do it again. 

The result of an election does not prove who is right; it reflects the state of consciousness and the vulnerabilities of our system. We triumph by transcending the system, by raising our personal consciousness and living according to our ideals.

Nov. 9, 2016

Study shows they changed their air


Study after study has sought to identify the main pillars of happiness or quality of life, and one of them that continually gets mentioned is what they call “lifelong learning.” To me the term is synonymous with “the opposite of know-it-all,” and since I can’t stand know-it-alls, I try to be on the side of lifelong learning.  I try to remain curious, attentive, enthusiastic, open-minded, and reflective - of myself mostly; what I’m thinking and feeling, and how I react and behave, so as to keep learning and growing – in wisdom and understanding.

Sometimes it’s something very personal, or subtle, and sometimes it’s something practical or just interesting tidbits of information

I learned something today, which doesn’t necessarily register on the Philosophy scale, but which I found very encouraging, and since we could all use some encouragement, I decided it was worth sharing in the space I have here.

It came out of a study done in the Himalayas, which are the highest mountains in the world. The upper elevations are under layers of ice that have built up over many years. The particles that are lodged in the ice and preserved there reveal which chemical compounds were floating around in the air and blowing around in the wind at a particular time in particular years. The researchers removed large ice core samples from both the east side and the west side of the Himalayas. The east side of the mountain range faces China, which over the past 20 years has been becoming increasingly industrialized. They found that, on that side of the mountain, which gets hit by the winds from China, the presence of toxic organic compounds embedded in the ice has increased steadily over the time period corresponding to the increased industrialization.

Let’s be clear here; the word “toxic” means “poisonous, harmful, dangerous, deadly,” and the evidence suggests that the organic compounds are all of these things. For instance, just the unvented burning of coal for cooking and heating is currently responsible for more than a million deaths a year in China. This is just one example; there are myriad others associated with the increase in diesel engines, insecticides and plastics, to name a few.

Conversely, on the west side of the mountain, which gets the winds from Europe, the ice samples show a steady decrease in the presence of toxic organic compounds. This corresponds with a time-period in Europe during which laws have been enacted to prohibit the use of many air pollutants and to cease or discourage many of the practices and production methods now employed in China.

The study shows that people on both sides of the mountain changed their air through societal activities.

The idea that industrialization, mechanization, and commercialization introduces destructive forces and elements into the environment, chemicals that are harmful – to humans, as well as plants and animals, and lakes and rivers, is not a new one. What’s important here is showing that by doing something about  it Europe has done, and we can do – something about it; It, meaning the world, humanity, life on earth.

Even if it’s just making small changes in our own lives, in our own homes and our own yards; if it happens in a bunch of homes and a bunch of yards pretty soon you’ve changed the neighborhood; and if you change a bunch of neighborhoods pretty soon you change the town;and if you can change a bunch of towns then pretty soon you’ve changed the world.

I don’t know about you but I find it encouraging to think that, in a world where it’s hard enough to lose a few pounds, or stop smoking, or not be angry, let alone change your mind about someone or something, that we still have the potential, maybe, to change the world.

I’d rather go down trying than not be the change I wish to see in the world.

March 5, 2015

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