HIS SPIRIT LIVES ON! ... BONER, THE PIANO DOG ... November 27, 1994 ... February 20, 2010
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April 30, 2009
I am in Smithfield, Virginia and as the banner says... "Home of the Largest Ham Biscuit" ...gotta luv it! This is where Smithfield Hams come from. I'll have to go play at the factory before I leave. I'm sitting right now in the afternoon with two geriatric dogs. Boner to one side laying on the ground and this other guy who's name I forget on the other side of the couch. Bo has never been with someone older and it is a pretty funny situation. Both have a vague idea of each others presence but are too lazy to get up and find out for sure. It is going to be difficult to keep this blog short everyday because so much happens.
My new friend Amy took me to the center of town after about six hours of sleep and and after an hour of talking getting to know each other. Luckily it was not a crowded situation so I could get some good one-on-one interactions going. Before we left we were talking about our "big butts" so we decided to get a picture of out two "big butts" jammin' on the piano! Two newspaper reporters happened buy and I would tell them things and then ask them not to put it in the paper while thinking, "Danny, shut up you fool... of course they will report whatever you say." I just couldn't stop because I talk about what excites me most in the moment. I need practice :) I was telling about my relationship with Virginia Tech because it was two years ago today that I was there but... this is old news. I want to move on and create new amazing stories to tell. Both reporters got onto the piano to play before they left. It was all very cool!
I can't say it enough how much I am enjoying people. I will work consciously never to take for granted how strangers befriend us everywhere we go by inviting us into their lives and joining us in our journey. So many times I tend to think "poor me" that people have not contributed financially to support, but I can no longer allow these thoughts because Bo and are being supported by many people just not... with cash money...yet. Figure what a hotel room with meals would cost along with fun, friendship and respect and I can turn that into cash in my head if needed but that is not needed! I've been paying for gas, tolls, personal needs and gratitude gifting so far with other upkeep and equipment expenses. I feel comfort and intimacy with the people that I am interacting from the start... immediately. When I woke up this morning, the head space I experienced was like, "is this happening"?
Well its night... so much for a short blog. The day started out with surprise music for Charnell's two cleaning ladies. I played in the garage with the doors closed until they came in to find us and then I backed the truck outside and they got on the piano to try some music. I'm so tired I'm getting the day's sequence of events mixed up... hahaha. After that I met Amy's sister Rene and we had a good hour talk. Rene is an "empath" (intuitive ability to help understand the pain others are suffering) and she has a vagalnerve stimulater implant that sends electrical impulses every five minutes from a pulse generator in her chest up though the neves of her neck into the brain to over drive her electrical impulse pace that stabilizes her moods. She has to go and get it regulated on a regular basis when it is turned on. (too slow no effect ... too fast suicidal tendencies) Is that friggin' crazy or what??? After that I met Uncle Bill a retired marine who is ready to fight prostrate cancer that has returned after many years. Both of them sat in the car while I played some Ragtime piano pieces. Bill loves Ragtime. After that I improvised and they both told me they just shut their eyes to visualize my music. Rene said that it was a journey described in music and then gave me very interesting details of what she saw. After that huff..huff... Tom the husband came home and I began to discover another amazingly interesting person, I'll get into those details at another time and then the kids came home and then the neighbors began to arrive on the driveway and then the neighbor kids with piano lesson music pages... and then we all ate pizza. Boner had the crust which is his favorite treat.
April 29, 2009
I enjoyed my stay in Maryland. One of the things I appreciated was the neighborhood scenery. Most people have kept their tall oak trees growing everywhere and around their houses. In some neighborhoods everyone tears down the trees for fear of this or that. I'm a save the trees kind of person. Everything is green now, spring is in full bloom as a result from the super warm weather that has been around for several days. The truck inside and out was covered with yellow pollen this morning. I left the windows open last night by mistake. Even my computer keyboard is covered. How did that happen? Bonnie and Dave said that it is a good thing that I got out of there before the caterpillar season began. My truck every morning would be covered with frass (caterpillar poop). They sent me off with hugs and waves and a lunch bag. Boner was in the truck before me. He was experiencing as Dave put it, a "no dog left behind" mindset.
I turned on my Magellan road-mate for directions with the least use of freeways. It took me through the Baltimore/Washington beltway during rush hour, in the rain, for two hours, traveling at twenty-five miles an hour. I stopped at a gas station to fill up and to use the bathroom. The door was unlocked and the floor was so clean it had a rug on it. Hahaha... very strange and not a typical gas station bathroom experience... at all... :)
I made it to Carrollton, Virginia around 9:30pm and met my new friend Amy at her mother's house where I am staying for the night. Charnell, Amy's mom... is a seventy something powerhouse, retired corporate business executive who is presently a successful real-estate sales person who recently finished a twelve year project that includes a book being published about the life and legacy of a gifted Navajo artist named Quincy Tahoma . Charnell admitted her courage to have a stranger in her house overnight especially when she is not used to having anyone in her space...period. I really enjoy her because I can relate. She had gone out shopping specifically to pick up sandwich fixen's when she knew I was coming and was easy to talk to and get to know. She had no fear of being upfront with and about herself. I love that!
April 28, 2009
The day started with a viewing of a very special art gallery showing named, "Defining Ourselves". Bonnie my host created this photo show. Her work is top of the line art. She also specializes in stock images. Check out Bonnie Schupp online. Later in the afternoon Dave, the other half of my host team treated me to the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland. I was really surprised with the quality and variety of wonderful art. Bonnie suggested and I realized that by definition I am a visionary musical performance artist of a type. Thats just someone who creates art because they need to create art and... who has not had very much formal training. Sometimes this type of artist turns out to be crazy in some way but not ME! Dave edited many of the art descriptions and wrote some for the museum. As a retired newspaper editor for the Baltimore Sun he now has an online blogspot named, The Real Muck that is growing with readership everyday. He's the best, check it out. I read his latest entry from start to end with total interest. Tonight I treated my hosts to dinner at their favorite Chinese restaurant. The treat was really mine as this couple has supported this journey with their fun, friendship, respect, housing, music and food for six days full days! I played a bit of music afterwards in the restaurants parking lot. I'll be heading out of Maryland tomorrow.
April 27, 2009
I used to think that people who were always talking positive were fake and that those who were always easy going and talked about love and gratitude were disgustingly sappy. I am becoming one of those people and I like it! Bonnie and Dave took me today to meet Bonnie's dad Alvin. We drove to Gunpowder State Park. Alvin is an older chap, eighty seven years old, so he could not stand very long but he did want to get out of the car to meet Boner as he loves dogs. I could see Bonnie in his spirit. We sat and created music and I played some of my old Ragtime and Boogie Woogie for them. I was surprised that I could still play my old stuff. I was inspired by the company.
After everyone departed, I took a lead from Bonnie who reminded me how critical it is for a person to spend time vegetating as in "doing nothing"... and also a variety of different activities to help keep stimulating the newness of life in every moment. This was another day with the temperature in the nineties and it was perfect day to play "fetch" in the river with Boner. I was thinking, "damm I do not have a towel and I can't have him in the truck dirty and wet after we are done." Then I thought, "throwing sticks for Bo to retrieve from the water is without question our most fun and playful bonding activity. While he can still do it and wants to... and the opportunity exists... it is an absolute must". As we got to the edge of the water, I found a good clean towel that had washed up onto a rock and was practically dry. I hung it on a tree limb and it was completely dry by the time we needed it. This dog, he is so funny. I started with small sticks because we have not played in the water for over a year but he wanted the big stuff. Nothing is too big for Bo. I picked up a six foot tree limb and he was all over it barking, "throw it in, throw it in," I did. Back in the day he would retrieve nine foot logs from the water. I was almost going to skinny dip in the water but it was too shallow and I did not know how far out I would have to run to submerge my... "you know what". Ahh.. just another rationalization to not let loose with total abandonment. Afterwards, we laid on a grassy hill by the beach and as Bo was rolling around in the grass to dry off he realized how much fun it could be to tumble down a hill. Three times he went to the top and rolled down it. Hahaha... that was... fun! We also had some quiet time just being with each other sitting in the grass over looking the water in the sun. My face is beginning to get some color as in tan. This means... I'll now need to shave everyday. When my complexion was whiter my gray beard did not show until about three days. Thats over.
It was so beautiful and peaceful I wanted to create music so I figured Boner would go lay under the truck to get out of the sun but he preferred full sun in the grass. I watched and created musical feelings associated with the breeze and the environments peaceful serenity and also... a young couple with their son playing. I watched the love as they followed their sixteen month old boy up the hill and to the playground area. I watched both mom and dad play teaching the boy what "play" is. I watched the parents share affection. And then I joined up with that love and invited them over for a time with the Traveling Piano. What a treat when this young guy saw me play music. The treat was mine. He focused with a studied intent on what I was doing and what was being created with total objectivity. No curiosity, fear, confusion or apprehension just with an observing nature and then... he looked directly at me and gave me the biggest smile! He communicated with such clarity. Wow, did that give me a great feeling.
April 26, 2009
Riviera Beach, Maryland
Today the local bank registered 96 degrees on its outdoor pole. My new friend Bonnie (hostess with the most-est) joined us with her camera and artistic abilities in order to take some pictures for fun. We headed for local parks with interesting views of water, bridges and airplanes. First we went to Smallwood park. There was not much happening until I pulled on the grass right next to the road for a good photo angle. The park guard was on top of us within ten seconds. (no exaggeration) "We just want to take one quick picture." It was not like there was anything pristine to destroy. This was a run if the mill city park that needed care. Not a chance... the rules must stand! Ugh, onto the next spot.
Armistead park was out of the way and beside a huge bridge. The place was full of fishing families and fishermen with no security to bother us. Even though I found a bit of shade, the high temperature made both Boner and myself quite tired. The environment was... wow! A nice summer by the water type feeling. One guy jumped out of his car to create some music other than that we were just like everyone else... there to hang out. Another car came by and parked by us for a few minutes. It was filled with two couples drinking beer and smoking cigarettes just like a bunch of adolescent kids except for the fact that this carload was full of people who looked like they were in their seventies.
The last place was Friendship park where people go to watch the Baltimore airport planes land and take off. There was a playground and most importantly a man with an ice cream truck. I was glad this was our last place because I would have spent the entire day with one person after the other getting on the truck. I would have been too exhausted to write this blog! We had many Traveling Piano players but two of my favorite encounters were with... a beautiful birthday lady and her children and the other a "soon to be" mom and dad creating music for their first time baby (six months and growing in her belly) On the way home we stopped to meet Bonnie's friend, Georgie and her friend Angie with their three dogs. I must go back to visit Georgie tomorrow as she is just too interesting to spend only an hour with.
April 25, 2009
There is nothing I must prove... no one I must answer to. This is the secret to my success so far and I remind myself constantly. My saving grace is that I have a mission of focus for life... that of fun, friendship and respect with musical empowerment and inspiration. It would be easy to entrap myself into obligation and expectation. I can use this blog, or the people who have invited me to stay with them in their homes or I could use fear of future needs, etc... These are all thoughts that would be unnecessarily manufactured and... just because today was a warm and sunny day does not mean that I must take advantage of every moment that I can for this mission. This is the kind of stuff I constantly talk to myself about.
The Traveling Piano day began with my driving down the street not knowing where I would go. I spotted a group of about thirty people by the side of the road who looked like volunteers landscaping an area so I stopped. It took awhile to get anyone's attention even with me yelling, "excuse me" several times from only a few feet away. Finally a guy came over and I asked him who was running the show asking if he thought everyone would like some music. He thought they would and went to get the head guy standing a short distance away. This was a group of local churches, volunteers working on properties to spruce them up. As I sat waiting I thought, "give it time, this does not always work on the first attempt." I focused on "going with the flow" verses "feeling stupid". I began to look at a list of address sitting on the truck seat beside me, a list of people interested in meeting travelers and having new experiences. Using my road-mate I located a couple living 20 miles away and gave them a call. "Would you like a visitor with his dog and a piano on his truck?" They said, "sure, come right over." I just gotta laugh at that. It just blows me away that there are so many people able to grasp a synchronistic opportunity in the moment. Thank God for them. After about ten minutes of waiting, I drove off with no need to wave goodbye to the people I was waiting for because no one was looking :)
I drove up Rich and Carlotta's driveway and found new, great friendships. RIch is retired and a guy who has bicycled across America five times. Carlotta has braved a new life moving here from Italy a few years ago to marry Rich. We talked for hours. Their stories were fascinating. I was treated to fruit, cheese, almonds, delicious bread and tea. The kids from next door came over, then the parents and... of course they could not wait to jump onto the piano. Carlotta pulled up a bench for everyone to sit on. Day's mission accomplished.
April 24, 2009
Downs Park, Maryland
A daze, I am in somewhat of a daze. My host Dave who is a retired newspaper editor and now fun time blogger drove me to the local park to scope out the area. There were not many people around even though it was a perfect day. The parks here in Maryland charge like five bucks to get in but Dave had a life pass or something like that. We were on the Chesapeake bay but I could not get close to the water with the Traveling Piano so I randomly parked in the lot with two other cars. (later in the day we were to meet friends, a guy named Shawn and his young son, Jude... over twenty miles away in Baltimore city) Back to the park... the car next to us... the woman who owned it came back from jogging and it was Jude's mom, Stephanie! How random is that??? An older guy stopped by with his daughter. He was a dog lover but could not get out of the car becuase he was using an oxygen tube,so I brought Boner over to meet him.
Bonnie, the other half of my hosting team came by with her camera. She has been a renaissance woman/professional photographer for her whole life and Bonnie is great at what she does. We all had fun! Later in the day we headed into Baltimore and ended up meeting a few people on a local street near the campus of John Hopkins university. The weather was so nice; part of me wishes I could have interacted with more people. I am feeling my way through this experience (life) and must constantly remember to give it time. Even when I improvised today and last night, I had to constantly slow down my impulse to run away with the music. Throughout the day my energy levels were on a roller coaster of big highs and low bottoms. I feel total gratitude, we are blessed with the new friends who are housing and feeding both Bo and myself. Were going to stay in the area until Wednesday.
April 23, 2009
I left! I did it! I flew the cope and began to travel south for the... spring? It took two full days to get the wherewithal. Walking back and forth, to and fro, in and out and all around the farm getting my act together. Charlie must have sighed a huge relief after I left. In the end I packed a third less then ever before. I'm so proud of myself. My hosts Bonnie and David are wonderful... embracing, welcoming and accommodating from the first moment we connected. I did not even leave Pipersville until six tonight. They had expected me in the afternoon and did not even know for sure if I was coming until last night. Flexible people like this are very empowering for me. I am very grateful to have met them as they are helping me to change my life to become more open to strangers. As I have said many times, people whom I do not know who invite me into their homes are ten times more courageous than anything that I am doing. They help me to be a better human being. There is a beautiful acoustic piano in the room that I am staying. There is an eighteen year old house cat and Boner well, he is just the best in being completely respectful, just a little edgy. Right now it is early morning and the poor pussy cat is constantly meowing. I don't think she is not very happy with a strange dog in her house. It did not dawn on me that I was back to traveling until I was on the road for a good half hour. Feels like getting on a bike again after twenty years.
April 22, 2009
The Farm, Pennsylvania
Yesterday afternoon I randomly read (was not looking for) on the web that if my computer began to run slow it might be the cached files and that they needed to be dumped. As it was, my computer had been slowing down more and more for over a week. Last night it down right stopped. It just slowed to a 15 minute stop and... I knew what to do. Coincidence?
I plan to leave Pipersvile tomorrow. I wonder who will miss me more my friend Charlie or his dog Tilly. *cough* I remind myself constantly that I have no one to answer to except for myself. I do not need to rush. I want to relax and enjoy, have fun. I've been preparing, I do it all the time wether I realize it consiously or not so I have nothing to worry about. I have some new friends to meet and stay with.
It looks like I will be gone for three weeks as I promised a guy that I met on the Traveling Piano that I would deliver him to his prom on the truck in May. I'm not sure why I did that and made the commitment which will require a return but I did. So be it... if he emails me. This felt right. He and his friends are young musicians and I know it will be extra, extra fun for them as well as myself and Boner.}
April 21, 2009
The Farm, Pennsylvania
There have been computer problems today. I emptied stuff off the computer to help fix the problem which in turn created a whole new set of problems. I have just finished spending two hours trying to remember the codes and preferences for my documents and this posting to the website server etc...
I am trying to get the where-with-all to leave the farm very soon. I am so overwhelmed with the idea... cheezzzzz oh man, why is it so difficult to get started all the time... every time? My mind sits in nowhere land. I am gonna push through... like I always do. Playing some music outside in the driveway today did not help. I just zoned in musical nowhere land. It is not like I am upset, just... in nowhere land :) ...with difficulty in thinking, doing... I guess there are emotional issues that I am not in touch with to help me get off my ass! But I will... just want to think about being calm, collected and focused. Yea right! Hahahaha... actually I am kinda... in the mist of it all. Probably any burdens I have surround ideas of messing up what I am doing in life. Reality... I can't mess up. Need to spend some time internalizing that thought.
April 20, 2009
The Farm, Pennsylvania
Rainy, rainy day... I suppose I have been creating a bit of pressure because I am thinking that I am glad to have the time off from taking the Traveling Piano truck on an outing. What is that all about? Fact is... the rain gave me time to upload another couple hundred pictures to the Boner the Dog website and doing that has just the teeny weeniest bigger edge of desire for me these days. Also, I am seeking hosts to stay with as I am leaving this week to head out for a time. How much time? What is the plan? The plan is the basics... rely on free spirited synchronicity in order to create music for people to discover with fun, friendship and respect... etc. I've been thinking about something this guy Larry that I met the other day said and I am still thinking about it. A spiritual being has the ability to only observe and draw conclusions... make decisions. The operative word for me was "only".
April 19, 2009
The pictures, I must come to grips with all the pictures. This is my body of work. I just want to share them so I post nine more from just today alone. There are an easy nine more I could post. All the pictures will eventually find their way onto the Boner the Dog link. I woke up with a major headache and my voice was very rough from working so hard yesterday. I found out later that my head was sun burned from yesterday. I must remember when I am in the sun that I am becoming bald!
I made it to my niece's house to help celebrate her daughter's first communion by late afternoon. Fortunately, I did not have to deal with any dysfunctional family dynamics because most everyone had gone. And no... I did not plan that. Ha, it was a gift from God! After gorging myself with food I made it outside to let the kids jump onto the piano and met a new neighbor and of course everyone around got involved.
Three young neighborhood guys began to drive by and their eyes popped when they saw the piano on the truck. They were young musicians in a band who had been practicing down the street and who love to create music in public areas. Last week they played outside Wawa, which is a local convenience store... so of course I invited them onto the truck. We agreed to get together soon and jam in a park but it remains to be seen if they will connect.
April 18, 2009
Camden, New Jersey
When I think about musically empowering people on days like today... it can seem kind of ridiculous because I am the person who is so often most empowered through Traveling Piano experiences. Today I was smacked in the head with that reality... of how empowered I can be with truth, good spirit and how wrong I can be about preconceived ideas etc.... Bo and I traveled to Camden, NJ. I heard about a city volunteer tree planting going on and that interested me. I got there as soon as I could which was early afternoon because it is a couple hours away from where I am staying. By the time I arrived every had finished and gone home. I knew that might happen but also knew there would be more opportunities to find. The tree planting turned out to be for a simple neighborhood street where neighbors had united to beautify the curbsides.
From the start, I had images and ideas in my head about Camden. The city does not have a very good reputation and has been called the murder capitol of the America! I was thinking ghetto, the hood, burned out, inner city, danger, drugs, trash, dilapidation, dirty people... I almost wanted to see all that to validate my prejudices and create some drama for myself. Ha, what an idiot I can be. So first off... everyone I ran into was clean. Hahaha... seems ridiculously funny to say. There is no way that I can say that I experienced a ghetto environment. Yes, there were boarded up houses but they were boarded up so nicely that they did not detract from the houses that were functioning. Can this be? Yes it can. Of course there were some dirty streets and rough areas but that can be said for everywhere... I have been around and I can say that from my experience this city has been given a bum wrap.
The woman who had organized the street project had been up and working since 7am and had just sat down for the first time to eat when I had arrived. Still, she took time to get on the piano and participate after awhile. "Giving reciprocation"... A woman named Fran happened by who was going to her son's barbecue on one of Camden's main streets, Broadway. I suggested we surprise him and followed her.
There was no parking so I just double parked on the street and let the traffic go around us. A local cop named Larry in an unmarked car came by and parked behind us to cushion the situation. He could have acted like a lot of other cops I have dealt with, "move, get out of here, you can't park here, etc..." but he knew what was going on and was helpful. I spent most of the rest of the day with this guy and his young son. Larry has been on the force for eight years with no sign of burn out. I can never say how much I appreciate a good cop probably because when they are jerks it hurts so bad.
This guy Larry really works his job from many angles. The use of respectful psychology and education over force is his forte when dealing with kids. (he uses force without reservation when needed) He attributed much of his talent to Scientology. Wow, what an eye opener that was for me because I never quite understood Scientology and had developed a few prejudices about what I knew... which was nothing :) I now see it as a spiritual belief system not very different from all the other spiritual belief systems. In my experience everything is saying the same thing underneath all the crap that people pile on top of basic truths. You... love, caring, live and let live, one consciousness, fun, joy...
We went to an apartment complex and I parked the Traveling Piano right out in the middle of the parking lot totally exposed while people where hanging around and working on cars etc... It took a little bit of time for people to adjust to the idea but eventually all the kids came a runnin' a few families, adults... a good mix. Bo and I were like alien's from outer space. Some people thought we were from a church doing a mission. Ha, wrong on that one. Bo worked hard the entire day with his friendship. I watched him closely as it was the first day in full sun and almost eighty degrees. He handled it well but I would not want for him to sit in the full sun everyday from now on.
At one point there were about fifteen kids pounding away on the piano and I was just so happy because... I was exhausted and I did not have to do any work to coax anyone or give special attention. I just stood there in a daze and let them all musically explore and do there thing. All of them, I repeat... all of them individually asked me if they could get onto the truck to play when they saw others already on the truck. I told them no water ice in the truck and they complied. This absolutely amazes me... to think a bunch of young screaming meemies together on their own without their parents around... would be so compliant and respectful of my property and continue with that respectfulness throughout the entire time with no need for reminding and no matter how out of control they spun.
I spent a lot of time talking with Larry and as it got dark I was amazed at how peaceful, congenial and non-threatening the environment felt and actually was. The drug dealers had been cleaned out from this community awhile back, Larry's presence was appreciated and I could tell that even though I know people do drugs in the complex (like everywhere else) this community valued the peace and gave conscious consideration in working to get along with each other to keep the peace. Today was well worth the long drive in both directions because Bo and I had fun... we were even treated to a chicken and barbecue rib dinner! The friendship was the best part even more than the music.
April 17, 2009
I gained some clarity today concerning my focus for life and what I am doing. It is clear that I cannot put everything that I have to give for life... into the Traveling Piano. I must come first. I, must care about myself, be involved with, excited about, love first and foremost... me! Hahaha... that sounds so queer. The Traveling Piano is what I do, what I have to offer. I've been gaining weight because everything is becoming about my work. I have been slipping away from creating anytime, thought, attention or care about my physical being... me... in order to... do my work. What a sabotage!
Like tonight... I do not want to go for a walk (exercise) because I am tired from today and want to have energy to get up earlier and do the whole Traveling Piano routine again tomorrow. It is a consistent balancing act to stay present... yet have goals for the future. Enough analysis... today was a typical day in the park. The park ranger I had not seen since the journey began. He had treats for Bo, played some music and his sister and nephew stopped by. Lots of fun new friends, people some good intimate interactions, the weather was great.
I have always wondered about the housing development behind the park and if the music could be heard there. Today I found out. A couple from one of the houses drove up to introduce themselves. They had been listening to my improvisation from a distance and had to respond to it. They may contribute to the journey and I may have a lot of fun with them and their friends in return. We shall see if they email me to follow through. Right now... I am going out for a walk!
April 16, 2009
Morristown, New Jersey
Today, I was somewhat prepared to rant on heavy issues that I am dealing with but the Traveling Piano took precedence. My friend Katie was having a Hoop and Poi Spin Jam (hula hoops and bowling pins) in the park near her home so I took the opportunity to contribute what I have to offer. With a foggy brain I drove there in a state of mind of not caring where I parked to play. (often I am conscious of not wanting to feel stupid with a less than perfect spot) I was too chicken to drive into the center of the town square park so I chose to hide behind the hot dog vendor on the street. Last night I was playing tug of war with my friend Charlie's dog Tilly and her front fang got caught on the under-side of my right thumb. The deep gash was not going to stop me from playing today but I could not shake anyone's hand. I never realized before how much handshaking I do. This was a constant frustration.
Onto the journey. I had setup the truck... turned on the sound... and before I had a chance to jump up to play a young woman who was nearby beat me to it. She was looking at me as I stood next to the truck so I asked here if she wanted to play some piano and she said, "sure." I think this is amazing that people will get up onto the truck to play the piano without even knowing what is going on. I Love It. I sat down to play afterwards and became aware of the contrast from playing on a city street verses by the country lake waters where I have been frequenting over the last few weeks. Today was the first day this year that the sun was bright enough and too warm for me to wear my hat. That was cool.
A young guy got up into the truck to create some music. His cell phone kept going off. He refused to acknowledge it. "It's the devil", he said. "This is so perfect, I needed this for my day," he said. I took the phone from him and put it on the trucks front seat and covered it with a coat so no sound could be heard. I let him explore for a good half hour which in turn gave me time to socialize with new friends who walked by. Another woman happened by who was having issues. She was the first street character I've met who really seemed to be in a situation of happenstance. She was smart, alert, respected boundaries and limits and had great spirit. She reminded me of myself! Ha. I could tell she was dealing with enormous challenges and uncertainty but they did not deter her spirit. She had a good hour total on the piano today while taking turns with other people.
I wish I could write in detail every single interaction I had with people because they were all so interesting and significant. There was a recovery house nearby and I met with some of the guys from there. A bunch of immigrant workers from Guatemala... a guy came out for a break from work and had a crystal like ball with him. He was a contact juggler. What? He juggles the ball acrobatically all over the place but it never leaves contact with his body. Man, that was cool to watch and I also created music to it.
Later, Katie came with her friends and I improvised musically to hoops, poi's and then the juggler guy came back after work to join us. I had my favorite "hanging out with friends" feeling while everyone communicated in their own way with their own creative language... as one group. A local mom, dad and son named Josha came by. After they went home Joshua begged so hard to come back, his dad brought him along with hot, homemade chicken soup from dinner. Boy, I needed that. Was I being taken care of or what? I began to gift people with the Raggin' Piano Boogie posters. I gave them to adults as i would kids. Funny because I was feeling like the adults were acting like kids... and they were! They were saying things like "would you please autograph this, or... I'm going to put this poster up in my cubical at work."
One guy says, "I saw your dog from across the street and like a zombie I just began to drift towards your truck." Boner would rather have been running around the park but he stayed with me like a champ... working right along with me. I was getting a lot of significant comments of appreciation but was too involved in the moment to try and remember them for todays blog. I finally left the cities town center at 10:00PM. This set a new record for a stay anywhere. It wasn't that there were a lot of people around but that the time spent with each person was significant with time. Katie left for dinner with her friends and they took our new woman friend to treat her. I headed back to Pennsylvania with over an hours drive ahead of me.
April 15, 2009
I try not to think about it but sometimes I wonder about people who come to this blog... when they read the present entry not knowing the whole story or what I am about... where they go in their head... especially on days like today and also for the days to come because Danny boy is really, really going to begin to let it all hang out. Trust me please when I say I do not want to confuse anyone. Allow me set this up. The bottom line is that I never feel depressed anymore (this journey ended that aspect of my life once and for all) ...although I am aware that on a subconscious level sometimes I am in fact depressed, repressed whatever. I am now able to keep moving with and through life no matter what. (this was not the case in the old days) Whew! My ability to cope comes from many sources, tricks I use and a need to constantly adjust, change and learn anew. People often validate how much I am enjoying my life and living my wildest of dreams and contributing to other people's lives and the world, a true free spirit, etc... I often talk about those things myself and express gratitude for my accomplishments. Well, I feel a need to express that all of life is not easy for me. My job is to have fun and enjoy life. This is probably the most difficult job I could have chosen! I don't feel like the entire story is out if I do not talk about my struggles. When I do this I am not looking for sympathy, and I don't think I am looking for support I just want to keep any and all pink elephants out of my life. Enough for now...
April 14, 2009
Rain today and as far as complaining about other things... I'll spare you :) I will say this. I can feel a departure very soon. For how long on the road, that will remain to be seen.
April 13, 2009
Stayed on the farm today and got my friend Charlie to jump onto the truck to create a little music. I think he needs to do this more often. The truck was parked on top of a pond embankment which made for some fun picture taking. Charlie took some video of my improvisation and I when I saw the pictures later well... I am just amazed at how much weight I have been gaining. I have had consistent cycles of weight gain and loss for my entire life. I am fighting the urge to diet. I actually refuse to do it as this does not work, never has for me never will. I am also fighting the the desire to be physically fit. It feels like a losing battle but I also know that feelings are not always facts. The question for myself is how to stop fighting. I suppose this is where "grace" is needed. Somehow I know it all will work out hopefully before I push myself to the edge of necessitating it in some non-desirable way. Already did that, done that type of living several times in the past. No more, not now, not ever. Also, I took the truck over to the local auto repair guy to check out an ongoing buckling problem which of course could not be duplicated as we took a test drive down the road.
April 12, 2009
Pennsylvania at the Lake
Played music outside today even though it was cold but that is not what is on my mind. What is on my mind is the fact that I just passed the 5,000 mark... having posted *** 5,020 PICTURES *** of the Traveling Piano on the BONER THE DOG website... WOWEEWOW!!! That is a large amount of work, a major story in pictures, eh? It is called... "working fun" or better... "fun working." There are only 10,000 more to post.
April 11, 2009
Pennsylvania at the Lake
As it happens often, I did not plan to go out today with the Traveling Piano. It was raining into the afternoon but it stopped and did not feel too cold outside so I could not resist and drove to the lake. I could not settle on a spot. I parked and moved three times finally settling in a wide open area far away from people, cars... everything. I played my ass off thinking... I am glad no one can hear this because it might scare people. I was playing out of my mind just random banging. I have some issues going on today. Is it still a full moon? Anyway, people could hear... as it turns out there was a fishing pond behind me. "Thats somebody playing a CD in their car, no its not mom its a real guy playing the piano on the back of a truck with a dog on the piano, look down there." Ha, this young astute guy came up to us with his mom and their dog and I ended up giving him a short piano lesson. Afterwards Tom the park ranger stopped by and we shared some friendship for a time.
April 10, 2009
Pennsylvania in the Woods
I drove into the woods today to the edge of a camping area where there was nothing but trees. The trees reminded me of when I used to play in cemeteries haha... I had a standing audience and everyone was very attentive... they were. Very few people happened by, most were mountain bikers. One guy actually rode his bike from a distance right by the truck to about six feet away and did not look at us once... it was like Bo and I did not exist. People like this amaze me. How can you not take one quick glance at such a strange finding in the woods? What a talent. The park ranger drove by and stopped to check out a van that I thought was abandoned. This was after about three hours of music. Out falls what looks like a couple in their fifties. They were not in that van playing scrabble I can tell you that. After they were discovered they opened the windows so they could hear better. At one point I thought I was totally alone and then saw people hiding behind trees listening. Oh my God that was funny. Finally, three young guys who were fishing way down below thought they were hearing wind chimes. They came up and over to meet us and that was of course great! I remember when I first began this blog over three years ago how great it felt to be able to have the courage to improvise for twenty minutes, keep the energy going and stay interested. Today, four hours... wow I played out my musical psyche for... four hours in the woods!
April 9, 2009
Frenchtown, New Jersey
Random thoughts... I was intensely focused on creating and posting pictures on a new link called Canada and Newfoundland on the Boner the Dog website... but I wanted to get Charlie some butter for his bagels. He's out of it. (fifteen minute drive from the farm) I have some wonderful scenic pictures to share from Newfoundland. Figured I would go to Frenchtown, NJ to get some butter and... take the Traveling Piano truck. There is a spot I have been waiting to play at until it felt right... been thinking about it for about eight months. Today felt right. I pulled into a parking spot along the river. "Do I want to be here?" I thought, "Stay." I guy I had met in the fall found me and we spent some time. A couple guys I met in a nearby Pennsylvania park back in the fall also found me. This was the first time something like this has happened. (two separate past fun experiences connecting once again and at the same time)
A girl pulled up nearby in a car. I thought she was going to listen to me create music but she got out and went into a house behind us... came out with a few items and I noticed then that she was sitting, listening with the window open. "Guess I was wrong." As she began to drive away she stopped and got out of her car. She wanted to connect. She came up to me saying, "I don't know if you take money, I don't have much but I wanted to give you a dollar..." I knew it was coming from her heart and that felt good. (later we laughed as we realized the money was just a portal for the connection) Rebecca, her dad just passed away a few days ago... she is in transition, moving out of her place. (the house behind us). She said that her dad brought us together as a gift for her today. He had a life change when he found out he was sick and one of the things he used to do was create his own improvisational music all the time, on any piano good or bad, without reservation, just for the fun of it. This was a wonderful connection but I was not convinced that her dad was involved until she told me one of his favorite places was Newfoundland. He had requested that some of his ashes be placed there. Rebecca is playing the piano in the middle picture. Her friend also named Rebecca and friends mother also happened by. These awesome and inspiring happenings... gratitude and reality comes to mind.
April 8, 2009
I woke up at 8:30am. Why do I have this new urge to report my wake up time? I think it has to do with a need to remind myself that I do not... need to report. Ha... Not having to answer to anyone is... for better or worse... the ticket to my success. What the hell does that mean? I could not resist going to the lake today. It did not matter that it was snowing this morning I just had to do it. I improvised with scarf and hat over my ears while some kid sat in a pickup truck in the parking lot listening. He beeped his horn with a thumbs up when I finished. I let Boner run around on the ground as it was too cold for him to be sitting still. I banged the piano keys almost to death while making music. I am very aware that if I was improvising on a real acoustic grand piano my abilities and musicality's would be soaring past and out of the stratosphere. Someday maybe I'll be playing on a grand piano outside...
April 7, 2009
I slept until 2pm today. I must have needed it. I allowed it for myself. Thank god I can do that. Cold weather is back. Bo and I walked for an hour and a half along the delaware canal, I also worked on the picture galleries. I have been thinking about why and how important it is for me to post all the pictures I have.. the history of the Traveling Piano. I feel passionate about sharing the experiences manifested for the world. I get no personal satisfaction from holding them all for myself. Making money from them... holding them until... naa, this does not feel right. I feel, enjoyed presently... not posthumously. I hope you scrutinize every single one of them... full sized... and have fun with them!
April 6, 2009
I am amazingly tired. It has been raining today. I have spent the day working on the www.bonerthedog.com gallery pictures. Yesterday I worked enough for two days :) As I post pictures of my house liquidation and that time period, I want to keep reminding myself to live in the present moment.
April 5, 2009
Decisions, decisions... I drove to the lake today once again because it is so "everything" to create music with. This was a perfect day. With all of the fun and special interactions, the music stayed front and center the entire time. I was very musically inspired not only with friendship today but with all the nature surrounding me. I stayed until 8PM, the sun had set, it was just me and Boner. As the night air came on... the music moved in closer than ever, I think it was the barometer? The sound was amazing
I drove to the end of a fishing pier. Everything was very still with several fishing boats in the water. The curiosity level between both the fishermen and myself was... very curious :) I played very smoothly as they all smoothly drifted towards me in boats, at one point there were five boats of fisherman in the area, three within fifty feet of the Traveling Piano truck.They seemed more interested in listening to the music than fishing! One of the guys told me my music would be perfect for at night in May when they have night fishing.
We had a chiwawa jammin' with his owners on the piano today... there was a guy in a wet suit who had been windsailing on the lake with his wife and they had just met an artist and her husband a web designer. After knowing each other for only a few minutes all four of them jumped up onto the truck to get more acquainted musically... God I love when that happens. There was this little guy who played some music on the piano with his feet, a few girls taking piano lessons tinkered away and then the park ranger came by, not just any park ranger. This guy Tom had a great attitude not only towards his job but his life. He was a model law enforcement officer, respectful, aware, courteous and a good guy and... I am not just saying that because he jumped onto the piano to play music without any hesitation.
April 4, 2009
So here is how it worked. The wind was major, my head foggy. I went to the river to create music. There was not much action. A few people happened by but did not want to interact. I was driving home past a restaurant I had stopped at a few weeks ago. I wanted to extend myself musically and in friendship in-spite of overall fear I have been having. I was thinking, "last time these two guys (the owners) extended friendship to me, what is wrong with you... stop in and say hi." I stopped in, it felt a little awkward. I sat down and played the piano they have there for a few minutes. Two parents with their daughter were sitting at a table waiting to eat. They saw Boner through the window outside and were drawn to him. They responded to my music. I created an introduction and we all went outside to meet Boner. The girl plays the piano, the usual process was happening. I had the waitress package some desserts while we went out. I wanted to surprise Charlie back at the house with them. I wanted to support the restaurant that was not doing so well with business. I wanted some desserts for me. (for better or worse) We had a short fun musical time. I gifted the girl with a Raggin' Piano Boogie poster. While going back to get the desserts the father asked if it would be ok to gift me with a twenty. I said thanks. The desserts cost $20.99. As I gave the waitress $21 she said, "Just give me twenty and give your dog the other dollar." It turned into a give, give day just the way I like it. I was able to put myself "out there" gave music, got desserts and exchanged fun, friendship and respect with musical inspiration and empowerment.
April 3, 2009
Todays rain kept me inside. I'm out of sorts. Had a slim fast meal then made some food for the week. I finished cooking the meal and completely forgot about the slim fast meal an hour before. I ate again, beat myself up in the head and ate more. Sat thinking about a sizzling noise I was hearing and a half hour later my friend Charlie says, "you left the hot water running in the sink for the last half hour." I took a shower and went into the city to see a rock concert, the group Shinedown. After it was over I left with the lead singers message to the audience about "living life with no fear." Hmmm... I gotta get out on the road with my music.
April 2, 2009
There has been a conscious desire today to live in the present moment and to be as excited as I can be about everything I do. Recently everything has been slowing down. I have many things that I want to accomplish. I have been thinking that slowing down has had a lot to do with my body metabolism but now I realize that my thoughts and actions have had too little excitement attached to them. Any excitement in my life has been attached to ...potential ...what I am going to do ...what has been accomplished in the past ...verses being excited about what is happening in the present moment and being aware of the excitement in that present moment. I get excited interacting with people through the Traveling Piano. Today I want to get excited also by interacting with myself.
This was a gorgeous day. Bo and I went to the lake once again. As I sat creating music, listening to the water lapping a few feet away, watching the ducks floating etc... a small group came up and this little girl said, "can I come up to play?" How cool... The group wanted to tell me how beautiful they thought the music was. What made it all even better was that this was a grown sister and a brother meeting their other sister for the first time ever. A very special occasion that I was invited to be part of with the Traveling Piano.
There were several exchanges in the time I was there but another specific one was with a retired marine who had been boating on the lake. He made a point to comment on the music and we got talking. He said, "I was coming in on my boat listening to my Ipod and I heard this music and was trying to identify it like George Winston or something but is was unlike anything I had heard before." We were two like souls attracted together. The lack of fear being the answer to life was the basis of our discussion as well as living your own life and not getting in the way of other peoples lives. This was helpful, reminding and validating ...as I cope with my nourishment issues. I became mindful that much of my overeating or non-productive food choices have been my simply acting out of fear.
This guy Chris talked about his love for the marines and explained that he is who he is because, "the marines are the best organization in the world, they teach you how to be the best you can be." I was relating that to different religions, philosophies and ways of positive, forward thinking people. He agreed. "A lot of times the people running these things (organizations) are messed up but everything being taught is saying the same thing... we are all working on the same wave length, one wave length with one common denominator that is packaged in many different ways for many different people... whatever works for you... the secret is not to get in other people's way." For me personally that translates into "live and let live." I just loved meeting this guy!
April 1, 2009
I have been slipping away from the plate (verses stepping up to the plate) ...and I'm not talking about a plate of food. I want this month to be full of the pursuit of my desires and it is absolutely necessary for me to clarify those desires with as much detail possible. First and foremost my success depends on my physicality. This is my story and my truth. If I don't have the physical body to get around I'm not going to be able to physically enjoy whatever it is that I want to physically manifest in this world of mine. This is a core issue for me and has been since childhood. I want to be in denial about the fact that I have been gaining weight at a steady pace for the last year. For some time now I have been losing my wherewithal of structure, strength, energy, abilities, mental attitude, choices etc... about being physically in shape (or lack of). There is shame, a sense of failure and humiliation associated with it all big time. My focus recently has been on thinking things like, "this is not happening," "not again" "I am failing with my health" "I need to do...", "I'm not doing..." etc... The Traveling Piano has no chance of a progression if I allow the disease of addiction (concerning food) to control my spirit. Yes, I am an addict. Balance, acceptance, a positive nature, creating and giving, nurturing even though these qualities make up my true nature... I have an inclination to think and feel destruction and using. I am not obsessive and compulsive, the truth is that I am highly spirited and motivated. The state of my mind is a gift. I began recovering from this disease (learning how to rightly relate to my mind) over twenty six years ago. Dealing and negotiating with any of it has been a total failure. Unless I let go absolutely any results have been nil. Whether it be nicotine, sex, drugs, alcohol, relationships or food... I have confronted them all and have had success to date... food still presents a challenge. Recurring thoughts of being overweight have been a bane of my existence. Negative thoughts about food have fueled all the self destructiveness for my life that I have known. It is time to get a grip once again. Whatever it takes!