HIS SPIRIT LIVES ON! ... BONER, THE PIANO DOG ... November 27, 1994 ... February 20, 2010
Use the links to the left to read a past Month or Year... and then there is always your Backspace to return to a past page.
September 30, 2012
Lost in the rain with my brain. Mourning while soaking in the wonderfulness of yesterday, living life... spraying stink bugs on the window screens with a killer insecticide... the score card... about a hundred fifty successful spray kills to one successful stink bug spray (ugh) in my direction.
September 29, 2012
Shepherdstown, West Virginia
My friend and old neighbor Arlene, she died. Arlene was in her eighties. Larry her husband, a hero of mine is getting ready to go but no one expected Arlene to go first. My first impulse on learning the news was to get out and keep going today because I began to feel very disoriented as a result of the news. I love Arlene very much. She is one of the few people in my life who has loved me and I have felt that... but more importantly... I have been able to trust her love. There are only a handful of people in my life who's love I have been able to totally trust. SInce this journey began Arlene would call me to just see how I have been doing... consistently and more so than any other person. She has known me since I was ten years old and has been the high school lunch lady for over thirty years. For as long as I had my house... as a friend and neighbor Arlene would drop off food on the way home from working the lunchroom several times a week. Every Christmas without fail she would have not one but several gifts for me and force me to have dinner with her and family. Arlene was a tough woman who took care of herself first so that she could take care of the people she loved in her life. She made the best Christmas cookies ever (next to my mom's). I was quite an obnoxious insecure kid with a foul mouth who would hide out on her back porch to skip church on Sundays. She loved me through it all. I am very sad and I know her spirit lives on. Gratefully, I was able to see both Larry and Arlene in July and August... I did not want to miss any opportunity to be with them. She is pictured on the July 11th blog entry. Another friend bites the dust...
Mo and I took off for Shepherdstown. It was a day so beautiful we got lost and I let that be. We came across an old farmhouse with about fifteen live alpacas... in a yard full of about fifteen giant three to four story high old fiberglass road advertisement statues. It was all a truly amazing sight to behold. I honked the truck horn for about five minutes in the driveway with the hope that someone would come around but no one was home. I don't know if I'll ever be able to find the place again but I'm sure gonna try. It was all just too interesting to not learn more about it.
On arriving in Shepherdstown I had three separate shout outs from the sidewalks. "Hey Piano Man, Great to See You!" Wow, that was amazing for me. This is a very special town, a college town very progressive and easy going. I've never felt a store business being territorial here, or the police looking for trouble or street signs warning of fines or do and don't threats. The town provides trash cans on the streets and dog poop bags and guess what? The place is clean and there is no dog poop around. There was what looked like a market going on on the sidewalk, a flea market or just people trying to sell stuff. Nope... it was one of a two day weekend set aside every month where people come and share stuff they have to offer... for free. I have stuff and I so much want to go back tomorrow to give it out but I know I'll be writing this blog until four in the morning which means I won't begetting up until one or two in the afternoon.
My visit to this town three years ago was a highlight for this journey. It was around the time Boner got sick and may have been one of our last major piano man, dog and truck times together before knowing he was sick. I am amazed at what has happened in such a short time. Just three years ago Boner and I were here and two years ago Mo came into my life an hour and a half from here. Last year we were in Alaska at this time. The town was packed today as it was parents day for the university. I began to drive out because I did not want to deal with a touristy environment. Because the passing of my friend Arlene was ever most on my mind today, life was blurry. As a result unfortunately most of the pictures I took of people today turned out blurry too. Shaky hands... even though I was still having fun. One lady I met had hip surgery less than six months ago but wanted to get into the truck because she did not want to miss out on an opportunity to have some fun. That... is my favorite kind of person!
What kept me around was a parking spot that had opened up at the end of the block and a store named Two River Treads. I've been needing new shoes, my feet have really been hurting and I am skeptical with purchasing sneaks concerning quality, getting ripped off etc... I've been thinking about the need since I was in Sedona earlier this year. The guy in the store Paul... after only a few minutes I began to trust him and knew he had an interested passion and knowledge not only about the foot but more importantly for me... about footwear. I just gave up all hesitation and knew everything he said was right. After I brought a new pair he came outside to jump onto the piano. Mo and I stayed there until almost dark hanging out with people and the piano until I heard live music coming from a grassy lawn down the street. It was a hillbilly "flash" jam. Ha, I got some Chinese takeout and sat listening to some amazing bluegrass music with a bass, fiddle, banjo, guitar and mouth harp. A bunch of guys just got together and began jamming. Music for the sake of music... one of my original discoveries as a result of this journey. I never had that concept in my brain before. It was always about performing, entertaining, money, reputation, prestige ha, what a bunch of crap that was for me for the first fifty years of my life. People just approached Mo and I so naturally. We hung out and talked while listening to music. Shepherdstown, West Virginia for me feels the same as it was before but at the same time now... even richer in relationship with life.
September 28, 2012
I've been feeling very weak and achy. To the park motivated by Mo needing a walk and for me to get outside we met a mountain biker with his dog and spent a few moments with the Traveling Piano... on the way home I stopped and purchased one of my favorite fresh made fruit pie's at a farm market and while I was eating half it it I said to myself. "If I die as a result of eating this pie, I am perfectly fine with that!" It was just so good.
September 27, 2012
For days now I have been thinking about how when I create music... my mind often wonders with random thoughts about the day, days past, people, things to do, etc... sometimes I don't know where my mind is (those are great times) and at other times I am completely mindful of the music that is being created. (those are wondrous times) But here is something I find very interesting... never when I create music does my mind ruminate with anger. It is impossible. Negative thinking is not compatible with my making music. That is not something I have control over. It just is.
September 26, 2012
I was up until six in the morning last night writing about the day, posting the pictures and wanting my energy to dissipate. While enjoying on and off rain, watching the HBO series Homeland, posting a hundred and fifty more pictures into the galleries of Boner's life playing, Mo sat in my lap for most of the day. Mo is beyond my wildest imagination with his strongest talent... cuddling. I could not have a better companion.
September 25, 2012
Hampshire County, West Virginia
There needs to be a journey name for days like today. It started out with deciding what would be most productive or appropriate for my life. Should I go out and play music or prepare for China or... could both be possible? It is supposed to rain tomorrow and being in the seventies with sun today... "go play music." Even though there are no parks west of where we are, that is were we headed... to get lost down some country roads and "westerly" find a park. Having no idea where I was we ended up at a river access area and a couple of guys getting ready to go fishing directed me to Edwards Run or something like that. As I was driving down a quiet and lush country road I came across a small town named North River Mills which had a very balanced energy to it. Something was going on as all the doors to the old buildings were open and then I saw lots of cars outside a very small church so I pulled in to find some action. I had arrived at the tail, tail end of a special dedication. The National Park Services had just finished designating nearby Ice Mountain as a National Natural Landmark. A guy named James Craik used to own a lot of the land around the area. He was one of George Washington's doctors and he helped bleed old George to death. Thats what they used to do in the old days to help suffering people die. I connected with a guy named Steve who purchased a some of the towns buildings to help keep the area alive.
One of the first things he said was that if I needed a place to stay he had one for me. Getting something from me as a result was not in his thought process. He offers use of his property for whomever needs it. Of course this kind of thinking and responsibility is right up my alley. He and his wife Terry lived in Taiwan and have been to China. They are teachers. He even speaks the language. They had to sort of escape from there. I went to check out one of his buildings and it was in the purest state with original contents. A huge old heavily used wooden hammer stood out. As Steve said, "they really knew how to make tools that last." Of course today "they" do not want them to last. After about five minutes at the church a true and typical Traveling Piano moment happened. A guy named Tim pulled up in his truck. As he got out... "Hey, its the piano man without Boner but he has a new dog!" How unusual/usual to be on a country road in such a small rural place in the late afternoon on a Tuesday and someone I had met in 2009... far away from our present spot... shows up out of no where. Steve's daughter Jenny had been on the Traveling Piano and she has also been to China since we met. Their homestead coincidentally was six miles away so of course I had to visit the farm and say hello to Beth, Steve's wife. They built an amazingly beautiful, artful and spiritually centered house constructed with straw-bale and clay.
Constantly I am amazed at the diversity of people I meet everywhere in the back woods of West Virginia. Steve, his daughter and wife, originally we met in Lost River about two hours south at a general store along the road. It was at the time when I first found out that Boner was deathly sick. Also, at that time another very unusual event happened only a few miles from that general store. It involves the cabin I am presently staying in and two very special recliner chairs. Surprising I just looked back in the blog to October of 2009 and found that I had not written about it. At that time I had wanted to contribute some furniture to the cabin and literally felt my way deep into the forrest in the Lost River area... from a craigslist posting that gave directions literarily like, "you go down the mountain road from the main highway about twelve miles, make a left at the corner store, up the mountain to another left and then down that road to a house setting back in the woods." I found the chairs from stopping to ask people and finding clues all along the way completely focused. I just knew I would find them... and never gave up... I was driven... even though I had drove two hours farther than anticipated... it was getting dark, I had no address, name or phone number and I found them at an empty house in the woods outside soaking wet from rain and full of mildew... carried them by myself over rocks and dead stumps in total darkness about five driveway lengths through the trees. After cleaning and fabreezing them, they sat in the sun drying out on the deck for three days... they were practically never used and became Boner and my favorite chairs and now the first and most secure of "home spots" for Mo and I to spend together. Right now I am writing this blog while laying in one of the chairs. Mo is acting as a table between my legs for my computer as I write. He is sleeping.
We met some very special people today. I am drawn to reconnect with them. When I started out driving today I thought about how I have not read and am hesitant to go back and read anything I wrote over the past years... afraid of embarrassing myself with whatever. After just now looking back as a result of the todays events... I experience major fond memories along with the sadness concerning the process of Boner's passing... a sweet sadness of love and also I am experiencing cyclical time. In the blog back in 2009 I was writing about the very same thoughts and feelings as I have today... in the same place... doing the same things in many ways and with all that has happened and the many places we have been to in between... wow-wa-wow! On another note... still as with yesterday I found myself on looking back as feeling too full of myself from when dealing with everyone. I want to be less self absorbed when talking about the journey. Realizing how needy I can be without any control is nauseating, ha! One more note... while driving, the largest bird I ever saw swopped in front of the truck and flew about ten feet in front of us almost like it was leading us for almost a quarter a of a mile. It was so stunning I could not grab the camera to take a picture. It was like when a huge humpback whale appeared next to me in Alaska. In the moment... it was either have the experience fully or have it half assed and then capture the other half with a camera, ha! I choose the full ass experience today as well as back when... with the whale. I think it was a hawk and... no exaggeration it was almost as wide as the truck. The wing span was about five feet across. I could go on about meeting more of Tim's family and others who played on the Traveling Piano today but feel I had better stop... now! Today was extremely energizing.
September 24, 2012
Had to get out and create some music. I feel especially alive during the fall season. Mo needs as much exercises as he can get and I want to walk as much as I can while I can still walk. As life moves on I can feel my limitations compared to my younger years. Also, I can feel the pain in my joints and how tired I get... if I choose to. When it comes to walking I choose just to enjoy the hell out of it. I want to enjoy it as much as I can. I think it has something to do with Freud's death drive or what is sometimes referred to as Thanatos ha, that goes with Eors or something like that..
As we were coming down the hiking path I saw a couple walking their dog along the reservoir ridge. I knew we were going to interact. It felt like they were there for us. It was asked if I ever get lonely for people with my life style and I blurted out, "I hate people, I am so sick of people!" Hahaha... Really, I love them more than hate. Just covering my ass here. :) Obviously I was lonely enough to want center stage for the entire experience. I wished I had just let them mess around on the piano more. Most of the time was spent with me trying to teach a music lesson and talking about me. On the way out of the park I spotted a white deer with "Mo" like markings on it. Deer such as this are very rare. Sometimes they are referred to as Piebalds. It was one of the most stunning and surprising animals I ever saw most probably because I did not know they existed. I've seen literally a hundred thousand deer since this journey began... at least fifteen just today alone. I want to go back to that very spot everyday and stalk it. The spotting was a most very special experience for me.
September 23, 2012
I'm not thinking about where I am or how long I am staying where I am although I am enjoying everything about where I am and staying. While in a supermarket I went looking for saltines. For the entire aisle I walked down about twelve car lengths long with the exception of about four feet... it was all stuffed and neatly arranged with different varieties of chips! It made me think of the rural supermarkets in Montana's Indian reservation towns. They were stocked with ninety percent junk processed food and liquor and with only a small bin for sorry looking veggies and fruit. I shifted my mind to thinking about the biggest, whitest, most perfectly round shaped head of cauliflower sitting back at the cabin recently purchased at a farm market. For breakfast I had cauliflower smothered with salt and pepper. Is cauliflower with the butter and salt healthier than chips? More natural for sure. Knowing I have access to healthy food is very reassuring even though I do not always eat healthy.
It feels like maybe I've been reminiscing but maybe I am simply processing. There are many journey experiences that have flow by so fast... I would like to take some time to savor... The temperature is heading for the forties tonight and the thirties tomorrow night. I put on my pants (verses shorts) for the first time in more than a half year and headed for the park. I really felt a need to create some music. For about a half hour just as the sun was setting it was Mo, me, nature and music. I fell into a meditative trance with repeating musical riffs. As I got up to leave a car rounded the bend. A young family from Mexico arrived. I asked them if they wanted to meet Mo and get onto the piano to play a few notes. As they were finishing a couple local kids pulled in. Afterwards Mo ran up and down the hill a few times to play fetch with a stick. Good day...
September 22, 2012
When I feel rested from sleep I have a restful day awake. And the day... the most beautiful. A phone soliciter woke me at noon which pissed me off at first and then I realized I would have slept through the best part of the day if the call had not woke me up. The most comfortable of temperatures... the humidity was nourishing... the breeze creating natural sounds reminded me of all the life flowing around and that is wonderous and I like that... the bright sun and passing dark clouds were ever constant... I had some killer insecticide for the stink bugs that kept flying to the window screens and a great lounge chair on a deck with Mo in my lap to enjoy it all. It felt like Alaska for a moment.
September 21, 2012
Had to get out... it was too nice to not enjoy the sun. We drove to Winchester, Virginia to check out a dog park. It was a city park with a standard fenced in area. There was a cell block type lock at the gate. Visitors are not welcome unless you pay a daily fee. Five bucks to have your dog play with other dogs for like... a half hour? Locals get to use the park for twenty five bucks a year. The instructions said go to "the headquarters" to arrange whatever... wherever "the headquarters" was... and not likely anyone would be working at four thirty in the afternoon. Absolutely ridiculous. We went for a run elsewhere and then I found a spot under tall trees to produce some intensely satisfying music.
September 20, 2012
LORDY! I just finished posting all the back logged journey pictures. Click on the BONER THE DOG link to the left of this page or click here... Boner The Dog ...the galleries still need some tweaking but I almost cannot believe that my work has produced OVER 45,000 pictures!!!!!!! Ha, click on the thumbnails to bring up the larger images. Everything is in a time line from day one until now. Each picture that comes up... will have the date and place in your web browsers url. Over twenty thousand people have enjoyed playing at least one note of music on the Traveling Piano... to date! 20,000 individual interactions and what do I feel about that? Gratitude and... I have a great desire to share the scenery pictures with the world... along with piano playing, smiling faces and both my pups past and present. I have always known I am more visual than even musical. I had no idea that this journey would end up revealing that I am a photographer. It has been a gradual process.
September 19, 2012
Today was so crisp and sunny... Mo needed a walk. Then I started the truck and was reminded that I need to run it at least every three days to keep it going. It is feeling as old as the mountains around here. As Mo and I were walking in the park the thought how "I" need... to keep moving if I want my body parts to keep working. The priorities... Dog, Truck, Me third? We met a girl named Liz with her dad and their dog while walking and a conversation began. A woman with her two sons and three legged dog passed us. Her neighbor shot off the dogs leg because it was chasing chickens which brought up my love/hate relationship with people. Then when talking about how I began with the piano on the truck in 1987 Liz said that was the year she was born... twenty five years ago. I went into a time warp. This is the twenty seventh year for the Traveling Piano and I have been telling everyone that just like last year I said it was twenty six years. I can never get my times, dates and years together it is so confusing!!! So, I am in my twenty fifth year with the piano on the same truck and I know that because the truck is a 1987 Toyota. Damm, something special should happen. Ha, I think I said that two years ago when I thought it was the twenty five year anniversary. With only three and a half months left in the year should something special happen?
September 18, 2012
I am enjoying the rain and really enjoying being by myself with Mo. There is no fun place for Mo to exercise but other than that everything is perfect. The entire day was spent cooking. When I sold my home one of the things I contributed for this place I am using is a freezer. I hope it still works. Originally I was going to make a few different kinds of soup but ended up just doing one of my hodge podge mixes. I really enjoyed doing it and like to make mucho grande when I cook for a month? I'll be having a lot of soup... twenty gallons worth! Hahaha... it all cost sixty bucks. A piece of beef was the most expensive part something like twenty five bucks. I shouldn't have wasted that much money on so little meat. Heres the ingredients:
Eggplant ... lettuce iceberg, kale, romaine and radicchio ... tomatoes ... celery ... onions ... string beans ... yellow squash ... red sweet potatoes ... rice ... noodles ... cauliflower ... broccoli ... hot peppers ... bell peppers ... white and baby bella mushrooms ... beef ... carrots ... italian parsley ... chives ... celelantro ... salt and pepper. Its a whopper soup da doop.
September 17, 2012
It has been raining and that is a good thing. I'm settleing in for as long as I can take it. I made guacamole a huge batch and each taste is like eating raw salt! Can't let it go to waste. Three days worth... breakfast, lunch and dinner along with fudge and blueberry pie.
September 16, 2012
Wow, these beautiful days I want to remember. When there is a run of difficult weather I want to remember that everything will continue to change, fluctuate, etc... I'll be heading back to West Virginia and want to take back some fruit and veggies because there are larger selections that are less expensive in this area. At four in the afternoon there are food auctions at the local market and I lucked out big time with quarter, fifty cent and dollar bags of fresh produce to freeze, make soup and salsa. I want to burrow in for a while not travel so much, so... while I can use the place I've been given in West Virginia I'm going to do that. Everything can change without a moments notice but I'm going to play "pretend a home."
September 15, 2012
A small community named Riegelsville, a borough of about eight hundred people had a flea market outside their historic library in Pennsylvania today. My friend Charlie had some corn and stuff to sell so I went with him... taking along the Traveling Piano. If the people running it had the right kind of attitude of fun, openness, and inclusivity I told myself I would share the Traveling Piano with them all. Events of any type, once upon a time thats what I used to do for work. Did that, done that. Nancy the big mahoff for the event turned out to be my kind of people and so I stayed until the event was completely over. We all had a good time on a perfect day and I even recorded music. The sky was blue with white billowing clouds, tall old green trees, hundred fifty year old buildings, kite flying, kids dancing around, people selling homemade maple syrup, fruit pies, cookies and fudge... nice!
New topic... it is mostly blah, blah, blah and for myself. I have written about my issues with money and people before. Unfortunately from time to time it is a big issue with me... a source of fear, frustration and anger. Writing productively helps to discharge some of the emotional baggage... I always hope. This area of Pennsylvania I am staying in is full of land rich people (have no money but the land is worth millions) (thats everywhere in this country)...but here I know the people most... having lived and worked here for my first fifty years. There are those who like to act and fool others into thinking they have money (but have none)... also it is full of people loaded with money who flaunt it to the hilt... lastly, people who are in debt up the butt and flaunt everything except for their debt. What all these type of people have in common is... they hold onto everything they have for dear life. They penny pinch... not nickel pinch... they penny pinch. (literally) Of course I know that there is every type of people and behavior everywhere. I am always looking to understand and get more clarity for myself in relationship with it all. People who do not share are part of me whether I like that fact or not just like family. I can distant myself and create boundaries and limits but still...
In the beginning several life times ago (figuratively) I taught the kids in this area and areas around it how to play piano. Then I created music for their parents while they ate dinner in the highfalutin restaurants. After that I became a "society" pianist for the rich and famous (ten years) and then created the Traveling Piano. When I made money the piano on the truck was an entertainment property named Raggin' Piano Boogie and performed at events. (twenty years) Lastly, I unsuccessfully worked at fundraising for this journey (four years) which ended up in the selling my house to fund this journey. (that was a good thing) I could make loads off money off the people in this area if I wanted to "work" them. I have it in me. I know how to do it and know what would be needed if... I wanted to play the politics of it all. I have never been interested enough in relating with people through manipulation for money or politics or anything else. Sometimes I wonder if I do not have the self image to do that. The answer came to me in the writing of that last sentence. I do not have the self image... and do not want that kind of self image!
There is still work I need to do within myself to allow money to live inside me without attaching the self image I perceive from the type of people I just described. Some of them are really just not my kind of people at all. Others give... only out of another person's neediness only. (which is nice but not for me) Personally, I was accused of acting too needy for as long as I can remember and especially as a child (always from other needy people) so "neediness" ...that is a "do not hit button" for me. And then there are those who are giving as long as they get something in return. (most people) I look for people who give... for the sake of giving without agenda because thats what I enjoy most. It is a most difficult frame of mind to live in! If there must be an agenda to giving I guess I could say that I give in order to stay and feel alive.
As far as money I work to remember it does not come "from" people... it can come "through" people but the source... is "other than." I am always on the lookout to avoid "empty wells" ... the kind of people who only see what others get with no ability to see what they give. "Danny, stay away from empty wells, don't waste energy." At night Charlie and I went to a his church's co-sponsored music concert from a Christian musical touring family. I sat in the front row trying to remember when I last watched someone sing. It reminded me how important live music is and how if I do not experience it from others I can forget the feeling and reality of live music. They were natural musicians who I enjoyed very much. I coaxed the boy from the group to come outside afterwards and jumped onto the Traveling Piano for a minute... to have a Traveling Piano experience.
September 14, 2012
Most of today was spent getting the truck inspected. I need to have the windshield replaced because of chips in it. Stones flying from the road up in the Yukon region of Canada... At sunset we were parked in a large green field surround by tall evergreen trees in the distance. Deer began to appear from the tree line. One or two at a time would make their way across the field stopping every once in a while to try and figure us out. Mo sat attentive the entire time. There were five deer total. From one end of the field to the other and then they settled in the middle in front of us about five hundred feet away. They played with each other like I had never seen before. Continuously they would stop and just stare at us. I could not take a picture because I knew once I stopped creating music they would run. It was too dark anyway. The music became trance like as the light diminished and the deer became silloettes in the dark. A couple found us right at the end but there were too many misquietoes and it was too dark to play any more music or get them onto the piano seat.
September 13, 2012
Frenchtown, New Jersey
This has been one of those complicated type days that I find difficult to put into words. There is no internet or phone signal here at my friend Charlie's place and thats always difficult to deal with. I took the truck in for its emissions test and found out the inspection was due nine months ago. While being out of state that was not an issue. My friend Charlie wanted me to drive into his corn field while he and his helper Conner picked corn. He wanted me to play the piano real loud to irritate his neighbors who irritate him by shooting off guns for target practice all day long. After all that... I began driving, meandering around the area. The Traveling Piano is in upper Bucks County, Pennsylvania whereas last month I was in Lower Bucks county. Both are different types of people and environment but both are totally familiar to me. There are goats, pheasants eating along the road, deer, chickens, some people here are loaded with money, others are faking it... I just drove around lost, reminiscing. There is a quiet spot in the hills where drinkable water runs from a well. I ignored all the signs, typical... "private property," "no trespassing" even a sign that asked for no "music or talking" ...it would upset the nature. People who put up signs like that especially when next to a public road that cars travel on all the time cranking and va va vooming... I just want to smack them silly but that would be a waste of energy because... they already are silly as it can get.
Towards sunset Mo and I ended up crossing a very narrow bridge into Frenchtown, New Jersey. The town has public internet access. I was checking the national news and saw that today New York city made it illegal to sell large sodas. My head began to boil on many levels. The focus should be on clean, free drinking water. "Danny, stop reading the news!" As I was typing words of anger in response to an internet news article... a woman walked by and stuck her head into the truck to ask about the Traveling Piano! She was a life line. I reaching for it and closed the computer. I suggested we meet at the river down the street and I would show her what the Traveling Piano is all about. Once I got to the spot, immediately people in the area began to respond. There were lots of dogs and Mo was going crazy wanting to interact with them. I went into complete "Journey Mode" which is totally more healthy and fun than the anger, resentment, fear and lashing out I was beginning to do. Back at the farm Charlie, Conner and I had some dinner and after Conner left Charlie and I aired some brotherly grievances. Mo... I watch him but also let him run around on his own exploring. He's a dog playing around on a farm and I do not want to overprotect thinking he might get himself into trouble. He's a dog and a dog needs to do dog things!
September 12, 2012
My friend Charlie... his house burned down about a half year ago... his place is where I stayed when I first moved out of my house four years ago. I havn't seen him in a couple of years so... time for a visit. He has been telling me how his house is being rebuilt and everything is cleaned out. (major clutter guy) He is braggadousous to other people about how he has helped me which he has... as I have helped him... out of gratitude. We've been bickering over that. I'm staying in a trailer full of clutter! It drives me crazy!!! While I was driving on the way by phone he told me he has some corn cooking. I asked him if he had corn holders and he said he has two big nails. That pretty much set the environmental tone for my stay with him. A young guy named Conner from Washington state with his girlfriend Rebecca were there and they jumped onto the Traveling Piano truck for a few minutes of music.
September 11, 2012
The stars at night... I have not seen so many in a long time. A shooting star flew by and I thought, "quick think of something." Money came to mind and then I thought... why the hell did I think money? And then I thought, China. Money in of itself will not get Mo, me and the Traveling Piano truck to China. Doing little steps, if only writing about it like now... thinking about it, working on feeling my way about it... thats how it will happen for me. If a time comes when money necessity is up front in my face, thats when it will be time to deal with it.
September 10, 2012
Mo and I were taking a walk and I saw a stone with moss on it. That made me think of what Oliver Herford once said that "a rolling stone gathers no moss, but it gains a certain polish." So I have both moss and stone. Do I roll or gather, gather or roll...
September 09, 2012
Cacapon, West Virginia
Off we went to the park to enjoy a perfect weather day. I was proud of myself for not trying to engage anyone... except to offer them the piano to play on. If they were not interested in playing with us I wasn't interested in entertaining or being the subject for a photography shoot. Out of four possibilities a mom with her mom and kids said yes... we has a special time. Actually, we connected in some deep conversation with synchronistic topics concerning life and how to live.
I was reading about new oil drilling in the waters off the coast of Alaska today. Goodbye whales, here comes more metal, rubber, dirt, noise, and destructive spills... twenty three spills reported around the world since 2010 and thats not counting leaks or accidents. Knowing that there is no hope to control or stop the destruction of natures beauty I began to cry. That along with different countries beginning to argue about who has waterway rights across the Arctic once the ice all melts. Countries and big business are not the source of destruction. It is people with country and business like agendas. I was thinking, "how can I go on enjoying something that I see being destroyed and dying." Then I thought about piano dog Boner. Through his last year of dying and deterioration being destroyed with cancer etc... still I enjoyed him throughly until the last moment. I cared for and loved him to death. I suppose I can do that with people and the earth also. It is all about focus. Projecting what would happen in the future was not helpful. How much effort I had put into saving Bo and the choices I made of what to do... all of that happened in the moment, incident by incident while keeping my eye on the ball. The ball was the beauty of his spirit, the gratitude I had for him, our living life to the fullest together in whatever way possible.
September 08, 2012
Today I began making phone calls to friends just to say hello. I was determined to keep going until someone answered. After about eight answering machines... my friend Ed called me! To phone someone out of the blue especially after not seeing them for a year and with no reason except to say hello, not having an agenda or plan to talk about anything... that is not easy for me. Answering machines, email, texting (have never sent a text) communication through other people... thats all easy but to talk person to person with someone for no reason, ha! I was thinking about China. I want it to really happen now. The last two times I played the piano my hands hurt. They hurt just like my feet and other parts of my body. I don't know how much longer I will be able to play. I mean I will always be able to play even if it is one note to enjoy but it is difficult to play one note for people and for that one note to be significant enough for them to enjoy. Ha, but then again who am I to judge. Rains came, cool weather came... it looks like and feels like autumn and I am in familiar surroundings. The key word there is "familiar." That's nice. The sandals came off and slippers went on. Last year at this time we were in Alaska during the fall which was spectacular but it was not "familiar." If I had to choose... if spectacular was as easy as familiar... I'd take spectacular. Any thing less for now... give me familiar.
September 07, 2012
Cacapon, West Virginia
Always, I am re-evaluating what is important, what am I doing, what can I do, what am I doing, want to do, is it ok, what is most purposeful, how much self centeredness is present, how can I give more, am I getting stuck, lost, unfocused, am I thinking too much... what? The best course of action is to go out and create some music so thats what I did. I drove up to a local overlook.The sun had set but there was still light. I wondered if anyone would find us and also knew I'd have some time for just Mo and I to enjoy alone. Ha, someone did find us. Two photographers Cindy and her cousin drove up to practice taking pictures. The "this is just what I needed today after a rough day at work" type talk came into play once again. I always say I am not needy and do not want to put out neediness into the world but... ha, yes part of me needs very much to hear positive feedback. It does not dictate but helps support and counter act any negative thinking as to if I am on the right track or not.
September 06, 2012
Berkeley Springs, West Virginia
I was thinking this morning how my thoughts, way of thinking... how and what I think has been the same for my entire life from as far back as I can remember discerning values and morals around age five... nothing has ever changed. All of my early mentor influences taught almost the exact opposite of what I have always thought. The only difference between then and now is back then... I had only the ability to question. Any questionable thinking out loud contrary to what was being presented was one hundred percent pulverized. Now I live through my own thoughts, values and morals and not other peoples, the most prominent character trait being inclusion. Although I internalized with self hatred a lot of what I was taught... I have been one lucky guy to have been able to move through most of the false and illusional intent put into ma' brain in order to be who I really am and want to be as a person. Thank God, the universe, synchronicity, spontaneity, luck, the chaos factor and my own hard work for that!!! It feels most natural for me to go to bed around four in the morning and get up around noon. Most of my work gets done in the middle of the night. Many people will say it is because I am a musician. You know, from staying up late at night playing music in night clubs etc... except that for the last twenty seven years all my music playing has been outdoors on the truck during the day or until it gets dark usually.
I felt myself... right into taking the Traveling Piano out and into the center of Berkeley Springs today. It was late afternoon, I wanted to see my friend Dawn; Mo loves her! I parked along the curb and one of the store owners said, "Hi, there won't be many tourists for you to play for today." I said,"good!" That is not what I do. Entertaining or performing is not my thing. I did want to share music and the Traveling Piano and to do it in the way... exactly as it happened. First, a young girl stopped by who wanted to take a picture. I told her that she needed to "be" the picture so she jumped onto the piano seat. After she left I played some music, beat... two... three... four... and then a guy named Uncle Brother came by and we spent some time together. He described himself as a wandering Taoist Jew. (Taoism is a chinese philosophy advocating humility and religious piety) ...beat... two... three... four... (me playing music) Then a couple of guys working with a store that had flood damage from earlier in the week came over. ...beat... two... three... four... (me playing music) A woman got her courage up and came over who was having an emotionally horrific day dealing with aging parents. I really appreciated her telling me how much she needed the uplift she was getting. ...beat... two... three... four...
A guy who had been traveling on the road for many hours stopped to stretch his legs. He walked around the block to find us. My last treat for the day was one of those, "I'm glad I have pictures because no one would believe it" experiences. A couple from Johnstown, Pennsylvania named Robin and Mike came up very excitedly to share the fact that they had just got married! Literally, just like that. They were married in a small nearby chapel, went to a nearby castle for a few pictures and were looking for some ice cream! Wow, talk about feeling the joy! That was absolutely amazing, it was just them and me, Mo and the Traveling Piano like immediately after they got married... I am so grateful to be able to share snippets of peoples life with them. The pacing of it all was perfect. No one overlapped. No one interfered. I got to play music by myself (I recorded it) until I had my fill. My niece today got a last minute ticket to see Barry Manilow in reading Pennsylvania tonight with her neighbor. I told her I was sort of a "faniloe." (big fan) Tonight as I sat working on todays pictures while watching the Democratic convention via internet... every time Barry Manilow would start singing an old favorite hit she would call me so I could listen to him sing live and them sway and squeal via cell phone. Can we talk funny?
September 05, 2012
I have less than a thousand pictures to go through and post and then I will be caught up with my picture archiving work for the second time since 2006 when this journey began. Interestingly, Mo and I went for a long walk and met some neighbors on the other side of the sub division where we where we are staying. On the way back while walking they passed us in their car... Mo took off after them. He had never done anything like that before and he ran down the road at least a half mile. Just before, I noticed while we were walking that his hunting impulse and sniffing senses were more active than usual. I began calling for him and eventually he came back knowing I would be angry. I put him on his leash and he walked by my side the rest of the way. Once we got back to where we are staying a neighbor yelled that she had just seen a two foot long copperhead snake on the road. We must have passed it and I thought, "if he had not been on the leash in his state of mind that could have been major trouble." I couldn't be angry because what if that chain of events saved his life? Almost always he walks on his own loose about thirty feet in front of me.
September 04, 2012
I got completely distracted until five in the morning learning about voter suppression. There is a clear desire lurking in politics to squeeze out all competition between people who have wealth and those who have not. When business becomes too big and controlling I move away from it. People creating disposable people... well that I cannot simply move away from. Fear used for personal gain.. ugh. In Pennsylvania a citizen now must have a drivers license photo id or some other government issued photo id in order to vote. The misrepresentation of this law is to claim it will stop fraud even though voter fraud is a rare fact. It is really to create bureaucratic hoops in order to confuse and create a difficult process for poor, elderly and minority voters. The issue brings up the rights of homeless people. I've met quite a few homeless and poor people around this country over the last seven years. Most of the people I have met DO NOT have equal opportunities to better their lives. This new voter law is out to disempower and disenchant people into apathy = no voting by people who have little to vote for. By the way for anyone who does not know, I am a homeless person by choice. I've been able to create a large contribution to society through this journey by being homeless. My goals have been accomplished through the grace of being able to connect with good people who share their wealth, nourishment and homes. Alas, I must remind myself to simply "be" in order to enjoy life.
September 03, 2012
Sometimes I do consider what I write for this blog just a little bit in terms of what people might think. I want to be as clear as I can be. This helps me with clarity for myself. Some days I will communicate that I am high energy, other days I am falling apart. I talk about both because both happens all the time. This blog is about the whole picture. It is important that I mean what I say and say what I mean. That is a practice. My life, this journey is a work in progress... observation and support is the only worth while participation, nothing more... that I can think of right now. It is becoming a habit that every month I think I am going to give the blogging a rest. On some level it serves as an anchor for me, it gives me focus for my life with the illusion that my life may become more fulfilling with the idea that people care about me in good ways. Ha, sometimes I think I should not be so honest.
Mo and I drove to Hancock, Maryland to create some music along the Potomac river. Having been there only a few times since 2006 and for less than an hour each time, one of the several people we met was a guy who had seen us years ago in the same spot. Half hour later another kid and his dad who were on the truck over a year ago from about a half hour south of Berkeley Springs in West Virginia showed up! Today, I saw the most vibrant field of daisies ever. While creating music on the river something new happened. Ha, I laugh as I write this... two guys in a canoe came into view drifting down the river just laying there listening to the music. I was wondering how they kept flowing straight down the middle. They were awe-inspiring, so relaxed. The visual was a perfect match for the music, the day, the nature... I met them later and they told me they could hear the music a quarter mile down the river from where they floated by.
September 02, 2012
A lot of rain and dark clouds today. An ignoramus sent me an email and of course it was anonymous... "Stop mooching off people and get a real job." ig-no-rant/' Adjective: Lacking knowledge or awareness in general; uneducated or unsophisticated. At fifty-seven years of age I know comments like that have nothing to do with me and it is all about the people who say them but still it pushes buttons. I work on that every time but still ha, here goes... having worked my entire life, owned and paid off a house, my dues to society, no more than two bills paid late in my entire life... I'm still getting this shit! "Get a real job." Should I not be retired? When I was young that's what they told me would happen at age fifty-five! As far as mooching... I say, mooch my butt. Life is full of trade offs. One thing I have learned... you don't get something for nothing. For example, not getting paid or sponsored for my work... the payoff, it allows me to speak my mind openly. My present "real" job is to show that life can be more than about money and living to work for it... not that there's anything wrong with money! A moocher type person would never contribute to this journey. The people who share their homes with us, they support. Thank God I have learned how to ask for support in life. Actually I am still learning. It has been a long hard road because I was severely, psychologically pulverized as a child when it came to asking for "anything"... ever.
September 01, 2012
I was going to go out and create some music but there was an enormous amount of thunder for such a long time I thought I'd had better not. Then I got hold of a picture a friend posted online. It was of the street where I was headed, my friend Dawns business where I have created music many, many times. The whole town flooded and it happened just as I would have arrived.