wwsp albums on bandcamp!

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Physical and Psychic Whacks!

I guess it goes without saying, or writing, but maybe not, the psychic whacks are just as lethal and maybe sometimes more enduring than any physical whacks you endure.  I mean, it's hard to argue with physical pain: searing, stinging pain. And chronic pain is so debilitating and unendurable.

But chronic, long-lasting psychic pain is just as deadly.  And it's harder to document the healing.  Break a bone or get cut-up, and you can almost immediately witness a healing process. The psychic breaks and cuts are so ephemeral.  Invisible.  It's hard to document the state of the Soul.

So there's the physical thing and the psychic thing.  If you add them together you have a wicked brew. Watch out for those "soul-suckers" amongst us.  They are the "black holes" of the spirit.  They may smile and cavort, but they are deadly.  And they will try to make you a hollow husk of being.  Just because.

And how to heal? Quiet time. Meditation. A good sleep.  The healing is possible. But first you must realize you have been harmed! And then the healing begins.  And how will you know? How can you be sure?  Light. The Light!

Monday, April 29, 2013

No Hair-Shirts!

So yes, we had a ragged show (see previous post) on Saturday.  So, on Sunday, did we wear hair-shirts and lay on beds of nails? No, we didn't.  We did dwell on the "bad-ness" of the show, and recounted how things went wrong.  We mainly chalked it up to "doubt," and "miscommunication," on-stage.

It doesn't take much to kill the vibe of a show. A vibe is a delicate thing.  So even all that rehearsing, and confidence-building, and good technique, can be diminished by little intangible things.  That's sort of maddening if you are looking for consistency and excellence.

And the crooked "finger of blame" points right at me.  I was the shakiest of the shaky.  And since I "wrote" most of the music, my mistakes, my miscues and my uncertainty pretty much infected everyone else in my vicinity.

Anyway, like I said, all this was reviewed and digested.  But really we have to take it all in as a "learning lesson."  Shit. Our lives are just these long "learning lessons!"  We learned! And promised ourselves and others that that won't happen again.

Although at the same time I have to admit that there's always something, a seeming infinity of variables, that can bubble up and upset the apple-cart! Always trying to lug those apples around!

So back to Sunday. We did not do penance. No, instead we traveled to the big city and saw a cool and mind/mood altering art exhibition at the Cultural Center called "Prairie", and had a delightful coffee concoction at Intelligentsia, and had a wonderful, satisfying meal at Mia Francesca.  So no punishment. All pleasure.  And a little bit of fretting!  

And a re-dedication to our musical adventure! Damn the torpedoes!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Ragged Outing!

Our band had a ragged outing last night.  It's funny. Hard to pin down just why our performance kind of fell off the rails.  Seemed we were primed and ready for a good show.  And the last 10 or so performances seemed to just get better and better. 

Lots of little things added up to a flat performance.  And we actually had to stop one song and restart, and we still didn't get it right.  There was a big sound on that little stage and we were having problems hearing and tracking with each other.

I was having problems playing guitar.  Lights in my eyes, playing blind. Ragged and sloppy and unsure.  Doubt kind of hung over us like a toxic cloud.  And it seeped into every song we played. Very unsatisfying!

Lately our band has been on an upward trajectory, finding new levels of excellence.  Last night's show kind of threw a wrench in our well-oiled little machine. Rats!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

The Great Pretender, Pretending to Pretend

Yes, here's the definition of denial in psychiatry: "denial /de·ni·al/ (dĭ-ni´il) in psychiatry, a defense mechanism in which the existence of unpleasant internal or external realities is kept out of conscious awareness."

We all need our defense mechanisms.  Otherwise, we enter the battlefield totally defenseless. And unfortunately, that means we will be chewed up and left for dead. It's just the way of the world.

Now I think you can play a double game. You can know of the existence of unpleasant internal or external realities, you can be conscious of them, but you can also pretend to not be conscious of them.  If you are a good pretender this could work. So in this case you'd know, but pretend not to know these unpleasantries.  


You would know, but you'd be pretending not to know. And to others it might appear that you don't know. They wouldn't know you were pretending. And they might actually help you pull off your own ruse. They would unknowingly help you in your deep denial. Unless of course, they were pretending they didn't know you were pretending. And then it would all depend upon whether they were good or bad pretenders.


Your pretending would be contingent upon their pretending.  A sort of precarious position.


You could also probably play a triple game: knowing these deep internal and external realities, but pretending to pretend that you are pretending.  And maybe you don't stop there.  You could take this pretending business to the outer limit, and your brain would get so full of all these pretending scenarios, you'd just kind of crowd out any and all unpleasantry that could possibly bubble up.


That's a lot of unpleasantry and a lot of crowding out! Basically your brain would become a raging ball of confusion.  But it could be a happy confusion. And you could pretend that that's a good thing! No, a great thing! Denial!

Friday, April 26, 2013

He Doesn't Need Our Sympathy!

I've been surfing thru the Rolling Stones catalog of songs. Preparing for a Stones Tribute show in June.  So many great songs. I love the early Brian Jones era Stones. And the post-Jones, Mick Taylor-era Stones.

I was thinking of doing "Sympathy for the Devil," off the excellent Beggars Banquet.  One of their great songs on one of the great, great albums (is that enough "greats?").  

I learned the song, played along with the boys.  Started to practice singing the lyrics, thinking it would be cool to hear our band do it.  But then, well, then, it just didn't feel right.  The fallen Angel of Light, the Dark Prince, does not need anyone's sympathy.

The Lord of Darkness is doing just fine.  Watch Jagger perform the song now, it looks so false.  The Stones do it as some big Stadium-sized anthem.  It's almost comical.  Some kind of strange, devil, puppy-dog, puppet show.

So hollow. So lame. Forget it!  I mean, if you believe in the Devil, it's just bad taste or bad form. If you don't believe in the Devil, it's just silly. And even with all the flash and technology, the Stones and Jagger can't really pull it off.  Jagger might believe in the man of "wealth and taste" part, but then the rest is just white-glove pantomime. 

The Devil's side is not the Underdog's side! It's like rooting for the Romans! Maybe Jumping Jack Flash would be the better pick!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Toxic Brain Shit!

Radical ideas.  They can overtake a human being.  Sort of like a virus.  Richard Dawkins invented the term "meme," to explain the phenomena.  Some of the memes can be very toxic.  Brains can go really, really bad.  Especially in the realms of religion and politics.   That's probably why in some homes those topics are forbidden at the dinner table.

These brains ravaged by memes can lead people to do some really heinous acts.  We see it all the time. We spend lots of time trying to understand these people. Understand why they do what they do. But it might be as simple as some kind of zombie brain virus gone bad.  The meme takes over. And the brain sort of hollows out, and the human being starts acting in weird ways.

Think of radical Islam like a toxic brain virus. Or Christian fundamentalism. Or Nazism. Or White Supremacy. Or Maoism. Or Capitalism. Zombie Brain infested people like to wield "isms" like machetes!

Toxic brain shit.  Once a meme like this takes hold no telling what a human is capable of doing.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The God Game. The God Lies.

"God," it's kind of a charged concept.  Lennon famously sang: "God is a concept by which we measure our pain."  I like that.

So many lies around the God thing.  Beware of those who speak for God. Or who say they know the mind of God. Or who tell you what God likes or doesn't like. Or who quote passages from books and tell you God wrote them.  

All lies. And you should watch your back around such people.

Beware of those who say they "love" God.  These are the types of folks who create mayhem for human beings.  Maybe there is an inverse relationship there? Some kind of formula?  

Love God = Hate Man.  Probably not that simple.  But so many folks use "God" to judge their fellow man.  It's a weird game. The God Game. The God Lies.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

It's the World. Now.

This world. We should live in this one. We can imagine other worlds, other realties, but those fantasy worlds are basically entertainment. We should really work hard to live in this world. This world now. As the wise man said: Be here, now.

Time and time again we are reminded that lots of mayhem and mischief can ensue when a human being  gets lost in some other world.  Worlds beyond. Beyond life. We can pursue a "life trip," or a "death trip."

Lots of human beings conjure up some weird world-view, we dignify it by calling it "religious," but often this world-view, is really a sick and twisted vision, one that's strangely death-enamored. If you are focused on a heaven and a hell, you are missing the splendor of this world now. 

If you have a better idea, a better vision, let's make it work in this world. This one is all we really have. Life is real. It's the world. Now. 

Monday, April 22, 2013

It's a Duality of Man Kind of Thing: Jungian!

When world-shattering events come along, people scramble for  shelter, and search for words of wisdom.  Some of us look to old musty books to find those little pearls.  Some of us look to the sages of Pop Culture for their pearls.

I think of singer-songwriters like Bob Dylan, or Neil Young, or Patti Smith.  Indelible voices, carrying words of weight and meaning.

I also think of great film-makers.  Maybe the greatest of all is Stanley Kubrick... any one of his films will do the trick, the list is just mind-blowingly amazing... this is from Full Metal Jacket, and it kind of says it all!


Sunday, April 21, 2013

Deal or No Deal?

OK. Here's the deal...

You get to be alive. You get a body. You don't get to decide exactly what kind of body you get, it will be issued to you, and it will be what it will be.  It will grow. It will age. Ultimately, it will start to fall apart.  Oh yeah, it's possible in the course of your life, you could have an accident, or come down with some debilitating disease. You might die early.  It's kind of the luck of the draw.

Oh yeah, you also get consciousness.  Which is a pretty amazing thing to have. You will be aware of all kinds of things. You will discover and experience. You will remember. You will forget. You will know. You will experience unknowing too.  Consciousness is just one of the coolest things to have, really.  But you won't know what it's like until you have tried it out for yourself.  It's one of those things where "You had to be there," to understand.

Ok.  So that's the upside to the deal.  But of course, there's always the small print...

Also, in the bargain, there will be pain, suffering loss. Everyone you know, and everyone you love, will die.  Some may consider you lucky, if you die before they do. There will be lots of things you don't understand. There will be many mysteries. You won't really know what's going on most of the time. You will be grasping for meaning and answers most of your life.

There will be lots of uncertainty. And probably regrets. You will make lots of mistakes. You may even wish you could do things over, or you may day-dream about other paths, other lives. But you will have to live with the choices you have made. You will have to do your best, even if sometimes you don't know what's best.

So I ask you.  Do you take the deal?

My Own Answer... "Of course, in a heartbeat!"

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Unfathomable Evil

A series of horrific events. Unfathomable.  You reach for words. You like words. Words are powerful, magical, they help you understand and describe the world and yourself.  But words sometimes seem inadequate. They both reveal and obscure.  Still you have this compulsion to somehow process these events of horror.  They are a challenge to you, they are a challenge to your understanding of the world.

So words flow out: horror, evil, extremist, terrorist, foreigner, sick, twisted, psychopath, sociopath, loser, alienation, rage, hate, fundamentalist, nihilist. All of these words seem inadequate. You can employ them, and they describe something, but explain nothing.  Really. You are left with certain unexplainable events.  They don't add up. They make no sense.

And you are left with carnage, pain, death, loss, suffering.  And it turns out the perpetrators of these horrific acts are human beings. Kids. Just kids. We can try to put them in a different box, but they are young human beings.  You want to make them something else, maybe it's sort of an irrational guilt by association, you don't want to be in the human race if these are the acts of fellow human beings.

So back to words.  I rarely use the word "evil," it seems so charged, and it is a word that reveals and conceals at the same time. But it is a powerful word. Maybe it will do. But this evil resides in the acts of kids... 

e·vil  

/ˈēvəl/
Adjective
Profoundly immoral and malevolent.
Noun
Profound immorality, wickedness, and depravity, esp. when regarded as a supernatural force.
Synonyms
adjective.  wicked - bad - ill - vicious - malign - sinister
noun.  harm - ill - mischief - wrong - disaster - wickedness



Friday, April 19, 2013

Categorizing People Is Part of the Problem!

We split up people. We all do it. We categorize.  We create these little "us and them" categories. Some of this is just a way to identify yourself, to figure out who you are, and to identify others, to figure out how you are different from others. We do it all the time. We do it in an unconscious, blink of the eye manner.

Some of this is just biology. Some of it's probably a survival thing.  "This person is like me, I'm probably safe."  Or "This person is not like me, I might not be safe."

There are an infinity of characteristics we use to make these decisions.  This can be useful, but can also lead to all kinds of problems.  This "us and them" thing allows us to see each other as categories, or as a collection of characteristics, and not as complete human beings.

Really, most of the categories are arbitrary, cosmetic.  

I think there are really only two questions (The Mother of All Categories!) we need to ask when we consider another human being and they probably take time, observation over time, are difficult to discern, and probably can't make it in a snap judgement kind of way: 

1. Do they intentionally try to alleviate the suffering of others? These are the best amongst us.
2. Do they intentionally try to increase the suffering of others? These are the least amongst us.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Stupidity of Proverbs Leads to Some Kind of Stupid Wisdom! Be Wise, Be Stupid!

This post from Bruce Sterling regarding Žižek on Proverbs is enlightening.  Finding posts like this one is one of the reasons I love the internet. Of course there are reasons to hate the internet too.  

The love: There is a vast sea of voices, an over-stuffed ocean of amazing, confounding and numbing Tower of Babel-like conversations just a few keystrokes away.

The hate: there's lots of dreck and time-wasting garbage too. Our task is to surf like a master surfer boy, and to find the hidden gems. Here's Žižek on the stupidity of proverbs:
“If, finally, one simply gets perplexed by all these reversals and claims: “Life is an enigma, do not try to penetrate its secrets, accept the beauty of its unfathomable mystery!” the result is, again, no less profound than its reversal: “Do not allow yourself to be distracted by false mysteries that just dissimulate the fact that, ultimately, life is very simple – it is what it is, it is simply here without reason and rhyme!”
“Needless to add that, by uniting mystery and simplicity, one again obtains a wisdom: “The ultimate, unfathomable mystery of life resides in its very simplicity, in the simple fact that there is life.” ”

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

While We Can

Up early, drinking coffee, listening to the radio.  And it's all death all the time on the radio this morning.  The Iron Lady has turned to rust, and is being laid to rest.  And the victims of the bombs in Boston are being mourned.  

There's actually a story on the radio that reminds us that death waits for us all, and there's just no getting around it!

Good Morning!  

You do sometimes wonder if maybe you could be the exception. Maybe there is some way you can get out of it. Maybe death will just overlook you, somehow you will skate.  Maybe that's why we like that Jesus myth.  If he shook off the mortal coil, and then rocketed up to another realm, well, that's kind of cool, isn't it? And maybe there's a slim possibility we can do it too.

That's a pretty slim reed to stake your hopes on.  So yes, death. It's coming, for sure, no doubt.  So, we must get on with living while we can.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Reason with That!

I despise, (maybe despise is a little strong), that handy saying that people like to use: "Everything happens for a reason." It is usually spoken with a smug grin, in an all-knowing tone. It's usually spoken when something good happens ("See, I just knew there was a plan, a purpose."), but it's also spoken when something bad happens ("See, there are forces greater than us at work."). It implies that everything is reasonable, everything can be explained. That everything makes sense.

People use it like it is an explanation itself. Or as if it's the last word on some event or happening. It implies that everything that happens is "reasonable." And we know this is absolutely not true.  There are some things that aren't reasonable and can't be reasoned with or away. And some times when we come up with an explanation for events, the explanation explains nothing.

If you believe in the chain of causation, you might say that "every event has a cause, or that every event has a preceding event." That might be closer to the truth of our reality. But it's not very enlightening.

So maybe I strongly dislike the "everything happens for a reason" formulation because it's just a lousy sentence, and doesn't actually mean what people think it means. And it explains nothing!

There are many things that happen for no good reason. Things that are not reasonable. We can trace back some events to some intial "cause," but the cause doesn't necessarily explain anything.  Sometimes shit happens, really bad shit happens (or really good shit happens), and we construct a chain - this happened, and then this happened, and then this happened... 

And we may be able to trace an event to some cause, but sometimes there is no good reason for a particular event.  Unreasonableness and irrationality and chaos, are built into this universe.  We are left to reason with that! So yes, everything happens, and then we grapple for reasons afterwards!

Monday, April 15, 2013

The Gift that's Given

There is so much you are "given." We don't know who or what is the giver. We can speculate. And we do.

We are given this body. Which grows and changes. With all it's special features. A complex structure of organs that work together.  You try to maintain it. Treat it well. But it's on it's own trajectory. And it develops and morphs to a hidden plan.

There's also this "dream-world" that emerges, is given to you, when you sleep. It's this vast land of images that bubble up unbidden. You awake and try to process, or try to forget. You are a witness. A participant in events that seem to be conjured up by another hand.

You are given this gift of life.  It's an amazing, renewing gift. It's stunning. It's all consuming. It's mind-blowing. But there are no instructions. The purpose, the mission, the reason of this gift isn't explained. Although you will get lots of advice and "guidance," from everyone. And can watch what others do with their gifts.

The gift comes wrapped in a mystery. It is an enigma. You use the gift as best you can. But you are never sure if you are using it wisely or foolishly, or if your use of it, is to the point, or besides the point. You just don't know. You can never really be sure. And really, know one else can tell you.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

The Fellow Travelers

There are some people you know in this world, this big old world stuffed with people and things; there are some people you know, not many, probably not even a "handful," who you can rightly call "fellow travelers."  They are on a journey, just like you are on a journey. It's not the same journey, the particulars, the times and places and choices and results are different, but the general thrust or gist of the journey is very similar. 

They are creative, they are adventurers, they are always trying new things, and doing new things, and making interesting, challenging choices. And you always check in with each other, just to see how the journey is unfolding. These are people you are so aligned with - spiritually, creatively. They laugh and smile and talk about the difficulties of their lives as so much mulch that will be discarded or used to fuel another creative break-through. And there are always "successes" too. And they are mulch too.

And these folks are so alive.  The flame inside, their "inner light" is blazing away.  This is unusual, and inspiring to see. And it's an echo and reflection of your inner world too.  It's kind of validating. And the flame, the light has affinity with flames and light, and they feed each other. So sometimes we get together. Sometimes we sit at a table, we share food, we talk, we laugh, we check in with each other.

It's sort of a ritual, sort of ritualistic, but it's done as just the most simple, logical thing to do. Still it's really almost sacramental. But there's no pomp, no circumstance. No posing. It's a holy, beautiful thing. But it's as simple and clean and pure as a green scarf. A shining pair of blue eyes. A beautiful, truly genuine smile. A warm, soulful hug.

We walk away with a feeling of renewal. We may not know exactly where we are all going. But that's okay. We will have more to share the next time. No matter what happens.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Keef Master of His Own Realm

I re-fired up my obsession with the Stones. Trying out that open G tuning and working on playing like Keith... here's the Stones in Shanghai doing "Gimme Shelter." When you watch Keith in action, you realize that he's kind of like the cat who ate the canary. He found the secret to playing guitar, he simplified it, and then mastered that simplification. He makes it look easy. He re-thought how to play guitar and made it his own. He plays like no one else. You can try it too. But it won't make you Keef!


  

Friday, April 12, 2013

This is Satisfying!

We have a Rolling Stones Tribute show coming up in June.  A bunch of performers will do a bunch of Stones songs.  Looking forward to it.  There is an amazing collection of great songs to consider.

This is probably my all-time favorite cover version of a Stones song... PJ Harvey and Bjork do "Satisfaction."  So freaking great! I think if you are going to cover a classic song, the best approach is to do a "re-think!" Nice re-think!


Thursday, April 11, 2013

Deepen!

That's the problem with my visionary states.  I'm always a little confused by my own visions.  Or,  I guess I'm not confused by the visions, but I'm uncertain what to do with them.  I'm entertained and amused by them, but then, what are the next steps? WTF do I do?

Do I step off the cliff? Do I hitch a ride on the next cloud?

And about these voices that "come to me." I don't think I'm insane. Or no more insane than the next guy, who frankly, is probably pretty damn insane, so, I guess, I'm basically as insane as the next guy, so yes, I'm probably at least that insane, I mean, kind of a little bit.

But it's not the drooling kind.

So this latest missive (see previous post) from the mists, "Deepen Your Heart."  How to do it? I'm game.  I get the sense that the deepening just happens.  And maybe it's just that I must pay attention.  Acknowledge the deepening.  Go with it.

So yes, okay. I get it. I got it. Deepen.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Deepen Your Heart!

Extreme states: Bleary & Weary.  Combined that would make one BLWEARY!

A very long sleep.  It's the only cure.  And in the middle of a long, restful and refreshing sleep, a voice comes to me.  And what does that voice say?

"Deepen your heart!"

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Slogging through the day.

Clear or not. Doesn't matter. Some days it's a slog no matter what. Yesterday was that slog for me. It was like I was in a triathlon.  Except I didn't wear a number on my chest. And there was no competition. And there was no prize money. And there were only two events. And one of them was walking, not running. So I guess it really wasn't much like a triathlon at all.

Just a lot of slogging through the day. The trick was to survive it in one piece. Which I did. And I did try to make it a game that I was playing. Or was assigned to play. Or maybe I was just a game piece that was being moved about by a greater hand than mine. But really I had to do all the work, expend all the energy. So I guess the game was mine.

I must own it. So I played the game. I walked. I biked. I zigged and zagged through the neighborhood like a drunk ant. I was actually paid for my effort. So I guess I was just doing my job. And I did it. And at the end of the day I was bone-tired, dead-tired, bleary-eyed. 

But I made it through all that slogging.  I slogged. And then got home and slept like a drunk puppy. And now, this morning, I'm awake and drinking coffee. And thinking about doing it all again today. Yes. Well. That's the game right now. And I must play!

Monday, April 08, 2013

"Do not seek and you shall find."

"Clear consciousness." It can be sort of addictive.  The State of Clarity. I do think years of meditation have helped me learn to love clarity.  It's funny, if you meditate daily, you have these moments of deep clarity, but you sometimes think that those moments are fleeting, and then the day begins, and then you are filled with the things of the day, and that state of clarity is somehow dissipated. 

But subtly, secretly, over time, that clarity becomes something you carry with you, something you can rely on.  I'm not claiming "diamond consciousness" for myself.  The sages and holy men tell us that some kind of super consciousness is possible.  Don't know about that, and it's not something I'm looking to achieve.  

And maybe that "not looking" is important too. I just meditate. Simple steps: Sit quietly. Breathe. Still the mind. Visualize another reality. A few moments every day.

I no longer feel alienated from the world. I no longer seek the "cloud of unknowing," I no longer look for a numb oblivion. I love clear consciousness. I am so happy to have discovered it. I love clarity.  But I don't take it for granted. I know it can vanish in a moment. But at the same time, I know that it is there. It's available to me.

It's not really "Seek and you shall find." but "Do not seek, and you shall find."  

Sunday, April 07, 2013

"I can still hear you saying, we will never break the chain..."

Yes, well, what is the "chain of causation?" The legal definition - "a series of events, each of which was caused by the immediately previous event."

This seems pretty all encompassing.  And what about that butterfly flapping it's wings in Mumbai this second? Is it the "cause" of my eye-blink this second?

And can you "break the chain?" Can you step out of the chain? And start your own chain? Or are these chains of causation the ties that bind us? Is the chain a shackle or a bracelet?

I had a revelatory dream. I was in the backseat of a car, and the driver of the car was a very important person. A very important person in my life. Arguably the most important person in my life, or at least, for sure, the first or second most important person in my life.

Now this person happens be dead. And I haven't seen or heard from them in a long time.  Anyway, I was happy to see them. But they were driving the car, and they were driving erratically. No madly. They were driving madly out of control. Driving like they really didn't know how to drive.

And I was helpless and frantic in the backseat. I had no steering wheel. No gas pedal. I had nothing, except a seat in the vehicle.  I woke up and realized this was a problem. A problem in my life. That person driving was a key link in my chain. And I needed to break that chain.  I needed my own car. 

I needed to have my own steering wheel and gas pedal.  When I woke up I started trying to imagine what kind of car I should "own." This was a difficult problem. And I wrestled with it most of the day. I was walking down the street with my lovely companion, we passed a new car show room. My companion pointed in the window and said, "There's your car!" I looked. Yes, that was it. It was a Japanese model.  It was called INFINITY!

"I can still hear you saying, we will never break the chain..."


Saturday, April 06, 2013

Long line of "Causation" Rolling out Like a Great Oriental Carpet!

The cosmic tumblers clicked into place. And that long line of "causation" just rolled out like a big old oriental carpet; it rolled out (I'm leaving a few things out) from the Big Bang, to the Dinosaurs, to monkeys descending from the trees, to The French Revolution, to Hiroshima and Nagasaki, to Nixon, to Vietnam, to the Internet, to a conversation about causality in the little park next to Lake Michigan.

My good friend, the one I affectionately call the Desiccated Old Blackbird and I, were speaking of the secret patterns of the universe. And we both agreed that everything had to happen just as it did to put us in that little park in that particular moment on that particular afternoon. Every flap of a butterfly's wings, every swish of a willow tree, every exploding star, every swirling galaxy, had brought us to that particular, singular moment.

You have to shake your head in silent wonder. You have to marvel at the long dizzying chain of existence. Our conversation unfolded, and we realized we were both reading the same book (Patti Smith's "Just Kids") at the same time, and were almost exactly in the same place in the same book at the same time. Weird. Strange. Cool. Amazing. Baffling.

We talked about parallel universes too. And it just seemed like the planet started spinning just a little faster. Spinning just like my little head was spinning. We parted ways. Changed. And then that chain of causation just kept clicking along.

There is a tempo, a reason, a plan, a destiny, a reality.  We just have to hold on and experience, embody and watch the great unfolding. And we play too. We unfold too.

Friday, April 05, 2013

Roger Ebert - More Than a Thumb!

Wow. This little video via Kim Morgan, pretty much shows/explains why Roger Ebert was one of our finest writers, a writer who just happened to write about movies. Ebert was a passionate, intelligent writer who could really convey his passion and intelligence when he was discussing movies. I always liked Ebert. He seemed like a genial, funny guy. He seemed to love movies, and he often conveyed that love in way you could get your head around. The public reaction to his death confirms that he was loved by lots and lots of people who knew him, and lots and lots of people who didn't know him. That's a pretty nice tribute.

I didn't read him often enough. I always thought the Chicago Sun Times was a terrible newspaper. I always thought that  the whole "thumbs up, thumbs down" thing was silly and stupid. And it was a shorthand way of looking at movies that reduced all that passion and intelligence into a simple gesture of a thumb.  It may have helped make Ebert a celebrity, but it was a disservice to his art. Anyway, Kim Morgan reads one of Ebert's reviews in this video.  And you are reminded that Ebert could really, really write...

Thursday, April 04, 2013

Change!

Change. Yes, change. I can see it. Feel it. Know it. And still have no idea what it means, where it will lead.

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Armed to the Teeth - Oh Yeah, What a Great Idea!

The NRA is truly a malevolent organization.  They are using a tragedy to promote more gun sales.  They want to arm teachers! What malicious, mendacious fools.

I think back to my school years.  If Sister Mary Aquanata had been armed, I'm pretty sure I would not have made it out of 3rd grade. I mean, I'm just speculating here. The Good Sister was a servant of the Lord, but she had a temper, and she was not a happy camper, and I was a little trouble-maker, I was definitely a thorn in her side.

I mean, it was clear that she had already concluded that I was just a little snot-nosed sinner on my way to hell.  What would be the harm of sending me on my way sooner, rather than later?

Put a weapon in her hand (I mean besides that ruler that she wielded like a sword), and only God knows what could have happened.  I mean, a Sister Mary Aquanata armed with an assault rifle and a multi-round clip is quite a righteous picture. Teachers turning guns on their students?! Unthinkable? Think again.

Luckily I never had to face an armed to the teeth Sister Mary Aquanata. God Bless!

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Alan Watts - Enlightened Being!

Alan Watts. Enlightened being. I first came across Alan in the early 70's. Read some of his books on Buddhism. He was one of the first to "popularize" Eastern methods to the West. I remember going to a dingy old movie-house to see a film about Watts and meditation. I forget the film, but I remember the last scene. Watts just laughed and laughed and laughed. What a presence. What a voice. He seemed to embody East and West in his being. Maybe that British accent added to his aura. Anyway there's a cool site devoted to Alan Watts!

And here's a cool little video where Alan explains how we truly are "one with the universe!" Pass the word!


Monday, April 01, 2013

A Peak Experience

Yes, the show over the weekend was a good one. That doesn't really capture it. There were moments that were truly "peak" experiences.  Everything converged at the right time to make certain moments exactly perfect.  Didn't even know that was possible.

And we learned/experienced some things that we didn't even know we could learn. We didn't even know that what we learned was possible. And it's not really anything I can pass on to someone else. You truly have to experience what we experienced to understand what we experienced.

The particulars of time and place don't really matter. I mean, it had to be that time and place, but the "perfection" of those moments transcends any time and place.  It's weird and cool.  A peak experience is just a peak experience. It was unexpected. And not something that can just be conjured up.

It kind of snuck up on us. Which made it even more mind and spirit expanding.  It happened the way it happened when it happened.  That's something.

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