WWSP's "The Alternate Boot!"

Sunday, June 30, 2019

It's Not All About Us!

Thinking about that "happiness equation," (see previous post), I get the idea that we should keep expectations low, best to meet the day half-way, don't judge too harshly, be open, accepting, be sure to protect ourselves, but at the same time be willing to risk a bit too. I think it's okay to dream big dreams, it's okay to have wild imaginings, it's okay to entertain ourselves in our heads.

Keep things simple & true in the "real world." Keep our egos in check. Realize it's not all about us, we are just here for the ride. Life can be complicated, but we don't need to be complicated. We can't transform the world, but we can transform ourselves. Can we work on ourselves without being self-absorbed? I think our best tools: sense of humor, humility, silence, meditation, contemplation. We need a bit of courage to hope for a better day, but the day we have is the one we have, and that's got to be enough.

Saturday, June 29, 2019

The Happiness Equation!

Mo Gawdat wrote a book, "Solve for Happy." He was on the fast track of success, cool job at Google, bought two Rolls Royces on-line on a whim. Still, unsatisfied, unhappy. Also his son died and turned his world upside down.

He came up with an equation for happiness: "The equation says that happiness is greater than, or equal to, your perception of the events in your life minus your expectation of how life should be."

Yeah. The old "expectation game" can be a soul-killer, a wet-blanket for happiness. It's funny, our crazed, rampant, over-stuffed capitalist consumer culture teases us to always be needing, wanting, grasping for the next newest thing. Probably works against our well-being & ultimate happiness.

Also, how about this? Maybe we should stop listening to the voices inside our heads?

"We have a set of illusions. One of them is that we associate so strongly with the voice in our head when the reality is that it is just a biological function; it is exactly like your heart pumping blood around your body. It’s your brain’s way of delivering survival functions to you – its job is to scan the world around it using sensory input and then coordinate your muscle responses and take action so that you survive.

Thoughts have truly propelled our civilisation, and we think of the voice inside our heads as us. But that isn’t remotely true once you realise that you don’t have to obey your thoughts – I can accept them, I can reject them, I can ask the brain to go and get me a better one. You can do what people do in meetings: you ask me a question, I give you an answer, but you can say to me: “Mo, can you get me a better answer?”, and I go back to my brain and I say, give me a better answer. Treat your brain as a biological function and understand he is not the boss – you are the boss."


So much wisdom from Mo: "Yet we never give ourselves the luxury of living in now; instead, we are constantly living inside our heads looking in the past and the future, and as you do that you constantly suffer."

Right. Be here now. Cultivate happiness. Lower your expectations and thrive!

Friday, June 28, 2019

Let's Make America More Beautiful!

Back to politics...

I am optimistic. I think we are at the end of something, that Trump, and all he represents, all the horror, the hate, the idiocy, the corruption, etc. is a breaking point. It is not the beginning of a new movement, it is the end-point, a car-crash, the inevitable result of a bankrupt political party, a last-gasp "fuck you" to a new, progressive, "Blue Wave" movement. 2016 was the car-crash. 2018 was the wakeup call. 2020 will be an opening to a new progressive, inclusive, diverse, multi-cultural renaissance.

Those Red states are not going anywhere, those "left-behind" folks will cling to their guns, their racism, their backward ways, their fears of "the other," fear of change, fear of irrelevance, but they will be more and more irrelevant, their clinging to some weird concept of the past just makes them less able to participate in the renewal. It's just demographics and a change of consciousness. The GOP is a hollow-husk of a political party: predominantly old, rich, white folks clinging to their cash & power. It's a dead-end. Nihilistic. Un-democratic. Un-American.

The new America really is a multicultural melting pot, young, vibrant, colorful, open, diverse. Beautiful. The tide is turning. A new day is coming. I am optimistic. Things look so bleak, because we have crashed into the ditch, but we will arise, dust ourselves off, and see with new eyes! I do believe. Let's make America More Beautiful!

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Upgrade Your Life - Oat Milk!


I am not a "product endorser." I make no $ from products I write about on my blog. If I write about something, it's just because I got a bee in my bonnet in the A.M. and started typing. I never plan blog posts, I always write whatever comes off the top of my head. I like to keep my "writing muscle" working, and limber. So yes, you can probably tell, just by reading my posts, I am always all over the map.  I write what I want write, when I want to write it. Mostly I guess I write about politics, music, pop culture, and whatever the hell is going on in my warring head.

Surprisingly, folks do read this blog, I am always amazed to find out that I do have some followers/readers. I am not trying to cater to you. I just do my thing. Thanks for your patience and attention. It sort of feels like I'm not alone, even though I usually write these posts when I am totally alone, in the early A.M. sipping coffee, listening to music on the BOSE Wave system cd player (not a product endorsement - but man do I love my BOSE CD player/Radio, I purchased a used one on Ebay, and it changed the sonic palette in the kitchen distinctly for the better!) This morning I am listening to the Jeff Beck Group, "Truth," the early edition with Rod Stewart on vocals. Great stuff.


Thanks to my lovely companion, I am drinking coffee cut with "oat milk," instead of cow's milk. What a revelation. Love it. Highly recommend it. Healthier for you. Better for the planet too. Instead of feeding oats to cows, and milking the cows, just use the oats to make milk. Creamy. Satisfying. It's made by a Swedish company, Oatly, they seem like a pretty cool company, love this from their mission statement: "We promise to be a good company which means that our drive to help people upgrade their lives always comes before the reckless pursuit of profit."

How to transform your life? One baby step at a time. Listening to good music, sipping a good coffee brew, adding a bit of oat milk to the mix, everything counts, every little thing.


Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Forget the News! Cheap Guitars!

Old habits die hard. Oldest habits die hardest. I always wake up, head to the kitchen, and first thing, click the radio on. Tuned to NPR. Then I brew my coffee, empty the dishwasher, put the clean dishes and cups away.

I get a quick news fix.

The fix is getting shorter and shorter. My attention span for the daily news is really dwindling. Is that how the evil-doers win? The news is so bad, so disheartening, so disgusting & disappointing that sentient, caring folks are compelled to just freaking tune-out! Everything, I mean, everything seems supremely fucked up. Seems we are now running Concentration Camps on the Border, little children are dying, the blood is on all of our hands, also, another woman has come forward to accuse our President of rape, the Republicans are hiding, totally abdicating any ideas of morality, any sense of honor or  decency, pretending everything is just fine, while the Democrats are fretting, always fretting, whether they should even think of "Impeaching the Motherfucker."

I hope it all works out.

Lately, I have been quick on the trigger-finger, switching from the radio to the Bose CD player. Fabulous sound by the way. How does Bose do it? The clarity, the fullness, the bass-response all coming out of a plastic, weird-looking, wedge-shaped, white-slab. Makes all these CDs sound so good. This morning I put on Alabama Shakes' 2016 album, "Sound and Color." Soul-stirring. Thrilling. Fun. Love this band. Brittany Howard has a classic soul-voice, full of grit, power and sweet emotion. Plus those guitars! My lovely companion tells me she wants me to recreate that big, tough, gritty guitar sound for our band. I immediately started looking for a used Gibson SG or ES 335... probably need to find a "copy," I mean those guitars are quite pricey, maybe I can find a cheaper Japanese or Korean knockoff?  Forget the news of the day, it will destroy any sense of well-being you  may harbor. On to the next thing. Cheap guitars!

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

The Secret Life of Plants!

I do love those mornings when I rise early. Sip my coffee, check out the news, listen to music. This morning it's an album I have never listened to before, Stevie Wonder's "The Secret Life of Plants "-(1979). Weird. Different. Not what I expected. Sounds like a soundtrack to a movie that was never made, (but it's actually the soundtrack to a documentary that was made, called, not surprisingly "The Secret Life of Plants"). Hah! Who knew?! Certainly Stevie Wonder is some kind of musical genius. Seems he's exploring the outer reaches of his musical inspiration. I like it. Perfect for this morning. The day hasn't revealed itself yet. Wonder what's up with the plants. What secrets may they reveal?

Monday, June 24, 2019

Magic Carpet Ride!

Yesterday morning, walking to our neighborhood coffee house, the true neighborhood hub, connecting folks from all walks of life, looking for my daily coffee fix, I was tricked out in my summer-wear: faded, purple bandana and bright green shirt. Passing a neighbor, one of the "lit up ones," (and when I say "lit up ones," I mean this particular human seems to be either transmitting or receiving signals from a distant galaxy),  he takes one look at me and blurts out: "Magic Carpet Ride!"  That works!

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Alive on a Nice Summer Day!

Some days you ramble, you wander, you meander, you kick down the cobblestones with no clear idea where you are going, you just go; lazily, easily, almost unconsciously, you just walk around on this little spinning globe without a fear, without a worry, without a plan, without any grand ideas bubbling around in your head.

Aimless.

There are little surprises all the way, everything is sort of surprise, because you really don't expect anything. So the sun shining down is a surprise. The little dove swooping down and walking around in front of you is a surprise. Sipping a ginger beer is an amazingly satisfyingly, thirst-quenching surprise. You don't do anything you thought you were gonna do. You just drop all that and go with the moment.

So sitting quietly in the fading sun, leaves of the trees rattling above you, lots of silence and laughter just spills out for no good reason. There is no reason and no reason to worry about any reason. You are alive on a nice summer day.

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Every Day Is A Battle!

Every day is a battle.

Bodies vs. Anti-bodies. Positive thoughts vs. Negative thoughts. Optimism vs.  Pessimism. Belief vs. Unbelief. Good vs. Bad. Gods vs. Devils. Right vs. Wrong. Right vs. Left. Reasons to be Cheerful vs. Reasons to be Bummed Out, Love vs. Hate, Peace vs. War.

Our bodies, our heads, our spirits are battlefields. The battle spills out across the canvas of our lives. Cooler Heads tell us to chill out, to stop with the game of duality, to do less judging, and more sitting in silence observing, but even sitting in silence is a choice in opposition to jumping deep into the fray.

Winning vs. Losing. Success Vs. Failure.

Whatever, right? We have a warring mind, a million thoughts crashing against each other.  So what? Notice the battle. Observe the grand spectacle of life, within and without.

Stillness vs. Action. Yep.

Friday, June 21, 2019

The Search...

Son Volt: "It's the search not the find." What are we searching for? Excitement, drama, inspiration, meaning, purpose, love, understanding, fun, adventure. I mean, what have you got?

Is the "search" inside, or out there somewhere? Let the Buddhas and wise guys fight it out.

As per Dylan we are not "looking for" ourselves, we are creating ourselves, daily. What will we be up to today? Early morning is usually a hopeful time, the coffee is flowing, music too.

I hear a war may be brewing, a very unsteady, indecisive, unreliable, narcissistic, neurotic, supremely damaged and ignorant man is debating the pros and cons of another conflict. On the other side you have a bunch of black-robed Ayatollahs. Yikes. Crazy that the world is in the hands, subject to the whims, of such misguided, under-prepared, unworthy fools. Such is the way of the human thing.

Disturbing? Yes. Very. Still, we must carry on. Do the things we do, the things we must do, just because we must. It's sort of a Samuel Beckett thing. Oh so human, doing human things. Despite the idiocy, despite all the little absurdities, despite the fear of failure and futility.  Meaning, purpose, inspiration, creativity, we want to hang on to a few solid ideas, even if we are making them up as we go. Damn the torpedoes.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Yo-Yo!

High one day low the next. That's the way it goes. You wonder if there is some law: You will fly high, and then you will fly low, all in proportion. As high as you fly, that is how low you will go.

Makes you think those stone Buddhas have a point. Impassive. Grounded. Not going anywhere. Of course, they are stone. Statues. Not flesh and blood. Do we try to emulate a stone statue? Is that a good idea? Stone-like?

Or is it better to be a human yo-yo? You know, oh so human. Frail, changeable. Who knows? Yesterday was a dark day. It followed a day of light. One came right after the other.  No good reason. Nothing you could put your finger on. That's just the way it goes. That's life, right?

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Appearing and Fading Away!

Even as the day was rolling out, you could feel it evaporating, disappearing into the mists of time. The moment appearing & fading away. You wanted to hold the day close, but could feel it slipping away moment by moment. The sun setting in the West. Large green trees looming. A golden light suffusing everything. The two of you singing Hank Williams' songs to each other.

You could both feel it. A bond, a happiness, a love, laced with sadness, both of you knowing this moment was dying away even as it was happening. You actually said: "It doesn't get better than this..." You both knew it was true, and you thought of all the people you knew who were already long gone. Then you parted. Went your separate ways. Hoping you could have more good days together, knowing there are no guarantees.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Father's Day R&R Show!

We played a r&r show on Sunday afternoon, Father's Day 2019. Our lead singer dedicated the show to "all the fathers past and present," as well as to "peace and love." It was a heavy thing to do. Lots of energy to take on in that little r&r haven. It definitely brought a focus to our performance. We were playing in front of some folks we knew, and a whole contingent of folks we didn't. Lots of strangers in the crowd.

We were loud. The sound-tech at that place likes to blast music at maximum volume. Maybe best to cut through the small-talk, the bar-talk, the alcoholic haze. We thought it probably killed a bit of the nuance in our band dynamics, but at the same time it was a bit cathartic to just overwhelm the room with our sonic vibration.

We had a few "sound issues" the stage monitors didn't seem to be working correctly on the first few songs, I couldn't hear my guitar very well, didn't know what was happening, couldn't tell if I was in tune or out, but by the 4th song everything was working & clicking.

We played a full set, over an hour of original music, and by the end, we were one solid unit playing our heart's out for all to hear. I nearly spontaneously combusted on stage. I always run hot, but this time my whole body just went up in flames. I felt like I was sacrificing my body to a higher cause. Afterwards I was totally drained, spent, I felt like a hollow husk, drenched in sweat, totally exhausted.

As we were leaving, two beefy "door guys," dressed like bikers, long hair, denim, boots, tattoos, cigarettes in hand, told us we "sounded great." Hah! That was unexpected. Can't think of a better token of validation for the whole mad little adventure! R&R!

Monday, June 17, 2019

The Secret Thread Embedded in America's Creative DNA!


I am not sure I can convey how excited I was to find that this film from Martin Scorsese dropped recently on Netflix. I have lately been on a major Bob Dylan kick. I mean, I pretty much have been for my whole life. My mom turned me onto Dylan when I was a wee lad, and over the years I have always come back to the man and his work. Paraphrasing Joan Baez: Not everyone "gets" Dylan, but if you do, if you fall under his spell, there is no-one better. You fall hard for the work and there is nothing else that comes close. 

There are so many Dylans that I love: The Young Woody Guthrie Inspired Folk Troubadour, The Wild Mercury Mouthed, Cowboy Junkie Stream of Consciousness, Wild-Haired Rock and Roller, The Basement Sage, The Countrified Gent, The Rolling Thunder, White-Faced Prophet, The Born-Again, Fire & Brimstone, Apocalypse is Coming Preacher Dylan, The Burned Out Rocker, The Ancient Sage, The Old Man of Letters and the Nobel Prize, etc.

That's the exciting thing, Dylan is always changing, morphing, evolving, creating. Paraphrasing him from the film: Life is not a journey to find ourselves, it is an adventure where we create our selves. He not busy creating is busy dying!

It is amazing to see and hear Dylan in 1976 - in fine voice, passionate, committed, with an unlikely, overstuffed caravan of co-conspirators. Dylan's music is the secret thread weaved into the foundation of American Music. The key thread in American culture's unique DNA from the 60's onward. Dylan is the connecting line from poets: Whitman, Ginsberg, Kerouac, Waldeman, Patti Smith, all the various Visionary Poets & Beats; folk/blues contingent: Rambling Jack Eliot, Woody Guthrie, Robert Johnson, Blind Willie McTell, all the rock and roll outlaws, the Beatles, the Byrds, The Band, The Stones, all the various forms of Americana. Plus don't forget Sam Shepard the great, surreal American playwright who makes an appearance. Also Joni Mitchell, Joan Baez, T-Bone Burnett, Mick Ronson, Ronee Blakely, Chief Rolling Thunder. What a collection of unique creative souls!

Growing up I was always a big Beatles fan, they were the first to introduce me to Pop Culture and r&r, but early on, even as a little kid, I was struck that while the love-able Mop Tops were conquering the world singing "I Want to Hold Your Hand," Dylan was writing and singing epic and classic folk songs like "Blowing in the Wind," "Masters of War," "The Times are A Changing" and "A Hard Rain is Gonna Fall." The Beatles may have been more exuberant, looked like they were having more fun, Dylan hit you right between the eyes with his amazing imagery delivered by his razor-sharp vocals, lyrics seared deep into your consciousness and dreams. Not  much later, Dylan too, picked up an electric guitar and took everything to another level, think "Bringing It All Back Home," "Highway 61 Revisted," and "Blonde on Blonde." A fantastic phantasmagoria of roar and thunder!
Kicky r&r exuberance, the sound of electric Fender guitars, married to surreal images & stream of consciousness genius.

All of my major influences, the core of my creative consciousness, my awaking to another reality, show up in this movie. To watch it is to see the great American creative revolution in music, in culture, roll out right before your eyes. Astonishing. Beautiful. Inspiring. Essential viewing.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Power/Powerlessness!

Is this true?

You don't really understand power, it's uses, it's limits, until you experience powerlessness? Maybe our need to feel powerful needs to be undone. We see time, and time again, that absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Our whole crazy, capitalist, consumer culture is the perpetual motion machine selling us some weird, corrupted, seriously misguided idea of power. Power over nature, power over women, power over other men. Power over death. A conception of Power that tries to sell us eternal life.

All total b.s. Lies. All flattering lies trying to build us up, when what we really need is to deconstruct, to take ourselves apart piece by piece, to find the vulnerability of a life of powerlessness. To discover the "holes in our souls." We need to face the reality that we are really, truly, madly deeply powerless in face of the most important things in our life.

Birth. Death. Aging. Love. Hate. Here we are: Powerless in the immensity of the Universe. And it's okay. In fact, it's kind of wondrous and beautiful, even if pain and suffering are embedded into the world and the fabric of our bodies.

Saturday, June 15, 2019

The Saboteur!

Saboteur. 

"A saboteur is a person who makes a mess of a situation on purpose. You might call your little brother a saboteur for letting the air out of your bicycle tires, but you could be a saboteur in return by filling his shoes with cold spaghetti. Saboteur is a noun that is fairly new to the English language; it was first used in the early 1900s, and it refers to a person who deliberately destroys or obstructs something. It comes from the French word, saboter, which really and truly means to kick something with an old-fashioned wooden shoe. We can only hope that one day the word Nikeur might enter the English language to mean a person who kicks something with a sneaker."

And what if you kick yourself with that old wooden shoe? You'd be a "self-saboteur." How much of our lives can be explained by self sabotage? Is this all some kind of test of character?  How much was luck, fate, wrong place wrong time, or right place, right time? Who knows?

You are left to ponder. Or not. You hope the future is truly unwritten, and maybe there are new lines to write. You hope that wooden shoe doesn't appear out of the foggy mist to kick you in the shins. Look in the mirror dude... what do you see?

Friday, June 14, 2019

Best Music in 2019, So Far...

Best Music so far in 2019.

Ok, well, to be truthful, for me, the most significant record released this year is the one my band recorded, "The Alternate Boot: Vols 1&2." A long time coming, a labor of love. We released it, got some nice reviews, t-shirt sales, cd sales and streams, a fantastic string of shows, including a transcendent release party in February, growing our band sound, and fan base, show by show; progress has been slow, but steady. Our sound evolving, morphing, live shows getting more fully-realized. One of the most significant projects I have ever worked on. Our band of musicians are an inspiring creative outfit dedicated to the vibe. You can purchase your own copy on Amazon here!

What else?

Two releases have captivated me this year.

One is the 2 cd set: The Bootleg Series Vol 13: Trouble  No More 1979-1981  This is full-on Jew for Jesus, Evangelical Bob Dylan. I was one of those Dylan fans horrified when Bob turned up "born again." This album is a mind-changer. Listening to these live cuts many years later is a revelation. One of Dylan's most fertile, creative periods. One of his greatest live bands, he is in superb voice, singing with passion, conviction. It's a stunning collection. Jim Keltner on drums, Spooner Oldman keys, Tim Drummond bass, Fred Tackett on guitar, Carlos Santana guests on a track. And quartet of backup singers (Mary Elizabeth Bridges, Carolyn Dennis, Gwen Evans, Clydie King, Regina McCrary, Regina Peebles, Helena Springs, Mona Lisa Young) is breathtakingly good. Spiritual renewal. I have lived with and loved these songs for a couple months now. Great gospel music. Some of the best ever written and performed. Really. That good.  It is such a pleasure to hear Dylan singing his heart out, to us, and to the Lord.

The other record I "discovered" this year, and have not stopped spinning, is a record that was actually released in 1998, Billy Bragg & Wilco Mermaid Avenue. I read Jeff Tweedy's book and I fell in love with Tweedy's solo album, "Warm" (2018), a major work, Tweedy at his soulful, beautiful, very revealing best , and fell into a major Wilco vortex. I own every Wilco album except their first. Wilco's discography from "Being There" (1996) - "Schmilco" (2016), and every record in between, is absolutely magnificent. I can put any Wilco record on and find new things to love and be inspired by. If you pressed me, I'd have say to that Wilco is my favorite band of the moment. No doubt. Great band. By the way, I think, in order to really "get," to understand the secret code, to reveal the DNA of the band, be sure to check out their live album, recorded at the Vic Theater in Chicago, "Kicking Television," (2005), and watch the DVD, "Ashes of American Flags" (2009), (I have seen it many, many times, and always find it thrilling), a band working at it's absolute peak. We are now talking the current band, a much different musical animal than the Mermaid Ave. crew, the lineup from "Sky Blue Sky,"(2007) til today features the incomparable Nels Cline on guitar and Glenn Kotche on drums. I'd also say Jeff Tweedy is one of the few songwriters I'd even consider in the same sentence as Dylan. Yes, I do think he's quite brilliant in his own quirky way.

I was aware of "Mermaid Ave." for years, but resisted buying it, thinking it was just a gimmick, a marketing ploy. Bragg and Wilco taking Woody Guthrie lyrics and conjuring up songs? For some reason it just didn't appeal to me. One day in early 2019 a friend asked me if I ever heard the record, and recommended it. I was so enamored with all things Tweedy, so I snagged a used copy at my local record store. Boy was I ever wrong. Mermaid Avenue is a complete joy, a stunner, a fantastic labor of love, pure sonic gold. Wilco has never sounded looser, more fun and more creative.  Tweedy and Bragg really bring a passion to Guthrie's amazing, touching, funny, superb lyrics. There isn't one false step.  A great, joyful, inspiring, spine-tingling, record. I think Jeff Tweedy was sort of liberated singing someone else's lyrics. It's fantastic to hear Jay Bennet on guitar and piano and Ken Commer on drums, the original lineup of Wilco, tearing it up with not a care in the world. I mean the band sounds loose, powerful, sloppy, r&r perfect. Another completely breathtaking album. Who knew?!

This is where my head, my ears have been at this year...  playing songs from our latest record with my phenomenal band, and time-tripping to the distant past, listening to music so powerful, so lively, so inspiring, so of the moment. Doesn't matter when it was recorded. Kind of surprising, lost in time, and enjoying every last moment. Wow.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Will We All Be Sucked Into the Vortex of Stupidity?


King Idiot. It's best to ignore him. To tune him out. To not read his idiotic tweets, to not listen to his blabbering on the radio, to not watch his dementia-like, fat-carcass, slobbering performances on TV. Listening to the Idiot King will only make you much stupider than you already are. Plus, he will piss you off. You will be outraged, shamed to know that this man supposedly speaks for you and your beloved country.

Last night I guess King Idiot was on the TV telling the world, that yes, indeed, he would cheat to win an election. He did it the first time, and well, hell, he'd do it again. Seems like a terrible thing to admit. But there it is. I mean King Idiot is too stupid to realize he just admitted to everything he was accused of in terms of "colluding" with Russia. You shake your head and think to yourself: "What a fucking Idiot!"

And you wonder what can be done. Does supreme mendacious, corrupt idiocy trump everything else? Don't forget King Idiot has his rabid followers who will never admit this man is a plague and a blight on our teetering democracy, they blindly cling to King Idiot's billowing trousers mouths open craving their own taste of idiocy. The rest of us, are left to ponder the black void of idiocy at the heart of the land.

Will we all be sucked into the vortex of abject idiocy? Shite!

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Energy... Of Course...

Energy. We all know what it is, right? I mean we all talk about it, quantify it. We act like we understand it. We can explain how a machine uses energy to "run." There are many forms of energy. Many uses of energy. Energy animates all of our machines and technology. It also powers all the pretty creatures on the planet, including us. There is the material of energy, the molecules. Oil, coal, solar, food, are just types of fuel that powers everything.

There is also the invisible energy that surrounds us. You can feel the energy of a room. The energy of the person sitting next to you. I think when we are talking about the aura of a person, we are picking up an energy field surrounding someone.

Play music in a tightly packed room. Feel the energy surge and feedback in a loop. It can be so powerful, transcendent. Feeds us. It feels a bit magical, spiritual. Maybe spirit itself is just a form of energy? 

Alternatively, when we see something dead, lifeless, we realize that the energy has dissipated, evaporated, or transformed in some other way. We wake up in the morning after a long sleep, feeling refreshed, and are surprised to find that energy surges thru our bodies, surrounds and overwhelms us.  

As William Blake once wrote: "Energy is Eternal Delight!"

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

"Don't Worry... Just... Be..."

Yeah. Over here we met the day half-way. Didn't push, flowed. I do recommend it. Not always easy to do. Living easy. Riding the wave. Didn't make anything happen, the day just rolled out like a beautifully complex oriental carpet.

Made me think of that aborted paraphrase of that great, and slightly annoying Bobby McFerrin song: "Don't worry... just... be..." Yes. Glory be. There was glory in the being. Sunshine, warmth, shimmering blue water, people everywhere you turned. Couldn't avoid anything, anyone. Better to just let it all come down.

A long, fulfilling day. Nothing happened. Everything unfolded. Maybe that's how you do it.

Monday, June 10, 2019

Weird Energy Void...

Weird. This morning feels like a total "energy void." Almost like the day is just standing still. Expectant. Waiting. Like the world is taking a breather. No spin. Freeze-frame. Pinned to the canvas.

I wonder if I should "try to make something happen?" But I don't think that's how it works. Something will happen, pretty sure, whether I do something or not. What is this feeling of "void-ness?" Is it me? Or is it the world? Hard to tell.

I think I will have a bit more coffee and see what turns up...

Sunday, June 09, 2019

A Very Good Omen!

A person died.
They cleared out her apartment.
A lifetime of stuff.
Someone dug up her lily.
Put it in a plastic bag.
Why?
Just because.

Weeks passed.
My friend had taken the plastic bag
and brought it home. It sat on the
back porch like a corpse.
She mourned the dead person,
mourned the dead lily plant.

My friend decided to replant the lily.
She has a flower garden in the back yard.
Maybe the lily was just dormant?
Maybe it could somehow come back to life?

Maybe?
She had no real hope. She just did the re-planting.

Time passed. Days. Weeks.
One morning, green shoots pushed thru the dark earth.
The lily was alive. Resurrected.
The rest of the garden thrived too.
Beautiful flowers and greenery in a small
plot of land in the back yard.

One day a small, baby dove appeared.
The baby dove decided to make the garden
her home. She was there all day, every day.
Overseeing the flowers, the greenery, the
resurrected lily plant.

My friend put seeds and bread out for the baby dove.
The baby dove was a new friend, a new spirit in the garden.

My friend and I decided it was all a very good omen.

Saturday, June 08, 2019

Like Water or Serpent!

Yes. The best laid plans some times just crumble like a cookie. Vanish in smoke right before your eyes. What to do? Be nimble, quick on your feet, willing to have a re-think. Why not? No worries. You loved an idea? Oh well, try another one. Closed door? Instead of beating your head against it, you can alter your course, find another opening somewhere else. Yes. Be like water. Or be like a serpent. "Serpentine! Serpentine!" Move on. Move forward, backward, sideways too. Whatever.

Friday, June 07, 2019

Why Worry?!

Listening to the news from around the globe. Checking the headlines. The big question: "What could possibly go wrong?!"

I mean, hell, the corn is good. Alfred E. Neumann answers that ponderous question with another pithy question: "What, me worry?"


Thursday, June 06, 2019

This Seems Important.

This seems important. 

I think the murder and dismemberment of a Washington Post correspondent is one of those stories that will not just disappear. And it shouldn't. There is something rotten in the body politic.

There are folks in Washington D.C. who have some explaining to do... I wonder if we will ever get to the bottom of the matter?

As they say, "Democracy Dies in Darkness." We need to shine a light...




Wednesday, June 05, 2019

Avoid, Evade, Defuse...

Don't match crazy with crazy. Don't match anger with anger. Don't match cynicism with cynicism. It's a losing game. You just feed the craziness, the anger and the cynicism.

The first impulse is to match the energy with the same energy. But all it does is heighten and multiply the thing you actually want to avoid, evade or defuse.  "Serpentine, Serpentine!"

"How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb!"  Not a question, an instruction, a "how-to!"

Bono and U2 were on the case in 2004. We all need to be in the business of dismantling, defusing, repurposing.

The Tao tells us to "be like water." You know, be soft, pliable, permeable, flowing, transparent. Who are we to argue with Ancient Chinese Wisdom?

Breathe. Think. Be silent. Set your intention on the positive. When you act, make it an act of affirmation. We can remake the world. What are the best tools? Humility. Love. Grace. Silence. Humor. Compassion. Empathy. All these "soft" qualities are our greatest strengths.

"A change of consciousness can happen in an instant." "Instant Karma!"

Tuesday, June 04, 2019

Fill My Life Up with Light!

I am at sea this morning. Casting about for meaning and purpose. My dreams were clogged up with airports and passenger lines, and the most mundane of human things. Late for flights, late for meetings, lost and unsure where I was going next. Dreams of flailing about!

I wake up looking to make a pot of coffee.  Kickapoo coffee beans. I do know that Kickapoo was a Native American Indian tribe. I run thru all the Indian tribe names I can think of off the top of my head: Crow, Shoshone, Comanche, Cherokee, Navajo, Cheyanne. I think of Dee Brown and his great book "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee." If I were to name books that "changed my life," Brown's book would be up at the top of the list for sure.

I can mark my life by key texts at every time in my life, again, just off the top of my head: The King James Bible, Treasure Island, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Slaughter House Five, Catch 22, On the Road, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Cat's Cradle, Breakfast of Champions, The Great Plains, On the Rez, Erections, Ejaculations and Other Tales of Ordinary Madness, Lolita, Speak Memory, Desolation Angels, The Sheltering Sky, Infinite Jest, In the Spirit of Crazy Horse, Moby Dick, The World According to Garp, Dog Soldiers, Dispatches, A Bright Shining Lie, The Snow Leopard, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Zen and the Art of Archery.

I turn to the Flaming Lips this morning for my soundtrack. Can't go wrong with their stone-cold masterpiece, "The Soft Bulletin." Never fails to give me a swift kick of adrenaline. I would run down the key albums of my life, but then, this post would basically take up the whole morning. Figure lots of Dylan, The Band, Beatles, Leonard Cohen, Stones, Nick Drake, Steve Wonder, Jimi Hendrix, Patti Smith, Lucinda Williams, Nick Cave, Sly & the Family Stone, Who, Kinks, Miles Davis, Robert Plant, Led Zeppelin, Gillian Welch, Fairport Convention, Richard & Linda Thompson, Sinead O' Connor, Allman Brothers, Van Morrison, Grateful Dead, etc. Oh yes, Flaming Lips, Radiohead, The National, Wilco, Drive By Truckers... the list is long & endless...

How to fight that listless, lost and flailing about feeling? Music, Art, Poetry, Love... I fill my life up with light, sound & thunder!

Monday, June 03, 2019

False Starts this A.M.

I had a couple of "false starts" this morning. I started typing and then deleted what I typed. A rare indecision. What to write about?

The first words I heard on the radio this morning: "Vile & Ridiculous." I know who they are talking about, don't even need to ask. Fuck that guy. He doesn't represent me. He is a plague, a scourge, a blight on the land, a man who conjures a certain toxic mind pollution.

While making the coffee this morning, I was reflecting on a heavy-duty conversation I had yesterday. I am such a lousy worrier. Death, taxes, financial stability. These topics very rarely pop into my consciousness. I spend so much time thinking about lunch, and how I am gonna occupy myself. No time for those big-time worries. Of course, I do worry about the planet, the fate of my species, whether good will conquer evil, when will Americans stop shooting each other, but those big time worries are just standard operating procedure.

Those topics always intrude. My little bubble of blue-sky happiness can be punctured at a moment's notice. Still, I am very good at putting my intention and attention in other places.

I'm spinning Dylan discs on the box, listening to Dylan right now, I have been on a major Dylan kick the last few weeks. What's that line sticking with me this morning? "I'm not going to hell for anybody."

I mean, yes Bob, exactly!

Sunday, June 02, 2019

Human Beings Being Human!

What is our job? You know as Human Beings? To try to rescue a little meaning from the abyss of meaninglessness, to skull out a bit of order in the yawning vortex of disorder? Are we here to experience what we experience when we experience it? Is that all there is?

Is life a job, a mission, a lark, a song, a cry, a tear, a rainstorm, an earthquake, a mad quest? Or all of those things? Yes, I will probably go with "all of the above." We are subject to the jeopardy of living in bodies and we open ourselves to the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, daily, yes, every single day.

We hold chaos in our hands. We juggle balls of darkness and light. We live in the world, and create it one breath at time too. We are not gods, or god-like, just simple, humble human beings. Human Beings Being Human!

Saturday, June 01, 2019

Morning Conundrum!

Not sure.

Sadly, sweetly optimistic, or unhappily, positively pessimistic? I wrestle with my own psyche this A.M. There are so many levels to this conundrum. It seems important and inconsequential simultaneously. I am a mystery wrapped in an enigma, even to myself. Best not to self-absorb. Best to look outward, but not too far-ranging. Rainy day, Dylan on the stereo, "I'm not sleepy and there is no place I'm going to..."

I'm reading about Beto O'Rouke's presidential quest. Looks like his fate will rest on how he comes across on TV. "To have any chance, he must turn to television, where empathy, careful listening, and voracious curiosity are not the coin of the realm."

Faintly ridiculous. If you aren't a hit on TV you aren't a hit. And TV is the great leveler. The fish-eye medium that really does turn everything to shit. Aye, there's the rub...

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