WWSP's "The Alternate Boot!"

Monday, September 30, 2019

Reflect and Mirror.


Visiting the graves of loved ones. I can recommend it. Mexicans celebrate the Day of the Dead , it reads even better in Spanish: Día de los Muertos.

"The Day of the Dead (Spanish: Día de Muertos) is a Mexican holiday celebrated throughout Mexico, in particular the Central and South regions, and by people of Mexican heritage elsewhere. The multi-day holiday involves family and friends gathering to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died, and helping support their spiritual journey. In Mexican culture, death is viewed as a natural part of the human cycle. Mexicans view it not as a day of sadness but as a day of celebration because their loved ones awake and celebrate with them."

Yeah, here, in good old USA this concept is a bit foreign, not a popular thing in White/Anglo culture. We Americans tend to celebrate eternal youth.  A total fantasy. We don't really want to think about death, until it smacks us in the kisser.

Anyway we trekked to the Cemetery yesterday. A dark, rainy afternoon. Rolling hills of green dotted with elaborate stone monuments and simple grave markers too. Lots of imagery of Angels, Jesus, Crosses, lots of flowers, and doodads decorating graves.

It was quiet. A certain heavy beauty. Thoughts of gravity, flesh, bodies, spirits and endings. Time is palpable in a cemetery. The boundaries of a life. Dates carved in stone. You start counting up the years. Some folks die young, some span many, many decades.

The "natural part of the human cycle." 

Reminds us of a greater thing going on. Life. Prayers. Memories. Spirit. Endings. Beginnings. You will find a bit of humility in a graveyard. You will find a certain peace. There's a longing too. 

I tend to believe that body and spirit are one. I don't really know what that means. I reflect and mirror the life and death around me.

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Believing...

I believe in...

a better day
clear-seeing
being awake
the moment
another chance
change
the sea of possibilities
imagination
believing
knowledge
curiosity
grace
beauty
love
voting
speaking
laughing
justice
truth
liberty
the scientific method
blind-spots
discipline
humility
practice
walking
healthy-eating
vigilance
integrity

Saturday, September 28, 2019

The Secret Server - The Road to Hell!

A "Secret Server." That would be the perfect end to this crazy time in our country. What destroys Little Baby Man? His own words illegally stored on a Secret Server. All his little minions, lackeys and boot-lickers will go down too.

This from Journalist Michael Weiss: "He told the Russians he knew they interfered and that it was fine, but he kept denying or casting doubt on this fact to Americans. Says a lot about this president."

Three phrases from Bob Dylan dancing in my head this a.m.

"No man righteous, no not one."
"Corruptible seed."
"There is a Slow Train Coming..."

No one is totally clean. It's a struggle, a battle, there is the Angel on one shoulder and the Devil on the other. There are the big dreams of big bucks, lots of diversions and inducements and ways to cheat and steal.

We all pay a price for the things we do. There is some kind of karma underlying everything. And everyone will have to stand up and account for the things they have done. Look around. Corruption. Lies. Secrets. High Crimes and Misdemeanors.

Little Baby Man is finally gonna have to face the music. He betrayed his country, his oath of office. All the sordid details will be revealed. Truth will out. There will be a day in the future when no one will freely admit that they voted and supported this man, a man sold his country out to a hostile foreign power.

We thought it was Robert Mueller and his report who was gonna bring this man down. Turns out it will be Little Baby Man's own words stored on a secret server. Who enabled this man? All his minions, boot-lickers and lackeys will need to testify and pay for their misdeeds too. Crime. Corruption. The Power and Glory.

What will be the fate of Little Baby Man and his cast of criminals?


"A one-way ticket to burn." - B. Dylan

Friday, September 27, 2019

The Old Marty Feldman/Igor/Young Frankenstein Defense...

Ha, ha, ha...

The President is caught in the act of shaking down Ukraine, spinning disinformation, trying to smear a political opponent, trying to steal another election, holding $ as leverage. Blatant corruption. Impeachable. "Violating his Oath of Office." Serious shit, right? Little Baby Man is basically caught with his pants down doing more "crime-ing." He just can't help himself.

He is uniquely Corrupt & Ignorant. Hard to tell what is more dominant in his psyche. Maybe they are  co-equal branches in his deeply dysfunctional mental landscape?

What's his defense?

"Hey, look over here! Nothing to see! Move along! You can't believe your lying eyes and ears!"

It's seems some of his Republican defenders have very poor "reading comprehension." They just don't want to know. The rest of us can plainly see that this time, there is no doubt, Little Baby Man has stepped in it, big time.

Finally all he has left is the old Marty Feldman/Igor/Young Frankenstein Defense. "What Hump?!"

Postscript: Yeah... this one is called, "whack job." Is it any wonder two old white guys with advanced brain dysfunction are leading the destruction of the USA and the GOP? There are remedies. Impeachment & Prison.


Thursday, September 26, 2019

Impeachment & Prison!

Wow. Didn't see that coming. Our current President got help from Russia in the 2016 election, and now, he is embroiled in a scandal where he was trying to enlist help from Ukraine in the 2020 election. Seems he just doesn't believe he can win an election fair and square.

Also, freaky wild, our current President wanted to run a disinformation campaign to blame Ukraine for election rigging in 2016 and take blame off of Russia. Why would our President want to help Russia declare innocence?

And he wanted to concoct an elaborate conspiracy implicating Joe Biden, the DNC and Ukraine. Insane. Crazy. So damn corrupt.

Funny our President is so damn corrupt, he just can't stop committing crimes against his own country. There are remedies for that kind of thing. Impeachment and Prison!

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

"No Man is Above the Law." - Nancy Pelosi

Ha, ha, ha...

Nancy Pelosi pulls the trigger on an "impeachment inquiry" and Little Baby Man is throwing a tantrum. Welcome to Democracy.

Remember: Pelosi is not doing this because Little Baby Man is a Republican, it's not because he is a "conservative," it's because he's corrupt, a two-bit crook, and has been running the Government like his own little Mafia Kingdom. As they say, "No man is above the law." Elijah Cummings, take it away...


Tuesday, September 24, 2019

"We Will Never Forgive You." - Greta Thunberg

Greta Thunberg speaks to the U.N. in full. Essential listening... take 3:53 to give her your full attention... "how dare you..."



Monday, September 23, 2019

"Small Acts, When Multiplied by Millions..."


Yes, thinking a bit more about Greta Thunberg. Every movement needs a leader (see two previous posts). Or make that many, many leaders. One young woman stands up, speaks out, demands action, and captures international attention. Maybe she is the MLK, the Mandela, the Cesar Chavez of our Climate Catastrophe? Maybe her courage, fearlessness, her plain-spoken-ness, her bold truth-telling will inspire others? Speaking Truth to Power.

Moral Authority? Where does it come from? Usually some kind of suffering. Often from the outsiders, the ones who don't fit in, those who are marching to a different drummer. Those who don't just "get along and go along."

Greta Thunberg suffers from Aspergers Syndrome. She considers it her "superpower."

"I have Asperger's and that means I'm sometimes a bit different from the norm. And – given the right circumstances –being different is a superpower." - G. Thunberg

Yes, of course, it is often the case, our greatest weakness is our greatest strength...

Thunberg's attributes — including her fearlessness and ability to speak and act so matter-of-factly — that makes hers such a potent voice. He writes:
She disdains celebrity. She makes no claim to heroism. She rebuffs efforts to idolise her. She isn't calculating or preoccupied with fame or ego. There is no artifice about her. She speaks plainly, without affectation or embroidery.

In words and deeds, Thunberg is the embodiment of philosopher Howard Zinn's admonition: "We don't have to engage in grand, heroic actions to participate in the process of change. Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can quietly become a power no government can suppress, a power that can transform the world."

Sunday, September 22, 2019

"We Can Still Fix This..." - G. Thunberg


Climate Catastrophe. This is the movement of our time... we all must stand up, speak, act...


We have to acknowledge that the older generations have failed. All political movements in their present form have failed, but homo sapiens have not yet failed. Yes, we are failing, but there is still time to turn everything around. We can still fix this.

Maybe it has to start with one to build to millions or billions? One face, one body, one mind, one spirit, one voice. Maybe Greta Thunberg is the "one," who will inspire millions or billions to take action on our Climate Catastrophe?

Think of other movements. We have always needed one to stand up to show others that they can stand up too.

We need a million, a billion Gretas...

The climate is not going to collapse because some party got the most votes. The politics that’s needed to prevent the climate catastrophe—it doesn’t exist today. We need to change the system, as if we were in crisis, as if there were a war going on.”

Saturday, September 21, 2019

I Saw the Future Yesterday...

I saw the future yesterday at the Climate March. There was a gathering in the town square. Folks from all age groups, all walks of life gathered to listen.

I saw the future on a makeshift stage equipped with p.a., a microphone, a bull-horn. High-school-age girls were speaking, leading the rally.

These very young women are the future of our community, of our country, of our planet. Young, female, engaged, socially-smart, totally-connected, plugged-in, aware, awake, active.

They talked the talk: The future is now. We must act. We all can play a part in addressing the looming climate catastrophe.

The future. These young women are the future. They will be here when the worst of the worst climate projections will become real. Lots of folks in the audience will be gone. Some of us will be long gone.

So what does the future tell us? Vote. Support the New Green Deal. Vote out politicians who deny climate change. Be vocal. Demand action.

What else? Each and every one of us can change our behavior. Eat less. Consume less. Become a vegetarian, or eat meat much less often. No fast food. No burgers. Avoid plastic containers & bottles. Turn off the lights. Buy less stuff. Be conscious. Conserve. Live with less.

Some of these sound like paltry, tiny steps, but multiply any of these actions by millions of consumers and you begin to see the logic. One thing we are good here in the U.S.A? We are excellent consumers. Let's be smart, Green, Climate Conscious Consumers.

I saw the future yesterday. There is hope. It was in the eyes, hearts and voices of those young women. The future is now.

Friday, September 20, 2019

Tumbling Down...

Silence today. Radio silence. The news is so confusing. Everything seems to be going to hell. Pretty sure our current President is wrecking the country. Ukraine is now the latest flash point. Did our President try to extort and bribe a foreign country to sway an election? Well, no doubt, of course he did. I think I will just unplug, and watch the walls come tumbling down.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Motion Itself is Good!

Motion: an act, process, or instance of changing place : MOVEMENT. Maybe motion in itself is a virtue? To always be in the act, the process of changing place?

Always be moving Pilgrim. The act or process itself is good for us. One step, one step, one step. Look to the Sun, look to the Stars, look to the Moon, look to the little blue planet we all ride upon and call home.

Everything is in motion. Always. Even if you sit still in a room, in the lotus position, the images in your head are always moving, your heart is beating, your blood is flowing, your cells are changing, synapses are firing. Energy flows, transforms.

Go with flow...

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

A Crazy, Unimaginable, Impossible, Bewildering Ride

Chaos.

We were birthed from chaos, and we shall return to chaos. That seems about as good as a description of the origin of our lives, and our universe, as you can conjure up.

We know this in our bones. We emerged from the vast pool of a complex stew of oblivion, and we will return. This order, this organization, this body, this vast space we inhabit which we are connected to, is temporary, always in flux.

Time does not stand still.

"It is enough to say that the Greeks thought it was Chaos who, with a massive heave, or a great shrug, or hiccup, vomit, or cough, began the long chain of creation that has ended with pelicans and penicillin and toadstools and toads, sea lions, seals, lions, human beings, and daffodils and murder and art and love and confusion and death and madness and biscuits. Whatever the truth, science today agrees that everything is destined to return to Chaos. It calls this inevitable fate entropy: part of the great cycle from Chaos to order and back again to Chaos."

Chaos to order and back again to Chaos. I think we are here to try to find joy and purpose and meaning in that crazy, unimaginable, impossible, bewildering, ride.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Wistful this A.M.

Wistful this A.M. You know, "vague, regretful longing..."

I dreamed of dead people last night. Not scary. Not worrying. I spoke with the dead. They were fine. Just gone. Or, okay, maybe not gone, just in another less material realm.

This A.M. you can feel time passing. Ha. I mean, of course, time is always passing. That is if you believe in time. Time is a bugger. Relentless. Always on the move.

I am wondering about "apocalypse."  Since I have been alive on the planet, it seems that if there is going to be some kind of apocalypse for my species it will be by our own hands. All-out nuclear War. Nuclear Winter. Or, you know, Climate Catastrophe. You know, it won't be God coming down to wreak havoc, it will be human beings murdering their own life-sustaining ecosystem that will do us all in.

We are watching it happen. It seems like a relentless march to an inevitable destruction. I suppose I am wistful for my species. The Fossil Fuels in the ground will make fossils of all of us. I mean, the fossilization is coming anyway, but why hurry it along? Why engage in some weird, species-wide suicide because we can't manage to be sensible stewards of our wondrous habitat. The radio tells me the big worry on everyone's mind: our Consumer Culture will sputter. Yes, the great worry on everyone's mind: Will Shoppers, Stop Shopping?!

We are a silly species. We revel in our ignorance and stupidity. We think we are smart. Wistful. Yes. Wistful this A.M.

Monday, September 16, 2019

The Space Between Too High and Too Low...

The story of Icarus...

Sort of about our human condition. Don't fly too high, or too low. But for sure, you do want to fly, you want to fashion wings for yourself, even if they are just made from plastered-on feathers and wax.  Human beings were not born with wings, we were not meant to fly, but we want to fly, yes, indeed, we do.

Maybe the wax and feathers are actually our dreams, our persistence, our perseverance, our gumption, our "can-do" attitudes, our wacky ideas, our crazy schemes, our pipe-dreams, our wishes.

So yes, we want to fly high, as close to the sun as we can go, without risking our skins. We want to see the light, we want it blazing in our eyes. We want to feel the heat on our bodies, every cell on-fire. We want to soar and circle and do crazy loops in the big blue sky.

We know there is the inevitable "come-down," there is gravity, the ground beckons us downward. We will tire, we will get "burned-out," we will need to recharge and recoup our energy. So yes, we need to return to the ground without crashing. We need to calibrate, we need to navigate some kind of safe landing.

There is a big middle between too high and too low. We want to fly the spectrum. Easily and with no effort, for as long as we can. Our wings are fashioned by us, we want to use them.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Our House is in Flames, What are We Gonna Do?

I don't know. I think this Jonathan Franzen piece is necessary, thought provoking. 

I suppose here is the "gist:"

"If you care about the planet, and about the people and animals who live on it, there are two ways to think about this. You can keep on hoping that catastrophe is preventable, and feel ever more frustrated or enraged by the world’s inaction. Or you can accept that disaster is coming, and begin to rethink what it means to have hope."

This has created quite the shit-storm. Franzen is being criticized for being a white guy, for being a successful novelist, for being wrong on the science, for being wrong on psychology, for being Jonathan Franzen.

How do I thread the needle of this controversy? I see a climate disaster looming, maybe it's inevitable, maybe it's preventable, I suppose, I expect the worst, hope for the best, and see if we can, as a species, work towards some kind of solution. I still harbor a spark of hope that we can change course. I still believe a change of consciousness can happen in the blink of an eye. I still think we all have to try to work towards a better day.

We can't throw hands up and say all is lost, but we must realize catastrophe is looming, and do what we can to avoid that catastrophe. We need to make small, micro-changes, and support large, macro-changes too.

I suppose I am glad Franzen wrote the piece. I don't think he is the last word on the topic, he is just one voice, one man. He's just a guy thinking things through. That's not a bad thing. We all need to try to think things through. The planet is on fire, our house is in flames, what are we gonna do?

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Better Gods.

Funny. I have these "insights," they come in a flash, and I wonder, did I read this somewhere, or hear someone else talk about it, or did I know this long-ago, and just forgot? Is it really an insight at all? Does everyone know this? Is it so obvious, a cliche, am I'm stupid to think it's any kind of insight at all?

Seems to me, that when folks talk about "God," they are speaking of themselves. God is just a mirror, or a mask that folks put on, and when they put the mask on they speak some kind of truth about themselves.

So if folks tell you God judges, God is vengeful, and he will damn the sinners and send them to all to Hell for Eternity, they are telling you that is what they hope for, what they think, what they want to happen to others. They are telling us who they are, not who God is.

Same thing if folks tell you God is Loving, Caring, Forgiving. These folks are telling you what is in their hearts, not what is in "God's heart." Also if someone tells you they don't believe in God, they are telling you they are in some kind of crisis, casting about, looking for some kind of purpose or meaning.

Those crazy fucking Evangelicals (see previous post), are using God to justify their own greed, their own hatred, their own racism, their own selfishness.

I think of myself. I for longest time had a problem with the God talk. Now, I'm pretty damn neutral. God, well, who knows? If there is a God, she's not a person, she's an emanation, a vibration, an abstraction, a mist, a cloud, a ray of light. She isn't really much concerned with the human realm. She has bigger fish to fry. I see mystery. Everywhere. I feel connected to everything. I don't know what it all means, but that's okay. My God is pretty wishy-washy, air-fairy, just like me.

We all use God. It's a useful concept. We use and abuse. It's a mask, a pose, a projection, a wish, a justification. It's just another damn excuse. Better Humans will invent Better Gods.

Friday, September 13, 2019

The Mad Idiot King - Ordained by God - NOT!

I do believe we live in a world of signs and wonders. Different folks, different signs, different wonders.

I see the Mad Idiot King (see previous post), someone else sees a Man "Ordained by God." Yikes. A friend of ours last night told us he was on the phone with a nice elderly woman who lives in North Carolina. Politics came up in the conversation. She told my friend that she supports our current President, that he is on a "sacred mission," and he is "Ordained by God."

Turns out it really is "a thing:" “Millions of Americans,” declared Jeffress at a July 2017 event his First Baptist Church of Dallas sponsored in Washington, D.C., “believe the election of President Trump represented God giving us another chance—perhaps our last chance to truly make America great again.”

So as a Progressive Democrat I try to total up the daily outrages. Off the top my head: Children in cages. Sexual Predator. Stone-Cold Racist. Epic Liar. Narcissistic Sociopath. Russian Stooge. Xenophobe. Money-Launderer. Corrupt. Ignorant. Active, Determined Hater of Women, of People of Color, of the Weak and Vulnerable.

The Mad Idiot King is truly a broken vessel. They say God works in mysterious ways. Yes, indeed. How do we argue with someone who believes that the Mad Idiot King is Ordained by God? Facts don't matter. Dates, events. Evidence. Truth. Science. Etc. All melt in the face of the Divine.

Hah. I refuse to concede "God" to those fucking lunatics. I know my Bible. I know my Jesus. I know my Holy Ones. This is madness. The only way to "win" the argument is to out-number, out-vote those folks. The Mad Idiot King - the Last Great White Hope... your days are numbered. I pity the poor fool.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

The Mad Idiot King: Macbeth/King Lear/Moe Howard!

The Mad Idiot King is now fighting the weather, and the weather men. That pretty much sums it up, right? We have entered the Mad/Idiot Era of our long winter of discontent. Large, old, white man shouting at the clouds, railing against the wind, drawing up his own weather maps, threatening the weather people if they contradict him, drawing new lines on weather maps to prove himself right. The Mad Idiot King is now Macbeth and King Lear and Moe Howard all wrapped into one blubbering, slobbering package of Idiot Madness. You almost feel sorry for the man. He just cannot admit that he is ever wrong, about anything. He lives in a bubble of his own infallibility. Of course, he knows nothing, and cares not a whit that he knows nothing. He thinks that if he shouts and rails and whines long enough we will all just forget, let it go, move on to the next outrage and debacle. He can't let the truth, or facts intrude on his certainty of his own lead zeppelin-like brilliance. Once he lets in the light, the whole shabby edifice would come crashing down. You wonder, if there is ever a twinge of conscience, one little ant-like spark crawling around in that big hollow, toxic cranium? We are stuck. No one really knows what to do with the Mad Idiot King. Sensible folks are hoping we can just wait him out. Of course, the Kingdom is dying before our eyes. All of our cherished institutions are being slimed beyond belief. No one gets out of this without the Madness, the sheer, unmitigated Idiocy just overwhelming us all. Fuck. Fuck the Mad Idiot King. Blow wind blow.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

The Battle of the White-Coated Gentlemen...

The Battle of the White-Coated Gentlemen...

It pays to get a 2nd opinion. 

Especially if Gentleman #1 is a rabid Trumper, (the idiot box is always on in his office, sometimes with the chatter up, sometimes with it muted), I mean, he quickly changed the subject when I brought up Idiot Furher's idiot idea of "buying Greenland," he started telling me a string of AOC dumb blond jokes, I mean, shite, how fucking transparent, AOC is not blond, AOC is not dumb, she is smart as hell, quite brilliant, totally on the ball, pretty damn progressive, that certainly was a "tell."

White-Coated Gentleman #1: "I hate to be the bearer of bad news. You are fucked. Rotting from the inside. There is nothing I can do. Except hand you over to the man with the guillotine. Don't worry. He will cut and extract and sever and, well, you will never be the same, you will be on a long, expensive road to try to get back to health. In the meantime, lots of nasty procedures, lots of money expended, lots of pain, heartache, shit, I mean, you really are fucked. Good luck."

I think White-Coated Gent #1 secretly loved the idea that I was on the road to perdition. I could tell he was lying to me, I've known this gentleman for many years, I think he has always hated me,  I think he has always harbored a secret, guarded contempt for me, I just knew he hated my airy-fairy, liberal ways, but this time he let the mask drop, and I could see the hate, the deep contempt. His white-coat and professional demeanor could not hide it. He wanted to be rid of me, shuffling me off to the executioner, he had no problem letting this progressive Democrat burn.

So,  instead, I scrambled to find a second opinion. By pure, random, luck I came across Gent #2.

White-Coated Gentelman #2: "Let's have a look. Hah, no worries. I can just do a little bit of tweaking, clean things up a bit, you will be good as new. No, even better, I can fix you up, shite, you will be better than ever. No cutting, no severing, no extracting. This should take about 30 mins, you will be good as new."

Gentleman #2 lives in a pink house with a mysteriously quiet and gentle greyhound, plays acoustic guitar between patient visits, has a Fortune-Telling 8-Ball in the waiting room ("Try again later), and has a painting of dancing, naked, cherub angels on the ceiling above the big chair. That is a "tell" too. I have found my one true White-Coated Gentleman. All is well with the world!

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

It Always Happens...

Note to the "creatives."

Create anything, put it out there, launch it into the world, into the big, uncaring, indifferent world, and, no doubt, there will be those moments of doubt, indecision, worry, despair, uncertainty. It's natural, part of the process. No doubt. Don't let anyone tell you differently.

It always happens, if you are honest with yourself, it always happens. And it's a good thing. That honesty in the creation is essential too. Even when you a certain you are on the right track, those moments of uncertainty are instructive. Maybe it's just a brief moment, a flash, a "momentary lapse" or it could be a sustained period of reevaluation. It's good, healthy, as long as it doesn't stifle the process. Be aware, it is totally part of the process.

There are those initial moments of play, of unconscious creation, of discovery, of trying things, goofing around, moments of excitement, of falling in love. This almost all happens unconsciously. Then there is the conscious part. That's when things get a bit dicey.

You pull through that part. That takes determination. A willingness to commit. It's work. The good work. And when it comes together, and you persevere, when you conquer the fear, the indecision, the doubt, and you charge ahead, "damn the torpedos" take a stand, put your belief into the process, into the good work, align yourself heart, head & spirit, that's when you know you have something worthy to share.

Monday, September 09, 2019

The Necessary Trick!

Spiritual crisis.

Right. It's the most important, fundamental, foundational crisis of all. What do we believe? Where do we put our faith? How do we live?

It's easy to see the crisis in others. Not so easy in ourselves. I mean, we live the crisis, we experience the failures, the lies, the meanness; we puff up our egos, and at the same time we can feel fear & loathing rising in our chests. Fear and loathing of ourselves.

We search for reasons to live. We look to the next relationship, the next drug, the next kick, the next diversion. It's all just delusion. The answers are not "out there," they are always "in here."

Still, it's not all about us. Out there and in here are delusions too. We need to drop our egos. We need to live in the moment. Reach outside of ourselves, connect to something bigger than ourselves. Even if we have to invent something bigger than ourselves. Believe in believing.

I think of that line: "We don't see the world as it is, we see the world as we are." Change your consciousness, change the world. Open your head, change your mind, open your heart and hands.

Look beyond, behind the mirror. Sometimes the mirror seems like the only reality. It's not. Believe in the reality beyond the mirror. It might sound like a trick. It's a necessary trick.

Sunday, September 08, 2019

What a Life.

This never happened before...

I was riding my bicycle down the boulevard yesterday, returning home from walking a dog on the lakefront. Walking the dog. I do it often. It's my "bread and butter" thing.

A sleek, silver convertible pulls up to me on the street. Two friends, fans of my band, call out a friendly greeting. We both come to a stop on the street, cars motoring around us.

My friends explain that they bought tickets but unfortunately missed our big show earlier in the week; they are laughing and pointing to the CD player. The music blasting in their car at maximum volume is my band's latest recording.

All I can do is laugh. Surreal. Strange. Kind of amazing. What a life.

Saturday, September 07, 2019

There is Up, There is Down.

You hit some kind of peak, and well, I suppose, it's inevitable that you coming crashing down. You push thru the ceiling, and fall back down to the ground. Knowing that this is the case, sort of helps. Oh yeah, you fly up, and come down. It's the natural thing.

You want to fly high, yes, you do. And you want to do it again and again. But that means lots of crashing back to the ground. It is a bit of a bi-polar kind of thing. It's fine if you know that's the way of the world.

There is much to experience and discover up there with the stars, but also much to experience and discover down there with the worms. It's all good.  There is up, there is down. Fine. You can handle both, you need both. You really, really do.

Friday, September 06, 2019

Not Too Late for the Sky!

I wrote a r&r diary entry on my band's website, I decided to just cross-post it here this a.m.  

r&r diary – “Lives Flashing Before Our Eyes…” – 09.6.19


The calm after the storm. This was a storm of our own making. We played at the fabulous Evanston SPACE on Wednesday Sept. 4. It truly is one of the great music rooms. SPACE puts on more than 300 shows a year, acts from all over the country. Photos of past performers on the walls of the Green Room include: Richard Thompson, Lucinda Williams, Lone Bellow, Alabama Shakes, Stanley Clark.

Our show felt like some kind of culmination. I’m not very good on reflecting what we’ve accomplished, I am much more focused what we are gonna do, but this night brought together so many people that we have met over the years, folks we’ve worked with, performed with, rambled and rocked with, so many of our creative fellow-travelers and inspirers from the world of theater, music, art, plus all those folks from our typical day to day. Our lives flashed before our eyes. It was sort of marvelous. We do have the best fans, no doubt.

The Lovely Carla and I could really feel the love in the room. It was a wave that washed over our band. One person commented, “You were all so on.” It’s true, that’s how it felt to us too, we felt pretty tight, the first song, “So Clear,” kicked off and the set ran out ahead of us like a wild stallion. We held on for all it was worth.

We truly possessed the moments as they rolled out.

It was awesome to share the night with our good friends Ex Maquina! Our two bands promoted the hell out of the show, and amazingly, we filled that room nearly to the brim. It’s Friday morning, the morning after the morning after, the calm after the storm. I’m sipping coffee and listening to Jackson Browne’s “Late for the Sky,” one of those great, moody, reflective records. I mean, I don’t think I’m late for anything, but these words dance in my consciousness, this a.m. and it feels so right:

“How long have I been sleeping
How long have I been drifting alone through the night
How long have I been running for that morning flight
Through the whispered promises and the changing light
Late for the sky” – Jackson Browne

Jammer

Photos by Matt Golosinski

Thursday, September 05, 2019

Man or Dummy?

Why is this photo so creepy?


Do you identify with the mustachioed gentleman who throws his voice onto inanimate objects? Or do you identify with the glassy-eyed, hollow guy with the plastered-on smile? Do you see a little bit of yourself in each of them? Whatever happened to all the ventriloquists? Where did all the dummies go?

Wednesday, September 04, 2019

Beyond the Time of Humans.

We sat in silence, the furry critter and I. The sun was fading away, behind the trees, behind distant houses. The sunlight was bright, high in the sky, but it was darkening around us on the ground. We were in a green landscape, lush green grass, big drooping, leafy trees. We were in the backyard of a large mansion near the lake. It was "quiet" except for a loud, other-worldly chorus of cicadas. These unseen choristers were buzzing, chirping, they were making a strange, almost mechanical whine. The song of the cicadas rose and fell over us like a sonic mist.

My head was titled up to the sky. There were small, low-level clouds, white, puffy, moving fast from West to East. There were also large, much more distant clouds, moving slowly, almost continent sized, darker, more ominous, also slowly moving slowly from West to East.

There was a breeze at my shoulder, it was cool, swirling, it seemed to be moving from East to West. This was strange, disorienting, watching the clouds moving in one direction, the breeze caressing my elbow from another direction. My furry friend was spooked. He stood on four feet, staring at me with big brown eyes. Expectant. Worry on his brow. It's not often we just sit silently in the darkening evening. He seemed to be sending me a question, psychically asking me: "What's happening?"

I had a brief flash of insight. As it came to me, I wondered, did I hear this somewhere else, did I ever think this thought at another time and place?

My thought: This scene, this moment, is pre-human, beyond human. I could see the world without my presence. The fading sun, the darkening sky, the trees, the grass, the cicadas. For a brief flash I saw the world without me, without my friend. I mean, I was perceiving this scene, but I understood that what I was experiencing was the world without human beings, without any sign of humanity. This was an old world, ancient, pre-history. I was getting a glimpse of a nature and the planet beyond the time of humans. Of course, that's the hushed awe we feel when we are in a forest, a jungle, a rainforest, a desert, a mountain range, an ocean, on the lakefront, or in any landscape beyond humans.

It was a brief flash. A calmness washed over me, a spark of awe rose up in my being. Then I stood up. My furry friend ran towards the house, relieved, happy that we were moving again. I opened the door to the house and we rejoined the human realm.

Tuesday, September 03, 2019

Myself is a Shaky Concept.

I observe myself. Self-reflective. It could be considered idle naval-gazing. All those famous Buddhas were known for that kind of thing. "Know thyself: is one of the Delphic maxims and was inscribed in the pronaos (forecourt) of the Temple of Apollo at Delphi according to the Greek writer Pausanias.

OK. You can't go wrong quoting "Delphic Maxims."

I think of "myself" as a shaky concept. The same eyes, dimming a bit now, the same crazy hair, thinning a bit now, the same ears, are they growing bigger now? Really, if I'm honest, I am not the same person I was earlier in my life.

I am a moving target. Walking around on spinning globe. In a slowly expanding Universe. I am the always moving river in an always moving landscape.

So knowing myself is a fungible, ever-changing concept. I think of the "uncertainty principle," Heisenberg's uncertainty is my uncertainty too. I am certain of nothing. That is a good default mode.

Let's see what's up today. Astonish me World. I am not sure who or what, or when, or how, or why... but I am up for giving it all a go.

Monday, September 02, 2019

The Method of No Method...

We did a radio interview and in-studio performance yesterday morning on WNUR college radio, The Folk Show (archive of the show is not posted yet). We were promoting our upcoming show at SPACE this coming Wednesday, Sept 4. A morning radio slot seemed to work out fine for us. I, for one, am a morning person, fortified with a pot of coffee, and a head full of dreams. It was a bit awkward, the studio isn't really set up for live performance,  there were three of us, guitar, violin, percussion, we were a bit cramped, huddled around one big microphone.

But the host of the Folk Show, Ron Lewis was quite friendly, he asked some great leading questions. We are not very polished when it comes to talking about our music, our song-writing process, our band history, our creative collaboration. And really if you listen to our CDs we are not exactly a "folk" band, although it is true all of our music starts with an acoustic guitar and two voices. And really, if you pressed me "folk" "rock" etc. are sort of meaningless. We played some songs from the heart. Music.

We just winged it. Decided to speak honestly and let the chips fall where they may. We played three songs that seem from another time and place. The three of them are "story songs," to my ears they sound archaic, older than folk, older than the hills. It's a mystery where they actually came from. What's our song-writing method? Who knows? We start with a glimmer, and run with it. It's always different, every song comes it's own way.

There is a bit of "magic & mystery" about the process. We try hard to just let the creative process flow without analysis or judgement, usually the songs sneak in the door, descend upon us, we try not to engage the "conscious" mind, we do our best to open to the vast sea of the unconscious. It's a bit spooky to talk about, or think about, better to keep the whole process shrouded in the darkness, don't want to do anything to "queer the process." A method of no method.

We heard from some folks who listened to the show on the radio. They thought we were quite "eloquent." Funny. We just put those vibrations into the air. How long do radio-waves live? How far can they go? Will they ride out to the outer reaches of space? Here's hoping they are still vibrating somewhere out into the great expanse. Maybe someone will hear the show and decide to come out to see the band on Wednesday? That would be cool.

Sunday, September 01, 2019

Emerge & Submerge!

"Life is beautiful and very complicated."

They say that life is a gift. I do think that it is true. A gift. Given to us. For no reason. It's a complex gift. It comes with thorns, razor-blades, prickly, dangerous things embedded in the package.

Maybe a gift with no giver.

No giver we can clearly identify. I mean, we are alive because the Universe is a playground for life. The giver is not a person. We emerge from a ball of enzymes, a collection of cells, an egg, a sperm, a dash of lightening, minerals and chemicals somehow stirred up and energized. We are an amazing collection of cells and organs, all working together with no defined purpose, except to breathe and walk and talk and take it all in. Teamwork. Actualized.

We have to do our best to enjoy the beauty and wonder, and avoid the danger, the pain and ugliness of being alive. It's a package deal. You get the beauty and wonder, and the ugliness and horror too. We pick and choose, and we are picked and chosen. It's a dance. Fate & fortune, luck & destiny.

We live and think about living. We are in it and outside of it too. Hope it all works out. Hope is one of our tools to live. We run the string out and see where it leads. Maybe it's one grand circle? We emerge and then we submerge.

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