Election 2020

Election 2020
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Tuesday, December 31, 2019

What Kind of God?

It became clear, somewhere along the line, that when you hear someone talking about God, they are really talking about themselves. So if loving, and kind, or vengeful and judging, you are getting a glimpse of the person doing the talking, not the entity known as "God."

This is useful. An important insight.

Wake up to the problems in the world, you realize, most of the pain and suffering of being human comes from other humans. We are a self-sabotaging species. No doubt.

Then there's nature. Life-giving and Death-dealing. A package deal. Do we look at it all as a gift, a journey, a test, a lark, a grind? What to think? I guess that depends on what kind of God you truly want to be.

Monday, December 30, 2019

What Words Come to Mind?

A long, dead-man sleep.

The bed looks like a war-zone; twisted pillows, bunched up sheets, books strewn across the expanse. I'm reading "The Brothers Karamazov" and "Shakey," (Jimmy McDonough's epic biography of Neil Young) at the same time. I mean, I alternate between the two.  Dare I say it, both books read like great literature? Reading great books about people reminds me of why I ended up studying psychology. It's all psychology, isn' it? I mean, everything human is psychological.

People. Human Beings. What words come to mind?

Crazy. Melancholic. Depressed. Schizophrenic. Hysterical. Needy. Greedy. Selfish. Determined. Focused. Scattered. Flighty. Jittery. Creative. Inventive. Imaginative. Complicated. Complex. Full of complexes: inferior, superior. Napoleon Complex. Ego. Id. Super-Ego. PSTD. Addictive. Alcoholic. Manic. Guilty. Worried. Doubtful. Conspiratorial. Self-sabotaging. Resilient. Deluded. Delusional. Hopeful. Silly. Misguided.


Sunday, December 29, 2019

Being Safe. Alive. Aware.

Yes. Living in the post-alcoholic, post-pill America. Clear-seeing. Sober-minded. I do recommend it. Meditation. Reflection. Residing deep inside our bodies. Being safe. Alive. Aware. Best way to know who we are, and who we aren't.

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Strategically-Placed Colored Lights.

We are doing a musical performance at our rehearsal space later today. Yesterday we transformed the space. We swept up, moved furniture around, arranged the chairs, set up the p.a. did a sound check, and then, the final touch, we added some strategically-placed colored lights. Usually that place is a horror-show of fluorescent lighting. It is amazing. A little bit of attention, suddenly a pretty mundane, funky room can be a shimmering little performance space. This is where the magic happens.

Friday, December 27, 2019

The Last Optimistic Person on the Planet!

The Last Optimistic Person on the Planet.

Let's see how that works out.  Flying along, and BANG, into a brick wall.  Until that day, just fly, that's the plan. 

Everyone here is afraid. Afraid of being positive, optimistic. Afraid to dream of a better day. I mean, they talk, but it's all worry, doubt, uncertainty, sarcasm, cynicism, indifference. The fear is big. Fear that everything is going to shit, and there's no way out of it. Fear of the loud fat man sucking all the oxygen out of the room. They think that ugly fat man has some secret mojo, a super-power, that no one can counter. The loud ugly fat man is on everyone's mind.

And there are those teeming hordes, the proud deplorables, mindless, thoughtless followers hooked up to Fox news. They are loud & belligerent. They shout and threaten. They hate real good. It's all about "no" with those folks. They are in survival mode. At war with the present. They clamor for a past where white folk ruled the roost.

The rest of us have lost the thread. What happened?  Some of us have lost the power to dream, to imagine another world, a better time.

Then there is The Last Optimistic Person on the Planet. They often quote Lombardi: "Run to Daylight." and "When the going gets tough, the tough get going."

Flying along...

Thursday, December 26, 2019

"Evil. When they see it, will they know it?"

Vietnamese food and a movie for Christmas. These lines from the movie stuck with me...

"Evil. When they see it, will they know it?"

Relevant to the time depicted in the film. Relevant to the book I'm reading, "The Brothers Karamazov." Relevant to this time in our country, and in the world right now. Relevant to the human condition. Relevant.

Think: Anti-immigrant. Children in cages. Hatred. Prejudice. People turning a blind eye. White Supremacists on the rise. Madness. Stupidity.

Evil. When we see it, will we know it?

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Militantly Nonjudgemental!

Lately I have been trying to be intentionally, actively, militantly nonjudgemental. You know, I do my best to drop the judgement, and try to experience my life, moment to moment. Give the moments of my life the ability to breathe, to happen freely; I try to be alive, aware, awake, to be present, fully, to let life happen, to let the moments of my life, flow, like a river. I try to reserve judgement for later.

I wonder if we could be totally clear, transparent, yes, like water; alive, with no preconceptions, no prejudices, no worries about good or bad. No division. Pure experience. Pure moment. Pure seeing. Maybe it opens us to danger, to being hurt, to being disappointed, but maybe it's worth the risk? I don't know, but it's a little experiment, a little game I have been playing lately.

Tuesday, December 24, 2019


"You don't make up for your sins in church. You do it in the streets. You do it at home. The rest is bullshit and you know it." -- Mean Streets

Monday, December 23, 2019

Living the Knowledge.

It is not what you read. It is not what you hear. It is not what you think you learned. It is what you experience, what you embody, what penetrates deep into your heart, your head, your soul.

Experiential. Thought & knowledge in action.

Not sure how it happens. Lessons learned. Wisdom gained. Often it is the small moments, the little flashes and insights. So small and incremental, you almost don't notice.

So yes, often you find yourself knowing things you thought you knew long ago. But you realize what you thought you knew, you didn't really know, until those moments when you actually find yourself living the knowledge.

So yes, we all must be uniquely us, we must be alive in the moment, the present, and bring all of ourselves to the moment, hold nothing back. Fully embodied. Fully engaged. Even if it's risky, and it is, fully alive. And at the same time, we must understand that "it isn't about us." 

We offer ourselves up. We serve the moment. We serve others. We dare to be ourselves fully, but do this gracefully, humbly, not an act of ego, an act of ego-less-ness. We are alive in the moment. We subsume ourselves, or are swallowed into the moment.

Hard to explain. Maybe harder to do. Maybe it just happens and then you figure out later, once the dust clears...

Sunday, December 22, 2019

20/20 - Perfect Vision.


Just around the corner. Someone pointed out to me, 20/20 is perfect vision. Yes. I understand. I do believe we are on the cusp of a new consciousness, a new progressive era. The chaotic hurly-burly we are living through right now, hell we are just witnessing the death throes of an old vision; a new vision is emerging.

Clarity. Clear-seeing. Perfect vision. We envision it first, and then we manifest it. I am totally, completely, madly, deeply optimistic. I am not afraid to dream, and to dream big. So many folks are gun-shy, afraid to be positive. Too much pain, suffering, too many shattered dreams and lives. Too much corruption and too many bad actors sucking the oxygen out of the air.

That time is coming to a close. 2020. Perfect Vision. Coming to a theater near you...

Saturday, December 21, 2019

"Ghosteen" - A Beautiful Alchemy of Imagery & Sound.

Before I listened. I read the accompanying booklet from cover to cover. That was unusual. I wanted to read the lyrics first, to see what Nick Cave had on his mind. I wanted to know the players, I wanted to know who played what, whose voices would I hear on the tracks.

I was a bit "under the weather," so I came to this new work in a feverish state. Maybe that had something to do with my experience? I put Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds new album "Ghosteen" on the CD player,  affixed my headphones to my head, and stretched out on the couch like an expectant patient.

It was a first-listen. What to say? An extraordinary experience. As the music played, as Nick Cave and Warren Ellis  and the band conjured up an extraordinary sound, vivid images flooded my consciousness. When I say vivid images, I mean I fell into a deep visionary state; hallucinatory, enveloping.  I found myself swimming in amazing, other-worldly scenes. The images over-powered, overwhelmed my consciousness. I believe it was the combination of the language and music. perfectly realized and conveyed that did the trick. It wasn't just the lyrics, it wasn't just the sounds, it was the combination of lyric, human voice and musical sounds that transported me to another place. A beautiful alchemy of imagery & sound.

It is all impossible to explain. Words fail.

It was a powerful experience. No doubt. And what do I think was on Nick Cave's mind? I don't want to try to sum it up, but his voice, and the voices that welled-up and supported his, penetrated my consciousness in a very deep and unique way. Rare. Unusual. I wondered if this was the sound that a creative, intelligent, fiercely unique human being makes when his soul is grievously-wounded. A Grievous Angel. The sound of a being blown wide open by loss, by mystery, by pain, by love and the suffering suffusing the world. God and the lack of God hovers overs this recording.

A magic, a spirit, an energy of yearning haunts this work.

Words. What words does this record evoke?

Sacred. Spiritual. Shimmering. Magical. Beautiful. Dreamy. Stunning. Exhilarating. Float-y. Heart-Breaking. Mysterious. Visionary. Breath-Taking. Clairvoyant.

Those images that rose up in my consciousness will be with me always, even as they seem to fade into the mists. So real. So strange. The experience is burned deep into my being. Indelible.

Friday, December 20, 2019

"The Fuckedness Quotient" - W. Gibson

I loved reading this profile of the author William Gibson in the New Yorker. It reminded me how influential he has been on my thinking about the world we live in ever since I first read his novel "Neuromancer" (1984). A quick review of his output, I realize I've read 10 of his novels. Amazing.
I don't really consider him "Sci-Fi," I'd say he is writing about the "forward now."

Yesterday was a good day (see previous post), but then, I came across the profile, and Gibson reminded me that we can never escape "the fuckedness quotient."

Yes. Indeed.

“... I’ve commenced with a sort of deep reading of the fuckedness quotient of the day,” he explained. “I then have to adjust my fiction in relation to how fucked and how far out the present actually is.” - William Gibson

Yes. Perfect. The present. We experience. It is so overwhelming. There is so much present in the present now. It sort of pushes the future out of the picture. Never forget "how fucked and how far out the present actually is..."


Thursday, December 19, 2019

Working Towards a Better Day...

So happy. What's the soundtrack this morning? U2's "All That You Can't Leave Behind." Yes. Theme song this A.M. - "It's A Beautiful Day."

It is good, I mean, actually, deeply, madly, heart-warming, to see that there are some Americans who still believe in the rule of law and the U.S. Constitution. It's not easy. But it is essential to a working Democracy. Folks need to take a stand, speak up, wade thru the B.S. and get to essential facts and truth.

Impeachment. This doesn't happen very often. It's definitely bad for this current President, but it's undoubtably good for our country.  Don't know what happens next, as Joe Strummer once said: "The Future is Unwritten," but it is encouraging & exciting that some folks really still care about our country, about facts, about truth, and are working towards a better day.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Blazingly Obvious.

Doing the right thing. No matter the consequences. Right? You expect that people, human beings, can step up and do the right thing when push comes to shove. Sometimes it may not be obvious what the right thing to do is, but in most cases it's blazingly obvious. I am talking big picture and little picture, in the grand scheme, and in the little, paltry, day to day events of our lives.  Once in a great while we are called upon to make big, momentous, history-making decisions. That's what's on tap for the House of Representative today. Folks speaking up, standing up for country and constitution. No man is above the law. Every one needs to be held to account. Today is one of those days. A day of responsibility.

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Glide the Day.

Glide the day. That was the message I heard in my head this A.M. Glide the day.  I think I will glide the day.

And what is the perfect soundtrack for a "gliding day?"

D'Angelo's "Black Messiah." 

Monday, December 16, 2019

Yes, Beyond God...

My mood; like a ping-pong ball in a rushing river. Bi-polar doesn't really cut it. I would say "beyond polar." So, yesterday, I contemplated the "craziness" of humanity (see previous post), this morning, I'm thinking of what I value beyond God.

You ask, "Beyond God?" Yes, not sure if there is a God or not, but there are a multitude of things that make life worth living beyond God. I don't need God in my life to have meaning. I believe  this search for meaning starts inside, and can be found there too. Within us and without us. I mean, I'm not against God, I don't "not believe," it's just an open question, with no clear answer.

I have had my own glimpses, epiphanies.

And maybe if there is a God, it's doesn't really matter a whit. While I type these words, John Lennon is singing on the box: "God is a concept by which we measure our pain." Right.

And my life is not meaningless because it "will end" like all things end. I am here now. Alive. That is the thing.

So what do I value beyond God? Let me do a list:

"What If?"
"Yes, And..."
A satisfying meal
Positive Vibes
"Once Upon a Time..."

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Crazy. Yes. No Doubt.

I'm reading "The Brothers Karamazov," considered by many to be one of the all time great novels. It is a time-trip. Not difficult to read. I read in bed, it's a great way to segue into sleep. I curl up in bed, crack open the book and sink into the world of those "crazy Russians."

Crazy. Humans are so crazy. I should know, I'm one of them, just as crazy as the rest. Why are we so crazy? We learn fairly early in life that we will die. All of our family and friends will die too.

That's pretty crazy-making.

Then there is the relentless nature of existence. Suffering. Pain. Crushed dreams. A battle just to survive. How to feed ourselves, where to rest our heads, how to make our way in a hostile, uncaring world?

We imagine Gods, and Devils, and Judgement, and Apocalypse, we conjure other worlds and realities, and try to reconcile it all. More crazy-making stuff.

We deal with big words and concepts like Responsibility, Guilt, Sin, Morality. We look to Grace, Humility, Love. We battle with Indifference, Hate, Cruelty.

Oh yeah there's also Murder, Genocide, Suicide, Bullets, Guns, Bombs, Wars, Climate Catastrophe. It's all quite overwhelming.

We are essentially crazy, but not only crazy. We wear Masks: Rational, Reasonable , Pratical,  Pragmatic, Optimistic. But we are all Emotional Hurricanes inside. There is a swirling madness in each one of us. As Adults, we are Corrupted, Damaged Children. Each and every one of us. Little Children living as best we can.

Crazy. Yes. No doubt. But not only crazy...

Saturday, December 14, 2019

"Rainbow Democracy!"

Sometimes it's hard to follow the thread of what's happening.

I am not afraid of people of color. I don't think "they" are gonna take over our country. I don't fear immigrants, all my friends and their friends are children of immigrants. I don't fear women, gays, young people, the "have nots." To me it is really hard to understand why some of my fellow citizens are afraid they are "losing their country." I guess they all watch Fox News, and they worry about the "invading" progressive hordes.

Of course, it's not "their country," it's "our country," a country of immigrants, a country consisting of a great, over-flowing melting pot of every race, creed, & color imaginable. Truly a "Rainbow Democracy." Walk the streets of New York, Chicago, L.A. The great, and grand experiment of a multi-cultural melting pot. A beautiful thing.

I am an "old white guy," who just doesn't understand these "old white guys" who are clinging to an old picture, clinging to a racist, xenophobic, misogynist, homophobic, world-view. They are like the old Stalinists, clinging to the days of Stalin. Hard to believe they are clinging so hard to a false, retrograde, immoral picture of reality.

What's just happened in the Judiciary Committee? Emptywheel explains: "A Diverse America Votes to Uphold the Constitution; A Largely Male White America Votes to Abrogate It."

Yes, this is easy. I throw in my lot with "diverse America." It's a wonderful place to live. We must win this battle. We must out-vote, out-work, out-hustle these "White Americans" who are willing to trash the constitution to cling to power. This is not for the faint of heart. But we must prevail. Save our beautiful dream. We can't let the voices of fear, of hate, of greed, of power for power's sake carry the day.

No man is above the law. A President is not a King. White people are not superior to anyone else. Let's  clear our heads of that retrograde idiocy. Let us welcome the Progressive future. It's a beautiful vision.

Friday, December 13, 2019

A Good Plan...

I am aligned with the Dali Lama: "We are all Human Beings, first." 

That is a good starting point. We all have a lot in common. Human: hearts, heads, bodies, spirits, energies.

After that things start to diverge. Different bodies. Different cultures, different families, different experiences, different education, different opportunities. Different minds, different shoes. Etc.

How to live with each other? I do believe we are all capable of "doing good" in the world. We also are all capable of "doing bad" in the world. Good actors amongst us. Bad actors amongst us. Not necessarily good or bad people. Good or bad intentions. Good or bad actions.

We are all responsible for all that we do. Maybe Jean Paul Sartre was correct, we are actually responsible for everything in the world. It's a heavy burden. Existential.

So much trouble in the world. So much pain and suffering. So many people divided by belief. So many people unable to agree on basic facts, or any kind of reality. You hope people can agree on facts, truth, some kind of shared reality, but then events prove this wrong over and over.

It's a very human dilemma.

It is disheartening. I am one of those folks who think that a change of consciousness can happen in the blink of an eye. I am hopeful. I do believe in truth, and that we can all decide together to build a better world. But I also realize that other people don't see things the way I see them. And they are willing to kill and commit atrocities to prove their point of view.

It is quite ugly.

What to do? Lean to the light Pilgrim. Try to avoid the darkness. Or if you live in darkness, remember there is light. Maybe it is simple: "There but for the grace of God, go I." And. "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." Old wisdom. Hard won wisdom.

Stand up. Stand out. Speak up. Damn the torpedos, the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, the pricks and kicks.

You don't have to accept some grand program. Live humbly, with grace, compassion, love, and hope for the best.  Lombardi told us: "When the going gets tough, the tough gets going." Seems like a good plan.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

"Child of the Revolution."

This is cross-posted at whitewolfsonicprinces.com - r&r diary 12.12.19

“My message is that we’ll be watching you.

“This is all wrong. I shouldn’t be up here. I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean. Yet you all come to us young people for hope. How dare you!

“You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words. And yet I’m one of the lucky ones. People are suffering. People are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are in the beginning of a mass extinction, and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth. How dare you!

“For more than 30 years, the science has been crystal clear. How dare you continue to look away and come here saying that you’re doing enough, when the politics and solutions needed are still nowhere in sight

“You are failing us. But the young people are starting to understand your betrayal. The eyes of all future generations are upon you. And if you choose to fail us, I say: We will never forgive you.

“We will not let you get away with this. Right here, right now is where we draw the line. The world is waking up. And change is coming, whether you like it or not.

“Thank you.” – Greta Thunberg

Lately, we have been playing a new song called “Child of the Revolution.” We haven’t recorded it yet. Carla introduces the song by saying, “This is for Greta Thunberg.” Carla wrote the lyrics for Greta, and for Greta’s campaign to tackle the looming threat of complete climate catastrophe.

We need a revolution in the head, a change of consciousness, we need to act now to save the ecosystem that supports life on the planet. Greta has stood up, stood out, spoken with deep conviction and hard-edged eloquence. She is such a hero. Courageous, inspiring. We need more Gretas, we need millions of Gretas all around the globe.

Carla sings, “Can the prayers of the day, show a little mercy? Our prayers are with you, always with you, Child of the Revolution.”

Praying, singing, changing the way we think about the world, acting decisively, taking care of the air, the trees, the oceans, and all the pretty creatures; living with kindness, humility & grace. We need to give up our addictions to mindless consumption, fossil fuels, deforestation, factory farming, fast-food and the meat industry. We need to care for all that lives on the planet. That’s our clear mission. A change of consciousness, it can happen in an instant. We teeter on the precipice of doom. Now is the time. – Jammer

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Open Heart, Open Mind - Facts.

Reading the news of the day. Sometimes I just don't know what to think. So many competing narratives. So much bullshit. You realize there are folks trying hard to confuse us all. So many lies, so many liars, so many folks trying to muddy the waters. In times like this, best to keep an open mind, and open heart, to sift through the evidence, to test ideas, to question theories, to keep your bullshit detector on and ready to go. There are bad actors who see the advantage of keeping us all confused all the time. Disinformation, it's a political strategy. Take a breath. Clear your head. Sift through the B.S. Maybe grab another cup of coffee. We all have to be a bit like "Joe Friday," you know, "Just the facts, Ma'm." I believe in truth. I believe in facts. I do believe we can make it through. Clear-headed.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Darkness & Light.

Cloudy winter-like days.

This is the time of year when you learn degrees, grades of darkness. You awake to a kind of dull darkness, there are patches of light, or a faint lightness seeping around the edges, but the dullness predominates. Later in the day, it may lighten up a bit, but not for long, a deeper darkness descends. Think pitch-black dark. These are days you learn about darkness.

The light comes from inside. What you know. What you think. What you decide to do. There are the beliefs, the dreams, the wonders you carry inside. There's an "inner light," illumination, a flame, or a flash-point in your solar plexus.

Darkness & Light. They are always dancing. Inside. Outside.

Monday, December 09, 2019

"Don't Be Denied." - Neil Young

You have be careful what you choose to listen to right before you go to sleep. The music stopped and then I read a few chapters of The Brothers Karamazov. And then, a long sleep. I tossed and turned. Neil Young's voice was ringing in the air around me, rattling around my head. He was insistent, persistent, persuasive. This morning I find the bed sheets twisted, the pillows bunched up. The bed looks like a war-zone, like there was major battle. What was that Neil Young phrase running thru my head all night long? "Don't Be Denied." 

Sunday, December 08, 2019

In the Moment Plan...

I was talking off the top of my head to my friend last night. I never know what's gonna come out of my mouth.

Me: "You know, I just need to always 'give it' to people. Open heart, give them love and validation. Always."

My friend: "You have always been like that."

Me: "Hah, maybe, but now I just think I have to do it more intentionally."

Note: This  always "giving it" to people is not some "saintly" thing, it may be from my need to be loved by everyone. I have learned that isn't possible. Still, sometimes I give too much, but it's a personality quirk, probably not a strength, but a weakness. The key is to give with a pure, needless intention.

Saturday, December 07, 2019

Yes, He is Orange, Not Pretty...

I think it has been obvious for much of this man's public life, that he is not very intelligent, he is incurious, prejudiced, he thinks he knows more than he knows. He is a World-Class Idiot of Epic Proportions. He is truly a racist, misogynist, toxic clown, a blight on the nation, the world. It's a true debacle and embarrassment that he stumbled into the Presidency. Funny. The GOP thinks he's doing just fine.

What the Fuck? Really.

Someone sent me this paragraph of our President's latest brain gook this a.m. The headline: Ladies and Gentlemen, Here's Your President.

Let me editorialize for a moment. I am a bit tired about writing about this fucking idiot. So many words, brain-cells, time wasted on such a fucking black hole void of a being. Still, you can't make this shit up. Think of our greatest novelists, playwrights, satirists: Vonnegut, Heller, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nabokov, Shakespeare, Shepard, Dostoyevsky, Beckett, Ionesco. None can match this fucking word salad coming out of this man's mouth.

Oh my Lord... this man's mind is total fucking mush... ok, I mean, he did say something truthful... yes, he is Orange... not pretty.

Friday, December 06, 2019

So Suggestible.

Yeah. This is how things work in my life. I start reading Dostoyevsky, and then everywhere I turn, there's Dostoyevsky. For instance, Brain Pickings has a morning post about him. Never fails. I've also started wearing my "Russian style" hat. I just picked it up, put it on unconsciously. My friend took one look and said, "Russian." Yes. I am so suggestible. And there are invisible strings connecting everything in the Universe. That's what they say.

I'm thinking of having borscht for lunch. Hah!

Dostoyevsky faced the firing squad, he looked into the abyss of an early death by execution, and then was pardoned and sent to Siberia. Reborn. In a letter to his brother, Dostoyevsky pours his heart out, and his new born knowledge:

"Brother! I’m not despondent and I haven’t lost heart. Life is everywhere, life is in us ourselves, not outside. There will be people by my side, and to be a human being among people and to remain one forever, no matter in what circumstances, not to grow despondent and not to lose heart — that’s what life is all about, that’s its task. I have come to recognize that. The idea has entered my flesh and blood… The head that created, lived the higher life of art, that recognized and grew accustomed to the higher demands of the spirit, that head has already been cut from my shoulders… But there remain in me a heart and the same flesh and blood that can also love, and suffer, and pity, and remember, and that’s life, too!"-  F.D.

Thursday, December 05, 2019

Life. For the Living.

You just need to put your head down, and live.

I mean, stand up, stand out, speak up, be all you can be. Totally inhabit your body. Be awake, aware, alive. To the maximum. Be ready to be challenged, be ready to be disappointed, to be attacked, dismissed, laughed at, poked and prodded, whatever. Damn the torpedos. Those torpedos will come. Damn them.

There are reasons to live. You must power through. Just because. Life, likes life. Maybe you won't figure it all out. Maybe you won't know all the reasons, maybe there will be great mysteries surrounding you. It's ok.

Life. It's for the living.

Wednesday, December 04, 2019

Same Heart, Same Soul.

Yes. It is instructive. Go back to a text, a novel from 1880, written by one of the great, world-famous  novelists. Time-trip to a time before phones, computers, cars, airplanes, TVs, movie theaters. A time before the great World Wars. Before Stalin, Hitler, FDR, Lenin. Before Vietnam, Iraq, Kardashians. Before Warhol, Picasso, Mao, Elvis, Beatles, Dylan, bell-bottoms. Before Summer of Love and the apotheosis of Pop Culture. Before 9/11 and the Holocaust.

Burn off all that hoo-hah. Eliminate all that 20th and 21st century hurly-burly. Go back. Distill it down. To another time and place. What are you left with? Human Beings. Living. Thinking. Loving. Hating. Suffering. Dying. Dealing with unimaginable tragedies at every turn. Staring into the dark abyss. Looking for answers. Reaching to skies, worried about the flames of Hell.

Folks asking, wondering, How to Live? What to believe? What is best? What is worst? What the Fuck?!

It's all pretty compelling.

You know these people. You live with people just like these people. Their problems are your problems. Their questions are your questions. We think we have progressed, evolved, and it's true, certainly our technology has branched off in so many ways, so many more toys and diversions. Lots more hurly-burly.

And there are no so many more of us. And we are crowding into each other. Connected globally 24/7. And we are burning up our beautiful little blue planet. Destroying habitats and ecosystems, and species at an alarming, accelerating rate. Pushing against the bounds of health and sanity.

So new problems, new worries, new unimaginable tragedies. But the same questions today: How to live, what to believe, what is best, what is worst, what the fuck?! The same human heart, the same human soul. The same pain, suffering, tragedy, death, uncertainty.

We want and need answers. Always asking, always searching, always praying, looking to a new day, a new way. Human.

Tuesday, December 03, 2019

The Prayer of Release...

From Interview magazine, the great actor Anthony Hopkins speaking with Brad Pitt: 

"I once asked a Jesuit priest, 'What is the shortest prayer in the world?' He said, 'Fuck it.' It's the prayer of release. Just say 'Fuck it.' None of it is important. The important thing is to enjoy life as it is. Your life today, it’s fantastic."

"Fuck it" was also the official motto of the now dead and gone The Abbie Hoffman Died for Your Sins Festival.  Fuck it, a short, multi-purpose prayer. Keep it close to your heart, and in your tool-box at all times.

Monday, December 02, 2019

Monday Morning Questions...

My long-time friend, companion, co-conspirator, she knows me about as well as anyone on the planet, walks into the kitchen while I am opening the aspirin bottle, I accidentally drop it on the floor, and all the little pink tablets skitter across the tile. She watches as I scoop them up and put them back in the bottle, I slip one into my mouth too. We silently decide to just forget those tablets landed on the floor. Co-conspirators.

My friend asks: "Why are you the way you are?"

I think for a moment and reply: "I don't rightly know."

It's true. I don't. I do think we are all here to figure that out. Why are we the way we are? And what are we gonna do about it? How will we occupy ourselves while we are here? Big questions for an early Monday morning.

I think back to yesterday, Sunday afternoon, laying on the couch with my headphones on. A mix of CDs on the box, on random play. I actually fell asleep in the middle of Neil Young and Crazy Horse blasting thru an epic version of "Fucking Up," on their live disc "Weld." How is it possible? To fall asleep during that bravura, sonic assault? I don't rightly know. I woke up somewhere towards the end of the song, I too was stupefied. It was just a brief episode of unconsciousness maybe 7 mins or so, but still, dozing off during that crazy mayhem? Prophetic? And "Why Do I?"

Existential. Essential. Questions. Monday. Morning. WTF?!

Sunday, December 01, 2019

Into the Now.

A post-Thanksgiving holiday meal at the Asian restaurant. The fortune cookie tells me: "You don't worry about the Future." It's true. I don't. I think the future is unwritten, and basically doesn't really exist. We can imagine it. but really, this moment is it. This might be a flaw in my thinking. I don't really plan for the future either. So when I get there, hell, I don't know if I'll be prepared or not. Probably not. I figure I will cross that bridge when I get to it.

Lately, I have been swimming in the past. As the saying goes, "you may be through with the past, but the past isn't through with you." Right. Musically, I am back to my favorite go-to artists: Dylan (of course) and Neil Young, both solo and with Crazy Horse. I am swimming in music from the 70's, 80's & 90's. I also watched Jim Jarmusch's great movie "Year of the Horse" (1997) a couple times over the last few days.

This music, these artists are in my bones. My DNA. Two of the finest artists of our lifetimes. The Jarmusch movie is transcendent. Watch Neil Young become a wild stallion on stage. Watch 4 musicians become one powerful, overwhelming, ragged and raging vibe. It is fabulous.

I am also reading an old novel, one that I initially read in my early 20's. Going back. I look at my library and realize I have forgotten so much more than I have ever learned. I am about 20 pages or so into a fat book: Fyodor Dostoevsky's "The Brothers Karamazov" (1880). I remember that it was a profound novel, about big and great things. I am only about 20 pages into it now, and I realize it's also really, really funny.

Huh. I don't remember it being funny. But I was laughing at the boisterous, debauched father. I realize I don't know what I know. I don't remember what I used to know. Maybe re-visiting is essential. That's where I am at right now. Swimming in the past. Bringing it forward into the now.

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