HIS SPIRIT LIVES ON! ... BONER, THE PIANO DOG ... November 27, 1994 ... February 20, 2010
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May 31, 2007
Field, Pennsylvania USA
Tonight was a lush and warm night with a cool breeze and the second night of the full moon. Unfortunately, I did not see the moon until I was about to leave. It was orange! How beautiful it was. New friends, Ed and Lisa came with me blanket in tow to hang out with some creative music. I went to play on the ball field of the high school. It is very therapeutic for me to create music, have I said that before? I like the practice of creating music while people are listening and not milling around doing other activities.
I am going to consciously start including in my writings the other significant parts of my life besides music right now, I am writing about Boner and my health. My anniversary weigh in concerning my body weight is on June 9th. I have been progressively conscious about my health consistently for two years now. I so much want to break below 200 pounds by June 9th. I have been afraid to get on the scale because I have regressed over the last month so I am working extra hard to be healthy and the closest I have gotten to date is 203. I refuse to diet. The longest time period I ever stayed healthy in my life was eight months and now I am coming on two years. Thank Goodness. With the present outside temperature being so warm, I need to drink extra water. Made sure I had my protein, tuna... and kept reminding myself today when eating salad and fruit, "you can eat as much as you want of this". Hope I do not get bored with it. Can I become lighter while eating? I better. I owe it to myself.
Boner I had mentioned is losing his hearing. He has been acting strange over the last week and I am fairly certain now... his domestication is slipping with his age. The less he hears from the outside world the more he gets into his doggie head. When he is loose and running he will completely forget that I am there and if he catches a sent; he runs to pursue it. If he does not want to do something my voice does not affect him; he becomes aggravated when I physically try to move him. He does not hear my voice when I call him. Tonight I found him digging under the pond lost in the experience of trying to get to a rabbit hiding. He has not dug since he was a pup. It is all ok and good. I now want him to have as many doggie experiences as possible. He has done his time in total domestication. I am happy to experience all of Boners life stages and I will adjust to his old age with love and respect. I consciously keep thoughts or feelings about his inevitable passing out of my present experiences with him. I do not want to miss a moment of his life and I want every moment I have with him to be filled with joy. He may live many more years yet.
May 30, 2007
Bensalem, Pennsylvania USA
I had to go out tonight and play for the full moon, I just had to. I worked in the yard all day diggin' up hostas. I need to sell them right away, they are huge at $25 per and you can get like five decent size plants from each one. Someone came over to look at them from Craig's list and I had trouble not fainting from all the work while I talked. I had to sit down... yikes! It felt old manish. I am looking forward to cutting a hole in my fence so I can put the truck in my back yard to play because I am going to be camped out there for a month selling everything day and night. I will be performing on my lawn every day... won't that be interesting. At least people will be able to find me... and hopefully buy something.
Anyway, I drove to the high school parking lot and pulled over two girls and asked them to take some pictures of me in the moonlight and then I persuaded them to play some piano. When they played, that was gratifying to me. While improvising for myself after they left... I was very aware that I was giving over any control concerning my musical thought and where my fingers would fall to a "stream of consciousness". I was enjoying it and did not want to constrict the moments with any structure. I felt joy. After about a half hour my music became simple and lyrical and this has not happened in a long time. I was hitting only a few notes at a time and listening to them with joy. I could see the face in the moon and it was smiling. I had pulled up onto the school lawn to play instead of being in the usual parking spot because I wanted to look at the moon. I am going to go farther on the lawn next time... what is to happen, they tell me to get off? I just don't want that to happen because then it will become a bad energy place because I am soooo... sensitive. I am glad I played today, I felt back in sync with the Traveling Piano idea.
May 29, 2007
My House, Bensalem USA
I have begun to focus today on the liquidation of everything that I own in order to continue and pursue the Flight of Peregrinating Musical Exploration. I feel good about doing this although it is not easy in the slightest. Now might be a good time for readers to review the past months of travel, the pictures and writings of Boner and my visits to communities, tribes, villages and neighborhoods throughout Mexico and America and most specifically our visit to Virginia Tech at the student's request.
I am offering everything for purchase by mail as well as in person at my house... a yard full of perennials... varieties of iris, large hostas, tiger lily's, candy tuff, columbine, mums, Japanese lanterns, climbing rose bushes, raspberry bushes and much more as well as a large collection of historic belgium blocks, bricks, flagstone and river, glacial rock from my world travels to New Zealand, Egypt, Israel, throughout Europe and the United States ... forty years worth of collecting. Contact me for more information.
May 28, 2007
Warminster, Pennsylvania USA
Today was like my eighteenth appearance for the Warminster Pennsylvania Memorial Day Parade. This town is home to me because I have grown up with everyone through my yearly appearance. It is two towns away from my house and I have been grateful to be embraced so close to home for all these years. My neighbor of forty-two years, Larry drove for me. He is older than dirt and the man who gave me the courage to take the truck to Mexico. "It'll make it, I'd be going if I could... do it!" He is a good friend. Jim Steele and his buddies have been organizing this parade from the start and I have major respect for these veterans. Seeing the movie private Ryan for me, was an eye opener for what Memorial Day is about. The gun ceremony salute came earlier than expected and I was away from the truck so guess where Boner ended up by the time I got to him?
Two young bambinos excitedly started to walk and dance along side of me during the parade so I invited them to jump in the back. They loved that and sat screaming and waving until the end when their father appeared and jumped into the truck to play some piano for himself. He played a little Boogie Woogie and some other stuff. He is a minister at the local AME church. I forgot to ask him if he knew he was playing the devils left hand. That is how religion used to refer to Boogie Woogie back in the day.
May 27, 2007
I have a parade tomorrow and I need to just sit and do nothing today. I am whacked from the last two days of "gifting". It can be more draining than work sometimes. Actually it has taken me most of the day to do yesterdays blog. I slept until 12 noon, I needed it. I would rather be playing music effortlessly because when I am not playing music I think too much. Like this... I am conscious that I have been having impulsive, negative thoughts about what is happening or why something is happening like, "I can't find my wallet somebody stole it". I could think, "it's sitting around somewhere, open your eyes. The reasoning is an impulse of negativity and a fear based projection with no base in fact. If I let go of the negativity and just breathe and acknowledge that it most likely not the truth I find the wallet. If I feed the negativity not only do not find the wallet... more negativity from another direction develops and then it all snowballs.
What I think is happening is that I do not want to just accept the intimacy I have experienced over the last two days, the being given to and creating music with and for other people. "It was not real, they did not mean it, not enough, I'll never get it again, the fun will be taken away from me." Also, the tasks in front of me seem overwhelming, "why doesn't someone do this for me, why do I have to live my life, why can't I be carried through this, where the hell is my partner to take care of it all with me, where is my mommy?"
Reality... my life has been... is... and will continue to be... great, loved and respected, cared for, appreciated, wanted and full of experience. I want to keep myself aligned with rightfulness because I want rightfulness to happen in my life. It is a must. Namaste
May 26, 2007
Playa Del Fuego Festival, Delaware USA
Ok, as a participant and contributer to a Burning Man event I am now an official "burner". I like that fact. Sleeping in my truck for the first time last night was interesting but not fun. I was warm under the tarp except for a little nose coldness. I slept for about four hours until the sun came up and then it got too hot to stay under the canvas. Sleeping in my truck is not a viable option for any more overnight stays. Age might be a factor. Should I be sleeping in the back of a truck at fifty-two years of age (next month) anyway? Please God, no. Most of the day was spent zonked out from the heat and sun. There was not one tree for shade. I tried sleeping some with earplugs on a cement slab under a pavilion with hundreds of people talking and eating in the only shade to be found. The trees were on the other side of electric fences. I tried taking a shower for some energy. It did not work. There is an amazing diversity of people in the burning man community, people of different varieties and types, social status, age, education and cultural backgrounds. We all have a common approach to life... whatever "floats your boat"... use it so that we can be friends together. Gifting is a major component... one guy dressed as an Oreo cookie walked around offering people Oreo cookies, another guy cooked French toast for everyone in the mornings. Other people walk from camp to camp to create music for others. I am glad I got out of my house to attend this event. I am glad someone invited me. When I am home, I tend to get stuck there. Just from sitting home for the two weeks since I returned from Virginia Tech I was getting afraid to leave again. I told myself, "you can always just turn around and go back home." I took/packed paper work with me. What a joke. I should know better. I never do home work when I am not at home.
Vietnam Vets played on the piano today. A group of them own the land the festival was held on. Semi-nude people also created music on my piano today. I had made my mind up that no one was going to sit bare assed on my seat cushions. It was a non-issue because no one attempted to do that. I attended a nude slip and slide today. Whoo Whee!!! A mass of humanity vied for a trophy validating... a most creatively nude slipper and slider. The vietnam vets were the judges. It was a very funny event. There was over a hundred participants. No pictures were allowed. There is something very freeing about experiencing nudity as a non-issue. I had about ninety two percent of my experience as a non-issue and the other seven percent is what prevented me from joining in on the slip and slide myself. That was probably a good thing as I was judging a little bit and myself... and others... not that anyone else would have cared. It made me think about nudity, which of course influenced the music I was creating. I was taught... and now to me this is totally ridiculous to me... that we must wear clothes because Adam and Eve messed up. Those two, they ate that lusty apple after being told not to... and because they messed up... if you are going to be traditionally religious you must focus on sexually preventative condom like behavior until the end of human existence. That means wear your clothes because Adam and Eve had sexual desire and therefore could not be trust worthy and your not either. We must all spend the rest of our lives fighting temptation from our original minds because our minds are the same as Adam and Eve's... dirty and sexually sinful. We are not individuals... we are our parents people. You want to be nude? Shame on you. Ugh! Really? I don't think so. I think humans also wear clothes to make ourselves look attractive and also as a form of self-expression or... as someone else's expression... as in uniforms.
God... the flies. I used a full can of "Off" until my skin was so toxic I had a headache and still the flies were hitting my head twenty at a time. I was trying to use the situation to be creative, "ahh, I'll create music to the random hitting of flies against my head." That did not work. I took a break to drive and get some water, also to recharge my batteries and stopped to ask a local resident along the road for directions to the nearest watering hole. After seeing all the flies buzzing around his head I asked him, "how do you live with this?" He said, "it's only for two weeks, as soon as the Rhododendrons bloom they all disappear."
Once the sun went down the party began. Large structures made of wood were burned in the night. Lanterned puffs of fire balloons drifted up into the sky. This guy camped next to me was a craftsman with a bullwhip and we improvised music and movement together. It was an excellent experience and I am sorry to say that it did not last long because Boner started to freak out from the snapping sound of the whip. Too bad because it would have gotten very interesting creatively. Boner handled the fire spinners better. I had major chemistry with an expert fire spinner/dancer and we created music together for quite a while. My music works very well with this art form. His dance movement was strong, smooth and uninhibitedly passionate which I related to and also, I am stimulated by the random and chaotic behavior in the movement of flame. I have always been more visual than musical. I am drawn to couple my music with the dance of fire hooping and spinning.
I left this place feeling cared for, validated, and valued. I am so thankful to find people who accept what I have to offer. I would drive away from my campsite to gift an area and return to, "welcome home piano man". When I was creating music during dinnertime people from different camps would walk up to Boner and me with a plate of food to share. Kids would walk buy with, "cheers to you, piano man". A girl came up to me as I was leaving and said, "I've been happy all day because of you". A guy from a nearby camp said to me after a nap, "your music was really nice to sleep with." After creating some music of his own a guy said, " had I normally been invited to play the piano I would have thought, "oh my God, this is going to be terrible, instead I thought, "how bad could it be" then I thought, "its not going to be bad at all" and this experience was because of your presence! Yea baby...
May 25, 2007
Odessa, Delaware USA
So here I am in attendance at Playa Del Fuego a regional Burning Man event. There is no way I could explain what this event is all about, all I can say is that it is full of free spirited creative types of every kind, there are many theme camps from states all over the east coast, it is major event, there is a lot of camping, friendship, music, costumes, sharing and all around communal bonding. Since the moment I arrived, I wanted to leave and wanted to leave every minute until the sun set because of the green horse flies everywhere. They are totally out of control. I dowsed my head with deet and still they kept flying into my head ten at a time. They swarmed everyone's head constantly. Boner really handled it better than I did I would have definitely left if the flies were stressing him out. There is a lot of nudity here, mostly disturbing nudity (as in... oh god do I have to see that) .... but I am dealing with it. I am glad I waited for the sun to set because the night is full of life, the music from the man stage as well as major sound systems from the individual camps, the party lights, fire hoopers, jugglers with lights swirling from their props, the quiet ramblings of conversation in the dark.
It is great to hear club music outdoors in the night air, good dance music, and tonight they are doing remixes of old dance stuff from the 70's, my era of clubing and I was big into that back into the day. I love music. I jammed with many people today; everyone just walks around gifting each other with music, everywhere. Having Boner with me is so comforting. I thought today how of Boner's biggest contribution to my life. Through Boner, I learned to respect the will of another being and to make that respect to my advantage. I am getting old. I am supposed to play for an after hours fire hooping show but I am just to beat to do it. I am going to bed... in the back of the truck! This will be for the first time in twenty years!!!
May 24 2007
Neshaminy, Pennsylvania USA
I went to run a few errands today and specifically wanted to find someone to play piano for. I noticed I was fighting impulses that did not exist while traveling on the road. I was censoring where I would create music and for whom. Being in my hometown, I have trust issues concerning respect and worth. Anyway, I took care of my last errand and did one of my, "god help me to find someone to play for, help me to find a good spot, hey saint Anthony I need you to come into my space and help me out here". There was a used car sale going on in the mall parking lot up the street and I have been curious about it because I am still trying to decide if "the little truck that could" will make it to Alaska and China so I drove in to see what was going on. There was a group of people sitting under a tree so I went for them and jumped out of the truck to play. While I was setting up one of the guys, a sales man named Armen came right up to me with five bucks in his hand. I said, "I didn't even play yet". He said, "this is to respect the piano on the truck". I thought that was cool. At the end of the visit he gave me his phone number to use if I ever needed any kind of help and I believe in the sincerity of his offer.
Everyone left but Armen and we began to have an amazingly intimate conversation. I think for the first time ever I almost backed out of having one. I have always "out intimate conversationally" other people. I am not used to finding an amazing peer like Armen. This was a man of intellect and substance. Armen is an Armenian from Baku, Azerbaijan. Ha... how do you like that one? Where is that... come on... tell me... where is that? Armen is 47 years old and came here in 1992 to escape all the murdering going on over there. He asked me, "do you pray?" In my head I thought... "What?" Here we go again". I think people see my open and giving spirit and hope to connect it to their religion. I proceeded to stumble through my words about spirituality and said, "yes I do pray". He saved me from the need to continue by stepping in with, "you don't need to go any further, I was just curious." Yea right... like I was going to stop with that... not! So... Armen goes to a sort of non-denominational Russian evangelical church where the focus is on God and community he said, "no idols, no pictures to worship". I started to ask him about the church rules and really opened myself up to some deep talk. "Can I be a member of your church if I am married and commit adultery on a constant and open basis?" "How about if I am gay?" His responses were the best I have heard yet and centered around how I personally deal with God and how my life and behavior affects the community as a whole from both the communities point of view as well as my own... God didn't need to have a point of view. The answers basically, keep it to yourself or find another church. Where have I heard that before? We ended the conversation on the significance about the laws of attraction. I offered to bring some music to him and his girlfriend, kids whomever in the next couple of weeks. I hope he calls me.
May 23, 2007
Parking Lot, Pennsylvania USA
We went to the local school parking lot tonight. First, I stopped at the music store to find out why my speaker was not working. After troubleshooting by taking everything apart one by one the inverter, piano, amp, speaker, equalizer and trying a new speaker chord, rca plugs, piano chord... it worked. I needed new rca plugs... so I thought. I went to try the old plugs on another piece of equipment and they worked. Confused yet? This is typical. In Arizona, the electrical system of the truck stopped working. I took it apart and then it worked. This happened in Mexico with both the electrical system of both the piano and the truck. Then it worked. I kept talking to myself. "It is all a process, one step at a time, take it easy Dan, easy does it, relax."
So anyway, I was sitting in the parking lot sinking into something musically, what I do not know and the guy I ran into a few days ago appeared with his dog and this time his nephew. They sat on the ground to listen and hang out. This is the second day in a row people sat on the ground to listen. That has never happened before, weird I know. A lady with her daughter and new baby came by. Everyone was having an interesting time and talking for a while and then the lady pulled out religious pamphlets to do some promotion. The guy said, "great way to wreak a good conversation". That broke me with laughter up because it was so true. I went back to playing music.
May 22, 2007
By The River, Pennsylvania, USA
I had a bit of magic happen today via the law of attraction. I was studying the concepts last night (the movie the secret) and thinking about my house needing to be occupied as I continue with my journey. I was thinking maybe a roommate is the way to go and then I thought a couple might be better as a roommate situation. That would help to balance out my strong personality. Today the phone rings and it was a girl named Lisa. She had found my pamphlet from her workplace in the strip mall where I was playing at the Radio Shack last week. She wanted to hear me play some piano. She wanted to be helpful with the journey. She wanted to meet Boner because she loves dogs. I told her to meet me at the river and I would play some music for her. She and her husband Ed met Boner and I at sunset and we all played for a short while. Something was wrong with my speaker or the amp so the situation was a bit chaotic. I will need to look into it better tomorrow; I did not want to deal with it tonight. It was very windy and getting cold. Lisa brought a blanket to sit on to listen and the relaxing karma of that made me feel good. Then they both took me out to a nice dinner nearby and we talked for hours. We threw around ideas of them renting the house as they are looking for new digs soon and talked about the idea of helping me with journey needs. Lisa happens to be finishing a book about the laws of attraction (the book the secret). Synchronistical fun happenings like this have been going on since the beginning of the journey and now they are happening at home in my neighborhood for the first time. This is good news.
May 21, 2007
I am fasting from food today. I do that once every month, two or three. When I get out of control with my eating, I must make the decision to set myself on firm ground and commit to do that fully for one day. This is a way to give myself clarification that I will not die if I stop feeding my face uncontrollably. I remind myself that it will hurt a bit but I can do it! I drink a lot of liquid. It is amazing how many times the impulse to give in comes up but more amazing that the impulses do not control me. This is all about my Wildest of Dreams to be as healthy in mind, body and spirit as possible. My health is an ongoing commitment. My playing the piano every day is not. I do that for fun. It also adds to the quality of my life and I do it for that reason if I am able to grasp the desire for "quality of life". I went to the closest park today by the river not for fun but for quality of life. I got it. I meandered and mindlessly emptied my mind of toxicity through music. I am amazed that I can create music, grateful even. I could have drawn people over to the truck but I was too self absorbed. I needed to be. I wanted to be. I am recovering from the three jobs I did over the last two days. Today was a take it easy day.
May 20, 2007
Langhorne, PA USA
Boner and I visited Woods Services for visitor's day today. This is a humongous place that has been providing residential, educational and vocational support for people with mental retardation and developmental disabilities since 1913. I have been associated for many years with special events they hold. I had expectations for today because of the history I have with the residents and it is always fun. First, it did turn out to be fun today... in the end. In the beginning, I had to deal with new management and event strategies that were restrictive and unrealistic for interaction on any significant level. It seemed that everything was more about the event than about whom the event was for.
It started with a parade up and down the street and I only got to go up. Everyone was on the down side. I did not get to play for the audience!!!
I was plopped in a stationary spot because of security issues which was confusing because a little red fire engine truck that kept passing back and forth and all around me filled with people did not seem to have security issues. I could not park on the grass to be closer to everyone where I would be more approachable but this little red fire engine truck kept riding on the grass with every passing. I was situated where it was not natural for anyone to approach the truck or me... I was out in left field like I was supposed to attract people by just being there. It does not work that way. I sort of demanded to be closer to everyone so I could interact. I was not there for myself and it would be no fun what so ever the way it was turning out. I wanted to play for my friends and have them play on the truck. I was almost ready to cut m loses and leave. It was like... why would I be hired to play for a thousand people in a seated auditorium when all the people are sitting outside? Some would say, "just do it and get your money". Well, I do not, "do it" for the money anymore and that is that.
So the spot I negotiated for was better as I got see a few of the people I usually visit with as they crossed from one area of the event to the other. Boner got whacked off the top of the piano by one of the kids swinging their arms today. He took it well as he did a rare dive down from the top of the piano to the ground. Once there he took the situation, he was in for all it was worth and ran around huffed down funnel cake and chicken that was being dropped everywhere. I had no desire for funnel cake today. I asked a Hasidic Jewish guy if he would like to try some piano and he said, "what, and have that son of a bitch on top of the piano judge me"? Get it? Boners mother was a dog and female dogs are called bitches so Boner is a son of a bitch! Hahahaha... everyone that knows me knows how I love that one. During a conversation, I heard a new twist on depression. A guy said to me, "you know, depression is anger without the enthusiasm". Cool... My favorite moment today was when 80 year old Jack found me. I could not find most of the people I usually hangout out with but Jack waited until the end and found me. He climbed into the truck and with the help of his walker, a friend and myself, positioned himself at the piano and spent about twenty minutes there. It was a long trek back to his house so I drove him and his aid home while he played on the back of the truck. I have love for these people because they share genuine interest and intent with me along with the love of music on any level. They inspire musical creativity within me and excite me through a spiritual connection that lacks any judgment.
May 19, 2007
Pennsville, New Jersey USA
I woke up today and before I started to think... I had the thought... "you are going to have fun today... it is a work day and you only had six hours sleep but it will be a fun work day". My first thoughts in the morning are usually negative like, "god I haf ta git up". When I can insert a positive, first thought... I call that grace. Two jobs today plus some freebieism, a ten hour workday. I rolled out of bed, shaved and drove down to Pennsville, New Jersey for their Memorial Day parade. Once again, the media weather forecaster promotion of doom and gloom and fear and rain was dead wrong. It was a beautiful day. I like the Pennsville Veterans. They are easy to work with, pay me as I get there, they were considerate in putting me in the beginning of the line up because they knew I had another job to run to and they supplied me with a "stick shift" driver all with a smile. I am going to go back on Memorial Day weekend and gift them with music if I can.
I almost did not wear my usual shirt and tie... I wanted to be the new informal me but I chickened out like I did with the music I performed. I did the old Boogie Woogie stuff. It actually felt good and fun because I had not done a parade since early December. Finally, I am beginning to fit into the new piano with the old music. While performing, I realized that... I am very physical with my musical communication, I body talk in a parade and this new piano needs a new approach physically. This new piano does not work when I bang the shit out of it. On the other piano that is all that worked and that took on a specific physicality. On this new piano, I must be more musical with nuance (what a concept) so that means my approach to the keys physically needs to be different also. I was trying to put the old body movement approach to the music with the new music approach and the two did not fit together. Sounds a little crazy but music has always been very physical for me.
After about two thirds into the parade my body energy did a complete shift into low gear. "What happened", I thought. "Keep going... keep that smile on your face." The last part was not difficult because people feed me smiles the entire time. I am so grateful that I am lighter in weight than I was two years ago. I would never have been able to work ten hours and two parades as heavy as I was when I began the pursuit of my Wildest of Dreams. Still, by the end of the night I broke down for a sausage, onion, pepper sandwich which led to a foot long grilled hot dog which lead to a, "damm, I have not had a funnel cake in two years... give it to me." which lead to hmmm.... french fries, ice cream... the only thing that stopped me from getting both was the price gouging... I opted for the ice cream. No guilt, but it was all a disappointment in not being as good as I was imagining it would be and I got the first stomach ache that I can ever remember having. Oh well, onward. Am I confessing here? I also started out the day with my old routine of a 7/11 coffee with a cream cheese bagel. Now that... was good.
The second part of the day was for the Phoenixville Dogwood festival parade, my seventh year with this community. Boner almost quit his job today. As you may know parades now make him nervous. He used to sit with me under fireworks but a few years ago we witnessed a drive by shooting together. It was the car in front of us in center city Philadelphia and ever since that day he does not like to be exposed on top of the piano while driving if there is even a hint of gunshot. Fireworks are now out of the question. After a short time he regressed in ability to tolerate guns in a parade and then it went to hard pounding drums to even kids throwing snaps on the ground. Today someone clapped their hands while waiting for the parade to start and he was off the top of the piano in a second. He jumped down underneath for cover. Back to good stuff. The Phoenixville Jaycees not only gave me my fee for the day they added a sizable contribution for the journey. This is the FIRST time a business organization or town has reciprocated for my gifting to it. YEA, Hallelujah, thank you to the Phoenixville, Pennsylvania Jaycees!
I already mentioned in the past days how great the jaycee organizers and police are for this festival. Carlos one of the lead Jaycees... they sponsor and create the event every year (almost twenty years now) drove us for the parade. When we were done he made a really nice comment as he got out of the truck. "You made a dream come true for me." I said what is that? "Seeing everyone in my town happy." I love when other people get to see and share in the experience the joy created from the Raggin' Piano Boogie and now Traveling Piano truck. I stayed until almost night when the rain showers chased me away. Funny, people are not waiting anymore to wonder if they can get up to play the piano on the truck, I never need to ask anyone if they want to play... they have been automatically assume that the piano is there for them to play on. So be it. I had to even supervise children and adults alike to wait their turn. Sharing the truck is more work and more exhausting and I need to be more responsible than when performing by myself but... it is also more fun and more joy is created all around. The festival queen jumped up to play... fun.
May 18, 2007
Phoenixville, PA USA
Once you start reading this... if you begin to not like it... go pound sand. Not really. Come pound my cement sidewalk instead. I am sitting and looking at it right now. I need to break up the cement and replace several slabs. My friend Brad called to blah, blah, blah about the angst he is gong through. We share the same issues concerning that. I said, "just don't care about it brad. Nothing matters but joy. Not that I am living in a state of joy mind you but my present motto is do not do it if it you are not enjoying it." I am putting emails in my files right now between this writing because I want to... I must be en-joying it or I would not be doing it. I do enjoy it as it is a mindless task and I enjoy mindless tasks and I don't want to kid myself about that because my childhood authority figures said... "I should really be doing something else?"
I am working on refusing to work because of obligation, expectation, and anticipation. It must be about joy. Look... I'm going to be fifty-two next month and I still struggle with the same issues that I have struggled with all my life. Security, purpose, relationship... RESPONSIBILITY... bottom line is that I have a home, car, stuff, friends (even though sometimes it does not feel that way) and relationship... do I have a choice with that one? Of course I have relationship... whether it is good, bad, stagnant, progressive. Anyway, the worries that... "I will lose everything I have, I will not get what I want... should have... what other people have... I'll die desperate and lonely if I don't care and be responsible about the same old, same old?" That's bullshit. Everything I have today has come from giving up on those concerns and focusing on goodness and joy. This is a fact... everything and I mean everything emotionally, physically, spiritually. Here is a little tid bit that I will have no problem burying in these writings. I was on welfare in my early twenties. I had nothing. I know what it is like to have nothing on every level of existence and everything I now have... came from giving up concern, worry, guilt, shame, judgment, repression and just plain bad energy that entered into me during my formative years. Make no mistake, I have regressions concerning goodness and joy but just look at where I am in my life today. "The proof is in the pudding". (where did that saying come from?) At this point, I don't care about anything but joy and goodness. I still participate in pain, rage, hate, destruction, desperation, chaos and confusion... but they are only regressions. I plan on shrinking those regressions daily until I leave this planet physically.
I went to radio shack to see my friend Josh to ask if he could tell me which speaker (for my parades) is bad so I could replace it with the good one that I took to Mexico. They both had no problem. God, I hate when that happens, sometimes. He is so thorough with his job and the selling that he took forever so I got impatient and went outside to play until he was done. Everyone from the nearby stores started coming outside to see where the music was coming from. (really to see the dog sitting on top of the piano) The sound reverberated off the strip mall stores. I almost wanted the attention but had too much to deal with... to indulge.
Later on, I went to the dogwood festival in Phoenixville to play. It was without cost so I had to rearrange my mind from the usual "Pay" mode of an event like this to a "Gift" mode... not an easy task but I did it. I drove into the amusement arcade area, setup and began to play. After about a half-hour I realized I was just playing for fun in none performance clothes in what has always been a performance environment for me and it really was fun. I did not have to care about anything like expectations, obligation... all that stuff. I did want to offer everyone the piano to play on but I did not have to offer they all just started to climb on board. Some kids would come up and say, "how many tickets does this cost". The Traveling Piano became an amusement attraction. I had a tinge of carnival disrespect for my "gig" (I'm better than this) but I got over it. I was amazed at the diversity of cultures and types that came up to play on the piano tonight, Chinese, Jewish, Gothic, Indian, Irish, etc.. etc... etc... Bo is shedding big time and I had to keep blowing his hair off my face and the piano. The front of the truck looked like it had snow on it.
As I improvised, I really got into an amusement park environment of creating music to the sounds of the machines running, the screaming of kids as they whirred around on the rides, flip flopping feet on the run, the lights and colors and the game hawkers pulling the crowds to their stands. When it was all over, I let Boner down to run around on the ground just as a group of police happened by. I know how a loose dog makes them crazy but these guys all said, "hey, he's ok... see you tomorrow at the parade". Nice eh?
May 17, 2007
High School Parking Lot, USA
I can feel the drama behind me. Upfront I know life is good and fine. I want to feel more upfront. It is all about action steps. My spirit nudged outward to the high school parking lot before it got too dark to create some music even though it was cold and gloomy and sprtizin' with rain drops part of the time. My fingers felt like wintertime. A guy came by while walking with his husky pup and I invited him to play some on the piano. He said naa... he was having a good time as it was and invited me to his house when he has his next bon fire in the back yard. I liked that idea. As I was playing I recognized love in the music I just did not feel it. Change, change, change... I want it... I love it... I was taught to fear it... I sold the first of my belongings today to continue this musical journey... 35 bucks worth of rocks from my backyard. I have a major rock collection. Someone gave me the idea that other people should hold fundraisers for the journey. That's the ticket. Are there any friends who would do that for me? If you are one of them, remind me please. A nag in my head said I should be out booking performances to pay the bills instead of selling rocks at thirty-five a pop but I just can't do the booking thing anymore or look for an agent with enough self confidence to command my fee with his on top of it. The old life is over. I must do things in different ways and hopefully better. I am coming onto the second anniversary of pursing my Wildest of Dreams... June 1st. I made a commitment to become as healthy as I can be in mind body and spirit almost two years ago and... with my weight, specifically I said I would become lighter and stay that way. I really want to hit below two hundred for the anniversary. I'll give the report on the day. Creating my own music is a result of the dream so are my two websites. I have made a new DVD everyday and sent it to Oprah, basically the same thing on it every day, requesting her participation in my Wildest of Dreams and I told myself I would do it everyday for this second year like I did the first year. People have asked me if I am addicted to it. The answer is NO. I can barley finish this commitment knowing that it is almost over and that I am diving for the finish line. It is like needing to take a pee while driving. Once I get out of the truck the urgency doubles, once I put the key into my front door the urgency triples and when that door opens... God help me as I fly for the toilet to end the end. My music was tuned in with thoughts such as this today. Sometimes it is all about the music but today my spirit did not "have it" to nudge me into that direction. It flowed with conscious thoughts. Is that bad? Sometimes it turns out good and sometimes not so good but never bad. It is what it is.
May 16, 2007
The photo is in Ocean City, New Jersey USA circa 1998 Hahaha... It rained today so I did not play music. The fact is I did not want to play music. I am having a bit of a regression. Fear... ugh... I just wrote that word... it has been gripping at me. I am feeling a bit alone with my chores. Drama and ego... oh, the drama and ego... the momentous, gargantuan tasks of working, getting prepared for work, staying healthy, keeping a life, giving, staying involved with relationship, this journey I am on but don't presently feel, the selling of all my life long belongings and security, blah, blah, blah. The fact is that I am alone in doing my chores and that is nothing new... so what am I going to do about it? Reminds me of what someone said to me once, "I'm not going to do it for you... but I'll walk with you, I'll hold your hand." Not do it for me!!! WHAT??? I went to the movies and saw spider man... no comment... and then I slipped into 28 weeks... there I saw some artful rage... not something that adds to the quality of my life at the moment.
Boner and I went for a long walk today. I did some emails... ate a lot of popcorn. (need to get my ripped off moneys worth of those those free refills). Part of my problem is this irrational concern over three performances I have this weekend. You would think that after over almost 35 years of performing... writing that just made me laugh... ahhh... "it is what it is". Tomorrow I will get the truck ready with the old speaker poles and work on the sound system and plan the directions to the jobs clearly because I can get very confused, clean up, get the signage ready, pick out a shirt... maybe I won't wear a shirt and tie like the old days... etc.. etc... etc... Dare I be experimental on the piano at these parades coming up... and not do the same 60 second cycle of Boogie Woogie for the entire length of the parade routes? A sixty second loop of music over and over for twenty years!? Can you believe that ???!!!!!!!!! It's true. What can I say... It was what it was? It will be what it will be? Nobody can do that sixty seconds like Danny Kean can do that sixty seconds?
May 15, 2007
Phoenixville, Pennsylvania USA
Here is a scenario I want to live with... ring...ring... (the phone)... "hi dan? heard your back in town and this may be Boner's last year on the truck and we want you at any cost for the parade, can you do it"? This is for the Phoenixville Jaycees Dogwood Festival Parade. I first connected with the town eighteen years ago. They have always been upbeat, interested, easy going and great guys to work with, notice I did not say "work for"... that is because everyone is treated equal and... they have never once questioned my price increases. I asked... "while I am home I need to raise money for the journey, how about if I also play on the festival grounds after the parade... can you afford any addition monies to pay out"? He asked me how much and then assured me he would contribute even more if possible. "can I drive, park, move around anywhere on the grounds... through the crowds, tight spots, in the middle of activities responsibly... explore possibilities so that a good time can be had by all?" No problem! Ahh... freedom... empowerment... trust... value...respect... this town is going to get a Diggin' Danny Whammy. They will get three times their moneys worth!
I drove up to the weeklong festival tonight. It was an hour and a half drive. Unfortunately, I did not get to play much piano because I got there so late. I was so dazed in dealing with decisions and choices today... first I missed the turnpike exit and then I got lost in the town. I kept driving back and forth on the same street. "like how many times have I been here and I still can get lost?" I pulled into a gas station to ask for directions and the guy gave me an attitude stare... but when he recognized the truck... a big smile came across his face. That perked me up. Henry, my contact for the festival was so supportive and interested... that put me at ease. I met several of the other Jaycees and got a better understanding of what they are all about. They are a unified and committed group with purpose... and that is to have fun and give to the community. This yearly event is their anchor for goodness... they keep a healthy spirit of rotation with the management duties. When someone starts to get burnt out, they take off for a couple of years but stay in touch with each other. This way everyone stays happy. Having been around, I can tell you it takes a special kind of organization to keep a festival fresh for many years.
There was a healthy feeling going around, a feeling of celebration, which was refreshing for me especially being around carnival booths and rides. I never play music around them because the atmosphere is not right for me but tonight I had a fun almost down the shore on the boardwalk feel. Blasts, from the past began to appear immediately. "Hi Danny how are you?" I would hear people as they walked by say to the person next to them, "he's my favorite thing in the parade". Comments like, "what a great surprise to see you" created some clarity as to what is important for me. I stayed to play some after everything closed down. I never sat through a festival close down... from the high level energy, noise and chaos into an almost surreal slipping away of light, sound and movement. I played quiet and simply just for myself. The guy turning off the lawn lights left one on just for me until I left.
May 14, 2007
A Field, Pennsylvania USA
I found a new spot today in a field with trees bordering on all sides. It was a nice spot so I let Boner wander around on the ground as I played. As usual he found bad stuff to eat. I know that because I am now dealing with it as I write this. He's farting up a storm. I did not get up until 12 noon today. It was a force to give myself permission to deal with life on my terms. I discovered Beef TVP today. It will help me to save money with food. I wonder how many people have ever heard of TVP. I ate salsa that I made for the first time the other day. The mexico... southwest style of eating was healthy for me. What does this have to do with music? I have more energy and passion to create when I feel physically and emotionally healthy. I have not been taking care of myself with nutrition and exercise since I left Virginia Tech.
I am working to get back on track with everything... it has been a week of transition back to the reality of my home and finances while staying focused on the fact that I am leaving once again and it will be for a lot longer of a time and that I must liquidate all my possessions and how to go about that process blah, blah, blah. I dug up plants in the yard to sell today. I must have faith that the world will financially support this journey... I do know the world knows that it is a worthy one. "Allow it". Did you do your part and contribute yet? In the field a red fox darted across my path into the grass. Once again a unique bird appeared to listen to the music. It was a beautiful orange and black color. It flew back to hangout above me three times and stayed for a long time acting just like a blue bird several weeks ago. I recorded music for about 30 minutes... I thought. I had the plug in the wrong hole. Yet... it is a good day and I am moving through it successfully in spite of all the uncertainty that exists in my world. I think I may need to just totally shut down for awhile but then again maybe not. Guess how I got todays picture of me and Boner?
May 13, 2007
Tyler State park, Pennsylvania USA
It seems very strange that one week ago today I woke up home after more than three months on the road throughout America and Mexico. I still miss my last stop, which was Virginia Tech. I experienced nothing but joy there for almost two weeks. Slowly I am re-getting a grip on m present life. I went to my second favorite old spot today on top of the hill of a local park by a grassy lawn to create some music. There were people hanging out in the grass and I was a bit tepid at first to play but got over myself. I started to play and record music. Within five minutes a guy drove in to the parking area... "Where you by any chance down in Mississippi last year after Katrina?" He was volunteering in one of the areas where I played. This type of encounter no longer surprises me but I never want to take them for granted so I will continue to share them. When I think that my home town has like 50,000 people and how many millions there are in this country alone... what are the chances of constantly meeting people in one of a kind situations so far away and then meeting them again in a one of a kind situation... so far away? Small world? Like spirits travel the same paths? Whatever... it brings joy to me and is very comforting to know that I share like experiences with people and that they remember them with me and that we can be so close to each other in far away places.
My camera batteries died which was frustrating because I started to get into the sharing of the piano with many people. I was creating, coaching their creations and doing the telling of stories routine again at a fast pace. I am learning how important it is that when people are doing their first piano playing attempt... that they get my full coaching attention and interest as they begin ... some need that to continue the entire time because they are afraid. Others just want to be carried through the event. Some don't want to be left out in first time "music land" alone. Then again, some just want it to be a shared experience. Mostly for me... I do my best to slip away at every opportunity to give them an opportunity for a one hundred percent unique experience that is totally theirs. That goes back to issues of my childhood of never being allowed having my own unique experiences free of judgment or concern. I improvised in the key of D major today. Ha. I almost always am playing in C major. I also was doing chord patterns in threes. I almost always go back and forth between two chord patterns. In some ways, I have always been a slow bloomer. It can take many years for me to move onto something new or different and then in other ways I progress faster than the speed of light. "It is what it is".
May 12, 2007
Bristol, Pennsylvania USA
My hands have been getting a workout. I've been digging up belgium blocks and rocks from around my yard to stack and sell. I took a break to go play at my favorite local spot on the river where I am very visable but so far away from anything that it does not matter if anyone can hear the music. I released a major amount of mixed up physce and played until my hands gave out totally. I became completly immersed with music... mine, the sound of the water splashing on the beach, the boats flying by, birds flying overhead (one hawk circled over Boner's and my head for over a minute... I kept waiting to get dumped on), the leaves on the trees and the strong breeze. I can really throw out a lot of musical energy. I think it would drive people crazy if they were to sit and listen for any length of time when I completly abandon any structure and just fly and dive and drive my spirit into oblivion.
I was completly alone for a good forty minutes and it felt real good but then I start to miss people partaking in my experieince... and then it started. A family happened by. God I love so much when people join up on the piano. Jazz piano man Fran Danis happened by... and a guy named Pete rode up on his bike. I especially get joy from people like Pete who in spite of his tendency to me musical repressed, inhibited, and self judgmental... give it all up to have a go... to the point where I walked away and left him alone to just sit and musically tinkle on the keys while he sent his music to the heavens for a good five minutes. Ha... that is so much fun for me!
May 11, 2007
In a Field, Pennsylvania USA
Sometimes when I look at the pictures taken, I laugh... like today. I was in a residential neighborhood with an appetizing filed behind the houses. With Mexico fresh in my mind I drove through an overgrown dirt bike path and dried creek bed in the "little truck that could" saying to myself... "after the rocky mountains and hills I've been through this baby can drive anywhere." I parked a distance from the neighborhood pool party and played music for everyone to relax to. The humidity has hatched the bugs... time to bring out the bug repellant. I sat and created music in a shower of seeds falling from the trees above. I experienced three directions of music today. Music from a mindless state of being... music inspired through thoughts... and music created with purpose and intent.
May 10, 2007
Neshaminy, Pennsylvania USA
I am going through people interaction withdrawal. I miss meeting with new people and being in new situations everyday. I am finding myself visiting neighbors... looking for new people... friends do not seem to be around. I've been looking for distractions from the need to be responsible with the hundreds of receipts to file from the past months, paying my new bills, preparing for the future, unpacking, booking work while I am home and liquidating the house to rent it out so I can continue on. I found myself driving aimlessly through streets today... also, I was trying to figure the best way to sell my stuff. I stopped where someone told me a good flea market is every weekend and I went into the deli store next to it to get some information. What a coincidence? The mother of the girl who played on the truck in Nottingham the other day was working at the deli! The girls name was Jill and her mother Cheryl came out to play some as she was not able to the other day. Her co-worker Chris also came out to play. Boner got some roast beef and a few bones out of the deal.
Later on, I took a walk over to the house of one of the nineteen people who donated to this journey so far. I wanted to say hi, tell them that I am home and play on a real baby grand piano for a short while. They were having a meeting so I played in the another room and kept the music as background. I don't enjoy playing background piano anymore... I found that interesting. I like being an integral part of something like the environment... but with people around I like to have someone's attention when I am talking musically. Who talks to themselves around other people? I wanted to communicate though music with people today. On the subject of meeting new people... I was thinking how usually three days is enough in staying anywhere new. It is enough time to learn just enough about someone and for us to enjoy each other before anyone starts to experience any pathological behaviors that may be floating around. Ha... !
May 09, 2007
A Cemetery in Pennsylvania USA
My truck still has stuff in it tha I need to unpack. I worked in the yard transporting belgium blocks from around the flower beds to one area for display. I am going to sell the goldfish in the pond... all the plants in the yard to keep the journey a travelin'. Interested in helping this Traveling Piano fundraiser along? I do not want to pressure myself to play everyday I want to play as much as possible the only problem is that I get bored playing in the same old places. I live off the stimulation of new and different. Boner and I ended up in the local cemetery, I figured no one would bother us there. We stayed until the sunset listening to the birds chirping away behind us in the trees. I rambled for a good hour and then when I was about to leave noticed there were houses behind me. Good thing no one threw a rock at me because like I said I was rambling... big time... and loud. Several people like eight passed in front of an along side of the truck within 30 feet and... this makes me laugh that people can be so weird... you would have never known they saw or heard us not even with and eye in our direction. Is this my home town or me creating weird karma? This would never happen while on the road. I can't even get there attention to invite them over to pet Boner. I'd have to stop playing and abruptly yell, "hey... you"! Someone here is too self conscious, maybe its me sending mixed signals... "I want you, stay away." I'm glad I created music today.
May 08, 2007
Delaware River, Pennsylvania USA
I woke up with major angst in what needs to be done to continue with this journey... I told myself go excersise or play some music... it took three hours to get of my butt but I did it. I took my computer to the river with me and Boner and I sat in the almost hot sun and had fun. Well, maybe not fun but I had graditude for being outside and creating music and that I could record it and my dog was hanging with me and no one was giving me any trouble and that I am my own man and a true free spirit and... and... and... I will deal with the present same old situation of being home and preparing and catching up on business reciepts and booking performances... knowing that the future will never be the "same old", again. I will leave in the beginning of July after my traditional 4th of July Parades and never look back. Yikes! Yikes! Yikes! I will be aiming first for Alaska!!!
May 07, 2007
Nottingham, PA USA
Crazy... fun crazy. I am not sure wether I am going through the "I'm back in the same old, same old," (being home) or wether I am going through a "validation, appreciation, joy" withdrawal from my interactions with people daily... maybe I just liked the way life was for the last three months and I don't want to have to consciously create the fun that was naturally happening from being on the road... its probably that I don't want to go through all my bills and receipts, clean out my house and plan to leave again to continue the journey in what will definitely be a no turning back, new life.
My neighbors found a new lawn guy who is charging a very reasonable price so I talked with him today because I will need someone to take care of the lawn especially when I leave again. . I told him I was going to go to his house tonight to play for him and his daughter. I wanted to ask him to donate his services and in return I'd play for whatever agenda he would have until I leave. I figure this could be very worth his while if he is in the same mind frame as I am with a "pay it forward" mentality. He was. Now this guy gets the Traveling Piano for whatever reason, whenever, wherever before I leave to go back on the road... and I get my lawn taken care of. I just want to give... to giving people and I appreciate his willingness to help me. It is very difficult for me to ask people for support... as a child I was taught that was wrong. That teaching was a mistake. I am learning that success comes from how you ask... which comes from trial and error so I need to be willing to make a lot of mistakes until I get it right... and for those who become offended... "it is what it is"... I am doing the best that I can. You will find a contact link for "Larry the Lawn Guy" on the Traveling Piano "Supporters" link.
The neighbors came outside to checkout the piano action... the mailman's wife from next door sent the camera out with her husband for a picture of Boner... the piano man was not needed in the photo ... (i just don't get any respect I tell ya)... I screamed for the lady in another backyard to come over to meet Boner even if she did not have her slippers on... this is all so out of character from the old Danny... I like it... and in my own neighborhood yet... I thought of a comment given to me yesterday... "Danny do you have to be so aggressive"... the answer is yes... and why not when it brings joy to people. I coerced the girl next door to jump up a create music for sixty seconds on the piano and she did even though it scared the bejeeb's out of her. She thanked me as she ran away.
May 06, 2007
Today's events were unexpected. I took the Traveling Piano out with an open mind as to where I would play. There are few places new to find in my area as I have been to practically every spot hidden and not hidden over the past year. WOW what a coincidence!!! As I was writing this I just went to the Archived Performance Logs link to see when I started performing outside almost everyday improvisationally in my area. Today is my one year anniversary! I drove to my niece's house to retrieve my computer hardrive backups... I had stored them with her for safety before the journey began. I was not thinking that it was my grand niece Alissa's first communion party because I was to be in California at this time. How could I not lend the Traveling Piano to the celebration? It was perfect timing as most everyone I did not want to run into... were driving out as I was driving in if you can catch my drift. So I had to deal with only a limited amount of un-wise family cracks such as, "oh, he just wants to get pictures." I'll stop with that one comment. Whew! Anyway, for the first time at a family event full of neighbors and friends I created my own music improvisationally and encouraged everyone to jump onto the truck to create their own music. The idea and execution of doing the usual routine was exhausting. I don't know if it is because I am unraveling from being home now for two days, or because being around family has always been emotionally charged for me. In any case I am glad I did it, I met some new people and we all had some fun. I have some acceptance to deal with concerning where I am today on this Flight of Peregrinating Musical Exploration!
May 05, 2007
Bensalem, PA USA
I have lot lot to sort out in my head. Do I continue this Flight of Peregrinating Musical Exploration while at home? Do I take a sabbatical? Do I go out and play just for myself to develop my skills? Do I keep doing this log? I went to the river access area today where I originally started to improvise outdoors last year and doing this writing right now feels like the Archived Performance Log Link. I have been performing everyday for people... do I keep this up? Something in the routine is going to have to give if I am going to have time to sell my belongings and rent or sell my house to continue on the journey. Some of my lawn grass was over two feet high as I mowed today. Back to the river... some guy came up to me... "haven't seen you since..." he reminded me that whatever I decide... continue daily in the journey or take a sabbatical... I am definitely not doing any more freebie promotions for the journey... did that, done that, it did not work. I played for several towns and businesses in October through January to promote this "gifting" for others and no one contributed anything!!! I need money not exposure. If there is to be any obligation, expectation or work... show me the money! Now... for a fun time... that could be a different story.
I wish I had been able to get pictures of me playing in different backgrounds while I was at Virginia Tech. I was just too overwhelmed with what I was doing and it was too much trouble to stay longer just for that. I realized during that experience that I am interested in affecting people's lives in a positive way as deeply as possible and that happens on a one to one level. So if I am going to affect the world with friendship and respect it seems that will happen one person at a time not large groups at a time. So be it... "It is what it is". Back to the river... my improvisation since the last time I played here at home has developed by more than a leap and a bound. I played none stop for a good half hour and it was amazingly therapeutic. I create music. That still amazes me after forty nine years of never creating my own music. No matter what I must continue to create music everyday.
For anyone who reads this blog... I need your help financially... with contacts... with planning... help me to sell my stuff... just help. If you need any ideas of how to help specifically... just email me and I'll give you ten options or ways.
May 04, 2007
On the Road Again, USA
It felt right to end my stay at Virginia Tech today so I did. It was difficult for me. I feel very sad in writing this. I had an incredible amount of fun and so did everyone else. I was appreciated more than any other time in my life so far and this was with everyone I encountered... without exception. There was still much more to share and give but my gut said enough. I had been given more leeway than ever before to develop the capabilities and share what I have to offer. I felt useful and empowered to be responsible as never before. I am very thankful for the opportunities I was given. I said goodbye to Kevin the school event man who initiated my visit and Zach my original contact from the Katrina tour last year brought me dinner and then I drove straight through to Philly. I am sitting in my living room feeling totally bewildered. How did I get here... how did this happen... being back in my house is part of the journey? I want to cry. It is almost impossible in my mind to go back to the beginning of when I first left Philly... to the Mexico part and then to Arizona and up to now. Well, I must think forward because the best is yet to come. "Keep the Faith Danny." The truck bed inside did get wet from all the rain yesterday... how that will all play out we shall see. The people who hosted us last night informed me that tomorrow night was not a good night to stay... I wish they had not ok'd it to begin with and I did not want to go looking for another place. It was drizzly and cold so it seemed best to hit the road. Now I have this daunting task of cleaning my house out and selling stuff to continue onward with the journey to have the world meet Boner... not to mention my overgrown corner lot yard that needs to get cleaned up. Ugh! I ate the entire way home. I experienced so much joy and love at Virginia Tech and am so grateful to have been asked to participate in their healing and ongoing life process. I made a difference there with everyone who experienced the Traveling Piano and I want that to continue. I concur with the general attitude of one student who said... "It is a good time to be with friends". That is how I felt the entire time... I was with friends.
May 03, 2007
Virginia Tech, Virginia USA
It is pouring rain outside so... for everyone who wants to know what I do with the piano and truck when it rains... well... first I look for shelter, no luck today. So, the Traveling Piano is sitting in the pouring rain with a canvas tarp covering it. I don't want to look under the tarp... what good would that do? I will now find out what happens from sitting in the rain for a couple of days. We will find out together eh? What is the worse that can happen? Yea... and then what? So? And...? he...he...he...
So I have been working on emails today... a new friend gave me a music CD of Jimmy Hendrix stuff and I listened to it as I worked with my computer. I never related to Jimmy Hendrix before it all sounded like noise and could never understand why he was such a major influence in music. Well, I get it now. Improvising my own "noise" has opened me up and I understand completely what the guy is doing musically. It is awesome stuff especially his rendition of America the Beautiful.
I went to the student center for the activities senior luncheon... I finally met up with Dave, the Hokie's United advisor who dropped a hundred dollar personal check for this journey out of his pocket the day I arrived. I was able to have an in depth discussion over a cup of coffee with him for hours. This is my favorite thing... getting to know individuals and our being able to trust each other enough to get into the nitty gritty details of our makeup.
I picked up a few more care packages at the student center for myself. They all have messages inside of them like... "Hey Hokie, A family in Maryland is thinking of you and wishing you the best! Good luck on exams!" I know that caring with action... from the world... such as this... significantly adds to the joy of life. On my way home I snuck into the school chapel to play on the grand piano there. I wailed away with music for about an hour and kept the damper pedal on for about ninety five percent of the time. It was truly "my time". I kept looking to see if anyone had walked in to listen while I was playing. I had to consciously tell myself I was improvising just for me. I need to practice at this. I need balance my playing of the piano with a musical focus of... for myself verses other people.
May 02, 2007
Virginia Tech, Virginia USA
What is running through my mind presently is thoughts of people who want to be helpful. I was notified that I would need to leave the residence I was staying in pronto because of a turn of events so.... I needed to find a place to stay for the night. I thought I was settled with accommodation until was until I leave Virginia Tech. So here I am at 7PM with a list of names of people willing to provide emergency housing, "Hi, I am with Hokies Untied and play the piano on the back of a truck with my dog who sits on top, can you host us like... right now?" Ha. "No", Let me Get Back to You", "No" and then... "Of Course." I am staying with Lou and Shakeep and they gave me an apartment below their house and... it just better not rain outside on my piano that is all I have to say! I love people like Lou and Shakeep who just want to be helpful. I cold feel it from them. They are like me. Shakeep is a retired financial advisor for much of the Virginia Tech staff and Lou is an eleven time published author. Their next door neighbor is a Virginia Tech English professor. The community here is as connected to the school as the students.
Before Lou and Shakeep I had a little "funny" happen. I was heading to another hosts house and as I pulled into the neighborhood I went up to the wrong house. The women could have cared less that I was at the wrong house she was more interested in the piano so of course I had to play some music for her. Soon after as usual, all the neighbors began to arrive and as usual, began to meet each other and everyone started to jump up to play on the piano. I stepped away from the truck to call my hosts to tell them I was at the wrong house but next door and outside right now. They embarrassing told me that they changed their minds... It was about to pour rain. in fact it started to spritz but I continued with the music and the pictures and fun. I invited the people who rejected me outside to join us anyway and they completely shraginningly and apologetically came out with their kids to the truck. I knew it was hard for them to do... "no expectations i told them... no hard feelings... I was not worried... something would turn up." We all had some fun. Three of the neighbors had received an email about the need for housing for us and the one guy said he had not responded because the email said we needed a garage and their were none in the neighborhood.
There was to be a huge ice cream social event on the drill field today for the students and community and all these neighbors said they had to leave for it. I said, "nope it was cancelled because of the rain but you all got the entertainment that was planned to have been there... me." So cool and fun that was. The day started because of a student named Chelsea who asked me last night to stop by before the start of her class today and so of course I was thrilled that she asked. I woke up with three hours sleep so it was like playing in the middle of the night. I needed to be there at 9:50am. It was such a beautiful morning for my agenda I was a happy pup. I played outside of the Williams building on the street... for the Abnormal Psyche Class Final.. yea, yea... I know what your thinking. While I was there another girl asked if I would stop by the chemistry building for their event. I drove around and around but could not find any sign of activity. That lasted for about an hour before the phone rang for me to give a newspaper interview in my sleep. God knows what I am going to be quoted as saying. I have practically no memory of the conversation.
May 01, 2007
Virginia Tech, Virginia USA
There were a lot of campus ministries showing up around the truck today... one guy who was around my age stood out for me. I could feel his openness as a person when he jumped onto the truck to explore something new... the playing of the piano. He was a Billy Graham guy and I could tell that he lives his faith well... and with action. I had fun jammin' with several people today. People had fun jammin' with each other today. We celebrated a birthday from the truck today.
A woman from the state of Texas her name is Debra, organized a ton of care packages to "gift" everyone with. There was something like 4,200 bags filled with granola bars, candy, writing pads, pens, popcorn, ramone noodles and more. Three terrific guys named Chad, Andy and Gerard decided to help overload the truck with two loads and we drove around the campus tossing the packages out to everyone while I played. Man Oh Man... was that fun! The bags flew through the air like footballs, we entered one of the campus dorm quadrants and hundreds of students who were in the fields ran up to catch bags flying out of the truck six at a time. It was so much fun! I was able to do a long stretch of improvising while the guys took care of all the action. I became lost in the music for my longest time. I closed my eyes while playing. All I could here was my music and the sounds of crackling paper bags as everyone opened and explored them. Debra and the state of Texas made a major contribution of joy to this college today. I was lucky to be the one to experience it.
An Iranian family appeared and played on the truck. Who knew Iranians could play the piano... just kidding, give me a break... It has been specifically pleasing for me to experience so many different cultures during my time here. I never would have thought this school community had so much ethnic diversity and it is truly a gift to me that so many have participated with the Traveling Piano. It is just one small example of how unified this student body is.
When everything was over for the night I met up with Adam for some piano coaching. We went to the chapel under the war memorial, which is presently open twenty-four hours a day with no restrictions or security. Talk about a breath of fresh air. There was a beautiful grand piano inside and I improvised on it for about twenty minutes. What a treasure that was to find. I have played on a real piano less than five times this year and my dynamic abilities with the improvising are bouncing and leaping upward every time I play. I am becoming more confident in just letting the music fly, ebb, flow, be still, pop, sway... the possibilities are endless. I then listened to Adam improvise for the second time on the piano for about twenty minutes. We had a great talk about what we get from music and what we want to achieve from our music and also opened up to each other about our lives. I have learned much about the present college generation and I am seeking to learn and understand their approach to life. Today is a different world from my time as a twenty year old.