HIS SPIRIT LIVES ON! ... BONER, THE PIANO DOG ... November 27, 1994 ... February 20, 2010
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February 29, 2008
I know I made a firm decision yesterday to sell my house. I know because I did not sleep last night... that happens about once every ten years! The good part of that is I got out of bed at 6AM and worked all day part out of fear part out of being clear that I have a mission. I am working to be consciously aware and clear. I am getting really clear about asking myself, "am I aware...?" ...because then, I am. I also know I am not going to make very much money from selling my home but I must do what I need to do. I should be out playing music and here I am transitioning everyday ! I am going to begin a "Best Of Traveling Piano" for about a week on this blog because when people come to visit here, this stuff I've been writing does not show what the Traveling Piano does, its worth, the journey.
February 28, 2008
I wanted to have fun making a Chinese visualization picture today for the website... I am feeling very small... maybe that is humility, good. The dream is feeling small... but it is still here... I made the decision to sell my house today... whew! "Keep the drama out of it Danny" One step at a time. The priority above all else is this journey... this mission of music. Did I forget fun?!!! Thank God I have faith in it... knowing this fact makes me wanna cry because if I did not have the faith in this dream... journey... Tour of Peregrinating Musical Exploration... mission... I would have nothing. People, even friends don't seem to know what is going on... how many times to I need to tell people? Friends don't even seem to know what happened last year to have set me on my present path. Thank God I have friends. I must be honest with myself, I want to sell my house. I cannot do both the dream and keep up the house, the resources do not exist for me, I have larger priorities. I want to be financially responsible. I listed 20 new items on www.bonerthedog.com today. When I get to promoting... well I must have faith it will work. I feel sick to my stomach! Ha... there goes the Drama. Its true tho... Where is my zen like nature :)
February 27, 2008
It is time to ease my way back into what? ...concerning these writings. I had a strong thought a short time ago. I have always considered myself the king of potential in every way but I now need to rethink what that means. I no longer want to see potential. I no longer want to think about potential. i want to experience potential, whatever potential that comes to mind... in other news, I met with real estate folk today about my house. If I sell it I will get soaked. Yep them's the facts. What do I think about that? "Focus, Danny." With the help of my friend Wes I created a new website link on the menu named "Spinning Ma' Wheels" to consolidate the months that I have been home spinning ma' wheels. Check it out there are some fun pictures on the main page.
February 26, 2008
Lastly, I am sure I was meant to spend this amount of time writing about Gertrude. I have been happy to do it. I certainly have told enough people about her and now our history has been written down for everyone everywhere to experience. "Thoughts become things" comes to my mind. I have never been good with remembering dates, especially for birthdays. I never remembered Gertrude's birthday. She always reminded me, wanting for me to remember but I guess I was just to lazy. It is pretty apparent to me that Gertrude still wants me to remember her Birthday. Gertrude would be 104 this year. She was born on February 17th the day I began writing about her. How awesome is that???!!! The night before I found her passport while sorting though personal belongings and was inspired by her love, I had to express it and that was without consciously knowing it was her birthday!
Just one more thing. I've been with several people as they passed from this life. I was with Gertrude when she died. She waited for me to be with her, thank God because it was very important closure for me. My mom passed by fazing out, my dad drifted away, Gertrude... she was physically pulled out of her body with a sudden jerk. I always felt that my parents have been drifting around. With Gertrude passed I felt as though maybe she went far away forever in spirit. Now, I think not. I used to think it strange how Gertrude talked about her sister Mary all the time. I used to think, "she can't let go of her sister, she has not accepted reality with the situation that Mary's dead, she talks like she is still here." Now I understand better. Gertrude kept Mary alive in thought and words, she loved her sister completly. Mary lives on as does everyone I know and love who has passed. I can name at least fifteen people off the top of my head who have passed on from this life that I think about and talk with on a regular basis... I'll spare you :). Gertrude talked of Mary in the present tense all the time. She did so on purpose and as a result I got to know Mary. Mary is a friend of mine who I never met in person. I know her personally... her caring nature, hobbies, desires, humor, lighthearted spirit etc... I could write about Mary as I have about Gertrude. There are pictures on my wall not only of Gertrude but also of the other family members. I was accepted into the Sullivan family unconditionally and will always be with them. How cool is that? Way cool. All through music...
February 25, 2008
Gertrude and I took a trip to Ireland together. It was my suggestion. Gertrude had always wanted to see the home of her parents and something happened to prevent it every time she had tried to go. i wanted to make sure it happened for her. I paid one third of the way and she paid two thirds. We aimed for county Cork Ireland. What a learning experience that was! The day we arrived I rented a car and we took off for the Cliffs of Moher. Gertrude climbed the huge hill and to the top of the castle. It took hours and she was amazing to watch. People were huffing and puffing their way up and would pass her in disbelief. At 87 years old, she was such a trooper. I learned so much watching Gertrude climb that hill. She paced herself completely... walking five minutes, resting five minutes, walking five minutes, resting five minutes... with complete patience for herself. I don't know if I ever stated that Gertrude is responsible for my learning the Ragtime and Boogie Woogie music I perform. I had no ability to play by ear, improvise or memorize sheet music. Gertrude helped me with the process of memorizing one hour of sheet music to perform and I performed that hour for twenty years! She helped me to pace myself through the learning process of musical memorization in exactly the same way she paced her own process of climbing to the top of the castle at the Cliffs of Moher!
I pushed Gertrude to the limits on the trip I am sorry to say. She gave me another gift through the experience. How many people can say that they have had a relationship in life with a totally unconditional partner. There is nothing I could ever have asked of Gertrude that she would say no to... or deny. To enable was not part of her being. To empower, yes! She was a healthy giving person and exemplified it one hundred percent. It was through Gertrude's giving that I came to trust my ability to be responsible with whatever is granted to me in life. Raggin' Piano Boogie started with a money loan from Gertrude. She was the first person from whom I ever had the courage to ask for financial help. She helped finance my first promo piece, Raggin' Piano Boogie's pop-up card, this woman living on social security and a Catholic school teacher retirement fund. I was never so aware of fear and rejection as I was when I asked her. I remember breaking down with tears of relief and gratitude for having trust in me. I got off track writing here. Back to Ireland. I was not used to being in someone's company 24 hours a day every day. I remember Gertrude going out on her own in Cork to visit different sites and I said she could never do it on her own. She insisted. It was so funny because throughout the day I saw her from a distance no less than three times and she was always in the process of succeeding in getting to the spot she wanted to be in. Someone was always helping her across the street, up long stairways, etc... She fell on her head in Ireland. We were with people and we all sat and watched as Gertrude in silence healed herself over a fifteen minute period. I saw a perfect example of, "physician heal thyself". continued...
February 24, 2008
The most significant life altering change in my life came from a habit Gertrude started with me. Everytime we walked together into her church for a music lesson we went through a drill. It was all about change, a change I had always wanted but could never see the attainment of. It was that of positive thinking. It happened over a period of years. My spirit took hold of it unconsciously. I could always see it in other people but did not trust it. In relation with another human being I had no previous personal, relational experience on a consistent basis. I would arrive for the music lesson every week looking like shit and Gertrude would give me the most beautiful smile saying "tell me something nice that happened." Every time... "tell me something nice that happened." God was that painful. Then one day I was so bad off, completely lost and miserable... I wanted to cancel her lesson but could not because of my commitment. "Tell me something nice that happened..." The thing about all this was... that Gertrude was always genuine with her request, it was not in response or reaction to my demeanor. She really wanted to feel good for and with me. "Nothing nice happened today Gertrude." "Oh, come on something nice must have happened"... she keep nudging... "think," she said. I tried the hardest I could and the best I could come up with was sarcasm. "I got up from bed". Without skipping a beat she milked it for all it was worth. "Well thats good, eh?" I was the teacher but I'll never forget the lesson I learned from Gertrude on that day. It sunk in permanently for the first time ever. "Waking up", is as basic as it gets and if that's as good as it gets it's still better than nothin'! It may have been a selfish lesson, she was doing everything possible to not have a miserable teacher. Ha! This woman loved me as I was always taught that God loves me.
Whenever I communicated life's troubles to Gertrude she always had the greatest empathy. I learned how to have and express a healthy empathy for myself through Gertrude. It might be the most healing quality that I have acquired. I remember so clearly, I would tell her something awful that had happened in my life and she would simply bow her head and say, "I'm so sorry." I would think, "what... that's it?" I would actually wait for more, I wanted her to say more but nothing was there. In my head I would think, "what, your not going to dramatize with me, for me, for yourself, comment on my behalf, insert your two cents, try and make it better, allow me to pull you into the depths with me, your not going to try and pull me out, save me... I'm so sorry... that's it???" What an experiential parental example she gave for me. She always stayed out of my way, gave me room to grow on my own, in my own way, in my own time, at my own pace ...all while standing with me in support. Wow, Gertrude was a life altering experience! ...continued
February 23, 2008
Back to the idea of consistency. I gave Gertrude a music lesson and she gave me a life lesson almost every week. No matter what, Gertrude needed to have that music lesson! I was in a healing period for my life and sometimes I just did not want to deal with anything. I was friggin' miserable to the core, depressed, lonely, angry, tired and hungry for anything except my existence. Gertrude would phone me, "When are we getting together babe"? Babe was her favorite "fun" word. She had no idea it was a "dated" word. "Hi Ya Babe", she would say to everyone she interacted with and she would wave her hand with everyone she greeted. I wanted to say to people, "she's still living in the year 1910. Gertrude would say hello to everyone no matter what. She'd tell me people would say, "don't do that it is dangerous," but she did not care, it was more important to be friendly.
When Gertrude would call me for a lesson, I would say things like, "I'm too sick to teach you this week Gertrude." I would always try new things. One time, it only took once... I tried, "Gertrude I don't have any time this week." It did not work, she pushed forward with "I'll meet you anytime, when would it be convenient?" I was such a bugger... "2AM Tuesday morning Gertrude, that is the only time I have this week". She said, "fine, I'll see you then." I told her she was not serious and she told me she was so I called her bluff and then she called mine. We had an organ lesson in that church at 2AM one morning." No kidding, this is true!
I remember getting used to checking on Gertrude's parking of her car on the street. A parallel parker she was not. Sometimes her car would end up six feet out from the curb, other times I would find it diagonally in the street. She told me how frustrated people would get with her when she drove down the Boulevard. "They are always beeping their horns at me and following much too close but I must drive in the left lane so I can use the guard rail as a guide." I told her that was the passing lane but she did not care. It wasn't very helpful that she drove two miles an hour and that no one could see her even though she had two cushions on the seat... still her head barley reached the top of the steering wheel. This was an empowered woman, driving in her mid 80's. When I started to try and coax the end to driving she said, "Agnes is still driving and she is 90. I thought, "Go for it Gertrude." ...continued
February 22, 2008
When Gertrude came into the life stage of dire need for support, I remember going to one the nun closest to her, who was the recipient of many a donated vacation as a result of Gertrude's pocketbook. "She needs your help, she needs the help of her church, she doesn't want me to bath her for Christ's sake and your her friend!" The reply... "we are friendly but not friends." That was one ugly moment in life. I'm getting off topic but I might as well get the rest of the crap out of the way. Gertrude became unable to care for herself and came into societal system abuse. None of her relationships or neighbors showed interest in helping even with major overt sniffing for hidden money of which there was little. The general public did not understand Gertrude's pureness. She came across like a happy lady leprechaun. She did not talk like everyone else or look like everyone else. People would say, "how old are you" and she would reply, "102". She looked older still... but did not appreciate the question.
When Gertrude was 87 she fell inside her house one day and some guys working on the roof saw it. They called an ambulance. She just needed time to get some composure but it was not given to her. As she tried to assert her independence they forced her down and I found her in a loud, noisy, shared hospital bed room with people and televisions blaring... strapped to a bed. It was like inserting Tarzan from the Jungle into civilization against his will. Then forced medication began. She would fake taking it. This was the beginning of the end. As Gertrude became more resistant the abuse towards her grew. I had to get power of attorney and in round table with fear and threats from hospital administrators I had to insist on her release. This happened with two different hospitals. Talk about character building, talk about self empowerment, these were courageous moves for me. Love can create an amazing amount of courage. I trusted Gertrude's needs, observed, inquired about what she told me was happening. She had no chance for survival in the situation. I'll never forget hearing her say, " get me the fuck out of here!" That freaked me out. Talk about letting go of Miss nice and all repression. Talk about self actualization. I would never had dreamed she knew about the word. Maybe she had heard it in the hospital room and just repeated the phrase not knowing what it meant. Never the less it broke down all concepts of expectation and perfection for me. I respected her wishes no matter what others thought. After a few days with her alone at home (her house and garden were everything to her) and doing the bathroom "thing" for her and all that, ugh... I tried home nurses. When the money drained thankfully I found a nursing home close to her ilk. Her church completely failed her. I remember going to the Mother Katharine Drexel convent near my house where nuns retire... and with trust because I had experienced love there as an alter boy when I was ten years old, I explained the situation, "this woman has served the church faithfully and completely for her entire life and she now needs your help." I accepted the mother superior's scapegoat response because I had no other choice and I was desperate enough to fake any understanding even if it was bullshit. "Sometimes God creates these periods for the soul to suffer to help rid it of all evil so the spirit can be pure enough to enter heaven by the time they die." Makes me want to throw up writing that. ...continued
February 21, 2008
I grappled with Gertrude's world from the start, her thoughts, behavior, perceptions I knew deep down they were all good I just didn't understand how. When she told me that she had only seen one movie in her entire life, The Sound of Music. I thought, "she needs to broaden her horizons and get a life". The only thing she ever watched on television was the daily rosary. By every indication she had no clue to what was going on in the world and the horror of it all. She never read the newspaper. I thought, "Its not good to bury your head in the sand... gardening, nature, a good meal, music, reading, experiencing new thoughts in friendship, home, the people you do business with in life are all good things but there is more to life than that. What about... pain, suffering, drama, horror, death, hurt, anger... thats part of life too." She just did not see it. The not seeing "it" through time I realized was a choice for her. I used to think, "this cannot be good, she is closing herself off to reality." I learned through time that she knew it all existed, she just choose to focus with goodness for her life. She focused on all the joy that was being created. I used to complain about people to Gertrude, tell her how bad they were, what they did wrong etc... She impregnated into my brain, "thank God you don't have to live with them!" She must have said that to me thousands of times consistently, persistently and with genuine care until I got the point.
I thought, "she doesn't have any friends." Through time I realized that she had scads of friendly relationships. First of all, she had Agnes and also I was a close friend. She had relationships with her neighbors, the butcher, her seamstress in the downtown department store, a cleaning woman who came to her house for 30 years once every two weeks, her hairdresser, a few nuns and the church. They were all ongoing life long working relationships that were respected and important to Gertrude. Unfortunately, once she was incapable of using their services... they all disappeared. I stuck around. I know a good thing when I see it and I was not going to turn my back when push came to shove. That "good thing" was overwhelming gratitude for having found and experienced true love through Gertrude, unconditional love, first time in my life. Agnes and Gertrude's relationship became limited as Agnes was being cared for by her daughter in Massachusetts. continued...
February 20, 2008
Through the organ lessons that I gave to my friend Gertrude, I learned everything there was to learn about life. Patience, tolerance and good attitude are the first words to come to mind. As a teacher in my early twenties and in a very sick world at times (my head)... I acted out with frustration and impatience on Gertrude. I did that to the hilt. One of the two most regrettable experiences I have been ever had in life was during a music lesson with Gertrude. While driving home after the lesson, I had a moment of sanity, a moment of honesty with myself. As a teacher, I had beat at her up in that lesson. I had acted like a tyrant pushing her emotionally and verbally with all of my psychologically abusive might (and that can be allot). She held herself together through it all. I was trying push her to the brink wanting her to hurt like I was hurting in the moment. She just took it all. I was doing to her what was done to me while growing up and I had been out of control. She just took it all. As I was driving home I received a miracle. Through the tremendous guilt and chaos that was happening in my head over what had just transpired, I received one of the greatest gifts ever. Along with the ability to be honest with myself, I began to feel humble. I was feeling Gertrude's ability to be humble and her practice of it. She withstood all of my negativity one hundred percent of it. She loved so much and with so much pureness that she was truly able to turn the other cheek. Gertrude's ability to exemplify so much strength through love was beyond anything I had ever experienced before. I'll never forget the time she finally took some credit in later years... only one statement ever... it slipped out of her mouth... "oh, I worked real hard with you." I HEARD that!!! It was such a validation of personal worth for me that this woman would have cared enough to stick with my emotional sickness and one hundred percent accept it truly and honestly without partaking in it... to the core.
To my almost disbelief Gertrude did learn how to play the organ in fact she eventually played by reading notes and even by ear with chords. These were things I could teach but was too afraid to try for myself! We worked on learning the organ pedals but her feet could not reach them so we gave up on that idea. She was a shorty. Gertrude learned at a steady pace through her own knowledge of how to learn. I certainly knew nothing about pacing. Gertrude practiced the organ in the exact same way that she practiced life. I taught her the mechanics of it all while soaking in by osmoses her pace and style of life. How could I not? Her life worked for her and I was very interested in that. I wanted for my own life to work. More importantly, she had given me her trust and empowerment to be able to learn from her example. continued
February 19, 2008
I've been writing about my friend Gertrude who was the most amazingly influential person to have entered my life to his date. I taught Gertrude how to play the organ and Gertrude taught me how to live life. Before I continue with Gertrude... I began teaching piano before I knew how to play. I used to stay one lesson in front of the students. I started teaching at age 15 and by twenty one I had 54 private students a week!!! My skill was in motivation, sort of like the band leader in the broadway musical "The Music Man." Once I had moved out of my house at age twenty and away from all the control and repression of the life I knew... and then turned 21... I went crazy. I went really crazy. My life became an avalanche downward. I had zero sense of self and no where to go with that fact. I didn't stand a chance of learning anything because I began to "party hearty." Some of it was fun, most of it was a blur. It was what it was... but "it" all came to an end because I got so sick I almost died. I was trying to find myself and survive in a life of oblivion. My slide downward was fast, I bottomed out at 24 years of age. I quit teaching. I was burnt out of it and in the process of trying to get a life I could no longer fake motivation. Reality set in, it took over... I had no motivation for myself.
Through grace, I began to create a new life and after about six months into this new life, Gertrude had found my phone number and called me out of the blue. "I would like to continue those lessons with you because you were the best teacher I have ever encountered." I wanted to tell her to get a life because I thought her comment was so insane but I opted for excuses and said it would not be possible. She would not be deterred. I finally used money to try and get rid of her, "I cannot afford to Gertrude, the time, the money would be too much... blah, blah, blah" (by the way, I was living on welfare at the time) She said, "give me a price for the lessons, no matter what I will pay it... you were the best teacher I ever had and I want to learn how to play the organ." I told her $30 a lesson which was a ridiculous amount because she had been paying $6. I thought for sure she would say forget it but I was wrong. "When do we begin?" I think it is important to note that Gertrude did not have money overflowing from bank accounts. She lived on social security and a retirement fund, I think. I know she had no revenue from outside funds or money stashed away. She owned a small house and she loved that house with all her heart in the Philly suburb of Roxborough. It was built with her mother and sisters from a life of hard work. Any money that she would have had when she died was designated for charities. The family had decided on them many years before. I could not resist the money offer of $30 so I agreed to give her weekly lessons at the church. continued...
February 18, 2008
My friend Gertrude went back to school to get her doctorate degree when she was 67 years old. It was such an achievement... from the day she received her diploma she was known as "Doctor Sullivan". People would always ask, "doctor of what" and she would proudly announce with a big smile on her face... Education! Most people never understood that she was deserving of the title but Gertrude knew, and she milked it deservingly for all it was worth. I understood and watched myself change through time as this doctor... nursed me with education to health in every way possible. It was through her example. I am not a person who learns by promotion, by studying books, following the crowd, being forced fed or advertised to. I learn by watching and seeing how other people operate and then by immersing myself into whatever I want to experience. My sprit is attracted to things educationally, emotionally... whatever, "Attraction not Promotion" for me.
I met Gertrude in my early twenties when I was teaching piano and organ in Strawbridge and Clothier a once famous department store in center city Philadelphia. Gertrude came in one day to sign up for organ lessons. I think she was 72 years old at the time or maybe it was 74. I was having a very hard time in life I do remember that. Yea, now I remember that I was 24 years old. I was in a fog but I remember thinking, "this is crazy, this lady is too old to learn". Gertrude was so upbeat and determined to learn how to play the organ for her church that I did not stand a chance at rejecting her in anyway and so we started weekly lessons. She belonged to a Catholic church at 29th and Allegheny in North Philadelphia. The church was so huge that... on Sundays it used to have two masses going on at the same time on different levels. Now the congregation had dwindled to about fifty black people with one little old white woman who was a less than five feet tall, major white hair and as Irish as they come. Gertrude thought the church services should have music and there was an organ not being used. None of the "higher uppers" cared so she decided to take on the job herself. Everyone was too afraid of Gertrude's positive pureness to object, and I was going to help her achieve the goal no matter what. People often just tolerated Gertrude because they could not see her love. She was so nice to everyone that they could not handle so much "light". continued...
February 17, 2008
I am fairly certain that I have had a living angel in my life. Her name was Gertrude Veronica Sullivan and she was my best friend. Funny... I have personally had several best friends through life but I do not think I was ever anyone's best friend. As I get older I think the idea of "best friend" has been overated. It's like a best friend is complete security and I now know... all relationships ebb and flow and offer different experiences on different levels at different times. Anges was Gertrudes best friend in a sense and also a few years older than Gertrude. The two had a tradition of Sunday brunch after church every week for many decades. They were both still driving cars in their mid 80's. Gertrude was the first person with whom I ever experienced unconditional love.
Last night I found Gertrude's passport with her picture in it. Through the picture I saw into her eyes and deep into heaven. I want to tell you about this woman. Gertrude was the last member of an Irish family. She had two sisters named Mary and Francis and her mother's name was Kathleen, her father's name was Thomas. The family came over to America during Ireland's potato famine several lifetimes ago. Gertrude was especially close to her sister Mary. They were like two peas in a pod. I never personally met any of Gertrude's family. As I said Gertrude was the last of a long line of Sullivan's with no living relatives. I did meet her sister Mary in spirit, I'll tell you about that later. Thomas died working on the railroads one Christmas morning when Gertrude was 15 years old. Gertrude spent her life with her two sisters and mother and devoted her working career to teaching school children. She was a devote Catholic and In those days if you were to be an Irish Catholic lay school teacher... it was like being a nun. Career teachers did not marry they devoted their lives completely to the church and teaching. No poontang for them! Other than career,Gertrude's personal life was devoted to fun, joy, beauty, love, friendship, relationship, and creativity. She pursed all of life to the fullest. She has been my main hero in life. continued...
February 16, 2008
I went to my friends Jim and Robin's house for a major beer bash tonight. I've known Robin for most of my life; she had lived across the street from me since I was ten years old. I taught her piano when I was sixteen years old and I think that my repressed rigidity back then scar'd her musical empowerment. She now has a wonderful grand piano and I am going to undo what I've done to her as a child. I am going to newly inspire and empower her with a few piano lessons. She'll be the first person I've coached in thirty years. I now know a better way to approach the idea of music. While everyone was downstairs tonight bumping to the disco beat I was upstairs entertaining myself improvising... for over two hours. I don't own a real piano so when I find one to play I feel that I must make the most of the opportunity.
A tarot card reader did his thing with me at the party. I usually think of it all as a joke but every once in a while a physic sees into my soul. This guy did. First thing out of his mouth, "I see here your going to live a long life". I thought, good. (wow, is that a turn around from life long thinking) Then he looks up at me and says, "I see your having major financial difficulty but that will change down the road." I laughed because on the way to the party I stopped at the bank to withdraw my last $200. Hahahaha... Then he said, "your romance is not doing so well either is it." I said, "whatever" and he continued "there will be someone down the road". I'm not kidding... this is exactly how it went. The last thing he said was, "your not going to have a secure home for a long time but that will change also". The man really had insight. I told him that sounded right because I plan to be on the road for quite a while. Without me saying a word he hit the mark every single time. The most significant thing he said was, "don't get distracted". He must have said this six times. I have been easily distracted throughout my life. Distractions created many a downfall until I started to live my life's wildest of dreams. It's all scary yet exciting and definitely good.
I left Boner at home which was very unusual. I want him to get used to time by himself. He was at the door waiting and as I came in began yelling, "I'm glad to see you, jerk... where have you been, jerk... I love you, jerk... I did not like this waiting period I love you, jerk... get me my treats, jerk... lets go for a walk, jerk... etc... We love each other.
February 15, 2008
Ever have one of those days where you wake up and the first thought is, "I can't wait until I can go back to sleep in this cocoon" Hahaha... ever have a week like that... months, years? That was my first thought this morning. It is what it is. The second thought I had was, "get up"! I'm in a transition, I've been through many of them in my life... When I let go of drama I can say I enjoy these transitions because as a progressive minded person I know they will always turn out for the good. I drained my bank account today to pay the bills. The fact that there was enough money to pay the bills was good. I shifted one visa account to another, that was not so good. The fact is I have not tapped into credit for a year so I will give myself credit for that. I have never been in this financially responsible position before. I am reinventing my life and I am determined to carry out the Traveling Piano's mission and not go back to charging fees and performing the way I used to with Raggin' Piano Boogie. Who knows? I must give myself patience with www.bonerthedog.com structure, organization, learning, discipline has never come natural for me.
February 14, 2008
I just found an amazing musical performance by Pamela Kurstin and I want for everyone to experience it... www.ted.com/pamela/kurstin ...Pam plays a theremin, the first electronic instrument ever invented, an instrument that is played without being touched. She clearly communicates her great musical ability as well as spirit and personality. The video inspired me to go create some music for myself right away. I played the piano for about an hour and went to musical places I've never been and have little desire to go back to. Some of it was fun, some of it was validating alot of it was dumping my internal chaos. it's all good. Todays picture is of my library. All four walls are stacked from floor to ceiling with books of every shape, size and genre along with sheet music and my work archives. It is all packed neatly and ready to be carried off and sold to fund the Journey of Peregrinating Musical Exploration... Wouldn't it be great if one person brought it all? Would anyone liek to take a box of books to sell them for me? Come on, help? This process would move so much quicker! I'm almost done my kitchen. That is another floor to ceiling job.
February 13, 2008
I don't have very much to say today, same old, same old... I'm packing and preparing to continue this journey. I pulled out some never seen photos to talk for me and what the Traveling Piano has to offer.
February 12, 2008
February 11, 2008
FAQ #033 ...This is a continuation of yesterday's FAQ, and hopefully the last time I will ever need to address the issue. From now on I will say, just go read FAQ 33 and 32 Ha! Question: ...Are you not concerned that you are losing business because of people who think you named Boner a dirty sex name to offend them?
Answer: ... Ugh! Warp my life around one segment of societies censorship ...help control what other people think by choosing what to name my dog ... attribute a dirty condescending slant to Boner's name because that's what some of the other people do ...allow other people to assign false motives to me for what I named my dog ...think dirty because thats the way some other people think? No. No. No. No. No. This issue can raise passion from my heart. Only when I want to feel dramatic... hehehe. It is a fact that the majority of people do not think sex when they meet Boner and learn his name. Believe me I know that this ...FACT... is difficult for many people to believe but I have been experiencing this more than anyone else for thirteen years now. The people who do think sex mostly do so with tongue-in-cheek humor and not with a-threatening-hard-penis. Yea... there it is out in the open! Many words in the English language have several meanings and connotations. With Boner's name, which one do you want to choose, eh?
With Boner's name where children are concerned I have an edge over pro-repression, censoring, offensive minded people. I introduce the word/name Boner as a "fun dog name" verses "dirty sex word." Even with children who have already learned the word Boner as a taboo concept, Boner's name takes that offensive, repressive bad feeling and completely turns their entire formidable perspectives full circle into a feeling that is much more positive for their lives, that of acceptance - innocence - playfulness - love - joy - full spirit ...and most importantly, simply the name of a dog. At the very least the experience of meeting Bo with his name opens an opportunity to choose what and how they can think from that point on... an option too often lacking for people. I was one of those children who lacked choice. For me, the best part of this world is our ability to be able to choose what we think. Boner's name can be a wake up call if so chosen as to how a person will think. Did you know that some people have a REALLY bad reaction to hearing or seeing the name/phrase Boogie Woogie, one of the musical styles that I have been playing for the last twenty years? There's no pleasing everyone over just about anything, sad to say.
February 10, 2008
Question: ...How did you come to pick the name "Boner" for your dog?
Answer: ...The reason and purpose for naming my dog Boner came into full clarity when I began my present journey. It was at the same time that I came to complete terms with the fact that as a person in desire, thought and action I am 100% worthwhile. Boner's name was given from a place of self-empowerment. I would not trade that for anything. The name Boner was chosen from thoughts of fun, healthy and playful innocence and yes... sexual adolescent (youthful) humor. It is also a dog name. People are stimulated by the name and creatively I think that is a good thing. In reality there are also other aspects that entered the decision process. I am attracted to the sound of the letter "B" and the word's two syllables. I also enjoy being able to use both a formal and informal form of his name. The variation of Bo verses Boner keeps me interested in his name verses with a name like, "spot". I thought having the two forms would also be considerate for people who feel uncomfortable with the name Boner. Uncomfortable people can call my dog Bo. I also find the visual roundness and square aspects of the word pleasing. Stop right here. I am not crazy!!!! :) I did a lot of soul searching before I decided on the name Boner for my dog. There was also remembering Mike Seaver's friend named Boner on the 80's television sitcom Growing Pains and the fact that Boner is a dog who loves to play with and eat Bones!
February 09, 2008
Wow, today one year ago I left home to begin the present leg of this journey. I made it through rural America and Mexico... never made it Hollywood where I had planned for the world to meet Boner before he retires. I ended up in Virginia Tech at the request of the student government. Ten days from now two years ago... I had left for the Katrina areas down South. Today was spent packing my belongings in readiness for a total liquidation to help pay for the journey to China. The plan is to gift the rural areas and to continue having the world meet Boner before he retires. Today I also sat and ate two pounds of pistachios from a new Indian supermarket in the neighborhood. They were yummy. I still have two more pounds left. I also ate six humongous deliciously sweet oranges from the local deli. Today I also play the piano and created some new music with different keyboard settings to help stir some creativity seeing as I cannot be creative as with acoustic piano keys. I found fulfillment which a change of tones and the length of them. I walked with Bo in the park for an hour and a half and we played for a good half hour tonight rolling on the floor, running around the table, playing tug of war teeth and hand etc... I am in one of my life stages where I wonder if I am doing what I should be doing. The answer has always been yes so I want to have faith and trust in my winning streak.
February 08, 2008
I stopped at the local deli to pick up some cardboard boxes. I am packing up my house. The checkout girl says, "have a good weekend" and I replied, "it's only Wednesday." She said, "no its Friday." I had to have another person verify that it is indeed Friday and then I said, "so thats why Boston Legal was not on television last night!" This lack of time awareness is good thing I think. Time is an illusion. I think Einstein was the first to discover and say that.
It did not feel too cold and it was sunny outside so I went to Tyler Park to create some music. It was cold enough that my hands began to turn a light pink. I thought, "just do it, keep going and test your limits." I wailed piano music into the park as loud as I could. I let Bo run around on the ground. It was too cold for him to just hang out on top of the piano. It was windy. I've said before how incredibly therapeutic for me to create music and that still holds true. A young guy named Bill I had met in the summer drove by and stopped to say hi. He took some pictures for me (damm the memory card failed) and after that, Boner and I went for a walk in the fields as the sun set through the golden grass two feet high. On the way home I stopped to get the local paper. There was a a huge picture and blurb in the center of the main page from a local elementary school assembly program. It was of a little Asian girl watching a traveling piano man from Alaska who plays Boogie Woogie piano. How interesting is that!
February 07, 2008
February 06, 2008
February 05, 2008
I am keeping it as simple as I can get today.
February 04, 2008
I woke up in a horrific state this morning. At first I thought it was from sleeping with the space heater. I am never going to use it again when I go to sleep. I'll have faith that the money "will come" to pay the heating bill. As the day started I could not recover from feeling sick. I was unable to think, barley able to move, I had a major headache in the back of my neck and head. i was nauseous. I realized yesterday's emotion was connected as well as ongoing emotional feelings. I could not connect with my feelings to sort them out. I'm fairly certain a bug of some kind was in the mix. Maybe that is why I had trouble yesterday. I tried to plod through today but by afternoon, I felt amazingly nauseous, the headache would not go away. I could not contain the pressure I was feeling with my heart and mind.
My niece phoned which was a reminder of friendship and family and happened to tell me of a recent experience with a neighbors success in the use of visualization and the laws of attraction. The conversation brought me to some reality. I stopped trying to work. It was useless. I could not even hold a conversation with anyone. I did think about the fact that no matter how bad I can feel it does not compare with past times. I hope to never allow myself to become sick like before two and a half years ago.
I climbed into bed and made myself as warm as possible. I propped some pillows around me so I would feel more secure. I could not hold positive thoughts or images in my brain. I knew I needed help. I prayed, tried to connect with the love of those who have passed in my life. I used my Ipod with earphones to listen Deva Premal's Moola Mantra music CD. After the introduction of the music I broke through with some feeling and had a small crying jag which was very helpful in releasing the ability to relax my body. Along with some ibuprofen to assist, I fell into a deep sleep. I woke up feeling reborn. As I continued with the day I could feel some nausea returning so I'm taking it easy, going to eat a healthy dinner and then off to bed. I must have a bug.
I turned on the television to hear the report of a record viewing number for the Super Bowl yesterday and then the announcer added, "a streaker's dream". Wow! He did say that, I heard it. (I want to streak across the super bowl field playing some wild boogie woogie from the truck for fun entertainment. That dream started the traveling piano). I hear these little things that people say. I remember in the 2006 Super Bowl, Mick Jagger starting out with "all things come to those who wait, I've been trying to get this gig for 15 years." And I remember Stevie Wonder's, "remember its not about the religion its about the relationship". Did you see the first impulsive reaction from Plaxico Burress when he caught the winning touchdown pass last night? It was cut off all the news replays that I saw. He dropped to both knees in with a specific moment of gratitude and then continued. His amazing accomplishment, the realization of his dream, his response in that moment of frenzied energy was first and foremost... gratitude!
February 03, 2008
Oh God, what can I say? I'll just say the truth. I look forward to not fighting with my life. I want to get back to where I was at this time last year. I must. I came home from playing piano outdoors today and pigged out with food and junk. I piled weight onto weight. I felt lethargic today with my pianistic abilities and I knew this was because of weight gain. So what did I do? I came home and... never mind... I need some grace to change my vibrational frequencies of thought. I am focused on what I do not want to feel and so I am creating more of the same... and that translates into self destruction with more of the same old same old ...my life before this journey began. I'm scared.
I woke up this morning afraid because I knew I would need to disengage today from my self-involved state of liquidating my assets to interact with people. Hahahaha... what can I say but the truth? When I am out doing the Traveling Piano "thing" everyday I have no problem. Let a couple of days go by or a couple of weeks without doing it and I am in big trouble. Fear seeps in and it is like starting over from scratch, uncertainty infiltrates into my life. I suppose I will be working for the rest of my life on finding a safe balance between my spirit (self) and the world (interaction/relating). When I don't feel good about myself... anything I have to give to the world... is friggin' work! Today was work! I am so thankful for the day but I cannot allow my life to be work. Enough negativity let me move on.
My day started out with people interested in learning and speaking Chinese. I went to a Chinatown Meetup social group in Philly for some Dim Sum which is Chinese cuisine involving a wide range of light dishes served alongside Chinese tea. I ate with a diverse mix a friendly people and hopefully I made a few connections to develop some friendship and knowledge. The first piece of food I tried was a bit strange. There were a lot of little bones with what seemed to be only fat. I asked what it was and I was told... chicken feet. I am still reeling from that... augh ...yuk! I was told, "If your going to be in the rural areas of China, they eat whatever they can find to eat so prepare yourself." "Okie Dokie." I would have felt better with a little meat on those toes! Then I was reminded what hot dogs are made of (one of my favorite foods). As a person who cannot hold a steady hand (they shake all the time) especially in situations such as today... chops sticks can be very tricky to use. I was thankful for any piece of food I could stab. I was also told to prepare myself for the smog in China, the sun is rarely seen because there are so many factories in fact they are closing factories so the Olympic marathoners won't be gasping for breath.
It was not easy to find a spot to park in Chinatown today because Sunday is the busiest day and there was a big show at the convention center but... I found one. I became confused as what to do. " Should I just jump up onto the piano real quick to play and show everyone what I do or... set everything up nice with the signs explaining why I am here. I opted for the first choice; there was no time for a little of both. After about an hour I realized why it was all feeling like work. This was one of the few nice winter days to be out and around and I felt an urgency to use it. This is without question the most negative entry I have made to my writings since I began. Why, a lot of reasons. Because I am moving closer to accepting help and support and that, scares me? Is it because the superbowl is today and I am not there? How about that big show at the convention center that I should have been part of?
I had so much fun today... just look at the pictures. I met some wonderful people, the kids were great, and the shop owners thanked me for coming. I had some special musical improvisational "moments" for myself, the weather was great, there were tons of people, I was in the center of Chinatown... Well, my purpose for these writings are to show my process... the good, bad, ugly and extraordinarily, stupendous wonder of it all so, "it is what it is". Today will be a downer, close but no banana. "It is what it is." Just like last year at this time I will refuse to feel rushed and I refuse to create urgency. Who knows why some things happen I will keep the faith... and graditude. No one is paying me anything I do and I owe to no one except myself. So I guess I just need to give myself a break and remember to nurture, take care of myself, fill myself up with love and move along at the best pace that I know and do the best that I can for myself. Yea, that's the ticket!
February 02, 2008
I have recommitted to my dreams today... fun, friendship, respect, inspiration, empowerment, music, trust, faith, belief, ability, health, intimacy, performance, entertainment, cleanliness, experience, money, relationship. I have a vision for today and I am living in it. Staying in the moment... aware not rushing, giving time, allowing joy. I went to the local deli to pick up some boxes to pack my belongings. I ate some almonds from the new Indian supermarket that opened in my neighborhood, I went there to welcome them and support the business. Boner enjoyed a nut with me... only one, he likes all kinds of nuts but only a taste each time. I went to the library to get some learning Chinese CD's. This is a huge jump for me. I turned the CD on immediately. Boner began to tilt his head sideways back and forth as never before. I started making the sounds aloud and he gave me his full attention. The way you say/sing words give them different meanings. As a child, I was taught not to make any sounds that were different from our family unit. Any sound by outsiders that were not understood were laughed at. Any attempt or idea of speaking a different language was ridiculed. I have not had any luck with trying to learn Spanish for twenty five years. Maybe I will have better luck with Chinese.
Question: ...What are you going to do when people talk to you and you don't understand them? Answer: ...I'll smile, feel, use my eyes, spirit, the music... I am going to a meetup social group tomorrow made up of people who like to practice speaking Chinese with each other.
February 01, 2008
I am getting ready for the superbowl with a visualization today... it is the Wildest Dream I have ever had and I decided to bring it into reality. I'm about to streak with some Boogie Woogie music on the truck across the superbowl field... I'm coming out of the gate... even though I'm on a different field from this years game. Ha. I thought about going out to play in the rain today but I am too sane to do that. Maybe it is time to start blogging a "greatest days" as in "greatest hits" of the last two and a half year blog entries because there is little Traveling Piano experiences these days. I spend my time on focus (that is a lot of work for me) and continuation of solving possession/finances issues to get to China.
Question: ...How are you going to get Boner back into the USA with the quarantine issues? Answer: ...I will have many hurdles to jump and this one I have yet to address but I will find out what needs to get done and follow through with it.