HIS SPIRIT LIVES ON! ... BONER, THE PIANO DOG ... November 27, 1994 ... February 20, 2010
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May 31, 2008
Every once in a while the reality of "leaving my home" hits in a sentimental way, like today. I cannot let any overwhelming potential for sadness to engulf me. I went to Cracker Barrel for dinner with Mr. and Mrs Nulph. I put it that way for effect, its really Larry and Arlene. They have been life long neighbors, good friends and like second parents to me. When I was an adolescent I used to cut church on their back porch until they caught me one day. I love these people.
I gave Bo his yearly shave today. He feels so much better with less hair and the humidity really slows him down when it's warm. He really enjoys the grooming process. That fact that I always take him for a long run beforehand helps.
I was thinking... my old impulses would be to say I have no help, I'm doing this all on my own as a way to try and get help. Now, I look at the facts of what exists, the truth. There are people, there always have been people and I know everything will turn out ok. I build on that fact. More importantly this is what I try to remember and communicate to myself as I speak to others. Just like with money; when I started this transition I made the decision not to communicate financial need as a manipulative tool to gain support as in "Don't let anyone know you have money or they will not give you any." I stay conscious to be truthful even though some may think (wrongly), "I'm not giving him any money he has plenty". Some think $20 is plenty others $2000 others more. For me plenty would be to go out and buy some new clothes, have a nice home, dinner for friends, adventurous (none working) trips... but I must say once again right now, I have plenty and am happy in the moment.
May 30, 2008
I peddled my wares today throughout a new development next to my home. After creating pictures of my tiger lilies I stapled the picture to a Traveling Piano flyer with the following note:
Dear neighbor, I have a house in the development next to you. As I sell my house, I am liquidating my yard plants and stone. I would like to offer perennial Tiger Lilies, $25 for a 2' X 2' plot. This cost is guaranteed to be less than half of what you would pay to landscaper or store. These plants are not from a hot house, are natural and locally 100% healthy, hardy and need no care. They can be separated into many plants or ready made to create a mature garden spot. The leaves are perfect to camouflage utility units, for the sides of the house or for any boarders. They grown in sun or shade. They flower in June so now is the time to transplant plant them. I will dig them out and deliver within minutes so that the dirt and roots stay intact, even plant them for you if you do not need to separate themÉ for free!!! Danny Kean 215 639 9378
Ahh... yes, the process of the Journey of Peregrinating Musical Exploration! Boner was exhausted from walking in the sun. He needs a shave with the warm weather arriving. Afterwards we went to the park to create music and surprise... I met more friends of friends of friends. This happens no matter where I am. All over the world I met people connected to people I know or have met.
May 29, 2008
Life can be really amazing when you just put one foot in front of the other and let it unfold. I started out doing some work today. During that process I realized my house settlement was going to be once again delayed! I am not going to mention that anymore in this blog until it happens. I do not want for this process to become a pain in the ass. After that news I transferred some boulders and rocks from my yard to my nieces yard for safe keeping. I have emotional attachment to my rocks, yea that's right. Gotta problem with that? Then I decided to take a long walk with Bo in the park. He needed it and so did I on all levels, emotionally, mentally and physically. I met the high school vice principal walking his dog in the park and that put into my mind to go play music today in the parking lot of the high school. It is a nice open area for me.
While I was there playing music I felt like this specific guy John was going to show up and then he did, with his son!!! Why did he come into my mind? This was purely synchronistic. The Traveling Piano was created three years ago. This guy John was part of the first Traveling Piano experience. His picture is the first picture on this website! The picture was taken from his cell phone. That was the first year: last year the Traveling Piano truck randomly broke down on a busy road. I saw a guy raking leaves on his driveway nearby so I approached him to use his phone. It was John again. I had broken down in front of his house! Then today (third year) he happens to be driving in the parking lot of the high school at the same time I am there? I'm glad he remembered me because I would not have recognized him. This was only the third connection we have ever had. He is a local church musician; plays beautiful music, says he has never read this blog. It is interesting to notice happen chance such as this. I try not to dwell on it but can't help but wonder...
May 28, 2008
My Countdown THREE... TWO... ONE... MORE HOOP TO JUMP THROUGH...
The speed of life is picking up. This is a good thing. The challenge is to allow it to flow and spin and not worry about it all getting out of control. Also, as events synchronically intertwine it becomes difficult for me to explain via text without spending hours to do it. Most of what I write is stream of consciousness as is my music. With that said... I used velcro to put new signs on the sides of the piano today. "Driving to China" ... "Need Support, Get Info". Hahaha... is there no end? I also added a table behind me to put brochures on. I think the new stuff may have inhibited some people from approaching the truck. The pamphlets displayed may have looked like solicitation... I think the word "need" on the flyer might have made needy people run away, hahaha and... if you saw a guy playing the piano on the back of a truck with a dog sitting on top of a piano that has a sign saying "Driving to China"... well, even I would think twice before approaching that sight! I think I will stick to handing people flyers when they show a sign of interest. The signs... I'll use them when I am outright promoting or when driving on the road to perk curiosity about the Traveling Piano website address on the truck.
Wonderful people are entering my life. I talked with my new friend Charlie this morning who offered to help me with space for things if I get into storage trouble. Mind you... he offered this. It alleviated a lot of problem solving energy that can now be put to better use. It is important that the world knows there are many people who are generous in spirit. People who show generosity are drawn to each other. Human beings work best when actively joined together in support.
More generous spirit... a woman named Julie who had received an email I sent a few months ago requesting support replied back that she would volunteer, help out, send a contribution or buy something from www.bonerthedog.com. I had not heard from here so I sent her an email reminder yesterday and we met today for the first time with her daughter Meghan and grandaughter Charlotte on East River drive in Philadelphia. We played some music at the park and the family picked up 4000 flyers with business cards to staple and fold for me. It is important that the world knows there are many people who are generous in spirit. We had never met or talked before today.
This generosity enabled me to spend some musical time and inspiration with a girl who works with the Philly Jewish Film Festival and also a two year old boy and his single mom who runs a hair salon in center city who had come to the park to play some ball. During that time a guy named Jules who I had met briefly while playing in Chinatown a few months ago phoned me to ask if I would stop by to musically help him send off his friend Mari who is moving to Japan in a couple of days. If I had been at home I would not have been able to do this because of time and distance restraints but I happened to be five minutes from his center city apartment. How cool is that? While on the street a group from the local supermarket used the Traveling Piano to help relieve some stress before a work meeting. A stressed out med student who was walking by joined Mari on the piano for a duet. A bunch of strangers spontaneously coming together, hanging out and interacting with each other. All from the generosity of several people joining together in support! And what do I get from it most? Gratitude. This is a good thing.
May 27, 2008
My Countdown THREE... TWO... ONE...
This countdown that I have been doing... it is about the sale of my house! I am going with the flow... up and down, back and forth, delay, delay, delay... I refuse to get caught up in the chaos. Actually, I've been doing that by stuffing myself with too much food. I WILL get a grip. Settlement keeps getting delayed, day by day. Jump through the hoop... Jump through the hoop!
Another challenge these days... when asking for support for the journey. " Now, you want to go to China for what?" "Why do you want to go to China?" "You want to go to China because you have a good heart???" Actually I keep trying different ways to explain myself but have found no better explanation then... I enjoy creating fun, friendship and respect with people. I have been very successful for three years now doing that through musical empowerment and inspiration... and fun! Everyday has been documented in detail here on this blog. Having no commercial, political or organizational agenda, I have been able to create a bridge for communication, a feeling of trust, interaction through music that brings people from complete different backgrounds together to share common spirit and joy. I am presently settling my financial responsibilities, the debt already incurred and the ongoing bills by selling my house and belongings. I am asking for people to respond to my generosity with generosity of their own in order to continue. Can I make this any clearer? How about... I just want to have fun so I can share fun with the world. Sharing fun is good. I do it good. A life that shares fun is worth supporting!
May 26, 2008
I missed the twentieth year for the Warminster, PA Memorial Day parade today. I hope the community doesn't think it was because i did not want to be there. The parade changed hands and the new people had different ideas. It happens. I ended up back in the sticks (rural country) with the fish and the chickens, flies... people too. The Traveling Piano had a baby chick and a baby duck dancing on the piano keys today. Can you see them in the picture? A little bit later I was taking a short snooze and a playful, I should say "really" playful girl noticed my snoozing mouth open so she dropped a baby chick into it it for fun. I don't know if it was fun but it certainly was funny! ... I mean the idea and the guts to pull off a prank like this with a stranger. It was pure innocent playfulness. How could anyone resist... ok, yea the fun of it. I became mesmerized today with musical improvisation in the sun. I musically mediated on nature. I was at Honey Lake farm with its neighbors and relatives. A local dairy farmer sang God Bless America while his church choir director accompanied him on the piano. I'm exhausted it is now almost 5AM!
My Countdown is back... THREE... TWO...
May 25, 2008
I have been hanging out with this crazy guy Charley in the Tinicum Township, Pipersville area of Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Charlie is a farmer/musician/wacko. This area of the country as well as being one of the most beautiful areas I have ever been to in the world... has a special off center karma lurking around the inhabitants. I like it. Charlie is having a major bash tomorrow and I hope to drum up some support for the Journey of Peregrinating Musical Exploration during it. I took up all my lawn furniture and I'm hanging price tags from it all. Verses a two dollar tip, donate for my lawn chair! That's right, I have no shame. I just saw one worth $150 on Ebay that sold last night for $75. Dear reader, you too can contribute... the stuff is listed here... Yard, Garden, Plants. Today I drove the truck up into a field of newly planted corn and created music near boxes of hives with bees making honey. Before that Charlie and I drove around the area and stopped at a local airfield in Erwinna, PA to scope out music opportunities. We went to the Quakertown farmers market.
They have a food auction where everyone holds quarters and dollar bills in the air. Food that will not make it through another week is handed out. Charlie collects all the left over food from the stores to feed his humongous chickens that run all over his yard. We will be eating a few of them tomorrow. In the parking lot we had the usual Traveling Piano experiences. The lady who sells fish in the market came out to play... Charlie love's the ladies! Did I tell you that Charlie loves the ladies? He does love the ladies! Amazingly, an old piano student of Charlies walked by with his buddy named Toner who enjoyed meeting Boner. I ended up giving them pointers on music and life. On the way home in the dark on Dark Hollow road... (I just love the names of the towns and roads in this area) I got stopped by the police. My back tail light was out. The office said, "what's up with the piano"? Out came a flyer and the usual ten minute story. I just can't help myself. I told him to check out the website and help spread the word. He said, "buckle up with your seatbelt," with a warning as I drove away. Boner is exhausted. The continuous longer day trips over the past few days are good practice for both of us to build our stamina.
May 24, 2008
Pipersville, Pa was a beautiful place to be today. I wish it was closer to my house because of the gas money but I need to get used to traveling everyday. I don't know how I am going to go through this transition of selling my house... liquidating everything... planning the journey... while creating awareness in every way possible for support... getting the support... doing office work, communication and errands... while keeping the mission alive by going out every day with the piano... while listing possessions on the Boner site, creating music, pictures and blog-ing... while trying to eat right with exercise, keeping my house clean and having some healthy down time... whew!
Anyway, I sat the truck on the bank of a beautiful pond while neighbors ranging from 9 to 90 years of age fished for trout and bass on the edge. I tried some fishing for myself. After I got the idea of casting the line a big fish ate the hook and bait right off the line. I quit. Fishing is too much work! A friend Patsy tinkled away at the piano while singing. A young couple named Lisa and Scott also had a go at the ivory keys. (now-a-days plastic) I watched two Canadian Geese with their seven chicks float around in the water and Bo became exhausted from the energy of chickens running loose all over the place... all day. Do you know what a horny chicken sounds like? "What the hell was that", said I. Someone said, "thats the sound of a horny chicken"... Okie Dokie... By night Bo just wanted to get into the trucks cab and be by himself. I didn't blame him. We both had a great time.
May 23, 2008
In the park today several people stopped by to chat, they met Bo, created some music. I have begun to improvise on only the black piano keys because a friend told they are the notes of the Chinese music scale so I am acclimating myself to the sounds. We met some dog walkers, Carol a nurse, a few bikers... and at home I caught Bo in a terrific stare down with a bunny rabbit in the yard. Even though the rabbit was only about three feet over the property line Boner resisted because he knows not to run into the neighbors yard and that I don't want him eating fresh kill. What a champ!
May 22, 2008
Along with my China visualization for today, as I musically develop, let go of life as I know it, transition, step into the unknown I want to remember something very important:
As a child I was taught one way of how to live life. This was the brand and slant of my family religion. As a result, doing life differently or... "out of the box" has never felt natural. For most of my life I fought with myself... inside-outside-inside-outside-inside-outside. Inside the box has always been filled with fear. I was taught fear big time. Either way inside or out... it is all an energy, the energy of life. It has always taken an effort for me to move outside of the box and away from fear. In the past I was rarely successful for any length of time. I always ended up back in the box.
I do not have a box anymore because I now choose to identify that energy differently and correctly. I now know there is only one energy inside or outside. The energy is love, attraction, the presence of life. I have found life to be amazing, it's wonderful. As they say and I have fully realized that the energy and feeling of fear is just an illusion.
I was experiencing this energy and feeling a few weeks ago when I was caught in the old habit of identifying it as fear. All of a sudden a light bulb turned on in my head and in the moment I realized that I was identifying my feelings as tremendous fear when in reality, well here is exactly what I thought... "this is the exact same feeling and energy that you experienced everyday all the time last year while on the journey, Danny. Back then you did not identify this exact feeling, this energy as fear.... this same and exact energy you identified as being totally alive... in the present moment... you were living the presence of God, you were saying that you were yourself in fact God because there was nothing else... you were completely conscious, actualized, in the zone all the time... Same energy, same feeling... different terminology... today it is "Fear", last year it was "Alive."
I said to myself, "why would you want to identify the present moment, the presence of God, the space where all miracles happen as fear? You have experienced so many miracles in the past... why would you want to shut down the continuation of them with fear? When I identify with fear, I shut down." I can be really good at shutting down. I have learned very well most of the poplar addictive, pathological and physiological behaviors to help shut down when fear enters my consciousness!
Now, I have no fear. Confusion and anxiety sometimes yea, but no fear. There is nothing to fight with or my way out of. I just work to stay conscious and flowing with fun presence, the energy of life! Like my dog Boner, I play, I learn, I fail, I experiment, I succeed and keep going in the moment. I am driven with desire to care. I enjoy caring with and for strangers. Music and Boner have been most helpful for me to create the needed bridges to success. My drive to care helps me stay conscious that this is not a "me" world... this is a "we" world.
May 21, 2008
Between rain storms I drove to the park today to create some music. At this time of year rain showers come and go without warning. I never noticed that before last year. I learned this fact by doing a fiasco two month long fundraiser in my backyard. You can read all of it in the Spinnin' Ma Wheels link to the left. God, I'll never do anything like that again! I met several people with the Traveling Piano today . A group of three kids stopped by. Two of them jumped into the bushes to get "high" the other jumped onto the piano to create some music. I felt good for the piano guy not... because he did not get high but because he showed an ability, the strength to choose. He was able to have his friends and be his own person, not succumb to peer pressure.
Some people think that now because I am selling my house I will have money from it. I'll be rich. WRONG! First, I am selling my house for 100,000 less than it was worth last year so I am not getting very much money for it. What I will get, I am using to pay off the debt incurred from the journey since it started down in the Katrina affected areas two years ago. And then there is Mexico, rural America and Virginia Tech from last year. How does one think all the ongoing general living expenses are being paid seeing as I charge no fees for what I offer to the world? Its coming from the house, I will not see any of that money. And then there is China... I need a truck and equipment... musical, communication etc... to continue. Where will the money come from for the transport and fees, the gas, lodging, food and the misc expenses incurred? It will come from the house. I do the best that I can with what I have in order to present myself as respectfully as possible. Because everything looks good on the surface does not mean I do not need support. Please trust that fact and support this journey. I have not even purchased a new piece of clothing for over two years! What you see in these blog pictures is what I own. Hahaha...
I have begun my life's biggest countdown to date. I'm stuck on HOLDING... this is going to take a few more days i can see... it is what it is. I am amazingly calm about it all. In the past I would have been freaking out totally.
May 20, 2008
I am LaLa land today, exhausted... not sure of anything and not sure I want to be sure of anything... I think this is a good place. It takes focus to not mess up when I am like this and I enjoy the opportunity to practice patience and tolerance with myself in this state. It is somewhat like a state of emergency, an opportunity to strive for acute presence. There is no black or white... life is a blur. I wish I cold be at a piano right now to practice the expression of this feeling
I have begun my life's biggest countdown to date. Damm... I'm stuck on my due date
May 19, 2008
I have spent the entire day digging up and transplanting perennials and raspberries that have much meaning for me. Someone contributed to the journey for the perennials, the raspberries I planted in a beautiful Bucks County, Pennsylvania farm field. I put them out to pasture so to speak. Someday they may come back to me who knows. While I was digging them up my mind was chaotic. I had to be very careful not to sabotage my decision to respectfully let go in the spirit of fun and joy. In the past (long past) this has been a typical time that careless things would happen like slipping with a screw driver through my hand, crushing my metacarple by accidentally hitting my hand on the ground or slice a finger to the raw nerve with impatience while trying to cut metal. No more, I took the raspberry bushes to the country and as I gave them away and helped the receiver plant them along three hundred feet of fence, the feelings were well, good, right, safe, secure and giving. What does this have to do with music? I could tie it into this writing but I'm too exhausted. Ha.
I have begun my life's biggest countdown to date. Tomorrow I plan to let go... SIX... FIVE... FOUR... THREE... TWO... ONE
May 18, 2008
I'm trying to take some time for myself today. No rushing, neediness, urgency with a sprit of faith. I want some time for myself, hopefully I can give myself the treat of a movie tonight but I must do the basics first like this blog, pictures, brush my teeth, music and video, creating a few new entries for www.bonerthedog.com, doing some office work, exercise... It takes hours to do all this.
Generally I really am having fun. I originally wanted to get everyone to come to my websites to connect with the Traveling Piano... you know, control everything from one source? Ha, as I am becoming more open to the world I am allowing myself to participate in other "parties" such as Utube, Yahoo, Facebook, Craigslist etc... I opened a myspace page a few weeks ago and now I have musical connections with a whole new community of people. The younger guys and gals that I have been meeting in the parks have been connecting with me. I have always dreamed of inclusiveness with all types of people from all types of backgrounds... being "part of" in as many ways as possible... and now I am realizing the manifestation of that in my life.
The daily blog is read by around 200 people a day (that I know of) and the site gets over 20,000 hits a week (everyone's looking at the items I have up on Boner's site for contribution to see what I own and what I am giving up...ha,ha,ha) ... now Please contribute... The kinds of people are in the extremes from one end of the spectrum to the other and everything in-between. Ultra Liberals to Ultra Conservatives ... Needy to Giving ... Religious to Atheists ... Children to Older Adults ... Many Ethnicities and Cultural Backgrounds... Druggies to Straight and Forward ... Poor to Rich (financially)... now if I can just catapult the vehicle of music and the Traveling Piano to create "personal relationships" with peace and harmony from all these varieties! Fat chance?
I have begun my life's biggest countdown to date. A bit scary... SIX... FIVE... FOUR... THREE... TWO
May 17, 2008
First, I am sorry I do not have the room or time to post the many pictures of people playing the piano today. I am up into the middle of the morning as it is and I was out today with the Traveling Piano truck for eight hours. I was at the Phoenixville Pennsylvania Dogwood Festival and Parade. Thank you again Phoenixville Lion's for supporting the Journey of Peregrinating Musical Exploration! I was moved by peoples responses today. There was a constant line of people coming up to me to reconnect with past experiences. Two older very large and gruff brothers approached me in an almost emotional way to say. "we come out here every year just to see you in the parade and then we leave." Another guy asked if I'd be back again got angry when I told him I was most likely leaving the area for good.
I said yesterday I thought I may have met my match with Charlie who drove for me in todays parade. I was wrong, this guy tops me hands down. He and his dog upstaged me! I wanted to destroy him. Ha. People know me as someone who is sane and often over the top. Well, Charlie is sane but WAY over the top. He brought his new three month old Red Labrador Retriever named Tilly to the parade. Tilly is a winner through and through. Problem... all throughout the parade... you gotta picture this... Bo's doing his thing on top of the piano and as I am wailing away with music and doing my crowd performance thing... at the same time I am constantly screaming to my driver, "Charlie, your burning my clutch out, I'm getting asphyxiated back here! Charlie could not hear me because he got sooo... caught up in my performance that... my performance.... became his performance all throughout the parade route. Everyone was looking in Charlie's direction so I looked around the corner to see what the hell was going on. While he was driving my stick shift truck with his knees while his lively jumping all over the place and adorable puppy Tilly was in his lap and... he's taking video of people reacting to him with one hand while he is waving Tilly's paws out the truck window for people with the other hand... as he is driving down the road!!! I wanted to kill him! I'm yelling stuff like, " Charlie, youv'e fallen behind and created a major parade gap... the reviewing stand and television camera's are waiting way ahead.... Arghhhhhh!
To make things worse I was constantly hearing, "oh look, the piano man is training a new puppy for the piano dogs job. Ouch! To begin with, I never trained Boner to hang out on top of the piano. I just put him up on top of the piano one day and it became an instant perfect fit for us. Our working partnership is very secondary to our kinship in relation to each other and I plan to continue solo after Boner moves on. I performed with Raggin' Piano Boogie successfully for eight years before Boner was around. Back to Charlie. He may be a major candidate for whom I could pass stewardship of my Raggin' Piano Boogie/Traveling Piano truck onto. The truck is twenty years old now and there is no way I would sell it. I would love to have people continue to enjoy it. I told Charlie that along with his ability to play the piano, to think about getting Tilly used to being on top of his piano at home just in case I end up getting a different truck to get me through China. When I said it, I had tinges of possessiveness but... feelings of "Let Go And Let God" were stronger.
When I was putting on my black performance pants this morning Boner realized it was not going to be a typical day and he literally jumped in the air with joy. He also figured out a new tactic to try and get me to stop playing so he could get off the truck and onto the ground today. His first time on the ground, he had found two hotdogs before i could get to him and after that he spent most of the day on the piano with one leg hanging down over the piano keys with his paws in my way to try and get me to stop playing. At one point he actually kept pushing the keys down to distract my ability to do what I was doing. It was very funny. A girl came up to us from one of the food stands, "can Boner have some sausage". I asked her why no one ever offers me sausage. I told her one little piece was ok to get a picture. She snuck him the whole thing to him and I drove home with sausage farts the entire way. I had a lot of fun with a young boy scout who just could not get enough of the Traveling Piano. He sat and played music on the back while I drove around the festival from spot to spot. He would have sat there banging away on the piano keys for eight hours if he had been allowed.
I have begun my life's biggest countdown to date. "I am losing control, get a grip, Danny." I can do this... "don't repress your emotions with food Danny" Damm... I'm gaining weight... SIX... FIVE... FOUR... THREE
May 16, 2008
I may have met my match today when it comes to story telling. This guy named Charlie came to my house to support the Journey of Peregrinating Musical Exploration by contributing and we got so involved in talking we never got around to any exchange. It was raining outside so I was going to play some music in the garage but we did not even get that far. A born and bred rural Bucks County Pennsylvania native Charlie is a major Christian who "walks the walk". I really respect any religious person who lives God's love and joy and I could feel his truth. I trust he will be able to handle my truths. Charlie has been a church organist in the same Baptist church for forty five years! He's also a piano teacher, the FIRST piano teacher to want his students to experience some Traveling Piano fun. I can honestly say I have invited over one hundred and fifty music teachers to have their students enjoy and be inspired by the Traveling Piano. Charlie is the first teacher to accept the offer. His nature to want to share created an instant friendship. He is going to have a big Memorial Weekend bash at Honey Lake in Pipersville, Pennsylvania in memory of his dad who was loved by all kinds of people. The affair will be for all of his dad's friends and all you Charlie Schaefer piano students... you had better be there!
It will be fun. The place is so "boonie-like" cell phones do not work there! I will take Boner and the Truck for the whole day on Monday... Sunday i will probably hang out with the Traveling Piano truck while trout fishing and Friday I'll play music for the chicken run while everyone picks out chickens to barbecue. Charlie doesn't pluck chickens he just rips the skin off... feathers and all. Yikes! He brought me some of his soup today. After eating it (was good) I'm afraid to ask what it was. Chicken... fish...? I know it was all organic. I hope there were no worms or anything like that in it. This renaissance man is a little over ten years older than I, has held public office to successfully end corruption in his home town, as a boy hung out with Andre Wyeth who used to draw him and he grew up with James Mitcher as a loved friend and next door neighbor. How's this for cool... his dad coined the phrase... "you are what you eat" ...during the depression. Charlie even owns the copywrite to the phrase and also... "Sweets for sweet." As a new buddy he going to travel over an hour to Phoenixville, Pennsylvania tomorrow (a Traveling Piano friendly town) to drive me in their Dogwood Festival parade.
I have begun my life's biggest countdown to date. No drama, no rush, easy does it... "keep breathing Danny"... SIX... FIVE... FOUR
May 15, 2008
Cheeezzz... what a day. A parking lot, one of the first spots ever with the Traveling Piano on the Delaware river has been calling me. I have been avoided it afraid cars would be parked in the only good spot. Today I went anyway. There was an old guy fishing who's picture is on this website from after Katrina. He had made a statement several years ago that empowered me to continue. I was improvising next to him as he sat at the waters edge fishing and he turned around to say, "I never thought it good get any better." Meaning his fishing spot and experience of hanging outside with nature was even better with me there. He was there today sitting in the same spot with a couple other guys today and I had the courage to ask them to move their three cars. They all stopped fishing without hesitation and jumped into their cars to move for me. It is a wonderful feeling to be truly embraced, accepted, wanted. I was never able to trust this feeling earlier in life.
The guy I knew told me that his 94 year old mother who used to play the piano has my picture card on her wall in New England. I got some good piano jamming in with one young guy: I tried to mellow out when I improvised by myself but I could not do it as I was too excited with the feeling of the company. Several other young fisherman jumped up onto the piano with their fishing rods to have a go at some music. They started to play with their elbows. I thought... "good idea." I stayed for a couple hours. The experience reminded me of a time last year in Amarillo Texas on my way to Virginia Tech. I just hung out with a bunch of really relaxed people sharing a feeling of complete comfort... being together without expectation of any sort. We all just did our thing and enjoyed each other's "being". This is heaven for me... and lets not forget Boner.
On the way home I stopped at the local supermarket. I do not usually do errands with the Traveling Piano truck because I don't want to draw attention with my private life. It feels too bold and like I am trying to stand out. Well, I ended up standing REAL out! Ha. I just went with the flow. This is what I do when it comes to the Traveling Piano. I was at the store because I have a flyer that needs Chinese translation and I can find no one who will do it for me. Even though the Chinese lady in the Chinese food section said she did not think she could help I wanted to drop off a flyer anyway. I'm desperate here! As soon as I got out of the truck a guy walking by asked if he could play on the piano. That was it. It became so busy with people I asked someone passing by to please go in and give the lady the flyer for me because I knew I was not going to get a chance. We all had fun. It was like a little event. I thought, "I used to get paid playing outside of supermarkets." Today was more fun than any of those days. I could tell a story about each person but I'd be writing into the middle of the night.
I have begun my life's biggest countdown to date. There are some moments during the day when it feels like I will toss my cookies. Today is day... oh my God, here it goes... SIX... FIVE
May 14, 2008
Bo certainly had his exercise today! He ran and jumped and hopped around in an open field of grass for a good forty-five minutes looking to catch the scent of anything. There is not a more joyful experience for me than to both lay in an open field a grass with Bo and to also walk the fields of earth with him as I watch his tail running through the fields of tall grass with his body bobbing like a rocking horse, jumping as a bunny rabbit, like wild deer enjoying life in the moment, to the fullest... this alone is worth living for. I am in awe everyday of his loyalty and love. He can be far, far away from me in a field and no matter how far he always keeps a lookout, stopping every few moments to make sure I am in view. Afterwards we went to the truck for music and met some fine people. I called two girls over to take a distance shot of the truck for me and then coerced them onto the piano bench.
A mom and her daughter stoped buy to meet Boner, play a little piano and get a picture. Mom gave me two bucks. I am still working to process when people do this. Now, PLEASE do not get upset... this is my dysfunctional thinking, it has nothing to do with anyone else. Sometimes when I think too much it goes like this...... "You must decided how you are you going to process when people slip you a few bucks Dan... no, don't think about it... yes you must... no don't, it hurts... two dollars is a far cry from your two thousand dollar gigs... you can't get a decent soda for two dollars... this does not support a HALF gallon of gas... what are they thinking? Dan, are you coming across to people as a beggar, someone in need, a vagabond, someone who deserves only this amount of appreciation, a two dollar tip the piano player type of street music guy that gets no respect? Does it look like your out here for money? They are just doing what they think they should do... they just want to show appreciation, period. Is this better than a hand shake with a thank you? Think about it like you just found two bucks on the ground Dan... no, the gesture needs to have more respect than that. Pretend it's two thousand dollars to help manifest that reality... Hey Dan, how about just accepting the gesture... it is what it is... yea, thats it... I don't need to read into anyone's intent... the motive of the gesture... it is what it is. If I am going to think anything about it... think good thoughts. Some people would like to have that two dollars. Some people need that two dollars. Again... it is what it is... a pleasant gesture of graciousness... two found dollars... Ha!
I have had some new clarity as to why I am here on earth today. I am here to show the world that I am alive! ...on that note... I begin my life's biggest countdown to date. Today is day... oh my God, here it goes... SIX
May 13, 2008
A guy named Russ who owns a small local printing shop reminded me today of something to always remember about this home of mine. There are really wonderful people everywhere, even in my home town. I tend to focus on the dic heads and that is not good. Russ, as well as others from my home have helped me. I tend to tell myself there is no one interested in supporting me. This is not true. Tim the local tax guy down the road has also helped me. Whenever I have asked Russ or Tim for assistance they have responded without a flitch. I walked into the expressway print shop yesterday to ask Russ to donate the printing of some flyers for me. I had the paper. I needed the ink and service. I had not seen Russ in over ten years even though he has been in business and around the corner from my house. I used to get flyers printed from him. Without so much as a thought he said, "sure, I'll print you 1500." What a champ! When I asked Tim the tax guy down the street to donate his services for one last time, (he did them at no cost last year) he also was a champ! It is not easy for me to ask for contribution. I was taught NEVER to ask for anything from anyone. These gestures of support are huge for me. They empower me tremendously to continue moving forward with my own giving.
The Expressway Printing shop is a family affair. Russ works with his two sons Steve and Kevin. I got them all onto the Traveling Piano truck today for a musical picture. Along the way I found a vintage photo from the last time Russ contributed to my career. It was eleven years ago. He hired me for the township's celebration day to play outside his shop. You can barely see the name of the shop in the background. Also, take a look at young Boner around two years of age. Can we talk Handsome?
May 12, 2008
It is a rainy day. I am thinking about my main focus and that is too have as much fun as possible in sharing life with Boner in friendship musically and with the world. Then comes the house, my possessions, the future. Breath Danny, Breath... it is getting intense, life is becoming intense... this is what I have chosen. Intensity is much better than blah, blah, blah-ness. I can tell life is becoming intense because I am not getting eight hours of sleep a night. Getting done what is necessary is overcoming any leisurely adjusting to life through the comfort of hiding under my bed covers in the morning. No time for adjustment right now I must just "do".
May 11, 2008
I was going to use today to go into Chinatown Philadelphia to promote the journey and try to get some support. I'll probably need to hire a guide or something for China and the costs I must be realisitc about. I'll also need a new truck to continue. That means a new setup too. Man oh Man!!! I will not have much in funds after I sell the house and pay all the present bills. Promoting felt like work for today so I said naa... then I thought about traveling through parks and city neighborhoods to gift small family barbecues but the truth under that motive was... "free food and pig out to avoid feelings" naa... I worked until mid afternoon and then went to the local park for myself. Then I thought, "don't hide, just go to a park where there will not be many people."
The day started with a wonderful couple Mike a newly retired college statistics professor and his sweet gal Joan. They picked up the last of many rocks from my yard for use at their home. After mowing the lawn and putting some yard plants up for sale online I drove to the local park. In the first five minutes I met a Chinese guy and his family who saw me in Chinatown Philly the last time I was there. Wow. He immigrated to America from China and I meet them today Neshaminy park in Bensalem? They live an hour away in King of Prussia. What are the chances of that happening? The time ended with a group of "ravers" just off of a night of heavy partying and a major brawl. One of the guys ate a catapiller on camera for my Utube take of Dizzy Fingers today! Pretty funny...........
May 10, 2008
it only takes a few minutes every day of participating with music in some form or other to keep my sanity. Cindy and her mother, friends of mine... Boner and I literally meandered today through the streets of Clemington, New Jersey until I fell into the musical Traveling Piano "zone". We ended up in a random parking lot near a school. Within 90 seconds, five boys and girls found us and and a typical Traveling Piano experience of fun ensued. It was interesting that the approach and sound intensity of all ten hands playing on the piano at the same time was equal and balanced among the piano players.
On a mental note... as good things happen I am reminding myself to stay conscious with not thinking too much. I remind myself that I do not need to know why specific things happen. I have told myself for years that it is fun figuring the "in's and out's' the "how's and why's of everything. That craft has served me to a point. It takes practice to do it productively but too much thought can also really cloud and clog my mind and that blocks all potential. I learned in the past to anticipate motives, intent, consequences, the what, why and how's of everything for survival. It never really worked for myself. It has worked sometimes for relationships in keeping me away from people. That has been both good and bad. When my ego takes over my ability to analyze... that always turns out bad.
Now... i want to just let things happen and be grateful while anticipating the experience of more greatness. If I want surprises... and I really do because I love them so much... I must stop all effort to anticipate anything specific. Thinking too much of why something happened or is happening or is going to happen can be a waste of energy and I have not a moment of "presence in thought" to waste.
May 09, 2008
The closest I got to music today was listening to a bassa nova, samba music CD of favorites... sent to me by Wayne a friend in the Marine's who is stationed in Cuba. His thinking of me and taking the effort to send me a CD really helped me. Instead of throwing up from feeling overwhelmed with the signing of the agreement to let go of my home today, I choose to feel good and listened to some raw, smooth melody and rhythm... with the feel of friendship.
Things are moving along. This morning in the rain I helped to load into a truck the belgium blocks from my yard that I have collected over a period of 20 years. Tomorrow someone will contribute in exchange for the iris in my yard. The young guy who pumps gas at the local gas station dropped off the cash he owed me for my older performance sound speakers. He is now going to blow out the neighborhood with music coming from the inside of his car. Last night a supporter donated and I mailed them a vintage Betty Crocker cookbook from www.bonerthedog.com.
I found a beautiful picture of terraced farmland and countryside in remote rural china. I see myself riding down the rural hills in China as well as America, into communities of all shapes and sizes to create musical fun, friendship and respect while musically empowering and inspiring... and most importantly I want the world to meet Boner before he retires.
May 08, 2008
I can feel life as I know it coming to an end ...as in leaving my home and the security of life as I have known it. I stopped by a lake to play a few minutes of music today. I am wondering how I can better communicate to the world and garner more support so that I can continue accomplishing my goals, my Wildest of Dreams. I have no desire to ask people to contribute financially to this journey out of a sense of need, mine or anyone else's. I desire support to continue the generosity I have shown every day on this website for almost three years. It has been fun and has come naturally for me and has been of value to the world. I am not into targeting people in need to share our fun, friendship, respect, musical inspiration and empowerment. My positive spirit along with Boner's fun and joy is for everyone. This all makes me want to eat, eat, eat... too much food!
May 07, 2008
I drove into the park in my housing development for the second time ever today. I wanted to do it even though I had this underlying fear of getting thrown out of my own neighborhood! A young guy with his mom came by. This guy was so full of joy playing on the piano; I just loved it. A couple other children from the neighborhood stopped by. They were concerned about having permission to play on the piano without consent of their parents or to have their picture taken. I've never encountered this anywhere before. I was surprised to have this happen in my own neighborhood? Hmmm....
Later on a fellow musician Dave who I had never met before came by for my house keyboard and its case in exchange for some very needed cash. I was so absorbed in letting my baby go... I did not think to ask him to play on the Traveling Piano. I'm glad he asked to see it. We went into the garage to create some music. A banker by day and a musician whenever possible, I could not work while he Dave took his new keyboard for a ride in my house. I kept getting drawn into his music. Dave was much more musical on my now "ex" keyboard than I could ever have been. It is now in good hands.
I am loving letting go of my possessions knowing the people they are going to will value them. They are going to people of value. I can see it.
May 06, 2008
The memory card for my camera failed today! I lost my pictures. Hate when that happens. I synchronistically drove the Traveling Piano truck into a small city park in South Philadelphia south of 3rd and Wharton. It was wild, short and sweet. My friend Camille was with me. As I drove away I thought about how much I love my home city of Philadelphia. One of the neighborhoods, Queen Village were I lived over twenty years ago now looks old and seasoned in a very healthy way. it reminded me a little of Europe. I kept fighting impulses to stop and create music on every street corner. i had an appointment to get to. I keep reminding myself as soon as I finish my work with the liquidation of my belongings i will have all the time in the world to create music. I have trust and faith that support will come financially in order to continue without charging fees.
May 05, 2008
I was dropping off the Raggin' Piano Boogie archives for safe storage today as part of the emptying out of my house. i stopped by a lake to create some music. I tucked myself into a corner... in the back of the parking lot from a beautiful lake in front of me lined with people of all persuasions fishing on the rim. I did not want to stick out for attention. A beautiful woman stopped to talk, she was so beautiful...
At my nieces house my grand-nephews had a go at the Traveling Piano. They reminded me of my methods of madness. I enjoy letting kids have a go at the piano... no restrictions, no holding back. I want them to bang away on the piano keys to get a feel for what can exist, to know that whatever sound is created will be acceptable and I want it to be fun as well as everything else that the experience can bring.
I teach respect for the piano by example. I draw interest through attraction... my smile, the music, piano, boner, the truck etc... After awhile of letting them be wild and crazily explore musically, I step in and say, "That Was Great Now Get Off Its My Turn!" (of course with a big smile) ... then I sit down to improvise. I give some musical tenderness, some hardness, some tickling of the ivories, some sadness, some madness, some joy and love using the piano and then I say, "Wow wasn't that cool? ... Ok, its your turn again." Sometimes I stay with them to jam a bit, other times I jump off and leave them like I had never been there to begin with. Wether they know it or not I can see them pondering the new concepts and ideas I had just shown them. Sometimes they respond immediately, sometimes it is like a half hour later and for some the experience will come back to them many years later, maybe even in another form but in every case I know I planted a seed of empowerment and inspiration. I experience the most joy through these interactions.
May 04, 2008
After operating for the last two days on the idea that today was Mothers Day, opps... I found out last night that it is next week. I ate 3/4 of a cheescake last night and then the rest of it for breakfast. What does the confusion and not so good choice tell you? I'll tell you... that I still am able to operate with a crazy head! I was up until 4:30 am with angst as to what to do, as far as anything! I woke up 12:30 pm today feeling urgency and still confusion as to what to do. Thinking too much from the start... I had my coffee and found the grace to pursue a few musical videos online to inspire me, specifically acoustic guitar. I always feel peace and inspired at the same time with acoustical guitar music. With some safe energy I said, screw anything that feels like work, keep moving through life with your faith and dump any feeling of urgency.
It was a beautiful day so I went to the river to create music. I became more involved with my music today than ever before. I began by listening to the breeze, the trees, the water, powerboats, birds, sun and eventually I became so involved with improvisation in the moment that my eyes closed and the only experience was that of my music. When I opened my eyes two fellow musicians were standing at the waters edge taking it all in. They had rode up an a motorcycle that was parked behind me. I never heard the bikes arrival and I was told I had been playing for about ten minutes without knowing anyone was around. To be consciously involved with my sub-conscious musically... This was a very special experience.
May 03, 2008
Can we talk exhausted !!? I was actually afraid to do it. (see yesterday to know what I'm talking about) Old tapes still play in my brian. Stop being foolish. Your an idiot. If you act inappropriately which you always do you will get yelled at, ridiculed, punished, jailed, ostracized, etc... You'll get thrown OUT!!! ...god forbid... I had spent a year thinking about doing this today. The guy who was going to join me today came down with a bad shoulder, I was on my own. I dug up and potted 50 raspberry plants, created pictures of what the fruit would look like when ripe for each plant, gathered wrapping paper, ribbon, scissors, scotch tape and loaded it all into the Traveling piano truck. Away we went!
I was heading for a park in North Philly, got lost and ended up in East Oak Lane at Chelton and Broad Streets in Philadelphia. I saw a bunch of kids so I stopped. It was a small local church flea market. I connected with a woman named Fantasia who immediately "got" what I was about, my agenda. She began to help by wrapping the plants for me. I began to play music and the looks on the faces of two small boys... it was priceless. The awe, the interest, the joy, the desire... As I improvised later on I captured the complete attention of a small girl for at least ten minutes. She sat still while next to me listening and watching. I was amazed that my improvisation could hold her complete attention for so long.
All but about 6 raspberry plants were distributed so I left the rest to be given away tomorrow. The kids could have cared less about the plants it was all about Boner, the piano and the music. They were earnest with desire to create music as well as bang away at the keys. This was an experiment, the giving away of my possessions to inspire using the Traveling Piano. After all was played out musically... aside from the not having the where-with-all to do more than I already do... (using the truck as a platform for more than friendship and music) ...the musical fun, friendship and respect is enough for the Traveling Piano. We all had a great time.
May 02, 2008
While in the park improvising today a specific awareness came to my thoughts. Wanna know how to play about twenty musical piano notes over and over... with the same pattern and rhythm for a half hour... and communicate peace, harmony, interest and fun... playing the same notes over and over? First, I do it on the back of a truck in a beautiful environment and then I add my wonderful dog into the picture along with my handsome self and then I really... I mean REALLY mean the notes that I play. I intentionally play them with as much clarity, passion and energy of feeling that I can muster. I just repeat the same notes over and over. I make the notes as true as possible by listening to them with total interest and involvement each time. As I repeat the same notes over and over I lose myself in them more and more. its like REALLY good sex! People sat listening in their cars and when they would leave they would give me a thumbs up sign out their windows as they passed by.
This morning, I put a call into Theo and older guy in his seventies that I met on the river last week. I wanted to make a commitment to myself that I have been holding back on. I'm writing it down now to really solidify it. Theo and I are going to hook up tomorrow in North Philly. He's going to give me some ideas for good streets to hit where kids will be hanging out. Here's the Traveling Piano plan.
Its Mothers day on Sunday. With my house liquidation in mind, one of the most precious possession's i have had over the years is stewardship of my mother's red raspberry plants. Every year I cherish about three gallons of Raspberries that I harvest from the crop. I eat them by the handfuls, give them away, have them with morning breakfast cereal and most of all... well, my mother made the Best raspberry jelly. I enjoyed my mother's homemade raspberry jelly for years after her passing. Talk about keeping the feeling of love alive... I have listed the plants an Craigslist and BonerThe Dog.Com to sell for $10 each, but no one has been interested. I have seen raspberries in the supermarket for $4 a pint! I want them to have value, bring in some money for support. Well that has not been happening. So maybe I can use them to inspire. They will be destroyed once the house is sold and the siding on the house begins to get replaced. I will not let them be destroyed. I am done with just giving things away to people who just take and take and take. I want my giving to create goodwill that will last so... I'm always looking to try new ways, especially that are fun and connected to the Traveling Piano.
I'm digging up the plants to put in planters. I have ton's of ribbon and wrapping paper. I am going to find everyone I can on the streets of North Philly who's mother is still around and offer them a Raspberry Plant for their very own to possibly give as a Mother's Day present and to plant in their yard. A gift that will keep giving and multiply year after year. Wouldn't it be interesting to see a North Philly neighborhood full of healthy, luscious, delicious, eatable Raspberry plants? Ten year old Tommy comes home... "Here mom, Happy Mother's Day!" ... "Where'd you get that"? ... "Some guy playing the piano in the street in the back of a truck with a dog sitting on top of the piano gave it to me?" Hahahahaha.... I love it!
May 01, 2008
I went outside with the Traveling Piano truck in the morning today! Whoo Wee... that felt good. i cannot remember when I got up early enough to do this. Rain was in the forecast so I wanted to get Boner's walk in beforehand and to create just a little music. We went to the park which was pretty much empty.
I want you to know because it is interesting... it is not like I am hanging out for hours in the places I go. The experiences all happen within minutes, unplanned. I just decide to put myself into a situation once I start the truck out of my garage and life reveals itself to me. I do review my intent as much as possible, (fun, friendship, respect, musical empowerment and inspiration) especially when I get up out of bed these days knowing that I will be letting go of my home and possessions soon.
So here I am playing in the park, no cars, no people and within five minutes this woman Shirley appears from around the bend... "Let me show you how to play that thing" she says. Wow, no need for an introduction, small talk... she just went right for it! And man, she was good at both playing and singing! A local resident, there are a lot of great musicians in my neighborhood and I never knew it! She sang Amazing Grace for Boner his favorite piece of music, the only music he has ever responded to besides mine. She was a fun, spirited lady and we both knew we crosses each others paths today for each other to enjoy.
And then, for the first time a park guard stopped by to enjoy the scene. I told him how I have not had great experiences in the past with many rangers. Now I have proof and a reminder that there are good spirited rangers. This guy Ron was such a trooper. He got on the piano to try out some music for himself even though he did not know how to play! That kind of courage from a enforcement officer... says a lot to me, good stuff. Lastly, Pete stopped by to jump up for a minute, another local musician who I had met in the park last year. All in about a half hour. One person would leave or be leaving, the other would appear. We all have being going to the park for years and at this moment we all met up for the first time... except for Pete, that was the second time.