HIS SPIRIT LIVES ON! ... BONER, THE PIANO DOG ... November 27, 1994 ... February 20, 2010
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October 31, 2008
St. John's, Newfoundland
It really is interesting to be conscious of not knowing what will happen in each day. It was raining until late afternoon so I thought I would stay inside doing paperwork and emails. I ended up over my new friend Alistair's house and spent a majority of time improvising on his wow-sounding grand piano. I can discover so much more musically on an acoustic piano for example playing three notes loud and up front and then the same three notes as an echo. The truck piano is a controller keyboard not a real piano so there is little ability to create dimension in my music. I spent some time to know Alistair. He really is an interesting guy running an almost 100 year family business while working as a top notch musical performer, piano tuner, teacher, he was a major in the military, has two beautiful daughters, sells, refinishes and repairs pianos and organs and much more.
I have met several people here in Canada who read and live life through the bible yet they have no specific religious affiliation with it. They interrupt the book for themselves. I have created relationship with three people like this so far and I find they all have a very individual, spiritual approaches to their life experience. I find them very refreshing and good. Since it had stopped raining by night I was going to go to George street in the center of town where the partier's go. Not only is it Halloween here in Newfoundland it is also Mardi Gras. I opted out at the last minute to get an early night's sleep and then a phone call came through to attend a house party downtown. How could I refuse? It was fun banging the keys with Boogie Woogie while Halloween/Mardi Gras party revelers hoola hooped in the street.
October 30, 2008
Pouch Cove, Newfoundland
Orinda my hostess with the mostest has taken Boner outside for a walk in the dark... on her own. This woman has completely embraced our visit. She was frightfully fearful of dogs and now she has had Bo on her lap, petted him, given him treats, let him roam the house, dealt with his shedding hair and smells, barking with play, walked him, she has initiated all the effort to take advantage of every opportunity to grow in spirit with Bo. What a champion she is! What a friend Boner is!
The Traveling Piano had a major test of endurance today. We drove out into the country towards Marine drive, which is only a half hour away, and we began to explore all the coves and harbors, the Northeast Avalon of Logy Bay, Outer Cove, Middle Cove, Torbay, Flatrock and finally Pouch Cove. At first, I could not find a place interesting enough for me to stop and play but I kept telling myself to give it time. I drove down into one cove that had a sign warning "rough road". It sure was rough. I never made it to the end and barley got out. It was so narrow I could not open the doors of the truck. It was wet with holes a foot deep and full of rocks no less than eight inches in size. I had to retreat up a steep hill backwards all the while avoiding thoughts about one of the tires blowing out from sharp rocks. The bottom of the truck was constantly scraping the ground. I never did see the cove; I chickened out for the first time with the truck.
When I reached Pouch cove I stopped on a road slant to ask some people if they knew what the condition of the rest of the road would be once I rounded the bend. They were so friendly that I had to spend some time to enjoy with them. I did not want to loose the moment by moving the truck to even ground. This was really the beginning of my day. Random people continuously stopped by. I had found the small town Travelling Piano feel I look for most. The sun and temperature today was so warm that I did not need a coat; it was amazingly wonderful for the end of October. The piano keys are breaking down again!
A young guy named Matthew, a senior in high school found me. Get this... Matt found my website several months ago and has been following it since before I even knew I was coming to Canada. Can you imagine following the Traveling Piano blog travels from another country and one day it drives past you down the street in your country, in your small home town... and then you get to "be" what the Traveling Piano is all about and experience it live? Imagine... it happened today! How random is that?
Dan the president of the Newfoundland and Labrador Musician's Association found us. I happened to have stopped the truck a few blocks from his home. Its not like this is a small area of country in Canada to easily run into the people I have been meeting. St.John's alone has more than 100,000 people in it. I drove to Dan's next door neighbor Elke's house for what turned out to be a real afternoon Newfoundland Kitchen Party. Dan played the fiddle with his son by his side, we had a short jam session and then went inside for pumpkin pie and tea with three woofers from Germany (workers on organic farms) Stephanie, Else and Nina. The yellow house had a front yard with a grassy plot on a cliff next to a red barn overlooking the ocean. There were goats hanging out on top of red tables, yellow Adirondack chairs, chickens, birds, cats walking on the roof, dogs... the bluest ocean... this was heaven. Boner has been interacting with many types of animals for the first time. He's into it. I am living my dream to connect with strangers as friends, to be embraced in fun, friendship and respect. Driving on the way out of town a guy yelled out to the road as I passed a lookout point. "This is a great spot to pull into," he yelled. I do not think he even saw the piano; he was just looking to connect with someone. How could I resist? I ended up experiencing more glee from this 80 year old gent than I have ever experienced from another human being to date, more than any child I have seen. He was completely enthralled with the music and the whole concept from beginning to end. Having never played a piano before he jumped up into the truck and banged away for like five minutes, like a child exploring with totally uninhibited fun. While I watched him I thought, "I love being the center of attention and to be part of big events and get paid big bucks for my work, but I love this type of experience better."
Once I got back to town, I had to force myself to stop at my home base to use the bathroom, and get a slice of pizza before I headed out again. Once I get rolling there is nothing else but my agenda. To take care of myself while on the job I have found almost impossible. I'm totally focused on interactions outside of myself. I just cannot get enough of this journey. I headed for the wharf downtown to play and record some music in the night air and I did that until the security guard came. He took pictures for me, told me I was trespassing because it was his job to do, and then we talked for a good fifteen minutes, I played more music for him as he videoed the moment on his cell phone to show his girl friend. The present plan is to leave Newfoundland on Monday morning.
October 29, 2008
Quidi Vidi Village, Newfoundland
I woke up to a warm and beautiful late morning sun saying to myself, "hurry up, hurry up and get outside to enjoy the day!" Well that did not happen so fast. I ended up talking with friends until about 3:30PM. Fog and mist with what looked like impending rain was rolling in fast. I figured I would drive until the rain started. I wanted to explore coves and harbors and the Newfoundland terrain in general, to find scenic areas, record some music, meet some new people, whatever. I landed in a small old magical fishing village with houses built out of the water and into the sides of mountains. It had a harbor that weaved into the ocean. I saw smoke coming from a fish stage down below. This is a building where fisherman hangout to gather their thoughts and their goods for work, a sanctuary where men yarn (tell big fish stories) with a tote of rum. I climbed down about three flights of rickety stairs to ask permission to create some music from above. They already knew about me being in the area and welcomed me.
I began to play music and a guy named Ron wondered out of his house to discover where the music was coming from. We began to talk. His house was in a magnificent spot, he showed me a picture of the full moon rising from the ocean... the reflection on the water in a straight line to his house. "What do you do for a living," I asked. "I make water from icebergs and bottle it." Ha, is that entrepreneurship at its best or what? After that, two young friends showed up and spent a good twenty minutes tinkling the piano keys. While driving back to Orinda's house I did not feel fulfilled enough having missed the sun today. While sitting in traffic I noticed boats on the harbor a block away and decided to drive there to find Ron the water guy's boat. He had suggested I visit his crew. Wow, was that fun, they were so happy, appreciative, receptive. I told them I would not mind their going back to work while I played, and they were like... "no way, we are not going to miss this opportunity for good music." They stayed with me until I left :)
October 28, 2008
Orinda's Place, Newfoundland
It has been raining all day. I thought I would be able to catch up with paperwork and this blog and then... get up bright and early tomorrow to live a full day of music. It is now 2:30 am and I am just beginning this blog. Ha. Orinda the wonderful woman who has been hosting me has also been cooking some amazing meals and desserts along with her friend Eva. I easily gave her all the money that has been given to me from the truck (not much) to help pay for her washing machine repair (she has also washed my clothes) the food etc... Tonight I ate chicken with special Newfoundland seasonings, salad with slices of pears, radishes the size of a potatoes, hydroponic lettuce (Do you know what that is?) blueberry tarts, home made bread... on and on it goes. The fresh cod fish comes daily from the waters. Orinda says she is not supporting what I am doing with the Traveling Piano, she is supporting me and my passion and involment in life.
I am giving up more and more control concerning relationship with people. I am learning to trust better, allow things to happen, let life unfold in front of me one step at a time. This is a conscious skill I have been working to develop. Almost every morning I start with something like, "thank you for the ceiling, thank you for Boner, thank you for this bed etc... and then I review my purpose of fun, friendship and respect as well as to musically empower and inspire. Sometimes I add, have lots of money and then I realize that I just want what money can offer. The result is showing people helping to promote what I have to offer, feeding me, connecting me with others, clothing me. Everyone ties in their own agendas and I do not worry about being taken advantage of I go with the flow. I follow the direction, the feeling of my intent which has lead me to St. John's with about fifteen different people suggesting I visit here.
October 27, 2008
Bell Island, Newfoundland
Check this out... CBC Podcast and then onward... reality, the piano is messed up... the keys will not play. The wet cold air is taking its toll on the equipment. When I had a home, the Traveling Piano had protection inside my garage. When I was down South and in Mexico the weather was dry.
My new friend Darrin hooked me up with another new friend Allister who owns A. L. Collis Piano & Organ Sales & Service a family run business since 1910. What a character Allister is. The timing was perfect to meet him as he only lives here in St John's for three months a year to run his business and he arrived here last night. The rest of the time he is in California tuning the piano's of Hollywood's greatest celebrities. He has played piano for Tony Bennett. He knows how to sell an organ. The credits in his life go on and on. His wife Cindy cooked a great steak dinner for us. I am continuously meeting "like" souls who have a spirit of inclusiveness, friendship, fun, love, respect, sharing and giving... Allister asked his main man to come and fix my piano. This repair guy who works on acoustic pianos turned out also to be an electronics expert. Allister did not charge me for the repair. I really enjoyed the time I spent at his place. I played on a piano Bob Hope used to entertain soldiers during WWII.
After waking up late, I rushed off to the music store because I was told the earlier I could get there the better. Before I left the house I synchronistically checked my email as Darrin also sent me an email ...to stop by his office. I took my time at the music store so I could spend time with everyone there. I was leaving to meet Darrin and he serendipitously drives into the parking lot with his guitar, accordion, step dancin' shoes and an outfit for ME to wear. "Lets go to Bell Island for the dedication of the #2 Historic Underground Iron Ore Mine and Museum, the Lieutenant Governor will be there as well as all the top Canadian Tourist people, we can play some music for them." Ha. I had not showered, shaved or had brushed my teeth for the day. We rushed for the ferry and missed it by 30 seconds (because we stopped for fish and chips) I played while waiting for the ferry boat and after catching the next ferry, locked my keys inside the truck along with Boner on the ferry itself. "No worry, your not the first one" the boat attendants tell me. We drove onto the Island as all of the bigwigs drove off.
I originally had this picture of Newfoundland as a rural, cold, rustic place with small houses with a few down home type, friendly inhabitants. Well I have found that... along with a majorly progressive urban sprawl, big houses, great sunshine and warm weather in October, lots of monied people, Walmarts, Sears, Mc Donalds and worldly influence along with great food... the great friendship speaks for itself in these blog entries. This place could be considered a best kept secret. It has four seasons, beautiful scenery and lots to be interested in. On Bell Island, Darrin and I realized that we were not there for the official VIP's but for the local school band. These kids were the last to leave the event. I played music for them, gave them some of my experience, strength and hope and after that they began to jump onto the piano. After the energy slowed its pace some, the more shy musicians came up to me... "Can we go play on the piano?" Just about every musician made a point to come up to me before they left to shake my hand and thank me for coming.
October 26, 2008
Topsail Beach, Newfoundland
The day started at church! .....outside. Tracy who I had met yesterday has a grandmother who is 99 years old. Her nan has also been a life long piano player and church organist. I wanted to met her. After setting up at the church step doors, I played music for the parishioners as they exited with a look of wondering what the hell was going on and then I personally spent a short time with Tracy's nan, and then one of the church musicians had a go at it on the truck.
In the afternoon I drove to Topsail Beach that provided a beautiful sweeping ocean overlook. The piano keys began to stick and then just not work. I would push them down and there they would stay. I thought, "your here, just play anyway." I did and as a result met many interesting people who jumped onto the Traveling Piano truck, specifically a refugee from Uzbekistan which is above Afghanistan, people from Asia, a few African children, a hot girl from Russia, a wonderful female piano player from the Ukraine and people from a few other areas. Up to this point all I had seen here in Newfoundland were white people!
October 25, 2008
Cape Spear, Newfoundland
Cape Spear is the easternmost edge, tip, point in North America. I enjoy taking things to the edge and so I did that with the Traveling Piano today. This is so fantastic to visit large, dramatic and open scenery with the Travelling Piano and Bo. I have been different places around the world but now with my music and dog along... it is incredibly satisfying. The ocean waves crashed into the air with a look and feel of fireworks... big white fireworks against dark, tall, grey rock jutting into the sky with a blue ocean backdrop. The air was sunny and crisp, perfect for creating music.
I met many fun people and a new friend named Darrin. After a wave of people left the Travelling Piano truck, Darrin with his Harley bike parked a couple lanes over was standing next to the truck reading my flyer. I jumped off the truck saying, "so, what's your story." Ha... Darrin is a tour operator. Check out
Newfoundland Tours. He is also a world class Irish Two Step Dancer. He took me up to the peak of Cape Spear all the while telling me the history of his Island with a passion that equals my love for this journey. Newfoundland is 650 million years, the oldest stone known to man. I learned Irish step dancing came to America through Newfoundland from missionaries, Irish Christian Brothers. Darrin's great grandfather was a medicine man who never looked for recognition or money. He had the gift of healing. He healed over 250,000 people throughout a 42 year period using simple sugar water and food coloring as medicinal placebo. This syrup is what soda came from and was first patented in 1927 as Purity Factory Syrup for children and adults, also as a chaser for cod liver oil.
I found out that the Germans attacked North America and killed Americans here in WWII. It was kept secret from the American public so as not to create panic. Where I now am in Newfoundland... I am closer to Ireland than Central Canada! Darrin took me for a ride through the coastal areas. We stopped and played a few notes of music in Petty Harbor where I picked up a copy of the Telegram newspaper. There was a picture in it from the day before, a big Travelling Piano picture with a caption about the journey. It was in the front section weekend edition of the paper. We headed for Darrin's cabin at Fourth Pond in Goulds, Newfoundland where I met his girlfriend Tracy and five other friends. Everyone met synchronistically at the waters edge while I was creating music, people who had not seen each in a year, were meeting for the first time, who did not know they knew each other's friends, etc...
I was treated to a wonderful grilled chicken dinner with Darrin and Tracy singing Newfoundland folk music by a wood burning stove in a light wooded cabin from the 50's. Wow! I have been learning up here in Newfoundland how significant 911 was for the world. As I had heard in Gander, Newfoundland, many passenger planes were also grounded here in St John's when all air traffic stopped. What I did not know was that everyone who was in a plane was stranded wherever they landed for seven days. At first people were not allowed off the planes for more than a half a day because there was fear terrorists might be aboard. Canadians lined up in airports to take strangers into their homes. They fought, screamed and shouted for the stranded passengers to get them off the planes until it happened. Towns of ten thousand willingly swelled to over seventeen thousand filling up libraries, churches, schools and homes with unexpected guests.
About 11PM at night I got a call from the bikers I had met the day before on Signal Hill. "Hey man, can you come bring some music to our party? Darrin and Tracy gave up their Saturday night together to drive me out to an area called Paradise. Darrin drove the Traveling Piano up the street with me wailing away the Boogie Woogie with Bo on top of the piano while Tracy shot pictures of... ha...ha...ha... about 40 drunk screaming kids in the middle of a typical suburbia housing development street. It all lasted about five minutes and we drove away just in time because Tracy said she had seen "mom" running out the front door... "don't do this to me the cops were already here once!" God, that was fun.
October 24, 2008
The Rock (Newfoundland)
The sun came out today and i was ready for it even though Bo needed his coat by the end of the day. Orinda my host, the hostest with the mostest, who has never had a dog in her house before, and who has been won over by Boner, had made a call to the CBC. Suzanne from the St. John's Morning Show called as a result and asked if she could ride around with me to record how the Traveling Piano works. She was a lot of fun and worked hard to keep her mouth zipped so I could create a flow. I worked hard to be natural with a big fat mike in front of me while I drove and talked. Boner worked hard in all ways as usual. Everything went on record! I began by showing up unannounced at the station so everyone could discover us and the televsion guys came to do a spot also.
We drove to the top of signal hill which was just so much fun. I thought the truck would have trouble with the steep climb but it turned out easy. The local newspaper found us up at the top. All bases covered? People want to know what I am going to do, where I am going to be, my plans. The reply... I don't know, I'm going with a continuous flow of fun spontaneity, allowing my life to unfold minute by minute. This takes practice. I consciously toss out thoughts about my funding situation with the uncertain economy (the money from the sale of my home is not looking good right now) and the China part of this journey. I feel I need to stay the course with the first part and with China I need to just jump in with both feet onto a boat or plane with Bo, with or without the truck and go! Maybe I will buy a truck over there if my funding stays alive.
Along with many really cool people playing on the Traveling Piano truck a guy named Hedley found us and made my day buy inviting me into his house to play on his piano and then he came outside to play on mine. Hedley is a math teacher. Outside he played a Newfoundland folk song for me, a type if jig that really was a gift. The idea of musicians sharing music together and my being part of that concept is still new for me. It is a life experience, a feeling of being part of, allowing, having something to offer... that was beyond my Wildest of Dreams three years ago.
October 23, 2008
St. John's, Newfoundland
It's snowing! I love snow. This is a wet snow, no accumulation. The Traveling Piano truck is tucked safely away in a warehouse. I went to visit it today for the first time since I arrived. Orinda my host with her long time friend Eva drove me. We spent a short time with the piano and some music. I really wanted to just create some music even if for a moment. I spent most of the day with these two ladies. We stopped at a farm market to buy some corn on the cob. I don't know why but if you have been reading this blog, corn has been a major part of it over the last few months. Huh? Anyway, they just figured out a few years ago how to grow corn here and now harvest it up to the frost. It is big, beautiful, tastily delicious!
I thoroughly enjoyed Orinda and Eva's energy while working together to create dinner while I stayed clear and got to some emails. We had a meat, cabbage, vegetable type stew meal. Eva is an amazing 20 year career Hungarian chef, caterer. Orinda well... earlier in the day I told her I have wondered what someone like Eckhart Tolle, Author of A New Earth would be like socially and I think she might exemplify the answer. Orinda is living in another world and doing it very joyfully. She is a seasoned, I think she said twelve or fourteen year Course in Miracles worker. In case you don't know thats all about spiritual stuff. Both women synchronistically met Cory today, the guy I drove here with. They met in a bread shop in the center of town without knowing each other or ever having met before. Very random indeed in a city of a 180,000 people. Tomorrow, I am looking forward to creating music with as many Newfoundlander's that I can find!
October 22, 2008
St. John's, Newfoundland
Being here still does not feel real, I am talking about the reality that I have reached such a distance with the Traveling Piano. Deep into Mexico was farther but for some reason, (maybe my vision of performing on an iceberg) being this far North and the farthest east I can go on the northern continent... I find intriguing. The time zone has changed a half hour more than in New Brunswick. Many people here spell the Traveling Piano with two "L's" as in Travelling Piano. It was almost freezing today. I was traumatized from yesterdays driving so I could not get my head or body together to create any music from the truck. Also, the truck is tucked safe away in a warehouse across town. I need to find a way to get to it.
I connected with Orinda, a friend of a friend from Philadelphia. I used to complain to myself that I have no connections to go anywhere and stay with friends. Seems I will now need to let go of that manifested illusional thought pattern. :) I am staying with Orinda tonight. We are amazingly like minded in spiritual paths. I am being pampered once again. This seems a bit uncomfortable to say but hey, its the facts. I am now being clothed! I've been gifted, supported with fun, friendship, respect, shelter, food and now clothes. Orinda insisted on giving me some new clothes to wear. She had them from her son and husband. I told here I'm weird about wearing other people's cloths so she came up with a new pair of pajamas for the night. Pajamas? I used to sleep bareback. Well, I am wearing them, I feel fresh and they look good on me! There is wireless internet and Orinda is setting up space for me to work in. I was thinking, "This comfort, pampering and support will help me to manifest what I have to offer for the city. I have seen very little of this place but every bit I experience is charming and interesting... one or two different shops on each block, the square houses, the hills, the feeling is very laid back. I feel like I just want to walk around and explore. I'll ride around with music and explore. I am in St. John's, Newfoundland not to be confused with Saint (spelled out) John (no - s) New Brunswick. This kind of thing drives my dyslexia crazy.
October 21, 2008
Coming off the boat into Newfoundland I was a little seasick, Boner was also but not too much. It stormed big time all night. At the end the boat swayed enough that I had to move from wall to wall through the corridors. Boner has been excellent through everything. He goes with a flow of trust and love. He knows I will help him along and will return when I need to leave him in the cab of the truck, his den. His main desire even above food is to be with me. I am really glad I brought his security bed blanket with us. It is an anchor for him.
My first impression of Newfoundland was one of stark beauty and sweeping exposed mountains, waterfalls (of course it was pouring rain) and rustic fall colors especially orange and yellow. The land reminded me of Montana, Wyoming, New Zealand, and the Ring of Kerry in Ireland. (it was dark and cloudy when I traveled that also) I felt grateful that I could trust the Traveling Piano truck to carry us almost 600 miles of rural country from Port-Aux-Basques to St. John's with it's already 200,000 miles of use. I was a little fearful to do it but glad I pushed forward anyway.
This part of the adventure was harrowing. In all its twenty one years, the Traveling Piano was never put through such a test with the elements. The entire way it rained. The tarp that covers the piano was given the ultimate test some eighteen years after it was custom made for the truck. Rain pounded, wind blew... the tarp was stretched in every way to the limits. I tried to think positive thoughts like, "good thing it isn't snowing" which was ridiculous because I'd be going nowhere if it were snowing. The last two hours... the last two hours... I focused completely to keep the truck from blowing off the road up and down and around amazing mountains and turns with continuous gale force winds. I could see nothing, it was completely dark with hurricane like rain. For two hours, the rain blew completely sideways. I could see no guides like a mountain on the side of the road to tell me I would not I would drive off the road into nowhere land. The road was a pure mirage of swirling water. I hydroplaned the truck a good eighty percent of the time. I could only go 40 miles an hour at times and when big trucks passed, ugh! Water was splashing over the front hood. I knew at one point the ocean was on both sides but I could not see it. The wind was so strong it blew snaps off the sides of the truck so they flapped with all the water soaking the contents. I tried to resnap them but the wind was too strong to keep it on.
Even though, throughout the day I must admit that what I was able to see through short periods which made the trip worthwile. If you like water, Newfoundland is a place to be. The ponds, lakes and waterways are constant everywhere. Once in St. John's I connected with a woman named Charlotte who is a clothing designer. She took intensive work time away from a movie that is about to begin shooting to find me a warehouse to drive the truck into and gave us her house to use overnight. She drove us up to the oceans edge for a lookout over the city on one side and the ocean on the other side warning us not to go near the water as several people get washed away every year from rogue ocean waves. The truck is parked six miles out of town. I need to find a way to get back to it. Playing here in the cold and wind and finding adventurous souls to join me will be interesting.
October 20, 2008
On the Road to Newfoundland
When I came outside this morning the truck was completely covered with frost, not good... beautiful but not good. After a few attempts to start the motor I began to drive back to Memramcock through a completely white countryside thinking I will need to find overnight shelter for the Traveling Piano as well as myself and Boner for the rest of the trip. After saying goodbye to my new dear friends at the dairy farm (I had to get a picture with the milking cows first) I picked up my friend Cory and decided to drive to Newfoundland. This was a stretch but I thought, "I'm up this far into the Northern Continent I might as well take the Traveling Piano to the edge as far east as I can go". We heading for St John's the oldest city in North America settled by the English in the 1500's. This present leg of the journey would need to happen fast before the snow which could come at any time and it will not leave once it starts. We left at four in the afternoon for a seven hour drive to reach the Newfoundland Ferry, which would be another seven hours and ready for another fourteen hour drive the next morning. The Traveling Piano will not travel over 60 miles an hour safely.
It was teaming rain almost the entire way. It was foggy outside I could see nothing in front of me. I had to develop a system of opening and closing the windows to defog and then one of the window shields wiper blew off! I tried to tell myself I could deal with it until the screeching on the glass became a real problem. I stopped at a gas station (there were not many on the way) to get some tape to wrap around the metal base. Low and behold, the store had windshield wipers and this had to be a miracle because they did not even sell motor oil.
We got the to the Ferry five minutes before it was to leave without the required reservation. Also someone told me that nighttime was for commercial vehicles only (more expensive and big vehicles) which reminded me that I was also told that traveling to the ferry at night by car was suicide because of moose crossing the roads. They are so large that if they fall on your vehicle it will crush it completely. Most people who hit moose on the road die. Ahh... the drama.
At the ferry window I played "sweet". I told them how I just drove up from Philadelphia blah, blah, blah... and then I propped Boner's head in my arm for them to see him. Boner saved the day. The boat was completely filled, there were major strings pulled, confusion, other people had to suffer. There is no exaggeration here, we were told to, "drive straight up the ramp, don't stop just drive up the ramp until your in." It was very confusing in the dark with barriers and do not enter signs, red blinking lights but I thought, "just follow direction." I drove up the only ramp I could see no matter what. In a matter of moments, I was on the ship telling the bewildered attendants that we told to "just drive up the ramp".
October 19, 2008
To Prince Edward we go. Where on the island I had no idea. I had to cross the Confederation bridge to get there. This nine mile bridge costs over $4.00 a mile to cross! I found a few, fun travelers buy the side of the road before crossing and we all stopped for some music. I was told that it took only two hours to drive the entire island's width so I figured I could easily scope the area in a day. The problem was that I was not.. thinking two hours forward and then two hours back. I was also visualizing two hours length while thinking width. It is a long island. I made a phone call to meet with some new people, passed through Charlottetown. After four hours of driving I reached my destination. The house was at the farthest most tippy east end of the island. It was a good thing I had started in the middle. I should have looked at a map before attempting the ride. The travel was with short and deep hills that felt like I was on a roller coaster ride with the Traveling Piano.
The area was a rural as it gets with wide open space as well as areas full of Christmas evergreens and wild apple trees. The smells were wonderful. My roadmate quit working but I was determined to go with the flow and everything worked out fine. Joe and Lila, my new friends were making dinner for my arrival. Lila had been a music teacher for her entire life. I had only planned for a half hour Traveling Piano visit but now it was late in the afternoon and I did not want to disappoint them with a quick hello, song or two and then goodbye. These were people generally interested in other people. They began to call friends to come and meet Boner and hear some music, so it made sense to spend the night. We talked about fishing and Canada's quota work system, only so much product can be produced by everyone, and how a guy from the island made $38,000 from three caught tunas. They get about $25 per pound and ship them right off to Japan. Joe was out of the house for work before I woke up at 7am and Lila was ran out to work while handing me a bag of breakfast goodies for my trip onward. There is nothing better than strangers trusting each other to become friends.
October 18, 2008
Moncton, New Brunswick
To hear people's stories and to learn for even just a little bit how each person lives out their individual lives... I feel really honored to experience this reality everyday. I traveled to Moncton and visited Pauline, Doug and Chester at their antique shop the Boutique Recycl' Art & Antiques. Pauline is the sister of Phyllis my present host. Todays sun was brutal with brightness but made for really nice cool weather.
Afterwards I found Centennial Park. I was really tired by the time I left and I did not realize why until I downloaded the days pictures at night. I had no idea how many people I was interacting with because i was so involved with just plain interacting. A lot of people jumped onto the piano today! A couple had an engagement picture with the Traveling Piano, three musicians in a band were at the park discussing their future, a cancer survivor mom with her family were at the park to live life to the fullest, a young guy with his granddad were hanging out for the day... it was all really great.
At night Jeramie took me to meet his aunt Louise at Square Lake in Cap-Pele New Brunswick. Louise is a master herbalist I believe Jeramie said the only one in New Brunswick and she is also message therapist. It was really fun to surprise her driving up to her door in the dark and have her jump right into the spirit of music by dancing with Jeramie and then jumping onto the piano to create some music for herself. I had not seen the stars and milkyway with such clarity in many years.
October 17, 2008
The Gaudet Farm, New Brunswick
After driving down the street playing a few tunes for the construction workers who were putting in sewer lines I drove around town without any success in finding a place to create music. I really just wanted to be down on the farm so there I went. I had never before seen 150 cows getting milked, or helped to brush in feed, or sat and looked for cows in heat to inseminate, neither has Boner. Talk about stimulation! The smell of fermenting hay and cow poop was... STRONG! I had to go outside onto the Traveling Piano truck and manifest some music over what I was experiencing. That inspired Margo who was in a nearby house and is my friend Jeramie's sister to come outside and discover us. I was in musical meditation with my eyes closed. She was a pleasant surprise for me to discover when I opened my eyes.
October 16, 2008
The Gaudet Farm, New Brunswick
With six hours sleep I got out of bed because I need to start getting up earlier. I'm prepping myself to get up earlier for a future date to milk cows at 4:00 in the morning. I have not had access or time to create my web pages the pictures, writing and music. Getting caught up with all that and more "other than stuff" then actually presenting the Traveling Piano became priority. My host family is giving me plenty of space to use my time as I see fit and I really appreciate this. I went to take Boner outside for a walk in the afternoon and it began to rain so no piano music today.
October 15, 2008
Dieppe, Sackville, New Brunswick
After waking up at 11AM, my new friend Jeramie said we needed to get to the area of Dieppe Memramcook because it was dollar a slice day at Norm's pizza in town and a lot of people would be there who would like to experience the Traveling Piano. The trip would double as breakfast. On the way while driving, a guy named Luke pulled up beside us with the biggest grin that could exist and a thumbs up over the idea of having a piano in the back of a pickup truck. He followed us to the destination so we could meet. After telling me that he works at a gas station he says, "man this is fuel for happiness!"
I was thinking about going to the local nursing home and being as it is too cold for everyone to come outside maybe the residents could get to their windows and then someone could drive Boner and I around the place while playing music. Afterwards we could go in and meet with everyone. This was not logistically possible but the activities director practically begged me to come inside and perform on their piano so... quadruple ugh, I did it for the love of my journey. (This type of performing is work!) I must admit it was an awful lot of fun. I interrupted the end of their afternoon bingo game. They didn't know quite what to do so I just took the bull by the horns... threw the rug up on the piano and then Boner and then announced myself real loud to get everyone's attention, made an introduction, Jeramie and the activity director walked around the room with my poster as a "show and tell" I played three songs which where so intense that I was in a full sweat by the time I was done, I personally walked around with Bo to interact with as many people as possible and then went outside with the truck to continue with whomever could make it outside. I was really glad that I can be consious enough concerning flexibility and how I present my agenda.
We then headed over to the Crackling Goose an organic farm market. I had met the owners on Thanksgiving so I thought I would give them a surprise. We ended up staying there a good two hours. The baker in the back of the store shared some wonderful fresh made bread, cookies and humus with us. Many people jumped up to play some music for their first time. A girl named Cristin came up on top of the piano to jam with me. She played and also sang her guitar and totally "got" the Traveling Piano feel and concept. Surprising many musicians are either intimidated or fearful or just plain do not want to connect with the idea on any level. The most special moment was to watch a young brother and sister sit at the piano and intensefully, playfully explore the piano sounds. The mother says, "this is the first time he is hearing his music as he just had tubes put into his ears to be able to hear."
October 14, 2008
Memramcook, New Brunswick
I had to drive back three hours to Saint John, New Brunswick to get my computer today. Ugh, it was a good thing because I had to also go back to the cell phone store to dump more money into my account. Communication is costing me more money than gas at this point. After picking up my emails and talking with people, I became torn about where to continue onward. Several offers have come from Newfoundland and everyone keeps telling me how great the people are and if I am to go to Newfoundland it needs to be now because snow is coming. A friend offered to go with me and split the costs. For some reason my priority was to find a copy of Eckhart Tolle's book The Power of Now. I have been thinking about the book for over a year and something clicked just telling me to get a copy now. I had read A New Earth and that book opened me up to being more receptive to read the older book. After about an hour of driving around looking for the book a feeling of urgency began. It was getting late and I needed to decide what I was going to do... forget the book for now, am I heading for Newfoundland or the village of Memramcook? A guy named Jeremie and his family have been waiting for my visit. I had first contacted him in August when the idea of Canada entered my head. Jeremie was the first person to respond to my request for housing with a yes. I had already told him I would be there three times and then cancelled. I was feeling a strong pull in my gut to Jeremie 's place so I went for my gut feeling.
The people who live in the village of Memramcook live an Acadian culture. They have way of speaking called Frenglish, part French, part English a language somewhat like Creole down in New Orleans. This village was the first North American French settlement in the 1600's created by peasants who came looking for a better life with more opportunity. The dialect was of the poor and raggedy people. When the French institutionalized their language with a "proper" French nobody told these guys so they just kept on going as usual with their way of talking. I do not get the feeling that they have a deep need to keep the language alive for any traditional reason, they just like it so they keep using it. I think that is very cool.
Jeremie 's house is so "out there" that the address does not come up on Goggle, GPS or my Magellan Roadmate. When I found the place, I was instantly happy. In front of me stood a beautifully luxurious yet modest farmhouse with an amazing red roof. In the moment of meeting Jeremie, I knew I was supposed to be there and we would become good friends. After meeting his mom and dad Phyllis and Leon, I knew there was there no other reason for my being there than for our own personal enjoyment and sharing of fun, friendship and respect with each other. I felt a genuine welcome, an openness with these Frenglish speaking people. They are third generation dairy farmers working a farm five miles long and a quarter mile wide. They have two dogs and a (cat) and Bo was instantly ok with all of them. He even allowed the cat to smell his butt. The Gaudet's have had visitors stay with them in the past and this is the kind of hosts I found... They take off their shoes when they come in the house but did not tell me I needed to, their dogs must stay downstairs at night but Boner can come up with me to stay in my room, they made it clear the house and everything in it was for my use with no fear or concern attached and gave me a bed to die for with flannel sheets purchased for my visit. Jeremie is a cartographer (mapping degree), farmer, a passionate learner and traveler. He said to me, if you want to go somewhere you cannot think about it too much you need to just jump into it and go. Where have I heard that before, about China?
I had to create music on the property immediately. First on the front lawn with the house as a backdrop and then I drove around to the back where I sat with the Traveling Piano on a lawn, a hill overlooking an almost three hundred and sixty degree horizon with a full rising harvest moon as a backdrop and the sun setting on the other side. Wow! The sounds of wind surrounded the perfect house and the sweeping fields... what a gift for my life! I have never experienced a more rightly positive person than Phyllis and Leon comes across as steady as it gets. Somehow in conversation I got honest with the fact that I was an extra hour late because I had been driving around looking for the book the Power of Now. Phyllis leaves the room and comes back, "here is a present for you" and hands me the book. Jeremie and I stayed up until after 3AM talking about our perspectives with life. We were both falling asleep as we kept on talking.
October 13, 2008
Sussex, New Brunswick
While driving through the French Acadia region of Canada today I had flashbacks of childhood Canadian picture postcards, scenic magazine spreads and Sunday newspaper travel sections from the late nineteen fifties and early sixties. New Brunswick is vast and open with rolling hills just like in Montana. I feel very even keeled, calm and peaceful here. As I drove, the truck fuel line began to severely cut out with jerking movements and I refused to think about it. When the situation became really bad, I stopped to check the oil and the stick said empty. Glad, I checked the oil but that did not solve the problem. I stopped again after about fifteen minutes to purchase some fuel cleaner to stick in the tank. That seemed to help a little bit. Half way to my destination, about two hours on the road I realized I had left my computer back at last nights cabin in the woods. I went there with a friend who directed me so I had no written directions and there was no phone or internet service to connect to. I decided to just let the situation unfold with a positive outlook. I could not go back and I did not want to frustrate the hosts I was going to meet. I had already delayed my arrival three times with them. I was thinking what my friend said about this journey, "danny, I have seen you operate in several situations now and I can clearly see that if you can do this, anyone can do this." Part of this blogs intent is to help show that anyone, no matter how bewildered, over stimulated, overwhelmed, dyslexic or cloudy in mind ... anyone can still achieve anything that is desired. I passed some porcupine road kill on the side of the road and resisted stopping the truck to pull out a few souvenir quills.
I arrived at my hosts house and set up the truck first thing with Bo on top of the piano to show them how behaved and non-threatening he is. Elizabeth and her husband Ross, both family doctors with a set of quadruplet teens in college, Justin, Rena, Sara who were home and Alex who I did not get to meet. They welcomed us even though they are very uneasy with strange dogs. Of course, Boner won them over immediately. I found a very gracious and involved family. Having children never stopped this husband and wife team from traveling to different places around the world, they took the quadruplets with them. We had dinner with another first time guest Bonny from Beijing, China. Bonnie is a local college student and a pianist who played for us some classical piano as well as her own compositions. I wondered if the families sense of inclusiveness lead them to invite Bonny on my behalf considering my journey to China, whether it was just a coincidence or the law of attraction. Boony suggested I just go to China and develop my contacts there. This is a message I keep hearing strong.
Today is election day in Canada as everyone picks the equivalent to the American president. I drove off into town to see what I could find. I stopped and parked the Traveling Piano truck on the street along a beautiful pond and heard piano music coming from the building next door. It was a college music conservatory. I ran inside the building to convince piano players who were practicing to come outside and play on the truck. It was a beautiful warm day. The first guy I asked would not take me up on the offer and was clearly not interested. It blew up my bubble of enthusiasm. I went outside reminding myself not to push any agenda. I saw what looked like a spot on the top of a hill behind the pond and decided to drive up there to create some improvisational music just for myself. There was a group of about 12 people from Korea nearby so I told them what was about to happen and invited them to come up once I was set up. It was a perfect spot. A young Korean girl about twelve years old began to play better than me! Her six year old brother was amazing also. Slowly but surely people would discover and ease there way towards us. Sometimes I had to wave my hand to signal that they were welcome and desired. Apparently, because of where I was situated the music could be heard all over town and people found it pleasing. Thank God!
After awhile of fun with a variety of people and some of my own musical improvising to swans chasing ducks around the pond I headed down a random country road to see what I would find. At each peak, I kept finding more hills one after another and gave in after about twelve of them. I headed back to my hosts place to find Elizabeth working on some vocal music for a group she belongs to. We ended with my trying to coach her with musical notes (which she did not need) and then I gave her sloppy accompaniment for some beautiful operatic Puccini that I enjoyed very much. I was surprised to see that I can still sight-read music fairly well from when I used to do it some thirty years ago.
October 12, 2008
Cambridge Narrows, New Brunswick
This morning as I was outside with the truck packing for travel to Cambridge Narrows, an older neighbor walked by to say hi and tell me he has been reading my blog. He says, "from what you write on your website it sounds like you live the life of a born again Christian but you do it through music." It is Thanksgiving Day in Canada and the Richardson family has invited me to their cabin in the woods for dinner and to stay overnight.
I have been experiencing wonderful synchronicities. For example, Diane who's cabin I am going to today tells me her son Andrew was on the phone this morning telling her about this Traveling Piano guy from Philadelphia, PA who he was listening to on the radio while driving home from work. While my interview was in progress, a friend who was also listening called telling him to turn on the radio and listen. Diane say to Andrew, "oh yea, he is coming to dinner today, everyone will be there." hahaha. Another one... One night I went to meet with a group of people in one town and then the next day I briefly met a girl named Heidi who was part of the same group but I met her in another town. When Heidi went to her group in the first town a few days later, they told her about the Traveling Piano and wished that she had been there. Heidi said that she had coincidentally met me the day before and had played on the piano. Heidi emailed me and I when I got back to her we realized that everyone, the group, her and I... had an incredible and powerfully private support bond in common.
The Richardson family Thanksgiving dinner today was really a treat. It was held deep in the country woods, away from any phone or internet signals. The area was absolutely beautiful, stupendous with fall colors of orange, red, yellow mixed in with the evergreen trees. I was thinking, "I missed the autumn season last year but not this year!" We traveled down dirt roads to a large, smooth clear lake with crispy leaves everywhere. The air was cool and mountainous. Before I arrived in Canada I had some imagery of driving through nothingness. As far as nothingness... yea, there are no power lines and poles, houses and stores and billboards or airplanes overhead in the air, just hills and nature. That... is a nothingness that I can handle well! The trip took longer than expected so I decided to stay the night. I was wondering how that would work because this would be a mighty tiny cabin sleeping ten adults consisting of two parents and their grown children with wives. A new "happening" for me, is was obviously completely natural for everyone else. They have been sleeping with ten people in such close quarters for their entire lives at the cabin. The cabin had been refurbished and was mighty luxuriouse. It felt like a true John Boy (the old television show) experience.
There were about twenty-five people at the family dinner and we all celebrated along with some Traveling Piano music. As I performed Scott Joplin's Maple Leaf Rag, a guy named Toby picked up a maple leaf from the ground and gve it to me. Canada's national flag is also known as the Maple Leaf. We all got into a picture with the Traveling Piano while I held the Maple Leaf. This was a real feel good Thanksgiving and I was grateful that this family would share their friendship and respect with me. At night the men went to "throw some wood" ...as in fill up the trucks with winter firewood to take back to the city. I got out of the work by providing some "throw wood" piano music to speed the time along it's way. I thought about how I used to get out of doing the dishes as a kid. After diner was a convenient time for me to practice the piano, when the dishes had to be done. I'm no dummy.
Afterwards we all sat by the water with fireworks and a big bonfire. The moon was almost full, the air filled with the sounds of crackling embers and the trickling sound of water flowing from a nearby stream running down into the river. I learned about the yearly "freshet." The freshet is the name for the yearly melt of mountain snows. It happens every year. The waters rise and many areas flood for about two weeks.
It rained during the night and I was relived the tarp worked in keeping everything dry underneath but the material was wet almost icy. I thought about how if I travel to Newfoundland the cover might get iced overnight and that will not work for any length of time. I also found out the ferry will cost $300 round trip. Bo had to sleep in the truck overnight. When I came out to get him, he showed me his usual mix of emotions for such situations. Major hello tail waging, whimpering to communicate that he had been waiting and a good strong jump kick to my gut with both legs just to let me know he loves me but was not happy that I left him alone. We are both learning how to adjusting to our constantly changing creature comforts. I have his sleeping blanket with us to help but as an old man Boner still he has to deal with hard and sometimes cold floors. Me too. As I was feeding Bo one of the other dogs staying with us craftily maneuvered his way under my truck seat while the door was open to find an entire bag of Bo's treats. They were devoured in a matter of minutes. Onward...
October 11, 2008
Mc Laren's Beach Saint John, New Brunswick
After waking up I started reciting 10 things that I am grateful for, no need to feel it or mean it just "fake it until I make it". Went back to the cell phone store to get a calling card so I do not need to be paying $2 a minute. A car beeped real hard at us while driving on the road with a thumbs up and big smiles. I became reminded to be happy. I was coming out of a store and a guy named Marc strikes up a conversation. A "like" soul, he made a contribution and invited me to dinner on my way back through the area. "Hey Marc, I misplaced your card, email me." I am leaving, heading for Newfoundland tomorrow. It might be too late as in too cold, they already have snow! We shall see.
I settled in to do a little work and the nice day pulled me outside to play for someone. I was thinking that I need to find places to stay but I need to enjoy the present moment and make use of every opportunity to present the Traveling Piano in the "now". I could not help myself. I must trust that I will find places to stay. I started to drive to a beach that I had visited last week and ended up at a small beach along the way. It had about five parking spots on the water. I pulled up and asked a family sitting in front of me if they would like some music. They said it would not bother them thinking I was going to turn on a radio. Then Bo came out of the truck to say hi and I told them he was a piano dog. They could not see the piano in the truck. I helped boner on top of the piano and then jumped in to play. My music is a natural for nature. A nearby woman ran home to get her 87 year old mom who's mom, was a piano player. I threw out some Nola, Kitten On The Keys and Dizzy Fingers for her. A younger guy came and asked if I knew any Billy Joel. I played the Root Beer Rag for him. A woman came walking up from the beach, "I could hear piano music from my house way back and around the bend and I knew it could not be a recording I just had to come and find it." Her name is Pippa which is short for Philippa and her last name is Mugglestone. Is that a great name or what!? Pippa loves her name... Philippa Mugglestone.
Strangers have been giving me money. I don't need to be playing music, I don't even need to be on or in the truck they just walk up to me and give it. This has happened at least twenty to thirty times. They either heard about the Traveling Piano word of mouth or from the radio interview that I did. How much are they giving to me? I think about how much as how fun it is not how much money it is. Not one person has handed me less than five bucks. I have not had the discomfort of when people tip or donate a dollar or two. When that happens in the states I usually feel like they are thinking, "this is what I am supposed to do," or "the guy needs a few bucks." Ugh. I know it is all good. I know, I know... even a quarter is a positive gesture. Ugh. With all the people who have been giving to me in Canada it feels like, "here let me contribute, I want you to keep going!" I am finding out the Maritime region of Canada has the least money and has a reputation for being the most giving region of Canada. Some people might sarcastically think "if they didn't give so much they wouldn't have the least amount of money." I think it may be that these Maritime givers are more content and ok with life, happier as a result from not being so tight with money.
At night it was Vanessa's thirtieth birthday dance party. I sat outside her house with the Traveling Piano as a warm up. There were a lot of beautiful women there to keep me warm. This was a wild PaRtY! In the beginning I improvised music to the sounds of constant girlish giggles and laughter coming from inside the house. It was a very different improvisational experience from creating music with the roar of ocean waves. The culture of teens, twenties and now thirty year olds that I have been hanging with are very uninhibitedly playful, creative and imaginative with their lives.
October 10, 2008
Reversing Falls, New Brunswick, Canada
I was exhausted this afternoon after dealing with a defective cell phone brought from Walmart. So another phone... hundred and fifty bucks. I've got some bad cell phone karma going on. Then I found out a large portion of this journey's funds from the sale of my house went by way of the economic shake down. Is this bad karma? I really don't believe in badness anymore. That just translates into fear and fear is an illusion. It all is... what it is. I'm dealing with it. Sad, scared a little bewildered, confused and eating potato chips and still happy with what my life has created. I want to move forward continuing to focus on fun, friendship and respect, musical empowerment and inspiration. I can choose what I want to see and feel, I try to remind myself of that as often as possible especially when fear tries to seep into my consciousness. I drove around Saint John trying to feel my way into a spot to create music and could not find one. Today I created music for myself, found a small random spot behind a large building overlooking the end of the 450 mile long St. John river and the Bay of Fundy at the Reversing Falls where the worlds largest tidal waters go backwards? It was a beautiful spot to find. I could not believe another person found us there. He said he comes every day.
October 09, 2008
All Over Saint John New Brunswick, Canada
Before I left Pennsylvania I covered my bases with cell phone communication needs. I paid extra money, upgraded my phone, the service plan... was assured everything was set... crossed the boarder... no service. After I was too far in to travel back I was informed that I could not get American service unless I returned to America for activation, they would switch me to Canadian service until I returned. Today, on day nine still without service I am now connected to Canadian service but I still need to return to America to activate the Canadian service. Makes sense eh? ...not. And the world goes round... I went to Walmart and brought a prepaid phone and package for a hundred bucks. No other choice without totally being gouged.
It rained today. After several days of their trying connect via email (no phone, argh!) I talked with the Canadian Broadcast Corporation in Saint John, New Brunswick and Paul Castle interviewed me for his afternoon show named Shift. I was thrilled and excited to be invited and to have the opportunity to be able to connect with so many people in relation to the journey. CBC/Radio-Canada is Canada's national public broadcaster and one of its largest cultural institutions. As I was leaving the building a guy pulls into the parking lot saying, "I just knew that interview was live... I thought I might be able to catch you so I raced over here to contribute a twenty for the journey and here's... a Case of Canned in New Brunswick Sardines for you." Now THAT'S some Canadian Maritime Culture! Does it get any better? It could not have been better in that moment no way, no how. The guy, his name is John has traveled all over the world, I think he said he was an engineer and was looking forward to my having many great travel experiences. I took the cover off the truck because it had stopped raining and he got on to the piano seat so I could coach him into embracing the sound of one note.
I thought the day was over and drove uptown for some Thai takeout. I had left my camera back at the digs as I had no plans to be having any interactions. Who knew so many people would appear with interest on the empty street in the dark. Five people got onto the truck to play. I returned to the digs over an hour later. I love this Traveling Piano gig.
I almost forgot to tell about a most amazing thing that happened today. I don't think my spirit has internalized it yet because... well, I am not so blown away as I thought I might be or should be? I improvised my own music over the radio air waves for the first time today and I did it live, on the spot, "winging" it on a small keyboard. How did I do? All I can say is I hope people liked it. I have no interest in judging it or getting any self gratification from it other than the fun involved but... this feat is way, way, way... beyond my Imagination or Wildest of Dreams... for the good. Did I do that today? I never thought I had such courage and I am thankful, thankful, thankful for the self image I have worked on over this life time and that I found the music, mine. Television, radio, music cd, internet... is the big screen next? Ha.
October 08, 2008
Quispamsis, New Brunswick, Canada
Amazing! I cannot help but put up so many pictures. There are so many more. It takes so much time but I must share as much as I can and I hope the people I meet see themselves in the Traveling Piano dream on this website! I started out the day disgusted with the phone company I choose, as they cannot give me service and they just keep saying they will. It has been eight days.Maybe this is just some validation that I do not need a cell phone to survive. I took Alison a girl sharing the house that I am staying in to a dentist appointment out of town. There was a cell phone store right next to the dentist office so I went inside to look into alternative service options.
Life began for the day. The store clerk came out to meet Bo and create some music. Soon afterwards, the dental hygienist with her surgical mask and assistants all came out, the day turned beautiful. When Alison was done, we decided to meander. I told Alison if she feels a whim to go in a direction let me know and that is how we will play out the day. We headed for some water and found a house at the bottom of a hill. There was an amazing apple tree two stories high full of the most glowing cherry red apples. I tried to get to the door of the house to ask if we could have some because hundreds were lying on the ground. There was an old dog barking and a lot of flies around and I said to Alison this has the makings of an old crack house, lets get out of here quick. No apples today.
We kept driving on and found a small fully open beach, pulled onto it and I created music while watching Alison dance at the waters edge. She also had a turn at the piano. The weather was perfect. Onward... we found a ferry, a free ferry! It costs .50 every time I drive on the highway but the ferry is free both ways? Great. I performed my improvisation on the water for the first time. Oh, it was so wonderful. The people in the cars, people came out of the cars, everyone including myself we were all in awe. It was such a short time only minutes but that made it even better. I've done drive-by-piano-in' before; today I did some float-by-piano-in'.
Get ready for this we fell into not only one ferry... not two... but three ferry's to ride on today. This was very random indeed. Bo was nervous on the first ride but by the second, it was like an old hat. We took one wrong turn and ended up at the end of a road with a furry to an island. It was just the two boat runners and us, my God, we were all so happy, it was so quiet, they took us over and back with the motor barley running so we sort of drifted back. They gave me a contribution saying, "we don't have much, but we must give you something to keep going." It was a lot! My improve is even better for the water than on land. I always knew it would be. I actually have a visualization of the Traveling Piano floating down a lagoon performing and a small flat barge.
On the last ferry I said to myself that I need to share this, people must experience this. So, "people up onto the piano", and then I started the Traveling Piano shtick with empowerment and inspiration to just create random sounds of music while listening to the splashing water, the boat motor, the people, birds, air etc... while on the boat was traveling onward... I am so grateful for days like this. We took some video of it to put on Utube.
October 07, 2008
Tin Can Park, New Brunswick Canada
Just a bunch of random thoughts... Yep, I ended up in Tin Can Park tonight, a place with the reputation of ill repute! I do good in places like this. Ha. I'mmm... not afraid! :) Anyway, it was sunset and cold. Cor brought hoola hoops for the music, (he is a hoouuper) and we met up with his new friend Heidi along with a few more people. Cor is taking Heidi over to his place tonight to pick out some clothes from my Uganda Project contribution to him. My friend is using my clothing gift to pick up girls!!! Good thing they are hot and nice girls and that there is more than enough clothes to go around for many purposes. I have been spending over an hour every day trying to get phone service from my cell phone provider. I have had no phone service since I left the United States. This had made my life very difficult in many ways. Seven days now! JERKS.
I spent over four hours in deep spiritual, religious philosophical discussion with a twenty one year old guy named Andrew who could "hold his own" in conversation good enough to actually teach me some ideas, give me some new information and thoughts. This guy left home when he was sixteen so you can guess that he has been spinning his life strong in finding his way through it. When the Indian Ocean Tsunami happened in 2004 the first thing he did was get a plane ticket for South Asia and flew over to help. I am around a lot of cannabis sativa, heehaw... This does not seem to bother me, am I in denial? I have not partaken in any recreational libation or other in over twenty-six years, it is no longer "my thing". The house I am staying in has other transient people also staying in it. I have been getting along well with everyone so far. Everyone is at least twenty years younger than I am and we all relate on mutual levels of respect. I am reminded how I believe in life that each generation improves mentally, physically and spiritually. I am constantly observing how each life unfolds individually. I listen to and see how each person works out and creates their life. No matter what the scenario with what I hear and see I am just grateful for the relationship on whatever level, for how ever long and feel love about it all... today.
Hmm... what else, I was treated to a great family meal tonight. I went to the supermarket to buy some food, which is always a challenge for me. Decisions... good food decisions... I brought 3 big bags of potato chips because... they were on sale three for five bucks. Now that's denial. I also brought a big bag of trail mix, apples also. When I am in a new house and someone says help yourself to anything you want in the kitchen, I will go to the fridge, open the door and the fridge may be full but I see nothing that I can make sense of. All the new types of food and ways of eating, the different ways people cook can be really confusing!
October 06, 2008
Sheldon Point, New Brunswick Canada
There is a glacier boulder, rock, stone, pebble heaven in Sheldon Point, New Brunswick Canada. I found this to be a fact today. For those of you who may not know, I love natural gardens of rock almost more than anything. Today I was thinking, "if I was not on this Journey of Peregrinating Musical Exploration, I'd fill the truck up right now with these rocks, end whatever agenda I'd have and head home with them." And then I realized that I no longer have a conventional home to head home to. Yikes! I could not resist picking up some beauties and taking them to the Traveling Piano truck. I thought, "I must have these but I have no room or place for them." Then the idea came to just take a few and pass them on as gifts while I travel. That works.
Even though it was a bit chilly I met many people and they had turns at the piano. Brenda was so much fun with her pup in the Traveling Piano truck, I'm pretty sure it was a schnauzer. Boner was very congenial. Boner really helped another woman with his dog therapy skills. As they comforted each other she told me how she was missing her dogs and that she had come to this spot to write a farewell note to her father who was passing at any hour now. She was going to let the music help her to write the letter. Another couple sat for a good long while in their car and worked on the business work of their ministry. They stopped by before they left to give me a copy of the Watchtower. (Jehovah's Witnesses) A really fun nordic woman named Iris stopped with her son in a stroller and told me about Iceland's national bankruptcy issues from the news today. I'm glad I do not have a television in the Traveling Piano truck. When I hear about all this world financial stuff it makes me want to get what money I have out of the bank and go hide it under a rock for safe keeping. The woman took the trouble to drive home and come back with a financial contribution for the journey. Appreciation like that goes a long way!
October 05, 2008
Saint John, New Brunswick Canada
I was awaken... with earplugs intact... by the touch of a beautiful woman, "danny we are going to breakfast would you like to come along"? Vanessa who owns the house, my friend Cor and newly married friends Kate, a model and her husband Nate, a mural artist were ready to go but they waited for me to take a shower because I had not had one since I arrived in Canada. It was about time and just in time. I was not too ripe... amazingly enough. Two beautiful girls are sharing space with me. Today is Alison's birthday (one of the two). It is also Charlie's birthday (my friend at home) Today is the most poplar birthday in North America, do you know why? New Years Eve...
A local Anglican church was having a cultural festival today and I was asked to participate. I asked people if Anglican is the same as Episcopalian and I could not get a clear answer. Someone said they are one and the same but in Canada the name is Anglican. I had no idea what was going on or what to expect, I just went with the flow. As soon as I arrived I walked around to get a feel of how I could fit in. The smells of different food from many nations, ahh... good thing I was not hungry as I would have been spending my time eating rather than with the piano. The place had a warm, welcoming feeling and I knew it was going to be a good day. I enjoyed a 14 year old Chinese classical pianist and a 17 year old guy who improvised with the same stream of consciousness that I do. That was really cool to discover.
I met a group of Chinese people and it was suggested (as once before) that I enter China as a student and then setup house to accomplish my goals. This seems viable and practical. I must still find a way to comfortably transport Bo and know that I can keep him by my side at all times. Also, I must come to terms with the fact that by the time I am ready to come home, Boner might not be with us. Who knows... I do not want to project anything specific concerning Bo's life but at the same time I cannot help wanting to prepare myself for how I will mentally, physically and emotionally let go of him when it is time. I do know at the same time that the answer will be to let go of him spiritually.
October 04, 2008
Saint John, New Brunswick Canada
I was taking Bo for a walk around the block and ran into a dad with a few kids playing basketball. They went up to Bo and said hi. I told them he was a piano dog and they wanted to understand more. I asked the dad if they were going to be there for about fifteen minutes that I would go get the truck and show them. I introduced myself to the dad and gave everyone an informational flyer. It was a fun short time. It was one of the boys birthday so that made it even extra fun. The dad left with his son and one of the other boys told me his sister can also play the piano. I said, "lets give her a go at it." The house was about three hundred feet away, three houses down the street. They asked if they could jump into the back, I said sure. When we were in front of the house I told them they needed to check with their parents to make sure everything was ok and one guy asked me if his mom could also come. I said that was a great idea!
Mom came with her daughter and we began to have fun as one of the boys father's appeared with my informational flyer in hand and began to ream me out because I had let his son onto the truck. That scared the neighbor mom present as she processed the facts which ended the fun. It caused such a stir that a half hour later the guy then came to the house where I am staying to demand I destroy any pictures taken. He said no release form had been signed. I told him, "no problem" and did it in front of him. I also gave him my camera to check for himself saying that I had no commercial interest, he will see that on the website. A release form would be for me not him. I thought, "what does this guy think he's going to lose out on money, is this about money? Ugh. He told me he had already been to the website and left saying, "not cool".
I do understand where he was coming from. I was thinking I had already met the one dad... made sure the other mom was present... they had my information... they were neighbors... the first guy knew my hosts so I figured the neighbors knew each other... and I told them were I was staying... It was sad that the joy was squelched. The "in the moment" happy faces of the kids, man they were lovin' it. The boy present with his mother understood and acknowledged the mistake in front of me. I watched as the parents felt that was not enough with a need to pound the fact in hard. I tried to remind myself that the day was not over but it sure felt like it. I started to really sink, feel faint, not able to focus, felt unsafe, insecure, disappointed.
And Then... I found my friend Cor in the room above his garage exploring all the clothing material I had presented as a contribution to his "Stitch Uganda Together" cause. He had started to give the clothes away. That was not in my plan but reminded myself that even though I contributed with a specific purpose in mind... once I gave them away they were no longer mine to have any decisions about. I had not created any conditions about the exchange, they were a gift. The bottom line, I wanted it all to have value and respect. Cor's friend Vanessa became the day's value and respect. This beautiful woman, full of spirit, life, beauty and who loves her femininity, is completely uninhibited and inclusive with her nature. Vanessa spent the evening giving Cor and I a fashion show that was worth more than the value of all the clothes, the trip up here, the effort and expense, what more can I say? It was amazing fun! I was never really conscious of women's fashion before but I sure am now! Well, the exchange continued as Vanessa invited me to stay at her place for a few days. We went to her house which is in the middle of a renovation and my friends cleaned up a room for me, made a bed with table and lamp special bedsheet covers and just gave Bo and I the best that hospitality can offer. This experience is a great example of, "what goes around comes around" in keeping the desire for good attitude and conscious intent. The good stuff might not come around the way I expect but it always comes around and usually in an unexpected, surprisingly way which I love!
October 03, 2008
Saint John, New Brunswick Canada
All of a sudden it got really cold!!! It's cold. its cold. Its cold. I need to get some cold clothes. Boner has been farting all day. His system is out of whack. The gas is almost strong enough to make me high! When I arrived last night Cor informed me that Bo would need to stay in the truck because his mom has allergy issues for customers in the house. She has a home business. I said there is no way I'm leaving him out alone on the first night and after such a long journey, show me to a hotel. We ended up sneaking Bo into the house. Boner knows the game and was completely cooperative.... walk real slow and quiet, settle down and don't snore. The next day I purchased a bottle of vitamins from Cor's mom a Shaklee brand vitimin dealer, thirty eight dollars the price of a cheap hotel room. Everything costs money. I learned about Canadian coins today. They have Toonies (sometimes spelled Twonie or Twoonie) and Loonies. A Toonie is the name of the two-dollar coin, a combination of the number "two" with the name of the Loonie, a Canadian bird and a Loonie is the one dollar coin.
We unloaded the clothing material I had brought for Cor from truck and then made room in the garage to keep the truck out of the weather. it began to rain. Cor's sister came home with her boyfriend and as I went to close the garage door a typical Traveling Piano experience fell right into place. Cor's mom came out to join us. Later on Cor treated me to a concert. Melvin Seals the longest running keyboard player from Gerri Garcia's band The Grateful Dead, Melvin's band was in town playing. It was in a Knights of Columbus hall turned Chinese Cultural center and occasional concert venue. Before the concert we stopped in the center of town at a pre-party held by a friend of Cor and the pre-party turned into a pre-concert on the street with the Traveling Piano. Oh, what fun that was!
This being a free spirit is full of descions like, where am I going to sleep tonight. At 10:00 pm I still did not know. There were several options but nothing set. The "where will I stay issue" can become a real distraction in my head, probably a root fear. The issue of food comes second at this point. I'm hiding in Cor's bedroom again. Ha, its after 3:00am in the morning. I had to get this blog writing done before it got too backed up. It is all about deep breath's, faith and focus. It takes practice I tell you! That is, I tell my self.
October 02, 2008
Did it! Said goodbye. Lets see what will happen. I started for St John, New Brunswick Canada. First stop, my friend Cor's house to drop off a huge truckload of clothing material for his Stitch Uganda Together project. There is more info about that on the last day of September's blog. The Traveling Piano is heading for its third country. After America and Mexico now its Canada. Bo says, "I'm not sure what is going on but as long as I'm with my partner I'm happy." I decided to drive straight through because I can't create any music with a truck full of dresses and I knew stopping off in different towns over a period of two or three days without playing the piano would drive me more crazy than a fifteen hour drive. The welcome center in Massachusetts, a random gas station where a musical band was transferring equipment in New Hampshire and the customs officers at the boarder, these situations had all presented themselves as opportunities to play music. Damm.
I discovered that in Maine you can find live lobsters in fish tanks to purchase and steam on the spot in gas stations right next to the Pringles potato chips and those chewy green spearmint candies. A Maine lobster gas station salad sandwich... $10. In Pipersville PA you must constantly look for deer crossing the roads, in Maine its moose. After 13 hours I got out of the truck for a Bo-Danny stretch and even tho I was standing still, it felt like I was moving. At fourteen hours Boner began to smell and my doggie allergies began to wake up. It was cold and dank out. After about twelve hours I felt like I was really far away in a different place from home and it would no longer be easy to turn around and just go... home? My home now is with friends and strangers I have not yet met. As I drove East I enjoyed the Ursa Minor, the great bear constellation... huge and aligned with the front bumper of the truck. I never saw it so low in the sky before. The trees were vivid with color even in the dark. The headlights brought out deep colors of green brown, orange and reds.
While driving, I thought about how I will never feel alone again. I was able to let go of that feeling forever when I began this journey down to the Katrina affected states of America. I was thinking about how I have not traveled with the piano since the Mexican tribal villages and the Virginia Tech tragedy which resulted in the selling of my home to continue forward. I am now a free man like I have always dreamed of being with no responsiblity except for myself, a big responsibility. I held myself back all my life with distractions... people, family, my parents, my house, addictions... now I'm living my dreams.
I went through the boarder in the middle of the night which was probably providential because no one was there, the atmosphere was quiet, the boarder police from both America and Canada were great! They did not make me take apart the truck and gave me a stern lecture about not trying to make any money performing or "busking" as in playing for tips on the streets which I have absolutely no interest in doing not that there's anything wrong with that. My new phone would not work over the boarder without an expensive credit card exchange. I could not contact Cor to find out how to get to his town. The police allowed me back into America to try the phone, nada. Finally the Canadian police offered me the office phone to use after they went to this website to check out if I was for real. They guys were great. They came outside to meet Bo. The Canadian officer I thought, "this guy looks exactly what I have pictured a Canadian officer to look like." I'm not sure but I think it has a sillyness to it probably from a childhood television cartoon... Bullwinkle maybe? The speed limit signs went from 50 to 100. I thought, "wow, you can drive a hundred miles an hour here". I was not thinking in kilometers. The Traveling Piano would probably decinigrate if I took it over eighty anyway, the thing is so fragile. I got to Cor's house after three in the morning. I would never have found it without my roadmate.
October 01, 2008
Todays picture is what Charlie looks like tomorrow as I am leaving, V's for victory. A vision of the future because it certainly is not in the present moment of happening today, my leaving. Are the V's for me finally getting outta here from the farm or... success in beginning the next leg of the journey. Hmmm... probably a little of both. I woke up with an allergy headache from Bo's dander then my Megellan roadmate arrived then my computer began to give me troubles... I refuse to rush so I'm not leaving today. Charlie, I am attracted to him through love, nothing physical in spirit only. He is the example of someone manifesting a life, his life with love. When things happen that could be considered bad Charlie just lives with them and through them with a decision to move, with love. Pretty cool...