HIS SPIRIT LIVES ON! ... BONER, THE PIANO DOG ... November 27, 1994 ... February 20, 2010
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October 31, 2009
Berkeley Springs, West Virginia
It is an indian summer day; many things to do. I feel the journey takes precedence over everything so I had to get out to create some music. As I began to drive the weather completely changed into storm clouds so I just stayed local and had several interactions one after another until the rain began. Boner is doing great and loves his friends at the Bath House in the center of Berkeley Springs, a day spa that sells his favorite dog treats and he gets plenty of them for free all the time! I created music to strong winds with a continuous stream of autumn leaves blowing in my face. I have many pictures from today, I'll post some of them tomorrow.
After about a half hour the sun came back out so I went to the truck and played until trick or treaters began to fill the street... exhausted, I am. I am writing this blog while Boner is out on the sidewalk running around everywhere on his own having lots of fun. One of the joys of being with my best buddy is knowing I can let him be on his own, other people he knows are always around, my dog is empowered in knowing to stay close by and behave without needing a leash or my needing to watch him constantly. My friend Jennifer from Newfoundland published a very generous article about our interaction together in Portugal Cove last year on The Owlery Chronicles . This is a worthwhile read and not just because it is about the Traveling Piano. Boy am I glad I got out of town before I started to let trick or treaters on the truck. I would have been there all night and I need my beauty rest!
October 30, 2009
I feel like I should be doing something special for Halloween. I wonder if anyone who been with us on a past Traveling Piano Halloween adventure ever checks in here on the blog. As I prepare to leave where I have been staying I am going through the torturous process of deciding on how little I can deal with... three pairs of socks, four pairs of socks... the posters and cassettes, once I reach a warmer climate they will have been given away and then I'll have room for the winter coat, etc... decisions, choices... my biggest challenge in life. I get overwhelmed and just walk in circles :) It is grey, cold and cloudy but I love this weather as much as the sun. I like variety. I was wide awake at 7am mind racing, thinking, "your missing your opportunity the get up early, what you beat yourself up for not doing everyday." I got up. If anyone can tell me the name of what is in todays picture, they get a surprise. Ha, Not that I'll have to worry about giving away a surprise. "Sponge" does not count.
October 29, 2009
I had some momentum today to start cleaning up to get ready... get outta here and onto LA. I was able to move pass behavior like... searching on a clear roll of sticky tape for the start spot. After about a half hour of mindlessly looking, I finally closed my eyes to feel for it and presto.. an immediate find. I was listening to the rock group Aerosmith's, Big Ones album and when I heard the song Amazing. I was inspired to get outside and create joyful music for the world. I have things to do but I have priorities... feeling as good as possible is the first priority. The song ends with, "The light at the end of the tunnel may be you." At the park where I played music, I turned the truck off got out and lost my keys within seconds. It took me searching for a good fifteen minutes to find them. They were in the door on Boner's side of the truck. I kept reassuring myself in order to stay clam, "they have to be here, you just turned the car off." Hahaha... what an idiot.
The Traveling Piano did its thing in the wee hours of last night. I had met a guard Rodney, at the local park gate a couple weeks ago and promised him that some time before it got too cold I would create some music for him. I was thinking that it probably gets pretty maundane sitting everynight, all night guarding the gate until 6:30am in the morning. My friend Derrick the cook at the park showed up and he sat down to play for the first time in twenty years. Since I am up and working until 3am often, tonight was no problem!
October 28, 2009
I'm feeling love and support but that is not helping procrastination concerning my packing and getting ready to fly the cope.. I'm not really worried about it, I have no one to answer to but myself, thank God. I've been feeling the present moment… identifying it without clarity, creating illusions and physically manifesting it as fear… psycho spiritual babel? It is what it is. My friend Subramanian responded with... "For a DNA driven protein based organism, time is an illusion and moment is truth. Seize the moment." I just love that. I was invited with new friends to a movie called Fresh which was about the change happening everywhere with farming... good stuff and afterwards was treated to organic beef and lamb meatballs as well as other delightful snacks. Afterwards, there were a few Traveling Piano moments outside; most of the people had left. Right now, I am downloading this blog at the local park lodge and then when I am leaving, I'm going to surprise the grave yard shift night guard at the gate with some music.
October 27, 2009
Check out the picture I posted today. Man, the Traveling Piano Truck must really need another paint job or at least it will after I get it outta the woods! The fall leaves are taking the paint off the truck, oxidizing the paint or something. The truck hood lid is becoming a fall leave collage. It used to be just water marks now it is leaf marks. This truck is looking worn... just wait till it gets across the country, it will be worn and torn, :) Today it is raining and I'm trying to get ready to leave. I better stop trying and just do it. I refuse to push or rush anything.
October 26, 2009
We have been piddling the day away and liking it that way! I am fighting (need to stop that) with a flu. Stress, crap... no, no, no. Fun is the only way to go. I am preparing my "head" to take a ride to the west coast. A funny thing happened. Last week to help cope with Boner's illness I began to listen to the music of Deva Premal and Miten. I felt compelled to write about it for this blog and decided to save the writing for a special day and then... I found out they were featured on a Huffington Post Blog so thought it was perfect to post there so... here and there!
My best buddy, my dog... became gravely ill last week. My spirit became very unsettled. We are presently on a journey to share our partnership and what we have to offer with the world. I began to feel a desperate fear, sadness, loss, anxiety separation issues, abandonment... it was all banging away at my door (ha, drama) although it is true... I began to listen to the music of Deva and Miten. After a few hours hours of allowing their music to fill my world, indulgence in negative feelings, all thoughts, need for commiseration ended. I began to realize a steady, compassionate love. Through Deva's music I received emotional security and balance, ability to embrace acceptance. There was no sadness what-so-ever, no need for strength... no need, period. I have no idea what the chanted words mean. All I know is that the meditations through Deva and Miten's voices... give me a feeling of connectedness through the music. I was connected with God, the universe, the goodness of life here on earth. All of it present and in total balance. Feeling consistent and connected with love, this is most important for me. Music is the tool that has given me the benefits of meditation. Deva's voice is significant and gifted with pure love. With the mediations and chants of Deva and Miten (along with medication that I found for Bo) we are now heading from West Virginia to Hollywood this week in order to continue our journey.
October 25, 2009
Lost River, West Virginia
I was compelled to mosey along into Lost River, West Virginia today. That is what we did at twenty miles an hour on a one lane dirt road around very sharp bends for fifteen miles through Squirrel Gap in George Washington National Park. At the top I stopped and created music; we were deep in the woods. I tried to see my life in the present moment objectively from outside myself... where I was before I started this journey and now. Ha! A suburban Philadelphia development corner lot house owner paying bills, cutting the grass, burnt out from a career of playing the same music over and over for twenty years, fighting for money and respect, alone, unhappy, bored, lacking intimacy... and today I am deep in the woods of rural West Virginia on the top of some mountain with my piano, dog and truck improvising music for the universe, doing whatever I want to do with love and support from everywhere with a passion to gift the world and a world thats loving it all. I just gotta laugh!!! Gratitude is the most basic modus operandi for it all.
Something special pulled me back to this place. I had been in Lost River, in the dark a few weeks ago. I just wanted to enjoy one more fall day with the autumn weather in the trees and with all the smells and colors and my best buddy. Bo's energy has been picking up major. Its really strange. My energy must have fell really low with his when he was really ill and now I find myself pushing to keep up with him. Thank God he is recovering and so fast! Thank God for the Blue Ridge Veterinary Associates in Purcellville, Virginia. We came down from the mountain and stopped at the Lost River General Store. I had wanted to go to a huge cattle auction down the street but we just had so much fun at the store it became too late. Boner got treats, I got lunch and a gift to fill my tank with gas. All the people in the restaurant were outside within minutes of our arrival and some people brought their food out with them. We had allot of fun.
October 24, 2009
There was a major leaf drop from the rain last night. The fall colors are really spectacular. This is the first time I have ever experienced a total fall process of change in the woods from start to finish. What a treat. It's magical.
I must get ready to... we are heading for Hollywood again! Ha, another attempt, the last time events happened to put us on a different track. Now we are back on the "put Boner on a television show in Hollywood for fun and have the world meet him before he retires" ...track. I must transfer a lot of computer data and do backups, clean the place up where I am staying and put everything away so the mice don't play before we leave but...
It was so warm and the sun came out and the priority became all about enjoying the present moment. We headed to Harper's Ferry, West Virginia. Can't miss a moment of Traveling Piano opportunity. I want to enjoy this earth's nature as much as possible. We started with a stop in Berkeley Spring and ran into a couple of sisters with two younger relatives. A worthwhile delay but the clouds came back. Began to drive forward and the rain began. Boner's side of the truck window broke but I managed to get it up. This is where it will stay for who knows how long. The truck tarp was covered with wet leaves this morning. Everything inside was dry except for the paper speaker cone. Its buzzing but we just keep going and going and going...
While doing my internet work at the park lodge... the sound of the wind, the trees, multi-colored leaves flying through the air, a constantly changing sky from bright blue to dark billowing purple... I had to take Bo for a walk. After about ten minutes it was so beautiful I had to run back to the truck for the camera so I could share the moment with the world. Then I was overcome with the necessity to musically score what I was seeing and ran with the Traveling Piano to the parks lake. We synchronistically ran into a couple with their dogs and we all got caught up in the moment. She was from Mexico so I began to tell about the Traveling Piano in Mexico etc... it all lasted only a few minutes, a great few minutes!
While walking in the woods with Boner I was full of gratitude and knowingness... doing what I enjoy most in life... even more than music, the Traveling Piano, interacting with people... I was experiencing complete harmony with my buddy Bo, two beings... in complete oneness with total respect and intimacy through friendship, nature... the experience of love. We were having fun!
October 23, 2009
The alarm was set for this morning. The Traveling Piano went to another garage for a check up... problems. What fun. The guy said the brake rotors were not so bad but I have a strong feeling he just didn't want to do the job. I cannot use the brakes going down a hill over fifty miles an hour without the truck bucking like a horse. The last guy cost me $1800.00... had to take it back once already to him and he still did not fix the problem. The idea of driving back five hours again, to have him do it again? Onward... My friends at the Creekside Creamery in downtown Berkeley Springs put a scarf I had... up in their store on ebay and fetched a couple hundred well needed bucks for the journey. Good friends, eh? Boner is much better, thank God and thanks for the support of everyone who has been thinking goodness for us. I have found myself playing a "sick dog card" when I introduce Boner to people. Thats stopping right now. I can think dead or alive... it is impossible for him to be going in both directions at the same time so I am going to choose the reality... the present... he is alive and thriving well with heart issues, lyme disease and probable cancer. People don't need to know that. We still play with each other running around the cabin for about a half hour every night in slow mo... and he is loving these days, the real food I have been giving him with his usual kibble. He's constantly licking me with love and appreciation and to make sure I am totally clean. The picture for todays blog was from last night when I was leaving Rocky Gap Maryland. I ran into several of the resorts staff taking their break out in the parking lot and so you know what happened :)
October 22, 2009
Rocky Gap, Maryland
When I woke up it felt like I was going to have a good fun day. I was not disappointed. The weather was gorgeous today and warm enough to just wear a teashirt. The leaves are falling like snow; autumn is in full color. I am definitely being pulled Westward so we headed west on scenic route 40 in Maryland. We ran into a really genuine couple out for a motorbike ride and an intimate conversation ensued which felt really good. More than a Traveling Piano friendship exchange was discussed, we shall see. Next we ended up in the town of Flinstone Maryland but could not feel a place to create some music so we moved on to Cumberland Maryland where I felt, "wow... we hit the big city!" Not really, but compared to where we have been recently yea it was big. I lost focus from the idea of creating music because I was so interested in the mega mansion neighborhood I found myself driving through. Soon I found the rest of the city :) ...but I could not find any place to create music so, I headed back East thinking, "this is really strange, I came all this way to do nothing"?
Earlier while heading towards Cumberland I had passed a beautiful area that had a sign saying resort. (not interested) On the way back East... I saw "state park" under that word "resort" and made a quick hard turn into the area. It was perfect. I drove away from the lodge and into just a pure wide open space on a huge lake area with mountains in the background. I created music for a good hour and a half and did it for the sunset as well as for many people who discovered us... fisherman, a few small boats, people renting nearby lodges and others. It was an awe inspiring experience. I am presently in the park lodge. Can we talk money? It is like a Four Season'S hotel with pricing to match. There is a municipal conference going on. They told everyone that they can purchase internet for their rooms but did not tell people that it can be accessed for free in the lobby. As people are seeing me online right now writing this blog, the lobby is filling up with computers. Ha... I better get outta here. I was going to stay and crash the dinner buffet but I think I'll get going while the goings good!
October 21, 2009
I suppose we are having indian summer. I had wanted to go to the beach for this one last blast of warm weather but I guess that ain't happenin'. I was going to head for Fredericktown Maryland today, but that was not in the cards. I felt pulled to visit the local nursing home because it was warm enough to roll out a few folk in wheelchairs and two people had asked me to go there. On the way... I came across an auto repair shop and stopped to ask for some help. The brakes are getting very bumpy. If I try to use them at fifty miles an hour or more the truck starts to fall apart from shaking. I'm going to take it back to the shop on Friday morning and we shall see what happens. The owner used to move pianos. Luckily, the head honcho for the nursing home was flexible enough to embrace our visit, to use his words "lean into" the opportunity and I really appreciate people like this. Another staff member said, "oh, we gotta get pictures to send to the local newspaper to show everyone what we do for our people here." She meant well but oh boy, did that push a bad Traveling Piano button. Hahaha... I said I appreciate that idea, not. I gave everyone a poster for their room and then Boner and I drove over to the personal care area.
A bunch of older ladies came outside and then about ninety percent of them turned around and walked back inside before I even got on the truck to create music or introduce Bo. I wondered if they were thinking, "'m not interested, the sun is too hot, who cares about a dog, what they call us out here for..." Hahaha again, but.... five of the ladies stayed. I loved meeting them. What a joy! I wish I could remember their names but I have no problem remembering their ages. They grow them tuff around here in West Virginia I tell ya. They went down the line, "Hi, I'm ninety nine, I turned one hundred last week, I'm eighty, I'm ninety two, I'm ninety six..." I'm thinking, wow this is really great, look how clear and full of life these women are.... while one of the ladies walks to the back of the truck... "ahh, I see your from Pennsylvania" as she checks out my license plate. Man, I thought these ladies were very cool. Afterwards Boner and I headed to Hancock, Maryland for some" just the two of us" time in the woods, buy the river. First thing Bo did was walk into the water for me to throw him a stick. I thought, "damm I have no towel, the truck seat, wet dog allergy, who cares... I'm not going to stop my buddy from any life enjoyment. He was falling all over the place trying to balance himself and go after sticks that he can barley see... Neither of us cared. He did it for a few times and then we walked a good half mile and we headed for the piano. I created music over the river as the sun settled down.
October 20, 2009
Berkeley Springs, West Virginia
I feel completely one hundred percent loved and supported and that also goes for Boner. No fear, no sadness only fun and love for life. Everyone who has been sending love our way in any shape or form... it’s working! Thank You. It began last night once I allowed myself to reach out for support. It began with just a simple phone call to a friend to tell them what was going on. This is not easy to do. I often think that everyone should be calling me to ask me and find out what is going on. My life does not work very well with that kind of thinking. The last person I ran into last night, this was so synchronistic and spontaneous, a guy named Derrick was an out of this world, bigger than a nuclear bomb, support for validation with reassurance for me that everything is all right. It came from God, the universe... there is nothing more to say than that. It did not deter my manifesting major stress symptoms ...or Boner and I having a very ruff as in ruff, ruff doggie night. Both of us were uncomfortably up for most of it. By morning, when we got up late in the morning like 11:30 am, the sun was bright and warm and it was Traveling Piano time.
We first stopped along the road at a residential home where I often see an elderly gent sitting on his porch as we drive by. There is always a friendly feeling about the place and I have been waiting for the right time to stop, introduce ourselves and share some music. Today was the day. They turned out to be a couple married sixty one years last week, he has alzheimers. I thought I would play some Ragtime and Boogie Woogie for them to better connect but they preferred my "calming" improvisational music. Ding...ding...ding... winner! They did not want their pictures taken. No problem. When we were done Boner jumped off the piano and out of the truck on his own for the first time in weeks. He had not had the energy before. Wow! Love! Gratitude!
After that I stopped to see Sherrie who I had met a short time back while playing on the street in Berkeley Springs. She works at the local day spa and had given Boner a bag of natural made dog treats. He enjoyed them so much I was going to purchase another bag for him no matter how much they cost. He loved them more than pizza crust, more than cheese twists! By the time we left Bo had been gifted with three full bags of the treats. They were from Sherrie and also from Dawn the owner of the shop The Bath House ...a very special day spa. I felt true friendship from Sherrie and began to experience that from everyone who came into the moment. The people in today’s pictures... it was crazy... the energy of interest, fun and care. Dawn had been through with her dog... what I am going through with Boner. People were telling me about the medicinal side effects that are down the road, his needing to pee more often, possible change of personality as in more aggressive, wanting to eat more, weight gain etc... and also about the positive longevity that may continue. All talk was objective with no drama or sadness just compassion, some sympathy. It was really all wonderful. Dawn and Sherrie, they just hung out with me until I said I gotta go. I had the feeling they would have stayed with me all night if I had wanted that. Makes me want to cry.
A guy named Matt happened by. We had met a few weeks ago when it was too late at night for him to get onto the piano. Today was his time. Later on, a guy Jeff who I had met a few months earlier found us, he was another huge validation and reassurance person like the guy the night before. Wow, two secure people in less than twenty-four hours, a signal that everything will be good. While improvising... I created music while watching a guy taking a bath in the National Park spring water pool across the street. It felt like I was in Egypt or something. Berkeley Springs is known for its healing spring fed water. The guy whose name was Maichael ended up playing on the truck later in the day. He is a seeker and a message therapist at The Bath House as well as a meditative teacher. I watched a bunch of local teenage kids have a knock down punch exchange and then pick sides, stand up for each other, back down... a very interesting visual movie to musically score with improvisation... the feelings the movement, the passion... and then Clorisa, a simply fun girl jumped up into the truck for a go at the piano.
A girl Michelle gave me a container of natural relaxation herb for Boner's very last moments should I decide it might help him. It is just a pure relaxation herb, nothing for euthanasia or anything like that. Ahh... Michelle, she was on the piano two weeks ago. I made sure I got a picture of her playing music on the Traveling Piano for the baby in her tummy... due to arrive any day. That baby, Connor... now six days old is as of this moment the youngest tot to play on the Traveling Piano. He played piano silently and even did it with his eyes closed!!! Connor sat on my lap and after I went inside the spa to wash my hands. I held him in my arms... what can I say... the experience was pure joy. I did not want to give him back to his mom. What a gift... what a mom to share herself and her newborn son with the Traveling Piano to be in the Wildest of Dreams on the Tour or Peregrinating Musical Exploration! Hahaha... It does not get any better.
In most of today's pictures Boner is smiling. He was licking my head as I stood next to him; he was licking anyone who would allow him to do it. As we were leaving I ran into another woman, a true dog lover whom I had met at the county fair a month ago. She searches nationally for the worst-case scenario abused dogs and then goes to retrieve them and then nurtures them for the rest of their lives. The woman had liver biscotti in her handbag and guess who discovered it with his ever present sniffing talent. Guess who got a good dose of liver biscotti before we headed back to where we are staying. The woman's baby dog who I had also met... just passed away last week after reaching twenty years of age.
October 19, 2009
Piano Dog Boner's physical organs are shutting down. His desire for life, interaction with people and playful fun remain as strong as ever! Now is the time for some Prednisone to deal with excess fluids lurking about in his body, Doxycycline for (ugh) Lyme Disease and ...extra, extra, extra... Fun, and Loving Support for his old age. He can be around for two more weeks, two months or two years... please think with me about the two year option. I took him the Blue Ridge Veterinary Associates in Purcellville, Virginia. I asked them to relieve some stress for both of us and check into the problems Bo has been having. Someone along the journey had given me a business card from the hospital. It took thirteen years to find a vet that worked for us who is now five hours away and our doctor is leaving to go away for two weeks as of tomorrow. So this business card being given to me was providential.
The Blue Ridge Veterinary Hospital is huge and they deserve to be. The feelings they gave us were attentive, experienced, interested, caring and realistic. They took us in right away, asked allot of questions that made sense, gave Bo an ex-ray and delivered the news. The deal is... let us make him as comfortable as possible by using some steroids and antibiotics and God in Boner's spirit will take it from there. I could never convey the gratitude I feel for being able to feel safe and secure with everyone who helped us and I will return the energy by doing my best in being as attentive, experienced, interested, caring and realistic with the Wildest of Dreams... this Tour of Peregrinating Musical Exploration. Before I left we had a little music in the parking lot. On the way home we stopped to create some fun, friendship and respect... give some musical inspiration and empowerment... and did it next to an almost 1,500 pound pumpkin... no kidding and we watched a beautiful American Bald Eagle fly through the air.
October 18, 2009
So where I am today is in thinking well, I've been thinking... that I just got to get up and go. If anyone thinks this is easy for me especially after having experience in doing it... it is not easy. I do it because it is a choice to live and enjoy life. Its probably my destiny, ha... crap, whatever.
As I watched Boner inside today I realize that he misses his "pack". It has been cold and rainy for the last few days. No matter how hard or fast his heart is doing whatever it is doing... it does not take away his desire to enjoy and experience to the best of his ability... his family, his "pack". Boner's "pack" of dogs are the people of the world. He was raised this way. I raised myself this way. Originally, I was raised to stay within my family of origin that "pack." I was taught to not associate personally with any outsiders... to not trust relating in any way with anyone outside the "inner circle of trust." Ahhh... true, the "inner circle of trust" ... a way of life for some people, not for Danny Kean or his dog Boner. Who created that phrase... "the inner circle of trust?" What a gem. I first heard it in the movie Meet the Parents or something like that. I laugh every time it comes into my consciousness. My family... my "pack" consists of and includes all the people in the world. Does that sound stupid? So be it. Anyway...
The sun came out after three in the afternoon, I looked at Bo and said, "we need to get out now!" We drove to the nearest spot and we needed a spot where we could get some action... as in interaction. We drove to the local park overlook and met some really fun people. Thank God! Whew, we needed that. Snow is on the ground... is that cool, or what... cool enough for snow! ...and the Traveling Piano is still working. We only lasted about an hour and fifteen minutes but that was enough.
October 17, 2009
I am hanging loose with my world. It is supposed to snow today. Oh the truck... ohhhh the Traveling Piano truck! Out in the snow. :) ha... die...die...die!!! Never... Presently, Boner is out in the truck as I sit here doing this blog at the local park lodge where I can get internet service. Thank God it is air tight in the truck so his breathing helps keeps the air warm. There is a wool blanket, my mom's old winter coat and his down-filled bed pad to keep him warm. I could have left him back at where I am staying but I think the change of scenery is a better bet. Leaving him alone while I do chores... I am going to start weening him into that because up until now he has always been with me or in his den (the truck) wherever I am. Ahh... adjusting to age! I'm posting a few pictures from a few days ago with the Traveling Piano.
October 16, 2009
After messing up a days work, God I hate when that happens, I spent the first three hours of today doing it all over and then thought, "its not raining, need to get Boner out for a short walk." So that is what we did. He has a little more bounce in his walk today. I have been saying a thought over and over in my head. I have no idea what has brought this thought on... "physician heal thyself" ...this feels most natural and good. Also, I have been creating the most nurturing space possible for Boner to "physician heal thyself". I am giving him a lot of physical love through message and touch. We're having fun through it all. Possible? The moment we got back into the cabin the rain started again. The work I messed up... that is the ongoing archive of pictures being posted to the Boner The Dog website. Out of about 20,000 pictures so far, I have picked out my favorite 12,000 and have been posting them for everyone who has played on the Traveling Piano and for everyone else to enjoy.
October 15, 2009
I want to be careful with my writing of this blog. With all the emotions and feelings I have... about not being out working everyday presently with the Traveling Piano (its cold and rainy and will be for a few days)... Boner's health (which seems to be slipping fast)... and my own personal state of mind (keeping the fun, friendship and respect with musical empowerment and inspiration going)... I want to stay true to myself with what I write. I do not want to insert any unconscious agendas. I want to be true to myself and clear about that. I do not want to play into peoples emotions with any assumptions, projections, unnecessary needs or communicate my feelings in a dysfunctional way. I do know that to get through this present life transition that has started, (so it seems) if it is a reality that Bo is getting ready to go... the feelings of friendship are going to be my strongest hope to keep myself going. This I am clear about. I must allow myself to feel that people really care in friendship and this is a huge challenge because... well, for a lot of reasons... it just is. When life becomes intense with emotion and feelings, I can be very high maintenance (with myself) when it comes to being connected and rightly related with other people... in order to stay connected to this world. The answers come from inside... I got that but... to manifest those answers outwardly... practice, practice, practice.
October 14, 2009
Bo was more his old self today. I do not want to make this blog about a daily Boner report but this is my life and Bo is a big part of the Traveling Piano. He is everything for me that love can speak to and more than I ever dreamed that love could be. The cold and rain began today. We went to dinner with my neighbor Cindy at the Panorama at the Peak restaurant where we were treated to dinner last week. Boner was given so many scraps from the restaurant last week, he just finished them all yesterday and he remembered, he knew where we were! I figured it would be less stressful for Bo if he stayed in the Traveling Piano truck. I brought his goose down comforter bed with us. Inside, Cindy and I had an eight course harvest feast and it was a perfect evening of fun, friendship and respect with food... what could be better. We sat at the community table so there was a lot of interacting with strangers! Ha, I love it. We left with all of the restaurants beef bone scraps for Bo, this was quite a supply. Have you ever had fresh home made vanilla ice cream with crusted bacon bits on top? My favorite ice cream has always been salted pretzels broken over chocolate marshmallow ice cream but I think this bacon ice cream dessert topped that!
October 13, 2009
Boner has been having some health issues. Over a week ago he began to heave in a way as to not be able to catch his breath and that turned into a regurgitate type hack. That stopped but now has returned a bit. His breathing is short and when we walk, he starts huffing and puffing fairly quick. He has had constant runny eyes. When we are laying close with each other he doesn't interact with his usual dog instincts of play and resistance, he just lets me be close. He is having a problem holding himself up on all four legs. It might be his arthritis so I gave him some ibuprofen for the first time today. He has not been eating first thing in the morning. He tries to but sometimes his bowl is not empty until dinner time. I see that as a good thing. His eye sight and hearing is going fast. Bottom line is that he is over a hundred and five in human years! When we walk, I am more considerate with hills, when we are in the truck, he cannot stay in the cold as long and he can't lay on the cold ground at all like he used to. The air in the cabin where we are staying is dry, the weather is changing quick and there is not much stimulation except for what I create so... I am considering everything but do not want to get carried away with any drama. My goal is to live in the present moment with him and not assume or project anything like a time frame of when he will go to doggie heaven... enjoy our togetherness, that is the name of the game. I do not want to attach any future happenings to my "now" time with him. Whew! What a challenge. Anyone know of a super vitamin to help with super dog longevity? We ended the night with our usual play of running around the house, rolling around on the floor, licking, petting, fighting, "playing catch me if you can" and "I got you" in real slow mo time. Whatever it takes, we were in the moment together.
October 12, 2009
I was creating music in the center of Berkeley Springs. A very interesting interaction happened. I'm not really sure how it started or where it came from and it only lasted about 90 seconds at the most. Anyone who reads this blog on a regular basis knows I have money and tip the piano player issues. Well, this guy walks up to me, I think he was from Ohio or Michigan or one of those states around there and he says to me, " you know Dan, look at money as a gift even if it is a dollar bill. You can't deprive someone of the opportunity in giving you a gift. Don't put value on the gift." (for me its about not investing self value in what other people's value may be for me wether it be the givers or anyone in general) ... he said, "accept the gift and enjoy it because you don't know where it will lead to just like you don't know what musical note is going to come out of you and where that will lead to... when you accept a gift you do not know where that gift will lead to and what will come out of it next." You can't put a value on the note you play just like you can't put value on the money... its a gift. This was one of the most helpful statements ever made for me. He never even stopped walking by while he said it.
October 11, 2009
What to do, what to do, I was going to to cut wood today but the sunny warm weather called on the Traveling Piano. We first stopped to see Nadia, an older woman with a flea market garage who I may gift with some furniture. We then headed for Cacapon Park to the overlook where we met people from Maryland, Spain, West Virginia, Kentucky and France.Great Day! In the beginning I found myself too uninspired to talk my regular spiel. Someone would say, "so you just drive around and play the piano for fun eh"? ...and I would reply with a simple, "yea." ..thats it. Ha. As the day went on, I turned on... "I'm on a journey..."
October 10, 2009
Today is the second day of Squirrel Hunting Season here in West Virginia! The squirrel's must know it because they are always around and Cindy who lives across the street from where I am staying can not find one to shoot. She very much wants me to taste her famous squirrel pot pie. Everyone is allowed to shoot six squirrels a day and don't get caught with more than 24 in your possession on any one day and there is no limit for the season. Change of subject... I am almost out of Traveling Piano promo. That feels like crunch time. I planned for any new promo to be with the new truck look, but the new truck has been happening very............... slow. I suppose I'll just make cheap flyers to hand people so they can remember who I am and how to get in touch with me. I just uploaded three hundred more pictures to the Boner The Dog website. The pictures for todays blog are from Shepherdstown, WV a few days ago.
October 9, 2009
I'm teetering off the balance beam with my sanity, big time. I think I know why. First, I ask myself where am I in this journey, where's it going, is it going to go, when, am I nesting, is that ok, what should I be doing? Ha, need to let go of those thoughts. Second, indecision. There is a huge festival locally this weekend the biggest event of the year. The energy is intense to say the least. People are acting like Philadelphia when one of its sports teams are in a playoff. I've performed for events like this for twenty years and gave that up because... did that, done that. Am I looking to be part of the action? No. Also, a conflict of interest may arise as people will think someone is paying me or I am out for tips or just an idiot having fun, etc... so I thought if I'm going to do this event I will need signs to explain who I am and what I am about because I really would like to gift the town.
Went to the local high school for help, too busy. Went to the local art center, gave me a lead, not interested, went to the local printer, too expensive. Asked for some cheapy black and white flyers for contribution, nope the cost is fifty bucks. Why would I pay... to gift an event that I was not even asked to attend? My energy is best spent in new explorations for gifting verses the same old, same old. If I am going to gift an event it should be for those who have contributed to this journey. I'm not looking for exposure through events and the bottom line nature of an event is for promotion. I do want to promote the worlds meeting Bo before re retires, to share our partnership, create fun, friendship, respect with musical empowerment and inspiration but not tomorrow. My desire is to continue with synchronicity and spontaneity to create music for people to discover. You will never guess what I do with my time tomorrow. I'm going to chop wood thats right, I am going to chop wood because the nights are getting cold in these here hills!!! Tomorrow - Shamorrow, I should be thinking about the present moment. No one really knows what will happen tomorrow.
October 8, 2009
My New Default Spot, West Virginia
It is so great to have a wide open space to play in. Boner and I went to the park to exercise, create music, use the internet... the only thing missing was people to interact with... which is not necessarily a bad thing. There's plenty of days to do that. Sometimes It is nice to just be with Bo and the music. The trees are getting more color and its beautiful to watch Canadian Geese fly past them in their "v" formations from a distance... black and white colors flying through the air against a multi-colored backdrop. Boner has found a new favorite activity in his old age. Of course, as always he loves to lay in the sun but now he has discovered rolling down hills! I played through my old Boogie Woogie repertoire. Its only a few songs. I wanted to see if I could still do it. I can still do it. Enough said about that.
October 7, 2009
Around, West Virginia
The winds were very strong today. Tree limbs were bending deep and I had to allow that. Did I have a choice? With trust that they would not break or fall over I gave myself a reality check that they have survived much stronger winds, I am sure. I enjoyed it all. I love the fall season, I love all the seasons, I love to watch them change and to experience them all from one spot. I've done that now in Philadelphia, then in the Pennsylvania countryside and now I am doing that here in rural West Virginia. The sound of wind rolling up the hills amaze me. The electricity keeps going on and off. Boner is not sure what to make of it all. Every once in a while a big ass white billowing cloud flies by in the clear blue sky. It was too much energy for me to match with music so I went and had a large ice cream cone and after that met a few new friends in a bingo hall for about two hours. Bingo, ok... did that, done that. :)
October 6, 2009
The Lake, West Virginia
I am having an amazing life full of experiences and wonder and I know why. A lot of it has to do with appreciation and sharing. I am working all the time and loving it. I guy said to me the other day, "so your a vagabond." Some synonyms for a vagabond are... vagrant, tramp, drifter, beggar, hobo... I am a man on a journey with a mission with purpose and meaning and I am working all the time! Ha. I just spent the day backing up what is coming on four years of music that I have created, recorded and posted to this website, without cost... daily. I worked on my correspondence with friends around the globe online. On facebook alone, Boner has been meeting through video, pictures and daily updates the world... heading towards three thousand friends from sixty-five different countries so far. I sent about sixty Traveling Piano pictures to new friends who recently jumped up onto the truck to create music and have contacted me to ask for their pictures! The best part of the day came after I cleaned and waxed the truck. While looking up straight into wide open space, I created improvisational music for about an hour while watching dark grey storm clouds swirl in the sky.
October 5, 2009
Seneca Rocks, West Virginia
Some days I am a crazy man. I think today may have been one of them. In making the most of the perfect weather, I wanted to get out of town and travel some. Rolling out of bed before ten every morning had been a life long issue. There are several reasons but mainly because I cannot get to sleep until after two in the morning. I'm usually up writing this blog and filing pictures. This morning I needed the physical rest so... whatever. Anyway, a late start limits the travel time, ya know? I decided Bo and I would drive to Wardensville, West Virginia because for some reason while looking at the map I thought it would be at the beginning of the skyline drive. I was wrong. Not much opportunity for the Traveling Piano in Wardensville unless I wanted to play outside the Dollar General store which I did not. They are everywhere. I'm not going to say any more about that but I want to... Gasoline is thirty cents higher per gallon in West Virginia than in Virginia. Go figure. I'm on the boarder of the two states so I am always on the look out for when I need gas. Gas costs me thirty dollars a day on days like today. The ride today with practically no traffic through wide open country and hills was awesome. The earth is so beautiful. Abundance for my life can be defined first and foremost through the experience of nature. I have been amazingly gifted in this respect. At night while driving back I drove into the full moon for almost the entire way.
I drove West on Route 55 looking to feel myself into a situation and I kept driving and driving... and began to think I might have to stay over somewhere because I wanted to stay long enough wherever we ended up to make the drive worthwhile. Also, I would be really exhausted after driving and then playing music and interacting with people. Three hours later we ended up in Seneca Rocks, West Virginia because some guy on the road said it would be a nice area to visit. It's a great rock climbing area but I could not find a good spot to create music. I drove up a random one lane road because I figured I had come so far and a sign said the road ended in a mile and a half. I wanted to see what the end of the road looked like. We drove into the woods and I found that it looked like an end of a road in the woods. I recorded some music there and held my breath while driving out hoping no one would come driving from the other direction because there was no way anyone could turn around. A family of four walking into the woods found us driving out of the woods. Can you imagine that visual? There was nothing around anywhere. There were several short musical discovery interactions with people throughout the day. I recorded additional music on a cement bridge with rushing waters on both sides. At the end of the day Boner and I took the mile and a half hike up to the top of the mountain... because it was there. By the time we got back I don't know whose hips were hurting more, Boner's or mine. At the top of the hill we just hung out for a while, happy to be in each others company. On returning to the truck I found a sweet note on the Traveling Piano windshield wipers from Ken and Sharon, a couple we met while climbing up... along with two bananas. That gesture of gifting is going to last a long time. I smile from it constantly.
October 4, 2009
Paw Paw, West Virginia
This has been an intense four days. I've loved it all! Full moon for the second night tonight, a harvest moon, my favorite and all the energy surrounding it... Boner and I are in the flow. The weather has been great and I want to take every opportunity to have fun with the Traveling Piano while Boner is still up to it, while the truck is still running, while people are out and about, I can work with the weather and my physical body can take it all. I decided to head west on route 9 because I haven't done that yet. We saw a woman on the side of the road with a table set up with a few things to sell. She looked pretty isolated so I turned the truck around drove up to say hi. With trying to connect I asked her if she would like some music and she said... "naaa." I thought, "this is a good start, whenever I am unsuccessful at the first try I am always successful later on with further attempts.
I drove through and around, up and down, in and out of woods and hills. We ended up in Paw Paw, West Virginia. I stopped along the side of the road to ask a local guy if there was a town center. He told me that it was down the street. I would find a sign and it said "Welcome to Paw Paw"... on both sides. Ha, I thought that was pretty funny. I drove around to see what I could find and we passed a church called the House of Jacob. There were people hanging around and burgers being cooked on the grill so I stopped to say hi and see what was going on. This was a pentecostal type of church, self described as improvisational and they will be one hundred years old this coming January. It originated in Washington, DC. I saw the guy eyeballing my rear view mirror but could not tell if he was looking at my crucifix or the rabbits foot. "Do you have a congregation that you attend," he asked? I said nope. I asked, "would you like to hear some improvisational music?" He said... "naaa." With no offer of a hamburger and no interest in what I had to offer... onward. This is when I had a feeling it was going to get really good!
We found the Paw Paw tunnel a national park. Information about the story of the tunnel can probably be found online. I pulled onto a grassy area next to an annual family picnic and then for the rest of the day things fell naturally in place. As we drove back I hit the scenic overlook of Berkeley Springs just at sunset and thought, "how can I not stop and create music for the sunset?" My God it was major fun from that point on. It started with two girls from Pennsylvania getting their picture taken on the truck. And then a whole gaggle of cameras started clicking. About seven women from the same family descended on us. One of them asked where I stay. "Do you ever visit Cumberland?" I said, I stay with strangers, whomever invites me and then I watched here literally slither away and it took everything to not laugh out loud. There was a restaurant across the road and the employees came out to meet Boner. They said, "we get to take all the food scraps home to our dogs every night but asked if we could give them to your dog for tonight." Boner was so pissed when I took them to store for later and he let me know it! Sarah and Brad from Accakeek, Maryland jumped onto the Traveling Piano and made music together. They were married yesterday and had just started their honeymoon.
The last experience for the day was most special. Patti who is in partnership with Leslie of
Panorama at the Peak , the restaurant across the street came over to meet Boner and invite me in for dinner. A good meal without question is a most major gift for me. What made this especially significant was Patti telling me that they had put thought into what they were going to serve for me, especially since the kitchens were closing and just the way that she brought the meal to me... the caring and giving presentation. I'm not over exaggerating my gratitude as I write this. It was... really special. She treated me with total respect and made me feel very appreciated. Scott the Executive Chef came over to meet me. He cooked a meal that will stay with me for years. I had fried green tomatoes for the first time, crunchy and breaded, yum. Then... an unbelievable traditional pot roast with lean chuck, onions, baked potatoes, carrots and garnish. I never tasted beef that literally melted in my mouth and I ate a whole loaf of bread dipping it into the beef sauce. I probably would have drank it all up from the bowl had it not been so large. I was served fresh made wild berry pie with a lemon crust and ice cream for dessert! Such appreciation, such taste, such friendship and respect... most of all fun. This meal is on the top five best list of my life so far. I learned why it was so special. All the food created in this restaurant is "farm to table" ...it comes straight from local farms, all organic beef and vegetables. I found out that with beef from cattle cared for and fed with a good life and slaughtered with respect... there is an absolute difference in taste and fulfillment... without question. After this meal I find that I must revaluate the extra cost for such nourishment and enjoyment. I'd rather pay more for high quality food and cut costs elsewhere. When I got back to where I am staying I had no worry about Boner getting sick from eating the scraps. They were all natural. This day was a total gift of nature, food, music and friendship.
October 3, 2009
Berkeley Springs, West Virginia
The weather was perfect today in every way. I woke up, got it together as soon as I could and headed on out. We first stopped to see a friend Niki and then headed to the Creekedge Creamery to drop off some items. I have some things for them to list on their Ebay store. They are willing to help me out. Boner and I ended up with the Traveling Piano on the streets of Berkeley Springs. I had yet to play in the center of town and today seemed to be the day for it. I want to post everyone's picture but there are just too many pictures! If anyone is looking for a specific picture, try to find it on the Boner The Dog website or email me for it.
When I first began to play on the street there was no action and that was fine with me. I love every opportunity In can get to create music. The shop owners were waiting until the end of the day to come over. Sometimes neighbors get together and congregate with the Traveling Piano and sometimes it is with shop owners! My favorite moment of the day... I was playing a song for a couple when they began to look around and act anxious. I thought they were looking for their mother and kids. Maybe they were getting impatient with my music and wanted to leave. I thought, "oh my God they are just going to leave while I am playing and we were having so much fun" ...and then they both broke out into a dance together with the music on the sidewalk. Nice eh? A missed camera moment but oh well, this moment was just for us three.
October 2, 2009
Martinsburg Pike, West Virginia
The start for today was very intense. Last night after an hour and a half of driving and at one in the morning I arrived at my home base to find my computer and computer case missing. They were not in the truck. I live out of my computer. All my info, contacts, pictures, archives and my external backup hardrives were gone. I was very tired. Could I have left it all somewhere? Could it all have been taken? I did not know and could not remember anything and I did not want to project negativity. I have been learning in life not to assume. And also... I was once the king of projection. This was a survival technique handed down through generations in my family. Unfortunately, the projections were always associated with negativity. Kill everything before it kills you. Think the worst and you will find the answer. Project and plan for the worst so you won't be disappointed. This kind of upbringing has made it very difficult to project positive outcomes so... I just work to not project anything.
When I woke up I did go over my favorite prayer, the Serenity Prayer... God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things that I can and the wisdom to know the difference. The key word... "serenity" to accomplish the goals. (verses chaos and drama) I also reviewed favorite slogans I use... keep it simple... expect miracles... trust the process... listen and lean... first things first... I also reached out to Saint Anthony who I have had a ninety eight percent success rate with all throughout my life. He has been a helpful and consistent source of meditative focus, the patron saint of lost things. I reminded myself how I wanted to especially be in the present moment yesterday and for today... it was most essential. I reminded myself of several past occasions in life where fear could have devoured a positive outcome but I did not allow it. I once lost my passport, plane ticket, all money and contact information at a railroad station, by a phone booth in Denmark. (got it all back) ...crushed, not broke but crushed into pieces my fifth metacarpal. (my hand complexity healed) ...I have lost all of my computer archives once before (I survived). I told myself I can deal with whatever is necessary and that things will happen in life. Chances are there will be more mishaps in the future to deal with so use this situation as practice. Fear I can deal with, sadness I must embrace as part of life.
First thing, I jumped into the truck and headed back to Shepherdstown to trace my steps. I decieded to take the Traveling Piano truck verses the new truck as a vote of confidence for myself. I would find the computer and then continue the day with more music. On the road I called the music venue in Shepherdstown where I last used the computer. They looked everywhere and returned my call saying that it was nowhere to be found. After I arrived in town I began to look on the street for kids I had met yesterday to ask for thier help. They suggested I first go to the police because there is now a tracking method to find any computer anywhere at anytime online. I thought, "big brother and big scary." I continued to move forward and wanted to start spreading the word as where the computer could be returned if found, or someone wants a reward, or if it was a theft... maybe the thief would get a conscience once they saw that their friends cared... and return it. I knew the key was to feel good, feel love, secure and ok through the process and this is what I felt in the moment when I found about four people from the day before. Also in that same moment... a call came to my cellphone to saying where the computer was and that is was in safe hands. I had connected with the right energies through people to create the miracle. I sat down and cried with relief. Some people may say hogwash to all of this and to that I say... "give me more hogwash!"
Music ensued for the day and there were many "favorite" type encounters. A grand mom with her kids, complete strangers getting on the piano at the same time to jam and then there was a woman named Cindy. The instant I began to improvise her energy popped and then she instantaneously began to cry. She said, "I was having such a crappy day, I was headed for the bar to get a few drinks to deal with it but I found you and you made everything perfect, it was so beautiful and in fact you set my whole weekend on a positive spin, thank you, thank you." I've said it before... I blog these musical expressions because they are so validating for me and I want more, more, more of them so that I can share more, more, more music with the world. I think when I write down my thoughts and feelings there is something special about that. It makes the reality more concrete... that this stuff is all really happening... I have something worthwhile to share with my world and my world wants it! How cool is that? Very.
October 1, 2009
Shepherdstown, West Virginia
On waking up I was clear that the weather was great, I wanted to make the most of it, and most importantly stay focused in the present moment to create fun, friendship and respect. The Traveling Piano truck had a rough start with the engines brake and charge light constantly flashing. Could be a short somewhere in the trucks battery system could be the light bulb... I just observe, I just observe. As I drove down the road it began to chug. I know the feeling... it needs cleaner in the gas tank, its not getting fuel smoothly, it's this, it's that... I just observe, I just observe. Bo and I ended up in Berkeley Springs for a short while and then headed to Shepherdstown the oldest town in West Virginia, a destination that has been on my desire list. I arrived around one in the afternoon and found the town very laid back and quiet. I figured even if by myself I would enjoy the towns energy and the music. The local bird's singing was strong and clear. This was great until I was dumped on with a blueberry. It had not come from the birds mouth.
Boner and I parked ourselves at "the wall" in the center of town where all the kids, some adults and other whatevers quietly congregate. It is an open area so no one bothers anyone. I figured on about two hours well... for anyone reading this blog sometimes the plans do not work out as planned. I ended up leaving after eight at night and that was because I needed to get something to eat and a glass of water. I was so busy the entire time. Poor Boner, he was exhausted by the end of the day. He was up and down off the piano the entire day because the yellow jackets were driving him wild.
We met a lot, a lot of great people, all easy, no chaos. Boy, there are many days lately when nothing has been happening with the Traveling Piano because I am not constantly on the road but when I get going I sure do make up for lost time. Right now I am in the Blue Moon, a local music venue. A group named the Momentary Prophets, check them out on MySpace... Ted, Jake and Logan are trio of guys who make up an acoustic, folk, jam band. Ted and Jake came over on the street and introduced themselves today. Real "like" musicians, my kind of jammers. They asked me to come and hear their concert and I am glad I did, wish Boner was allowed inside. I am doing my blog and picture work while I listen to the music although it is more listening than blogging.
There are beau-ti-ful woman here in Shepherdstown! Aside from that, I met a guy named Jacob. He ran home and got his saxaphone to jam some. He is an incredible go-for-it musician who will say "no" to nothing. Turns out he is only sixteen years old and improvised as real and as good as any top pro I have heard. Jacob is already in college to get a degree in chemistry. He thinks that what he does is nothing special. Another guy named DJ, he was just another one of the many major gifts of relating for me today. DJ brought out his guitar and we jammed quietly together for a good fifteen-twenty minutes. DJ's a twenty year old in school for air conditioning and plumbing and musically, amazingly intuitive. A person must be intuitive to play with me because I'm new at what I am doing. How thankful I am that I run into giving musicians who want to connect. I am overwhelmed with joy every time I experience young people who are as developed as I am musically, spiritually, or in any other way more than I. To know and be more... at age sixteen or twenty... than I "know or be" at age fifty-four... what a future full of potential earthly joys I can see through these people.