HIS SPIRIT LIVES ON! ... BONER, THE PIANO DOG ... November 27, 1994 ... February 20, 2010
Use the links to the left to read a past Month or Year... and then there is always your Backspace to return to a past page.
July 31, 2010
East Glacier, Montana
July 31st and the Traveling Piano is still in Glacier, Montana. I do not want to think about it too much. When I am ready to leave, I will know. The money being spent. I do not want to think about it. An air mattress for camping on the side of the road if needed, is in the mail. Ha, what has my life come to? I don't want to think about it. Anyway, I have more hiking to do, more park see see, more nature to completely fulfill this twenty five year dream. Then hike from the other day caught up to me physically. Today it has been raining off and on so my staying in bed to rest was good. I did not even peak outside my bed sheets until four thirty in the afternoon. I spent most of the time telling myself, "your allowed to do this." I really needed the shut down. No obligations, no expectations, living in the moment, sharing my life and what I have to offer with a world that appreciates it... really it does not get any better for me. Well, it can always get a little better, Ha!
July 30, 2010
East Glacier, Montana
I felt surprisingly physically ok this morning, after yesterdays hike. Then as the day progressed... it was not pretty. Can we talk all around agitation? I moved across the street into a new motel room. The place I was in had already been booked awhile ago. Now in a small cabin I thought it would be good to have some private space and quiet... not! Outside the back window of my room a camp of Jehovah Witness's have just set in. They are here to seek deaf people as they just finished creating the bible in sign language. Out my front door running up and down the wood walkway, not screaming kids... squealing kids. Parents hanging everywhere speaking loud and alive in what sounds like both Russian and French. Chatter, chatter, excited... on vacation chatter. I'm not use to it, ha! It is the peak of tourist season! Feeling sick or not... I forced myself to go outside to get onto the Traveling Piano and connect with the world, for the tourists! I had planned on a half hour... two and a half hours later and after a lot of fun... I am back in my room. It is now eleven at night. I am hoping the kids will soon go to bed and the adult party will not go into the night. Good luck on that one, eh?
July 29, 2010
Scenic Point, Glacier Park Montana
The day started out as usual, having no idea what was going to happen. I was working on the computer on the patio of where I've been staying and this guy I've been seeing hanging around... I thought I'd ask if he new of any good short hikes I could take in the park today as it was getting late. He said he would go with me if I wanted to wait about an hour so I headed over to the park lodge to tell them I was not interested in trading performance for a place to stay. I had not been able to connect with anyone all week about a decision. If I made a commitment with obligation I would be more focused on that responsibility and it would take too much away from the journey. While I was at the lodge I sat down in the lobby to create some music to kill some time. A young girl sat smitten with my music which led to a Traveling Piano adventure outside which led to another couple who were originally from back east and after we all had some time, I ran back to meet my new friend before it was too late.
It was supposed to be a short hike but ended up taking hours. Mike and I took the Scenic Point Trail. It was over twenty four hundred vertical feet above the Two Medicine Valley... over eight miles of hiking. Yikes! Two times... once up and once down my body began to give way. My spirit took over. I hiked to the top of the world! It was the experience of a life time. It was why I knew somehow I had to experience Glacier Park for the last twenty five years. Gratitude filled my heart. This is one of the new life adventures I have been able to embrace since Boner died. The park does not allow hiking with dogs because of the bears so we could not have had this time together. The expanse, the hills and mountains, the Wildflowers... I saw my first bald eagle, a young four point buck and I spent some time, Mike was a gift for me today. I would never have done this trail and probably would have given up if I had tried it on my own. This experience was... as I drive through beautiful areas I often think thoughts such as, "wow what would it feel like to be up there on top of that smooth mountain?" Today I was there in it, on it, with it. I had no desire, need or want to express myself in anyway. I just wanted to "be" with it all. I was.
July 28, 2010
East Glacier, Montana
It is difficult to get started everyday! Usually by 4pm I get going. It takes a while but when I get going I really get going. I started out with a trip to Browning to see an auto mechanic. The Traveling Piano muffler is about to fall off and the engine is shaking so much it feels like its going to fall out. The whole truck is very fragile. No more difficult roads for my baby. The almost two thousand dollar rear pinion job I paid for back east... worthless. Blah, blah, blah... the truck has been falling apart for years. I sat and created music for forty five minutes while I waited for the guy to come back from lunch. I asked, "can you do anything about this?" He says, "I don't know." I decided to wait for it to fall off before I do anything. While I was there two grandparents with their grand daughter stopped by. "Our son played on your piano last week at looking glass we almost did not believe him." Ha, fun.
I drove up to Many Glacier in Glacier Park and found a small boat launch area. About another hour was spent creating music with nature. The ride up, the scenery was stupendous. A birthday lady came by along with several other people. On the way driving back I stopped at a set of cabins to see if any where vacant and the girl starts to giggle, "I know who you are." She was so sweet. Her friend had played on the piano a couple weeks ago. And then down the path walk Gregg and Debbie. Mind you we were in the middle of no where... "We know you from television in Denver." Ha, unbelievable... Denver, Colorado is still with me. They had just arrived in the area and were spending there first night in one of the cabins.
July 27, 2010
East Glacier, Montana
I'm fairly certain I am experiencing a little bit of depression. On my own here without Boner, I've also been appreciating friends stroking me with encouragement. Subtly, I've been taking Bo out of profile pictures etc... people notice and appreciate my moving forward and it helps. The other night when I was ceremonially throwing out Boner's liver treats into the air all around me, crying and then I realized I was in the dark and also in major bear territory. The drama ended quickly :) I also cannot forget seeing the largest shooting star of my life. It appeared, began to die, got bigger than ever and then faded. It lasted about six seconds! I clean out the back of the truck today and touched up the piano and truck with paint. It feels good to have a clean work space. It is absolutely necessary. People stopped by continuously and this kept the journey on track.
July 26, 2010
East Glacier, Montana
I woke up after twelve hours of sleep. My mission mantra saved me. With the first impulse I can grasp every morning I think, "fun, friendship, respect." Online friends have really been getting me through this period of time. For some reason about seven at night I wanted to go create music so i went to a big open field to play while the moon came up. A walk was also on the menu. Even though I was soaking in bug repellant... bugs, flies and mosquitoes bombarded me from every direction. After creating music until almost ten at night I drove back to my present digs and I sat on an upstairs porch to watch an awesome lighting storm in white and black billowing clouds. Hammer dulcimer and guitar music distracted me. It was coming from the downstairs porch. Low and behold it was my friends Barbara and Gary from Kalispell, Montana. Barb is the vet for the hostel manager's dogs even though she lives two and a half hours away! They were here to spend the night. How crazy, what a treat, what a surprise, what great music for a summer night outside on a country porch.
July 25, 2010
Looking Glass Glacier Peak, Montana
I knew my visit to Glacier Park would be the end of something significant. Now I know what those thoughts were about. I buried the ashes of my best buddy Piano Dog Boner last night. The lock came off the box, ashes out of the bag... I placed them openly back into the box and then I wrapped the box with the sweater Boner wore his whole life in cold weather and for parades, especially Christmas parades. For last night I had originally planned to toss his ashes into the air but at the last minute began to dig a hole with my hands under a huge boulder overlooking the valley and both the upper and lower Two Medicine lakes. I wanted to nourish the ground with Bo's remains and do it in the most earthly of ways. Tears of gratitude poured through my sadness and grief as I burned sage. Into the hole I placed one by one the pictures that I have been showing everyone from the Traveling Piano truck everyday. After that I placed the sweater wrapped around the box into the hole and covered the area with the most beautiful of dirt and rocks. That was followed with the burning of some sweetgrass and then silence in the moonlight. I would like to be a trooper about all this but the bottom line is that Boner is sorely missed. Good grief, God help me.
I had planned to stay on the mountain until sunrise but instead left about 12:30am. Always, I have a real problem getting up early enough to see the sunrise so I thought this would be a great opportunity. Feeling completely drained, cold, numb, finished and lost... I could not muster any feeling of waiting to enjoy the sunrise. It was what it was. Time was spent staring at the full moon which I enjoy very much, but I needed to sleep. Earlier in the day as it goes, the journey today took all priority. While packing stuff into the truck in the parking lot where I've been staying, Abby and Lauren, two girls I had met earlier in the week approached me. "Danny, you still going to come to our barbecue today?" I had promised to drive Abby while she played the piano on the back of the truck into a camping complex to surprise a bunch of high school volunteers from around the world... six miles into the country, outside of Browning, Montana. I would have postponed my plans if needed in order to followthrough.
I'm grateful to have given my life over to this journey, for the clarity of the mission, to have purpose and for it to be received so well by the world but still... I feel like I do not want to be doing it alone without a physical counterpart. I knew this from the start. I remember clearly saying to Boner when I made the original decision to begin... "I wouldn't do this without you Boner. As long as your with me we will gift the world with our partnership and what we both have to offer. With you by my side, I can do this, we'll have fun together."
July 24, 2010
East Glacier, Montana
Last night I could not sleep. This is the second time in recent weeks. It was bad. Turmoil over what... I know what... I just do my best and deal with it. I want to have a process, create a bit of ritual, say goodbye formally to life with my dog. God help me. I took a walk to the spot today where I will release his ashes tomorrow. It is the most beautiful place I have ever visited. How can such beauty exist with such grief. The Traveling Piano looked like one of those off road dirt vheicals from yesterdays ride. The motel across the street from where I am staying allowed me to hose it off. People jumped onto the Traveling Piano while I filled it with gas today.
I went to the local lodge (big place) because nine... nine... people prompted me to do so in the last twenty four hours for several different reasons but mostly to suggest they might barter a room and food without cost for services rendered as in playing the piano in the lobby. Whew boy, does that ever bring up money issues! I pushed myself to explore. I went twice, the first time I sat down and played for about thirty minutes. The piano was beautiful the space was awesome, the people really responded well. I created very simplistic music often with just single notes and let them ring out. I did not have nerve to talk with anyone so I left. Later on I went back and met one of the managers. Her name was Rachel. I was very impressed with her openness, professionalism and interest. I laid the cards out... "I do not charge money for my work, I have no income and I do not collect welfare, would the place be interested in contributing to my journey with a room and board for a week or two. She was great about it, interested and will talk the idea up for me. We both went out to the truck before I left and she jumped onto the Traveling Piano. I would certainly provide the place with more than their moneys worth, that is for sure but I am even more sure that the primary purpose of my visit there was simply to meet and connect with Rachel. This is the way it is sometimes.
July 23, 2010
East Glacier, Montana
This was an emotionally gut wrenching day of Beauty, Fun, Awe, Synchronicity, Friendship, Music, Respect. I found the spot where I will release Bo's ashes here on an Indian Reservation in East Glacier, Montana. I synchronistically met up with Beth and Emma who I met the other night at the community center and their friend Sarah who is finishing a film doctorate. We talked about places to stay in the area and then ended up taking our vehicles to Looking Glass, a major vista... so she could film me for her project. The truck drove through the roughest area to date. Never again will I try something like that. The old baby now has its limits. If the Traveling Piano truck was stronger the scenery I would have played for... would have been beyond my Wildest of Dreams. Also, a sunset we went to an open area that holds the local cemetery and once again synchronistically met up with more people from the night before. How crazy that I constantly connect with certain people. I meet many people but it is the significant one's that I keep bumping into again and again.
Everything started out with my stopping at a local restaurant because I told the waitress I would play for her when she started her shift. Met lots of people and this guy Mike, a piano man who has been playing at the local lodge stopped by. I drove him around town and three times by the front doors of his work while he created music and Emma sat in the back with him and sang "Summertime." Mike's word to describe the experience was surreal! He got that right... and also, fun. My head was reeling so much I just went back to where I am staying and crashed.
July 22, 2010
East Glacier, Montana
Surprisingly, there was not very much noise to deal with last night at the Youth Hostel where I have been staying. I took a picture of my cozy room. Its costing me about thirty eight bucks a night. It has paper thin walls and for a reason. This place used to be a cathouse. You may not know what that is? How about... brothel, bordello, whorehouse, sporting house... any of those names register? Ha, thin walls were good for business. Below my room was the dance hall and people who live around here think having a piano on the back of a truck outside the old dance hall is a really cool thing.
I went for a walk down an unfamiliar road, found a clearing of grass full of wildflowers (bear country) and went back to get the Traveling Piano. I played and recorded music for about ten minutes at the spot before a mom, dad and son found me. It was as crazy for me as it was for them... in the middle of no where. They just got into town and were having their first walk. The young guy jumped onto the truck to play and within five minutes it began to rain. After I drove back to where I'm staying eventually the sun came back out so I decided to start cleaning the truck. It needs it real bad but was not meant to be as people began once again to happen buy. A young girl played music to the flowers she has just picked, a guy who works in Mount Laurel, New Jersey back from where I originated jumped up for a second, on and on it went... and then it began to rain again.
I finally got around to doing my clothes in the laundromat next door and a beautiful girl walks up to me... "are you by any chance the Traveling Piano man?" They were having the first ever open mike night in the community hall... "would you please come and play?" I said I needed to get the clothes done, get out of my bathing suit and flip flops and then I would head on over. It was a great incentive to take a bath! I have been needing that and to also shave! We all had fun...
July 21, 2010
East Glacier, Montana
Piano dog Boner died five months ago yesterday. I wish I would forget that date! Maybe I will need to start celebrating the day in order to offset the feelings of wanting for him to be physically with me. After finishing the writing of what has happened with the Traveling Piano for over the last three and a half years, I packed up and left where I had been staying. Hopefully, I'll get to hike with Jack and see Chris my hosts again before I leave the area. I'm back staying at the local International Youth Hostel... wonder if I'll get any sleep tonight!
It was raining today so I thought everything would go slow and easy. I was going to go for a walk. That was not meant to be. As it was getting dark one of the girls working at the hostel from Lithuania decided she would get onto the piano to play some music. She was down in the dumps. After about ten minutes she was thanking me and then began to sing and play songs for me in her native tongue, songs that she wrote. Wow, what a gift and how beautiful they were. And then one after another people began to walk up. A young guy from Houston who played really good jumped up and I hope he will find me again tomorrow after his hike. It was ten thirty pm before I stopped. I was waiting for someone to throw something out the window to get us all to shut up because everyone is in bed by ten. I made a commitment for Sunday to play in Browning for a bunch of high school kids from all over the world. Sooo... guess I'll definitely be here until at least Sunday.
July 20, 2010
East Glacier, Montana
How strange this is. I have noticed two days after this date that I did not post any blog, or take pictures of anything. The day is a complete blank. It was five months ago today that Bo died. I wasn't having any major issues or problems that I am aware of. This day is a complete blank. I cannot remember anything about this day, It went missing...
July 19, 2010
This morning I was thinking about taking pictures, capturing images and moments as billowing white and black clouds developed over the mountain ridges outside. It takes a conscious effort to allow the moment and not be distracted, to not turn the visuals into a need or necessity, to allow myself to enjoy the moment for myself, in of itself. I was especially reminded the other day when a few tourists drove up to where was playing on an overlook area and frantically started taking pictures of me on the Traveling Piano truck like I was going to run away. They had to intensely capture the moment of their find. I remember saying to myself, "this is how you do not want to experience everything Danny." I must constantly remember there is plenty and more, there will always be with other opportunities of equal quality if not better... enjoy the moment in of itself and for itself! Nevertheless, the view outside my window today changed dramatically every five minutes. I had to restrain myself from constantly jumping up to capture the moment. My motive is to share with others more than capture because I know it will be a rare occasion for me to ever sit and enjoy any pictures in the future, if ever for myself. I posted today three pictures I took over a period of one half hour in the very same spot.
I spent the entire day writing. The Wildest Dream link on this website has not be updated for over three years and so... Also, a very, very unusual happening. I was sitting in the chair and heard car doors outside. Two dressed up woman, one white and the other African American (around here?) approached the door. What? Where did they come from? What? A mile from the main road through deep trenches and gullies? What? They opened the barb wire fencing and had the guts to drive into these private properties? What? Out here in the middle of no where? What? I opened the door and said to them, "Let me guess." It took about forty five seconds, "Jehovah Witness." The one woman says, "Ding, ding, ding you are correct." Hahaha... wow, they were hitting all the neighbors. It was completely funny for me to think what Dan on the next property over thought and how he reacted. I was hysterical with laughter in my head thinking of how Dana on the other side and how he drove them crazy! They validated it. They said, "He wouldn't stop talking and got kind of loud." They asked, "Dan, Dana and Danny, does everyone's name begin with a D around here? Hahaha... And then after about ten minutes... two men came to the door, their husbands. I did not know they were waiting in the car. "Time to leave." I wondered if they planned it that way just in case I was another single, older male rural property owner who does not see and talk with people often and also has a lot of repressed, passionate opinion to release like Dana. Hahaha, oh my God, it was very funny!
July 18, 2010
Chilling Black Bones, Montana
I am in awe of my constant ability to visually manifest such beauty all around me. This planet, nature to experience it... I am grateful there are people I meet everyday with "like" appreciation. I can hear coyotes outside howling as I write this. I talked on the phone with a guy named John about yesterday's disappointment. He is also my possible liaison to get me connected over in Asia. Everything is very tentative but either way as of today I am moving forward in that direction. Many Glacier (that its name) here in this area has been on my agenda so I decided to at least drive there because it was too late in the day to hike any of it on foot. I never made it.
I saw a beautiful spot that looked like it had some cabins. The guy managing the place was very even keeled and approachable. I was inquiring if there were cabins where I could stay. There were not. I played some music and then a truck load of guys came up. A guy about fifty years old was salivating when he saw the piano on the truck. After a short time he was like, "screw what my other bros think" and he jumped out of his truck and into the Traveling Piano to play. He was a strong piano player who knew different bits and pieces of songs. This was a campground park lake area belonging to the Blackfoot Indians. Everyone there was three quarter if not one hundred percent Blackfoot Indian. I have been staying on Blackfoot Indian nation's land. The guys buddies left him behind so I drove him all around the grounds while he played piano on the back of the truck... all kinds of music. Then he began to sing while he played. At one point he yelled out, I creating this one in the moment! After a while, I took him to the boat dock to drop him off before his buddies took off. Wow, was that fun!
At the boat dock people felt very friendly and interested in playing on the piano so I stuck around. Everyone was getting there turns. Amazingly enough, there was a young girl who played on the piano yesterday with her family on a lookout area about seventy five miles away. As always, small world. The group I was with were all related families, mom's, dad's, son's, daughter's, nieces, brother's, cousin's etc... The head guy after a while offered a ride in his boat to see the mountain chef with his head dress on. The weather was getting very bad but weather does not bother these people. They are not hysterically affected and do not get freaked out about the weather as some people do from watching too much television news or listening to weather reports. I went with the flow and we took to the water on lower lake Saint Mary. Twenty year old Dandy drove the boat along with his unofficial wife. This was a real treat. I couldn't get a great picture of the mountain but it sure did look like an Indian chef with his head dress on. The subject of horses came up again. Did you know they were used as one of the first weapon's of mass destruction? The spaniards brought them to America and they helped slaughter the Indians who had nothing to ride. The indians called them Elk Dog.
After the boating I was invited to the families barbecue. Dandy asked me as we were going, "can you handle a bunch of Indians getting wild?" I went with the flow. How great, how grateful! They had the coolest used RV from the 70's that sounded like a motorcycle when it ran and really backfired when trying to tow the boat. It gave me a big laugh. We all hung out inside of it when a rain shower passed. The guys played horse shoes. We took pictures and created music, sat and shot the bull, ate steak, hotdogs, cheeseburgers, macaroni salad, barbecue potato chips, banana pickle chips, soda, etc... When we left I gave them my very last Raggin' Piano Boogie cassette tape and a poster and they gave me a long stem of woven indian sweet grass to burn and smudge on myself with whenever I need to feel safe. For experiences like today, I live life.
July 17, 2010
Looking Glass, Montana
Today was a mix of fun and disappointment. Dealing with humans can be disappointing at times. Ha, I'll bet I won't get much argument on that statement. I went and purchased a couple hundred bucks worth of food yesterday for this place I was given for a month. I had planned to eat healthy, cook etc... and the agreement fell through because I can deal with only so much uncertainty when it has to do with other people. Now I'll have to give away most of the food because it is perishable and needs refrigeration. The plan was to freeze a lot of it. I traveled to East Glacier to use the internet and search for another place to stay even if in a motel. I was ready to leave and this woman across the street kept staring at me with a great big smile. That did me in. They were a group of students visiting the area. We had some Traveling Piano fun and my day got on track except for the fact that I forgot to take my computer when I left. When I realized it, I stayed present in faith and with good energy... returned, and it was there. I had felt really good about the agreement for where I was to stay and was looking forward to caring for it. Apprehension, concern, control, lack of trust and faith robbed me of my ability to give to the situation but I refused to let it steal my day.
On the way back to where I am staying I thought "living the journey is the only answer to keep my life on course with a positive nature." I stopped by the side of the road at one of my favorite lookout areas (they are all my favorite) to create music and record. It was oh so beautiful! People began to stop even though it was in a very small area and at the edge of a cliff. People in the first car just sat stunned. I asked, "How does this experience rate with a bear sighting"? They laughed. After they left it was a constant series of car stoppings. Surprisingly and gratefully I met mostly locals from Browning where the population is made up of mostly Blackfoot Indians. I had pretty much given up hope of connecting with the community. Seeing as today is saturday many families and joyriding kids were out to enjoy the scenery. What a beautiful day . I experienced from the community a wide variety of people... very polished to as rough as it gets. Two out of three carloads offered me a beer! I was reminded once again how there is at least a little bit of everything, everywhere. We did... all have fun and I got to create some very satisfying music. Talk about everything... today included rabbit, squirrel, bear, cow, dog, cat, horse, gazelle, tons of mosquitoes, flies, bees and bird sightings of all kinds. There were more animals that I cannot remember off the top of my head.
July 16, 2010
I drove to Kalispel to get some supplies today and to also meet with some friends to celebrate the life that I am now living. Twenty eight years ago today I began to live my life one day at a time. It took the Traveling Piano truck two and a half hours to drive each way. I visited my friend Sarah and we went to the store together to purchase some food. I have been living on powdered drinks and trail mix. I needed some fruit and vegetables... and more trail mix! After I leave where I am presently staying I plan to enter an abandoned campground complex that is huge. The building has a nice bed with many rooms, linens, refrigerator, stove but no water. That means I'll need to poop in the woods. I went to a sporting store to see what I could find and the guy suggested that I do what he does, find two big logs and situate them so I can sit comfortably and squat. Sarah suggested I dig a hole first. Just like the bears do... in the woods... but I don't think they dig holes, hahaha... so this is what the journey has come to? Speaking of bears... I stopped at a bend in the road to find a young cinnamon bear standing in front of the truck. We stared at each other for about thirty seconds, I was figuring out what he was because I never saw such a cute animal like this before. As I reached for my camera, he reached for the woods.
There were several times I could have done the Traveling Piano work today but I just could not get it together. My world presently is swirling. I drove as fast as I could to get back because of the dark. By the time I was about fifteen miles away I could not see out the windshield because of all the bugs squished on it. Trying to windshield wash would have only created a smear. There was little light from my headlights. I found a closed gas station and several other vehicles looking for a solution for the same problem. A couple ahead of me found the windshield squeegees. They were from Alberta, Canada. When I told them what I do with music, they invited me to come stay with them for a few days like it was the most natural thing to do. These were the second strangers I met randomly at a gas station who invited me into their home. Its not like I look needy or anything... ha. There are just a lot of good natured people in this world as everyone who reads this blog can witness. With a tentative plan now developing to get over to Asia with the Traveling Piano... today I am posting three visualizations I used for this blog three years ago... almost to the day.
July 15, 2010
Squashim Flatts, Montana
Thought it would be cool to meander in the warm sun naked through a prairie of wildflowers to pick a bouquet for my friend Judy... flies, mosquitoes and bees said, "only if we can devour you!" Judy said, "you probably blinded all the planes flying around. Ha, I get on the internet for a few minutes a day so I've been writing and then posting real fast not even knowing what I said! Looks like I will be missing Alaska for now opting to stay in Glacier Park to "get my fill". The China, Napal, Tibet dream for the Traveling Piano has been manifesting. More details on that later. As it stands I will be leaving to go there in Mid-September. Wow! I did what I came here to do at sunset tonight for the first time. I was completely alone in a field with nature creating and recording music on the piano.
July 14, 2010
Squashim Flatts, Montana
Music has taken a second over nature today. I began a walk through the fields, met Dana, another neighbor... we walked and talked for hours. At night Dan another neighbor had me over for dinner. In his sixties, Dan raises horses, paints signs and makes bronze sculpture. He cooked swedish meatballs, string beans and noodles and for dessert made chocolate chip cookies. Learning about the land, the wild west way of gaining, gifting, trading, selling and stealing land over the years... wow. Mostly single guys living here and to hear their stories, why they area here, how they live... great it is. Right now I am sitting looking out at a grey twilight sky with a crescent moon over a black silhouette of mountain ranges. Before the sun set Dan's daughter and her boyfriend jumped onto the piano for a minute.
July 13, 2010
Ok, I'm feeling very grateful. Really, I have been given a house to use all by myself for a week,,, with an amazing 360 vast degree view of mountains an hills, no trees. I have a fire going right now in the wood burning stove. To walk through the fields outside is like walking through miles of flower garden. There is a horseshoe stream outside the door. The winds are blowing sixty miles an hour. About twenty horses are grazing in the fields. The Rocky mountains, Glacier Park is in the distance. The view changes by the hour with the sun and clouds. Right now it is dusk and it looks like it is snowing over the mountians. I am sharing the house with a cat. I decided that I am going to let go of my cat allergy.
I met another neighbor today named Dana. This really is a small/big place, I know so many people already and the politics, business and relationships. Coincidentally I am staying on the property next to where I stayed a week ago. Ha, all the loyalties, troubles, friendships... Judy who owns the Sears Motel & Gift Shop where I have been staying in for the last few days... she contributed the costs of my room for the last two nights towards the journey. I really needed that show of support. We hugged. This life experience of being gifted with the house I am staying in is really a dream come true. My job is to enjoy the present moment and not think about a week from now. I've been picture archiving. Too windy to play the piano today.
July 12, 2010
This is a complaining entry so be forewarned, maybe just move on. The lack of internet service, the need to do work arounds to access it, practically no cell service... this is very frustrating. The bug I have had for weeks, my nose hurts from blowing snot out of it. Lack of being able to have a routine, showering, brushing my teeth daily, etc... water from bottles... cold nights sleeping with a ski cap on... paying for motel rooms, winds today and tomorrow higher than 50 degrees, temperatures in the forties overnight, no physical contact or cuddling... piano dog Boner was there for those needs but no more... people making offers and not following through, disappointment from turned downed requests, lack of fresh fruit and veggies to eat or way too over priced to justify purchasing crappy fruit... I want to keep focus, keep the gratitude, see the reality that I am getting exactly what I want, I am manifesting my Wildest of Dreams... When I get back on here I'll have a gratitude list, maybe.
July 11, 2010
Not sure what to do today. Feeling weak but always... once I am inspired with the Traveling Piano... I get going full steam. I woke up, switched rooms where I am staying and then went back to sleep. By evening it felt as though I should create some music so I pulled the truck out to the street before it got dark and before more rain came. Ha, I played for about three minutes and then people came, two different full crews and then the fun started. I let them all lose on the piano while running across the street to the balcony to get some pictures.
I was going to go back to the pow wow tonight but have been turned off to the idea of festival fun in this area. Last night, I had to deal with drunk partying outside my room. A bunch of kids drunk, hit by a truck on the street, ear dangling, I'll spare you the rest but what pissed me off was two of the drunk kids drove off with the truck, I told the cops and they were not interested enough to do anything. Today on the street the cops stopped another drunk filled truck... I watched in front of me the kids take the beer out of the truck and take it back to their cabin, I watched the tow truck arrive, I watched money be passed between everyone and that was that and everyone left the scene. I wanted to ask the cop who much the bribe was worth but thought better. I remember how crazy the driving was last night at the festival and it was bad enough that its not worth my taking any chance of having the Traveling Piano truck destroyed by a crazy driver. This Indian reservation instated a law for the four days of their festival, no alcohol sold, drank, or purchased... hahaha.
July 10, 2010
It was not until 2pm that I woke up. My energy level is way low. This bug I have had... ugh. I took it easy all day and towards dusk I went to the nations largest pow wow Indian dance competition on the Black Feet Indian Reservation in Browning, Montana. A guy named Gary drove who is coincidentally a schoolteacher at northeast high school in Philly where I came from. Amhet from Turkey who is working the summer at the local hostel joined us. We got to the pow wow and it was 50/50 campers and teepees, tons of concession stands, and an area for Indian dancing where I headed because it looked like really bad rain was coming. There was a tin covering over some of the seating area. I saw about three minutes of dancing and the storm began. No rain, it was a major hailstorm like I have never seen. I was screaming at the top of my lungs to see if I could hear myself and I could not. As the hail hit the tin covering, dents were being made in it. After it was over I realized how providential it was that I did not drive the Traveling Piano truck to the event. It was probably the first time I ever went anywhere without the truck. Fifty percent of the parked vehicles had cracked windshields. My windshield would have probably caved in as I already have had a crack in it.
July 9, 2010
Glacier Park County, Montana
I left the hostel today as rooms are already booked for the next week and I could not go to the next level of sharing a bunk room. Yet, I cannot justify a hundred bucks a night for a falling apart room the size of a bed when my funds are dropping. The chef in the restaurant next door offered me one of the unused cabins on her property. It was a half hour south from where I want to be, but had internet access... a wonderful gesture. I'm still a bit sick and I'm very tired but feel loved from all the Facebook friend birthday acknowledgments I received today, round two hundred. Wish all that communication could all be done through this website. Facebook has not been dependable. They keep blocking my account every time I move to a new location or do something on my account that is unusual from the typical user.
I drove to the cabin I was offered but it was just not meant to be. Drove back to town and a last minute room became available in the cabins across from the hostel. Judy the owner gave me a deal as she wanted it rented. So here I am. Its very warm but that will help me sleep. There's a bathroom next to the bed, little things like this now mean allot. The space is my total private space paid for. There is a huge difference in the feeling a private space belonging to someone else verses private space in a hotel room that I have paid for.
After having some music with all the crew from the businesses around where I was staying I hooked up with new friends Jack and Chris to go on a hike. We took a boat across Two Medicine lake, hiked up to Twin Falls and then to a higher lake. The beauty was beyond words. I stopped to take a picture of a bear looking around in the grass about twenty feet away from me. At night Judy, the owner of the Motel where I am staying needed someone to go pick up people from the nearby train station so I did that for her. This was a lot of fun standing with the sign for the guests to find me. Ha a new job!
July 8, 2010
Glacier Park, Montana
The socially friendly aspects of staying in a hostel are really enjoyable. There are a few other not so enjoyable aspects. My room has paper thin walls. Whomever is in bed next door to me hears my coughing all night and I hear their snoring and farts even with ear plugs. Early this morning I heard a bit more. A grown woman was having Skype sex with her fiance. It was her first time using Skype so she was doubly excited. She was almost at screaming level, "should I talk louder" she says to her fiance on the other end without his clothes on... I yelled through the wall, "NO!" Then she tried to whisper but then lost self control once again.
I drove through Glacier Park once again. This time, I took more time stopping and sitting in different spots. What beauty to behold, it was just awesome. On the way up the pass I had to stop and wait for construction work. Of course I jumped onto the piano while waiting and then so did everyone else who had been waiting in their cars. It was all perfect and exciting. I went to meet a guy named John about a place to stay. He had just got back from work and I played some music while he got settled. I was parked in a soft, lush and quiet forested area of the park. A young Chinese girl was standing inside a cabin at a window next to the truck. She had the most amazing child like smile I have ever seen. She was experiencing extreme joy while watching and hearing me create music. I waved for her to come outside and she did. And then she jumped up onto the piano to create her own music for the first time. It was an ultimately joyful experience for both of us.
Buddha has been calling for me. A series of unrelated events led me to this guy John that I visited. Turns out John is a Buddhist with direct ties to the Dalai Lama. Someday, I may go into deeper detail about this but the bottom line for now is... this journeys dream to take the Traveling Piano to China... well, as a result of my visit with John, I was offered the opportunity to go and study meditation with the Tibetans in Nepal for three months and then spend three more months more getting a truck and piano to create a Traveling Piano over there in Nepal and Tibet and then journey onward into China. I would be housed and fed for six months. Today is my birthday. Some birthday present eh? I decided to give myself a little time before I jump into this offer. I gave myself an hour. We shall see what comes to pass!
July 7, 2010
Two Medicine Lake, Montana
Feeling a little better I headed out for Two Medicine Lake in Glacier Park, Montana. The park ranger and concession owner let me play by the lake and I was left alone for over an hour. It was heaven playing to the mountains. As I was about to leave people began to come over. I think there were all letting me alone but were wanting, waiting and hoping. A young boy named Ronnie with his family walked up. "Can I play on your piano?" He had just arrived in America today from Jerusalem, Israel. He played wonderfully.
Traveling Piano and Ronnie from Jerusalem Israel
This hostel I have been staying in... I cooked my dinner in the kitchen and then sat in the corner and watching six Koreans, a mom and son from Michigan, and a guy from New York City cook major dinners for themselves in one small kitchen with three pots... while I ate. Can we talk chaos? Another thing I did today was find a huge waterfall. I walked through a grove of thimbleberry to get to it and once there I sat still and enjoyed it for a good fifteen minutes... in silence, no people just me.
July 6, 2010
East Glacier, Montana
Oh ma' God, I am soooo... sick! A flu or something, can't get it together to even find the next place to stay (: Anyway... being sick did not stop me from the journey because someone asked me to play on the Traveling Piano truck outside on the street where I am staying. It helped take my mind off how horrible I am feeling. Lovers, friends, families a Lithuanian employee of the hostel where I am staying, they all got up onto the truck to play some piano. The lady in the shop across the street started directing people over my way to get a free piano lesson. Ha... I lasted about two hours with it all and enjoyed every minute. I have a room here until Friday and then I don't know what I am going to do because I have not seen enough of the park yet. Looks like Alaska is fading from the picture because it is getting too late in the season to travel up there. All the rooms are booked around here for an Indian dance festival this weekend. its a big thing.
July 5, 2010
East Glacier, Montana
If the Traveling Piano is to stay alive it will need help, everyone's help. I entered a video audition for a television show with Oprah Winfrey's OWN television network. It is a voting contest where the voting is not everything in the decision making process. My video was entered at the end of the contest. I have had limited ability to let people know to vote. I am traveling on the road working with the Traveling Piano and in rural areas with little or no phone or Internet access.
OWN television might be interested in the Traveling Piano for this particular contest and if not... I would like to create interest for another network slot. This has been a wonderful platform to put the idea out into the world for everyone who might be interested. There will be many shows on the OWN network.
Several people have made comments on the video audition link page. I think for producers... one positive comment has more worth more than a thousand votes. Even though voting has ended I have found that comments can still be entered and viewed on the link. This is an opportunity to build a great resume for the Traveling Piano that can be viewed around the world. Would you please click on the video link Traveling Piano Show ...then click on the "Join" link at the top right hand corner of the page (you will need to enter some information so they know you are real)
Join the site and then enter a simple comment like... "This is a great idea" or "I'd watch a show like this" or even better... if you have seen or have had a personal Traveling Piano encounter, tell your experience of it and how great or mind altering it was for you. Your support cannot be underestimated. Please help.
I am staying in a youth Hostel for the first time in my life. It is very interesting and crowded! On the way out of Squawshim Flatts I stopped by a guy named Dan's house to take a few pictures of his bronze sculptures. I drove into East Glacier and even though I am as sick as a dog I played some music on the street... drove a few folk around town while they musically tinkered on the back of the truck. I guy named Amand visitng from Turkey had a fun time creating music. He is a flute player and this was his first opportunity to create music on a piano. It is 10PM as I write this blog. Everyone is in bed! Ye Gads... I know they are all going to be up running around, talking and making noise at 5AM in the morning. HELP!
July 4, 2010
I tried not to play today, really. I wanted to take it easy and recover a bit. Went to a local music festival, there were more performers than audience. Hooked up with Zac and Cheryl a tuba and accordion duo. They are named the Itinerant Locals and are on tour from Washington state with their children Eureka and Zephyr in tow. It was raining and we jumped on the Traveling Piano for like sixty seconds between rain showers. Treated myself to some chicken soup, huckleberry cobbler and a sandwich, got online and uploaded the last few days of blog and now heading back with an hour truck ride. I need to get back into bed. Surprisingly reminiscent, today I missed my two favorite Fourth of July community parades that Piano Dog Boner and I always looked forward to appearing in... we grew up with those communities for fifteen years in the days when I performed professionally back east.
July 3, 2010
St. Mary, Montana
I always wondered what I would do if I got really sick on the road and now I know. I just keeping on going... Part of me says "stop" a stronger part says "live it for all its worth because you love it so much." In not knowing how much longer I will be here in Montana or what will happen... I wanted to make sure I took care of all the commitments that I took on to visit people. First I stopped at a neighbors place in the fields. Ha, thats right, no road or driveway I just drove through the field past the horses and around the stream to get to their house. What great people! Total kindred and progressive spirits. Hopefully I will go on a hike with them when I feel better.
Looking to find some internet or cell phone access I drove to St. Mary. What a tourist trap! Everything obviously controlled through a very few very large private businesses. They would share internet if I buy a room for the night, a small room with no windows that had a prison cell like door. The room, $265.00 a night. Hahaha... What a dump. At the local cafe a piece of pie $4.70 and if I wanted to use the internet $12.00 additional an hour. No internet for today. Locking down internet usage serves no purpose whatsoever for the purchaser except to make money for the provider... usually. Some people can be very greedy! This place does not have a good reputation from anyone, you would think they would know that and care. Did I give these people my business... not. Would I have... for sharing something that would have cost them nothing? Yes! While in town I stopped to play a song for a waitress at the request of her dad. I ran into more friends form Kalispell. It has certainly been an unusual experience the synchronistic connections I have made from the Kalispell from the group I stayed with. I met a young guy who played the piano and I drove him up and down the street as he played. I met a family on a musical tour. The parents were an accordion and tuba duo.
While I drove north I found continued natural wonder. Another stop was made at a cabin rental place. The guy I was to meet went out partying so I had some Traveling Piano fun with his daughter and two other friends. Good thing I have pictures I would not remember all these happenings. By the time I got back to where I'm staying... dead energy, I was exausted! It has been frustrating not having communication at my fingertips. The responsibility and commitment I have created for myself with the online communities... the accountability is very important for me. I suppose you could say it all is my audience, the vehicle to know that someone cares outside of the immediate moment. Do I need that? Do I want that? Why? More thinking is necessary here. For this time in life... it is all about balance. The Oprah online video audition to be my OWN television host show contest is over today and my priorities did not lend to spending time online connecting with friends to ask for a vote of confidence on Oprah's site. Ha! More on that later...
July 2, 2010
Glacier Park, Montana
The day started out with me up at seven in the morning! (a rarity)... sick, in a camper with no heat that has a door that won't shut, with a cup of coffee watching a beautiful rainstorm with wind rocking the camper, my winter coat on, wearing my ski cap, thinking I'll never get out onto the road through the mud, alone with no means of communication of any type... Ha, oh the drama! My host James had offered me a heater but I've been afraid the dry air would kill me also, he is next door if I need anything.
Drove over two hours back to Kalispell to get the computer worked on. It turned out to be the router I had been trying to connect with. I could have tried the computer at an internet cafe thirty minutes from where I am staying and saved the trip but I guess I was supposed to drive to Kalispell. Because I was so stupid? My head is not thinking too clearly with the flue bug I've got. Met a guy who lost his dog and wrote a book about it. He gave me a copy. Picked up some bear spray and a backpack. I saw my first bear today. It was medium size and about twenty feet from me and searching around while I was taking a picture of the landscape. The bear issue is no small matter. I saw the gouges up and down a guys leg that had been attacked two years ago. There are a lot of bears here. I captured a great picture of a small fox by the road. Some beautiful horses came onto the road to eat the grass at the edge. They were not afraid of the truck at all. I had to almost drive off the road to get around them. I did it real slowly because this is their territory and I didn't want them to kick the truck!
In Kalispell, I randomly ran into people I met last week. One lady had found my reading glasses, I had lost them last week. What synchronisity to meet and in the moment and get them. I stopped to see Sarah who I had stayed with and met her newest visitor. A guy from Canada. We had a time of it on the Traveling Piano. I took the long route back to where I am staying with constantly changing weather from rain, to clouds, to sun... through Logans Pass the swirling clouds against the mountain tops were amazing. The scenery could not be matched. Everything becomes more green and lush daily, less snow... the imagery shifts according to the time of day. New waterfalls were sighted while old ones dissapeared. The landscape is the foundation here, the sky... sun, clouds, moon and weather dictates the ever changing splendorous views. This was the first time I drove the Road to the Sun by myself and in of itself this is was different experience. I did the whole Glacier loop again, several hundred miles.
Some guy phoned me last week to entice me to come and play by his lake and so I stopped while traveling to meet him. It was at a resort where I felt like he was thinking I wanted to entertain and perform so much that I'd do it as a freebie. After I declined his offer to play entertain/perform by his outdoor stage he suggested I back the truck up to the water and play for the people along the lake (while I looked at the driveway and trees) ...not. Conveying the concept of simply creating music for... and with people... the desire to interact one-on-one personally with no other agenda than fun, friendship and respect can be difficult. Sometimes it is not easy task to present myself as simply respectable guy who offers musical possibilities with a piano on the back of his truck while traveling throughout the world. Hahaha... and not come off as a professional or starving or a hobby musician! The guy went inside to do some business while I had some fun with a few kids before I took off.
July 1, 2010
Squashim Flatts, Montana
I have a cold or flu or something, what a drag. Gotta keep going but this kind of thing lends itself to insecurity and confusion. I woke up as the sun was rising and stepped out of my camper to pee just as two large moose were walking by about fifty feet away from me. It was freezing, I was sick, I could barley see and all I could think was, "where's the friggin' camera." By the time I got it, they were gone. My computers airport card went bad. That translates into no ability to communicate online. Thats a pain in the ass but the real pain in the ass is the fact that I need to get it fixed. I left the property to deal with it and on the way out I came across some neighbors. Dan and Baily have lived here forever. Baily is a member of the Blackfoot Indian tribe. I played some Boogie for them. They tried out the piano and then another neighbor passed by. It was real crazy and spontaneous our all running into each other at the same time. I learn every day more and more how you cannot judge a book buy its cover. Turns out this guy Dan Rinehart sculptures bronze... and is a world class artist. He said he has zero money because of not have any marketing savvy. He probably doesn't want to have any. I understand that.
I went inside his place to check out a few pieces and when I returned to the truck I found that his friend Baily had left some sage and mint on my truck dashboard. Gestures like this go a long way. I spent most of the day after that at a nearby bread and breakfast troubleshooting on the phone with the computer company. No good. On returning to James place I played for people working on his house. One guy I had met yesterday made it clear he did not want his picture taken. I had no problem with that and also no desire to take his picture. He thought I had... and became quite nasty and belligerent. He left the property completely disrespecting me in front of everyone there. Nothing can intimidate me more than a situation like this but I held my own, well. There was nothing I could do. The situation set all relating on the property into a tail spin of uncomfortability. I got blamed even after proving I did not take the picture. Damm, a day of both good and bad stuff. On days like today I really miss my dog! Guess I'll just need to focus on all the great people that I interacted with.