HIS SPIRIT LIVES ON! ... BONER, THE PIANO DOG ... November 27, 1994 ... February 20, 2010
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December 31, 2011
Everett, Washington State
Yesterday I tweeted, Was thinking... as I get older wow, life is moving faster and faster... and that I enjoy a good fast pace. And today... I kept the pace slow. Mo and I spent some time at the city port. As well as cleaning the Traveling Piano a bit, recording some music and hosting some visitors to create music on the piano... we took a walk around the docks. It is really a beautifula place at sunset. This New Years Eve was spent connecting with friends via email quietly with Mo by my side. I'm content. Need to revamp this website for a new year. Hahaha, I'll need good luck with that!
December 30, 2011
Harbor View, Washington State
The morning (for me it was) but it was really early afternoon, brought hail. It looked like there was not going to be any piano playing so I headed out for a hot yoga class. As soon as I began to drive the sun came out. I immediately headed to a lookout area I had spotted last week. The usual happened and I was glad to be able to take the Traveling Piano out one more time before the New Year. I've been working on letting holidays go. I certainly don't need the excitement. I worked many a year in crowds tens of thousands on New Years Eve and had my own center of attention in all the hoopla. Loved it, had it, did it, done it, may do it again or not... but have no need for it. On Christmas... I experience love and peace and presents almost every day of the year. The people I met today seemed a little more synchronistic in meaning. One guy, just think about this... in cyberspace on the internet I recently began uploading tons of Traveling Piano pictures to the picture site Flicker for backup purposes. In all the world there have been three or four people in cyberspace who have connected with me as a result.
One of those people found me here in Everett today. His name AJ, he lives here. We meet and he says, "I was driving down the road and saw you, I couldn't believe it... "there's the guy from Flicker." Hahaha... what are the chances of that? There is no denying the randomness of my life. I really enjoy it and that is why it continually happens. No question about it. The question is how to manifest bigger and more enjoyable randomness. As far as purpose, thats too deep for me to think about even though I try from time to time. The experience reminded me of St John's Newfoundland a couple of years ago. I was driving into a rural cove by the sea at the most eastern tip of the Northern hemisphere and as I parked to create some music a young guy comes racing up to me on his bicycle. "Oh my God I was sitting on the porch step of my house and you road by, I've been following your blog every day for the last eight months!" Mark, the guy from Kozak Auto Drywash came through with his offer to send me a few cleaning cloths at no charge. I really, really appreciate his offering to contribute to the journey. Our connection was a bit of randomness from a few days ago!
December 29, 2011
In a Garage, Washington State
It is wet and dark outside. Good! I'm happy to sit and do work. I've been listening to online Chinese language lessons, creating music out in the garage where the Traveling Piano is stored and saying hello to thousands of online friends one-on-one. Four thousand five hundred to be exact. That is my goal. Why? Because I want to relate. I got a picture of Mo and I in the garage and then I took Mo for a good run. When I leave it will be to head south. To think that this journey is about to begin its seventh year is mind boggling. To think that I have been playing the piano full time for my life's work on the back of a pickup truck... entering the twenty seventh year... is that friggin' amazing or what??? No wonder I let someone paint my toes!
December 28, 2011
With Painted Toes In, Washington State
After todays post I don't think for a while I'll be telling anyone I don't know, potential hosts or people who might be a helpful in an influencial way to check out the daily blog and find out what I am about. :) Do you know those stories about going out partying all night and then waking up the next morning to find... well, I knew what I was going to find when I woke up... but I had not thought throughly the consequences of my actions. I was out with friends and this wife's husband had his fingernails painted. I don't know wether it was to bond or what but I let some lady paint my toenails. It felt and still does feel a little icky. I'm waiting to feel liberated! So today I went to a hot yoga class and realized there was no way I could wear socks. Bare feet with painted multi colored toe nails ahh... to feel manly, mainstream and cool... not. Before the class I had some time and as soon as I found a spot to create music it began to rain for the rest of the day so onward to the movies... I saw Hugo. The movie was fun, the fourteen dollar ticket price was not. Later at night I recorded music in the garage where the Traveling Piano has been safely sleeping at night. There are almost 2,200 pieces of my musical improvisations posted on this website. Most of it sounds the same and would be considered imperfect, it is all... just exactly as it was meant to be.
December 27, 2011
In My Head, Washington State
There was actually a good dry spell from rain for a week. That is over. I am in a quandary as what to do. Being in a quandary can really make my spirits drop but people always keep them up with emails saying that I am a joy-bringer, an ambassador of fun, they love my music, the sight of finding the Traveling Piano is a most impressive and beautiful image, sharing such amazing good energy and bringing people together on a platform everyone can enjoy on and on... how can I not keep going with all that validation! Everyone wants to know they are worthy in being eh?
So... I want to move on. The Seattle area seems like a good area to get on a ship or plane and into another country. How practical is that with a truck now 26 years old and always breaking down? The present truck is part of the journey I must play it out to the end with the same truck. How do I keep traveling, taking the truck out to share then blog it all and do the pictures while finding a way to get to a place that I do not know where... while keeping both my and Mo's health together with exercise and rest and if the place I go to is foreign... add find the support needed to make sure I can get around and return or stay wherever forever.
Should we just drive down south into warmer weather? I am afraid to leave Washington state because I may never come back to this area and I really like it a lot, I'm not done working here. Staying with people in their homes, I've been doing it for a long time... maybe I should rent a place of my own for a while. Where would that be and then that chunk of money spent to rent takes away from opportunities for longevity and expenses to travel to another country. Should I settle down to begin making money again? In what way? How do I find the time to look for a place to live for awhile. Where should I settle for awhile if that is meant to be? Ha, this journey is about living in the moment but there is an awful lot of analyzing and practical thinking going on in those moments. Help! I wish someone would offer us a place to stay, not a place to look into I don't need suggestions... a place to stay for a couple of months... anywhere in the west side of the country. That would alleviate a lot of quandary-ing. But then again staying with different people can be fun, oh God I am worn out of staying with people, ha... double haha... triple hahaha!!!
December 26, 2011
King County, Washington State
This morning I was online looking for the polishing clothes I was searching for while driving around the other day. I knew I had seen them in an auto retail chain store somewhere down the road. They are packaged in a plastic bag with a picture of a camel on the front. I made a purchased several years ago and they lasted through a lot of dirt and mud. Keeping the truck as clean as possible is a constant battle and priority and these cloths are the best solution. They clean fast and have been on my mind for weeks. The truck looks polished without a wash or waxing. After remembering the name Kozak Auto DryWash I found the website and there was a phone number to call to find out where I can make a purchase. The number just went to a tone and disconnected. I gave up for the day. A short while later the owner of the company called me and left a message on my answering machine. He had recently purcahsed the company (which I found out is based back east close to where I used to live) and his employees were off for the holidays. He did not want to lose a customer. I started to talk to him about the journey and as a result he's sending me three cloths free of charge. He asked me to pass the money I would have paid onto someone I may meet on the road who needs it. Pretty interesting I say. The rest of the day was spent searching through photos looking for a decent photo of me, the truck and Mo to use for a flyer to give to people when we meet. I was thinking how I wish I knew someone who is familiar with Photoshop software to help me create something. I went to hook up with friends later in the day and we played a game of Doodle Dice. One of the players is a terrific artist who knows photoshop really well. He's going to help me tomorrow!
December 25, 2011
Lake Hills, Washington State
My old house... I looked through some pictures today. I'm glad I have photos of my old Christmas decorations and... the feeling is the same as with Piano Dog Bo... when I see the past and revisit there must be a consious decision to enjoy the memories and be thankful that I was able to make the most of what there was to appreciate, have stewardship of and own for my life. I loved my "stuff." Mo and I spent dinner today with my host Sharon and her friends Jack, Ray and Ginger. Originally everyone was going to contribute for the dinner. Sharon would not make a suggestion for me so I contributed the whole dinner and prepared it from all the goodies I purchased the other day. We had a major banquet. Sharing what I had was the way to go and was less difficult then deciding what to bring into a situation I was unfamiliar with. Both Mo and I very much enjoyed everyone's company.
December 24, 2011
Seattle, Washington State
First thing this morning... hot yoga class! Funny I think. I've been breaking the exercise down to bear minimum exactly like I do with music for myself and with others. If I just go to the class and stay in it for the ninety minutes... if I don't leave and only attend... I have had a successful class. Today I was reminded about attitude. I can sit there for ninety minutes thinking about how hot it is, how much I'm sweating, things I need to do, how I have no energy or strength, am getting old, how I am tolerating, straining, trying, in agony oh, I could go on but... today I thought about enjoying what I was doing, that I care about myself and appreciate the most simplest of gifts... a breath of air. Afterwards I stopped at an auto store to get a cleaning cloth. Some guy walks up and says, "How was the drive from Pennsylvania?" He had seen the Traveling Piano truck in town a week ago and noticed the license plate. A conversation began, people appeared, I threw on Mo's reindeer antlers, people hopped onto the truck... the Santa Hat went on... Merry Christmas!
One of the guys who jumped on the truck was so appreciative he asked me to wait until he came back out of the store. I thought he wanted to get some change to give me a few bucks. He came back out and put his hand into mine saying Merry Christmas! He left a hand full of pot in my hand! Ha, I knew it was really good stuff because all pot is really good to me! Problem is I stopped using it almost thirty years ago because it was too good for me... in all the bad ways! The Christmas song, 'My Favorite Things" came to mind. His intentions were super special on my behalf but now I was driving down the street saying to myself, "You can't just throw away a special gift... who can I give it to?" At the same time I noticed the sunset and happened to be at a park overlook so I pulled off to create music with a sky of blue, light grays and deep yellows. Two cars randomly pulled up on each side of me. The drivers coincidentally knew each other.
One of the guys had not smoked pot for the last twenty three years, the other for the last fifteen. How amazing was this? How did these people uniquely and this information transpire so immediately into my life? The one guy left with his wife. I told the second guy what had just happened ten minutes before we met. He says, "What are you crazy, get rid of it, dump it now, don't take any chances legal or otherwise!" I dumped it immediately. It was like circumstance presented itself, possible trouble for my life (I do not exaggerate) and two angels appeared. The trouble was knocked out of my life's possibility. Decisions, choices, grace... comes to mind. Validation, security and good spirit too! Back at where I am staying the night will be spent listening to Christmas music and sending email greetings to hundreds of friends I have not had a chance to connect with all year.
December 23, 2011
Seattle, Washington State
The day started out in an emotionally tumultuous way. Gratefully, I was able to get a grip. Into Seattle Mo and I drove to shop for goodies, treats for myself, food treats from Pikes Place Market. Many years back I created a tradition for myself. At the last minute I would go out and purchase everything that would make my annual Christmas parity amazing, or some years it would be presents for everyone I knew, and then some years just lots of special foods for myself. The tradition is all about fun, quality, extravagance and most of all abandonment concerning limits or cost. If I saw something I liked or someone else would like, I got it. That is what happened today. Two full shopping bags worth of cheese, crackers, olives, candy apples, chocolate, pastries, wild salmon, flavored popcorn... man, I had fun... for me!
Mo waited in the truck. The most perfect parking spot was found twice! Only an hour was allowed in the first spot that was literally a few feet from all the shops. The second spot was on the end of a street at the curb... right on the outside of all the hustle and bustle. The day was full of joy with people on the Traveling Piano as well as off. While walking through stores and dealing with the crowds I remembered to breath and take my time, enjoy the holiday spirit and everyone I met. Every purchase came with some sort of fun conversational exchange, a smile, some laughing. I am happily smitten with Seattle, Washington.
Mo was cautious when he first got out of the truck. He tried to jump back into the cab through the window but the window was closed. He didn't hurt himself. It was funny like a bird flying into a window pane. His patience and willingness to deal with chaos will forever astound me. At night I drove into the center of the market to get some pictures in the middle of all the activity. Several different friends suggested I stay connected and around a lot of people this season. I'm glad I have been taking their advice. I am so not alone even though there are moments when that illusion takes hold... thankfully they are only moments. This is the first Christmas that I am totally far away from anything familiar as in people, posessions or environement.
There is a Christmas memory that stays with me every day of the year and I have been thinking about almost daily. Many years ago as an adult my dad gave me a big teddy bear for Christmas. It was the strangest thing because this particular bear gave me amazing comfort whenever I felt insecure. The feel and substance of an emotionally loving connection was unlike anything I have ever held in my arms. Through many a difficult time I held that bear close to my heart. It always gave me comfort. Well, Mo is like that. This dog of mine I can hold in anyway needed, as tight, as lose, twisted, however needed... I get the exact same feeling as I use to get from the teddy bear and the feeling is alive, it feels trustworthy, secure. In Piano Dog Boner's later years I remember holding him while thinking, "Bo you feel like an old coat worn and loved beyond knowing." I get this feeling now from piano Dog Mo and he is not yet two years old.
December 22, 2011
Mukilteo, Washington State
Yesterday while driving on an expressway the truck began to buck and the engine began to quit. I couldn't tell wether it was the carburetor, fuel line, clutch, engine block or what and I thought it was all going to die right there in the traffic. Consciously, I did not panic and then remembered the same thing happening while driving in Newfoundland. Someone had suggested the problem might be dirty fuel. I took it easy while driving to the nearest gas station and purchased the most expensive fuel engine cleaner and dumped it into the gas tank. Today there was no problem. There is no way to know when a gas station is selling dirty fuel!!
Outside, at three in the afternoon today a coat of white frost was covering everything. The sun had been shining bright all day. You would think the frost would have burnt off from this morning? There was no more waiting to be had. Cold or not Mo and I drove to Mukilteo to create music. We shared the piano for over an hour. It was glorious with the beach, seagulls, clean water lapping, fishing boats coming in, ferries moving passenger cars back and forth to Clinton, people walking their dogs, families and friends hanging out for the holidays, freight and passenger railroad trains running behind us, the sunset... the fact that it was cold did not matter.
December 21, 2011
Issaquah, Washington State
People were driving crazy on the road today. I witnessed an accident, impatience and an old woman and her husband thought they were going to run me off the road. I wasn't going fast enough, ha. I want to be around people but not crazy people. After doing another hot yoga session in Bellevue of which I could only do about five percent of the class... I walked across the street to a super dooper ritzy old age home where I found a nine foot grand steinway piano sitting in the lobby. Music had to be ok'd by the resident enrichment manager. I waited five minutes for her, then left. Immediate super dooper ritzy respect towards me was needed if I was going to fit in there. Ha.
Afterwards I drove to Issaquah but it felt too cold to play. I needed to eat. Dieting has been getting to me. There was a sign outside a supermarket advertising dungeness crab so I went for it. After that I treated myself to some red sockeye salmon. That... was fantastic! The crab I ate while sitting in rush hour traffic on the way back to Everett. Can you picture me driving a stickshift pickup truck in rush hour traffic while tearing apart a crab to eat? I wasn't finished. The local supermarket in Everett had shrimp on sale. The going was good, I should have stopped. I had been eating the best of wild fresh seafood and then lowered the bar to farmed fish. The shrimp had absoulutly no taste. Good thing I also purchased cocktail sauce. While down in Issaquah, I stopped for a short while at Lake Sammamish State Park and gave myself some musical therapy. An older guy who was biking stopped and prayed out loud for me. He asked for permission first. I was reminded that I did not think about any gratitude when I woke up this morning.
December 20, 2011
Snohomish County, Washington
Christmas is a challenge! I've been trying not to think about it. Most likely I will not be "doing it" this year. Along with my diet today I focused on my Alaskan pictures. I'm ready to post about two hundred more and want to get them all done before the years end. What a stupendous life I have had to be able to enjoy and experience such wonder and beauty and even more... to share the pictures for others to enjoy throughout the world. God, I hope people are visitng this website to see them. On another subject...santa has not been to visit me on Christmas for many years. Whats up with that? Any hope that there is a Santa Claus... has been dwindling big time. It is not like I have been asking for allot, just a few Wildest of Dreams like...
Someone to join up with who has the money and influence to help create a diagonal Traveling Piano streak (clothed) across the superbowl field for fun entertainment sometime before, during the game, maybe at halftime... or to create music with the Traveling Piano on an iceberg in Alaska with an eskimo village in attendance... how about a friggin' Traveling Piano tour for China into the rural regions. I originally sold my house to help fund that dream! A Traveling Piano type television show would be fun. Hey santa, sure would like to hitch a ride on a super yacht and travel around to different continents and countries to create musical fun, friendship and respect with musical inspiration and empowerment. I've been a good boy. Yo, if there's a santa he needs to find me!
December 19, 2011
Fremont, Seattle Washington
My body is in shock from lack of grease, bulk and carbs. I'm still on my health kick, its been a few days now. This morning I did another hot yoga session in Bellevue, I sat on the mat for seventy percent of it. No can do. I'm not giving up because I want to get into better shape with more energy to continue the journey. While driving around the Fremont area of Seattle I had to really push myself to do the Traveling Piano thing today. I kept reminding myself, "your in Seattle, your here, do your thing." I randomly pulled the truck to the curb and began. A family came up and gave me a very warm and validating feeling to start off. We had a little visit, a time together. Mo and I greeted people until it began to get dark and having realized we were near a dog park... Mo needed to have a run with other canines.
I realized today my old script no longer works. After every improve for almost six years now I would help ease people into improving for themselves by saying for example, "five years ago I couldn't do that, I wouldn't." (play as well as I do because I felt too awkward and afraid) Now, it sounds stupid to say that. I'll soon be starting my seventh year! Ouch, that almost hurts... somehow. It feels like the journey should be bigger than it is. I know thats ridiculous, in reality I'm feeling a little impatient for something really big to happen. Impatience won't work... easing into whatever... will.
December 18, 2011
Port Everett, Washington
Last night I stayed in my room and watched two movies via computer. The first movie, I Love You, Phillip Morris was brilliant and also Bowling for Columbine I have been meaning to watch for many years and then... I watched three television episodes of Bones. Ha, I went on a flick binge! While continually telling myself that I was allowed to enjoy the time I knew I would be sleeping until noon today. Always, it feels like there are things to get done. This new phase of the journey is more present than ever and I want to keep my focus on the present. I know the future possibilities but am busy enough that I don't want to make moves other than for the present.
There is something that I want to write in order to not forget. As a child... family, society and religion instilled fear into my soul. It was to manipulate, to make points... to get me to think and behave in certain ways and I was taught through fear... that if I continued doing what ever I was doing wrong... in any given present moment when I was young... I would be doing the wrong and continue that way for the entire rest of my life. I needed to do "right" in every moment so I could be right for the rest of my life. No ups and downs, no change, no fluctuations, one way, one path only... then and forever. Wow, big fear! Those teachings were wrong and untrue.
So, anyway onward... I got my act together by two in the afternoon and as soon as I began to drive the sun came out. I found a spot at the port in Everett. It was on the water and perfect. The music was perfect. The people who found us were perfect. The birds in the air and animals in the water were perfect. The sunset was perfect... Mo was perfect except for a brief roll on a dead fish...what a day! The people here in Washington state I've said it before have been extremely appreciative of the Traveling Piano being here. The first guy came up to me saying, "Man, thank you so much this really made my week, this is the way life should be." Ha, several port security personal joined up for some fun, a guy came from about a mile away telling me he could hear the music from way over on the north pier. It must have been bouncing off the cliffs from behind and he had to seek out the source. I thought, "Like a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow?" Love it.
December 17, 2011
Robe Valley, Washington
Considering that Christmas is getting close with the rush and bustle and traffic, I thought it a good idea to explore the mountains I saw yesterday. They were the Cascade mountains part of the Snoqualmie National Forest and woo hoo, there were spectacular views but I could not get a good picture from the road. I tried to do the Mountain Loop highway and thought I could... even though everyone I asked along the way thought it might be closed because the snow was too deep. It was closed but... there was a lot of fun to be had through the attempt.
I stopped at a supermarket to get some celery and humus. A guy walked up to the truck which led me to follow him home to meet his family. Afterwards I stopped at a little grocery store in the middle of no where and met a guy... another guy came along and I ended up following them both to another guys place in the woods who had a big clearing with a nice mountain ridge view. The last guy was a logger and his place made me want to live in the woods. At the end of the road where it was closed I met a family from Everett where I am staying and we had a good time. The dad lost one and a half of his hands in a work accident many years ago but that did not stop him from musically jamming on the piano with his wife and daughter and it had also not stopped him from working.
December 16, 2011
Onward to a hot yoga class first thing today in Bellevue. On the way the skies were clear enough for me to discover deep layers of mountain ranges in the distance. They look like they will be fun to explore. The guy at the yoga class said if I can do nothing but simply stay in the class from beginning to end I will have had a successful class. Shit, it was hot! They said one hundred and ten degrees but I'm sure it was more. I drank over a half gallon of water through the ninety minutes and felt a sense of accomplishment in being able to stay even though I was so dizzy I could barely walk out of the place. Here I've been getting used to the cold for months from Alaska to Washington and now extreme heat!
The temperature outside today was almost fifty degrees. You can be sure I enjoyed that! I drove around the city wondering where I would end up and being conscious not to waste time wondering. I found a park. In the far distance there was an ice skating rink and some of the employees wondered over to investigate. The music was traveling a distance. At first everyone was cautious but it only took one and then the usual fun started. Still, people here in Washington state are reserved for sure. A lot of mom's with their daughters would not explore what we had to offer but did enjoy it from a distance.
I found a huge parking lot with a 360 degree view of beautiful skyscrapers. After about fifteen minutes of creating music a bunch of Indian taxi drivers accosted me because I was in their space. They were operating their operation from the lot and my music did not fit in. I moved over to a spot farther away. It was very much fun watching people way up above in the skyscrapers discover a dog on top of a piano with a guy playing in the back of a pickup truck way down below in the middle of the parking lot. On the way out a woman came running up to thank me. We ended up driving to meet a bunch of volunteers at a homeless shelter for woman nearby.
While driving down a street there were about ten valet guys standing around outside a restaurant waiting for customers... they were interested... I stopped and played a song for them, we all got a picture and on the road again... So, I am dieting. I know its bad and I promised myself never to diet again when I first started this journey six years ago. I changed my mind, need to drop weight and that is that. If I die dieting so be it, I'd rather die from not eating than eating too much, ha! I've drank a gallon of water today, made sure I had my vitamin and mineral intake... oh my God... food withdrawal while on the road and during the holidays! So be it.
December 15, 2011
Everett, Washington State
Nothing much new, same old freezing fog like drizzel... truck is safe, I'm safe, Mo's safe... I signed up for ten bikram hot yoga classes at $3.50 each for ninty minutes sessions in Bellevue WA which is about an hour from here. Hahaha... I feel so ridiculous with what I do sometimes. I'll be in the area for at least ten days and with a home base need incentive to get out and about and want to be around healthy, goodlooking inspirational people. Part of my brain says hibernate, another part says stay active. Its going to be a funny sight and very humbeling for me to go to those classes, I've done it in the past and pretty much know I won't be able to participate for most of it with the shape I am in but hey... it is what it is!
December 14, 2011
Snohomish County, Washington State
This time I have been given with a short term home base I want to take advantage of to full hilt and I do not want to get distracted from the journey through it. I've been watching television programs which slow down my work process while creating pictures for the website (now heading towards three thousand for Alaska alone) but I need to slow down and to an extent, mindless activity also helps my creative process. Humor and comedy hels alot. I'm back on a health kick. Mo and I went for a long walk, I'm using meal supplements I purchased back in July... its time to get my energy going to accomplish whatever is next to come. I'll just keep on doing the best I can and not think about wether it is good enough or not, weather it will last only a couple of days or what... I am thinking about enjoying the process of what I am doing.
December 13, 2011
Spencer Island, Washington State
No matter what, I do not want to get myself stuck without the ability to move on but I do want to keep the ability to settle down also which is what I need right now. So... I am staying in my friend Sharon and Christians house through Christmas so it seems at this point. It is not the most ideal situation for many reasons but then again for many other reasons it is ideal. As far as a better relationship with myself and others it opens up possibilities to grow. Christian went to visit family for a few weeks, Sharon can use the company and me too. I have a small room that has been given to me to own for myself, to create space for myself (along with the house belongings) and I enjoyed working as usual in it for hours while watching episode after episode of abc television shows on my computer. Early in the day I drove to Spencer Island where there were many duck hunters although there was not much hunting to be done because there were ducks everywhere! I played music by the water while people walked behind me with appreciation. No one wanted to get onto the piano for themselves and I was enjoying having the whole time to myself musically.
December 12, 2011
We have been traveling around in the home of Microsoft, Cosco with all its Kirland products, Starbucks, Nordstrom, REI, Eddie Bauer, Boeing all started here in Seattle and the sourrounding areas. I think that is impressive. We drove to meet Milli a facebook friend. I had no idea what to expect and I was picking up a lot of androgynous vibes. I drove around Kirkland looking for a sunny spot because it was too friggin' cold to play in the shade. It was very much fun to meet someone with whom I have been in contact for years but never met in person.
I found a random parking lot. Millie was so interesting we ended up talking over coffee and nachos for hours. She is a person as creative with her life as can be in my experieince and that can get be a little scary for me. She reminds me of me. I am always more and more truely amazed in finding how individual people are in life. I feel privlaged and grateful when people share their lives with me. Another dog shared the roost with Mo today and he almost went crazy as their was not enough room for both of them to play up on top of the piano.
December 11, 2011
Granite Falls, Washington
It seems that over the last two years we have been mostly in extreme temperatures. As I drove through the icy fog tonight to get back to where we are staying I thought, "I'll take the cold any day verses the ultra hot humidity I experienced during the summer. Christian has given me his garage to use. That is another major survival gift for the truck. There is no way we could stay here without a garage right now. I purchased a small space heater for the truck bed. It is running right now under the tarp.
This morning Sharon, Christian, Mo and I attended the Oh Harahi Shiki Taisai Shinto Winter Ceremony at the Tsubaki Grand Shrine in Granite Falls, Washington. Shinto is the indigenous religion of Japan and today is the great day of purifying the root of misfortune in preparation for the new year. My friends having studied Aikida, a form of martial arts at the shrine and they were also married there. After the ceremony we went outside with the congregation to celebrate with two different types of mochi, a sweet dessert, a ball of pounded rice with a red bean paste inside. It was very doughy and rich and tasty!
At night I left Mo alone for the first time with two other dogs and went into Seattle to see the Muppet movie at the restored Seattle Cinerama on a large screen all by myself. Ahhh... just like old times, practically no one was there and how I enjoy watching a movie on a big screen! I wish I had more clarity as to my present path. It is beginning to feel like I may be staying here in the Seattle area through Christmas even with the cold weather and dealing with a house cat and my allergy to it. Driving through the deep downtown canyons of Seattle tonight the streets were empty except for Christmas lights in sidewalk trees and store lights shining deep inside as well as on high rise buildings. I drove to the space needle. It was just me and the city. Loved it all...
December 10, 2011
Most of the day was spent sightseeing the outlying areas of Seattle in a cold drizzle. My friend Sharon was with us. We went to meet her family and to help celebrate a birthday. Luckily the Traveling Piano fit into her sisters garage so we could have a little fun. Afterwards we went over to Sharon's parents house for dinner. I very much enjoyed meeting the family and Mo got to play with several dogs. I learned today that Seattle has invasive himalayan blackberries that grow on steep hills and create impenetrable brush in unwanted areas. Solution = Rent a Goat. Seattle-area government agencies and private developers use them saving time and money. Goats are chemical free and popular with parents and children. They eat anything that resembles a plant!
December 09, 2011
Packed up to leave my friends Jan and Mike and began meander. I saw a big valley so I drove down into it... Madison Valley. I turned onto a residential street and drove past two women with a baby reindeer. Of course I had to get a picture of that but damm, the person who took the picture barely got the reindeer in the shot. There was another woman there, I stayed and played music while she raked leaves and it seemed she didn't even know I was there, ha! I'm not sure what the reindeer was doing in the scenario, I think it has something to do with the zoo.
Headed back up to Capitol Hill to meet with a guy who had emailed me. People began to jump onto the truck immediately. It is very much fun for me when people who do not know each other get together on the truck and have an experience together. I drove four of them around the streets of Seattle while they jammed! At night I was leaving the city thinking about all the traffic I was getting into when at a corner I spotted a dog park Mo and I found a few days ago and then right there beside me a parking spot so... while the rush hour traffic crawled by I had fun with people on the Traveling Piano until dark and then Mo had some fun at the dog park while I watched the Seattle nighttime skyline light up, a beautiful sight!
December 08, 2011
University Place, Seattle Washington
It was a bad camera day, my batteries went dead, the backup ones would not work, the backup camera batteries were dead yet... I did get a lot of pictures. I'm not sure how its happening but when I get going with the Traveling Piano... I find more people are getting on the truck than ever before. All around it was a great day! Once again fear was in the picture to get started and then even when I began and people started to gather, I got nervous. The fear will always be there for me to push through. It is what it is. The only time there is no fear is when I am completely involved, consumed with what I am doing whatever that may be.
I started out on 15the street which is a business street. There was a vet who babysat Mo the other day while I ran across the street to the supermarket. I wanted to give the place a little music. Then I began to meander and found a lake with a boathouse community. On the east coast this would be a bunch of boats that people are living on. Here in Seattle boathouses are literally floating houses, big expensive houses with boardwalk sidewalks on the water!
We ended up on University Avenue for several hours and then found another great dog park for Mo. He ran and ran and climbed up and down hills, with, after, to and from other dogs... jumping and romping for a good half hour nonstop. At night I took Jan, Mike and there son Joe to dinner at a Pan Asian restaurant where Robert another son was the cook. When we were finished I pulled the Traveling Piano up on the curb for a few minutes while passersby gawked trying to figure out what was going on. This is a very alive city. Fun!
December 07, 2011
Seattle has been impressing me with interest. I really enjoy walking around in the city. If the sun was out I'd be playing around in it. Christmas keeps trying to get an emotional hold on me and thats not good because that translates into neediness. The same sometimes goes when thinking about Piano Dog Boner. As far as Piano Dog Mo... gratitude, love, passion, fun, friendship, respect emoting from every particle of my being in every moment!
December 06, 2011
The news weather reported on television that it was a nice day today. Ha, I took the day off because it was dark, wet, foggy with temperatures in the thirties, thats a nice weather day in Seattle for this time of year. I took Mo for a long walk to a dog park. The buses downtown are free of cost for everyone. Dogs can ride free on the buses if they can sit in the passengers lap otherwise they pay the same price as people. I'm really liking this place! It felt really good to just hang around today. There is good walking here with hills, buildings and different scenery. I did enough work with the Traveling Piano yesterday for a week! A neighbor came over and I showed him the piano in the dark.
December 05, 2011
For me to post so many pictures from one day is ridiculous but I just can't help myself. I want to share the fun. Talk about making up for lost time, I always do for sure. There were so many more pictures I could have posted... I woke up dreading the day completely. I did not want to find out if the piano was going to work or not. There was no choice, I had to push through. It worked. The all night heater dried it out and it worked.
Dealing with everything, the truck, the piano, my health... it's alive, its dead, it's broken, its working, it is this, it is not that, etc... needing to go with the flow is exhausting. My friend Jan suggested my identity is completely wrapped up in the Traveling Piano. I need to think about that. A guy named Joe started out the day with me for a few hours to take some pictures. We traveled to ridges looking over the city, to highway underpasses, the market place, a city square, the occupy movement camping area next to Seattle Central Community College. Wow, I randomly ended up at the stadiums, by the landmark needle, curbside at various streets... I was a Traveling Piano Maniac.
For the first full hour every time I pressed down a piano key heat would rise up. That was fantastic. The heat from overnight stored itself in the keyboard and it really helped with the cold temperatures. I wonder how much hot to cold back and forth the piano can take... ha. Die, die, die! One note always has given me trouble, it sticks, feels worn and I realized today that I play that one note more than any other. it is the letter "D" one octave above middle C. Ha, wonder what that is all about.
I'll be very curious to observe what happens in this city over the next few days with the Traveling Piano. I have been finding people especially appreciative of the music and the whole Traveling Piano concept, maybe more than ever before. While trying to get one guy up onto the piano to play he says, "I just want to listen to the music." It was so sincere I went for it and just gave him my heart musically. Hearing people yell, "thanks for the joy" and many other validating comments just drove me onward.
An independent local radio station asked me to stop by at night. Oh my God was that fun! Hollow Earth Radio... part of their mission statement says "celebrate raw talent and imperfections" right up the Traveling Piano alley that is! They just spent raw air time on the street with Mo and I. All kinds of people happened along. A group walked by and seemed not to look at all and then came back for a second take, a guy from Russia rolling out his cleaning equipment having just moped an office floor somewhere, a lady who was having a crappy day and had just finished a crappy piano lesson was walking home and found us... It was a good day full of fun, friendship and respect with musical inspiration and empowerment... very synchronistic and spontaneous. Yum, love all that!
December 04, 2011
Capitol Hill, Seattle, Washington
Damm, damm, damm it. The sun shined all day, I had an early enough start to make a full day of it, I found a great spot to get some pictures with Seattle's landmark space needle in the background, a person came along to take the pictures, I sat down to play and the friggin' piano would not work. Too much wet and cold even though it was under a cover last night. I am not leaving Seattle until I get at least two days of music in and thats all there is to it. I don't know if the system is permanently dead or what. Constant trouble shooting is the only solution. My new host Janice picked up a space heater for me at the store. Presently it is on full blast sitting under the tarp outside in the dark connected by an extension chord running from the house so tomorrow we shall see. Tonight is supposed to be below thirty degrees.
I am loving the energy of this city. I'm looking forward to gifting it with my fun and music for all that is worth. Parking is a big pain in the ass as with most center cities. Mike my host gave me his spot and so he has to drive around and search for another on the streets somewhere for his car. My hosts are selfless in their giving. As I have been walking around the city I see christmas trees going up in people's homes. It is giving me some pangs for having my own home. I cannot look back, did that, done that and I do not want to pine for what I don't have now. I'll be practicing on enjoying for and with other people. I'll always be grateful for having had a beautiful home with tons of nice furnishings, and a Garage to Protect the Traveling Piano... but more grateful that I gave it all up out of choice for this journey. It is difficult to keep the focus sometimes.
December 03, 2011
Officially, we are in Seattle, Washington. Mo and I are staying with new friends Jan and Mike in the Capitol Hill section. They are both family physicians who belong to SERVAS an organization that welcomes travelers into their home without obligation or expectations. I played music briefly on the street curb when I arrived. Immediately about eight neighbors gathered but no one was going to get onto the piano for sure. It was to cold and damp for me to try and get any pictures. I do not want to create pressure for myself in having new and fresh pictures for the blog all the time. The Traveling Piano is suffering in this weather but it would suffer in any weather, its just old and tired. Me... getting older and more tired. Mo... he's just coming alive more and more. I met Janice first, then Mike came home and a stimulating political conversation began immediate. They had a dinner engagement so they had to leave. I was given a key to the house and then they said, see ya later! I will be eternally grateful for people in this world who have trust and good will and who share their homes, food, friendship, fun and respect with others especially strangers. Their son Joe was home when I played on the street. He had heard me and described my musical improvisation as lush. That is the first time anyone has used that word in relation to my music and I like it big time. My new friends have a beuatiful upright piano. While they were gone I musically played my brains out which always feels good to do.
December 02, 2011
Lost State of Mind
Wowa today I was totally lost my brain was not working, I meandered in the truck throughout Everett, Lynnwood, Bothell and Seattle. Being around so much traffic and urbanism disoriented me completely. It was too cold and dank to play music. The highlight of my day was a glimpse of Seattle's skyline with the sun on it and billowing clouds in the background. I had a major jolt of love in seeing Mount Rainier covered in snow to the south while driving on the expressway. It was major awesome. I kept stopping at different Mc Donald's to use their internet and fish around concerning what I should do... stay, leave for a warmer climate, check into a place to stop traveling, check out of dealing with people for awhile? I do need to stop. With all the stop and starts and waiting in traffic the trucks over heat needle started to rise even though with the temperatures in the thirties. The clutch kept getting stuck. At night Sharon and I went for a two and a half mile walk to a ridge overlooking the navy base and bay in Everett. I played a huge part of my old repertoire on their piano amazingly enough getting through some pieces of music that I have not played for five years!
December 01, 2011
Everett, Washington State
I know I say this often but... damm, how can it already be December?!! I was going to drive to Seattle today but my GPS picked a route that took me north to Everette where I met Sharon and Christian. I was very apprehensive because I knew only a little about these people, I've been friends with Sharon on Facebook for a couple of years. It is a lot easier for me to stay with people I have never met and know absolutely nothing about verses people I know somewhat but have never before met. Once again a pushed through my fears and both Mo and I are having the best time... I had the truck parked curbside outside their house. Sharon came out and started to get on and play piano before Mo got on! Sharon is a math teacher, Christian so far as I learned is a blacksmith. Their marriage relationship is totally unique from what I have experienced from other couples. Christian met Sharon through the practiced Japanese Aikido martial art and they are both into Japanese Hakomi healing which is a form of body-centered, somatic psychotherapy. Got that? :)