Raggin' Piano Boogie


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.

HELP! A new Carburetor is needed. SpotFund: Long Live the Traveling Piano Spotfund Venmo: Dan Kean @TravelingPiano 2156399378 - Paypal Direct: Paypal - And of Course this Website Contribution Page. Contribute Or email me for snail mail.

March 31, 2012

Tucson, Arizona

The temperature was in the upper 80's today the warmest day I can remember. My comfort zone told me I needed to wear shorts. Surprisingly I had a pair that I've been traveling with. I thought, "your never going to fit into these" but in fact did, ha... just! With a pair of sandals I donned the typical southern Arizona men's fashion and drove to look for a sunset spot to play some piano. Interacting with people was a priority. The sun was setting so I did not have much choice I drove up Gates Pass to a spot I had found last week. As I turned the bend at the top of the pass and saw the vast openness an immediate jolt of, "wow, I'm here" (heaven) entered into my experience of feeling.

Balance was needed from working all visually the past two days. Strange... with a feeling of pressure my first impulse was to go out mainly to get pictures for todays blog. I want for fun, friendship and respect... musical empowerment for myself and others to be what drives me for this journey not pictures. The parking lot began to fill up and I decided to forget about pictures and just play music. About fifteen people piled out of two cars, they were Mexicans and I was like, "where the hell are those thousand spanish flyers I printed up"... as I planned in the beginning of the year to drive to Argentina.

The Traveling Piano was facing the sunset as I played and the sunset was beautiful. Hahaha... I wanted to tell everyone to turn around and look at the sunset as that was the reason they came. They were turned away from the sunset enthralled with the music while watching Mo and me and the Traveling Piano! I created music until the last glimmer of sun disappeared and then in the dark after everyone had gone, a couple named Brian and Sarah found us. Brian sat for about a half hour totally interested in tinkering with musical sounds on the piano as Sarah and I got to know each other intimately as in who we are as people. She was telling me how she has two jobs and the one she loves is a minimum wage job serving coffee to people and how satisfying the job is for her. What I got back to Camille's house I saw my first lizard since arriving here in Tucson. It was on the wall of the house. I'm looking forward to Mo's first reaction when he finds one.

March 30, 2012

Tucson, Arizona

Today was an exact replica of yesterday with every detail even down to the food. (leftovers)

March 29, 2012

Tucson, Arizona

For twelve straight hours I worked on the website galleries today. This journey is shared personally with people one-on-one and also with the world through this website. It also serves as my journal and is a large commitment... six years running it has been, ha! My life is consumed with what I do because it has value for the world, I have a passion for it and people enjoy the fruits of my labor. The highlight of my day was a meal Camille cooked. Get ready for this... she made it up. Fresh moist pan fried salmon marinated in balsamic vinegar and oil (the skin was burnt to a crisp to eat like the skin of chicken or turkey which I love)... mashed potatoes made with yogurt and blue cheese... mushrooms and onions... and broiled balsamic vinegar coated pears!!! What can I say... Wowawowawowa.

March 29, 2012

Oracle, Arizona

My friend Renaga who makes and sells wind chimes, has the worlds largest wind chime in front of his store... he is a guy I met and stayed with in Eureka Springs Arkansas a week after Piano Dog Boner passed. He is presently working the Arizona Renaissance Fair and we have been trying to hook up for a month. Finally today with friends of his at the Biosphere outside of Tucson we met. The Biosphere is a huge scientific failed experiment turned into a tourist curiosity and now ongoing tinkering scientific educational experiment on how to create an artificial earth environment so once we trash this place we can move onto another one in space somewhere. I was not very interested because before I entered the building Mo jumped out of the truck to follow me... twice. Not good.

I was lucky to find a shady spot but he needs to stay in the truck with the windows open to wait for me. It is a priority, a necessity for this journey in warm places. I do not want to tie him up in the truck least he get tangled up and strangled. So that was all I thought about as we toured the Biosphere. It was really special to meet with Ranaga again and chat for a short time with his friends. Need to block out, pass through the memories of loss in that time period we originally met and remember the good stuff like Ranaga's fun, friendship and respect for me and the Traveling Piano. The ride home at sunset... wow. Driving by the Catalina Mountains was like driving along side a humongous stone wall straight up in the air. I wish I could show picture wise, natures foggy mountain shadows, the different shades at twilight. Beautiful....

March 27, 2012

Tucson, Arizona

The day included the latest usual and I mulled more than usual over life's possibilities and the lack of. Mo and I took an hour walk, I watched a Chinese language learning video for five year olds, read some cultural history about baby killing, filed some beautiful flower pictures for the website, and revisited in very short snippets... thoughts about what and why I am doing this journey. At night I listened for over an hour to a bird or animal I have no idea what that sounded like a car alarm. I'm fairly certain it was not a cat/mocking bird because the tones did not once deviate for the entire time. I still smell orange blossoms everyday.

March 26, 2012

Tucson, Arizona

At sunset I took an hour walk along a dry river bed looking for a good music making spot I had passed a week ago. By the time I drove there it was almost pitch black. After about a minute of playing a guy walked in front of the truck speaking short Russian words with a white dog. Another figure appeared behind the truck and I was glad I had hid my valuables behind the truck seat as soon as I parked. The figure turned out to be a woman and she too was Russian. They were both immigrants now Americans with an accent. It was another synchronistic encounter. This couple had lived in Anchorage Alaska for six years and now here in Tucson for six years. I continually meet people from Alaska and Washington State here in Tucson. I suppose my visit up there is still strongly with me down here. They said they were almost unable to talk or think because of the music and their discovery. Hesitantly, she got onto the piano to explore and improvise for the first time. She was musically beautiful. I stayed with her for the first minute or so and then turned to talk to her husband. She tapped me on the shoulder and said, "Please stay with me here a little while longer I cannot improvise unless you are with me in the music." As it was her first time she needed the "we" element in her life for the music and was able to ask for it. Wow... love that.

Food... Exposing my thinking rational is irresistible. I wanted to eat and asked myself if I was hungry. The answer was no. I told myself I wanted to eat because I enjoy eating and had seen a commercial about five days ago from Arby's about their new reuben sandwich that would not stop playing in my mind so I had to end it. About every ten years or so I go to Taco Bell and become reminded why I stay away from the place. Once, I saw a Wendy's commercial for their new burger. It looked and sounded so great I went out immediately to get one. Wish I had not done that because it was really bad. So tonight at Arby's I thought, "I'll also get a shroom swiss beef burger just in case the reuben turns out to be another bad experience. If one doesn't work the other will do the job. An excuse for double the food amount. They were both lousy so of course I had to go and get a bag of Hershey's milk chocolate, almond toffee candy at Walgreens to take the taste out of my mouth. And that is the way it is! Tomorrow is a new day.

March 25, 2012

Tucson Mountain Park, Arizona

Today was a slow start. I took my time driving around and ended up at a park I had found before. The weather was breezy, balmy, sun not shining hot... really beautiful. I created music for myself. One guy was there with his dogs and he walked around while talking on the phone. That was it. Drove back to Camille's to eat spaghetti and meatballs with a homemade from scratch loaf of whole wheat, flax seed bread straight from the oven. Afterwards while lounging outside I began to debate whether to go back out to play. Deep down I had really wanted some fun, friendship and respect with other people today. It was going to be a beautiful sunset so up and out... onward we drove to Tucson Mountain Park. There was scenic overlook I passed once before and I wanted to record some music into the dark. The day turned significant. Everyone who was supposed to be there to met with us with synchronistically. I continually met people through the sunset, into twilight until complete darkness.

Wow, the shadows of wide open mountains and the shades of changing color were magnificent. It was just a small parking lot in the middle of nowhere with no crowd but as usual, I met people who knew close friends of mine from back east and people with whom I have significant things in common. One couple had been up and across from me on a mountain pass. They heard the music... we had met when I was here in Tucson four years ago. As they drove up they yelled out their car window, "Hey thats not Boner." I very much love when people bring up Piano Dog Boner and remember him. I was thinking about the variety of people who were there and how people from all walks of life enjoy nature. Two different people at different times today described my music as orgasmic. I thought, "slow, easy, quiet meditative orgasmic music for a sunset with a flowing intensity, yep, sounds good to me!"

The sun was just the right brightness where I could watch it disappear without needing to look away. I could feel everyone there with me, totally with the music and the sun, sky... all of nature. I cannot remember having played for a total sunset with people around listening in complete silence. My thoughts were, "stay with it... care... don't let the fact that people are around get in the way of the music." Afterwards a very gruff guy came up to me in the dark to shake my hand and thank me as he handed me a twenty dollar bill. I especially love when people break down any stereotypical thoughts that still linger from time to time in my head about who will... or will not appreciate what I have to offer... and also their abilities concerning relationship and communication. I am very grateful that my music stands on its own and within its own uniqueness. The Traveling Piano served as a good connecter for people who had never before met to communicate. It was a good day!

March 24, 2012

Tucson, Arizona

I'm on this eat one meal a day whatever and as much as I want along with two powdered meal drinks, fruit and crackers if needed food plan... but I tend to forget what I'm doing and why. A... manage my starvation strategy kicked in without awareness and that messed up my energy for the day. Anyway, the one enjoyable meal a day is better than three meals a day of everything and as much as possible... There has been a smell in the air driving me crazy. Every couple of years I'll get a whiff of something somewhere and I must find out what it is. It took about three weeks here in Tucson to figure out I've been smelling the sweet fragrance of ornamental orange blossoms. It seems crazy because there are blossoms on the trees at the same time as ripened fruit! The big city street fair was today, I went to look for a coffee mug. Mo was not allowed. Bad fair... bad fair...

My favorite mug broke three years ago and I've been looking to replace it ever since. Finally after a continual three year search, I found three, one for Camille and two for me in case I break one again and a couple pounds of really good coffee. Strangely, I did not see one local community both selling arts and crafts they were all outside vendors from around the country. The street musicians... I wish there were more that did not look like they live on the streets. The ones I saw seemed to be caricatures of starving musicians. For those who may not know... I had been a full time paid performer for twenty years (before this journey began) in street fairs such as this. There is a lot of money being made by a few. Neediness to say, the Traveling Piano was not for this environment. We ended back at Christopher Columbus Park (after I ate a big meal) right after the sun set. There were plenty of people along the lake fishing. It was stocked yesterday with catfish. Concerning the music I create, fisherman have always stood out as special lovers of it. I created music into the night sweet and simple.

March 23, 2012

Somewhere in Tucson, Arizona

The first thought I had this morning... "it is a new day." Never before have I had that thought and felt it... and it was in a good way. I can say I even felt a bit lighter in getting out of bed. Weird, refreshing, good... and a new decision today, my first original music video will be a slideshow of flower pictures I photographed ...because I can! :) While meandering around tonight I found a large open area of ballfields not in a high end section of the city. After parking the Traveling piano up against a fence next to a railroad I wondered if the tracks were still used. This spot to create music was picked because of the lighting... the sun had set about a half hour before and the lights from the ball fields along with the twilight created multi shades of turquoise. There were silhouettes of several transients hanging around sitting, walking, sleeping... I know they enjoyed the music but always wonder what goes through their minds as I appear and play with Mo on the piano. Surprise... a locomotive engine began to appear, a freight train that sounded its whistle deep and loud less than thirty feet from behind us as it passed. I almost jumped out of my skin. Mo... amazingly enough held on. He did not jump off the truck unlike a few days ago when he jumped out of the truck window... but then again that was a different type of sound as I wrote about.

March 22, 2012

Christopher Columbus Park, Arizona

Oh boy, it got warm again. That feels good. In thinking about feelings... I stopped eating them three days ago. Still... I am not moving through them, embracing them or letting them go completely because being in my body and head is not fun. I eat, exercise, drink a lot of water and go through withdrawal from eating to suppress feelings. Been here done this throughout my life with success... and failure... and success... and failure. It is what it is. Also, I have been fluctuating with my life choices in the decision process... want to just go with the flow. I have been in this state for my entire life. You'd think I would just embrace it and move on without struggling by now. I was reminded today, I think I wrote about this in the blog somewhere past... I used to download porn pics like crazy from the internet in my past life. It was not about the sex it was about the sexy fun of collecting, organizing, filing... now that very passion is journey channeled completely. It was all like practice for what I do today... now in the moment with collecting, organizing, filing the picture experiences of this journey... the only difference is now I share it all with the world. Before I kept everything all by myself in my head, secrets from the world. I am now connected with life. Even more than the collecting, organizing, filing it has always been my love and passion for the visual aspects of life. So... as I mull over the opportunities for my life I just "mull" from door to door in my imagination and "be" as conscious as possible to enjoy every moment of it in love with curiosity and anticipation about which door may open and also... be ready for new doors to appear. I hope this is all understandable. If you read from the beginning of this blog it would probably all be clear... and take a year to read.

After finishing some yard work, the building of two new patios with stone and adding some esthetic touches, I checked in with Camille about my length of stay here in Tucson. She has really been helping me to free my mind to create my life. Her support of me through this journey is huge. Mo and I drove to a park at sunset. It had a lake and a fenced in area for dog play. I created music while thinking how musically different everything is today from my past life. Music was all about impressing, manic high energy... today it is about peace, relaxation, exploration... besides it being my own creative music verses the old Boogie Woogie and Ragtime... I wonder how todays music is affected by my age. I suppose it is a product of who I am today in many ways. A couple found us. They were self described as seductive, loving, uninhibited tramps forever. Sounds good to me! Ha, I played while watching blue herrings fly around. It was way dark before we left after having had a good long talk with another couple who not only brought their dog to play... they came to also play with dogs.

March 21, 2012

Tucson, Arizona

I'm being careful not to go crazy with a diet. I've been this route so many times in my life... I know it will always be a constant struggle unless I do the things I need to do and that is to mostly to stay conscious. I'm enjoying the normalcy of being a little settled and spent some money on Camille's house today. I purchased a shovel, heavy duty weed killer, bricks to line the area where I recently laid stone and I got a pooper scooper. It felt good to spend some money and Camille (who does not have money) has been amazingly generous with her food as well as cooking, having coffee ready for me every morning... as well as sharing her house... a house costs money to run. I laid some more stone today, worked on journey picture files, went for a long walk with Mo and ate a meal to last the day... drank lots of water too. My creative juices are always flowing... sometimes it seems in too many different directions but it is what it is. Today's journey thoughts are still on something to do with television but also China. I must learn how to speak Chinese and if I am to go to China, knowing the language would be something for me to fall back on if I need to make money as a translator or teacher or something. Linguistics have always been difficult for me but living life has always been difficult at times too. It is what is it is.

March 20, 2012

Tucson, Arizona

Part of me feels like I should be doing something journey significant everyday. Well not today. Same old same old... I still have thousands of pictures to post and file! Damm, when I'm busy on the Traveling Piano I'm, busy but not today. Once again I'm trying to get healthy by cutting down on my food intake. This is very difficult to begin with but with Camille's cooking it is almost impossible. She cooks all the time and good stuff too, not diet conscious food but who wants that? Not me... give me some old mom type cooking any day. So I'm doing what I have to do... once again because if I don't get lighter and healthier I'll most likely die before I'm done with this journey.

March 19, 2012

Tucson, Arizona

Most of the day was spent working with files on the website because it has been hailing with rain off and on all day. A rare thing did happen (besides the weather). Two people contributed to the journey today. An old friend sent me seventeen bucks just to be nice and a couple I had met in 2011 sent me twenty five bucks. How great it is that a friend would just give me money especially one who has very little for himself and also... many people offer to contribute when I meet them with the Traveling Piano I don't ask, solicit or imply that I am looking for anything... ninety nine percent never follow through so when people say that I usually think, "yea right." Here, today someone remembered from almost a year and a half ago and followed through! Not only do I appreciate the money and thought but the fact that the Traveling Piano left a lasting impression on them. That means everything to me. Of course, if you want to be my friend these days... send money, that is a sure way to leave a lasting impression on me. Ha! ...its true. I love how baby saguaro cactus are nurtured in growth by the shade of a mesquite tree or creosote bush. In all the world they can be found only in the Sonoran Desert of Arizona and Mexico (a few of them can be found in California) And they can live to be 200 years old!

March 18, 2012

Picture Rocks, Arizona

It was rainy, windy and cold when I woke up. The temperature is forecast in the thirties for tonight. Today was the first time it rained in over a month. Can't say I missed it. A guy named Flint was having people over to his place so I crashed the affair. I was welcomed and needed to reach out to people on a social level other than with the Traveling Piano. It was too cold to have much fun with the Traveling Piano anyway but two guys did get up into the truck to try it out. Todays highlight for me, I think her name was Gladys... she tasted mighty fine! Flint is a retired agricultural teacher who now lives in the rural dessert area on his small farm. He had raised Gladys who was a cow and today he grilled her for his friends! I was very grateful for Gladys. One big thing this journey has taught me is the big difference between real food and processed food of any kind. Real, cared for food is tastier, more robust, nutritious, satisfying and enjoyable.

March 17, 2012

Intersection of Wetmore and Flowing Wells Road, Arizona

The last thing I did tonight was take Mo for a walk. One of the biggest things I have learned about dog stewardship is that dogs do not misbehave... they may get crazy, not think, go off track from any norm... the biggest cause is not having enough excersise. After yesterday I'm pooped but was able to shovel and rake some more stone today for the yard where I have been staying. The guys who were delivering the stone... I told them a few days ago I wanted to take them to a local Mexican food car for a Sonoran hotdog and some Traveling Piano music so thats what we did tonight. By mistake I ate a very hot and large jalapeno pepper with its seeds. That was not fun. The guys... when I was talking to them about the piano and my journey I was thinking, "wow, these guys their eyes are so alive with spirit." The smiles on their faces, they were lit up... so interested, inspired and stimulated with Traveling Piano type fun, friendship and respect. That is what they gave to me and it was very amazing... it was energizing and fulfilling. This was just another example of my pushing through feelings of being to tired to do something good. I always reap more than I could imagine from the inner push.

March 16, 2012

Mount Lemmon, Arizona

First the drama... I was standing behind the Traveling Piano truck having a conversation on top of Mount Lemmon. A nearby worker let a large trash container lid slam shut... twice. Mo jumped/flew out the truck window and began to run down a steep mountain side. I ran for him as I did not want to lose sight of him. The more I followed the more he kept going. I was worried he would get lost. He would not come to me. I had to remove the drama and chaos in my head while trying to coax him back. It took over a half hour before he returned to the inside of the cab, his den... his safe house. I was emotionally drained, so was he. I felt hurt it was painful because he would not come to me, he did not trust me, consider me a safe haven... or more importantly his den, the truck. I wished he would have jumped to the floor of the truck like Piano Dog Bo used to do. I was taking the situation personally.

Mo is a dog. Ever since we connected hard sounds have freaked him out. He becomes irrational and uncharacteristically runs away. While driving down the mountain clarity came to me. I hesitate to write this because I don't want to alienate some people but my truth is my reality. As time moves forward in our relationship... through our experiences I can clearly see from them that Piano Dog Boner's spirit has reincarnated to now Piano Dog Mo. It has all been documented here on this website. I don't look for this stuff to happen or create situations to paint a picture. Bo used to hang out with me during firework displays. About six years ago we both witnessed a horrible drive by shooting in Philadelphia. It happened to a guy in a car in front of us while driving down a street. From that moment on Boner became more and more sensitive to hard loud sounds all the way until he died. He became irrational and also ran away at the end even if a kid threw a snap on the ground. Mo, (I did not name this dog) was this sensitive from the start and he is getting more sensitive as time moves on. He can handle noise easily, its popping sounds that he cannot tolerate. Ugh...

I pulled into an overlook and began to create music while feeling completely traumatized. I hid in the music. It was a beautiful area and people began to swarm around. I thought, "this is good practice concerning distraction, just keep playing for yourself." I needed to focus on the music, myself. After a while I stopped and then the fun began as usual. Switching gears from what had just happened was very difficult. We were in a spot where I had played in 2007. I had met a group from China back then and they had given me a good luck charm that still hangs from my rearview mirror. I met another group from China in the same spot today. As synchronicity would have it I also ran into the guy from Seattle who I met deep in the dessert yesterday... almost fifty miles away. I created music while guys climbed rocks behind me and while people traversed the rocky cliffs for the sunset in front of me.

When leaving Tucson the temperature was in the eighties. An hour and a half later we were eight thousand feet in the air with snow. Amidst the tall evergreen trees were warning signs everywhere for bears although I think they are still in hibernation. I was thinking while driving up the mountain how much gas the truck was using along with the strange sounds of trouble. No gas was used almost the entire way down. The truck needs work but I won't know what needs fixing until whatever... breaks. The clutch is going, the driver side door handle is broken. It will be a good luck process in finding a replacement 1987 Toyota door handle. God, how I enjoy riding around, through, over, above and aside mountain tops! All in all... mostly because of the many people we met this was a great day.

March 15, 2012

Signal Hill, Arizona

I was able to experience heaven today. It took awhile to get started but as usual I did get started. Somewhere along the way I had heard the words Painted Rocks. I saw a road of that name and drove to it. After several miles there was nothing special for me to see so I turned around to return and after about a mile back took an off road into the dessert to create music for the sunset. It was one of those five mile an hour dirt, dust and rock roads. After about five miles in I thought, "your already invested, keep going until you end up somewhere." Ha, I ended up where surprisingly several people found us. A guy from Seattle where I recently drove down from, a guy from New Jersey with whom I have a mutual friend and several other miscellaneous fun local types... here in the middle of nowhere?

Someone asked, "So whats your story?" I replied that Mo and I were just hanging out. On hearing myself say that, I realized the story is too big and long to tell so it is now just easier to simplify! Amazingly, we ended up on Signal Hill where there is a massive jumble of piled boulders with ancient petroglyphs on many of them (rock carvings esp. prehistoric ones) dating between 7500 B.C. to 1450 A.D… Way back when, there were these people known as the Hohokam who were probably the ancestors of the Native Indian Tohono O'odham people from this area. Ha, I always end up looking for information on the internet after the experience of it. Otherwise I could/wouldn't care less. The art depictions of animals, people, shapes, and events on the boulders were very cool. Creating music in such an open space with all the Saguaro Cactus was even more cool. People finding us there interested in the music more than pictures, talking or the sights was the coolest!

March 14, 2012

Tucson, Arizona

While weeding and shoveling stone that was being delivered for Camille's place all day, I wanted to get clear as to why I was doing it. She does not want me to help around the house because it makes her feel like she owes me something. I want to help around the house because I do not want her to feel like I owe her something and want her to want me to stay longer. My newest host cooks for me everyday and she cooks real good along with sharing her house and giving me as much privacy as I want! How crazy is this... I've never been a brussel sprout kind of guy but today I gorged myself with them like I have been known to do with cheese twists... and before lunch. Camille made a vegetarian dinner mostly of potatoes and I thought "ugh" with no meat but it was so good I ate the dinner and then I ate the dinner again later on when it would normally be cake or ice cream time. I've never had potatoes before that were not dry unless soaked in butter. This dinner was sweet potatoes, regular potato, carrots, onion, and garlic roasted in olive oil and herbs namely rosemary. Amazing taste!

March 13, 2012

Tucson, Arizona

It was a feeling dim day. Anger continues to bubble up I think it has something to do with asking for direction as in what to do next with this journey. The funds allow for one choice or so I tend to tell myself. Either get back on the road here in the United States, head south towards Brazil and Argentina or fly to another continent and start over. (or ship the truck to another continent) ...while always dealing with an old truck that needs fixing. On the other hand I know nothing. While growing up, direction for me translated into asking for help. I was not able to trust directional intent from anyone. (with good reason) I knew it was never pure. The only place I can get pure direction is from within and that direction has nothing to do with need. I must honestly want direction in order to give myself the space and time to get it. Hmmm... Mo and I drove to create music in a random spot at sunset along a dry river bed where people run and ride their bicycles. There were lots of smiles happening. Later on I collected about twenty pieces of tack weed from my bedroom floor.

March 12, 2012

Tucson, Arizona

Feeling not good today I slept until two in the afternoon. Mo sensed something was wrong earlier and did his usual when I am not well. He stretched out along side of me and just laid still in "being" with me. My getting up for his food or to go to the bathroom or going outside to play with Zoey or Tucker... none of that was as important as what he was doing. I have been trying to understand but cannot pinpoint in words the intensity of my bond with Piano Dog Mo. It is a relationship experience I have never had before. Our sprits are as one totally connected. Of course we have different behaviors, thoughts, life perspectives for ourselves separately, with or for each other... but when it all comes down to ground zero... we are one in togetherness.

March 11, 2012

Tucson, Arizona

When I wake up... the mornings are full of sun and thoughts like, "I better makes use of this day while the sun is out" come first. Then I realize that the sun is out every day here in Tucson. Up north it was cloudy, dark winter rain and snow everyday. No, that is not totally true. Most mornings had sun for an hour or two but I always missed it because I slept too late into the mornings. Wiped out from yesterday (no energy) I have been very angry with myself. Getting into better physical shape to keep the moving with the journey has proven very difficult and I am feeling ashamed. This journey is all about not allowing expectations obligations, shame, guilt and all the rest of that bullshit, right? Well, I just do the best that I can that is all I can say. There was a huge book festival at the university today. I milled around in it wondering if I am capable of reentering the world of selling my goods, working, branding, etc... making money once again. At the start I forced my friends onto the Traveling Piano truck for a picture. I did not play any music or offer the piano for the event. It did not feel right to do because I worked events like today for twenty years back when. I stopped doing it all for a good reason. I burnt out completely and could not continue on the same path of looking for the money, selling, acting like I was someone special but not feeling it... If I was offered enough money today I'd probably work for the money but that won't happen because in my entire working for money life I don't think I have ever been offered enough money! Later in the day I hung out with a cup of coffee just me and Mo in the funky area of town.

March 10, 2012

Thimble Peak Vista, Arizona

The day started out with me needing complete stillness and silence. I could not get going, It took a few hours. I headed towards Mount Lemmon which has several pull out spots where creating music would be fun. As I drove towards the mountains I was thinking about how cool it would be to get right in the middle of them. Thats is where we ended up. How great it was! The farther away from the city we drove... the more desire filled up in me. Desire for what... I have no idea but it felt like taking a drug. More nature, total desire for nature, a complete distraction from any hassle in my life.

The rhythm of people arriving and departing was just so nice. There was plenty of time for just Mo and me by ourselves. Seeing as the road is all about bends, switchbacks... The Traveling Piano was a surprise for everyone who passed. One guy from Chicago with his wife... people like him, they amaze me. Having never before played on a piano this guy in the construction business, he just got onto the truck without hesitation or thought and played a note of music with total freedom of spirit. Immediately, he began to play two notes with one hand and then began exploring from the white keys to to black keys. No expectations, need to control, fear, repression... I almost asked him if he had cancer or a near death experience lately where he was out to just live life to the fullest and take advantage of every opportunity for something new. But I knew better that some people just naturally take life as it comes.

As the sun set I saw the Thimble! Ha, the place was called Thimble Vista and the backdrop of the sunset brought the thimble (a mountain top) to life. The night air became very chilly willy! I thought about all the bicyclists I saw while driving up and hoped they were all down before I started my decent. Waiting for the sunset was so worth it! Three guys from New York city found us. They just finished a ten day film shoot in Old Tucson where I stumbled into the other day. Today was there first and only opportunity to see any Tucson sights, they were exhausted from work, I was so glad to connect with people from the east coast, there was total fun, friendship and respect going on all around.

Families, couples, friends... a group of high school kids stopped on their way to find a camping spot for the night. The drive out was in the dark. I gave into any fear of driving in the dark around the curves but there was no need as it was easy and fun. What a trip coming down the mountains and back into the city, in the dark while seeing all the lights in the distance. Culture shock, within twenty miles of total nature I was in total commercialism with stores and signs. So glad I pushed through the days start. Every time I push through any difficulty the rewards I reap are so worth the push but never worth the difficulty. :)

March 09, 2012

Tucson, Arizona

Today was one of those days where I did practically nothing... because I could! Not really... I just worked with what I enjoy second after the truck and music... the website gallery pictures... all day. Click on the thumbnails to get the big picture! 02-American Scenery Mo and I took a good hour walk and I ate too much.

March 08, 2012

Around Tucson, Arizona

There is something wrong with my middle finger of my left hand. Luckily I can use it to play the piano but move it in any other direction but up and down... nada, ouch, hurt. It has been over a month, someone said I broke it, ha I am not going there with my brain. Is this where medical insurance should come in or a fat bank account or income? Laugh, cough, laugh. The weeds here in Arizona are not pull-able. For hours I spent trying to weed grass from the cement cracks in Camille''s driveway and that is with two applications of "no weeds for a year" weed killer applied over a period of two weeks. I wrapped them around a weed puller, I used pylers, I dug... nada, I gave up. I learnt today that if I get me lost in the desert to look for a barrel cactus because they always lean south. Now to find out what a barrel cactus looks like. Another fun fact... ha, most every new area of the country that I drive in has different ways and patterns for traffic on the road. Here in Arizona when driving on the road... the green arrow for a left turn comes at the end of the go straight in front of you green light... so there is little reason to sit in the middle of the intersection waiting for the light to turn yellow or to commit yourself to the turn. It is a lot safer this way. My pictures are getting better and better. The wild flowers I posted today... just one random, point and shoot for each flower... I see, I feel, I click.

Forgiveness is still on my mind. My thinking has been that forgiveness is not about being granted or asking for anything... and has nothing to do with resentment, hate, anger... (just the opposite) It is a feeling, an energy, an emotion I have within me to bestow on myself and others. I simply call it love, a blessing maybe... when manifested physically I need to be careful concerning responsibility and being appropriate with it (trial and error). I focus on the feeling of "giving for"... it is a feeling I have been cultivating throughout my journey and nothing feels better for me than to give. So I use that fantastic feeling in "for giving" when I start to think about resentments, hate and anger. (which can pop into my head anytime and at least once everyday) ...because I want to feel good and full of joyful excitement always. This is my first attempt to expound on forgiveness... ha, if I was reading this from someone ten years ago I'd run away because it would gross me out. :) but... It is what it is... now. I'm simply feeling good stuff (love) from the words separate and equal... "give" and "for" ...verses associating the words with any pressure or need to let go of... or give into anger from the past or get relief from guilt or wrong doings etc... The purpose of life for me is to enjoy. I want to now do that through forgiveness... because I can, I can choose to do that. To forgive is to bestow a blessing, it is a feeling that comes through me, there is no ego in it but there is power and strength. There is no control because forgiveness is beyond control and it has total influence.

March 07, 2012

Around Tucson, Arizona

I was heading south but turned west and found a dead end at the base of a bunch of mountains. There was one car with kids hanging out but they were too chicken to come and play even though several thumbs up signals came from their windows and they came out a couple of times to check under their car hood. As I was about to leave a woman named Kathy appeared. She got on the truck to try out the piano and then we went for a short walk. She picked wild flowers for me as we meandered. I found an area where we rode on small winding, bending rolling hills it was just constant beauty at every turn. I pulled off at a random spot that looked like a trail. We got a little lost hiking and ended up at a cave. Later, I found out we were in Old Tucson which I thought was literally the oldest part of Tucson but really it is an old movie studio where television shows like Little House on the Prairie, Gunsmoke, Bonanza and The Lone Ranger were filmed. I was probably in the cave used for many a famous movie. In Alaska I became Glacier crazy and now I am Cactus in the Desert crazy. Mo got attacked with jumping cholla cactus. He came hobbling up to me with sharp spines buried deep in his side and paws.

I'll need to look for dog sneakers if we are going to do more hiking in these hostile environments. It was all so surprising and stunning, bewildering even I found myself just standing in and meandering through vast openness among thousands of saguaro cactus and mountains all less than a half hour from the center of a big city. There is no way I am leaving this area before I see everything in bloom. The natural landscaping felt almost unnatural it was so perfect in symmetry, the variety of plants, rocks, colors, textures, placement, sizes, etc... As I was walking back to the truck I kept hearing male voices. I wondered if the voices were traveling from miles away or if there were hikers nearby. Later on I realized neither... my voice recorder was in my jacket pocket and every time I hit it... a sound bite of something I recorded earlier would go off. The temperature is supposed to go to freezing tonight. Ending up at Gates Pass I was like, "wow I was here in 2007 with the Traveling Piano." It was like a memory of a place long forgotten except for the visual and that fact that people had played on the piano at Gates pass. Once we got back into town I passed Holy Hope Cemetery. It was huge and I thought, "everyone in this city must get buried there, what a cash cow of a place." The Diocese of Tucson advertises it on local television. The thought of exploring more of this land gives me a tingle.

March 06, 2012

Tucson, Arizona

Weeding in the desert dirt is not easy. That is what I did for hours today in Camille's yard. This morning after waking I lounged in a chair outside in the yard with only my shorts while I had a cup of coffee in the backyard. Usually when I stay with people interaction begins soon after I come out of the bedroom. Not here, it is just me and Mo, Camille working at her desk in another part of the house and her dogs, Zoey and Tucker. Online, I purchased my favorite (expensive) lounge chair for the house where I am staying but really the chair is for me. I lounge while realizing I have not enjoyed a backyard since I sold my house several years ago. I Lounge while enjoying the sun on my skin, feeling good with gratitude while listening to the birds, a monarch butterfly floats by... Mo lies nearby in the dirt basking in the sun while enjoying the warmth on his belly. I'm writing this as it is all happening trying to not worry about what life may be like an hour from now. When I put my mind to my work (Traveling Piano) I am completely focused on the work. Since most recently after leaving Philadelphia in July and having traveled through Alaska, Seattle through Christmas and Joplin Missouri after the tornado almost a year ago... I never realize how emotionally draining or physically difficult it all has been until after I am out of experience. I mean they are difficult while in them but looking back is a totally different perspective.

March 05, 2012

Tucson, Arizona

My world... first there is the challenge everyday to not disconnect from the world. Next comes the challenge to connect with the world. Then an even bigger challenge is to connect with myself. (not other people) Other people come after myself. There is a constant need throughout my life to keep myself interested and motivated to do all that. I change my approaches, tactics, and views, find new tricks to use. Until now I have not been very good at finding the strength and support needed from within. (meditation, prayer etc... but I am getting better at that) So... throughout most of my life it has come through other people. It is what it is concerning other people and that is all about trial and error. I had to learn (I will always be learning) to surround myself with progressive people for my life. I keep pushing through the mistakes. All my power, strength, tenacity, motivation and spirit... I am graced with or some may call it blessed, others lucky or simply positive thinking. Awareness, gratitude and reciprocal acts of appreciation keep it all alive. My active, newest trick of the trade is forgiveness. I decide on different and new tools I find (always being on the lookout for them) and also the same old life tools I use over and over at different times and in different degrees of necessitation according to my present needs. I recognize needs through my feelings. Learning how to feel is still always a challenge and I've been working at that for all my life... for fifty-six years... through a lot of distractions, fear, censorships, control and repression.

March 04, 2012

Tucson, Arizona

This type of day I have had so many times... I'm tried of writing the usual in trying to convey the feeling of it all. Late in the afternoon Mo and I headed for a random national park on my GPS. The name of the park was Coronado National Forrest. Curious as to what a forest would look like in the dessert we ended up in the center of Tucson amid the high-rises. I thought, "the damm address must be for the park office, guess I'm here to check out 4th avenue like everyone has been telling me to do. I circled around the area thinking, "this is lame" it was really a bland area and the fourth time I drove through it expecting to experience Tucson's hottest street. Then... I saw a sign for another part of 4th avenue. Finally, bars, restaurants, head shops, funky stores, yea I found the spot.

For the first time in a long time I played into the night without a coat on. Oh it felt so good the cool warm temperature. Did you know that potato chips if you forget to close the bag at night here do not go stale? It is because of the dry weather. Anyway, I met an accordion playing drifter, a classical piano playing guy named Daniel who I drove thought the streets and an alley while he played nervously because Mo kept walking back and forth across the piano while we drove. I met a filmmaker from Mexico City who had just missed her plane, a children's book writer and lots of locals... Mo had a tete-te-tete on top of the piano with a Mexican Chihuahua wearing a dress it was all just as good as it can get. One more thing... I had some fun talking about forgivness and respect!

March 03, 2012

Tucson, Arizona

The word forgive... forgiveness is usually used in a context associated with shortcomings, anger, pardon, sacrifice, etc... but today I had a revelation concerning all that. Just as in the past I have discovered that to be compulsive and obsessive (the energy of) can be termed as highly motivated and spirited... and the energy of the present moment where miracles happen is often identified as fear... also, when I was on top of the world in Glacier Park a few years back I realized that we are all here in heaven to enjoy and simply "be" that the purpose of life is not about accomplishing anything and that goals are not necessary (even though they feel good and are fun)... well today I got right with the idea of forgiveness in a new context. For me... to forgive is the purpose of life. I like to think about the words... for and give. I must give... for... as in forgive. If I choose to not live in pain, suffering, hate and resentment then I must first "give for" myself in order to "for give" anything else. When and how to do that appropriately is where it becomes tricky.

Mo and I drove to a local park to create music while people passed on a nearby path walking, running and biking. I met a guy named Steven who got onto the piano and played a Bach canon which was really beautiful. I walked away to listen and the sound was bouncing off large containers behind the Traveling Piano. To hear what other people hear when I'm playing gave me the shivers... in a wonderful way. At night I was treated to dinner with Camille's (my host) family. It was really nice to just sit and shoot the bull. Ha.

March 02, 2012

Tucson, Arizona

Today has been one of those days where normaly I would attribute to feeling lost but what is really happening will be attributed... simply waking up to something new in life... without question my mind is in creative mode so everything is finishing, starting and in a limbo state of manifestion.

March 01, 2012

Vesey, Arizona

I don't know how to express myself today no, that's not true. The fact is I started out feeling really good, feeling safe, secure with a friend to be with, new friends to meet whenever I want, free to do whatever I want, comfortable, feeling some direction with my life, beautiful day, in the moment... Mo and I drove to the San Xavier Mission area of Arizona and there for some reason thing started to slide downhill. I'm embarrassed to admit that. Never the less after meandering for awhile I found a spot off any main road in Vesey and created music among thousands of tall saguaro and peoria cactus.

A young kid road buy in a four-wheeler but did not stop. I always wonder what people flying by take away from the experience. How they handle what they see and hear in their heads. Ha. I jammed the middle finger of my left hand a month ago and it still is swollen. I've been trying to ignore it. I had a sizable amount of money stolen from me but I cannot prove it even though I am certain of what happened and because of circumstances I cannot address the unfortunate incident. It is very difficult to keep the subject of money from controlling this journey in anyway. Keeping money away from being a life priority is not an easy task. It was a good day today even though I feel uneasy. Wow, I've been living in the desert, creating music in the desert. Life's past and the memories of my past all feel distant.