HIS SPIRIT LIVES ON! ... BONER, THE PIANO DOG ... November 27, 1994 ... February 20, 2010
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April 30, 2012
The original plan was for a... ready... set... go... last three days here in Tucson. It didn't work out that way. I impulsively jump started the journey again (on the road moving constantly) knowing it would be helpful for Camille and most likely for myself but scary at the same time, very scary. Do I like to scare myself? No. Being in the present moment... the energy of it... I can identify as fear or the space where all miracles happen. My life is now a practice of trusting my instinct and feelings. It has been a long process and will continue to be when it comes to knowing my true feelings. For many years I had to train myself to know the slogan, "feelings are not always facts." I called a new friend wondering what the chances would be to stay... nada... and then another friend... nada but we are still having dinner together and the the third attempt was the charm. I could have easily booked a motel room but thought... if possible do not miss an opportunity to stay connected with people. (not a natural impulse for sure)
We are leaving Tucson on Thursday and heading north a bit, after that towards Las Vegas and then to Los Angeles. LA has been on my bucket list with the piano on the truck for twenty six years. "New York to LA" for fun. It will not happen without total focus and commitment. (about the fun) I can easily lose myself, who I am, what I want, what I am doing and why through a sneaky subconscious process of adjusting the way I relate to people with old ego, agendas and fear. The act of projecting an image larger than myself can be fun. The desire to impress people from a space of fear is easy. Coveting luxury and illusional comfort can be tricky and troublesome. As long as I keep a conscious focus on connecting and giving (apporiatly) I'll be safe. Defining this journey as my work often helps. Going to bed; I was completely exhausted while knowing Mo and I and the truck were safe.
April 29, 2012
Well, it was an easy day with no Traveling Piano out anywhere. I took a day off for the first time in almost two weeks and it felt good! The weather was perfect. To just sit and enjoy it was the best. I created some music for the website, of course I work with pictures everyday... Mo and I took a leisurely walk and everyday I've been packing the truck to leave Tucson. Having had everything I own out and spread around in a space of my own for a couple months... wow it was nice! Problem... I have collected some containers of powdered meal supplements, two pottery coffee mugs I purchased and additional informational flyers that take up about a foot of space. I have !!!..."no"...!!! space for these items in my small truck! People will give me a piece of paper and I say, "no room for it." Anything I cannot pack away and that sits in the truck bed or cab just creates a feeling of clutter, chaos and gets in the way of my functioning. I was watching a television show with Sidney Poitier tonight and heard him say... When I die I will not be afraid of having lived. I like that.
April 28, 2012
Oracle Valley, Arizona
Today I went to a piano recital and wow was that fun! My friend Cory who I met with the Traveling Piano during the first year of this journey in Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina and then met again the second year in Mexico where we stayed a small remote fishing village... and again during the third year at his home in Canada... well he has a sizable family and I met them all except for a sister who I forgot happens to live here in Tucson. Mo and I are planning to leave in a couple of days but luckily Cory's sister got in touch with us before we left. Her son Lawson was having his first piano recital today. Afterwards I was treated to dinner with Lawson's sister Shayna and some family friends.
Ivy (Cory's sister) Shayna and Lawson sat on the back of the Traveling Piano playing music as I drove them through their gated community. We visited friends and almost met the next door neighbor who came out to investigate the "driveway music"... Mo discovered her peeking over the wall... we invited her over but she declined and then the family friends arrived. The kids turned me onto their PlasmaCar. It is a childrens toy that runs forward, backwards, all around depending on the riders ability to wiggle. They all joined me with me in playing with my toy (the Traveling Piano) it was only fair play for me to join them with theirs.
The recital... I was conscious that I did not feel anyone was better or worse which says alot about my growth as a person over the years with this journey. I've never been about competition and have always disliked comparing. The piano players brought back memories of my own childhood recitals and also the fact that at age twenty, I had fifty two private students a week. I was a maniac back then!!! ...and of course I burnt out but that was mostly because one year later my life became about sex, drugs and disco. Several teachers joined students together for todays recital and two of the teachers (sisters) came out afterwards to play a duet on the Traveling Piano. One of the greatest joys I have had in living my life is to have friends who include me in their families... the complete families... even extended members... and to have everyone embrace me equally and learn to know and accept me for who I am.
April 27, 2012
I tripped over myself while running last night and fell in the desert. Today I feel like an old man that fell, ha. The best word to describe it along with hurting is embarrassed. With how much I hurt today I am not looking forward till tomorrow. Stress, pain, whatever... always takes two days to hit me fully. I made plans to meet with photographer Daniel Plumer check out his website. I really appreciate his photography so he came to shoot some pictures for me. Bonnie his wife came and we all had fun with a guy name Greg who coincidentally was at the art gallery where we were last night. It is on the other side of the city. We met a couple on their first date, a woman who has seen me several times before and four F-16 Singapore fighter pilots here to train in the US for eight months. They road into the parking lot on hot bikes and with a hot black mustang convertible. One of the guys played classical piano with an amazing amount of soul. Fear... I had the thought that when fear arises for me... if I move past it I succeed magnificently always but... sometimes I consciously grab onto it for the sake of drama or to be irresponsible in some way. So now I would like to be more truthful with myself and ask, "Are you really afraid or just being a wuss." Here is Three Pictures and a Music Video from Tonight from Dan Plumer.
April 26, 2012
The day began with my making a phone call to a childhood friend who I have not talked to in forty six years. That makes me laugh. I've never done something like that and there is no one in my past I can remember being curious about. This situation was about more than curiosity. We had been friends from the start of our lives and my family moved away when I was ten years old. He has always been in my mind because even though being young I knew what kind of person he was... someone who was fair and trustworthy and a person who cared about people. Turns out his life's work has been as a high and respected judge. There was no one else in my world when I was young who I felt safe with... even family. I looked him up on the internet. Later in the day I hooked up with a guy named Dan, a photographer I had met a few weeks ago and his wife Bonnie. He was having a gallery exhibit and we had some Traveling Piano fun there. My time with Dan really made me manic with energy. It is not often I get to spend social time with a peer. Ha, I guess I'm needy in that area. Afterwards Mo and I drove down the road to find Sabino Canyon. I keep getting all names of everything mixed up here in Tucson with all the S's and C's and Y's and B's and Canyons etc... We found the place and it was getting dark. Turns out it was the first park we found in Tucson where I paid twenty five bucks for a pass that I cannot use and where I cannot walk Mo. (which was why I drove there tonight, for a good walk)
In the dark, there was a random car in the lot with a guy getting ready to leave. I pulled up and asked him if he ever saw any rangers around at night and he said no. And then he said, "Hey there was a guy on Mount Lemmon a few years ago that I met with a piano in a truck and a dog but it wasn't you was it? Ha... crazy, crazy, crazy! Just how many people did I meet on Mount Lemmon in the few hours I was there in 2007? Just last week I stopped to take a picture in a park and ran into people... a few days ago in a Walmart parking lot I ran into another guy. There were two other times I randomly reconnected with people I had met. So this guy Mark and I had a short time with the Traveling Piano and then Mo and I went for a walk on the desert trail. It was dark, the trail was clearly marked, there was no one around, everything was nice and then... lights! The cops in the desert coming in our direction with lights!!! I whispered loud, "Mo RUN!" It was kinda fun (Mo loved it for sure) but running in the desert at night over hard dirt and stones on a path strewn with cactus needles... at fifty six years of age the skin is not so tough for when you fall... I scraped the palms of my hands, my elbows and ouch, ouch, ouch my knee. Blood, dirt, torn pants (luckily I was wearing pants) When I got back to my diggs the neosporin... what the hell happened to the neosporin I've been carrying with me for years!!! Damm, gone... I hate when that happens. All I had was liquid bandaid. Owoff... as I was applying it to the deep scrapes I was thinking, "Now here is a kind of pain I have not felt since I fell when I was ten years old."
April 25, 2012
Near a Bunch of Bats in Tucson, Arizona
So... I'm going through the day blah, blah, blah... Mo needed a walk and I wanted to create some music. It was too late to drive to a mountain so I began to look for a park we had been to before. I could create some music and then we could take a walk in the dark. The sky looked like it was about to rain so I just pulled off the road into the first random spot I could find. We were next to a well known overpass bridge where bats migrate to each year. About twenty thousand of them are beginning to arrive from Mexico. Every night at sunset they swirl out and into the mountains. By the end of the season the numbers rise to about 40,000. I didn't see any bats but did see a lot of bat poop. I took a couple pictures of flowers and then began to walk. We immediately met a guy named Rob who was walking his neighbors dog. We walked together and had an amazingly interesting conversation. He had lived in Japan and bicycled through Asia which sounded like a near death experience for him... as in not good. Before he left we messed around with the Traveling Piano for a few minutes. Afterwards while playing in the dark another guy found us. His name was Rod a seventy six year old guy who began teach himself how to play piano about two years ago. The meeting and spending a short amount of time with these two guys, it felt very "journey" as in beyond coincidence.
April 24, 2012
After dealing with the vet I took Mo to a couple weeks ago... having paid several hundred dollars for tests, an exam and health certificate to be picked up within thirty days... now they want another appointment, exam and ten bucks more for the piece of paper that is to be picked up... pissed off, I will tell them to shove it... and then finding the truck needs a new transmission and clutch immediately... after just putting a new master cylinder in it last week... my computer trouble I am still dealing with... the newly purchased piano return a few days ago because it broke in the first month, my bank not giving me access online to my account to get money since saturday because I made a mistake and put the wrong password in ...once!!! ...my piano sound speaker that randomly decides it will work one day and not the next... that all makes me feel insecure about creating music, that someone might yell something nasty like, "we came here for peace and quiet!" Hahaha... it is rare but it does happen.
I found out it is supposed to rain Thursday so I rushed to my favorite spot with the sun setting and the rising moonlit stars and people thanking me for bearing my soul musically... because I do not want to miss a minute of all the joy I can get. Along with all my other happenings and realizations with people and my music... tonight I became aware that people have been thanking me for showing my vulnerability, my spirit and soul along with who I am as a person, the truth musically and without fear. You cannot know what bearing your soul musically feels like until you do it. Until this journey began, I never knew I had the capability or what it might feel like. It has been happening through constant validation and reassurance from inside myself, the journey itself... and the people who experience me musically. People cannot know you until they experience you. This all sounds obvious but not to me... I have been learning about it through one on one emotional relational encounters. I am so thankful that people get to know me musically in person... verses through media outlets or third person talk or my online bloging and social communities... not that there's anything wrong with that.
April 23, 2012
Confusing... I must be in a super state of "now" which is mindless, ha... I spilled a gallon of ice tea on the floor and am tripping over things, making noise it feels almost autistic? Many inspirational thoughts floated though my head tonight... I was trying to catch them, confine them, save them to share with you... and I could not find my voice recorder, oh well. I did my serenity thoughts while embracing that I am only going to accomplish (out of about 20 things) today... what I am going to accomplish. I decided I would be satisfied with whatever happened. Online I researched a list of five speaker repair places and set my mind to get out driving to begin going down the list. This was after researching for hours whether I should spend $600 for a new one. The first guy I met was interested and wanting to be helpful without thinking. He jumped right up onto the piano to try it, wanted a picture... I think his positive energy repaired the speaker in the moment because all of a sudden... hahaha, it worked perfectly.
I wanted to go play for the sunset and as I drove I had a childlike excitement going on inside me. Once there ahh, it was just so wonderful although I could not feel good about the music I was creating because I was distracting myself with the people who were around. After the sun set everything got quiet and I played softly enough to hear the crickets... the music became full. There was a guy in the dark having an experience, there were people who came down from the mountain in awe, there was a guy who raced to find me in his car from another mountain before I left... to share his appreciation.
People of all ages, genders and types have cried in front of me while I create music. It has happened since I began this journey. As man who has made his living from music for 98% of his life but never felt musical... to affect people's lives through music, my own music and after age fifty is without question a most astounding experience for me. Now I feel musical and the gratitude... I want to express and manifest beyond all beyonds. I do it best in nature for myself while connecting with and as a result through God, the universe, a power greater than myself. People are nature. Tonight the guy in the dark by his car over about fifty feet away from the Traveling Piano... when the music stopped I heard a quiet and completely full and sincere, "Thank You." It is not the first time I have heard a thank you just like that in the very spot I was playing. The tone of the thank you was one of salvation, validation, reassurance, relief. I am not being dramatic here everything written is all very real and to the point. Salvation... the only response I could give back was, "Thank You." Our experience was one and the same. I was connected with another human being equally and at the same time... with all that is. I could not have had that experience without him.
As I drove out of the area I thought about how much I want more... to make the experience more... to reach more people with the experience and then I realized that there is nothing more that I can do. The experiences I have been having with people on this journey are complete. To continue doing what I have been doing is enough. Whatever more may be possible is presently beyond my scope of imagination.
Officially as of today... the Traveling Piano has created over 35,000 one-on-one spontaneous and synchronistic interactions with people. That has been achieved all in the last 6 years and is all archived in this websites picture galleries. The reality of it all is difficult for me to grasp. I'm watching television as I'm writing this. Oprah's life class is on and Deepak Chopra just said "The past is gone, The future is not here, Now I am free of both... What am I choosing now."
April 22, 2012
It was one hundred and one degrees today in Tucson. It has taken the Traveling Piano only a few months to go from zero to a hundred. (alaska to arizona) I have been known for my experience of extremeness. :) What is with the fact that I have two sprained middle fingers? The piano speaker, I began to trouble shoot with it. I took the speaker wire apart to make sure the connection was good... undoing the plug, tape, screws, holder, cover, stripped new wire and put it all back together backwards! There is not a time I can ever remember getting anything right the first time... never. Do you have any idea how frustrating that can be? At sunset I drove to a local park to test it all out. The sunset was the brightest to date and I began to kick myself for not being out on a mountain in it. Not a moment... I do not want to miss a moment of nature if possible. I have to keep reminding myself there is time, I have more time to enjoy, maybe. It was not three minutes after I began to create music that a guy rode by on his bicycle. A moment later he returned and asked, "Do you come here often?" I told him it was my third time. He had seen me last time, has a piano, was discouraged from taking lessons when he was younger and wants to learn how to create music. I have to laugh... my time there was for him in fact as soon as we were done I left. A half hour before we met I had no plan to go out and create music or go out period. Hopefully he got my message... start with one note, play one note and enjoy, stay with one note. Play and listen everyday for short periods of time like a minute until you begin to hear yourself, your own words, rhythm, your spirit.
April 21, 2012
Mount Lemmon, Arizona
Ive been driven into darkness! When the sun begins to sink that is when I rise. With the temperature at ninety nine degrees today there was no way I would be in the sun or the shade with the Traveling Piano. There was a time when both Piano Dog Boner and I did perform in heat like today but that was back when I was younger and getting paid a lot of money. Bo would take constant shade breaks with water and I just drank water constantly. Creating music at night in the dark under the stars is becoming a habit that unfortunately once I get back out on the road will stop. When I stay with people for short periods of time... my time is not so much my time it becomes shared. The speaker sounded like it had gremlins in it tonight. The horn is definitely busted. Need a new speaker pronto. Thats ok, I'll do what needs to get done. I stopped to purchase a sandwich and used change that has been collecting in my glove compartment. Pennies, dimes, nickels a few quarters... the guy said, "thanks for paying exact change". He was a good sport.
I started filling the truck again with premium gas as suggested and almost immediately it began to run better. To pay top dollar was suggested last year but somewhere along the way... in trying to save pennies I forgot. I jumped into Camille's back yard pool for a few seconds today for the first time and jammed the middle finger of my right hand on the bottom. Now both middle fingers are in constant "hurt" mode. So it is. We drove up to a favorite spot of mine on Mount Lemmon at Thimble Overlook. Being up 5000 feet in the air; the temperature was perfect. In fact tonight was an all around perfect Traveling Piano time. There were about three sets of people at a time having fun in meeting each other and playing with the piano. An experienced piano man returning from a day long hike and dinner with his wife wondered over to the piano and began to play along with me from the side of the truck. In his words, "I was drawn like a moth to the flame. No thought given at all as I joined you." Hahaha... I loved it! He suggested that we both imparted a new meaning to the term "mountain music."
People told me that they could hear the faint sounds of piano music from up the road at another overlook far away and 3000 feet higher. I always wondered about that. The sound must travel for miles in the mountains and for the short periods we are "doing our thing" ...create a lot of wonder for people. Can we talk joy? A Cocker Spaniel found her way on top of the piano with Mo and they were immediately like two peas in a pod. A young fellow sat in the truck bed beside me and continuously bopped to my music. Can we talk double joy? After everyone left the area it was just Mo and me in silence in the desert mountains, with music and shooting stars in the dark. There were unusual sounds that I just let be without too much thought. Driving down the mountain into the city I could feel the temperature rising.
April 20, 2012
Needed to take my newly purchased broken piano back to the store. While driving on the way I was thinking of the serenity prayer. The peace, the serenity to go through the process. I left Mo back with my friend Camille because I did not know how long I would be in the store. The temperatures have been in the nineties. I have learned that some people love to live in cold environments to see how much cold they can take while other people live in hot environments for exactly the same reason.
Back to the piano... I thought, "If you have to buy a new piano again, buy a new one." The anxiety over finances is not worth a fight. Serenity... stay out of troubles way, (when dealing with the store and employees) more importantly... no drama. How long the process takes, the time is always irrelevant it does not matter even if the process fails, it does not matter. What matters is the serenity. Lack of drama is most important. Drama in times of process, fear, decisions, choices, uncertainty = bad for me. The fun is in the serenity." The miracles, the spontaneity and synchronicity, the wonder... it is all in the serenity." I was thinking about God helping me and realized no God is going to do anything for me. I do it... I must walk the walk, drive myself to the store, put the cards on the table... the serenity, it comes "through" God the universe, whatever certainly not from me, myself or I. Through a power greater than myself, the more serenity the easier, more fun, faster and better than I can imagine... all process happens.
The music store adventure went smoothly, I was able to return the keyboard by paying a hundred dollars on a warranty for a new one. (really resent the idea of needing a warranty for any product I purchase) The manager did me a favor and so now I will play the game with these new keyboards that have less and less shelf life with each new generation. When this one breaks which it probably will, use the warranty to replace it. Before I left the store people began to get on the piano to try it out. I was thinking, "The dog, the dog is not here, the scenario is incomplete." They could have cared less and I realized I was all about them having... "my" total experience. I just let it be as it was for themselves.
Next I headed to another place to deal with the piano speaker. The only thing I said to the guy was, "does it sound broken?" He started off ranting like i was giving him a hard time and saying things like, "I won't know until I open it and it will cost $35 to start just to unscrew it. I asked, "you can't hear if its broken without opening it? With his attitude that went on for about five minutes I thought... "I do not want to be screwed or unscrewed by this guy." Simply I said, "bye, bye...." which felt really good, my being smart enough to just walk away. When I got the piano back together I felt a strong urge to rush for the sunset. After arriving about ten minutes before, I almost threw a couple girls up onto the piano in trying to get everyone around me on and off so I could just play uninterrupted not that anyone was going to interrupt me. After the sun set with music I began to drive back to my present digs. The just fixed truck... I'm having the same old problem switching the gears. I feel another serenity opportunity coming on. It does not feel good but hey, I just do the best that I can. You can be sure the earths nature and the good natured people I meet... have fun with, their pictures are on this blog... the earth and good people get me through all the crap involved with this journey. That is a good thing!
April 19, 2012
The truck went into the shop today. A new master cylinder is needed for the clutch. The guy only charged me $200. That was really a favor and he also replaced the drivers side door handle that was ready to break off any day now. It is black while the other side is silver buy hey... whatever I can find in parts for this twenty six year old truck... He mentioned how ford rangers are practically being given away these days because they are not going to make them anymore and all the dealers need to get rid of whats left. That put my head into a spin big time. Do the journey by continually dumping money into this truck until there is no more or start at the same level with a new truck? Once the money runs out I may have to deal with finding a truck as well as a home. Should I start preparing? Ugh... want to keep my mind out of it all as much as possible. A guy emailed me today. We met on a hill and it turns out he is a friend of someone Mo and I stayed with up in Alaska and lives back east where I came from. I am so interested in dying... to find out how life works and to understand better all of its synchronicities. Without question there is something going on along with our present realities.
April 18, 2012
The temperature is in the nineties. Camille has an evaporative cooler in her house. For the cost of using a fan it cools the entire house through the evaporation of water. Unfortunately it does not work so well in any place with humidity but man if it did a lot of people on the east coast would have a great way to save money on energy. I was working on computer files and Tony a guy I had met last week called. That helped to push me out for the sunset. I'm really glad I did. Lots of miscellaneous people stopped by. Surprisingly kids and couples come to this spot to do what kids and couples do in parks. The difference here is that it is so open. Where there are trees kids get lost in them. Where there are rocks they get lost behind them, ha.
Three older sisters had come for closure with their parents ashes to let go in this most beautiful place. You can imagine how perfect the music was for them and I focused on just creating music the entire time rather than drawing anyone over to play. Tony came after the sunset and along with another couple from New Hampshire the four of us watched the sky with music. I saw moon rays in the sky, it was just a glimmer. From around the mountain I saw a small flashlight that grew bigger and bigger. It was the boarder patrol riding on some kind of small desert terrain vehicle in the dark with a big flood light on it. Would have loved to be on the other end of that discovery from where I was sitting. Another vehicle pulled fast and sharp into the parking lot and stalled. His headlights landed on us and I could hear him yelling at his truck. After about five minutes he was on his way. Ha, another wish I could be in his head tomorrow when he thinks back on the memories. Tony left and another black car with black windows drove in and parked. As soon as I got off the piano to leave it started up and sped away.
April 17, 2012
A guy I met yesterday emailed me about Ironwood National forest saying it would be a good place to check out for sunset so we headed there at about two in the afternoon. I stopped for gas and a guy filling his gas tank wanted to try out the piano. I stopped at a thrift store because I need to replace my travel bags they are falling apart. The ladies inside mentioned they were having a fun day so I suggested it become funner. We went outside and more people appeared. By four thirty I was thinking I might miss the sunset and recording music as planned but what I was doing was more fun and more important. Finally back on the road it turned to dirt, rocks, holes, ripples... I know it all too well. Still, nothing was going to keep me from my goal. Twenty miles in my GPS said I had arrived... it was not a specific spot; it was simply in the middle of the forest. No trees, lots of brush and greenery. There were monarch butterflies and three-foot high jackrabbits. Mo was going crazy for them.
As the sun began to set I just stopped the truck and set up to play there was no way any people would find us so I thought. Three utility trucks came barreling down the road and I stopped them in the road to ask if they would please go slow pass the truck so as to not cover it with dust. One guy suggested I get the hell outta there because it was the time of day when all the drug smugglers made a run for it and the boarder patrols would be right behind them tearing up the road. He said if I was going to stay I had better pull off the road and back into the desert. I did. It was as hot (in the nineties) and as dry as it can get... as desert as I could ever have imagined. As I created music I fell in love in the moment with music and nature equally. There was nothing else, I was doing what I do, who I am totally content with being my myself with my pup sleeping in front of me on the piano.
As I created music on my newly purchased thousand dollar piano two of the keys busted.... thinking about possible drug and police trouble around me and worse, the slow eight mile an hour ride back in the dark over rocks for a good two hours did not take away from the immense life experience I was having. On the way out even though the road was as bad as it can get... everything felt surreal like I was gliding through a forest of twenty foot high cacti with arms and branches reaching everywhere into the skies pastel blue, red, maroon and orange dusk. Just like in Bryce Canyon Utah where the rocks were shaped like people or living bodies, here the cacti with their arms waving in every direction... the same thing. It is impossible to feel lonely.
April 16, 2012
Gates Pass, Arizona
Mo and I went rock climbing today. We climbed up and around the mountain tops of Gates Pass in Arizona and it felt really good. After about a half hour I had to let him off the leash. It was just too ridiculous. We'll do the best we can together to keep awareness of any rattle snakes and stay away from them. He left the lizards alone and now knows to stay away from cactus. We stayed closed he constnatly checked on me and waited for me. Like with piano dog Bo... I would rather my dog die having fun than spending our life together trying to protect against any world elements that might bring harm. I became inundated with fear when he got sick last week... too much. So now he is better... has all his vaccinations, has been tested for "everything" and he has his flea, tick and heart worm protection for a year.
We met some fun and wild roller derby girls from Melbourne, Australia. After that a couple kids who were really drunk jumped on board the truck. When the kids drove off I told them to be careful to not drive off a cliff. Fifteen minutes later they drove back into the parking lot, the car with flat tires... they'd driven off a cliff. Probably they will be sleeping off their load overnight where I left them. Some guy came by and he played random notes while a couple had their weekly date to watch the sunset from the back of their car next to him. It was a usual sunset except for the fact that I had to leave before the full night appeared. I was just too tired from hiking. I hope to do more tomorrow!
April 15, 2012
Been startin' preparation to move on. It will not be for a couple of weeks but will take a couple of weeks... a couple of weeks of one deep breath... to go! Again... I really needed this time spent in Tucson to... I have no idea what, ha. At sunset Mo and I headed for the pass. We took a short hike up a mountain to find that the wild cactus are beginning to bloom. I wanted to see this before moving on. The mission will be accomplished. At sunset with the Traveling Piano I found myself trying to direct people's focus towards the sunset and away from the truck, Mo and me. They often forget why they are there thinking they can see a sunset anytime but a Traveling Piano with music and the cutest dog ever...? I asked a couple of Mexican kids if they would move there car over about two feet so I could pull the truck into the perfect place. They said sure and tore off out of the lot. My experience of Mexican people here in Arizona... they like to keep a very low profile. It does not make my job easy. They do not feel safe enough to just wonder over to us with curiosity.
I forgot to turn it off the sound speaker for the piano last night so it conked out right before sunset. The battery had drained. Turning on the truck motor gave it juice so I just played with the truck running until we were done. Luckily there was a curb to keep the truck from rolling off the hill because the emergency brake does not work. There were not many people around (which makes for a really enjoyable and quiet time) The variety of people was really fun. Guys from Germany, ladies from Malaysia, a couple from New Jersey back east, LA, Switzerland, Utah, locals and more. As soon as the sun sets in places like this, everyone leaves. The most beautiful part is the afterglow of changing colors. I created music... just Mo and I together while watching the night appear and fill up the sky with stars.
April 14, 2012
Well, my computer is running again. There is more work to be done with it... I feel very insecure using it... "just keep going Danny." It felt so cold today... winter coat cold, dog shivering in the truck cold. There was a snow storm happening in the mountains but I couldn't get a clear shot of it with my camera. This guy AJ and I worked on the computer on his front porch while his son worked on the Traveling Piano curbside. It felt important to get out and play today. I was meandering down a road and saw a sign for pottery so I stopped to see what kind of coffee mugs they had. That began some fun exchanges with people. While heading towards the mountains for a good sunset Mo and I found a county park. We turned in and a dessert oasis appeared. It did not feel like anything I have seen in Tucson. Was I in the desert? Was I just looking at snow a few hours ago? Now I'm in a lush grassy lake with palm trees?
I stopped the truck right there on the road and got out to take a quick picture just as a family happened to be walking by. No other people were around. Amazingly enough we had met four years ago on Mount Lemmon. In this city of almost a million people and me being on Mount Lemmon for a couple hours on one day four years ago we meet again! The parents were visiting from Michigan. Dad at seventy years old was taking piano lessons. He pulls out his wallet a piece of paper folded many times over. He had his piano sheet music with him in his wallet!!! He sat and played some blues boogie. Wow, was that a crazy good time, yes it was! I drove through areas of Tucson where I thought, "back in Philadelphia there are five million dollar houses on land worth two million. Here there are two million dollar houses on land worth five million." I saw some beautiful property in most beautiful environments today.
I pulled into a Walmart parking lot to looking for some wireless internet in order to find the address of a bar called the Salty Dawg II. "Papa Delux" Stacy and the Main Street Grove band were playing there tonight. I had met Papa on an overlook last week and wanted to go and support his music. My new friend is from my original are back in in New Jersey. While in the shopping center parking lot I rolled the window down to ask a guy who was passing by if he knew where I could find a wireless signal. He says, "Hey we met a couple for years ago on Mount Lemmon!!! What the... how many people did I met there? I will never cease to be enthusiastically interested as these synchronistic and spontaneous encounters happen. He told me I had left a major impression and recognized that Mo was not Bo. (Boner passed in 2010)
April 13, 2012
If I had more where-with-all I'd be putting more specific places I've been traveling into the blog like the name of parks, areas and names of neighborhoods... maybe in another period of time. Right now it is taking my all to just keep the basics. Not freaking out when things go wrong by becoming afraid, creating drama, making things worse, etc... feels like full time work these days. I don't even remember what a did today except focus on staying as calm as possible, embrace everything that is, appreciate... Camille and I talked about my leaving Tucson. Totally mixed thoughts and emotions swirl in my head as to where and what i am going to do. Driving to Argentina or shipping the truck to China... I ain't doing either without help and do not have the time or desire to look for help. Last time I was here in Tucson, Boner and I were heading for Los Angeles. It is a good time of year to start doing the coast of California where I have yet to go with the Traveling Piano. San Francisco, the redwood trees up north and the Oregon coast sounds yummy. I fought off feelings of self entitlement today, bashing people who "have" or are "doing their own thing" in my head while wondering what that is all about.
April 12, 2012
Computer repair troubleshooting and filing of miscellaneous papers with little notes on them, notes that have been collecting for about three years... that is what I did for most of the day. I came across a photographers business card given to me somewhere recently and called the guy to find out if we had met. The answer was no, his wife had given me the card while he was out in the dessert taking pictures. He happened to be having a gallery opening in town tonight so I went and we met. Afterwards, Mo had his turn in meeting a few new dogs at a nearby park. Along with several people there was a young twenty year old guy named Nathaniel jumped onto the piano. As he was leaving he told me he loved me. There was nothing sexual or weird about it. He sees love as I do. The definition of love for me... love = attraction. He was attracted to my spirit and was not afraid to tell me so. I very much appreciated that.
April 11, 2012
Bad day... good day. The serenity prayer moved me forward. The desire to stay calm to allow the way for all good things. The words for the first time entered my mind along with a feeling of, "I want to quit this, not specifically the journey but what I am doing, how I am doing it." What would I do instead? How would I contribute to the world, no idea... and do I want to? Nothing is any different from what was, is and will be... wish I could embrace that fact. First... to an Apple repair store. I wanted them to troubleshoot a few minutes with me so I could get a feel if I could trust them before I gave them the computer to work on. When I mentioned I was frustrated with Apple computers, the representative's eyebrow went up and she accused me curtly, "you have a complaint about Apple, a problem?" She would not let go as if they did not want to service the computer if I was going to questionable and not have one hundred percent love and loyalty for Apple computer. I even told her my issues of past frustration were not relevant to now, lets get back to the service they could provide. I swear to God this happened... then she said I had to sign in the computer and I walked out saying "See Ya... Not!" ...while feeling thankful I did not waste my time and fall for that shit. Afterwards I sat in the parking lot of a Mc Donald's using their free internet fed to look for other options from online for repair in Tucson. For a few minutes I talked by phone with a guy who had posted on Craigslist for $20... if he could fix it. He was "the man" because he was interested. Its not fixed yet but we are working on it. Went to the vet to get final explanations on Mo's vaccinations and recent blood work... blah, blah, blah.
A guy I was talking to today about this life choice I made as a free spirit...? I said to him this present way of life is no easier than the old traditional way and he said... "It doesn't have to be easier to be better." Ha, I like that. While meandering down the road looking for a place to get the truck repaired I slowly passed a small clean shop building and sitting inside the open garage a zz-top kind of character with a long grey beard. I drove back... the guy was a friend of the owner, he extended his hand in friendship to me. His claim to fame was being on the television show America's Most Wanted about ten times (he was shown in about ten segments of a show... interviewed) I played some piano so did he, the owner came out... a forty five year old guy with eleven kids, polished black shoes, the whitest tea shirt ever... covered with gold bling from around his neck... and big rings on every finger of his hands. I liked this guy immediately and he found the problem instantly. After two years of mechanics and thousands of dollars spent, it is the same problem the last person told me back in Alaska... the master clutch cylinder is going fast. He's going to fix it as well as replace the door handle which is falling off. Before I left the computer guys house his kids and a neighbor had some fun on the piano and I played a little for them. What a feeling to have young little kids impulsively yell, "Wow, More... More!" The sun was about set but now I was feeling inspired and drove to a random park. I had four really good interactions with people there and Mo got a few moments of play in with another dog. He just "be" totally unassuming, a pure desire to please with no agenda, gentle, patient, by my side with me all day. Mo needs to loose about ten pounds and it is going to take discipline for me to cut back on his food. Even through the bad part of the day... I was stopping to take pictures along the road of dessert flowers in bloom.
April 10, 2012
This has not felt like the greatest of months so far. Why? I'm pretty sure this is where "grace" enters the picture... the amount... ha. It is what it is. I have a place to stay for today, food, friendship, everything is not perfect but some of life is... nothing new here. This blog is being written on my dinosaur backup computer. Luckily I have one because the other is all messed up once again. The work I can do is very limited and it is all "work around." I'm sure people do not use their computers as intensely as I do, so I should expect... no let me stop there... I paid a lot for the frigid' piece of shit! Anyway... I'll take care of it in all due process just like the truck that most likely needs a new stick shift. Again... life just keeps happening and my job is to adjust in a grateful fun and loving way. Hahaha... I did not just say that, yes I did. Today was about Mo. I took him to the doctors to a tune of five hundred and thirty dollars. His rabies, distemper, parvo shots, heartworm, etc... flea and tick medicines, an exam, blood work, salve for his ears, antibiotics and medicine for an intestinal issue. Every part of the country has different parasitic, virus and transmitting vehicles for different diseases. Like today, I found out that there is something called Valley Fever (Coccidioidomycosis) a fungus in the form of spores... in the dirt. Dogs sniffing around get it, (Mo the Traveling Piano Hound Dog) found only in the Sonora desert... it can be fatal, minimum treatment if detected early enough... one year.
I remember a time when inflictions like ear mites, sarcastic mange, coccida, hypoglycemia, hepatitis, giardia, whipworms, rabies, leptospirosis, neutering, lyme disease, ehrlichiosis, parvo, bordatella, coronavirus, parainfluenza, to name a few where not in my world. I wish I had never known about any of them. This will sound crazy and naive to most people but I truly believe that if these inflictions were not in anyone's mind they would not exist in the world. This has been my wordily personal experience for what it is worth. Living life on the road is stressful for Mo. Along with being a designer dog, the constant changes of location and new attacks of potentially diseased environments... it all wreaks havoc on his immune system... me too. From the start I knew the dangers and I believe that is why they exist. Damm. Anyway, it has been an absolute favorite activity to have my dogs run loose in the forests, fields, desert, ravens, valleys and mountains. He is a dog... that is what dogs should be able to do just like people. I could cry over the fact that it must stop. Leash time on asphalt. Ugh! Bugs and snakes, deadly fleas and tics, packs of wild animals, deadly soil spores... I'm sure I'll be able to find a clean field every once in awhile...
April 09, 2012
It feels good not to have pressure to go out and play music and actually easy... because for today I couldn't care less. Having Mo ok is all that matters. The decision to go to vet hospital or not is difficult. Unfortunately, in my experience most of the places I've been to are owned by ganofs and therefore I have little trust for their care. Along with the designer buildings, waiting rooms with leather couches and big screen televisions, large staffs, monied list of prices for how much I am willing to spend to save my dog, pet insurance scams and purchase now pay later credit card schemes. It all disgusts me. And then there are Traveling Piano fans with their drama, fear, projected guilt if God forbid something happens as a result of not acting fast enough but of course they wouldn't drop a dime in my pocket to help out. Well, someone did help out a bit today and it reminded me of how most of my friends now are people who have contributed to this journey through the sharing of money, their homes, and basic needs to help with expenses.
I posted this on a social site directed to people who overreact... Projected Fear into Action does not work for me... Observation, Common Sense, Knowing Available Resources, Time, Prayer/Meditation and then Action... that works. Guilt, Shame, Shouldas... I laugh in the face of all 3 whether I fail or succeed. I work (not by nature) to be an optimist. So now, with that kind of thinking... I have a daily website that validates, reassures and serves as living proof... this is a way of thinking that has in fact created (for the most part) the best of all possible worlds, my world. Six years and running says something. At any given moment not wanting to live can rear its head in my thoughts so don't nobody think I'm perfect. I always get by with a little help from my friends. :)
Mo is on the mend. It started with a thimble sized amount of bland rice and a lap of water. Every few hours I up'd the amounts with flavor. I waited two hours each time to see if he could hold the food down and then later in the day took him to a dog park to play and mark territory... in more specific terms, to poop. If that trick had not worked we would have gone straight to the hospital. I am so thankful I waited. We came home to chill out. A friend suggested that he might have chomped on a lizard and I suspect they are correct. We are going to the vet for tests and vaccinations. Health wise the world is becoming harsher for animals with more resistant insidious disease and I wish I knew nothing about it all.
April 08, 2012
Mo has not eaten, had water or gone to the bathroom in two days. He wants to eat but throws up the food without it having digested any of it. His spirit and mood is strong but I was told that is part of dog pack instinct because only the strongest survive in a pack of dogs. The entire day I was "dog focused." If I lost Mo I would need to find a desire to live and thats the way it is. The highlight of the day was to enjoy Camille's Polish Kapusta. I think it might be my all time favorite dish of food and the cooking smell for me was as intense as the taste. Pork, sauerkraut, cabbage, bacon, salt, pepper cooked until death. With the temperature over ninety degrees and completely emotionally drained I fell to sleep at 10:00pm.
April 07, 2012
The day started out with a spat between my host and myself. It doesn't feel right to go into details. I think things are ok but it certainly brings up the... am I going to get thrown out, where does the friendship stand, is it time to leave, what are my options type questions. "Lost" aptly describes where I am on all accounts. We are all human beings and I've never had a long lasting friendship that has not had conflict at one time or another. So I deal with it... onward life moves. There have been less pictures for the blog because I have been going out at sunset and often play when it is too dark for pictures or much interaction with people. Less pictures is good for now. It is overwhelming to still have pictures from a year ago to file and post on Boner The Dog.
After tonight I was reminded of how this journey works, how I can work no matter what personal conflict may be happening in my mind emotionally or how I think I feel physically... spiritually the journey lives on, no matter what. I'm very grateful for that fact, the grace. Mo and I visited a local dog park and then we headed to Gates Pass for the sunset. Every time I make the bend in the road at the top of the pass my mind enters into an awesome state of consciousness. The music I have been creating has been simpler these days... more single notes, slower... After the sun set and everyone had left there was one older guy who stayed. He was crying in a state of awesome and overwhelming life. The warm breeze, the night, nature, music, the Traveling Piano... It is a profound experience to be a catalyst in affecting people's lives, being responsible for a change in some way... always good. Music is a connection, a vehicle, a purposeful tool for the necessary "we" and the feeling of being "part of" with the world.
For people to relate to my music on such deep emotional levels... I tend to detach from it like I don't own the experience when I know in fact that I am part of it. On some level it is comical. There is a certain absurdity... a peculiar conjuncture... the discovery of a piano on the back of a pickup truck with a dog sitting on top of the piano in the middle of a desert with a guy creating music from his soul for the salt of the earth. Sometimes I see it as ridiculous the love, the beauty, the reality, the truth... after the music ended I could not keep my eyes off the sky as we talked. The pastel shades of blue, green, red and yellow in the distance behind dark silhouettes of mountains and above... the twinkling of stars forever against a deep blue backdrop. The way the mountains crested around us it looked like I was witnessing a bowl full of sky. The drive back to Camille's place winded down a road into a splendidly large full moon rising out of the Tucson city lights.
April 06, 2012
Somewhere I Think In Arizona
My where-with-all, my sanity today... almost nonexistent. Is it because of the full moon? My friend Camille thinks that is ridiculous. Maybe its a rational for feeling in my most natural state... "no where land." I was having conversations with myself trying to get people to be jerks in my head so I could jerk them off. There was an aggressive alcoholic guy in a food market parking lot hitting everyone up for money... I so much wanted to get him in trouble but couldn't bring myself to act out my nastiness. The guy yesterday I had planned to meet with his mother at the park tonight... he was a no show. Normally I'd be pissed but instead thought, "good I don't have to be nice to anyone." Ha! After having talked about my condition with some friends my life's gratitude returned. That gratitude came also with six pieces of fried chicken and rocky road ice cream.
April 05, 2012
I am so very thankful to meet people on a regular basis who do not own a computer, people who have no internet service and no use for it out of choice because their live's are completely full and satisfying with other than... People like that help create balance as to what is important for my life. I find them or I should say mostly they find me in nature while taking walks with friends, their dogs or just hanging out with the birds and the bees and the flowers and the trees. Mo and I drove to a local area to create music for the rising moonglow tonight. It is a full moon. There were very appreciative kids nearby playing soccer in the dirt, I ran into a couple I had met once before and a guy who I am going back to play for tomorrow. He wants to share the Traveling Piano with his eighty three year old mother. So be it.
April 04, 2012
Since the first of this month I've been holding out from posting to this blog page. I was waiting for an active Traveling Piano day because I wanted to put a positive face to this blog, make a good first impression for anyone visiting this website for the first time with people playing on the piano pictures. Overall I want to be always as honest as I can be. Intent on avoiding a negative spin... is that being honest? Who am I out to impress? Of course I want everyone to like me and for this journey to appear successful but not as much as I want to share the truth about myself and the journey. I want to convey the truth more than to have success. That is the truth. So be it. Ouch, if I fail at life! For me, the more truthful I can be the more successful I am. It is always a scary proposition. Here is a truth... the relationship I have with Piano Dog Mo helps keep me alive. I feel we are in a partnership. We have an intense relationship of respect and we are always learning more trust with each other. When I think of gratitude he always comes to mind first. I love him in ways and depths more than I could ever have imagined loving... before he came into my life.
April 03, 2012
Finally, it felt like a long time since we ventured out to drive a couple of hours away from our present home base. We headed south. After only a short time I saw a sign for Colossal Cave Mountain Park and felt compelled to head in that direction. Big mistake!!! Once again I saw a "fee" sign and once again... went to pull out the annual Arizona Park pass I purchased. Not for this park... it was a separate county park and if I wanted to purchase another annual pass for the county access it would be for that park only! So I said fuck that.. drove nine miles into the opposite direction to Saguaro National Park while thinking I might as well use the pass I purchased. NO!!! This park was run my the national forrest service a separate fee for both day and annually from the federal national park passes. Absolutely disgusted I am with these governmental scams. People should not have to pay money to enjoy this earths nature. To walk a paved path, to do a guided nature hike, buy a picture... people can pay for that if they want but not to enjoy a sunset in nature. I have a big problem with paying money for that especially in this "free" country.
With the national forest service parks separate from national state parks... the state park trusts, county parks... each charging separate cash, daily and annual fees within each governmental branch... along with gated communities, private and business "do not enter" properties, stay out, private, no trespassing, violators will be persecuted, pay money to enjoy the earth crap... I started to feel constipated with anger, really sick physically.
We kept meandering down different roads and discovered housing developments, new smashed up together, two story houses with green leafy trees and lawns here in the southwest desert? We drove through beautifully prohibited private foothill roads trying to get away from the noise in my head... finally finding the Old Spanish highway where we just drove off the road, off the beaten path and into the dessert... onto a beautiful piece of earth and enjoyed about an hour with music and nature... while not giving a shit who owned or controlled whatever boarder existed... and got away with it... this time! Ha. Strangely enough there was a bicyclist traversing through the dessert but I don't think he saw or heard us. I missed the sunset because I was feeling too sick to last for it... but both Mo and I did enjoy a good hour of solitude together with all that is God.
April 02, 2012
God, I am so ashamed of myself about my health. For my whole life so far I have been falling down and getting back up and falling down and getting back up concerning my weight. It has been my deepest life struggle. So... I just keep picking myself back up and moving forward. Its hell. I would like to be able to just embrace that fact that it is what it is. "Be gentle on yourself Danny." I went for a walk with Mo tonight. People seeing us walk down the street did not just notice, they sort of jumped. I think the recent murder of the young kid in Florida by an overzealous idiot vigilante is creating neighborhood fear these days. I used to be on my neighborhood watch when I owned a home back east so I know how it goes from both sides. It is sad when suspicion permeates people's minds. That leads to looking for trouble and then trouble is created. There is a difference in being smart and aware of danger verses being inundated with the possibility of it. A neighbor I was talking with asked questions about the journey. After my mentioning that she was interested she jumped in with, "I'm not interested, I fascinated." That gave me a good laugh. Gratitude comes to mind when I think about the life experiences I have taken advantage of. Like... when I went hiking in New Zealand in my 30's for sure I would not be physically able to do that hike and enjoy it today in my 50's. While walking through a street festival last week with wall to wall people I thought how I used to perform those type of festivals and drove the truck through crowds like that from block to block all the time. It was easy and safe because I drove slower than people walked, there was no way anyone could get hurt. Today... people would freak at just the idea! Oh my, the danger, the inconvenience of needing to be aware!!! I'm glad I had that experience for twenty years while it was possible. Traveling around with this journey... there is an awareness that it is becoming increasingly difficult to move around, visit, explore, experience places, neighborhoods and people with whom I have not yet had the opportunity to experience.
April 01, 2012
Oro Valley, Arizona
It was a wacky day that got wackier and wackier. After waking up on the wrong foot and then sort of finding the right foot... I ended up not wanting a foot. The fact that today was windy did not help my chaotic brain. Several hours were spent cleaning the truck inside and out. It had become dirty and full of desert dust. Mo and I drove to Catalina State park where the sign said "fees." I thought, "glad I brought the annual pass I paid for." Then I wondered why I wore flip flops. Originally the plan was to do a little hiking. No matter, the park ranger said the annual Arizona park pass I purchased did not apply to Catalina State park. I asked what I had recently paid twenty five bucks for. He said, "it all depends on who owns the land." Oh, I forgot all the land not owned privately or by business here in the United States is owned by the government. SO... if you want to enjoy nature and take a walk on the governments land... in this country you pay either the federal government, state government or county. Each government branch sucks off your money tit separately and if you do not have money... your just plain out of luck. Yea, just keep those ghetto people in the ghettos in the land of the free. It really pissed me off and got worse... as I drove around I found another spot but that was owned... by a state "trust." To enjoy the earths nature there I had to get permission to purchase a permit via "a written request." Forward... to Tortolita Mountain Park where the road became so bad a four wheel drive would not have been able to traverse it and... the earlier cleaning of dirt and dust... ha, shit fuck, the truck full of dirt and dust once again. Then the temperature dropped to where a coat was needed to sit and play music so I just ended the day and began to drive back to my digs. I saw a random big sign off the road a bit. It said, "Expect Miracles." Thats was a good idea that was very needed!