HIS SPIRIT LIVES ON! ... BONER, THE PIANO DOG ... November 27, 1994 ... February 20, 2010
Use the links to the left to read a past Month or Year... and then there is always your Backspace to return to a past page.
July 31, 2012
I am ending the month doing nothing! Ha, I talked on the phone with my friend Cindy for hours and sat around thinking about China and drove to town to get some internet... raining or not. Really... no pressure.
July 30, 2012
It was a strange day yet perfect. The feelings I am having are of being on a vacation so I guess that is what it is. All rumination thoughts of anger, resentment are fading more and more each day. (compared to like a week ago) I was enjoying the stew I made yesterday while thinking that literally hundreds of people were involved in the creation of it. You know, the growing and harvesting, marketing of each ingredient... Thoughts like, "the universe likes speed" ran through my mind. A line from a book I am reading stood out... "The only grace I can receive is that which I can imagine." Wow, now there's a thought for me to ponder.
Before the sun set I found myself driving to the park where Mo sat with me in the woods while I created music. The experience became very meditative. Later I let Mo run a little too much on his own into the woods. He became a little too wild. I remember the look from Piano Dog Boner. Almost frothing from the mouth, wild eyed, frenzied with the instinct for a hunt. Deer were everywhere. I came across a vast variety of colorful mushrooms like in Alaska. The sky with the moon sun and clouds of white, pink and dark blue became like in Montana. Then the rain...
July 29, 2012
On days like today I always say, "It is a more than perfect day you need to get out with the Traveling Piano truck." What I said was, "Its a more than perfect day, I'm staying home to enjoy it." Did I say home? I know its temporary but I am in familiar surroundings. I am surrounded by a few familiar possessions and I am sinking deep into a comfort zone that I have really needed or at least thats what I have been telling myself. My spirit is getting some rest and revitalization time. I spent time cleaning, reading about music and creativity, made an awesome long grain rice, fifteen bean ham stew with tomatoes, carrots, onions, mushrooms, salt, chili powder, garlic and pepper. I'll be eating it for breakfast, lunch and dinner all week because I can't cook anything in small amounts. I enjoy big amounts. Mo and I laid on the deck in the dark with citriolla candles while listening to the sounds of the night. My gratitude thoughts are constant. It is either that or everything but. I am so thankful my friend Pat gave me this place to use. I purchased two small blue bathroom floor mats and every time I use the bathroom I think ahh... nice, clean, bright, mine to enjoy. Mo had his first huge ham bone. He ate the whole thing everywhere... on the outside deck, the floor rug, under a chair... chomp, chomp, chomp.
July 28, 2012
It was practically impossible to have a day better than today in many ways. On a deck in a lounge chair, the weather... a warm summer breeze through the trees with clear blue skies after fifteen hours of sleep. It went like this... a few days ago fighting thoughts of fear, anger, resentment (they always exist) turned into a foot problem that turned into a bowel problem. I was getting very sick and now after lots of rest I am managing. In my dreams and while rambling in my mind it feels like every person I ever met in life no matter for how short a time has flashed by. Since the journey began in 2006 I have traveled with a couple books I wanted to read. Today, I began the second book! It took six years to give myself the time! And then I thought laying in the lounge chair, "everything else except for your bowel is physically fine and not stopping you from getting off your butt and going to the lake to create some music at sunset on this mostly beautiful of days." After some truck cleaning in the shade we drove off. I played softly, easily, peacefully with serenity. There was a fisherman there and a car drove up with two couples. We had an exchange and they left. Being there less than a half hour it was like we were both meant to visit the place to meet each other for just those few moments and that was it.
July 27, 2012
I have been feelin' the just chillin' attitude and it feels good. It took a little over two weeks to settle down and feel moments of total relaxation. I have been needing this as it has been over a year since I've burrowed in anywhere with a little feeling of security. This morning I sat outside on a deck under trees and cloudy skies while eating watermelon and spitting out seeds. This afternoon I took Mo to the creek and watched him play in the water. When its shallow enough he looks for sticks under water. He tries to pick them up with his feet or dives under to get them. Recently, I have found myself in some real moments of just being. They last about five minutes. I do not time them. These times happen through situations like meandering around walking in a wooded area with no thought or urgency... laying on the ground while looking up watching storm clouds build through the trees... sitting with Mo just feeling nothing but companionship and contentment. I enjoy revisiting old feelings and experiences of summer... the greenery, water, leafy trees, sun, warmth, the sounds of locusts. There are personal items I contributed to this place where I am staying... a few old possessions that have been in my life for my entire life. They bring me comfort. Stuff like the coffee cups my mom and dad drank out of all their lives. There is an old christmas candle decoration that keeps the place dimly lit at night. On the floor I have a small rug that was in my old house.
July 26, 2012
Last night when I got back to where we are staying I left the cover off the Traveling Piano truck thinking, "No way is it going to rain." Seven in the morning thunder woke me and the situation became a sight to behold... me outside with nothing on and I mean nothing... the wind blowing full force with heavy rain dropping while I'm trying to secure a huge vinyl cover over the Traveling Piano. Once I got done my heart was beating very fast! I forgot all about my feet hurting so bad I can barely walk. When I got up I felt appreciative to be where I can run around like a maniac outside with no clothes on. Slept until noon then thought I would take it easy on the porch and read some in the sun. Once in the chair, "this ain't happening," It was friggin' a hundred degrees again with full humidity. I've been working with some amazing pictures from the last year. It is even more amazing when I put myself into the scenes. I was there! I took the pictures... never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined being right in the center of... deep down, solidly grounded with and in the earths beauty. There are about seven hundred more pictures of just scenery alone... to get uploaded... 03-American Scenery
July 25, 2012
Berkeley Springs, West Virginia
The weather today was perfect. I knew it would be. I was thinking about that yesterday when it was feeling almost unbearable with the humidity, dark clouds and rain. Consciously I must let go of yesterday and focus on how it is today the way I like it, how beautiful days can be and are. I do not want to forget about days like today especially when I deal with five days in a row or even two weeks of the opposite.
We went for a drive to look for an overlook some guy had told us about and ended up deep in the woods. I think it was around Magnolia, West Virginia where roads switched back and forth up high mountains and deep down into dead earthly creeks. There was no GPS satellite to be reached. When it came to making a decision which way to go I choose it on a whim. I figured, "well the gas tank is full and the road is going to go somewhere even if into another state." The roads were along the ridges of mountains but I could not see anything because of the tall, thick trees. There was no place to pull off and create music. I knew we were riding alongside mountains on one side and most of the time on the other sides... a straight drop off down. On roads like today I get concerned about a vehicle coming from opposite direction. We would both not fit because the roads are so narrow and if the other guy comes flying around one of the bends... I'd be dead meat. Most of the driving today was in first gear. The ups and downs were so steep the truck was clacking big time. There were a few rocky uphill dirt roads that began to get troublesome. I thought, "If I can find a spot to turn around at least I'll know what it will be like going back down." It was all beautiful like taking a walk in the woods but we were driving through them instead. I cannot remember ever being in such a rural place with paved road.
Life and environments... there is a lot of variance. For example many woods I travel into have a dirtiness about them. That is... a lot of dead timber, mold, plant life fighting for space, angry fearful people living in shacks, thick air no matter how hard it blows.. there is a darkness about everything. Traveled through that today but then there was an area where I suddenly realized everything (the woods) felt fresh and vibrant, clean and peaceful. It smelled nice. The air was easy to breath and there were no people.
In the beginning there were a few opportunities to interact with people but I felt too tired to extend myself. At the end of the day I saw a random water access sign and decided to check it out. A short nap on a rock by water might have been nice. I found a area with a low wood bridge across a river bed. The water was clean, fish were flowing, trees, mountains, grass... a mother and her sun were enjoying the water. Mo joined them. Two small trucks meandered through the area. Other people like me... One guy was dropped off from having a few beers with a friend. He bragged about having burnt rubber driving across the bridge last week, ha! Another truck... three guys, construction workers had been handling insulation on a house job all day. They had seen the same sign for water access and wanted to find a place to wash themselves off and refresh. They found the Traveling Piano at the same time!
July 24, 2012
Cacapon Park, West Virginia
It was raining off and on all day. Trying to push how unbearable it is out of my mind was not easy. The humidity is what gets to me the most. Before the sun set the rain stopped and I took Mo to the park. A butterfly stopped right in front of me... like it came for a visit. Going anywhere is a half hour drive each way. When thinking about creating music... why bother. It was just too sticky and buggy. I thought about driving a half hour more to find some internet and upload more pictures but said, "Get ye back to the cabin its not worth the time and gas. Do it tomorrow when its nice out."
July 23, 2012
Berkeley Springs, West Virginia
It is a cloudy day and supposed to rain. Did not feel like going out anyway. But then the sun came out and Mo needed exercise. We headed for a mountain overlook at sunset. I wanted to take a long walk but did not have the energy. Pulling the cover off the truck and creating music for myself felt really good. A few people arrived. I spent a short time with them. We played with new video sunglasses I purchased. These glasses will take a lot of practice using to get my moneys worth.
Sometimes I think about life in "batches." For example... my first fifteen years were spent in complete fear trying to figure out how to operate the system when it all felt very unnatural (family, church, community) all the while knowing something was wrong with the way things were supposed to be working. The second fifteen years were all about wanting to feel as part of the system while knowing all attempts were a failure and would continue to be. Life became about sex, drugs, rock and roll. Although that was all exciting and very fun living in the moment I knew there was no future with it or anything else. It was what it was, and only that... nothing more forever. The problem there was I am the type of person who "always" wants more. The next fifteen year batch was spent unraveling the first fifteen years in order to make sense of chaos, drama, control, manipulation, fear and... move onward. The present fifteen year stretch has been about living a life that dreams are made of, my life.
July 22, 2012
Berkeley Springs, West Virginia
A day of sun means... make up for lost time. Mo and I headed into town first to get to the farmers market. It was about to close and all the good stuff was gone. Next... find a spot on the street where I can connect to the internet to upload five hundred pictures. The sun was hot so I put sunscreen on ma' head which drew the bees right to me. One lady switched parking spots with us so I could get to where I needed to be. Then their were people across the street getting something out of their car trunk (in the shade) and they switched with me. In the shade, internet connection, Mo happy, me ready... so it began.
As I sat in the car getting work done people just began to engage. It went on until the sun went down and everything was delightful. In four different places we met people including the local supermarket parking lot. I could feel "magnet-like-people" connections all day. Also, "repel-unlike-people" connections ha, I did very well at avoiding certain people. This is a small town. Do you know what it is like to be in a small town where everyone knows everyone on some level?
Sometimes it takes a while for me to find the right kind of people that I can relate with and then sometimes it takes a "long" time to discover the people I do not want to relate to. There is one guy around here who for years I thought was simply shy and had poor communication skills so that was why he avoided everyone. Then one day he said something really rude to me. Then a year later I realized that he was simply a jerk. It never occurred to me that his girlfriend who was a very close friend of mine was never allowed to talk to me on weekends when he was around even though there was no threat from me. I just brushed it off as a weird thing. It wasn't a weird thing, the guys a jerk! Ha, then in the supermarket today I hear a child trying to interest her grandmother in something she had learned and discovered. The grandmothers reply with grandfather following right along... was such an amazingly insidious reply of belittlement I turned around to look. I saw that I knew them all. Several years ago the woman treated me the same... several times! I did not catch it then but I did today as an observer. I avoided them like a plague.
It really is a conscious exercise to do what I do. Focus... it is all about focus and not trying to do too much at one time. When someone had my attention today I gave them full attention. No one could get into the "space" I created for who I was interacting with. When we were done if there was someone waiting they moved right into the space. On the way driving into town I was thinking, "What can I bring to the situations today." The idea of this place as being a vortex, a high concentration of energy constantly came into conversations. The best of the best and the worse of the worse. While driving back to where I am staying I was so lost in energy I took a wrong turn and ended up way down a long hill in the middle of nowhere. Someone told me today that the lake area where I have been most drawn to over the past several years here in the area is a vortex. Also today someone told me about Mo... he was born three days after Boner died and Buddhist have a specific ritual connected to death because they believe spirit does not leave or return until the third day. For anyone who does not know... their is a major string of similarities and connection between now Piano Dog Mo and Piano Dog Bo who passed after having been on top of the piano with me for fifteen and a half years.
July 21, 2012
This morning I really did expect to see the sun. It could not possibly rain another day in a row! Well yes it can, it drizzled most of the day. It felt like in the Northwest at the beginning of the year. It really got to me, Mo too. He went from being bored into rammy, not listening, etc... I could not tell wether I was going crazy or it was him. He got out for a little run in the afternoon.
A little part of me wants to stay without people contact because if I can go crazy after four days with no human contact that is not good. Practice is needed in being with just myself, it is wanted. I'm working steadily on back logged work. Can you believe there are pictures of about two hundred people I did not post to the picture galleries from the beginning of this year alone? People have had a very exciting time with the Traveling Piano's syncronisity. I looked all day at pictures of people thrilled, having the time of their lives with spontaneity. It really is an amazing thing. I can understand clearly why I am tired when I see all the excitement I went through. I loved every minute of it! There is nothing better than discovery and having fun with people in beautiful places wether it is sunny, rainy, snowing, cold, hot or in a sand storm. (forget hot and humid can't do that) Ha, the Traveling Piano has worked in a lot of environments. I purchased a truck cover last year. It cannot travel with me because it is so big but it sure is coming in handy while here in West Virginia. This rain would have finished off the truck, piano and equipment for sure. A third of the tarp buttons have fallen off again and the canvas has lost its waterproofness. There is no garage or covered area to use even though several neighbors have them. I had asked before. Same with the internet. No sharing here without mutual need or agenda.
July 20, 2012
I woke up and stayed in bed for a few more hours. A steady rain began. It was the perfect kind of rain, no storming where I end up sweeping water out of the cellar while running around to look out windows to see what is happening. Just a constant summer cool rain with no idea what time of the day it is. No idea when the rain will stop or what the weather will be. I told myself about fun, friendship and respect with musical empowerment and inspiration at no cost and without commercial, organizational or political affiliation using synchronistic spontaneity to create music for people to discover. I was thankful that I could just lay in bed and not care about anything but feel how much companionship my dog gives to me and how I have a friends who have given me the house I am using. I may need to leave on the drop of a dime but for now there is no need to look for a place to stay, deal with meeting and adjusting new a new environment, new people... that got really exhausting. I may continue on with that but not until I get some relief.
I have been thinking about this guy I knew. His work was being a life and business coach, a motivational guy. Every time our paths crossed which was at least once a week I could depend on his attitude being positive, happy, interested and energized. His spirit I wanted to emulate. A period of about two years passed when we did not see each other. When we did meet again he was a completely different person. While being dejected, he rejected any inquiry or desire of mine to understand why he was negative, angry, tired and sort of beat up. What a disappointment that was. I still would have wanted to be his friend.
This blog... I know people have been inspired by it and look for positive inspiration through it ...wow... as I'm writing this I figured out an answer I have been searching for... for now at least. My "Inspirational" responsibility concerning this journey for other people lays within the music only. It is not about me inspiring a positive spirit for people, it is about the music and me living a life, my life. A show of "it is what it is." My goal from the start with this blog, that has been to express myself, the truth first and foremost in thought, feeling and experience and not color anything to entertain in any way for certain people... but for better or worse for everyone... to offer people my courage in doing that, being as real as can be... because I want other people to do that with me... be strong and unafraid to "say it" as it is for themselves in life wether I like it or not. And then to keep going in relationship. Fuck!
July 19, 2012
There is a food recipe I found. The ingredients were fish, poppy and mustard seeds, salt, cayenne pepper, turmeric (what the hell is that) fresh diced coconut, ginger, garlic, chiles, onion, coriander (what the hell is that) cumin, pureed tomatoes, lime juice, oil and cilantro leaves. To the supermarket I went to purchase it all. First mistake... got home and forgot to get cumin. Oh well, I knew the taste would be a first no matter what so any missing cumin would not be missed. Why do I try stuff like this when I know I can't follow directions to save my life? Really, if given one direction I might be able to do it. Twenty directions to save my life... I'm dead. There are no if's, and's, or but's about that. It is what it is. So the recipe with all its stages and directions... turned into a usual Danny miss-mush stew and I knew it would be either really bad or... usually fantastic but with all the first time ingredients I settled on... different. The recipe turned into a sauce that was pretty, really, almost... great! I'll use it with rice, fish, ham... I don't know wether it was worth the time to cook which took hours of anxiety but when I think of pre-cooked, packaged, price rip-offing convenience food... I had the time so, yea... it was worth it. My hands visibly shook most of the time preparing and I had to tell myself to relax an breath constantly. No kidding.
July 18, 2012
I enjoy giving a daily report. With the hundred degree weather over the last few months I have discovered I can work with dry hundred degree heat. Wet hundred degree heat, forget it. There is no ability to function... at all. The rain came to cool things off, finally. I was sitting on the porch telling myself to go walk in the rain like I used to run in it as a kid. This was a rare opportunity to experience warm rain against my skin in such hot weather. If I had someone with me I probably would have done it. The idea of Mo's wet dog hair was my excuse to say no. I am allergic to wet dog hair big time. The experience happened anyway... on my back as I tried to keep the outside cellar drain clear so the basement would not flood. No success. Mo's bored silly. He will have to deal with it. Eating in silence by myself is a challenge. Listening to my chewing, being conscious of the taste, telling the conversations in my head to stop... I want to be stopped. I want this break from looking for places to stay, being constantly considerate of everything and everyone. I want the balance of being able to just stay with myself for awhile. As I prepare food for myself I wonder how I ate over the last year. There were a few times where I prepared meals in houses where I stayed or where friends prepared dinner for me but most of the time I guess... don't know. Routine or no routine, either way is not easy for me.
July 17, 2012
As time moves on with this journey I am becoming more and more recognized in public as the Traveling Piano has been around the block several times now. For example here in West Virginia it is our fourth time. This fact is changing the journey's dynamics more and more as time goes on. I miss my old garage to store away the Traveling Piano and wish I had my old second truck to use when simply meandering out and around in public.
Mo and I spent time with an older gentleman. He was telling me about a fellowship he belongs to and wanted Mo and I to meet his friends. Really, he wants me to play music to entertain his friends. The idea of simply meeting new people for friendship is difficult for most people to grasp. Ahh... agendas. This guy saw... great piano player, novelty, dog, truck, music, fun for friends, etc... He innocently offered $50 bucks to perform. It was like when people give me a buck. It is a major challenge to help people understand my mission. He said after dinner would be great. I said no, I'm coming for dinner and then tried to explain who I am and what I do better. If money is brought into the mission... my worth financially is much more than most people can imagine. I really dislike when people make our connection about money. More specifically it feels uncomfortable when people create an insignificant exchange of money. It devalues what I have to offer. A handshake is worth more. Asking if a financial contribution (not donation) would be helpful... now thats the way to do it. Or saying something like... I'd like to contribute what would be helpful? Or... I do not have very much to offer but will give you what I have. Or... Please accept a contribution (along with the request). Or, I'd like to have you come and meet my friends and play some music for us would you do that, would a contribution help? There are so many ways that are better than... "here's a buck" or "I'll give you fifty bucks to come and play" or "don't worry, we'll take care of you." Ha, the last phrase is the worst. No money involvment is best for now.
Tonight I escaped the day completely while watching my all time favorite movie Moulin Rouge with Mo sprawled out on top of me. This movie stimulates me on every level and fills me with all kinds of emotion every time I watch it. "Truth, Beauty, Freedom and that which I Believe in Above all Things... Love" "A Story about Love, a Love that will Live Forever"... What a masterpiece this movie is. It hits on my Bohemianism and has one of my all time favorite written lines... "The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return." Ahhh... love that.
July 16, 2012
It feels almost like I am on a vacation! There is plenty to do but my head... the space I am in is totally removed from the pressures of creating music and interacting with people. I like it. No sounds of the city, little noise from neighbors or their dogs and the damm roster that was here last year... a fox got him. Even though it is humid and a hundred degrees I sat outside on the porch enjoying the summer and warmth! That is a wow for me. Inside, I figured how to keep the air moving with fans so I do not need air conditioning. That is a big wow. While back here in West Virginia I want to stay away from troublesome people so I keep reminding myself that I do not need to reach out to everyone and everyone does not need to be my friend. Hahaha... Thirty years ago today I began working my life path of today which has lead to my being the kind of person I always wanted to be ever since I was a child. Amazing grace... It was simple. I just stopped drinking and doing drugs. Simple but not simple and a lot of friggin' work to keep it simple and stay that way. There will always be room for improvement and I hope I continue to find fun ways to enjoy improving. Late in the afternoon I took a long drive ending up in Charles Town, West Virginia. Through luscious greenery, hills, pastures, old farm houses, ponds, kids on swings hanging from trees... on the way I was thinking how I have no interest in working with the Traveling Piano at all. I told myself not to worry the interest would probably return and if not, so be it. Once in town it was difficult to resist taking the cover off the truck. All the interest returned but I am going to hold off and just relax a bit wether it feels like I want to or not.
July 15, 2012
Been cleaning everything that mice have been running all over for a year and removing limbs from trees that fell in the parking area. I took Mo running in the woods and he found fresh deer poop to roll in. Washed him off but the smell remained so I Febrezed him. Deer are everywhere. They come within a hundred feet. Young deer, lots of baby deer less than three feet high. Mo will leave them alone unless they run away and then he runs after them to play. When I arrived a started a diet. I happened across my friend Dawn almost dead. She gave me some delcious food and now I am alive. Dieting is such a stupid thing to do. I'd rather die from being overweight.
July 14, 2012
Spent several hours doing nothing and enjoyed that even though it was not easy to do. I have been listening to my music to find some good improvisations. There has never been an artist I can listen to for three hours and listening to myself for that length of time... a major challenge. Always, I am working on pictures of course. The trip up from last year through the Northern Rockies in Canada, a herd of Buffalo within two feet of the truck window... all these pictures I am seeing for the first time. It was all completely beautiful to experience.
July 13, 2012
The day was spent getting settled. I purchased a prepaid broadband modem to see if it would work where I am staying. It took over an hour and a half just waiting for customer service. Never did get it going and the software messed up my computer. Another failed try to get internet here.
July 12, 2012
Traveling from Pennsylvania to West Virginia
I had a new experience today. We left Philly. I was a little antsy driving for hours on a boring highway that I know well. On entering West Virginia I began to get angry. This happens often when returning to a familiar place for what reason I haven't figured out yet. Once we arrived it was not so bad as usual because we just left a few weeks ago. Not as musty as usual, had left some things unpacked, no need to make the bed, etc... so I unloaded the truck got everything inside and it was like a routine. There was a little apprehension about being alone without people in close proximity like in cities. I dove for "our" recliner and Mo jumped into it with me. We sat in silence looking out the door listening to the sounds of the woods especially the crickets. Mo licked my face to tell me how happy he was. He did this last time we arrived here. This little cottage given for us to use is his home. This is where he stayed with me in the beginning. He knew from the surroundings that we were heading here thirty five minutes before we arrived. After about two minutes in the chair we completely unraveled together. We totally zoned out. I fell half asleep, not from exhaustion but from feeling so relaxed. Later I put Mo's bed by the screen door a new favorite spot for him. He lay next to the darkness outside in the most natural of environments resting, listening, smelling, feeling zoned out.
July 11, 2012
Around Northeast Philly and Lower Bucks County, Pennsylvania
Originally I was going to leave today but felt some unfinished business not knowing what that business was. While here in Philadelphia I have become aware that a "home feeling" fix was really wanted... really... wanted. When I left here the last few times I thought any needy feelings for a home were gone. For the last two weeks I have mindlessly been driving through all my past neighborhoods. Not missing but wanting the feeling of "home." I think I have my fill now.
The day was spent visiting old as in "old" friends. My old neighbors Larry and Arlene... my old high school teacher and his wife and all their old neighbors about ten of them... my friend Ed's mom and sister... my friend Cindy and her mom, friends, son and neighbor... I was thinking while I drove around today that the way I live my life is to enjoy. Enjoyment helps to facilitate gratitude. Gratitude makes room for compassion. Compassion creates and ability to forgive. The ability to "give-for" equals fulfillment in life... for today.
July 10, 2012
I took it easy today and am appreciating the ability to give that to myself. Feeling my way into leaving Philly once again. Spent time watching the National Geographic Wild Channel on television... termites and ants make up twenty percent of all animal mass on the planet! Isn't that amazing? They outweigh all the worlds humans ten to one. The visual cinematography was so impressive I emailed them to say how much I appreciated watching and learning... I even wanted to see who the commercial sponsors where, ha.
July 09, 2012
Old Neighborhoods in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
God, man... I am really glad I stayed alive to experience a totally fulfilling day like today. The weather was perfect. One day like today... is worth three years of shit. It is my fifty seventh birthday. The day started out with hundreds of birthday wishes on Facebook with words like "Happy Birthday Danny from Singapore" "...Botswana" "...Poland" ...on and on it went. I share this with pure gratitude nothing more. Onward... driving up Broad street to have lunch with my friend Sid I stopped at a red light in North Philly and heard from the sidewalk, "Its' his birthday" I turned my head and saw a guy holding a container with a piece of cake and ice cream in it. Knowing it might make me late for lunch I just had to stop with the piano and pulled the truck around the corner to ask, "Who's birthday is it?" They said it was the guy who just drove off. I asked if he was coming back and they said no so I drove the truck up the street to turn around and when I came back down to the corner I saw... this was the corner where when I sold my house several years ago... I came to and gave away a truck load of my mother's raspberry bushes to kids in the neighborhood to gift their moms for mothers day.
It was like my mom who died thirty years ago connecting with me for my birthday. Last week I just finished using up a container of my dad's Gold Bond body powder. It had lasted seventeen years with me! I had a jar of my mom's raspberry jelly with for me six years after she died. Can you believe it lasted that long? Every taste of that last jar was savored to the fullest. My friend Sid handles money for people. He's a good man, a guy who who buys. sells and trades money first and foremost to be helpful to his clients. After lunch with my friend I felt driven to visit my parents and baby sister Pamela's grave in my old, old neighborhood. On the way I was going to pass near my doctors office and knew the chance of his being there was almost nil as he almost never works in the afternoon and only a few days a week and... it is summer but I drove to his corner anyway. There were no cars so I knew he wasn't in but then I saw a guy getting out of his car and it was him! He had stopped by to pick up some papers. I yelled, "YO" and when he came over he looked kind of glazed so I asked him if he knew who I was. He began to laugh at me saying, "of course I do." I thought he might be getting a bit senile by now. Dr. Dibello thought is was very "godly" that we would cross paths at that very chance moment. I asked if he would give me a free exam next time I was in the area and he said, "of course!" This is the doctor who delivered me into the world fifty seven years ago! Hahaha... amazing. I told him I loved him and he returned the statement.
At the cemetery I almost wanted to get a picture of Mo and myself on the truck next to my parents and sister's gravestone but was too afraid of getting yelled at for driving on the grass. There is another story here. I stopped drinking and drugging... in a week from today it will be thirty years ago. My mom died that first year and throughout my entire life I consciously feared that time coming more than anything else in life. It turned out to be my most successful achievement ever and my strongest period of growth to date. My being able to handle her death was a total success. (mostly because i did not go through it alone and was able to have asked for lot of support around me) Every year on my anniversary I would go back to the grave to see how many years it has been because I could never remember... really. For twenty five years I did that and on the twenty fifth year... I discovered for the first time... that my baby sister had died on the very date I stopped drinking and drugging. She died a crib death on the very date that I began to work on living. How did I miss that fact engraved in stone for all twenty five years?! It was amazing.
Well, there was no one was around to take a picture anyway so I got into the truck to drive out and in front of me a car comes tinkering down the path. There was no room for both of us so I had to back onto the grass so he could turn around. I pulled back right up to the gravestone and asked the guy to take a picture for me. Of course he then also had to get onto the truck for a picture. It was like he had appeared for just that reason and then left. Ha, I stayed and created music for about twenty minutes while dragon flies buzzed above us. Where they came from or why I have no idea but I do love dragon flies. Before leaving the are I stopped at the water ice stand to get a cherry water ice. It was a family treat when we were all young because we could walk to the place from our house. It was over forty seven years since I had my last water ice and it was good!
Onward to my nieces house for an early dinner. I was planning on staying only about an hour and a half. After dinner I was sitting on her porch and a little five year old girl from across the street came over... "Happy Birthday" she says. Her mom is a Facebook friend of mine. That started the Traveling Piano fun with neighbors on the street and once it got dark Mo had a major play with four kids and a ball. It was pure joy for me to watch. We didn't get out of the neighborhood until late at night. When I got back to where we have been staying a birthday cake from my friend Ed was waiting for us in the fridge. Both my adopted son and god daughter connected with me today and it has been over a year for both. I have not very much into "special" birth, death or commemorative dates of any kind but today... it was truly special for me. Thanks, world.
July 08, 2012
19th and Walnut Street Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
It is what it is. What is it? That is where my head is today. Of course I was not going to go out and play. My friend Ed was returning so I spent the day cleaning his place. He came in and the one spot I missed... he found it. If he turns into me... the way I used to act with other people in my space... I'm leaving. Ha, love him... he's like a brother but I am done staying with other people who I cannot be a slob with. Danny needs to be able to have the choice to be a slob for awhile if needed. I have a little place in rural West Virginia where I can go vegetate until the owners appear for their vacation. Ended up going outside about 6:46pm with the Traveling Piano.
Found a parking spot on the 19th block of Walnut street. Cheezeeee... the government charges for parking on Sundays now. $2.50 an hour to park at a curbside meter! Never-the-less I put the money in because I did not want to deal with anything having to do with it. The fun started, ahh and the diversity. I love meeting people from all walks of life. I think a bunch of Ukranians were a little put off with my foul mouth. Lots of fun everyone had. Two terrific Israeli musicians walked by as I was having a time with a women who never before played. The one guy started jamming with his guitar the other took over my job and began to coach the girl.
Witnessing her make music for the first time and realize as well as validate herself with it and not only that... communicate with another seasoned musician as an equal... it made the hairs on my arm raise. True musicians create nothing but joy. I am so grateful I have made the discovery of that fact in my life time. True musicians do not judge or critique music at all, they can't because the truth is that music... it is what it is. The guy she was with had coincidentally met us last year and played on the piano outside Feders food market! I could have stayed where I was which was simply a random parking spot in the middle of a block... I could have stayed there having fun with different people all night.
July 07, 2012
Fairmount Park, Pennsylvania
Last night I got really sick with a condition that is terrible and has not happened in quite a while. It has been detailed before in this blog I am sure. My body felt extremely tense so I did some relaxing stretching and breathing which made it worse. It was the after affect of my July Fourth over exertion. As i have mentioned several times throughout the years (wow, now I can say throughout the "years") in this blog how things that hit me hard physically or emotionally take two days to digest. Anyway this morning thank God I was not sick but knew to take it easy. My friend Stephen came over and we took the Traveling Piano out to look for some red wine berries in the park. We came across a grand old house and surprisingly a beautiful female officer was inside keeping watch. She came outside to see the Traveling Piano just as another security guy pulled up and he immediately jumped onto the piano and began to play, really good! We all had fun and then it looked like it was going to storm big time so I wanted to get the truck back to where we are staying and under a garage. It never did storm, we were hoping a storm would cool down the temperature. Stephen and i had dinner and watched television together. As I get older I am having more appreciation for my relationships. Lots of love flowing...
July 06, 2012
It is so difficult to not watch the television news! I remember not watching for over four years. I know better but anyway... the media makes me feel like I will not want to live tomorrow, it will not be tolerable. Today it is about the heat and humidity and how much worse it will be tomorrow... it is all noisy negative chatter that fills my spirit. As I just wrote that... I turned it off. Writing is a helpful tool to discharge emotion or negative thoughts. My friend Ed will be returning tomorrow so the day was spent, Mo and me by ourselves. Comfort, privacy, no agenda, obligations, expectations... ahh, I really did enjoy it.
July 05, 2012
Woke up felt ok, the building maintenance guy where I am staying came and fixed the air conditioner... thank the heavens... I got some energy and offered to take the Traveling Piano to his neighborhood later in the day, then got REAL tired... called to verify and he changed his mind... thank the heavens... I went back to bed, did practically nothing all day. This was good! For all the people who are having trouble navigating this website and for the wussus I've met who are afraid to email and ask me for the pictures they want because they are afraid they will owe me something ha... I'm assuming... this link will take you to all the pictures from the last few days... Boner The Dog
July 04, 2012
My "To Do" list for first things first... don't for get to shave and shower, take directions, Mo's food, get coffee and something to eat, don't forget street pass so the cops will let me go to where I need to go, ice water, let Mo pee, take umbrellas. There was a good chance of rain for today and I saw that rooftops were wet. I was hoping for rain to cool things off a bit. People often ask, "What do you do when it rains?" What I do is think about how I can make it fun... or I don't think about it... or I think about how it will not stop me from having fun and how I will accomplish that. What I do not do... run in circles scream and shout or cancel life. For today I called my niece and asked her to bring all her beach and regular umbrellas. We could have a gaggle of people hanging off the Traveling Piano with umbrellas to cover it all. I thought if they cancel the planned parade I am going to do the route all by myself... in the rain... twice. If I can play in a sandstorm in Death Valley (last month) I can certainly play in a rain storm in Philadelphia. So if everything gets wet it gets wet. If everything gets destroyed, it gets destroyed... I'll have fun all the way through to the end! Of course while everyone else was thinking of whether the event would be cancelled or not... it never rained.
I must be getting ready to die because I am feeling an awful large amount of love or... maybe it is because I almost did die while doing the Fourth of July parade in Oreland, Pennsylvania for the seventeenth year in a row today. It was ninety five degrees, like an idiot I took one of those five hour energy vials that made my body so tense I could not drink water. I'm almost fifty seven years old, out of shape and fat. I'll also mention I have not had the need to put out performance or parade energy since one year ago today. Hahaha... it is not the same musical energy as sitting on a mountain top with an easy breeze flowing while creating musical notes to float off into the sunset. I figured if I was going to die I would have fun doing it all the way. For the first time in twenty six years on the truck I decorated it with red white and blue paper like I did as a kid on my bicycle. While performing on the parade route some guy ran up and asked if the guy who used to what I was doing, if he died yet. I said yea but he's still here in spirit.
There was a big break in the parade and a lot of people had left before we reached the end. They thought the parade was over... not ever until the piano man and dog shows up! After six years people think I am still performing full time. I wish there was a way to help people better understand my life as it is today. Back to the love... my friend Sid who throws this parade every year with the Lion's club gave a heavty contribution for my journey along with an extra couple hundred bucks to help defray the costs of driving back across the country to be here. Duane, who I have not seen in years was the first contact for this parade back in 1995 and my first true experience of fun, friendship and respect concerning business. Dave Gillies and his longtime partner Nick, the Give and Take Jugglers were there. They were doing jobs with me ever since I started back in 1987. Bea and her daughter Michelle once again there to see me... those two were at my very first performance ever back in 1987 and have been to I'd say close to at least a hundred performances over the years. My niece Heather (the only family member I have any real contact with) and four grandnieces and grand nephews joined me in the truck for the parade. I'm sure I drove them crazy with too much sound and manic energy as they smiled and waved at everyone.
My close friend Larry with his pace maker and heart that needs a generator with batteries drove for me. The same neighborhood families I have come to know every year having their Fourth of July parties on the front lawns (I drove off with a huge to go container of food from one of them) I love seeing them all every year... and then my dog Mo. He is fantastic! He just "be!" Always there, never in the way, never demanding... chillin' or walking back and forth from side to side on top of the piano as we drove along. (thinking about all the hotdogs he was passing I'm sure) At the end of the parade route people jumped onto the truck to play some piano. One whole family jumped on and everyone took turns. We ended up driving around the block with everyone hanging on while Dad played the traditional Philadelphia Mummers song... O, Dem Golden Slippers. Back at my friend Ed's condo I crashed bigtime but got the energy to take a two block walk outside later just in time to see and listen to Queen Latifah sing Phoebe Snow's, Poetry Man while backed up by the Roots on the parkway. (Huge Musical Treat) ...came back and rested some more until later at night I headed for Mount Lemon because I just knew the spot I had found the other night would be perfect to watch the fireworks. I wondered if anyone else would be there. Yea, it was an area filled (but not too crowded) with locals. I sat in the dark with Mo on a grassy mountain top and he did great... as we watched the sky through a large opening in the trees, the clearest view possible for fireworks over the Art Museum with the city scape as a backdrop. The night, the lights, the pops without the distraction of piped soundtrack music. It was the best! No... hanging out with a couple hundred thousand local Philly neighbors in my old home town tonight, that was the best! No... my close friends and the Oreland Fourth of July Parade today that was the best.
July 03, 2012
All in all it was a good day. My head is lost but it was still a good day. When I woke up everything was awlful, I almost went back to bed but things began to fall in place one step at a time. All day I kept reminding myself, "you have plenty of time to do everything." I tried on my pants (to see if I could close the zipper), with my new shirt and tie ha, and everything looked acceptable, got money out of the ATM machine (huge past pain in the ass problems with that)... got my emails working right for the first time in about three months, my niece called to say she is coming to help decorate the truck for the parade we will be in tomorrow, my friend Larry is going to drive, I got a letter from the apartment management to hopefully help me get the truck back into the parking garage after the parade. The city closes the streets where we are staying for the fireworks and festivities. Last year it was total chaos and a pain in the ass. I just ended up driving through the barracade because there was no way I was going to leave the Traveling Piano out on the street with crazy people everywhere.
I purchased a badly needed fan for the condo where we are staying as the air conditioning is broke. Went to the Reading Terminal market and treated myself to some Amish breads, salads and hotdogs to cook for myself tomorrow. My friend Stephen stopped by and said hello. I drove through the city by way of old neighborhoods where I lived for periods of time (deja vu-ing) ...ended up near the dog park we were at a few days ago. After Mo had a run with other dogs and I began to clean the truck. I painted the wheels. Who cares if it the look only lasts twenty four hours... they look great. Cleaning takes me forever so I only got alittle done. A little is better than none. People eventually began to interact with us. I was consious of having no interest in performing or entertaining. When someone showed interest in getting onto the piano... then we got something going. I created music for about fifteen minutes all for myself. It is going to be a good day tomorrow I can feel it. The operative word to keep alive... fun!
July 02, 2012
I took a drive to my old neighborhood today to see some very close friends. Driving back to the old haunts gave me a nauseous feeling for many reasons and on many levels. As I drove by my old house I saw that it is being well cared for. That gave me a good feeling. The old family magnolia tree looks great and even better in the back yard... the tulip maple tree I planted from seed is now big and strong. For seven years I climbed and personally wiped all the aphids (insects that suck the sap out) from every branch. I saw my old neighbor Russ for a few minutes and then spent most of the day with Larry and Arlene. They are all in their eighties and are having a hard time with their health. Larry has to decide wether he wants to try and elongate his life by carrying around a nine pound machine strapped around his shoulder that has a generator and batteries that will attach to his belly and sides that will run his heart. He already has a pace maker and other stuff. Is that crazy or what? Afterwards I went and purchased a shirt and tie for the Fourth of July parade I will be in. It has been about ten years since I purchased a shirt or tie and I have worn one maybe three times since this journey began over six years ago! Hahahaha.... While not knowing what size I was, first I went for the old 15 neck then the 16, then said the hell with it and took the 18 inch which is now my size. Ouch!
While driving back to the city I noticed the moon was full and headed to Lemon Hill in Fairmount park to create some music for myself. I met Fred and Alissa who were sitting on the grass having a dinner date and a guy named Matt rode up on his Motor Bike, stopped to listen for a while and take a picture of the great city scape under the moon. He shared some wine berries with me that he had just picked. He found a spot in the park where they have been growing and has been watering and cultivating them. What a great idea to find wild berries and take care of them to enjoy in the city. Back at my friend Ed's place his air conditioner has been leaking water and his place is beginning to smell moldy. Ugh... no more air and with the heat where I am staying in a center city condo, eight floors up... I really did enjoy creating music tonight with a new view. Over the last few months I have played many a sunset and moonrise out in the southwest part of the country and now with the east coast city contrast, it was really nice.
July 01, 2012
Today turned out to be a random international people day. On the streets I actually met people from North America, South America, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, the Netherlands and Europe... ten different countries in all... and all here in Philadelphia. That was enjoyably crazy especially because I was feeling tired and achy and had not planed on going out. I often have to trick myself into life everyday. Why? That fact really drives me crazy. I told myself I needed to take Mo out to a dog park and then we met a huge Saint Bernard. He was named Hoss after the cowboy character in the old television show Bonanza because the dog really looked like Hoss which was very funny. He just had to get on top of the piano for a picture with Mo! Usually I do not post a new month onto this blog for a few days into the month but... it was such a full day today. I hope everyone visiting for the first time after reading this will please go to the left of this page and click on the "Tour Log June" link to see what this is all about and what has been going on. Then go to the month before that then the year before that, then, then... ha, I want to share everything with every person on earth.
After the dog park I drove buy an apartment building with a lot of people looking hot and tired, in wheelchairs etc... and felt a good energy from them all so... I drove a few blocks more to turn around and go back. A guy with very little money gave me some of what he had and gestures like that mean a lot to me. A little eight year old girl from China stopped by and played some awesomely strong piano music from having only a year of piano lessons. Most of the pictures I took are blurry today. I must be shaking and not aware of that fact! While driving back to where I am staying... while driving today we drove down I think it was 21st street twice... it is a fast, busy street with no parking... there were two guys sitting on a stoop each time I passed and I could see they were interested so... the third time as I was driving back... I drove down the street telling myself if they were still sitting there I would stop. One of the guys was still there and he ended up being a catalyst for that neighborhood street to come alive with music and people. I just pulled half way onto the sidewalk and all the traffic worked its way around us. Mo and I experienced about five seasoned pianists today!