HIS SPIRIT LIVES ON! ... BONER, THE PIANO DOG ... November 27, 1994 ... February 20, 2010
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June 30, 2014
Kensington and Lehigh Area Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
I'm almost too exhausted to write this but it will probably be therapeutic for me so... I'm pushing myself to do it. My camera was stolen today. Damm, I think it cost like $2500 but having lost so many fantastic unique pictures from today hurts most. I'm numb, it is what it is. Interacting with the people I met was worth much more than the camera and pictures but I won't have them to share with the world. Boo hoo. Anyway, I had to get my drivers license camera card picture today. The process has changed from four years ago. Used to be there was a few big centers where the wait could be hours. Now the state has subcontracted the work out to dozens of offshoot motor vehicle centers which... has opened the doors for a lot of scamming especially for older people (like me) who get confused and poor people who do not know how to question authority figures. I called one place to see if they were open and what I needed to bring with me, they said my present drivers licenses, id and it would cost $46.59. What!!! I asked why so much. They said it would be $29.36 tomorrow. I asked, "whats up with that"? They said everyone else is closed today its their holiday so they charge more to be open, offices are closed on Mondays. I called the state bureau and they said there is no charge for the licenses id photo, everything was paid for when I renewed the license. The way the bureaucracy is set up with the government nickel and dime-ing everyone to death at every turn, most people now expect to pay for every step in any process. If someone in a uniform or authoritative looking says there is a charge... people will pay it especially if no questions are asked and if they are questioned its... "opps, I thought you were talking about..." I found a place to get what I needed, no waiting, no additional fee, done.
Next, there were some errands to do. The entire time I was thinking about creating some music but where? When in the rural country I don't look to be around people but in cities, yea, not crowds of people but just "around." There were practically no people on the streets but in shopping centers yes, but... I don't want people to associate my musical fun, friendship and respect with shopping and stores and money, etc... I was pretty much in the "hood." As I drove deeper into it I sort of got lost and stopped for some gas. There were guys asking to pump my gas for a buck. The feeling was not that anyone was trying to swindle, be aggressive or pushy... it was people who just needed opportunity, some work, some money. One of the guys got onto the piano for a short piano lesson. That was fun.
As I drove deeper into ghetto neighborhoods and having returned from year to year I saw objectively that people are becoming poorer and poorer. People living day to day can't even see what is happening to themselves and their neighborhoods. The area reminded me of the ghettos on the outskirts of Brazil with people living in shacks, houses falling apart, anyplace they could hold up in. It made me want to smack people across the back of the head, people who accuse others of wanting to take advantage of the social system that is not even available to take advantage of. The communities I visited today, these people have NO opportunity and anyone who says otherwise, I would smack them twice and force them to live in it all for a month or two. So...
As I was driving down the street I saw about a hundred people in one spot milling around. It looked unusual so I turned around and drove back to check it out. They were all waiting for dinner from the St. Francis Inn, a place operating as a helpful safe haven especially to help feed people since the 70's. Check Out What This Place Is About Wow! All types and ages of people, diversity, community, no differentiation of worth, no questions, no conditions, the sharing of food freely. This place was a true gift for me to find. There was a recovery addiction clubhouse across the street. One homeless guy played great gospel piano. I had a video of him on the camera. Damm, gone! I stayed until everyone left and played all types of music and loud! We were parked on Kensington Avenue underneath the Frankford El trains so the sound bounced off metal and concert. Mo was fantastic in dealing with the noise. People wanted to connect with the music instantaneously. They were jamming with me just hitting random notes at the top of the piano without thought... only good feeling. Some simply improvisationally sang along with my music. They didn't know what they were doing. Did they have to? I didn't know what I was doing, yes I do... I was have fun, friendship and respect. 90% of these people have no computer, no phone, no email, many had no home... some had "means" but no one was questioned or turned away from the meals or given an attitude that they may have been taking advantage of anything... there was no feeling of humiliation in accepting the gifts being given from the takers. Everyone was an equal peer. It felt like community. I only felt this twice before. The first time was at the Made with Love Cafe in New Orleans after hurricane Katrina and the other was with the neighbors helping each other on Staten Island after hurricane Sandy. The Franciscan priest running the place, when I told him how much I appreciated the entire setup said it was good to hear and be reminded that Jesus would never have judged the worth of someone when sharing anything. The center gets no government funding. The food comes from local business.
There was one really angry woman yelling at another. I got her onto the piano to vent some of her anger by pounding on the keys as hard as she good. Hahaha! There were a few drug addicted guys and when they were up on the piano I could feel the energy change so I put my camera down for a minute to close the trucks windows and lock the doors. About ten minutes later I discovered the camera was gone. That really hurt but nothing will destroy the joy I experienced today, nothing. The people around when I realized the camera was gone were really upset hoping the theft would not reflect on them. No way, that would never happen from me. They all tried to give me tips on finding it. They said I would not find it in the surrounding area and that I should drive about six blocks west and start looking for people walking on the side streets with bags, they have stolen stuff in bags to sell. Also, the pawn shops for sure. Several said they would start working on finding it from different gangs in the neighborhood right away. I pretty much feel its gone, so it is. Damm, damm, damm... the pictures from today. Oh well, its not the first time, hope its the last. The cost of the camera, don't want to think about it and don't have to. Even though I can get caught up in money "neediness" lack of money has never stopped me ever. I did start driving down side streets but as it began to get dark it also began to feel REAL dangerous. I wasn't into working the situation any more to get the pictures. Its not the end of the world. What is in my memory, my minds eye, the feelings from today, the excitement, stimulation, feeling "part of" having something to offer, offering something people want to take part in, no fear, inclusion, purposeful relationship as in love of spirit... it was real heaven here on earth.
June 29, 2014
It was a nice drive today. Having a place to stay is super nice, My friend Cindy and her mom Pat my friend who has alzheimer's, Cindy's son Tyler and his girlfriend are heading to a friends for vacation. Cindy's friend Tina in her fifties and her mom will be staying downstairs to take care of two dogs. Tina's blind and takes care of her invalide mother full time. Isn't that amazing to be able to take care of yourself, two dogs and your mom in someone else's house without sight? There's no feeling of "we only want you to stay for a certain amount of time, can't handle the dog poop and hair, no you can't use the garage for the truck, (its full here, ha) buy your own food, don't make noise, etc... its all about... how can I be helpful for your stay. The Traveling Piano truck has to be parked on the street and not in the driveway like the last time I was here. Its a busy street. Mike who owns the house is also on vacation and doesn't want to take any chances so he gets the driveway. I'm not staying in the safest of places. There is one spot in front of the house to park and Cindy wanted to park her car there because its safer than around the corner but she ended up giving me her spot anyway for my stay. She's parked around the corner. Thats a friend for sure to let go of her fear for my safety. I must always remember that I have had people in my life who extend themselves true, fully and with love and even more important to me... without conditions attached. I'm done with people allowing, letting, tolerating, doing a favor, etc... to stay with them. It was all good adjusting myself to other people's space and generosity for the last eight years. I'm done, burnt out, over it. People who present host situations like Cindy are all I can handle anymore. I need to feel totally welcomed and even given special attention in different ways sometimes. It is what it is. My needs now, are in order for me to welcome and give special attention to others with the Traveling Piano... in order to continue.
June 28, 2014
Mo's ready for the five hour drive tomorrow from West Virginia to Philly. You would think my being excited would help me move faster. Ha...not. I refuse to rush. On Monday I think I'm going to head to the very spot I began playing the piano on the back of my truck in 1987. Rittenhouse Square on the street corner in the center of town... here I come. I've been hanging out on twitter for most of the day with over 18,000 followers from around the world. I know most of them are not real accounts but you never know whats what, who's who and it feels good to be weening myself off of Facebook, it has become too manipulative to even want to socialize on the site. Wish I had time to actually socialize... most of my agenda surrounds creating Traveling Piano awareness on the internet. Nothing is more satisfying than to feel and be connected with people throughout the world. Balance... real time, no time, internet time.
June 27, 2014
I'm feeling excited about going to Philadelphia for next week. It was a pain in the ass to figure out where to stay. You'd think I would have many options as I've lived there for most of my life but the fact is there are few options for places to stay and the options I have, I'd rather not take on. Lol, thats on me. A few days ago my friend Cindy told me everyone in her place is leaving for the week... bingo! Something always works out. The trucks gas tank took fifty eight dollars to fill today. Back when I first purchased it in 1987 it was only twenty bucks to fill. While at the gas station a guy came up to me and said, "hey how are you doing, I see you still have your partner with you, I was playing on your piano with my family last fathers day." In the last twenty four hours, four people have come up to me to say hi from the last eight years or so. I guess with having had over 50,000 individual interactions with the Traveling Piano to date I shouldn't be surprised and every time it happens I feel validation that I am doing exactly what I should be doing. Wish I could remember who everyone was. The older I get the more I use the age card as an excuse. That can be a good excuse for not remembering people, right?
June 26, 2014
It was a beautiful day so of course a walk was in order. I was thinking about how I have had no desire to create music outdoors or do the work of sharing the Traveling Piano. Thats ok because I'll be heading back to Philadelphia, PA soon and the entire time there... it will be all work. Still, my chops (technical abilities) ...I need to keep whatever muscle power I have to create music and I am losing muscle power. Most people do not realize how physical creating music on an instrument can be. Before the sunset I took the cover off the truck to play some music mostly because I know that the less I do of something, the less it becomes part of my consciousness to do.
The journey came to life. There was a guy fishing who left and tipped his hat at me. I felt no impulse to engage. Then another couple of guys came over. One I had met before. A single woman who had been hiking came out of the woods. A very unique older couple from New Mexico came out from somewhere and wanted to meet us ha, I don't know where. A dad and his daughter both music and dog lovers... we all had a great time. I became alive and energized. As soon as I began to drive out I thought... now have more work with the blog and damm, more pictures to process as well as the rest of life whatever that will be but while I was doing my thing with the truck... ahh, it was sweet. Mo was obnoxious with wanting attention the whole time. Before it all started he went for a swim in the lake, no prompting, no stick throwing, he just got into the water and began to swim around. When he does that its so weird, and it makes me laugh with joy.
June 25, 2014
Self serving politicians in New York are at it again with the law. First they tried to outlaw big gulp soft drinks and now they are trying to make it illegal to create picture "selfies" with tigers for a variety of reasons that the general public could not care less about. The politicians and their agenda supports... darn it, they care and are going to make everyone care by creating a new prohibiting selfie law! So when it comes to creating laws verses education and transparent ridiculousness that creates nothing but bureaucracy, waste of time and money and mis-directed use of power and influence, I tend to have a knee jerk response, lol. I created a Traveling Piano selfie along with a tiger from when we were at an amusement park a few years ago. If a law gets on the books about tigers, I'll then go for a selfie with a bear. If they outlaw bear selfies then I'll create a selfie with one of the idiots using these stupid means to create change for their worlds. Do I sound harsh? I'm just creating a distraction for myself from more important issues going on in my head.
June 24, 2014
While walking I was trying to figure out priorities for myself and always my social conscious comes to the surface. What earthly horror should I address, where can I do the most good, what would be wasting my time, how do I divvy up time, on and on and then it became clear as it does every once in a while that the solution for all the bad in the world is to focus on love and the good. Its as simple and true as that. That has been my experience for life. Now, I'm not saying I can do that 100% in a practical sense. But it is... the practice to do especially when I get lost in trying or wanting to fix everything in life.
June 23, 2014
I laid low and took it easy again today. Thoughts about moving forward with my life kept me up until six in the morning. I did go for another walk with Mo today and thats the most I could muster. Don't know if my lack of energy has to do with worry. (my own) The humid weather with my health, I'm sure that plays a part. To finish what I was talking about yesterday with worry and associating it to neediness.... I've always said that I do not want "donations" that come from feelings of neediness or worry. I want "contributions" that come from a feeling of wanting to be part of, to support and share. Ha, the amount of contributions to date in this journey shows the extent of dysfunction in this world when it comes to people's giving. If I went for the "donate" spin, I know without question I would have had more finances to fund the journey. I'm look to votes of confidence in contribution not for response to need and worry. When I have gone to disasters it was not to share other peoples pain and loss by showing empathy and concern with worry about what is happening or will happen to them. I share the empathy of being human (the love of simply being) and am concerned only about goodness and the importance of what is, not the worry of projected badness. I know I can be more clear in writing about this but just don't want to spend the time right now.
June 22, 2014
Forced myself out for a walk because I must keep going and Mo needs exercise as much as possible. Thinking about money, staying with people, getting old, health, illusional securities and earthly pleasures can really drain me of emotional oomph. A friend said they worry about me and that brought up some strong feelings. Here are some thoughts on worry: Two years before Boner Dog Boner died I realized that I was attaching loss and fear of abandonment to my love. I practiced on detaching from those dysfunctional relational elements. Fear and abandonment are not compatible with love. As a result I was able to let go of Bo with total gratitude. Mo is now with me as a result. The only reason Mo is with me is because I was successful in separating loss and abandonment from love. You can't have both worry and love as one, that is an illusion.
If people attach worry as part of their love for me it only results in my pushing them away and if I must... detaching myself completely. It is a killer for me and everyone else in this world. It is a lack of faith and trust and is full of projection, assumption (all in bad ways) used to bond in non-helpful and useless needy ways. Worry closes all doors for god and miracles. Worry through concern has nothing to do with love. Worry is misdirected empathy. There is no way I want others to be sharing in my bad feelings with me. Worry is a great tool for "using." People try and nurture their relationships or bond and create loyalty with worry in a horrible, deep, dark bottomless pit of "using and neediness." Don't want any part of it, never did. This dysfunctional type of "using" in relationship to money I have rejected from the beginning of this journey. I'm going to finish about that tomorrow.
June 21, 2014
I went into hibernation all day zoning out on mindless, worthless nothingness and loved every minute of it. Thank god I can do that with a minimum of guilt.
June 20, 2014
Morgan County, West Virginia
I've returned to this friends cabin I've used for many years now. It feels real good to step into a clean space with no people and... that has internet. I'm glad no one is using the place but that fact can flip in a day. I was going to spend the day zoning out by myself even though the weather is perfect to take the Traveling Piano out. No guilt about that, ha! I'm needing more and more breaks from dealing with people in everyday life but have never yet had too much of dealing with people on the Traveling Piano. Thats a fact. My friend Jeff called and asked if I was coming to the picnic in two hours. I totally forgot that a group of friends were having a picnic today and did not think I was going to be around here in West Virginia anyway, today. He reminded me that it is the twentieth of June. Like, its difficult enough for me to remember what day of the week it is let alone the day of the month. Sometimes I forget the year. There was just enough time for me to shower and get going to the park.
First thing, Mo jumps out of the truck so excited to see everyone he jumps into the back and up onto the piano before I was ready and banged his hardest of heads into my lower right jaw. As I write this, the right side... no problem, the left side of my jaw I cannot close. Its going to hurt really bad over the next few days and I don't see any chewing in the foreseeable future although... I'm really glad we made it to the picnic to see some friends and have some musical fun. Today is West Virginia day. Who knew? The only other state I know that celebrates a day for itself is Alaska. I ran into a couple who I had met on a random road where I stopped on to create music some seven years ago. They met piano dog Boner and today was very happy to meet Piano Dog Mo. I love to see and hear from people who met and know Bo with me. When talking about "playing" the piano with a mom she told me how she used to play the piano up and down the keys with her head as a child! Love that.
June 19, 2014
We left Cooperstown and my friend Kandy and headed to West Virginia from central New York State and through Pennsylvania. Kandy is going through a lot of loss and needs private time and space to grieve. The drive through New York state is just beautiful with rolling mountains and the expanse of land you can see is totally different from Pennsylvania where you are in and out of mountains and then where I've been staying in West Virginia its just deep in mountains. I have had this gift for most of the many years with a piano on the back of my truck where I skirt storms with it. it is kind of amazing. I'd say in twenty eight years, eighty nine percent amazing. The drive today took eight hours, the first for was with gorgeous sun and the last four was like... storm in front but the road would turn right going south and pass it. Then to the sides, then for the last hour I drove through major puddles of rain and the sky so dark it had to have just stopped minutes before the drive through the area. As soon as I reached my destination and completely unpacked, then it started to drizzle.
I may go back to Cooperstown in a month or two but I doubt it and really did not get to do enough Traveling Piano interaction, see or take enough pictures of the landscape. I'm slowing up with the amount of activity I can do in a day. Also, I'm burning out from staying with people and dealing with how long to stay, feeling out when its time to go, dealing with the departures and being responsible when staying on turf that is not my own and being shared with us, Mo and me. Mo is a lot to handle in other peoples homes. I must be careful of any noise he makes, what he can get into, when with another dog that must be always watched, his smell, the smell of his dog food, any shedding on floors or furniture, it goes on and on. It has now been since 2006. I'd like to make it ten years but don't think I can. Who knows but definitely I don't think I want this life style to the end of my life. It may be. However the journey goes I just want to make the most of life in Fun, Friendship and Respect.
June 18, 2014
Cooperstown, New York
I'm writing this two days after the fact so I pretty much forget already how the day evolved. Luckily I have pictures because I would remember nothing. Constantly, I am propelled into using the Traveling Piano to interact with life. It is a good thing but frustrating that it seems like often I have a conscious intention not to do it and then that is when it always without question happens. First, I was at the local cafe where I wanted to upload information. I'm always thinking people will not interact if I just don't look at them. Hahaha... not. Someone is always curious enough to come up and interrupt and ask a question. I really do love and appreciate people like that, people who are interested.
The experiences outside the cafe and the fact that I will be leaving Cooperstown tomorrow led me to the towns boat dock to take advantage of every opportunity to play. There I met families from from Florida, kids who are here in Cooperstown for baseball camp and a guy I could have sworn was Muslim. I had heard him talking in Arabic on the phone. He had the black beanie, the beard, the black garb, the total look of what I thought a Middle Eastern Muslim would be. WARNING! Do not do what I did and "Assume". Rough translation - "to make an ass out of u and me". Turns out he is a Roman Catholic Priest (Coptic) from Egypt visiting! He was wearing a huge black threaded cross which I ignored, duh! Copts are the native Christians of Egypt and Orthodox. God, I love meeting all kinds of people and learning about them.
June 17, 2014
Cooperstown, New York
Today turned out sunny, warm and humid. I started off the same as yesterday but added a large fruit slushy into the mix, used my little battery operate insect repellant and took all my clothes off. Ha, I do enjoy no clothes outside as long as no one is around. In the late afternoon I drove around to find a place to play and discovered a totally empty high school parking lot with nothing around. It was recording music time. Also, I was thinking how great a place this was to walk and let Mo run until I began to see signs saying no dogs allowed on school property. Damm, all this land, no one using it, and restrictions which is why no one uses it. I met a guy who works there and he said don't worry about it. I'm getting the idea that this town looks ridged on the surface but the people who live here are not so much that way. As the sun was setting I stopped off at a store and then could not get the truck started to leave. I'm thinking, its past eight so Kandy's in bed and won't answer the phone... what to do. I yelled out to a strong looking guy who was passing and asked him to push the truck back into the parking space. It had rolled out while I was trying to start it. While weighing the odds of having to walk back about five miles to where we are staying, a guy named Scott who I met when I first got here and lives about forty five minutes away puts his hand through the window to say hi. I phoned the guy who had done all the work on the engine and left a message. Scott was going to try and give me a jump even though I had a feeling that was not the problem. Then a guy walked by who looked like an auto mechanic so I asked him if he was and he said yes. I asked if he would troubleshoot for me. He said to hold the gas pedal all the way down to the floor and try to start it. I did and it started! He said when I tried before I flooded the gas tank. Sometimes the gas sensors go wacky in humid mountain weather. That reminded me when one time the truck would not turn over and someone walked by and told me to shake the whole truck sideways back and forth to get it going and that worked. I forget why but its written somewhere in this blog.
June 16, 2014
Otsego Lake, New York
It being a beautiful day with rain in the forecast for the next two days, of course there were the same old thoughts of "get the truck out for use with every opportunity." But then again I really want some time alone for myself... alone. So I decided the day was going to be about me and I was going to chill with the sun in a lounge chair on a patio next to a pond with a water fountain and frog overlooking lake Otsego from far above with its mountain backdrop. For an hour it felt like I sat in the sun and talked to a friend on the phone. Afterwards I simply hung around and then thought I would get to town for a walk with Mo and also upload to the blog. While sitting outside the internet cafe of course the Traveling Piano fun began which was fine because it was late in the day so I could handle the amount of people. A group of kids came on board so I drove them around the block while they banged out some musical ramblings.
Then I began to drive around looking to park for the walk and discovered a public area where I could create some music with a pretty nice view of the lake and mountains. I had to get my nerve up while driving in and out of the parking area a few times. The last thing I wanted was to be thrown out because I was illegally parked or creating music. It feels like this town is strict with regulations. There was a guy named Peter there playing the guitar and singing real loud for his enjoyment and he said no one has ever bothered him. So it was. Until dark I had high energy interactions with people and as I started to drive back raindrops began to fall from the sky. Afterdark, Mo and I sat in the dark on Kandy's back porch watching stars in the sky and also storm clouds with blinding lightening strikes soaring across the mountain tops. Every night for the last week the lightening bugs have been growing in numbers. They are natural favs of mine and there is nothing better than sitting while watching them sweep the ground in the fields and high above in the trees.
June 15, 2014
Cherry Valley, New York
The day started out cold and gloomy again but then in the early afternoon the weather turned complete around. Mo and I took off looking for a special spot for some music but all the land here is either privately owned or restricted with governmental fees for access. The least expensive local park now matter how small was five bucks. The state parks seven. I cannot justify paying for a parks industry as I believe the public, people... human beings should have access to enjoying the nature of this earth unconditionally and like... I'm going to go hang out in a park for five bucks an hour? Its not like I spend entire days in one place. To think in such a rural area, for it to be controlled with money makes me angry. There might be five people in a park but it must have a guard in order to make money off those people all in the name of land, parks and nature... So after an hour and a half of driving around for nothing we ended up at Dana's place for a father's day hangout with his friends and family. Dana's mom was there. In her late eighties and from Nebraska she's been married for a few years now to a guy a four years younger who she met on www.seniorsmatch.com or something like that.
She told me her choices were to sit in a gloomy house drinking for the rest of her life or to get out and find a partner to keep going. Two guys I know, Josh and Frank were hanging out, and they took a look at the Traveling Piano truck passenger side door that won't open. After taking the door apart and trying to put it back together while I was creating music... they don't know what happened, but now if you click on the door handle twice it works. It must be two clicks and works every time. No question about how or why because well, why question whats working? Ha. A friend of Dana's from Tibet was there. This guy had walked for twenty six days out of Tibet and into India, met the Dali Lama who gave him a sacred scarf, and he presented the scarf to Dana today who will be starting chemotherapy this week. A guy named Robby who I met down in Florida showed up. He reminded me of a funny things he said last time we met. He had been noticing Mo's hair all over everything on the truck and asked, "is this mohair"? Mo's shedding can be a pain in the butt!
June 14, 2014
Springfield, New York
Mo and I woke up at seven thirty in the morning and reached our new friends place by nine. The Cooperstown Sports Center was having their first twenty six mile marathon run around Otsego Lake with about a hundred participants. I created Ragtime and Boogie Woogie music as they ran past because the event was all about fun and there was no commercial, organizational or political agendas attached to it. Not much improvising today. My practicing over the last week really paid off. My technique was sharp, my memory... by the way, it was cold out!!! Afterwards I hung most of the day on the internet at the Mt. Wellington Market. Thats the name of the place where we were at. It is a family residence that also operates as a cafe restaurant during the summer months. I've been trying to stay up all day so I can get to bed earlier. Ha, same old same old... I've been enjoying meeting all the townsfolk in this area. I'm too tired to write anymore. Thats probably a good thing.
June 13, 2014
Cobleskill, New York
Do you know that saying, "Don't rain on my parade?" Well, today the weather kept trying to rain on my life and wreak it! That is what it felt like. The rain has been getting on my nerves. First, I didn't want to wake up because it was raining again but wanted to see Kandy before she left for work. Then the skies cleared and I saw blue so I got myself together finally, to have a day out with the Traveling Piano. With everything in hand and ready to leave within minutes the skies turned grey and it began to pour again. A few hours later the blue sky came back so I decided to drive to Cobleskill, New York. Kandy's friend who recently died and her husband have had a music store for thirty years and I wanted to take some good energy to the place. Once we arrived I had a few minutes outside and it began to pour even harder than before. I sat and watched the Traveling Piano take a pounding in the rain. Driving back the rain stopped once again. I was going to stop and find some internet somewhere to do my online work. I passed this place on the road that has been interesting me and then turned around to go back to it. There was a sign that said free internet, subs, etc... Once I got in the driveway I saw a sign saying they closed at 5:30 and it was now 6:30. I turned around in the parking lot to leave and a guy on a lawnmower came racing towards me. He stopped and said they were still open if I wanted anything so I pulled back in. Once I got out of the truck a little boy and girl came running over. They were in awe with curiosity and of course Mo caught their eye. I knew there was no choice but to take the truck cover off and do what we do. The mom came out, a friend and another baby, the dad (lawnmower guy) came over... everyone got onto the truck we snapped a picture then it began to rain again. I sat down to create some music real quick before it began to pour and the speaker broke just like last month, there was no high end. That was very painful to experience.
You can read about what happened last month with the speaker on the April blog link. It started to pour rain again. The Will and Emily the store owners told me a friend of theirs was a speaker freak, he knew everything about speakers, can build them, fix them, works for the summer stock opera across the street as a sound tech. What are the chances of having a speaker guy appear in this most rural of areas? They texted and asked him to come over. While waiting I went inside the restaurant to get a hoagie to eat and wanted to upload this blog onto the internet. That wasn't meant to be because the kids were all over me. They were uncensored in behavior and even though totally distracting and in my way... I loved every moment of it. They were interested, curious, fun loving, playful and full of life interaction at three and five years old. The rain had stopped and the speaker guy appeared. Then the rain started again. There was a large barn where I could pull the truck under half way and then my new friends rigged up a way to nail the Traveling Piano tarp to the barns wood beams to create a tent to keep the rain out and be able to work on the speaker. There was a lot of finagling around and then the speaker started to work again. In the process I found the wire connections need to be replaced immediately, we don't know if that was the problem, not likely. Maybe it was all happening just for us to meet. Mo got some pizza out of the deal. I'm going to spend some time with the speaker guy and the Traveling Piano on Sunday. Tomorrow the community is holding its 1st annual twenty six mile marathon run starting at the restaurant. It will be a challenge for me to get up at seven in the morning to be there with the Traveling Piano for them but I'm going to do it. They would not take and money for my hoagie, it was on the house. Can it get any better? Open minded people who want to be helpful to strangers, interested and therefore interesting who share and give to others... up at seven in the morning I will be!
June 12, 2014
Cooperstown, New York
Still raining, last night I practiced for three hours a new record! Lol, it felt really, really good and I was amazed to have the stamina. I wonder if a herbal energy drink I took had anything to do with it. I stopped playing to take a drink of water often. There were emotions of the day coming out musically with improvisation. The structured musical practice gave me a sense of being grounded. Using headphones helped keep my focus. We were in a garage so it was dark. Mo spent half the time in the cab and the other half on top of the piano. I took a nap this afternoon which is something that happens about once a year. I'll be glad when the rain ends. Its dismal.
June 11, 2014
Albany, New York
It is raining. I am sitting in a hospital parking lot with internet. Woo-Hoo. Today is all about making myself available for my friend who is now in the hospital saying goodbye to her closest life long friend. It was over an hour drive from where I am staying and I always find it interesting to drive from a total rural area back into city life in such a short time. Its a wonderful thing to find people in my life who will accept my love and actually want it... in all good ways.
June 10, 2014
Otsego County, New York
I've been taking it easy, feeling a little strange because it got very humid and sleeping with Mo who I am allergic to, without air movement, not a good thing. That sickness will stay with me a whole day. Its a headache with a fuzzy brain. I practiced piano, my old repertoire through headphones in a garage none stop for an hour and a half and although it felt very good it was totally physically exhausting. I did my usual work and then took to the streets at night to find internet. Sometimes it feels like the lack of convenience in how I operate is a good thing. It keeps me from being complacent and helps me to problem solve, find new ways.
June 9, 2014
Cooperstown, New York
Even though my host Kandy is going through a lot of life transition right now, I woke up to find on the kitchen counter a handmade name card with fresh made blueberry muffins, flowers, a plate, knife and butter ready to go. People's giving nature and generosity will never cease to amaze me.
Acts of kindness such as this, I was indoctrinated as a child to think were controlling and manipulative. I want to share those thoughts, ready...? I was taught not to trust people who give seemingly unconditionally like this. They do it because they want something from you. I will owe them. They will throw it back at me in an argument by saying "after all I have done for you." People use giving when it is convenient to get away with not helping when actually needed or, in a way different from what is convenient for them. God forbid I should accept a gift. That would be showing that I am needy, accepting a gift acknowledges neediness. Stand up at every opportunity for pride, not humiliation. If I don't accept giving from others I will not have to give back to others. The giver is not truly giving for me, they are just doing it for themselves or they need a distraction for themselves maybe something to do because they are bored.
I have discovered through life that all this kind of thinking is related to conventional alcoholism passed down from generation to generation, a lack of self worth and at the same time it is all about "me,me,me." It also comes from fear based religious teachings. That would say... "if the giver is outside of the family circle of trust, not one of our own... do not except the behavior or gift. Do not trust because there may be a trap from the devil to sway you away from enjoying what you already have, what you know and can trust. The false/fake act of giving may be trying to convert you into another religion towards hell or another evil of some sort.
From as early as I can remember as a child I knew this was all wrong. There was no way to know how, I just knew. There was no joy in pessimistic or preemptive thinking. As an early adolescent I began to identify giving from others with caring, nurturing, friendship, fun, respect, sharing and simply being a human being! In my twenties I began to see people who gave unconditionally with trust and it was a miracle to be able to trust strangers simply from intuitiveness in knowing. Of course there were failures at first but I continued to look for the truth in life. I have learned that what peoples motives are... that is none of my business. I am responsible for myself and what I accept from others. Also, if someones motives are in fact misdirected/false/malicious and I apply 100% true intentional joy to them that in fact becomes the result for everyone and everything involved. This has been my life experience. My problem now in life with someone giving to me in anyway, no matter how much... I must be sensible in how I give back so that everyone benefits. My gratitude for the whole concept of giving and its truth is off the charts.
June 8, 2014
South Valley, New York
First things first. I headed out to find some internet so I could upload the blog and pictures. There are now two hundred more picture in the galleries. While sitting outside a coffee shop in the truck, well of course I did not get much work done because people were curious and people come first before online work so we had some Traveling Piano fun on the street. Concerning the website, I found out that my splash page (entry page to Raggin' Piano Boogie as well as the flash animations I have used on the site from the start of the journey... they are outdated and no longer work on most computers, tablets, ipads, iphones etc... This is a big bummer because people who have been trying to get into the website using the www.ragginpianoboogie.com address for who knows how long... have not been able to. Using the www.travelingpiano.com address, no problem. Plus, the fun website animations that I worked on for a half year and paid over a thousand bucks for back in 2006 no longer work. That just sucks! I don't know when I'll be able to get around to dealing with it.
Kandy my host, attended a memorial service this morning for a close friend and another close friend of forty years was rushed to the hospital yesterday. A true miracle is needed before a plug gets pulled. As the sponge I can be... I must stay very conscious and aware, close but not intrusive, willing to support and not attach myself to fear, sorrow and concern. Having had two friends of my own pass on last month, feelings about loss death are fresh which resulted in little sleep last night and I woke up at six thirty this morning which is unheard of. I did pretty good throughout the day keeping my mind in the orientation of giving attention to any space or consideration my new friend may need and not making everything about me. We drove to South Valley where Kandy as a small piece of land she mentioned I could build a cottage on if I wanted to consider making this area a home base. By the end of the visit she decided she was going to sell the land. We headed over to her lilac farm where we met more people and created music for a few hours. The country here feels more rural (with people here and there), than in other areas the Traveling Piano has visited. While every few miles there are small villages there is no sign of city or small town life. Cooperstown doesn't count because its full of tourist stuff like the baseball hall of fame, an opera camp, outdoorsy museums and small store boutiques.
June 7, 2014
Cherry Valley, New York
I cooked four hours today making soup. On the side of Kandy's refrigerator I found a poem by Rumi called The Guest House. Here it is. "This being human is a guest house. Every morning a new arrival. A joy, a depression, a meanness, some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor. Welcome and entertain them all! Even if they are a crowd of sorrows, who violently sweep your house empty of its furniture. Still, treat each guest honorably. He may be clearing you out for some new delight. The dark thought, the shame, the malice. Meet them at the door laughing and invite them in. Be grateful for whatever comes because each has been sent as a guide from beyond."
Today was a day for me to simply be present for some new friends who are being challenged in life and also experiencing transition. Before it got dark I drove to the lilac farm we were at yesterday and created music in the field for an hour and a half. When I am not centered, tired, discombobulated... it is important to be Aware! Its very easy to get frustrated, impatient, I become very directive, sharp, intimidating... all in a disguised way while trying to pull off good intention. No one can see the intention. This is an observation. Keeping aware helps my game. My game is my work. I'm no good in relationship with other people and the Traveling Piano when I'm off center. Being on the road forces me to think about others. That is a good thing.
June 6, 2014
Cherry Valley, New York
Life online with the internet is so much easier when I have instant access which I do not have where I am staying. It all comes from restaurants and business that I can catch service from. So I must plan for what I'm going to do beforehand. There can be no multi tasking with my work. Ugh! Even though I was half asleep I stayed in bed until almost noon because I know the seven hour drive yesterday will take its toll. I just don't know when. Kandy my host is in a new lilac business. Did you know there are more than a hundred fifty different types of lilacs bushes? She put some in my room and the scent is almost too strong to take. I'm a lilac lover. We made a deal. She goes to bed around 8:30 at night and gets up at dawn. No talking from me after eight at night and she be totally quiet in the morning before she leaves for work. I think her part of the deal will be more difficult we shall see what happens.
As soon as I could get it together I drove to her new work place and met her friends Donna and Susie. A guy named Josh works there and is also a blacksmith. He made Australian Digeriedoo musical instrument out of metal which is a low vibrating horn and Donna got onto the piano to jam musically with him. It was very strange, fun and super cool. Kandy's business partners Dana and his wife Charlepan arrived. I had met Dana while down in Florida in March where I also met Kandy and Kandy met Dana. The two were staying in the same Floridian town and coincidentally they both also live here. On the way back to where we are staying I stopped in the small village to upload yesterday's blog. One of the locals came out from a restaurant and over to the Traveling Piano to meet Mo and get the scoop for everyone else inside. We had a short exchange and I have a feeling I will be meeting many of the townsfolk around here in the next week or so... if we are able to stay that is.
June 5, 2014
Cooperstown, New York
My friend Kandy called to wake me at nine in the morning. I got up, cleaned the place and packed two coolers of frozen food. Mo and I headed north. As usual and with gratitude we dodged rain. The tip of northern Pennsylvania and into New York state I think may be the greenest place I've seen to date. Not only lush but green textures, I say it all looked very "clean green." It felt different from any place I've been, it was so green! Then it started to get cold. It felt like autumn but then with the clouds it felt like it might snow in June!
Up until today Georgia has had the most police I've ever seen hiding in bushes to bankroll their salaries with people they can catch speeding. Pennsylvania on Route 81 beat that today. I must have passed eight. Police, another industry for jobs and money. Ha, another new observation... rest stop signs now read as "text" stop" signs so people can stop and text on their phones. I'm so glad I don't text, never have. When I arrived at Kandy's place she has a huge steak ready to grill for me and a personalized welcome sign hanging by the front door. Can we talk love? Her dog Bochelli I think, remembered Mo and I from Florida and was happy to see us.
June 4, 2014
What gets me up in the morning? My dog Mo does with the idea of enjoying him everyday and next... this journey. I drove to WInchester, Virginia to pick up some items I needed. After taking Mo for a walk it was time for a movie which I haven't treated myself to for over a half year. Chilling out in order to get on the road is a priority. Godzilla in 3-D was playing and I ended up preferring the original bad movie that was made many years ago. I had twenty minutes before the movie was to start and was going to hang out in the local mall but first started back to the truck to check on Mo. A couple guys saw me. They asked if I was the Traveling Piano man as they had looked me up on the internet. Of course with that interest the piano cover came off and even though the truck was packed we had a great time. As far as synchronicity and spontaneity goes it does not get better. That was incredibly validating for the life of this journey.
This morning on the phone my friend in upstate New York was amazingly accepting of another arrival delay. I've run into many people like this throughout the journey. They go with the flow. It is not just about my flow, they embrace the flow of life and accept me as part of it. This is very reassuring for me and it makes me feel welcomed which I really must feel. I've had a ninety-five percent success rate in staying with strangers. First thing on returning to where we are staying I checked my emails. Someone sent five hundred bucks! Can we talk rare? I'm not religious but without question God, the Universe, what ever you want to call a higher power that exists in life... ALWAYS comes through for me in this journey. Me, Mo and this journey are being taken care of in-spite of fear. I had just paid out three fifty this afternoon for my truck insurance and the rest will pay for the travel gas tomorrow with a little extra.
June 3, 2014
The more I work to make transitions easy the longer they get drawn out. I've been preparing to leave, again. We are heading up north to Cooperstown, New York and supposed to leave tomorrow. The friend we are staying with will be disappointed if I let another day go by but I'm just not ready. Self initiating is getting more difficult as time goes on. After the last failure of staying with someone new, now its like getting back on the horse after having just fallin' off. Ugh! Gotta do it. Venturing out into the unknown is the choice I made for my life, its either do or die for me. I could just stop the journey for a year or two but that doesn't feel right. Then again, feelings are not always facts. (I tell myself) Finding internet will be a problem for where we are heading. Once I get going I'll be fine. The perception of my being a free spirit... lol. Not! The perception of, it is what it is... yep, thats it. I'll be alright in fact I have eight years experience of pushing through with this journey and as I have done just that, life has always turned out to be greater than I could ever have imagined.
June 2, 2014
I took the truck in for its one week check up with the new engine. Everything's fine, its doing some strange things every once in a while but I'll say that its just breaking in. While I was waiting I went for a walk on a most beautiful of days on country roads where every once in a while a car would come flying by at eighty miles an hour. Driving through the country and walking through it... so incredibly different. Two hours of walking went by without my noticing and if I was walking on a track field around and around, I would have been hurting, exhausted, worn out after a couple times. around. The hills, valleys, wildflowers, sun and warmth... pure heaven. When I got back to where we are staying it began to rain for the rest of the day.
June 1, 2014
We drove to the park and I created music for over an hour. Getting my stamina up and staying interested non-stop musically for an hour is not easy and physically it was exhausting but I felt good about it. I've been taking it easy as it is time to get on the road again. To orient my mind with everything that is involved with being on the road... we'll thats certainly been written about enough times already. I was hoping to have all the pictures processed and posted to the galleries from Florida up until today before I leave... ain't gonna happen.