HIS SPIRIT LIVES ON! ... BONER, THE PIANO DOG ... November 27, 1994 ... February 20, 2010
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September 30, 2015
With the days numbered before winter sets in I wanted to drive through Glacier Park. Its still open which is unusual. By the time I reached the second overlook I had to stop and create some music. Then I thought, why not just spend the day here. I did not expect many people to drive by but there was a steady flow. On the way, there were some guys doing road maintenance and I wanted to stop for them but did not have the umph. They ended up stopping where I was playing. We had our Traveling Piano fun. A couple from Michigan wanted to make a contribution and they gave me a hundred bucks. I really appreciated that and need finances as in I am now dependent with practically no reserve of my own. I met a phtographer from California and the spot was perfect for pictures. The truck was parked one foot from a cliff and below it looked like a field of yellow mums but they were all tall aspens. Right before the sun set I drove to a spot I knew where I hiked years ago. Mo and I climbed a huge, steep hill until we were literally on top of the world. Where the energy came from to do that... well, I just wanted to do it so I did. To walk where very possibly no other human being has walked, very off the beaten path... in total wide open nature... there is nothing that can compare to the feeling.
September 29, 2015
We went for a five mile hike today along with the usual of days now. I was reminded how important it is to enjoy the awesome beauty of planet earth. That is the reason we are here even though a part of me wants to resist and apply the worlds woes and fun big cities to that thought. There are other reasons to enjoy but the first stated is absolutely true in of itself. While it is fall and everything from summer is dying, the non-lushness, still... walking along train tracks created high up on the side of a hill with winding corners, walking through vast mountains and rural wood... it really is all amazing. There is no certainty on how long I can stay here or want to... the feeling of security fluctuates daily. I am always practicing to live without fear in that uncertainty. I think about how it is happening all over the world especially in war torn countries and I can do this, it can be done. Having brought bed sheets towels, pillows and a few clothes, basic needs, and career archives from my last home base in West Virginia... I'm just setting in. If I must leave whatever is here stays. I'd like to get old video tapes and front page media articles I have from the past transferred into digital but at this point if need be, I'm ready to let go of it all. My present material existence will not exist years after I am gone anyway unless someone else comes along to do that. Its in my hands only to a certain degree and I'm losing the ability or desire to care as much as I did in the past about it all.
September 28, 2015
My host Becky and I with Mo, we took a walk around her property today. There is a creek that is running dry. The other day I saw a mile long lake in the area that is two thirds dry. All negative thoughts about change with climate and drought must go because there is nothing personally to be done about it. My plate is full and my job is to simply enjoy what is... share that with the world so that the world can have my joy. There is a train on the hill that comes through a tunnel. I'd like to get a picture of that. The area is so large that getting the picture effect of the specialness will be difficult. I've been cleaning the space I am using, its a challenge. Becky has cats and my allergies to them... so far its been difficult. Small steps... at least they are not coming into my space... when I'm around that is. :) She has been most considerate about not having them around when I am, making sure their food is not on the ground for Mo to eat, etc... People compromising their living space to have us stay with them... I have so much gratitude for that. I was taught this kind of generosity came from close friends and family in life. I had to let go of that idea concerning family and my original close friends as in... stop looking for water where there is none in order to find the generosity that is now shared with me.
September 27, 2015
Blackfoot Indian Territory, Montana
It is almost unbelievable that I was able to visit Piano Dog Boner's burial spot today... a most beautiful place in Glacier, Montana high up on a hill known by only a very few. Never in a million years did I expect to be back here again. In 2010 I buried his ashes in a special box with his personal belongings and a picture card under a large boulder. Someone has been to the site. I found a variety of coins laying under the boulder on top of his stones. That totally broke me up. I cried not only for my love of Bo but to know that people care about me, my dogs, the Traveling Piano and what I do. Thank you to everyone who has ever expressed appreciation for my world. Every person has a need to know they are valued and loved. There was a tight barb wired fence about 500 feet from Bo's burial spot. While walking along the fence line into the woods to find a loose spot I realized it might become difficult to get through but I was determined and sent a prayer up to Saint Anthony. Instantly the fence ended and I simply walked around it to the other side. On the way out we pulled off the road for some scenery and to create some music. There was a woman there almost like she was waiting for us. She in fact had met me and it took a while to figure out that it was here, last time. Wow! After that it continued as always and I was hearing some good stuff.
People had things to say to me, reminders that I needed to hear that they were unaware of. They were simply talking about their lives, why we should all trust that God and the Universe will take care of us, is taking care of us, why we do not need to worry, how when something new happens in life, play with it etc... One couple was celebrating their thirtieth wedding anniversary, another had met a week ago and at age sixty seven were dancing their way to Texas with a stop off in every dance hall along the way, a visitor from Germany with a friend, a couple who sold their home on the east cost two years ago and have been traveling in a camper ever since and an accomplished jazz piano composer with her husband who was in the area to give a concert last night. We stopped and connected with Judy who owns the motel I stayed in last time I was here. She's leaving to winter down south in two days so we just caught her. Autumn is almost over here but there is still some good color in spots. Nothing like back east because there are no deciduous trees but the yellow aspens are stunning. I am on full bear watch time all the time as they are plentiful here and in their hyperphagia stage right before hibernation where they are out to eat like crazy before setting in to hibernate for the winter. The moon is full with an eclipse at the same time and I'm lost in it all.
September 26, 2015
East Glacier, Montana
I am very afraid with a self-imposed feeling of being stuck like I'll never get out of here, it is the last stop for me. Feelings are not always facts, right? Maybe because I recently left New York City and Philadelphia right now... I am definitely in another world, very remote, isolated with a feeling of no where to go. There is no phone service and the satellite internet is off and on, depending on the wind. The day was spent cleaning and I got practically no where with it and wow, does it need cleaning. I told my friend Becky not to clean before I came because if I do it myself, I will feel a little more ownership in having space of my own. She is offering this place as a home base but does not know how long she will be here herself. She could not be more accommodating. The scenery is spectacular outside. We are deep in huge mountains. It feels like I left the east coast forever. When in West Virginia I still was within reach of Philadelphia my old home. Now... I'm too far gone. It is what I always wanted, to live somewhere else. Even though it is just a home base like West Virginia was, deep down I tell myself it is a home because I really need that feeling of a home. My allergy to cats is an issue. I'm feeling a little dependent which is an awful feeling for me. For ten years I have depended on other people but also had money of my own to use along with that. Not now. I want to feel comfortable, just need to give it time. I had home made from scratch green tomato pie tonight. It was very interesting and good. The video I am posting was from my friend Joe's place two days ago in North Dakota.
September 25, 2015
North of Essex, Montana
I drove almost 850 miles today. I couldn't take another motel so I drove six hours than purchased one of those six hour energy vials and drove the rest of the way, while wondering if the energy stuff would give me a heart attack. I listened to music on my mp3 player... Keith Jarrett, Donna Summer, Bach, Earth Wind and Fire, Pat Metheny, Rachmaninoff... Once into Montana from North Dakota I wondered if the feeling I get from being in it is made up or real. This is my third time here and every time the feeling of openness comes to me. The land feels more raw than anywhere else, more free. Maybe its because the fencing is different, I don't see the restriction signs and property lines as I do in other states but I am sure they are there. The entire ride I passed two cars and less than fifty passed me. Is that crazy or what? Do you know the feeling of driving forever down a road alone with wide open nature no other cars on the road... on a hot, dry, sunny, windy day with the car windows down? I wish that for you. Hot... it was ninety six degrees in Wolf, Montana as I drove through at 5pm. That is a mighty damm hot autumn day!
There was beautiful scenery and I saw an amazingly huge metal sculpture made out of scrap metal that I had to stop for. I looked it up online and it is part of a series called the Enchanted Highway, Geese in Flight. I didn't see any of the others but I sure wish I did. It is an attraction worth checking out in North Dakota. Mo and I arrived at my friend Becky's place and she had fresh clam chowder and bread waiting for me that she had made. For some reason I was craving that and called her this afternoon asking if she could make it. She is a gourmet chef and the soup was awesome. I don't know how it will work out here where I am because it is cat-ified and I am allergic to cats. The room I am using has no windows or air ventilation. Becky is going through major changes in her life and as friends, we can both feed off each other emotionally in not a good way. However, I am very grateful that she has invited us here and wants us to feel welcomed as strongly as anyone possibly could. She has helped me alot and we care for each other. I arrived six hours ago after driving fourteen hours and I'm still awake. Here's hoping after I fall to sleep, I will wake up not a mess!
September 24, 2015
Jamestown, North Dakota
It was grey and cloudy all day. Joe and I went to a Chinese buffet for lunch. I got caught up with my blog work which felt really good. Now is a new time for the Traveling Piano. Having the blog up to date from the east coast helps gives me closure I need to let the past behind concerning my home town of Philadelphia with family, friends, etc... the whole New York dream that I had for years, letting go entirely, lastly of all, yes all... past possessions, and that fact that there is no home base for me anymore back east. Originally I was going to get on the road again today but did not want to rush myself. Any travel without the security of what will happen next is becoming more difficult even when I know where I am heading to. Funds are needed now so someone had better contribute financially bigtime or I may have to go back to work and let everything as it has been for ten years go bye, bye. I'd like to keep going but cannot complain about the run I've had so far, eh? Musical Fun, Friendship and Respect... Musical Fun, Friendship and Respect... Tonight Joe and I ended up talking and again, I'm getting to bed late. Friends to talk with have been really great over the last month. Joe keeps telling me how difficult it is to get through the winters here up north. I may find out. I'm more concerned about the Traveling Piano truck with the cold than my own sanity.
September 23, 2015
Jamestown, North Dakota
Joe keeps telling me how cold it gets here in the winter. This place can easily go over forty days straight with the temperature being below zero, up to forty below. I said thats colder than Alaska, how can it be. He said it is because we are more inland and flat. Wintering in Montana if that is what is to happen... I don't know what to think about that. Really, I just don't want to think about it. As with stopping to stay with Joe, I didn't know if that was going to happen until about four hours before I arrived. Taking one moment at a time is what I must do and that is not easy but I've been practicing at it for a long time. Joe and I also talked about how his medications costing over $2000 monthly. That is along with paying for insurance. He is having a problem with his leg and can't go to the emergency room of the local hospital because that will not only cost $5000 for the visit it will change his primary care hospital which he must use for cancer. A visit to a local doctor would be between $250 and $500. In the Untied States... were we are now making our own decisions about living or dying depending on how much money we have for medical care.
Most of us will die without the conscious choice and probably people will die in large numbers until a revolution begins and then more will die. It is what it is. People are working and dying to make poverty wages while pharmaceutical drug pushers take advantage of that to live in wealth and literally create more poverty through it. I've gone through the decision making process about how much I am willing to let a vet take my money to save my dog and now, I can tell you... with everything I have created for my life in monetary value... I'd much rather die as a result of having used it all with this journey than giving it to greedy medical and pharmaceutical people who control companies that work to keep people addicted to drugs and medical care. On a lighter note... I watched Joe feed the cats on his farm today, there are over forty of them. He calls them for dinner and they come running from out of everywhere, the barns, trash piles, the trees, etc... He had a woman staying here while he stayed at his lake house who collected them all and then she moved out. Joe's a good guy.
September 22, 2015
Jamestown, North Dakota
We took a drive to Joe's lake house about ten miles out of town. He's been working on it for over fifteen years and it shows. What a fabulous place! It even has internet, although slow. The property is large and purchased in 1989 for $24,000 and is now worth around $400,000. Since the area is rural the people who keep buying up all the land around are the rich farmers who have made a killing since the stock market crash six or seven years ago. The only problem... the beautiful lake is contaminated with agricultural fertilizer runoff from corn fields in the area. It is amazing how fast I feel acclimated to moving from urban to rural environment so quickly. Today, the Traveling Piano truck reached a new mile marker with 300,000 miles of use! Is that cool or what!!! Joe and I watched O' Reilly on FOX news together (he has the station on 12 hours a day) and I thought about how he watches it religiously as I used to watch John Stewart's The Daily Show on comedy central.
September 21, 2015
The temperature today went from ninety one degrees during the day to forty eight during the night. On the way out of Madison Wisconsin I stopped and purchased Two Egg Mc Muffins for the first time in years. They came to $3.50 a piece for pure processed fake bread, egg, ham and cheese and tasted like nothing satisfying, lol. The experience will satiate any craving for a Mc Donald's impulse again for hopefully a long time to come. Earlier this year I saw my first Sun Dogs in the sky. It was to the right of the sun and then I saw another ten minutes later to the left. It happened again today while driving through Wisconsin into North Dakota. Do you know that what you are seeing is not the sun? The sun is not in the picture. Look it up online, its very interesting. They are reflections from the sun from both sides, a phenomena. When we reached my friend Joe's place in North Dakota we met his three dogs, Peter, Petro and Sparky. Dogs are so much a reflection of their owners, these guys were all super loving and extended themselves in friendship as clear as could be. Joe was worried about them getting along with Mo especially concerning Sparky who is old and grumpy but as soon as they all established turf, everything was ok. They are farm dogs and I grossed out in seeing Peter chew on a mouse for fun and how they eat each others shit, even their own and of any animals that they can find! Not my dog please!
September 20, 2015
We are in a motel and I decided to stay another night because I really need to unravel. It is not possible to stay with anyone and feel the solitude I need. Its difficult even in a motel room. Last night the air was crisp and I could feel Autumn coming on quick. Today it was seventy five degrees and sunny... just perfect. I slept until noon and then putzed around in my room after a walk with Mo. I processed pictures for the blog but have not been able to do any of the writing. The pictures are all from my camera phone which I used for the first time while I was in New York and I'm glad I have them or I would not remember anything that happened over the last week. Hopefully my memory will click in once I get going. Presently, the blog has no writing since the eleventh. The Traveling Piano is packed with stuff so there's no playing of music until we get to Montana unless we stop in North Dakota at a friends place first. He's been out of town and has not been able to return my calls.
September 19, 2015
Earlier this year I saw my first set of Sun Dogs in the sky. At first it looks like an unusual rainbow behind the sun but there are no rain clouds around it. The phenomena was to the right of the sun and then I saw another ten minutes later, the matching left side. It happened again today while driving through Wisconsin, unusual refections made by the sun. Motel 6 DON'T TRUST any of them. Was attacked by bedbugs last night. Went to the desk to show them my foot and ankles sores, told them they would find some dead bugs on the mattress, told them to give me my money back that I wanted to leave. It was 4am. They said I could not get a refund until the manager came in at 10am. I said I was not leaving without my money. They moved me to another room. Got attacked again!!! In the morning they refused to refund the room saying refunds are given only after Terminix does an inspection. This was the second and last time I'll ever stay at any of those bug infested Motels. They will soon find out that I will not get ripped off without a fight. I will get my money back, or get my moneys worth through warning others. Their attitude was the worst. Good thing I have a hair dryer to help with the itching over the next week. If you apply heat as hot as you can take it on any type of bite for thirty seconds, it will relieve the itch for up to twenty four hours or just dissolve it immediately. I'll be dealing with this for a week! Luckily, I had not brought any packings or luggage into the room and Mo is on his flea and tick repellant.
September 18, 2015
So... we are on the road again. Susan made me a very large breakfast with ham and eggs, fresh sourdough bread, pastries... and then I said goodbye to her and John. I wanted to drive straight through to North Dakota but could not and crashed at a Motel 6 in Ohio. I don't know why I think I can get to my destinations so much quicker than I ever do. Using my IPhone to access the internet when I must a pain is the ass! There is so much less I am able to do, see and access at one time. Time wasted on applications tracking my every move and confusing each other in doing that... painful. As my friend John says... using the internet now, you are the product. Not sure I want to go that way for the rest of my life. Not having the option to deal with it all was much easier to live with. I laugh when I think about how I was in a show last week during a very quiet moment and I heard a ding from the damm thing telling me someone had just sent a text message. The entire theatre heard it. I must remember there is a difference between putting the phone to sleep verses turing it off completely.
There were three distinct times where I noticed strangers in my life last week while in New York City. Remembering that the city is full of tens of thousands of people walking around, I was hanging out in Times square and a guy was hanging out behind me. Hours later I was standing a half mile away in a food truck line on the street, and he was in front of me. That happened again with someone else on another day. One day while sitting in a church getting some peace and quiet there was a couple next to me. (only about six people all together) When I left to see a show and sat down in my theatre seat, they had the seats next to me one person away. I'm not sure what to think about these experiences. I could take the understanding of them in many ways. They have not been unusual through the journey and they are certainly interesting!
September 17, 2015
Livingston Manor, New York
I will need to stay conscious not to feel sad and cry when Mo and I leave Susan and John tomorrow. We will leave New York state with happiness and filled with gratitude. These two new friends have shared their entire spirits for a month with us in every way. They were strangers who invited us into their home who cooked for us, shared their food freely, gave Mo treats, cleaned for us, gave rides when needed... they cared for the Traveling Piano and Mo while I fulfilled my dream of spending time in NYC alone for five nights, found a place for me to stay, shared their family and friends, their eccentricities. I love them because of their unconditional fun, friendship and respect. How could anyone not? The Traveling Piano will leave the east coast headed west once again full of their love so that we can continue to share that love with others throughout the world. They are friends that Traveling Piano Dog Mo will not forget. They cared for him, they played with him, treated him for a week and are the only other people he has ever slept with besides myself! Also, usually I can tell if a stay with someone is on the edge of being too long. I begin to see signs of Mo irritating them for no reason I can see. Its been very rare but I am super sensitive to it because I'm the one they usually get tired of. They show it through the dog. In ten years and staying with over a hundred and fifty people its happened maybe three times. With John and Susan it was great from start to finish and for almost a month!
September 16, 2015
Traveling, New York
Its leaving day but first Anurag who has been working as a teacher in the New York City public school system for twenty two years asked me to do a few assembly programs for his classes using music to tie in with physic instruction. He teaches in the Bronx. The most difficult part... get up at 6:30am and function for the first class at 8am. I played some Ragtime and Improvisation and talked a little about vibrations. The first class went well, then I had a meltdown between the first and the second classes, was so tired and out of it I don't know what I said for the second. I learned that you cannot use the word stupid or idiot with kids even when joking in conversation because the words subconsciously set off negative emotions for some because of abusive parents. Also, never call them by their last names because many kids are embarrassed with their families, parents are in jail, etc... Afterwards, I went to see one more broadway show, a matinee. It was Kinky Boots. First, I looked for a Halal food vendor on the street. They serve good Middle Eastern food, a lot of it and the price is very small. Its enough food for a day and only $7.50. For my last show in New York I lucked out with a front row center seat, directly behind the conductor. At first I thought it would be too close but then realized that it would be a new experience.
I was exhausted and hoped I would not fall asleep in front of the performers but it did not take long for them to make my energy level soar. The main character did a solo performance that was so amazing right in front of my face, he created a new life experience for me through it. After the show I actually stood outside and waited for him to come out so I could tell him about that and thank him. I almost cried, lol! During intermission I was standing next to three ladies and a conversation began. They knew me and had see me perform in New Jersey ten years ago. Wow, that super fun to experience! Anarug was to pick me up and take me to the bus station in New Jersey. It all was sort of hell trying to connect and get out of the city with vehicles rerouting because of a car fire during rush hour on a Friday afternoon and then finding the bus along the highway in suburban New Jersey. John picked me up in Monticello, New Jersey with Mo and I felt nothing but joy. Mo was conflicted with letting me know he didn't like what happened but still very relieved and happy. Once in bed we both fell back into perfect sync... stationary, just the two of us hanging out together once again.
September 15, 2015
Manhattan, New York
Today I wanted to spend time just walking around the city more than anything else and heading from where I am staying in the most northwestern part of Manhattan which is in a neighborhood called Inwood. I took the subway down to Washington Square at the other end of the city and reminisced about how I drove the Traveling Piano into the square back in the beginning of the journey... and got away with it without cop interference. As as quiet mellow jazz group played in the park I sipped on a cup of coffee. Guys from Slovakia, Japan a Jesus preacher/musician from Siberia. After about five minutes they were attacked by police because the piano player had a keyboard with speakers and that is not allowed. An acoustic piano is allowed. The law is supposed to be about creating too much sound not about how the sound is created and the sound was quieter than an acoustic piano. The kid was given a two hundred and fifty dollar ticket and there was no way I was going to stand around and just let it happen without standing up with, and for him. It was so wrong and there were harsh words exchanged and more which I will not get into. Later the cops went after a young skateboarder and I stood by him also. It felt really good to be alone and not to have to worry about them finding a bogus law to attack me with using Mo or the Traveling Piano. I told them to stop harassing and mirrored the humiliation they were serving out back onto them. When the cops left, people standing around thanked me.
Afterwards, I took a walk into the lower east side of the city and well... I've been looking for my mothers borscht soup (beet soup) for over two months, I don't know why but I found it today in the lower East side of Manhattan a small place called B&H ... fried pierogies made of cheese, spinach, potato, sauerkraut & mushroom too! That was my second best experience in New York city. It was a most comfortable, easygoing, friendly neighborhood place where everyone knew each other and visitors were family. Onto the west side of town down Christopher street I walked to the old wharfs that are now beautiful parks jutting out into the New York City harbor. As I walked uptown it was amazing to see all the old neighborhoods I once knew now trendy each with a distinct character of there own. I brought a ticket to see Book of Mormon a very popular show on Broadway which was hilarious. I got to the theatre early and there was an actors church across the street which was open. It was the first church I saw with its gates unlocked. Even on Sunday all the churches I saw were locked. Time was spent in silence almost my myself and then about twenty people arrived and a priest came out. I thought a mass was about to begin but it was all about prayer and meditation. When I left to go outside the feeling of city chaos was strong like day and night compared to the peacefulness that came over me from simply sitting in silence inside the church for a short period of time.
September 14, 2015
Inwood, Manhattan, New York
I forget which shows I've been seeing on what days! I saw Avenue Q off broadway which I have been curious about for years and it seemed a bit tired. Still, I'm glad I saw it but also have had enough of puppets! The entire show was puppets. The real excitement for the day was scoring a ticket for the new Late Show with Stephen Colbert. It was the first time I ever stood in line to see anything and it was worth it. The show was entertaining and for free! I realized for the first time what an integral part an audience plays in a television show such as this. It was my first time ever at a taping of a show. I did not know the movie star and politically one of the supreme court justices made an appearance and I never heard of the guest band. The real star of the show was Jon Batiste and Keep it Human the Late Show Band. It was full of an eclectic mix of musical americana, jazz and improvisation. They were just great and I sat right in front of them. A short question and answer period began with Stephen where I was tempted to try for a Traveling Piano pitch but it would have come off as very inappropriate. The whole experience was an eye opener and fun! Never before have I been into audience participation. With Stephen Colbert I was one hundred percent invested in staying connected with what was going on in what ever way was needed to be part of the show.
Susan sent me a picture of Mo, he is now sleeping in bed with them at night. Thats good! Afterwards, I saw another show called Amazing Grace and I felt like I was really pushing the limit with seeing shows, lol. But... that is why I am in New York City, the agenda... to binge on shows. The theaters keep the air cold so everyone stays awake and I'm glad they did. In fact sometimes I can feel it getting colder as a show progresses. Also, with many shows people now give standing ovations in todays world because its the thing to do. Amazing Grace was good but it wasn't standing ovation good. I had to stand anyway or I wouldn't be able to see anything over all the other people standing. The fact the New York City residents are conscious about keeping their city clean stands out. People use trash cans, people are always cleaning up and I have not seen one person litter anywhere. Everyone does their part. Also, I have been experiencing with myself as well as observing people towards others... respectfulness. Especially in the subways no matter how crowded, people are polite and adjust themselves especially with people who speak other languages. Maybe towards me, it has to do with foreign cultures respecting age, respect being mirrored back to me, everyone simply wanting to get along, maybe a little of everything.
September 13, 2015
New York City, New York
Today was a two broadway show day! I saw Hand to God which was a fun show that had puppetry in it and at night I saw Something Rotten. As far as I am concerned... if you want to be entertained by a Broadway Musical Comedy it cannot get any better. It was everything I love about a broadway show and now in writing this blog after I've left New York, Something Rotten was my favorite experience. Purchasing tickets for any type of entertainment is now a total racket. They farm out tickets to all kinds business and individuals on the streets, have lotteries to get tickets, you can get them direct from the theatre and prices go from $20 to almost $500 for the same seat. Most seats for almost every show are sold on the day of performance. Time Square at night with all the people walking around was phenomenal. It was full of what looked like tens of thousands of bobble heads, so many people in such close space. It is impossible to feel prejudice against any one kind of people in an environment such as this. There was no one type of person that stood out. There was every age, shape, size, color, language being spoke and every type of attire. The weather was beautiful all day. Getting up in the morning was a challenge. Anarug had left and I almost just wanted to just stay in and lay on the futon all day. Physically, I was exhausted from all the running around the last few days. My friend Mark a few months ago came to mind as an eighty something year old guy still working full time at his job.
He said the first few hours to get going in the morning are the roughest and the the day gets easier to work as you go through it. I hung out for a while in the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood with lots of restaurants. Some guy steered me towards a trendy, local, inexpensive Japanese restaurant called Totto Ramen. I was hesitant because a menu with the idea of noodles being the main course, that does not titillate me but... the food was as good as food can get and when food is good I always leave satisfied. It was romain noodles but they were special with just how well they were cooked and the broth with chicken and seaweed and special spices etc... The absence of Mo was strong in feeling for me from early morning. Its a long and complicated story but I had not talked with John or Susan since I left Livingston Manor and they were not returning my texts or phone messages. Anarug was supposed to go stay with them for the weekend but he could not get in touch either. I knew Susan had gone away so it was just John and Mo. I got really worried and I put the bug into Susan and Anarug to worry also. Finally someone went over to the house at almost midnight to check in on what was going on. John's phone had gone dead and no one had thought to email him. There was a switch that triggered in my brain emotionally during the process of what had happened and I began to dive deep into a dark place about the possibility of having lost Mo. Everything turned around to be ok but I must begin to work on the fact that he may not be in my life, alive forever... prepare myself like I did with Piano Dog Boner, starting now.
September 12, 2015
Manhattan, New York
I woke up and ran straight to the half price broadway show ticket both. I took the subway. In the old days I was too proud to use the subway and preferred driving my vehicle around New York City. Then public parking disappeared, then paid parking became cost prohibitive, then the crush of traffic made driving a waste of time and now... I would never have the clarity for the quick driving reactions needed in today's life... so surprise, the subway was not so bad! Ha, really is was actually easy to use and quick and with an all access bus/train pass, thirty one bucks for a week. I was on an elevated train for the first time in forty years. Walking around without my camera or Mo on a leash... with nothing in my hands felt really... light. It is a good thing I have a camera phone. Taking a few pictures while in New York City is a must or I will never remember anything that happened from day to day. First I saw a play... The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time. I'm in heaven, it was wonderful. Times square is amazing but nothing like the old days when it was commercial, sleazy and creative. Now it is totally commercial, one big ridiculous commercial so ridiculous that it is interesting. The fact that capitalism can be so big and ridiculous and that most people in the world suck it up like it is everything and there is no tomorrow is interesting. It is also sad because the reality is that many people left out in the cold directly as a result of it.
I brought a ticket for a comedy show at night and took Anarug with me. He treated to a vegetarian indian restaurant for dinner which was very tasty except the food was almost too spicy. The comedy show was pretty bad. We did not stay to the end. The performers were creating a lot of screaming and chaos with the word "fuck" was inserted several times into every sentence (that is not an exaggeration) with constant encouragement for me to give feedback that I was having a good time... all to compensate for the lack of quality humor. It was not my thing. I don't want to pay money to force myself into thinking that I am having a good time and to feel embarrassed from performer pressure for not acting like it is happening. The view from Anarug's apartment is nothing but park and water and the Bronx from a distance. This feels strange being so in the middle of what I know as New York City. It was fun to drive around in his little car which makes finding a parking spot anywhere totally easy because he can fit into all the tight spaces that no one else can.
September 11, 2015
Traveling, New York
After a lot of going back and forth with myself, John and Susan and their friend Anarug concerning everyone's needs and timelines... I will be staying in Anarug's apartment for five nights. John saw me off with the bus to NY. I said goodbye to Mo at the house. The bus driver reminded me of Tom Hanks character in the Polar Express, professional and serious with a grumpy feel while not really being grumpy. While traveling I realized how different the view is from up higher on the road. The Traveling Piano truck is very low to the ground. A feeling of gratitude overwhelmed me. I practiced with my new IPhone while appreciating its being big enough for me to see whats going on in it. How everything has worked out for this time period is interesting. The fact that John offered to go with me to visit Anarug a few days ago with my intention to be of help, somehow I knew something else was going on having nothing to do with my staying there for myself. It gave me the comfortability level needed, courage, validation, reassurance that everything was going to work out the way it should.
The timing concerning my meeting Anarug and his offer as well as the timing of his visit to John and Susan's and my being there, having a place to leave the truck and Mo after all these years of wanting to do that in order to have a personal New York experience, etc. It is unbelievable how all the buses and traffic can maneuver so close and fast with each other on the roads and not have accidents. In my younger days I could do it but now... not a chance. Once off the bus I had to kill time before I could connect with Anarug. As I began to walk up broadway from the bus terminal I wondered if I might get into the new Late Night Show with Stephen Colbert as a last minute stand by. The chances were slim but I waited two hours anyway. They took twenty nine out of thirty people waiting. I was number thirty! It was suggested I try to get a ticket online for Mondays show. My age of sixty really showed up in my face. Most people are now younger and I found myself much more invisible to people. No one was paying attention to me. I can't figure out of it is because of my age, or that I am used to people paying attention with the Traveling Piano and Mo! Lol...
September 10, 2015
Livingston Manor, New York
It rained today and felt good to sit and do nothing. I stayed in my room and kept the door closed. It was so unusual that John came to check on me to see if I was ok. Also, I'm leaving... I'm doing this... I'm going to New York City for five nights just me. It will be difficult for Mo but he's in good hands with John and Susan and they all enjoy each others company. Who am I kidding? How am I going to function without my dog? We've never been apart for more than twelve hours in almost over five years! Separation anxiety, I need and love him so much every moment of every day, arghhhhh! No computer, no Traveling Piano truck, no supplies... I don't even know where I am going to stay. There is a bus leaving from town and that is about all I know. I am scared shitless! Why? It has always been difficult for me to get going anywhere. Its the dog, abandonment issues still present after all these years. I guess also its the idea of leaving everything truly for the first time, spending the money, not knowing how I am going to operate completely out of my box, I'm older, not as in shape, blah, blah, blag. Once I get going I know I'm going to be fulfilling a dream I've had to do this. Just need to keep the expectations and needs down to a minimal. Lots of going with the flow, accepting whatever happens and most of all making the decision to enjoy it as much as I can no matter how little or how much. I'm really moving into the unknown and wish it was as easy as it seems to be for other people. I'm going on fucking vacation by myself for the first time in ten years! Lol, enjoy Danny, enjoy.
September 09, 2015
Monticello, New York
I stopped at the local bakery while exiting Livingston Manor today. There was an older German lady really wanting an interaction bigtime so of course it happened. And of course that began to lead to other interactions. Most of the day was spent in the town of Monticello, New York. The place looked about 95% dead with abandoned buildings and business. I just pulled up to a curb in front of a few empty buildings and began recording music for myself not thinking anyone would appear from anywhere. As usual in situations like this my thinking was wrong. More time was spent in friendship just talking with people who needed to have someone to talk to than playing music. Of all the people I saw walking around... only two were not in dire straights. It was said that someone is trying turn one of the empty buildings on the street into a place for people without homes. The few business owners in control are rejecting that idea because they think it will keep the town from revitalization. As if the choice of having homeless people walking around on the streets is a better option then having a home for them to be inside? Or maybe they are holding out for a delusional vision that they are going to be able to get rid of the poor people altogether? I call that stupid.
Fat chance of their town getting any better in this day and age with that attitude and resources for the poor becoming less and less. Has anyone ever heard of a half way house, special needs home or shelter that has kept a place down? Never. Over protective, fear based non-inclusive greedy people holding out for a better environment while living blind and in shit unnecessarily... and at the expense of others, they make me crazy! Some say, "the homeless are just walking the streets looking for drugs, don't want help, there is not an easy solution." I say a person can focus on the "just walking for drugs" or the "life style" desire... that is an easy way to ignore the rest, dump all the seeming undesirables into one bucket, rationalize... A person can also cop out by saying "it isn't an easy solution" as they step over people laying on the sidewalk while traversing to work with negation all the while hoping that the property sales will rise in-spite of the problem perceived. I call that blind. The question is how interested are you in a solution to actually take action. If its all talk, I call that worthless. Ha, whenever I get angry I can be sure its about a distraction from joy.
September 08, 2015
New York City
John and I drove into the city to see Anurag today. We were concerned about his mental health and I was willing to stay with him for a while to help him out even if it meant not doing what I had planned in New York. I'm sure it sounds crazy to some people what I go through in my brain but the bottom line is I think through everything completely, maybe too much at times. It is what it is. The reality is that I fully know what I am doing and am able to take full responsibility for myself because of that. Some people want to call this journey obsessed because I do practically nothing else but work with the Traveling Piano but the truth is I am simply doing what I enjoy most. How much we enjoy or what we enjoy does not need to be measured. As much as I have talked about spending some "just me" time in New York City... spending time in personal relationship through spirit with people whether it be by physically helping or lending spiritual support through simply spending time, or through music with the Traveling Piano... being in service with others is preferable to the self indulgence of just serving myself.
So, John, Anurag and myself, we talked and everything is still iffy as to my spending time in New York City. Anurag lives in the Inwood neighborhood of Manhattan on the northern west tip of the island. Wow, the Harlem river, a beautiful park, nice neighborhood... there was a local restaurant where we were in Inwood, the area was so safe that neighbors leash their dogs outside the local cafe to go inside, eat and socialize without worry that their pets will be stolen or fighting with each other. Proof that pet owner sanity exists in the world in spite of all the self-indulgent worry and over protective measures that have been destroying the fun and love of dog stewardship. Long live empowerment! Many of the apartments are rent controlled in the area so people are living in fifteen hundred a month apartments easily worth six or seven thousand a month. There was gas being sold for $1.87 a gallon in New Jersey. I have not seen that in years and hope that it stays down while I traverse across country once again!
September 07, 2015
Livingston Manor, New York State
I spent the entire day in spinning angst and confusion about what to do. Thank God I have options but never-the-less... wow, what a waste of time in no where land.
September 06, 2015
Rockland, New York State
There was a small 5k run in town today as part of the Labor Day celebrations going on. I woke up early. John and I drove to park at a random spot along the route in order to surprise the runners. It was a perfect spot where they would hear the music from a distance and then round a bend to find us. After everyone passed we disappeared. Lol, I love the idea of everyone being surprised, loving it and then not knowing anything but the fact that they had the most random of experiences while on their run. I played some of my old repertoire of Ragtime and Boogie Woogie especially because I knew John would enjoy it. The sun was hot on my head and the sustained energy of fast, hard slamin' on the piano keys playing soaked me in sweat. Having not built up my stamina beforehand I actually pulled a muscle while playing in my upper right arm towards the back. That was a first. Who knew my hand and finger playing would use muscles in that area of my body? Not me. Afterwards, I passed out for about an hour and then family and friends began to arrive at John and Susan's for a Sunday afternoon hangout.
The food, plentiful like always. I cannot ever remember staying with people who have so much food ready to eat all the time, never feeling like I have to watch how much I take of whatever, or using anything up. I parked the Traveling Piano down a slop in the back yard and a few family members came down to play. Once I could maneuver the truck into some shade I created music for myself. Anurag, John's friend who we picked up from the train station yesterday just came back from traveling through Asia for two months. He is a New York City public school teacher and starts work on Tuesday. He has not even been to his apartment yet to settle in and invited me to stay with him while I am in the city rather than pay for a motel which I had planned to do this week. Then he made his offer worse. He said Mo would be more than welcome as his apartment building allows pets and... parking on his street with the Traveling Piano would be very safe. That... made be crazy because I'm trying to give myself time in New York City totally away from the journey just for myself alone. I've been trying to do this for ten years! But, to have a place to stay in New York City city to have Traveling Piano fun with Mo? Thats just crazy tempting. Ugh! Such a dilemma to have?
September 05, 2015
Poughkeepsie, New York State
John drove to pick up his son and an old friend from the train station in Poughkeepsie, New York and I went with him leaving Mo and the Traveling Piano behind. It was a small practice run for my heading into New York City for a few days alone... next week. That is what has been on my mind for most of the day. I won't even have a place to stay when I get there, I don't know what I'll do, probably just enjoy the moments. The famous deli I wanted to go to is no longer there and neither is the pizza place I wanted to hit on. TImes are changing, I'm getting old! There are a few shows I'd like to see but I don't know how that will work or even if it will happen. While driving today we were able to stop so I could get the chocolate ginger drops I talked bout a few weeks ago. The store had just enough left and they seemed to be waiting just for me. Driving an hour and a half in a car with three other strong minded men disccussing deep and complicated world issues, wow was that fun! I raked some lawn grass, cooked some... I'm exausted.
September 04, 2015
Livingston Manor, New York State
Before going to bed last night a yearning came over me that was so strong I cannot ignore it. I'm getting ready to leave the east coast again and it feels like I will never return or have an opportunity to spend some time in New York city and see some live entertainment, get a sandwich at Carnegie Deli, walk around and soak in the energy, etc... I've been wanting to do it for over ten years. What has been stopping me? Money, arrangements, logistics, Traveling Piano priority, leaving my dog for a length of time. Knowing that I am unnecessarily leaving behind opportunity that is so important to me... that is probably where the anger has been coming from over the last few days. Anyway, back to today. I did a little yard work for a get together that John and Susan are having on Sunday. I stopped at the local Library to meet a woman who is holding a 5k race as part of the towns Labor Day celebration. I decided that if they offered a good attitude as in welcoming my gesture I would create some music for the event.
Turns out the woman had heard my music last week at a neighbors house and she did indeed welcome the idea without any restriction or hesitation. So thats going to happen also on Sunday. Outside the library I began to interact with locals as well as people from Israel and a guy from Turkey who used to live in Bucks County Pa where I owned my home who is now looking for a place to live in Livingston Manor. Lol... Before dark I went to a park where no one frequents and created music for myself. I know the sounds floated all over the town. Later, Susan told me she could hear it from up on the hill. I took Mo for a walk in the field and decided that New York City is going to happen. I have a place to leave the truck and Mo will be in good hands even though its going to be very different because we have never been away from each other for a full twenty four hours. He has been with me for over five and a half years.
September 03, 2015
Livingston Manor, New York State
The day started out with more anger, two and a half hours worth with Apple computer techs while "I" had to trouble shoot with and for them. When I find the solutions sometimes I wonder if it was really me or it is something like they are using me while listening for training or something... and then when they are done just enter into my computer and fix the trouble. First they wanted for me to do a clear wipe of the hardrive and I told them that was not going to happen. Then they sent me a link to download my computer information which would have included a desktop screenshot. I asked if they would actually see my desktop and access all the data in my computer. And then I asked if they thought I was an idiot! Many people just do what they are told. Give Apple computer access to search and keep everything in my computer? Not on your life at least if I can avoid it. I am wondering if I am welcoming distractions in order to avoid feelings that I must deal with. Moving on again is always difficult even though I know once I get going everything will be great. I've been doing less Traveling Piano stuff lately because John and Susan have been steering me away from it with their friendship. It feels like personal friendship time with them is more important than anything because I've had so little over the years. My friendship times have mostly been through work via the Traveling Piano. Last month with the Traveling Piano was very busy. I should give myself a break.
September 02, 2015
Wurtsboro, New York State
Wow, I was angry today. It came out of frustration with my new Iphone and computer with storage and passwords. The internet tracking and security now is such a pain in the ass, it is almost for me, not worth having an online presence anymore. A vet I emailed in Wurtsboro about an hour from where we are staying said he would give Mo his shots without charging for an office exam which was very generous especially considering the last gonif I contacted who said it is was the law that an exam be given first and that is why they had to charge for one. The law says someone can't contribute the cost of an exam? Anyway, I decided not to get the shots but wanted to meet the guy anyway out of appreciation for his offer.
On the way, I stopped at an ice cream stand to sooth my crazy head and the smile from the girl working at the counter along with her brother's upbeat energy... without knowing it they reached deep down into my soul to pull up the Fun, Friendship and Respect needed from within that I was looking for. We had time in that spot and then went to the vet, Joseph A. D'Abbraccio's place and spent a short while with him. After he left a few neighbors came by and we all had some special intimacy with creating music and how I do that. On the way back I stopped at a supermarket to pick up some food to cook for a gathering John and Susan will be having this weekend and then I found a local park with no one around to create some music just for myself. Mo and I took a walk there in a huge open field with mountains as a backdrop.
September 01, 2015
New York State
I really don't know where the day went. The truck cover did not even come off. I cooked, did some weeding in the yard, straightening up around John and Susan's house... feeling domesticated now thats its getting close to leaving time? Sat in the jacuzzi tub with a lit candle and watched Wayne Dyer's The Shift made in 2013 until the electricity went out. Then John and I took a long walk around the town to see everything in darkness and then I sat in bed waiting for it to come back on because... getting to sleep before four in the morning is always a problem for me. Wayne Dyer passed on, he was a good guy, a self-help guru.