HIS SPIRIT LIVES ON! ... BONER, THE PIANO DOG ... November 27, 1994 ... February 20, 2010
Use the links to the left to read a past Month or Year... and then there is always your Backspace to return to a past page.
August 31, 2016
I'm very thankful that I have written everything down from day one and it is here on the internet, on this website because... I am forgetting what it feels like... life, the past. My focus must be present on the here and now. My life has officially changed into a survival mode or it might be better to look at it as, transition mode. Where we are it has been a hundred degrees everyday so I can't really work much with the Traveling Piano anyway. We need to find a place to stay to set up a permanent home base pronto and I've been looking up roommate ads and also churches. Yep, who knows, I know God will lead the way... because I pray for that everyday. Ha, anyway... oh my god, I can't think into the past. Crying will start when I think how I owned a huge house that I had paid off... but I choose this journey. No regrets... just a bit of panic sometimes. Also, I'm moving forward with getting back into the conventional world... looking towards the entertainment field, branding and keeping the journey alive via China. If I could simply continue to do what I have been doing which has been phenomenal and I am not burnt out of one bit... I'd continue the journey as it has been but finances need to appear... now! One moment at a time I put one foot in front of the other... I'd go anywhere in the country. Santa Barbara would be a great fit, Bakersfield is too hot but I'd stay if a place came through. A house or apartment of my own would be great, I think. Wherever, whatever... I need with Mo of course a clean, uncluttered, private, quiet, off street parking room with light and internet to function in a progressive way.
August 30, 2016
Yesterdays post was a bit wordy but hey, it is what it is. Today, I felt ok. There were some moments where fear began to pop its ugly head but I told myself I just need to keep the faith. I researched and sent out five roommate inquiries to the Santa Barbara area from Craig's list. All five were probably scammers, I know one was because almost right away I got a text saying, "I'm the owner of the house, click on this link" lol. Sent out ten emails to large media outlets about the GoFundMe account. Spent some time with new friends and went to the Apple store because the recent new phone replacement was bad! I could not even access the phone last night. They knew they were selling bad phones. In the billions of sales they figure some will work and others will not so just let the customers find the bad ones for them and deal with returns when needed. I lucked out with the store manager and he dealt with me after an hours wait. During that time I used a store computer to study some Chinese writing. The tech pressed on the phone window in a certain way, saw the problem and simply flipped the phone, gave me a new one. For the aggravation over the last month and hours of trouble shooting on my part (nothing new with apple) they should have paid me money back along with the "third" phone.
Now they are worried because I saw in the news today a class action suit has begun over the very issue I've had. Of course they don't want me to join the law suit so it was an immediate replacement without hesitation. Probably a retuned phone again, from someone else. Blah, blah... I'm getting wordy again. I took Mo into the mall and the store acting like he was a service dog. He did so great, my dog is very intuitive. It was too hot outside to leave him in the truck. No one seemed to mind. I sent out an email tonight to a minister of the local mega church asking for help with a place to stay for a few weeks. I said, "I'm a saint who needs to be equipped for the work of service, to build up the body of Christ." as in Ephesians 4:12. Its a bible church. Always, I enjoy extending myself with and for opportunity to work and love. Its feels like this place really, really, really needs what the Traveling Piano has to offer. Just exploring, flowing, following up on feelings and thoughts that come to me... constantly praying to know the path to take, what to do and how. I said in the email that I'm not religious. Think it will matter? Thats just a bit of sarcasm... it would mean a lot for the church if it did not matter. I know there must be at least one church in this world totally true to the word from my point of view. But then again... I've had other thoughts like that before with no luck in finding a "like" soul.
August 29, 2016
I've had a few subscribers from the contribution page on this site. They have been with me for several years. Two at three dollars a month, one at thirty, two at ten and one at twenty, one at five. Thats eighty one dollars a month. One three dollar subscription and one thirty dropped a few months ago but they both re-subscribed this month and how I very much appreciate that. Its like they are my family, the only people caring with action on a continual basis. Or I should say, my idea of family, its a feeling and I so very much appreciate them. There is also another friend contributing more, but its not enough to sustain me. That "more" feels like an angel in my life. The air conditioning in the room I was staying in last night broke so I sweat through the night and had to move to another room today, less light... it is what it is. I began to look up rentals online and there are quite a few. I wonder why I have not seen them before. I guess the time wasn't right? Well, dazed and confused all my energy is now into exploring the idea. There are people looking for a roommate from $400 to $600 bucks a month which would give me a few more months of not being on the street and maybe the opportunity to change direction. Since contribution has not been happening I will be homeless soon. But then again it must stay constant in my mind that I don't know whats going to happen. I just continue to do the best I can... which led to a very short Traveling Piano exchange with the hotel receptionist and also a new friend today that I met last night. As strong as the music element is with my work... the fact that I have no agenda to get something in return is just as important. There is a relational trust people have with me because of it. Once money or anything commercial enters into the work of this journey it will lose fifty percent of its fun and human relationship whether others realize it or not. I know this fact. People are blind in many ways to how money controls relationship with others in life. Right before I put the cover on the piano I saw a beautiful woman sitting with some bags and a dog in the bushes. I could feel her yearning to connect and so I did.
She was in enormous pain and as frightened as could be. Her issues were acute and complex. She's living on the street. Her dog also also lives on the street, they found each other a few months ago. An abusive relationship has a hold on her and that person also lives on the street. She was looking over her shoulder and all around constantly as we talked. She can't get into a shelter because one of the prerequisites is she has to physically show signs of abuse and the place is over filled anyway. Getting help is all very, very complex and bureaucratic for people living on the street. There is another place that will take her but she must let go of the dog and thats not going to happen. I understand that totally. I created music for her and she cried the entire time. I had to stay strong for her through the music knowing it had to be cathartic for her. The sniffling became part of the music. After awhile she came over to tell me she had to go. I think fear overcame her that someone was going to arrive and then... I don't know, don't want to know. Back in my clean air conditioned motel room I thought of her outside in the stifling heat by herself, afraid to trust no one, waiting out the night... night after night. Last month I spent time in this motel and remember the same experience with a guy laying down a towel on the grass to go to sleep outside my room. There is such a strong impulse to start sneaking people in with me. I'd have to be very careful with trust, probably would not sleep, I'd need to give them the bed. Its like with feeding, giving people food to eat. I tell food banks that if your going to be giving people food don't treat them like dogs to be fed scraps. Don't give people outdated food that you don't want yourself, etc... feed others what you eat. If your going to share your space with others, the space should be equal to yours if not better. Bottom line, I must take care of myself right now because if I don't no one else will. Thats the way it is right now. Constantly, I revaluate my ability to give and how I can continue to be of service to the world. People who do not share, serve, whatever... have no clue to to the feelings of fulfillment they are missing. It has to be fun and come from a place of abundance in my mind. Abundance is a relative term.
August 28, 2016
We drove back into the desert today. It was three hours of a hundred ten degrees and back to the motel where we stayed last month. The ride was a new route and spectacular. I woke up this morning, called an old friend and literally cried with fear. That was cathartic. Then another friend called me. That was helpful. I randomly saw an ad online for a room to rent in Bakersfield last night and followed up on it. The price, $600 was the lowest I've seen anywhere in awhile. The biggest problem is with the truck and equipment getting fried from the sun. There is no shade at the place. It would be parked in the driveway very close to the street for easy break in access with drug addicts roaming through the area. The neighborhood is not that great. Its basically one big room, a kitchen but no stove or microwave, it has a bathroom. I don't know whats going on in my head and just need to keep the faith that I'm ok, everything is ok. Its difficult to live in heat like here. I'd have to create work immediately. It could be a home base because LA is two hours away, the coast two and a half, Vegas four hours... Which brings up the fact that the truck needs a tune up pretty bad. I'm hoping that is all it is, because the carburetor has defiantly been going slowly but surely. There is nothing I can do about any of that right now except hope for the best. I sought out some new friends to meet and hang with. They were the best! I needed that. We met in Oildale. I was told it was a rough neighborhood but nothing compared to the east side of town. Bakersfield might be the roughest city I've been in even though there are all kinds of neighborhoods. There is a need to be extra careful and not take chances with anything in the areas where I have been. Crazy people in heat with drugs while living on the streets... dangerous.
I've been feeling isolated... need to build a network of friends I can phone just to connect with to know I'm not alone not even talk, just connect. If you can be one let me know. Unless you know me personally, know my situation (few do), please don't send me suggestions! They simply negate personal impulses of caring. I totally "get", and accept the concept of not caring enough to actually "care." The inability, etc... I get it. The, get a camper go to social services call the local church type suggestions are not helpful at all. I know the options by now, eh? I know this situation I am in more than most because I have been of service to people in situations like I am in now, since the journey's beginning. 95% of the people I've dealt with from my experience are not able to get the help they need. If your someone who thinks in terms of thinking that I mooch, or want to tell me to get a job... do me a favor as you do not understand my life and work for the last ten years, do me a favor and disappear! That... would be very helpful. Responses like, come stay with us, I'll have a friend call you, I'll look for motel deals for you, send money, help you get an apartment, research support and resources "with you" (thats key, we need to do it together) ...those kind of things are helpful. The friends I met tonight, they started giving me resources to find a place to stay immediately. They were friendly, inclusive, understanding and welcoming.
August 27, 2016
It is all about the truth and not easy to divulge at this point of my life. The truth is easy to tell when it is a wonderful truth but then... Well, I have no one to talk to about my present situation. There is one friend, but I don't want to wear them out. There are friends who do not know how to respond so my calling, its awkward all around. Also, some friends just can't take hearing about my sense of need. They are afraid they will attach themselves to it. Then there are those so deep in their own crap they can't hear anyone else's. Some just take the call of distress and turn it into a distress call for themselves and then there are those who cannot help but take in all my emotional stress and feel nothing but fear for me. We both end up feeling worse. And then you would think people would call me? I think they are too afraid. I want my mommy and daddy, they were always there for me. I want my circle of friends that tell me as a group that I can get through this, people willing help me with actual support, walk the walk with me but I've not stayed in any one place for over ten years to have a circle of friends anymore. Out of sight out of mind. Enough patheticness... I'm not on the street just yet, please God, don't let it happen. Maybe I'll die before it happens. Maybe I'll be able to get a grip and do what I need to do as I have always done in the past. But then again, maybe my life is over. One day at a time. Through all this I tell myself to keep engaging, live out the Traveling Piano to the very, very end.
One of the house keepers from the motel where I've been staying... I got her onto the Traveling Piano today. Mo and I drove to a laundromat with a huge trash bag of toilet paper, tissues, soap and shampoo. Everyday at the motel I've collected my allotment of daily supplies and have been squirreling them away. When I was doing my clothes at the laundromat last night I saw homeless people doing theirs. So I went back to the laundromat to share some music, have an exchange of fun, friendship and respect and... pass on the loot. I ran into a perfect guy. He was there with his two young sons around ten and twelve years old. They live in the bushes down by a river bed where I visited with my last load of loot about a month ago. The boys had fun with the piano. When it came to talking about where they are living you could see the shame they felt about having no home. They took all the stuff and will share it with the community living around him. There are several neighbors living in tents and another family near them. There was another guy nearby standing looking very lost. One of the young boys came up to the dad to show him. They all went over to invite the guy to go back with them where they are staying. Homeless people taking care of each other... then lastly, at a pizza parlor in a strip mall a couple noticed the strong colors of the Traveling Piano truck and so I engaged with them for a few minutes while they waited for their pizza. They didn't know what hit them as I sort of came out of nowhere fast and strong, swept them off their feet and onto the piano seat.
August 26, 2016
I said to myself, get to the beach, it will be the last time, it is why you are in this area. No people just nature with sand, wind, coves to duck into, waves, suds, ocean water, high cliffs, Mo, sun, the tide going in and out, rock formations, seals, dolphins, warmth, coolness, sticks, shells, different colors and textures of seaweed, clear blue sky, smells, distance, openness... just Mo me and the earth. I thought... if this is the reward for all the work I have done, just this, today and now... it is enough. In the picture I'm posting today, see the beach down there... that is where we sat in different spots, in a daze of love and peace with my mind wanting to interfere but losing out... for hours.
August 25, 2016
I know I've been through times like this before but wonder how I blogged them. When I was young, I felt a need to create drama to get my point across. Now drama seems impossible to create. When I meet people on the street and they ask me about my life and I tell them, they say what a wonderful life, etc... and I tell them "used to be" which is a downer all around but I've never been good at creating an impression of life in any way other than it actually is for me. I don't want to be an impersonator. My life will benefit others either way good or bad. It feels most helpful to just be straightforward with my truth and feel as good as possible, then project my good when the opportunity arises. When not feeling good, how to communicate that when it comes up is difficult. I'm freaking out. Anyway, presently don't know where to go, no resources, no home, no able friends to help, few weeks worth of motel stay money left. Can't seem to find a way back into a conventional working world. HELP! If you can help with a place to stay anywhere please email me. I'm getting thrown out of the slim bag motel I've been staying in because they cannot let people stay a full month.
They would have to pay residency taxes and not be able to reject people. If I leave and come back I won't get the coupon rate I had. It just won't be worth it. I could feel it happening and then it did. It must be time to move on. The fear is excruciating not to mention the struggle to keep a sense of self respect and dignity. All my work has come from a place of feeling supported "enough" to do the work. It "was" basically self-supporting with help from friends but I am no longer self supporting and there is no friends able to help, at least not enough to create some security. I could spend all day asking for money, it does not work for me for some reason, never has throughout my entire life. The GoFundMe contributions to date came from the actually people running the site and one other person mostly. My message throughout the journey has been that I give to life and as a result god/universe takes care of me and the details. There is a point when that stops happening in this physical realm. Its feeling like my time is up. Thank God, thank you, thank you, thank you for Mo in my life. Wow... thank you for my dog. I got my camera back from the friggin' repair shop today.
August 24, 2016
It is time to learn how to do life in a different way. Instead of waking up and going online to see the first news post for example... I need to do a goal oriented task. Instead of checking my email to see if anyone loves me, I need to just love me all by myself... more. Often, I think about trying to be manipulative by disappearing from the world to get people's attention. That is not a route for me to take. It would take too long before anyone realized that I have actually disappeared, lol! Focus... there is no focus and I am so "trying" not to beat myself up over the fact. I am not doing what it feels like I need to be doing. "Trying" ...try to touch a wall. It will not work. I either touch the wall or I don't. I remember many years ago writing about this somewhere in this blog. When I woke up I said my usual, "Fun, Friendship and Respect" mantra and then went to points of gratitude in my mind and then prayed for desire and inspiration.
August 23, 2016
I've been working less these days. The support is not there in many ways and I've never been good at going it alone. That may seem confusing to many people as I've been on my own and am always with people. The fact is, in the past I've always had support financially (my own money), fall backs for places to stay, friends I've been in touch with and families I've stayed with per journey mission. The money does not exist to move around now, people are no longer inviting us into their homes, friendships are fading as they do in life when not actively involved and a lot of time is spent in my head spinning, doing whatever I can to function personally, verses being out working with the Traveling Piano. Being connected with the worlds news gives me an illusion of being connected with the world. Television shows did that in the past. The connection was that everyone was watching the same show at the same time. It is all an illusion of being connected. With the news, there is better ways of being connected with the world other than knowing its atrocities as they happen and commenting on them as a way to bond. Online, all exchanges are too short to mean anything. Its a challenge to keep enough clarity to function. The first priority is to enjoy, then take care of myself, then share. It is very, very difficult to share when I'm feeling very, very needy!
August 22, 2016
A local woman connected with me online. She wants to "take off" like I did with her own life but do it with a van and travel to share her love of life through the photography of nature in America's national parks. Of course I was interested and she suggested meeting at a "Community Feed" for her Foursquare church. We met there. The name "Community Feed" threw me off as it sounds like a pigeon feed, lol. I was hoping for a sit down meal with locals like in communities up north but the "sit down" was to watch a religious video and then afterwards people got dinners bags take with them. It felt like the church projects a bit of a distance with people, maybe because of past experiences or warnings of trouble. When I arrived two different people in charge, at different times made immediate approaches to see what I wanted, why I was there as obviously I was an outsider. Once I relieved, their concerns were all good. I joined then in prayer before serving the food which raised a few eyebrows and they included my presence in prayer. It is amazing how through my lifetime still, I am discovering church communities I've never heard of. The name Foursquare has crossed my path before, but I always associated it with a game people play. It is a bible church, a Protestant evangelical Pentecostal Christian denomination based mostly on the west coast founded in LA in 1923 and its international.
In 2000 it had 8 million members and there were 353,995 members listed in 2006. While I was standing in prayer with these people I was hit in the face with the reality that I'm out of practice in adjusting myself to those of contradicting viewpoints from mine. I've become more focused on differences verses what we have in common. Choosing common ground takes a lot more energy and practice than rejecting and protecting. Rejecting is just plain immediate gratification and protecting is self-centered. This journey would have no depth if I did not put forth the effort to extend myself to those who are very different and contrary from the way I am, want to be and am comfortable with. I've often joked about how in Missouri after the Joplin tornado, it was exhausting to have a need to insert the word Jesus into every conversation. When in Rome... There was nothing fake about it, the gesture was a matter of respect. I have a personal relationship with Jesus... its personal. Some people would say its a duty to profess the relationship and guess what? No. I have learned that true love is respecting people on "their" terms not mine. That includes beliefs, attitudes and ways of behavior. Many people justify judgment of knowing evil through the bible. There are those who discover love and acceptance through the bible. It is a fine line walking the rope of respect for me. Its full of give and take from myself, needs constant awareness, thoughtfulness, adjustment and acceptance. If I am going to go to China... I need as much practice as I can get here and now.
August 21, 2016
China has been floating close to my world as well as synchronistic energy in general. Cloning Mo is in my minds eye. Also, I woke up and the first thing I saw online was a story about the son of a Chinese billionaire in LA building investments. I received an email from woman interested in pianos and it was just crazy. She is from Taiwan, has the same name as a women I had correspondence with many years ago from China who wanted to help me get there. The woman in the email had been to my old hometown back east where I used to own a house. She was filming pianos getting trashed, from a piano moving company that I dealt with for years. She's heading to Newfoundland to interview a guy I coincidentally met and spent time with back in 2008 who lives there. She lives in Oregon wanting for me to visit when I just came from there... lots of synchronistic energy flying around. I'm getting ready for China, first thing is to cut down on food. I've been drinking ensure that I have, there's not much money for food anyway at this point and I'm not exaggerating! Keeping my head clear to bring in progressive thoughts, in order to keep creating my life... a huge challenge that is.
August 20, 2016
It is day by day, minute by minute for me now. I went outside to wash the truck in the parking lot and an older guy engaged with me about the Traveling Piano so I took off the cover to show him. Turns out his son who came by a few minutes later improvises piano music as I do and we all spent some time in friendship and music. That got me going and I headed out to a park just to play for myself. I passed a tent set up in the catholic church parking lot and it looked like they were giving away clothes to I stopped to find out. It was a woman and two of her children with a personal agenda. Many years ago when her husband died she did not want to simply give his clothes to Goodwill to make money from so she decided to find people who needed or wanted them. Now ten years later she has a truck named Jim's clothes. Local people give her clothes they no longer need or want and she distributes them in different ways. No association with an organization or money, no other agenda, no strings attached, she just does it out of love and respect in memory of her husband. Now, you KNOW I love that!
A Filipino woman who has anxiety issues with being in public came over saying she was pulled out of her car parked nearby from watching Mo and was able to trust us enough to get onto the piano seat. She was a wonderfully trained classical musician. Her son came buy. Before we left they both drove to Kentucky Fried Chicken to purchase a meal for me, and one for Mo. We both even got sodas! Lol... I feel ok with giving Mo chunks of chicken every once in a while even though I know chicken meat is not very real anymore. The Jim's Clothes lady and I had some deep talk. She heard some stories from me that I rarely tell people and it reminded me of how many unique life stories I have and how good it feels to be able to trust myself and others to share truth when most people do not. Today I began some serious research about cloning. It may be a way to get the Traveling Piano to China and I first began looking into it for Piano Dog Boner back in 2008. There is only a few weeks left with funding and then I don't know what... If anyone ever says to me again after responsibly working for an entire lifetime and up to and including today... at sixty one years of age to "get a job" I will say back "get a life." Having experienced both, I can say that. Ha!
August 19, 2016
Mo and I went for a hike into the mountains to find some hot springs. It was a small area, the water seemed a bit to dirty to indulge but the area was beautiful! There were some college students there who asked how my day was going. The kids I've been meeting are very interested in people in general and outgoing, friendly. Their short and simple inquisition really made my day which of course led to the Traveling Piano for all of us back in the parking lot.
August 18, 2016
I've been talking about this since the beginning of the year and will continue as long as necessary. My mind keeps fluctuating as how to handle the fact that while I am still working "daily" with the Traveling Piano and creating Musical Fun, Friendship and Respect everywhere as usual... I do not have the resources or enough support to continue after next month... and also no home, family or friends to fall back on for various reasons. At this point a contribution of a few bucks from anyone will not make a difference and for example the rallying of all facebook friends to all contribute a few bucks each has been a failure. All the "why don't you's" that have been suggested and that I have personally thought of... don't you all think I would if I could? Just because something seems easy or do-able does not always make it so in reality. I'd love to publish a book, its already written here in this blog. There are ten thousand quality pictures to sell in a variety of ways, thousands of musical pieces to be creative with in marketing, my own personality, the Traveling Piano with sponsorship, aligning with an organization, becoming a non-profit, an artist in residence for corporate or community, teaching, back to performing, producing a tv series, etc... on and on.
So, do I say goodbye now, or just let the posts stop whenever that happens... this is what mills around in my head daily. I can no longer go it alone. Do not seem to have the where-with-all in my head to change direction, keep asking for support, continue to follow my dreams anymore or do what is necessary to survive with what I consider any quality of life. I have my dignity intact, is anything else needed? I'm enjoying the living one day at a time. No regrets! Its been a blast of over ten years. Don't know what or if anything will come next while living in the moment. People see the postings of joy, my work with the Traveling Piano, the anger of my politics and then they see a post like this and I know it all can be confusing but... it is what it is. My goal is to keep it all as real as can be. From the start, this journey has been an expression of myself... for better or worse, you can decide. For me, the decision to create this journey has been from day one and still today... the best! Everything has been for the better.
August 17, 2016
After I posted the blog last night... in not the greatest state of mind, I took Mo outside for a short walk and on the hood of my truck found four purposely laid lavender roses. It felt like the Traveling Piano had been carpeted with roses. They were full of validation, love, appreciation and reassurance for me. Its the second time someone left flowers on the truck. All unwanted thoughts disappeared instantly. I felt love. The anonymity of the gesture is so very special. Also, this morning I was reminding myself how I am alone and must cope with that fact. Then, almost immediately a friend called. No one has called in weeks. I don't know whats that all about except for the powers that be reminding me that I am not alone.
A young guy we met in the park the other day emailed and asked if I would visit downtown so his friends could meet us and spent a short while with the Traveling Piano. Of course! First, I played in the parking lot of the motel where we are staying for housing keeping, the motel manager and maintenance guy. A few locals came by. Downtown while with a bunch of younger guys and gals I was thinking about how wonderful it is that Nathan the young guy who contacted me, how he wanted to share his experience of the Traveling Piano in person with everyone he knows. It wasn't to show off, it was to genuinely share his love. A person driving by thanked me for what I'm doing without even really knowing the story. There are those who think this journey has been just all a jaunt, that I've been working a free ride in life, sharing the Traveling Piano, hanging out on beaches, etc... Those kind of people are just assholes.
Then there are those who really get me and the work that has been going on with the Traveling Piano fo so many years. They know the value of it innately, understand the tradeoffs I've made and respect how I have been able to stand up for myself and live life the way the way it feel it should be lived. They know it is a work of love and difficult. Today while eating motel room style, I once again took to a new style of eating... I could not make a sandwich that would hold together... so in my mouth a bit of tuna mixed with mayo, salt and pepper, a piece of lettuce, pickle, a potato chip and bread... chew over and over... bit size portions... chew... lol. I know it sounds gross but it works! A few weeks ago in the truck I did it with salsa and broken chips pieces. Put some broken chips in the mouth and then a little salsa and chew... more broken chips in the mouth and then a little salsa and chew...
August 16, 2016
I stayed inside all day today determined to finish up with the journeys photos. Done! Six thousand photographs now posted from this year alone. There are some really fine photos in the picture galleries. It is the documentation of the entire journey in a timeline for the last almost eleven years about 70,000 high resolution photos total. Now, I must change direction which is very difficult. Processing the photos has been a center-point of my life's activity when I am not out working with the Traveling Piano or doing anything else. I multitask using my work with photos as an anchor. Now there are none to do. There is an empty void that must be filled with action and problem solving. Really, I am in serious trouble. I wanted to finish the photos before moving on with my life. I must now let go and move onward.
I don't know how to do that even though I do. My level of fear conscious or subconscious is really acute even though I don't care. All feelings and thoughts can exist at the same time. Do you know that? They can and do with me. I have less then two weeks at this motel left and no place to go, practically no money, no resources, no friends or family to lean on... life can look pretty grim if I allow that. There are so many people everywhere in worse scenarios than me these days. Why would anyone care about my situation, people are numb to troubles anymore and I understand. I can pick myself up by my bootstraps and work my ass off but I have been saying that for too long and not doing it. I am doing the best I can but its not good enough. This is new territory for my life. No one or anything to fall back on. When I try to think about "doing" or what to do, or try to plan, organize, whatever... I come up against a brick wall or my thoughts redirect into nothing productive, just a blankness.
August 15, 2016
We've been living in a motel and I'm really seeing the underbelly of it. Everyone who works here is just working, there is no management no order, no system. Its like a bunch of kids in a neighborhood raising themselves together. Housekeeping is always pickup up pieces, finding broken solutions for what is broken, its almost impossible to find a towel that isn't stained, basic supplies were ordered two and a half months ago from corporate and have yet to arrive. Four housekeepers called in sick today so there was one person cleaning thirty rooms, lol. I found the manager washing linens so no one is booking rooms or at the front desk to take calls. Its like this all the time. At one in the morning when I let Mo out to go to the bathroom, six rooms had doors left open and about eight had lights on, windows open and half cleaned with linens piled on beds, etc... it all truly is amazing. Strangers who don't pay go into rooms and just use them. The maintenance guy literally had to kick a woman in the butt to get her out of the room and threw here pocketbook into the street. She refused to leave because she was watching television. Yep... this is the life! Todays picture is of an elephant seal I spent time with a few months ago.
August 14, 2016
Getting my head out from under the covers today was a little of a challenge. It was time to pay for another week where I am staying. There is enough financially to get me to the end of the month, ship the Traveling Piano and my computer hard drives full of data back east to a friend who will inherit it all and enough financially to ship Mo to a friend up north to take care of him should he need someone to take care of him and... thats it. To reach year thirty in 2017... of full time working with a piano in the back of the same pickup truck will take a miracle me thinks. How do I tell people that I am desperate without sounding desperate? Fact is, I don't feel desperate. I've never been someone who deceives to get what I want or need in relationship with others. The idea of it has never sat well with me, ever. There was a tendency earlier in life to be over dramatic, but now I'm always on the lookout for that behavior. As someone who deals straightforwardly with others well, thats not worked so well either. It is the only way I can be. I've never felt so at the end of the road as I do now. There are feelings of disappointment but not with myself. I feel really amazed, grateful and totally accomplished about myself. Mo and I went on a hike into the mountains and wow was it difficult but worth it. I must have looked so bad with my breathing, Mo too... that people who passed us offered water! Lol, I took it. Then we met a family and that led to the Traveling Piano once we got back to the truck.
August 13, 2016
Foggy brain day. I took Mo to the local dog park and afterwards was planning to go for a walk but did not have the energy. The people at the dog park were enjoyable which is unusual. They were all into letting the dogs be dogs verses getting hysterical about their behavior or trying to police everything at the slightest projection of trouble. Last time I was at this park the people were friendly now that I think about it. After just about everyone left I got into a conversation with the last person and so I invited her over to the Traveling Piano to have a look see. After we were done, on the way out I was thinking how throughout this journey of over ten years, I've tried to communicate that I need support for my work... which does not ask for support from the people I am working with. The concept from the start has been to give to others with the idea of strangers becoming less afraid of each other simply for the sake of musical fun, friendship and respect and nothing more. I've been asking people to help me pay forward what I have offered to the world and I must say with the exception of myself and two other people... finding support for this venture has been difficult to say the least. I've found support in drips and drabs but never enough to sustain the journey in of itself.
August 12, 2016
Beattie Park, California
We went to the local park to hang out with people and do a little exercise. I'm so happy people really enjoy what we have to offer and that I can have a way to connect with people. A bunch of young "punk" like kids were talking in a car nearby and I heard one of them say about my music, "its so beautiful." Lol, I'll never get used to hearing that. It is so amazing and I'm so grateful about it. Back when I was working professionally and was going to brand what I do, the main question was what demographic I was going for and I used to say there isn't one in particular that would be better than another as all ages and backgrounds love the concept and what I do equally. The journey is changing as far as friendships. There is no one in my life on any consistent basis. Older friends are dropping from lack of contact and their life situations.
I'm not in any place long enough to develop new ongoing friendships. Online friendships are not quite in reality. All those people are sort of like pen pals. My life style is not conducive to hanging out with people. I've been interacting with less people via the Traveling Piano because I don't have as much energy to work as much as in the past. People talk via phone much, much less every year. It needs to be convenient and on their terms. I'm also guilty of that. Basically, I've been around less and less people. There needs to be more of a balance but I certainly do love being alone. In the past I was working so hard and interacting with so many people daily it was a relief to disengage from the world. Now there are moments (only a few far and between) where I have impulses of feeling lonely, not alone... just lonely for familiarity in relationship with another or several other human beings who know me and who I know.
August 11, 2016
On the Beach, California
It is a very... I don't know how to describe it, my life these days. I've shut down thinking about what will happen and the feeling of need to work. There is a feeling at times that something very good is about to happen so I have no need to worry and then... there is the usual anger, issues, etc... but today Mo and I went to the beach and meandered and sat and laid and played in the sand and got dirty and wet without a care in the world. I'm so amazed that I can just do nothing for hours. Of course the stimulation of everything that is the ocean like the beach, rocks, waves, sand and wind, all of that keeps my mind occupied with gratitude and love of nature. The thought came to me that I have had the best year of my life so far with the Traveling Piano. Ha, that does sound strange with all the uncertainty but hey, thats what I was thinking. Life long dreams have played out like getting to San Francisco after thirty years with the piano on the truck and also playing music while driving down Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles and most of all being in all the nature of the Pacific Northwest specifically spending time in the redwood forests. It has all been just very great for me. Also, I thought that today may be the best day in my life to date. It probably had something to do with being "present" in the "moment." There can be nothing better or worse in the present moment. The experience is the best that a person can have in life. To get to the beach, first we must walk along the edge of high cliffs where birds fly along side of us over the water. Wow, to be walking hundreds of feet in the air with birds flying right alongside of you is just so awesome. Being alone on the beach with Mo, no one around, I know I say it over and over... its just bliss.
August 10, 2016
Santa Maria, California
I wanted to get out with the Traveling Piano today and drove to Santa Maria about an hour away to create some music. Also, I needed a pair of shorts really bad and they have a few department stores there. Clothes are once again becoming expensive. For a long while there were really good deals to be found. I noticed that manufacturers are advertising more where their clothes are made for example "Made in Bangladesh" like thats something special. Do I want to know that? No... because I know that clothing from Bangladesh comes from slave child labor. It is a fact. Anyway... I just could not find a spot for myself to create music. My head is in a blur today. Santa Maria breaks the record for the number of people living in concentrated slum conditions. Maybe North Philadelphia Pa was as bad but the large families of like eight living in one room converted motels in Santa Maria... I guess the feelings of seeing that subconsciously for myself in a projected future, over dominated my ability to give to it with music. So, its time to get stronger... have more faith and feel as good as I can about a positive future for myself.
August 09, 2016
I'm having a strange sense of well being. It comes directly from not caring about the future. Also, in processing pictures I realize how much I have accomplished this year so far in spite of how difficult it has been. In the moment I'm enjoying my peace of mind, getting up to date with picture processing (there are now three links in the galleries for this year alone, 2000 pics per link) ...and not having to look for a place for at least a week really frees up my brain. I'm understanding more why people live where they live and pay what they pay to live wherever. It is an individual thing. Like here where we are, one can look at it like a total dive but for me... not having to keep looking for a place to stay... I get the room cleaned whenever I want, basic supplies like soap and toilet paper, coffee to distribute to homeless people in the area... I'm on the second floor so I don't have to listen to noise from above, the room window opens for fresh air, I can keep the door open and see mountains outside. Any disturbing neighbors I know will be gone in a day or two. (because its a motel) Every day has been sunny with a good temperature, the truck is parked close and safe in the shade in a corner under a tree and I can see it with the door open. The people are nice... the beach is somewhat close, there are parks within walking distance for Mo, places to work with the Traveling Piano.
My being able to work with my own timeline for going to bed and getting up without wondering what others are thinking about with me and my work, that is big and there is internet even though it stinks. I've been using a white noise machine with earplugs to sleep so I don't hear all the noise in the mornings. Poor Mo with the white noise machine! All the the little perks make the tradeoff for other options worth it... if there were any other options that is. So, the smelly soap, bad water, mildew smell when the rooms air flow stops, cooking on the bathroom sink, bed bugs... yes they come out every few days... stuff like that I'm just dealing with. Mo and I went to the park to create some music and share the Traveling Piano and every time I do it I feel the appreciation, fun, friendship, respect and how important that is for my world. My finger tips are losing their meat! Ha, I know thats weird to say but I can feel it when playing the piano... age, lack of use, whatever... physically I'm constantly adjusting to life's present abilities. I think I fractured a bone in my ankle or shin when I slipped down on a mountain slope. Thats why it was swollen and black and blue a few weeks ago and now the pain from that is moving all around that area of my foot so I'm being careful of how I walk and making sure I don't favor the pain too little or too much.
August 8, 2016
While walking on the beach today I felt very insignificant and not in a humble way. I was thinking about how fundraising has not been very successful but then again I have not been hounding people and really pushing, I don't want to. Somehow it feels like it should not be so much work for such a good cause. The reality is no matter how good this mission or journey, I'm the one who needs to sell it or to find someone to help sell it. With my life and journey, does any of it really matter? Only in the moment does anything matter. The less I do in the world the more of what I have done... gets replaced with other people doing "like" things. Do you know how many piano players are now outdoors playing around the world? Lots! People will not remember me years from now and if they do, so what? It will only be a glimmer of a feeling. Then again as I have always said, the affect of what I do and have done... I have no idea in the now or for the future. My life is like a work of art. I do, I finish, I let go and move onto something new. As soon as I stop putting my energy out into the world, thats how soon my energy is no longer in the world for anyone to see, remember or care about. At least, that is how it feels today. It is amazing how much of my validation for self-worth comes from my work. I used to say to my adopted son Mike, "just being you is enough, you don't have to do or be anything, your spirit is so awesome." Now, I need to remember that for myself.
August 07, 2016
I'll be here for another week and it feels good to have the consistency, security and grounding. Food is an issue as I realized that thinking about what I'm going to eat is happening too much and the cost of a meal out is always around fifteen bucks. There is little room in the motel space to set up a kitchen and its not fun cooking at the bathroom sink. Then there's the washing of everything. Don't want to purchase dishwashing detergent because thats just another thing to take with me when I leave or I must give it to someone which I can't afford to keep doing. The "can't afford" thinking is not good. Naturally its always in my subconscious. When I consciously put it into my brain the thought can run away with itself and then worry and fear ensues. I have a small electrical burner, a knife and a pot with a bowl so... to the grocery store we went. Potatoes, carrots, sausage, sauerkraut cooked well with pepper and salt... wow, that was yum. Also, I got some canned tuna, mayo, celery and cheese for a salad with nuts and some fruit. It is not so much cheaper to purchase food at a grocery store anymore but when eating fast food, or food from a restaurant you never know what your eating. Someone suggested a local bar where I can get a beer and hamburger for five bucks and I thought of how that hamburger probably comes from a dollar store. Fast food like Mc Donald's and Burger King etc... besides being a rip off with cost, whatever meat product is in that stuff, I just think about the cows I see while driving on the road emancipated in dry fields or crammed together in small pens while living their lives standing in their own shit. So now, I'm stocked with food for a few days.
There is a grocery outlet nearby and sometimes they have food that doesn't sell elsewhere with huge markdowns because it came from a foreign place. Sometimes its just lousy food, the packaging isn't attractive or the brand name is unrecognizable. I saw a box of butter cookies with a jelly center from Israel usually five bucks for a buck and tried them out. The taste was amazing and the date was still good. They were filling enough for two servings (ha, for other people probably four) and so much cheaper than other junk food pastry of any type. I purchased a slew of boxes to give out to the workers at the motel. If I was to give them each a dollar, it would mean nothing and possibly insult them as it would me. A dollar is worth practically nothing. The thinking of them and the effort to purchase and deliver the gift, that goes a lot further than the price of it or a token tip of appreciation. I've been squirreling away my allotments of soap, toilet paper and boxes of tissue for people who come buy everyday to pick through trash in the motel bins for empty plastic bottles and whatever. I've been squirreling away my empty plastic bottles in bags for them. There are so many ways to give in this world. Giving does not have to be a grand gesture. Like I have always said with contribution for myself... of course I need large contributions to help keep me going (of which only one person has ever given me a large financial contribution in the last ten years) but the small ones... they give me the emotional support needed to continue. The emotional support is just as important as financial support, spiritually emotional support is more important than financial support.
August 6, 2016
Santa Barbara County, California
It was a just hang out day. I'm giving myself time even though there is no time in reality. Einstein proved that. Its time to mention again how much Mo is supporting my life. We support each others lives. Good fortune, gratitude, appreciation, respect, fun, play, nature, instinct, companionship, love, empathy, resistance, insatiableness, respect, loyalty, consistency, care... lol, I could go on and on with words about our lives together. Mo keeps me grounded. He keeps my mind from totally going off into a mindless, self-centered state of being. My dog Mo is a present for me, he is present for one hundred percent of my life.
August 05, 2016
Shell Beach, California
What a day to not have my camera! Ugh, so its all with an iPhone. We headed up north to the Pismo beach area as I was told there are areas you can take your dog on the beach. Not areas, the entire area. What a joy that is, not to have restrictions to deal with. I stopped to ask someone with a dog where a good beach spot was and they directed me to Shell Beach. As soon as we got on the beach we met a couple chilling out in a cove with their dog and a conversation ensued which lead them to come back to the Traveling Piano for a time. That led to interactions with a few neighbors and a hippie leprechaun guy who gave me some fruit, ha! Then we went exploring for some other beaches and found a place in Grover Beach where... for five bucks you can drive your vehicle onto the beach. Lol, me and my issue with paying for parks and to enjoy nature... NO PROBLEM ...take the five bucks! To play on the actual beach with the waves at sunset what a wild dream. The last time I was in an environment like this that I can remember was in the south of Mexico back in 2007. So there we sat with vehicles driving everywhere in every which way for miles.
Friday night parties were getting set up with campfires, people camping, dinners, etc... I was right at the waters edge and it was kind of cold. The wind was strong in a way that the sound did not carry very far which was fine by me. I created music with people hanging out, two girls were riding horses in the water back and forth in front of me with people playing in the water... there were really no boundaries and limits with anything for anybody in doing what they wanted. Whats important about that is, there were no problems as a result and if one did happen it should not discount all other times where no problems exist. As I created music in a surreal way the two girls on their horses rode up to us in slow motion and then got off the horses to try out the piano for themselves. A family on holiday from Wales came over. An older couple danced on the beach in front of us to the music as the sun set. The energy was amazing with the wind, the cold, the people, animals, ocean, mo with me on the truck and the music. The beauty, the time was all very surreal. Wet sand in the piano, in the truck, in the speaker... there's a price for everything but sometimes its just worth it.
August 04, 2016
I'm doing what I enjoy right now. I'm doing what I'm doing, because I can. Most people would be freaking out about what is right around the corner for me and if you read this blog you know how I can go there... but not now. I'm processing pictures from the coast of Oregon in March. It feels good to get the work done and I really want to get update. There are some amazing photographs. I wish I had it in me to publish some of them for money. Hopefully that will happen. I posted three pictures from Oregon for todays blog. It was a lot darker and cloudy and rainy compared to here now in California on the beach where it has not really rained for months and is sunny everyday. I'm living the "dream" when it comes to the beach this year. Mo and I went again today and I took nothing with me but his leash. My camera is in a shop, ugh the cost for repair will be high. We meandered on the beach sometimes next to and at the bottom of high cliffs, sometimes down by the water through ocean waves washing up between my feet, around boulders, in wet sand, in dry sand. Every once in a while we would stop and lay in a shady cove or on top of a long narrow rock jutting out into the water to lay in the sun.
I studied every detail of what I saw. Sometimes when we stopped I just closed my eyes and slept. Mo was so happy he licked me in the face. Dolphins dove in and out of the water swimming while pelicans flew in lines along the coast line. Seals would pop there heads out of the water every once in a while. The waves would change from small to large to long or short. The temperature was perfect as was the breeze. As it got late in the day the wind died down as the sun began to set. There were so many pictures to take but that was not as important as simply meandering and exploring. Walking in Glacier Park back in 2010 came to mind when I realized I was living a dream, a dream of beauty and nature. The rock textures and colors were out of this world. At one point I went to feel a great wall at least a hundred feet high, straight up and smooth with a gray shiny rock... it turned out to be all dirt. I could have dug into it. This all is very much a part of my journey. It is not all about my music and sharing the Traveling Piano and the creating of Fun, Friendship and Respect. From the start first and foremost, it has been about me enjoying life. I fill myself up with life and naturally the world benefits from my sharing of what I have to offer, the worlds love, my love.
August 3, 2016
A Motel Room, California
Along with processing and posting around 400 more pictures to the Traveling Piano picture galleries today... Mo and I went to the beach again. Its a half hour drive to get there. Getting up to date with the photos, I'm appreciating the opportunity to do that along with having a place to do that. The beach reminds me of how I enjoy being alone and how fortunate I am right now in the present moment. Of course I love being connected with people but by myself time... with no distraction creates a sense of well being for me. On the beach its a total sense of well being. If there were other people around I would not have the experience. There are people, but I've never seen more than five evey time. I was trying to think if I have ever had such a perfect experience in life before like today on the beach... in Cape May New Jersey twice many years ago, Bandon, Oregon on the beach was a a most unique time of wonder, stimulation and awe but "total sense of well being" today and Cape May over thirty years ago... thats it.
August 2, 2016
Santa Barbara County, California
Mo and I went to the beach. We found a small, unofficial pull out area to park in along the highway and it took awhile but was able to find a trail down from the cliffs. I feel so complete at the ocean and on a beach we have found. Tall cliffs behind me, beach with coves, rocks, smooth sand, very few people, ocean waves, no supervision, no homeland security planes or helicopters... (don't want to jinx myself with that last mention) When I pulled into the parking area there was a guy heading for the beach and I asked him how to get there. On the way out our paths crossed again and we ended up having a Traveling Piano moment. After creating some music for him for only a minute or two, he said the music got him choked up. Nice!
August 1, 2016
The best I could do today was float around in my head. I've been good at avoiding the news and social accounts, commenting on stuff but I'm not perfect. Keeping other people's world of negativity out of mine is a constant challenge. With what is going on in my life, the word integrity came up. Many years ago I learned the difference between humility and humiliation. The feeling of humiliation is a self centered state. Humility holds gratitude. I came into the world with the ability to make conscious decisions concerning integrity, my sense of right and wrong, behaviors etc... When this journey began I became solid concerning my integrity with feelings of clarity, of being whole about who I am, who I want to be and my true intent. Protecting my integrity is so very important, its mine and mine alone. I cannot let anyone take it away from me, apply false motives or change the identification I have given myself. There is nothing more in life that I have worked on than learning about who I want to be as a person. All this thinking involves how I want to end my life, this journey. I will not become desperate or put myself in situations with other people and what they think that compromise my integrity.