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.
September 30, 2016
Mo and I took a walk down to the edge of the water in the picture I'm posting today. The picture is from up high where we are staying. Its really not as far away as it looks. Maybe we are a mile high? One of the most favorite gifts of my life has been to say, wow I wonder what it would be like to be walking down there or to look high up at mountain top and say, wow I wonder what it would be like to be walking way up there and with this journey... I've had the good fortune to do it all. Tonight I laid in my lounge chair staring up at too many stars in the universe to be able to contemplate on. Part of me feels like there is not enough music and people interaction in my life these days but then another part says, wow its been years since having this mind set I'm in. I need it, its good, thank God I can say for example... stay up till six in the morning binge watching a television series. It is so important to allow myself this lack of urgency to work, find a place to stay, raise money, etc...
And then there is life. We were in town in a few stores and I saw a trash basket at one store for a dollar and the same basket down the street at the Ace Hardware store for nine! Peaches at one supermarket were a dollar a pound and at the Von's supermarket two dollars a pound. A pound of bacon in the typical wrap was on sale for seven bucks, the thicker fresher cuts of bacon behind the deli counter being sold at the stores regular price of five bucks a pound. There was a special two dollar mark down on eggs with today marked as the last date while eggs marked for expiration tomorrow the regular price. Nestle was selling 32oz bottles of water for a dollar next to gallons being sold for the same price. Stay away from all Nestle products, I could tell you stories... We must all really stay aware of not wasting money and use stores and products that do not rip us off!
September 29, 2016
I went into town to hook up with some people and do a few errands. It was hot and I could find no shade so music was out of the question. I stopped at the post office to pick up my absentee ballot for the election. It was mailed to general delivery as I have no address where I am staying. Mail does not get delivered here. After asking for registration forms to hand out to people I meet, the lady said its too late to register for this election as the cut off date was in June. I told her that was crazy as the candidates were not even picked until after June. I called the main number for voter registration. The cut off date is October 22. So if your not registered I strongly suggest you do so and when you vote choose wisely. I was talking with a few homeless people to get them interested and to find a way to vote. One guy was telling me how in Lake Isabella there are the have's and have nots. I said if Trump gets in, those "haves" are going to turn into have nots and homeless people are going to turn into shit flowing down the creek. The sad part about all this is that so many people have been indoctrinated into hating Obama that they cannot see through their hate. Add to that, an indoctrinated disrespect for woman, the very idea of a woman being professional or in their minds above a man... and the only option is to vote for a white self-centered billionaire who will all by himself run the country as he says. That means being a fascist. (look up the definition if you cannot state what it is) Trump would do nothing but use you, and then discard you when he's done.
Unfortunnatly for many, anything to them is better than a woman associated with a nigger man for president. This is what has been taught to way too many people. We are all in a very dangerous situation so I will continue to stand up for the truth to make sure my ass is clean. That means being responsible. Everyone must speak out for the truth now. With several homeless people we talked and I learned about their lives and how they were at one time conventional and citizens who contributed to society. Something different happens to each person. One guy lost his wife and it devastated his will to go on living in anyway that would remind him of his wife. Another guy worked his entire life, paid taxes, lost his job and the system has failed him. Neither were drug or alcohol addicted and also not war veterans. Some leave a past life for a new job that falls through and then they have no resources to keep going in order to rebuild. And here in the United States we have the idea of governing in order to help people help themselves verses the idea of government totally as a business with greedy money mongers who care about nothing but power, influence and more money... for there own kind only of course. Just as bad are the poor who live in the illusion that they can feed themselves in reality by voting for people professing how great they are because they have money. It is all very disconcerting.
September 28, 2016
I've been creating music whenever possible but mostly without people around because there are not many people around where we have been staying. Posted is a piece of music uploaded to YouTube that I created today.
September 27, 2016
I have nothing to say so I'm not going to say anything except for what I just said, ha!
September 26, 2016
A red breasted hummingbird stopped in mid air, directly in front of my face three feet away from me for like 15 seconds today!!! Here is a picture of one in flight from a few days ago. Other than that I'm laying low.
September 25, 2016
Can you see the spec in the picture I am posting with today's blog? That is the Traveling Piano, where Mo and I sat creating music way out there near Mountain Mesa, California... what a gift to be staying where we are. Constantly, I must remind myself to stay as conscious as possible to experience as much of the reality as I can. The beach a few weeks ago and now this. The last few days I've been making headway with work, I think that comes from being alone without distraction. When distraction comes into play it takes time to get back into the space of total concentration needed. I can distract myself... into nothingness where I just sit unable to think or do anything. No new money coming in but hopefully that will happen or simply that my basic needs will continue to be met.
September 24, 2016
South Lake, California
The smoke from fires everywhere has pretty much cleared from the mountains. Mo and I spent time in the small communities of Mountain Mesa and South Lake today. The areas were almost completely empty. There was a 70,000 acre fire storm that swept through in a matter of forty five minutes a few months ago. One hundred homes where totally burnt to the ground in that short time! One square mile just about completely leveled with burnt autos, melted metal and burnt tree stumps. It was devastating to see, impossible to imagine. You hear about these tragedies in the news and think little about them. When you are in it for yourself the experience is completely different. What was most amazing like with other places for example after the Tornado in Joplin Missouri is how the storm seems to pick out certain houses while not touching others. I pulled he truck up to a spot where restoration workers were ending the day and a woman from the house next to them was outside. She has heard about the Traveling Piano.
She told me how she is filled with guilt that her place survived. Her parents house next door burnt to the ground as well as every neighbor around her. Her place... untouched, not a scorch. At first she was really interested in the Traveling Piano but then something spooked her and she just went into her house fast. I don't know if it was the emotion from the music, fear of interaction or need to be guarded for some reason. It is not easy to connect in rural communities as an outsider. It always helps to have someone from the inside to make introductions. Needless to say, people are totally traumatized here. We talked, I played some music in the area and moved onto the Lake Isabella lake bed and created music in two different spots. Really, the setting was phenomenal. We parked way down on a clear flat area far from the road at the waters edge with mountains in the background and at another spot, the same as the first but higher up in the air. It felt good to get Mo out some. We walked... and both needed that.
September 23, 2016
The entire day was spent spinning in my head. It was not fun spinning, it was not a new experience. What is happening with the upcoming election weighs on my mind sometimes incessantly. There is a force from within that tells me to have the courage and the willingness to bring commitment to declaring the truth, to not remain silent or manage to somehow to slough off any substantive responses when the subject of Donald Trump comes up in discussion. It does not matter what other people think. What matters is that people do not remain silent and do not object... if you do not speak out... you, like others before you, will find yourselves slowly being guided en masse into the gas chambers or behind a wall provided, "of course," for your safe keeping from the rest of "the bastards" out there. It is not time to be silent. It is not time to be aloof. It is not time to be uninvolved. It's not time to be in a false sense of peace within yourself rehearsing platitudes such as, "Oh, God will take care of everything," or "Oh, this too shall pass away. What you don't want to have, you must withdraw your support from. You must withdraw your support! Tell those who are misdirected, the truth.
Stand up and speak out especially to your own who support Donald Trump. Tell them, Do not be a fool for Donald Trump. He wants the independence of your will. It is a promotion of "My Will, Not Thine Be Done." His approach is "In Your Best Interests" but... he will necessarily end up governing your will as well. Do not be naive. It will affect the entire world. Walls can bite both ways. They can keep people out and keep people in, depending upon the will of the one in charge at any given time. It is not wise to make one-self subject to someone who changes his mind frequently, as it suits his purpose, in the heat of any given moment. You cannot afford to lose sight of the Wisdom of the Ages. The Wisdom of the Ages teaches: "Thy will, not mine be done." "Love thy neighbor as thyself." "If you have seen me, you have seen the Father." "If you have seen your Brother, you have seen the Father." "As I have loved you, love one another." Do not let exclusion or exclusivity become a premise for your actions in the world. Trump is the biggest danger since nukes and Nazis.
September 22, 2016
It was time to take the Traveling Piano out for a spell today. We ended up in a random public parking space in Kernville along a park. While driving through the neighborhoods, there were tree lined streets with picket fences, small houses, a very nice stereotype Americana with not many people around. At the park I met the usual people who hang out in parks, parents who brought their children to spend time there and people just visiting, passing through. There was a cold wind blowing and it felt like autumn. In fact, I think this is the first day of autumn. I like where I'm staying, it would be perfect if it was more conducive to doing my work with the Traveling Piano everyday but I have found that everything in life is a trade off. My life is in transition so spending all my time in relationship with people through the Traveling Piano as in the past and then documenting it, sharing it all, processing and sending them their pictures... that can no longer take up all my time, unfortunately... I think. We met friends from LA and London with a connection to living in Japan and they reminded me how much I enjoy a city and worldly sensibility in people.
September 21, 2016
Today was a zoned out day. My mind is constantly reajusting. That does not come easy for me, adjusting my mind. My landlord was here for a few days and left. Living with someone verses living alone are two distinct states of mind for me. These days add to that finding the next place to stay permanent or temporary, alone or with a roomate... a friend reminded me that this walk is simple, but not easy. I was asking myself... how can I best serve the world. The answer came to serve myself. Nothing new with that because as I serve myself I serve the world. This has been written about and proven time and time again. I have a lot of gratitude in being able to trust my intent concerning that fact.
September 20, 2016
Well, its very smokey as you can see from the picture. There are four fires burning in california and all the smoke from them, some close and also as far as a hundred miles away is flowing through the area. So, it is not a good time to be high up in the air but there's no escaping it down below either. I'm staying inside with a swamp cooler, excerting as little physical energy as possible and hoping it passes soon. My respiratory system is getting a test.
September 19, 2016
Lake Isabella, California
My landlord came in today after a week of having the place to myself. I had to keep reminding myself, "your sharing space" "your renting space." It is also a wakeup call that my time here is limited and that fact kind of shut me down... for the entire day. It took me out of the present moment and into the uncertainty of the future. Uncertainty can be fun, right? Smoke began to move into the mountains from distant fires and for the first time the hue on the mountains changed as well as color in the sky. My mind tends to fill my brain with what is going on in the world specifically with the upcoming election and Donald Trump. It is not good... at all. My mission statement has included "no political affiliation" but addressing the possibility of his getting into office feels more important then my mission statement.
September 18, 2016
Lake Isabella, California
I'm renting for the next month and a few weeks, need to keep reminding myself of that. There is a contract I signed for security for whatever that is worth. There is no immediate urgency to find a place to stay. What an interesting feeling that is. I washed clothes and hung them on a clothes line outside. What fun that was! In consideration of being energy efficient and with the costs involved you would think more people would revert back to drying clothes on a clothes line. There are neighborhoods back east where it is against the law to hang your clothes outside in your own backyard to dry. What an assine ordinance that is! When it is said that laws are made only for the people who make them... yep! Late at night I make it a point to spend some time on the deck in the dark with quiet, the stars and the universe high up above. I'm fairly certain my minds eye saw way past what is humanly possible into the cosmos.
There is not a moment I want to miss hanging outside before the temperatures drop. During the day I hear traffic from far down below and at night crickets and high pitched toads. When I am alone with nature I can let go of all the anger and hate that I've been digesting through world events. Mo and I took the Traveling Piano out for a short spell and drove into a dried up part of Lake Isabella's lake bed. While creating music over the water with the sunset, a classical pianist found us. She is a full time working musician in this small community! There was a family of five having a picnic, two lovers at the waters edge and us. She played beautiful Chopin, my favorites. One thing is for sure, there is no lack of places to create music. Just about all of Lake Isabella's shore line is accessible and it is a large lake.
September 17, 2016
Mo is so amazing. He has learned to mirror me. He stares at me with admiration and with a constant smile when he's doing it. Mo has three levels of smile intensity... the one fang, two fang and complete grid. When he's staring at me he uses the two fang smile of consummate satisfaction. He presses the side of his face against mine and will stay there in total comfort for as long as I can take it. Every morning I look out a huge bay window and my mind tells me I'm seeing a picture but, it is the reality of nature unlike anything I could have ever dreamed of. I've always loved wide open space. Not only is where we are staying wide open, it is indescribable. Mo and I went walking and ran into neighbors staying here in the mountains. Whereas I used to want to get to know neighbors now the less the better. Sad but true. If I was living here permanently it would be another story. Information comes to me. I don't ask for it and am guarded with everything I say now. It did not used to be that way with neighbors. A guy is growing pot plants in a field he owns nearby, no house or anything on it... the other neighbors don't like it one bit or the water he uses. A woman neighbor on a rampage cut off his water because he took 10,000 gallons for his garden. I learned one of the things that people do here when they are bored is peer at what other neighbors are doing through telescopes, lol!
I said to the guy who was telling me, it is no different in cities with neighbors peering through windows. Once they get their rocks off and stimulated enough, the newness wears off. Knowing that I am being watched tempts me to create a show. The less attention the better. We say hi, be friendly, then keep to our own business. Another neighbor has been living here since he was ten years old, a retired military guy with his wife. The guy next to me originally from Canada, an oil guy living in Bakersfield during the week with his wife wanted to make sure I'm not a squatter and gave me permission to walk with Mo up his mountain. We talked about the Traveling Piano being in Sandy Hook, CT after the mass shooting there and how he is interest in the conspiracy theories surrounding it. I said the conspiracy theories people are creating in today's world dehumanize our existence. I went to create some music in the driveway and Mo could not wait to jump up into his spot on top of the piano. As I began to play he just melted in total comfort. My music soothes him more than my talking to him. I can tell beyond any doubt that my dog totally appreciates and respects me. How great that is to know one hundred percent and to be able to trust. It is very great!
September 16, 2016
I decided to call a friend to help keep sane. Its easier to call people who I deem needy but I let go of that today in order to simply call someone in friendship, to say hello, let them know I thinking of them, interested in what they are doing. Consciously, I had to keep the focus off me and wanted to do that. Then a series of synchronistic connections began to happen, too intricate to spend time on putting into words but... it was all full of reassurance, validity and care... for me. I was thinking... It's easier for me to address and dwell in negative energy. That is what I am most comfortable with. It takes continual daily practice to accept what I perceive as good... trust in it, live it. I work to not think about avoiding negatives because they are part of life but... I do let go of them if possible when they happen. Embracing joy is preferable for me. I've always known what joy is from deep inside but allowing it, trusting that I can own it for myself now, that has been a life long journey in of itself. Some days are better than others. Music helps me to stay positive and sharing it with others... even better.
September 15, 2016
I create short relationships of Musical Fun, Friendship and Respect. My work is to Empower and Inspire without Commercial, Political or Organizational Affiliation and without fees, tips, barter or any kind of "sell". How often in your life do you meet someone who gives without any agenda other than Fun, Friendship and Respect? It is work full of labor, born of passion and love. This my brand. Having worked with over 50,000 people one-on-one to date throughout the entire northern hemisphere and in places where musicians never go and where people have never even seen a piano or a piano player, especially for those who have never played a piano for themselves. Well, thank God I have this website to share the success of it all not to mention remember what has happened for myself. Also, I lift spirit in environments that can use love and care. My work is to connect with people through love and to share the worlds nature as well as enjoy it for others. My presentation is more personal on the website than when actually working with the Traveling Piano. Those who I meet with the Traveling Piano... it is all about the mission. Keeping out my negative views and personal needs, my fluctuating life process while working is where professionalism enters the picture. My work with the Traveling Piano on the "job" is all a 100% give, the paying forward that of gratitude in a spirit of contribution. Full moon tonight, posting a picture of it.
September 14, 2016
Ok, I'm to the point of allowing myself to feel like I have a home. Wherever I am, a candle always helps. But even more there is something most people may find strange. It is a specific outdoor Lufuma lounge chair. When I owned my home it was my favorite piece of furniture. I took it with me to several of my first home bases. Purchased one to use in Tucson, Arizona and left it for a friend who was letting me stay without cost. Also, in San Diego where I lost one on the beach. In Montana friend purchased one for me. And now here with an amazing deck view... it really is a quality of life issue and very important to allow myself to have. After standing for ten minutes in the store with my eyes closed in total angst trying to know the right thing to do because of finances... I thought it best not to deprive myself. Its not like I spend money on myself all the time. I've been wearing some of the same clothes for ten years! With the chair, I purchased a oil heater for my room and a lamp for the table next to my bed. Lastly, the store had its first shipment of fall pumpkins. They were large and only four bucks each. Nothing gives me more of a home feeling than a real pumpkin in the fall and, it will last for months.
I've been in denial about the light shade in the mountains during the day. At night a cloud covers the area. Its pollution from Bakersfield and severe. The first few nights I was trying to figure out if the smell was coming from inside the house. My breathing and throat issues I was attributing to fatigue. Its from the pollution. I am hoping to adjust. Maybe its practice for when I get to China with the Traveling Piano where the pollution is much worse. I had to drive to Bakersfield which is a bit of a distance to get the lounge chair. The cash register guy at the store was bored silly with no customers so I treated him to some Traveling Piano time. On the way back I stopped to get sandwich and the girl working there came out to jump onto the piano seat for a few minutes. Also, Mo and I stopped at French Gulch, a cove along Lake Isabella's shore line and walked for a little time. I improvised music on a cliff overlooking the lake and mountains while getting lost in the music and scenery. Back on the house deck with the lounge chair... as soon as I got in it Mo jumped up and in with me and began licking my face uncontrollably. It is a favorite chair of his also. He always hangs out with me between my legs as I work with my computer.
September 13, 2016
Waking up in the bright light of day is awesome. I fed Mo, made a cup of coffee to drink and then sat on a deck while overlooking vast mountain ranges while thinking, "how can I share this with the world." The peace of what is earth became me, the beauty. A war jet flew overhead and my mind moved into the fact that war is for those who make it. We are taught rationalization for war, to accept war and make it our own when it is really for the sake of a few. It is better to die than go to war, a very difficult choice but the truth. Peace is the way of the world. The feeling of peace is best shared through prayer. Prayer is not about asking for something. Prayer is meditation the living in a state of being that is full of satisfaction and joy. Prayer takes practice. I use words of desire in prayer with the awareness of the outcome through emotional feeling. Being in the state of desire and thoughtfulness in joy is the way to go. A conversation began with myself... "Everything cannot be all good. Life cannot be filed solely with peace. There must be negative with the positive." And then I thought... "No". I have been taught to perceive struggle and death as negative. I have been taught that all good is selfish, delusional, non-deserving and temporary. Fuck that. It is not true.
Back to peace and love. The definition of love for me is attraction. I am attracted naturally to peace. A basic that I tell people with the Traveling Piano who have never created music before or do not think that they can create music, or who have been psychological damaged from music lessons is the one note of music can be enough. Learn to accept and embrace that fact, the fact that one note is music, a song in of itself. The same is with prayer. A simple thoughtful feeling of goodness in of itself is enough. A moment of peace is enough. The ownership of it, the intent of desire, the enjoyment of a moment is enough. I know some people will think... " This guy is all over the place. On day he is in a wonderful state of being, the next day he's living in fear, anger or confusion." The idea of everything or a person always being the same and consistent in a joyful state of being does not exist for me. I have always been out to show this fact, not to paint a convenient picture of myself inside a paradigm that never changes. The idea of being perfect and always happy, joyful and at peace is a journey... a fun goal to grasp. The pictures, a view from my deck straight in front of me, then to the right and a tree at the foot of the driveway.
September 12, 2016
Wofford Heights, California
I spent the day cleaning and cooking... playing house. My room is set up and I've decorated it with a few stones I've collected over the last half year. Throughout the experience of getting settled I fend off impulses of something going wrong where I will need to leave... again. The present plan is two months, could be longer and the idea of taking everything out that I brought in from the packed Traveling Piano... packing and repacking again, just thinking about that is tiresome. Last night I slept without my white noise machine or ear plugs. I've been using ear plugs for years! That will only last a night as I become acclimated to sounds then I am always listening for them. A spider crawling on me woke me up in the middle of the night reminding me of West Virginia back in the day.
There is a critter living nosily above the ceiling and I'm going to let it do that for now. In finding a place to stay, I was looking for a clean space (its not too bad) with light (there is major light from the windows) quiet (yup) private (place mostly my own except for weekends) safe place for the truck (garage and shade overhang) and internet. (got it) Mo and I took a short walk on the mountains and I can't quite grasp the reality that I am living here for whatever period of time. I visited places like this, passed through but to actually living in it constantly seeing a huge, huge amazing vista everyday is a bit mindboggleing. Slowly, I'm acclimating myself towards the future. While bing watching television I was thinking how the idea of a television show inspires my spirit live.
September 11, 2016
Lake Isabella, California
I am remembering and experiencing how everything that happens passes both good and bad. It is a day. Difficult or not I must choose gratitude in it. The good, that is my fuel. As I learned with Piano Dog Boner as he got older... to detach all fear of losing him from my love for him and the enjoyment of him in the "now", I am learning to detach any sense of relief from gratitude. For example... relief from the past few months for this place I am staying in right now has nothing to do with the gratitude in and for the experience of having it right "now". Also, the enjoyment of being where I am in the beautiful place I'm renting... the joy is a natural state, a good state and I want to separate all judgement of what "deserving" is. We are all deserving of as much natural joy as we want.
September 10, 2016
Lake Isabella, California
Two months in central California, this is the view from the deck where Mo and I are staying. I feel numb. The last few months of wondering around confused, scared, growing up more, keeping the journey alive because it should be, looking for places to stay, etc... were difficult. Mo and I are in a very remote place now, inexpensive. I'll need to earn money through contribution or otherwise to pay for it. Please consider sending us a few bucks every month. You can set up a recurring subscription on this website. The more subscriptions the more strength I can pull from with people caring and wanting to support the Musical Fun, Friendship and Respect we create for others in the world. There are now only 6 people and 3 of them are for 3 bucks a month. We need to take care of each other. Would you please help us to pay forward your loving care. You can set up a subscription here. Contribute Here Its easy. Any questions, just ask on the contact link. Tonight I made a "danny salad" with about fifteen different ingredients and it was made at a kitchen sink verses a bathroom sink in a motel! Sitting on the deck with the sun setting, the total quiet, open space, eating my meal with a light cool wind blowing it felt real in the moment but difficult to grasp the reality of it. There is so much to it. What is happening will take a few days to register. My life is so incredible at this point. As I force myself to keep having new experiences, they all just keep getting grander along with scarier. Guy, who owns the house I'm renting in with his dog Mojo, we went to the nearest town to play in some water at a park. I was playing too rough with Mo and his head smacked hard on a sharp rock. He began to cry then hang onto me and then could not get his balance for about ten minutes. I thought my life was over. Really, It felt like my life might end. He was walking the same way Piano Dog Boner did after a seizure when he was very old. It was the beginning of the end for Bo. Right now Mo is fine laying next to me as I write and I never needed him more than right now. Onward...
September 09, 2016
Lake Isabella, California
Well, I'm here. After some sparring with Guy, who I am renting from it is all settled. I ended up doing everything he wanted in his way. Talk about negotiation! For my part, I have a place that I think will work for me and two months of not moving around. It is just the whole deposit, formal rental agreement, etc... I know, I know, I know it is how everyone does it... not everyone, not me but I did because it was the thing to do. The place is nicer than I had remembered, the scenery is the same... out of this world. One day at a time, now I need to settle in and pray to God that I can do what is needed to move on into more security for my life. Really, the Traveling Piano is so worthwhile for the world. I love my work and it brings me a lot of joy which goes right out to others. It is time to start doing it with a different twist, not for money tho. That... I don't know how that is going to work. Maybe with a few large contributors.
September 08, 2016
Goodbye maybe forever to the beach. Our last day in the area, its was glorious. Yesterday it was cold, cloudy so I brought my winter coat and once there, the sun came out hot as can be. I built a little shelter took off my clothes to use for shade and the winter coat came in handy too, ha. We were at a pull off along US1 in California. Tomorrow we will be driving inland again and I hope we have a place to stay for a spell. If it doesn't work out we will be stuck in the desert with no place to go. But... we had today and it was worth everything life has to offer. Tonight, I stopped to get a meal and use the internet at the small local coffee shop in Lompoc because the internet stinks at the motel where I've been staying. They changed internet providers recently at the coffee shop and its not set up for apple users to get access. The Internet industry and its manipulation games for profit is as bad as the health industry in this country. Its the worse in the world. Greed, greed, greed... The local coffee shop... gave me the meal without cost because of the inconvenience. That is the opposite of greed. I told them I made the purchase only because I was there to use the internet so nix on the sandwich and I'm guessing they had already started making it. In either case, a greedy business would have rather thrown it away then give it away.
Tomorrow, the place we are heading to for two months will be the first place I've rented since I was in my twenties. I owned a house and then been on the road for over ten years with this journey. The rent, reasonable with the share of the utilities, sharing with a guy in a manufactured home. The formality, contract, not knowing what the utilities would be and the deposit stuff began to get out of hand for me, too much to deal with and then the renter said he didn't think it was going to work. I offered more to cover all utilities and cash upfront (which uses up my cash) and said lets just do it. Thank God for a recent huge contribution that covers that. He agreed and I hope he is still not looking for a deposit, contract, etc... I'm really, really nervous about it. I need to draw the line somewhere, can't allow myself to get run over with the deal and don't have money to play around with. Also, I already purchased way too much food to take there... because I got it cheaper where I am now. In my mind, I'm thinking of having a place to cook once again and its been years. Either way, I cannot afford the money for the amount of food I purchased and... with the owner of the place skeptical and the agreement not totally clear... if it doesn't go through I will have no where to go tomorrow night except back into a motel which will use the money up in two weeks and all the food... I'll need to give it away. Its an isolated place with a very difficult road to traverse in the hills so I can't be going in and out every day with the truck. The scenery... spectacular and the guy who owns the place only comes up on weekends. The place has internet so the plane is to do what is needed while there in order to transition into more security with this journey or...
August 7, 2016
The Beach, California
Fog... literally in my head and outside. It got cloudy for the first time in months. I went on the beach and it was almost like Oregon in March, not as cold. I sat for a few hours with Mo and chilled out to the sound of waves. The tide was in, so there was not so much walking space. I found a place to rent in the desert mountains north and a little east of Bakersfield, CA with a guy in a modular home who is not there all the time... conflicted with it in many ways... the comfort, legalities of a rental agreement, utility costs, access to the place because it is very remote, etc... he said forget it, I offered more money and as of now its a go for two months. It will be the first time I will be paying rent in over ten years and its the last of the money but I've said that before. The rent buys me more time. In a motel I wouldn't last a month more. I purchased food, the truck is packed so no sharing of music with it. The place is so remote, there will be practically no sharing of music. I've dealt with so much to be able to do the work I've done because I love it so much and it has been so joyful. Now, I wonder if I can do what is needed to raise money in order to continue my work of the last ten years while not doing it. I don't love going after money and its not joyful for me. I wonder if I can change direction and find joy in pursuing other related dreams with the Traveling Piano. My routine has been so set in its ways. It is what it is.
August 6, 2016
Oh my God, we are back in Lompoc again. No matter how short the stays, I'm like a homing pigeon wherever, whenever possible. Actually, there are several reasons I returned here for three more nights. The cheap motel being the biggest catalyst. The ride was long but easy because its just so beautiful, the scenery. I feel so grateful for my appreciation of nature especially when I think of how many unconscious people there are that driving through it never noticing what is most important in life. Sometimes I just stop and pull over to take a picture like the one I'm posting today. As my circle of friends has been disappearing throughout the years as in out of sight out of mind, dying from old age, their life situations have engulfed them and also the fact that I'm not in one space long enough to create new friends... the people who contribute financially have become my family of sorts. Just like good friends there are not many contributors in my life. The financial support does not sustain me but it is not about that. Somehow the contribution of money transfers into emotional support for me. The consistency is what really helps most. Every month I look forward to Wayne and Nancy's twenty bucks, Marie's thirty, Amy, Mike and Tom's three, a friend who doesn't want anyone to know how much, Manny's ten and Annamarie and Annabelle's five bucks. Thats it. But those few help me to feel connected, cared for, part of and supported in staying alive. It is interesting in the ways money has gone in and out of focus with importance in my life.
September 05, 2016
Kern County, California
I'm catching on to when I need to stay off social media. It is when I'm dis-jointed so to speak, when somethings bothering me and I am off center with something I don't want to deal with. It is so much easier to wha, wha and complain about world events and people's behaviors that I don't need to really care about. I opened the motel door tonight and the stifling thick smell of the refineries, cow shit and skunk was overwhelming. What a mixture! Ok, enough complaining. It was so beautiful today that I had to get out with Mo. We found a park at the end of a road in the desert where there are lakes, trees, trails... it was really nice and of course we interacted with people there. Before leaving the motel parking lot I created some music for the housekeeping staff. They were to afraid to come over but a few people staying as guests were drawn out of their rooms.
I love hearing their discovery process. The process of what they were doing, of realizing they were hearing a piano and it was outside and then opening the door to discovery, etc... We are leaving again tomorrow from where we have been staying (dear God help me I want my mommy and daddy) and... heading back to Lompoc three hours away because the hotel coupon there is still good and it looks like it will be my last time to be on the beach for a long while. I was thinking how I am doing what makes me happy in the moment these last few days. A large contribution came in for seven hundred dollars so that eases my pain somewhat. It will cover my next truck insurance payment and the renewals on this website, my domain, etc... but there is still the having a home base issue. Mo and I took a walk along a panoramic few of oil fields before the sun set.
September 04, 2016
I didn't know what to do with myself when I woke up. There are hard core decisions to make immediately. It was time for some errands, then find somewhere to create music just for myself and maybe take a walk. We drove through some nicer streets today. I was surprised to see that they even have tree lined streets in Bakersfield. There's everything, its a big place. On the interstate there are like seventeen exists for Bakersfield. I've been meaning to do it for over a year and today finally purchased a small squeak toy to use for when Mo purposely looks away when I want him look into the camera for a picture. One squeak won't do it but a bunch of frantic squeaks works every time, lol. Unbelievably there are no thrift shops where we are so we went to the *ugh* Good Will ripoff store as I am looking for a diaper bag to hold the immediate stuff I use everyday when out working with the truck. They had nothing. There were several dirty, I kid you not, boxes of Kleenex for sale at two bucks a box! People love shopping at Good Will because they think they are getting a deal... not!
Mo and I drove to three parks looking for a good location to just sit and create music. Finally I just pulled in a random parking space that was in the shade. It was in a down and out park area. Homeless people walking buy thanking me saying how good the music was. A group of kids got on and immediately grasped the concept of playing the piano. There were other kids under ten years old running around on their own. I wanted to let them onto the piano also but sadly, did not want to risk trouble as there were no adults present. A family drove in with a van to share some good wholesome quality burritos with people in the park. Just how awesome is that! It made me feel so good and of course I took one. They had three or four young children in their van with them... what an example for the kids. This is the second time I've experienced locals in Bakersfield taking care of people, strangers in a park. It is very validating for me. I fell into the perfect spots at the right times today. The first couple I met, we sat in the shade in the grass and just talked for awhile. That felt really good.
September 03, 2016
I think I'm losing consciousness. It might be the air. Motel room air is really bad for my respiratory system as it is never fresh in cheaper motels but... outside it is so much worse. The air pollution here is off the charts. My throat feels it. As I drive, I see shadows of mountains with no definition. As the sun sets it looks like I'm driving through heavy smoke and... I am. Because of the age of the truck I need to drive with the windows open and as a result I'm sucking in one big cloud of dirty air particles, constantly. The feeling of faintness, weakness, being unsteady, not being able to think quick or clear, is kind of forcing me to live more and more present in the moment in order to function. One foot in front of the other, no time to project (too much fear involved with that) and whatever just happened... forgotten past so, all there is... is right now.
I have a nephew who lives in Hawaii and he has a fiancee. Steven and Megumi are in Los Angeles for a few days. I haven't seen Steve in many years and had never met Megumi. With Mo and I in Bakersfield we each drove half way to meet. I felt a little emotional. It may be as a result of age? I have contact with only two family members, Steve is one of them. We had some music for ourselves and also shared time with other people we met up on a lookout over a lake. When we parted I had to consciously choose nothing but gratitude and appreciation, detaching from any sense of wanting more time and wishing we could see each other more often. Nothing but love...
September 02, 2016
Lake Isabella, California
I stopped to get some gas and a guy walked up asking if an old man can still learn the piano. He had always wanted to play which of course led to his playing right there at the gas pump. We had fun together. It was a good start for the day. Mo and I drove about an hour and a half north and a little east of Bakersfield. We headed to the Lake Isabella area to check out an inexpensive place to rent and share with a guy who has a modular house in the mountains. We connected through Craigs list which is always a chancy endeavor. The scenery was so spectacular that I got choked up. TIt was a very, very steep drive up a dirt road and the area very isolated and the view, the view, the view... in the desert and hot but the view is not a view very many people in the world get to see with everyday living. The trips up and down the hill with the Traveling Piano would need to be kind of rare, and it can get slippery because its so steep. It would mean hunkering down up there, not getting out and about very often. He has internet.
I was thinking how there are so many places to explore in the area but again, I can't be going up and down that hill everyday. The room would be month to month and buy me more time to get some funding in order to continue compared to staying in motels or paying a greedy rent price to someone. Could this be a permanent place to live? I drove back into Bakersfield and the downtown area was having a First Friday marketing, community event. Someone tried to get me to stop and play. I'd have to get paid my price if I ever began doing that kind of thing again after ten years and doubt I would get my price in today's world but, I'm tempted to try at this stage of the game. At this juncture I'm open for anything that might help. Again, it would have to be on my terms first and then I would work with that to negotiate what is needed but not the price! I've paid my dues working without payment for ten years and I burnt out of performing which is how this journey began. Certainly, I would not go back to this kind of work for less money then when I left it. No way.
September 01, 2016
We went to play on the streets of Oildale, California today. Some people live in projected fear, others live in real fear. In this place, there is reason for "real" fear. People freaked out over me taking pictures. Half the neighborhood got up in arms about it... a stranger on their turf taking pictures. They were coming out of everywhere to protect each other in not knowing what was going on. After I got called out, it was time to be very careful. It was all fun with a lot of people too... while keeping constantly aware. Some began to trust with Mo being there and then I kept the music real nice and mellow which either put people at ease or they didn't know how to respond with it. The original plan was to stay and hang out with some friends after it got dark. No way I could leave the truck alone even for ten minutes even with the cover snapped on, especially with everyone knowing there was a speaker in it. Everyone around agreed. Mo was so happy to get to work hanging out on the piano that for the first time he almost jumped out the drivers side window to jump up into the back of the truck before it was time. I was telling someone that I'm at the end unless support comes through. She said but you look like your having so much fun! I said, yes... when I'm with you, my down time is spent struggling to survive.
Today was ok, my mind moved along very slowly. I'm having difficulty with the clarity of what I'm doing in the moment and am having small short impulses of pending panic attacks. The good thing about this is that I am aware. Life's a challenge right now. It truly is not in my hands except for what I can do. I'm consciously doing everything I can. There is no choice but to let God handle whatever else is needed. Looking into room shares, apartments, sending out requests for contribution, working on a specific plan for some future security while still having fun living life in meeting people with the Traveling Piano... straightening up my papers, it was a full day. The relief, when I got back inside my cool, clean air-conditioned motel room after being out with the Traveling Piano, was amazing. It felt like I came in out of hell. Its so hot and dry and dirty outside with people everywhere walking around looking lost. Most are. Everyday day is a hundred degrees and how dirty is it? Well, the air... with no wind or blowing dust from anything, I came out to find I can write my name on the Traveling Piano's hood from two days of sitting. The pollution particles in the air are very thick. As the air settles overnight everything gets covered in dirt!