HIS SPIRIT LIVES ON! ... BONER, THE PIANO DOG ... November 27, 1994 ... February 20, 2010
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February 28, 2018
Las Vegas, Nevada
Wow, is my head ever messed up. One day at a time, faith, keeping away from projections and assumptions, living in the moment, being aware of fear and anxiety, wanting to move forward with my life but feeling like totally shutting down is constant. I've been sorting through musical improvisations I've recorded to turn into product. I'm through the first year of this journey. None of it feels good enough to sell. Every piece as glaring imperfections and inconstancies, unacceptable flaws but... there are music programs that can print out the improvisations and then I could fix the flaws and turn them back into recordings of perfection. If I can't give perfection to my own music then maybe I can get another artist to do that for me, make recordings from the sheet music with maybe add their own interpretations. This feels like the way to go. Also, I've been working non-stop sifting through all the Traveling Piano pictures to sell. There is a lot of thought needed as to what will look good in frames, the type of frames, size, themes, colors, look from a distance verses close up, etc... the creative part of it all is fun. The idea of manufacturing the finished products, finding a venue for sales, promoting the sales and then the actual selling the pictures is excruciatingly unpleasant idea for me. This is a project I've began many times already. I start, then stop, then start, then stop...
February 27, 2018
Las Vegas, Nevada
The money from my contributor came through, so I ran to get a money order from the local connivence store to pay my rent in time. Along with the money order I had another piece of paper with me and as I went to make a small purchase I mixed up the two paper items while putting one down on the counter to get cash out of my pocket. I left the store while leaving the money order on the counter unsigned with the receipt... my entire months rent. The jerk behind me picked it up and left the store. I realized I was missing the money order about ten minutes later and ran back. It was too late. The money order is like cash and nothing can be done. They ran the video surveillance and have the guy on video taking it but there is nothing that can be done and it is probably already cashed. I'm fucked. Still, from the contribution I'm able to pay the rent but will not have money to get through the month for food, gas, mo's food, necessities, etc... Now would be a good time to make a contribution for my journey on this website's contribution page. I work without fees, tips or commercial affiliation. For dinner tonight I created music at the Las Vegas Rescue Mission. That was a wonderful way to channel my messed up head and the appreciation from people keeps me from killing myself.
February 26, 2018
Las Vegas, Nevada
I do not have the rent money for this month and am not coping with that well. My thinking ability is not clear to say the least. With my difficulties I still function. At the end of this week there will be the downtown First Friday Night and a local business has offered to let me put a few photos up for sale for just that night. To make the slightest move forward I just can't seem to do it. Like go to the store to make prints, or put them into a frame or write a card with the price on them. It might be fear, it might be that I just don't want to do the work and get started into the rut that I left for this journey, but... at this point... the journey is dissipating as fast as I am, as the funds do not exist to survive. The piano needs work, my computer screen is so bad I can barley process pictures and the battery is dead so I must keep it plugged into a wall socket, the truck is fading but then again its been fading for the last twenty years, expenses are rising all around... It all sounds kind of bleak, eh? I just want the basics to do my work but I must go out and get the basics to survive. (money) I do not have the time, ability, desire or where-with-all to do both get the work and do the work itself.
February 25, 2018
Las Vegas, Nevada
It was a long, good day and the first time I committed to four appointments in one day in over twelve years! Mo and I started out with our monthly commitment at Veterans Village an apartment complex that has a food bank for vets and the public every Sunday. I rolled into the place right out of bed with not enough sleep but still had a terrific time with everyone as always. A yoga class was next which I did not get to because the food bank time was longer than expected. I could never have done the class anyway because my energy level was so low. I did a class yesterday and could barely lift my body off the floor the entire time, no exaggeration. Then I was supposed to give a piano class to Jai a young boy I have made a commitment with. He was late, I was tired and the class never happened. The day ended at the Las Vegas Rescue Mission for dinner with hundreds of people and music.
It is almost unbelievable still, after all this time that people, especially men from the streets will come up to me and thank me for the music. They say things like, "your music touched my heart" "when I'm hearing your music everything around me disappears" "I have tears of emotion in my eyes when you play your music and they stop when the music stops". I mean really, this was just three different comments from tonight. Today I created music for six hours! Where did that energy come from considering how exhausted I was? I noticed that when I tried to play a Ragtime or Boogie Woogie piece it took physical effort and mind mind would just blank out too tired to think but... when I am creating my own music the energy seems to be never ending, always existent, no effort full of emotion and feeling. I tell people that is because the music is flowing through me. Ego is non-existent and all that exists is spirt, in full gratitude, peace and love... and joy.
February 24, 2018
Las Vegas, Nevada
Mo and I had such a great day yesterday. It is the happiest day without question in my year, his birthday. His being born into my life and being with me amounts to nothing but joy. I know I am over the top about my love for him. It is what it is and I always respect Mo as a dog and not as some people try to make their dogs into a human being substitute. We went hiking and it was glorious. He kept jumping on me when I stopped to rest and wanted to lick my face all day. When I post nature pictures it is just unreal that I am walking around in those pictures. For most of my life I had no reality to attach with awesome pictures of nature I saw. And then seeing it from a distance while driving through nature and stopping at overlooks, etc... is another thing.
But, to be in it and walking in the earths most fantastic scenery well, it is just beyond my wildest of dreams. And I discovered in nature what I love most in life. It is the sound of my silence. You cannot know what that is like without experiencing it for yourself. And the nature is only an hour away from where I live. Today I got back into the city life. My neighbor was taken out in a stretcher this morning, the drug dealing continued out in the open, I visited with some friends, took a yoga class which I had a pathetically small amount of energy for... studied drops of blood drying on the cement at the entrance to where I live, and well... I'm still enjoying yesterday. My friend John turned 80 years old today in New York City and I had a great connection with him also.
February 23, 2017
Las Vegas, Nevada
It is Mo's 8th Birthday!
February 22, 2018
Las Vegas, Nevada
Mo and I hung out at the Las Vegas Rescue Mission to create some music for the dinner tonight with about five hundred homeless people and residents. The validity I get from people as well as the personal enjoyment in the work is very fulfilling. When I am left alone to do my thing whatever that may be, in my way without restrictions or interference as an integral part of whatever, the world benefits. That is just the way it is and has always been. That is how it feels for me at the Las Vegas Rescue Mission and why the journey has worked so well and also how I was able to make my living as an entrepreneur for my entire life. Someone online wrote this and it feels significant: There's a difference between validation and acknowledgement. Sometimes, maybe most of the time, we just need to be seen/heard. We are social creatures, we do need to have our presence acknowledged and that's not a bad thing, far from it. Validation infers a judgement of some kind, approval perhaps. It's a fine line sometimes, determining if you are seeking approval from others vs the more elemental sense of simply knowing that you are seen, you are heard, your presence makes a difference. I think I have a need for both as a result of my childhood upbringing.
February 21, 2018
Las Vegas, Nevada
The gun issue in the USA consumes too much of my life, that and trump. I am not sure how political I have been in this blog as being non-political has been a fundamental part of my journey. The journey has been transitioning now for over a year. The gun issue has been an integral part of this journey and my life for many years. I feel a responsibility to speak out the truth about trump, the nra and guns whenever the issues cross my path. The more it does with people in person the more I am realizing that people who turn a blind eye to trump and also support, and those fixated on the right to own a gun verses the constant murder of innocence... are dis-eased people. Their minds are warped and there is little I can do about that except to accept the fact, state the truth of spirit, maybe plant a seed, question and move on. I do it forcefully and with passion and intensity. The worst of humanity has been rearing its ugly head, entering where I live on a large scale. How can people be giving and charitable yet support self-centered-ness and lack of respect for others and humanity as a whole at the same time? Lack of awareness, indoctrination, anger and fear will create that sad state of affairs. When it is a matter of life and death for many... the lack of respect cancels out any goodness.
February 19, 2018
Las Vegas, Nevada
Moving on, wow will I ever do it, can I, should I? It is one day at a time. It does feel like I am settling into a positive direction. Will I walk down that yellow brick road? I would like to present myself as an artist in residence. That could be for a town, neighborhood, shopping center, casino, maybe for a company. In doing that I would have a home base to work from as in a building for the Traveling Piano. It would give me a family feel, being part of, something larger than myself in being of service. The place could be marketed as a tourist destination. The art could be a one of a kind Traveling Piano. Many different services could be provided on and off the truck, there is product to sell, opportunities for community outreach, a vehicle to partner with and for presenting guest artists, to promote, create a show... I think this route would be better than finding backers and they may show up anyway along the process. Representation may be needed to sell the idea for me. How that would happen with no money... well first I need to just go fishing and exploring. If I am going to continue with the Traveling Piano, there needs to be a new one. I mean, thirty three years on the same truck... physically its showing as much age as my body, lol!
February 19, 2018
Las Vegas, Nevada
Thank God millions of times for Mo. Mo and Bo both as one, spirits to support me on my journey of life. Thank God I have learned respect. Boner was my vehicle for respect. I learned to respect him as a dog on his level with his needs not mine or unrealistically. Mo... he's just with me by my side twenty four hours a day and I need that, no question about it. I'm aware of what is going on in the world, the passing of friends to be no more, my own limitations with age and ability, etc... It is on my mind that Traveling Piano Dog Boner passed eight years ago in a few days on the 21st. And then, miraculously Mo was born three days later on the 23th. I'm feeling melancholy. Anyway, we got a blast of winter today and tonight went down to almost freezing. I miss winter. In my eskimo hat and thermal clothes Mo and I went for a walk while I sucked in the cold air. That felt really, really good especially knowing it will not last and the heat will be here before I know it. One night in the entire year with temperature near freezing, lol! I enjoyed it.
February 18, 2018
Las Vegas, Nevada
Did some yoga, gave a piano class and took Mo to the Las Vegas Rescue Mission for some dinner music. I enjoy my time there creating music. Earlier, I was thinking how it feels like I am lacking fun. What I do is work. Fun takes work. I do enjoy my work so there is enjoyment in it. Once I am working, that is always fun. I suppose it is the getting started that is not so much fun anymore. Maybe that is because the spontaneity and constant change of environment that existed for the last 12 years is no longer. It is time to find "new" fun in the same old, same old. Or maybe something completely different? There was a guy on the street handing out bags of food from the back of his pickup truck. He was a Muslim from the local Mosque. I found it interesting that he was not promoting anything by saying where the food came from. He said, "we don't play it that way." His job was to simply feed the poor.
February 17, 2018
Las Vegas, Nevada
I woke up and took the Traveling Piano out before doing anything else. There was a "happening" a few blocks away called Common Ground that sounded interesting and I wanted to share the Traveling Piano there. The idea was for people to come together with no one running or heading the gathering, no rules or restrictions and no agenda except to be artful, creative and just hang out. There were only two people there a dad with his little girl and after about ten minutes some of his friends showed up. They stayed about a half hour and left so the event was pretty much a dud but it did bring to mind what interests me. People, community, strangers gathering in a spot just to hang out with each other. This has always been a "thing" to do in the town squares of Europe. People not needing to drink or get high to socialize, not needing an agenda for an organizational purpose or booths to make purchases and eat or to have a name to create an event celebration, etc... people simply gathering in a spot to be seen and do whatever interests them while maybe including other other people they meet in the moment. It was a nice spot on a beautiful day so I stayed and shared some Traveling Piano time with whomever was around.
February 16, 2018
Las Vegas, Nevada
Talk about changes of environment, I began with the Traveling Piano in downtown Las Vegas across the street from the Salvation Army creating music and interacting with people who were waiting to get in to sleep on a cot overnight. There is a gun murderer on the lose killing homeless people, 2 murdered, 2 shot to date. To hang out in the area I feel is important to counteract some of the fear and insecurity that the most vulnerable people in society are experiencing. I do not attach the idea of Mo or myself getting shot with my intent and purpose. That... would serve no purpose for my agenda. A woman came up to say, "You know we all really appreciate you being around here". Homeless people are always expressing appreciation. Afterwards, we drove to Downtown Summerlin for a Chinese New Year parade. The area is very affluent and the shopping district could have had a parade that lasted at least five minutes for the like 20,000 people that showed up for it? The pictures I am posting today, these parade entries were fantastic but... that was it along with eleven girls dressed in red two of them on stilts and seven guys, two with small drums, lol!
It was somewhat jarring because what was, was stunning but come now, that was a bit too little. The environment was intimate with lots of kids, families and adults at the complete opposite end of the spectrum from downtown Las Vegas. It felt good, comfortable, civil, clean, everyone was smiling and happy not out of control in anyway, no chaos and for the first time in the journey I thought I would have liked to be entertaining them all with a parade drive by using the Traveling Piano. I performed in parades full time for twenty years pre-journey and had completely burned out! Then I drove to another shopping development called Tivoli, a super high end commercial center that was practically dead except for the restaurants that seemed to be doing ok for a Friday night. It all made me think about approaching one of these nicer entities to pitch the Traveling Piano an artist in residence for them. I'm ready to raise the quality of my material existence but it must be even better than what I left behind twelve years ago which was not too bad.
February 15, 2018
Las Vegas, Nevada
There are no pictures to post for today. This is truly a dear diary entry. I am having an emotionally difficult time processing the gun murders in Florida. Those who know me have an awareness of my intimate experience with gun violence and mass slaughter at the alters of warped minds and self-serving people. My involvement with gun violence began in the 1980's. The issue is deeply tied to trump. In general I have been trying to find a way to coexist with trump minded people who are responsible for the Florida murders in a relational way with no success. The politicians sucking off the tits of the NRA like hungry pigs as well as those indoctrinated with the pro-gun mentality, especially self-proclaimed Christians... I have no desire to tolerate any of them. I was hoping that creating music for the Las Vegas Rescue Mission dinner today would help me with my emotional state of mind but I met two volunteers there, one a lady who sits to pray on people and tell them her fucked up path... and another self-proclaimed Christian guy who heads a group of volunteers. Both were trump supporters. When unfortunate encounters like this happen it is a call of duty for me to speak up and stand for the truth and if need be... in the name of Jesus Christ.
With all the banter that can exist, for me the bottom line is, "What would Jesus do." When it comes to life or death and not choosing the path of Jesus, the argument of "we are only human" does not work... at all. Neither does, "It was in God's plan as he controls everything." To that I say, "Your mind is spinning bullshit to suite its warped nature." Fake Christians remind of fake Bernie Sanders followers. There were many Sanders supporters listening to only what they wanted to hear from the guy and taking direction when it suited their own self-centeredness and anger. When push came to shove, they did not do what he instructed, did not follow his ways and that was to vote for Clinton. And then there are those trump supporters doing positive good deeds while aligning themselves with nazi's, kkk and trump like mentalities, especially those who call themselves Christian. They are wolves in sheep clothing and what is most disturbing about that is, they have no clue. To them goodness is a negotiation.
There is absolutely no way for me to reach these types of people. God knows I've worked it through in a thousand different ways with a thousand different people and that is not an exaggeration. I must detach but always straightforwardly tell them why. The human mind as wonderful as it is... when sick and warped more often than not... it is only through the grace of God that can help. My bottom line job is to stay close to spirit, the truth and not get infected with their illness of the mind. Spirit works through the mind. When the mind is warped... that is when it becomes blind to spirit. Standing up for those who cannot speak for themselves has always been a call to action for me spiritually and also to nuture the spiritual desire in others. Sometimes I find people unconstitutionally capable in being honest with themselves and those types I need to just walk away from. It can be painful, a challenge, exhausting and most of all sad. What is most exhausting is the staying honest with myself about when I am talking and thinking from ego verses spirit. That is a constant need for me to do.
I tend to think the mind of humanity is becoming warped but must remember that I am humanity. I serve humanity by honoring that fact with daily self-maintenance, standing up for the truth of spirit and through acts of kindness and love.
February 14, 2018
Las Vegas, Nevada
I slept until three in the afternoon after being traumatized all night with the young 20 year old couple next door tearing into each other, screaming, crying, banging doors and banging on my door to draw me in to get support from "daddy". At about 4am I threatened to call the police. Mo was freaking out with barking because of it. The scene was a very bad and I am glad its over. The girls father came and moved her out today. Never the less, I am traumatized as next door is literally is like in the next room. When one "crazy" (person) goes off it tends to unconsciously set the others off around them. Just like what happens with dogs. I've been observing that in this apartment complex where I live.
Anyway, considering the gun-murdering of innocence at the school in Florida today, rather than get totally muddled in tearing on pro-gun facebook and twitter people, Mo and I took off with the Traveling Piano to memorial park for the victims, families, neighbors and community affected by the free wheeling gun rampage here in Las Vegas. Our goal... to create some random love, share some fun, friendship and respect with those around us, in public, one-on-one in our community. A local school teacher with the same intent found us in her Valentine regalia. It is good to have a common place to gather when the most unfortunate of happenings occur. God help me to stay sane and focused on living life with joy while also being response-able for humanity through compassion and empathy when needed and also the courage and strength to pound into the fucking ground the demons out to destroy all goodness knowingly or not.
February 13, 2018
Las Vegas, Nevada
I had an experience today and am not sure how to talk about it. Mo and I drove to a dead end street so I could practice some of my old repertoire without interacting with anyone.There was a wheel chair with a dirty black tarp piled next to it. It did not look like anyone was under it but Mo went over and sure enough, there was a guy sleeping. At first I thought about leaving so I wouldn't bother him but then again... people are always in my space where I live so why should I accommodate them in theirs. Public space is public space. As I practiced, the fact that I was probably driving him crazy got to me. When I practice my old stuff it is the same thing over and over, nothing pretty about it. I could feel the guy under the tarp. He was the worst of the worst down and out, as bad as it can get, the worst I've seen ever. I thought about how people look at situations like this and I came to a conclusion that yes, that man is my responsibility. He is all of ours. We are responsible to give him some validity, reassurance of spirit, to show him some self-worth and to take care of him physically in the way he needs or wants it and not how we think he needs help or what we think he should get or deserves. The helping process is on an individual basis. But the thinking did make me stop practicing. What I could do is create some music for him to help soothe and lull him into a most restful sleep. My music always affects people in a good way although he did not go into a more restful sleep. The music brought him to life and he got up and came over to us. We spent some time. He did not want to get into the truck but he sat on the side and played some music from there. I jammed with him. We talked and took a selfie. I asked him about it because I don't want to exploit his situation nor do I want to be exploited as a do gooder or anything like that. There is some water in the back of my truck and I asked him if he wanted any. He thanked me saying no, he was fine.
His name is Lyle and he's in his forties. Amazingly enough I met his sister about a half year ago. I'm sure I even wrote it in this blog because it was significant. It was dark and he was laying on the ground. She found him while visiting Las Vegas and wanted to give him some love with total respect. She lives in another state and was visiting. She knows the area as Lyle has been living here for a long time. He is an innocent spirt. I got a feeling that he is living a self-image that was put onto him. Also, he had a serious accident years ago that has made his body and mind weak. The guy definitely is not an alcoholic or drug addict. Since everything is always about me... I realized that his interaction was so significant because of the fact that he would even hang out with me, interact, partake in my life and journey, just spend some time with me as a human being and with other agenda. I have a tremendous amount of gratitude for that. We were not afraid to interact with each other. He could tell I was not about pity or labeling or putting any judgement on him. As a child, this was the type of person I was raised to be most afraid of, raised to pity and judge from afar... to distance myself from in reality as much as possible. Always from childhood I knew that was wrong, wrong, wrong. Actualizing the truth as an adult moves my soul with total compassion, empathy... fun, friendship and respect. Even Mo could smell the truth. He kept reaching out for the guy with his paw and then when the guy responded he sat still on the piano for him. Often Mo will shy away from homeless people and with almost all people now moves to the opposite side of the piano. I'm glad Lyle did not climb into the truck. He would have permanently smelled up the piano seat, lol! He was really, really tired and hurting but knows of nothing else for his life. As with ALL homeless people I meet, they want to work to make their way but circumstances block the way. We shook hands, he looked me in the eye and I think we both got some reassurance of what is most important for life and that is love of individual spirit together as one.
February 12, 2018
Las Vegas, Nevada
The weather has been really wonderful, different from the usual. It is cool and spring like and sometimes it gets cloudy and feels like autumn. I just want to sit in my room and be with it. My door stays open and the window is full of bright light as I look out over the las Vegas Skyline. Mo's birthday is coming up and it always excites me more than any other day of the year. It is just full of joy the experience of our connecting in this world. I could be focusing on Piano Dog Boner's death which was three days before but choose to incorporate that fact that both dogs are one and the same. My joy comes from the reality of that knowingness more that the birthday in of itself. And... I'm so happy the entire experience and more or less proof, is documented on this website. My mind is constantly in a state of wanting to eat!
February 11, 2018
Las Vegas, Nevada
There were four appointments for me to attend today and that is a record for this journey! Lol, I made three of them because I became too exhausted for the fourth. I went to a yoga class and as a fat old man with no strength who has just eaten a large burrito you might imagine how that went. Then I gave a piano class to Jai the son of the yoga instructor. We were at the Arts Factory in downtown Las Vegas and a comic book artist with a large following was having a show. The place was packed. It is crazy to think that a building full of artists on a normal day draws practically no one and a guy connected with Star Wars and Marvel Comics has such a draw. He was selling prints for a hundred bucks and would add some paint to them for more money. All... the people I saw making purchases were not of means as in having money. Anyway, I parked the Traveling Piano out of the way on the side of the building for Jai's piano class but still there were a lot of people finding it so... the situation was a little chaotic with interacting and giving people the attention they were looking for especially because I was on a time schedule. After that I headed to the La Vegas rescue mission to play indoors for dinner. That place was also packed. The difference, when it comes to being of "means" well, these people were not of means, they were living on the sidewalks around town, about 600 of them with no means what-so-ever.
I had an unusual experience playing the piano, it became an extension of myself and I was almost able to sit back and watch what was happening with my fingers. After two hours I was so exhausted I was almost unconscious but still creating music while not really being in control or knowing what I was doing. My muscle power diminished as I played. My focus was more on staying conscious literally no thought was possible. Physically I was drained and I just worked on not passing out. I wondered how it was coming across to people, whether it was boring them, irritating, nothing, ok, or good. When leaving several people commented on how wonderful it was. Everyone enjoyed it. As I get older, experiencing physical limitations from age is interesting to say the least. Playing on an acoustic piano does something to my brain and being that I cannot describe but it is almost impossible to get to sleep at night after doing so. The piano on the Traveling Piano is a worn out keyboard that has never inspired me as much as a real piano. Over the years the opportunity to create music on an instrument that can allow me to actualize my creative potential has been rare. Still, I will continue to work with what I have on the Traveling Piano and well as with my physical limitations of mind and body. My spirit is amazingly strong. I can see and feel that when I am not blocking myself with limiting thoughts. That is not an easy task to do.
February 10, 2018
I took a walk through a park in a wealthy area today thinking about what I want for my life. The intense feeling of comfort that feels right to have, to live and feel clean in an environment with wealthy aesthetics raised some questions. Before the journey I lived in a middle class environment but know upper class environment well. For ten years I worked and socialized as a society pianist on the main line in Philadelphia. The environmental aesthetics, I always felt deserving of, most comfortable with, where I belonged. It brought up how much time I spend with the poorest of the poor, those who sleep on sidewalks. Must I live like them to extend compassion and empathy and create validation for human spirit? Just how much wealth is appropriate for me to live in and experience? I had better decide quick because I'm 62 years old. If I choose a wealthy life I'd have to make enough to pay others for all upkeep because physically that would not be possible for me to do. Also, I could live in someone else's property but must be able to feel like it is my home. A patron or sponsor or something else might be the way to go. There are so many routes I can take. Deciding and focusing, being able to sustain the journey to the goal is the challenge. It is most about believing in myself. I mean really believing and getting honest about that, if it is what I want to do and am able to create it for myself.
February 09, 2018
Downtown Las Vegas, Nevada
It is wonderful to witness people become empowered and inspired as well as validated through the process of creating their own music. But even more than that, when it happens side by side in the newness of friendship, a chance meeting and synchronistic, the feeling is as full of life as can be. I was downtown today. Mo and I just stopped on a street for a few minutes. In that short time a meter guy came up and as a real jerk off, gave me a ticket. It came from his mis-use of authority. I was there only for a few minutes, did not leave the truck unattended, was leaving. He waited and I took too long to finish up a conversation I was having. He was full of impatient arrogance and tried to intimidate me even though I kept my cool. I've already written a complaint letter to his supervisor. Like I have money for a ticket? Not... although fighting it is too much to deal with so I just paid it and now its done. But... it did wreck a perfect day. Hate when that happens. Still, I was able to save some of the days fun by driving to a spot across the street from the Salvation Army where about a hundred people were waiting to get inside for a nights sleep. It was interesting because I triggered an unsafe feeling from the jerk with the ticket incident, which transferred into some the the people around me who were cracked out of their mind on drugs. Usually I can feel safe while always being totally aware in unsafe environments. It takes constant practice to accept the flow of life especially when the incontrollable nature of it... is a pain in the ass!
February 08, 2018
Las Vegas, Nevada
It is really crazy how I must have at least eight hours sleep. If I only get five and am able to function and the next day eight hours... the following day I will still need to play catch up with the missing three hours before I can start to feel ok. It is not a conscious need. I discover it in hindsight. Today, I played at my new commitment for the Las Vegas Rescue mission. While there I feel the desire, calling, pull, whatever... to commit also for Sunday. I physically see people feeling, enjoying and appreciating my being there and I can explore creativity on a real grand piano in anyway that I want. I also get to perform my old pieces in all the noise around me so I do not feel conspicuous about my musical flaws. They are great and many, lol. It feels like I am spending time with my peeps. People from all walks of life just trying to survive, get along, help themselves in any way possible. Hundreds of people are present for dinner. Those living on the sidewalks and also in the shelter, in long term treatment programs, volunteers, staff, etc.. I really want the high life of fame, and more creature comfort now for my life... but then again I enjoy being able to connect with people in "my" transparent and real way more which is not so compatible with the illusion of fame and fortune type success. The expression of empathy and compassion through musical fun, friendship and respect is totally fulfilling. Can I have both please?
February 07, 2018
Calico Basin, Las Vegas, Nevada
As of today all the 2017 Traveling Piano pictures are processed and posted to the website. This is an accomplishment. Then, Mo and I headed out to get lost in some rock. We drove to Calico Basin and found a spot to lay in the sun where I realized what I love to listen to more than anything else in the world... silence, I love listen to silence. What I love to listen to... top three? 1. Silence 2. Mo breathing 3. My breath. We hiked up a mountain and then moved down to a new spot every ten minutes to stay in the sun as it set behind us. Spring has definitely started. Green growth is showing from desert plants. It smells like spring back east. The air is most and cool. I'm loving it but a little taken back that there has been no winter this year. I'm hoping it will not get too hot, too soon. As I got back to the truck for some reason I got into a bad mood. And then a couple appeared and it was very interesting. I knew that for some reason we were to connect. The conversation took many turns and I kept bringing up personal issues that were not a good idea and we did have fun and connected in many ways on several levels. It was a unique interaction. I told the guy I'd give him a piano lesson as he just got a piano of his own. We'll see if he connects.
February 06, 2018
Las Vegas, Nevada
We went to the community police meeting tonight. It is important to have a relationship with the police in the community and they have been responsive throughout the year so I want to give respect whenever I can. I'm not a ra-ra police person as this journey shows but whenever possible I want to reinforce my appreciation for them. In living where I do I see on a daily basis how difficult and dangerous the job is. My local pizza guy provides free pizza and I briefly met another neighbor business guy who has been sabotaging small local apartment dwellings in the area to get rid of drug dealers. Also, I went to a yoga class today and I'm getting some basics down for a daily routine. Constantly I work to renew my purpose, what I am doing, what I want to do and how. Mo keeps me going.
February 05, 2018
Las Vegas, Nevada
We drove the the Wetlands Park in Las Vegas today. I've been there before but dogs are not allowed and then found a section where they are allowed. Like so many parks around the country, millions of dollars were spent to create it with no plan for the maintenance to keep it up, only excuses that funds were cut. The reality is that there were never funds to begin with. The money just stopped, being called "cut" when the original job got done which was the plan to begin with. Someone sold the idea for political gain, for contractors, etc... and then when they got what they were after... jumped ship. Either that or the funds were funneled somewhere else into another self-serving agenda or to hide them or to claim the expenses got too much. Its sad, because this place is huge and was beautiful at first. Now from neglect most of the plant life is now dry, dead and the place would better as nothing but dry desert rather than pieces of concrete, wire and hosing left from unfinished work. Then again I could be completely wrong about all of that, lol. Blah, blah, blah... we went to a local dog park and the weather felt so luscious I had to create some music and then of course we met a few people which always makes my day.
February 04, 2018
The Arts Factory, Las Vegas, Nevada
Mo and I headed out to a yoga class first thing today. Then I ate greasy fried chicken, candy and chips for the rest of the day. It is what it is. The Superbowl was today and Philadelphia won the championship. This journey began with the memory of a dream I had early on... back in 1987 when I first began creating piano music from the back of the very same pickup truck I use today. In the dream I was streaking clothed diagonally across the Superbowl field banging out some wild boogie woogie piano music. It was my wildest dream ever and so I began to pursue Oprah to help me create the dream back in 2006 when the Traveling Piano journey began. I actually had the dream cross my path twice during this journey but was not able to jump in the first time and the second time simply did not try to. And here my home town wins the Superbowl for the first time ever. Before the Traveling Piano journey began I was connected as a society pianist to all the backbone of Philadelphia sports, media and business.
That never panned out for me because I could not "work" the "game." If I had done manly things like smoke cigars, golf, drink, chase women, enjoy sports, play social politics or was able to "play" women to get their men to embrace my work and integrate it into the cities main stream as an icon... lol, well... it is what it is. That was not my destiny. My true interests in life are more personal. Of course my wildest dream lives on and may even manifest in a unique way even after I pass on, who knows. It has never been the end all of my life, who I am and what I am about. The dream led me to what I do today. It led me to having a fulfilling relationship with life. I do feel totally fulfilled. Now my dreams are all about staying in a state of gratitude, staying satisfied with what is... and staying interested in a desire to continually extend my love and passion creatively with the world to the best of my ability.
February 03, 2018
The Arts Factory, Las Vegas, Nevada
I went to a yoga class and to also give the instructors young son his second piano class in appreciation for the access to yoga at the yoga center but... mixed up the day again! It was a beautiful day. I had told the guy next door who opened a new restaurant that I would play in front of his place sometime as a welcoming gift to the neighborhood. Today turned out to be that day. I've been out every day with the Traveling Piano which is a little unusual for this period of the journey. I think it may be the weather. It is perfectly sunny, not too dry and in the mid 70's. It feels like spring back east. The birds were chirpings and a light breeze blew by every once in a while... These facts create a little conflict in my mind because there has been no winter and I am not looking forward to the brutal summer ahead. I cannot work in a hundred twenty degrees and I do not want it to happen too fast! Projecting has been an impulse for me lately that need to just stop.
Enjoy the moment and the beautiful days... that is the only way to go. I knew people thought I was getting paid to play in the spot where I was situated outside the restaurant but that was ok. I was feeling out the environment and it helped me get a little sensibility going for actually finding some money in the business community. It is necessary to do now... I think? A women who owns a small vintage clothing shop a few blocks down was having lunch and we had a nice interaction with her new pup on top of the piano along with Mo.. It was nice to get to know a neighbor better and when I got home I found that she sent a twenty dollar contribution on the website. Three neighbors have now made a small contribution over the last year and that gives me hope for a sense of community that there are in fact people around me who are givers. God knows the majority, more than the majority are takers. I mean... three people in a year! Lol... Anyway, another group there was from Yelp... being paid to do business and eat for free to boost the viability of the restaurant for promotion.
February 02, 2018
The Arts District, Las Vegas, Nevada
It is a great thing to be in community with neighbors and friends by simply hanging out. Mo and I parked on the corner across the street from where we live in my neighborhood of the Arts District tonight with the Traveling Piano for some Musical Fun, Friendship and Respect. People we know stopped by and I met a few new neighbors. Another prostitution hook up happened from the Traveling Piano, lol... thats the third in the last six months. Last time it was a girl that worked a guy from the truck and this time it was the other way around. The First Friday event was happening up the street a few blocks so this is always a more crazy night than usual. I'm still reeling from yesterday and absolutely spoiled from playing on a real half decent piano for the last two days.
The keyboard I use with the Traveling Piano is beat and even if it was in top shape could no way compare to an acoustic instrument.
I remember feeding off the energy of all the people yesterday and how that compares to being out in nature and feeding off all of nature to create music. I am creatively stimulated through whatever environment I am in either way. Relating with people one-on-one on the street is very important. As human beings we must stay connected in relationship with each other. Down the street tonight people were paying ten bucks to park in order to pay ten more bucks for a hamburger from a street vendor and then ten more bucks for a beer... all just to hang out and socialize in public. It is frustrating to see how so many people must have money sucked out of them in order to feel a sense of community. Not on my watch... not in my neck of the woods... at least not for tonight!
February 01, 2018
Rescue Mission, Las Vegas, Nevada
For the second day in a row I created music for the Las Vegas rescue mission community dinner, indoors. Yesterday, I filled in for a non-profit organization that provides music every Wednesday. I've personally made a commitment for every Thursday. The core intent was to extend myself through my journey but I am getting so much more out of it than anyone could imagine that it is not so much about my giving and sharing it is in the joy and satisfaction of doing what I love to do personally while connected with other people. The fact they they all super love my music with full appreciation just puts the experience over the top. The being in need... as just about everyone lives outside on the sidewalk or in the shelter does not play into the scenario. Volunteers from a dental office in town as well as from the relators association were bopping around more than those who came for dinner, hundreds of people.
For myself, playing on a real piano and being able to dig into what I am doing musically and hear myself musically in so many ways more than on the trucks keyboard is just simply... bliss. I create music best as ambience and continuously though a stream of consciousness non-stop. I have an ability to create an energy flow and keep it going with interest in a situation that fits. My music feeds on the energy that exists and accentuates it, carries it, creats life on a grander scale in the present moment. When I listen to my music recorded out of live environments, it is just crap, lol. There is something magical about being present and alive with it in union with others. And then... there is no getting to bed afterwards because I am so filled with life yet at the same time having no energy to do anything.