HIS SPIRIT LIVES ON! ... BONER, THE PIANO DOG ... November 27, 1994 ... February 20, 2010
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May 31, 2018
Las Vegas, Nevada
Enough contribution came in today to pay for my months rent. It is all from one person struggling to help keep me going. Whew, just in time. And... I renewed my lease with a price increase for another year. Thats big! It is still hitting me that I am living someplace... in one place, after over ten years of being basically on the road with no secure place... on my journey. I do miss the synchronistic and spontaneity of the travel I've done. I do not miss the uncertainty of not knowing what to do and where to go and the need to find places to stay all the time. I wonder sometimes when I am just flowing with life, where it will take me. At other times I take the bull by the horns so to speak concerning my life and create it consciously. And then there are times with no thought and action at all. A constant is my desire to appreciate Mo to the fullest in every moment of every day. Also, my desire to contribute to the world in a positive and progressive way with my work... that is a constant.
May 30, 2018
Las Vegas, Nevada
There is not much to say today except that I am always working to stay conscious as to not get in the way of intended progress for my life.
May 29, 2018
Red Rock Canyon, Nevada
The heat as returned. It is hovering around 100 degrees everyday and heading up to 110 in a few days. Mo and I needed some relief and so we drove out into nature in the late afternoon because I know once the sun goes behind the mountain it also become cool. It soon will be hot 24 hours a day. I noticed the green desert landscape turning brown somewhat while we drove until I parked and began walking. The area we found was super green with cactus still blooming along with other flowers. The light of day was perfect. We headed off trail and I found myself climbing up the mountain knowing it would be somewhat difficult to get down. One step at a time with care was the name of the game. Mo and I found some awesome caves.
I was thinking earlier how each environment is a tradeoff and how back east bugs while hiking used to drive me crazy. There are none here in the desert like back east. Lol, the thought brought them to me. Gnats galore surrounded me almost the entire time but, the time spent was worth it. And, I remember writing a few years ago about how loud and strong the sound of flying insects were in West Virginia. Well, the gnats today here in Nevada with their high pitch were almost unbelievable. Mo and I had an awesome hike. Back at the Traveling Piano I decided to record some music and surprisingly, even though it was almost dark people found us and we all began to have a good musical time together.
May 28, 2018
Las Vegas, Nevada
Tonight was all about the Traveling Piano at the field which is an area where people who live on the streets congregate for dinner, clothes and other necessities every Monday night. For the people who are there to share and give... it is really more about connecting in relationship with others. Granted, they are connecting with people in need but the core intent is about respect and the validation of human relationship and how we all need and want each other... just want to get along and be together and to care for one another. It is often not easy to tell who is who as the people helping to run and organize everything range from volunteers to clergy to people who are living on the sidewalk. Some of the homeless volunteers have been doing this commitment of service for ten years! The dinner is going on eighteen years and the anniversary is June 20th. This being my third week, I'm settling in better with interacting and sharing the Traveling Piano before they begin serving food and then I go into creating music mode for the rest of the time.
When the serving is done then I hang out but... its really easy to just hang out the entire time because everyone is so social together. There are about ten people from the streets who we now know each other and friendships are beginning... with boundaries and limits of course. I met a priest who comes and hangs out. He's retired now at eighty five years old but has been a priest for only ten years! Can you imagine that? He began his studies at age seventy two!!! His name is Father Dan. It is a full moon night. I did not feel it but Mo sure did. He's been crazy as a bed bug on a run. As the night wore on I could feel more craziness with people starting. How dangerous the place is gets brought up in conversation all the time. I'm not interested in the dangerous aspects I mean I'm hyper aware of what is going on and if something happens well, it happens and it is also a rarity. I can deal with that. There is danger at every turn in life that I could focus on but it serves no purpose. I've been loving hanging out with my peeps on the streets.
May 27, 2018
Las Vegas, Nevada
We spent time at Veteran's Village on the Las Vegas Strip today for the Sunday food bank. It was sunny and hot. A new sun umbrella is needed as the one I have is broken. The first half of the time was full of Ragtime and Boogie Woogie music and then as the wait went on for people in line and the heat and the day... people began to get a little crazy, irritated, short tempered and that is when the music switched to my improvisation. It was all about keeping the peace, nice and simple and easy, lol. Mo... he loves being there every month. I was watching him closely to see how the sun was affecting him and he did surprisingly well although he was exhausted from it by the time we left. I can feel my piano playing changing. More and more I am getting the energy up to performance mode verses just hanging out and creating music. It is what it is, I can't help it. Thats what comes with twenty years of a performance past. And, people are responding more and more with... man, what are you doing here type of talk.
May 26, 2018
Las Vegas, Nevada
Almost every day some asks, why are you not in the Casinos with a Show, down on Freemont Street or making money with what you do? I say because, what I do... what I am interested in... is community and creating relationships. I ask, how often do you meet someone who has something to offer and share with you for no other reason than to create some musical fun, friendship and respect? It is a good thing, eh? We need more of strangers becoming less afraid of each other in this world through pure, personal interactions, right? Then I think how people tend to equate worth and appreciation only at a cost, or represented through a commercial venue. I think humanity in general has been taught we are not worth unconditional love and I am here to give that as an option. I've not been turned down yet.
May 25, 2018
Las Vegas, Nevada
I am sleeping much more and wonder if it the weight I have been gaining is from eating food given via food banks. I am sure it is from many other factors as well. I'm walking less because that energy is being put into playing the piano more. As I am sort of "performing" more than interacting these days, the appreciation I have been getting from people is different. Where as people show appreciation one on one through personal interacting... they now make a point to come up to me to thank me. A guy living on the street came up and handed me five one dollar bills today. I told him that I loved him. And I do because I know what that five dollars means to him. It is a super strong statement for people who are lost in survival, sorrow, guilt, shame, pain, confusion, fear, loneliness and angst to step out of all that to say, "thank you piano man." It makes life worthwhile, along with my pup Mo of course. Words could never express how much everyone loves Mo and how much his presence comforts people. He emits an energy of inclusiveness and acceptance.
May 24, 2018
Las Vegas, Nevada
While playing music at the Las Vegas Rescue Mission today I was thinking about how scheduled my life is becoming with music and how it is a total departure from the synchronistic and spontaneous aspects of this journey. It is what it is, a transition I hope for the better. Maybe it is for the "necessary." So today and tomorrow I am at the Rescue Mission, Saturday I meet with a few friends to keep my sanity, Sunday I will be at Veterans Village on the Las Vegas strip and Monday on the Street up by a place called "The Field" where people who live on the streets gather for dinner. I do not know how to think about it all, especially since no money is coming in from these scheduled appointments and money must start coming in from somewhere.
I suppose I must keep telling myself that it being all on my terms well, thank God for that and also for the one specific person paying for my room and basics. Also, I have been playing more repertoire than my own improvisational music which is just crazy. I played my repertoire one day a year for the last ten years and all the rest has been strictly improvisational. My approach to playing on the mission centers piano is physically much different from playing on my friend Alex's piano and again, the Traveling Piano trucks piano approach... is completely different from any acoustic piano. I'm speaking about the way I hold my body, how I move as in my arms, torso, hands and fingers, the angles of approach, pressure, etc... Playing the piano can be very physical.
May 23, 2018
Las Vegas, Nevada
Every once in a while I feel a need to stress on this blog how I do not consider myself a "do gooder." What I "do" my work... first and foremost, is because it is something that I enjoy. I enjoy nurturing, empowering and inspiring others. I enjoy being a voice for those who think like myself... feel and understand in "like" ways... specifically, a voice for those who have not been as fortunate as myself to learn how to speak out and act for themselves. I enjoy the validation and reassurance that I can give to others. It took time, many years... at least twenty five years of personal hard work to give all that to myself. None of it has come naturally even though all these qualities are in all of us naturally. My environment and all the dysfunctional behavior I had experienced throughout my formative years suppressed these qualities in ways I knew were wrong for me. I realize that everyone was just doing the best they could. Once I began to rightly relate with my own personal spirit, I learned that I had to give that to others to keep getting it for myself. This way of operating has worked very well for my life and again... I enjoy it while 'remembering to remember" through gratitude and appreciation.
May 22, 2018
Las Vegas, Nevada
Wow, I'm really missing being out in nature and also on the streets with the Traveling Piano but cannot pass up the time to use my friend Alex's place while she is gone. I've been practicing on her piano. She comes home late tomorrow night. It is physically exhausting. After each hour I must literally take a nap. It is because I am using my body in ways that I am not used to. Playing the piano is very physical for me. Also, I am sitting lower than usual on a bench and that makes a difference. During breaks I also relax while reading a book. It has been a year since I gave myself the time to read a book. The book is called Falling Up. Also, I'm taking Mo out twice a day for a walk as he has not been to a park to run in and he gets really bored easily. I've been able to get a grip on four more music pieces from my old repertoire of music that I had completely forgot. Now... I must find a way to keep them in my head and improve on them but there is not much time in each day as I've been sleeping an average of twelve hours a day and without question need it. I do not expect anyone to understand that and... "it is what it is."
May 21, 2018
Las Vegas, Nevada
First things first. I went to pick up the Traveling Piano's piano from the repair shop today and well, shelling out money is just so painful because I am hanging by a thread financially. But... its done and it works, still not perfect and the speaker is super fragile but its working and I am gratefully for that even tho I am now in a insecure mode about next month and having enough financially to get through it. You would think I would be used to that feeling? Those feelings must constantly be managed sometimes moment to moment. Then I purchased rental insurance. My apartment complex is demanding that along with its price increase in June. Five bucks a month online for rental insurance as long as I choose the lowest options possible which is basically rental insurance with no coverage. For example to start I have a $2,500 deductible on anything. What a joke! And then there is nothing on the policy as I had to specifically claim that I have no electronics, computer equipment, dogs, jewelry, clothing or anything else of worth. It is so... what a joke. I'm living in trust that the contribution from one main contributor that has been happening monthly will continue while I figure everything out with another years lease. Then it was off to a place called "the field" to work with the Traveling Piano.
There is a gathering every Monday night at this place in the Las Vegas ghetto where food and clothing is shared with everyone no questions asked. It was the second week Mo and I attended and it is now a commitment because it feels perfect. Driving on the way I was thinking about the seriousness of my commitments and how they are important to me. Tonight has been on my mind all week and my day revolved around tonight to make sure I was rested and clear headed enough to do the job. When I finished I had a feeling of "job well done" a feeling I never had when I was doing what I do for money. The situation is a bit chaotic but I am learning to adjust between playing music myself for people, while sharing the Traveling Piano with people, while watching that nothing gets stolen and everything going on with Mo. Dinner was shared with me tonight with some goodies and I was able to get two bath towels that I have needed very much. Little things mean a lot to me and every little bit helps except for when someone offers me something like two bucks... thats two little, lol. It is what it is unless it is from a homeless person. Then seeing as I know that is a lot of money for them I accept it with big time gratitude. A few of the people helping out with serving food were making suggestions about my getting some work as they have connections with a few casino's and events.
In the old days, working as an entertainer in a casino in Las Vegas would have been very impressive to me. Now, just... eh. Especially if it would be for "eh" money. Events... same thing, not interested. Did all that, done that and... there is no way I could get the fees I had built up from performing through twenty years as I had done. To tell the truth... I'd rather just die rather than return to that old life. There is a reason I left it and the reason was the same back then from being burnt out. I was ready to die rather than continue on. If a situation really wanted me and knew how to "play" me and the pay was at least what it was in my past if not more and... fun, then I would consider it. But thats not going to happen. I've been around the block too many times to not know that. Still something must happen or maybe the heavens will open up and just suck me into them. One guy had his little dog with him tonight and it acted like ferret jumping into his arms and running around. he sat on top of the piano with Mo. I could see the animal was with him to "serve" him as Mo is here for me and he agreed. His dog feels like a guardian angle for him. I totally get that.
May 20, 2018
Las Vegas, Nevada
The day was spent practicing the piano at my friends new apartment and also simply enjoying and soaking in the feel of the place all by myself. It is clean, roomy and bright with air conditioning. For an hour I just laid on the floor with as little thought as possible and even took a nap. It has been many years since I spent over four hours practicing in one day. By the time I left I was physically exhausted. Trying to think about re-learning and how to practice was not easy. The entire experience was like revisiting my childhood and it was quite nice. I would switch between Ragtime, Stride, Boogie Woogie, Classical and my own Improvisation. Having Mo with me in every minute of the day is just awesome!
May 19, 2018
Las Vegas, Nevada
As the Traveling Piano's keyboard is out for repair I had the option to go take a hike in nature or practice on my friend Alex's acoustic piano while she is out of town. Practicing the piano won out. What a joy to play on an acoustic piano and to practice. Seriously, there have only been a handful of times in thirty years that I have had a piano to practice on. When the opportunity to practice happens it has always been on the Traveling Piano. I sort of went back into childhood practicing in my old ways and getting some clarity with my old repertoire. Not only my Ragtime and Boogie Woogie music pieces, I began to practice the only classical piece that I still have the sheet music for. It is from the Bach English Suites. Then of course I improvised with my own music. For an hour I created music mindlessly with my eyes closed, without a care in the world, in total bliss. As I was walking back to my place tonight I thought of how I continually tell myself that I live here in downtown Las Vegas. Sometimes it feels surreal. I still find it amazing after a year and I am still in full blown gratitude mode.
May 18, 2018
Las Vegas, Nevada
I know enough about what happened in Texas today from the headlines and have no need to know any more. We all know enough already. Do not allow yourself to sop up the sadness and negativity by inundating yourself with more and more details. Instead... get angry and slap across the head anyone in support of gun ownership, period. My life is a Gun Free Zone. I am very grateful that I have developed through practice... tools of action to help control and get rid of anger, hate, fear and resentment, feelings of helplessness and victimization... and that I have the habit of using those tools. Concerning the ongoing gun-murdering in the USA and the morons who continue to support guns through the violence... I deal with it by going outside to create random acts of fun, friendship and respect with and for strangers. This does not work from doing it just one time. It is a practice that must be done consistently through time and it works very well! I remind myself that I "must" get to know my politicians and their stand on issues... and then vote in the smallest of elections against gun ownership without strict qualifications.
And lastly, I speak up and stand up to those who spew the indoctrinated pro-gun propaganda they have embraced over a life time. I do it with the most passionate, emotionally charged words possible without care of what others think. All this keeps me sane and in the truth of spirit. I have no time for those who say nothing can be done. Why would I take the chance on infecting myself with that lack of faith, hope and respect for a power greater than myself and humanity as a whole? Always remember, most people thought trump could not possibly get elected, even those that voted for him and... it happened. There are forces working in this world far deeper and stronger than we can comprehend. I want to encourage everyone to think about the where, how, who and what... when it comes to the alignment of your own life force. I broke into a sweat playing the piano today for people living on the streets of Las Vegas who were getting some dinner at the rescue mission. It felt really good to be able to express all my feelings through music and have people respond with love and appreciation. I have found that people can accept all feelings no matter what they are inspired by, or actually are... through music.
May 17, 2018
Las Vegas, Nevada
The Traveling Piano trucks piano and speaker is in the shop for repair. I've been holding off because money is so tight but can wait no longer. Last night my phone would not take a charge and the battery died. I did some trouble shooting, said the serenity prayer, told myself I can and will do whatever is needed, turned the results over to God and went to sleep. I woke up this morning and it was charged. Then with more trouble shooting I asked the piano repair guy where I can buy a new charger... ten bucks later, everything is back to normal. Every little change in my life anymore is significant. The first impulse with anything that I must do different, new or out of my comfort zone is paralysis in mind and body in not knowing what or how to respond or do anything. Then I go into exhaustion mode with "I just can't go through anymore." And then I pick up some of my coping tools from my skill set and move on. Mo and I headed over the the rescue mission to create music for people living on the streets and residents of the place, at least 600 people in total. It was packed tonight. Afterward I helped my old neighbor move a huge flat screen tv. He has homeless people phobia from watching shit television like fox news. We had a strong argument about the subject. I despise how, rotten to the core media outlets prey on the worst of human nature through fear, division and self-serving hate. If you think you know what homeless people are like only from statistical polls and media, you know nothing.
May 16, 2018
Las Vegas, Nevada
I went to my friends house today to play and practice on her acoustic piano. I love the percussive quality as well as all the overtones I can create with it. I think thats the word "overtones"? Noise, I just like a mishmash of sound colliding in percussive ways, slip-sliding its way through the universe. Really, I felt like I was in heaven. Without question I was in the universe. There were other sounds than just my musical notes coming through the experience. I actually stopped three times thinking I was hearing something, someone outside, in the house or by the door. The sound came from somewhere in the music I was creating. The experience was 100% fulfilling. Alex also had some delicious food in the fridge that needed to be used up along with fresh blueberries and black raspberries. As I sat in this clean, new, roomy apartment I was reminded how helpful mentally, physically, spiritually and emotionally... living in an environment like this can be.
May 15, 2018
Las Vegas, Nevada
After a strong day like yesterday I will now always wiped out for the following two days. I just could not get anything done today except to meet up with a few friends. My friend Alex just moved in around the corner from me and as a concert pianist, she found a decent upright piano to practice on and invited me to use it whenever needed. You can be sure that will happen. In fact she is going to be away for a week to receive her music doctorate degree and has given me the key to her place. Practicing on the Traveling Piano is almost impossible these days. When I am out on my own away from people I tend to just use the opportunity to play music for myself or record. Practicing is an entirely different mode of operation. Even to use the word practice ha, that would happen for once a year only when I would go back east to do a Fourth of July parade. Now, it is like my body, if I don't use it on a continual basis I lose it as far as muscle... not only finger, but hand, wrist, arm and body. My improvisation needs no practice or muscle. My old repertoire pieces of music... lots.
May 14, 2018
Las Vegas, Nevada
Please do not give to the Salvation Army or Catholic Charities. Most clothes contributions are tossed and money given only goes to the bureaucracy of paying salaries. Give one-to-one! Here in Las Vegas, Catholic Charities gets all its food for free of course... yet charges $4 per meal to people living on the streets and gives bed preference to those that pay for overnight shelter. Staying at the Salvation Army is $15 a night for those living on the streets... bed bugs are free and you must be out at sun up. And they both accept welfare and medicaid that people need for other purposes. What a disgusting racket these so called charities are. I know well that there are those who will try and spin the faults with good deeds that they do. That does not work for me. If you a charity do not charge money in order to be charitable to those you serve or worse try to teach the idea of self-dignity through self-investment with the use money. That is just bullshit.
For over a year I have heard about a priest who serves dinner to people who are poor every Monday night at 6:30PM in an area called "The Field" in downtown Las Vegas. So, in figuring ways to work with the heat coming on... tonight was the night to check it out. Once a month the priest says mass on the sidewalk and one of his helpers told me I would need to move the Traveling Piano truck back to make room for him. Of course this got my trusty antennas up for control and territory issues. So, I saw this priest get out of his vehicle and almost right away he started the mass without asking for me to stop what I was doing or anything. I found that impressive and of course I stopped out of respect. Then I watched him as a crazy guy interrupted the mass and he became an example for others on how to deal with the situation. The priest was a master with embracing the moment of what "is" through God's love. The crazy guy got the respect, attention or whatever he was trying to fulfill for himself and moved on.
I watched the priest interacting with people the entire time, people with all kinds of agendas. He went up to every person he could... volunteer or otherwise and I thought to myself, the real "tell" will be whether he comes over to me with acknowledgment as he seems very much like the "real deal" and I am a first time visitor. I've been at the rescue mission twice weekly now for several months and I've never even seen an administrator let alone be thanked by one. I am always observing whether "givers" are acting from a sense of ego or spirit. Well... father John McShane did come over to greet me amongst all the people and chaos. This priest has been ministering God's love at this very spot for the last eighteen years! He is a Catholic Diocese Priest with some Jesuit education in him. He started the Las Vegas chapter of the St. Benedict Labre Homeless Ministry, named after an 18th century French mendicant. Mendicant is a term I've never heard before. I am a mendicant but do not belong to a religious order. If you do not know what the word means I want to encourage you to look the definition up!
Catholic Charities wanted to take over the handling of father McShane's work as well as the Archdiocese but he would not allow it. As a result he has many volunteers that show up every week who bring home cooked food and clean clothes to share with everyone with no bureaucracy or conditions. I was very impressed with the entire situation. There were even people without homes volunteering to clean up the area when all was finished. Not one piece of trash was on the ground when I left. Father John waits until every person is gone before he leaves. We had a little unsaid "hold out" because that is something I also do, lol. It felt like I kept creating music waiting for him to leave and he kept waiting for me to stop so he could leave. For me it is a sign of following through until the end of the job, a sign of respect and humility. I hope to make this place a weekly commitment. It fits like a glove. And of course once again, people coming up to me to describe in detail their experience of discovering the Traveling Piano as in the music, Mo, the truck and myself... the experiences are continually priceless and full of appreciation and gratitude.
I do have one problem. My needy issues when I am at a places like this. I don't get to eat any of the food, get any of the clothes etc... because the Traveling Piano work is more important, there is no time for anything else. As It is... I get little time to create music because so many other people want to get onto the truck for some musical fun for themselves. It can not be all about me and my need, need, neediness! People think that I have resources. I do, below bare minimum. I live off of food banks myself and I have the teeniest of rooms. I've been making friends from the streets. People can smell the truth and agendas of others, especially those that need to do that for basic survival. Strangers trust me. People know I am out for nothing more than Fun, Friendship and Respect along with Musical Empowerment and Inspiration. Living a life of this fact for me is as fulfilling as ever having experienced rural nature as one and the same in spirit. It is worth the living as a mendicant. Even though, I must deal with the feelings of neediness all the time.
May 13, 2018
Las Vegas, Nevada
It was a beautiful day. Part of me said go to nature. The other part... get out onto the streets with the Traveling Piano. My musical work won out. I found that people living on Las Vegas boulevard had been cleared off and moved to a side street which was perfect for me to park on. I am so thankful to have pictures that prove everything I say is true because... some of what happens in my life seems unbelievable even to me! About a half year ago I met a guy from Bulgaria taking wedding pictures in the Valley of Fire outside of Las Vegas. He had been on a ferry with the Traveling Piano crossing from Dawson Canada into Alaska in 2010. A few months ago I met a guy in Circle Park park near where I live who was on the Traveling Piano down in Louisiana after hurricane Katrina. Yesterday a guy living on the streets jumped onto the Traveling Piano while saying, "you let me play on this when your were on Skid Row in Los Angeles a few years back."
And today, another guy told me he saw Mo and I with the Traveling Piano in Roanoke Virginia in 2007 when we were lending support at the schools request for those affected by the Virginia Tech massacre. Encounters like this happen often but not two days in a row! And... I am always amazed by them. When I started out today I was in a foul mood. Probably from the energy of people all around me where I am living but... I just started voicing out loud my mantra as I drove around to create "Musical, Fun, Friendship and Respect. With the intent set there was no way it would not happen. I hung out on the street for about three hours. After spending time with one guy who was zoning out with his own musical playing for over a half hour I said, ok get off I want to create some music before I leave. As I was driving away at least thirty people on the sidewalks, one at a time... shouted out a heartfelt thanks which almost made me cry with appreciation.
May 12, 2018
Las Vegas, Nevada
As the summer comes on so does the crazy human behavior all around me. It seems to come and go in waves. One crazy neighbor stole two clasps from the Traveling Piano's sun cover... simply to instigate trouble. I cannot tell you how difficult it is to not take the bait. I would like to destroy him and I know I can. My choice on the matter is to stay centered from within and know how to move as each incident happens. Then there is the noise and foot traffic back and forth from a crazy apartment to doors down. Leaving my door open does not intimidate. I wish it did. Mo knows crazy for sure. When a bad person passes by, he barks and growls to let them know... stay away. Mo never barks and growls unless he senses a person out to create trouble. The police were here at an apartment of few doors down from mine. I work as much as possible in my mind... I see nothing, hear nothing, know nothing. The hundred degree temperatures broke so that means to get out and use the Traveling Piano as much as possible.
May 11, 2018
Las Vegas, Nevada
Appreciative abounds that I have been able to push through issues as long as I have in order to keep creating music at the Las Vegas Homeless Mission. I have been doing it both for the resident meals and for people living on the streets. There are over 800 meals served every night. Of course they get all that food free, the volunteers cook and serve it. Also, they all get my love through music and I get validation of that love in return. It is not always communicated physically but I can feel it and the feeling tells me I am doing exactly what I should be doing. People do always come up to me and show appreciation. When the guy who runs the meal gives his spiel through a microphone to tell everyone to show appreciation for the volunteers, food, Jesus, etc... I am left out of it because I told them to leave me out. Not only does it keep me humble, I do not want people to think I am a gift from the mission center. There should be no need for credits. During the resident dinner a young guy came up to me and told me that during their general assemblies, shout outs are given for appreciation and that some of the residents who have been there for a spell give shout outs for the "piano man" with everyone responding in appreciation. Seeing as I am not there for that... wow, that just makes me feel so good. This is a major show of appreciation. The consistency, the dependability in knowing that I will be there every week for everyone is super important. I am very thankful that I can play a productive role in life for others.
May 10, 2018
Las Vegas, Nevada
We played at the mission today. There has been a shakeup, the top administration is gone. I suspect there has been corruption, surprise? I've never met any of them since I have been sharing my music there. It is probably a good thing. I could smell lots of disrespect in lots of ways all around in the name of Jesus. Anyway, at night I washed my clothes and took advantage of the breeze in the heat to create some music. It drew some families over who were also washing clothes or passing by. We were there around 10:00pm in the evening. It all felt very good. Afterwards I was exhausted from folding clothes more than playing and interacting with people. There was even some nature to enjoy with trees in bloom especially pretty large trees in full yellow.
May 09, 2018
Las Vegas, Nevada
I'm still thinking about life and my Wildest of Dreams from yesterday's blog entry. Strangely enough music has never felt as significant to me as it actually is. I know why but that story is for another time. (mommy issues) But I must say, never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be creating my own music. Not only couldn't.. wouldn't. It was not possible to do. It felt not in my psyche to do. I did not have the self-worth to do it. Music was tied to my feeling of not being able, not allowed, not able to be part of, feeling left out, being a fake, missing out, etc... never in a million years would I think I could or would create my own music and then... at age fifty it happened. The fact that other people have responded so positively... in fact almost one hundred percent of people who have ever heard me create music live have gone out of their way to say how much it means to them in positive ways. People seek my music out through urban and natural environments to discover and validate it.
A good percentage of those hearing it have had strong emotional reactions as a result of my music. These facts are well above amazement and wonder. The joy and beauty in all that reality is that I've turned my personal mommy issues into what I call "god" issues concerning music. That is why no ego is involved. I'm too full of myself through "spiritual" amazement to get caught up in caring whether it is good enough for others. The music does not come through "mommy" it comes through "god." It is not human... it is "other than." My music is not of the mind it is of spirit manifesting through my mind. If only my music would translate the same recorded as it does live. That would really be something big. When people hear it live first, then they can relate to the recordings. Not so much the other way around. Although there are those who can relate to my musical recordings if they do so in a spiritual sense first, verses what they think they should be hearing. Did you know that you can find a unique original musical improvisation that I have recorded, on this website for everyday since 2006?
May 08, 2018
Las Vegas, Nevada
Writing this blog is very important for me. It helps me to stay grounded with myself. My focus all these years has been first and foremost on me. It has never been about what other people think although at times I have been considerate of other people and the experiences I have had with them. Being as honest as I can be with it all is now paying off as time goes on... as I must gain validation and reassurance through myself while my interactions with the public have become less. I still really, very much want to accomplish something bigger than I have already done. It does not even need to be the wild dreams I have not yet manifested. Lets see... those dreams... there is the Superbowl Streak (clothed) with the Traveling Piano, the taking of the Traveling Piano to the western part of China, branding the Traveling Piano with merchandising, cloning Mo, creating a television show, creating a Traveling Piano museum, etc... But alas, there are the more important dreams. Specifically one I attained and then let go of, that of getting into physical shape through this journey and staying in that state of being.
And then there is the working with another entity to take the Traveling Piano concept to a higher level. Those two dreams have to do with personal growth. I'll just keep working towards them. Most importantly, I have a achieved other wildest dreams. Those dreams have given me a complete feeling of life with anything else yet to come... simply icing on the cake. I've had successful relationships in life and have become one with nature in a realty state of being. I've loved and have been loved in return. I've had not one but two dogs in my life and have traveled the world... have met and been able to embrace all kinds of people and have been able to relate to and with them in shared mutual respect. Never in my dreams did I consciously try to manifest the inspiration and empowerment, the fun, friendship and respect, the human validation and reassurance that I have been able to create throughout my life with, for and from others. All that last part has been naturally in and for my life since day one. The ability to manifest that is nothing more than the grace of God which comes from a state of gratitude.
May 07, 2018
Las Vegas, Nevada
So here it is with days over a hundred degrees in May and nights in the nineties with no air movement. I began to complain to some guy and he said, "get fucking used to it." That made me laugh because its true and I enjoy laughing at myself being an idiot. Life... it is what it is, deal with it. There are always adjustments I can make to work around the weather as in change my sleeping patterns, get enough money for gas to drive to cooler places for relief, etc... well, I'm doing the best that I can. It is what it is. I've noticed how my interest to take pictures is not so great, the stimulation of purpose and importance of my work with this journey is not so much a driving force for life. There may be many reasons for this, some in my control and others out of my control. The best solution is to just continue doing the best I can and leave it all up to God. So I want to start praying more throughout the day, God tell me what to do while being careful and honest not to make make myself God. All in all, Mo is with me and he brings me joy everyday, I have a room over my head, the Traveling Piano still runs and I am still in relationship with others and appreciate those relationships on their different levels.
May 06, 2018
Las Vegas, Nevada
I am constantly reevaluating my life so I can figure out what to do. My dreams... my dreams, there are so many paths to go with those thoughts. The heat is back in Las Vegas, it is up to one hundred degrees. Alas, a distraction of thought, lol. Anyway, I've always dreamed of having a dog. I have always dreamed of living somewhere else in the world other than where I grew up. I've always dreamed to be accepting and get along with people of different persuasions, to be valued and to have that in return. I have always dreamed of knowing what to do. That last one... I am still working on. Mostly likely, that has been the most fundamental dream. It began with the very thought and will continue until I die. What I have learned is that purpose is necessary in life and I have found purpose in nurturing people with validation, reassurance, inspiration and empowerment.
These are qualities that I had to develop for myself in life in order to survive. They have been developed through the grace of god. People through life have created seeds for me concerning validation, reassurance, inspiration and empowerment and I have grown them and nurtured others through them. This is how I now get it all for myself... through other people. Although, I'm constantly looking for more seeds. Today's question for myself is, do I continue or is life over. It most certainly cannot be over while Mo is alive. I made my commitment for stewardship of him until his dying breath and I want to share life with him as long as possible. Most of my joy is through my friendship with Mo. The heat will be rough on him this year. He's getting to be an old dog. I'm so thankful for this tiny room I live in. It would be nice to have more space. My trade off is the view I have as I sit and write this and the sun every morning when I open my shades. Maybe, dream for more space with a view and sun?
May 05, 2018
Las Vegas, Nevada
The temperature reached ninety five degrees today and it will be a hundred tomorrow and up to one hundred four by Tuesday... in May! I'm working to not worry that it might stay this way until next October. Hahaha... it is not funny. A new Urban Food Court opened today around the corner from where I live so I took the Traveling Piano over to show some neighborhood support. There were several neighbors there to do the same thing and that felt good, like "community" good. I hope the place is a success. It is an area with room for ten food trucks and will be open both day and night.
Las Vegas is full of diversity and that fact, I really enjoy. Mo and I met home grown Las Vegans as well as American transplants like myself and people from different parts of the world. I enjoy all the ethnicities that live together as one here in the USA as well as when different social backgrounds are able to mingle as one. You know... one, as in the fact that we are all human beings? I hope I can keep the Traveling Piano going with the pure agenda and intent it has had for the last twelve years. A financial miracle is needed for that to be.
May 04, 2018
Las Vegas, Nevada
It was a little weird creating music for the Rescue Mission today. For the second half I almost feel asleep playing. It has been happening more and more. After thinking about it, I have a not so nice suspicion of why. There is a distinction between the dinner with the people on the street verses the residents of the place and people staying overnight. The people from the streets are much more stimulating as in interested and openly appreciative. The residents are bombarded with rules. In many ways they are suppressed and everyone is always "looking." Some look out for each other others look for trouble from each other. It all depends on the personality. And then there is the management. When something happens out of bounds so to speak, everyone is affected. There can be no fraternizing with outsiders, if a guy is caught talking to a woman he is immediately thrown out, etc... so there is a constant current of do's and don'ts along with church, intakes, chores, etc...
As a result there is always an undercurrent that can come across as zombi like, detached from personal relating, suppressed energy that can be very boring. That along with all the individual sadness, fear, uncertainty and personal problems going on. I'll need to remember next week that it is my job to lift spirit and not my job to use others to lift my spirit in order to lift their spirit, lol. It is first Friday and my neighborhood has an event every First Friday. I create music on my street for neighbors away from all the hoopla. It is supposed to be a community event not a commercial drink fest which is what it is like up the street from me. I decided to push myself even though I was tired and test some performance mode energy with the old repertoire I have been playing at the mission. On the Traveling Piano usually I improvise only. I do not know where the energy came from but I was banging the shit out of the piano for an hour and a half along of course with interacting with new friends that stopped by. More people simply walked by in a detached way then usual. I wondered if it was because I was in more of a performance mode verses interacting mode.
May 03, 2018
Las Vegas, Nevada
Today feels a little bit like my week starting. This is very new as there has only been a couple short periods of my life where I worked in a consistent time slot with a schedule although... the journey for 12 years was full time seven days a week. There was no real schedule in that twelve years. There is only one week in the entire twelve years where I took off from the journey... that I can remember. This is where the daily blog comes in handy should I ever need or want to know. Mo and I headed to the Las Vegas Rescue Mission to create music for the dinner there. It has been a commitment for every Thursday and Friday for a few months now. There can be up to six hundred people coming in from the streets for dinner.
When I have a commitment my entire day revolves around it so not much gets done. I sort of pitter around taking care of little needs like processing pictures to send to people who ask, creating music for the website, cleaning up my space, doing errands, etc... Yesterday was a reality check concerning Mo and myself with hiking and our physical ability to continue enjoying what we love to do most together. It will just be a matter of adjusting as in stopping to rest in shade often. When the heat comes I will either get up early to enjoy nature or I just will cease to enjoy nature. I've always been afraid to get up early in the morning. It also feels unnatural and I have never felt rested getting up early. So we shall see what life brings...
May 02, 2018
Las Vegas, Nevada
Time is moving fast. This was the last opportunity for a week to get out into nature and also, the temperatures are going to rise so I wanted to get to the Valley of Fire before it is too late. It gets too hot to go there after May. I missed the wild flowers and cactus blooming by at least a week but thats ok as I saw them and took pictures last year. Mo and I meandered into areas we had not been before. Being alone in the nature with the pastel colored rock and greenery was surreal. Some of the rock are an easy ten stories high. There are valleys and canyons just constant dessert terrain that changes with every peak and turn. Mo... is no longer able to do extreme hiking. He is an old man now. Me too. We had to stop often to hydrate and rest in shady rock out-coves. I actually took a nap twice. Hike, nap, explore, hydrate, and be together in experiencing the best of what life has to offer. It does not get any better than today.
Mo and I bonded stronger than ever in love and appreciation for each other through nature. After a few hours I felt inspired to create some music and drove to the farthest area away from traffic and people to play music while the sun set. When we arrived no one was around which felt perfect until I played the very first musical note. A couple from St. Petersburg Russia drove up and of course nothing could be more natural than that... so we all had some Traveling Piano Fun, Friendship and Respect. It is completely obvious when having encounters like this, that the experience is for specific people as no one else is ever around or interferes. Two other cars drove up but did not even stop. When the first couple left, a brother and sister drove up and then another couple from Moscow, Russia and lastly a couple visiting the area with their pup from Indiana. We drove out and back to Las Vegas in twilight time.
May 01, 2018
Las Vegas, Nevada
What an amazing day meandering in the rain with the temperature 51 degrees and the dessert as vividly green as can be... with lighting and thunder rocking the house in Las Vegas, Nevada... Mo and I drove with Vicki, a person we had met on an overlook with the Traveling Piano a few weeks ago. She is also a nature lover and enjoys rain more than sun. I enjoyed the rain because it is only the second time in a year I have been in a steady rain. It was all magical. Variety is what keeps me interested and stimulated in life. Mo was like... get me outta here but I know at the same time he also enjoyed it. He enjoys everything that involves me and even more... me with friends.