HIS SPIRIT LIVES ON! ... BONER, THE PIANO DOG ... November 27, 1994 ... February 20, 2010
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June 30, 2018
Las Vegas, Nevada
As my life moves on there are some crazy revelations happening. As not too long ago I realized that I have been involved in gun violence awareness since 1987, that working outdoors with a piano in a truck was a seed planted without my realizing at age 18, the same for my musical improvisation 30 years ago... so it goes for my compassion, empathy and actions for people living on the streets. I've been physically caring for and about people on the streets since I was twenty one years old. I've just never really thought about it. While feeling really stuck and feeding bad information into my brain today like, I'm all alone, can't think, have no inertia, interests, too old, fat, have no life left, don't want to do anything, can't and much more... when the sun went down (it has been been a hundred and a hundred twenty every day) ...I was able to force myself out for a walk with Mo. We took the bus down the Las Vegas strip and walked back. It is almost a five mile walk. In my mind the fact that I was finally doing something different, all the stimulation of activity, the need to constantly be aware of Mo with people on escalators to cross streets, that helped keep my mind busy with the goal of walking such a distance.
There was a breeze so it was somewhat cool and we took our time. It was fairly easy until the last half mile when we entered back into the same old, same old where I walk almost every day. Thats when I started to think about the physical pain of the long walk, lol. Anyway, another revelation came to be. I've been alone practically my entire life in doing what I enjoy. I mean, I've been with and around people but rarely has it worked for me to do activities with someone else or with a bunch of friends, etc... it is difficult to explain. It might not be true. It is... a feeling but I know feelings are not always facts. It is what my mind tells me all the time, that I am alone true or not. Maybe it comes from thoughts of self preservation because as a child I was never allowed to do things on my own. Wow, I just need to write this so it is not forgotten and the thoughts are entering as I write... my mother never wanted to let me out of her sight because I had a baby sister who died a crib death which resulted in a lot of guilt for her. I was her last child of seven, very young myself and thats when her over-protection mode began. I "wanted" to be alone and for eveyone to see that I could do things on my own! There were also other issues such as my sensitivity, dyslexia, etc... Anyway, I am always trying to understand myself better so I can improve and live my life to the fullest.
June 29, 2018
Las Vegas, Nevada
After working and that is what it is... work without monetary or payment exchange... a commitment, self-made obligation, expectation, sharing of my time, energy and expertise at the rescue mission in downtown Las Vegas creating music for the 600 people who eat dinner there from the streets... work that is my passion and joy... I drove to a small volunteer event where people were making signs for a protest tomorrow about the US government separating children escaping violence in central america from their parents and being put into cages. There was no one at the place, I guess I was late but... there were a couple of guys standing outside a clothing store where they were working with no customers to be seen anywhere so I decided to give them a few minutes of distraction with the Traveling Piano.
June 28, 2018
Las Vegas, Nevada
It would be a grave mistake to be in denial about today's newspaper reporter mass murder. The US now has a president with blood on his hands from a cultivation of pro-gun, anti media propagandized minds that are now warped so he can use them as scapegoats for his demagogue agenda. How do I respond? Of course with resistance but how will that take form? The truth of spirit guides me through serenity to accept what I cannot change and change what I can with wisdom and courage. Through that knowledge I know that I must continue to strive and manifest love through musical fun, friendship and respect in order to stand up for what the truth of spirit is verses what it is not. This... a challenge to stay aware of my life long learnings of survival to attack those not in alignment with myself through words of anger and hate... and also to attack myself for self-induced limitations and abilities. So Mo and I went to the Las Vegas mission center to create music for the almost six hundred people having dinner there. I went into professional mode with a mindset to please, include, extend myself, keep the energy calm and joyful, smile, share and let people know I care about them. The time spent was a success.
June 27, 2018
Las Vegas, Nevada
I'm very grateful that I got to enjoy all the earths nature for so many years through this journey. Hopefully I'll get more of it. Holding onto dreams gets more challenging as I need to also live in the moment more intensely as time goes by. As I walk the streets at night with Mo and a few cold gatorades I got on sale a while back to share with people trying to sleep on the sidewalks in a hundred ten degree heat... I'm realizing that just about one hundred percent of my work is now an outreach both with and without the Traveling Piano to people who are impoverished and homeless. It just feels like the right thing to do, gives me purpose and a way to respond to what is happening worldwide as governmental dictatorships rise through human greed to destroy humanity. Most importantly, I can do it and I'm good at it... caring for and nurturing the value of human spirit. I just need to keep my mantra going... "Musical Fun, Friendship and Respect... Musical Fun, Friendship and Respect... Musical Fun, Friendship and Respect... Empowerment and Inspiration."
June 26, 2018
Las Vegas, Nevada
I have another new neighbor with yapping dogs. Why can't life be easy? Lol, I live in an old teeny weeny converted motel room. It is like living in a hostel with a bunch of crazy people all around me! Well now, I'm just going to balance out what I just wrote. I'm on a second floor with a view of some of the Las Vegas strip outside my door and window, Mo's welcome and taking him out to the bathroom is easy. I never have trash laying around because the trash cans are in the alley with all the garbage and people shooting up heroin opps, there I go off track... the truck is safe in a parking lot behind an enclosed brick wall, all utilities are included... and if utilities were not included, I would have no internet...
...the room is being paid for through contribution so I can work with the Traveling Piano (although I need to get some gas, food and basic necessities money quick) ... there I go again off track... I'm in the center of everything that is Las Vegas and in an up and coming area with easy access to the highways... I don't have to worry about where I'm going to go next (wow, was that exhausting after ten years), and there are clean streets to walk on with a few other pluses that I can't think of right now. The yapping dogs start when the neighbor goes to work at seven in the morning which is the middle of the night for me. Maybe it will force me to change my sleeping schedule which might be a good thing, ugh.
June 25, 2018
Las Vegas, Nevada
It always amazes me how when I don't have time to think about how hot it is... I don't feel the heat. Or maybe all my energy is so focused on coping that... what I am coping with is irrelevant, lol. It was difficult to get started, but once I did lots of fun began. We were at our Monday night commitment and at times there was tension between people from the streets, blame it on the heat for sure. A few volunteers gave me trouble for the third week in a row about my sound level and so I have moved away from their spots three times now. Tonight was the last move and I told them so. Deal with it! A family came by because they so much wanted a picture on the truck with Mo. Two young boys finally after weeks, got the courage to climb on board to create some music. An older guy, wanted to come play music with me and really just wanted to pretend he was me playing so he basically just moved his hands around the keys for five minutes along with me.
That felt good and he had an excellent time. I met a neighbor who lives across the way where I live volunteering to serve food. One of the volunteers came up to give me a fifteen buck contribution and we had a good talk. Of course father John who got this Monday night sharing of food and basic needs going nineteen years ago came up to say hello as did at least fifteen different people who live on the streets who are beginning to feel like friends. It was difficult trying to keep Mo in the shade under a broken umbrella but... mission accomplished. Traveling Piano Dog Mo, he is the best. I love him so much. He really knows his job and does it well! More and more I am realizing that concerning what is happening in the world... that we need to start voicing the worth of people as in humanity louder that policies directed towards the worth of people. When I think about how not relevant I was feeling a few days ago well, that was not the case tonight.
June 24, 2018
Las Vegas, Nevada
I thought I might die today creating music in one hundred ten degree heat but I didn't. I was able to tape together a broken umbrella for one last use and that shade saved us. My neighbor Bobby showed up and took a lot of the time playing piano for himself, so that helped. Mo and I were at a monthly commitment at a local food bank at a Veterans Village on the strip. Tonight while taking Mo for a walk several people stopped us including some homeless people on the sidewalk. They brought up how my music affects not only them but everyone else and the environment. This is a constant that I hear all the time that when I am creating music there is less tension between people and that the energy all around is more easy and relaxed. I never notice this myself but this is what I am told all the time. When I am feeling insignificant I must remember how much I affect people in good ways with my work on a one-to-one basis. And that is my very goal, nothing more. It is only when I compare myself to others or with music to impress in performance or entertainment that I feel "less than". The reason for that is I have never wanted to be "more than"... just "one of" as in "part of." When I need validation it is interesting how it always comes but never from where I delusionally want it to come from.
June 23, 2018
Las Vegas, Nevada
I woke up in the afternoon thinking about how insignificant I feel. Ha, life is getting very interesting as I must derive more and more self-image from inside with less and less outside validation and reassurance. I can get validation and reassurance from the outside by giving it to others even if it means faking it until I make it. Hanging with all the musicians last night really got me thinking as to what I can bring to the table so to speak for people half may age and more accomplished musically in an educated sense than I. My circle of friends is getting smaller through the years and my resources financially are fucked right now. What I am accomplishing feels like less and less and the world has pretty much forgotten what I accomplished in the past. So anyway... the day was spent getting my head wrapped around playing for a monthly commitment I have made for myself now for over a year, a food bank at Veterans Village on the strip tomorrow and how I will do that with an umbrella for shade that is broke and how Mo will be able to tolerate or not, sitting in a hundred ten degree sun. We drove to a store to look at patio umbrellas even though the money to purchase one is on hold for rent. The store manager had a great attitude and so I had to show him the Traveling Piano no matter how hot the temperature and it still amazes me the passion I have for my work... on my terms.
June 22, 2018
Las Vegas, Nevada
People were more appreciative than usual today at the las vegas rescue mission. I always wonder what makes certain times for significant than others. Like, twenty people came up to me at different times to thank me for the music, give me kudos etc... My being rested definitely affects the energy coming through the music. I did notice something that I find unique about my creating music for others. People respond to others responding to the music more than personally for themselves. This has always been the case on the streets. People enjoy most is seeing others enjoy the Traveling Piano. They enjoy watching me work with others more than anything else. I think it may be the space I create for others to enjoy for themselves. Anyway, there were two things happening. People were responding with themselves, some dancing, some nodding with the music while they ate or the way they had a lift when they walked... and then those that were witnessing those people. Afterwards I went over to my friend Alex's house where a classical music jam happened and I got to meet a lot of local musicians. It felt very relaxed. I shared the Traveling Piano for a picture and played a song but the action happened inside with some very enjoyable classical string, reed and piano duetting.
June 21, 2018
Las Vegas, Nevada
The weather is brutal. It was 120 degrees outside my door this afternoon. For the first time ever, I went to the store and left Mo home. We both went out to play music at the rescue mission for dinner and most of my thoughts where on the people living in the streets with the heat. The flies in the place were driving me crazy while I tried to create music. But... we did it! I'm sleeping alot and am fairly certain it is the heat. Anyway, this blog has rarley been political. Get ready, it is about to become very political for June 19-20-21. In online forums I am very political as a person but with the Traveling Piano I try to stay away from it. What is happening is now affecting my life's journey. I've become physically sick from it. This will be a most difficult thing to do because I care so very much. I care so much that I am going to live for the truth of spirit with as much strength as I have.
Most everyone knows where I stand politically and what I think about the happenings in the world, specifically here where I live in the USA. Most people also know how abrasive I can be about what, when and how I communicate and that I also have personal experience of what I speak strongly about. And, so it is. Let me tell you, everything I say is responsibly conscious and with purpose, directed at the individual I am communicating with. Many people mistake my words as rude and hateful. They mistake my words because they do not understand the emotional use of words, nor do they understand anger or intense passion. To think that anyone can tone down their "speak" to accommodate everyone or that I will use generic language to emote... is laughable. I have always been out to creatively stimulate and that is not going to change. Now, with that said... to all who read this...
I am realizing more throughly through the research of individuals responsible for the implosion of the United States that trump thinks he is "in" with the big guns, and is going to be one of them or be able to control them. He is too stupid to know that the individuals responsible are "using" him and that he is in control of nothing. He will be disposed of. The republican politicians and also a few democrats with suppressed delusion think they are also "in" with the big guns. They have also sold their souls to the devil so to speak and know it. They have built up too much of a greedy life for themselves to care about consequences. They are blind to their own greed. Of course as they come to the realization that they are also presently being disposed of... they realize that they have no spine to stand up for themselves. And this is at the expense of humanity as a whole. Continue reading below...
June 20, 2018
Las Vegas, Nevada
Continued from above.... The bottom line demons concerning the implosion of the USA are high power individuals in the weapons industry. The weapons industry is what drives most of the money in the United States. Six of the nine largest weapons manufacturers in the world are here in the USA, the top two being Lockheed Martin and Boeing. Yes, these are the people who also run the airline industry. Next in line are those involved in industries that repress humanity for example, prison type/like systems that limit and suppress freedoms. Those individuals use humanity for the sake of corporate profit. They are out to control and manipulate for profit at whatever the cost, even at cost to themselves and the entire world. All these guilty individuals working for corporate entities have ties to government contracts and suck the money out of the public for their own self-centered interests. Self-centered being the key word. As individuals running corporations tap each other out from creating self defeating monopolies, they also tap out the government money. The only thing left to use and abuse is humanity itself... on a world wide level. To think that individuals in the USA are the "only" or "most" guilty as far as the destruction of humanity in this way, that is just wrong. There are countless "equally guilty" individuals around the world doing exactly the same to others as what is being done here in the USA and worse. This has been going on for ages.
Socialist democracy is the greatest form of government ever devised. It is also a new system in the world and is still in experimental stages. Of course it will have its failures and success throughout its growth. What distinguishes democracy from all other forms of government through the ages is that is it built on an idea. This is what makes it special and unique. It creates a space to grow and change, fail and become better and this does not exist in any other form of government. America was never meant to be a capitalist government. There are those attempting to claim this is the case. They have been brainwashing people for self gain since the days of slavery. It is these same "types" now destroying the country. If they cannot have it for their own, no one will have it. Capitalism has always been and will always be a failure, most infamously and clearly exemplified in Reagan's failed talks about a "trickle down effect." The rest of this writing is below...
June 19, 2018
Las Vegas, Nevada
Continued from above.... I have come to a personal understanding about truth in the world and how it has come under attack. The greatest damage that can occur for our lives is for us to no longer value the truth and facts. We must continue to value truth and the facts as they relate to spirit so we can keep our ethical and moral spine intact. We must keep a love for country and for the office of presidency. We must have the truth of what happens and what has actually happened. We must think critically about what individuals say and reject without discussion, conspiracy theories which are the worst evil in the world today, out to dehumanize our existence. Learn to detect constant, insidious messaging that is teaching people to disrespect themselves and their homelands through critic and comparisons.
With the end of all, what will exist is the pureness of spirit. We are all one in spirit. Everything, is one in spirit. Spirit works through the mind. If our mind becomes warped we will become blind to spirit. This is where self-centeredness enters and where all trouble begins. Avoid the warping of the mind through acts of inclusion for all, no matter what. Practice the memory of knowing that spirit is all that exists. You are spirit manifest in human form. Share with others, meditate on reality, or just think about the goodness of being spirited, create joy for yourself in whatever form that takes without guilt or shame. This is a practice in of itself... to be honest with yourself about intent, guilt and shame. It is impossible to hurt yourself or anyone else if the joy you are creating is pure, from within.
Now, again with all that said... I've become physically sick and it is affecting me mentally and spiritually... all the negative in life that I have been paying attention to and caring about. I am no good to anyone if I do not take care of myself first and foremost. This all serves as a reminder to find now... people to love and stay close with, strangers or not. I want to encourage all people to focus on love daily through joy. Go outside and mingle or simply be with/around people in person. Take a walk, sit in a park. Create acts of kindness if nothing more, force a smile for others... not for those you dislike, for those that need a smile. Take deep breaths. If you are strong enough to give a smile "for real" to those you dislike, more power to you. Lets not allow ourselves to be inundated with frustration, doom and anger. We must turn to spirit, the spirit of love. And not to worry... there is no chance we will become inundated with love at least not in my reality. It is for me at the very least keeping a balance and maybe sometimes tipping the scale more towards happiness.
So, I am creating a challenge for myself. No more commenting online except for love, care, gratitude and appreciation... one month on social media. If I can do this, it will serve as proof that I have one of the most clean asses around! ...as in... I walk the walk, mean what I say and am trustworthy. Can I do this through all the pain and anger of what is to come in the following month on my timeline? Please support me with this. For thirty days I can do this. Any comments arguing or rebutting details of what I have said will be deleted and I'll tell you why. Because I can... because I want to... because this is "my" very self-centered say and lastly... so I don't have to waste any energy ripping you a new asshole for saying I am not perfect! Lol... Lets help to keep it light so to speak in these very dark times. So all of this is what I posted online.It is part of my story and this journey so I am also posting here.
June 18, 2018
Las Vegas, Nevada
I woke up really sick with a syndrome I have not had in a long time. It is very serious, painful, no energy, can't think. Back to bed was the best idea and I woke up at three in the afternoon to get ready to go to my Monday night commitment for a place called the field where people gather to share food and necessities with each other. It was more important than my being sick so I decided I was just going to push through it along with the heat. The sickness I am sure came about from anger and anxiety over national political events, gun murdering and immigration abuse of hummanity along with the realization that well... I don't even want to go there into all that right now. Getting my headspace back to a peacful loving, safe and secure place needs to be the priority. That is one of the reasons it was important for me to get out on the streets with the Traveling Piano. That... always gets my head aligned correctly with spirit.
I printed out some photos of people on the Traveling Piano that I see on a regular basis because I know they do not have internet access or email. It felt so good to give them their pictures because I know the worth of that concerning validity, worth, care, appreciation respect, the building of friendship... genuine acts of kindness affect people living on the street or who are very poor in a much different way from other people. A couple came around the corner with hats made of cardboard for protection from the sun and they were just perfect. They had chin straps so the wind would not blow them of and they sat perfectly on their heads. I really had a good laugh with them. With feeling dizzy and out of sorts it was amazing that I was able to play some structured pieces of music without having any brain farts. In fact I played a few with total clarity. My getting up only three hours before, it was like fresh in the morning for me. I think that had a lot to do with it.
June 17, 2018
Las Vegas, Nevada
Today was a super easy laid back day and revolved around a special dinner for myself with a large piece of salmon I had been saving along with mushrooms, onion, asparagus and rice. I am having a huge problem mentally and spiritually, physically even... with what is happening to America and how most people have an inability to act on it. We are imploding as a society no question about it and we all can either fight our way down or just lay down and die. I do believe we will eventually rise again but not before much of the worlds people are destroyed. Twenty two people were shot and one killed at an arts festival less than a half hour from my old house where I used to live back east last night and the tragedy did not make one large front page news story anywhere in the country. That is because everyone is focused on the greed and evil of humanities ripping immigrant children seeking asylum away from their parents and putting them in cages down in Texas, 2000 in the last two months. I began to research the companies profiting from this... prisons for profit, transport and the weapons industry tied to homeland security. There is too much individual human greed happening and the levels are too deep for me to help the situation. I must help myself and those close, around me and simply love... while speaking out the truth of spirit until the very end. It is very depressing.
June 16, 2018
Las Vegas, Nevada
I happened on an area close by me today called the lakes and felt like I was in Miami. It had the water, humongous houses and docks just minus the million dollar yachts. Wow, here in Las Vegas in the middle of it and fifteen minutes away from where I live. There was public space lol, it had about eight parking spaces and a small plot of grass called a park. Then I drove out to another place called Las Vegas Lake in Henderson, Nevada with more multi-million dollar houses and found a perfect spot to create music all by myself, just me and Mo. It was near another large development property like the Tivoli complex in Summerlin, a little Italian village for business offices, shopping and residences and Like Tivoli more than half empty. I can't imagine having brought a high priced condo in a community like this that is pretty much deserted. There was even a large Casino shut down there and I was told the Hilton hotel is now selling its rooms as apartments. It feels like the Italian places I find in Las Vegas are made from left over Mafia money from when the Mafia was in control of everything many years ago before a corporate climate took over.
June 15, 2018
Las Vegas, Nevada
For two hours today at the Las Vegas rescue mission I improvised music through my anger. Anger when used correctly can give me strength. It can stir up passion in me. The over one hundred degree temperatures in dry wind here does nothing but drain my strength so... anger helped give me energy and passion to create music today. Anyway, in the world... the fact that the usa trump administration is torturing people looking for help coming from south of the boarder by separating families, children from parents, this is immoral. This is what is making me very angry. Those filling the orders given to them through their jobs, I just want to kick them in the face. They are whores for job money. These children will never recover from this. Some families have been presenting themselves for asylum legally by coming to a port of entry, an official border crossing and still, they are being separated. 2000 children in the last two months. People are coming from a place of desperate circumstances. This present trump administration is treating children and parents with inhumane cruelty.
This... in my country. I will not have it and will fight it with strong vocal dissent and in other ways. One way is to create a feeling of love, acceptance and inclusion with those in need here on the streets of Las Vegas. I use the Traveling Piano and my spirit to do that. Also, I have 32oz containers of gatorade that I brought on sale a few months ago. When Mo and I take our walk at night we hand them out to people we pass on the sidewalk. On one block last night we passed at least twenty five people sleeping on the sidewalk. Most are just regular people like you and me who have found themselves in a desperate situation. I'm almost out of gatorade and my own situation is becoming desperate once again concerning money. Without notice, almost a third of my funding (98% comes from one person) did not happen this month and I live by a shoestring month to month. I am a very lucky person to have found ways to discharge my anger, angst and the tensions I create for myself and that is through giving and sharing in relationship with others, especially with strangers. Onward...
June 14, 2018
Las Vegas, Nevada
While creating music for my friends at the Las Vegas Rescue Mission today a guy from the streets came up to thank me and said, "ten thousand dollars is coming your way within a month and remember when it happens it is not because of me it came from"... and he pointed his finger upward into the sky. I told him that I would accept that prediction and expect it to happen. People have been telling me since the journey began that big things, good things are going to happen for me. They were all thinking, fortune and fame, support and success of my dreams. In reality big things have happened. I've become incredibly strong and responsible in spirit, have been able to enjoy an amazing amount of the worlds nature, interact in relationship with people from all walks of life, create my own music, share what I enjoy in life and have created for my life... and have people want what I have to share. Still, some financial security and no longer having the necessity to live by the skin of my teeth financially would sure enough feel great!
June 13, 2018
Las Vegas, Nevada
The heat is brutal. It is 112 degrees outside my door. Once the sun goes down it will go under a hundred. It is difficult weather for Mo as he gets older and balancing his need for exercise with the temperature and hot sidewalks well, I am always conscious of his breathing, speed of movement, any signals he gives to me. I took him into the apartment pool for a short time today. A part of him likes it, the natural instinct part wants to get out. He used to really love it. I'm sure if it was a natural river he would jump in without question. Mo is keeping me grounded concerning what is happening in the world. He reminds me of what is important... love, sharing, being together and enjoying the present moment. Thank God for Mo. I say this to him all the time along with... "you are such a dog" "you are a great dog" "your my best buddy" "I love you Mo" "your the best" "we are a great team, eh?" He responds with short loving licks, sometimes his eyes roll back into his head or he just mirrors my love buy giving me full attention through his eyes. Also, I am preparing myself for when he departs. His teeth are going and that is a sign. But then again, it all simply reminds me to just get into the present moment and enjoy it with all my heart, my being with him. We were treated twice last week. He sat front row for his first blockbuster movie and no kidding, he watched a good third of it. Then we went to a live opera. He was not so interested in that but then again it was not right up front in his face. He is very behaved in public places. It is other people we must watch out for. They think they can just come up to a strange dog and start petting it. I have literally smacked many a hand away from him. Of course I know he is special and has a special energy but still. its obvouse that both of us are ignoring people as we move around in public space and he has his service coat on.
June 12, 2018
Las Vegas, Nevada
I am very aware of how high my energy can fly when i am with people and as long as they can go along with the flow of it we all have a great time. I've written about this in the past. Every once in a while the issue comes up. If not it can be very draining for others because they cannot handle it but try. It is on my mind now because I am wanting to spend personal time with people. My spirit is what I am talking about, it is very strong an passionate when I am stimulated with strength and passion. At my age, that is surprising to me. I would think that with my mind and body slowing up so would spirit flowing through me. When I come home after a good time spent with people, of course it takes a while to come down but also the next day I will be exhausted. The last time I was thinking that it is because I suck in everyone else's energy and it overwhelms me. Now, I'm wondering if I am exhausted from trying to harness my energy around other people so I don't drive them crazy. From childhood I was "trained" unsuccessfully I might add lol, to put a lid on my excitement for life experiences and the enjoyment of other people. And then for many years I in fact worked on harnessing my energy so I could share it appropriately with others. With my work I have created work arounds by booking gigs in large rooms instead of small intimate ones and then with the truck outside. "Big" fits me best.
June 11, 2018
Las Vegas, Nevada
Last week I was all in on the idea of going to "the field" to work the Traveling Piano with people who gather there every Monday night to share food and other necessities and to just hang out in with a sense of community. Today, I had a headache and the heat is just brutal, over a hundred degrees. I cannot use the Traveling Piano's air conditioning because the truck is too old. But, I went anyway and while driving to the spot thought about how much I enjoy my dedication and passion for what I do. People are feeling more and more safe with me on the streets and there are clearly three camps of people. Those who are in community with a sense of taking care of each other, those who are just dangerous, angry and not trustworthy "working it" on every level in every way... and then there are those who just sort of wander lost in the mix. One guy was celebrating his fifty first birthday and got himself a give away suit to celebrate in, along with a few friends. Another guy came along with his great dane, a huge great dane and he jumped onto the piano with Mo for a photo.
This gathering spot happens weekly because of a diocesan priest who has created this gathered of people. Tonight celebrated the nineteenth year. Father John is the "real mccoy", as in as genuine as it can get, the kind of human being I aspire to be. I asked him to climb onto the Traveling Piano for a picture with two other priests and the two priests followed Father John only because he asked them to. When I asked him, there was no hesitation, no thought, simply a pure willingness to please and gratefulness to be "part of", to participate in life with others when asked. Here I was thinking it would take a period of weeks to coax him. Nope. He jumped right on. People had to help carry him off as he is in his seventies and a bit frail. Every moment in front of this priest creates emotional feelings of love from my soul. How could that not be? He has been one hundred percent unconditional with his inclusiveness and open heart and... shows it through his behavior and actions. I also met another young guy named Alex who plays the piano and I have a feeling that I will be talking about him in this blog in the future.
June 10, 2018
Las Vegas, Nevada
With two recent celebrity suicides, it has made me think that I've never personally known anyone who committed suicide who was not an alcoholic, drug addict or both. And most people did not know that they had the disease of addiction. I've known too many people in my life who have committed suicides, at least 20 the first being a piano misc teacher from my college years. These thoughts about suicide may be helpful for some people. Concerning others that it is not helpful for, this is not for you.
I think of suicide often, almost daily for at least a moment or two. When I speak about it people often freak out. This is mostly because they fear death themselves. I've come to terms with my true self in spirit. I do not fear death. Also, I know that death is simply a transition of spirit that I choose to have hope and faith in. Being able to talk open and freely about thoughts of suicide to others will save more lives than anything else.
Concerning mindfulness, I am also aware that I have a psychological "death drive." This is often a helpful survival mechanism. Look up the definition if you do not know what that is. Lastly, in reality as long as I work to stay true to spirit I have no choice in the matter. I will be alive as long as I am serving purpose to be alive. That, is an individual truth known for me personally and only through the grace of god as I understand god or... as some people say, the universe.
Some people think they are being helpful when speaking out against suicide when in fact it only creates guilt and shame for those who are thinking about it. Honestly, do you think anyone is going to talk about it or get help when your making them feel wrong, bad and horrific about the idea? Or maybe you think that by seeing your compassion and empathy will heal? And, with the generic posts online about caring oh yes, how intimate and personal... not.
A suicidal mind is feeling self-centered and so that is how people are perceiving your attempt to help. They are seeing you as self-centered in wanting to help them. Also, telling people they are mentally ill and need medication... just don't do that. Then, there is the selfish component of suicide created from many states of mind organic and non-organic. If someone is off the wall from too much alcohol or totally apathetic as a result of smoking too much pot, you have no control over it whether you want to or not. The worse for me personally... when people perceive, assume and transfer their own thoughts and fears about the possible suicide of someone they know... onto that person, ugh.
I work on simply not judging and that can be difficult. When I see someone is having mental difficulty, I let them know I care. Maybe, I ask if I can help in anyway and I had better be ready to follow through with whatever help they ask for. Sometimes I probe by asking, "how bad is it." Never do I discount the scenario or try and make them change it... unless they specifically ask for help. If the situation is right in the moment... I share my own experience, strength and hope. If they reject me or are not interested in anyway, I move away because I will only make the situation worse.
June 09, 2018
Spring Mountain, Nevada
We drove to the Spring Mountain area outside of Las Vegas. When we left it was a hundred eight degrees outside my door. When we arrived in Spring Mountain it was a jacket wearing temperature and oh, how I loved it. Mo did too. At first I sort of passed out on top of a picnic table listening to the wind blowing through pine trees while sucking in the clean, cool air. I was very tired but just moved myself slowly into getting onto the piano to record some music. Then a couple, more than receptive park rangers found us and of course my energy quadrupled. After finishing up I thought it best to get back to the city so I could get to bed early but... getting to bed early after a day like today is never possible. I should know better. The night was spent processing the pictures I took from the day. This is how I decompress from the joy and release my experiences into the universe. I've been missing the lush early summer greenery of past travels and where I lived back east for most of my life. I have work to do here in Las Vegas so I will not be leaving any time soon. At least this is how it feels. Plus, financially I need to be conscious of even the gas money used for todays drive.
June 08, 2018
Las Vegas, Nevada
While creating music today on the grand piano for everyone getting food at the rescue mission I was thinking about the past and how throughout my entire career I would not play "freebies" for places of business. This is, as in where others profit from my work even if they are profiting on the poor. Now, here I am in a place where four million dollars flows through yearly and you can be sure there is profiteering going on under the guise of doing some good for Jesus, which is also the fact. In coming to terms with that for myself, I must stay conscious that I am "using" the situation first with the grand piano to get my "chops" back as in technique, my hand dexterity and also, I am in fact playing for my "peeps" who are the people living on the streets and... they all let me know how much they appreciate my being there. The peeps that is... there has been a zero acknowledgement from any administration or management. They have not even introduced themselves.
When playing on the piano with it newly tuned, I've been exploring musical chords and clusters of musical notes that were not possible before because they were too dissonant and it was way too irritating to hear. So, the exploration is a joy! Afterwards, Mo and I scored a ticket with the Las Vegas Opera Company for the opera Cinderella by Rossini at the University of Las Vegas. Mo saw a blockbuster movie that a friend took us to this week and also, an opera! He did a fantastic job. It is a lot of work taking him into public spaces, that in keeping people away who want to say hi to him. I'm constantly tell them he is a working dog and please do not seek attention from him. He watched a good half of the movie, the opera he was not as interested in. It is difficult for him to ignore people, stay with me still, and not want to run around as well as to know how to keep it quiet. His behaving I appreciate so very much. Never the less, it does take my constant awareness and his knowing that I am paying attention to him at all times.
June 07, 2018
Las Vegas, Nevada
Mo and I were at the Las Vegas rescue mission creating music for about five hundred people today with the grand piano newly tuned. The experience was very interesting. Without the out of tune bright dissonance I had become used to, I kept trying to play louder. Then I thought something was wrong with my hearing but is was simply a calmer instrument with all the sounds more balanced. In fact the music was calmer whether I wanted it to be or not. I sort of felt like I was not there and also trying to recreate the chaos that was familiar. It was interesting to think that I felt somewhat uncomfortable with the fact that even the smallest change to the comfort zone I had been used to... even though the change was for the better... was not better until I was able to adjust. The fact that a time period for an adjustment was so consciously needed was uncomfortable in of itself. Lol, in being a creature of comfort with such a tendency for complacency... what a life I have created for myself. My life does not allow for very much complacency or creature comfort... on purpose.
June 06, 2018
Las Vegas, Nevada
It is now at least a hundred degrees everyday. I take Mo out only at night. I've been eating bean soup for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Today I farted simply at the thought, lol! Speaking of... while dreaming, I dreamed I was taking a pee. Then I woke up to realize I was not dreaming. I got out of bed to see the wet area and Mo looked up at me as to say, "what"? Everyday I ask God to help me serve the world. I do want to stay significant but that is becoming significantly more difficult to do. Although, I know I am doing what I should be doing and it is happening through his grace. I still enjoy my work, totally. Any day this blogging may stop because my computer needs some serious work like a new battery, screen, ports, etc... It is not possible to run the blog from my phone and I do not use my phone for online purposes anyway.
June 05, 2018
Las Vegas, Nevada
I made over five gallons of ham bean soup today. A little food insecurity has hit in knowing I might not have enough money to get even gas to drive around this month. Thank God for food banks. Someone said to me last night, "get a job so you don't have to beg people for money." I said, you do not "get it" my work. First of all I do not beg which was part of her actual suggestion by playing for tips on the street. How can I possibly explain to people that I am doing my job and it is more than full time. It takes ninety percent of my time. Unless I am compensated on a level that feels respectful, I am not interested in adjusting to go back into business. Having worked since I was fifteen years old to fifty years old for money, earning it all in entrepreneurial ways through music... I've owned and paid off a house with enough money to fund this journey almost exclusively out of pocket for ten years without government assistance or investments. I'm no slouch.
There is a dignity that I must keep for myself or I'll want to die. Speaking of dying... lol, I wrote online before I went out last night... "I think I am about to break my record high temperature Traveling Piano work. (verses low temperature while at the north pole in Alaska) If it is too much for Mo he can hide under the truck. Next time he will stay home if I survive this time. And if I die... I want everyone to know my last thought was "FINALLY!" There is no time, energy or desire... to "get another job" at this point of my life, going on sixty three years of age and also working with the Traveling Piano. I'm keeping the faith with chin up, knowing that I am doing right with my life, enjoying most of it through gratitude and having fun with my work. It ain't easy but life has never been easy for me. I do not know what easy feels like, never did.
June 04, 2018
Las Vegas, Nevada
I am consistently amazed how passion drives purpose, commitment and desire so strong that nothing stops me. We drove to a place called the field tonight, a weekly Monday commitment I have made for myself to share musical fun, friendship and respect with the Traveling Piano and the community living on the streets as well as for people who bring food from their homes to share with everyone. There can be up to six hundred people on any given Monday. The breeze and lack of direct sun saved us. It was a hundred and ten degrees outside my door today. If I could find the right business partner to connect with well, only I know what I could accomplish for both of us. It would take a business able see see the worth of what I have to offer through flexibility, respect and compensation... willing to gamble on my ability and followthrough. Any "show me" needed is here and clear on the website but who has the time to read over ten years of show and tell?
June 03, 2018
Las Vegas, Nevada
Everyday I think about my spiritual nature and how I live my life through that and how to remember to remember that fact. Daily I work towards letting go of the idea of judgement and being aware of preconceived ideas that my mind creates. It is a life long process that will continue, the working on myself. These days the idea of reconciling with people I have rejected because of differing morality and such concerning humanity as a whole... how do I just let them be. Sticking my head up my ass to not see or hear is not the way. Letting their behavior and language just wash over me without being affected by it can be helpful. When I see behavior and language of people affecting other people's lives in hurtful or destructive ways I must learn to call it out objectively and not from internalized emotion. If I am going to work in business with others which I am not even sure I want to do, that will take relating in ways that I am afraid of or feel very uncomfortable doing. Yet, this journey is about relationship and I must continue to grow and not become complacent with what makes me feel comfortable. Am I up to the task? We shall see.
June 2, 2018
Las Vegas, Nevada
My friend Alex is out of town again so I went to her place to practice on her piano. Practicing my old repertoire is losing its fun novelty. Improvising is always fun. I was thinking about how I've been taking steps to do what I have done in the past for work and money. I tried teaching, raising money, selling the concept, performing once again since here in Las Vegas now but the interest fades fast every time. So what do I have a passion for? I still have a passion for nature, Mo of course, improvising on a decent piano, relating to people one on one, this website, having something to share with the world that the world wants. Most of all I have a passion to create compassion for others... not all others, just the ones who need or want compassion in the ways that I need for myself as in respect, validation, acceptance, reassurance, security, the feeling of not being alone, etc...
June 1, 2018
Las Vegas, Nevada
I stayed in bed sleeping until two in the afternoon because I knew a lot of energy would be needed for today. When I work hard together both mentally and physically first thing in the morning is the best time. I'm glad I did that. After waking up Mo and I headed over the the Las Vegas Mission center to play some music for the dinner there. Up to six hundred people from the streets and those staying in the mission are present throughout the week. Many people have come up to me to say how they listen to my music in there heads and meditate on it throughout dinner. But now, I am seeing it physically. It is fun to see people with their eyes closed rocking back and forth to the music totally self immersed with it while others sit and I literally watch them soak it in like they would with a fine wine in their hands. Often people come over to tell me that others think I am blind because I improvise mostly with my eyes closed. I don't even know I'm doing that.
Creating music with my eyes closed is a perk of playing indoors because outside with the truck on the streets, I must keep a constant awareness of everything going on all around me. I played two new pieces of my old repertoire today with the purpose of getting through them in public no matter how horrific. Ha, and I did get through them slow and with lots of messing up. But again, the goal was to simply have the courage to do it as in... it is what it is. No one threw their meal at me yelling, "quit playing crap!" I am very much appreciated by the people who are in the rescue mission as well as by those from the streets who go there for dinner. Today being the First Friday event downtown in the Arts District which is my neighborhood, I stopped in several spots to share the Traveling Piano. On my corner I am seeing over the months a few neighbors who are older getting hooked on drugs and it is very sad to them them go down hill not only physically but in spirit. They are still the same wonderful people... becoming very physically, mentally and spiritually ill. Thank God I have tools I use to avoid drugs and drinking because it would only take one time, probably like with my neighbors... to take the bait of trying something and then its all downhill from there.
Drug pushers often use women to ply older guys to use the drugs until they are hooked. Other then that Mo and I had a fantastic time. We even drove one guy with his two girlfriends around the streets while they created music and Mo sat on top of the piano as usual. On First Fridays I play in my neighborhood area away from all the hoopla going on a few blocks up. I stopped before the event ended and took Mo for a walk to check it all out. We ran into some old friends who have a food truck they work from. Without hesitation they shared a drink, dinner and cotton candy without cost. When I meet people like this it just frees me up to give back to them. They have a none profit called ILUV and I think I will offer the Traveling Piano for them to use in conjunction with it. It does not take a lot to win me over. It is not a matter of how much that is given. Unconditional spirit and intent way surpasses any amount when it comes to gratitude. More importantly, my being about to trust the intent and unconditional nature.