HIS SPIRIT LIVES ON! ... BONER, THE PIANO DOG ... November 27, 1994 ... February 20, 2010
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Would you like to support 18 years of Traveling Piano work without fees, tips or commercial affiliation? Venmo: Dan Kean @TravelingPiano 2156399378 - Paypal Direct: www.paypal.me/dannykean - And of Course this Website Contribution Page. Or email me for snail mail.
September 30, 2019
Las Vegas, Nevada
Something very amazing has happened. I sent out twelve emails to local print shops asking for support as I need signs made for Friday and flyers to hand out. Someone responded! He said that he agrees with my paying it forward principal for living and said he would take care of all my signage and printing needs through the idea of community involvement via the Traveling Piano. I met with him and it was just amazing. The experience of dealing with someone who puts the idea of trust first before doubts or suspicion was intense because there is a tendency I have developed as a result of so many people in life saying they will do something while never doing anything... and to find someone that works in my way, as in giving first unconditionally without expectation or obligation... it is just difficult for me to believe. This even though it has happened in the past. Last year about this time there was a dentist who helped me out in a big way. And others along the way also. There are those who contribute as little as three bucks a month via a Traveling Piano subscription. Three bucks or three thousand bucks, it is all about the spirit of sharing and giving and caring for each other unconditionally.
Having grown up in a social environment where everything was taught and acted on from a conditional basis, to find people who exemplify and act in life the way I always knew life should be lived... well, it is very emotional for me. After the meeting, Mo and I drove to our usual Monday night commitment at the field and dealt with craziness for four hours. In the dark with so much going on, a woman comes up to me and says, "you gave me a cold bottle of water in an alley at night a few weeks ago when it was over a hundred degrees" and then tears just flowed down her face. Sometimes it is just too much to take in. Was she working me in some way? No way, the gratitude for my caring, not being afraid of relating with her, the interaction in of itself... the woman was being for real with her feelings. It is like I am two people. There is this one guy who does this wonderful stuff and then there is a second guy, just me. Sometimes it feels like God is just working through me as the first guy. I only got to play the piano for about five minutes today as there were so many people who wanted to play on it.
September 29, 2019
Las Vegas, Nevada
The day began at Veterans Village with my monthly commitment at the food bank there. The food quantity and quality of choice has dropped two thirds since I started going there three years ago with the Traveling Piano. This is because the non-profits are now doing as corporations did with mergers many years ago and one large food bank for the city has emerged forcing all the others to join them or not get the food they need. As a result favoritism and special interest is taking over and of course different neighborhoods suffer as a result. I had my special lounge chair in the truck and put it against the truck on the outside while I was working. Someone stole it. Ouch, that really hurts. I carried that favorite chair around with me for years. It was the only big thing I've kept with me because I love using it. In the old days, I'd just go out and purchase a new one. That was then, now is now with no money. They were giving out free buffet tickets from a Casino. A neighbor I know got two and he said lets go. I told him to go put some deodorant on with a clean shirt, lol. He did and we ate and talked and had some friendship for a few hours.
He knows an incredible amount about music, is a super simple, good guy who feeds the neighborhood birds, about a thousand of them everyday. They sit all over him as he feeds them. Before it got dark we drove to Red Rock canyon as planned but it was so cold and windy I just could not handle it long and... I was exhausted! The sun had been beating on my head for too long earlier in the day and there was just too much interaction with people. Since I got back from Red Rock earlier then expected I went to the auto shop around the corner and choose pictures for the new display board and put them up to see how they will look. I have some nice photos for sale. There was also some Traveling Piano time on Main street. Today felt worthwhile, a little too much, full of Traveling Piano work, the work of Musical Fun, Friendship and Respect... as well as rare social time and then the moving into an new era with photos to sell. It is all amazingly time consuming getting this photo art stuff going.
September 28, 2019
Las Vegas, Nevada
In two days, the time will change for Red Rock Canyon park hours. They will be closing an hour earlier because the sun sets earlier now. I want to get in there so I can be in park while it is dark but there is too much to do. I created an Facebook event for Friday on the street and there is a lot to get done with the pictures I have to sell, signage, flyers, cleaning the truck... etc. A lot of the day was spent backing up data as I am working on two computers and a backup drive. Something different is broken that I need to use on each computer, so I keep jumping from one to the other and then backing up all the work on an external hard drive. Wow, is this blog boring right now or what. A friend created a subscription on this website today to help support my work. It is in honor of a friends passing who cared for people as I do. That felt very good. Mo needed to go to the park so we diid that.
September 27, 2019
Las Vegas, Nevada
There was creating music as usual at the mission center today and giving water out at night on the streets, making pitches to neighborhood business to become stable financially, to get a new keyboard, some signage for the truck and had nothing but rejections... I'm going to start a fundraiser for Mo and am going through hell trying to hang a big piece of lattice I purchased to hang pictures from in the auto shop around the corner. So far I have been back and forth to the store three times trying to get the correct hardware. It is amazing how with my difficulties in functioning, I am still able to shine and live in gratitude. A lot of that comes from relating with the people I know living on the streets. And Mo... his constant companionship is just awesome. When I went to play music today you would not believe how difficult it was for me to switch work modes from trying to stay alive financially verses dong Traveling Pano work.
September 26, 2019
Las Vegas, Nevada
I've begun to list for myself what I am doing everyday. Sometimes to do anything takes enormous well, the word inertia comes to mind. My mind is not clear. It takes time to stop and say to myself, what are you doing. Patience with myself is a practice. Mo and I went to the Mission Center to play music for the dinner and as usual everything in my world became alright and good. I get to create music and interact with hundreds of people who appreciate and respect us. We are able to create good feelings, consistent with fun, friendship and respect. The commitment grounds me in purpose and I don't know how long it will last but it is good and right that I've been doing it. A few months back I thought it was going to end and here we are still going Mo and I.
September 24, 2019
Las Vegas, Nevada
I woke up with my usual thoughts of Fun, Friendship and Respect but caught myself in wanting them for me and not creating them for others. Can we talk needy? When I've been without a computer, I get to my emails from online through a browser on another computer. The backup computer I'm using because my regular one is broke no longer supports a web browser that I can use to get my emails. Ugh. My last pennies were spent today purchasing a piece of lattice with some hooks to display my photos on the street. My mind is so lost and unclear thats all I could do. I need stencils to make a sign but was just so overwhelmed that I just left the store with what I had. If you read this... please create a sustainable monthly contribution on this website. Mo has not been to a park to run freely for awhile so I took him to Sunset park where there was an Ethiopian Orthodox Christian church having a celebration.
There were thousands of people there and they were respectful, polite, educated... it was very interesting considering how fundamental they are and actually repressive and hostile to groups they do not really understand about, such as with people who are gay. You would think having been repressed themselves as Christians, people of color, etc... they would have more compassion and empathy when directing prejudice from themselves onto others. They were kissing up to the police, political reps, the mayor with acknowledgment in the ceremony and made sure there was an American flag flying on the stage, lol. The little kids were all over Mo and he was just such a good boy about it with up to eight hands at a time petting him! I love the diversity of communities here in Las Vegas. They all function in different ways but mostly through church congregations. It reminded me when I ran into a Philippine church celebration day last year. Everyone likes each other until differing view points according to rules and doctrines surface, eh?
September 24, 2019
Las Vegas, Nevada
I wake up in the morning saying "I can do this... ask and you shall receive," along with all the rest. It has been said before in this blog that I was taught to specifically not ask for anything and just be grateful for what I get. Through years of practice in therapy I learned how to ask. That does not guarantee to get anything but simply to be able to... ask. We drove to our usual commitment on the street and it was so difficult to get myself in the right head space. My preoccupation with funding to pay the rent and do what is needed to get it... while working as usual is difficult. As I created music, it felt a unusual, what was happening. I don't know if I was looking for it or God was just putting it in my life. Probably, a little of both because I am fully aware that I am a co creator with God in this life. I play off the main street now while the food is being served over a block away. My being there acts sort of like the ice cream truck for people saying the food is here. People come from all directions but today they all seemed to walk specifically right next to the truck. Over ninety percent went out of the way to acknowledge me.
This while creating music verses walking by from across the street, in the middle of the street, etc... they were all walking right by me and thanking me for being there. One guy got onto the truck to play with some musical notes. He said, "I'm here for my lesson." Then when he was done and getting off the truck he told someone walking by to get on and play a little that it is a great stress reliever. Another guy with his friend stopped, closed his eyes while facing the sun and stood there in reverence listening to the music. I eventually called him over with his friend and we spent some time together with music. He said that we had talked before. I rarely remember anyone. He told me that he has watched me interact with others and how wonderful that was but now he became those "others" for his own experience and he could not be more grateful. It made me realize in the moment that life is not about having a home or living on the street... at all. It is about relationship with and caring about life whatever that may be. At the same time, please God, I do not want to end up on the street... in relationship with and caring about life.
September 23, 2019
Las Vegas, Nevada
I am in a huge, interesting and curious predicament. If this blog stops it will be because I have no computer to work on. I need the one I use because it has taken me many years to learn it and I don't have many years to learn another. Right now I'm using my back up which works only fifty percent. This will soon stop working also. Can't use a library or my phone for my work because my resources cannot fit on a phone or connect to a library computer. When all our phones go down and no one can get online to communicate... what they will feel is what I am feeling now. Anyway, enough of that... I had to switch gears today away from being pre-occupied with my financial dilemma and get to work at the field. It was pouring rain heavy almost three sixty degrees around us but only a few drops were on top of us. It was a sort of miracle. Hell, it just might have been a miracle and not the first of this type for me. I had a good run of fifteen years when I performed with zero rain. I would get to a job and it would stop. Then, finish the job and it would start again. It actually was a selling point for me, lol. I told people if they hired me I could guarantee them that while I was there it was not going to rain! Those performing years were fun but I'm too old and beat as is the truck... to do what I did before. Did that, done that. There were a lot of people, more than ever before at the field tonight. In the distance the sunset was magnificent. I was jonsin' to be in Redrock Canyon with the brightest orange I've ever seen and heavy rains falling through clouds of that orange with the mountains as a backdrop. I've never seen anything like it.
Now it gets dark when things get going with people giving out food and resources. My age is showing concerning clarity and knowing whats going on around me as I'm creating music in the dark. The piano now is also a dying beast, it gets worse every time I play it. Notes play, they don't play, they half play, sometimes they go down, eventually they come back up all while playing. I just gave in and closed my eyes, did not care what was going on around me and concentrated on working with what I had to work with to create the best possible music. People need it, they want it, they appreciate it and they consistently tell me that. A guy came up to me after I played a Boogie Woogie for someone and he asked what was it I played before and where he could find it to listen to. I told him it was my music and that here on this website there are thousands of pieces to listen to. I go into a state of awe every time that happens. That someone like my musical improvisation more than what they have been listening to for their entire life. I think thats what kept me going all night playing with what I have to work with. It must have been an hour straight of improvisation. Of course, other people got up to play as usual. I know things in life are super serious when I have a calm over me through all the uncertainty. It is a numbness like walking through a storm not knowing what will happen, what I'm going into, what is going on but know everything will be ok. The state of being is so serious there is no room for drama and panic gets suppressed in order to deal with reality. Afterwards, I usually have post traumatic stress that dissipates slowly through time.
September 22, 2019
Las Vegas, Nevada
My needs are acute. This computer is shot. It acts like an old person dying. It is very day by day. Some good days, some bad, some, ok it is the last day, then everything is great. The screen is almost gone, the motors, logic board, I alternate with an exterior keyboard because half the keys don't work, the ports to backup and save data, the sound, the battery is almost dead. I'll need a refurbished one because there is no bringing this back to life. Thats three grand. And then the piano, whats the use of playing it, wheres the fun, the entire keyboard sticks, some of the keys are broken, as in down they won't even come up to the level of the others. Thats another fifteen hundred. Then to sell my photos or raise money, I need flyers, displays, signs thats another grand. Then the basics like rent, my website renewal, truck insurance coming. Still, I'm somewhat ok. Mo keeps me grounded, faith, purpose, the ability to accept life on life's terms, etc...I really do think everything will be all right. Less facebook, less world news, more reaching out, taking care of the basics I have... and my old phrase given to me by many people... "just keep going Danny."
September 21, 2019
Las Vegas, Nevada
Here is a flyer I made for business. Problem is I don't have the money to make the flyers, need to find financial or product contribution. Will you help? Email me and I will send it to you.
Las Vegas has a Traveling Piano, a piano on the back of a pickup truck for everyone, no exceptions. It is unlike anything, anywhere else in the world. The Traveling Piano inspires community involvement through one-on-one relationships for the sake of Musical Fun, Friendship and Respect. There is no other agenda and there are no fees or tips associated with the Traveling Piano. It is not a commercial vehicle.
I am piano man Danny Kean, the sole proprietor of the Traveling Piano. My pup Mo, he hangs out on top of the piano with me. We create music for people to discover through synchronistic spontaneity. Whether on a mountaintop or on neighborhood street, when people find us they are empowered to try the Traveling Piano for themselves. Over 90,000 individual people have created music on the Traveling Piano, most of them while creating music for the very first time.
As the result of a common shared experience through what the Traveling Piano creates… strangers become less afraid of each other, visitors to the community feel welcomed and neighbors get to know each other. For three years now in Las Vegas, the Traveling Piano has worked with constant outreach in the Rescue Mission areas of the city as well as Downtown, at Veterans Village, in almost every neighborhood as well as in the nature that surrounds the city.
How often in life do we meet a stranger who shares what they have to offer with no agenda for something in return? The Traveling Piano needs your support to continue. I would like to ask for your business to adopt the Traveling Piano for the sake of community with a monthly subscription via the Traveling Piano website. 100% of your contribution goes directly into the work.
The Traveling Piano began as a self-funded entity twelve years ago through personal savings and a home sold to pay the way. Now with those funds depleted my chosen path is to partner with community members through contribution. You can follow the Traveling Piano on its website blog where you will find a personal daily entry for every day since 2006. In a world where people have been losing the ability to communicate as a result of division, anger and frustration, the Traveling Piano helps empower a bridge to our worth in humanity together. Unique spirit is shared freely. The experience personally affects up to 2,000 individual people weekly here in Las Vegas.
The Traveling Piano originated in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and has been Bringing the Beat to the Street full time since 1987. For the first 20 years, it was presented as a fee based performance entertainment vehicle, never for busking. Since then, it has been offered as a gift for people everywhere throughout the Northern Hemisphere. Please invest in this worthy and proven, successful endeavor. Contribute! Contact me for any alternative or more convenient way for you to help pay forward the ongoing work. A new iconic Traveling Piano is needed; it will belong to all the communities of Las Vegas. Join Mo and I for a Traveling Piano adventure into a neighborhood to witness our work. Invite us to your business location for a short no obligation personal Traveling Piano experience. Check us out online!
September 20, 2019
Las Vegas, Nevada
Thank God I have commitments like the Rescue Mission to keep me going. When I can do nothing else, there is that. And it keeps me playing the piano and so many other things. Monetizing my work and what I do, the idea of doing it is not. My mind is not as clear as it once was and it was never clear to begin with. Ha, here we go with the excuses. Still, I push on... all my trials and tribulations are not new or different. Same old, same old. They have been life long. Nothings changed in spite of my success and progress throughout life. My biggest issue believe it or not is getting up in the morning whether I want to or not. That... nothing new and lifelong... since I was a baby, this was a fundamental issue and it comes from fear, fear of living the day, the chaos of my family, my needs not being met, having to hide who I am, what I think, want, need, enjoy, etc... still the same old same old. It is what it is. That is that. As a adult, it is about work, fear of being able to take care of myself, fear of rejection, failure, etc... Then there is the manifestation of realities in my life. They have been everything under the sun good, bad and in-between. Onward...
September 19, 2019
Las Vegas, Nevada
At the mission center today I wanted to run through my repertoire to keep it in my hands. For a break I switched to improv and thats when peoples heads began to turn. They were acknowledging the improve and respondIng to that, so that... is what I played the entire time, improvisationally. People were moving, reacting, nodding, smiling and swaying to my music. That felt very validating. I need to keep writing it as to not forget... people constantly thank me and show appreciation. They come up to say hi, they come up to give a hand bump, they come up to ask if I need anything, to thank me for being there and its so very, very important for me. I need that. Later Mo and I took a walk and it was windy and chilly. Wow, such a difference from a couple weeks ago when the temperatures were over a hundred at night. I love it as long as I don't think about the people laying on the sidewalks trying to sleep. There is no way to sleep without the proper clothes or a blanket on a night like tonight.
September 18, 2019
Las Vegas, Nevada
After spending time writing for a contribution flyer and re-writing and re-writing I ask myself why the hell am I'm doing the same old same old that never creates enough or creates stability for my life. I guess its called that part of work no one likes to do but they feel they have no choice? So I've been trying for representation and am going through what I wen through with Oprah for the first two years of this journey. At least the person is answering the phone. "Call me tomorrow and we can talk, call me after the 17th and we can talk, call me tomorrow and we can talk, call me in a week and a half and we can talk." For real? Do I really want to work with representation that works this way? In the afternoon Mo and I drove to Redrock Canyon. I carried my lounge chair into the desert and we sat in the late afternoon sun. My God that was amazing. It has been a while since being able to do that as the sun has been too strong and the heat just God awful. Mo was in total bliss with me. Then we went back to the truck to take some night pictures and met a photographer originally from the Ukraine. And of course... the Traveling Piano happened.
September 17, 2019
Las Vegas, Nevada
Procrastination is an evil, this I am learning more and more in life. I just cannot get it together to do what is needed to make money. The phrase, "ask and you shall receive" keeps going through my brain and I continuously wonder what the block to my asking is. I've been doing it my whole life. It has come down to the fact that I have a huge difficulty with rejection. My fear in asking when I feel insecure can take me to the edge of death. It is what it is. Mo and I headed to our usual Tuesday commitment for a food serving that a couple provides across the street from the Salvation Army here in Las Vegas. People came to play the piano and there was some more jamming between strangers like yesterday except these piano players were jamming because they felt they had no choice but to share, lol. Until one of the guys just came out with, "Can I play by myself now?" Ha, I took a little video of three people just playing random musical notes and loving it.
There was no sense of structure in any of it. They were just playing, does there need to be structure in that? It is called "playing" the piano. Musical notes don't have to make sense or be anything more than what they are, especially if you are enjoying it. I've not had a shower in a few days, I'm not taking care of myself except through sleep... a lot of sleep. Am I depressed? Not when I am working but the work is not creating the money needed to keep working. Damm, my life has turned back into the idea of "need to work" because I am out of money... as in working for the buck? This kind of thinking is not what has made the journey successful for twelve years. It is the kind of thinking that made me want to quit life... the thinking that created this journey as a big fuck everything. But... I had resources to fall back on like the house I owned.
September 16, 2019
Las Vegas, Nevada
We went to the field today as usual with every Monday. The strong sun is gone, it is setting amazingly fast, just like the piano keyboard and its ability to put out music. A guy named Marcus who I've given water to downtown in the middle of the nights when I find him usually sitting on a park bench... he plays the piano and came to get some release for himself. He's a very special man. We have talked a little and I cannot figure out whether he is crazy or not! Lol, I've told him that. Usually in the course of a very coherent and intelligent conversation with someone who lives on the street, by the half hour mark a sentence comes out of their mouths that just blows apart everything they were saying that was real. When it happens I find it very funny. Always, I practice taking everything literally and as fact with people who live on the street until something like that happens. Marcus gets temporary work through an agency downtown but not enough to create a stable living and get an apartment.
Many people who are homeless work, sometimes two jobs but for various reasons cannot get a place to live. When Marcus talks spiritually he says things in a way I have never heard and I've heard a lot of different spins on spirituality. When people talk spirituality, religion, the bible, whatever... when it is real, everyone is saying the same thing. Marcus, his "same thing" is unique to his unique spirit and 100% pure. As he played music, I connected him with whomever else came by who usually plays and they all jammed together. I've never met a person, any age or type that has not enjoyed creating music together with a stranger on the Traveling Piano. The situation breaks down all barriers. My friend Steve was there, he picks up trash every week and looked ridiculously funny with a tie he had on and the rest of his clothes. I asked him if he knew what he looked liked and he said "yea, I have an idea". Clothes with people who are poor and/or on the street, the wearing of whatever they can find is absolutely a creative outlet, a way to have fun and to just say fuck it to outside opinions.
September 15, 2019
Las Vegas, Nevada
So I found someone to make two Traveling Pano street signs and I put a days work into giving them what they needed to do it and have not heard from them in two weeks and after two contacts. Just observing... Today I met a guy willing to help me with a Traveling Piano app for the phone and we shall see how that turns out. The week ahead must be very busy as I must start making money. What a drag. Really, I should be working doing what I've been doing for the last twelve years. The Traveling Piano absolutely needs your support to continue and I'm not talking about to fix the piano that only works 60% but to pay for basics such as gas, rent, etc... This work has proven to be of benefit for the world in every way and I would not still be doing it 12 years on if it did not make a huge difference for the good in peoples lives. Please create a subscription for a few bucks a month here on this website so a sustainable income can be generated through contribution. I've been losing stuff with no clue as to how and believe me I can search my brain. Two weeks ago I lost my room and truck keys. I lost a piece of camera equipment last night. Today I lost my reading glasses somewhere. It feels crazy because it happens in a short period of time before realizing it and in a space where there is no reason to not see or find the items. Whatever, they are definitely lost for good.
September 14, 2019
Las Vegas, Nevada
After getting some work done, I wanted to drive out to the Valley of Fire for the full moon and maybe get some night pictures. The pictures at night attempt was a fail. You would not believe how ridiculous my mind and actions are when trying to figure stuff out. Comprehension in a step by step way is sometimes, most of the time, impossible for me. I sat there in the dark trying to work with a small flashlight, dropping stuff including the camera on rock. Incessantly, I would randomly press buttons on the camera over and over expecting something new to happen each time. I can be a mess. Although, before the sun totally set I did get some pictures "old style." After parking the truck on the side of the road we just walked into the rocks. There was no one around. After dark, Mo and I laid in my lounge chair. Mo was on my stomach and together we experienced the moon and stars. The desert wind would come and go and when everything was still, the silence was better than life. I dozed off several times waking up to the stars above. These times that we have been having together in the dark recently, are complete bliss for both of us. It would be so different for me without Mo. I miss all the other environments really, all of them. Autumn back east, the lush northwest, San Diego style weather, snow, etc... but none of them have the quiet silence of the desert. The peace is amazing and I can not be more grateful to have the experience... with Mo.
September 13, 2019
Las Vegas, Nevada
I tried to get stuff done today, I really did but... anyway, we did go to the Mission for our commitment. There are about a hundred things I'm doing all the time, some in real time and some in my head... I not exaggerating with that... here are just ten... 01. Writing a letter for business contribution, did that four hours today. 02. Looked into getting the door repaired at the Auto Body shop around the corner so I can get a gallery set up to sell photos in the waiting room. 03. Finding prices for business cards (no money for them). 04 Took Mo for a four mile hike down the Las Vegas strip, the lights, sights and sounds are always amazing. 05. Again the Rescue Mission with music. 06. Cooked for myself. 07. Showered. 08. Cleaned a little. 09 Wasted time on Facebook. 10. Processed pictures. Well, I did get stuff done today and there is more but it is not enough to survive concerning getting money for October's rent.
September 12, 2019
Las Vegas, Nevada
I'm going to do something a little different with this blog entry. It may be long. I've tried to talk about it in the past and is difficult to put into sentences so, here goes just a stream of consciousness hoping that it makes sense. I think about my death and about suicide almost every day now. All the while knowing there is zero chance... I know this, that I would never put myself down. Maybe if I became mentally ill and was not conscious of my actions, but that would be out of my control. I really do believe I have no control over the matter. This is because having been with others when they have passed without trauma you can really almost never know when the time will come and also, I have chosen to know spirituality in this life through faith... that I am not alone in the matter. None of my choices in life are totally mine. A power greater than myself has ultimate control and my life works best that way. Also, I have buIlt up a lifetime of equity. I have worked hard to be who I am and it has been hard work. I'm going to throw that all away? Not on your life. To do that would be a lie about everything I am, have done and believe in.
So anyway with that said, I've been feeling tired with little desire to move onward. In another month if I cannot do what I need to do, being homeless will be the result. I would never last on the street very long. The keyboard works a forty percent, same with this computer I am working on, my belly is filling out of my clothes with no money to buy new ones. My work brings me a great amount of purpose and joy for others but for me these days just purpose. Lots of purpose, as much as can be. Being broke is exhausting me. I have no desire to work in order to fund the necessities of life like rent, gas, a new keyboard for the truck... it goes on and on. My purposeful life which is everything, takes all of my time and energy. I'm so down in the muck that I've thought, if someone gives you ten million bucks would that help? The answer, no. Life can change on the flip of a dime, I know this but... through the process of dying physically or even just with this journey that I live for (I live for Mo first and foremost) how do I want to say and do I want to put... should I put all of my feelings out into the world. I know beyond a question of doubt that many, many people love me and they love me for who I am not just what I do. That is because I have let people know who I am both the good and not so good in many aspects. At different times I've worn it all out on my sleeve so to speak. Then there are those who can just sense it all from me.
Often, I think about the influence of several very important people in my life... my mom and my friend Michael who died. My dad, my friend Kathy and Gertrude when they were going through their death phase they did not seem to have the control over it like my mom and Michael did. It was paramount for my mom and Michael to look as good, act and be as normal as possible until the very last moment. They wanted to put their best side forward until the very end. That really stood out for me because I knew they were not only doing it for vanity, dignity and sanity for themselves... they were doing it for me and everyone else who crossed their paths in the world. They wanted for others not to feel bad for them and not in an egotistical way but because of the empathy and compassion they had as they knew what I was going through myself emotionally concerning their eventual demise from life. They cared about me through their own departure. That meant the world to me not only emotionally but as an example of their love and passion for others and respect for themselves... but it really was equally about others.
So... with this blog... the fundamental purpose from day one... the idea of "it is what it is for better or worse"... I constantly and severely fluctuate between how I share my trials and tribulations or whether not to share them at all or what to pick and choose and be like mom and Michael. Also at the same time I struggle with not projecting my needy negative nature onto others for self-gain and/or to create drama. Questioning myself about being honest with my intent and motives is a constant necessity. I work to write this blog first and foremost for myself with the hope that others benefit from it in some way. Lastly, everyone I meet gets pointed to this blog for personal reasons, fun and even now... possible business, promotion and whatever else in oder to raise funding. The straightforward truths about myself, the super personal nature I know scares a lot of people, it turns them off for many reasons, especially concerning business of any type. I can understand totally "What the hell, we ain't going near that crazy." Lol... it is what it is. I'll tell you what would be real crazy. If I began talking about some of the negatives from this journey about other people in it from the past! It sure would sell, that is for sure. So the putting the best foot forward idea is excruciatingly difficult in knowing what the best foot means and is, for all of us.
While playing the piano at the Mission Center tonight, all the above came out when talking to a volunteer. When I got home I checked my email to find they sent a hundred bucks for contribution. It meant so much that they jumped right onto my need for support without hesitation once they realized how real the need is. At this time there is only a hundred fifty bucks of income monthly from subscriptions so we all know that is not going to work. That contribution keeps the faith going, it does not matter how much even though I need about fifteen more on that level but still... who would have thunk that after the ad nauseum batter for twelve years in this blog about money, fees, tips, commercialization, the refusal of it, the unimportance, the in-spite of concerning this journey... that money would end up representing the love needed. Speaking of love, all the people at the mission, the volunteers, the residents, the people from the streets coming in for dinner show me an enormous amount of love through respect, appreciation and any showing action possible. They look for ways to tell me, show me, they go out of their way to make a point to validate, reassure and just share our common desire to know each other. I am very loved my hundreds of people there every week.
September 11, 2019
Las Vegas, Nevada
Hallelujah, fall is coming fast. The sun sets at seven in the center of town. Mo and I were out at Red Rock Canyon and it was cool enough for a jacket! I did not expect anyone to be there in the dark and wanted to explore with some picture taking with night exposures. At the end of the month the park hours will change and being there in the dark will not be possible. I brought along my lounge chair to just hang out. With a few people, I did expect to have some Traveling Piano interaction. It turned out to be all Traveling Piano time. After waiting for a few groups to leave that were noisy, I got onto the piano to create some music. The keys are uneven, broke, the sound is distorting but I just made the best of it. $1500 to replace the instrument does not exist, yet. A few people videoed me after I began playing and it felt aggressive. After about a minute I just joked around saying "stop it."the The real problem was my self image. I'm not liking how I look these days and feel a bit helpless about it. I used the "stop it" to begin interacting and we all had fun as usual.
Then at the end of the night a couple came up to me saying I was at their wedding reception. From Montreal they were in Vegas for a convention and after being together for seven years, just decided to spontaneously get married. They both were in their fifties, healthy and very good looking. I was the first person they told. The energy from them was electrifying and I was having trouble matching it. It was a great time, they are both musicians and I created music for their first dance as a married couple in the dark under the moonlight in Las Vegas. I said, look what you both created for each other... the event, place, the Traveling Piano. They wanted for me to hang out with them in town but I just could not do it. Wow, it was in my face how I have no fun or joy or socialization outside of my work. That feels very wrong. Change s needed, but where is the desire? I need money for that. Long gone are the days when I had a couple hundred thousand from the sale of my home! It is time now for a couple million so I can have some more real, and/or vicarious fun before I drop dead!
September 10, 2019
Las Vegas, Nevada
I may have a little stomach virus. Still Mo and I went to our usual Tuesday commitment across the street from the Salvation Army where volunteers serve a dinner for people on the streets. People would miss us if we were not there. The heat switched off as of yesterday and it is just such relief. If you have not lived in over a hundred degrees temps for months on end, you cannot know the feeling. Still, my mind was not in a good space with a pity party going on about how people are not contributing to help keep my work and life going. That is just a distraction because I have not asked anyone for contribution... lately. For my entire life it has never come from where it should come from in my mind, and that makes me angry. Why can't I accept that it always comes? Is it because I want it to come in the ways I want it to come... easy and without asking from family and friends? Lol... never has happened, never will. Anyway, an unusual amount of people thanked me today. One guy said my music just makes him so happy and fulfilled. Another guy said how peaceful it is and he could hear it a quarter mile away as he was walking down the street. Someone told me it makes them feel safe. How can I not continue when my work is so good and helpful for people?
September 09, 2019
Las Vegas, Nevada
Today was the first day under a hundred degrees in months. The umbrella was not needed for the field. It felt like spring at 97 degrees! What a relief. So... a problem exists. That of money... to pay the rent, gas, basic needs, truck insurance, my website server... piano keys are broke, I'm using exhausting work arounds to print these words on my computer, processing pictures becomes more difficult daily because the screen is worn... the truck is thirty three years old... I'd like to go out and by a hot dog from a street vendor for fun, the clothes I have are all used and years old ... my life has been about asking for help. That is all I've ever done but never seems enough and I always give back more than double but... it is always still about the asking which I was indoctrinated never, ever to do, that it is wrong and will not work... from birth. Thank God for the grace to be able to ask for help knowing it is the wrong thing to do. Thats typed "tongue and cheek." People have the asking for help idea mixed up. It is mixed up with wrongful ideas of neediness and thoughts people teach others about others not being deserving when it is really about breeding self-centered greed.
September 08, 2019
Las Vegas, Nevada
The wall mural guy I met the other day has offered to make me two Traveling Piano photo gallery signs for the sidewalk. I have the holders so some work can be done to present photos inside galleries. He just wanted a sketch, an idea and specifics and that took four hours for me to do. Every move to make some money takes away from actual working. And, no fun is no good for the journey. Anyone who says "you got to do what you got to do or learn how to make it fun, etc..." blah, blah, blah, I'm sixty four and have made a living for fifty of those years, please spare me the frustration please. I was able to do it as necessary work with hopeful and faithful intent.
"Ask and you shall receive" has been going through my mind constantly. And then the questions about knowing specifically what to ask for... why, how, when, what... and then the fact that one hundred percent faith that it will actually happen is fundamental... a leap of faith is needed while taking action at the same time. I don't know what I want, or do I? Yea... I want a lot and so much I cannot pinpoint any one thing. So everyday I'm going to take action, even just a small one on everything? Ha, well that means about a half hour on about twenty things a day! It can take my head that long just to wrap my brain around how to do... or the process of just doing any one thing. Then if I don't do a task for one day I can forget it ever existed.
September 07, 2019
Las Vegas, Nevada
The desert is a magnificent place of awesomeness. We drove out to a new spot in the Lake Meade Recreational Center to Boulder Beach. It was almost totally dark. The local astronomy club was having an event there. The lake is large, real large like over a mile... and you can swim in it. I must go back for Mo to have a swim. It is a huge open space but a park with structures. There was development and lights from buildings. At the event there were lots of people. I realized that is why there was a park ranger at the booth an hour back charging people to drive the road. Normally, the toll collectors are long gone a at night but saw an opportunity to make money off of the visitors. How I dislike that. Anyway, the people there were trying to be interested in the stars and astronomy. But, that is difficult because when you see a planet or star through a telescope for just a moment, with lots of activity and movement all around... it just does not work. Learning about and enjoying the sky, to comprehend any of it, this is a process. You must sit still in silence and ponder, process what you are seeing and experiencing. Mo and I had to leave.
Determined, we drove twice the distance in the opposite direction to where we would not see one light bulb in the distance, hear only one car if that every half hour and to where we could just "be." The moon was bright, almost too bright for my state of mind, we just waited for it to pass below the horizon. We left about one thirty in the morning. This is about the third or fourth time alone in nature in the dark away from all civilization in the desert surrounded by mountains in a space so large, it is all just open. I felt nothIng but gratitude. With Mo laying in my lap as we lay together in a lounge chair, we simply felt our togetherness, peace and love in space and time. Every once in a while the winds would pick up and the sounds of musical wind swirling in all directions bouncing and swooshing... and then quiet. That would repeat ever half hour or so. Lastly, the stars and the Milky Way... just wow. The picture taking was not so great but still I got a few. The atmosphere was dusty. In my pictures, some of the stars are red and I thought that was my camera. No, I learned that some stars are red! In fact they are many different color stars and planets. Hence, the "red planet." It never sunk in before, it is because the planet is actually red!
September 06, 2019
Las Vegas, Nevada
Today is the First Friday event in my neighborhood so there were a lot of people around. A new wall mural is going up around the corner from me and one of artists Tony said he would paint a sign for the Traveling Piano for me to sell photos. "The Traveling Piano Photo Gallery" Of course, in appreciation I wanted to draw some attentIon to the mural for people in the area and so I parked the truck on the corner next to it. This was the first time I played in the neighborhood during a First Friday in a long time, because I'm too tired from playing after the Rescue Mission every Friday. All the hoopla of the event was about four blocks down.
I was enjoying bringing some energy to my end of the street and for the business there. Now... to get the stores to have their doors open for business at night. Any, Mo and I were at the Mission at four in the afternoon and I finished on the street at eleven at night so to say the least, I was exhausted! Also, after filling the truck with more cases of water from the mission for the homeless in my area, taking it all out and stacking it on a wall by the street so we could use the piano, then putting it all back in, then taking it all back out and carrying it up to my room... still, I could not fall asleep until five in the morning. Although physically, all strength was gone. Everything was fun!
September 05, 2019
Las Vegas, Nevada
I'm still feeling a little tired from yesterday, thank God I can sleep as much as I need to. We went to the Mission Center and I handed out some water on the streets before hand because after creating music for the dinner, Mo and I went to attend the 1st showing of my art photography in a public space ever, at the Priscilla Fowler Fine Art Gallery which had its opening reception tonight in the center of the Las Vegas Arts District. To be represented along with the finest high end art that Las Vegas has to offer, just wow... and now to sell one of these collages to help generate income for the purchase of another frame and prints to offer... and then outside of course the Traveling Piano was still going...
September 04, 2019
Las Vegas, Nevada
I pushed it a little too much tonight. It humid out along with being over a hundred degrees and I carried too many large cases of water up and down stairs and then from handing out the water... My weight makes life difficult these days alas, at this point I'll probably die from it, so it is but until then I'll just keep going, ha... like I have a choice? When I pass people on the streets at night who I see in dark allies they give me the eye and nod as in we know you and I have their respect. Never have I been able to trust respect before in people as I do with those on the streets. Of course there are a few and I do mean a "few" bad ones, but that exists everywhere in live, in every environment and when in the conventional world when I come across emotionally bad people, they can be much worse than any physical attacks in destroying life. To be recognized as a person... above what I do as the water or piano man... it is a wonderful thing. Being a good piano player and having something to offer of course helps a lot. Every time I hear, "Thank you piano man" I know it is for real. My job is to keep my ego out of it all.
September 03, 2019
Las Vegas, Nevada
My mind can be quite interesting. For my entire life I have consciously confused wrongly the "i" before "e" in the word "their." No trick to remember has helped. Then one day about five years ago the correct spelling clicked in my brain and I made a big deal about it with myself to never forget, always remember. That lasted for only a few months. I am sure also, it is part of my dyslexia. The desired effort to remember is another issue. That leads into this...
For fifteen years different people have tried to explain the ISO stop on my camera (it is the meter that lets the amount of light in) the F stop (still confused) and another setting, the length of time the light is let in. I just can't comprehend and find these settngs even thought there is for example, on the outside of my camera, a button that actually says "ISO." Well, last week another guy showed me settings again and some of it clicked. These pictures were taken in the desert a couple nights ago in the dark at midnight!
September 01, 2019
Las Vegas, Nevada
To the field we drove today while I tried to be in a positive mindset for everyone. The internet I use is down again because of bad management where I live and anger about it was distracting me. Once I began creatIng music my attitude began to come around. A trouble making crazy guy nearby was shouting, instigating and being all around annoying. I began to create music completely contrary to his behavior and literally drove him away with serenity, lol. Then a bunch of kids got on the truck to play and other piano key broke. People don't notice the broken keys like I do because they do not know the difference but for me, this was the straw to break the camels back so to speak. Playing on this weather beaten piano is no longer fun. I literally began to sink into depression. A new one will cost $1500 and I do not even have the rent for next month. So, you see where all thIs Is goIng, eh? A guy came up to me who wanted to improvise along with me. He does it now every week and it means a lot for him on many emotional levels. So of course I complied with his request.
Then a homeless guy from downtown who I have been giving water to nightly showed up because he knows how to play the piano. He took control of the piano keys for the rest of the night because I certainly did not want to play anymore on that beat up thing. He really loved it, needed it... gave him some normalcy, a distraction from his life situation which is presently much worse than mine. While downtown giving out water tonight, three people asked if I had any food. This is a new development and is happening more and more. The world is going crazy and I do not want to go crazy with it. I am determined to keep my sanity by running to spirit inside myself to live the days in a lively way. As angst starts with my financial situation... I just shut down my thInkIng. Having been able to learn to do that is such a gift. All thinking just stops, ha. No problem will be solved by freaking out over anything, that is for sure. So if I can't think positive just don't think at all Danny!
September 01, 2019
Las Vegas, Nevada
I can't think of a better feeling than strangers trusting each other with no agenda other than fun, friendship and respect. Just came back from handing out about a 100 bottles of cold water as I have been doing almost every night for the last month to people living on the streets. Today marks the 25th day in a row the temperature has been 105º or above here in Las Vegas. Just about everyone is over appreciative. At least 50% say "God Bless You" and every time I think "Why Can't I Say That To Them?" Two people thought to find a gift for me tonight to give in return. The real gift is in their being present for us to connect. Some people are really amazingly scuzzy looking, they look like they have lived in a sewer for months but their intellect, clarity, transparency, compassion, empathy and willingness to love and share what they have no matter what cannot be stronger. I think about how I can look an be as scuzzy but no one ever sees it. I miss one night out on the street and many people miss me. Not the water... me. We validate and reassure each other that we are not alone, together. I have never met a homeless person completely sane and rational, or lost, mental, drug addicted, alcoholic or anything else who does not want to serve a purpose in life, to be part of, be accepted and contribute in some way for others. Everyone just wants to get along.