Desert Trip – Round Two

I returned to Desert Trip in Indio, CA, for a second time on the final night of the event, October 16, 2016. I was extremely lucky and picked up a wristband and a shuttle pass at a deep discounted price four hours prior to showtime.

The primary reason was, of course, to watch The Who perform their last show of The Who Hits 50/51 Tour, which I have seen four times over the course of the last 18 months.

It was such an incredible show!!  Pete Townsend was shredding up his guitar like I have never seen him do. And Roger Daltrey also was in form, swinging his mike around in smaller rotations than the past, and adjusted his high notes into shorter wails and/or into an octave lower wailing, but still with a certain rock god-like authority.

In all honesty, I hope that I have the panache in my old self as these two do at 71 and 72.

The music is, as I have said before, a reflection of the angst of my adolescence and young adulthood…and listening to it live just makes me feel that, as Pete sings: I Am One.

The Setlist:

I Can’t Explain
The Seeker
Who Are You
The Kids Are Alright
I Can See for Miles
My Generation
Behind Blue Eyes
Bargain
Join Together
You Better You Bet
5:15
I’m One
The Rock
Love, Reign O’er Me
Eminence Front
Amazing Journey
Sparks
The Acid Queen
Pinball Wizard
See Me, Feel Me
Baba O’Riley
Won’t Get Fooled Again

As is always the case, I let the music just takes me; dancing and singing along to every song, doing my best Jimmy Cooper head bob impression during “My Generation” marching in time with “Join Together”, letting the tears just fall during “I Am One” and completely letting loose with arms flailing, body jerks, spasms and convulsions during the final moments of “Won’t Get Fooled Again”

Always searching for connectedness, I find it every time I hear this band’s music and to witness it live and watch it unfold before me is always such a rush!

 

Some  iphone imagery:

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Desert Trip

 

img_8638

This past weekend was the first weekend of Desert Trip, a music festival at the Empire Polo Club in Indio CA. Three nights of classic rock ‘n roll with Bob Dylan and The Rolling Stones opening the event on Friday night; Neil Young & the Promise of the Real and Paul McCartney on Saturday night and closing the weekend Sunday night was The Who and Roger Waters.

This was my primary reason to migrate to So CA from Minneapolis three weeks ago.  Through my media connections in Minnesota, I was referred to a media company out of New York, who then applied for a media pass for me for the event. I was denied clearance, but still had a ticket for the event.

I learned from this experience that I need to get a camera that is between my cellphone and my Nikon D-90s. There were a ton of people with various cameras and I stuck up conversation with a few regarding what they were shooting and why. Interesting to hear there perspectives. And this is what I love so about photography…alot of folks experiencing the craft.

Although it would have been an incredible opportunity to photograph the event, it was a great opportunity for me to just go and groove on the music and not have the responsibility of my gear between acts.

I opted for shuttle service to and from the event each night and parked my car at a hotel and rode a bus into the event. There was an issue with traffic on the first night and all these buses were at a standstill 45 minutes from showtime, so I joined other defectors that exited the bus and walked the two miles or so into the polo grounds.

I milled about the grounds as Bob Dylan began to play. I certainly appreciate his lyricism, but for me listening to him live, his music and voice can drone on and all sound so repetitious.

The Setlist

Rainy Day Women #12 & 35
Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right
Highway 61 Revisited
It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue
High Water (For Charley Patton)
Simple Twist of Fate
Early Roman Kings
Love Sick
Tangled Up in Blue
Lonesome Day Blues
Make You Feel My Love
Pay in Blood
Desolation Row
Soon After Midnight
Ballad of a Thin Man

Encore:
Masters of War

Dylan’s set ended and it was a hour or so before Stones took the stage, I continued to wander the grounds. I sampled  slice of Narley Marley pizza, which was “veggies and herb, mon.”

Lights dimmed and The Rolling Stones opened with “Start Me Up” then followed with “You Got Me Rockin'” then played 18 more songs with two rare musical moments. The first being when, for first time live, the they covered the Beatles “Come Together” and then Richards singing on two songs, “Slipping Away” and “Little T&A”  The night came to a close after the two encores of “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” and “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”

I let the music take me and just danced and sang along, at times I was just awe struck as the music played live in front of me.

The Setlist:

Start Me Up
You Got Me Rocking
Out of Control
Ride ‘Em on Down
(Jimmy Reed cover) (first since 12 July 1962)
Mixed Emotions
Wild Horses
It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll (But I Like It)                                                                                                                      Come Together                                                                                                                                                    Tumbling Dice                                                                                                                                                           Honky Tonk Women                                                                                                                                             Slipping Away                                                                                                                                                              Little T&A
Midnight Rambler
Miss You
Gimme Shelter
Sympathy for the Devil
Brown Sugar
Jumpin’ Jack Flash

Encore:
You Can’t Always Get What You Want                                                                                                                         (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction

 

I left the venue grounds and boarded the shuttle back into the Palm Springs area. I got home around 2am, but was on an endorphin high after what I had just been witness to and didn’t feel the least bit tired. I  finally fell into bed around five a.m. and thought to myself “There are two more days of this!!”

 

Day Two

I woke up around 1pm, had a couple of mugs of bullet-proof coffee and some food and then headed back out to the venue around 4pm. It was the same routine again as I milled about, but I returned to the musical vantage point I discovered the night before.

A couple of women in straw hats and bib overalls began to walk about the stage, acting as if they were planting seeds. This went on for about five minutes and then a spot light went up over the piano and there sat Neil with his harmonica around his neck and opened with “After the Gold Rush”

At one point between songs, three guys in hazmat suits walked across the stage, spraying the stage with a high pressured mist, mimicking Monsanto herbicide application. A 22 minute  version of “Down by the River” the final of ” Keep on Rockin’ in the Free World” were highlights for me.

The Setlist:

After the Gold Rush
Heart of Gold
Comes a Time
Mother Earth (Natural Anthem)
Out on the Weekend
Human Highway
Neighborhood
Show Me
Harvest Moon
Words (Between the Lines of Age)
Walk On
Texas Rangers
Powderfinger
Down by the River
Seed Justice
Peace Trail
Welfare Mothers
Rockin’ in the Free World

Once Neil was done playing I went and got something to eat and opted for blue cheese, spicy bacon sliders. Quite tasty!

The monitors began to play a multi-media montage of Beatles, Wings and some of Paul’s solo work combining music, video and still imagery.

Paul opened with “A Hard Day’s Night” and moved through a 37 song set that at one point had Neil Young on stage to accompany him for three songs: “A Day in the Life” “Give Peace a Chance” and ” Why Don’t We DoI t in the Road”  I joined the thousands raising both hands firmly flexed into peace symbols swaying lift to right singing along  “….all we are saying, is give peace a chance…”The thing about seeing Paul live, for me are two things: The way he shares a his stories that are a part of history that few can speak about from a personal experience and, just how much fun it is to sing along song after song.

The Setlist:

A Hard Day’s Night
Jet
Can’t Buy Me Love
Letting Go
Day Tripper
Let Me Roll It
I’ve Got a Feeling
My Valentine
Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five
Maybe I’m Amazed
We Can Work It Out
In Spite of All the Danger
(The Quarrymen song)
I’ve Just Seen a Face
Love Me Do
And I Love Her
Blackbird
Here Today
Queenie Eye
Lady Madonna
FourFiveSeconds
Eleanor Rigby
Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!
A Day in the Life
Give Peace a Chance
Why Don’t We Do It in the Road?
Something
Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da
Band on the Run
Back in the U.S.S.R.
Let It Be
Live and Let Die
Hey Jude

Encore:
I Wanna Be Your Man
Helter Skelter
Golden Slumbers
Carry That Weight
The End

Spent and exhausted, I ambled to the shuttle and made my way home. I went to bed around 3am and fell quickly to sleep.

Day Three

Falling into somewhat of a routine, it was the same scenario again. I slept until early afternoon, then made a batch of bullet-proof coffee, ate some food and headed over to the polo grounds for the final night of Desert Trip. In all honesty, although I certainly enjoyed the four bands I had already witnessed, for me, this night was what it was all about: The Who.

They opened with “I Can’t Explain” after which Pete Townsend told the crowd “Well, Here the fuck we are”

The Setlist

I Can’t Explain
The Seeker
Who Are You
The Kids Are Alright
I Can See for Miles
My Generation
Behind Blue Eyes
Bargain
Join Together
You Better You Bet
5:15
I’m One
The Rock
Love, Reign O’er Me
Eminence Front
Amazing Journey
Sparks
The Acid Queen
Pinball Wizard
See Me, Feel Me
Baba O’Riley
Won’t Get Fooled Again

What I  liked most of all about The Who is there weren’t any encores, they just ripped through a 22 song set, pausing only for little sound bites to the crowd and band member introductions.

Food I enjoyed this evening was a tri-tip Sandwich before The Who and a plate of paella ar intermission of Roger Waters set.

Black lights illuminated the venue and then Roger Waters took the stage and played a 2.5 hour, 28 song set. Although there were political messages and blurbs from some of the performers throughout the three day event, Roger put it out there with “Trump is a Pig” illuminated across the three large screens behind the stage, along with other anti-Trump then floating an inflatable pig  over the crowd with a image of Trump wearing lipstick and eyeshadow and ” Fuck Trump and his Wall” on one side  and “Ignorant, lying, racist, sexist pig.” on the other during “Pigs  (Three Different Ones)

Speak to Me
Breathe
Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun
One of These Days
Time
Breathe (Reprise)
The Great Gig in the Sky
Money
Us and Them
Fearless
You’ll Never Walk Alone
Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Parts I-V)
Welcome to the Machine
Have a Cigar
Wish You Were Here

Intermission

Pigs on the Wing 1
Pigs on the Wing 2
Dogs
Pigs (Three Different Ones)
The Happiest Days of Our Lives
Another Brick in the Wall Part 2
Mother
Run Like Hell
Brain Damage
Eclipse
Why Cannot the Good Prevail
(a poem by Roger Waters)
Vera
Bring the Boys Back Home
Comfortably Numb

Of course, as the Wholigan I am, the highlight of the weekend was The Who’s set. Followed by The Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, Neil Young and Roger Waters.

What an incredible opportunity to be one of 80,000 people to be present at the inaugural Desert Trip. Although I didn’t have a camera in hand, I was able to capture some imagery, however wanky. Still, my being there was to go and enjoy the music…and enjoy the music I did!!!

 

 

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

First leg

Ten days ago, I began driving west. I left Minneapolis in the early afternoon and made my way south to Des Moines. I was engaged in a phone conversation and breezed across the state line into Iowa, not even realizing I had left Minnesota. After refueling in Des Moines, I steered towards Omaha.

I had a SiriusXM 30 day trial activated before the trip and have been listening to Classic Vinyl as I drive for hours on end. They are highlighting the artists that will be playing at Desert Trip and that created some excitement for me as I will be in attendance the first weekend.

img_8422

Nebraskan Sunset – Gretna NE

After seven hours of driving, I made my first stop for sleep. I have a small mattress on top of four crates in the back of my Honda Element and this was my first time sleeping in my car set up this way. After some tossing and turning, I fell asleep, then woke up four hours later. I got back on the road and after a short time, I could feel the effects of fatigue; but I kept on. I am experiencing some difficulty with night driving and it doesn’t help that the rural freeways aren’t illuminated by over head street lights as they are in cities. And there isn’t much traffic on the road at 3:30 in the morning.

img_8426

Sleeping space in the Element – perfectly cramped

I was tooling along with the cruise control on  at 70 mph, when suddenly, this huge “thing’ came out of nowhere and swooped over my car! As it passed, two important realities cut through my clouded mind: I just passed under an over pass and I needed to get off the road for more sleep. I pulled into the next rest stop and slept for another 90 minutes.

Paxton NE                                                  Ovid CO

After a couple hours of driving, dawn arose as I crossed into Colorado and when I arrived in  Denver I was eight hours ahead of schedule. I spent two days in Denver with my nephew and then continued on.

(clockwise from upper left) Chicken Biscuit Sandwich at the Denver Biscuit Co; Whole Grain Waffle with banana and Waffle breakfast plate at Waffle Bros.; Selfie with Nephew in the background; Corned Beef Eggrolls at The Irish Snug.

The drive out of Denver  was so beautiful with the Aspens ablaze of golden yellow which was a stark contrast to the dark green of the pines.

As I moved through Colorado and into Utah the mountains provided an every changing visual backdrop that seemed to make the miles and the time fly by.

 

After of 11 hours of driving,  I rested in St. George, Utah.

I had a good block of sleep and left St. George at 4am, rolled through Las Vegas at 5am and crossed the border into California at 6am. Once at Cima Road and about to enter into the Mojave National Preserve, I took a 3o minute break as daybreak was just igniting trathe Eastern sky.

img_8510

 Sunrise and Moon – Cima Road

As I drove through the Mojave, excitement  began to build. I love the vast emptiness of this area. The horizon stretches for miles across the desert expanse to mountain ranges miles off in the distance. The majesty of this beauty was highlighted as the sunrise began to illuminate it all.

 

Jack rabbits kept darting out in front of my vehicle. On two occasions, miles apart, a coyote wandered into the road, looked at my approaching car, turned and went back into the desert.

img_8519

After hours traveling through the Mojave,  I arrived in the high desert community of 29 Palms, CA and began my descent through Joshua Tree, Yucca and Morongo Valleys into Palm Springs CA.

All said and done, it took 30 hours, 30 minutes to drive 1900 miles over a 60 hour period.

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Life in Four Crates

image

Over the course of the last two weeks, all that I own was either given away, sold, thrown out or put into storage. Into these four crates I placed what will be needed for “existence” during the next few months as I travel about the American Southwest. The four crates, placed side by side, front to back are the base of my bed in my Honda Element. More on that later.

In all honesty, I didn’t realize the extent of energy I would expend going through everything and letting go of it all, one way or another. It was taxing, emotionally draining and resulted in me assessing everything in my life. Going forward, I will try to keep ahead of this task. It’s seems so unnecessary to be so invested in “stuff” whether it is the tangible or emotional.

I certainly don’t feel any lighter…

 

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Ten Years Gone, followed by In The Light or Lyrical Therapy VI

Listening to Led Zeppelin, Physical Graffiti …my heart is  slightly heavy, my spirit clouded…and then these play:

“Ten Years Gone”

Then as it was, then again it will be
An’ though the course may change sometimes
Rivers always reach the sea
Blind stars of fortune, each have several rays
On the wings of maybe, down in birds of prey
Kind of makes me feel sometimes, didn’t have to grow
But as the eagle leaves the nest, it’s got so far to go

Changes fill my time, baby, that’s alright with me
In the midst I think of you, and how it used to be

Did you ever really need somebody, And really need ’em bad
Did you ever really want somebody, The best love you ever had
Do you ever remember me, baby, did it feel so good
‘Cause it was just the first time, And you knew you would

Through the eyes an’ I sparkle, Senses growing keen
Taste your love along the way, See your feathers preen
Kind of makes makes me feel sometimes, Didn’t have to grow
We are eagles of one nest, The nest is in our soul

Vixen in my dreams, with great surprise to me
Never thought I’d see your face the way it used to be
Oh darlin’, oh darlin’

I’m never gonna leave you. I never gonna leave
Holdin’ on, ten years gone
Ten years gone, holdin’ on, ten years gone

I think I have, may in the past, spoke of this. I guess  it occurs, registers, rings at of time placed moments of significance. Tens years gone. 12 years gone, 20 years gone what , really is the significance ?

 

 

“In The Light”

And if you feel that you can’t go on. And your will’s sinkin’ low
Just believe and you can’t go wrong.
In the light you will find the road. You will find the road

Oh, did you ever believe that I could leave you, standing out in the cold
I know how it feels ’cause I have slipped through to the very depths of my soul.
Baby, I just want to show you what a clear view it is from every bend in the road.
Now listen to me
Oh, whoa-whoa, as I was and really would be for you, too, honey
As you would for me, oh, I would share your load.
Let me share your load. Ooh, let me share, share your load

And if you feel that you can’t go on
In the light you will find the road

Though the winds of change may blow around you, but that will always be so
When love is pain it can devour you, if you are never alone
I would share your load. I would share your load
Baby, let me, oh, let me

In the light
Everybody needs the light.
In the light, in the light, in the light

Light, light, light, in the light
Light, light, light, in the light, ooh, yeah
Light, light, light, in the light

 

Got the Led out. Getting heady. It’s been awhile.

WOW! From Physical Graffiti. Truth again, overwhelms .

Musical theraphy reforged as mix of solid philosophy infused with new thought.

I have wandered from this, musical therapy. For, so, so long.

Clearly the lyrics and score were  not written to my  current state, but, oh; how they ring true, again.

Or is it just a comfort for me, to find solace in the circlaular orbital patterns of my life?

“Changes fill my time,  baby, that’s alright by me…..”

‘Though the winds of change may blow around you, but that will always be so….’

Two constants, yet always ever-changing,

I am about ready to embark on the unknown. Venture forth. I am cocky about it, yet underneath, there is a bundle of uncertainty. I follow the front more than it guides me. Yet, it quite possibly, may be one in the same.

As I process the last 19 years at this geographical location, I realize that some of the longings haven’t changed. Yet, so much has changed. So, amongst it all,  the yearnings remain the same, the thought process on how to deal with the yearnings has changed. This is a good thing.

(A screamin’ Page guitar brings me to the place it always does. Hammer of the efffing gods.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

From Chaos comes Clarity.

img_8249

I am in the midst of selling  my co-op apartment as I prepare to embark on a cross-country move. A major part of this process is to go through all that I own and decide what can be donated, what can be recycled, what can be trashed and what makes the journey.

Some of these possessions have been around since childhood; some from adolescence;  others, from early adulthood and to the present day.

It is a daunting task. I have had to touch every item I own as I open and go through every drawer, nook, cranny, envelope, folder, container, box and decide; “What is the value of this?”

The throw away and the recyclable stuff was the easiest to get rid of. The stuff for donation was the next easiest, although that’s what makes up the piles in the front and the back of the apartment. I have had a couple of friends come over and go through the denotable stuff. One man’s junk is another man’s treasure. That’s how I ended up with a majority of this stuff in the first place.

My first job when I returned to Minnesota in 1997 was working for a nonprofit that provided goods and services to the economically challenged of the Twin Cities. I certainly fit the bill at the time as I working for minimum wage of $5.15 an hour. Oh, but what “collectables” did I acquire!

As I sit on my couch now and look out at the piles across the living room into the dining room, I am first struck by the “scent” of aged, used goods. Then secondly, by the energy of all these previously owned goods piled in mass, out in the open.

This has been the most significant for me: the energy of the stuff…and the energy I am expending going through it all and then, letting it go.

For the last couple of years in Corporateland, I have had a stress knot that runs from my right gluteal up across my back into my left shoulder. After being out of that environment and starting this moving process; as I reach to get an file out of a cabinet, a box off the floor, open a drawer….whatever the movement has been, I can feel the knot, so I flex around it and exhale. In the last week I have gained range of motion as my upper body movement becomes greater.

After some time, with the toxins of the stress knot being released, the “scent” of the goods, the handling of very item, the emotional detachment that occurs…I become drained and have to take a break. I get over heated and the top of my head is a furnace. And I realize just how much negativity I am releasing by doing this purging, this letting go.

I have also come to the understand of the “stuff” concept.  It’s really nothing but “stuff” and how much I have held on to that has just been holding me down. Physically. Mentally.  Spiritually.

Then too, there are the jewels, the precious things of my history, things that will carry into the next phase. It re-affirming to go through all of my photographs and see my growth and development as a photographer. An excitement is building to go into my film “vault” and work once again with my negatives, only this time to digitalize them.

ok, time to get back going through stuff.

 

Categories: Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Exiting Corporateland and the Golden Tower of Employment

For the last 12 years I have been employed as support staff for a large international law firm. That has come to a close and my last day of work was yesterday. I have always referred to it as Corporateland on social media, so as to maintain a certain degree of anonymity. The building that houses the firm is the third tallest building in Minneapolis and has a yellow facade, that when illuminated at night has a golden tone to it, which is why I call it: The Golden Tower of Employment.

Golden Tower

When I started working for them 12 years ago, I was just  28 days clean off of crystal meth after a 18 month relapse after my second stint in rehab. I was not a happy man at that time. I had trouble looking people in the eye, was not very talkative and had a 2 pack a day Marlboro habit. Making it through the interview process and getting the job was a break I needed at the time and it certainly was a gift.

My employment history up to this time was rocky through my drug and drinking days. I would keep a job for a couple of years at most or stay just a few months or days. My shortest duration of employment lasted 90 minutes.  I seemed to have a knack for getting hired by a company that was either launching or about to go under. I would either help get the place running or would keep it a float for a while before it closed. In the later years of addiction, I was running into some sort of legal situation as I exited the company or there were the legal proceedings my life seemed to be entangled in. I always seemed to worm my way out of all the legal situations I found myself in.

When I told my mother I had landed a job in the mailroom of a law firm, her first question to me was: “How long have they been in business?” When I told her since 1886, she replied with an sigh of relief and said ” Oh thank god! This one might last! ”  She then began to lecture me saying “Don’t think you can be pulling any of that Cracker Jack junior lawyer crap you seem to think you’ve mastered in the last few years!!! You won’t be able to go head to head with these folks and win. It’s time to turn your life around and get serious!”  I agreed with her on all points.

My life has changed dramatically since I have worked with this firm and it has been a big part in my recovery from narcotics and in giving me solid ground to stand on.

It has been somewhat difficult for me as I leave, for it has been a month of good byes. It is all so strange to me. I am not used to the adoration and the well-wishes. Even as I am leaving, these folks have helped me to grow.

 

 

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Giving of Thanks

As a child, the holidays were always a magical time in the household I grew up in. Fine home cooking, holiday treats and a huge variety of home baked cookies.  Whether the feast was hosted by my mother, one of her sisters or a Great Aunt, the Thanksgiving table could have been a scene form a Norman Rockwell painting or a photo shoot for Bon Appetite.

Christmas was no different, with the exception of the overwhelming surprise of the bounty of gifts that seemed to be larger than the Christmas Tree itself.

New Year’s Day was more of an event than the night before as some feast was prepared to herald in the New Year.

This is not to say there wasn’t dysfunction in the family and nerves were worked to a fray.

This all changed in young adulthood when I moved into my own life and the jobs I took had me working on the holidays. I tried to recreate some of the magic but it wasn’t the same. I was invited into other family situations as a guest, and that certainly was different, except for the unraveling of nerves.

As my drinking and drugging became more of a way of life, the holidays became the darkest of times. In the later years, I actually became so wigged out by the holidays that I abstained from drinking around Christmas, but never through New Years Eve.

When I first went through rehab in 1997,  my roommate worked for a non profit as resource manager, cold calling and soliciting goods for the organization. As I was just re-entering society and somewhat unemployable, I volunteered with company for a while. When he was murdered in a  violent drug scenario, I approached his employer and said “As odd as this seems, you have a job opening and I need a job” I started the next day.

One of the corner stones of this organization was it’s “Home for the Holidays” food program that fed some 3500 economically challenged people on Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter.  The first year that I resourced the goods for Thanksgiving meal, it was all too wild when it came together. It was actually the first time I felt “whole” or “connected” on a holiday in many years.

The gig at the non-profit lasted three years and I resourced 6 holiday meals over that time. I left the charity to pursue a corporate path.

Over the last few years, I offer myself as volunteer to some nonprofit in whatever city I am in as I tend travel around the holidays.

This year, I am back in Palm Springs CA and volunteered with the organization called Well in the Desert. The church where the event was being held was one of the locations I used to go for a food handout to when I was a strung out homeless drug addict before I went to rehab. That was clearly on my mind as I walked in the door to begin my shift.

Most of the volunteers wanted to work front of house, so I hung out back in the kitchen and assisted the chef as we ran pans of hot food out to the serving line. In between, it was basic kitchen duty: drying the chafing dish pans after they were washed, prepping salad and/or cranberries, making coffee, assembling some to go plates.

It suddenly dawned on me that the people that surrounded me today were just like the cast of characters at the nonprofit I worked for years earlier. There was the guiding matriarch, the founding father, the beatnik staff, the troubled ones (the slight reflection of self), the personable photographer, the entertainers, the off-key singers.

I felt a sense of pride, accomplishment and satisfaction as I looked around and saw all this energy unfolding around me… and felt a deep understanding of how far I have come in the last 17 years. A well of emotion surged through me and tears blurred my vision. I stepped out side  into the California sunlight and let the surge flow through me.

As the event wound down and some of the street folk arrived at the last minute to ask for food…I was faced with the true reflection of what I was once was, and my heart ached for these two last minute food seekers.

After the event, I went to my friends house where I am staying and went next door, as I was invited over for Thanksgiving. Since I was late and at 52 years old, the “kid” in the room, I was placed at the far end of the table at a card table, on a folding chair. I was offered plates of bounty but declined as I had snacked some at the event I had just left. So I sat and sipped green tea and took part in the conversation with these old timers.

I finally gave in and ate. All of the food was prepared from scratch and made for this meal, there was nothing store bought, heat to eat. There was a cookie that looked like my mom’s “Tea Time Tassies”, which is a mini pecan pie type confection. I bit into it and it tasted EXACTLY like my mom’s cookie. I began to sample other treats and everything tasted like my mom’s food.

The guy immediately to my right has lived here for decades and shared stories on his time living here. He seemed at times to become lost, searching for a word, a phrase, an organizations name  and I would ask “was it ________” and deliver the word, phrase or name to him. He smiled at me as I did this and said “yes, that’s it” It was cool how I knew what he searched for.

After a couple hours of conversation, laughter and some history lessons, I accepted the host’s offer and filled up a plate to take home.

Back “home” flopped on the couch, I recall the day.  “…no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should…”

 

 

 

Categories: Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Lyrical Therapy V

When I was a younger man, I lived a life of a lie. Living my life for the comfort of others, not being true to myself. This created much internal conflict and was a main factor driving my addiction. Eventually this charade became too unbearable to continue and I began to truly live my life for who I am…who I was born to be. I identify with this song so much…

 

An Easier Affair – George Michael

Here comes one for the ladies

For the ones who love me
To think I thought I could be some kind of family man
I told myself I was straight
But I shouldn’t have worried
‘Cos my Maker had a better plan for me

And I’m dancing with the freaks now
I’m havin’, I’m havin’ so much fun
What you sow is what you reap now
I’ll do my dance with everyone
I’ve been getting too much Sun
(Yes I’m dancin’ with the freaks now)
We’re havin’, we’re havin’ too much fun for them
Look who’s talking Guilty feet now’

Well let me tell you people
It’s an easier affair
Not living my life with other people on my mind
No, got nothing to hide from anyone
Yes, I’m walking on new air
Just living my life
Better believe I’m gonna get what’s mine
See I don’t have the time
For the haters

And all the time that I wasted
How careless of me
Too young and stupid to see
I put my life in their hands
(Gonna look for Cupid, man)
Oh, and I know that they want me to hate them
There’s no hurry
I’ll just have to be the bigger man

Dancin’ with the freaks now
I’m havin’, I’m havin’ so much fun
What you sow is what you reap now
I’ll do my dance with everyone
I’ve been getting too much Sun
If I turn the other cheek now
Would that be, would that be too much fun for them’
Look who’s talking
Guilty feet now’

Well let me tell you people
It’s an easier affair
Not livin’ my life with other people on my mind
No, got nothing to hide from anyone
‘Cos I’m walking on new air
Just living my life
Better believe I’m gonna get what’s mine
See I don’t have the time for the haters

Don’t let them tell you who you are is not enough
Don’t let them tell you that it’s wrong
Or that you won’t find love

Don’t let them use my life to put your future down
Don’t let them tell you that happiness can’t be found

For my life

Take it to the streets
There are stories you can keep
They’re just passing you by

Don’t let them tell you who you are is not enough
Don’t let them tell you that it’s wrong
Or that you won’t find love

Don’t let them use my life to put your future down
Don’t let them tell you that happiness can’t be found.

 

 

 

 

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

“This Happened Here”

In January of 2015, I was contacted by a producer with the Digital Discovery Networks out of San Francisco CA, inquiring if I would be willing to be a part of a documentary they were gearing up to produce on Leonard Knight’s Salvation Mountain in Niland CA. They were reaching out to me after coming across images on my Flickr account of Leonard and Salvation Mountain that I took when visited there Sept. of 2009.

Digital Discovery Networks is a multi-channel Internet television and digital cable network that creates, produces and distributes Web television shows on niche topics. The documentary was for their Seeker network and was to be featured in the This Happened Here series.

They sent me a link to another documentary they had produced and I felt it would be a cool project to be involved in.

They emailed all the release forms, along with a series of questions they wanted me to answer which would be used in the episode.

I wrote out a script which at first was challenging, because at times, I tend to be long winded.  I realized I couldn’t go through every detail of the day in the story telling, so I had to edit it down.

Once I was comfortable with the script, I then had to record it. The producers were keen on me just speaking into my cellphone and they would edit it from there once I sent them the files.

This whole process was an exercise in just letting go. I must have attempted to record the script at least 30 times. After first, I would stumble a few words in, then I would stumble half way through, towards the the end,  it was just as I was about finished.  I was getting sick of the whole process!!  Knowing that there were stumbles in the recording, I thought ‘oh fuck it” and just sent the recording in.

Last week, I was looking over my Flickr stats and I saw that Laughing Squid out of NYC was linking to my page, I clicked the link and found the video and article about the episode.

Later that day, I received an email from from the producer informing me the episode had been released and where I could find it on YouTube, where it currently has just over 6,900 views.

Here is the original episode of This Happened Here

The episode has been featured on Laughing Squid,   DesignTaxi,  The Omaha-Advertising Agency,

API-Nuzzel,  Gizmodo,  and Museperk.

I still think I sound like a knob and my stumbles are all too obvious. Still, I like the way the folks at Discovery Digital Networks wove their narration, together with my telling of the storyline along with my photographs to create this.

I guess if/when there is a next time, I’ll try to minimize the fuck it’s and work on a smoother delivery of my narration.

 

 

 

 

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.