Friday, July 31, 2009


I have been saying many things on this blog and sometimes I have let music speak for me! How about Carole King and her classic album, TAPESTRY! What a great song writer...I have chosen to post Home Again for my own reasons and it is a wonderful live version from 2008. For some reason 1 channel of the stereo cuts out but still amazing how well she performs this song. After the song I have copied a brief bio that sums up perfectly her musical influence including a few facts i didn't know!

Here is her Bio...

While the landmark album Tapestry earned her superstar status, singer/songwriter Carole King had already firmly established herself as one of pop music's most gifted and successful composers, with work recorded by everyone from the Beatles to Aretha Franklin. Born Carole Klein on February 9, 1942, in Brooklyn, New York, she began playing piano at the age of four, and formed her first band, the vocal quartet the Co-Sines, while in high school. A devotee of the composing team of Jerry Lieber and Mike Stoller (the duo behind numerous hits for Elvis Presley, the Coasters, and Ben E. King), she became a fixture at influential DJ Alan Freed's local Rock 'n' Roll shows; while attending Queens College, she fell in with budding songwriters Paul Simon and Neil Sedaka as well as Gerry Goffin, with whom she forged a writing partnership.

In 1959, Sedaka scored a hit with "Oh! Carol," written in her honor; King cut an answer record, "Oh! Neil," but it stiffed. She and Goffin, who eventually married, began writing under publishers Don Kirshner and Al Nevins in the famed pop songwriting house the Brill Building, where they worked alongside the likes of Doc Pomus, Mort Shuman, Jeff Barry, Ellie Greenwich, and countless others. In 1961, Goffin and King scored their first hit with the Shirelles' chart-topping "Will You Love Me Tomorrow"; their next effort, Bobby Vee's "Take Good Care of My Baby," also hit number one, as did "The Locomotion," recorded by their baby-sitter, Little Eva. Together, the couple wrote over 100 chart hits in a vast range of styles, including the Chiffons' "One Fine Day," the Monkees' "Pleasant Valley Sunday," the Drifters' "Up on the Roof," the Cookies' "Chains" (later covered by the Beatles), Aretha Franklin's "(You Make Me Feel) Like a Natural Woman," and the Crystals' controversial "He Hit Me (And It Felt Like a Kiss)."

King also continued her attempts to mount a solo career, but scored only one hit, 1962's "It Might as Well Rain Until September." In the mid-'60s she, Goffin, and columnist Al Aronowitz founded their own short-lived label, Tomorrow Records; Charles Larkey, the bassist for the Tomorrow group the Myddle Class, eventually became King's second husband after her marriage to Goffin dissolved. She and Larkey later moved to the West Coast, where in 1968 they founded the City, a trio rounded out by New York musician Danny Kortchmar. The City recorded one LP, Now That Everything's Been Said, but did not tour due to King's stage fright; as a result, the album was a commercial failure, although it did feature songs later popularized by the Byrds ("Wasn't Born to Follow"), Blood, Sweat & Tears ("Hi-De-Ho"), and James Taylor ("You've Got a Friend").

Taylor and King ultimately became close friends, and he encouraged her to pursue a solo career. 1970's Writer proved a false start, but in 1971, she released Tapestry, which stayed on the charts for over six years and was the best-selling album of the era. A quiet, reflective work which proved seminal in the development of the singer/songwriter genre, Tapestry also scored a pair of hit singles, "So Far Away" and the chart-topping "It's Too Late," whose flip side, "I Feel the Earth Move," garnered major airplay as well. 1971's Music also hit number one, and generated the hit "Sweet Seasons"; 1972's Rhymes & Reasons reached number two on the charts, and 1974's Wrap Around Joy, which featured the hit "Jazzman," hit the number one spot.

In 1975, King and Goffin reunited to write Thoroughbred, which also featured contributions from James Taylor, David Crosby, and Graham Nash. After 1977's Simple Things, she mounted a tour with the backing group Navarro and married her frequent songwriting partner Rick Evers, who died a year later after a heroin overdose. 1980's Pearls, a collection of performances of songs written during her partnership with Goffin, was her last significant hit, and King soon moved to a tiny mountain village in Idaho, where she became active in the environmental movement. After 1983's Speeding Time, she took a six-year hiatus from recording before releasing City Streets, which featured guest Eric Clapton. In 2001, she returned with Love Makes the World, a self-released disc on her own Rockingale label. Four years passed before her next record, The Living Room Tour, a double disc set documenting her intimate 2004-05 tour that found her revisting songs from throughout her career with only her piano and acoustic guitars as accompaniment. ~ Jason Ankeny, All Music Guide

I never knew that she wrote Bobby Vee's hit, Take Good Care of My Baby! Surely one of my favorite songs as a kid and I loved Booby Vee since singing along was so much fun! being a teen idol was a fantasy of mine for sure! Anyone who has ever spent time with me has heard me sing along to his tunes!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

More Unforced Rhythm (of the rain)

Well, I know I sound like a broken record, but hopefully all of you out there listening and reading are at least enjoying the music. This is another song that just always moved me. Songs like this sometimes just sent a kind of wave through my soul as as kid! Today listening to it I could not contain my tears! In 1963 (there is that year again) this song climbed the charts to Number 2 and only Walk Like a Man by Franki Valli and the Four Seasons kept it from number 1.

The next song is another that I always loved as a kid is by the Cowsills and you know their big hit HAIR! This song just did it for me as well and I never got tired of hearing it! The Rain the Park and Other Things! The Cowsills were the group that the Partridge Family was modeled after and I copied this bit of information about the group and there is some very interesting information....

"It was during 1969 that the rock musical "Hair" became a major hit and the Cowsills had the good fortune of releasing a clean, crisp, commercial version of the title song. Despite going up against the heaviest rock bands of the day, the Cowsills scored another number two hit in the U.S.A.
It was around that same time that Columbia Pictures' television division sent a group of screenwriters to observe the Cowsills' daily lives for a possible series based on their story. Although the Cowsills may have been briefly considered to play themselves, the producers decided to fictionalize the band as "The Partridge Family."
By the time The Partridge Family hit the airwaves in 1970, the Cowsills' career was on the decline and in the wake of the 1971 LP "On My Side", the group disbanded. Later that year, Bill Cowsill (who was briefly considered to replace Brian Wilson in the Beach Boys' touring line-up) issued a solo LP, "Nervous Breakthrough", which met with little success. In the late 1970s, Bob, John, Susan and Paul recorded some new, original material with producer Chuck Plotkin, but due to lack of financing, the sessions went unreleased. The rest of the siblings were musically inactive.
On January 31st, 1985, the Cowsills mother, Barbara, died of emphysema at the age of 56, in Tempe, Arizona.
As the 1990s dawned, Barry mounted a solo career, Bill founded a country group called the Blue Shadows, and Susan joined the Continental Drifters, an all-star New Orleans-via-Los Angeles combo also featuring her husband along with onetime Bangle, Vicki Peterson.
In 1994, the "core four" - Bob, John, Susan and Paul, contributed a newly-recorded Cowsills track, "Is It Any Wonder," to the "Yellow Pills - Volume One" pop compilation and a new studio album, "Global", followed in 1998. They later hit the oldies circuit and started playing small clubs and showcases in the Los Angeles area and across the country.
On January 6th 2006, a press release announced that the body of Barry Cowsill was discovered on December 28th on a wharf in New Orleans. Local authorities believe that the 51 year old Barry died in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, which hit the city on August 29th, 2005. He had reportedly left phone messages for his sister Susan on September 1st, and was not heard from again.
More bad news came on February 17th, 2006, just after a memorial service for Barry, when the family learned of the death of their 58 year old brother, Bill. He had been battling emphysema, osteoporosis and other ailments. --

The song that just floods my memory...

Monday, July 27, 2009


Bailey and I went to visit a friend on Saturday and we had lots of fun playing Monster Golf, swimming and riding the Motion Odyssey Movie at Jordan's Furniture! Monster golf is a miniature golf game played indoors with black light illuminating the entire course! We had a nice dinner out and headed home. Bailey slept for some of the ride home and I listened to Satellite radio. I got into a groove on the sixties channel and inspired this blog entry. There is something so relaxing about great music in the dark driving under a starlight sky. The first song that caught my ear was Sugar Shack by Jimmy Gilmer and The Fireballs (1963). Not a deep and meaningful song but just brings back memories of being 7 or 8 eight years old playing my Mother's 45's and loving this tune. Music doesn't have to have direct spiritual meaning although that is wonderful. Sometimes it is just about the memories it conjures up so vividly! I suppose there is a kind of spirit to that isn't there? Anyhow, I sat there in the car with Bailey sleeping singing to my hearts content!

Well, when I went to You Tube to get the song to post here I found this interesting comment from a listener.

"My fondest memory of this song was when our "good old Southern Baptist preacher" got up one Sunday morning and preached to the teenagers on the evil music we listened to on the radio. He used Sugar Shack as an example as he preached about wild and lustful teenage romances and sinful relationships. Half of us hadn't even heard Sugar Shack but the next day we all hurried down to the local record shop and bought up all the copies. Loved that music ,1963 what a year. Sweet Memories!

Funny thing about this guy's comment is that I went to church this past Sunday and heard rock music as part of a church service...yes Springsteen, Coldplay and more. The sermon this special day was about the importance of blending secular music into the 21st century is the link to the minister's blog...

Here is the song...

My father owned a 1963 Chevy Impala SS that was his pride and joy. In fact my father taught me how to drive in that car! He never let anyone get the best of him in that machine and I remember some pretty scary rides when he would drag race with me in the car!

The next song is a great one about loneliness and love. The song just sounded extra good on the Mass Pike that night!

The last song that really meant so much to me is another great one and in the dark of that drive really echoed my feelings. So much has changed and so many challenges ahead of me. I felt like I was hearing the words to this song for the very first time. They went straight to my soul! I do feel such insecurity and sadness and I am in a deep place of contemplation and meaning! Sometimes just overwhelming feelings!

Thursday, July 23, 2009


Since Vicki's death in December, Hospice has been in touch with me periodically. I haven't taken advantage of their services directly since I have a wonderful therapist to talk to! In addition, I have a great Church to attend and the minister has really been kind to me, just as he was to Vicki before during and after her illness. Still, every so often, I receive packets of information from Hospice and the timing is always perfect for what I am feeling and the information is validating and soothing.

I have been feeling very down at times and what is more scary is that sometimes I just want to cloister myself and not share what I am feeling! Sometimes I just still feel sick inside and the loneliness is incredible. I have never spent so much time alone in my entire life! Most people just seem to have moved on and I understand that for them. But for me, my life is upside down and very different in so many ways! I guess it feels like I am now out at sea and I can no longer see the safety of land. The sea is turbulent and unfamiliar...I am lost in some way! To add to this feeling is the fact that budget issues at school caused the administration to change my job. My new position is very different and completely new to me. Of course, everyone at school pep talked me and tried to convince me of how good this change would be for me. But what they don't understand was that my job was the one thing that had not changed and become tumultuous. Now my whole life has changed and the stress is unbearable and I cannot continue to hide that fact. Even as I sit here typing I can feel the emotion welling up in me. I am just not sure I can hold up under that much stress. Of course in the middle of all of this, Bailey, my son has had two surgeries to repair a broken arm. OK, enough already.

Well, back to Hospice and their packet that came in the mail today! It talked about the subtle difference between saying "time heals" and "It takes time to heal"....the latter implying being an active participant in the grieving process is better. The last year and a half have taken a lot out of me and I saw this summer as a few months to try to de-stress, but the looming job change and the work required to be ready at the end of August is daunting. I have tried to stay in the moment but thoughts of what I should be doing overwhelm.

Sometimes I am very aware of the fact that I feel so sad so often. Certainly, I have a living life depression and every once in a while I will feel joy or happiness or good feeling and I say to myself..."that's right, that is what good feels like" and then of course it vanishes under the weight of this life! The good news is that I see that the light still exists and that there is hope for more. That is what today's newsletter from Hospice was about. The page I am referring to started with this scripture.....

...weeping may endure for a night, but Joy cometh in the morning.--Psalms 30:5b

Then they included this excerpt from GETTING THROUGH THE NIGHT by Eugenia Price

When is morning? When does the night end? When will the nights be peaceful again? When will I simply go to bed and to sleep--as I once did? When will I feel a surge of hope? When will my night end? When will my morning get here?

I thought you would like to know that today, about five thirty in the morning, the first ray of hope came. Until that moment my grief had spread over everything - like a sky. But in the real sky, today, there was a morning light that somehow looked different from all other mornings since my wonderful son was killed. I can't explain it, but the pale gold light, for just an instant, lifted my heart. The relief was only momentary, even though I tried to grab and hold it. But there it was, and now that the darkness has rushed back in, I refuse to let go of the fact of that light.

This so validates my feelings right now. And takes me right back to this blog and it's title, Night Sea Journey. Here I am in the belly of the whale and I am trapped, aware of movement but unsure of where I am going and where I will end up. At this very moment a song has flooded into my mind.....

Lastly, I want to post one more song by Savage Garden.....Hold just keep popping in my head and i try to be organic in my posts....maybe just because being held can feel so good!


Monday, July 20, 2009

Madonna and The Kabbalah

I have always enjoyed Madonna's music from the early dance club hits through her more meaningful and boundary stretching stuff, right up to her most recent Cd HARD CANDY! The next two songs I am posting don't need lots of my words since their meaning is so deep and obvious. The first song is FROZEN from her Ray of Light Cd. These songs were written by the spiritual inspiration obtained by her study of the Kabala.......Here is an overview from

Kabbalah — the world’s oldest body of spiritual wisdom — contains the long-hidden keys to the secrets of the universe as well as the keys to the mysteries of the human heart and soul. Kabbalistic teachings explain the complexities of the material and the non material universe, as well as the physical and metaphysical nature of all humanity

The next song is The Power of Goodbye from Ray of Light. I love this song and think of the power endings can potentially have in their ability to generate energy, transformation, conviction, freedom, and new kinds of light even in darkness! The ability to let go is a way of transcending ourselves and giving room for new beginnings and creative forces!

Picture credits:

Friday, July 17, 2009


A few years ago I made a couple of DVDs of Christmas and Bailey's school musical performances and Vicki loved them. Then when Bailey was 5 we made a video for Vicki for Mother's Day. Bailey wanted the video to contain all the cool things he did outside like riding his, bike, scooter, big wheel and electric car. He also wanted to show her a few sports like the swings, basketball, and soccer. We taped all of this while Vicki was out somewhere and then I did the editing and made a DVD for Vicki! Bailey has been watching these DVDs the last few days, especially the one I have decided to post. In fact, I am posting this because of his enjoyment watching them! Keep your eye on Bailey as he encounters a few bees and struggles to make one basket while shooting basketball. The part where he can't make a basket really cracks him up today! I think he looks adorable in his hat and wish I could shrink him back to that size just once in a while! Let me know what you think....

The next song I am posting is absolutely one of my favorite Beach Boys tunes and I found this video while waiting for Bailey's video to upload.

And just because I love music and because this song is about loss I want to post Robet Plant's I believe....The song is about his son who died from a stomach infection and that led to Plant giving up drugs...I copied this bit of information...

LED ZEPPELIN frontman ROBERT PLANT ditched drugs the day his son KARAC died in 1977.

The STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN rocker became painfully aware of life's fragility when he lost his beloved six-year-old to a fatal stomach infection. Plant subsequently vowed to live more modestly and put his family first.

Plant says, "I haven't taken a drug since that day.

"I thought, 'How am I ever going to deal with the next moment and put my shoulders back and be a man?' I thought I'd better re-focus the whole deal.

"I still drink, and I don't spill much. But my days are long and they're beautiful."

I can just feel the emotion in the lyrics as could anyone who has endured great loss. These lyrics from an earlier post help me to close this one.

In the sunlight that's where I'll be
In the moon night close your eyes,
You will see me
In the sunrise in the twilight
I'll be the morning and the evening star
I will be there with you
wherever you are.

Monday, July 13, 2009


Today I watched another movie that I have seen before but watched again, THE DOORS and of course it brings up lots of thoughts about creativity, beauty, genius, and excess. Jim Morrison was intelligent but broken. The DOORS were amazing in concert when Jim was not drunk or tripping but when he was out of it they were a disaster. Living within The Doors became like living in an alcoholic household where you never knew if it was safe! The sixties were a critical time in our culture with a whole generation of youth longing for more, knowing that much needed to be changed. The journey for expression was at times miraculous producing a golden age of music and art and at other times it was misguided and excessive. Jim Morrison sang about the beauty of the time but the hypocrisy as well, foreseeing that we may become a part of what we despise as we get older.

The old get old
And the young get stronger
May take a week
And it may take longer
They got the guns
But we got the numbers
Gonna win, yeah
We're takin' over Come on!
Your ballroom days are over, baby
Night is drawing near
Shadows of the evening crawl across the years
Ya walk across the floor with a flower in your hand
Trying to tell me no one understands
Trade in your hours for a handful dimes
Gonna' make it, baby, in our prime

Anyhow, (remember this is stream of conciousness writing) back to the movie! Jim's love interest is Pamela Courson played by Meg Ryan and at one point he calls her his Muse and yes she did encourage him to write his poetry. Well of course I had to do some research about Muse and yes it fits the theme of my blog with lots of syncronicity. Of course my blog emphasizes the the importance of the arts expressing meaning. I found the following excerpt from the book, The Muse of Greek Mythology, The muse phenomenon... its myth status by A.O. Kime...

According to Greek mythology there are nine muse, goddesses who inspire artists, musicians, writers and poets and that these immortal beings are the daughters of the titaness Mnemosyne who were fathered by Zeus.
For over 2,500 years and throughout western civilization, it is largely acknowledged by artists of every sort that their inspirations, creativity and incredible talent come from these muse. Yet, in this day and age of scientific thought, one would think this would be a preposterous concept for intelligent people to believe yet it remains the case. One reason, there isn’t much about the subconscious that science can explain and nothing at all about the spirit world. No matter, intuitiveness always gravitates towards the most heartfelt reason.
More endearingly, it is said the goddesses Calliope, Clio, Erato, Euterpe, Melpomene, Polymnia, Terpsichore, Thalia and Urania represent this incredible phenomenon. Although consisting of nine, a plurality, people more commonly refer to them as simply 'the muse' rather than the plural 'muses'. However, being a transcendental matter in which few people are willing to discuss, mention of the muse is rare.
So, are the muse real? Well, whether the muse are real or just effectively real makes little difference. After all, their effects are real and their 'substance' is no less than life itself. In other words, life has no substance either, yet, in effect, it's real. For those who hear them, they're considered either 'helpers' (unaffiliated) or 'angels' representing the voice of God.
However, in forever demanding perfection they're also hard-driving taskmasters. As such, it should serve as proof they speak for God. After all, beauty is the hallmark of divineness and 'perfection' is how it is achieved. Both incredible and heartwarming, the act of 'inspiring artistic genius through emanation' means a direct hard-wired connection.

I think that music, poetry and art are evidence of the vibrations that reverberate throughout the cosmos and connect is to the infinite. Art and music help to move us beyond our cultural tendency to rely only on facts just as A.O. Kime suggests in his book! Emerson said the poet turns the world to glass and is one step nearer to things! We can all be poets to our own experience and perhaps we could all be open to the Muse that lives in and around us and brings beauty, sensuality, creativity, spontaneity, melody, rhythm......aesthetic and physical pleasure.....................! I know the Muse exists in my existence!

Here is the song Jim wrote about Pamela..his Muse.....LOVE STREET...

And this song is for my Muse to hopefully continue to light a fire in me to be creative and aware of the mystery in my life. That I can see and appreciate beauty and that I can experience a natural HIGH in life!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Wherever You Are!

So, I start watching a movie that I have never seen before, SWEET NOVEMBER starring Keanu Reeves and Charlize Theron. It starts kinda funny, goofy and somewhat meaningful and then BOOM turns out she is dying. Hmmmm.....well this post will never convey the emotion I felt but I certainly understand, like the movie shows, that love changes us and it doesn't always work out the way you wish! Sometimes love requires us to say goodbye, let go and remember. We tend to concentrate on the more pleasant beginnings and then either avoid or numb ourselves to the harder endings. ENDINGS are just as meaningful as beginnings! This movie was about memory, honoring wishes and having the courage and love to let go! No one can begin to imagine the connections for me. These two songs are from the movie and....well you know how music just grabs you and provides the depth and soul of meaning!

This song, WHEREVER YOU ARE is not available on YouTube so here are the lyrics!

Time has come, what's done is done
It's time to move on
To another place, another space,
maybe circling some other sun
Don't ask why, don't ask how
I still can't explain
To say goodbye,
Goodbye for now till I see you again
In the sunlight that's where I'll be
In the moon night close your eyes,
You will see me
In the sunrise in the twilight
I'll be the morning and the evening star
I will be there with you
wherever you are
Life is strange, such joy and pain
The betrayal and the kiss
It maybe meant to be, maybe destiny
Leads us down a path like this
Child is born, true love is sworn
All the in-between
Well you just walk on, walk on until the path is gone
Learning love is the only everything
In the sunlight that's where I'll be
In the moon night close your eyes,
you will see me
In the sunrise in the twilight
I'll be the morning and the evening star
I will be there with you
wherever you are
So it's goodnight, things go wrong
but it's alright
Photo Credit:

Saturday, July 11, 2009

A Day With Witches

On Friday July 10, Bailey and I decided to take a day trip to Salem, Massachusetts to visit the Witch Museum and all the other historical sites in this old seaside city. First of all, it was an absolutely beautiful day so walking around was very pleasant. The only hard part of the day was parking, but after securing a spot we were on our way. We started with Salem Witch Village and the Bailey tried Frankenstein's laboratory just for fun ( a kind of spook house). We took a guided tour of a witch museum where a young woman dressed in period clothing took us through a dimly lit series of displays with life size figures to explain from beginning to end the witch hysteria of 1692. It was fascinating indeed. Two things that struck me were that teenage girls started the whole thing with false accusations and one outcome of the whole thing ended up being the rivalry between Harvard and Yale which I will not explain here!

I forgot my camera but luckily my new phone has a decent all the pictures are from Salem that day! Bailey outside of one of the souvenir shops. He bought a few things including a few necklaces.

The cemetery was pretty amazing!

The fake people in the historical tour were scary to say the least but we enjoyed the information.

After all that scary stuff we went out to eat and suddenly something came over Bailey! First he started behaving childishly like he was under a spell!

Even his eyes took on a spooky quality and then he put a spell on our waitress and she gave us our food for free!

When we left the restaurant without tipping this creature chased us into the parking lot! We made it out safely and so far Bailey seems back to normal!
Halloween is 3 or 4 months away but here is a song for the mood anyway!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Robert Plant

If you are going to discuss the greatest rock singers of all time there is no way you can leave Robert Plant out of the discussion. He could do so many things with his voice and of course he had such a presence live! I love this song from his solo Cd, Now and Zen! He had previously distanced himself from his Led Zeppelin past but on this Cd he samples riffs and even had Jimmy Page play on the cut, Tall Cool One! Here are the lyrics and video to Ship of Fools.....

On waves of love my heart is breaking
And stranger still my self control I can't rely on anymore.
New tide, surprise my world is changing.
Within this frame an ocean swells
Behind the smile I know it well.

Beneath a lover's moon I'm waiting
I am the pilot of the storm
Adrift in pleasure I may drown.
I built this ship it is my making
And further more my self control I can't rely on anymore.

I know why
I know why
Crazy on a ship of fools
Crazy on a ship of fools

Turn this boat around, back to my loving ground
Oh no, oh no

Who claims that no man is an island?
While I land up in jeopardy
More distant from you by degrees
I walk this shore in isolation
And at my feet eternity
Draws ever sweeter plans for me

I know why
I know why
Crazy on a ship of fools
Crazy on a ship of fools

Turn this boat around, back to my loving ground
Oh no, oh no ship of fools

Turn this boat around, back to my loving ground
Oh no.

Crazy on a ship of fools
Crazy on a ship of fools

Turn this boat around, back to my loving ground
Oh no, oh no ship of fools

This is a great song from the CD Fate of Nations.....29 Palms.. ...

Back to Now and Zen and the most obvious evidence of Plant coming to peace with his Zep past and yes it is Jimmy Page playing that great Riff. You can hear Zep stuff throughout this song so be sure to listen to the cool ending.....

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


The following post is inspired by this post at the blog... when love comes to town! Here is the link to the post

Poetry in the larger sense of the word--poems, stories, myths, paintings, dances, dreams--is the most exhilarating and transporting vehicle for travel there is. More effective than space shuttles, more penetrating than warp speed starships, and more probing than Mars rovers, poetry takes us far, far away to a reality that is at once our own and absolutely alien..--Thomas Moore, Original Self....Living with Paradox and Originality

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


As I have previously mentioned I am in the process of re-ripping all of my music onto a portable hard drive. It is a lot of work but a joyous kind of work as I go back through all of my Cd's. It is kind of like a journey through time. It also why I am doing more blog entries than usual. Since I am sitting here opening CD after CD I may as well write! I am only at about 225 Cd's ripped so far.

Many times a song grabs you and you just can't stop listening to it. After a while you sort of get used some songs and while you like them they lose their luster. On the other hand some songs just never quit in their ability to grab and hold onto you. Magnificent is one of those special songs for me. Not that No Line on the Horizon isn't a great CD, because it is. This song also has lots depth truth and meaning for me......................

I recently watched a movie that I have always really liked from 1994 entitled Threesome. A great sexy, funny but meaningful movie about three college students that end up rooming together because of a bureaucratic snafu. One beautiful girl, one totally straight, typical hormone driven sex fiend, and one sexually ambivalent (probably Gay) guy explore relationships, friendship and sexuality. Anyhow it also has a great soundtrack with groups like Tears for Fears, New Order, Bryan Ferry, and Duran Duran. The best song is by U2 and a remake of a Patti Smith Tune! Great song....


Today was Bailey's checkup and x-ray to see if the hardware in his forearm was indeed doing what it was intended to do and YES, all is well! The Doctor said he couldn't be happier with the results. He even mentioned that they took Bailey's x-rays to a conference where orthopedic surgeons discuss cases and strategy! So Bailey has a nice green cast for two weeks and he is already outside getting it signed by his friends. I got to sign it first! This cast goes above his elbow so he still cannot bend it there! But, in two weeks he will get a shorter cast that will feel much more liberating and it will probably even be waterproof allowing him to get it wet...shower, swim etc.

Monday, July 6, 2009

The Middle Man

I am bouncing back and forth between trying to remained focused on the spiritual aspects of this life I am living and the pain and sorrow that can overwhelm at times. Music and art keep me introspective and mostly positive. I know this is a deep and spiritual time for me and I feel myself becoming rather reclusive and contemplative. The problem with that is that some people do not understand and resent the space I am creating for myself and in fact may pull away too far. "Emily Dickinson said that her penchant for solitude was like the minor key in music, a refreshing alternative to the brighter major key." Others, even those who proclaimed that Vicki's illness was a kind of gift that taught them to remain close to family rather than distant, have barely been heard from as Bailey and I struggle together to maintain our life which feels so very different than before! I try not to be bitter and I turn to inspirational writing like LOVINGKINDNESS by Sharon Salzberg. I know we can create happiness but to try too hard to BE HAPPY might be an escape from the reality of this life that fate has given me. There have been a precious few who have quietly and actively inspired me to remain connected and alive. To those few I say THANK YOU, your gift has been appreciated. Obviously, I try to take one day at a time and I realize that I am imperfect, a hypocrite and probably create some of my own despair. It has been more than six months since Vicki's death and yet there are still moments like it happened yesterday! No one can make this all better and like Thomas Moore says, "The movement in your darkness may be difficult to sense, but it may be present nonetherless. You may not be advancing, but you are quiet motion. There you are, suffering your fate, stuck in some container that keeps your precious life at bay, and there you have a special beauty, a pulse that can be felt only in the dark." Today I spent a lot of time orgainzing Vicki's recipes. She had lots of them and many were written in her handwriting. Sounds simple, but so very difficult, and yet in some dark kind of way, comforting. I'd rather she be here to use them and I will try to preserve (and yes use some) when I can. I ripped this song onto my hard drive today.....


Broken Inside!

Aren't we all broken inside in some way? I just wanted to post a few songs by Daughtry that I have been listening to in my own informal rotation! I face every day and it isn't easy since I am cursed with the burden of self awareness. That said, I do struggle with those that aren't burdened with this same curse!

This is more of a music post than anything grand and earth shattering...but listen, maybe something will speak to you as your soul soars!

Saturday, July 4, 2009


Yesterday I received a phone call from a woman who offered to help me understand the complexities of the bible! I was relieved that I hadn't actually answered the phone and that the voice I was hearing was a message on my voice mail! At the very end she included that if I was indeed interested in this help that I should answer the door when a Jehovah's Witness called on me. My Goal is not to be judgemental of anyone's faith (although I think most of us judge in some way), but I know that this help being offered was not help to assist me in interpreting the bible for me. The help was to get me to see a particular and specific way. Jehovah Witnesses are not alone in this way of helping. Many people proclaim to KNOW the way and the truth and I have been guilty here and there myself. I struggle with terms we throw around, like GOD! Is he (or she) in the sky orchestrating our lives...God is simply love...what is God in me or around me....what is the right way...should I do this or that.....why are there so many religions? Questions..questions ..questions!

The most profound words I have read to date about God is from The Soul's Religion by Thomas Moore. Yes, more blog name is inspired by one of his books! So I feel compelled to include it here. It is a paradox! It is an answer that creates a question. It is knowledge that needs to not know! I find it amazing! Let me know what you think!

The presence of God is more real to me now than it ever was, and yet it is also emptier of ideas and certainties. I feel that my notion of God has matured year by year, and yet I know less about God, not more. The old paradoxes express God's nature better than any plain statements. God is greater than great, smaller than small. God is the most transcendent being and yet the most intimate. God is beyond any image I might have and yet requires the best of images. Anything I say about God I must undo at the very moment I say it, and yet I don't need to stop talking.

The name of God can be used to freeze our wonder, to make a comforting and useful idol, or it can be the opposite: a name that opens into continuing mystery. I learn from Islam to use the name carefully, from Judaism to use it rarely, and from my own experience to use it almost not at all. It makes sense to light a candle every time I call on God, just to remember that the name is holy and never means what I think it means. For those reasons I use it much more in the privacy of my thoughts and devotions that in public.

My reluctance to speak of God apparently leads some people to question my religiousness and my faith. Maybe that is a good thing because when people see your piety, it has probably already passed too far into form. It is better to be on the cusp between religion and secularity than to fall into either category. For there is another paradox at work: the appearance of religiosity is often in inverse proportion to the quality of religious practice.

There are those who for many different reasons don't use the word God. I can't presume to know what anyone believes or disbelieves, but my guess is that emphasizing the ancient theological "negative way," or the way of emptiness, at least brings my approach to God close to that of Buddhism and other religions. I am not suggesting that everyone means the same thing when using different languages but that we can all explore these difficult matters of spirit with some commonality of understanding. Even within particular communities, understanding and belief will differ from person to person.

So I speak of God in order to stop speaking of God. Usually I avoid the name in order to evoke the reality or, better, the mystery. As long as these contradictions and paradoxes are in place, I don't worry. But if some truth or some firm position sneaks in, I have to go back and read the mystics once again to cleanse my thoughts and restore emptiness that gives God reality.

I am sure I can add nothing to this at the moment. For those who are certain this will probably cause a disturbance. But the more certain I seem to be, the further from truth I feel. For as Thomas Moore says, "We advance holiness as much by losing religion as by gaining it. The two impulses become the breathing in and breathing out of belief. Not defending against loss we find the gift of new life."

Credits for pictures:

After finishing this blog entry and walking away and finally eating a healthy breakfast, a song lyric kept running through my head, specifically the line, "The more I know , the less I understand." and I couldn't remember what song the words came from. Of course the harder I tried to remember the more frustrated I became, since those words fit this blog entry nicely. So, using google and the miracle called the Internet, I found them and yes it is a Don Henley song, The Heart of the Matter. I like the Eagles version from the Hell Freezes Over tour. Don Henley writes great meaningful lyrics about life, the environment, and politics. In fact, in an issue of Rolling Stone Glenn Frey said that without Don Henley The Eagles would be Air Supply. Of course lines like, "I'm learning to live without you now.) touch a deep emotion for me as well! The song goes nicely here and I love it.....please listen!

OK, one thing leads to another and I have to post the next song, which is pure Don Henley about the environment and religion run amok. This performance always sends chills down my spine. The things we do in the name of GOD! Fits here nicely too! The Last Resort!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Potato Salad

I have read about and believe in the upside down, inside out or whatever words you want to use to describe the paradoxical nature of the Kingdom of God in this contemporary world! Truly living becomes something you do that goes against the grain for sure. But today I am pondering my secular world and it is surely upside down and very different than before Vicki died. For example, my eating habits have completely changed! Not only do I have to plan and cook everything, but I have to live without all the amazing things Vicki prepared, like her potato salad. I loved it freshly made and warm and delicious. I would stuff myself taking for granted the delight that a simple meal could be. The flavor was her own. Sounds simple and easy, but I have tears in my eyes as I contemplate making my own version. I called my mother, since I know Vicki made her version much like my mother does. So off to the store to buy what I need. It isn't that Vicki made a gourmet meal every night. Sometimes she made easy, simple things because of the pace of life! But she did study and plan cooking and she made some amazing things. I remember early in our marriage when she made her own Chinese food. Using her wok she made a tasty meal. I remember the bird's nest potatoes which were these crunchy, stringy fried things piled high on my plate that are making my stomach growl right now. There are so many things in life we can take for granted. We can try to delight in the little things that can make life such a joy. So with the Fourth of July on my heels, I venture out to make a tradition continue in a new/old way...potato salad!

I am posting this song from Bruce Springsteen's The Rising....Let's Be Friends (Skin to Skin). It is the song that comes to mind since it is about change.."Good times gotta a way of comin' to an end" and making the most out of life.....There was not a large selection of video on You Tube of this isn't what I would choose but Springsteen only did this song live once and it wasn't great...sorry Bruce fans...I am a fan too!


Well, another music post as I continue to re-rip all of my music onto a portable hard drive. I had completed this task last summer but an accidental drop 2 feet to the floor lost all the information. Oh well, there are worse things in life! These songs jump forward from the edge of my last post to main stream pop, hip hop and three female artists!

Oh yes and Bailey finally got a hair cut and I am relieved......I am all for self expression but my handsome, skinny son just looks better with a fuller shorter (but not short) cut! Thanks to Barbara at the Clip Shop!

The first song is from Janet Jackson and her most recent Cd titled, DISCIPLINE released in 2008. The song is LUV and as this post title suggests, LUV is a kind of madness and it can "get you caught in a mess you're a wreck! Somebody call the paramedics!" I also need to interject another M.J. thought here....this is a line from an interlude in Janet's Velvet Rope CD..."There is nothing more depressing than having everything and still feeling sad. You must water your spiritual garden." True and prophetic!

Next a song from Madonna's 2008 CD Hard Candy! This is an excerpt from a review, "Hard Candy is all hard edges and blaring primary colors, an utterly modern, steely sex album for the new millennium, the age of Cialis and an era when Top 40 has pretty much ceased to exist. A pop artist as sharp as Madonna knows this, so she has abandoned the idea of a big crossover hit and pitches Hard Candy directly toward her core audience of club-conscious, fashion-forward trendsetters." She utilizes very hip and vital collaborators such as Justin Timberlake, Pharell Williams and the incomparable Kanye West to make a CD that I truly enjoyed! I have chosen a less edgy cut simply because I like it and Madonna plays acoustic guitar.

My last song is a very soulful hip groove from Fergie (Black Eyed Peas) off of her THE DUTCHESS CD from 2006. The song is titled, All That I Got (The Make Up Song). I hope someone enjoys this!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Wakening the Soul!

The art on this blog was created by ME! The black and white is a poster paint project using shades of gray for an art project in college circa 1981. I took a digital photo of it in a glass frame so you can see some blue reflections that are not part of the painting! The second is an oil painting that I did in 1979.

I have been told I have a lot of diversity in my musical taste and I suppose there could be truth to that statement. Every person I meet and every situation I have encountered in life seems to have a sound to absorb and I held onto those sounds and each has become a page in my life! Music certainly represents the diversity of our world and the infinite ways ideas and feelings can be expressed! This may be my strangest post, but it is still me! Get ready for some different music. But first a quote!

The arts have the power to waken the dormant soul, and there can be no doubt that the chief malady in our time is "sleeping soul sickness. When you sit and listen to music or watch a play or follow a dance, your active life gos into eclipse and your soul life takes wing. Mercury, the spirit of art, self-expression, language, and form, brings soul to situations that are otherwise considered only practical. --Thomas Moore

Ahhh....that is what kept me alive as a kid and as a young man...MUSIC and it's power to keep my soul awake. It would have been so easy to withdraw into a practical world of sleep and meaninglessness! I am in the same place today in this moment...with soul life taking wing!

First, a song by King Crimson! A progressive rock bad that was formed in 1969 with founding member Robert Fripp. He is a virtuoso guitarist, and the group had many lineup changes that included Greg Lake. This Cd from 1984 includes Fripp, Adrian Belew, Tony Levin, and Bill Buford on drums! Belew does vocals and his singing was often compared to David Byrne of the Talking Heads, and in fact he was a session musician for the Heads at times! The CD is Three of a Perfect Pair and the song is Sleepless!

Next a song by Depeche Mode, the quintessential electro-pop group and their biggest hit, Personal Jesus! This song was ranked number 368 of 500 in Rolling Stone's all-time 500 greatest song issue! The song was inspired by the book Elvis and Me by Priscilla Presley. According to songwriter Martin Gore: It's a song about being a Jesus for somebody else, someone to give you hope and care. It's about how Elvis was her man and her mentor and how often that happens in love relationships; how everybody's heart is like a god in some way, and that's not a very balanced view of someone, is it?

D.M. reminds me of my days working as a counselor at North Adams State College, now MCLA! This is a great live performance and it makes you wish you were there cause everyone is having so much fun!

Up next, The Tubes, arch satirists of popular culture whose outrageous performance-art concepts, which swung wildly from soft-core pornography to suit-and-tie conservatism,frequently eclipsed their elusive musical identity. The song I am playing is from the CD called, The Completion Backwards Principal. The song, Amnesia reminds me of college and my best friend Tom! The D.J. named Steve Binder had the best sound system ever and filled the gym with great sound! I partied responsibly and had the best time during those years! Vicki listened to the Tubes last summer on my MP3 player! She always liked them too and was with me at many of those dances! Music and memory.......