New Song. Don’t know the title yet… 4/13/14

I’ve spent a fair amount of time wandering city streets aimlessly, looking for a good place to sit down and play music, and looking for people who might enjoy it.

Something about my openness to the exchange of energy, as a busker namely the exchange of my music for tips and smiles, something about that energy seems to draw homeless people to me.

Whether it be because of my friendliness and patience, or out of their desperation for human contact, I’ve had many long conversations with hobos, and heard many stories of once hopeful, innocent lives that crumbled into spiritual defeat.

I’ve heard a lot of stories, sang them a lot of tunes, and passed on a lot of the tips that passerby gave me for me music, passed it on to these poor, derelict souls who aren’t lucky enough to have a gift like Music to exchange with people, or the optimism of the spirit to believe in their own power to raise them from the depths.

It’s a strange thing. I’ve intentionally moved out of apartments and wandered the East side of this country multiple times with no money to my name, and no insurance of anything in Life besides a network of people I can count on, and the confidence that no matter where I go or who I meet, if I have an instrument, I’ll be able to find my way into a safe place to sleep and a good meal.

Why am I so lucky?

Why did Fate give me these gifts in Life, and not all the people I’ve met?

The following is a song I just finished this morning. The Bold print is a homeless man speaking. The italicized print is my voice and internal dialogue.

Here it is:

Scuse me sir, could you spare some change?
Let me see what I got.
Man, that would make my day.
See, lately things ain’t been goin’ my way.

Why not?
You know, I just lost the game.
Tell me about it.
I don’t know if I should say…
You got places to be, don’t need me pullin’ your reigns.

What’s your name?
It’s James.
James, nothing seems more important to me
than hearing how someone ends up this way.

Tell me, Why am I the one with the Luck?
How come some people fall down and get stuck?
All the Starry Eyed Daughters and Prodigal Sons,
lost, lonely children with nowhere to run,

Tell me, Why am I the one with the Luck?

Well I went off to college to please society,
thinkin’ they had some kinda plan for me

Yeah, I know what you mean
They gave me a ride, but it sure weren’t free,
and nobody taught me how to take it seriously.

So the bottom of the bottle was all I learned to see,
and the booted me out, couldn’t give a damn about me.

I didn’t know how to be anything, really,
besides drunk or wishing I had a drink…

Tell me, Why am I the one with the Luck?
How come some people fall down and get stuck?
All the Starry Eyed Daughters and Prodigal Sons,
lost, lonely children with nowhere to run,

Tell me, Why am I the one with the Luck?

So there I was, broke and alone.
Your parents couldn’t help you?
They had troubles of their own.
What about the army?
I got these brittle bones.
Nobody but me was gonna pay my loans…
I got a job in a factory, bakin’ bread and scones.
Damn, factory work is rough.
Man, you don’t even know.
My ears never stopped ringin’ from moaning and groaning
of the machines that owned my soul,
and all my hope had just about flown away.

But then for a while, things looked up.
I met the only woman that I will ever Love,
And for a couple of years, Life wasn’t all that Bad.
But that Demon inside me was never grateful
for a single damn thing I had.

It was the first day of Spring when she walked out
And from then on, I didn’t care about nothin’.
Just drank like I was stuck in a drought,
stopped workin’ or payin’ rent
Man, my landlord could shout

Wasn’t long before I was out on the streets
Tryin’ to bum a dime from anyone who would look at me
The nights I was sober, I couldn’t sleep
and I’m surprised that my heart didn’t just stop beatin’…
Yeah, I know for a fact that I wouldn’t be breathin’
If it weren’t for a single meeting with one good man
Who said somethin’ that made me get clean,
but even that Saint didn’t have the power
to save me from my own Misery.

Tell me, Why am I the one with the Luck?
How come some people fall down and get stuck?
All the Starry Eyed Daughters and Prodigal Sons,
lost, lonely children with nowhere to run,

Tell me, Why am I the one with the Luck?

How many times
have I walked on by
Someone on the sidewalk
who doesn’t have anymore tears to cry?
And I avert my eyes,
and distract my mind
so my heart can hide
and I can forget they were ever a part of my life.
Why am I so scared?
Afraid to care?
Terrified of sharing myself,
like if I meet their stare, I’ll end up there with ‘em
But maybe all they really need
is for me to hear their story
and Free them from the Misery of Loneliness
by Seeing them for what they once longed to be.

Tell me, Why am I the one with the Luck?
How come some people fall down and get stuck?
All the Starry Eyed Daughters and Prodigal Sons,
lost, lonely children with nowhere to run,

Tell me, Why am I the one with the Luck?


Coffee Meditation 4/1/14

Who am I, really?

Am I who people perceive me to be, or am I something different, that only I can really know?

I kn
ow I once defined myself by what I thought others wanted from me. Anais Mitchell knows what I’m talking about:

Not anymore though… My self image definitely comes from within nowadays…

But do I define myself by where I am and who I’m with at this very moment? Or do I see myself right now more as an earlier version of the ideal self I will be in the future? Today’s me, just a vessel of potential talents, songs, and achievements that will one day be manifested.

Does this mean I’m not really here? A caterpillar so focused on the butterfly and the abstract idea of flight that I forget to enjoy the simplicity of the leaf I’m sitting on?

I do enjoy the leaf. Not a day goes by when I’m not excited, and full of energy. But is it the promise of a butterfly’s glory that invigorates me? The fire of ambition as I learn how to weave my cocoon, and create the proper conditions for my transformation.

How much of the caterpillar remains when the butterfly emerges?

I won’t forget where I’ve come from. But I have not yet arrived where I’m going. I must remember to take not of every minute little detail, every drop of beauty that I behold as I make my way.

For perhaps the sight of a butterfly will be lacking in some aspects. As it soars and flutters, maybe it can only see the big picture. See the forest, but not the trees.

My second life is slowly manifesting. I have no doubt of that. I must remain calm and grounded, and enjoy this first life as it draws to a close, for I don’t know how much longer I’ll have to spend all day contemplating the leaf.

This coffee sure is tasty. French pressed “Zen Blend” with organic cream and cinnamon. Nothing else really matters right now, does it?

SxSW Street Performing, Capoeira Roda and Pickles

Originally posted on The Love Sprockets:


So here we are again, on our computers, hanging out together. I’ve got some fun stuff to tell you, so I’m glad you have a minute to take a peek.

Let’s see…..why don’t we start with South by Southwest?

Apparently one of the biggest music festivals around. I could tell simply by the sheer volume of human bodies that crushed themselves through the streets. Pretty much every street performer had a speaker system to amplify themselves over the incredible noise levels, and crowds of festival-goers would surround them to listen.

We did not have a speaker system. But that’s okay, we made do. We couldn’t play on 6th Street. Couldn’t even hardly hear one another to communicate. We found ourselves a few different, semi-quiet corners to serenade the world from.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

We decided to take the bus into downtown, because both of our bicycles were in…

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Coffee Meditation 3/26/14

Hot Sauce or Heroine?

What’s the best way to spice up Life?

Who can say?

I’ve had few friends die in my life. Only two come to mind who were around my age.

How different they were, and how different were the circumstances by which they left the mortal plane.

The first graduated high school early, learned spanish so well he taught language professors, hiked and backpacked all over North and South America, and became a guide and translator for missionaries in the Amazon while still in his early twenties, before returning to a group of many friends in Syracuse, New York, where he lived for a few more years before discovering he had a rare form of untreatable cancer and dying two Mays ago at the age of 26. He loved, laughed, and helped many people, young and old alike, progress toward a place of self-awareness and enlightenment.

The other was an artist with a wonderful smile and sense of humor, a skateboarder, and a party goer who died of a drug overdose a few days ago. I’d say more about him, but I don’t know anything else.

I wonder if these two met in the ether after their deaths, what they would think of each other’s lives.

What defines a well-lived life?

I’d venture to say Experiences.

Why do some people spend Life in a stupor?

Have they never attained a state of ecstatic joy without the aid of a substance?

I’m not straight edge… I enjoy some alcohol on occasion, but less and less as of late. As I bring my aspirations and dreams into focus, as I define the experiences I wish to have in Life, partaking in intoxicants becomes unappealing, a waste of my time.

After one night of binge drinking (more than a drink an hour) the brain takes three or four days to get itself back to performing at 100%. Both cognitive abilities and the nervous system are operating at a lowered capacity, so a person is literally less intelligent and less athletic/healthy than they could be.

Drinking a lot might be fun for a few hours for me, but it makes a black hole out of the next few days. The way I operate nowadays, if I go a day without improving something about myself, whether it be physical well being, spiritual enlightenment, financial circumstance, or creative progress, then I’ve wasted a day.

A day where I do nothing but work for someone else or spend money on food; that’s a day of my life that I’ve voluntarily surrendered to the system, to the giant invisible Corporate America Monster that ravenously devours the joy and well being of everyone who abides by it.

I spent a lot of hours making hot sauce yesterday, out of about 100 hot peppers that I salvaged out of the compost at a nearby organic supermarket.

I taught myself something new, scalded my fingers with habanero juice, spent hours tasting and tweaking, a little more vinegar, a little more salt, etc. Slow cooked it all night, and just started bottling it up.


For the next few weeks, I’m going to be able to taste a zesty, spicy Satisfaction in every meal I eat, and as I eat I will be conscious of what it is to taste, and what it is to be alive in this miracle. I have to truly enjoy Life, in the name of those who did but had their enjoyment cut short, and in the name of those who lost touch with what enjoying Life can really mean.

I’ll put nothing into my body except for what it needs, what will help it to function at 100%, and make that 100% continue to improve. I’ll drink no more than a glass of red wine a day (antioxidants, don’tcha know) and I’m going to live to be 141 and manifest every dream I can possible think of along the way. It’d be downright despicable for me to do anything else, to know the difference between Living and Surviving, and not speak and act with that difference in mind at all times.

This song came to me on the morning after the death of the first friend I mentioned. It arrived with through the context of his passing, but I think it applies for the loss of any friend.

Rock on.

So will I.




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