Wednesday, March 14, 2007

With such small discipline and a great amount of love I have been spoken to again. The rocks I sit on must symbolize something but I'm not sure yet. The memories do haunt, but they leave as fast as they come sometimes, so what is there to fear? Of all the life my spirit has been drained of there is still something which will happen, and it has only and could only be moved by that love which moves the breeze into my lungs. By all music, by all manner of wisdom and love, by all ecstatic laughter there is that peace which is shown to me on those rocks and on that dirt. By each strand of vision and ecstacy between every musical phrase by instrument or by wind it comes closer. Neither by valley nor darkness nor depth nor width will I be seperated unless absolutely necessary so my eyes will be opened again. And they have, if only to a squint. There is a reason for my fear of attention through creativity and music: who am I to present such a force? I am not. But that force which moves me is, and for this I have to embrace it finally. How long I'll be standing in it I have no idea, but to stand at all is a task worthy of excitement for me. And in dreams that show me future events and the knowledge of what has happened, though in life they haven't yet, I am affirmed, but not overly optomistic.
Little time has passed since I was using many crutches and buffers, and I still do, but not the same. There is change and a hope to change, no matter how much I've tried to repell it. I have placed many false hopes in things I shouldn't or know better not to, but there remains one great source of which hope isn't even in question. It isn't an act of hope, but of faith, meek as it may be for myself. And so, there remain then faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love. And finally I've realized this more than I've expected to know, but not as much as I should, and this remains the goal. To speak of it can be a relief but can more often be painful, as words fall short. So silence, especially as I've known, seems the way to go, because being outward by my own means is terribly difficult and unnatural. Even if those who are with me don't see it or sense it for this reason, because it is inward, nevertheless it moves me to do all things I do. And truly, Ever has it been that love knows not its own depth until the hour of separation. Ironically, in this separation, I am closer.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

"It is impossible to achieve the aim without suffering."- J.G. Bennett

The praise we can give by words or physical actions are too small, so these praises find an alternate route to escape into the air.
If to be humbled is what one seeks then they will recieve it.
Listening is just as important as speaking. How quickly things change with "what are you doing this afternoon? Can you be here by 2:30?". How could it change so fast? It's beyond me and mine is not to reason why. But if a fellow player has a request such as that, it is my honor to recieve it and dive into whatever could happen with childlike abandon. This approach should be a life goal as well, now that the childlike abandonment is harder to attain as a result of aging.
Assuming the role as a musician is too daunting for me and much too high a degree of being for me to brand myself with. One can't make Music happen, one can only make a way for it to happen and then it will happen if it pleases. David spoke great words to me today. If only I could remember what they were, but in a nutshell his idea was theory is only an attempt to approach something that is unapproachable. This comment was directed toward human reason trying to make sense out of something as unattainable as the act of Music. The best thing a student could hope to learn from theory is the ability to forget it. To internalize it. If knowledge is not internalized it is not true understanding, it is only passing.
Beginning early afternoon today there was a sense of something. After many many weeks of being away from truth, it decided to show itself again. How and why I don't have the slightest clue, but again, mine is not to reason why and I'd rather not know. The truth of that truth would be too much to bear.
By the grace of God five men were able to allow Music to happen by listening, complimenting, and supporting one another in their common aim.

A woman came up to my father after he preached this morning and told him she saw an enormous angel standing behind him as he spoke. At the same time at a different place my sister felt a weight on her heart to pray for him, but she didn't know why, or for what purpose. I'm not sure why he was protected in this way. None of us know, but higher authority governed it, and again, ours is not to reason why.
My hands and my spirit told me to practice tonight, and I didn't know why. Practical thinking lead me to believe that I had played enough for one day, but this had nothing to do with "enough" or practicality. My mind formed chords and told them to my hands and I listened. They created short melodies and told them to my hands and I listened. They realized structure and I listened. But then my spirit felt something and told it to my mind. My mind saw it and told it to my hands. My hands knew it and finally allowed it. A sense of something followed. My eyes remained shut and my hands continued on, but they were not saying what they wanted to say, they were saying what that something had to say. Time must have passed but I was not aware of it. Such is any experience with truth. That sense of something was enternal, like it had been there thousands of years. It probably has, and it finally passed through me. Silence was the most respect I could offer it afterward. So I sat. Praise to the one who first saw this happen, who created it, and who presented it to me for those few minutes.
He who catches joy; it flies.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

In Baghdad, dreaming of Cairo: In Cairo, dreaming of Baghdad

11:38 and I have not yet begun to move out of the just-got-out-of-bed stage. Wishing should've-showered-yesterday was a did-shower-yesterday.
To make a conscious effort on my part to do anything has required months of preparation, but now there is nothing to go after. Or perhaps there is, but I do not have the foresight to see it through. To forget about the future would be a great great help right now. Maybe something would be accomplished. I suppose things are being accomplished, but it's difficult to see them as they are. In other words, it's easier to look back and see an accomplishment (usually done by nothing of my own actual ability) than it is to witness something in the moment.
A passionate prayer is perfect honesty. One is admitting their own wrong doing and/or realizing their own power is far too small for something. Their also allowing help from a source they would not care to admit was in their life beforehand, or at least to much a degree, and they are asking for genuine guidance with anything that they feel needs correcting. One is also asking for a love that can only be given by the root source of all love, instead of a more tainted love by which most humanity lives. When someone is given what they have asked for in prayer that they felt was necessary to ask for for their own well-being or growth, that person may see it as an ecstatic celebration, a quiet joyful gratitude, or in a worse case, "coincidental". This has always frightened me that when something is given to me after I have asked for it in prayer that I would see it as "Well things seemed like they were going that way anyway, so I suppose it was going to happen regardless of my faith." This has not happened, but it is something that has only recently been acknowledged by myself as something I could think. I do not permit myself to think in such a way, because my life as a whole has been an exuberant affirmation (or quiet joyful gratitude) of my communication with God.
In childhood one holds the teachings of their parents at a great height, not necessarily because they believe their beliefs, but more from blind faith. This was my case as a younger person, but not the case toward the dreadful start of teenage years. My own curiosity and questions were answered by my willingness to see, or perhaps Gods willingness to present them to me. My naive state of mind at the beginning of this (what will certainly be) lifelong Q&A session has been junked over the past couple of years to what is in creation itself as an affirmation of my belief. I am constantly and powerfully given answers but I still need them always. Why? I could answer that myself if I were more awake. I ask myself to be silent. Be silent because God answers the questions you have, but if you talk, you drown him out, for he has a voice softer than your love for others. He will shout and awaken you in the most unexpected time, but you have to be willing to listen.

"What Jesus Runs Away From

The son of Mary, Jesus, hurries up a slope as though a wild animal were chasing him. Someone following him asks, "Where are you going? No one is after you." Jesus keeps on, saying nothing, across two more fields. "Are you the one who says words over a dead person, so that he wakes up?" I am. "Did you not make the clay birds fly?" Yes. "Who then could possibly cause you to run like this?" Jesus slows his pace.
I say the Great Name over the deaf and the blind, they are healed. Over a stony mountainside, and it tears its mantle down to the navel. Over non-existence, it comes into existence. But when I speak lovingly for hours, for days, with those who take human warmth and mock it, when I say the Name to them, nothing happens. They remain like rock, or turn to sand, where no plants can grow. Other diseases are ways for mercy to enter, but this non-responding breeds violence and coldness toward God. I am fleeing from that.
As little by little air steals water, so praise dries up and evaporates with foolish people who refuse to change. Like cold stone you sit on a cynic steals body heat. He doesn't feel the sun. Jesus wasn't running from actual people. He was teaching in a new way.
Christ is the population of the world, and every object as well. There is no room for hypocrisy. Why use bitter soup for healing when sweet water is everywhere?"-Rumi

Practice has been on a slope, and my hopes to attain it again were realized somewhat last night. The feeling of union of a person to their instrument can't be expressed in even the smallest fraction to someone who has not experienced that union before. A greater part of oneself is recognized in that moment and it has no equal between one person to another. Rather, it has equal, but it is not the same. A love from one person to another is inexpressible. The love between human and muse is another being altogether. A love between between two people does not need work at the start. It is simple, yet so complex that we can't explain it in words. This is why silence is necessary when in the presence of one that is greatly loved. Words fall short, no matter how articulate someone is, so the voice has to stop so the love can be cared for. In the same light the relationship between muse and person has to be cared for with silence from time to time so the muse can speak. This relationship requires a great deal of work from the very beginning, because the muse does not fall into our arms as a loved one might. We have to prepare, work on our patience, our timing, our technicality, our hearts, our minds, our hands, and our love for the music that is being played at the moment. When this love is cared for by patience and practice the muse understands that the individual is ready (a bold statement) to commit to that moment, if only very very briefly. This moment is thought of as a window or a door to that world that God intercedes and greets us in a more personal way than we have ever experienced, aside from the honest love from one person to another. This is what a musician strives for and suffers for. Without this the ego steps in. The ego can build skill, fame, false happiness, and may even give the impression of a real musical spark or two here and there. The ego will lie and cheat to get those things and fool us into thinking it can satisfy itself and still look good in the process. When the ego suffers and is beaten down, then the real work can begin. When this suffering begins, that's when we begin to pray honestly. We recognize our own faults and disabilities and understand our own weakness. Then and only then can God intercede for us. He is the only one that has the key to that door, and we have to be willing to knock when the rain starts to pour on our lonely street.

"...The Prophet has said that a true seeker must be completely empty like a lute to make the sweet music of Lord, Lord.
When the emptiness starts to get filled with something, the one who plays the lute puts it down and picks up another. There is nothing more subtle and delightful than to make that music.
Stay empty and held between those fingers, where where gets drunk with nowhere.
This man was empty, and the tears came. His habitual stubbornness dissolved. This is the way with many seekers.
They moan in prayer and the perfumed smoke of that floats into heaven, and the angel says, "Answer this prayer. This worshiper has only you and nothing else to depend on. Why do you go first to the prayers of those less devoted?"
God says, "By deferring my generosity I am helping him. His need dragged him by the hair into my presence. If I satisfy that, he'll go back to being absorbed in some idle amusement. Listen how passionate he is! That torn-open cry is the way he should live."-Excerpt from In Baghdad, dreaming of Cairo: In Cairo, dreaming of Baghdad, Rumi

Friday, May 26, 2006

Ecce deus fortior me, qui veniens dominabitur michi.

A wonderful evening after work yesterday of reading. Dante Alighieri's La Vita Nuova continues to inspire, but really only the narrative and explanations of the poems within. I never cared much for the poems themselves. Perhaps it's the translation. Rotten English!

A morning filled with early rising despite a day off of work. A visit to the garage to see what can be done with the air conditioning in The Bot. Hopefully the expense will be small as a alternate form of charging and replacing was discussed, but I'm not counting on it. Next to Good Days for breakfast with the father unit and funny stories of his youth and Grandpa Doherty. Then off to Kenwood Tire to talk to Dave who works there but was formally employed by The Rock Pile down of 18, which was a favorite place of mine a few years ago before its closing. The three of us spoke for nearly 45 minutes about upcoming concerts and his growing up with the music he listened/listens to now. He's seeing Dweezil Zappa with many members of Frank's former bands playing Frank's music. He will be seated 5th row center. Jealousy! A wonderful fellow all the same.

Devil zit reeks havoc on the left of my nose!

Tuesday night has once again shown itself to be the magic night with Niles and I. Perhaps it's the church setting, or maybe our willingness to create in a sacred space. Either way, time stood still again, this time taking on a much longer form than usual, and with surprisingly little movement between us. How this phenomenon occurs I haven't the slightest idea, but Niles made a good analogy last week: "It's like God swooped down and turned on a lightswitch." Well said, David. "Sometimes God hides, and sometimes God waves."
The piece started out curiously in the same key as the last piece ended a week earlier, as if continuing and finishing the thought. In fact, around half-way through I realized the same chord progression had been (very) slowly established, and David had not even recognized it. That is in no way downsizing his memory or ability to create different things, but more so it further shows the continuation of what had been started a week earlier.
This slow beast crawled around and slept and woke and slept and woke for 32 minutes, until it finally was comfortable enough to rest. Time opens if you're willing to wait. It is not accessed by a high level of skill or a high level of thinking, but more of faith. A privilege.
The hours between 8:30 and 11:00 were spent cutting out voices and unnecessary this and that, and burning onto cd's. Silly titles abound.

Now for printing out of insurance forms to send back to lousy insurance company that doesn't seem to straighten things out themselves very well. Yucka!

"Any recording of a performance is not the performance: it is a recording & representation of only one aspect of the performance. And that may be useful, as an aide memoire; as an encouragement to continue to practice listening, and being.
The recording may even transmit part of the energy of the event. The mechanics of how that happens is a larger question. One approach might be this: a real event keeps going. It doesn't stop when people go home. Actually, it continues growing in the presence of those who were part of the unity of the event. The recording, or representation, allows us to enter that continuing, developing performance; to which we make our own contribution."
- Robert Fripp

Friday, May 19, 2006


If only I could listen better. I heard true percussionists last night. They were a testemant to what humans can achieve if they devote their lives to something greater than themselves.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

"There's really only so much you can do."

I disagree Mr. Title. My father and I were discussing how far the Keith Jarrett piano improvisations can actually go in terms of what paths they lead down because of my recent purchase of yet another album of his. I spoke of what my first impression of it was and how I didn't feel it had the same fire that the others that we've heard have. He said he asked a guy who used to work at the Rockpile that now works at a tire place up the street whom he's become acquainted with recently if he wanted us to burn it for him and he said he had about all the Keith Jarrett he wanted. My dad said that he said "There's really only so much you can do" when it comes to his improvisations so there wasn't really a desire for him to hear more. He brought up a couple of valid points that I could understand where he was coming from, and in a way agreed. Upon listening to the album again not over an hour ago I realized something almost immediately about it. I no longer agree with that statement whatsoever. I found it is all in the particular persons desire to truly know what is involved in the particular piece of music. There can be repetitiveness, meandering (seemingly), and redundancy, but that's only if one doesn't choose to look deeper. I felt a little sick about half way through the piece because his intent in what he was playing became very clear to me. Every note seemed to play an equal part rather than what I felt yesterday when I first heard it, which was that it was a bit disjointed insofar as much as the first (main) improv had a few different parts to it they didn't seem to have a lot to do with eachother. I knew my first impression would change but I didn't think it would be as sudden as this. It rarely happens the day after first listen. It was a great wonderment to me that so much was in this piece that I hadn't heard at first.
If we heard precisely what was trying to be conveyed by an honest piece of music every time and really felt what it meant just by listening, we would hardly have the strength to continue to listen. It would be too much to bear.

"There is an art of listening. To be able to really listen, one should abandon or put aside all prejudices, performulations and daily activities... But unfortunately most of us listen through a screen of resistance. We are screened with prejudices, whether religious or spiritual, psychological or scientific; or with our daily worries, desires and fears. And with these for a screen we listen. Therefore, we listen really to our own noise, to our own sound, not to what is being said. It is extremely difficult to put aside our training, our prejudices, our inclination, our resistance, and, reaching beyond our verbal expression, to listen so that we understand instantaneously." - J. Krishnamurti, The First and Last Freedom

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Paradise Regained

Today finally held a shift in my thinking that I was hoping for. Conveniently I just started and finished Paradise Regained by John Milton earlier today and I am once again more pleased than I ever thought I could be at the written word.

I had a chance to visit the house my parents are seriously considering as our new place today. It was in a fairly nice part of east Taunton right near the Stone family's new apartment. That doesn't have much significance but it's kind of cool. The house was very pleasing. I walked down the basement room which I immediately felt comfortable with, so hopefully that will be my area. There are brand new floors but I wasn't too impressed with the walls. Nothing bad about them per se they just didn't look entirely professional. The upstairs is nice but the rooms are in a strange 'L' shape that I haven't encountered before so hopefully I wont have to be put in one of those. The yard is very nice with some beautifully positioned trees in the back that would hold a peaceful atmosphere in good weather. I suppose if anything I would enjoy moving to that house, and I think a move would be a well accepted thing for us.

More to say but I haven't the time to say it. Well I do, but rather I haven't the concentration at the moment. I'm sure I'll add to this later.

Three days out of work because of the rain. I have grown a bit lazy.
Lazy stage #1: Knowing I should occupy my time better even though I have a lack of things to do and feeling a bit guilty if I don't do something, but not making that much of an effort to do anything.
Lazy stage #2: Not feeling so bad about having a lack of things to do, and not looking for much to do.
Lazy stage #3: Being happy that there is a lack of things to do and feeling content with what little I do.
All these months of hard labor undone in three days? Yikes.
Fortunately the next two days are supposed to be better weather so welcome back work.
I suppose I shouldn't say my work ethic was completely undone. In fact it's not that at all. The problem as of late has actually been my desire to do. The problem is more how to do something when I haven't been appointed something to do. Up until around this point I have been content with taking the opportunities as they are presented, and realizing that that is the more honest way of going about doing things. If I tried harder and harder to do something when I didn't know what it is I was actually supposed to be doing and listening to myself rather than God, what chance do I have then of contributing something worth while? Not very good. For some their efforts are in different areas where they should listen to themselves the way I have been trying, but that is the key word. Try. "To try is to fail". A lovely little aphorism that I haven't really started to understand until recently. It can't be explained nearly as well as it can be experienced, so I wont bother explaining it because quite frankly, I don't have the ability. My mind has been too set on things I am not capable of achieving right now, mainly because I don't have the sources and I simply don't need them now. I should not worry about controlling every aspect of my life because I simply dont need to and can't anyway. My point is not coming across well so I will stop here and hopefully this will suffice: "All things are best fulfill'd in their due time, and time there is for all things, Truth hath said: if of my reign Prophetic Writ hath told that it shall never end, so when begin The Father in his purpose hath decreed, He is whose hand all time and seasons roll."