The dream state was a result of a magical experience during which I joined up with a traveling famous Irish musician and his renaissance-gentleman-activist manager and their little band of merry magic humans, between March 9th and 12th.
March 12, 2016
Well I am in a dream state--unsure of what exactly has transpired in the last few days and no idea if I should be feeling any certain way about it at all. I’m not sure if now is a good time to write about it--but on the other hand, now is as good a time as any to do anything like write or process or celebrate. A lovely time, to be sure.
On March 5th, 2016, my dear generous parents, Marile and Stephen, drove me down to Portland, Oregon, where I stayed at the generous behest of my dear old friend Peter and his hospitable household. Peter is a singular human with whom I’ve held one of my longest close friendships. Back in, what, 2010? I think, our two bands toured down the west coast together. Peter is one of the most brilliant pop artists I've ever heard. Please check out his unique genius at Go Slowpoke's band camp here: I love Go Slowpoke forever.
Though I would have liked to have spent the whole time going on walks with him and making up new songs--he and I both had much work to do--he at a hip and busy restaurant, myself with doing much travel research and posting of craigslist rideshare ads, and mailing of things and purchasing this and that little useful tidbit I thought I might need for the road. One thing I thought I might need for the road was more rocks--stones with which to make bolo ties as I wander down to the southwest. On the last night I was there, Petey and I swung by Ed’s House of Gems--the best rock shop I have ever, in my little experience, seen. The folks running the store were satisfactorily strange. The rocks were varied and plentiful--raw and polished--almost anything you could want--except they were out of raw blue-lace agate--very good for the voice it is--and all the fairest prices I have seen. If you are fond of rocks--stop at Ed's House of Gems.
“It’s like a museum where you can purchase things”, said Peter.
Of note: busked for first time for almost two hours while in Portland--down on SW Hawthorne. I only earned $12, but it was $12 I hadn’t had before--and all for practicing music in public on a rainy day! I was surprised to find myself experimenting and trying new things on the songs while I busked. While it helps me to think of busking as practicing music in public, the process has so far proved to be a new thing altogether--not performing, not practicing, yet both those things as only one can do them on the street, where I can’t help but feel the immediate world effect what is happening with the music. If I’m alone in my room, there isn’t much input to influence my process other than me--but on the sidewalk of course, passersby, traffic, weather and other factors play a role at least on some level of my subconscious.
Busking I am finding is like any other activity which is by nature a complex eddy where self and strangers interact--I won’t understand what it is teaching me until I am long-changed by it--sort of like the last few days: I won’t be able to label it, name it, or define it--whether for the sake of others’ or my own illusions of omniscient understanding of what is, what was, and what shall be. Have you heard Iris Dement’s “Let the Mystery Be”?
These days I think often that it is always better to not bother to define something. If you are trying to define something it is because you feel you have a problem which must be solved. But why should not understanding something be a problem? The only thing one can ever truly know is one’s own experience--and why bother defining that, if only to give yourself boundaries, which, though arbitrary, will still prove difficult to cross or break later on, unless of course you understand the futility of definition in the first place. To keep labels and concepts around, not for rules by which to exist, but for the fun of inventing malleable passing ideas--like drawings in the sand, or wearing a costume for a one-night show-- is really the only way to allow them to exist. Labels are only useful if one desires to imagine another’s experience. Usefulness is something I tentatively define as something which alleviates suffering or teaches something.
The only rule by which I try to live my life is this: I am a human, and humans can choose whatever reality they want--my ability to change my ideas of identity or purpose is entirely up to me and no one else--so I should be wary of naming those things, lest I begin to believe that the label is what I am, and that which is not the label, I am not--for I am whatever I choose--we are all limitless in this way--and it is wise to keep it on the forefront of our judgements in so much that we do not actually judge anything, especially an other’s experience--for that is theirs and we especially can never fully understand that.