Joan – once more

aaaaaajoan

Summer in Saratoga at Café Lena for round 2 with Joan Osborne

I fell out of love and into reality with this goddess of soulful sweet elocution. The words become charged messages of hope, despair, love and loss — pain and joy –……  you know —– life

 

More specifically:

Adult  ….  grown up life.

This aint no young person angst — this is vintage, weathered acceptance of what is and what was.

I’m not calling anyone old here — she is my age — I know the track of years – I know the shared fight of quiet despair as we plunge through to new layers of time.

Inevitable

not calling it good, bad or indifferent — got plenty of all three.

And that’s what I got with another dose of Dylan Music.

 

One song destroyed me (again)


Tryin’ to Get to Heaven

 

The air is getting hotter
There’s a rumbling in the skies
I’ve been wading through the high muddy water
With the heat rising in my eyes
Every day your memory grows dimmer
It doesn’t haunt me like it did before
I’ve been walking through the middle of nowhere
Trying to get to heaven before they close the door

 

When I was in Missouri
They would not let me be
I had to leave there in a hurry
I only saw what they let me see
You broke a heart that loved you
Now you can seal up the book and not write anymore
I’ve been walking that lonesome valley
Trying to get to heaven before they close the door

 

People on the platforms
Waiting for the trains
I can hear their hearts a-beatin’
Like pendulums swinging on chains
When you think that you lost everything
You find out you can always lose a little more
I’m just going down the road feeling bad
Trying to get to heaven before they close the door

 

I’m going down the river
Down to New Orleans
They tell me everything is gonna be all right
But I don’t know what “all right” even means
I was riding in a buggy with Miss Mary-Jane
Miss Mary-Jane got a house in Baltimore
I been all around the world, boys
Now I’m trying to get to heaven before they close the door

 

Gonna sleep down in the parlor
And relive my dreams
I’ll close my eyes and I wonder
If everything is as hollow as it seems
Some trains don’t pull no gamblers
No midnight ramblers, like they did before
I been to Sugar Town, I shook the sugar down
Now I’m trying to get to heaven before they close the door

 

Bob Dylan


She came out between shows to sell merchandise – I know its part of the job — but still – an honor to share a few words and have her sign my record. This song probably not written about grief; and the resulting complete annihilation of the soul. — but this night it was — but also healing in a way —- yeah  –

Music is like that.

Again, cheers from the cave!

 

 

 

 

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The Hawk and the Squawk

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It was a beautifully complex and garbled call – primal and delirious – understated and purposeful – coyote mixed with cardinal —-  a sound my ears had not seen — I was intrigued.

I looked up and saw this red-tailed hawk, high on a pole – talking at me —- I was running in his territory – He was letting me know – not making too much noise —- waiting for breakfast – breakfast that could easily be scared away.

I’ve been running and training —- [Sorry to all non-runners — spent most of my life not running, I know how it sounds!]

It was magical – a quiet road next to a farm at mile 4 of a 7 mile run and this hawk is talking to me. That is all I need on a Sunday morning. I am not nothing – I am not failed – I am not broken — I am here and now and part of this land — it is part of me —– all together—- all connected.

Yeah, running can be like that.

 

Now on to mile 6:

I’m running on the shoulder against traffic and this old dude (my age) is riding a bicycle and coming at me — I move over into the field to give him room. He is yelling obscenities at me; “What the f*#k are you doing running on the road, get a bike, you f*&king idiot!” I barely look at him and focus on one breath at a time, one step at a time. It occurred to me that this was his garbled squawk – I am invading his territory – he is trying to give me some life advice. I can’t argue that riding a bike is more efficient. And I felt bad for him, because the bike is his mode of travel— he is not on a road of self-discovery – The dude must get from point A to point B. It was bizarre to have two confrontations with the local beasts on the same run.

 

The sublime and the ridiculous.

 

Both justified in their own strange way.

 

This is where I live, this is who I am.

 

Fast forward to Saturday October 14 in Hartford Connecticut – My first half marathon. The first 6 miles were fine, the last 10 feet when I crossed the finish line was also good. The remainder was varying degrees of painful.

The first one is like that.

I will keep running – it’s a new normal. It makes me feel better – it makes me be better.

 

 

Notes:

Forgive me bloggers, it’s been many months since my last confession. Starting a life back up that got derailed is a difficult process. We are fully engaged in that process at the moment.

 

 

 

Solstice

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Summer Solstice

As I lay down the night before – I say to myself  “I’m not getting up at 4am to chase the sunrise, I kinda want to sleep”

I woke at 4am – and I knew that I would get after it – it’s the solstice – I love the solstice

Mankind has loved this day since they figured out what it was – the steady reliable cycle of the sun bringing stability to an unstable world— countless generations paying homage to the spinning of the earth – countless people making what they will of it.

Gods are formed around the mystery of the passage of time. The journey of our birth to our death that spins and moves in a universe of wonder.

I love the solstice. It connects me to bigger things.

I visited my grandmother in England many, many moons ago. I wanted to go to Stonehenge and we went on the solstice – I did not know what that meant – I did not know it was a “thing”.

Since then its stayed with – watching me – checking in on me as I stumble through life.

I remember my grandmother as I drive to chase the light – it’s a big thing to understand that the world will spin – things will flow – and we will go – we can join in the cosmic dance or we can wait it out —- either way the solstice will cycle on and on.

Notes: Lake George NY is close enough to be local for me – There was a woman walking her dog on the beach and nothing else going on in town at sunrise. I didn’t have to edit this photo except for a splash of highlight on the buoy – a quick shake of light – nothing else.  If you wonder how I am — I say — mostly I am ok – I’m not the same- I try to make the most of the days instead of the least of the days —- that is a better way to live.

 

Open Mic

guitar

Signups were at 7, I strolled in at 7 after and was 7 on the list. My name in pencil as a testament to this little car-wash of fear for my soul.

I sat down in a chair next to a person I knew from a past life – he was already drunk  – I used to be his boss – he reminded me that I was his best boss and I was a good guy ~ life takes strange twists and turns. (drunk may be his normal state- he did not look well)

A snarky old guy with a leather hat approached and grabbed his coffee from the table next to me – Oh no, I sat in his seat! I apologized; he snarked back “I’m standing right here!”

This is a great start – my alcoholic ex-coworker drunk off his ass and I’ve pissed off one of the regulars here in this little theater –  Somehow all this is good with me – I mean; the water you swim is the water you swim – but you swim anyway.

We are told that instead of the three songs, we will only do two, due to the large amount of sign-ups— Maybe 11 total? And then go around a second time for one more.

I’ve moved to a new spot in this little theater – away from all the strife at the entrance – I meet another new guy  – he is a drummer, seems to be a good guy.

Let the show begin –

And it did.

By the time it got to me – I was ok with going up on stage for the first time – I had trouble getting my guitar to work  – but the host was very gracious in helping —–

I sang and played “Mississippi Kid” by Lynyrd Skynyrd – My version bears little resemblance to the original – I go straight 12 bar blues on my acoustic guitar – I love the song and the snarling attitude of it – My version is closer to that of Jerry Lee Lewis (but I humbly submit that my performance is just a wisp of smoke compared to the fire of the original “killer”).

I told the audience that it was my first time and I was only good for one tune –

And I did it!

By the time I got to the last verse, I was dancing a bit and enjoying myself.

It won’t be my last

I will be going back.

For a few moments that night – I was the “Mississippi kid”!

 

Notes: I bought a new acoustic guitar last March for my birthday and I play it every day –  (maybe I’ve missed a total of a week if you add all the days I couldn’t play in the last 10 months)

On February 1st (exactly 14 months to the day I lost my wife, for those of you that know me) I stepped on a stage and did an open mic.

It went well – I am not ruining this post with actual video; but that is probably coming!

I did mess with guitar in my earlier life, never anything past the tinkering stage and never complete songs.

And I never tried to sing before.

But, so what?

Life is to live.

Go live.

Question: What would be your song if and when you do (did?) this?

 

 

Where do I stRT?

bighorn22Since you left me or, more accurately: I left you  – Wow – and whoa and wheew – yeaoh = I am here and I am alright.

I feel like I need to just let everyone know that my basicness is okness  – (yeah, I know I am making up words that don’t exist).

How are you? And, I am ok ~ doesn’t come close to the gamut of reflection and metamorphosis of the last few months.

Some new habits:

I meditate everyday – I go to the gym three times a week – I run; 5 Ks now, looking at a half marathon sometime next year. I am stronger mentally and physically. I am a success story in many ways.

With that is also the intense pain that continues to flow at times – maybe not with the complete flooding of the beginning – but all the power is intact.

The difference between sitting next to a rushing river and being in a rushing river.

The river is the same —– you have a different perspective.

You know it is only a couple steps away – — you know you will always hear it and feel it —– but somehow – you are ok.

Am I coming back to WP? I think so – but I can’t say for sure right now.

Still putting myself back together – Come a long way and far to go.

I leave you with a photo of a bighorn sheep I took in July from the Badlands — that is one of the wows! – the Badlands and me — we understand each other.

Hope to write again soon.

Wayne (caveguy)

It keeps me running

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A couple weeks ago I did my first 5K! I ran with the kids and it took me almost 34 minutes – but I did it! I’m posting this picture so you can see how I am and what I look like in June of 2016 ~ I have come a long way in the last 7 months – I thank all of you – I don’t want to name names and embarrass anybody but there were some who went above and beyond to reach out to me – this community is so warm and so welcoming. Really, I have no words to describe it.

Beyond that: I meditate everyday – I play guitar and sing (have to play by a fire this week!) – I have ink! – I am heading out to the badlands in a week or so for another trip – I am in therapy (my therapist is a godsend) —– And all this stuff is new — I am becoming something else – I cannot return to where I was.

I am blessed and I am grateful ~ And I run now not to escape myself

I run to become myself

 

Music and Ink…..and blogging

Music and Ink…..and blogging

I woke this morning with full awareness that my mind and spirit were connected, attached to my body that was hurling through space on a giant rock. That rock was spinning in a beautiful dance of gravity playing a part in an endless universe … which may be just a drop in a vast ocean of countless other universes.

Yeah baby, I’m back!

It makes all the mundane connections with people I know seem nothing short of miraculous.– I mean,…  to make “me”— all these weird connections of people, places and things over the eons of time since before we even got to living in the caves – I just think about that — everything had to line up or this “me” that is writing would not be here—- and that goes the same for each person that reads this — and also the same for the lady at the deli that I will let cut in ahead of me because she has two screaming kids and needs to get her maple ham and American cheese.

Which makes the connections that are truly “special” nothing short of divine because ….. I mean, …. What are the chances that you and me have a conversation?

It just causes the brain to ignite and fire countless neurons to not figure out.

You may think that this is a strange —- but I think like this all the time —– and have not thought like this in many weeks.

Because I was not connected.

My mind was in severe pain – my spirit was lost and whirring out of control – and my body seemed to disconnected.

They said I was depressed – I don’t know if that word fits – but I will go with it because it and me were so similar that you could not tell us apart even at a short distance.

So we go to ink –

A thought in my mind – that becomes a sketch (in fact, many sketches before it was right) – that goes into illustrator to become a vector – that sings to me in a perfect riot of frenzied negative space.

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My mind thinks it – my spirit is at peace with it – the tattoo artist inks it to my body – we are all together again. One happy family that is the trio of the Wayne. I am here – I am validated.

My first tattoo – and already thinking how to add to it.

And as I ran through the chords of “Key to the Highway” last night on my acoustic guitar — I understand what Big Bill Broonzy was saying – I understand the feeling – I understand the blues.

I get it – there are things and feelings that we all share – that are the human condition – It’s part of jamming a spirit in a body and having a mind trying to figure out what to do with it- how to make a way – how to rise above and move forward.

Isn’t that part of why we blog? This need to connect and validate our existence.

I play a lot of guitar and I sing all the time – this is new – but was always there.

I just could not put in the work to access it – I don’t feel like that anymore.

I feel that I have nothing to fear – I feel that I better get whatever is in there out.

Be dammed if it is good or bad or indifferent.

Just get it out!

So I feel better – And the only reason I am writing instead of playing right now is because it is too early and I will wake the kids.

I leave you with a new song that speaks to me – attitude and blues – I need it.