My best work is usually somewhere between 10 PM and 4 AM.
This has messed with my well being and social integration
I would be digging through an editing job with a 9am deadline…
and at some moment a bolt of inspiration would have me take a quick left turn
into my subconscious and create something…
sometimes beautiful, sometimes just a neurotic rush fulfilled,
giving me the rest of the early morning to complete my edit gig duties
A landmark moment in grade school, was staying up all night making a crossword puzzle
out of physicist and mathematician’s names from throughout history. Who knew from Copernicus?
I remember it was spring, because I remember the sunrise
coming through my sisters room’s window. I was sitting at Her desk.
I wondered if I had ever seen the sun’s early light like this.
The rest of the day was like a sleepless dream. I couldn’t believe I stayed up.
Niels Bohr and Johannes Kepler were my new best friends.
Wanted to share a kodak moment of the heart.
I had come uptown to the School of Practical Philosophy for a meditation class. I usually ride my bike, so taking the subway is a new adventure. I had slipped on the ice a couple weeks earlier, and got banged up. So I was moving kind of slowly. My lesson for right now, is to slow down. Slow Down. Take in the world around me, from a place of being present. My inner dialogue is, oh fuck me. I just want to get back on my bike and ride. My leg was too much of a mess for that.
I’m coming up 79th Street and pass/notice this fragile old woman, unevenly stepping off the curb, in the middle of the block. I kept walking, and looked back at her, thinking she was going to hail a cab, but then saw that she was crossing the street against the light. There was this lull in traffic that she was going for, but cars and trucks started coming at her.
I muttered to myself and hopped over to help her cross, stopping traffic going west, since she was moving at a snails pace.
As we shuffled towards the curb, I realized she was my lesson for the moment. Her name is Margie and she is fierce. I got that I came early to be doing this right now, and continued to walk with her, arm in arm, ever so slowly, up to Park Avenue. I was noticing everything with a new sense of caution. The steep uneven incline of the sidewalk, people jogging at us, staring at their iphones, the kids running by and then the strong wind, just pushing down on us. I realized, my hyper-sensitive take on this wasn’t serving the situation. Margie would tug me closer, for stability and that would be a call for my own grounding.
The building numbers weren’t making sense, oh man, the doctors office was in the other direction, so we headed south. She kept telling me, if she was going too slow, I could go on. I told her my lesson right now was to go slow, so this was just fine.
As we made our way, across the street the other way, Margie shared that she was late for her appointment, that she hoped Valerie would get her in anyway. Valerie usually takes care of her when she’s there, she even calls her a car service to get home. I was walking in measured steps into the wind, Margie asked me to speed it up. We were both walking with a limp. I told her of my bike accident, and how I needed her cane. she laughed and said, so we’re two blind goats sharing the same cane.
Upon arrival, we found the offices to be closing. Her doctor gone and her appointment probably for another day. She was going through her bag, looking for the appointment card, while the office people were asking us to leave. I started to get nervous, as to what would come next, Valerie wasn’t there, how is she going to get home, I was forgetting Margie’s resourcefulness. “Well, I’ll just get the crosstown bus and maybe go to dinner”.
…and so we made it back over to Park Ave and back down to Lexington. We chatted about doctors and insurance and life.You know, they told me I have to gain some weight. I have a good appetite, I haven’t lost any, so I think I’m doing okay. She was winded, but was looking forward to having meatballs and spaghetti at the restaurant on her block, up by Broadway and 102 Street. It took a little bit more and I got her back on the crosstown bus, and so she was off. We spent an hour together. Her name was Margie, she’s 90 and is fearless.
What an elegant spirit this woman has. How grateful I was to be able to pause for this moment to unfold.
Right after I took this picture of this gorgeous sunflower, in El Jardin del Paraiso Community Garden.
I thought of this picture of Jerry Garcia. That’s it man, China Cat Sunflower? do you see the resemblance?
So here was this guy who was treated like a deity. I guess most lead guitar heroes of that era, were treated like that. Jerry was able to hit some good notes. He could connect with your deepest primal feelings in a way, few could. Then there was the psychedelics. All these people getting turned on to levels of higher consciousness, that only people meditating for years could achieve. So whether he liked it or not, people were looking to him for their dose of micro-Jesus, their connection to god… every time he took to the stage. That’s a big responsibility… especially for a guy who got his joy from plucking on some strings, singing an old blue grass tale.
So seriously, how do we deal with whatever our lot in life is. How do we find balance within ourselves. We all have similar core needs and values. Whether they’re fulfilled or not, manifests in different ways.
Was Jerry’s issues as dire as yours or mine.. As high as he got, he obviously went too deep in the lows… He is a great lesson for us in both his life and unfortunately in his death. He had an ego, but was pretty humble about big picture stuff. He just wanted to be a mid-range rock star, not a super-duper iconic leader of a generation.
With all the attention that ended up being put on him, the dude wasn’t able to ground himself enough. He went for numbing himself, which didn’t work and down he went. 20 years after his death, people are still lost in the vacuum of his passing. His band, and all the other jam bands have been carrying the torch. or trying to carry the torch. But what exactly is the torch? I have too many middle aged friends, lost in the same oblivion they were in when they were 18. But now they’re in the 50’s and 60’s. Drugs or no drugs. Looking for something to hold on to. To identify with. To try and share, or explain..
My friend Eric and I were joking around, when I kept getting emails and messages from people mistaking me for the concert producer with my name. He was producing the big “Dead” concert, last year. So how do I take advantage of the influx of these Deadheads, vying for my misdirected attention…
I can pitch my Life Coaching business. . I had lots of people trying to push themselves on me. I would always try to deal with them in a humorous and friendly way. I figure, what if I was this Producer guy, they thought I was. What if this really was their big shot at being part of the big show? I ended up coaching many of these people. I was doing it more for myself. But I figured, hey that’s a good idea, but you might need to work on the delivery, or maybe you should think big picture on this one. Everyone can be a superstar. So many try so hard.. but what happens if you actually become one. How do you keep your shit together?
How do you humble yourself? For me, it’s recognizing when I’m not being present. I’m usually saying or doing something self absorbed or reactive. Not planting myself. Not grounding myself. How do I stay here in the present moment, to just be here, and not get lost in the pressures of whatever it is I am being sucked into.
Even writing this now, i realize I should probably meditate, to take the edge off and give me some needed focus. The Sunflower is constantly moving, even when it’s still, it’s following the rays of the sun. It’s focus is so finely tuned to what it needs in life. It needs to have this connection with the sun. That gives it it’s nutrients wonderment. So, let’s look to the sunflower the same way it looks to the sun, for it’s ceaseless beauty and awe. For it’s connection to the natural world.