Saturday, April 17, 2010

Magic of the Tour Remembered

Today was one that brought back that almost mystical faith which launched me on my quest for home when I left Memphis, embarking upon the Ballistic Tour in the now defunct tourmobile #1. For no reason that I can define, I knew as soon as the idea filtered into my sad and addled mind that the radical move into the unknown was the right thing.

Soon pieces began falling into place, even though I felt as if I was submerged in a vat of wet cement, barely able to move. As the pieces began to fit together that feeling of living in that viscous fog decreased bit by bit. People from my very distant past appeared out of nowhere and actually helped me plan the trip from across the country. Even the majority of sounds which entertained the journey were shipped to me by such people.

Much of the journey was uplifting; seeing relatives in Texas, doing wild repair work on buildings while there, and generally enjoying the company. Since everything was new because I had not been to the majority of places along the ever changing route, it gave the event a sort of magical ambiance. I did struggle a bit with loneliness, and some depressive regret for things long past, but I did my best to change the thinking and not allow this new life to be overwhelmed with free floating sadness. I no longer wanted to be a victim of my own emotions. That is a thing that takes conscious effort but it can be done.

So then I end up here, in the enchanted cottage at 3000 feet, which is nice, with a view I only half dared to hope I'd have when I landed. Then I end up with friends in this remote neighborhood who play music and wanted me to be a part of it. I've had enough work to pay the rent and live. And I can't even explain what I do. A lot of outdoor teak and some whatnot stuff as well.

I have had periods of time in the last year and a half in which I've come close to stagnation, depression, and generally unhealthy isolation. However that is the nature of my being, I think. the main thing is not to let that beast win. Avoid feeding it to the extent that I can. It is almost sacrilegious to get too down because I have been the recipient of a tremendous amount of trust, kindness, generosity, understanding and respect here. To let things go down the drain without a fight would be like not holding up my end. No way should one let his friends feel like they are wasting their good support and faith.

Anyway, the wheel always rolls back around and the fact that life is OK kind of washes through me, and I realize I may be where I need to be at this moment. I know I probably sound new agey or sappy, but that attitude has pulled me up from some very dark depths, and it is quite a contrast. When you finally feel good after being sick, it can be exciting. Same sort of thing.

Today my friends had a little get together up the mountain a bit. The weather was perfect so we were outside. they play music, sing, and make wonderful food. We had a smal PA set up on the deck and only maybe 12 or 15 people, including an 11 year old girl. If every person was like her, what a world it would be. She helped me pick up my harps when I spilled the harmonica box with about 10 or so flying off all over the place.

A guy, keyboard player and Juliard grad, who knew Norton Buffalo personally and was at his big send off memorial, was there. He was a very nice guy. Everyone had a blast. Another guy there joined with us on guitar and did some solo stuff. Once it thinned out, the few of us left went inside because they were getting mosquito bitten and everyone there was singing and playing music. It was an extraordinary thing. Not only that but the new guitar guy is involved in some cutting edge air conditioning stuff that really piqued my interest. It could be a little glimmer of something I might get into in some capacity.

Somehow, I left this get together feeling like I had again recaptured that unashamed happiness regardless of past loss, status or any of that. It is the state of mind I have to cultivate---just a live being enjoying being alive, without free floating guilt or self appraisal based on things beyond my control and not of my own values.

I was unbelievably nervous at first because I guess I was intimidated by the keyboard guy's credentials and talent. I got over it. It was cool to hear him playing a Dave Brubeck tune on a keyboard someone dug up. There are a lot of interesting people out here in CA. That guy lives in San Fran with a view of the Golden Gate bridge. He's been in the music biz in one capacity or another all his life. he and the host of the party went to high school together in the midwest. Keyboard was voted most talented---I saw the yearbook.

The lady of the house commented how she felt that the way this party worked out she was finally just enjoying the moment rather being too preoccupied or trying to control stuff too much to even notice and live right now.

There was some off color banter by these nuts regarding harmonica player and things I won't mention. Why they want to promote me that way when all the women there were married, I do not know. Maybe they have sisters who will hear these baseless rumors through the grape vine. I guess I didn't mind the attention. Most of the time if people subject you to good natured embarrassment, it because they consider you well entrenched in their family of friends.

It is almost shocking how much I learn about how you are supposed to behave and live from friends here in the SD area. I may have had some huge gaps in my understanding of some things related to interacting with people. Not like I can't get along or couldn't, but there are or were many areas of that in which I've been truly clueless. Lots of people don't recognize that aspect of me, and that leads to misunderstanding or some other disconnect.

I write this stuff down because I know I can cycle. I need to have a record of the times when I realistically felt optimistic, and happy, and knew life was taking turns for the better. My trick for the cycles has been to ride out the lows, attempting not to believe the extremely pessimistic thoughts, and to embrace the highs and pinpoint what aspects of the optimism can be defined. The cycles aren't so drastic that I think medication to level it would be useful. It is just the way life is and I am able to temper it. Most humans have ups and downs. The nature of them varies, but within certain limits, best to adjust to it without chemicals---at least in my case.

Alright, that is my Pollyana-esque gushing for today.

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Ballistic Mountain, CA, United States
Like spring on a summer's day


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