Sunday, December 26, 2010

The time for change is always NOW...

To the left, you will notice an empty paint can with some decorations on it...but this isn't just any ordinary paint can, mind you. This, my little cookie dough bites, is a TIME CAPSULE! Oooh, ahhh.
Ah yes, Christmas 2010. Another year of spending money outside of our means and calling it the season of giving. I will get my disclaimer out of the way now, and advise you to not take any negativity from this particular keystroke parlaying and remember one thing: I'm only trying to help.
We build up the year to a culmination for this time, but as I get older and look around, I'm really seeing some serious lacking in the "sentimental" department. I will not get into the religious aspects of what the day represents (that would require a blog of its' own), however, I do agree we need an event to bring family and close loved ones into a room such as this.
With that said, my siblings and I decided to create gifts this year as opposed to the usual consumerism that plagues a vast majority of the population. My favorite aspect of this entire process is the fact that it required EFFORT and time to create something original, yet tangible to offer another. My lady and I decided to offer our gift in the form of a home made time capsule, complete with instructions, and a marker stone in case it is indeed buried. Our rules were simple: Fill it with memories, and once full, put it away (or bury it) for 5 years and forget about it. I debated for weeks on what to do, and now that it is said and done, I'm content with the choice that we made. A gift that connects a family, and gives them a common bond in which to focus some of that memory making energy upon. An opportunity to gaze at their past, and reflect on the growth made since the inception of the capsule. A reason to not talk about work at the dinner table, and recognize how connected we really are. A reason to continue documenting the time spent on Earth, and hopefully motivation to make the events documented that much sweeter. Word. I'm only giving myself a small pat on the back, as motivation, for I believe that a bigger mission is at stake...
From now on, beginning with 2010, I will only offer gifts that I feel will help my loved ones move forward with their lives. So when the end of the year points its bony fingers in the direction of the future, I know that I have assisted them with the path they are heading towards. I will be more observant to their needs and pay attention to what it is they are seeking, and in return, help to be a stepping stone to show them that I truly care, and want them to succeed with their goals. Their goals and dreams are much more important to me than "stuff".
"Stuff" will not give them good mental and physical health. I highly doubt a gift card to Best Buy will bring me closer to knowing who the people I love really are. There is so much more to them than any of us realize. "Stuff" will not help with their student loans. "Stuff" will not teach them how to live simply, so all this man-made financial garbage we are ALL surrounded with can be ascended.
Don't get me wrong, I enjoy buying "things" as much as the next person. But the problem is this: there's much more focus on "things" than the well being of LIFE. A blu ray player will only attach my focus to the brain wash box more than it needs to be. We have much work to do, and are wasting valuable time. Remember: The people bent on destroying life and keeping us dumb/numb to the truth are working 50,000 times harder to keep that control than we are trying to break it. This is a FACT.
I feel this choice will require more dedication, and effort throughout the year to pay attention to their patterns and direction, and cause me to be more compassionate about what it is they seek. It will also solve the old cliche I hear about how "We should carry this joy, and spread this sort of love all year long. It shouldn't require a holiday to treat your neighbor with respect and a warm heart". The times I feel the most loved by friends and family is when they do something as simple as contacting me and saying, "How are you feeling about music? I know you've been struggling with whether or not to do it, and I know it's a big part of who you are. That must be hard on you. How are you holding up?".
I feel the tides turning, and people are feeling a tugging sensation in their hearts, becoming fed up with this out of control beast society has been conditioned to continue breeding. Damnit, enough is enough. And as some good friends have taught me over the past year, BEING the change you want to see, and TALKING about the change you want to see are two different things. It's time to start being honest about this, instead of piling on more "stuff". I hope that BEING the change will inspire others to listen to the voice (intuition) screaming for them to step out of that box we are all chained to.
Give it a chance. I did.
I wish you all light and love during the 2010 Holiday season, and a good 'ol fashioned tea baggin' for the companies spending millions to provoke you to do the opposite.
My best,

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A Road Trip To Self Discovery...

I haven't left the cloudy confines of the East Coast much in my life. The furthest I have traveled South has been the citrus filled state of Florida, while my West bound adventures have only led me to Ohio. I'm a homebody, even if I tell myself otherwise. I enjoy comfort, stability, and routine, as much as I claim I am a free bird. Over the years I have realized the cage that surrounds me has been more to pen myself in, and less to keep intruders out.

As my age as a sentient being has moved forward, I find myself screaming out loud a lot more. Raising my voice to proclaim, "I'm mad as hell, and not gonna take it anymore!" (As taken from the classic film, The Network), all the while taking "it" more than ever. Sitting hunched over daily, often in front of a computer screen trying to muster up some form of rejuvenated passion for life and my creative expression, I follow the same downward spiral that leads me to a night of restless sleep. The next day, repeat the process. Notice as I criticize, I'm the guy who previously stated I enjoy routine...See now how my sanity kicks rocks off the edge? I'm a walking, talking, vicious cycle.

The picture above is from Montana...and that is where the true story begins.

I've been releasing music commercially since 2006. I've been writing since 1996, and didn't understand how to write in bar form until 2002. Lately I've been questioning whether or not to even create music anymore. Fear that I'm yelling in a pasty white padded room where nobody can hear me, and general fear of being a "failure" with my "dreams". I started building momentum in '06, and had quite a few adventures and moments of genuine smiling through the process. After the label I worked with (STLP) folded in summer 2009, I saw myself back in 2004, with the realization that I was again, on my own. I proceeded to write and record my new album, "Falling Becomes Great" and released it in August, 2010 with this huge outlined path to take so I could effectively make this record the "one" that takes me to that next level. Whatever that next level may be.

After the release party of Falling, I just....stopped...doing...anything. Wake. Work. Sleep. Rinse. Repeat. I noticed my phone rarely rang at all and people who I felt would never leave my side just started to disappear. Nobody's fault really. I slowly felt disconnected from those closest to me, and maybe I needed that...with that said, I had enough. I had to leave, go, run away, and scream some where else for awhile.

I have some very good friends from the now defunct STLP imprint who decided to pave their way on the West Coast in the form of Portland, Oregon. It just so happens around the time I pulled my internal plug from the world's socket, another good friend was taking a cross country road trip to visit the West for awhile. I decided it was time to go. Not for good, but for now. And if there is anything I learned from that cross country road trip in a van, the NOW is very much so important. Destination: Portland.

There is something beautiful to be said about traveling across the country, and if you ever get a chance...DO IT! Do NOT get in a plane. Get your chapped ass in a vehicle, and drive. With every mile of distance I gained from where my roots held so firmly to the ground, I felt a sense of feeling refreshed. I could finally be who I am, without anybody having prior knowledge in which to judge me with.

Once we reached Portland, we were greeted with smiles and embracing hugs and I took a huge breath and said, "ahh, this is love". I spent 10 days exploring everything I could possibly see with people I deeply care for and recommend sharing as many eye opening experiences with others as possible. I met oddly beautiful souls, and fell in love with the oddness. I saw life on the Pacific Coast in the middle of a huge rain storm, and let it engulf my very core. I finally let go. I carry these feelings with every step I take, and hope I can spread some West Coast love back here on the East.

I could rant for hours on the subject, and fill you with all the intimates details. But, what it comes down to simply is this: Get out of your comfort zone. Meet people for no reason. Take a walk in the woods alone. Swim at the bottom of a waterfall. Tell people that you appreciate them. We all walk alone in our own heads, and tend to forget how truly connected we all really are.

I implore you to live the life you want, and put cattle chutes around your vision while creating that life. Remember, if you are not comfortable in your own skin, how can you impact the lives of others? I look forward to meeting as many of you in my travels as possible, and hope my life will inspire you to do the same...til next time...take a walk alone before your independence dies, because you may not like the outcome of being led by others...

P.S. Wellis, Gard, Joey, Snake, and Vanessa. Thank you, for you all have caused me to find myself again.