There’s Something Happening Here

May 16, 2020

I think we can all agree there is definitely something happening here.

Today (May 16, 2020) the World Chart reads: United States

Coronavirus Cases: 1,484,579, Deaths: 88,523

Even so, there is a segment of stupids who still believe it is all a hoax, the numbers are inflated, precautions are a violation of their civil rights and on ad nauseam. When did so many people decide science was a hoax? Boggles the  mind.

Negative thoughts: Yep, I’ve got them. I bet you do too. Today a Facebook friend posted:

“I just heard about people who foolishly dismissed COVID 19 as a hoax and then died. Sad enough. But then I read about other people making comments like ” he got what was coming” and gloating. If someone disagrees with you or denies science, maybe quite stupid –it is unfortunate and tragic, but remember that they are human beings– flawed and foolish– but just as precious to those who love them as we are to our loved ones.

The people who denied COVID 19 as a hoax and died, may have been foolish and reckless, but they and more importantly, their families are human beings. If you believe as I do, that human beings–however distasteful– are as Martin Luther King reminded us are no less in the image of God than we are. Love your neighbor. Easy when you like your neighbor, but divine when you don’t.

Growing up an Army brat provided me with a flexible upbringing and open mind for which I am grateful.

But, probably nothing prepared me, or the rest of us, for what a global pandemic can mean for our health and well-being as a population.  Especially as we have a President (and I use that term loosely) who is out of his depth entirely, and quite clueless as to how to help us. Perhaps he really doesn’t care what happens to the hoi polloi–as the fewer of us there are, the more for him and his cronies.

One of the cool things happening are the virtual concerts, meetings, medical appointment etc. But again, we need to remember not everyone has good access to the internet or knows how to navigate a computer or smart phone. I hope I never outgrow my wonder of learning new stuff.

Sammy Hagar and others perform the title song

 


And we all shine on

March 8, 2020

Last night I attended the 22nd annual Townes Van Zandt Memorial Tribute in Austin, Texas

I knew Townes back in the middle-hippie ages in Austin. He was one of the persons who gravitated repeatedly to Uncle Seymour Washington’s home in the Clarksville section of Austin in the 70’s. read more here.

Another legendary Austin musician Butch Hancock was the host of this intimate event of just over 100 folks.

I sat next to two fellas in their 30’s (?) from Alberta, Canada. They had come all the way to Austin, in spite of the scary Coronavirus, to hear more of Townes’ music in one of the cities he regularly played. My brother and I proceeded to give them anecdotes and sidebars regarding Townes and other shenanigans in the Vulcan Gas Company/Armadillo days. I swear those two beautiful Canadians said they were “pleased and honored to have met us.”

The rest of the story is another old love of mine was one of the story-telling singers. Wally Stopher aka Oat Willie surprised me. This post is dedicated to him:

Dear friend, I saw you last night, and you saw me. But it seems we didn’t recognize each other. I was there with my brother for Townes’ tribute. I heard you sing for the first time in 40+ years. God dang! We’re still alive and well. Much love to you and many memories.

Then on the way home I heard John Lennon with some apropos lyrics

Instant Karma’s gonna get you
Gonna knock you right on the head
You better get yourself together
Pretty soon you’re gonna be dead
What in the world you thinking of
Laughing in the face of love
What on earth you tryin’ to do
It’s up to you, yeah you

 


Sacred Space

July 28, 2019

meditation, stones, pond,prayerHey y’all, it’s Sunday and time for a little reflection regarding sacred space.

A sacred place is, first of all, a defined place, a space distinguished from other spaces… A sacred place focuses attention on the forms, objects, and actions in it and reveals them as bearers of religious meaning. Encyclopedia.com

Sacred space is any space or area that has been dedicated to a sacred (holy) purpose. An emphasis on sacred space is found in all of the world’s religions and traditions and they all have places set aside as holy, that they use for worship, prayer, and important rituals. The School of Magical Living

Many of the definitions I found on the internet tie sacred space to a specific religious meaning or place. But I like to think it’s simpler than that. A physical sacred place may allow you to reach the ethereal sacred inside yourself.  It’s not necessary to be associated with any religious ritual. It’s just spiritual in and of itself.

When I think of sacred space, I think of experiencing moments where the world seems to stand still and the cosmos aligns itself in perfect harmony.  These experiences might last for a few seconds or several minutes.  But, before the gears of chaos engage again, I always have the overwhelming feeling “Woo-hoo, life is good!”

aiea heightsWhen I was in my early teens, we lived in a house located next to a state park on top of Aiea Heights, Oahu, Hawaii.  I would hike by myself up the trail to sit on a patch of green grass beneath a big evergreen tree that overlooked Pearl Harbor and the ‘Punchbowl’ Cemetery. Even at a young age, I knew this place was a conduit to the spiritual. The view alone is enough for anyone to appreciate their innermost sacredness.

In my twenties, music was the vehicle for many a trip. I’ll never forget the time I was laying on the floor listening to Emerson, Lake and Palmer through headphones. I’m sure I was transporting somewhere groovy until I opened my eyes at the end of side one and there were two Doberman Pinchers staring me in the face.

 

As an adult, I enjoy sitting by the pool. Watching the clouds drift by, listening to the birds, I feel my body and soul warming, the tension washing away, and I experience “the eternal happiness of the spotless mind.”

Oh, I could go on, but I encourage you to find your own path to a sacred space whether it is physical or metaphysical.


Sgt. Pepper’s Album changed my life

June 5, 2017

Last week marked the 50th anniversary of the release of the Beatles’ “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”.

The first time I heard it was just a few days after its release. My best friend Melissa and I were in summer school at SWTSU, living in the dorm. My previous roomie asked us over to listen to a new Beatles album. Because we wanted to enjoy it fully and faithfully, we stuffed a towel under the door and smoked a great big joint.

Over in JoAnn’s room, we sat mesmerized through the entire, what turned out to be, breakthrough musical recording.  I’m not sure I ever heard it that exact same way again even though I’ve listen to it hundreds of times now.

It was a life changer for sure!

https://www.npr.org/player/embed/531039734/531099121


British Invasion Redux

September 23, 2014

Last night I went to a great music concert/fundraiser in Austin courtesy of my sister-in-law who works for Health Alliance for Austin Musicians or HAAM.

The British Invasion of the 60’s was revisited by an eclectic procession of Austin/Texas/British musicians. It was a very entertaining musical history lesson and a whole bunch of fun!

allatx playbill

Click for full list of performers

The Zombies (in the flesh!) sang this old Kinks tune. It really it made an impression on me, so I decided to share.


Four Dead in Ohio

May 4, 2013

Today marks the 43rd anniversary of the Kent State shootings. On May 4, 1970 as students were protesting the ‘Cambodian Incursion’ and the Vietnam war in general, National Guardsmen fired 67 rounds of ammunition over a period of 13 seconds, killing four students and wounding nine others, one of whom suffered permanent paralysis. (read more)

Just out of college and still actively involved in protesting the war, the shootings were horrifying–the worst yet of escalating violence between student protestors and law enforcement.

Here is the still poignant “Four Dead in Ohio” by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young.”


The night they drove old Dixie down

April 22, 2013

Tonight I watched a tribute to Levon Helm call “Love for Levon.” A whole slew of grey-haired musicians like Roger Waters, Greg Allman, Joe Walsh, and many more sang their hearts out for Levon and his music for a couple of glorious hours.

I remember back in the early seventies in Austin. For about a year, there was a bar called Bonnie’s (I think) that became ‘the place’ to be on Wednesday nights. It was a little ramshackle place with a large outdoor patio. Beer was a quarter or fifty cents–what ever was really cheap back then. At the end of the night, every time, whatever band was playing that night, played the Band’s “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down.” The whole audience sang along. That song signaled the end of the evening and if you didn’t have someone to go home with yet, that was the cue to find someone fast.

The tribute to Levon, made me cry. It made me miss my youth. Now, I’m OK with who and what my life is now, but really, those were the days.

So, I’m gonna take a load off fannie (mine being considerably larger these day), have a beer, or three, and watch that show again.


Surely, Duane Allman Sitteth at the Right Hand of Eric Clapton.

September 1, 2010

The other day, I selected my well-worn “Allman Brothers Greatest Hits” CD for my ride into work.  This disc resides permanently in my car’s player alongside rotating Joe Ely, Townes Van Zandt, Johnny Winter, Muddy Waters, Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton to name a few.  Even though I have probably listened to the songs on this album (yes, it’s OK to still say “album”) a thousand times; each time I fall in love all over again.

The Allman Brothers Band music is a Southern-blues/rock fest, with sweet guitar melodies, and a beat you can dance to.  As Duane Allman and Dickey Betts work their guitar strings in heavenly harmony and Greg Allman sings to the pounding piano, I’m dancing in my seat.  Dickey Betts is considered “one of the most influential electric guitarists of all time.”  Duane Allman, a guitar deity, played with Eric Clapton and many other rhythm and blues artists before his too-soon death in a motorcycle accident.  I often wonder what marvelous works of guitar art he would have continued creating had he lived.

I remember the first time I heard “Blue Sky.”  I was half-asleep in my boyfriend’s bamboo surrounded house.  Young and free, content in love, I absorbed and indelibly imprinted on my heart what is probably the most beautiful piece of electric guitar harmony ever.  “You’re my blue sky, you’re my sunny day.  Lord, you make me high when you turn your love my way.”  “Blue Sky” is soulfully joyous; an electric guitar masterpiece; almost magical in its perfection.  It gives me goosebumps and brings me to tears.  And, I believe as this anonymous comment on a fan page states, “I think he (Dickey) wrote it for God.”

I’ve asked my family members to play “Blue Sky” at my funeral; hoping I have many more years to listen to it “live.”  Check out the Allman Brothers  if you have not before–satisfaction guaranteed.

P.S.  I just downloaded “Blue Sky” for my phone’s ringtone!!!