This is where I post updated information related to my music, my travels, my future plans, and a brief overview of works in progress. I might mention where and when I'll be performing, and any other appropriate news or announcements. I update this page irregularly, but I do update it.

I also want this to be a place for perspective, for some thoughts and philosophy, for time to talk of how the moment fits into the future and past, and how I feel about what is going on. My whole attitude towards what I do is casual and personal, while maintaining serious professional standards, without the showbiz attitude of hype and promotion. So this is more like a note to a friend than a press-release. I want to talk about the ideas and feeling that are part of the story, and reflect on events as well as announce them, or look at the longer perspective. This is not only the place for the feelings of the moment, but also for the wider perspective of hindsight and visions. Its a place for threads that may not have manifested obviously in the actual events of the year, but have been on my mind, as they continue unbroken below the surface. This is a life that is so much more than just the stories, places, and events, so much more than just the music, and so much more than the moment, the "news". I cover the events of the year in my annual tour journals, located in the ARCHIVE section. They are also only the iceberg tips of an underlying whole, and a much longer story. That's why I have a conclusion and epilog here that is more of a philosophical statement than any news, but it evolves as well as time passes, and different concepts come to dominate my thoughts. While a lot of this site deals with what I do, I want a place where I can also try to explain "why".


I have continued with my multi-year plan to "settle down" in order to focus on completing several major projects. One result is that the news is pretty simple, since my life is simpler and as I have focused on major projects, and everything else is on hold if possible or back-burnered as much as possible. That is the plan, and it is working, and though I am proud of accomplishing one seriously big job, I find myself hard put to contain my frustration at not being active on other fronts. All my life I have successfully balanced and juggled a diverse circuit of projects, activities, places, and friends, and quite intend to return to that life when this plan is completed. But I am not used to getting all my satisfaction from progress on one front, no matter how great, or being comfortable ignoring all the other things in my life. It is really great to be wrapping up one major job and beginning on the next, feeling that the plan is working. I am more or less on schedule, with the major work completed on the house in the first year, but I am glad to be cleaning up and moving on. The house repair was just the first step towards achieving the projects that I am really trying to accomplish with this plan, musical ones. It was right to do the house first and get it out of the way, so ma could start to enjoy the benefits, while I use the house, 1213, as a base for the next stage of projects immediately.


! Florida relocation complete ! I will be working the winter season out of Gainesville, FL and Green Cove Springs,FL for the next few years
! The pick-up winding machine is built !
! First Generation coil pickups complete ! Full details on the new pickups page
! New recording project begun ! I am finally able to start work on the new recording project, a set of two CDs of original songs
! New Server and New Website ! I've moved to a new host, Dreamhost, with unlimited size and bandwidth, and have begun revamping the site, and this is it!

a general idea of where I plan to be when

January to April: Florida: Gainesville, Green Cove Springs, St. Augustine, and generally performing in the entire region
May to July: 1213 Shenandoah Rd (Alexandria, VA, outside Washington DC)
July to September: probably Alaska, though may cancel this year to work on recording or tour in the lower 48 western circuit
October: stop by Seattle, maybe Montana, then 1213 Shenandoah
October to December: 1213 Shenandoah Rd, return early to get back to music projects, if I even leave

UPDATE: 12/2008

Work in Progress: Project Reports

I've created a page to report on all the various projects I have going. Since right now many of them are back burnered, it seems there's little to report as "news". I'll give a brief summary here, but for the full details on each project, what it is, its history and where it stands, you can see the new Work in Progress: Project Reports page.

Things are rolling on the music projects at last, though I have just begun. I have the first working prototype coil pickups on the dulcimer, though I am using them more to experiment with than as working pickups. I want to wind a new series of coils to build more pickups with, based on what I learn from these first ones. I have the new host, this is the new version of the website, and I am working on how to develop my presence in the modern web. The recording gear is up and running and I am starting the new CDs, though I only hope to be done by next summer. And that is still just a beginning. I have a few years of recording ahead of me, and then continuing on with time in the studio, and a new CD, as a regular part of the annual circuit. I am tracking down the wood to build more dulcimers, and now I am at the point where I can just keep trying till I find what I need, rather than waiting to find some locally.

UPDATE: 12/2008

It seems crazy but I wrote an update for 2007, then rewrote it again in early 2008, and never managed to upload either till I returned from Alaska this Fall. Its hard to remember at this point what was up, 9 months and many miles later. I think I literally ran out of space at the PAN server that hosts my site, so I couldn't upload the update with the new pictures that make up so much of the tour journals. In fact, the upload I did do was just the hews page and a few small pages, only a few pictures. I think that is it, because last spring I also wrote the initial menu pages of the new website I've been planning, to coincide with getting a new host. The Pan network has been great, and it really has been there from the beginning of the internet, and before really, when we still called each other's computers up peer to peer without the benefit of servers or an internet. Not so long ago, when I first wrote the site in the mid-90's, 10 MB was a lot of space, and code was short and sweet, simple and elegant, because it had to be. The old site was made in simple text with few graphics, designed to load quick over slow dial-up connections. I will keep the majority of the site simple for that purpose, but the new site will reflect the graphic and video heavy environment possible with high-speed connections, and provide more links to access video and audio, while still keeping the site basically simple and fast loading even over slow connections. I'll try to keep the initial menus easy-loading, but more graphically oriented than text-based, with immediate links to audio and video content. I have set up with a server at Dreamhost with my own domain as though I am actually coding up the new site right now. But I plan to be done by the first of the year.

Generally, I'm just still busy living the life, and hampered by the fact I don't have a lot of access, and I'm busy living the life much of the time. I made the "AK2K" Video Tour Journals for the internet in 2000, when people said no one would watch video on the internet. The .com bubble burst and I couldn't even find a host for video, and well, I had to focus on other things, things that had practical results as well. But the visions I had ten years ago, of video tour journals and audio studio journals, even live content, are all possible now, even common. Its funny, first I was too far ahead of the curve, so I ran out of time and energy to spend on the web when it wasn't ready for me. Then as I was busy dealing with the practical realities of life, the wave passed me by, and what I was too soon for is now the norm. Even still, I really need to be busy recording the new CDs, and performing so I have money to produce them, not dealing with the web. But The web has matured rapidly now so it is becoming possibly a practical part of my life, ie, will pay for the effort it takes. So it is part of this effort I am making now, and I just have to do it all once again. In fact, a principle aspect of "the plan" is an "integrated wave", wgere all the aspects of "doing more" with the music are parts of a single coordinated effort, and the web is key to that coordination, and especially, response and continuity to any interest created by the new recordings and performing. I have to be ready and do it all as a single wave. Though I must admit, I am getting a bit tired of all the 7dayaweeksuperhumaneffortwithoutabreak life. But so it goes, no break in sight just yet. With that, I need to finish updating and uploading the new site so I can get back to work in the studio.

I've finished up the major part of the house remodelling job, though there's still a good few smaller chunks ahead. Last Spring, I went down to Florida and finally moved Dueodde north to Green Cove Springs, my destination when I left the boatyard in 2003. Its taken me 5 years to get there, and the boat is in pretty sorry shape. The new rails I welded up in the last days in the yard as I waited to splash are twisted like pretzels. I'll have to cut them off and redo them, and I never even got a chance to paint them. Crazy. But I am located finally where I plan to stay several years, so I can make the effort to develop a new set of venues in the North/Central Florida area. I'll be working out of Gainesville (where my Dad is) and the boat, which gives me easy access to the coast with St Augustine the closest place, though Jacksonville isn't much farther. I'll be working on recording as well as performing, mostly adding other musicians to the existing tracks I record in the my studio here at 1213. I am planning to see if the recording project connections can evolve into a band to perform with, at least for the winter season in Florida. In the background, I'll try to get the boat back into cruising shape again, finally. A lot of "the plan" is to get these many projects finally done so I can go back to my old life traveling and performing, but with all these major jobs behind me, and able to use the products of those efforts, from new CDs to a new web presence to a working sailboat.

I have certainly been struggling through the "slings and arrows of outragious fortune". Everything that was really important, like the music, has been delayed and derailed. I'm finally getting back on track to where I was when the shit hit the fan, about 15 years ago. I persevered, and seems I'm actually be on track to get something recorded at last. Though I never made more tour journals, I have 8 years of raw TV quality digital documentary footage of my travels to draw on to produce something with, again, part of "the plan". Though it seems that people might be more interested in the moment. It is a world that places more value on immediacy than content, so it goes. I can actually start doing both as it happens tour journals, which the originals were when I made them. I can stream actual live video on the web these days, pretty cool, if I can work it into the routine. I could easily make audioblogs while I am working in the studio. I always thought it would be neat to keep up a stream of commentary from the studio talking about what I am working on and including little clips and bits. But mostly I have to focus on recording, and then getting back to playing again. I am not young enough to waste time. Even if I have never gotten any recognition for what I have accomplished, and so have had to struggle on with my own meager resources, I have it to do. I still have to leave a record of my music, and try to produce more electric dulcimers so I can pass them on to other people, younger people. Then maybe I can think about having a life, I mean a person life, beyond being a folksinger. Who knows, maybe I'd actually have time to talk to a girl for more than a few minutes. Though the bigger job of conciousness-raising remains, as it always will. Though that is a job I didn't start and can't finish. But maybe if I find a girl as dedicated to the struggle, and the music, as I am, we can work together. I told a girl I liked once that I could never manage to justify taking time out for a personal life when the world was burning. When so many were suffering and dying, when the earth itself was in peril, and my country is at the heart of both the problem and the hope of change, it seems my personal needs and wants are pretty insignificant. I have always known I was not alone, I was part of a movement, one of many dedicated people, doing great things and small things, every single effort important and integral to the over-all struggle for a better world, for progress, for "peace, love, freedom, and justice". Perhaps I can justify diverting some energy to a life of my own, and yes, I can "teach my children well." I remeber telling someone that I would have been happy whether Oboma won or lost, because it is to me such a great sign of all the work we have done that he could run at all. It is just a bit better that he did win, though I don't have expectations.

The extreme routine, the routine extremes; I made the summer trip to Alaska, played the fairs, and took the new old truck up north of the Arctic Circle to retreat to the wild and try for some gold (didn't find much this time). Since I couldn't be part of the election, I sat by my fire in the wilderness and wrote a short personal letter to Oboma as a way to participate in the political process. Its funny, then I didn't know who the VP would be, or how the campaign was going, but I fully expected him to win. I'm glad I was right. It was also a reflection of the choice I made in my life to focus on change through an evolution of individual conciousness, person by person, rather than join in the direct political struggle. There are many fronts in the struggle for the ideals of progressive change, and all are equally important. I chose my battleground, on the street among the people, trying to reach and change their minds, by touching their hearts, maybe sometimes even their souls, and I spent my life in that struggle. Everything I might have done or been, I gave up to be what I have been, a folksinger on the streets of America. But I have never been alone, and have been proud to serve among such a great company.
Eventually I had to head south again, of to do it again. Though I have chosen a new path, with all I am doing now. Still, it is only for a while, and I fuly expect to return to my old road eventually. Though I have a vision of using the internet to open a window on the places I play, so the street can be a world stage, and perhaps I can reach more people than I have before. But that is part of the purpose for my retreats in the wild, it is a time and place for visions. Call it tradition.
I stopped in Seattle on the way south and east, touching bases. I still see it as my urban base on the west coast eventually, when I am able to return to touring full time. I'm now back at 1213 Shenandoah Rd. It has taken me a good month of work to get cleaned up and set up, but I'm in the studio right now, though it is too late to focus so I am working on the website. I was mounting the new pickups today. I am focusing on the music at last, and that will be my focus for the next year or so, as well as performing, time to get to it! Actually, it is time to get to bed and get some sleep!

I have been taking a break from performing as I focus on these big projects. Also I am taking a long look at where and how I have played in a long life as a performer, and think of what to return to, what new I might want to do, and what I want to leave behind. All with a view towards my promise to "do more" with the music. I've been thinking about that alot. But I have so much to do, still, that all thoughts of the future are academic still, but the future aproaches fast, and I don't have time to linger here. I have stopped to do a job, actually several big jobs, but when they are done I will be on my way again.
I am actually looking forward to playing again this winter in Florida. I am really excited about the possibilities of forming a band out of the studio project. That is what I mean about moving forward in new directions, doing more with the music. But I will still be playing solo and playing the street if I can find a new scene. It seems terribly "cosmic", that I might end up playing the street in St. Augustine while living and working on the Steel sailboat in Green Cove Springs. This is just what my old friend Rick Fogel, who's dulcimer I copied to build my first so long ago, did after we parted ways. A strange world it is. On the other hand, I am seriously considering taking a break from the Alaska State Fair, and Alaska. The Deltana Fair has decided to move to a music festival format, which is cool, and have begun evolving in that direction. I wished them luck and offered my services, which would amount to advice, though seriously good advice from a long experience. And I got a nice welcome from the public at the Tanana Valley State Fair again, many people asking me to please keep coming back. But the fact is if it wasn't for doing so well with the gold, I would probaly have had to skip Alaska, at least for a year or so, to focus on the other projects, and because it is hard to justify taking off prime music season time to just break even, or lose money. In fact, I always lost money, and figured it was ok to lose a couple hundred dollars to spend a couple months in Alaska. But I couldn't afford to do it every year. I chose to work seriously at the gold digs, instead of just prospecting some while on retreat, specifically to justify returning to Alaska every year. But I didn't do at all well last summer. And I need to save up money for publishing CDs. And I may just be still working on recording and completing these music projects when summer comes around, and I may decide it is beat not to stop and lose momentum. It is also a fact that it is just getting to involve a bit too much suffering under the new security rules. It is ok if you have a place to go home to, but camping out in the parking lot in the cold and rain, never having a place to go get warm for 10 days, well.. I am getting too old for that maybe. This last summer, I had my own vehicle at last, and in the few days before the fair I built a cabin on the back of the pickup so I at least had a place to go inside and sleep when it rained. Though I take suffering with a stoic amusement, my music has become full of sadness and pain as the days go by, of suffering instead of joy; heavy, dark, and shadowed. Great music, often, great performances, but a terrible beauty. And all the while wondering if I'll make enough to pay for the trip or not, as the fairs ask more and more of me, yet pay less. Though Alaska is set in my long term plans, in the short term I'm not so sure, especially after the last couple summers. In fact, I wish I had just stayed here last summer and worked on recording so I would be so much futher along,. Alaska just seemed a distraction rather than productive. In the long run, that won't matter. But right now, I am trying to get these big jobs done, and done quickly, so I can go back to where "breaking even" is all I need to do. With new CDs, I think I would do well in Alaska, if I have them done in time. But I also have to think practically of the other places I should play in the L48 to "do more" with the music. I have to reach out to more people by touring other places, and July to September is prime festival season in much of the USA, and Europe, too. Though one reason I chose Alaska as a base is that it is a stepping stone to fly to Asia and the Pacific rim, and over the pole to Europe. When I am done with this recording and other music projects, I'll almost certainly be forced to play more places than just Alaska, but I am hoping that I will be able to pass through as part of a larger circuit. Though in an odd development, it seems I might be returning to Alaska again this summer not because of the music, or the gold, but because my cousin wants to buy a place up there and wants me to go up there and help find a place and build on it, for which I'll get a piece of the property and funds to build with.. Strange the way things work out. I am always willing to help, but I have had to explain to him that the music comes first, and I don't necessarily need another place in Alaska, or to build anything immediately. Still, it might motivate me to get it done while I can, and make some progress towards in building a place in Alaska, though I have my doubts. I don't know that I will ever settle down there. It is just practical insurance if I do need to settle down on the land The same way the boat is a hedge against the future, though it has practical use in the present as a relatively cheap base in the expensive waterfront tourist towns of Florida. Practicaclly, now that I have paid off the mortgage on the Alaska land, I have money free for other things, most likely new CDs. But as far as a place in Alaska goes, the better bet might be nother bus to make into a live-in rig either parked on the land when I am there, or on the road in Alska, where I am more than the land.

My life is focused a few things, social action through conciousness-raising, the music, the wild and travelling among the people. Though my oldest dream was to have a little homestead farm in the mountains and keep bees, not travel as I have. But it seemed, with the state of the world, I had to forget my dreams and work for change. I would make the same decision again. When you are in a burning building, other things seem to fade in importance. It hasn't made me happy. I have many regrets. I coan wish things had turned out different, that I had a mate and family, a home. More than any of that, I would give it all up if change had happened faster. Yet I am so glad to have seen what change I have seen.


"The Way Is The Music, The Music Is The Way"

After my retreat in to the wilds in Alaska I had a simple phrase, as I often do to culminate my thoughts and feelings from the retreat. It was "The Music is the Way, and The Way is the Music." I am a person dedicated to a philosophical-spiritual path, this is "The Way". Without trying to explain it, it means that it is a "how" or doing things, living by a code of honor, living a certain "way", so that it isn't what you are doing, but How you are doing it. It isn't where you are or where you are going that matters, or what road you are on, as long as you are on "The Way", following the Way, living and expressing the Way, following it and going where it leads you. So my "simple phrase" means that for me, The Way has always been the Music, that is my road, and how I express the Way , and in my life they are really indistinquishable, so that if I am following the music, which is easier to define, I can have a certain confidence that I am also on the Way, which is sometime harder to see clearly. The music is a means, a practice and discipline, to reach that higher consiousness and awareness, like other physical arts can be used the same way. The music also includes reaching the people, the interaction and exchange of energy, so that it is not enough t just play music, but I must seek to embody the Way through the music, as a perfect and beautiful pratice to embody and express the Way. It also means that whatever it is I might want in life, or lack, or simply need to go, whether a home and family, a mate, or friends, or social action, or things I can't imagine, they will come through the music, by following the music. That is my road, my Way. My problem in life has been trying to find things through other doors, other roads, not recognizing that the only way I will find any of these things is through the one door that is the music. Like "all roads lead to Rome", all my roads are on the road that is the music, all places are on that road,through that door, along that Way. So to follow the Way, I must follow the music.. "The Way is the Music". And to get to wherever it is I want or need to go, I need to go through the music, because "The Music is The Way".


Of course, I still feel incredibly frustrated in watching plans that have been so clear for so long delayed and postponed again and again by cicumstances not of my making and beyond my control, while knowing I have no choice but to do what is Right. I have no questions about that, no regrets about doing what is Right, am glad to be able, to be capable, of doing them. The central tenet of my philosophy is as simple as just doing what is Right and forget the rest. But it doesn't make me happy about having to put off these too long awaited projects. And it doesn't quiet the insistent demands of these long deferred projects. The fact that I have made the big change, "settled down" to take on these big projects, and the fact that I am nearing completion of the first, does make me feel like I am getting somewhere. Even if the music projects have remained on hold, I have a more solid sense of certainty that I am on track and they are next, and this time next year, some of those projects will be complete as well, and I'll be on track to complete more. It is a good feeling. Though it is still difficult because I am just not used to this. I am used to juggling many different projects and keeping them all going in a regular circuit, and did it successfully for years. But only through constant attention to keeping up with every aspect of the whole, and giving each what it needed in its time to keep everything smoothly up in the air. It in't hard to focus on one project, I am good at workingwith an intense focus on one thing, though usually for only a short period. I have a hard tme ignoring everyhting else and not feeling like I have to keep tabs and do domething about them, I can't seem to accept that I have laid all those pins aside, and they are relatively safely on hold, not about to fall if I don't pay attention to them. I am too used to keeping track of and maintaining a wide range of different things to be able to stop thinking about them without some anxiety that I should be, I just can't help it. It is hard for me to accept unconciously that I really only have one pot on the stove, and that's all I need to stir.

I still do not rest easy. I am troubled. I feel the desire to give it up, to just get back to the simple life of music I once had, not take on these projects to "do more" with the music, when I am not quite sure what I have to do to fulfill that promise, and if what I am doing will be enough. Maybe it's just being alone.. celibacy is no fun and I'm not the type to sleep around, too emotional.. and when it comes down to it, my real need is emotional and spiritual, not just physical. Fact is, I have almost no personal life, though I used to interact with so many people when I played the street, I seldom have time to spend with my few friends, and without the street, I am pretty well isolated in my work. Though the occasional sing-alongs and jams are nice, the people there and I still have so little in common, beyond the music. They are all career professionals who like to play music when they can. I live the music. I walk such a unique road, so it goes. Maybe it is the terrible state of the country and the world, as so much of what I value erodes into intolerance and fascism here in America, and the unsustainable culture of America that I fought against continues into deeper denial and steady destruction of the world, environmental and economic disaster, and a troubled world, while mostly the rich get richer as the world burns.. I guess, corruption, war and destruction is good for business. Though I am trying to fulfill my promisies and have so much to do with family and the music, one of my main life-long motivations has alweays been social action, and I feel like I am disconnected from that, and it troubles me, especially as the times get inevitably worse without major progressive social change.

Maybe I just as much a need to play more, to keep from getting down. I try to take time here to play the guitar or piano, and the jams do leave me upbeat often enough. Music does that for me, a real endorphic charge. I could also be more creative, more progressive with the music, instead of just doing the same things I've been doing so long. I mean, I still love doing the old songs, but I think I need that other side, not just playing, but also where I am creating and learning new songs, new styles, continuing to evolve and grow musically. I am looking forward to treating it as a "9 to 5" job and shutting myself in the studio for 8 hours a day and working.. then doing whatever else in my "spare time" like other people. As soon as I complete these projects, the music will probably demand more touring and performing. I cannot let my energies be diverted and distracted by the land and the boats, by anything. I need to keep to a patient philosophy of keeping those dreams on track, making steady progress, but not letting them take priority from the music and the spirit that drives me. Like buying the land, as long as I can feel satisfied I am working towards a better future, a time I can settle down, places I can be more productive in things that require me to settle more, then I can turn my attention to other things. I can focus on the things I feel are important, which aren't what I can do for myself, but what I can do for others, to serve the music, to serve the people, to try and make a better world. And the fact is, that no matter what is happening and what I am doing, if I am playing and singing a lot, I feel better about everything.

Maybe I need to finally get back to my CLA work, my conciousness/raising social action aspect of the music. Lost causes aren't so bad as long as you are fighting! Though really, it is never lost untill you give up or die, and even then you are just passing the torch. Perhaps it is that is my lonely and solitary life, I have always felt my comrades in the struggle, through all time and around the world. I stood with great company, and was never alone. Its not really about how bad it is, I always knew America would probably never change its ways quickly or easily whatever reason and rationality indicated, the entrenched forces that profit by the status quo are too strong. But when I was actively resisting, at least I felt better about it. Its easier to accept the hurts when you are fighting back, even indirectly. The world is definitely heading into tough times, and "I told you so" is remarkably unsatisfying. I just have to do my best to deal with the disasters they have accomplished by refusing to listen to us long-haired hippie-type environmentalists advocating peace, freedom, and justice, truth and rationality, love and compassion, sensitivity, consideration, and unselfishness. It somehow pains me when the ideas we promoted 40 years ago are being discussed as if they were some amazing new ideas no one ever thought of, not ones long suppressed. While the counter-culture that raised the cry of sustainability, alternative energy, environmentalism, etc were subsequently persecuted. I have to admit, I did consciously decide to give up personal excape to an economic ark (and a haven of peace and rationality) in the form of a organic homestead back in the mountains in favor of activism on their ship of fools, though I'll be on it when it sinks. Well, as I say, at least they haven't burned us at the stake lately, though I'm sure they would like to. But there's nothing like being a persecuted people to inspire good folksongs.. as the saying goes, they may have all the guns, power, and money, but we have the songs. And we were (and are) right.. always one of the worst of crimes. Unfortunately the reality isn't much fun, and I'm afraid I sort of lost the amusement somewhere ten or fifteen years back. I find it an added strain to deal with the daily news of corruption, stupidity, and disasters that could be avoided, the irrationality and lies, the whole pathetic mess. Watching the old karmic wheel come around as the consequences of all the things we warned about slowly bear their bitter fruit is pretty harsh. Especially when I am so far from any chance of doing much about it. It makes me too angry, too harsh and hard, to disgusted and discouraged.. not a good place to make art from. I have spent my life trying to help people get it right, but it's like trying to stop the inevitable. They are bound and determined to wreck the boat, and the rich are having a field day running things, and at least half the people are either totally oblivious or sucked into their fantastic illusion of lies and outright denial and arrogant ignorance and stupidity. It is very much a pain. Time go sing some blues!

More simply, perhaps I just want to be free of plans. I once lived in a very pure zen state of being. Free of the unrelenting pressure of promised to do things so long delayed in happening, things that should have happened years ago. For most of my life I accomplished so much, in a very practical way, juggling a lot of things, without really being locked into "plans". It was like an unchoreographed dance. It worked, everyhting flowed smoothly as I focused on the smooth flowing, on following the way, and everything happened that needed to, when I needed to do it, without trying to, effort without force, forcefull but not forcing, neither pushing ahead nor holding back. I want to go with the flow of energies, not this constant over-drive I've been on, and more, the rigidity of all these nescessary actions.. agenda ("that which must be done") after agenda, pages of lists of things I have to get done, and I do, every day, but it is a mountain that takes me away from that old spontinaity, the intuitive, mystical life I once had. I want to be free to go where life leads me, where people need me, where I can serve best. That is the way. I am not happy or comfortable focusing my energy on my own life, in serving myself. It is not my way. I have focused on what I have to give, not what I get, and I can't really change now. And yes, I am tired, and scarred, but I can't stop now, I am just as determined as ever, just as dedicated. Social activism is the one thing I haven't really felt I've gotten back "on-line" again since the personal disasters of the 90's, and that mystical, magical, spiritual life and discipline I once had, from doing my strtches and forms to wallkabouts in the wildlands. It was once the very center of my life, and the work of conciousness raising was part of it. Music started out really as a means to that end, tho I had no "end in mind, but it was what I was, where I was, when I was just being there (if that makes sense at all). I lived in a strange mystic dream-time, a whole different world of perception I can't really explain, living totally by "intuition" or some "other" senses, and it worked to amazing perfection on a practical, pragmatic level, with none of the "supernatural" la-la land stuff.

But through it all, there was still the music, from the very beginning. Only recently have I recognized that my music had a real value, and made it an end in itself. I think about the cultural exchange program, and the local school programs, or even the street as being a goodwill ambassador representing the other side of America, the progressive left that is responsible for so much that makes America great. More specifically, I want to take the old, low fi VHS recordings of my old social conciousness raising campus shows and digitize them so I can re-master them to release on DVD and the internet. Perhaps it is the last part of my life to come back simply because it is so deep. It isn't as simple as the other things, what I need to do is not so clear. It also makes the greatest demands upon my heart, mind, and spirit, which are all still in the process of healing, of having what it takes to shine. Often I still feel very far from recovered.. I often feel like I may never get really over it, never be the same. So be it, I can still manage to do a lot, despite my problems.
I also want to be practical, and perhaps it is time to start building an ark, so to speak, but I can't even see that saving myself is that important, that my personal life is important. Selfishness is just not something I really am cognizant of, even in the most basic terms. Though I am also very strict about always being totally self-supporting and self-reliant, never dependent or beholden to others, never in need, never asking for anything, never needing to. In fact, I am so to a fault, having to struggle to accept what people want to give without feeling indebted. So while I am not interested in building myself a personal retreat, I want to be ready to take care of myself, and not be dependent upon others, a burden if times get hard. Still, I have bought the land in Alaska and I keep the sailboat simply to still that small voice of practicality within myself that says I should have a place to go if I need to where I can get by on a little, living off the land or the sea, and not be a burden to anyone. When in fact, my skills could make me a provider for others in a subsistence situation. Oddly enough, I have the knowledge of how to survive, and homestead, how to live off the land and the sea, how to make do, and get by. People need to survive and it is true that I could lead some people to safety so to speak. Though don't get me wrong, I really don't buy into all the disaster fantasies or armagedonist philosophies. Life will go on, but times could get harsh, too. Though really, I am used to living without the "comforts of civilization" so I won't miss them so much as others. My earliest plans where to form a cooperative self-reliant community of homesteaders to build a sustainable lifestyle blending voluntary simplicity and appropriate technology. Maybe its time to try that again. I do not know what to do, really, though I feel a mounting frustration as I start to have the energy to do something, so I look for someplace to start at least. Some small ways to start that energy moving again in my life. Yet honesty, I don't see myself doing anything but travelling and playing music and trying to talk to people and raise conciousness
Though I must admit, the situation is not good! My hope is that disasters of the magnitude America is achieving will finally force the American people to recognize their responsibility, and the nescessity, to build a sustainable economy, a just and equitable one, instead of an exploitive one run for the benefit of the few. It will force them to recognize the environmental unsustainablitiy of their consumptive, exploitative, un-sustainable and irrational systems. It is a world I invisioned so long ago now, when there was a chance to avoid the cliff we were headed for, though I knew somehow they would not. I've often said we had the solutions long ago, the answers, but nobody wanted to listen, and nobody did anything as the corporate rich who's profits would be effected crushed us. My great fear is that the enormity of American resposibility will just keep feeding this guilt-driven denial, make it impossible for them to admit their mistakes till it is way too late, even afterwards, like addicts. It may already be way too late as far as that goes... The American people are really ignorant, deluded, misinformed and manipulated to the the highest degree money and power can manage. It would be almost funny if it weren't so frightening and the consequences so dire. But there is still lots of hope, if people only come to see, if reason overcomes ignorance and superstition, if compassion overtakes greed. The younger generations are often amazingly misled and ignorant, at least we had access to a lot of knowledge they have been denied. Still, like most people, they still have good hearts, though also so often, like many people, twisted and warped. They are also young and rebellious, and have a almost instinctual knowledge, or just the clarity of vision that is the strength of youth, to see things as they really are on one hand, and to see things as they could be on the other. They at least have somehow maintained a healthy skeptisism of "authority" and the wit to search out the real answers, the real questions.. not "just say yes, or just say no". There is hope in every person, that they will see. Its not the end of the world, I know that. It's just the slow, dark, painful beginnings of a world. It's been a long, hard road to make it as far as we've come in the struggle.. singing all the way. "...deep in my heart, I do believe, we shall overcome, one day...","and all that you have is your soul...","and you know, the darkest hour, its always, always just before the dawn..", "these songs of freedom, are all I ever had..."

"because when I sing, people stop to listen,
and if they listen, maybe they will hear,
and if they hear, maybe they will understand,
and if they understand, maybe they will see.."

"living for each day, and traveling on the way.."