This Transparency

I knew at a very young age that marriage and children were not in my cards.  I didn’t spend time dreaming up the dress unless it was to try and meld with my peers.  I came up with the weirdest name for the imaginary daughter I would never have.  It was really mythical in my opinion; Azora Wynter.  I guess “azora” means sky blue.  The name is beautiful and somewhat depressing unless you are a skier who appreciates a good fresh powder blue bird day.

I came up with that name when I was in junior high school, in the beginning of my depression as I tried to blend in with peers while still holding on to the self that existed beneath the required social structures.   And if time doesn’t exist- it was perhaps in that moment, coming up with that name that I deeply knew some day, I would make a decision so that spirit of something would not have time on this earthly realm.

We actually know a lot about ourselves at a young age and the world will either capitalize on it or try and wipe you clean of what you remember.

When my parents would say “Just wait until you have your own kids.”  I would vehemently tell them I wouldn’t be having any.  So far I have stuck to it.

When I was little, before anyone said anything about it- I believed in Mind Over Matter.  Weird that it comes as an acronym for MOM- because losing my mom at a young age is where many of these belief systems originated.

A mom is an amalgamated foundation for survival and life experience- when there is no mom a child grows up quickly out of need and survival.  It’s also very traumatizing but not something that can be openly discussed because the adults have a hard time quantifying painful situations- or at least historically it appears that way.

I thought and observed a lot of interesting things when I was young yet there was no real outlet for rumination of that sort.  Parents want you to be good and listen and follow directions.  Peers are trying to out do themselves with being “cool.”  I was in a constant spiritual battle and very aware of it on the physical realm.   Religion only made the struggle even more brutal.

I’ve fought myself to be where I am right now and if you were on the outside looking in you might find it a sad plight.  Over times I have been nearly dredged of whatever external drive I may have been given in this dream world.  I don’t want fame, I don’t want fortune.  I want to be in peace with the land and myself and anyone of that ilk is invited to join me in camaraderie and contemplation.

This isn’t my world.  I know it is a strange thing to say because here I am living up in it-  yet I am in the world, and not of it.  More and more I disassociate from it- not because I am frightened, but because it is so dissonant except for where it resonates.   These spots of resonance are so physically far removed from one another, that I am certain if they were in proximity something just may change with such a rush it would catch many off guard.

Meanwhile, here we are broadcasting these resonator waves  trying to create bubbles of heaven to inhabit.

This all sounds so crazy, but we need to be transparent about what is actually happening here.  I don’t spend all day and night focused in this way for nothing.  As time speeds up and this focus has apparent results for those beyond myself, this work just feels like it has to be done and I have been set up to participate in a greater effort for the whole.

This feeling that we came from somewhere else is pervasive in my common community.

For a long time I have felt that we will not recognize Jesus or the Christ because he is here in the faces of those fighting this spiritual battle that they were born for- incarnated to face.  The Christ spirit has been here for a long time- it is already embedded in those who are willingly here but have always wanted to go Home.

It is time to realize your roles in this play.  It is time to be transparent about what you are here to do and do it. It is okay to be in the middle, but realize there are two sides to the fence and walking the fine line takes practice and strategy.   You could fall at any time to either side.  Also remember that there is more than one way to get where you are going and you are a unique creation with permission to make your own way which make be more akin to a dance or carving your own path.

In this journey- some things stick and others fall away.  Pick your little battles wisely because the war isn’t yet over.

Post-Apocolyptic Laundry

Imagine if you will- a tech-dominated world where people are slowly trickling in.  Their one domestic responsibility is to have responsibility for their own laundry.  In divided groups at certain times, they trek down to the last slow-running river in order to beat the shit out of their clothes.  This is their way of staying connected to nature and need. However, the scene is always distorted somehow by the leftover frequencies that pollute the air.

This piece is about a  woman trying to remember the “other world” she uses to live in, and she feels a very strong desire to share these memories with anyone who will listen.  In this world, it is rarely silent, but there are only certain times when it is permissible to speak.  The tones of the reception are measuring the frequency of the output from the people, and if the speaker derails into topics not meant for discussion- the frequency reflects that.

This is a personal compilation of solo creations I have made in the last month.  I would like to add more stories to this because I want to introduce you to Maggie- and her story is incredible.  We wouldn’t know about the Laundry Lady if we didn’t recognize Maggie and her participation in bringing her to view.

Please enjoy- Post-Apocalyptic Laundry-

 

 

Perfections

My wonderful collaborator, Alessandro, has veered off into some Indian Raga path- and the smooth transition he takes into that expanded soundscape is gently adding new dimensions to the overall tonal frequency that has been our adaptations.

I am still sloppily grasping at chords and hitting wrong notes with confidence.

And by accident- we create perfection.

This new piece Most Angry Bungalow is my new favorite anthem.

To me, it speaks to memories brought up in a current moment.   The echo of the past interwoven with the present.  Like two long lost lovers, who fell out of fortune- finding themselves together again in the four walls they use to call home.   Talking in new tones as they recall a leftover yesterday that still chimes heartstrings.

This beautiful accident was simply two artists in two places who speak the same language and read the same music- but it is completely etheric- there is no proof, no conversation claiming any specific musical direction- our individual hands led by some unseen force that felt the need for this song to be reborn.  Because it is and it isn’t ours alone- Ale and me- acting simply as conduits of this reminder.

Enjoy-

If Your Local Government Wants To Thrive On Tourism, They Are Mismanaging Your Town

Name me places that thrive on tourism…

Resorts; ski, sea, tropical, Disney.

Cruises?

Destinations?  State parks, hot springs, trailheads?

Road Side Attractions… Wall Drug; Chugwater, Wamsutter, Buford population of 1.

Let’s face it- tourism as infrastructure isn’t a sustainable solution in our changing society… people save money to escape their real-life for a short-lived fantasy of something else, and there are plenty of communities that cater to that idea; locals saving their own money for a potential week of escape from a place people flock to for another place that people flock to.

Meanwhile, the hard-working locals are ignoring their own back yard because everyone enjoys a change of pace and scenery and there is no adventure left when you realize your own home town is concerned with the acquisition of money from temporary visitors.  You begin to notice businesses and services are focused on catering to seasonal visitors, which portrays an attitude that commerce and governmental spending is not concerned about local needs or desires.

It seems as though these days, every little town with no vision would like to live off of tourism- and it’s gross in a multitude of ways.

  1. It doesn’t honor its residence- it makes them buy into unsustainable ideas based on a “legend” or “myth”- it supports a fable that is long due for transparency.
  2. It capitalizes off its own citizens on a multitude of energetic levels- a buy-in of sorts- via commerce.
  3. Citizens rarely see viable returns in the long term benefit.  Revenue isn’t allocated the way citizens would agree to en mass.  Options are limited to the public.  Money speaks and we have a city that knows a cash cow when they see it and have historically used the funds from it with no regard to the everyday man that volunteers to make this kind trap possible.

 

 

When I was in my early twenties, I moved to Keystone Colorado with about five hundred dollars to my name.  It was the summer season and there weren’t many people around.  I got a job and a room in employee housing.  I would be working at the Sport Shack and renting out bikes and paddle boats and alpaca tours in the summer.  The pay was about $8.00 an hour.  It wasn’t much- but it was enough, and I would have a free ski pass come winter- that was the benefit and reason I moved to the mountain resort town.

Here are some things you may not know about living at a ski resort- everything, and I really mean EVERYTHING is inflated when it comes to cost.  Keystone Resort is in the same big company as Vail and Breckenridge and other well known high-end ski destinations.  However, Keystone was considered “the family resort”- as it wasn’t “as high end” as a place like Vail. That didn’t matter, everything was inflated.

All of these resort “towns” are filled with overpriced condos, restaurants and bougie boutique type stores.   Nothing a normal everyday person who works for the resort can afford or even wants.  There are maybe two reasonably priced eateries that are not fast food, and a couple of gritty pubs where the locals hang out and spend what they make.

For a young person, a resort town is just code word for “Work hard, play harder.”  But is it sustainable?

In my opinion- no.  I knew people well into their 50’s and 60’s who couldn’t hold a relationship and were forced to have roommates half their age in order to pay rent for houses they could never afford to buy on the wages they made.  If you weren’t in a management position with the potential of raises and moving up the corporate ladder, you couldn’t expect to see much inflation in your paycheck.  Most people worked more than one job, working at the mountain even part-time at least got you a ski pass which was at least a five-hundred-dollar value.

When you live in a resort town, you realize you must be reliant on your pass/id card.  If you don’t have it, you don’t receive the employee discount.  If you were like me and had to ride two gondolas to get to work, and you forgot to bring lunch and your passcard, you would pay $10.25 for a hamburger that cost $1.25 to make.  Employee discount brought the burger down to about $8.00, one hour of work on the low end.  I know this because I was dating a person who was a food purchaser for the resort.

When he told me this, I got very angry- not just for the employees, but for hard-working families that save all year for one weekend, or week away to do something fun.

Resorts have their own taxes.  I think at the time I was working it was around 9% on all purchases within the resort.  To add insult to injury, the place didn’t even have two-ply toilet tissue in the restrooms.  So, you could eat an overpriced burger that wasn’t that good and would probably give you the runs, only to have to wipe with weak tissue paper.   This was even the case at Beaver Creek, one of the more posh resorts in the Vail Kingdom.

I give this anecdote because it exemplifies the unsustainable nature these locations set as “normal” for the individuals who do not make top dollar for what they do, but they still pay top dollar while they drain their life energy into making more money for people with empires and networks.

Every year the resort appeared to make more, but as they restructured corporate, benefits for the little guy continued to shrink.  “Sure we offer insurance but we are dropping visual benefits next quarter, and you will be paying more for the standard health stuff because we are switching service providers, no out of network plans.”   It looks like corporate criminal money laundering in collusion with the local government within these obviously controlled environments where large sums of money are changing hands.

There aren’t a lot of positions to grow into when you live in a place like that unless you can make something for yourself- maybe start a tree cutting business, or become a builder, be prepared to pay for a license and liability insurance that won’t be cheap.

On the flip side, the corporation in cooperation with local government has the benefit that every year there are hundreds of new, young, liberated people who want a good time in nature- the types who aren’t really keen on planning for the future.   The type to move on to some other adventure and never even THINK about local politics and the amounts of currency being passed around them. They are the perfect little worker drones.  They will be worked until they come to their senses and move away or keep at it until they die.  You would be surprised how many young people die in these places.  Drugs and alcohol are always easy to find, and you can tell that there is a deep depression being covered by an illusion of “fun.”

Honestly, I did have a great time when I was there but I just love being in the mountains and this was an easy way to make it happen, however, the people that I knew during that time in my life were trainwrecks waiting to happen and I wasn’t totally shocked about the deaths that occurred after I left.

I don’t miss paying rent in an overpriced run-down condo,  whose owner was probably making bank off of a property they would never live in, nor appeared to have pride in due to only being interested in owning investment properties while living in some other state.

I realized I didn’t want to live in a tourist trap.

I want to live in a place that genuinely cares for its citizens. A town that realizes that it wouldn’t even exist without all those individuals who may not make much money that are the gears and wheels of industry and commerce.  A real place, with real people that eschews big chain retailers in trade for small locally owned business’ with a vision of spreading wealth and opportunity.

It seems like a big dream because the government and large corporations make small business ownership difficult and expensive.  The system really has its bias on bigger is better, but is it?

My hometown spends all year petitioning small business’ for handouts for one very large weeklong event that happens in July.  An event DRIVEN by volunteers that bring in MILLIONS of dollars in revenue.  Only a few hands ever touch that revenue.

To the average person, who doesn’t volunteer or participate in some way, the whole thing is a headache.  Our population doubles in size, and you know there are areas to avoid because of congestion and bad/drunk drivers.  Forget about going to your favorite eatery, you will be driving around looking for parking for an hour only to end up on a waitlist for what seems like forever.  If you are lucky, maybe you can go on your own vacation for a week just to avoid the mess of it.

Passing through town on your way to somewhere else and need a place to sleep?  Good luck finding a hotel room.  And if you do find one expect to pay triple what the pricing will be a week later.

It’s virtual insanity and our local government is one of the biggest supporters.

What about the everyday people who petition the local government with good ideas focused on the local year-round population that is not about making the city money? Forget it.  They don’t want to hear your ideas, they just want to push paper and encourage you to sign up to volunteer your time in one of the various ways the town attempts to appear to be something that it isn’t.

We have to see the local government for what they are actually about- money and control of resources.  It’s only about the citizens insofar that the citizens help them get the money and control of the resources.  But the money rarely recirculates down to the little guy, and we don’t see much happening that is beneficial for the citizenry that are the moving pieces of progress.  This needs to change with speed and force.  As citizens, we need to re-evaluate those who hold power on a local level and examine their connections and agenda.

We need representation by people who are for the people, not the representation of money grabbers who back door deal within their shady networks that leverage the citizens in their desire to monopolize a location.

It’s time for those types to go!

Let’s make towns worth living in, and if we get some visitors, “Cool, I hope you had an enjoyable experience.  Oh, you want to move here? Lovely, it’s a really pleasant place to live.  Yeah, what you see is what you get.  Not some myth, legend or tourist trap.”

 

 

 

Here Are My Albums

Ale and I have been continuing to pass each other soundbites through the ether in hopes of finally healing some dark human wound that we all possess and would like to ascend from, so you can imagine that sometimes things get weird.

These albums are no exception.  They are audio journies in long-form. They have the power to take you where you need to go- if you have the patience to listen and relax into it.

These compositions have been a pleasure to make and they really force me to be present with all synapses firing.  I am not in a preconceived attempt- I simply do what I feel like doing in a moment; that may be a vocal reading, collecting sounds or beating the shit out of an instrument in a way it was not designed to be used.

This process has developed into quite a conduit of expression and creativity that keeps me on my toes when it comes to imagination.  This is what I want to share with you.

I want you to take the grit with the beauty and awkward and the graceful interlude.   To feel all of it for yourself with no preconceived notion of where it will lead you.  All I ask is that you invite your imagination for the journey.  And thank Alessandro Muresu for any grace that comes from these compositions- he has the gentle touch that balances everything you hear within these gifts.

All of his contact info is in the video description. Subscribe to his channel, he makes new music EVERY DAY!

Let me know how it plays out for you in the end!

 

A portal of inner exploration

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