june 25, 2018

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“Train your mind to see something good in everything.” ~ Buddhist proverb

 

don’t trash our land

 

Doesn’t it seem a lonely little trash can? I want to animate him, give him a voice somewhere between James Earl Jones and Slim Pickens, with bushy eyebrows and a long, red tongue and a pouty-turned-sassy personality like that little scrap of paper named Bill. You know the one from Schoolhouse Rock. “I’m Just a Bill, Yes, I’m only a Bill, and I’m stuck up here on Capital Hill” Bill. And with that, before we go down the rabbit hole of politics, I’m going to bed. Bob Ross painted happy little trees. I’ll animate happy little trash cans. Seriously, I think I need some sleep. LOL

june 21, 2018

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“Success doesn’t come from what you do occasionally, but from what you do consistently.” ~ Unknown 

 

secret place

 

I love Joni Mitchell. I was a little late to her party with 1988’s release of Chalk Mark In A Rain Storm, but it didn’t matter so long as I got there. It’s a desert island disc for me. You wouldn’t think so given her early monumental works like Blue (1971), Hejira (1976), and Court and Spark (1974), which is a very close second to Chalk Mark on my list followed by Night Ride Home (1991), but it is my standout Joni Mitchell record start to finish. I loved her mid-career sound that really hit its stride on this recording. She had embraced burgeoning digital audio and used it to perfection as only she could. Plus, Chalk Mark is loaded with so many of my favorite players there’s just no way I wouldn’t fall in love. And the funny thing is, this record may have never crossed my path if we hadn’t been on tour for our self-titled release the same year it was released. CD’s were coming on hot and heavy in 1988. It was big news when you could buy a new release for only $18. (Highway robbery? You bet!) One of our stops on tour was a disc manufacturer and distributor plant. I don’t remember which one it was, or even where it was, but I remember they set us loose in the warehouse and said, “Pick out anything you’d like.” Talk about a kid in a candy store: rows and rows of floor to ceiling shelves filled with music. Both Kiya and I walked out with over-stuffed bags (plural) of discs and cassettes, the latter were still the medium of choice for most people back then. In fact, now that I think about it, my introduction to this record was actually a cassette. In any case, I remember seeing it on the shelf. I don’t know what drew me to it, but I knew I needed to hear it. It always pays to follow that sort of intuition. I was transported out of the van, out of my body, and into a place that only exquisite music can take me from the very first note I heard. Even now, I listen to it and I go somewhere else. I can only describe it as a place of pure calm. Those songs are emblazoned into my brain and they resurface at the oddest times. Take this photo from Craggy Gardens, for instance. I hear Joni singing My Secret Place (lyrics below) with Peter Gabriel. You can hear it here. I hope you enjoy it!

 

My Secret Place, by Joni Mitchell

I’m going to take you to
My special place
It’s a place that you
Like no one else I know
Might appreciate
I don’t go there with anyone–but
You’re a special case
For my special place
For my secret place
 
People talk to tell you something
Or to take up space
Guess I’m only talking
To be talking to
Your pretty face
I don’t talk much to anyone, but
You’re a special case
For my special place
My secret place
 
I was born and raised
In New York City
I’m just getting used to Colorado,
Oh street bravado
Carry me
Why did you bring me to
A place so wild and pretty?
Are there pigeons in this park,
Muggers after dark,
In these golden trees,
In the secret place?
 
I’m going to take you to
My special place
It’s a place no amount of hurt and anger
Can deface
I put things back together there
It all falls right in place,
In my special space
My special place
 
Once I saw a film
In New York City
That was shot in Colorado,
Girl meets desperado
In the trembling mountain trees
Out of all of the girls that you see
In bleachers and cafe windows
Sitting, flirting with someone
Looking to have some fun
Why did you pick me?
For the secret place

june 13, 2018

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“There are FAFILLIONS of people here. MILLIONS and PILLIONS, as my son says. And the ones you meet tomorrow may change your life, or smile at you on the bus, or make you ?. The possibilities, my goodness, let’s rest up.” ~ Lin-Manuel Miranda

 

into the abyss

 

I was about to step into the car leaving Craggy Gardens when I saw this young man looking into a valley of clouds. He was natural, at ease, and completely present. A mountaintop moment? It was for me, at least. It’s good to get away from everyday life sometimes, go up to the mountain and breath deeply.

june 11, 2018

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“Our time here is magic! It’s the only space you have to realize whatever it is that is beautiful, whatever is true, whatever is great, whatever is potential, whatever is rare, whatever is unique, in. It’s the only space.” ~ Ben Okri

 

Craggy Gardens

 

It rained much of the day. Not a deluge like they’ve had in Western North Carolina recently, but a slow, gray drizzle. However, by late afternoon, the sky got interesting. We ascended the Blue Ridge Parkway. I did a little HDR bracketing and talking to God. The air smelled heavenly, the temp equally perfect, and some of the rhododendrons were even still blooming. There just wasn’t enough time to soak it all up, but I did the best I could. I could never get tired of such majesty. Mercy, our blue planet is gorgeous.

 

on top of ‘ol smokey