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northern lights

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One great question underlies our experience, whether we think about it or not: what is the purpose of life? From the moment of birth every human being wants happiness and does not want suffering. Neither social conditioning nor education nor ideology affects this. From the very core of our being, we simply desire contentment. Therefore, it is important to discover what will bring about the greatest degree of happiness By Dalai Lama
One great question underlies our experience, whether we think about it or not: what is the purpose of life? From the moment of birth every human being wants happiness and does not want suffering. Neither social conditioning nor education nor ideology affects this. From the very core of our being, we simply desire contentment. Therefore, it is important to discover what will bring about the greatest degree of happiness
By Dalai Lama

there is a balance within my moods which is right-sizing and humbling. i have made many changes this last season and now i must settle in to those changes. sadly, i find myself struggling with the process of that settling. and with synchronicity a cold front moved through and brought snow to the mountains and chilly gray days to our usually sunny, warm, and blue days and so i am matching today on the inside and the outside- in a little shock.

my nest is all atwitter with belongings tossed everywhere without a care for finding their home. this too reflects the state of my mind. i am not in an organized space. i am in the process of changing, but that process is not complete. i am on the verge. it is the precipice. it is the edge of something next. and I do not know. I can only trust.

I have been visiting halfway houses and jails discussing hep-c, prevention, and treatment with the people involved in those programs. I am to increase this part of my job as I move forward. I contacted the public hospital to inquire about collaborating with hiv testing while I am doing my thing. we’ll see where that goes. I feel as if I am just at the beginning of actualizing my ability at this new gig.

I have become fascinated with the bastille cover version of an old tlc song “no scrubs”. it is such a strange and campy choice for a male band. it makes me smile. and  this particular meowsie remix with the audio clips from the original “psycho” take me on some strange sort of mental journey. it’s fun and a bit creepy. if you are familiar with my blog at all, you will know well how enamored I am with bastille and their covers.

I don’t want no scrub
A scrub is a guy that can’t get no love from me
Hanging out the passenger side
Of his best friend’s ride
Trying to holler at me
I don’t want no scrub
A scrub is a guy that can’t get no love from me
Hanging out the passenger side
Of his best friend’s ride
Trying to holler at me
But a scrub is checkin’ me
But his game is kinda weak
And I know that he cannot approach me
Cuz I’m lookin’ like class and he’s lookin’ like trash
Can’t get wit’ no deadbeat ass
So (no)
I don’t want your number (no)
I don’t want to give you mine and (no)
I don’t want to meet you nowhere (no)
I don’t want none of your time (no)

bird on a wire

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“There is nothing more dreadful than the habit of doubt. Doubt separates people. It is a poison that disintegrates friendships and breaks up pleasant relations. It is a thorn that irritates and hurts; it is a sword that kills.”
“There is nothing more dreadful than the habit of doubt. Doubt separates people. It is a poison that disintegrates friendships and breaks up pleasant relations. It is a thorn that irritates and hurts; it is a sword that kills.”

 

there is no where to run from myself. i have been buzzing like an old fashioned telephone wire wondering what the next few days will bring as i wait to hear about a possible position. i don’t really have a plan beyond this one. it’s been 3 weeks since i flew the coop from my last gig.

i know i don’t need one immediately, because my plans don’t facilitate any action. they mostly quell my own anxiety. if this shape of things to come doesn’t come into being, i will need to fly around and find another option. if not this option then a better option.

to ease my mind, i drove to salida colorado to purchase the painted window posted above from the art & salvage gallery there. i have it hanging in my kitchen and i hope it continues to bring me relief. as i move forward in my life, the bird is becoming a greater metaphor for me on my journey.

here i am perched kind of watching all that goes on around me i can see. but i know from time to time it becomes necessary to let go of the wire and fly somehow there is comfort in this simple idea. comfort and hope.

needless to say after 2 posts of jon sa trinxa’s mixes i have found another love. this is uber chill and speaks to me in the dark and in the light. hope you enjoy it as well.

 

 

open air

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According to Buddhism, we cannot only be born as human beings the next time, but also as animal, "god", "half-god", "hungry ghost" or even in "hell". Obviously, these words have specific connotations in most religions, and the expressions in Buddhism refer to somewhat different experiences than e.g. in Christianity. The main difference is that in Buddhism, a stay in none of the realms is permanent. After a life in "god-realm" we could be reborn in the "hell-realm"; it all just depends on our karma ripening. A very brief description of the six desire realms: 1. Deva (god) realm: Life is experienced as happiness virtually without any problems whatsoever. The largest problem of this realm comes when the time is near to die, one begins to experience suffering as one can see the next rebirth coming up, which is usually much less pleasant. So a life as a deva or god definitely does not refer to anything like "God" in the Judeo-Christian-Moslim traditions; maybe they can be compared better to the gods in Greek mythology. These god-realms or heavens can be divided in many specific worlds. 2. Half-deva (demi god) realm: Quite a happy life is experienced, the main problems are caused by jealousy. The demi-gods can see the perfect life the gods are experiencing and become jealous, as the gods have somewhat better lives. They then want to fight the gods, but are always defeated.  3. Human realm: Life shifts between happiness and suffering. The biggest advantage of being born as a human is that one has the possibilities to change one's karma and do practices to become liberated from cyclic existence or even achieve Buddhahood; see below in Precious Human Rebirth, and at the same time one experiences enough problems to be motivated into action.  4. Animal realm: Life is ruled by ignorance. Happiness and suffering happen, but understanding it, or even controlling it, is barely possible in the darkened awareness of an animal.  5. Hungry ghost or Preta (Tib.) realm: Life is marked by suffering, especially from attachment and craving, without being able to satisfy one's needs. Life here is often described as a continuous suffering from hunger and thirst, but one cannot eat or drink.  6. Hell realm: Life is defined as suffering virtually without any happiness whatsoever. The only positive thing about the Buddhist hell realm is the fact that it is not eternal. After consuming up much of the negative karmic potential, one will die and has the chance to be reborn in a different (more pleasant) realm. Similar to the heavens, many different hells are also described (like hot and cold hells etc.).
According to Buddhism, we cannot only be born as human beings the next time, but also as animal, “god”, “half-god”, “hungry ghost” or even in “hell”. Obviously, these words have specific connotations in most religions, and the expressions in Buddhism refer to somewhat different experiences than e.g. in Christianity. The main difference is that in Buddhism, a stay in none of the realms is permanent. After a life in “god-realm” we could be reborn in the “hell-realm”; it all just depends on our karma ripening.
A very brief description of the six desire realms:
1. Deva (god) realm: Life is experienced as happiness virtually without any problems whatsoever. The largest problem of this realm comes when the time is near to die, one begins to experience suffering as one can see the next rebirth coming up, which is usually much less pleasant. So a life as a deva or god definitely does not refer to anything like “God” in the Judeo-Christian-Moslim traditions; maybe they can be compared better to the gods in Greek mythology. These god-realms or heavens can be divided in many specific worlds.
2. Half-deva (demi god) realm: Quite a happy life is experienced, the main problems are caused by jealousy. The demi-gods can see the perfect life the gods are experiencing and become jealous, as the gods have somewhat better lives. They then want to fight the gods, but are always defeated.
3. Human realm: Life shifts between happiness and suffering. The biggest advantage of being born as a human is that one has the possibilities to change one’s karma and do practices to become liberated from cyclic existence or even achieve Buddhahood; see below in Precious Human Rebirth, and at the same time one experiences enough problems to be motivated into action.
4. Animal realm: Life is ruled by ignorance. Happiness and suffering happen, but understanding it, or even controlling it, is barely possible in the darkened awareness of an animal.
5. Hungry ghost or Preta (Tib.) realm: Life is marked by suffering, especially from attachment and craving, without being able to satisfy one’s needs. Life here is often described as a continuous suffering from hunger and thirst, but one cannot eat or drink.
6. Hell realm: Life is defined as suffering virtually without any happiness whatsoever. The only positive thing about the Buddhist hell realm is the fact that it is not eternal. After consuming up much of the negative karmic potential, one will die and has the chance to be reborn in a different (more pleasant) realm. Similar to the heavens, many different hells are also described (like hot and cold hells etc.).

 

back to basics here in colorado. i have a 2nd interview with an organization that i am hopeful about. i have not been so glad to be home in quite awhile. the last travel escapade with murphy’s law really wore me out a bit. i have survived however.

it turns out that the medical director for the methadone clinic i worked for has given her resignation also. it seems i might have started a trend. and a counselor/social worker i was supervising has taken a position there now. and change is happening as it always is and always shall be.

i don’t really remember being as hopeful as i feel right now. i have enough in my life right now and i am open to what will come.

my belief is that heaven and hell are the things we experience right now as a direct result of our decisions and our actions right now. i believe in reincarnation and i believe we transcend. my hope is to understand and “get” as much as i can now so that if i return i don’t have to start at square one.

“Sacrificing anonymity may be the next generation’s price for keeping precious liberty, as prior generations paid in blood.” 
― Hal Norby

sunday sounds

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"Jungle invades the weed grown parks where armadillos infected with the earth eating disease gambol through deserted kiosks and Bolivar in catatonic limestone liberated the area." and "The name is Clem Snide - I am a Private Ass Hole - I will take on any job any identity any body - I will do anything difficult dangerous or downright dirty for a price -"  And the shock factor is non-existent. It’s 2013, you can write all you want about cocks in rectums, on every page even (as Burroughs laboriously did) and I won’t even bat an eye.  "Evening touched our rectums."
“Jungle invades the weed grown parks where armadillos infected with the earth eating disease gambol through deserted kiosks and Bolivar in catatonic limestone liberated the area.””The name is Clem Snide – I am a Private Ass Hole – I will take on any job any identity any body – I will do anything difficult dangerous or downright dirty for a price -”

“Evening touched our rectums.”….. William S Burroughs “The Soft Machine”

my intention is to start a sunday posting with some exciting (to me) sounds that make up my weekend. today is another offering from “other people” with dave harrington and nico jaar helping to steer this collaboration. the mix starts out with burroughs doing one of his infamous book readings – this one inspiring the title “the soft machine”. (we human beings are the soft machine btw)

i love the music. i hope you do too!

freedom

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 Live in Joy Live in Joy, In love,  Even among those who hate.  Live in joy, In health,  Even among the afflicted.  Live in joy, In peace,  Even among the troubled.  Look within. Be still.  Free from fear and attachment,  Know the sweet joy of living in the way.  ~  There is no fire like greed,  No crime like hatred,  No sorrow like separation,  No sickness like hunger of heart,  And no joy like the joy of freedom.  Health, contentment and trust  Are your greatest possessions,  And freedom your greatest joy.  Look within. Be still.  Free from fear and attachment,  Know the sweet joy of living in the way.  from the Dhammapada, Words of the Buddha

Live in Joy
Live in Joy, In love,
Even among those who hate.
Live in joy, In health,
Even among the afflicted.
Live in joy, In peace,
Even among the troubled.
Look within. Be still.
Free from fear and attachment,
Know the sweet joy of living in the way.
~
There is no fire like greed,
No crime like hatred,
No sorrow like separation,
No sickness like hunger of heart,
And no joy like the joy of freedom.
Health, contentment and trust
Are your greatest possessions,
And freedom your greatest joy.
Look within. Be still.
Free from fear and attachment,
Know the sweet joy of living in the way.
from the Dhammapada, Words of the Buddha

 

 

 

he came, he criticized, he left

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It is better to travel well than to arrive. Buddha
It is better to travel well than to arrive.
Buddha

“The experience of being a gay man in the twenty-first century is different from that of any other minority, sexual orientation, gender, or culture grouping. We are different from, on the one hand, women, and on the other hand, straight men. Our lives are a unique blending of testosterone and gentleness, hypersexuality and delicate sensuality, rugged masculinity and refined gentility. There is no other group quite like that of the gay men. We are a culture of our own…. Alan Downs The Velvet Rage

i have been romanticizing the image of mary poppins leaving after her zany and heartwarming interlude at the banks’ home since my eyes opened a bit more last november.  poppins came, she worked her magic and taught some lessons, and when she felt the family members’ had expanded their own views of their lives and their connected life together, she opened her bumbershoot and let the wind lift her to her next adventure.

this speaks to the work i do and how i feel about it. i naively believe that having an impact on the system i work within will somehow impact the system for good. sadly it is not always the case. permanent change is an oxymoron in itself. change happens, but just as true is that change then happens again.

i admit, rather sheepishly, that when the systems i work within begin to revert back or move beyond the changes i have participated in, i flee. it becomes time to go. i can’t say whether this is a weakness or a strength or whether any of the changes i have helped orchestrate create a better world. i can say i leave a real part of myself on the table and i exit as a better person- stronger, with more insight, and i find a place to have a more open heart- although sometimes that takes work.

my life change this week. a new season begins and i will let the wind carry me.

under pressure

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On the other hand, what I like my music to do to me is awaken the ghosts inside of me. Not the demons, you understand, but the ghosts. David Bowie
On the other hand, what I like my music to do to me is awaken the ghosts inside of me. Not the demons, you understand, but the ghosts.
David Bowie

 

i think i may have reached a turning point in my career. at this juncture, i have encountered something which seems new and also defeatist. that something is fear.

i am not sure what exactly i am afraid of which might actually make this whole situation seem worse. i might be afraid of failure which is possible. i might be afraid of losing my security which has sensible attributes. i might actually be afraid  that my colleagues and supervisors may judge me although i have no doubt that they already engage in activities like that. but as i said, i am not sure what i might fearful of.

and being fearful is what is unusual for me. until now, i have just moved forward with ideas and creating processes and programs mostly because i was in the position to do so and i could channel the capability. as i stand on the threshold of doing more and creating more, i feel the winds of second thoughts and reticence and the whole thing has me a bit spooked.

experience tells me that creating processes and programs comes with a price tag. i have given up friends, i have let go of support mechanisms that were dear, and  i have walked through old trauma as it was triggered by a rival. i have played politics among frenemies as if it were a poker tournament for dollars and control.

this gambling and wagering and jockeying for the win happen to be my least favorite of all this. i would just prefer to have the freedom to create things and i definitely would prefer that all the processes and ideas i have would be wonderful and win accolades. sadly tho, that is fantastical rubbish. there are many players who have similar ideas and hold similar hopes.

maybe i just don’t want the competition. maybe i just don’t like to lose. i do like challenges. i don’t however like to walk precarious paths in order to rise above those challenges at least not while being scrutinized by rivals.

it seems that the turning point i speak of has to do with coming in off this ledge i seemed to have wandered onto. i have to make a decision to try something more (or not).  i guess we’ll see how this all turns out.

 

Turned away from it all like a blind man
Sat on a fence but it don’t work
Keep coming up with love but it’s so slashed and torn
Why, why, why?

Love

Insanity laughs under pressure we’re cracking
Can’t we give ourselves one more chance?
Why can’t we give love that one more chance?
Why can’t we give love, give love, give love, give love, give love, give love, give love, give love?..

to have and not to hold

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“Your hand opens and closes, opens and closes. If it were always a fist or always stretched open, you would be paralysed. Your deepest presence is in every small contracting and expanding, the two as beautifully balanced and coordinated as birds' wings.”  ― Rumi, The Essential Rumi
“Your hand opens and closes, opens and closes. If it were always a fist or always stretched open, you would be paralysed. Your deepest presence is in every small contracting and expanding, the two as beautifully balanced and coordinated as birds’ wings.”
― Rumi, The Essential Rumi

 

what a difference a day can make. i found myself feeling so trapped in a very bad situation today and i over-reacted. my reaction didn’t help the situation, nor did it really help me, but react i did. i used to laugh as i would tell other people “put the crazy stick down”- i wish i had remembered that today.  luckily, i am becoming comfortable with the philosphy of 2 concepts over these recovering years….1) that i don’t have to be right in order to be happy… 2) i can be resilient and survive no matter what the outcome of a situation.

i don’t remember these 2 things up front all the time. sometimes it takes me longer to remember them than i would prefer. but i do come to the place where i remember them which is the easy button for me. nothing is worth so much that i need to sacrifice my sanity. i can let go of almost anything and i will survive. after all, through the grace of this life, i have come through so very much already in spite of my small mindedness and my ego.  and i retain a little humor and some perspective, too.

so no matter what caused my reaction today, i don’t have to be stuck in that situation bubble forever. just the knowing of that helps me not hold on to the crazy.

dreams

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“All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think we become.”
“All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think we become.”

Now here you go again
You say you want your freedom
Well who am I to keep you down
It’s only right that you should
Play the way you feel it
But listen carefully to the sound
Of your loneliness
Like a heartbeat.. drives you mad
In the stillness of remembering what you had
And what you lost…
And what you had…
And what you lost
Thunder only happens when it’s raining
Players only love you when they’re playing
Say… Women… they will come and they will go
When the rain washes you clean… you’ll know
Now here I go again, I see the crystal visions
I keep my visions to myself

this week has been challenging in many ways-but mostly to my ego. i have been questioning some direction i have been taking my work and i have been fatigued by those questions. i have been unsure, somewhat stuck, and really not connected-going through the motions, but not tasting much except perhaps the memories of flavors.

my healthcare providers have found traces of blood in my urine the last couple of samples and directed me to change one of my hiv meds to prevent any further possibility of kidney cancer. this was extremely thoughtful but at the same time it felt a little confrontational. i really didn’t want to hear about it.

in the meantime i purchased 3 months of the former med along with the others and the next day needed to buy 3 months of the new med. burning money i tell you.

i am in the process of refinancing my house. it is arduous and invasive. but these are platinum problems i know. so many of my comrades never had the options of meds and weren’t afforded the luxury of living. people are losing their homes at alarming rates to foreclosure and bankruptcy. refinancing to pay the loan off sooner is honestly very little trouble.

i have been at my workplace for 5 years as of yesterday. i have worked on 3 teams in 3 separate clinics. i’ve had 8 salary increases in those 5 years and was informed today i will be offered a promotion within a short time and that it is hoped that i accept. this felt like a gift really.

i am trying to work it out to travel to connecticut for peer coaching training to bring back to my clinic. i somehow have developed this idea to create a coaching academy for peers to work within the healthcare system. and even crazier, i would like to offer training to peers in other healthcare systems as well. none of this may come to fruition, but i do like to dream.

speaking of dreams, i love love love this version of dreams by bastille with gabrielle alpin.  let me know what you think…

 

the right groove

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While he knocked it out of the park last year with the Dave Harrington collaboration Darkside (especially “Paper Trails” and “Golden Arrow“) Nicolas Jaar is also in another duo that’s worth your attention. Just Friends, the producer’s project with Sasha Spielberg, previously covered Leonard Cohen and now has shared the soulful and atmospheric original track “Don’t Tell Me.” You can grab the 10″ single of the song on Record Store Day, and stream it below.... stereogum..
While he knocked it out of the park last year with the Dave Harrington collaboration Darkside (especially “Paper Trails” and “Golden Arrow“) Nicolas Jaar is also in another duo that’s worth your attention. Just Friends, the producer’s project with Sasha Spielberg, previously covered Leonard Cohen and now has shared the soulful and atmospheric original track “Don’t Tell Me.” You can grab the 10″ single of the song on Record Store Day, and stream it below…. stereogum..

pop music has changed over the years and i have certainly tried to change along with it. much to my dismay, i find that there are many genres out these days that have no spiritual connection to my experience. often times dance music- or techno- seems soul-less and without a story.

this is not the case in terms of nicolas jaar. for some reason he has captured my imagination and my heart. with every release i am reminded that music is about a human story and about an experience. i find myself bopping and tapping with every recording and every play. his imaginative interweaving of new recordings, beats, samples, and live vocals promises me that the magic of performance and the intelligence of storytelling have not frozen. i feel a little more alive with each play.

here is a link to nicolas jaar and dave harrington’s online music magazine “other people”- always worth a look and a listen for me.

other people