Saturday, August 30, 2008

It Was Morning in the Universe


Grateful to get up and see everything working. Just as it is, perfect in this moment. The sense of gratefulness spreads to well being and allows the creative spark to flow into our consciousness and begin to manifest itself. No agenda, no work order, no specific circumstance, no effort.

Effortless creating is a state of being that can only exist when there is no conflict or questioning. The being aligns with possibilities and the self, when ego gets out of the way. This doesn't mean passion or intensity is diminished or restrained. In fact, one can be more passionate, focused and intense when the mind is not running movies about what should be and shouldn't be. The right color combinations, the right language construct, the right paradiddle or pirouette doesn't exist. The palette isn't limited, the source-unlimited. The journey of staying creative and
is up to you.

Right, wrong, deserving or not, the creative spark aligns with those who align themselves with it. Finding 'it' is the journey and sometimes the meaning. It can't be forced, ordered or willed by any construct of the mind. Although the mind is engaged,it is the limitless and timeless portion of the being operating in alignment with the creative. The mind merely translates the mechanics to the body.

Is this correct? Can you will yourself to be creative or is there a component of inspiration and the divine that must be congruent for creativity to express itself?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

A Stillness in August


With the remnants of hurricane Fay sloshing through Atlanta the last two days, there was a chance to get out between torrents to get a nice, peaceful walk. The rain had left a lot of beauty behind on its trek through Georgia. The phone cam snap of a clutch of leaves left me with a peaceful feeling about the calm within the storm. The
is welcome.

The snap went to e-mail then into Adobe Illustrator. The colors were so earthy and full of life, the background was samples from them and the other tones likewise. The effects, sketch, 'sumi' setting gave the vectorized pic a softer look. Clicking on the smaller thumbnail will show a larger version. Would like to see what you think.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Good Morning Cells!


Rising from a night's sleep, the body automatically kicks off the process of changing gears to meet the day. Once you are vertical,the rest just kind of happens. Body auto pilot is a good thing. Just want to say thanks to all the cells who supported me - good job. Hunt down some coffee or your favorite morning beverage and you're good.

Having an “attitude of gratitude” will focus the mind off of problems and into a more positive space for creativity and connectivity. Positive energy from within you creates a space for others to move freely without conflict. Try it out on your most grumpiest co-worker or family member. They may be their usual gruff selves, but they won't be in contention with you when you are in the present moment with a positive vibe. Your 'tude is your responsibility. Just being grateful for a few things each day (your breathing, your blood flowing, your awareness) is a good start. Just by providing a space for others to interact with you, without conflict is a gift you can give each day.

A big shout out to all my cells out there, mitosis baby!

Thursday, August 21, 2008



Pondering on the amazing things that come up from synchronicity – all the people who appear in our lives at just the right time. Sometimes some are like the oven which warms the kettle. Some are like the kettle that holds the water. Some are like the steam that appears when the kettle is hot. Some are more permanent and some teach us more while they are here for a short while.

More Love, More Life, More Unity

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Walls, Flaws and Treasures


On a morning walk, I passed a tree with a beautiful brown texture as the bark had peeled off. Behind the tree was a pale green wall. The contrast was striking as the early morning light illuminated the area. With only my crappy cell phone camera – really low resolution, I took the snap and kept walking. When I sent the image to the computer, I was surprised to see how the image had turned out. The image had an almost painterly effect from the lighting and low imaging. This, in turn, instantly inspired me to put this short clip together. I was already meditating on life purpose and finding it in what we do when the photo changed everything. Composed in Apple Keynote, then ported to GarageBand and saved out as a Quicktime file, it was uploaded to Vimeo and embedded here to share. The whole spontaneity of the event was so quick, but it all came together nicely.
Click to view the clip.

Short clip on life purpose and the purpose you find in life. Walls, Flaws and Treasures are essentially obstacles that teach us about what is really important. The treasures we have are connected to the family, friends and loved ones we have and not to what we own or our titles.

Would appreciate your comments and take on 'Walls, Flaws and Treasures'.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Connecting Perspective

Needing a ride to pick up a prescription, I called my brother from another mother, Miron, to give me a lift. Although we were born about 8,000 miles apart, Miron has my back all the time. While expertly weaving in dense Atlanta traffic at rush hour, and with a concerned look on his face, Miron turned to me and said “Dude, no offense, but people who have had a near-death experience seem to have a different way of looking at life. You don't care about certain things anymore, right?” he asked. Wishing to oblige him with a reply worthy of his question, I replied “ Well, I am glad to be alive, that's for sure. Everyday is like a bonus and I always find ways to be grateful, the clouds are miracles, even the asphalt is a miracle. I really don't have any need for a title or ownership of one and what I once thought valuable and impressive doesn't mean anything to me anymore. What's important is the treasure we have in friends and loved ones. People who like you the same whether you are up or down, or if you dress badly- it doesn't matter, they like you regardless.”

Not sure if Miron understood my comment about the asphalt being a miracle, but the conversation lead me to think about why life is different after a close call. Truly, there are things that just don't matter anymore. If it isn't based in love or sincerity from the heart, it is superficial and meant to please the ego. Family, friends and loved ones have a direct channel to each other and operate on the same frequency. We treat one another as we like to be treated and don't have anything to prove or one up each other. We connect on a level that is at ease and free of conflict and resistance. There is always a space for them within ourselves, we are always present for them and enjoy listening to them as much as talking with them. We accept each other for who we are unconditionally. We treat each other the same year after year and genuinely care about the other as we care about ourselves. This is our treasure on earth. Gotta say thanks to my buddy for giving me this connecting perspective. If you have an opinion about friends and our true treasure, please share it in the comment section.

Have a great weekend!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Aging and Creativity

More gray creeping in at the sides and more width in the middle, more to do and less time to do it with. The sun's coming round to come up behind you again. There's no fighting it- you are losing your race with time. Your creative bursts are a little bit further apart but still potent, it's just that you can never seem to get enough rest to get fully powered. The kids are into more things, your older parents need you more now than ever.

Pretty soon, you'll be the oldest guy/gal at the club, the old guard. What will you do with this new reality? Does wisdom and life experience in creative pursuits 'fill in' where less physical energy is present? Please take a moment and answer this question about aging and creativity.

Monday, August 4, 2008

JT and the Separated Frequencies

VinylRecordPlaying  If you are planning on becoming a musician worth the cover charge or download price, it is fairly important to be able to tell the other instruments from yours in a mix. What is the role of the rhythm instruments? What is the connection of the harmony and melody? For folks with whom you want to experience your music on a personal and long term level, knowing more about the ingredients is the best way to satisfy them and have them return for more.

In my own mountain climbing journey in comprehending patterns and frequency I was met by a music sherpa by the name of Mr. John Trygar. JT is remarkable in the fact that he is tuned to his world of music in a way that he can share anything you need to know to anyone of any music experience without being pedantic, insincere or talking down to you. He was just enthusiastic and passionate to share what he had learned over the years as a working musician, business owner and aficionado. As a young cat bitten by the electronic music bug, I really wasn't aware of all the other faces of the mountain assent that included jazz, early blues and historic R&B artists and their great music. JT provided me with a world class education on the basics of melody, harmony and especially the role of each instrument in a recording that means that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. JT facilitated his lessons based on a ginormous collection of vinyl records that covered almost everything that was worth listening to in the last 100 years. From arcane recordings to collections that followed one musician through a progression of recordings and different groups.

Freely giving his time each evening after closing his music store, he tirelessly prepared listening exercises that tuned an ear to one specific set of frequencies generated by a single instrument. Once I could hear what the bass and bass drum were doing, we went up the frequency range to understand the relational values of tonal ranges and colors that made a saxophone different from a violin, the human voice from a harmonica, the tom toms from a conga and so on. Even after taking professional courses in audio engineering, nothing beat JT's easy going way of hearing and listening which broadened my understanding and enriched my musical life. Jt was able to bring the theory and the music to life in a way that the audio engineer could not. Their approach was a sterile, laboratory produced set of logic circumstantial evidence of why frequencies oscillated. JT shared why these tones made us feel the music deeply and passionately. JT gave me the reason for becoming a musician, the school gave me a reason not to be an engineer.

Bringing music to life as a dimensional and spiritual essence is no easy task, yet JT could relate that kind of abstract in his blue collar, laid back manner. His humble yet powerful was of relating the how and why of frequencies and feeling, sine waves and soul, headroom and humor made it one of the great joys of my life.

JT is still just as passionate today as he was those many years ago which tells me that he is and was always rooted in his love- that's just who he is. Hats off JT for all you have done for me. Each time I appreciate a new piece of music or a new musician or group, I have one person to thank. I hope I can freely give someone else this kind of gift and pass it on.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

The Adventurousness Quotient


Making yourself more creative is a process that involves inspiration, passion and an openness for trying new things. My friend Hooks used to always do the 'adventurous' run. On the way back from our weekly jam sessions he would give me a lift back home and drop me and my keyboard gear off safe and sound. For no known reason and somewhat randomly each time, Hooks would go off road on this goat path of a road, just to see if he could do it. This roller coaster twisted, car width-only wide trail is a testament to his creative personality. He just went for it and was damn good at navigating the road which I couldn't even see at that time of morning. He always was adventurous to try new ways to play, pick up new musical skills, try different instruments and push the limits.

This type of adventurousness gave form to a communal creativity that pushed all of us to find our best musicality and give it freely-stirring it into the pot and removing our attachments. We learned that giving and not owning the phrases and bursts of creative energy served all of us better. It wasn't just my riff or my lead or my fill that was the star in the tune, but our musical egos receded to the point of what music is designed to be-harmony. Instead of going in and fighting to be heard above the other instruments, we played less and quieter so that the entire mix was audible and made for a good experience.

All of this would not have been possible if each of us had not been creatively adventurous and unafraid to drive that narrow twisting road in the dead of night, ready for the sudden descent that came out of nowhere. But like the road, it lead to the main street which lead to the neighborhood which led to the house, a light snack and some much needed sleep. Had we stayed on the main common road there isn't a chance we could have found the adventure we did in creating our music.


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