Desert Dragstrip ~ Zen and the Art of Observation at any Speed

Zen & the Art of Motorcycle MaintenanceIn 1974, Robert M. Pirsig published Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, an extraordinary book about an extraordinary journey. The bit about touring around the U.S.A. on a motorcyle is good too.

This book captivated me in my early 20s. The mystical philosophy of ‘goodness’ Pirsig explores fascinates me. It’s not a perfect book, though. And over the years I discovered numerous faults. For example, Pirsig idealises — romanticises — motorcylce travel.

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Your heart’s desire; the fear of having it all ~ Dave Matthews & George Bernard Shaw

Mythology began with just three muses, Aoidē (“song” or “voice”), Meletē (“practice” or “occasion”), and Mnēmē (“memory”), but overtime expanded to nine. While my three primary muses are music, movies and books, the people in my life often inspire creativity and creation, some more than others. Yesterday brought such a weaving of muses in a flurry of creation that produced Bound :: Unbound and also an intention to create something else.

In the day’s early hours, a friend posted a song on Facebook featuring a quote that stayed with me, continues to stay with me: Read more »

Bif Naked is my bright mantra ~ Everyday

A couple years ago, right about this time, my life was a process of transformations. Significant ones. Life changers. World changers. Personal, spiritual, career, love: you name it, it was changing. It seemed like Bif Naked had a song for every single transformation, every single condition I was experiencing. My Whole Life, Lucky, Violence, Hold On, That’s Life, Nothing Else Matters, I Love Myself Today, That’s Life With Me, Tell On You, Religion, Choking On The Truth. Hell, the titles themselves tell a story, don’t they? Bif was on my iPod in high rotation, and there were many days spent driving around town, or between Whistler and Vancouver on the gorgeous Sea-to-Sky highway, belting these songs out at the top of my lungs with her.

This one, though, Everyday, this was my bright mantra. This was my saviour.
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Dave Matthews ~ Minstrel of love, patience, perseverance in The Space Between

I posted this song on our Facebook page where it received a few comments. One of them, “the lyrics do lend themselves to that “shiver down your spine” feeling…none of us want to be there.”

No, none of us do want to be in a relationship that’s broken, filled with hurt, pain, anguish. It’s the kind of relationship our well-meaning friends counsel us, get out, let it go and don’t look back. Yet love flourishes in the space between the spinning out, the wicked lies and crying pain. We hear again the consistent beat of its heart on the calm, gentle ride back to the top of the roller-coaster.
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Country Girls love their Mommas on Mother’s Day ~ Faith Hill

Finding an appropriate song to post for my mother on Mother’s Day proved more difficult than I expected. Searchers on “Mother” turned up a paucity of titles, and all the songs portrayed…well, I’d rather not get started on that. But I stuck with it and…finally found something in the country genre. Yes, Country Girls do love their Mommas.

By the way, Nomad Boys love their Mommas too. You can’t lose me, Mom.

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Love, strength and courage ~ The greatest things you’ll ever learn

Every now and again I post a status message on Facebook that generates a comment storm. And every now and again, that comment storm generates ideas good enough for a blog post, as it did with The Tao of Love and Light: Riffing on physics and faith.

Yesterday morning I posted the following couplet as a status message.

Being loved doesn’t make us stronger.
Loving is what makes us stronger.

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Fusion for the jazzily inclined :: Shakti, Brand-X, Return to Forever & Pat Metheny

OK. With not one but two false starts at identifying some jazz fusion music most folks can enjoy, here are a few examples from the genre I really hope you will like … maybe even love.

Remember Shakti :: Lotus Feet

One of my favourite pieces of music in any genre: Lotus Feet. Remember Shakti features renowned guitarist John McLaughlin, a principle and leading member of the legendary and influential fusion ensemble, The Mahavishnu Orchestra as well as the band to which the formation of this one is loving a tribute, Shakti. Here, South Asian intruments, scales and themes fuse with McLaughlin’s gentle acoustic guitar. Absolutely lovely. And that’s all I have to say about that.
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Bringing Latin passion to fusion and the future ~ Al Di Meola’s Elegant Gypsy

A couple weeks ago I offered up three old fave songs from the German jazz fusion group, Passport, then asked for comments.

The silence was deafening. <grin>

But, after a while, there was one comment. Essentially: “boring.”  OK. Fair enough. A followup comment illuminated some issues with the music which I happen to share, but because I love the genre in general, I sometimes ‘hear past’ those issues, and can enjoy — even love — a song on its other merits.

That’s one of the interesting things about music, Read more »

Amazing Grace comes in small packages ~ Rhema Marvanne

‘Grace’ is among my favourite words. There is divinity in it, and poise, as there is in this little girl’s voice, and in her being. Rhema Marvanne is, apparently, all of 7 years old. An age of innocence, so there should be no surprise there’s not a hint of wretchedness in the performance. But whence comes the amazing grace in her sweet sound? I shiver with it.

Amazing Grace is among my favourite songs, a song about divine triumph over consuming darkness. Read more »

Get Miles Away to find your way home ~ Gomez, Thomas Moore and Tristan

The year 2000 was an extraordinary one. It was the year I wrote and produced my play, Prisoners, which in itself marked several milestones on my spiritual path. And there was this girl. A dark beauty who rekindled my passion for music. Gomez was just one of the bands we caught live that year at a small venue in town known euphemistically as Dick’s on Dick’s. The combination of workshopping the play, getting the musical groove back and opening up the loving soul sparked a profound spiritual experience. Ironically, the spiritual connectedness I felt at that time marked the beginning of the end for my dark beauty and I.
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