I am so happy to have you back in my life

Its been 529,600 minutes since I held you in my arms. Well, not really – longer actually, but once you’re on tour with RENT for a year, you suffer that song the rest of your life.

I won’t make the same mistake twice and make up reasons why we can’t be together just because I couldn’t handle the pressure. This time, I am in it for the long haul.

You’ve changed a little, but so have I. We’ve both put on some weight (which looks fantastic on you by the way – and there’s more of you to love). Regardless, I can see you’re still the same in a lot of ways yet you’ve really taken that time apart to work on some of your issues, for which we’re both better off.

So, all that being said, I will not toss you away like an old penny ever again. I will protect you and keep you close always. I will not be afraid to commit, which I know was an issue the last time we were together. So, to put aside any of your fears:

I love you, iPhone.

Yours,

Jason

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Posted in Humor, Random-ness, Reviews, Thoughts | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Show me the Money! (or not)

I made a discovery about myself recently, so of course: to the blogosphere!

Here it is.  Whenever I decide to make art my life (whether is be music or writing) the first question that enters my mind is: how can I turn this into money.  I tried to trace back to when this started happening and it was definitely in the past 10 years.  For this period of time I have been reinforcing this idea over and over until now the synapses in my brain are wired to ask the question automatically.  Damn.  More work ahead.

The result of this, I can almost undoubtedly say, is the creation of a mountain that is insurmountable in that the creative act withers and dies before it is even planted and watered.  When you’re beginning a new journey, money is non-existent; you have to pay your dues whether is be writing copy for free, writing articles for free or playing gigs for free just to get your name and your work out there.  That’s already a lot of pressure and then you (and when I say you, I mean “I”) arbitrarily try to add a price tag to your work.  The reason that the creativity is quelled is that you’re not allowing yourself enough room to fail.  This is imperative as an artist, particularly as a writer.  “This better be fucking good, my family is depending on it.”

Now, I am in no way saying that your (or my) art should remain as a hobby.  Quite the contrary – you have to believe that you will one day do only your art and it will bring you personal as well as financial reward.  But you have to hone it, nurture it and be passionate about it and I believe that by not being blessed with financial rewards at the onset is the universe’s way of testing (go to this entry for more on the universe testing you) to verify that you’re doing it for the love of the doing of if, to paraphrase the Mother’s of Invention, you’re only in it for the money.

In the end, however, it’s a balance.  All at once, we need to be realistic about the way the world works and make sure to meditate on living in abundance.  Maybe to find center, we need to realize that we live in abundance with our creativity and we will never run out of ideas – therefor leading to our financial abundance?  I perceive that I have only questions today and no answers.

Here is a great story.  I have no idea if it is true or not, but I hope it is:  Jerry Seinfeld would take janitorial jobs while he was working on his comedy in order to inspire him to be successful.  He would take meaningless, dead-end jobs to give himself no other choice than to hone his craft and make it work.

Thoughts?

Too bad I am not as good with wiring my synapses together as I am soldering wires together.  I suppose being aware is half the battle…so that’s good!

Namaste,

j

Posted in Sprituality, Thoughts, Writing | 2 Comments

Writing Meditation: The power of Morning Pages

The “times” always seem tumultuous.  Has there ever been a time in history that hasn’t been laden with some sort of strife, challenge or just plain yucky feelings?  This is simply life and the goal is to clear as many of the cobwebs out of your view as possible to make the most of what you’ve got.  We do yoga, we read books, we meditate and get acupuncture and we do it all to reset our minds in order to see the world as it is and with as little of our “filter” that we’ve built up over the years as possible.  These are all viable options to achieve this end, but if I may, I’d like to make a suggestion that’s worked for me over the years: Morning Pages.
Any fan of Julie Cameron’s The Artists Way or Vein of Gold will already know what I’m talking about (and if you do, then stop reading and go write), but for those of you who have never experienced the power of Morning Pages, read on!

Morning Pages are three, handwritten pages that you create as soon as you wake up in the morning (yes, before your morning coffee) and as such should be done daily.  The goal is to write three pages and keep the writing utensil moving across the page for those three pages.  What you write doesn’t matter, but most of the time it will be the garbage that has built up over the previous days and that “little voice” that is always telling you how you can’t do it, whatever it is.  Oh yeah, and once you write the three pages, put them away and never look at them again.  At least for 8 weeks, Ms. Cameron suggests.  This is not a journal; it’s an exercise in clearing the mind.  The best analogy I can apply to the process is that it’s a way to weed the garden that exists in your mind.  Clear the cobwebs.  Don’t have anything to write?  Write, “I don’t have anything to write” for three pages.

You may be saying to yourself, “I’m not a writer” or “I’m not even an artist”, but the beauty of this exercise is that you don’t need to be either and it still works.  It helps clear creative blocks (that little voice again) for everyone from writers and musicians to painters, dancers and even the entrepreneur or business person in general.  It clears the mind and allows access to unfettered decision making and more creative solutions to problems.  In fact, problems seem more like challenges in this newly swept and mopped mind.

In this age of technology, why not just type them into your favorite word-processing program and save them for generations to come?  Morning Pages are to be done by hand for two reasons: the content is, ideally, not to be revisited and writing by hand slows down the mind.  Remember, the words on this page are really in the spirit of “writing for the garbage can”; old, dirty cobwebs and crumbs that clog the filter.  Also, the point is to slow down the mind – I don’t know anyone who can write by hand as fast as they type.  I am sure some people can but only because they can’t type fast.  I liken this process to cryogenically freezing metals.  Cryogenic freezing brings down the temperature of the metal down so low that the molecules actually stop and realign themselves in perfect order to operate at maximum efficiency.  This is what you’re doing with the mind.  As well as cleaning it, you’re slowing it down rearranging the “thought molecules” for optimum performance.

Morning Pages, as the name implies, should be done in the morning: first thing even before the morning cup of coffee, tea or secha.  The reason for this is twofold: to access that deep unconscious mind and to set the stage for the day.  The mind just after sleep is still “open”, so to speak, to the part  mind where that little voice resides as well as fears, dreams, hopes and whatnot.  During the day, the door to the mind becomes closed to intruders only to be opened again the next morning.  It’s this area, the closet if you will, we want to clean out.  We want to open that door and allow the deluge of mental boxes, basketballs and old hockey equipment fall out onto our heads – the page is the Salvation Army and the fodder from the top shelf is our donation.   We also do these pages in the morning because we want to set the stage for our day.  We want to leave the house with a clear view of “things”, for lack of a better word, and not wearing our “filter”.  As such, we are able to make decisions while understanding situations as they really are and not as we’ve perceived them or attributing our own meaning.

I can say with clarity (because I did my Morning Pages this morning) that I have a love/hate relationship with this exercise in that I love the benefits I reap and loath actually performing the exercise; however, this is the nature of any exercise in general and it seems that at the times when it’s extremely difficult to get it done is also the time it’s needed the most.  For me, Morning Pages (and this can be attested to by my wife) make me more “smart-witted” and quicker on my verbal and written feet.  As well, I pull solutions, really great solutions, seemingly from thin air as well as carrying an overall feeling of wellness and happiness.

If you’re interested in finding out more about Morning Pages, head over to the library and pick up either of Julie Cameron’s books (The Artist’s Way or Vein of Gold) and get reading!  Better yet: get writing!

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Collective Consciousness – Part 1

I had an terrible dream last night.

I was at a theater with a large jumbo-tron that showed what was happening outside of the theater.  The theater was full of people with different styles of hair, clothing and personalities.  In fact, a man and his daughter sat down in front of me and we spoke a bit while people were filing into their seats.

Meanwhile, outside, there was a strange helicopter hybrid flying people around the theater on a tour, as well as a normal old Bell Helicopter of some utility (with people wearing orange jumpsuits and white helmets) flying around as well.

The horrible part is that, on the jumbo tron, we all watched the helicopter crash into a tower.  They physics of it were so real including the bodies of the occupants falling out onto the top of a building and the helicopter spinning and tumbling to a stop in a field.  People were running to help and calling out for more assitance.

The truth of the matter is that I have no idea where I got all of this information from?  It couldn’t be simply my subconscious taking pre-processed images and replaying them in a new melange of sight and sound.  Beside the fact that I have never watched a helicopter crash in this way and I was lucky enough not to see the people jumping from the twin towers in NY in order to study the physics of their falling bodies which I would imagine  displayed the same gruesome physics that the unfortunate former occupants of  the helicopter in my dream displayed.

I apologize that this post is so macabre, but there is a point in all of this.  The point is this: I have never met these people that I met at the theater in my dream and I have never seen an event of this scale in such horrific detail.  Could I possibly be “downloading”, for a real lack of a better word, from the collective consciousness?  Is our consciousness woven together like a blanket which, no matter how much we tug, pull and stretch, we can never break the connection with each other?

The implications of this are mind-boggling, but if this is indeed the case, war is even more futile because if we’re connected we only war against ourselves and a war against ones self cannot be won, as far as I am concerned no matter how many “Mission Accomplished” banners are printed and hung.

I (meaning we) need to look more deeply into the possibilities of accessing the resources in this collective consciousness.  I bet Wikipedia’s information is thin compared to this data repository.

Namaste,

jn

Posted in Sprituality, Thoughts, Uncategorized, Writing | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

For me? You shouldn’t have…really.

It has been a tumultuous time lately. Well, to be accurate, tumultuous times seem to come and then go periodically and with an eerie touch of cyclic redundancy; as if it was planned.

The ultimate question I have right now is: are you all here for me?  I seem to get close to certain aspects of my life that I want to change actually changing only to have them snatched away.  I know of successful people – but I don’t know successful people.  Everyone is suffering in some way: financially, physically or emotionally.  I am not totally happy yet not totally sad.  I think you’re all here to satisfy my need for reality of which I have no control over.  You’re the actors in my “Truman Show”.

I sabotage things and I think I’ve figured out why: to see if I have any affect on them and I do to a small degree, but in the end everything snaps back to this murky malaise and ennui (my new favorite word).

My biggest fear is that I will I die insignificant, but does it matter?  Does any of it matter?

I really feel that this may be one of the Buddhist levels of hell – the one where things aren’t so bad but true happiness is just out of reach, like a shiny apple high on a branch: a twisted Eden where the sin may well be already committed and I’m living out the karmic result.

Also, I am a whiny baby sometimes.

FARTS,

jn

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Could this be the end of my search?

Banjo!

Could this be the end of my search? Banjo-rama.

I do a lot of searching in my life and so little finding.  But I believe that i may have stumbled upon something that could change all of that: the banjo.

Yes, you read that correctly – the banjo.

I started playing guitar when I was about eight years old with Eddie Van Halen as my idol and mentor.  I thought for sure I would get the chicks, even with my cardboard sounding acoustic guitar that my grandmother bought me.  Unfortunately for me, a lot of elementary school “chicks” didn’t dig Van Halen and Foreigner as much as I did.  In fact, while doing a lip-sync to “Hot Blooded” in Mrs. Bowzer’s first-grade class, I heard one girl remark, “Eew!  Gross!”  Side-note: I guess it was also pretty weird for a first-grader to know the lyrics “Come on baby, do you do more than dance?”  Anyway, I spent much of my school days in semi-seclusion when it came to my musical talent.

Years went by and I continued to practice “Eruption” in obscurity.  I kind of phoned in my practice as life (girls) got in the way.  I put the guitar away for a while – until I discovered the bass.

Ahh the bass – the perfect balance between the rhythm of the drums and the melody of the guitar.  It should be mentioned at this point that all of the instruments I have played, I have become somewhat proficient at; definitely beyond the “beginner” status but never quite “pro”.  The bass was different for some reason and I actually saw some “band time” when I lived in Arizona – as well as some paying gigs!  Then, I hit a wall – the bass didn’t thrill me.

I put it away as I did with the guitar.  Then I thought – the drums.  So, I bought myself a set of drums, took some lessons and again became somewhat proficient.  Jammed with a couple of bands – but the drums were a pain in the ass to haul around to gigs and practices, so, you guessed it – I put them away (meaning: sold them).

I am a fan of comedy, as many of you know.  I have been re-listening to a lot of Steve Martin’s comedy records and for some reason, the banjo (an instrument I have made fun of my whole life) really resonated with me.  This could be the instrument for me!  I mean, I don’t need to impress women (and the only women who want to sleep with a banjo player will only have sex with their brother while watching NASCAR and discussing what a great president George W. Bush was anyway) – and it is such a happy instrument.  Like Steve says, “It’s impossible to sing a depressing song when you’re playing the banjo.”

Could this be the end of my search?

Namaste,

jn

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Rain, rain…stay?

I often go on and on about things I lack or how I would most like to change myself in either career or spiritually.  However, the rain over the past couple of days has reminded me something that I have with me all the time: my own weather.

People always say, “what a lousy day” when it rains and “wow, what a gorgeous day!” when it doesn’t.  Honestly, it doesn’t affect me at all, the weather.   That is truly something that I have complete equanimity about is the weather and I need to be grateful everyday for it.  Oh yeah, and to remember that I wrote this when it’s zero degrees Kelvin with 16 feet of snow and I am clearing the driveway this winter

So, no matter what it’s doing outside, keep your own weather within!

Namaste,

jn

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