An intense day, few days. Great lessons learned. Absolutely raw though. How can you describe the feeling… raw is the only word I can think of. Naked – pulsing – electric.
Take the already unfathomable events with Cleopatra over the last few months, and then the still lingering undercurrent of separation anxiety from Princess Little Tree that seems to simmer in my soul’s very bottom, at the very back of it all, in the back ground. I long for her at times and feel her longing. dance and sing and jump up and down for me my beautiful Persian Princess and ballerina. Smile for me and light up my world one more time in this lifetime before we part yet again forever. But it’s over. And that is still there whether we like it or not. Happy with our decision certainly, but still a little saddened by it. Awed by it. Appreciative and very loving and supportive of one another. I remain raw from it still, on the edge of it, but in awe of how we handled it. wizardly. But still human with human feelings.
Something else too, something totally weird.
The dove and I soared over the last few weeks. We had developed a deep, almost spiritual, nearly psychic connection to one another – though I had no idea how much so –over the last eight weeks. we had reached a peak on Saturday. We were in deep collaboration with one another on several different levels and platforms. not just regarding our non-profit work, but as friends, and as artists, and we had a very strange kind of spiritually romantic thing happening as well, as much as we both tried to pretend and convince ourselves that we didn’t. It was almost slow motion. Above time. or beyond it.
We poemed each other constantly. Artistically feeding off of one another, off of our passion and dedication to that art and to the art of living life in romance and the dream world that the artist inhabits. It was a daily event. Each of them becoming more and more intense, intimate, and personal. I counted that I had written a total of 15 songs either inspired by the connection, or from poems she had written, in less than a month, from the silly and sappy to the sublime. That was a completely unheralded experience for me. possibly the most intense creative surge I had experienced since the college days when all I did was sit around and get high and write songs and play local shows at night.
But back then I was just a kid, dabbling, learning, honing my skills; still experimenting, a lot of one-offs and throw-aways. These days when I write a song, more than most end up being recordable or releasable, ready to go right onto an album. I’ve learned to distinguish now at least for the time being between the great and the mundane dabble and never give much attention to those toss-offs. The creativity was like bam bam bam. I could pick up the guitar, take a comment she made on the phone in passing or an email or a poem and just run with it and turn it into a finished song by day’s or night’s end. it was intoxicating and I was riding high from it. as a songwriter I was amazed how on fire I was from our connection.
What’s more, she had given me a gift that I never thought even possible. Poetry. Had inspired and encouraged me to study poetry, interpret it, enjoy it, lavish in it, attempt it myself, and find my own poetic voice. Again, I found myself on fire from the experience. Climbing the ladder of learning quickly and enjoying experimenting with finding my voice.
By Saturday we peak in this strange thing that had been steadily escalating for weeks, brought on by madness, dreaminess, and the mixed messages of the oracle. We connect, bond, become one in spirit through this collaboration. We were as one mind. This was a very intellectual thing. we referred to it as a sort of a very fast paced tennis match of the wits that we played together. She would fire off a poem to me in the morning – “listen to this.” and I would shoot one back by afternoon and then she would send a reply poem that night. During this whole time I was also shooting out songs about various aspects of our connection like a factory worker with a gun to his head. Pumping them out as quickly as I had time to. sometimes one per day. every day. Great fucking magnificent songs. Awesome. For me there is no priority more important nor intoxicating than birthing new songs into the world. And this experience was inspiring me to do so more than any other in recent memory.
It went on and on like this for weeks, months. Bam bam bam! Back and forth. We were occupying the same space in another world through this worm hole we had slipped through. But all platonic, very much unspoken, fascinating, inspiring, not physical. And then we are off for the day each going our separate ways. An incredible concert on Saturday as noted earlier. And then to bed by about 1 or 2am.
At some point early in my sleep, I am aware that I am in this uncomfortable sort of half-sleep half-awake state tossing and turning in an uncompromising agony. For four hours I tossed and turned in this agonizing emotional and mental pain unable to fall fully asleep. The feeling was excruciating. I was keenly aware of this understanding that at that moment in time the dove’s heart had left me/us and was with another. I had no idea how close I had become to the dove in spirit. It was as if I could feel her. I mean, as if I was feeling seeing hearing what she was, and I myself was having an emotional reaction to it.
For the next twelve hours I was aware of every breath, every word spoken, every kiss, hug, and touch that she was sharing with this other being that I could feel had suddenly entered our picture. I could feel her breathing for god’s sake. Incredible. There was no question of what I was feeling. I did not question it. I just knew it. and I knew that she knew that I knew it.
By 5am I decided to end the drama, give up on sleeping, and just get up and sit there and breathe and meditate on what was happening. I went into a deep meditation with my own personal God-concept and higher self about the matter. There was no bitterness. Suffering yes. But no resentment. More than anything I was curious. The dove and I had been very clear with one another that we intended to keep our relationship platonic, in the spiritual realm only. But I was not prepared for this intense feeling of dread, loss, or dispossession from her exploration with another in the physical realm. I was firmly aware that she and I both had the right to do whatever we wanted to with whomever we wanted. But it did not make the feelings any less intense or crushing. I was still dating other girls, and assumed she did the same, but the dove occupied almost all of my attention. So this experience came at me like a two by four to the back of the head.
I just sat there alone and quiet and meditated as the sun rose and darkness became light outside my window. Didn’t speak much. Just listened. The messages were profound and simple. The method was simple. I was to hear a message, repeat it aloud, and then ponder it, and if I had to, repeat it several times so I could get the learning and the action if any. I did this until about 10am. Many many messages. Mainly about building discipline and exercising my will in order to be more willful. Was it not a lack of will that got me into this strange predicament? Just letting it all go and being in the moment as always… I was instructed to take the whole thing and feel it, let it go, let it out, and label it. Learn the lessons. Not hold onto any of it. Breathe through it. And continue to listen to and then repeat aloud and then take in the lessons learned from the experience. I was amazed by the whole thing.
I then went to church and had a fantastic experience as I already wrote about, accented by this earlier experience for the last four or so hours. The dove did not contact me. I knew that if she did not contact me on Sunday that the visions of my experience were accurate. For I had turned into the first and last call of the day by that point. So I knew. And I knew that she knew that I knew. and I knew that she was concerned about it, but I didn’t want her to be. what I didn’t know was if she felt that it was o.k. It was important to me to get across to her that it was o.k. I knew that she felt me feel the whole thing, and I knew that she felt concerned about that and felt my pain from it, (just as I go in and out of feeling Princess Little Tree’s pain over my experiences with girls and she feels my pain of her past experiences with men…) but I didn’t know if the dove knew that I was feeling that it was o.k. Pain yes. But a bad thing not.
I didn’t want her to feel bad about it. our lines were drawn. They were clear. we were clear about where we were. It wasn’t like we were fooling around or anything. that’s what was so surprising about the whole thing. I’m not even into kissing girls that I date unless they are the one. And to be sure she was clear with me too. what we were experiencing with one another was something else, way out there. For me, I’ll date as much as I can because its fun. I love girls. I love beauty. but for me, now, the line is drawn there. I’ll date a girl or a series of them on and off for six months and still not even kiss them if I don’t feel like she’s the one or if I’m the one for her. too much trouble. That’s just my own personal commitment. Building honor. Keeping the future sacred. Or better put, projecting oneself into the future so it is the present, honoring that, keeping it sacred, and realizing that there are times when it is important to remember that we are now living in the past of a future-present and it is important now to keep sacred the past of that future- present just as it is to keep sacred the present moment. So we did not have attention on that aspect of relationship. But unwittingly we somehow had created this whole other thing out there in the ethers… I just had no idea how close we had become in spirit. Feeling someone fool around with someone else is a weird thing.
Today we spoke about it. A very open gracious dialogue. I told her point blank what I had experienced and she confirmed the accuracy of the whole thing, and neither of us could believe how accurate it was right down to the very times that everything had occurred. I didn’t even have to ask ‘were you with some other guy?’ I just said something like ‘you were with some other guy.’ and we both just nodded in silence over the phone, in the knowing. Even the times were accurate of everything. Crazy. It was some kind of psychic connection that we had opened and there was no way we were going to be comfortable as long as we kept this worm-holed door open up there/out there in our spirits’ consciousness. She didn’t want to agree because we get so much from our collaboration, but we agreed that we didn’t want either of us to be in pain. and besides, there was no way we were going to create the space, or time even, to be with other people that we really wanted to be with, to create our dream lovers, if we were carrying on in this other way. I told her we needed to close the door for now. Not only that, we then needed to weather-strip the damn door and then caulk and seal all the edges of it and forget about it. The worm-hole, the black hole, needs to close. And so it was. we closed the door. She flew down. I flew down. Back on solid ground.
Uncanny and unbelievable. That’s all I can say. To be so close to someone in spirit that you can feel them fooling around with someone else. Its as if you can feel them breathe. You can feel when they are in pain or in joy. Something I had experienced before, once before from this side and once before from the other side. But in this very mundane and materialistic world that we live in it is easy to forget that these psychic connections can develop between people. that it is indeed a very real thing. it transcends the physical entirely. it is not mental. But something akin to an emotional reaction to something you feel in the spiritual plane. Fascinating.
I feel cleaned from the whole thing. I don’t know, like some sort of cleansing or rebirthing. Learning discipline. Exercising and building the will. becoming more real. Letting the dove fly free out of this unconditional love, similar to the way that Princess Little Tree let me go because she loved me. It is all very beautiful. I am in awe of my life right now.
Today these pictures arrive in the mail from my first real girlfriend from freshman year of high school, The Vixen – yes that The Vixen, the one from the song – and I am overcome by this rush of intense emotion while looking at the pictures. She was the one back in high school. The first of many o.k., but she was the one who got away, literally. Moving to Ohio right when we were in the thick of it. first real making out sessions and all. I could have watched her carry her books through the hallways forever. what a sexy little kitten she was. my first real girlfriend. The Vixen is after all now older and it is a shocking experience. On the outside of the envelope she had written “take a deep breath before you open Mr. Ambassador – you are about to become XX years older.” I just had no idea that we were getting older. But seeing the pictures of her allowed me a window to my own image that I had never allowed myself when looking at myself in the mirror. Wow. heavy. Very heavy for me. fucking just totally heavy.
I’m looking at the pictures and I’m thinking, she is so beautiful still, but my God we really do get older don’t we? Because my last image of The Vixen is this little fifteen year old that I used to spend hours making out with after school. And now she’s older and it was like Bam! Right in my face. Am I older now and just don’t see it? I’m talking to polar bear at HQ for a few minutes about it. ‘we really are getting old aren’t we. This is how its going to happen. before we know it we’re thirty, then we’re forty, then we’re fifty, then sixty and before you know it we’re fucking old. My God. this is really fucking happening. we are aging and there is nothing we can do about it.
I decided to walk the city. I walk the parks. I walk and I walk and I walk. I am walking around raw, naked, burned, fazed out, numb from too much feeling from the last three days, a glaze in my eye… I feel like John Cusack in one of his weird gen-x movies from the nineties… the lone gen-x’er walking the city streets in the middle of the movie when the sad song is playing… confused raw vulnerable burning shocked amazed. Where are we? Who are we? Are we really growing older? My thoughts racing. My God. we are growing older. It is slow but it is undeniable and unmistakable and inevitable. The horror revealed right before my eyes with a picture of an old flame standing there looking so pretty but older with her husband and three children. Was she the one? did I fuck that up? Was I supposed to chase her all the way to Ohio at my tender age of fifteen and tell her I wanted to marry her? God I would have had to take a bus. I didn’t even drive yet! The audience laughs. And me still roaming around the earth like a nomad living day to day for the exotic adventure and various intoxicants of a life well lived and ravaged and fully taken advantage of. O.k. well that part has been great, lets face it, we’ve lost nothing by holding out on marriage, that’s for sure. But seeing her picture there made me think….
And the dove? Wow. what kind of a trip was that? What the hell was that? where did it come from? who was she? Why did it get so intense? Have we sealed the trap door? What the hell was that about?
My thoughts return to Little Tree. Dance for me sing for me smile for me one more time. I picture her in my mind dancing in a puddle of water and giggling like a little girl…. it is Easter. My heart is singing from her image….
But I come back to reality quickly. I am stinging. Stung. Undone. I am shaken. Quaked. Baked. Taken. Laid to waste. Exhausted from feeling. And what about that girl in church with that long perfect body and grace and elegance and that silky-shiny long dark brown hair who was sitting just a few feet in front of me. How do I talk to her? Is it money is it fame? Is it will? is it discipline? Is it confidence? What do I need to do to win her heart? How do you even approach a girl like that? How much richer more famous popular happier successful do you have to be? Who am I now? Will I ever get the girl? How does the movie end?
I kept reminding myself, “This is life. I am living life. This is what living life is… this is the middle of the movie. You are playing the lead role, man that’s cool. You are the character who started off on top of the world kicking his heels and dancing in the streets and singing at the top of his lungs in the opening credits, who has now in the last hour or so been delivered a series of shockers and surprises. You are now walking the city streets in the bright sunlight of a beautiful New York City day in shock, experiencing the life that we all experience here. Being human. The envy of the angels. The sad song is about to end and you will go back to your day to day. Breathe. The movie is not over yet. we still have at least another hour to go. this will be a happy ending movie. You’re a gen-x’er after all. This is a gen-x movie. This is going to be a happy ending fucking movie Fishy. You’ll see.”
Went to an incredible concert last night. Tereso came up from Miami to play five shows in two days. Infinito is playing drums with them right now. they were awesome. I will see them again tonight and meet with them to see what I can do to help them with the record company. I would love to be of assistance. They just humbly rocked their asses off and won the crowd over to near exhilaration and this was in a real shit hole of a bar where they couldn’t even fit on stage. Imagine what they could do on a real stage. I love the idea of owning the record label. Just not sure if there is any money to be had in it. Its running at about a half a million dollar loss right now. if one act breaks big, I would theoretically get all that back and more. But if no act ever breaks, then I continue to live with that loss and more as the years continue to pass.
The biggest challenge now to making money with a record label is not in the recording or manufacturing or releasing of a CD or album. Anyone can do it. I would have no problem signing every artist I dig and releasing their CDs for them. the challenge is in all the money a label has to spend to get the music out to the people, and then to get the people to want to actually spend money on it. People, all of us, I included, have no problem spending 5 bucks for a cup of Starbucks or a jamba juice, or twenty to forty bucks for a lunch or dinner. But try to get someone to spend ten to fifteen dollars on a CD and you’re in for a tremendous challenge. Just look at any of the starving artists you know struggling to make it week to week. we all know at least one, if not a few. If you know me, then you know one. I’ve been struggling with it for some fifteen years. Every now and then I get lucky, but for the most part I am still a struggling artist.
[I had and continue to have this realization whenever I see glimpses of the MTV music awards and realize that these are the artists that the majority of the mainstream masses consider current artists on the scene, when real music lovers don’t even own or buy most of this music – there are exceptions of course, such as Dave Matthews or beck or coldplay – but the real great music being made out there and collected and talked about passionately by hard core music fans is totally unheard of by the majority of people. totally unrecognizable names except to a few passionate few. This is the great contradiction of the music business today. The good stuff, the challenging and stimulating and brilliant and experimental stuff is underground because it’s so under funded and the real pedestrian and predictable stuff is out on top.]
Even the once-big names out there, people like Donovan or KC or genesis or pat benatar or styx and on and on — you know the ones – there are many more artists who were once big who we now haven’t heard from in decades than there are artists who were once big who we still hear from all the time… and this isn’t because they stopped making music or retired; you think the once awesome teen idol Dion wants to be retired down in Boca Raton doing nothing and NOT be making music? or that Dionne Warwick wanted to be the spokesperson for some psychic hotline? Probably not. It’s because the industry itself just decided to stop paying attention to them or the record buying public just decided to stop buying their product. It would seem to be a terribly frustrating career to enter into. but people still flock into it. who doesn’t know someone in a band or wanting to be in a band. funny stuff.
So the idea for me now of continuing to own a record label and continuing to sign artists that I believe in is something I am still struggling with. The prospect of continuing to spend tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars on these artists who are all totally awesome each in their own right at the hope that one of them will hit big to help pay for the rest of them is quite a daunting challenge. Something I am struggling with to be sure.
But last night as I was in that club and rocking out hard and banging my head hair flying everywhere to this roaring thunder of this Latin rock band Tereso… man I was just so overcome with this desire to grab that music and that image and put everything I had into it and help them out as much as I could. That’s the power of rock and roll. That’s the power of music. But one has to be smart too. Not every rock band is going to be aerosmith and not every rap artist is going to be p diddy. In fact, those are the exceptions. And that’s just the harsh reality of it.
Still experiencing some kind of a spiritual transformation. A powerful experience where there is this profound understanding and feeling of a God-force entering my life more and more. Connecting with me. Talking to me. Communicating with me. It is uncanny. And it is undeniable. I prayed about it a lot for the last six to nine months and unbelievably it is slowly growing more and more each day, much to my amazement. Last night I tossed and turned all night. A very restless non-sleep for most of the night. By 5:30 am I just decided to stop the madness, get up and sit and write and be in the moment rather than lie there with these crazy thoughts rumbling in my head.
Once up, I sat there and I was overcome by this presence in my heart and this voice in my head — soft, loving, kind, gentle, peaceful, wise, strong, willful, knowing. Guiding me, giving me advice. It was an epiphany. One of many lately concerning this matter I will admit. But no less astounding or rewarding or surprising or revealing.
Now obviously the biggest concern here as others point out as well is the understanding that people like evangelist Pat Robertson and others, Bush cohort Osama bin laden, al queda and various Muslim terrorist groups, the Israeli military, and even GW bush all claim the same thing… to have this communication with a God-force. That should be cause for alarm for any thinking person because of the dubious actions they take in the world. words are one thing. feelings another. Actions another. One’s convictions and loyalties are blatantly obvious by one’s actions, regardless of what they say. Granted. A tough one. Indeed in a recent monthly newsletter the minister at our church wrote “it is hard to believe that the current administration claims to speak and listen and pray to the same God that we do. That is something I struggle with on a daily basis.” Yes that is something we all struggle with.
But the feeling that I am experiencing is something that is undeniable to me now. But it is not a voice of murder as the others noted above seem to receive from this God-force. But a voice of peace and love and acceptance and tolerance. I wonder where the disconnect is for the others? How does the voice of this God-force get twisted in the mind of others into a thought of murder rather than love and peace?
Studying history madly for the last fifteen years and I have learned as we all do that there have always been those among us, the barbarians, historically called “the leaders or governments or churches of civilization,” who claim to be receiving advice to murder from “God” or from some God-force. Ever since the idea of monotheism or this ‘one God’ concept first came into being in human consciousness with Abraham and the Jewish people, there has been a tendency for those wielding the most power and strength to use this concept for evil. So its no wonder that there are many throughout history who are adamantly opposed to the idea, such as the communists. What good have they ever seen in humankind’s history to give any clue that the idea of God is a good one for us? the answer is unequivocally “none. Absolutely no good.”
From the Jewish people who invented the ‘one God’ concept and the commandment ‘thou shall not kill’ and who then turned around and continued to kill, even going so far as to kill Jesus himself – an insane irony there in that one — to the roman empire thinly disguised as something they renamed “the catholic church” to the invading Muslims to the Spanish Inquisition to the Crusades to the Russian Tsars to the evil plotting imperialist British Empire to the Pilgrims and European Settlers of the Americas in more recent times, all of the most evil murdering fuck-head bastards throughout human history have always claimed to have direct communication with this “God” and to have a divine right and authority to kill and enslave other people… all in the name of this “God.” So one should be very wary of anyone who claims to be speaking with any God or God force or God concept. Immediately suspect.
So there is inherently a nagging seething bitter conflict there between what is at the heart of religious doctrine and how it is acted upon by those claiming to be its followers. If one is a devout Muslim then one is in shock and horrified by the actions that took place on September 11th in this God’s name. If one is a devout Christian or Jew then one is in shock and horrified at the actions that have taken place to the Afghani and Iraqi people in the name of this other God. (though they are the same God). So that’s the conflict. That’s the contradiction that puzzles and confounds the hearts and minds of every thinking religious person.
And it is easy to find oneself repelled and repulsed by God, or by any God-concept because of this. History has taught intelligent peaceful loving people to hate this God concept more than anything else because of the atrocities committed in his/her name. I know this. I am deeply aware of it and in touch with it because for many years I loathed the God-concept. And could care less about God. Precisely for these reasons. What was the good in this God-concept with us going to church every Sunday and praying to this God when we were in Vietnam killing millions of people in his name to “fight communism.” Right? I mean, its right there. there is absolutely nothing that a religious person whether Christian Jew or Muslim can say to defend the goodness of God or the God-concept. Because for the most part its just always been used for evil.
And yet, underneath it all…. there is this conflict of how in the face of all of this that there can still be such joy peace love and comfort in this experience known as religious or spiritual conversion. I would dare assert now that I have found it to be the most important and joyful and miraculous experience of my entire life…
This morning while I was in church, I was in deep prayer as always, but this time much lighter, a more elegant prayer, and it was precisely this that I was praying about and dialoguing about with my own personal idea of God. But today I listened more than any other day. Rather than speaking a lot.
God asked me ‘What message do YOU receive from me?’ and I answered, ‘love and peace and acceptance and diplomacy and tolerance.’ And God smiled. ‘So do you understand?’ and my answer was ‘well perhaps… but not really…’ ‘Is that o.k.?’ he asked. ‘yes it is.’ I answered. And then this remarkably simple answer: ‘Fishy, it is not something to understand. For it is beyond understanding. For thousands of years the God-concept has been so convoluted by humankind that there is no way to understand it. You must let go of the desire for UNDERSTANDING and allow the KNOWING. In this there is the understanding.’ And then I smiled.
And I felt lighter and freer then I could almost bear. I felt lifted up and high from it. felt as though I might lift up out of my seat. Tingly, sparkly, elated. In complete contact with this higher power. I dedicated the whole service and indeed this entire day to this wordless knowing. I felt as though the Ambassador had returned. Finally. It has been a long hard road. but somehow I felt as though I was returning to find myself again. my brain has finally been balanced by my heart. I have taken God back, and in return God has taken me back. I believe that is what we know as ‘grace.’