Category Archives: Sustainability

Healthy Planet, healthy human race, etc,. and so on

Muffin and the Death Dream

My death dream centers around my family cat Muffin who passed more than a decade ago. Not sure why she is the spirit chosen to remind me of finality but she is. I get to visit with her once a month and sometimes more.
She lived till 16 which is very old for a cat.
Muffin lived through 3 dogs – the largest of which was a Bernese Mountain Dog named Ben who was gentle except when he was defending Muffin, his surrogate mother. Ben was a beautiful and kind dog, the runt. He would pass years later on a Xmas eve in CT but that is another story.
We got Ben just after the hard discussion to give away Muffins litter of six. There were four short hair tabbies like her, one black and one fuzzy kitten. I’ll never forget those kittens rolling down the steps finding their nor the sounds Muffin had made having them. I thought she was dying then but she was just getting started. Anyway, Muffin assumed stewardship of Ben in her litters absence. It was seamless and beautiful and the image of the cat licking the dogs nose will forever be with me.
As for Muffins litter, We never knew the father – that’s the way it goes in the cat world.
Muffin was a unrepentant hunter and she was good. Her trophies were diverse and would be layered out on various stands on our deck sometimes with organs deftly removed with the hands of a surgeon.
The woods behind our house in Columbia MD were deep and in addition to being my playground they were Muffin’s hunting ground. It’s all cloverleaf and highway now and that great forest exists only in my mind.It makes me sad but then I remember that I have it there – all I have to do is close my eyes and I’m there. Lots of great adventures in that house but again another story.
Muffin loved to be scratched. When she visits me in my death dream, I always scratch her. It is usually the one normal part of the setting.
She moved with us from Columbia to Westport and got woods once more.
She kept hunting even when she lost some teeth and some of her claws. Her voice got thin and she would sit most of the day in a shaded room or on the arm of a couch staring outside. Maybe she had memories of that vast world, where she was queen. Where she was a masterful daytime lounger and surely had evaded the frantic paws and eyes of possums and raccoon in the wee hours when the human din was at its lowest. Maybe she had those memories.
Then one morning she walked outside and died in a patch of sunny grass. I was a collage and my mother called me to tell me about Muffin. We were both sad but my mom had been closest with the great cat. Mom always went deep with the animals. Maybe the news that they, my parents, are once again going to get a pet and take a journey far deeper than a commercial could ever imply. Maybe that’s what gave me the strongest death dream yet in the early hours of today. The once that clarified what they were all about.
The death dream is always obscure. We’re unloading a storage unit in a mall trying to beat rush hour in London before the casino closes. That’s weird – and of course I’ve got a big bet to place but other than that, which is true, none of it makes any sense except for the cat. She is there in the room observing us giving us that knowing look that speaks of how fleeting our stresses are. She is there to remind me that she is not gone she is just here now instead in my waking world.
The death dream was so powerful this morning that when I woke from it, my face ran with tears.
Muffin comes to remind me not only of death but of life as well. She freezes my parents at different moments in time for me. She brings me back to a time of wonder and possibility and of learning. I can still see her waiting by the screened door mewing to get in. I see the yard behind her and the fence that my father built. Where he would mow the lawn and be stung by so many bees that he eventually developed an allergy. I’m sure like the woods – the fence and most of the bees are gone now. Muffin frames those moments and bookends phrases of my life from the Columbia explorer to the Westport troublemaker. On mornings like this, she reminds me to live and these tears flowing for the duration of this writing are proof that for the love of a cat and all she taught me and how she visits me today, with dreams of wracking compassion that I am alive.
YinYangCats

We have our own cats now – Wolf and Captain.

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The Forever Smile – Lyrics and Album Notes

The Forever Smile by Gatsby’s Green Light

FS_Cover

GGL is: William Earley, Hari Ganglberger, Lucas Gould & Ken Coulson

Production, Mix and tracking by Steve Hansen, Hi-top Studios, Stamford, CT

Mastered by Alex Theoret, Turtletone Studios, NYC

Artwork by Sally Jane Thompson, UK

Sonic Bomb LLC 2013

 

ALBUM: THE FOREVER SMILE

CATWALK OF LIFE

You’re a C Chord   on the catwalk of life

I can see you’re shadow shine in the night

You’re the last flag standing stuck in the wind

Blown in the darkness      ready to win

You’re a moment  one that I know

The one that just happened      no ones quite sure

You can see through window panes  understanding everything

Nothing lost            nothing gained      indecision lost in vain

You’re the reason I grow old     respect the world being bold

Cause I rather be a dreamer     than conceive in mediocre reality

You’re the essence          a tug towards the end

Where everyone is waiting                   to meet up again

You’re the tiptoe              on the edge of a knife

Death is spectacular                   even in life

You’re the fire                    deep in the soul

Seldom rekindled              but man to you glow

You can see through window panes  understanding everything

Nothing lost            nothing gained      indecision lost in vain

You’re the reason I grow old     respect the world being bold

Cause I rather be a dreamer     than conceive in mediocre reality

COMEDIAN

Been standing there        for like a thousand years

And only the best have I ever hated

But I got a friend    he’s a comedian

and all the while the laughs over-rated

But I haven’t lost where I haven’t been

Descriptions of life and depictions of men

Takes all you got just to get back again

And all that I have I put back

So I shed a tear      for the innocent deer

Stuck in the headlights and tied to the hood

But she’s on the mend     my laughing friend

Ready to stand in the bright lights again

But I haven’t lost where I haven’t been

Descriptions of life and depictions of men

Takes all you got just to get back again

And all that I have I put back

Waste away           you’re relevancy

You’re what I describe my funny friend

You’re a comedian          smiling to the end

You’re wry I’m melancholy

But I haven’t lost where I haven’t been

Descriptions of life and depictions of men

Takes all you got just to get back again

And all that I have I put back

Comedian   Comedian   Comedian

remedy_pic

THE APOLLONIAN

We fight for the all    We won’t hide  Lift my friend from the fall

Fight off the cries   allow your heart your spirit your one true guide

Gather your stone   Love is true   love will guide you home

For one and all   the truth is the land belongs to us all

Open your heart and be free

Imagine the lasting dream

Open your heart and be free

Dare to dream what the world can be

1st verse again

BRUTIS

So we walk out of the desert here’s Wondria

Oooo behold this land

We’ve found it                  now people with nature thrive

Wonderful

With the love of the people     Forever hand in hand

Smile upon brightly         the mother of the land

One and All             Heed the call         keep the peace    for eternity

Wait something                 feels different

My heart        my head      are at odds

The Pain                                it slowly retards                  I’m not myself

This stone     my soul                     hold on

Cause you’re all destined to follow me or you’re all destined to fall

With the power of all the Blechstone fear and greed will conquer all

You can run              you can hide    but when you’re found you’ll fall into my spell

TRIVORIC

Why the long face                        What is there to be sad about?

The end of human race   its what you’ve all set about

Doing                        ruin                 and rage

And we’re here to help

To integrate corruption  to stimulate combustion

Everyone needs help

Dreams of common men            they have no hand in our plan

Leave a bad taste?         to reveal your destiny?

There can be no happiness                    until they knee to thee

If not you      someone      else

And we’re here to help

to facilitate the destruction     To integrate corruption

Everyone needs help

Crush Dreams of common men    Crush dreams of commom men

crush dreams of common men   and sow the seeds of their defeat

OM Pram

I don’t know you but I always will

Love you

Love you

Cause you speak the truth

Om     Pram  Om     Pram  Om Pram

Hold me        Love Me                   The World

Love Me        Hold Me                  The World

I don’t know you but I always will

Love you

Love you

Om     Pram  Om     Pram  Om Pram

Hold me        Love Me                   The World

Love me        Hold Me                   The World

Hold me        Love Me                   The World

RUKUS/REMEDY

People get ready  the crops in the ground

The good queen she’s married and loves all we’ve found

{Down in the valley                        To the high peaks above

Wondria our bounty         On wings of the dove} not sung

The Soul and the Heart for one and all

We’re still gonna rise after the fall

So now we gather            together as one

The Good steed of nature          cannot be undone

Trust in the mother            the maker of love

Raise up the peace          hallelujah the sun

The Soul and the Heart for one and all

We’re still gonna rise after the fall

JUGGO VIVO

Who ever showed us all the strength of the heart who ever showed us why

When it is time to leave this world     all we leave is our words and our tries

Whoever taught us all the depths of the mind       who ever taught us how

Once it is time to raise a glass to the dead and remember our crimes

Cold and Alone     and nothing but winter’s dog bone

Oil drips from the sun       and reason is left to no one

Whoever thought we’d reach the ends of this earth who ever really tired

Who hasn’t asked for gods help after all other reason has (died)

Cold and Alone    and nothing but winter’s dog bone

Oil drips from the sun       good hearts are left on the run

And Cool be the ones     whose pleasure from freedom’s blood comes

When it’s oil instead of the sun                        and reason is left to no one

KAYA: EARTH ANGEL

 

Earth Angel                 I heard you packed your bags to leave

Where you going?                 And do you have room for me?

Cause I wanted to tell you  face to face

That I really would miss your smile

And I want you to stay here

Kaya      don’t go

Kaya      don’t go

Cause I wanted to tell you  face to face

That I really would miss your smile

And I want you to stay here

GRETA SOUL

Greta             Here to help you groove you body down

And let’s roll

And if your spirits need a rise                 She can            She will

Greta             Here to help you groove you body down

And she will

Cause when your spirits need a rise     She can   She will

And when you need a minute look inside

The souls the only teacher for the heart of a man

And if you take the reign then life’s a hip ride

You have a great soul                       body and mind

And if your spirits need a rise                 She can            She will

Cause when your spirits need a rise                 She can            She will    You’re gonna groove your body down

And now your spirit gets a rise                 She can            She will

Song 9,10 – Rukus Remedy – The Forever Smile

Celebration time! We’re so pleased with the re-emergence of the banjo in popular music. It one of those things that tells me that people are hungry for true vibrations. What are true vibrations? There the one’s constructed out of emotion, born of intent, forged from the deep pressure laden- ventricles of the heart,… I digress, see I always seem to get serious when I talk and that’s why I try to encourage myself to remember to have a guitar in my hand if I am going to open my mouth.

In this case is was a Banjo. I picked it up from the friendly folks at Acoustic Corner in Black Mountain, NC in December 2012. Great place, great instrument.

Rukus represented that party. The one in celebration of our lives and the gifts that the land can provide. It’s also about community and the importance of coming together and giving thanks. And finally not being afraid of being yourself. I guess that my journey in music has been a lot about that.

Remedy is kind of like that contemplative hangover where the great ideas fall out. Maybe it was the most Bela Fleck influenced part of the album. The banjo lick had been around since my early fumbling and the guys just wrote around it in a thematic way to capture the inspiration. I can see Otis telling Annalee she’s still got to be in the fields before sunrise and remedy playing in her head reflecting in the dreaminess of the emotional celebration.

LISTEN HERE AND CHECK OUT THE LYRICS BELOW

RUKUS/REMEDY

People get ready  the crops in the ground

The good queen she’s married and loves all we’ve found

Down in the valley                        To the high peaks above

Wondria our bounty         On wings of the dove

The Soul and the Heart for one and all

We’re still gonna rise after the fall

So now we gather            together as one

The Good steed of nature          cannot be undone

Trust in the mother            the maker of love

Raise up the peace          hallelujah the sun

The Soul and the Heart for one and all

We’re still gonna rise after the fall

Waste-Land

WASTE-LAND

I awake amidst a grinding of gears and an enormous belching of smoke as the factory next-door springs to life. I’ve been here three days but each morning it feels almost dreamlike as if this place is not supposed to exist. It’s not, but it does. Coal burns and grinds the turbine next store sending carbon into the grey green sky. It fires kilowatts next door to my hybrid air conditioner and filter. The more coal that burns the harder the unit needs to work in a never-ending paradox that is this place.

How I came to be here, I’ve yet to discover. I keep thinking that the next morning will bring a return to normalcy and that which I’ve known but so far this is not the case. My room is a box of ten square meters, maybe, in the corner of this industrial building. There are two windows, north and west, and a mattress on the floor. There is no need for a blanket. With the air unit at full blast, the temperature rarely falls below 85. I fear I’ve lost ten or more pounds that I can scantily afford.

The factory sits outside the north window and it rarely idles. It is a grey windowless hulk in a sea of tenements flexing its superiority as an untouchable fixture of ‘the way’. I fear I’ve lost ‘the way’ for I no longer understand this superhero.

The west window faces an alley. As scary as the view to the north might be, it pales to the horror of the west. And the smell. The overwhelming ingredient is Styrofoam, piled nearly halfway to my window and mixed with the bones of dead animals and rotted vegetables. Parts of the pile could certainly be put to better use, the other seem best served in their current form. A forever tower of synthetic polystyrene that will meet this planets next master. “Hello new species of ethereal dominance, meet you to-go container.” I fear I only have days until the tower reaches my window and then what. My air machine could never defeat such a beast.

I pull my coat on determined to learn more about my new home. The coat provides innocuous warmth but soothe my minds paranoia that bugs and disease, rampant in the air and objects around me, will not be able to penetrate it’s canvas lining.

The street below me is bustling with nameless, faceless wretches hurrying to get from one nowhere to the next. Yes, this place is the ‘somewhere’ else. This is the unseen stage right in the equation of neo-classical economics. It is the wasteland for all things, human or otherwise and somehow I have found myself here.

The area I am in borders a vibrant business district but we cannot cross over. The only thing that crosses over is kilowatts and some finished goods from the factories at the very edges of the wasteland. Those are the prized jobs but it only for the quality of the air one gets to breath during their sixteen hours of toil. I like the games the children play.

Sitting on the edges of the wasteland during the morning and evening rush they try simply to be noticed. Some of the young ones are really quite talented. There’s one boy that can stand on his head for hours but few of the folks rushing to the glass towers have time to notice. He receives scant credit but its more than most. Oddly, there are few young girls. For they are not waste, they have been taken elsewhere.

In the wee hours before the morning rush, an endless seas of large trucks snakes through the wasteland. Too many stop in my alley, I will soon be swamped. I yearn to be out of here but I fear I may never leave until I discover the reason I am here.

The next morning my air machine breaks and I rush down to the street desperate to find someone to fix it. I have no money, I will have to be quite convincing with my offer of manual labor. In the doorway across from my building an old woman sits haggard and scowling at me. She is tattered and chewing on a bone of some animal. She was once a popular girl and so she left the wasteland. She came as everything does here, broken, bruised and thrown out. Sent to the ‘someplace’ that must always be here to satisfy the equation.

That the wasteland exists is shocking to most who would view it only as a scene from some futuristic Hollywood tale of grit and glory rising from the despair. Only each story told in Hollywood or elsewhere is tinged with truth as evidenced by my wasteland home.

The day’s pass by and my mind decays with the lacking function of my air machine. I was never able to find someone willing to fix it. Nobody seems to speak the same language here. It is Babel reunited. I cavort with the old women and listen to her unintelligible tales told through broken teeth. We share a full and unopened bottle of whiskey at Christmas that someone inexplicably threw out. It is Christmas after all. For a moment things are complete for an instant. But they always return to what they are by morning and I know that this is the place I have come to disappear. In this wasteland, buried between the tower and the plant.

The Power of Positive Presence

 

Strumming my first chord at 8am happens occasionally but usually it’s just for the birds, the trees and myself.

The past Saturday, I let the music play me in support of the 2013 CT Northeast Organic Food Associations Winter Conference. It was a crisp beautiful morning and you could feel the energy and excitement pouring onto the grounds at Wilton High School. I was in the registration area for the early session then got to play the lunch hour, before experiencing the wonderful food. Here’s my spot from the early morning centering.

With the Art of Wilton High School Students behind me, I strummed with joy

With the Art of Wilton High School Students behind me, I strummed with joy

 

Yes, I called my early morning guitar work ‘centering’ and that’s exactly how I view it. It relates back to my yoga practice where one tries to get into the moment, the present moment. I believe it is the key to staying in a positive space. Here’s my process derived from great teachers and personal exploration:

1.)  Breath: The breath is the most important circle, stay focused on it

2.)  Smile: they’re contagious and they create positive space allowing you to say more that words ever could

3.)  The House: Music lives inside every living thing. I must let the music move through me

4.)  The Moment: Everything I’ve done or will do is preparation for this moment alone.

5.)  Love: If I can love all living things, that emotion can transform the world

I am not permanently in this place but I am trying to be there. When I do become present, everything around me resonates with energy and light. Conversations flow easily, often without words.

Here was my message for the 800 or so folks assembled at this wonderful conference: If everyone here could be present just for one moment. Not thinking about picking up the kids or what to make for dinner tonight. Not worrying about the workweek ahead and not lamenting past decisions or poor planning in this moment. If we all achieve this, the amount of information that can be access would be astounding. These 800 people can change the world in a positive way (it actually takes far fewer than 800). That’s the power of positive presence and it is something I wish for everyone.

There are tremendous folks and information within NOFA, consider joining today at www.ctnofa.org

Ken Coulson is the founder of Sonic Bomb LLC, a mixed-media company that uses art to raise awareness about sustainable living solutions. He is an advocate of Natural Capitalism, a multi-instrument musician and is writing his first book, Annalee & The Forever Smile. His musical project is at http://www.gatsbygreenlight.com

 

5 Steps Towards Tangible Sustainability

This past Sunday, I was setting up to play music in support of the Whole Planet Foundation at Whole Foods in Westport CT when a man approached me to say hi. He looked over my meager media table mentioning something about a birthday party for his son and asked me about Gatsby’s Green Light. As I was explaining the project, his attention perked up when I said the word ‘Sustainability’. He was intrigued but clearly frustrated. “What does it mean in terms of action? Specifically?”

Seems many people, in his estimation, are hearing a lot of the buzzwords in the sustainability field, ‘green’, ‘organic’, etc but not knowing exactly what they can do to invest in our collective future.

I could empathize with his frustration. Having spent the last year studying the problems and trying to find or create meaningful work in the field, I was just getting through the initial learning curve of sustainable living practices. Habit transitions are tough but look deeply and you will understand the crucial nature of the change that is required. Here’s my list of 5 things you can do to create a foundation of sustainable living for yourself and hopefully, by discussing and encouraging these actions, for others as well

1.) Grow Something: We started a small garden and compost late last year. To our amazement, our mustard and spinach grew through some pretty cold conditions and we enjoyed the fresh food on omelets and salads. In the spring we plan to double the size of our garden, fence it and grow food inside. You can grow sprouts in a jar and many traditional retailers have a variety of seeds on hand. Take the challenge, fresh direct from you garden vs. store bought. I think your bodies and taste buds will know the difference.

Our Compost Bin gets started last year

Our Compost Bin gets started last year

2.) Vote with your Dollars: I was playing music in Whole Foods and here’s the thing. For a multi billion-dollar company Whole Foods does some great things but they are not local. I hope WF continues to become a learning center, using their scale and success to do things like: buy their buildings and install renewable power to become their own micro grid, onsite composting, waste energy implementation. WF aside, you need to vote local and vote clean with your dollars. Here are three great ways: 1.) Join a CSA for some of your fresh produce throughout the year: http://www.ctnofa.org/CSAs.htm. 2.) See a community play or music event 3.) Bank with a credit union or local bank. Why? They typically will invest directly in your community making small business loans, grants, scholarships etc

3.) Make a Culture Investment: For those of you around in the 60’s, you knew that music and art defined, not only our smiles, but our hearts, souls and minds as well. This is the understanding that drove me to express myself through these very mediums. In a very real way, supporting local and traveling artists over the monopolized commercialized alternative is a very real way to promote sustainable living. Pick culture that supports the ideals of your community and lift it with your dollars.

4.) Speak up on Clean Energy: I had the pleasure of doing a deep dive into Solar Energy production over the last year. It is truly amazing and makes me happy just to think about the fact that we could power ALL we do with clean from the sun and wind forever with zero fuel costs. The public tide has turned on this now it’s time for the government to do what we are asking here. Sign this petition here: http://ecowatch.org/2012/expedite-renewable-energy/

Solar at a waste facility in CT

Solar at a waste facility in CT

5.) Waste Not: One of the biggest things we have transitioned to over the past year is adhere to the four R’s:

Recycle: .Our local transfer station is pretty good where we can recycle glass, plastic, junk mail, mixed paper, cardboard and more. The key is to be really diligent (store you used batteries up for a bigger trip) and, if you can, to get involved with your town as to why they might not be able to recycle certain things.

Reuse: I’m pretty excited for our used ‘Chobani’ container pepper garden this spring. You’d be amazed at how many plastic containers you are throwing out. Most recycling centers don’t handle these well so re-use is the best option. The uses are unlimited from spare change containers to plant pots even a drinking bowl of the cat.

Reduce: Focusing on writing over the past year and being out of the ‘traditional’ work pattern has made this one easy for me. In our home we turned a $75 dollar investment in energy efficiency into an estimated $3000 saving in year one. For you financial types, annualize that rate of return then think about the growth potential if even a small percentage of building and residences achieved such savings.  Here’s info on the CT program: http://www.cl-p.com/home/saveenergy/rebates/homeenergysolutions.aspx

Rethink: When you start to understand how serious the problem of waste is (I won’t inundate you with scary facts here but there are many) you’ll understand the importance of taking the above actions. Additionally, we need community leaders to help redefine how our communities function, standards at restaurants, zoning for new building, incentives to waste less. All these actions and more need to be community driven. The government should be steering the ship, the people need to row. That is the only way true change will occur.

Thanks for considering these changes, there are many more that we can all take together through our communities and I’d love to hear and share your successes as well.

-ken

Ken Coulson is the founder of Sonic Bomb LLC, a mixed-media company that uses art to raise awareness about sustainable living solutions. He is an advocate of Natural Capitalism, a multi-instrument musician and is writing his first book, Annalee & The Forever Smile. 

Musical E-motivation

Music is really that supremely important

Imagine life without its’ rhythm, its intention and dynamic, color and space. Without it’s articulation. All conversations are not musical but a great conversation certainly is. All communication however can be thought of as containing the elements of music. The ones that don’t work are filled with discord. The ones that do are harmonious and lead to progress. For only the absence of music in totality from a society could confirm the juxtaposition of the fable on the tower of Babel. Music transcends basic conversation to sit among the inexplicable joys of life. Our passions or our drivers that should not be confused with the ones we download to keep our printers running smoothly.

I choose to try to articulate that inexplicable joy we get from music, that sustenance, that spark and that push to go on when all else seems poised and ready to thwart the good and right and true intention of ourselves and our loved ones. So then our music must be about changing the world in ways both subtle and profound. Because it is there to push us back into the fray when all else seems lost. It is there to force the hard conversation to establish a foundation for growth. It is there to reinforce our true selves out of hide and into the beautiful light of life. Let us then, or ,we must consider the true emotional content of music herself.

True emotion will never dissipate. Love and Courage and Kindness are the most powerful emotions. Like all true vibrations, once brought forth with intention they will last forever, even if they grow faint from time to time. The true vibrations the true intention of our lives is to be at peace and in wonder. Simplification supplanting these true emotions or worse working towards the short wave polar opposites can only remain relevant to constant reinvention. Now that was confusing. Let me put it another way, CSN only had to make Déjà vu once and it will last forever. It is about as powerful as music could be speaking to people on opposite sides of our unique and abstract system of human labels. For those on the right and the left, the Christians and the Jews, are all trying to ‘Teach their children well’. This infused Love Courage and Kindness become more present, the dynamic of the vibrations increases, when we need them most. Like now, true vibrations are exercising their intent to be heard felt and lived. Through their emulation we will change the world and then if we’d like we can blame the music. Because that has happened before as well.

Becoming an active channel for true emotional content is our natural path. You will have access to more information and walk a path of peace and wonder. You will have an effect and you will be heard. Follow the music, follow your heart and when you’re ready craft a world of harmony. It’s waiting for you right now.

Gatsby’s Fall Run Oct 2012

GGL Fall Run

Oct 2012

 

I hadn’t expected the tour to end in Long Island but here I was at the Eastern tip of New York State strumming my guitar for thirty people around a fire pit, including the bride and groom. OK so maybe it wasn’t a gig in the traditional sense but for me it may have been the most important one. Moments ago, the crowd had been restless and in full assault of the single bartender attempting to keep their hands full of shots of tequila and vodka. The bar was loud even though the music was not and I couldn’t help thinking that for the attendees it was a Pavlov response to being in one too many loud bars where they try to pummel you into rhythmic submission with canned and emotion-less music. The crowd was boisterous full of kind but very tough men. Due to the frequency of emotionalism I am often emitting it was the type of crowd I would have to be careful with.

“Yeah, go man! That’s it.” said the man to my left as I bounced through Neil Young and Johnny Cash. I was exhausted, playing and traveling for a forth day, and the colors and faces around the fire pit were blending and blurring. I got the feeling that many of the folks had not been exposed to true vibrations in awhile. The effect my guitar had on them was similar to what I’ve seen happen often to children when the music happens. They must receive it, it is too important to ignore. Similarly, these men and women who came together in celebration were called to the fire pit almost subconsciously. They left the discord of the bar for the harmony and emotion of the guitar. True vibrations, filled with emotion, are powerful and the live format is scientifically different to various recorded formats. Additionally, when recording have been made purely with commercial intention, that can be felt and they don’t last as long as those made to effect large social change, both light and dark. Men who had been defensive softened and thanked me; I in turn thanked them and went to bed.

A day ago, we had been on my buddy Dean Carlson’s Wyebrook Farms in Pennsylvania. It was an incredible day for GGL and myself to play for sustainability surrounded by so much of it in practice. We played on a stage powered by the sun and Dean has various other examples of sustainability in his farming, market, vehicles, and energy supplies. We met many farmers and their neighbors well versed in our food challenges and many of these folks will be partners in the near future. It is always special to see a large age range when music is occurring and this is what we got at Wyebrook. The conversation was inclusive and the participation of most in attendance heightened the educational and therapeutic effects of the music. There too, I was breathing in the smoke from a fire pit but, support by the circle, I hardly noticed. Warmed by the sun, the tremendous energy of fresh, humanely treated local food, and kind folks we played on through the afternoon before thanking Dean for having us and letting the Ghost of Soul shuttle us back to Connecticut, at sometimes warp speeds.

@ Wyebrook Farms

Catwalk of Life

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Heart of Gold

Baila Luna

Juggo Vivo

Badfish

Apollonian

SET II

Britus*

Annalee*

Rukus*

Diamonds

Hallelujuah

Portland Song

Harkin

The night before we had been in Harrisburg PA, home to many friends and relatives including Dennis on the percussion and vocals for GGL. The whole crew stayed with my family, whom we see and play music with often. We have invested in a special bond that allows one day together to feel like five. Slowing our selves and our time down has allowed us to capture more of it and I am thankful for the kindness I am often surrounded by. We were playing at the Midtown Scholar, a rare and used bookstore in downtown Harrisburg. It is a spectacular place with wonderful acoustics and a quirky design perfect for sparking revelations of the imagination. Did I mention the coffee? Its probably one of the more important things for me. Strong coffee made with clean water will become more rare, so appreciate it and thank the purveyor the next time one is placed in your hand. Especially if its’ you. More about water later. The show was great and we connected with many engaged and aware folks young and old. This is why the bookstore and the farm are natural venues for me. We are coming together to exchange information and emotion in a positive way. Removed are much of the competition and distraction embedded in clubs and bars and among musicians. When that changes, the music scene will thrive once again but that is all I will say about that. Invigorated with powerful coffee, made with love, we played on. Many children came and danced; it was all I needed.

@ Midtown Scholar

Catwalk

Letters

Closer

Juggo Vivo

Apollonian

Harkin

Annalee

Portland Song

I added the Philadelphia date last minute to extend our trip and play more music together. We would be a four piece before being joined by Dennis in Harrisburg. Common Grounds is a non-profit coffee shop put together to being people together. It is a great and true idea. Earlier that day, the GPS device had taken Primetime, on its’ inaugural voyage, through an area of Philadelphia called Nicetown. It is a largely black neighborhood and extremely poor and resource deprived. It felt like a totally different world and I know that everyone in the van was deeply affected by it. These jobless and heart breaking ghettos exist all over our country. People are starving and dying in them each day. It is a function of poor access to resources, food, water, and education over a multi decade period. It is not a necessary part of our society and not one taken up by choice or lack of effort. It is a condition created over time by poor economic formula and ill intent. Like the shantytowns of South Africa, it is an image that will burn with me and drive my action. One only needs to travel to know the truth.

Back at Common Ground, we were jumbling our start times. Hari had realized he had forgotten his kick pedal and would have to devise a solution that only he was capable of. In the end he angled his kick like a Tom to the left of his hi hat and played it with both hands depending on the song. I’ve got the video to prove it. We love playing music and the band GGL has been a beautiful part of my life. It is beginning to encompass all I believe and hold close. The emotions in each vibration carry our hope and knowledge and desire for kindness and honest action.

@ Common Grounds

Catwalk

Letters

Juggo Vivo

Apollonian

Annalee

Portland Song

Three days, well four depend on whom you ask and I was back at the barn trying to figure out how to do it again and for longer. GGL has a few winter dates and a January Tour of VT shaping up with sights on Berlin in March. We’ve got the videos for Annalee and the single and story to release. We’re happy to have the support we have and look forward to returning it when possible. We play for a sustainable way of life; we play for the truth. To our friends old and new we say thanks and may love remind us all that it is all there is.

Gatsby’s Green Light

Someday When You’re Older

 

 

Someday, when you’re older

 

Someday, when you’re older; You will realize that all of your anger was misplaced And that the only emotion capable of true transformation is love and that your love is your most powerful asset.

Someday, when you’re older; you’ll see that this life was never about chasing short-term pleasure or money but a one-time chance to transcend to simple things, build strong meaningful relationships, help others, and cherish our magnificent planet.

Someday, when you’re older; You will know the meaning of Wisdom and the value of imparting it upon others.

Someday, as you’re sunsets get shorter. You will appreciate each one in a whole knew way. Those days with sand between your toes or grass at your feet will become your most valuable moments.

Someday, you’ll see that your only tool in dealing with negativity is forgiveness and love and only those things can change the heart.

Someday you’ll see that Heaven and Hell exist on Earth and if you have the choice to create a brighter day for others you’re in the right place. Someday, you won’t be able to un-see the persecution and starvation of others.

Someday, you’ll wake up and watch you’re hands open and close and feel you’re breathe deep within you. You’ll understand the world inside you as the deepest Universe there will ever be.

Someday you’ll realize that breath and the sun and the water are what make this all possible. You’ll see that you are powerless and it will be the most freeing moment you’ll ever have.

Someday you’ll see our current collective reality is only one possible outcome. Someday you’ll speak up about the inarguable truths taught by nature, science, and art.

Someday, you’ll let go.

Someday, you’ll see that you have two Mothers and if your lucky enough to have them both equally as kind you will be blessed. Someday you will choose not to throw away that blessing.

Someday you will see that the laws of those kind Mothers are the only things that are sustainable and all of the answer are there for your taking. And you’re giving.

 

Your someday may be the last millisecond of your life. After your heart stops and your final brain impulses are firing. Or maybe on your deathbed, will you be able to speak?

Will you get your wisdom across?

Someday you’ll understand the most beautiful thing. That someday can be today. With all the love I have I believe this.

 

Facebook’s IPO could mean some interesting things

First off, it’s been awhile since I’ve written here and I’m glad to be back. This one is about Votes

I’ve written recently on my tour playing music over the month of December. I made it most of the way through but it was tough to find the time to write when roaming and traveling and eating and napping time get in the way,.. but they were great naps,.

Think of the stock market like a system of voting. It’s capitalism’s purest visible tool. It makes sense in a lot of way because its founded on good ideas. A good idea starts as a freak recipe for a cookie, or a interesting design for a chair, or a concept for connecting grandparents with their grand children. Point is, it all starts with a good idea! From that point, the idea is left to germinate and experiences its life cycle. People try the cookie, they like it,. you find a long but not lost soul. And it spreads, and its spread into my bones. That’s a quote from an Avett Brother’s tune I happen to love. It a series of ever changing and vastly organized voting systems that is nature and human life, the stock market is one of them. It’s effected our country’s life in a way that nothing else could come close to. Combined with other capital markets it became the glue and process toward industrialization and infrastructure buildout, medical advancement and transportation among countless other things. There has always been fraud in the system but when the tide goes out, we see the abuse more clearly. This has been happening for some time with, unfortunately, more to come. Back to Facebook and the rise of social online culture. How many new languages have been created, call signs developed, timelines and online monetary systems. Yeah its the online monetary systems that are interesting, but that said money has been online for a long time. We decided on it but not with a vote that people can remember, they think they minted the first good coins in 600B.C. And Facebook is a gold coin of the highest quality. How will it evolve? Ad-bots? Ro-bots? No-bots? I don’t know, but it’s received an always lot of likes along the way. You’re going to see it everywhere for awhile. But always remember, nothing beat face to face. I think the building of long lost connections is amazing but make the connection count. The art will always move to a new medium and keep in mind the art is what s building everything. Then that thing built enters it’s life cycle, like all things. Facebook has done some great things. Clearly that’s probably where this could end up being a powerful tool. There is a tremendous creative that built it but does it stand for all things or is it ripe with the same pitfalls that have corrupted many a good idea over time. To deny their existence would be to not look. Technology has propelled us long and far and built us up but we need to make sure we are using it to learn and be smarter. I think a lot of that is happening and thus I hope I can always spread a good idea.

A lot of people are going to talk about the Facebook IPO. In some ways it’s an ultimate, albeit systematic, validation of an idea. It brought out inner thoughts on the page and  gave a living history of sort for it hundreds of millions of human users. I’ve found a lot of good people and shared good ideas in my digital world but none of it makes sense to me if we’re not connecting in a physical world? When Facebook gets its big slap on the back from Capital markets it will then be acted upon by entirely different forces and we’ll see how it evolves. Some good, some bad. I want to see the online community go down the path of continuing to connect people locally and beyond, promoting small business and protection of good ideas. that’s the only way the art will stay there in the long run. And at some point you’ll see, it’s all about beauty and art tempered by science and the laws of nature it’s all there for you to look upon.

The system is about votes, ” I like your hair “, ” You belong”, ” Liberty for What have you “. Enough votes and you’re in, with each new system. I hope we all vote for what’s honest. I hope the online society develops in a way to push sustainable development, peace and security, protection of good ideas, and other unarguable goals. Get rid of the greed, eliminate the mediocrity. As a medium; It’s got that kind of power. Like television before it, the power of the online medium is unfathomable. But TV is far less about education, growth, hard work AND relaxation than it should be. And neither is the internet, and Facebook I guess we’ll see,. And I know here’s where it gets grey but not really. Argue that MTV developed in the right way? Argue that a 7 year old stumbling upon picture of pornography or death is a good idea, argue that solutions to finite resource consumption are not equally about security as they are about the environment? It’s hard to argue the laws of nature and all that great information is right there for you to stumble upon. Whether its on the radio, at a coffee shop, on Facebook, or in the woods, I love when I find a good idea, Let’s keep sharing and protecting the right things and agree that our national identity and our personal ones hang in the balance. Kudos to a bunch of smart kids and some great ideas and god speed in their protectors