A heart of gold….
If I was selfish and had magical wizard powers I may turn Lukas Nelson and band mates into little canaries with their human heads so they could still sing and I guess they would need little arms to play their instruments. They would live in a pretty great cage with magical amplifiers to lift their sweet canary/human voices. And they’d be able to invite all of their canary loved ones over for visits of course. And when I need sleep I would put a magical blanket over their cage that would let them turn human again after they used their turbo flying powers to visit anywhere in the world they wanted. Afterall, I wouldn’t want to be both selfish and tyrannical. Although they would be teleported back to the cage as soon as the magical blanket was removed.
I guess that wouldn’t be completely fair to them, nor the world.
Life to me is a spiritual experience..how the cat chases the dog, the light illuminates the beauty, how we feel better when we speak of our fears that reside in the darkness of the night and shadowed corners of our hearts and minds.
I have been disheartened many times by humanity: the litter left on the ground after hearing the Dalai Lama speak in Central Park when I was pregnant, seeing people throw garbage out their car windows, the state of broken countries, starving children, atrocious and meaningless waste of life like the shootings of innocent French people yesterday, the list is endless…
But what I have leaned from life is that we are not powerless. We can individually go into the world and be our best selves.
I absolutely have faults of my own. I am the kind of person that loves and celebrates the golden hearts. I’m attracted to shiny people and I share my self more with them than others. That is why I love working with children. That is why I love participating in ceremony. The reason I have friends of varying ages. That comes easily for me.
But I don’t have the bottomless heart of some men and women that are the champions of the underdog. The bleeding hearts that go out and help those in need- the ones that have lost their blood line to life, or who simply can’t carry it because of the circumstances of not having their fundamental human needs met. My uncle Bill would always pray for the incarcerated and the poor and I would see him shed tears almost every time to ask Creator to help his brothers and sisters of humanity out.
I keep my love in a very tidy bubble of my close friends and family. I spend a lot my time praising the Beauty in Nature. Perhaps in my crone years I will learn to be a bit more selfless and share my abilities with those in need. Besides donating my teaching money form my yoga classes to a young boy in Africa named James, I remain inactive except through prayer. Important but not as effective as action.
Although if we all do what we can to fulfill our own hearts that would directly effect the amount of suffering on the planet. So this is where I am at now in my spiritual growth, opening towards the sun and stretching my wings. Writing especially allows me to take flight. When I am in peace and joy, I am not in suffering and that is one less person in suffering.
And so what does this all have to do with Promise of the Real? For me, literally climbing a mountain is one of my favorite metaphors for how one lives their life; how early they give up, do they enjoy the journey or just want to get to the end, do they notice the dew drops evaporating, or hear the rustling of animals scurrying away? It is always harder for me personally to get down the mountain.
Most recently, Willie’s bus and the chariot that it is for the band has been a bit of a new metaphor for me.
Listening to live music can absolutely be a spiritual experience and it all started with seeing the band play with Neil young near my house.
Certain events can open your chakras and music has a way of getting into blockages of the mind, body and spirit and releasing them. And so it was with Neil. I got to relive being twenty and free, and also enjoy being 42 and in love with my life. My friend Sandra and I decided to check out the Promise of the Real in North Hampton after seeing Neil . Truly their appeal was the sound that they create , but all women love to watch cute boys rock out. I knew when I saw their bus that it was Willie’s old bus because well, there is a bad ass image of Willie on the back morphing into an eagle. My love of raptors goes deep. Even before getting involved in Native American ceremonies, I have always had a strong connection to eagles and red tail hawks, owls, and lately woodpeckers, and hummingbirds. They show up for me often. So even seeing an image of one makes me consider the moment a little deeper.
I was content to just be in the presence of the bus. I am not usually the star struck type. Maybe that is why I have managed to maintain close friendships with some famous friends, because I treat them like everyone else. But WILLIE NELSON basically represents TEXAS to me. The love for my husband was the only thing strong enough to extract me from that state and enable me to call New York my home. But he had to grin and bear about two years of me comparing every meal and outing to Austin’s gems.
One of my friends got on Willie’s bus and smoked out with him years ago and I remember it being one of the highlights of his life. For me, it is kind of like seeing Santa Clause’s sled. An older lady and I started chatting outside as I was basically petting the bus and she offered to take a picture of me so I agreed. And then made my friend pose next to the bus as well.
Sandra and I were blown away by this band that we only knew because of their touring with Neil. I didn’t even know Willie Nelson had young sons. So we danced our little hearts out and we were grateful that they were in a small venue with an affordable cover.
I had already been planning on visiting my best friend Sarasai in Las Vegas and lo and behold Neil was playing there with POTR over the Columbus Day weekend. I got stuck in this little mini vortex of negativity for a moment with an actual fight breaking out next to me but luckily, I had my magic chicken with me, who ended up sacrificing himself during the kershuffle. Once that space was cleared, it was back to the church of Neil. There was no way we were finding the bus that night so we didn’t even try but instead simply enjoyed the music.
Starting to feel a little creepy that we may be old lady cougar groupies, Sandra and I agreed that that was only our imagination and we should see them in Port Chester. I invited a whole gaggle of my women friends, but no one could join us.
But then I noticed they were playing in Pawling and threw that date out and originally had a full car load of women. We missed you friends. Even my own sister wasn’t totally convinced that I am in love with this band’s music. But after hearing them live she understands…it is that Texas ness, and percussion and edge and talent that is something so refreshing to see. Delightful. None of us really wanted or needed to get on the bus, but I had to share it with my friends…Santa’s sled.
( I think my t-shirt is a good representation of how I feel about that bus- half native/half eagle head)
Sandra and I almost cancelled our trip last night because we had a great time and we were feeling fulfilled but since I got a green light from my husband to go and enjoy myself I figured I should take advantage of that.
The Capitol Theater is truly a beautiful venue in Port Chester. We weren’t really vibing on the crowd that well that was there for the other band. Nothing personal against that band. But this is what I don’t understand. How can people “fans” be so disrespectful to an opening band, and not give them a listen or talk the whole time? First of all, the band that they are there to see may have chosen that band, and second of all the music business is hard, have some decency and go talk somewhere else. There might be people trying to actually listen! And a lot of the musicians you love started out as opening bands, be supportive. We are so spoiled with how easily accessible music is today and it has given people an erroneous sense of entitlement, or at least that was that weird vibe I was feeling. But we were there to support Potr anyway.
And take our pictures on the other side of the bus!
Lukas opened with the song La vie en Rose
I have been working on a play list for a dance party and I just put the Grace Jones version of this song for the late night..the song is beautiful and passionate, Edith is amazing, But I have always found Grace’s version to be ethereal. I am glad that Lukas spoke up about how rude and talkative the crowd was being in the middle of one of his next songs. I believe that he was in the right there, but unfortunately it got worse a couple of times, so I just closed my eyes and danced. But we didn’t stick around for the headliner.
We went outside to collect our bearings, be with the bus, and figure out if we were walking or cabbing it back to our hotel room. In the turn of events, I can’t say what happened next on or off the bus. Because like ceremony and sacred spaces, you have to find a way to experience them for yourselves and make up your own mind. But i will say that I was given opportunity to have a communion of sorts.
When we got back to the hotel the horrible news of the shootings in France at a night club, my immediate thoughts were that it could have been us. It could happen anywhere, any time. That threat exists in the world. My second thought was of sweet Lukas and him singing La Vie en Rose, and whether he knew that about France or not, I don’t think he did at that time, but I am not sure.
Sometimes being next to the bus is enough, Sometimes you just have to open the door. Sometimes you will be left stranded without the bus in sight. Sometimes the strangers on the bus will become your friends.
The dark energy I was picking up in the crowd last night, the darkness of Isis, the darkness even in our own beings has been there since the beginning of time. Without it there would be no light. But it is always our choice whether we will add to that light or stay in the dark. I’m not suggesting that people just start walking into other’s private and personal spaces either! But metaphorically that we should all be a little more bold in taking steps towards our happiness. There will always be something beautiful there. So put on your Kukui leis and embrace the light, even if you have to walk through the darkness to get there.