Sunday, May 30, 2010

'It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels'

Memorial Day Weekend has come. First, thank you every one who responded to yesterday's entry. I'm feeling somewhat better today. I got up early and got out doing all the small chores that need doing in this Boulder country. Last night, we loaded up the gear, (Eric and I) and headed to Escalante to play music at The Cowboy Blues Restaurant and Bar. It was the perfect place for me to play. Boulder is fairly cosmopolitan, (which I like, Boulder) but Escalante still has lots of cowboys and remnants of my more youthful days. It was pretty busy all night long, with a broad mix of locals, cowboys, and tourists. We mostly stayed with a classic country set, Eric brought his dobro, and Eric and I have lots of fun playing. Eric knows my playing style, and there's nothing like a dobro to flesh out that old country sound. We rocked the house! After playing for two and a half hours standing though, my back was giving me fits. It was a long ride home. The pay is actually really good for around here, and we also did really well in tips. The woman who owns the place booked us again in July. So, that brought my spirits up considerably.

Thanks to Chuck who sent me an article on depression and creativity. It was a great article. Thanks to Grace, who wrote so beautifully and candidly about her illness, and thanks to many other people, (I will keep anonymous, who gave support in other ways.) I'm always amazed at the willingness in people to assert themselves and reach out. I've done quite a bit of reaching out in my day, and attempt to be strong each day, but like most of us, there are those days when the bottom falls out. I made sure that I 'asked' for help yesterday, and looking back in retrospect, help and support arrived in abundance. This is a good thing. Today, I made sure I got up and asked for help the very first thing I did, which I forget to do lots of mornings. It does make a big difference.

I still have not heard from the producer of the film I'm supposed to go to Austin to do, but I did hear from the director of the film, which is keeping me in the loop. He's also waiting to hear if he's going to Austin as well. He did tell me some of my duties, and I'm excited by how he explained it. I'll be a liaison to the music composer, going out and finding music for him, scouting locations, and essentially, being the guy in Austin during pre-production. Trust me, it’s a sweet job. Now, hopefully, it will come together and I will once again pack all the things I need to make an apartment happen and will hit the long road back to Austin. Or not. One of the issues for me is the not knowing. I can't really begin to disperse energy here if I'm not going to be here. It makes the movie phrase, "Hurry up and wait," a reality for me, so, in the meantime, I need to make my life here fruitful, day to day. Right now, it means sending off plays, writing and learning some more songs, and getting my walking going strong.

I wanted to also say that when someone does throw a line out for support, its great to have people reach out. Still, know that this is something I've struggled with always, (and although its still devastating when it comes, I mostly know how to get through it with out damage. This year, I'm not drinking, so it makes it just a little more tedious to find relief in other ways. Last year, even though I didn't do to much damage, (I don't think) I still medicated when things got bad. And as always, it helped, for a while. Now though, using alcohol as a form of medication for me gets to a trouble place very quickly, because when I drink, I can suddenly realize that why I started and where I ended up are two very different forms of reason. The first reason says "I need to get some relief and some tonic for my anxiety and my physical pain." The second reasoning three days later is saying, "What happened?" In between the first reason and the second reason I admit there is some blissful moments, (there is a reason their called spirits) but the means never justifies the end. So, I have a commitment to staying sober this year. So far, although Boulder instigates some very powerful triggers, I've been able to abstain from alcohol. I was talking with Eric last night on the way home about the power of ancestral collective consciousness, and the history of the ancestral collective for me is a dangerous one. Tragedy, alcoholism, mental illness, suicide, etc.. The ghosts of these afflictions are often just a road or a thought away from a drunk. If I had to rely on myself, I probably couldn't make it through the afternoon. But I know there are other forces at work. I can never say to anyone, "I've stopped drinking for the rest of my life…" rather, (and its cliché but true) I just won't drink today. It’s a powerful mantra to get through just one day, and that is enough. Okay, I see its time to get to my commitment today at the park, (We are setting up a Smithsonian Museum exhibit on 'roots music') Stay well, and thanks again.

1 comment:

Gerry said...

Glad you had a good night of singing. I was afraid you were going too long without connecting in every way you could to stave off mood swings. Ann is one of the calmest people I know and I think her secret is in the many way she connects to so many people. I think many connections help to keep a mood from becoming too deep but is broken up by the action which is probably one reason you felt safer in Austin where you could immediately connect with a meeting. You could probably come up with more ways to connect when you are some place where it is more difficult to do it. Long holidays are always difficult for me because the daily routines when the whole city is active in a work day making connecting easier. The working people love holidays but those who are not working tend to find them overlong and tedious and empty. So it is always a challenge to me to keep a long holiday like this one from becoming a drag. Since I am a lot closer to departure than you are I often do it by connecting in spirit dialogues to people I figure know how to communicate better from having been through more life experiences as well as a death one, but that is probably a way that you are reluctant to tap. I started tapping this source very young however, in my twenties, and I think spirit dialogues are far better than some of the other methods my peers have used to battle the doldrums. Doc and I argue about this all the time, since he only has one big remedy, booze. You can do it with writing since you are such a good dialogue writer, I think you would be a natural at spirit dialogues. Try it. When you get low get out your paper and pen or go to your computer and send me a dialogue. It is good if you can have someone living in on it as that person serves as a witness and can comment if you seem to be getting off kilter. You said in your play you finally had your protagonist tap the spirit of Johnny Cash. Well, there was a time when I was doing dialogues with Jimmy Dean after he was killed. He was upset because all his chances to do great work here had been cut off and I was afraid I would never get there. Just whoever you think might serve if you don't have some people you can easily access with the kind of dialogue you need to break up an increasingly down mood. It sometimes just takes breaking up old patterns of doing things and trying to find more ways to create action of the mind which I think is a mood changer. Like this evening I wrote a dialogue accessing Max King, the first time I have accessed his spirit and he was so calm and logical it was such a soothing message. He was killed when I was about 3 or 4, so he has had many years to reflect and I was able to talk to him about the heaviest issues that have plagued the Kings. He had the advantage of knowing his brothers well and of being over there with them many years. So I think there are all kinds of things you might try that will help with mood altering and lifting of spirits. This is not an unrealistic thing for me to be doing because I am close to the end, but it is not an unrealistic thing for you to be doing because any kind of deep dark mood can threaten your stability and is probably an indication you should recognize and ask for help beyond as well, and there are a number of people there who would be able to help you.