The Exit of Sedona Came with a furious wind from the East.
Our economy had shriveled down, so it seemed to be something that entertained a Bismark style of freedom- Yes, I dare say, the freedom or the welcome seemed worn out and busted in Sedona Arizona, nothing left except one tactic to escape what little was offered in Sedona.
A rare occurance, a reprieve, by what I had thought of as a true to life angel!
No guarded fantasies! I do believe there are "angels", for goodness sakes...there ought to be! Well, uncovered is some motive, hoping to dear God it was all true in a naive capacity. Sedona did'nt do, nor could do anything for me except wear me out in the eclectic capacity of faux "New Age" worship (what I assumed to be, guarded though willing) to the extraterrestrial tentacles of Spiritualism as professed by Satan worship!
"No...No!", I had often said to myself here..."It could'nt be 'that' after all! Who would ever go to Sedona if they worshiped Satan there!...some motive however wanted me out of that place that had been somewhat of a pit of misery!
So I left! Gassed my poor van up...and continued the road across!
Over the past two years I sent out contact emails, and where possible tried to contact people I knew to get out of Sedona, leaving this place far behind me for even a trail of a visitor, I would forwarn of what I had seen, as hopefully to gain road and asphalt, quickly and evenly. Then two years later it finally came, a sponsor who had heard me play near Houston offered some safe haven. I broke down to my knees and said Halleluya.
Why so much jubilation? It seemed fair!
But why would anyone have to be forced into this situation in the first place? I suppose the suspect mentality, that highly worn, brute conciousness does look at every bad thing it might be before it is enlightened, or some nasty talisman that they wear among one another as Shamen, in that cult place--Sedona.
I did know however there was a point that I would have to return!
Two plus two equals five to this measure of brainwork, but how to get around it, I was seeing people who were lauding Nibiru and the end of the Earth Coming as well as deadly 2012 prophecy with no question! Oh how to tell them! Unfortunately this kind of mentality one only can listen and affirm their words, everything else is kind of preachy and may work at the end of a fisticuff! But this was the case, and that case was brutal realization like a dangled tooth spread in my face! I had to get out of Sedona or it would claim me.
I made 500 dollars!
Now 500 dollars is not allot of money to allot of people but it did in fact save me from this misery of the past two years. I was sick of this mindset of giving into mysticism, and the hurt of entrapment in Sedona was prying on my mind.
I worked odd jobs to gain the money and it was a difficult circumstance! I would feel positively embarrassed for that culture the way I was treated, and I can just imagine such mentalities to be widespread!
And it was feeling generally that way.
How does one brace against the contingency? Education is pale and many simply hate the subject matter or resent the status of education wrenching it to the ground like an unwanted pestilence.
But soon I might be free! Yes!
The day did come. I remember it well, having to seperate from my trailer and leave it behind for a trip to Texas and "possibility".
What can one do for possibility? When there is something called "Opportunity" it is a entirely different matter than "Possibility. The two are separate as "Possibility" has a "Chance" element--and Opportunity means "to see" a crucial focus, to take advantage of what one might see!
I was off at the crack of dawn on this day, the last possible day of travel to make ends meet for a friend who had litterally saved me from a desperate place...Sedona.
It was not that there was no Art in Sedona, nor real hard culture but there was not really anything to speak of that I was leaving behind in this two year long Kuffufle. Thankful I was to leave.
STARTING THE MOTOR
After two years of almost not being driven, but keeping it up, and keeping the machine oiled, I started the van. She blew out a cloud of black smoke and rolled forward, backward and seemed to work. I was going to have to trust in just this "working on the road to Texas" my next destination along the voyage of "The Road Across". With luck in hand across the way, and along the lines, I did have new tires, and now a new battery.
I loaded the van up with the necessities as well as what I believed, (In a crisis, were the most important things I could take with me...leaving the trailer behind, to fate in hopes that I can return to get her.
My life in Sedona had been a long-shot survival mission. With what ever money I had, It was "Go" at this point, a wing and a prayer for the road--and it was this!
The day and night of my departure I prayed and then that day came when she rolled forward, final goodbys were said to the group of friends I did have, for this would be a farewell for a while until my return on hopefully a different tune later on in the spring.
The last coffee was not so emotionally set, as I was geared up and eager and then set on the road out of town.
Each second of each minute was plagued with apprehension of breaking the barrier of Sedona, getting out of there, no stalls or quits as 89A rolled around and I could feel the vapor behind me, that mystical vapor seeming to dwindle. The day was sweet, and there were rocks, and beauties along that stretch of road that seem to point at my blessing out, as I was following the river through the space alone that was the freedom of the road for me, and a hope of freedom for the future. Memories of the past knocked at my head with a not so good feeling as I moved over the bridge and set up the switchbacks to the top of the canyon that left the Sedona valley. Each second there was a prayer as I climbed and climbed, finally reaching the top and pulling out to an overlook where I was to have a word!
I stopped the motor and got out on what was a good day. Bus loads of tourists were piling through. They didnt know my situation and I didn know theirs as I walked along to the edge of the lookout and scanned the valley below that cost me two years of time in a kuffuffle.
I spit in the dirt, blessed the present, said a prayer for those people who I left behind, those people who hadnt seen what I had and were totally immersed in their life back there in Sedona.
My legs grew steady as I went back to the machine and started her again.
She started, hesitated and stopped. I pulled her back. She did the same, blowing out some smoke and then coasting down a small hill only to get her started on the way up.
"Come on! Damn it!" I cried!
And she started!
Off I went not thinking one singular thing about car repairs or getting this looked at. I drove straight down 89 and then switched around to consume the highway 40 towards Gallup.
I let her ride, not stopping for a thing and cruising at 50 MPH (not so fast where the motor would be challenged) I did not stop until mid afternoon for gas at the last place where the San Francisco peaks were barely visible in the distance. Filling the tank again and a small respit of 15 minutes and I was off, clearing the road ahead and not stopping until I was in Gallup, the sun already having set.
My funds just for gas, food etc were checked. I had an allotment for a motel for one night only during my drive across, and I returned to a place I had known in the past, a motel which was in my memory--the sign: Road Runner coming up on my left, I decided one nights good rest and sleep would be worth it.
The Road Runner of yesterday (I remembered vividly) on 5 of the journeys past was a good motel.
But then again it had been three years since I had gone this way, and the economy was beginning to take its toll on many of the towns I had traveled through. I saw strips of foundations where commerce once stood and big commercial stations for trucking companies that had taken new spots along the road. Through my eyes times had changed and they did, even the good ol Road Runner had been downgraded to a class "C" motel. I remember problems on my last trip, internet not working and a certain general feeling of drought that passed over me three years ago,only magnified in this day. 29 dollars was what I payed, a good savings on what I thought would be a good room in the past was a different place with magnified problems three years, now.
The first night came and went.
I was anxious for the room and shower, food alone being sufficient in the van to cover that night and the nights ahead carrying a store house with me on a road trip where only one allotment was allowed for shelter of this type...I would have to spend the next nights in my van...going on a rationed sum for this trip, all creature comforts absolved for things that lay ahead.
The next morning began with a prayer and after my only alloted breakfast of pancakes,eggs and bacon, as a gift to myself, I was off and out of Gallup and on the road again.
I did not make that much mileage before feeling tired and drifting off to a side town well known as a stop over on road-trips past, a town called Thoreau.
Ironic would be this stop.
As in the past I stopped here, once to shoot a video of an opening (to a larger scheme that was planned then) a number of years ago in 04. Here I was again in the same place, pulling to the side of the road off the highway and looking up at the great water tank that said Thoreau. I rested a bit and then walked across the street and down the road a piece to stretch my legs.
From out of a thicket came an old man, a Native American tried by life and worn. He hobbled along on the other side of the road and crossed. I thought little of this actually until I returned to my van did some chores at trying to straighten things up and put back my seat in order to rest a bit before I went onward.
Looking sideways there was an incessant rap on the outside window.
"Please!..Please! Can you help me?"
It was the old Native American with a worn and worried look upon his face. At first I looked at him and shooed him away, "Sorry! I cant help you!" His worn and tried face seemed to reflect something else, something that I could not ignore. In this old man I saw for one instant myself. I rolled down the window an stepped out. "Please! If you have food...yes, I only ask for some food because I have not eaten for a long time!" the old man pleaded. I looked at him and noticed his thin hands, worn face and demeanor. I was not feeling sorry for him at all but my heart was seeing something that was made by society rather than just became by means of a desperate life. This figure got to me and I knew what he was speaking was the truth, because I knew that look not too much time back in Sedona, and I felt posed to help.
I did not have money, that was a fact! Barely enough for gas and eventuality on this leg of the trip...but I did help him with food. I had plenty of it. Cans stacked as well as goodies from the Sedona food bank graced the back of my van like a commecary. I grabbed all I could for this fellow, putting it in a plastic sack. He was most appreciative and we sat down to talk a bit as he gnawed away on some beef jerky that I had given to him and some cola that I had but didnt drink.
He was one of the code breakers in Vietnam, a warrior, soldier that had seen his day and was a man of many stories. His family came from that region and had let him wander. We sat and told both of our stories for what may have been an hour before I had to leave and give the road ahead a chance.
We bid farewell and just as I was leaving a Thoreau Police car pulled up next to me. The window rolled down. "Was that fellow begging money from you?" the officer asked, his dark sunglasses opaque, badge glistening and leaning out the window.
"No he wasnt...he just needed food...and I had plenty of that" I responded, "Just a brother who is a soldier, and who is having a rough time of it". The officer smiled, took his glasses off, and said "I know, just checking..." He drove away and I set upon my journey traveling the highway ahead and setting a road south and then East towards Mountainaire and Roswell. I was starting to take smaller roads, and these roads didnt have services. If anything were to breakdown, I would be in a pickle...but same same, large road or small. I knew it was less likely that anyone would help if I did break down or lend me service, the operating funds being--just gas, and that was pretty much that on this leg of the trip.
Gas-Food-Water (all I had)
I made camp on the road up and crossing through ____that night. It was not like camp rather, it was like sleeping in the van...I took nothing out, but kept all sealed, grabbing a can of soup and something to eat--uncooked and ready to eat.
The next day was a long one. Checking funds I could not believe how much just the cost of gas was affecting me, and I was not even to Roswell.
The trip was a long journey, solo, from town to town and city to city having two weeks planned for my actual arrival date.
I felt sure that the venture would be a pick up to the last two years of extreme difficulty.
Arrival in Houston
One thing one feels after a adventure like Sedona for an extended period of time is...a need for rest! How long? God only knows, but it would be extremely difficult to prime-up immediately for any event whether it be a concert or exhibition (even though I carried 30 pieces of art with me and some music should the eventuality occur.
I was welcomed, and it seemed like coming home. I could not precisely diagram the feeling of reprieve that I had encountered. My motor was turned off and my poor van, scarcely making the trip without loud noises coming from under the hood, was given a shelter. I thought I could have slept 30 days without being awakened, it was just such a feeling.
Few people know of what it is like to have such tough encounters with life and to finally feel some kind of lifeboat and have some kind of shore to look at.
I would like to hear from those survivors, either from Titanic or the struggles of world war II to have a parallel of what it felt like to have a reprieve from this.
I would only suppose this to be exactly the same!
Arrival in Houston (Spring) Resting Up and a Re-Boot from the Road Across
I was assured that I had a safe-harbor for a while. In this I was extremely thankful to "Kay", the harpist for her help in this matter.
I had a steady place now. She gave me a phone to use. I had a fixed address (all things that one takes for granted when one does not necessarily have these at their disposal)
This was a blessing. And time seemed to stack itself up with a fair amount of money from sales of my work to see me through a bit, but make a sudden return? No.
Surely I thought that this was going to be a wonderful and exciting episode of my life that would lift up back to full potential.
I rested. This was crucial since I was near critical "burn out"
There was a piano and a nice synthetic keyboard right there so I could come back to the piano. They welcomed me with tears!
I was not going to rush it though. I could not rush. Not that playing a few numbers shouldnt be sufficient, for the time, but I wasnt going to rush the stage...I would have to take this in stride or face another "Prague" incident where I physically might shut down. (I knew this, my heath knew this and I asked simply for the time to make a comfortable return, not to begin by practicing 8 hours a day! That would be apt "Murder".
I was assured I had time, as much time as was needed to recoup from the ordeal I had seen. In return I offered my services by building a website or balancing the situation in some way shape or form that I could.
"Dont worry, take all the time you need...there is no rush"
I was delighted that someone finally understood. In return I tried to do everything in my facility to bring a balance to the situation by buying food, and making some really special dinners as a thank you for the help given. I also considered a very valuable (to me) thank you for the help in a gift of a very-rather extremely valuable painting to me, "The Studio" Oil on Canvas 1982 New York City.
Yes, this was a gift of thanks, and a very very special case in which I would give a painting away (and one of very special material-of art) No, it was not a Glicee or a copy, but the original, some have told me should sell for 15,000 Euros or more! I would not even part with that painting for that! Someone once offered me 8,000 dollars cash and I did turn it away!
But, as is reasonable, when ones life is given an opportunity, give this gift--not just some old painting but the original of "The Studio" to my very kind and thoughtful sponsor (if one may choose to call her such)
I think it was a day and a half that I spent resting, feeling entirely excited about the new town, territory and other possibilities being offered. In the morning I went to the keyboard and went lightly over the old set that I used to play (this for quite a few years was kept always under my fingers to play at a drop of a hat...but not being forced to play...I hadnt really touched an actual (piano) keyboard for a couple of months, and hadnt played steadily for much longer--since 2007 I dont think I regularly practiced a full 4-6-8 hours a day. I did not expect this of myself, but I did play, for myself and was interested more in my own compositions, my own music than a hungry stab at the piano for some competition or large Carnegie Hall venture.
I was positively not interested in this. Practicing a little bit, and a little more would bring back the sheer delight of playing. But if cross-circuted to the 4-6-8 hours of student practice, or performance, I could see there would be danger here.
Someone said something-
And I dont know where-
It kicked me into starting back and rolling arpeggios, scales, Hannon and technical exercises to build myself up-
Stuck in my head was some trigger to impress upon them that I was still an active keyboardist, and it may have been exactly that trigger that started me gnawing at the old pieces, to build them up again--make them perfect to play-- and learning some more, maybe even...
Wait! I found myself, playing away again, and making a date for a informal but formal enough event where I had to play well enough to be a representitive of my creed.
The piano is there, and it can be practiced upon! Its there to be listened to also!
Like a car that hadnt been started in months I was beginning to bring the machinery out again! It all seemed so old.
I had about 5 sets of music, that I was reasonably able to bring back if given time (but were not talking about minutes, days or weeks, were talking months--since I really disliked the feeling of playing on demand some increasingly difficult pieces.
I played the set of Chopin- 3 pieces- a prelude, waltz and etude 'Revolutionary' (Of course I hadnt steadily practiced these in ages--but it seemed in words held at arms length "About time"
I could handle this in a sneeze-
The original set contained 3 preludes, 3 Waltzes and 3 Etudes
Three-Three and Three-
But were is this going? I asked my self too many times!
The second set contained 5 Preludes of Ginestera, some Villa Lobos and Prokoffiev (Most found this too abstract, two or three pieces maybe-liking set one the best)
The third set was Rachmaninoff, containing etudes tableau and three preludes- This was a very undeveloped set, tested before studio audiences--but needed a gattling gun techique back again-
My repetoir was also more dynamic also. There was allot of Liszt, some Alexander Scriabin and Kabalevsky as well as Mendleshon thrown in there for texture as well as other pieces...maybe even a little Haydn.
Im not going to take this all on at once!! Many of these are knuckle breakers and very difficult pieces for me right off the cuff, to play? No-
Respectfully, I do this gently and gracefully, not as a young concert pianist rifling a debut, but as a casual pianist who enjoys music and the instrument! This is very important!
The Pot Gets Hotter
I found myself playing and actually enjoying it again a few days after arrival. It was luck that my finger muscles had not shrunk to water. All of a sudden I was asked to play pieces, more pieces and then more---some I clearly almost forgotten, and then they by some luck managed to find my memory again!