Saturday, December 18, 2004

Now I'm the Assistant Manager in Accounts Receivable.

Greetings one and all; despite how small the audience may be, it’s nice to be able to say something like that. And it’s not as if I haven’t played to a few empty halls in my time; of course, when I say ‘my time’ I should be referring to ‘forever’, because that’s how long we have; whether we are aware of it at this time... or not.

I haven’t posted anything because I didn’t really feel like it. I’ve been here, wherever it is that I am and I could have written something but...

Well, I got a promotion recently. It’s been quite some time since that happened. It’s changed a lot of things. Maybe it hasn’t changed anything but it has changed the way I see things and so, one way or another, it has changed things. I had planned on deleting this blog and moving on to other venues. It was my intention to become more les visible; I picked that name for a particular reason.

Over the course of this recent incarnation/appearance here at Ground Zero, I have managed to avoid too much exposure or success; where that wasn’t sufficient I was able to screw it up; which is the same thing as far as results go. Anyway, you would think, after one has been here for long enough it would become fairly clear whether the fruits one had brought to the market were in enough demand to make vending them a vocation.

Now, I never thought of the things I do as being a Wal-Mart shelf item. I haven’t thought of presence as a motivation for celebrity. There is a difference between presenting something as a natural expression of ones being and the packaging and marketing of an item. Herein lays a real conundrum that many real artists run up against. It’s at this point where you hear phrases like; ‘selling out’, ‘making it’, ‘getting a foot in the door’ and ‘the casting couch’. There’s a point where ones productions gain some measure of success in The World; if ever. At that point one has to deal with a number of factors, some of them can be pleasant and some one them can be decidedly unpleasant.

My motivation has always been to find the secret heart; the hidden well-spring of life. It just so happens that I’ve also been encumbered with a creative nature in a world that celebrates crap. A very cursory and casual observation will provide ample proof of that. There are different perspectives on the value of what I do. In the main, my work has usually been well received; when it wasn’t intentionally shocking. There’s also a segment of the population that experiences great discomfort at what I do and any attention I may receive. I needn’t go into the reasons for this. I know what they are and that is comfort enough (grin).

If you were to think of the ineffable, indefinable, essential light that authors everything and you were to imagine it as a many, many faceted round gem, you wouldn’t be far wrong. We’ve got Up and Down, then we’ve got East and West and North and South, then we’ve got the subdivisions of that and, really... things can be broken down into more and more complicated shades of difference. When you think of the shades that light goes through in a day from Dawn to Dusk you can get an idea; so it is with the possible facets of this gem. If you think of Up and Down as two faces and the four directions as four faces... you get the picture?

So all those saints and Buddha’s and avatars and what have you are a facet and some of those facets (faces) contain many, many other faces within them (and then within them) all at a different place in the consciousness of that facet... and all of the facets dissolve behind the face into one thing. Every realized soul sits on the same well. Only the well counts and that is one thing that every realized soul upon the well realizes. Some faces are larger and more embracing than others; The One- impersonal behind the scenes, then Heaven and Earth or God as Mother or Father; much like your own conscious and subconscious minds. Of course, you as universe in microcosm contain everything that is found in the entire. It’s only realization that counts for anything. It’s realization that turns on the lights on the Christmas tree, even though sometimes a cigar is only a cigar.

End of digression; and perhaps the beginning of another? Some years ago I was living at The Guru Bawa Fellowship in Overbrook in Philadelphia. A fellow there, a real promotional type, heard my music and flipped over it; I’ll spare you the references he made. He went to Bawa and told him about me. At that time Bawa had been saying that “all this singing and dancing aren’t going to get you anywhere’ and he basically frowned on all of the variations of creative expression; I’m sure he had his reasons.

Well, Michael (the fellow lobbying Bawa about me), was persistent and so Bawa asked for me to come to him. We had a ‘spirited’ exchange. Meanwhile the TV was on in the room and one of those commercials that all seem to come out of Atlanta, GA. was on selling Sergio Franchi’s greatest hits. Heh... heh... Bawa looked at me and said, “Okay, you go and do this. You go and do this and then you come back.” In the succeeding days this caused a huge uproar as dozens of people went to him asking for permission to do it as well. Finally Bawa had to give a discourse about how a king in some country asked for all of the musicians to come and perform and it wound up a cacophony. It’s a Sufi story, I don’t want to have to type it all out; I’m sure you get the idea. Suffice it to say, no one got permission. This caused severe resentment toward me. I’m no stranger to this severe resentment. Bawa looked in his hand once, after finding out that I was a writer and then said, “Oh yes, I’ve read your books, all of them, you write and I will help you and you will write books of wisdom”. Of course he was talking about me working to translate certain of his ideas into children’s books and perhaps other guided efforts and I wasn’t into that at the time... more resentment; not from him of course. Bawa said a number of very nice things about me which I won’t repeat because of the ‘more resentment’ factor.

For whatever the reasons may be, I’ve had a remarkable life. It has also been a very painful progression. If I have some few small gifts it’s because I earned them. Most people don’t want to do the work. Most people are lazy or afraid. But whatever may have been remarkable about my life has also put me in conflict with ‘market forces’, ‘glitter’, ‘glamour’, lies and outright bullshit. In a world of lies, the truth is often found beaten, bloody and alone in the back alleys off the neon strip. Basically I’m not welcome. I can do this thing here- and I can do the other things that I do other places... there. People will come and go and I’ll go on doing what I do outside the periphery for however long I do it.

...but, like I said, I got a promotion; no need for me to define that. This promotion changes things. I have a real ability at being a firebrand and that’s out now; although I don’t understand my recent “Paris Hilton, poor little rich ho” rap tune in the context of this promotion- probably it’s just an echo of some sort and it will die out. I don’t know.

What I do know is that I fail to see the significance of my going on any further with all of the projects I have involved my life in. They have only brought me grief and more resentment; certainly there has been joy in the creation, but let’s face it, I’m way out on the margins and I can’t see where that is likely to change. I can’t imagine anything I will write as being an improvement upon so much of what has been available for centuries. I do not see where it matters whether anything I do gets heard at all. I’m not sure why I write this blog, or the books I have written and am writing. I don’t know why I go on writing songs and exposing myself to the conditions of this world as a performer when I could be entirely les visible and fully immersed in profoundly new and exciting things. I don’t think I’d miss anything; and no ...nothing happened- it’s just a growing perception of the terrain I have been traveling in an effort to express something that has already been expressed in thousands of beautiful ways, with less effort and more support and which endure to this moment for the edification and enjoyment of all. It may be that I did all of this just to find this out.

I’m not sure I get anything from any of this any more. I’m sure of very little, but what I am sure of, I am very sure of and I am sure that if I was supposed to be doing these things there wouldn’t be such incredible resistance to what I do. The doors would not be so firmly barred; the help and assistance would be greater. I have the benefit of many, many past incidents and examples which make (or should make) this very, very clear to me.

My feeling is that if Nature cries out for whatever it is I do; whatever barking dog, chirping bird or vibrating cricket I may be... then okay... there it is. But until such time as that occurs I think I can spend my time in better ways, I can certainly do as much and more, inwardly, as I have ever done outwardly.

It’s nice to hear the things that I hear, here and in other locations and other mediums- but all of this, save for the peculiar, personal touch I bring to it can be found elsewhere- and it will never be more important and permanent than when it is found within and recognized by yourself. So, there you are.

Promotions are not some sudden freedom from responsibility; they seem to actually bring more... and ones new duties can be hard to understand and quite difficult to perform initially; and, when they also involve complete attention to ones every word and thought; quite fatiguing as well.

Bawa’s not the only one to have said certain things to me... but I must have missed something, somewhere along the way... because it really does appear that I am tacking against the wind when I could be just sailing away. So...

If this particular facet just disappears then that’s just what it was supposed to be- it only got absorbed into something larger, or smaller, or however the physics applies. Thanks for all the cards and letters anyway.


Anonymous said...

The timing is interesting, is it the X-mass doldrums? Let me hear from you soon. haven

Visible said...

well howdy haven. I expected something much snarkier from you. No, I NEVER experience holiday blues- I've no baggage in this regard. The post isn't about anything remotely negative; it's just recognition and movement. I'm in a great mood... just not much concerned about anything. Portugal is WONDERFUL!!! so is life- I just think I might have been putting too much time into things that aren't ultimately all that important to me and... at the same time, addressing the usual cosmic circumstance. Actually I got a big lift in perception and it's by turns, heady and confusing.

Anonymous said...

You may not want to, but you have to; don't you?

Since you don't do anything you don't want to and since you want to do what you have to, I'll bet you want to. I think you're just sorting stuff out. Even if only half a dozen people read you here, and considerably more than that amount are regular readers, (I know half a dozen people myself who come here regularly but do not respond)you would still be obliged to continue. You have to leave a trail. I think you just take what comes, it might be nothing, it might be large, but it will be real. Playing dodgeball with it is good up to a certain point. I expect age will tell you that at some point.

z a



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