Wednesday, April 19, 2017

The Soundtrack of Life

A couple of weeks ago we went to the Merle Haggard tribute concert with enough other people to pack Bridgestone Arena. Here is the setlist from the night:

Ben Haggard & the Strangers – "What Am I Gonna Do"
Ben Haggard, Aaron Lewis & the Strangers – "Heaven Was a Drink of Wine"Tanya Tucker & the Strangers – "Farmer's Daughter"Bobby Bare & the Strangers – "The Fugitive"Connie Smith & the Strangers – "That's the Way Love Goes"John Anderson & the Strangers – "Big City"Toby Keith & the Strangers – "Carolyn/Daddy Frank"Jake Owen and Chris Janson – "Footlights"Miranda Lambert – "Misery & Gin"Rodney Crowell – "You Don't Have Very Far to Go"Jamey Johnson – "Kern River"Jamey Johnson and Alison Krauss – "If I Could Only Fly"Alison Krauss – "Sing a Sad Song"Alabama – "Silver Wings"Hank Williams Jr. – "I Think I'll Just Stay Here and Drink"Loretta Lynn – "Today I Started Loving You"Lynyrd Skynyrd – "Honky Tonk Nighttime Man"The Avett Brothers – "Mama Tried"John Mellencamp – "White Line Fever"Kacey Musgraves – "Rainbow Stew"Ronnie Dunn – "It's All in the Movies"Billy Gibbons – "The Bottle Let Me Down"Warren Haynes and Billy Gibbons – "Workin' Man Blues"Dierks Bentley – "If We Make It Through December"Lucinda Williams – "Going Where the Lonely Go"Sheryl Crow – "Natural High"Keith Richards – "Sing Me Back Home"Keith Richards and Willie Nelson – "Reasons to Quit"Willie Nelson and Kenny Chesney – "Pancho and Lefty"Willie Nelson and Toby Keith – "Ramblin' Fever"Willie Nelson and cast – "Okie From Muskogee"

It was mindblowing to see all these artist perform these amazing songs all in one night. It was a real "pinch me I must be dreaming" night. It was just like being present to witness that dash between the birth and death of Merle Haggard. As I sat there watching people perform, who have been performing in Nashville all of my life, so many things ran through my mind. 

I thought about how powerful our pain and sorrows are in that they are truly the stuff songs are made of. It's how writers share their emotions with us and it is how we feel our own emotions less alone because others have set it all to music in a way that helps us get through whatever life throws at us. The emotions of both the writer, the singer and musicians and also that of those listening are like the threads of the fabric that makes up what a life is. 

This show elicited so much emotion that there was almost a fight in our section between two women who wanted to soak up every second of it but who preferred to do it in different ways that did not jibe. One lady was standing, being very loud but completely enjoying the show with no regard to anyone else around her. The other lady (seated) took notice and was deeply offended that the standing lady had caused the people behind her to move and that her loudness was drowning out the other sounds in the area we were in. The seated lady just wanted to hear every sound from the stage without disruption. I kind of see both points. The standing lady was loud but she was at a concert. The seated lady stood to try to find a path to the standing lady after warning her to shut it up or she was coming after her. Someone brought the security before anything happened. During the intermission the seated lady said that the standing lady didn't understand how unusual this experience was and that she was ruining it for everyone. I felt like the only one she ruined it for was the seated lady. I told her, "Your are right. This is a unique experience and that is why you should enjoy it yourself and just ignore that lady." Even from the grave Merle still has the ladies fighting over him.

It does not matter what our stories are or what our beliefs are music has always been something people connect on. The people clapped harder for some performers than I did, while at times I didn't feel some were given their due but it didn't matter. I still felt like we were all on the same page. We were connected by Merle and what his music has meant in our lives and what it will continue to mean to others in the future. This concert was exactly a year after his death and also celebrated his birthday. Even after a year of being gone Merle Haggard still packed the house. 

I also thought about Nashville and how so many talented people are drawn here as if magnetized by those that came before them. Randy Travis, George Strait and Garth Brooks and others like them heard the voice of Merle on their radios and said I want to do that too. 

Thursday, March 23, 2017

In Tune with Mother N

Don't know if you have noticed but the way my mind works is very mechanical? So much so, that many of my post here are about the mechanics of how a thing works. I was built for this shit. I really want to explain this to people who don't operate like that so they will understand us "learn by doing" people. I also hope it will help you folks who are a parent to someone like me. This might get wordy and might be better suited to a vlog but I know you get sick of my long videos too. I'm gonna try to keep it short but I am going back to the beginning.

My family moved to Tennessee from Georgia when I was five. This was at a time when I should have been in kindergarten but with all that was going on and because I was very small my mother did not send me. Everyone in my family worked but my Grandmother and she kept all the children. My grandmother could not read and she was the only person with the time to teach me. Long story short, no one prepared me for 1st grade. I showed up for the first day of 1st grade (still 5 because I have an October birthday) and I did not know the alphabet or how to count. I remember that first day like it was yesterday. All the children seemed to know one another. They were all talking and seemed so comfortable. I could not wrap my 5 year old head around it. In my whole 5 years I could only remember being with just my family. I did not know how to make friends and since I missed any sort of pre-schooling I had not seen a model for it. Imagine being the child who didn't know anyone, didn't know the alphabet or numbers by sight or by name, in a room filled with children that knew all of that. Then imagine what it would be like to spend your first year in school being taught at a level of children that did know the alphabet and numbers when you didn't. Not only did I have to devise a way to keep up with what was being taught in the class I also had to learn what I didn't know up to the level the class was being taught at. They did give me extra help and let me point out, I passed 1st grade despite being so far behind. I don't know if this all created how my mind works or if I was born to it.

In all the years I was in school I scored well above the average on every achievement test I took. I am a kickass testtaker. My children have always been that way too. I never studied but I didn't have to because I could surmise the right answer, I didn't actually have to know it. I even got a private visit by recruiters when I was in high school because of my high ASVAB score. I scored really high on the mechanical portion of the test. There were only a handful of people who had private recruitment meetings. I would like to point out that most of us who had a private meeting with them were girls. Who would think that girls would score higher than boys on this test but they did at my school? Just goes to show society is wrong about the female brain.

I've never figured things out using a training manual. It might as well be written in a language I do not speak. My eyes and hands teach things to my brain as if they are an IV of knowledge fed directly to my brain. Words on a paper do not feed my brain in the same way. If I take something apart and put it back together I will know at the end why and how it works. I could read that in a manual and I still would not know. It just becomes a jumble of words all wadded up in my brain. When I physically do the thing at the end it seems so perfectly natural to me that it feels like the way nature works in the world. It becomes as obvious as 1 + 1 = 2.

I have this theory that people like me, that learn by doing, are in tune with nature. Others are more in tune with mentality. Those of us in tune with the flow of nature pick up on patterns and we don't need storage for this because our way is to know things on the spot with no need for storage. Those in tune with the the brain are more like a steel trap filing cabinet. They can retain things much easier and they call on their filing system to keep them functioning in the world.The nature folks do not know the answers but they figure them out. The mental people don't have to figure out the answers because they know them. We may not figure it out by reading a manual but we will figure it out by what seems natural. We are great at math but not so much at reading.

Math is natural, reading is not. Yep, you read that right. At some point language, letters and words were an invention. Someone made decisions that resulted in that type of communication and an agreement was reached. There was never a day when this all fell from the sky or grew from the ground. It was an invention and then it was what we now all know. It was all man made. How does math differ? You do not need speech or anything man made to do math. Imagine you were part of a tribe before there was language. Imagine somehow your tribe was able to communicate either by acting out or drawing in the sand that you wanted to track a number. Let's say you were going to war with another tribe and you wanted to keep a count of your warriors. You could have each of them to pick up one rock and put it in a pile. You would know even without counting that this is the number of people you are sending out. That is addition. The war is over, you all return and you want to know how many people you lost. You'd have every person returning go back to the rock pile and pick up a rock leaving behind a rock for each of those who did not return. That is subtraction. You could take those same people and teach them to read but you would need the help of manmade things such as the alphabet and language. You can count without saying or knowing a word. You cannot read like that. You have to have a lot of things in your memory to be able to read. That is why people with steel trap file storage work well with manuals. They can call on the things they have stored to help them understand. Us in tune with nature folks don't rely on storage. We rely on figuring it out the moment we need it.  Knowing all of this, think about how hard learning to read was for a child already behind. It was TOUGH.

I see patterns. I get the mechanics of why one thing works another. This is why I write. I want to share what nature teaches me everyday.

Over these last few years of getting to 50 and now being fifty I seem to connect the dots with these patterns more everyday. I can look back at my life and see how everything I enjoy about being who I am came to be. I can also see the same about the things I don't like so well. The dots I connect right now tell me the things I enjoy about who I am and the things I don't like so well are a direct result of each other. The good and bad things are like the heads and tails of my coin. They are all the same coin but different sides. They compliment each other. I realize that good or bad, it's all okay.

I wish I were more social. But if I were more social I would not have time to connect dots or learn from nature. I do it all because I have time because I am not a social person. That is what I mean when I say these things are a direct result of each other. I could not have one without the other.

I have so much more to say about all this but I'll tie it up here and maybe come back another day and open it back up. Thanks for keeping with me if you got this far.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Video Journal for Holotropic Breathwork

This is a long video. Sorry 'bout that but I just wanted to share this story here. I feel like it will resonate with people just like me as well as others that are the opposite. Pull up a very comfortable seat and make sure you have a beverage to keep you hydrated. You'll be in your seat for while.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Oh I'm Over Something But It Ain't "It" As You Say

Say what you will about the way the world is this minute. We are more divided than ever? Say it didn't start with the new president? It certainly didn't start with the last. Tell me a time when people in this country have been treated as equals. TELL ME. If you are going to get pissed at folks marching for equality then I DEMAND you tell me the exact time it became unnecessary. People have been yelling about equality since the dawn of this country and there are still folks who shout foul about it like it ain't a thing. Would these people like it if they were treated like their equality didn't matter?

Do you really believe that all people are equal?

As for the treatment of women, How many times have you turned on the news and watched a rapist get away with rape and blame it on the victim. Even some in the court system do. Always double standards too. When a man has sex with his student he gets moved to another school. When a woman does she goes to prison. As far as pay goes, I don't believe I can do everything a man does but if I do I want to be paid the same. Same job = same wages. If you are not bothered by this then don't be but don't tell me I can't be because it is inconvenient for you.

I saw where a few people posted about how Obama ruined everything by trying to give everyone insurance. Poor you. Your plan went up, I get it. You know why? Because now they have to give insurance to people who are already sick and they wouldn't cover them before. If you are sick then you are someone who needs insurance. Instead of the insurance company's adjusting from the top down they adjusted from the bottom up. Look up their salaries.
Even doctors are divided on the ACA. They see it the same way society does. If they are in it for the money they hate it. If they really want to see people get the care they need they don't want to see it go.

So, what did Obama do for you? He left America better than he found it. Is it perfect? No, but it is better and that is something we probably will not be able to say in 4 years.

Do you want to really know where your money goes? Then you need to know about ALEC. This is not just a Georgia thing. This is an American problem.

I'm going to break that down for you. Corporations pay our government officials to make laws that benefit their profits. Another thing these corporations do is they hide money to avoid paying taxes.

Does that look like poor people are the problem? Looks like it's the wealthy to me. I don't know about you but I believe tax on that amount of money could provide people with healthcare and education. If you pay tax then you should be pissed that the people with the greatest ability to pay tax do not.

Look for yourself and see who ALEC is. They are almost 100% Republican and I'm not saying that Democrats don't take money too, they do. ALEC is made up of  basically all those people that pit us all against one another so they can go make laws that do not benefit the American public, while we are looking the other way and pointing the finger at each other.

I know some of  you vote based on abortion alone. This is another tactic to keep us separate. Roe v. Wade was enacted in 1973. That was 43 years ago. In 43 years the Republican party has had ample time to reverse Roe v.Wade since they have had the majority of justices more times than not. You have got to ask yourself why they campaign on this but then never do anything about it.

This chart shows the make-up of the Supreme Court from 1857 to 2015, color coded for party appointment. Light blue indicates a Justice who was appointed by a Democrat, while light red indicates a Justice who was appointed by a Republican. Years are divided individually, but labeled and color coded with darker shades of blue and red for the party in the White House.  
Honestly, who do you think is getting all these abortions. It's not a liberal thing. If it were you wouldn't be complaining that your tax dollar goes to pay for people who keep having babies on welfare. I know at least 3 women who have had abortions and all of them profess some belief in God. Yes, Christians get abortions. Yes, no one is fooled. Many of them are more scared about what people will think of them having a baby out of wedlock than care about their pro-life beliefs. That goes out the window when shame is involved.
Guns!! A lot of you vote based on what the NRA tells you.  8 years of Obama and you still have them. He never even mentioned taking them away.
There is one thing proven after every election. The things they say will change never change. The promises they make, they never keep. We all need to stop believing these people have our best interest at heart.They only care about their own pockets.
I don't think anyone can possibly say that they see nothing to worry about with this next administration. There are too many questions unanswered. When people marched Saturday that is what they were saying for you even if you want to lie to yourself. You may not think this effects you or that it matters but don't get pissed over people trying to do something about it because they do believe it matters.
I started this blog to bring a little peace to the world but only now I'm no longer asking nicely for it I'm screaming for it. You haven't heard me before when I asked nice SO HEAR ME FREAKIN' ROAR.

So, this is where this administration has brought us in JUST 3 DAYS as compiled by THE SKIMM who takes money from Fox/Rupert Murdock:


On Friday, Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th president of the United States. On Saturday, women around the world turned out to protest.


Millions of people showed up in hundreds of cities and on every continent. They were there to defend women’s rights, immigrant rights, and LGBTQ rights, to name a few - things they see as threatened under Trump’s presidency. The protests were the largest inauguration-related demonstrations in US history. At first, Trump didn’t seem too pleased, but he later said “peaceful protests are a hallmark of our democracy.”


While this was going on, Trump took a trip to CIA HQ. The mission: hit ‘reset’ on his rocky relationship with US intelligence agencies. Trump told the CIA he has their back “1,000%.” He also falsely blamed “dishonest” journalists for making up his feud with the intelligence community. And talked about the size of the crowd at his inauguration. He did this while standing in front of the CIA’s memorial to fallen officers that the agency considers sacred. This rubbed some, including the former CIA director, the wrong way.


Not quite. On Saturday, Press Secretary Sean Spicer took the podium for the first time. He falsely claimed that the turnout at Trump’s inauguration was the “largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period.” Later, Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway explained that Spicer’s comment was based on “alternative facts.” These were some of Spicer’s first official remarks to reporters, and they were incorrect.


Trump’s first day in office was marked by unprecedented global protests. And he and his team spent the time blaming the media for bad coverage. Not a great way to start.

Every ounce of this can easily be verified and all of this, my friend, is why people have to be diligent. They have laid the gauntlet. If you are not for them, then they are against you. You need to be afraid of that. That is not how a democracy works.

I know so many strong women who take what they have for granted. If no one had ever marched you wouldn't be able to count on so many things you have now. One is your voice. Another is your right to vote. You also have equal say in what happens in your house. Look at the way this man talks and tell me that he wants you to keep that.
If someone has made you think feminism is a bad word, they've got you right where they want you.

That song is how millions of us (both male and female) feel living in America right now and we have the right to not get over it. Cause this:

Friday, January 13, 2017

You Be You

It's been a while since I post a video. Here is a tiny bit of advice about being yourself.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

make me love you. i dare you.

I just wanted to write a little note to the next president and put it out into the world for anyone to read who might want to.

I know that when you look at that map that lit up red for you on November 8th it made you feel loved. It made you feel like people preferred you over Hillary Clinton. It doesn't mean that. Please do not be confused by the red color of a state on the map. Just because the state was red on the map, that does not mean that no one voted blue in that state. Those blue votes in the red states are part of the popular vote that spanned however dense or sparse across the country. There are only a few blue spots on the Tennessee map, mind you, but I know numerous people who chose Hillary right here where it lit up red. There just wasn't enough of those blue votes to stop that red stamp.

So let's break that down.
  • 2.8 million more people who voted chose Hillary over you
  • The current US population is roughly 325,327,515 (a good portion of these people are not eligible to vote (not all people counted in the population are old enough to vote 24.0% of them are under 18 (78,078,603)))
  • Hillary got 65,844,954
  • You got 62,979,879
  • This brings the number of people who voted to 128,824,833
  • That leaves 118,424,079 people who didn't vote 
Here is the math:
population        325,327,515
underage          78,078,603
greatest # "possibly" eligible        247,248,912
voted        128,824,833
difference        118,424,079

So, 62,979,879 people voted for you. That leaves 184,269,033 people who did or could potentially in the future (if they ever decide that voting makes a difference) prefer someone other than you. Not to mention that the people who voted for you based on promises you made could change their minds too. You have the potential to be the most hated man in America if you are not already.

Do you know how you might gain the love of the American people? You could try to out Obama, Obama. He already has a great approval rating. Had it not been for ALEC and the Republican party blocking President Obama in every way, no one would be able to out Obama him. People who do not educate themselves on what is going on in this world were told he was taking their guns and let's also not forget that some of those people thought he was either Muslim or the antichrist. If not for all that people would have cleared the pathway to heaven for him. One big difference in you and Obama is that he would love it if you out Obama-ed him. He wants all of America to succeed.

You could also try to out Bernie, Bernie. You already know that most informed people prefer Bernie over you. They also prefer Obama over you. Do you only want the folks who fall for anything or would prefer that more people in the United States approve of you than HATE you? Even the people who normally do not use hate speech are speaking that way about you. The bleeding hearts are hardening.

You could try to out Bush, Bush but most people wouldn't give you love for that. People have only tried to forget the problems his being president brought. Well, come to think of it though, people have begun to prefer George W over you. You are the one person that has made people feel like they'd love to bring him out of his art studio for another spin.

Oh, you could follow along with your billionaire club like it appears you will do. And you could follow along with your Republican party by gutting every system set up to help people in need. And with them you could continue funneling up money to the already wealthy while making the little people think that welfare is a bigger issue. They will fall for it. They always do. You can do all of that and you will never win the respect and love of the American people. Bernie is a perfect example of winning the love and respect of the American people. Bernie is the only presidential candidate to  finally tell people the real truth and he is loved for it. He has rockstar status.

I know it is hard for you to empathize with people you have never had anything in common with. It is probably hard to understand what it is like when the world does not bend to kiss your feet and polish your spoon. There is so much strength in not needing that and so much weakness in needing it. That is another thing you probably are blind to. If you ever truly had to need for something necessary to survive you would be a different person. All of this is sad for you really.

Looking back over all the presidencies during my life I cannot remember a time when the American public seemed to already be preparing themselves for a president that they feel might cause irreparable harm to this country even before you take oath. That is how most of us feel. The ones still unafraid are also uninformed just like the miners you promised jobs you know you will never be able to produce. We know it will not happen and we know why but they believe in you.

You will not find your presidency to be like your rallies. The people in your rallies came because they all love you. I know there were a few that made it in that did not love you but of course you had them thrown out. The difference in being president and rallying to be president is that we will all be showing up and you cannot throw us all out.

You have a choice. Be the man that most people need and make people love you or maybe next year you can wish a Happy New Year to even more enemies. It's your ball.
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