Saturday, March 18, 2017

Chuck Berry, RIP

 "The gateway to freedom...was somewhere close to New Orleans where most Africans were sorted through and sold. I had driven through New Orleans on tour and I'd been told my great grandfather had lived way back up in the woods among the evergreens in a log cabin. I revived the era with a song about a coloured boy named Johnny B. Goode. My first thought was to make his life follow as my own had come along, but I thought it would seem biased to white fans to say 'coloured boy' and changed it to 'country boy'."         Chuck Berry

For my generation Chuck Berry has been a major model in our individual struggles to define personal autonomy. What exactly does, "attitude" mean? What does, "irony" have to do with my family life. What is going on at home anyway. What do I, "have to do?" What is, "My Choice?" What the hell are, "Consequences, anyway?" I think our generation ('50's and '60's) did different things with these questions than previous generations. Chuck Berry was 'way out' there in the vanguard.  Chuck Britt

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Note to an anxious client:

To a mother of an adult child:

Good job setting a boundary!

Your clear, simple and brief boundary setting with your son will directly reduce your physical stress which reduces your mental anxiety.

When I act like I have choice for others (which I very seldom do) I am choosing to disorient myself.  This is a physical choice with physical consequences. (Increases my physical stress and therefore my level of anxiety.)

When I am aware that I have a choice to make for me and I am honest with myself that the choice has physical consequences (known and unknown) attached... when I make the choices in this way it has a logical foundation.  The choice is congruent.  The choice may be risky or foolish but my thinking ego is truth-ing with the body.  The body knows to be ready for risk.  This is congruent.  It may be fatal but it is congruent.  My body is used to congruent risk.  My body can orient itself and strive to be ready. The consciousness of the mind and the memory in my muscles and in my physical nervous system will work together to try to reduce the risk and try to keep me safe.

If I am intent on jaywalking (or skiing, or doing gymnastics, or wall climbing, or going to a rock concert, and choose to do it consciously and purposefully and I am aware of the apparent risks and aware that there are unknown risks and I am willing to accept the consequences of my risky choice... then I would label the choice "congruent" and oriented.

If I impulsively step off the curb (or the slope etc.)  without any awareness or processing and therefore no consideration or ownership of consequences ...I would label this an in-congruent and disoriented choice.  This is much more dangerous than the previous example.  Even though I am oblivious, my physical stress and resultant anxiety will go up much more dramatically than it would in the previous example.  It will stay elevated until I demonstrate to my body that I am much less oblivious and am ready to process things more deliberately (with ownership).

When you choose to be oblivious to your own physical need to remember that you do not actually have a choice regarding your son's well being ... you are choosing to be in-congruent and disoriented and you are choosing to dramatically increase your short term and longer term stress and anxiety.

When you chose this time to set a proper (simple, moodless and very brief) boundary with your son, you are choosing the consequence of significantly reduced short term and long term stress and anxiety. 

You feel better because you are doing congruent and oriented self care. (Better self care.)

Great Job!!!


Thursday, February 16, 2017

I The Digger

I The Digger

I know I am immature

Yet I know I will find it
In the denied
In the forgotten
In the shamed
In the beaten and browbeaten

A slavishly self imposed prison
In each of you

Everywhere I aim
My special powers see

Telltale signs of

Making so obvious
Your trigger-prison

In seemingly empty fields
Minute quarks of jailed

Potential dash in and out
Of existence...

You inadvertently show me
Where the hidy-holes wait

All my dogged hunting
Senses dive and dig

My big nostrils notice
One pheromone

My big eyes notice
One cheek tick

My big ears notice
One stifled syllable

All of my own reenergized
Slavish joining dives down

You will not see my maniac digging
Tail wagging with certainty anticipating

The base dirt of your discontent
Flying between my back legs

Yet you may notice that hole
With your vulnerable dirt flying out

And your rising bile

There... I The Digger have
Inevitably found your mood

And my adrenaline

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Appalachian Spring

For me this music connects us to the little town truth of America that I think my parents lived and told stories about. There is difficulty and ugliness in the history of small town America and much of our solidity and strength. Copland captures and releases it all without words. Strengths, conflicts, moods, remembrance, horrors and loves in wordless memories. These days the strengths and moods and peculiarities of "Small Town" America all seem to have gone somewhere else. 

In the 'connected' world is there a small town anywhere? Popular culture is not a small town, spreading as it does along every freeway and airway across the world. It is hard to pin point where those small town strengths now live. I think they must live in the millions of small communities of friends that are not so much about places as they are about shared time and memory. The relationships I am noticing are about communication with each other over distance and time. Perhaps it is about choosing to utilize technology to witness each others lives. A living network among each person's disbursed loved ones and friends and memories... at a distance. Telling stories to each other like mom and dad told stories except now we do it over the phone, email, text, and Facebook. Mom and dad in their stories introduced us to earlier times to help us witness the family in history through their eyes and hearts and memories. 

Elders share with youth the basic human strength that we all need to tell stories, share memories and take the risk of sharing our dreams.   We all need to find uses in these new tools and do strong work with them.  

Aaron Copeland, in his Appalachian Spring shows us how to use any media to describe our own lives and our own America and inspires us to tell the small stories underlying our days to each other.  

The smallest town is my body and your body too and the small memories.

Here is Aaron Copland rehearsing Appalachian Spring:

And here is The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center performing Appalachian Spring (with other selections) in one of the country’s most beautiful historic sites: Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill in Kentucky.  (You can go to 58:20 to be at the beginning of "Appalachian Spring")  (The first hour of the performance is full of wonderful American music!)

And here an amazing performance live in Detroit 2014. It is the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Conducted by Leonard Slatkin.   Mr. Slatkin tells a compelling story about Copland's final communication regarding his work.


Wednesday, November 25, 2015

However our eyes may be dazzeled...

And  however our eyes may be dazzled, or our ears deceived by sound; 
however prejudice may warp our wills, or interest darken our understanding, 
the simple voice of nature and of reason will say, it is right.

Thomas Paine, Common Sense, 1776

Friday, November 20, 2015

Time and Mortality

"Today, my friends, we each have one day less, every one of us.  
And joy is the only thing that slows the clock."
John D. McDonald, The Scarlet Ruse, a Travis McGee novel.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Under Pressure

Wow! Urgently relevant. Incredible performances. Thanks to my neice, Emily Marlor for posting this on Facebook!

Under Pressure