To a great degree, I am picking up where I left off two years ago. Just reminded of that yesterday. I had launched a Pledge Music campaign in spite of being pretty seriously disabled. It seemed like a reasonable thing to do. Run the campaign while I was recovering and then put out my solo album at long last. But it was not meant be. I had a bad feeling about Pledge from the start. The business model seemed unsustainable and I didn’t trust that I would get the funds handled properly, I was worried, that if the campaign was successful, I would end up holding the bag and I was not in any condition to just roll with more music industry bullshit. The line had been drawn out of absolute necessity. I had nothing left to give. It was time to let go.
And of course there was the reckoning of my entire life story at the same time. A great ending of “family” relationships. An accepting of terrible truths lost to the depths of time. It took that last two years of letting go and allowing myself to heal for much of my memory to return and for my constant, crippling anxiety and fatigue to slowly transform into a calm and present state. It’s still very new and I have a long way to go, but I am picking up again and I don’t expect to leave off.
I have sought illusion
I have danced with lies
I have made them both true
Made them laugh and smile
And forging my fate from rough stone
I have cut my fingertips
And listened to the blood
That fell to crash upon your lips
And then came the fire. When it rains it pours, but we hadn’t had much rain for many years at this point. And the Nor Caler’s weren’t used to fires, that much was obvious when we first moved to the North Bay from Ojai in Southern California several years before. I had grown up with constant fire vigilance and strict fire clearance regulations. My own home had burnt to the ground in a massive fire back in 1985, the result of arson that set the south ablaze for months and burned our acres in the Los Padres. That was an indescribable trauma when I was eight years old. Not so much the fire itself, but what the burning of the land meant. I knew it as I watched the news from our temporary home in Venice Beach, the house I was born in. Saw the flames and heard my mom say that the ranch was burned. I watched silently as I felt the walls closing in as I realized my avenue of escape was going up in flames and I was so right. Fate sealed, decades of suffering yet to unfold. And here I was, reliving all of it as much of the country and neighboring counties were set ablaze in what was for a short time, record breaking global news. This time, my home did not burn.
Change, change and more change. A few months later, Ojai was a ring of fire, our record breaking fire now already broken by what seems to have become the new normal in just two short years. So, what can I do but count my blessings and continue down the journey of my life however bizarre and uncertain it may seem. The past is in ashes, I burnt it without knowing the reason. And now that I know, like the phoenix am reborn in that eternal resurrection of the human experience, consciousness and soul. Art is life, life is art. There are certain things that are simply constant. Truth does not belong to anyone. It is the way human beings interact with and experience life. It is science, religion, family, technology, energy, reality. The only reason these avenues have become split is because war lords have divided and conquered. Literally.
So my healing, my story, my trauma is everyone’s story in some way. It is the story we are all living. The culmination of thousands of years of war and the narrative that made it real. People are confused. They have been encouraged to participate in blind belief, calling it faith, as a system of control and domination. Using truth, rather the corruption of truth, a powerful energy, to maintain a power structure that is built on slavery. You cannot balance that book. You have to throw it away. There is no way to “fix it”. It is what it is. And someone always has to suffer.
As an artist and creator I am pretty aware of what they teach as form. If you are to write a story, whether a book, a monologue, a screen play, it is accepted that you are to learn certain rules, follow those rules in an innovative, but not too innovative manner and become employed at this if you are considered especially gifted. So, of course media is highly controlled and manipulated. It is the mechanism by which our collective narrative is generated and disseminated. Whether by a theocratic state such as the Roman Catholic Church via monarchy or by a capitalist democratic republic called the United States of America, the content shifts, the form remains. And I am down with content shifts. They make radical and significant differences. My writing this moment is tremendous evidence of that, however, after a relatively short lifetime of study and observation, it is my belief without doubt that a change in form has become utterly necessary. The content is simply too much of a mess to get sorted. We are pretty much chasing our collective tail into oblivion at this point. And we have run out of room.
So while there is no way for me to fix this and I have limited ability to change this reality even within my own daily activities and choices, under these circumstances, I can simply be what I am and tell my story the best I can, in my own form and borrowed form. A hybrid of sorts, something old, something new… there are only a few patterns when you get right down to it. And truth is truth, there is no reinventing the wheel. But there is seeing what has been erased. Left off. Left out. And there is quite a bit of lying by omission, claiming it doesn’t exist, it’s not real, it’s not the way it is. Well, I think I will continue not taking anyone’s word for it. In a society drowning in its’ own deceit, I shall certainly undertake my own investigation. Reality is evident. But you do have to actually take a look.