(...cue sad, funerary-like violin music, dubbed over with charging horses and bugle...)
in the words of john wayne: i am blowing this popsicle stand.
i have gathered myself up and am heading off into the great unknown and am (gaa) completely unplugging from the interweb and telephone for several weeks.
my email is set to autoreply.
with the exception of a few retreats (never more than a week) to meditate in the woods in western mass, i have never deliberately decided to switch off like this.
i feel like it's an imperative. i really don't like the part of myself that reaches for the phone or the email the minute i have a blank space in my life.
it frightens me. we're all becoming like this.
it's amazing to be connected but there needs to be enough real life occurring so that the connections are not empty.
faster speeds, more friends, bigger webs of contact, finding old contacts, blogging...all doesn't mean shit if the underlying content isn't worth sharing or reflecting on.
we are all, i think, faced with so many choices and so much temptation to plug in, post, respond, search, find, share further, etc. that we are also forced to engage in a constant struggle between self and self-sharing and reflection. you're looking at one of the guiltiest parties. too many times i catch myself living as my own archivist. that, i think, i the main reason i have to unplug for a while.
of course i won't be able to stop collecting experiences, lyrics, mental photos, whatever, in my vast mental shoe box marked "to synthesize"...but at least i'll be forcing myself to synthesize within the hour or the day.
i was on the phone with edward form the pink dots as i was packing this morning. he too says he gets sucked in to the internet addiction, checking email every few minutes, unable to unplug.
he goes to his girlfriends in finland to get away and write, clear head, where there is no internet and he's forced to re-concentrate. we find ways....if we don't have the discipline at home, we leave. i'm leaving.
the retreat im doing is an intensive yoga teacher training camp, no leisure time. wake up at 6 am, meditation and yoga all day, crash to bed in dorm rooms, wake up, repeat.
no caffeine, no dairy, all vegetarian, certainly no drinking and smoking...full-on detox, major self-inspection and physical tuning. godspeed me.
before i forget, there're another place i want to point you guys....several people commented in delight about the "funerary violin" music rotating in my disc-changer.
this is the result of a recent correspondence i have taken up with a highly esteemed and talented Rohan K, who penned the recently hailed book:
"An Incomplete History of the Art of Funerary Violin". i suggest reading it, it's full of mystery, sadness and wisdom (and scores for you violinists).
there are clips from historic funerary violin scores up at myspace.com/guildoffuneraryviolinists
in addition, Mr. K fronts his own piano-centric tom-waits-y band, which is beautiful and can be found here: myspace.com/therohantheatreband
those of you wondering about the title of the last blog (and why there wasn't more fucking and fighting detailed)
the reference was to sxip shirey's song in which he sings (through a megaphone, no less):
"i live in new york city
i live in new york city
i live in new york city
i fuck, i fight in new york city."
songs the SHIT. i hear tell that both brian and reggie were invited to record on sxips album so keep the eye out.
there's a clip of him playing this song at the show we all played at joe pub the other night with reggie watts beatboxing to back him up...
....you can't hear the lyrics in the clip but its STILL the shit: youtube.com/watch?v=rQWR219kbdQ
as far as the gory-detailed chronicling of my fucking and fighting, it will have to wait until my golden-years autobiography, when all the complicit parties are either dead or senile.
i'm writing this on the plane to santa fe, where i'm going to visit my step-sister lisa for a few days before i hit it.
she's almost four months pregnant and this will be the first baby in my immediate family. i cant wait to rub her belly. i'm psyched: auntie manda.
i will bestow on this child his or her first beatles record unless somebody else beats me to it.
shaving your head bald (a la britney) seems to be the last resort when you have no control over your life and need to re-self-define. i did it when i was 21 and freaking out in college. brian did it when we were recording the first record. bob geldof/pink did it in The Wall. it's natural. i personally thinks she looks hot. i'd hit it.
this is the first time in years that i am on a plane heading towards myself.
packing was fucking confusing.
i am so used to packing for tour on autopilot that i had forgotten how to pack for "vacation".
about a year r two ago i stopped packing and unpacking certain things and just left my bags packed when i got home.
road clothes, road bathroom shit, show bag would all just sit in my bedroom until the next flight or tour, which was never far off.
it felt wrong to be hitting the road without an extra roll of black gaffer tape. i relented; i left it at home.
after the retreat i'm heading straight do-not-pass-go-do-not-collect-fucking-shit into the studio to start tinkering with the solo record.
i want to step off the plane and immediately hit the piano before my brain has a chance to start gathering junk and static.
i've got folders of lyrics and lists of songs ready to go....and a soul ready to explode, so i can't imagine the pre-production won't go well.
i'm going to stay relatively unplugged in the studio, just to give my brain and fingers a rest.
by the time thats done it'll be mid-march and i'll head back to boston and NYC for re-plugging, talking, emailing, dancing and wine-drinking. wine rocks.
i love planes in general but i especially love planes when there's a 6 year-old sitting behind me who just doesnt get over the fact that we're in the air and keeps giving a running commentary on how awesome everything looks outside the window. america's covered in snow. the Great Lake is covered with patterns of floating ice shifting like membranes over the waves. sun is so low that the buildings on the shore are casting solid shapes on the surface, which is a dark jade color, which makes the whole view look like a deco painting. the kids mom is explaining the ice. i just dropped into my lap an article on barack obama and i felt that surging zeitgeist-feeling of hope for this sad country. right now, things don't look bad from up here.
i also read through the last five months of fan mail while i was at home this week. and everything that came with it, the books, the zines, the discs, the poems, the pain, the love, all the deep connection. i wish i could express to you how insanely fucking lucky i feel, but its impossible. it's impossible but maybe it's not necessary, because you guys already Get It.
read yall on the flipside, motherfuckers.