Signs, signs, everywhere a sign…

I’m always looking for signs. Sometimes they are tiny things like a song on the radio at the exact right moment, or when you figure out that gut feeling you had was exactly right. But sometimes they’re so prodigious that they can’t be ignored. Today I spent 2nd-guessing quitting my job. I had prepared myself for that, second-guessing is a very natural human reaction when making any important life-changing decision. Still it ate away at my psyche a bit, and muddled up my mood.

I took a short afternoon nap, and decided to go see the sunset when I awoke, as I do most days that I am DSC02224awake for them. I decided to change it up a bit and go somewhere different, maybe for a different perspective that might lighten my mood. Almost without thinking about it I decided on Chestnut Ridge. I had never been there for a sunset, and had read that the sunsets there were amazing. There are swings that you can sit on and stare out over the ridge. You can see almost the entire shoreline all the way to downtown Buffalo from this vantage point. When I arrived, to my dismay, the swings had been taken out for the winter. I sat in my car for a few minutes debating on whether I would just sit on the ground. Then I remembered I had a couple of folding chairs stowed under the floor in the back of the truck.

I grabbed my phone and my camera, and as I was getting out of the truck I saw a beautiful red tail hawk soaring above the hill. I hurried to grab my chair hoping to get a good picture of the bird. Sadly by the IMG_20160316_191258811_HDRtime I got the chair, the bird had flown elsewhere. I walked over to the top of the hill and chose a good spot near where one of the swings had been, in order to watch the sunset. As I pulled the chair from the bag, I looked over and saw young man with dreadlocks sitting on a wicker throne some 10 yards from me. I sat in silence taking in the view for a few minutes, and readying my camera for what was sure to be a breathtaking sunset. As I looked over at the young man, he was unpacking something from his own bag, it looked to be some sort of drum.

As he began to play I was awed by the sound of what he later told me was called a hang drum. I had seenDSC02225 them online in videos but never live. The sound of it was amazing. It was inspiring and soothing and created a very meditative mood. I snapped a couple pictures of him, but after listening for a few minutes I forgot all about my camera. He played nonstop for a good 10 minutes. I was hoping for him to take a break for a minute so that I could tell him how amazing it was. I finally decided I had to stop him myself and tell him. I walked up to him and I said, “I’m sorry man, I don’t want to break your groove but I had to thank you for playing for me.” He shook my hand and thanked me. He asked me my name, and told me his name was Nate. I asked him if I could record him for a few mins. He said, “Yea man record away.” I stood next to him and crouched down. It was the perfect vantage point as I could see the sun setting behind him. I took a couple of minute-and-a-half videos. When he finished we both looked at each other and kind of laughed, I think we both realized what a perfect moment it was.

We chatted for a few minutes afterward about politics, the state of the world, and what each of us did for a living. It was refreshing to hear someone so young with such wisdom. It turns out we both had a pretty crummy day, and we had both come to cleanse the day away. Experiencing his music definitely did the trick for me. I told him my name on Facebook so that he could see the video after I uploaded it.

When I got home I viewed the video and I was in awe. The second video I took had a beautiful fade in as the sun overexposed the lens of the camera, and just as he was finishing up that same overexposure of the lens happened again. You can hear my giddy laugh as he finishes up. Yep that was exactly what I needed for the day thanks Nate. I hope you enjoy this video as much as I enjoyed it live!

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Ubiquitous Synergy Seeker

I found this band about three years ago when I first really started putting energy into finding myself and healing my past, seeking ubiquitous synergy I suppose. I didn’t even know what U.S.S. stood for at the time I just dug the tunes. The band is composed of vocalist, guitarist, anderhu player Ashley Buchholz (aka Ash Boo-Schultz) and turntablist/hype man Jason “Human Kebab” Parsons. The first song I heard was called “This Is The Best“. It, to me, seemed to be a song describing the plight of an addict. With lyrics like…

Well I woke up on a Monday
I’ve been feeling pretty wired
I’ve been wide awake since Wednesday
I was feeling so inspired
By the state of my own execution
Drop me ’cause I can’t let go.

It seems to describe how hopeless it feels, not only the actual addiction, but even just the fight to stay alive that it can sometimes be, or maybe the lack of care for staying alive. I was not only healing my own addictions, but watching others seemingly losing the battle to theirs at the time.

I began going through their discography and looking up their songs on you tube. I was amazed at how in line with my current status in life their songs were. I found songs like “Form Onederful” which is more of a meditation than a song, filled with jungle drum beats and chants, ending with a scientist describing glass transition temperature. The song “Turquoise 1:11” features a woman describing awakening of the mind, and repeating the phrase ‘your world is a direct result of your thought’ and describing how your thoughts affect every part of your life. 1:11 has always had a very deep meaning to me to begin with, but then to hear this woman start describing almost exactly what I had been reading in a book earlier that day was just mind boggling to me. Very ironic to say the least. I was hooked. A friend and I were talking about them and I described them as “dancy nickleback with conscious lyrics” lol.

I kept going. Their second ep was named “Welding the C:/” Which, to me, was in essence what I felt like I was doing. Welding Chris back together. The first song off that ep is named “2 and 15/16ths” Still to this day my favorite song. The lyrics Ash writes are always very clever. “you’re like a tack in a paper clip factory to me” A very unique way to say you’re special I’m guessing. The song “Porno Star Trek” also one of my favorites also has some really clever and feeling lyrics…

You’re so my everyday
You’re so my sweetest love
You’re so the greatest change
I’m always dreaming of

You’re like my compass and
We always find our way
You bring your smile and wipe
Away my shitty day
This sudden alchemy
Has got me holding on
Stand-by auxiliary
Signals holding strong

I looked up the band’s first full length album on you tube called “Questamation”. Questimation? Kind of like guessing where your path is leading? I played this as I was cleaning my house. Every once in a while I would stop and look up lyrics that caught my attention. From “Cloudboy

Truth is clear
Intentions sincere
Intentions sincere

Here’s my all I won’t let you down
Won’t let you down
Mark my words
I won’t let you down
Let you down

Here’s my all I’m trying
Through it all I’m smiling
Built new wings for flying
I’m smiling

From the song “Antivenom

Still playing games with the hourly wagers feeling left out
Could you not see the consequences of treading in your doubt
Hope is always the antidote and I’m feeling what I can
Could you not see the obviousness in acting like a man

Fear is always the catalyst
Sending shivers through my heart
And I can’t stop it from happening
When I’m falling apart
I can’t stop it from happening

When my hope light goes out,
Love is always the aperture
When my hope light goes out
The truth is…

I was missing someone terribly at the time. from “Stranger to Myself“…

I miss the way your eyes and stars align
I miss the thoughts that design and build your mind
I miss the way you hold me close like vines
I miss you all the time

and my favorite lyric of all from “Heaven on Mars

I miss her like blind archers miss

Get it? 😉

I was learning to deal with sadness and loss, and putting myself back together in the midst of it. I was reading books and having my eyes, all three of them, opened by authors like: Eckhart Tolle, Jiddu Krishnamurti, Jack Kerouac, Deepak Chopra, Alan Watts, etc. From the song “me vs. Us“…

Here amongst my wildest dreams
Love it grows on trees
Fall is once a year
And dads don’t leave
In my wildest dreams
Everyone thinks in green
The birds sing Fur Elise
To meCemented in the newly mended me
Us
Sticks and stones some lessons
Far and wide eyes
I go to the library and find
Truth
Books and words some lessons new
And eyes
Wide

As I was reading these lyrics the song ended. I began hearing thunder and rain, and other sounds of nature. I realized that the last song on the album was actually a 15 minute meditation. I had recently incorporated a meditation practice into my life. I was amazed at the similarities between their journey and mine.

I finally got to see them in concert and was blown away. Ash came out on stage with a cup of tea. I saw them at a place called “Buffalo Iron Works“. A small venue with maybe room for 600. Their popularity is growing quite a bit so seeing them in that kind of small and personal venue may never happen again. I stood about four rows back from the stage and left sweaty and sore. One of my favorite concerts ever.

A couple months after this I visited my tattoo artist and got the words “Pure Life, Pure Mind” tattooed in IMG_20140328_122755white ink on my fingers. I did this to remind me of my journey, and where I was trying to go in this life. I did it in white ink because I wanted to see it, very rarely does anyone else ever notice. When I take away my pinky and ring finger of my left hand and put my hands together the tattoo becomes “Remind”. Not long after this U.S.S. came out with their most recent album “Advanced Basics” on the album there is a song called “Hydrogenuine“…

Eleven is the number I seem assigned to
Inversions of an opposite truth aligns you
Directions like the back of your hand will guide youIMG_20140328_122818
I am simply here to assist and remind you

Yep I just love these guys. Enough that I had to write this. The signs you ask for always come if you are aware enough to pick them out. I work on my awareness everyday, and am thankful for the poetry and music these guys have brought to my life… ❤ p4th3tic

You make music in my heart I beat to
You make music in my heart I dance to
Pure intention is the scope I aim through
You make music in my heart I dance to