42 Is The Answer

Anais and I on our bday bike/walk. Taken by Maile.

What’s the question? Well, it could be:

  • How old are you now? or
  • When will your life come together? or
  • When will you be happy?

I could answer all of these with, “42.”

(I haven’t read it, but I’m aware of 42’s significance from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, in which the supercomputer Deep Thought spends 7.5 million years to compute the answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything. The answer is… 42. See for yourself on Google, or YouTube.)

This is a great bday because it is a wonderful time in my life. Maile, Anais and I have such fun. I love my job. And my music vision is stronger and clearer than ever.

The thrashing around that started at 40 seems to have subsided. The result of the tally is that I have everything I need,  so much love and joy, I’m surrounded by so many wonderful people and meaningful projects. What else could I ask for?

Well, ambition is as wide-eyed as ever as I turn my attention to a refined approach to music that relies less on the distinctiveness of  my talent and more on my art as a healing service for the fracturing world.

Between gorgeous gigs and Sundaysong singalongs I offer connection and reconnection to nature, beauty, people, and peace. (Gorgeous gigs are in beautiful spaces, outside when the whether is right. Sundaysong singalongs are like a folksong church, without the church.)

Thanks, peace, and love to my family, friends and fans for giving me so much. I hope for 42 years more for the chance to repay you.

750 Words – An Explanation

KeyboardAfter posting yesterday’s “750 Words – Just Type” I got an email from my mom asking, “You’re not having a nervous breakdown, are you?” So I thought it deserves a bit of explanation. No, I’m not going crazy. Here’s what it’s all about.

There’s a book called The Artist’s Way, that prescribes writing 750 words every day, just to clear your head and write. I like this challenge and take it from time to time when I go to make a journal entry and don’t know where to begin. I just write, freeform, often stream of consciousness, often in a dialogue with myself, using any method that motivates me to keep writing.

Yesterday, as I was trying unsuccessfully to stay focussed, I posted to Twitter and Facebook: “typing 750 words just to write… about all the reasons my fingers pause on the keys.” An friend from church in high school responded on Facebook: “That’s flippin hilarious, man. As usual, you stun me.” So instead of keeping my post private, as I usually do, I made it a public post, figuring I’m entertaining someone.

And just for the record, that bit about hating Buster Benson was tongue-in-cheek. I am jealous of the cool projects he starts, but he’s a inspiration. Buster started a site, 750words.com, to help facilitate and track this writing exercise. He’s managed to accomplish some really cool stuff building online communities. Check out his projects at Enjoymentland.

So I’m not crazy, and I don’t hate anyone, I just think it really valuable to write freeform once in a while, even if it scares your mom.

750 Words – Just Type

5:30 PM Sitting in the studio with the door and window open, zoning out to the birds twirlee deeing and chweep chweeping. Do we really need language to have thought? Maile and Anais went to run and swim and I stayed behind hoping to do some of this, thinking and writing.

I’m getting better at shutting off work and being unproductive when I need to just be with my girls or take some time off, like right now. It’s hard to know how much time to give yourself and when to prevent yourself from working on a weekend when you want to.

The goal of 750 words hangs over me now, now that I know that artists following the Artist’s Way do, and that Buster Benson does. He even gets a bunch of other people to do it. And now health month, the game. I hate that guy, he’s like me, but better.

Don’t stop, Jase. And quite hitting the backspace button. OK. The goal is not care if you make any typing mistakes for the next 600 words. I can do it. In fact lemme practice right now… adslij aave[appaj alj and aif out oaf all os dair ioj is i caisn ooo s-mopop qhut maoesyin oust os t fathwwn i caon do what nfo maon ha don beforrrrr.

Thaates kinda fcf ubn and hard. my instinct is to correct mysefl and i makkea lost os stupid mistakes especialy lwhne my finders arent’ on th theyboard. ok new experiement, expect im not stopping th old onw where i don’;t correct myself. but this one is just about how fast you can tyep coherent or at least barely coherent stuff. ok. go.

this is not toind so well from the beggining im; running out of things to think and skay nin stead of lacking the speed to ype it all. ok. so let me tyoe something that i already know, like onme of my songs. ok. go.

i wsa on my way to church one sunday morn
the sunwas bright and the weeather wats warm, th
the wintrer was over and i nedded my coat
the streetw were clear and the cars ran slow

there a clown breathed flame and ate the fire
dugled a knife a book and a tie
he called all the childrena d tave them all toys
sent them back to their paretns for coins

then i cam to the poet who spoke like a song
with words that were perfect and buigufilly long
he called all the children and gave them all toys
sent them back to their prtents for coins

then i came the one man band
who’d rigged up stifngs to every finder on his hang
and from a little dance and from a little song
came a chorus of strings and drums and gongns

then a little knelt and played on a pipe
a reel quick tune the Irish type
and two young brothers played violin
as their mother and father passed round the tin

This is preety hard and in don’t know if it helps to look at the screen at all, i must say. but what’s holding me up? finger speed and accuracy of course. but there are lots of pauses in my fingers that seem completely related to my mental pauses pawses. liek the one that just took me about ten seconds of zonign out.

HJmmm. So where does this leave us>? in thedark? no, practiced, at least. Closer tot he mythcial 750. But lest talk about the mythical 100 people that I can keep up with. And the posited 9 months after which serious relationship decay occurs if neglected. Let’s look at the numbers.

There are 365 day, divided between 100 people, is an average of thats contact with each 3.65 days a year, right? orami craxy/stupid?./ COnfession: I used a calculator to that simple simple division by 100. oh hwell.

That makes sense, though… contact each of your top 100 at least 3-4 times a year, or every 3-4 months. Now given that there’s a bell curve invlolved, that’s means they’res a bunch of people you see frequently and spend a lot of time with, and another bunch that you do’t contact but every 6-9 months too.

So is this supposed to be a conscious decision, or first just an observation of who you spend time with. Perhaps an audit is in order. Why don’t I revive my daily checklist and start with the question: who did you contact today? who did you have a real conversation with, no matter how brief? ok.