TuesDayNewsDay Vol 2, Issue 12 ~ September 15, 2020
Dedication: today’s Tuesday Newsday is dedicated to Jonathan Byrd. Back in 2002, I worked for a man named Gary. Gary lost someone dear to him and I accompanied him to the funeral. I didn’t know who Jonathan Byrd was at that time, however upon hearing him sing at this funeral, I knew he was very special. I don’t actually remember who it was that it passed, but I remember hearing Jonathan sing. Maybe that’s messed up of me, maybe it’s just my normal human brain… more attuned to music.
Here and now, sitting up on the banks of the Haw River, many years later, I have the privilege and opportunity to share my music with Jonathan Byrd and his amazing audience tomorrow night. Only a few people know of my goals, because I don’t share them often, but one of my goals for this year was to sing for Jonathan Byrd‘s weekly residency, The Shake Sugaree Jonathan Byrd and the Pickup Cowboys show hosted by The Kraken, our local dive bar. I actually wrote it down on a piece of paper with my other goals… A few of months ago, I ran into Jonathan while waiting to perform for the John Prine tribute. Due to Covid, it’s kind of not cool to hug people, but later I expressed to him and several others that I wish I could’ve given out hugs. That was the first time I had been around a whole bunch of people for several weeks. Jonathan said that he wished he would’ve been able to hear me sing, and without a beat, I said, “well maybe I could sing for your show one day…” thinking way into the future, maybe on the ground, in real life, post Covid. After a few agonizing minutes of waiting for his response via Facebook messenger, he responded, “Can you do July 25?”. I was flabbergasted because I half expected him to say no. No, you don’t have an album and I really don’t want to host someone who can’t have something to showcase… No you can’t perform, for some other piddly reason my mind made up for me… But he said yes and I am so excited.
In my excitement, I reached out to my friend Spencer who is also one of the videographers for Jonathan‘s weekly show. I love Spencer and he also said yes to play those videos with me. What a treat!? Spencer is an amazing songwriter. His voice is captivating and his musical talents soar out of this world.
So tomorrow night, at 7 o’clock when the show begins, join me on Facebook as I will be starting a watch party for people to watch it with me. There will be two videos of my own songs in between the many amazing sets of Jonathan Byrd and the Pickup Cowboys’ music. I’m stoked and honored. One of the songs is a product of Jonathan’s song writing workshop. I recommend it to anyone who likes to write songs!
Quote: “Jump, and the lily pad will appear.” This quote was on a friend’s mom’s fridge and it’s etched into my memory. Perhaps that is what I did when I asked Jonathan to sing for his show…
Thank you so much for supporting me during this musical journey. I don’t have much to say this evening, I have been teaching and organizing and protesting for the last several months. We have much work to do in this world to make it a better place, I know I am doing my small part. I hope you enjoy the show tomorrow! Thank you Jonathan for having me, I look forward to enjoying your music and reminiscing about the past in hopes of a future that includes dancing at the Kraken.
Dedication: The Migrant Farmers, The Gardeners, The Land Cultivators – Those who feed us all. We must remember from where our food and sustenance come, for we are nothing without the land – we exist on stolen soil and call it private property with arbitrary borders bound to arbitrary power – we can start acknowledging from there and create a discourse together, from now on.
This is also dedicated to my best friend Maggie and my dear friend Harry who feeds our community and themselves and are exemplary humans I am honored to know and call friends.
Quote: “Keep some room in your heart for the unimaginable.” Mary Oliver and subsequently, “When large slices of the demos feel as if their voice is not being heard, they feel helpless, impotent and turn on themselves and turn on each other… Every generation is wrestling what it means to be human and how one takes democracy seriously, and has to accent the underside of their present moment, in light of the past, to ensure that the future can be a little bit better, maybe even qualitatively better than the present.” Dr. Cornel West
Dear Humans: Today is Tuesday and I have felt like a flapping fish out of water (forgot to take my medicine… Captain Distracto… Passionate Multi-Tasker… Obsessive Student… Crazed Teacher… Mad Artist! I am teaching, was accepted into a graduate level 5-week intensive class “Teaching for Black Lives”, standing daily on the street corner with my sign, highlighting police brutality with my neighbors, falling in love with myself and my Spiritual path, doing some yoga, making friends with dedication, making art, reading tarot cards, making matchbooks and frequenting the post office. I have amazing news. On Wednesday, the 29th, I’ll be performing 2 of my songs as the virtual half-time guest of Jonathan Byrd and the Shake Sugaree Global Pandemic Live Stream. I cannot even begin to describe what an honor this is. I’ve been listening to Jonathan Byrd since I was 23… I’m 37… that’s a long time!
Love to everyone, I’d wax poetic here about everything into which I’ve been diving, but I’ll spare you and share another quote of Dr. Cornel West, “Democracy is like the art form of jazz: You better find your voice, accent your individuality in community so you can contribute to the high quality of the collective performance. Find your voice! Each citizen: dig deep into the precincts of your soul and examine the suburbs of your voice and find your voice and get it out, not just your self-interest but your voice that balances enlightened self-interest and public interest and the public good. (We aren’t just talking about votes in Florida..).” 2014, Dr. Cornel West speaks at University of Washington
This week in pictures:
Upcoming shows: Every Tuesday at 8:30 – live on Instagram and Facebook! ❤
Dedication: This week’s edition of TuesDayNewsDay is dedicated to Amy Alexander and her family. Here is her obituary and HERE. We said goodbye to Amy on Saturday after she passed on last Tuesday. Last Tuesday, in lieu of a newsletter, Bruce and I did a memorial livestream on the Facebooks which you can see HERE. It is more and more difficult to speak of her in the past tense. Ryan and I had a talk about that. I have so many unutterable feelings. All I can express right now is my gratitude for her. I could never be more grateful for her presence in my life as a substitute mom. I love you Ma.
This is Amy, Loren and me:
This was us (the family of Alexanders and friends) at Thanksgiving last year:
This is Amy and her oldest son, Josh. Everyone knows him as Skip. I called him Skippo. He called me Stinkie. They are together on the other side now and to quote my post about this earlier this week: “My thoughts also drift to our brother Skip during this time. Time slows down when I think of him. There is something strangely comforting and tragic knowing that they’re on the other side together now.”
The week before last, another friend passed over the rainbow bridge, Paul Vasquez (the double rainbow guy) and I made a memorial video for him live on the Instagrams. You can see that HERE.
Quote: “WILD KINDNESS” by Jack Kerouac
“By practicing kindness all over with everyone you will soon come into the holy trance, definite distinctions of personalities will become what they really mysteriously are, our common and eternal blissstuff, the pureness of everything forever, the great bright essence of mind, even and one thing everywhere the holy eternal milky love, the white light everywhere everything, empty bliss, svaha, shining, ready, and awake, the compassion in the sound of silence, the swarming myriad trillionaire you are.”
Cat Stevens says, “Don’t be shy just let your feelings roll on by, don’t wear fear or nobody will know you’re there..” Today, as we lift our heads to the heavens all around us, it is with acceptance and grace that we move through grief and mourning those souls who have gone before. To be real as can be, this last year has gifted many opportunities for pause and reflection, gratitude and silence, reception and art, Spirit messages and an outpouring of gifts we can only begin to imagine. This may seem folly, overly light-hearted, or flippant – but please, know I say these things with extreme reverence in the midst and acknowledgment of the pain and suffering in our world right now too.
As I sit here on this magical rock, a direct connection to the heartbeat of this earth, I have no choice but to breathe and sigh, sit in awe of the moving spectacle of the water coursing through my toes, the sunlight pouring in through juvenile leaves of Summer. The Elm and Sycamore, the Box elder and Tulip Poplar are my Sacred canopy. The bees gently buzz in puddles left from the latest flood. I have been blissfully swimming in poetry and space, gifts of song and tears, all the while mourning and then once again, with dry and damp eyes, tapping into the divine through connections with others, these plants, the garden soil, growth, and my dearest buzzing, singing, trumpeting beautiful flying beings.
No, I cannot complain. Yes, there has been much loss. Yet, I am making my own type of peace simply by surrendering to what is. Supplication to blessings, even if they hurt. Nodding my head and heading in the direction to which I am called, without an ounce of regret or hesitation.
I love you all. Thank you for Being. Thank you for being there, being challenging, being real, being You.
Hey yall, It’s Tuesday. The Earth turned into the Sun again today. The clouds parted so that we may feel the warmth of that Sun too. For those things and more, I am hella grateful. Please see the passage below. I am re-reading this little book called Practicing Peace and it speaks to every ounce of what is happening in the world right now and how we can all choose to evolve through these times. Pema on Racial Injustice
Dedication: To everyone. All the people. All the animals. All the plants. All the Spirits.
Quote:Practicing Peace by Pema Chödrön. “War begins when we harden our hearts, and we harden them easily— in minor ways and then in quite serious, major ways, such as hatred and prejudice—whenever we feel uncomfortable. It’s so sad, really, because our motivation in hardening our hearts is to find some kind of ease, some kind of freedom from the distress that we’re feeling. Someone once gave me a poem with a line in it that offers a good definition of peace: “softening what is rigid in our hearts.” We can talk about ending war and we can march for ending war, we can do everything in our power, but war is never going to end as long as our hearts are hardened against each other.
What happens is a chain reaction, and I’d be surprised if you didn’t know what I’m talking about. Something occurs—it can be as small as a mosquito buzzing—and you tighten. If it’s more than a mosquito—or maybe a mosquito is enough for you—something starts to shut down in you, and the next thing you know, imperceptibly the chain reaction of misery begins: we begin to fan the grievance with our thoughts. These thoughts become the fuel that ignites war. War could be that you smash that little teensy-weensy mosquito. But I’m also talking about war within the family, war at the office, war on the streets, and also war between nations, war in the world.
We often complain about other people’s fundamentalism. But whenever we harden our hearts, what is going on with us? There’s an uneasiness and then a tightening, a shutting down, and then the next thing we know, the chain reaction begins and we become very righteous about our right to kill the mosquito or yell at the person in the car or whatever it might be. We ourselves become fundamentalists, which is to say we become very self-righteous about our personal point of view.
…The next time you get angry, check out your righteous indignation, check out your fundamentalism that supports your hatred of this person, because this one really is bad—this politician, that leader, those heads of big companies. Or maybe it’s rage at an individual who has harmed you personally or harmed your loved ones. A fundamentalist mind is a mind that has become rigid. First the heart closes, then the mind becomes hardened into a view, then you can justify your hatred of another human being because of what they represent and what they say and do.
…If you look back at history or you look at any place in the world where religious groups or ethnic groups or racial groups or political groups are killing each other, or families have been feuding for years and years, you can see—because you’re not particularly invested in that particular argument— that there will never be peace until somebody softens what is rigid in their heart. So it’s necessary to take a big perspective on your own righteousness and your own fundamentalism when it begins to kick in and you think your own aggression and prejudice are reasonable.
I try to practice what I preach; I’m not always that good at it but I really do try. The other night, I was getting hard-hearted, closed-minded, and fundamentalist about somebody else, and I remembered this expression that you can never hate somebody if you stand in their shoes. I was angry at him because he was holding such a rigid view. In that instant I was able to put myself in his shoes and I realized, “I’m just as riled up and self-righteous and closed minded about this as he is. We’re in exactly the same place!” And I saw that the more I held on to my view, the more polarized we would become, and the more we’d be just mirror images of one another—two people with closed minds and hard hearts who both think they’re right, screaming at each other. It changed for me when I saw it from his side, and I was able to see my own aggression and ridiculousness.
If you could have a bird’s-eye perspective on the Earth and could look down at all the conflicts that are happening, all you’d see are two sides of a story where both sides think they’re right. So the solutions have to come from a change of heart, from softening what is rigid in our hearts and minds.”
Song: I Want To Be Here – by Neko Case, here’s the video Bruce and I played for today with this song, recorded by my awesome roommate, Andrea. InstaVideoSongPost
The excerpt from above means a lot to me. I wish I could somehow transfer this sentiment of softening our hearts to every human on this planet. Some people know this already, but some people don’t and would never agree… so we’d have to sneak it in while they were sleeping. We could send a little whisper of Love into their ears via magic fairy dust or something they couldn’t successfully shake out or wash off in the morning. I don’t have much to say that Pema didn’t already about all that’s happening out there in the world. I wish everyone rest and a calm heartbeat. I wish everyone food in their bellies and enough resources to provide for what they need. I wish for marginalized people to have some peace of mind and heart. I wish those in power would use it for the betterment of society instead of to its detriment. I wish for people’s hearts to soften and to feel what it is that could truly save this world, Love. (and 6 feet of temporary personal space…) Goodnight y’all.