2/23/2022 Pacific Beach Day 2

Today I again ventured out to Pacific Beach. While today had no rain, it was windy as all get out. I sat down a little after 11:30 and for the first few hours was fighting the wind. It‘s days like today that are important though. Adding another element outside of just performing, creates another external circumstance to be accepted, tolerated, and perhaps even appreciated. The wind whipped across the microphone creating the effect of another voice. I was unable for most of the 3 hours I played, to discern how loud I was, relative to the wind. I could feel that everything was ok but was still kind of tossed about and confused. Frustrated even. A part of me was frustrated and another part of me was really happy. Happy that I was out there laying it down. Happy that I was pushing myself beyond being comfortable. Happy that when shit hits the fan, I like being in that environment.

For the first hour hardly anyone paid much attention to me, and honestly, I didn’t care. That’s not why I was there. I knew this experience was about something more important than attention or recognition but about me and proving to myself how strong I can be and how brave I am. I used to get upset about not making money. I’m learning to stop making meaning out of it. Today was not one of those days but even if it was, it would have been ok. I’m not doing this for the money anymore, it can’t be about that. I’m more interested in seeing how much of myself I can open up to.

I used to wear cowboy boots and form fitting jeans. This was the costume I put on every day music or not. I felt sexy and proud. I’m coming to see that the way I dress doesn’t really matter. I can choose each day whoever I choose to be. I’ve been experimenting with baggier clothes. Clothes that don’t reveal and fly in the face of everything I’ve worn for the last decade. I have felt something inside really scared about the change. And that’s ok. I don’t have an identity anymore. I don’t want one. I want to be free to choose how I live, how I dress, and how I show up in music. I’m so tired of having lived by such a strict set of guidelines set out for me. I don’t want that. I‘m not looking to be a rebel either. I just don’t believe in the rules I’ve lived by up until now. They feel more like bars of a prison cell than guidelines for personal and soulful connection.

Anyhow, today I wore baggy carhartt double front pants, a jean jacket, carhartt vest, and my ass kicking boots. Turns out it didn’t matter what I was wearing; no one noticed, no one cared. I didn’t get any more or less attention than I normally do.

After about an hour of playing, and even with the wind gusting, people started to gather around. Now mind you, a day like today would have been different for me in my earlier years of playing. Ahhh maybe not though. I’ve played in 34 degree, snowy PA winters. Regardless, it felt important. So little by little people started gathering around. I could feel myself picking up steam internally. I could feel myself opening up. I could feel myself connecting to myself in a new way and was also still sitting with a lot of the old stuff. By the end of my 3 hours or so there were a lot of people that stood around. They stood around longer than at any other time I’ve ever played maybe. My heart isn’t open much but some piece of it was and I felt connected in a way I hadn’t in a while…maybe a few years. I felt older, wiser, humble, kind, and authentic. You don’t know how long it’s been since I remembered who I was. Today I got a taste. But he’s someone who I’ve never really known existed. He‘s so strong, tough, gritty, and brave. I’ve seen him and felt him but in a younger way before perhaps. It’s as though now I was looking at the man I always hoped I was going to turn out as when I was a boy. He’s solid, unshakable and has been through the ringer but he loves the suck of it all. He lives for the pain, the long hours, the obstacles, and the trials by fire. Thank you for letting me remember today.

On a day that could have been a wash, something moved inside me, something shifted, something started to alchemize. I’m back at it again tomorrow so we’ll see where that goes but today was the most present and at home I’ve felt in a long time.

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