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Revisited / Re: One moron's road to recovery
« Last post by cristine on January 11, 2018, 09:30:12 AM »
it seems to me that there is not only a lot of power in this performance, but in many of Mr. Thompson's performances live or in the recording studio
Heroes / Re: Henry David Thoreau
« Last post by cristine on January 10, 2018, 09:19:06 AM »
Lucinda Williams

This song came to me some time after I was smashed as a pedestrian by a drunk driver and my life changed forever. In the two years that I convelessed I would work in my studio doing what I do with clay and turn this song on full blast when it came up on her album "Car Wheels On  Gravel Road".

She helped me look for, find and retrieve my joy.
Share your stories here! / Re: I just wanna get warm (nod to Mark Heard) Fall 2017
« Last post by grace on December 19, 2017, 07:20:33 AM »
All you need is a sober rider

Our time in NOLA was spent riding to various destinations, many of which had alcohol as their primary draw

and Heaven Forbid I don't take my share of heat for this - I was the one who should have reined in my excess earlier; as it is I took too long and my bad.

And it's not like we were riding around buzzed... we restrained ourselves until we were parked for the night and then explored our limits.

We headed toward Baton Rouge after enjoying our last morning in NOLA together.

We took the levee trail as far as we could that day.

Life in the fast lane

guaranteed to blow your mind.

We met this guy from China somewhere along the way - first touring cyclist I've seen on the road since I left NYC mid-September - good to make your acquaintance, sir.

We were 15 miles from Baton Rouge and Sharon's foot was bothering her and lo and behold a road angel flagged me down and put us up!

Home for tonight and if garages could talk...

actually, I'm glad they don't but there was mercy shown that evening. :nod

Share your stories here! / Re: I just wanna get warm (nod to Mark Heard) Fall 2017
« Last post by grace on December 19, 2017, 06:13:09 AM »
Will there be any bartenders up there in Heaven?
Will the pubs never close, will the glass never drain
No more D.T.'s and no shakes
And no horrors
Very next morning you feel right as rain

O God loves a drunk, the lowest of men
With the dogs in the street and the pigs in the pen
But a drunk's only trying to get free of his body
And soar like an eagle high up there in heaven
His shouts and his curses are just hymns and praises
To kick-start his mind now and then
O God loves a drunk, come raise up your glasses, amen

Does God really care for your life in the suburbs
A dull little life of dull little things
And bring up the babies to be just like Daddy
And maybe you'll be there when He gives out wings

I can't speak for Sharon but as one of those types who tends to look for divine meaning in things (it seems to increasingly happen I find it but I could be wrong) I remain pumped about how things are going in my life; consider:

Early September of 2015 I hit bottom, practically speaking from the standpoint of habitual drunkenness, and started attending AA meetings. I'd tried to moderate my drinking many times but now recognize I didn't have a problem, I was the problem.

Fast forward to summer 16 when a gal I dated in COS told me about warmshowers and within minutes of signing up my education about bicycle travel began; after hosting 75ish riders I wanted to give it a go so in February 2017 I posted a companions wanted notice and received many responses.

Sharon's was the last and best, given what I knew then: an incredibly independent woman who'd overcome a sucky childhood to find her niche in the world and live her life on her terms. She told me once she 'always got her way' and I now believe that is true, almost all of the time.

We agreed I'd navigate us across the Southern USof A and she'd introduce me to Mexico as she's been several times, though never on a bicycle.

And we rode together spending the first three days (we were delayed by one as she missed her initial flight here because of being drunk the night before) together in NOLA getting to know each other and enjoying the vibes.

Like I told her: I hope that our riding together, whatever that is, can serve some higher purpose, whatever that might be.

A sign from God about the two oldsters at the hostel? ;)

This turned out to be a big deal: Sharon has a bunion on her left foot which can be aggravated by her wearing high heels and when she was partying in Vancouver she did - it was a problem for her the entire time we rode together

requiring short days and many stops to accommodate her pain.

She was a trooper, though, in many ways: using my material she made an orthotic

which she said helped.

So to sum: two problem drinker types, both having their Excite-O-Meters pegged due to the circumstance find each other in New Orleans and lubricate the event with too much wine...

live and learn, or not.

We enjoyed the overwhelming majority of our time together until our different dreams diverged.
Share your stories here! / Re: I just wanna get warm (nod to Mark Heard) Fall 2017
« Last post by grace on December 16, 2017, 06:30:28 AM »
The Sharon Post

Oh my little pretty one, pretty one
When you gonna give me some time, Sharona
When you make my motor run, my motor run
Gun it coming off the line, Sharona

Come a little closer huh, ah will ya huh
Close enough to look in my eyes, Sharona
Keeping it a mystery gets to me

Dear Ms. B.,

In retrospect I guess I had my expectations so high no mere mortal could have met them (but I like to dream we can transcend mere mortality so why not set 'em high?) and in your defense neither one of us knew each other in any truly informed way - we had to flesh things out, best we could, and we did.

We could have done much better (me in particular... sigh) and your point is belatedly taken: I was 'enabling' you.

Of course what set me off when you said that was your awareness of the 12 Step vernacular and an apparent obliviousness to the need to accept your own role in situations, but it would:

us alcoholic mind types can be extremely slow on the uptake and unwilling to take ownership of our behavior.

Anyway - please know I remain a better man for having spent a couple weeks with you; remember that first night at the hostel, before our excesses poisoned our time together? 'Life is a gradual release from ignorance'.

I hope the gloves continued to serve you well and you can keep the speedometer dealie; when the weather warms up I'll mail that sauce I bought at that restaurant as I reckon it would freeze en route to your place in Canada.

From the bottom of my heart - thanks so very much for your trust me in and I regret not meeting your expectations.

But we had our moments, yes?

Share your stories here! / Re: I just wanna get warm (nod to Mark Heard) Fall 2017
« Last post by grace on December 14, 2017, 08:29:01 AM »
I'll be gone five hundred miles when the day is done

Next morning Diana (dee ahna) is astounded at portion sizes Stateside and I'm the beneficiary, getting to finish what she couldn't eat.

She's an avid traveler and just starting work on her website so she took lots of pics.

And she's TALL - Sharon (about whom more soon) told me she's 178 cm but I look up at Diana - they grow these Germans big these days.

We had a great time seeing some sights and getting to know each other a bit - two strangers passing time together and when I'm in Leipzig reckon there's a place to stay.

This was a movie set for NCIS that morning and Diana was tickled pink to get video of when they were filming.

India House Hostel which I highly recommend.

We rode the ferry to Algiers Point as she was stoked about being on the mighty Mississippi; I got to use the USofA school trick of M ISS ISS IPPI to put into her mind how to spell it.

So wow, just WOW: another day making a dream come true with a new friend... and the weather ain't bad at all.

Next up is Sharon Leigh of rural Canada who I've yet to meet... the tension mounts. :nod
Share your stories here! / Re: I just wanna get warm (nod to Mark Heard) Fall 2017
« Last post by grace on December 14, 2017, 06:55:23 AM »
Nobody asks to be born
Nobody wishes to die
Everybody whiles away the interim time
Sworn to rise from the ruins by and by

The engines are droning with progress
The pistons are pounding out time
And it's you and me caught in this juggernaut jaunt
Left to rise from the ruins down the line

We will roll like an old Chevrolet
The road to ruin is something to see
Hang on to the wheel
For the highway to hell needs chauffers
For the powers that be

Go and tell all your friends and relations
Go and say what ain't easy to say
Go and give them some hope
That we might rock this boat
And rise from the ruins one day

Ever try to carry water in a basket
Ever try to carry fire in your hand
Ever try to take on the weight of the everyday freight
Til you find that you're too weak to stand

Why so pale and wan, fond lover
Why so downcast and desperately sad

We can walk, we can talk
We ain't yet pillars of salt
And we will rise from the ruins while we can

After arriving in Macon and visiting the Cemetery I saw some other things; one of the big deals in this neck of the woods are the Allman Brothers - Gregg is buried elsewhere and his grave is enough of a draw I reckon its impact can be measured numerically by TPTB.

I rode to the Big House

and the guy in charge told me a tour was $15 so I cheaply reveled in the atmospheric vibes and dreamed of what I might obtain if I sought inspiration elsewhere.

I visited a library then found my home for that night at a Methodist church on a main drag

and slept very well. Next morning a fringe benefit presented itself when I wheezingly hauled s/he up the stairs sucking mucho wind - what a great start to a nippy morning!

Before leaving Macon I went back to the Cemetery and prayed to a Saint... first time for everything. I cried a few tears, bucked up recognizing I was on the right side of the dirt and rode north grateful to be one guy who is blessed enough to be aware of John Mark Heard.

I stopped at a McDonald's for wifi and coffee and Joe showed up a few minutes later pretty much setting the place alight with the power of his personality - he walked in singing and engaging everyone with the joy and confidence of someone who isn't afraid to mix it up and to blazes with critics; it was interesting watching the staid white folks in the place look at him out of the corner of their eyes.

So I chatted him and Karen up and learned he'd been on America's Got Talent and that show would air in a few weeks - greatest country singer, EVUH!

What a treat to meet folks like that. :nod

Heading toward Atlanta it was a good day for scavenging: two hitchhikers and a hat and other stuff.

Georgia drivers get the award for most courteous and most reckless - I appreciate how many moved well into the oncoming traffic lane to give me room but (and I hate to criticize but FACK) many of them stayed in the left lane for a LONG time; once the oncoming traffic had to head for the shoulder. :eek

This video gives you an idea what these rural two lanes are like; no big trucks now but it's a busy highway and your imagination is adequate to the task.

I'd lined up a warmshowers host in Atlanta for Sunday but the weather forecast said a cold front was blowing through and I decided after enjoying the unwitting hospitality of another church

to head out early the next morning to get to ATL that Saturday afternoon.

I usually avoid riding when it's dark but this was a worthwhile exception and LED lights are your safety friends.

The pic doesn't do it justice but when you roll through this little town early on a Saturday just before Halloween it looks for all the world like that park is full of life, and not so much.

Weird, early in the morning.

Then I took a break and turned around and saw what I just about missed.

as I headed to my destination for a couple of days.

Courtney and Vlad are two very interesting people who were exceptionally kind to a geezer riding his bicycle around - they took me in, fed me like royalty even though their lives were busy that day hosting an open house (they'd only recently moved to the neighborhood they're in).

Vlad was brave enough to share the bolt/boilt/bold/biled boiled peanuts I brought as a housewarming gift ;)

and they aren't half bad; Courtney punted and doesn't know what a delicacy she missed.

Yeah, yeah I know... someone's in your space

but know they're pleased to enjoy your company.

Next morning I was very grateful for a roof over my head

and stayed hunkered and warm inside and out getting to know this family better - it's going to be fun to watch this young couple as IMNSHO they have life pretty much figgered out at an early age. Thanks very much and hopefully our paths will cross again.

Next day I rode early to the train station and heard a furriner talking so I chatted her up.

and those few moments turned into a wonderful train ride to NOLA with a very excellent traveling companion and big plans for All Saints Day - have I mentioned life is good here in moron world?

Home for the next few nights (after I escort Diana to her digs): the Way Cool India House Hostel.

Share your stories here! / Re: I just wanna get warm (nod to Mark Heard) Fall 2017
« Last post by grace on December 13, 2017, 11:19:36 AM »
Tip Of My Tongue

Yeshayah 57:1-2 Orthodox Jewish Bible (OJB)

57 The tzaddik perisheth, and no ish layeth it to lev; and anshei chesed are taken away, none considering that the tzaddik is taken away from the ra’ah (evil, calamity) to come.
2 He shall enter into shalom; they shall rest in their mishkevot (couches, i.e., tombs), each one walking in his nekhochah (uprightness, integrity, honesty).

There's an oasis in the heat of the day

There's a fire in the chill of night
A turnabout in circumstance makes each a hell in its own right

I've been boxed-in in the lowlands, in the canyons that think
I've been pushed to the brink of the precipice and dared not to blink
I've been confounded in the whirlwind of what-ifs and dreams
I've been burned by the turning of the wind back upon my own flames

Knock the scales from my eyes
Knock the words from my lungs
I want to cry out
It's on the tip of my tongue

I've seen through the walls of this kingdom of dust
Felt the crucial revelation
But the broad streets of the heart and the day-to-day meet
at a blind intersection

I don't want to be lonely, I don't want to feel pain
I don't want to draw straws with the sons of Cain
You can take it as a prayer if you'll remember my name
You can take it as the penance of a profane saint

Knock the scales from my eyes
Knock the words from my lungs
I want to cry out
It's on the tip of my tongue

There's an oasis in the heat of the day
There's fire in the chill of night
And when I know them both, I'll know your love -
I will feel it in the twilight

As circumstance comes crashing through my walls like a train
Or like a chorus from the mountains of the ocean floor
Like the wind-burst of birdwings taking flight in a hard rain
Or like a mad dog on the far side of Dante's Door

Some guy nearby Mark might have known; when I went to the Cemetery office to locate the grave the gal said since she's been there (she knew Mark's family who, and who knew, had a headstone business) no one else had asked where he was.

My guess is cannon fodder in Vietnam... anyway: RIP, young man.
Share your stories here! / Re: I just wanna get warm (nod to Mark Heard) Fall 2017
« Last post by mattbur on December 04, 2017, 12:46:08 PM »
Interesting to read and some more great pics.
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