I walked exactly three miles. First I listened to rough mixes Jon sent last night. Upright bass for two of the Rain Music pieces. The bass sounds amazing in his hands. The man is at the top of his game. The notes speak of experience and life and depth… no notes for the sake of playing notes. What will we sound like in ten years? I am reminded of the words of Pau Casals who, when asked why he was still practicing cello daily at age 80, replied Because I think I am making progress.

I do believe I am making progress. I like where music leads me. As age slows my body down, I can, perhaps, imbue each note with more of something. One has to acknowledge the changes. When it is hot outside, wear shorts. When it’s raining, wear a hat and a waterproof jacket. When young play as many notes as you like. It might help you to explore. When old concentrate on the notes that really mean something. Move toward depth and essence.

After the Rain Music I listened to an audiobook called On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous, by Ocean Vuong. Very poetic and very sad. Those two often go hand in hand, don’t they, the poetic and the sad?

We Are a Verb

There is no witness, only witnessing.
When the body falls away, all that is left is witnessing.
Consciousness is a verb.
Bodies – people, animals, trees, rivers or mountains are obscured witnessing.
Like a balloon containing air. Like fog hanging over a landscape. Like a webpage fronting the code.
The bodies are all made from the same building blocks, sharing most of their DNA.
Consciousness has no flavor, no color, so shape, no movement, but it feels like a flow, like a quiet lake or an ever so slight breeze.
I am just imagining that, between moments of witnessing.
Putting words to the experience seems futile and yet also like a most deserving effort.
Oh well, I tried. And I’ll try again.


What a year it was. More information, more data, more news than ever. I think we are left with a data hangover. Looking back, what do we remember? I think we remember the little things, the sunlight hitting something just so, a surprise smile from another person, the sound of rain, the smell of a meal.

Some of my favorite moments were related to music, of course. Performing with Jon and Robby and leaving a stage glowing because we made some beautiful moments of music together. Performing with Kaz Tanahashi for Roshi Joan’s 80th birthday. Rediscovering my Flamenco Negra guitar, which Keith had worked on. Figuring out how I want to record new music and recording three new pieces, two of which I recorded in my apartment in Lisbon. Making the decision not to distribute new music through the same old channels. I also want to mention that I did several private performances throughout the year and that there is something so special about simply sitting somewhere and playing guitar. No amplification, no stage, no big deal. It feels so pure.

Spending time in Lisbon in the Summer and becoming familiar with the layout of the roads, discovering views, parks, new favorite trees. Also, discovering that I don’t need much. When I moved into the house in Santa Fe in 01992, I accomplished the move with two pick up trucks, driving twice from the little studio apartment I rented on Garcia street, to the house on Camino Militar. Stuff accumulates and a larger house, and studio, accumulate more. When I moved in the Summer of 02021 I gave away a lot, I donated a lot, and I still filled a huge container with stuff I threw away. What was left still filled a U-Haul truck pulling a trailer. When I spend time in Lisbon I realize I can and I should pare away more stuff. So that’s one of the things I want to do in 02023.

Planting five trees in 02022, all of them fruit trees. One of them, in particular took off as if possessed. The little thing was less than two feet tall at the end of April and now it is over ten feet tall.

Reading! I read a lot this year. Forty books. A few of those were audio books, but I do love reading. There were several books I borrowed from the library but where I soon felt compelled to buy the ebook because I like being able to highlight, bookmark, and notate them.

finish a new album – current working title Rain Music
gather the best blog posts from the last 30 years and put a collection together
get rid of what I don’t need
create a new slideshow
walk the Kumano Kodo trail

May 02023 be a good year for you.

May all be happy.
May all be healthy and safe.
May all have enough.
May all be at peace.


Since 2016 I have been using the DayOne journal on my laptop and phone. While I was looking through some old entries I found this little paragraph I thought was worth sharing:

I believe creativity is where humans go after they have exhausted playing for wealth or power. Maybe that takes a few lifetimes – I don’t know. Eventually wealth and power become utterly boring, uninteresting and pointless when one discovers creativity.


On Walking

It was already 0800 when I left the flat for a walk. It was still under 70° and the high temperature would be 87° this afternoon. Now or never. I walked through the familiar streets of the immediate neighborhood and then took a turn, crossed a street I hadn’t crossed before. I followed my nose down a street that offered shade from trees planted in the middle. How I love tree-lined streets. Then I turned here and there and started thinking about walking. There is walking for exercise and there is walking for the pure enjoyment of walking. Walking for exercise CAN be accomplished on a treadmill or by walking around a circular course, but walking for pleasure is an art. I do believe one can walk for exercise AND pleasure and from this combination one derives more benefit than from exercise alone. There is the wellbeing of muscles and then there is the wellbeing of the entire human. While walking for pleasure one’s eyes are allowed to roam, while walking for exercise alone requires one’s eyes to remain on the goal — the distance and speed to be achieved. The roaming eyes find rhythm and harmony, lines and color, and the mind is allowed, encouraged even, to relate by creating mental connections.

I noticed that the unfamiliar street connected to a familiar one and that a cafe, which I had wanted to try but was always too crowded for me to bother, was located up ahead. When I arrived it was 0903 and the cafe was nearly empty, having opened at 0900. I ordered a cortado and sat down outside to write this post.

Monday in Seattle

While the others went home yesterday I decided to get to Seattle a few days little early. It rained when I arrived, it rained in the evening, but this morning the sun came out and I took a long walk.

Last week, while driving from Phoenix to Tucson, Jon and I talked about 80’s music. Another friend had mentioned to me that his children all love music from the 80’s. Indeed, there is something very creative about the music of that decade. Maybe it was because there were more dilettantes in pop music than at any other time. Drum machines became available in the early 80’s and step sequencers enabled not-musicians to make music. If you had something to say you could figure out a way to perform music. For Jon and me, the 70’s are the preferred music decade, but we both admire the freshness of the music from the 80’s.

I heard that Ai Weiwei lives in Lisbon now.

Finished reading “The Housekeeper and the Professor” by Yoko Ogawa and started “1000 Years of Joys and Sorrows” by Ai Weiwei

A hundred years ago many people thought that smoking wasn’t only NOT unhealthy but it was in fact good for us… we may find that the volume of data we consume today is just as dangerous as cigarettes, and not just for our health and wellbeing but also in the sense that it keeps us occupied and detracts from really pressing issues like the climate and democracy. I have more thoughts about data/information and how it relates to sugar, salt, and fat…