Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Stars - Integr8d Soul (from the home video sessions of 2009)

The Stars
written by Lue Lyron copyright 2009 wingbat tunes/integr8d soul productions

"The Stars" in the Park from Cecil Disharoon jr on Myspace.

Live in the park, no tripod, sorry, but yay!

Unrealised dreams
Hold on to the best of you
The midnight seems to sow
The heart of human art
For your grace and beauty
I draw for you a pivotal sign
Hope springs from nothing to illuminate

The stars we play the card
Hold it still then lay it on the table hard
The stars whatever your intentions are
The chain goes round...hold on to the handlebar.

Man as matter’s slave
The shadows on the cave
The light outside
reveals for you another world
Lift, uplift your gaze
There’s time before the setting sun
The clouds, the lake, ambitions wake
To find out that we really are

The stars we play the card
Hold it still then lay it on the table hard
The stars whatever your intentions are
The chain goes round...hold on to the handlebar.

In this video made months later I swapped the verses and then promptly forgot "I draw for you a pivotal sign/ Hope springs from nothing to illuminate...(chorus). Before the computer crash around those days, I made a slide show video with some audio we created.
This song just might need a comeback to the main roster! - Cease

An adolescent devil's diary

So I sat meditating, lookin’ for places where my creative windows to the world might produce a common yard in which the ideas could play.

I made it through questioning why it is I’d do comic strip stories of imaginary devils and angels and our ideas on who is assigned to say what in the course of us making our free will. I made Wade Von Grawbadger a birthday card, because he likes them and the idea could make its debut in a way intended to be executed in a light manner, just as I would hope to be, if ever my death sentence comes up. I sent him a little devil to come celebrate with the devil on his own shoulder, maybe discuss cook up some birthday ideas.

I meditated on how the devil (Mordeal?) might debate the angel as they work together to result in a boy saying “I Love Me,” in the mirror.

And along with many more ideas, and many simple ways I’ve begun entertaining my people---may they ever be more expansive---I pictured in recent days my set of angel and devil sitting with your set of angel and devil, reminiscing as though sitting on the hilltop between my trailer and yours, the foot-worn path a half a mile to the side of Darcy Laney’s house. They sit there on the stumps and fallen logs, laughing and arguing about how things once were, how in their way, they forever will be.

That place where they meet, I savor a while yet, knowing I can go up there and listen. While sitting peacefully, I saw that I needed to continue my story for you. Enough of the toothache returned to make me say:

I Noticed how my belly snuck out after a month of less and uneven exercise, so I chose yoga for a while after I’d eaten, vowing to change my habits back to some regular structure. After all, I’m planning to start getting out more, so that’s going to take the same uncorking of energy necessary to do everything else I imagine I’m obliged to try.

Just like the pain was there to remind me of others’ pain, I noted how long it’d been since I’d felt sick again. I was pleased to find myself busy adding happiness to the days since. I noted how the circumstances in which I’d struggled with wild ego and gloom repeated myself, but I was pleased with the alternative way I’d spent my time; this was one more night when I wanted to go play the songs among the strangers. But I’d written about three birthdays, so it fit well to birth my devils and angels into illustration history as a birthday card. At least I had the President’s Address to the Senate and Marc Kane to keep me company, playing her game, diagnosing and healing wild animals, until the time came to color it. Then she easily had the ideas to create a complementary finish, as we both did one page, with an additional punch line saved until the morning, another page with the angel and her birthday wish.

My devil, you could say, insisted I go out with the guitar; but simply walking around later in the Mardi Gras night at least kept my promise to go play in the Gaslamp Quarter. I see how we might want to plan not to miss St. Patty’s celebration; for some reason, I enjoyed most of what I wanted from our window---oh, but not really all you can have, right? It’s good to take a few minutes just do that, even if you don’t feel like paying for a ticket to get closer to the action before midnight. You cannot beat actually swapping beads and cheers or even a hug. It’s free, breathing, present people to enjoy.

Not that there’s no time and place for the guitar to come along; it’s going to have to come out again, bringing its songs with it, before it is like a neighbor who moves around the corner and becomes nigh invisible. But as yet, this is a week filled up with going out opportunities, like Wednesday at Hennessey’s or Friday at the Marquee. Just take along the drawing pad to keep the sketching going and enjoy the music coming from others! It gives the best clues as to why one would want to play songs, which to me is a favorable if selfish result. I like concentrating my time into packets of performance, opened and shared by many, carrying with it illumination for a set of clues included in each person’s identification of personal culture.

Wednesday and Friday, we just go out to support a new-forming friend as he debuts his first song collection via album. In between times, we’ll find permission to take the urgency towards summoning our own catalog. I have to circulate my attention to the arts towards the formation and success of others’, for this is what I know and wish to reveal to myself, in a life where success in numerous endeavors across seemingly diverse talents can factor in to me discovering better sides of myself, surrendered to happiness. As it is said, our freewill takes what is and adds its reinterpretation.

Myself? I’ve been in these circumstances before. They have all along been waiting for the right batch of seeds; something always is grown in mind, yet parasite and drought have curtailed my garden, which yet produced plenty. But I must farm something for many; at the very least, I increase the chances of another encountering plenty in someone, regardless of their actual level of appreciation at that point.

So these are familiar circumstances, in the sense that, after much time on the trail, you become familiar with the lay of land that resembles what you have met, and you are aware of relationships between things you should find. You begin, hopefully, to apprehend the path of least resistance. In doing so, you create what you need in a rhythm. Healing is no different.

Abundant friendship, security, and health become the shelter you must maintain in the face of the elements.

As long as you can see what you want to build, as long as you can diagnose the infection or injury---as long as you can reduce the stress that makes the unknown uncomfortable, you can accomplish whatever exercise or operation you find necessary.

I want to build such a shelter on a place with a view, where several paths can lead me in the discovery of awareness, and where I can return, to choose, another day, another trail into Forever.

I left off our story in a place in our lives when it split ways with us. That hillside above your trailer park, the stump where we would part company as late as possible, is where I will begin the second d’n’a story I decide to draw: the first one’s only about the struggle to say “I love me.” That’s where I pick up in this second installment of My Life Story, which I guess is yet another companion to the e-mails and messages I will raid for better uses for sitting still.

I really got into the idea of language as a means of finding an identity we chose for its freedom. This is no doubt why you and I used to speak freely about our various sexual impulses, with unabashed humor, why you and I would speak of the world as it could be, were everyone to logically decide to live in a type of anarchy that depended on downing no one. Perhaps we would all prove capable in our understanding of science, philosophy, logic, and the arts and enjoy the plentitude of cooperation. Already the ingredients for a shining world of Man began to assemble in our conversations, as did social criticisms, however crudely gleaned from precocious perceptions. With a guiding force interested in our own subdued hubris and the development of talents that might benefit others, there is no telling what we who succeeded a little might dream to become. We developed our social criticisms along with our humor, while releasing our dissatisfaction with ourselves, translated as a dissatisfaction with our surroundings.

Perhaps without an example of someone wielding greater power modestly, we settled for our rueful assessments of the powers that be in human authority, without understanding or appreciating how society and politics operated. After all, we were conclusively outsiders, and so we could naturally identify with the misfit speaking for the everyday man. If I could have just stuck to such rude assessments, perhaps the first pathway towards stardom as a comedian would’ve remained clear. But without the distractions of physical fitness and the pursuit of accolades, separate we would remain, in our use of our time, striving for no recognition yet implicitly taunted by some entitlement. Perhaps we could not see the positivity in the achievements of civilization around us there in Georgia, because we felt separated from their view point by serious questions about the division generated by the genuine mysteries of existence. People accepted such things as they came from a pulpit or they agreed they were makin their own mess and that was their business.

There is a sentimental attachment to the appearances of simpler times, a very Southern preoccupation with holding knowledge of one’s regional heritance. It is acceptable to express ideas about decency and right and opinions judging the acts of people, and it is acceptable to spend much of one’s days preserving a holographic past.
Our heritage and our world of reference was good enough, no matter what kind of war between the states was waged. Perhaps it was somehow more acceptable to deal with than federally guided integration. But I felt it was obvious, something new had to come along, though I would apply much of my wits to trying to identify and talk to my very typical Southern parents. It’s not like they never took me to see the zoo or the circus!

I summarize, I set down the social space, without narrowing the gaze yet to many individual days. Perhaps when I am a great enough artist, when I realize what goes into such a fine writer, I will relax and let the days speak for themselves. As it was, except whenever philosophizing, enjoying a movie or rocking out, I was very lucky to enjoy any of the multitude of opportunities for quietude living out in the country. I think I was happiest when, from the silence, the essence of a story would come forward, and so I would stalk the woods alone filling the air with stories to as late of an age as I could manage.

After you left, I first became rather more doubtful of myself, before my Dad could afford surgery for my cyst; that is a day I look forward to telling. After another particularly gloomy day, where music whispered it would be there for me always, I gradually came out of my awkwardness and painful shyness long enough to wreck new havoc, so long as I had an orderly activity off which to play, i.e. reduce in meaning to my desire to gather a laugh, at least for myself.

I still had not discovered how much you could do towards building the mind/body connection; I was still filled with rude tomfoolery yet, and, tortured by my massive progress that I could share with no one, was still as yet ashamed to fart in front of others. Which you must be willing to do, if you’re going to exercise and get those toxins out in the first place! Fart proudly.

At this point, I’ve tended towards taking the images that lingered across the days, expressing the gradually held developments of my observations. Perhaps I’ve tilled the soil for some of the individual days to take root and again grow so that we might, I don’t know, cook them up and pressure can them, let’s say.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Got any Outlaw Theme Music? "TJ & 14"

TJ & 14

The night I’ll remember, when I look back on all the times my friend T.J. stayed over at my house, is the night he didn’t come over at all. Despite that, it was a night that was everything our entire time together was, like this evening, as I write.

His mother thought he was there. T.J. spending the night? Sure. Routine. His 14th birthday was coming up that weekend. She couldn’t do a lot to mark the occasion, but that would be something he liked, in the one place he would probably get in the least trouble. My parents didn’t drink, didn’t even smoke. As for drugs, they drug me to Church, three services a week, where partying was considered “of the devil,” probably even more cartoony in the mind of a bemused scoffer and confirmed non-church goer. It’s right there in St. Paul’s writing: “the world” will not understand.
Make no mistake, they kept me on a tight leash. These were the days when we didn’t carry cell phones, so in lieu of checking up on me, they simply forbade me go very far. Without special permission, I could only walk about a mile away from the house. “Yard dog,” as they used to say when teasing Neal down in Auburn. Even hanging out over at T.J.’s trailer in the park across the old highway over the wooded hillside deserved an informative phone call, at least. At least from there, I had more places to walk and explore, neighborhoods and countryside all along highway 53.
We lived in a trailer, too, on a piece of land my grandpa White sold my parents for a penny, just across the driveway from him, Grandma, and Aunt Linda. That was where we used to plant and pick fresh vegetables, in a garden on the other side of their old driveway, in clean country air of the foothills of Appalachia. Tomatoes, okra, corn, green beans---you name it. Everybody worked at the family hardware store, which you reached by walking across an old 2x4 plank laid over a drainage ditch through a patch of hickory bushes. You could get “switched” with one of those if you didn’t behave. Hickory Tea.

Mom & Dad could finally afford a double wide that year, so the bedroom where I spent that night without T.J. spending the night was different than the one where we spent most of our times hanging out late, continuing the same never-ending conversation we used to carry as far as the ol’ yard dog could walk and still cover myself with my peeps.

We were close because he popped up in my weekly kaliediscope classes, where you had a chance to enjoy a more creative, adult-minded version of school for a sweet while with Amy Langham and wonder Ms. Fountain. So we were two oddballs who made each other laugh.

Oh, and for any true Shannon dwellers from those days, this isn't a story about Fourteen who used to come into Shannon Supply Hardware Store, but he's pretty okay by me, too. I remember him when I was a kid, seven, eight. I used to ask Paw Paw if Fourteen would come in, or had.

Originally, his Mom, step dad, and two sisters rented a house just behind the old Model Elementary school, itself the remaining campus of the 1912 founding of Model School, across from step=dad’s mother’s house.

I envied their freedom “to be worldly.” In other words, there was porn to be sneaked and rock music to be heard. I watched “Porky’s” once when I spent the night there; I think we had to be a little sneaky to manage that one. I loved talking to his mother, without pretense, freely, like an adult, without editing or constricting my precocious and liberalized opinion, and never without laughter.

That was the place where T.J. “taped off” a copy of Born in the U.S.A., my one and only contraband album of rock music. It could’ve just as easily have been Black Sabbath’s Paranoid. Aside from some songs pirated from their abbreviated form on the television show America’s Top Ten with Casey Kasem, I didn’t have my own choice of music until the wonderous clock radio came into my life, so the Boss had a wide open imagination in that savored bedtime audience. He’s inspiring the back of my mind with his hopeful new Workin’ On a Dream as I share this story with you. “Surprise, Surprise, come open your eyes” indeed. I really enjoyed my gift, specially requested of my reprobate buddy, the kid caught with cigarettes his first week on campus, about the time of his eleventh birthday.

He was a bit more able to take care of himself physically, because he was bigger, a bit tougher, and able to project enough cocky confidence, but mostly he was a lot angrier than me.

Funny, the kids who believed in Tough hung out with him anyway when I wasn’t around. I had depth perception problems in the same eye where I also sported a wondrous pea-sized cyst on my eyelid, of the type favored by sorcerers of old. Wonderful for sitting and seeing into daydream worlds, but to catch anything, or hit anything, I needed to be exposed to the Zen approach. Besides, I didn’t have anyone in the family close to me and associating with me who’d stayed in school and done athletics. Fortunately, I didn’t end up totally by myself.

The Holt was the only other guy who expressed interest in spending time with me; he and Kevin had an innocent little gang of smart alecks in Mrs. Atkins class across the hall. I’d stop at their table at lunch when I threw away my stuff from my plate, even though you were forced to sit according to class. The Holt made comic books a fad for a minute in fifth grade, though we were almost eleven and would soon be considered too old to collect Transformers by the next year.

T.J. discovered music in a big way when some of us first joined band in sixth grade. His talent at alto saxophone was becoming apparent by the end of that year. He really amazed people and by eighth grade was making All State and being asked to play with the adults at Sam Baltzer’s North Georgia Wind Ensemble, nights on Shorter College campus. Mr. Shook, our nearly retired band director, could plainly see practicing was what was holding the boy together.

One day T.J. would finally tell me, if I’d never been there, with my strict parents, stuck around the house, hoping for something so exciting as smart, rebellious T.J.’s visits, he doesn’t know how he’d have survived. It was like getting a look at Paula Hill’s ass: something to sustain the emotionally disturbed phenomena of being stuck in a school day with something pleasant to think about. But more serious.

He said, joyously, recently, I’d never have realized the things he saw, the sadness he knew, living in his Mom’s trailer. He says that saxophone talent was nothing less than an escape valve. The world of Duke Ellington & Count Basie that seemed too fine for my palette composed mostly of white Southern Gospel and stolen Top 40 pop, welcomed him in jaunty bar by bar, because that is where he went to escape emotional anguish. Maybe I thought too much of the comparison to allow myself to get much better on the saxophone. But maybe my home was also a place with so many comforts and distractions, one could be lulled into a complacency not to need more, or truly develop one’s self, depending instead on the wild distinction that made school a breeze so long as you paid attention. T.J. told me later he never doubted my parents loved me, no matter how many times I wished someone more to my taste loved me.

I went along for his vandalism sprees with his crew, the same boys who worked with him to build a hazardously toxic still, their eleven year old attempt at moonshining. I never had any taste for hurting anyone or destroying anything; it always made me feel guilty to take anger out on anyone. We did all the wrong we could without actually injuring people, although that stunt we pulled putting cinder blocks up on the train rails to see how far the train would knock them was exactly the kind of thing you hope your local cop or someone picks kids up for doing. For our own sakes, it’s probably best T.J. and I got caught early on in those experiments, even if I couldn’t go to Disney World with the band, candy sales or no. It might be the start of why I still want to tour to this day, in the long view.

We were picked up shoplifting while going to K-Mart with Mom on my 14th birthday. Between Kenny G and David Sanborn, he had a lot of jazz stuffed down his britches. My copy of the Beach Boys didn’t have the foot-long plastic anti-theft casing, but we were stars on store security, anyway. While he was debating on whether to call the police to come get us, the guard gruffly said, to my saddened face, “well, happy birthday!”
Thank God the Holt was just stuck talking on the phone with me. We would get in enough mischief in years to come, the Stupid and Disruptive Risks At Whim Years. He did get to run with us sometimes though!

But you know what? T.J.’s 14th birthday really took the cake. Must have, because there wasn't one. That "birthday celebration that wasn't" was the last time I’d ever aid my buddy in circumventing the rules, unless there’s one about propriety broken by this telling. The Wade Brothers, his enterprising neighbors and hell-raisers, worked with step-brother Shawn in spiriting T.J. to the Greyhound Bus Station. The most believable alibi was that he was spending the weekend with me, even if that would mean Sunday School. So, after all the confessions about girls, and monologues about building one’s emotional state, and harangues against the well-intentioned powers that be, and dirty jokes and well-behaved interactions with the parents, I was left to myself to think it all over, to look back.

I listened to “Desperado” by the Eagles that night, more than once, to capture some sense of life for which there was no song I knew. Tonight, I hear Springsteen’s “Outlaw Pete”, who was found by an enemy who never sought to be his friend. Hearing from your old life is a common theme now among the great song writers in grey haired times.

I wondered how long it’d be before his mother realized he was missing, how long I’d have to hold out; I felt terrible that there was no other way. I can never judge. His grandparents in Coweta County, Oklahoma, had a farm where he was welcome. So he covered himself long enough to make the trip; I don’t think he let her know til she called them. I totally understood the desire to escape, to try to go somewhere and re-invent one’s self, but the reasons for his escape remain a secret for his family. It is a conflict I could never truly know, and here is not the place to try explaining. I wanted to share the exhilaration one finds best at the beginning of a new journey, that ineffable continuous contact with the unknown. That night, while hopeful for my good friend, for a moment I cried to myself, appreciating differently the level of sharing and honesty now ended. The end of sharing, well, at least he'd soon write, and as for the end of honesty, great, because T.J. loved a good compulsive lie as well as anyone. Certified electrician, indeed!

Someday, we’d find each other again. I’d think about writing it all, today, with fourteen years to celebrate, of a different life of two, with a new close friend found seven further years down the way. It’s the second month’s seventh day, the fourteenth anniversary since two others surrendered to one another, to discover as they say, that in the spiritual life, you are always at the beginning—so the happiest celebration of fourteen of all is found at this story’s end.
February 7, 2009

Cecil Disharoon, Spring 2009 Good to Have You Back, B'Joy