The good ole days weren’t always good, and tomorrow ain’t as bad as it seems. ~Billy Joel

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Sometimes we get caught up in the crazy. It’s unavoidable. It’s right in front of us … ALL THE TIME!! We are what we eat and we eat what we see. We are the stories we have created. Nothing wrong with that… usually it’s a pretty ok place to be.

“We are not trapped by our thoughts. What we generally do, however, is create thoughts that trap us.” (p.162)”
― Joshua David Stone, A Beginner’s Guide to the Path of Ascension

We move through these stories rarely realizing that we are just piece actors in parts we have developed in realities we have invented. Stuck in the now or stuck in the new or stuck in the sticky web of our imagination. Often not realizing that we can change the words, the act, the reality just by changing the view.. the viewpoint.. the point of view. I am always eventually bringing myself back to my theme on perspective.

We look back on the past with fond memories of the things we think we ate. Foods, friends, fun, dinners, parks, and whatever made you feel happy and real.  

Always forgetting the mad rush from job to job to home to school to the hospital to a friend’s side to a parents death to the birth of a child to the torment of a lost love to the current political crisis to the next election to the (and the list goes on and on and on).

“We all live in a house on fire, no fire department to call; no way out, just the upstairs window to look out of while the fire burns the house down with us trapped, locked in it.”
― Tennessee Williams, The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore

We eat these things every day and drown in their pools of darkness. And yet, when they pass.. and all things pass, we usually recover and go on and on and on. Until the next bit of madness consumes us.

My dad is my biggest current consumption.  He turns 80 in October.  That’s his goal.  He wants to eat 80.   80 is BIG.  HUGE.  That’s almost a century for you non-math folks.  He wants to dance with it, sing with it, and celebrate it.  He’s worked hard for it, so why shouldn’t he be able to?  Unfortunately, cancer is consuming HIM quickly.  He’s handling it like a trooper, a real pro.  This is actually more than I can say for myself. 

Catch on fire and people will come for miles to see you burn. John Wesley

He has no regrets BUT he has so many stories yet to tell (said in a very whiny, child-like voice).  I’m happy I was able to spend last month with him, my sister, my kids, and my grandkids.  BUT it really wasn’t enough time (voice even more whiny).  It’s not like we never spent time together.  We spent time when we could but we were and are still always so busy… but we were and are still always so broke …but we were and are still always so consumed with the chaos that we are surrounded in.. that we surround ourselves in..  But.. but.. but.. now… now… we rush home.. we rush to this catastrophe.. to this sadness.. to this dark night of the soul to this physical burning of a huge part of our lives, of our story.

BUT.. (again the buts) this will also pass.  It’s not like it will ever go away completely but it will be reduced to another chaotic meal in my life.  I mean.. not everyone makes it to 80 right?  Everyone’s story goes away eventually.  Even the best stories fade.  A landmark in our lives didn’t just fade, it disappeared completely.  As if it had never existed.. had never ever even been there.  A hill. A hill with a tree.  A hill with a tree with windchimes in it.  A hill with a tree with windchimes in it and carved out stones laying beside it.  A hill that represented other folks that faded… disappeared completely.. as if they had never existed. Not only did the hill fade (disappear).. but a giant metal horse and a baby horse also faded (disappeared).  Literally, not figuratively, disappeared. 

It was part of a story that we had all created in our lives.  A story that we did not think would ever disappear.  Which in retrospect is silly.  We had trespassed for 50 years onto this property because it was mom’s place.  Still is.. even though it is gone.  Even though she is gone.  Characters in a play is all.  Nothing remains when the curtains close.

Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them – that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like. Lao Tzu

So goes the story.  So the story goes.  The past, the present, and now the future.  It really isn’t as bad as it seems.  You just have to write it.. and re-write it.. and right it and re- right it. Here’s to my hope for the future.

Now in Nigeria-make your own hype


I think it’s very easy to get caught up in all the hype.  The hype about people, places and things.  As I headed to Nigeria, let me tell ya, there was a lot of hype.  A lot of negative hype.  Most definitely, a lot of the hype was true.  I’m not going to get into what the hype was, you can google it and make your own decisions about Nigeria.

It’s also easy to get caught up in the now.  The now about people, places and things.  Sometimes the now turns into a rut and it’s difficult to get rid of the impression of the now when you don’t even attempt to discover what is the real of where you are.

Thankfully, I have almost always been able to move myself and remove myself from the nows and the hypes of where I am.  Sometimes it takes hours and sometimes it takes months.  I have now been in Nigeria for about five months and both the hype and the now have been very slowly mutating into an interesting and wonderful experience.  Sure, there is still the truth of the hype, and some of the nows will probably never change, but the reality of many of the nows are truly changing my mind and my impression of what the rest of my time in Nigeria will be like.  I have a very good feeling about what is to come.

I have started getting out  a little more and recently attended a showing of a documentary about a group of Yoruba master musicians from Lagos, Nigeria called Faaji Agba.  (trailer) The documentary was simply amazing.  It took Remi Vaughn-Richards about six years to film this group of 68-85 year old musicians who were rediscovered by the owner of Jazzhole Records,  Kunle Tejuosho.  If you get a chance, you should check out all of the above links.  An amazing story.

So back to my story.  Since watching the documentary I have set myself on a casual journey to find this fabled “Jazzhole” establishment that was profiled in the documentary.  Lagos can be a difficult city to get around in and my effort was a bit stymied by my work, traffic congestion, and just all of the normal things that force people to stay saddled in the nows of their lives.

I had a free day yesterday and decided to take a drive around to see if I could find the Jazzhole.  I drove by the location I thought the place was supposed to be according to my Blackberry’s Google map application and of course, there was nothing there but construction.

I drove down a back road, directly off of the main road and ran into this art cafe, restaurant, hotel, craft store called Bogobiri House. (The now of most Nigerians is that if you have some space you should use it wisely and get as much out of it as you possibly can.) Ironically, I had just randomly attended an open mic at this amazing little find two nights before.  Open mic here involves, improv Karaoke with a live band, poetry readings, and a host of musicians that play every type of instrument you can imagine.  I’m hooked.

After spending about an hour walking though this amazing find, I asked if the Jazzhole still existed and sho’ nuff, one of the guys at the Bogobiri House gave me directions.  Ironically, this iconic establishment was about a 10 minute drive from where I stood and only 15 minutes from my very home.

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I walked in and it was on the inside exactly what you would expect on the outside only better.

After walking around and seeing the massive amount of vinyl, cds, and books on every topic, I made my 2nd most exciting discovery.  I was standing right in front of the maker of the documentary I had just seen a few months before AND one of the members who had been profiled in this documentary.  The very same guy who is now between 70-80 years old (I think) and STILL playing jazz.  He was going to be playing at Bogobiri House that very evening.

WOW!!! Further, this very evening a little music exhibition was going to be playing at the Jazz Hole. The featured singers would be a young lady named Falana who I had never heard of before and who was simply amazing.  Not only was her voice unique, she was able to add some insight into the instruments she was using and while singing, encouraged the audience to sing along with her.  I was super disappointed that she only sang a few songs.

Her act was quickly followed by the main event, Blackman Akeeb Kareem. This was another musical soul who had become disenchanted with his now and left Nigeria for Europe.  However it happened, he was there and my own now was made incredible and better.  He was, and is at 70-something, an amazing musical story-teller.  He spoke of his time back in the day in the 60s and 70s and explained how Africans know that music is wasted if you are not up and dancing to it.

A man who has the ability to involve you in his story and the resolve to show you the now of his existence.  The now of how he believes Nigeria and the world could become if we would only listen.

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I know that just one random day in Lagos altered the now of my existence in Nigeria.  Thanks for stopping by.

Now

Sometimes, we get caught up in nostalgia, future fantasy, or both, and we don’t embrace the “now.” For this week’s challenge, take a moment to notice your present.

  1. Chasing Destino
  2. Through the lenz
  3. Beeblu
  4. Almandyne
  5. Daili
  6. Yichinling
  7. harlequinteaser
  8. joantwarren
  9. toobigabite
  10. Gillm

 

Dance as an expression


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While taking some guests through different areas of Kathmandu we got split up while touring through Patan Durbar Square.  We had agreed that if  we did lose each other on this visit we would meet up in the main entrance of the square.  Of course we got separated.  As I wound my way through the back roads I ran into this two person dance team.  What a treat.  I hope you enjoy.

Dance is the hidden language

of the soul

of the body. ~~Martha Graham

The dance can reveal everything mysterious that is hidden in music, and it has the additional merit of being human and palpable. Dancing is poetry with arms and legs.  ~~Charles Baudelaire

Other posts that represent dance from Where’s your Backpack’s weekly travel theme:  Dance and Daily Post Theme : Moved by Music

  1. Miami Vice: Definitely Miami and ‘Cry’ | It Rains… You Get Wet
  2. dance | photo theme hop
  3. Kicking up your heels. | Chronicles of Illusions
  4. Wake Me Up | Stacy’s Flutterings
  5. Travel theme: Dance | So where’s the snow?
  6. WWC: Moved by Music | Under the Monkey Tree
  7. Travel Theme: Dance | LoganBruin–An Unauthorized Autobiography
  8. Driving Through a Hurricane | Mary J Melange
  9. Travel Theme: Dance | Its In The Picture – 365
  10. Moved by Music | The Urban Dr. Mom
  11. Travel theme: Dance | Figments of a DuTchess
  12. Weekly Travel theme: Dance « Leya
  13. moved by music | band of color
  14. Travel Theme: Dance | Wind Against Current
  15. Dancing with abandon in Sedona | Travel with Intent
  16. Travel Theme: Dancing | Canadiantravelbugs’s Blog
  17. Adolescence | K beezy is viral
  18. Ailsa’s Theme: Dance | Travel Monkey
  19. Travel Theme: Dance | Healthcare Updates
  20. Weekly Writing Challenge- Moved By music | sassy&classy
  21. Weekly Travel Theme: Dance | Northwest Frame of Mind
  22. 5-3-13 Travel Theme: Dance | The Quotidian Hudson
  23. sonic tonic | nanopod: hybrid studio
  24. Save the last dance for me | Le Drake Noir
  25. TRAVEL THEME – DANCE | Dear Bliary
  26. Travel Theme: Dance | A Gringos life in Cusco
  27. I Hope You Dance | The Retiring Sort
  28. Weekly Writing Challenge: Moonlight Serenade | Spiritual Biscuits
  29. Travel Theme: Dance | patriciaddrury
  30. travel theme: dance | whatever a moon has always meant
  31. Moved by Music Memories | Kansa Muse
  32. Travel Theme: Dance | Transplanted Tatar
  33. the power of inspiration | ramblings
  34. Travel theme: Dance | no step too loose
  35. Dance Three Ways | dadirridreaming
  36. Travel Theme: Dance | a hectic life
  37. Moved by Music: DPChallenge | Lead us from the Unreal to the Real
  38. Travel Theme: Dance | MythRider
  39. 5 Songs That Can Get You Through The Dark Days | dark circles, etc
  40. Travel theme: Dance | Stefano Scheda
  41. WWC: How I Have Been Moved By Music
  42. Travel Theme: Dance | Edge of the Forest
  43. Dream With Your Feet! | The Urge To Wander
  44. Travel Theme: Dance | Paths Unwritten
  45. Dance (Travel theme) | pdjpix
  46. TRAVEL THEME: DANCE | Francine In Retirement
  47. Travel Theme: Dance | Something for Pok
  48. Travel theme: DANCE of the FLOWERS | Serendipity 13
  49. Travel Theme: Dance | A shot of espresso.
  50. Travel Theme: Dance | American Gypsy Gibberish…
  51. Travel Theme: Dance | Postcards from
  52. Travel theme: Dance | Ain’t Mine No More
  53. Travel Theme: Dance | Pictures for Froghopper

timro man mero lagi ghar ho


You can never tell what you might see when you are on a hash in Nepal.  At the mid-point of the first hash I have been on in several months I was very surprised and delighted to run into this group of boys sitting on top of a hill and playing their guitars and singing.  They actually offered to sing this song to our group.  Very pleased indeed.  I hope you enjoy.

 

Other pretty things on this unexpected hash.

Other posts I have recently enjoyed about zigging and zagging.

  1. ZigZags – Daily Post
  2. Ungemaltes – Zigs
  3. Autopict – Zags
  4. Albatz – ZigZag Stairways
  5. Monochrome – zigs n zags
  6. Wolverson – Sharp zags
  7. Twisted lines
  8. I follow islands
  9. ZigZag Mountains – Geophilia
  10. Beautiful zigs n zags
  11. Zigzagging