Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Another post about my dead friend

I posted this at my Myspace account becasue that was where she blogged and where her blogger friends are:

Sunshine is dead I am going to post this here because this is where she let us all know what was going on in her head.

I've known Sunshine a long time. I of course fell in love with her immediately. She became a sort of anti-hero, a punk goddess, a beautiful raging siren in my soul. She was and is a huge important part of who I am. Now that she has gone away, I feel that she has left me a piece of herself to carry on.

When I first heard that she killed herself from Beth on a Myspace email, I was shocked into insanity. I wept, and I swear to god I thought it was a horrible prank being played on me. My heart was ripped into tiny pieces. They are still floating around my head now, and I look at them in wonder and fear. I don't think I want a complete heart again. I just want to stare vaguely out the window at the stars until my soul evaporates.

When she started this blog thing, I was glad because I could then keep up on the goings on in her patchwork life It was so fucking hard to get a hold of her, what with phone number and address changes. I tried at least once a week to get in touch with her.

Her last couple emails expressed things that will be dear to me for the rest of my life, and I will reflect on her words, her face, and her spirit on my deathbed. She also expressed hope about many things, including relationships, education, and the possibility of having children. She also commented on the fact that she felt like she was becoming way to conventional as a person.

I wish to fucking hell that I could talk to her one last time, been there with her one last time. How could this possibly be that that is impossible now? What is death that it is so final?

Her words on this website really express a lot of things and I believe we should all read and reread them to understand all that she was going through, try to grasp her essential sadness and her tough external shell. We need to realize that with this final and devestating action, she has given us a gift that could possibly be the most important gift we will ever receive in this lifetime, which is the crystal clear knowledge of death, the horrifying reality of this present moment, and the importance of living life fully while we can.

With her passing I look around at old friends and new, relatives and grocery store clerks, pretty much everyone, with a new and clear vision. These are the people that I share my time in this world with, these are the people that could be gone tomorrow. So I need to love them today, as a much as I can. And I know I could be gone tomorrow, so I want to give them whatever I can in this short time we walk on this planet.

I am not in charge anymore, I realized. I have many responsibilities.

But then of course there are all those painful thoughts and hazy memories that attack me every few minutes now. What was she going through that night? What was her last thought? Why wasn't I there to help her, to keep her from doing this? Remember that time we walked from Morris halfway to Hancock, remember that time we drank ourselves silly in the middle of the day, remember that time she gave me that crazy haircut? Hanging out at Karls Coffee. Drinking beer over the Flowershop. Walking around Morris.

Fuck it all. It's just impossible to put into words the ridiculous pain of this senseless act. I thought she was tougher, tough enough to handle anything at all. Forever. What an idiot I was. She was a fragile human being, not really a punk goddess. It's so hard to see the true nature of her real pain and fears. I just didn't think she would ever be overwhelmed.

I want to hug her, I want to kiss her, I want to have a smoke down by the water and a beer back by the fire and watch her play with her dogs and smile that smile we all knew and were addicted to. We would do, say, make a funny face, anything for that smile and laughter. It was like a gift from heaven, an ambrosia dripping from the cups of dragons.

And I look around and the world keeps on going, making computers, bombing Lebanon, eating sandwiches, and I want to scream out, "What is the point of all this?" A week has turned into a lifetime. A day has reversed the flow of time.

Choices, my friends, they are all important.

Namaste, Sunshine. I love you. Goodbye.

Monday, July 24, 2006


I woke up a little before 5 in the morning today. I went to the top of the barn and watched the sun rise. Constant change, ephemeral beauty. The cold coffee helped me become conscious again.

Yesterday I fished for the first time in more then a decade. I didn't catch anything.

The day before that I went to my friend's funeral. The pastor said something about Christ's blood shed on the cross as a symbol of peace, and I wanted to strangle him, but I laughed out loud instead. I suppose you could say my friend died for your sins. I suppose everyone dies for someone's sins. Why make the club exclusive is all I'm trying to say.

It's all going to change. That's what I've realized. I'm leaving it all behind. I'm going to start something new, something good. I'm going to grow vegetables. I'm going to make music. I'm going to create community. Life is not as long, nor is it as permanent as I imagined. There is no time to wait for tomorrow to come, there is no time to wait for joy to be given to you in a gift-wrapped box. There is nothing but now. There is nothing but you and me, alive right now.

If I can take advantage of some available resources I should. If I can stand on the shoulders of those who have gone before me I should. All I have is energy. All we have are the reflections of the jewels of this reality.

Right now I hear the loon call. I am reminded that the only thing that is permanent is impermanance.

I'm going to go make breakfast.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006


One of my oldest and dearest friends killed herself on Sunday.

I found out yesterday. It seemed like some horrible cruel joke. But it is true, and her funeral is on Friday.

She lived in Smalltown, USA and lived a smalltown life, with all the drinking, gossip, and bullshit that entails. She never went to college, but one of the last things I heard from her was that she was planning on taking a course in carpentry at a community college in a nearby town. I was glad for her. I knew she could succeed if she truly wished to. Sometimes I wondered if anybody else ever encouraged her to succeed, to enjoy life. Somehow I doubt it.

She loved her pets more then she loved people, I think. She was always picking up strays, and babying them. I think she did that with people, too. I think she felt like a stray cat gone feral.

Her family is poor and troubled. Her younger brother committed suicide a few years ago. Her father tried to commit suicide while in jail, suceeding in permanently damaging himself for life. I knew she felt alone, abandoned by her family and older friends. I feel like I abandoned her, but I don't know what I could have done differently. She lived with us in Minneapolis for a few months, but she didn't really fit in, it seemed to me she was overwhelmed by the sheer complexity of big city life, but I am sure she would haev gotten used to it and maybe benefited from it. As it was, she moved back to Smalltown, USA, for I don't know what reason. Maybe to be with her then boyfriend.

Last time we exchanged emails, she had a new boyfriend, and was actually considering having children. Knowing her, you would realize this was a new and important development in her life. Her boyfriend sounded like a steady type of person, who had owned a house before and had a good blue collar job. I guess he wasn't enough to keep her from despair.

I can't understand it very well. Death is somewhat new to me. My grandmother died, and so did my girlfriend's, as well as all my pets in various horrific ways. But this is new. I grew up with this person, I remember her early sadness and despair. It must have evolved into a very serious and complex cage in which, finally, she just could not extricate herself from. I wish I could have at least talked to her one last time.

Her last message to me was on my answering service. It was a Friday and we were far from Minneapolis, and she was trying to call late at night, drunkenly. She said something like "I called, I try calling you all the time, but you never answer, you fucker." I tried calling her all the time, but she never answered.

I still love her. I don't think it matters that her body is dead, her spirit will be with me as long as I live, and my spirit will be with someone else as long as they live, and in that way we can keep each other alive, afloat in this sometimes sad world.

The world, this reality, is nothing but constant changes, and sorrow is merely a reaction to these sometimes abrupt and suprising changes. Love is the glue that binds us together and when we are ripped apart it hurts like hell.

I am going to miss you, Sunshine.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Winnipeg Folk Festival 2006, overview

Oh, the Folk Festival. It came and went again, in it's inevitable infinite and supersonic way.

This is my 5th one I think. Every year it is different, every year it opens up my mind to something new, and renews my commitment to dedicating my life to this amzing stuff we call music. Music is water for our souls.

We took our time going up, and camped at Grand Beach, Rushing River, and Someplace Else. We saw ancient petroforms, supposedly where the first Ojibweh peoples came down from heaven unto this earth. We saw endless rocky lakes, and picked fresh blueberries from misquito besotted woods. Our car was loyal and it continued until the very end.

Is there anything better then a beach? Is it because the beach is where our minds began to form, the meeting of water and earth?

We got to Bird's Hill on Wednesday, and all the good campsites by the trees were already taken. there is only the Festival Campground of course. We set up our ancent screen tent, the decrepit two room tent, and our two new dome tents, in preparation our five family members who where to arrive on Thursday night.

And beer was drunk.

It was so hot the whole time, we didn't want any food except for the Festival Food. Between all seven of us we probably ate 20 meals at The Good Indian Place. Yum.

The tents blew down once, but with so many people we got them up again relatively easily.

The highlights musically, in order of importance:

1. Hawksley Workman
This man has inspired me to find my true voice. He has inspired me to tell you my true thoughts. He has reassured me that people appreciate emotion, humor, thought, and sexiness. He is a revelation, and I am eagerly awaiting a call from the Electric Fetus so I can get my album.

2. Chad Vangaalen
This man also made me happy with his quirky freeness. He had the best made-up song about bugs, and I will try to get back to you with the lyrics. I bought his album, and it is good, but not as good as he was live.

3. K'naan
He is the best rapper I have ever heard. The dancing was fun, but the real treat was when we listened to his album on the way home and realized it was the best album ever. Get it, now.

4. Vishwa Mohan Bhatt and Salil Bhatt
Wonderful wonderful wonderful Indian music played on modified Hawaiian guitars.

5. Taqaq
The best inuit throat singing I have ever heard, with an awesome DJ that had me dancing like a fool in the beer tent. So happy, so sexy.

6. Mihirangi
She was an awesome looper with an incredible voice. the workshop she had with Taqaq was by far the best one at the Fest and I will never forget it. It was full of this incredible womanly energy, a fierce joy, and creative freedom.

7. Greg Macpherson
He sounded great.

8. That 1 Guy
How can you beat a guy who plays a giant instrument he made out of pipes and has smoke coming out of it at the end of the set? You can't, unless you're any of the above performers.

Son Volt, Afrodizz, and a number of the other Singer/Songwriters were awesome. I heard Crooked Still and Oh Susanna were good. The workshop with Vangaalen, Sparhaw (Low), Hawksley, Macpherson, and Vic Chestnutt was wonderful. There was just so much good things happening, musically, culinarily, and spiritually, it's hard to note all of them.

The weren't many highlights at the campground this year except for the glowing dragon.

The ride back was long. The border crossing took a long time, and finally the guard just asked me if I play the drum and I say not very well and we got through quickly. The life that had luster now lacks in love. The things everyone does constantly are stupid. I hate the way they look at me when I walk down the street. TV is the worst thing in the whole wide world. It is too easy to turn into a psycopath. It is too easy to get fat and order pizza. Fuck all this horrid DEATH that just parades around like it's nothing. Stop doing what you're doing and do something else.

So here I am. If you were at the Folk Fest and would like to chat about it, please do so with me. Leave a message. Awesome.

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